Tuesday, December 02, 2008

ION Adds New Movies to Christmas Slate; According to Jim Returns Tonight; CBS Midseason 2009 Schedule and More Network Notes

ION Television today announced that is has inked a deal with Aro Entertainment to acquire two originally produced holiday-themed films. Christmas Town, starring Nicole de Boer (The Dead Zone, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Patrick Muldoon (Melrose Place), will air Thursday, December 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET and The Christmas Clause, starring Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City), will premiere on ION Television the following week on Thursday, December 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The "Positively Entertaining" network also has plans to debut the classic Pinocchio, a four-hour adaptation of the beloved masterpiece, on Sunday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The original miniseries stars Golden Globe winner Bob Hoskins as Geppetto and Robbie Kay as Pinocchio.
View more on ION December 2008.

As we mentioned, don't forget tonight on ABC it is the eighth season premiere of sitcom According to Jim following the holiday classic Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Yes, According to Jim is returning for one final season and the fun starts tonight at 9pm ET/PT on ABC with two all-new back-to-back episodes that are set during the holidays. The According to Jim holiday-themed fun continues next week at 9pm and on Dec. 16 at 9pm with guest star Steve Guttenberg! Then on Dec. 30 at 9:30pm, an all-new episode to coincide with the New Year's holiday. According to Jim will then have regular all-new episodes on Tuesdays starting Jan. 6 in its new time period of 8-9pm. So celebrate the holidays with Jim all this month and then join Jim starting in January for one final hurrah!

CBS today announced midseason schedule changes that include the return of the drama Flashpoint, the premiere of the mystery event Harper's Island, the debut of the new game show Game Show in My Head and the returns of reality hits Survivor and The Amazing Race.
Game Show in My Head launches first and it is a hidden camera game show from Ashton Kutcher, premiering Saturday, Jan. 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT). Ordinary people must perform extraordinary tasks on an unsuspecting public to win up to $50,000. Under the watchful eye of host Joe Rogan, each contestant performs five outrageous, embarrassing and hilarious tasks worth $5,000 each. In a no-holds-barred bonus round, each contestant has the chance to double their money up to $50,000. It will replace the first hour of CBS crime repeats. We're not sure yet how many episodes have been ordered.
Flashpoint, last summer's top original scripted series, returns Friday, Jan. 9 in the 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT time period replacing various CBS drama repeats.
Harper's Island, a 13-episode mystery event, premieres Thursday, April 9 from 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT and concludes Thursday, July 2 from 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT. The series is about a group of family and friends who travel to a secluded island for a destination wedding. They've come to laugh... to love... and, though they don't know it... to die. As the wedding festivities begin, friendships are tested and secrets exposed as a murderer claims victims, one by one, transforming the wedding week of fun and celebration into a terrifying struggle for survival. In every episode, someone is killed and every person is a suspect, from the wedding party to the island locals. By the end of the 13 episodes, all questions will be answered, the killer will be revealed and only a few will survive. It will replace Eleventh Hour, which would have wrapped its season by then. More on that below.
Finally, CBS will return Survivor with its 18th season on Thursday, Feb. 12 and The Amazing Race on Sunday, Feb. 15 for its 14th season. Survivor will replace various encores while Race replaces Million Dollar Password. No word yet on returning sitcom Rules of Engagement will return for its all-new season. Worst Week was ordered for three additional episodes, so I'm guessing it will be replaced by Rules of Enagement after that. Just a hunch, we'll let you know when we know.
View the full CBS midseason 2009 press release.

CBS has picked up five more episodes of Jerry Bruckheimer's Thursday crime drama Eleventh Hour. The episode order is now up to 18 episodes for the season. The show has done nearly 12 million following CSI, not great retention but 12 million is good. Could CBS be doing better in the slot? Yes. If they thought not, then we would have seen a full 22 episodes for Eleventh Hour. We will see Harper's Island take over in the slot starting April 9, as mentioned above.
The CW will launch new midseason scary reality series 13: Fear is Real on Wednesday, January 7, airing Wednesdays at 8pm with encores on Fridays at 9pm. 13: Fear is Real will keep the slot warm for America's Next Top Model when it returns in March. 13: Fear is Real is a spine-tingling new eight-episode series combining the horror genre with a reality show format. Contestants are energetic, competitive and are full of personality, as they try to be part of television's first scary competition reality show and win a grand prize of $66,666. Talk about bad luck!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 11

The Simpsons - "The Nightmare After Krustmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Krusty tries to impress his daughter as they spend Christmas with the Simpsons. Meanwhile, Reverend Lovejoy seeks converts after church attendance plummets, and Maggie is haunted by a spooky Christmas toy.

Son of Zorn - "The War on Grafelnik" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Torn between Edie’s Christmas and Zorn’s Grafelnik – the Zephyrian holiday of revenge – Alan realizes he can play his parents off each other to get better presents.

Family Guy - "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter is asked to fill in for the mall Santa, until he gets drunk on the power when he realizes that Santa can get away with anything. Meanwhile, Stewie and Brian crash holiday office parties for the free food, drama and women.

The Last Man on Earth - "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol is bummed about Gail’s absence, so Tandy tries to cheer her up with the honeymoon vacation they never had. Meanwhile, Lewis finds new success with his pursuits in aviation and Melissa is contained.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Spread the holiday cheer with “The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color!,” a new one-hour special featuring two newly colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Series creator and co-star Carl Reiner personally supervised the colorization of the episodes.

The special features the groundbreaking episode “That’s My Boy??” and “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time.” Both episodes were written by Bill Persky & Sam Denoff. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

In “That’s My Boy??,” as Rob and Laura host a dinner party with a few friends, Rob recalls the hectic days after their son Ritchie was born, when he was sure the hospital had given him and Laura the wrong baby. The episode, originally broadcast on Sept. 25, 1963, was the third season premiere.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

Bizaardvark - "Agh, Humbug" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bernie gets bummed about not being invited to the Vuuugler-only holiday party, so the gang tries to turn him into an overnight online star so that he can attend, too.

Best Friends Whenever - "Revenge of the Past" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Shelby gets trapped in the 16th century after trying to save Daisy from marriage, so the friends join forces to help rescue her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 12)

Monday, December 12

  • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - Watch Jennifer Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also chats about the film Why Him? on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS. She joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Matthew stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will talks about Collateral Beauty on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) - Megan is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.