Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ION HD Launch Delayed, Details on Switch to DTV on June 12; Retroality.TV Interviews Gilligan's Island's Dawn Wells

We mentioned twice about ION Television going HD. First the initial report, then the launch date of Feb. 16. Obviously that launch date to HD didn't happen yesterday. ION says it wanted to "reduce consumer confusion" surrounding Congress' decision to move the DTV hard date to June 12, so ION Television announced it will push back its launch in high definition one month to March 16 instead. ION was planning to launch in HD on Feb. 16, in 20 markets where it has TV stations. Now those same 20 will launch March 16, with the other 40 stations coming on board later in the year.
B&C reports, ION's 40 other stations are still going to make the transition to digital on Feb. 17, but about two thirds of the nation's roughly 1,800 TV stations will be delaying pulling the plug on the analog version of their primary signal after the administration asked, and Congress consented, to move the date.
So, yes the transition to DTV was supposed to take place today. But President Obama, the House, and Congress moved the date to June 12 instead citing that most people were still not ready. Many stations will still make the transition to digital today, but the entire country won't be ready until June 12. This will the government more time to set up call centers and get DTV-to-analog converter box coupons to ALL viewers, though it will also create some confusion as viewers now have several analog cut-off dates to contend with.
So if you still have an old television with no cable or satellite, I urge you to head to DTVAnswers.com for information on how to still watch TV. This is a big mess, as February sweeps was moved to March because of this and now it isn't happening on Feb. 17 anymore. I haven't mentioned this on the blog at all, but we urge you to head to DTVAnswers.com for any questions and how to get a converter box if you're TV is not ready.

Our buddy Chris Mann has his February cover feature posted on his website Retroality.TV. This time he goes one-on-one with Gilligan's Island's Mary Ann herself--Dawn Wells! I cannot believe she is 70, she still practically looks the same! Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells (now a film actors boot camp mentor) opens up about her Mary Jane scandal/arrest, Michael Phelps' bong fiasco, the upcoming Gilligan's Island feature film, and Tina "The Movie Star" Louise's 40-year Island exile.
I'll share some interesting quotes from Chris' interview with Dawn:
"I had that horrible experience with that fake arrest. It wasn't fake--I was arrested but it wasn't legitimate. He's in jail now, as a matter of fact, the guy who arrested me. And the sheriff has also been under investigation for false arrest. It was a very unfortunate situation. And I was very, very aware of what the press can do. ... It was very, very difficult. And I finally said to somebody, "I'm not sure if Britney Spears has two boys." I don’t believe anything I read anymore."
"(The 2004 TV Land Awards) was very awkward, though. I'd heard there was a rumor that she wouldn't sit with us, or she wanted to get paid to sit with us ... So she didn't sit with us. But afterward, we all took a picture with Sherwood Schwartz. And then after that somebody wanted to interview us, and Tina and I sat down together for the first time ever. And she was very complimentary about the show. I almost fell off the chair. (She said,) 'The little kids really like it, and I'm reading to kids and kids appreciate it.' And I thought, 'Well, maybe it's taken this much time to realize how grateful we all should be for that show.' I haven't run into her (since), but we're always very civil."
For the rest of the great questions from Chris to Dawn Wells, check out his FULL interview at Retroality.TV. It is about 4-parts long, so great job by Chris! He even has video excerpts from Entertainment Tonight and The View! Coming soon from Chris will be an interview with Janet Wood herself--Joyce DeWitt! And speaking of interviews, we here at SitcomsOnline.com also have some in the works that you will love to read. I won't give it away until it is official, but many of you will enjoy them! Stay tuned...

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, March 16

Stuck in the Middle - "Stuck with Horrible Helpers" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Harley's latest invention causes havoc in science class.

Bizaardvark - "The BFF (Before Frankie Friend)" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Paige's childhood best friend, Izzy, comes to town; Paige becomes envious of how well Frankie and Izzy hit it off and starts to feel like a third wheel.

The Paynes - "Making Repairs" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After Ella learns that Curtis is trying to make his own repairs at the laundromat, she makes plans to involve professionals; Kendrick visits Nyla to apologize; Nyla finally comes clean with Ella and has a heart-to-heart with her children.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 12)

Friday, March 16

  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Watch Yara on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. J. Totah (Champions) - J. J. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew talks about Santa Clarita Diet on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.