Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MGM/Weigel's This TV Cleared for More Stations; NATPE 2009 Day 1 Update; ION Television Sees Ratings Growth

On the opening day of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference (NATPE), MGM Domestic Television (MGM) and Weigel Broadcasting announced key stations from Tribune Broadcasting Company have been added as new affiliates for "This TV," the new digital service featuring hit movies and TV series from the expansive and treasured MGM library. TV series include Mister Ed and The Patty Duke Show. The clearance level is now over 60% of the country. New stations include the digital feeds of the following: Tribune's KTLA-TV (Los Angeles), WPHL-TV (Philadelphia), WDCW-TV (Washington D.C.), WTIC-TV/WTXX (Hartford) and WGNO/WNOL (New Orleans) as well as Sunbeam's WHDH (Boston). The digital network has also added 15 additional stations from Raycom, including WUAB (Cleveland), WXIX (Cincinnati), WMC (Memphis), WAVE (Louisville), and WNTZ (Knoxville). In addition, Quincy Newspapers, Inc. affiliates: WKOW (Madison), KWWL (Cedar Rapids), WSJV (South Bend), and WAOW (Wausau).
If you're in those markets, check those affiliates' digital subchannels to see if This TV has already launched. They are expected to launch immediately, if they haven't already.

In other NATPE news, Disney-ABC's Legend of the Seeker will return for a second season next season and CBS Television Distribution's Star Trek: The Next Generation will return to syndication this fall airing mostly weekdays in the late nights. Star Trek: The Next Generation will air on top Tribune stations, and has already been bought by WGN America on cable, which they started airing last week. Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories will return for a second season in syndication. It mostly airs on the weekends in many markets and allows TV stations to incorporate local weather talent and news into the show. Litton's first-run series Street Court, starring Michael "Judge Mazz" Mazzariello, is a firm go for fall 2009, with 65% of the country cleared, including WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
View the full list of shows being offered for stations to buy. Now this doesn't mean they will air next fall, but this is what is being offered for 2009-10 in syndication. We will have a better idea what is confirmed and a firm go by the end of NATPE. For example, first-run talk show Marie is not yet a firm go, but Street Court, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are firm gos. Judge Jeanine Pirro is entering first-run syndication for its second season coming off its run on The CW Daytime however it is not a firm go yet, while Tyra Banks Show will leave syndication and move to The CW Daytime.
Other series leaving syndication: Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Sony Pictures Television's Judge David Young and Judge Karen. They are all canceled and will not return. A few other shows are also almost dead, such as Twentieth's third-year series Cristina's Court. The Doctors has been confirmed it will return next season, and some of the other series expected to come back are Deal Or No Deal, Family Court With Judge Penny, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, though all of those have not done exceptional in the ratings.
We will keep you up to date of more clearances, especially the off-network reruns such as Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, My Name is Earl, Bones, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The E! True Hollywood Story. Check out the offer list above!

ION Television ended 2008 with significant growth in primetime viewership, including marked growth in the adults 25-54 and 18-49 demos. ION TV's primetime household viewership has grown 67%, jumping from a 0.3 to 0.5 household rating, since the introduction of the network's new, robust slate of critically acclaimed off-net series in September. This viewership growth has well positioned ION TV as one of the fastest growing entertainment networks, up 26% among adults 18-49, ranking second, and up 25% among adults 25-54, ranking third, of all major broadcast and cable networks, in a year over year growth comparison.
View the full press release.


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

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

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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.