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 (January)

The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Married with Children - Seasons 7 and 8 (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season

01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 1

Bob's Burgers - "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
To compete with fellow “restaurateur,” Jimmy Pesto, and his blowout Super Bowl event, Bob is determined to create a Bob’s Burgers commercial to air during the “big game.” In an effort to outshine Pesto, the Belchers recruit Randy, a documentarian, to assist with the filmmaking and hire on former pro football star Connie Frye (guest voice Jordan Peele) to be the celebrity endorser.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXV" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the annual spooktacular Halloween special, Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in an homage to “The Others,” the Simpsons are visited by their former Tracey Ullman-era versions of themselves.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Jimmy Jab Gabes" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The squad has time to kill when the arrival of the Serbian President’s motorcade to Brooklyn has been delayed. So, Jake launches “The Jimmy Jab Games,” an annual series of competitions in the precinct. Meanwhile, Terry and Holt take on a new drug task force approved by Holt’s nemesis, Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick).

Family Guy - "Turkey Guys" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the night before Thanksgiving, Brian and Peter drunkenly devour the holiday bird, and then must go out to find a replacement. In Peter absence, Chris attempts to step up and become the man of the house.

Bob's Burgers - "Uncle Teddy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bob and Linda leave town for a romantic getaway (at a Burger Convention), they ask Teddy to babysit Tina, Gene and Louise. While the ’rents are away, Teddy is eager to earn the coveted title of “Uncle Teddy” and does so by putting Tina’s crush in his rightful place after discovering that he was just using her for – gasp – free burgers! Hijinks ensue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, February 2

  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Seth Morris (The Hotwives of Orlando/Go On/Happy Endings) - Seth appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET. He also talks about his new film We'll Never Have Paris on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Josh Segarra (Sirens) - Josh talks about USA Network's Sirens on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Gregory Harrison (Joey/The Family Man) - Gregory gives a look at his new Hallmark Channel original movie Cloudy with a Chance of Love on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall discusses his new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on HuffPost Live at 4:40pm. Fresh Off the Boat premieres on ABC on February 4 at 8:30pm and 9:30pm ET/PT.
  • Michael Ian Black (Burning Love/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea discusses the Super Bowl on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is part of the guest panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) - Barry talks about his new show A Very Barry Branson on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. A Very Barry Branson premieres on GAC on February 5.