Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Comcast's TubeTime Brings Back Diff'rent Strokes, What's Happening; WGN Acquires American Gladiators Revivial Reruns

Comcast's onDemand service TubeTime is bringing back Diff'rent Strokes and What's Happening!! onDemand! The first 5 episodes of each are available again to view at your leisure! These two have been on Comcast's TubeTime previously and now they both return.
TubeTime still has Facts of Life, Three Stooges, Gidget, Larry Sanders Show and Sanford & Son on their service, too. So fans of those series, not to worry...they will remain. It looks like since we last reported, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Who's the Boss?, One Day at a Time, and Silver Spoons are off the service for now. For those wondering Facts of Life episodes are currently in the sixth season on TubeTime, while Three Stooges are in the fourth season, Gidget at the end of the first season, Larry Sanders Show is in the second season, and as is Sanford & Son. Let's hope they get to season three of Diff'rent Strokes quickly, since starting with that season it is not on DVD yet. What's Happening!! is already complete on DVD, so it would have been better if it was follow-up series What's Happening Now!! instead, since only one season of that is on DVD. In addition to that, I'm hoping the following pop-up on TubeTime in the future: Dennis the Menace, Sanford, Benson, 227, Archie Bunker's Place, Maude, and hoping some return like Silver Spoons. Maybe wishful thinking on some? TubeTime only provides Sony owned series to Comcast.

WGN America has acquired reruns of the revival of American Gladiators that aired on NBC last year. The series will air Thursday nights at 9pm ET starting Thursday, June 25. American Gladiators will follow WWE Superstars on Thursday nights and that should finally give WGN America a good companion to WWE Superstars.
In other schedule news, Around the World for Free will wrap up its season on Monday, June 22, then a series of specials will air in July on Mondays at 9pm ET titled Lance Burton, Master Magician. Once that wraps, a second rerun of AFV will return on Monday nights. The special ASA Action Sports World Tour will air at 9pm ET on Thursday, July 9 (that will shift American Gladiators to Wednesday at 9pm ET for that week only).
And as for classic TV, there will be plenty of it this fall and we will get to that soon! One hint is one show that airs on the network will be celebrating an anniversary, and WGN America will air an anniversary marathon! We will tell you that soon! So keep checking back!

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Comcast onDemand's TubeTime Adds More Series, Removes Some; Comcast onDemand's TheWB Adds More; Scrubs Returns Tonight

Comcast onDemand's channel TubeTime, owned by Sony Pictures Television, has added four more series to its onDemand slate this past week. Gidget, The Larry Sanders Show, The Three Stooges, and Sanford & Son have been added with the first four episodes of each series. Now gone from the service are Silver Spoons and One Day at a Time. It is unfortunate because they didn't get to finish the run on either. They even had episodes beyond season one for those two, and both haven't had any DVD releases after season one. Still on the service will be The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Party of Five. It's nice Facts of Life and Who's the Boss? are still on it since they are on seasons 5 and 4 respectively, and they haven't been released on DVD after seasons 3 and 1 respectively. I don't understand a few of these additions to the slate like Sanford & Son, which is already complete on DVD and is on television on TV Land & TV One. It would have been better if they kept Silver Spoons or One Day at a Time. What would have been better was if they added Sanford Arms or Sanford instead of the heavily seen Sanford & Son. What I'd like to see return or come to TubeTime: Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, One Day at a Time, What's Happening Now!!, Benson, Maude, 227, Archie Bunker's Place, Sanford, Sanford Arms, Grady, Hello Larry, Checking In and more. All of those are from Sony Pictures, so they could come. We'll keep you up to date as always.

Sticking with more Comcast onDemand news...a few weeks ago we told you that Comcast has added TheWB onDemand channel to its onDemand service. They launched with Warner Bros. owned series Martin, All of Us, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Jack & Bobby. More episodes of those shows are added each week, and this week they added three more series to the onDemand channel! Three dramas from this decade have been added: One Tree Hill, The O.C., and Veronica Mars. The first 5 or 6 episodes of those were added, while the existing series are now up to the first 8 episodes. So far they seem to be skewing with the newer series, with Mr. Cooper and Martin as their oldest series. Hopefully they add more sitcoms, and more from the past. Some shows hat would be perfect for this service would be Alice, Perfect Strangers, Hogan Family, Head of the Class, Welcome Back Kotter Gilligan's Island, and Chico and the Man. Just my thoughts. All of those are not seen anywhere nationally. Hopefully some of those will come soon. We'll let you know if we get further updates.

Just a reminder that Scrubs returns for an all-new season, its eighth season, tonight at 9pm with two back-to-back episodes...on ABC! I saw both episodes last month, and they were pretty funny, especially the first one...check out my comments. I was never big on this show but did watch a handful of episodes in the past.
Also premiering tonight leading into Scrubs at 8pm ET will be Homeland Security USA, a look at how the Homeland Security Division does its job. It is pretty interesting. I also saw that premiere a few weeks back and I think many will like it also...check out my comments.
Finally, I have to mention this because I'm from the town, but Primetime: What Would You Do? returns tonight at 10pm on ABC and will feature my town of Linden, NJ! I am so actually excited. What Would You Do? explores how people react when they witness blatant racial discrimination. In this scenario, Latino men and women attempt to place an order in broken English at All Aboard Bagel and Deli in downtown Linden, NJ. But their requests are met by extreme prejudice from the cashier. Hidden cameras capture how customers respond to the scenario. Find out what happens tonight at 10pm.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Remembering Joey Bishop; CBS Orders Full Season for Big Bang; Sony's Minisode Network and TubeTime Adds New Sitcoms

Yesterday we got word that the great Joey Bishop has passed away. Joey Bishop is of courser the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack. He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998. Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach.
On television he had his own sitcom in the '60s titled The Joey Bishop Show that ran from 1961-1965 on NBC then ABC. He had a talk show by the same name, which was more popular, that aired on ABC and the announcer was Regis Philbin! Regis had this to day about Mr. Bishop: "It was the thrill of my life to be chosen by Joey as the announcer for his talk show on ABC back in the '60s. It was my introduction to the highly competitive late night show world. It was also an introduction to a show business I had never known: the Rat Pack era, the amazing talents of those performers who I probably never would have befriended without Joey. We walked every day before the show up Vine Street to Hollywood Boulevard and back to our studio for nearly three years. I learned a lot about the business of making people laugh. He was a master comedian and a great teacher and I will never forget those days or him."
Bishop has guest starred on TV series such as Chico and the Man, Get Smart, Trapper John M.D., and Murder, She Wrote. He has also filled-in many times for Johnny Carson as guest host on The Tonight Show.
He was a legend and will truly be missed by many. Mr. Bishop was 89.

CBS has given full season orders to its freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory and the drama The Unit. The Big Bang Theory becomes the first new comedy to receive a full season pickup. The new sitcom, a key newcomer to CBS's Monday comedy block, is averaging 8.97 million viewers, 4.3/10 in adults 25-54 and 3.6/09 in adults 18-49 in its Monday (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) time period. The Big Bang Theory has built on its How I Met Your Mother lead-in by +8% in households, +10% in adults 25-54, +9% in adults 18-49 and +10% in viewers. Veteran drama The Unit had only a 13 episode order coming into the season, but CBS has decided to give it the full 22 episode order after delivering its best ratings since February this past Tuesday.
ABC has given a full season pick-up to the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. Practice is the season's top new show in 18-49 and second in total viewers (to Samantha Who?, which only has aired one episode thus far).

Finally, Sony has announced a few things today. First, The Monkees is now on Comcast OnDemand's Tubetime service, joining other Sony classics such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, What's Happening!!, and Who's the Boss?
In other Sony news, this time we move over to the online area. As you all know, MySpace.com has a Minisode Network featuring classic Sony shows in a different way. The minisodes are not excerpts or clip jobs; they are edited in a way that compresses the story lines and enables the viewers to follow the plots from beginning to end in 4-6 minutes, rather than 30-60 minutes.
Starting on Monday, the mini-episodes will become available on a channel on Crackle, a Sony Web site, that will be sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. A 15-second ad for Pepsi-Cola will appear before each minisode. The channel is part of a campaign for a retro-look design for Pepsi packages, to go on sale next month, that will celebrate the venerable logos, slogans and commercial jingles for the brand. Bewitched will join the Minisode Network lineup as of Monday, along with shortened episodes of I Dream of Jeannie and The Jeffersons. Sony Pictures Television will also expand the network to two Web sites, AOL and Joost, where the minisodes will be sponsored by Honda. The bite-size shows also will begin running — without commercials, for now — on V Cast, the mobile video service from Verizon Wireless.
So will it still be on MySpace? Not sure, but my guess is, yes. So these three shows will join shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, What's Happening!!, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Charlie's Angels and even Ricki Lake.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

House of Payne Scores Big for TBS; CBS News; More TubeTime and Fresh Prince News

The unprecedented deal that brought Tyler Perry's House of Payne to TBS has now resulted in a record-breaking victory, as the series claims ad-supported cable's #1 sitcom telecast of all-time in delivery of adults 18-34, adults 18-49, adults 25-54, viewers and households, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research. The show, which grew a strong 12% from the first episode to the second, also provided TBS with the network's top series telecast of all-time among all key adult demos, households and viewers, as well as ad-supported cable's top scripted telecast for the year to date among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.
The sitcom centers on the lives of three generations of an African-American family living under one roof, runs each Wednesday with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS.
The 9:30 p.m. telecast this past Wednesday now ranks as ad-supported cable's top sitcom telecast of all-time among adults 18-34 (1,416,000); adults 18-49 (3,056,000); adults 25-54 (2,985,000); viewers (5,820,000); households (3,551,000). It also scored a strong 3.8 household coverage rating/3.2 national rating.
The 9 p.m. episode ranks second to the 9:30 p.m. episode on the list of ad-supported cable's top sitcom telecasts of all time among adults 18-49 (2,723,000); adults 25-54 (2,728,000); viewers (5,206,000); households (3,320,000). It also scored a very strong 1,174,000 delivery among adults 18-34, as well as a 3.5 household coverage rating/3.0 national rating.
Wow! 5.21 million and 5.82 million for even a network sitcom these days is decent!

CBS has picked-up an additional sitcom for mid-season! Last week The CW picked up an additional sitcom, now CBS will pick up the sitcom The Captain for mid-season. CBS has ordered six episodes of this single camera sitcom. The series stars Fran Kranz, Chris Klein and Jeffrey Tambor. The series centers on a young writer whose life changes when he moves into a legendary Hollywood apartment building.
Thanks to the fans, rookie drama series Jericho will return next season! After upfront last month, the network canceled the series, but thanks to fans, the show will return. CBS has ordered seven episodes of Jericho for mid-season next year.

We have some more Comcast TubeTime news. In addition to yesterday's story, two more series are also added to the OnDemand service. '90s sitcom Ned & Stacey and the classic drama Fantasy Island. It appears Diff'rent Strokes and What's Happening!! will leave since no new episodes are appearing, but Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie has new episodes. Soap will return will new episodes on June 18.

In Nick at Nite news, we will see yet more Fresh Prince this weekend, as the network will pre-empt their Fri-Sun programming this week and air Fresh Prince from 10:30pm-5am on Friday & Saturday and 9:30pm-5am on Sunday. Excited???

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

SitcomsOnline.com Exclusive: Interview with AmericanLife TV's Mark Ringwald; Comcast Adds 'Boss', 'Pegs,' and Returns 'Facts'

We have had the pleasure to interview Mark Ringwald, VP of Programming for AmericanLife TV! AmericanLife TV Network of course is the only full-time cable network devoted to America's 78 million "baby boomers." AmericanLife TV Network delivers entertaining classic TV shows along with award-winning originals to create its 24-hour schedule. The network reaches over 10.5 million subscribers across the US. The network started out in 1985 as the Nostalgia Channel, then it was renamed to GoodLife TV, and now we have AmericanLife TV. Despite the name changes, the network always focused on classic TV.

Mark Ringwald has been good to us for quite some time. He has always provided prompt responses to SitcomsOnline and we thank him for that. This will be our first public interview with him, so I hope you all get a good taste of this fine cable network. So, without further adieu here is our interview with Mark Ringwald, VP of Programming for AmericanLife TV:


"Seven Questions with AmericanLife TV's Mark Ringwald"


SitcomsOnline: Hi Mark, this is Pavan from SitcomsOnline.com, hope you remember me from our previous conversations? First off let me say thanks for this opportunity and for your time. We are very excited for the 20th TV library deal that AmericanLife has struck. How will we see these shows eventually? We know the Sunday night line-up will change in June with Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and L.A. Law.
Mark: Yes I do and it is always great to talk to you and your readers about great classic TV series.
We are going to be introducing a new night of series each month through October, so that by then there will be at least a few new series on every night. And we have started off with three big dramas. I told our promotions staff that we should create promos just using the theme songs, because they are so popular. In fact after screening the first couple of episodes, I can't get the theme to St. Elsewhere out of my head. I've been humming it in meetings!

SitcomsOnline: As of now, we have heard that you guys possibly have a library deal with CBS Paramount as well. Mission: Impossible was announced, but can we expect any more shows?
Mark: The deal with CBS Paramount was only for the one series, although we license Combat from them also. There is some similarity, at least in my mind, between the two series. They were both so well written and so well acted that it never occurs to you that they are over 30 years old. If you like great television and you start watching a show like Mission: Impossible, then there is no way you can change channels, which is good for AmericanLife TV.

SitcomsOnline: We really love your Saturday line-up of classic sitcoms such as Chico and the Man and Welcome Back, Kotter. Will we see more sitcoms join the line-up, via the Fox, CBS or Warner deals? Also, how are the classic TV shows doing in the ratings?
Mark: Look for a new night of comedies, similar in stature to the dramas, to premiere in July. And because we are not chasing the 18 to 34 audience, we are not relying on ratings as much as the response from viewers. So keep those cards and email coming!
http://www.americanlifetv.com/contact.php

SitcomsOnline: The Warner Bros. deal has carried the network for a number of years. How long will this deal last and can we expect more shows from this library anytime soon?
Mark: At this point a lot of the shows have been airing close to five years, so it is time they took a rest. I am sure we will be doing another deal with them soon; they are after all one of the largest studios.

SitcomsOnline: Fans have asked us quite frequently if AmericanLife will also add classic TV in the mornings/afternoons on weekdays in addition to primetime? Will we see series aired multiple times a week rather just once a week in the future? Most of the classic TV ALN airs is unedited, can we continue to expect that?
Mark: The only problem we have is that there aren't enough hours in the day. As a destination for Baby Boomers our goal is to provide entertainment, information and lifestyle programming that specifically caters to them. So we have to provide a balance of programming. There are fans (including me) of Fixing Dinner and 'Til Debt do Us Part also.
As far as editing, we will continue to air the classic programs uncut. I hate watching badly edited programs as much as the next guy.

SitcomsOnline: I have to ask a personal question here. I am a fan of '80s comedies, and am wondering if Mr. Belvedere and Small Wonder are part of the 20th TV deal? ALN has aired a few '80s comedies in the past such as My Sister Sam, so these would be nice, too. Perfect Strangers from Warner Bros. would also be nice to see.
Mark: Mr. Belvedere is part of the package, but we have no immediate plans to schedule it. Thanks for the suggestions!

SitcomsOnline: Finally, you guys have been known as "the only independent network devoted to the Baby Boomer generation." Competing cable network TV Land has also announced recently that they will also cater to the Baby Boomer generation by adding shows they grew up with (you know, M*A*S*H, Andy Griffith Show, etc) and shows they watch now (Scrubs). Any thoughts on this? And will AmericanLife follow that motto or just air shows that boomers grew up with?
Mark: Our philosophy is that the classic television shows must take them back to a better (a least in quality of the shows) time. If we air a more contemporary show, it must reflect back on those earlier times.

SitcomsOnline: I thank you once again for your time and wish you continued success!
Mark: Thank you very much.

EDIT, 6PM ET: Due to an overwhelming response regarding coverage of this channel, readers flocked in and asked us if AmericanLife will be on more cable or satellite systems soon. Mark kindly got back to us and gave us this response:
Cable companies, Dish and Direct TV have lots of demands for the "space" they have. Beyond lots of channels there is Video on Demand, telephone and high speed internet and now HD programming. We often hear from them that, "consumers haven't been asking for AmericanLife TV." Of course if people haven't heard of us, how do they know they want us, so for those of you that do know about us, please keep calling your cable or satellite operator and letting them know, "I want my AmericanLife TV!!!"

For more information on AmericanLife TV, including to see if it is available in your area or how to get the network, log-on to their website at http://www.americanlifetv.com. And as always, stay tuned right here on the blog for scheduling updates for this wonderful network!

Comcast's free OnDemand service TubeTime will add the short lived '80s sitcom Square Pegs starring Sarah Jessica Parker. The service will also add the long running ABC sitcom Who's the Boss? starring Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano. Both shows should be available to view on the service starting now. The Facts of Life will return to the service after nearly a year and should be available to view now as well.
I'm not sure yet if the current line-up of Diff'rent Strokes, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Soap and What's Happening!! will remain, but most likely they will. We will let you know when we find out.

We'll be back with more news, if there is anything.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What's Happening!! Comes to Comcast's TubeTime; Nick at Nite Change; GSN Salutes Bob Barker

We have a busy day of news for you today. First off, the classic '70s sitcom What's Happening!! is now on Comcast On-Demand's TubeTime channel! Yes, you can watch Rerun and the gang anytime you want now! If you don't have the DVDs yet, then this is your chance to watch the show and if you like it, you can buy the DVDs! What's Happening!! will be broken up into two categories: Best of Rerun Episodes and Classic Episodes. I'm sure we will see the episode "Burger Queen" in there. The show joins Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Diff'rent Strokes, and Soap in the TubeTime service. Boy that is better than TV Land! Hopefully TubeTime adds the follow-up series What's Happening Now!! to its service in the future, as that show is not available on DVD yet, but the first season is coming June 12! You can also catch the follow-up series on TV Land weekdays at 7am ET/PT.

Nick at Nite has made a change for this weekend. Yes, they will have another Fresh Prince marathon. Oh boy, aren't you so happy? The marathon will air this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 4-6). Friday & Saturday from 11pm-5am (except 1-2am is America's Funniest Home Videos) and Sunday from 10pm-5am (except 12-1am is America's Funniest Home Videos). Nick at Nite is in the middle of launch week for AFV, as it is airing back-to-back episodes this week with an encore of those episodes three-hours later. It will settle into its Sun-Thurs 9pm & 12am and Fri-Sat 10pm and 1am slots starting next week.

GSN pays tribute to Bob Barker, legendary host of television's longest running game show The Price is Right, with rarely-seen episodes of Barker appearances on classic game shows. GSN SALUTES BOB BARKER includes special episodes of I'VE GOT A SECRET, FAMILY FEUD, MATCH GAME and TATTLETALES featuring Barker and airs Tuesday, May 15 through Saturday, May 19 on GSN.
Barker, the eighty-three year old host of The Price Is Right, recently announced plans to end his 35-year run as host of the iconic daytime game show in June.
To view the schedule of GSN's Bob Barker Salute marathon, click HERE.

And finally as a heads-up, you will want to come back here tomorrow as we will give full details on ION Television's upfront! Will they announce more shows or expansion of the schedule? We'll find out tomorrow. We know they will announce something and the major announcement is probably going to be the details of the RHI programming block (Fri-Sun 7-11pm, starting June 29).

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Monday, April 09, 2007

'Barker' Pulled from NBC Thursday; 'Strokes' Back on Comcast's Tube Time

New sitcom Andy Barker, P.I., which has been airing on NBC Thursdays at 9:30, will be pulled effective immediately and replaced by Scrubs. NBC plans to air the last scheduled episode on Saturday, April 14 at 8 followed by the sixth episode which was supposed to be an online only episode, but now NBC will just burn it off on-air. So how does it look for a season two for this show? A zero chance. Looks like a strike three for Andy Richter, as this is his third sitcom that has failed (Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Quintuplets, Andy Barker). If NBC just pulled it and decided to bring it back and launch it later, it would have seemed like it had a chance at least to come back, but after banishing its last airings on a Saturday, it looks even worse. How will the ratings be? If it gets 3 million, I'll be surprised. If it gets a 1.0 18-49 rating, I'll be surprised. And those numbers are bad. Such a sad state for sitcoms these days (ratings wise)...

Comcast's On-Demand channel TubeTime has returned classic '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes to its service. Instead of going in order, this time the show is categorized into three categories: Classic Episodes, Very Special Episodes, and Janet Jackson Episodes. Among the classic episodes are the pilot, "The Spanking," "Arnold's Hero," and "Birds & Bees." The Very Special Episodes are the classic multiple part episodes that the show is famous for, some include: "The Bank Job," "The Bicycle Man", and "The Wedding." And the Janet Jackson episodes include: "First Love," "The Music Man," and "The Houseguest." Now some are not available yet, as new episodes are added each week, so keep checking the Comcast website by clicking HERE.
Let's hope we get Season 3 on DVD sometime soon. I hope by the end of the summer.

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