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

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest