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!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)

Mad About You - The Complete Series The Jim Gaffigan Show Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season The Wonder Years - Season Five

05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 4

The Middle - "Not Mother's Day" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After enduring year after year of botched Mother’s Days, Frankie declares that the family gets to take a pass on doing anything at all for her this year. But after a man offers to buy Frankie’s groceries at the market when she discovers that she forgot her wallet – and tells her to pay the kindly gesture forward – she decides to have the family pull each other’s names out of a hat and do something nice for that person, which doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

The Goldbergs - "Smother's Day" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Barry and Erica forget to get Beverly a Mother’s Day gift and make last minute “Mom Coupons” instead.  Beverly is understandably hurt, and decides to get revenge by cashing in every coupon they have made.  Meanwhile, Adam tries to get Murray to let him go to space camp and accuses him of being as dream crushing as Pop-Pop.

Modern Family - "Promposal" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With Closet-Con right around the corner, Claire is on high alert and convinced there is a mole in the company. Meanwhile, Phil goes vigilante when he and Gloria confront Auntie Alice for stealing her hot sauce recipe. Jay tries to teach Joe how to do some manly handy work, and with prom coming up, Mitch helps Luke with his “promposal” while Cam helps with Manny’s, but Cam goes a little overboard, revealing that there maybe something deeper going on.

black-ish - "Super Rich Kids" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre has always felt his older son was never like him, but when he finally meets Junior’s cool friends, Dre is all in and happy that his son may have the opportunity for an actual social life.  Meanwhile, Bow is dealing with Ruby, Zoey, Jack and Diane not confessing to things breaking around the house and decides to handle it her own way after some judgment from Vivian.

Lopez - "George Hosts a Golf Tournament" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
George hosts a celebrity golf tournament to bolster his Vegas residency credentials in the midst of personal chaos with his AWOL daughter.

The Soul Man - "Soul Train" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When Lolli gets kicked off a wine train, she forces Boyce to have her back, even though he knows she’s in the wrong. Stamps helps Alicia relieve her campaign stress.

Schitt's Creek - "Moira's Nudes" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Moira is worried that racy photos from her past will jeopardize the campaign; Johnny asks for financial help; Alexis gets a job.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 2)

Wednesday, May 4

  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Watch Julie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Rob is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Being Charlie on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT and on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie sings for his supper and helps Rachael cook up Chicken Milanese on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • CCH Pounder (Brothers/Women in Prison) - CCH is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse talks about his Broadway show Fully Committed on People Now.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Garry Marshall (Creator of Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley/Mork & Mindy) - Garry is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.