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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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lifetime Brings Back Still Standing; AmericanLife TV Sold to Another Company; Obsessed with TV?

Lifetime is bringing back sitcom Still Standing after a short hiatus. The sitcom will return to the schedule on Monday (June 8) in the 5pm hour replacing two episodes of Cybill. Cybill will still however air in the 8am hour and at 2am, though the 8am half-hour lately has been encores of reality original Cook Yourself Thin, but it should be back to a full-hour of Cybill by June 29.
And don't forget to watch Less than Perfect on Lifetime, in the 9am hour and 6pm hour, as it just started this week!
As for Still Standing, for blue-collar Chicago couple and former high school sweethearts Judy (Jami Gertz) and Bill Miller (Mark Addy), raising a family is a huge challenge--especially with clashing parenting philosophies. Judy takes a more serious stance, while Bill holds a more relaxed approach.
Cybill is about Cybill Shepherd starring as Cybill Sheridan, a woman who has it all: two spiteful daughters, two clingy ex-husbands, an outrageous best friend, an unstable future and a house on an eroding LA hillside. But with humor and determination, Cybill braves each new challenge that comes her way, while having the time of her life discovering that life after forty is anything but...

We hinted (on our message board) when we announced the AmericanLife TV June schedule over a month ago that AmericanLife is being sold and now we have the details! ComStar Media Fund, LP, through its subsidiary ComStar Networks, LLC has acquired the popular "baby boomer" network AmericanLife TV Network (ALN) for an undisclosed sum.
ALN thrives as the only independent network devoted to America's baby boomer generation and their families, delivering classic TV, lifestyle, original and socially responsible programming that addresses compelling issues important to today's baby boomer audience. With the acquisition of ALN, ComStar has a vehicle to build out a premiere family-friendly network that will amalgamate television and Internet mediums and fill a void for safe, family programming targeting viewers of all ages.
The network provides a platform for the return of Reverend Robert A. Schuller to the media marketplace. One of the most recognized orators in the world, Dr. Schuller served as Senior Pastor of Crystal Cathedral Ministries and hosted the phenomenally popular global weekly television program The Hour of Power.
Changes at the network will include improving the network's on-air look, revamping syndicated programming and strategically rebranding the network as the destination for family values. The network will develop new original family-friendly based content to compliment an expansive offering of classic programs and films.
The network has gotten a new logo and website look as well since Monday, when their new schedule launched.
We will have more news on ALN in the future for sure, especially if they bring in more new classic shows.

Our friend Chris Mann of Retroality.TV has a new interview posted for June! He sits down with David Hofstede, author of the new super-cool trivia book Obsessed with TV. So who looks better in short-shorts Catherine Bach or Cheryl Ladd? Who are the best comedic duo Laurel & Hardy or Gleason & Carney? The book has 2,500 questions to test your knowledge of TV! There is even an interactive piece on it. Find out how that works and more by reading the two-page interview on Retroality.TV (continues on page 2)!
GSN is even promoting the book and copies were given away on GSN Live.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Less Than Perfect Joins Lifetime; Samantha Who and In the Motherhood Return to ABC in June; More Lucy on Hallmark

The 2002-2006 ABC sitcom Less than Perfect starring Sara Rue, Andy Dick, Zachary Levi, Andrea Parker, Patrick Warburton, Will Sasso, and Sherri Shepherd is coming to Lifetime with all of its 81 episodes, including the 8 unaired episodes! It seems they picked the show up since they could be ordering an original sitcom starring Sherri Shepherd. They also did that with Cybill, since they could order an original sitcom (Alligator Point) starring another Shepherd, Cybill Shepherd (no relation to Sherri). Right now both are just ordered to pilot, but this could be good news for both. Cybill airs weekdays in the 8am hour, 5pm hour and 2am.
Less than Perfect lasted four seasons and was about a young female office employee (played by Sara Rue) and her co-workers. The sitcom will join the Lifetime line-up on Monday, June 1, airing in the 9am hour and 6pm hour. In the 9am hour, it will replace Reba. In the 6pm hour it will replace Still Standing. The morning airing of Reba will move to the afternoon in the 4pm hour, replacing an episode of Wife Swap. And recently Reba returned in the 8pm hour, replacing Will & Grace. So Reba is back to 7-9pm week nights, while Will & Grace 8-9pm airings moves to the 1am hour and it still has the 11am and 11pm hours. Also, starting Monday, June 8 in primetime we will get an Army Wives encore at 9pm leading into repeats of Desperate Housewives at 10pm each Monday. Desperate Housewives will also still air weekdays at 12 and 1pm. Movies remain in the 9-11pm block every other weekday, but Fridays is still Wife Swap. Army Wives returns for its third season on Sunday, June 7 for 18 episodes airing Sundays at 10pm.
So, the addition of Less than Perfect means Still Standing is totally off the schedule. Last month it seems, Lifetime removed Medium from Fridays at 11pm, so that is off the schedule, too. Medium is eligible to air five days a week starting this fall, as will Grey's Anatomy (which currently airs Sundays at 11pm), so Medium will likely return then. But the schedule may be less than perfect, but Less than Perfect is a great addition to the schedule!
View the full Lifetime June 2009 schedule and highlights.

ABC sitcoms Samantha Who? and In the Motherhood will return to the schedule on Friday, June 5 in the 9pm hour. Both sitcoms were pulled from the Thursday night schedule two weeks earlier than planned in April. Samantha Who? has 7 episodes remaining to air, while In the Motherhood has 3 more. For Samantha, this could be a slot it can air next season, as it is expected to return for a third season. The sitcom could be in a change of format, though. It is rumored to be changing to a multicamera set-up or a hybrid setup (mix of both single and multicamera). Why? This will cut costs. ABC also might do the same for Scrubs, giving it new life for a ninth season. In the Motherhood is not expected back, so this is just a burn-off. We will find out what all this means on Tuesday, when ABC announces their 2009-2010 schedule and pick-ups. Could Samantha Who? be part of a Friday comedy block in the fall? We shall see. If a Friday block is not in their plans then they should move these Samantha Who episodes to Wednesdays at 9:30pm in the summer instead of Surviving Suburbia. That would work better on Fridays at 9. Just my two cents.

Finally, we end the day with some classic TV news. Hallmark Channel has made a last minute schedule change that goes in effect this Monday (May 18). Replacing two episodes of Matlock, weekdays at 3pm & 4pm will be two-full hours of I Love Lucy! It seems like Hallmark has a love-hate relationship with Lucy. They give it a good slot, pull it, and then give it another good slot. Currently, the series was airing at 2:30am weeknights, and will remain in that slot, too. Everything else will remain the same as it is now. So Matlock is off the schedule again. I Love Lucy 3-5pm will lead-into M*A*S*H.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our blog DVD review of course and a special upfront rumblings edition. Upfront week is next week, so join us all next week. We have some WGN America schedule news as well!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Surviving Suburbia - Premieres April 6; Lifetime TV Acquires Cybill

Surviving Suburbia

Surviving Suburbia - Mondays 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Monday, April 6, 2009 at 9:30PM ET/PT

In the family-centered tradition of Roseanne and Home Improvement, Surviving Suburbia opens the curtain to follow Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother, Full House) and Cynthia Stevenson (Men in Trees, Dead Like Me) as Steve and Anne Patterson, a seemingly normal couple who have been married for 20 years, have two children and a cookie cutter house in the idyllic suburbs. But Steve maintains a rather cynical point of view on family, friends, neighbors, society -- pretty much everyone and everything -- as he tries to survive suburban life.
Surviving Suburbia takes a contemporary look at family life and the reasons one might have to question the system -- How does exchanging keys with a neighbor for emergencies result in house sitting? Why do kids' classroom projects inevitably become the parents' responsibility? When did we start needing mediators to handle disagreements between adults? - all of which goes to prove that it's never just another sunny day in the suburbs.
Also starring in the half-hour comedy series are Jared Kusnitz and G Hannelius as the Patterson kids, Henry and Courtney, plus Jere Burns (Good Morning Miami, Something So Right) as Dr. Jim. Dan Cortese (What I Like About You) and Lorna Scott (Criminal Minds, The OC) are recurring guest stars as Onno and Monica, respectively.


Cast Details:

* Bob Saget as Steve Patterson
* Cynthia Stevenson as Anne Patterson
* Jere Burns as Dr. Jim
* G. Hannelius as Courtney Patterson
* Jared Kusnitz as Henry Patterson
* Dan Cortese as Onno
* Lorna Scott as Monica

Bob Saget (Steve Patterson) is known worldwide for his many television roles and for setting a precedent by simultaneously starring in two Top 10 primetime series, the long-running sitcom Full House and as host of ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos for eight years. He's also familiar to a more 'adult' audience through his edgy standup comedy, theater and film work. In August 2008 Saget was honored with The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, one of the highest rated shows for all of 2008 on Comedy Central. In the past two years, Saget has made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning play, The Drowsy Chaperone, hosted the quiz show 1 vs. 100, starred in his own HBO special, That Ain't Right, and kicked off a national theater tour. In the past few years he has also played a murderer on Law & Order: SVU, poked fun at his own image on Entourage, guest-starred on Huff, and had a hit music video from MTV, "Rollin' With Saget," in which he starred with friends Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone.

Cynthia Stevenson (Anne Patterson) was born in Piedmont, CA but grew up in Bellevue, WA and Vancouver, BC. After attending American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, followed by Drama Studio London at Berkley, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Her work in improv and in theatre landed her an agent and an immediate job doing 26 episodes of a sketch comedy TV show entitled Off The Wall. After doing guest parts on the sitcoms The Famous Teddy Z, Newhart and Cheers, Stevenson was cast as the lead in the sitcom talk show My Talk Show. That proved to be her big break, as director Robert Altman noticed and cast her in his Oscar nominated film The Player. Series regular roles on such shows as Bob and Hope & Gloria followed. Additionally Stevenson played the lead on the cable series Oh Baby, then she moved to Vancouver and starred in Dead Like Me. Her feature roster also includes such films as Agent Cody Banks, Agent Cody Banks 2, Neverwas, Case 39 and the Disney Air Bud comedies. She was a series regular on ABC's series MEN IN TREES, had a recurring role on According to Jim and starred in the TV Christmas movie, Will You Merry Me. She can also be seen in the recent and upcoming films Dead Like Me: The Movie, Reunion, I Love You Beth Cooper and Jennifer's Body.

Jared Kusnitz (Henry Patterson) teams him once again with Jere Burns, with whom Kusnitz starred in the indie film Otis, also starring Illeana Douglas and Daniel Stern and written by Emmy Award winning writer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers). In February 2009, Kusnitz was nominated for a Zombie Dead Letter Award in the category of Best Actor for his performance as Jimmy Dunn in the film Dance of the Dead, which also garnered eight nods in other categories, including Best Movie. Kusnitz's skill and comedic timing inspired writer Joe Ballarini to rewrite the script with the unlikely hero, Dunn, as the lead.

G Hannelius (Courtney Patterson) was born in Boston, MA but moved with her parents to southern Maine when she was still very young. At the age of seven she landed the title role in Madeline's Rescue at The Children's Theatre of Maine. When the family relocated to Los Angeles in 2008, Hannelius promptly booked commercials for Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, Little Caesar's Pizza, Dairy Queen and a regional spot as the spokeskid for The Aquarium of the Pacific, which caught the attention of a more than a few casting directors. A notice seeking "the representative for the little girl in the Aquarium commercial" led to an opportunity to read for the lead role in ABC's new sitcom, Surviving Suburbia, with co-stars Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson. Hannelius recently worked a guest lead role in an episode of the Disney Channel comedy, Sonny with a Chance, and fulfilled her cherished dream to work with Miley Cyrus when she booked a role as a zealous fan on the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. She is also part of the promotional campaign for Leo Little's Big Show, co-hosting spots on the Disney Channel.

Jere Burns (Dr. Jim) was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. He graduated from UMass, Amherst and attended the MFA program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His New York theatre credits include The New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Culture Project and, most recently, Hairspray at The Neil Simon. On television Burns is a veteran of eight series, including Dear John, Something So Right, Help Me Help You, and Good Morning Miami. He has also appeared in numerous made for television movies and independent and feature films.

Dan Cortese (Onno) has both acting and hosting credits in television. He burst onto the small screen hosting MTV Sports, then hosted My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad. His acting credits include such sitcoms as Joey, Veronica's Closet, What I Like About You, Seinfeld and Rock Me Baby.


Pilot Plot:

#1 (PROD #106) "Hero" (Airs Monday, April 6, 2009)
Steve reluctantly agrees to house sit for Onno (recurring guest star Dan Cortese) and ends up starting a fire that he later claims to have stopped. Steve gets caught up in being praised as a hero by his daughter and his neighbors, until his conscience gets the better of him.
Special Guest Star: Dan Cortese as Onno. Guest Cast: Paul Nobrega as Guy and Michael Christian Alexander as paramedic.
"Hero" was written by Don Beck and directed by Emile Levisetti.


Analysis:

I received for review the first episode airing, which is titled "Hero." This is actually the sixth episode produced. Originally this sitcom was supposed to be for The CW's Sunday night block, which was produced by Media Rights Capital. But due to low ratings, The CW canceled that block in the fall, thus giving this series no home as it was set to launch in January. But fortunately for Surviving Suburbia, ABC picked up the show in February and announced it would air it after Dancing with the Stars starting in April! 13 episodes have already been taped, but likely only 6 will air for now on ABC as they won't have room for all 13 this season. So there you have it, the history of the show in a nutshell.
Now to the actual analysis...Bob Saget returns to ABC! The first episode they are airing has some very funny moments and I could certainly see this being a promising series with many laughs. This is for sure a throwback to traditional family sitcoms such as Home Improvement. Bob Saget plays Steve Patterson, a husband and father. He is certainly not squeaky clean and perfect like he was on Full House. On this show, he gets into a lot of messes. This show is certainly his vehicle, as on Full House it was more of an ensemble and later turned into "the Olsen twins show with John Stamos." Bob does get to play a father once again to a little girl. This time the little girl is not as annoying as Michelle on Full House (sorry I know there are MANY fans of that show, but it clearly was very sappy to me). The daughter (Courtney) on this show is very adorable (yes, so was Michelle) and pretty smart. She is funny, too. Bob's character, Steve, connects with her very well.
In the first episode airing, Courtney announces for her project she is writing that Zach Efron is her "hero." Later Steve's neighbor Onno comes by as he is going on a trip, so he asks Steve to take care of his house and gives him the key to the house. Steve and his friend Dr. Jim go to the house and accidentally set the curtain on fire! Steve puts out the fire and is credited as a hero, yet no one knows he was the one that started the fire! Anyway, then daughter Courtney changes her hero project to her dad. Steve now feels bad because he didn't deserve it. What will happen? You'll have to tune in.
So what works and doesn't? Obviously the connection between Steve and daughter Courtney is very much there. Right now there is not much connection between Steve and his son Henry, but I see potential as we go on. Henry seems to be 17 or so, while the daughter has to be 10 or less. The chemistry between Steve and Anne is somewhat there, but I need to see more episodes. It gets better between them as the episode goes on, though. Dr. Jim is going to be a classic character. He is the classic sitcom "buddy." He could be on the same page as Larry from Three's Company and more recently Andy on According to Jim. He is just a fun character that gives many laughs. Dan Cortese's character Onno, didn't have much to do in this episode and I didn't see Lorna Scott's character Monica in this episode. And finally, Bob Saget shines in this. He is very funny and better like this than Danny Tanner. The only gripe I have about him here is that it seems Bob is not standing straight at any time. He looks like Big Bird as he is 6'4". Maybe he has a neck or a back problem?


Conclusion:

Well this is certainly a traditional comedy. Comedies of this type are what we need right now. This is ABC's first stab at launching a traditional comedy since believe it or not Crumbs back in January 2006. In the fall of that season (fall 2005) they launched Freddie and Hot Properties, while airing returning series such as According to Jim, Rodney, George Lopez, and Less than Perfect. After that season only Jim and George remained, and then after that just Jim. So the timing seems to be very right for Surviving Suburbia to launch and succeed, as viewers like these types of comedies. CBS's Monday comedies have seen ratings climb this season, as they are the only traditional comedies airing on network TV right now. You won't see this show win any awards like Samantha Who or 30 Rock, but I'm sure this show will outright do much better than single camera sitcoms in the ratings.

The premiere episode is decent. It is not perfect at all, but Bob is good in it. Many fans and TV fans will be tuning in for sure to see Bob return to TV comedy. The promos for the show have been hilarious and most of the stuff in the promos are not for this first episode that is airing. So that is promising that the show will deliver laughs in future episodes. The first one they are airing is not the greatest episode probably of this show, but I see lots of potential and viewers should stick around to see them all. ABC says they have added a new into to this episode with the family watching and talking about Dancing with the Stars. That was not in the version I saw, but can't wait to see that. Hopefully they don't edit anything out, because the version I saw starts with Steve talking to his daughter. Tune in Monday at 9:30pm on ABC because we need the traditional sitcom to come back!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 04/03/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday, April 6 on our message board.

Related Links:

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




  • Finally, we end today with some news! As promised, I will reveal what sitcom Lifetime TV has acquired! They have acquired the Cybill Shepherd '90s sitcom Cybill! The show will launch on Monday, May 4, airing weekdays at 8am & 8:30am and 2am ET/PT. The morning airings will replace Still Standing, which will still remain in the 6pm hour, and the late night airing will replace encores of original sitcom Rita Rocks. Cybill aired for four seasons from 1995-1998 on CBS.
    Cybill was last seen on cable on Oxygen earlier this decade for a few years. Cybill Shepherd is starring on the Lifetime sitcom pilot Alligator Point, a comedy about an eccentric group of Floridians who find refuge in the southern hospitality of Mae's Oyster Bar. So with the pick-up of Cybill, maybe that sitcom will be ordered to series? Kelsey Grammer is producing the pilot. We will let you know if it gets picked-up.
    Other schedule changes for Lifetime in May 2009 is original series Cook Yourself Thin replacing the third Wife Swap airing. That will air weekdays at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Monday, May 4. 20 episodes have been ordered. Based on the hit British series and popular cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin encourages women to lose weight by changing their eating habits. So after that series concludes, Cybill will also air in the early evenings, airing at 5:00pm & 5:30pm starting Tuesday, May 26. It will also air in its other timeslots as well.
    Rita Rocks will return with new episodes sometime this summer, while new episodes of Army Wives begins Sunday, June 7 at 10pm for its third season (18 episodes).

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    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Lifetime March 2009 - Golden Girls Expires

    As we see our new President get inaugurated, we have some sitcom news for you! Best of luck to Obama!
    For the first time since 1997, The Golden Girls will be off the Lifetime schedule starting Monday, March 2, 2009. The sitcom will be moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv this March as we mentioned previously. We don't have timeslots and premiere dates for those yet, but as soon as we do, we'll let you know!
    As for Lifetime March 2009, The Golden Girls will have its last airing on Friday, Feb. 27 in its regular timeslots (weekdays 8-10am and 1am-2:30am). The show will not get a send-off marathon, at least as of now. It will leave the line-up softly with its regular airings. But if Lifetime does plan a marathon, we'll let you know. So stay tuned! Replacing Golden Girls from 8-10am will be more episodes of Still Standing and Reba, with back-to-back episodes of each. In the 1am hour, we will get an extra cycle of Desperate Housewives. The show will still air 12pm and 1pm as well, but this cycle will start from the beginning and be different from those afternoon airings! And finally in the 2am half-hour, we get an extra Reba on Tues-Thurs and Rita Rocks encores on Monday and Friday nights.
    View the full Lifetime March 2009 weekday line-up and discuss these changes.

    On this special day, the other news has been very slow. So if we have anything later in the day, we will bring it to you. Come on back!

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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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    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Lifetime Announces Halloween Programming; Remembering TV Composer Neal Hefti

    Wow...two days in a row of Lifetime news! There is no shortage of blood-chillers this Halloween. That mysterious creaking emanating from the shadows. Hockey-masked killers and otherworldly marauders. The Dow. Lifetime Networks is getting in the "spirit" of the season too, rolling out a slate of tricks and treats on Lifetime Television and Lifetime Movie Network.
    Lifetime hits the ground running Halloween week beginning Monday, October 27 every day at 11 AM (ET/PT), with five new episodes of Lisa Williams: Voices From the Other Side, featuring the renowned clairvoyant's eerie encounters beyond the grave. Each day's show will feature a lead-in of a quite different brand of terror with themed episodes of Wife Swap at 10 AM (ET/PT). Halloween-themed episodes of the sitcoms Frasier, Reba, Still Standing and Will & Grace will also pepper the week-long schedule.
    Over on sister channel Lifetime Movie Network, it's a full weekend of supernatural movies (Saturday, October 25-Sunday, October 26) ranging from the classic scares of The Rage: Carrie 2 and The Unquiet to contemporary paranormal stories like The Watch, You Belong to Me and Nightmare at End of the Hall.

    Neal Hefti, a TV composer who composed the memorable themes for the movie The Odd Couple and the campy hit TV series Batman, has passed away. Hefti died Saturday (October 11) at his home in Toluca Lake, said his son, Paul. He did not know the cause of death, but said his father had been in good health.
    While known primarily as a film composer, his two TV themes are his most famous work. Among his credits as a film composer are Sex and the Single Girl, Harlow (one of his most famous tunes, "Girl Talk," came out of the score), How to Murder Your Wife, Boeing Boeing, Duel at Diablo, Barefoot in the Park, A New Leaf, Last of the Red Hot Lovers and The Odd Couple, whose theme he reprised for the 1970s ABC TV series. Hefti also gained wide notice for composing the energetic title theme for Batman, the over-the-top 1966-68 ABC superhero series that became an overnight sensation. Hefti's Batman theme became a Top 40 hit and won a 1966 Grammy Award for best instrumental theme.
    Hefti retired in 1976. He will be deeply missed but his themes will live on forever. Mr. Hefti was 85.

    We'll return with more news, if any...stay tuned!

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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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    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    TitanTV Acquires Jury Duty, New Series that Features Classic TV Jurors; WTBS Peachtree TV News; Alyssa Milano Goes Baseball!

    TitanTV Network, the first of its kind digital media platform designed to connect local media affiliates and their advertisers to the digital world, has acquired the exclusive broadband rights to Radar Entertainment's new daily syndicated strip series, Jury Duty. The series, featuring famed defense attorney Bruce Cutler and premiering on stations around the country on September 17, will be given free to its affiliate stations' Web sites delivered through the TitanCast player, which provides territorial exclusivity through its patented technology. The broadband version of the series will also be available on TitanTV.com.
    Jury Duty, which is presided over by high-profile attorney Bruce Cutler, features a jury of rotating celebrities and classic TV stars including Phyllis Diller, Ed Begley Jr., Bruce Vilanch, Paula Poundstone, Kevin Sorbo, Scott Hamilton, Dick Van Patten and Tiffany, among others. The series is cleared in over 85% of the U.S., including New York City (WPIX, weeknights at 4:30am).

    As we mentioned previously, WTBS, TBS's local broadcast platform in Atlanta, is about to undergo an extensive re-branding initiative and line-up change that will result in an entirely new local, independent station, completely separate from the national cable network. The newly re-branded Peachtree TV will launch on Monday, Oct. 1.
    Driven by an Atlanta-centric, hyper-local sensibility, Peachtree TV will feature nightly blockbuster prime-time movies and a daytime line-up packed with popular sitcoms targeted to Atlanta's local audience. In addition, Peachtree TV will bring local viewers 45 regular-season Atlanta Braves baseball games in 2008.
    While Peachtree TV takes over the local broadcaster position currently held by WTBS, TBS's national cable feed will become available to Atlanta's local cable and satellite customers, offering the network's signature comedy programming. On Oct. 1, TBS will move to Comcast channel 39 and Direct TV channel 247. TBS will remain on Dish Network channel 139.
    The channel's daytime line-up will feature a stable of sitcom hits, including the Atlanta syndication premieres of Family Guy and Still Standing, as well as such series as The King of Queens, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends and Frasier.
    In Fall 2008, Peachtree TV's line-up will feature two shows that are currently attracting large audiences in the Atlanta market. The long-running and extremely popular talk show Montel, hosted by Montel Williams, will join the daytime line-up as a Peachtree TV exclusive in Atlanta. Also next year, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, which premiered this past summer on TBS and set an ad-supported cable record for the #1 sitcom telecast of all time, will premiere in local syndication in Atlanta on Peachtree TV. In 2009, The Office and My Name is Earl will join the line-up as Atlanta syndication premieres.

    Moving on to the national TBS, Alyssa Milano is coming to TBS...sort of. She will be covering baseball online for TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com
    TBS Hot Corner is a new broadband channel from Turner Broadcasting's TBS, which will be broadcasting the major league division series and the National League Championship Series for the first time this season.
    She will have a recurring role on the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl this fall and already has a popular blog on MLB.com and this year launched a baseball-themed clothing line.
    Beginning Sept. 17, Milano will contribute regular reports and features from major league stadia as teams race to make the playoffs. The reports will range from interviews with players, coaches and fans, to features on calorie counting at the park and the best in baseball attire.
    Baseball just got a bit hotter!

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    Friday, June 08, 2007

    ION Television July: Designing Women and Who's the Boss? Join Line-Up; Still Standing Joins Atlanta TBS; Network Notes

    ION Television has released its July schedule and they will be adding two new sitcoms and of course the RHI Entertainment programming on weekends (Fri-Sun) from 7-11pm. Joining the schedule on June 25 will be the Linda Bloodworth produced sitcom Designing Women! The show will air Mon-Thurs at 7:00 & 7:30 p.m. replacing Amen and Alice. Diagnosis Murder will air Mon-Sat at 6 p.m. starting June 25, replacing Moral Court on Mon-Fri. ION Life will replace Battlestar Galactica on Sundays at 6PM, while the RHI Entertainment Weekend will air 7-11PM on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. So, yes, Alice, Amen, Moral Court, and Battlesta Galactica are gone.
    Later in July, veteran sitcom Who's the Boss? will join the line-up and air Mon-Thurs at 9:00 & 9:30 p.m. starting July 9, replacing Diagnosis Murder. Diagnosis Murder will still air at 6 p.m. Special baseball-themed episodes will kick-off Who's the Boss?, before the episodes go in order.
    Among the RHI Entertainment movies and mini-series airing are: The mini-series, Lonesome Dove, which will air each Saturday in July at 9pm, Sundays will be epic night as four-hour mini-series such as Cleopatra will air. ION will debut the mini-series Killer Wave on July 22.
    So what about Perfect Strangers? We were told it was coming in July, but as you can see, that is not the case here. I would expect it in August or for sure in the fall. We will let you know when we do!
    We are planning on an interview with ION Television, so if all goes well, we will get a lot of answers, including if the hours will expand. Let's hope the interview will come about, as our AmericanLife TV interview this past Wednesday got a lot of praise. I will keep you all up to date on this. But for now, click HERE to view the full July highlights on ION!

    A few days back we mentioned Diff'rent Strokes has joined the WTBS-17 in Atlanta line-up, airing weekdays from 2:30pm-4:00pm. Well, looks like that will just be for two weeks, as starting Monday, July 18, 3-4pm will be Still Standing. Diff'rent Strokes will still air at 2:30pm at least. Remember this is ONLY for the TBS in Atlanta (and in some cases Canada, since they can get that feed). Still Standing airs on Lifetime nationwide, as WTBS-17 is just a local channel.

    Finally, some network notes. CBS will launch a new season of veteran reality series Big Brother on Thursday, July 5 at 8pm, shifting struggling new reality series Pirate Master to 9pm for this night. The move will just for this week, as starting Tuesday, July 10 at 10pm, Pirate Master will move to this slot until further notice. CSI repeats will still air Thursdays at 9. Big Brother will also air Sundays at 8 and Tuesdays at 9.
    Fox will debut its comedy-reality hybrid Anchorwoman with a one-hour special at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. It will settle into its regular 8pm half-hour on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
    The series follows the travails of buxom blonde Lauren Jones, a swimsuit model striving to transform herself into a hard-hitting news anchor on a small, low-rated Tyler, Texas, TV station. Jones makes her live debut on KYTX’s 5 p.m. newscast June 11.

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