Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SitcomsOnline.com 2009-10 Upfront Preview: ABC; Bio TV Premieres TV Reunions in June

Last fall ABC barely had any new series because of the writers' strike the previous season. That could change in a big way this coming season. I expect ABC to bring in many new shows, with lots of comedies for the first time in years. ABC should focus that 8pm hour to families. The past year ABC focused on launching 10pm series...it is time to redevelop that focus to 8pm.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com ABC 2009-10 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Modern Family (comedy), Flash Forward (drama), Copper (midseason drama)
New Series We Think That Are Almost Good To Go: Happy Town (drama), Inside the Box (drama), Romantically Challenged (sitcom), Awesome Hank (sitcom), The Cougar (sitcom), The Middle (sitcom).
New Series Perhaps Picked-Up for Mid-Season: Eastwick (drama), The Forgotten (drama), The Law (sitcom), V (event drama).

OUR FALL 2009 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00PM Desperate Housewives
10:00PM Inside the Box (NEW!)

Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
10:00PM Brothers & Sisters

Tuesdays
8:00PM Modern Family (NEW!)
8:30PM The Middle (NEW!)
9:00PM Dancing with the Stars: The Results
10:00PM Castle

Wednesdays
8:00PM Awesome Hank (NEW!)
8:30PM Romantically Challenged (NEW!)
9:00PM The Cougar (NEW!)
9:30PM Samantha Who?
10:00PM Happy Town (NEW!)

Thursdays
8:00PM Flash Forward (NEW!)
9:00PM Grey's Anatomy
10:00PM Private Practice

Fridays
8:00PM Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas (NEW!)
9:00PM Ugly Betty
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM College Football

Comments: This was very hard. So far the hardest prediction I'm doing is ABC...remember this is what I think they could do, not necessarily what I would want them to do. They have many pilots and many of them are getting good testing. I am going with my gut that Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas makes it this year after being redeveloped. I want it picked-up, too. This is what exactly ABC needs on a Friday. I have many new comedies being picked-up, and it could be a stretch, but I think ABC could go out and bring us many comedies this fall. Most have tested so well and we could be in a surprise on how many comedies are airing. ABC could focus on a Wednesday two-hour comedy block and even have room for a comedy hour on Tuesdays.
So let's look at each night. I'll start with Mondays. Dancing with the Stars should be two-hours every week, enough said. The only time it should be 90-minutes is when they need to boost a comedy for a special airing during the week or two before the two dances per star starts. ABC will easily fill the two-hour hole from Jan-Mar with the resurgent The Bachelor and they should move Brothers & Sisters to Mondays all year-round, making ABC Monday strong all year.
On Tuesdays, Modern Family & The Middle are two of ABC's most praised family comedy pilots. They could work well with each other and could work well with family-themed Dancing with the Stars: The Results at 9pm (more so than Cavemen and Carpoolers a few years ago). Castle should move a night over to Tuesday at 10 since there will be no NBC crime show and perhaps CBS will not schedule a crime drama here anymore. ABC really needs to focus on JUST two post-Dancing shows at 10pm: Brothers & Sisters and Castle. That's it, with the exception of a week or two on Mondays with a special comedy airing at 9:30 (or even 8pm). This season it seemed so many shows aired out of it on both nights. So what happens to the 9pm hour from Jan-Mar? ABC could launch some comedies perhaps bringing back Scrubs/Better off Ted for 6-8 weeks or even new comedy The Law. Primetime: What Would You Do? is an option at an earlier time.
Wednesdays I think ABC is going to go all comedy. They could launch as many as 3 new sitcoms and bring back a returning comedy. I think they will start off with two new traditional comedies in Awesome Hank (starring Kelsey Grammar) and Romantically Challenged (starring Alyssa Milano). Perhaps the most buzzed comedy would be next at 9pm in The Cougar starring Courtney Cox and finally ABC needs to give Christina Applegate the comedy slot it deserves by airing Samantha Who? after Cox's show. Both are single camera and could fit with each other like a button. Closing the night I think they should try new drama Happy Town. I know it is very risky to do this, but Happy Town has a two-hour pilot and they could have the two-hour pilot on the first Wednesday of the year from 9-11pm, following a special Dancing Results, since they do a three-night premiere in the fall. So hopefully that would help the show build some type of an audience before all the comedies start the following Wednesday.
As for Thursdays, Betty is likely on the move, and ABC should try the most buzzed about series Flash Forward at 8pm giving ABC some life in this hour. Grey's and Private Practice will return in the 9 and 10pm hours for sure. Lost will return for its final season at the end of January for 16 or 17 weeks, possibly Thursdays at 8...but if Flash Forward does huge, Lost could go to Wednesdays.
I think ABC should go after Fridays with scripted series and I think they will, too. Comedy is an option, but I don't think ABC will try that. New family adventure drama Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas is exactly what they should air at 8pm. This could be a new type of TGIF for them using family dramas, and Ugly Betty would follow and that certainly has a family feel to it. Wife Swap and Supernanny were only on because nothing was ready last fall due to the strike. Both of those are too important and could fill key holes on other nights in midseason.
Saturdays will have College Football in the fall. Winter they could have movies or even go with cheap reality series, like Homeland Security USA.
Finally, on Sundays...I would leave 7-10pm alone even though right now the ratings are declining. Remember springtime is always like that and they perk up in the fall/winter. I think new drama Inside the Box would be a great fit out of Desperate Housewives and could reclaim that DH/Grey's early magic. Yes, I keep predicting ABC is going to move Brothers & Sisters, but they never do. Now it is time and with it airing the next night, lots of promos will air on Sundays so fans will for sure know.
Series that will be canceled or are ending include: According to Jim, Boston Legal, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Opportunity Knocks, Life on Mars, Cupid, The Unusuals, In the Motherhood.
Lost, The Bachelor
, Wife Swap & Supernanny will all return for mid-season. Other series like Scrubs, Better Off Ted, True Beauty, Homeland Security USA, Primetime: What Would You Do could be ordered for limited episodes at some point. ABC also has picked-up two new reality series, likely for midseason: The Shark Tank from producer Mark Burnett and an untitled cooking series with celeb Jamie Oliver from producer Ryan Seacrest. Supernanny spinoff SuperManny could also be in the running. As far as new scripted series for midseason, they already ordered Canadian crime drama Copper for midseason. Look for Eastwick, The Law, The Forgotten and perhaps even V in the running for midseason. There is a legal drama from David Hemingson in the works again, perhaps they could pick that up...but they have had so many legal dramas lately it seems.
Looking at the fall line-up prediction, yes lots of new shows. But there is a lot of protection, minus Wednesdays. Wednesdays is the only risk, but risks need to be taken in the fall when there is no American Idol. And if it doesn't work out, ABC has lots of series on the bench for midseason including the final season of Lost. ABC's goal in the fall should be to have strong 9pm shows every night. That is a recipe for success. ABC will have a better fall next season than it did this season for sure.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own.

Remember, next Tuesday (May 19) is the actual date when we will find out ABC's plans for the 2009-10 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 CBS's upfront.


Bio TV in June will broadcast special reunions of classic TV series from the past for the first time on Bio TV. We get both the 20th anniversary Happy Days reunion from 1992 and the 30th anniversary Happy Days reunion from 2005. The 20th anniversary premieres Tuesday, June 9 at 9pm following a day long theme of classic TV with Biography episodes of The Love Boat, M*A*S*H, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, Henry Winkler, Ron Howard and episodes of Shatner's Raw Nerve with guests Scott Baio, Tim Allen and Drew Carey.
On Tuesday, June 16, Bio TV will air the Laverne & Shirley Reunion from 1995 at 10pm. Just like the previous week, episodes of Biography and more will lead into it, such as Ozzie & Harriet, Barbara Eden, Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Cheers, Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals: Cheers/Laverne & Shirley, and the Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion premieres at 12pm and 6pm. We also get Shatner's Raw Nerve episodes featuring Valerie Bertinelli and Kelsey Grammar.
Thursday, June 18 at 10pm will see the premiere of Biography: Billy Crystal. On Tuesday, June 23, it's 90210's turn for a reunion. Beverly Hills 90210: The Final Goodbye from 2000 will first air at 10pm, followed by Beverly Hills 90210: The Reunion Show from 2003 at 11pm. Again before that, we get Biography episodes of Home Improvement, Tony Danza, Jason Priestley, Alyssa Milano, and Teen Heartthrobs.
View more on Bio TV's June 2009 highlights of TV/sitcom related specials, including encores of Biography episodes such as Gary Coleman, Charlie's Angels, and Child Stars: Their Story

Labels: , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

WGN Edits Schedule and Adds ALF, Legal; Schedule Updates for TV One, The N ; 90210 Gets Full Season; Nick at Nite's Fido Awards Gets Willard As Host

It's a very busy Tuesday here at SitcomsOnline!
WGN America has edited their fall schedule again. They will make a few changes to their weekend line-up this week (Sept. 27-28). On Saturday, September 27, at 6pm ET they will premiere Boston Legal leading into the White Sox game at 7pm ET. On Sunday, Sept. 28 from 11am-12pm ET will be two episodes of Funniest Pets & People for his week only. Now at 12 noon ET, WGN America will air Boston Legal every week. Following Legal, will be two episodes of Whacked Out Sports at a special time from 1-2pm leading into the regular season finale for the Chicago Cubs. Beverly Hillbillies Sunday airings will move to 1-2am ET, following the Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie hours.
So what will happen regularly? Originally starting Saturday, October 4, NewsRadio was slated to join the WGN America line-up airing Saturdays 6-7pm ET followed by two Becker episodes from 7-8pm ET on Saturdays. Now NewsRadio won't be airing at all. Becker will slide to that 6-7pm ET timeslot on Saturdays followed by Boston Legal airing Saturdays at 7pm ET. On Sundays, as mentioned earlier, Boston Legal will air at 12 noon ET. The Cosby Show will be replaced on Sundays from 6-7pm with ALF, as ALF joins the regular line-up! The '80s comedy will actually launch Wednesday, October 1 from 8-10pm ET with a four episode block, for that week only. However, ALF will air on Mondays from 9-10pm ET as well starting Monday, October 6! So, Sundays 6-7pm ET and Mondays 9-10pm ET starting Oct. 5 and 6 for ALF. Also, on Sundays, as mentioned earlier, Beverly Hillbillies will move from Sunday daytime to 1-2am ET Sunday night. What a sitcom block on WGN from 5pm-2am on Sundays (with a break for news at 10-11pm ET), with Coach, ALF, WKRP, Newhart, Honeymooners, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie & Beverly Hillbillies!
Finally, starting Monday, November 3, weekdays 1-2am ET has changed a bit. Reno 911 is now 5 days a week rather than just airing 5 times on Fri/Sat nights. Corner Gas will move to 1:30am ET, as Becker will leave late nights but will still air weekday afternoons at 4pm ET and Saturday evenings from 6-7pm ET. Reno/Corner will follow The Bob and Tom Show at midnight ET weekdays starting Nov. 3. And the Saturday night midnight ET airing of Reno 911 will be another episode of The Honeymooners instead starting November 8, since Reno 911 will be airing weekdays. So, The Honeymooners gains another slot (it already airs Sundays 9-10pm ET).
I suggest you view the FULL WGN America Fall schedule so you don't get confused. We're not done with WGN America, as in the coming days or weeks we will announce what is airing on Halloween for a marathon!

TV One has made a few schedule changes. Beginning on Monday, September 29, the TV One primetime schedule will make a few adjustments. In the 9:30pm weeknight timeslot, TV One will now air the sitcom For Your Love replacing All of Us which has moved now to 10pm. Also beginning that week, the Friday night 4am timeslot will now be an additional airing of the animated comedy series The PJs. However, from Monday, October 6 and continuing through Thursday, October 9, that late night 4am timeslot will also be The PJs preempting All of Us for this week only. Also, the previously announced "Living Single: Celebrity Edition" marathon on Saturday, October 11 beginning at 11am, will now include an encore airing of Living Single: The Reunion Show, which reunites the cast from the classic hit sitcom.
TV One has pulled the launch for short-lived sitcom South Central. The sitcom was slated for a launch marathon on Saturday, October 18, but now movies will air instead that day. It will definitely air at a later date. The TV One programming and marketing group decided that they had too many other things to promote this fall, and they wanted to be able to give it the attention they think it deserves. We will of course let you know when it is scheduled again. So, yes, it won't air regularly on Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at 6pm either. Instead we will get two back-to-back episodes of fellow short-lived sitcom Where I Live starting Sunday, Oct. 19 airing Sundays 6-7pm and Saturdays 11am-12pm. Where I Live was previously scheduled to air Saturdays 11:30am and Sundays 6:30pm following South Central.
Moving on to The N...we mentioned Saved by the Bell was pulled last week and now a week later, it's back! The show is now airing weekdays at 3:00pm & 3:30pm starting immediately. Also, from 4-5pm two episodes of H2O is replacing two episodes of Kenan & Kel, which goes off the schedule. And from 5-6pm two episodes of Unfabulous replaces to shots of All That, which also is off the line-up now. Degrassi is back on The N with a weekend marathon from Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 5. The show will air all day on those three days from 6am-6am, except 12-2am when That '70s Show airs. Degrassi returns for an all-new season the week after on October 10 at 8pm with an one-hour season premiere as Mia's got a new friend, a new guy, and maybe even a job as a model -- if she's willing to do what it takes to beat the competition. The season premiere will be followed by the season premiere of South of Nowhere at 9pm. If that weekend marathon was not enough, the week of October 6 will see more Degrassi. Degrassi will air Monday, October through Thursday, October 9 from 6am-10am, 3-6pm, and 2-6am. And all day on Friday, October 10 leading up to the season premiere.

The CW's drama 90210, quickly becoming one of the most popular series among young women, has been picked up for a full season of episodes even before it aired an episode during the actual TV season which started Monday.
The two-hour debut of 90210 on Sept. 2 shattered ratings records for The CW Network, becoming the highest-rated series premiere in the network's history with women 18-34 (4.5/12), adults 18-34 (3.1/9) and adults 18-49 (2.6/7). The 90210 series opener on Sept. 2 led The CW to become Tuesday's #1 network in all key demographics. With a double airing of the 90210 premiere during the opening week (Tuesday and Thursday), 12.7 million viewers watched all or part of The CW's highly anticipated new series. Facing increased competition, the most recent telecast of 90210 scored week-to-week gains in target demos, including 6% in women 18-34 (3.3/10), 14% in adults 18-34 (2.4/7) and 3% in total viewers (3.3mil). In addition, the series debut of 90210 added over a third more viewers in target demographics with Live-Plus Seven Day DVR viewing included.
While it is off to a good start, I think The CW should have waited until at least after today to announce it has picked up the back nine. The first Tuesday of the season is tonight, so it would have been wise to see how it would do tonight in the actual season.

A blues-singing beagle, a bull dog who can skateboard and flush the toilet on command and a Jack Russell terrier who can jump rope and walk up steps backward are among the semifinalists as the final round of voting begins for the top six pups who will compete for the champion title on the First Annual Worldwide Fido Awards, airing in primetime, Sunday, Oct. 5, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite.
The one-hour special event hosted by actor/comedian Fred Willard (Best in Show) will showcase the six Fido finalists and best of WorldwideFido.com's user-generated videos, where one lucky dog will ultimately be crowned the 2008 Worldwide Fido winner. Fans can vote now on http://www.worldwidefido.com to determine the finalist in each of the six categories, including "Cutest Dog," "Best Dressed," "Best Voice," "Most Outrageous," "Best Trick" and "Dog/Owner Look-Alike." Popular dog trainer-to-the-stars Tamar Geller will serve as one of the judges, while one very special dog will be presented the "Hero" Award, to honor invaluable services provided to humans. The show will also feature pooch performances throughout the evening.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SOAPnet September Fall 2008 Schedule; Bernie Mac Tribute on Larry King Live TONIGHT; Slight Nick at Nite Change; Sony's Cross-Country Seinfeld Tour

This September on SOAPnet, two shows will be expiring while we get two marathons. First, the shows expiring are Dallas and Melrose Place. Dallas was airing weeknights at 4:00am, and it will be replaced by I Wanna Be A Soap Star effective September 1. Melrose Place was airing weekdays at 11am and 12 noon, and it will be leaving effective Sept. 15 being replaced by more Beverly Hills 90210. Melrose Place joined the SOAPnet line-up in September 2004, so its four-year term was up and SOAPnet did not renew.
As for other schedule changes...there isn't much. An extra One Tree Hill will be added on Saturday mornings at 7am, so it will air back-to-back from 7-9am on Saturdays now. And on Sundays two more back-to-back episodes will air from 10am-12pm replacing a Movie.
As for September stunts, on Labor Day, SOAPnet will have a 24-hour marathon of Beverly Hills 90210 titled "The BFF's of BH." The marathon starts Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59pm and runs until 11:59pm on Monday, Sept. 1! SOAPnet will air the ABC fall preview special a few times as well. The special focuses on ABC's Wednesday night dramas (Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Dirty Sexy Money) and is titled ABC Wednesday Night Starter Kit. We will have more details on that special in our yearly Fall Previews Special post in the coming weeks. Airings on SOAPnet are Saturday, Sept. 13 at 4:30pm and Friday, September 26 at 5:00am.
Finally, SOAPnet will air all 10 first season episodes of the ABC drama Dirty Sexy Money on Saturday, September 27 from 9am-7pm. The marathon is just in time for the second season premiere on ABC on Wednesday, October 1 at 10pm ET/PT. This is a must see series as The Darlings family is today's version of The Carringtons or the Ewings...so if you have not seen an episode yet, this is your chance to catch up since it is only 10 episodes and get ready to watch season two on ABC!
View the full SOAPnet September 2008 fall line-up.

The "Original Kings of Comedy" remember the late Bernie Mac tonight on Larry King Live at 9pm ET on CNN. D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey come together to pay tribute to the comedian only on Larry King Live. It will encore at 12 midnight ET, if you miss it.

Late yesterday afternoon Nick at Nite announced the Mon-Thurs 8:30pm slot would go back to Nickelodeon effective immediately. As a result, Family Matters will not air in that slot anymore, and the Nickelodeon sitcom Drake & Josh will air instead. Sorry we couldn't give you notice yesterday, but we did post it on our message boards. Family Matters is doing very well on Nick at Nite and will continue in its other time slots.

Today Sony Pictures Television (SPT) will set out on a 26-city, 10,000 mile "Seinfeld Campus Tour" in a 60-foot long Seinfeld branded, bio-diesel fueled bus experience designed to integrate the show directly into the digital, on-the-move, multi-tasking lifestyle of college students and members of the 70 million plus millennial demographic.
In addition to numerous tailored promotional events during the "The Seinfeld Campus Tour," participants coast-to-coast will have access the fully-equipped tour bus, wherein they can enjoy Seinfeld-inspired snacks and engage in a wide-variety of Seinfeld-themed experiences.
In its current season in syndication, Seinfeld consistently ranks as the #1 off-network comedy across all key men and adult demographics, and still stands as one of the highest rated of any off-net sitcom on television with airings on both broadcast stations and TBS. It airs in 197 markets, covering 99% of the country. Seinfeld has been renewed for a third cycle by its stations and second cycle in cable, keeping the show on the air through 2011.
View more information on this Seinfeld Campus tour!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hallmark Licenses CBS Consumer Products; Network Notes

Hallmark has licensed CBS Consumer Products' Classic TV catalog for various products. The agreement opens the door to more than 150 properties -- among them The Beverly Hillbillies, The Love Boat, Taxi, Beverly Hills, 90210, Happy Days and Rawhide -- not only for greeting cards but also for party goods, collectibles and other gift categories. The CBS property will be labeled Television City, as most of the shows from the CBS-Paramount library did not air on CBS itself.
Several shows are also celebrating anniversaries next year: The Twilight Zone (50th), Rawhide (50th), The Brady Bunch (40th) and Happy Days (35th)...so expect some sort of tribute cards, collectibles or other products by Hallmark for them. Initial licensees include Hallmark, which will be producing cards featuring many classic TV titles.
A Television City logo will be included on Hallmark products and in marketing outreaches.
Television City shows are in the process of being licensed for use in other categories and already have been tapped by University Games for board games and Steve & Barry's and NTD Apparel for T-shirts and other clothing.
I know I will be asked this question, so I will just say it right now...no, these Paramount shows will not be available on television on The Hallmark Channel, this is just for Hallmark products, like cards and collectibles.

MyNetworkTV will launch The Tony Rock Project Wednesdays this fall following episodes of sitcom Under One Roof this fall. 8 episodes have been picked-up thus far. Tony Rock Project is a sketch comedy show starring Tony Rock, the brother of Chris Rock from Everybody Hates Chris, that will fuse reality (streeter interviews, hidden camera footage) with comic examination of race, class and power.
Other new MyNetworkTV shows for the fall are Magic Secrets (Mondays at 9), Funniest Moments (Wednesdays at 9), and WWE Smackdown! will move to the network in October. The network will also air Saturday movies now, in addition to their Thursday movies. Check out the MyNetworkTV Fall schedule.
Today they announced Arsenio Hall will host Funniest Moments.

Take back the first season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles this August on Fox. Beginning Sunday, Aug. 10 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, encore episodes of the entire first season will air for two weeks Sunday through Wednesday at 9:00 PM ET/PT through Aug. 24. The action-packed season finale cliff-hanger that left Cameron's fate unknown will encore on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
The Season One reboot kicks off the countdown to the Season Two premiere Monday, Sept. 8 at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Fox.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

CBS.com Adds More TV Classics, Includes Family Ties; ION Television and ION Life Acquire Two Series

We told you a few months back that CBS.com has added classic TV shows for free, programs such as Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Melrose Place, Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver are under the "TV Classics" section of cbs.com's Video section. But now more episodes of those are added and more new shows! Among the new series added at CBS.com's TV Classics section are Twin Peaks, Beverly Hills 90210, The Love Boat, Family Ties, and Perry Mason.
All of these shows are from Paramount Television, a division of CBS. So that is how shows like Family Ties (NBC), Beverly Hills 90210 (Fox), and The Love Boat (ABC) are on the CBS.com website.

ION announced that ION Life, its digital network dedicated to active living and personal growth, has reached agreements to add two compelling series to its program lineup. In the network's first commissioned production from NFL Films, ION Life will present the new series, Stories of the NFL, that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the inspirational stories and lives of NFL players on and off the field. The series will air daily on ION Life at 8 p.m., starting Monday, June 2. No, it will NOT air on the regular ION Television.
ION Media Networks has also secured the rights to The 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden (MSG), an Emmy Award-winning documentary series from MSG Network presenting some of our most celebrated moments in the world's most famous arena. Episodes will air on ION Life, and ALSO simultaneously as part of ION Life's channel showcase presentation on the ION Television Network, on Sundays at 6 p.m., beginning June 15 for 10 straight weeks.
We still have an interview coming with ION Television, so we hope to bring that to you this week. Our questions were submitted, now we are just awaiting the responses. It will be part of our on-going "Seven Questions" series. You won't want to miss this!

Labels: , , , , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mini-DVD Reviews: Beverly Hills, 90210: The First Season and Melrose Place: The Second Season (May 1)

Today we take a look at two classic '90s Fox dramas. Paramount Home Entertainment's Beverly Hills, 90210: The Second Season and Melrose Place: The Second Season. See Shawn Eaton's mini-DVD reviews of both of these sets below:

Beverly Hills, 90210: The Second Season (CBS, $48.99) brings all of your favorite Beverly Hills teens back on DVD! The expanded second season premiered on Fox in the summer of 1991 with 28-episodes (the show always had at least 27 episodes a season throughout its run except for season one which had the normal 22). Beverly Hills 90210 wasn't an instant hit, but with the premiere of a summer series, the show became one of the most popular shows on Fox in the 1990s. The series centers around Minnesota teens Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) as they struggle in every day teen life, surrounded by drama and their best friends, the cool Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), brainy Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris), the sarcastic Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering), the bitchy Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), sweet Donna (Tori Spelling) and awkward David (Brian Austin Green).
The second season kicked off with a slew of summer episodes. We kick things off with "Beach Blanket Brandon" in which Brenda has a pregnancy scare. A few episodes later we meet wild Emily Valentine (Christine Elise) in "Wild Fire." In "Necessity Is a Mother" we meet Dylan's estranged mother, played by Dynasty veteran Stephanie Beacham. In "The Next Fifty Years" the gang ins thrown for a loop by the sudden accidental death of David's best friend, Scott Scanlon. In arguably one of the most powerful episodes to feature Shannen Doherty, "Meeting Mr. Pony" is the one in which Brenda is held at gunpoint while working late at the Peach Pit. In "Things to Do On a Rainy Day," '90s band Color Me Badd drops by while Donna discovers something shocking about her mother. As the season winds down, Brenda and Dylan get trapped in Mexico in "Mexican Standoff" while in the season finale, "Wedding Bell Blues," Jim takes a stand and refuses to let Dylan near Brenda.
The box itself is slip-sleeve and features four pull out snap cases that hold the eight discs on the set. The main art features all eight teens. Unfortunately, on the back of the box there is the dreaded "Music Has Been Changed for This Home Entertainment Version. Some Episodes May Be Edited From Their Original Network Versions." Which basically means nearly all (or all) of the music used in cutaway scenes and in the beginning few minutes after the opening credits has been replaced with cheaper, public-domain music. There could be some scenes where music was originally played completely cut out, like on CBS DVD’s Family Ties set. On to the menu itself--it's basic and features a solo shot of one of the stars (such as Disc 1 features Luke Perry). Each menu immediately pops up with the episode listings. The video itself is actually quite good as well as the audio. Each episode runs a good 44 to 45 minutes in length and each episode features chapter skips. Closed captioning is available.
Now, onto arguably the best part! SPECIAL FEATURES! Yes, a set that actually has special features! It's becoming a rarity these days (especially for CBS DVD)! All of the bonus features are on Disc Eight. The first special feature, "Meet The Walshes" (approx. 7 minutes) features in depth interviews with Carol Potter (Cindy Walsh) and James Eckhouse (Jim Walsh), sharing snippets of information and thoughts put together with some clips from the series. The second special feature, "Our Favorite Valentine" (approx. 5 minutes), focuses on Christine Elise and her run as memorable Emily Valentine. It features an interview with Elise herself as she discusses the character, her laughing at the corny lines, her outside then relationship with Jason Priestley and apparently a chilly relationship with Shannen Doherty. Her favorite scenes are the two confrontations with Brenda and her favorite episode is "U4EA" (Episode 3/Disc 4). In the final special feature, "Everything You Need To Know About Beverly Hills, 90210 Season 2" (approx. 17 minutes) has two guys, John Aboud and Michael Colton discussing everything about season two. It also features them in a very weird recreation of the season two opening credits, with the two guys donning wigs and appearing in the credits as all 10 cast members (from Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty to Carol Potter and James Eckhouse)--very weird.
In conclusion, another fantastic set by CBS/Paramount! I was highly impressed with the three bonus features and I really hope we get more of them! My one gripe is that I'd like episode commentary and of course the original music is not there. Overall, a good, solid release and I'd naturally encourage any fan of 90210 to pick it up and add it to their collection despite the music issues!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Beverly Hills, 90210 TV.com Page


Melrose Place: The Second Season (CBS, $48.99) brings back all of your favorite twenty-something hotties from 4616 Melrose Place with 32 more episodes (like 90210, this show had at least 27 episodes each season...wow)! Moving into the building full-time is Heather Locklear as uber-bitch Amanda Woodward, who wastes no time meddling in the lives of the residents, especially lovebirds Jake (GRANT SHOW) and Jo (DAPHNE ZUNIGA). Now a couple, Billy (ANDREW SHUE) and Alison (COURTNEY THORNE-SMITH, According to Jim) face a crisis when Alison's ex Keith (WILLIAM R. MOSES) blows back into their lives and isn't ready to let Alison go. Also, young married couple Michael (THOMAS CALABRO) and Jane (JOSIE BISSET) find themselves in the midst of a nasty divorce, only made more difficult by Michael's new love, Kimberly Shaw (MARCIA CROSS, Desperate Housewives), and Jane's scheming sister Sydney (LAURA LEIGHTON). Rounding out the cast is everybody's friend Matt (DOUG SAVANT, Desperate Housewives) who finds himself in a midst of change, with Rhonda gone and losing his job. A notable guest-star this season is Linda Gray (Dallas) guest starring as Amanda's estranged mother, Hilary.
The second season kicks off with "Much Ado About Everything" in which we find all of our couples happy and looking to the future, but this is a soap so we know it won't last! In "Long Night's Journey" Keith makes a dangerous move on Alison while Sydney officially moves into Melrose Place. In "Fire Power" Jake's beloved bike shop burns down. In "Flirting with Disaster" Matt gets married to Katya in order for her to stay in the states. In "Collision Course" Michael and Kimberly's engagement ends in disaster. In "The Young Men and The Sea" Michael's addiction to pain killers increases. In "Swept Away" Jo's being held captive by Reed on his boat, while Sydney blackmails Michael for her own twisted pleasure. In "With This Ball and Chain" Billy and Alison decide to marry while Amanda's dirty secret could prevent their "I do's." In "Otherwise Engaged" Jo finds herself with a lasting reminder of her passionate relationship with Reed while Sydney marries Michael, who isn't at all interested. In "Love, Mancini Style" Michael attempts to kill Sydney, twice. In "The Bitch Is Back" the presumed dead Kimberly Shaw returns, very much alive, and a very different person. In "Imperfect Strangers" Jo helps a model deal with her abusive boyfriend (mostly this episode was to set up the show Models, Inc). And in "Devil With The G-String On" Sydney's stripper ways are uncovered while Jake finds out Amanda's been bedding her mother's boyfriend. And finally, in the season finale, "Till Death Do Us Part" this 90-minute episodes finds Kim and Sydney plotting to destroy Michael, Amanda sued for sexual harassment, and Alison and Billy's wedding day is anything but a happy occasion.
The set itself is slip sleeve and features a snazzy looking cover art, with all of the main cast members on the memorable stairs of Melrose Place. Each slip sleeve case features a range of photos with a theme, mostly focusing on certain storylines, such as Jo/Amanda/Jake, Kimberly/Jane/Sydney/Michael, etc. Also, as with 90210 the music has been changed from the popular '90s music to common public-domain songs, although thankfully, the theme song remains in-place. The menu itself is very basic and features either a group shot of some of the cast members or a solo shot along with the episodes immediately listed. The video itself is in excellent shape as is the audio, very very impressive. Each episode runs a good 44 to 45 minutes and features chapter skips and closed captioning.
Moving on to the all important bonus features! And like 90210 ... yes, a CBS DVD set that actually has special features! The first special feature "Melrose Place: Meet the Neighbors" (Disc 2) features a run down of Jake, Matt, Alison, Billy, Amanda, Michael, Jane, Jo, Sydney. What's cool about it is that the menu for this bonus feature is made to look like the MP mail-boxes and the character names are on each box, and the theme song is playing in the background. When you select a character, it features an INCREDIBLY brief list of facts about the character from that season along with a wonderful color photo. It's brief but a neat little feature! In "Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst, Part 1" (Disc 3) features various memorable clips from Season 2 (Keith's suicide over the phone with Alison, Matt marrying Katya, Syd blackmailing Michael, Kimberly catching Michael in bed with Syd, Michael proposing to Kim and their car careening off of a cliff, Syd getting arrested for prostitution by an undercover cop, Reed kidnapping Jo on his boat, Jo shooting and killing Reed with a shotgun, Jake punching Billy for sleeping with Amanda, Jane and Sydney getting into their infamous pool cat-fight, Michael marrying Sydney, Michael trying to kill Sydney -- twice, etc.). In "Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst, Part 2" (Disc 4) features more memorable clips (Amanda and Jo catching the peeping tom, Amanda torturing him, Kimberly returning from the dead spying on Michael and Sydney, Kimberly showing herself to Michael in a thunderstorm, Kimberly famously pulling off her wig and revealing a throbbing scar, Syd getting beat up by hookers, etc.). In "Complex Relationships, Part 1" (Disc 5), that bonus features Billy and Alison's relationship. In "Complex Relationships, Part 2" (Disc 6), that one features Amanda, Jake, Jo and Reed. In "Complex Relationships, Part 3" (Disc 7), that one features Michael, Jane, Kimberly, Sydney and Matt. And finally, also on the set is COMMENTARY! Series creator Darren Starr recorded commentary on the following episodes: "Collision Course" (Disc 3) and "The Bitch Is Back" (Disc 7).
Sorry for the long winded review but it was a very good set! The set is very well designed and features amazing photos, great commentary, awesome bonus features and of course all of the episodes of season two! What more could you ask for? CBS/Paramount did a wonderful job and of course I urge every fan to go out and grab a copy despite some of the music being replaced!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Melrose Place TV.com Page

Labels: , ,

Follow our updates on Twitter / Share this post anywhere / Become a fan on Facebook