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 (May)

Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1 The Nanny - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season The Wonder Years - Season Three

05/05 - Cheers - The Complete Series
05/12 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete Fourth Season
05/12 - The Hotwives of Orlando - The Complete First Season
05/12 - Mister Ed - The Final (Sixth) Season (Shout! Factory)
05/19 - American Dad - Volume 10
05/19 - C.P.O. Sharkey - The Complete Season 1
05/19 - The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Nine (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Season Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Married with Children - Seasons Nine and Ten (Mill Creek)
05/19 - NewsRadio - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
05/19 - Welcome to Sweden - The Complete First Season
05/26 - Hello Ladies - Season 1
05/26 - The Nanny - The Complete Series
05/26 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Third Season
05/26 - The Wonder Years - Season Three
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, May 28

The Big Bang Theory - "The Space Probe Disintegration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Wolowitz tries to distract Raj, who is anxiously awaiting data from a space probe he helped launch. Meanwhile, Sheldon and Leonard go dress shopping with Penny and Amy.

The Odd Couple - "The Ghostwriter" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Oscar is hired to ghostwrite the autobiography of a retired baseball player, Felix offers his “help” by advising Murph to go in a different direction, making Oscar’s job more difficult.

Mom - "Figgy Pudding and the Rapture" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Christy convinces herself that everything is fine even though her family is basically homeless. Surprisingly, Bonnie is the one who tries to bring her back to reality.

Mike & Molly - "To Have and Withhold" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Molly has writer’s block, and she might lose her big advance if she doesn’t cure it fast.

The Comedians - "Charity" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Billy has an awkward interaction with a homeless man, while Josh goes to his crush's "charity" event.

Louie - "The Road: Part 2" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Louie continues his work on the road.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 25) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, May 28

  • Louis C.K. (Louie) - Catch Louis on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) - Peter is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Maz Jobrani (Better Off Ted/The Knights of Prosperity) - Maz appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Chris D'Elia (Undateable/Whitney) - Chris appears on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are guests on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kevin Dillon (Entourage) and Kevin Connolly (Entourage/Unhappily Ever After) - They are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adrian Grenier (Entourage) - Adrian talks about the new film Entourage on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 1am on BET.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on HuffPost Live at 11am..
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David talks about Aquarius on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Raven-SymonĂ© (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-SymonĂ© guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Constance Zimmer (Good Morning, Miami) - Constance discusses reprising her role as Dana Gordon in the highly-anticipated Entourage movie, which hits theaters June 3, on HuffPost Live at 2pm.
  • The Cast of Entourage) - Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven are guests on the AOL Build Show.
  • Lori Loughlin (Full House) - Lori will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Grizz Chapman (30 Rock) - Grizz will be a guest on Essence Live.