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

Friday, August 22

Last Man Standing - "Hard-ass Teacher" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eve has decided she wants to go to college at West Point. In order to do so she needs to get straight A’s, which might be a problem considering her geometry teacher, Mr. Hardin, is called “Hard-ass” Hardin for a reason. In turn, Eve asks Mike and Vanessa for their approval to switch teachers to an easier class -- a move Vanessa approves of but one that Mike sees as just the easy way out.

Last Man Standing - "April, Come She Will" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Vanessa’s mooching sister April comes to visit, Mike suspects it’s because she needs money. Sure enough, April explains that she’s decided to have a baby but doesn’t have the funds for a donor egg. While Vanessa and Mike aren’t on board, Mandy comes up with a solution. Meanwhile at Outdoor Man, Mike tries pulling a prank on Chuck Larabee that gives him some new perspective.

Jessie - "Coffee Talk" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Jessie scores two VIP wristbands to Emma and Zuri's dream concert and the girls compete for the extra spot; Bertram is obsessed with his new talking coffee maker.

Dog with a Blog - "Karl Finds Out Stan's Secret" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Stan's secret talent is revealed to the family's neighbor, Karl; he doesn't find out about the blog, the moon walking or the driving, though.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 18) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, August 22

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Damon Wayans, Jr. (New Girl/Happy Endings) and Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Watch the stars of Let's Be Cops on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman) - Tune in to see Mary on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison is a guest on a repeat of Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Brandy (The Game/Moesha) - Brandy appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Tune in to see Mayim on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Learn how Cedric is killing his cholesterol on a repeat of The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/One Day at a Time) - Valerie joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.