Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Battlestar Galactica - The Plan

Happy Halloween from all of us here at SitcomsOnline! Today's blog of course is "all-boo"!

Welcome to our weekly Blog DVD Review. Today we take a look at Universal Home Video's Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. Battlestar Galactica is a current remake of the '70s sci-fi series. See Seth's Blog DVD Review of Battlestar Galactica: The Plan :

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Universal, $26.98)) is a direct-to-DVD follow-up of the acclaimed Sci-Fi Channel original series, whose run concluded this year. The movie follows the action of the Cylons - robots (both mechanical and human-appearing) bent on the genocide of humanity - through the course of events of the first two seasons. If you're not already a fan of the show, you can stop reading right here: This one's strictly for the existing fans.

Warning: All remaining parts of the review will assume at least a passing familiarity with the plot of the show through its four seasons. I'll try to avoid excessive spoilers of both the feature and the TV run, but if you have no clue what I'm even writing about you're going to be doubly confused watching this feature.

Really, this feature - directed by show star Edward James Olmos - isn't even a follow-up so much as a clean-up. The show left several plot issues not entirely explained or even in a position to be left to the imagination, and so this feature goes back to fill in the gaps. The timeline of The Plan spans the events of the miniseries and first two seasons of the show. There's nothing from New Caprica or beyond, but as I happen to dislike the events after that arc was resolved anyway, it's perfectly fine by me to exclude that part.

In the process you get a major amount of new material for two characters, Anders (Michael Trucco) and Cavil (the amazing Dean Stockwell). You also get a flushing out and rehabilitation for one of the least-discussed models, Simon (Rick Worthy) plus some explanation for the conflicting nature of the Cylon model Eight known as Boomer. (Grace Park). Really, the entire thing is a two hour back-story info-dump. Really, that's the problem. There's no cohesive narrative. If you're not a BSG fan there's absolutely zero appeal to watch the movie, and nothing to hold you riveted if you choose to anyway. It's for fans only.
Though unrated, the DVD presentation is clearly for mature audiences only though the packaging doesn't state this. Aside from the near-genocide of the human species and militaristic violence, there's also a particularly disturbing act of violence by one of the two Cavils towards the end, plus some nudity and sexual situations. Without having to clean the show up for cable, things get slightly dirtier. The aforementioned adult situations are for the most part done fairly well contextually, but still, if just for the violence alone you'd have to be insane to let a small child watch this, and the packaging probably needed a better warning. Universal backed down from a plan to include an edited down "for-broadcast" version of the episode, leaving only the unrated full cut on the set. This was probably a mistake, in hindsight.

There's one disc in the set - the full feature being a movie running just short of two hours. The artwork is similar for the set as with the season releases, with lots of dark colors and silver tones, Because the film focuses so much on the Cylons, all characters depicted on the front cover are Cylons. The disc is blue, and in general fits in with the design scheme of the show's previous releases. Solid job by the artwork folks - it's appreciated. Video quality is an interesting issue: The movie features a combination of new footage interspersed with occasional old footage. The old footage looks just *slightly* out of place. More out of place is suddenly watching characters age forward or backwards five years in some scenes. Audio is a wonderful 5.1 surround track. The show has always made wonderful use of music, and it really shines on the multi-channel audio format. Obviously you can skip ahead via chapter stops - otherwise it'd be quite maddening to navigate a two hour feature.

The set also comes with loads of bonus features (otherwise it wouldn't be a Galactica set). Spanning the full length of the movie is a commentary by the feature's main writer Jane Espenson alongside the movie's director (and series star) Edward James Olmos. You get to hear their respective takes on why they did what they did in this movie's production. The episode is directed beautifully, though the writing does have one or two issues with scene flow. Overall it's quite a nice listen.
You also get a feature talking about Olmos' path from show star to show director, the social relevancy of the show (particularly in its first two-plus seasons), and interview with the cast. Also included are deleted scenes, plus features on creating the destruction of the Twelve Colonies, a lengthy one about the visual effects that went into the film, as well as one that talks about the Cylons and their portrayals. One of the main things to watch in this and the other features is the unrestrained praise for Dean Stockwell.

Dean (who I've been a huge fan of ever since the Quantum Leap days) slowly has all of the evil intents and purposes of the Cylons placed onto his shoulders, so that by the time we get to this feature he's easily the overwhelming source of the evil of the Cylon race. Add in to that having to portray a second, nicer, version of himself in this same movie, and you get a phenomenal performance by an exceptional actors. This one theme - that Dean Stockwell IS awesome - is hammered home more than just about any other single point it seemed to me, and I have to concur.

As much as I loved the first two-and-change years of the show, as much as I happen to love the acting of Dean Stockwell, and as much as I'm happy to see some depth added to the second-tier Cylons (Simon in particular), there's something about this movie that just doesn't feel right. Really, it's not a stand-alone feature at all so much as a companion piece to the first two seasons. If anything, the idea order for watching the series would be to watch the miniseries and seasons 1 and 2 plus Razor. When you get to the point where they want to airlock the dual Cavils, stop and watch this DVD. Once done, finish the series. That's really the idea viewing order, and the one that makes the most sense chronologically, thanks in part to the way the opening and closing scenes frame the film.

But as a stand-alone feature, based solely on its merits and without the cushioning of the TV show itself? It's incoherent, and there's too much going on with too little exposition. This, more than just about any other film release of a TV show I've ever seen, really is just for the fans. If you're a fan (with no inhibitions towards violence or moderate sexual content, pick this up NOW. If you're not a fan, or those two content issues are deal-breakers? Avoid it like the plague; you'll only get a headache. I personally liked it, but only because I already knew what was going on. If you're a fan? It is 4/5 Stars. If you're not? It is 2/5 stars. Hence, my final score below...

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(3/5 stars)

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Related links:
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Nick at Nite November 2009 Highlights - George Lopez Thanksgiving Week; American Dad Renewed Through 2011

Nick at Nite this November will celebrate Thanksgiving with George...George Lopez, of course! But first the regular schedule remains pretty consistent with October, with Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Hates Chris having the 8-10pm block Sun-Thurs, followed by George Lopez in the 10pm hour Sun-Fri, The Nanny from 11pm-1am every night, more George Lopez in the 1am hour Mon-Fri, Roseanne from 2-6am every night, and The Nanny in the 6am half-hour every weekday. Variations include Glenn Martin, DDS on Mondays at 8pm & Saturdays at 10:30pm, Malcolm in the Middle weekends in the 1am hour, Everybody Hates Chris gets the Nickelodeon hour on Fridays at 9, while George Lopez gets it Saturdays at 9, and finally Everybody Hates Chris airs in the 10pm half-hour on Saturdays.
As for specials and stunts, we have an encore of Mr. Troop Mom starring George Lopez airing this Sunday (Nov. 1) from 9-11pm. And during Thanksgiving Week (Nov. 23-29), it's nothing but George Lopez, as Nick at Nite celebrates the holiday with their favorite family! So spend time with your family watching the Lopez family all-week long from 9pm-6am (Mon-Thurs), 10pm-6am (Fri, Sun), and 9:30pm-6am (Sat).
View the full November 2009 schedule and highlights!
Meanwhile on Nickelodeon, on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 26) we get Nick Jr. specials from 6:30am-11:30am which includes Barbie: 3 Musketeers, followed by iCarly, True Jackson, SpongeBob, and Mr. Troop Mom movies. SpongeBob and The Penguins of Madagascar get a marathon, including premieres at 8:00pm on Friday, November 27. On Saturday, November 28, all-new Nicktoons episodes from 9:00am-12:00pm & iCarly premiere from 8:00pm-9:30pm. And finally on Sunday, November 29, it's the all-new Merry Christmas Drake & Josh movie from 8:00pm-10:00pm.

Fox has ordered a sixth season of American Dad!, the animated series featuring security-obsessed CIA agent and devoted family man Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane). Recently honored with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program, American Dad! airs Sundays (9:30PM ET/PT) on Fox. The series ranks in the Top 10 programs of the season among Teens, Male Teens, Men 18-34, Persons 12-34, Adults 18-34 and Men 18-49.
The renewal means that all three series from Seth MacFarlane -- Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and now American Dad! -- have pickups through next season (2010-2011).
Currently American Dad! is in its fifth season on TV, but is still airing episodes produced for season four.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Scrubs and Better off Ted Return to ABC in December; NBC Cancels Trauma, More Chuck; Roseanne's Wicked Halloween Bash on TV Land

Scrubs will return with an all-new season starting Tuesday, December 1 (as I expected), as the action will shift from Sacred Hearts hospital to the classroom and make med-school professors of John C. McGinley's Dr. Cox and Donald Faison's Dr. Turk, however their students will still make rounds at Sacred Heart. Eliza Coupe as intern Denise "Jo from Facts of Life" Mahoney will remain on the show. Joining the cast are Michael Mosley, Kerry Bishe and Dave Franco. Scrubs will air back-to-back episodes for its season premiere on Dec. 1 at 9:00pm & 9:30pm (airing after A Charlie Brown Christmas and the new special Disney Prep & Landing), before airing every Tuesday in the 9:00pm half hour. Most of the original cast will make appearances throughout the season, including Zach Braff as J.D., but this series will now focus on a new cast with McGinley and Faison now the stars. 18 episodes have been ordered for season nine, of which at least 4 or 5 will air in December before the holidays.
The new Scrubs will lead into the second season of the hilarious comedy Better off Ted. That will launch its second season on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 9:30pm. Unofficially 13 episodes have been ordered, but there is no confirmation of that. The first season had 13 episodes, with 7 airing in the spring and 6 in the summer. If you missed any of those 13 episodes, get the DVD coming out Dec. 1 or watch the last 5 episodes from season one on Hulu.

NBC has canceled freshman medical drama Trauma, which is airing Mondays at 9pm. The series has failed to draw any interest and will remain airing until it finishes its 13 episode order, as of now at least, but production has stopped for anything more than 13 episodes. If NBC sticks with the show on the schedule, the finale will be airing on Dec. 21.
Meanwhile, it looks like Chuck will return earlier than planned, as NBC has ordered 6 more episodes of the one-hour comedy. Originally 13 episodes were ordered, so now we have a total of 19. It is expected to return to Mondays starting in January now, instead of March. Stay with us for an official confirmation!

TV Land has stirred up a magical brew of Halloween-themed episodes of Roseanne to celebrate All Hallow's Eve on Saturday, October 31 from 10:00PM-2:00AM (ET/PT). Tune in to "Roseanne's Wicked Halloween Bash" for a haunting night of episodes, including when the Conners have a spooky night of fun with a Ouija board, a hilarious parody of the horror flick Rosemary's Baby, their annual Halloween party at the lodge and finally, a night filled with antics that leads to the arrival of a new family member -- Jerry Garcia Conner.
Episodes airing are: "BOO!," "Trick or Treat," "Trick Me Up, Trick Me Down," "Halloween IV," "Halloween V," "Skeleton in the Closet," "Halloween: the Final Chapter," and "Satan, Darling."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grounded for Life Returns to ABC Family; Comedy Central Acquires The Goode Family

Grounded for Life is returning to ABC Family in November. They made a last minute change and will return Grounded for Life on Monday, Nov. 2 airing weekdays in the 4pm hour, replacing What I Like About You, which will be leaving the line-up for now. The Donal Logue sitcom was airing on weekends (Saturdays 10-11am and Sundays 11am-12pm) until the end of September, when it was replaced by 8 Simple Rules in October, so now the sitcom returns...in a much better slot and more airings! Now all they need to do is add 8 Simple Rules back to weekdays, and I'll be happy!
View our previous blog post on ABC Family November 2009, which we highlighted the Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas (Nov. 10-30).

Comedy Central has acquired the animated sitcom The Goode Family for play starting in January. The series aired for 13 episodes this past summer on ABC and didn't deliver in the ratings on Wednesday nights before quickly being burned off to Friday nights. The Goode Family is from Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, and there is also a slight chance Comedy Central can pick up the show for a second season and produce new episodes!
The series revolves around a family attempting to live an ultra-politically correct lifestyle and stars the voices of Mike Judge, Nancy Carell, Linda Cardellini, Dave Herman and Brian Doyle-Murray. It was pretty good, I thought.
Comedy Central is also in talks to pick-up Sit Down, Shut Up, the Fox animated sitcom that also was short-lived, Variety reports. Stay tuned if they do!

Speaking of animated comedies, look for the classic Halloween special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown tonight at 8pm on ABC leading into ABC Comedy Wednesday comedies The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town from 8:30-10pm. Good stuff!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cougar Town Special Marathon on SOAPnet, ION Television November 2009; TV Land Makes Changes to Yesterday's Changes

SOAPnet announced that it will air a four-episode marathon of ABC's hit comedy Cougar Town on Saturday, November 14 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. The critically acclaimed series airs Wednesdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC. They are doing this to attract even more new viewers to the program. The show has done very well in the ratings, especially in the 18-49 demo. The Cougar Town marathon will include four previous episodes ("Pilot," "Into the Great Wide Open," "Don't Do Me Like That," and "I Won't Back Down") previously broadcast on ABC earlier this season.
Courteney Cox stars as Jules, a recently divorced single mother exploring the honest truths about dating and aging in our beauty and youth obsessed culture. While most women in their twenties go through life experiencing the challenges and often humorous pitfalls of meeting men, Jules took on the responsibilities of marriage and raising a son. Now in her forties, she embarks on a journey to self-discovery whilst surrounded by fellow divorcees and singletons eager to live or re-live a time gone by.
Along for the journey are her friends and family: Laurie (Busy Philipps), the younger, feisty co-worker who encourages her to get out there and have some fun; Ellie (Christa Miller), the sarcastic, unapologetic confidante content with her life and marriage to her average, but loveable husband, Andy (Ian Gomez); ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt), a classic under-achiever who'll test her patience as they attempt to raise their teenage son, Travis (Dan Byrd); and newly divorced neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins), who proves to be a catalyst of sorts for Jules.

This November on ION Television, we don't have any schedules changes, as of now, but we have a lot of movie premieres. ION airs movies Fridays in primetime and all-day on Saturday & Sundays (3pm-11pm). Movie premieres for the month are On Deadly Ground, Breach, Heist, Miami Vice, Out for Justice, Waterworld, Demolition Man, and The Rookie. Encore airings include Hunt for Red October, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Last Boy Scout, Batman Forever, Sphere, Pale Rider, Magnum Force, and The Enforcer.
So the regular weekday schedule will remain the same as it is now, with Reba at 4, Family Feud from 5-7p, Ghost Whisperer at 7, and in primetime Ghost Whisperer at 8, followed by various nights and times of NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Durham County.
See the full ION Television November 2009 schedule.

Yesterday we announced some TV Land schedule changes that starts today...and now they have made changes to those changes. Bonanza will still replace Gunsmoke at 3pm, leaving Gunsmoke only at 2pm on weekdays, but now Bonanza will remain in its 4pm and 5pm hours. That means All in the Family (originally scheduled to air 4pm) will now air back-to-back in the 6pm hour replacing Little House on the Prairie, which leaves the weekday schedule now. It will remain Sunday nights (early Monday mornings) from 4-6am. Sanford & Son (originally scheduled to air 5pm) will now get the 7pm hour, replacing Andy Griffith, Hogan's Heroes and Brady Bunch hours. Andy Griffith Show will still be replacing series from 8-10pm weekdays (Fridays it is 8-9pm), as we announced yesterday. However, Cosby Show will replace Andy's Monday block from 10pm-12am. Other little changes include two-hour episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on weekends from 8-10am, Gunsmoke & Bonanza on Sundays are now 10am-3pm, and Andy Griffith is now 3pm-9pm on Sundays. M*A*S*H follows on Sundays from 9pm-11pm, as Roseanne gets an additional hour now on Sundays airing 11pm-2am. Also a personal bummer for me, the Three's Company marathon slated for this Saturday (Oct. 31) from 12:30pm-8pm, will be replaced by Sanford & Son and it gets two more hours, too, airing from 12:30pm-10pm.
See the full changes and the full TV Land schedule now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

TV Land Orders Sitcom Pilots, Schedule Changes This Week; NBC Orders Full Seasons of 3 Shows; Remembering Soupy Sales and More

TV Land has given cast-contingent pilot orders to the comedy series Hot in Cleveland and Retired at 35. This is TV Land's first foray into scripted comedy series and is being developed for TV Land PRIME, the network's primetime programming block designed to appeal to the attitudes, life stage and interests of people in their 40s.
Hot in Cleveland is written by Emmy Award-winning Suzanne Martin (Frasier, Ellen) and produced by Emmy Award-winner Sean Hayes' (Will & Grace) Hazy Mills Production.
Chris Case (Reba, Spin City) is the writer for Retired at 35 and Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis (Rita Rocks, Reba, Titus) are executive producers.
Hot in Cleveland revolves around three fabulous, eccentric, LA women of a certain age, and best friends whose lives are changed forever when their plane unexpectedly lands in Cleveland and they soon rediscover themselves in this new "promised land." Retired at 35 follows a successful businessman who decides to leave the rat race of New York City behind and move into his parents’ Florida retirement home to reconnect with them, reevaluate his life and live the dream of retirement that so many are working towards.
These are just pilot orders, it doesn't mean they will air and have been picked-up. It all depends on the cast and if the pilots came out good. So stay with us and you'll find out if they actually make it on air!

Also at TV Land, some changes are happening this week...and they are pretty good if you like classic TV! Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 27), weekdays in the 4pm hour will now be more All in the Family, replacing an episode of Bonanza. All in the Family will also still remain in the 12 noon half-hour as well! In the 5pm hour, we now have an hour of Sanford & Son, replacing Bonanza. And Sanford & Son will remain in the 11am hour as well. Bonanza is now airing 6pm om Tuesdays (Little House remains on the other weekdays), Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, and weekdays at 3pm now replacing an episode of Gunsmoke, which remains at 2pm. The other weekday changes in the 7pm hour is now The Andy Griffith Show, as Hogan's Heroes and Brady Bunch are not airing anymore on weekdays. Andy will also air from 8-10pm each weeknight (except Fridays it is 7-9pm). This means the primetime marathons from 9pm-12am are now cut to 10pm-12am, with Andy on Mondays, 3rd Rock on Tuesdays, M*A*S*H on Wednesdays, and Roseanne on Thursdays. Everything else is the same as it was before.

NBC has picked up the comedies Community (Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. ET) and Parks and Recreation (Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. ET) -- as well as the new drama Mercy (Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. ET) -- for the rest of the season by adding nine additional episodes to each.
All three are doing so-so in the ratings, but NBC has picked them up anyway for full seasons. Parks and Recreation is in its first full season after launching mid-season last spring, while the other two are actually rookies. So far this season, Mercy has averaged a 2.1 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall. Community has averaged a 2.6 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers overall so far this season, that includes a stint at 9:30 p.m. after The Office. And Parks and Recreation has averaged a 2.1 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 4.8 million viewers overall this season.
The jury is still out for NBC's Trauma, which has not heard its fate yet.

Finally, we leave you today with a recap of many stars that have passed away in the past week or so.
Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, has died. Sales died at Thursday (Oct. 22, 2009) night at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, New York, said his former manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, Usher said. The comic's pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities lined up to take one on the chin alongside Sales. During the early 1960s, stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine received their just desserts side-by-side with the comedian on his television show. His greatest success came in New York with The Soupy Sales Show in 1976 -- an ostensible children's show that had little to do with Captain Kangaroo and other kiddie fare. Sales' manic, improvisational style also attracted an older audience that responded to his envelope-pushing antics. His sitcom credits included Hennessey, The Beverly Hillbillies, Love American Style, Love Boat, Wings and Boy Meets World. He appeared on many game shows as well such as What's My Line, I've Got a Secret, The Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Body Language, and more. Mr. Sales will certainly be missed. Let's throw a pie in someone's face or at least eat a pie in honor of him. Mr. Sales was 83.
Vic Mizzy, who composed the indelible theme music for The Addams Family and Green Acres died Saturday, October 17 in Los Angeles. For the The Addams Family theme, which became a long-remembered part of '60s pop culture, Mizzy played the harpsichord and sang the vocal parts (overdubbing his own voice three times) and coached the actors during the main-title sequence (including on-camera finger-snapping by the actors). The equally iconic Green Acres theme was performed by stars Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor. Mizzy also wrote all the underscore for both series. His theme for Addams was reprised in the 1990s feature films. Mizzy also had many other 1960s and '70s sitcom themes that also included The Pruitts of Southampton, The Double Life of Henry Phyfe, Captain Nice, The Don Rickles Show and Temperature's Rising. He also wrote underscores for TV's Richard Boone Show and Quincy along with several TV movies including Terror on the 40th Floor. His film scores included the William Castle films The Night Walker and The Busy Body; five Don Knotts films: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Reluctant Astronaut, The Love God? and How to Frame a Figg; and other films including The Caper of the Golden Bulls, Don't Make Waves and Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? His TV and film scores will certainly remain on TV/film, but he will certainly be missed. Mr. Mizzy was 93.
TV director Linda Day passed away on Friday, October 23, 2009. Linda was the first woman to receive steady employment as a TV director. To her credit are more than 50 different series and 350 episodes including Married... with Children (for which she did the pilot and continued for more than two years), Archie Bunker's Place, Dallas, Kate & Allie, Alice, WKRP, Benson, Newhart, Too Close for Comfort, Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, It's Your Move, Double Trouble, Small Wonder, Gimme a Break, Throb, Women in Prison, Major Dad, Top of the Heap, Teacher's Only, Mad About You, Who's the Boss?, Baby Talk, Almost Home, Thea, The Nanny, Unhappily Ever After, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Clueless. And that's just some of the shows! During the 1980's and part of the 1990's, Linda was one of the top 5 television directors currently then working. She will be certainly be missed and was a pioneer for women TV directors. Ms. Day was 71.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 5 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 5 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Wed):
(Network averages for Thursday were not available once again, thus here are final network averages for Mon-Wed. Final Thursday program numbers are available in the analysis, though.)

Households: #1. CBS 8.4/13.4; #2. ABC 6.6/10.5; #3. Fox 6.0/9.6; #4. NBC 4.4/7.0; #5. The CW 1.4/2.2
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.34 million; #2. ABC 10.09 million; #3. Fox 9.73 million; #4. NBC 6.96 million; #5. The CW 1.98 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. CBS 3.6/9.7; #2. Fox 3.5/9.5; #3. ABC 2.6/6.9; #4. NBC 2.4/6.4; #5. The CW 1.0/2.5.

Week 5 (Oct. 19-25) Analysis: For week 5 we have CBS on top through the first four days in HH/viewers, with Fox on top in 18-49. Fox will likely win the week in 18-49 thanks to MLB's ALCS with the Yankees and Angels. Through the first four days in week 5 I can project, CBS has the lead in HH/viewers but second in 18-49, with ABC second in HH/viewers but third in 18-49, as Fox is in third in HH/viewers, but first in 18-49 and NBC is back in fourth everywhere as usual with NFL coming to save the day tonight. Last week, week 4, CBS won the week in HH/viewers and 18-49, while ABC was second in HH/total viewers, but tied for third in 18-49 with NBC. NBC was fourth in HH/viewers, with Fox up ahead in third. Fox was second in 18-49, only .1 behind CBS for first.
On Monday ABC, Fox and CBS did well again. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 16.82 million for ABC, up a tad from the previous week. An all-new Castle followed with a solid 9.69 million, and up again from the previous week in 18-49! Very consistent. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.06 million, down from the previous week and Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 8.26 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, both up from the previous week and built from the lead-in...interesting. Two and a Half Men followed with 14.07 million which was down just a tad from the previous week, and The Big Bang Theory followed and continues to impress and did a nice 13.47 million, up some from the previous week. The show also did a 5.3 18-49 rating, tying its highest ever. A new episode of CSI: Miami did 13.16 million, down a bit again from the previous week. Fox had a new episode of House and it did a below normal 11.65 million, because it didn't start until 8:43pm due to baseball... the show did a 4.5 A18-49 rating, a season low. A new episode of Lie to Me followed at 9:44pm and did 7.79 million. Could be better. NBC followed with Heroes doing 5.72 million, up a tad from the previous week. A new episode of Trauma followed and did only 5.46 million and only a 1.8 A18-49 rating, basically on par from the previous week though. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 4.74 million, down from previous week. The CW on Mondays has been a struggle so far, with One Tree Hill doing only 2.21 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 1.98 million...both down week-to-week.
On Tuesday, CBS was in control as usual. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 21.25 million, up from the previous week. Another series high, no one knows how though. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 16.48 million, finally went up for the first time from the previous week. And finally CBS aired The Good Wife and did 13.26 million, up some from the previous week. ABC was a distant second with the season finale of Shark Tank doing 5.92 million...up week-to-week again. It went up each week, but it belongs in summer. Then it was Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 14.92 million, up a million week-to-week as we said goodbye to Natalie Coughlin surprisingly. Vitto or Irvin deserved to go instead. ABC followed with a new episode of the forgotten doing 7.3 million, down a bit week-to-week. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 9.82 million, up from previous week, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at just 5.7746 million, which was down from previous week again. Fox aired Game 4 of the MLB ALCS and it did 10.7 million in primetime (10.3 million overall) and a solid 3.4 18-49 rating. So You Think You Can Dance returns this Tuesday. The CW aired 90210 with just 2.25 million, followed by dud Melrose Place at an even worse 1.5 million. The latter was up some from previous week, while the former was even.
Wednesday again it was CBS with the overall win. CBS started slow with Old Christine doing 6.58 million, which was down from the previous week, followed by Gary Unmarried at 6.76 million, also down from its previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 14.27 million which was up from the previous week, with CSI: NY doing 13.01 million, down some from previous week. ABC started the 8pm hour with Hank & The Middle and did OK. Hank did an OK 5.78 million but only a 1.5 18-49 rating, both series lows. Look for Charlie Brown this week. The Middle did a better 6.52 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, nice builds from the lead-in in 18-49. New episodes of the hilarious sitcoms Modern Family and Cougar Town both did well again with 8.66 and 7.31 million, but down from previous week. The A18-49 ratings for both were more telling doing 3.4 and 3.1. At 10pm Eastwick did only 4.77 million, down from previous week, for a series low. People need to watch Lindsay Price, as she shines on this show. NBC opened the night with Mercy doing 7.19 million, down some from the previous week. Law & Order: SVU followed and did 9.15 million, up again some from previous week. Slowly going up, each week. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just 5.14 million, down a million week-to-week. Fox was fourth, with So You Think You Can Dance at 6.91 million...down some from previous week, and then Glee followed to a decent 7.15 million and a 3.3 A18-49 rating, but both down from previous week. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 2.98 million, down a tad from previous week and a repeat of Melrose Place followed with just 950,000 viewers. This is a dud and I don't think Locklear can even save it!
Thursday it was ABC on top while the CBS 9-11pm hours were in repeats. ABC opened the night with FLASHFORWARD doing 9.87 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, up from previous week in viewers and even in 18-49. Dominc Monaghan joins the cast officially this week, I was mistaken last week. A new Grey's Anatomy followed with 15.06 million and a great 5.3 A18-49 rating, both up from previous week. Great whodunnit type mystery! And a new episode of Private Practice did a solid 9.92 million and a first place at 10pm 3.7 A18-49 rating, both down some week-to-week. CBS opened with Survivor: Samoa at 12.9 million and a 4.0 A18-49 rating, both up from previous week by a lot. A repeat episode of CSI followed with 10.14 million, while The Mentalist was also a repeat and did a better 11.79 million. Fox started preempted Bones and Fringe with MLB ALCS Game 5 doing 11.85 million, which is excellent. Game 6 is tonight (Sunday) on Fox. NBC was next with Community at 8pm doing 5.04 million on par really from previous week, followed by sitcom dud Parks & Recreation at only 4.93 million, but up some week-to-week. At 9pm, The Office did 8.73 million and a solid 4.4 18-49 rating, both up week-to-week. A new episode of 30 Rock did 6.84 million, up from the season premiere the previous week. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only 4.97 million, down again week-to-week. The CW's only consistent player so far is Vampire Diaries but it was a repeat and it did 2.27 million, still better than mostly everything on The CW, followed by a repeat of Supernatural at 1.83 million.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas as usual. While Brothers, 'Til Death & Dollhouse on Fox were lower than ever in prelim numbers.
Saturday numbers had CBS win overall and ABC in 18-49 thanks to Saturday Night Football. Fox had to settle with repeats because of the ALCS rainout.
Tonight the full ABC Sunday line-up is airing (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters), look for solid numbers as usual despite the sporting events tonight. NBC should have something to tout about with the NFL game, but could be down from previous week due to ALCS Game 6 on Fox, especially in NY. CBS has its usual players, but Three Rivers will be slaughtered again, as the cancelation click is ticking. Fox has NFL overrun leading into Game 6 of the MLB ALCS, so expect Fox to win the night in 18-49 and possibly viewers.
As for week three, CBS will win in HH, viewers and but Fox will win 18-49 thanks to NFL overrun/MLB ALCS games. Look for ABC in second in HH/viewers unless the game tonight on Fox does VERY big and that would have Fox overtake ABC for the week in HH/viewers. ABC will likely be third in 18-49. NBC will be fourth in all categories.

Week 5 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 4-- October 12-18)

  • Brothers (Fox) - A special new episode at 7pm did only 2.27 million...not good.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - 8.69 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating for the annual Treehouse of Horror episode. Up from previous week obviously. A repeat at 7:30pm lead in and did 4.55 million.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - 7.62 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating. Both down a bit from the week prior, despite the lead-in going up.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 8.13 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating for a REPEAT. Strange this was the only repeat of the block.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 6.25 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating...both down from previous week, but remember the lead-in was a repeat.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - New episode did 8.06 million, down from the previous week, and a 3.4 A18-49 rating also down from the previous week.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 8.26 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, both up from the previous week and built from the lead-in for I think the first time. But what does that mean? Because CBS has repeats tomorrow for their comedies.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.07 million...down a tad from the previous week. Still the sitcom leader overall.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 13.47 million...up from the previous week and still built from the lead-in's 18-49 rating from a 4.8 to a 5.3, even though the lead-in was even week-to-week, this show jumped .3 ratings points. Still sitcom leader in 18-49.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - New episode did 6.58 million, down from previous week. 18-49 rating of a 2.0 was also down.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Like the lead-in, 6.76 million, down from previous week, but built from the lead-in a bit in 18-49 to a 2.2 rating.
  • Hank (ABC) - Down from previous week's 6.15 million to 5.78 million...not good. 18-49 rating was down a tick from previous week at 1.5. Not on this week, so let's see how Charlie Brown helps.
  • The Middle (ABC) - 6.52 million, down a bit from previous week and it built nicely from the lead-in in 18-49 from a 1.5 to a 2.0. This show is hysterical!
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A hilarious episode did 8.66 million and a nice 3.4 18-49 rating, both down though week-to-week.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 7.31 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, both also down some from previous week.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - New episode did 5.04 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Need to do better, but it was picked-up for a full season anyway.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - This show did terrible doing only 4.93 million and just a 2.1 A18-49 rating, but up some from previous week.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.73 million for a new episode, up from the previous week. In 18-49 it did a 4.4 rating I guess no new CSI helps this show?
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode did a bit better 6.84 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating. Still dropped over a point in 18-49 from the lead-in...not good, but both up week-to-week.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Brothers (Fox) - Only a prelim 2.35 million for a new episode. Moving to Sundays at 7 now.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - An even worse prelim of 1.97 million for a new episode...not on the schedule anymore.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are no sitcoms, as Fox's animated comedies are preempted for NFL/MLB action

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, & Accidentally on Purpose were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as The Middle, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Hank, Parks & Recreation).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Vol. 1

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the weekly Blog DVD Reviews. Today week we take a look at Warner Home Video's Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1. We get the first six remastered TV specials from the '70s on DVD including a few for the first time ever! See my Blog DVD Review of Peanuts 1970's Collection, Vol. 1:

Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Vol. 1 (Warner, $29.98) brings us the first six 1970's TV specials on DVD digitally remastered...and it is really worth it! These are the first six TV specials from the '70s, as we still have another half dozen or so still left from the '70s. On this set we get Play it Again, Charlie Brown; You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown; There's No Time For Love, Charlie Brown; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown; and It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. Play it Again and It's a Mystery specials are being released for the first time ever on DVD! There's No Time for Lovewasn't released digitally remastered previously, so it looks much better here.
Among the stories on these six specials are: Lucy trying to win Schroeder's affections by persuading him to perform; Charlie Brown runs for Student Body President; Peppermint Patty and Marcie admire Charlie Brown; the classic Thanksgiving feast; Snoopy turns into a detective to find Woodstock's missing next; and the Easter "Beagle" is coming to town.

Let's now move on to the packaging. Like all the previous Peanuts 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...again what's the point? It doesn't need protection really. Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is white in color, and has a shot of Charlie Brown and Lucy at a booth with the wording "the doctor is in." The title of the special is on the roof of the book, with a mention that the six specials are remastered on the top with a Snoopy Peanuts logo! To the back we go, we get a nice shot of Lucy holding a football as Charlie Brown misses the kick and the wording "Outta Sight Collection, Charlie Brown." The back also has a disc-by-disc breakdown on what specials to expect. When we open the case, we get nice artwork and details on each special on each side. The first disc is in a plastic holder, that we can flip back and forth like a page on a book. Disc two is actually on the right panel. Disc art has a white background, with artwork of Snoopy & Woodstock on disc one and Marcie and Peppermint Patty on disc two. Inside the case there is also an insert for two free songs from "Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits" soundtrack that you can redeem at iTunes.

The menu screen has options of Features, Trailers, Special Features, and Languages. We get that white background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art of Lucy and Charlie Brown on disc one, but disc two has Snoopy on the roof of his red dog house acting like he is a pilot. Anyway back to the menu, Trailers is just on disc one and we get some for the Miser Brothers Christmas and Scooby-Doo Mystery Begins DVD. We also get auto-trailers on each disc before the main menu for items like Peanuts '60s Collection, I Want a Dog for Christmas Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown Holiday Collection, and Saturday Morning 60s/70s DVD. For Languages, we can have either have English, Espanol, Portuguese or Japanese. For subtitles we have those four again and also French and Thai! The Features section has the specials listed, we can also select Play All to play them consecutively. Finally, Special Features is on disc two only and lists the featurette and a trailer for Harry Potter.

The video and audio is tremendous once again. These specials are all so good ever since they stated the Remastered Collection sets. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I continue to say about these digitally remastered sets? Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. Each special has 5 chapter stops and runtimes are all between 25:00-25:15-ish. So, yes of course it is unedited! These sets are must buys for the video quality alone!

As for special features, we get a nice featurette! It is titled "Woodstock: Creating Snoopy's Sidekick" and runs 12:42. Find out how the little yellow Woodstock was born and more on the loveable non-speaking character. Interviewed are Lee Mendelson (executive producer), Phil Cousineau (author), Alexis Fajardo (cartoonist), Derek Bary (Peanuts Historian), and Jean Schulz (Charles' wife).

I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Continue your collection, because we get another two specials we never had on DVD before and one remastered for the first time on DVD. This is worth it! It is now safe to say we have the first 6 specials from the '70s remastered! We have 6 more to go from the '70s still, and I'm sure Warner will do a good job on that set as well, but let's hope they announce a street date for that soon. Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras for each set. Let's hope they continue to release more Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So head back to the grooving '70s and relive the first six classic specials from that decade all over again! The doctor is certainly in on this DVD!

-- Reviewed by Pavan
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Charlie Brown Official Page
Charlie Brown Specials

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nick at Nite, Lifetime Schedule Updates; Flintstones Musical Episodes Marathon on Boomerang

Nick at Nite has made some schedule changes. First off, they removed Home Improvement weekdays at 6am this past Tuesday with more The Nanny, while Roseanne replaced Everybody Hates Chris' 2-3am hour, so Roseanne now airs 2am-6am every night. The rest of the changes are basically to Fridays and Saturdays, and they start this weekend. George Lopez now airs in the 9pm hour on Fridays, which is technically still Nickelodeon, replacing Everybody Hates Chris. George will also still air in the 10pm hour on Fridays. Then we have a block of The Nanny from 11pm-2am, as George's 1am hour is no more on Fridays. On Saturdays, Malcolm in the Middle and Everybody Hates Chris will air in new timeslots, with Malcolm in the 11pm hour and Chris in the 12am hour. George Lopez will be the lead-in and lead-out airing in the 10pm hour still and gaining the 1am hour. So The Nanny doesn't air at all on Saturdays now. Sundays is petty much the same as now, but The Nanny is 11pm-2am. And this Sunday (Oct. 25) there is a marathon of The Nanny all-night long from 8pm-2am and some encores from 2am-6am. As we mentioned, there is a Halloween stunt on Monday, Oct. 26 from 8-11pm, but now we have some time shifting. Glenn Martin and Malcolm in the Middle Halloween episodes are still in the 8pm hour, but now George Lopez's Halloween episodes are airing in the 9pm hour followed by an Everybody Hates Chris Halloween episode at 10pm and an encore of the Glenn Martin Halloween episode at 10:30pm. These three-hours will encore on Halloween night (Saturday, Oct. 31) from 10pm-1am.
So that should catch everyone up. View the updated Nick at Nite schedule and highlights. We'll have November info soon, stay tuned.

Moving on to Lifetime, it seems original sitcoms Sherri and Rita Rocks are underperforming with new episodes in the Tuesday at 10pm hour. So, Lifetime will move Rita Rocks to Mondays with a block of episodes airing 9pm-11pm, as new episodes will air from 10pm-11pm. Sherri will air Tuesdays with a block of episodes airing 9pm-11pm, and new episodes at 10pm. Lifetime is trying to get better ratings and a block of the same show usually does the trick.
Lifetime is also changing their daytime line-up starting Monday (Oct. 26). Reba's two-hour block goes from 10am-12pm to 8am-10am. Less than Perfect is now totally gone and off the schedule. Frasier moves up an hour from 9am-10am to 10am-11am and Will & Grace gets the 11am hour, as that was only airing at 8:30am in the mornings. In the afternoon, we now get three Wife Swap episodes, as 1-3pm remain but also 12pm is added replacing Medium. We also now get three episodes of Desperate Housewives from 3pm-6pm, shifting the three episodes of Grey's Anatomy to 6pm-9pm, as Medium is replaced at 8pm. Medium can now be seen weeknights at 12:30am & 1:30am. All is not lost for Medium, as it will get a Halloween marathon next Friday (Oct. 30) from 11am-8pm.
View the full updated Lifetime schedule.

Finally, In addition to making television history as the world's first prime-time animated series (ABC), The Flintstones also offered viewers many samplings of fun, culturally relevant music that delighted viewers throughout the show's six-year run. On Sunday, Oct. 25, these classic animated musical moments will return for a command performance as Boomerang presents a day-long marathon of the best of The Flintstones musical episodes: Bedrock 'N' Roll. From 8am-11pm (ET), America's favorite Stone-Age families--Fred, Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone plus Barney, Betty and Bamm-Bamm Rubble--will "rock out" to prehistoric beats while they welcome a number of celebrity guests, including Ann-Margaret (Ann Margrock) and James Darren (Jimmy Darrock).
Once again showing the depth and breadth of its incredible classic cartoon library, Boomerang presents a rollicking good time with a commercial-free marathon of 15 jamming episodes guaranteed to get your toes tapping. The seven-and-a-half hour rock block will be followed by an encore presentation so that music aficionados coast-to-coast can join in the fun.
View the highlights of some of the episodes airing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ABC, CW and Fox Updates; JustMyShow.com's Podcast with Billy Vera

ABC's sophomore drama Castle and The CW's freshman drama The Vampire Diaries are the latest series to have their initial 13-episode order extended to the full 22 full-season order. Both were not surprises and are doing well in the ratings. Castle is in its second season, but the show only received a 13-episode order for this season after launching with 10 episodes last March.
Also, the CW has ordered more episodes of Melrose Place, ordering five additional episodes instead of the full back nine. The series has really disappointed in the ratings, but they are obviously waiting to see how much of an impact Heather Locklear will have when she joins the show reprising her character Amanda Woodward starting Nov. 17.
Castle and Vampire Diaries join Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle, FLASHFORWARD, Glee, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, and The Cleveland Show getting full season orders. The only official cancelation has been The CW drama The Beautiful Life: TBL. Hank, Eastwick, Community, Mercy, Trauma, Brothers, and the forgotten still have not heard their fates yet beyond the original 13 episodes, as well as sophomore drama Dollhouse. I expect a few of those to get picked-up at least. ABC's Hank will be preempted next week (Oct. 28 at 8pm) for the classic special It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Meanwhile, Fox has announced some schedule changes. After this Friday, the line-up of sitcom Brothers, 'Til Death, and drama Dollhouse will be pulled for November sweeps. So starting Friday, Oct. 30 repeats of House and Bones takes over the night. Freshman sitcom Brothers will air Sundays at 7pm now with new episodes, while 'Til Death has been benched completely...again. And after just four airings, Dollhouse will be benched, but it will return in December to Fridays airing back-to-back at 8pm & 9pm starting Dec. 4. It is not expected Dollhouse will get more than 13 episodes, so it should be finished for good in January.

Our good buddy Eric from JustMyShow.com is back with an all-new podcast! It shot up the charts after being featured in a few classic episodes of Family Ties, now Billy Vera is at JustMyShow.com to talk about the #1 hit "At This Moment" and much more. Billy Vera wrote and performed that #1 hit, which was featured in a few classic episodes of Family Ties. He talked about music and the song, but also about the show and how it helped it take off. In addition, Eric has a bonus chat with Family Ties producer Michael Weithorn (who went on to co-create The King of Queens) about both the song and the episodes. You can hear a comment or two from him in the show and the rest in the "bonus audio" section. Also in the "bonus audio" section are comments from Billy about The King of Queens and Empty Nest opening themes, both of which he performed.
So, head on over to JustMyShow.com for all of this!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ABC Family's 2009 Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas; Comedy Central Acquires Reruns of Philadelphia

While ABC Family Channel's annual 25 Days of Christmas programming doesn't start until Tuesday, December 1, like previous years they will still have the "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" that starts Nov. 10 at 7pm with the holiday movie Snow followed by the sequel Snow 2 Brain Freeze. Other holiday movies or specials airing are Santa Jr., Snowglobe, Eloise at Christmastime, A Dennis the Menace Christmas, Richie Rich's Christmas Wish, Gotta Catch Santa Claus, Christmas Caper, A Carol Christmas, Santa Who?, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, A Chance of Snow, Stealing Christmas, The Christmas Box, The Christmas Secret, The Christmas Wish, Once Upon a Christmas, Twice Upon a Christmas, Christmas in Boston, Christmas Do-Over, Chasing Christmas, Santa Baby, Holiday in Handcuffs, A Holiday to Remember, Unlikely Angel, Holly and Hal Moose: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure, Sons of Mistletoe, The Christmas List, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone 4, Naughty or Nice, and the ABC Family original movie premiere of The Dog Who Saved Christmas starring Mario Lopez, Dean Cain, and Adrienne Barbeau.
Wow and this is just the countdown! Stay tuned for the actual 25 Days of Christmas schedule!

Comedy Central has reached a deal with Twentieth Television for the exclusive basic cable syndication rights to the critically-acclaimed FX comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, in a multi-year deal that will see the series start its run on Comedy Central beginning in summer 2010. Following the limited summer 2010 window, the series with settle into its long-term, multi-year run in January 2011.
First-run seasons of Sunny will of course continue to air on FX. In addition to its current fifth season that runs through November 5, the network has ordered seasons six and seven which will air in 2010 and 2011 respectively. FX Productions will have produced 84 episodes though season seven.
The half-hour series, starring Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, is currently in its 5th season and features the cast as self-centered owners of Paddy's Irish Pub in Philadelphia who will do just about anything, no matter how reprehensible, in an attempt to better their own situation. Serious issues such as racism, abortion, underage drinking, molestation, gun control, cancer and death somehow weave their way into the cockeyed universe of "The Gang." The characters are experts on every subject but actually possess expertise in nothing at all. They often use revisionist history to bolster their self-worth, which contrasts sharply with the true reality of their lives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WGN America's Halloween Freak Week; IFC Acquires Arrested Development

We broke the news a few weeks back that WGN America is planning Halloween marathons for The Munsters and The Addams Family, but now we have more of their Halloween plans!
This Halloween you'll scream with delight as WGN America presents "Halloween Freak Week," a monstrous mash of movies and marathons--including the first families of fright, The Munsters and The Addams Family. "Halloween Freak Week" on WGN America begins on Monday, October 26 and will have you howling with laughter through Halloween night--Saturday, October 31.
Airing during "Halloween Freak Week" are three back-to-back Halloween-themed episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos on Monday, October 26 starting at 7pm ET/4pm PT until 10 pm ET/7 pm PT. Then on Tuesday, October 27 at 8pm ET/5pm PT it is the movie The Rage: Carrie 2. On Wednesday, October 28, as part of WGN America's retro movie night "Way Back Wednesday with Winslow," they have the classic film Gremlins at 8pm ET/5pm PT. On Thursday, October 28 some regularly scheduled sitcoms get the Halloween treatment! Bewitched & Cheers will air Halloween-themed episodes in their normal timeslots beginning at 4pm ET/1pm PT. On Friday, October 30, The Beverly Hillbillies gets to air a Halloween themed episode in its regular timeslot of 2:30 pm ET/11:30am PT. On Friday, October 30, I Dream of Jeannie also gets to air a Halloween themed episode at 3:30 pm ET/12:30pm PT, leading into the "The Monstrous Munster Mash Marathon." 16 back-to-back classic episodes of The Munsters, hosted by legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper. The eight-hour marathon features the odd occupants of 1313 Mockingbird Lane as the iconic Alice Cooper, who was named the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer" by Rolling Stone, will be hosting the opens and interstitials for all 16 episodes of The Munsters. WGN America will also air the broadcast debut of Alice Cooper's new video "Keepin' Halloween Alive" immediately following the marathon, which we told you previously will run from 4pm ET/1pm PT until 12am ET/9pm PT. And finally on Halloween itself, Saturday, October 31, "The Addams Family Fright Fest" will air with 18 back-to-back episodes of The Addams Family on Halloween. The 9-hour marathon will feature the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Addams Family, which we told you previously will run from 3pm ET/12pm PT until to 12am ET/9pm PT. Following the marathon get scared on Halloween night with the horror movie Pet Semetary 2 at 12am ET/9pm PT.
The fun all starts next week! But if you can't wait for Halloween to get your Herman fix, then WGN American has something already for you! Do you have the brains to make ghouls drool? Put your Munsters knowledge to work with Alice Cooper's Monstrous Munster Mash Game on WGNAmerica.com. Correctly answer trivia and Alice will spare your army of Munster-like zombies a horrible fate. The Monstrous Munster Mash Game is "alive" through November.

Three years ago we told you that cable network G4 has acquired the short-lived sitcom Arrested Development for a three-year term, but now that term is up. So IFC (Independent Film Channel) has now acquired the cable rights to the series starting this Sunday (Oct. 25). IFC will air Arrested Development Sundays at 10:00pm and 10:30pm and Tuesdays at 9:00pm and 9:30pm. This is the second major acquisition for IFC in October. The network picked up the complete series of Monty Python's Flying Circus earlier, to go along with its six-hour documentary about the legendary British comedy troupe.
The Emmy-winning Arrested Development, created by Mitch Hurwitz, never drew a large crowd in its three-season run on Fox but has endured as a cult fave. There's also been endless chatter about a possible feature adaptation of the laffer, which starred Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett and Jeffrey Tambor.
In addition to G4, Arrested Development previously aired on HDnet and was offered online via MSN.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

TV One November 2009 Highlights; New Biography Episodes in November on Bio TV

This November on TV One there won't be any regular schedule changes, so it will remain the same as October, but there will be plenty of sitcom related stunt marathons! On Friday, November 13 beginning at 10pm, it's a comedy master class as TV One presents the "Martin 'Thug Homey' Mega-thon," a 24-hour comedy event that features episodes of TV One sitcom favorite Martin with Martin Payne (Martin Lawrence) in aggression mode battling his friends, his enemies, his woman, and even himself in this hilarious TV One comedy extravaganza.
Thursday, November 26 is Thanksgiving Day and TV One has programming scheduled to keep viewers "Home for the Holidays" and in the holiday spirit in the day and thumping to a music beat throughout the evening, while the rest of the holiday weekend includes a mix of TV One originals and TV One sitcom favorites, and movies. Thanksgiving weekend programming plans for sitcoms are as follows:
On Thursday, November 26, Thanksgiving Day will begin at 6am with a sitcom marathon consisting of Thanksgiving themed episodes of TV One sitcoms Half & Half, Martin, The Hughleys, Living Single, Good Times, and All of Us through 1pm with select encores in the overnight from 2am-6am.
Then on Friday, November 27 beginning at 10pm, it's a Holiday Comedy Mega-thon as TV One airs 24-hours of holiday themed episodes of TV One sitcom favorites Martin, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Eve, Amen, The PJs, The Hughleys, Living Single, Cedric, Half & Half, Where I Live, Good News, Amen, Sanford & Son, , and All of Us in this holiday comedy mega-thon event.

This November Bio TV will launch a few TV related Biography episodes. Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives, Lois & Clark) will be featured on Wednesday, November 4 at 10pm and Woody Harrelson (Cheers) is featured on Tuesday, November 24 at 10pm. For Teri Hatcher, a profile of the glamorous Desperate Housewives star whose career and personal life have seen many ups and downs. Hatcher suffered sexual abuse as a young girl. But her career took off when she appeared on TV's Seinfeld and starred as the girlfriend to both Superman on TV and James Bond in the movies. After her professional life cooled down a decade ago, she came roaring back with Housewives and her 2006 autobiography, "Burnt Toast and Other Philosophies of Life," which was endorsed by Oprah's Book Club. For Woody Harrelson, a portrait of the actor who was plucked from obscurity and found stardom on the hit TV sitcom Cheers. Harrelson became a violent youth when his father was sent to jail. He started acting in high school, and nailed the audition for Cheers after hearing about the casting call from a friend. He went on to star in White Men Can't Jump and such controversial movies as Natural Born Killers and The People vs. Larry Flynt. Harrelson also became a vegan, took up yoga, and became an activist--he was arrested for climbing the Golden Gate Bridge in an effort to protect California's redwoods.
Repeat episodes airing this month include Biography episodes on Alyssa Milano, Tony Danza, Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon, Aaron Spelling, Burt Reynolds, Heather Locklear, Shaun Cassidy, Valerie Bertinelli, Gary Coleman, Bob Saget, Dana Plato, Diff'rent Strokes, Kristy McNichol, Billy Crystal, Reba, Suzanne Somers, Patrick Duffy, Don Knotts, John Ritter, Three's Company, Patricia Heaton, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kirstie Alley, Cheers, Batman, The Partridge Family, Full House, Doris Roberts, Shirley Jones, Bill Cosby. Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals: Gilligan's Island and Diff'rent Strokes; Laverne & Shirley and Cheers, Dynasty Reunion, The Cosby Show: A Look Back, Cast Confessions: Facts of Life, and Laverne & Shirley Reunion will also reair.
And about 10 days ago we told you the Celebrity Ghost Stories episodes for November that will feature stars like Lisa Rinna, Eric Roberts, Justine Bateman, and Jay Thomas.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 4 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 4 numbers (first four nights, Mon-Wed):
(Network averages for Thursday were not available once again, thus here are final network averages for Mon-Wed. Final program numbers are available in the analysis, though.)


Households: #1. CBS 8.3/13.4; #2. ABC 6.6/10.5; #3. Fox 5.1/7.9; #4. NBC 4.4/7.1; #5. The CW 1.4/2.1
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.19 million; #2. ABC 10.06 million; #3. Fox 8.73 million; #4. NBC 6.95 million; #5. The CW 2.06 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 3.6/9.6; #2. CBS 3.6/9.5; #3. ABC 2.6/6.9; #4. NBC 2.3/6.2; #5. The CW 1.0/2.6.

Week 4 Analysis: For week three we have CBS on top through the first four days in all categories (though they were tied with Fox in 18-49 through Wednesday). Fox will likely win the week in 18-49 thanks to MLB ALCS on Friday and Saturday. Through the first four days in week four I can project, CBS has the lead in all categories, with ABC second in HH/viewers but third in 18-49, with Fox in third in HH/viewers, but a close second in 18-49 and NBC is back in fourth everywhere. Last week, week 3, CBS won the week in HH/viewers and 18-49, while ABC was second in HH/total viewers, but fourth in 18-49 (though only .1 behind Fox for second). NBC was third in HH/viewers, with Fox fourth. NBC was tied for second in 18-49 with Fox.
On Monday ABC, Fox and CBS did well again. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 16.79 million for ABC, up some from the previous week. An all-new Castle followed with a solid 9.77 million, up again from the previous week! Very consistent. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.56 million, up some from the previous week and Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 7.73 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both up a tad from the previous week. Two and a Half Men followed with 14.17 million which was also up from the previous week, and The Big Bang Theory followed and continues to impress and did a nice 13.07 million, up from the previous week. The show also did a 5.0 18-49 rating, its second highest ever. A new episode of CSI: Miami did 13.27 million, down a bit from the previous week...the only program on CBS to go down on the night. Fox had a new episode of House and it did 13.5 million, which was down a bit from previous week... the show did a 5.2 A18-49 rating, down from the 5.4 the previous week. NBC followed with the free-falling Heroes doing 5.55 million, up a tad from the previous week. A new episode of Trauma followed and did only 5.49 million and only a 1.8 A18-49 rating, both up a tick the previous week though. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 5.1 million, but actually up some from previous week. The CW on Mondays has been a struggle so far, with One Tree Hill doing only 2.55 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 2.36 million...but up some week-to-week.
On Tuesday, CBS was in control. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 21.04 million, up from the previous week. Another series high. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 15.38 million, down a million again from the previous week despite the lead-in going up. And finally CBS aired The Good Wife and did 12.98 million, down from the previous week. ABC was a distant second with a new episode of Shark Tank doing only 5.24 million...but up a bit week-to-week again. At least it goes up, but this is perfect for summer. Then it was Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 13.96 million, up a lot week-to-week as we said goodbye to Chuck Liddell. ABC followed with a new episode of the forgotten doing 7.43 million, down a bit week-to-week but up a tick in 18-49. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 9.14 million, down a bit from previous week, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at just 5.77 million, which was down from previous week again. Fox aired the two-hour finale of Hell's Kitchen doing 8.04 million and a solid 3.8 18-49 rating, both of course up week-to-week. Fox will miss this show. So You Think You Can Dance can't do this well. The CW aired 90210 with just 2.25 million, followed by dud Melrose Place at an even worse 1.38 million. The latter was down from previous week, while the former was up.
Wednesday again it was CBS with the overall win. CBS started slow with Old Christine doing 6.99 million, which was up a tad from the previous week, followed by Gary Unmarried at 6.91 million, also up a bit from its previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 13.92 million which was down a bit from the previous week, with CSI: NY doing 13.4 million, up a million from previous week. ABC started the 8pm hour with Hank & The Middle and did OK. Hank did an OK 6.15 million but only a 1.6 18-49 rating again. The Middle did a better 6.77 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, nice builds from the lead-in in 18-49. New episodes of the hilarious sitcoms Modern Family and Cougar Town both did well again with 9.35 and 8.0 million, but up from previous week. The A18-49 ratings for both were more telling doing 3.6 and 3.3. Shelley Long and the entire Modern Family episode was SO funny this week! Loved the song! At 10pm Eastwick did only 5.08 million, on par really from previous week, wish it was doing better because it is a nice guilty pleasure. NBC opened the night with Mercy doing 7.37 million, down a tad from the previous week. Law & Order: SVU followed and did 8.77 million, up some from previous week. Slowly going up, while Criminal Minds is slowly going down. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just 6.15 million, up week-to-week and best showing of the week. Fox was fourth, with So You Think You Can Dance at 7.21 million...up a million from previous week, and then Glee followed to a decent 7.65 million and a 3.4 A18-49 rating, both up from previous week. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 3.0 million, down a tad from previous week and a repeat of Melrose Place followed with just 800,000 viewers. This is a dud!
Thursday it was ABC on top in 18-49 and CBS overall again. ABC opened the night with FLASHFORWARD doing 9.07 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week. Dominc Monaghan joins the cast officially this week. A new Grey's Anatomy followed with 13.79 million and a great 5.0 A18-49 rating, but both down from previous week. And a new episode of Private Practice did a solid 10.36 million and a first place at 10pm 3.8 A18-49 rating, both up week-to-week. Dr. Bailey was great, could we see Dr. Sam Bennett go to Seattle Grace as the "cardio god?" Hmm... CBS opened with Survivor: Samoa at 11.78 million and a 3. A18-49 rating, both up a tick week-to-week. A new episode of CSI followed with 15.38 million, up some week-to-week, while The Mentalist was also up week-to-week with 15.08 million. Fox started off well with Bones at a solid 9.59 million...down from previous week, and Fringe followed and only did 5.78 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, both basically the same as previous week. NBC was next with Community at 8pm doing 5.01 million up some from previous week, followed by sitcom dud Parks & Recreation at only 4.53 million, down week-to-week. At 9pm, The Office did 8.03 million and a solid 4.1 18-49 rating, both down week-to-week when the special one-hour episode aired. Season premiere of 30 Rock did only 6.39 million, down big from Palin infected last fall. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only 5.37 million, but up week-to-week. The CW's only consistent player so far is Vampire Diaries doing 3.88 million, up week-to-week, followed by Supernatural at a could-be-better 2.58 million, but up some from previous week.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas overall but Fox won the 18-49 rating crown with MLB ALCS Game 1. Much better than the regular Brothers, 'Til Death & Dollhouse while ABC did OK with Ugly Betty's premiere.
Saturday numbers were not available, but look for Fox to win big with MLB ALCS Game 2, as the Yankees won a long thriller!
Tonight the full ABC Sunday line-up is airing (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters), look for solid numbers as usual. NBC should have something to tout about with the NFL game, but could be down from previous week due to MLB Playoffs on TBS. CBS has its usual players, but Three Rivers will be slaughtered again, as the cancelation click is ticking. Fox has its animation block from 8-10pm, including rookie The Cleveland Show. A new Brothers also airs again tonight at 7 on a special night and time.
As for week three, CBS will win in HH, viewers and but Fox will win 18-49 thanks to MLB ALCS games. Look for ABC in second in HH/viewers, but likely third in 18-49. NBC will be fourth in all categories, as Fox will over take them in HH/viewers this week.

Week 4 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 3-- October 5-11)

  • Brothers (Fox) - A special new episode at 7pm did only 1.7 million, but it was preempted in 20% of the country for NFL. Everyone came on board at 7:23pm and still only did 2.47 million.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 7.6 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating...both down a lot from the previous week as no direct NFL lead-in this week.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) 2 episodes - 7.87 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating. Both down a lot from the week prior, but still very good to build on the lead-in. A special repeat of the pilot at 7:30pm did 3.7 million.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 8.97 million and a 4.6 18-49 rating. Both down from the previous week, again no direct NFL lead-in this week.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 6.75 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating...both down just some from previous week.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - New episode did 8.56 million, higher than the previous week, and back to a 3.6 A18-49 rating after dropping a bit the previous week.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 7.73 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both up from the previous week. Bleeding stopped a bit, as it went up some.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.17 million...up from the previous week. Sitcom leader overall.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 13.07 million...up from the previous week and still built from the lead-in's 18-49 rating from a 4.8 to a 5.0, though not as high of a build than the past few weeks. Still sitcom leader in 18-49.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - New episode did 6.99 million, up a bit from previous week. 18-49 rating of a 2.1 was also up.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - Like the lead-in, 6.91 million, up a bit from previous week, but built from the lead-in a bit in 18-49 to a 2.3 rating.
  • Hank (ABC) - Down a bit from previous week's 6.45 million to 6.15 million...not good, but not totally bad either. 18-49 rating was even from previous week at 1.6...needs to do better.
  • The Middle (ABC) - 6.77 million, basically on par from previous week and it built nicely from the lead-in in 18-49 from a 1.6 to a 2.0.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A hilarious episode did 9.35 million and a nice 3.6 18-49 rating, both up week-to-week. Shelley Long deserves an Emmy here. Single camera sitcom leader overall now.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A great episode did 8.0 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, both also up some from previous week.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - New episode did 5.01 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating ... both up a tad from previous week.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - This show did terrible doing only 4.53 million and just a 2.0 A18-49 rating, down some from previous week.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.03 million for a new episode, down from the special one-hour episode the previous week, but better than the previous weeks. In 18-49 it did a 4.1 rating.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - Season premiere only mustered 6.39 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating. Dropped over a point in 18-49 from the lead-in...not good.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Brothers (Fox) - preempted for baseball.
  • 'Til Death (Fox) - preempted for baseball.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10PM, along with Brothers at 7.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as The Middle, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Hank, Parks & Recreation).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Saturday Night Live - The Best of Amy Poehler (10/20)

It is Saturday so it must mean it is time for the weekly "Blog DVD Review." Today we we take a look at Universal Home Entertainment's Saturday Night Live - The Best of Amy Poehler. SNL of course is the long running Saturday late night sketch comedy series. This set features Amy Poehler themed episodes. See Seth Thrasher's blog DVD review of Saturday Night Live - The Best of Amy Poehler and:

Saturday Night Live - The Best of Amy Poehler (Universal, $19.98) is now on DVD with a best of special featuring Amy Poehler. This has aired on NBC already this past April. If you're a fan of the work of SNL alumnus and star of NBC's Parks and Recreation, then Universal has a new DVD set coming out you might well be interested in - it's a "best of" compilation from her years at SNL. Classic bits such as the Clinton & Palin opening gag from last year's election segment to the various recurring original characters and one-off bits (such as "Adventures of a Dollar," an underrated bit from the show's recent past). Highlights of her SNL career spanning much of this decade (2001-2008) are featured.

The set includes miscellaneous sketches from Poehler's run on the show, spread fairly well across the run. This presents an interesting scenario when you get into the technical nuts and bolts of the set, as the show switched from 4:3 SD to 16:9 HD roughly halfway into her tenure on the show. This causes a bit of a problem with regards to the video if you're watching this set on some older television sets (more on that in a bit). If you noticed earlier, I was a bit light on details of the sketches. This is for a decent reason...unfortunately, I'm not that big a fan of much of Amy's work on SNL. While I can appreciate that others find her funny, her humor style doesn't mesh well with what I consider funny. It's just an issue of personal tastes, but as a consequence there's not much on this set to hold my interest.

In addition to the two sketches I mentioned earlier, there's also a Live with Regis & Kelly parody, with guest Queen Latifah that was fairly decent. Other sketches included include a Kaitlin sketch, one staging of the recurring "Dakota Fanning Show" bit, two miscellaneous compilations of short bits - one from Weekend Update, one from sketches, plus more. With regards to guests, aside from the myriad of regular cast members you also get the various guest hosts from those episodes, including Alec Baldwin, Drew Barrymore, Justin Timberlake, Hugh Jackman, Josh Brolin, and Christopher Walken, plus more.

There is one disc in the set - the full feature is a single one hour twenty minute compilation episode. The artwork is a white background, with miscellaneous green splotches and dark scribbles. The disc has the same artwork. With regards to the content on the set, earlier I mentioned the video early in the review because of an important problem this WILL cause for some buyers: For this set, the show is presented in anamorphic widescreen, with the non-widescreen segments being pillarboxed into the native widescreen of the DVD. If you're watching this set on an older square television set with your DVD player in Letterbox, this will mean the unenviable presence of twin boxes - both letterboxed (horizontal bars) and pillarboxed (vertical bars) on some sketches. You poor, poor souls.

The video quality itself falls into two categories. The HD-era video is flawless, with absolutely no deterioration or noise. The SD-era video shows slight color issues. One sketch in the set is made to look deliberately poor - a video designed to parody 1980s workout tapes. The video is deliberately set up to look like a 3rd-generation VHS tape. This is part of the gag, and as such isn't an issue. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1, with the extra channels getting used more on the more recent skits. Chapter stops are placed at the end of EVERY sketch, as you can select individual sketches from the main menu and it's important to access those easily.

Every now and then, SNL puts out a compilation DVD of various cast members. Given the slow release in season sets, I suppose it's better than nothing. I suppose here that's my opinion of this set - it's better than nothing. Of the *primary* cast members from SNL from the 2000s, there are quite a few I'd rather see DVD sets of - but again, that's really personal taste at work. What bothers me, those tastes aside, is the price point for this set. $20 for what amounts to a single episode of SNL and no bonus material? Really? That's absolutely ridiculous - I wouldn't pay for a 90 minute compilation set for ANY cast member at that price - luckily they eventually come down.
If you're an Amy Poehler fan, go ahead and pick this set up. Otherwise, there are other ways to spend your $10-$20 than this. A $20 MSRP for 90 minutes of a TV show is just ridiculous. Recommendation to avoid.

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(2.5/5 stars)

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Friday, October 16, 2009

WPIX's Halloween Chiller Theatre and a November 13 Marathon of a Sitcom; Hallmark Cuts Lucy...Again

While WGN America airs a Munsters and Addams Family marathon for Halloween (Oct. 30 and 31), local New York station WPIX is going for some movie horror. WPIX is airing The Evil of Frankenstein on Halloween night (Saturday, October 31) at 8pm (as Chiller Theatre) and this year its hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and will feature the original Chiller Theatre opens: "The Six-Fingered Hand" and the "Monster Montage"
(wpix.com/chillertheatre).
Chiller Theatre originally aired on WPIX from 1961-1978 and again from 1980-1982. After WPIX resurrected Chiller Theatre in 2008 (with a broadcast of Tarantula hosted by Zacherley) the station received hundreds of requests from viewers demanding the return of Chiller Theatre to the air. So this year, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark will host WPIX's Chiller Theatre presentation.
The 1964 campy chiller The Evil of Frankenstein -- from Hammer Film Productions, one of the most famous names in horror -- Peter Cushing stars as Baron Frankenstein who resurrects his monster only to have him come under the spell of Zoltan, a svengali-like carnival hypnotist who mesmerizes the creature into doing his evil bidding.

And that's not all the WPIX news we have! Let's see if you can guess it before I reveal it. On what opening theme did we have a narration that mentioned November 13? Did you figure it out? Still stumped? Read this: "On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. (Unger's unseen wife slams door. She reopens it and angrily hands Felix his saucepan) That request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that someday, he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Sometime earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?"
Yes, the classic '70s ABC sitcom The Odd Couple! In a cool marathon stunt, WPIX will air a late night marathon of The Odd Couple on that very day when Felix leaves his wife and moves in with Oscar...and that's how they became The Odd Couple. WPIX in New York will air the marathon from 11pm-4:30am on Friday, November 13 with classic episodes. Episodes airing are "Password," "You Saved My Life," "Sleepwalkers," "The Flying Felix," "The Odd Monks," "Felix Calypso Singer," "Let's Make a Deal," "The Subway Show," "The New Car," "A Grave for Felix," and "I Gotta Be Me." We'll have more on this if anything new arises, and let's hope WPIX can do some more marathons of shows!

It was just on Tuesday when we announced that we would be getting more I Love Lucy on Hallmark, but guess what...now that will be cut. Like I said, Hallmark's love and hate relationship continues with Lucy. They quietly removed the weekdays 9-10am hour of I Love Lucy yesterday and returned Golden Girls in the hour, so now that airs 9am-1pm...for now (keep reading). Starting Monday (Oct. 19) Touched by an Angel returns to weekdays at 12 noon, replacing an hour of The Golden Girls, as that is now 9am-12pm every weekday morning. Then once again I Love Lucy is given a short leash and is getting cut completely from its current 5pm-11pm hours. M*A*S*H returns and will air in its old 5pm-8pm hours, while Touched by an Angel returns at 8pm, and the primetime movie from 9-11pm. So I Love Lucy goes from 7 hours a day this week to ZERO hours a day next week! What is with the love-hate relationship? Ratings must be key to the changes, but it seems Hallmark makes moves and changes those moves within days. Are you getting tired of it? Sound off on our message board! Ah, the on going soap opera of Hallmark Channel schedule changes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nick at Nite Changes Midnight Hour; Season 2 of Durham County Premieres in January on ION

If you were watching Nick at Nite last night, they made a very last minute change. Every night in the midnight hour is now another hour of The Nanny instead of Malcolm in the Middle. So this means The Nanny is now 11pm-1am. Malcolm in the Middle will remain in the 8pm hour every Sun-Thurs and weekends 1-2am. In other changes, it seems Everybody Hates Chris has gained the Friday 9pm hour from Nickelodeon, so now it airs an extra night in primetime since it already was airing Sun-Thurs in the hour.
For the week of October 19, which is next week, Nick at Nite has listed Glenn Martin, DDS in the 8pm half-hour from Mon-Thurs, so that means Malcolm in the Middle is only 8:30pm. We are not certain yet if this is only for that week or until further notice. So stay with us!

The lesson that "love hurts" is well learned by the characters who inhabit the eerie suburb of Durham County when the original scripted primetime series launches its second season on ION Television in January, 2010. The series, which debuted this fall, returns to the bleak and disturbing landscape of an alienated suburbia with a new star villain – Michelle Forbes, known for her intense portrayals on the hit HBO series True Blood and In Treatment this year.
Produced by Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films, Durham County unfolds season two in the aftermath of the devastating impact of serial killer Ray Prager (Romano Orzari) on the lives of its characters, anchored by Homicide Detective Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon), his now estranged wife Audrey (Hélène Joy) and their traumatized teenage daughter Sadie (Laurence Leboeuf). While the true villain of the first season turned out to be Sweeney's former high school classmate and new neighbor, the evil threat in the second season comes from a woman who develops a close bond with Mike, the brilliant, but deeply troubled forensic psychiatrist Pen Verrity (Michelle Forbes). Rejected by her husband and grieving for a daughter we can't be certain she didn't kill, she sets her sights on having Mike Sweeney - at any cost.
The series just completed its first season of six episodes on ION Television on Monday (Oct. 12), but the ratings for the series dropped a lot from first to the sixth episode, with the lowest episodes doing a 0.2/0 HH rating/share.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ugly Betty Reruns on TV Guide Network Details; TeenNick, Nick at Nite Halloween Programs

Back in July we told you that TV Guide Network has gotten the rerun rights to Ugly Betty starting this October with repurpose rights then daily strip rights starting in fall 2010...now we have details on the repurpose rights!
Thursday nights are about to get a little bit 'Bettyer' as TV Guide Network prepares to telecast encore airings of the new season of Ugly Betty this fall. Longtime fans and curious newcomers that miss the Friday premiere of new Ugly Betty episodes on ABC can get caught up with TV Guide Network Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, beginning October 22.
The season premiere this year is a two-part episode, so part two will air on TV Guide Network on Friday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m. And if you forgot what happened on last season's season finale, then you can catch up on either Thursday or Friday of this week (Oct. 15 and 16) and watch it on TV Guide Network at 7pm both nights, just in time for the two-hour season premiere on ABC from 8-10pm on Friday.
Leading up to the October 22 encore telecast, TV Guide Network will air special Ugly Betty themed programming including a behind-the-scenes look at the set of Ugly Betty, cast interviews, a series overview, scoop on the new season, and fashion tips on how to emulate the characters' signature styles on the show.
Among the specials airing are inFANity: Ugly Betty (October 19 at 7 p.m.); The Fashion Team: Ugly Betty Style (October 20 at 7 p.m.); and Look-A-Like: America Ferrera (October 21 at 7 p.m.). Other specials that will air are Look-A-Like: Salma Hayek, Lindsay Lohan, and Lucy Liu...all who appeared on the show.
TV Guide Network also wants to give Ugly Betty fans a chance to be on television. Fans are invited to share their comments and reactions to the new season by uploading video comments to a new YouTube channel created specifically for them. Fans who visit www.youtube.com/uglybettyfans will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the show, talk about which characters they love and which they love to hate, give their reactions to the latest episodes, and send a hello to their favorite cast members. A selection of YouTube video posts will air on TV Guide Network leading up to each Thursday Ugly Betty encore telecast.
On Saturday, October 17 between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., Ugly Betty fans in the Los Angeles area are invited to meet in the second floor courtyard area of the Hollywood & Highland Center for a chance to be interviewed about the show. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite character and should come prepared to talk about their favorite Ugly Betty episodes and stars, and why they love the show. Fan interviews will air on TV Guide Network Thursdays before Ugly Betty encore airings.
Read more about the special Ugly Betty programming TV Guide Network has planned the week of Oct. 19.

TeenNick's (Formerly The N) has a week-long Halloween marathon that will...well scae you! TeenNick's "Now THAT's Scary" programming will include marathons featuring the hair-raising chills and thrills of teendom from Monday, Oct. 26 to Thursday, Oct. 29, starting at 8:00 p.m. (ET) through 12:00 a.m. (ET) and continues Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31 with afternoon marathons starting at 3 p.m. (ET) of Degrassi: The Next Generation through 12:00 a.m. (ET). The "nightmare-athons" in primetime (Oct. 26-29) will feature episodes of Full House, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, One on One and What I Like About You with a block of each show each night.
Other Nickelodeon family of networks Halloween programming includes a Glenn Martin Halloween episode on Nick at Nite. On Monday, Oct. 26, Nick at Nite will kick off a night of Halloween-themed programming with a brand-new Glenn Martin, DDS at 8:00 p.m. followed by Halloween-themed episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, Everybody Hates Chris and George Lopez from 8:30-11pm.
And Nickelodeon will have Halloween-themed episodes of its live action series The Troop and True Jackson VP on Oct. 23 and 24 at 8:30pm.


Don't forget ABC Comedy Wednesday starting tonight at 8/7 central! Today's blog is sponsored by Modern Family, airing 9/8 central tonight on ABC Comedy Wednesday. Funniest episode yet with special guest Shelley Long! The song at the end will have you in tears of laughter!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, August 30

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 1) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, September 1

  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Watch Jennifer on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. There's a Friends reunion with Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Joseph is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Derek Waters (Married to the Kellys) - Derek appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Tune in to see Judy on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym is a guest on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) - Yvette guest co-hosts a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond - Patricia sells a treasure from The Middle on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Debi Mazar (Entourage/Working) - Debi and her husband, Gabriele Corcos, share their passion for Tuscan food and each other on a repeat of Katie, so check your local listings.
  • Jane Leeves (Hot in Cleveland/Frasier/Throb) - Jane appears on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.