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

Wednesday, July 23

The Middle - "Change in the Air" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The first day of school is upon the Heck family, and Sue finds herself feeling a sense of freedom she’s never felt before with Axl not around to make her campus life miserable. But Brick, who is beginning middle school and afraid of getting a swirlie, avoids the bathroom at all costs. Meanwhile, Frankie becomes jealous of Mike when she discovers that Axl calls and returns his texts but won’t do the same for her; and Sue’s feelings for Darrin surface once again when Mike calls him over to help fix the air conditioner.

The Goldbergs - "Kara-Te" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Barry decides to sign up for the school’s holiday talent show but is bummed when the school doesn’t approve karate as a talent. Beverly is livid and brow beats the teacher in charge to change his mind. After the family watches Barry’s routine, everyone wonders whether he will be able to pull off the performance… or crack under pressure. Meanwhile, Erica gets coerced from Pops to also perform in the talent show, but will she?

Modern Family - "iSpy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they’re hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman, but Jay misinterprets her anger for another offense he committed. And, Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.

The Middle - "The Potato" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Frankie and Mike are forced to return the church van when it’s discovered that their car has been repaired, Sue – who has been driving the other car – begins to freak out because she’ll have to start taking the bus again. But when her parents tell her that she could get her own car if she got a job, Sue ends up working as a potato girl at a local mall eatery. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike are called into Brick’s principal’s (Rachel Dratch) office and are informed that he has not attended any of his classes – and much to the family’s dismay, Axl begins to spend his nights back home when he becomes fed up with having to deal with his horrible college roommate.

Young & Hungry - "Pilot" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Sofia encourages Gabi to start dating again; Josh discovers surprising news about Cam.

Mystery Girls - "Death Becomes Her" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The girls go under cover at Holly's old high school in order to prevent a senior prank.

Hot in Cleveland - "Straight Outta Cleveland" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Victoria gets a visit from the son she always forgets (Chris Colfer) and Joy and Mitch (Tim Daly) debate their compatibility.

Jennifer Falls - "Three Dates With My Mother" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer starts seeing a psychiatrist to help her deal with her mother, but even he might not be enough to break through to Maggie.

Wilfred - "Patterns" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Ryan gets sucked into the "End Game."

Love Thy Neighbor - "Lucky Socks" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Danny, Floyd, Sam and Drew have been temporarily evicted; Danny asks Hattie if they can crash with her.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 21) (All times ET unless noted)

Wednesday, July 23

  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Watch Eric on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He will be on SI Now at 1pm. He stops by PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am.
  • Josh Charles (Sports Night) - Josh appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Hank Azaria (The Simpsons/Free Agents/Herman's Head) - Hank talks about the Showtime series Ray Donovan on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.