Wednesday, March 24, 2010

TeenNick Books That '70s Show Marathon; Episode Cut for Two and a Half Men, While 'Til Death and Scrubs Canceled?

Get ready to go back to the '70s this weekend as TeenNick presents a 24-hour marathon of That '70s Show! The marathon starts Friday at 8pm and will run until 8pm Saturday. So come hang with the whole gang in the Forman Basement for 24 straight hours! The series of course regularly airs on TeenNick every night from 12-2am ET, as it has been doing for quite some time now.
That '70s Show revolves around the lives of several teens living in Wisconsin in 1976 including Eric Forman (Topher Grace), who lives under the authority of parents, the girl next door and girlfriend Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), a foreign-exchange student soaking up American culture, Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), her on-again, off-again boyfriend Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), the conspiracy theorist of the group. The gang spends their time in Eric's basement, thinking of their lives, parents, and futures, but they manage to get into funny adventures and mishaps along the way through their teenage years.
Also in primetime all next week on TeenNick starting Sunday, March 28 at 8pm, get caught up on Degrassi everyday in primetime (8pm-12am) all-week long leading up to the Degrassi: Broken Promises premiere on Friday, April 2. The entire day on Friday, April 2 will be Degrassi starting at 6am.

Last month we mentioned because of Charlie Sheen dealing with "a personal matter," that production would be halted for a few weeks on his CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. He recently came back to the set so production has resumed, but because of the delay, two episodes will be cut from this season's order going from 24 episodes to 22 episodes. It is unclear if CBS will still schedule the next new episode (episode 19) scheduled for April 12, since they will likely have to save the remaining four episodes (eps 19-22) of the season for May sweeps. The other CBS Monday comedies have more than a 22 episode order (How I Met Your Mother has 24 and The Big Bang Theory has 23) so they can air one or two times in April with no problem. I guess stay tuned!

Meanwhile, it looks like the end of the road for Fox's 'Til Death after four seasons. The series star Brad Garrett announced the news. The series hasn't really aired in a normal timeslot since season two when it was pulled from the schedule after November 2007. It has been brought back to be burned-off in a bulk load since (you know it is bad when they air four new episodes on Christmas Day). A few unaired season two episodes ended up airing in season three and at least fifteen unaired episodes from season three have been airing this season (the fourth season). And the fourth season has a full 22 episode order, too, so Fox is double-pumping these episodes and the unaired season three episodes to quickly get through them.
Back in Jan. 2009, Fox surprisingly announced it had renewed the series for a fourth season despite pulling the series from the schedule with many episodes left in the third season. It was done because Fox got a very cheap deal from Sony, which produces the series, and they would have enough episodes for syndication. It's still unclear how many total episodes the series will have, but it seems at least 85 episodes will be available when it is all said and done.

Finally, the long-running sitcom [scrubs] looks like it is also ending after nine seasons. Zach Braff posted on his Facebook fan page that the series will not return:
"Many of you have asked, so here it is: it appears that "New Scrubs,"
"Scrubs 2.0," "Scrubs with new kids," "Scrubbier," "Scrubs without JD" is no
more. It was worth a try, but alas... it didn't work. zb."

Zach appeared on 6 of the 13 episodes this season, which focused on the new med school students and had a subtitle of [Med School]. So, [scrubs][Med School] looks like is no more, but ABC has yet to announce this. This is not a surprise, though. If [scrubs] is not back then certainly Better off Ted won't be back either (which is a shame).
Stay with us for an official update, as [scrubs] has been called dead before and it came back, but with Braff saying this, it is less likely of a return.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ugly Betty Reruns on TV Guide Network Details; TeenNick, Nick at Nite Halloween Programs

Back in July we told you that TV Guide Network has gotten the rerun rights to Ugly Betty starting this October with repurpose rights then daily strip rights starting in fall 2010...now we have details on the repurpose rights!
Thursday nights are about to get a little bit 'Bettyer' as TV Guide Network prepares to telecast encore airings of the new season of Ugly Betty this fall. Longtime fans and curious newcomers that miss the Friday premiere of new Ugly Betty episodes on ABC can get caught up with TV Guide Network Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, beginning October 22.
The season premiere this year is a two-part episode, so part two will air on TV Guide Network on Friday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. And if you forgot what happened on last season's season finale, then you can catch up on either Thursday or Friday of this week (Oct. 15 and 16) and watch it on TV Guide Network at 7pm both nights, just in time for the two-hour season premiere on ABC from 8-10pm on Friday.
Leading up to the October 22 encore telecast, TV Guide Network will air special Ugly Betty themed programming including a behind-the-scenes look at the set of Ugly Betty, cast interviews, a series overview, scoop on the new season, and fashion tips on how to emulate the characters' signature styles on the show.
Among the specials airing are inFANity: Ugly Betty (October 19 at 7 p.m.); The Fashion Team: Ugly Betty Style (October 20 at 7 p.m.); and Look-A-Like: America Ferrera (October 21 at 7 p.m.). Other specials that will air are Look-A-Like: Salma Hayek, Lindsay Lohan, and Lucy Liu...all who appeared on the show.
TV Guide Network also wants to give Ugly Betty fans a chance to be on television. Fans are invited to share their comments and reactions to the new season by uploading video comments to a new YouTube channel created specifically for them. Fans who visit www.youtube.com/uglybettyfans will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the show, talk about which characters they love and which they love to hate, give their reactions to the latest episodes, and send a hello to their favorite cast members. A selection of YouTube video posts will air on TV Guide Network leading up to each Thursday Ugly Betty encore telecast.
On Saturday, October 17 between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., Ugly Betty fans in the Los Angeles area are invited to meet in the second floor courtyard area of the Hollywood & Highland Center for a chance to be interviewed about the show. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite character and should come prepared to talk about their favorite Ugly Betty episodes and stars, and why they love the show. Fan interviews will air on TV Guide Network Thursdays before Ugly Betty encore airings.
Read more about the special Ugly Betty programming TV Guide Network has planned the week of Oct. 19.

TeenNick's (Formerly The N) has a week-long Halloween marathon that will...well scae you! TeenNick's "Now THAT's Scary" programming will include marathons featuring the hair-raising chills and thrills of teendom from Monday, Oct. 26 to Thursday, Oct. 29, starting at 8:00 p.m. (ET) through 12:00 a.m. (ET) and continues Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31 with afternoon marathons starting at 3 p.m. (ET) of Degrassi: The Next Generation through 12:00 a.m. (ET). The "nightmare-athons" in primetime (Oct. 26-29) will feature episodes of Full House, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, One on One and What I Like About You with a block of each show each night.
Other Nickelodeon family of networks Halloween programming includes a Glenn Martin Halloween episode on Nick at Nite. On Monday, Oct. 26, Nick at Nite will kick off a night of Halloween-themed programming with a brand-new Glenn Martin, DDS at 8:00 p.m. followed by Halloween-themed episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, Everybody Hates Chris and George Lopez from 8:30-11pm.
And Nickelodeon will have Halloween-themed episodes of its live action series The Troop and True Jackson VP on Oct. 23 and 24 at 8:30pm.


Don't forget ABC Comedy Wednesday starting tonight at 8/7 central! Today's blog is sponsored by Modern Family, airing 9/8 central tonight on ABC Comedy Wednesday. Funniest episode yet with special guest Shelley Long! The song at the end will have you in tears of laughter!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Community - Premieres September 17; TeenNick Premiere Week

Community

Community - Thursdays 9:30PM ET/PT on NBC (Moves to 8:00PM on Oct. 8)
Premieres Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

From Dan Harmon (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Emmy Award-winning directors Joe and Anthony Russo (Arrested Development) comes Community, a smart comedy series about a band of misfits who attend Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, E! TV's The Soup), a fast-talkin' lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work.
Also among the series stars who comprise the group are comedy legend Chevy Chase as Pierce, a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs as Britta, the 28-year old drop out with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley, a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Danny Pudi as Abed, a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie as Annie, a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover as Troy, a former high school football star trying to find his way and Ken Jeong as Spanish professor, Señor Chang.


Cast Details:

* Joel McHale as Jeff Winger
* Gillian Jacobs as Britta
* Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley
* Danny Pudi as Abed
* Alison Brie as Annie
* Donald Glover as Troy
* Ken Jeong as Señor Chang
* Chevy Chase as Pierce

Joel McHale (Jeff Winger) is poised to make 2009 a breakout year. In addition to his starring role in Community, he recently wrapped production on the Steven Soderbergh directed, Warner Independent dark, comedic thriller The Informant opposite Matt Damon. McHale is best known as the star of The Soup, a weekly entertainment show that satirizes pop culture and current events. He also serves as a writer and producer on the show. McHale's quick wit and sharp comedic timing have made The Soup a pop culture phenomenon and led to the success of The Soup Presents specials. McHale recently began touring the country to sold-out audiences with his stand-up act. McHale's guest starring roles include Will & Grace, CSI: Miami and, most recently, Pushing Daisies. He also jumped onto the big screen with roles in Spider-Man 2 and Lords of Dogtown.

Gillian Jacobs (Britta) was most recently seen in Richard Kelly's film The Box, starring Cameron Diaz and Frank Langella. Jacobs can also be seen in the upcoming films Coach directed by Will Frears, Watching TV With the Red Chinese, NoNames and Helena From the Wedding.
On the small screen, she has appeared in Fringe, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and Royal Pains. Jacobs will also be seen in the upcoming drama series The Good Wife and had a recurring role in The Book of Daniel.

Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) dreamed of a career on stage and screen as a young girl. She began her entertainment career as a vocalist while still in her teens, when after an impromptu audition for Michael Bivins (New Edition; Bell Biv DeVoe) she was signed to Motown Records as a part of the East Coast Family, a group of new talents that included Boyz II Men. In just a short time, Brown has emerged as one of the most sought-after character actresses in Hollywood, highlighted by memorable appearances on numerous hit TV shows, including: House, Entourage, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Two and a Half Men, Malcolm in the Middle, 7th Heaven, Fat Actress, 'Til Death, That's So Raven, Rules of Engagement, Privileged and That '70s Show among others. In addition, she has had recurring roles on Boston Legal, Girlfriends, Sleeper Cell, Half & Half and Drake & Josh. She also was a series regular on the short lived sitcom The Big House.

Danny Pudi (Abed) is an actor and comedian originally from Chicago. On the small screen, Pudi's credits include NBC's ER and TBS's The Bill Engvall Show, as well as recurring roles on Greek and Gilmore Girls. He can also be seen in the upcoming films Road Trip 2: Beerpong and the independent film Thunder Geniuses directed by Michael Clancy.

Alison Brie (Annie) can currently be seen as Trudy Campbell on the award-winning drama series Mad Men, which returns in August 2009. She will also appear in a film titled Montana Amazon with Olympia Dukakis and Haley Joel Osment, slated for release later this year. Brie guest-starred on Comedy Central and Disney's Hannah Montana and landed leading roles in some independent films before her current role in Community.

Donald Glover (Troy) is a talented actor, comedian and writer. He studied improvisation and comedy writing with the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre in New York and had the pleasure of improvising with the likes of Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz. Glover also performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien multiple times. He was hired as a staff writer on the show 30 Rock while he was still a resident assistant at NYU. During his time at 30 Rock, the show has won two Emmys for best comedy, as well as a Writers Guild Award for best comedy.

Ken Jeong (Señor Chang) is known as the "scene stealer" and is quickly establishing himself as the go-to character actor for today's hit comedies. In the summer of 2009, Jeong appeared as the Asian-mobster "Mr. Chow" in the sleeper-hit comedy The Hangover, also starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. Since his feature-film debut as the doctor in Knocked Up in 2007, Jeong has gone on to a number of memorable roles in a series of successful comedies. Directed, written and produced by Judd Apatow. In 2008 Jeong starred in his first major role as the villain, King Argotron, in Role Models, opposite Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The same year, Jeong had supporting roles in two other major comedies, Pineapple Express and Step Brothers. On the TV side, he has appeared on The Office, Entourage, and MADtv.

Chevy Chase (Pierce) is one of the most honored and beloved actors of his generation, Chase first came to national prominence as a writer and performer with the original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live, for which he won two Emmy Awards. Soon after he had endeared himself to television audiences, Hollywood beckoned and Chase made his feature film debut in the comedy-thriller Foul Play with Goldie Hawn. His many memorable films include: Caddy Shack, Seems Like Old Times, National Lampoon's Vacation, Fletch, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Spies Like Us, The Three Amigos, Funny Farm, Caddyshack I, Fletch Lives, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Cops and Robbersons, Man of the House, Vegas Vacation, Snow Day, Ellie Parker, and last year's Funny Money. In 2007, Chase received critical acclaim for his guest-starring role on NBC's award-winning series Law and Order. He followed that return to the small screen with a two-episode guest-appearance on the ABC drama series Brothers and Sisters. Most recently, Chase guest starred on the NBC series Chuck.

Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs September 17)
A band of misfits attend Greendale Community College. At the center of the group is Jeff Winger, a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked. With some help from his fellow classmates, Winger forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work. The study group consists of Pierce a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Britta a 28-year old drop out with something to prove; Shirley a sassy middle-aged divorcée; Abed a pop culture junkie; Annie a high-strung perfectionist; Troy a former high school football star and Spanish professor, Señor Chang.
Directed By Joe Russo and Anthony Russo.

Analysis:

"The funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without having to do any work."

To be perfectly frank, when re-typing the above line I wasn't sure if I was quoting a line of my favorite of the fall pilots, or writing the first sentence of my autobiography. Writing this review you have a reviewer who perhaps above all else ultimately wants people on his agenda. And the lead character in the new show Community is extremely similar. Joel McHale plays Jeff, a lawyer who was suspended by the state bar after it was discovered that his Bachelor's degree was in fact from Colombia (the nation) and not Columbia (the school). He turns to the local community college in part because one of the psychology professors (portrayed by John Oliver) is one of his frequent clients and he hopes to take advantage of their friendship. Not to spoil a little twist in the final episode, but the professor isn't a doormat.

Jeff is already enrolled when the pilot begins, and it's through his actions one day that we meet his co-stars. McHale's character met a girl (Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs) in Spanish class that he likes (aww). To learn more about her, he consults with Abed (Danny Pudi) who recites a whole list of things he learned about her just through the hunt for a pencil. This leads to Jeff creating a study group for the class, where the rest of the main and recurring characters really begin to come into their own. You have Chevy Chase as Pierce, a senior who was married seven times. Chevy also provides one of my favorite bits of physical humor in the show when trying to figure out what to do with a disgusting cafeteria hot dog. (No, no, nothing obscene. He stuck it in with the hot dog buns in their drawer after some debate). Other cast members include Donald Glover as Troy, Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley and Alison Brie as Anne.

I'm really going to like this show, and might even have a message delivered home to me, for a reason I strongly hint at in the beginning of this review. Jeff's character, through coincidence, has a personally not entirely unlike mine. We've both spent a very, very long time being able to BS our way through virtually any situation -- but as the grand culmination of that BS we both have recently found ourselves in situations where, like it or not we each might have to actually do a little work. Though there's no way to know what direction the character will proceed from here, the fact is that the rendition of Jeff in the pilot is probably the character on TV I'm empathized with the most in a very long time.

And through both my own twisted narcissism and a desire to see quality stories told on television, the end result of the 25 minutes of the pilot is a comedy that I truly enjoy. It doesn't have the wacky hijinks of 30 Rock or the random fantasy sequences of Scrubs or, well, Dwight from The Office. What you see here is one of the most genuine comedies I've seen on TV in a long time. Will you, the reader, like this though? If you've never seen a single-camera comedy you've liked? Your opinion probably isn't going to change. But quality pieces of entertainment like The Office, 30 Rock, and yes now Community are all wonderful shows in their own, wildly different, rights when you give them a chance.

Conclusion:

I'm supposed to score this show on "Funniness" and "Watchability." It is definitely 5 stars in watchability. But it took a lot of gnashing of the teeth to score it on the funniness. It's funny, but there are different types of humor. For someone like me, the show is hysterical yet poignant. For someone else, they might have a different reaction. I know at least one person who refused to even discuss the show after hearing Chevy Chase was in it. While they have a right to their opinion, I think that's a silly opinion. Even if you don't like one component there is a LOT of FUNNY stuff here to watch even if you're not a fan of one of the actors. There's something to laugh at for (nearly) everyone.

This is a five star show, airing amongst a couple of other five star shows (The Office, 30 Rock). NBC has possibly their strongest lineup of comedies on Thursday in over a decade, and I personally think it's a wonderful replacement for My Name is Earl. Given that they finally wrote a sitcom about me, I obviously can't recommend this one enough. In all sincerity though, and with all self-indulgence removed: this sitcom is hilarious, two huge reasons being McHale and Chase. Joel and Chevy deliver the laughs, and you're in for a great show.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 5/5
Funniness: 4.5/5
Overall: 5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/16/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 17 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Community Photo Gallery



  • The N will change its name to TeenNick on Monday, September 28, as you all know. So from now on our labels (the links on the bottom of every story) for the network will be TeenNick. So bookmark that if you follow all The N's schedules in one shot. This will be our last label for The N. Anyway, TeenNick will not have any changes for premiere week. So the same schedule, that we mentioned, that started this week and that will be for week of Sept. 21, will continue when The N changes its name to TeenNick on Sept. 28. You'll still have Full House in primetime from 8-10pm for example.
    However, there will be a huge Degrassi: The Next Generation marathon starting Oct. 1 at 2am (technically Oct. 2) running all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 2-4). The only stoppage on those three days is for That '70s Show from 12-2am.

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