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)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Route 66 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

Tuesday, October 25

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: The Heckoning" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.

American Housewife - "Westport Zombies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie, jealous of Taylor’s friendship with neighbor Viv (Leslie Bibb), reluctantly competes in the Westport Halloween “Zombie Run” after she finds out they’ll both be running. Meanwhile, Greg and Anna-Kat get a little too much in character for the “zombie” part of the run’s obstacle course.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Louisween" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Louis’ favorite holiday, and he makes every attempt to scare Jessica into the Halloween spirit, but she is buried in her word processor, drafting her first horror novel. Meanwhile, Emery and Evan debate costume choices, and Eddie and his crew are excited to party with high schoolers at Nicole’s house.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Halloween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Halloween arrives, or what Kenny refers to as “the gay Super Bowl,” he plans to go to Boystown to watch the festive costume parade. In an effort to prevent Kenny from attending, Eileen agrees to let him throw his own Halloween party at home. Eileen’s tolerance is ultimately tested when Kenny recruits Stuart and his gay friends to join the big party, and he makes a BIG costume change. Meanwhile, Jimmy and Shannon plan to pull off an epic Halloween prank.

Atlanta - "Junteenth" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Why my Auntie trying to make me go to one of these bougie Junteenth parties again? I don't like them sadity people and I'm gonna miss my shows. Le sigh.

Family Time - "Head of House" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When the Stallworths have an unexpected visitor, they learn of a vicious crime that took place in their home years ago.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Tuesday, October 25

  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Catch Will on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Skylar Astin (Ground Floor) - Skylar is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman/Veronica's Closet/The Larry Sanders Show) and David Koechner (Another Period/Hank/The Office) - Mary and David are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love) - Jamie Lee is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn plays a celeb guessing game with Rach, who’s serving up no-fail make-your-own takeout, on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn/Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on the AOL Build Show 4pm.
  • Don Rickles (C.P.O. Sharkey/Daddy Dearest) - Don is a guest on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nico Tortorella (Younger) - Nico appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.