Thursday, March 05, 2009

According to Jim Returns March 24 With Final 12 Episodes; Fox Schedules Glee, Osbourne Special

ABC has announced it will return According to Jim on Tuesday, March 24 and air it in the 8-9pm hour with two back-to-back episodes. The series aired 6 episodes during the holidays and didn't do too well, but that was during a low-rated month. Now the series has 12 episodes left and these will be the final 12 for this long-running sitcom. They will air them in six weeks through Tuesday, May 5, which will be the series finale (they will be preempted on April 7 for Charlie Brown Easter). According to Jim will replace Homeland Security, USA, which will have its final Tuesday broadcast next week. The show still has 5 episodes left in this season's order, and will likely air elsewhere.
With the return of According to Jim, ABC will have comedy hours three nights a week in the 8-9pm hour from Tuesdays through Thursdays. Scrubs returns with new episodes and Better Off Ted launches Wednesdays starting March 18 in the 8pm hour, then Jim returns Tuesdays starting March 24, and Thursdays will see the launch of In the Motherhood and the return of Samantha Who? starting March 26.
According to Jim and Scrubs are both ending their runs after eight seasons a piece this season and ABC is trying to create a comedy block for next year, so the end of these two will provide a start. Both series will have their series finale on back-to-back nights (May 5 and May 6). Dancing with the Stars will probably give the comedies a good push for promotion, as the new Bob Saget sitcom Surviving Suburbia will premiere a few weeks later on Monday, April 6 at 9:30pm, giving ABC another comedy. ABC hasn't had this many sitcoms since like 2002 and 2003, when their promotion were called "ABC Happy Hour" and "Comedy Rules." For the sake of sitcoms, let's hope this works and I could certainly see a four-comedy night return to ABC next fall...with hopefully all traditional multi-camera sitcoms. Surviving Suburbia is a good start!
As for you Jim fans, here are the episode titles the first two weeks: March 24 - "The Ego Boost" and "The Yoga Bear." March 31 - "Kyle's Crush" and "The Meaningful Gift." Then jumping a month later on May 5, the series finale "Heaven Opposed to Hell" will have many guest stars! Kimberly Williams-Paisley returns and Dan Aykroyd, Erik Estrada, Lee Majors, and Mitch Rouse are among the guests who also return.

In a broadcast first, Glee, the new one-hour musical comedy series from Ryan Murphy, will get a special preview following American Idol's performance finale on Tuesday, May 19 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox. The show will then premiere in the fall (date to be announced). So the series will get a special preview before returning about four months later. Will this work? It won't have an Idol lead-in in the fall, that's for sure. We shall see.
Glee is an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present, so it should blend well with American Idol.
But before Glee, Fox will hop aboard the "Crazy Train" when Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne turn another television convention upside down and inside out with their new series Osbournes: Reloaded premiering after American Idol on Tuesday, March 31 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT.
The variety series features audience interaction, rowdy comedy and hilarious stunts that will shock and amuse. Outrageous sensibility and brash humor are at the core of the series filmed on location and in front of a studio audience that never knows what to expect from the First Family of Rock. Following the premiere, Osbournes: Reloaded will return to the Fox schedule as a series of one-hour specials to air later in the season, as six episodes were ordered in all. So this means Fringe won't return until April 7. The creepy drama series has 7 episodes left from its 21 episode order and hasn't aired since Feb. 10. So with the Glee premiere and the preemption on March 31 for the Osbournes, the Fringe finale will likely air out of sweeps with no American Idol lead-in on May 26. And if Osbournes does very well, Fringe could be preempted more likely. So Fringe has to watch its back, as the show really hasn't done that well in the ratings.

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 31

The Big Bang Theory - "The Hesitation Ramification" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Penny’s big acting break on NCIS is a bust, Leonard struggles to help her, which results in Penny asking Leonard a bold relationship question. Meanwhile, Sheldon tries to learn how to be funny and Raj tries to work on his “game” before talking to girls.

The Millers - "Walk-n-Wave" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Worried that his mother has made him feel like he’s better than other people, Nathan befriends a hopeless co-worker, Doug, who turns out to be a social outcast and more than Nathan knows how to handle. Meanwhile, Tom and Adam argue about who’s smarter and take an online test to find out. Andy Richter guest stars as Doug, Nathan’s co-worker. Roseanne Barr guest stars as Darla, Doug’s mother.

Welcome to Sweden - "Get a Job/Farthinder" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Feeling uncomfortable that he is being supported by Emma (Josephine Bornebusch), and hearing about it from from Emma’s mom Viveka (Lena Olin), Bruce (Greg Poehler) looks for work in Sweden and lands a job that doesn’t quite match with his skill set. Meanwhile, he starts to feel left out when Emma begins to make plans without him. Elsewhere, Hassan (guest star Basim Sabah Albasim) helps teach Bruce to drive, while one of Bruce’s former clients, Gene Simmons (guest starring as himself), tracks him down in an effort to clear problems he is having with the IRS.

Working the Engels - "Picture Night" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna (Kacey Rohl) is approached by a former client from her old firm, billionaire software genius Sam Taylor (guest star Jacob Tierney), to handle a merger on his behalf. However, it’s the worst time for such a high profile client as Ceil (Andrea Martin), has infected all the office computers with a virus. In addition, Jenna must also help Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur) calm down Sandy (Azura Skye), who has just been served divorce papers.

Married - "The Getaway" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Russ and Lina go on a romantic getaway. Jess gets in trouble for sexting her neighbor.

You're the Worst - "Keys Open Doors" (FX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Gretchen inadvertently asks Jimmy for a key to his house.

Love That Girl - "Gullible Is as Gullible Does (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After being taken advantage of several times Jasmine attends Suckers Anonymous, a support group for the gullible. Meanwhile, when the bullying at school gets to be too much, Cordell gets a gun to take care of the bully himself. Delroy has to convince Cordell that violence is not the right answer.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 28) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, July 31

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse appears on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Carl (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Carl and Rob are guests on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Aubrey is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Martin Lawrence (Partners/Martin) - Martin talks about his new FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Less Than Perfect/DAG) - David appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben Kate) - The stars of FX's Married are guests on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.