Saturday, March 31, 2007
The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner (Paramount/Comedy Central, $19.99) brings us another in a series of roasts that Comedy Central has done over the last several years. These roasts have in the past featured such individuals as Chevy Chase and Denis Leary - this installment is a roast of TV icon William Shatner, best known to most as playing James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek series, and who currently plays Denny Crane on the hit ABC comedic drama Boston Legal.
For those reading this that has had the pleasure to see the old Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, you know how this SHOULD be done. A group of people, most of whom know the person to be roasted, get together and thoroughly embarrass and humiliate their friend, and all have a good time. Well, the Comedy Central roasts are a lot like that. There is a group of people, and they do their best – at least in theory – to humiliate the person. There is a key difference here, which has especially become apparent in the more recent roasts (Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, etc). Most of the roasters don't even personally know the person they're roasting; they only know them from having at best having played Janitor #3 in an episode of a TV show the other appeared in eons ago. Most – not all- but most of the roasters at these things are simply B and C-list "comedians" who Comedy Central brings in for these things due to HBO no longer returning their phone calls. Why is Andy Dick here?
Admittedly, this roast does have more people that know Shatner than I originally expected, which is a relief. You have Betty White, currently working with Bill on Boston Legal, who is as funny as ever. You have filmed "tributes" from folks like Sandra Bullock and Ben Stiller. Jason Alexander is your roastmaster, and does fairly well – though this wasn't evident in the original version. In addition, most of the living original Star Trek cast was here, including George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. Between Takei’s jokes himself, and jokes directed at him, there is certainly no shortage of gay jokes in this one.
Leonard Nimoy appeared in a pre-taped bit...except it is not here. Either Mr. Nimoy didn’t clear his appearance for DVD initially, or revoked it after seeing what kind of show the rest of the roast turned out to be, or something else happened, but the bit with Leonard is gone. Further slapping the face of the concept of releasing material uncut, several of the musical pieces are gone, as has become the standard for Paramount releases lately.
As far as the technical side, things are dull and expected. Black case with the Shat-man on the front. Video quality is fine, and audio – aside from the music replacement issue – sounds fine. Technically, the only fault with the set is the replacements. There are a couple of features – a quick "Making of the Roast" segment that goes nowhere and does nothing, behind the scenes footage, and red carpet interviews. Also included are three short segments from Reno 911, Drawn Together, and The Colbert Report – easily funnier than 90% of the DVD content.
Folks, I am a huge fan of William Shatner, a huge fan of Boston Legal, a huge fan of Star Trek, and a huge fan of the "roasting" concept – and I honestly had trouble sitting through this. While funny in places, a lot of the show was just painful. If you're THAT much of a fan that you need to own everything Bill has ever done, then by all means buy the set. If you want to see it that badly, rent it. Between the overall quality of the roast itself, and the deletions – one of which is to the severe detriment of the set, the score of the set is simply dragged down. From a technical standpoint the set is fine, but the material is just not that good. There are a few moments, which might warrant a rental, but that is about it. Strong recommendation to avoid.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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Friday, March 30, 2007
And when the season ends, the summer Sunday line-up will again be changed. Starting June 10, encores of The War at Home will air at 7:00 p.m., King of the Hill follows at 7:30 p.m., The Simpsons encores at 8:00 p.m., American Dad encores move to 8:30 p.m., Family Guy encores at 9:00 p.m. and the return of The Loop with all new episodes at 9:30 p.m.
Finally, Fox will just air the yet to air new drama Drive for 6 weeks now. The drama will air Mondays starting April 16 and will conclude May 7, but Fox says the remaining 7 episodes will return, probably in late summer, if it does well.
Jamie J. Weinman's "Something Old, Something New" blog has just posted a story on their thoughts on the WKRP Season 1 DVD. Jamie's blog, which are thoughts on popular culture and unpopular culture, lists the music replaced and even worse...the list of edits on the season one DVD. Jamie says, it's pretty similar to the list of music changes from the late '90s syndication package; some of the generic music and overdubbing is the same in both versions. Not good at all. You can read his great list HERE. And look for our detailed review from skees53 very soon! It will unfortunately not be a positive review...but hopefully fans still buy it but tell Fox they are not happy.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
The network will host an Upfront sales presentation for advertisers on Thursday, May 3, 2007 in New York City to unveil its programming strategy for the 2007-2008 season. RHI Entertainment, which will serve as ION Television’s exclusive programming supplier on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights beginning June 29, will provide a sneak preview of some of the original titles debuting on ION later this year.
For the week ending March 25, ION Television delivered its best performance for a single program this season with its broadcast of The Cowboys, starring John Wayne, on Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m. The movie posted a 0.9 HH rating (1,044,000), boosting the night’s primetime average to a 0.8 HH rating (932,000), the network’s highest single weekend night performance for the season.
Overall, ION Television’s weekend movies, currently featuring popular titles from the libraries of Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and NBC Universal, have improved their time period by over 50 percent in households compared to the first two quarters of 2006.
In addition, during the recently concluded February Sweep period, ION Television’s viewers proved they love their Mama, with Mama’s Family posting a 0.9 HH rating (1,008,000) on Thursday, February 15. The night, anchored by Diagnosis Murder at 9 p.m. and Charlie’s Angels at 10 p.m., delivered the network’s highest single weeknight performance for the season at a 0.7 HH rating (752,000).
Don't forget the new spring line-up starts April 2 with the additions of Moral Court, Alice, The Wonder Years and the return of Amen. Also, the classic Battlestar Galactica will air on Sundays.
Also in the news today, after just two airings (with just one in its regular time period of Wednesdays at 8), ABC will pull The Great American Dream Vote off the schedule starting next Wednesday, April 4. Reruns of George Lopez will fill the hour that week. April 11 and 18 will probably be reruns of George as well, because new episodes were slated to return April 25 when Dream Vote concluded. This is much better news, as many of us would much rather watch George!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
ABC Sitcom 'Notes' To Premiere After 'Anatomy'; JustMyShow.com Interviews; Nick at Nite Weekend Change for This Weekend
ABC was planning on returning Men in Trees to the Thursday at 10 slot starting April 12, but that is not happening. It is still unclear what ABC will do with the five remaining Trees episodes. It is possible that they could move the show to Fridays at 8 starting April 13 for 5 weeks or hold-off on the remaining five episodes for next season, where it could air for at least 27 new episodes next season, something Boston Legal & Grey's Anatomy did their first seasons.
Now, Notes from the Underbelly is just airing for three weeks on Thursdays, but what about after that? That is also sort of still unclear, but this is what will look like happen: April 12, 19, & 26 will be Notes from the Underbelly; May 3 will be the special two-part episode of Grey's Anatomy introducing the spin-off; and May 10 & 17 is unclear but it looks like ABC will bring back October Road for episodes five and six, rather than ending after episode four on April 5. That show has impressed thus far.
We will keep you up to date if anything is concrete later today or in the coming days. Keep checking back!
Our good friend Eric from JustMyShow.com has a new episode up on his website. This time he chats with Tom Wopat from The Dukes of Hazzard and Alan Spencer, creator of the cult sitcom Sledge Hammer. This episode is the series' 13th episode. Congrats Eric! That is more than many of the TV series these days! Anyway, click HERE to listen to this episode. As usual, Eric is on top of his game and knows his stuff. Great preparation.
Finally, Nick at Nite will edit this weekend's schedule. Like last weekend, it will be all Fresh Prince. Though last weekend the first three half-hours were Full House because of that Jesse marathon, but not this weekend. This Saturday and Sunday it is all Will Smith all the time. Saturday from 10-6am and Sunday from 9pm-6am only on Nick at Nite.
Will Fresh Prince weekend be a weekly thing? Who knows.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Canada's DejaView Channel Salutes Three Sitcoms; Fox Expands 'Idol' Results Show, Ends 'Til Death' Early, 'Delays 'Standoff'
DejaView commemorates the 36th anniversary of Hogan's Heroes' last original episode ("Rockets and Romance," April 4, 1971) with a day-long marathon Friday, April 6 beginning at 6am ET.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of TV audiences' first encounter with Jack, Janet and Chrissy, the lovably loopy roommates of Three's Company (debut: March 15, 1977). The trio, along with Cindy, Terri, Larry, Mr. Furley and the Ropers, is feted with a special marathon featuring 16 hilarious episodes specially chosen from the series' 174-episode run on Saturday, April 7 beginning at 6 am ET.
The laughter's a-surgeon as M*A*S*H* celebrates its 35th year in 2007 (debut: September 17, 1972). With an army of the most memorable characters to ever grace television - Hawkeye, Trapper, Hot Lips, Radar, Klinger – M*A*S*H* finds the humour and pathos in everything from minor abrasions to Major Burns. Fans can spend the day with them all as DejaView presents 16 episodes of the gold-standard sitcom Sunday, April 8 beginning at 6am ET.
To see the line-up for all three marathons, click HERE.
The American Idol Results Show, continuing to feature performances by renowned musical artists who mentor the contestants each week, will expand from 30 minutes to 60 minutes on the following dates: Wednesday, April 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed); Wednesday, April 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed); and Wednesday, May 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.
'Til Death, the comedy that looks at married life from the divergent perspectives of a long-married couple, played by Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher, and their neighbors who've been married for just a year, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas and Kat Foster, will conclude its first season with a special one-hour finale episode Wednesday, April 11 at a special time 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT on FOX, leading into an expanded American Idol Results Show.
Ted McGinley, Joely Fisher's sister Tricia Fisher, Krysten Ritter and Tim Sharp guest-star on the Webby's Not Happy/Summer of Love season finale of 'Til Death.
Meanwhile, freshman drama Standoff was slated to return April 6 on Fox in its new Fridays at 8 slot, but that will not happen now. Fox will continue to air encores of House on Fridays at 8 until further notice. Standoff might be now burned-off in the summer. Sorry!
Monday, March 26, 2007
AmericanLife TV Network, the only independent network devoted to the Baby Boomer spring with a bevy of April beauties, including a star-studded new episode of the healthy lifestyle series Alive & Well, a special hour-long episode of 'Til Debt Do Us Part helping engaged couples out of debt, the premiere episodes of F Troop and Homefront, guest star turns by Star Trek's Scotty and Sulu on The Gallant Men, and appearances by the likes of Sal Mineo on Combat!, and Boris Karloff and Peter Lawford on I Spy.
Also in April Secret Agents lurk Wednesdays on AmericanLife TV, with such series as The Man from U.N.C.L.E and I Spy!
Click HERE to view the full highlights!
On to TV One, on Easter Sunday April 8, starting at 8pm, TV One presents a special 30th anniversary showing of the highest-rated and most acclaimed mini-series ever in the history of television, Roots. Based on Alex Haley's book tracing his own family history, Roots told the saga of African-American life through many generations, dealing frankly with the issue of slavery. Presented in six 2-hour parts, TV One has recruited original cast members, including LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams, Ben Vereen, Louis Gossett Jr. and Richard Roundtree, as hosts for individual nights of the broadcast.
Parts 1-5 will air Sunday, 4/8 through Thursday 4/12 at 8pm with encore performances each night at 10pm. Friday and Saturday will provide chances for viewers to catch up on any parts they may have missed, with Parts 1 & 2 re-airing at 8pm and 10pm respectively on Friday 4/13, and all of Parts 1-5 airing in order from 2pm to 12m on Saturday 4/14. The conclusion of the mini-series airs on Sunday April 15 at 8pm (and 10pm).
Starting Sunday night April 8 in the overnight hours, TV One will celebrate Amen Sundays all month long from 2am to 6am, with mini-marathons of the classic '8-s Sherman Hemsley sitcom.
Starting Monday April 16, the sketch sitcom Wanda At Large returns to weekdays on TV One each evening at 9pm, pushing Good Times to 9:30pm. All About The Andersons currently at 9:30pm weeknights, takes over the current Wanda slot on Saturdays at 6pm.
On Saturday April 21, beginning at 1pm, join TV One for the "Big Baller" Sitcom Marathon in preparation for the series premiere of I Married a Baller later that evening. Episodes of your favorite TV One sitcoms such as In the House, Martin, Eve, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, and Amen are showcased featuring guest star appearances from some famous 'Ballers' including football legend Eddie George, who is one of the stars of I Married a Baller. Other 'Ballers' slated to appear in this TV One sitcom marathon are: Tim Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Marcus Allen, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, Cheryl Miller, Randall Cunningham, Lisa Leslie, Kobe Bryant, and Derek Fisher.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Households: Fox: 9.5/14.7; CBS: 7.8/12.6; ABC: 7.5/12.0; NBC: 5.1/8.1; The CW: 2.1/3.2; MNT: 0.7/1.1.
Total Viewers: Fox: 15.86 million; CBS: 12.17 million; ABC: 11.52 million; NBC: 7.68 million; The CW: 3.17 million; MNT: 0.94 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 6.1/16.2; ABC: 4.0/10.7; CBS: 3.8/10.3; NBC: 2.5/6.6; The CW: 1.4/3.7; MNT: 0.4/0.9.
Analysis: The 27th week saw the return of ABC's Dancing with the Stars to huge numbers...the highest premiere numbers for the show ever. Fox did well like usual with American Idol, but Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader, airing on its own now, dipped to a series low. Through the first four nights, Fox has the lead, followed by CBS and ABC battling for second place in HH, viewers and 18-49. NBC will be 4th place in all categories. They sure miss Sunday Night Football. As usual, Friday and Saturday numbers are not above, since final numbers are not available yet. Tonight has ABC airing half the night with repeats, but CBS is all new, along with Fox's comedies and NBC's reality. Expect CBS to win.
On Monday Dancing with the Stars returned and dominated for ABC. 21.8 million watched thw two-hour season premiere denting CBS's comedies the most. CBS's CSI: Miami was did well at 10pm with 17.66 million at 10pm and NBC's Deal or No Deal was down against Stars, but still solid with 14.19 million for a special two-hour episode. CBS 8-9pm sitcoms were very anemic for CBS, doing 7.27 and 6.74 million for new episodes. Two and a Half Men rose from those numbers and did 11.68 million (probably a series low for a new episode, usually it does 15 million+), with a new Rules of Engagement following and not holding the lead-in's numbers like it has been doing, just 9.26 million. Fox was not that affected by Stars, but both Prison Break & 24 were down from usual numbers, they did 8.4 and 11.8 million, about 1-2 million off from previous new episodes. ABC and NBC did bad at 10pm, ABC did just 6.43 million for What About Brian and NBC's Black Donnelleys continues to go down each week, with just 5.53 million. The CW's comedies are still under performing on this night as they still can't get 3 million. All four were close to each other though.
Tuesday was Fox's night. American Idol did 29.96 million for two-hours and that was more than enough to win the night. CBS was second with NCIS, The Unit from 8-10 doing well, and a repeat of CSI aired at 10. NBC aired repeats of both Law & Order spin-offs doing 6.37 and 7.5 million from 9-11pm (seems low...), with Dateline kicking the night off with just 5.62 million. ABC saw a AFV repeat open up with just 5.35 million (no more AFV Tuesdays starting this week), followed by Primetime: The Outsiders with just 5.01 million. Boston Legal with guest star Megan Mullally rose from that but still did below average with 9.14 million. The CW aired a repeat of Gilmore Girls (2.08 million) and a new Pussycat Dolls (3.12 million).
Wednesday again Fox got the boost from its one show wonder American Idol, doing 27.08 million for its 9pm half-hour followed by the sitcom 'Til Death losing 1/2 that with 14.88 million. Bones opened the night off for Fox with a respectable 10.47 million. CBS was second for the night with Jericho not on this week, but a special Wednesday Survivor aired doing a below average 12.78 million...will people return when it comes back to Thursdays? Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed and did good (but not dominant) with 15.19 and 13.64 million. ABC's comedy block opened up with George Lopez doing 5.92 and two repeats of According to Jim & a new In Case of Emergency followed (5.99, 5.42, 5.13 million) and an all-new Lost, which was a great episode, did 12.22 million, and it won the hour in 18-49. Lost has been very steady in this slot, but down from normal numbers it got earlier this season when it aired at 9. NBC saw Friday Night Lights do just 5.39 million, Crossing Jordan followed with just 6.15 million, up from last week. A repeat of Medium followed with 5.95 million. The CW was on the map thanks to America's Next Top Model doing a decent 5.04 million...not bad at all, followed by an encore of Tuesday's Pussycat Dolls doing 3.13 million.
On Thursday we saw ABC dominate, as CBS aired NCAA Tournament coverage. ABC's Grey's Anatomy anchored the night at 9pm with 22.3 million and a dominant 9.0 18-49 rating. Ugly Betty opened the night off with a below average 10.41 million. Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? hit a series low but is probably effecting Betty just a bit (5th Grader did 10.82 million, but Betty beat it in HH, 7.3 to 6.5). ABC's second episode of the impressive October Road closed the night off with 11.5 million (and a 4.6 18-49 rating), much better than Men in Trees. CBS's NCAA coverage was a solid second doing 8.98 and 9.93 million for both games. Fox closed the night with repeats of Family Guy & American Dad doing just 4.89 and 3.86 million. NBC aired mix of encores and all-new episodes of comedies from 8-10pm. Hour one was a repeat of My Name is Earl and hour two was all new and saw Scrubs and 30 Rock. NBC aired the second episode of Raines at 10pm and did just 8.71 million. Let's see how it does on Fridays next week. And CW aired its Thursday dramas doing 4.07 and 3.38 million.
Friday (numbers not counted in our ratings), saw CBS win the night with NCAA Tournarment coverage. NBC was a distant second with the disappointing Identity and Miss USA. ABC had a repeat of Thursday's Grey's Anatomy and the return of Six Degrees didn't do so well but 20/20 built on that and did a bit better. The CW did decent for its WWE coverage and Fox didn't do so well with Wedding Bells at 9. Overall a below average night.
Saturday ratings are not available yet. As for tonight, CBS will win with its normal line-up. ABC's big dramas are in repeats, but AFV and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are new and will compete well and Fox will battle ABC for 18-49. NBC's reality line-up will not pull big ratings, but Deal or No Deal should do a solid 10 million or so at 9. As for this week in general, look for Dancing with the Stars to continue to do well and now the Results Show premieres this Tuesday! A new reality series hosted by Donny Osmond debuts Tuesday after Stars on ABC.
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of March 12-18)
- The War at Home (Fox) 2 episodes -2.64 million for a repeat and just 3.42 million for a new episode...
- The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 6.89 million, below normal.
- The Winner (Fox) 2 episodes - Final two episodes did just 5.55 and 5.14 million.
- Family Guy (Fox) - Repeat did 7.03 million.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - Just 7.27 million for a new episode. Series low, I assume?
- Old Christine (CBS) - 6.74 million. Dancing killed it.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.68 million for a new episode...way below normal.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 9.26 million...like all CBS comedies that aired on this day...DOWN from usual.
- CW Monday Comedies: Chris, All of Us, Girfriends, The Game. New episode of Chris started it off with 2.53 million, the highest of the block. The rest ranged 2.14 to 2.35 million. Consistent, but needs to be doing 3 to 3.5 million at least...
- George Lopez (ABC) - 5.92 million...down slightly from from last week.
- According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes -Two repeats did OK, with 5.99 and 5.42 million
- In Case of Emergency (ABC) - 5.13 million, up from last week, but down from two weeks ago's 6+ million.
- 'Til Death (Fox) - 14.88 million from Idol's 27.08 million...you do the math.
- My Name is Earl (NBC) - A one-hour repeat did 6.73 million
- Scrubs (NBC) - 6.44 million watched a new episode.
- Andy Barker, P.I. (NBC) - 5.33 million...down even from last week's bad premiere numbers.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat on a Thursday did 4.89 million.
- American Dad (ABC) - A repeat on a Thursday did just 3.86 million...the show returns after a few weeks off tonight (Sunday).
Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox comedies.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, 'Til Death, and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs) or just plain old terrible (such as American Dad Thurs and Andy Barker, P.I.).
Saturday, March 24, 2007
The New Adventures of He-Man - Volume 2 (BCI, $49.98) brings the final 32 episodes from the series' only season. BCI did a VERY nice job with the original series and volume one of the new series, and this set is right on par. The series had just one season, and probably isn't as popular as the original series. Like I mentioned last time, I don't remember much about this series at all actually. Like the original He-Man, this was a first-run syndicated series and aired weekdays after school in 1990-91, so every day was basically a new episode. We have great extras again on these DVDs. BCI is very consistent and doesn't disappoint. In this series, He-Man heads to the future to the planet Primus. No more planet Eternia, but the villain Skeletor is back! The main villain in this really is Flogg and his mutants. This is certainly a new beginning and different from the original series, but still good! None of the original characters are back but He-Man and Skeletor. The menu screen has the options of Play All, Episodes, and Settings, with nice animated menus. When we select a sub-menu we get a nice transition music or even a nice transition video. When we select Settings, we change from English to Spanish, or vice versa. When we go to Episodes, nice animation and music plays with the episode title listed, you can choose play or select chapters to get to a scene faster. The director and writers of each episode are listed along with a nice long synopsis of the episode. Like the original series DVDs and volume one of this serues, these are the most informative episode menus I have ever seen. Nicely done! Chapters sub-menu has 4 stops with a nice little video in the box of each and interesting facts from Gleep on the right...again informative! The video is pretty good and the audio is also decent. There are a few episodes that are digitally remastered for optimum video & audio....you'll be greeted with that night in the beginning of rhe episode, if they had to remaster it. I guess those had terrible prints, but the remastered episodes look great! The packaging is the same style as the original series and volume one of the new series, a nice outer box with a very nice looking digipak. There are nice images on the digipak along with memorable quotes from the episodes on this set. Each disc has its own section, so no overlapping and easy to take out. Also the disc's art matches the packaging when we take the disc out...so cool. A nice episode booklet comes with the set that details so much along with two collectible 4 X 6 cards by two wonderful artists. BCI's consistency continues as we have had all this on previous sets. On the episodes itself, each one runs around 22 minutes or so. The bonus features are all on disc six. All the extras are listed on the main menu on disc six. The first option is Documentary Features, there are two of them: "Fans of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" and this runs 29:14. The top fans of this brand have come for this feature to talk about the history and their take...not only for the new series but the original series as well. The next documentary is "The Power of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" and this runs 28:35. This documentary gives the final take from the producers and other people behind the scenes...very informative! Then the next extra is called "Character Profiles." 50 detailed profiles of various Characters, Guest Characters and Technologies. When selecting one from each category, you get some text and you can play a little clip related to what you chose. Very cool. Finally, there is also a trailers section for other BCI/Ink & Paint DVDs such as She-Ra, Flash Gordon and the original He-Man.
This is indeed a wonderful set and BCI finishes the He-Man brand in a great and quality way, just like how they started. I don't remember much about this show, but thanks to BCI, I can relive this and try to remember. Now I have the original series and the new series all on DVD! All He-Man aficionados should get them all, if they haven't already. And if you've always wanted to see these series, try starting today. By the power of good and the way of the magic, the battle begins anew, but buying this final DVD is still the old way by clicking on the link below! Primus is yours!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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Friday, March 23, 2007
TV Land Upfront 2007, Original Series Announced, Scrubs and Just Shoot Me Coming in 2008; ABC Pilots for 2007-08 Season; SOAPnet April Line-Up
The theme of the upfront for TV Land was catering to the baby boomers. Let's start off with the original programming. They detailed some of the major awards for the TV Land Awards. Hosted by Kelly Ripa and premiering April 22 at 9, TV Land will honor Roots, which will feature the reunion of several cast members in honor of the epic's 30th Anniversary; Lucille Ball, whose Legacy of Laughter Award will be accepted by her children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr.; The Brady Bunch, which will be feted with the Pop Culture Award in an on-stage reunion of the cast; and Hee Haw, which will be honored with the Entertainer Award.
TV Land Confidential season two will launch on July 11. Each 30-minute episode of this returning TV Land series is filled with anecdotes, interviews and clips, bringing viewers the tales behind their favorite TV shows, musical performers and movies.
High School Reunion will premiere on August 8. TV Land reunites more than a dozen alumni from a 1986 high school class.
As announced before August is Elvis month and TV Land is developing an original special to go along with the hours of acquired programming for the month. TV Land Myths & Legends: Elvis Presley, thirty years after his death, TV Land takes an in-depth look at some of the most popularly held notions about the "King of Rock and Roll" and dissects them to separate fact from fiction, premieres August 16, 2007.
Coming this fall is Back to the Grind, where classic TV stars take on their professions of their classic TV characters. Loni Anderson and Harry Anderson are among the stars participating. Premieres October 10.
Entertainment Weekly & TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons, a new-two-hour special. TV Land partners with America's premier entertainment magazine to create a comprehensive look at the 50 Greatest TV Icons, all culled from over 50 years of television.
As we announced a few days ago Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams will be back in...Penny & Cindy. This scripted buddy comedy reunites actresses and real-life friends Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, who gained fame and prominence on their enduring sitcom, Laverne & Shirley.
There are MUCH more originals in development. Click HERE to view them all.
Originals were not the only thing announced. Acquired programming includes Just Shoot Me coming in early 2008 and Scrubs in October 2008.
TV Land also announced more titles for its Movie Land block on Friday nights. The Blues Brothers Movie; Beetlejuice; Caddyshack; Fletch; National Lampoon's Vacation; Pleasantville; White Men
Can't Jump; Working Girl; Young Frankenstein are some of the titles we will see.
They announced some other non-programming related material that sounds interesting, but you will just have to read the huge press release they issued for the upfront. Again click HERE.
And it is that time of the year again--our 5th annual previewing the pilots in development for ABC! They have 16 sitcoms and 13 dramas for consideration for 2007-08 season. The pilots sound great, especially the dramas. Which will make the cut and which won't? We will find that out in mid-May, but for now you can see who is starring in the pilots, what the pilots are about, and more!
12 of the 16 sitcoms are single camera. I hope we get all four multi-camera sitcoms on the schedule at some point because they are lacking now and most single camera sitcoms have never found an audience. Among the stars in the sitcom pilots are Danny Comden, Faith Ford, Jerry O'Connell, Fred Goss, Jennifer Coolidge, Robert Vaughn, Wendie Mallick, Ricki Lake, Brooke Burns, Rachel Boston, Jay Harrington, Amy Yasbeck, Barry Bostwick, Jane Curtin, Gregory Itzin, Jayma Mays, Christina Applegate, Jean Smart, Kurt Fuller, Oliver Platt, Michael McKean, Michael Boatman, Orlando Jones, Ben Savage, Ashley Williams, and Scott Wolf.
For the list of the 16 ABC sitcoms in development, click HERE.
As for the dramas, the pilots all sound good. ABC usually has the best drama pilots, especially the last 2-3 seasons. 13 drama pilots are in development, which include the Grey's Anatomy spin-off starring Kate Walsh. The pilot will premiere May 3 and if it works, we might see it as a series this fall, if it makes it. Among the stars in the drama pilots are Lucy Liu, Frances O'Connor, Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh, Victor Garber, Natasha Henstridge, Eddie Cibrian, Holly Robinson-Peete, Lucy Lawless, Ving Rhames, James Van Der Beek, Gabrielle Union, Kiele Sanchez, Louise Lombard, Jason O'Mara, Chi McBride, Charles Dutton, Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Dylan McDermott, Alyssa Milano, Mary Steenburgen, Angie Harmon, Laura Harris, and the all-star cast of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off: Kate Walsh, Paul Adelstein, Taye Diggs, Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman, Merrin Dungey, and Chris Lowell.
For the list of the 13 ABC drama pilots in development, click HERE.
On those preview posts please also discuss what shows you want to see and what shows you want to see make it on the air!
SOAPnet has announced its April 2007 line-up that starts April 9. The O.C. and One Tree Hill are joining the line-up, as we mentioned some time back, but now we have the full line-up. Highlights include One Tree Hill @ 1 & 5p; The O.C. @ 2 & 6p; Dallas moving to 11a & 12p with repeats @ 5a and 6a; 90210 moves to 3p & 4p; Days of Our Lives moves to 7p and 12a; Young & the Restless moves to 11p with repeats @ 4a & next day at 10a; Port Charles (Sat) & Ryan's Hope (Sun) move to the weekends @ 6/6:30a; Melrose Place will just air on Saturday mornings 7p-10a; and Another World is off line-up.
Click HERE to view the full line-up.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Not many changes on Saturdays but the prime-time line-up will now be western themed. Sundays has a sitcom line-up from 1 to 7 p.m. featuring Leave it to Beaver, Dennis the Menace, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best, Partridge Family, Brady Bunch, Diff'rent Strokes, Facts of Life, Eight is Enough, Family Ties, Who's the Boss.
For the full line-up, click HERE.
TV Land has announced that they have changed the date of the TV Land Awards from Wednesday, April 25 to Sunday, April 22. No reason was given, but usually award shows are on Sundays, so maybe that is why they changed the day. This will be the network's fifth award show. This year it will be hosted by Kelly Ripa. More info will come soon on the awards but among the honorees will include a tribute to Lucille Ball and the cast of The Brady Bunch. My guess is Legend Award for Lucy and Pop Culure Award for the Bradys.
Also, don't forget to come back tomorrow afternoon or so for the TV Land Upfront news! Hopefully we have some acquisitions to announce and not just original series news!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
These series join previously announced 2007-08 season pick-ups of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Supernanny and Wife Swap.
Now, these are just early pick-ups...this does NOT mean do other returning series will have a chance to return. Among the returning series that have no fate yet are According to Jim, George Lopez, What About Brian, Six Degrees, The Knights of Prosperity, and the just premiered drama October Road. I think 2-3 of those have a shot to return, with George, Road, Knights having the best shots. I hope Brian can return, too. 20/20 will for sure return and Primetime will probably be back as a series of specials, as it has done this season.
No chance for series like The Nine, Help Me Help You, Day Break, Show Me the Money, Big Day, and In Case of Emergency to return, I think...but stranger things have had happened.
TV Land's Upfront presentation is Friday, and we will cover that of course for you. But we might have a little sneak peak of what is to come for you today. TVWeek is reporting that TV Land is developing a loosely scripted show featuring the real Laverne & Shirley, Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams...as themselves! A pilot with the duo living together at Penny's house, is scheduled to shoot next month. It would pair the actresses in a series for the first time since collaborating on the long-running '70s ABC sitcom, Laverne & Shirley.
TV Land is also considering a show with George Foreman, who Larry Jones (President of TV Land) calls the "poster child for reinventing yourself in the second part of life."
TV Land is also eying a TV Land take on My Super Sweet 16, a popular reality series on sibling Viacom-owned network MTV. TV Land would peg shows to 40th birthdays.
In August, TV Land expects to roll out TV Land's version of High School Reunion, which ran for two seasons on The WB. The original featured 10 year reunions. TV Land is going with 20-year+ gatherings.
We will have complete details of their upfront on Friday...and let's hope some classic TV acquisitions are announced and not just original series news. Boomer and former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Nick at Nite April 2007 Highlights; Retro Television Network Stations Make Deal With CBS-Paramount Shows
And some people have been wondering if the following week would Growing Pains return to the early evening slot? The answer is NO. It will just air every night at 1:00am. Full House will kick off Nick at Nite each night for an hour. It won't air at 8:30pm anymore starting March 26, as Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh will now air.
As for Nick at Nite April, there will be no schedule changes, as of now, that is. Highlights include the launch of Funniest Mom in America 3. The reality series will be hosted by Roseanne! Series launch is on Tuesday, April 10 with a special hour-long premiere at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Tune in on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT through May 8 to catch America's Moms at their finest. Series finale will be on Mother's Day (Sunday, May 13) with another hour long episode.
The six-part reality series, hosted by Roseanne, follows the journey of moms across the country as they compete for the title of Funniest Mom in America. One lucky winner will win $50,000 plus the chance to host a special night of programming on Nick at Nite. The series is being executive produced by Allison Grodner (Big Brother, Blowout). Funniest Mom 3 is presented by KFC.
The series kicks off following the journey of moms who have been selected from auditions and regional competitions at comedy clubs across the country as they vie for the winning title. Twelve moms are chosen, and through an online component, a thirteenth mom will be voted in via the internet at nickatnite.com. All thirteen of these moms will compete in a semi-final showcase, in which six moms will be chosen to move on to the next round of the competition. It is these six who will compete in a number of various comedic challenges, work with special coaches and prepare for performances where week by week, one mom will be eliminated. The three remaining contestants will compete in the show's finale, performing their stand-up before an audience and a panel of celebrity judges to be announced shortly.
Nick at Nite will launch America's Funniest Home Videos the last day of April (April 30). More details on that will come in the May highlights. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.
Equity Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) today announced that it has reached an agreement with CBS Television Distribution to provide classic programming from the vast CBS library for EBC's Retro Television Network (RTN). Under the terms of the multi-year licensing agreement, CBS Television Distribution will be RTN's primary programming provider for the next five years and will supply a minimum of 55 hours of programming a week for each RTN affiliate.
RTN is a new television network that provides each affiliate a
customized feed with hit shows, in addition to local programming including news, weather and sports. RTN is specifically designed to go on a broadcast digital channel and provides local broadcasters with a way to get ratings and successfully monetize their digital spectrum. RTN has been testing this concept for the past 18 months and has experienced continued growth and success with its initial affiliates, five of which are in top-50 markets.
EBC plans to launch RTN nationally on July 7, 2007, with a new "Prime Time all the Time" lineup that will feature many of the CBS Television Distribution favorites, including Perry Mason, Hawaii 5-0 and Mission Impossible. RTN is currently available to local affiliates on a barter basis.
RTN is already cleared to broadcast in the following markets: Denver, CO; St. Louis, MO; Salt Lake City, UT; Las Vegas, NV; Buffalo, NY; Little Rock, AR; Lexington, KY; Springfield, MO; Spokane, WA; Syracuse, NY; Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, IA; Burlington, VT; Savannah, GA; Ft. Smith/Fayetteville, AR; Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC; Eugene, OR; Panama City, FL; Alexandria, LA;
and Cheyenne, WY/Scottsbluff, NE.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Minor Hallmark Channel Schedule Change; New Series to ABC.com's Full Episode Player; 'SVU' to Local Syndication
ABC.com will add a few new series to its Full Episode Player this week and next few weeks. They have added new hit drama October Road to the website already. So, if you missed the first episode watch it online so you can catch up for the all-new episode this Thursday at 10/9 central on ABC. Also joining tomorrow is Dancing with the Stars, after its season premiere tonight. Joining next week after its series premiere on TV will be the new reality show The Great American Dream Vote. And the new season of The Bachelor will also be available after its premiere on April 2. This is the first time ABC reality series are on the player. All episodes for the current season will be available for each new series.
NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has sold Dick Wolf's hit crime drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in more than 97% of the U.S. for weekend airings in national syndication starting in fall 2007.
Top markets include WWOR-TV New York (Fox), KCOP-TV Los Angeles (Fox), WPWR-TV Chicago (Fox), WPHL-TV Philadelphia (Tribune), WCVB-TV Boston (Hearst), WJLA-TV Washington D.C. (Albritton), WXYZ-TV Detroit (Scripps), KDFW-TV Dallas (Fox) and WXIA-TV Atlanta (Gannett).
Another Law & Order series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent will also be coming to local syndication this fall, but for weekdays, as we reported previously.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of March. 5-11)
- The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode following NASCAR did 8.79 million...should be a bit better.
- The Winner (Fox) 2 episodes - 6.39 million at 8:30, not good...5.56 at 9:30, even worse. Can't hold the lead-in's numbers well.
- Family Guy (Fox) - 8.05 million...should be a bit better than that.
- Old Christine (CBS) 2 episodes - The show returns from a short hiatus with 2 all-new episodes in an earlier slot...didn't pay off at all. Just 7.59 and 8.34 million, below average for the hour that CBS usually does, which is also not that great.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 12.71 million for a repeat....how good is that?
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 11.47 million for a new episode...pretty good retention from lead-in...series low, though.
- CW Monday Comedies: Chris, All of Us, Girfriends, The Game. A repeat episode of Chris started it off with 2.3 million, the highest of the block. The rest ranged 1.66 to 1.89 million. Consistent...
- George Lopez (ABC) - 6.19 million...about what it usually does lately.
- According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - A repeat at 8:30 was OK with 5.79 million, but a new episode against Idol at 9 did just 5.69 million, down more than 2 million from last week when it didn't face Idol.
- In Case of Emergency (ABC) - 4.66 million...also down about 1.5 million from last week.
- Til Death (Fox) - Best ratings by far ever because it followed Idol. 14.07 million...still lost 1/2 of Idol's 9pm half hour numbers.
- The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - 2 repeats, with new footage, did about the same as usual repeats do...4.3 and 4.2 HH rating.
- Scrubs (NBC) - New episode followed with a 4.1 HH rating, held most of its lead-in's numbers, but that was a repeat...
- Andy Barker, P.I. (NBC) - Just a 3.7 HH rating for the series premiere. Will it do worse next week?
- Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - 2 repeats on a Thursday did a 3.8 and 3.4 HH rating. The second episode tied Barker's premiere in 18-49 with a 2.4 rating...SAD!
Airing tonight (Sunday) are new and repeat episodes of Fox comedies.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, 'Til Death, and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Old Christine, George Lopez) or just plain old terrible (such as Andy Barker, P.I. and In Case of Emergency).
Saturday, March 17, 2007
JAG - The Complete Third Season (CBS, $64.99) brings us third season of this long-running Donald Bellisario classic! This is the show’s 2nd season on CBS--and the first I watched in original broadcast, so I am obviously going to remember it quite fondly. That said there are some episodes from this season I REALLY like. The season starts strong with “Ghost Ship,” in which Harm finds evidence that his father -- MIA from Vietnam -- may be alive and under KGB control in Russia. Harm and Mac investigate the murder of a Navy pilot whose body was found in a decommissioned aircraft carrier. They discover a motive, which involves a lit of MIAs and POWs supposedly still alive and under KGB control – including Harm’s dad. In “The Stalker,” Mac’s ex-boyfriend is gunned down, and Mac has to stay one-step ahead of someone who is determined to get her too. Then there’s “Death Watch.” This episode recycles footage, in flashback form, of the episode “Skeleton Crew,” which never aired in original broadcast due to NBC’s cancellation of the series. The plot was changed, but much of the footage is from the first season episode. Ending season 3 is To Russia with Love, in which Harm & Mac go to Russia to discover the fate of Harm’s father once and for all.
While the shows themselves are good, Paramount still needs to work on the aesthetic side of their releases. I know JAG probably is not a priority release for them, but for a $65 MSRP I expect...something. Menus are still relatively simple, a disappointment. Video quality and audio quality are good. Sound mixes well. Vocals are crisp and clear, music mixes in nicely. Video does look about ten years old, but I have seen similarly aged video on DVD look worse, so props to Paramount for that.
One negative is the text on the back of JAG -- and pretty much every other Paramount release in the last several months, kindly telling us that music may differ from the televised version. Unfortunately, USA Network is currently in season 8 of the show’s run, and won’t be back to season 3 for some time, thus preventing me from checking to see what has been replaced. With most releases, I can look past music replacements, but if I’m paying MSRP for this DVD release -- and let’s be clear, some will -- SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS -- I want original music or a price drop. That sticker is INSANE for that price. SNL Season 1 by NBC Universal stickers for $69.95, but it has EVERY song. Worse still, unlike previous releases, this is a “Plain Jane” release -- no features *I* could find.
I pretty much worship every bit of television Donald Bellisario has put before us in the last 30 years -- JAG is probably third after Quantum Leap and NCIS to me. I WANT this set to do well, obviously - but $65 is INSANE for what you get. Paramount, either put more effort into the set, or drop the sticker. That said, for how much the sticker may be you can order the set at Amazon.com for a bit over $40 -- a 33% saving -- via the link below. Order that way, I recommend. I, however, under NO circumstances recommend this set at MSRP. Purchase this set ONLY at a retailer selling below MSRP.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
JAG TV.com Page
Friday, March 16, 2007
Who will make it to the Final 4? That is up to us to decide. I personally think these four: Barney Fife, The Fonz, Jack Tripper, and Lucy. I'm going with The Fonz and Tripper over top seeds Archie and Homer. We'll see what happens! Go and pick!
And it is mid-March and most of our favorite shows are on hiatus or in repeats, so what better way to watch new programming than in bloopers? ABC has a special called Celebrity A-List Bloopers airing tomorrow (Saturday, March 17) from 8-9PM ET/PT. The special is hosted by John O'Hurley (Dancing with the Stars, Seinfeld, Family Feud). See bloopers with stars like Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Paris Hilton, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, plus the cast of According to Jim will be on hand to share some bloopers.
The special is on a Saturday, so finally something new on that night.
Also airing on Saturday on TV Land is the 30th Anniversary marathon of Three's Company starting at 8pm. A 24-hour salute (should have been 30 hours really) that will run until 8pm Sunday.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
ION Televison April Schedule Sees 'Alice', 'Wonder Years', etc Join; Nick at Nite Schedule Change Has More 'Full House'
Let's start with weekdays, the new schedule starts Monday, April 2 with Moral Court airing weekdays at 6PM replacing two episodes of rural sitcom Green Acres. At 7PM Amen returns followed by '70s sitcom Alice joining the ION line-up, replacing the Growing Pains hour. Alice hasn't been seen regularly on television in quite some time, so this is a wonderful addition. 8-10PM line-up of ratings hits Mama's Family and Diagnosis Murder will remain intact. Closing the ION line-up at 10PM will be back-to-back episodes of the popular sitcom The Wonder Years, which also joins the ION line-up, replacing Charlie's Angels. The Wonder Years has also not recently aired on television.
As for weekends, Saturdays will remain the same with two movies from 7-11PM. Sundays will see a makeover, with Battlestar Gallactica joining the line-up on Sunday, April 8 with a five-hour marathon from 6-11PM. The following week Battlestar Gallactica will settle into its Sundays at 6PM & 7PM time-slot followed by the ION Sunday Movie and ION Life. So, Sunday shows Bonanza, Kung Fu and Kojak are off the line-up.
Movies for the month include a special back-to-back Sunday movie feature on April 1 with Superman III and Superman II. Other regular weekend movies include Look Who's Talking Too and King Ralph.
For the COMPLETE highlights and details, click HERE. You may also discuss your opinions there.
Meanwhile, Growing Pains gets more bad news as now Nick at Nite will cut the early evening airings (Sun-Thurs 9:30pm and Fri-Sat 10:30pm) in favor of another episode of Full House starting Monday, March 19. Growing Pains will remain at 1:00am every night, for now, that is.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Andy Barker, P.I. - Thursdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres March 15th at 9:30PM ET/PT
Andy Richter ("Late Night with Conan O'Brien") re-teams with Conan O'Brien (series co-creator and executive producer) in this comedy as he portrays Andy Barker, an earnest, hard-working CPA who has succeeded at everything -- until his new accounting business fails to take off. But when he's mistaken for Lew Staziak (Harve Presnell, "Fargo"), the retired private detective who used to occupy his storefront office, Andy embraces the twist of fate and dives into his double life.
Andy's relentlessly supportive wife Jen (Clea Lewis, "Ellen") isn't sold on this risky new venture, that is, until she notices a sudden boost in Andy's self-confidence. Andy's fellow strip mall neighbors -- Simon (Tony Hale, "Arrested Development") and Wally (Marshall Manesh, "Will & Grace") join him in the dicey investigations.
This comedy series was created by O'Brien and former "Late Night" head writer Jonathan Groff ("Ed"), who executive-produce the series with Jeff Ross and David Kissinger. "Andy Barker, P.I." is from NBC Universal Television Studio and Conaco. The pilot was directed by Jason Ensler ("The West Wing").
NBC.com is offering free online streaming of all 6 episodes, including an online exclusive with guest stars Amy Sedaris and Ed Asner. They are also available for purchase on iTunes.
Cast: Andy Richter as Andy Barker, Clea Lewis as Jenny Barker, Tony Hale as Simon, Harve Presnell as Lew Staziak, Marshall Manesh as Wally
Read our review of the pilot and two other episodes here.
Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday on our message board.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Finally, on Memorial Day, take a roadtrip with TV Land, as classic TV shows go out on the road to start the summer off. See Sanford & Son go to Hawaii, Lucy in Hollywood, Andy also in Hollywood, and camping episodes.
For the complete May 2007 highlights, click HERE.
NBC will be messing around with the Thursday sitcom line-up, especially the 9pm hour, with 30 Rock moving to 9pm. To start this off, NBC announced it will return 30 Rock on Thursday, April 5, for a special night of super-sized comedies (times approximate): The Office (8-8:40 p.m. ET); 30 Rock (8:40-9:15 p.m. ET); Scrubs (9:15-9:50 p.m. ET); Andy Barker, P.I. (9:50-10:20); and an encore episode of My Name Is Earl (10:20-11 p.m. ET).
The following Thursday, April 12, 30 Rock takes over its new regular time period, Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET and original ER episodes will resume at 10-11 p.m. ET. Andy Barker, P.I. will air between those two. Andy Barker, P.I. will conclude its run in the Thursday 9:30 p.m. ET slot on April 12. Scrubs moves into that time period the following Thursday, April 19.
The episode of Scrubs previously announced for the 9:00 time period on April 12 has been re-scheduled as part of a special back-to-back Scrubs hour on Thursday, May 3. It is likely Scrubs will air for an hour the rest of May, too, as 30 Rock concludes its season on Thursday, April 26, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Wow...was that confusing or what? I tried to make it as easy to read as I could.
Turner Broadcasting had their upfront today. Networks include TBS, TNT, TCM, CNN and Court TV. TBS will stream full episodes of Family Guy online. TBS and Cartoon Network run the show on TV but will now stream episodes online in a virtual "living room" designed to look like the cartoon's set. The site will offer social-networking capabilities so consumers can connect over episodes they watch. TBS will also stream full episodes and extras from its new originals
Among their announcements were original sitcoms for TBS. Jamie Foxx and former basketball star Kenny Smith, an analyst for TBS' sister network TNT, will executive-produce Big Shot, a half-hour scripted comedy about a teenager who lives with his parents although he's a rich NBA rookie. Adrienne Lopez and Marcus King are also executive-producing the series, currently in development.
Comic Larry Miller is executive-producing and starring in Uncommon Sense, a half-hour scripted comedy about a newspaper columnist in suburbia with a wife and two kids. The show, from Sony Pictures Television and currently in development, is co-written and executive-produced by Miller and Eileen Conn (Just Shoot Me).
Also in development is an untitled project written by Dave Caplan (The Drew Carey Show). The half-hour scripted comedy, from Sony and Original Films, is based on Caplan's childhood experience with a single mother raising him and two sisters while managing a business. The show will focus on a woman who keeps her sense of humor after her husband walks out on her, her kids and their lumberyard.
Some other shows TBS has in development include Bob Newhart: In Search of Comedy, a half-hour late-night anthology series hosted and executive-produced by the TV legend, and an untitled project from Jenny Hunter, an associate producer from The Daily Show.
And TBS also touted its new programming coming this summer: The Bill Engvall Show, a domestic comedy about a family therapist and his own family, and a second seasons of original sitcoms My Boys & 10 Items Or Less. Debuting this summer in late night is a new sketch comedy The Frank Show.
TNT has dramas in the works. They include: Mrs. America, the hour-long drama, from Warner Horizon Television, centers on a woman trying to balance home and career. Leverage, the hour-long drama, from Electric Entertainment, focuses on six modern-day heroes who act as Robin Hoods, sometimes going to illegal measures to do good for others. The Saint, a remake of the 1960s. And finally, A.D. (working title), a drama series being developed by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh. Previously announced projects in development include The Talisman, a six-hour adaptation of the Stephen King-Peter/Straub novel from Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks TV, and an untitled legal drama from Steven Bochco.
Coming this summer: Two new series Saving Grace and Heartland; the six-hour limited series The Company; and the third-season return of The Closer.
Finally, Court TV is changing its name, look and logo. It will no longer be called Court TV as of Jan. 1, 2008, and will revamp its daytime trial coverage and add several new reality series for primetime. The 16-year-old channel's new name was not revealed as of yet, but it will focus on "real engagers." They will chop Nancy Grace's weekday show in half to make way for The Star Jones Reynolds Show. Grace's Closing Arguments, currently two hours, will be now one-hour and will run at 3PM followed by Star's show at 4PM. Trial coverage will move to the network's broadband Website during the afternoon, if you are looking for that.
Monday, March 12, 2007
ABC Adds New Sitcom 'Underbelly' to Wednesdays in April, Wednesday Summer Plans; NBC Makes 'The Office' Look New Even in Repeats
The series stars Jennifer Westfeldt as Lauren, Peter Cambor as Andrew, Michael Weaver as Danny, Rachael Harris as Cooper, Melanie Paxson as Julie and Sunkrish Bala as Eric.
Look for our pilot review closer to airdate. The show will air for six weeks and it looks like In Case of Emergency will have a few unaired episodes, unless ABC will move it to another slot. ABC has now scheduled encores of According to Jim for the next two Wednesdays at 8:30, instead of George Lopez encores. George will still air for the next two weeks at 8pm, with all-new episodes. Jim encores will lead in to a new Jim at 9.
Meanwhile, ABC has announced changes to its Wednesday line-up once the season is over, for the summer. Two reality shows and a new drama will air Wednesdays starting May 30. ABC announces its new Wednesday night summer line-up: new alternative series The Next Best Thing: Who is The Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?, returning series American Inventor, and new drama Traveler. A special two-hour premiere The Next Best Thing: Who is The Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?, will air Wednesday, May 30 from 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET (the series will normally air from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), followed by the new drama, Traveler, from 10:00-11:00 p.m., ET. American Inventor, from Simon Cowell, returns for a second season the following week on Wednesday, June 6 from 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET.
NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy The Office will offer fans extra overtime of laughs by treating them to never-before-seen footage from the hit series in a newly edited hour of encore episodes on Thursday, March 15 (8-9 p.m. ET).
The "newpeats" on Thursday, March 15 (8-9 pm ET) will tie together edited encore episodes "Traveling Salesman" and "Oscar's Return" combined with new, never-before-seen moments throughout the hour. An original episode of Scrubs, (9:00 pm ET) along with the premieres of Andy Barker P.I. (9:30 pm ET) and Raines (10:00 pm ET) will follow.
Additionally, on Thursday, March 29 (8-9:30 & 10-11 p.m. ET), "Toby Flenderson" (co-executive producer/writer/ actor Paul Lieberstein) who plays the Director of Human Resources, will host "A Night at the Office" marathon. Five "human resource nightmare" episodes on March 29 will air surrounding an all-new episode of Andy Barker P.I. at 9:30 p.m. ET. The encore episodes include "Diversity Day" (8:00 p.m. ET), "Healthcare" (8:30 pm), "Sexual Harassment" (9:00 p.m. ET), "The Injury" (10:00 p.m. ET) and "Gay Witch Hunt" (10:30 ET).
March 15 is shaping up to be a big night. Premiere of three new shows...NBC's Andy Barker & Raines and ABC's October Road. Can any of these capture the March 15 success of Three's Company 30 years ago in 1977? We shall see...
The night will also see the "newpeats" of The Office, all-new Ugly Betty & Grey's Anatomy and the first night of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament--March Madness indeed!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
October Road premieres this Thursday (March 15) at 10/9 central on ABC, after an all-new Grey's Anatomy.
October Road is a new drama that centers on the young, popular author, Nick Garrett, who is at a crossroads in his life. To get over his writer's block, he goes back to his hometown and must now face the family and friends he has avoided for the past ten years. Once back home on October Road, he quickly discovers that the circle of friends whose teenaged lives he wrote about have trouble forgiving him for leaving them behind, and that his ex-girlfriend, Hannah Daniels, may have had his child.
The show stars Bryan Greenberg as Nick Garrett, Laura Prepon as Hannah Daniels, Tom Berenger as The Commander, Warren Christie as Ray "Big Cat" Cataldo, Brad William Henke as Owen Rowan, Evan Jones as Ikey, Jay Paulson as Physical Phil, Slade Pearce as Sam Daniels, Geoff Stults as Eddie Latekka and Odette Yustman as Aubrey. Recurring characters include Jonathan Murphy as Ronny, Rebecca Field as Janet "The Planet" Meadows, Elizabeth Bogush as Alison Rowan, and Bo Mitchell as Doodie.
I had the pleasure in watching the first four episodes. And I was very pleased. ABC has brought us so many good dramas over the last few seasons, and once again they bring another good one. The show starts off with a flashback from 1997 where Nick and Hannah are in bed for the last time, as Nick prepares to go to Europe for six weeks. Hannah and Nick's friends say goodbye to him, and then the show brings us 10 years later in New York City where Nick has a hard time coming with something for a new book. So, eventually Nick decides to go back home in Knights Ridge, Massachusetts (to teach a one day seminar at a local school) to not really come up with new things for a new book, but to make peace with his past. His best friend Eddie, who he was supposed to go into business with, is the one that is most upset, besides Hannah of course. Nick finds out that Hannah has a son, that is 10 years old. Hmm...could he be his? The question is not really answered, but Hannah has denied it. There are many things that make us think that he is Nick's son. I won't give it away, but in the first two episodes alone, we see a lot.
All the characters are very good. Nick's old friends are very interesting. One of his friends named Physical Phil has never been outside since 9/11. Another friend named Ikey who is sort of crazy. Another friend named Owen Rowan, who is now married to a woman named Allison, who seems to be having an affair with...Ikey! As for Hannah, she is now seeing the school bully Ray "Big Cat" Cataldo and has a son named Sam, who is very charming. His best friend Eddie seems like a ladies man and tough guy. Back at home Nick's brother (Ronny) and father (The Commander) basically just watch sports all day. The other characters include the co-ed Nick meets named Aubrey, is very interested in Nick...but Eddie wants a little payback on Nick, so he decides to pursue her. I love Aubrey! Then there is the bar owner, a heavy-set but likable woman named Janet "The Planet" Meadows.
This show should do very well after Grey's Anatomy. The fans of Men in Trees will like this show even because it seems very similar to it. The show is much younger than that show, so maybe this show can hold more of the Grey's Anatomy audience. Laura Prepon of That '70s Show is in this and that show had a huge young audience, and I'm sure most of them will join in on this show. If the show passes its six-episode test, I think the show should air at 8pm next season. 10pm seems a bit too late for this show, but with Grey's Anatomy as its lead-in, the sky is the limit. Personally, I would like to see this show Wednesdays at 8 next fall, followed by the Grey's Anatomy spin-off, then maybe a returning show that skews young adult like What About Brian, or a new drama. Lost would return to that 10pm slot in January. ABC is likely to go a different route on Thursdays at 10 next season unless, October Road is a massive hit, and even then they would still move it to help another night.
Anyway, this show has it all. Great characters, a great plot, some mysteries, and even a scandal (Ikey and Allison??). You will need some time getting used to all the characters. It took me about the end of the pilot or beginning of the second episode to know everyone. They all look different in the opening flashback, so that might have confused me. Still, great characters and stories. It is as charming as Men in Trees and as young and hip as Grey's Anatomy, which makes it a perfect fit on ABC. Dying to see the final two episodes...and I'm sure you all are dying to see all six! So, this Thursday watch at 10/9 central only on ABC!
Also, we have the cover art and episodes now for the Three's Company DVD Set titled Capturing the Laughter: Janet's Favorites. As we mentioned before, the set will street on May 1 and has six episodes hand-picked by Joyce DeWitt herself. The six episodes are: "The Case of the Missing Blonde," "Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Chrissy's Hospitality," "Janet's Secret," "Jack's Tattoo," and "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." It would have been cool if Anchor Bay had her do intros for each episode stating why she liked the episode. Oh well. For more details on this set and Three's Company head on over to Jack's Bistro.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Mini-DVD Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season Four (March 13) and SNL: Best of Steve Martin (March 6)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Season Four (Lionsgate, $39.98) brings all 39 episodes from the series' fourth season and the season premiere for season five on this wonderful five-disc DVD set. Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Splinter, April are all back to battle Shredder, Krang and other villains! Like we mentioned in our last review, Volume 6 had the last 11 episodes from season three, plus the first episode of season four, which is on this set, too (so why did they put it on the last set?). The third season had a total of 47 episodes, so they decided to split up that season into volumes, so volumes 3, 4, 5, and 6 covered season three. Season one had only 5 episodes, so that was on Volume 1. For season 2 there were just 13 episodes, so Lionsgate released that for volume two. But starting in Volume 3 they I guess decided they would release 12 episodes for a set. Volumes 3, 4 and 5 have 12 episodes each from season three. So, the final 11 remain from that season were put on to volume 6.
Season four has a total of 39 episodes, and we get ALL of those on this set, plus the first aired one from season five, which is actually a left over episode that was made for season four. This season is unique. The first 13 from this season are from the syndicated episodes. Then from episodes 14-39 on this set you have the CBS episodes that aired on CBS Saturday mornings. You can tell the CBS version by the opening credits...it is a different animation that the first 13 on this set. The last episode on this set, is a syndicated episode, like the first 13 on this set. I suggest you go to TMNT's official site and look at the episodes so you know the order of episodes.
The syndicated episodes (first 13 and last one on this set) run approx. 22:15 or so, some more, some less. The CBS episodes run approx. 23:30, give or take a few seconds. Now, about four of the episodes have the short theme, so they run around 23:00. The menu screen has an opening animation which is quite nice with the options of Play All Episodes and Episode Selection, with the theme playing (loops) in the background and video clips playing in the center, but with no sound. When we go to episode selection, there is a cool sword swish transition when you select it. There are eight episodes per disc. Each episode screen has a screenshot of the episode and the title of the episode. There are 5 chapter stops placed. One gripe that I have with the menus are, that there are auto-trailers (TMNT Fox Series, other LG products, etc) before the menus start on EACH disc. Annoying!
If you have the first six volumes, there is no stopping you in buying this volume. The video is on par with the other volumes, with dust and debris here and there (lots of white flashing dots from time to time), but the audio is decent. Again, the video needs improvement and Lionsgate needs to fix this.
The packaging is very cool. The first six volumes were single disc sets so the packaging was simple. The box is a 3D plastic-molded packaging of Raphael's head! It is like slip box as we pull the box out, we get to the case. The same cover art is featured on the case, but with no 3-D plastic-mold head. The discs inside are not overlapping, as each disc has its own side...like a book.
And for the first time we have extras! Two great and rare interviews with our villains and a nice recipe to make cheese pizza. "Under the Shell with Krang & Slash" is a 4:48 interview with Pat Fraley who voiced the characters of Krang and Slash. Fraley gives his story on how he got the part, shares cool stories, and even does the voice of each! The next interview is "Under the Shell with The Shredder." It runs 4:42 and James Avery, the voice of The Shredder, shares his stories from the show. Avery was also on the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during this time. Finally, we have "Fresh from the Oven," a recipe for cheese pizza. It gives us ingredients and directions no how to make cheese pizza, Michaelangelo style! Cowabunga dude!
I urge fans to buy this set despite the video issues, because surprisingly we have a season set and extras! Do we have a full season set with extras because of the new TMNT CG-animated movie coming to theaters this month? Maybe, maybe not. But I'm just happy they listened to me and gave us a full season set and extras. Two things lacking from the volumes. Also, TMNT Fast Forward, currently airs daily on Fox’s 4Kids TV programming block.
Now, let's hope season five will be released as a full season set rather than split up into volumes. This set will be released this Tuesday, click on the link below to purchase the thrilling season four episodes that made way with a new turtles--Slash! Hurry before Shredder and the gang steal all the box-sets!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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Saturday Night Live - The Best of Steve Martin (Lionsgate, $9.98) is a collection of some of the best sketches Steve Martin was involved in on Saturday Night Live in the show's 30+ year history. I will get to the sketch list in a minute. It is just one disc, so the disc itself is in a regular black case, with Lionsgate's preferred "Saturday Night Live: The Best of" logo in the top left, a large picture of Steve in most of the cover, and a nice picture of the city behind him. Steve's name is in big letters – particularly his last name – at the bottom. Menu features a nice little animated intro sequence that leads to the main menu – Martin in full King Tut garb to the left, with a teal-colored (go Sharks!) neon sign under his left art. An animated small view of a building is beneath the sign. You can watch the clips together as the feature option, each bit separately, or view the extras – yes, there are extras on this set.
However, what you really care about are the bits. The following sketches are contained on the disc:
1)Cold Opening: Viagra: 02/04/06
2)Monologue: Memories: 02/04/06
3)Two Wild & Crazy Guys: 04/02/78
The "Viagra" Cold Open from his last hosting bit leading directly into the monologue from the same show. Next is a Festrunk Brothers bit (Two Wild & Crazy Guys...) from the 04/22/78 episode
4)Steve Martin's All Natural Penis Beauty Cream: 09/04/94.
5)Hamas Celebration Part: 02/04/06
6)Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber: 04/02/78
7)An Ode to My Woman: 05/20/89
8)SNL Digital Short: 2 Inches: 02/04/06
9)Monologue #2: 10/23/76
10)Game Show - Common Knowledge: 10/17/87
11)Coneheads – IRS: 02/26/77
12)Steve Martin Renegotiates Contract: 02/04/06
13)King Tut: 04/02/78
14)Hollywood Minute from Weekend Update: 02/20/93
15)Quick Zoom Theater: 02/04/06
16)Bullets Aren’t Cheap/Tightwad 007: 10/17/87
17)Theodoric of York - Medieval Judge: 11/04/78. (IIRC)
18)Monologue #3 - Steve & Bill: 04/22/78
19)Theater Stories: 12/14/91
21)Monologue #4: 02/26/77
22)Jeopardy! 1999: 10/23/76
23)What the Hell is That: 10/13/79
24)Not Gonna Phone it In Tonight: 12/14/91
That's the bit list, and I don't have much time left for the review. Video quality varies based on the age of the show – the 70s-90s stuff does not look nearly as good as the 2006 stuff. The 2006 stuff is letterboxed into 4:3 despite being aired in 16:9, but with the old stuff being obviously 4:3, I can understand why they did this. Audio quality also is slightly worse on the older stuff, but is pretty good across the board. Not owning a previous Best of Steve Martin release, I enjoyed this – two game shows, plus King Tut, and a bunch of random bits; and of course the classic Not Gonna Phone it In Tonight. The SRP is great for close to 2 hours worth of material. Some of the sketches seem random, but they are all pretty good. If you own a previous set you probably do not need this, but I personally am glad to own this. It is a nice addition to my collection, and it can be to yours too.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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