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 (March)

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Maude - The Complete Series WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory) The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)

03/03 - CHiPs - The Complete Third Season
03/10 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series
03/10 - Hey Dude - The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive)
03/10 - Petticoat Junction - Family Favorite Episodes
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Maude - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)
03/24 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)
03/31 - Silicon Valley - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
03/31 - Veep - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 4

The Middle - "Flirting with Disaster" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie finds herself innocently flirting with Axl's hot friend, Finn. But when she makes a not-so-innocent remark about him to her sister, she fears that both Finn and Axl may have overheard her conversation. Meanwhile, Sue is forced to take Brick to a “Planet Nowhere” sci-fi convention, and Frankie's dad, Tag (Jerry Van Dyke), asks Mike to secretly help him study and pass his driver's test so that he can keep his license from being taken away.

The Goldbergs - "Happy Mom, Happy Life" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Dana and Adam have to parent a doll for class, Beverly becomes a grand-smother and compromises their project AND relationship. Meanwhile, Erica is annoyed Barry takes up all her best friend time with Lainey. To get back at him, she joins the JTP and they shun Barry out of the group, but it later backfires for Erica.

Modern Family - "Closet? You'll Love It" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Claire scramble to shoot a Pritchett Closets commercial in response to their competitor’s new and catchy ad, but there might be some creative differences between father and daughter. A peeping-Tom in the neighborhood keeps using a drone to spy on Gloria sun-bathing so Phil, Luke and Manny make it their mission to take it down. Elsewhere, a tone deaf Lily prepares to perform in her school talent show and Cameron is more worried about it than she is, and Haley’s feelings for Andy become even more complicated when he gets rushed to the hospital with appendicitis.

black-ish - "Parental Guidance" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre, determined to make up for the no-frills, last-minute wedding he and Bow had, organizes an amazing vow renewal for their 15th anniversary. But when Bow’s hippie-dippy parents, Alicia (Anna Deveare Smith) and the very white Paul (Beau Bridges) show up unannounced -- bombshells are dropped and old disagreements re-ignite between the two families, especially with Pops and Ruby (Jenifer Lewis).

Schitt's Creek - "The Cabin" (Pop, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When Johnny and Moira use the mayor's cabin for the night, Alexis and David throw a party.

Melissa & Joey - "Parental Guidance" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Joe makes the difficult decision to call Felicia when he learns that Dani has broken the rules.

Baby Daddy - "Happy Birthday Too You" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben panics when he forgets his mother's birthday; Emma is injured while in Riley and Tucker's care.

The Game - "Switch!" (BET, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Blue has suspicions about Keira and Malik; Coach Sparks has a heart attack; Chardonnay vows to return to San Diego for revenge.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Goes on Family Fight" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
When the gang appears on a nationally broadcasted game show, Dennis does his best to keep the gang's weirdness under wraps.

Man Seeking Woman - "Branzino" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Josh is convinced that he's finally found his soul mate.

Love Thy Neighbor - "The Ring" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Philip doubts himself; Hattie convinces him to start over and give Linda the ring.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, March 4

  • Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Aziz on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Danny DeVito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Taxi) - Danny is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She will also be on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicity stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also talks about her new ABC series American Crime on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Tim Daly (Wings) - Tim visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Vivica A. Fox (True Jackson, VP/Arsenio/Out All Night) - Vivica talks about her experience on The Celebrity Apprentice and tells us what she really thinks about Kenya Moore on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Lauren Graham (The Odd Couple/Conrad Bloom/Townies) - Lauren talks about dating her Parenthood co-star Peter Krause and reveals why one of her co-stars sent stolen property to her house on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • James Van Der Beek (Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James and the cast of CSI: Cyber are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about Archer on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy is a guest on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 9am.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas LA) - Nick appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.