Friday, February 29, 2008
So without further adieu, we bring you the third column of TV Rebels:
That Girl: It's Not a Man's World Anymore
Before Mary Tyler Moore tossed her hat into the Minneapolis wind, before Murphy Brown changed secretaries like other people change underwear, before Carrie sought sex in the city, Ann Marie climbed aboard the suburban commuter train from Brewster, New York to seek fame, fortune, and romance in the big city.
A young single girl living on her own in Manhattan and trying to make it in show business may seem like pretty tame fare in the twenty-first century, but when Marlo Thomas debuted as That Girl in 1966, television was still a man's world. From Father Knows Best's Margaret Anderson to Leave it to Beaver's June Cleaver, a woman’s place was in the home, or perhaps in a case like Our Miss Brooks, in the classroom. But on her own on in a New York City apartment? Not in TV Land. The men went to work and the women stayed home cooking up schemes to trick their men or getting into predicaments from which their men could rescue them.
During its five year run on ABC, That Girl did not necessarily tackle feminist issues head on or include ground breaking storylines. There were the traditional sitcom trappings. Ann gets her toe stuck in a bowling ball. Ann meets "special guest star" Ethel Merman. Ann takes a temporary job and chaos ensues. The program did however present a young girl who was not afraid to embrace life with little more that ambition and self-assuredness. Sure, there was a dichotomy of sorts to Ann Marie. Her father, restaurateur Lou Marie (Lew Parker) was always hovering nearby overprotecting and offering advice and boyfriend magazine writer Don Hollinger (Ted Bessell) would bail her out of jams, yet through it all, Ann did things on her terms and spoke her mind. That represents the turning point for the modern TV woman.
In That Book About That Girl Stephen Cole sites That Girl as a conduit of sorts between the traditional female lead television character and the contemporary. "...Ann and her crew forged a place in the hearts of American television viewers. She wasn't Lucy (of I Love Lucy) and she wasn't Margie (of My Little Margie). She was something new and contemporary. One part Doris Day, two parts Jean Arthur, and all parts Marlo Thomas. She was the bridge to Murphy Brown (1988-1998) and all other modern women in the sitcoms of today. She was Ann Marie. That Girl!" (13)
Speaking in an online interview with Lynn Sherr, Marlo Thomas discussed the influence of her Ann Marie character on television history. "I think That Girl made a journey through Kate and Allie (single moms), Cagney and Lacey (women working in traditionally male roles), Murphy Brown, who was the first imperfect woman hero on television (she had a drinking problem, she yelled at people who worked for her, she had a baby out of wedlock), and now the young women on Friends. I think that all of those women are links in a chain of the depiction of females on television ("That Girl").
Cole, Stephen. That Book about That Girl. Los Angeles: Renaissance Books, 1999.
"That Girl was a Pioneer." That Girl on the web. May 2002. 28 July 2007 http://thatgirltv.com/interview.html
Moving on to some news. There are reports all over the place (Hollywood Reporter, Variety, TV Guide, etc), that ABC is close to picking up 18 episodes of Scrubs for next season. The comedy is in its 7th season currently and has aired on NBC all 7 seasons. NBC has promoted this as the final season but they might not air an actual series finale because of the strike and that it might go right to DVD instead. ABC Studios produces the series and they are mulling a deal to bring the show to ABC next season. NBC is upset and has threatened legal action because they say they have first rights. I think this is a ploy by ABC Studios to bring the show back...and it looks to be working because no one thought Scrubs would be back next fall, and now it seems like it will, whether it is on NBC or ABC! And if it does return, YES Zach Braff will be a part of it. We shall have more on this for sure, so come on back.
Fox is developing a spin-off of Family Guy based on the Cleveland character. The show will be titled Cleveland. If it makes it on air, it could be paired with Family Guy on Sunday nights or for sure somewhere on the Sunday schedule. This could be bad news for American Dad or King of the Hill. Fox is also developing a spin-off of Prison Break based on women in prison. I am thinking that they will introduce it next season on Prison Break, which will likely be the last season of Prison Break (if renewed, that is), and if it hits, Fox will make that into a series. More to come I'm sure.
Finally, NBC announced yesterday they have pulled Quarterlife after just one airing (it didn't even have a 'quarter' of its 6 episode order aired!), now one of their cable networks will air the remaining episodes...Bravo. Bravo will air the remaining five episodes later this season.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our review of the upcoming new Fox sitcom Unhitched, which launches Sunday at 9:30pm.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
ABC Family Changes Their Minds; No Reunion on Today Friday; ABC Picks Up Reality Series For 2008-09; NBC Pulls Quarterlife
NBC's "Together Again" reunions on Today has come to an end today with the Knots Landing reunion. Remember we mentioned we would announce what reunion will take place on Friday, as they didn't announce it yet? Well looks like they couldn't book anyone, so there will no reunion on Friday unfortunately. We mentioned they had listed a Taxi reunion in the advanced listings, but it seems they couldn't book them. Hopefully we get more "Together Again" installments in the future...and when they do, you'll know here first!
ABC Entertainment announces early pick-ups of alternative series for next season (2008-09), including America's Funniest Home Videos, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny and Wife Swap.
No surprises here, as all are doing very well in the ratings. I'm surprised no early pick-up was announced for Dance War and The Bachelor, but I think those will return anyway. I think Oprah's Big Give will also do huge this week and that will return next season.
These alternative series pickups join the scripted series pickups already announced a few weeks back.
Finally, after just one airing, NBC has pulled new drama Quarterlife from the schedule. The show premiered on Tuesday at 10pm on a special night and time and did just a 2.2 HH rating and 3.13 million viewers. That is pathetic even when a repeat airs. The show was slated to air Sundays at 9, but that is not happening. NBC will schedule a repeat of Deal or No Deal this Sunday at 9 to go up against ABC's premiere of Oprah's Big Give. Then repeats of Law & Order will air for the rest of the month on Sundays at 9.
We shall be back with more, if anything breaking happens. Don't forget to come back this weekend for our pilot review of Unhitched and tomorrow for our monthly classic TV essay!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
ABC Adds New Sitcom Miss Guided; TV Guide Reports According to Jim Close To Be Renewed; CMT Acquires Two Reality Series
The new ABC half-hour comedy series Miss Guided stars Judy Greer (27 Dresses) from actor/producer/writer Ashton Kutcher (That '70s Show) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle, The Larry Sanders Show), which takes on high school's annoying tendency to repeat itself. In the premiere episode, Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor after having finally conquered the awkward, traumatic world of high school. With her orthodontia and teenage insecurities a distant memory, Becky deftly navigates the uncertainties of troubled students and an often troubling faculty, she is certain of one thing – her desperate attraction to hot mechanic-turned-Spanish-teacher, Tim (Kristoffer Polaha). Now that Becky might finally get the upper hand in life and love, she is shocked to discover that the newly hired English teacher is none other than her high school nemesis Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Lisa is a smart, stunning beauty and, suddenly, Becky is forced to relive her past and compete for Tim's affection.
We will have a full review of this sitcom closer to premiere date. Stay tuned this weekend for our pilot review of the new Fox mid-season sitcom Unhitched, which premieres this Sunday on Fox.
Meanwhile, TV Guide is reporting that long running ABC sitcom According to Jim could be renewed for next season (2008-09 season). The show is currently airing new episodes Tuesdays at 9PM through March 11. The show will still tape 6 post-strike episodes this season for air at a later date, as we mentioned last week. We will keep you up to date on that and when the renewal news becomes official by ABC.
They are not sitcoms, but they are off-network acquisitions, and everyone is interested in what networks buy in syndication, especially on our website, CMT has picked-up repeats of the reality series Nanny 911 and Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy. CMT will broadcast episodes of the series during the day, with repeats appearing in the early evening. Both reality series have been on hiatus on Fox for awhile now, and no idea if new episodes will continue. Trading Spouses will premiere March 3 at noon and 1 p.m., with repeats at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., while Nanny 911 will debut March 4 in the same time slots. So, Trading Spouses will air Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Nanny 911 on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Remember Milwaukee digital television viewers will be able to receive Me-TV over the air on digital channel 58.3. Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications will also carry Me-TV on the digital tier of their cable systems serving Southeastern Wisconsin. So without further adieu, here is the FULL launch schedule for Me-TV Milwaukee! Certainly a classic TV paradise!
Moving on to Me-Too in Chicago. As we mentioned previously, Me-Too will be a spin-off station of Me-TV Chicago. Like Me-TV Chicago, Me-Too will air the original network versions of the timeless classics whenever possible. This means longer program segments and fewer commercial breaks. Many of the shows have not aired in these formats since the original network runs. Like Me-TV Chicago, Me-Too will showcase many dramas that have not been seen in decades including a "Noir at Night" Sunday night block, "Super Sonic Sunday" afternoon block, and "Saturday Night Pajama Party" block.
Beginning March 1, 2008, Chicago viewers will now have two choices for classic television programming: Me-TV on WWME-TV, Broadcast Channel 23 and Me-Too on the newly renamed WMEU-TV, Broadcast Channel 48.
Among the programs Me-Too will carry on weekdays are Webster, The Monkees, Partridge Family, The Facts of Life, I Love Lucy, Who's the Boss?, The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Star Trek, The A-Team and more! And on weekends we will see even more programs such as What's Happening!!, That's My Mama, Gimme a Break!, The Munsters, Square Pegs, One Day at a Time, The Brady Bunch, Gidget, Flying Nun, Knight Rider, Batman and many more!
Chicago just got even better with yet another classic TV channel. Nearly every other city in the nation has none and they have two! So here is the launch schedule for Me-Too Chicago!
MyNetworkTV and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) have announced a new broadcast television home for WWE SmackDown, scheduled to debut in Fall 2008.
The two-hour television program will be presented weekly on MyNetworkTV. WWE SmackDown will feature a star-studded cast of WWE Superstars, including Edge(R), Rey Mysterio(R), Batista(R), MVP, Kane(R) and Undertaker(R), as well as present all the action, excitement, drama and great athleticism that have made it for nine years one of the most popular programs among males on broadcast television, and one of the top ten English language prime time programs among Hispanic households.
The program currently airs on The CW on Friday nights and does close to 5 million each week.
Oh and Happy Birthday to Todd (owner and founder of SitcomsOnline). Hope you have a good one! If we have more news, we will return...so try to check in later tonight.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Network Notes, Includes More According to Jim; WPIX Brings Back Honeymooners; Oprah Talks to Shatner and Winkler
The other ABC show that could return this season with new episodes following the strike is the new hit drama Women's Murder Club. The drama has been a decent hit on Friday nights and ABC has found a new showrunner and thus 3 new episodes will be produced and could be on the air by April. No word when they will launch yet, but I am assuming it will remain Fridays at 9, as ABC certainly needs help 8-10pm on Fridays as repeats of other series are doing nothing there. We will let you know as soon as ABC announces!
Moving on to NBC, they have all but confirmed that Las Vegas will not return this season with new episodes or next season. So, the finale that aired a few weeks ago, could be the series finale. NBC also will not return new series Bionic Woman and Journeyman, as we stated previously. However, we might have some good news for the struggling Lipstick Jungle. NBC has ordered 6 more scripts, so that is a good sign. Maybe NBC will order those scripts to episodes and have it air in the summer, as NBC is going for a 52-week season rather than Sept-May only.
Last week we announced what will happen to WPIX, WWOR and WNYW in New York when Everybody Loves Raymond moves from WPIX to WWOR. There was one TBA timeslot that I couldn't announce until today. The TBA slot was for Sunday nights from 1-2am on WPIX. So, the TBA slot will be...The Honeymooners!
For over 30 years, the WPIX-TV (CW11) has been New York's home for The Honeymooners. Now, the CW11 will begin a year-long Honeymooners Viewer's Choice Hour to run every Sunday night. See all 108 episodes of hamana-hamana-hamana hijinks with Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), Ed Norton (Art Carney), Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) and Trixie Norton (Joyce Randolph) in a weekly viewer's choice hour commencing Sunday, March 16 from 1-2 am.
Beginning on March 7, Honeymooners fans can visit CW11.com to vote for their favorite episodes. Each week, the two episodes with the most votes will air in the Viewer's Choice Hour on the CW11 on Sunday nights.
Can't remember the title of your favorite episode? CW11.com will feature a short clip from all 108 Honeymooners episodes (with title, cast and summary information) on the voting page. Each week, viewers can log on and vote for the two episodes they want to see on air that weekend. On Sunday nights at 1am the CW11 will air back-to-back-episodes of the top two vote-getters. Once an episode has aired it will be removed from the polls and all episodes will air only once.
Great news and start voting on March 7! To discuss this news with other fans, click HERE!
Oprah gave us a Cosby Show kids reunion a few weeks ago, and she has talked to classic TV stars such as Phylicia Rashad and Valerie Bertinelli about their current projects in the past few days, but now she will have a legends episode with two classic TV legends and a music legend tomorrow (Tuesday, February 26, check local listings for time and channel in your area).
Here is what Oprah says: Our viewers have been asking for him, and now he's rocking out on our stage. It's rock legend Rick Springfield! Watch as Rick makes one unsuspecting fan's big dream come true! Then, Oprah chats with one of the most recognized people on planet Earth, beloved TV icon William Shatner (Star Trek)! He shares what it has meant to him to be loved by millions as Captain Kirk and how he has been able to reinvent himself again and again over his half-century career. Plus, Oprah talks to TV's "coolest" legend..."The Fonz!" Henry Winkler (Happy Days) talks about his place in TV history and how he has managed to use his celebrity to help children with learning disabilities.
Stay tuned tomorrow for some big news (everyday is a big day now it seems, Oprah must be proud of us)...the launch schedules for ME-Too in Chicago and ME-TV in Milwaukee! Lots of Classic TV!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Week 22 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Thu):
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A
Analysis: Week 22 so far has seen Idol score big for Fox, with two-hour events on Tuesday & Wednesday and the special Thursday results show. Like I mentioned on the top, we don't have final averages through Thursday, but expect it to be Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, in that order through Thursday. Last week, week 21, Fox was number one all categories. NBC was second in all categories. ABC was third in 18-49, while CBS was third in HH and viewers.
On Monday, NBC was on top. NBC has moved back Deal or No Deal to its old 8pm timeslot and did very well with 16.95 million, up from 13.15 million the previous week at 9pm. Then NBC aired the new reality series, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad at a disappointing 9.81 million, and even more erosion at 9:30. Medium closed the night off with a below average 8.45 million. CBS was next with a mix of repeats and new episodes. Sitcom repeat of Two and a Half Men lead the night with 12.45 million (up from previous week), besting the new episodes of The Captain and Old Christine, a CSI: Miami repeat closed the night with 9.51 million, up from previous week (and #1 in its timeslot). ABC was next with the two-hour Dance War finale doing a solid 9.16 million, which was the same number from previous week, followed by the disappointing numbers for October Road at just 4.26 million, but up a bit from previous week. Fox aired its Prison Break (season finale) & Sarah Connor Chronicles block and did OK with 7.37 and 8.1 million...the latter dropped once more. The CW had a repeat of Gossip Girl doing 1.2 million, down from previous week a bit, and the season premiere of Pussycat Dolls at 1.77 million.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to a two-hour Idol at 29.01 million, slightly down from previous week's two-hour episode. NBC aired a two-hour Biggest Loser at 8.07 million, up from previous week and a Law & Order: SVU repeat followed with 9.28 million, also up from previous week. CBS was third with a repeat of NCIS at 10.85 million, down from previous week, followed by the Tuesday edition of the disappointing Big Brother 9 at just 5.39 million (down from previous week) and the show that should have never came back, Jericho at 5.86 million, down a lot from the season premiere previous week. ABC had two episodes (new/repeat) of Just for Laughs start the night off with 4.46 million (down from previous week), followed by a repeat with 4.63 million (down again from previous week)...a new According to Jim followed with 4.85 million (down a bit from previous week) and a new Carpoolers only managed 3.97 million, but that was up a bit from previous week. ABC closed the night off with Boston Legal at 7.43 million, up a bit from previous week. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.77 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 2.85 million, both down from previous week.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 28.88 million for a two-hour episode. NBC started the night off with another Deal or No Deal at 9.03 million (down about 2 million from previous week), the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 7.71 million (down also from previous week), followed by the original Law & Order at 10.86 million, up a bit from previous week. ABC's Wife Swap did 5.42 (up a bit from previous week), followed by Supernanny at 5.88 million (down about 3 million from previous week, but it didn't face Idol previous week) and Cashmere Mafia closed the night off with 4.78 million for its final episode. CBS continues to struggle with Big Brother 9 at just 5.22 million, down from previous week, repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with 7.15 and 7.3 million, both down from previous week. The CW had premiered another season of Top Model at a decent 3.81 million (but Idol affected it for sure) a repeat of Pussycat Dolls' season premiere did 1.84 million, which was better than its Monday premiere!
On Thursday, Fox was on the map as American Idol aired its first results show on a special night and did 23.37 million followed by a series high for Don't Forget the Lyrics! at 12.43 million. Lost continues to do well for ABC, Lost enhanced repeat started the night off at 8pm (we don't have numbers for repeats on this night yet), followed by an all-new episode at 13.65 million and a 5.7 18-49 rating (both slightly down from previous week), and Eli Stone closed the night with 7.19 million, down from previous week. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Micronesia at 12.66 million, down from previous week thanks to Idol, followed by repeats of CSI and Without a Trace which we don't have final ratings for yet. NBC started the night with two repeats of My Name is Earl not doing much, Celebrity Apprentice followed with 8.07 million (down from previous week), followed by the bad Lipstick Jungle at just 5.72 million, down from previous week.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet. NBC's 1 vs. 100 season finale was bested at 8pm by a Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular special. CBS' Ghost Whisperer was moved to 9pm and a repeat was only 4th place, while a House repeat won the hour for Fox. NBC's premiere of new game show Amn$sia limped out of the gate and lost steam in its second half. The 10pm hour belonged to ABC's 20/20 which did the best in the demos for the night and second in viewers behind Price. On Saturday, Fox won with its usual line-up, while NBC got basically nothing for the encore of My Dad is Better Than Your Dad at 8pm.
Tonight will be ABC with the win, as the Oscars will rule and likely get over 40 million. I don't think it will be enough to win the week thanks to Fox having 5 hours of Idol this week. CBS's Big Brother is going to fall even further tonight...60 Minutes at 7 will do good, but repeats of Cold Case and Showtime's Dexter will likely do bad out of Brother. NBC has a Law & Order: Criminal Intent marathon, which could beat CBS from 8-11pm and Fox has repeats of its animated comedies following NASCAR coverage, so they should get a bump.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. ABC will be second, followed by NBC and CBS in 4th...wow!
This coming week...February sweeps closes on Wednesday, look for ABC to do well tomorrow for A Raisin in the Sun.
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of February 11-17)
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 700,000 and 1.07 million...both down from previous week
- Aliens in America (The CW) - Repeat went below 1 million, 920,000.
- Girlfriends (The CW) - A repeat did 860,000 viewers...not good, but up a tick from previous week.
- The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 790,000 viewers...not good and down from previous week.
- The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode did 7.77 million, seems below normal
- King of the Hill (Fox) 2 episodes - A repeat at 7:30 did just 5.06 million, and a new episode at 8:30 did 6.45 million, up a bit from previous week.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did 7.29 million, has to be below normal since a repeat at 9:30 previous week did the same.
- American Dad (Fox) - Ouch just 5.35 million for a new episode. New sitcom Unhitched takes over March 2 for a few weeks.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 6.02 million for a repeat...down a million from previous week.
- Welcome to The Captain (CBS) - 5.34 million for a new episode, down a lot from previous week, not good at all...
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 12.45 million tuned in for a repeat...up from previous week's repeat.
- Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 9.4 million, down from previous week.
- According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did 4.85 million, down slightly from previous week. Whenever it faces Idol head-to-head it suffers it seems. With no Idol it does 6-7 million.
- Carpoolers (ABC) - Just 3.97 million, but up a bit from previous week.
- My Name is Earl (NBC) 2 episodes - Two repeats aired...no finals yet, but they were fourth in their timeslots.
Airing tonight (Sunday) is sitcom repeats on The CW from 7:30-10, and Fox's animated comedies are also repeats from 8-10.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men repeat and a new Old Christine were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (Welcome to The Captain, Carpoolers).
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Smurfs: Season 1, Volume 1 (Warner, $26.98) brings us the classic Saturday morning animated series that lasted nearly a decade, on DVD for the first time and the episodes are remastered. The long wait is over...The Smurfs are on DVD for the first time ever! They're finally here! Handy, Hefty, Grouchy, Brainy, Lazy, Dreamy, Smurfette, Papa Smurf and more of your favorite little blue people bring you the greatest show on Smurf. It's Season One, Vol. 1 of The Smurfs, the Emmy-winning animated series [Outstanding Children's Entertainment Series 1982-83] that delighted Saturday morning cartoon fans for nearly a decade. Of course, where Smurfs are, you'll also find evil wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael - plus monsters, dragons and trolls - keeping the Smurfs on their tiny blue toes throughout 19 cartoon escapades. Ready for adventure, laughs and enchantment? Abso-Smurfly!
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a thin outer box that holds a very thin digipak case. The front cover of both the box and case are the same, we see the land of Smurf in the background in a nice and blue sky with Papa Smurf and Smurfette featured, while the other Smurfs are at work. The cover is red and blue. The title of the show is on the top, with a mention below that that this is Season One, Volume One! To the back of the box we go, we get a nice synopsis of the series, along with a list of the special features in a mushroom. We see one of the Smurfs sleeping below a tree with the evil Gargamel watching. When we open the case, we get more colorful backgrounds. On the left we have a disc-by-disc breakdown of what we can expect episode title wise and extras wise. The left also has a nice blue sky background with Gargamel after two Smurfs in the grass. On the right side, we see both discs...overlapping each other, ugh...I hate that. Both discs are in a white background with four Smurfs characters on each disc. When you remove both discs from the case, you can see a nice background of the land of Smurf, with nearly all of the Smurfs. The back of the case has another nice background with a blue sky and Smurfette being romanced by a Smurf, Romeo & Juliet style.
The menu screens are very nice. We see the land of Smurf in the background with Gargamel approaching. It is very colorful. The catchy theme is playing in the background. Auto trailer for Looney Tunes starts off disc one before the main menu comes. Options for the main menu are: Play, Episodes, Trailers (disc 1 only), Languages , Special Features (disc 2 only). Trailers has five other things to preview from the Warner library. Languages has an option to turn on English subtitles. Episodes have a list of episodes obviously. Now the packaging listed disc two as being double-sided, but it is not. Very strange.
The video and audio is tremendous. The Smurfs never looked better. The packaging states that the episodes are remastered I am very impressed. Warner did a great job on this once again, but not as good as the Charlie Brown remastering, but still good. Originally season one was an hour long show on Saturdays with three mini episodes in the hour, however after about 2-3 episodes they started to repeat one of the mini episodes from the previous week the following week so they can cover the full hour. So it makes no sense on this DVD to have some repeats of a mini episode, so Warner has removed the repeats. The first two episodes on the set are 47:40 and 47:42 and have 3 chapter stops each, for each mini episode. After that, NBC started to repeat a mini episode. The episodes usually lasted approx. 12 min, 12 min, and 24 min or so for the full hour. Episode 3 on this set is 35:42 with 2 chapter stops, which means only 2 mini episodes are here...so no repeat from the previous week. The 4th episode is 23:37 and has one chapter stop, which means just one episode. On to disc two, episode 5 is 34:12 and has no opening or closing theme. The next episode is 24:30 and has no closing. The rest of the episodes run 35:42, 35:40, 25:32, and the bonus episode runs 24:22. I don't know how they could have handled this, but they are splitting season one in half (meaning in two volumes), so they could have just left the repeats in there so we could get the original NBC versions. I know that would be weird to have repeats, but why split them up in two volumes anyway? I would have rather have season 1 in full without the repeats on 4 or 5 discs...that would work the best and it would have fit. The show has like 9 seasons, splitting them up in two volumes per season would be too much.
As for special features, we get the bonus episode (The Smurfs' Springtime Special), as I mentioned earlier. We also get a Smurfs Music Video that runs 1:27. It is not really an extra. Warner could have done so much better than that. Their animation sets usually have great audio commentaries which is missing here.
I highly do recommend this set for any Smurfs fan and classic animation in general. I'm sure many of us grew up with this classic. I know I loved watching this in the 80s...and I still love it. The set is good, but it could have been so much better. The extras are lacking and the episode situation is a mixed bag...I don't know how I would have handled it, but one thing for sure is I would not have split the season in two volumes. Also, I didn't like inside the case it mentioned disc two is double-sided, which it isn't. Other than that, the episodes are great and look great, too. I can't wait until volume two so we can finish off the first season. Then let's hope the sales are very high (I think they already are as this set is very high in the rankings on Amazon) so we can get the remaining seasons each on one volume instead of two. So click below to order this DVD, if you haven't already. You better hurry before that Gargamel sees you and his lazy cat Azrael. Smurf to it!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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, February 23, 2008
"Malcolm Airs More Than Strokes; Too Early for DTV Switch Notice; Amen Returns to TV One"
By Solomon Davis
I applauded BET this past week for adding Diff'rent Strokes to their program schedule but then I noticed something odd. I noticed that the sitcom Malcolm & Eddie, another show that BET just added, has six airings a day while Diff'rent Strokes only has 2 airings. So why does that show get all this great treatment and it was added at the same time as Diff'rent Strokes? I see no reason why Diff'rent Strokes can't have a repeat airing of the morning episodes which would still be less than six airings a day. I'm very confused as to why BET would treat one of its new acquisitions much better than the other. especially since I think Malcolm & Eddie is nothing but a UPN reject from the 1990's which is definitely not on the entertainment level as Diff'rent Strokes. I am happy they are adding Sanford and Thea to weekends, though!
The last time I checked February 17, 2009 was a year away and from the way the media has been talking about television switching to digital you would think today is January 23, 2009. Why all the hype about DTV now when the switch is 12 months away? It would make more sense to talk about DTV in the Fall 2008 but to see all those commercials about it in early 2008 is just crazy, not to mention the commercials were airing in Fall 2007 as well. Everyone understands that this will be a major move in television but can we just wait until the next TV season to remind everyone that the switch to digital is approaching? The strange thing about all of this is someone who doesn't have cable or a converter box on February 18, 2009 will still be able to get one of those things on February 19, 2009 to watch TV so what is the big deal?
TV One hasn't changed at all since it started and going by their recent TV show change they have no intention on ever changing. Why in the world would they bring back a TV show to their schedule next month that they already had? TV One is actually bringing back Amen next month from hiatus which is no where near a sexy TV show acquisition of what BET just did. TV One fans have seen Amen already and it's time for something new now since this network just completed 4 years as a cable channel. Yeah, The Hughleys are coming in April, but what about bringing on The Jeffersons or something? Thank goodness for the network called BET since that station has the ability now to make TV fans feel thankful for having cable service and not the "ripped off" feeling you get from watching that joke of a station called TV One. This channel is definitely qualified to be on the basic cable package since it doesn't have much to offer TV fans on a year by year basis.
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, February 22, 2008
BET Schedule Updates, Sanford Marathon Planned; TV One Revises Programming in March; RTN Comes to D.C.; CBS Brings Classic TV to Online
First we still start with BET. As you recall, we announced on Monday that BET is now airing Diff'rent Strokes and Malcolm & Eddie weekdays and they will bring out short-lived series Sanford and Thea on weekends starting March 1. Now we have some updates for you. We have gotten word that Diff'rent Strokes will also air Saturdays 9-10am, in addition to its weekdays 9-10am slot. It will start airing on Saturdays next Saturday (March 1). However, the Saturday airings will be two repeats from earlier in the week, mostly from the previous Monday's airings earlier in the week. We mentioned the show could air 3-4pm starting next week, but that won't be the case, it will only air 9-10am. Malcolm & Eddie will also air on Saturdays, at 10-11am and 4-5pm. It won't air 11pm-12am, though, that will be only Mon-Fri, while its other slots will be Mon-Sat. A Girlfriends marathon is tomorrow, that is why we are not getting both of these shows tomorrow.
We mentioned that Sanford and Thea will join the weekend line-up late night on Saturday, March 1, which is technically early Sunday morning, airing 2:30am and 3:00am respectively. They will encore later in the day on Sunday at 11:30am and 12pm. Yeah, so we knew that already, but now we have learned that BET will have an all-day San"forward" Marathon on Saturday, March 8 from 10am-11pm just in time for Daylight Savings, as we move our clocks one-hour ahead later that night as we spring forward, or should I say San"forward." And get this, all 26 episodes of Sanford will air back-to-back all day! What a dream come true for Sanford fans! Get those TiVo's, DVR's and VCR's or whatever you use rolling because this is your chance to get every single episode in one shot! Now I have an idea for BET, when we move our clocks back in the fall, we should have a Diff'rent "back"Strokes marathon as we move our clocks one-hour back doing a backstroke. Just a thought! Anyway, BET is certainly looking bright now sitcom wise and we hope they continue this! Be sure you have some chips, nachos, and more snacks ready for this very rare marathon on March 8!
Moving on to another African American network, TV One, we have some changes in store for March. We announced March highlights already, but there are a lot of edits to it now. The TV One premiere of the action series Day Break has be postponed until Sunday, March 16. On Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, both at 8pm, Taye time is finally here as the weekend with Taye Diggs is now this weekend instead of March 8 and 9 as TV One premieres the Cool Factor and How Stella Got Her Groove Back starring Taye, Angela Bassett, and Whoopi Goldberg. An encore airing is scheduled for Sunday, March 16 at 12am following the premiere of Day Break from 10pm-12am. The weekend with Taye Diggs continues on TV One Sunday, March 16 at 10pm with the TV One premiere of the recent ABC action series Day Break starring Taye Diggs as a law enforcement officer framed for murder. The series will premiere with two back-to-back episodes to air at 10pm and 11pm and will premiere episodes on Sundays at 10pm.
On Saturday, March 22 beginning at 1pm and lasting to 10pm, it's time to get your praise on as the sitcom Amen returns to TV One back by popular demand with an all-day 'Best of Deacon Frye' marathon to give viewers a special treat before it returns to the regular schedule on weekdays at 6am & 6:30am beginning on Monday, March 24th replacing Roc on the TV One schedule, which will be off the line-up now.
Finally, The Hughleys: "All in the Family Launch Marathon" previously announced for Tuesday, April 1 will now air as a two-day weekend marathon on Saturday, April 5 & Sunday, April 6 starting at 1pm both days for this '90s sitcom. We will have more on The Hughleys' regular slots in the April highlights coming soon! Stay tuned for that!
Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that it will partner with Allbritton Communications to bring RTN programming to Washington, D.C. The new affiliate will launch late this year on a digital stream of Washington, D.C.'s ABC affiliate, WJLA-TV.
Allbritton began airing RTN's "Prime Time All the Time" lineup today on a digital stream of WSET-TV (Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA). RTN is scheduled to launch later this year on a digital stream of WHTM-TV (Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA).
CBS Interactive announced that it will begin offering Television Classics from the CBS (Paramount) Library, which is one of the largest television programming libraries in the entertainment business, online and across the CBS Audience Network. The initial lineup includes full-length episodes of Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, MacGyver, Hawaii Five-0 and Melrose Place, with more programs and clips to be added in the coming months. The distribution of Television Classics across the CBS Audience Network follows the same open, non-exclusive strategy that CBS has been using for its content online for the last nine months. All content is ad-supported, free to the consumer, and available immediately.
The initial programming lineup for Television Classics on CBS.com and across the CBS Audience Network includes full episodes the following:
Star Trek (original series) - Seasons 1, 2 and 3
The Twilight Zone - Seasons 1 and 2
MacGyver - Season 1
Hawaii Five-0 - Season 1
Melrose Place - Season 1
Let's hope they add some sitcoms as well, and some sitcoms that lasted awhile and haven't been aired on TV lately, such as Dear John and Webster. Series such as Family Ties, Cheers, The Love Boat, would also be nice to have.
It's only noon ET and we already have a lot of stories, but if anything breaking happens, we will break in. So come on back!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
NBC's Today Reunites Classic TV Casts: Happy Days, Growing Pains, Newhart and More; Raymond Moves to Fox Stations in March
On Saturday, February 23, Weekend Today's Amy Robach will interview the cast of Growing Pains. Kirk Cameron, Joanna Kerns, Alan Thicke, Jeremy Miller, and Tracey Gold will talk about their experience as the Seaver family in the classic 1980's sitcom.
On Sunday, February 24, Peter Alexander interviews the cast of Newhart. Bob Newhart, Julia Duffy, Peter Scolari, William Sanderson, Tony Papenfuss, and John Voldstad are reunited for the first time on television as a full cast.
Happy Days are here again on Monday, February 25 when Henry Winkler, Ron Howard, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley, Erin Moran, Don Most, and Anson Williams are reunited live in the studio.
On Tuesday, February 26, the cast of the classic sitcom One Day at a Time with Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips, and Pat Harrington together again live in the studio. Valerie Bertinelli returns later in the show (9am hour) to discuss the book "Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time." Gary Coleman is also interviewed in the hour.
Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, and Joe Regalbuto will be live in studio 1A on Wednesday, February 27 to talk about their time on Murphy Brown.
On Thursday, February 28, Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark, and Donna Mills stop by to talk about one of the longest-running primetime dramas in network history, Knots Landing.
Friday's reunion will be announced soon...Taxi was originally planned this week, so it could be that. We will let you know.
Get those VCR's and DVR's ready at 8am for the next 7 days starting Saturday! To discuss these reunions, click HERE!
The hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond is one of the top sitcoms in off-network syndication. In many markets it airs on a Tribune station. That will change starting March 17, though. The show will be on the move in many markets from Tribune stations to Fox-owned stations. For example, in New York City the show airs currently at 6:30pm and 12am every weeknight on WPIX (CW11), a Tribune station. It will be moving to WWOR (My9), a Fox-owned station, in New York. If you all recall, something similar happened to Seinfeld some years back when it moved from Tribune to Fox-owned stations (in NY that was WPIX to WNYW). The Fox-owned deal for Raymond runs from March 2008 to September 2013.
So how will this Raymond move affect New York? Obviously this will affect WPIX and WWOR, since they are the ones removing and adding Raymond. But this will also effect WWOR's sister station, WNYW (Fox5), as some series will migrate from WWOR to WNYW, and vice versa. First off, WWOR will add Raymond every weeknight at 6:30pm and 12am (the same slots WPIX aired it). The show will also be available in HD! Raymond will also air Saturdays at 6:30pm. WPIX will replace Raymond at 6:30pm with Friends, so it will air back-to-back from 6-7pm now. Friends' late slot will now be gone though as Sex and the City, Will & Grace, Frasier, and George Lopez will move to an half-hour or hour earlier. Joining WPIX's late night line-up are classic sitcoms The Odd Couple and The Jeffersons in the 2am hour...both are now back after a short break! WNYW's changes include moving the 2nd run of TMZ on TV from noon to midnight and adding the second run of Bernie Mac, which was on WWOR. WWOR will air the first run of Bernie Mac now at 4:30pm instead of 6:30pm.
To see a FULL list of the changes on WWOR, WPIX and WNYW, I really urge you to click HERE!
Our big week continues tomorrow with more big news, including a follow-up on our BET schedule story and some TV One changes. You will not want to miss this!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
ABC's Post Strike Schedule; CBS Swaps 'Bang' and 'Mother's' Slots; NBC Announces Classic TV Streaming Episodes
Everything else not mentioned scripted wise, is in limbo and has no status yet, which includes According to Jim, Cavemen, Carpoolers, Women's Murder Club, Big Shots, October Road, MEN IN TREES, Cashmere Mafia, Eli Stone, and Notes from the Underbelly. A few of these could return next season...having the best shot is Women's Murder Club and MEN IN TREES. According to Jim always seem to have some life, so it could also return.
CBS's hit freshman comedy The Big Bang Theory will lead off CBS's Monday comedy block when it moves to Mondays at 8:00PM, beginning March 17 when it returns with all-new episodes. This means, How I Met Your Mother, which was airing at 8:00PM, will shift to The Big Bang Theory's former Monday 8:30PM time period when it returns with new episodes on the same night.
NBC Digital Entertainment and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment announced that they are streaming vintage television content on their entertainment websites. Full episode streaming of classic, fan-favorite series including The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kojak, Miami Vice, the original Battlestar Galactica, The A-Team and Emergency! will be offered on NBC.com, SCIFI.com, ChillerTV.com and SleuthChannel.com beginning this month.
Here is a full list of shows on each website:
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Battlestar Galactica (1978)
Battlestar Galactica (1978)
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Simon & Simon
Still to come this week on the blog...full details on Classic TV Reunions happening next week and how the move of Everybody Loves Raymond from Tribune stations to Fox stations will affect New York City.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Here is a recap of what we can expect: Back to You still has two pre-strike episodes left and they will air next week (Feb. 26 and 27 after Idol). The show will then return to close the season with new episodes starting Wednesday, April 16 at 8:30 PM ET/PT every Wednesday at 8:30. 'Til Death has one pre-strike episode left and it will air Tuesday, March 25 following Idol. Post-strike episodes will start on Wednesday, April 16 at 8:00 PM ET/PT every Wednesday at 8:00. Bones will return will all-new episodes on Monday, April 14 airing Mondays at 8. House returns with new episodes on Monday, April 28 moving to a new night of Mondays at 9.
Other premieres are new mid-season entries such as new sitcom Unhitched on Sunday, March 2 at 9:30pm. New drama New Amsterdam will get a special preview airing Tuesday, March 4 at 9 after Idol and again after Idol on Thursday, March 6 before moving to its normal night and time of Mondays at 9 on March 10 (before House takes over in late April). On that same night (Monday, March 10), new drama Canterbury's Law will premiere at 8:00pm (before Bones takes over in mid-April). New sitcom The Return of Jezebel James will debut Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m. for a one-hour premiere before moving to 8:30pm the following week. Finally, returning reality series Hell's Kitchen will air after Idol on Tuesdays at 9 starting April 1. Reality series such as Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, The Moment of Truth, and Don't Forget the Lyrics! will continue on without any problems.
There you have it...Fox's plans for the rest of the season. Status on the future of shows like Prison Break and Sarah Connor Chronicles are up in the air until upfront most likely in May. Expect one of them at least to return next season, if not both. K-Ville is 99.9% gone for good.
We now only have ABC left for an official announcement of their plans. Stay tuned for that!
ION Television announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Twentieth Television to air the David E. Kelley hit television series, Boston Legal, on ION Television, beginning this Fall. The agreement marks a milestone in the network's commitment to popular and diverse entertainment.
The acquisition will join M*A*S*H in the line-up this Fall. ION recently launched The Drew Carey Show and will launch Baywatch next month in a plan of popular and diverse entertainment.
Will they be expanding by the fall since they have announced so many new shows? We shall find out...so let's hope they do. Don't judge them until they announce a schedule.
Boston Legal has regularly been a top 20 program on ABC and draws one of the most affluent audiences in television. Kelley and Bill D'Elia are executive producers. The series, which premiered October 3, 2004, currently is in its fourth season on ABC and is produced by David E. Kelley Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Our good buddy Eric from JustMyShow.com continues to get noteworthy guests for his show. On Feb. 5, Emmy winning producer Gary David Goldberg celebrated the release of his new autobiography "Sit, Ubu, Sit" by taking part in a panel discussion at the Paley Center alongside cast members of his most successful shows. But before he spoke to his sold out audience, he sat down with Just My Show to talk about his seven years as creator and executive producer of Family Ties.
You can listen to the very interesting podcast by clicking HERE!
We have a big week planned this week on the blog...so you will want to check in everyday. Big stuff!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Also joining BET's weekday line-up tomorrow is the '90s sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. Don't miss the hilarious adventures of Malcolm McGee and his roommate Eddie Sherman...starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin. The show will air right after Diff'rent Strokes in the mornings at 10:00am and 10:30am. It will also air at 4:00pm and 4:30pm, with an encore of the morning airings at 11:00pm and 11:30pm. As with Diff'rent Strokes, you can catch this show in order starting from the very first episode.
So what will happen to BET's other sitcoms because of this? You can catch The Jamie Foxx Show weeknight at midnight-1am and The Wayans Bros. from 3-4am weeknights. While In Living Color will air on weekends in a weekend block with two other new additions (see below). Girlfriends and The Parkers can still be seen in marathons and special blocks. Upcoming marathons for them include: The Parkers will get a President's Day marathon today from 10am-7pm, as BET promises to keep you laughing 9 hours straight with The Parkers BET marathon. Tune in for laughs from funny lady, Mo'Nique. Girlfriends will get a 12-hour marathon this Saturday (February 23) from 9am-9pm.
I mentioned earlier that the sketch comedy In Living Color will move to weekends only now. This change will happen the weekend of March 1. I believe one episode will air with an encore each weekend. Kicking off the weekend block is the BET return of the short-lived 1980 sitcom, Sanford. BET aired reruns of this short-lived sitcom in the past and now it makes its return! Redd Foxx brought back the irascible Watts junkman, Fred Sanford three years after leaving Sanford and Son. With Lamont away in Alaska, Fred was still trading barbs with Aunt Esther, along with a new cast of characters, including his roly-poly business partner Cal and a wealthy widow named Evelyn. 26 episodes were created. You can catch Sanford on BET late nights on Saturdays at 2:30am starting March 1 with an encore on Sunday mornings at 11:30am. Following Sanford, it is another short-lived sitcom and another show from BET's past, Thea! The short-lived 1993 ABC sitcom makes its return on BET with its 22 episodes. The show is about a widow that keeps her four kids in line with discipline and lots of love while holding down two jobs. It was the first series for Brandy Norwood and stars Thea Vidale. Thea will air Saturday nights at 3:00am and Sunday afternoons at 12 noon.
Following Sanford and Thea on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons is the aforementioned In Living Color at 3:30am on Saturday nights and 12:30pm Sunday afternoons.
BET is certainly getting better and we will keep an eye on them. All of its newest acquisitions (Diff'rent Strokes, Malcolm & Eddie, Sanford, Thea) are from Sony Pictures Television, which is a sign maybe they have some sort of deal with them. Let's hope more sitcoms join. If we have any updates, we will bring them to you, but for now discuss this great news HERE!
We leave you today with some sad news. David Groh best known for his role on the 1970's TV sitcom Rhoda as Rhoda's husband, died of kidney cancer last Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Groh became an instant celebrity in 1974 when he starred as the easygoing Joe Gerard opposite Valerie Harper's neurotic Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off. But by the third season of Rhoda the couple divorced and he was off the show. He has also guest starred on other series (mainly dramas) such as Police Story, Fantasy Island, Trapper John MD, Buck Rogers, Hotel, Simon & Simon, Kate & Allie, Hunter, LA Law, Spenser: Fore Hire, Room for Two, Sisters, Jake and the Fatman, Melrose Place, Baywatch, Law & Order, VIP, Walker Texas Ranger, and was a regular on Black Scorpion. On daytime TV he played D.L. Brock on General Hospital in the 80s. Groh appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Chapter Two and in Twilight of the Golds in 1993. He also had film roles in Two-Minute Warning (1976) and A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich (1978), among others. One of his last roles was a guest appearance on the sitcom Girlfriends.
David will certainly be missed by fans of Rhoda and other programs he appeared in. Mr. Groh was only 68.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Households: Fox 8.9/13.7, NBC 6.0/9.5, CBS 5.6/9.0, ABC 4.6/7.2, The CW 1.5/3.2, MyNetworkTV 0.9/1.4
Total Viewers: Fox 15.36 million, NBC 9.48 million, CBS 8.88 million, ABC 6.95 million, The CW 2.16 million, MyNetworkTV 1.36 million
Adults 18-49: Fox 6.3/15.8, NBC 3.2/8.2, CBS 2.6/6.8, ABC 2.4/6.1, The CW 0.9/2.3, MyNetworkTV 0.5/1.4
Analysis: Week 21 so far has again seen Idol score big for Fox, especially the two-hour event on Tuesday. Fox is on top thus far this week through Thursday in all categories and will be most likely after the end of tonight, when the week ends. NBC and CBS are battling for second in HH, viewers, and 18-49, while ABC could be in that mix after tonight's powerful two-hour Home Makeover. Last week, week 20, Fox was number one all categories. CBS was second in all categories. ABC was third, while NBC was fourth across the board.
On Monday, NBC was on top. NBC aired a 90-minute American Gladiators and it did 8.82 million, while Deal or No Deal also followed with a 90-minute episode and did a solid 13.15 million. Waste of a game show (if you can even call it that), no one will ever win a million. CBS was next with a mix of repeats and new episodes. Sitcom repeat of Two and a Half Men lead the night with 11.9 million, besting the new episodes of The Captain and Old Christine, a CSI: Miami repeat closed the night with 8.56 million. Fox aired its Prison Break & Sarah Connor Chronicles block and did OK with 7.84 and 8.32 million...the latter keeps dropping. ABC success with Dance War doing a solid 9.16 million for 90-minutes, before the bottom fell off with Notes from the Underbelly (probably the last scheduled airing) doing 4.15 million, followed by a season low for October Road at just 4 million. It is too bad it is dying, as Road is a good show. The CW had a repeat of Gossip Girl doing 1.26 million and two new episodes of Girlfriends at 1.69 and 1.98 million. Those were probably the last episodes ever for the show, as the show will be ending this season.
On Tuesday, Fox was on top thanks to a special two-hour Idol at 29.96 million. CBS was a distant second with a repeat of NCIS at 11.38 million, followed by the launch of Big Brother 9 at just 6.88 million and the season premiere of Jericho at 7.08 million, not too good. NBC aired a two-hour Biggest Loser at 7.4 million and a Law & Order: SVU repeat followed with 8.34 million. ABC had two episodes (new/repeat) of Just for Laughs start the night off with 5.07 million, followed by a repeat with 4.78 million...a new According to Jim followed with 4.91 million and a new Carpoolers only managed 3.9 million. ABC closed the night off with Boston Legal at a 7.25 million. The CW aired a repeat of Reaper at just 1.97 million and all-new One Tree Hill did 3.16 million.
On Wednesday, it was all Fox again. American Idol did 24.75 million. The free-falling Moment of Truth followed with 14.01 million, as it has dropped each episode. NBC started the night off with another Deal or No Deal at 11.07 million, the NBC airing of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent did 9.06 million, followed by the original Law & Order at 10.22 million. ABC's Wife Swap did 5.18, followed by an impressive showing from Supernanny at 8.8 million and Cashmere Mafia closed the night off with 5.31 million.. CBS didn't find any success with the second night of Big Brother 9 at just 5.65 million, that must have made the repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY go below normal, as they did 7.62 and 7.74 million. The CW had another Top Model Exposed and a repeat of One Tree Hill at 1.41 and 1.04 million.
On Thursday, Lost continues to do well for ABC, as Valentine's night shaved some ratings off of everything. Lost enhanced repeat started the night off at 8pm with 6.21 million, followed by an all-new episode at 13.76 million and a 5.8 18-49 rating, and Eli Stone closed the night with 7.46 million. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Micronesia at 13.18 million, followed by a repeat of CSI at 10.87 and a repeat of Without a Trace closed the night off with 9.65 million. NBC started the night with yet another Deal or No Deal (they said it was Valentine's themed) at 12.18 million, Celebrity Apprentice followed with an above average 9.11 million, followed by week two of Lipstick Jungle at just 6.0 million. Fox was off the map as Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? and Don't Forget the Lyrics! were preempted for the 39th Annual NAACP Awards at just 3.85 million.
Like usual, no Friday finals yet, but CBS, NBC and Fox had something to smile about. NBC's 1 vs. 100 was the highest rating at 8pm, followed closely by a repeat of CBS' Ghost Whisperer. At 9pm a House repeat won the hour for Fox in the demos, while a CBS music special won in viewers. The 10pm hour was very close with NBC, ABC and CBS, as Las Vegas' two-hour finale edged away. On Saturday, Fox won with just 6.5 million or so.
Tonight will be ABC with the win, lead by the two-hour Home Makeover. The wild card is NBC's Knight Rider movie, it could do decent or bomb. American Gladiators will have its finale before Knight Rider, so it could get a nice sampling in young adults. But a finale that started at 7pm? That might not be a good idea. CBS will do well with 60 Minutes, but will Big Brother rebound at all for its third outing? Cold Case is all new at 9pm, followed by the CBS debut of Dexter, which will probably not draw as much as CBS would usually do at 10pm. Fox should get a boost in 18-49 with its animation, as they are all-new. My predictions for tonight HH/Viewers: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox. 18-49: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS.
As for the week, Fox will win in HH, viewers and 18-49. The battle for second is up in the air. I predict CBS second in HH/Viewers, NBC second in 18-49, while ABC is third in 18-49 and viewers.
This coming week...February sweeps continues, as The Oscars will close the week with 40 million viewers next Sunday.
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of February 4-10)
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) 2 episodes - Two repeats did 770,000 and 1.23 million.
- Aliens in America (The CW) - Now that it gets a solid lead-in, a repeat on a Sunday did over 1 million, at 1.14 million.
- Girlfriends (The CW) - A repeat did 850,000 viewers...not good.
- The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 900,000 viewers...not good, but built from the lead-in.
- The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat did 6.84 million following the NFL Pro Bowl.
- King of the Hill (Fox) - A new episode did 6.06 million...not good, but it had a repeat as its lead-in.
- Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - A repeat built on its lead-in and did 6.55 million and another repeat built on that with 7.29 million.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 7.06 million for a repeat...not good, but not bad either.
- Welcome to The Captain (CBS) - 7.03 million for its second episode, held mostly everything from the lead-in, but not really good. Down just under a million from its premiere.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 11.9 million tuned in for a repeat...how is this so rewatchable? Very good.
- Old Christine (CBS) - A new episode did 9.89 million, up from previous week's season premiere.
- Girlfriends (The CW) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes did 1.69 and 1.93 million, not too good, but it followed a drama repeat rather than sitcoms.
- According to Jim (ABC) - A new episode did 4.91 million. Whenever it faces Idol head-to-head it suffers it seems. With no Idol it does 6-7 million.
- Carpoolers (ABC) - Just 3.9 million, but it is pretty funny.
Airing tonight (Sunday) is sitcom repeat on The CW from 7:30-10, and Fox's animated comedies are all-new from 8-10.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men repeat and a new Old Christine were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Welcome to The Captain, How I Met Your Mother repeat) or just plain old terrible (Girlfriends, Carpoolers).
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Mini-DVD Review: It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Feb. 19); Solomon's Weekly Rant: Cavemen; Oprah and Cosby Show; Roger Clemens Coverage
It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the classic 1974 Easter-themed episode on DVD once again, but this time digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to Easter, we also get the Arbor Day special. Spring is certainly in the air.
If you have never seen this special, it is about Linus who tries to tell everyone that the Easter Beagle will take care of everything during Easter. Will he be right? You'll have to see yourself. We also get the classic 1976 special It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. In that story we have baseball season starting and Arbor Day upon us. The gang goes eco-friendly and plant trees...but do they over do it?
Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. I never understood the reason for the thin box that holds a thin case...what's the point? Also, both the back and front of each is exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover is purple in color, and has Charlie Brown, Linus, and Snoopy with easter eggs. The title of the easter special is on the top, with a mention that this is a remastered deluxe edition! The bottom tells is we also get a bonus TV special...Arbor Day. To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Easter special, along with a list of the special features. Easter eggs are flying all over as we see Lucy, Snoopy and the little yellow bird...Woodstock. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in purple and has Sally and Snoopy playing with yes, Easter eggs.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get a light blue background this time, not the purple we were used to already, with the theme song playing in the background. It is so catchy. Oh yes, before the main menu begins we get auto trailers for Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and The Wiggles. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown came out on DVD with a remastered version last month, but unfortunately we didn't get a copy for review. Anyway back to the menu, when we select something, we see an egg as a pointer. For Languages, we can have either English, Espanol, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those three again and also Chinese, Korean, and Thai...wow! The Features section has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous. It has never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed. Warner did a great job on this. Easter special runs 25:02 and has 5 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Arbor Day special runs 25:05 and has 4 chapter stops. Both specials look amazing...especially the Easter one. Kudos once again to Warner. Here is hoping they do more...I kind of wish I had gotten Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "In Full Bloom: Peanuts at Easter" and runs 15:32. We find out lots of behind-the-scenes details and cool facts for the Easter special from members of the Schulz family and more. Interviewed are Lee Mendelson (Producer), Phil Cousineau (Author), Stephen Pastis (Cartoonist), Cathy Guisewhite (Cartoonist), Jean Schulz (Charles Schulz's wife), and Craig Schulz (Charles Schulz's son).
I highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. I have never seen a classic animated program look this good on DVD ever. Warner really needs to remaster every special for this wonderful franchise and put it on DVD. We got 3 specials on the Valentine's DVD and two more here on the Easter DVD. Let's hope Christmas, Thanksgiving is next, but I just wonder if Warner has the rights to all these now or does Paramount have some still? So I know it is still the middle of February, but it is never too early to think of the spring and Easter (but I am a fan of winter)...so I urge you to buy this DVD before little Woodstock beats you to it! And he can't even talk right!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page
Solomon's Weekly Rant
Saturday, February 16, 2008
"Cavemen Didn't Get Enough Time; Oprah's Audience Get Cosby Show DVDs; Roger Clemens Story On All-Week"
By Solomon Davis
Why is the new sitcom Caveman not returning when the show wasn't really given a fair chance to grab viewers? The show only aired 4 times in October and twice in November and it's GONE? 7 unaired episodes remain. ABC knows that this wasn't a typical TV season with the strike going on and it is mind boggling that they still decide to not bring back the show this season. Lots of people need more than 6 episodes to determine whether or not they like a show and pulling a show after only 6 airings is a joke. The show was just starting to turn around and become interesting before it was pushed to the side for those classic Charlie Brown holiday specials. All I have to say is ABC gave this show the "red-headed step child" treatment and it's really a shame the show could be gone for good.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing at the end of Oprah this week when she had The Cosby Show kids reunion on earlier this week which falls into the "HUH?" category? The crowd was given both seasons 7 and 8 on DVD while everyone else in the country will have to wait until April 8 when it is officially out. She couldn't give the crowd anything else besides that? Now the rest of The Cosby Show fans have 7 more weeks until they we get those DVDs because we weren't apart of Oprah's audience. I mean this really sucks because season 6 on DVD was so unwatchable because of the Olivia focused episodes and knowing those people will be watching season 7 this month before me makes me want to puke. Oprah could have given away the single-disc "best of DVD" that is already out, not the DVD's that I can't see until April. This is what I get for even watching Oprah because if I hadn't, I would have not known about this unfair news.
I know it's real easy to just change the channel when you don't want to hear or watch a certain story on a particular network and that's exactly what I did this week. I made every effort to stay away from the Roger Clemens steroid story on ESPN but that still didn't work because it interrupted regular scheduled programming on ESPNews at 6:30pm. That's when the repeat of Pardon the Interruption comes on and because of this Roger Clemens mess all week I didn't get to see PTI on Wednesday night. I wish this story will just go away because even though it's a major sports story, ESPN acts like there are no other sports to discuss in the sports world and just made the 6pm SportsCenter, "ClemensCenter" all-week long and right now I don't know what hate I more, the story or ESPN.
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Friday, February 15, 2008
We will keep you up to date if anything changes, but for now click HERE for the March highlights where you can also discuss the programming.
The CW is now the third network (joining CBS and NBC) to officially announce plans of what series will return this season with new episodes following the end of the writers' strike. Everybody Hates Chris and Aliens in America already completed production before the strike started and still has episodes left over. So, they will launch first. Chris has 12 new episodes left (for a total of 22 this season), while Aliens has 8 left (for a total of 18 this season). Both will return Sunday, March 2. CW will return their highest rated sitcom The Game on March 23 with an expected 9 new episodes. Production will be underway soon. It is not good news however for long-running sitcom Girlfriends. The CW has announced it will not return, which the show will now end after 8 long seasons. CW could plan a series finale or a special for its final airing. One Tree Hill still has about 5 pre-strike episodes left still, but 6 new ones will be produced and will start on April 14, which is a Monday, so it seems the show will move to Mondays at 9. The current batch of new episodes, aka: the pre-strike episodes, will air Tuesdays at 9 still. Smallville will return Thursday, April 17 with 5 new episodes. I believe a few episodes before the strike also remain to air...the show will air a total of 20 episodes this season. Rookie drama Gossip Girl will return with 5 new episodes starting Monday, April 21. The show had been in repeats since early January because it ran out of episodes. Another rookie drama, Reaper will return to air on Tuesday, April 22 with 5 new episodes. The show has aired 9 so far and a few pre-strike episodes still remain and will air in its upcoming Thursday at 9 slot before moving to Tuesdays at 9 with post-strike episodes. Finally, Supernatural will return with 4 new episodes starting Thursday, April 24. This coming Thursday (Feb. 21) Supernatural will be all-new for its last pre-strike episode before goina on hiatus until April 24.
We will bring you ABC and Fox's plans as soon as they are "officially" announced.
Meanwhile, CBS has renewed 11 series for next season in a move that will return 10 hours of the network's primetime schedule and eight of the top twenty scripted series on television. Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, Numb3rs, Two and a Half Men, Without a Trace and the Freshman Comedy The Big Bang Theory join previously announced Survivor and The Amazing Race as series returning next season (2008-09).
The jury is still out on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Old Christine, Shark, The Unit, Moonlight, and Jericho for next season, but we could expect a few of these to indeed return.
Last Man Standing - "Elfie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
In the spirit of Christmas, the sometimes self-absorbed Mandy plays Santa by anonymously arranging a holiday surprise for Blanca, the Baxters’ housekeeper. Also, when Vanessa gives Boyd a “magical” Elf doll, Ryan wants to tell Boyd it is just a doll, but Mike wants to prove to Ryan that a little Christmas spirit is not a bad thing.
The Neighbors - "A Christmas Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Debbie oversteps and accidentally ruins Larry’s surprise Christmas gift for Dick, Larry responds the only way he knows how: going way over the top for gifts to Debbie’s kids. Meanwhile, thinking gifts are the emblem of how you truly feel about someone, Reggie and Amber both struggle with getting each other the perfect gift.
Raising Hope - "The Chance Who Stole Christmas" / "Bee Story" (Fox, 9:00-10:00PM ET/PT)
Burt wants to be elected the interim Mayor of Natesville so that Virginia will have the honor of plugging in the town Christmas tree. But being mayor turns Burt into a Grinch. Then, Burt and Virginia go undercover to expose a corporate scandal that is killing all the bees in Natesville.
The Rickey Smiley Show - "Captive Christmas" (TV One, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The family gets trapped at the church by a snowstorm.
Friday, December 13
- John Witherspoon (The Wayans Brothers/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Watch John on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William appears on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Community) - Ken is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Constance Marie (George Lopez) - Constance talks about her role on the ABC Family hit Switched at Birth on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
- Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy visits The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
- Reed Alexander (iCarly) - Reed will be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
- Dan Lauria (Sullivan & Son/The Wonder Years) - Dan is a guest on New York Live on WNBC at 12:30pm ET.