Saturday, May 02, 2009

SitcomsOnline 2009-2010 NBC Infront Preview; Blog DVD Review: Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 2

NBC will have their "infront" presentation this coming Monday. But unlike last year, they WON'T announce an actual schedule since that was a disaster last year announcing it a month earlier than normal. If you all recall, they ended up changing it drastically a month later. So on Monday (May 4) they will only announce what new series and returning series will get picked-up for 2009-2010. Then they will announce the actual schedule in the actual upfront week, the week of May 18. We won't give you our prediction of the schedule until a week before upfronts, like usual, but today we will give our predictions on what will be picked-up by NBC on Monday. So here are our picks:

*CONFIRMED* Already Renewed Returning Series: 30 Rock, The Biggest Loser, The Celebrity Apprentice (Spring), Friday Night Lights (DirecTV), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Southland, and The Office.
Likely Returning Series: Heroes, Parks & Recreation, Law & Order, Medium, Deal or No Deal, and of course Dateline.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: Kath & Kim, Kings, Chopping Block, Chuck, Lipstick Jungle, Knight Rider, My Name is Earl, Life, Crusoe, My Worst Own Enemy, and Howdie Do It.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups (our picks): Parenthood (drama for fall), Community (comedy for fall), Off Duty (comedy for spring), 100 Questions for Charlotte Payne (comedy for fall or midseason), Trauma (drama for fall), and Mercy (drama for midseason)

COMMENTS: NBC only has 11 new pilots in production with 6 dramas and 5 comedies. Since NBC is only going to program from 8-10pm ET/PT on weeknights since Jay Leno Show (wt) will take over 10pm, we could expect some veteran/returning series getting canceled. Among the most likely are Chuck, Medium, My Name is Earl, and Law & Order...but I think one or even two of those will be back, probably Law & Order & Medium...maybe midseason for both.
If NBC has success with testing on their five comedy pilots, I can see them picking up 2 or 3 of them for the season (1 or 2 of the pick-ups held for midseason) instead of bringing back Parks & Recreation. Community starring Joe McHale and Chevy Chase is getting the most buzz. A traditional camera even has some buzz for NBC (100 Questions for Charlotte Payne), but not sure where that would fit with all single-camera comedies (possibly on another night then, like following Biggest Loser?). Off Duty (single camera) starring Bradley Whitford has some buzz as well. I think it will come down to those three comedies, with the other two comedy pilots probably having no chance.
Among dramas, Parenthood looks like it has the best shot of getting picked-up. Trauma also looks good as NBC is probably looking for another medical series to replace ER. Mercy has gotten some buzz the past few days and could be for midseason, while Legally Mad, Day One, and Lost & Found have not tested as good or have no buzz. I won't talk much more until our predictions week, but it will be interesting to see what NBC does to The Biggest Loser, cut it to one-hour, 90-minutes, or leave it at two hours? I'd cut it to one hour, but then again NBC is in bad shape. Also, how will Law & Order: SVU perform before 10pm and possibly without their two main stars? We just got late word that Southland was just renewed for 13 episodes, no surprise even though the show has gone down big in the ratings each week. NBC needs to bring back something new from this season.

Come on back Monday to see what NBC picks up. And stay tuned the week of May 11 for our annual upfront schedule predictions and the following week (May 18) for the actual Fall 2009 schedules, to see what we got right! I love this time of year!

Back to our regularly scheduled Saturday programming! It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly blog DVD review! Today we look at Warner Home Video's Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 2. Tiny Toon Adventures was created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. It premiered as a syndicated cartoon in 1990. See Seth's Blog DVD Review of Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 2:

Tiny Toon Adventures - Season 1, Volume 2 (Warner Home Video, $44.98) is on DVD! I'm using extra exclamation points due to my love for this show. Not to mention that I now own, in DVD quality, my favorite episode of the series: "Tiny Toons Music Television." I talked about it in the review for Vol. 1. It features re-done videos for several songs using the Tiny Toon cast, including TWO songs by "They Might Be Giants," a take on "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, and more. It's great stuff. I'm jumping to that episode immediately in the review due to my fear that they might attempt music replacement. Luckily, Warner is THE studio I can count on to use original music elements in their DVD product, by and large. Having this episode itself complete is worth the price of admission for the set for *me*. Filling out the set and the remainder of the first season are 29 additional episodes (30 total) that remind me why this is an absolutely classic cartoon and a MUST OWN for any fan of the genre. One sequence, from "Best O' Plucky Duck Day," sticks out in my mind well -- Plucky wanting to get out of school but being tortured by the classroom alarm clock that just would NOT turn over to the time needed for class to be dismissed. I wholeheartedly admit it...Plucky is by FAR my favorite character. And *baby* Plucky in particular is still quoted 20 years later (Any 20-something with any childhood whatsoever should understand "elelator (or golf ball) go down the hoooooole.").
Technically the set is pretty good. There aren't any real problems with the animation quality. The colors match their original presentations, and 8 episodes fit nicely on the dual-layer discs. Audio is FIVE POINT ONE SURROUND! I don't actually have the equipment on hand right now to take advantage of the 5.1 (that will be reserved for a late night downstairs with the monster A/V rig.) but if I did I'm sure I'd be gushing random syllables. Packaging is the abominable translucent white plastic case that's become quite common. There are four discs, with 7-8 episodes per disc. Like other sets using the Clear Plastic Abomination style, the plastic clip holding the 4 discs' holders to the inner spine is fragile as will be mentioned in further detail in the Blog Review for Freakazoid's second season. Runtimes hover in the 21-22 minute range. Chapter stops are placed at the end of each act, causing a mild problem in the music video episode where there's more than 1 song per act. Otherwise it works out well.
If you enjoy comedy, cartoons, music, or life itself, you owe it to yourself to pick up this DVD set. It's one of the hallmark cartoons of the 1990s, and helped revitalize an entire genre that was in decline before its launch. I'm positive that you'll enjoy this show if you give it a chance. Cartoons are one of my favorite television genres, and this is one of my favorite cartoons. If you try it, it may become yours too. DVD sets from this studio need sales for future sets -- and without your support I won't get to see the continuing adventures of Buster and the gang, not to mention the periodic Baby Plucky spots. I want to see the complete adventures of Baby Plucky on DVD – and there's something innately charming in watching the go down the hole.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(4.5/5 stars)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Tiny Toon Adventures Page

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 21

Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.

Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 17)

Friday, October 21

  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
  • Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.