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 (May 20)
Raising Hope - "Not Indecent, but Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Chance family meets Sabrina’s mother, Tamara (guest star Melanie Griffith), at the funeral of Sabrina’s grandmother, Nana (guest star Tippi Hedren). Nana’s last will and testament, revealed in a video she recorded before she died, has a big impact on Jimmy and Sabrina’s relationship.
The Goodwin Games - "Pilot" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Series Premiere)
Starring Scott Foley (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) and T.J. Miller (“Our Idiot Brother,” “She’s Out Of My League”), the new inventive family comedy features three estranged siblings who return home after the loss of their beloved father (guest star Beau Bridges) and unexpectedly find themselves poised to inherit more than $20 million – if, and only if, they can adhere to their late father’s wishes. Read our review.
New Girl - "Cabin" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jess invites her divorced Mom and Dad (guest stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner) over for Thanksgiving dinner and enlists Nick and Cece to help her with a “Parent Trap” to reunite them. Meanwhile, Schmidt’s cousin, Big Schmidt (guest star Rob Riggle), visits, and Winston manipulates them into an escalating battle to prove their manhood.
The Mindy Project - "Danny Castellano Is My Gynecologist" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Mindy must find a new gynecologist, she asks Danny to assume the role. Eventually, he accepts – on the grounds that Mindy will feel too uncomfortable to go through with the exam. The two then play a game of chicken to see who will back out of the deal first. Meanwhile, Jeremy tricks Morgan and Betsy into helping him break into Mindy’s apartment to retrieve a valuable item.
2 Broke Girls - "And the Broken Hip" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Max and Caroline pay a high price for attempting to remove a street performer away from the entry to their cupcake shop. Comedian Andy Dick guest stars as J. Petto, a litigious puppeteer.
Rules of Engagement - "100th" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Series Finale)
Brenda goes into labor on Jennifer and Adam’s wedding day. Meanwhile, Russell and Timmy make an attempt at reconciliation and Audrey surprises Jeff, on the 100th episode and the seventh season finale.
The Big Bang Theory - "The Holographic Excitation" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The gang celebrates Halloween at Stuart’s comic book store. Meanwhile, Leonard seduces Penny with science. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a cameo appearance as himself.
Mike & Molly - "Windy City" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
Mike and Carl get stuck working at the Renaissance Faire after their boss, Patrick, gets dumped by Mike’s mother. Later, as a tornado descends on Chicago, Mike and Molly each confess important news to each other. Gerald McRaney guest stars as Police Captain Patrick Murphy, Mike’s boss. Jim Beaver guest stars as Dwight.