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/July)

The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy Maude - The Complete Fifth Season Workaholics - Season Six Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season

06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
06/14 - Maude - The Complete Fifth Season
06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
06/21 - Workaholics - Season Six
06/24 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
06/28 - Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series
07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/26 - Family Mattters - The Complete Seventh Season
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 28

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fermentation Bifurcation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The gang goes to a wine bar and runs into Penny’s old boyfriend, Zack (Brian Thomas Smith). Also, Bernadette gets stuck spending the evening with Sheldon when she can’t go wine tasting with the group, and things don’t go as planned when Koothrappali introduces his new girlfriend, Claire (Alessandra Torresani).

Life in Pieces - "Hair Recital Rainbow Mom" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When John starts feeling old, he attempts to make himself look younger, much to the dismay of his family. Also, Heather worries that Sophia’s piano recital will be a disaster; Jen, Greg and Lark go to an over-the-top birthday party full of overachieving parents who make them panic about getting Lark into a good preschool; and Matt meets Colleen’s mother, Mia (Mercedes Ruehl).

Best Friends Whenever - "Girl Code" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Barry is too busy to help Shelby build her website so she takes matters in to her own hands; Cyd and Naldo win a boat and try to hide it in the backyard.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 25)

Thursday, July 28

  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Watch Will on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer (Broad City) - Abbi and Ilana are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Eric Andre (Man Seeking Woman/2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) and Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Demi and Nick perform Carpool Karaoke on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jillian Bell (Workaholics/Eastbound & Down) - Jillian appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Commnity) - Gillian is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight. She will also be on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Christina Applegate (Up All Night/Samantha Who?/Married with Children) - Christina is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS. She will also be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Selena appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi is a guest on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Sarah Chalke (Scrubs/Roseanne) - Sarah appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Anson Williams (Happy Days) - Anson is a guest on a repeat of The Doctors, so check your local listings.
  • Anna Gunn (Down the Shore) - Anna talks about her new movie Equity on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • The Cast of Bad Moms) - Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate and others will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley talks about her latest project Amateur Night on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Victoria Justice (Victorious/Zoey 101) - Victoria is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Good Morning, Miami) - Ashley is a guest on People Now at 8:30am.