Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 43: WGA's Strike; The N's 24/7 Launch Schedule, Saved by the Bell Coming

We are now on day 43 of the strike. It looks like the strike could be over soon. David Letterman could strike a deal with the WGA via an independent deal to bring his show back on-air. Letterman's studio is called Worldwide Pants, and the production company produces his show on CBS and Craig Ferguson's late night CBS show. Other major studios could work out independent deals with the WGA, too. This would mean we might get some of our favorite shows back on air with new episodes! Let's hope this happens, and if it does, maybe this will bring total resolution to the strike.
Meanwhile, NBC has announced that The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien will both return to the line-up with new episodes starting Wednesday, January 2! Both shows will not have any writers for these shows, unless of course they make an independent deal with the WGA. Even if they don't, both shows will go on without writers. Here are their statements:
Jay Leno - "This has been a very difficult six weeks for everybody affected by the writers' strike. I was, like most people, hoping for a quick resolution when this began. I remained positive during the talks and while they were still at the table discussing a solution The Tonight Show remained dark in support of our writing staff. Now that the talks have broken down and there are no further negotiations scheduled I feel it's my responsibility to get my 100 non-writing staff, which were laid off, back to work. We fully support our writers and I think they understand my decision."
Conan O'Brien - "For the past seven weeks of the writers' strike, I have been and continue to be an ardent supporter of the WGA and their cause. My career in television started as a WGA member and my subsequent career as a performer has only been possible because of the creativity and integrity of my writing staff. Since the strike began, I have stayed off the air in support of the striking writers while, at the same time, doing everything I could to take care of the 80 non-writing staff members on Late Night.
Unfortunately, now with the New Year upon us, I am left with a difficult decision. Either go back to work and keep my staff employed or stay dark and allow 80 people, many of whom have worked for me for fourteen years, to lose their jobs. If my show were entirely scripted I would have no choice. But the truth is that shows like mine are hybrids, with both written and non-written content. An unwritten version of Late Night, though not desirable, is possible - and no one has to be fired.
So, it is only after a great deal of thought that I have decided to go back on the air on January 2nd. I will make clear, on the program, my support for the writers and I'll do the best version of Late Night I can under the circumstances. Of course, my show will not be as good. In fact, in moments it may very well be terrible. My sincerest hope is that all of my writers are back soon, working under a contract that provides them everything they deserve."
No word yet if ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live will follow, but he likely will.

The N takes a monumental step forward on New Year's Eve as the network moves onto new channel space and expands from a 12-hour programming block into a 24-hour teen network, beginning Monday, Dec. 31, at 6:00 a.m. (ET). The newly 24/7 network will feature a daytime block of hit TEENick programming and will welcome new shows to its nighttime schedule of originals including Queen Bees, The N's Student Body and The Assistants, among others. To celebrate its expansion, The N will count down "24 Reasons to Love The N in 2008" in a 12-hour programming marathon premiering Monday, Dec. 31, at 12:00 p.m. (ET).
"24 Reasons to Love The N in 2008" will be hosted by Degrassi's Aubrey Graham, Shenae Grimes and Cassie Steele, along with TEENick's Lil' JJ of Just Jordan and Malese Jow and Raja Fenske of Unfabulous. The marathon takes a look back at favorite episodes from the network’s five-year history and gives viewers a sneak-peek at upcoming programming for 2008 including the season return of Degrassi: The Next Generation which premieres on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 8:00 p.m. (ET); the return of the original teen comedy, About A Girl on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8:00 p.m. (ET); the February premiere of Degrassi in Kenya, a new half-hour documentary special featuring cast members from the hit series; and the season return of the critically acclaimed series, South of Nowhere, premiering April 2008. At 11:30 p.m. (ET), the marathon concludes with a half-hour special revealing the number-one reason to love The N in 2008 along with the debut of the network's first on-air screening party.
With a brand-new 24-hour schedule for teens, The N will roll out the return of Degrassi (Season Seven) and South of Nowhere (Season Four); three originals and two acquired series in 2008. Saved by the Bell will begin airing on Monday, Jan. 14 and the award-winning That 70's Show will begin airing in June. The N will also debut two new reality series, Queen Bees and The N's Student Body, both scheduled to premiere in summer, 2008 as well as a new scripted comedy, The Assistants, in the fall. Additionally, popular favorites from the TEENick line-up including Kenan & Kel, Unfabulous and Just Jordan will join The N's new daytime schedule.
The schedule also has sitcoms such as Moesha, One on One, A Different World, and Growing Pains in the midday line-up. While primetime has the TEENick shows, Degrassi, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Saved by the Bell will not join the line-up for the launch week (week of Dec. 31), but the show will launch on Jan. 14, as mentioned earlier. Between 5-8pm (Degrassi and Kenan & Kel) and 10pm-1am (Fresh Prince and Kenan & Kel) there are a block of two shows airing three times each...if I were to GUESS, Saved by the Bell will get in sometime in those slots...say 7-8pm and 10-11pm? They can easily have those two shows airing three times each be cut down to two times and add in two Saved by the Bell airings. I'll find out and will let you all know. And before I get the questions, yes TBS will still air Saved by the Bell weekday mornings from 7-9am.
For the COMPLETE launch schedule for The N 24/7, click HERE!
So what about Noggin? That was the channel The N shared a channel with. Noggin will also get a new 24/7 channel. Their schedule and details can be found on this thread.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Broad City - Season 1
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray)
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 21

Mulaney - "It's a Wonderful Home Alone" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
John’s resentment of actor Macaulay Calkin dampens his Christmas spirit. Meanwhile, Lou is worried when his rival, network host Jesse Tyler Munoz (guest star Nick Kroll), announces a competing holiday special, and Andre is mistaken for a puppet.

Bob's Burgers - "Father of the Bob" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is invited to Bob’s dad’s Christmas party, and Bob is forced to step inside his father's diner for the first time in 20 years. In the basement, the kids compete for a “mistle-tony” – the award for best homemade gift.

The Simpsons - "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Moe convinces Homer to stay out drinking on Christmas Eve, Marge tells Homer not to come home. This leads to Homer’s sad trek through lonely Springfield, where he learns that the only place where one should truly get drunk on Christmas is home.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Christmas" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Holt receives death threats and Jake is put in charge of his security, a job he enjoys and abuses as much as he can. Meanwhile, Amy attempts to get the precinct to take a Christmas photo for Holt, but a lack of enthusiasm and Rosa’s refusal to smile defeats her efforts. Also, Terry gets his mojo back.

Family Guy - "The 2,000-Year-Old-Virgin" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After running into Jesus at the mall, Peter enlists Quagmire and Cleveland’s help to throw him the best birthday ever, but is shocked at Jesus’ request to make the night special.

Bob's Burgers - "Christmas in the Car" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Linda accidentally kills the family tree, the Belchers must go out on Christmas day to find a new one. But when Bob cuts off a giant candy cane truck, they are forced to outrun the madman driver (Bobcat Goldthwait) and spend the entire holiday together in the car. Back at the Belcher home, Bob’s friend, Teddy, accidentally gets stuck in the kids’ Santa trap.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 22) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, December 22

  • Steve Carell (The Office) - Watch Steve on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York) - Christine talks about Into the Woods on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs) - Donald drops by The Better Show, so check your local listings.