Thursday, January 31, 2008
Day 88: WGA's Strike; Even More NATPE Notes; Day Break Joins TV One March; Family Matters Coming to Nick at Nite in...
ABC will launch the new season of Lost tonight! I have seen tonight's premiere and the second episode slated to air next week already...and I must say it is VERY good. I loved it and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I am not allowed to reveal any major story lines, but I will tell you someone we thought died in the season finale is alive and someone else who died will appear in the episode in some form. We will also get a nice flash forward in tonight's episode and an interesting flashback in next week's show. Are these people who are going to rescue them good or bad? You'll get bit more of a sense after these two episodes! Tune in!
Today is the last day of NATPE, but we will have a full wrap-up tomorrow if we missed anything. And we will try to give you a list of everything coming in Fall 2008 in syndication. Anyway, here are some latest NATPE updates:
- FremantleMedia North America is looking to revive the classic game show Match Game. They are in discussions with cable networks and is expected to lock up a deal soon. The company also is looking for an executive producer, with casting to follow. It was hinted at a "Coffee With" Q&A session at NATPE.
- GSN has bought a game show set to launch soon. The series is called Bingo America, an original, 40-episode series, beginning Monday, March 31 at 7PM/6C. Developed by executive producer Andrew Glassman, the fast-paced, "free-to-play-along-and-win" new series blends all the classic elements of trivia-based game shows with traditional bingo game-play. Bingo America and host Patrick Duffy (Dallas, Step by Step) will be awarding cash and prizes to both on-air contestants and at-home viewers in every episode.
More notes coming, if any. Check back with us.
This March on TV One we will get our normal sitcom stunts and also a launch of a new acquisition...the short lived action-packed drama Day Break starring Taye Diggs.
On Saturday, March 8 from 12 Noon to 8pm, spend a day with TV One's legendary male comedians - Martin (Lawrence), Cedric (the entertainer), and Eddie (Murphy) in an all-day marathon of comedies Martin, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, and The PJs that will keep the funny coming from all different angles.
Then, Saturday, March 8, and Sunday, March 9, in primetime, TV One offers a Taye Diggs Weekend with a two-day TV One premiere of the blockbuster film How Stella Got Her Groove Back starring a then-unknown Taye Diggs in his first big role alongside Angela Bassett and Whoopi Goldberg.
Then, on Sunday, March 9, at 10pm, Taye Diggs Weekend continues with the TV One premiere of the recent ABC network action drama series Day Break. In the series, Diggs plays a detective framed for the murder of an assistant district attorney. 'Groundhog Day'-style, Diggs' character relives the same day over again each episode as he tries to investigate the murder, discover who framed him, and clear his name. TV One plans to air all 13 episodes of Day Break, which includes 7 episodes never seen before on American television, as ABC never aired those (they only aired them on abc.com). TV One premieres the season with two back-to-back action-packed episodes and will air subsequent episodes on Sundays at 10pm and 1am, with rebroadcasts Thursdays at 10pm and Fridays at 12pm. I suggest you all watch this series, as it is very good and actually has a conclusion after 13 episodes.
And we will have more on this in the coming weeks, but joining the TV One line-up in April will be the sitcom The Hughleys! It will get an all-day April Fool's Day marathon from 10am-6am, before joining the network line-up weekdays at 6:30pm and 11:30pm...more details on April soon!
As I mentioned a few times this week, Family Matters is coming to Nick at Nite. The official announcement should be coming soon, but Nick at Nite has access to the show beginning in March, but it won't premiere then (see below). ABC Family Channel, which currently airs the show weekdays (7-8am and 1-2pm) will lose rights after the Feb. 29 airing. So it will be leaving ABC Family.
However, the show will not be premiering on Nick at Nite in March after all. Family Matters is currently set to launch in June 2008. I think the reason they are holding it back by three months is to give it much more promotion because it will probably do very big for the network. It's going to be the Summer of Urkel this summer on Nick at Nite for sure! It really didn't make sense to launch it in March as planned because there is not much time to promote it. We will certainly have full details in the coming months on Family Matters' launch on Nick at Nite this June! Get ready for Urkel joining Tim the Toolman, George, and Will on Nick at Nite! "Did I do that?"
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Day 87: WGA's Strike; More NATPE Notes; 2 More RTN Stations Added; TV Land Scores Big in January 2008
In other news, NBC has renewed Celebrity Apprentice for another season. The second season of The Celebrity Apprentice will premiere in January of 2009. The first season wraps up Thursday, March 27 from 9-11pm.
As we did yesterday, we have some more NATPE notes for you.
- Program Partners and 44 Blue Productions have cleared Family Court With Judge Penny, a new syndicated courtroom show, in more than 70% of U.S. markets for this Fall. Clearances include WNYW/WWOR in New York, KTTV/KCOP in Los Angeles, WCIU/WWME in Chicago, WUPA in Atlanta, WBFF/WNUV in Baltimore and KTVT/KTXA in Dallas.
- It looks like The Montel Williams Show is ending after this season. However, CBS TV Distribution will offer 260 episodes of the best of Montel to stations for fall 2008. The show has aired for 17 seasons. Fox stations in the top two markets declined to renew the series for next season.
- NBC Universal's The Steve Wilkos Show was renewed for season two, with clearances in more than 85% of the country including top-market stations WPIX New York, KTLA Los Angeles, WGN Chicago and WPHL Philadelphia. Top Sinclair stations picking up the show for season two include WTTA Tampa, Fla.; WNUV Baltimore; WTTE Columbus, Ohio; and WLFL Raleigh, N.C., and Fox-owned stations extending their deal include WFTC Minneapolis and KUTP Phoenix.
- Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories, an unscripted series based on raw footage of extreme weather, has cleared 70% of U.S. stations. It will launch this fall. It comes from The Weather Channel and features customizable format options with features such as live local news and weather updates from station meteorologists. Major-market stations that have signed on include WABC in New York, KCAL/KCBS in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago, KYW in Philadelphia, WJBK in Detroit, WSB in Atlanta, WTSP in Tampa, Fla., WJW in Cleveland, KPHO in Phoenix, KUSA in Denver, WESH in Orlando, Fla., KXTV in Sacramento, Calif., KSDK in St. Louis, WPXI in Pittsburgh and WJZ in Baltimore.
Litton has done big so far in NATPE, already selling Baywatch reruns to ION and has Cribs, and Pimp My Ride up for sale for this fall.
Retro Television Network (RTN) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Media General to bring RTN programming to Mobile, AL/Pensacola, FL and Columbus, GA. The new affiliates will launch in the second quarter of this year on a digital stream of WKRG, the CBS affiliate in Mobile/Pensacola, and WRBL, the CBS affiliate in Columbus.
TV Land scored its most-watched month ever across several key categories for January 2008, according to Nielsen Media Research (12/31/07-1/27/08). The successful launch of new acquisition Just Shoot Me!, the network's regularly scheduled "Friday Night Movies" which included a telecast of The Jerk and "The Beverly Hillbillies New Year's Eve Marathon" led the network to score double-digit gains in rating and delivery among its target A25-54, core A40-54 audience and total viewers in total day.
In total day, TV Land posted a 0.4 rating (382,000 viewers) among A25-54, up +33% in rating and +33% in delivery over a year ago. The network attracted an average of 782,000 total viewers, up +18% over January 2007. Among its core audience, A40-54, the network scored a 0.5 rating (279,000 viewers), representing a rise of +25% in rating and +29% in delivery over last year. In prime time, TV Land posted a 0.4 rating (460,000 viewers), up+3% in delivery over last year, and among A40-54, the network averaged a 0.6 rating (336,000 viewers). Additionally, TV Land attracted an average of over 1 million total viewers.
For more on the best month ever in the ratings for TV Land, click HERE!
Come on back tomorrow for TV One March and details on Family Matters coming to Nick at Nite. Family Matters will launch on... (sorry you'll have to wait until tomorrow for that!)
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Meanwhile, CBS has ordered two more editions of Survivor to be broadcast during the 2008-2009 season. These will mark the 17th and 18th editions of television's longest-running hit reality competition series.
Additionally, Jeff Probst has signed a new agreement to continue as host.
As we all know, NATPE is here. This of course is the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Las Vegas where syndication deals are made. The conference is from Jan. 28-31, so it started yesterday. ION made the biggest news yesterday as they acquired Baywatch, but there were much more dealings. I'll recap the biggest news makers from yesterday and today right now:
- At a surprise NATPE press conference in Las Vegas today, one of America's most beloved stars, Marie Osmond, announced her latest venture as host of a new entertainment/lifestyle talk show, Marie. Program Partners will offer the hour-long television series in syndication beginning in fall 2009.
- Syndicated daytime game show Crosswords, from Merv Griffin Entertainment and distributor Program Partners, has been renewed for season two in 40 of the top 50US markets, despite not so strong ratings this season. Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet received a pickup for a sophomore season as well.
- On the heels of the ratings success of MGM and Reveille's hit reality series American Gladiators on NBC, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.'s (MGM) domestic television distribution operation is bringing Gladiators 2000, the kids competition series starring a young Ryan Seacrest in off-network syndication.
Gladiators 2000 is a half-hour series, which was shot in the 90's as a companion to the original American Gladiators. In the series, teens compete in games that challenge their physical abilities as well as their knowledge of nutrition, fitness and the human body. MGM is offering 39 episodes of the show at NATPE.
- Court show queen Judge Judy Sheindlin has inked a new multi-year deal with CBS Television Distribution to continue with her strip, Judge Judy, and the CBS Television Stations group has renewed the top-rated court show for another two seasons, taking it through 2012.
- MGM said Monday that it picked up distribution rights to Ron Hazelton's HouseCalls from Tribune. The home-improvement series, currently in its ninth season, is cleared in more than 70% of the country and MGM is looking to line up clearance for the next two seasons during the National Association of Television Program Executives' show in Las Vegas this week. MGM will sell 22 new episodes for each of the next two seasons of the half-hour, as well as nine years' worth of library episodes.
- Disney/ABC Domestic Television will bring Wizard's First Rule to first-run syndication this fall as a one-hour weekly series. It is based on Terry Goodkind's best-selling epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth. 22 episodes will be for sale. 35% of the country has been cleared, with Tribune stations the high buyer. Tribune's stations include WPIX in New York; KTLA in Los Angeles; WGN in Chicago; WPHL in Philadelphia; KDAF in Dallas; WDCW in Washington, D.C.; KHCW in Houston; KCPQ/KMYQ in Seattle; WSFL in Miami–Ft. Lauderdale; KWGN in Denver; KTXL in Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif.; KPLR in St. Louis; KRCW in Portland, Ore.; WTTV/WXIN in Indianapolis; KSWB in San Diego; WTIC/WTXX in Hartford-New Haven, Conn.; WXMI in Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.; WPMT in Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa.; and WGNO/WNOL in New Orleans.
- Twentieth Television has cleared Bones to 45% of the country. The off-net drama now is in more than 20 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia for a launch in fall 2009 and it will air on weekends. Station clearances include Fox Television Stations' WNYW/WWOR in New York, KTTV/KCOP in Los Angeles, WFLD/WPWR in Chicago, WTXF in Philadelphia, WFXT in Boston, KDFW/KDFI in Dallas, WTTG/WDCA in Washington, D.C., WAGA in Atlanta, KRIV/KTXH in Houston, WJBK in Detroit, KSAZ/KUTP in Phoenix, KMSP/WFTC in Minneapolis, WOFL/WRBW in Orlando, Fla., WUTB in Baltimore and KTBC in Austin, Texas; Tribune's KCPQ/KMYQ in Seattle, KTXL in Sacramento, Calif., KRCW in Portland, Ore., and KSWB in San Diego; the CBS Station Group's KPIX/KBCW in San Francisco; and Bahakel’s WCCB in Charlotte, N.C.
By the end of the week we will try to list everything that is coming to syndication this fall (2008). Sitcoms, weekly dramas, talk shows, court shows, game shows, first-run shows, and more! So come on back!
We have highlights of Nick at Nite February 2008 finally for you. There are no regular schedule changes, which means you'll still get your favorite shows at the same time. Tune into Nick at Nite for love-themed episodes of your favorite Nick at Nite shows...Home Improvement, George Lopez and Fresh Prince from 9p-12a the week of February 11-14 for I Heart Nick at Nite Week part of a Crush stunt on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite.
From Monday, February 25 through Sunday, March 2, 2008, it is Home Improvement Week! Tune in all-night long M-Th, 10-6am, F-Sat, 11-6 and Sun, 10-6 for a hearty dose of Home Improvement. Watch George Lopez each night leading into the Wall-to-Wall Home Improvement week! Whoppppah!! Click HERE to view and discuss the February Nick at Nite highlights!
Many of you have asked, so I will state it here. Family Matters IS coming to Nick at Nite in March! Yes, catch Urkel in primetime all over again. We will have details in the coming weeks. I can also confirm to you that ABC Family will lose the rights to the show at the end of this month, so Feb. 29 will be the last airing. More details on ABC Family March will come shortly.
Monday, January 28, 2008
New game show Amne$ia is slated to premiere Friday, Feb. 22 at 9pm, before moving to 8pm the following week. And new reality show My Dad is Better Than Your Dad will launch early now on Monday, Feb 18 at 8pm...as American Gladiators will end on Feb. 11 and The Baby Borrowers has now been moved to a later date (my guess...March 31?), as that was originally slated for Feb. 18..
ION Media Networks, Inc. has entered into an agreement with distributor Litton Entertainment to air the mega-hit television series, Baywatch, on ION Television.
The agreement marks the latest addition of popular, quality programming to the network's primetime lineup. This upbeat, action-packed series melds real-life issues, accessible characters and tongue-in-cheek humor to provide ION's broad audience with a perennial favorite that defined a genre. Baywatch on ION will launch Monday, March 3, and air Monday through Thursday at 10 pm (ET).
The new agreement is part of ION's ongoing initiative to add compelling programming from leading content providers that blends effectively with the network's signature quality content. This past New Year's Eve, ION Television added to its primetime lineup the Emmy-nominated series, The Drew Carey Show. Baywatch will further broaden the network's appeal by targeting a contemporary audience with fun and upbeat entertainment. The series starred many stars such as David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Alexandra Paul, Carmen Electra and Nicole Eggert.
We will have full ION March 2008 details in the coming few weeks, so stay tuned for that. But for now, you can discuss this HERE!
Here are the television winners from last night's SAG Awards:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Kevin Kline - As You Like It (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Queen Latifah - Life Support (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
James Gandolfini - The Sopranos (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Edie Falco - The Sopranos (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Tina Fey - 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Sopranos (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Office (US) (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Households: Fox 9.4/14.3, CBS 6.3/9.9, NBC 6.3/9.8, ABC 4.5/7.0, The CW 1.2/1.8, MyNetworkTV 0.9/1.4
Total Viewers: Fox 16.34 million, NBC 9.96 million, CBS 9.66 million, ABC 6.67 million, The CW 1.78 million, MyNetworkTV 1.34 million
Adults 18-49: Fox 6.4/15.8, NBC 3.5/8.8, CBS 2.5/6.4, ABC 2.2/5.5, The CW 0.7/1.8, MyNetworkTV 0.5/1.3
Analysis: Week 18 saw Idol score big for Fox, even though it was down a bit year-to-year. It was also down to one-hour each for its two nights rather than two two-hour slots as the previous week. Fox is obviously on top by big this week in all categories. CBS and NBC are battling for distant second in HH, viewers, and 18-49. ABC is fourth in all categories. Fox will for sure win the week thanks to Idol but it will be much closer than last week as there is no 54 million for an NFL game. Like I said before, the writers' strike has caused a lot of repeats, thus CBS and ABC are down, while NBC is doing better than it normally would do with scripted programming, thanks to the reality shows. Last week, week 17, Fox ruled in all categories by a big margin. CBS was a distant second in HH and viewers, while NBC was second in 18-49. NBC was third in HH and viewers, while CBS was third in 18-49, and ABC fourth in everything
On Monday, all of the big 4 had something to smile about. NBC saw a decent night with American Gladiators doing 9.99 million, down from previous week, but its strength is 18-49 as it did a 4.2 rating, also slightly down from previous week. Deal or No Deal followed with 14.24 million, down a bit from previous week, followed by Medium at 10.02 million, slightly up from previous week and a season high...now it is benched until Feb. 18...go figure. CBS was in repeat mode for its sitcoms, but it still did pretty well, especially Two and a Half Men doing 11.58 million..slightly up from previous week. How does it do it? The other three sitcoms were all decent but no where the numbers as Men. See sitcom numbers below. CBS closed the night off with an repeat of CSI: Miami at 10.5 million. Fox aired an all-new Prison Break at its normal so-so numbers doing 7.83 million and a 3.1 18-49 (both down a bit from previous week), it was followed by episode three of Sarah Connor Chronicles which did 8.66 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating...free falling...now it will be preempted tomorrow and will return the week after because of the State of the Union. ABC's 90 minute Dance War did a solid 9.84 million, down slightly from previous week. Notes from the Underbelly followed at 9:30 at just 4.48 million, down a bit from previous week. October Road followed at 10pm with just 4.95 million, slightly up from previous week. The CW had repeats of their sitcoms...the best was Chris at 2.32 million and the worst was Girlfriends' 1.37 million.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to Idol's 29.72 million, though it usually doesn't go down under 30 million until weeks later. A repeat of House followed with 13.91 million. CBS was a distant second with a repeat of NCIS at 11.95 million, very solid...followed by a repeat of The Unit at 7.8 million and a new 48 Hours Mystery at just 6.96 million. NBC suffered from Idol, but the second hour of the two-hour Biggest Loser built tremendously from its first hour and finished with an average of 8.97 million, up from previous week when Idol was two-hours and Law & Order: SVU followed with 12.98 million, slightly up from previous week. ABC also suffered from Idol-itis, as Just for Laughs started the night off with 4.69 million, though slightly up from previous week, a repeat followed with 4.62 million, up from previous week's repeat...According to Jim followed with 6.28 million, way up from previous week as it didn't go up against Idol and a new Carpoolers only managed 4.92 million. ABC closed the night off with an all-new Boston Legal at a below normal 8.3 million, but up from previous week. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.53 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 3.04 million...up from previous week.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 27.09 million, big but not as big as before. The series premiere of Moment of Truth followed with an impressive 23.05 million. NBC started the night off with the Wednesday edition of Deal or No Deal at 13.66 million, up about 2 million from previous week, the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 8.21 million, down a bit from previous week, followed by the original Law & Order at 10.35 million, down from previous week. CBS started off slow with Power of 10 at just 3.63 million, down from previous week, followed by new episodes of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY at 12.67 and 11.51 million...seems below normal. ABC's Wife Swap and Supernanny did 5.57 and 7.18 million, both up from previous week. ABC closed the night with Cashmere Mafia at 5.58 million, slightly up from previous week. The CW had a new showing of Crowned and a repeat of Gossip Girl at 1.37 and 960,000...Crowned is not doing good, down againfrom previous week.
On Thursday, we again had repeats of the two big players, but there were some new showings for scripted series. CBS started the night off with a repeat of CSI: NY at a solid 8.48 million, followed by a repeat of CSI at 13.27 for #1 for the night but down from previous week, and a repeat of Without a Trace closed the night off with 11.72 million. Fox was second thanks to Idol's promotion for sure, as a two-hour Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? did 10.51 and 10.34 million. ABC's big gun of Grey's Anatomy was in repeat mode and it doesn't repeat as well as the other big gun (CBS's CSI), but Ugly Betty was all-new and started the night with 8.88 million, down from previous week, the Grey's repeat did 7.21 million, followed by an all-new Big Shots at 4.89 million, up a bit from previous week. Lost returns this week and will dominate. NBC started the night with the first of two new Chuck episodes at 8pm at 6.91 million, Celebrity Apprentice followed with 8.68 million, down from previous week and the final Chuck episodes closed the night out with 6.56 million...why did NBC burn this off quickly?
Like usual, no Friday finals yet, but CBS won thanks to repeats of Ghost Whisperer (#2 at 8pm) and NUMB3RS (#1 at10pm). A Garth Brooks music special was #1 at 9pm. 1 vs. 100 for NBC was #1 at 8pm. Saturday ratings were not available at the time of this writing.
Tonight will be probably ABC's night as ABC has an all-new two-hour Home Edition while CBS has a new Shark at a special time and a new movie from 9-11pm. NBC will be off the map with figure skating, but will do a bit better with a Guinness special. Fox has a mix of new and repeats for its animation. Brothers & Sisters has two more episodes left for ABC, if you're wondering. They will air Feb. 10 and 17.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49 because of Idol. CBS will likely be second in all categories, with NBC third and ABC fourth.
This coming week...American Idol will probably go below 25 million (hopefully) and we'll see how week two of Moment of Truth will do. State of the Union will mess things up tomorrow but some shows are still new like Dance War from 8-9pm on ABC. ABC has Lost returning on Thursday with last season's finale re-airing Wednesday. I just saw the first two episodes of this season's Lost...and all I will have to say is WOW. It is GREAT! Tune in!!! Eli Stone is also decent, and Lost fans will like it...so stick around.
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of January 14-20)
- Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 450,000 viewers...as everyone watched the NFC Championship game on Fox probably.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.98 million for a repeat...down a bit from previous week's repeat of 7.13 million.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 7.72 million for a repeat...down from previous week's 8.07 million.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.58 million tuned in for a repeat..very good, up slightly from previous week.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.48 million for a repeat, good, up slightly from previous week.
- CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. All were repeats ... Chris led the block with 2.32 million, Aliens did 1.39 million, Girlfriends did 1.37 million, and The Game did 1.66 million.
- According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did a season high 6.28 million!
- Carpoolers (ABC) - 4.92 million for a new episode.
Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies are a mix of new and old.
Summing it up. Not a lot of sitcoms this week at all. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Rules of Engagement repeats were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as According to Jim, How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (Girlfriends repeat, Carpoolers).
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Mini-DVD Review: Pioneers of Television (Jan. 29); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Sick of Seacrest, VH1 Obsessed with Flavor Flav, Sony TV DVDs
Pioneers of Television (PBS, $24.99) brings us the wonderful four-part documentary series that focuses on the pioneers of television in four different genres...late night, game shows, sitcoms and variety shows.
On the late night portion it features many of the most important figures to emerge on the late-night scene. Merv Griffin gives his last interview before passing away, and Regis Philbin offers revelations about his years as a late night sidekick to Joey Bishop. Dick Cavett and Arsenio Hall provide insight into how their shows broadened the late-night audience. For the first time, Sigourney Weaver offers personal details about her father, Pat, inventor of The Tonight Show and one of the most visionary TV executives ever.
For the sitcom portion, it focuses on the five key sitcoms that shaped the genre: I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Make Room for Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Then we have game shows and it traces one of broadcasting's strongest genres, from its nascent beginnings in radio through its heyday in the late 60s. Bob Barker talks about his earliest work, and Merv Griffin details the "eureka" moments that led to the creation of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
Finally for variety, it begins with Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town and Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater, and progresses through The Carol Burnett Show, Smothers Brothers and Laugh-In, among others.
Let's start this review off with the packaging. It is a simple movie style case that holds a disc inside. We have two buttons to pull to do that. The cover has some of our pioneers on the cover in black & white such as Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Barker, and Lucy & Desi. PBS Home Video logo is on the top followed below by the title of the DVD (Pioneers of Television), along with the four segment titles. The back of the case has details on the set, along with break-downs of each segment, special features list, and some of the stars that are interviewed on this set. When we open the case we get the disc...it is in blue with the logo of the documentary.
The main menu screen has the same montage of black & white photos as the cover art. The Pioneers of Television logo is in red and the four specials are in yellow. There are options for Play Programs, Scene Selections, Special Features and PBS. org . On the Play Programs sub-menu, there is a photo of Johnny Carson waving in front of NBC Studios. For Scene Selections, there are a number of options for each special. Johnny Carson and Steve Allen are on Late Night. Lucy and Desi are featured on Sitcoms. Flip Wilson is on Vareity. A young Bob Barker is featured on Game Shows. The Special Feature sub-menu offers a photo of Phyllis Diller and Johnny Carson.
The video and audio are of course good since this special was just aired. Some of the archive clips might not look as good, but that is to be expected. There are chapter stops within each genre, but it depends on the genre. It is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with Dolby Digital English 2.0 Stereo. Closed captioning is available. The total running time is approximately 220 minutes.
We will rundown a bit about each special and who you will find on it.
Late Night (55:36) is broken up into the following sections (in order and how it is listed in the menu): Introduction; Steve Allen; Jack Paar; Johnny Carson; Merv, Joey, & Dick; Credits. We get comments from Tim Conway, Jay Leno, Johnathan Winters, Phyllis Diller, Dick Cavett, Betty White, Andy Williams, Merv Griffin, Regis Philbin, Tommy Smothers, Doc Servinsen, Ed McMahon, Arsenio Hall, Steve Allen, Hugh Downs, Sigourney Weaver, Pat Harrington, Florence Henderson, Barbara Eden, Bob Uecker, and Jack Narz.
Sitcoms (55:35) is broken up into the following sections (in order and how it is listed in the menu): Introduction; Jackie Gleason; Lucy and Desi; Danny Thomas; Andy Griffith; Dick, Mary and Carl; Credits. We get comments from Mary Tyler Moore, Joyce Randolph, Jim Nabors, Andy Griffith, Marlo Thomas, Dick Van Dyke, Art Linkletter, Florence Henderson, Tony Orlando, Barbara Eden, Pat Harrington, Tim Conway, and Rose Marie.
Game Shows (55:35) is broken up into the following sections (in order and how it is listed in the menu): Mark Goodson, Ralph Edwards, Groucho Marx, The Scandals, Password, Let's Make a Deal, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Hollywood Squares, Chuck Barris, Emcee job, Women as emcees, Bill Cullen, Credits. We get comments from Bob Barker, Dick Van Dyke, Merv Griffin, Tom Kennedy, Betty White, Monty Hall, Bob Eubanks, Peter Marshall, Phyllis Diller, Chuck Woolery, Wink Martindale, Jack Narz, Bob Stewart, Dick Cavett, Hugh Downs, Florence Henderson, and Vicki Lawrence.
Variety (55:37) is broken up into the following sections (in order and how it is listed in the menu): Introduction, Ed Sullivan, Milton Berle, Red Seklton, Arthur Godfrey, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Pat Boone, Sid and Imogene, Carol Burnett, Smothers Brothers, Laugh-In, Flip Wilson, Tony Orlando, and Credits. We get comments from Phyllis Diller, Florence Henderson, Tim Conway, Tony Orlando, Sid Caesar, Tommy Somothers, George Schlatter, Art Linkletter, Pat Boone, Pat Harrington, Peter Marshall, Andy Griffith, Jerry Stiller, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Dick Cavett, Dick Van Dyke, Andy Williams, Jonathan Winters, Jim Nabors, Vicki Lawrence, Betty White, and Arsenio Hall.
As for special features, we get about 15 minutes worth of expanded interviews. Betty White talks about her first sitcom: Life with Elizabeth. Phyllis Diller discusses the final Ed Sullivan Show. Dick Cavett tells a story about meeting Johnny Carson, who was performing as a magician in Nebraska. Florence Henderson recounts a painful experience that happened to her on a live TV show. Merv Griffin talks about his big break and meeting Jack Paar by accident. Jonathan Winters tells how he and Orville Wright lived in the same Ohio town at the same time. Tim Conway explains how pie-in-the-face-humor isn't all that much fun.
We recommend this set for any fan of television, especially television history. There are brand new, compelling interviews from nearly 100 classic stars. It has something for everyone...either late night TV, sitcoms, game shows, or variety shows. These are the people and shows that launched a TV industry. Recite your favorite lines "Heeeeeere's Johnny!," "Come on Down!," or "Lucyyyy," and learn more about these pioneers by ordering this DVD!
-- Reviewed by Pavan and Todd
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Pioneers of Television PBS Page
Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, January 26, 2008
"Sick of Seacrest; VH1 Obsessed with Flavor Flav; Sony TV DVDs"
By Solomon Davis
Seems like everywhere you turn these days when watching TV there is Mr. Ryan Seacrest looking right back at you. He has hosted the Emmys, co-hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC, award show's red carpet shows and now has been selected to appear on Fox during Super Bowl Sunday to host the pregame show and red carpet. This man knows nothing about football and probably has never watched football a day in his life but we still get to see him on the biggest sports day of the year just because he hosts that American Idol. It's a good thing Fox doesn't air the NBA Finals because we would definitely see his face again in the month of June. What's next for him? The World Series on Fox? Seacrest Out!
You mean to tell me that VH1 is going to air another series of Flavor of Love in February so we can see Flavor Flav search for love for a THIRD time? I mean how many times is Flav going to do a Flavor of Love series in this decade? It looks like VH1 won't stop airing this show until Flav finds that special someone which will probably mean Flavor of Love 10 before I'm 40. I always thought that a new year for a cable network meant NEW PROGRAMMING for viewers but I guess I'm just that stupid.
Sony actually released the season two DVD of Barney Miller to start a new year when so many of its other shows are close to completion? Barney Miller's last DVD release was in 2004 and all of a sudden there is a season two release before seasons 7 of All in the Family and The Jeffersons, season 3 of Diff'rent Strokes, and season 2 What's Happening Now!!? What in the hell is going to make season 2 of Barney Miller sell so much better in 2008 when it didn't sell well in 2004? They had better release 227 and Who's the Boss' second seasons then since they haven't gotten a season two set yet either. I guess this means season 2 of Maude will hit the shelves in 2011 since season 1 was released last year. Slow Sony!
Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.
DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The agreement is similar to the deals the WGA has recently announced with United Artists, Worldwide Pants, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
Lionsgate produces various TV shows that include Weeds (Showtime, fourth season), Mad Men (AMC, second season), and Fear Itself (NBC, debut season). So it seems Weeds and Mad Men at least will go back into production! Fear Itself is a scripted horror series coming to NBC this summer.
Also, Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that they have reached an interim comprehensive agreement that will put writers immediately back to work on the Marvel Studios development slate.
Meanwhile, ABC just announced the Feb. 11 airing of Dance War will also be 90-minutes. So it does seem the number one new sitcom Samantha Who? starring the sexy Christina Applegate, won't return until Dancing with the Stars returns, which is March 17...but remember the first two weeks or so the show is two-hours. The sitcom has three episodes left, and if the strike ends soon, we could get more and all in a row from this plan...so it could be good! The Dance War finale is Feb. 18 and will likely be two-hours. Then ABC has the world premiere event of A Raisin in the Sun on Feb. 25 and a two-hour special on The Royal Family on March 3. No idea yet what March 10 has in store, but Dancing with the Stars returns March 17. So, if I were to GUESS when Samantha Who will return, I'd guess March 31 at 9:30pm. Stupid strike.
TNT has acquired the exclusive cable rights to the hit drama series Bones. TNT will start airing the show this Tuesday (Jan. 29), airing it each Tuesday at 10pm. TNT will get five-days-a-week play starting in Fall 2009.
Bones stars Emily Deschanel as the forensic expert and David Boreanaz as an FBI agent. The self-contained episodes frequently play on the sexual tension between the two. The show is a modest hit on Fox. Boreanaz's other series, Angel airs weekday mornings on TNT.
Remember when Barry Williams' staff were looking for blog writers for Barry's blog? Well now the site has launched! And of our buddies is writing for Barry! Eric of JustMyShow.com! Eric tells us the coolest thing about the site is probably the interactive nature of it. There's lots of opportunity to leave comments (which Barry has been responding too), share photos and join The Greg Brady Project Community (which is what the blog is called). The community is set up through MyLifeBrand, which is a cool site that helps you bring all your social/business networking together in one place.
He also says, of course the blog is the main element of the site. Barry's been writing there with more and more frequency. There's definitely plenty on there to keep Brady Bunch fans happy, but Barry is trying to keep it contemporary as well. The site also has lots of photos, video and an online store.
I believe one of our other good friends, Wendy of Brady World, is also a part of this, so it must be good as she is a die-hard fan of the show. To view this interesting blog, click HERE!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
CBS has announced a few schedule changes. The Power of 10, the primetime game show hosted by Drew Carey, will be pulled from the CBS schedule effective immediately. The show was airing Wednesdays at 8:00pm but has been coming in fourth place in its timeslot ever since American Idol returned. CBS will fill the void with repeats of sitcoms until further notice. Back-to-back repeats of Old Christine will air next week (Jan. 30), while Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory repeats will fill the hour on Feb. 6. Power of 10 could return to the air again by summer. Meanwhile, The Price is Right, the daytime game show hosted by Drew Carey, returns to prime time with six new specials to be broadcast on Fridays, beginning Feb. 22 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT, on CBS and will be head-to-head vs NBC's 1 vs. 100 gameshow. These will be the first primetime specials to be broadcast since Carey took hosting reins from former host Bob Barker. During The Price is Right six-week primetime run, Ghost Whisperer repeats will move to 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT. Moonlight will return to the schedule later this season.
Retro Television Network (RTN), which is nationally owned and distributed by Equity Media Holdings Corporation, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Quincy Newspapers, Inc. (QNI) to launch RTN programming on 11 stations. The new affiliates will air on the digital streams of KWWL (Cedar Rapids/Waterloo/Iowa City/Dubuque, IA), WKOW (Madison, WI), WSJV (South Bend/Elkhart, IN), WVVA (Bluefield/Beckley/Oak Hill, WV), KXLT (Rochester, MN/Mason City, IA/Austin, MN), KTIV (Sioux City, IA), WREX (Rockford, IL), WXOW/WQOW (La Crosse/Eau Claire, WI) and WAOW/WYOW (Wausau/Rhinelander, WI).
As you all know by now, RTN is the first completely-customizable, national television network to provide a 24/7 digital feed of hit shows to each of its affiliates. The network's unique design allows each affiliate to remain in complete control while RTN runs the local and national master control from its central hub. RTN also offers customizable news and weather for each market, hosted by network-provided talent.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Day 80: WGA's Strike; AmericanLife TV Honors Suzanne Pleshette with Marathon; Sci-Fi Gets Jericho Reruns
AmericanLife TV Network is running a Bob Newhart Show marathon in memory of Suzanne Pleshette on Monday, January 28 from 9pm-1am. The network airs the show regularly every Monday night. They also air Newhart, which Pleshette appeared on for the last episode. Unfortunately that last episode is not part of this marathon, but we will get eight classic Bob Newhart Show episodes featuring Emily (Suzanne Pleshette). Marathon episodes are:
9:00 PM Fly the Unfriendly Skies
Emily joins Bob's group to conquer her fear of flying.
9:30 PM Tracy Grammar School, I'll Lick You Yet
Bob isn't invited to vocation day in Emily's class.
10:00 PM Come Live With Me
Bob and Emily interfere in Carol's love life.
10:30 PM Don't Go to Bed Mad
Emily objects when Bob watches Monday-night football.
11:00 PM Emily, I'm Home -- Emily?
Bob is upset when Emily takes a full-time job.
11:30 PM Bum Voyage
Bob resists Emily's idea of a European vacation.
12:00 AM Emily in for Carol
Emily fills in as receptionist.
12:30 AM Mister Emily Hartley
Bob learns Emily's IQ is higher than his.
To discuss this wonderful marathon, click HERE! TV Land will not do a marathon, but they have already begun airing a TV spot as a tribute to Ms. Pleshette.
SCI FI Channel has acquired off-network cable rights to the fan favorite drama series Jericho from CBS Television Distribution. The deal provides SCI FI the rights to seasons one and two of the series. Jericho will make its debut on SCI FI with a four-episode marathon on Monday, February 11, 2008 from 7PM-11PM ET. Jericho reruns will begin airing in its regular time slot on Mondays at 10 PM ET on February 18. SCI FI will simulcast Jericho in HD on SCI FI HD.
The day after SCI FI's marathon, Jericho returns to CBS Television Network on Tuesday, February 12 at 10 p.m. ET, for its seven-episode second season.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
On Wednesday, January 23, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will begin informal discussions to determine if there is a basis for both parties to return to formal negotiations. Both the AMPTP and the WGA have agreed to make no public comments about the informal discussions until those discussions have concluded.
Meanwhile, NBC will bench Medium on Feb. 4 and 11. It was already slated to be preempted next week, as the State of the Union is scheduled. On Feb. 4 and 11, NBC will air 90-minute episodes of American Gladiators and Deal or No Deal from 8-11pm.
ABC counteracted today by slating a 90-minute Dance War on Feb. 4. I wouldn't be surprised if they do the same for Feb. 11 and maybe a two-hour finale on Feb. 18. So it doesn't seem Samantha Who will air its all-new final few pre-strike episodes until maybe with Dancing with the Stars in March. Too bad, but worth the wait since it is the best new sitcom. We will get a repeat at 10:30pm next Monday, though!
We keep losing TV stars so far in early 2008. Two-time Emmy winning actress Lois Nettleton died this past Friday in Woodland Hills, CA, after a long bout with lung cancer. A veteran of the Broadway stage, films and television, Nettleton recieved Emmys for the daytime special The American Woman: Profiles in Courage in 1977 and for A Gun for Mandy in 1983 an episode of the syndicated religious anthology Insight. She received an additional three noms as guest star in Last Bride of Salem and The Golden Girls and supporting actress in the drama In the Heat of the Night.
She has guest starred on many TV series such as Crossing Jordan, Coach, Seinfeld, Murder She Wrote, Full House, Mr. Belvedere, The Facts of Life, Hotel, Cagney & Lacey, Trapper John MD, The Love Boat, The Streets of San Francisco, Petroceli, Medical Center, Hawaii Five-0, Kung Fu, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and so many more. She was also a familiar face to the game show community, appearing on many game shows such as $10,000 Pyramid and Cross-wits.
She will certainly be missed. Ms. Nettleton was 80.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The writers are still looking through the deal the Directors got. Let's hope they at least get back to the bargaining table. They haven't been there since early December.
As we mentioned yesterday, we will have full tributes today on all the sitcom passings. We will start with Allan Melvin.
Veteran actor Allan Melvin died in his home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, on Thursday, from cancer. He appeared on many sitcoms over the years but two characters stand out--he played Sam the butcher, the boyfriend of Alice the housekeeper, on The Brady Bunch and he also played the character Barney, Archie's friend, on both All in the Family and the continuation series Archie Bunker's Place. Melvin broke into the acting business on the '50s sitcom The Phil Silvers Show as the character Cpl. Henshaw, the right-hand man to Sgt. Ernie Bilko. Among his sitcom guest shots include Green Acres, Love American Style, Mayberry RFD, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Favorite Martian, Gomer Pyle USMC, Make Room for Daddy, McHale's Navy, and The Andy Griffith Show. Melvin also did A LOT of work in cartoons. He was the voice of Magilla Gorilla in the Hannah-Barbera series. Additionally, he played the voice of Bluto on the cartoon series Popeye. Among the other many voice-overs he did over the years were on such animated series such as TaleSpin, DuckTales, The Flintstones, Smurfs, and many more. While his name is not a household name, everyone that is a TV fan knows who he was and he will certainly be missed. Let's hope TV Land does a little tribute at least with episodes of The Brady Bunch and All in the Family at least. The fine folks at Retro Television Network have been running a nice tribute spot for Allan and they have shared it with us for you all to see. Click HERE to view the tribute spot. Mr. Melvin was 85.
We are also mourning the loss of a TV legend today. Veteran actress Suzanne Pleshette has passed away. She was best known for her role as Bob Newhart's wife on television's long-running The Bob Newhart Show in which she earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She died Saturday, just days before she was to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pleshette underwent chemotherapy for lung cancer in 2006 and she died of respiratory failure at her Los Angeles home. The beautiful, husky-voiced actress had a prolific TV career in such series in guest roles such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ben Casey, The Fugitive, Love American Style, Gunsmoke, Courtship of Eddie's Father, Bonanza, 8 Simple Rules, Good Morning Miami and Will & Grace. She earned an Emmy nomination for her guest role on Dr. Kildare in 1962. She reunited with Bob Newhart on his '80s series in the series finale of Newhart in 1990. The series finale of Newhart was among the best of all-time with a shocking plot. She also appeared on Broadway and in films, such as the popular Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds. She was also nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role in the CBS TV movie Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean which won its timeslot in the ratings. She married Tom Poston of Newhart in 2001 after knowing him for over 30 years. Unfortunately Tom passed away last year just months after she started chemotherapy. She will certainly be missed by the world of classic TV and her fans. She was gone way too soon. Let's hope TV Land does a big tribute for her as she appeared on one of the most famous sitcoms of all-time and one of the best series finales of all-time. Ms. Pleshette was just 70 years old and just days away from her 71st birthday (Jan. 31).
One of our readers named Frank informed us yesterday that we had missed the passing of Mala Powers back in June. We are sorry we missed this, but we will do a little tribute right now. Though certainly not a well-known name or a big time sitcom character actor, she was on Hazel for a season and appeared on Bewitched, Bob Cummings Show and Here Comes the Bride. Her work was mainly in TV dramas such as guest shots on Charlie's Angels, Ironside, Daniel Boone, Wild Wild West, Dr. Kildare, Perry Mason, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, Rawhide, Surfside 6, Maverick, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Bonanza, and Wagon Train. So she was on quite a bit of 50s and 60s dramas, especially westerns. Mala died in June of complications from leukemia. She was 76 at the time of her death.
While we're at it, John Stewart has passed away on Saturday of a stroke. No, not of The Daily Show, but the one who wrote The Monkees song "Daydream Believer." He was mainly a song-writer. He was 68.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Notes on Allan Melvin and Suzanne Pleshette; Week 17 Numbers (First Four Nights); How the Sitcoms Did
Suzanne Pleshette is best remembered for her role as Bob Newhart's wife on The Bob Newhart Show in the '70s. She recently had recurring roles on Will & Grace, Good Morning Miami and 8 Simple Rules. She passed away late yesterday and joins her husband Tom Poston, who passed away last year. She was 70.
We will have full tributes for both tomorrow, so please come on back.
Week 17 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):
Households: Fox 11.5/17.4, CBS 7.4/11.5, NBC 6.2/9.7, ABC 4.4/6.8, The CW 1.3/1.9, MyNetworkTV 0.8/1.2
Total Viewers: Fox 20.75 million, CBS 11.56 million, NBC 9.77 million, ABC 6.38 million, The CW 1.87 million, MyNetworkTV 1.15 million
Adults 18-49: Fox 8.4/20.7, NBC 3.5/8.8, CBS 2.7/6.8, ABC 2.1/5.3, The CW 0.8/1.9, MyNetworkTV 0.4/1.1
Analysis: Week 17 saw the juggernaut return for Fox, even though it was down a bit, it ruled TV. Fox is obviously on top by big this week in all categories. CBS is a distant second in HH and viewers, with NBC a distant second in 18-49. NBC is third in HH and viewers, while CBS is third in 18-49. ABC is fourth in all categories. Fox will for sure win the week thanks to Idol and tonight's NFC Championship Game, which will probably get over 40 million. The writers' strike has caused a lot of repeats, thus CBS and ABC are down, while NBC is doing better than it normally would do with scripted programming, thanks to the reality shows. Last week, week 16, CBS edged Fox in HH and viewers, while Fox took the 18-49 crown. CBS was second in 18-49. NBC and ABC were neck-and-neck for third, with NBC the slight edge.
On Monday, all of the big 4 had something to smile about. NBC saw a decent night with American Gladiators doing 10.61 million, down slightly from previous week, but its strength is 18-49 as it did a 4.6 rating, also slightly down from previous week. Deal or No Deal (stop with this show!) followed with 15.08 million, way up from previous week, almost by 5 million, followed by Medium at 9.51 million, slightly down from the season premiere. CBS was in repeat mode for its sitcoms, but it still did pretty well, especially Two and a Half Men doing 11.51 million..slightly up from previous week. The other three sitcoms were all way above from previous week. See sitcom numbers below. CBS closed the night off with an all-new CSI: Miami at 14.8 million, I believe that was the pre-strike finale. Fox saw the return of Prison Break at its normal so-so numbers doing 7.87 million and a 3.3 18-49, it was followed by episode two of Sarah Connor Chronicles which did 10.08 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating...way down from the previous night's premiere, but still solid. Let's see how it does tomorrow. ABC's 90 minute Dance War did a solid 10.5 million, down slightly from previous week. Notes from the Underbelly followed at 9:30 at just 4.57 million. I think for February sweeps, ABC should continue to 90-minute Dance War's, but air Samantha Who at 9:30 instead of 9:00 and bench Underbelly until March. October Road followed at 10pm with just 4.86 million, slightly down from previous week. Maybe some people who watched the beautiful Odette Yustman in Cloverfield at the box office this weekend (41.3 million in sales!) will tune in this week to see Odette on the small screen! The CW had repeats of their sitcoms...the best was Chris at 2.04 million and the worst was Aliens in America's 1.31 million.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to Idol's 33.41 million, down from last season's premiere by about 4-5 million. But still big. 13.8 18-49 is still massive. CBS was a distant second with a new NCIS at 15.82 million, very solid...followed by night two of the mini-series Comanche Moon at 12.56 million. NBC suffered from Idol, as a two-hour Biggest Loser did 7.18 million, down three million from previous week and Law & Order: SVU at 12.2 million, also down over 3 million from previous week. ABC also suffered from Idol-itis, as Just for Laughs started the night off with 4.52 million, down almost 1.5 million from previous week, a repeat followed with just 4.18 million...According to Jim followed with 4.01 million and a repeat of Carpoolers only managed 3.07 million. Thank god Idol ill only be an hour next week. ABC closed the night off with an all-new Boston Legal at a below normal 7.43 million. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.58 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 2.72 million...down from previous week.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol's second night of two-hours did 30.44, down 3 million from previous week, and again down from last season's second night, but once again still big. NBC started the night off with the Wednesday edition of Deal or No Deal at 11.81 million, down about 2 million from previous week, the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 8.77 million, down less than a million from previous week, followed by the original Law & Order at 11.59 million, up a bit from previous week. CBS started off slow with Power of 10 at just 4.79 million, down a million from previous week and the final night of the mini-series Comanche Moon did solid with 12.13 million...each night went down, but still solid. ABC's Wife Swap and Supernanny did 5.11 and 6.04 million, both down by almost 3 million from previous week...Idol-itis strikes again. ABC closed the night with Cashmere Mafia at 5.46 million, down 1/2 million or so from previous week. The CW had a new showing of Crowned and a repeat of Gossip Girl at 1.45 and 1.02 million...Crowned is not doing good, down from previous week obviously with Idol airing.
On Thursday, we had repeats of the two big players, but there were some new showings for scripted series. CBS started the night off with a repeat of Without a Trace at a solid 8.93 million, followed by a repeat of CSI at 14.15 for #1 for the night, and a new Without a Trace closed the night off with a decent 13.29 million. Fox was second thanks to Idol's promotion for sure, as Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? reached season highs in all categories with 11.58 million, followed by Don't Forget the Lyrics! at 8.79 million even. ABC's big gun of Grey's Anatomy was in repeat mode and it doesn't repeat as well as the other big gun (CBS's CSI), but Ugly Betty was all-new and started the night with 9.51 million, solid but down from previous week, the Grey's repeat did 7.4 million, followed by an all-new Big Shots which had a major storyline at the end doing just 4.7 million, down well over a million from previous week when it had a new Grey's as its lead-in. NBC started the night with two repeats of their comedies in the 8pm hour as My Name is Earl did 5.62 million and The Office at just 4.88 million, Celebrity Apprentice followed with 9.14 million, up a million from previous week and ER closed the night out with 8.92 million, down from previous week.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet, but CBS won each hour thanks to Ghost Whisperer and NUMB3RS. Even Moonlight won its hour as again there was no Women's Murder Club. 1 vs. 100 for NBC is no Deal or No Deal in the ratings, but it is a more challenging (and better) game show than Deal. Saturday ratings were not available at the time of this writing.
Tonight will be all Fox thanks to the NFC Championship Game between the NY Giants and the Green Bay Packers. ABC and CBS will battle for a distant second, ABC has an all-new two-hour Home Edition while CBS has the Amazing Race finale, but it will likely suffer against the game. NBC will be off the map with a movie (Runaway Bride).
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49 because of the NFL game (7-10pm even) and two nights of two-hour Idol's. CBS will likely be second in all categories, with NBC third and ABC fourth.
This coming week...American Idol goes down to one-hour on Tuesday and Wednesdays, so the other nets might get a boost, but again repeats will probably keep them even, especially CBS and ABC, since NBC has new stuff with Deal and other reality shows. ABC has Lost in the waiting area starting Jan. 31!
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of January 7-13)
- Aliens in America (The CW) - A repeat did just 666,000 viewers..pretty soon the show will be moving to 8:30pm on this night as the Monday sitcoms make their move to Sundays.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did an above average 11.33 million and 5.5 18-49 rating thanks to the NFL and Sarah Connor premiere lead-in.
- American Dad (Fox) - 8.62 million for a new episode...way above normal, see above.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.13 million for a repeat...up over a million from previous week's repeat of 5.98 million.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.07 million for a repeat...up nearly 2 million from previous week's repeat of 6.21 million. Tomorrow is the last scheduled repeat, before Welcome to the Captain takes over. Look for our review of that next week.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.51 million tuned in for a repeat..very good, up slightly from previous week.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.42 million for a repeat, good, up 1/2 million or so from previous week.
- CW Monday Comedies: Chris, Aliens in America, Girlfriends, The Game. All were repeats ... Chris led the block with 2.04 million, Aliens did 1.31 million, Girlfriends did 1.32 million, and The Game did 1.67 million.
- According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode faced Idol head to head, so it only did 4.01 million. Not against Idol this
- Carpoolers (ABC) - Since Idol was on in the hour, ABC scheduled a repeat, but it only managed 3.07 million...all-new this week, and not against Idol.
- My Name is Earl (NBC) - A repeat did 5.62 million.
- The Office (NBC) - 4.88 million for a repeat.
Airing tonight (Sunday) is a repeat of Aliens in America on The CW at 7:30, and Fox's animated comedies are preempted for the NFL game.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Rules of Engagement repeats were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as My Name is Earl, How I Met Your Mother repeats) or just plain old terrible (According to Jim, Carpoolers repeat).
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Mini-DVD Review: JAG Season 5 (Jan. 29); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Early 80s Sitcoms Missing, Lopez Marathon Not Fresh-Like, Drew Not Chopped on ION
JAG - The Complete Fifth Season (CBS, $64.99) is now available! Enjoy this long running Donald Bellisario classic on DVD from CBS DVD (Formerly known as Paramount)! Well, you'll enjoy it if you buy it from discount retailers, such as SitcomsOnline.com partner Amazon.com (see link at end of review). If you actually pay full sticker for any of these JAG sets, you've paid too much. Come on, it's a great show, but there are a LOT of things I'd spend 65 dollars on before I would this set. The show itself is great, it's just not sixty-five-dollar-great. Incidentally, for a set that a lot of folks were once worried about not getting released at all, we're now half way through the show's entire run with this set!
The episodes on this set are great -- the show was still at a high point. I love the two-parter "Boomerang," as well as the episode immediately preceding it, "Cabin Pressure." Also be on the look out for some guest stars, including Trisha Yearwood, Corbin Bernsen and Montel Williams. The actual set itself...well...it's pretty much the de facto standard for TV DVDs now that the industry seems to be shunning the Digipak. The packaging is the now standard-issue outer box with inner slim cases, like the other previous sets. The cover art is again similar in style to previous sets -- this time the main primary cast are all at the top, with a dark blue background behind them, with the gavel and US flag on the bottom half. The menu is yet another static menu, but is fairly nice looking. The background is extremely similar to the dark blue/flag portion of the cover art, with a file folder and gavel at the bottom. The show logo is center-left, while the menu options are center-right. There IS once again a special feature -- a gag reel running 3:04. Video quality is VERY good -- CBS was an early adopter of HDTV programming, and as a result the show's video shines, especially compared to non-HD shows the same age. No flaws that I can find -- with perfect color balance, no noticeable compression issues. Audio is great with no defect, and sounds great. And I've always loved this show's theme, which sounds wonderful here. We're now into the HDTV era of the show with this season -- yes, the set is presented in anamorphic widescreen. Closed Captioning is available once again. Chapter Stops appear at each commercial break plus before and after the opening titles. Runtimes are in the mid-40 minute area, give or take depending on how long or short the episode ran -- which is right for the show's age. The box has the usual warning about edits, but that's standard operating procedure for CBS DVD sets. My only gripes about the set are the MSRP, boring menus, and still lack of special features other than the gag reel. Work on those, and I'll be a very happy man. Nonetheless, what's here is great, and I strongly recommend it.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
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Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, January 19, 2008
"Early 80s Sitcoms Missing; Lopez Marathon Not Fresh-Like; Drew Not Chopped on ION"
By Solomon Davis
When will one of these cable channels ever give some life to the family sitcoms from the early '80s or are these shows just gone forever in syndication? I swear between Nick at Nite, TBS, TV One, and ABC Family there are NO shows airing on those networks from that era of TV sitcoms. Family sitcoms like Silver Spoons, Diff'rent Strokes, Family Ties, Gimme a Break!, Head of the Class, and Webster seems like they would be on one of these cable channels but instead we get all the sitcoms from the '90s and the decade of the 2000's. Even the shows that are out on DVD have only a couple of seasons released and is no where near completion and I just wish shows from that era of television would get more exposure instead of shows from the from 1985 to 1989...but even those shows are not seen much, Hogan Family got pulled on ABC Family within seconds as did Perfect Strangers on ION, while shows like Cosby Show and Full House still air everywhere. It's time for these cable networks to treat the sitcoms of the early '80s like they do for the ENTIRE decade of the '90s!!
I'm happy to see that Nick at Nite is giving George Lopez a marathon tomorrow night but the only thing I can't understand is why can't it be a week long marathon like it was for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? This will be a great opportunity for the show to gain even more viewers and maybe even possibly another huge hit for the network but all they give Lopez is one night of continuous episodes. The show has done well so far on the network. You would think that since the show is still kind of new that there would be the same type of marathon but I guess that's only for shows that been on Nick at Nite for more than 3 years and not less than 3 months. Once again Nick at Nite's program plan is acceptable but how they present it to viewers is a whole another story.
I wanted to see for myself if ION had a different editing style when it came to The Drew Carey Show and let me just say I was not surprise at all to see that it's not cut like Alice at 7pm and other older sitcoms they have aired like Perfect Strangers. ION has cut the episodes of Alice in so many ways that you can't remember who said what and where they said in it. But when I watched The Drew Carey Show I noticed that there were only TWO commercial breaks from the start of the show to the end of the show...and no abrupt cut to commercials, like on Alice when someone is in a middle of a line. Also, not 5 commercials breaks like it is during the Alice on ION and I can't seem to figure out why that is the case? I mean what makes one show more special than the other? Is it because Alice is older and has more time to edit? Now since I'm not a fan of Drew Carey, I don't know how bad they edit the show but from my eyes I only saw two commercial breaks when I watched the show and since I have 20/20 vision I know for a fact I have never seen an Alice episode with only two breaks. Either that or I may need to make an appointment for an eye surgeon immediately to fix my vision.
Agree or disagree with Solomon? Discuss it here.
DISCLAIMER: Remember, Solomon is not the voice of SitcomsOnline. He is just stating his opinions and does not reflect what SitcomsOnline says or thinks. It is just his 'View' but it is always quite entertaining.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Now that the DGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, the terms of the deal will be carefully analyzed and evaluated by the WGA, the WGA's Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board of Directors, and the WGAE Council. We will work with the full membership of both Guilds to discuss our strategies for our own negotiations and contract goals and how they may be affected by such a deal.
For over a month, we have been urging the conglomerates to return to the table and bargain in good faith. They have chosen to negotiate with the DGA instead. Now that those negotiations are completed, the AMPTP must return to the process of bargaining with the WGA. We hope that the DGA's tentative agreement will be a step forward in our effort to negotiate an agreement that is in the best interests of all writers.
Desperate Housewives has quietly not been airing on Lifetime the past few weeks, but it will return next Saturday (Jan. 26) with a four episode marathon from 11am-3pm. The episodes are from season three. Starting Saturday, Feb. 2 the show will return to its normal timeslot of Saturday nights at midnight following Grey's Anatomy.
The show joined the network as a once a week play in August 2006. It will be airing five-days-a-week this coming fall (September 2008) and Lifetime also plans to repurpose new episodes that air on ABC a few days later on Lifetime beginning in September.
So who is Bob LeMond? He was the classic voice of shows like Leave it to Beaver and Ozzie & Harriet. Every week he introduced "America's Favorite Family, the Nelsons" on television. He died at his home in Bonsall, CA Sunday of complications from dementia. In addition to those two classic sitcoms, he was the voice of Our Miss Brooks, My Friend Irma, Life With Luigi, The Red Skelton Show and Bat Masterson. He even guest starred as an announcer on two episodes of The Addams Family.
From 1948 to 1951, Mr. LeMond was the announcer on Lucille Ball's radio sitcom My Favorite Husband. In 1951, he announced the pilot episode of the television show that would become I Love Lucy.
Mr. LeMond retired from show business in 1971, and in 1972 he moved to Bonsall, where he became involved in real estate.
He will certainly be missed. I love when he says "Leave it to Beaver" then reads the cast names. He was 94.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
ION Media Networks, Inc. in collaboration with African-American TV syndicator Star Media and Omnicom's OMG Entertainment & Sports unit, announced today a strategic partnership for the creation and exhibition of African-American programming on the ION Television Network. The initiative already has backing from major charter sponsors McDonald’s, State Farm and P&G, with others expected to follow.
Initially, the partnership will use the syndication marketplace and TV libraries of Warner Bros. and other major television studios to program urban and diverse content. The longer term goal is to reinvest net proceeds from this enterprise into an original programming fund that can help create new African-American and diverse content to be aired on ION Television. The initiative launched on Monday, January 14 in the 6-7 p.m. ET timeslot on ION Television, with the return of The Wayans Bros. to broadcast television. Warner Bros. Domestic Television is the programming partner for this series.
This might be some good news. Since initially they will use reruns, maybe they will expand the hours a bit, say the daytime, and we could get more shows in. Hopefully shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Hangin' with Mr Cooper, Webster could air and maybe Amen can return once again. To discuss this news, head on over to the ION January thread.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Day 73: WGA's Strike; Details on TV Land's Big '80s Weekend; TV Land Picks-Up 2nd Season of Myths and Legends
Meanwhile, The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reached a comprehensive independent agreement with Spyglass Entertainment. The company finances, produces, and distributes theatrical motion pictures, including some of the most successful films of recent years, including The Sixth Sense, Shanghai Noon, Bruce Almighty, Seabiscuit, Memoirs of a Geisha, and the upcoming 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl. The deal reached with Spyglass Entertainment is similar to the deals the WGA recently announced with United Artists, Worldwide Pants, and MRC and addresses the issues important to writers, including New Media.
As promised, we now have the full details on TV Land Big '80s Weekend slated for President's Day weekend (Feb. 16-18). However, TV Land has cut the hours big time. It was originally slated for 12pm-11pm on Feb. 16 & 17 and on the 18th we would get it from 11am-11pm. We could have seen classic '80s TV shows too in addition to the '80s movies, TV series such as A-Team or Knight Rider, but now all we will get is '80s movies. The hours are now 5pm-11pm on the 16th, 5pm-3am on the 17th and the best two movies will air from 5-9pm on President's Day itself. Among the classic '80s movies airing are National Lampoon's Class Reunion, Sixteen Candles, Flashdance, and The Breakfast Club.
Classic TV fans don't fret, because TV Land will also give us some sitcom marathons that weekend now! On the 16th and 17th we will get a two-hour block of Andy Griffith, followed by two episodes of Sanford & Son leading into the movies starting at 5pm. On President's Day itself, we will get a two-hour morning block of Leave it to Beaver from 8-10am, followed by I Love Lucy from 10am-1pm and The Beverly Hillbillies from 1-4pm. Two episodes of Three's Company will lead into the movies.
See the updated February schedule highlights by clicking HERE for the full details!
Sticking to TV Land news...TV Land has ordered a second season of the series TV Land Myths & Legends, which aims to unravel Hollywood-related mysteries, scandals, rumors and urban legends. The first of the seven new half-hour episodes will premiere on Wednesday, August 27, 2008. Among the pressing issues to be covered are whether Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally cast as TV's Incredible Hulk and if Jennifer Lopez's derriere is really insured for $1 billion. Other investigations include whether Mars Inc., maker of M&M's, turned down product placement in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, allowing Reese's Pieces to step in and benefit immensely.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)
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
Sunday, February 14
The Simpsons - "Friend with Benefit" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lisa befriends Harper, a new kid at school who happens to be super-rich. Then, Homer befriends Harper’s dad and is able to enjoy the perks of Lisa having a rich friend, as well. But Lisa decides that Harper is a bully and moves to end the friendship, which prompts Homer to try and smooth things over so he can continue to enjoy the good life.
Bob's Burgers - "The Gene and Courtney Show" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
Gene and Courtney get their big break when they are asked to be the new hosts of the morning announcements, but their romantic history threatens to get in the way. Meanwhile, Tina’s attempt to play Cupid goes tragically awry when she volunteers to spear-head the Valentine’s Day carnation fundraiser.
The Simpsons - " Love Is in the N2-O2-Ar-CO2-Ne-He-CH4" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lonely Professor Fink uses science to turn himself into a man whom women find attractive. Then, overwhelmed by the attention, he invents an algorithm to perfectly pair the lonely men and women of Springfield, realizing that scientific exploration is his true love. Meanwhile, Marge, Bart, and Lisa visit Grampa for Valentine’s Day and try to rescue the old folks from a drug-induced hallucination that allows them to relive their happiest memories.
Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life - "How to Survive Losing Your Phone" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Cooper faces the ultimate, life-halting devastation when he loses his phone, and the guys stop at nothing to help him get it back. Meanwhile, Leslie and Kelly’s karaoke duet turns into an all-out bar brawl.
Family Guy - "An App a Day" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter learns about phone apps and overloads his phone with them. He buys a new phone with more memory and gives his old phone to Chris, which causes a series of horrible events. Meanwhile, Stewie joins a tennis club and invites Brian to be his tennis partner.
Bordertown - "High School Football" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Bud becomes the high school football coach after the previous coach is forced out of the job by the local redneck fans. Bud, desperate to win, discovers a secret weapon – an illegal immigrant whom he sees gracefully and skillfully run across the border. Of course, this kid also happens to be the No. 1 drug mule in Mexico.
Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck in the Middle" (Disney Channel, 8:45PM ET/PT)
Inventor Harley is ready to accept a community award after she figures out how to get her family out of the house on time.
Monday, February 15
- David Spade (Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - Watch David on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Jason appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry is a guest on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
- Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim appears on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Brandy Norwood (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha) - Brandy chats about Zoe Ever After on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran plays accomplice to co-host Clinton Kelly during a mystery ingredient party on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William discusses his new book Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and in the 10am hour and on HuffPost Live at 1:30pm.
- Giacomo Gianniotti (Selfie) - Giacomo is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Alison Brie (Community) - Alison visits ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- The Cast of The Facts of Life - It's a special Facts of Life Reunion with cast members including Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields and Geri Jewell on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT. Lisa Whelchel cooks a Mexican corn bread; DIY blinged roller skates; how to achieve Blair's fabulous hair from The Facts of Life; a prep school inspired fashion show; singer Gloria Loring performs The Facts of Life theme song; how to make a personalized DIY diary.