Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 1 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did

Week 1 numbers (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: ABC: 9.6/15.1; CBS: 8.5/13.4; NBC: 6.0/9.5; Fox: 5.1/7.8; The CW: 2.0/3.1; MNT: 0.7/1.1.
Total Viewers: ABC: 14.51 million; CBS: 13.49 million; NBC: 9.53 million; Fox: 8.17 million; The CW: 3.1 million; MNT: 1.01 million.
Adults 18-49: ABC: 4.6/12.1; CBS: 4.1/10.7; NBC: 3.9/10.4; Fox: 3.2/8.2; The CW: 1.4/3.5; MNT: 0.4/1.1.

Analysis: We're back with an all-new season! The 2007-08 season has begun and most of the shows debuted this past week. The season's top new shows both came on during Wednesday at 9pm, one winning in HH/viewers and one in 18-49. Through the first four days, ABC has the lead in all categories, with CBS second, NBC in third and Fox in fourth. NBC's numbers are a tad below because they haven't counted the Heroes premiere in the ratings yet, so I'm calling NBC in 2nd really in 18-49 or at least tied for second with CBS. It's still third in HH/viewers. NBC will count the Saturday encore of Heroes with the Monday premiere, in a new Nielsen option. I think that is cheating. Basically NBC is wiping out the Saturday encore and Nielsen is letting them just add on to the Monday numbers, making that higher than it really was. I wonder if any other networks will try that this season?
Monday was the first night of the 2007-08 season and it was all ABC thanks to the big return of Dancing with the Stars. The 90-minute season premiere, featuring the women dancers only, did an impressive 21.25 million and a 5.8/15 in 18-49. The season premiere of The Bachelor followed with its usual numbers, 9.23 million. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 9.52 million and built on How I Met Your Mother's 8.12 million for a decent debut, but it'll need to do this all the time to survive. Two and a Half Men and Rules of Engagement followed with decent numbers (13.58 and 12.23 million). While Men was down, Rules did hold much of that. The season premiere of CSI: Miami did 15.08 million, while that is down from usual numbers, it was still #1 at 10pm. NBC followed with two new dramas surrounding Heroes. Heroes' final numbers are not available because of what I mentioned earlier, but it was on par with last season's average (13-14 million and a 5.7 18-49). Chuck opened the night with a modest 9.21 million, building a bit in its second half - a good sign. Journeyman did 9.16 million, while similar to Chuck, it had some bleeding in the second half, so it might have a long journey in its future. Fox was a distant fourth with Prison Break continuing to fall (7.41 million) and the second episode of K-Ville was down big from its premiere, to just 6.13 million. The CW aired repeats of their Monday sitcoms.
Tuesday, again it was ABC and Dancing with the Stars foxtrotting for a win. It was the men's turn and they did 18.51 million for 90-minutes. Boston Legal's season premiere followed with 10.3 million, on par with the usual numbers it gets in viewers. Fox jumped to second on this night thanks to the return of House. 18.31 million tuned in for the season premiere, while that was down from last year's premiere (which was at 8pm compared to this year's 9pm), it did do a 7.8/19 18-49 rating. Bones opened the night off with a third place 8.4 million finish. CBS was a close third with its trio of dramas. The always reliable NCIS opened the night off with 13.89 million, followed by The Unit which disappointed to 10.7 million , and the series premiere of Cane did decent with 11.21 million, but saw some bleeding in the second half. NBC was fourth with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 6.62 million, followed by the Law & Order: SVU premiere at 12.12 million, but that was off by a lot from last year. The CW got so-so numbers with Beauty & the Geek and series premiere of Reaper...2.98 and 3.28 million.
Wednesday again it was ABC with the special night and time of Dancing with the Stars, this time the Results. Bye bye to Josie, as 16.81 million tuned in for the hour results show at 8pm. The series premiere of Private Practice got off to a good start with a first place 14.41 million and a second place 5.2 18-49 rating, a bit disappointing, but it wasn't expected to be like Grey's Anatomy. The series premiere of Dirty Sexy Money did 10.44 million, for second place. CBS and NBC battled for second, but CBS edged the peacock for 2nd in HH/viewers. Week two of Kid Nation plummeted to just 7.62 million for third place, but veteran dramas Criminal Minds and CSI: NY did well and were consistent doing 12.66 and 12.72 million. NBC opened the night with Deal or No Deal doing a below average 9.05 million, followed by the series premiere of Bionic Woman at a second place 13.91 million and an impressive first place finish in 18-49 with a 5.7 rating. The battle between the two new dramas at 9pm will be something to watch this week...who will hold up and will CBS's veteran drama be a factor? At 10pm NBC aired Life's premiere and it did pretty good with 9.95 million, but it faltered quite a bit at 10:30. I see major bleeding this week. Fox was fourth with the disappointing numbers for Back to You and 'Til Death, both dropping over 20% from last week's premieres to 7.47 and 6.2 million. Kitchen Nightmares also dropped quite a bit in week 2 and only managed 5.42 million. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a decent 4.9 million, but the second week of Gossip Girl was terrible at just 2.48 million.
Thursday it was CBS on top, but the previous three nights' winner, ABC, was not far behind. CBS opened with Survivor: China at 14.14 million, while #1 still, but down from last season. The season premiere of CSI did 25.22 million for first place, thanks to the Sara cliffhanger. Without a Trace came back to its old slot and did 16.68 million, down from what it did before in this slot...by a lot too. Nevertheless, it won its slot. ABC opened the night with Ugly Betty doing a solid 11.16 million, for second place. Grey's Anatomy followed with 20.93 million, down about 4 million from last season's massive premiere, though it did win in 18-49 with a big 8.8/21 18-49 rating, for #1 for the week. The series premiere of Big Shots followed with a second place finish of 11.1 million...it needs to stay around this and not drop like Six Degrees did each week last year, or we could see the same goodbye. NBC was a distant third with the one-hour episodes of My Name is Earl and The Office doing 8.66 and 9.65 million, but The Office was EXCELLENT in 18-49 with a 5.1/12 rating, the best sitcom showing in that age group. ER closed the night with a tepid 9.92 million, down even a lot from last year. Fox had a forgetful Thursday with 5th Grader doing just 7.48 million, down a ton from last spring. Don't Forget the Lyrics forgot the ratings, with 5.32 million, down a lot from the previous week...the competition got to them. Smallville got a nice season premiere on The CW with 5.18 million, followed by an encore of Reaper at 2.58 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday, but it was down big from what it was doing last year. NBC was a close second, but it also was down big, especially Deal or No Deal. ABC was a distant third and Fox again fourth.
Saturday numbers are not available yet. But it should be all low.
Tonight are the season premieres for ABC Sunday and they should win the night, but CBS and NBC will be close, too. Fox will do well in young adults.
As for the week, ABC should hang on in HH, viewers and 18-49. Friday and Saturday numbers were all low for all, but the big three will rebound tonight. NBC will pass CBS for second in 18-49 thanks to the NFL game tonight. This week last year, CBS was first in HH, viewers, with ABC first in 18-49. Will it be a clean sweep for ABC? We'll find out.


Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of September 17-23)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 9.5 million for the season premiere, but its strength was the 4.7 18-49 rating.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - 7.82 million for the season premiere, a kind of a big drop from the lead-in.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 1-hour star Wars episode impressed with 10.81 million, but an even more impressive 5.6 18-49 rating!

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season premiere did an OK 8.12 million, but the competition was stiff.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 9.52 million is nothing major, but it built on everything from the lead-in, making it a great debut. 3.7 18-49 is decent.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.58 million...but not as good as it usually did last season, but against Dancing and Heroes, that is not bad at all, still #1 in viewers for sitcoms.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 12.23 million for its season premiere, nice retention from the lead-in.
  • CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Girfriends, The Game. All repeats with Chris the highest at 1.83 million. Season premieres tomorrow.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Back to You (fox) - 2nd episode did 7.47 million, drop of over 2 million from its premiere. Will it continue to drop or has it stabilized?
  • 'Til Death (ABC) - 6.2 million, the lowest of the first-run sitcoms this week.
Thursday Sitcoms
  • My Name is Earl (NBC) - The one-hour Free Earl season premiere did a decent 8.66 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, for third in its slot.
  • The Office (NBC) - Building on the lead-in, the one-hour premiere did 9.65 million and an even more impressive 5.1 18-49 rating, building on the lead in by 1.3 points.
Friday Sitcoms
None.

Saturday Sitcoms
None.

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

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Office, Big Bang Theory, My Name is Earl, and The Rules of Engagement were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Back to You) or just plain old terrible ('Til Death).

Saturday, September 29, 2007

ABC Fall Pilot Review: Carpoolers - Premieres October 2; Solomon's Weekly Rant: The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows

Carpoolers

Carpoolers - Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres October 2 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Four guys who carpool to work every day come to savor their commute as the only safe time to commiserate about jobs, families – and secrets. Even though "what happens in the carpool stays in the carpool," they'll go beyond the boundaries of this fast-moving commuter confessional to get involved in each other's lives and develop friendships.
The character details follow:

Gracen (Fred Goss, ABC's Sons & Daughters) is the unofficial leader of the carpool pack. As a professional mediator, he thinks he's a problem solver, but more often he's a causer. He seeks fairness in an unfair world, and so finds himself in the middle of situations because he’s compelled to be there. In the pilot, Gracen is stunned to learn that his wife makes more money than he does, which sets his resolve to assert his manly authority.

Laird (Jerry O'Connell, Crossing Jordan) is Gracen's playboy dentist neighbor and best friend. He thinks his life is an unending quest for stories – and women. In the middle of a messy divorce, he allows himself to live a little and taunts the other carpoolers with the freedom of his near-single status. He would never admit that he secretly misses marriage. Laird constantly leads the carpoolers into adventures, but once there, he isn't sure what to do.
Meet Laird, a dentist and recent divorce turned womanizer who was left with nothing intact but his libido. Laird's best friend, Gracen, is a mediator, a voice of reason, and the unofficial leader of the pack. Then there's self-sacrificing Aubrey, with a brood of kids and a stay-at-home couch-potato wife, and newlywed Dougie, the carpool neophyte who's willing to risk his life to save a coveted parking space for the team.

Aubrey (Jerry Minor, Arrested Development) is a sweet but intense pushover at the bottom of the family food chain. The daily ride has become the only peaceful time in his life. Forty-five minutes, two times a day – he needs the carpool the most. Always quick to come to the carpoolers' aid, he believes in the brotherhood almost to a fault. Only the carpoolers know he’s boiling inside, because "in the carpool lane, no one can hear you scream."

Dougie (Tim Peper, Guiding Light) is the eager newlywed. He doesn’t know all the rules of the Carpooler Society, often breaks them, and has to have the ways of the world explained to him by his tribal elders, the three other carpoolers. He and his wife, Cindy, are the perfect modern couple, but as you get to know them, you start to see their cracks. Dougie is the guy who seems to have it all together, yet he’s drawn to the carpoolers for a little excitement. The carpoolers will both instigate problems for Dougie and help him deal with the realities of life to come.

Cast Details:

Fred Goss as Gracen, Jerry O'Connell as Laird, Jerry Minor as Aubrey, Tim Peper as Dougie, Allison Munn as Cindy, with Faith Ford as Leila, and T.J. Baker as Marmaduke

Fred Goss (Gracen Brooker) is steeped in the entertainment business, as an actor, director, writer, producer and editor. As an actor, Goss starred in ABC's critically acclaimed Sons & Daughters. Along with his writing partner, he also created, wrote and served as executive producer and show runner on the series. In addition he directed the pilot, as well as four other episodes. Goss starred in Bravo's cult classic, Significant Others, and has also appeared in The Man Show and South Park. His first appearance in a TV comedy was on the hit series ALF.

Faith Ford (Leila Brooker) has five Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for her ten-year portrayal of reporter Corky Sherwood on Murphy Brown. More recently she starred for three seasons in the ABC hit comedy series Hope & Faith, with Kelly Ripa, and co-starred opposite Vin Diesel in Touchstone Pictures' The Pacifier. She also starred for two seasons as Shelly Kilmartin, a probation officer who is the object of Norm MacDonald's affection on the ABC series Norm. Between Murphy Brown and Norm, Ford headlined her own series, Maggie Winters. She was a regular on the series Popcorn Kid and a recurring character on thirtysomething, before meeting Murphy Brown executive producer Diane English.

Jerry O'Connell (Laird) starred as Detective Woody Hoyt on Crossing Jordan. Other television credits include starring in Sliders, the movie What the Deaf Man Heard and the miniseries The '60s. Jerry O'Connell is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood's most versatile and sought after talents, especially in the movies.

Jerry Minor (Aubrey) is a former cast member of Saturday Night Live and HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, Minor was also in the cast of the groundbreaking but short-lived 4-camera sitcom for HBO, Lucky Louie, as Louis CK's African-American neighbor who suffered Louie's clumsy attempts at friendship. Minor has appeared on such television shows as Arrested Development, The Awful Truth with Michael Moore, and on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Trigger Happy TV and Crank Yankers. He also makes regular guest appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tim Pepper's (Dougie) television credits include a recurring role on Conviction, plus guest starring on Law & Order, Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

Alison Munn (Cindy) was most recently a series regular on What I Like About You, and is also known for her recurring role as Crazy Caroline on That '70s Show. She had recurring roles on St. Sass and Now and Again, with additional TV credits in Charmed, JAG, Boston Public, Inside Schwartz and Law & Order: SVU.

T.J. Miller (Marmaduke Brooker) performs improvisation, sketch and stand-up comedy and is currently a member of Green Company of the Second City National Touring Companies. He performs improvisation with the house team Bullet Lounge at IO, stand-up at numerous comedy venues in Chicago, as well as sketch comedy with the group Heavy Weight. He even eats most of meals standing up.


Pilot Plot:

I have received the first two episodes of the series. The first episode, "Pilot," airing Oct. 2, Gracen wonders aloud how his lovely "house flipper" wife, Leila, can afford to buy a $200 designer toaster and how his deadbeat son, Marmaduke, who struts around the house in nothing but his jockeys and a smile, suddenly lands an internet job making more than his dad. By the end of the day, the guys have their mission: to steal back the respect Gracen deserves by any means necessary.
"Pilot" was written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Troy Evans as Mr. Heggie, Taylor Parks as Aubrey's daughter, Drew Matthews as Aubrey's son, Stephanie Reibel as woman, Scott Thompson as rich carpooler #1, Eddie Goins as rich carpooler #2, Irene White as Sue, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted and Andrew Cherry as Rikki.

The second episode I received is airing October 9 and is titled "Laird of the Ring." Laird pretends to be married to impress a girl who's into married men, Dougie believes Aubrey is having an affair when he sees him sneaking into a motel, and Marmaduke suspects that Laird is his father.
"Laird of the Ring" is written by Bruce McCulloch and directed by Joe Russo.
Guest starring are Sasha Barrese as Holly, Irene White as Sue Henzel, Stephen T. Brophy as Ted Henzel, Byron Field as brokeback guy, Vince Pavia as delivery guy, Jordan Robinson as Aubrey's kid #1, Khamani Griffin as Aubrey's kid #2 and Jay Jay Ellis as Aubrey's kid #3.


Analysis:

This show is surprisingly funny. I was shocked when ABC had picked-up this show, but after seeing the pilot, I am not surprised. It is a hoot and the cast is great. The pilot has a lot of laughs. The singing in the car while going to work is hilarious. Aubrey especially. Both episodes I have seen, start off with singing in the car. It might sound corny, but it is a riot. Another ongoing joke is, while driving, they are on a highway for "Carpoolers Only," and we see they are the only ones in that lane. While that is unrealistic, but it is supposed to be funny, as it is a joke. The plot of the pilot basically is to introduce us to the characters. Gracen, Laird, and Aubrey are about to get a new member of the Carpooler team in Dougie. He is their new guy and he has to sacrifice for the team in finding parking spots. He gets hit by cars so much. Even in episode two, he gets hit by cars, but in that episode he wasn't saving a parking spot. The other plots of the first episode is Gracen thinking his wife makes more money than him, and his son getting a new job. His son is a very oddball character. He is always in his underwear...even for an online job interview. I love the Aubrey character. He is hilarious. He sounds girly. He has like a 1,000 kids and his wife is now a fat couch potato who doesn't do anything but sit in front of the TV. We never see her face. She is like the new Nanny from the Muppet Babies! Except on this show, instead of seeing the Nanny's legs, we just see her stomach side. Aubrey does all the housework from doing the laundry to making cookies, while his wife watches her favorite TV shows.

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who carpool to go to work. So they could probably understand what these characters go through. The second episode is not as funny to me as the pilot. While it is interesting, it doesn't have as many laughs. Basically Laird borrows Gracen's wedding ring for a girl who is into only married men. Gracen's wife of course finds out right away that Gracen's wedding ring is missing. There are two sub-plots a well. Dougie sees Aubrey going into a motel for two days in a row right after coming to work. He thinks he is cheating on his overweight lazy wife. Is he? And Gracen's son Marmaduke, the dummy he is, thinks Laird is actually his father.


Conclusion:

As I said, this is surprisingly funny. The show will be following Cavemen on Tuesday nights on ABC. Cavemen has a lot of buzz and the premiere will certainly be sampled. So, let's hope they stick around for this show's premiere, too.

All the characters are developed by the first two episodes. We know nearly all of them by the end of the pilot. Cindy, Dougie's wife, is the only character that is not really needed yet. Everyone has a big role for the show. Both men and women will like this show, especially the men who carpool to work. Fred Goss was so great on the single camera comedy Sons & Daughters. He is great in this single camera comedy, too. The difference is, this sitcom would appeal to everyone, as Sons & Daughters was way too smart for some people. Faith Ford is always good in a sitcom, Jerry O'Connell is pretty funny as the sex-craved Laird and I just love Aubrey as the girly heterosexual man with millions of kids and the fat lazy wife. The funny thing is, Aubrey's kids are all different on each episode so far. As for improving the show, they should continue to make it silly and funny. I know it might be hard to top the pilot, but with this cast, it can be done. Episode 2 was not as good as the pilot. Future episodes better be good, as the show is an underdog to succeed in the ratings. Rebecca Romijn will guest star as Laird's wildly sexy and free-spirited ex-wife, "Joannifer," who returns to his life determined to get him back in upcoming episodes. I can't wait to see that! But before that, watch the pilot...and you'll be surprised how funny it really is!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/29/07

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Carpoolers Photo Gallery


    No publication or website will be reviewing the new and updated pilot of Cavemen. ABC has not and will not send the pilot out before it premieres. So we will all have to watch on Tuesday and find out how it is.
    I saw the unaired pilot this summer, but they completely redid it and changed some characters even. So reviewing that would be pointless. That pilot was not that good, just average. Here's hoping the new pilot is much much better.


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 29, 2007
    "The Premiere Delay of New Fall Shows"
    By Solomon Davis

    I will never understand why certain networks choose to air the series premiere of their new shows close to or in the month October.. There shouldn't even be a delay if the new show was already summarized in the Fall Preview edition of TV Guide in early September. The Big Bang Theory just premiered on this past Monday (Sept. 24) on CBS after the show was previewed in TV Guide in early September. So why does there need to be a gap in between the summary of the new show in TV Guide and the premiere date of the show? If the show was previewed in TV Guide it should be premiering the following week. The new show called, Samantha Who? won't air on ABC until October 15 which is actually two weeks before November. So that's almost 8 weeks of waiting after reading about the show in TV Guide during early September. So should we be more annoyed with TV Guide for its early reviews of new shows or the networks for their future fall premiere dates?

    The Fall Preview edition of TV Guide always comes out the week after Labor Day which previews the news shows are on the network schedule for the new TV season. So if the TV Guide fall preview comes out in the 2nd week of September, why are they including the preview for new shows that premiere in October? I mean couldn't they just wait until the last week of September to preview new shows like Carpoolers, Pushing Daises, and Caveman? No they would rather have us enjoy the summary of a new show starting in October and wait days to see whether we will like the show. So TV Guide definitely plays a bigger role in the premiere delay of new shows. Which means it's time for someone at TV Guide to use their brain and come out with a preview for new shows a week before they premiere. It really makes more sense to have a TV Guide edition with previews of certain new shows closer to the premiere date instead of summarizing all the shows in one issue. The way TV Guide introduces these new TV shows is like a newspaper in the month of July including back to school clothes advertisements with school starting 7 weeks after the date of the paper.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Joy Behar asking Barbara Walters on The View, "did you sleep with Fidel Castro?" Walters replied, "are you nuts? I wonder if she asked Joy was she nuts because she asked her about Castro or because she asked her on the air?
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Tiki Barber almost dropping a salsa dancer on the boring fourth hour of the Today Show.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.
  • Friday, September 28, 2007

    The CW Fall Pilot Review: Aliens in America - Premieres October 1; TV Land Keeps The Brady Bunch

    Aliens in America

    Aliens in America - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on The CW
    Premieres October 1 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    Aliens in America is the story of Justin Tolchuk, a 16-year-old that is all alone in the world, that has a mother that gives him the perfect present to get out of his loner rut--an exchange student. The only problem is that his mother doesn't realize that the Nordic exchange student that they are getting is a Pakistani kid named Raja, who is going to be a true "alien in America." The series explores how this relationship will (and sometimes won't) work out for the Tolchuk family, with mother Franny fearing Muslims, father Gary just being happy because they get paid for having an exchange student living in the house, sister Claire who is just kind of there, and Justin and Raja, who may have a friendship to gain from this experience.

    Cast Details:

    Adhir Kalyan as Raja Musharaff, Dan Byrd as Justin Tolchuk, Amy Pietz as Franny Tolchuk, Lindsey Shaw as Claire Tolchuk, Scott Patterson as Gary Tolchuk

    Essentially, the show has been cast with a bunch of unknowns--but then again, how many truly great sitcoms have had stars that were well-known BEFORE the series started? The series stars Dan Byrd as Justin and Adhir Kalyan as Raja, both of whom are relatively unknown. Amy Pietz, who had a role on Caroline in the City (does anybody even remember this series?) in the 90s plays mother Franny, while Scott Patterson, formerly of Gilmore Girls, plays father Gary. Lindsey Shaw plays the role of Claire; Shaw previously had a role on the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.


    Pilot Plot:

    I have received the first two episodes. The first episode introduces us to the series and what it is all about--which is basically the family getting Raja as their Nordic exchange student (Nordic because he came from Pakistan through a Nordic country before he got into the United States). The family is basically in shock about who their exchange student is, particularly since they live in a small Wisconsin town where people that are different are automatically assumed to be terrorists, but when Gary sees the dollars that he gets for having Raja in the house and Franny sees how Justin is making his first true friend, these stereotypes fly out the window.

    In the second episode, "No Man is an Island," Raja tells the entire class that if he was stuck on a desert island with only one thing, it would be his best friend Justin--which of course leads the whole class to think that they are a homosexual couple. But things backfire when Justin turns to Claire for advice on how to make Raja stop embarassing him... but you'll have to watch the show to see how that turns out.


    Analysis:

    The show isn't laugh out loud funny, but it isn't intended to be that type of sitcom anyway. Actually, it reminds me a LOT of The Wonder Years in the style that it is done, with the show having Justin narrating just about everything that happens within the episode as if he was telling the story about what is happening. It is obvious that the producers here are trying to create a well-written series here that has funny moments along the way. But if the series wants to last, they need to create some good scripts, and I'm not sure how far they'll be able to go with that in a series with a premise like this. Many of the "fish out of water" sitcoms of the past (think of Perfect Strangers, ALF, and others) used quite a few funny moments, and even though they did have decent scripts, they may not have always (though sometimes could have) been scripts that could stand alone without many funny moments and a laugh track (something that this series does NOT have).

    The show uses a lot of stereotypes about Muslims (as well as other groups) too, which makes it a bit politically incorrect, and honestly most people would not say actually say (and hopefully not believe, but certainly some will) a lot of the stuff that is said in the show. But of course, it is just a sitcom and you can't take it all that seriously. Besides, despite all of the stereotypes, it shows how incorrect a lot of the stereotypes are, and that is what many sitcoms about stereotypes often do. Plus, the point of the show is just to enjoy it and not make anything of the stereotypes, which makes me wonder why I just wasted away this paragraph talking about it.


    Conclusion:

    Really, this isn't a bad show, and it seems like the perfect fit for a younger audience, which is exactly what The CW is after. In fact, if it weren't for the political incorrectness that the show exhibits a LITTLE bit (which isn't too much), this show could almost fit in on a network such as Nickelodeon, as it reminds me of some of the early '90s sitcoms that the network aired (and the style that they appear to be trying to return to). I'd give this show about two weeks to last on any other network, not because it is a bad show (it is actually decent), but because it will be hard for the right audience to find it. But given that this will air on The CW and right after Everybody Hates Chris, I'd give this show a fighting chance.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4/5
    Funniness: 2.5/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Skees53 on 09/28/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • The CW Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Aliens in America Photo Gallery


    The other day we mentioned we will let you know if The Brady Bunch will be staying past the two weeks it was slated for. And the answer is...YES. It will continue to air Tues-Fri at 11am the week of Oct. 16 and beyond. It starts airing of course starting Oct. 2 Also, the week of Oct. 15 will see an additional Brady airing, at 4:30am every night!
    There are some other minor changes starting Oct. 15, including an Andy Griffith Tuesday block from 8-10pm, replacing Cosby Show and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will move from Tuesdays at 11 to Saturdays at 11! Good morning TV Land, indeed!
    Full list of changes for that week can be found here.
  • Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Some Nick at Nite Changes for the Week; Florence Henderson Back on the 'Brady' Set

    Nick at Nite has extended the marathon of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for another two nights. The marathon was slated to end after tonight, but now will continue on Friday and Saturday from 12am-5am ET/PT. Also, due to this change, tomorrow George Lopez will air 10-11pm then Home Improvement from 11-12. And finally, the Home Improvement marathon on Sunday is a bit longer how. Originally slated for 9pm-3:30am, now it will be 9pm-5am. An 8 hour event!

    Agion, a global leader in naturally safe antimicrobial solutions for healthcare, has launched the That's Revolting! viral video site (www.ThatsRevolting.com) starring Florence Henderson, America s favorite TV mom. Shot on the original (but reconfigured) set of the classic '70s TV sitcom that made Henderson an American icon, That's Revolting! features Henderson as the mom in a whacked family that s inadvertently passing microbes to each other in a series of over-the-top comedic videos. Florence also plays the perennially cheerful host, who urges web viewers to Spot the Germs before family members get ill with everything from Flesh Eating Bacteria to Salmonella. It's fun for the whole family!

    Tonight NBC will have one-hour season premieres of their two best sitcoms...My Name is Earl and The Office. The smart laughter starts at 8/7 central on NBC.
    Also returning tonight at 8/7 central is the one-hour comedy Ugly Betty on ABC leading into the #1 scripted show Grey's Anatomy.
    The only new show that will premiere tonight is Big Shots at 10/9 central on ABC. I have seen the pilot, so I'll give you my take. The series is like a male Desperate Housewives. We have four male leads, just like how we have 4 female leads on DH. Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina and Dylan McDermott star in this all-star cast. All four are high profile New York CEO's and have some women trouble. Vartan's character, James, learns a secret about his wife. Titus' character, Brody, is happily married...or is he? Malina's character, Karl, is having an affair. And McDermott's character, Duncan, is divorced but is about to be hit with a scandal involving a transvestite hooker. Can these four men balance between the boardroom and bedroom? This show is a dream come true for those upscale viewers!
    The show has funny moments and some serious juice, but is not as good as Desperate Housewives yet. I think following Grey's Anatomy, this show will certainly be sampled, and I'm sure many (especially the women) will stick to see Vartan and McDermott. It is not bad of a pilot, but the series needs to get better for viewers to stick. Try it for at least 3 weeks, then make your decision...don't do the "one and done." Many did that for Brothers & Sisters, and now that show is among the best shows out there in quality.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Fox Pulls First Series of the Season; TV Land Details Beaver's 50th, More TVL Notes

    Fox has "pulled" the first show of the season. Friday reality show Nashville has been pulled after just 2 airings. The series debuted terribly, and did even worse last Friday getting barely 2 million viewers, for last place. Fox will air encores of K-Ville the next two Fridays. After that the baseball playoffs will take over, and Fox says following that Nashville will return. Sureeee. I highly doubt that.

    TV Land celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of television's beloved family sitcoms, Leave It To Beaver with a 24 hour marathon beginning on October 6th at 8:00PM ET/PT concluding on Sunday, October 7th at 8:00PM ET/PT. The marathon includes the rarely-seen 1957 pilot entitled "It's a Small World" that features Jerry Mathers as the Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver; Paul Sullivan as Wally and Barbara Billingsley and Max Showalter as the parents June and Ward Cleaver.
    In the weeks leading up to the October 6-7th marathon, TV Land.com will be the home to all things Leave It To Beaver. The site will feature the best of Leave It To Beaver clips along with streaming the original 1957 pilot, "It's A Small World" as well as four bonus episodes chosen by TVLand.com users. In addition to the exclusive video content, tvland.com offers its users a chance to win the series on DVD. Finally, the site will be filled with a special photo gallery and a mind-bending Leave It To Beaver trivia game.
    In addition, TV Land just announced that the 50th Anniversary of Leave it to Beaver marathon extends into Monday, October 8 from 11:00am-5:00pm. Gee, Wally!
    One other note, for the week of Oct. 8 only, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will air on Saturday, October 13 at 11:00p instead of Tuesday the 9th at 11, with the movie Rain Man following at 12:00a.

    If you have noticed on the bottom of last Wednesday, Sunday and Monday's blog that I mentioned when the sitcoms are airing. I'll try to do this for the rest of the season. Tonight it is week two for Back to You and 'Til Death. It all starts at 8/7 central on Fox.
    Also tonight we have four new dramas premiering. Two of them are going to be huge in Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. Now we are not doing full fledge reviews of them, like we are for every sitcom, but I'll give my opinions on the pilots here. The opener for Private Practice is pretty good. It starts off with Addison telling Dr. Webber that she is leaving Seattle to go to Los Angeles. Then we see her in her new house and she is dancing in the nude. A very hilarious scene. There are not many funny stuff in the first episode, we have some great drama though. The highlight of the first episode is when a man dies while trying to donate sperm, and a huge battle goes on to try to get that sperm...you'll have to see what I mean. Also, Addison's friend Naomi hired Addison without consulting any of the other doctors, which makes them all pretty ticked. Will they welcome Addison? You'll see. So far not as good as Grey's Anatomy, but Kate Walsh s great as always. Should debut big tonight!
    Following that we have the premiere of Dirty Sexy Money! The rich family called the Darlings have it all. The great Donald Sutherland plays the rich father and he is as evil as he could be. He hired Nick George, played by Peter Krause, to represent his family as the family lawyer, something his father used to do for them. This family gets in all sort of trouble, and Nick has no life now besides them. There is also a nice mystery on what happened to Nick's dad. Did Mr. Darling have anything to do with it? We shall find out. This series will be a 21st century Dynasty and it comes from the people who created the wonderful Brothers & Sisters. It is like Brothers & Sisters on crack. Tune in tonight for both of these dramas back-to-back starting at 9/8 central only on ABC!
    The other two new series are on NBC, also starting at 9/8 central. Bionic Woman and Life. Bionic should debut decently, but I think it will drop a lot after that. Life is my pick for the first scripted series cancelation.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    TV Land Brings Back Brady Bunch...For Now, Nick at Nite Notes; TBS Gets Earl Window; More Notes

    This might be just for two weeks, but The Brady Bunch is coming back to TV Land. The Brady Bunch has been added to the schedule airing Tues-Fri at 11am starting Tuesday, October 2. It might be just for weeks of Oct. 1 and 8 (replacing a second Green Acres), as Designing Women is slated to still launch Tues-Fri at 11am starting Oct. 15. We will keep you up to date. As the theme song starts, "here's a story," this certainly is a story to watch!
    Meanwhile, if you haven't noticed, but since Saturday, Nick at Nite has added a last minute Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marathon. It is a 6 night marathon that will run through Thursday. 11pm-5am each night (Saturday it was 12-5am). Home Improvement and George Lopez are still kicking off each night. And speaking of Home Improvement, it will get a 9pm-3:30am marathon this Sunday (Sept. 30).

    We've mentioned before that TBS has gotten the 5-days a week syndication rights to the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl starting Fall 2009, but now we have some more good news. Starting this April, they can air the series back-to-back one night a week, like they do with shows like House of Payne. So Earl will get a sneak peek a full 1 1/2 years before its syndication launch!

    Emmy voters have spoken and now viewers have a chance to catch up on the NBC Emmy Award-winning comedy 30 Rock, when Bravo airs a six episode mini-marathon on Sunday, September 30th from 1:00 4:00 PM ET/ PT. Six sure-to-become classic episodes of the critically acclaimed comedy will include fan favorites featuring Paul Reubens as a bizarre foreign prince, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) getting set up on a blind date with a lesbian, and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) becoming an NBC page for a day. 30 Rock is told through the comedic voice of Fey playing Liz Lemon, who heads the variety show TGS while clashing with the ever-meddling head honcho Jack Donaghy.
    30 Rock, with special guest star Jerry Seinfeld, premieres Thursday, October 4th at 8:30 PM ET/PT on NBC.
    And finally, Firebrand TV is finally rescheduled on ION. It will start Monday, Oct. 22 airing weeknights at 11pm. Full details, click HERE.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    TV One Schedule Changes, November Highlights; Remembering Alice Ghostley

    TV One has been postponed the sitcom Good News until later in the season, so we will see filler programming in the previously announced slots for Good News. Programming such as 2 hour mini-marathons of All of Us and Wanda at Large. Good News was going to air Sundays 7-8pm starting Oct. 7. Also, TV One has added two more Saturday marathons! All of Us on Oct. 6 and Roc on Oct. 27. The stars shine on TV One as they present an All of Us sitcom marathon chock full of celebrity guest stars dropping in to add to the family fun. Celebrity sightings for the all-day event include Beyonce, Boris Kodjoe, Will Smith, Allen Payne, Patti LaBelle, Tyra Banks, Serena Williams, Fantasia, Paula Abdul, Keyshia Cole, Ruben Studdard, Cedric the Entertainer, and Vivica A. Fox from 12-8pm on Oct. 6.
    On Saturday, October 27 beginning at 1pm, TV One presents the 'Roc with You' marathon, TV One's first ever marathon celebration of the most memorable episodes of the ground-breaking Charles Dutton sitcom Roc. Guest stars for the marathon event include Samuel Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, and 90's girl-group sensation EnVogue.
    Now let's move on to TV One November. On Saturday, November 3 beginning at 12 Noon, TV One kicks off three weeks of Saturday afternoon marathons celebrating its "Month Of Martin." First up, on Nov. 3, romance is in the air as TV One presents an all-day love-a-thon featuring the romance and wedding of Martin & Gina on the sitcom Martin. Take a look back at how it all began and how the ups and downs of their relationship ultimately ended at the altar in a beautiful Caribbean wedding. On Saturday, November 10 beginning at 12 Noon, a marathon of Martin episodes featuring the girls Gina and Pam and their wacky escapades through the dating scene, navigating friendships, and career choices all while trying to remain true to each other. This all-day marathon keeps the laughs coming while letting the ladies shine. An encore version begins at 2am. Finally, on Saturday, November 17 beginning at 12 Noon, Martin's boy Tommy takes center stage in a Martin marathon featuring episodes focusing on Tommy dealing with relationships, his secret job, and his long standing friendship with Martin. Viewers can watch and see how Tommy keeps his cool while remaining the one in the group with the voice of reason in hysterical situations. An encore version will air beginning at 4am.
    As far as the regular November schedule is concerned, beginning on Monday, November 5, TV One adds The PJs to the back to back laugh attack lineup in the 9:30pm weeknight timeslot. The show, created by Golden Globe winning actor/producer Eddie Murphy (who provides Stubbs' voice), follows the adventures of the Stubbs family and the others in the building, animated through a process called 'Foamation’. The show will also air in the late night 12:30am timeslot on weeknights as well.
    Thanksgiving Weekend brings four days of special programming. Thanksgiving Marathon on Thursday, November 22 from 9am-12pm, episodes of All of Us, Martin, Good Times, and Parent'hood, followed by a Soul Food movie marathon from 12pm-9pm. On Friday, November 23, TV One presents Roots all day from 6am-6am. On Saturday, November 24 beginning at 12 Noon, let the good times roll as TV One presents the Good Times family sitcom marathon. As viewers are spending time with their families during this family holiday weekend, they can also spend time with the Evans family and relive those special moments that make family so special in our hearts while the antics of JJ and the crew will keep viewers laughing the day away. This 10 hour marathon event will have an abbreviated encore version beginning at 2am. On Sunday, November 25 beginning at 2pm, TV One continues their family themed weekend with an All of Us sitcom marathon. Blended families are the focus of this sitcom starring Duane Martin and LisaRaye McCoy as divorced parents who are still both involved in raising their son amidst their own love lives and career issues that cause unpredictable and hilarious situations for all involved. An encore version airs beginning at 1am.
    For the complete October changes click HERE. And for the November schedule and highlights, click HERE!

    SitcomsOnline mourns the loss of sitcom actress Alice Ghostley. She was of course most remembered for her roles on Bewitched and Designing Women. On Bewitched she played Esmeralda and on Designing Women she played Bernice (which she earned an Emmy nomination in 1992). She passed away on Friday at her home in Studio City after a long battle with colon cancer and a series of strokes. Ghostley had lots of film work too, including major movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Graduate, Gator and Grease. But it was television where she made her mark, especially sitcoms. She co-starred in the sitcoms Captain Nice, Small Wonder and Mayberry R.F.D (as Cousin Alice). She has guest starred on many sitcoms such as playing the ditzy social worker Mrs. Dodds on Good Times and playing Mama's boss Mrs. Turner on What's Happening!! Her other guest starring sitcom credits include Car 54 Where Are You?, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Get Smart, He & She, The Farmer's Daughter, The Mothers-in-Law, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Odd Couple, Hogan's Heroes, Temperature Rising, Here We Go Again, Love American Style, The New Gidget, Big Eddie, Maude, One Day at a Time, Chico and the Man, Gimme a Break!, Stir Crazy, What's Happening Now!!, Punky Brewster, The Golden Girls, Daddy Dearest, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Dharma & Greg, and a recurring role on Evening Shade.
    Alice will certainly be missed, as she has certainly made herself known in the television world. She was one of the best character actresses out there and we will always remember her. She was 81.

    Don't forget to tune in tonight to the CBS Monday sitcom line-up with three season premieres and the series premiere of The Big Bang Theory at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. You saw our review on Friday, and it has some great laughs. Sheldon (a new sitcom sidekick), played by Jim Parsons, says funny stuff.

    Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Mini-DVD Review: What About Brian - The Complete Series (Sept. 25); Summer Week 17 Sitcom Ratings

    Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! If you are looking for our weekly sitcom ratings, you'll still find that today, but it will be below this. Today we take a look at Buena Vista Home Entertainment's What About Brian: The Complete Series. What About Brian is a drama from the producers of Lost & Alias (J.J. Abrams among them), that sees relationships from a circle of friends, with Brian the only one not having a steady relationship. This show is addictive and quite possibly has the hottest cast ever, counting the guest stars and recurring characters. See my mini-DVD review of What About Brian: The Complete Series:

    What About Brian: The Complete Series (Buena Vista, $59.99) brings the first and second seasons (unfortunately it is the complete series) of a witty and seductive ABC drama starring Barry Watson! We step into a middle of a circle of friends who experience the world from the inside out. Brian and his friends lean on each other as their relationships become more intense and they discover that the truth that stings can sometimes be your salvation. Both the first and second seasons saw a lot of cast members come and go, but here are all the stars: Barry Watson as Brian Davis, Matthew Davis as Adam Hillman, Sarah Lancaster as Marjorie Seaver, Rick Gomez as Dave Greco, Amanda Detmer as Deena Greco, Rosanna Arquette as Nicole Varzi, Raoul Bova as Angelo Varzi, Jason George as Jimmy, Amanda Foreman as Ivy, Jessica Szorh as Laura, and Tiffany Thiessen as Natasha Drew. Recurring are Krista Allen as Bridget Keller, Rachelle Lefevre as Heather, William Devane as Michael Davis, and Stacy Keibler as Stephanie. And with guest stars such as Amy Jo Johnson as Car Girl.
    Packaging on this DVD is great and different for a Buena Vista set. We have an outer box (like usual) but it holds three slim cases inside (usually BV sets have a digipak). Anyway, the box cover has a cast photo, that was added on because some of these cast members never appeared at the same time. They are either sitting on a sofa or standing by it. We have Nicole & Angelo, Natasha, Jimmy & Ivy, Brian, Adam & Marjorie, and Dave & Deena. It is a great looking cover art. The back of the box has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice small photos. As I mentioned, inside the box are three slim cases. We also have two inserts for other BV DVDs and how to save and get money back. We don't get an actual episode booklet, like other BV DVDs, but don't worry...we get episode details on the back of the slim cases! Slim case one holds disc one, which is season one (episodes 1-5) and has a photo of Brian, Marjorie and Adam on the front cover. Slim case two holds discs two (episodes 6-10) and three (episodes 11-15) and has a photo of Deena, Dave & Nicole. The last slim case holds discs four (episodes 16-20) and five (episodes 21-24) and has a photo of Ivy, Jimmy, and Natasha. As I mentioned, the back of each slim case details the episodes on that case, with episode #, title, and a description of the episode. We get three screenshots also on each slim case. Disc art is is same style as the packaging...disc one has a photo of Brian, Marjorie & Adam. Disc two has Deena & Dave. Disc three has Nicole and again Brian. Disc four has Ivy & Jimmy. And disc five has Adam again and Natasha. I wish they added characters like Laura, Stephanie and Bridget to the disc art, too.
    This series is excellent. You don't know what you missed. Now is your chance to find out. It is so addictive and steamy. The episodes generally run around 43 minutes. The lowest is 39:43, but it just ran short originally. There are about 7-8 chapter stops for each episode, but the pilot has 6. The video is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The show never looked better or sounded better. I had forgotten the first season never had an opening theme. We do hear the closing theme, "Under the Sun" or something. First time I've heard that, since ABC doesn't show the ending theme. Season two had an opening theme, the catchy "Calling All Friends" theme. The closing theme for this season is an instrumental version of that.
    The menu screen starts by showing us nice clips with some background music in the background. Disc one has an auto trailer for the Hottest TV Shows before the menu starts. Play All, Episode Selection, Set up are the options on each disc. Audio Commentary and Sneak Peeks are on disc one only. Bonus Features option is on disc three. Each sub-menu has more background music from the show. The Episodes section has the episode number and title...very simple. Set Up gives us the option to have Subtitles...English, French or Spanish. We can also Register our DVD. Sneak Peeks has a look at other BV DVDs like Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy.
    Moving on to the bonus features. Disc one has Audio Commentary on the "Pilot" from Creator/Writer Dana Stevens. She also gives commentary on the last disc, for the series finale "What About Calling All Friends." We also have an unaired episode as a bonus. The episode is titled "What Happens in Vegas." It was supposed to be the finale for season one, so episode 6, but it was scrapped. It lefts off from where Adam sees Brian and Marjorie yelling. Creator Dana Stevens gives us a 30 second intro to this episode then the 40:04 episode follows. Very cool to finally see this, as I knew they had shot this but scrapped it. Then we have a 13:04 featurette titled "Calling All Friends: The Story of What About Brian." This is very informative and we hear from the cast and crew. This is a must watch for fans. Finally, we have "What About 3: The Season That Never Was." It runs 3:31 and Barry Watson and Matthew Davis give a comical insight if there was a season three, also creator Dana Stevens gives us details on what might have happened.
    I really hope you buy this DVD. This show was very underrated and shouldn't go unnoticed. If you are a fan, you must buy this. If you never saw it, give it a try. You'll be hooked. So, calling all friends and people I met on the way down, and people I don’t even know, I really wish you buy this DVD! It even has Stacy Keibler on the final 6 episodes, how much more hotter can we get?
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    What About Brian TV.com Page


    Tomorrow is the official start of the new season! So next Sunday we will be back with sitcom numbers for the first full week and the return of the network four day ratings and our analysis! Here are the summer week 17 (Sept. 17-23) sitcom numbers:

    Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Sept. 10-16)
    • None.
    Monday Sitcoms
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.95 million for a repeat, up from previous week, gearing up for the season premiere tomorrow!
    • Old Christine (CBS) - 6.04 million for a repeat, up from last week. See you in mid-season!
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 10.84 million for a repeat, up from the previous week...we should get 13-15 million tomorrow for the season premiere, but the competition might not let it.
    • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.05 million for a repeat, up quite a bit from last week...wonder if the season premiere can muster 10-11 million tomorrow?
    • Everybody Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Game (The CW) - Repeats of these sitcoms did all under 2 million with Girlfriends the highest at 1.75 million. Season premieres are Oct. 1.


    Tuesday Sitcoms

    • None
    Wednesday Sitcoms
    • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 3.9 and 3.81 million for 2 repeats, down a bit from previous week, as it was up against originals on Fox. See you in January, Jim.
    • Back to You (Fox) - The first new sitcom of the season did a 6.0/10 HH, 9.48 million, 3.1/10 18-49. While that is good stuff, it was a disappointment because of all the hype the show got. 12 million would have been better. 'Til Death's premiere last season did 8.82 million, so it wasn't all that up from that.
    • 'Til Death (Fox) - With an actual lead-in, the show did OK, with 7.76 million for the season premiere. 4.9/8 HH and 2.7/8 18-49 rating.

    Thursday Sitcoms

    • My Name is Earl (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.2 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating.
    • The Office (NBC) - A one-hour encore did a prelim 5.0 million, but built on 18-49 to a 2.4.
    Friday Sitcoms
    • None.
    Saturday Sitcoms
    • None
    Tune in tonight on Fox for The Simpsons, King of the Hill & Family Guy.

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Mini-DVD Review: The Bronx is Burning (Sept. 25); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Surprise Ending to Back to You Pilot; Emmitt Smith on ESPN

    It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews and Solomon's Weekly Rant! First up of course is the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at ESPN Home Entertainment's The Bronx is Burning. The Bronx is Burning is the eight episode mini-series that aired on ESPN this summer focusing on the 1977 season of the Yankees and what was going on at that time that summer. This show is well acted and got better with each episode. See my mini-DVD review of The Bronx is Burning:

    The Bronx is Burning (ESPN, $39.92) brings the events of summer 1977 to DVD, in the form of The Bronx is Burning! New York City was in a crisis that summer of '77, they were paralyzed by a blackout, political strife, and the Son of Sam killing spree, so the Big Apple was burning. Rising out of this, came the New York Yankees...they signed Reggie Jackson and the trouble and turmoil started, but in the end they won a world championship. This is a true story of how the New York Yankees single-handedly helped to raise the spirits of a city in a time of darkness and uncertainty. Based on the best-selling novel by Jonathan Mahler, this historic 8-part dramatic mini-series captures the summer of 1977 like never before. John Turturro stars as Yankees Manager Billy Martin, Oliver Platt as demanding owner of the Yankees George Steinbrenner, and Daniel Sanjata plays the slugger Reggie Jackson.
    Packaging on this DVD is decent. We have an outer box that we slide out to get to the case. I really think we don't need that outer box, because the case is good enough. Plus the outer box has the same exact cover art and back art as the case. Anyway, the cover has the three main stars of this mini-series (Reggie, Martin, and The Boss). It is a great looking cover art. The back of each has synopsis of the series and set, along with a list of bonus features and some nice photos from the mini-series. When we open the case, we see an insert for other ESPN products on the left, on the right we see a holder for disc one. Then like a book, we can turn it and on the back of that holder is disc two. Disc three is on the right side. Each disc has a nice blue background with a different exterior shot of New York City. Disc one also has a photo of The Boss (same as the cover art), disc two has Billy Martin (same as the cover art), and disc three has Reggie (same as the cover art). First half of the mini-series is on disc one and the second half is on disc two, while disc three has bonus features.
    This mini-series is excellent. You will have to watch all eight to understand it. The episode run-time is all over the place, but I assure it is unedited. I'll list all the run-times in order: 42:04, 44;22, 41:55, 43:10, 39:57, 44:18, 36:34, 39:02. There are about 6 chapter stops for each episode. The video is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from this past summer, so it has to be good.
    The menu screen starts by showing us nice clips with the theme in the background. It is really neat. The Episodes are listed right on the main menu for discs one and two. There are some Bonus Features on disc one, they are also listed right on the main menu. Disc three has all bonus features, and again, they are listed right on the main menu screen.
    Moving on to those bonus features. Disc one has Player Bios and '77 Yankee Statistics. The Player Bios are of George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson. They all run two minute each or so, and the text is in a scrolling video. The stats are divided into different categories: Batting Stats, Pitching stats, ALCS Box Scores, World Series Box Scores, Schedule & Results. The Box Scores are like the bios, a scrolling video text that run a but over a minute each. The Schedule & Results is the games for the entire 1977 season, find out who the Yankees beat and loss to. That also is in a scrolling video that runs under 3 minutes.
    We have all the rest on disc three. First up is Deleted & Extended Scenes. Approx. 10 1/2 minutes of these. We have 5 scenes and we can also have option commentary on them by executive producer Gordon Greismer. Then we have some Webisodes of The Bronx is Burning. We have 7 of them and they run about 1 1/2 minutes each. Cool stuff. Then we have some Interviews. We have an interview with George Steinbrenner that runs 10:03, an interview with Reggie Jackson that runs 8:36, an interview with Billy Martin's son Billy Martin Jr. that runs 10:32, and John Turturro the actor who played Martin in the movie, running 6:47. Then we have a nice On the Set Featurette that is very detailed and runs 22:26. Finally, we have Stories of '77...Fenway Dugout Brawl that runs 6:30 and Sport Magazine Article that runs 6:20. Find out the scoop from these two huge stories.
    I highly recommend this mini-series and DVD. The Yankees overcame a lot in '77 and so did the city of New York. While this is entertaining, it was also a true story. I urge you all to watch this, especially if you are a fan of sports. And if you've watched it on ESPN, you should get the DVD, because you learn more facts and insight from the great bonus features. Like the classic Roots mini-series of that time, this is also eight episodes. This could be our Roots for this generation! Let's hope the Yankees of 2007 can repeat what the Yankees of '77 did...win a championship.
    -- Reviewed by Pavan
    (4/5 stars)

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

    Related links:
    SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
    Official Website
    The Bronx is Burning TV.com Page


    In addition to our sitcom ratings of the week tomorrow on the blog, we will have a special Sunday edition of Mini-DVD Reviews, we will take a look at the What About Brian DVD!


    Solomon's Weekly Rant
    Saturday, September 22, 2007
    "Surprise Ending to Back To You Pilot; Sports Analyst with a Speech Problem"
    By Solomon Davis

    The new Fox sitcom, Back To You is expected to be a huge hit this TV season (though it certainly wasn't a blockbuster in the ratings in its first episode) but I didn't really get that feeling from watching the pilot episode. The show featured two major sitcom stars, Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Heaton, who starred on hit comedies in the past and I guess Fox is banking on this happening with Back To You. The show was very watchable with some funny moments but I had no idea there was a surprise waiting for me before the show ended. After seeing so much of the newsroom during the episode, suddenly I saw the characters in a home scene which I think could have waited until episode three or four. The other surprise was seeing the 10 year old daughter appear and there was never any hint from the promos or the TV Guide review that a child would appear in the pilot episode. Not only that, the show became serious toward the end and no one wanted to see that in a pilot episode for a new comedy. Mainly because people were sampling this show to see if it was funny not to see serious scenes so early in the series. Maybe the future episodes will be better since there was so much hype by Fox before the premiere and hopefully I'm not saying, "Back To You Fox for another new sitcom" in mid-October.

    So because a guy played professional sports for 12 years and won a Dancing with the Stars trophy, that automatically makes him qualified to be a sports analyst on television? I always thought that in order to be a sports analyst on ESPN, you had to speak very clear and look comfortable on camera. Well that has not been the case with the new guy added to the ESPN set this season by the name of Emmitt Smith. This guy who has shown in just six weeks that he is not qualified to be a sports analyst because of his speech problem. He is always stuttering on camera when trying to make a point and that makes it hard for viewers to take him seriously as a analyst. He also tends to grin from ear to ear whenever he speaks and has no idea how goofy he looks on camera. It's not necessary for him to smile every time he opens his mouth which is something you never see from the analysts on other NFL pre-game shows. If Emmitt can't be articulate and speak without stuttering then why he is taking up space on the ESPN set? I know that by now the ESPN producers has probably learned that just because a person can dance doesn't mean they can speak clearly and make intelligent points on camera. It's only been six weeks for Emmitt Smith on the air and he may already be the worst sports analyst in ESPN History and needs to go now before he embarrasses himself anymore.

    My TV Highlight of the Week: Friday, September 21, 2007 - Joy Behar's appeared on Larry King Live and she played the interviewer at times.
    My TV Lowlight of the Week: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - The serious ending scene on the Back To You pilot.

    Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.

    DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    CBS Fall Pilot Review: The Big Bang Theory - Premieres September 24

    The Big Bang Theory

    The Big Bang Theory - Mondays at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
    Premieres September 24 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    From creators Chuck Lorre & Bill Prady comes The Big Bang Theory, the story of two brainy best friends who could tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics -- but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on Earth, they're lost in the cosmos.

    The Big Bang Theory is a comedy about brilliant physicists, Leonard and Sheldon, who are the kind of "beautiful minds" that understand how the universe works. But none of that genius helps them interact with people, especially women. All this begins to change when a free-spirited beauty named Penny moves in next door. Sheldon, Leonard's roommate, is quite content spending his nights playing Klingon Boggle with their socially dysfunctional friends, fellow Cal Tech scientists Wolowitz and Koothrappali. However, Leonard sees in Penny a whole new universe of possibilities... including love.
    The Big Bang Theory is executive produced by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady.

    Cast Details:

    Johnny Galecki as Leonard, Jim Parsons as Sheldon, Kaley Cuoco as Penny, Scott Halberstadt as Bobby, Simon Helberg as Wolowitz, Kunal Nayyar as Koothrappali, Frank Pacheco as Joey, Brian Wade as Kurt

    Johnny Galecki (Leonard) is perhaps best known to television audiences for his role as David in the long-running ABC comedy series Roseanne, for which he won a Young Artist Award. His television series credits also include a recurring role in My Boys and guest appearances in Hope & Faith and My Name is Earl.

    Jim Parsons (Sheldon) counts among his television credits a recurring role in the series Judging Amy and a guest-starring appearance in Ed.

    Kaley Cuoco (Penny) is perhaps best known to television audiences for her role as Bridget Hennessey in the John Ritter ABC series 8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter, for which she won a Teen Choice Award. Cuoco's other television credits include the series Ladies Man and Charmed and guest appearances in Prison Break, Complete Savages, 7th Heaven, My So-Called Life and Ellen, in which she played a young Ellen DeGeneres in flashbacks.

    Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz) has television credits that include guest-starring appearances on MADtv, Reno 911!, Joey and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

    Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali) will have his first regular role on a television series. He had a guest-starring role on CBS's Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.


    Pilot Plot:

    Pilot (09/24/07) - When Leonard and Sheldon meet Penny, Leonard is immediately interested in her, but Sheldon feels his friend is chasing a dream he'll never catch.

    Written by: Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady
    Directed by: James Burrows
    Guest Stars: Brian Patrick Wade as Kurt and Vernee Watson as Althea


    Analysis:

    I only got to watch the pilot, but it was worth it! Usually when we do our pilot reviews we have 2-3 episodes to have a sample of. CBS didn't send us another episode, but that is fine. After watching the pilot, I think the show is actually funny. It is like a throwback to how sitcoms of the '80s were done. This is a multi-camera sitcom, and it might not be as hyped up as Fox's Back to You, I think this is the best traditional sitcom this fall. There are only two, and I liked the pilot of this one better than the Fox series. While the plot might sound, "been there, done that," it is enjoyable and has a lot of humor. The pilot runs a little over 23 minutes and the first scene to me is boring with just Leonard & Sheldon, but don't get discouraged. I thought to myself, "this better get better." And it did. It really picks up when the two geeks (Leonard and Sheldon) meet their new neighbor (Penny), who lives in the apartment down the hall.
    It is a mix of three shows to me. You get a bit of Weird Science, a bit of Beauty & the Geek and a slight bit of Three's Company (even though they don't all live together in one apartment).

    The show does need work to continue. The pilot is a good start, but it has to maintain the quality of humor and improve on some characters. I loved Kaley Cuoco on 8 Simple Rules. She was hilarious & beautiful on that show and her dialogue was great. On the pilot of this show she is beautiful too, but I don't even remember anything she really said because they make her a girl that only has looks. But I think they will improve on that in future episodes. They also have to improve on the two nerd friends of Leonard & Sheldon. They were like fillers in the pilot. When Leonard & Sheldon went to Penny's ex-boyfriend's house to try to get her stuff back, they just left Penny and their two friends in their apartment. That didn't make sense, but it is funny.
    The show has some neat guest stars coming, such as Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf (who was wonderful this season on Desperate Housewives). That is like a mini-Roseanne reunion. All they need now is John Goodman and Roseanne herself. Hopefully we some 8 Simple Rules stars soon, too, like Amy Davidson, Martin Spanjers or Katey Sagal.


    Conclusion:

    The Big Bang Theory will be airing Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS. Last season, the much hyped sitcom The Class aired in that slot, and it didn't do that well for a CBS sitcom. So in order for this series to do well, it will have to do better than that. 8-9 million will probably not do. If it can build on How I Met Your Mother, which is the lead-in for this show, CBS will be pleased and we will see this sitcom for another year at least.
    Todd reviewed Back to You earlier this week. I saw that pilot too and this one, and I think this one was better. Todd didn't see this one yet, but I'm sure he would like this one, too.

    Is this show too young and hip for CBS? Maybe. But it has How I Met Your Mother as its lead-in, so the young audience will be there. I personally think they should have aired it at 9:30 after Two and a Half Men for more exposure, but let's see how it does at 8:30 first.
    I urge you to tune in for the pilot at least. If you like older sitcoms from the '80s or something, you'll like this one. It is very "sitcomy" and is actually funny. It may not be as smart as sitcoms like 30 Rock and The Office, but I really prefer these types to those (and viewers do, too). Hopefully 10 million+ watch the premiere. It will have to at least build on the lead-in each week, in viewers, if not, for sure in adults 18-49. And you should be one of them who tunes in. To catch a sneak peek of the pilot, click HERE.


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4.5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/21/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Monday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • The Big Bang Theory Fan Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • The Big Bang Theory Photo Gallery
  • Thursday, September 20, 2007

    ABC Full Episode Player Now Also on AOL.com; More Network Notes

    Dedicated to expanding its network and channel brands across multiple platforms and connecting viewers with their favorite shows anytime and anywhere, Disney-ABC Television Group and AOL today announced the availability of full-length episodes of popular primetime shows on AOL Video. Delivered via a co-branded version of ABC.com's Emmy-winning broadband player, full episodes of ABC programs are available today at http://video.aol.com and beginning next week will feature ABC's new fall lineup of programming. The agreement marks the first time ABC's primetime programming has been made available on a major portal and is also the first time a major portal has offered a full feature version of a broadcast network's online video player.
    Additionally, the two companies will team to offer select short form programming from ABC via an embedded short-form player, which will debut on AOL later this year. The short-form programming featured on the embedded player will include both original and derivative content from ABC.
    The same series that are offered on ABC.com the next day will also be on AOL.
    Combining sleek, modern design and user-friendly functionality with geo-targeting ability, the ABC.com broadband player on AOL will be co-branded with an "ABC.com on AOL" message alongside the local ABC affiliate's station ID based on the individual user's geographic location. Individual episodes viewed online will feature up to three interactive advertisements from one national sponsor, as well as an additional local ad insertion. ABC will continue to sell national advertising for the broadband player and local affiliates will continue to be responsible for local ad sales. Since the broadband player launched on ABC.com in September 2006, over 140 million episodes of ABC primetime series have been initiated by users, and to date, ABC affiliates covering 80% of the country have launched or are committed to launch the players on their own websites.

    It is a busy time of the year for networks as we near the launch of the new season. A few series have already had their series premiere, such as Kid Nation and Back to You. Both debuted last night and were neck and neck in the ratings. Look for our final ratings report for the night on our message board later tonight or tomorrow. And for sure on Sunday right here on the blog in our weekly round-up.
    CBS has just announced that it will encore the premiere of Kid Nation on Saturday at 8pm. The series premiered to an audience of 9.4 million viewers on Wednesday, winning its hour in Adults 18-49, children 2-11 and children 6-11. So if you missed it, catch it then. See what all the hoopla is about.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    TV Land's CASA Stunt Full Details; Network Notes

    We mentioned this a lot already, but TV Land has issued yet another press release on the CASA Family Day. As part of its commitment to Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children(TM), TV Land will pre-empt regularly- scheduled programming and "go dark" on September 24 from 6pm to 7pm (ET/PT) to encourage families to dine together. Viewers tuning in to The Family Day Dinner Hour will see photos submitted to TVLand.com of various families sharing meals and spending time together. Packaged like a scrapbook, the hour will display montages of the photos along with Family Day graphics, all set to easy-listening Americana and Jazz music.
    To further promote Family Day, TV Land will air a two-hour block of classic family dinner-themed episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, Sanford & Son, and M*A*S*H on Sunday, September 23, from 8pm to 10pm (ET/PT).

    Fox has announced the premiere date for season 7 of 24. The innovative, addictive, Emmy Award-winning television series 24 resets the clock for Season Seven with a special two-night premiere event Sunday, Jan. 13 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and Monday, Jan. 14 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox.
    In keeping with Fox's commitment to airing original programming year-round, the intense season will unfold in 24's regular 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT time period beginning Monday, Jan. 14, and will continue to air all originals all season into June.
    NBC.com today announced the launch of its new service, "NBC Direct," which will allow users to download and view NBC's popular primetime and late-night entertainment programming on their desktops for up to one week after broadcast. This new feature provides yet another platform on which fans will be able to enjoy NBC Entertainment content.
    The first version of this new feature, which will begin beta testing in October, will allow users to download full length episodes for viewing on Windows based PCs. Each original episode will be licensed to users for viewing through "NBC Direct" for one week following broadcast and will then expire. The downloaded file will provide users with an improved overall viewing experience compared to traditional streaming video. The list of programs available at launch will include Heroes, The Office, Life, Bionic Woman, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
    Later in the beta launch, users will be provided the free subscription option that will allow them to pre-select their favorite NBC programs they want to watch. Those shows will be automatically delivered to their computers as soon as they are available after the original broadcast. The downloadable player will also have filtering technology, which will prevent it from playing any stolen copyrighted material.

    And finally, as a reminder the first two original sitcom airings of the new season start tonight with the series premiere of Back to You and the season premiere of 'Til Death. The laughs start at 8/7 central on Fox.
    Our final ratings for each night will return this week on our message boards (see General Sitcoms board)

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    RTN Renews Affiliates in Savannah and Myrtle Beach; Remembering Brett Somers

    Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that Media General has renewed its RTN affiliations in Savannah, GA and Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC for another year. RTN, which originally launched in both markets in the fall of 2006, currently airs on a digital stream of WSAV, the NBC affiliate in Savannah, and WBTW, the CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach/Florence.
    RTN is of course a television network that provides each affiliate a customized feed with hit classic TV shows. 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.

    Game show legend Brett Somers passed away on Saturday and GSN will honor her in style. She was the popular Match Game panelist and will be honored by GSN in an all-day marathon Saturday, September 22. The Somers' Match Game tribute will air from 9 AM to 4 PM ET on Sept. 22 and will feature some of the best moments from her years of work on one of America's all-time favorite game shows.
    Immediately following the marathon, GSN's original documentary THE REAL MATCH GAME STORY: BEHIND THE BLANK airs from 4 PM to 5 PM ET.
    Additionally, on Sunday night (Monday morning) September 23 at 3:30 AM ET, GSN will air an episode of Password from 1971 where she appeared with then-husband Jack Klugman, as the other celebrity guest.
    Over the years she has guest starred on many classic TV shows such as The Love Boat, Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Odd Couple, Love American Style and more.
    For more on her passing and the GSN event, click HERE. You can also share your memories. Ms. Somers will be dearly missed! She was 83.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Fox Fall Pilot Review: Back to You - Premieres September 19th; 59th Annual Emmy Awards Winners

    Back to You

    Back to You - Wednesdays at 8:00PM ET/PT on Fox
    Premieres September 19th at 8:00PM ET/PT

    In the ‘90s, the local TV news scene in Pittsburgh was dominated by one team: CHUCK DARLING (Kelsey Grammer) and KELLY CARR (Patricia Heaton). They had that elusive quality all news teams need: chemistry ... at least on-screen. Off-screen, Chuck was a bit of a self-centered womanizer, Kelly a bit of an uptight know-it-all. When Chuck grabbed the chance to move up to a larger market, no tears were shed.

    But after an embarrassing on-air tirade ended up on the Internet, Chuck found himself on the downswing career-wise. He even questioned whether his lifestyle of chasing women and living in hotels was as exciting as it used to be. So when he got the call to return to Pittsburgh, to reunite with Kelly and try to take the newscast back to No. 1, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

    Back in Pittsburgh, Chuck and Kelly reteam with familiar faces including MARSH McGINLEY (Fred Willard), the affable, endlessly inappropriate sports anchor, and GARY CREZYZEWSKI, pronounced Kre-shoov-ski (Ty Burrell), the perennially put-upon field reporter who always seems to get left out in the cold; and they have a few new coworkers: RYAN CHURCH (Josh Gad), the under qualified, overstressed news director, and MONTANA DIAZ HERRERA (Ayda Field), the perky, sexy, somewhat inept weather anchor. But perhaps the biggest change is that Kelly is now single mom to 10-year-old GRACIE (Laura Marano).

    There was magic between Chuck and Kelly once. Can they find it again?

    BACK TO YOU is created, written and executive-produced by Steven Levitan (“Just Shoot Me!,” “Frasier,” “Wings”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier,” “The Golden Girls”). James Burrows is executive producer and director. The series is from Levitan/Lloyd Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

    Cast Details:

    Kelsey Grammer as Chuck Darling, Patricia Heaton as Kelly Carr, Fred Willard as Marsh McGinley, Ty Burrell as Gary Crezyzewski, Josh Gad as Ryan Church, Ayda Field as Montana Diaz Herrera, Laura Marano as Gracie Carr

    Kelsey Grammer (Chuck Darling) - Kelsey Grammer played the celebrated character "Dr. Frasier Crane" on three different television series ("Frasier," "Cheers" and "Wings") for 20 years, tying James Arness of "Gunsmoke" for the record of longest-running television character. He has won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the role, and has received an unparalleled total of 16 Emmy award nominations, eight Golden Globe award nominations and 16 Screen Actors Guild award nominations.

    Patricia Heaton (Kelly Carr) - A talented actress whose career spans television, theater and film, Patricia Heaton has been honored with two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and has been nominated for 11 Screen Actors Guild awards for her portrayal of "Debra Barone" on the top-rated series "Everybody Loves Raymond."

    Fred Willard (Marsh McGinley) - Willard has received three Emmy Award nominations for his role as Martin Mull's lover on "Roseanne" and his recurring role on "Everybody Loves Raymond." He also co-starred with Martin Mull in Norman Lear's innovative cult classic talk-show satire, "Fernwood 2Night." Willard had recurring roles on "Ally McBeal," "The Simpsons" and "Mad About You." In addition, he has made more than 50 appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

    Ty Burrell (Gary Crezyzewski) - Through his ability to play roles ranging from classical Shakespeare to contemporary film, Ty Burrell is quickly establishing himself as a talented and versatile actor who has carved out a diverse career in movies, television and theater. On television, Burrell recently starred in the sitcom "Out of Practice" opposite Stockard Channing and Henry Winkler.

    Josh Gad (Ryan Church) - Josh Gad began his career in theater, graduating from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He then turned his sights to comedy, joining the famed Groundlings Improv troupe and later founding his own group, the Lost Nomads Comedy Troupe. Previous screen credits include a guest role on "ER" and the independent feature "Watching the Detectives" with Lucy Liu.

    Ayda Field (Montana Diaz Herrera) - Once she decided upon acting as a career, things happened very quickly for Los Angeles native Ayda Field. On her way home from attending Duke University, she landed an audition on the daytime drama "Days of Our Lives." The audition blossomed into a recurring role on the series that ran over the course of a season. Field's additional television credits include the cable series "Arli$$," "Will & Grace," "Eve," "Blue Collar TV" and a recurring role on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

    Laura Marano (Gracie Carr) - Marano has recurring roles on the television show "Without a Trace," in which she plays Kate, the daughter of Emmy-Award winning actor Anthony LaPaglia's character, and in "Dexter" and "The Sarah Silverman Program." She has guest-starred on television shows including "Ghost Whisperer," "Medical Investigation," "Huff" and "Joan of Arcadia."

    Pilot Plot:

    1. Pilot (09/19/07) - After an embarrassing newscast tirade ends up on the internet on YouTube, Chuck returns to Pittsburgh to reunite with Kelly at the local network. The show opens with a funny flashback to 1996 where we see Chuck Darling leaving the station for greener pastures. He returns 10 years later and meets the young news director, Brian Church, and the rest of the team and his former co-anchor, Kelly. They swap anchor seats and shoot a promo. We are introduced to Kelly's daughter, Gracie.

    Written by: Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd
    Directed by: James Burrows
    Guest Stars: Spencer Knowles (Mail Boy), Adam Busch (Production Assistant), Michael Richard Robinson (Weatherman), Erin Ross (Darcy), Ayda Field (Montana Diaz Herrera)

    I also had the opportunity to view the second episode.

    2. Fish Story (09/26/07) - There's something fishy going on when Chuck tries to convince a dubious Kelly that he has a responsible, nurturing side. Meanwhile, Gary tries to regain his credibility in the field. He doesn't want to do a segment on tasers.

    Analysis:

    After watching the first two episodes, I think the show has a lot of potential. It is impossible to compare it to great newsroom sitcoms such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show or Murphy Brown with such a small sampling, but all of the pieces are here for a long and successful run. Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are a dynamic duo that have instant chemistry. It is hard to believe they had never worked together before or that they had only met each other once prior to being cast. After playing Frasier Crane for 20 years, Kelsey Grammer gets the chance to play another character in the media. It is somebody who has a different personality than Frasier, but he's not 100% opposite that viewers won't recognize him. Patricia Heaton is beautiful and funny and gets to play a character that is the opposite of Debra Ramone. The supporting cast is very good. Fred Willard is hilarious as the zany and political incorrect sports anchor. He has some of the funniest lines, such as "I'm off - I still throw up before every show." I enjoyed Ty Burrell on "Out of the Practice." He has a funny scene in a taser segment in the second episode. Newcomer Josh Gad plays the young, sweaty news director. He reminds me a little bit of Chris Farley and his character is similar to the enthusiastic and neurotic Miles Silverberg character on Murphy Brown. As if we needed more of it with Patricia Heaton already on board, Ayda Field brings a lot of sex appeal as the weathergirl. She has some funny exchanges with Fred and Ty. Overall, the show just has some very funny writing and a good pace. The pop culture references to YouTube and ringtones in the first two episodes are hilarious. Back to You is filmed before a live studio audience with multiple cameras. There is no canned or added laughter here.

    There are a few things that they probably could improve on for future episodes. Although the show is set in Pittsburgh, you would hardly know it. There is the Pittsburgh skyline behind the anchor's desk, but there are very few references to the city. Marsh does mention the Penguins in a news story in the second episode. It would be nice to see some exterior shots of Pittsburgh in the transitions between scenes. The newsroom set looks like a real set, but it appears to be very tiny. Maybe newsrooms are like that in real life, but people are always bumping into each other on the set. Kelly's home is shown in the pilot, but it is not as nice as I would expect a lead anchor to own. The office that Kelly and Chuck share is featured in the second episode, but it doesn't look very big or as elaborate as I expected. I guess with the high salaries of the cast, they didn't have a lot of extra money to furnish those sets with props and items on the walls.

    Conclusion:

    Back to You will likely be one of the top two highest rated new sitcoms of the fall season. It would be very hard for me to see it failing with such an all-star cast and crew. It may not mark the full return of the multi-camera sitcom format, but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we will start to see more in this format that was so popular for the last 40-50 years. Many networks wanted it for their fall schedule. Fox gave it a blind thirteen-episode commitment in February after seeing the script.

    Can Grammer and Heaton find the magic of Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond? It looks to be a funny show. When the cast looks like they are having fun and enjoy filming before a live audience, I think that will translate into a show that people will want to watch. Back to You should score an impressive debut. Fox has heavily promoted it, and there is a lot of buzz about it. It will be interesting to see how many viewers they can hold onto for the second episode and in week three when ABC's enchanting Pushing Daisies premieres. Hopefully Back to You is the start of a new golden era of the multi-camera sitcom.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4.5/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/17/07

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • FOX.com Official Site
  • Back to You Online
  • Back to You Anchorizer
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Back to You Photo Gallery

    Back to You



    And now I'll throw it back to you, Pavan...

    Here are the winners for the main categories at last night's Emmys.

    COMEDY SERIES
    30 Rock
    Entourage
    The Office
    Two and a Half Men
    Ugly Betty

    WINNER: 30 Rock

    DRAMA SERIES
    Boston Legal
    Grey's Anatomy
    Heroes
    House
    The Sopranos

    WINNER: The Sopranos

    LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
    Steve Carell, The Office
    Ricky Gervais, Extras
    Tony Shalhoub, Monk
    Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
    WINNER: Ricky Gervais, Extras

    LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
    Tina Fey, 30 Rock
    Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
    Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
    WINNER: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty.

    LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
    Hugh Laurie, House
    Denis Leary, Rescue Me
    James Spader, Boston Legal
    Kiefer Sutherland, 24
    WINNER: James Spader, Boston Legal

    LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Patricia Arquette, Medium
    Minnie Driver, The Riches
    Edie Falco, The Sopranos
    Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
    Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
    WINNER: Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES
    Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
    Kevin Dillon, Entourage
    Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
    Jeremy Piven, Entourage
    Rainn Wilson, The Office
    WINNER: Jeremy Piven, Entourage.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES
    Jenna Fischer, The Office
    Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men
    Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
    Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl
    Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men
    Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
    WINNER: Jaime Pressly, My Name is Earl

    SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES
    Michael Emerson, Lost
    Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
    T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy
    Terry O'Quinn, Lost
    Masi Oka, Heroes
    William Shatner, Boston Legal
    WINNER: Terry O'Quinn, Lost.

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES
    Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos
    Rachel Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters
    Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
    Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
    Aida Turturro, The Sopranos
    Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
    OUR PICK: Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy

    Full list of winners can be found HERE!

    COMMENTS: The surprises of the night was James Spader for Lead Actor in a Drama and Katherine Heigl for Supporting Actress in a Drama. Both were underdogs, but won! And it was nice that Sally Field got Lead Actress in a Drama and Terry O'Quinn for Supporting Actor in a Drama. Comedy wise, no surprises really, but Shalhoub didn't win finally for Lead Actor in a Comedy. Actually, Jamie Pressly of My Name is Earl was a bit of a surprise. It was a huge night for ABC. 5 wins for ABC in the above main categories. The Sopranos won for Best Drama, but didn't get any of the acting wins, which is a surprise.

  • Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Monday, September 1

    The Big Bang Theory - "The Mommy Observation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    When Sheldon visits his Mom in Houston, he is forced to confront a new reality. Meanwhile, Raj’s “Murder Mystery” party starts some fights within the gang.

    Mike & Molly - "Mike & Molly's Excellent Adventure" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Molly is determined to get Mike out of his routine and tells him to embrace doing anything they want in life.

    Two and a Half Men - "Baseball. Boobs. Boobs. Baseball" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Alan lets Lyndsey’s boyfriend Larry set him up on a date. Meanwhile, Walden offers to help Nicole with her software project so she’ll have time to date him. Marion Ross makes a special appearance. Jeff Probst returns for a second special appearance.

    Partners - "Doug Day Afternoon" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    When Marcus hires a former client and recently paroled ex-convict to work in the office, Allen suspects the once-criminal to have ulterior motives.

    Partners - "How to Get a Head in Advertising" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    When Allen and Marcus decide to make a commercial for their practice, Allen's inflated ego takes the helm and creates a disaster.

    Anger Management - "Charlie and the Temper of Doom" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Charlie struggles to control his anger after meeting a hot girl who doesn't date angry guys.

    Anger Management - "Charlie Gets Trashed" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    Charlie goes to war with his garbage man.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 1) (All times ET unless noted)

    Monday, September 1

    • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Watch Jennifer on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. There's a Friends reunion with Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Derek Waters (Married to the Kellys) - Derek appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Tune in to see Judy on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
    • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym is a guest on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
    • Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) - Yvette guest co-hosts a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
    • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond - Patricia sells a treasure from The Middle on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Debi Mazar (Entourage/Working) - Debi and her husband, Gabriele Corcos, share their passion for Tuscan food and each other on a repeat of Katie, so check your local listings.
    • Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland/Frasier/Throb) - Jane appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.