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 (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, February 9

Fresh Off the Boat - "Love and Loopholes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Honey and Marvin babysit the boys so Jessica and Louis can enjoy a Valentine’s Day evening out.  But Emery makes an alarming discovery when he walks in on his parents’ special alone time.  Meanwhile, Eddie pulls out all the stops to take Alison to the Janet Jackson concert.

The Muppets - "A Tale of Two Piggies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Miss Piggy suffers a scandalous wardrobe malfunction, the network is outraged, and Piggy is forced to question everything she stands for, but Kermit and the gang rally together and come to her defense. Meanwhile, Gonzo misses his ex-girlfriend Camilla, so Pepe and Rizzo decide to throw a house party to cheer him up.

New Girl - "Reagan" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A beautiful pharmaceutical rep (guest star Megan Fox) enters the gang’s life when she agrees to sublet Jess’ room while she is on jury duty.

Grandfathered - "The Biter" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Edie is bitten at school, Jimmy and Sara go to great lengths to find out who did it. Meanwhile, Ravi sets up a meeting for Gerald and Vanessa to meet a flashy tech investor named Kirk (Drake Bell), but once they meet him, they are not so sure they’d like to do business with him.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The 9-8" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Nine-Nine host the detectives from the Nine-Eight, their neighboring precinct, reuniting Jake with his old partner (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr.). Charles is immediately jealous and tries to reclaim his best friend status with Jake. Meanwhile, the rest of the precinct tries to be welcoming to the Nine-Eight, but it doesn’t go as well as they had planned.

The Grinder - "The Retooling of Dean Sanderson" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Dean scares off a big prospective client by being too dramatic, Stewart tells him maybe it’s finally time to let go of his “Grinder” persona and come down to earth. He tries to convince Dean he should go to therapy. Dean reluctantly agrees, but in typical Dean fashion, he overcorrects and begins “therapizing” the whole family, including Debbie, who is now tempted to quit her grueling job.

Born Again Virgin - "A Pregnant Pause" (TV One, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddy's upsetting news to her boyfriend, Cedric; Loretta enhances her image; Kayla goes on a hunger strike for a worthy cause.

Born Again Virgin - "Mama-Pause" (TV One, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna’s mom comes to visit and brings her own brand of crazy, which we later find out is exacerbated by the onset of menopause. In an effort to escape Jenna’s mom, Tara and Kelly seek refuge in Donovan’s apartment and worm their way into helping him prepare for his impending trial.

Zoe Ever After - "The Interview" (BET, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Zoe is livid when she suspects Miguel has told Gemini about her Atlantic City getaway; Gemini finally gets the spotlight.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Tuesday, February 9

  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred chats about The Grinder on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Meagan Good (Mr. Robinson/Raising Dad/Cousin Skeeter) - Meagan and her husband DeVon Franklin talk about their new book The Wait on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brandy (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha) - Brandy talks about Zoe Ever After and her new music on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore at 11:30pm on Comedy Central and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identiy) - Jerry is strapped in a Velcro suit and he's playing a game to win prizes for the audience on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Joe Manganiello (Mom/How I Met Your Mother) - Joe discusses his guest starring role on Mom on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS and on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. and the cast of Deadpool are guests on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Kyle Mooney (Hello Ladies) - Kyle talks about Zoolander 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Alison Brie (Community) - Alison talks about How to Be Single ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Jason talks about Tumbledown on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Megan Fox (Hope & Faith) - Megan appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Fuller House - Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl chats on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.