Thursday, March 05, 2009
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 (May 19)
The Cleveland Show - "Crazy Train / Wheel! of! Family!" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
After Freight Train (guest voice Craig Robinson) unexpectedly invites Cleveland to an upcoming lowrider convention, Dr. Fist (guest voice Bryan Cranston) reveals that Freight Train’s surprising amiability might be the result of dementia. Then, Cleveland and Donna become overwhelmed with the kids’ hectic schedules.
The Simpsons - "The Saga of Carl / Dangers on a Train" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
Homer, Moe, Lenny and Carl win $200,000 in the Springfield Lottery. But when Carl takes off to Iceland – his homeland – with all the winnings, the guys embark on a Nordic adventure to get the cash back. Then, Marge mistakes a swinging Ashley Madison-type website for a Dolly Madison-type cupcake site, not realizing it’s a destination for married people seeking liaisons. On the site, she meets the charming “Ben” (guest voice MacFarlane), who pursues her after they learn they share a love for a “Downton Abbey”-type TV series.
Family Guy - "Road to Vegas / No Country Club for Old Men" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
Stewie and Brian use Stewie’s time machine to go to Las Vegas for a Bette Midler concert, but chaos ensues when the machine malfunctions and creates alt-versions of the pair: a “lucky” version and an “unlucky” one. Then, the Griffins are invited to join the prestigious Barrington Country Club and, of course, get thrown out.
Good Luck Charlie - "Go Teddy!" (Disney Channel, 7:30PM ET/PT)
After learning the big cheer competition will be held in Hawaii, Teddy decides to join Kelsey on the cheerleading squad; Teddy bombs her cheer tryout and has to beg the coach to give her another chance; Amy asks Gabe and PJ to take Toby to park.
Austin & Ally - "Spas & Spices" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Trish gets a job at a spa and invites Ally for some treatments before an upcoming photo shoot; Austin agrees to pick up Ally's necklace for her, but things go awry when he drops it in a pot of chili that Dez is entering in a chili cook-off.
Veep - "Andrew" (HBO, 10:00PM ET/PT)
An allergic reaction shuts down budget negotiations; Amy and Gary worry about Selina seeing her ex-husband; Mike fields press inquiries.
Family Tree - "Treading the Boards" (HBO, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Tom and Pete learn about Harry's life from men at a regional theater.