Thursday, December 04, 2008

WGN America's 2008 Holiday Programming; NBC Announces More Midseason 2009 Changes; ABC Update

WGN America has announced its holiday schedule for 2008! They are airing holiday movies all month long such as the 1985 movie Santa Claus: The Movie on Saturday night, I'll Be Home for Christmas starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas & Jessica Biel, and It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie. But what about their stunt on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day itself? On Christmas Eve, you can catch Christmas episodes of regularly scheduled timeslot series Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, and Nash Bridges from 8am to 1pm ET. Then after the WGN News at 1pm ET, Christmas episodes of The Cosby Show will air at a special time of 2-3pm ET (instead of the usual Homicide) followed by the classic 1977 Christmas special A Flintstone Christmas from 3-4pm ET and the 1980 Yogi Bear classic Yogi's First Christmas from 4-6pm ET. A Flintstone Christmas will also air Monday, Dec. 22 in primetime from 8-9pm ET, while Yogi's First Christmas will also air in primetime on Friday, Dec. 19 from 8-10pm ET. Back to Christmas Eve, WGN America will then reair the movie Santa Claus: The Movie from 6-8pm ET. Then in primetime, WGN America will spend the holidays with The Honeymooners from 8-9pm ET, includes the classic Christmas episode, leading into the Yule Log from 9pm-6am! Who needs a fireplace when you have the classic Yule Log playing classic Christmas songs from the Golden Age of Radio!
On Christmas Day itself, WGN America will air Midnight Mass from Chicago at 8am ET and Midnight Mass from New York at 9:30am ET, with Feed the Children at 11am ET before regular programming starts at 12pm ET with a holiday movie marathon until 10:30pm ET, with stars in movies such as Peter Falk, William H. Macy, Don Rickles, Patricia Heaton, Valerie Bertinelli, and Katey Sagal. At 10:30pm ET WGN will air a half-hour special called WGN News Holiday Special.
Now originally the plan was for some sitcom holiday episodes during the day on both days, but that is not happening. It was supposed to be from 2pm-6pm ET on Christmas Eve with holiday showings of Cosby Show, Coach, Becker, NewsRadio, Bewitched, WKRP and two episodes of Beverly Hillbillies leading into A Flintstone Christmas and Yogi's Fist Christmas. The Yule Log was originally slated for Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning from 1:30am-6am and again 8am-11am ET followed by a sitcom marathon from 11am-4pm ET of Beverly Hillbillies, Coach, Sister Sister, Cosby Show, Becker, NewsRadio, WKRP, Bewitched and more Coach & Hillbillies leading into three movies. It is too bad this isn't happening, but still WGN is giving us some goodies at least with the animated classic specials. NewsRadio fans might be happy though, as that series is airing as a filler now at times on Fridays at 10:30pm ET, and its holiday episode will air on Dec. 26! Make note of it!
So what does WGN America have in store for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day? We can tell you it is a sitcom marathon! We will announce it next week...so stay tuned! Come on back!

NBC has announced its plans for their post Super Bowl schedule starting Feb. 2. We gave you their January schedule, now they have announced their February and March plans. Immediately following Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday, February 1, NBC will broadcast an original, hour-long episode of The Office from approx. 10:30-11:30 p.m. ET (airing simultaneously to all time zones). Then starting the next day, February 2, Monday nights will feature the returns of Chuck (8-9 p.m. ET), the latest volume of Heroes (9-10 p.m. ET) and the season premiere of Medium (10-11 p.m. ET), back in its old slot. Tuesdays will remain the same as they did in January with The Biggest Loser: Couples and Law & Order: SVU. Wednesdays will have the return of Life starting Feb. 4 in between Knight Rider and Law & Order. Speaking of Knight Rider, NBC has cut its episode for the series from the full 22 episodes to 17 episodes due to declining ratings. Knight Rider will now have its season finale on Feb. 25, with a new show launching March 4, but NBC has not announced what yet. Thursdays will stay the same until mid-March, when ER has its two-hour series finale on March 12 from 9-11pm. NBC has ordered an extra ER episode, giving it 20 for this final season. The following week NBC will launch new series Kings with a two-hour premiere on March 19 from 9-11pm, before settling to its new timeslot of 10pm on March 26. I just don't get why NBC is not launching this earlier when they have the Super Bowl platform. Kings is a riveting new drama about a modern-day monarchy. It is a contemporary retelling of the timeless tale of David and Goliath. This series is an epic story of greed and power, war and romance, forbidden loves and secret alliances -- and a young hero who rises to power in a modern-day kingdom. I don't know if the ER audience will stick for something like this. Anyway, Fridays will remain the same in February & March as January with Howdie Do It, Friday Night Lights, and Dateline. Saturdays will continue to have more Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU encores. While Sundays will continue the event specials with the new miniseries XIII airing a week after the Super Bowl from 9-11pm on Feb. 8 and concluding on the week after on Feb. 15 from 9-11pm. XIII is a high-stakes cat-and-mouse thriller starring Val Kilmer, Stephen Dorff, Stephen McHattie and Jessalyn Gilsig, as the first female U.S. president is shot dead by a sniper during her Veterans Day speech. Three months later, a wounded man is found tattered in a forest with no memory of his identity. The only clue is a tattoo on his neck -- XIII. NBC has not announced what will air 7-9pm on Sundays, but it will likely be Dateline or possibly the missing Deal or No Deal. NBC has not announced what special is airing on Feb. 22, but starting March 1, Celebrity Apprentice will air Sundays from 9-11pm.
NBC says premieres for additional midseason shows such as The Untitled Amy Poehler Comedy and The Philanthropist, will be announced at a future date.
View the NBC Feb-March 2009 press release for more details on these shows.

Yesterday we mentioned we thought ABC would air the docudrama Border Security USA as a lead-in to Lost starting Jan. 28. Now ABC has announced it has renamed the series to Homeland Security USA and will launch it instead on Tuesdays at 8pm starting Jan. 6 as a lead-in to the ABC premiere of Scrubs, a week before Idol comes. So this means According to Jim will not move to that slot on that date. Promos for Homeland started airing last night. However, it seems ABC is only airing 5 of the 11 episodes right now for Homeland Security USA as According to Jim is listed in returning on Feb. 10, though that could change. Looks like ABC wants to do better vs. Idol and give Scrubs a better lead-in. ABC still has not announced what will air as a lead-in to Lost...could it possibly be repeats of Lost? We will keep you up to date on this. But it seems the According to Jim holiday episodes in December will be it for awhile, so watch it all this month Tuesdays 9-10pm! Meanwhile, ABC has cut the episode order for upcoming new series Cupid from 13 to 9 episodes, as it is launching pretty late in the season...on March 24. ABC already cut The Unusuals and Castle from 13 to 10 episodes due to so many series, so this is nothing against Cupid.


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

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.