Friday, May 29, 2009

ION Switches Reba and Feud; ABC Summer Sitcom Changes; Remembering Michael Ross

We gave you details on ION Television's June 2009 line-up already with the addition of Ghost Whisperer to the Monday night line-up starting June 1, but now they have made a switcharoo on weekdays that will start June 8. Reba will now move to weeknights in the 6pm hour, as Family Feud now switches to the 7pm hour. The switch was made due to Reba's poor ratings and also because Lifetime airs the series at the same time. Now ION will air the sitcom in the 6pm hour, an hour before Lifetime starts their 7-9pm weeknight block of Reba. Family Feud will air on most nights in the 7pm hour on weeknights, especially Mondays and Tuesday, but the other nights on weeknights you can see a movie start earlier.
View the full updated ION Television June 2009 line-up. We will have more on ION next week with their July line-up. We mentioned before ER would return to weekdays starting June 29, but now we hear that is not happening. What will happen? Come on back next week and see!

We have lots of ABC sitcom news for the summer for you today. First off, we have some breaking news. Just premiered animated comedy The Goode Family will air an additional episode at 9:30pm this coming Wednesday (June 3) instead of a new episode of Surviving Suburbia. The Goode Family will also air in its regular 9:00pm Wednesday time slot on this date as well. Why? Ratings. Suburbia did terrible and was pulled right away, but The Goode Family didn't do that hot either losing a lot from the big lead-in from Wipeout, but ABC is giving it more of a chance. If this change does better, expect ABC to double-pump The Goode Family until further notice to perhaps complete more of its 13 episode-run. Originally only 6 were slated to air.
We previously reported that the three remaining episodes of In the Motherhood would air Fridays at 9:30pm starting June 5. Now that isn't happening. ABC will double-pump repeats of Samantha Who? for three weeks in the Friday 9pm hour on June 5, 12 and 19 now instead. Then Samantha Who? will move to Thursdays at 8pm starting June 25, with new episodes (it has 7 episodes left to air). In the Motherhood will air its three remaining episodes at 8:30pm on Thursdays on June 25, July 2 & 9. It is unclear what will air in the 8:30pm slot thereafter, but it will likely be more Samantha Who? ABC has not announced what will air Thursdays 9-11pm yet starting June 25, as I doubt we get both Grey's and Private Practice repeats...maybe just Grey's and something like new crime drama Castle repeats? Then on Fridays at 9 starting June 26, we get According to Jim repeats on a new night and time (Remember the series finale is this Tuesday in the 8pm hour). The following week, July 3, Surviving Suburbia moves to Fridays at 9:30pm with new episodes following repeats of According to Jim at 9. I bet we won't see Suburbia until July 3 now, as I don't expect it to return to Wednesdays following the June 3 Goode Family test.
Elsewhere, 7 new episodes of Better off Ted and repeats of Scrubs will air in the 9pm hour on Tuesdays starting Tuesday, June 23 following episodes of the upcoming competition series The Superstars. This is a good way for the brilliantly done Better off Ted to be sampled before it returns with more new episodes in January 2010.
I applaud ABC in airing all of these comedies this summer! View these changes in a list form, if you get confused. And if we have more updates, we will bring it to you first...so keep checking!


TV producer/writer/director Michael "Mickey" Ross, best known for his work on hit sitcoms All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Three's Company, died Tuesday (May 26) in Los Angeles from complications of a stroke and heart attack. Ross, along with business partners Don Nicholl & Bernie West, made his mark in the 1970's with the breakout CBS TV sitcom, All in the Family, for which he won a writing Emmy in 1973. They were nominated two other times, another one for All in the Family and one for Three's Company. The trio were known as "NRW" until the death of Don Nicholl in 1980. So now only Bernie West remains from this historical team.
Mickey also was part of the creation for ABC's Three's Company spin-offs The Ropers and Three's a Crowd. He also wrote for Maude, another All in the Family spin-off. In 1976 NRW also created and produced the short-lived sitcom The Dumplings for NBC starring James Coco. Mickey also directed many episodes of Three's Company. NRW also wrote the pilot episode for Chico and the Man.
Before all of his hit series were born, he was a part of many shows in the '50s and '60s such as The Garry Moore Show, The Perry Como Show, Sid Ceasar's Hour and The Martha Raye Show. The latter is how he developed a relationship with Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, later forming All in the Family. And decades later in 1998, Mickey appeared on screen for an interview on the E! True Hollywood Story for Three's Company.
Aside from his TV work, Ross and his wife founded the Michael and Irene Ross Program in Jewish Studies at The City College of New York -- Ross's (and Bernie West's) alma mater. Memorial service will be held this Sunday (May 31) at 11 a.m. Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills on 5950 Forest Lawn Dr. in Los Angeles, CA.
Mickey will certainly be missed and my good friend and author of the Three's Company book Chris Mann tells me he loved farce comedy and that's how he viewed Three's Company with John Ritter as the ultimate farceur. Mickey rejoins Don Nicholl now up in the heavens recreating TV comedy. Rest in Peace, Mickey and you'll be deeply missed. Mickey Ross was 89.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 2

Last Man Standing - "Precious Snowflakes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mandy chooses local-celebrity Mike as the speaker for her business school’s graduation. After learning that the school requires his speech to be PC and micro-agression free, Mike decides whether or not to play by the rules. Meanwhile, Eve’s friend Cammy (Sarah Gilman) is home from college, bragging about how fantastic her new life has been, leaving Eve feeling slightly fruitless and discouraged.

Dr. Ken - "D.K's New Girlfriend" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When D.K. overhears Allison complain about him overstaying his welcome, he decides to move in with his girlfriend of three weeks. Meanwhile, Pat wants Dave to pretend he’s his adopted son; and Allison is convinced Molly wants to talk about something when she suggests they do a spa day, but the tables turn when Molly is the one doling out the advice.

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

Liv and Maddie: Cali Style - "Cali Christmas-a-Rooney" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddie gets upset that she can't be in Wisconsin for Christmas, so Liv helps cheer her up.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Christmas approaches, Riley gets excited to celebrate her favorite holiday, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.

Bunk'd - "How the Griff Stole Christmas" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The holidays arrive at Camp Kikiwaka with everyone in good spirits -- except for Griff.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 28)

Friday, December 2

  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Watch Chelsea on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Andrew is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men/The Powers That Be/Bosom Buddies) - Holland chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Scott Patterson (Aliens in America) - Scott is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Quinn (Bunk'd) - Kevin appears on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - NBC's Today catches up with Miss Piggy in the 10am hour.
  • Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent/Someone Like Me) - Gaby appears on Chelsea on Netflix.