Tuesday, August 26, 2008

ABC Orders 5 Additional Series for Mid-Season; TBS Orders House of Payne Spin-Off; Network Notes

ABC is adding five new series to its slate of programming for the 2008-09 season. The series include three new dramas, Castle, Cupid and The Unusuals, and two new comedies, Better Off Ted and Single With Parents. The President of ABC Entertainment Stephen McPherson says that these are the initial pick-ups, but there are a number of other pilots they feel will also get the go ahead in some form moving forward (either for mid-season like these five or for fall 2009). Still very much in the running are dramas Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas, The Prince of Motor City, and possibly Good Behavior and In The Deep (David Hemingson project), with comedies like Never Better, Bad Mother's Handbook, and Significant Others (aka Fourplay) also in the mix. I personally hope The Prince of Motor City gets picked-up in some form.
Anyway, these 5 additional series will be added for mid-season and will join previously announced mid-season entries, like the animated comedy The Goode Family, The Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Reality Project and the ABC premiere of Scrubs, along with returning series According to Jim, The Bachelor, Lost and ABC News' Primetime: What Would You Do.
Castle is is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who has gotten bored with his success and stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.
Cupid is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together and stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.
The Unusuals is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last, and the series stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.
Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies and stars Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil, and Malcolm Barrett as Lem.
Single with Parents is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way and stars an all-star cast of Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagan Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.
Read the Press Release for more on these five pick-ups. For more on ABC's pilots in development read the full pilots in development and view photos of the casts of these potential series.

After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, which comes to the network also from Debmar-Mercury and is slated to premiere in January 2009. As he does for House of Payne, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing for the series.
Meet the Browns stars David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who earlier this year was featured in Perry's hit film of the same name. He has also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne. Perry's new series begins after Brown inherits a dilapidated house from his deceased father.
House of Payne began in 2006 with a 10-episode experiment in select markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes. House of Payne will be available for off-network syndication this fall as well airing on local stations such as WWOR in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
We will certainly have more in the future about Meet the Browns on TBS.

CBS is moving the season premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden to Thursday, Sept. 25 now with a two-hour premiere from 8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT, marking the first-ever two-hour premiere for any edition of the long-running hit series.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden was originally announced for Thursday, Sept. 18 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden, which will also be the first edition broadcast in high definition, will be followed by a rebroadcast of last season's CSI cliffhanger finale at 10:00 PM ET/PT.
CBS made this move because they decided to launch CSI and new drama The Eleventh Hour on Oct. 9 due to a Presidential Debate on Oct. 2. So a void was needed on the first Thursday of the season, which is Sept. 25.
Meanwhile, as CBS moves Survivor back a week, The CW is moving new reality series Stylista up a week! It will now launch Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 9:00 PM (rather than Oct. 29, as previously announced). The CW is airing 90210 repeats in the slot, behind America's Next Top Model, in the weeks beforehand.
Finally, ABC is scheduling new and expanded Wipeout episodes. On Tuesday, September 9, an all-new Wipeout will air in the special 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot. Wipeout will still also air and be all-new in its regular 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT slot as well on that date...so two new episodes on that date! As a result, the Tuesday, September 2 episode at 8PM will be a repeat now against the premiere of The CW's 90210, but tonight (August 26) is still all-new as the hilarious series returns from the Olympic break...tune in! Also, the Wipeout season finale (previously scheduled for Sept. 9, 8-9pm) is now scheduled to air as a 90-minute episode on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 now from 8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT followed by an interesting 90-minute special Primetime: UFO's...Seeing is Believing from 9:30-11:00 PM ET/PT. On Sept. 9, the two new Wipeout episodes will go face-to-face with Fox's launch of the 95-minute Fringe and 25-minute Hole in the Wall and on Sept. 16 the 90-minute Wipeout will face the season premiere of Fox's House and the first half-hour of Fringe and the season premiere of NBC's The Biggest Loser. It'll be tough but Wipeout will likely face the task well. As a result, the season finale of High School Musical: Get in the Picture is now on Monday, September 15, 2008 in its normal 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT time period and not two-hours on a special night (Sept. 16) like previously reported, so three more weeks to go for the ratings dud unless it gets pulled before then. ABC should move the next three episodes to Fridays. We will keep you up to date on our message board if it gets pulled or moved.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) The Wonder Years - Season Two Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season

02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five
02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season
02/03 - Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) / The Complete Series Available 3/17 (Shout! Factory)
02/03 - The Wonder Years - Season Two
02/10 - Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season
02/10 - Nurse Jackie - Season Six (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, February 27

Last Man Standing - "Kyle's Friend" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When a homeless man that Kyle has befriended goes missing, Mike uses his vlog to help track him down. Mandy is inspired by Kyle’s good deed and in her unique way, helps a young mother from the woman’s shelter.

Cristela - "Gifted and Talented" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Cristela is tutoring and rooting for Isabella to get into the “Gifted and Talented” school program, partly because Cristela did not get in as a child. When Isabella throws the exam because she’s afraid of hurting her brother’s feelings, tensions mount between Cristela and Natalia over the program and Natalia reveals a hurtful secret. Meanwhile at the office, after Maddie gets into another car accident, Trent decides to punish Maddie by sending her to the mail room, which provides a bit of a challenge for Maddie to grasp.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 23) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, February 27

  • Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Watch Abbi and Ilana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Catch Simon on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Owen Benjamin (Sullivan & Son) - Owen appears on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason visits LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Lana Parilla (Spin City) - Lana chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne and the cast of USA Network's Dig give a sneak peak and share secrets from the highly anticipated new murder mystery mini-series on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Natalie Desselle-Reid (Eve/For Your Love/Built to Last) - Natalie guest co-hosts ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ming-Na Wen (The Single Guy) - Ming-Na Wen will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about getting ready for baby #2 to join her family and cooks on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings. She also talks about the Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 9am.
  • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicty is a guest on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Luis Guzman (How to Make It in America/Luis) - Luis is a guest on People Now.