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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, May 22

Roseanne - "Knee Deep" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Roseanne’s knee gets worse so Dan is forced to a make an important work decision; but when a major storm hits Lanford, their fortunes change for the better. Later, Darlene realizes she has to go back to her first passion … writing.

The Middle - "A Heck of a Ride: Part One" / "A Heck of a Ride: Part Two" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After nine hilarious and heartfelt seasons, a Heck leaves the nest as the family takes a road trip to Denver, where Axl will start his new job – and new life away from home.

Splitting Up Together - "Heat Wave" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Lena and Martin choose to share the house for the summer while the children are away at camp despite Lena’s reservations, but both soon realize it might not be the worst idea. Meanwhile, they collectively agree to throw their annual backyard piƱa colada party where they will celebrate their independence from their children. Elsewhere, a friendly face returns back home and Martin can’t help but see it as a sign.

The Last O.G. - "That Backslide" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Left reeling from the error of his ways, Tray goes into a tailspin and turns to Bobby for support.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 21)

Tuesday, May 22

  • Chris Hardwick (Guys Like Us) - Catch Chris on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia talks about the series finale of The Middle on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. Mychael Symon cooks with Patricia on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • David Spade (The Mayor/Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Buffal Bill) - Geena is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Nolan Gould (Modern Family) - Nolan talks about Modern Family on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Dan Fogler (Man Up!) - Dan talks about his new book Brooklyn Gladiator on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development/Veep) - Will and Tony talk about Arrested Development on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian talks about her new film Ibiza on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Atlanta - The Complete First Season Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season

03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
05/08 - Dear White People - Season 1
05/08 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season
05/29 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 1
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest