Sunday, August 02, 2009

Summer Week 10 Sitcom Ratings; Blog DVD Review Special: Peyton Place - Part 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 20-26)

  • Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm only mustered 1.53 million...but slightly up week-to-week again.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - preempted...2 repeats return tonight.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - Only 1.73 million for a repeat at 7:30...a bit higher than the previous week though and built from the lead-in.

Summer Week 10 (July 27-August 2)

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 4.98 million for a repeat airing, down from previous week. 1.7 A18-49 rating was identical from previous week though.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 4.91 million for a repeat airing, lower than previous week again. Matched the 1.7 A18-49 rating from the lead-in for the second straight week.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.06 million for a repeat, down some from previous week. 2.7 A18-49 rating was also down a bit.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.48 million for a repeat is down some from previous week. 2.8 18-49 rating is excellent, BUILDING from the lead-in this time...impressive.
Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Better Off Ted (ABC) - preempted...two episode season finale will air Aug. 11.
  • Scrubs (ABC) - preempted...last scheduled repeat airs this Tuesday at 9:30pm.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - Only 4.05 million and a 1.0 A18-49 rating.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Only 3.9 million but did build a bit in A18-49 from the lead-in doing a 1.1 rating.
Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Office (NBC) - 3.1 million for a repeat at 9pm...up some from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) 2 episodes - 3.65 and 2.99 million for repeats at 8 and 9:30pm, up some in both time periods from previous week.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - First repeat of the summer did just 2.83 million at 8:30pm...worst of the sitcom block.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat at 9pm did a prelim 1.24 million. That was up from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat did a premim 1.43 million, also up a lot from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - Prelim numbers show only 2.6 million for an all-new episode at 8pm, but up some from previous week's prelim numbers. Finale is this coming Friday.
  • The Goode Family (ABC) - Prelim numbers were even worse for an all-new episode of this show with 1.78 million, also up some from previous week's prelim numbers. Two episode finale is this coming Friday.
  • According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 2 repeats did a prelim 2.06 and 2.25 million, also 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 animated comedies from 7-10pm. Elsewhere ABC has the special Ty's Great British Adventure at 8pm leading into the two-hour premiere of drama Defying Gravity from 9-11pm. CBS has 60 Minutes & Big Brother, while NBC will have a new Dateline in the 7pm hour, leading into Merlin at 8, and part two of the mini-series The Storm at 9.

Coming Week Preview (Aug. 3-9):

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 Shout! Factory's Peyton Place - Part One. Peyton Place ran from 1964-1969 on ABC and had over 500 episodes! See skees53's Blog DVD Review of Peyton Place - Part One:

Peyton Place - Part One (Shout!, $39.99) is the beginning of the continuing story of the series Peyton Place. Peyton Place was the series that brought scandalous family drama to primetime in the 1960s. The series was a serial drama that aired for a half hour multiple times every week on ABC from 1964 to 1969. The series ran continuously and never took a summer break, resulting in over 500 episodes by the end of the series. Now, Shout! Factory has released the first 31 of these episodes in a five-disc set.

Peyton Place is a small New England town where they say that nothing exciting ever really happens. The story of Peyton Place may seem rather typical on the outside, but as one gets to know the people of Peyton Place, it is discovered that even a town where supposedly "nothing exciting ever happens" can be full of drama. Constance MacKenzie (Dorothy Malone) owns a small bookstore in Peyton Place and has an intelligent and intellectual teenage daughter, Allison (Mia Farrow). There is no "man of the house" in the MacKenzie house, as it is said that Constance is a widow. Without a man in the house, Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson), the newspaper editor, fills this role in a sense.

Allison has a love interest in town, and it is the popular Rodney Harrington (Ryan O'Neal). Actually, Rodney's younger brother, Norman (Christopher Connelly) is a friend of Allison's from school, and he too is interested in Allison. Rodney is actually on the rebound from a previous relationship with a girl from the "wrong side of the tracks," Betty Anderson (Barbara Parkins), and her constant tactics to woo him once again. As if that isn't bad enough, Rodney's father, Leslie (Paul Langton) is having an affair with Betty's mother, Julie (Kasey Rogers). As if that wasn't enough drama, Julie was having some serious problems at home with her husband, George (Henry Beckman). And that is only how the continuing story of Peyton Place begins.

Before I go any further, if you have never seen the series, you may want to skip the next two paragraphs. Like many serial dramatic series, it is difficult to talk about episodes of the series without spoiling something, and this one is no exception. The series begins with a new doctor in town, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson). Dr. Rossi has just moved to Peyton Place for mysterious reasons after practicing in New York City. Everybody in town wonders why he would come to Peyton Place, as it is explained that Peyton Place is the type of place that people usually try to get away from, but at this point in time, nobody really knows for sure. Rodney and Allison meet up and share their first kiss, but he hasn't exactly broken things off with Betty, at least not yet. Rodney is actually content with his girlfriend Betty, but everything takes a sudden turn for the worse when he finds his father in the arms of Julie, Betty's mother. This leads to Rodney going back to Allison, which may or may not work out in the long run.
Julie's affair with Leslie may actually be a positive thing for her, as it is revealed that her marriage at home is not only in terrible shape, but her husband, George, has some serious mental health issues, and engages in domestic abuse against his own wife. When it comes to Rodney, Betty is not going to go down without a fight, and is going to do whatever it takes to split up Rodney and Allison. So in a storyline which goes on for several episodes, she tries to break the news to Rodney: she is going to have a baby, in what is most likely the very first unwed and unplanned teenage pregnancy plot to ever make it to primetime on the American airwaves. Naturally, this causes a rift in the relationship between Rodney and Allison. And just when it seems that nothing else can happen, Elliot Carson arrives in town after spending 18 years in prison. Who is he and why is he in Peyton Place?

The DVD set, unlike most other Shout! Factory releases, comes in a standard DVD snapcase with an outer sleeve. The cover has a color snapshot of the cast in front of the bookstore, and the back of the case has three black and white series snapshots, along with a description of the season. Inside the case, we have the four discs, which again have black and white cast photos on each of them. There is a sheet of paper inside the case that describes the episodes on the set in general, but it does not go in to any specifics. There are absolutely no episode descriptions or listings anywhere to be found on this set, although in a way, that isn't fully necessary. There were no episode titles, and most of the stories carried over several episodes. Still, episode listings would have been nice. The set contains five discs, with each disc containing six episodes, except for Disc 5, which contains seven episodes.

The menus on the set are very nice, with the theme song playing on the main menu of each disc, and various random quotes from the series being read from the cast members. The main menu on each disc has options of Play All and Episodes. Selecting Episodes takes you to a menu where each episode number is listed (there weren't any episode titles). Next to each episode, there is a Preview option, which actually appears to just be the "teaser" for the next episode from the previous episode. These are all about 30 seconds long.

When I first started watching the set, I was impressed with the video (which is in black and white, by the way) and audio quality. And then I got to Disc 2. It seems that beyond the first few episodes, the series wasn't exactly the most well preserved series out there. That isn't to say that the series is unwatchable, but there is grain and debris everywhere and the contrast levels are very problematic. To be honest, don't expect to be able to see anything that happens in a dark room our outside at night on some of the episodes, as all you can really see is mostly a black screen. It isn't this way on every episode, though. It seems to come and go. Just to be fair, however, it is worth noting that many serial dramas such as this were not even intended to be preserved, at all. Who would have thought that this series would have any interest beyond the original airing? The very fact that it was preserved at all is a positive thing. The mono audio has a little bit of crackling in it, but that shouldn't deter anybody, as it is generally loud and clear and everything can be heard in the episodes. The episodes are neither closed-captioned nor subtitled. Each episode appears to be unedited, running around 25:30.

The set really doesn't have any special features, although honestly, I don't know that I would even expect to see them on a series such as this. The problem with putting special features on something like this is that it would take up more space on the disc (leaving fewer episodes) and it would increase the price of the set (making the cost of owning multiple sets too expensive). I normally wouldn't say that it is OK to skip on the special features, but in this case, I think that it is.

So, will Allison MacKenzie ever know the truth about her father? Is there happiness in store for the Harringtons? Can Betty Anderson rise above her past? Can Elliot Carson clear his name? And will Allison MacKenzie find true love? Actually, you won't find the answer to any of those questions on this set, but those are the questions that you'll be asking once you see these episodes. All of those are questions raised here, which will be answered on the next release (which has actually already been released, and we will be reviewing in the future on here). The question for Shout! Factory, though, is will they continue to release the series on DVD? With 514 episodes, that'll mean quite a few releases, but fans are sure to appreciate it if they all do indeed make it onto DVD. But for now, I think fans of this series and serial family dramas will enjoy this DVD set, the beginning of the continuing story of... Peyton Place.

Reviewed by skees53
(3.5/5 stars)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Peyton Place 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

Thursday, October 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Fetal Kick Catalyst" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Penny is surprised to learn she has fans of her performance in “Serial Ape-ist” when she attends Van Nuys Comic Con with Leonard. Also, Amy hosts a Sheldon-style brunch at Penny’s apartment, and Wolowitz makes an impulsive purchase when he starts stressing out about the baby on the way.

The Great Indoors - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Joel McHale stars as Jack, a renowned adventure reporter for an outdoor magazine who must adapt to the times when he becomes the new desk-bound boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of the publication.

Mom - "High-Tops and Brown Jacket" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie and Adam’s relationship is tested when he moves in with her and Christy for a few weeks. Also, Christy learns the hard way that it may be a mistake to try and meet men with Jill.

Life in Pieces - "Annulled Roommate Pill Shower" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Heather and Tim enlist Clementine’s unusual parents, Mary-Lynn (Megan Mullally) and Spencer (Nick Offerman), to help convince Clementine and Tyler to annul their unexpected marriage. Also, Tommy moves in with Colleen, to the chagrin of her roommate, Dougie (Fortune Feimster); John and Joan run into “complications” after John takes the wrong dose of his daily pill; and Jen and Greg keep a secret from the family.

Superstore - "Halloween Theft" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Dina (Lauren Ash) throws a wrench in everyone's Halloween plans when something goes missing from the store and declares that no employee can leave until someone confesses to stealing. Amy (America Ferrera) is determined to find out who is responsible because she doesn't want to miss trick-or-treating with her daughter and Mateo (Nico Santos) prepares for his secret date with Jeff (recurring guest star Michael Bunin). Meanwhile, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) struggle to bond until they discover they have more in common than they thought. Garrett (Colton Dunn) has a difficult time defending himself during the store-wide investigation.

The Good Place - "Most Improved Player" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Michael (Ted Danson) has a private meeting with Eleanor (Kristen Bell). Meanwhile, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who has been harboring a secret, contemplates what to do.

Better Things - "Scary Fun" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam makes a point.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Thursday, October 27

  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) - Mary-Louise visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • January Jones (The Last Man on Earth) - January appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Lauren Lapkus (Clipped/Are You There, Chelsea?) - Lauren is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) - Abbi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on Chelsea on Netflix. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Charlie Lawrence/Encore! Encore!), John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) and John Slattery (Maggie) - They talk about Broadway's The Front Page on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva appears on The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angelique Cabral (Life in Pieces/Enlisted) - Angelique talks about Life in Pieces on the AOL Build Show at 11am.