Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WE tv Upfront 2010: Acquires Charmed; Remembering Robert Culp and Merlin Olsen

WE tv has acquired rerun rights to the fantasy/supernatural drama Charmed. The drama aired on The WB originally from 1998-2006 and starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty (who was replaced starting in season four with Rose McGowan). WE tv will air the series weekdays at 5pm & 6pm ET/PT starting Monday, June 21, 2010. Currently, a block of The Golden Girls airs from 5-7pm, but the full June schedule is not out yet, so we are not sure of other changes yet. WE tv also airs sitcoms Hope & Faith and Girlfriends and drama Ghost Whisperer, which airs at 7pm and would have a good lead-in in Charmed.
Charmed also airs on TNT weekday mornings from 8-10am and has been airing on TNT since 2001. Will it be shared with TNT or will TNT finally lose rights? It will indeed be shared with TNT, as TNT will continue to air the series weekday mornings. Back in 2008, the then Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) acquired Charmed in a library deal with Paramount, but it still hasn't aired there on the network. So maybe WE tv is getting Sci-Fi's portion of the deal while TNT will still have it? We'll let you know about the Syfy portion as soon as we find out. Stay tuned!
Sunset Daze is a reality version of The Golden Girls, reruns of which air on WE tv, about a group of Arizona retirees who behave like they're sill in college (minus the keg stands). It will air Wednesday nights at 10 pm beginning April 28.
Among the other original series they have ordered is Mother Knows Best?, which has Joan Rivers moving in with her daughter Melissa Rivers and Melissa's son and new live-in boyfriend, intends to cast Joan Rivers in a sympathetic light. WE tv has ordered eight episodes of the show, which is targeted to debut in fall 2010.

Actor, screenwriter and director Robert Culp has died. He was on a walk when he fell and struck his head outside his Los Angeles home and was declared dead shortly before noon at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center on March 24, 2010. Culp is probably best known for his role as special agent Kelly Robinson on I Spy, the 1965-68 NBC espionage series that co-starred Bill Cosby. The groundbreaking series combined humor and adventure and was the first American television drama to feature an African-American actor (Cosby) in a lead role. In addition to acting, Culp wrote seven of the episodes, one which he directed. He earned an Emmy nomination for the writing of one of the episodes. All three years he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, but lost each time to Cosby. "I was the proudest man around," he said in a 1977 interview. In 1987, he once again reunited with Cosby on an episode of The Cosby Show playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's old friend Scott Kelly. His name was a combination of their I Spy characters' names. In 1994, they re-teamed for the two-hour CBS TV movie, I Spy Returns.
He began his television career with a role on Trackdown, a 1957-1959 western series in which he played Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. His guest starring television roles included The Dupont Show with June Allyson, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Outer Limits, Target: The Corruptors!, Empire, Bonanza, Columbo and The Name of the Game. From 1981-1983, he co-starred with William Katt as tough FBI agent Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero. Several episodes were also written and directed by him. He would reprise the role in a voice-over on the stop-motion sketch comedy Robot Chicken. In addition to his television work, he also appeared in a number of theatrical films. His best known role was probably in the critically acclaimed Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Other film roles included The Castaway Cowboy, Golden Girl, Turk 182!, PT 109, The Raiders, Sunday in New York, Hannie Caulder, Hickey & Boggs (with Billl Cosby) and The Pelican Brief as a U.S. President.
His sitcom roles included guest appearances on Who's the Boss?, The Golden Girls, The Nanny, Wings and Cosby. Culp also had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan – Debra Barone's father and Ray's father-in-law. Culp was married five times, to Nancy Ashe, Elayne Wilner, France Nuyen, Sheila Sullivan and Candace Culp. He had four children with Ashe and one with Candace Culp. He will be greatly missed. Mr. Culp was 79.

Professional football star, broadcaster and actor Merlin Olsen has died. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 and had battled cancer before passing away at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California on March 11, 2010.
Olsen began his football career at Utah State University where he was a three-year leterman as defensive tackle. He was a three-time Academic All-American and won the Outland Trophy after his senior season. Following his time at Utah State, he went on to play his entire 15-year career (1962-1976) with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962, was First-team All-Pro in 1964 and 1966-70, and was elected to the Pro Bowl 14 times - missing it only his final season. In 1982, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, he teamed with Dick Enberg on NBC's NFL broadcasts throughout the 1980's. They also did the Rose Bowl together from 1980-1988. In 1989, he worked with Charlie Jones. For the 1990-1991 seasons, he moved to CBS and teamed with Dick Stockton.
His acting career began in 1977 when he played Michael Landon's sidekick and farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. In 1981, Olsen moved on to star in the series Father Murphy, playing a kind-hearted frontiersman in that show, which lasted until 1983. He also had the lead role in the short-lived Aaron's Way that ran in 1988 on NBC. His sitcom roles included appearances on Petticoat Junction in 1970 and The Brian Keith Show in 1972.
He also starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Fathers and Sons that ran for 4 episodes in 1986. In addition to his television acting work, he was the commercial spokesman for FTD Florists for many years.
He is survived by wife Susan, and their three children: Kelly, Jill and Nathan, and four grandchildren. The gentle giant will never be forgotten. Mr. Olsen was 69.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! - TV Marathons On This Holiday Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We thank you for visiting us on this special day and every other day, all-year. We also are very thankful that you all will continue to visit every single day and making this blog a continued huge success. We get thousands of visitors every day (even on weekends). So, we thank you for the growth each year! It is simply amazing and I can't believe it has been nearly 5 years (OK almost 4 1/2 years) of posting on this blog every single day no matter what! No days off!

Before we let you all go back to your families (or special friends), we want to let you know the marathons on TV you and your family might want to watch during the day and after Thanksgiving dinner. We love TV marathons and you all come here on each holiday to see what marathons are airing, so as always we will do that today, too!
We have told you about many of the sitcom related marathons already. We were the first ones to tell you about them, too. WGN America has their second annual Newhart marathon on Thanksgiving Day from 2:30pm-8pm ET. TV Land has its annual Overstuffed Weekend with Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie on Thanksgiving Day and Night, with many other sitcoms from Friday-Sunday. Nick at Nite continues their George Lopez Thanksgiving Week marathon all night tonight and tomorrow night. TV One has a Living Single and Martin marathon starting at 11:30am. So yeah we told you about all these already many moons ago. But there are of course more as usual!
Other sitcom related marathons include TBS's Seinfeld marathon, but that is tomorrow (Friday) from 11:30am-4pm. Also on Friday, BET airs an Everybody Hates Chris marathon from 10am-6pm, while WE tv has a Golden Girls marathon on Friday from 12pm-7pm and FX goes back to the '70s with That '70s Show starting at 8am om Friday. On Saturday, BET airs a marathon of The Game from 9am-7:30pm, while TV Land has its weekly Saturday Married...with Children marathon from 8am-6pm this week.
Non-sitcom wise, USA Network will have a House marathon today starting at 7am, while The Closer marathon airs on TNT from 10am-6pm. Other notables for Thursday include a Home Alone movie marathon on FX, Deal or No Deal on GSN, Supernanny on Style, Band of Brothers on Spike TV, and many many movies marathons on networks like Disney Channel, Sleuth, Hallmark, G4, Comedy Central, and Syfy's Bond Movies marathon. On Friday we get Criminal Minds on A&E, Law & Order on TNT, Beverly Hills 90210 on SOAPnet, NCIS/White Collar on USA, and America's Next Top Model on Oxygen, and on Saturday Top Model will also have a marathon on Bravo.
And don't forget my pick of the night, tonight at 8pm on ABC the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It's an annual tradition to watch! Can't get enough of old Chuck! If you haven't see it already, view our 2009 Network TV Holiday Specials and Movies Guide, so you don't miss anything on network TV this holiday season. Also our ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas schedule, because that is the place to be as always during the holiday season with classics like Mickey's Christmas Carol, A Garfield Christmas and Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too!

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Happy Labor Day; TV Rebels: Desi Arnaz - More Than Just a Bongo Player

Happy Labor Day everyone! Most of you are probably outdoors spending this last "unofficial" last day of summer with your family & friends, but for those of you who are in needs of some TV marathons...you've come to the right place as usual!
We have mentioned many of these already, but it's a good reminder if you have forgotten! The Golden Girls will get the most play this holiday! Hallmark Channel will air a marathon from 8am-12am, while WE tv will air a marathon also from 1pm-7pm. BET is airing a marathon of The Game all-day today, while TBS goes to The Office this Labor Day from 4pm-8pm.
Other notable marathons are for dramas...Criminal Minds on A&E, NCIS on USA Network, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family. Both TNT and SOAPnet have short stunts of Law & Order and One Tree Hill from 11am-5pm, while The N has what else...Degrassi all-day. And on network TV, ABC has a three episode block of Castle from 8-11pm, as the season premiere is two weeks from tonight. TV Land has a movie marathon from 9am-6:30pm.
Reality wise we have Supernanny on style, 16 and Pregnant on MTV, Cops on G4, Catch 21 on GSN, and Dirty Jobs on Discovery. Hope you all find something!

It's time for the return of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and then last year we got rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so including today's three essays are left. Upcoming TV Rebel columns will be about Rod Serling and TV Dinners. The book is in the works and will be released in 2010...so stay tuned for that and look for a review of the book right here before it comes out!

So without further adieu, we bring you the tenth essay of TV Rebels:

Desi Arnaz: More Than Just a Bongo Player
by Lou Orfanella

In 1950 when CBS was interested in bringing Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband radio program to television Ball demanded that her real life husband Desi Arnaz play her husband. The network turned her down feeling that the viewing public would not accept Arnaz with his heavy accent as her husband. She held out, the network acquiesced and Mr. and Mrs. Desi Arnaz forever became Lucy and Ricky Ricardo in popular culture history.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had been married since 1940. By 1950 she was doing her radio show and periodic big screen projects in a mostly unnoticed film career. Arnaz was travelling the country with his band and their marriage was strained. By insisting they do what would become I Love Lucy together Ball hoped to solidify their domestic life. "Richard Denning, Lucy's radio hubby, comments: 'She said it would help her marriage. Also the show. And, of course, she was right'" (Andrews 22).

Ball was determined that Arnaz not be seen as playing second fiddle to her. The title, I Love Lucy, in fact was an effort to include Desi in the title and indeed since he is the "I" give him top billing. "The general impression seems to be that he was a lucky Cuban who was handsome, charming, played the bongo, and happened to be married to the funniest lady in the whole world. Well, this was all true, but there was a lot more to Desi than that. He may have only been that when he started, but he had an amazing ability for learning things and he was an astute businessman" (Davis 55).

It was Arnaz' business acumen that changed the traditional method of producing situation comedies. Traditionally shows were broadcast live and "preserved" on low quality kinescopes, which were essentially copies made by aiming a movie camera at a television monitor and which were used to broadcast programs outside of the eastern time zone where sponsors were less likely to view them and challenge the quality. When production was set to begin on I Love Lucy for its premier season, Lucy and Desi lived on the west coast and had no intention of moving to New York where the show could be done live for what was then the largest audience, and the sponsors as well. Desi's solution was to film the show like a motion picture resulting in high quality prints. It would be an expensive proposition requiring three or four cameras, special sound and lighting techniques, and potentially multiple sets which would increase the costs. The network only agreed after the Arnazs agreed to a pay cut to help defray the production costs. "The burden of planning this new method fell heavily on Desi's shoulders. No one had attempted a situation comedy on film, shot before a live studio audience: he was plowing virginal fields" (Andrews 32).

Arnaz was not only successful in changing the way sitcoms were filmed and preserved for the lucrative rerun syndication market, but was shrewd enough to acquire an ownership percentage in the series which he and Lucy parlayed into Desilu Production, at one time, the most successful in the business.

Works Cited
Andrews, Bart. "Lucy&Ricky&Fred&Ethel: The Story of I Love Lucy." New York: Dutton, 1976.
Davis, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll Jr. "Laughing with Lucy." Cincinnati Emmis, 2005.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ION Television Removes Weekday Boston Legal; Timeslots for Ghost Whisperer on WE tv and Syfy

Today on the fall schedule barrage we have a minor edit to tell you about. We released the ION Television Fall 2009 line-up, which starts Sept. 7, but now ION has made a minor change. Weekdays in the 5pm hour will be now another hour of Family Feud replacing Boston Legal. Boston Legal will still air in the fall on Wednesdays at 9pm. Family Feud will now air for two-hours in a row from 5-7pm. This change will actually start next week (Monday, Aug. 24).

ION Television will be airing Ghost Whisperer Mon-Thurs at 8pm as we mentioned, but now we can give you the timeslots for the show on cable on WE tv and Syfy. WE tv will the show weeknights at 7pm ET starting Monday, Sept. 7. WE tv won't be making any other changes in September, so that means series like Hope & Faith, Dharma & Greg, Girlfriends, and The Golden Girls will remain in their current timeslots.
Syfy will air Ghost Whisperer on Monday nights from 7pm-11pm also starting Monday, Sept. 7. A marathon of Ghost Hunters will be its lead-in on Sept. 7 (8am-7pm). The rest of the regular schedule will remain intact in September as well, with the daily daytime rotation marathon from 8am-4pm, Star Trek Enterprise at 4pm, Stargate Atlantis at 5pm, Stargate SG-1 at 6pm, Lost at 1am, and X-Files at 2am. Various programming airs from 7pm-1am each night with originals, blocks, and movies. Among highlights, 31 Days of Halloween begins October 1 on Syfy. So lots of marathons such as Friday the 13th: The Series and movies are planned and will preempt the schedule until 7pm each night.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur, Kim Weiskopf; Hallmark Channel, WE tv, TV Land, Me-Too All To Air Tributes for Bea

Today we will cover everything Bea Arthur (with a tribute to Kim Weiskopf as well). As you all I'm sure know by now, Bea Arthur has died. Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows Maude and The Golden Girls and who won a Tony Award for the musical Mame, died Saturday (April 25). Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side. She had cancer but that is the only detail we know. Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series All in the Family as Edith Bunker's outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur's own series, known of course as Maude. Maude scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The show ended in 1978, as Bea thought it was time for the show to end after six seasons. Then came The Golden Girls from 1985-1992, and it was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience. She played Dorothy Zbornak, one of four older friends living in Miami. The show moved to CBS in 1992-93 and was titled The Golden Palace, but Bea didn't sign on for it. Bea did guest star in a two-part episode. In 2003, Lifetime reunited the cast for the special The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Memories. And in 2008, the cast reunited again on the 2008 TV Land Awards accepting the Pop Culture Award.
Even before television, Bea had a major career in plays on Broadway. Arthur's biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury's acerbic friend in the musical "Mame," directed by Tony-winning director Gene Saks, who was also her husband of 28 years. They divorced in 1978. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, ... And Then There's Bea.
In between Maude and The Golden Girls, Bea had a failed sitcom. In 1983, she starred in the ABC sitcom Amanda's, an Americanized version of John Cleese's hilarious Fawlty Towers. She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere 10 episodes, with three episodes unaired.
She was also in films. Among the movies she graced were That Kind of Woman (1959), Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Mel Brooks' The History of the World: Part I (1981), For Better or Worse (1995). Her TV movies include the ABC TV movie My First Love in 1988 and the NBC TV movie P.O.P. in 1984.
Among her guest appearances on television are the The Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, Ellen, Beggars & Choosers, Dave's World, a.k.a. Pablo, Laugh-In, and she appeared on a rare special recap episode of Soap as an "angel." In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Futurama and Malcolm in the Middle. The latter was very popular.
Bea will certainly be missed by millions and millions fans around the world. TV Land has created a 30-second on-air and online promo remembering her. TV Land will air both of her appearances on All in the Family on Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am, the episodes "Cousin Maude's Visit" on Tuesday and the back-door "Maude" pilot that aired as an All in the Family episode on Wednesday. Too bad TV Land isn't airing regular Maude episodes as a tribute. Me-Too in Chicago will air Maude, though! All this week in the 9-10pm CT hour, Me-Too Chicago airs "Remembering Maude: A Tribute to Bea Arthur." View the episode schedule. Lucky fans in Chi-town.
Hallmark and WE tv air The Golden Girls regularly multiple times a day. Hallmark will pay tribute to Bea with a Memorial Day marathon and WE tv pays tribute to Bea tonight and Thursday, see below for more details on both. Watch a video celebration of her life and career. Bea lived a long life and was 86.

Hallmark Channel has announced it will pay tribute to legendary star Bea Arthur with an all-day Golden Girls "Memorial Day Marathon" on Monday, May 25 from 6:30am-2:30am, featuring episodes focusing on Arthur's character Dorothy Zbornak, a gruff, wise-cracking divorcée who shared her Miami home with her mother and two loopy friends. Golden Girls plays daily on Hallmark Channel: Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m., 7-9 p.m., 12-2 a.m., Saturdays 6-9 a.m., and Sundays 8:30-10 a.m. View their press release. UPDATE: We get marathons SOONER now on Hallmark! At the Studio City, CA home of Hallmark Channel, fans of the classic comedy Golden Girls flooded the network's Viewer Services department today with parenthetical appreciation for the channel's announcement of a Memorial Day Tribute to Bea Arthur. The qualifier to the announcement included these sentiments: more, sooner, please. And now Hallmark has listened! Hallmark Channel responded by hand-selecting the "Best of the Dorothy Zbornak Episodes" which begin running Tuesday, April 28 (7-9pm) and continue, Wednesday, April 29 (7-9pm), and Thursday, April 30 (7-9pm) in the normal Golden Girls timeslots, but also on Sunday, May 3 (8:30am-3am) a full day event is planned! This is all in addition to the previously announced Memorial Day marathon on, Monday, May 25 (6:30am-2:30am.). We don't have episode info yet for the Memorial Day stunt, but Hallmark has released the 5 day stunt episodes for this week! Thank you for being a friend, Hallmark!
WE tv airs the show weeknights from 5-7pm ET, with primetime marathons from 6pm-12am on Monday nights, so that includes tonight. They also air the show sometimes on Thursday late nights. WE tv announced today two special nights of programming to honor Bea Arthur. "WE Remember Bea" will feature a marathon of favorite The Golden Girls episodes both Monday, April 27 from 5pm-12am ET and Thursday, April 30 from 9:30pm-1am ET. The acclaimed actress, known for her quick wit and willingness to embrace controversial issues was the centerpiece of the comedic series, which won more than 38 awards during its run. "WE Remember Bea" will be comprised of episodes which center on Bea Arthur's colorful character Dorothy Zbornak and key related storylines from the series. See the episode info for tonight's marathon.
WE tv already had a scheduled Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon from 10am-6am, so we have two networks airing a marathon on The Golden Girls on May 25.

We also have lost Kim Weiskopf, a TV comedy writer whose credits included Three's Company and Married...with Children, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday (April 22) at his home in Encino. He launched his career in the early 1970s, with longtime writing partner Michael S. Baser, he wrote for series such as One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Melba, Carter Country, We Got It Made, and Good Times, the latter show leading to their first staff-writing position.
The writing duo went on to write and produce three seasons of ABC's Three's Company before being hired to create the TV series 9 to 5 for ABC, which was based on the movie. They then developed an updated, syndicated version of the '70s series What's Happening!! called What's Happening Now!!, though he had never worked with the original series.
Weiskopf's also wrote and produced for Rachel Gunn, R.N., Full House and Married...with Children, without Baser. Kim appeared in interviews for the E! True Hollywood Story episodes of both Three's Company and Married...with Children. He had an uncredited appearance on Married...with Children on an episode playing Lucky the Dog in a 1996 episode.
He is going to be missed, especially by fans of Three's Company and Married...with Children. Kim was 62.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Golden Girls on WE tv Details; TNT's The Closer Heads to Broadcast Syndication in Fall 2010

Happy President's Day! Last President's Day we gave you good news about many Sony sitcoms (Sanford, Thea, Diff'rent Strokes, and Malcolm & Eddie) coming to BET, now today we continue that tradition somewhat with moe TV sitcom scheduling news!
We gave you the details on The Golden Girls on The Hallmark Channel already, now we have details on The Golden Girls on WE tv. We were the first ones to announce last year that the series would also come to WE tv when it comes to Hallmark and leaves Lifetime. Now we finally have the details on WE tv's timeslots for the show!
The hit '80s sitcom premieres Monday, March 16, on WE tv from 5pm to 7pm, with four back-to-back episodes that will air every weeknight thereafter as well from 5pm to 7pm. So Hallmark will air it on weekdays 9-10am, 4-5pm and 12-2am, and we can now add 5-7pm for WE tv. If my math is correct, that is six combined hours between the two. This is just weekdays, too! In addition, an all-day marathon has been scheduled from 10am-5pm on Saturday, March 21 on WE tv. We don't know yet if WE tv will air the series yet on weekends, but Hallmark is airing it in the mornings (Saturdays 6-9am and Sundays 8:30am-10am). Stay tuned, as they say in the TV world.
The series of course is about four previously married women living together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times. We will have more on this for sure in the coming days, as we are not yet sure if WE tv will make any other schedule changes, as they air other sitcoms as well (Hope & Faith, Dharma & Greg, and Girlfriends). But for now head on over to WE tv's The Golden Girls section! Thank you for being a friend!

The Closer, basic cable's highest-rated program, will premiere on TV stations in reruns in fall 2010 and is sold through 2012. The show is sold to the Fox Television Stations in 16 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
It's also been cleared with the following groups: CBS, Raycom, Capitol Broadcasting, Local TV, Hearst-Argyle Television, Tribune, Young, LIN TV, Turner, Newport Television, Weigel Broadcasting, Post-Newsweek Stations, Four Points Media Group, Meredith, Cox Television, Grant Television, Gannett Broadcasting, McKinnon Broadcasting, Freedom Communications, ComCorp, Bonten Media Group, Barrington Broadcasting Group, Hubbard Broadcasting and ACME Television. This covers about 85% of the country so far.
The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Kyra Sedgwick stars as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, who is involved in cracking tough and high-profile murder cases in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has sold the third syndication cycle of Without a Trace to stations representing 85% of the country, renewing the hit drama series in reruns through the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons on the CBS Television Stations in 18 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as to stations owned by Sinclair, Tribune, Raycom, Meredith, Newport, Post-Newsweek, Four Points, Media General, Belo, Freedom, New Vision, Barrington, Bonten Media Group, McKinnon, Dispatch, Weigel, Journal, Allbritton, Grey, ACME and Hearst-Argyle. The series is still airing on broadcast in originals on CBS in its seventh season and is likely to return for an eighth season in 2009-2010.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

ION Television and WE tv October 2008 Schedules; Mel Brooks Interview on TVTimeMachine.com

This October on ION Television they will expand Boston Legal to air more than once a week! Currently the show is airing Mondays at 8:00PM but beginning Monday, September 29, the show will air Mon-Thurs at 8:00PM ET/PT and also Wednesdays at 9:00PM. However, a few Thursdays, it will be preempted for the Thursday movie. When it isn't, the Thursday movie will air 9-11PM. All of the additional Boston Legal airings will replace ER airings, except Thursdays. ER will still remain in its Mon-Wed at 10:00PM ET/PT timeslot. Boston Legal and especially NCIS are off to great starts for the network. Thursday night (Total Theatre Thursday) movie titles weren't available at press time, but when the movie starts at 8PM this month, Drew Carey Show will be on at 10:30PM!
As for RHI programming, Flash Gordon continues to air Fridays at 7:00PM. The 10th Kingdom wraps up its 10 episode run on October 10. Today ION announced the U.S. television premiere of Archangel, debuting Friday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The three-hour mystery-thriller stars Daniel Craig, best known for his title role as the fictional secret agent James Bond in Casino Royale and in the soon-to-be-released 22nd Bond movie Quantum of Solace. Archangel also stars Gabriel Macht and Harry Ditson. The project, which was filmed on location in Russia and Latvia, also features an all-star Russian cast. Other RHI titles include Virtual Obsession and Legend Of Sleepy Hollow on Halloween night. Speaking of Halloween, during Halloween week, you'll see Halloween themed episodes of Boston Legal, NCIS, and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper!
Check out the complete ION Television October 2008 schedule and highlights.

Moving on to WE tv October, as we mentioned previously, WE tv has gotten the rights to air the last three seasons of Girlfriends. The show will start Monday, October 6 airing weekdays at 12 noon and 12:30pm, shifting Hope & Faith back to its old 10am & 10:30am timeslot, which means Kate & Allie will be removed from the schedule at this time. Dharma & Greg will remain in its 11am & 11:30am timeslot.
Girlfriends will also air Mondays on an eight episode block from 6pm-10pm and on Sundays from 3-6pm with a six episode block. On Halloween, catch Halloween episodes of Hope & Faith and Dharma & Greg in their regular timeslots.

Mel Brooks talks about his TV career in a one-hour interview on the Internet radio show TV Time Machine (http://www.tvtimemachine.com), hosted by TV historian Jim Benson.
On TV Time Machine, Mel Brooks gives his most comprehensive interview ever about his fifty-year contribution to television. Among other topics, Mr. Brooks talks about working with comedy legends Sid Caesar, Neil Simon and Woody Allen on the classic 1950's TV series, Your Show of Shows, and how he created the classic TV spy spoof Get Smart with Buck Henry, the basis for the 2008 film starring Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway.
Mel Brooks also discusses his personal life and experiences on TV Time Machine, including his service in World War II as a Combat Engineer (where his job consisted of de-activating German land mines). Brooks reminisces about growing up in Brooklyn, New York, and watching musicals on Broadway as a young boy, which ultimately inspired him to bring The Producers and Young Frankenstein to the stage, nearly seventy-years later.
TV Time Machine is a unique Internet radio show that explores classic TV and its influence over the past five decades. TV Time Machine is more than a nostalgia trip. It also spotlights TV's impact on our culture and society, and explores how present day television and its movers and shakers are still influenced by the stories, programs, and characters of television's past.
So, head on over to http://www.tvtimemachine.com for the Mel Brooks interview!

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Sitcom Time Changes on WE tv; Programming Reminders for This Weekend

Starting this Monday (May 12), WE tv will switch the timeslots for sitcoms Kate & Allie and Hope & Faith. Kate & Allie was airing weekdays from 12-1pm (sometimes it would be extended a bit longer, too) and will now move to 10-11am weekdays where Hope & Faith was airing. And yes, Hope & Faith will move to 12-1pm (and sometimes it will be extended a bit beyond that, too). Dharma & Greg will remain in the middle from 11am-12pm.
Remember WE tv also has reruns of Girlfriends, Golden Girls and Ghost Whisperer coming in 2009.

Yes, MTV Networks (TV Land, Nick at Nite, etc) had their upfront yesterday, but as of now, still no press releases or anything from TV Land. I do know that Chris Rock was on hand at the upfront for Everybody Hates Chris, which comes to Nick at Nite in 2009.
At its 2008 upfront presentation, MTV Networks united its leadership, talent and marketing partners to showcase innovative partnerships, programming and platforms across its brands. The presentation highlighted "return on innovation" -- the value for marketers in MTVN's reinvention of how audiences experience content and advertising on every screen. The event was highlighted by special guest appearances by some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock, Ashanti, Taylor Swift, Lauren Conrad, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, George Foreman, Dr. Drew Pinsky, as well as exclusive musical performances by John Legend, Sarah Silverman, JabbaWockeeZ from MTV's Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew and the cast of hit Broadway musical Legally Blonde.
Yeah, nothing major at all. We will let you know if there is anything announced today or whenever.

This weekend has a lot of nice programming for everyone. We have mentioned all of these already, but we are going to remind you again. Tonight ABC will air the two-hour special TV's All-Time Funniest...sitcoms of the past and present are featured from Married with Children to I Love Lucy to The Office. Tune in from 8-10pm ET/PT on ABC! Must see for sitcoms fans.
Then we mentioned a few Mother's Day stunts. They will all of course air on Mother's Day, this Sunday (May 11). Airing on BET from 12pm-5pm is a sitcom marathon of Thea. The short-lived ABC sitcom starring Thea Vidale and Brandy Norwood. Watch Thea take care of her four kids and work two jobs...how does she do it? Tune in! On Boomerang this Sunday from 12pm-7pm, there will be Wilma themed episodes of animated sitcom The Flintstones. Finally, Nick at Nite has a nice primetime block featuring "Hot Moms." Tune in starting at 9pm for "Hot Moms" like Jill Taylor, Angie Lopez and Vivian Banks! The marathon will be hosted by one of the hot moms themselves, Constance Marie (Angie on George Lopez)!

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Monday, May 05, 2008

SitcomsOnline.com 2008-09 Upfront Preview: ABC; Sci Fi and WE tv Acquire Ghost Whisperer, Classics Coming to Sci Fi Such As Mork & Mindy

NBC is the first network going at upfront, which will be next Monday, but they have already announced their 2008-09 schedule last month so we can't preview and make predictions for NBC...so we decided to go with the next network ... ABC (which will go next Tuesday). With the writers' strike causing a lot of delays to the pilot season, many pilots won't be ready before the upfronts, thus we won't see many new shows this fall, unfortunately. I think mid-season will see a lot more shows than normal.
So, ABC will likely build on their sophomore shows (the current freshman series such as Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money, and Samantha Who?). Most of those have not returned after the strike ended, so they will likely do large return promotions for these. New shows wise, I expect maybe 1-2 new dramas or 1-2 new sitcoms on ABC this fall, with lots of new shows being ordered for mid-season.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com ABC 2008-09 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Section 8 (6 episode order, but doesn't mean it will be on in the fall).
New Series We Think That Are Almost Good To Go: Good Behavior (drama), Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas (drama), My Brother's Hot And Other Dilemas (wt for Milano series) (sitcom).
New Series Perhaps Picked-Up for Mid-Season: Prince of Motor City (drama), Life on Mars (drama), Cupid (dramedy), Bad Mother's Handbook (sitcom), Never Better (sitcom), This Might Hurt (sitcom).

OUR FALL 2008 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00PM Desperate Housewives
10:00PM Dirty Sexy Money

Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
9:30PM Samantha Who?
10:00PM Good Behavior (NEW!)

Tuesdays
8:00PM My Brother's Hot (And Other Dilemas) (NEW!)
8:30PM Miss Guided
9:00PM Dancing with the Stars: The Results
10:00PM Boston Legal

Wednesdays
8:00PM Pushing Daisies
9:00PM Private Practice
10:00PM Brothers & Sisters

Thursdays
8:00PM Ugly Betty
9:00PM Grey's Anatomy
10:00PM Eli Stone

Fridays
8:00PM Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas (NEW!)
9:00PM According to Jim
9:30PM According to Jim or Cedric the Entertainer Project (NEW!)
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM College Football

Comments: It is really hard to predict what shows will be ready for the fall since the strike has caused a lot of production delays. I'm hoping new dramas Good Behavior and Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas will be ready for the fall...they sound very good. For Mondays, I'm leaving 8-10 intact right now but 10pm needs a change. The Bachelor is an average performer, but they can do better...especially with the high profile Good Behavior, which is the Outrageous Fortune Australian remake. The Bachelor would come back in January. My Brother's Hot (And Other Dilemas) is the new Kristin Newman sitcom project that will star Alyssa Milano! I think Miss Guided should return. It was fed to the strike and it had to start itself off without any support and besides it is very funny and should be given another chance. It would do well out of Milano's show. However, if there is a chance CBS drops Old Christine, then I think ABC should really go after it and air it 9:30 Mondays after Dancing with the Stars because I think a multi-camera sitcom would do better. Thus if that happens, then I would slide Samantha Who in the 8pm hour on Tuesdays paired with Alyssa Milano's sitcom, and hold on to Miss Guided for later. ABC should start Boston Legal in the Tuesday at 10 slot for the fall since not many new shows will be available, and this show proves it can do decent in this slot out of Stars..so don't mess with it until mid-season. Wednesdays ABC should bring back the combo of Pushing Daisies and Private Practice from 8-10pm because they were very solid and helped ABC win this past fall on Wednesday nights. Closing the night I think the addictive Brothers & Sisters should move to this night and give a nice flow to the night...as it has proven itself already on Sunday nights. As for Thursdays, Betty and Grey's are a given, but I think Eli Stone should return for a second season and air in the fall at least. If it doesn't work, then try something else...but it should be tried because the show is high class and deserves to be given a shot after Grey's. If Betty continues to slide (which I think it will perk up when Lohan comes), they could try something else in the slot mid-season. Lost will return in February most likely for 16 or 17 straight weeks, possibly Thursdays at 10 again? Or maybe on another night? I don't see that happening though unless they want to have an all male night with Scrubs and a new comedy (possibly This Might Hurt). Speaking of Scrubs, I think ABC will indeed pick it up but not air it until January. I have no idea where they would slot it, too. Tuesdays at 8 in January or Thursdays at 8 giving Betty a break in January? I think ABC should go after Fridays. They shouldn't give up. They should go after the family audience. And new adventure drama Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas is exactly what they should air...especially in the the colder months between October-February when viewership is higher. I think According to Jim should wrap up its series run in the fall rather than being fed to American Idol in the winter/spring. I would double up on it because I'm too scared to launch a new sitcom, like Cedric the Entertainer's new sitcom. I guess they could double pump Jim for a while then bring in Cedric in one of the slots if this night clicks. Finally, on Sundays...I would leave 7-10pm alone. I think Dirty Sexy Money would be a better fit out of Desperate Housewives than Private Practice was...so yes it is a risk to move Brothers & Sisters, but I think that drama can do well on another night, too.
Series that will be canceled or are ending include: Notes from the Underbelly, October Road, Women's Murder Club, Big Shots, Cashmere Mafia, Cavemen, Carpoolers, Duel, MEN IN TREES.
The Bachelor
, Wife Swap & Supernanny will all return for mid-season or maybe December/January on Monday nights. Other reality shows like Oprah's Big Give, Here Come the Newlyweds, and Dance War all did decent, and should be tried again for mid-season or maybe next summer.
Looking at the fall line-up, ABC is pretty stacked with shows that are hits and sophomores that could build and be big hits...but with the strike it is very hard to tell what new shows will be available in the fall. Some shows that should make it sometime this season that I haven't mentioned yet are dramas Prince of Motor City, Life on Mars, Section 8 (has a 6 episode order), and comedies Bad Mother's Handbook, Cupid, Never Better, and the animated Goode Family.
Anyway, this season ABC had some decent hits like Private Practice, Samantha Who, Pushing Daises and some promising shows such as Eli Stone, Miss Guided and Dirty Sexy Money. But this coming year will have ABC trying to build on those even more with their mega hits like Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy. Hopefully there isn't an actors strike to mess the TV landscape again.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own, by clicking HERE!

Remember, next Tuesday (May 13) is the actual date when we will find out ABC's plans for the 2008-09 season. So, come on back next Tuesday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong). Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on The CW's upfront.


Turning to the news, Ghost Whisperer was acquired by ION Television starting in September 2009 for broadcast rights, but now the show has been sold to cable as well! Both Sci Fi Channel and WE tv will share the show in a joint contract. Sci Fi Channel will air the show in four hour marathon blocks once a week, while WE tv will air it daily, similar to ION. We will have more on WE tv's part soon, but Sci Fi has already announced their plans this morning.
SCI FI Channel has secured off-network cable rights to CBS's Emmy-nominated series, Ghost Whisperer, from CBS Television Distribution. SCI FI will launch the series in the fall of 2009.
In addition, SCI FI will have access to shows in the CBS-Paramount library, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, which will premiere Monday June 2, 2008 on SCI FI, Charmed, Early Edition, Highlander, Highlander: The Raven, Seven Days, The Sentinel, The Invaders, Friday the Thirteenth: The Series and the classic Robin Williams sitcom Mork & Mindy, among others.
We will have more details on those classic series later, but we know Star Trek: The Next Generation starts Monday, June 2 and will air Mondays from 7-11pm. SCI FI likes to air shows in marathon blocks, so they have something fresh each day. Look for the classic series to be rotated into their morning daytime rotation slots. Nice to have a sitcom on SCI FI! Maybe they can get Webster from CBS-Paramount as well? We all know Webster was secretly an alien...just kidding! Seriously, they should get more sitcoms of this nature from other studios like Debmar-Mercury's ALF, 20th Century Fox's Small Wonder and Universal's Out of this World...just my suggestions and thoughts. Mork & Mindy is a nice start, though! We will keep you up to date on these library shows. Yes, the Charmed deal will be shared with TNT ... so SCI and TNT can air it.
In other news, WE tv has also secured rights to the last three seasons of the sitcom Girlfriends! BET will have rights to the other seasons still. We will have more on this shortly. We already mentioned WE tv has acquired The Golden Girls for March 2009, in a shared deal with Hallmark, so it seems WE Tv is loading up more on off-net programming. Meanwhile, SCI FI will launch Lost this fall, as we stated previously.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hallmark Channel and WE TV Acquire The Golden Girls; George Lopez Marathon Scores for Nick at Nite

The Hallmark Channel and WE tv have acquired the cable rights to The Golden Girls starting in March 2009 in a shared cable deal. This means the durable sitcom will leave its home of Lifetime Television of 12 years at the end of February 2009. The show has been on the Lifetime since March 1, 1997 (it was renewed a few times) and was one of its highest rated series in the history of the network.
We mentioned a few months back that The Hallmark Channel also has gotten rights to sitcoms Cheers (Fall 2008) and I Love Lucy (January 2009), so they are slowly building towards a sitcom line-up, after having just dramas for many years. It is not certain yet if Cheers and I Love Lucy will also air on TV Land still when Hallmark starts them, but both show's current contracts expire when Hallmark starts airing them.
As for Golden Girls, Lifetime said this in a statement regarding the sitcom moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv :
"The 'classic' series will depart our schedule after a 12-year run to make room for our next generation of off-net comedies such as the very popular Reba, Still Standing and Will & Grace, as well as numerous original comedies in development, along with the return of the smash hit Army Wives. We wish Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia all the best of luck in their new homes."
We don't have full details yet on WE tv, but it will likely also start when The Golden Girls comes to Hallmark. WE tv currently airs sitcoms in the daytime. Sitcoms that air are Hope & Faith, Kate & Allie and Dharma & Greg. That's a lot of ampersands! They need to get Laverne & Shirley just for the ampersand! Anyway, we will let you know what WE tv says when we find out.
For now discuss the news of Golden Girls leaving Lifetime and coming to Hallmark/WE tv in March 2009 by clicking HERE! Thank you for bein' a friend!

Last week Nick at Nite had its seven night George Lopez "Luck o' the Lopez Marathon" and the marathon helped Nick at Nite all the way to 3rd in cable ratings for all of cable. The marathon aired March 17-23 from 9pm-6am on Sun-Thurs and 10pm-6am on Fri-Sat, so the marathon was all that Nick at Nite aired that week. Nick at Nite had its best week ever as it averaged 2.17 million viewers for the week (approx. 64% higher than the same week last year) and a 1.7 HH rating. The only cable networks that were higher that week were USA Network at a 2.2 HH rating and The Disney Channel at a 1.9 HH rating. Nick at Nite was #1 for the week on cable in the following demos: Teens 12 to 17 and adults 25 to 54; adults 18 to 34 and 18 to 49; and women 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. George Lopez was all that Nick at Nite aired last week, so it was all George that did this! "I Got This!" In fact, as many as five episodes in the marathon had well over 3 million viewers, which is unheard of for Nick at Nite. Woooopah, as George would say! The previous two weeks, Nick at Nite finished 6th in cable network ratings. The show regularly airs every night at 10:00pm & 10:30pm ET/PT with an encore later in the evening. People are watching, so if you haven't watched yet...check it out because it is actually very funny.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kate and Allie Comes to WE tv; Show Me the Money to GSN

The popular family-friendly sitcom, Kate & Allie will be coming to WE tv. The show will launch with a marathon on Saturday, June 2 from 12 noon to 9 p.m. ET before settling into its regular weeknight slot of 7 & 7:30 p.m. starting Monday, June 4. Kate & Allie joins Hope & Faith (weeknights 5-6pm) and Dharma & Greg (weeknights 6-7pm) as the only sitcoms on the schedule. Now all they need is Laverne & Shirley, and they have every woman's based show basically with the ampersand (&)! Unless I'm missing one? Anyway, here is a synopsis of the show from WE tv:
Kate is a woman recently divorced from her unstable actor husband. She has a teenage daughter, Emma. Allie is also recently divorced from her successful, but unfaithful doctor husband. She also has a teenage daughter, Jennie, and a younger son, Chip. The two friends decide to live together, along with their children. Neither Kate nor Allie have ruled out remarriage but view their new situation as a provisional reprieve, a time for both women to come to know and appreciate themselves.

Short lived game show Show Me the Money will come to reruns on GSN. The game show hosted by William Shatner just lasted 5 episodes this past November on ABC and also has 2 unaired episodes. GSN will air all 7 starting June 12, airing it Tuesdays at 8.
Click HERE to read more.

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