Thursday, October 16, 2008

Many Universal Series Seasons Not on DVD on Netflix.com!; Network Notes

Tired of waiting for some of your favorite Universal series to continue on DVD? Now Netflix is giving you the entire run of many series that are not yet complete on DVD from Universal! Shows include Coach, Charles in Charge, Leave it to Beaver, Gimme a Break!, Kate & Allie, Dragnet '67, Adam-12, Emergency!, Kojak, Simon & Simon, McMillian & Wife, Quincy, seaQuest DSV, The Rockford Files, Airwolf, Murder She Wrote and Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Wow you can watch every episode of Leave it to Beaver! Even season 6! Now you don't have to wait for Universal to complete the series and all the rest of these! All you have to do is to be a Netflix subscriber and you can watch all these episodes instantly on your computer in a nice streaming quality! Don't like that? Get the Netflix Ready Device so you can download these episodes to a device and play them on your TV! I know many of you would like to own the episodes on DVD, but this is a start in watching them.

It's time for more wheelings and dealings...it's network notes! CBS has given a full season order to its new drama The Mentalist, the season's top new freshman series in viewers and adults 25-54 so far. No surprise.
The Mentalist is averaging 16.14 million viewers (No. 7 among all primetime programs), 5.3/12 in adults 25-54 and 3.8/9 in adults 18-49. The series stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. The series joins Fringe and 90210 for full season orders for rookie series.
Meanwhile, NBC's veteran drama Medium returns sometime this mid-season (or earlier I bet) and NBC has ordered three additional episodes. Last season the show had 16 episodes, so we are not sure what the original episode order was for this year. Could be 13 or 16 and you can tack on three more for Patricia Arquette's series.
ABC's Eli Stone will have 4 more episodes this season as well. The show was ordered for 13 episodes in its second season, so you can tack on four more to that at least, pending the ratings being decent enough. ABC has been pleased with the quality and direction so far, thus their decision in adding four more. And if you haven't seen the season premiere yet, you missed out on an excellent season premiere with guest Sigourney Weaver. Catch it on abc.com if you missed it and don't forget to tune in for the second episode this Tuesday at 10PM ET, with special guest star Katie Holmes! As I said before, I saw this episode already from a review screener and she is excellent. Gina Torres and Katey Sagal also guest star. Have faith in Eli!
Finally, it seems that Fox will also air the half-hour political ad from Presidential Candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday, October 29. CBS and NBC have already signed on to air it. However, Major League Baseball would have to push back the start of game six of the World Series, if necessary, so Fox can air the Obama. The game was scheduled to have first pitch at 8:20pm, but Fox and MLB could move it to 8:35pm if necessary. ABC is in discussions as well to air it, but maybe on a different night like Tuesday instead, since they air an hour-long sow (Pushing Daisies) in the time period. CBS has two half-hour sitcoms and will preempt Gary Unmarried on the night and shift Old Christine to 8:30 for this night. NBC will preempt Knight Rider altogether and air a TBD show at 8:30.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

RTN's New Line-Up and Answers To Fan Questions; New Digital TV Channel Coming Nationwide With MGM Classics

As many of you with Retro Television Network (RTN) affiliates already know, RTN changed their line-up last week (July 21). They primarily had CBS-Paramount shows on their line-up such as Perry Mason, Happy Days, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Ties, Gomer Pyle, Get Smart, etc. But they also had other studio shows mixed in such as NBC Universal and Stephen J. Cannell. They also seem to have a few Sony shows on some affiliates still, such as The Monkees and The Partridge Family. Now the CBS-Paramount deal has expired, so those shows are gone, and RTN currently has Universal and Cannell shows only. Some of these shows were already airing on many RTN affiliates, but now more are added such as Leave it to Beaver, Adam-12, Dragnet, Kate & Allie, McHale's Navy, and That's Incredible! With of course the classics like The A-Team, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Rockford Files, Ironside and many others remaining.
After this new schedule started, all the affiliates are almost the same (more uniform than before) as RTN is trying to air a nationwide line-up, as this might help them. This NBC Universal and Stephen J. Cannell line-up can let them do that, as some of the CBS-Paramount shows were also in syndication on another station in other markets (such as Matlock), that's why some shows weren't available in some markets. That is not to say the CBS-Paramount shows will ever return, but if this works, you can see them return. Also, RTN is not ruling out by signing more studio deals, such as Sony and Warner Bros. They are all for the viewers and classic TV.
Also, many of your local RTN affiliates have some rare programs listed on your local RTN TV listings such as Bachelor Father and Operation Petticoat listed but they haven't actually aired yet and more Leave it to Beaver is airing instead. Why? Because some of these shows have been stuck inside Universal's vault for many years and they are just now getting them out. Honestly, can you think of the last time Bachelor Father was aired? Also, if you recall there was a fire at Universal a few months ago, so that is a cause for this delay, too. RTN has told me they will indeed air these shows not airing yet. They will most likely start by this weekend (if not sooner), so keep checking! If not by this weekend, for sure at the latest by sometime next week. They will air! So get those DVRs/VCR's ready for rare Universal stuff like Operation Petticoat, Wagon Train, Run For Your Life, The Bold Ones, and Bachelor Father. Kudos to RTN for trying and bringing out the classics from the vault that have been barely seen in the last few decades.
Many of you also asked how come there hasn't been more announcements for some new RTN affiliates? Well, they were recently bought by another company (as we mentioned), and they are just settling in. You will see more announcements of new stations in the near future! If you don't have an RTN affiliate yet, don't worry, you could be next! RTN is very happy to note that Washington, D.C.'s RTN has gone live today! A big step! Nothing for New York yet, but those of you in the NY market, e-mail WCBS, WABC, WNBC or WNYW (Fox) and suggest to add RTN to their digital broadcasts.
So how can YOU help RTN? RTN says if you really like RTN, e-mail/call your local affiliates and tell them you love RTN and watch it everyday. This is the best way to help RTN as this shows the affiliates that viewers are happy and tuning in. The comments about RTN are then sent to RTN themselves, so they get each comment you make to your local affiliate. So go to your local station's website or call them (if you don't know your RTN's website, email me and I'll tell you!)!
Head on over to our RTN thread where you can see/post RTN schedules, see press releases, post your comments and more! It is 22 pages so far and growing!

From the people who brought you Me-TV and Me-Too in Chicago will bring you "This TV" coming nationwide to a digital channel near you in October! Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is rolling out "This TV," a new ad-supported around-the-clock linear digital channel designed for broadcast stations' digital spectrum. The new network, a partnership with Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting (Me-TV, Me-Too, WCIU owners), will launch this fall. It gets immediate carriage with Weigel stations in Chicago, Milwaukee and South Bend, Ind. The idea is for MGM is to leverage its library of more than 4,100 films and 10,000 hours of television programming, but also to give stations the chance to localize the look.
This TV will offer stations programming all day every day, but stations signing on have the right to a certain number of pre-emptions so that they can localize the channel with sports, news and weather if they want.
The lineup will be film-heavy, with possible MGM titles including 12 Angry Men and Class, starring Rob Lowe. It also will have some MGM classic television shows mixed in there ranging from The Addams Family to Thirtysomething. We're working on a full list of shows they will air, so come on back...but beware the channel will mainly be a film network.
The line-up will also feature children's programming from Cookie Jar Entertainment, with shows such as Johnny Test, The Doodlebops and Caillou.
The goal for the network is at least a 40% clearance across the country within the first year.
We will have more on This TV for sure soon! So stay tuned!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

DotComedy.com to Cease?; Network Notes; TV Land Announces M*A*S*H Mail Call Stunt

NBC Universal plans to shut down the website DotComedy.com in the near future, according to sources with knowledge of the company's plans, eventually folding the site's content and traffic into NBC.com, Mediaweek reports.
NBCU executives declined to comment, but sources indicated that DotComedy, which launched in mid-2006 as part of the company's enhanced focus on digital media, may or may not continue as a branded channel on NBC.com. Some of the site's original programming, which included original content produced by a team of video bloggers, will likely be redistributed to other sites within the NBCU family. So enjoy Leave it to Beaver while you can!

It's time for another game of...network notes! Yes, this is where we have so much network news, we will round it up all here for you! Let's start with NBC. After last night's terrible numbers, NBC has pulled the reality show The Singing Bee from November sweeps at least...so now we will get an extra half-hour of...you guessed it, The Biggest Loser. That means that series will air two-hours each Wednesday (8-10pm) for sweeps. In other NBC news, they have pulled production on the Heroes spin-off, Heroes: Origins. Two reasons I think...the potential writer's strike or maybe because Heroes is in a sophomore ratings slump? The spin-off was supposed to spell the original series for six weeks in mid-season. Finally, not surprisingly ABC has given a three extra scripts order for the Friday night thriller, Women's Murder Club. I expect a full season pick-up very soon. So, this means Cavemen and Big Shots are the only new ABC series without extra scripts or a full pick-up. Not bad...but I don't expect those two to get any additional orders, unless they pick up drastically in the ratings the next few weeks. November ratings sweeps starts TODAY and ends November 28. Let the games begin!

TV Land officially announced its M*A*S*H Mail Call Weekend today. It's two nights of madcap antics, pranks, love letters, homemade cookies and the latest gossip when TV Land presents a marathon of episodes from the hit series M*A*S*H during "M*A*S*H Mail Call". The marathon begins on Saturday, November 10, at 9:00pm (all times ET/PT) and Sunday, November 11, at 9:00pm (all times ET/PT) and chronicles the many personal letters and packages sent to and from loved ones of the gang at 4077th -- some good, some bad -- but all filled with side-splitting laughter. Fans will be treated to some of the most memorable episodes including "Dear Mildred", "The Winchester Tapes", "Dear Comrade" and the popular three-part series "Dear Dad", "Dear Dad, Again" and "Dear Dad, Three", featuring Hawkeye's comical and heartfelt letters sent to his father back in the United States.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TV One May Highlights; Simpsons: The Ride at Universal Orlando

The month of May is blooming for TV One as they celebrate Mother's Day, Janet Jackson's Birthday, and Memorial day!
On Sunday, May 13 beginning at 1pm, join TV One in a salute to Mother's Day as they present a "Favorite Black TV Moms" sitcom marathon. Mom related episodes in this marathon come from black series such as Amen, All of Us, All About the Andersons, Eve, Martin, Good Times, 227, and For Your Love. The marathon runs from 1pm to 8pm and resumes from midnight to 6am.
On Saturday, May 19 beginning at 1pm, TV One says Happy Birthday to superstar singer/actress Janet Jackson in an all-day Good Times marathon showcasing episodes featuring Miss Jackson's character Penny. This special marathon which also marks the 30th anniversary of Janet joining the Good Times cast in 1977 has an encore play beginning at 2am.
On Monday, May 28 beginning at 12 Noon, It's Mama Payne vs Sheneneh as TV One presents an all-day Martin Comedy Showdown marathon of two of the funniest characters in the history of television. This special Martin marathon features Mama Payne and Sheneneh caught in their most hilarious situations and gives viewers the chance to vote on which character they think is the funniest at www.tvoneonline.com.

"Woo Hoo!" Universal's theme parks add animated fun and excitement to their roster as FOX's blockbuster hit series, The Simpsons, becomes the inspiration for the world's most highly anticipated new theme park ride.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson - stars of TV's longest running series - will ride along with guests in a new mega-attraction opening at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in Spring 2008.
Guests will be rocketed along with the Simpson family on a hysterical, almost unimaginable adventure. They'll experience a side of Springfield previously unexplored as they enjoy the new ride's interpretation of thrill rides, dark rides and "live" shows that make up a new fantasy amusement park dreamed up by the show's cantankerous Krusty the Clown.
It will feature the show's classic humor and many of its instantly recognizable characters - all voiced by the original actors.
The ride will be replacing the Back to the Future Ride. Universal says more TV show rides could be announced soon.

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