Monday, October 20, 2008

ION Television Goes HD; Steve Harvey Gets Exposure on TBS; Fox Surprisingly Picks-Up Sarah Connor For Full Season

ION Media Networks, Inc., owner and operator of the nation's largest television station group, today announced plans to launch its suite of networks – ION Television, qubo, and ION Life – in high definition in 2009. ION Television, the Company's flagship general entertainment network, will be available in high definition (HD) as ION Television HD beginning the first quarter of 2009. The HD simulcast of the newly branded "Positively Entertaining" network will serve to fully enhance consumers' overall viewing experience.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The newly rebranded ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others. The network's fall 2008 lineup is led by off-network hits including NCIS, Boston Legal, and ER. Critically acclaimed miniseries and original productions from RHI Entertainment will be made available in high quality HD, as will blockbuster theatrical movies such as Batman Returns, GoodFellas, Analyze This, and You've Got Mail.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
Now you can watch Denny Crane and the gang in HD like it is supposed to be!

On Saturday night if you were expecting to watch Game 6 of the MLB ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on TBS at 8PM ET, you missed the beginning because of an outage. TBS had technical difficulties that prevented it from showing the first 20 minutes of the game and also the end of the pregame show before it. In place of the game, TBS showed an episode of sitcom The Steve Harvey Show. A crawl on the screen ran repeatedly, saying: "We are experiencing technical difficulties." The game started at 8:08 p.m., but the broadcast didn't begin until 8:28 p.m., when Carlos Pena, the seventh batter of the game, walked in the bottom of the first inning. TBS then showed a replay of a home run by B.J. Upton, the previous batter, that put the Rays ahead 1-0.
So what happened: TBS had experienced router failure in Atlanta (their headquarters), which caused transmission problems. Steve Harvey Show wasn't the only filler TBS used while trying to restore its feed, lost toward the end of the pregame broadcast. At that time, TBS ran an abbreviated episode of Dick Clark's Bloopers special (with Elise Neal of The Hughleys) from 1999. I saw that and it was very funny and featured lots of flubs from newscasts and TV stations (how appropriate for TBS today!), but turned it off when Harvey came on. I personally didn't get back into the game until the third inning, thanks to this flub.
But at least sitcoms got more exposure! We'll let you know the ratings, if we get them for Harvey.

Second season action series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been picked-up for nine more episodes, giving it a full twenty-two episode order for the season. This was a surprise move by Fox, because the show has gone down in the ratings by a lot this season averaging just under 6 million viewers and in the low 2's in the 18-49 demo. The show does get a little boost in the seven-day DVR ratings, giving it just under 7 million viewers, but still a far cry what it did last year. The show launched out of huge Cowboys-Giants NFL playoff game that drew 40 million, for its series premiere last winter. The series did 18 million for its premiere. The show then obviously dropped after that to just above 8 million on average, but did much better than it is doing now.
The show could be used with American Idol or the return of 24 in January to help bring it back to life. But Fox would give a better slot to Fringe and the upcoming new series Dollhouse probably instead. No word on Prison Break, but this will likely be its last season.

New on DVD/Blu-ray (November)

The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Remastered Series (DVD) Maude - The Complete Third Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Final (Fourth) Season McHale's Navy - The Complete Series Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Fourth Season

11/03 - Californication - The Complete Series
11/03 - Getting On - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
11/03 - Hank (1965-66) - The Complete Series
11/03 - I Love Lucy - The Complete Series
11/03 - Men at Work - The Complete Second Season
11/03 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
11/03 - 'Til Death - The Complete Third Season
11/10 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Remastered Series (DVD)
11/10 - Maude - The Complete Third Season
11/10 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Final (Fourth) Season
11/17 - The Comedians - The Complete Series
11/17 - Cristela - The Complete First Season
11/17 - McHale's Navy - The Complete Series
11/17 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Fourth Season
11/17 - Weird Loners - The Complete Series
11/24 - George Lopez - The Complete Sixth Seaon
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, November 30

Superstore - "Pilot" (NBC, 10:00PM ET/PT)
onah (Ben Feldman) begins his first day on the job at big-box store Cloud 9 and immediately starts a rocky relationship with floor supervisor Amy (America Ferrera) when he comes off as elitist and mistakenly marks appliances for only a quarter. He is also the romantic target of aggressive assistant manager Dina (Lauren Ash), whose bible is the employee code of conduct. Pregnant Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) shares a memorable moment with her boyfriend, Bo (guest star Johnny Pemberton).

Superstore - "Magazine Profile" (NBC, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Store manager Glenn (Mark McKinney) gets overly excited when the Cloud 9 corporate magazine, Stratus, is interested in a story. The reporter, Cynthia (guest star Eliza Coupe), is more focused on Jonah (Ben Feldman), however, and the two develop a more-than-business relationship, which Amy (America Ferrera) had suspected. Garrett (Colton Dunn) does his best to avoid be photographed for the magazine's cover. Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) asks her boyfriend, Bo (guest star Johnny Pemberton), to come up with a corporate jingle to help earn money to pay expenses for their upcoming baby.

Talia in the Kitchen - "Storm and Grubb" (Nickelodeon, 7:00PM ET/PT)
Talia hides from the hurricane, until a mysterious boy discovers her. Aunt Tilly returns to take Talia and Julie back to Boston.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 30)

Monday, November 30

  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?) - Watch Terry on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rob Schneider (Rob) - Rob appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) - Aziz visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory) - Alan appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Brent Morin and Rick Glassman (Undateable) - Brent and Rick are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Kim Fields (The Facts of Life/Living Single) - Kim dishes on the new season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and talks about why she decided to join the show on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott drops by The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Loretta Devine (The Carmichael Show) - Loretta is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America talks about her new series Superstore on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Bob Saget (Fuller House/How I Met Your Mother/Full House) - Bob is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Suburgatory) - Cheryl talks about her movie Christmas Eve on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.