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 (March)

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Maude - The Complete Series WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory) The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)

03/03 - CHiPs - The Complete Third Season
03/10 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series
03/10 - Hey Dude - The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive)
03/10 - Petticoat Junction - Family Favorite Episodes
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Maude - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)
03/24 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)
03/31 - Silicon Valley - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
03/31 - Veep - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, March 5

The Big Bang Theory - "The Colonization Application" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Trouble arises when Amy learns Sheldon has applied for a one-way mission to colonize Mars. Also, a trip to the pet store ends in a fight for Sheldon and Amy, Leonard surprises Penny with a very “adult” purchase, and, Raj is caught snooping in Emily’s apartment.

The Odd Couple - "The Birthday Party" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Oscar realizes he’s forgotten Felix’s birthday, he pulls together a last-minute surprise party in his honor in an attempt to impress Casey.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Cleanroom Infiltration" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Leonard and Wolowitz nearly come to blows and turn to Raj for help in dealing with a work emergency. Meanwhile, Amy throws an authentic Victorian Christmas party, and Sheldon seeks revenge on her for making him celebrate the holidays.

Mom - "Dirty Money and a Woman Named Mike" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Christy and Bonnie are shocked when they discover how prison has changed their friend Regina. Octavia Spencer returns as Regina. Jaime Pressly returns as Jill.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, March 5

  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Catch Will on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World) - Jada is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show/The Good Life) - Drew guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jonathan Banks (Community/Fired Up) - Jonathan appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Stacey Dash (Clueless) - Stacey reveals what it was like working with Bill Cosby and discusses her own parenting style on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicity chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne talks about DIG on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Dan Bucatinsky (Marry Me) - Dan talks about Marry Me and Who Do You Think You Are on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Mircea Monroe (Episodes) - Mircea talks about the season finale of her Golden Globe-winning show on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Debby Ryan (Jessie/The Suite Life on Deck) - Debby is a guest on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel at 7:22am and on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:50am.