Friday, July 31, 2009
George Lopez: Main Event Marathon airs on Sunday, August 2 from 9:00pm-4:00am ET/PT.
See George battle everyone! George vs. Benny, George vs. Angie, George vs. Carmen and more! It's the battle royale!
First four episodes of Glenn Martin, DDS will air Aug. 17-20 at 8PM (after new episodes of The Penguins of Madagascar) before settling into its regular Mondays at 8pm timeslot starting Aug. 24. There will be a marathon of the first four episodes on Friday, August 21 from 8-10pm ET/PT. The first four episodes will also encore on sister network Comedy Central at 6pm Tues-Fri, the next night.
Glenn Martin, DDS is the first television production to come out of Michael Eisner’s Tornante Animation Company. The original stop-motion animated series follows the life of Glenn Martin (Kevin Nealon), who yearns for a change of scenery and a deeper connection with his family. Determined to bring the family closer together, Glenn takes the Martins on a road trip to protest the destruction of a beloved childhood park. As things unravel right from the get-go, the family is forced to make the dental-mobile – replete with a giant decorative toothbrush on the roof – their new home. Glenn, Jackie (Catherine O’Hara) and Courtney (Jackie Clarke) – an 11-year-old future corporate maven who brings along her personal assistant, Wendy (Judy Greer), a 14-year-old North Korean exile – and son, Conor (Peter Oldring), the 13-year-old hormone-addled tween who’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed--quickly learn when hitting the road that the road can sometimes hit back in unexpected ways. The Martins are accompanied on their journey by the family dog, Canine, who’s pronounced buttocks only add to the hilarity.
The hilarious Parenthood will air on Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:00pm-10:00pm ET/PT. The 1989 classic was directed by Ron Howard and stars Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards, Rick Moran, Martha Plimpton, Keanu Reaves and many others. Parenthood is the story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the "black sheep" of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.
View our Nick at Nite August 2009 thread and discuss the schedule with others.
Retro TV has added many new affiliates. With these new affiliates, Retro TV's U.S. coverage is now approaching 89 percent. That's up from 75 percent at the beginning of June. They also signed an agreement to return RTV to WPXS in St. Louis. And it added WSPA Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C. along with a deal to renew the existing RTV affiliations at all the other Media General stations.
Among the new stations are: WEYW Key West, FL; WAOH Cleveland; KCDO Denver; WCMH Columbus, Ohio; KCSG St. George, Utah; WITI Milwaukee; KGNG Las Vegas; KPVT Pahrump, NV; WMNM-WGMU Burlington, VT; WLCN Charleston, SC; WSEA Springfield, MA; KYUU Boise, ID; WJBF Augusta, GA; WLLZ Traverse City, MI; WWAY Wilmington, NC; WAOW-WYOW Wausau-Rhinelander, WI; WDIO-WIRT Duluth, MN; KJPX Joplin, MO; KPIF Idaho Falls; WKFK Biloxi, MI and WGBC Meridian, MS. Wow!
We will keep you up to date of any more station signings or any programing updates. So stay with us!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
AmericanLife TV September 2009; Hallmark Channel Cuts Heaven, Murder; Summer 2009 TCA Tour: Cable Day 3
The other change is on Saturdays from 7-9pm as Combat! is replaced by another ALN Classic Movie. Everything else is pretty much the same as the schedule that started in June. ALN starts their weekday schedule at 5pm with a block of Bob Newhart Show and Newhart from 5-7pm, followed by L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, and St. Elsewhere from 7pm-10pm and again from 10pm-1am, Mon-Thurs. Mission: Impossible and The Color Honeymoners round out the schedule from 1-3am. On Fridays, two extra episodes of Mission: Impossible airs at 11pm and 12am, just like on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekends starts off with Chicken Soup for the Soul at 6pm, ALN Classic Movies from 7-11pm, Mission: Impossible from 11pm-2am, and The Color Honeymooners 2-4am.
View the full AmericanLife TV Network September 2009 schedule. Let's hope more series return soon since Lost in Space is returning!
Stay tuned on Monday for the next fall schedule blog post, as I'm headed for a taping of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! We will still have news as always, so do come back anyway!
The Hallmark Channel has made very last minute schedule changes that are in effect beginning today! Another hour of The Golden Girls is added to mornings in the 11am hour replacing Touched by an Angel. So Golden Girls now airs 8am-12pm weekday mornings. Touched by an Angel will now air 12-2pm, as the 1pm hour replaces 7th Heaven. Little House on the Prairie gets another hour added to its block, with it now starting at 2pm replacing 7th Heaven. 7th Heaven is now off the Hallmark Channel line-up for now it seems. It can still be seen on WGN America at least. Little House will now air weekdays 2pm-5pm. Remaining the same are M*A*S*H weekdays 5-8pm and Touched by an Angel Mon-Thurs 8-11pm, but The Golden Girls are cut an hour short in late night as they go from weeknights 11pm-2am to 11pm-1am with Cheers taking the 1am hour. So Ted Danson and gang will now air 1am-2:30am with three episodes a night! I Love Lucy remains at 2:30am.
For weekends, nothing will change except Murder, She Wrote is off the schedule again. A movie will replace it on both Saturday and Sunday nights from 1-3am. View these changes in list form if you're confused.
Today is day 3 of the summer 2009 TCA press tour. Up today are Lifetime, E!, style, G4, BET, Planet Green, Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, HBO, and Food Network. Among the notable announcements that would interest you guys were from Lifetime. They announced Models of the Runway, which is Project Runway's exciting new companion series that will air Thursdays at 11pm starting Aug. 20. They also announced Rita Rocks' second season. Nicole Sullivan and Tisha Campbell-Martin, the stars of the hit comedy series, were present to discuss their new second season. The sitcom returns Oct. 5.
BET announced their original talk show The Mo'Nique Show, that launches Oct. 5. It is a new nightly talk/variety show featuring the incomparable actress/ comedienne. TLC is currently in production with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos' New York-based production company Milojo on Masters of Reception, which follows the Frungillo family as they run their wedding empire in New Jersey. The series premieres Aug. 18 on TLC.
Larry David returns for the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm on Sept. 20, continuing to feature verite-style footage of David (playing himself) at home and at work as he gets into predicaments with fictional and real-life personalities. New developments this season include appearances by the cast of Seinfeld - Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. The new season will be a lead-in to Bored to Death, a new half-hour comedy that is the brainchild of the writer Jonathan Ames, who serves as executive producer and writer, and stars Jason Schwartzman as a Brooklyn writer with a drinking problem who pretends to be a private detective on craigslist and starts taking actual cases. The comedy also stars Ted Danson as his boss at a magazine and Zach Galifianakis as his best friend.
Finally, Robin Williams, who first appeared on the network more than 30 years ago, will return to HBO on December 6 for his first solo stand-up comedy special in seven years. Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction, will be taped in November at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, one of the stops on his current sold-out national tour.
Stay with us tomorrow as Rainbow Networks (We TV and Sundance) and TV One round out the cable portion of the summer 2009 TCA press tour!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
TBS Fall 2009 Schedule; Gospel Music Channel Acquires Sister Sister; Summer TCA Tour: Cable Days 1 and 2
TBS will make its first batch of changes starting the week of Sept. 21. For this week only, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will slide to the 8am hour replacing the second hour of Saved by the Bell. In the 9am hour now for this week it will be an episode each of Just Shoot Me and Home Improvement. The TBS Movie continues to air at 10am, but this week will be its last week! Yes, Dear moves to 12pm, sharing the hour with Everybody Loves Raymond. Home Improvement still airs in the 1pm hour for now, more on that in a bit. Then we get more Everybody Loves Raymond in the 2pm hour, so this show goes from 5pm-6:30pm to 12:30pm & 2-3pm now. Then House of Payne will join the line-up airing in the 3pm hour replacing Yes, Dear. The King of Queens remains at 4pm for now, more on that in a bit as well. Friends now gets a full hour and moves to 5-6pm. Seinfeld is now only a half-hour and at 6pm, leading into The Office at 6:30pm. My Name is Earl will air back-to-back in the 7pm hour. Primetime has blocks of Family Guy on Mondays, The Office on Tuesdays, House of Payne/Meet the Browns on Wednesdays, with movies on Thursdays and Fridays. The late night line-up will have Seinfeld in the 11pm hour on most days, with My Name is Earl on Tuesdays. Sex and the City remains at midnight with a movie following until blocks of Steve Harvey Show and Married...with Children airing after that until dawn. Lots of sitcoms, less movies, good!
Then starting the following week on Monday, Sept. 28, we get some more changes. Fresh Prince is back in the 9am hour, with Saved by the Bell getting its second hour back at 8am. The TBS 10am movie is now gone and we get all sitcoms now in the daytime, as Just Shoot Me and Home Improvement slide up to the 10am hour now and we get an extra sitcom hour as Home Improvement and Yes, Dear air in the 11am hour. Everything else is the same as the week of Sept. 21. But a few days later on Thursday, October 1, According to Jim joins the TBS sitcom line-up! According to Jim will air in the 4pm hour replacing King of Queens. That show will slide to 1-2pm, replacing two episodes of Home Improvement. Home Improvement will still air at 10:30am & 11am, so not to worry. Nothing is being replaced at all (well...except the movie) despite four new series coming to the regular schedule!
View the full TBS Fall 2009 schedule. Now it is still early, so we might have some changes, as always. I'm still not 100% sure what will happen on weekends after According to Jim comes, but it'll likely be the same as it was prior to it coming. As always, stay with us for more!
Gospel Music Channel will be adding even more shows now to their schedule! First they added Christy, Doc, and Dr. Quinn to weekdays, then they went with some comedies in Amen and Good News on Mondays in primetime, now we get another comedy and another drama! Gospel Music Channel has acquired '90s sitcom Sister, Sister and '90s drama Promised Land. Yes, this means Sister, Sister will be on THREE cable networks in BET, ABC Family and now Gospel Music Channel. WGN America also recently aired the Tia and Tamera Mowry comedy. The series premieres on Gospel Music Channel next Monday (Aug. 3) and will join the Monday comedy block with Amen and Good News. Sister, Sister will air back-to-back in the 8pm hour (encores at 12am), replacing two Amen episodes. Good News will remain at 9pm (encore at 1am) and Amen is cut to just 9:30pm (encore at 1:30am).
Sister, Sister will also air Saturdays in the 6pm hour as well starting Aug. 8! Amen has gained some more slots airing Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays back-to-back in the 7pm hour. So losing some slots on Mondays wasn't a bad thing! Good News will also air Saturdays at 7pm leading into Amen.
Gospel Music Channel has also acquired the drama Promised Land. It lasted three seasons on CBS from 1996-1999 and was a spin-off of Touched by an Angel. They will air the series Wednesdays at 8pm with an encore at 11pm starting Aug. 5.
I like how they are adding actual series now. We will as always keep an eye on then and if we have any more news, we will certainly let you know!
The Summer 2009 TCA Tour started yesterday and will through August 8. First up from July 28 to July 31 is the cable portion. Day one was pretty slow with TBS and TNT the main players on that day. Networks that went yesterday were Travel Channel Fox Reality Channel, Turner Networks (TBS, TNT, HLN, CNN) and AMC closed the night off with cocktails. We'll give you the rundown of the notables. Househusbands of Hollywood will premiere Aug. 15 on Fox Reality Channel. Househusbands of Hollywood follows the lives of five men and their high-powered, successful wives. The couples include Darryl Bell and Tempestt Bledsoe and Grant and Jillian Reynolds. And TBS gave details on their original new talk show Lopez Tonight, that will premiere in November. Comedian and actor George Lopez headlines a new talk show with an outdoor street-party atmosphere and a high-energy crowd. The show will feature celebrity guests, live music and comedy acts, and Lopez flair and personality.
Up today were MTV Networks (MTV, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central), History, NatGeo, ESPN, Starz, and BBC America. TV Land promoted their new originals that premiere next Wednesday: Make My Day and How'd You Get Rich, which we have mentioned so many times already. Nick at Nite was promoting their new original animated comedy Glen Martin, DDS which will launch Aug. 17 at 8pm. We will have more on that very soon.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
TV Land PRIME original series How'd You Get So Rich and Make My Day will have their season finales on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Weekends will still have classic marathons that have a classic show and Andy Griffith paired up. Those shows include Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, and Brady Bunch. Speaking of Brady Bunch, that is their 40th anniversary marathon. It's unbelievable that it has been 40 years since that "one day when that lady met that fellow" but it's true and TV Land is celebrating in grand style for one whole week. Beginning Monday, September 21 to Friday, September 25 catch episodes from 7pm-9pm and then if that isn't enough of this bunch, catch even more episodes on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 from 10am-6pm to round out the celebration. It's the best of the Bradys all week long and it will be positively groovy!!
That's not all for anniversaries! The Cosby Show is turning 25! Join TV Land PRIME Thursday, September 24 from 9pm-12am and say Happy 25th Birthday to The Huxtables as PRIME celebrate the years of laughter The Cosby Show brought to our TV screens. This quarter-century milestone marathon features extra-special episodes that highlight memorable moments from the series and pays special tribute to America's favorite sitcom family.
Finally, catch premieres of this month's movies on Labor Day (Monday, September 7 from 9am-6:30pm) if you can't wait for them every Fridays at 9pm! All-month long the network will air new movies and you can see them on Labor Day first...Private Benjamin, Airplane II, The Bodyguard and Field of Dreams.
So is this the fall schedule? Will something new be added on Sept. 28? We're not sure yet. But stay with us! And as usual, this schedule is subject to change, since TV Land always changes something. So again stay with us for that, if it happens. View the full TV Land September 2009 schedule and highlights.
ABC has altered its schedule a bit. Late yesterday just hours before The Bachelorette finale, they decided to air an instant special encore of The Bachelorette finale for Tuesday (July 28) from 8-10pm, preempting the season finale of The Superstars and an all-new episode of comedy Better off Ted. So if you missed the drama of the Bachelorette finale, you can watch it again leading into the special all-new After the Final Rose special. So with The Superstars season finale now on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 8pm-9:30pm, the Scrubs repeats will no longer air...but it will air at 9:30pm on this date. The final two episodes of the season of Better off Ted were originally supposed to air July 28 and Aug. 4 at 9:30pm, will now air for an hour on Tuesday, Aug. 11 from 9-10pm following Night 3 of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. One other note, ABC will encore the pilot episode of summer hit Dating in the Dark on Monday at 9pm, shifting the all-new episode to 10pm. The show will air new episodes at 10pm starting the following week now. See the announcement we made on this last night in a list form.
Also at ABC, we announced on Friday on our message board that Shark Tank is scheduled to air additional airings on Sundays on August 30, September 6 and 13, 2009 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Shark Tank is also still scheduled to air on Sundays on August 9, 16 and 23, 2009 at 9:00 PM ET/PT after Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, as planned. However, Shark Tank is no longer scheduled to air on Tuesdays, effective August 25, 2009 in the 8:00 PM ET/PT slot. Tuesdays at 8PM starting Aug. 25 is now TBD. Shark Tank will move to Tuesdays at 8PM this fall now, likely Sept. 22 or 29. 13 episodes have been ordered and six will air in the "summer" season.
Fox has made some changes to its fall line-up. They are moving the premieres of So You Think You Can Dance and Glee up a week to Wednesday, Sept. 9, while pushing comedies Brothers and 'Til Death back slightly. Brothers will now premiere with back-to-back episodes in the 8pm hour on Friday, Sept. 25, while 'Til Death will take over the 8:30pm Friday slot the following week on Friday, Oct. 2. Fox will air more Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader episodes Fridays at 8pm now on Sept. 11 and 18. If you missed the special pilot of Glee this past May, Fox will re-air it on Wednesday, Sept. 2 and again on Friday, Sept. 4 at 9pm. Glee will also encore its first two episodes on Friday, Sept. 11 and 18 at 9pm.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Original series wise, Lifetime will continue to air new episodes of Drop Dead Diva and Army Wives on Sundays starting at 9pm with many encores following and during the week and on Thursdays we have Project Runway and Models of the Runway starting at 10pm with also many encores following. The Sunday dramas will last into October, while the Thursday reality will last into November. Coming in October to Mondays will be original sitcoms Rita Rocks for a second season and the new original sitcom Sherri. They premiere Monday, Oct. 5 and we will have more on those soon.
How I Met Your Mother is moving from Mondays 7-8pm to Saturdays 1-2am. Looks like it didn't do well in the ratings? Sitcoms Still Standing and Cybill will totally be off the line-up.
View the full Lifetime Fall 2009 schedule. And stay with us for the next few weeks each weekday for more fall schedules! TCA tour is also on the horizon! Busy, busy time of year!
We have many schedule changes beginning today. First off, Nick at Nite will edit their schedule a bit. Starting tonight, Mon-Thurs, The Nanny will now air in a three-hour block from 11pm-2am. The 12am hour replaces Malcolm in the Middle and the 1am hour replaces Family Matters, which shifts over to 2am, replacing The Nanny. So now Mon-Thurs have three big marathon blocks of George Lopez from 9-11pm, The Nanny 11pm-2am, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 3am-6am. The only non-marathon block is Malcolm in the Middle from 8-9pm and Family Matters 2-3am. Wouldn't it be better if Family Matters was 1-3am and The Nanny just 11p-1a?
On Fridays, The Nanny will also take over the 12am hour replacing Malcolm in the Middle, so Malcolm will now not air on Friday nights at all. On Saturdays though, it will air in the 10pm hour and 12am hour, in between The Nanny at 11. On Sundays Malcolm will remain at 12am.
View the full schedule starting tonight (Monday, July 27, 2009). And stay tuned for Nick at Nite's August 2009 highlights still. They still haven't fully announced it.
Next up we have minor changes for Spike TV and ION Television. Well Spike TV is not that minor, but we only care about Married...with Children. Spike is removing that from the weekday line-up, and replacing it with all day CSI and CSI NY marathons. This week it is all CSI from 9am-8pm from Mon-Thurs and Spike's Most Amazing Videos on Friday. CSI NY is mixed in next week from 9-11am Mon-Thurs. Married...with Children will still air Sundays 9am-10:30am and at times 1-2am. When will it return to weekdays? We are not sure yet. It could even move back to TV Land? We'll certainly let you know first, so stay with us!
Finally, the last major change starting tonight is for ION Television. They are removing NCIS and replacing it with movies starting tonight. NCIS was airing Monday nights back-to-back from 9-11pm. It is unclear why they are removing NCIS because it was their highest rated program by far. Maybe they are saving it for September when they can air it more? We're not certain, but we'll let you know if it is returning when we announce their full fall line-up. We hinted at their fall line-up on Friday. For now, view the movies airing Monday nights and more in their updated August 2009 schedule. Monday movie premieres include Matrix Revolutions and Matrix Reloaded.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of July 13-19)
- Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm only mustered 1.46 million...slightly up week-to-week.
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.39 million for a repeat in its regular 8pm slot and 4.07 million for a special 9:30pm repeat. Latter one was up slightly, while the regular one was down week-to-week.
- King of the Hill (Fox) - The 8:30 repeat did only 3.07 million, but down the same as the lead-in really.
- Family Guy (Fox) - 3.86 million for a repeat, down from previous week.
- American Dad! (Fox) - Only 1.7 million for a repeat at 7:30...lower than the previous week by a bit.
- How I Met Your Mother
(CBS) - 5.14 million for a repeat airing, up some from previous week. 1.7 A18-49 rating was lower than the last few weeks by a bit though.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 5.04 million for a repeat airing, lower than previous week again. Matched the 1.7 A18-49 rating from the lead-in.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.31 million for a repeat, up some from previous week. 2.8 A18-49 rating was also up a tick.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.79 million for a repeat is up from previous week, and the closest retention it has come yet. 2.8 18-49 rating is excellent, holding 100% from the lead-in again.
- Better Off Ted (ABC) - 1.86 million for an all-new episode. Down though from previous week's summer high of 2.5 million. Not good.
- Scrubs (ABC) -A repeat at 9:30pm did 1.75 million. Also down from previous week.
- Old Christine (CBS) - Preempted for Obama.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Preempted for Obama.
- The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 2.67 and 2.98 million for repeats at 8:30 and 9...both down from previous week.
- 30 Rock (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 3.21 and 2.78 million for repeats at 8 and 9:30pm, and only a 1.2 A18-49 rating for each.
- Samantha Who? (ABC) - Final 2 episodes did 3.43 and 3.19 million...on par with the airings this summer.
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat at 9pm did a prelim 900,000 viewers. That was down from previous week's prelim numbers.
- The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 814,000 prelim viewers, also down from previous week's prelim numbers.
- Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - Prelim numbers show only 2.42 million for an all-new episode at 8pm, down some from previous week's prelim numbers.
- The Goode Family (ABC) - Prelim numbers were even worse for an all-new episode of this show with 1.52 million, also down some from previous week's prelim numbers.
- According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 2 repeats did a prelim 2.16 million average, but up from previous week's prelim average. As always, check out final numbers for Friday for these shows and all the Friday shows on our message board tomorrow.
Coming Week Preview (July 27-Aug. 2):
We are preempting this week's preview again so we can you bring you another special blog DVD review on a special day! So enjoy that below.
Welcome to a special edition of the Blog DVD Review. Today we take a look at Infinity Entertainment's Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One. Route 66 ran from 1960-1964 and starred Martin Milner, George Maharis (1960-1963) and Glenn Corbett (1963-1964). See skees53's Blog DVD Review of Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One:
Route 66 - Season Three, Volume One (Infinity, $29.98) presents the first sixteen episodes of the third season of the great anthology series of the '60s about two guys living their lives as one big road trip across America. The series stars Martin Milner and George Maharis, playing Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock. Tod and Buz come from different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: their interest in cruising America in a powder-blue 1960 Corvette, a Corvette that was essentially the only thing that Tod was left with after his wealthy father died.
A change began to occur in the third season, though, as Maharis began to disappear in this season as a personal illness began to make the series difficult for him to work on. As he became ill, his character began to disappear from the series, and Tod began to take upon the open road alone. Eventually, by the end of the season (which is not included in this set), Buz was written off of the series and replaced with a new character, Linc.
John Astin and Buster Keaton guest star in "Journey to Nineveh." Tod and Buz encounter an over-aged gangster in Chicago in "Man Out of Time." In "Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma," Tod and Buz are in Southern California, where Buz challenges a native to a surfing competition. Before online dating, there were telephone relationships, as we see in "Voice at the End of the Line." Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff all play themselves in a light-hearted Halloween episode, "Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing." In “Across Walnuts and Wine,” Buz and Tod are boarders at a home owned by a young man who is threatening to throw his family (who tends to just show up and stay) out of the house the moment he turns 21, but will he realize the importance of having his family around?
Ed Asner guest stars in "Welcome to the Wedding," where Tod is held hostage by a prisoner in transit. Buz is given a lucrative offer for dating a girl in "Every Father's Daughter Must Weave Her Own." Leslie Nielsen and Ron Howard guest star in "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat." Will Tod kill Buzz? That is what a fortune-teller is predicting in "Only By Cunning Glimpses." Vera Miles plays a woman who claims to be kidnapped by a mental patient in "Where is Chick Lorimer, Where Has She Gone?" Natalie Schaefer guest stars in "Give the Old Cat a Tender Mouse." Volume One ends with "You Can't Pick Cotton in Tahiti," where Tod meets up with a musical composer in Tennessee.
The set comes packaged in a double-thick keepcase with a cardboard sleeve on the outside. Both the keepcase and the sleeve have the same artwork, which is basically just the picture of the open road going into the sunset, and a Route 66 logo in the middle of it all. The back of the packaging just has a lengthy description of the episodes on the set. Inside the keepcase, we have four discs (two on each side of the case, overlapping each other), which have artwork almost identical to the cover art. Unfortunately, there are no episode descriptions, or even a list indicating which episodes are on which disc, anywhere to be found on this set. Each disc contains four episodes, for a total of sixteen episodes. Overall, the packaging for this set is a definite downgrade from the previous sets, but it isn't a total disaster either.
The menus are different from the previous sets, but in this case, different doesn't mean worse. The menus are very clean and professional looking, with options of Play All, Episodes, and (on Disc 4) Special Features. The menu contains plenty of music, sound effects, and transitional effects throughout. While there are no scene selection menus, there are chapters placed throughout each episode, although they are placed in somewhat strange positions in some (not all) of the episodes.
The video and audio quality generally tends to be pretty good. The picture is generally clear and crisp, although there are still a few issues regarding some grain and debris. The audio is very loud and clear, being presented in standard mono. It appears, for the most part, that Infinity invested in remastering and improving the quality of these episodes. However, there is one episode on the set that is very clearly not remastered. The episode "Only By Cunning Glimpses" looks and sounds terrible, with significant grain and debris, overall poor image quality, and very low and muffled sound. I had a feeling when watching this episode that it had not been restored, and this was basically confirmed at the end of the episode when I saw the closing credits cut off before the Screen Gems logo and plastered with a 1980s Columbia Pictures Television logo. The quality is barely better than a VHS copy. At least the content of the episode is intact, though.
Another problem that I noticed on a few episodes (even though it did not last for the entire episode) is that certain portions of the episodes contained audio that was out of sync with the video. It is obnoxious, for sure, but it usually only lasts for a minute or two when it happens. Each episode, including the 1980s television print, is unedited and runs around 50 minutes. Each episode is closed-captioned.
The set does have special features, but like the previous sets, there really aren't any behind-the-scenes special features. As always, we just have 12 minutes worth of classic commercials, but they are by no means random classic commercials. They are a mix of miscellaneous sponsor spots and bumpers from the series. These are not only fun to watch for their nostalgic value, but one of the series sponsors happened to be Phillips Milk of Magnesia, which makes for some humorous laxative commercials that probably didn't seem as humorous to the viewers at the time. There are also a few episode preview bumpers in here, which would have been nice to have for every episode. This set does NOT include the guest star biographies that were included on previous sets.
All things considered, Infinity has been doing a great job on these Route 66 DVD sets, but this one is definitely less than perfect. First, I'm not a big fan of the half-season release model. This seems to be a step backwards when other companies are releasing complete SERIES sets. It is even more frustrating that they are doing this while planning a full season release next year, a full season release that is oddly enough already available at some Best Buy stores. The set feels much cheaper this time, with cheaper packaging and no episode lists to be found ANYWHERE on the packaging. Would it have been too much to just include some basic liner notes inside the cheapened packaging? There are also the minor audio/video sync issues on some episodes. Still, despite all of this, this is a very enjoyable series to watch and the video and audio quality is, for the most part, pretty good. It is probably a better idea, though, to wait for the full season to be released as one complete set, especially if you've already purchased the first two seasons as complete season sets. But if you just can't wait until the January release date (that is, if you can't find it at Best Buy, which I couldn't), then you can get your kicks with the first half of season three here.
Reviewed by skees53
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Saturday, July 25, 2009
Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.5 (Universal, $49.98) concludes on DVD the run of what I genuinely consider to be one of the finest shows on TV this decade. Battlestar Galactica was an absolutely amazing retooling (otherwise called a "re-imagining") of a rather cheesy 1970s sci-fi series. This version of the show, however, is really closer in tone to 24 and West Wing than Star Trek or another similar show. At its core, it's really a military and political drama that happens to be set in space. That blending of qualities makes for an absolutely amazing show, a program I discovered early last year and stuck with right until the end.
From where I sit, the twenty episodes comprising the 4th season (divided into 4.0 and 4.5) are actually a little bit weaker than the earlier years of the show, but a great show having minor issues is still better than most anything else you'd find on air. Indeed, I can overlook the fact that episodes that should be building up for the grand finale instead grind to a halt, only to launch into full-blown information dump mode two episodes later. Really, you can become agitated quickly if you get yourself in a bunch over minor squabbles. The important part of this final half-season is that, though the ride occasionally gets slightly bumpy, you ultimately reach the destination still richer for the experience. It's like driving a trip from New York City to Los Angeles in a brand new Mercedes, only to have a problem with one of the shock absorbers in Nevada. You've still had a great ride, it just feels a little rough in the final stages.
If you've only been following the series through DVD, then where the show last left off the Fleet had finally found Earth...as a desolate post-nuclear fallout wasteland. The second half of the season starts off with an explanation of what happened on this Earth, plus the identity of the final Cylon is revealed. The series progresses onwards from there, alternating between action episodes and story episodes, through 10 great episodes. At one point there's even a mutiny forcing Adama, Tigh, etc. to fight their way back through the ship to retake command!
The series culminates with the episode "Daybreak," originally presented over two weeks and considered a total of 3 parts. You can choose to view it as-aired on the final disc, or choose to watch the complete two hour and thirty minute unedited version, with many cut scenes restored. Viewing this second version *does* help things make a bit more sense and makes the finale seem less rushed, but that won't change the fact that many fans just aren't going to like the ending. With regards to it, you either have -- or will -- fall into one of two camps. Either you'll think it's a brilliant twist to cap things off, or it'll simply leaving you scratching your head. I'll be the first to admit, I started off as the latter but after a couple of re-viewings I've come around and now love how the show ends.
Technically speaking, this DVD set is simply stunning. Universal is one of the few studios who still seem to shun those horrible clear plastic keepcase abominations, something I'm thrilled to see. You get simple, functional slimcases which showcase the well-designed package art quite nicely. The actual artwork itself is given the reflective color treatment, and when combined with the raised lettering of the show logo, provides for package art that commands your attention sitting on the store shelf.
The art for set itself features variations on the cast shots seen in the top third of the main box's art. Between the four cases, nearly the entirety of the main cast is featured, with only a few supporting players omitted. The finale is kept on its own disc, much as the miniseries was on season one's set. The remainder of the episodes are arranged in varying orders.
Menus are animated, and feature multiple layers of animation. Profile shots of various members of the primary cast dissolve in and out, clips play on the left side, and the great main theme plays in the background -- with the clips syncing fairly well to the music.
Audio and video quality are amazing, bounded only by the limits of the traditional DVD. This is one set I would have loved to be able to view in HD on Blu-Ray, however that wasn't a feasible review option largely due to my not owning a Blu-Ray player. The video looks as good as is possible given the resolution and quality limits of the format. The audio, having more room to play around even on a traditional DVD, sounds absolutely wonderful, and makes full use of the full 5.1 channels of sound available. The dialogue mixes in with the sound effects and composer Bear McCreary's wonderful scores and creates a true audio experience. Episode runtimes are all over the place, as running times vary wildly from episode to episode...44-49 minutes is the norm. Chapter stops occur with slightly greater frequency than commercial breaks, roughly coinciding with major scene changes. Some episodes feature scenes omitted from their original Sci-Fi Channel airings. Nothing is edited, the only changes are the occasional inclusions.
Greater still are the special features. Included as audio tracks are the podcast commentaries done along with each week's airing by show executive producer Ronald D. Moore. You also get piles and piles of deleted scenes. You get video blogs, you get extra-length episodes. This set, in terms of its bonus content is really quite good. I've seen sets with better, but this set is fairly high on the list. Galactica sets are great for that.
Ultimately, if you are a fan of this show you probably have the set on pre-order for Tuesday already. Good. If you haven't given the show a try before, go to your local video rental store, and rent the first two discs from the first season set. It's the miniseries that kicked off this amazing show's run. It sold me on the series, plus the amazing first episodes. Watch them, though check any preconceptions you have about space shows at the door. What you'll see is absolutely great dramatic television. Even the guys on The Big Bang Theory think so!
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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Friday, July 24, 2009
ABC Family's newest original comedy, Ruby & the Rockits, launched on Tuesday (July 21) as the network's No. 2 comedy series debut on record in Adults 18-49 (654,000) and Women 18-49 (483,000), behind only the premiere of 10 Things I Hate About You (7/7/09). Ruby & the Rockits also stands as the net's No. 2 comedy launch on record in Total Viewers (1.6 million), Teens (489,000) and Females Teens (436,000), behind Roommates (3/23/09). Ruby & the Rockits built over its 10 Things I Hate About You lead-in by 6% in Adults 18-49 (654,000 vs. 616,000) and by 9% in Women 18-49 (483,000 vs. 444,000). The series also built on its lead-in in households (1.0 vs. 0.9) and matched its lead-in in total viewers with 1.6 million. Let's see if it can maintain or build on that this coming week and beyond. We're not calling this a success yet.
Central to its strategic re-branding as a destination for engaging appointment television, ION Television is aggressively moving forward with a full slate of new off-network and original primetime programming, beginning Monday, September 7.
Kicking off the schedule at 8:00 p.m. is the Emmy-nominated, off-network hit series Ghost Whisperer, which premiered to strong ratings on ION Television on Mondays starting in June. Ghost Whisperer now moves to four nights a week, Monday through Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Debuting at 9:00 p.m. is the off-net series Criminal Minds, which will air every Monday, with additional episodes airing Tuesdays (9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.); Wednesdays (10:00 p.m.); and Fridays (10:00 p.m.) ION Television has acquired all 91 episodes of the Emmy-nominated show thus far. The critically acclaimed and award winning Durham County, ION Television's first original series, will air Monday nights at 10:00 p.m.
This is just a sneak peek at ION Television's Fall 2009 line-up. We will have the full schedule very soon as we start out of annual fall schedules blog posts with a barrage of schedules every weekday starting Monday! We've got Lifetime, TBS, and so many more. Stay with us for all of them!
Syfy made a very last minute change that we couldn't even tell you about it in time. Last night (Thursday, July 23, 2009) instead of the movie War of the Worlds 2, they aired the sitcom Mork & Mindy from 11:30pm-2am ET/PT! What a treat that was! The first five episodes aired. If you missed it, don't worry because next Thursday night, they will air another marathon. That's Thursday, July 30 from 11pm-1am ET/PT this time, and they will continue the episodes in order. And again this wasn't originally scheduled either, as this will preempt the movie Cabin Fever.
The last time Mork & Mindy aired on Sci Fi was in November with an all-day marathon the day after Thanksgiving. I'll for sure let you know if more airings are added in, and let's hope we get some. Maybe this name change to Syfy was a good idea afterall! Na-nu na-nu!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The deal includes access to existing and future episodes of Ugly Betty which will begin airing as a weekly strip on TV Guide Network in fall 2010. As part of the agreement, TVGuide.com will have rights to stream up to five Ugly Betty episodes at a time online. In addition, the deal includes repurpose rights for the upcoming fourth season of Ugly Betty premiering in October 2009 on ABC. The repeat telecast of the new episodes will air on TV Guide Network within two weeks of their premiere on ABC.
TBS is expanding the network's groundbreaking partnership with Tyler Perry and Debmar-Mercury by ordering an additional 20 episodes of the powerhouse comedy Tyler Perry's House of Payne. The order will bring the number of episodes in the series to 172, a remarkable total for any sitcom. House of Payne, along with Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns, continue to rank as the top sitcoms on cable.
House of Payne and Meet the Browns rank as ad-supported cable's top two original sitcoms of all-time among adults 18-49, viewers and households. So far in 2009, the shows are television's top two series in delivery of African-American adults 18-34. Meet the Browns also ranks as television's #1 program among African-American viewers and adults 18-49. This year, new episodes of Meet the Browns have averaged 3.2 million viewers, while new episodes of House of Payne have averaged 3 million viewers.
House of Payne is owned by Perry, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and licensed by TBS - debuted in 2006 with a test run of 10 episodes. After early results showed promise, TBS ordered a then-unprecedented 100 episodes. TBS later ordered an additional 26 episodes, followed by a deal for 26 more and the 20-episode order being announced today. The series is set in Atlanta and features LaVan Davis as fireman Curtis "Pops" Payne, a man who believes his house should be his castle, he the king and his wife, Ella (Cassi Davis), the queen. Unfortunately, their castle has turned into Grand Central Terminal, thanks to the constant comings and goings of immediate and extended family members. Lance Gross, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Allen Payne, Demetria McKinney, Larramie "Doc" Shaw and China McCain co-star.
ABC has announced premiere dates for Eastwick and Brothers & Sisters for the 2009-10 season. Eastwick will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10pm ET/PT, while Brothers & Sisters will launch its fourth season on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 10pm ET/PT. These two were the last of the fall premiere dates yet to be announced by ABC. Private Practice launches its third season on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 10pm ET/PT.
Recap yourself with the full ABC fall 2009 premiere dates.
Meanwhile, Wipeout, ABC's outrageously popular reality series, has been picked up for a third season. Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television. Moving nights, from Tuesday last summer to Wednesday this year, against tougher competition from Fox's time-period veteran So You Think You Can Dance, ABC's Wipeout is No. 1 during the 8 o'clock hour in Total Viewers and across each of the key Men demographics (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). In Adults 18-49, Wipeout is a strong and very close second to Fox's Dance. Since its debut, Wipeout stands as Wednesday's No. 1 TV program in each of the Men demos (M18-34/M18-49/M25-54). It's the No. 5 TV series of Summer 2009 with Adults 18-49 and No. 1 with Men 18-49. On average to date, Wipeout is drawing ABC's largest summer audience in the Wednesday 8 o'clock hour in 13 years and highest Adults 18-49 rating during the summer frame in 10 years since 1996 and 1999, respectively.
In other summer news, ABC will launch Crash Course on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 airing Wednesdays at 9pm through and including Wednesday, Sept. 16. As of now, only four episodes are scheduled to air. The series, hosted by Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese, is a comedic auto-obstacle course series. It will air after Wipeout and will replace I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which would conclude its run the previous week.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Next the following Tuesday on Tuesday, August 11 at 10pm ET, we get Biography: Three's Company! What do you get when a bubbly blond, a practical brunette, and a clumsy bachelor all live under one roof? Three's Company -- the sexy sitcom that had audiences laughing (and swooning) throughout the late '70s and early '80s. But for the loveable roommates, the eight-year run wasn't all fun and games. They'll explore Three's Company's ups and downs--from topping the ratings chart to fighting on-set battles over paychecks, and from breaking down cultural boundaries to facing boycott threats from moral watchdogs.
Finally the next Tuesday on Tuesday, August 18 at 10pm ET, we get Biography: Roseanne! She's racked up an Emmy, three ex-husbands (including Tom Arnold), and her own comedy, talk, cooking, reality, and radio shows. Bio TV chronicles the life and times of the loud-mouthed comedienne who can't keep her mouth shut (on or off the screen).
Bio TV also premieres The Andy Griffith Retrospective Special from 1993 on Tuesday, August 25 at 10pm ET. This one-hour special features cast members from The Andy Griffith Show gather to reminisce about the classic 1960s TV series.
Biography encores for August include Kim Fields, Alyssa Milano, Kristy McNichol, Michael J. Fox, Teen Heartthrobs on Aug. 4; Patrick Duffy, Suzanne Somers, John Ritter, Don Knotts on Aug. 11; Ed Asner, Patricia Heaton, Mr. T, Carroll O'Connor on Aug. 18; and Friends, Matthew Perry, Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, Happy Days on Aug. 25. Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals encores for the month are on The Love Boat & M*A*S*H (Aug. 11) and Welcome Back Kotter, The Facts of Life & Roseanne (Aug. 18).
Beginning next Monday (Monday, July 27), the two-week test run is over for Hallmark Channel in primetime...but there will be some reminisce of it! Right now Touched by an Angel is airing 8-10pm, followed by The Golden Girls from 10pm-1am and Cheers 1-2:30am. Now that two-week run will end. Touched by an Angel will be the only show continuing like this and will add an extra hour, airing Mon-Thurs from 8-11pm, while The Golden Girls goes back to 11pm-2am and Cheers sharing the 2am hour with I Love Lucy. Movies will air Fridays from 9-11pm.
Stay with us starting next week as we start our blog fall schedule barrage posts! We will have something different each weekday until we just about get them all! Don't you just love that time of year? The Summer TCA tour also begins next Tuesday, so it's going to be a busy couple of weeks!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Obama News Conference On Wednesday Alters Network Schedule; Cronkite Specials on Bio TV, AmericanLife; Update on Nick at Nite
ABC will air the Obama News Conference live at 8pm ET/5pm PT, so this means an all-new Wipeout will be moved in Eastern and Central time zones to 9pm ET/8pm CT instead. I Survived a Japanese Game Show will also air an hour later, at 10pm ET/9pm CT. Charlie Gibson's Special Edition of 20/20 - Over A Barrel: The Truth About Oil will now be scheduled to air on Friday, July 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, because of this change. It had been scheduled to air 10pm ET/PT on Wednesday. In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show will air in its normal time periods of 8pm PT/7pm MT and 9pm PT/8pm MT. A repeat of Primetime: Crime will air after them at 10pm PT/9pm MT. View our time zone schedule list for ABC on this date.
Next up is CBS. They will also air the Obama News Conference live at 8pm ET/5pm PT. This will preempt the repeats of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried in the East and Central at 8pm ET/7pm CT. They will air as planned in the Mountain and Pacific time zones in their regular time periods of 8pm PT/7pm MT, as the news conference airs live at 6pm MT and 5pm PT. Repeats of Criminal Minds and CSI: NY will not be affected, and air as planned in all time zones.
Finally, NBC will also air the Obama News Conference live at 8pm ET/5pm PT. In the East and Central, this will preempt the America's Got Talent encore from the previous day at 8pm ET/7pm CT. I haven't been able to 100% confirm, but it is likely that the encore will remain intact in the Mountain and Pacific time zones at 8pm PT/7pm MT, as the news conference airs live at 6pm MT and 5pm PT. An original America's Got Talent will air immediately following the news conference in the East and Central at 9/8 central and as planned in Mountain and Pacific time zones. The same goes true for The Philanthropist at 10pm ET/PT.
Really only ABC is the most affected here, so if you're DVRing or watching, be aware of the changes!
Bio TV will honor the late Walter Cronkite tonight with a repeat of his Biography episode. It will air from 8-10pm ET tonight (Tuesday, July 21, 2009). The special 2-hour portrait of the war correspondent, TV broadcast pioneer, and anchorman who was beloved by almost all Americans. With vintage clips of his most famous newscasts, including his announcement of the death of President Kennedy. Because of this schedule change, Bio TV has shifted some of its primetime programming tonight to next week. View those changes. Stay with us tomorrow for details on new Biography episodes on Bio TV for August!
AmericanLife TV will honor Walter Cronkite with the special Moments That Changed Us: Walter Cronkite. It will air today at 3pm, Wednesday at 3:30pm, and Thursday at 4pm. Throughout the 1960s, as the cost in American lives lost in the Vietnam War increased, Americans began to wonder what we were really accomplishing there. In the wake of the Tet Offensive in early 1968, Walter Cronkite, the venerable anchor of the CBS Evening News, went to Vietnam see for himself. His now-famous report from the front changed the face of journalism, changed the direction of the war and changed history. Veteran journalist Nick Clooney gets the story behind the story in a rare interview with Walter.
Yesterday we gave you a story on Nick at Nite's schedule changes. We mentioned weekends wouldn't change, but now they have. We updated the story to reflect the changes, so view the story again.
And you can also view the schedule effective July 20 in a list form. View both the story and list so you don't get confused!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Family Matters will move to 1-2am Mon-Thurs and weekend late night blocks of Fridays 3-5am, and Sat-Sun 1-3am, while The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air takes over the overnight on Mon-Thurs nights airing 3-6am. The Nanny will air 3-6am now on Sat-Sun nights. So, this means Home Improvement is off the weeknight line-up, as it was airing in the 5am hour. Not to worry, Home Improvement is still on Friday nights in the 5am hour.
View the updated Nick at Nite schedule, and stay tuned soon for the August 2009 highlights!
WGN America has acquired another sitcom for its Outta Sight Retro Night on Sunday nights. Yesterday Barney Miller launched on the network, as we announced, airing Sundays at 9pm ET/6pm PT. Now they have acquired the '80s hit Cheers to air Sunday nights in the 11pm ET/8pm PT hour starting Sunday, August 2, 2009. Cheers will shift Bewitched to 12am ET/9pm PT and I Dream of Jeannie to 1am ET/10pm PT on Sunday nights, so this means The Honeymooners are off the line-up for now.
Yes, Cheers will still remain on The Hallmark Channel as well. Hallmark airs it late nights on weeknights, while WGN America is airing it regularly on Sunday nights. This means the Outta Sight Retro Night looks like this starting at 5pm ET/2pm PT: The Cosby Show, ALF, WKRP, Newhart and Barney Miller. Then a one-hour break for the news and Cheers, Bewitched, and I Dream of Jeannie close the night off, as mentioned above. At times Coach airs in the 4pm hour if there is no baseball game. Coach regularly airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET, and it does well for them.
Stay with us in the coming weeks as we announce the WGN America fall schedule and see what more classics are in store! Stay with us!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week of July 6-12)
- Til Death (Fox) - A repeat at 7pm only mustered 1.41 million...even lower than the previous week's 1.53 million
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 3.72 million for a repeat in its regular 8pm slot and 4.01 million for a special 9:30pm repeat. Both episodes were a bit off from previous week's repeats.
- King of the Hill (Fox) - The 8:30 repeat did only 3.15 million, but down the same as the lead-in really.
- Family Guy (Fox) - 4.22 million for a repeat is OK for summer, again the pattern of being down a bit.
- American Dad! (Fox) - Only 1.8 million for a repeat at 7:30...lower than the previous week by yes...a bit.
- How I Met Your Mother
(CBS) - 5.0 million for a repeat airing, down from previous week. 1.8 A18-49 rating again though, is decent for summer.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 5.22 million for a repeat airing, lower than previous week when again but built from the lead-in. It did do a 1.9 A18-49 rating again.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 9.12 million for a repeat, down a bit from previous week. 2.7 A18-49 rating is good for summer.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 8.23 million for a repeat is also down a bit from previous week, following the pattern from its lead-ins. 2.7 18-49 rating is excellent, holding 100% from the lead-in again.
- Better Off Ted (ABC) - 2.5 million for an all-new hilarious episode. That is the best it has done this summer, maybe it needs to air in a sitcom block or hour for it to do well? 1.0 18-49 rating is also way better than what it was doing in recent weeks.
- Scrubs (ABC) -A repeat at 9:30pm did 2.12 million. Not much can be expected against Got Talent, Big Brother and the MLB All-Star Game.
- Old Christine (CBS) - Just 4.0 million for a repeat...but ever so slightly from the previous weeks... only a 1.1 A18-49 rating.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Just 4.07million for a repeat and only a 1.2 A18-49 rating...but up from previous week in both measures slightly.
- The Office (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 2.99 and 3.04 million for repeats at 8:30 and 9...both up slightly from previous week.
- 30 Rock (NBC) 2 episodes - Only 3.33 and 2.8 million for repeats at 8 and 9:30pm, and only a 1.1 and 1.2 A18-49 rating for each. But both up slightly from previous week in viewers.
- Samantha Who? (ABC) - preempted....season finale this week.
- Everybody Hates Chris (The CW) - A repeat at 9pm did a prelim 1.09 million. That was up from previous week, but let's see if it holds up in the final ratings.
- The Game (The CW) - A repeat did 1.06 million prelim viewers for this canceled sitcom as well...also up from previous week...again let's see it holds up.
- Surviving Suburbia (ABC) - Prelim numbers show only 2.62 million for an all-new episode at 8pm, but up from previous week's prelim numbers.
- The Goode Family (ABC) - Prelim numbers were even worse for an all-new episode of this show with 1.63 million, but still up some from previous week's prelim numbers. This is a decent show you guys.
- According to Jim (ABC) 2 episodes - 2 repeats did a prelim 1.92 million average, lower than previous week's prelim average. As always, check out final numbers for Friday for these shows and all the Friday shows on our message board tomorrow.
Coming Week Preview (July 20-26):
We are preempting this week's preview so we can you bring you another special blog DVD review on a special day! So enjoy that below.
Welcome to a special edition of the Blog DVD Review. Today we take a look at Shout! Factory's American Gladiators: The Battle Begins. American Gladiators is the classic '90s syndicated series that was shown on weekends across the country. Let the battle begin! See Seth's Blog DVD Review of American Gladiators: The Battle Begins:
American Gladiators: The Battle Begins (Shout!, $29.99) brings us classic episodes of the absolutely wonderful original version of American Gladiators onto DVD for the first time!
The first release for the set is slightly odd, as Shout! has made the decision to *not* release, at least for now, the first half of the first season. Before anyone gets out their pitchforks and torches, there's a very good reason for this. Those 13 shows bare only moderate resemblance to the show that would remain on the air for years to come. That first half-season the show took the whole "gladiator" concept a little more seriously, with a roman-themed set and gladiators who were characters just as much as they were athletes. Nevermind the off-beat announcing style of Joe "visibly interesting" Theismann. Joe's style, while well-suited for a sport such as football, was very out of place those initial episodes and if you catch the episodes on their next airplays on ESPN Classic you'll quickly come to realize that omitting all but one of these episodes is probably for the best.
They did, however, leave in one: The 1st half recap show, which serves as a highlight/clip compilation for the first half-season. In the length of a normal full episode, you're given the rundown on what occurred in the first half of the first season, with clips and analysis from Theismann and the host all Gladiators fans have come to know and love, Mike Adamle. (This clip show IS from the normal package of episodes, and does feature Joe Theismann's strange episode intro -- to understand the whole "visually interesting" comment, you should sit through the first minute of this show. It's also important to catch this episode so you know who the 1st half champions are, as despite its fractured nature the season does still feature the two sets of half-season winners facing off in the Grand Championship at the end of the set.
The remaining 13 shows (the 5 preliminaries, the four quarterfinals, the two semi-finals, the finals, and the Grand Championship) feel a *lot* more like what you'd expect American Gladiators to feel like, though there is still *one* difference. While these shows feature all the original classic games, and the first of the normal graphics packages, and that classic theme music -- Mike Adamle's best-remembered co-host (sorry, Nitro, but you're more well remembered as a gladiator and not as a co-presenter) Larry Csonka isn't present. He didn't join the show until the 2nd year. In these 13 "normal" shows Mike Adamle is joined by Todd Christensen as co-presenters, with Adamle now considered the main host after Theismann's departure. For those of you who don't follow football, Todd Christensen spent just over a decade in the league with two Super Bowl rings to his credit as well as *five* trips to the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, the show would need to take one more trip through the ranks of retired football players to find the right co-host for Adamle as Mike and Todd just don't have terribly great chemistry on-air, in my opinion.
As the show is two parts athletic competition, one part game show, I really can't point out any particular "memorable episodes," as one of the fun things about athletic competitions, in my opinion, is watching them unfold. In terms of guests, the only real one of note is contestant Billy Wirth, who shows up in the first episode on set, the first half recap show. Billy appeared in the movie "The Lost Boys" a couple of years prior. Considering the episodes included and excluded, I found it a bit interesting that a whole special feature -- and the only contestant interview -- was devoted to someone who appeared in the episodes not included.
It's been months since I've gotten to write a review, either for the main site or blog, where I *didn't* have to complain about packaging. I'm strangely thrilled to report that Shout! used a quality packaging type for this set -- slimcases. I love slimcases. They're small, but they're tough as nails. And with slimcases you have the ability to have more, and more differentiated, artwork. As someone who tends to focus in on the graphical quality of these DVD sets, that's an important feature. The front cover, baffling again, features five of the six original *first half-season* gladiators. The missing gladiator is Zap, while Malibu and Sunny, who only appeared in those initial shows, appear in the cover art alongside Gemini, Nitro, and Lace. A giant version of the logo takes up the top half of the artwork, with the aforementioned five appearing in front of a dark smoke-filled background. Rear artwork features the usual sales pitch text, a photo of Nitro on the top-right corner, and some photos below. One photo is interesting as it shows a contestant and Zap playing the game Hang Tough, the aerial rings game that didn't debut until later in the show's run. Yes, I know this show *so* well I can pinpoint a photograph error from 50 paces. Perhaps I should invest in this "life" thing that I keep hearing people promoting so much. One other little note from the resident graphics guy: The set takes the red, white and blue motif and runs with it. Everything from the package art to the colors of the three discs to the color schemes used on the menu follow this format. That, my friends, is visual consistency!
The menus are fantastic, by the way. Each menu features the show logo and episode options in solid-color metal panels in the top-left and bottom-right corners, respectively. The rest of the space is occupied by clips from the show, while the amazing Bill Conti theme plays on a loop in the background. From the main menu you can select any of the stages of the competition from the tournament available on the disc. In an interesting deviation from most episodic DVD releases, each tournament tier is initially clustered together in the menus. The recap show (disc 1) as well as the 2nd half finals and Grand Championship (disc 3) are individually. The rest are grouped under the main menu by the tournament level. The semi-finals (disc 3) are grouped together. The quarter-finals (disc 2) are grouped together. Most of the preliminaries are grouped together too on disc 1. Only the 5th and final prelim, which couldn't fit on the first disc, is held separate. From each "tier," you can then access each individual episode.
Chapter stops occur with the placement of each commercial break, resulting in approximately 5 per show. Running times play for approximately 44 minutes per episode. This seems short at first, but you need to keep in mind that this was a first-run syndication series, meaning more commercial time. Lower run-times are common on shows whose first runs were in syndication, and is not indicative of edits. Video quality isn't A+, and the video does have some minor issues with noise, interlacing issues around edges, and other minor glitches. But if you're actually a fan of the show, you're not going to care.
But wait, there's more! There are special features -- well, two of them anyway. As mentioned earlier, there is an interview with first-half contestant Billy Wirth. Featuring clips and a new interview, the bit lasts 10 minutes and *is* an interesting thing to watch. The other, far more interesting feature is *commentary* by Nitro (Dan Clark), Zap (Raye Hollitt), and Laser (Jim Starr) -- who are the three longest-tenured, and probably most famous, gladiators. You could make an argument for one or two others, but these three are easily at the top of the heap, particularly Nitro and Zap. The commentaries flow from one to another, and to get the entire picture you have to listen to them *all*.
A bit of a warning -- special features are unrated, and for example, Nitro upon seeing one contestant goes "THERE'S that b*****d!," before explaining how said person was probably the dirtiest (in terms of game play) of any contender in the show's history. It's multiple enjoyable episodes worth of commentary. A final note in the commentary track is an explanation of what happened to Sunny and Malibu. As the three explained: In Sunny's case, she legitimately got hurt -- blew out her knee -- and as a result that was it. Malibu...he had difficulty taking the bumps, and overall just didn't fit into the show. Most of the male gladiators had football backgrounds, and as a result at least had *some* experiences taking the hard hits. He wasn't a square peg in a round hole...really, he was a square peg in a rectangular hole.
I've loved this show since I first caught reruns on USA in the early 1990s, and to not only be able to see it again on ESPN Classic but now be able to enjoy it any time thanks to the magic of DVD is a genuine treat. This was, unquestionably, one of my favorite series growing up, and I really would like to see future seasons on DVD. I wasn't particularly a fan of the 2008 revival, but for hours of quality entertainment you genuinely can't go wrong with this show. It's in stores now -- as is a book by Nitro (Dan Clark) -- for that matter, and I highly recommend both.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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Also, you can buy the Nitro's book (Gladiator: A True Story of 'Roids, Rage, and Redemption) on Amazon.com
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
See my Blog DVD Review of Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season:
Pushing Daisies: The Complete Second Season (Warner, $49.99) brings the second and unfortunately the final season, of the comedic drama that is enchanting, original, different, and entertaining!
Pushing Daisies centers on the life of Ned, a pie-maker gifted with the mysterious ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. There are a couple of conditions to this somewhat unwanted talent, however. Ned quickly learns that if something is revived for more than exactly one minute, something of similar "life value" in the vicinity drops dead, as a form of balance. Additionally, if he touches the revived thing a second time, it falls dead again - permanently. Ned discovered his gift as a child by resurrecting his Golden Retriever, Digby, after the dog is hit by a truck...now Ned can never touch his dog again. And later he found his childhood sweetheart (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles) dead and resurrected her...and he can never touch her again, either. The pie-maker has now teamed up with private eye Emerson Cod in solving homicides by bringing them back to life for a minute to get clues.
The series aired on ABC and starred Lee Pace as Ned, Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, Chi McBride as Emerson Cod, Ellen Greene as Vivian Charles, Swoosie Kurtz as Lily Charles, and Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook. The series is narrated by Jim Dale. Among the specials guests for the second season are French Stewart, Autumn Reeser, Stephen Root, Fred Willard, Orlando Jones, David Arquette, Wendie Malick, Josh Hopkins, and Gina Torres.
This second season is once again charming and riveting. We get 13 episodes for season two, beating the 9 episodes in the first season which was shortened due to the writers' strike. The series was nominated for 12 Emmys including one for Lee Pace and Kristin Chenoweth in season one. For season two Chenoweth was nominated once again and was nominated for a total of 5 nominations. Some classic episodes for season two include the season premiere "Bzzzzzzzzz!," where Chuck goes undercover as a "Bee Girl" at a honey-based cosmetics company after their new spokesmodel is stung to death. In "Bad Habits," Olive calls on the Pie Maker and Emerson to solve a suspicious suicide of a fellow nun that she believes was murdered. In "Comfort Food," Ned and Olive compete at the Papen County Comfort Food Cook-Off, where Ned brings back to life Colonel Likkin, who was mysteriously deep fried to death. In "The Norwegians," Ned, Chuck, and Emerson finally meet their match when three rival Norwegian detectives start to get in their way after Vivian hires them to investigate the disappearance of Dwight Dixon. And finally in the series finale "Kerplunk," the past becomes the present when one half of the Darling Mermaid Darlings’ arch rivals, the Aquadolls, is killed. Those episodes really stand out, but they are all very good.
The packaging has a box holding the case inside. The front of the box has a nice blue sky with nice white fluffy clouds (show logo in the clouds again) setting with the entire cast sitting on daisies. The back cover has information on the series and has nice artwork of Ned and Chuck in the clouds again, as Ned is sitting on a pie. On top of that we have a nice quote from USA Today. There is also a section detailing the special features and credits & technical specifications also. Then inside is the nice case itself. Last time it was themed for The Pie Hole menu, this time it is themed to look like the Betty's Bees episode. The front of the case has the show logo inside some honey with a few bees surrounding it inside I believe a bee hive. The back of the case also has the bee hive with a few bees. Opening the case, we get an episode booklet on the left side. The episode booklet is very creative again. It is designed for the Betty's Bee episode! The front has the show logo with some bees flying around and a jar of honey. Inside the booklet, it has nice photos, episode numbers, titles, original airdates, writers, directors and a synopsis of the episode. We also get cast credits and special features listings inside some honey. As for the discs, a little white holder holds discs one and two, then you can flip that like a page in a book and you get disc three and four on the next little holder. Each disc is on one side each of the holder. The artwork on each disc is very cool! They are surrounding a big daisy! Disc one has episodes 1-4 with artwork of Chuck and Ned. Disc two has episodes 5-8 and has artwork of Olive and Emerson. Disc three has episodes 9-12 and has artwork of Digby the dog and Pigby the pig. And finally disc four has episode 13 and the extras and has artwork of Aunt Vivian and Aunt Lilly.
The menu screen is basic but it works. The closing theme is playing in the background with the same artwork as the cover art on the box. There are auto-trailers on discs one before the main menu starts...all it is a trailer for Blu-ray for WHV. The options on the main menu are Play, Episodes, Languages and Extra Helpings (disc four only). In the Languages section, we have the option of audio in English or Portuguese and subtitles in English, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai or Spanish. The Episodes option has three screenshots on the left and the episodes are listed in he middle, similar to last time. We once again have an option to turn on or off the recaps before episode episode, as they can get annoying if you're watching these straight through. Extra Helpings option is only on disc four and it has those extras.
The episodes run usually between 41-43 minutes or so...unedited of course with all the great music intact. There are about 7 or 8 chapter stops per episode, counting the recaps. There is an option on the menu to turn off the recaps, as mentioned earlier. After the seventh episode of the season, there are no more recaps anyway, so on discs three and four we don't have the option. The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! 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. One tidbit, the "Robbing Hood" episode has the full opening theme! Every other episode has that short 5 second opening with the show logo, as that is how it was originally.
Moving on to the Extra Helpings. This is only on disc four. The menu has a honey jar with bees flying around. We get four little featurettes. The first one is titled "The Master Pie-Maker" and it runs 12:32. Interviewed are Bruce Cohen (executive producer), Dan Jinks (executive producer), Kristin Chenoweth, Bryan Fuller (creator, writer, executive producer), Chi McBride, Ellen Greene, Swoosie Kurtz, Lee Pace, Ana Friel, Jeff Johnson (roperty master), Todd McIntosh (make-up department head), and Michael Wylie (production designer). This extra is about the brilliant mind of Bryan Fuller. How creative is he? Then we have "From Oven to Table" and it runs 5:16. Interviewed are Bryan Fuller, Todd McIntosh, Daniel Curet (hair department head), Lee Pace, Ana Friel, Michael Wylie, and Kristin Chenoweth. This one is very short but good, as we see how the make-up department handles the dead people. Lots of make-up! The third one is titled "Secret Sweet Ingredients," and it runs 7:44. Interviewed are Bryan Fuller, Kristin Chenoweth, Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks, and Jim Dooley (composer). Jim Dooley does an excellent score for each scene. We see his secret sweet ingredient added to the show! Finally, we have "Add a Little Magic," and it runs 3:59. Interviewed are William Powloski (visual effects supervisor) and Elizabeth Castro (visual effects producer). This feature is about the effects used in the rhino scene from the episode "Window Dressed to Kill."
I highly recommend you buy this DVD set, especially if you have the first season. It is such a shame the writers' strike ruined the momentum in the first season as I think it could be still going right now if it had a full first season of 22 episodes instead of 9! Who knows it could have had 22 for season two as well. I think the long break between seasons killed the show. Maybe ABC should have brought it back in April of that year for 6 more episodes or so. Warner Home Video has done a great job AGAIN with this series on DVD. We have wonderful artwork, scenery, brilliant performances, and just a fun show to watch. It ended too soon and I wish it didn't. Long live this show and I said "oh hell no" when I heard the series was gone. So you better buy this DVD and watch what you missed!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
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Our blog DVD reviews continues tomorrow for the third straight Sunday special, this time a look at the classic American Gladiators on DVD! Stay with us tomorrow!
Friday, July 17, 2009
TV One August 2009 Highlights; Hallmark Extends Primetime Schedules for 1 More Week; Calling All Runners!
Elsewhere on TV One August we have some stunts! On Saturday, August 15 beginning at 12pm and lasting through 8pm, the lazy days of summer are in full swing as TV One presents the "Operation: Summer Vacation Sitcom Marathon" featuring storylines of your favorite TV One sitcom characters on extended vacations including episodes from Martin, The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, The Hughleys, and Living Single. Select episodes will also encore late night that night from 2am-6am. At least The Jeffersons will air on this special marathon!
Finally, TV One will close out summer on Saturday, Sept. 5. On Saturday, September 5 beginning at 12pm and lasting through 8pm, summer is ending and it's that time again as TV One gets ready for fall with a "Back to School" marathon consisting of an all-day sitcom marathon featuring school-related storylines including episodes from Good Times, The Parent'hood, Like Family, and All of Us. Select episodes will also encore late night that night from 2am-6am.
The Hallmark Channel is keeping the primetime schedule that aired this week for next week as well. It was scheduled to end last night, but will air tonight as well. So Touched by an Angel will air from 8-10pm, followed by The Golden Girls from 10pm-1am, and Cheers from 1am-2:30am. As of now, this primetime schedule will air through and including Thursday, July 23.
The original primetime schedule was Touched by an Angel at 8pm, a Movie from 9-11pm, Golden Girls from 11pm-2am, and then Cheers/I Love Lucy in the 2am hour. Will that return next Friday? We'll have to wait and see, but for now the primetime schedule that started last week will air next week as well.
Finally, The Fresh Air Fund is still looking for runners and sponsors to join The Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon on Sunday, August 16. This is a great way to participate in NYC's premier summer road race while helping Fresh Air Fund children. Last summer's NYC Half-Marathon was a huge success and the Fresh Air Fund-Racers raised more than $125,000. They are also still in need of Friendly Town hosts for next month. Host families open their hearts and home to a NYC child who would not otherwise have the opportunity to escape the hot, crowded city streets. WABC-7 in NYC will air a one-hour highlight show from 11:30pm through 12:30am on Sunday, Aug. 16 on television.
For more information, visit their website.
SITCOMS AIRING TONIGHT (June 19)
SITCOMS AIRING TONIGHT (June 19)
The Middle - "The Name" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Frankie's sister, Janet (Molly Shannon), comes to the rescue and offers to help run the Heck household while Frankie studies for her dental assisting school finals. But the sheer amount of disorganization in the house throws perfectionist Janet for a loop. Meanwhile, when Cassidy's ex-boyfriend pays an unexpected visit from college, Axl tries to take the high road and not act like a jealous boyfriend; and Sue wants to legally change her middle name -- which is also Sue -- in order to have a normal name on her driver's license.
Family Tools - "The Big Event" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Jack and Darren get locked in a room at a client's house, their bickering reveals the underlying reasons for their continuous conflict. At home, Jack and Darren's unexplained absence has a ripple effect on Terry, Tony, Mason and Stitch as they prepare for the annual Mapleport Classic Car Parade.
Modern Family - "Open House of Horrors" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Claire has overdone it in Halloweens past and the neighbors definitely don't share her enthusiasm, so this year she's being forced to tone it down and keep it "kid-friendly," and Phil has an idea to hold an open house on Halloween night. Meanwhile, Mitch and Cam host a costume party while contending with Lily wondering who her real mom is, and Gloria's pregnancy hormones are on overdrive, making her even more hotheaded than usual.
How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) - "How to Help the Needy" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Polly is a hit at Elaine's birthday lunch, Elaine is left feeling uninteresting, so Polly gets her an audition for a movie to boost her ego. But Polly soon realizes she's fallen into an old pattern of putting her mother's dream before her own.
Melissa & Joey - "Oh Brother" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Joe thinks Mel may be related to one of her childhood friends; Lennox learns that her blog sponsor uses unfair labor practices.
Baby Daddy - "The Slump" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Danny meets with a psychologist to learn why his hockey game is suffering; Riley avoids Fitch in the hope that Danny will make a move; Ben's latest fling competes with Tucker for a promotion.
Hot in Cleveland - "It's Alive!" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Elka and Mamie's illegal business activities endanger the group; a local mobster and his mother offer help.
The Exes - "Toy Story" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
The guys try to fix Holly's vibrator before she finds out they have broken it.