Friday, May 02, 2008

ION Fall 2008 Schedule, Dead Zone and Mr. Cooper Also Join; ABC Family Upfront

Yesterday we gave you some details on ION Television's upfront, with the announcement of ER coming in June. Later in the evening ION sent us the full details of their acquisitions and plans for Fall 2008.
ION Television solidified its evolution into a popular, general entertainment network aimed at the 25-54 demographic. At its 2008 sales presentation to the advertising community, held at the New York Public Library in New York City, the Upfront highlighted ION Television's exciting, contemporary programming initiatives for the 2008-2009 television season and promised strong partnerships for advertisers in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace.
ION Television's new campaign is called the "Positively Entertaining" network branding, showcasing a powerful new primetime lineup and the expansion of the network's programming block to 4 p.m.
This Fall, viewers will see a great new lineup of top shows during the week and on weekends. RHI Entertainment, ION Television's exclusive partner in weekend primetime programming, will deliver 12 original movies, including three Westerns, during the 2008-2009 season. RHI's high-caliber content has brought impressive ratings returns, demonstrating how well the ION platform does with quality programming. The award-winning producer and distributor of groundbreaking miniseries and movies for television will continue to provide original programming, as well as quality library titles.
We mentioned in the past and recent days, that ION has acquired Boston Legal & M*A*S*H for this fall, ER starts next month and Criminal Minds & Ghost Whisperer for Fall 2009, but now ION has given more announcements for more series!
USA Network's original series, The Dead Zone, a science fiction/suspense series from Debmar-Mercury, will appear on ION Television's Fall primetime schedule airing Thursday nights. The hit drama stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, a man who awakens from a six-year coma to discover that he has psychic abilities.
Through a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, the hit sitcom, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, will be on the ION Television Fall lineup airing weekdays. Mark Curry plays Mr. Mark Cooper, a single teacher and basketball coach at a high school in Oakland, California. The cast also includes Raven-Symoné, Holly Robinson Peete, Nell Carter, Omar Gooding and more.
ION clearly said at their upfront, that they are not "the Mama's Family channel" anymore and thus the show will be off the line-up by the fall, as of now. That is not to say it won't ever return, but as of now, they are trying to move forward. Recently introduced shows such as The Drew Carey Show, Quantum Leap, Family Feud and The Steve Harvey Show will remain on the network in the Fall.

The following is an outline of ION's Fall 2008 schedule, but could change, so it is not set in stone:

Mondays-Fridays
4:00PM The Steve Harvey Show
4:30PM The Steve Harvey Show
5:00PM Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
5:30PM Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
6:00PM The Drew Carey Show
6:30PM M*A*S*H

Mondays-Thursdays
7:00PM Family Feud
7:30PM Family Feud
8:00PM Quantum Leap

Mondays-Wednesdays
9:00PM Boston Legal
10:00PM ER

Thursdays
9:00PM The Dead Zone
10:00PM The Dead Zone

Fridays-Sundays
7:00PM-11:00PM RHI Entertainment on ION

6:00PM (and if any other slots on weekends are added) weekends will be known closer to the Fall.
We will have an interview with ION very soon (if all goes well), and will try to answer everything in our on going "Seven Questions With..." series. So stay tuned!

Moving on to another upfront, ABC Family also had their upfront yesterday! They outlined ABC Family's plans for Summer and Fall of 2008. Scheduled to debut this summer are new original drama series including The Middleman (Monday, June 16) and The Secret Life of the American Teenager (Tuesday, July 1). In addition to the summer series, ABC Family will premiere Samurai Girl, a special event premiering with six hours over three nights this Fall (September 5, 6, 7) and has ordered a third season of Lincoln Heights (Fall 2008), a second season of Greek (Fall 2008), and a third season of Kyle XY (January 2009). The 11th annual 25 Days of Christmas event will feature an original movie and special as well as the basic cable premieres of The Chronicles of Narnia and Cars.
Rerun wise, joining the successful line-up of acquired series, including America's Funniest Home Videos, What I Like About You, 8 Simple Rules and Gilmore Girls will be the newly acquired sitcoms That '70s Show premiering this June and My Wife and Kids premiering this September. We gave you news on both of these already, though.
New ABC Family original movies include The Circuit starring Michelle Trachtenberg on Sunday, June 8 and Picture This starring Ashley Tisdale on Sunday, July 13. In addition, ABC Family presents the new original movie Snow 2: Brain Freeze starring Tom Cavanaugh and Ashley Williams, the sequel to the highly successful Snow during the 25 Days of Christmas.
In the works for 2009 are an original sitcom and a half-hour dramedy. Roommates, the network's first foray into a half-hour sitcom, will premiere with thirteen episodes in 2009. Roommates is about a group of friends trying to figure out love and life in their post-collegiate years. The ensemble cast includes, Tyler Francavilla, Dorian Brown, Tommy Dewey, David Weidoff and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister).
Sophie, an all new original half-hour series will also premiere in 2009 with thirteen episodes also. Sophie is a heartwarming and comedic tale of a lovely young woman having the worst year of her life. The cast includes Natalie Brown, Sebastian Spence, Jeff Geddis, Amy Lalonde, Mimi Kuzyk, Sara Botsford, Chantelle Chung and Catherine Bérubé.
For more details on ABC Family's Upfront highlights, I suggest you click HERE! You can also discuss the new there. We should have ABC Family's June schedule in the coming days so you will know when That '70s Show will be airing!

Stay tuned next week as we preview the broadcast network upfronts, in our annual preview. We will let you know what we think ABC, The CW, CBS and Fox will do (NBC has already announced their fall schedule, so we can't preview them) for the fall.
Upfront week is week of May 12, starting with NBC, but they already announced their 2008-09 schedules.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Sunday, April 20)

Bob's Burgers - "Ambergris" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
Gene, Louise, and Tina discover a seaweed-covered object at the beach that turns out to be a large hunk of Ambergris - an extremely valuable, but illegal, by-product of whale poop that is used in high-end perfumes. But Louise tries to cheat Gene and Tina out of the profit she hopes to make by selling the treasure on the black market. Meanwhile, Bob and Linda deal with their psychologically unstable landlord who is building them a new bathroom.

American Dad - "Poltergasm" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Francine's "Poltergasm" starts to haunt the Smith household when she is unsatisfied by Stan in the sack, and Roger must conjure a medium named Zelda Rubinstein to help eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley introduces her new boy-toy, Mauricio (guest voice Diego Luna), to the family.

The Simpsons - "Married to the Blob" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Comic Book Guy realizes his comics are nothing if he can't share them with anyone. Then he meets Kumiko, a Japanese woman writing an autobiographical manga, and he seeks out Homer's advice on how to date her, ending happily for everyone.

Family Guy - "Life of Brian" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie and Brian travel back to 17th century Jamestown, via Stewie's time machine, they encounter too many close calls with altering the course of mankind. Stewie decides to destroy his time machine, but immediately regrets his decision when an unthinkable event happens and he is unable to go back in time.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Monday, April 21

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jimmie "J.J." Walker (Good Times) - Jimmie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hears Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Tune in to see Gillian on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Brooklyn Decker, Majandra Delfino and Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives) - The women of Friends with Better Lives are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Zoe will also be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andre will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie throws down a figure-friendly chicken dinner on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ted Lange (The Love Boat) - Ted is a guest on a repeat of The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brittany Daniel (The Game/That '80s Show) - Brittany shares her story of triumph over non-Hodgkins lymphoma on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Beau Bridges (The Millers) - Beau appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Toni Collette (United States of Tara) - Toni will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas is a guest on HuffPost Live.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly hosts the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.