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, April 17)

The Big Bang Theory - "The Itchy Brain Simulation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Leonard tries to keep Sheldon from overreacting when a past mistake comes to light, but Sheldon punishes Leonard by making him walk a mile in his shoes. Meanwhile, Penny confronts Raj’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Scavenger Vortex" (CBS, 8:30PM T/PT) (Repeat)
When the entire gang competes in a scavenger hunt designed by Raj, it brings out the best – and worst – in everyone.

The Crazy Ones - "The Monster" / "The Lighthouse" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
"The Monster" - Simon and the team try an out-of-the-box idea in order to save a library from being shut down, and Gordon literally becomes the unwilling poster boy for the campaign. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis, Gayle King guest stars as herself and Melody Thomas Scott guest stars as Flora, the librarian.

"The Lighthouse" - When a corporation wants to buy out Lewis, Roberts+Roberts, Gordon calls in the board to vote, and Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mom has the final say. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis and Marilu Henner guest stars as Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mother.

Surviving Jack - "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
It's homecoming night, but Frankie is bummed that his crush, Heather (guest star Lili Reinhart), is promised to another date and Rachel is protesting the school's "No Grinding" policy. Meanwhile, with the kids out of the house, Jack and Joanne (Rachael Harris) are planning a passionate night to themselves.

Community - "Basic Sandwich" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
The group learns the history of Greendale’s first Dean, Russell Borchert (guest star Chris Elliott, “Eagleheart”), a reclusive, wealthy genius who disappeared amid a personal scandal in the 1970s. Once Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Hickey (Jonathan Banks) locate the school’s blueprints, Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi) lead the search for Borchert’s old computer lab, which was sealed off years ago. Subway returns to Greendale with plans to take over the campus for a Subway University and they enlist Chang (Ken Jeong) to secretly keep tabs on the study group. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) make a grown-up decision about their futures.

Parks and Recreation - "One in 8,000" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) run a charity auction to raise funds for the unity concert. April (Aubrey Plaza) steps in to manage Andy’s (Chris Pratt) schedule, while Donna (Retta) asks Ron (Nick Offerman) for help with her ex-boyfriend (Special Guest Star KEEGAN MICHAEL-KEY).

Sirens - "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Hank fears spiders; Brian encounters his suicidal doppelganger; Johnny gets payback.

Saint George - "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Hit Me with Your Best Shot - George kicks Alma out of his house and discovers he misses fighting with her.

Anger Management - "Charlie Catches Jordan in the Act" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie goes ballistic when a drunk Jordan makes out with a prisoner.

Instant Mom
- "Buy Any Jeans Necessary" (Nick at Nite, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Gabby is held for shoplifting for returning a pair of jeans with the sensor still on, Stephanie and Charlie take sides. Meanwhile, James is selling their unopened wedding presents to make extra cash.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Teach Emily to Drive" (Nick at Nite, 8:30PM ET/PT)
David takes Emily out driving, but his "coaching" makes her nervous, and he insists Emily's not ready for the responsibility. Later, Janie discovers Dr. Monkey Chunks was run over in the driveway, and now everyone is a suspect.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Thursday, April 17

  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Catch Billy on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David talks about the new season of Californication on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl) - Max speaks about the new film About Alex on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea chats on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi talks about her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie talks about Nurse Jackie on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
  • Heather Graham (Californication) - Heather talks about Californication on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil discusses his new role on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Itch on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Listen Up) - Jason is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel. She will be on Fox News Radio at 8:45am. She takes a SiriusXM Radio tour with Perri Peltz Shade 45 with SWAY, Morrning Jolt with Larry Flick, Entertainment Weekly Radio between 9:35-11:20am.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:20am.
  • Ana Ortiz (A.U.S.A./Kristin) - Ana chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also talks about the new season of Devious Maids (premieres April 20 at 10pm on Lifetime) on Arise TV.