Friday, July 28, 2006

i Network's New Line-Up; Nick@Nite Greenlights Sitcom Pilot

Today is the day, as I promised the i Independent Network is announcing their new schedule today. As I mentioned, they will not start off by changing everything. So here we go...
Starting Monday, August 14 from the Sony deal we can expect the classic '60s sitcom Green Acres weeknights at 7 p.m. And from the Warner Bros. deal we can expect back-to-back episodes of Mama's Family Mon-Thurs at 8 and 8:30 p.m.
Green Acres
is replacing Shop 'Til You Drop and Mama's Family is replacing Sue Thomas F.B.Eye, which will move to Sundays at 6 p.m. replacing a Bonanza airing (that will stillair Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.).
And the explanation on why they didn't program new shows for their entire 6-11 p.m. block is because their existing audience and fan base is important to them, and they are not looking to make an abrupt change to the network schedule overnight. Their goal is to gradually transition the new programs, which will continue to appeal to their core audience while bringing in new fans who are coming to the network for the first time to watch their favorite shows! Thereafter they will phase in one or two shows at a time, with most of the hours switched out with new product by November.
Paid Programming will slowly be phased out I think, they have a kids block coming in mid-September, that is likely to air either in mid-afternoons (3-5pm?) or mornings (7-9am?). We will have details on that, too, along with the additional changes coming in the next few months. It looks to be a bright and better future for the i Network. Keep it right here for additional news!

Nick@Nite is moving forward even more in its original series. They have greenlit production on the series pilot Tim Stack's Family Vacation, a sitcom starring writer-actor Timothy Stack as the patriarch of an RV-bound family going on a cross-country road trip. The show falls square into Nick@Nite's development mantra: fun, family-friendly and familiar. It will be both partially scripted and improvised. If you liked the movie National Lampoon's Family Vacation, then you will like this. Shooting on Family Vacation is set to begin next month.
The half-hour pilot is the second to emerge at Nick@Nite, which last partnered with Seinfeld writer Carol Leifer on the original sitcom pilot Darlene Westgor (Daily Variety, April 19), a Roseanne-style laffer still up for contention at the cabler.
So, we will let you know if Nick@Nite buys episodes of these series to actually air. If bought, they would likely air in the Tuesday original slot, where shows like Fatherhood and Hi-Jinks have aired. As soon as (or if) they buy any or both of these series, we will post it here!

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