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 (January)

The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Married with Children - Seasons 7 and 8 (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season

01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 1

Bob's Burgers - "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
To compete with fellow “restaurateur,” Jimmy Pesto, and his blowout Super Bowl event, Bob is determined to create a Bob’s Burgers commercial to air during the “big game.” In an effort to outshine Pesto, the Belchers recruit Randy, a documentarian, to assist with the filmmaking and hire on former pro football star Connie Frye (guest voice Jordan Peele) to be the celebrity endorser.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXV" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the annual spooktacular Halloween special, Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in an homage to “The Others,” the Simpsons are visited by their former Tracey Ullman-era versions of themselves.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Jimmy Jab Gabes" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The squad has time to kill when the arrival of the Serbian President’s motorcade to Brooklyn has been delayed. So, Jake launches “The Jimmy Jab Games,” an annual series of competitions in the precinct. Meanwhile, Terry and Holt take on a new drug task force approved by Holt’s nemesis, Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick).

Family Guy - "Turkey Guys" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the night before Thanksgiving, Brian and Peter drunkenly devour the holiday bird, and then must go out to find a replacement. In Peter absence, Chris attempts to step up and become the man of the house.

Bob's Burgers - "Uncle Teddy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bob and Linda leave town for a romantic getaway (at a Burger Convention), they ask Teddy to babysit Tina, Gene and Louise. While the ’rents are away, Teddy is eager to earn the coveted title of “Uncle Teddy” and does so by putting Tina’s crush in his rightful place after discovering that he was just using her for – gasp – free burgers! Hijinks ensue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, February 2

  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Seth Morris (The Hotwives of Orlando/Go On/Happy Endings) - Seth appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET. He also talks about his new film We'll Never Have Paris on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Josh Segarra (Sirens) - Josh talks about USA Network's Sirens on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Gregory Harrison (Joey/The Family Man) - Gregory gives a look at his new Hallmark Channel original movie Cloudy with a Chance of Love on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall discusses his new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on HuffPost Live at 4:40pm. Fresh Off the Boat premieres on ABC on February 4 at 8:30pm and 9:30pm ET/PT.
  • Michael Ian Black (Burning Love/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea discusses the Super Bowl on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is part of the guest panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) - Barry talks about his new show A Very Barry Branson on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. A Very Barry Branson premieres on GAC on February 5.