Sunday, August 31, 2008
It's time for another edition of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and as we mentioned in April, we have now gotten rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so we will be bringing you one each month until at least November! Upcoming TV Rebel columns coming soon are about Rod Serling and Desi Arnaz. The book is in the works and will be released in 2009.
So without further adieu, we bring you the ninth essay of TV Rebels:
Monty Python's Flying Circus: "-and now for something completely different!"
by contributing author Kelly L. Goodridge
It was 39 years ago when Monty Python's Flying Circus and the satirical comedy of six men known as the "Pythons" altered the face of television comedy. John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Graham Chapman, all Pythons and graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, created a kind of side-show television circus sketch comedy that commented on, questioned and poked fun at life. Monty Python's Flying Circus is known for its ingenuous brand of "Pythonesque" humor and for subverting the standard formats that other sitcoms deemed necessary in the late 1960s. The show includes satire, farce, sarcasm and parody, and is difficult to categorize, especially with sketches such as "The Funniest Joke in the World," the "Dead Parrot" sketch, "The One-Man Wrestling Match," and "The Ministry of Silly Walks." Michael Mills, BBC's Head of Comedy, initially gave the Python team thirteen 30-minute shows, the first of which aired on BBC-1 on October 5, 1969. However, 44 more episodes followed and aired over four seasons. The show was produced by John Howard Davies and the first 39 episodes were titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, but the final six episodes, which aired without Cleese, were called Monty Python (The Museum of Broadcast Communications). Although the final episode aired on Dec. 5, 1974, the television series and five Monty Python films have a cult following today (The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons).
Originally, the comedy series was to be called "Baron Von Took's Flying Circus," after a comment made by Mills. However, Barry Took, the comedian that is credited as "London's Longest Laugh," and who Mills coined "Baron Von Took" brought the Pythons to the BBC and suggested the show unite two teams of young writers -- Michael Palin and Terry Jones alongside John Cleese and Graham Chapman (BBC News "Took: Comedy with a Twist"). "The content of Monty Python's Flying Circus was designed to be disconcerting to viewers who expected to see typical television fare" (The Museum of Broadcast Communications). The show's humor is evidenced in each of the comedic actors' ability to play diverse roles and characters, including women. In addition, each Python also refined character traits such as "Captain Fantastic," off the wall language accents and trademark lines such as Cleese's "You bastard!" The show's sketches are loaded with innuendo and risqué humor, sight gags, disrespect for authority and animation merged with live action. Gilliam's arrangement of cut-out art and skewed scale set against surrealist landscapes offered something new. Gilliam asserts, "Nobody had ever seen anything like it and I was animator. Just like that" (The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons 119).
Rather than following traditional sketch format, the Pythons were innovators and rebels of sorts with their jokes and sketches, which have had a lasting effect on the medium (Saturday Night Live and SCTV). In fact, The BBC credits Monty Python's Flying Circus as "one of the most popular comedy series ever" (BBC News "Took: Comedy with a Twist"). At any rate, the television series was a precursor to their films and if the official Monty Python website, Pythonline.com is any indication -- the show impacted and continues to impact culture. Pythonline offers "The Daily Python" news, books, audio recordings, clothing, toys, a 16 DVD boxed set of "The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus" with all 45 television episodes, as well as DVD's of their films -- And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982), and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983). The website also includes the "Latest Global Python Sightings" and appearances of the Pythons (with the exception of Graham Chapman, who died of cancer in October 1989), polls for visitors to take where one can select their favorite movie or "Vote for the Top Ten Monty Python Skits of all time!!", as well as a link to buy tickets for their current musical hit comedy Spamalot on Broadway or in Las Vegas, London, or Melbourne.
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and
Michael Palin with Bob McCabe. The Pythons Autobiography By The
Pythons. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, First St. Martins Griffin ed.,
Pythonline.com, the official Monty Python website. <http://pythonline.com/>.
BBC News. "Took: Comedy with a Twist." <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1903971.stm>. Sunday, March 31, 2002.
Hammill, Geoff. "Monty Python's Flying Circus: British Sketch Comedy/Farce/Parody/Satire Series." The Museum of Broadcast Communication (mbc). <http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/M/htmlM/montypythobn/montypython.htm>.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
This week on the Blog DVD Review we take a look at ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season. Eli Stone is about a lawyer (Jonny Lee Miller) with a special gift of seeing visions of the future, but he has a brain aneurysm that medically says that is the reason why he is zoning out with visions. Is science correct or do you have faith? This show is so great and anything with Natasha Henstridge in it is worth watching! See my mini-DVD review of Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season:
Eli Stone: The Complete 1st Season (Buena Vista, $39.99) brings the first season of the new legal drama with lots of comedy, music, science, law and faith on DVD for the first time! Follow Eli Stone on his quest for answers in this exciting and upbeat comedic drama. Basically the plot in a nutshell...Eli Stone is discovered to have an inoperable brain aneurysm which is causing hallucinations, according to his brother, Dr. Nathan Stone. However, he visits an acupuncturist named Dr. Chen, and he suggests that his hallucinations are actually divinely inspired visions of the future. These visions often predict future cases and events and are always right, leading Eli to go back and forth in his faith. Is he a prophet? One will have to keep watching and have faith in this series.
The series will air Tuesdays at 10PM, following Dancing with the Stars: The Results, on ABC this coming season and stars Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Loretta Devine as Patti Dellacroix, Matt Letscher as Nathan Stone, Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, James Saito as Dr. Chen, Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker, Jason Winston George as Keith Bennett, and Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby. With special appearances by singer George Michael as himself. Among the specials guests are Tom Cavanagh and Katey Sagal.
This first season is very good. 13 episodes aired this past mid-season during the writers' strike and followed Lost, so the show certainly got sampled. The great Greg Berlanti has done it again and I heavily enjoy his other shows such as Brothers & Sisters and Dirty Sexy Money. Some classic episodes include the series pilot, "Faith," where Eli begins having hallucinations (many of which involve singer George Michael) that may either be linked to a medical condition, or the bizarre chance that he is a modern-day prophet.In "Something to Save," after performing a song in the courtroom, Eli's capabilities to practice law have come under scrutiny and he appears before the State Bar of California for a hearing to determine whether he's fit to practice law. In "Heal the Pain," Eli's new position at the law firm means that he does not have an office, a secretary or the power to take cases. Eli has a vision of an earthquake in San Francisco, so Dr. Chen helps Eli realize that the quake is in the region where his client is planning on building a shopping mall by evicting the residents from their home, in "Praying for Time." In my very favorite episode of the series thus far, "Waiting for that Day," Eli has a vision of traveling in a car when all of a sudden an earthquake hits the Golden Gate Bridge...does it actually happen? Those episodes really stand out, but they are all very good. In the season finale, "Soul Free," Eli goes in for an operation to remove his aneurysm, but it doesn't go as planned and Nathan is left with a difficult decision. The episodes run usually close to 43 minutes or just above...unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 8 or 9 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2007-08 season, so it had better be good.
Packaging has a a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom. The outer box has the same cover and back as the case inside...I hate when they give us an outer thin box that is pointless. On the front cover we have a nice blue sky with clouds setting with Eli's head from the back side, and the show logo on his head...the back cover has information on the set and has some screen shots from episodes and a nice shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is also a section detailing the series and set, a special features box inside a briefcase with technical specifications also. Opening the case, we get two inserts (one for other ABC Studios DVDs and one for Blue-ray DVDs). There are only two panels, the left side holds discs one & two and the right side holds discs three & four...and they are overlapping. The left side, you have to remove disc two to get to disc one, I hate that. Each disc is in a blue color and has artwork that fits the show and Eli's illusions. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of a San Francisco Trolley. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of a WW1 biplane. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has artwork of the ocean on the Hawaiian beach with surfboards. Disc four has episode 13 and the bonus features with artwork of the Golden Gate Bridge. When you remove the discs, the left panel has disc-by-disc breakdown and three screenshots. The right side has the list of bonus features and three more screenshots.
The menu screen starts by showing us a law office (it looks like Dowd's office to me) and then we are behind the desk where see a flat screen monitor and on that monitor we see the menu options! How clever! But before I get to that, there is nice music playing in the background...it's the song "Feeling Good" which was hear in the season finale sung by the cast. You know, it starts off with the words, "Birds flying high, you know I feel..." Catchy! The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (discs three & four only), and Sneak Peeks (disc four only). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: Private Practice, Samantha Who, Grey's Anatomy and Lost. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc four on the main menu and has previews of many titles like Desperate Housewives Season 4 DVD and ABC promos of the new season of Eli Stone (Fall 2008) and Lost (2009). Set Up section takes us to the phone in that law office and the options on that menu are on the phone screen! We have the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot all on a nice yellow folder type document. Bonus Features option is only on discs three & four and it has all the extras listed on a white filler paper style. All of the sub-menus have nice video transitions and different background music.
Moving on the bonus features. Two episodes get the audio commentary treatment, first on disc three is "I Want Your Sex," by reators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim, Executive Producer Chris Misiano and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Victor Garber, & Sam Jaeger and Writers Leila Gerstein and Wendy Mericle. We also get an audio commentary track for the finale "Soul Free," on disc four from Creators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Matt Letscher & Sam Jaeger, Exec. Producer/Director Chris Misiano and Writers Andrew Kreisberg and Courtney Kemp Agboh. Wow! I never have seen that many people on one track. It was a crowd to listen, but still informative!
The next extra is an Extended Pilot Episode that runs 45:56, so we get nearly three more minutes of new footage. We also have optional commentary on this episode, that I recommend. Commenting are Creators/Executive Producers Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim and Actors Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge & Sam Jaeger and Director Ken Olin.
Then we have seven deleted scenes that are always interesting to see. Then we have three featurettes that are very good. First one is, "Turning a Prophet: The Creation of Eli Stone" (12:13) and it tells us everything we need to know and has interviews with Berlanti, Guggenheim, Miller, George Michael, Jaeger, Julie Gonzalo, Letscher, Loretta Devine, Jason George, Henstridge, Garber, and James Saito. Then we have "Acting on Faith: Eli & George Michael" (4:33) where we learn from Berlanti, Guggenheim, Jaeger, Henstridge, Garber and George Michael himself on how he got attached and what he brings. Then we have a neat visual effects featurette titled "Creating Vision: The Effects of Eli Stone" (5:35) where we see how the cool effects are done in CGI and how the actors have to deal with it. Discussing it are producers, actors, visual effects department, and other crew members: Guggenheim, Miller, Berlanti, Peter Vasquez, Timothy L. Lonsdale, David Petrarza and Tony Ocampo. We're not done yet...then we have "Inside the Firm: The Natasha Henstridge Tour" (4:58). The lovely luscious Natasha Henstridge gives us a tour of the set and does a good job. She is amazing and does this on her break from shooting. Finally, we have some "Eli Oops!" (3:28)...yes, bloopers! See all the swearing, goofs and play on the set!
I highly recommend this series and set. It is such a well-written and acted show that is greatly presented. The show got better and better it seemed to me as the episodes progressed, and that is a sign of greatness. The show only had 13 episodes and this DVD gives us 4 discs and tons of quality extras. ABC Studios did a marvelous job and I only have minor complaints that are not worth mentioning again. Catch up or discover the magic of Eli Stone with this DVD and hurry before the second season premieres October 14 at 10/9 central on ABC. Because... "Its a new dawn, It's a new day, Its a new life,
For me. And I'm feeling good..." You gotta have faith, so have faith in me and order the DVD below!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Eli Stone TV.com Page
Friday, August 29, 2008
Then it's time to go back to the gym and get ready for the original movie Gym Teacher: The Movie, but first spend an hour of physical activity with your favorite Nick at Nite sitcoms leading up to the movie ... with episodes of Family Matters, Fresh Prince, George Lopez and Home Improvement! Let's Get Physical Week airs Sunday, Sept. 7 through Thursday, Sept. 11 from 9-10pm each night.
After that week-long stunt, Nick at Nite and Nickelodeon invite you for the world premiere of original movie Gym Teacher: The Movie on Friday, September 12 at 8pm. The movie stars Nathan Kress (Nick's iCarly), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy). Dave Stewie was America's hope for the Gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics until he ran face first into the vault. His failure made him a national joke, and he quickly faded into obscurity. Stewie rebuilt his life from the ashes of humiliation to become a gym teacher, but his Olympic competitiveness never left him. Let’s just say that NASA scientists take their job less seriously than Dave takes his job of molding the physical fitness of young people. So when the President announces a national gym class fitness competition, Dave knows that this is his opportunity to redeem himself by leading his class of athletes to triumph.
Launching September 15 on Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite is My Family's Got GUTS. They will air two 10-episode tournaments. My Family's Got GUTS is an extreme sports competition series that brings families together where every member of the team -- from the smallest to the strongest -- plays a vital role and works together to complete each challenge. Each episode will feature a host (Ben Lyons), and three teams of four players (two adults and two kids) who gather in the Extreme Arena to compete against each other in four rounds of events inspired by today's extreme sports.
Coming Sunday, October 5 on Nick at Nite it is the The Worldwide Fido Awards. More on that soon.
View the full Nick at Nite September 2008 highlights.
Well we gave you all not one but two updates on WGN America's fall schedule already...and now here comes update three. Just a few edits, but they are good ones. Starting September 8, weekdays at 4pm ET will now be Becker instead of a full-hour of Funniest Pets & People. Funniest Pets & People will still air at 4:30pm ET, though. Then on Sundays starting Sept. 14 from 5-6pm ET will now be Coach instead of the previously scheduled Funniest Pets & People. Coach will sitll air Saturdays 7-8pm ET later in the fall starting October 4...so good news for Coach fans. Don't forget the Coach marathon tonight and tomorrow! The other changes are minor and involves a few weekend shifting of Scrubs, Reno 911! and Corner Gas, not big deals.
I really advise you all to see the full updated WGN America Fall 2008 line-up.
Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that Allbritton Communications will add a fourth RTN affiliate, now in Tulsa, OK. The new affiliate will launch this fall on a digital stream of KTUL-TV, the local ABC affiliate. I told you the new affiliate announcements will start to get rolling now!
Calling all Bob Newhart fans! You can find a "Behind the Scenes" of Bob's new show called The Challenge starring Bob Newhart now online at Vimeo! Also, check out Lloyd Garver's blog entry at Strike.TV. The Challenge will be featured when their first slate is released on September 8. So, sign up at Strike.TV to be kept in the loop!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
BET September Programming Includes Smart Guy; 5 More RTN Stations to Launch in Early 2009; Network Notes
BET will launch Smart Guy on Saturday, September 6 with a marathon of the first 10 episodes from 11am-4pm before moving to its regular airing of weekdays at 5:00pm & 5:30pm ET/PT after The Steve Harvey Show starting Monday, September 8.
Other BET portions of the schedule will include Girlfriends airing from 9-10am weekdays starting September 1 and starting September 22 BET will launch Judge Karen at 10am and Judge Hatchett at 10:30am. Back-to-back Hell Date will air in the 11am hour, as the morning "Blackbuster" 10am-12pm movie will be gone. Steve Harvey and Smart Guy round out the daytime weekday series schedule from 4-6pm. Music and rap programming will primarily air elsewhere weekdays, however 11pm and 11:30pm will now will be Judge Karen and Judge Hatchett as well starting Sept. 22. The midnight "Blackbuster" movie follows, as A Different World will now only air sometimes in the 3am hour.
As for weekends, there will be no changes until the weekend of Sept. 27 when Romeo! shifts from the 11am hour to the 9am hour, while Just Jordan remains in the 10am hour, and two hours of Smart Guy airs from 11am-1pm starting Sept. 27 on Saturdays. On Sundays, starting Sept. 28, Judge Karen will air from 1-2pm, no other changes will be made.
Stunts for the month include a marathon of sister station TV Land's original series Family Foreman starring George Foreman on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 1-4pm featuring all six episodes.
Check out the generic BET September Fall 2008 schedule, if you want to see it in a list form.
Retro Television Network (RTN) announced that it has entered into an agreement with New Age Media to launch RTN affiliates in five new markets.
The new affiliates will air on digital streams of WQMY in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania; WPXT in Portland, Maine; WTLH in Tallahassee, Florida; analog station WYPN-CA in Gainesville, Florida; and a new television station in Columbus/Tupelo, Mississippi. The RTN affiliations are anticipated to sign on in early 2009.
These are the first announcements of new RTN affiliates since RTN was sold to Luken Communications...but the first of many to come, so stay tuned!
It's time for another round of network notes! NBC has announced it has picked up nine additional episodes of its sophomore drama Chuck (Mondays, 8-9 p.m. ET) to provide the series with a full-season 22-episode order for 2008-09. The new season launches Monday, September 29.
Fox has announced that Hole in the Wall, the body-bending, global game show, will now air a special preview episode on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT following Fox's first NFL doubleheader of the season and as previously announced on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 9:35-10:00 PM ET/PT following the series premiere of Fringe on FOX. Hole in the Wall will have its one-hour series premiere Thursday, Sept. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox and will air in that slot thereafter. Fox has still not announced what will air Sunday, Sept. 14 from 9:35-10pm following the Fringe pilot encore.
And finally, like I predicted, the season finale of ABC's High School Musical: Get in the Picture will now air on Monday, September 8, 2008 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT and not September 15 as previously reported. The finale will lead-in to the previously announced CMA special from 9-11PM ET/PT. As a result of that change, The ABC Monday Movie of the Week Batman Begins will now air on Monday, September 15, 2008 from 8:00-11:00 PM ET/PT.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
First up is ABC. Last season ABC had three fall preview specials specially designed for their affiliates and abc.com. One of the three last year was for ABC's then new Wednesday line-up. This year ABC will be focusing on that night as they relaunch the night with the same shows but due to the strike, all three of those shows haven't aired since the end of 2007. This year's special, titled The ABC Wednesday Night Starter Kit, gives us a recap and preview of what is to come on Pushing Daisies, Private Practice and Dirty Sexy Money. This half-hour special has started airing already on local ABC affiliates since the weekend of August 15. Check local listings for time and day in your area. If you're in the NYC market, WABC will air it this Saturday (August 30) at 2:30PM. So what if your local ABC affiliate aired this special already and you missed it? Not to worry the ABC cable networks will air it, too. SOAPnet will air it a few times...on Saturday, August 30 at 4:30PM, Saturday, September 13 at 4:30PM and Friday, September 26 at 5:00AM. ABC Family Channel will also air it on Thursday, Sept. 4 (early Sept. 5) at 12:30AM ET/PT. So plenty of chances to watch this, but if you still somehow miss it, it is online on AOL Video. As of now, ABC will not air this special itself, though. They will also as of now not air a full preview special previewing new series, but that could change. We will let you know if it does happen. Finally, ABC.com has a Starter Kit of everything you need to know about your favorite ABC shows in order to catch up in time for the new season. Shows include Dirty Sexy Money, Samantha Who, Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters.
Moving on to NBC, they also will do an affiliate special. Their affiliate special has not aired yet anywhere, so no one has seen it yet. Titled NBC Primetime Preview special, the special premieres this weekend, weekend of August 30. Zachary Levi of Chuck hosts this half-hour special that will preview NBC's new series and returning series. If you're in the NYC market, WNBC will air it twice: Saturday, Sept. 6 at 5:00AM and Sunday, Sept. 7 at 12:00PM. Like ABC's special, NBC will air this special on their cable networks as well. CNBC will air it on Monday, September 1 at 12:30PM and Sunday, September 7 at 8:00PM. USA Network will air it on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2:30PM and Saturday, Sept. 13 at 10:00AM. Sci Fi Channel will air it later in the month on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 11:00PM and Thursday, September 25 at 3:30PM. Like ABC, as of now, NBC does not plan to air this special on the network itself.
CBS will have a fall preview special this year! Last year they didn't have one at all. This year CBS will air one and in primetime on CBS, too. Titled, CBS Fall Preview, this special will give viewers an exciting preview of CBS's 2008-09 primetime programming. The special will air on Friday, September 5 at 9:00PM ET/PT following the Stand Up To Cancer special airing on ABC, NBC and CBS. Following the special CBS will an encore episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine at 9:30.
As of now, this year Fox is not scheduling a primetime preview special on Fox itself, but the affiliate special is still airing. Titled, Fox Fall Preview Special, this special takes a look at what is to come to Fox this season. It will begin airing this weekend, so be on the lookout. In the NYC market, WNYW will air it this Saturday night at 1:00AM and again on Sunday (Aug. 31) at 3:00PM, both in place of M*A*S*H airings. Now, Fox does have a slot open on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 9:35PM-10:00PM, so I wouldn't be surprised if this special actually airs on Fox in that slot. We'll let you know, but for now check your listings!
Finally, The CW is also doing an affiliate special and the special has started airing already. Titled, CW Fall 2008 Preview, this special is a preview of new series and returning favorites, including 90210, Gossip Girl, Privileged and Stylista. The special is hosted by Privileged stars Anne Archer and Joanna Garcia with Bob Saget introducing the MRC Sunday block that include series such as Valentine (with Christine Lakin, Autumn Reeser, etc) and his own sitcom Surviving Suburbia. The special will be airing quite a lot it seems. In NYC, WPIX will air it this Friday (Aug. 29) at 5:00PM, Saturday, August 30 at 7:30PM and Sunday, August 31 at 4:30PM. Check local listings in your area, as it doesn't seem The CW will air this on the network itself.
Last week we did a story on what is coming up on local stations in the New York market and we didn't have the full weekday schedule for WNBC and WPIX just yet...but now we do! First up is WNBC. Their 11am-5pm schedule will be revamped on weekdays. We already told you new talk show The Bonnie Hunt Show is coming to 2pm and back-to-back half-hours of Deal or No Deal will air at 4pm, but we guessed at other slots, and we were primarily right! NBC soap Day of Ours Lives is indeed on the move to its old 1pm slot again, while Martha Stewart Show moves to 11am. In the 12pm hour now since Crosswords is on production hiatus is Style by Jury and Inside the Box, from the same studio...Program Partners. Finally, WNBC will air Monk on Sunday nights at 12:35am replacing Showtime at the Apollo, which is gone. Take a look at the full WNBC Fall 2008 schedule.
As for WPIX, we told you Judge Karen starts Sept. 8 weekdays 1-2pm and how the CW Daytime line-up will change on Sept. 22, but we were not sure if the sitcom line-up from 5-8pm and 11pm-4am would change...and guess what? It will a bit! Starting Sept. 22, in the 5pm hour now will be My Wife & Kids at 5pm (coming from 5:30pm) and George Lopez moves from late nights at 1:30am to a much better 5:30pm slot! George is doing very well in syndication and on cable on Nick at Nite, so expect to see it in better time slots on local channels this fall if your local channel was airing it in a late night slot this season. So, According to Jim which was airing at 5pm, will be on the move to late nights at 1am. The 1am slot replaces Frasier which slides to 1:30am where George Lopez was. Now if you get WPIX's digital station LATV, you can watch George Lopez's secondary airings at 6:30pm! That started a few weeks ago, so tune in. Everything else on weekdays primarily remains intact. Weekend additions is Star Trek and Stargate Atlantis, as we mentioned previously, on Saturday nights from 12-2am...sliding Chappelle's Show to 2-3am. Then starting Nov. 1, new first-run syndicated series Legend of the Seeker joins WPIX on Saturday nights at 8 and 9pm. It'll be like Xena and Hercules all over again! anyway, view the full WPIX Fall 2008 schedule.
We have a lot of members on our message boards and they are posting various schedules for other markets like Boston, Fort Wayne, Sacramento, New Orleans and others, so if you want to help and post your market, head on to our message board!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Anyway, these 5 additional series will be added for mid-season and will join previously announced mid-season entries, like the animated comedy The Goode Family, The Untitled Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks Reality Project and the ABC premiere of Scrubs, along with returning series According to Jim, The Bachelor, Lost and ABC News' Primetime: What Would You Do.
Castle is is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who has gotten bored with his success and stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.
Cupid is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together and stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.
The Unusuals is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last, and the series stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.
Better Off Ted is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies and stars Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil, and Malcolm Barrett as Lem.
Single with Parents is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way and stars an all-star cast of Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagan Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.
Read the Press Release for more on these five pick-ups. For more on ABC's pilots in development read the full pilots in development and view photos of the casts of these potential series.
After bringing his unique style to TBS with the enormously popular sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne, Tyler Perry is preparing to add to his successful track record with a spin-off based on characters of his popular play and hit movie, Meet the Browns. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new sitcom, which comes to the network also from Debmar-Mercury and is slated to premiere in January 2009. As he does for House of Payne, Perry is once again serving as executive producer and director, as well as occasionally writing for the series.
Meet the Browns stars David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who earlier this year was featured in Perry's hit film of the same name. He has also appeared in several episodes of House of Payne. Perry's new series begins after Brown inherits a dilapidated house from his deceased father.
House of Payne began in 2006 with a 10-episode experiment in select markets that produced strong ratings, leading TBS to order a full-fledged series with an unprecedented 100 episodes. House of Payne will be available for off-network syndication this fall as well airing on local stations such as WWOR in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
We will certainly have more in the future about Meet the Browns on TBS.
CBS is moving the season premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden to Thursday, Sept. 25 now with a two-hour premiere from 8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT, marking the first-ever two-hour premiere for any edition of the long-running hit series.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden was originally announced for Thursday, Sept. 18 from 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT.
The premiere of Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden, which will also be the first edition broadcast in high definition, will be followed by a rebroadcast of last season's CSI cliffhanger finale at 10:00 PM ET/PT.
CBS made this move because they decided to launch CSI and new drama The Eleventh Hour on Oct. 9 due to a Presidential Debate on Oct. 2. So a void was needed on the first Thursday of the season, which is Sept. 25.
Meanwhile, as CBS moves Survivor back a week, The CW is moving new reality series Stylista up a week! It will now launch Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 9:00 PM (rather than Oct. 29, as previously announced). The CW is airing 90210 repeats in the slot, behind America's Next Top Model, in the weeks beforehand.
Finally, ABC is scheduling new and expanded Wipeout episodes. On Tuesday, September 9, an all-new Wipeout will air in the special 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot. Wipeout will still also air and be all-new in its regular 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT slot as well on that date...so two new episodes on that date! As a result, the Tuesday, September 2 episode at 8PM will be a repeat now against the premiere of The CW's 90210, but tonight (August 26) is still all-new as the hilarious series returns from the Olympic break...tune in! Also, the Wipeout season finale (previously scheduled for Sept. 9, 8-9pm) is now scheduled to air as a 90-minute episode on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 now from 8:00-9:30 PM ET/PT followed by an interesting 90-minute special Primetime: UFO's...Seeing is Believing from 9:30-11:00 PM ET/PT. On Sept. 9, the two new Wipeout episodes will go face-to-face with Fox's launch of the 95-minute Fringe and 25-minute Hole in the Wall and on Sept. 16 the 90-minute Wipeout will face the season premiere of Fox's House and the first half-hour of Fringe and the season premiere of NBC's The Biggest Loser. It'll be tough but Wipeout will likely face the task well. As a result, the season finale of High School Musical: Get in the Picture is now on Monday, September 15, 2008 in its normal 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT time period and not two-hours on a special night (Sept. 16) like previously reported, so three more weeks to go for the ratings dud unless it gets pulled before then. ABC should move the next three episodes to Fridays. We will keep you up to date on our message board if it gets pulled or moved.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Lifetime Adds Originals in October; Dancing with the Stars Season 7 Stars Includes Sitcom Stars McGinley and Leachman
The first five-episodes will re-air Monday, October 27 through Friday, October 31 at 9:30AM ET/PT following The Golden Girls. The same week, the five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt), will premiere on Monday, October 27, 2008, and will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime at 11AM ET/PT following specially placed Wife Swap at 10AM ET/PT. English clairvoyant Lisa Williams returns to Lifetime in a new five-episode special programming event, Lisa Williams (wt) an updated version of her Lifetime series Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. The reformatted show marks Lisa's first television appearances since she began a tour of sold-out appearances throughout the country, as well as book-signings for her well-received autobiography. Lisa Williams (wt) will further explore Lisa's unique abilities as a clairvoyant-medium. Each taped episode will feature Lisa doing live one-on-one readings in a studio and in impromptu meetings with people she is drawn to out on the street. Will & Grace follows at 11:30AM.
In other original programming news, Twenty half-hour episodes have been ordered of Mom's Cooking, a unique cooking show that takes daughters inside their mom's kitchen to learn how to cook their favorite recipe from childhood, and will premiere in December 2008, Monday through Friday on Lifetime. Finally, another five-episode, half-hour special programming event, Untitled Fat Friends Project, will premiere in January 2009 will air for five consecutive weekdays on Lifetime. The series follows friends Anna Lloyd (30, Pasadena, CA), Lydia Moody (25, Los Angeles, CA), Megan Stewart (29, Anaheim, CA), Shawna McClellan (27, Anaheim, CA) and Morgan Lancaster (30, Monrovia, CA), as they attempt to loose weight together. We'll have details soon on both.
Finally, we forgot to mention last time Wife Swap will also air Tuesdays at 9PM when it launches next week. Still no details if new current episodes of Desperate Housewives will be repurposed on Lifetime in another slot other than its upcoming weekdays at 8am and 12pm slot. When the deal was announced a few years ago, it was said Lifetime would have repurposing rights as well.
The new cast for the seventh installment of Dancing with the Stars was announced this morning by Tom Bergeron on Good Morning America on ABC. It will be a season of surprises in what promises to be the biggest and most demanding season ever as thirteen celebrities take the ballroom floor on the hit series Dancing with the Stars, which returns with a three-night premiere event (Monday, Sept. 22 8-10pm, Tuesday, Sept. 23 9-11pm, and Wednesday, Sept. 24 8-9pm). The thirteen stars include the legendary film/TV star Cloris Leachman (the oldest star ever on the show) and sitcom veteran Ted McGinley. Other TV related stars are the youngest star ever on the show Cody Linley, TV soap legend Susan Lucci, and reality TV beauty Kim Kardashian. Full list of stars is below.
For the first time ever, all thirteen teams must prepare two routines for the first week of competition, one of which they'll perform on Monday night. The judges will score the performances on Monday while the viewers cast their votes for their favorites. Only twelve will have the chance to showcase their second dance on Tuesday. In dramatic style on Tuesday's show, one couple will be eliminated as the remaining contestants perform their second dance of the season. The judges will score the dances on Tuesday and the viewers will once again cast their votes before a second duo is dismissed Wednesday on a special night.
Dancing with the Stars then will regularly air Mondays 8-9:30pm and the Results Show Tuesdays 9-10pm after the premiere week. The thirteen stars for this season are:
* Lance Bass (singer, N Sync) with first time professional Lacey Schwimmer
* Toni Braxton (singer, "Un-Break My Heart") with professional Alec Mazo
* Brooke Burke (model/actress, Wild On!) with professional Derek Hough
* Rocco DiSpirito (chef, The Restaurant) with professional Karina Smirnoff
* Maurice Greene (athlete, sprinter) with two-time champion professional Cheryl Burke
* Kim Kardashian (model/actress, Keeping Up with the Kardashians) with reigning professional champion Mark Ballas
* Cloris Leachman (legendary actress, Phyllis on Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life) with first time professional Corky Ballas (father of Mark Ballas)
* Cody Linley (teen actor, Hannah Montana) with two-time professional champion Julianne Hough
* Susan Lucci (soap actress, All My Children) with professional Tony Dovolani
* Misty May-Treanor (athlete, beach volleyball) with professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy
* Ted McGinley (sitcom actor, Married with Children, Happy Days, Hope & Faith) with first time professional Inna Brayer
* Jeffrey Ross (stand-up comic) with professional Edyta Sliwinska
* Warren Sapp (athlete, NFL star with Buccaneers/Raiders) with professional Kym Johnson
Maurice Greene will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night on ABC late night.
Professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Alec Mazo return after taking the sixth season off. As there are three new professionals (Lacey Schwimmer, Inna Brayer, and Mark Ballas' dad Corky Ballas), some ones from last season will not be on this season, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Louis van Amstel and Fabian Sanchez. Some of the professionals from previous seasons remain missing still, Ashly DelGrosso, Nick Kosovich, Jesse DeSoto, Elena Grinenko, Brian Fortuna, Andrea Hale, and Charlotte Jørgensen.
View the full press release for details on the seventh season stars of Dancing with the Stars!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Welcome to a special Sunday edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we look at Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Heroes - Season 2. Watch the Emmy nominated show and experience all the new and exciting twists of the astonishing series in this 4-disc set that includes every gripping season two episode. Rejoin the epic phenomenon as Heroes - Season 2 arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on August 26, 2008. See my mini-DVD review of Heroes - Season 2:
Heroes: Season 2 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $39.98)
This 4-disc set includes all 11 episodes from the second season which ran from September-December 2007. The second season premiered on NBC on September 24, 2007. New characters this season included Dania Ramirez as Maya Herrera, Shalim Ortiz as Alejandro Herrera, David Anders as Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei, Kristen Bell as Elle Bishop and Dana Davis as Monica Dawson. Joining the main cast this season were Zachary Quinto as Sylar and James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi.
The packaging of this set is, once again, very stylish. The outer slip cover has a black background and an embossed Heroes title logo. The holofoil cover art has a photo of 10 cast members (none of the new characters) and the city in the background. On the back of the slip cover, there is a synopsis of the set and a listing of the special features. The main digipak packaging slides out from the left of the outer slip cover. The Heroes logo is on the front of the digipak. Opening the digipak, the episodes and special features for discs one and two are listed. There are two of the comic-style drawings at the bottom. Discs three and four information are listed on the back of the packaging. Inside the digipak, there are blue-tinted photos of the cast members. The discs have a blue background and the Heroes logo on them.
The anamorphic menus are attractive and easy to navigate. They open with a series of video clips in 3 different circles/bubbles. Some instrumental score from the series is played in the background for about a minute before it loops. At the bottom of the screen, there are options for "Play All," "Chapter Index," "Bonus Material" and "Languages." When you select Chapter Index, it takes you to a sub-menu where there is a still image from the episode in a circle. A partial Heroes logo is in the background. Discs 1-3 have 3 episodes, while disc 4 has 2. You can play the episodes by themselves, view the deleted scenes or listen to the commentary from this menu. On the Languages menu, there are different invividual photos of the cast members. You can turn on the English SDH, French or Spanish subitles in this section. More photos of the cast members can be found on the Bonus Material menus. Chapter stops are available within the episodes but no separate scene selection menus are offered. When you first insert disc 1, there are Previews which you can play or skip directly to the main menu.
Moving on to the video and audio quality, the excellence is continued. The set is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are vibrant and clean. The picture is very sharp and detailed. Some of the night time scenes can look a little grainy, but that can be expected. Overall, the lighting is excellent and the outdoor scenes are beautifully shot. These episodes look even better than how they were originally broadcast. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, running around 41-43 minutes in length. They have the "Previously On" Heroes openings as originally broadcast. The first episode of the second season was a bit extended and ran 52 minutes, 33 seconds. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any of the original music had to be replaced. The audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I didn't notice any major problems on the episodes I've watched so far. The dialogue is at a good volume and easy to understand. I love the music score by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman and other sound effects that are used in the episodes. Subtitles are available in English, French and spanish. The bonus features are not rated and not all are subtitled.
There is a nice mixture of special features spread out over the 4 discs. The best extras are the audio commentaries by the cast and crew on all 11 episodes. I haven't had a chance to listen to all of them yet, but they offer a lot of interesting trivia and behind the scenes details. Other special features include 17deleted scenes, Heroes Season 2 "A New Beginning" featurette, Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint featurette, The Drucker Files featurette, Genetics of a Scene featurette, season 3 sneak peek, Generations alternate ending, Inside the Alternate ending of Generations, Untold Stories that never aired, NBC.com featurettes and a gallery of Tim Sale's screen art.
Here is a breakdown of the special features by disc:
1. Four Months Later...
Deleted Scenes - I Too Have a Special Ability (2:20); Petrellis Don't Deserve to be Saved (2:26)
Audio Commentary with Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Co-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb and Series Star Coleman
Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Allan Arkush, Series Star Greg Grunberg and Co-Executive Producer Michael Green
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Paul Edwards, Co-Executive Producer JJ Phillbin and Series Star Zachary Quinto
Heroes Season 2 "A New Beginning" (14:40) - Tim Kring introduces us to the theme of "extraordinary people trying to live normal lives." Go behind the scenes with the cast and crew to see what it's like coming back to a hit show and also meet new Heroes as they share anecdotes about filming the second season. Interviews include Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Ali Larter, Sendil Ramamurthy, Zacharay Quinto, Milo Ventimiglia, David Anders, Dania Ramirez, Shalim Ortiz, Kristen Bell, Nicholas D'Agosto, Dana Davis, Noah Gray-Cabey and Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush. This is sort of a preview of the second season and doesn't really detail what happened later in the season. There probably won't be anything new for die-hard fans, but it will provide a good overview for new watchers.
4. The Kindness of Strangers
Audio Commentary with Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring and Series Stars Dana Davis & Adrian Pasdar
5. Fight or Flight
Deleted Scenes - Look, Yako - He Had It All Along (1:39); And She Hit Me Hard (1:28); I'm the Only Normal Person in this Family (:38); You Think I Don't Know You Hiro (2:06), Don't Thank Me Yet (:58)
Audio Commentary with Series Star Greg Grunberg and Executive Producer Greg Beeman
6. The Line
Deleted Scenes - So It Does Run in the Family (1:54); To Fight Alongside the Great Takezo Kensei (1:40); No More Tazer Kidnapping (1:33)
Audio Commentary with Co-Executive Producers Adam Armus & Kay Foster and Series Star Jack Coleman
Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint (23:48) - This featurette is divided into 5 chapters: The Battle of 12 Swords, The Trial of the Fire Scroll, The Trial of the Hidden Fortress, Kensei and the Dragon (Parts 1 and 2)) and The Mystery of Kensei. This is a History channel-style documentary on the character. It is pretty elaborate with a narrator, experts being interviewed, background music and a lot of drawings.
The Drucker Files (8:32) - This is a news report by Global News Interactive on Richard Drucker, the Godfather of the internet.
7. Out of Time
Deleted Scenes - Get Down From There (1:40); She Can Find Peter (1:03)
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Daniel Attias and Series Star Masi Oka
8. Four Months Ago...
Deleted Scenes - Happy Birthday, Micah (:50); There Is No Need to Cry, Child (1:11); I'm Not O.K. Do I Look O.K.? (1:43)
Audio Commentary with Series Star Milo Ventimiglia and Executive Producer Greg Beeman
9. Cautionary Tales
Deleted Scenes - I Will Bring Him to Justice (:20); I Laughed So Hard Chocolate Milk Came Out of My Nose (1:07)
Audio Commentary with Episdoe Director Greg Yaitanes and Series Stars Kristen Bell & Ashley Crow
Genetics of a Scene (23:14)
2. Lizards - Executive Producer/Director Allan Allan Arkush discusses the shooting of 17th century Japan and how they made it look rural. He talks about the cherry blossoms and the sword fight scenes with Eriko Tamura (Yaeko).
1. Four Months Later... - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman talks about how they shot the introduction of Maya and Alejandro. They shot it with a handheld camera and made it documentary style. Dania Ramirez is also interviewed.
8. Four Months Ago... - Executive Producer/Director Greg Beeman talks about the scene of Peter and Nathan flying out of New York and Peter exploding. He talks about the storyboards, how they shot it with green screen and how they did the digital burns.
11. Powerless - Executive Producer/Director Allan Arkush discusses the set of Isaac's loft which was turned into a lab. Zachary Quinto is also interviewed.
10. Truth & Consequences
Audio Commentary with Episode Director Adam Kane and Series Star Stephen Tobolowsky
Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Allan Arkush and Composers Lisa Coleman & Wendy Melvoin
Season 3 Sneak Peek (8:37) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the third season premiere episode. Interviews include Dania Ramirez, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Ali Larter, Greg Grunberg and Jack Coleman.
Generations Alternate Ending - (17:59) This is from what turned out to be the final episode of the season. Because of the strike, they had to alter the ending and this shows what happens if Peter didn't catch the virus. This includes some temporary vfx. The alternate ending is called lost footage and they weren't able to repurpose it, as they are going with a different storyline at the start of season 3.
Inside the Alternate Ending of Generations (10:57) - Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, Executive Producer Jeph Loeb and Co-Executive Producer/Writer Jesse Alexander discuss the alternate ending and detail episodes 11-13. They talk a little about what they were planning for the next 6-8 episodes. Episodes 11-13 had been shot. They talk about the viral outbreak idea and Maya's ability.
Untold Stories (12:13) - This is some footage of scenes that never aired. Like the alternate ending, there is some temporary sfx and scenes that were not finished. It is divided into 6 sections: Teaser (4:28), Act 1 (1:08), Act 2 (:32), Act 3 (2:08), Act 4 (:218), Act 5 (from episode 213) (1:41)
Hotel Gurintihain Explosion (:43)
Maya y Alejandro Viral Video (2:31)
Nathan and Peter Brooklyn Cam (:34)
Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art (2:02) - Screen art is shown with music being played in the background.
Battle Star Galactica, Coach, Eureka, The Incredible Hulk, Murder She Wrote, Northern Exposure, Quantum Leap, The Rockford Files, The A-Team/Knight Rider/Magnum P.I.
Final Comments: This is a pretty nicely produced set, although it can't match the season 1 release. The highlights of this set are the audio commentaries on every episode by the cast and crew. Even if you've already seen all of the episodes, they will add some new insights into the making of the episodes. I also enjoyed the Genetics of a Scene featurette which went into some detail on how they made scenes from four different episodes.
I was a huge fan of the first season, but the show went into a bit of a sophomore slump in season two. A lot of this was because of the writer's strike. No other show as probably more affected. They were only able to produce 11 episodes. I also think they added a few too many new characters and the pace was too slow at the start of the season. It would have been very interesting to see how the second half of the season would have played out with the viral outbreak idea. We will never know now, since they are going into a different direction at the start of season three. Hopefully they can get some of the magic and excitement back of the first season. If you gave up on season two, maybe you will want to give season three another try. The promos have looked very good. Watch the season three premiere on NBC on September 22, 2008. Chime in!
-- Reviewed by Todd
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Heroes Wikipedia Page
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Perry Mason: The Third Season, Volume 1 (CBS DVD, $49.99) brings order back to the courtroom with the first 12 episodes of the 3rd season of the courtroom drama of the 50s. The three-disc set contains even more of the attorney defending the most impossible of cases, with the defendant knowing that the judge is going to lower the boom on them and find them guilty as charged, except by some miracle, Perry finds that despite all evidence supporting the other side, his client is always innocent and he is able to prove that in a court of law.
There are many great episodes in this set, beginning with the first one, "The Case of the Spurious Sister," where a man's wife turns up dead after she tells him she is going to divorce him. So where do all fingers get pointed? A jeweler turns up dead after accusing a young woman of theft in "The Case of the Blushing Pearls." Perry has to defend, of all people, Paul Drake, in "The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma." In "The Case of the Golden Fraud," a golden coin in a parking meter may play a part in one of Perry's cases. In "The Case of the Artful Dodger," a man is about to inherit a large sum of money, except a bunch of people turn up dead that he just so happens to be avoiding. Perry can't get a break from his cases, not even while on a hunting trip, as shown in "The Case of the Violent Village."
The video and audio quality on the episodes is, as usual, excellent. This has never been an issue on these sets, and isn't this time either. Closed-captioning can also be found on all of the episodes. A nice little feature, though probably unintentional, is the fact that many episodes have their original sponsorships on the closing credits, from Colgate. And CBS DVD has actually left the original CBS logo intact this time, although the CBS Television Distribution logo plays immediately after it. But there is bad news about the case. Unlike the previous sets that included the double slimcases, we now have the standard Amaray style case that CBS DVD seems to use for everything. It is simple packaging, but just seems so cheap to be using, particularly on a show as expensive as this one is on DVD.
Unfortunately, as has been the case with the previous sets, there are no special features, which is outright disappointing. Apparently they were able to find some nice special features for the 50th Anniversary release, so why couldn't they come up with more for the season sets? Commentaries, interviews, and other special features would have been nice. I find it ridiculous that CBS DVD continues to release this in half season sets. Although the first season had many episodes, there aren't as many in these later seasons, and it would be more practical to put them out as full season releases. Instead, CBS DVD chooses to continue releasing half seasons and putting full season prices on the sets. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the quality of the episodes on the set, but is the set really worth as much as fans are paying to buy the series on DVD? Not really. But don't be fooled—this is a great show that fans of classic TV and courtroom drama are sure to enjoy.
-- Reviewed by skees53
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Friday, August 22, 2008
NCIS - The Fifth Season (CBS, $55.98) is now on DVD. This season is marked by mysterious secrets among the team, an explosive showdown with an elusive arms dealer, and a shocking final episode that shouldn't be missed. The series starts Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo, and Lauren Holly. This set contains the 18 episodes of the 2008 Writers' Strike-shortened 5th season.
One thing I hope I'm made absolutely clear over the years is simply that I *love* this show. Judging by the ratings many others do to. What amazes me though is very rarely does a week go by where I don't hear someone throwing it under the bus and trying to group it in with shows like CSI, Law & Order, etc. Yes, there are elements of that to this series. But with NCIS especially there's so much more going on. This series is significantly more character driven, and seems far more willing to use recurring plot themes than many of those other shows. With the other series, you could insert just about any actor into the carefully crafted niches in the series framework, and tell the same stories. But in NCIS' first five series, this largely hasn't been true. Ziva is largely different from Kate, for example, in the show's one main cast replacement. Similarly, replacing any other character would have strong effects on the series. This makes me concerned about the plot twist at the end of this fifth season -- and I really hope they don't screw this up, as honestly anything more than a temporary tweak for story purposes might very well send me packing from the series.
What could be so big that it would even threaten to send me running--the 5th season finale. One cast member (Lauren Holly) made a permanent exit from the show, while three others (Michael Weatherly, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo) all were "reassigned" as part of the ending of the episode. Whether this is a temporary change or a permanent one will be resolved in season six -- I think I've made clear my hope of the outcome (no, I haven't bothered to check for spoilers). Before that, though, you have a great season of episodes, including a great Gibbs-centric episode in "Requiem" that's kicked off when Gibbs is sought for help by the childhood friend of his deceased daughter.
In terms of the technical side of the set, the packaging is as always a box containing slimcases -- three cases holding five discs this season. The discs have taken on the silver standard look of Paramount/CBS releases. Menus are well-designed but static, with no music in the background. In regards to audio and video, a great thing about working with newer series is that the video quality and audio quality are great almost by default. This set is no exception -- the video looks flawless in its presentation. Color balance is nice and even, there are no compression artifacts, there are no problems in the transfer -- nothing. Audio is a crisp and clear 5.1 audio track. The usual CBS/Paramount disclaimer about edits appears on the bottom of the box, but the only missing footage I can find in the one episode I have for comparison, "About Face," is the Stay Tuned for Scenes from the Next NCIS tag at the end. In fact, excluding *it* the DVD version actually appears to have a longer runtime by a few seconds. More than likely, in an era of pre-negotiated DVD rights, that disclaimer is just for legal purposes. I highly doubt anything substantive is cut.
And since NCIS is a popular series currently airing on TV, that means more effort goes into the bonuses on a release. There are SIX special features, including cast and crew commentaries, a revisiting of the aforementioned episode Requiem, a featurette talking about NCIS Season 5 itself, a feature on the costumes and wardrobe for the series, plus a feature on what all goes into transforming Pauley Perrette into the Abby character, including all the wardrobe, makeup, hair, false tattoos, etc. All great stuff to sit through and watch/listen to. The commentaries in particular are a great addition to see. I always love seeing DVD releases with large numbers of special features.
I didn't want to devote too much time to it, but another positive of this DVD release is the lower MSRP. Whether due to an overall business strategy or the fact that this season has a couple fewer episodes, the MSRP is noticeably lower than with past releases. I've been a big opponent of overpricing DVD sets, so I applaud this change wholeheartedly.
For those of you reading this who are trying to decide whether to buy the set or not, I wholeheartedly encourage it. NCIS is a great character driven drama -- with comedic elements -- and would make a welcome addition to your TV on DVD library. And for fans of the series, while the presence of the Disclaimer of Doom is always troubling, I sincerely doubt you have anything to worry about. As such, this set is STRONGLY recommended.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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Thursday, August 21, 2008
Moving on to WNYW's sister station, WWOR now. First off, they will add three new shows to the weekday line-up: Family Court with Judge Penny, Trivial Pursuit and the sitcom House of Payne. They will air a second episode of One on One now at 7:30am, so the sitcom will air 7:30am and 8am now. 7:30am airing replaces That '70s Show. That '70s Show will move to 8:30am, replacing Still Standing. While the 9am hour will now also have sitcoms, with Scrubs and Still Standing airing replacing People's Court, which slides to 10am replacing Divorce Court. And you guessed it, Divorce Court will move to the 11am hour replacing Judge David Young as he will go to 12 noon now replacing the secondary Tyra Banks Show run. As I mentioned, that secondary run is now on WNYW at 10am, but the first run of course is still 5pm on WWOR. Anyway, 1-2pm will see the new court series Family Court with Judge Penny replacing Montel Williams. At 2pm, back-to-back episodes of the new game show Trivial Pursuit will try to do better than the canceled Temptation. The next change doesn't happen until 6pm. King of Queens will move to 6pm and 6:30pm replacing Inside Edition & Everybody Loves Raymond. Airing in Queens' old slot of 7pm and 7:30pm will now be the sitcom House of Payne. Everybody Loves Raymond will now air back-to-back in the 12am hour, as the 12:30am airing will replace Malcolm in the Middle. Finally on weekdays, the 1-2am hour will be Bernie Mac and Malcolm in the Middle replacing King of the Hill, as we mentioned already that hour moves to WNYW now. As for weekends, they have quite a few series coming. American Idol Rewind will also air on WWOR airing Saturdays at 7pm. American Chopper will air Saturdays at 11pm. On Sundays, the weekend plays of House of Payne will air Sundays in the 5pm hour. Then airing at 6 and 7pm will be Boston Legal and House. Quite a few weekend series will leave WWOR: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek, and Girls Behaving Badly.
View the full WNYW and WWOR Fall 2008 Schedules to see the entire picture.
We now move on to WPIX. We don't have their full fall schedule just as of yet but we know what is coming and what is leaving. Their weekday line-up will not change much, but coming weekdays from 1-2pm will be new court series Judge Karen replacing the canceled Judge Maria Lopez. Then The CW Daytime line-up from 3-5pm has been altered starting Sept. 22 with All of Us, What I Like About You and Reba leaving in favor of new court series Judge Jeanine Pirro and veteran sitcoms The Jamie Foxx Show and The Wayans Bros.. These shows are not just WPIX, they will be on all CW affiliates under the CW Daytime brand from 3-5pm. Coming to WPIX on weekends are Star Trek (from WWOR) and Stargate Atlantis (also from WWOR). Later in the fall, starting Sept. 1, Saturdays at 8pm and 9pm will have the new first run syndicated series Legend of the Seeker from Disney-ABC Television. Leaving WPIX are Jury Duty, The Shield, Soul Train, and the old CW Daytime shows mentioned. We are not expecting any changes really to WPIX's weekday early evening sitcoms (5-8pm) or late night sitcoms (11pm-3am), but we will let you know as soon as we know on our message board.
As for other stations in New York, they don't usually make many changes. WNBC will probably make the most changes from the rest of the batch. This fall WNBC will be adding the new syndicated talk show The Bonnie Hunt Show airing at 2pm, which means Day of Our Lives could be on the move to another slot, perhaps 1pm. We don't have WNBC's full line-up yet. The syndicated version of Deal or No Deal will air at 4pm on WNBC. Judge Joe Brown is leaving the station as it moves to WNYW, so 3pm hour will be free and it is likely Ellen DeGeneres Show could move there. Martha Stewart's show currently airs at 1pm, so that could move to either 11am or 12pm. So maybe Paid Programming will finally leave WNBC at 11am? One would hope. Anyway, weekends on WNBC, Monk will be coming. As soon as we have the full WNBC fall line-up we will post it on our message board.
Moving on to WCBS, new syndicated talk show The Doctors, a spin-off of Dr. Phil, will air weekday mornings at 9am replacing encores of ET/The Insider. No other changes are likely to be made during weekdays. On weekends, CSI: NY is coming replacing CSI: Miami. WCBS also airs Maximum Exposure on weekends, and that will be leaving syndication, so WCBS can't air it this fall.
WABC, which has the number one line-up ratings wise in NYC and the nation, will not make any changes to its weekday line-up. However, on Saturdays they will add reruns of Lost on Saturday nights at 12:35am after Eyewitness News. ABC airs College Football in the fall from 8-12 or so, so that's why WABC's Eyewitness News usually starts at 12am rather than 11pm. Lost will replace the Saturday late movie. WABC also has gotten rights to NASCAR Angels and Storm Stories and will air them in various times on weekends.
Finally, WLNY-TV55, an independent station, will make a lot of changes to its weekend line-up. WLNY has a tendency to get secondary rights to shows already on other New York locals and that is the case here once again for everything I am about to mention. Their new weekend line-up, both Saturday and Sundays, will have Monk at 4pm, Boston Legal at 5pm, Law & Order: SVU at 6pm, CSI: NY at 7pm, Lost at 8pm and House at 9pm. That's a lot of great dramas there! We do not have their weekday line-up yet, but it'll likely see a change or two since The Nanny/Mad About You hour is leaving syndication this Fall. We will let you know as soon as we do on our message board.
Now I have mentioned the message board a lot already, and you can view our Fall 2008 Syndication thread where we post updates and you can also post updates. It's team effort as we have 9 pages so far and growing! So join in if you haven't already. And to see a list of all the shows coming to syndication this fall, view our Fall 2008 Shows post.
TV Land is going to have a special promotion one-time-only marathon of CSI on Saturday, September 13 from 10pm-1am. TV Land is a sister station of both CBS and Spike TV. CBS airs the show in first-run and Spike TV airs the show in reruns on cable. It'll be weird seeing CSI on TV Land that night, indeed. As of now it is only a one-time-only stunt, but perhaps they could air the series in reruns sharing it with Spike TV in the future? We shall see...but for now view the episode info for the stunt.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Originally there were no schedule changes in September on Sundays, but now WGN America will change Sundays starting Sept. 14 and a little bit more on Oct. 5, which was the original date of changes happening on Sundays. On Sept. 14 Whacked Out Sports will air at 1pm ET for an hour leading into Cubs baseball games at 2pm ET. After the game ends, Funniest Pets & People will now air in the 5pm ET hour leading into The Cosby Show now in the 6pm ET hour. The Outta Sight Retro Night will continue to air from 7-10pm ET (with WKRP, Newhart, and Honeymooners hours) followed by the WGN News at 9 at 10pm ET. Then more classic TV will be added as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie will join the Sunday line-up earlier than planned and in a better slot too, Sundays in the 11pm ET hour for Bewitched and 12am ET hour for I Dream of Jeannie sliding Scrubs to 1am ET. Remember this is just Sundays. The weekday line-up starting Sept. 8 will remain the same as we previously announced, such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie in the 9am ET hour weekdays.
There will be no changes to Saturdays in September as we previously said. Saturdays will still change starting Oct. 4 as we originally mentioned, with changes such as Bewitched airing at 12 noon ET, I Dream of Jeannie at 1pm ET, NewsRadio at 6pm ET and Coach at 7pm ET. So nothing changed there. However, Sundays starting Oct. 5 will be altered just a tad now because of the changes on Sept. 14. Originally this is where the Sunday overhaul was going to take place, but now the changes will just be Whacked Out Sports kicking it off at 11am ET followed by a double dose now of The Beverly Hillbillies at 12 noon ET. The rest of the Sunday line-up is generally the same as the one that will start Sept. 14.
We will have much more on WGN America in the near future as they have classic TV marathons planned for all upcoming holidays starting with Halloween, so stay tuned!
For now, view the entire WGN America Fall 2008 Schedule so you see the new Sunday schedule and the rest of the schedule as well if you missed it!
Two-time Golden Globe winner Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time) is returning to the world of sitcoms. She has just signed to star in a new comedy pilot for TBS from writer/executive producer Dave Caplan, whose credits include TBS's highly popular sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, as well as past ABC sitcoms George Lopez and The Drew Carey Show. The as-yet-untitled sitcom centers on a single mother trying to run a business while raising two children. The premise of the show is inspired by events in Caplan's own life. Caplan wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer along with Original Film's Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon. Bertinelli will also serve as producer. The project comes to TBS from Sony Pictures Television.
The Caplan project follows the life of a woman (Bertinelli) who manages to get through the day with surprisingly good humor despite very difficult circumstances: Her husband walks out, leaving her with two kids and a struggling lumberyard. It will take every ounce of energy she has to keep both her household and her business afloat, while facing obstacles at every turn. Stay tuned for more news on this!
Fox has announced the series premiere of new J.J. Abrams drama Fringe will premiere from 8pm-9:35pm now instead of 8-10pm on Tuesday, September 9. The 8pm-9:35pm premiere will still have very limited commercials. Airing for the last 25 minutes from 9:35-10pm will now be a special sneak peek of the new Fox reality series Hole in the Wall. Hole in the Wall is still scheduled to air in its regular Thursday night slot at 8-9pm starting on Sept. 11. Fox will encore the premiere of Fringe on Sunday, September 14 as well from 8pm-9:35pm, but the time slot after that is still to be determined, but it is likely Fox will show a Fall Preview Special there.
ABC is moving forward with its plans for a male-based Supernanny spinoff called Supermanny. The network will air a pilot episode of Supermanny in the fall. The spinoff's format will remain similar to the original, with a child-development expert lending a family in crisis some tough-love guidance. But instead of professional nanny Jo Frost leading the living-room intervention, gruff Chicago child therapist Mike Ruggles will step in.
Supernanny moves to Fridays at 9pm ET this fall on ABC and it is likely the Supermanny pilot will air in that slot sometime this season as a backdoor pilot.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
First, 3rd Rock from the Sun will replace Cheers weekdays at 8:30am starting Wednesday, October 1. 3rd Rock will then get more slots the week after, starting October 6 airing weekdays (except Wednesdays/Fridays) at 10:00pm & 10:30pm after Scrubs. The show will also air Saturday nights at 1:00am & 1:30am. TV Land will officially welcome the band of alien explorers posing as a typical "family" of four to observe human nature and relationships on the planet earth the weekend of Oct. 11-12 with a 6-hour marathon on Saturday night, October 11 from 11:59pm-6am and a 4-hour marathon on Sunday, October 12 from 12p-4pm, starting with the pilot episode on Sunday.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will get a seven-day primetime marathon as it now will air daily on TV Land! It's a makeover takeover on TV Land. From Monday, September 29 to Sunday, October 5 from 9pm through 1am each night, don't miss a week-long primetime marathon of the popular series. From the "After The Storm" specials (Hurricane Katrina) to the 2-hour episodes and all the laughter and tears in between, TV Land brings you all the best that Ty and his gang of hardworking homebuilders have to offer. Don't forget the Kleenex. The series will then air weekdays at 7pm & 11pm, Mondays at 11am, and on weekends the special two-hour episodes will air Saturdays 8-10am & 8-10pm and Sundays 8-10am & 6-8pm.
Other schedule changes starting Oct. 6 are Andy Griffith Show shifting from 6-8pm to 5-7p, as it makes room for Home Edition at 7pm. So the 5-6pm Hillbillies hour is gone. As we mentioned 3rd Rock replaces M*A*S*H at 10pm, Home Edition also replaces M*A*S*H at 11pm, while M*A*S*H moves to 1-2am replacing Sanford & Son. The weeknight late night block will get a huge makeover. 2-3am hour will now be an episode each of Hogan's Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies replacing The Jeffersons. The I Love Lucy/Leave it to Beaver hour now moves from 5am to 3am replacing two episodes of Beverly Hillbillies. Then from 4-6am, the shows that were dropped return after a short break. That's Designing Women, Mad About You, Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me from 4-6am weeknights. So, Three's Company and The Brady Bunch will be off the line-up after two months of airing. During weekends, the changes as we mentioned were two-hour Home Edition episodes 8-10am on both days, replacing Green Acres on Saturdays, which is now also off the line-up. Andy Griffith Show will shift from 9-10am Saturdays to 10-11am. Saturdays from 6-8pm will be a block of Cosby Show, followed by a two-hour Home Edition from 8-10pm, encores of Myths & Legends at 10, Scrubs Saturdays shifts to the 11pm hour, followed by Cosby Show at midnight and 3rd Rock in the 1am hour. On Sundays, the Home Edition 8-10am, Scrubs Sundays from 5-6pm, and another Home Edition from 6-8pm. No other changes on Sundays. See the full schedule link below if you get confused.
To the highlights, Myths & Legends will return for a second season starting Wednesday, October 8 with two all-new episodes! Then the next 6 Wednesdays one half-hour episode will air each Wednesday at 10pm. TV Land Myths & Legends promises to go behind the scenes to investigate the mysteries that have grown up around some of Hollywood's most memorable stars, TV shows, films and music. In a town called the Dream Factory, where reality collides with wild imagination, there's a blurred line between truth and fiction. Did heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne bite the head off of a live bat? Was Jayne Mansfield decapitated in her fatal automobile accident? Was a comic book based on the rock band KISS printed with the blood of the band members? Is J.Lo's butt really insured for $1 billion dollars? TV Land will explore these infamous mysteries and more on TV Land Myths & Legends Season 2 as they set the record straight about some of the most confused and confounding moments in entertainment history.
TV Land's Movie Land Friday block for October will feature classic comedies such as Police Academy, Lethal Weapon and Easy Money!
View the full TV Land October 2008 schedule and highlights.
We told you yesterday ION's September 2008 highlights and we said a drama not yet announced will air Mondays and Tuesdays at 9PM starting Sept. 8, and now ION has announced it! And that drama is ... NCIS!
ION Television, a contemporary general entertainment network, today announced that it will add Emmy-nominated NCIS to its primetime lineup on Monday, September 8th at 9 p.m. ET. ION Media Networks, Inc., ION Television's parent company, has entered into a content agreement with CBS Television Distribution for the broadcast syndication rights to the first four seasons of the naval investigators procedural series. The top-rated, hour-long program will air on Mondays and Tuesdays in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET timeslot.
NCIS marks the 3rd show acquired from CBS Television Distribution, with the other two coming in Fall 2009 -- Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer.
NCIS, the hit spin-off of CBS's military legal drama, JAG, comes from acclaimed producer Donald P. Bellisario. Revolving around a fictional group of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Major Case Response Team (MCRT) of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps., NCIS is more than your average action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a squad forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and kidnappings, these special agents travel the globe to investigate high-profile crimes involving persons and property associated with the Navy or Marine Corps. The popular show premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS and enters its sixth season on the network this fall.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Friday, October 28
Bunk'd - "Treehouse of Terror" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Zuri, Jorge and Tiffany enlist the support of an unexpected camper to help restore an abandoned treehouse, so they can use it as a new hangout; Emma and Lou and Ravi and Xander get competitive during a friendly game of billiards.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Do What You Gotta Do" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph experiences an episode of sexual frustration due to Leslie's vow of chastity.
Friday, October 28
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - Watch John on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew visits on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Price is Right on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine?/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Colin Hanks (Life in Pieces) - Colin joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Melissa Joan Hart (Melissa & Joey/Sabrina, the Teenage Witch/Clarissa Explains It All) - Melissa looks back at her earliest memories on Clarissa Explains It All – and says she was really bossy on People Now at 8:30am.
- Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) - Damon is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.