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 (June)

Parks and Recreation - Season Seven - The Farewell Season The Facts of Life - Season Six Laverne & Shirley - The Complete Series The Odd Couple - The Complete Series Two and a Half Men - The Complete Twelfth and Final Season

06/02 - Parks and Recreation - Season Seven - The Farewell Season
06/02 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series
06/02 - Soap - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
06/02 - The Abbott and Costello Show - The Ultimate Collection
06/09 - The Facts of Life - Season Six
06/16 - The Cosby Show - Season 7 (Mill Creek)
06/16 - The Cosby Show - Season 8 (Mill Creek)
06/16 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 7 & 8 (Mill Creek)
06/16 - Laverne & Shirley - The Complete Series
06/16 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series
06/16 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Twelfth and Final Season
06/16 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Series
06/23 - George Lopez - The Complete Fourth Season
06/23 - Workaholics - Season Five (Blu-ray)
06/30 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 3 (MPI Home Video)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, July 6


2 Broke Girls - "And a Loan for Christmas" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Max and Caroline get a bank loan so they can mass produce their cupcake t-shirts to sell at high-end boutiques.

Mike & Molly - "Buy the Book" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Molly’s excited her book is finally out and available for purchase, but worries obsessively that no one will buy it.


Odd Mom Out - "Midwife Crisis" (Bravo, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jill gets a frantic call from Brooke who is going into labor a day before her scheduled cesarean section; when the ambulance refuses to take Brooke to the upscale hospital of her choice, Jill must rely on her wits to deliver the baby.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 6) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, July 6

  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) - Watch Melissa on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Hannah Simone (New Girl) - Hannah appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) - Aziz is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Tune in to see Cristela on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jerry Ferrara (Entourage) - Jerry is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl/Happy Endings) - Damon appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick drops by The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • John O'Hurley (Seinfeld) - John appears on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City) - Lea is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Raven-Symone (That's So Raven/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/The Cosby Show) - Raven-Symone chats on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect) - Zachary talks about Geeks Who Drink on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. He will also be on People Now and the AOL Build Show.
  • Sara Rue (Impastor/Malibu Country/Less Than Perfect) - Sara discusses her new TV Land comedy Impastor on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley is tentatively scheduled to appear on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl is tentatively scheduled to be part of the Plugged-In panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on The Boris and Nicole Show, which airs on select Fox-owned stations, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Nicole and her husband Boris Kodjoe are guests on People Now.