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.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 31

The Big Bang Theory - "The Hesitation Ramification" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Penny’s big acting break on NCIS is a bust, Leonard struggles to help her, which results in Penny asking Leonard a bold relationship question. Meanwhile, Sheldon tries to learn how to be funny and Raj tries to work on his “game” before talking to girls.

The Millers - "Walk-n-Wave" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Worried that his mother has made him feel like he’s better than other people, Nathan befriends a hopeless co-worker, Doug, who turns out to be a social outcast and more than Nathan knows how to handle. Meanwhile, Tom and Adam argue about who’s smarter and take an online test to find out. Andy Richter guest stars as Doug, Nathan’s co-worker. Roseanne Barr guest stars as Darla, Doug’s mother.

Welcome to Sweden - "Get a Job/Farthinder" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Feeling uncomfortable that he is being supported by Emma (Josephine Bornebusch), and hearing about it from from Emma’s mom Viveka (Lena Olin), Bruce (Greg Poehler) looks for work in Sweden and lands a job that doesn’t quite match with his skill set. Meanwhile, he starts to feel left out when Emma begins to make plans without him. Elsewhere, Hassan (guest star Basim Sabah Albasim) helps teach Bruce to drive, while one of Bruce’s former clients, Gene Simmons (guest starring as himself), tracks him down in an effort to clear problems he is having with the IRS.

Working the Engels - "Picture Night" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is approached by a former client from her old firm, billionaire software genius Sam Taylor (guest star Jacob Tierney), to handle a merger on his behalf. However, it’s the worst time for such a high profile client as Ceil (Andrea Martin), has infected all the office computers with a virus. In addition, Jenna must also help Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) calm down Sandy (Azura Skye), who has just been served divorce papers.

Married - "The Getaway" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Russ and Lina go on a romantic getaway. Jess gets in trouble for sexting her neighbor.

You're the Worst - "Keys Open Doors" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Gretchen inadvertently asks Jimmy for a key to his house.

Love That Girl - "Gullible Is as Gullible Does (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After being taken advantage of several times Jasmine attends Suckers Anonymous, a support group for the gullible. Meanwhile, when the bullying at school gets to be too much, Cordell gets a gun to take care of the bully himself. Delroy has to convince Cordell that violence is not the right answer.

Complete TV Listings


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

Thursday, July 31

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse appears on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Carl (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Carl and Rob are guests on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Martin talks about his new FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Less Than Perfect/DAG) - David appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben Kate) - The stars of FX's Married are guests on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.