Thursday, July 23, 2009

TV Guide Channel Acquires Ugly Betty Reruns; TBS Orders More House of Payne; Network Notes

In a significant move to bolster its programming and attract new viewers, TV Guide Network announced that it has entered into an agreement with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to acquire the exclusive basic cable off-network rights to ABC Studios Golden Globe Award winning television series Ugly Betty. It is TV Guide Networks first scripted series acquisition and part of a multi-tiered programming strategy to evolve the network as an entertainment destination.
The deal includes access to existing and future episodes of Ugly Betty which will begin airing as a weekly strip on TV Guide Network in fall 2010. As part of the agreement, TVGuide.com will have rights to stream up to five Ugly Betty episodes at a time online. In addition, the deal includes repurpose rights for the upcoming fourth season of Ugly Betty premiering in October 2009 on ABC. The repeat telecast of the new episodes will air on TV Guide Network within two weeks of their premiere on ABC.

TBS is expanding the network's groundbreaking partnership with Tyler Perry and Debmar-Mercury by ordering an additional 20 episodes of the powerhouse comedy Tyler Perry's House of Payne. The order will bring the number of episodes in the series to 172, a remarkable total for any sitcom. House of Payne, along with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, continue to rank as the top sitcoms on cable.
House of Payne and Meet the Browns rank as ad-supported cable's top two original sitcoms of all-time among adults 18-49, viewers and households. So far in 2009, the shows are television's top two series in delivery of African-American adults 18-34. Meet the Browns also ranks as television's #1 program among African-American viewers and adults 18-49. This year, new episodes of Meet the Browns have averaged 3.2 million viewers, while new episodes of House of Payne have averaged 3 million viewers.
House of Payne is owned by Perry, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and licensed by TBS - debuted in 2006 with a test run of 10 episodes. After early results showed promise, TBS ordered a then-unprecedented 100 episodes. TBS later ordered an additional 26 episodes, followed by a deal for 26 more and the 20-episode order being announced today. The series is set in Atlanta and features LaVan Davis as fireman Curtis "Pops" Payne, a man who believes his house should be his castle, he the king and his wife, Ella (Cassi Davis), the queen. Unfortunately, their castle has turned into Grand Central Terminal, thanks to the constant comings and goings of immediate and extended family members. Lance Gross, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Allen Payne, Demetria McKinney, Larramie "Doc" Shaw and China McCain co-star.

ABC has announced premiere dates for Eastwick and Brothers & Sisters for the 2009-10 season. Eastwick will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10pm ET/PT, while Brothers & Sisters will launch its fourth season on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 10pm ET/PT. These two were the last of the fall premiere dates yet to be announced by ABC. Private Practice launches its third season on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 10pm ET/PT.
Recap yourself with the full ABC fall 2009 premiere dates.
Meanwhile, Wipeout, ABC's outrageously popular reality series, has been picked up for a third season. Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television. Moving nights, from Tuesday last summer to Wednesday this year, against tougher competition from Fox's time-period veteran So You Think You Can Dance, ABC's Wipeout is No. 1 during the 8 o'clock hour in Total Viewers and across each of the key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). In Adults 18-49, Wipeout is a strong and very close second to Fox's Dance. Since its debut, Wipeout stands as Wednesday's No. 1 TV program in each of the Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). It's the No. 5 TV series of Summer 2009 with Adults 18-49 and No. 1 with Men 18-49. On average to date, Wipeout is drawing ABC's largest summer audience in the Wednesday 8 o'clock hour in 13 years and highest Adults 18-49 rating during the summer frame in 10 years since 1996 and 1999, respectively.
In other summer news, ABC will launch Crash Course on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 airing Wednesdays at 9pm through and including Wednesday, Sept. 16. As of now, only four episodes are scheduled to air. The series, hosted by Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese, is a comedic auto-obstacle course series. It will air after Wipeout and will replace I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which would conclude its run the previous week.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 1


Fresh Off the Boat - "Home Sweet Home-School" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis and Jessica clash over how to raise the kids and how to run the restaurant. When the boys get straight A’s in school, Jessica decides that their school must be too easy and takes it upon herself to give them more homework and tutor them after class. She takes the same strict approach at the restaurant (no extra croutons for anyone!), so it’s up to Louis to get her to lighten up on everyone.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Fajita Man" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Eddie is so desperate for a new video game named after his idol, Shaq, he goes to work at the restaurant. He expects special treatment since he’s the boss’s son, but is in for a surprise when Louis is determined to make him work hard for the money. Meanwhile, Jessica decides to look for a job of her own.

Fresh Off the Boat - "License to Sell" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Jessica puts off taking the exam for her real estate license because she fears she isn’t good enough to compete with Orlando’s top realtor. Eddie looks to Louis for advice on how to win over older girl Nicole (guest star Luna Blaise), but puts his own spin on his dad’s suggestions.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Success Perm" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Family rivalry spirals out of control when Jessica’s sister, Connie, and her far more affluent husband come to visit. The Huangs try to convince everyone they’re doing great financially, when nothing could be further from the truth. Meanwhile, Eddie is excited to be reunited with his cousin Justin, who introduced him to hip hop, until he learns the kid has moved on to grunge.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Mole" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
There’s a mole in the precinct and Holt and Jake need to find out who it is before Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick) gets wind of it. Meanwhile, Terry and Rosa visit a “silent” disco to uncover new leads for their new drug task force.

The Last Man on Earth - "She Drives Me Crazy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Phil is flabbergasted as Todd and Melissa’s relationship continues to develop right in front of him.


Playing House - "Kimmewah Kup" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Maggie and Emma's girls weekend is interrupted by an unexpected visitor; the women battle their old nemeses.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 31) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, September 1

  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Catch Tituss on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Steve Byrne (Sullivan & Son) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tyler Labine (Animal Practice/Mad Love/Sons of Tucson) - Tyler will be on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ming-Na Wen (The Single Guy) - Ming-Na Wen appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo is a guest on People Chatter.
  • Lake Bell (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp/How to Make It in America) - Lake is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Tate Donovan (Partners) - Tate is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Ashley Tisdale (Clipped/The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) - Ashley joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa will be on KTLA Morning News on KTLA in Los Angeles in the 9am hour.