Wednesday, April 14, 2010

E!, style Acquire Sex and the City; Big Bang Theory Gets Two and a Half Men Slot On May 3, Wife Swap Not Airing Again

I'm back after a few days away, but Todd did a great job filling in!

Comcast-owned networks E! Entertainment and style have acquired the rights to all 94 episodes of Sex and the City starting in January 2011. Sex and the City of course aired on HBO for six seasons from 1998-2004 and has been airing on TBS in repeats since 2003. Currently on TBS it airs weeknights in the 1am hour, but they will be losing the rights to the show when E! and style's deal starts. The series is not needed on TBS anymore, especially since Conan O'Brien will start his talk show in the fall, giving Sex and the City the boot since one hour (or two since there will likely be an encore of the talk show) of late night will be removed because of his new talk show.
The Comcast deal let's it air on E! and style as well as limited digital, VOD and mobile rights starting in Jan. 2011. In a previously done deal, E! already has the rights to the first Sex and The City movie, which will debut on E! in July 2012.

We have some notable network notes for you. CBS is trying The Big Bang Theory in Two and a Half Men's 9pm half-hour on Monday, May 3 - the first Monday of May sweeps! This is really a forced thing, because Two and Half Men had its episode order cut by two (the Charlie Sheen rehab situation) and doesn't have enough new episodes left in May. As a result, CBS has announced it will air an all-new episode of The Big Bang Theory at 9pm on May 3, followed by a repeat in its regular 9:30pm half-hour. Two and a Half Men will return with its final three episodes of the season starting May 10 at 9pm, with the season finale airing on May 24.
View more CBS schedule updates for May.
Moving on to other network notes, as I predicted, once again ABC will preempt Wife Swap this Friday (April 16) for previous week's rerun of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 8pm leading into an all-new episode. I suspect this will happen again next week (April 23), as Food Revolution will have its season finale next week. If that is the case, Wife Swap will return April 30 with back-to-back episodes, as previously scheduled. Then it should air weekly at 8pm, leading into Primetime: What Would You Do? at 9pm starting May 7.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Love Boat Reunion at TV Land Awards; TV Land Daytime Block Changes Starting Starting April 19; Conan O'Brien Joins TBS

Come aboard... TV Land's expecting you at The 8th Annual TV Land Awards.
TV Land announced recently that it will honor the popular series The Love Boat with the Fan Favorite Award at The 8th Annual TV Land Awards, hosted by Tim Allen. The show is scheduled to tape on Saturday, April 17 on the historic Stage 15 on the Sony Lot in Culver City and will air on TV Land on Sunday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, as we previously mentioned.
This year's Fan Favorite, The Love Boat, was executive produced by Aaron Spelling and was set on a cruise ship where the boat's crew encouraged its weekly guest stars to find romance on the high seas, usually on its voyage between Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta. Cast members included Gavin MacLeod ("Captain Stubing"), Fred Grandy ("Gopher"), Bernie Kopell ("Adam 'Doc' Bricker"), Ted Lange (bartender, "Issac Washington"), Ted McGinley ("Ashley Covington Evans"), Lauren Tewes (cruise director, "Julie McCoy"), Jill Whelan ("Vicki Stubing") and the popular "cuchi cuchi," guest star Charo. Throughout its ten hilarious seasons, The Love Boat was nominated for five Emmy® Awards and eight Golden Globe® Awards including Best TV Series - Musical/Comedy and two nominations for Best Performance by an Actor to Gavin MacLeod. Previous Fan Favorite Award honorees include Home Improvement and Lindsey Wagner of The Bionic Woman who accepted the Fan Favorite Award for her "bionic speed."

Honorees previously announced for The 8th Annual TV Land Awards include the entire cast of Everybody Loves Raymond who will receive the Impact Award, Glee which will receive this year's Future Classic Award and Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles) and Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show and Ocean's Eleven) will each receive the Legend Award. Stars of the 1970s TV phenomenon Charlie's Angels will be on hand to receive the Pop Culture Award and to pay tribute to their cast member Farrah Fawcett, who passed away in June 2009. Also scheduled to appear are Academy® Award-winner Tom Hanks and Emmy® Award-nominee Peter Scolari who will reunite to accept the Anniversary Award for the 30th anniversary of the comedy, Bosom Buddies, along with fellow cast members Donna Dixon, Thelma Hopkins and Holland Taylor, marking the first time that the cast has been together publically since the show went off the air.


TV Land is changing its daytime marathon block schedule starting Monday.

Effective Monday, April 19, 2010
Weekdays
9:00am-1:00pm (unless noted)
Mondays: Good Times (replaces Leave it to Beaver)
Tuesdays: 3rd Rock from the Sun (replaces Beverly Hillbillies)
Wednesdays: Sanford and Son remains
Thursdays: The Brady Bunch (replaces Hogan's Heroes)
Fridays: 9-11am Gunsmoke, 11am-5pm Bonanza remain

What's back: Good, Times, The Brady Bunch and 3rd Rock from the Sun
What's gone: Beverly Hillbillies, Leave it to Beaver and Hogan's Heroes
Stay with us for further updates, incluing how TV Land May 2010 will be affected.

Comedy icon Conan O'Brien is joining TBS to host a late-night talk show that is expected to debut in November. The Emmy-winning comedian's new program will be followed by Lopez Tonight, which will shift to a midnight time slot.
O'Brien began talks in earnest with TBS just last week, after George Lopez personally called him to ask that he consider joining the network's late-night line-up. "I can't think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in," Lopez said. "It's the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy."
Said O'Brien: "In three months I've gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I'm headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly."

O'Brien and Lopez will give TBS a dynamic lineup in late-night television. TBS - which has built a programming slate that appeals to a young, diverse audience – expects O'Brien to be a long-term addition to the network's late-night landscape. O'Brien will host his hour-long, yet-to-be-titled show Mondays through Thursdays at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).
With the addition of O'Brien's show, TBS will establish two hours of late-night talk. Lopez Tonight, while just a few months old, has already become a destination show for a diverse audience. The Lopez Tonight audience is young as well, with a median age of just 34.

O'Brien is well-known from his many years in comedy. He grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in a suburb of Boston. His love of comedy began at an early age and carried on when he entered Harvard University, where he earned a degree in history. During his years at Harvard, he also wrote for the legendary Harvard Lampoon publication, eventually serving as its president.
After leaving Harvard, O'Brien went to Los Angeles, where he found several writing jobs for television, including HBO's Not Necessarily the News. After returning to the East Coast, O'Brien joined the writing team at Saturday Night Live, earning his first Emmy in 1989. He was writing for the hit show The Simpsons when Lorne Michaels approached him about a new late-night series for NBC. In 1993, Late Night with Conan O'Brien launched. The show ran for 16 years, ending when O'Brien briefly took over The Tonight Show.
O'Brien is currently touring the United States and Canada with his live show, Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Fox; TBS Makes Schedule Changes

Fox is up today at the TCA winter press tour. First up there was a buffet breakfast with the Bones cast and crew at 9am PT. On hand were stars Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, and John Francis Daley along with executive producers Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson, Stephen Nathan and Ian Toynton. After that there was a session for the upcoming series Human Target at 9:45am PT. At the panel were stars Mark Valley, Chi McBride, and Jackie Earle Haley, along with executive producers McG, Jonathan E. Steinberg and Peter Johnson. Then at 10:30am PT, we have the cast of the upcoming summer scripted drama Code 58 (wt) at the panel. Stars Bradley Whitford, Colin Hanks, Diana Maria Riva, and Jenny Wade were at the panel along with executive producers Matt Nix and Mikkel Bondesen. Then the last session of the morning was at 11:15am PT with the upcoming midseason sitcom Sons of Tuscon. On hand at the panel were stars Tyler Labine, Matthew Levy, Frank Dolce, and Benjamin Stockham along with executive producers Matthew Carlson, Justin Berfield, Todd Holland and creators Tommy Dewey & Greg Bratman.

The executive session was held at 12pm PT with Peter Rice (chairman of Fox) and Kevin Reilly (entertainment president of Fox) and that is why our blog was delayed today (more on the delay of this session in a bit). Among the announcements are that Glee has been given an early pick up for 2010-2011 season. And prior to the second season premiere, there will be a multi-part reality special on the show to find three new cast members. Fox has picked-up The X Factor to air starting Fall 2011. Simon Cowell, who created and launched The X Factor in the U.K. in 2004, will serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.S. version, which will be produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. He signed the contract right on stage, hence the reason for the delay of this session! Cowell will however leave American Idol at the end of the current season that starts tomorrow, so he can focus on this show fully. Fox has committed to American Idol for at least three more years. And will Paula Abdul join The X Factor? Cowell says, "I've gone on record, I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some capacity..." No judges info has been announced yet for this show.
Upcoming summer drama Code 58 starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks will premiere on Wednesday, May 12 at 8pm and will also air May 19 at 8pm before moving to Mondays at 9pm in the summer starting June 7. The series has an order for 13 episodes. The Simpsons reached a milestone episode last night with episode 450, now America's Most Wanted will reach its 1000th episode on Saturday, March 6, followed by episode 100 of Bones on Thursday, April 8, while Family Guy will reach episode 150 on Sunday, May 2.
Reilly mentioned Fox wants to do a comedy night that is non-animated. Perhaps Tuesdays next fall?

After the executive session we have a lunch break and writing break sponsored by Animation Domination from 12:45pm-2:15pm PT. Then Fox will have more panels of their series. At 2:15pm PT the panel is handed over to upcoming new midseason drama Past Life. On hand are stars Kelli Giddish, Nicholas Bishop, and Ravi Patel, along with executive producers David Hudgins & Lout Pitt. At 3pm PT there is a break sponsored by America's Most Wanted's 1000th episode, and host/executive producer John Walsh will be available for interviews (along with co-exec producer Steve Katz). Then at 3:30pm PT the final panel of the day belongs to 24. On hand will be stars Kiefer Sutherland, Cherry Jones, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Annie Wersching, Freddie Prinze Jr., Katee Sackhoff, Mykelti Williamson, Chris Diamantopoulos, and John Boyd along with co-executive producer Howard Gordon. Then later tonight from 7-10 PT it is the Fox Winter 2010 All-Star Party at the Villa Sorriso in Pasadena!

To recap Fox's midseason, Human Target launches this coming Sunday at 8pm and then will air Wednesday at 9pm for episode two before moving to Wednesdays at 8pm starting Jan. 27. 24 launches its season also on Sunday from 9-11pm and two more hours on Monday from 9-11pm before settling into its regular Mondays at 8pm slot. A new season of Kitchen Nightmares starts Friday, Jan. 29 at 9pm. New drama Past Life premieres Thursday, Feb. 11 from 8-10pm before moving to its regular 9m slot the following week. Fringe will then return on Thursday, April 1 at 9pm. New sitcom Sons Tucson launches Sunday, March 14 and will air at 9:30pm on Sundays, as American Dad! goes on hiatus. As of now, Glee will return on a new night of Tuesday starting April 13 at 9pm, but this was before Our Little Genius was pulled, so who knows it might return a week or two earlier than planned. Fox hasn't announced what will air Tuesdays at 9pm starting in February. Lie to Me still doesn't have a return date, so that night could be possible, but in the exec session, Reiley says it could return in spring.


Moving to regular news, TBS has made some time shifts to their schedule that started today. Due to the TCA press tour, we couldn't get this out to you a bit earlier, so we apologize. Like Hallmark's changes that began today, TBS won't be removing anything...just shifting timeslots. The biggest change is My Name is Earl leaving early evenings from 7-8pm and will move to late nights from 12-1am. Seinfeld is once again back in the 7pm hour. According to Jim and House of Payne will not have full hours anymore in the afternoons, but one airing will remain in the afternoon as the other airings of each move to mornings. The Office remains at 6:30pm, the only sitcom that launched this past fall that will remain in its slot. There are more time shifts as well, such as Raymond and King of Queens back to late afternoons/early evenings and a third airing of Fresh Prince in the mornings. Just what we need, right?
View the full TBS schedule, along with stunts, that starts TODAY!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ION Television January 2010 Highlights; TBS 2009 Ratings Report

In January 2010 on ION Television there are no regular scheduled changes, but we do get some stunts and movie premieres! On New Year's Day spend the day in the mind of criminals on Criminal Minds from 4pm-12am, with eight episodes from the series' fourth season.
The lesson that "love hurts" is well learned by the characters who inhabit the eerie suburb of Durham County, when the second season of ION Television's critically acclaimed original primetime series launches with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 3 from 9:00–11:00 PM ET. A marathon of the series' first season will precede the season two launch, airing from 5:00–11:00 PM ET on Saturday, January 2. Durham County, which debuted this past fall, returns to the bleak and disturbing landscape of an alienated suburbia with a new star villain – Michelle Forbes, known for her intense portrayals on the hit HBO series True Blood and In Treatment this year. The show will be broadcast in its new regular timeslot at 10:00 PM ET on Sundays beginning Sunday, January 10.
Movie premieres for January 2010 has Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994), Shanghai Noon (2000), Kickboxer (1989), A Trace of Danger (2009), Space Cowboys (2000), Running Scared (2006), The Transporter (2002), The Transporter 2 (2005), Bloodsport (1988), Phone Booth (2002), and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). Movie encores for the month are Goodfellas (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Dealth Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), and Tango & Cash (1989). ION airs moves Friday evenings and all day Saturdays & Sundays.
View the full schedule and highlights for ION Television January 2010. ION has been doing pretty well in th ratings with reruns of NCIS and Criminal Minds especially. In primetime, the network has averaged over 1 million viewers for the last four weeks and beat The CW last week.

TBS closes out 2009 with a banner year! In its first four weeks (Nov. 9-Dec. 3) on TBS, Lopez Tonight averaged 1.4 million viewers; 1 million households; 478,000 adults 18-34; and 869,000 adults 18-49. Lopez Tonight has delivered double-digit growth for TBS in the 11 p.m. hour, with viewers up 33%, households up 27%, adults 18-34 up 29% and adults 18-49 up 34% when compared to the same time period for the four weeks leading up to the premiere. A continuing hit with multicultural viewers, Lopez Tonight's audience is 32% Hispanic and 26% African-American. Lopez Tonight airs Mon-Thurs at 11pm.
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns is ad-supported cable's #1 comedy of the year among viewers, households, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. TBS's telecasts of Family Guy rank it second to Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns among adults 18-49. TBS claims four of the top five comedies for the year-to-date among adults 25-54 with Meet the Browns, Family Guy, The Office and Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Meet the Browns is the #2 series on all of television among African Americans, behind only American Idol, in African-Americans 18-49 for the year-to-date. Meet the Browns airs Wednesdays at 10pm.
And finally, TBS's exclusive coverage of the MLB League Division Series led the network to its most-viewed week in the 33-year history of the network and garnered double-digit year-to-year increases in ratings, total viewers and households. Over the course of 13 League Division Series games, TBS averaged a 3.1 national household rating, up 11% when compared to the 2008 League Division Series. TBS's coverage also scored an 11% increase in total viewers.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

George Lopez Sitcom Reunion on Lopez Tonight Next Week; Around the TV Horn

Watch out! There is going to be a George Lopez show reunion on his TBS Lopez Tonight talk show next Tuesday! Orale! George Lopez aired on ABC from 2002-2007, you 'member, 'member? The entire cast of the sitcom will get together on George's new late night talk show next Tuesday (December 15, 2009) on TBS! Reuniting with George will be Constance Marie (Angie), Belita Moreno (Benny), Valente Rodriguez (Ernie), Masiela Lusha (Carmen), Luis Armand Garcia (Max), and Aimee Garcia (Veronica). Wapppah! Cannot wait! But sabes que, the only other regular missing it seems is Emiliano Díez, who played Angie's father, Vic. Ta loca, why no Vic? Anyway, spread the word (like this blog story) that next Tuesday at 11, tune into Lopez Tonight on TBS for the George Lopez sitcom reunion! If there are any more updates on this we'll let you know! I got this!
Lopez Tonight airs Mon-Thurs at 11:00pm ET/PT on TBS! And you can watch reruns of George Lopez on Nick at Nite every night at 10pm & 10:30pm. Sheeeoww!!

It's time for another edition of Notes from Around the TV Horn! As The World Turns, the long-running daytime drama, will complete its final season on the CBS Television Network in September 2010. CBS has decided not to renew the show for the 2010/2011 broadcast season, thereby ending its 54-year run on CBS. The epitome of multi-generational, serial storytelling, As The World Turns has been entertaining generations of fans for more than half a century. The show boasts a well-loved and long-tenured cast, including actress Helen Wagner (Nancy Hughes) who spoke the first words on the premier broadcast of ATWT in 1956. To this day, Nancy is still at the helm of the Hughes family, earning Wagner the distinction of portraying the longest-running character in television history. ATWT joins Guiding Light, which ended this past September, as a canceled long-running soap opera.
First-run syndicated series The Bonnie Hunt Show will go off the air after the end of this season. The Warner Bros. produced series is currently in its second season. The series is averaging only a 0.8 household rating.
Meanwhile, Twentieth Century Fox's Judge Alex and Divorce Court have both been renewed through the 2011-12 season. For next season, 2010-11, each program is cleared in 75% of the country and in the top 15 markets as of now, including on the Fox Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. B&C reports that Twentieth is also offering off-network Nat Geo's Dog Whisperer to stations for fall 2010 and off-net FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for fall 2011, as well as renewing Fox's Family Guy for a second cycle. The company also is marketing Family Guy spin-off, American Dad!, for a possible fall 2011 launch. Stay with us for more on this at NATPE next month!

A reminder that ABC will air the new holiday special Disney Prep & Landing tonight at 8:30pm, followed by an all-new Scrubs, and the season premiere of Better off Ted at 9:30pm! Watch!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! - TV Marathons On This Holiday Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We thank you for visiting us on this special day and every other day, all-year. We also are very thankful that you all will continue to visit every single day and making this blog a continued huge success. We get thousands of visitors every day (even on weekends). So, we thank you for the growth each year! It is simply amazing and I can't believe it has been nearly 5 years (OK almost 4 1/2 years) of posting on this blog every single day no matter what! No days off!

Before we let you all go back to your families (or special friends), we want to let you know the marathons on TV you and your family might want to watch during the day and after Thanksgiving dinner. We love TV marathons and you all come here on each holiday to see what marathons are airing, so as always we will do that today, too!
We have told you about many of the sitcom related marathons already. We were the first ones to tell you about them, too. WGN America has their second annual Newhart marathon on Thanksgiving Day from 2:30pm-8pm ET. TV Land has its annual Overstuffed Weekend with Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie on Thanksgiving Day and Night, with many other sitcoms from Friday-Sunday. Nick at Nite continues their George Lopez Thanksgiving Week marathon all night tonight and tomorrow night. TV One has a Living Single and Martin marathon starting at 11:30am. So yeah we told you about all these already many moons ago. But there are of course more as usual!
Other sitcom related marathons include TBS's Seinfeld marathon, but that is tomorrow (Friday) from 11:30am-4pm. Also on Friday, BET airs an Everybody Hates Chris marathon from 10am-6pm, while WE tv has a Golden Girls marathon on Friday from 12pm-7pm and FX goes back to the '70s with That '70s Show starting at 8am om Friday. On Saturday, BET airs a marathon of The Game from 9am-7:30pm, while TV Land has its weekly Saturday Married...with Children marathon from 8am-6pm this week.
Non-sitcom wise, USA Network will have a House marathon today starting at 7am, while The Closer marathon airs on TNT from 10am-6pm. Other notables for Thursday include a Home Alone movie marathon on FX, Deal or No Deal on GSN, Supernanny on Style, Band of Brothers on Spike TV, and many many movies marathons on networks like Disney Channel, Sleuth, Hallmark, G4, Comedy Central, and Syfy's Bond Movies marathon. On Friday we get Criminal Minds on A&E, Law & Order on TNT, Beverly Hills 90210 on SOAPnet, NCIS/White Collar on USA, and America's Next Top Model on Oxygen, and on Saturday Top Model will also have a marathon on Bravo.
And don't forget my pick of the night, tonight at 8pm on ABC the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It's an annual tradition to watch! Can't get enough of old Chuck! If you haven't see it already, view our 2009 Network TV Holiday Specials and Movies Guide, so you don't miss anything on network TV this holiday season. Also our ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas schedule, because that is the place to be as always during the holiday season with classics like Mickey's Christmas Carol, A Garfield Christmas and Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too!

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Monday, November 09, 2009

TV Land Brings Back Married with Children...Again; TV Guide/TV Land Acquire Curb Your Enthusiasm; Lopez Tonight Launches Tonight

TV Land is bringing back Married...with Children once again! Al Bundy and the rest of the Bundy family just love TV Land and will return this Saturday (Nov. 14) with weekly Saturday marathons along with airing Mon-Thurs in the 9pm hour and Mondays from 10pm-12am starting next Monday (Nov. 16). The sitcom has always done well on TV Land, but there are some issues with sister network Spike TV. They were the ones who acquired the series but ever since TV Land has tested the show, it has done well on TV Land. But something prevents it from airing on both networks at the same time...so Spike TV will remove the series again after this week. Spike will air it this week in the mornings (10am-12pm), then effective Saturday, it goes back to TV Land. The TV Land weekday airings will replace Andy Griffith in the 9pm hour and Cosby Show in the Monday 10pm-12a block.
Other changes starting Monday, Nov. 16 are also to weekdays. Leave it to Beaver and The Beverly Hillbillies replace Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the 9am hour. Home Edition will still weekend mornings at 8am. In the 10am hour we get another The Beverly Hillbillies and All in the Family, replacing an hour of Good Times, which is now off the regular line-up. Sanford & Son remains at 11am, but at 12pm we now have Hogan's Heroes returning to the schedule and airing in the 12pm hour replacing All in the Family and Leave it to Beaver, which move to earlier slots as I mentioned. At 1pm, Gunsmoke takes over the hour replacing Beverly Hillbillies, which also move to earlier slots as I mentioned. Bonanza will air at 2pm instead of Gunsmoke, so Bonanza airs 2pm-5pm. And in the 5pm hour now will be Andy Griffith Show instead of Bonanza. Andy will lead into All in the Family and Sanford & Son hours from 6-8pm, as they are not removing those hours. Andy remains n the 8pm hour leading into Married...with Children at 9.
So, there you have it...the updated TV Land November schedule! View the full updated TV Land November 2009 schedule, if you're confused.

We have even more TV Land news! But this one is shared with the TV Guide Network. TV Land and TV Guide Network announced that they will jointly acquire basic cable rights to Curb Your Enthusiasm, the award-winning HBO comedy series produced by and starring Seinfeld co-creator Larry David. One of the most ground-breaking shows on television, Curb Your Enthusiasm has never before been seen on basic cable television and for the first time ever, this irreverent comedy series will be delivered to millions of new viewers by TV Guide Network and TV Land. In addition, both networks will acquire certain broadband, wireless and video-on-demand rights, bringing Curb Your Enthusiasm to multiple screens for fans to enjoy.
Curb Your Enthusiasm will air on TV Guide Network for a multi-year run starting February 2010. TV Land will begin airing the series in TV Land PRIME immediately following TV Guide Network's term in February 2013 (it could be a year later if HBO renews Curb for an eighth season).
We previously announced that Curb Your Enthusiasm launches in broadcast syndication on Tribune stations in Fall 2010, so TV Guide Network will have a seven month head start. WGN America will also air the series starting in Fall 2010, when locals start it, as we previously announced.

And finally, the wait is over. The time is now. The party starts tonight at 11:00pm, only on TBS, as they launch Lopez Tonight starring George Lopez! George's guests tonight are Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker, talk show host and new American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres, NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and rock legend Carlos Santana. And you won't want to miss the audience game that everyone will be talking about tomorrow, "Bullet Wound... Not a Bullet Wound?" Other guests for premiere week include Jamie Foxx, Marc Anthony, Queen Latifah, Oscar De La Hoya, Lisa Lampanelli, Kelly Osbourne and Larry David. In the coming weeks you'll see Charlie Sheen, Andy Garcia, Bill Engvall, Ted Danson, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and many more!
Lopez Tonight airs Mon-Thurs from 11pm-12:05am ET (with an encore at 2am ET) starting tonight, as George is bringing the party back to late night! Orale!
Tonight's premiere at 11pm will be simulcast on TNT and truTV as well.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

BET Jazz Renames to Centric; The CW and TBS Cancelations

We all know about the name change Viacom is doing for The N turning into TeenNick starting today, but did you know Viacom's BET Jazz is turning into Centric today? BET is rebranding its nearly 32 million subscriber "BET J" network under the Centric title, which will target African-American viewers with music and lifestyle programming. The network for the short-term will rely on acquired reality and music programming fare from its sister networks, including such shows as MTV's Run's House and VH1's The Salt-N-Pepa Show and I Want To Work for Diddy. Centric will also feature new shows originally slated to premiere this fall on BET J, including Leading Men, Lyrical Café and Urban Living. The network will also air classic episodes from the long-running Soul Train syndicated music/dance series, including singer Michael Jackson's first appearance on the show as a member of The Jackson Five. The network will pay homage to the "King of Pop," who died this past June, with a Jackson-themed primetime programming block tonight at 9pm (and encoring Friday at 11am). Also, the network will air the original Fame series to launch the network today from 9am-9pm with an encore on Sunday from 6am-6pm. Episode titles from the 1982 series airing in the block are "The Strike," "A Musical Bridge," "Passing Grade," "Tomorrow's Farewell," "The Crazies," "Teachers," "Class Act," "Feelings," "Star Quality," "Solo Song," "Ending on a High Note," and "Not in Kansas Anymore." I believe this is in honor of the new Fame movie that opened this past weekend. As of now, Centric is not airing this series as a regular.
While the network is officially on the air today, BET and MTV are not planning any major marketing campaigns for Centric until 2010. For the immediate future, Centric will run cross-promotional spots through such MTV Networks properties as VH1, MTV and BET. Hopefully we see some sitcoms on Centric, but it doesn't seem like we will see any...I guess sitcom will be just for BET itself.

The CW has canceled new Wednesday drama The Beautiful Life: TBL after just two airings. TBL was the fall's first cancelation, after draw just over 1 million viewers for its second episode not holding much of anything of the America's Next Top Model lead-in. Starting this Wednesday at 9pm, repeats of Melrose Place, which is not doing much better, will take over the slot. Melrose Place airs original episodes Tuesdays at 9pm.
And finally TBS has canceled multi-camera sitcom The Bill Engvall Show after three seasons. The series moved to Saturdays for its third season and didn't generate much numbers. TBS opted to go with a fourth season of single camera sitcom My Boys instead I guess.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

TBS and ABC Family Renew Original Sitcoms; Remembering Larry Gelbart

The beer will continue flowing at Crowley's Tavern as TBS orders up a fourth season of its critically acclaimed original sitcom from Sony Pictures Television, My Boys. The series stars Jordana Spiro as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sports columnist in Chicago. TBS has lined up nine episodes for the new season, which is slated to launch in 2010.
Co-starring in My Boys as PJ's mostly male group of close friends are Kyle Howard as boyfriend Bobby, Reid Scott as best friend Brendon, Michael Bunin as Kenny and Jamie Kaler as Mike. Kellee Stewart co-stars as Stephanie, a former schoolmate and the only female influence in PJ's life.
The single camera sitcom premiered to critical praise on TBS in November 2006. When the series returned in summer 2007, it scored 22% growth among adults 18-34. Earlier this year, the show's third season garnered 11% growth among adults 18-34. The comedy is particularly strong among DVR users, delivering 72% growth among adults 18-34 and 52% growth among viewers when comparing Live to Live + 7 viewing for the third season.

Meanwhile, ABC Family has ordered another season of ten episodes of original comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. The ensemble single camera sitcom based on the 1999 feature of the same name has performed well for ABC Family since its July 7 debut. The comedy is created and executive produced by Carter Covington and stars Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Martin, Larry Miller and Ethan Peck. The series just finished its first season episode order (10 episodes) last Tuesday.
However, the news was not as good for another original ABC Family series that premiered this summer, Ruby and the Rockits. ABC Family will not renew the multicamera sitcom that revolved around a pair of aging pop stars and their families, which starred Patrick Cassidy, David Cassidy and Alexa Vega and was executive produced by Shaun Cassidy. The series still has two episodes left to air in its only season episode order, with the series finale airing next Tuesday at 8:30PM.

Larry Gelbart, the award-winning writer whose sly, sardonic wit helped create such hits as Broadway's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the film Tootsie, and of course television's M*A*S*H, died Friday. Gelbart died at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with cancer. He is likely best remembered for the long-running TV show about Army doctors during the Korean War. Gelbart won an Emmy for M*A*S*H and was nominated for writing but quit during the show's fourth season, saying he was "totally worn out."
Gelbart's Broadway show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, written with Burt Shevelove, was a runaway hit. It was based loosely on the Roman plays of Plautus with songs by Stephen Sondheim.
His films Oh, God! with George Burns as a philosophical deity, and Tootsie, with Dustin Hoffman as a cross-dressing actor, both brought him Academy Award nominations, and the HBO movie Barbarians at the Gate, about Wall Street chicanery, brought another Emmy.
Gelbart's other television work was creating the short-lived CBS sitcom Roll Out! in 1973. It starred Stu Gilliam and Hilly Hicks, and featuring Ed Begley, Jr. and Garrett Morris, the series was set in France during World War II and was loosely based on the 1952 film Red Ball Express. Instead of Army medics, Roll Out! highlighted the pratfalls of the supply drivers of the 5050th Quartermaster Trucking Company of the U.S. Third Army's Red Ball Express, whose staff was mainly African American.
Gelbart was also known for writing the first television pilot for Three's Company in 1976, which today is known as "The Larry Gelbart Pilot." The pilot never aired originally, but has been on DVD and aired on cable on TV Land. In 1980, Larry had another show that didn't last too long. The series was for NBC titled United States and starred Beau Bridges. It was a show about Richard and Libby Chapin and their two children Dylan and Nicky. The show differed from other sitcoms in that there might not be closure to problems after a frank discussion and the subjects discussed were not common to other sitcoms.
In 1983, Larry came back to M*A*S*H in the spin-off AfterMASH. It only lasted two seasons and had the Korean War ended with Colonel Potter, Sergeant Klinger, and Father Mulcahy finding themselves together once again, this time at a veteran's hospital.
In recent years Larry has been interviewed for TV Land Confidential, Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, Inside TV Land: The Dick Van Dyke Show, M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion, and most recently Biography: Three's Company. He was also at the TV Land Awards earlier this year.
Larry will certainly be missed and his great writing will live on forever in M*A*S*H and his other work. He was 81.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day; TV Rebels: Desi Arnaz - More Than Just a Bongo Player

Happy Labor Day everyone! Most of you are probably outdoors spending this last "unofficial" last day of summer with your family & friends, but for those of you who are in needs of some TV marathons...you've come to the right place as usual!
We have mentioned many of these already, but it's a good reminder if you have forgotten! The Golden Girls will get the most play this holiday! Hallmark Channel will air a marathon from 8am-12am, while WE tv will air a marathon also from 1pm-7pm. BET is airing a marathon of The Game all-day today, while TBS goes to The Office this Labor Day from 4pm-8pm.
Other notable marathons are for dramas...Criminal Minds on A&E, NCIS on USA Network, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. Both TNT and SOAPnet have short stunts of Law & Order and One Tree Hill from 11am-5pm, while The N has what else...Degrassi all-day. And on network TV, ABC has a three episode block of Castle from 8-11pm, as the season premiere is two weeks from tonight. TV Land has a movie marathon from 9am-6:30pm.
Reality wise we have Supernanny on style, 16 and Pregnant on MTV, Cops on G4, Catch 21 on GSN, and Dirty Jobs on Discovery. Hope you all find something!

It's time for the return of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and then last year we got rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so including today's three essays are left. Upcoming TV Rebel columns will be about Rod Serling and TV Dinners. The book is in the works and will be released in 2010...so stay tuned for that and look for a review of the book right here before it comes out!

So without further adieu, we bring you the tenth essay of TV Rebels:

Desi Arnaz: More Than Just a Bongo Player
by Lou Orfanella

In 1950 when CBS was interested in bringing Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband radio program to television Ball demanded that her real life husband Desi Arnaz play her husband. The network turned her down feeling that the viewing public would not accept Arnaz with his heavy accent as her husband. She held out, the network acquiesced and Mr. and Mrs. Desi Arnaz forever became Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in popular culture history.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had been married since 1940. By 1950 she was doing her radio show and periodic big screen projects in a mostly unnoticed film career. Arnaz was travelling the country with his band and their marriage was strained. By insisting they do what would become I Love Lucy together Ball hoped to solidify their domestic life. "Richard Denning, Lucy's radio hubby, comments: 'She said it would help her marriage. Also the show. And, of course, she was right'" (Andrews 22).

Ball was determined that Arnaz not be seen as playing second fiddle to her. The title, I Love Lucy, in fact was an effort to include Desi in the title and indeed since he is the "I" give him top billing. "The general impression seems to be that he was a lucky Cuban who was handsome, charming, played the bongo, and happened to be married to the funniest lady in the whole world. Well, this was all true, but there was a lot more to Desi than that. He may have only been that when he started, but he had an amazing ability for learning things and he was an astute businessman" (Davis 55).

It was Arnaz' business acumen that changed the traditional method of producing situation comedies. Traditionally shows were broadcast live and "preserved" on low quality kinescopes, which were essentially copies made by aiming a movie camera at a television monitor and which were used to broadcast programs outside of the eastern time zone where sponsors were less likely to view them and challenge the quality. When production was set to begin on I Love Lucy for its premier season, Lucy and Desi lived on the west coast and had no intention of moving to New York where the show could be done live for what was then the largest audience, and the sponsors as well. Desi's solution was to film the show like a motion picture resulting in high quality prints. It would be an expensive proposition requiring three or four cameras, special sound and lighting techniques, and potentially multiple sets which would increase the costs. The network only agreed after the Arnazs agreed to a pay cut to help defray the production costs. "The burden of planning this new method fell heavily on Desi's shoulders. No one had attempted a situation comedy on film, shot before a live studio audience: he was plowing virginal fields" (Andrews 32).

Arnaz was not only successful in changing the way sitcoms were filmed and preserved for the lucrative rerun syndication market, but was shrewd enough to acquire an ownership percentage in the series which he and Lucy parlayed into Desilu Production, at one time, the most successful in the business.

Works Cited
Andrews, Bart. "Lucy&Ricky&Fred&Ethel: The Story of I Love Lucy." New York: Dutton, 1976.
Davis, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. "Laughing with Lucy." Cincinnati Emmis, 2005.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TBS Fall 2009 Schedule; Gospel Music Channel Acquires Sister Sister; Summer TCA Tour: Cable Days 1 and 2

Our fall schedule blog posts barrage continues today with another fall schedule! Today we take a look at TBS Fall 2009, as they will add four new sitcoms to its weekday line-up. Three of them have been airing once a week, so there is only one new sitcom really. The Office, My Name is Earl and House of Payne are now also going to air in the regular weekday line-up, while According to Jim joins the TBS schedule for the first time.
TBS will make its first batch of changes starting the week of Sept. 21. For this week only, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will slide to the 8am hour replacing the second hour of Saved by the Bell. In the 9am hour now for this week it will be an episode each of Just Shoot Me and Home Improvement. The TBS Movie continues to air at 10am, but this week will be its last week! Yes, Dear moves to 12pm, sharing the hour with Everybody Loves Raymond. Home Improvement still airs in the 1pm hour for now, more on that in a bit. Then we get more Everybody Loves Raymond in the 2pm hour, so this show goes from 5pm-6:30pm to 12:30pm & 2-3pm now. Then House of Payne will join the line-up airing in the 3pm hour replacing Yes, Dear. The King of Queens remains at 4pm for now, more on that in a bit as well. Friends now gets a full hour and moves to 5-6pm. Seinfeld is now only a half-hour and at 6pm, leading into The Office at 6:30pm. My Name is Earl will air back-to-back in the 7pm hour. Primetime has blocks of Family Guy on Mondays, The Office on Tuesdays, House of Payne/Meet the Browns on Wednesdays, with movies on Thursdays and Fridays. The late night line-up will have Seinfeld in the 11pm hour on most days, with My Name is Earl on Tuesdays. Sex and the City remains at midnight with a movie following until blocks of Steve Harvey Show and Married...with Children airing after that until dawn. Lots of sitcoms, less movies, good!
Then starting the following week on Monday, Sept. 28, we get some more changes. Fresh Prince is back in the 9am hour, with Saved by the Bell getting its second hour back at 8am. The TBS 10am movie is now gone and we get all sitcoms now in the daytime, as Just Shoot Me and Home Improvement slide up to the 10am hour now and we get an extra sitcom hour as Home Improvement and Yes, Dear air in the 11am hour. Everything else is the same as the week of Sept. 21. But a few days later on Thursday, October 1, According to Jim joins the TBS sitcom line-up! According to Jim will air in the 4pm hour replacing King of Queens. That show will slide to 1-2pm, replacing two episodes of Home Improvement. Home Improvement will still air at 10:30am & 11am, so not to worry. Nothing is being replaced at all (well...except the movie) despite four new series coming to the regular schedule!
View the full TBS Fall 2009 schedule. Now it is still early, so we might have some changes, as always. I'm still not 100% sure what will happen on weekends after According to Jim comes, but it'll likely be the same as it was prior to it coming. As always, stay with us for more!

Gospel Music Channel will be adding even more shows now to their schedule! First they added Christy, Doc, and Dr. Quinn to weekdays, then they went with some comedies in Amen and Good News on Mondays in primetime, now we get another comedy and another drama! Gospel Music Channel has acquired '90s sitcom Sister, Sister and '90s drama Promised Land. Yes, this means Sister, Sister will be on THREE cable networks in BET, ABC Family and now Gospel Music Channel. WGN America also recently aired the Tia and Tamera Mowry comedy. The series premieres on Gospel Music Channel next Monday (Aug. 3) and will join the Monday comedy block with Amen and Good News. Sister, Sister will air back-to-back in the 8pm hour (encores at 12am), replacing two Amen episodes. Good News will remain at 9pm (encore at 1am) and Amen is cut to just 9:30pm (encore at 1:30am).
Sister, Sister will also air Saturdays in the 6pm hour as well starting Aug. 8! Amen has gained some more slots airing Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays back-to-back in the 7pm hour. So losing some slots on Mondays wasn't a bad thing! Good News will also air Saturdays at 7pm leading into Amen.
Gospel Music Channel has also acquired the drama Promised Land. It lasted three seasons on CBS from 1996-1999 and was a spin-off of Touched by an Angel. They will air the series Wednesdays at 8pm with an encore at 11pm starting Aug. 5.
I like how they are adding actual series now. We will as always keep an eye on then and if we have any more news, we will certainly let you know!

The Summer 2009 TCA Tour started yesterday and will through August 8. First up from July 28 to July 31 is the cable portion. Day one was pretty slow with TBS and TNT the main players on that day. Networks that went yesterday were Travel Channel Fox Reality Channel, Turner Networks (TBS, TNT, HLN, CNN) and AMC closed the night off with cocktails. We'll give you the rundown of the notables. Househusbands of Hollywood will premiere Aug. 15 on Fox Reality Channel. Househusbands of Hollywood follows the lives of five men and their high-powered, successful wives. The couples include Darryl Bell and Tempestt Bledsoe and Grant and Jillian Reynolds. And TBS gave details on their original new talk show Lopez Tonight, that will premiere in November. Comedian and actor George Lopez headlines a new talk show with an outdoor street-party atmosphere and a high-energy crowd. The show will feature celebrity guests, live music and comedy acts, and Lopez flair and personality.
Up today were MTV Networks (MTV, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central), History, NatGeo, ESPN, Starz, and BBC America. TV Land promoted their new originals that premiere next Wednesday: Make My Day and How'd You Get Rich, which we have mentioned so many times already. Nick at Nite was promoting their new original animated comedy Glen Martin, DDS which will launch Aug. 17 at 8pm. We will have more on that very soon.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

TV Guide Channel Acquires Ugly Betty Reruns; TBS Orders More House of Payne; Network Notes

In a significant move to bolster its programming and attract new viewers, TV Guide Network announced that it has entered into an agreement with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to acquire the exclusive basic cable off-network rights to ABC Studios Golden Globe Award winning television series Ugly Betty. It is TV Guide Networks first scripted series acquisition and part of a multi-tiered programming strategy to evolve the network as an entertainment destination.
The deal includes access to existing and future episodes of Ugly Betty which will begin airing as a weekly strip on TV Guide Network in fall 2010. As part of the agreement, TVGuide.com will have rights to stream up to five Ugly Betty episodes at a time online. In addition, the deal includes repurpose rights for the upcoming fourth season of Ugly Betty premiering in October 2009 on ABC. The repeat telecast of the new episodes will air on TV Guide Network within two weeks of their premiere on ABC.

TBS is expanding the network's groundbreaking partnership with Tyler Perry and Debmar-Mercury by ordering an additional 20 episodes of the powerhouse comedy Tyler Perry's House of Payne. The order will bring the number of episodes in the series to 172, a remarkable total for any sitcom. House of Payne, along with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, continue to rank as the top sitcoms on cable.
House of Payne and Meet the Browns rank as ad-supported cable's top two original sitcoms of all-time among adults 18-49, viewers and households. So far in 2009, the shows are television's top two series in delivery of African-American adults 18-34. Meet the Browns also ranks as television's #1 program among African-American viewers and adults 18-49. This year, new episodes of Meet the Browns have averaged 3.2 million viewers, while new episodes of House of Payne have averaged 3 million viewers.
House of Payne is owned by Perry, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and licensed by TBS - debuted in 2006 with a test run of 10 episodes. After early results showed promise, TBS ordered a then-unprecedented 100 episodes. TBS later ordered an additional 26 episodes, followed by a deal for 26 more and the 20-episode order being announced today. The series is set in Atlanta and features LaVan Davis as fireman Curtis "Pops" Payne, a man who believes his house should be his castle, he the king and his wife, Ella (Cassi Davis), the queen. Unfortunately, their castle has turned into Grand Central Terminal, thanks to the constant comings and goings of immediate and extended family members. Lance Gross, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Allen Payne, Demetria McKinney, Larramie "Doc" Shaw and China McCain co-star.

ABC has announced premiere dates for Eastwick and Brothers & Sisters for the 2009-10 season. Eastwick will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10pm ET/PT, while Brothers & Sisters will launch its fourth season on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 10pm ET/PT. These two were the last of the fall premiere dates yet to be announced by ABC. Private Practice launches its third season on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 10pm ET/PT.
Recap yourself with the full ABC fall 2009 premiere dates.
Meanwhile, Wipeout, ABC's outrageously popular reality series, has been picked up for a third season. Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television. Moving nights, from Tuesday last summer to Wednesday this year, against tougher competition from Fox's time-period veteran So You Think You Can Dance, ABC's Wipeout is No. 1 during the 8 o'clock hour in Total Viewers and across each of the key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). In Adults 18-49, Wipeout is a strong and very close second to Fox's Dance. Since its debut, Wipeout stands as Wednesday's No. 1 TV program in each of the Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). It's the No. 5 TV series of Summer 2009 with Adults 18-49 and No. 1 with Men 18-49. On average to date, Wipeout is drawing ABC's largest summer audience in the Wednesday 8 o'clock hour in 13 years and highest Adults 18-49 rating during the summer frame in 10 years since 1996 and 1999, respectively.
In other summer news, ABC will launch Crash Course on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 airing Wednesdays at 9pm through and including Wednesday, Sept. 16. As of now, only four episodes are scheduled to air. The series, hosted by Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese, is a comedic auto-obstacle course series. It will air after Wipeout and will replace I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which would conclude its run the previous week.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are We There Yet?: The Sitcom Coming to TBS; Our Emmy Nominations Picks

TBS, using the unique model created by Debmar-Mercury with Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns, is teaming with Joe Roth and Ice Cube for Are We There Yet?, a sitcom starring Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris) and based on the hit Revolution Studios film of the same name starring Ice Cube.
TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, slated to premiere in June 2010, with the option for an additional 90 episodes. The series is produced by Cube Vision and distributed by Debmar-Mercury. Revolution's Joe Roth and Cube Vision's Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez serve as executive producers, along with award-winning show-runner Ali LeRoi, who has won an Emmy® for his work on The Chris Rock Show and an NAACP Image Award for Everybody Hates Chris. In addition to executive-producing, Ice Cube will have a recurring role on the sitcom version!
Debmar-Mercury's association with TBS began in 2006, when the company devised a groundbreaking distribution strategy for Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Debmar-Mercury offered a 10-episode experiment in select markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes. In January 2009, TBS premiered 10 episodes of Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns to strong ratings, leading the network to order additional episodes for a total of 80. So far this year, the two series have ranked as the top television programs in delivery of African-American viewers. Debmar-Mercury has also ordered 10 episodes for a Comedy Central comedy, as we mentioned, with an option to order 90 more, just like Are We There Yet?
The movie Are We There Yet?, a breakout 2005 hit, told the story of Nick (Ice Cube), a smooth operator who is trying to land a date with Suzanne, a divorcee stuck working out of town over New Year's and miserable because she misses her kids. Nick gallantly offers to make her New Year's wish come true – and his own in the process – by driving her two children to be reunited with their mom. What Nick doesn’t know is that Suzanne's children, whom he's never met, hate every man their mom dates on sight. The movie grossed more than $82 million at the box office and was followed in 2007 by a sequel, Are We Done Yet?
In the sitcom Are We There Yet?, Terry Crews will star as Nick, the character Ice Cube played in the film.

Today we will give our preview of what we think the nominations for the Emmy's will look like. The real nominations will be announced tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:30am ET, so we will give you those then. But for now...here are our predictions for the main acting categories for the 61st Annual Emmy Awards airing Sept. 20 on CBS:

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Weeds (Showtime)
The Office (NBC)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
30 Rock (NBC)
Entourage (HBO)
Better off Ted (ABC)
MY THOUGHTS: 30 Rock has won it the last two years and is probably the favorite. The first 5 on this list are probably locks for a nomination.

OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
David Duchovny, Califorinication (Showtime)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
Zach Braff, Scrubs (ABC)
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
MY THOUGHTS: Baldwin won it last year and could repeat. I think Braff will get a nomination this year for his final full year with Scrubs with Charlie Sheen not getting one as a result. Expect Jim Parsons to be nominated for his work on Big Bang Theory.

OUTSTANDING LEAD COMEDY ACTRESS
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Eva Longoria-Parker, Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Toni Collette, United States of Tara (Showtime)
MY THOUGHTS: Fey won it last year and is the favorite again. Eva Longoria deserves a nomination for once. She is hysterical.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTOR
Kevin Dillion, Entourage (HBO)
John Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Rainn Wilson, The Office (NBC)
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (HBO)
Michael Urie, Ugly Betty (ABC)
MY THOUGHTS: Jeremy Piven wins every year. Maybe host Neil Patrick Harris will win this year?

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING COMEDY ACTRESS
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Andrea Anders, Better off Ted (ABC)
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock (NBC)
Jean Smart, Samantha Who? (ABC)
Jenna Fischer, The Office (NBC)
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
MY THOUGHTS: Jean Smart won last year, but it will be interesting if she will be nominated this year due to Samantha Who? not getting picked up for a third year. Who cares, right? She deserves it.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Lost (ABC)
House (Fox)
Damages (FX)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Dexter (Showtime)
MY THOUGHTS: Mad Men won last year but seriously Lost needs to take it this year! Grey's deserves a nomination at least, for its outstanding second half of the season.

OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTOR
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
James Spader, Boston Legal (ABC)
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Gabriel Bryne, In Treatment (HBO)
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
MY THOUGHTS: Cranston surprised and won it last year. Will Emmy recognize Boston Legal one last time and give it back to Spader? My bet is on Jon Hamm.

OUTSTANDING LEAD DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace (TNT)
Evangeline Lilly, Lost (ABC)
MY THOUGHTS: Close won it last year. Not sure why Hargitay keeps getting nominated, but she probably will again. Evangeline Lilly needs to be nominated finally. Close or Field will take it.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTOR
Zeljko Ivanek, Damages (FX)
William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
Kevin McKidd, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
John Slattery, Mad Men (AMC)
Josh Holloway, Lost (FX)
Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
MY THOUGHTS: Ivanek surprised last year with the win. I think we will have a different winner this year. Shatner one last time? Or finally Michael Emerson?

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING DRAMA ACTRESS
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC)
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost (ABC)
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Diane Wiest, In Treatment (HBO)
MY THOUGHTS: Wiest won it last year. Will Emmy give Heigl a nomination after bowing out last year? She as superb this year. But the Emmy goes to Elizabeth Mitchell!

Nominations are announced tomorrow morning. Come on back here and we will give you the official nominations and you can compare those to our picks!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Nanny Joins Nick at Nite in May 2009; TBS Orders Original Animated Comedy

We have mentioned many times that The Nanny is coming to Nick at Nite in spring 2009. Yesterday we gave you an actual date. That was for the all-night marathon launch on Sunday, May 10 from 9pm-6am ET/PT...now we have the regular airing schedule, along with the rest of Nick at Nite May 2009! Effective Monday, May 11, 2009 The Nanny will join the Nick at Nite line-up airing Sun-Thurs at 11:00pm & 11:30pm ET/PT. That will force Nick at Nite to move Family Matters, which is one of their big guns, to 12:00am & 12:30am ET/PT on Sun-Thurs nights. You might say why are they doing this? Now Nick at Nite will sandwich The Nanny in between big time ratings hits George Lopez (10-11pm) and Family Matters (12-1am). Now if The Nanny does falter, they can always switch it to midnight and move Urkel and company back to 11pm. Family Matters is replacing Home Improvement at 12 midnight. That hour of Home Improvement will move to Mon-Thurs 3-4am ET/PT, replacing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Fresh Prince will now only air Mon-Thurs from 2-3am, instead of the 2-5am block. The Nanny will also air 4-5am on Mon-Thurs nights, followed by Family Matters from 5-6am on Mon-Thurs nights, replacing Roseanne. Family Matters will also remain at 6am as well on weekdays. Now if you noticed the late night airings are Mon-Thurs (1am-6am) rather than Sun-Thurs like primetime (9pm-1am). On Sunday nights at 1am, we get back-to-back Home Improvement episodes replacing The Cosby Show, which is now gone from Nick at Nite. The Nanny airs 2-3am and Family Matters from 3-4am on Sunday nights, with Roseanne closing it out with a two-hour block from 4-6am.
So now that Sun-Thurs is all done, we have Friday & Saturday left. Again it is broken up into two different pieces (10pm-1am and 1am-6am). On both nights we get a change at 12 midnight with The Nanny airing back-to-back episodes, replacing Family Matters. Family Matters moves to 2-3am on Friday nights and 1-2am on Saturday nights, both replacing Home Improvement. Home Improvement moves to 4-5am on Friday nights replacing Roseanne and 2-3am on Saturday nights replacing Family Matters. The Nanny airs 3-4am on Saturday nights replacing Family Matters. Family Matters late night airing on Saturday nights are now 4-5am, replacing an hour of Roseanne, which will only be 5-6am on Saturday nights now. 5-6am on Friday nights will be The Nanny, replacing Family Matters encore.
In other May news, we get a George Lopez marathon on Tuesday, May 5 from 9pm-3am ET/PT called "Cinco de Lopez II." Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Lopez style!
This is the first major schedule change in a while. It is hard to follow, but here is a recap: The Nanny joins, Cosby Show is gone, Fresh Prince & Roseanne are heavily reduced, and Family Matters and Home Improvement get some time shifting, while George Lopez's slots remain unchanged.
Still confused? Don't worry, view the full Nick at Nite May 2009 schedule.

Adding a devilish touch to its line-up, TBS has greenlit the half-hour animated series Neighbors from Hell, which comes to the network from Fox TV Animation (same people who do Family Guy), DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Shrek). Pam Brady (South Park), who wrote the pilot episode, and Mireille Soria (Madagascar) will serve as executive producers. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the series, marking the network's first foray into original primetime animation. The series should work well with reruns of Family Guy on TBS.
Neighbors from Hell centers on the Hellmans, a typical, all-American suburban family, with Balthazor; his wife, Tina; their two children, Mandy and Josh; and their dog, Pazuzu. The only thing that distinguishes them from the rest of the folks in the neighborhood is that the Hellmans happen to be from Hell. They have been sent to Earth to pose as normal suburbanites with a mission to keep humans from finding their way to Hell. Their task is made all the more complicated by Balthazor's growing affection for humans and their odd but endearing qualities.
TBS has not given a set launch period for this show as of yet.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TV Land May 2009 Highlights, TV Land Awards Honorees; George Lopez Talk Show Coming to TBS in November

For May 2009 on TV Land we really don't get any schedule changes, but the schedule seems more consistent, especially from 10pm-6am now. Airing from 10pm-12am will be The Andy Griffith Show (Mon); The Cosby Show (Tues); The Cougar (Wed); The Jeffersons (Thurs) and TV Land PRIME Movie (Fri). Usually from 12-6am we will get back-to-back episodes of sitcoms 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Cosby Show, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and M*A*S*H. Nothing else really is different.
As for stunts, viewers get to spend some time with Mom and "The Cos" just in time for Mother's Day when TV Land PRIME gives moms everywhere the nite off on Thursday, May 7 from 9pm-1am! PRIME presents a special Cosby Show marathon salute to Mom with episodes that feature Cliff struggling to entertain the kids and keep the household in order as he indulges his wife Clair with some well deserved time away from Huxtable family mayhem.
The eight-episode original series The Cougar starring Stacey Anderson, a stunning 40-year-old successful realtor from Scottsdale, Arizona, continues Wednesdays at 10pm on TV Land PRIME.
On Memorial Day (Monday, May 25), it's been six weeks since single sophisticated cougar Stacey embarked on her prowl to find her perfect cub. Prior to the season finale and Stacey's final pick on Wednesday, June 3, come relive all of the romance, laughs, tears and heartbreaks with a marathon of the first six episodes of The Cougar. Tune in to see additional footage and dramatic deleted scenes as well as get an inside scoop on what everyone from Stacey to Vivica to the guys were really thinking.
TV Land PRIME movies for the month are Witches of Eastwick, Patriot Games, The Fugitive, and The Twilight Zone. Risky Business gets some weekend place and on Memorial Day.
View the full TV Land May 2009 schedule (with a generic schedule and also adjustments).
As for the honorees for this year's TV Land Awards, TV Land announced today that it will pay tribute to M*A*S*H, Married with Children, Home Improvement, Magnum P.I., Knots Landing and Two and a Half Men at the 7th Annual TV Land Awards. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the two-hour show will tape on Sunday, April 19, at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City and will air on TV Land during a special presentation of TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26th at 8PM ET/PT.
All of this year's honorees are cultural icons representing a cross-section of classic and modern television that viewers love. The Legacy of Laughter Award will be presented to television actress and Seinfeld alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus. M*A*S*H will be honored with the Impact Award. The Innovator Award will be given to the unconventional Fox sitcom Married with Children, as we mentioned yesterday TV Land will showcase six classic episodes in honor of this on Thursday, April 23 from 9pm-12am. The classic CBS primetime soap opera Knots Landing celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and will be recognized for its place in television history. The Fan Favorite Award will be presented to Home Improvement, and the action drama Magnum P.I., which launched the career of Tom Selleck as a leading actor, will be bestowed with the Hero Award. Finally, the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men will be awarded the Future Classic Award.
View more details on this year's honorees!

The late-night landscape is about to shift when comedian and actor George Lopez headlines a new talk show for TBS. The program, from 2.2 Productions, paraMedia Inc. and Telepictures Productions, in association with Warner Horizon Television, will bring the excitement back to late night with an outdoor street-party atmosphere and a high-energy crowd. The fun will include visits from celebrity guests, live music and comedy acts and the benefit of George's own flair and personality. Lopez and Jim Paratore (Warner's The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bonnie Hunt Show) serve as the executive producers for the not-yet-titled series, which will air on TBS Mondays-Thursdays at 11 p.m. (ET/PT), beginning in November 2009.
While high-energy, Lopez's new series will feature a casual environment that invites guests to engage fully with the crowd, giving audience members the chance to interact with the guests, ask questions and walk away feeling as though they've experienced something new. The new talk show represents Lopez's return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring in Warner Bros. Television's groundbreaking hit sitcom George Lopez, which ran for six seasons on ABC. George Lopez remains a hit with viewers in syndication on both broadcast stations and cable's Nick at Nite, ranking as one of the top-rated shows on the network and among the top five comedies and top 20 weekly programs in syndication. George Lopez is one of only four off-net comedies to post weekly ratings gains among households from the 2007–08 to 2008–09 season.
Lopez continues to work steadily and his most recent film credits include the box-office hit Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Swing Vote, Henry Poole Is Here and Balls of Fury. He will next be seen starring opposite Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door and Mr. Troop Mom, with Jane Lynch. In August, Lopez will film his second HBO Comedy Special, Tall, Dark and Chicano.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

TBS Launches My Boys Season 3 on March 31; Obama Address to Congress Programming Update

My Boys, a smart original TBS comedy about a group of close friends connected to each other through the main woman in their lives, P.J. Franklin, returns with an all-new season of laughs. They are funny, irreverent, and completely relatable - people that you want to get to know! All-new episodes start March 31 for 9 straight weeks airing Tuesdays at 10:30pm ET, sandwiched between two The Office episodes. This comedy is about a group of friends who love each other like family, as they look to support each other through the ups and downs of dating, break-ups, career highs and lows, marriage proposals and nagging spouses.
In other TBS original sitcom news, House of Payne is having new episodes on Wednesdays from 10-11pm from Feb. 11 to March 4. More will air later in the year as well, as the order is for 26 episodes. Meanwhile Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns will return this summer after a successful 10-episode trial run. The series will have 80 additional episodes. The 10 Items or Less season finale is this coming Tuesday at 11pm ET, as it wraps-up its eight episode season. And finally, 10 more episodes of The Bill Engvall Show will launch this summer part of its third season. From the mind of America's favorite comedian, The Bill Engvall Show is a familiar, satisfying, contemporary family sitcom in the tradition of timeless sitcoms viewers know and love. Full of Bill Engvall's trademark family humor and unique take on parenting, marriage and kids, you will see your own family in this very funny family sitcom.

A few weeks ago we mentioned President Obama will preempt primetime programming on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 9pm ET as he addresses to Congress. The address is now 90-minutes on the networks to include a Republican Response. So how will this affect primetime on network TV? For ABC, they will air the address from 9pm-10:30pm ET and an abbreviated half-hour version of Primetime: What Would You Do? will air at 10:30pm ET for the eastern time zone. The same goes for the central time zones, but of course they are one-hour behind. Out west, for the mountain time zone, the address to Congress will air live from 7-8:30pm MT, followed by an abbreviated half-hour version of Primetime: What Would You Do? at a special time of 8:30pm MT (it usually airs 9-10pm MT) and then they will conclude with Homeland Security USA at 9pm MT at a special time (usually airs 7pm MT). For the pacific time zone, the address to Congress will air 6-7:30pm PT, followed by local programming, then Homeland Security USA in regular 8pm PT hour, followed by a special repeat of Supernanny at 9pm PT (won't count in the ratings), and a full hour of Primetime: What Would You Do? at 10pm PT.
For CBS, they too will air the Obama address from 9-10:30pm ET, followed by a repeat of Two and a Half Men at 10:30pm ET. The same goes true for the central time zone, just off by an hour. For the mountain time zone though, the address to Congress will air live from 7-8:30pm MT, followed by the special Two and a Half Men encore at 8:30pm MT and an all-new NCIS at 9pm MT at a special time, as it usually airs at 7pm MT. Finally, for the pacific time zone, the address to Congress will air 6-7:30pm PT, followed by local programming, then NCIS at its normal 8pm PT slot, followed by special repeats of Two and a Half Men and Old Christine in the 9pm PT hour. Old Christine won't count in the ratings like Supernanny on ABC because it is not airing in the entire country. If Two and a Half Men gets preempted for the entire nation (that will only happen if the address to congress runs longer than 90-minutes), then a repeat of The Unit will air at 9pm PT for the pacific time zone only. 10pm PT will be returned to local stations to program for pacific time.
For NBC, they have just announced they too will air the address to Congress from 9-10:30pm ET, and in the eastern time zone, a repeat episode of The Office will follow. The same goes true for the central time zone, but they are one-hour behind. For the mountain time zone the address to congress will air live from 7pm-8:30pm MT, followed likely by The Office repeat and The Biggest Loser at 9pm MT at a special time, as it usually airs at 7pm MT. For the pacific time zone, the address to Congress will air 6-7:30pm PT, followed by local programming, The Biggest Loser will air from 8-9pm PT, followed likely by The Office encore at 9pm. NBC has not made that 9pm PT hour official yet, so I am not sure what will air at 9:30pm PT, but it would likely be a Office repeat. At 10pm PT we are not sure if NBC will air a repeat of Law & Order: SVU out west or just give it back to local programming like CBS is doing. For those wondering, The Biggest Loser is usually two-hours but like we mentioned a few weeks ago, it will air for an hour on this night and the second hour will air the following night.
For Fox, the address to Congress will air likely from 9-10pm ET in the eastern time zone, as they have not mentioned a half-hour Republican Response. A repeat of Bones will lead into that, as the regularly scheduled American Idol will be moved to Wednesday from 8-10pm, and the usual Wednesday results will be moved to Thursday 8-9pm. The same goes true for central time. For your mountain time zone readers, the address to Congress will air from 7-8pm MT, and in the eastern time zone. The Bones repeat will follow at 8pm MT. For pacific time zone readers, Fox will air the address to Congress from 6-7pm ET followed by local programming then likely two Bones repeats from 8-10pm PT, though that second hour is not confirmed yet.
I hope this made sense! We will have continued updates if anything changes, so come on back!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TBS Orders 80 Episodes of Meet the Browns; NATPE Day 2 Updates; ION Goes HD on Feb. 16

Tyler Perry was at the NATPE yesterday in Las Vegas, and announced that TBS has picked-up 80 additional episodes of the sitcom Meet the Browns. TBS has not officially announced it yet, but will soon. Meet the Browns is currently airing Wednesdays at 9pm and is in the middle of its first 10 episodes, and now TBS will order 80 more episodes. This is very similar when TBS ordered 100 episodes of House of Payne after its initial 10-episode run, but those 10 aired in select markets on broadcast stations and not on TBS. The first two episodes of Meet the Browns marked cable's second-highest premiere for an original sitcom behind only Tyler Perry's other series, House of Payne premiere in June 2007. So far six episodes have aired and it is averaging 3.4 million viewers, 2.2 million households, 910,000 adults 18-34, 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54. Very solid for TBS. After this 10-episode run, these new 80 episodes will likely launch in the summer on TBS and the series will likely also go into off-network syndication like House of Payne has. Meet the Browns could launch in off-network syndication as early as fall 2010. Pretty fast since they will have many episodes in the can. How can they tape so many so fast?

In other NATPE news, we have some cable news from the conference. style Network has acquired the exclusive off-network rights to Supernanny from Disney-ABC Domestic Television. style will get all five seasons of the reality series and will begin airing the reruns in Fall 2009. ABC has not yet announced if Supernanny will get a sixth season, but it is very likely.
A new premium cable channel will launch this fall. The new premium cable channel will be called epix. epix will be joint a venture between Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will make movies and entertainment accessible on multiple platforms. The network will combine new and classic feature films and original television series from studios including Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will have exclusive access to Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. It will also have access to more than 15,000 motion picture titles spanning the studios' vast libraries and will feature new original television series and live event programming. Among the films they will air are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Duchess, Iron Man, Cloverfield, Defiance, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, New in Town, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. epix also will have the rights to all 17 re-mastered James Bond movies as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It doesn't look like any classic TV or older TV series will air on this network.
Finally, Connection III Entertainment's weekend half-hour Made in Hollywood and Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition have been picked up by CBS owned-stations for first-run syndication in fall 2009. 21 markets have been bought. Made in Hollywood will enter its fifth season while spinoff Teen Edition will enter its fourth season. Made in Hollywood features set visits with directors, writer, producers and actors as they work on upcoming movies. The Teen Edition covers all that and also shows teens what kinds of jobs are available in the film industry and how to get them. In NY, Made in Hollywood already airs on WCBS, Saturdays at 3am, but the Teen Edition airs on WLNY, an independent station, Wednesdays at 9am.

ION Television will launch in high definition (HD) providing a fully enhanced HD simulcast of the newly rebranded "Positively Entertaining" network, beginning Monday, February 16. ION Television HD will initially roll out to 20 markets within ION's 55 market footprint – including top DMA's like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – with additional roll-outs to occur throughout the year. The first phase of the ION TV HD launch will reach over 46 million households. ION Media Networks' digital TV brands, Qubo and ION Life, will also be launched across digital platforms in high definition later in 2009.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
View the full list of initial roll-out markets for ION HD and the list of markets launching later in 2009.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

TV Land Removes Four Sitcoms; TBS Schedules New Sitcom Meet the Browns for January and My Boys for March

We gave you details on TV Land's changes coming in January starting Dec. 29 and told you Paid Programming would be expanded and moved to 6-9am, so Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me would move back to 4-6am instead of 3-5am. Now TV Land will remove these four sitcoms all together. Starting Monday, Dec. 29, we now get another hour of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the 4am hour followed by more M*A*S*H in the 5am hour. Yes, Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me will be off the regular line-up totally now, so watch them these next few weeks all you can. Just Shoot Me will still air in the weekend "TV Land.Comedy Month," on Jan. 17 from 2-6am. For regular airings, these four do not have return dates. If they shall returns, we will certainly let you know.
View the rest of TV Land's January 2009 schedule and highlights.

After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. The series stars David Mann as the fun-loving but sometimes crass Downtown Leroy Brown, who also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne on TBS. This series opens with Leroy Brown trying to fulfill his father's dying wish by opening a retirement home. Helping him out are his daughter, Cora (Tamela Mann); his nephew Will (Lamman Rucker), a doctor; Will's wife, Sasha (Denise Boutte), a nurse; Carmen Martinez (Jeanette Sousa), a beautiful young social worker; and Jesus Hernandez (Antonio Jaramillo), a maintenance engineer studying to be a lawyer. Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns comes to TBS from Debmar-Mercury. As he does for his other series, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing.
Meet the Browns launches Wednesday, January 7 airing back-to-back episodes for five weeks, as 10 episodes have been ordered, through and including February 4. House of Payne will lead-into the series from 8-10pm and lead-out as well from 11pm-12am, giving it an ample lead-in.
TBS has also scheduled all 10 episodes of Meet the Browns the weekend of Feb. 21-22, as part of a Tyler Perry marathon, in case you miss any. The first two will encore on Saturday, Feb. 21 from 9-10pm, following two episodes of House of Payne from 8-9pm. Then TBS will air the movie Diary of a Mad Black Woman at 10pm followed by a House of Payne marathon from 12:30am-8:30am on Sunday. Then the remaining eight episodes of Meet the Browns will follow from 8:30am-12:30pm, followed by another airing of Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and finally more House of Payne from 3-8pm...so it is all Tyler Payne for 24-hours!
Meanwhile, My Boys will return in March for a third season! This critically acclaimed comedy stars Jordana Spiro as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sports writer looking for love while also trying to maintain her close connection with her friends, most of whom are guys. Co-starring with Spiro is the show's top-notch ensemble cast, including Jim Gaffigan, Kyle Howard, Reid Scott, Michael Bunin, Jamie Kaler and Kellee Stewart. My Boys premiered on TBS in November 2006, ranking as ad-supported cable's #1 original sitcom of the year. This year, the show averaged 1.5 million viewers, up 14% when compared to last summer. My Boys comes to TBS from creator Betsy Thomas.
Speaking of third seasons, just a reminder, TBS's popular late-night comedy 10 Items or Less, a loosely scripted look at life behind the scenes at a family-run grocery store, returns for a third season on Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 11pm. It is co-created by acclaimed comedy improv actor John Lehr. It delves into the offbeat lives of the employees at Greens & Grains. In addition to Lehr, the series stars Kirsten Gronfield, Chris Payne Gilbert, Greg Davis Jr., Christopher Liam Moore, Roberta Valderrama and Robert Clendenin, as well as new cast member Kim Coles. 10 Items or Less is written and executive-produced by Lehr and director Nancy Hower.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BET Changes and Upcoming Sitcom Marathons; TBS Holiday Stunts

With the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays coming up, BET will celebrate with sitcom marathons! But first they made some minor schedule changes. The weekday sitcom block has been shifted to 2-5pm effective this week, with Steve Harvey Show moving to 2-3pm, One on One from 3-4pm and Smart Guy from 4-5pm. Girlfriends will remain in the 3am hour, while the Saturday morning block is now 11am-4p, with two episodes of Smart Guy and four episodes each of The Parkers and Girlfriends. Steve Harvey and One on One are on Sundays from 11:30am-2pm.
As for holiday sitcom marathon, the first one will be the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28 (Black Friday) from 9am-3:30pm. As of now, it has not been determined what will air. Hopefully something NOT airing regularly on BET? We'll let you know if that is indeed the case! Anyway, Thanksgiving weekend continues with more sitcom marathons on Saturday, November 29 from 9am-3am with the hit sitcom The Parkers. Thanksgiving sitcom marathon concludes with a marathon of The Steve Harvey Show from 11am-5pm on Sunday, November 30.
As for Christmas, more sitcom marathons will air! On Christmas Day itself, Thursday, December 25, we will get a marathon of Smart Guy from 9am-8pm. Then on the day after Christmas (Friday, December 26), which is Kwanza, celebrate the holiday with another marathon of One on One from 9am-8pm. Finally, on Saturday, December 27, it's all-day and all-night event of everyone's favorite girlfriends...Girlfriends from 9am-4am!

TBS will get into the holiday fever as well with a sitcom marathon! On Thanksgiving Day itself (Thursday, November 27), TBS will present a marathon of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 9am-3pm. What better way for you to 'will' your way on this day? For Christmas of course, TBS will present the annual 24-hour marathon of the holiday movie classic A Christmas Story starting Christmas Eve at 8pm and running through Christmas Day at 8pm. Get into the holiday spirit with this classic Christmas comedy featuring your favorite oddball kid Ralphie. From disgruntled Santas to badgering bullies, nothing will stop Ralphie from getting his dream toy on Christmas morning.
New episodes of the hit sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne will air Wednesdays at 10pm in December starting Dec. 3. The new episodes will air in the weekly Wednesday six-episode block starting at 8pm. And finally, the season finale of sketch comedy Frank TV, starring comedian Frank Caliendo, will air December 23 at 11pm ET/PT. He does a great Bill Walton, doesn't he?

Stay tuned on Friday for our annual look at the holiday specials airing on the broadcast networks this holiday season! But come on back for more news the next two days as well!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

ION Television Goes HD; Steve Harvey Gets Exposure on TBS; Fox Surprisingly Picks-Up Sarah Connor For Full Season

ION Media Networks, Inc., owner and operator of the nation's largest television station group, today announced plans to launch its suite of networks – ION Television, qubo, and ION Life – in high definition in 2009. ION Television, the Company's flagship general entertainment network, will be available in high definition (HD) as ION Television HD beginning the first quarter of 2009. The HD simulcast of the newly branded "Positively Entertaining" network will serve to fully enhance consumers' overall viewing experience.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The newly rebranded ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others. The network's fall 2008 lineup is led by off-network hits including NCIS, Boston Legal, and ER. Critically acclaimed miniseries and original productions from RHI Entertainment will be made available in high quality HD, as will blockbuster theatrical movies such as Batman Returns, GoodFellas, Analyze This, and You've Got Mail.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
Now you can watch Denny Crane and the gang in HD like it is supposed to be!

On Saturday night if you were expecting to watch Game 6 of the MLB ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on TBS at 8PM ET, you missed the beginning because of an outage. TBS had technical difficulties that prevented it from showing the first 20 minutes of the game and also the end of the pregame show before it. In place of the game, TBS showed an episode of sitcom The Steve Harvey Show. A crawl on the screen ran repeatedly, saying: "We are experiencing technical difficulties." The game started at 8:08 p.m., but the broadcast didn't begin until 8:28 p.m., when Carlos Pena, the seventh batter of the game, walked in the bottom of the first inning. TBS then showed a replay of a home run by B.J. Upton, the previous batter, that put the Rays ahead 1-0.
So what happened: TBS had experienced router failure in Atlanta (their headquarters), which caused transmission problems. Steve Harvey Show wasn't the only filler TBS used while trying to restore its feed, lost toward the end of the pregame broadcast. At that time, TBS ran an abbreviated episode of Dick Clark's Bloopers special (with Elise Neal of The Hughleys) from 1999. I saw that and it was very funny and featured lots of flubs from newscasts and TV stations (how appropriate for TBS today!), but turned it off when Harvey came on. I personally didn't get back into the game until the third inning, thanks to this flub.
But at least sitcoms got more exposure! We'll let you know the ratings, if we get them for Harvey.

Second season action series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been picked-up for nine more episodes, giving it a full twenty-two episode order for the season. This was a surprise move by Fox, because the show has gone down in the ratings by a lot this season averaging just under 6 million viewers and in the low 2's in the 18-49 demo. The show does get a little boost in the seven-day DVR ratings, giving it just under 7 million viewers, but still a far cry what it did last year. The show launched out of huge Cowboys-Giants NFL playoff game that drew 40 million, for its series premiere last winter. The series did 18 million for its premiere. The show then obviously dropped after that to just above 8 million on average, but did much better than it is doing now.
The show could be used with American Idol or the return of 24 in January to help bring it back to life. But Fox would give a better slot to Fringe and the upcoming new series Dollhouse probably instead. No word on Prison Break, but this will likely be its last season.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

ABC Family November Highlights, Two New Sitcom Pilots Picked-Up; TBS Orders Third Season of My Boys

This November on ABC Family, there will not be any regular schedule changes, so 8 Simple Rules will not return as of now. There is still a lot happening on the cable network in November, though! Sitcom My Wife & Kids will get a lot of special airings: Tuesday, November 4 (following an all-new Lincoln Heights) from 9-10pm, a few 1-2pm airings (Friday, November 14, Friday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 26), and a special Saturday night stunt on Saturday, November 22 from 12am-1:30am.
Lincoln Heights will have an all-day marathon on Tuesday, November 11 from 12-8pm leading into an all-new two-hour finale from 8-10pm. After the finale, original encores airing weeknights at 12 midnight will be off and Whose Line is it Anyway? will air regularly on Mon-Thurs 12-1am.
Movie premieres include Garfield, Curious George, Dr. Dolittle 2, Dr. Dolittle 4: Tail to the Chief, The Bodyguard, and Aladdin. Holiday movie premieres include A Carol Christmas, Unlikely Angel, Snow Dogs, Mrs. Santa Claus, The Family Man and A Dennis the Menace Christmas.
Finally, ABC Family will get a jump start to "25 Days of Christmas" on Sunday, November 16 with a "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas." The countdown airs Nov. 16-30. Movies like Holiday in Handcuffs, Christmas Caper, Home Alone 3, Home Alone 4, and more. View the full "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" schedule.
We will return in the coming weeks with the actual "25 Days of Christmas" schedule for Dec. 1-25....stay tuned! I can't believe we are nearing the holiday season already.

Meanwhile, ABC Family has greenlit two sitcom pilots: Ruby and The Rockits and 10 Things I Hate About You.
10 Things I Hate About You, a half-hour, single-cam series is directed by Gil Junger (who directed the movie as well) and executive produced by Carter Covington, who also penned the pilot script. Based on the hit movie 10 Things I Hate About You, the Stratford sisters are two very different people and that is evident as they start at their new high school with very contradictory goals. Kat is a strong-willed, in-your-face feminist who is looking to save the world and get out of high school as fast as she can. Bianca is a social butterfly whose only concern is that she is popular, by any cost. As they both start the year out bumpy at Padua High, can each girl get what she wants in the end as they navigate the popular crowd, boys and their over-protective Dad? The series is produced by Prodco, Inc.
Ruby and The Rockits, is an ABC Studios' half-hour multi-cam comedy series executive produced by Shaun Cassidy (Invasion) and Marsh McCall (Carpoolers), and directed by Ted Wass. The series follows Patrick Callahan, a former teen idol who has chosen to lead a quiet life with his wife and two sons. But when his former Rockits band mate and brother, David, shows up unexpectedly with his new-found teenage daughter in tow, the Callahan family's life becomes anything but normal. David, who refuses to give up his past glory days, comes to Patrick for help raising Ruby while he continues to tour. Patrick must now put the past with David behind them in order to help raise Ruby and keep order within the rest of the Callahan clan. Ruby and The Rockits was written by former teen idol Shaun Cassidy and Ed Yeager, with teleplay by Ed Yeager. Alexa Vega, Austin Butler, Patrick Cassidy and former Partridge Family teen idol David Cassidy star
New ABC Family original series previously announced are the comedy half-hour series Roommates (multi-cam) and Sophie (sine-camera), both scheduled to debut in early 2009. If these two new pilots make it on air, they will join Roommates and Sophie.

TBS's single camera comedy My Boys is stepping up to the plate again as the network orders a third season of the critically acclaimed original sitcom. TBS has ordered nine episodes of the series, which is set to return first quarter 2009.
The series stars Jordana Spiro as PJ Franklin, a 20-something sportswriter looking for love in Chicago. Surrounding PJ is her mostly male group of friends, played by Kyle Howard, Reid Scott, Michael Bunin, Jamie Kaler, with Jim Gaffigan and Kellee Stewart co-stars as essentially the only female influence in PJ's life.
My Boys premiered to critical praise on TBS in November 2006. When the show returned to complete its first season in summer 2007, it scored 22% growth among adults 18-34. The series' second season grew its audience to more than 1.5 million viewers, a 14% increase over the first season.
While that is true, it was losing a lot of its Bill Engvall Show lead-in numbers, so I'm a bit surprised it was renewed for a third year.

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