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 (July/August)

Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three Superstore - Season One

07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/20 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 5th Season
07/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
08/02 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
08/09 - Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season
08/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three
08/23 - Superstore - Season One
08/23 - The Wonder Years - Complete Series (New Slipcase Version)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 30

The Middle - "The Man Hunt" (ABC, 10:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Brick attends a Bar Mitzvah and questions when he’ll officially become a man, Mike attempts to help him become more responsible in his quest to manhood. Meanwhile, Sue exudes a little too much enthusiasm as she tries to flirt and find herself a boyfriend, and Axl and Hutch find themselves a new home in the form of a Winnebago.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Family Business Trip" (ABC, 10:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Louis is forced to bring his family on a business trip to Gator World, Jessica learns the art of relaxation and Eddie takes on the “Death Roll.” Meanwhile, Evan loses his last baby tooth but isn’t ready to join the big kid club.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Maximum Security" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In an attempt to get information on a criminal operation, Amy has to go undercover at a women’s prison and befriend one of the prisoners (guest star Aida Turturro). Meanwhile back at the precinct, Holt and the team plan a fake funeral in an attempt to catch a hitman.

New Girl - "Return to Sender" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jess meets Sam’s (guest star David Walton) female best friend, Diane (guest star Caitlin Fitzgerald). Meanwhile, Nick is worried Gavin (guest star Peter Gallagher) will disappoint Schmidt (Max Greenfield) again and Winston is offended by a reaction to a birthday gift.

In the Cut - "Best Foot Forward" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Kenny's new girlfriend's flaw; Jay embellishes his past gang affiliations and almost gets a Thug Lives Matter Award.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 29)

Tuesday, August 30

  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Catch Zooey on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - John is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Justin Bartha (Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life/The New Normal) - Justin stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • David Cross (Arrested Development/Running Wilde) - David drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kirstie Alley (Flaked/Kirstie/Veronica's Closet/Cheers) - Kirstie talks about Flaked on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa is a guest on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Rami Malek (The War at Home) - Rami appears on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He also guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Mario Cantone (Sex and the City) - Mario chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/One Day at a Time/The Jeffersons/Good Times/Maude) - Norman is a guest on a repeat of Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12:03am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Jeremy Miller (Growing Pains) and Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) - You grew up watching your favorite sitcom kids, but what happened behind the scenes when the cameras stopped rolling? The stars of Growing Pains, Everybody Loves Raymond and Danny Bonaduce from The Partridge Family break their silence. They reveal how they got hooked on drugs and alcohol and eventually overcame their battles with addiction on a repeat of The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Emeril Lagasse (Emeril) - Emeril will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on a repeat of Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.