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 (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 11

The Big Bang Theory - "The Valentine Submergence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sheldon and Amy host a live Valentine’s Day episode of Fun with Flags, Leonard and Penny grapple with getting older, Howard and Bernadette find a surprise in their hot tub and Raj is torn between Emily and the cute girl he met at the Comic Bookstore.

Life in Pieces - "Tattoo Valentine Guitar Pregnant" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tyler and Clementine (Hunter King) go to a guitar store, Tyler gets uncomfortable when the attractive salesman, Ian (Josh Groban), repeatedly hits on her. Also, Tim’s tattoo artist, Lois (Kat Von D) makes a spelling error on a tattoo he got as a Valentine’s Day surprise for Heather, Matt’s plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Colleen doesn’t go as well as he hoped, and Greg and Jen discuss whether they should have another baby.

Mom - "Cinderella and a Drunk MacGyver" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Christy tries to help Julian, a handsome, newly sober AA member, but her attraction to him complicates things. Meanwhile, Bonnie jumps at the chance to attend a lavish charity gala with Jill. Joe Manganiello guest stars as Julian, a handsome newcomer to AA.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Helium Insufficiency" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In the midst of a nation-wide helium shortage, Sheldon and Leonard take desperate measures to get the supplies they need. Also, Penny and Bernadette download a dating app on Amy's phone to try and find her a new man. Michael Rapaport guest stars Kenny, a black market dealer.

Baskets - "Easter in Bakersfield" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Easter in Bakersfield is not all Neil Diamond sings it to be as Baskets family drama brews over brunch.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Thursday, February 11

  • Alison Brie (Community) - Catch Alison on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jake Lacy (Better with You/The Office) - Jake appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark McKinney (Superstore) - Mark stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Brian is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about the Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Fran Drescher (Happily Divorced/Living with Fran/The Nanny) - Fran talks about the American Heart Associations' Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET
  • Bryan Greenberg (How to Make It in America) - Bryan talks about his new movie Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Joe Morton (Grady) - Joe plays the guitar on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Autumn Reeser (Entourage/Complete Savages) - Autumn talks about Hallmark Channel's original movie Valentine Ever After on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Dakota Johnson (Ben and Kate) - Dakota is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Scott Foley (The Goodwin Games/A.U.S.A./Scrubs) - Scott appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.