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 elelator...er...elevator go down the hole.

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

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Tiny Toon Adventures TV.com Page


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May/June)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, July 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Geology Elevation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bert (Brian Posehn), a Caltech geologist, wins the MacArthur Genius fellowship, Sheldon is overcome with jealousy. Also, Wolowitz finds an old remote control Stephen Hawking action figure he invented. Stephen Hawking returns to guest star as himself.

Life in Pieces - "I'll Be Home for Christmas... Maybe" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin gets into the Christmas spirit when he volunteers to help Mott (Chris Roach) and his seven kids prepare for the holidays while his wife’s away, leaving Donna (Erinn Hayes) high and dry until Kyle (Gary Valentine) swoops in to help her. Jackie Sandler guest stars as Mott’s wife, Cindy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 24)

Thursday, July 27

  • Billy Crystal (The Comedians/Soap) - Catch Billy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jill Kargman (Odd Mom Out) - Jill is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Niecy Nash (Getting On/The Soul Man/Reno 911!) - Niecy stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Married/Go On) - Brett appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of Veep - Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Sam Richardson are guests on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Betty Gilpin (GLOW/Nurse Jackie) - Betty talks about GLOW on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ernie Hudson (Grace and Frankie/The Last Precinct) - Ernie is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace and her daughter, Natasha, see how well they really know each other on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) - Jake talks about The Emoji Movie on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Brian Sacca (Wrecked) - Brian talks about Wrecked on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph (Instant Mom/Moesha/It's a Living) - Sheryl will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Listen Up!/Bob Patterson) - Jason is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.