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.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)
05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, May 31
Fresh Off the Boat - "Tight Two" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis prides himself on being a fun dad, but after he has an accident and is forced to stay home with the boys, he scrambles to find ways to entertain the kids. And while Louis is stuck at home, Jessica struggles to manage the staff and the new takeout service at Cattleman’s Ranch.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Phillip Goldstein" (ABC, 10:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eddie tries to befriend the only other Chinese kid in school (guest star Albert Tsai, “Trophy Wife”), but he’s in for a letdown after he finds out that they have nothing in common; Louis feels betrayed when Mitch (Paul Scheer) accepts a job at the rival Golden Saddle.
Tuesday, May 31
- Megan Fox (Hope & Faith) - Catch Megan on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas drops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Rob Corddry (Ballers/The Winner) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Paul F. Tompkins (DAG) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
- Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Maya talks about Maya and Marty on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin talks about Maya and Marty on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 9am hour.
- T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- David Schwimmer (Friends) - David will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Michael Urie (Partners) - Michael discusses hosting the 61st Drama Desk Awards on the AOL Build Show at 1:30pm.
- Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley discusses her first ever beauty line Illuminate by Ashley Tisdale on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg/Courting Alex/Accidentally on Purpose) - Jenna and her husband Bodhi discuss their hit podcast Kicking and Screaming on the the AOL Build Show at 5pm.
- Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan talks about Maya and Marty on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Laura Marano (Austin & Ally/Back to You) - Laura appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.