Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer Week 12 Sitcom Ratings; Blog DVD Review: Eli Stone - The Complete Second and Final Season

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 August 3-9)

  • Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm only mustered 1.58 million...down slightly week-to-week...after going up ever so slightly every week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - We got double dose of repeats this week with the regular 8pm airing getting 3.69 million, but a special 8:30pm repeat did better at 4.15 million. 8pm repeat was up a bit from previous week, while the 8:30pm repeat was down some.
  • King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 4.52 million for a repeat...the best of the bunch. Again a 2.2 18-49 rating...that is excellent for a summer repeat these days.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - Only 1.72 million for a repeat at 7:30...but up a bit than the previous week.

Summer Week 12 (August 10-16)

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 4.69 million for a repeat airing, down just a bit from previous week. 1.6 A18-49 rating was the same as the previous week.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 5.25million for a repeat airing, a bit higher again than previous week and built on the lead-in in A18-49 with a 1.8 A18-49 rating, but that was a tenth down from previous week. Look for Accidentally on Purpose in this slot in the fall...will CBS come knocking on Rules' door early like I'm predicting?
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 8.83 million for a repeat, down a lot from previous week. 2.4 A18-49 rating was also down quite a bit from previous week. Odd.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.64 million for a repeat is up some from previous week...closest retention yet in total viewers from the lead-in for this show! 2.8 18-49 rating is excellent, up a tick from previous week...and a more impressive up .4 from the lead-in!
Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Better Off Ted (ABC) 2 episodes - The season finale did 2.49 and 2.09 million in the 9pm hour. Not good, but better than recent weeks. It needs another sitcom or two airing with it.
Wednesday Sitcoms

  • Old Christine (CBS) - Only 3.59 million for a repeat, down some from previous week again but again it did match the 1.0 A18-49 rating from previous few weeks.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Only 3.75 million...on par really from previous week, but did build a bit in A18-49 from the lead-in doing a 1.2 rating.
Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Office (NBC) - 3.17 million for a repeat at 9pm...on par from recent weeks.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) 2 episodes - 2.86 and 3.07 million for repeats at 8 and 9:30pm...9:30pm seems better than recent weeks, while 8pm seems lower.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - A repeat did just 2.25 million at 8:30pm...the lowest of the sitcom repeats.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat at 9pm did a prelim 1.41 million. That was up from previous week's prelim numbers.
  • The Game (The CW) - A repeat did a prelim 1.54 million, up down from previous week's prelim numbers.
Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.
Tonight you can catch encores of Fox's 'Til Death and animated comedies from 7-10pm. Elsewhere ABC has the 10th anniversary of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with Regis as night six airs at 8pm leading into a new Shark Tank and an all-new episode of drama Defying Gravity at 10pm. CBS has 60 Minutes & Big Brother followed by a new episode of There Goes the Neighborhood at 9pm, while NBC will have a new Dateline in the 7pm hour, leading into Merlin at 8pm.

Coming Week Preview (Aug. 17-23):

I'm going to have to preempt this section for a blog DVD review, but this week is essentially the same as last week, with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire continuing all-week on ABC at 8pm. New series Shaq Vs. premieres Tuesday at 9 on ABC.

It is time for a special Sunday edition of the "Blog DVD Review." Today we take a look at ABC Studios/Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Eli Stone: The Complete Second Season. Eli Stone is about a lawyer (Jonny Lee Miller) with a special gift of seeing visions of the future, but he has a brain aneurysm that medically says that is the reason why he is zoning out with visions. Is science correct or do you have faith? This show is so great and anything with Natasha Henstridge in it is worth watching! See my mini-DVD review of Eli Stone: The Complete Second Season:

Eli Stone: The Complete Second and Final Season (ABC Studios, $39.99) brings the second and unfortunately final season of the legal drama with lots of comedy, music, science, law and lots of faith on DVD once again! Eli Stone is a man you can believe in. The question is, can he believe himself? He is a lawyer and starts having strange visions, then his job and relationship (and sanity) are in jeopardy. What will he do? Is he getting messages from the divine?
The series was unfortunately canceled after this past season, but that doesn't mean the show wasn't good. It was one of the most unique shows of all-time and it is too bad more people didn't watch. The series starred Jonny Lee Miller as Eli Stone, Natasha Henstridge as Taylor Wethersby, Loretta Devine as Patti Dellacroix, Matt Letscher as Nathan Stone, Sam Jaeger as Matt Dowd, James Saito as Dr. Chen, Julie Gonzalo as Maggie Dekker, Jason Winston George as Keith Bennett, and Victor Garber as Jordan Wethersby. Among the guest stars are Katie Holmes, Sigourney Weaver, Tom Cavanagh, Seal, Taraji P. Henson, Bridget Moynahan, Tom Amandes, Laura Benanti, Debrah Farentino, Gina Torres, Steven Culp, Rachelle Lefevre, Jamie Murray, Gregory Smith, Kurt Fuller and Katey Sagal.

This second season is very good, maybe on par with the first season's greatness. 13 more episodes aired this past season, just like season one. However, the show has been canceled and will not return for a third season, which is not good news. The great Greg Berlanti has done great shows in Brothers & Sisters and Dirty Sexy Money. Some classic episodes this season include the season premiere, "The Path," where Eli is free from his visions for the past six months after having an operation to remove his brain aneurysm--or so he thinks. In the very next episode "Grace," Eli has his vision back with a beautiful brunette singing to him...the lady is Grace who turns out to be very much real and not just a vision after meeting her, Eli and Grace fall for each other. In "Happy Birthday Nate," Eli envisions himself within his father's body. In "The Two Ministers," Eli finds out more about Nate and Beth's engagement being called off. In the finale "Flight Path," Eli's latest visions lead him to believe someone close to him will die in a plane crash.
The episodes run usually 43 minutes, unedited of course with all the great music intact. The season premiere runs 39:57, though. There are 8 chapter stops per episode. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good once again, as it did on season one! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This is from the 2008-09 season, so it had better be good.

Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom, like last time. The outer box has the same cover and back as the case inside...I hate when they give us an outer thin box that is pointless with the same art as the case inside. On the front cover we have a nice blue sky with Eli sitting on top of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the show logo is in the sky (it's partly cloud with a chance of visions)...the back cover has information on the series & set and has a shot of Eli on the top and a cast photo on the bottom. Henstridge and Gonzalo are stunning women. There is also a section detailing the bonus features and technical specifications in a box that looks like a diploma. Opening the case, we get an inserts for Blu-ray DVDs. There are only two panels, the left side holds disc one and the right side holds discs two & three...and they are overlapping. Each disc is in a blue color with clouds and has artwork that fits the show and Eli's illusions. Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of a baseball (reps the baseball game where he saw Grace). Disc two has episodes 5-9 and has artwork of a journal (his father kept a journal of all his visions). Disc three has episodes 10-13 & the bonus features and has artwork of wedding figurines that looks to represent Eli, Nate and Beth. The left panel has disc-by-disc breakdown and three screenshots. The right panel has the list of bonus features and three more screenshots. Both panels are in the setting of a sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge.

The menu screen starts by showing us a law office and then we are behind the desk where see a flat screen monitor and on that monitor we see the menu options! How clever! It is exactly the same as the first season DVD though. But before I get to the options, there is nice background music playing in the background. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (disc three only), and Sneak Peeks (disc three only). But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks of other DVDs: ABC on DVD, Brothers & Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, The Proposal, and Blu-ray DVD. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc three on the main menu and has previews of many titles like Scrubs, Samantha Who? and Castle. Set Up section takes us to the phone in that law office and the options on that menu are on the phone screen (like last time)! We have the option of subtitles in English, French or Spanish. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot all on a nice yellow folder type document, again like last time. Bonus Features option is only on disc three all the extras listed on a white filler paper style, same as the first season DVD. All of the sub-menus have nice video transitions and different background music.

Moving on the bonus features. We don't get audio commentary this time, which I miss. We do get good featurettes still, though! First up is "Dancin' in the Streets," running 11:37. This is a behind the scenes look at the great song and dance number they did in the season premiere. Interviewed and seen are Blake Neely (composer), Marc Guggenheim (executive producer), Jason George, Andrew Kreisberg (co-executive producer), Zach Woodlee (choreographer), Victor Garber, Perry Lang (director), Loretta Devine, and Sam Jaeger. Seen in the behind the scenes are actors like Jonny Lee Miller and Natasha Henstridge. Then we have the featurette "Good Morning Eli with Sam and Julie." This runs 5:59 and we see what Sam Jaeger and Julie Gonzalo do on the set in mornings. Gonzalo looks good in curls even! Jaeger is a joker. We also see Vincent Misiano (director), Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Victor Garber and Natasha Henstridge along the way!
Then we have three deleted scenes that are always interesting to see. They run 1:04, 0:46, and 2:21. So they are relatively short. Finally, we have some bloopers titled "Circular Files: Bloopers from Season 2." This only runs 2:05 and needs to be longer, that is my only gripe on the extras we have here.

I highly recommend this series and set. It is such a well-written and acted show that is greatly presented. If you have season one on DVD...then get this FOR SURE. And if you don't, get both seasons. It is worth watching. The show only had 13 episodes this season again, but they are great. ABC Studios did a marvelous job and I only have minor complaints that are not worth mentioning again. The biggest complaint is that this show isn't coming back for another! You're going to start Dancin' in the Street like Loretta Devine after seeing this on DVD! Have faith in me!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links: Full DVD Reviews Page
Official Website
Eli Stone 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

Sunday, October 23

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In an encore of last season’s Halloween episode, Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart, only to reanimate him; Homer wakes up with short-term memory loss; and Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse get super powers from radiation.

Bob's Burgers - "Teen-a-Witch" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
With Halloween quickly approaching, Tina reveals her brilliant idea that will finally win her first place in the annual costume contest. When Tammy steals her idea, Tina is forced to seek the help of Mr. Ambrose, who leads her to alternate and other-worldly methods of winning. Meanwhile, Bob is on a mission to figure out who is stealing his perfectly crafted pumpkins.

The Simpsons - "Trust But Clarify" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa and Bart investigate Krusty’s suspicious new “Krustaceans” candy. Meanwhile, Homer wants a promotion at the nuclear plant and asks Marge to help him dress the part, and news anchor Kent Brockman struggles to find his feet in the changing media world.

Son of Zorn - "A Taste of Zephyria" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After learning how Zephyria is depicted in the media, Zorn attempts to teach Alan about his culture. Meanwhile, Edie wages war with her new neighbors over their talking garden gnome.

Family Guy - "Inside Family Guy" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
FAMILY GUY takes viewers behind the scenes of a regular “FAMILY GUY” production week, with James Woods as the guide. See the ins-and-outs of what goes into the making of a “FAMILY GUY” episode and watch the drama unfold as Peter is replaced and ends up in the office of Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman to pitch his very own new series.

The Last Man on Earth - "Five Hoda Kotbs" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A post-apocalyptic road trip has everyone at war with each other and Gail is really pushed to her breaking point.

Bizaardvark - "Spoiler Alert: Belissa Returns" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Paige and Frankie hit a writing slump and other bad things start happening to them, Paige begins to think they are cursed; Amelia and Dirk are at odds when the lifestyle Diva declutters the Dare Lair.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Sunday, October 23

  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 24
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.