Thursday, May 29, 2008

WGN Adds Weekly Retro TV Block, Renames to WGN America; TV Tonight

Late last week we told you all that WGN was planning a '70s TV week called "The Outta Sight Retro Nights Week: Flashback to the 1970s" from June 2-6 featuring The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Barney Miller, Taxi, Welcome Back Kotter and WKRP in Cincinnati from 8-10pm each day that week...now they have added a weekly "Outta Sight Retro Night" airing each Sunday starting June 8! The block will feature three classic TV shows airing from 7-10pm ET (4-7pm PT). Kicking it off from 7-8pm each Sunday will be WKRP in Cincinnati! Following WKRP, we get reruns of Bob Newhart's second series, the '80s sitcom Newhart from 8-9pm and closing the night is the all-time classic The Honeymooners from 9-10pm. These three shows will air every Sunday night starting June 8 and will go in order, so get those VCRs/DVRs ready.
Now WGN is also planning more theme weeks. The '70s week is the first of many to come. They tentatively have an '80s week planned for July and we could see ALF, Family Ties, and more shows. So stay tuned to that when it is announced! Casey Kasem will be announcing during promos and voice-overs for the theme weeks and the regular Sunday block...how cool!
We will certainly let you know if more of these shows join the actual line-up...so far WKRP is the only one joining the line-up that has aired during a theme week. I wouldn't be surprised though if Newhart is in the '80s week and IF they have a '50s week, The Honeymooners could air in that. And once again all this is not available for the local WGN in Chicago. This is for the national WGN only, the cable version.

Also, the national WGN was called Superstation WGN for many years, but this past Monday they changed their name to WGN America. So, from now on I'll refer WGN to WGN America. The new name and logo was introduced this past Monday and also with the slogan "TV You Can't Ignore." According to the Chicago Tribune, WGN America's new "eyes" logo, which resembles the one used for much of the '90s by cable's The Movie Channel, was the inspiration of Tribune Co. Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams. The former radio consultant wanted the channel to look more like an album cover. It resembles the eyes of the woman on Duran Duran's "Rio" album, but Abrams said he was just trying to help the channel break from traditional TV.
Sean Compton, a former Clear Channel exec recruited to tend to Tribune TV programming, meanwhile is repackaging reruns (WKRP, etc) and old movies (Rocky movies, etc) and giving away prizes via WGNAmerica.com, the new website. By the end of the summer, the plan is to introduce an original program. And within 18 months or so, Compton hopes the nation will barely recognize the channel.

We leave you tonight with a reminder. Tonight is the last of the regular season show's, as Lost will ends its season with an all-night event. At 8pm an encore of the previous episodes will air with bonus footage followed by the game changing two-hour season finale from 9-11pm on ABC. It should do big. Only other new programming on the night is summer reality series: So You Think You Can Dance on Fox from 8-10 and Last Comic Standing on NBC from 8:30-10:30pm. Sitcom wise, NBC will wraparound The Office repeats around Comic at 8 and 10:30pm. CBS will encore Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother from 8-9pm. But you should be getting Lost tonight! After tonight, the summer season will really begin since the regular season scripted series will come to an end until the new season.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 31

Last Man Standing - "Mike Advises Mandy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mike offers Mandy advice on how to set aside money to pay the taxes on her struggling online clothing business. But she decides to do it her way – by opening up a pop up store at Bud’s Buds.

Cristela - "Hall-Oates-Ween" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's Halloween and Cristela is eager to show Trent her “party-whispering” skills to make this year's party a success. After failing to convince Josh, Cristela gets Maddie to join her in dressing up as Hall & Oates. Meanwhile at home, Natalia’s dislike for Halloween has her celebrating the Day of the Dead instead and, ironically, her stories of deceased relatives makes her the most popular Halloween attraction in the neighborhood.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 27) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, October 31

  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Watch Andy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ted Danson (Cheers/Becker) - Catch Ted on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • J.K. Simmons (Growing Up Fisher) - J.K. appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) - Ana is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Leah Remini (The Exes/The Family Tools/The King of Queens) - Leah appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.
  • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Reno 911!) - Niecy tells how to look younger on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Tune in to see if Jim and Rach can survive New York's scariest house on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ken Marino (Marry Me/Party Down) - Ken will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.