Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

ABC Changes Premiere Date for Romantically Challenged; Fox Cancels Sons of Tucson, Finale Date for 'Til Death; NBC Renews Unscripted Series

It's all network news today and we have tons of scheduling updates that we must let you know! There are sitcom updates as well! ABC has changed the premiere date for upcoming Alyssa Milano sitcom Romantically Challenged from Monday, April 12 to Monday, April 19 but the timeslot of 9:32pm will remain. Not a big change, but a change nevertheless. It will now premiere a week later, giving Dancing with the Stars another two-hour episode on April 12 (8-10pm), leading into an all-new Castle which has guest star Tom Bergeron of Dancing with the Stars. So it makes sense to have Stars lead-in to that, but that is NOT the reason for the premiere delay for Romantically Challenged. So what is? The premiere date has been pushed back a week to April 19, to avoid premiering against a new episode of the CBS hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory on April 12, which also airs in the half-hour. That show will be in repeats on April 19 and 26, so Romantically Challenged will have a better premiere platform and a better shot of success now. It makes sense and now there will be a week more of promo time, as originally the show only had two weeks of promo time. Spread the word of the change and make sure you watch the new sitcom LIVE!
We have updated our original story so no confusion arises, please check that out for the complete details. I've seen the premiere and it is good (look for our review on Friday, April 16)!
In other ABC schedule updates, they will air an encore of last week's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 8pm this Friday (April 9) leading into an all-new episode in the regular 9pm timeslot. Why? Just in case anyone missed last Friday's episode, which aired on Good Friday, ABC is giving you a shot to catch-up. Plus it is a better lead-in for the series. Wife Swap will not air on this date now, but as of now it will still air every other Friday at 8pm. Perhaps they will pull that though for the rest of the season and air it in summer? We'll let you know if they do decide to bump it for more than just one week.

Fox has pulled new sitcom Sons of Tucson from the schedule effective immediately after only 4 episodes. This is no surprise as the series was doing terrible in the ratings and the episodes have been bad, too. The series has been canceled, and the remaining 9 episodes will air Sundays at 7:30pm in the summer starting June 6, if that even lasts. As I predicted, American Dad! has returned and will air new episodes starting this Sunday at 9:30pm. And Fox has announced that the series finale of 'Til Death will air on Sunday, June 20 at 7pm. 'Til Death will now just air one episode on Sundays rather than two, as the 7:30pm half-hour will be repeats of The Simpsons starting this Sunday. This is no surprise, as we already mentioned 'Til Death has been canceled after four strangely airing seasons.

NBC has picked up three freshman alternative series as The Marriage Ref, Minute to Win It and Who Do You Think You Are? are renewed for the 2010-11 season. All three shows are not hits, but have done OK for NBC. 13 episodes for The Marriage Ref have been ordered, 8 for Who Do You Think You Are? and 10 for Minute to Win It, with the latter possibly airing some of those in the summer.
As for this season, NBC has picked up two additional episodes of Minute to Win It, giving it ten for this season. New episodes will air on Sunday, May 9 and Sunday, May 23 at 8PM ET/PT. As a result, Dateline will be cut to an hour on those dates at 7PM. Also, NBC has ordered three more episodes for this season for The Marriage Ref, so it will likely last through the rest of the season now. In addition, NBC has cut the episode order of Monday drama Trauma from 20 to 18 episodes and will now have its season finale on April 26 and is being replaced in the Monday 9PM ET/PT hour by repeats of Law & Order on May 3 and 10, leading into all-new episodes. Trauma is a very long shot to return next season.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ABC Schedule Changes Includes Special Premiere for Jamie Oliver; Fox Summer 2010 Schedule, Cancels 24?

The other day ABC announced that Castle's upcoming must see two-part episode would air Monday, March 22 and March 29 at 10pm ET/PT instead of consecutive nights (Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22) due to great hype of the new season of Monday staple Dancing with the Stars (which will lead into Castle), but now more changes have been announced. First up, this Saturday (March 13) at 10pm ET/PT you can watch the 5th Annual Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Academy Awards special one more time and if you have not watched it yet, you seriously need to. It is very funny and Jimmy delivers once again with his annual video! Kimmel's encore will follow two scheduled encores of Desperate Housewives from 8-10pm on that night (catch-up if you missed the last two episodes, because it is all-new the following night (this Sunday), as is Brothers and Sisters).
And the big news is since Castle won't be airing after an all-new Desperate Housewives on Sunday, March 21 at 10pm ET/PT, ABC has opted to air a special preview of food reality series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (because Brothers and Sisters' next scheduled episode would be the two-hour episode airing April 11 from 9-11pm, so it can't air on March 28)! The food reality series will then move to its regular night and time of Friday, March 26 at 9pm ET/PT. And the premiere episode will be its lead-in that night at 8pm, so the season premiere of Wife Swap will now air a week later on Friday, April 2 at 8pm ET/PT.
Two other quick notes, the upcoming two-part Castle episode with Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives) guest starring will still get a Sunday airing, but it will be a repeat of part one of the two-part episode. The repeat will air Sunday, March 28 at 10pm ET/PT, following a scheduled repeat of Desperate Housewives. The Castle repeat replaces a scheduled repeat of Brothers and Sisters. The repeat of Castle will help the second part, which premieres the following night (March 29) following Dancing with the Stars. And the other schedule update is the annual airing of the half-hour special It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown and it will air Wednesday, March 31 at 8pm ET/PT leading into an all-new ABC Comedy Wednesday!
Check out the updates in a list form and you may discuss here, too.

Fox has announced its summer 2010 schedule and it is pretty much all-new. Fox's summer is scorching hot with the series preview and premiere of The Good Guys (previously it was named Code 58), the kick-off of So You Think You Can Dance's seventh season, the return of Lie to Me with new episodes, the seventh course of culinary competition Hell's Kitchen, all-new installments of mysterious drama Past Life, plus all-new episodes of Glee, Cops, America's Most Wanted, Sons of Tucson and Animation Domination.
The Good Guys, the new action-comedy from Matt Nix, will have a special preview Wednesday, May 19 at 8:00 PM ET/PT before American Idol and will then make its series premiere Monday, June 7 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. The series is an action-packed and comedic look at what happens when a washed-up, old-school cop (Bradley Whitford) and a by-the-book, modern-day detective (Colin Hanks) try to expose the big picture of small crime. Airing at 8:00 PM ET/PT, is the return of Lie to Me, as it continues its search for the truth when all-new episodes return to the schedule Mondays starting June 7. For some reason Lie to Me, will be in repeats in the actual season from April 28-May 12 (those are Wednesdays at 8:00 PM). On Memorial Day (Monday, May 31), Lie to Me will be a repeat and the pilot encore of The Good Guys is at 9pm, before they return with all-new episodes on June 7.
As previously announced So You Think You Can Dance, swings into summer with a two-hour premiere Thursday, May 27 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. Once the dance auditions conclude, weekly performance shows will air Tuesdays from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, and weekly results shows will air Wednesdays at 9:00 PM ET.
Glee finishes its run of all-new episodes on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT with its first season finale airing June 8. In addition, viewers can catch encore airings of all their favorite Glee episodes Wednesdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT beginning June 16.
Superstar chef Gordon Ramsay cranks up the ovens in Hell's Kitchen when the series returns for its seventh season with a tantalizing two-hour premiere Thursday, June 10 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. The cutthroat culinary competition will continue with two-hour episodes throughout the season.
Mysterious drama Past Life continues with a handful of its last original episodes beginning with a two-hour return on Friday, May 28 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and its time period premiere Friday, June 4 at 8:00 PM ET/PT, before Bones repeats takes over starting June 18. House repeats will air at 9:00 PM ET/PT starting June 11.
On Saturdays a mixture of all-new and encore episodes of Cops and all-new episodes America's Most Wanted will air all summer, while Sunday nights feature a mix of encores and originals of 'Til Death, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, American Dad! and new comedy Sons of Tucson, which launches this Sunday (March 14 at 9:30) and will run through June.
View the Fox Summer 2010 schedule.

Variety is reporting that Fox will end 24 after this season, its eighth season. The studio and network execs declined comment -- but it's believed that the final decision will be made in the next day or two. The move is not a huge surprise as it has declined in ratings and quality, but still represents the end of an era for Fox.
But the cost of producing 24 has continued to increase, while ratings have dipped. A one-time critical darling, 24 has also received its share of knocks from critics this season. The studio is said to be considering shopping 24 to other networks -- but given the thriller's age and price-tag, it's believed interest from other outlets will be limited. Stay tuned for the official update, but it seems this show will end and will have time to do a true finale if Fox acts fast on a decision.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

TV Land Alters February 2010 Schedule, 'Married' Situation Addressed; ABC Cancels Ugly Betty But Proper Series Finale Will Air, More ABC Notes

TV Land is altering its February 2010 schedule a bit, and now Married...with Children will leave the line-up starting Feb. 1 (which is next week!), instead of March 1 - a month earlier than planned. It is very strange because the series does well for them in the ratings, but it must be some contractual issues that forces them to do this. But this time it won't move back to sister network Spike TV, it will move to sister network Comedy Central starting Monday, Feb. 1. Stay with us for details on that (hoping by tomorrow we can post it). But for TV Land, there are just two days left -- tonight 10pm and 1am hours and Saturday, Jan. 30 from 1pm-5pm. So, effective Monday, Feb. 1, on weeknights another hour of Home Improvement will air in the 10pm hour and Roseanne will air for another hour in the 1am hour both replacing Married. So, Home Improvement will air 9-11pm and Roseanne from 11pm-2am. The 11pm hour of Roseanne will be replaced by Feb. 15 when Boston Legal launches though, cutting it to 12-2am. Roseanne's late night hour of 3am will be gone because of these changes, as The Cosby Show will air again from 2am-3:30am and Three's Company from 3:30am-5am (both gain an extra episode again). And finally, an hour of The Beverly Hillbillies will air in the 5pm hour replacing an hour of Andy Griffith Show on weekdays.
The Saturday Married...with Children marathon blocks will be replaced by other sitcom blocks, most notably by Sanford & Son and Andy Griffith.
View the updated TV Land February 2010 schedule, but remember more changes are to come in March as now Everybody Loves Raymond will be joining the schedule earlier than planned, as we mentioned a few days back. Stay with us for the TV Land schedule starting March 18 with Raymond added and if Married returns again on TV Land (like it always ends up doing after being dropped by Spike, or perhaps it will be different now that Comedy Central will air it). I also expect March 1-17 to be changed a bit on TV Land as well from the original schedule, too because of these February changes. So watch for that. And we'll tell you the timeslots for Married on Comedy Central by tomorrow.

ABC is ending Ugly Betty after the end of this season. The series is in the middle of its fourth season. The show will get a proper and satisfying ending though, as they still have time to shoot the series finale. However, the season order of 22 episodes has been trimmed down to 20 episodes. Here is the statement from ABC and the producers of Ugly Betty:
"We've mutually come to the difficult decision to make this Ugly Betty's final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion. We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell."
ABC will air the series finale in April. Tentatively the finale will likely air Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 10pm. The series will air all-new episodes on Wednesdays at 10pm from next Wednesday (Feb. 3) to April (except two weeks in February (Feb. 17 and 24), since the Winter Olympics will air then). The series took a dip in the ratings when it moved to Fridays at 9pm this fall and the Wednesday at 10pm move in January only slightly improved on its Friday airings. ABC has not yet announced what will replace Ugly Betty on Wednesdays at 10pm after Betty has its finale. Stay with us for that.

In other ABC schedule updates, The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love - After the Final Rose special will air immediately after the season finale of The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love from 8-10pm on Monday, March 1. But the big news is that ABC has scheduled a Bachelor wedding for last season's couple Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney. The two-hour The Bachelor: Jason and Molly's Wedding will air Monday, March 8 from 8-10pm leading into Castle. The event will include the bride's dress fitting, planning for the big day, bachelor and bachelorette parties and the ceremony itself. Past Bachelor and Bachelorette couples and participants will be on the guest list.
Jason Mesnick was one of the final two bachelors on DeAnna Pappas' edition of The Bachelorette. He became the first single dad on The Bachelor and proposed to Melissa Rycroft in the finale last year, only to change his mind and break up with Rycroft on the air and instead propose to runner-up Molly Malaney.
ABC will air an all-new season of reality staple Wife Swap on Fridays starting Friday, March 26, 2010 at 8pm ET/PT. Wife Swap replaces Supernanny, and will lead into Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 9pm, which also launches on March 26. Wife Swap will likely go into the summer months as it is starting a bit late and has more than 13 episodes in the can for season six.
And finally, ABC has ordered two more episodes of surging hit Castle for this season, CastleTV.net reports. This is no surprise, as Castle is growing every week in the ratings and also has a special two-part, two-night episode coming March 21-22. So it was no surprise to me that ABC ordered two more episodes. Castle will be all-new next on Monday, Feb. 8 with a baseball themed episode featuring a cameo by L.A. Dodgers manager Joe Torre. After that, Castle takes a Winter Olympic break for repeats (and preempted on March 1 by The Bachelor finale) and returns March 8. Castle stars Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

TV Land November 2009 Highlights; Lifetime Weekday Changes

This November on TV Land, there will be no schedule changes, as of now, but we have movie premieres and the annual Thanksgiving event! The regular schedule with changes that started in October will carry over into November. So Married...with Children is still not back on TV Land. Friday PRIME movie premieres for November are Crocodile Dundee II and Twelve Angry Men. Encores for the month are City Slickers and Footloose. TV Land will also premiere the big screen Dennis the Menace movie on Saturday, November 21 at 8am. Not sure why they didn't premiere it in primetime...could be a contract thing. Weekend marathon blocks continue in November, but Sundays are now the same every week with blocks of Hogan's Heroes, Beverly Hillbillies, TV Land Goes West and Andy Griffith Show. But on Saturdays they are different each week. We will see marathon blocks such as Brady Bunch, Sanford & Son, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Leave it to Beaver, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
As for stunts, all we have in November 2009 is the 3rd Annual Overstuffed Thanksgiving Weekend from Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) to Sunday, November 29. TV Land knows that once the holidays begin that you can always make room for one more - eating one more helping of food, giving one more gift or watching one more of your favorite classic TV shows! The 3rd Annual Overstuffed Thanksgiving Weekend will serving up four days filled with multi-packs of great TV. So gather the family around and feed your funny bone with multiple TV servings as well as a back-to-back double-features of some our viewers' favorite movies. With favorites The Andy Griffith Show, Sanford & Son, Little House on The Prairie, Beverly Hillbillies, Brady Bunch and Hogan's Heroes together with movies Crocodile Dundee II and Footloose, there will be something for everyone in the family!
It looks like a November to remember on TV Land! View the full TV Land November 2009 schedule and highlights!

Starting today Lifetime has made some minor schedule changes. The 12pm airing of Wife Swap will be replaced by Medium, but Wife Swap will still remain 1pm & 2pm. Then weeknights at 7pm starting tomorrow (because Project Runway marathon is today from 3pm-11pm) will be a third consecutive hour of Grey's Anatomy, replacing Medium. Grey's Anatomy's late night airing of 1:30am will be replaced by Medium starting tonight, though. So Medium gets a third airing, but it loses its evening slot. And finally on weekends, How I Met Your Mother was airing Saturday nights 1-2am, now that will be Sunday nights 1-2am instead.
As for original sitcoms Sherri and Rita Rocks, catch new episodes Tuesdays at 10pm & 10:30pm and then encores later that night at 1am & 1:30am. And for this week only, the comedies are encoring 10am-11am weekdays this week ONLY.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Lifetime Makes Late Afternoon Changes; Retroality.TV Posts July 2009 Features; Remembering Harve Presnell

Starting today (Monday, July 6), Lifetime will make some last-minute late afternoon changes. Weekdays at 4pm will now be another episode of Wife Swap, replacing an hour of Reba. And if that wasn't enough, Wife Swap will also air at 5pm replacing an hour of Still Standing. Still Standing will still air in its 8am hour on weekdays, so not to fret. If you're keeping track, Wife Swap now airs weekdays from 2pm-6pm, that's four straight episodes every weekday! And finally the 6pm hour will now be an hour of Reba, replacing Less than Perfect. Less than Perfect is now only weekdays in the 9am hour. Reba will air primarily weekdays from 6-9pm, with some preemptions such as How I Met Your Mother on Mondays in the 7pm hour. Less than Perfect fans, don't worry you'll get a better slot than just 9am come September. And as a reminder, Grey's Anatomy and Medium join the weekday schedule this September, so you can sure bet that Wife Swap four-hour blocks are just for the summer. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the Lifetime September schedule and many other fall line-ups in our fall schedule barrage blog posts. Don't you love that time of year?

The great Chris Mann has posted his July cover story and blog updates on his wonderful retro website Retroality.TV. This month's highlights includes a tribute to the incomparable Farrah Fawcett by Jack Condon, the author of the definitive Charlie's Angels Casebook that served as the basis of NBC's 2004 Behind the Camera TV movie about the series. Jack even has a whole room of Angels posters, which you can see on Retroality.
Chris will also post a Michael Jackson tribute on his blog, as well as part two of Holly Hallstrom's tell-all audio interview about Bob Barker and The Price is Right. This candid and no-holds-barred audio series will play out across several weeks this summer, Chris says. She even talks about working next door to the Three's Company stage during the late '70s/early '80s! She has some cool stories about working at CBS Television City during Price from the same era. She also talks about the showcase skits and how they made Price somewhat of a sitcom within a game show. We like sitcoms! Finally, she discusses Bob Barker's recent reported feud with Betty White, and his controversial appearance on GSN's recent Game Show Awards.
And soon he'll post an interview with tennis great Monica Seles (who was on Dancing with the Stars last fall), along with contributor Roselyn Sacco's review of Seles' new book Getting a Grip.
And Chris says he is planning exclusive video later this month, as well as lots of other goodies. Groovy! So check out Retroality.TV! Bookmark it!

Harve Presnell, whose booming baritone graced such Broadway musicals as The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Annie, and in many TV roles has died. The actor died Tuesday (June 30, 2009) of pancreatic cancer at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
He appeared in many TV series in his career. He was a regular on the series The Pretender, and guest starred in many series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ryan's Hope, Nash Bridges, Grace Under Fire, Star Trek Voyager, George & Leo, Two Guys and a Girl, The Outer Limits, Payne, Dawson's Creek, Frasier, The Practice, Charmed, Monk, ER, and was Lois Lane's father on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He also appeared on all episodes of the short-lived sitcom Andy Barker, P.I. He appeared on the original pilot of Hope & Faith as Hope and Faith's father, but it never aired. His final role was a guest shot on Cold Case this past March.
Although he was best known for his roles in musical theater, Presnell also is remembered as William H. Macy's father-in-law in the Coen brothers' 1996 film
Fargo. Among his other movies were When the Boys Meet the Girls, The Glory Guys, Paint Your Wagon, Saving Private Ryan, Mr. Deeds, Patch Adams, Face/Off, and recently on Evan Almighty. He also won a Golden Globe in 1965 for Most Promising Male Newcomer, shared with George Segal and Topol.
He will be deeply missed. He is survived by his second wife, Veeva, six children and several grand children. Harve was 75.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

ABC Announces 12 Early Pick-Ups for 2009-2010, Returns Millionaire in Summer; GSN's Classic TV Airings

ABC has announced 12 early pick-ups for the 2009-2010 season for returning series. This doesn't mean all other shows not mentioned won't return, this is just the early pick-ups. The 12 early pick-ups for 2009-2010 season are America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Private Practice, Supernanny, Ugly Betty and Wife Swap. No surprises here. 20/20 is also of course a lock to return, with shows like Castle and Samantha Who? also likely to return. We won't know the rest of the returnees until upfront on May 19.
Meanwhile, Regis is back in ABC primetime! Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the smash hit Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? comes back to ABC this summer for a special two-week event. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? premieres Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 8:00PM ET/PT and will air for 11 nights from Sunday-Thursday at 8:00PM, with the finale on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:00PM.
Can you believe it has been 10 years? The show launched on Aug. 16, 1999 at 8:30pm as a half-hour series and aired all seven days for two weeks. We will see an hour of course in this run and Sun-Thurs instead of all seven days. A few weeks ago I said ABC would do a two-week run like this in August, and I turned up being right. Now if this is a success, I can see ABC doing a similar two-week run in December. ABC usually airs repeats then and when hey air new episodes, they are usually lower anyway. So Millionaire would be a great option for December, especially following holiday specials. One week they can even have ABC stars playing for charity for the holidays. I would also schedule Millionaire once or twice a week in January and February, as ABC usually needs help then. But before we think that far ahead, right now this is just a two-week anniversary event in August.

Speaking of Millionaire, GSN is airing the classic TV edition from 2001 starting this weekend! If you've never seen this or need to record and save this, now is your chance! GSN will air all four nights of this edition on Sunday, April 26; Saturday, May 2; Sunday, May 3; and Saturday, May 9 all from 5-6PM ET. The classic TV stars appearing and playing for a million dollars for charity are Adam West (Batman), Kim Fields (The Facts of Life), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley), Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Marion Ross (Happy Days), Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons, Amen), and Ted Lange (The Love Boat).
Elsewhere on GSN, we have some other noteworthy specials. On Saturday, May 9 from 9-10PM we have a special Mother's Day themed episode from 2002 of Weakest Link with Classic TV Moms! Pat Crowley (Please Don't Eat the Daisies), Karen Grassle (Little House on the Prairie), June Lockhart (Lassie), Jo Marie Payton (Family Matters), Janet Hubert (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Carol Potter (Beverly Hills 90210), Beverly Garland (Lois & Clark), and Alley Mills (The Wonder Years).
On Mother's Day (Sunday, May 10) itself, GSN has a marathon of the Donny Osmond revival of Pyramid from 9am-4pm, and we have one episode from a Classic TV week in this marathon at 9:30am featuring Marion Ross and Erin Moran of Happy Days.

Sticking to our game show theme today, Chris Mann of Retroality.TV has posted a story on his take on Bob Barker's new book, Priceless Memories. See the real scoop on Bob and see video interviews with former Barker's Beauties models Holly Hallstrom and Dian Parkinson. It is quite an interesting read, and Chris has a book coming out on the drama behind the camera of the popular game show as well. We'll let you know more on that when available.
But for now, read his take on Barker's new book.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Better Off Ted - Premieres March 18; Lifetime Schedule Change

Better Off Ted

Better Off Ted - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy about successful good guy, Ted, who runs research and development at the morally questionable Veridian Dynamics. No achievement is too far-fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need cow-less meat grown in a test tube? Done. Need pumpkins that also double as weapons of mass destruction? No problem. Ted's a single dad to a seven-year-old girl, and he loves his job, but he's starting to take a closer look at the company's extremely dubious practices. Do you manufacture the best teeth whitener ever if it could also kill off all of the planet's fish? Probably not, but...
Ted's also fighting an attraction to co-worker Linda, who enjoys small acts of rebellion against Veridian (she's secretly stealing and hoarding all the company's creamer packets). But he holds back about his true feelings. He's already had his self imposed "one office affair" with überboss Veronica. Incredibly beautiful (if seemingly devoid of conscience and also emotion-free), Veronica lets nothing get in her way when it comes to serving Veridian's needs... even if it means doing something like cryogenically freezing an employee for testing purposes. And after all, the employee, research scientist Phil, survived (after he thawed out). So what if he screams like an eagle at the slightest provocation? He and his best friend, fellow research scientist Lem, are both geniuses and when they're not bickering, they're responsible for many of Veridian's miracles of weird science.

Cast Details:

* Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp
* Portia de Rossi as Veronica Palmer
* Andrea Anders as Linda Zwordling
* Jonathan Slavin as Phil Mymen
* Malcolm Barrett as Lem Hewitt
* Isabella Acres as Rose Crisp

Jay Harrington (Ted) has a recurring role on Private Practice as Dr. Wyatt Lockhart and has appeared on The Inside and Coupling. Other television credits include Teri Hatcher's doctor-turned boyfiend Dr. Ron on Desperate Housewives, Ghost Whisperer, Las Vegas, The Division, The Shield, Without a Trace and the Lifetime movie Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy. His feature film credits include Partners, Whatever It Takes and Anywhere But Here. Jay is also an avid sports fan. He plays in the NBA Entertainment League and dons skates for a local hockey team.

Portia de Rossi (Veronica) has had a widely varied career, captivating audiences in both television and film. She recently starred as a fifth-season series regular on the FX popular original drama Nip/Tuck as Olivia Lord, a holistic medicine practitioner who has problematic relationships with both her girlfriend, Julia, and her out-of-control daughter. She also starred as Lindsay Bluth Funke in the critically acclaimed Fox comedy Arrested Development. The show won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2006 and a SAG Award in 2005. De Rossi is perhaps best known for her portrayal of enigmatic lawyer Nelle Porter on Fox's hugely successful Ally McBeal. On the big screen, she starred in Wes Craven's Cursed, opposite Christina Ricci, Chris Ver Wiel's Who is Cletis Tout?, opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Tim Allen, Paul Goldman's The Night We Called It a Day, opposite Dennis Hopper and Melanie Griffith, Wes Craven's Scream 2, Rupert Wainwright's Stigmata, Bruce Wagner's Women in Film, Noah Stern's The Invisibles and Michael Goorjians Ambition to Meaning, with Wayne Dyer.

Andrea Anders (Linda) is best known to television audiences for her roles as Nicole Allen on the sitcom The Class and as Alex Garrett in the comedy Joey. Additional television credits include Law & Order, Tru Calling, Oz and Numb3rs. Her feature film credits include the road comedy Sex Drive and The Stepford Wives.

Jonathan Slavin (Phil) has been acting steadily in recent years. After a string of "insert occupation here" guy TV roles (Flower Delivery Guy, Fish and Chips Guy, Computer Tech Guy, etc.), Slavin landed a memorable turn as "Ice Cream Guy" on Caroline in the City, and has worked in television ever since. He has appeared as a series regular on Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Union Square, and had recurring roles on My Name is Earl, Summerland, Inconceivable and Wings. Recent guest starring roles include Life, Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Ugly Betty, Friends and Bones. He has also appeared in the feature films Hard Pill, A Cinderella Story, Grand Theft Parsons, Race to Witch Mountain and My Mother's Hairdo.

Malcolm Barrett (Lem) has appeared on a number of series as either a regular or guest star, including The Bonnie Hunt Show, Kelsey Grammar Presents: The Sketch Show, Monk, Psych, Ghost Whisperer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Sopranos. Feature film credits include My Best Friend's Girl, Hurt Locker, American Violet, The Rhythm of the Saints, King of the Jungle and Swimfan.

Isabella Acres (Rose) was born in Atlanta, where she discovered her love for acting in children's theater. Since relocating to Los Angeles she has appeared on such TV series as Monk, Hannah Montana and Jimmy Kimmel Live. She has also appeared in the recurring role of Jane's daughter on The Mentalist. Isabella has extensive voiceover credits, including the feature films Horton Hears a Who, Four Christmases, The Women and Fred Claus, and has voiced characters in the animated series Phineas and Ferb and Special Agent Oso.


Pilot Plot:

I received two episodes for review. So, I will base my thoughts on the show on these two.

#1 Pilot (Airs March 18)
Ted finds out just how far Veronica's willing to go for Veridian's greater good when she charges him with convincing brilliant research scientist Phil to be cryogenically frozen for a test experiment. Phil is excited, even if best friend and research partner, Lem, is a little jealous...and Ted is more than a little worried about the long-term effects if the experiment actually goes ahead.
Guest starring are Maz Jobrani (The Knights of Prosperity) as Dr. Bhamba and Jim Lau as the screaming office worker. "Pilot" was written by Victor Fresco and directed by Mike Fresco.

#2 "Through Rose Colored HAZMAT Suits" (Airs April 1)
When the nanny calls in sick, Ted reluctantly takes daughter Rose to work, where Veronica forms a surprising (if frightening) bond with the little girl. Rose's visit to Veridian also stirs up trouble when a casual remark she makes sends Phil and Lem into a tailspin about just who has the upper hand in their work relationship. Meanwhile, Ted finds out where he stands with Linda when her ex-boyfriend comes back to town.
Guest starring are Julian Bailey as Hal, Martha Boles as Lisa, Mason Lauderdale as the little boy, Sean Christopher Davis as Jerry and Richard Fancy as Mr. Campbell. "Through Rose Colored HAZMAT Suits" was written by Justin Adler and directed by Michael Fresco.


Analysis:

After watching two episodes, I am pleased. The show is very smartly written and has some laugh-out-loud moments. Both Jay Harrington and Portia de Rossi as Ted and Veronica are strong leads and likable, yet de Rossi's character is a bit weird and wacky, but at the same time hilarious. Some of the stuff she says is priceless! The supporting cast includes scientists Phil and Lem, who are an excellent comedic duo. They are very funny. Also, we have co-worker Linda, who has instant chemistry with Ted...but will they get together? Or will Veronica beat Linda to it? And finally we have Rose, who is Ted's little daughter. She is smart and blends in well with Veronica, as you'll see on episode three (the second one I saw).

As for the plot of the show, it is all centered around the workplace. Both episodes I saw starts off with a one-minute presentation for Veridian Dynamics. Very cool and hilarious to start like that. Veridian Dynamics is certainly a future company. We can see that as they develop quite outrageous stuff, but it is funny. Some of the hilarious and wacky stuff they want to do are...to freeze Phil, just to see if it is possible; itchy chairs to have better production at work; and exploding pumpkins with Dr. Bhamba! If you like The Office, you'll certainly like this show. I hate that show, yet I liked this show, though. Why? There is no weird camera zooming to make this look documentary style or cheap. Plus this actually has music and background sound, unlike that show. The similarities for that show with this show so far is that this really is a good cast and ensemble. Everyone plays well off each other and Veridian Dynamics is a very fun place to work, even though they have weird ideas! It just makes it funny!

Will this series work for ABC? It will be following new episodes of Scrubs, so the young audience ABC is hoping for will certainly be there. It will air in a rather weak timeslot with the only competition really from Fox's Lie to Me and CBS's Gary Unmarried, the latter is also a comedy and ABC should have no problem beating it in 18-49. Hopefully this show surprises and at least becomes a cult hit like The Office that skews very young.


Conclusion:

This show is very funny. It is not as crazy as say Worst Week, but is much better written and relies more on dialog. Though this show has its fair share of physical comedy as well. Having both funny dialog and physical comedy, along with a great ensemble make a recipe for a great comedy. This show has so much potential. The promos have been showcasing scenes from later episodes, so I cannot wait to see a worker jumping out of a window, and the human resources lady saying "that's gonna be some paperwork," Ted staring at Linda's butt, and Veronica making fun of the balding guy. So there are going to more fun stuff coming soon, and I cannot wait! I hope to see more of Dr. Bhamba, too. He was only in the pilot episode but will make more appearances this season. He is played by Maz Jabrini, who was on The Knights of Prosperity, which is the funniest sitcom to air in the last few years. Too bad it didn't last...but I hope and think this will. There are stuff I didn't like, such as sitcom cliches (smart daughter, sitcom romance), but who cares. We need bread and butter sitcoms to get an audience, even though this is not a traditional sitcom.

Freezing Phil, training children of Veridian Dynamics "life skills," and so much more makes this show top-notch and a must watch. Watch the premiere, and if you like it...please tune in every week as we need a new sitcom hit. And if you like the premiere but are on the fence, don't give up because episode two is even better! Portia de Rossi deserves an Emmy nomination for her work here!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 03/16/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, March 18 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Better Off Ted Photo Gallery



  • Finally, if you didn't see this posted on our message board over the weekend, Lifetime made a schedule change effective today. They are replacing the afternoon movie with an extra Desperate Housewives and Wife Swap, so both of those shows will now air three in a row...12-3pm and 3-6pm. Also, in primetime, Will & Grace will be airing in the 8pm hour, while the primetime Wife Swap moves from Mondays to Fridays, 9-11pm. A movie will still air in primetime the other nights. Late nights, we now have a Reba hour at 1am replacing the late Desperate Housewives airing, followed by a Rita Rocks half-hour at 2am, five days a week. Rita Rocks won't be airing in primetime until it returns with new episodes now. No other changes are being made.

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    Monday, December 01, 2008

    Lifetime December 2008 and January 2009 Changes; Cincinnati Station Changes Name to WKRP

    We didn't get a chance to mention it, but effective last week (Nov. 24), Lifetime removed The Nanny from the line-up. The contract for the show expires later this month, and TV Land and Nick at Nite gain access to it starting this spring, but not sure yet when and where it will air. We'll let you know. The Nanny was airing weeknights at 2am, and Lifetime replaced it with an extra episode of The Golden Girls. Also, The Golden Girls is now airing in the 8am hour replacing Still Standing's morning airings...it will still air weekdays 7-8pm. So The Golden Girls as of now is airing 8-9am, 9-10am, and 1-am-2:30am...7 airings a day. It will be cut to 6 in January, more on that below.
    As we mentioned previously, effective today (Dec. 1), Lifetime will add the original series Mom's Cooking in the weekday 11am hour (20 episodes have been ordered) and will add another Wife Swap episode at 10am leading into the series...so Will & Grace and Frasier are off of the daytime line-up until further notice (thru end of January at least), but remain in late night. No other changes are being made in December, so the rest of the line-up is the same as it is now.
    Starting in January we get a few more changes. Lifetime will start airing How I Met Your Mother on Monday evenings from 7-8pm starting Monday, January 5, 2009. This is its pre-syndication start before Lifetime can air it daily starting in fall 2010, as we mentioned before. Reba will be the lead-in (6-7pm) and lead-out (8pm) to the How I Met Your Mother airings, while original sitcom Rita Rocks moves from Tuesdays at 8:30pm to Mondays at 8:30pm. Lifetime will move the primetime airing of Wife Swap from Tuesdays at 10pm to Mondays at 9pm leading into their new original series DietTribe, airing Mondays at 10pm starting January 5 thru Feb. 2. Rita Rocks and DietTribe will repeat later on Mondays starting at 1am. So Mondays is a big night for Lifetime in January.
    Also, starting Jan. 5, Will & Grace will expand to three episodes airing 11pm to 12:30am, while the Frasier hour slides to 12:30am-1:30am, and the The Golden Girls airs 1:30-2:30am, so it loses an airing. The Golden Girls is moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv in the spring, so we are down to the last months of the series on Lifetime. Frasier will get an additional slot in January, airing Sundays 12-1am after Grey's Anatomy. There will be no other changes, as of now.

    WKRP is actually on the air! No, I don't mean the TV series is on TV, but a local station in Cincinnati has changed its call letters to WKRP! Low-power Channel 38 known as WBQC-TV since 1995, has changed its call letters to WKRP-TV to promote its new digital TV signal.
    This is the first time a station here has been known as WKRP since the CBS premiere 30 years ago of WKRP in Cincinnati, a TV sitcom about a wacky rock radio station fictionally set in Cincinnati. Elliott Block, general manager and chief engineer for WKRP-TV says, "When I call someone out-of-town and say we're a TV station in Cincinnati, the response usually is, 'WKRP in Cincinnati?' This gives us recognition." He also has tried to acquire the TV series to air on WKRP-TV, but says "We've checked, but WKRP in Cincinnati is not available for broadcast. It's only available for cable." He is correct, it airs Sunday evenings on WGN America and Monday nights on AmericanLife TV.
    So what does WKRP-TV air? Right now just stuff like Matlock, One on One, Punk'd, Cops, and first-run syndicated stuff like Cold Squad and Jury Duty. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still the name change is cool. So baby, if you've ever wondered if there was a real WKRP, now you know there is! Check out WKRP-TV's website. "I'm at WKRP in Cincinnati..."

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    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Lifetime Daytime Schedule Changes; Maureen McCormick Releases Memoir; Network Notes

    Yesterday Lifetime made some last minute schedule changes. Not too drastic, though. We knew about the change last week and posted it on our message boards. But if you missed it, then I'll comment here on it. The 8am hour now will be back-to-back episodes of Still Standing, replacing the Desperate Housewives encore. Then at 1pm an extra Desperate Housewives episode is added following its regular 12 noon airing...so yes, two new episodes of the Housewives every weekday! This move moves the movie to 2-4pm instead of 1-3pm. Thus, it will also shift from 3-5pm to 4-6pm. The 5pm hour will replace Still Standing, and that is why that was moved to the 8am hour. Still Standing will still retain its 7pm hour slot, though.
    Don't forget original sitcom Rita Rocks launches this coming Monday at 8:30PM and will air each weeknight all next week before airing Tuesdays at 8:30PM weekly.

    Maureen McCormick (Marcia from '70s sitcom The Brady Bunch) has come out with an all-new book called Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. It has some revealing information. The actress writes of her romance with TV sibling Barry Williams, who played Greg Brady, dates with Michael Jackson and Steve Martin, her addictions, depression, and trading sex for drugs. Things became hot and heavy while she and Barry were filming episodes in Hawaii.
    I normally wouldn't write about this kind of stuff as it is too gossipy to me, but this is coming from Maureen herself. I think fans of the sitcom and Maureen will definitely want to pick this memoir up. Why did she want to release it now? Who knows, but she finally admits to having a relationship with Barry Williams.
    Read the full CBS Early Show story. And if you haven't already, order the memoir.

    Time for another round of network notes! The CW has ordered 2 more episodes of Gossip Girl, for total of 24 episodes this season. The show has gotten a little boost this season in the ratings. Meanwhile, NBC has ordered four extra scripts for Knight Rider (which is terrible, by the way...nothing like the 80s series) despite so-so ratings. After its Wednesday, November 19 airing (8 or 9 episodes would have aired by then), it will be off the schedule though for holiday specials through the end of December. But with this four additional scripts order, it could return in January. I wouldn't call anything official until additional episodes are ordered, but more scripts is a good sign.

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    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Lifetime Adds Originals in October; Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Stars Includes Sitcom Stars McGinley and Leachman

    We gave you Lifetime's fall line-up which starts Sept. 2, but now we have details on October. There are no regular schedule changes, but two original series are launching. First, the original Lifetime sitcom Rita Rocks, which we previously said was launching in December. Now it will launch October 20! Rita Rocks launches with a five-episode stunt the week of October 20 airing Monday, October 20 through Friday, October 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT following Reba. Then new episodes will air in their regularly scheduled timeslot on Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT beginning Tuesday, October 28. 13 episodes have been ordered, so it will air for 8 more weeks starting Oct. 28. In Rita Rocks, Nicole Sullivan stars as Rita, an overworked wife and mother in the middle of a full blown identity crisis. Trying to maintain romance with her husband Jay (Richard Ruccolo), juggling the demands of her nine-year-old daughter Shannon (Kelly Gould), disciplining her defiant, teenage daughter Hallie (Lauren Collins) and her ever-present boyfriend Kip (Raviv Ullman), and being passed over for a promotion at work; Rita is at her wit's end. In search of "youthful" Rita, she dusts off her old guitar and forms a garage band with her nosey postal carrier Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and unemployed neighbor Owen (guest-star Ian Gomez), in the hopes of putting that spark back in her life.
    The first five-episodes will re-air Monday, October 27 through Friday, October 31 at 9:30AM ET/PT following The Golden Girls. The same week, the five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt), will premiere on Monday, October 27, 2008, and will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime at 11AM ET/PT following specially placed Wife Swap at 10AM ET/PT. English clairvoyant Lisa Williams returns to Lifetime in a new five-episode special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt) an updated version of her Lifetime series Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The reformatted show marks Lisa's first television appearances since she began a tour of sold-out appearances throughout the country, as well as book-signings for her well-received autobiography. Lisa Williams (wt) will further explore Lisa's unique abilities as a clairvoyant-medium. Each taped episode will feature Lisa doing live one-on-one readings in a studio and in impromptu meetings with people she is drawn to out on the street. Will & Grace follows at 11:30AM.
    In other original programming news, Twenty half-hour episodes have been ordered of Mom's Cooking, a unique cooking show that takes daughters inside their mom's kitchen to learn how to cook their favorite recipe from childhood, and will premiere in December 2008, Monday through Friday on Lifetime. Finally, another five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Untitled Fat Friends Project, will premiere in January 2009 will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime. The series follows friends Anna Lloyd (30, Pasadena, CA), Lydia Moody (25, Los Angeles, CA), Megan Stewart (29, Anaheim, CA), Shawna McClellan (27, Anaheim, CA) and Morgan Lancaster (30, Monrovia, CA), as they attempt to loose weight together. We'll have details soon on both.
    Finally, we forgot to mention last time Wife Swap will also air Tuesdays at 9PM when it launches next week. Still no details if new current episodes of Desperate Housewives will be repurposed on Lifetime in another slot other than its upcoming weekdays at 8am and 12pm slot. When the deal was announced a few years ago, it was said Lifetime would have repurposing rights as well.

    The new cast for the seventh installment of Dancing with the Stars was announced this morning by Tom Bergeron on Good Morning America on ABC. It will be a season of surprises in what promises to be the biggest and most demanding season ever as thirteen celebrities take the ballroom floor on the hit series Dancing with the Stars, which returns with a three-night premiere event (Monday, Sept. 22 8-10pm, Tuesday, Sept. 23 9-11pm, and Wednesday, Sept. 24 8-9pm). The thirteen stars include the legendary film/TV star Cloris Leachman (the oldest star ever on the show) and sitcom veteran Ted McGinley. Other TV related stars are the youngest star ever on the show Cody Linley, TV soap legend Susan Lucci, and reality TV beauty Kim Kardashian. Full list of stars is below.
    For the first time ever, all thirteen teams must prepare two routines for the first week of competition, one of which they'll perform on Monday night. The judges will score the performances on Monday while the viewers cast their votes for their favorites. Only twelve will have the chance to showcase their second dance on Tuesday. In dramatic style on Tuesday's show, one couple will be eliminated as the remaining contestants perform their second dance of the season. The judges will score the dances on Tuesday and the viewers will once again cast their votes before a second duo is dismissed Wednesday on a special night.
    Dancing with the Stars then will regularly air Mondays 8-9:30pm and the Results Show Tuesdays 9-10pm after the premiere week. The thirteen stars for this season are:

    * Lance Bass (singer, N Sync) with first time professional Lacey Schwimmer
    * Toni Braxton (singer, "Un-Break My Heart") with professional Alec Mazo
    * Brooke Burke (model/actress, Wild On!) with professional Derek Hough
    * Rocco DiSpirito (chef, The Restaurant) with professional Karina Smirnoff
    * Maurice Greene (athlete, sprinter) with two-time champion professional Cheryl Burke
    * Kim Kardashian (model/actress, Keeping Up with the Kardashians) with reigning professional champion Mark Ballas
    * Cloris Leachman (legendary actress, Phyllis on Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life) with first time professional Corky Ballas (father of Mark Ballas)
    * Cody Linley (teen actor, Hannah Montana) with two-time professional champion Julianne Hough
    * Susan Lucci (soap actress, All My Children) with professional Tony Dovolani
    * Misty May-Treanor (athlete, beach volleyball) with professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy
    * Ted McGinley (sitcom actor, Married with Children, Happy Days, Hope & Faith) with first time professional Inna Brayer
    * Jeffrey Ross (stand-up comic) with professional Edyta Sliwinska
    * Warren Sapp (athlete, NFL star with Buccaneers/Raiders) with professional Kym Johnson

    Maurice Greene will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night on ABC late night.
    Professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Alec Mazo return after taking the sixth season off. As there are three new professionals (Lacey Schwimmer, Inna Brayer, and Mark Ballas' dad Corky Ballas), some ones from last season will not be on this season, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel and Fabian Sanchez. Some of the professionals from previous seasons remain missing still, Ashly DelGrosso, Nick Kosovich, Jesse DeSoto, Elena Grinenko, Brian Fortuna, Andrea Hale, and Charlotte Jørgensen.
    View the full press release for details on the seventh season stars of Dancing with the Stars!

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    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    ABC Family Changes Their Minds; No Reunion on Today Friday; ABC Picks Up Reality Series For 2008-09; NBC Pulls Quarterlife

    A few weeks ago we announced a few changes for ABC Family starting in March. One of them was Sabrina, the Teenage Witch leaving the 2-3pm weekday slot in favor of Step by Step...but looks like ABC Family has decided not to do that, as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch will remain in that slot. All the other changes we mentioned will still be on, though. Sorry Step by Step fans! The show will still air weekdays at 9am, though!

    NBC's "Together Again" reunions on Today has come to an end today with the Knots Landing reunion. Remember we mentioned we would announce what reunion will take place on Friday, as they didn't announce it yet? Well looks like they couldn't book anyone, so there will no reunion on Friday unfortunately. We mentioned they had listed a Taxi reunion in the advanced listings, but it seems they couldn't book them. Hopefully we get more "Together Again" installments in the future...and when they do, you'll know here first!

    ABC Entertainment announces early pick-ups of alternative series for next season (2008-09), including America's Funniest Home Videos, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny and Wife Swap.
    No surprises here, as all are doing very well in the ratings. I'm surprised no early pick-up was announced for Dance War and The Bachelor, but I think those will return anyway. I think Oprah's Big Give will also do huge this week and that will return next season.
    These alternative series pickups join the scripted series pickups already announced a few weeks back.

    Finally, after just one airing, NBC has pulled new drama Quarterlife from the schedule. The show premiered on Tuesday at 10pm on a special night and time and did just a 2.2 HH rating and 3.13 million viewers. That is pathetic even when a repeat airs. The show was slated to air Sundays at 9, but that is not happening. NBC will schedule a repeat of Deal or No Deal this Sunday at 9 to go up against ABC's premiere of Oprah's Big Give. Then repeats of Law & Order will air for the rest of the month on Sundays at 9.

    We shall be back with more, if anything breaking happens. Don't forget to come back this weekend for our pilot review of Unhitched and tomorrow for our monthly classic TV essay!

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    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    ABC Changes 'Underbelly' Regular Slot Again, Pulls 'Degrees'; Fox Halts 'Wedding'; CBS Salutes Bob Barker in Primetime

    ABC has once again altered the timeslot for yet to premiere new sitcom Notes from the Underbelly. Notes will still premiere with back-to-back episodes on Thursday, April 12 following a Grey's Anatomy special, but after that the show will move to Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. starting April 18. It will follow According to Jim. Jim is expected to air at 8 and 9 (new and a repeat) on April 18, with the season finale of In Case of Emergency wrapping up at 9:30 on April 18. Jim will be moving to 8pm because starting April 25, Lost encores from the previous week will air at 9 p.m. leading into an all-new episode. George Lopez will be airing new episodes in back-to-back slots on Wednesday, April 4 & 11 and also on Tuesday, April 17 (its new night). Guest stars all over the place with Barbara Eden, Jerry Springer, and Mario Lopez. Andy Garcia also directed one of the episodes. George will move and stay in the Tuesday 8-9pm slot for the rest of the season. For more on the Wednesday sitcom schedule and this Tuesday note, click HERE.
    October Road was slated to only air four episodes this season, but since it has done very well, ABC will air the last two episodes of its season order April 19 and April 26 following all-new episodes of Grey's Anatomy! No idea yet what will air after Grey's on May 10 and 17, but May 3 will be the backdoor spin-off pilot for Grey's Anatomy starring Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, and Tim Daly.
    Finally, ABC is pulling Six Degrees from the Friday line-up effective this Friday after a series low last week. The show has just aired two episodes since returning from hiatus. The show heated up in the episode this past Friday, but unfortunately the temperature didn't rise in 'degrees' in the ratings. No word yet if and when the remaining episodes will air or if it will air on abc.com. Repeats of Wife Swap will temporary air at 9 on Fridays. And no word yet if Men in Trees will return. All bets are that the remaining five episodes for Trees will be held over until next season.

    David E. Kelly Drama The Wedding Bells is halting production after just seven episodes produced. Which means the show will at most air for another three weeks. The show has been going down in the ratings each Friday at 9 for Fox. The last episode will air (if it actually airs) April 20 (the last Friday before May sweeps starts).

    Emmy Award winner Bob Barker will be honored with two final primetime specials this May on CBS, paying tribute to his 50 years in show business and his upcoming retirement after 35 years of hosting The Price Is Right, the longest-running game show in television history. The specials will be broadcast Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT on CBS.
    On Wednesday, May 16, CBS will present The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular, Barker's final appearance in prime time hosting the show he has led since 1972. In this special primetime edition, contestants will have the opportunity to win bigger prizes and the chance to spin the wheel for $1 million.
    On Thursday, May 17, Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television will include Barker's reminiscences about his 50 year career on television and his 35 years on The Price Is Right, in addition to highlighting some classic games from the long-running show.
    CBS will air 15-second viewer tributes to retiring host Bob Barker. Viewer tributes will air during the Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television" special.
    The user-generated video tributes are a continuation of CBS Interactive's "15 Seconds" campaign, where viewers post their 15-second messages on YouTube, and CBS Interactive then chooses the best viewer-videos to be broadcast on the Network.
    Viewers can submit their 15-second taped message now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/group/15seconds. The videos need to be a 15-second tribute to Bob Barker. Every two weeks, CBS Interactive will select five videos from the "15 Seconds on CBS" YouTube Group and post them on CBS.com. From those "favorites," CBS Interactive will select the videos for broadcast. Viewers submitting videos must be 16 years of age or older and must abide by YouTube's Community Guidelines at http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines. No profanity or nudity will be accepted. Rules and details regarding CBS Interactive's "15 Seconds" community campaign can be found on CBS.com at http://www.cbs.com/originals/15_seconds.
    Bob Barker's last The Price is Right regular episode will air in June only on CBS daytime!

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