Monday, November 30, 2009

Nick at Nite December 2009 Highlights; Obama Preempts Primetime Tomorrow at 8PM ET

This December on Nick at Nite will be a celebration of all holidays! There will be no regular schedule changes, but there will be a few stunts! Nick at Nite will air holiday-themed episodes from the networks' programming line-up featuring not only Christmas, but Kwanza and Hanukkah as well! Happy Holidays, indeed! You'll have three chances, too. The first chance starts tonight at 8pm through 12am ET/PT. Then the next chance will be on Saturday, December 12 from 10pm-2am ET/PT and finally on Monday, December 21 from 8pm-12am ET/PT. Catch holiday episodes of Glenn Martin DDS, Malcolm in the Middle, Everybody Hates Chris, George Lopez, and The Nanny! A new Glenn Martin episode premieres on Dec. 7 at 8pm titled "Obama Nation." Glenn experiences a crisis of confidence when Courtney writes an essay citing Millard Fillmore as the person she admires most (and not an essay about her father). After President Obama praises Glenn as a prototypical American, Glenn's status rises in his daughter's eyes, until he blows it by upstaging her big moment.
Finally, there will be some movies on Sundays. First up on Dec. 6, an encore of Mr. Troop Mom starring George Lopez will air from 9-11pm, followed by George Lopez at a special time of 11pm-12am. Then it is the Nick at Nite premiere of the big screen hit Men in Black II on Dec. 13 from 8-10pm. Four years after the alien-seeking agents Jay and Kay (Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith) averted an intergalactic disaster, Kay has returned to the comforts of civilian life while Jay has taken over his former partner's role as the most annoyingly efficient employee of the unofficial government agency that regulates all things alien on Earth. While investigating a seemingly routine alien-on-alien crime, Jay uncovers a diabolical plot masterminded by Serleena (Lara Flynn Boyle), an evil monster disguised as a sexy lingerie model, and her two-headed, half-witted accomplice, Scrad/Charlie (Johnny Knoxville). When Serleena takes the entire MIB building hostage, Jay can only turn to the retired Kay, whose expertise represents the universe's last best hope to avert ultimate destruction. And then on Dec. 20 from 8-10pm we have an encore of Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh, the hit Nickelodeon series.
One other note, the week of Dec. 14-17, George Lopez is scheduled to air 9-11pm on these four nights. Everybody Hates Chris will air at 8:30pm and The Nanny airs in the 1am hour as a result.
View the full schedule and highlights for Nick at Nite December 2009.

President Obama will once again preempt programming tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 1). He will address the Nation from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT and all of the big four networks are on board.
Let's start with ABC. ABC News Special: Presidential Address To The Nation will air live on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT and will last approximately one-hour and will be anchored by Charles Gibson. As a result of the Presidential Address, half-hour specials A Charlie Brown Christmas and the all-new Disney Prep & Landing will move to next Tuesday (Tuesday, December 8, 2009) in the 8:00 and 8:30 PM ET/PT half-hours. The season premiere of Scrubs and an all-new episode of the forgotten will remain from 9pm-11pm ET/PT on Dec. 1. So, the one-hour Charlie Brown Christmas/Christmas Tales will no longer be scheduled on Dec. 8 due to this change. Presidential Address airs live at 5pm PT and 6pm MT, followed by ABC World News, Local News and Local Programming. Primetime programming details for the Pacific and Mountain in the 8:00 PM PT/7:00 PM MT hour has not been announced yet. Stay with us for programming in that hour, but view the schedule for all time zones.
For CBS, they will also air the Presidential Address, but they will only have a half-hour coverage at 8pm ET/5pm PT anchored by Katie Couric. In the east/central, a repeat of NCIS will follow at 8:30/7:30 central, followed by a special repeat of Two and a Half Men at 9:30/8:30 central, and the previously scheduled all-new Victoria's Secret Fashion Show special at 10/9 central. Repeat of NCIS: LA originally scheduled will no longer air on this night. For the mountain time zone, the Presidential Address will air live at 6pm MT, followed by local programming, then the repeat of NCIS at 7pm MT at its normal time, followed by two special repeats of Two and a Half Men in the 8pm MT hour, and the previously scheduled all-new Victoria's Secret Fashion Show special at 9pm MT. And finally for the pacific time zone, the Presidential Address will air live at 5pm MT, followed by local news, CBS Evening News, and local programming, then the repeat of NCIS at 8pm PT at its normal time, followed by two special repeats of Two and a Half Men in the 9pm PT hour, and the previously scheduled all-new Victoria's Secret Fashion Show special at 10pm PT. View the schedule for all time zones.
Moving on to NBC, they will also air the Presidential Address and will have one-hour coverage anchored by Brian Williams. In the east/central time zones, immediately following the speech, The Biggest Loser will air at a special time of 9-11pm ET/8-10pm CT, as The Jay Leno Show is preempted for the first time. For the mountain time zone, the Presidential Address will air live at 6pm MT, followed by a repeat of Dateline at 7pm MT and finally followed by a two-hour The Biggest Loser at a special time of 8-10pm MT. Finally, for the pacific time zone, the Presidential Address will air live at 5pm MT, followed by local news, NBC Nightly News, and local programming, the a repeat of Dateline at 8pm PT and finally followed by a two-hour The Biggest Loser at a special time of 9-11pm PT. View the schedule for all time zones.
Finally for Fox, they will air the address for the first time since a while, as the last three times they decided not to air the addresses. Fox, like CBS, will air only 30-minutes of coverage of the address. The address is expected to run 30 minutes, but could go longer and for networks like ABC and NBC airing an hour's worth of coverage, they will fill the time with analysis of the address. In the east/central time zone, Fox will shift So You Think You Can Dance to 8:30pm-11pm ET/7:30pm-10pm CT. The episode will air in its entirety, but be ware it might not start until 9/8 central if the President goes long, that is why Fox is scheduling it for more than two-hours for the east/central. For the mountain time zone, the address will air live at 6pm MT, followed by local programming at 6:30pm MT, and So You Think You Can Dance at its normal time of 7-9pm MT. And finally for the pacific time zone, the address will air live at 5pm PT, followed by local programming through 8pm PT, and So You Think You Can Dance at its normal time of 8-10pm PT. View the schedule for all time zones.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 10 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 10 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):
(Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, final network averages for Wednesday and Thursday are not available, so I won't give you the first four nights numbers below...but check the analysis for the final program numbers for Monday and Tuesday and prelim numbers for Wednesday and on.)

Households: n/a
Total Viewers: n/a
Adults 18-49: n/a

Week 10 (Nov. 23-29) Analysis: For week 10 we don't have final first four night averages because of Thanksgiving, but I can predict that CBS is on top in all categories through the first four days. ABC is a close second in all categories thanks to huge numbers on Monday and Tuesday. While Fox is in 3rd followed by NBC in 4th. Last week, week 9, CBS hung on and beat ABC in HH/viewers, but ABC prevailed in 18-49 for the second straight week. CBS was second in 18-49, with NBC in third in all categories thanks to the NFL. Fox was in fourth everywhere.
On Monday it was ABC on top. A 90-minute Dancing with the Stars final performance show did a season high 20.41 million for ABC, up nearly two million from the previous week. A special preview of the new feel-good series Find My Family launched to good numbers with 12.76 million and a decent 2.9 18-49 rating. The series will air Mondays starting tomorrow at 9pm. An all-new Castle followed with a solid 10.31 million, down just a bit from the previous week when it had the direct Dancing lead-in, but it reached a season high in 18-49 with a 2.7 rating! Watch out for Castle in 2010 as it could grow even more with the younger skewing The Bachelor as its lead-in (and Alyssa Milano guest starring!). Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.75 million, up week-to-week, while Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 7.9 million and a 3/1 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week. Two and a Half Men followed doing 13.88 million, up a tad week-to-week and The Big Bang Theory followed and built from the lead0in for the first time in viewers with 14.13 million, up nearly a million from previous week, as it didn't go up against Dancing for the first time. The show also did a 5.2 18-49 rating building on the lead-in's 4.7 rating. A new episode of CSI: Miami did 13.22 million, down a tad from previous week. Fox started with House doing a solid 11.95 million and a 4.6 18-49 rating, but both down week-to-week again, followed by Lie to Me at only 7.16 million, off some from previous week again. NBC was next with Heroes doing 5.16 million, up a bit from the previous week. A new episode of Trauma followed and did only 5.39million and only a 1.7 A18-49 rating, in viewers it was up a tad from the previous week but in 18-49 it was down a tenth. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 4.49 million, but actually up ever so slightly from previous week. The CW was in repeats for some reason during sweeps, as One Tree Hill did only 1.13 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 964,000 viewers. Repeats, but still it was bad.
On Tuesday, CBS and ABC battled. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 20.35 million...on par really from previous week. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 17.22 million, up a ton from previous week as the series had a character cross-over from the parent show. No wonder. And finally CBS aired a new The Good Wife and did 12.53 million, down some from previous week. ABC was second for the night with episode four (the last of 2009) of V doing 9.3 million, on par from the previous week. 3.1 18-49 rating was also the same as previous week. Good sign. Then it was the two-hour grand finale of Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 19.29 million, up of course week-to-week as Donny Osmond beat Mya and Kelly Osbourne for the trophy. The 10pm hour was well over 20 million and close to a 5 rating in 18-49. For you the forgotten fans, the show is back this Tuesday with an all-new episode. NBC was next with two-hours of The Biggest Loser doing 8.91 million, down from previous week when it was 90-minutes, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at 4.88 million, which was down well over a million from previous week. Fox aired So You Think You Can Dance for two-hours and did only 5.45 million, down from previous week. The CW was next with more repeats...a repeat of 90210 did only 1.11 million, followed by a repeat of Melrose Place at an even worse 774,000 viewers.
Wednesday it was CBS on top in a lower than usual night on Thanksgiving Eve. Ratings are not final for this night yet and are just prelim. CBS started with a new Old Christine doing a prelim 7.01 million, down some from previous week, followed by a new Gary Unmarried at prelim 6.8 million, down some from previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was next and did a prelim 13.51 million, down some week-to-week, while CSI: NY did a prelim 12.67 million, down from previous week. ABC comedies were lower than normal, as a repeat of Modern Family did a decent prelim 5.54 million and a prelim 1.6 18-49 rating, lower than last week of course. The Middle was new and next and did a prelim 6.0 million and a prelim 1.8 18-49 rating, down from previous week. Modern Family was new and did a prelim 7.12 million and a prelim 2.4 18-49 rating, series lows, but expected. Cougar Town was next and all-new as well doing a prelim 5.53 million and a prelim 1.9 18-49 rating. The comedies will be all-new again on Dec. 9, but The Middle is new this week (Dec. 2). Eastwick was next and did a prelim 3.65 million, not good. NBC preempted Mercy and Law & Order: SVU for a Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now? special doing a decent prelim 7.7 million and a prelim 2.8 18-49 rating. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just a prelim 5.11 million, but actually up week-to-week. Fox started with So You Think You Can Dance doing only a prelim 4.88 million, down from previous week and a season low obviously, and Glee was next at a prelim 6.11 million and a prelim 2.5 18-49 rating, both series lows, but again expected. The CW aired a movie and did a prelim 1.34 million. Its best ratings of the week actually.
Thursday it was CBS on top with mostly repeats on Thanksgiving Night. Again these are only prelim numbers and not final. ABC preempted the usual FLASHFORWARD, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice with specials. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving opened the night with a decent prelim of 6.4 million. ABC next aired two concert specials, Beyonce: I Am Yours did an OK prelim 5.14 million and a better prelim of 1.7 in 18-49. Paul McCartney: Good Evening NYC only did a prelim 4.66 million and a prelim 1.2 18-49 rating. CBS opened with Survivor: Samoa clip show at a prelim 9.96 million and a prelim 3.1 A18-49 rating, both down from previous week but expected. A repeat of CSI followed with a prelim 8.73 million. At 10pm The Mentalist was also a repeat and did a prelim 9.2 million. Fox preempted Bones and Fringe for the movie Night at the Museum doing a prelim 6.65 million, not bad. NBC preempted its comedies Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock but they did a special one-hour repeat of The Office at 8pm that mustered just a prelim 2.68 million. An NBC special was next called NBC's People of the Year doing a prelim 5.17 million, it did OK. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only a prelim 5.04 million, but up a bit week-to-week. The CW aired repeats of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural but the prelim ratings had also a NY Giants game mixed in NY, so it is best to wait until the final numbers to see how these repeats did.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won Friday with repeats of their dramas as usual overall, but ABC's 20/20 at 10pm was the night's best in viewers and 18-49. New showings of Supernanny and Ugly Betty were at season lows due to the holiday.
Saturday numbers had ABC's College Football prevailing in all areas by a slim margin in prelim numbers.
Tonight the full ABC Sunday line-up is back (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters) look for solid ratings as usual, as on AFV, Bob Saget returns for a special 20th anniversary episode with Tom Bergeron. NBC has an NFL game tonight so they will win the night. CBS has a holiday movie from 9-11pm tonight that will skew pretty old. Fox has Animation Domination from 8-10 and an NFL overrun that will keep them competitive. Look for CBS to win the week likely in HH/viewers over ABC and they should win in 18-49 as well. NBC could overtake Fox in all categories for 3rd place thanks to NFL once again. As for this coming week, look for President Obama to speak on Tuesday at 8pm ET (more on that tomorrow on the blog) and the season premiere of the new Scrubs at 9pm Tuesday on ABC!

Week 10 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 9-- Nov. 16-22)

  • Brothers (Fox) - New episode only mustered 2.27 million. Is that paying homage to the classic sitcom 227? I doubt it, as that series was millions times better in quality and ratings.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - Only 6.88 million tuned in for a new episode at 8pm, down from the over 9 million the week prior. No NFL lead-in was the reason for the big drop. 3.3 18-49 rating was decent though, but down big also from the week prior. A repeat at 7:30pm did 3.96 million.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - 6.56 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating. Looks like series lows and once again going down. 18-49 rating was basically on par from previous week though, going down from a 3.4 to a 3.3.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 7.48 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating is excellent for a new showing...but it also was down from previous week.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 5.6 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating...still so-so.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new showing did 8.75 million, up from previous week. Solid showing.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 7.9 million for a new episode...up from previous week. Will it grow in December with no Dancing on ABC?
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.88 million for a new episode. Up some from previous week and the same 4.7 18-49 rating from previous week.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - For the first time ever, a new episode built from the lead-in! 14.13 million tuned in as it looks like having no Dancing in the half-hour helped. This was a series high in viewers I believe. 5.2 18-49 rating is also excellent but not a series high.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - New episode did a prelim 7.01 million...down some from previous week.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - New episode did a prelim 6.8 million...down some from previous week.
  • The Middle (ABC) - A prelim 6.0 million for an all-new showing of this underrated family comedy. Too bad it aired on Thanksgiving Eve...great episode.
  • Modern Family (ABC) 2 episodes - A repeat at 8pm did solid for a repeat doing a prelim 5.54 million, down from previous week's final 6.13 million. But a new episode at 9 featuring a nice birthday-Thanksgiving episode did a prelim 7.12 million and a prelim 2.4 18-49 rating...down from normal of course, but not bad for Thanksgiving Eve.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A prelim 5.53 million and a prelim 1.9 18-49 rating for a new showing. Another good Thanksgiving episode.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - preempted.
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - preempted.
  • The Office (NBC) - A one-hour repeat at 8pm only did a prelim 2.68 million.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

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

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother & Accidentally on Purpose were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as The Middle, Old Christine) or just plain old terrible (such as Brothers from week 9, The Office repeat).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Perry Mason - Season 4, Volume 2 (12/8)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the blog DVD review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 2. Perry Mason of course is the very popular law series. The series stars the great Raymond Burr. See skees53's blog DVD review of Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1:

The verdict is in for Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 2 (CBS DVD, $39.98) puts a true meaning into the phrase "innocent until proven guilty," as defense attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) successfully takes on twelve more cases and proves that those who appear to be guilty and headed for a life in prison (or worse) are in fact not guilty of the serious crimes that they are accused of committing. The defendants appear to have no hope of proving their innocence, but for the right price, Perry Mason can take on the woefully incompetent district attorney, Hamilton Burger (William Talman), and prove any defendant to be not guilty. It is classic courtroom drama that has an all-too-predictable ending for each and every episode.

Season 4, Volume 2 brings the final twelve episodes of the fourth season together in a three-disc set, beginning with the February 18, 1961 episode, "The Case of the Wintry Wife," where a woman maliciously destroys an invention that could make her husband millions, then mysteriously ends up dead. And you know who the top suspect is going to be. In "The Case of the Angry Dead Man," a man almost dies, but later realizes how lucrative the life insurance payout would be if he really does die. In an ironic twist of fate, he really DOES die, so who will be suspect number one? A jewel thief goes horribly wrong when the perfectly planned scheme ends with the thief getting murdered himself in "The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff." A contractor is furious when he finds he has been swindled in "The Case of the Difficult Detour," and when the man who cheated him ends up dead, the contractor finds he has one big problem: he had a motive. In "The Case of the Cowardly Lion," some bizarre happenings at the San Diego Zoo may just help Perry defend a client.

In "The Case of the Violent Vest," a man is killed after paying off his wife's debts when he agrees to do so in order to leave town with a more attractive woman, and the circumstances of the murder are definitely a little bizarre. Perry has to prove that he has what it takes to defend an old war buddy in a court-martial proceeding at an Air Force base in "The Case of the Misguided Missile." A daughter fleeing the scene where her own father was murdered makes the daughter a prime suspect, as we learn in "The Case of the Duplicate Daughter." A man gets involved in the affairs of a female in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather," and it proves to be a bad choice when he is accused of murdering her estranged husband. The season ends with "The Case of the Guilty Clients," where a pilot in a test aircraft dies and it just so happens to be that the ex-wife of the designer of the aircraft is also the new girlfriend of the pilot. It sounds like we have a suspect.

The set is packaged in a standard DVD case much like every other CBS DVD releases, and really does not add much to be excited about. It is just too standard and basic. The front of the case has a picture of Perry Mason on an orange background with several color courtroom photos at the top of the cover. Inside, there is a listing of all of the episodes, and a listing of where each episode can be found on each disc. There is a brief synopsis as well as the original airdate for each episode. There are three discs in the set, all having the basic gray CBS DVD artwork (with the series logo on each disc), and each disc contains exactly four episodes. The menus, similarly, are rather dull and much like other CBS DVD releases, simply listing each episode and giving a Play All option. Each episode contains chapters at all of the appropriate places.

The video and audio quality on the set is, to say the least, superb. I have never found any problems at all regarding video and audio on any of these sets, and it really goes to show that a series can be very well preserved nearly fifty years after originally airing. The picture is a clean, crisp black-and-white picture with very minimal grain and debris, and the mono audio is very loud and clear. Each episode is closed-captioned. The episodes are all unedited, running at 52 minutes each, and the set doesn't even have the standard CBS DVD disclaimer warning of potentially edited episodes. That is very nice to not have glaring at you on the packaging. Unfortunately, there are no special features on the set.

It is difficult to complain about these sets, with the great video and audio quality, but it really would be nice to see some special features and a move to full season releases. I think that is the only real issue that I even have with the set. It is clear that fans are really enjoying this series, as this is the eighth release of the series (ninth if you include the special 50th anniversary release) on DVD, and it appears that CBS DVD will continue with the series. But with a series with a fan base like this, CBS DVD really should give fans more to appreciate on DVD. Still, I think the verdict on this set is pretty clear, and it didn't even need the services of the Honorable Mr. Mason to prove it: not guilty!

-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Friday, November 27, 2009

TV Rebels: TV Dinners - Culinary Pop Culture

It's time for the final edition of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and then last year we got rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so today is number twelve, TV Dinners. The book is in the works and will be released in 2010...so stay tuned for that and look for a review of the book right here before it comes out!

So without further adieu, we bring you the final essay of TV Rebels:

TV Dinners: Culinary Pop Culture
by Lou Orfanella

The concept of freezing food for thawing and consuming later dates to at least 1923 and Clarence Birdseye who created a method of preserving foods that allowed for long term storage. It was not until the 1950s however, that the C.A. Swanson company capitalizing on a public's desire for faster meal preparation and its desire to not miss an episode of Milton Berle or Sid Caesar, invented the first TV Dinner. Varying accounts give 1953 or 1954 as the actual date of the creation of the first TV Dinner.

The original Swanson meal, in its familiar aluminum compartmentalized tray, consisted of turkey with stuffing and gravy, peas, and sweet potatoes. It sold for just under a dollar and came in a box with graphics that resembled a television set. Gerald Thomas, a Swanson executive told the popular culture website fiftiesweb.com, "After Thanksgiving, Swanson had ten refrigerated railroad cars-each containing 520,000 pounds of unsold turkeys-going back and forth across the country in refrigerated railroad box cars, because there was not enough storage in warehouses. We were challenged to come up with a way to get rid of the turkeys" ("Swanson"). Swanson thought of the single compartment trays airlines used to serve food and parlayed that into the TV Dinner concept. An original release of 5,000 dinners turned into millions in the first year. Varieties have increased and imitators have been abundant, but Swanson remains the name most often connected with the TV Dinner.

New York Daily News media writer David Hinckley reflected when the TV Dinner celebrated its fiftieth birthday. "I haven't had one in probably 40 years. It doesn't matter. My wife could serve me one for dinner tonight and I would be transported to 1959, sitting in front of the black-and-white Magnavox console, gingerly peeling the hot foil off the top of the aluminum tray. The compartment at the bottom would have several slices of turkey in gravy. Top left, mixed vegetables. Top right, mashed potatoes...the smell, texture, taste-those are as imprinted at the TV shows" (Hinckley).

Did the concept of quick meals to be eaten in front of the television weaken the family by infringing on the nightly ritual of bonding around the dinner table? Perhaps. Or perhaps the popularity of the medium itself did that. In any case, the TV Dinner, like the people and programs consumers watch while eating it, has taken its place in popular culture. Microwavable trays have replaced the metal ones and "TV" has been dropped from the product's name, but the TV Dinner remains an icon in American popular culture. "Although technology moved on, the original aluminum tray was not forgotten. In 1986 it took its place in the Smithsonian Institution, immortalized right next to Fonzie's jacket, the two most appropriate symbols of television's happy days. Hollywood followed suit in 1997 when an aluminum tray-along with handprints of Swanson salesman Gerry Thomas-was placed in the cement outside Mann's Chinese theatre alongside the marks of Lassie, Uncle Miltie, and other TV legends. In 1999, Hollywood produced a commemorative sequel, giving the tray its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame" (Dixon).

Works Cited
Dixon Lebeau, Mary. "At 50, TV Dinner is Still Cookin'" The Christian Science Monitor. 10 Nov. 2004. 8 Aug. 2007 <http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1110/p11s01-lifo.html>.
Hinckley, David. "Dinner and a Show." New York Daily News 9 March 2003: Lifeline23.
"Swanson TV Dinners." Fifties Pop History. 11 Aug. 2007 <http://www.fiftiesweb.com/pop/tv-dinner.htm>.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! - TV Marathons On This Holiday Weekend

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We thank you for visiting us on this special day and every other day, all-year. We also are very thankful that you all will continue to visit every single day and making this blog a continued huge success. We get thousands of visitors every day (even on weekends). So, we thank you for the growth each year! It is simply amazing and I can't believe it has been nearly 5 years (OK almost 4 1/2 years) of posting on this blog every single day no matter what! No days off!

Before we let you all go back to your families (or special friends), we want to let you know the marathons on TV you and your family might want to watch during the day and after Thanksgiving dinner. We love TV marathons and you all come here on each holiday to see what marathons are airing, so as always we will do that today, too!
We have told you about many of the sitcom related marathons already. We were the first ones to tell you about them, too. WGN America has their second annual Newhart marathon on Thanksgiving Day from 2:30pm-8pm ET. TV Land has its annual Overstuffed Weekend with Brady Bunch and Little House on the Prairie on Thanksgiving Day and Night, with many other sitcoms from Friday-Sunday. Nick at Nite continues their George Lopez Thanksgiving Week marathon all night tonight and tomorrow night. TV One has a Living Single and Martin marathon starting at 11:30am. So yeah we told you about all these already many moons ago. But there are of course more as usual!
Other sitcom related marathons include TBS's Seinfeld marathon, but that is tomorrow (Friday) from 11:30am-4pm. Also on Friday, BET airs an Everybody Hates Chris marathon from 10am-6pm, while WE tv has a Golden Girls marathon on Friday from 12pm-7pm and FX goes back to the '70s with That '70s Show starting at 8am om Friday. On Saturday, BET airs a marathon of The Game from 9am-7:30pm, while TV Land has its weekly Saturday Married...with Children marathon from 8am-6pm this week.
Non-sitcom wise, USA Network will have a House marathon today starting at 7am, while The Closer marathon airs on TNT from 10am-6pm. Other notables for Thursday include a Home Alone movie marathon on FX, Deal or No Deal on GSN, Supernanny on Style, Band of Brothers on Spike TV, and many many movies marathons on networks like Disney Channel, Sleuth, Hallmark, G4, Comedy Central, and Syfy's Bond Movies marathon. On Friday we get Criminal Minds on A&E, Law & Order on TNT, Beverly Hills 90210 on SOAPnet, NCIS/White Collar on USA, and America's Next Top Model on Oxygen, and on Saturday Top Model will also have a marathon on Bravo.
And don't forget my pick of the night, tonight at 8pm on ABC the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. It's an annual tradition to watch! Can't get enough of old Chuck! If you haven't see it already, view our 2009 Network TV Holiday Specials and Movies Guide, so you don't miss anything on network TV this holiday season. Also our ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas schedule, because that is the place to be as always during the holiday season with classics like Mickey's Christmas Carol, A Garfield Christmas and Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fox Midseason 2010 Schedule; Donna Reed Show Season 3 DVD Giveaway!

Fox has announced premiere dates of new and returning series as well as revisions to its midseason schedule. Fox also has ordered a full season of the sophomore drama Lie to Me. Lie to Me will return to the schedule in the late spring on a new night and time it seems. Possibly Wednesdays at 9 in the spring?
On Sunday, Jan. 10, Fox presents a special Simpsons event beginning with the animated series' milestone 450th episode, "Once Upon a Time in Springfield" in the 8:00PM ET/PT half-hour, in which Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) try to help Krusty (Dan Castellaneta) regain his popularity after network executives force him to restructure the format of his television show by hiring a female sidekick, Princess Penelope (guest voice Anne Hathaway). Then, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock will present The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: in 3-D! on Ice! in the 8:30PM ET/PT half-hour. The documentary special examines the global phenomenon that is The Simpsons and serves as the momentous conclusion to the "Best. 20 Years. Ever.," a year-long global celebration of The Simpsons that launched in January 2009.
Then the ninth season of American Idol begins with a two-night premiere Tuesday, Jan. 12 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT. Immediately following American Idol on Jan. 13 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, Fox unveils the debut of Our Little Genius, a new unscripted series that features America's most gifted kids as they are tested with some of the most challenging and difficult questions that only a remarkable little genius could answer.
A special extended primetime event on Sunday, Jan. 17 kicks off with the NFC Divisional Playoff (4:00 PM ET live/1:00 PM PT live), which leads into the series preview of Human Target at 8:00 ET/PT, the new full-throttle, action-packed drama about a unique private contractor (Mark Valley) who will stop at nothing even if it means becoming a human target to save his clients. The special primetime event concludes with the first installment of the two-night, four-hour premiere of 24 from 9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT. The season premiere of 24 clocks in for two more hours of action Monday, Jan. 18 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, and the season premiere of Human Target airs Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on its normal night and time following American Idol. So what happens to Glee? After its fall finale Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, Glee returns from its interlude with a score of all-new episodes on a new night beginning Tuesday, April 13 at 9:00 ET/PT following American Idol performance episodes. Glee will replace Our Little Genius on the schedule. And I bet Lie to Me returns to the schedule on Wednesdays in late March when Human Target finishes its 12-episode run.
Other midseason programming includes: Chef Gordon Ramsay steps out of his own kitchen to serve up a new season of Kitchen Nightmares on Friday, Jan. 29 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. The show will replace Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, as that series goes out with a bang with its series finale on Friday, Jan. 22 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.
Past Life, a new drama series inspired by the book "The Reincarnationist" about detectives who investigate the world of the unexplained, will bow with a two-hour series premiere Thursday, Feb. 11 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT and will make its time period premiere Thursday, Feb. 18 at 9:00 ET/PT, following Bones. What happens to Fringe then? Fringe delves into its winter finale Thursday, Feb. 4 at 9:00 PM ET/PT and then resurfaces with new cases beginning Thursday, April 1 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, when it replaces Past Life on the schedule.
Sons of Tucson, the new family comedy from Emmy Award winner Todd Holland about three young brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison, debuts Sunday, March 14 at 8:30 PM ET/PT following The Simpsons. The Cleveland Show will move to 9:30PM ET/PT, as it takes over the timeslot previously held by American Dad!, which will return to the schedule at a later date. Maybe as soon as Sons of Tucson finishes its run, Cleveland and Dad! go back to their original times? Stay tuned...
View the full Fox Mideason 2010 schedule, if you want to see it in a list format.

We have 3 copies of The Donna Reed Show - Season Three for giveaway thanks to the fine folks at Virgil Films & Entertainment. Just in time for the Holidays, Virgil Films & Entertainment is proud to present a piece of American television history to home viewing audiences with the DVD release of The Donna Reed Show: Season Three.
Available for the first time on DVD, the set also includes several heart-warming bonus features including a 2008 Q&A session with Paul Petersen and Donna Reed's daughter, Mary Owen, in New York City, where Paul performed his memorable song "My Dad" before a live audience. The 4-disc DVD set includes all 38 episodes, and features special guests including: Emmy nominated singer Tony Martin, Harvey Korman, Jack Albertson, and Jay North as Dennis The Menace. The DVD will be available to fans beginning December 1, 2009 for a suggested retail price of $39.95.
Along with the Q&A session filmed in NYC's Barnes & Nobles store, other bonus features includes: a special letter to Donna Reed from WWII soldier; "It's a Wonderful Life" special tribute; a rare and never-before-seen Christmas greeting from the cast after "Someone is Watching" episode. The priceless memorabilia included in the third season will have fans clamoring for this DVD set as the perfect Holiday gift!
The show first premiered on ABC in September of 1958, and has remained a classic family favorite for decades with its delightful cast, featuring Academy Award-winning actress, Donna Reed as "Donna Stone," Carl Betz as "Dr. Alex Stone," Shelley Fabares as "Mary Stone" and Paul Petersen as "Jeff Stone."
The DVD contest begins Wednesday, November 25 and ends at the end of Wednesday, December 9. Look for our DVD review later this week. But for now, please read the rules first and the enter our Donna Reed Show Season 3 contest if you are eligible! Good luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WGN America and WPIX's 2009 Holiday Stunts; Classic Power Rangers Coming to ABC Kids

We told you already about WGN America's Newhart Thanksgiving Day marathon, now we have the rest of the holiday specials for WGN America to close out 2009! Airing on Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24, 2009) will be Yogi's First Christmas (1980) from 2-4pm ET, followed by back-to-back holiday episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, Cheers, and Becker from 4pm-7pm ET. Then we have the special A Flintstone Christmas (1977) in the 7pm ET hour leading into WWE Superstars at 8pm ET followed by the primetime movie The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002) from 9pm-11pm ET. Then A Flintstone Christmas (1977) encores in the 11pm ET hour, followed by an encore of WWE Superstars at 12am ET. At 1am ET through 2:30am ET, Midnight Mass from Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago airs live. The Mass leads into holiday episodes of Barney Miller at 2:30am & 3am ET, followed by the Cosby Show Christmas episode at 3:30am ET, and then four holiday episodes of Coach from 4am-6am ET.
The following day, Christmas Day (Friday, December 25, 2009) starts off with the annual Yule Log from 8am-11am ET! Open your presents in the morning with this! Then from 11am-1pm ET the movie It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) airs. The Chicago local news airs at 1pm, followed by a local special called Dean's Holiday Movies & Memories, from WGN entertainment critic Dean Richards. Yogi's First Christmas (1980) encores from 2-4pm ET on this day, too. Finally, more holiday movies (Secret of Giving (1999) and The Wool Cap (2004)) cap off the day from 4pm-8pm ET.
Other holiday movies and episodes will air on their regular times such as Bewitched holiday episodes on weekdays, Outta Sight Retro Night (Sunday, Dec. 20) and movies such as Jingle All the Way (1996) and Home for the Holidays (1995).
And finally for WGN America, ring out 2009 and roll in 2010 with two special marathons! On New Year's Eve from 1am-6am ET close out 2009 and start your 2010 with South Park...with a night marathon! Then take a few hours of sleep and start 2010 fresh with the classic sitcom Barney Miller from 8am-10pm ET on Friday, January 1, 2010! That's 14 hours (28 episodes) of the classic '70s sitcom starring Hal Linden!

For you New York City readers, we have some WPIX (CW11) holiday specials to tell you! They usually do some nice specials as well. WPIX is owned by Tribune, the same company that owns cable network WGN America. On Saturday, Dec. 19 they will air the annual classic March of the Wooden Soldiers at 8pm ET. They will also encore it on Christmas Day as usual at 1pm ET. On Sunday, Dec. 20 from 1pm-5pm ET, WPIX will present a sitcom holiday episode stunt! Holiday episodes airings of Two and a Half Men, double shots of According to Jim, Frasier, and The Jeffersons, along with The Odd Couple will air!
On Christmas Eve, when the clock strikes midnight WPIX will present the Christmas Midnight Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York for 90 minutes. And of course on Christmas morning from 4-6am and again from 9am-1pm it's the annual WPIX Yule Log! I had to relay the classic stunts for you New Yorkers on WPIX since I mentioned WGN America!

The classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is scheduled to air in the 12:00PM & 12:30 PM ET (11:00 & 11:30 AM CT/PT; 10:00 & 10:30AM MT) time periods effective Saturday, January 2, 2010 on ABC's Saturday morning block called ABC Kids.
The classic episodes replace the current Power Rangers: RPM, which will have its last telecast on Saturday, December 26, 2009. In addition to the return to television, a new toy line will accompany the series and will appear in stores by the end of 2009.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers aired from 1993 to 1995 on Fox Kids, the longest running Power Rangers series, spanning three seasons. The series was about normal teens Jason (Red Ranger), Kimberly (Pink Ranger), Zack (Black Ranger), Trini (Yellow Ranger), and Billy (Blue Ranger), given the ability to morph into Power Rangers, including an arsenal of weapons at their disposal as well as large robotic machines called Zords, which can combine into the mighty Megazord. Later a new teen was added Tommy (Green Ranger). Zordon and Alpha 5 recruited them. The villains were Rita Repulsa (one of the ugliest TV characters ever!) and Lord Zedd. Sounds wacky...but it was pretty good and clearly the best version of Power Rangers, I think.
View the episode schedule for the classic episodes on ABC Kids! Go Go Power Rangers, You Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

Monday, November 23, 2009

2009 Network TV Holiday Specials; Nick at Nite Gains 6am Hour Every Morning as Family Matters Returns

Can you believe the holiday season is nearing? Thanksgiving is this week, which means Christmas is right around the corner! And then it will be 2010 a week after Christmas. Time flies! Anyway as I mentioned, I have put together our annual network television (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, MyNetwork TV) holiday specials list that we all like to watch every year like Frosty the Snowman and A Charlie Brown Christmas, new classics like Shrek the Halls and we even get some new specials this year like Disney Prep & Landing. Sure the network holiday line-ups are not as detailed as some cable networks like ABC Family, but the main holiday specials are still on network television! These are just actual holiday related specials and movies, not movies or specials airing during the holiday season on broadcast network television:



ABC
Thursday, Nov. 26, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving/This is America Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers
Sunday, Nov. 29, 4-6pm ET: ABC Afternoon Movie: Surviving Christmas
Monday, Nov. 30, 8-9pm: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated) and Shrek the Halls
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas and Disney Prep & Landing (NEW!)
Sunday, Dec. 6, 4-5pm ET: Elmo's Christmas Countdown
Monday, Dec. 7, 8-9pm: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 8-9pm: A Charlie Brown Christmas/Charlie Brown Christmas Tales (full-hour)
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 8pm: Shrek the Halls ENCORE
Saturday, Dec. 12, 8-10pm: ABC Saturday Movie of the Week: The Polar Express
Sunday, Dec. 13, 10-11pm: Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special (NEW!)
Monday, Dec. 14, 8-9pm: Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas (NEW!)
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 8pm: Disney Prep & Landing ENCORE
Saturday, Dec. 19, 8-10pm: ABC Saturday Movie of the Week: The Santa Clause 2
Sunday, Dec. 20, 8-10pm: ABC Sunday Movie of the Week: The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause (Network Premiere)
Monday, Dec. 21, 8-9pm: I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 8pm: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated) ENCORE
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on ABC, view our schedule.

CBS:
Sunday, Nov. 29, 9-11pm: Hallmark Hall of Fame: A Dog Named Christmas (NEW!)
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 8-9pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Friday, Dec. 11, 8pm: Yes, Virginia There Is A Santa Claus (NEW!)
Saturday, Dec. 12, 8-9pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ENCORE
Saturday, Dec. 12, 9-10pm: The Flight Before Christmas
Friday, Dec. 18, 8-9pm: Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns
Saturday, Dec. 19, 8-10pm: CBS Saturday Movie: Elf
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 8-9pm: 11th Annual Home for the Holidays
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on CBS, view our schedule.

NBC:
Saturday, Nov. 28, 8pm: Merry Madagascar (Premiered Tuesday, Nov. 17 and was NEW!)
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 8-9pm: Christmas in Rockefeller Center NEW!
Friday, Dec. 11, 8-9pm: A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
Saturday, Dec. 12, 8-11pm: NBC Movie of the Week: It's a Wonderful Life
Thursday, Dec. 17, 8-10pm: Saturday Night Live Christmas NEW!
Saturday, Dec. 19, 8-9pm: A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa ENCORE
Thursday, Dec. 24, 8-11pm: NBC Movie of the Week: It's a Wonderful Life ENCORE
Friday, Dec. 25, 8-10pm: Saturday Night Live Christmas ENCORE
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on NBC, view our schedule.

Fox:
Monday, Dec. 7, 8-10pm: Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special (NEW!)
Tuesday, Dec. 22, 8-10pm: Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special ENCORE
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on Fox, view our schedule.

The CW:
Friday, Dec. 4, 9-10pm: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on The CW, view our schedule.

MyNetwork TV:
Thursday, Dec. 3, 8-10pm: MyThursday Night Movie: Home for the Holidays
Thursday, Dec. 10, 8-10pm: Hollywood Christmas Parade (NEW!)
Thursday, Dec. 24, 8-10pm: Hollywood Christmas Parade ENCORE
For other non-holiday related movies and specials airing during the holiday season on MyNetwork TV, view our schedule.


Effective this morning Nick at Nite has gained the full 6am hour! Previously the 6am half-hour was only programmed by Nick a Nite on weekdays. Now it will be the full 6am hour and every morning--even weekends! Two shows will fill this show. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays we get The Nanny from 6-7am and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays Family Matters returns to the line-up and will air on those days 6-7am! Too bad it isn't every morning instead, since The Nanny already airs in other time periods.
Stay with us in the coming days or so for details on Nick at Nite December 2009. There won't be any more schedules changes, as of now that is, but you'll see some holiday episodes and the premiere of the movie Men in Black II.

For all of us at SitcomsOnline News, have a good day! Thanks for visiting as always! Good choice!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 9 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 9 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):
(I don't have final network averages for Wednesday and Thursday, so I won't give you the first four nights numbers below...but check the analysis for the final program numbers.)

Households: n/a
Total Viewers: n/a
Adults 18-49: n/a

Week 9 (Nov. 16-22) Analysis: For week 9 we don't have final first four night averages, but I can predict that CBS is on top in all categories. ABC is a close second in all categories. While Fox is in 3rd followed by NBC in 4th. Last week, week 8, CBS hung on and nipped ABC in HH/viewers, but ABC prevailed in 18-49. Fox was second in 18-49, but 4th in HH/viewers. CBS was third in 18-49 tied with NBC. NBC was third in HH/viewers this week, much thanks to the Pats-Colts NFL game.
On Monday it was ABC on top in viewers and a battle between Fox and CBS for 18-49. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars did 18.84 million for ABC, up a million from the previous week and a season high. An all-new Castle followed with a solid 10.53 million, also up from the previous week, and a season high. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.16 million, down some week-to-week, while Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 7.28 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week again. Two and a Half Men followed doing 13.69 million, down nearly a million week-to-week and The Big Bang Theory followed and did a nice 13.23 million, up some from previous week despite the lead-in doing much weaker from previous week. The show also did a 5.0 18-49 rating building on the lead-in's 4.7 rating. A new episode of CSI: Miami did 13.26 million, down a million from previous week's crossover. Fox started with House doing a solid 12.67 million and a 5.0 18-49 rating, but both down week-to-week, followed by Lie to Me at only 7.23 million, off some from previous week. NBC was next with Heroes doing 5.08 million, down again from the previous week. A new episode of Trauma followed and did only 5.18 million and only a 1.8 A18-49 rating, in viewers it was down from the previous week but retained the same 18-49 rating. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 4.46 million, but actually up a tad from previous week. The CW on Mondays continues to struggle overall, with One Tree Hill doing only 2.63 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 2.24 million...both down some week-to-week.
On Tuesday, CBS was in control as usual, but ABC continues to be much improved with V. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 20.34 million...down some from previous week. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 14.87 million, down well over a million from previous week. And finally CBS aired a new The Good Wife and did 12.7 million, also down from previous week. ABC was second for the night with episode three of V doing 9.32 million, though down from the previous week...still good! 3.1 18-49 rating was also solid, but down from the 3.8 the week before. Look for the fall finale this week and it should go up some in the ratings. Then it was Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 16.02 million, down some week-to-week as we said goodbye to Joana Krupa. It should have been Kelly Osbourne. ABC followed with the forgotten at its usual numbers of 7.53 million. NBC was next with the special Merry Madagascar doing a solid 8.97 million but the 2.9 18-49 rating was just OK for a new special. The Biggest Loser followed with a 90-minute episode doing 9.56 million, down every so slightly from previous week when it was two-hours, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at 6.0 million, which was up some from previous week. Fox aired So You Think You Can Dance for two-hours and did only 5.99 million, but up some from previous week. The CW was next with a new 90210 doing only 2.1 million, but it was up a bit from previous week, followed by a new episode of dud Melrose Place at an even worse 1.57 million. Heather Locklear only helped with 300,000 more viewers. 18-49 rating went up to a 0.8 from a 0.7...not good still.
Wednesday it was CBS on top. CBS started with Old Christine doing 7.27 million, up a bit from previous week, followed by Gary Unmarried at 7.0 million, down some from previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was next and did 13.7 million, up some week-to-week, while CSI: NY did 13.62 million, down from previous week. ABC comedies did solid business, as a repeat of Modern Family did a decent 6.13 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, better than new episodes of Hank. The Middle was next and did a good 7.06 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, best showing since its pilot. Modern Family was new and did a great 9.16 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating, Elizabeth Banks was great! Cougar Town was next and all-new as well doing a solid 7.92 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating. Eastwick was preempted as ABC aired the special In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Janet Jackson doing a decent 6.62 million. NBC opened the night with Mercy doing 7.76 million, up a million from previous week and an improved 2.0 18-49 rating. Law & Order: SVU followed and did 8.44 million, down some from previous week. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just 4.79 million, on par really week-to-week. Fox started with So You Think You Can Dance doing only 5.65 million, down some from previous week, but Glee did a solid 7.36 million and a solid 3.3 18-49 rating, but both down some from previous week. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 3.69 million, up some from previous week as this was the season finale. Remember when the finales did over 5 million? And a clip show of Top Model followed with 1.8 million, which is better than any repeats in this slot has done this season.
Thursday it was CBS and ABC battling but the night in general was down from normal. ABC opened the night with FLASHFORWARD doing 7.98 million down some from previous week. A new Grey's Anatomy followed with 14.07 million and a great 5.1 A18-49 rating, both down though from previous week. And a new episode of Private Practice did 8.93 million and a 3.1 A18-49 rating, both down week-to-week as Lifetime's finale of Project Runway might have affected it a bit. CBS opened with Survivor: Samoa at 12.33 million and a 3.8 A18-49 rating, both down though from previous week. A new episode of CSI followed with 14.91 million, down nearly three million from previous week. At 10pm The Mentalist was also new and did 15.85 million, down only a bit from previous week despite the lead-in going way down. Fox started with underrated Bones and did a solid 9.88 million, but down some from previous week, but Fringe was only did 5.9 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, both down from previous week a bit. NBC was next with Community at 8pm doing 4.87 million down some from previous week, followed by sitcom dud Parks & Recreation at only 4.55 million, also down week-to-week. At 9pm, The Office did 7.39 million and a solid 3.7 18-49 rating, but both down from previous week. A new episode of 30 Rock did 5.72 million, down from the previous week. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only 4.77 million, up a bit week-to-week. The CW's only consistent player so far is Vampire Diaries and did a great 3.57 million, but down week-to-week, followed by a new Supernatural at 2.51 million, down some from previous week. So everything was down but Leno. Go figure.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas as usual overall, but ABC's premiere of Shrek the Third helped ABC tie CBS for 18-49. NBC was good with Law & Order at 8pm and 20/20 at 10pm for ABC won its hour in 18-49 again.
Saturday numbers had Fox's regular line-up and ABC's College Football battle for the win in a close race in 18-49, while CBS prevailed in total viewers.
Tonight the full ABC Sunday line-up is preempted (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters) as they air the 2009 American Music Awards from 8-11. Look for solid ratings, especially in 18-49. NBC has an NFL game tonight but no where near the caliber of the past two weeks. CBS has its usual players including dud Three Rivers still airing but now at 10pm...NFL overrun will occur in east/central. Fox has Animation Domination from 8-10 and a new Brothers at 7. Look for CBS to win the week likely in HH/viewers over ABC but ABC will make it close in 18-49, but CBS should hang on due to the NFL overrun tonight. NBC could overtake Fox in all categories for 3rd place thanks to NFL, or Fox could hang on at least in 18-49. Look for a champion to be crowned on Dancing with the Stars this Tuesday following the last episode of 2009 of V!

Week 9 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 8-- Nov. 9-15)

  • Brothers (Fox) - preempted
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - 9.13 million tuned in for a new episode following a very high rated Cowboys-Packers NFL game. 4.3 18-49 rating was good, but could be better since it followed a huge game.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - 7.13 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating. The show has not done as well as it did its first few weeks.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - 8.5 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating is excellent for a new showing.
  • American Dad (Fox) - 6.17 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating...still so-so.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new showing did 8.16 million, decent but down from previous week, 18-49 rating of 3.4 is off as well.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 7.28 million for a new episode...down from previous week again.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.69 million for a new episode. Down nearly a million from previous week yet it still improved to a 4.7 18-49 rating, up 0.1 from previous week.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 13.23 million is excellent and up from previous week. 5.0 18-49 rating was also up. Amazing.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - New episode did 7.27 million...up some from previous week. And look...it nearly beat Accidentally on Purpose which airs on Mondays.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - New episode did 7.0 million...down some from previous week and lost to ABC.
  • The Middle (ABC) - 7.06 million for an all-new showing of this underrated family comedy. 2.4 18-49 rating also. Best numbers since the premiere!
  • Modern Family (ABC) 2 episodes - A repeat at 8pm did solid for a repeat doing 6.13 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. But a new episode at 9 featuring Ed Norton and Elizabeth Banks did a great 9.16 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating!
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - 7.92 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating for a new showing...good numbers.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - New episode did 4.87 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. Both down week-to-week. Needs to do better...
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - This show did terrible again doing only 4.55 million but it held the lead-in's 2.0 A18-49 rating at least for a second straight week.
  • The Office (NBC) - 7.39 million for a new episode, down from the previous week. In 18-49 it did a 3.7 rating, off half a point (4.2 the previous week).
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode did 5.72 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. Down week-to-week in both. Needs to do better since it is praised so much.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

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

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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TV Rebels: Rod Serling - Submitted For Your Approval

It's time another edition of TV Rebels. We originally had special permission to publish the first 6 essays on TV shows and actors that will be featured in the upcoming book TV Rebels: 100 People and Programs That Shaped the Medium by authors Lou Orfanella and Oscar De Los Santos...and then last year we got rights to 6 additional essays (for a total of 12!), so including today's essay, only two essays are left. We soon will give you the last one, which is TV Dinners. The book is in the works and will be released in 2010...so stay tuned for that and look for a review of the book right here before it comes out!

So without further adieu, we bring you the eleventh essay of TV Rebels:

Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval
by Lou Orfanella

In the early years of television, science fiction, terror, and horror all graced the small screen with various degrees of success. Boris Karloff's Thriller ran for two seasons in the early '60s. Science Fiction Theater was seen in syndication in the mid-1950s. Local stations around the country programmed A and B list horror movies with low budget wrap-arounds and creepy hosts, notably John Zacherley in Philadelphia and later in New York.

When the Rod Serling hosted Twilight Zone premiered on CBS in October of 1959 the science fiction anthology genre reached a new level. The Twilight Zone was a unique combination of terror, suspense, mystery, and irony that raised the sci-fi television bar to a new intellectual level. This likely surprised no one familiar with Serling's work. He was a well respected writer who had success in radio and with scripts for television anthology series like Playhouse 90 for which he wrote "Requiem for a Heavyweight," arguably his most famous piece. The scripts, many written by Serling, were often ironic slices of life and its often dark side and resonated in viewers' minds long after the final credits rolled. "Most of Serling's comrades had long since left television for other less censorious and more 'artistic' media, but Serling refused to abandon video: he believed in television. And-unquestionable-Serling liked the limelight" (Sander xix).

The combination of Serling's skills as a writer coupled with his desire to be in front of the camera is likely what helped The Twilight Zone achieve legendary status. His on camera introductions to each episode, delivered in a dry monotone, became as popular as the teleplays themselves. The content of the stories often shed light on cultural ills and human frailties. In "Escape Clause" a man granted immortality in exchange for his soul decides to challenge the death penalty only to be sentenced to life in prison instead. Aliens arrive on earth "To Serve Man" according to one of their books translated by earthlings, yet it turns out to be a cook book. In yet another of the series' most enduring episodes, "Time Enough at Last" the lone survivor of a nuclear attack believes he will finally achieve his dream of having ample time to read all he wants, only to break his glasses. Serling would return from the shadows at the end of each episode to offer a comment on mankind and society.

The Twilight Zone ran until 1964 with both the title and theme song becoming an indelible part of popular culture. To be "in The Twilight Zone" came to mean in a strange or inexplicable situation, and all one needs to do is vocalize a few notes of the show's spooky theme music to indicate danger on the horizon. Rod Serling, long a proponent of intelligent, literate television never replicated the success he had with The Twilight Zone. He returned as host and frequent writer of Night Gallery on NBC from 1970-1973 but audiences did not embrace it as they had his earlier program. The Twilight Zone was revived in the years after Serling's death (at age fifty in 1975) first on CBS, then in first run syndication and later on the UPN network, but never to the same popularity as the original.

When all is said and done, Rod Serling was The Twilight Zone. "As Stephen King wrote in Danse Macabre, a collection of his meditations on horror that was excerpted in TV Guide in 1982, The Twilight Zone 'generated a kind of existential weirdness that no other series has been able to match'" (Lasswell 150). Eulogized in TV Guide in 1975 Serling was called, "an angry crusader, pleading the cause of quality television...he was a charming man-involved, concerned, restless-and he made a great contribution to television. We are all in his debt" (Harris 231).

Works Cited
Harris, Jay S. TV Guide: The First 25 Years. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.
Lasswell, Mark. TV Guide: Fifty Years of Television. New York: Crown, 2002.
Sander, Gordon. Serling: The Rise and Twilight of Television's Last Angry Man. New York: Plume, 1994.

Friday, November 20, 2009

ABC Sets Feb. 2 Premiere Date for LOST Final Season, Chuck Returns for NBC; ABC Family Monday Originals in January

ABC announced that the premiere of the sixth and final season of LOST, will have a special all-night event on Tuesday, February 2, 2010. A recap special will kick off the night at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT, followed by the much anticipated two-hour premiere from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The series will then air in its regular time period Tuesday nights from 9:00-10:00 p.m., ET beginning the following week, on February 9.
ABC has not announced anything else for 2010 in terms of schedule changes. LOST airing in the 9pm hour will likely have ABC move Scrubs and Better off Ted to the 8pm hour. Those comedies start airing in the 9pm hour starting Dec. 1 and will likely air there in January as well before LOST takes the hour starting in February. It is unclear what ABC will air at 8pm on Tuesdays in January. My guess? Shark Tank. ABC has some episodes still to air and they announced yesterday that repeats will air on Saturdays in January at 5pm ET starting Jan. 9. ABC will also air repeats of Shaq Vs. on Sundays at 5pm ET starting Jan. 3. Back to primetime, the forgotten will likely air Tuesdays at 10pm still in January and February. In March both Dancing with the Stars: The Results and V will return. They will air at 8pm and 10pm, but either time for each could work. The only other question mark for ABC will be Wednesdays at 10pm starting in January. Could Ugly Betty be on the move to that slot? Stay with us!

NBC's one-hour action-comedy series Chuck returns to the NBC lineup on Sunday, January 10 with all-new missions and two action-packed, back-to-back original episodes in its season premiere from 9-11 p.m. ET before the series -- starring Zachary Levi in the title role -- moves back to its regular day and time (Mondays 8-9 p.m. ET) beginning Monday, January 11. NBC has 19 hours of Chuck this season, so they are using three hours the first week.
In other programming news, a special two-hour episode of Heroes will be broadcast on Monday, January 4 from 8-10 p.m. ET and then the series moves to its new time slot (actually its old slot) of Mondays at 9 p.m. ET starting January 11. NBC has also announced they have ordered three more episodes of canceled drama Trauma. Why? For inventory reasons as they will need a few more hours to program. Trauma will air 10 episodes in 2009, so 6 episodes will remain to air sometime in 2010. It won't be airing Mondays at 9 in January that's for sure. Looks like it will return when maybe Heroes finishes up its run in February? Don't get too excited Trauma fans, NBC did the same thing by ordering more Lipstick Jungle last year and it remained canceled after that.

Finally, ABC Family will return its two original hit dramas, The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make It or Break It one week earlier, moving to Monday, January 4 at 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT and 9:00-10:00PM ET/PT. The Secret Life of the American Teenager returns (8:00-9:00PM ET/PT) to complete its second season with 12 all-new episodes; Make It or Break It (9:00PM-10:00PM ET/PT) returns to complete its first season with 10 all-new episodes. The two series were initially scheduled to return on Monday, January 11, 2010.
The network has also created its first 3-hour block of original programming on Monday nights by setting the premiere date for the return of Greek on Monday, January 25 at 10:00 PM ET/PT. Greek will join the new Monday line up in the 10 o'clock hour, which will round out its third season with 10 episodes.
We will have more on ABC Family January 2010 at a later date, if anything has changed on the regular daytime schedule (7am-8pm).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Unit Joins BET, And Coming to Sleuth in January; 2010 Emmy's in August

Action drama The Unit, which aired on CBS from 2005-09, has began airing on cable in repeats on BET since Monday (Nov. 16). The series stars Dennis Haysbert and focuses on a top-secret military unit modeled after the real-life Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (a.k.a. Delta Force). BET airs repeats of the series on Monday and Friday nights in primetime from 8pm-11pm ET and encores from 1-3am ET and they have rights through 2011. The Unit of course also airs in broadcast syndication on Wednesday nights in primetime from 8-10pm ET/PT on MyNetwork TV, as we all know. Sticking to BET, they will air an Everybody Hates Chris marathon on "Black Friday" (Friday, Nov. 27) from 10am-6pm. The Game will also get a marathon the following day (Saturday, Nov. 28) from 9am-8:30pm.
We have more news for The Unit! It will be joining Sleuth in January. The series launches on the network on Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 and will have a three-day all-day marathon from 6am-6am through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. Then starting Monday, Jan. 4, the series will air Mondays from 8am-4pm ET & 8pm-2am ET; Saturdays from 9am-1pm ET & 5am ET; and Sundays at 11pm ET. The Unit will get a 24-hour marathon on Martin Luther King, Jr. day on Monday, Jan. 18 from 6am-6am.
In other Sleuth January 2010 news, starting Friday, Jan. 8 from 8pm-11pm ET/PT will be the "Sleuth Uncovered TV" block that features a stack of short-lived TV series that deserve to be seen. At 8pm we get Blind Justice starring Ron Eldard, at 9pm we get The Handler starring Joe Pantoliano, and at 10pm we get Twin Peaks starring Kyle MacLachlan.
Other series that air regularly on Sleuth are Monk, NCIS, The Dead Zone and Bury the Lead. Airing in blocks like The Unit are series like JAG, Walker Texas Ranger, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and MacGyver.
So, by January we'll have The Unit on MyNetwork TV, BET and Sleuth. Will there be more? Who knows, but stay with us as usual.

NBC will broadcast The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards live on Sunday, August 29 (8-11 p.m. ET; other time zones delayed) in 2010. The Emmy Awards are usually the last Sunday of the summer season, but due to NBC's commitments to NFL on Sunday nights, they cannot air the Emmy Awards on that night. This is the second time that NBC has done this, as last time they had the Emmy Awards was in 2006 and they aired it on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006. The Emmy Awards rotate each year on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.
Nominations for The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced Thursday, July 8 at 5:40 a.m. (PT) from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif. Still a long way to go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ION Television December 2009 Highlights; Meet the Browns Heads to Syndication

This December 2009 on ION Television it is time to celebrate the holidays with Christmas movies, including an original movie premiere! There will not be any changes once again to the regular schedule, so you'll know when to find your favorites still like Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, NCIS and in daytime like Family Feud and Reba.
ION Television's first originally produced television film, the holiday themed A Golden Christmas, is set to make its world premiere on on Sunday, December 13 at 9:00 PM, ET. This two-hour film marks the first of a dozen originally produced made-for-television movies that ION Television is slated to roll out throughout 2010. The movie stars Andrea Roth, Jason London, Nicholas Brendon, Bruce Davison, Elisa Donovan and Alley Mills. The film is produced by MarVista Entertainment; directed by John Murlowski; and written by Jay Cipriani.
The movie is about one summer a long time ago, when a little girl and a little boy were brought together by a very special dog. They played all summer long, it was puppy love. Then the summer ended and they never saw each other again until…years later when her parents (Davison and Mills) retire and decide to sell their house. Jessica (Roth), recently widowed, decides she needs to start over and moves back home with her son. She hopes to buy the old house as a Christmas surprise, however, her plan goes awry when she discovers that her parents have already sold it. What she does not know is that the house has been sold to the very same person that she spent that magical summer with years ago.
Elsewhere on ION December 2009, other movie premieres for this month are theatrical premieres of March of the Penguins and Mission to Mars. Encore airings of films include Batman, Miami Vice, Who's Harry Crumb?, Heat, Eraser, Karate Kid II, and The Medallion. Holiday movies airing are 2008 films Christmas Town and The Christmas Clause, joining ION's original movie The Golden Christmas.
View the full schedule and details on ION Television December 2009.

Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns is heading to broadcast syndication already starting next September (2010) on stations covering 70% of U.S. TV households, including Fox-owned stations in New York, Dallas, Houston and Washington, D.C. In other top ten markets it will air on Weigel (Chicago), Tribune (Philadelphia) or Peachtree (Atlanta) owned stations. Distributor Debmar-Mercury already has Tyler Perry's House of Payne in syndication. Both series air new episodes on TBS on Wednesday nights. Meet the Browns is the top series on TBS this season in the adult 18-49 demo. It debuted on the cable network in May 2009 after a successful ten episode trial run in January. After tonight's episodes, 42 total episodes will have aired with much more to come. About 90 episodes total will be expected to be available by fall 2010.
Debmar-Mercury is poised to launch two more series that will premiere on cable and, if successful, move quickly into first-run syndication like Payne and Browns. The series are Are We There Yet, featuring Ice Cube, for TBS and an untitled project starring Jon Heder that will air on Comedy Central.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MTV Acquires Grounded for Life; CW Vampire Week, CBS Sunday Timeslot Changes

MTV has quietly acquired the sitcom Grounded for Life. The sitcom started on the cable network yesterday (Nov. 16) and they are airing it weeknights at 7:00pm & 7:30pm and also next day encores in the mornings at 9:00am & 9:30am. The sitcom is about a thirty-something Irish Catholic couple (Sean and Claudia) that deal with their three children as well as Sean's judgmental father and his carefree brother. Donal Logue and Megyn Price star in this 2001-2005 sitcom that aired on Fox and later The WB. On cable, ABC Family has been airing the series on and off since fall 2005, and they will continue to air it weekdays at 4:00pm & 4:30pm even with MTV acquiring the series.
Grounded for Life joins repeats of South Park (from sister network Comedy Central), which recently started airing on MTV at 8:00pm & 8:30pm. MTV also airs TeenNick's Degrassi: The Next Generation weekdays at 10:00am & 10:30am. It seems MTV is going with more scripted stuff rather than music now? Grounded for Life is the first sitcom airing on MTV that is not borrowed from another Viacom-owned network. Scrubs aired this past summer, but that was borrowed from Comedy Central/TV Land. They have been airing movies, too, such as Addams Family, Not Another Teen Movie, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Halloween: Resurrection, Scream 3, Phone Booth, and airing soon will be movies such as Bad Santa, Addams Family Values, Men in Black II & Dawn of the Dead.
Another scripted series is coming soon to MTV and we will let you know very soon! Hint: It is a classic '90s teen drama. And it is not on other Viacom-owned networks. Stay with us for more news!

The CW Network has announced plans for a special Vampire Diaries Marathon starting on Monday, December 14. This week-long event offers fans the opportunity to relive The Vampire Diaries saga from the very beginning and allows the uninitiated the chance to get into one of TV's breakout hits.
Airing two episodes each night from Monday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 18 (8:00-10:00p.m. ET/PT) beginning with the season premiere episode, The CW will rebroadcast every episode to date of its smash hit The Vampire Diaries in consecutive order across its entire primetime schedule that week. After just 10 episodes, The Vampire Diaries has become The CW's most-watched and highest-rated series among adults 18-34 this season.
And finally, CBS has swapped the timeslots for Sunday dramas Three Rivers and Cold Case. Three Rivers moves from 9pm to 10pm, while Cold Case goes from 10pm to 9pm. Both will be moved to their new timeslots for this coming Sunday (Nov. 22). As of now, it is only for one week, but the following week (Nov. 29), CBS has a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie airing. If the timeslots improve, I'm sure CBS will keep these new timeslots for both series. Both series have had sluggish ratings this season, especially first year drama Three Rivers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ABC Family Changes Its Mind; George Segal to Star in TV Land Sitcom Pilot

Last Wednesday we mentioned a few ABC Family schedule changes happening this week, now one of them is not happening anymore. 8 Simple Rules is not coming back to the weekday 6pm hour starting Nov. 18 after all. Instead, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will remain in the hour until further notice. As of now, 8 Simple Rules is not airing at all, but in October it aired on weekends (Sat 10-11am & Sun 11am-12pm). It is not airing now because of holiday movies. Stay with us and we'll let you know if it remains on weekends in January or if it gets a weekday slot. The other change we mentioned last week, will happen starting today, with What I Like About You returning to the schedule and airing weekdays in the 12 noon hour replacing one of the Full House hours (it will remain in the 3pm hour).

TV Land announced that George Segal -- esteemed comedy and drama actor on TV, stage and film -- has been tapped to star in the network's sitcom pilot Retired at 35. The sitcom, which was previously announced in October along with comedy pilot Hot in Cleveland, is TV Land's first foray into scripted comedy series and is being developed for TV Land PRIME.
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. Segal will play the role of the father, who bonds with his son while showing him the glories of his newfound and liberated lifestyle.
Retired at 35 and Hot in Cleveland are in development for 2010 for TV Land PRIME along with the premieres of Everybody Loves Raymond and the reality series High School Reunion; First Love, Second Chance and She's Got the Look. TV Land PRIME is the network's primetime programming block designed to appeal to the attitudes, life stage and interests of people in their 40s.
Recently seen on the popular HBO series Entourage, and in ABC's Pushing Daisies, Segal starred for seven seasons as Jack Gallo in the NBC ensemble comedy Just Shoot Me! On the big screen, he was an Oscar-nominee for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and also starred in A Touch of Class, The Owl and The Pussycat with Barbra Streisand and Fun with Dick and Jane with Jane Fonda. He also starred on Broadway in Art, Rattle of a Simple Man and Gideon.
We'll let you know more casting for this sitcom (along with Hot in Cleveland) and if actually gets picked-up to series. If that happens, it will air for sure, but right now it is just a pilot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 8 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

Week 8 TV Ratings (first four nights, Mon-Thurs finals):


Households: #1. ABC 8.7/13.8; #2. CBS 8.7/13.8; #3. Fox 4.6/7.1; #4. NBC 4.0/6.4; #5. The CW 1.6/2.4
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.99 million; #2. ABC 13.89 million; #3. Fox 7.72 million; #4. NBC 6.39 million; #5. The CW 2.44 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. ABC 3.9/10.2; #2. CBS 3.7/9.6; #3. Fox 3.0/7.6; #4. NBC 2.3/6.1; #5. The CW 1.2/3.1

Week 8 (Nov. 9-15) Analysis: For week 8 we have ABC and CBS neck and neck through the first four days in all categories as ABC was boosted by the CMA Awards on Wednesday. ABC should hang on for an 18-49 win this week, with CBS winning in HH/viewers. NBC could surpass Fox this week for 3rd thanks to a big NFL game tonight between the Pats and Colts. Through the first four days in week 8 ABC and CBS are tied for first in HH, with CBS with a very slight edge in total viewers, and ABC leads in 18-49 by a bit. Fox is third in all categories, while NBC is back in fourth everywhere as usual. Last week, week 7, CBS went by Fox for the week in HH/viewers, while Fox took the 18-49 crown. CBS was second in 18-49, nipping by NBC and ABC. ABC was third in HH/viewers, while NBC was fourth.
On Monday it was ABC on top in viewers and a battle between Fox and CBS for 18-49. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars did 17.62 million for ABC, up a million from the previous week. An all-new Castle followed with a solid 9.82 million, up from the previous week, despite being preempted in Pittsburgh for MNF. Next up was CBS with its comedies and CSI: Miami. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.67 million, down a tad week-to-week, while Accidentally on Purpose followed doing 7.89 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week. Two and a Half Men followed doing 14.44 million, up nearly a million week-to-week and The Big Bang Theory followed did a nice 12.8 million, up a tad from previous week. The show also did a 4.7 18-49 rating just like the previous week, building on the lead-in's 4.6 rating. A new episode of CSI: Miami featuring a cross-over did 14.38 million, the best numbers since the season premiere. Fox started with House doing a solid 13.31 million and a night best 5.3 18-49 rating, followed by Lie to Me at only 7.41 million. NBC was next with Heroes doing 5.26 million, down from the previous week. A new episode of Trauma followed and did only 5.35 million and only a 1.8 A18-49 rating, both down from the previous week. The Jay Leno Show followed with only 4.05 million, but actually up a tad from previous week, but it still only did a 1.2 18-49 rating. The CW on Mondays has been a struggle this season, with One Tree Hill doing only 2.67 million and Gossip Girl at an even worse 2.37 million...but both up some week-to-week.
On Tuesday, CBS was in control as usual, but ABC continues to be much improved. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 20.96 million...up some from previous week. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 16.23 million, up nearly a million from previous week. And finally CBS aired a new The Good Wife and did 13.35 million, also up from previous week. ABC was second for the night with episode two of V doing 10.7 million, though down from the 14.3 million from its premiere...still good! 3.8 18-49 rating was also solid, but down from the 5.2 the week before. Then it was Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 16.23 million, up well over a million week-to-week as we said goodbye to Aaron Carter. They also had Susan Boyle performing. ABC followed with a special titled In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Bright Lights, Bright Stars doing a solid 9.34 million, better than the forgotten the previous week. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour show doing 9.65 million, up some from previous week, followed by the The Jay Leno Show at 5.81 million, which was down some from previous week. Fox aired So You Think You Can Dance for two-hours and did only 5.76 million, down from previous week. The CW was next with a new 90210 doing only 2.06 million, but it was up a bit from previous week, followed by a new episode of dud Melrose Place at an even worse 1.27 million. Can Heather Locklear actually help this show this week? What a dud! 0.7 18-49 rating? Come on!
Wednesday it was ABC on top by a big margin thanks to the 43rd Annual CMA Awards doing a solid 17.18 million and a 5.3 18-49 rating. Congrats to Taylor Swift. CBS started with Old Christine doing 7.2 million, up from previous week, followed by Gary Unmarried at 7.3 million, up a million from previous week and looks like a season high. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was next and did 12.77 million, up some week-to-week, while CSI: NY also did a cross-over and did 14.51 million, its best showing since the season premiere. ABC comedies return this week, but Hank is canceled, but we will have new episodes of The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town this week along with 10pm drama Eastwick as usual. NBC opened the night with Mercy doing 6.68 million, on par really from previous week and only a 1.7 18-49 rating. Law & Order: SVU followed and did 8.77 million, up from previous week. At 10pm NBC aired The Jay Leno Show of course at just 4.75 million, down again week-to-week. Fox returned their Wednesday schedule with So You Think You Can Dance doing only 5.72 million but Glee returned to 7.53 million and a solid 3.4 18-49 rating. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 3.2 million, down from previous week and a repeat of Vampire Diaries followed with 1.15 million, which was also down a tad week-to-week.
Thursday it was CBS and ABC battling. ABC opened the night with FLASHFORWARD doing 8.28 million down some from previous week, though kept its 18-49 rating intact from previous week. A new Grey's Anatomy followed with 14.87 million and a great 5.6 A18-49 rating, both up from previous week. And a new episode of Private Practice did a solid 10.25 million and a 3.9 A18-49 rating, both up week-to-week and what an episode that was! CBS opened with Survivor: Samoa at 12.94 million and a 4.0 A18-49 rating, both up from previous week. A new episode of CSI followed with 17.38 million, up a lot from previous week, as the cross-over ended. At 10pm The Mentalist was also new and did 16.17 million, down a bit from previous week despite the lead-in going way up. Fox started with underrated Bones and did a solid 10.22 million, well up from previous week, but Fringe was still lost in the shuffle but up from previous week's series lows of 4.86 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating to 5.91 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating. Still needs to do better. NBC was next with Community at 8pm doing 5.09 million down some from previous week, followed by sitcom dud Parks & Recreation at only 4.58 million, down week-to-week. At 9pm, The Office did 8.05 million and a solid 4.2 18-49 rating, both basically on par from previous week. A new episode of 30 Rock did 6.0 million, down ever so slightly from the previous week. The Jay Leno Show closed the night with only 4.75 million, down some week-to-week. The CW's only consistent player so far is Vampire Diaries and did a great 4.1 million, basically on par week-to-week, followed by a new Supernatural at 2.69 million, up some from previous week.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas as usual. NBC was good with Law & Order at 8pm and 20/20 at 10pm for ABC won its hour in 18-49.
Saturday numbers had Fox's regular line-up and ABC's College Football battle for the win in a close race, with Fox prevailing in a low rated finish in 18-49.
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 even despite the big NFL game tonight. NBC has a better than normal NFL game tonight for the second week in a row, so look for it to be above normal again. CBS has its usual players including dud Three Rivers still airing. Fox has an overrun of the late afternoon NFL game which will do big, leading into Animation Domination from 8-10. Look for CBS to win the week likely in HH/viewers over ABC but ABC will likely take 18-49. NBC could overtake Fox in all categories for 3rd place thanks to NFL, or Fox could hand on at least in 18-49 since they have an NFL overrun tonight. Look for Ed Norton and Elizabeth Banks on a hilarious episode of Modern Family this Wednesday on ABC Comedy Wednesday!

Week 8 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 7-- Nov. 2-8)

  • Brothers (Fox) - 1.66 million were tuned in in some of the country but then at 7:15om the markets that were airing NFL came in and but even still this show only did 3.42 million, ouch.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - Aired at a special time of 9:30pm and did a series low of 6.45 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating.
  • Family Guy (Fox) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes aired at 8 and 9. At 8pm it did 7.26 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating and the regular 9pm airing did 8.0 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating. Not bad, but could have been higher since it was an all Seth MacFarlane night. The comedy special at 8:30 was so-so with 6.73 million.
  • American Dad (Fox) - Aired at a special time of 7:30pm and was all-new at 3.87 million. Not good, but this is a tougher slot and no cushy lead-in.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new showing did 8.67 million, decent but a bit off from previous week, 18-49 rating of 3.5 is the same as previous though. Solid, but not great like Big Bang here last season.
  • Accidentally on Purpose (CBS) - 7.89 million for a new episode...down from previous week.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.44 million for a new episode. Up nearly a million from previous week and an improved 4.6 18-49 rating.
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 12.8 million is excellent, but surprised it didn't go up more since the lead-in was up a lot. 4.7 18-49 rating was the same as the previous week.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • None.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • Old Christine (CBS) - New episode did 7.2 million...up some since there was no comedy competition from ABC.
  • Gary Unmarried (CBS) - New episode did 7.3 million...up a million from previous week since there was no ABC comedy competition.
  • The Middle (ABC) - preempted for CMA's...returns this week!
  • Modern Family (ABC) - preempted for CMA's...returns this week with a major episode!
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - preempted for CMA's, as with the above comedies, will return this week.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • Community (NBC) - New episode did 5.09 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating. Both down week-to-week. Needs to do better, what happened to the growth from the previous few weeks?
  • Parks & Recreation (NBC) - This show did terrible doing only 4.58 million but it held the lead-in's 2.1 A18-49 rating at least.
  • The Office (NBC) - 8.05 million for a new episode, down a tad from the previous week. In 18-49 it did a 4.2 rating, up a tick.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode did 6.0 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating. Down week-to-week in viewership by a bit.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are Fox's animated comedies from 8-10pm tonight, all-new.

Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, & How I Met Your Mother were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Gary Unmarried, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as Brothers from week 7, Parks & Recreation).


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 25

Jessie - "Space Out" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Ravi scores a trip to outer space for his birthday with Jessie and the Ross kids; when Ravi remains on Earth, the trip takes a startling turn.

Girls Meets World - "Girl Meets Father" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's time for the Matthews' annual trip to Coney Island for roller coasters and family bonding; this year, Riley would rather go to the school dance; while processing his daughter's adolescence, Cory also deals with giving Maya an ``F.''

Dog with a Blog - "Pod People From Pasadena" (Disney Channel, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Avery's been chosen to create a float for the town parade and enlists her father's help; after watching a movie, Chloe's convinced that her family has been taken over by aliens and that the float is a spaceship.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 21) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, July 25

  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris and the rest of the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry is a guest on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.
  • John Stamos (Full House/Jake in Progress) - John appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Mike Vogel (Grounded for Life) - Mike stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Mary McCormack (Welcome to the Family) - Mary is part of the guest panel on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on a repeat of Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Kelsey Grammer (Partners/Frasier/Cheers) - Kelsey chats about his upcoming FX series Partners on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided) and Nat Faxon (Married/Ben and Kate) - Judy and Nat talk about their new FX series Married on Wake Up on Taylor on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109 sometime between 7-10am.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub (How to Be a Gentleman) - Mary Lynn is a guest on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:35am. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. Finally, she is a guest on Arise TV at 3pm.
  • Fran Drescher (The Nanny/Happily Divorced) - Fran will be on HuffPost Live.