Friday, January 15, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Cable Day 2; NBC Midseason 2010 Changes, 10PM Added; CBS Picks Up Second Seasons of Two Rookies

It is day two of the cable portion of the TCA Winter 2010 press tour. Up today are MTV Networks, lunch with Wild and Nat Geo, BBC America, Comcast Entertainment Group and dinner with IFC.
MTV Networks will have MTV, Logo, Spike TV, VH1, and Nickelodeon. Don't think TV Land is announcing anything. We'll let you know if they do. Among MTV's announcement was for scripted sitcom! The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a twisted mix of Superbad and The Wonder Years, is a 30-minute single camera scripted comedy that follows the awkward life of RJ Berger (played by Paul Iacono), a late-blooming loser struggling to navigate the minefield of being 15. This series takes a look at the classic teenage milestones we all experience, and the high school horror stories we would rather forget. The series is slated to air in summer. Two reality series are in the works as well for summer: Warren the Ape and The World of Jenks. Moving on to Logo, The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi, a reality series, launches Feb. 10. Spike TV is announcing Facing Ali, a documentary that showcases ten of Muhammad Ali's acclaimed rivals, from Joe Frazier to George Foreman, paying tribute to perhaps the world's most beloved and inspiring athlete. It premieres Feb. 15. VH1 is teaming up with Jessica Simpson! The Price of Beauty takes Jessica Simpson and a few friends all around the world to meet everyday women to study the local fashions, dietary fads and beauty regimes of various cultures. She and a few of her friends will discover how beauty is perceived in different cultures and participate in some of the crazy things people do to feel beautiful. The series premieres March 14. Finally for MTV Networks, Nickelodeon will launch two comedies. Big Time Rush is a live-action, scripted comedy series that chronicles the journey of four best friends who are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they get a chance to be part of the glamorous L.A. pop music scene. The network has ordered 20 episodes and has started airing it already. The other comedy is Victorious and it follows Tori Vega (Victoria Justice), a teen who unexpectedly finds herself navigating life at an elite performing arts high school. This one launches in February (EDIT: now it is March 27).

During lunch time, NatGeo announced plans for a spin-off network: NatGeo Wild. From the leader in natural history programming for over 30 years, NatGeo Wild is a new network dedicated exclusively to bringing audiences extraordinary wildlife programming -- offering intimate encounters with nature's ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air. The exclusive new programming will use the latest technology to get viewers closer to nature and expose the mysteries of the animal kingdom, including: Expedition Wild with Casey Anderson; Mystery Gorillas with Mireya Mayor; and Predator Island with Enric Sala. Among the announcements for NatGeo was for new series And Man Created Dog coming in the summer. It was the hand of man that led to the great variety of dogs we see, even as we have bent their instincts and their very genes to accommodate our needs. Now, in the ultimate canine ancestral story, the NGC explores this genetic journey and unravels their story. And Man Created Dog journeys back 100,000 years to the original wolf pack, and introduces us to the "mother of all dogs" Then traced is the evolutionary journey of her descendants over the eons, and examined is their complex relationship with people, even as we've evolved ourselves.

After lunch has BBC America going. They will have a new season of Top Gear launching Jan. 25. They will have a new drama series as well. Survivors, set in the present day, focuses on the world in the aftermath of a virus where only a lonely few are left to start over in a devastated world where everything that was once safe and familiar is now strange and dangerous.
Then after a writing break, we join Comcast Entertainment Group executives and talent for informal interviews, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Guests include Ryan Seacrest, E! News, Live from the Red Carpet; Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, Bruce Jenner, Keeping Up with the Kardashians; Kristin Dos Santos, E! Online; Danielle Fishel, The Dish; Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Blair Butler, Alison Haislip, Chris Gore, Attack of the Show and more!
Finally, IFC invites the press to experience its latest food-centric shows -- Food Party and Dinner with the Band -- with live music, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and cocktails! Zany, yet delicious food, drinks and decor will be inspired by show hosts Thu Tran and Sam Mason.
Stay with us tomorrow for final day updates as Encore/Starz, AMC and PBS go.


Goodbye Jay Leno. At least in primetime. NBC is now programming the weekday 10pm hour again. NBC unveiled its new post-Winter Olympics primetime program schedule. The new drama series Parenthood will now premiere on Tuesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. ET and the comedy panel series The Marriage Ref from Jerry Seinfeld will now premiere on Thursday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET after its still scheduled sneak preview on Sunday, February 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET following NBC's coverage of the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Previously Parenthood was scheduled for Mondays at 9, now it will be Tuesdays at 10 for 13 weeks, while The Marriage Ref was scheduled for Sundays at 8, now it will be Thursdays at 10 for 6 weeks. So two rookies will be plugged in the 10pm hour on two nights of the week. What about the other three nights? Keep reading.
The long-running series Law & Order continues its 20th season debuting on a new night & time with a two-hour telecast from 9-11 p.m. ET on Monday, March 1 before settling into its regular time period the following week, Monday, March 8 in the 10 p.m. ET hour. Spin-off Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will move up an hour to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET beginning March 3. Encore episodes will now air in its current 9 p.m. ET slot followed by original episodes at 10 p.m. ET. Trauma returns to the schedule Monday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET to complete its six remaining episodes. NBC has not announced what will air after that. Maybe encores of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent? We shall see.
In addition, the new alternative series Who Do You Think You Are? from Lisa Kudrow will premiere Friday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET (in Law & Order's old slot) and the new game show Minute to Win It joins the lineup on Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET leading into Celebrity Apprentice. Also, DirecTV's Friday Night Lights will begin a new broadcast season on NBC on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET starting April 30 after Who Do You Think You Are? concludes its run and will go into summer as it has 13 episodes. Dateline NBC will expand to two-hours on Fridays now starting March 5, and will air from 9-11pm. Still no word on when NBC will schedule midseason comedy 100 Questions.
So, here is a recap for NBC at 10pm: Mondays - Law & Order, Tuesdays - Parenthood, Wednesdays - Law & Order: SVU, Thursdays - The Marriage Ref, Fridays - second hour of Dateline NBC, and Sundays - second hour of Celebrity Apprentice.
See the schedule and details on the new series.

Finally, CBS has renewed two rookie dramas. CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife, the season's top two freshman series in total viewers, have been renewed for the 2010-2011 broadcast season (their second seasons). No surprise.
NCIS: Los Angeles is the number one new program of the season (airs after the number one series on TV, NCIS) with an average audience of 16.8 million viewers. The show is averaging a solid 5.3/12 in adults 25-54 and 3.8/10 in adults 18-49. Shane Brennan and R. Scott Gemmill are executive producers of NCIS: Los Angeles for CBS Television Studios.
The Good Wife regularly wins its Tuesday at 10:00 PM time period in viewers (13.7m), adults 25-54 (4.2/11), adults 18-49 (3.0/8) and key women demographics. Compared to the time period a year ago, The Good Wife is up +3% in viewers, +5% in adults 25-54 and 8% in adults 18-49. Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, David Zucker and Brooke Kennedy are executive producers of The Good Wife for CBS Television Studios.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Cable Day 1; ABC Reportedly Launching Romantically Challenged Mondays Starting in April

The broadcast networks just finished their portion of the winter press tour, now it is time for cable. Today is the first of three days for everything cable. Up today are Discovery Networks, BET, lunch with TV Guide Network, Travel Channel, HBO, and evening reception with Discovery Networks.
Discovery Networks consisted of Discovery Channel, TLC, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. Nothing of note for sitcom/TV fans here, but among the announcements were Discovery Channel's upcoming new series Life. While its award-winning and record-shattering predecessor, Planet Earth, provided the ultimate portrait of our planet, the 11-part series Life, narrated by Oprah Winfrey, is the definitive exploration of the adaptability and diversity of life on earth. Life tells astounding stories of the world's most spectacular, bizarre and fascinating behaviors, many of which were captured for the first time ever. The series premieres in late March on Discovery Channel.
Then BET is up. They were promoting its upcoming reality series The Family Crews, premiering Feb. 21. The Family Crews is a half-hour episodic reality series about Terry Crews and his amazing family. In reality, Terry's a former professional football player turned successful Hollywood actor. But, he's not your typical athlete or movie star. He's a family man who has been married to his wonderful wife, Rebecca, for 20 years this year. Together, they have five children, ranging from ages 3 to 22 years old. In the series, Terry will begin the process of transitioning from Everybody Hates Chris to becoming a bonafide action star.

Then at lunch TV Guide Channel has a festive buffet luncheon, including special Red Carpet-themed desserts and non-alcoholic cocktails. They are promoting their off-network premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The series premieres on TV Guide Network March 10 and 11, 2010. Cheryl Hines (Cheryl David) discusses her role on one of the most ground-breaking shows on television, which has never before been seen on basic cable television. TV Guide Network's Red Carpet hosts Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars) and Chris Harrison (The Bachelor) join the luncheon festivities to kick-off Award Season 2010, as The Golden Globes airs this Sunday.
After lunch, the Travel Channel is up next announcing new series, America's Worst Driver, which takes viewers to America's most notorious driving cities where locals, nominated by their friends and family, will compete in various challenges, including obstacle courses and a destination challenge where their city streets become the drivers' worst nightmare.
HBO follows with many announcements. Among them are movie Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes premiering in February, Treme a new series coming in April starring Wendell Pierce, the special A Family Is A Family Is A Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration launching Jan. 31, ten-part miniseries The Pacific from producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman premiering in March, Al Pacino stars in the film You Don't Know Jack premiering in spring, and The Ricky Gervais Show premieres Feb. 19, an animated version of the record-breaking podcasting series, the 13-episode half-hour comedy series is voiced by Ricky Gervais himself.

The day ends with a reception with Discovery Networks, as 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Discovery Communications. The company is hosting a cocktail party that will capture the spirit and evolution of Discovery's networks throughout the past 25 years, while highlighting elements of current programming through interactive experiences.
Stay with us tomorrow for day two of the cable portion of the winter press tour.


ABC has reportedly put upcoming midseason multi-camera sitcom Romantically Challenged starring Alyssa Milano, Kyle Bornheimer, and Kelly Stables on Mondays at 9:30pm starting April 5. This is not official yet, but advanced press listings show Dancing with the Stars being reduced to 90-minutes (8-9:30pm ET/PT) starting April 5 through and including May 17. That is 7 weeks and Romantically Challenged has a 7 episode order and is the only new sitcom left for ABC, so it makes sense. I think that is what will happen it seems. TheFutonCritic is among the outlets reporting this as well, but until ABC actually schedules it, it isn't official. So stay with us whenever ABC announces.
Is this a good slot for Romantically Challenged? When do you think it should air? Please head on over to Twitter to follow us and then tweet us (@SitcomsOnline) what your thoughts of this move is. Should it air on ABC Comedy Wednesday instead? Or is Mondays following Dancing the better slot despite going head-to-head vs. The Big Bang Theory on CBS (Note: Big Bang will not be on at 9:30 the night Romantically Challenged supposedly launches)? I think it should air on Wednesdays instead, but at 9:30pm or 10pm instead (Ugly Betty should be done with its episode order by the end of March) of 8pm where currently repeats are airing. Tweet us!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: ABC; Rita Rocks Canceled By Lifetime; TV Land Picks-Up Series, Announces Cast For Sitcom Pilot

The final day for the broadcast networks at the TCA winter press tour is today and ABC gets to close things out. First up at 9am PT was a panel on LOST! On hand were stars Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Evangeline Lilly, and Terry O'Quinn, along with executive producers Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Among the items answered: Damon and Carlton announce that Cynthia Watros (Libby) and Harold Perrineau (Michael) are confirmed for this final season. Season 6 will be like Season 1. Don't know what that means, you'll have to watch and see. Holloway says the season 6 premiere felt like a finale. Good stuff! The final season begins Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8/7 central with a three-hour event (clip show recap and two-hour premiere)! If you need to refresh yourself, ABC will air last season's season finale on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 9/8 central!

After that, there was the Executive Session with Stephen McPherson (President of ABC Entertainment Group) at 10am PT. Among the items given were details on a The Bachelor/The Bachelorette spin-off titled The Bachelor Pad. It will launch after the season of The Bachelorette ends this summer and will reunite 20 former contestants from both series all living in a house at the same time. An all-star edition!
Comedy wise, ABC has given early pick-ups for the Comedy Wednesday comedies The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town for 2010-2011 season! All three are safe and will return next season and have been extended beyond 22 episodes for this season (likely 24 for all three this season)! As for Hank, he mentions the writing wasn't that good but he loves Kelsey. So Hank is officially canceled. ABC will air the last two episodes of the season of [scrubs][med school] on a special night of Wednesday on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8pm. Until then the series will air Tuesdays at 9pm (repeats at 8pm on Jan. 12 and 19) thru Jan. 26 at 8pm. Better off Ted still will have two episodes unaired after its Jan. 26 airing. Decision will be made after that whether or not both series will return next season, but ABC was disappointed by the numbers for both. McPherson loves Ugly Betty and wants to find the right slot for it. And hoping people know now about the move to Wednesdays. Alyssa Milano's sitcom Romantically Challenged could be a contender for Wednesdays at 8pm, but no premiere date yet.
As for other midseason stuff, V and FLASHFORWARD return in March, as we all know. FLASHFORWARD is not returning in January because ABC would have had a lot of repeats scheduled and the show doesn't repeat well. V returns Tuesday, March 30 at 10, while FLASHFORWARD returns Thursday, March 18 at 8 with a two-hour return. V was always planned to air in chapters, but chapter one should have been longer but production issues was the reason for only four episodes for the first chapter. He mentions Happy Town is serialized and it has a beginning, middle and end for this run. Still waiting on when to schedule it. ABC could order more Conveyor Belt of Love specials or as a series. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will air Fridays at 9pm starting March 26. The series is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Fresh One Productions. In the series, Oliver heads to Huntington, West Virginia -- which has been called the unhealthiest city in America -- to start his new cooking initiative. He hopes to help get Huntington off that list and start a chain reaction of positive change across the country. Shark Tank will finish its season on Friday, Feb. 5 at 9, then ABC will take a three week break on Fridays (and Saturdays) with movies opposite the Winter Olympics. It is unclear what will air Fridays, March 5, 12, and 19 at 9pm still.
On all this late night fiasco, he said there are too many jokes to make on it. He also said, "We don't have any plans to change our late-night right now. I love Kimmel."
As for Dancing with the Stars, it will be back twice a year still and will have 11 contestants this season as last season had a bit too many he thought. The season ten premiere will be Monday, March 22 from 8-10pm and will air Mondays 8-10pm. The Results Show premieres Tuesday, March 30 at a new time of 8-9pm.
Read more about ABC's TCA Announcements via press releases, which includes a new book on Castle! Speaking of Castle, a special two-part Castle episode airing Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22 at 10pm with guest star Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives)! No dates yet for Romantically Challenged, Happy Town or the return of Wife Swap. When it is announced, we will let you know, so stay with us!

After the executive session there will be panels for the upcoming midseason legal drama The Deep End at 11am PT. On hand for the panel are stars Matt Long, Billy Zane, Clancy Brown, Leah Pipes, Tina Majorino, Ben Lawson and Mehcad Brooks, along with executive producers David Hemingson & Jan Nash. The series premieres Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8/7 central on ABC!
Next up at 11:45am PT is a panel for upcoming midseason mystery drama Happy Town. In this session we have stars Geoff Stults, Sam Neill, Lauren German, Steven Weber, and Amy Acker along with executive producers Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec, & Scott Rosenberg (from October Road & Life on Mars).
Lunch is next at 12:30pm PT, then at 2pm PT there will be a panel for ABC Comedy Wednesday Show Runner Panel. Questions will be answered by show runners Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline (The Middle), Steven Levitan (Modern Family and Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town/Scrubs).
At 3:30pm PT ABC Family takes over at the press tour and will have a panel on their original sitcom 10 Things I Hate About You. The rest of the tour will be ABC Daytime and SOAPnet driven with a panel for All My Children's 40th Anniversary and SOAPnet soap Being Erica.
Be sure to check out the great TVTango.com as they were there doing the best job covering the TCA press tour! Hats out to them!


Turning to regular news, Lifetime has canceled original sitcom Rita Rocks after just two seasons. The series starred Nicole Sullivan as Rita, a working mom who starts a garage band. The series also starred Tisha Campbell-Martin, Richard Ruccolo, Natalie Dreyfuss, Kelly Gould and Raviv Ullman. As of now, Lifetime still has original sitcom Sherri, which recently just completed its first season of 13 episodes. No decision has been made on a second season yet. Both shows didn't do so hot in the ratings this fall.

Meanwhile, TV Land has picked up an original series starring real-life Hollywood couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin. It will be a six-episode docu-soap entitled Harry Loves Lisa featuring pop culture sensation Lisa Rinna and her heartthrob husband, Harry Hamlin. The series will be executive produced by Jason Carbone and centers on the relationship between Rinna and Hamlin as they navigate together through the highs and lows as a devoted family living a hectic Hollywood lifestyle. Harry Loves Lisa brings to life the romantic notion that opposites attract as Lisa's playful spontaneity differs from Harry's more reserved demeanor. Audiences will watch as the two balance their differences in the midst of insane professional lives as working actors and entrepreneurs who are parenting two pre-teen daughters. One of Hollywood's most enduring‪ couples, the Hamlins' contradictory personalities make for amazing chemistry both on-screen and off. The TV Land PRIME original series is scheduled to air in Fall 2010 on TV Land.
In other TV Land news, we gave you details on the George Segal sitcom pilot, now they have announced casting for their other sitcom pilot. TV Land has tapped sitcom veterans Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Jane Leeves (Frasier), Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me!) and TV legend Betty White (The Golden Girls) to star in its comedy pilot Hot in Cleveland. Written by Frasier alum Suzanne Martin, Hot in Cleveland revolves around three eccentric forty-something best friends from L.A. (Bertinelli, Leeves, Malick) who wind up stuck in Cleveland and decide to stay there when they realize the locals consider them glamorous. Betty White plays a grumpy and opinionated lady who has lived in the cottage of the trio's Cleveland house for 50 years.
Hot in Cleveland has NOT yet been picked-up as a series, nor has Retired at 35 starring George Sagal. As soon as both or one of these are picked-up as a series, we will let you know. But both sound good to me! Stay with us, and thanks for visiting on this very busy Tuesday!

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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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Sunday, January 10, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: NBC; Week 16 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

It's day two of the TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour and the infamous NBC is up today! First up was a session on the Winter Olympics at 9am PT. Next, the NBC Executive Session was held at 10am PT and that was probably the biggest executive session of TCA this winter because of this Leno-Conan fiasco. So what happened? Angela Bromstad and Jeff Gaspin confirmed that The Jay Leno Show will end starting Friday, Feb. 12 (so its last airing looks to be Feb. 11). So it is now official. However, nothing about late night was announced but she mentioned that they want to keep Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon. I guess Carson Daly is the odd man out? But he will remain in some form with NBC (like the New Year's Eve Show). The proposed schedule would have Leno at 11:35, Conan at 12:05 and Fallon at 1:05. But it all depends on if Conan agrees to this and so far nothing has been settled. So stay tuned I guess. In other NBC TCA updates from this session, they are planning a Law & Order: Los Angeles for development but nothing formal on that yet. They have picked up more episodes of the original Law & Order for this season, bringing the episode count up to about 20 episodes (up from original order of 16). She also mentioned that a 21st season is not official yet (but I think they'll bring it back next season). As for mid-season stuff, The Marriage Ref, a new reality series from Jerry Seinfeld, will premiere after the Winter Olympics Closing Cermonies on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 10:30pm as a half-hour sneak peek before settling into its Sundays at 8pm slot starting March 14, as previously announced. NBC also plans on airing new multicamera sitcom 100 Questions this season, but still no date and time has been announced. They also cut the miniseries Day One from a four-hour event to a two-hour movie now and they plan on airing it as a backdoor pilot sometime later this season. I guess if it does well, they will order it as a series. Medical drama Trauma will return after the Winter Olympics, but no date and time has been announced. As for struggling drama Heroes, no decision will be made until May during upfronts, but she said it has a chance of coming back for a fifth season. NBC will have their upfront on Monday, May 17, so they will have not that weird infront anymore. Thank god! And finally for the Canadian import Persons Unknown, will end up airing in the summer now. NBC has an option to air Friday Night Lights starting March 1, but probably won't until the summer. Also, Law & Order: Criminal Intent will be once again repurposed on NBC after the episodes air on sister network USA Network. No schedule has been announced yet on what NBC will do at 10pm starting in March, since Leno will be gone from primetime. 2 nights will be scripted, another night will have reality, and then the rest will be Dateline. So stay tuned for that.

In other announcements, Howie Mandel will replace David Hasselhoff as one of the judges on America's Got Talent joining Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan along with host Nick Cannon.
NBC will empower communities to renovate their aging and broken public schools - while inspiring students, parents, and teachers to rediscover a sense of pride that will positively impact their lives and futures - in the proactive alternative project School Pride, a new two-hour special for fall 2010.
NBC also unveiled some of its early development projects that have been green-lit for 2010-11, including a large slate of dramas such as Prime Suspect (from Hank Steinberg, Without A Trace), an updated version of the classic The Rockford Files (from David Shore, House), Undercovers (from J.J. Abrams, Lost), Chase (from Jerry Bruckheimer, CSI franchise), Kindreds (from David E. Kelley, Boston Legal) and The Event; Comedies include the untitled Adam Corolla project. These are just pilot orders and does not mean they will make it on the schedule yet. We won't know that until upfront.

After an hour break, there was a session for NBC News at 11:45am PT. Then sessions for shows from Syfy, Oxygen, and Bravo are next in the afternoon. NBC will have panels starting at 4pm PT today with midseason drama Parenthood up first, followed by sophomore sitcom Parks and Recreation at 4:45pm PT, and upcoming reality series The Marriage Ref at 5:15pm PT.


And now back to our regular weekly ratings report...

Week 16 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals:

Households: 1. CBS 7.4/11.7 (rating/share); 2. ABC 7.2/11.3; 3. Fox 5.3/8.2; 4. NBC 4.2/6.6; 5. The CW 0.7/1.0
Total Viewers: 1. ABC 12.14 million; 2. CBS 11.84 million; 3. Fox 8.59 million; 4. NBC 6.63 million; 5. The CW 1.02 million.
Adults 18-49: 1. ABC 4.2/11.0 (rating/share); 2. CBS 2.9/7.7; 3. Fox 2.8/7.6; 4. NBC 2.4/6.2; 5. The CW 0.4/1.0

Week 16 (Jan. 4-10) Analysis: For week 16, big sporting events has ruled and some good returns for network regular shows. BCS National Championship on ABC did big. So far through the first four days of the week in final ratings, ABC has a slim lead for first in total viewers, and CBS edging ABC by just a bit in HH. ABC is the clear cut leader in 18-49 right now thanks to the BCS National Championship. CBS follows in second, with Fox in third in every category, and NBC fourth in every category as usual until NFL saves it. Last week, week 15, CBS beat second place Fox in HH/viewers for a first place finish once again, while Fox prevailed in 18-49 over ABC. CBS was tied with NBC for third in 18-49. ABC was third in HH/viewers, while NBC was fourth.
On Monday it was Fox in the lead with the Fiesta Bowl doing 13.82 million as Fox averaged 13.13 in primetime, regular House was preempted. CBS was next with repeats of its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother repeat started it off with doing 6.87 million, up a million from previous week, while a repeat of Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 6.61 million, also up a million or so from previous week. Two and a Half Men followed with a repeat showing doing 11.95 million, up almost a million from previous week, and The Big Bang Theory followed with a repeat of its own doing 10.87 million, also up nearly a million from previous week. The 3.5 18-49 rating is excellent for a repeat. A repeat of CSI: Miami did 10.01 million, not bad. ABC got good mileage out of the season premiere of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love doing a solid 9.54 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating for the two-hours. A special called Conveyor Belt of Love followed and did decent doing 6.34 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, this would do decent in summer I think. New episodes of Castle return tomorrow as ALYSSA MILANO guest stars!! NBC started off with a two-hour episode of Heroes doing only 4.92 million and a 2.2 A18-49 rating. It moves to 9pm tomorrow following Chuck. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 4.76 million, but what else is new? The CW aired repeats of One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl for doing 1.21 million and 720,000 viewers, terrible.
On Tuesday, CBS dominated with its dramas. CBS started with a new NCIS doing 21.37 million, second best ratings ever. Then spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles was next with a new showing of its own doing 18.07 million, up from usual. And finally CBS aired a new The Good Wife doing a solid 13.98 million. Fox was next with coverage of the Orange Bowl doing 10.88 million and 10.23 million in primetime. NBC was next the two-hour premiere of The Biggest Loser doing a solid 11.74 million and an even more impressive 4.6 18-49 rating. It is NBC's saving grace. Then The Jay Leno Show tanked as usual to 6.3 million, but its best night by far. ABC started off with a new Scrubs [Med School] doing 3.81 million only and a 1.5 18-49 rating, followed by a new showing of Better off Ted doing only 2.97 million. Two more all-new episodes of each followed doing only 3.05 and 2.6 million, ouch. At 10pm, the forgotten was new and did only 4.38 million and just a 1.2 18-49 rating, but at least it built back up from the lead-in. The CW aired repeats of 90210 and Melrose Place doing only 900,000 and 770,000 viewers...worse than Monday even overall.
Wednesday it was CBS on top again but not by much. CBS started with a second special of I Get That A Lot doing a solid 8.31 million and a 2.9 18-49 ratin, but down from the first special last April. Because of this airing, Old Christine and Gary Unmarried were preempted. Next CBS also preempted Criminal Minds and CSI: NY for the 2010 People's Choice Awards doing 10.81 million, a bit better than what it has done in recent years. ABC comedies returned strong in 2010, two all-new episode of The Middle started it off with 7.37 and 8.07 million and a 2.1 and 2.6 18-49 ratings, nice builds. Modern Family was also new and did 10.22 million, best showing since the pilot. 4.1 18-49 rating, too! Cougar Town was also new and did its best showing in two months doing 7.88 million and a solid 3.3 8-49 rating. Watch the comedies this week again instead of you know what. Ugly Betty moved to Comedy Wednesday at 10pm and did an OK 5.02 million...it needs to do better and let's hope it grows in its new night and time. NBC was next with a new episode of Mercy doing 7.1 million, followed by a new Law & Order: SVU doing 10.58 million...its best showing in a long time. I guess it plays second fiddle to Criminal Minds on CBS. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at 5.11 million. The CW aired more repeats as more One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl did only 810,000 and 500,000 viewers. Ouch.
Thursday it was ABC on top by a wide margin thanks to the BCS National Championship Game doing an impressive 30.78 million and 29.23 million in primetime. A 10.5 18-49 rating for the game is mammoth style. CBS opened with a repeat of CSI at a solid 9.25 million, the regular timeslot of CSI followed with a solid 10.33 million for a repeat. At 10pm The Mentalist was also a repeat and did 11.01 million. ABC will return Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice this Thursday with a crossover event. Fox was in repeats as well with Bones doing a below normal 5.98 million for a repeat and a Fringe repeat only did 3.05 million. NBC had repeats of its comedies as well with Community, doing the best of the bunch at 4.49 million, Parks & Recreation, was next and did only 3.18 million, The Office followed with only 3.92 million and 30 Rock did 3.75 million. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only4.59 million, its worst Thursday episode ever. The CW aired more repeats as Vampire Diaries did 1.74 million and Supernatural did 1.54 million...their best night by far of the week.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won Friday with their dramas. ABC won 10pm in 18-49 with 20/20, and NBC did decent with a two-hour Dateline from 8-10pm.
Saturday numbers saw NBC dominate with coverage of the NFL Wild Card game doing about 28 million in prelim numbers. Fox was a distant second with its regular shows, as CBS and ABC were well back.
Tonight ABC has its guns of AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters, which all came off big numbers last Sunday. NBC has no NFL and will premiere Chuck from 9-11, which will probably not do well. CBS has a new 60 Minutes at 7 and Cold Case at 9 and repeats filling the rest of the night. Fox has a NFL Wild Card overrun and 450th episode of The Simpsons at 8, followed by a 20th Anniversary special from 8:30-9:30pm. Look for a close finish for 1st place this week as sporting events are changing the numbers everyday. I think CBS will prevail in HH/viewers and ABC in 18-49. NBC will likely be second in 18-49, unless Fox has a huge overrun tonight. Tough to predict this week even after we have finals for the first four nights. As for this coming week, look for the return of you know what this week...American Idol on Fox.

Week 16 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 15 -- Dec. 28-Jan. 3)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 8.55 million for an all-new episode following NFL coverage in the east/central for above average numbers. Did even a 4.0 rating in 18-49.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - 6.94 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, a normal showing despite the lead-in being inflated.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 8.16 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating for a new episode...nice builds from the lead-in.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 5.9 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating for a new episode is decent, but needs to hold the numbers better from its lead-in than this. Weakest link of Animation Domination.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did a solid 6.87 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. Not bad for a repeat.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 6.61 million for a repeat. A 2.1 18-49 rating as well. Decent retention from lead-in.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.95 million for a repeat...still the best of the week in viewers for sitcoms.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A repeat did 10.87 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, building on the lead-in's 3.3. Very good as usual, especially for a repeat!

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • [scrubs] (ABC) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes of the [med school] edition did 3.81 million and 3.05 million. The second airing seemed hurt by Better off Ted.
  • Better off Ted (ABC) 2 episodes - Only 2.97 million and 2.6 million. Ouch. Please watch!

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - preempted.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - preempted.
  • The Middle (ABC) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes did very good. 7.37 and 8.07 million. That is great!
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode did 10.22 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, building from the lead-in's 2.6 by 1 1/2 points!
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episodes with guest star Lisa Kudrow mustered 7.88 million, good showing. But could have been a bit better, but still best showing in 2 months. 3.3 18-49 rating is decent.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - A repeat did 4.49 million, not bad really. But I think people were thinking the comedies were new tonight as the rest of the night dropped...
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - Only 3.18 million for a repeat. My point exactly from above.
  • The Office (NBC) - 3.92 million for a repeat. The show returns Jan. 21, while the other comedies return this Thursday.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A repeat did 3.75 million, good retention from the lead-in at least. Two new episodes this week, let's see what it can do.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) on Fox is The Simpsons 450th episode and 20th anniversary special, and an all new The Cleveland Show at a special time tonight following NFL action.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Cougar Town & The Middle were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Accidentally on Purpose, How I Met Your Mother) or just plain old terrible (such as Better off Ted, Scrubs).

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: CBS and The CW; Hallmark Channel Does Daytime Time Shifting

The TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour has begun today in Pasadena, CA with CBS in the morning and The CW will go today in late afternoon (after Showtime). After breakfast at 8am PT, CBS had their executive session at 9am PT. CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was on hand to answer questions. She even talked about her feelings about this Jay Leno Show fiasco going on at NBC, saying ABC, CBS and Fox has thrived over NBC's experiment. She confirmed that freshman medical drama Three Rivers has been officially canceled and is no longer on "hiatus." She is also trying to find a new series for the star of that show, Alex O'Loughlin. She also talked about the creative issues on CSI since Fishburne entered and the downfall of their Friday series in the ratings. NUMB3RS ending early doesn't mean it won't return next season, as new drama Miami Medical is launching in its slot. With this change, Canadian imports Flashpoint and The Bridge will not launch in the season, but will be available in the summer. Episode orders are 18 and 13 respectively. NUMB3RS and Medium still have a chance to return next season and Medium flows very well with Ghost Whisperer. She also mentioned that they are very high on Undercover Boss, which will launch after the Super Bowl. She has seen 5 or 6 episodes already and feels it could be their next big reality brand. That's about it. Nothing major here.
After the executive session, there were half-hour panels with casts and crews (with 15-minute breaks in between each). First up were producers from the CBS Comedy Power Hour (Two and a Half Men/The Big Bang Theory) at about 9:45am PT. Chuck Lorre, Lee Aronsohn and Bill Prady were on hand to talk about these two powerhouses. Addressed were the Charlie Sheen arrest situation and underusing Kaley Cuoco on Big Bang in the pilot. And no Sheldon-Penny will not happen! Then at 10:30am PT the executive producer (Stephen Lambert) of Undercover Boss along with the CEO from Waste Management (Larry O'Donnell, III) were on hand to talk about the upcoming reality series. Coming up at 11:15am PT are the cast and crew of the upcoming new medical drama Miami Medical. On hand will be stars Jeremy Northam, Lana Parrilla, Mike Vogel, Elisabeth Harnois, and Omar Gooding, along with creator Jeffrey Leiber, and producers Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, and Steve Maeda. Ha, Leiber will be asked LOST questions, since he was a producer on that show. Lunch will be served at 11:45am PT as everyone gets gourmet box lunches.
Stay with us for updates and look back at yesterday's blog for CBS midseason 2010 updates. After everything is over today there will be a Survivor 10th Anniversary at CBS Television City starting at 7pm PT. Everyone will mix and mingle among castaways past and present including the entire cast of the upcoming Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Also, in attendance will be Host Jeff Probst, Executive Producer Mark Burnett, as well as other producers, key crew members and CBS executives.

Following the lunch break will be Showtime at 12:30pm PT. We won't cover that, but the panels that are scheduled are Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, The Green Room with Paul Provenza, and Oliver Stone's Secret History of America.

The CW goes later this afternoon starting at 4pm PT. If anything breaking happens, we will return and edit it in here, but they have panels with the cast and crew of the upcoming Monday drama series Life UneXpected and then the cast and crew of the popular The Vampire Diaries will be on hand. Following these two panels there will be The Vampire Diaries' Bloody Mary Cocktail Reception. In schedule news, the only thing they announced was the date for the all-new season of America's Next Top Model 14, launching Wednesday, March 3, 2010 with a two-hour premiere starting at 8pm. Programming for the post-Top Model hour will be announced at a later time. View our previous story on the Monday night changes. Other than that, The CW will remain the same through the season.

Stay tuned tomorrow for NBC's turn at the press tour. That will be interesting. More drama, I'm sure. Too bad they can't get anyone interested in any of their shows like they do with their idiotic moves.

And finally in regular news, Hallmark Channel will make some schedule changes starting Monday after only a week with the new schedule. The schedule changes are to daytime only from 9am-4pm, as 4pm-4am will remain the same. It will be only time shifting really. Golden Girls' daytime airing moves to the mornings, Little House will now move to mid-morning, 7th Heaven is now afternoons, and AFV's early airing is now paired with its late afternoon airings. So nothing is leaving.
View the full schedule changes so you know when to find your shows!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: ABC; TV Land Acquires AFI Life Achievement Awards

This is the final day of the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour and ABC will get to close it off. In the morning after breakfast we had Disney Channel and Disney XD shows go up to the panel (Aaron Stone, Sonny with a Chance, and JONAS). The ABC executive session followed shortly after with ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson. We learned a lot of new things! Premiere dates for the midseason comedies however were still not announced but the cast of and crew of each had their own panels. If I were to guess, dates for the comedies will be final as soon as Fox announces it is moving American Idol Results to Wednesdays at 9 sometime in March. That would lead ABC to possibly air the comedies in the hour to avoid Idol. I'd guess Scrubs and The Goode Family would fit, though he said Goode might not launch until May now. They could strip Scrubs on two nights even rather than double-pumping on one night, pairing it on Tuesdays with Better Off Ted maybe or Samantha Who? Just my guesses. McPherson all but confirmed that In the Motherhood would air after Dancing with the Stars this spring. That series also has lined up the lucious Stacy Keibler to guest star! McPherson is frustrated by Samantha Who's ratings, as it hasn't retained as much of its Dancing with the Stars lead-in as he would like, but it is still a hilarious show. Personally, I think it is a better fit with Scrubs, something younger for it. Speaking of Scrubs, he says he has been very pleased with the ratings but it seems this will be its last season since Zach Braff is leaving and he can't imagine the show continuing without him. He also stressed he would like to go back to the comedies of the past such as Roseanne and Home Improvement style, so look for comedy in that vein next season. No word on when the final According to Jim episodes will air, as twelve are left. He still is saying never say never ending for this show. A joke I think. And finally as for the hoopla of ABC picking-up King of the Hill, McPherson says it isn't happening!
Other than that, we learned mainly about storyline questions for the hot ABC dramas, so I won't give that away since it could be spoilery for some. Let's just say, if you don't like the Denny-Izzie ghost storyline, keep watching...you have no idea what is happening. He did say he was very happy with Private Practice and the crossover episodes between that and Grey's Anatomy should be big. Still no idea when they are officially airing, but I have a hunch they start on Feb. 12 (or maybe March sweeps?). There are still no airdates for the final Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone episodes. There is a rumor saying June, though. McPherson says he loved all three and it is too bad Nielsen didn't either. He was also happy that Marc Cherry decided to extend Desperate Housewives beyond season seven. He was also happy with the Boston Legal finale and it ended their own way, while Dancing with the Stars was a blast, especially Cloris Leachman. The upcoming edition he says has a good core group. Can't wait until it is announced! And as Nina Tasler of CBS said, McPherson is pleased with what NBC did at 10pm. Less of a bidding war now.
After the executive session we had a panel for the upcoming single-camera sitcom Better Off Ted. Then it was time for lunch and a viewing session of Lost with a question & answer with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! Probably the most anticipated session of all of TCA. The third episode of the season was screened for the press prior to the q&a, as the press has already saw the first two episodes (like me...it is great stuff!). After that, panels for many other upcoming spring series were up: The Unusals, Castle, In the Motherhood, The Goode Family, and Cupid. Launch dates for the new dramas The Unusuals, Castle, and Cupid were already announced from ABC early last month. To recap, The Unusuals will launch Wednesday, April 8 at 10pm following Lost. Castle will launch with Dancing with the Stars' new season on Monday, March 9 at 10pm, while Cupid will air Tuesdays at 10pm following Dance's results show.

The AFI Life Achievement Awards are moving from USA Network to TV Land starting this year. TV Land has signed a four-year deal to showcase the awards annually. The 37th Annual AFI Life Achievement Awards will be taped on Thursday, June 11, 2009 in Los Angeles and will honor Michael Douglas. The event will be telecast on TV Land PRIME about 6 weeks or so later on Sunday, July 19, 2009 in primetime.
USA Network has had the awards since 2002. Previously the awards were on broadcast television on CBS, NBC, and ABC. The AFI Life Achievement Award is the highest honor for a career in film.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: NBC; Remembering Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn

Today it is NBC's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour. You know network TCA tours usually start in the morning (8 or 9am PT) and run through the evening with dinner/party, but as usual, the lately strange NBC has to mess with that. They are skipping the morning (no breakfast or lunch!) and starting at 2pm PT. Cost cutting NBC, indeed. Cheap...they will have a cocktail reception though tonight. Up first is the executive session. Among the items announced are: ER has been ordered for 3 more episodes, giving it a total of 23 episodes for its last season. The two-hour series finale will now be on Thursday, April 2 from 9-11pm instead of March 12. Earlier on that night, a one-hour retrospective will air from 8-9pm ET leading into the two-hour send-off. The following week, April 9, new police drama Southland takes over the ER slot now for 6 episodes. The series comes from ER showrunner John Wells. Previously NBC had slotted Kings to air after ER ends, but now Kings is going to be moved to Sundays at 8PM leading into Celebrity Apprentice starting March 15. On March 1, NBC will air a new special called SNL Short Films (wt) from 7-9pm leading into the Celebrity Apprentice premiere. The untitled Amy Poehler comedy will also launch April 9, airing at 8:30pm replacing Kath & Kim, which has been cut to only 17 episodes and likely will be done for good. New cooking reality series Chopping Block is the series that will air Wednesdays at 8pm starting March 11 (through April 29), following the conclusion of Knight Rider on Feb. 25. Celebrated chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White (UK's Hell's Kitchen) serves up in this new original cooking competition series, in which the British Michelin star chef offers 16 neophyte hopeful chefs/restaurateurs working in pairs a chance to compete in America's greatest restaurant challenge for their chance to open their own Manhattan restaurant. Howdie Do It will air Fridays at 8pm through March 27 now instead of Feb. 20. And a Kung Fu Panda special called Secrets of the Furious Five will air on Thursday, Feb. 26 in the 8pm half-hour.
NBC also announced that 30 Rock, The Office and The Biggest Loser are all safe for next season (2009-10).
Panels followed with the cast and crew of The Untitled Amy Poehler Comedy, MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, The Last Templar, Southland, and Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
The Amy Poehler comedy stars Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones and comes from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The Last Templar is an NBC miniseries airing Jan. 25-26 starring Mira Sorvino, Scott Foley and Victor Garber and comes from Robert Halmi, Sr. And as mentioned above, Southland is the series from ER's John Wells that will air Thursdays at 10pm after ER ends April 2. Among the stars are Tom Everett Scott, Regina King, Ben McKenzie, and Kevin Alejandro. It will be a police show set in Los Angeles.

Today we will also remember two stars who have passed on...Ricardo Montalban and Steven Gilborn. Ricardo Montalban, the suave leading man who was one of the first Mexican-born actors to make it big in Hollywood and who was best known for his role as Mr. Roarke on ABC's Fantasy Island, has died. Montalban died Wednesday (Jan. 14) morning at his Los Angeles home of complications related to old age. Beginning in the mid-1950s, he made the first of many TV appearances. In addition to his role as Chief Satangkai in the 1978 ABC miniseries How the West Was Won, he appeared in the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys on ABC in the late 1980s. More recently, he did a voice on the Disney Channel's animated series Kim Possible. He has also appeared on an episode or two of Family Guy, The Brothers Garcia, The Golden Palace, Chicago Hope, Dream On, Murder She Wrote, Police Story, Hawaii Five-0, Here's Lucy, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and many more! He was also a fixture on the game show Win, Lose or Draw in the late '80s. But it was Fantasy Island that created his lasting image in front of the Hollywood cameras. Elegantly attired in a white suit and black tie, Montalban created such an iconic -- albeit somewhat kitschy -- figure that he often reprised the character insubsequent films and television shows.
While making Fantasy Island" Montalban also gave one of his best movie performances -- as Khan Noonian Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), a follow-up to a beloved 1967 Star Trek television episode, "Space Seed," that also featured Montalban. Among his other movie credits include Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, and Cannonball Run II.
So, Montalban will be deply missed and we will always remember him saying "Welcome to Fantasy Island." Mr. Montalban was 88.
We have also lost Steven Gilborn. Gilborn is a great character actor that has appeared on many sitcoms and TV series. He is best known for playing the father of Ellen DeGeneres' character on Ellen. He died of cancer in North Chatham, N.Y., on Jan. 2. Gilborn also played the math teacher on The Wonder Years and appeared on MANY sitcoms and TV shows including Rodney, According to Jim, Out of Practice, Complete Savages, 8 Simple Rules, Damages, The Bernie Mac Show, Still Standing, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Malcolm in the Middle, Two Guys and a Girl, NYPD Blue, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Get Real, Action, Maggie Winters, The West Wing, The Practice, Living Single, Boy Meets World, NewsRadio, Mad About You, ER, Empty Nest, Coach, Lois & Clark, Hearts Afire, Dream On, Blossom, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Vegas, L.A. Law, The Torkelsons, The Golden Girls, Matlock, Knots Landing, Perfect Strangers, Who's the Boss?, Kate & Allie, Columbo and Law & Order. Since 1983 he has been on about everything as you can see. His film credits include Nurse Betty, Doctor Doolittle, The Brady Bunch Movie, The Night Shift and the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz. He has been on so many TV series and movies, that nearly everyone saw him in something at one point. He will be deeply missed. Mr. Gilborn was 72.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: CBS; More Bush Speech Updates; DejaView in Canada Adds More Sitcoms

Today it is CBS's turn at the TCA Winter 2009 press tour. At the executive session, CBS chief Nina Tassler said an additional episode of The Mentalist could be ordered, and they are not going to move the show to Sundays at 10pm, despite it airing there this coming week after the AFC Championship Game. In other news, CBS has officially canceled last summer's Swingtown, which is not a surprise. CBS is moving forward with the NCIS spin-off and plans to do a backdoor pilot within NCIS this spring. CBS is also planning on a variety show or special starring musician John Mayer for this year. Fox is also developing a variety show hosted by the Osbourne family later this year.
After the executive session, panels for upcoming murder mystery drama Harper's Island and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson followed. CBS focused mainly on Showtime and other ventures after that. After the Showtime Executive Session, which we won't cover, Showtime's United States of Tara, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, The L Word, Tracy Ullman's State of the Union, The Tudors, and Nurse Jackie had panels. Wow, a lot...more than CBS itself.
There was also a presentation on TV.com, which is owned by CBS Interactive. CBS Interactive went you on a guided tour of the leading online destination for video and community, including a look at new and future developments for the site. Speaking of TV.com, be sure to check out their great videos! My personal favorite is their interview with CBS's Kaley Cuoco, who is quite frankly wearing something very stunning! They also have Full Episodes of TV series, so check it out!
Stay tuned tomorrow for NBC's portion of the TCA tour and ABC on Friday!

Yesterday we gave you updates on CBS and Fox's plan for Thursday, as President Bush will have his farewell address at 8pm ET for 15 minutes, messing up all the network's plans. ABC will have to preempt Ugly Betty as a result, just like Fox is doing with Bones. After the President's address, ABC will air a repeat of Scrubs at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress, followed by another repeat of Scrubs at 8:30/7:30c. Both repeats will likely be repeats of last night's episodes. So, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice will still be all-new and air on time everywhere. I think ABC decided on this so they can have a 15 minute head start on CSI in the east and central, as CBS is delaying programming to those zones by 15 minutes. As for mountain and pacific time, ABC will air two repeats of Scrubs in their entirety. View the ABC schedule for Thursday in all time zones, if you're confused in what I'm saying. In other ABC schedule news, they will preempt Samantha Who? once again this coming Monday (Jan. 19). This is the second week in a row that will happen, as this past Monday (Jan. 12), the sitcom didn't air either. Why? Because The Bachelor is doing very well in its two-hours and is very compatible with new series True Beauty at 10pm. Honestly, I don't think Samantha Who? will return to 9:30pm on Mondays anytime son. I think either it will return when Dancing with the Stars returns in March OR it will be paired with Scrubs on Tuesdays starting next month. We'll keep you up to date. ABC is up at the TCA tour on Friday, and we should find out then maybe, along with ABC's other mid-season sitcom plans (In The Motherhood, The Goode Family, Better Off Ted).
As for NBC's Thursday plans, they will air a repeat of My Name is Earl after Bush's address at 8:15/7:15c, joined in progress. Then at 8:30pm, they will move the new My Name is Earl episode that was scheduled at 8pm ET/PT to 8:30pm, preempting Kath & Kim totally. As for mountain and pacific zones, you all will get the full repeat of Earl then the new one following it.

The Canada cable station DejaView, which features lots of classic TV, has changed their schedule a bit. Their last change was in the fall. They have added North of Sixty (Canadian series), One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, Mad About You, but have also removed My Secret Identity, Maude, Charles in Charge, Facts of Life, Kate & Allie. The Canadian series North of Sixty airs weekdays at 7am, 10am, and 11pm, all replacing My Secret Identity. It also airs weekends at 6am and 11pm, replacing My Secret Identity. One Day at a Time airs now weekdays at 4pm, 9pm, and 3am, all replacing Good Times, which slides down a half-hour replacing Maude, so Maude is gone totally. The other new series have joined the weekend schedule with Silver Spoons airing back-to-back episodes at 10am and 4am, 10am hour replacing Charles in Charge and 4am hour replacing Facts of Life/Kate & Allie. Mad About You airs on weekends back-to-back at 1pm and 2am.
DejaView's key shows continues to be Three's Company, Cosby Show, All in the Family, Who's the Boss? and Roseanne.
View the full new DejaView winter 2009 schedule.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: Fox - Prison Break Canceled; Bush Farewell Speech in Primetime on Thursday; Remembering Cheryl Holdridge

Fox is up today at the TCA winter 2009 press tour. They started with a Simpsons 20th anniversary themed breakfast! Big pink donuts! Cool! The Executive Session followed and we found out some stuff. The biggest news is that Fox's Prison Break is being canceled after this season. The series will come to an end and will likely have stories wrapped-up with a true finale. However, the series will be moved to the graveyard...airing Fridays at 8:00PM starting Friday, April 17, replacing the likely also canceled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Six episodes are in the can to air for Prison, but Fox could shoot two more to wrap things up for good. Looks like no mention of a spin-off, too. Fox also has scheduled its Mitch Hurwitz animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up on Sunday, April 19 at 8:30PM, replacing King of the Hill. It seems we have seen the last of King of the Hill, as Fox is labeling its last airing on Sunday, April 12 a "series finale," which is odd because many episodes still remain in the can despite Fox canceling the series a few months back. Could the series be moved to ABC after all? We shall see. Fox also has game show The Moment of Truth ready to go, but hasn't scheduled it. Perhaps it could air in the summer. And it seems it is true that sitcom 'Til Death has been renewed for NEXT season (2009-10) for another 22 episodes. Sony gave Fox a cheap deal they couldn't resist. Fox only has aired four episodes from this season's 24 episode order. Fox did air three leftovers from last season as well, so seven episodes in all have aired this year before Fox pulled the series in early October due to low ratings. My guess is the 20 that remain for this season will be burned off in the summer, as it seems Fox wouldn't waste their in-season schedule for this series again. This is clearly a financial deal, as the series would have enough episodes for syndication. In other news, medical procedual House will celebrate its 100th episode on Feb. 2. That was fast.
Panels for Lie to Me and 24 followed. The upcoming Sunday animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up followed with a lunch presentation. After the lunch, panels for American Idol, Osbournes: Reloaded Variety Series, Dollhouse, FX's Rescue Me, House, and the upcoming musical drama Glee followed.
It is still early...we will have constant updates here, if anything major is announced. So keep checking back multiple times a day this whole week!

And in a scheduling note, President Bush is scheduled to have a 15 minute farewell speech in primetime on Thursday (Jan. 15) at 8PM ET. So because of this Fox will move the season premiere of Bones back a week to January 22 to 8PM and airing a second episode at 9PM. It is unclear still what will air following Bush's short speech this Thursday. However, Kitchen Nightmares will still air and be all-new this Thursday, but will be preempted next Thursday for Bones' two-hour stunt.
CBS will be on 15-minute delay for East/Central stations. So, a repeat of CSI will start at 8:15/7:15c, a new CSI won't start until 9:15/8:15c and Eleventh Hour won't start until 10:15/9:15c. In Mountain and Pacific time zones, the shows will air in their normal timeslots. As of this writing, the other networks have not announced what they will do yet. Keep checking back though.

Cheryl Holdridge, the beautiful blond actress who first gained fame as a Mouseketeer on TV's The Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950s, has died. Holdridge died Tuesday (January 6) at her home in Santa Monica after a two-year battle with lung cancer. After The Mickey Mouse Club, the actress played Julie Foster, Wally's girlfriend, on Leave it to Beaver and guest starred on series such as The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Donna Reed Show, Dr. Kildare, The Rifleman, Bachelor Father, My Three Sons, Bewitched, Dennis the Menace, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Wagon Train, and reprised her role as Julie Foster on the '80s revival of Leave it to Beaver called Still the Beaver.
Cheryl hasn't acted much since the '60s, but will be remembered for her work on these '50s and '60s TV series from classic TV fans. She will be missed. She was only 64.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

TV Land Changes Late Afternoons; TCA Winter 2009 Tour: Cable; 66th Annual Golden Globe Winners

TV Land will be making last minute schedule changes beginning today. We relayed you these changes on our message board, but would like to make it more widespread here. TV Land will alter its late afternoon schedule beginning today at 4pm. Weekdays in the 4pm hour will now be Green Acres, as the series returns to weekdays. The Beverly Hillbillies returns to early evenings, airing in the 5pm hour, causing Hogan's Heroes to move into the 6pm hour, shifting the Andy Griffith two-hour block to 7-9pm rather than 6-8pm. The 8pm Andy hour replaces Cosby Show, but Cosby Show is still heavily featured in PRIME. Rural sitcoms now air weekdays 4pm-9pm and 60s shows in general from 1-9pm with Hillbillies (1-2pm) and westerns still on from 1-4pm. TV Land will also change their late night schedule a bit. Sanford & Son and The Jeffersons will each take an hour from 2-4am, replacing Three's Company. Three's Company will remain on Saturday nights from 2-4am. So now on weekdays, we get Paid Programming in early mornings from 6-9am, '70s sitcoms from 9am-12pm, lunch hour at home at noon with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, '60s TV from 1-9pm with westerns and sitcoms, TV Land PRIME from 9pm-2am, and '70s sitcoms from 2-4am.
We still have more changes, though! Monday nights now starting tonight will be Andy Griffith Show from 7pm-1am, while Tuesdays from 11pm-2am will be M*A*S*H/M*A*S*H specials. The Cosby Show will air in the 9pm hour, but on Tuesdays it will also air in the 10pm hour, which means Scrubs is totally off primetime now because of these Monday and Tuesday night changes. It wasn't airing Wed-Fri anyway. The final batch of changes are for Sundays, with the Beverly Hillbillies block being extended to 2pm, so 10am-2pm now rather than 10am-12pm. The Brady Bunch will air late Sundays now from 2am-4am instead of Beaver, which will remain 5-7pm earlier in the day.
Head on over to our TV Land January 2009 thread to see these changes, the rest of January info we announced, and to discuss this!

The Television Critics Association's (TCA) winter 2009 press tour began last week. We haven't covered it yet because the cable portion (Jan. 8-10) has been very stale and nothing really noteworthy has come out of it. Coming up tomorrow the broadcast networks begin their portion, with Fox on Tuesday, CBS on Wednesday, NBC on Thursday, and ABC on Friday. Here is a recap of cable:
Cable portion started midday on Thursday, Jan. 8, after PBS's 1 1/2 day tour. WE tv kicked off the cable portion with a lunch session. WE tv was followed by fellow Rainbow Networks AMC, IFC, and Sundance. Among the highlights were Breaking Bad launching its second season on AMC later this year. The National Geographic Channel closed out the day.
On day two (Friday), select MTV Networks are on hand: Nickelodeon, Spike TV, Comedy Central, LOGO and MTV. Among the highlights were Nickelodeon's upcoming CGI series Penguins of Madagascar, launching in March. A&E was next as it promoted The Beast, the new drama starring Patrick Swayze. He was not on hand, as you all know, as he was hospitalized for pneumonia. He is batling Pancreatic Cancer. His series launches this Thursday. Comcast's E! and style. followed, as E! announced Keeping Up with the Kardashians returns in March. HBO followed with many new series and movies announcements, along with returning series announcements such as for In Treatment. Discovery Networks closed out the day as Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet relayed their upcoming programming.
Finally on Saturday, we had BET, BBC America, Starz, Travel Channel, and Current. This was a total bore with nothing really noteworthy, and many cable networks were not here including TV Land, Nick at Nite, Lifetime, Hallmark, ABC Family, and more. No wonder it wasn't exciting!
Stay tuned this week for updates from the broadcast portion...which will be much better.

The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards were last night. For the television portion, cable ruled big time in drama as HBO won nearly everything. AMC won one award. 30 Rock was the only show that won for broadcast and swept comedy. Here are the television winners:

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
30 Rock (NBC)
Californication (Showtime)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)
WINNER: 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Debra Messing, The Starter Wife (USA Network)
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
WINNER: Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny, Californication (Showtime)
Kevin Connolly, Entourage (HBO)
Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
WINNER: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Dexter (Showtime)
House (Fox)
In Treatment, (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)
WINNER: Mad Men (AMC)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
January Jones, Mad Men (AMC)
Anna Paquin, True Blood (HBO)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
WINNER: Anna Paquin, True Blood (HBO)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors (Showtime)
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment (HBO)
WINNER: Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment (HBO)

View the FULL list of television nominees and winners...and to discuss this.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Day 31: WGA's Strike; I Love Lucy, Honeymooners, Three Stooges Video Games?

Well it is day 31 of the strike. Nothing new to report really. If the strike does not end before December 14, the Television Critics Association will cancel their winter press tour. Yes, we won't have a TCA Winner Press tour this year because of the strike. So this is another reason to hope the strike ends soon!
Meanwhile, if the strike lasts long, you can expect CBS to air some Showtime shows as scripted programming, such as Dexter. Series like Tudors or Weeds even can make it, but heavy editing will be needed. NBC could also go and get some scripted programming from one of its cable networks such as USA Network and air series like Burn Notice, Monk or even Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Beanbag Studios is developing some classic TV video games such I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and The Three Stooges. It's an intriguing strategy to differentiate Beanbag Studios' games from the rest of the pack, but it's anyone's guess as to whether nostalgia will indeed attract casual gamers who are usually older than the average gaming demographic.
In the first Lucy game, scheduled for release this month, gamers are faced with a number of challenges, including answering trivia questions and rearranging video clips so they are in the correct order. Subsequent games -- including I Love Lucy Slots, The Three Stooges Pinball, and The Honeymooners Bowling -- will be available between year-end and April.
While Beanbag's first games will be based on classic TV licenses, Steve Bergenholtz (President) insists Beanbag isn't locked into that strategy. In fact, he is currently talking to a movie studio about a 10-title movie deal. But he is also seeking out other classic TV licenses, which he describes as a huge opportunity for the licensor's to "take their properties off the shelf, dust them off, and bring them into the video games arena ... which makes our licensing their titles a win-win for them and for us."
Sounds cool! I hope these sell well so we get more classic TV titles as video games!

Random thought: For those of you who watched October Road on Monday, have you heard of the sexual position the Pablo Picasso? Apparently Ikey and Owen's wife did that position a lot.

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