Monday, April 30, 2007

Classic TV "Minisodes" Coming Online Soon; Paul Lynde Halloween Special to DVD in the Fall

The Sony Corporation and its production studio, Sony Pictures Television, which controls the rights to those and many other class television shows, have come up with condensed episodes from three and a half to five minutes of classic Sony TV shows such as Charlie's Angels, T.J. Hooker, Starsky & Hutch and even talk show Ricki Lake! Sony even has a name for these shrunken slices of television nostalgia: minisodes.
Sony Television is planning in June to introduce an Internet-based service called the Minisode Network, initially offering the mini-shows for an exclusive run on MySpace (The company may consider establishing a separate Internet channel called the Minisode Network later.). These are not clips of the shows, but actual episodes with beginnings, middles and ends, all told in under six minutes.
Hopefully we have some sitcoms in there that are currently not airing such as Diff'rent Strokes, Silver Spoons, Facts of Life, Benson, etc. Read more at the New York Times. Bill Carter wrote the story.

S'more Entertainment will soon be releasing a lot of DVDs. One of them will be The Paul Lynde Halloween Special from such shows like Bewitched. On October 2, they'll be releasing the amazingly bizarre, iconic and special as a single DVD at $14.99. Not only is the resplendent Lynde in fine form in this October 1976 TV special, he's joined by Margaret Hamilton (who dons the entire costume from The Wizard of Oz for the only time since the original 1939 release, including the green make-up). She is joined by Witchie Poo (Billie Hayes) from H.R. Pufnstuf playing her 'sister', Tim Conway, Donny and Marie Osmond, Billy Barty, Roz "Pinkie Tuscadero" Kelly", Betty White, Florence Henderson and as musical guests...KISS, in their first TV appearance!
KISS performs 3 songs and the footage of them on stage 'talking' with Lynde is priceless.
S'more also has a deal with DiC to release such animated shows as The Littles and The Get-Along Gang. And they will be releasing more series in the future, which I'm sure many of us will be glad to have. We'll let you know as soon as they make it official!
Thanks Arny and S'more!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Week 32 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 32 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: Fox: 9.8/15.5; CBS: 7.7/12.4; ABC: 7.4/11.9; NBC: 4.7/7.6; The CW: 2.2/3.5; MNT: 0.6/0.9.
Total Viewers: Fox: 16.51 million; CBS: 12.06 million; ABC: 11.05 million; NBC: 7.21 million; The CW: 3.28 million; MNT: 0.84 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 6.3/16.7; ABC: 3.7/10.0; CBS: 3.5/9.5; NBC: 2.7/7.1; The CW: 1.4/3.8; MNT: 0.3/0.9.

Analysis: The 32nd week saw Fox in front again with the usual leader American Idol. Sweeps began on Thursday and it is all new stuff until the end of the season! Through the first four nights, Fox has the lead, followed by CBS and ABC battling for second in HH, viewers and 18-49. NBC again remains a distant 4th place in all categories. As usual, Friday and Saturday numbers are not above, since final numbers are not available yet. Tonight has ABC airing all-new episodes and CBS is also all new, the battle will be with them for viewers with ABC in command for 18-49 for sure. Fox's comedies are also all-new (except 8:30) and NBC's has a movie and another two-hour Dateline. Expect ABC to win.
On Monday Dancing with the Stars continued to take over Mondays for ABC. 18.87 million, exact same number as the previous week. CBS's CSI: Miami was all-new at 10pm and did 17.03 million, up a lot from last week's very low number and NBC's Deal or No Deal was way down against Stars, with 10.98 million. To me that show only does really well when their is weak competition, so it really isn't a must-see show. CBS's sitcoms were all-new tonight, except How I Met Your Mother at 8. 8-9pm sitcoms were hurt the most for CBS, doing 5.94 and 6.88 million, down a bit from last week. Two and a Half Men rose from those numbers and did a below average 12.27 million (down from last week), followed by an all-new King of Queens doing 12.63 million, building from the lead-in and up from last week, too. Fox was below average thanks to Drive doing just 4.6 million (down over 1 million from last week, Fox has now pulled this show starting tomorrow), pulling down 24 a bit to a season low 10.41 million. ABC aired The Bachelor from 9:30-11 and did a decent 9.13 million, slightly up from last week, and NBC returned Heroes with 11.96 million (off a bit from its normal numbers), followed by the premiere of new reality show The Real Wedding Crashers at just 6.74 million. The CW's comedies are still under performing on this night, with Chris at 3.01 million, the best of the bunch. Worth noting is The Game is building on its lead-in now at 9:30 and did the second best of the comedies with 2.55 million.
Tuesday was Fox's night. American Idol did 26.55 million at 8 once again and House did 20.81 million, down from last week. ABC was on the map thanks to Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 16.56 million at 9 (slightly up from last week), with two all-new George Lopez episodes preceding it with 4.45 and 4.89 million. Boston Legal at 10 was at its normal levels with 9.54 million. CBS was third with new episodes of NCIS, The Unit from 8-10 (14.17 and 9.83 million), and an encore of Cold Case aired at 10 with 7.89 million. NBC was fourth for its repeats of both Law & Order spin-offs doing just 4.53 and 7.64 million from 9-11pm (down a lot from last week's repeats), with another Dateline kicking the night off with 4.9 million. The CW aired a new Gilmore Girls (3.75 million) and the finale of Pussycat Dolls (3.43million).
Wednesday again Fox got the boost from that show called American Idol, doing 26.93 million for two hours, down 2 million from last week's one-hour edition...hmm. Bones returns this week. CBS was second for the night with Jericho doing just 7.56 million (down from last week's low) but repeats of Criminal Minds and a new CSI: NY followed and did decent with 9.75 and 11.4 million. ABC followed with According to Jim & Notes from the Underbelly doing OK to open up the night with 5.28 and 4.78 million, followed by a Lost encore from last week doing just 3.78 million (they should air Jim/George repeats here) and an all-new Lost closed the night off with a first place 11.86 million, beating CBS. NBC was again fourth with a repeat of Thank God You're Here doing just 4.46 millio, Crossing Jordan followed with just 6.37 million for a new episode. A new Medium followed built on the lead-in a bit with 7.16 million. The CW was down a bit from normal with America's Next Top Model doing 3.87 million for a clip show, followed by an encore of Tuesday's Pussycat Dolls doing 2.88 million.
On Thursday we saw ABC and CBS dominate...but not as much as usual. ABC's Grey's Anatomy was all-new at 9pm with 20.08 million, a bit down from usual. A new Ugly Betty opened the night off with 9.62 million, also down from normal, but up from last week. ABC closed the night with the season finale of October Road with 9.0 million (first in its slot for 18-49), much better than Men in Trees. CBS's Survivor: Fiji was below normal as well with 13.83 million, but slightly up from last week. A new CSI and an all-new Shark followed with 20.2 and 14.1 million. Fox was third with Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? with 10.13 million...and they closed the night with the first of a two-week sweeps episode of Trading Spouses doing just 4.76 million, but it still beat NBC's comedies. NBC was fourth in viewers with all-new episodes of its comedies and an all-new ER, which just did 9.52 million, slightly up from last week. And CW aired new episodes of its Thursday dramas doing 3.88 and 3.33 million.
Friday (numbers not counted in our ratings), saw CBS win the night with its dramas. Everyone else was very distant. ABC aired a repeat of Grey's Anatomy and an all-new Wife Swap from 8-10 and 20/20 built on that and did was second place at 10pm. NBC did terrible from 8-10 with Identity and Raines; Law & Order at 10 was the highest rated show of the night for them but it was still 3rd in its slot. Fox aired encores of House & Bones and they were fourth. The CW did decent for its WWE coverage, but it is not doing as well as in the winter. Overall a blah night that needs a makeover next fall. Maybe Bingo for ABC will be the answer?
Saturday ratings saw CBS (for viewers) and Fox (for 18-49) do decent, with ABC and NBC did way behind. As for tonight, ABC will win with its normal line-up. As for this week in general, let the first full week of sweeps begin!

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of April 6-22)

  • War at Home (Fox) - Just 2.85 million for the series...err season finale.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - Just 3.34 million in its new time period.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 6.46 million for an all-new episode and a repeat followed with 6.61 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 6.23 and 6.72 million for two repeats.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did just 5.94 million, down from the previous week's repeat of 6.41 million.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 6.88 million for a new episode, built from lead-in, but down from previous week's new episode of 6.99 million.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 12.27 million for a new episode, below average, and down from last week's 13.03 million, which was also below normal.
  • King of Queens (CBS) - 12.63 million for a new episode and up from last week.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, All of Us, Girfriends, The Game. All-new episode of Chris started it off with 3.01 million, followed by new episodes of All of Us at 2.32 million, Girlfriends did 2.34 million and The Game did 2.55 million, wow the latter built on the lead-in again! It'll be back next season I think.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • George Lopez (ABC) - Two new episodes did 4.45 and 4.89 million, that was against Idol though.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • According to Jim (ABC) - New episode did 5.28 million for down from last week's 6.35 million, but this episode was against Idol.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - 4.78 million for its second airing on its regular night and time. Down from last week's 6.26 million, but this week it was head to head with Idol. This won't happen a lot.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 7.49 million, slightly up from last week and slowly going up.
  • The Office (NBC) - 7.56 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating. Both built on from the lead-in.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - Just 4.72 million for the season finale.
  • Scrubs (NBC) - Ouch just did 4.65 million, down almost a million from last week. What happened?
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, The Office, and King of Queens were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Old Christine, According to Jim) or just plain old terrible (30 Rock, Scrubs).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mini-DVD Reviews: Beverly Hills, 90210: The First Season and Melrose Place: The Second Season (May 1)

Today we take a look at two classic '90s Fox dramas. Paramount Home Entertainment's Beverly Hills, 90210: The Second Season and Melrose Place: The Second Season. See Shawn Eaton's mini-DVD reviews of both of these sets below:

Beverly Hills, 90210: The Second Season (CBS, $48.99) brings all of your favorite Beverly Hills teens back on DVD! The expanded second season premiered on Fox in the summer of 1991 with 28-episodes (the show always had at least 27 episodes a season throughout its run except for season one which had the normal 22). Beverly Hills 90210 wasn't an instant hit, but with the premiere of a summer series, the show became one of the most popular shows on Fox in the 1990s. The series centers around Minnesota teens Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) as they struggle in every day teen life, surrounded by drama and their best friends, the cool Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), brainy Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris), the sarcastic Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering), the bitchy Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), sweet Donna (Tori Spelling) and awkward David (Brian Austin Green).
The second season kicked off with a slew of summer episodes. We kick things off with "Beach Blanket Brandon" in which Brenda has a pregnancy scare. A few episodes later we meet wild Emily Valentine (Christine Elise) in "Wild Fire." In "Necessity Is a Mother" we meet Dylan's estranged mother, played by Dynasty veteran Stephanie Beacham. In "The Next Fifty Years" the gang ins thrown for a loop by the sudden accidental death of David's best friend, Scott Scanlon. In arguably one of the most powerful episodes to feature Shannen Doherty, "Meeting Mr. Pony" is the one in which Brenda is held at gunpoint while working late at the Peach Pit. In "Things to Do On a Rainy Day," '90s band Color Me Badd drops by while Donna discovers something shocking about her mother. As the season winds down, Brenda and Dylan get trapped in Mexico in "Mexican Standoff" while in the season finale, "Wedding Bell Blues," Jim takes a stand and refuses to let Dylan near Brenda.
The box itself is slip-sleeve and features four pull out snap cases that hold the eight discs on the set. The main art features all eight teens. Unfortunately, on the back of the box there is the dreaded "Music Has Been Changed for This Home Entertainment Version. Some Episodes May Be Edited From Their Original Network Versions." Which basically means nearly all (or all) of the music used in cutaway scenes and in the beginning few minutes after the opening credits has been replaced with cheaper, public-domain music. There could be some scenes where music was originally played completely cut out, like on CBS DVD’s Family Ties set. On to the menu itself--it's basic and features a solo shot of one of the stars (such as Disc 1 features Luke Perry). Each menu immediately pops up with the episode listings. The video itself is actually quite good as well as the audio. Each episode runs a good 44 to 45 minutes in length and each episode features chapter skips. Closed captioning is available.
Now, onto arguably the best part! SPECIAL FEATURES! Yes, a set that actually has special features! It's becoming a rarity these days (especially for CBS DVD)! All of the bonus features are on Disc Eight. The first special feature, "Meet The Walshes" (approx. 7 minutes) features in depth interviews with Carol Potter (Cindy Walsh) and James Eckhouse (Jim Walsh), sharing snippets of information and thoughts put together with some clips from the series. The second special feature, "Our Favorite Valentine" (approx. 5 minutes), focuses on Christine Elise and her run as memorable Emily Valentine. It features an interview with Elise herself as she discusses the character, her laughing at the corny lines, her outside then relationship with Jason Priestley and apparently a chilly relationship with Shannen Doherty. Her favorite scenes are the two confrontations with Brenda and her favorite episode is "U4EA" (Episode 3/Disc 4). In the final special feature, "Everything You Need To Know About Beverly Hills, 90210 Season 2" (approx. 17 minutes) has two guys, John Aboud and Michael Colton discussing everything about season two. It also features them in a very weird recreation of the season two opening credits, with the two guys donning wigs and appearing in the credits as all 10 cast members (from Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty to Carol Potter and James Eckhouse)--very weird.
In conclusion, another fantastic set by CBS/Paramount! I was highly impressed with the three bonus features and I really hope we get more of them! My one gripe is that I'd like episode commentary and of course the original music is not there. Overall, a good, solid release and I'd naturally encourage any fan of 90210 to pick it up and add it to their collection despite the music issues!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Beverly Hills, 90210 TV.com Page


Melrose Place: The Second Season (CBS, $48.99) brings back all of your favorite twenty-something hotties from 4616 Melrose Place with 32 more episodes (like 90210, this show had at least 27 episodes each season...wow)! Moving into the building full-time is Heather Locklear as uber-bitch Amanda Woodward, who wastes no time meddling in the lives of the residents, especially lovebirds Jake (GRANT SHOW) and Jo (DAPHNE ZUNIGA). Now a couple, Billy (ANDREW SHUE) and Alison (COURTNEY THORNE-SMITH, According to Jim) face a crisis when Alison's ex Keith (WILLIAM R. MOSES) blows back into their lives and isn't ready to let Alison go. Also, young married couple Michael (THOMAS CALABRO) and Jane (JOSIE BISSET) find themselves in the midst of a nasty divorce, only made more difficult by Michael's new love, Kimberly Shaw (MARCIA CROSS, Desperate Housewives), and Jane's scheming sister Sydney (LAURA LEIGHTON). Rounding out the cast is everybody's friend Matt (DOUG SAVANT, Desperate Housewives) who finds himself in a midst of change, with Rhonda gone and losing his job. A notable guest-star this season is Linda Gray (Dallas) guest starring as Amanda's estranged mother, Hilary.
The second season kicks off with "Much Ado About Everything" in which we find all of our couples happy and looking to the future, but this is a soap so we know it won't last! In "Long Night's Journey" Keith makes a dangerous move on Alison while Sydney officially moves into Melrose Place. In "Fire Power" Jake's beloved bike shop burns down. In "Flirting with Disaster" Matt gets married to Katya in order for her to stay in the states. In "Collision Course" Michael and Kimberly's engagement ends in disaster. In "The Young Men and The Sea" Michael's addiction to pain killers increases. In "Swept Away" Jo's being held captive by Reed on his boat, while Sydney blackmails Michael for her own twisted pleasure. In "With This Ball and Chain" Billy and Alison decide to marry while Amanda's dirty secret could prevent their "I do's." In "Otherwise Engaged" Jo finds herself with a lasting reminder of her passionate relationship with Reed while Sydney marries Michael, who isn't at all interested. In "Love, Mancini Style" Michael attempts to kill Sydney, twice. In "The Bitch Is Back" the presumed dead Kimberly Shaw returns, very much alive, and a very different person. In "Imperfect Strangers" Jo helps a model deal with her abusive boyfriend (mostly this episode was to set up the show Models, Inc). And in "Devil With The G-String On" Sydney's stripper ways are uncovered while Jake finds out Amanda's been bedding her mother's boyfriend. And finally, in the season finale, "Till Death Do Us Part" this 90-minute episodes finds Kim and Sydney plotting to destroy Michael, Amanda sued for sexual harassment, and Alison and Billy's wedding day is anything but a happy occasion.
The set itself is slip sleeve and features a snazzy looking cover art, with all of the main cast members on the memorable stairs of Melrose Place. Each slip sleeve case features a range of photos with a theme, mostly focusing on certain storylines, such as Jo/Amanda/Jake, Kimberly/Jane/Sydney/Michael, etc. Also, as with 90210 the music has been changed from the popular '90s music to common public-domain songs, although thankfully, the theme song remains in-place. The menu itself is very basic and features either a group shot of some of the cast members or a solo shot along with the episodes immediately listed. The video itself is in excellent shape as is the audio, very very impressive. Each episode runs a good 44 to 45 minutes and features chapter skips and closed captioning.
Moving on to the all important bonus features! And like 90210 ... yes, a CBS DVD set that actually has special features! The first special feature "Melrose Place: Meet the Neighbors" (Disc 2) features a run down of Jake, Matt, Alison, Billy, Amanda, Michael, Jane, Jo, Sydney. What's cool about it is that the menu for this bonus feature is made to look like the MP mail-boxes and the character names are on each box, and the theme song is playing in the background. When you select a character, it features an INCREDIBLY brief list of facts about the character from that season along with a wonderful color photo. It's brief but a neat little feature! In "Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst, Part 1" (Disc 3) features various memorable clips from Season 2 (Keith's suicide over the phone with Alison, Matt marrying Katya, Syd blackmailing Michael, Kimberly catching Michael in bed with Syd, Michael proposing to Kim and their car careening off of a cliff, Syd getting arrested for prostitution by an undercover cop, Reed kidnapping Jo on his boat, Jo shooting and killing Reed with a shotgun, Jake punching Billy for sleeping with Amanda, Jane and Sydney getting into their infamous pool cat-fight, Michael marrying Sydney, Michael trying to kill Sydney -- twice, etc.). In "Melrose Place: The Best of the Worst, Part 2" (Disc 4) features more memorable clips (Amanda and Jo catching the peeping tom, Amanda torturing him, Kimberly returning from the dead spying on Michael and Sydney, Kimberly showing herself to Michael in a thunderstorm, Kimberly famously pulling off her wig and revealing a throbbing scar, Syd getting beat up by hookers, etc.). In "Complex Relationships, Part 1" (Disc 5), that bonus features Billy and Alison's relationship. In "Complex Relationships, Part 2" (Disc 6), that one features Amanda, Jake, Jo and Reed. In "Complex Relationships, Part 3" (Disc 7), that one features Michael, Jane, Kimberly, Sydney and Matt. And finally, also on the set is COMMENTARY! Series creator Darren Starr recorded commentary on the following episodes: "Collision Course" (Disc 3) and "The Bitch Is Back" (Disc 7).
Sorry for the long winded review but it was a very good set! The set is very well designed and features amazing photos, great commentary, awesome bonus features and of course all of the episodes of season two! What more could you ask for? CBS/Paramount did a wonderful job and of course I urge every fan to go out and grab a copy despite some of the music being replaced!

-- Reviewed by Shawn Eaton
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Melrose Place TV.com Page

Friday, April 27, 2007

New Shows for In2TV; VB Article on TV-DVDs; 'Studio 60' Burns Off Post-Sweeps on NBC

In2TV, the online TV channel airing tons of TV shows, has added some new shows this month. New shows and specials: Freddie, Wally Gator, Mr. Bill, Gumby, The Zeta Project, and The Growing Pains Movie. A short Growing Pains Blooper Reel has also been added.
And of course more episodes of your favorite In2TV shows are added. Have fun watching!

Video Business just posted an article on TV DVDs. Susanne Ault wrote the piece and it talks about classic TV on DVD. It tells us if sales are not good, they put shows on hold for future seasons. Also, this confirms what we first reported that Warner Home Video has put the TV Favorites campaign on hold and will release full season sets only! Read the article here.

NBC will return freshman drama Studio 60 from the Sunset Strip on Thursday, May 24. It will burn-off all six of its remaining episodes likely. The show is returning after May sweeps ends, so it doesn't seem likely it will return next season with new episodes. The show will air at 10 p.m. on May 24.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mama's Family Week on CMT, Laugh 'n Sniff with 'Earl'

Mama's Family, which was airing on CMT at all different times, hasn't been airing recently on CMT, but the week of May 7 you can catch a week-long stunt. Watch Mama's Family Monday, May 7 through Thursday, May 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each afternoon. This won't be a regular thing because after this week, it isn't on the schedule for a few weeks at least.
Of course you can catch Mama's Family weeknights at 8pm & 8:30pm on ION Television if you miss the CMT week.

NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl will air the first-ever original "Laugh 'n Sniff" interactive episode on NBC on Thursday, May 3, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. Viewers will have an interactive experience with the episode by using a special scent card available exclusively in TV Guide's April 30 issue, available on newsstands on today (April 26).
During the episode, NBC will prompt viewers via on-air graphics to rub one of six corresponding numbered boxes on TV Guide's "Laugh 'n Sniff" scent card, which will release aromas pertaining to the My Name Is Earl storyline. The special scent card, sponsored exclusively by Oreo, Milk's favorite cookie, is available only in TV Guide's April 30 issue. Oreo cookies will be one of the six scents featured in the episode’s storyline along with other scents, including "new car smell" and "obnoxious cologne."
Yes, weird...the episode will be super-sized too, airing for 35 minutes. Storyline: When Earl lands his first real job, at an appliance store, the unseemly truths about class differences bubble to the surface. Meanwhile, the stress of Joy's impending trial causes her to make an irrational decision.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Broadcast May Upfront Highlights; Black Family Channel Ceases

We told you about the CBS season finale dates a few weeks back, but CBS hasn't issued an actual May sweeps press release. We do however have ABC, NBC and Fox's for you!
ABC will have high-power episodes of its signature series Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars and more! There are no stunt programming except a special sneak peek on the summer series Traveler on May 10 at 10pm. National Bingo Night, another summer series, will get a preview during the last Friday of sweeps (May 18 at 9). Its all about its series on ABC, so viewers will be glued all month long. To view the May sweep ABC highlights, click HERE.
For fourth place NBC, it is all about stunt programming. NBC will launch a special blockbuster movie night on Sundays for sweeps, such as Along Came Polly. They will also have two SNL specials in primetime, along with two super-sized Thursdays. The NBC signature series will finish with a bang such as Heroes, Deal or No Deal, The Office, My Name is Earl, ER, and Law & Order: SVU. Click HERE for NBC's highlights.
For Fox it will be a mix of series and stunts this May. Fox has announced it has canceled new drama Drive and have replaced it with more House encores (Mondays at 8). The Fridays at 8 House encores will cease on May 4 with encores of Nanny 911 airing instead. Fox has two NASCAR races on two Saturdays, the world broadcast premiere of the movie The Day After Tomorrow, The Simpsons' landmark 400th episode, and of course the finale of American Idol. Fox will also preview summer reality series On the Lot after the first part finale of American Idol. It looks to be a good May for Fox, click HERE for highlights.
May sweeps starts tomorrow! Watch all you can because your favorite series will go on a summer break after the sweeps ends on May 23.

The low-rated cable channel Black Family Channel will go off-air on April 30. The network never really took off after eight years on air. Black networks such as TV One and BET do much better in the ratings. It used to air reruns of the sitcom Roc and the animated Dennis the Menace. Currently it was airing reruns of the animated The Bullwinkle Show and King Leonardo on Saturday mornings.
The network was in 16 million homes, which is not that much really compared to other cable networks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TV One May Highlights; Simpsons: The Ride at Universal Orlando

The month of May is blooming for TV One as they celebrate Mother's Day, Janet Jackson's Birthday, and Memorial day!
On Sunday, May 13 beginning at 1pm, join TV One in a salute to Mother's Day as they present a "Favorite Black TV Moms" sitcom marathon. Mom related episodes in this marathon come from black series such as Amen, All of Us, All About the Andersons, Eve, Martin, Good Times, 227, and For Your Love. The marathon runs from 1pm to 8pm and resumes from midnight to 6am.
On Saturday, May 19 beginning at 1pm, TV One says Happy Birthday to superstar singer/actress Janet Jackson in an all-day Good Times marathon showcasing episodes featuring Miss Jackson's character Penny. This special marathon which also marks the 30th anniversary of Janet joining the Good Times cast in 1977 has an encore play beginning at 2am.
On Monday, May 28 beginning at 12 Noon, It's Mama Payne vs Sheneneh as TV One presents an all-day Martin Comedy Showdown marathon of two of the funniest characters in the history of television. This special Martin marathon features Mama Payne and Sheneneh caught in their most hilarious situations and gives viewers the chance to vote on which character they think is the funniest at www.tvoneonline.com.

"Woo Hoo!" Universal's theme parks add animated fun and excitement to their roster as FOX's blockbuster hit series, The Simpsons, becomes the inspiration for the world's most highly anticipated new theme park ride.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson - stars of TV's longest running series - will ride along with guests in a new mega-attraction opening at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in Spring 2008.
Guests will be rocketed along with the Simpson family on a hysterical, almost unimaginable adventure. They'll experience a side of Springfield previously unexplored as they enjoy the new ride's interpretation of thrill rides, dark rides and "live" shows that make up a new fantasy amusement park dreamed up by the show's cantankerous Krusty the Clown.
It will feature the show's classic humor and many of its instantly recognizable characters - all voiced by the original actors.
The ride will be replacing the Back to the Future Ride. Universal says more TV show rides could be announced soon.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More on This Week's 'Cosby' Marathon; Sony Continues to Release New Sitcom DVDs

Due to popular demand, people wanted to know what night each of the Cosby Show kids will be hosting in the Huxta-palooza marathon we announced last week. Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable) starts the event with "Denise Monday," which runs from 9 p.m. to midnight and encores immediately. Then it is "Rudy Tuesday" (mocking the restaurant Ruby Tuesday?) with Keisha Knight Pulliam (Rudy Huxtable) doing the honors from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and encores immediately. "Vanessa Vednesday" lets Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable) take center stage from 9 p.m. to midnight with an encore immediately following until 3 a.m. "Theo Thursday," is a showcase for Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Theo Huxtable) from 9 p.m. to midnight with an encore immediately following. "Sondra Friday" lets Sabrina Le Beauf (Sondra) share her memories from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
And as we mentioned last week, the fun doesn't end there. The marathon will share never-before-seen interviews with the actors. Saturday and Sunday the gang all come together for the weekend.
"Saturday Night Dance Party" gathers the five episodes with the best dancing; they screen from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. And "Guest-Star Sunday" on April 29, the actors recall their five favorite episodes with guest stars. Those installments will screen from 9 to 11:30 p.m. It should be a fun week with nice treats!

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has been pretty good in 2007 with new sitcom DVDs. We have gotten first season sets of Maude, One Day at a Time, Mary Hartman, and both What's Happening Now!! and Silver Spoons are coming in June. They are pretty slow to release second seasons or subsequent seasons still, though. But more new DVDs are on the way in July with the '80s classic Benson (July 24)! Bewitched returns with its fifth season DVD on July 10 and the police drama The Rookies comes to DVD for the first time on July 17.
They have been pretty quick with shows like Seinfeld, The Facts of Life Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and have finished series such as Sanford & Son, Good Times, Soap, and What's Happening!! but there are some series which they are so slow on such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Partridge Family, The Nanny, and Diff'rent Strokes. And then there are the series that they seemed to have abandoned after just one set, such as 227, Who's the Boss?, Barney Miller, and Archie Bunker's Place. Let's hope the new sets of 2007 do not go that route.

It has been a good 2007 for new Sony sets, and let's hope we get some more as well in addition to the first sets. I personally am hoping for: Dennis the Menace, Father Knows Best, My Two Dads, Square Pegs and Designing Women. Most of my favorites came in 2007 or are coming (What's Happening Now!!, Silver Spoons, Benson, One Day at a Time), so I'm pumped! And as for series spin-offs, cross-over series, follow-up series, and shows like that, I'd like to see these come to DVD: Checking In (Jeffersons spin-off), Fernwood2Night (Mary Hartman spin-off), Fish (Barney Miller spin-off), Gloria (Archie Bunker's Place spin-off), Grady (Sanford & Son spin-off), Hello Larry (Diff'rent Strokes cross-over series), One in a Million (What's Happening!!'s Shirley Hemphill starred), Sanford (new show starring Redd Foxx from Sanford & Son), Sanford Arms (Sanford & Son spin-off). Some of those are long shots.
And of course it wouldn't hurt to get more sets of the shows they have already released...like Diff'rent Strokes Season 3!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Week 31 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 31 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):

Households: Fox: 8.9/13.8; ABC: 7.7/12.2; CBS: 6.9/11.1; NBC: 4.7/7.4; The CW: 2.2/3.4; MNT: 0.6/0.9.
Total Viewers: Fox: 14.7 million; ABC: 11.66 million; CBS: 10.61 million; NBC: 7.04 million; The CW: 3.24 million; MNT: 0.85 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 5.6/14.8; ABC: 4.0/10.6; CBS: 3.1/8.3; NBC: 2.5/6.7; The CW: 1.5/3.9; MNT: 0.3/0.9.

Analysis: The 31st week saw Fox in front with the usual leader American Idol. Through the first four nights, Fox has the lead, followed by ABC and CBS in HH, viewers and 18-49. NBC is a distant 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 all-new episodes (but Brothers & Sisters is a repeat), and CBS is all new, though it is airing a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie at 9 instead of the usual crime guns. Fox's comedies are a mix of new and repeats and NBC's reality is all-new with finally the finale of The Apprentice. Expect ABC to win because CBS is pre-empting Cold Case & Without a Trace.
On Monday Dancing with the Stars continued to take over Mondays for ABC. 18.87 million, on par with the previous week. CBS's CSI: Miami was all-new at 10pm and did 15.36 million which could be a series low for a new episode and NBC's Deal or No Deal was way down against Stars, with 11.19 million. CBS's sitcoms were all-new tonight, except How I Met Your Mother at 8. 8-9pm sitcoms were hurt the most for CBS, doing 6.41 and 6.99 million. Two and a Half Men rose from those numbers and did a below average 13.03 million, followed by an all-new King of Queens doing 12.22 million. Fox was below average thanks to Drive doing just 5.66 million, pulling down 24 a bit to 11.32 million. ABC aired The Bachelor from 9:30-11 and did a decent 9.03 million and NBC's Thank God You're Here went down from the premiere and did just 6.76 million, followed by a special Dateline on the Virgina Tech shootings did just 6.26 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 and were in repeats.
Tuesday was Fox's night. American Idol did 26.55 million at 8 and House did 22.14 million (Idol was down a bit). ABC was on the map thanks to Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 16.54 million at 9, with a special encore from last night doing 6.91 million at 8. A special Primetime on the Virgina Tech shootings was number one at 10pm, but didn't count in the ratings because of no ads. Boston Legal returns this Tuesday, with new episodes for the rest of the season. CBS was third with repeats of NCIS, The Unit from 8-10 (11.14 and 7.32 million), and a special 48 Hours on Virgina Tech aired at 10 with 8.36 million, not even close to ABC's Primetime. NBC was fourth for its repeats of both Law & Order spin-offs doing just 5.55 and 8.36 million from 9-11pm, with another Dateline on Virgina Tech kicking the night off with just 5.05 million. The CW aired a new Gilmore Girls (3.79 million) and a new Pussycat Dolls (2.98 million).
Wednesday again Fox got the boost from that show called American Idol, doing 28.93 million at 9pm. Bones opened the night off for Fox with 8.08 million for a repeat. CBS was second for the night with Jericho doing just 7.66 million (a series low?) but repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed and did good with 10.59 and 11.13 million. ABC followed with According to Jim & Notes from the Underbelly doing decent to open up the night with 6.35 and 6.26 million, followed by a Lost encore from last week doing just 3.84 million (they should air Jim/George repeats here) and an all-new Lost closed the night off with a first place 12.08 million. NBC was again fourth with another Thank God You're Here doing 7.04 million (up a bit from the usual show in this slot), Crossing Jordan followed with just 6.8 million. A repeat of Medium followed with just 6.05 million. The CW was on the map thanks to America's Next Top Model doing a decent 5.2 million...not bad at all, followed by an encore of Tuesday's Pussycat Dolls doing 2.96 million.
On Thursday we saw ABC dominate. ABC's Grey's Anatomy was all-new at 9pm with 21.12 million, a bit down from usual. A new Ugly Betty opened the night off with 9.46 million, also down from normal. ABC closed the night with October Road with 9.6 million (second place in viewers, HH and first in 18-49), much better than Men in Trees. CBS's Survivor: Fiji was below normal as well with 13.33 million. A repeat of CSI and an all-new Shark followed with 12.45 and 12.54 million. Fox was third with Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? with 10.1 million.and they closed the night with a repeat of Trading Spouses doing just 4.26 million. NBC was fourth in viewers with all-new episodes of its comedies (except The Office) and an all-new ER, which was third in its slot with just 9.31 million. And CW aired new episodes of its Thursday dramas doing a normal 3.98 and 3.25 million.
Friday (numbers not counted in our ratings), saw CBS win the night with repeats of its dramas. Everyone else was very distant. Fox aired encores of House & Bones and that was good enough for second...pathetic. NBC did terrible from 8-10 with Identity and Raines; Law & Order repeat at 10 was the highest rated show of the night for them and that low. ABC aired a repeat of Grey's Anatomy and a repeat of Wife Swap from 8-10 but 20/20 built on that and did a bit better, but still not good. The CW did decent for its WWE coverage, but it is not doing as well as in the winter. Overall a blah night that needs a makeover next fall.
Saturday ratings saw CBS and Fox do decent, with ABC a distant third and NBC did VERY bad for a Heroes marathon around 2.5 million. As for tonight, ABC will win with its normal line-up. As for this week in general, look for more new episodes now as May sweeps starts Thursday!

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of April 9-15)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 2 repeats before the premiere of Drive did OK with 4.38 and 5.25 million.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did just 6.41 million, but up a bit from the repeats in the past few weeks.
  • Old Christine (CBS) - 6.99 million for a new episode, built from lead-in, but should have been higher.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.03 million for a new episode, below average, but yet still the best of the sitcoms.
  • King of Queens (CBS) - 12.22 million for its second episode since its return, down from last week's return of 13.41 million
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, All of Us, Girfriends, The Game. Repeat episode of Chris started it off with 1.89 million, followed by repeats of All of Us at 1.7 million, Girlfriends did 1.93 million and The Game did 2.05 million, wow the highest of the block! It'll be back I think.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • According to Jim (ABC) - New episode did 6.35 million for its new time...on par with George.
  • Notes from the Underbelly (ABC) - In its regular night and time premiere the show did better than I thought it would...6.26 million. If it continues to do around that, it'll get renewed.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - 7.15 million, slightly up from last week's low of 6.67 million, but still low.
  • The Office (NBC) - A repeat did 6.26 million, not bad.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - 5.16 million, slightly up from last week's 5.07 million.
  • Scrubs (NBC) - Built on lead-in and did 5.61 million, up from last week's 5.05 million.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, My Name is Earl, and Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Old Christine, Notes from the Underbelly) or just plain old terrible (none, because not many sitcoms aired this week).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: NCIS - The Third Season (April 24)

Welcome to another Saturday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we we take a look at CBS DVD's Third Season of Navy NCIS. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of NCIS - The third Season and:

NCIS - The Third Season (CBS, $64.99) is yet another in a recent string of aggravating CBS DVD releases, this time of the wonderful third season of the hit CBS series. This is when *I* really got into the series -- I had watched the episode some beforehand, however, my college roommate at the time (Jacob) loved the series, and so I watched it with him, and it grew to be a favorite of *mine* as well. One of the things I’ve always loved about this show -- a trait expanded upon further as time has gone on, is that the show is more about the characters than the actual crime scene stuff. A lot of other crime series fail to focus on the characters, and while this makes them great for syndication (see: Law & Order, CSI), they bore me. NCIS is different -- the crime story is only a component of the more important character drama.
This season marks a real change for the show. At the very end of the past season, Ari Haswari, continuing his vendetta against Gibbs (Gibbs being the original target), kills Kate. Needing a replacement for her on the team and on the cast, they bring in Cote de Pablo, playing easily one of my favorite characters on the show, Ziva David -- a Mossad agent and Ari’s former control officer. Also debuting is the new NCIS director Jenny Shepard (played by Lauren Holly), who is a former love interest of Gibbs and a character that would come to serve as a wonderful counterpart and foil to Gibbs on the show.
The first two episodes of the show are devoted to finding -- and killing Ari. Sasha Alexander continues to play Kate -- this time as her ghost -- for these first two episodes...this is a great couple of episodes you just have to see to believe. Absolutely quality television that was what ultimately sold me on the show. In another personal favorite, Ziva and DiNozzo pose as married assassins, and find out who wants who killed. In the next episode, for some reason, every piece of evidence collected for a murder seems to point to...DiNozzo. In Model Behavior, the gang investigates the death of a model that is killed while taping a reality show on a Marine base. In Boxed In, Ziva and DiNozzo are investigating a naval stockyard for illegal weapons, and come under fire. They are forced to take cover in a container, and are subsequently locked in. A few more episodes pass and we’re to the season finale, Hiatus, in which a bomb explodes as Gibbs contacts an undercover agent on a foreign ship, killing the agent and placing Gibbs in a coma. Gibbs does still have some flashbacks while out. Tony then becomes the head of NCIS as the team investigates a crew member of the ship whose gone missing and may have something to do with things. Shepard, in part 2, contacts Gibbs’ first partner, trying to help a now awake but amnesiac Gibbs regain his memory -- as only Gibbs knows of an impending terrorist attack.
I had to trim that section, as I really do enjoy pretty much the entire season start to finish -- those were just some of *my* personal favorites, your mileage may vary. Now for the part I find significantly more unpleasant, and something that the majority of other reviewers at Sitcoms Online have already had to rant about. On the back of the box is the dreaded words “Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions.” However, I didn’t even have to check the runtimes before I noticed the first consequence of the Paramount-to-CBS DVD changeover -- the menus have gone from the wonderful S1/S2 menus to plain and generic menus. Each menu features a generic science-type background with cast members posing in front, and all three-menu options in static text to the right. This is just pathetic. In addition, clicking on episode selection just brings up a text list of episodes. One of the few redeeming features is that there are still special features. That redeems this set. However, I’ll get to that in a minute. Video quality is nice -- widescreen is perfectly preserved. Audio is a wonderful Dolby Digital 5.1.
As I mention, the dreaded text is on the back of the box. I have the 3rd season in original broadcast, and will provide that list of runtimes to the forums in a day or two. It’s possible these could be music errors, which if true will mean I can’t provide a list of edits for a couple of days. Check the forums, the Sitcoms Online News Blog, or my personal blog in a few days. The DVD runtimes vs. the copies available in the iTunes music store have the DVD usually a few seconds (between 1-8 seconds) ahead of the iTunes episodes. Two of them are exact and two of them iTunes have a slight higher run time. Now I’m just confused. Did they adjust dialogue? Did they adjust camera angles? Was there music replacement? Unfortunately, there’s no way to know the answer due to deadline constraints without spending the additional $40 to buy the iTunes copies – presuming they’re not edited themselves – to find out. I’ll attempt to discover what edits exist – if anything – in the coming days. Heck, it’s possible the changes are additions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Still, if that text is there, there *has* to be something, otherwise they’ve done nothing to aggravate fans.
After over 1000 words, and I still haven’t even discussed the special features. With CBS DVD’s recent track record, I was worried about a lack of them, but they’re here. Features are split evenly over the discs. Audio commentaries from cast and crew, plus the following features: The Real NCIS Declassified, Hit the Head Montage, The Women of NCIS, NCIS - Season of Change, and The Round Table. Three of the features are obvious what they’re about, the other two don’t really tell much.
On the surface, this set only getting a mini-review seems obvious – it’s not a sitcom, and the previous two sets were straightforward. But with the CBS DVD changeover and all the recent controversy their sets have caused, in addition to the glut of special features and the quality of the season itself, this just wasn’t enough space to adequately describe this interesting set. But that’s the thing with editing down something – you cause the audience to lose certain things that – sometimes they’re just padding, but sometimes by editing you cut out important material, something CBS DVD/Paramount has GOT to learn, otherwise they’re wasting everyone’s time and money by even doing TV DVDs.
NCIS is one of the better CBS DVD sets since the changeover – even better when you factor out Odd Couple S1, which is certainly a special case. Still, the concept of edits bothers me – even if I couldn’t find them immediately, and the shoddy menus compared to before is just inexcusable. That said, there’s nothing – unlike most other recent CBS DVD releases – that prevents this from being a perfectly watchable and enjoyable show and release. RECOMMENDED.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Navy NCIS TV.com Page

Friday, April 20, 2007

ABC Family Upfront: That '70s Show Coming in 2008, More AFV Episodes Bought; ABC Delays 'Trees' Until 2007-08

ABC Family Channel today outlined their plans for summer and fall of 2007 as well as exciting new online initiatives. Scheduled to debut this summer is the second season of ABC Family’s highest rated original series Kyle XY (Mondays at 8 starting June 11 for 13 episodes), the angel mythology continues when Fallen (August 3, 4 and 5) returns with four new hours, and new series Greek (July for 10 episodes) and the animated series Slacker Cats (August) join the lineup. In addition to the summer series, ABC Family has ordered a fourth season of Wildfire (January 2008 for 13 episodes) and a second season of Lincoln Heights (September for 10 episodes). ABC Family's 10th annual 25 Days of Christmas programming event, will feature over two hundred hours of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family from December 1- 25. In addition to classic holiday favorites like Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, Frosty’s Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, this year's holiday event will also feature two original movie premieres, Snow Globe (working title) and Holiday in Handcuffs starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, as well as the basic cable premiere of The Incredibles. 25 Days of Christmas will launch with the first ever Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas which adds eleven additional days of holiday programming and a third original holiday movie.
ABC Family has acquired the Tom Bergeron hosted episodes of an American television institution, America’s Funniest Home Videos which premieres this October and has also acquired reruns of the popular comedy That 70’s Show premiering in 2008. Another keystone event for the network is 13 Nights of Halloween which includes a new original movie, Nature of the Beast, a classic story of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy turns into werewolf, starring Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty) and Eddie Kaye Thomas.

Rookie drama Men in Trees will NOT return now on May 10 and 17 at 10pm. ABC will hold all the remaining episodes (five of them) for next season. Instead ABC has slotted sneak preview of new drama Traveler on Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 10:01PM ET/PT. Traveler will air regularly on Wednesdays at 10 this summer starting May 30.
A Lost Clip Show is scheduled to air on Thursday, May 17, 2007 at 10:04 PM ET/PT immediately following the intense Grey's Anatomy season finale!
The Lost Clip Show is also still scheduled to air on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Slight Change for ION on April 27; CBS Sitcom Summer Line-Up; GSN Honors the Late Kitty Carlisle

ION Television has made a slight change on Friday, April 27. This will be only for this day only, but the special A Concert for America will air at 8pm, followed by four episodes of The Wonder Years from 9-11pm. Mama's Family & Diagnosis Murder will not air on this date only. So what is A Concert for America? Singers, including Mary J. Blige, Kenny Chesney and Sting, raise awareness for the JC Penney Afterschool Fund that helps establish programs for kids who are left alone after the school day ends. Other performers include Andrea Bocelli; Jon Bon Jovi; Chris Botti; Kenny Chesney; Peter Cincotti; Sara Evans; John Legend; Martina McBride; Renee Olstead; Alejandro Sanz; and 3 Doors Down. Hosted by Phil and Robin McGraw.
No wonder they pre-empted Diagnosis Murder. Wonder Years would be more compatible to air after this special.

We mentioned yesterday that CBS will air new animated comedy Creature Comforts for the summer on Mondays at 8. So, this means encores of How I Met Your Mother will air at 9:30 in between Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami encores. Maybe this means Mother will be renewed after all. 8:30 will be Old Christine, if you were wondering. No word if Rules of Engagement will encore in the summer yet, but you can catch back-to-back encores of the soon to conclude King of Queens on Wednesdays at 8-9pm all summer long!

GSN is honoring the life of Kitty Carlisle Hart, the beloved stage and film actress who appeared on TV game shows in six decades, in a special tribute late Sunday night April 22. Carlisle Hart, who died Wednesday at the age of 96 from pneumonia, was a frequent guest on To Tell The Truth beginning in the 50's and GSN is showcasing two landmark episodes of her work on that show. She was the only guest who appeared in every version of To Tell The Truth from its original format to its last in 2001. GSN is airing Carlisle's first appearance at 3am from 1957 and a special episode that featured Carlisle's son as one of the guest imposters at 3:30am from 1973.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

'Cosby Show' Kids to Host Nick at Nite Marathon; CBS Summer Update

Nick at Nite will not make last second changes to its weekend line-up this week (at least not yet). Well, except the Murphy Brown Saturday night (early Sunday morning) airing at 5:30am has been replaced by Full House for this week. In addition, a rebroadcast of the TV Land Awards will air Sunday from 11pm-12:30am, but we knew that. A last minute Cosby Show stunt has been booked for all of next week. Nick at Nite invites viewers to spend a week with their favorite television family on Huxta-palooza, a week-long marathon hosted by the Huxtable children as they present their favorite episodes and moments from The Cosby Show. From Monday, April 23 – Sunday, April 29, actors Keisha Knight-Pulliam, Malcom Jamaal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, Lisa Bonet, and Sabrina Le Beauf will each host their own night featuring their favorite six episodes. Huxta-palooza will feature never-before-seen interviews with the Cosby kids as the stars comment on their characters’ greatest meltdowns, triumphs, best fashion moments and more.
Airs Sun-Thurs from 9-3am and Fri-Sat from 10pm-4am. Full House will air in the 3am hour, Growing Pains in the 4am hour, a rotation of Designing Women/Murphy Brown in the 5am half-hour and Full House at 5:30am. That is for next week ONLY.

CBS has announced premiere dates for two summer series. Pirate Master, the next epic adventure reality series from Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Burnett, will premiere Thursday, May 31 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT on CBS.
Pirate Master will send 16 modern-day pirates on a high seas adventure where they will live as buccaneers and travel around the Caribbean island of Dominica in search of hidden treasure that will total $1 million. Over the course of 33 days, these pirates will live aboard a massive 179 foot, square-rigged barque which carries 12,500 square feet of sail.
Creature Comforts, the American version of the hit British television series will premiere Monday, June 4 from 8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT on CBS. Based on the original Academy Award-winning short film of the same name created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations, Ltd., the half-hour stop-motion animated series employs a unique format that culls excerpts from real person interviews and places them in the mouths of a wide variety of animated animals to produce humorous, charming and insightful commentaries on everyday life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TV Land Changes May 2007 Schedule; Nick at Nite Schedules AFV for May

TV Land has edited their May line-up and mostly everything is moving to new timeslots. The new schedule will start on April 30 and will bring back All in the Family and The Cosby Show to regular airings, and also What's Happening Now!! will finally air as a regular (weekdays at 7am). Among the changes include a sitcom block from 7-9am with What's Happening Now!!, Sanford & Son, All in the Family and The Jeffersons. A note on What's Happening Now!!, they seem to be airing the 12 episodes that they have already aired in a marathon. So once the 12 episodes finish, they start again with the same 12. I hope they decide to air every episode...maybe this is a test. Gunsmoke has been removed from the weekday line-up, but will still air on the weekends. Sunday's encores will however air Monday mornings. The other notable changes include: Andy Griffith Show's four airings are all in early evening now at 5-6pm and 7-8pm, rather than 8-9pm and 1-2am. Good Times coming back in prime-time (8-9pm Mon-Thurs, 9-10pm Fri-Sun). Instead of M*A*S*H from 9-10pm and 12-1am, TV Land has decided to air a M*A*S*H block from 10pm-12am, so there is no breaks. Thus, Sanford & Son which was at 10-11pm will slide to 9-10pm and Three's Company was 11p-12a will move to 12-1am. Late nights will have encores and also Cosby Show from 2-3am. Star Trek has been cut to just 4 times a week in its 5a and 6a slots. See the full schedule starting April 30 by clicking HERE.

As we reported already, the Bob Saget years of America's Funniest Home Videos is coming to Nick at Nite on April 30. The timeslot originally was weeknights at 8:30pm. That has been changed to Sun-Thurs at 9pm and Fri-Sat at 10pm, replacing one episode of Full House each day. Full House will still air immediately following AFV.
The first week though, April 30-May 6, you can catch the show back-to-back all week-long (Sun-Thurs 9-10pm and Fri-Sat 10-11pm) to celebrate the show joining the network.

Monday, April 16, 2007

'Fresh Prince' Comes to TBS in May, 'Sister, Sister' to WGN in the Fall; TV Land Awards Preview, Includes Spoof 'Ugly Betty...White'

If you think airing on Viacom stations Nick at Nite and The N were not enough, now starting May 1 you can catch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on TBS in the daytime. TBS will bring back the show and share the show with Nick at Nite/The N. TBS will air it weekdays at 2 & 2:30 p.m. ET starting May 1.
This means nearly all of Nick at Nite's shows are shared with other cable networks (Full House - ABC Family, Cosby Show - TBS/WGN, Roseanne - Oxygen). Even the shows that are not airing much like A Different World and Mad About You are shared (both with Oxygen). Murphy Brown and Designing Women are the only Nick at Nite shows that are not shared with another cable network (well, Growing Pains was on ION, but ION is really a broadcast channel, so it technically isn't shared).

Beginning this fall, Sister, Sister will join Superstation WGN. All six seasons of the half-hour comedy have been acquired for a three-year run.
It will air back-to-back episodes this fall on weekdays beginning at 5pm ET. Sister, Sister will be paired with The Cosby Show, leading into a comedy block of Funniest Pets & People, and America's Funniest Videos. No word yet on what will become of Moesha, but it will most likely air before Cosby Show.
Additionally, an episode of Sister, Sister is scheduled to air on Saturdays along with Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire, which also appeal to young viewers.

The 5th TV Land Awards will premiere on April 22, but the awards show taped this past Saturday. It looks like it will be a fun-fest. Kelly Ripa was the host and I hear she did great. She might be the best host since the first awards host, which was the late John Ritter. It was an unforgettable evening as celebrities from television, music and film bestowed special tribute awards tonight to some of television's most iconic series and stars at the fifth annual TV Land Awards. The honorees included Lucille Ball (Legacy of Laughter Award), The Brady Bunch (Pop Culture Award), Roots (Anniversary Award), Hee Haw (Entertainer Award), Taxi (Medallion Award) and Heroes (Future Classic Award).
Some highlights:
Legendary actress and comedienne Carol Burnett and Emmy Award-winning actress Kirstie Alley presented Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. with the Legacy of Laughter Award in honor of their mother, Lucille Ball. Actresses Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips of One Day at a Time presented the cast of The Brady Bunch with the Pop Culture Award. Grammy Award-winning country superstar Willie Nelson performed hits "On The Road Again" and "City of New Orleans" in a tribute to Hee Haw. Academy Award-winning actors Forest Whitaker and Morgan Freeman presented the cast of Roots with the Anniversary Award celebrating the epic 30th Anniversary. The cast of Taxi -- Danny DeVito, Jeff Conaway, Tony Danza, Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane, Randall Carver and creator James L. Brooks -- were presented with The Medallion Award by actress Sharon Stone. Actor Luke Wilson presented Heroes creator and executive producer Tim Kring with this year's Future Classic Award along with executive producers Dennis Hammer and Allan Arkush and cast members Masi Oka, Leonard Roberts, Noah Gray-Cabey, Zachary Quinto, Santiago Cabrera and Jack Coleman.
Other memorable moments included:
A hilarious videotaped intro where host Kelly Ripa reenacted the show opens to several memorable sitcoms including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, That Girl, and Laverne & Shirley. The package ended with Kelly flying above the live audience and making her entrance as "Sister Bertrille" from The Flying Nun.
TV's most beloved TV stars spoofed one of television's most popular shows, Ugly Betty, in a parody entitled Ugly Betty - White. The parody starred Betty White with cameos by Erik Estrada, Joan Collins, George Hamilton, Charo and Peter Scolari.
And a performance at the end of the show by The Brady Bunch's "The Silver Platters," as Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams were joined by host Kelly Ripa -- singing the unforgettable songs "Keep On" and "It's A Sunshine Day."
For more highlights, click HERE. And don't forget to watch the awards on TV Land on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Week 30: How the Sitcoms Did; 'Happy Days' S2 DVD Is Terrible

We don't have final four day network averages through Thursday, thus we won't give the final averages for the first four nights and an analysis. We do have How the Sitcoms Did, and final numbers for all sitcoms:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of April 2-8)

  • The War at Home (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 2.06 and 2.67 million.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 4.95 million, down two million from last week's repeat.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - A repeat did 4.69 million...nice retention from lead-in.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 5.47 million for an encore, not bad, but down from last week's repeat by more than a million.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 4.98 million for a repeat beat the 8pm hour repeats.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did just 7.64 million, down a lot from normal numbers, but up a bit from the last new episode on March 19 (7.27 million).
  • Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode built from the lead-in a bit and did 7.69 million.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A new episode built from the lead-in a bit and did 13.46 million, down from its average of new episodes but up from the last new episode on March 19 (11.68).
  • King of Queens (CBS) - The series returned and built on the lead-in in Households! In viewers it did 13.41 million.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, All of Us, Girfriends, The Game. Repeat of Chris started it off with 1.98 million, actually the lowest of the block. All of Us did 2.0 million, Girlfriends did 2.19 million and The Game did 2.15 million.


Tuesday Sitcoms

None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • George Lopez (ABC) - 2 all-new episodes did decent, both did 6.36 million. 8pm was up from last week's 5.99 million, but 8:30 was down from last week's 6.53 million.
  • According to Jim (ABC) - A repeat did just 5.05 million. This week it moves to 8pm with new episodes the rest of the way!
  • In Case of Emergency (ABC) - Just 3.77 million for the final airing..
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - A two episode finale from 8-9pm was way down from post-Idol numbers. 7.05 and 8.64 million. 8.64 million is pre-Idol tune-in...inflated numbers.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - The show returns after a long break and did just 6.67 million and a 3.0 A18-149 rating. What happened?
  • The Office (NBC) - 7.71 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating built on Earl on BOTH!
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - Lost nearly 3 million from lead-in. 5.07 million. This won't be an Office like success story likely.
  • Scrubs (NBC) - Held almost all of the lead-in's ratings did 5.05 million and built on 18-49 from a 2.6 to 2.7 rating.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are Fox comedies.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, King of Queens, The Office and 'Til Death 8:30 were impressive for the week (pathetic week). Everything else was OK (such as George Lopez, My Name is Earl) or just plain old terrible (such as 30 Rock and In Case of Emergency).


We first reported that the Happy Days opening theme "Rock Around the Clock" was replaced on the season two DVD by the "Happy Days" theme that started in season three and we also reported that music has also been replaced, but after we reviewed the set, it was even WORSE than we thought. Nearly all of the music is replaced. The season had over 50 popular songs and we only get about 5 of them, and they are not the major ones. Even "Blueberry Hill" is replaced on all episodes but just one. And the one where it is intact it is only briefly heard. What has CBS DVD done to this set? If the music issue is not enough, the video quality is very bad. We can see a lot of debris and flashing white dots on the film. Some scenes are likely edited out where music was played because the runtimes seem low on a few.
Todd and I went through all the episodes for the music search and we came up with a good list on what is intact and what isn't. The what isn't list is much much bigger. Click HERE to read the review. It is right up there with WKRP in the DVD Wall of Shame.
CBS DVD also didn't do a great job with the second season of Laverne & Shirley. Laverne is slightly better than Happy Days, but still bad. Mork & Mindy is the best and most complete of the three, as it used the least amount of music. Read those reviews: Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Entourage Season 3 Part 1 (April 3); Book Review: My First Five Husbands... By Rue McClanahan (April 10)

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we take a look at HBO's Entourage: Season 3, Part 1. Entourage of course is the popular HBO series that is about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. Also, we have a special book review of My First Five Husbands from sitcom star Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls) See skees53's mini-DVD review of Entourage: Season 3, Part 1 and the book review of My First Five Husbands:

Entourage: Season 3, Part 1 (HBO, $39.98) contains the twelve episodes of the hit HBO comedy series that aired in the summer of 2006 on HBO (apparently the third season is still going on right now according to HBO, beginning with the new episodes that started earlier this week). A little introduction may be needed for those that don't have HBO or those that (like me) wouldn't normally watch an original series that airs on a cable channel: it is a series about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. But he doesn't going to Hollywood all alone, he is bringing his childhood friends--his "entourage" (including his friends Eric and Turtle, and his half-brother who also aspires to be an actor, but just isn't that good, Drama)--to help him through it all. The whole series is loosely based upon the life of Mark Wahlberg, who is more infamously known as Marky Mark. The whole premise of the series is quite simple really.
Season Three, Part 1, as previously mentioned, contains 12 episode which, despite only being part of a season, is about the same number of episodes that was contained on each of the first two season sets), beginning with "Aquamom," where Vince's "Aquaman" movie is about to premiere--but who will he go down the red carpet with at the premiere?
Los Angeles is having rolling blackouts in "One Day In the Valley," could this affect the box office numbers for Vince's movie? In "Three's Company," Vince's star power goes to his head and he demands more money to do the "Aquaman 2" movie... and Eric's girlfriend wants him to have a threesome. But will his girlfriend regret that threesome? Maybe so if she knew what Eric was thinking in "Strange Days." The season (or partial season) ends with Ari (Vince's agent) possibly getting canned in "Sorry, Ari." There are many guest stars to be found within the episodes including Martin Landau, Seth Green, Penny Marshall, James Woods, and more (as an unrelated side note, check out season 2 to see Bob Saget in a way that is nothing like Danny Tanner!).
The audio and video quality of the set is superb, with the episodes being presented in widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The set isn't hefty in bonus features, but it does contain commentaries on three episodes ("One Day in the Valley," "Vegas Baby, Vegas!," and "Sorry, Ari") as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette for the "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" episode. The set itself comes in a nice and sturdy digipak (no outer case, but with the sturdy manner in which this is designed, it doesn't need one) on three discs. So what else can I say? Get your entourage together and head out to Hollywood (or just go to wherever you would get your DVDs from) and pick up this set!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Entourage TV.com Page


My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away (Broadway, $24.95) is Rue McClanahan's autobiography--talking about her life so far chronologically in terms of her husbands and love interests that she has had along the way. The book is presented in a very personal, almost conversational tone, with Rue talking about the good guys and the bad guys she has met along the way--and there are so many of them that it is no surprise that she played Blanche on The Golden Girls.
The book starts out with her childhood and her mother (whom she actually called "Mother" for reasons she explains in the book). She then moves on to talk about when she finally got into showbiz, in the 1950s, where she began to take on some minor roles here and there on the stage in New York City. But of course, where the book really gets interesting is where she gets in to the 1970s, where she begins to become a television star. She talks about her lucky day being the day that she choked on the "luckiest chicken bone" when they decided to kill off her character Aunt Fran on Mama's Family--little did I know that she disliked that role so much! Of course, knowing what happened after being killed off on Mama's Family (getting the role on The Golden Girls), it is understandable why her character being killed off on Mama's Family was a lucky thing for her. Chapter 21 is perhaps the most interesting one in the book, where she talks all about the beginnings of The Golden Girls.
Along the way, we meet her many boyfriends that she has had along the way and all of her first five husbands (there is even a chapter for pretty much all of them) and we find out why none of the marriages ever exactly worked out as planned. She doesn't spare any details on why the marriages didn't work--and I would think some of the ex-husbands wouldn't be too thrilled about what she says, as she even talks about what life is like in bed! But she does stay open and honest the entire way through. Now, on her sixth husband, she is convinced that she has finally found the one--and only time will tell if she is right this time.
The book gives a very interesting perspective into McClanahan's life, though for those that know her best through her work on television, much of the first eighteen chapters will seem unfamiliar. All-in-all, it is a decent book that is a pretty easy read, though sitcom fans may be totally unfamiliar with everything she talks about early on (she even somewhat acknowledges this herself, although she doesn't seem to mind being known as Blanche). But on the other hand, it does give those that know her through her sitcoms a perspective on what her life was like before, and how she ultimately got to where she is today (you can't neglect the back story in any autobiography). Any true fan of Rue McClanahan--one that is interested in more than just her days as Blanche Devereaux--would enjoy this book.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase this Book, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Rue McClanahan TV.com Page

Friday, April 13, 2007

ABC Pulls 'Emergency's' Last Airing; Other Updates; NBC Summer Update

ABC has pulled the last airing of In Case of Emergency for April 18. ABC has aired 12 episodes so far and a 13th will not air. The last episode they aired on April 11 was the actual season finale, so we did see how it ends, they just decided not to air one episode. Repeats of Lost will air in the 9pm hour a week earlier than planned now. The repeats of Lost will lead-in to all-new episode of Lost 10. If you missed this week's Lost, you must watch it this Wednesday at 9...it was GREAT! According to Jim will settle into its new timeslot of Wednesdays at 8pm starting this Wednesday followed by Notes from the Underbelly which premiered to decent numbers last night on a special premiere night and time. George Lopez will move to Tuesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. It was scheduled to move on Tuesday, April 17, but ABC has decided to air another Dancing with the Stars Recap Show leading into the Live Results Show of Dancing with the Stars. So, George will move on April 24 for three weeks (April 24, May 1 and May 8) of new episodes airing back-to-back. Look for guest stars galore with Mario Lopez, Oscar de la Hoya, and Jerry Springer returns.

Meanwhile, Disney-ABC Television Group announced that it will add the remaining unaired episodes of new drama Six Degrees to ABC.com's broadband player.
The first unaired episode of Six Degrees will be added to ABC.com on Friday, April 27, with a new episode added every Friday for four consecutive weeks (five episodes total). Look for sitcom star Bronson Pinchot (Perfect Strangers) to appear in an episode.

NBC announced the premieres for its original alternative programs in Summer 2007 that feature the return of last summer's hit America's Got Talent (with new host Jerry Springer) on May 29 (9-11pm, regular airings Tuesdays 8-9pm) as well as an updated edition of the hit series Last Comic Standing (with new host Bill Bellamy) on June 13 (9-11pm, regular airings 9-10pm) and the launch of Age of Love reality dating series (with host Mark Consuelos) on June 18 (10-11pm). In addition, NBC will reprise the popular weight-loss series The Biggest Loser (with new host Alison Sweeney from NBC's Days of our Lives) in late summer.


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

Monday, December 22

The Big Bang Theory - "The Hook-Up Reverberation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Raj’s honesty about his past comes back to haunt him after his girlfriend, Emily, is cold to Penny. Also, the guys consider becoming part-owners in Stuart’s comic book store.

Mike & Molly - "'Tis the Season to Be Molly" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Mike assures Molly he’ll be home in time for Christmas Eve dinner until he and Carl end up in the back of a stolen truck. Meanwhile, Molly is upset with Vince for trying to change the family’s Christmas traditions.

Anger Management - "Charlie and the Sexy Swing Vote" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Charlie and Jordan hire a hot tie-breaker to work as their associate on the prison clinic program.

Anger Management - "Charlie & the 100th Episode" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie has to make a decision between keeping his group and being a sports psychologist for a baseball team.

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.
  • Don Most (Happy Days) - Don talks about his NYC show at 54 Below on Saturday, December 27 on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-10am.