Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Week 9 Sitcom Ratings; Blog DVD Review Special: Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One

Summer continues and everything is still pretty light. We will be back with our normal weekly report with the first four nights numbers and analysis in the fall, but we still will have our regular how the sitcoms did all summer long, along with last year's summer favorite, the coming week preview! Here are our summer ratings:

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of July 13-19)

  • Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm only mustered 1.46 million...slightly up week-to-week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.39 million for a repeat in its regular 8pm slot and 4.07 million for a special 9:30pm repeat. Latter one was up slightly, while the regular one was down week-to-week.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - The 8:30 repeat did only 3.07 million, but down the same as the lead-in really.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 3.86 million for a repeat, down from previous week.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - Only 1.7 million for a repeat at 7:30...lower than the previous week by a bit.

Summer Week 9 (July 20-26)

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 5.14 million for a repeat airing, up some from previous week. 1.7 A18-49 rating was lower than the last few weeks by a bit though.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 5.04 million for a repeat airing, lower than previous week again. Matched the 1.7 A18-49 rating from the lead-in.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.31 million for a repeat, up some from previous week. 2.8 A18-49 rating was also up a tick.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.79 million for a repeat is up from previous week, and the closest retention it has come yet. 2.8 18-49 rating is excellent, holding 100% from the lead-in again.
Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Better Off Ted (ABC) - 1.86 million for an all-new episode. Down though from previous week's summer high of 2.5 million. Not good.
  • Scrubs (ABC) -A repeat at 9:30pm did 1.75 million. Also down from previous week.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - Preempted for Obama.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Preempted for Obama.
Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 2.67 and 2.98 million for repeats at 8:30 and 9...both down from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 3.21 and 2.78 million for repeats at 8 and 9:30pm, and only a 1.2 A18-49 rating for each.
  • Samantha Who? (ABC) - Final 2 episodes did 3.43 and 3.19 million...on par with the airings this summer.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat at 9pm did a prelim 900,000 viewers. That was down from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 814,000 prelim viewers, also down from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - Prelim numbers show only 2.42 million for an all-new episode at 8pm, down some from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Goode Family (ABC) - Prelim numbers were even worse for an all-new episode of this show with 1.52 million, also down some from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 2 repeats did a prelim 2.16 million average, but up from previous week's prelim average. As always, check out final numbers for Friday for these shows and all the Friday shows on our message board tomorrow.
Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.
Tonight you can catch encores of Fox's 'Til Death and only one animated comedy in the 7pm hour, as Fox airs a movie from 8-10. Elsewhere CBS has 60 Minutes & Big Brother, while NBC will have a new Dateline in the 7pm hour, leading into Merlin at 8, and part one of the mini-series The Storm at 9.


Coming Week Preview (July 27-Aug. 2):

We are preempting this week's preview again so we can you bring you another special blog DVD review on a special day! So enjoy that below.

Welcome to a special edition of the Blog DVD Review. Today we take a look at Infinity Entertainment's Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One. Route 66 ran from 1960-1964 and starred Martin Milner, George Maharis (1960-1963) and Glenn Corbett (1963-1964). See skees53's Blog DVD Review of Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One:

Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One (Infinity, $29.98) presents the first sixteen episodes of the third season of the great anthology series of the '60s about two guys living their lives as one big road trip across America. The series stars Martin Milner and George Maharis, playing Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock. Tod and Buz come from different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: their interest in cruising America in a powder-blue 1960 Corvette, a Corvette that was essentially the only thing that Tod was left with after his wealthy father died.
A change began to occur in the third season, though, as Maharis began to disappear in this season as a personal illness began to make the series difficult for him to work on. As he became ill, his character began to disappear from the series, and Tod began to take upon the open road alone. Eventually, by the end of the season (which is not included in this set), Buz was written off of the series and replaced with a new character, Linc.

John Astin and Buster Keaton guest star in "Journey to Nineveh." Tod and Buz encounter an over-aged gangster in Chicago in "Man Out of Time." In "Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma," Tod and Buz are in Southern California, where Buz challenges a native to a surfing competition. Before online dating, there were telephone relationships, as we see in "Voice at the End of the Line." Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff all play themselves in a light-hearted Halloween episode, "Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing." In “Across Walnuts and Wine,” Buz and Tod are boarders at a home owned by a young man who is threatening to throw his family (who tends to just show up and stay) out of the house the moment he turns 21, but will he realize the importance of having his family around?
Ed Asner guest stars in "Welcome to the Wedding," where Tod is held hostage by a prisoner in transit. Buz is given a lucrative offer for dating a girl in "Every Father's Daughter Must Weave Her Own." Leslie Nielsen and Ron Howard guest star in "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat." Will Tod kill Buzz? That is what a fortune-teller is predicting in "Only By Cunning Glimpses." Vera Miles plays a woman who claims to be kidnapped by a mental patient in "Where is Chick Lorimer, Where Has She Gone?" Natalie Schaefer guest stars in "Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse." Volume One ends with "You Can't Pick Cotton in Tahiti," where Tod meets up with a musical composer in Tennessee.

The set comes packaged in a double-thick keepcase with a cardboard sleeve on the outside. Both the keepcase and the sleeve have the same artwork, which is basically just the picture of the open road going into the sunset, and a Route 66 logo in the middle of it all. The back of the packaging just has a lengthy description of the episodes on the set. Inside the keepcase, we have four discs (two on each side of the case, overlapping each other), which have artwork almost identical to the cover art. Unfortunately, there are no episode descriptions, or even a list indicating which episodes are on which disc, anywhere to be found on this set. Each disc contains four episodes, for a total of sixteen episodes. Overall, the packaging for this set is a definite downgrade from the previous sets, but it isn't a total disaster either.

The menus are different from the previous sets, but in this case, different doesn't mean worse. The menus are very clean and professional looking, with options of Play All, Episodes, and (on Disc 4) Special Features. The menu contains plenty of music, sound effects, and transitional effects throughout. While there are no scene selection menus, there are chapters placed throughout each episode, although they are placed in somewhat strange positions in some (not all) of the episodes.

The video and audio quality generally tends to be pretty good. The picture is generally clear and crisp, although there are still a few issues regarding some grain and debris. The audio is very loud and clear, being presented in standard mono. It appears, for the most part, that Infinity invested in remastering and improving the quality of these episodes. However, there is one episode on the set that is very clearly not remastered. The episode "Only By Cunning Glimpses" looks and sounds terrible, with significant grain and debris, overall poor image quality, and very low and muffled sound. I had a feeling when watching this episode that it had not been restored, and this was basically confirmed at the end of the episode when I saw the closing credits cut off before the Screen Gems logo and plastered with a 1980s Columbia Pictures Television logo. The quality is barely better than a VHS copy. At least the content of the episode is intact, though.
Another problem that I noticed on a few episodes (even though it did not last for the entire episode) is that certain portions of the episodes contained audio that was out of sync with the video. It is obnoxious, for sure, but it usually only lasts for a minute or two when it happens. Each episode, including the 1980s television print, is unedited and runs around 50 minutes. Each episode is closed-captioned.

The set does have special features, but like the previous sets, there really aren't any behind-the-scenes special features. As always, we just have 12 minutes worth of classic commercials, but they are by no means random classic commercials. They are a mix of miscellaneous sponsor spots and bumpers from the series. These are not only fun to watch for their nostalgic value, but one of the series sponsors happened to be Phillips Milk of Magnesia, which makes for some humorous laxative commercials that probably didn't seem as humorous to the viewers at the time. There are also a few episode preview bumpers in here, which would have been nice to have for every episode. This set does NOT include the guest star biographies that were included on previous sets.

All things considered, Infinity has been doing a great job on these Route 66 DVD sets, but this one is definitely less than perfect. First, I'm not a big fan of the half-season release model. This seems to be a step backwards when other companies are releasing complete SERIES sets. It is even more frustrating that they are doing this while planning a full season release next year, a full season release that is oddly enough already available at some Best Buy stores. The set feels much cheaper this time, with cheaper packaging and no episode lists to be found ANYWHERE on the packaging. Would it have been too much to just include some basic liner notes inside the cheapened packaging? There are also the minor audio/video sync issues on some episodes. Still, despite all of this, this is a very enjoyable series to watch and the video and audio quality is, for the most part, pretty good. It is probably a better idea, though, to wait for the full season to be released as one complete set, especially if you've already purchased the first two seasons as complete season sets. But if you just can't wait until the January release date (that is, if you can't find it at Best Buy, which I couldn't), then you can get your kicks with the first half of season three here.

Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Route 66 TV.com Page


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, January 20

Last Man Standing - "A House Divided" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Mike and Vanessa ask newlyweds Mandy and Kyle to tone down their constant displays of affection, Mandy agrees but only if her parents become more discreet in the way they express their feelings to each other. Meanwhile, Kristen gets Eve a gig playing at the Grill, but Ed wants to fire her after a lackluster performance.

Dr. Ken - "A Day in the Life" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Amy (guest star Yvette Nicole Brown), the producer of a documentary health series, follows Ken around to record a typical day at an HMO, giving Ken his big moment in the limelight.  But much to Ken’s chagrin, a series of the less than thrilling day-to-day parts of the job at Welltopia leads Ken to doubt his own career choice.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Friday, January 20

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.