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.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Wednesday, April 16)

The Middle - "Vacation Days" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being forced by his work to take a paid vacation, Mike tries to relax but finds his alone time being invaded by Brick, who wants to cash in and implement all of the personal gift coupons he has given his dad for Father's Day and birthdays over the years. Meanwhile, Frankie is livid when she discovers that Axl has been hanging out at the Donahues for the past few days and didn't let her know that he was even in town, and Sue is horrified when she discovers that someone has given her service at Spudsy Malone’s a bad review online and overreacts in her efforts to better please the customers.

Suburgatory - "Blame it on the Rainstick" (ABC, 8:30PM/ET) (Repeat)
When Noah is released from a court mandated anger management program, George is shocked to find a docile Noah has replaced his former hot-headed friend. Shaken by the change, George decides to put the new Noah to the test. Meanwhile, Tessa ditches “senior tanning” and meets a cool new age band hanging out at the park. The free spirited music group isn’t exactly what they appear.

Modern Family - "The Big Game" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss’s daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn’t cooperating.

Mixology - "Jessica & Ron" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jessica regrets sending a naked photo to Ron and sets out to get him to delete it after realizing she barely knows him. Meanwhile, Liv complicates things between Jessica and Ron and Maya hits it off with an attractive guy who gives her an offer she can’t refuse…or can she? And the chance to hook up is in Bruce’s favor when he meets a woman who is into red-heads, but things quickly begin to look grim when a famous red-head also enters the bar.

Melissa & Joey - "Born to Run" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's father sends out a racy photograph; Ryder tries to come up with a winning business idea.

Baby Daddy - "Play It Again, Bonnie" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Bonnie asks Tucker for help in reconnecting with her former boyfriend.

Hot in Cleveland - "The Undead" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Elka (Betty White) throws a fake funeral for Victoria so she can join her husband in hiding. Her nemesis, Susan Lucci attends. Simon (Craig Ferguson) and Joy face a dilemma in their relationship.
Guest Stars: Craig Ferguson, Susan Lucci, Matt Iseman, David Cheaney, Laird MacIntosh

The Soul Man - "Oh My Goddy" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
Boyce feels the pressure when he's nominated for a big award. So he goes above and beyond to brand himself as the "Second Chance Preacher."

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Reunited" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph and Leslie work on their relationship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Wednesday, April 16

  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Kunal on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Denis Leary (The Job) - Denis appears on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam appears on The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi previews her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Billy stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin talks about new animated movie Rio 2 and her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) - Alan talks about his TV and music career, his son Robin and new reality series, Unusually Thicke, on Katie, so check your local listings. He will also be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am. Finally, he is a guest on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy takes us on a trip to her happy place...the drugstore on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) and Michael Jai White (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) - Tasha and Jai are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered (premieres April 20 on Hallmark Channel) on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She is a guest on Howard Stern.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime appears on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Greg the Bunny) - Seth is a guest on a repeat of @midnight at 12am on Comedy Central.