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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 22

The Mick - "The Haunted House" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mickey and Jimmy organize a special Halloween party at their mansion, but the party soon goes awry; Sabrina hopes to further her legacy with the party; Mickey becomes determined to give a group of practical jokers a lesson.

Bob's Burgers - "The Wolf of Wharf Street" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween night, Linda tries to impress the kids by taking them to look for a wolf that has been terrorizing the town; an injured and medicated Bob believes that Teddy has turned into a werewolf.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maggie becomes possessed by an ancient demon; Lisa discovers a perfect version of her family in an alternate universe; Homer cannibalizes himself.

Ghosted - "Lockdown" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Director Romslo puts the whole office on lockdown when a deadly amphibious creature escapes in The Bureau Underground, giving Max and Leroy only 30 minutes to eliminate the threat.

Family Guy - "Follow the Money" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After Chris gets a special $1 bill for his birthday and quickly loses it, the dollar gets passed from character to character throughout Quahog.

The Last Man on Earth - "Wisconsin" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol panics when Todd and Melissa leave for their honeymoon, and Erica and Gail decide to live on their own for a while.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Friday, October 20

  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Watch Woody on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mark Feuerstein (9JKL/Good Morning, Miami/Conrad Bloom/Fired Up) - Mark is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Sofia appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Craig Robinson (Ghosted/Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Julie Klausner (Difficult People) - Julie appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Reno 911!) - Niecy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne talks about The Brave on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • James Burrows (Sitcom Director) - James is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley) - Michael will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso talks about America’s Funniest Home Videos on the AOL Build Show at 10am.
  • Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Life) - Nia will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

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
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest