Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TBS Orders 80 Episodes of Meet the Browns; NATPE Day 2 Updates; ION Goes HD on Feb. 16

Tyler Perry was at the NATPE yesterday in Las Vegas, and announced that TBS has picked-up 80 additional episodes of the sitcom Meet the Browns. TBS has not officially announced it yet, but will soon. Meet the Browns is currently airing Wednesdays at 9pm and is in the middle of its first 10 episodes, and now TBS will order 80 more episodes. This is very similar when TBS ordered 100 episodes of House of Payne after its initial 10-episode run, but those 10 aired in select markets on broadcast stations and not on TBS. The first two episodes of Meet the Browns marked cable's second-highest premiere for an original sitcom behind only Tyler Perry's other series, House of Payne premiere in June 2007. So far six episodes have aired and it is averaging 3.4 million viewers, 2.2 million households, 910,000 adults 18-34, 1.9 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54. Very solid for TBS. After this 10-episode run, these new 80 episodes will likely launch in the summer on TBS and the series will likely also go into off-network syndication like House of Payne has. Meet the Browns could launch in off-network syndication as early as fall 2010. Pretty fast since they will have many episodes in the can. How can they tape so many so fast?

In other NATPE news, we have some cable news from the conference. style Network has acquired the exclusive off-network rights to Supernanny from Disney-ABC Domestic Television. style will get all five seasons of the reality series and will begin airing the reruns in Fall 2009. ABC has not yet announced if Supernanny will get a sixth season, but it is very likely.
A new premium cable channel will launch this fall. The new premium cable channel will be called epix. epix will be joint a venture between Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will make movies and entertainment accessible on multiple platforms. The network will combine new and classic feature films and original television series from studios including Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will have exclusive access to Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. It will also have access to more than 15,000 motion picture titles spanning the studios' vast libraries and will feature new original television series and live event programming. Among the films they will air are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Duchess, Iron Man, Cloverfield, Defiance, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, New in Town, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. epix also will have the rights to all 17 re-mastered James Bond movies as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It doesn't look like any classic TV or older TV series will air on this network.
Finally, Connection III Entertainment's weekend half-hour Made in Hollywood and Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition have been picked up by CBS owned-stations for first-run syndication in fall 2009. 21 markets have been bought. Made in Hollywood will enter its fifth season while spinoff Teen Edition will enter its fourth season. Made in Hollywood features set visits with directors, writer, producers and actors as they work on upcoming movies. The Teen Edition covers all that and also shows teens what kinds of jobs are available in the film industry and how to get them. In NY, Made in Hollywood already airs on WCBS, Saturdays at 3am, but the Teen Edition airs on WLNY, an independent station, Wednesdays at 9am.

ION Television will launch in high definition (HD) providing a fully enhanced HD simulcast of the newly rebranded "Positively Entertaining" network, beginning Monday, February 16. ION Television HD will initially roll out to 20 markets within ION's 55 market footprint – including top DMA's like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – with additional roll-outs to occur throughout the year. The first phase of the ION TV HD launch will reach over 46 million households. ION Media Networks' digital TV brands, Qubo and ION Life, will also be launched across digital platforms in high definition later in 2009.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
View the full list of initial roll-out markets for ION HD and the list of markets launching later in 2009.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Friday, April 18)

Last Man Standing - "April, Come She Will" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Vanessa’s mooching sister April comes to visit, Mike suspects it’s because she needs money. Sure enough, April explains that she’s decided to have a baby but doesn’t have the funds for a donor egg. While Vanessa and Mike aren’t on board, Mandy comes up with a solution. Meanwhile at Outdoor Man, Mike tries pulling a prank on Chuck Larabee that gives him some new perspective.

Last Man Standing - "Tasers" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A large bouquet of roses is delivered anonymously to the Baxter’s house on Valentine’s Day. Vanessa knows they’re not for her because Mike doesn’t believe in the frivolity of flowers on a Hallmark holiday. As an expression of his love though, Mike buys Vanessa a Taser, which only adds to her disappointment. Meanwhile, Kristin suspects her boss, John Baker (guest star Jonathan Taylor Thomas), may be the secret admirer, while Mandy assumes the flowers are from Kyle.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "The Bachelor" (TV One, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A Bachelor type promotion on the radio station.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Friday, April 18

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tichina Arnold (Martin/Everybody Hates Chris/Happily Divorced) - Tichina and the cast of the new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo chats about the new film Heaven is for Real on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He also talks getting animated for Rio 2 on 106 & Park at 6pm on BET.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is challenged to a hilarious round of charades on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife) - Albert is a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:40am. She can also be heard on WGN Radio in Chicago with host Dean Richards on Sunday.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) - Sofia is a guest on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.