Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 40: WGA's Strike; ABC's Strike Schedule; NCIS Reruns to USA Network; Nick at Nite Holiday Changes; RTN Coming to the Tri-Cities Area in Tennessee

We are now on the big 4-0 of the strike...that's day 40. We have some bad news. The WGA has filed a complaint against the AMPTP. It is getting ugly and I don't think we will get this straighten out anytime soon. Hopefully a Christmas miracle can happen. Anyway, here is more on the complaint. The WGA says: Today the WGA filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the AMPTP for its refusal to bargain in good faith with the WGA. It is a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands.
We are in the midst of the holiday season, with thousands of our members and the membership of other unions out of work. It is the height of irresponsibility and intransigence for the AMPTP to refuse to negotiate a fair agreement with the WGA. We reiterate our demand that the AMPTP immediately return to the negotiations, rather than going on vacation, so that this town can be put back to work.
The DGA announced today that it may commence negotiations with the AMPTP in January. The DGA has to do what is best for its membership, and we will do what is best for ours. We wish them well, but they do not represent writers. Our strike will end when the companies return to negotiations and make a fair deal with the WGA.
The AMPTP responded to the WGA complaint by saying: The WGA's filing of a complaint with the NLRB reminds us of the old lawyers' adage: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. And when you don't have either the law or the facts on your side, you pound the table. The WGA has now been reduced to pounding the table, and this baseless, desperate NLRB complaint is just the latest indication that the WGA's negotiating strategy has achieved nothing for working writers.
It is getting very ugly. Not good.

ABC's strike schedule (AKA January schedule, AKA mid-season schedule) is out! ABC will premiere four new series between Jan-Mar, Cashmere Mafia, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, Eli Stone and Oprah's Big Give, in addition to the premiere of the much anticipated fourth season of Lost on Thursday, January 31 at 9:00 p.m. Just for Laughs, According to Jim and Carpoolers return to Tuesday in January. Wife Swap and Supernanny return, this time on Wednesdays. The megahit Dancing with the Stars returns March 17 on Mondays and Tuesdays. Off the line-up because of the strike are Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, and Dirty Sexy Money. Cavemen is not returning. Men in Trees will take a break and not come back until Feb. 27, and move to Wednesdays at 10 when Cashmere Mafia's run completes. For a full list of the schedule, look below:
MONDAY (JAN)
8:00 p.m. Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann
9:30 p.m. Notes from the Underbelly
10:00 p.m. October Road
MONDAY (FEB)
8:00 p.m. Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann
9:00 p.m. Samantha Who?
9:30 p.m. Notes from the Underbelly
10:00 p.m. October Road
MONDAY (MAR)
8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars
9:30 p.m. Samantha Who?
10:00 p.m. The Bachelor

TUESDAY
8:00 p.m. Just for Laughs
8:30 p.m. Just for Laughs
9:00 p.m. According to Jim
9:30 p.m. Carpoolers
10:00 p.m. Boston Legal
TUESDAY (MAR)
8:00 p.m. Just for Laughs
8:30 p.m. Just for Laughs
9:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars the Results Show
10:00 p.m. Boston Legal

WEDNESDAY
8:00 p.m. Wife Swap
9:00 p.m. Supernanny
10:00 p.m. Cashmere Mafia - MEN IN TREES beginning Feb 27

THURSDAY (JAN)
8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
9:00 p.m. Grey's Anatomy
10:00 p.m. Big Shots (after special premiere of Cashmere Mafia on Jan 3)
THURSDAY (FEB)
8:00 p.m. Ugly Betty
9:00 p.m. Lost
10:00 p.m. Eli Stone

FRIDAY
8:00 p.m. Drama encores
9:00 p.m. Drama encores
10:00 p.m. 20/20

SUNDAY (MAR)
7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos
8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00 p.m. Oprah's Big Give
10:00 p.m. Desperate Housewives
For MUCH more info click HERE!!

USA Network has announced it will start airing reruns of the CBS drama NCIS starting in January. It was announced a few years ago that USA Network had bought the off-network rights of the show starting in 2008. USA will air it Wednesday nights at 9:00pm and 10:00pm starting Jan. 2. It won't air as a daily strip for awhile, since it is just starting. Maybe in the fall at earliest. NCIS is replacing Law & Order: SVU on Wednesday nights. SVU will still air in its other slots.
From Donald P. Bellisario, an acclaimed producer, comes NCIS, a hit spin-off of JAG (which airs on USA Network 6-8am weekday mornings), that brings us the inner workings of the government agency that investigates all crimes involving Navy and Marine Corps personnel, regardless of rank or position. Starring: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette.

In other news, Nick at Nite has edited their Christmas marathon for this Sunday a bit. They removed the holiday episodes of Roseanne and Cosby Show. They will air holiday episodes from 9pm-12am of their usual line-up of Home Improvement, George Lopez, and Fresh Prince instead. In addition, the holiday hour of 11pm next week will now be back to just Fresh Prince...so again Roseanne and Cosby Show get snubbed. For more details, click on our December highlights by clicking HERE.

RTN has announced a new affiliate...our friend Greg Brobeck (aka snowpeck) is very happy, because this is his market. Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it will partner with Holston Valley Broadcasting Corporation to launch RTN programming on a digital stream of WKPT-TV, Tri-Cities' ABC affiliate. The new affiliate will begin airing RTN programming on December 21 on WKPT-DT, Tennessee's first digital television station, and will also be available over-the-air on WOPI-CA, Channel 9.
Greg found out that we can look for Matlock, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum, P.I. in primetime with the following in daytime and late night: Perry Mason, Ironside, Rockford Files, Get Smart, Kojak, The Untouchables, Mission Impossible, The Fugitive, Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Happy Days, Love American Style. And on weekends: Bonanza, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, Emergency, Knight Rider, A-Team, Afred Hitchcock.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day 4: WGA's Writers' Strike - Fox and ABC Updates; ION Goes HD

We are now in day four of the strike. Still no resolution. In light of the strike by The Writers Guild of America, Fox has revised its lineup for January and the remainder of the 2007-2008 season. The new schedule is subject to change, pending resolution of the strike. The seventh season premiere of 24 is being postponed to ensure that "Day 7" can air uninterrupted, in its entirety.
The highly anticipated drama Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will have a two-night premiere on Sunday, Jan. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and Monday, Jan. 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the show's regular time period. Prison Break, which has its last November airing on Monday, Nov. 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), returns to Mondays (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) beginning Jan. 14, ealier than planned.
Fox's new schedule is pretty confusing. So, I won't recap it anymore, so here's is a list of it:

Mondays, beginning Jan. 14:
8:00-9:00 PM PRISON BREAK
9:00-10:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Time Period Premiere)
Monday, March 3:
8:00-9:00 PM WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD (wt) (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Mondays, beginning March 10:
8:00-9:00 PM WHEN WOMEN RULE THE WORLD (wt)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE (Time Period Premiere)

Tuesday, Jan. 15:
8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 1)
Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 22:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE
Tuesdays, beginning April 1:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM HELL'S KITCHEN (Season Premiere)

Wednesday, Jan. 16:
8:00-10:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part 2)
Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 23:
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:00-10:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Series Premiere)
Wednesdays, beginning March 12:
8:00-9:00 PM THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL
9:30-10:00 PM BACK TO YOU encores (Time Period Premiere)

Thursdays, beginning Jan. 10 (No changes to lineup):
8:00-9:00 PM ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER?
9:00-10:00 PM DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS!

Fridays, beginning Jan. 4:
8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Time Period Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE encores (Time Period Premiere)
Friday, Feb. 22:
8:00-9:00 PM BONES
9:00-10:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM (Series Premiere)
Fridays, beginning March 7:
8:00-8:30 PM TIL DEATH (Time Period Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (Series Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM NEW AMSTERDAM
Fridays, beginning April 11:
8:00-8:30 PM TIL DEATH
8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES
9:00-10:00 PM CANTERBURY'S LAW (Series Premiere)

Saturdays, beginning Jan. 5: (No changes to lineup)
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK
11:00 PM-Midnight MADtv
Midnight-12:30 AM TALKSHOW WITH SPIKE FERESTEN

Sundays, beginning Jan. 6: (No changes to lineup)
7:00-7:30 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES
7:30-8:00 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES
8:00-9:00 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD
Sunday, Jan. 13:
7:00-7:30 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)
7:30-8:00 PM VARIOUS COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only)
8:00-9:00 PM TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Series Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD
Sunday, Feb. 3 (Super Bowl Sunday):
6:00 PM ET SUPER BOWL XLII (Approx. 4 hours, LIVE)
Approx. 10:00 PM ET HOUSE (Original episode; guest star Mira Sorvino)
Sundays, beginning March 2:
7:00-7:30 PM COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)
7:30-8:00 PM COMEDY ENCORES (West Coast only on 3/2 due to NASCAR)
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM UNHITCHED (Series Premiere)
Sundays, beginning April 13:
7:00-7:30 PM COMEDY ENCORES
7:30-8:00 PM COMEDY ENCORES
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM KING OF THE HILL
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

In other strike news, ABC still plans to air Lost come this February. 8 of the 16 episodes will be available, but ABC will still air those. The eighth episode does have a cliff-hanger, in case that will be the last episode of the season. Other news: The classic special Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town is scheduled to air on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 from 8:00- 9:00 PM ET/PT. ABC Saturday Movie Of The Week Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas is scheduled to air on Saturday, December 8, 2007 from 8:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT. The only thing really left Christmas wise is The Santa Clause 2, which I'm betting will be on a Sunday (Dec. 16 likely). Cavemen is preempted on Nov. 20 for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but now Carpoolers will be, too. He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, the last animated special created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, will air at 8:30 p.m. ET immediately following the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. And finally, Big Shots will be pre-empted on Dec. 6. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007, an
hour-long ABC News special highlighting some of the year's most prominent names in entertainment, sports, politics and business, will air at 10pm on Thursday, Dec. 6. So, the next Big Shots episode will air Nov. 29 at 10pm as of now, unless ABC bumps that also...they should just save it for January.

ION Media Networks, Inc. today announced the launch of ION Television HD, the high definition television (HDTV) version of the company's flagship network, ION Television. ION Television HD will air ION Television's full lineup of programming in high definition beginning in the first quarter of next year.
ION Television HD will be transmitted in 720p HD, and will be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
ION Television HD will dramatically enhance viewers' experience with the breathtaking visual clarity and rich, lifelike color characteristic of high definition. Viewers will discover a new level of enjoyment with the flagship network's daily programming lineup, which includes popular family shows, like Mama's Family and Who's the Boss?, and sports and reality programs, such as NFL Game of the Week and 48 Hours. ION Television HD will also enable audiences to experience, as never before, the network's exciting RHI Entertainment award-winning movies and original miniseries, such as Lonesome Dove and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Status of All the New Network Shows

So do you want to know if your favorite new shows will last the season or get canceled? You'll get a sense after reading this post! As we have announced, the following new scripted shows have gotten a full season order, which means at least 22 episodes: Back to You (24 episodes actually), The Big Bang Theory, Gossip Girl, Private Practice, and Pushing Daisies. So, all those are safe at least through the end of the season, unless something crazy happens.
Then a ton of other new series have added additional scripts, which means the network is trying and will see how the show continues to do before picking up additional episodes or a full season. Samantha Who? got an additional six scripts order, which means it is very close for a full season pick-up. The next highest is four scripts, which are Cane and Moonlight. Tons of other series have three scripts such as Aliens in America, Bionic Woman, Carpoolers, Chuck, Dirty Sexy Money, Life, Journeyman, and Reaper. It could go either way with these. K-Ville has an additional two scripts ordered, but that was weeks ago, and nothing has been said since, which means, the clock is ticking for that show.
So far no word at all on series such as Big Shots, Cavemen, Life is Wild and Women's Murder Club. That is not good, but Women's Murder Club is doing well and has just started basically, so expect additional scripts or even a full season pick-up very soon. Viva Laughlin was canceled.
Among the new reality shows, it looks like Kid Nation will finish its cycle, but that looks to be it. Kitchen Nightmares was ordered for another season. The outlook is not good for CW Now and The Next Great American Band. Online Nation and Nashville were canceled.

So, here is my take. Among the series with additional scripts, Samantha Who, Dirty Sexy Money, Moonlight, Chuck, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Aliens in America will probably get full season pick-ups or at the very least additional episodes. So shows like Carpoolers, Cane, K-Ville, Life and Journeyman are in danger...so don't get too attached. Among the shows with no status yet, expect Women's Murder Club to get the season pick-up VERY soon, with Big Shots, Cavemen and Life is Wild in danger.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

TV One December Highlights; TV Land Minor Change in November; Daisies Gets Full Season

December has been officially christened the most "TV One-derful Time of the Year," as TV One presents a whole lineup of exciting holiday programming throughout the month, including premiere specials, beloved movies, and holiday-themed episodes of our favorite sitcoms. Starting Monday, December 17, in fact, TV One's primetime programming hours from 7pm until 11pm each night through Tuesday, December 25 will be largely turned over to non-stop Christmas programming, in addition to holiday programming all-day long on December 24 and December 25. Week of Dec. 17 follows:
Monday: Holiday episodes of Parent'Hood, Good News and All Of Us run from 7pm until 10pm
Tuesday: Holiday episodes of Cedric the Entertainer Presents, The PJs, and Good Times from 7-10pm lead into Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas at 10pm.
Wednesday: Holiday episodes of Wanda At Large and For Your Love from 7-8pm lead into an airing of the classic movie Soul Food at 8pm and holiday cooking from Chef G. Garvin and comedienne Mo’nique on a special hour episode of Turn Up the Heat at 10pm
Thursday: Holiday episodes of Eve and Martin from 7-10pm lead into a rebroadcast of the special Get Together with John Legend at 10pm.
Friday: Holiday episodes of 227 and Hangin' with Mr. Cooper air from 7-10pm.
Before all that we have on Saturdays December 8, December 15 and December 22, each week beginning at 12 Noon and lasting until 8pm, TV One celebrates holiday humor with all-day marathons of classic Christmas sitcom episodes. On December 8, the lineup features Martin, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, Eve, Wanda at Large, Cedric the Entertainer Presents. On December 15, the lineup focuses on family, with holiday stories from 227, Good Times, All Of Us, Roc, The PJs. And on December 22, it's an encore of all the best holiday episodes.
On Saturday, December 15 at 12 midnight, TV One offers a special Saturday Midnight Movie with a presentation of Bill Cosby: Himself, a comedy concert movie featuring some of the routines that ultimately formed the basis for the legendary The Cosby Show.
On New Year's Day Tuesday January 1 beginning at 10am, TV One presents an all-day marathon event of the Eddie Murphy claymation series The PJs including two never before seen on television episodes that air at 8pm and 8:30pm and again at 11pm and 11:30pm.

TV Land has made a minor schedule change to its Tues-Fri 4pm hour. Cheers and All in the Family will be replaced by an hour of Sanford & Son starting Tuesday, November 6. No other changes will be made and morning airings of those two sitcoms will still remain.

ABC has reportedly picked up a full season of the wonderful and unique new show Pushing Daisies. The show wins its timeslot each week in viewers 18-49 and is a strong second in viewers in its Wednesday 8pm time slot. If you haven't tuned in yet, it is not too late! If you like what you see, catch up with previous episodes on abc.com.

Tonight it is a sitcom hour on ABC starting at 8/7 central with Cavemen followed by an the hilarious Carpoolers. Don't miss the laughs on both shows! Don't make sitcoms extinct! Speaking of Carpoolers, ABC has ordered three extra scripts of the sitcom. Could additional episodes or a full season be next? We'll let you know!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sci-Fi and G4 Acquire Lost Reruns

After the announcement of Heroes going to G4 and Mojo, Disney-ABC Domestic Television has sold reruns of the mega hit Lost to Sci-Fi Channel and G4 starting fall 2008. Since Lost is an older show and has more episodes than Heroes, Lost will be able to air more than one episode per week.
The deal gives both G4 and Sci-Fi rights to existing episodes of Lost, which the networks will debut in primetime in fall 2008, extending through all six seasons of the series.
Fans can get Lost all over again with Sci-Fi's weekly 4-hour primetime stack of the hit drama beginning in the fall of 2008. Sci-Fi will be the only place on television to see weekly mini-marathons of the popular drama, allowing viewers to remain engaged with the exciting and often surprising ongoing storyline. Additionally, Sci-FI has obtained the right to stream a limited number of episodes of Lost on SciFi.COM, the most heavily trafficked destination for the genre on the Internet.
G4, the network that's plugged into what young men want, is adding an extensive interactive update to Lost, which will offer audiences a variety of ways to participate during each episode. Lost 2.0 will feature multiple interactive and web-enabled elements, tapping into a huge online following that the hit series has generated since its inception. G4 additionally obtained exclusive cable weekend rights for the series, as well as the right to stream a limited number of episodes of the series on the network's popular web site, G4tv.com.

We'll be back with more news a bit later.

Tonight in sitcom land is the third week for newbies Cavemen & Carpoolers on ABC. The crazyness starts at 8/7 central on ABC! Tune in!
Speaking of new sitcoms, the premiere of Samantha Who? last night delivered an estimated 14.92 million viewers (preliminary so far), making it the most watched new series this season. It beat out premieres of newbies like Private Practice, Bionic Woman, and Pushing Daisies in households and viewers. When was the last time a new sitcom was the highest rated premiere among the new shows? Sitcoms Online is so proud!

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Beaver Reunion on GMA Thursday; The Fonz in Bronze?

Leave it to Beaver is turning the big 5-0 tomorrow debuting 50 years ago on Oct. 3, 1957, and ABC's Good Morning America will reunite June (Barbara Billingsley), Wally (Tony Dow), Lumpy (Frank Bank), Eddie (Ken Osmond) and The Beav (Jerry Mathers) himself on the Thursday (Oct. 4) telecast of the morning show. It will air sometime between 7-9am, so either set the VCR/TiVo on or watch while you get ready for work. It will be great to see the living cast together again. As we have mentioned, TV Land will air a 24-hour marathon honoring the 50th anniversary of the show by airing classic episodes including the rarely seen pilot starting Saturday at 8pm thru Sunday at 8pm (and more airings on Monday from 11am-5pm). It is going to be a Beaver-licious week!

Variety is reporting that a Wisconsin civic group called Visit Milwaukee is trying to bring 'happy days' to the city, launching a campaign to create a bronzed statue of the character of The Fonz (Fonzie, Arthur Fonzarelli, whatever you call him) played by the great Henry Winkler.
They have raised about half of the $85,000 needed to get the bust made and presented in the city where Happy Days was set. While TV Land has funded statues of notable TV characters in the past, it won't be financing this one -- to the city's chagrin (The net isn't giving thumbs down to the character; it's just very selective about its statue-funding.).

Tune in tonight for two series premieres of two sitcoms...Cavemen and Carpoolers. We reviewed Carpoolers on Saturday and it is a surprise, so please try it. We have not seen the updated Cavemen pilot (nor has any other critic), so we will be watching that for the first time, too. We will try to do a review of it after we see it.
Both sitcoms will air back-to-back and the laughs start tonight at 8/7 central on ABC!

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

ABC Fall Pilot Review: Carpoolers - Premieres October 2; Solomon's Weekly Rant: The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows

Carpoolers

Carpoolers - Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres October 2 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Four guys who carpool to work every day come to savor their commute as the only safe time to commiserate about jobs, families – and secrets. Even though "what happens in the carpool stays in the carpool," they'll go beyond the boundaries of this fast-moving commuter confessional to get involved in each other's lives and develop friendships.
The character details follow:

Gracen (Fred Goss, ABC's Sons & Daughters) is the unofficial leader of the carpool pack. As a professional mediator, he thinks he's a problem solver, but more often he's a causer. He seeks fairness in an unfair world, and so finds himself in the middle of situations because he’s compelled to be there. In the pilot, Gracen is stunned to learn that his wife makes more money than he does, which sets his resolve to assert his manly authority.

Laird (Jerry O'Connell, Crossing Jordan) is Gracen's playboy dentist neighbor and best friend. He thinks his life is an unending quest for stories – and women. In the middle of a messy divorce, he allows himself to live a little and taunts the other carpoolers with the freedom of his near-single status. He would never admit that he secretly misses marriage. Laird constantly leads the carpoolers into adventures, but once there, he isn't sure what to do.
Meet Laird, a dentist and recent divorce turned womanizer who was left with nothing intact but his libido. Laird's best friend, Gracen, is a mediator, a voice of reason, and the unofficial leader of the pack. Then there's self-sacrificing Aubrey, with a brood of kids and a stay-at-home couch-potato wife, and newlywed Dougie, the carpool neophyte who's willing to risk his life to save a coveted parking space for the team.

Aubrey (Jerry Minor, Arrested Development) is a sweet but intense pushover at the bottom of the family food chain. The daily ride has become the only peaceful time in his life. Forty-five minutes, two times a day – he needs the carpool the most. Always quick to come to the carpoolers' aid, he believes in the brotherhood almost to a fault. Only the carpoolers know he’s boiling inside, because "in the carpool lane, no one can hear you scream."

Dougie (Tim Peper, Guiding Light) is the eager newlywed. He doesn’t know all the rules of the Carpooler Society, often breaks them, and has to have the ways of the world explained to him by his tribal elders, the three other carpoolers. He and his wife, Cindy, are the perfect modern couple, but as you get to know them, you start to see their cracks. Dougie is the guy who seems to have it all together, yet he’s drawn to the carpoolers for a little excitement. The carpoolers will both instigate problems for Dougie and help him deal with the realities of life to come.

Cast Details:

Fred Goss as Gracen, Jerry O'Connell as Laird, Jerry Minor as Aubrey, Tim Peper as Dougie, Allison Munn as Cindy, with Faith Ford as Leila, and T.J. Baker as Marmaduke

Fred Goss (Gracen Brooker) is steeped in the entertainment business, as an actor, director, writer, producer and editor. As an actor, Goss starred in ABC's critically acclaimed Sons & Daughters. Along with his writing partner, he also created, wrote and served as executive producer and show runner on the series. In addition he directed the pilot, as well as four other episodes. Goss starred in Bravo's cult classic, Significant Others, and has also appeared in The Man Show and South Park. His first appearance in a TV comedy was on the hit series ALF.

Faith Ford (Leila Brooker) has five Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for her ten-year portrayal of reporter Corky Sherwood on Murphy Brown. More recently she starred for three seasons in the ABC hit comedy series Hope & Faith, with Kelly Ripa, and co-starred opposite Vin Diesel in Touchstone Pictures' The Pacifier. She also starred for two seasons as Shelly Kilmartin, a probation officer who is the object of Norm MacDonald's affection on the ABC series Norm. Between Murphy Brown and Norm, Ford headlined her own series, Maggie Winters. She was a regular on the series Popcorn Kid and a recurring character on thirtysomething, before meeting Murphy Brown executive producer Diane English.

Jerry O'Connell (Laird) starred as Detective Woody Hoyt on Crossing Jordan. Other television credits include starring in Sliders, the movie What the Deaf Man Heard and the miniseries The '60s. Jerry O'Connell is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood's most versatile and sought after talents, especially in the movies.

Jerry Minor (Aubrey) is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, Minor was also in the cast of the groundbreaking but short-lived 4-camera sitcom for HBO, Lucky Louie, as Louis CK's African-American neighbor who suffered Louie's clumsy attempts at friendship. Minor has appeared on such television shows as Arrested Development, The Awful Truth with Michael Moore, and on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Trigger Happy TV and Crank Yankers. He also makes regular guest appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tim Pepper's (Dougie) television credits include a recurring role on Conviction, plus guest starring on Law & Order, Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

Alison Munn (Cindy) was most recently a series regular on What I Like About You, and is also known for her recurring role as Crazy Caroline on That '70s Show. She had recurring roles on St. Sass and Now and Again, with additional TV credits in Charmed, JAG, Boston Public, Inside Schwartz and Law & Order: SVU.

T.J. Miller (Marmaduke Brooker) performs improvisation, sketch and stand-up comedy and is currently a member of Green Company of the Second City National Touring Companies. He performs improvisation with the house team Bullet Lounge at IO, stand-up at numerous comedy venues in Chicago, as well as sketch comedy with the group Heavy Weight. He even eats most of meals standing up.


Pilot Plot:

I have received the first two episodes of the series. The first episode, "Pilot," airing Oct. 2, Gracen wonders aloud how his lovely "house flipper" wife, Leila, can afford to buy a $200 designer toaster and how his deadbeat son, Marmaduke, who struts around the house in nothing but his jockeys and a smile, suddenly lands an internet job making more than his dad. By the end of the day, the guys have their mission: to steal back the respect Gracen deserves by any means necessary.
"Pilot" was written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Troy Evans as Mr. Heggie, Taylor Parks as Aubrey's daughter, Drew Matthews as Aubrey's son, Stephanie Reibel as woman, Scott Thompson as rich carpooler #1, Eddie Goins as rich carpooler #2, Irene White as Sue, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted and Andrew Cherry as Rikki.

The second episode I received is airing October 9 and is titled "Laird of the Ring." Laird pretends to be married to impress a girl who's into married men, Dougie believes Aubrey is having an affair when he sees him sneaking into a motel, and Marmaduke suspects that Laird is his father.
"Laird of the Ring" is written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Sasha Barrese as Holly, Irene White as Sue Henzel, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted Henzel, Byron Field as brokeback guy, Vince Pavia as delivery guy, Jordan Robinson as Aubrey's kid #1, Khamani Griffin as Aubrey's kid #2 and Jay Jay Ellis as Aubrey's kid #3.


Analysis:

This show is surprisingly funny. I was shocked when ABC had picked-up this show, but after seeing the pilot, I am not surprised. It is a hoot and the cast is great. The pilot has a lot of laughs. The singing in the car while going to work is hilarious. Aubrey especially. Both episodes I have seen, start off with singing in the car. It might sound corny, but it is a riot. Another ongoing joke is, while driving, they are on a highway for "Carpoolers Only," and we see they are the only ones in that lane. While that is unrealistic, but it is supposed to be funny, as it is a joke. The plot of the pilot basically is to introduce us to the characters. Gracen, Laird, and Aubrey are about to get a new member of the Carpooler team in Dougie. He is their new guy and he has to sacrifice for the team in finding parking spots. He gets hit by cars so much. Even in episode two, he gets hit by cars, but in that episode he wasn't saving a parking spot. The other plots of the first episode is Gracen thinking his wife makes more money than him, and his son getting a new job. His son is a very oddball character. He is always in his underwear...even for an online job interview. I love the Aubrey character. He is hilarious. He sounds girly. He has like a 1,000 kids and his wife is now a fat couch potato who doesn't do anything but sit in front of the TV. We never see her face. She is like the new Nanny from the Muppet Babies! Except on this show, instead of seeing the Nanny's legs, we just see her stomach side. Aubrey does all the housework from doing the laundry to making cookies, while his wife watches her favorite TV shows.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who carpool to go to work. So they could probably understand what these characters go through. The second episode is not as funny to me as the pilot. While it is interesting, it doesn't have as many laughs. Basically Laird borrows Gracen's wedding ring for a girl who is into only married men. Gracen's wife of course finds out right away that Gracen's wedding ring is missing. There are two sub-plots a well. Dougie sees Aubrey going into a motel for two days in a row right after coming to work. He thinks he is cheating on his overweight lazy wife. Is he? And Gracen's son Marmaduke, the dummy he is, thinks Laird is actually his father.


Conclusion:

As I said, this is surprisingly funny. The show will be following Cavemen on Tuesday nights on ABC. Cavemen has a lot of buzz and the premiere will certainly be sampled. So, let's hope they stick around for this show's premiere, too.

All the characters are developed by the first two episodes. We know nearly all of them by the end of the pilot. Cindy, Dougie's wife, is the only character that is not really needed yet. Everyone has a big role for the show. Both men and women will like this show, especially the men who carpool to work. Fred Goss was so great on the single camera comedy Sons & Daughters. He is great in this single camera comedy, too. The difference is, this sitcom would appeal to everyone, as Sons & Daughters was way too smart for some people. Faith Ford is always good in a sitcom, Jerry O'Connell is pretty funny as the sex-craved Laird and I just love Aubrey as the girly heterosexual man with millions of kids and the fat lazy wife. The funny thing is, Aubrey's kids are all different on each episode so far. As for improving the show, they should continue to make it silly and funny. I know it might be hard to top the pilot, but with this cast, it can be done. Episode 2 was not as good as the pilot. Future episodes better be good, as the show is an underdog to succeed in the ratings. Rebecca Romijn will guest star as Laird's wildly sexy and free-spirited ex-wife, "Joannifer," who returns to his life determined to get him back in upcoming episodes. I can't wait to see that! But before that, watch the pilot...and you'll be surprised how funny it really is!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

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

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/29/07

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Carpoolers Photo Gallery


    No publication or website will be reviewing the new and updated pilot of Cavemen. ABC has not and will not send the pilot out before it premieres. So we will all have to watch on Tuesday and find out how it is.
    I saw the unaired pilot this summer, but they completely redid it and changed some characters even. So reviewing that would be pointless. That pilot was not that good, just average. Here's hoping the new pilot is much much better.


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 29, 2007
    "The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows"
    By Solomon Davis

    I will never understand why certain networks choose to air the series premiere of their new shows close to or in the month October.. There shouldn't even be a delay if the new show was already summarized in the Fall Preview edition of TV Guide in early September. The Big Bang Theory just premiered on this past Monday (Sept. 24) on CBS after the show was previewed in TV Guide in early September. So why does there need to be a gap in between the summary of the new show in TV Guide and the premiere date of the show? If the show was previewed in TV Guide it should be premiering the following week. The new show called, Samantha Who? won't air on ABC until October 15 which is actually two weeks before November. So that's almost 8 weeks of waiting after reading about the show in TV Guide during early September. So should we be more annoyed with TV Guide for its early reviews of new shows or the networks for their future fall premiere dates?

    The Fall Preview edition of TV Guide always comes out the week after Labor Day which previews the news shows are on the network schedule for the new TV season. So if the TV Guide fall preview comes out in the 2nd week of September, why are they including the preview for new shows that premiere in October? I mean couldn't they just wait until the last week of September to preview new shows like Carpoolers, Pushing Daises, and Caveman? No they would rather have us enjoy the summary of a new show starting in October and wait days to see whether we will like the show. So TV Guide definitely plays a bigger role in the premiere delay of new shows. Which means it's time for someone at TV Guide to use their brain and come out with a preview for new shows a week before they premiere. It really makes more sense to have a TV Guide edition with previews of certain new shows closer to the premiere date instead of summarizing all the shows in one issue. The way TV Guide introduces these new TV shows is like a newspaper in the month of July including back to school clothes advertisements with school starting 7 weeks after the date of the paper.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Joy Behar asking Barbara Walters on The View, "did you sleep with Fidel Castro?" Walters replied, "are you nuts? I wonder if she asked Joy was she nuts because she asked her about Castro or because she asked her on the air?
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Tiki Barber almost dropping a salsa dancer on the boring fourth hour of the Today Show.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

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