Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer 2008 TCA Cable Tour - July 8-11; NBC Universal Buys The Weather Channel; ION Reminds Us of Cooper

The cable portion of the summer 2008 TCA press tour starts tomorrow and runs until Friday. We will have a detailed look on every cable network that goes...of course if it is only interesting we will report it. But cable networks owned by media companies that also run broadcast networks, such as Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, CBS Corp. and News Corp, will present their programming during the broadcast portion of the tour.
Up on Tuesday is: TV One, The Hallmark Channel, HDnet, BBC America, and Comcast's E!, style, & G4. Wednesday we have AMC, WE tv, MTV Networks (such as CMT, MTV, TV Land, VH1), National Geographic Channel, and A&E Networks (such as History and A&E). Thursday up at the panel are Discovery Networks (such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC), ESPN, Sundance Channel, HBO, and GSN. Finally on Friday up are Turner Broadcasting (CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS), Fox Reality Channel, Starz, Lifetime, and IFC.

NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Channel properties from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be operated as a separate entity, based in Atlanta, with management services to be provided by NBC Universal.
The transaction includes The Weather Channel Networks, the third-most-distributed cable network, seen in more than 97% of cable television homes in the U.S.; The Weather Channel Interactive, which includes weather.com, the nation's leading weather website, with nearly 40 million unique visitors per month, and a leading mobile business; and Weather Services International, a global leader in weather forecasting, with more than 5,500 clients worldwide. The transaction is expected to be completed by year-end, and is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals. NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group announced on June 13, 2008, that they had entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase The Weather Channel properties.
NBC Universal will probably have much more details when they are up at the 2008 summer TCA press tour in a few weeks.
Of course there is still no new deal for the SAG (the actors). So there could be a chance the broadcast portion of ther TCA tour could be scratched. The last statement SAG released was on July 2:
The Screen Actors Guild national negotiating committee met with AMPTP negotiators today to present a series of substantive questions on the employers' proposed package. Guild negotiators and staff will further analyze and review the AMPTP's responses over the next several days in order to prepare a response to management's proposal.
Let's hope they can settle this because I sure don't want to cover another strike. The recent WGA strike is still fresh in my mind.

Finally, ION issued a reminder press release today on something we have known for a long time. ION Television announced today that, through a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, it will launch the sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper on its weeknight schedule beginning with two back-to-back episodes, airing July 7th (tonight) from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. (ET/PT). The popular series, in a branded "Laugh Attack" hour, will then continue in this timeslot Mondays through Fridays.
More info.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, July 30

The Middle - "The 100th" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marking the 100th episode milestone of "The Middle," the citizens of Orson, Indiana celebrate the Orsontennial - the town's 100th anniversary. During this momentous event, Frankie and Mike find themselves begrudgingly trying to drive a giant cow float in the parade; Axl, Sean and Darrin resurrect Boss Co. and attempt to make some big bucks by setting up a VIP area to view the festivities; Sue, still crushing on Darrin, tries to make him jealous by pretending to be dating Brad again; and Brick tries to earn himself a place in Orson history by entering a contest to come up with the town's new motto, which will be used for the next 100 years.

The Goldbergs - "Lame Gretzky" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Even though he is terrible, Adam tries his best at ice hockey and hopes to impress Murray. Likewise, Murray works hard to show he enjoys watching Adam make home movies. Later, after starting a fight on the ice during a game, Adam gets suspended from playing hockey and admits to Murray his real intentions. Meanwhile, Beverly drives Erica crazy about her S.A.T.s.

Modern Family - "The Feud" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Phil is upset to have lost his elected office of social chair to his nemesis Gil Thorpe, and when he finds out Luke is competing against Gil’s kid in a wrestling match, it becomes his own personal battle. Claire is nervous for a big client meeting but things get extra hairy when Mitch and Cam ask her to pick up Lily from school and conveniently leave out the fact that her class just had a lice scare. Elsewhere, Gloria chaperones Manny’s school field trip to the museum.

The Middle - "Sleepless in Orson" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie and Mike become concerned about Brick when he starts expressing a host of irrational fears spawned by a constant stream of news alerts showing up on his refurbished iPad. Meanwhile, Sue is both disgusted and intrigued when Derrick Glossner continues to surprise her with spontaneous kisses, and when Darrin attempts his own spinoff of Boss Co, Axl and Sean successfully shut down the new operation but end up having to finish the difficult job that their competition had started.

Young & Hungry - "Young & Punchy" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sparks fly between Gabi and a computer genius; Josh's new bathtub interests Elliot and Yolanda.

Mystery Girls - "Sister Issues" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Holly gets a visit from her overachieving younger sister; Nick plots to boost Holly's spirits.

Hot in Cleveland - "The Animated Episode" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Our ladies go 2-D in a fun-filled animated episode that involves questionable beauty treatments, zombies, and a look at Cleveland had LeBron never left.

Jennifer Falls - "Dads and Dogs" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer is surprised when Gretchen’s absentee father comes back to town with the news that he’s suddenly become a success.

Wilfred - "Responsibility" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ryan helps his mother adjust to her new life as Wilfred deals with a new nemesis.

Love Thy Neighbor - "The Make-Up" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Philip moves on.; Will apologizes to Linda.

Complete TV Listings


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

Wednesday, July 30

  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Watch Eric on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and later on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Norm Macdonald (The Norm Show) - Norm appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Partners/Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Zach Braff (Scrubs) - Zach visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland/Just Shoot Me!) - Wendie is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.