Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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

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

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

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

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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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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nick at Nite June 2009; CBS Summer 2009 Slate; MyNetwork TV Fall 2009

The Nick at Nite June schedule will begin this weekend with some changes to the weekend line-up. The changes begin this Friday (May 29), with now Friday looking exactly like Mon-Thurs, which will remain unchanged. That means, the 2am hour on Friday nights will be Fresh Prince replacing an hour of Family Matters, the 3am hour is now Home Improvement instead of Fresh Prince, 4am hour is The Nanny instead of Home Improvement, and the 5am hour is now Family Matters instead of The Nanny. So, now the schedule is the same 10pm-6:30am on Mon-Fri. Home Improvement remains 9-10pm from Mon-Thurs.
And they have also matched-up Saturdays and Sundays to look the same. On both nights now 1am Family Matters is added instead of Home Improvement. So Urkel and the gang are 12-2am now on weekends. The Nanny also gets a two-hour block from 2-4am, with the 2am hour on Saturdays replacing Home Improvement. Home Improvement is now 4am on both nights replacing The Nanny on Saturdays and Family Matters on Sundays. And once again the only difference between the two nights is that Home Improvement airs on Sundays in the 9pm hour, as that airs Sun-Thurs at 9.
George Lopez continues to dominate for the network every night at 10-11pm and weeknights at 1-2am. I know you want to see the full schedule, so view the full Nick at Nite June 2009 schedule. As of now, there are no special stunts, but that could change. The only thing to report is the new movie Mr. Troop Mom starring George Lopez is airing Friday, June 19 and Sunday, June 21 from 8-10pm for Father's Day. Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite partners with Warner Premiere and George Lopez Presents on Mr. Troop Mom, a film about single dad Eddie Serrano (Lopez), a workaholic lawyer/widower, who must climb mountains, ford streams and more as "Team Mom" in order to bond with his tween daughter in this camp-set comic adventure. The film also stars Jane Lynch (Another Cinderella Story, Role Models) as camp director Ms. Hulka, Daniela Bobadilla as Eddie's daughter Naomi and a special appearance by Nat and Alex Wolff of The Naked Brothers Band.
Looking in the future: Nick at Nite will launch original animated series Glenn Martin, DDS on Monday, August 17 with a week-long premiere at 8pm for a half-hour each night from Aug. 17-20, before settling into its Tuesdays at 9pm half-hour. The series has a 20 episode order. More info soon!

CBS has finally announced their summer 2009 plans. All we knew so far was burn-offs and repeats of Million Dollar Password on Sundays at 8pm, which started May 24. First, Tuesdays at 10pm starting June 2 will now be 48 Hours Mystery replacing the canceled Without a Trace. Trace will get two Sunday repeat airings at 10pm on June 14 and June 21, its last airings likely. The Mentalist will get a feel of its upcoming Thursdays at 10pm slot when it airs repeats following CSI starting June 4. The Mentalist will continue to also air Tuesdays at 9pm through and including July 7, when Big Brother comes, but more on that in a bit. The Big Bang Theory will also move to its upcoming slot of Mondays at 9:30pm for repeat play starting June 8. It will remain in its current 8pm slot as well until June 22, when How I Met Your Mother repeats moves to its new 8pm slot. Airing at 8:30pm on Mondays starting June 22 will be repeats of Rules of Engagement, which will return with new episodes in early 2010. Finally, CBS's only summer original returns on Thursday, July 9...that's reality staple Big Brother. The series will air Thursdays at 8pm starting July 9, Sundays at 8pm starting July 12 and Tuesdays at 9pm starting July 14. On Thursdays it will replace comedy/crime repeats, on Sundays it will replace Million Dollar Password, and on Tuesdays it will replace The Mentalist repeats. So that's basically CBS summer...repeats, 48 Hours Mystery and Big Brother.

Finally, we end with the fall line-up for MyNetwork TV. They will rely a lot on off-network programming more than ever. They will start their fall line-up on Monday, Sept. 28. Airing on Mondays will be off-network reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 8 and 9pm. On Tuesdays, they will air episodes of first-run syndicated series Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? at 8 & 8:30pm and the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal at 9 & 9:30pm. The syndicated version of 5th Grader will launch this fall on local stations and also on Tuesdays on MyNetwork TV. On Wednesdays we have two back-to-back episodes of The Unit, which makes its off-network syndication launch this fall on both local stations and MyNetwork TV. CBS has canceled the series, so this will be your only way to watch the series in primetime, but they are just reruns. Thursdays and Fridays remain unchanged with Movie Night on Thursday and WWE Smackdown! on Fridays. As mentioned before, MyNetwork TV has handed Saturdays back to local affiliates to program, so both The CW and MyNetwork TV will now only focus on Mon-Fri.
View and discuss the full Fall 2009 MyNetwork TV schedule.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

CBS Season Finale Dates, Time Shifts; ABC Family Upfront, Sister Sister Reunion on Roommates April 13

CBS has announced its season finale dates for its regular season programming. But before that, they have scheduled a couple of special encores and special airings.
On Monday, April 20 at 10:00PM we get a special encore of The Mentalist at a special night & time. Then on Tuesday, April 21, at 8:00PM we get a special encore of The Big Bang Theory on a special night followed by a special encore of Two and a Half Men at 8:30PM on a special night & time. This means NCIS and The Mentalist will move to special times of 9PM and 10PM on this date only, but they will be encores as well, preempting a scheduled repeat of Without a Trace. Then the next night, on Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00PM will now be a repeat of Criminal Minds instead of a new one, but the scheduled new episode will now be at a special time of 10:00PM on the same night, preempting CSI: NY, which was scheduled to be all-new, too. Why are they trying all this? Not sure, could it be tests to see how they do in other timeslots?
That's not all! On Monday, May 18 at 8:00PM we get a special all-new episode of Rules of Engagement at a special time. The show will also air in its
its normal 9:30pm time on this date as well, which is the season finale. Earlier this week I was wondering where its 13th episode would be placed, now we got that answer with that special 8PM slot on May 18. And we also got our answer of what will air on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:00PM since Old Christine/Gary Unmarried would be finished by May 13. A special all-new Criminal Minds will air at a special time, which is part one of the season finale, leading into part two at its regular 9:00PM time.
OK, now lets move on to the CBS season finale dates. Cold Case has a two-part finale airing on two weeks, Sunday, May 3 and Sunday, May 10 at 9PM. Sunday, May 10 also as the season finales of The Amazing Race at 8PM and The Unit at 10PM. The next night, Monday, May 11, The Big Bang Theory wraps up its 24-episode season with a season finale at 8PM. On Wednesday, May 13, as we previously stated, Old Christine & Gary Unmarried have their season finales at 8:00PM & 8:30PM. The next night, Thursday, May 14, will be the season finale of CSI at 9PM. The next night, Friday, May 15, will have the season conclusions of all the Friday shows: Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS. On Sunday, May 17, CBS hands the night over to the finale of Survivor: Tocantins from 8-10PM, followed by the Reunion Show. On Monday, May 18, we have the season finales of How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, and CSI: Miami from 8:30-11PM. On Tuesday, May 19
, the Tuesday crime dramas all have their finales: NCIS, The Mentalist, and Without a Trace from 8-11PM. On the final day of the season, Wednesday, May 20, we have a two-hour season finale of Criminal Minds from 8-10PM, followed by the season finale of CSI: NY at 10PM. There you have it, all the CBS finale dates in the regular season!

Earlier this week ABC Family announced their 2009 summer schedule and fall/winter premieres at its Upfront presentation in New York. The network's slate includes three new original series, returning hits, original movies and blockbuster theatrical acquisitions. The network finished 2008 as its best year on record, and the first quarter of 2009 just wrapped as the best quarter in its history.
Make It or Break It is a one-hour scripted drama, created and written by Holly Sorensen. Sorenson and Paul Stupin serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Steve Miner. Set in the world of competitive gymnastics, Make It or Break It follows a group of teen Olympic hopefuls as they train and prepare for their day in the spotlight. The cast includes Peri Gilpin and Candace Cameron Bure both make a return to series television in starring roles. Make It or Break It premieres Monday, June 22 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Family has ordered 10 episodes.
Then we have two new original comedies. 10 Things I Hate About You is a half-hour, single-cam comedy with director Gil Junger (who also directed the feature film of the same name) and executive producer and writer Carter Covington. Inspired by the hit movie, the Stratford sisters, Kat (Lindsey Shaw) and Bianca (Meaghan Jette Martin), are two very different people, which is evident as they start at their new high school with very contradictory goals. Kat is a strong-willed, in-your-face feminist looking to save the world and get out of high school as fast as she can. Bianca is a social butterfly carefully maneuvering the minefield of high school popularity. Can each sister find happiness after getting off to a very rocky start at new school Padua High? The original series will also star Larry Miller, who reprises his film role as the girls' over-protective father, and Ethan Peck (grandson of Gregory Peck) has been cast in the role of 'Patrick' (portrayed by Heath Ledger in the 1999 film). 10 Things I Hate About You premieres on Tuesday, July 7 at 8:00PM ET/PT. ABC Family has also ordered 10 episodes for this series.
Ruby & the Rockits is an ABC Studios half-hour multi-cam comedy executive-produced by Shaun Cassidy and Marsh McCall. Ruby & the Rockits follows Patrick Gallagher, a former teen idol who has chosen to lead a quiet life with his wife and two sons. But when his former Rockits band mate and brother, David, shows up unexpectedly with his new-found teenage daughter in tow, the Gallagher family's life becomes anything but normal. David, who refuses to give up his past glory days, comes to Patrick for help in raising Ruby while he continues to perform. Patrick must now put the past with David behind them in order to help raise Ruby and keep order within the rest of the Gallagher clan. The pilot was directed by Ted Wass. Alexa Vega, Katie Amanda Keane, Austin Butler, Kurt Doss , and former teen idol David Cassidy star. Ruby & the Rockits premieres on Tuesday, July 21 at 8:30PM ET/PT with a 10 episode order.
ABC Family thus far hasn't had much success with original sitcoms Roommates and Sophie, so we don't know if we will see more of those yet. Speaking of Roommates, Tim Reid guest stars this Monday, which marks a mini Sister, Sister reunion! Reid once again will play the father of Tamera Mowry, who plays Hope on the sitcom. Hope relies on more fabrications when her father shows up in "The Break-In," an all-new episode of Roommates, premiering on ABC Family on Monday, April 13 at 9:00PM ET/PT with guest star Tim Reid (Sister, Sister). Hope's father (Reid) comes to town for a surprise visit and quickly realizes that his daughter's life is in shambles and decides it is time for her to move home. In an effort to prove that her life isn't as big a mess as he thinks, she ropes Mark into pretending to be her boyfriend. She may not have a great job, but she is in "love." Can Mark use his acting skills to help Hope pull off yet another one of her lies or will Hope be on her way home with her father when all is said and done?
Additionally, three of the network's one-hour original series will mark their returns: The one number hit series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which finished the first quarter of 2009 as cable's No. 1 original series in Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34, will launch its second season on Monday, June 22, at 8:00PM ET/PT. 12 of the 24 episodes for the season will air in 12 straight weeks, with the midseason finale on Sept. 7. The critically acclaimed and NAACP Image Award-winning Lincoln Heights will premiere its fourth season on Tuesday, August 4 at 9:00PM ET/PT for 10 more episodes. And the third season of Greek will premiere on Monday, September 14 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Currently Greek is finishing up its second season order, which concludes on June 1, before 10 more episodes come in September for season three.
As far as movies go, Warner Bros. Pictures' Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) Happy Feet will make its basic cable premiere on ABC Family in June 2009 (after making its broadcast debut on Friday, May 8 on ABC). The film features the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Anthony LaPaglia.
The network will also present the original movie premiere of Labor Pains, starring Lindsay Lohan, on Sunday, July 19 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Chris Parnell, Cheryl Hines, Luke Kirby, Kevin Covais and Janeane Garofalo also star. Legally Blondes, will be premiering on Sunday, August 2 at 8:00PM. Actress Jenny McCarthy will star in the network's new original holiday movie, Santa Baby 2, with Paul Sorvino and Dean McDermott. The movie will premiere in December during ABC Family's 12th annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event which will feature over 200 hours of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family from December 1- 25. In addition to Santa Baby 2, the network will feature classic holiday favorites such as Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Frosty's Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. ABC Family will also present the basic cable premieres of DisneyPIXAR's Academy Award-winning (Best Animated Feature Film) RATATOUILLE and Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. And again this year, Christmas comes early with "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas," which adds 16 additional days of holiday programming.
There were no sitcom or off-network series acquisitions details, so looks like nothing major is coming...or it is not ready to be announced yet.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Retroality.TV Interviews Joyce DeWitt and...Me; CBS/Warner Bros. Officially Renew Big Bang, Men for Multiple Seasons; Sci Fi Renames to Syfy

Our buddy Chris Mann of Retroality.TV has put up his March 2009 cover story and it is a great one, like usual. This time he goes one-on-one with Joyce DeWitt...yes, Janet Wood from Three's Company! Chris talks to Joyce about a lot of different things and they are all interesting. See what Joyce has to say about John Ritter, when she last saw him, her feud with Suzanne Somers, friendship with Priscilla Barnes & the late Don Knotts, her stage roots with Richard Kline, the NBC Three's Company tell-all movie, her spiritual journey, and her upcoming projects (which includes stage work and two upcoming movies). And she talks in detail about those topics and much more topics. It's a nice three-part interview and you will find yourself reading every word and the time will just breeze by. It is a great read, and I urge you all you to read it. It starts off on the cover page on Retroality.TV, and continues on part two and part three.
That is not all for March! Chris has a few other new features and interviews, including an interview with ME! He interviewed me for my Jack's Bistro Three's Company website. How odd does it feel going from Joyce to me? But I am honored to be in great company! I talk to Chris about how I started the website, what my inspiration was, my favorite Three's Company episodes, John Ritter, the Suzanne-Joyce feud, and more! Check out me being interviewed by the great Chris Mann! And if you missed it back in October, both Todd and I were interviewed by Chris for SitcomsOnlline, so check that out, too, if you missed it.
All this is just in time for Three's Company's 32nd anniversary, which was on Sunday (March 15). Has it really been 32 years? I remember the 25th anniversary in 2002 and that didn't feel like too long ago. Chris says "more coming soon" so we cannot wait for that! We'll let you know what that is when he posts it! So 'Come and Knock on Retroality.TV's Door' today!

CBS Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television have reached a multi-year broadcast agreement for the hit comedy series Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. The agreement renews television's Number One comedy, Two and a Half Men, through the 2011-2012 season, and one of television's fastest-growing series, The Big Bang Theory, through the 2010-2011 season.
The ratings success of Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory has helped establish CBS's Monday night as the Number One comedy block on television. This season, CBS's Monday night comedy lineup is up 13% in viewers, 11% in 18-49 and 9% in adults 25-54, so far.
Two and a Half Men, currently in its sixth season, is the Number One comedy in both viewers and adults 18-49, averaging 15.09 million viewers (up 14%), 5.1/11 in adults 18-49 (up 13%) and 6.3/13 in adults 25-54 (up 11%), so far.
The Big Bang Theory, in its sophomore season, is averaging 10.05 million viewers (up 20%), 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 (up 12%) and 4.4/10 in adults 24-54 (up 10%), so far.

Building upon sixteen years of water cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy on air and online beginning Tuesday, July 7.
By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and non-linear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.
"Imagine Greater" will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment. Syfy more clearly captures the mainstream appeal of the world's biggest entertainment category, and reflects the network's ongoing strategy to create programming that's more accessible and relatable to new audiences. Syfy will continue to celebrate the traditional roots of the genre, while opening the brand aperture to accommodate a broader range of imagination-based entertainment.
The premiere of the new scripted drama, Warehouse 13, and the return of breakout summer series Eureka, will be launched in tandem to this new evolution. An aggressive trade marketing campaign will kick off this spring. Scifi.com will assume the URL Syfy.com at that time. As long as we see some more Mork & Mindy, who cares, right?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CBS Comedy Change for Next Monday; Fox Notes; Remembering Ron Silver

Next Monday (Monday, March 23), CBS will preempt The Big Bang Theory for an all-new episode of How I Met Your Mother at a special time of 8:00PM ET/PT. Big Bang was scheduled to be a repeat anyway. Mother will also still air in its normal 8:30PM ET/PT on this night, but that will be a repeat broadcast. It will be interesting if CBS is seeing how strong Mother is at 8PM in comparison to Big Bang. Both comedies have been down the last two weeks thanks to the return of Dancing with the Stars. Two and a Half Men will also be a repeat at 9PM, but Rules of Engagement is all-new at 9:30PM.

Fox has removed Hole in the Wall from the schedule yet again. Effective this Sunday, Fox will now air repeats of American Dad! and King of the Hill at 7PM & 7:30PM in place of the half-hour showings of Hole in the Wall which certainly was a hole in the Sunday night schedule, perhaps effecting the animated comedies to lower numbers from 8-10PM.
In other Fox programming news, the variety series of specials, The Osbournes: Reloaded, will now launch as a 40-minute airing instead of an hour on Tuesday, March 31 from 9:20-10PM, so yes American Idol will be from 8PM-9:20PM on that night, just what we needed, more Idol. Fox has ordered six Osbournes variety specials, so each are 30-minutes, so four will remain after these two half-hours air. Not sure if Fox is cutting anything from these or if they will run with limited commercials.

Award-winning actor and activist Ron Silver, who was Emmy-nominated for his recurring role on the hit television drama The West Wing, died on Sunday after a two-year ordeal of esophageal cancer. His portrayal of White House strategist Bruno Gianelli on The West Wing was perhaps his best known part in recent years, but he earned another Emmy nomination for the murder thriller Billionaire Boys Club, a TV miniseries from 1987.
He had a recurring role on the TV hospital drama Chicago Hope and a regular role on the sitcom Veronica's Closet, and he won acclaim for playing lawyer Alan Dershowitz in the film Reversal of Fortune. Among his other TV credits include guest-starring on sitcoms such as Rhoda, Big Eddie, Trying Times, and regular roles on short-lived sitcoms The Stockard Channing Show and Baker's Dozen. He guest starred on many TV dramas as well such as The Practice, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Wiseguy, Hill Street Blues, The Rockford Files, McMillan & Wife and a regular role on the short-lived Skin on Fox.
He was also known for his work on Broadway. Broadway theatre bosses will dim the lights of New York's theatreland on Wednesday as a mark of respect. He won a 1988 Tony Award for his performance in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Theatre marquees will be dimmed for one minute at 8pm on Wednesday, which is the traditional starting time for evening performances of Broadway shows. Ron will certainly be missed. He was only 62.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Neil Patrick Harris to Host 7th TV Land Awards; M*A*S*H All-Star Weekend on TV Land; Big Bang and Men Renewed for Multiple Seasons?

Acclaimed television, stage and movie actor Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser, M.D.) has been named the host of the 7th Annual TV Land Awards. As mentioned previously, the 90-minute TV Land Awards will be taped on Sunday, April 19 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City and air in TV Land PRIME on Sunday, April 26 at 9pm ET/PT.
This year, the ninety-minute show will honor legendary artists from the entertainment industry, feature exhilarating musical performances, reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts and of course, the fan favorite -- the perennial TV Land Awards parody that always highlights the year's most-talked-about events. TV Land has not yet announced any honorees, but as soon they do...we will tell you.
Read more about this and more about Neil Patrick Harris.

We continue you our TV Land news with a reminder for this weekend. Long before "Johnny" took "Baby" out of the corner in Dirty Dancing and "Opie" and "Richie Cunningham" added director extraordinaire to his résumé, Patrick Swayze and Ron Howard both paid guest visits to M*A*S*H's 4077th. On Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8 from 8pm-4am ET/PT, catch both of these stars - along with a medley of your other favorite film and television icons - on TV Land when the network becomes a virtual celebrity central during the "M*A*S*H Weekend Marathon." This twenty-four episode showcase features guest appearances by John Ritter, Laurence Fishburne, Teri Garr, Blythe Danner, Leslie Nielsen and more. Throughout the marathon, there will be no shortage of antics, pranks and escapades that still captivate viewers, making M*A*S*H one of the most successful shows ever seen on television.
Check out the schedule of episodes for this weekend!

Finally rumor has it that CBS has ordered three more seasons of TV's top sitcom Two and a Half Men and two more seasons of the red-hot sitcom The Big Bang Theory! CBS has not made it official yet, but as soon as they do, we'll let you know the specifics. Both shows are owned by Warner Bros. and produced by Chuck Loree. Remember this is just a rumor right now, and this same source was quoted in saying that Evangeline Lilly of Lost was auditioning for pilots, meaning she would be leaving the show...which was NOT true. She confirmed that last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Hallmark Channel Reduces I Love Lucy in February; Obama Preempts Programming

Earlier this week we gave you Hallmark Channel's March line-up, now Hallmark has edited February a bit. We are not sure if this will affect March yet, but I think it will. As of now, we don't have details on if March will be altered, but we do have what will happen starting Monday.
They have made last minute changes to be started on Monday (Feb. 9). Weekdays 4-5pm ET/PT will now be another episode of Little House on the Prairie replacing I Love Lucy. Lucy will remain weekdays 8-9am, though. The rest of the changes are on weekends. Saturdays 6-9am ET/PT will now be three episodes of Little House on the Prairie replacing the three-hour block of I Love Lucy. And that's not all on Saturdays...Saturdays 1-3am will now be back-to-back episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger replacing more I Love Lucy. Get the pattern yet? If not, keep reading. Sundays from 9-10am will now be another extra episode of 7th Heaven, so that series will air from 9am-3pm now on Sundays. The 9am hour will replace two episodes of I Love Lucy. However, all is not lost for Lucy on Sunday mornings, it will remain at 8:30am. And finally Sunday nights from 1-3am will now be more Walker, Texas Ranger replacing... you guessed it, I Love Lucy. So if you're keeping score, I Love Lucy now will only air weekdays 8-9am and Sundays at 8:30am...ouch.
So what will this mean for the March schedule we announced earlier this week? Not sure yet. If I were to guess, some of these changes happening Monday will be carried over to March (I doubt Lucy will air 3pm in March), but we'll let you know as soon we know! So for now, the March schedule we announced is still happening...but expect I Love Lucy to be reduced from the original March plan. The Hallmark sitcom curse continues...can The Golden Girls break that in March?

President Obama is planning a Presidential News Conference on Monday (Feb. 9) at 8PM ET/5PM PT. So this will affect the Eastern/Central time zones programming on network TV. The press conference is expected to last between 40-60 minutes. So in the eastern and central time zones, the 8pm hour will be different. At 8PM ET on CBS, the all-new episode of The Big Bang Theory will be moved to 9:30PM ET/PT for the entire nation, replacing Worst Week's season finale. That season finale will now be on Feb. 16 at 9:30pm ET/PT. How I Met Your Mother was also slated to be all-new at 8:30pm, but since the press conference will be between 40-60 minutes, CBS will air a repeat of Mother instead, joined in progress if the press conference ends before 9pm. Out west at 8pm PT (7pm MT), a repeat of Old Christine will air on a special night, followed by a repeat of How I Met Your Mother at 8:30pm PT/7:30pm MT.
Over at NBC, they will also air the press conference. They will have to preempt an all-new episode of Chuck at 8pm ET. If the press conference ends before 9pm ET, then they will air a Heroes repeat joined in progress. Out west, a repeat of Heroes will air in its entirety at 8pm PT.
ABC will devote the full 8pm ET/5pm PT hour to the press conference. In east/central, The Bachelor will air an hour later from 9-11pm ET (8-10pm CT), as True Beauty will be preempted. Out west, The Bachelor will air in its normal time of 8-10pm PT (7-9pm MT), followed by a repeat of True Beauty at 10pm PT/9pm MT. The regularly scheduled new episode of True Beauty will air on a special night of Tuesday at 10pm ET/PT, preempting Primetime: What Would You Do? for the week. Fox will preempt an all-new episode of House on Monday and move it to the following Monday in its normal time (another Obama address pending), while a 24 repeat from the previous week will air at 8pm PT/7pm MT out west.
That is not all for Obama. He is also planning a Presidential Address to Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 9pm ET/6pm PT. All the networks have committed to that. ABC will preempt two Scrubs repeats on that night to air the Presidential Address to Congress from 9-10pm ET. That will air 6-7pm PT, so ABC will likely air those Scrubs repeats out west. NBC will cut The Biggest Loser in half that night and will air the second hour the following night at 8pm, no idea what NBC will air out west at 9pm PT/8pm MT yet. CBS will preempt a scheduled The Mentalist repeat at 9pm ET that night to accommodate the address but it will air out west. Fox will make the most drastic change for this night. A Bones repeat will air at 8pm ET leading into the Presidential Address to Congress at 9pm ET. Not sure what is airing out west at 9pm PT/8pm MT, but I would guess another Bones repeat. Since American Idol was scheduled to air two-hours that Tuesday night, Fox will move those two-hours to Wednesday from 8-10pm ET/PT. So Lie to Me is totally preempted that week (Wednesday Feb. 25). The second night of American Idol will be shifted to Thursday that week at 8pm ET/PT, preempting Bones. Idol will lead into an all-new Hell's Kitchen.
And believe it or not, Obama also plans a short address on Monday, Feb. 16 as well. So far no networks have committed to that one. We will keep you up to date of everything on this, so keep checking back.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

60th Primetime Emmy Awards Winners; ION Adds More Warner Bros. Movies; New TV Season Begins Tonight

Here are the winners for the main categories at last night's Emmys.

COMEDY SERIES
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
30 Rock (NBC)
Entourage (HBO)
WINNER: 30 Rock

DRAMA SERIES
Lost (ABC)
House (Fox)
Damages (FX)
Boston Legal (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Dexter (Showtime)
WINNER: Mad Men

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Tony Shalhoub, Monk (USA Network)
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Steve Carell, The Office (NBC)
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
WINNER: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Old Christine (CBS)
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who? (ABC)
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds (Showtime)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
WINNER: Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
James Spader, Boston Legal (ABC)
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Gabriel Bryne, In Treatment (HBO)
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
WINNER: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Glenn Close, Damages (FX)
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer (TNT)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace (TNT)
WINNER: Glenn Close, Damages (FX)

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
Kevin Dillion, Entourage (HBO)
John Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Rainn Wilson, The Office (NBC)
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Jeremy Piven, Entourage (HBO)
WINNER: Jeremy Piven, Entourage.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty (ABC)
Amy Poehler, SNL (NBC)
Jean Smart, Samantha Who? (ABC)
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
WINNER: Jean Smart, Samantha Who? (ABC)

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
Zeljko Ivanek, Damages (FX)
William Shatner, Boston Legal (ABC)
John Slattery, Mad Men (AMC)
Ted Danson, Damages (FX)
Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)
WINNER: Zeljko Ivanek, Damages (FX)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal (ABC)
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Diane Wiest, In Treatment (HBO)
WINNER: Diane Wiest, In Treatment (HBO)

See complete list of winners.

COMMENTS: The night belonged to the mini-series John Adams, comedy 30 Rock and drama Mad Men. Too much cable stuff was winning. Surprise of the night was Bryan Cranston winning for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for AMC's Breaking Bad. Besides the 30 Rock wins (Comedy, Lead Actor, and Lead Actress) and the win for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Jean Smart of ABC's Samantha Who?, the night was all cable...AMC, FX, HBO. I liked the tributes to the memorable TV shows and moments...as the Emmys turned 60. As for the hosts, they should have just done 1 or 2...Tom Bergeron was clearly the best. 30 Rock doesn't launch its third season until October 30, so no carry over likely, however the show's second season is coming to DVD on October 7. I think it is the new Arrested Development...critically acclaimed show that no one watches.
Combining the winners for the creative portion on Sept. 13, HBO had the most wins with 26, thanks to mini-seroes John Adams, which became the most-honored program ever. ABC led the broadcast networks with 12 wins. CBS, NBC and PBS tied for third overall with 10 overall wins. AMC had 8 wins overall.


ION Television, the "Positively Entertaining" general entertainment network reaching over 94 million homes, has inked a multi-year film acquisition deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Extending from fall 2008 through summer 2010, this multi-year deal brings 27 critically acclaimed and Academy Award-winning films to the network's film slate.
The network already had a deal with Warner Bros., now 27 more movies come and the deal gets extended through summer 2010. ION Television kicks off the first of its new Warner Bros. films on Wednesday, September 24th at 8:00 p.m. ET with the comedy favorite Grumpier Old Men (starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret and Sophia Loren). ION will air the movies regularly on Thursdays from 9-11PM (sometimes 8-11PM) starting October 2. Through summer 2010, blockbusters featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood will grace ION Television in a series of cinematic favorites spanning multiple genres.
Dramatic thrillers and crime sagas include classics like The Fugitive (starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones), GoodFellas (starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino) and Heat (starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer and Jon Voight), as well as more recent favorites such as Deep Blue Sea (starring Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, LL Cool J and Samuel L. Jackson) and Training Day (starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke).
Also in the mix are two movies from the famed Batman series, Batman Forever (starring Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman and Chris O’Donnell) and Batman Returns (starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken), plus Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon 1, 2 and 4.
Modern comedy classics include The Mask (starring Jim Carrey), Analyze This (starring Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Lisa Kudrow) and National Lampoon's European Vacation (starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo), among many others.
Rounding out the cinematic variety of ION Television's "Positively Entertaining" new movie lineup are dramas like City of Angels (starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan) and romantic comedies such as You've Got Mail (starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). So that's 16 of the 27 new Warner Bros. movies, if you were counting. What about the rest? Above the Law, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Major League 2, Malice, Matchstick Men, Memphis Belle, Murder in the First, The Negotiator, The Specialist, Tango & Cash and Young Guns II! There you have it! Lots of good movies for Thursday nights.

The new season starts tonight! Expect Monday hits Dancing with the Stars, CSI: Miami, Two and a Half Men, and Heroes to be the night's highest rated shows. Other new notables tonight is the launch of the CBS sitcom Worst Week rounding out the CBS Monday sitcoms (8-10PM) and the Monday debut of ABC's Boston Legal.
My bets of the night: Dancing with the Stars (ABC 8-10:00PM) and The Big Bang Theory (CBS 8:00-8:30PM). Two fun-filled shows!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Latest BET Schedule Notes, More Sanford; According to Jim Returns April 15, More ABC Notes

We have some more BET schedule notes today for you. Currently the weekend shows Sanford airs Saturday nights at 2:30am and Sundays at 11:30am and Thea airs Saturdays 9-10am, 3am late night and Sundays at 12 noon. Now we are getting some time changes, and it is better actually. Effective this weekend (March 22-23), Thea will now only air Saturdays 9-10am, but it will be two episodes a week still, and no more confusion of the encores (as sometimes BET messes up and airs a different episode then). Sanford will now only air Sundays 12-1pm, but that is also better because we get two episodes instead of an encore! Sanford for some reason didn't air this weekend in its 11:30am Sunday slot, and the 2:30am slot was already supposed to not air because of a special (same for Thea at 3am this past weekend). I think now it is easier to remember...Thea Saturdays 9-10am and Sanford Sundays 12-1pm.
Sanford at 12:30pm will be replacing In Living Color, which will return to weekdays starting March 31, though. In Living Color will air weeknights at 3am and 3:30am starting the week of March 31, replacing the Wayans Bros. Jamie Foxx Show will also be replaced starting March 31 by more Hell Date airings at 12am and 12:30am. Viewers can say goodbye to Jamie Foxx Show and Wayans Bros. with a marathon of both shows on Saturday, March 29 from 10am-8pm. Jamie from 10am-3pm and Wayans from 3pm-8pm. I'm not sure if their contracts expired or what, but both shows joined in October 2005 I believe, as did In Living Color, but that will still be on, so who knows. If I find out anything, I will for sure let you all know. Will any more sitcoms join since Jamie and Wayans are leaving? We will let you know if they do plan on more sitcoms!

According to Jim returns April 15 on ABC. You're probably thinking what do you mean "returns," since it has been airing Tuesdays at 9 since January. But last Tuesday was its last airing in that slot because Dancing with the Stars returns this week. When Jim returns, it will move to Tuesdays at 8:00pm and 8:30pm, replacing Just for Laughs. 7 new episodes remain for the season. If they air one new episode a week that will make it last through the end of May, but I'm sure once or twice, they will air two new episodes in the hour. This might not be the final 7 episodes, because ABC is mulling to bring it back next season for an eighth season. No official news yet, though.
In other ABC schedule news: Lost's pre-strike finale is this Thursday at 9, but ABC has announced Lost will remain in that slot for repeats on March 27, April 3 and April 17 (April 17 is 8-10pm). The show returns with 6 new episodes starting April 24 at 10pm following Grey's Anatomy's return. ABC will stop the Fridays at 8pm encores of Grey's Anatomy starting April 4. An AFV repeat is scheduled for April 4 leading into the return of game show Duel at 9pm (it will air for 10 episodes and won't be serialized like the tournament week was in December). Not sure yet what will air Friday, April 11 at 8pm, but April 18 will be a Desperate Housewives' encore from its first post-strike episode, which will debut Sunday, April 13 at 9pm. To catch up on Desperate Housewives' return, ABC will re-air the final pre-strike episodes on a special night of Thursday, April 10 from 8-10pm. As for Eli Stone, yes ABC will air all 13 episodes! Episode 12 will air on a special night though...Sunday, April 13 at 10pm. It will air right after that new Desperate Housewives return episode. Brothers & Sisters returns the following week with new episodes. The final Eli Stone of the season will air in its normal Thursday at 10pm slot on April 17.
So, ABC will let viewers catch up on Desperate Housewives and Lost with the last two pre-strike episodes, but what about Grey's Anatomy? Nothing announced yet, but it will return April 24 at 9pm with new episodes.

Speaking of returns, tonight is a big night! Scripted TV makes its first return with post-strike episodes tonight with CBS's sitcoms The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. The bad news for that is Dancing with the Stars also returns tonight on ABC. I'm sure both will do well!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ABC's Post Strike Schedule; CBS Swaps 'Bang' and 'Mother's' Slots; NBC Announces Classic TV Streaming Episodes

ABC has saved their post-strike schedule for last, but it is well worth the wait! ABC will return television's biggest hit shows, including Boston Legal, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty. Returning first is the hit new comedy Samantha Who? with 6 new episodes (three of those are from pre-strike episodes, so three more new ones will be shot). The show returns Monday, April 7 at 9:30pm following Dancing with the Stars, which will be two-hours on March 24 and March 31 (season premiere on March 17 is 90-minutes). Boston Legal returns next with 6 all-new post-strike episodes also starting Tuesday, April 8 at 10pm. The megahit Desperate Housewives returns on Sunday, April 13 at 9pm for the first of five original episodes and a special two-hour finale (so, seven hours total). What will this mean for Oprah's Big Give? That reality show will launch on March 2 and was supposed to be for 8 weeks (lasting through its April 20 airing), so maybe ABC will move the last two episodes into the 8pm slot giving Extreme Makeover: Home Edition a well deserved two-week break (as the show has done very well in two-hour episodes this season)? We will find out and let you know. The other Sunday hit Brothers & Sisters returns with four all-new post-strike episodes a week later, on Sunday, April 20 at 10pm. The bit Thursday shows will return on April 24 with 5 all-new episodes each for Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Lost will move to its new 10:00pm time period on that very same day (Thursday, April 24), with five weeks of original episodes. Lost will end its 8-week run at 9pm, which are the pre-strike episodes, on Thursday, March 20. Three of this season's top hits, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money will return next season with all-new episodes.
Everything else not mentioned scripted wise, is in limbo and has no status yet, which includes According to Jim, Cavemen, Carpoolers, Women's Murder Club, Big Shots, October Road, MEN IN TREES, Cashmere Mafia, Eli Stone, and Notes from the Underbelly. A few of these could return next season...having the best shot is Women's Murder Club and MEN IN TREES. According to Jim always seem to have some life, so it could also return.

CBS's hit freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory will lead off CBS's Monday comedy block when it moves to Mondays at 8:00PM, beginning March 17 when it returns with all-new episodes. This means, How I Met Your Mother, which was airing at 8:00PM, will shift to The Big Bang Theory's former Monday 8:30PM time period when it returns with new episodes on the same night.

NBC Digital Entertainment and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment announced that they are streaming vintage television content on their entertainment websites. Full episode streaming of classic, fan-favorite series including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kojak, Miami Vice, the original Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team and Emergency! will be offered on NBC.com, SCIFI.com, ChillerTV.com and SleuthChannel.com beginning this month.

Here is a full list of shows on each website:

NBC.com
The A-Team
Emergency!
Night Gallery
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Miami Vice
Battlestar Galactica
(1978)
Buck Rogers

SCIFI.com
Battlestar Galactica (1978)
Buck Rogers
Tek War
Night Gallery


ChillerTV.com
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Swamp Thing
Tremors
Crow
Night Gallery


SleuthChannel.com
Kojak
Miami Vice
Simon & Simon
The A-Team
Night Gallery


Still to come this week on the blog...full details on Classic TV Reunions happening next week and how the move of Everybody Loves Raymond from Tribune stations to Fox stations will affect New York City.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

ION March 2008 Highlights; CW Announces Post-Strike Returns; CBS Renews 11 Shows for 2008-09 Season

We told you before that Baywatch is coming to ION Television in March 2008, but we didn't have the full month's highlights yet. Now we do. There will be no other changes, so Baywatch will start March 3 at 10pm, airing Mon-Thurs. If anyone is wondering, they will be going in production order, but will be starting with Season 3...which is the first season with Nicole Eggert and Pamela Anderson. They will skip the two-part season premiere it seems, as they will start with the episode "Rookie of the Year." No other changes will be made to the line-up, as of now, so we can expect back-to-back Wayans Bros, Alice, Mama's Family and Drew Carey Show from 6-10pm Mon-Thurs leading into Baywatch at 10pm. RHI will continue to air Fri-Sun from 7-11pm with movies and mini-series such as Merlin, Arabian Nights, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
We will keep you up to date if anything changes, but for now click HERE for the March highlights where you can also discuss the programming.

The CW is now the third network (joining CBS and NBC) to officially announce plans of what series will return this season with new episodes following the end of the writers' strike. Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America already completed production before the strike started and still has episodes left over. So, they will launch first. Chris has 12 new episodes left (for a total of 22 this season), while Aliens has 8 left (for a total of 18 this season). Both will return Sunday, March 2. CW will return their highest rated sitcom The Game on March 23 with an expected 9 new episodes. Production will be underway soon. It is not good news however for long-running sitcom Girlfriends. The CW has announced it will not return, which the show will now end after 8 long seasons. CW could plan a series finale or a special for its final airing. One Tree Hill still has about 5 pre-strike episodes left still, but 6 new ones will be produced and will start on April 14, which is a Monday, so it seems the show will move to Mondays at 9. The current batch of new episodes, aka: the pre-strike episodes, will air Tuesdays at 9 still. Smallville will return Thursday, April 17 with 5 new episodes. I believe a few episodes before the strike also remain to air...the show will air a total of 20 episodes this season. Rookie drama Gossip Girl will return with 5 new episodes starting Monday, April 21. The show had been in repeats since early January because it ran out of episodes. Another rookie drama, Reaper will return to air on Tuesday, April 22 with 5 new episodes. The show has aired 9 so far and a few pre-strike episodes still remain and will air in its upcoming Thursday at 9 slot before moving to Tuesdays at 9 with post-strike episodes. Finally, Supernatural will return with 4 new episodes starting Thursday, April 24. This coming Thursday (Feb. 21) Supernatural will be all-new for its last pre-strike episode before goina on hiatus until April 24.
We will bring you ABC and Fox's plans as soon as they are "officially" announced.

Meanwhile, CBS has renewed 11 series for next season in a move that will return 10 hours of the network's primetime schedule and eight of the top twenty scripted series on television. Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Numb3rs, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace and the Freshman Comedy The Big Bang Theory join previously announced Survivor and The Amazing Race as series returning next season (2008-09).
The jury is still out on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Old Christine, Shark, The Unit, Moonlight, and Jericho for next season, but we could expect a few of these to indeed return.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Writers' Strike Officially Over; CBS Announces Post-Strike Returning Series; Remembering Ron Leavitt

The writers' strike is officially over! The membership of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) voted overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the restraining order and ending their 100-day strike that began on Nov. 5. 3,775 writers turned out in Los Angeles and New York to cast ballots or fax in proxies, with 92.5% voting in favor of ending the work stoppage.
WGAW and WGAE members will next vote to ratify the tentative three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The membership ratification vote will be conducted by mail and also at membership meetings on February 25, 2008.

CBS has announced return dates for new episodes of nearly all of its returning scripted series! Between 4-9 episodes for each series will be produced immediately for air. The first returning series with new episodes will be the Monday sitcoms on March 17. We will see 9 new episodes each of How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men starting March 17. Old Christine will not be going back into production it seems, but it still has a handful of episodes left from before the strike. The other CBS Monday sitcom Rules of Engagement will be back with 6 new episodes starting April 14. What about Welcome to the Captain? Only 6 were ordered and they will all air by March 10. Slim chance it returns next season.
Moving on to the dramas, CSI: Miami will have the most for dramas and will return Monday, March 24 with 8 new episodes. Sunday drama Cold Case will air for 5 new weeks starting March 30. The other Sunday drama Shark is expected to produce 4 new episodes, but it is unclear when they will air, if at all this season. Wednesday dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY return April 2 with 7 new episodes. Thursday dramas CSI and Without a Trace will each have 6 new episodes each starting April 3. Moving on to Fridays, Ghost Whisperer and NUMB3RS will return April 4 for 6 new episodes and rookie Moonlight will return April 11 with the first of 4 new episodes. Finally, the Tuesday dramas will only see Navy NCIS return on April 8 with the first of 7 new episodes. The Unit will not return this season and Cane will also not. Only a slim chance Cane will return at all. CBS will continue to use Big Brother, Showtime's Dexter, and Jericho to fill the void of no The Unit, Shark, and Cane. Yet to premiere mid-season drama Swingtown is resuming production, but when it will air is still a question mark.

Hopefully ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW will release something similar soon. When they do, we will bring it to you for sure.

Finally we leave you today with some sad news. Ron Leavitt, a TV writer and producer who co-created the successful Fox sitcom Married With Children, has died. He died Sunday of lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He and Michael G. Moye co-created the hit sitcom. Michael also served as the show's executive producer and helped write nearly 150 episodes. He even appeared in some episodes as a one-liner, usually the character of Jack Dallas.
He was a major player in sitcoms behind the scenes. He wrote for series such as Busting Loose, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and The Bad News Bears. He wrote the pilot episode for the hit '80s sitcom Silver Spoons. He was also a producer of sitcoms such as Unhappily Ever After, Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons and It's Your Move. Ron also was the creator of two short-lived Married with Children spin-offs, Top of the Heap and Vinnie & Bobby, both of which starred a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc. Ron was last seen on the short lived 2004 WB sitcom The Help as a writer and director.
Fans of sitcoms, especially Married with Children, will miss Ron, but his work will live on forever. Ron will be missed. He was 60.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Day 30: WGA's Strike; CBS and NBC Revise Schedules

It is now day 30 of the strike. Talks will resume today, so if we have any details we will share it with you. Carson Daly returned to his talk show last night with new episodes. Daly said this on the show last night:
"If I had not been back on the air tonight, 75 members of my loyal staff and crew were going to get laid off. You either come back, or they're laid off. I said, 'Let's turn the lights on, I'm gonna come back.' It's that simple." He added, "I miss my writers." None of this is written—clearly! I don't know what we're gonna do, moving forward the rest of the week. But I'll figure it out."
Meanwhile, ABC will now stop paying the non-writing staff of Jimmy Kimmel Live. And as Conan and Leno, Jimmy will pay them from his own pocket. David Letterman's production company is paying his and Ferguson's non-writing staff.

CBS has announced its plans for January and February. Because of the strike, they will bring back Big Brother for its ninth season. This series usually only airs in the summer for them. The series will air Tuesdays at 9, Wednesdays at 8 and Sundays at 8 starting Tuesday, Feb. 12. But before that, CBS will bring back the summer game show Power of 10, hosted by Drew Carey, on Wednesday, January 2, airing Wednesdays at 8pm for 6 weeks before Big Brother takes the slot. On Monday, January 28 CBS will launch two sitcoms--a new one and a returning one. The new one is The Captain, a single camera about a wildly eclectic group of people whose lives are intertwined through the place they all call home, a fabled Hollywood apartment building, El Capitan, which they've dubbed "The Captain." It stars Fran Kranz, Chris Klein, Jeffrey Tambor, Raquel Welch, comedian Al Madrigal, Valerie Azlynn and Joanna Garcia. It will take the place of The Big Bang Theory, which would have been repeats anyway, Mondays at 8:30pm. Also launching Jan. 28 is the third season of The New Adventures of Old Christine, the critically acclaimed comedy about a divorced working mom trying to juggle motherhood, work and dating, starring Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The show will air at 9:30pm on Mondays replacing repeats of The Rules of Engagement. CBS will replace Cane, Tuesdays at 10 with a movie (Jan. 15) and two airings of 48 Hours Mystery (Jan. 22 and 29) before the second season of Jericho takes over on Feb. 12. The movie is a three-night, six-hour event airing Sunday, Jan. 13, Tuesday, Jan. 15 and Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 9-11pm titled Comanche Moon. The 16th season of Survivor launches on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 8pm. Crime repeats will likely air in January in the slot.
CBS will continue to air rebroadcasts of its popular comedies and dramas in their regular time periods including How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami on Monday; NCIS on Tuesday; Criminal Minds and CSI: NY on Wednesday; CSI and Without a Trace on Thursday; Ghost Whisperer, Moonlight and NUMB3RS on Friday; and Cold Case and Shark on Sunday. 60 Minutes will also continue to air Sundays. CBS has also completed production on episodes of the game show Do You Trust Me. A scheduling announcement will be made at a later date.
For a full list of CBS airdates for January and February, click HERE!

Meanwhile NBC has announced its Wednesday plans. NBC will lawyer-up on Wednesday nights as the Emmy Award-winning Law & Order resumes with a two-hour season premiere event on Wednesday, January 2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, and will continue on Wednesdays starting January 9 in its old 10:00 p.m. ET timeslot preceded by this season's network broadcast premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent at 9:00 p.m. ET in its return to NBC that night. Original episodes air on sister cable network USA Network on Thursdays. So to recap, this is how NBC will look this January, as of now:
Mondays - 8pm American Gladiators, 9-11pm TBD
Tuesdays - 8-10pm The Biggest Loser, 10pm Law & Order: SVU
Wednesdays - 8pm Deal or No Deal, 9pm Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 10pm Law & Order
Thursdays - 8pm Comedy Repeats, 9pm Celebrity Apprentice, 10pm ER (Lipstick Jungle takes over in Feb)
Fridays - 8pm 1 vs. 100, 9pm Friday Night Lights, 10pm Las Vegas (the latter two is not confirmed yet, but is likely in January at least)
Saturdays - Repeats
Sundays - TBD
NBC still has Medium, Dateline, and new reality series Amne$ia and The Baby Borrowers yet to be scheduled.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 22: WGA's Strike; Nick at Nite December Highlights; Sitcom Reminders for Tonight

Well it is day 22 is the writers' strike and this could be the last day! Both sides went back into the bargaining table and let's hope they work things out. The buzz is they have worked out a deal! We will know soon I guess. For now, check out the rumor mill. And at TV Guide.

Nick at Nite this December will give us a lot of Christmas episodes. Spend the 11 p.m. hour each day the week of Dec. 3 with classic Christmas episodes! Home Improvement holiday episodes air all-week at 11pm. 11:30pm will be Fresh Prince on Monday, Roseanne on Tuesday, another Fresh Prince on Wednesday, another Roseanne on Thursday and Cosby Show on Friday!
Then on Sunday, December 16, Nick at Nite gives a four hour event with holiday episodes of Home Improvement, George Lopez, Fresh Prince, Cosby Show and Roseanne from 9pm-1am.
Then the week of Dec. 17 it is more 11pm hour time! Spend the 11 p.m. hour each day the week of Dec. 17 with classic Christmas episodes! Roseanne holiday episodes air all-week at 11pm. 11:30pm will be Home Improvement on Monday, Fresh Prince on Tuesday, Cosby Show on Wednesday, another Fresh Prince on Thursday and another Home Improvement on Friday!
And if that is not all, Nick at Nite will give us one last chance to watch holiday episodes on Christmas night from 9pm-12am of their best shows...Home Improvement, George Lopez, Fresh Prince and Cosby Show.
Finally, spend New Year's Eve with Nickelodeon, as Nick at Nite hands over the night to them. Tune in and catch some of your favorite Nick movies and specials as they count down the clock, all the way to midnight!
Click HERE for more details and to discuss this. Keep checking back there for constant updates.

Don't forget to catch the season premiere of sitcom Notes from the Underbelly at 9:30 ET/PT after an all-new Samantha Who at 9/8 central at a new time following part one of the season finale of Dancing with the Stars!
The CW and CBS will also have sitcoms tonight starting at 8/7 central, but CBS's Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement will be encores until the strike is resolved.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Status of All the New Network Shows

So do you want to know if your favorite new shows will last the season or get canceled? You'll get a sense after reading this post! As we have announced, the following new scripted shows have gotten a full season order, which means at least 22 episodes: Back to You (24 episodes actually), The Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, and Pushing Daisies. So, all those are safe at least through the end of the season, unless something crazy happens.
Then a ton of other new series have added additional scripts, which means the network is trying and will see how the show continues to do before picking up additional episodes or a full season. Samantha Who? got an additional six scripts order, which means it is very close for a full season pick-up. The next highest is four scripts, which are Cane and Moonlight. Tons of other series have three scripts such as Aliens in America, Bionic Woman, Carpoolers, Chuck, Dirty Sexy Money, Life, Journeyman, and Reaper. It could go either way with these. K-Ville has an additional two scripts ordered, but that was weeks ago, and nothing has been said since, which means, the clock is ticking for that show.
So far no word at all on series such as Big Shots, Cavemen, Life is Wild and Women's Murder Club. That is not good, but Women's Murder Club is doing well and has just started basically, so expect additional scripts or even a full season pick-up very soon. Viva Laughlin was canceled.
Among the new reality shows, it looks like Kid Nation will finish its cycle, but that looks to be it. Kitchen Nightmares was ordered for another season. The outlook is not good for CW Now and The Next Great American Band. Online Nation and Nashville were canceled.

So, here is my take. Among the series with additional scripts, Samantha Who, Dirty Sexy Money, Moonlight, Chuck, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Aliens in America will probably get full season pick-ups or at the very least additional episodes. So shows like Carpoolers, Cane, K-Ville, Life and Journeyman are in danger...so don't get too attached. Among the shows with no status yet, expect Women's Murder Club to get the season pick-up VERY soon, with Big Shots, Cavemen and Life is Wild in danger.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Remembering Joey Bishop; CBS Orders Full Season for Big Bang; Sony's Minisode Network and TubeTime Adds New Sitcoms

Yesterday we got word that the great Joey Bishop has passed away. Joey Bishop is of courser the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998. Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach.
On television he had his own sitcom in the '60s titled The Joey Bishop Show that ran from 1961-1965 on NBC then ABC. He had a talk show by the same name, which was more popular, that aired on ABC and the announcer was Regis Philbin! Regis had this to day about Mr. Bishop: "It was the thrill of my life to be chosen by Joey as the announcer for his talk show on ABC back in the '60s. It was my introduction to the highly competitive late night show world. It was also an introduction to a show business I had never known: the Rat Pack era, the amazing talents of those performers who I probably never would have befriended without Joey. We walked every day before the show up Vine Street to Hollywood Boulevard and back to our studio for nearly three years. I learned a lot about the business of making people laugh. He was a master comedian and a great teacher and I will never forget those days or him."
Bishop has guest starred on TV series such as Chico and the Man, Get Smart, Trapper John M.D., and Murder, She Wrote. He has also filled-in many times for Johnny Carson as guest host on The Tonight Show.
He was a legend and will truly be missed by many. Mr. Bishop was 89.

CBS has given full season orders to its freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory and the drama The Unit. The Big Bang Theory becomes the first new comedy to receive a full season pickup. The new sitcom, a key newcomer to CBS's Monday comedy block, is averaging 8.97 million viewers, 4.3/10 in adults 25-54 and 3.6/09 in adults 18-49 in its Monday (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) time period. The Big Bang Theory has built on its How I Met Your Mother lead-in by +8% in households, +10% in adults 25-54, +9% in adults 18-49 and +10% in viewers. Veteran drama The Unit had only a 13 episode order coming into the season, but CBS has decided to give it the full 22 episode order after delivering its best ratings since February this past Tuesday.
ABC has given a full season pick-up to the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. Practice is the season's top new show in 18-49 and second in total viewers (to Samantha Who?, which only has aired one episode thus far).

Finally, Sony has announced a few things today. First, The Monkees is now on Comcast OnDemand's Tubetime service, joining other Sony classics such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, What's Happening!!, and Who's the Boss?
In other Sony news, this time we move over to the online area. As you all know, MySpace.com has a Minisode Network featuring classic Sony shows in a different way. The minisodes are not excerpts or clip jobs; they are edited in a way that compresses the story lines and enables the viewers to follow the plots from beginning to end in 4-6 minutes, rather than 30-60 minutes.
Starting on Monday, the mini-episodes will become available on a channel on Crackle, a Sony Web site, that will be sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. A 15-second ad for Pepsi-Cola will appear before each minisode. The channel is part of a campaign for a retro-look design for Pepsi packages, to go on sale next month, that will celebrate the venerable logos, slogans and commercial jingles for the brand. Bewitched will join the Minisode Network lineup as of Monday, along with shortened episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Jeffersons. Sony Pictures Television will also expand the network to two Web sites, AOL and Joost, where the minisodes will be sponsored by Honda. The bite-size shows also will begin running — without commercials, for now — on V Cast, the mobile video service from Verizon Wireless.
So will it still be on MySpace? Not sure, but my guess is, yes. So these three shows will join shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, What's Happening!!, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Charlie's Angels and even Ricki Lake.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

TV One Schedule Changes, November Highlights; Remembering Alice Ghostley

TV One has been postponed the sitcom Good News until later in the season, so we will see filler programming in the previously announced slots for Good News. Programming such as 2 hour mini-marathons of All of Us and Wanda at Large. Good News was going to air Sundays 7-8pm starting Oct. 7. Also, TV One has added two more Saturday marathons! All of Us on Oct. 6 and Roc on Oct. 27. The stars shine on TV One as they present an All of Us sitcom marathon chock full of celebrity guest stars dropping in to add to the family fun. Celebrity sightings for the all-day event include Beyonce, Boris Kodjoe, Will Smith, Allen Payne, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, Fantasia, Paula Abdul, Keyshia Cole, Ruben Studdard, Cedric the Entertainer, and Vivica A. Fox from 12-8pm on Oct. 6.
On Saturday, October 27 beginning at 1pm, TV One presents the 'Roc with You' marathon, TV One's first ever marathon celebration of the most memorable episodes of the ground-breaking Charles Dutton sitcom Roc. Guest stars for the marathon event include Samuel Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, and 90's girl-group sensation EnVogue.
Now let's move on to TV One November. On Saturday, November 3 beginning at 12 Noon, TV One kicks off three weeks of Saturday afternoon marathons celebrating its "Month Of Martin." First up, on Nov. 3, romance is in the air as TV One presents an all-day love-a-thon featuring the romance and wedding of Martin & Gina on the sitcom Martin. Take a look back at how it all began and how the ups and downs of their relationship ultimately ended at the altar in a beautiful Caribbean wedding. On Saturday, November 10 beginning at 12 Noon, a marathon of Martin episodes featuring the girls Gina and Pam and their wacky escapades through the dating scene, navigating friendships, and career choices all while trying to remain true to each other. This all-day marathon keeps the laughs coming while letting the ladies shine. An encore version begins at 2am. Finally, on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 12 Noon, Martin's boy Tommy takes center stage in a Martin marathon featuring episodes focusing on Tommy dealing with relationships, his secret job, and his long standing friendship with Martin. Viewers can watch and see how Tommy keeps his cool while remaining the one in the group with the voice of reason in hysterical situations. An encore version will air beginning at 4am.
As far as the regular November schedule is concerned, beginning on Monday, November 5, TV One adds The PJs to the back to back laugh attack lineup in the 9:30pm weeknight timeslot. The show, created by Golden Globe winning actor/producer Eddie Murphy (who provides Stubbs' voice), follows the adventures of the Stubbs family and the others in the building, animated through a process called 'Foamation’. The show will also air in the late night 12:30am timeslot on weeknights as well.
Thanksgiving Weekend brings four days of special programming. Thanksgiving Marathon on Thursday, November 22 from 9am-12pm, episodes of All of Us, Martin, Good Times, and Parent'hood, followed by a Soul Food movie marathon from 12pm-9pm. On Friday, November 23, TV One presents Roots all day from 6am-6am. On Saturday, November 24 beginning at 12 Noon, let the good times roll as TV One presents the Good Times family sitcom marathon. As viewers are spending time with their families during this family holiday weekend, they can also spend time with the Evans family and relive those special moments that make family so special in our hearts while the antics of JJ and the crew will keep viewers laughing the day away. This 10 hour marathon event will have an abbreviated encore version beginning at 2am. On Sunday, November 25 beginning at 2pm, TV One continues their family themed weekend with an All of Us sitcom marathon. Blended families are the focus of this sitcom starring Duane Martin and LisaRaye McCoy as divorced parents who are still both involved in raising their son amidst their own love lives and career issues that cause unpredictable and hilarious situations for all involved. An encore version airs beginning at 1am.
For the complete October changes click HERE. And for the November schedule and highlights, click HERE!

SitcomsOnline mourns the loss of sitcom actress Alice Ghostley. She was of course most remembered for her roles on Bewitched and Designing Women. On Bewitched she played Esmeralda and on Designing Women she played Bernice (which she earned an Emmy nomination in 1992). She passed away on Friday at her home in Studio City after a long battle with colon cancer and a series of strokes. Ghostley had lots of film work too, including major movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Graduate, Gator and Grease. But it was television where she made her mark, especially sitcoms. She co-starred in the sitcoms Captain Nice, Small Wonder and Mayberry R.F.D (as Cousin Alice). She has guest starred on many sitcoms such as playing the ditzy social worker Mrs. Dodds on Good Times and playing Mama's boss Mrs. Turner on What's Happening!! Her other guest starring sitcom credits include Car 54 Where Are You?, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Get Smart, He & She, The Farmer's Daughter, The Mothers-in-Law, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Odd Couple, Hogan's Heroes, Temperature Rising, Here We Go Again, Love American Style, The New Gidget, Big Eddie, Maude, One Day at a Time, Chico and the Man, Gimme a Break!, Stir Crazy, What's Happening Now!!, Punky Brewster, The Golden Girls, Daddy Dearest, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dharma & Greg, and a recurring role on Evening Shade.
Alice will certainly be missed, as she has certainly made herself known in the television world. She was one of the best character actresses out there and we will always remember her. She was 81.

Don't forget to tune in tonight to the CBS Monday sitcom line-up with three season premieres and the series premiere of The Big Bang Theory at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. You saw our review on Friday, and it has some great laughs. Sheldon (a new sitcom sidekick), played by Jim Parsons, says funny stuff.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

CBS Fall Pilot Review: The Big Bang Theory - Premieres September 24

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres September 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT

From creators Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady comes The Big Bang Theory, the story of two brainy best friends who could tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics -- but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on Earth, they're lost in the cosmos.

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about brilliant physicists, Leonard and Sheldon, who are the kind of "beautiful minds" that understand how the universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard's roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow Cal Tech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities... including love.
The Big Bang Theory is executive produced by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.

Cast Details:

Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Kaley Cuoco as Penny, Scott Halberstadt as Bobby, Simon Helberg as Wolowitz, Kunal Nayyar as Koothrappali, Frank Pacheco as Joey, Brian Wade as Kurt

Johnny Galecki (Leonard) is perhaps best known to television audiences for his role as David in the long-running ABC comedy series Roseanne, for which he won a Young Artist Award. His television series credits also include a recurring role in My Boys and guest appearances in Hope & Faith and My Name is Earl.

Jim Parsons (Sheldon) counts among his television credits a recurring role in the series Judging Amy and a guest-starring appearance in Ed.

Kaley Cuoco (Penny) is perhaps best known to television audiences for her role as Bridget Hennessey in the John Ritter ABC series 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, for which she won a Teen Choice Award. Cuoco's other television credits include the series Ladies Man and Charmed and guest appearances in Prison Break, Complete Savages, 7th Heaven, My So-Called Life and Ellen, in which she played a young Ellen DeGeneres in flashbacks.

Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) has television credits that include guest-starring appearances on MADtv, Reno 911!, Joey and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali) will have his first regular role on a television series. He had a guest-starring role on CBS's Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.


Pilot Plot:

Pilot (09/24/07) - When Leonard and Sheldon meet Penny, Leonard is immediately interested in her, but Sheldon feels his friend is chasing a dream he'll never catch.

Written by: Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
Directed by: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt and Vernee Watson as Althea


Analysis:

I only got to watch the pilot, but it was worth it! Usually when we do our pilot reviews we have 2-3 episodes to have a sample of. CBS didn't send us another episode, but that is fine. After watching the pilot, I think the show is actually funny. It is like a throwback to how sitcoms of the '80s were done. This is a multi-camera sitcom, and it might not be as hyped up as Fox's Back to You, I think this is the best traditional sitcom this fall. There are only two, and I liked the pilot of this one better than the Fox series. While the plot might sound, "been there, done that," it is enjoyable and has a lot of humor. The pilot runs a little over 23 minutes and the first scene to me is boring with just Leonard & Sheldon, but don't get discouraged. I thought to myself, "this better get better." And it did. It really picks up when the two geeks (Leonard and Sheldon) meet their new neighbor (Penny), who lives in the apartment down the hall.
It is a mix of three shows to me. You get a bit of Weird Science, a bit of Beauty & the Geek and a slight bit of Three's Company (even though they don't all live together in one apartment).

The show does need work to continue. The pilot is a good start, but it has to maintain the quality of humor and improve on some characters. I loved Kaley Cuoco on 8 Simple Rules. She was hilarious & beautiful on that show and her dialogue was great. On the pilot of this show she is beautiful too, but I don't even remember anything she really said because they make her a girl that only has looks. But I think they will improve on that in future episodes. They also have to improve on the two nerd friends of Leonard & Sheldon. They were like fillers in the pilot. When Leonard & Sheldon went to Penny's ex-boyfriend's house to try to get her stuff back, they just left Penny and their two friends in their apartment. That didn't make sense, but it is funny.
The show has some neat guest stars coming, such as Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf (who was wonderful this season on Desperate Housewives). That is like a mini-Roseanne reunion. All they need now is John Goodman and Roseanne herself. Hopefully we some 8 Simple Rules stars soon, too, like Amy Davidson, Martin Spanjers or Katey Sagal.


Conclusion:

The Big Bang Theory will be airing Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. Last season, the much hyped sitcom The Class aired in that slot, and it didn't do that well for a CBS sitcom. So in order for this series to do well, it will have to do better than that. 8-9 million will probably not do. If it can build on How I Met Your Mother, which is the lead-in for this show, CBS will be pleased and we will see this sitcom for another year at least.
Todd reviewed Back to You earlier this week. I saw that pilot too and this one, and I think this one was better. Todd didn't see this one yet, but I'm sure he would like this one, too.

Is this show too young and hip for CBS? Maybe. But it has How I Met Your Mother as its lead-in, so the young audience will be there. I personally think they should have aired it at 9:30 after Two and a Half Men for more exposure, but let's see how it does at 8:30 first.
I urge you to tune in for the pilot at least. If you like older sitcoms from the '80s or something, you'll like this one. It is very "sitcomy" and is actually funny. It may not be as smart as sitcoms like 30 Rock and The Office, but I really prefer these types to those (and viewers do, too). Hopefully 10 million+ watch the premiere. It will have to at least build on the lead-in each week, in viewers, if not, for sure in adults 18-49. And you should be one of them who tunes in. To catch a sneak peek of the pilot, click HERE.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/21/07

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • The Big Bang Theory Fan Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Big Bang Theory Photo Gallery

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