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 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.

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.