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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, September 3

The Big Bang Theory - "The Skywalker Incursion" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Leonard and Sheldon are invited to speak at UC Berkeley, they take a detour to try to meet an idol. Also, when Bernadette and Howard battle over the fate of his Dr. Who TARDIS, Raj and Amy offer to settle the dispute with a game of ping pong.

Mom - "Patient Zero and the Chocolate Fountain" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Christy and Bonnie’s contentious relationship makes them unwelcome guests wherever they go.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll - "Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny sets Gigi up with a boy her own age. Bam and Rehab come up with a new music genre.

Married - "Mother's Day" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Lina bails on her Mother's Day brunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 31) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, September 3

  • Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Catch Jason on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Liz Gillies (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/Victorious) - Liz visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) - Dove is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A.) and Joshua Malina (Sports Night) - Scott, Joshua and the cast of Scandal are guests on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Nealon (Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dennis Haysbert (Off the Rack/Just the Ten of Us) - Dennis will be on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Avan Jogia (Victorious) - Avan appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jillian Rose Reed (Awkward) - Jillian drops by Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Paul Scheer (The League/Fresh Off the Boat/The Hotwives) and Rob Huebel (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Paul and Rob are guests on People Chatter.