Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer 2008 TCA Press Tour: NBC, Day 2; Remembering Dave Powers; Retroality.TV Officially Launches!

Today is the last day of the summer 2008 TCA press tour. NBC is up for the second and final day of its portion. Tomorrow the TCA tour concludes with a set visit where critics will visit the sets of series such as Pushing Daisies and ER.
Today's docket has a session on the summer Olympics, Election 2008 with NBC News and MSNBC, NBC Executive Session (more on that below), on the panel with sophomore dramas Chuck, Life, & Lipstick Jungle, followed by panels of Deal or No Deal, Kath & Kim, Knight Rider, The Office, My Own Worst Enemy, Kings, and NBC Sunday Night Football/Super Bowl.
NBC has adjusted its primetime premiere schedule for Fall 2008.
Returning drama Life will follow Heroes on two special Monday broadcasts (10-11 pm. ET) in addition to its regularly scheduled timeslot on Fridays (10-11 pm. ET) giving Life four hours of originals in two weeks on September 29, October 3, October 6 and October 10.
After Life's two-week Monday trial, new drama My Own Worst Enemy will make its series debut on Monday, October 13 (10-11 p.m. ET) and remain in all originals in its regular timeslot (Mondays, 10-11 p.m. ET) through December.
In other scheduling changes, new comedy Kath & Kim and 30 Rock will switch time periods on Thursday nights. Kath & Kim moves to 8:30 p.m. (ET) starting October 9 after My Name is Earl (8-8:30 p.m. ET), which will allow for a strong audience flow for these two compatible shows. 30 Rock will settle into the 9:30 p.m. (ET) starting with its season premiere after The Office on October 30. Remember SNL Thursday will air October 9, 16, and 23 at 9:30 p.m.
The Biggest Loser: Families premieres on Tuesday, September 16 (8-10 p.m. ET). Likewise, summer hit America's Got Talent returns after the Olympics on August 26 (8-10 p.m. ET) and runs through to its season finale on Wednesday, October 1 (9-10 p.m. ET).
Other series' premieres remain unchanged from NBC's original premiere announcement.
At the executive session, NBC did a copy cat of ABC by having Jay Leno impersonate a reporter asking a question about his future, just like Jimmy Kimmel did last week when Kimmel asked is ABC interested in Leno? Leno impersonated a bald reporter and asked: When is Leno's final show? Will he be paid for the rest of the year? Is it true you've offered Jay Leno a fifth hour of the Today show? Will Manimal come back? What about Brett Favre's retirement/unretirement? What if Jay changes his mind? Silveman answers, "Everyone's entitled to change their mind, but I imagine that puts management in an impossible situation."
If NBC is getting rid of Leno, why make him do that? So maybe they do have plans for him in some shape or form. NBC announced Leno's last night on the Tonight Show will be Friday, May 29, while Conan O'Brien takes over on Monday, June 1. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will launch first as online series before moving to 12:35am in March or April, so Conan's last night on Late Night will be before May 29.
Amy Poehler has officially signed on to star in a possible a new Thursday-night comedy series from Office exec producer Greg Daniels. Ben Silverman says however this will NOT be a spin-off of The Office. The spin-off is pretty much dead right now, but if it goes forward it will have "existing Office characters."
We'll be back with more...so keep coming back and refreshing!

We have some sad news to report. One of the best TV directors of all-time has passed away. Dave Powers passed away on July 3, 2008, in Rancho Mirage, CA, after a hard fought battle with skin cancer. He began his career in television in 1951, when he was employed by CBS as an usher at KNXT, working on the Dinah Shore Show. In 1956, while working in the cue card department on The Bob Crosby Show at CBS Television City, he was promoted to Stage Manager and joined the Director's Guild of America, where he would be a Guild member for the next fifty-seven years.
Dave got his biggest break when he became the director of The Carol Burnett Show in 1968. During that time, he was nominated eleven times by the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and won four primetime Emmy Awards for "Best Director" in 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1978. In addition to directing The Carol Burnett Show for ten years he was also the director on Three's Company for six seasons starting in 1978 and Mama's Family for four years, reuniting himself with Vicki Lawrence (and Carol Burnett a few times).

We got word on July 9 of Dave's passing from my friend and author of Come and Knock on Our Door: A Hers and Hers and His Guide to Three's Company (and now of Retroality.TV) Chris Mann, that Dave had passed away on July 3. It wasn't officially released until last Wednesday. Chris heard from Joyce DeWitt (Janet on Three's Company) who heard from Priscilla Barnes (Terri on Three's Company). Chris had some very nice things to say about Dave that I must share with you all, "He was a good man, very beloved and enormously talented. Not only is he responsible for so much of Three's Company's under-appreciated signature slapstick style, he was rightly hailed in the industry for his work with Carol Burnett and company. He was always a gentleman during his Three's Company book and DVD interviews, and he clearly loved the Three's Company "kids" -- John Ritter especially -- as much as they loved him."
Chris also said, "In his home office he displayed autographed photos of Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence and Suzanne Somers in a classic Chrissy pose. "Those are my three ladies," he told me proudly. Also, John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Richard Kline, Don Knotts, Norman Fell, Audra Lindley et al always sang his praises. He will be deeply missed."

Dave also directed many episodes of both of the Three's Company spin-off shows, The Ropers and Three's a Crowd. After Mama's Family and a Carol Burnett Reunion Show, Dave retired from the business in the late '80s/early '90s. After retirement Dave and his wife Georgette made a fun and rewarding hobby of owning and restoring antique and classic wooden boats which they housed and used at their Big Bear Lake home.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held for Dave on August 2, 2008 at the Four Seasons Resort, Aviara, in Carlsbad, CA. He will be deeply missed as he directed the best comedic stars ever in Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Vicki Lawrence. Dave was 75.


If you all recall in late May we made the announcement that Chris Mann had launched Retroality.TV. Now it has officially fully launched! Chris has interviewed '80s bombshell Heather Thomas (The Fall Guy, Zapped!) to lead off his site's official launch this month! Heather is the author of the hot new novel Trophies. Chris has an in-depth, provocative interview with Heather, who expresses her views on everything from being an '80s sex symbol-turned-writer to becoming a socio-political activist. Her controversial comments on the Bush administration, oil and 9/11 will surprise many. She'll be on NBC's Today show today, but Retroality and Chris Mann had her first!
Chris says, "So far we've featured retro stars about to make a very current media splash. Soon after we posted our May/June cover story on Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman), CNN reported she found a dead body floating in a river. And after we posted our Q&A with the fun-loving Susan Olsen (Cindy of Brady Bunch), every media outlet in America reported that she almost threw up on live radio. Coincidence? Methinks not!"

And that's not all! Chris has much more than that on the website! The Heather Thomas interview is just the "cover story." Chris also has items such as an interview with the sexy Stacy Keibler that was published in this month's Muscle & Body. Chris also has a Muscle & Body cover-story on several Olympic hopefuls coming in August, along with an interview with gold medalist swimmer-turned-Celebrity Circus performer Janet Evans. Wow! What a busy guy Chris is! I'm so glad he is doing well because he is a good person and truly deserves it!
And he even gets busier! This week he'll be off interviewing Olivia Newton-John and Fran Drescher, both cancer awareness advocates, for future health magazine cover stories! What a lucky guy! Again head on over to Retroality.TV because it is one website that you should bookmark and visit because it will get bigger and bigger everyday and soon it will be a website everyone knows by name! It'll be like the Cheers of the internet!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Sunday, April 20)

Bob's Burgers - "Ambergris" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
Gene, Louise, and Tina discover a seaweed-covered object at the beach that turns out to be a large hunk of Ambergris - an extremely valuable, but illegal, by-product of whale poop that is used in high-end perfumes. But Louise tries to cheat Gene and Tina out of the profit she hopes to make by selling the treasure on the black market. Meanwhile, Bob and Linda deal with their psychologically unstable landlord who is building them a new bathroom.

American Dad - "Poltergasm" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Francine's "Poltergasm" starts to haunt the Smith household when she is unsatisfied by Stan in the sack, and Roger must conjure a medium named Zelda Rubinstein to help eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley introduces her new boy-toy, Mauricio (guest voice Diego Luna), to the family.

The Simpsons - "Married to the Blob" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Comic Book Guy realizes his comics are nothing if he can't share them with anyone. Then he meets Kumiko, a Japanese woman writing an autobiographical manga, and he seeks out Homer's advice on how to date her, ending happily for everyone.

Family Guy - "Life of Brian" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie and Brian travel back to 17th century Jamestown, via Stewie's time machine, they encounter too many close calls with altering the course of mankind. Stewie decides to destroy his time machine, but immediately regrets his decision when an unthinkable event happens and he is unable to go back in time.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Monday, April 21

  • Courteney Cox (Cougar Town/Friends) - Watch Courteney The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jimmie "J.J." Walker (Good Times) - Jimmie appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Hears Afire) - Billy Bob is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community) - Tune in to see Gillian on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on a repeat of The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Brooklyn Decker, Majandra Delfino and Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives) - The women of Friends with Better Lives are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. Zoe will also be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andre will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Kirstie Alley (Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie throws down a figure-friendly chicken dinner on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Ted Lange (The Love Boat) - Ted is a guest on a repeat of The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brittany Daniel (The Game/That '80s Show) - Brittany shares her story of triumph over non-Hodgkins lymphoma on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Beau Bridges (The Millers) - Beau appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Toni Collette (United States of Tara) - Toni will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas is a guest on HuffPost Live.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Hot Properties/The Knights of Prosperity) - Sofia visits ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly hosts the Plugged In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.