Friday, April 09, 2010

Nick at Nite Ends Chris Marathon Early; ABC 2010 Season Finale Dates; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 12, 2010)

Nick at Nite has been airing a week-long Everybody Hates Chris marathon from 10pm-6am all week since Monday (April 5), but they have pulled the event for tonight (Friday, April 9). Maybe the ratings weren't as good as their normal schedule? Anyway, airing tonight now will be the normal Friday line-up, but 2-5am will be an expanded block of Family Matters and not Everybody Hates Chris from 2-4am as usual on Friday nights. However, Everybody Hates Chris will still air tonight in the 9pm hour.
There are some additional one-time changes for the rest of the weekend, too. On Saturday (April 10), Everybody Hates Chris will air in the 9pm hour instead of Nickelodeon programming. The Nanny will be expanded to 10pm-1am, replacing an hour of George Lopez from 10-11pm. The 3am hour of Everybody Hates Chris will be replaced Family Matters, which will air 3-5am on the night. Chris will remain the 2am hour, though. And then on Sunday (April 11), George Lopez is expanded to 9-11pm, replacing the 9pm hour of Everybody Hates Chris. Airing from 11pm-2am will be The Nanny, as it is expanded and replacing an hour of Malcolm in the Middle from 1-2am on this night. Finally, 2-5am will be another expanded Family Matters, as Everybody Hates Chris is preempted in the 2am hour.
Strange schedule changes, but as of now they are for this weekend only. View these changes in a list form.

ABC has announced most of their season finale dates for the 2009-2010 season. The first finale is the series finale of Ugly Betty next Wednesday (April 14) at 10pm. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will have its season finale on Friday, April 23 at 9pm. Then the rest of the finales will be during May sweep. First up is Private Practice on Thursday, May 13 at 10pm. The ABC Sunday night line-up of America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters will have their finales on Sunday, May 16 from 7-11pm! The very next night (Monday, May 17) the season finale of surging hit Castle will air at 10pm. On Tuesday, May 18 we see the season finale of V at 10pm following part one of the LOST series finale at 9pm. On Wednesday, May 19, ABC Comedy Wednesday will have their season finales from 8:30-10p featuring The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town. On the last Thursday of the season, on Thursday, May 20, ABC presents a two-hour season finale of Grey's Anatomy from 9-11pm! Then on Sunday, May 23, ABC devotes the entire night to LOST, as it concludes its run. From 7-9pm will be a recap/clip show followed by the two-hour series finale from 9-11pm. Dancing with the Stars wraps up season ten on Monday, May 24 at 8pm and the two-hour grand finale on Tuesday, May 25 from 9-11pm! And finally ABC ends FLASHFORWARD with a thrilling season finale on Thursday, May 27 at 8pm.
Season finale dates for Romantically Challenged, Happy Town, and Wife Swap were not announced yet. And 20/20 is new all-year.

It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of April 12-16, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, April 12, 2010
  • Jenna Elfman (Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg/Courting Alex) - Jenna stops by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
  • Kathy Kinney (The Drew Carey Show) - Kathy stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am on CBS.
  • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace/In the Motherhood) - Megan will stop by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Check your local listings.
  • Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - She stops to chat and cook on The Rachel Ray Show. Check your local listings.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - The former TV dad stops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm ET.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - The hilarious actors stops by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am ET on NBC.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am ET. And her appearance from March on Late Show with David Letterman will repeat on CBS at 11:35pm ET.
  • Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - She will be a guest on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. Check your listings for time/channel!
  • Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family) - The funny kid appears on ABC's The View! 11am ET/10am PT/CT on ABC.
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - The legendary actor stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly. Check local listings for time and channel.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - He stops by ABC's The View at 11am ET/10am PT/CT.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Hogan Family) - Valerie heads to The Wendy Williams Show. Check your listings or watch at 12am on BET.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy stops by The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
  • Alyssa Milano (Romantically Challenged/Who's the Boss?) - Alyssa will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC at 12:05am to promote her new ABC sitcom premiering April 19 at 9:30pm.
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Michael will appear on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and then in late night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
  • Amy Yasbeck (Wings) - Amy stops by The Doctors show to chat about Aortic Dissection, which caused the death of her husband the late great John Ritter. Check your listings on when to watch!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

  • David Duchovony (Californication) - David will be on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET and also earlier in the day he will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - A repeat of Tina's appearance on Late Show with David Letterman from last month will air at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne) - John stops by to talk to the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am PT.
  • Aziz Ansari (Parks & Recreation/[scrubs]) - Aziz stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, check local listings for time and channel.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy chats it up on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central at 11pm.

Friday, April 16, 2010

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) - Tracy is making the rounds promoting his movie, this time on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly (check listings) and also on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David this will appear on The Bonnie Hunt Show so check your listings!
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City) - Michael will chat on The Rachel Ray Show, check your local listings for time and channel.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - This is a repeat from early March but if you missed it, catch him on Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Craig Robinson (The Office) - This is a repeat from a few weeks ago when Craig appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Martha Stewart Programming Takes Over Hallmark on March 29; Betty White Now a Regular on Hot in Cleveland

A few months back we mentioned that Martha Stewart programming would be coming to the Hallmark Channel, but it is now coming earlier than thought! The Martha Stewart Show will still be moving from first-run syndication to The Hallmark Channel in September on weekdays at 10am, but the other programming from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. will join the Hallmark Channel lineup on Monday, March 29, 2010!
Airing from 11am-12:30pm on weekdays will be three episodes of From Martha's Kitchen. From 12:30pm-1:3om will be back-to-back From Martha's Garden. Then finally we have two episodes of From Martha's Home from 1:30pm-2:30pm. Then all of this will encore again from 2:30pm-6pm, so Martha Stewart programming will air from 11am-6pm on weekdays.
So, this means The Golden Girls weekday mornings is now 9am-11am instead of 9am-12pm, while 7th Heaven and Little House on the Prairie are replaced in the afternoons from 12pm-6pm. 7th Heaven will remain airing from 6-9pm. Everything else on weekdays is the same with a movie at 9pm, The Golden Girls from 11pm-1am, and Cheers from 1am-4am. This means Little House is totally off the line-up and Touched by an Angel is still not back yet.
And wait, we still have more Martha Stewart programming! On Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6am-9am, Little House and Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures will be replaced by encores of Martha Stewart programming. An hour of each of Martha's Kitchen, Garden, and Home will air from 6am-9am on weekend mornings. The rest of the day on weekends is the same with movies all day and Cheers in the 3am hour. Jack Hanna is now gone totally, too.
Wow, what a big makeover to weekdays and this was NOT originally on the April schedule, so it was a last minute decision. Get ready for even more Martha Stewart on Hallmark in the fall when The Martha Stewart Show joins weekdays at 10am in September. Stay with us for updates.
Read the full press release.

Betty White is now a regular on TV Land's upcoming original sitcom Hot in Cleveland. Previously Betty was just slated to be recurring and she was only signed on for the pilot. But not anymore! Betty power has struck again and she will be on as a regular! Betty plays Elka Ostrovsky, the snarky but spy caretaker of the Cleveland home shared by three former L.A. residents played by Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick. The series launches this June on TV Land and has a ten-episode order. So at least ten more episodes in the belt for the legendary Betty White!
The 88-year-old will be seen before June, too, of course. As mentioned, she will co-host Saturday Night Live on May 8. And she will also guest star on the season finale of ABC's The Middle in May, which airs Wednesdays at 8:30pm. On that show, Betty will play a school librarian who confronts Brick (Atticus Shaffer) over his failure to return numerous overdue books. The Middle stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn.
Become a fan of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland on Facebook. And read the full press release on this news!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More Lucy on Hallmark; ABC Picks Up FLASHFORWARD for Full Season

Last Friday we told you about some Hallmark Channel changes beginning Monday (yesterday), now they have made a change that starts tonight! We get even more I Love Lucy! They must have a love-hate relationship with Lucy! In addition to the changes listed on Friday's blog, now effective tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 13), I Love Lucy will air 9-11pm as well replacing Touched by an Angel, which is off the line-up for NOW. It's slated to return to 8pm starting Oct. 26, but that could change. As of now, I Love Lucy airs weekdays 5-11pm and also in the morning 9-10am. That's a whole lotta Lucy! Will it last? You'll just have to keep checking back with us to see!

Also last Friday we announced that ABC has picked-up Comedy Wednesday comedies The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town for full seasons, now no surprise they have picked up drama FLASHFORWARD for a full season.
From 8:00-9:00 p.m. on Thursday, ABC's FLASHFORWARD ranks No. 1 in Adults 18-49, leading CBS' time-period veteran Survivor: Samoa through its first three airings. On its series debut telecast, the new ABC drama became the first regular program since Friends in 2004 to beat Survivor in the key young adult sales demo. The ABC freshman is an exceptionally strong draw among Adults 18-34, dominating its time period and qualifying as TV's No. 1 new drama series this season. The new series is greatly improving its time period year-to-year for ABC, boosting the hour by 1.8 million viewers and by 32% in Adults 18-49 over the same nights last year. Based on DVR playback during season-premiere week (Sept. 21-27), FLASHFORWARD finished as TV's biggest freshman gainer, as its numbers jumped by 2.0 million viewers (12.5 million to 14.5 million) and 8-tenths of an Adult 18-49 rating point (4.1 rating to 4.9 rating) from the initially reported next-day numbers to 7-day DVR finals.
ABC has said they have picked up 25 episodes of the series, so that is three more than usual. As of now the comedies are 22 each, but that could change to something more if necessary.
Building on its lead-in at 8:30 p.m. among viewers (+4%) and young adults (+26%), ABC's The Middle qualifies as the most-watched TV show in its time period and a ranks a strong No. 2 in the half-hour to Fox's time-period regular So You Think You Can Dance among Adults 18-49. The new ABC comedy also holds the No. 1 position in its half-hour with Adults 25-54 and Men 18-49. On average, The Middle is boosting ABC's numbers in half-hour year-to-year by 2.1 million viewers and by 20% in Adults 18-49, over the same nights last season.
Standing as TV's most-watched new comedy this season, ABC's Modern Family ranks No. 1 in its half-hour among Adults 18-49. Modern Family is also No. 1 in its slot among Women 18-49 and Men 18-34. On average, the freshman comedy is improving the time period year to year for ABC, growing its half-hour over the same nights last year by 3.0 million viewers and by 36% in Adults 18-49. The mockumentary style sitcom is out-delivering NBC's similar style The Office in total viewers this season averaging 10.47 million viewers through its first three airings.
And finally, exhibiting impressive compatibility, ABC's Cougar Town holds 100% retention of its Modern Family lead-in in Adults 18-49. Cougar Town ranks a strong No. 2 in its half-hour in Adults 18-49, just two-tenths of a ratings point behind and tied in audience share with first-place CBS's veteran drama, Criminal Minds. The new show leads its time period among Men 18-34. The freshman comedy is also improving the time period for ABC year-to-year, boosting ABC's results over the comparable year-ago nights in Total Viewers (+19%) and Adults 18-49 (+23%).

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Friday, October 09, 2009

ABC Picks Up Full Seasons of 3 New Comedies; Hallmark Does More Changing; Bio TV's TV Related Specials

ABC has announced it has given early full season orders to three of the four new Comedy Wednesday sitcoms. The Middle starring Patricia Heaton, Modern Family starring Ed O'Neill and Cougar Town starring Courtney Cox were given at least 22 episodes for this season, adding on nine episodes at least in the original 13 episode order. The latter two especially has done well in the ratings, in particular in 18-49. They have set up for a good comedy foundation for the network. No news was given yet on Hank starring Kelsey Grammer, the next few airings will be key for its future.
The three comedies join CBS's NCIS: LA & The Good Wife, along with Fox's Glee and Cleveland Show in full season pick-ups, though the latter was given multiple season orders before it even aired. Look for more full season renewals officially soon such as for ABC drama FLASHFORWARD.

Well it must be Friday because The Hallmark Channel has made some changes to its schedule. Effective Monday (October 12), the weekday 9am hour will now be I Love Lucy instead of The Golden Girls. So Golden Girls in the mornings are now 10am-1pm instead of 9am-1pm. And it will still air weeknights 11pm-2am. Then starting next Saturday (Oct. 17), M*A*S*H returns and will air Saturdays from 9am-11am replacing The Golden Girls. Then on both Saturday and Sunday nights starting next weekend, Walker, Texas Ranger is back, replacing The Golden Girls from 1-3am on both nights. And finally Sundays starting next Sunday we have another hour of Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures on Sundays in the 10am hour, and yes it replaces The Golden Girls. The Golden Girls is now totally off the line-up on weekends but remain of course on weekdays. So if you're keeping track, Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures airs Saturdays 6am-9am and Sundays 8am-11am.
And for the November schedule, Touched by an Angel will replace I Love Lucy in the 8pm hour starting Oct. 26, but Lucy will remain 5-8pm. Touched by an Angel will not be airing 9pm and 10pm because of the previously announced movie airing weeknights 9-11pm starting Oct. 26.

Finally Bio TV has some new specials this month that are interesting. First on Tuesday (Oct. 13) at 10pm, they are airing Cast Confessions: The Facts of Life. This special takes you behind the scenes to reveal everything you never knew about one of our favorite sitcoms...The Facts of Life. Revisit this classic comedy as back-stage secrets and hidden drama are revealed through exclusive footage and interviews with original cast members, writers and network executives. Sounds interesting!
They have also premiered a new series called Celebrity Ghost Stories. It launched last Saturday and airs Saturdays at 10PM. In the premiere last week, celebs featured were Joan Rivers, David Carradine, Scott Baio, Teri Polo. Joan Rivers asks a voodoo priestess to help her with an angry ghost; Scott Baio's unresolved issues with his father haunt him when his dad dies; Teri Polo has a horrifying encounter one night when she's just 8 years old; and David Carradine has a strange encounter with his wife's dead husband. Airing tomorrow (Oct. 10) are about celebs Barry Williams, Debi Mazar, Greg Grunberg, Sammy Hagar. When Barry Williams holds a memorial service for his father, a few strange "happenings" make the day even more unforgettable; Debi Mazer gets a hostile welcome from a ghost when she moves into a friend's home; Greg Grunberg meets a ghost with a shocking past; and Sammy Hagar gets a visit from Van Halen's dead manager.
Upcoming celebs featured are: Carrie Fisher, Rue McClanahan, John Waters, Federico Castelluccio (10/17); Tom Arnold, Dee Snider, Carnie Wilson, Nia Long (10/24) Lisa Rinna, Jeffrey Ross, Vincent Curatola, Illeana Douglas (11/7); Carnie Wilson, Eric Roberts, Elisabeth Rohm, C. Thomas Howell (11/14); Justine Bateman, Traci Lords, Jay Thomas, James Kyson Lee (11/21). There will be a marathon on Halloween night starting at 8pm.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ABC Fall Pilot Review: The Middle - Premieres September 30; TV Land Goes Brady Crazy This Week

The Middle

The Middle - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton stars in this warm and witty single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.

Frankie Heck is a superhero. Well, no, not an actual superhero - not unless you count getting her kids out the door for school every morning as a superfeat. Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country, this harried wife and working mother of three uses her wry wit and sense of humor to try to get her family through each day intact. Frankie has a job selling cars at the town's only surviving car dealer; her husband, Mike, is a manager at the local quarry.

In between juggling shifts and picking up fast food dinners eaten in front of the TV, Frankie and Mike raise their kids with love and solid Midwestern practicality. Axl is the oldest, a teenage jock who eats the family out of house and home and walks around in his underwear. Then there's Sue, their extraordinarily ordinary pre-teen daughter who fails at everything she tries with great gusto. Brick, the youngest son, is an odd kid whose best friend is his backpack. Together, they're putting THE MIDDLE on the map.

Cast Details:

* Patricia Heaton as Frankie Heck
* Neil Flynn as Mike Heck
* Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck
* Eden Shur as Sue Heck
* Atticus Shafer as Brick Heck
* Chris Kattan as Bob

Patricia Heaton (Frankie Heck) is perhaps best known for her role as Debra Barone on the award-winning series Everybody Loves Raymond. She won two Emmy Awards for the role and was nominated seven times. In addition to her Emmy wins, Heaton is also the recipient of the Best Comedy Actress Award from the Viewers for Quality Television, a SAG Award and three SAG nominations in the Best Actress category for her work on Raymond. Heaton most recently starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the Fox comedy series Back to You. She also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, Front of the Class. Other television credits include a recurring role on ABC's popular series thirtysomething and prominent roles in the series Room for Two, Someone Like Me and Women of the House, as well as the television films A Town Without Christmas and Miracle in the Woods. Heaton produced and starred in the TNT/FourBoys Films production, The Engagement Ring, She also starred in the TNT/Neil Simon production of The Goodbye Girl and ABC's The Path to 9/11. Her feature film credits include Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Beethoven, New Age and Space Jam.

Neil Flynn (Mike Heck) just finished his eighth season as Sacred Heart Hospital's menacing janitor in the ABC comedy series Scrubs. Flynn can be seen interrogating Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, directed by Steven Spielberg, and is also well known for playing Lindsay Lohan's dad in the hit comedy Mean Girls. His other feature appearances include Hoot, Home Alone 3, The Fugitive, Chain Reaction, Rookie of the Year, Baby's Day Out and Major League. Equally adept at comedy and drama, Flynn has performed a variety of roles on television series, ranging from Seinfeld, The Drew Carey Show and That 70's Show to C.S.I., Boston Public and NYPD Blue. Other T.V. appearances include Arli$$, Ellen, Family Law and Smallville.

Charlie McDermott (Axl Heck) is a quickly rising star who will make his presence felt on both the large and small screen in 2009. On the big screen he has two new films in production: He'll join Chevy Chase, John Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson in United Artist's Hot Tub Time Machine, an absurdist comedy slated to open in February 2010; he will also star alongside Laura Linney and writer/director Leland Orser in Morning, opening later this year. McDermott began his career with M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver. Additional film credits include The Sex Drive, opposite Seth Green and James Marsden. Television credits include The Office, as the disinterested student who ignores Michael Scott (Steve Carell), ABC's Private Practice, Parks and Recreation, and Medium.

Eden Sher (Sue Heck) is best known for her work on the ABC comedy Sons & Daughters. She has also starred in Starz Party Down, ABC Family's The Middleman, Disney's Sonny With A Chance and Showtime's Weeds.

Atticus Shaffer (Brick Heck) was discovered by his manager in 2006 and soon landed a guest starring role in the series The Class. That role led him to the role of Brick in the original ABC pilot, The Middle. Several episodics followed, such as My Name is Earl, Days of Our Lives, Carpoolers, Out of Jimmy's Head and Human Giant. Perhaps best known for the bus stop scene he shared with Will Smith in Hancock, Atticus' other roles in feature films include The Unborn, An American Carol, Leaving Barstow and Opposite Day.

Chris Kattan (Bob) is best known for his many characters on Saturday Night Live, which he joined in March 1996, completing his seventh and final season in 2003. With numerous upcoming projects, he was recently seen in the Independent Film Channel's three-part miniseries, Bollywood Hero, in which he played himself in an otherwise fictional comedy. Other big-screen credits include Universal's Undercover Brother, Disney's Corky Romano" the script of which was based on a character Kattan developed, and A Night at the Roxbury, written by Kattan and Will Ferrell and produced by Lorne Michaels and Amy Heckerling. Kattan was also seen opposite Brendan Fraser and Bridget Fonda in Monkey Bone, and in The House on Haunted Hill, opposite Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Ali Larter and Taye Diggs and produced by Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis.


Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs September 30)
Frankie is struggling in her career as a car salesperson because she has failed to actually sell a car. Sue has auditioned for show choir and, to everyone's shock, makes the team, but fails to mention that she's part of the stage crew. To top things off, Brick wants Frankie to come to his class presentation dressed as a superhero. Just when Frankie thinks she's got a car sold and her kids under control, she does show up to Brick's class dressed as a superhero -- but he's given her the wrong day -- and the car she thought she had sold is stolen right in front of her. Work and home have taken over Frankie's life... to the point that she barely recognizes herself and has even taken to coloring her hair with a magic marker. Her youth has faded and the day-to-day grind has worn her down, but it's family and the struggles they face together that keep Frankie and the rest of the Hecks one big happy mess.
Guest starring are Brian Doyle-Murray as Mr. Ehlert, Amy Farrington as Gail, Patricia Belcher as Mrs. Rettig, Jeanete Miller as Aunt Edie, Francis Bay as Aunt Ginny, Peter Breitmayer as Pete, Andy Kreiss as choir director, Ping Wu as Mr. Yamamoto, Mike Randleman as flight attendant and Robert Clendenin as P.A.
"Pilot" was written by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, and directed by Julie Ann Robinson.


Analysis:

ABC has had this pilot in development for a few years, so they have really believed in it and got to a point where they made it the best they could. Previously when it was in development, Ricki Lake was the star...now we have Patricia Heaton as the star and she shines in this role! This sitcom is about an average family living in "the middle" of the country in Indiana. If you liked Malcolm in the Middle, you are sure to like this. While that series was focused mainly on Malcolm, this series is all about Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton). But that is not to say this isn't an ensemble, because the family is a key part of the show.

The pilot is excellent. Mike and Frankie Heck have three children Axl, Sue and Brick. They are all so unique and funny in their own ways. I think everyone in the entire country will love the youngest child, Brick. He is unbelievably funny! Even his name is pretty funny! Seriously, Frankie, Axl, and Brick...strange names, but funny! Frankie is a car salesman and of course a mom, where she has to juggle so many tasks. Brick has even called his mom a superhero for his class. What happens with that is actually very hysterical. Frankie also can't sell any cars and when you think she is about to, something very out of the blue happens that you'll never see coming. And at the dealership, Frankie's co-worker Bob (Chris Kattan) is there, but he hasn't really gotten any substance yet. He has now been made a series regular, where on this pilot he was just a guest star. We have two very fun men here in Neil Flynn as Mike Heck and Chris Kattan as Bob the car salesman. Just a wonderful cast and a hilarious family!

You've see some hilarious scenes in promos, such as Brick unknowingly tapping her teacher's breast when trying to get her attention, and the hilarious scenes just keep on coming on this show! Another scene that is hysterical is when Frankie is telling Brick to lick his frozen pancake because it will last longer! Everything in this pilot clicks very well and ABC now I think has 3 very good comedies on Wednesday nights, with only Hank (The Middle's lead-in) being the exception so far.


Conclusion:

This could quietly become one of the top comedies on the air right now. Modern Family is probably the best family comedy, but this should not be overlooked either. If you like sitcoms like Roseanne and Malcolm in the Middle, you'll love this one because it is a mix of both. I am from the Northeast, so I don't know if families are really like that in "the middle" of the country, but Heaton has said in interviews that she was born in Ohio (close to Indiana) and her family was so much like this. I'm sure people in the middle of the country will even like this show more since they can relate to this. In these tough times, we sure need a show like this! I never really liked Everybody Loves Raymond, but Patricia Heaton shines in this role...she plays it real and is funny. Neil Flynn was always hilarious on Scrubs and just seeing the janitor from Scrubs as a father is hysterical itself! I think the real show stealer in this is Atticus Shaffer as the young Brick. He pulls his pants down in public to go to the bathroom, he touches his teacher's breasts (not on purpose), and repeats stuff under his breath. He is like Dewey from Malcolm, but so much funnier!

The ratings should be pretty good for this show. This hour is pretty weak and the show is millions better than CBS's competing Gary Unmarried. Tune in tonight at 8:30pm for this new hilarious comedy on ABC Comedy Wednesday! You'll be saying "this is a winner" and like Brick, you'll say it under your breath, too!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4.5/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/30/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 23 on our message board.

Related Links:


  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Middle Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • TV Land has made a slight change for the remainder of the week starting tonight. The Brady Bunch will air Wed-Fri this week ONLY in the 7pm hour instead of the usual back-to-back The Beverly Hillbillies. That is interesting as it seems last week's Brady Bunch anniversary must have did decent for them in the ratings. However, it just seems so strange they have Brady Bunch followed by Married...with Children! Talk about two totally different shows! I'm not sure what TV Land is doing, but their scheduling has been pretty weird the last year or two.
    TV Land has also quietly returned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the weekdays at 9am hour, replacing Good Times, which now shifts to 10-11am, followed by Sanford & Son from 11am-12pm. Previously three episodes each of these two sitcoms were airing from 9am-10:30am and 10:30am-12pm.
    Stay with us for more TV Land news. We hear more changes could happen next week, so keep checking back. We also have the TV Land November 2009 schedule to give you all, but we might wait a few days for that...just in case we have wholesale changes happening next week.

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    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    Summer 2009 TCA Tour: ABC

    We are preempting our Saturday blog DVD review this week so we can cover the last day of the summer 2009 TCA press tour. Today ABC will be up, and it is a full docket! Kicking it off will be panels starting at 9am PT for Modern Family, Shark Tank, The Middle, Hank, and FlashForward. FlashForward's pilot will be screened during lunch. Then we have the executive session, where we should learn a whole lot. After that, we have more panels for new series, The Forgotten, Cougar Town, Eastwick, and V. ABC is set to announce that V will launch in November. Finally, the night concludes with the Disney-ABC Cocktail Reception!
    ABC is promoting their new Wednesday comedy block as "ABC Comedy Wednesday," and starting today promos for Comedy Wednesday will crank up as stars of those comedies join the ABC House! Check out two of those new ABC House promos, featuring Comedy Wednesday casts. As of this writing, the first spot will air today during the ABC Afternoon Movie at 4pm. The Middle and Hank promos begin tonight during the ABC Saturday Night Movie at 8pm!

    V will launch on Tuesday, November 3 at 8pm! In other confirmations, ABC has confirmed they have picked-up the sitcom Romantically Challenged for midseason. The show stars Alyssa Milano and Kyle Borneheimer.

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    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    ABC Fall 2009 Premiere Dates; Futurama Returns in Mid-2010; TV Land Changes Night and Time for Originals

    ABC has announced most of the premiere dates for the 2009-2010 season. Additional premieres will be announced at a later date. Most of the series will launch or return for premiere week (Sept. 21-27), but there are some before and after. Saturday Night Football returns on Saturday nights at 8pm ET starting Saturday, Sept. 5. 20/20 will launch its new season (it never has repeats though) on Friday, Sept. 11 at 10pm. Then we move on to premiere week. Dancing with the Stars kicks-off premiere week and the new season for ABC on Monday, Sept. 21 from 8-10pm followed by the season premiere of Castle at 10pm. Dancing with the Stars will also air on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 8-10pm leading into the series premiere of The Forgotten. Airing at 8pm on Tuesdays will be Shark Tank starting Aug. 25 (with special airings after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Sundays at 9 on Aug, 9, 16 & 23), but Shark Tank is preempted on Sept. 22, but will return Sept. 29 at 8. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, a special Dancing with the Stars: The Results on a special night & time of 8pm will lead-into the comedy premieres of Modern Family & Cougar Town. No word yet what will air at 10pm on this night, as ABC has not announced when new drama Eastwick will launch. Dancing with the Stars: The Results will move to its regular Tuesdays at 9pm slot the following week (Tues., Sept. 29). On Thursday, Sept. 24, ABC launches the premiere of Flash Forward at 8pm followed by the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. ABC has not announced yet when Private Practice will launch. On Sunday, Sept. 27, ABC will have a two-hour season premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition from 7-9pm, followed by the season premiere of Desperate Housewives at 9pm. No date for Brothers & Sisters has been announced yet.
    Premiering out of premiere week will be new comedies Hank and The Middle on Wednesday, Sept. 30 in the 8pm hour. Also, AFV will launch its new season on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7pm, as Home Edition moves back to the regular 8pm hour. Premiering in week three will be the two-hour season premiere of Ugly Betty from 8-10pm on Friday, Oct. 9, before moving to its regular 9pm slot the following week. And Supernanny launches its new season in week four at 8pm on Oct. 16. That's good to launch the Friday series a bit later as Friday ratings tend to be very low until its gets cooler.
    So, to recap so far no premiere dates for Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice and new drama Eastwick. Why? I think ABC might be mulling a special preview for Eastwick. If I were to guess, Eastwick would get a special premiere on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 10 following Desperate Housewives, with Brothers & Sisters launching its new season the following Sunday at 10 (Oct. 4). Eastwick would have its Wednesday premiere on Sept. 30 at 10. During premiere week they might have a special at 10pm on both Wednesday, Sept. 23 and Thursday, Sept. 24 to fill those vacant spots, so maybe Private Practice will not launch until week two (Thursday, Oct. 1). Just my guesses. We also don't know yet what is airing on Fridays the first two weeks from 8-10pm? Maybe special encores of something during the week?
    View the premiere dates in list form. We'll inform you as soon as we know about the missing premiere dates.

    20th Century Fox Television, the animation powerhouse that brought Family Guy back from the dead five years ago, has done it again: Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's brilliantly subversive animated sci-fi comedy Futurama will return to production on 26 new half-hour episodes more than six years after the series aired its last original episode. The move comes on the heels of the series' blockbuster performance on DVD and on Comedy Central.
    The new episodes will be available in mid 2010 to be shown on Comedy Central. However, Twentieth Century Fox Television retains the option to license the original runs of the new episodes to a broadcast network as well.
    Futurama was a staple of Fox's Sunday night animation block from 1999 to 2003 before ceasing production on original episodes. In June 2006, Comedy Central acquired the rights to the existing 72 episodes of the series, which the channel began airing in January 2008, and four recently-produced extended length Futurama adventures: "Bender's Big Score," "The Beast with a Billion Backs," "Bender's Game" and "Into the Wild Green Yonder," which enjoyed enormous success both on Comedy Central and in DVD release. This new deal marks the show's return to episodic series production on original episodes. Futurama becomes only the second series in the history of the medium to go back into production based on the strength of its DVD sales and repeat airings on cable.

    TV Land announced today that it is making changes to its summer schedule as upcoming original series How'd You Get So Rich? starring Joan Rivers and the comedic hidden camera series Make My Day will now premiere on Thursday, August 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT respectively.
    It was previously announced that they would premiere on Wednesday, August 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. The series' will premiere in TV Land PRIME, the network's new primetime programming block designed to appeal to the attitudes, life stage and interests of people in their 40s.
    Premiering on Thursday, August 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, How'd You Get So Rich? stars the notoriously uncensored gossip diva Joan Rivers as she explores the lifestyles of the fabulously rich and lucky in this 30-minute, six-episode series. Following How'd You Get So Rich? is the premiere of the six-episode show Make My Day at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. This comedic hidden-camera series provides a window into one day in the life of an unsuspecting participant. Tune in as cameras capture the action as they experience weird coincidences, extraordinary situations and surprise celebrity appearances for one whole day.
    It seems Thursdays at 9PM is the new hour for TV Land originals, as TV Land also launches the second season of She's Got the Look tomorrow (June 11) on the night and time.

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