Saturday, January 31, 2009
Blog DVD Reviews: You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown; Dancing with the Stars Season 8 Casting Announcement On Feb. 8?
You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown - Remastered Deluxe Edition (Warner, $19.98) brings us the classic 1975 sports-themed episode (15th primetime special) on DVD digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! Plus in addition to the Good Sport special, we also get You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown, a 1979 CBS special that is also about sports.
The Good Sport special starts off with Snoopy playing tennis but the main focus of the special is a Motocross race. So start your engines! Can Snoopy compete against Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown? It's going to be fast and furious fun right up to the finish line! Whoever wins will win two tickets to the NFL Pro Bowl! In the Greatest special, hard work and team spirit are what Charlie Brown needs for a decathlon victory in the Junior Olympics but this junior Olympian had better keep his eye on the track to win!
Let's now move on to the packaging. Like all the previous sets, we have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. I never understood the reason for the thin box that holds a thin case...what's the point? Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is lime in color, and has #13 Charlie Brown, #7 Peppermint Patty, and #1 Snoopy on their bikes racing in the Motocross race, with little Woodstock watching. The title of the special is on the top, with a mention that this is a remastered deluxe edition on top of that! The bottom tells us we also get a bonus TV special (You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown). To the back we go, we get a nice synopsis of the Good Sport special, along with a list of the special features below that. It is again lime in color with artwork of Snoopy and Woodstock playing tennis. When we open the case, we get black background all over, very plain, but of course the disc is inside. The disc is in lime and has that blackboard and has artwork of Snoopy and Woodstock on the tennis court.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that lime background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art with the trio on their bikes. Anyway back to the menu, for Languages, we can have either English, Japanese, or Portugues. For subtitles we have those three again and also Chinese, French, and Thai...wow! But no Espanol for either? The Features section has the two specials listed, we can also select Play All to play both back-to-back. Finally, Special Features lists the extra (more on that below) and Trailers.
The video and audio is tremendous once again. These specials are all so good. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I say?. Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Good Sport special runs 25:07 and has 6 chapter stops, which you an use via your DVD remote. The Greatest special runs 24:24 and has 5 chapter stops.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "Dust Yourself Off and Pick Yourself Up, Charlie Brown" and runs 11:34. We find out lots of behind-the-scenes details and cool facts for the Good Sport special from members of the Schulz family and more. Charles Schulz's son Craig was the inspiration of this special because he loved dirt biking. Interviewed are Craig Schulz, Nat Gertler (Peanuts Historian), Jerry Beck (Animation Historian), and Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D (Author). We also get Trailers from other Warner animation titles.
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras of each special. Let's hope they continue to release more Charlie Brown specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So on your marks, get set, and go and to get this special on DVD!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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Charlie Brown Official Page
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We have some special Saturday news for you. I have gotten word that ABC will announce the new cast of Dancing with the Stars on Sunday, Feb. 8 in primetime! Not sure how this will work, though, but maybe during commercial breaks they will announce little by little the 12 or 13 celebs? We will find out a bit tomorrow (Sunday, Feb. 1) during the Wipeout Bowl on ABC because there will be promos for this starting tomorrow. So the promos will tell us starting tomorrow how ABC plans to announce the Dancing with the Stars season 8 cast! Usually we get the announcements for each season on Good Morning America, but last February we got the announcement on the finale of the spin-off Dance War. Tune in for the promos tomorrow during the Wipeout Bowl (during halftime of the Super Bowl switch to ABC and switch to ABC immediately after the game for a one-hour special)! Goodnight and big balls!
Friday, January 30, 2009
On Saturdays the schedule looks like: 9-10am Just Jordan, 10am-12pm The Proud Family, 12pm-2pm Smart Guy, and 2pm-4pm One on One. On Sundays usually from about 1-3pm we see a block on One on One.
So it seems since we last reported about BET, Judge Karen, Girlfriends, Romeo!,, and A Different World all seem to be off the schedule. Girlfriends will likely still air in special blocks/marathons again, but seems to have left the regular schedule. We'll continue to monitor the schedule on BET if anything changes.
Nick at Nite finally officially released their February 2009 information yesterday. Once again, there are no schedule changes to the regular schedule but we do have a special stunt on Valentine's Night. Love is in the air at Nick at Nite, so grab that special someone and settle in for an evening of Valentine's Day themed episodes from your favorite TV families. Back-to-back Valentine's/loved themed episodes of George Lopez, Home Improvement, and Family Matters will air on Saturday, Feb. 14 from 10pm-1am ET/PT.
Other than that, nothing special. However, the week of Feb. 23, for some reason Mon-Thurs that week, George Lopez is airing its two episodes at 9pm and 10pm, Home Improvement at 9:30pm, and Family Matters from 10:30pm-12am. The 12am-6am schedule is the same. I am told it is for that week only. Stay tuned for more details, if anything transpires.
View the full details on Nick at Nite February 2009, including a list of episodes for the Valentine's block.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
What do Ron Howard, John Ritter, Laurence Fishburne, Patrick Swayze and Shelly Long have in common? They're all Hollywood celebrities visiting the 4077 for two days of drama, laughs and romance in TV Land's M*A*S*H Guest Star Weekend marathon airing Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. Don't miss 24 episodes featuring your favorite stars - some of whom were just beginning their careers - together with special 2-part episodes starting at 8pm both nights and lasting until 4am.
Take a vacation from the winter doldrums and go on Spring Break with TV Land, Hawaii style! Pack up your grass skirts and floral shirts and head to Hawaii Saturday, March 14 starting bright and early at 6am with Elvis, the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition gang, George and Louise Jefferson, Fred Sanford, The Brady's with Don Ho. Then at 2pm, relive the first 4 weeks of Chandler High School's 20-year reunion set against the beautiful backdrop of, you guessed it, Hawaii! Kick back and relax during this fun-filled, tropical event. Just be sure to leave the Tiki behind. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, and Brady Bunch, what more can you ask for? Not to mention Elvis and High School Reunion. Paradise indeed!
On Monday, March 23, the High Commander of comedy, Dick Solomon, and his team of extra-terrestrial jesters have a "PRIME" mission for viewers: tune in for a week-long marathon of laughter of 3rd Rock from the Sun beginning each night at 9pm that week. Viewers won't want to miss this 3rd Rock tour-de-force that begins with the series premiere, continues with every multi-part episode – including season cliffhangers and guest star appearances – then culminates with the series finale on Sunday, March 29. Start training for The Big 3rd Rock-athon now because TV Land is playing through this super-sized series snapshot over seven action-packed nights – only on TV Land PRIME!
The TV Land PRIME movies for the month are Big Shots and Revenge of the Nerds. Awesome!
View the full TV Land March 2009 highlights and information.
We have some third day updates from NATPE, as today is the last day for the conference. It looks like talk show Marie is now a firm go. It got some buys yesterday. Program Partners has cleared the Marie Osmond talk show on NBC Universal-owned WNBC New York and Tribune’s KTLA Los Angeles. WCIU in Chicago is expected to sign on shortly. Program Partners says the show has been cleared for 70% of the country thus far. The show will tape in Las Vegas. What better city for this entertainer?
How I Met Your Mother is now a firm go for reruns on local stations starting in Fall 2010! It is cleared in 75% of the country for a fall 2010 debut. Clearances include the Fox Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and in 23 of the top 25 markets, including Philadelphia and Dallas (stations from Hearst-Argyle, Tribune, CBS Television, Raycom, Gannett, Cox, Belo, Hubbard and Bahakel). Not bad at all. The series will also be available as a daily strip in fall 2010 on cable on Lifetime. Until then, Lifetime can only air it once a week.
The weekly series Wild About Animals and Awesome Adventures have been cleared to return next season in 29 of the top 30 markets so far, including the Fox O&O station group. Another series, Whaddyado, has been cleared to return for another year in 27 top markets including the CBS Television Stations group for the CW and MyNetwork stations. All three series are doing well this season.
If we have any updates from today that we missed, we will bring that to you tomorrow to wrap NATPE up.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In other NATPE news, we have some cable news from the conference. style Network has acquired the exclusive off-network rights to Supernanny from Disney-ABC Domestic Television. style will get all five seasons of the reality series and will begin airing the reruns in Fall 2009. ABC has not yet announced if Supernanny will get a sixth season, but it is very likely.
A new premium cable channel will launch this fall. The new premium cable channel will be called epix. epix will be joint a venture between Paramount Pictures, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will make movies and entertainment accessible on multiple platforms. The network will combine new and classic feature films and original television series from studios including Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate. epix will have exclusive access to Paramount, Paramount Vantage, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. It will also have access to more than 15,000 motion picture titles spanning the studios' vast libraries and will feature new original television series and live event programming. Among the films they will air are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Duchess, Iron Man, Cloverfield, Defiance, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, New in Town, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. epix also will have the rights to all 17 re-mastered James Bond movies as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It doesn't look like any classic TV or older TV series will air on this network.
Finally, Connection III Entertainment's weekend half-hour Made in Hollywood and Made in Hollywood: Teen Edition have been picked up by CBS owned-stations for first-run syndication in fall 2009. 21 markets have been bought. Made in Hollywood will enter its fifth season while spinoff Teen Edition will enter its fourth season. Made in Hollywood features set visits with directors, writer, producers and actors as they work on upcoming movies. The Teen Edition covers all that and also shows teens what kinds of jobs are available in the film industry and how to get them. In NY, Made in Hollywood already airs on WCBS, Saturdays at 3am, but the Teen Edition airs on WLNY, an independent station, Wednesdays at 9am.
ION Television will launch in high definition (HD) providing a fully enhanced HD simulcast of the newly rebranded "Positively Entertaining" network, beginning Monday, February 16. ION Television HD will initially roll out to 20 markets within ION's 55 market footprint – including top DMA's like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – with additional roll-outs to occur throughout the year. The first phase of the ION TV HD launch will reach over 46 million households. ION Media Networks' digital TV brands, Qubo and ION Life, will also be launched across digital platforms in high definition later in 2009.
Viewers can look forward to a mix of compelling television series, theatrical and made-for-television movies and specials on ION Television HD. The ION Television network features hit programs from CBS Television, NBC Universal, RHI Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Twentieth Television and Warner Bros., among others.
ION Television in HD will be launched from its newly designed, state-of-the-art transmission platform via expanded satellite transponder capacity. That national distribution will then be delivered over-the-air via DTV broadcast, cable, telco-TV and satellite. The network will feature native and up-converted HD programming, and will be carried on all 60 of ION Media Network's television stations around the country.
View the full list of initial roll-out markets for ION HD and the list of markets launching later in 2009.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
MGM/Weigel's This TV Cleared for More Stations; NATPE 2009 Day 1 Update; ION Television Sees Ratings Growth
If you're in those markets, check those affiliates' digital subchannels to see if This TV has already launched. They are expected to launch immediately, if they haven't already.
In other NATPE news, Disney-ABC's Legend of the Seeker will return for a second season next season and CBS Television Distribution's Star Trek: The Next Generation will return to syndication this fall airing mostly weekdays in the late nights. Star Trek: The Next Generation will air on top Tribune stations, and has already been bought by WGN America on cable, which they started airing last week. Litton Entertainment announced that Storm Stories will return for a second season in syndication. It mostly airs on the weekends in many markets and allows TV stations to incorporate local weather talent and news into the show. Litton's first-run series Street Court, starring Michael "Judge Mazz" Mazzariello, is a firm go for fall 2009, with 65% of the country cleared, including WPIX in New York and WCIU in Chicago.
View the full list of shows being offered for stations to buy. Now this doesn't mean they will air next fall, but this is what is being offered for 2009-10 in syndication. We will have a better idea what is confirmed and a firm go by the end of NATPE. For example, first-run talk show Marie is not yet a firm go, but Street Court, The Wendy Williams Show, and Dr. Mehmet Oz are firm gos. Judge Jeanine Pirro is entering first-run syndication for its second season coming off its run on The CW Daytime however it is not a firm go yet, while Tyra Banks Show will leave syndication and move to The CW Daytime.
Other series leaving syndication: Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, and Sony Pictures Television's Judge David Young and Judge Karen. They are all canceled and will not return. A few other shows are also almost dead, such as Twentieth's third-year series Cristina's Court. The Doctors has been confirmed it will return next season, and some of the other series expected to come back are Deal Or No Deal, Family Court With Judge Penny, and The Bonnie Hunt Show, though all of those have not done exceptional in the ratings.
We will keep you up to date of more clearances, especially the off-network reruns such as Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, My Name is Earl, Bones, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, and The E! True Hollywood Story. Check out the offer list above!
ION Television ended 2008 with significant growth in primetime viewership, including marked growth in the adults 25-54 and 18-49 demos. ION TV's primetime household viewership has grown 67%, jumping from a 0.3 to 0.5 household rating, since the introduction of the network's new, robust slate of critically acclaimed off-net series in September. This viewership growth has well positioned ION TV as one of the fastest growing entertainment networks, up 26% among adults 18-49, ranking second, and up 25% among adults 25-54, ranking third, of all major broadcast and cable networks, in a year over year growth comparison.
View the full press release.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Next ABC will create a new Thursday night comedy hour, with new comedy In the Motherhood premiering March 26 at 8:00 pm ET/PT and will be paired with the return of Christina Applegate in Samantha Who? at 8:30 pm ET/PT. Since The Bachelor will continue on Monday nights from 8:00-10:00 pm ET/PT thru March 2, leading directly into True Beauty, Samantha Who? will be on the move. Both of these comedies on Thursdays will lead into episodes of Grey's Anatomy at 9pm.
Ugly Betty fans don't worry, the series will return to Thursday nights at 8:00 pm following the run of In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? It is not clear how many weeks that will be. If I were to guess it will be 6 weeks. Ugly Betty will air 18 or 19 episodes by March 19, so 5 or 6 will remain for that show. ABC has not announced what will air at 9:30pm on Monday nights starting March 30 when Dancing with the Stars will settle into its 90-minute format after three airings of two-hours. If I were to guess, we could see a second episode of In the Motherhood or Samantha Who? on this night as well, probably the latter since it has 11 episodes left to air this season. Stay tuned. Still no date for the animated comedy The Goode Family, but ABC is mulling a May launch for a few episodes. It is still early in the day, if we have any more updates on these sitcoms, we will edit it in, so come on back.
View complete details on In the Motherhood and Better of Ted, so you know what they are about.
The 15th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards (SAG) winners were announced yesterday. Leading the pack were Mad Men and 30 Rock. 30 Rock took home all 3 of its nominations, sweeping comedy.
Here are the main TV portion winners:
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
WILLIAM SHATNER / Denny Crane – Boston Legal (ABC)
MICHAEL C. HALL / Dexter Morgan – Dexter (Showtime)
JON HAMM / Don Draper – Mad Men (AMC)
HUGH LAURIE / Dr. Gregory House – House (FOX)
JAMES SPADER / Alan Shore – Boston Legal (ABC)
WINNER: HUGH LAURIE / Dr. Gregory House – House (FOX)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
MARISKA HARGITAY / Det. Olivia Benson - Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
HOLLY HUNTER / Grace Hanadarko – Saving Grace (TNT)
ELISABETH MOSS / Peggy Olson - Mad Men (AMC)
KYRA SEDGWICK / Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson – The Closer (TNT)
WINNER: SALLY FIELD / Nora Walker – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)
STEVE CARELL / Michael Scott – The Office (NBC)
DAVID DUCHOVNY / Hank Moody – Californication (Showtime)
JEREMY PIVEN / Ari Gold – Entourage (HBO)
TONY SHALHOUB / Adrian Monk – Monk (USA)
WINNER: ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
CHRISTINA APPLEGATE / Samantha Newly – Samantha Who? (ABC)
AMERICA FERRERA / Betty Suarez – Ugly Betty (ABC)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)
MARY-LOUISE PARKER / Nancy Botwin – Weeds (Showtime)
TRACEY ULLMAN / Various Characters – Tracey Ullman's State of the Union (HBO)
WINNER: TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boston Legal, ABC
Mad Men, AMC
The Closer, TNT
WINNER: Mad Men, AMC
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock, NBC
Desperate Housewives, ABC
The Office, NBC
WINNER: 30 Rock, NBC
View the complete TV portion winners and to discuss the winners!
It is still early, so if we have any more news...come on back. NATPE 2009 starts tomorrow (runs Jan. 27-29), so we will have updates from NATPE.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Households: Fox: 8.4/12.7; CBS: 7.2/11.2; ABC: 6.5/10.0; NBC: 4.4/6.8; The CW: 1.4/2.2; MNT: 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: Fox: 14.78 million; CBS: 11.53 million; ABC: 10.26 million; NBC: 7.0 million; The CW: 2.22 million; MNT: 1.24 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 5.5/13.4; ABC: 3.8/9.4; CBS: 3.1/7.7; NBC: 2.5/6.3; The CW: 1.0/2.4; MNT: 0.4/1.0.
Analysis: Week 18 was a big week...we saw a new president for the U.S., we saw Idol go down big, and saw Lost return. Fox leads through the first four days in all categories, but the lead is no where near as big as the previous week. Through the first four day, Fox has the lead in all categories obviously, with CBS second in HH/viewers, but third in 18-49, with ABC third in HH/viewers vut 2nd in 18-49, and NBC was way back in fourth everywhere.
Last week, CBS won week 17 in HH, viewers, and 18-49, thanks to AFC Championship Game last Sunday, overtaking Fox's lead trough the first six days. Fox was second in all categories while ABC a distant third and NBC fourth.
Monday CBS and Fox's new Monday line-up battled. Fox moved House to a new night and it did about the same as it did on Tuesdays this year, a solid 15.03 million (and a night best of 5.5 rating in 18-49), Fox then followed with 24 doing a solid 12.1 million, down a bit from its two-night premiere the previous week. House will for sure help this show this year. CBS started with new episodes of their comedies then ended with a new CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 11.03 million, down form its series high the previous week...but still very good. A new How I Met Your Mother followed with 10.69 million, down a million or so from the previous week's season high. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men followed with 16.09 million, down a million from previous week, while a new Worst Week did just 9.6 million...a shame. At 10pm a new episode of CSI: Miami did 14.58 million, down over a million from previous week. ABC was next with a two-hour episode of The Bachelor with a solid 9.95 million, up once again as it has gone up in all three telecasts, followed by the new True Beauty at 5.84 million, down from previous week, but still doing very solid in 18-49, which is the strength of this show. NBC was next with a two-hour Superstars of Dance at only 6.51 million, down from previous week again. Reality dud Momma's Boys was next at just 4.85 million, but actually up a bit from previous week. Poor NBC. The CW was next with a new Gossip Girl doing only 2.22 million, down from a week ago and a new One Tree Hill did 2.6 million, also down from a week ago. Looks like ABC Family's The Secret Life and Kyle XY is hurting this night for The CW.
Tuesday that show called American Idol dominated but the series was down about 8 million from previous week. Fox started with Idol, doing 22.27 million, down from previous week's 30.42 million, but that was two hours. Fringe followed with 11.96 million, which sounds good but drops from the lead-in and the second half at 9:30pm make this show lead-in dependent. ABC was next, but the regular Tuesday line-up of Homeland Security USA, two Scrubs episodes and Primetime: What Would You Do was preempted for live exclusive coverage of Barack Obama's first ball, The Neighborhood Ball, doing a very solid 12.57 million from 8-10pm, peaking from 8:30-9:30, and affected Idol quite a bit. ABC closed the night with the ABC News Special about Obama doing a solid 9.48 million. CBS was in repeats as a repeat of NCIS started the night off with a below normal for a repeat of 11.73 million. New drama The Mentalist was preempted, but aired a repeat at 10pm doing a decent 10.58 million. Normal 10pm show Without a Trace was preempted totally, as at 9pm a CBS News Special about Obama only did 6.76 million, as ABC News killed it. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser at 10.27 million, up nearly 2 million from previous week...and built heavily in the 9pm hour when there was no Idol. NBC followed at 10pm with an NBC News special on Obama doing just 6.21 million, as normal 10pm series Law & Order: SVU was preempted, once again ABC News did much better. The CW aired a new 90210 and did 2.3 million, up slightly week-to-week and a new episode of Privileged only did 1.61 million, but up a half a million or so week-to-week.
Wednesday saw you know who dominate. Fox started with American Idol at 8pm doing 25.9 million, down about 5 million from the previous week's 30.32 million premiere, but that was two-hours. At 9:03pm, Fox launched Lie to Me at only 12.37 million and lost to Lost head-to-head.Once again Idol was up on Wednesday from Tuesday, which is odd. CBS started with sitcoms, a new episode of Old Christine did 7.29 million, up slightly week-to-week and a new Gary Unmarried did 6.97 million, on par really from previous week. Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with new episodes at 13.82 and 11.58 million, a bit below normal for both. ABC dedicated the entire night to Lost, with a clip show special at 8pm doing a solid 8.51 million followed by the two-hour season premiere of Lost doing 11.35 million and a first place 5.0 18-49 rating. While that is below normal for a premiere, this is what Lost was doing last season. NBC opened the night with the dud Knight Rider doing only 4.93 million, down from previous week again, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did only 5.2 million, actually up from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm doing only 8.27 million, but on par from previous week. The CW aired 13: Fear is Real at 8pm at just 1.36 million, down a bit from previous week. Now the show is pulled from Wednesdays and will air Fridays at 9pm. A repeat of 90210 followed with only 760,000 viewers, up slightly from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS win the in HH/viewers, but ABC retook the lead in 18-49. CBS started with a repeat of CSI doing 8.52 million, followed by an all-new CSI at 17.57 million, down nearly 7 million from the big send-off to Petersen the previous week. Let's see if this series will decline more now. A new episode of Eleventh Hour followed with 12.31 million, down nearly a million week-to-week, but it finished third in the hour in 18-49, not good. ABC was next with Ugly Betty doing 7.5 million...should be better. A new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 14.43 million, up over a million from previous week and won the hour in 18-49 with a solid 5.7 rating beating CSI's 4.9. What a thrilling conclusion of this serial killer arc! A new Private Practice followed and did a solid 9.49 million at 10pm, up a million from previous week and took the hour in 18-49. Fox launched Bones on the night with two episodes, as the first episode did very well doing 9.98 million but a new one at 9pm tumbled to 7.55 million...one of those series that is not a priority I guess. NBC was fourth, as a new My Name is Earl did 6.59 million, up some from previous week when it aired at 8:30, a new Kath & Kim followed with a terrible 4.93 million. A new showing of The Office did 8.76 million, up some from previous week, followed by a new 30 Rock at 6.41 million, down some from previous week ... Palin effect has sure worn off. Though this show was renewed for next season...but NBC could reverse it of course. ER was next and all-new with 7.65 million, up from previous week's series low. Smallville was new on The CW and did 3.85 million, down a bit week-to-week, followed by a new Supernatural at 3.06 million, up a bit week-to-week.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with new episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS as usual. NBC saw steady numbers for Howdie Do It at 8pm but saw drops for the third week.
Saturday numbers are not available yet, but Fox will probably win this slow night.
Tonight will be a slower than usual night. The battle of new TV movies on NBC and CBS could be the difference from 9-11pm, as ABC's regular Sunday line-up is all-new only from 8-10pm with AFV, and a two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as last week's Desperate Housewiveswill encore at 10pm, and Brothers & Sisters is preempted. Fox will have a mix of new and repeats.
As for the week, Fox will win the week in HH, viewers and 18-49. CBS will finish second, ABC should be third (but 2nd in 18-49), and NBC in fourth. What to look for this week...we will have more repeats than usual, such as CBS Monday and ABC Thursday (but Private Practice will be new).
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Jan. 12-18)
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 8pm hour only did 3.75 and 4.87 million.
- King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
- Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 9pm hour did an OK 4.82 and 4.98 million. Wonder when this show will be new again? Hasn't been new since early November!
- American Dad (Fox) - preempted.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 11.03 million for a new episode! Down some from a series high the previous week, but still very good. A repeat will air tomorrow...wonder if that will hurt the show when it is new the following week?
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 10.69 million for a new episode, for down from previous week's season high, but still very solid...especially with that 4.5 18-49 rating.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 16.09 million for our sitcom leader. Just another day on the job....what more to say?
- Worst Week (CBS) - 9.6 million only for a new episode. Amy Yasbeck guest starred for this episode, too.
- Scrubs (ABC) - preempted...returns this week with special guest stars...The Sesame Street Muppets!
- Old Christine (CBS) - 7.29 million against Idol ... up a bit week-to-week.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 6.97 million for a new episode, on par from previous week really.
- Under One Roof (MNT) - Only 680,000 viewers..ouch. But better than previous week actually. Sad...
- My Name is Earl (NBC) - 6.59 million for a new showing, up from previous week when it was new at a special time of 8:30pm.
- Kath & Kim (NBC) - After a week off...we still get the same bad numbers. 4.93 million only.
- The Office (NBC) - 8.76 million for a new episode...up a bit from previous week. Over 90% of viewers were in the 18-49 demo. That is amazing. 4.6 18-49 rating out of its overall 4.9 rating. Only .3 were not in this demo. So this show is not a broad show though.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode only did 6.41 million, down from previous week. What happened?
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 1.64 prelim million for a new episode.
- The Game (The CW) - 1.61 prelim million for a new episode, down a bit from previous week's prelim numbers. This show would be better say on Wednesdays at 9pm instead.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are a mix of new and repeat of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10pm.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Gary Unmarried, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Kath & Kim, Under One Roof).
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Matlock: The Second Season (CBS DVD, $49.99) brings to order 23 new cases in which Ben Matlock has to defend those accused of murder when the evidence points right at them. Approximately 20 years after Andy Griffith had made a name for himself with the popular TV sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, he made a comeback in the "prime years" of his life as attorney Ben Matlock, on this series. The series began in 1986 on NBC and ran until the mid-90s when it ended on ABC, and has been a fixture in every home (including retirement homes) ever since. Matlock may seem very homely and down-to-earth with his "southern charm," but don't let his demeanor fool you. He is actually a very aggressive attorney that will take the tough tasks (for only $100,000) and prove that his client is not guilty. He is much like a more aggressive version of Perry Mason.
The second season begins with the two-hour episode "The Billionaire," where Matlock proves his international fame by going to London to help defend an American businessman accused of murder. In "The Husband," Matlock has to defend a woman accused of killing her husband, but he quickly finds out that the man had several wives. Robert Downey, Sr. and Dick Butkus guest star in "The Annihilator." It is an episode of NBC stars when Betty White (Golden Girls), Jason Bateman (Hogan Family), Rhea Pearlman (Cheers), ALF, and others make cameo appearances on the episode "The Network." Santa Claus (or at least a guy dressed like him) is accused of murder in "The Gift," so can Matlock save the day? Sheldon Leonard makes a cameo in the episode "The Gambler."
It is a tale of sordid sex stories when an aerobics instructor is killed in "The Body." Matlock has to represent a classmate from Harvard that is accused of murder in "The Reunion." A man is accused of killing his employer--an umpire--in the episode "The Umpire." Richard Kline (Three's Company) guest stars. Matlock is forced to become a peacemaker to protect his client from incriminating himself in the two-part episode "The Investigation." An advice columnist is murdered (with an award that she won) in "The Lovelorn." Matlock's nephew is accused of murder in "The Genius." The season ends with "The Heiress," where a fast-talking New York attorney comes in to help Matlock when a girl is accused of murdering her wealthy aunt.
The packaging for the set is pretty straightforward and simple, like many other CBS DVD products. Basically, we just have the standard DVD case with six discs inside. Each disc contains four episodes, except for the first disc, which contains three episodes (the first of which is a two hour season premiere). What is surprising (and I'm not complaining about this) is the fact that CBS DVD actually put all of the episodes from this season in one set, rather than their typical practice of splitting dramas into two volumes. As this is a CBS DVD product, there is no disc artwork. The menus on the set are similarly unimpressive, with nothing more than a listing of each episode contained on each disc and a Play All option.
The episodes on this set all do appear to be unedited, but there is one minor issue that will certainly annoy many fans. When these episodes originally aired, each episode had an opening teaser that previewed the upcoming episode. These opening teasers actually air in syndication, as well. However, the DVD set does not contain these teasers. I didn't find it to be a big deal personally, since they only contain a series of short clips that are within the episode anyway, but it is important to know that they are not included. Each episode on this set runs around 47 minutes. The video and audio quality of each of the episodes on the set is not going to wow anybody, but it is definitely more than adequate. Each episode on the set is closed-captioned, which will definitely come in handy for the older fans of the series.
The set does contain one minor (but very important) special feature. For the episode "The Hucksters," there were some alternate endings aside from the one that aired originally. On this set, you can watch all three of these alternate endings. In fact, you can even set the episode to play all the way through with whichever special ending you may wish to choose. It would have been nice for the set to have had some interviews or promotional footage, but I feel like the inclusion of the alternate endings as a special feature was a very good idea, especially since that is one of those special features that couldn't simply be "made up" on a later set.
Matlock is such a fascinating series, and this DVD set demonstrates why the series has never been off the air in the United States since it premiered over 20 years ago. Not many TV series can honestly say that. The series has managed to become engrained in pop culture in many ways, and has quite a following, particularly among the elderly (anybody remember when Mayor Quimby told the senior citizens at the retirement home on The Simpsons that he would be building the Matlock Expressway?). Personally, I think that the series really hit its stride once Don Knotts began to make appearances as Les Calhoun, which occurred in the third season of the series, but there certainly are some great episodes in this season. It isn't just for the old folks, for sure. So if you are in the mood for an aggressive attorney with a bit of folksy southern charm, Matlock is the man for you!
-- Reviewed by skees53
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Friday, January 23, 2009
Sophie is a single-camera sitcom and is a heartwarming and comedic tale of a lovely young woman having the worst year of her life. The cast includes Natalie Brown, Sebastian Spence, Jeff Geddis, Amy Lalonde, Mimi Kuzyk, Sara Botsford, Chantelle Chung and Catherine Brub. 13 episodes also will air. We willhave much more on these two sitcoms shortly, with hopefully pilot reviews as well.
ABC Family has two other sitcoms in development, but have not been ordered to series yet.
Replacing The Secret Life on Mondays starting March 30 at 8pm will be the second half of the second season of GREEK! 10 more episodes will air leading into the two original sitcoms. GREEK will also have a marathon of the first ten episodes of the season leading into the second half premiere, from 11am-8pm.
In other ABC Family March 2009 news, new original movie Au Pair 3 Adventure in Paradise will premiere on Sunday, March 15, 2009 from 8pm-10pm following the first two movies from 4-8pm. Among the acquired movies, they will have premieres of Notting Hill and Eight Below while replaying movies such as Dr. Dolittle, Home Alone 2, Jumanji, and Grease.
CBS will air a one-time special edition of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in primetime on Wednesday, January 28 at 8:00pm ET/PT instead of a repeat of Old Christine. The repeat of Old Christine will slide down to 8:30pm instead, preempting a repeat of Gary Unmarried.
Meanwhile, The CW has moved 13: Fear is Real to Fridays at 9pm effective tonight! 13 was previously airing encores on Fridays, now they will be all-new. I wonder if it lasts, if it will make it to Friday the 13th on Feb. 13? The season finale is scheduled for Feb. 20. Replacing 13 in its original Wednesdays at 8pm slot will be encores of Privileged. I don't see how that will do any better?
Finally, we leave you today with some sad news. Veatrice Rice, the quiet but foul-mouthed on-air security guard on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, has died. Though she is not a sitcom star, she was great in comedy. I was heavily shocked last night when I saw the tribute they aired. I had no idea she was sick, but found out today she was battling cancer. I did notice she started wearing a wig this past fall, but didn't think much of it. Veatrice will be heavily missed. She was part of a trio of on-air security personalities (herself, Guillermo and Uncle Frank). She was great with Guillermo and Uncle Frank and her bits with them, especially the SNN: The Worst "___" Team on Television will be heavily missed. She also had great solo bits on the show such as her "make your own" instructions, her bits with the Land o Lakes Butter lady, her interview with John McCain, and her impression as Sarah Palin. And who can forget her "sex tape" with Ryan Phillipe? She will be deeply missed every night. Try to give someone a blank stare-down look today in honor of her. We leave you today with the on-air tribute they did last night. As Veatrice would say, shut up you a**hole! Dumba**! Miss V was 59 and leaves behind her husband John.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Speaking of RTN, I don't have much to report, but some areas are back on their local schedule rather than the national feed.
Please continue to give us feedback on if your station is back on your local feed or if the national schedule is continuing for your RTN station. We hope to have more RTN news soon.. So please stay with us!
Responding to the changing realities of the entertainment landscape, and addressing an opportunity to streamline the creative process, ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios will be operated as a coordinated business unit entitled ABC Entertainment Group, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney-Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group.
This newly formed unit will be managed by President Stephen McPherson, who had previously served as president, ABC Entertainment. Now McPherson will serve as president of ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. Mark Pedowitz, former president of ABC Studios, has moved into a new role as senior advisor to the Office of the Co-Chairman, where he will work alongside Ms. Sweeney on a myriad of evolving business, labor relations and emerging media issues.
The newly formed ABC Entertainment Group will combine ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment, with all operations of the two separate units reporting to Mr. McPherson. The new division's primary mandate will be to develop and produce compelling programming for broadcast on ABC. However, when appropriate, the studio will look for outside opportunities. The successful partnership between ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment prior to this announcement has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television today, including Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters. Mr. McPherson will spend the next few months integrating the units, with input from Mr. Pedowitz.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Elsewhere on Spike, earlier in the month, catch a CSI marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. Forget football! Catch up on all your favorite CSI 2-part episodes. It's an all day Super CSI Sunday Marathon on Sunday, February 1 from 12pm-4am.
Universal's digital cable station Sleuth will add the Richard Dean Anderson '80s series MacGyver to its line-up in February. MacGyver will launch on Monday, Feb. 2 and will air weekdays at 7am and 4am, replacing one of the daily JAG airings. Richard Dean Anderson will certainly "fix" the Sleuth schedule, if you know what I mean.
Earlier this month Sleuth went under a big makeover and airs mostly series that are reran on sister station USA Network such as JAG, Monk, The Dead Zone, NCIS, and Walker Texas Ranger while adding Canadian series such as Cold Squad and DaVinci's Inquest. The Guardian also airs on Sleuth weekly.
A few weeks after its launch, MacGyver will get a 24-hour marathon on Sunday, February 22 from 6am to 6am.
Fox has pulled Hole in the Wall from the schedule after just one episode from its return. The series returned this past Sunday to only 3.39 and 3.32 million in the 7pm hour. Hole will be replaced by Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? for the next week weeks (Jan. 25 and Feb. 1). As of now, Fox says Hole will return on Feb. 8 once the NFL season is over, though I doubt that. 5th Grader airs Fridays at 8pm but only until Jan. 30, so maybe the show will move to Sundays at 7? Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, ABC has made it official. The Bachelor is will expand to air in the 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT slot every week until the show has its finale on Monday, March 2. Second year sitcom Samantha Who? is no longer scheduled to air in the 9:30 PM ET/PT half-hour until further notice, as the series has been preempted the last two weeks. The Bachelor has built each week since its premiere on Jan. 5 and has done very well in the ratings. No word if Samantha will be placed elsewhere on ABC. An option is with Scrubs on Tuesdays or will ABC wait and hold it until Dancing returns? We'll let you know.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
For the first time since 1997, The Golden Girls will be off the Lifetime schedule starting Monday, March 2, 2009. The sitcom will be moving to Hallmark Channel and WE tv this March as we mentioned previously. We don't have timeslots and premiere dates for those yet, but as soon as we do, we'll let you know!
As for Lifetime March 2009, The Golden Girls will have its last airing on Friday, Feb. 27 in its regular timeslots (weekdays 8-10am and 1am-2:30am). The show will not get a send-off marathon, at least as of now. It will leave the line-up softly with its regular airings. But if Lifetime does plan a marathon, we'll let you know. So stay tuned! Replacing Golden Girls from 8-10am will be more episodes of Still Standing and Reba, with back-to-back episodes of each. In the 1am hour, we will get an extra cycle of Desperate Housewives. The show will still air 12pm and 1pm as well, but this cycle will start from the beginning and be different from those afternoon airings! And finally in the 2am half-hour, we get an extra Reba on Tues-Thurs and Rita Rocks encores on Monday and Friday nights.
View the full Lifetime March 2009 weekday line-up and discuss these changes.
On this special day, the other news has been very slow. So if we have anything later in the day, we will bring it to you. Come on back!
Monday, January 19, 2009
SitcomsOnline Turns 10; ION Television February 2009 Highlights; Morning Show Reunited TV Stars, Including Small Wonder Reunion
As we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, there are a few TV marathons of note. Sanford & Son on TV Land, The Proud Family on BET, CSI: NY on Spike TV, and the King movie on TV One.
Today is also a VERY special day here at SitcomsOnline! We celebrate 10 years online! This blog has been around for 3 1/2 years or so, but SitcomsOnline was born 10 years ago today. SitcomsOnline launched on January 19, 1999. However, Happy Days Online started it all on May 12, 1997. Then came sites for Diff'rent Strokes, Gimme a Break!, Mork & Mindy, The Courtship of Eddie's Father in 1998 then mini sites for Hello, Larry and Please Don't Eat the Daisies before SitcomsOnline launched in January 1999. After SO launched, full sites for Webster, Hogan Family, Silver Spoons, Family Ties, and The Facts of Life were created, along with many mini sites. My Jack's Bistro website just celebrated its 10th anniversary in December as well. Can't believe it has been 10 years.
SitcomsOnline.com was created by Todd Fuller in 1999 to develop an online shrine to every sitcom ever to have been seen. SitcomsOnline.com has been featured in many media and news publications, such as TVGuide Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, and was featured in a syndicated TV-news story on Sitcoms in early 2004.
SitcomsOnline.com features sitcom news, news blog, links, theme songs in audio & video, message boards, show pages, sitcoms on DVD purchasing and the very popular DVD Review System. SitcomsOnline.com showcases all-time Classic hits such as Happy Days, Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and I Love Lucy, and modern hits such as Friends, 30 Rock and The Big Bang Theory.
Share your memories of the website. We hope you like it here and continue to come for many years to come! Ya'll came back now ya here?
Moving on to other news, ION Television has announced its February 2009 line-up. There are no real changes to the line-up, just minor stuff. Only changes are that Wednesday movies have been added in early evening starting at 6:30pm and another one in primetime, so Boston Legal will only be Tuesday nights now. Thursday movie encores remain in early evening leading into the regular Thursday primetime movie. So two nights of primetime movies now (Wednesday and Thursday). Friday late afternoon movie encores are removed, and the regular schedule is inserted back, but with M*A*S*H on Fridays 6-7pm. The ION movie premieres are Sphere, Heat, Soldier, Analyze This, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Pale Rider, and Murder in the First. RHI movies on weekends include The Temptations, Fatal Error, Final Days of Planet Earth and Valentine's themed movies A Stranger's Heart, Love's Unending Legacy, Love is a Four Letter Word, Love's Abiding Joy, and Love's Unfolding Dream.
View the full ION Television February 2009 highlights.
Talk show The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet last week had a week-long feature called, "Whatever Happened To?" I know we didn't alert you before it aired, but you can still watch it online! Isn't it great, everything is available on demand these days? On Monday, whatever happened to Jimmie "J.J." Walker of Good Times? M&J catch up with the man who made "Dy-no-mite!" a household word! Catch the video! On Tuesday, whatever happened to Winnie from The Wonder Years? Brainy beauty Danica McKellar reveals her hugely popular second career, and proves how sexy being smart can be! See what Danica looks like now! On Wednesday, it was my personal favorite of the week! Whatever happened to that cute little girl from the weirdest show on television? Tiffany Brissette tells M&J what's she's been doing since playing Vicki on the '80s sitcom Small Wonder! If that's not all, Mike & Juliet reunite other stars from the show as a surprise...Dick Christie, Marla Pennington and Edie McClurg for a mini reunion! You must catch this! Finally, on Thursday, M&J catch up with Patty Duke from The Patty Duke Show! Find out how the Oscar winner finally found peace after a tumultuous life on and off the set. View the video.
Check out the videos! It's too bad they are so short interviews. The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet airs weekday mornings in syndication, check local listings for time and channel in your area. The show will run through the end of the summer before signing off.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Households: Fox: 10.8/17.2; CBS: 9.2/14.2; ABC: 4.5/7.0; NBC: 4.5/7.0; The CW: 1.5/2.3; MNT: 0.8/1.2.
Total Viewers: Fox: 19.95 million; CBS: 14.81 million; NBC: 7.12 million; ABC: 6.92 million; The CW: 2.33 million; MNT: 1.2 million.
Adults 18-49: Fox: 7.6/18.5; CBS: 3.8/9.5; ABC: 2.6/6.6; NBC: 2.5/6.2; The CW: 1.0/2.5; MNT: 0.4/0.9.
Analysis: Can you believe we are halfway done with the TV season? It just felt like yesterday we were in week 1. Anyway, Week 17 has seen that show return to big ratings and dominate. You know...American Idol, though it was down a bit, it was still by far the best of the week at over 30 million in its four hours this week giving Fox a commanding lead so far. Through the first four day, Fox has the lead in all categories obviously, with CBS second, and ABC and NBC battling for third.
Last week, Fox won week 16 in HH, viewers, and 18-49, thanks to the BCS games and a huge NFL Playoff game on Saturday night. CBS was second in all categories while NBC and ABC battled for third, with ABC having an edge in 18-49 and NBC in HH/viewers.
Monday CBS was all new and won the night. CBS started with new episodes of their comedies then ended with a new CSI: Miami. The Big Bang Theory did 11.81 million, yet another series high. It is like osmosis now, it just happens. Things will get tougher a bit tomorrow, but I expect this show to remain consistent. A new How I Met Your Mother followed with 11.76 million, a season high. #1 sitcom Two and a Half Men followed with 17.1 million, while a new Worst Week did just 10.36 million...look for this to leave on Feb. 9 At 10pm a new episode of CSI: Miami did 15.83 million. Fox was next actually with the second night of the four-hour premiere of 24, with the final two hours on this night doing a solid 12.31 million, while that is down from its 2007 premiere...it is still decent. Let's see if it can do that every week though. ABC was next with a two-hour episode of The Bachelor with a solid 9.06 million, up from its season premiere, followed by the new True Beauty at 6.46 million, down a bit from its premiere but it still built in its second half-hour...a good sign. NBC was next with a two-hour Superstars of Dance at only 7.19 million, down a lot from previous week as CBS and Fox returned with new programming. Reality dud Momma's Boys was next at just 4.64 million, down from previous week. Poor NBC. The CW was next with a new Gossip Girl doing 2.85 million, down a tad from a week ago and a new One Tree Hill did 3.06 million, up from a week ago.
Tuesday that show called American Idol returned and dominated the night, but CBS was not that affected as all the nets were up from usual when Idol premieres. Fox aired the two-hour premiere of Idol, doing 30.42 million, great but off from last season's premiere by a few million. CBS's NCIS started the night off with 18.62 million for a new episode, only down about a half million from previous week. New drama The Mentalist followed with 18.07 million, down about 1.5 million though from previous week...still not too shabby. A new episode of Without a Trace at 10pm did 12.42 million, down previous week. NBC was next with a two-hour The Biggest Loser at 8.86 million, down over 3 million from previous week...but still respectable against Idol. NBC followed at 10pm with Law & Order: SVU at 9.77 million...down from previous week and it should be better. ABC was next, as Homeland Security USA did 6.04 million, down over 1.5 million from its premiere but better than what ABC did last year in this slot by miles against Idol. Two episodes of Scrubs followed with 4.61 million and 4.33 million, down over 2 million from previous week, but Idol affected it. It should go up this week with no direct Idol competition. It still skewed very young, with again near 80% of its audience in 18-49 for the hour. Scrubs lead into the addicting hidden-camera series Primetime: What Would You Do at 10pm doing a solid 7.3 million, and skewing very young as well, and it was up from previous week. The CW aired new 90210 and did 2.18 million, way below normal as Idol will dent this show now, and a new episode of Privileged only did 1.12 million, ouch.
Wednesday saw you know who dominate. Fox aired another two-hour episode doing slightly better than the previous night in all categories except viewers. It did 30.32 million, but was up from Tuesday in HH and 18-49. CBS started with sitcoms, a new episode of Old Christine did 7.17 million and a new Gary Unmarried did 6.96 million, not great but not too bad vs. Idol. Criminal Minds and CSI: NY followed with new episodes at 13.78 and 12.67 million, a bit below normal. NBC opened the night with the dud Knight Rider doing only 5.38 million, down from previous week, a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did only 4.46 million, down over 3 million from previous week. Law & Order followed at 10pm doing only 8.26 million, down two million from previous week. ABC dedicated the entire night to Lost, with last season's three-hour season finale encore doing 4.5 million, yet tied NBC in 18-49 with a 1.7 rating. Lost returns this week! It should do big! The CW aired 13: Fear is Real at 8pm at just 1.44 million, down a million against Idol ... ouch. A repeat of 90210 followed with only 670,000 viewers, down from previous week.
Thursday saw CBS win the night thanks to the last episode of William Petersen on CSI. CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox all started the night off with President Bush's Farewell address for the first 15 minutes. CBS delayed their shows by 15 minutes (in the east and central) as a repeat of the last new CSI from December did a solid 15.57 million (with a bug jump in the 9-9:15 slot), then that special episode of CSI followed with 24.25 million, great bit still didn't beat the season premiere. A new episode of Eleventh Hour followed with 13.16 million, a bit concerning losing half that audience from the lead-in. ABC was next but Ugly Betty had to be preempted thanks to Bush. So two Scrubs repeats aired, the first one from 8:16-8:30 did 4.89 million, followed by another one at 8:30 doing 4.79 million. A new Grey's Anatomy was next and did 13.1 million, down from previous week a bit, but even with that CSI competition it went up from previous week in 18-49. The thrilling conclusion of this serial killer arc concludes this Thursday. I've seen it already...it is great. We also find out what this Denny thing is, as it seems Denny will be gone after this episode. Anyway, a new Private Practice followed and did a solid 8.49 million at 10pm, down a bit from previous week. NBC was fourth, as a repeat of My Name is Earl from 8:18-8:30 did 6.15 million, a new episode followed at 8:30 at a special time doing only 5.99 million, as Kath & Kim was preempted. A new showing of The Office did 8.49 million, followed by a new 30 Rock at 6.63 million, up from previous week but doing worse than it was in the fall. Has the Palin effect finished? ER was next and all-new with 6.95 million, a series low. Smallville was new on The CW and did 4.3 million followed by a new Supernatural at 2.98 million. And they want to end Smallville? It is their saving grace.
Now, as usual final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with new episodes of Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, and NUMB3RS as usual. NBC saw steady numbers for Howdie Do It at 8pm while 20/20 on ABC did decent at 10pm.
Saturday was very slow, as Fox won with its usual line-up. ABC's airing of The Pacifier did pretty solid also from 8-10pm.
Tonight CBS will rule with the AFC Championship Game and a special night and time of The Mentalist. Fox and NBC will take a back seat by airing repeats, but ABC's outstanding regular Sunday line-up is all-new with AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters. The Housewives' 100th episode is tonight...and it promises to be great!
As for the week, Fox will easily win the week in HH, viewers and 18-49. Why wouldn't they with Idol? CBS could make a late run for the AFC Championship Game, though but it won't be as huge as last season's NFC Championship Game in primetime, which was on Fox. CBS will finish second, ABC should be third, and NBC in fourth. What to look for this week...Barack Obama is sworn in on Tuesday as our next President, watch ABC's exclusive live coverage in primetime at 8pm, and Lost returns on ABC! And it is awesome! Fox also premieres new series Lie to Me on Wednesday.
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of Jan. 5-11)
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats in the 7pm hour only did 3.07 and 4.58 million.
- King of the Hill (Fox) - preempted.
- Family Guy (Fox) - preempted.
- American Dad (Fox) - preempted.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 11.81 million for a a new episode! A series high! What more can I say? Excellent.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - 11.76 million for a new episode, for a season high. Skews very young for a CBS show too, building on the lead-in in 18-49.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 17.1 million for our sitcom leader. Just another day on the job.
- Worst Week (CBS) - 10.36 million only for a new episode. Need to hold more than that if it wants to return next year.
- Scrubs (ABC) 2 episodes - 4.61 million and 4.33 million for two new episodes. Down over 2 million each, but affected by Idol. Still did better than According to Jim or anything ABC had on Tuesday vs. Idol last year. It won't face Idol this week.
- Old Christine (CBS) - 7.17 million against Idol is not bad at all. This show skews older, so it helps.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 6.96 million for a new episode is OK, but more of a concern than the lead-in.
- Under One Roof (MNT) - Only 530,000 viewers for its second episode back. Down even from previous week. Again...why is this airing against House of Payne on TBS? That show does like 4 million every week on cable.
- My Name is Earl (NBC) 2 episodes - Bush messed this night up, but an abbreviated repeat from 8:18-30 did a decent 6.15 million...but a new episode dropped to 5.99 million.
- Scrubs (ABC) 2 episodes - ABC aired two encores of this show as Bush messed the plans up. 4.89 million for an abbreviated repeat from 8:16-30 and a repeat at 8:30 did 4.79 million. More than Tuesday at least.
- The Office (NBC) - 8.49 million for a new episode...not bad, but even better near 90% of viewers were in the 18-49 demo.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode only did 6.63 million but it was up from previous week when its lead-in was a repeat.
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - 1.55 prelim million for a new episode...up a bit previous week's prelim numbers.
- The Game (The CW) - 1.7 prelim million for a new episode, but up a bit from previous week's prelim numbers. This show would be better say on Wednesdays instead.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeat of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10pm.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Old Christine, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Worst Week, Under One Roof).
Saturday, January 17, 2009
MonsterQuest - The Complete Season Two (A&E Home Video, $44.95)
From the beginning of time, mankind has been riveted by accounts of mysterious creatures, from mega-hogs to vampires and giant spiders. Now, sightings continue throughout the world as more people come forward with photos and other evidence. In North Carolina, a creature thought to be dead for decades may be stalking livestock. In Texas, a dead body that doesn't look like any known species is found. And in the Pacific Ocean may lurk a giant capable of attacking whole ships. Season Two of this spellbinding series from History takes a fresh look at the beasts of legend and seeks new proof of their existence.
Surprising historical research and scientific analysis set the stage for groundbreaking fieldwork: high-tech expeditions to the home turf of famous monsters. Deploying state-of-the-art equipment, each episode scientifically examines the best evidence available, including photographs, videos, hair and bone samples, and the actual eyewitness accounts themselves. Credible individuals have seen things they can't explain. It's time to sort out fact from imagination once and for all!
One part history, one part science, and one part monsters, MonsterQuest: The Complete Season Two reveals the truth about these sightings and the creatures behind them.
This 5-DVD set contains all 20 original episodes from the second season (2008). The packaging has changed a bit from the season one release. This time there is an outer cardboard box that holds two slimcases. A drawing of a giant octopus is on the cover. In the top right corner, there is the History logo. On the back of the box and slimcases, there is a short synopsis of the series, a listing of the episodes and special features and the DVD specs. The discs are held in embedded holders that you flip like a book. Slimcase #1 holds discs 1-3. Slimcase #2 holds discs 4-5. There is a partial drawing of an octopus and the episode titles and special features listed on the discs.
When you first insert a disc, they show about 15 seconds of the opening credits with the instrumental theme and no narration. This leads to the main menu where they have the giant octopus and the show logo. The episode titles are listed vertically in white at the bottom. The highlighted episode you choose is in yellow and turns gray upon your selection. This takes you to another sub-menu where there is a drawing of the creature that is featured in the episode and a listing of the scene selections. You can choose a scene individually or use the "Play All" button to view the entire episode.
As you would expect for a series that just aired in recent months, the video and audio quality is outstanding. The episodes are presented in widescreen and their original broadcast order. Most of the on location shooting and interviews look excellent. Some of the submitted video varies depending on the source. I really like the narration by Stan Bernard and the music they use. It gives it a certain level of creepiness and drama. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes. The total running time is approximately 15 hours, 40 minutes. Running times range from 44:46-44:57.
Unfortunately, there are no episode summaries or original airdates listed anywhere on the packaging. It would have been nice if they included a sheet or booklet. Here are the 20 episodes you are getting. Episode summaries are courtesy of the official site. Running times are noted in the parentheses.
Mega Hog (44:51) - Do wild hogs in the United States grow to monstrous sizes? Many think so. In Georgia an 1100 pound hog was shot and killed and in Texas beast almost as large have been reported. But are these creatures raised and fattened up in a pen, or are they wild hogs, naturally more aggressive, that have somehow reached gigantic proportions? A MonsterQuest examination meets victims of vicious wild boar attacks, looks at the existing evidence and teams up with a hog hunters, researchers and trackers to find a giant.
Vampire Beast (44:53) - A mystery predator is on the prowl in North Carolina... And it has a taste for blood. In the winter of 1954 a small rural town Lived in fear as an unknown creature preyed on goats and dogs. Now, more the fifty years later, the beast is back. In the fall of 2007, residents of Bolivia, North Carolina started losing pets and farm animals to an unknown creature. Is it a known predator... or something more sinister?
Ghosts (44:54) - Are ghosts real? Can technology find them and science prove their existence? MonsterQuest investigates what may be one of the most haunted houses in America, the Lizzy Borden house, scene of the famous 19th century double murder. In an all-night investigation, paranormal experts record bizarre goings on in this house with eight cameras rolling, including the highest resolution infrared camera ever used in a paranormal investigation. Can they prove once and for all the existence of ghosts in this place?
Ohio Grassman (44:53) - Just miles from the industrial cities of Ohio, there is a bogeyman that has terrified local children for over a century. According to stories and sightings, the Grassman is similar to a Bigfoot, but builds strange nests and has been known to attack. Can science help explain this creature? Is a primate skull, a strange print and a new video the first direct proof behind the legendary Grassman? MonsterQuest sifts through the existing evidence and takes to the skies in a search for what is stalking Ohio.
Giant Killer Snakes (44:53) - MonsterQuest heads deep into the Venezuela wilderness to investigate reports of huge man-eating snakes fifty feet or more in length. Led by the world's top anaconda expert, the investigation will deploy for the first time ever an industrial acoustic sonar camera to search for these monsters. The investigation will also search the Everglades of Florida where pet pythons have escaped or been released into the wild. They are multiplying and growing to huge sizes, preying on all kinds of animals, even swallowing a full grown alligator in one case. Could a human become their next meal?
Super Rats (44:53) - Rats are the stuff of nightmares and recent archaeological evidence suggests that they once grew to massive sizes. Could these huge rodents make a comeback? Waves of huge rat sightings are sweeping our cities, and animal experts say these mutants are getting bigger – and more dangerous. Rat experts journey into the sewers and meet the witnesses who tell of cat sized rats that have appetites for anything... including human flesh.
Black Beast of Exmoor (44:53) - On the moors of England over 200 livestock were torn apart between 1979 and 1983. Armed Marines patrolled the hills looking for the predator but no creature was found. With attacks continuing to this day eyewitnesses suggest that a strange "black beast" is still at large. New video evidence could hold the key to the mystery. An expedition team talks to the witnesses, analyzes the evidence and seeks answers to find out what is really prowling the English countryside...
Chupacabra (44:53) - In 1995, a beast dubbed "El Chupacabra," spanish for "The Goatsucker," was first sighted and accused of killing and draining the blood of hundreds of farm animals in Puerto Rico. Eyewitnesses describe it as a two-legged reptile-like beast with sharp claws and sharper fangs. But another rash of sightings, and killings, in Texas last year produced eyewitness descriptions of a creature that looked very different. MonsterQuest will go on the hunt for the Texas chupacabra. And for first time on television, DNA tests will be performed on evidence from both the Puerto Rico and Texas sightings in effort to scientifically prove just what these mystery beasts could be.
Legend of the Hairy Beast (44:53) - Native American history is full of "Hairy Man" stories and cave art that date back over a thousand years. Did Native Americans know the truth behind the Bigfoot legend? An expedition along the Klamath River into reservation land will use state of the art technology to search for something locals don't doubt is real. With unprecedented access to Native American stories and recent sightings, MonsterQuest examines this creature that is both feared and revered.
Vampires in America (44:53) - Most people agree that vampires are fictional creatures, but throughout history and even today, there have been cases of people who thirst for blood. These "real vampires" believe that in order to survive, they must feed on the life-force of others. In this episode, we investigate these living vampires to find out if there is a physical reason behind their cravings. Can science separate the fact from the fiction surrounding these "creatures of the night"?
Boneless Horror (44:54) - Throughout history there have been sightings of a massive Octopus big enough to attack and sink boats. Could such a creature really exist? MonsterQuest divers probe the depths of the North Pacific where the world's largest known species of octopus lives. The investigation will use special infrared cameras to probe octopus lairs and hunt in the darkness of night when this predator of the sea may be more active.
Bigfoot in New York (43:52) - In 1976, in upstate New York, several police officers witnessed an animal that they can't explain. They describe it as a "large creature, 7 to 8 feet tall, walking like a gorilla hunched over, making a sound like a woman screaming." Over thirty years later sightings are continuing and these police officers have agreed to be put to the test. Meanwhile, MonsterQuest teams up with local researchers and renowned wildlife experts on the trail of the Monster of Whitehall
Lake Monsters of the North (44:54) - Something mysterious is lurking around the bottom of Lake Crescent, New Foundland, and they call this creature "Cressie." Native American legends date back centuries and refer to a "Pond Devil" and a "Swimming Demon". And there are modern sightings too, but are witnesses describing a strange, outsized eel or something entirely alien to science? Divers, biologists and forensic sketch artists team up to search for this elusive lake leviathan.
China's Wildman (44:55) - A Wild-Man may roam the mountainous and forested regions of China's remote Hubei province. Witnesses typically report that the creature is covered in reddish-brown hair, five to seven feet tall, and walks on two legs. To the Chinese authorities, who recently collected over one hundred unidentified hairs, it is not a matter of if this creature will be found, but when. An expedition to the Far East will meet the Wild-Man experts and join an international team in a search for answers.
Giant Bear Attack (44:57) - In pre-historic times, giant bears weighed up to a ton and stalked early man. History says that these animals died out 10,000 years ago, but could hybridization or the next step in bear evolution produce more giant bears? MonsterQuest investigates witnesses of horrific bear attacks, looks at strange bear remains and mounts two expeditions: the first to the heart of bear territory, Alaska, and the second closer to home in New Jersey where big bears are getting more assertive and aggressive. Will science solve the mystery of this new breed of bears?
Monster Spiders (44:46) - In 2006 an American soldier in Iraq was photographed with what appeared to be a three foot long arachnid. Meanwhile in the forests of Peru there are reports of spiders big enough to eat an entire chicken. A MonsterQuest expedition into the wilderness of South America goes on the hunt for a monster-sized predatory spider and examines man's fear of these creatures.
Jaws in Illinois (44:54) - Are dangerous ocean predators prowling American rivers? Few people realize that the bull shark can tolerate fresh water, swimming hundreds of miles upstream from the ocean. History suggests it has at times penetrated up the Mississippi River as far as Illinois. The episode will examine the behavior of the bull shark and dive in the St. Lawrence Seaway to uncover another giant, the Greenland Shark. It can grow longer than the Great White and has been known to head inland and eat land animals like caribou.
Real Dragons (44:53) - The huge Megalania lizard once stalked early man, but history says that the lizard is long extinct. But could massive and deadly reptiles be making a comeback? A MonsterQuest team travels to the Blue Mountains of Australia in search of those who say the Megalaina still exists. Meanwhile, another expedition looks at Megalania's closest living cousin: the Komodo Dragon. These giant reptiles can reach sizes of over ten feet long and have a venomous bite. We examine recent reports of attacks and even killings by the world's largest known lizards.
Sasquatch Attack II (44:52) - Something has been attacking a remote cabin in Northern and it may have left behind a blood trail. DNA analysis suggested that the creature is a non-human primate. Now a follow up test will confirm or deny this, and the results could change history. Meanwhile, a new expedition, outfitted with the most advanced surveillance and detection equipment, will set up camp at the cabin and wait for the creature's imminent return.
Approximately 30 minutes of special features are spread out over 5 discs. These are short 3-4 featurettes that trace the history of various legends. There are 1 or 2 per disc. I was hoping that these would be a bit more in-depth. They provide a good general overview, but there probably won't be any new information for cryptozoology fans.
Cryptozoology (2:52) - Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman explains what cryptozoology is and its history. He talks a little bit about the big 4 of the cryptozoology field.
Cryptozoolgy Museum (2:53) - Loren Coleman gives a short video tour of The International Cryptozoology Museum. It was founded in 2003 in Portland, Maine. He shows models of a coelacanth and a 8-foot tall Bigfoot, Bigfoot scat, a Patterson Bigfoot cast and a pterodactyl prop.
Hybrids (3:23) - Anthropologist David Gilmore traces the history of hybrid legends. He talks a little bit about Werewolves, the Jersey Devil and Chupacabras.
Bigfoot (3:36) - Loren Coleman and David Gilmore talk about the history of the Bigfoot legend. Some drawings, photos and video footage are shown. They talk a little bit about the Patterson film and Yeti/Abominable Snowman.
Mermaids (3:54) - Folklorist Adrienne Mayor, Biologist Richard Ellis and Loren Coleman talk about the history of the mermaid legend. They show some drawings and talk about the folklore. A hoax model/prop is shown.
Lake Monsters (2:54) - David Gilmore talks about the history of the Loch Ness legend. The first sighting was in 1871, but it wasn't reported until the 1930's when the Loch Ness craze began.
Sea Monsters (3:16) - David Gilmore and Richard Ellis talk about the history of the giant squid legend. Some drawings are video footage are shown.
Dragons (2:56) - Adrienne Mayor and Richard Ellis talk about the history of the dragon legend. Some drawings are shown and they talk about the folklore and some of the recent findings in China.
Thunderbirds (3:17) - Adrienne Mayor and David Gilmore talk about the history of the giant bird legend. They talk a little bit about pterodactyls and some of the sightings in recent years.
Final Comments: It was another great season of MonsterQuest. There were 6 more episodes this season compared with the first season. The Bigfoot stories are obviously the most popular, because they did 5 more that related to Bigfoot/Sasquatch this season. There was also an episode on the recent Hogzilla. Overall, there was a good mix of episodes this season. The only two that really didn't fit with the rest of the series were the ones on Ghosts and Vampires. Hopefully they will stick to cryptid creatures in future episodes. The special features are on this set are decent, but I would have liked to see them much more in-depth. They must have done some extensive interviews with the people involved, so I don't know why they didn't include more footage.
I was happy to read that MonsterQuest will be returning for a third season with 20 more episodes starting on Wednesday, February 4th, 2009, at 9PM EST/8PM CST on History. They will reportedly have episodes on the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, Yeti and Alligators-in-the-Sewers. You can read more about Season Three and other cryptozoology news here.
-- Reviewed by Todd
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