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

Friday, August 1

Dog with a Blog - "The Mutt and the Mogul" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A wealthy businessman wants to buy Stan from the family and use him for his animal rescue campaign; Tyler, Avery and Chloe hire actors to play their parents and turn down the offer.

Girls Meets World - "Girl Meets the Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Cory teaches a lesson on truth; in the aftermath, Riley and Maya feel bad about lying to Farkle about his acting; Maya contemplates keeping a locket she found.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 28) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, August 1

  • Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Watch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Stamos (Full House/Jake in Progress) - John appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Tune in to see Jada on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Rachelle Lefevre (Life on a Stick/Big Wolf on Campus) - Rachelle is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement) - Wendi joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William chats and performs a song on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Pooch Hall (The Game) - Pooch is a guest on SportsNation at 3pm on ESPN2.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • The Wayans Brothers - Damon, Shawn, Marlon and Keenen are guests on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.