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, March 23

Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck in a Mysterious Robbery" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the Bait N' Bite is robbed, the Diaz children use their resources to track down the culprit.

Bizaardvark - "Amelia's Perfectly Imperfect Volleyball Adventure" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Paige convinces the volleyball coach to put Amelia on the team, the DIY diva's ego lands the volleyball team in a match against the state champions.

The Paynes - "Payneful Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Curtis and Ella learn some troubling news about Nyla.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Friday, March 23

  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Watch Jim on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lena Waithe (Master of None) - Lena appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Fischer (Splitting Up Together/The Office) and Oliver Hudson (Splitting Up Together/Rules of Engagement) - Jenna and Oliver chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. They will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and the BUILd Series at 2:30pm.
  • Jamie Lee (Crashing) - Jamie appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) and Nicole Ari Parker (Second Time Around) - Boris and Nicole are guests on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani stops by Access Live, so check your local listings. She shares her recipe for spiked hot chocolate on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach appears on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay creates something delicious with Carla Hall on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.