Friday, May 02, 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:
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
7:00PM Family Feud
7:30PM Family Feud
8:00PM Quantum Leap
9:00PM Boston Legal
9:00PM The Dead Zone
10:00PM The Dead Zone
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
Wednesday, July 23
The Middle - "Change in the Air" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The first day of school is upon the Heck family, and Sue finds herself feeling a sense of freedom she’s never felt before with Axl not around to make her campus life miserable. But Brick, who is beginning middle school and afraid of getting a swirlie, avoids the bathroom at all costs. Meanwhile, Frankie becomes jealous of Mike when she discovers that Axl calls and returns his texts but won’t do the same for her; and Sue’s feelings for Darrin surface once again when Mike calls him over to help fix the air conditioner.
The Goldbergs - "Kara-Te" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Barry decides to sign up for the school’s holiday talent show but is bummed when the school doesn’t approve karate as a talent. Beverly is livid and brow beats the teacher in charge to change his mind. After the family watches Barry’s routine, everyone wonders whether he will be able to pull off the performance… or crack under pressure. Meanwhile, Erica gets coerced from Pops to also perform in the talent show, but will she?
Modern Family - "iSpy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they’re hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.
The Middle - "The Potato" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Frankie and Mike are forced to return the church van when it’s discovered that their car has been repaired, Sue – who has been driving the other car – begins to freak out because she’ll have to start taking the bus again. But when her parents tell her that she could get her own car if she got a job, Sue ends up working as a potato girl at a local mall eatery. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike are called into Brick’s principal’s (Rachel Dratch) office and are informed that he has not attended any of his classes – and much to the family’s dismay, Axl begins to spend his nights back home when he becomes fed up with having to deal with his horrible college roommate.
Young & Hungry - "Pilot" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sofia encourages Gabi to start dating again; Josh discovers surprising news about Cam.
Mystery Girls - "Death Becomes Her" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The girls go under cover at Holly's old high school in order to prevent a senior prank.
Hot in Cleveland - "Straight Outta Cleveland" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Victoria gets a visit from the son she always forgets (Chris Colfer) and Joy and Mitch (Tim Daly) debate their compatibility.
Jennifer Falls - "Three Dates With My Mother" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer starts seeing a psychiatrist to help her deal with her mother, but even he might not be enough to break through to Maggie.
Wilfred - "Patterns" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ryan gets sucked into the "End Game."
Love Thy Neighbor - "Lucky Socks" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Danny, Floyd, Sam and Drew have been temporarily evicted; Danny asks Hattie if they can crash with her.
Wednesday, July 23
- Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Watch Eric on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He will be on SI Now at 1pm. He stops by PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am.
- Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Free Agents/Herman's Head) - Hank talks about the Showtime series Ray Donovan on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.