Friday, January 16, 2009

TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour: ABC; TV Land Acquires AFI Life Achievement Awards

This is the final day of the TCA Winter 2009 Press Tour and ABC will get to close it off. In the morning after breakfast we had Disney Channel and Disney XD shows go up to the panel (Aaron Stone, Sonny with a Chance, and JONAS). The ABC executive session followed shortly after with ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson. We learned a lot of new things! Premiere dates for the midseason comedies however were still not announced but the cast of and crew of each had their own panels. If I were to guess, dates for the comedies will be final as soon as Fox announces it is moving American Idol Results to Wednesdays at 9 sometime in March. That would lead ABC to possibly air the comedies in the hour to avoid Idol. I'd guess Scrubs and The Goode Family would fit, though he said Goode might not launch until May now. They could strip Scrubs on two nights even rather than double-pumping on one night, pairing it on Tuesdays with Better Off Ted maybe or Samantha Who? Just my guesses. McPherson all but confirmed that In the Motherhood would air after Dancing with the Stars this spring. That series also has lined up the lucious Stacy Keibler to guest star! McPherson is frustrated by Samantha Who's ratings, as it hasn't retained as much of its Dancing with the Stars lead-in as he would like, but it is still a hilarious show. Personally, I think it is a better fit with Scrubs, something younger for it. Speaking of Scrubs, he says he has been very pleased with the ratings but it seems this will be its last season since Zach Braff is leaving and he can't imagine the show continuing without him. He also stressed he would like to go back to the comedies of the past such as Roseanne and Home Improvement style, so look for comedy in that vein next season. No word on when the final According to Jim episodes will air, as twelve are left. He still is saying never say never ending for this show. A joke I think. And finally as for the hoopla of ABC picking-up King of the Hill, McPherson says it isn't happening!
Other than that, we learned mainly about storyline questions for the hot ABC dramas, so I won't give that away since it could be spoilery for some. Let's just say, if you don't like the Denny-Izzie ghost storyline, keep watching...you have no idea what is happening. He did say he was very happy with Private Practice and the crossover episodes between that and Grey's Anatomy should be big. Still no idea when they are officially airing, but I have a hunch they start on Feb. 12 (or maybe March sweeps?). There are still no airdates for the final Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone episodes. There is a rumor saying June, though. McPherson says he loved all three and it is too bad Nielsen didn't either. He was also happy that Marc Cherry decided to extend Desperate Housewives beyond season seven. He was also happy with the Boston Legal finale and it ended their own way, while Dancing with the Stars was a blast, especially Cloris Leachman. The upcoming edition he says has a good core group. Can't wait until it is announced! And as Nina Tasler of CBS said, McPherson is pleased with what NBC did at 10pm. Less of a bidding war now.
After the executive session we had a panel for the upcoming single-camera sitcom Better Off Ted. Then it was time for lunch and a viewing session of Lost with a question & answer with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse! Probably the most anticipated session of all of TCA. The third episode of the season was screened for the press prior to the q&a, as the press has already saw the first two episodes (like me...it is great stuff!). After that, panels for many other upcoming spring series were up: The Unusals, Castle, In the Motherhood, The Goode Family, and Cupid. Launch dates for the new dramas The Unusuals, Castle, and Cupid were already announced from ABC early last month. To recap, The Unusuals will launch Wednesday, April 8 at 10pm following Lost. Castle will launch with Dancing with the Stars' new season on Monday, March 9 at 10pm, while Cupid will air Tuesdays at 10pm following Dance's results show.

The AFI Life Achievement Awards are moving from USA Network to TV Land starting this year. TV Land has signed a four-year deal to showcase the awards annually. The 37th Annual AFI Life Achievement Awards will be taped on Thursday, June 11, 2009 in Los Angeles and will honor Michael Douglas. The event will be telecast on TV Land PRIME about 6 weeks or so later on Sunday, July 19, 2009 in primetime.
USA Network has had the awards since 2002. Previously the awards were on broadcast television on CBS, NBC, and ABC. The AFI Life Achievement Award is the highest honor for a career in film.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 2

New Girl - "Cruise" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jess and Nick invite the gang along with them on a cruise they booked while still together as a couple. Coach tries to suppress his fear of boating, Schmidt attempts to win back Cece and Winston tries to mend Jess and Nick’s fractured relationship.

The Mindy Project - "Danny and Mindy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mindy thinks she’s met the man of her dreams after he writes a description of their encounter in a New York newspaper, leading to a surprising reveal.

Sullivan & Son - "A Kiss Is Just Never a Kiss" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Steve goes all out to impress an exciting new woman, with the help of Melanie. Meanwhile, Hank's doctor prescribes him testosterone, but a mishap leads to a "juiced up" Hank.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 1) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, September 2

  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Catch Allison on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • David Koechner (The Office/Hank) - David stops by @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • 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 a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Greg the Bunny) - Seth talks about his new film The Identical on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Friends with Better Lives) - Tune in to see Brooklyn on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP) - Keke is a guest on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.