Tuesday, January 12, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: ABC; Rita Rocks Canceled By Lifetime; TV Land Picks-Up Series, Announces Cast For Sitcom Pilot

The final day for the broadcast networks at the TCA winter press tour is today and ABC gets to close things out. First up at 9am PT was a panel on LOST! On hand were stars Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Evangeline Lilly, and Terry O'Quinn, along with executive producers Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse. Among the items answered: Damon and Carlton announce that Cynthia Watros (Libby) and Harold Perrineau (Michael) are confirmed for this final season. Season 6 will be like Season 1. Don't know what that means, you'll have to watch and see. Holloway says the season 6 premiere felt like a finale. Good stuff! The final season begins Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 8/7 central with a three-hour event (clip show recap and two-hour premiere)! If you need to refresh yourself, ABC will air last season's season finale on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 9/8 central!

After that, there was the Executive Session with Stephen McPherson (President of ABC Entertainment Group) at 10am PT. Among the items given were details on a The Bachelor/The Bachelorette spin-off titled The Bachelor Pad. It will launch after the season of The Bachelorette ends this summer and will reunite 20 former contestants from both series all living in a house at the same time. An all-star edition!
Comedy wise, ABC has given early pick-ups for the Comedy Wednesday comedies The Middle, Modern Family and Cougar Town for 2010-2011 season! All three are safe and will return next season and have been extended beyond 22 episodes for this season (likely 24 for all three this season)! As for Hank, he mentions the writing wasn't that good but he loves Kelsey. So Hank is officially canceled. ABC will air the last two episodes of the season of [scrubs][med school] on a special night of Wednesday on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8pm. Until then the series will air Tuesdays at 9pm (repeats at 8pm on Jan. 12 and 19) thru Jan. 26 at 8pm. Better off Ted still will have two episodes unaired after its Jan. 26 airing. Decision will be made after that whether or not both series will return next season, but ABC was disappointed by the numbers for both. McPherson loves Ugly Betty and wants to find the right slot for it. And hoping people know now about the move to Wednesdays. Alyssa Milano's sitcom Romantically Challenged could be a contender for Wednesdays at 8pm, but no premiere date yet.
As for other midseason stuff, V and FLASHFORWARD return in March, as we all know. FLASHFORWARD is not returning in January because ABC would have had a lot of repeats scheduled and the show doesn't repeat well. V returns Tuesday, March 30 at 10, while FLASHFORWARD returns Thursday, March 18 at 8 with a two-hour return. V was always planned to air in chapters, but chapter one should have been longer but production issues was the reason for only four episodes for the first chapter. He mentions Happy Town is serialized and it has a beginning, middle and end for this run. Still waiting on when to schedule it. ABC could order more Conveyor Belt of Love specials or as a series. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will air Fridays at 9pm starting March 26. The series is produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions and Fresh One Productions. In the series, Oliver heads to Huntington, West Virginia -- which has been called the unhealthiest city in America -- to start his new cooking initiative. He hopes to help get Huntington off that list and start a chain reaction of positive change across the country. Shark Tank will finish its season on Friday, Feb. 5 at 9, then ABC will take a three week break on Fridays (and Saturdays) with movies opposite the Winter Olympics. It is unclear what will air Fridays, March 5, 12, and 19 at 9pm still.
On all this late night fiasco, he said there are too many jokes to make on it. He also said, "We don't have any plans to change our late-night right now. I love Kimmel."
As for Dancing with the Stars, it will be back twice a year still and will have 11 contestants this season as last season had a bit too many he thought. The season ten premiere will be Monday, March 22 from 8-10pm and will air Mondays 8-10pm. The Results Show premieres Tuesday, March 30 at a new time of 8-9pm.
Read more about ABC's TCA Announcements via press releases, which includes a new book on Castle! Speaking of Castle, a special two-part Castle episode airing Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22 at 10pm with guest star Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives)! No dates yet for Romantically Challenged, Happy Town or the return of Wife Swap. When it is announced, we will let you know, so stay with us!

After the executive session there will be panels for the upcoming midseason legal drama The Deep End at 11am PT. On hand for the panel are stars Matt Long, Billy Zane, Clancy Brown, Leah Pipes, Tina Majorino, Ben Lawson and Mehcad Brooks, along with executive producers David Hemingson & Jan Nash. The series premieres Thursday, Jan. 21 at 8/7 central on ABC!
Next up at 11:45am PT is a panel for upcoming midseason mystery drama Happy Town. In this session we have stars Geoff Stults, Sam Neill, Lauren German, Steven Weber, and Amy Acker along with executive producers Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec, & Scott Rosenberg (from October Road & Life on Mars).
Lunch is next at 12:30pm PT, then at 2pm PT there will be a panel for ABC Comedy Wednesday Show Runner Panel. Questions will be answered by show runners Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline (The Middle), Steven Levitan (Modern Family and Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town/Scrubs).
At 3:30pm PT ABC Family takes over at the press tour and will have a panel on their original sitcom 10 Things I Hate About You. The rest of the tour will be ABC Daytime and SOAPnet driven with a panel for All My Children's 40th Anniversary and SOAPnet soap Being Erica.
Be sure to check out the great TVTango.com as they were there doing the best job covering the TCA press tour! Hats out to them!


Turning to regular news, Lifetime has canceled original sitcom Rita Rocks after just two seasons. The series starred Nicole Sullivan as Rita, a working mom who starts a garage band. The series also starred Tisha Campbell-Martin, Richard Ruccolo, Natalie Dreyfuss, Kelly Gould and Raviv Ullman. As of now, Lifetime still has original sitcom Sherri, which recently just completed its first season of 13 episodes. No decision has been made on a second season yet. Both shows didn't do so hot in the ratings this fall.

Meanwhile, TV Land has picked up an original series starring real-life Hollywood couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin. It will be a six-episode docu-soap entitled Harry Loves Lisa featuring pop culture sensation Lisa Rinna and her heartthrob husband, Harry Hamlin. The series will be executive produced by Jason Carbone and centers on the relationship between Rinna and Hamlin as they navigate together through the highs and lows as a devoted family living a hectic Hollywood lifestyle. Harry Loves Lisa brings to life the romantic notion that opposites attract as Lisa's playful spontaneity differs from Harry's more reserved demeanor. Audiences will watch as the two balance their differences in the midst of insane professional lives as working actors and entrepreneurs who are parenting two pre-teen daughters. One of Hollywood's most enduring‪ couples, the Hamlins' contradictory personalities make for amazing chemistry both on-screen and off. The TV Land PRIME original series is scheduled to air in Fall 2010 on TV Land.
In other TV Land news, we gave you details on the George Segal sitcom pilot, now they have announced casting for their other sitcom pilot. TV Land has tapped sitcom veterans Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Jane Leeves (Frasier), Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me!) and TV legend Betty White (The Golden Girls) to star in its comedy pilot Hot in Cleveland. Written by Frasier alum Suzanne Martin, Hot in Cleveland revolves around three eccentric forty-something best friends from L.A. (Bertinelli, Leeves, Malick) who wind up stuck in Cleveland and decide to stay there when they realize the locals consider them glamorous. Betty White plays a grumpy and opinionated lady who has lived in the cottage of the trio's Cleveland house for 50 years.
Hot in Cleveland has NOT yet been picked-up as a series, nor has Retired at 35 starring George Sagal. As soon as both or one of these are picked-up as a series, we will let you know. But both sound good to me! Stay with us, and thanks for visiting on this very busy Tuesday!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Thursday, April 17)

The Big Bang Theory - "The Itchy Brain Simulation" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Leonard tries to keep Sheldon from overreacting when a past mistake comes to light, but Sheldon punishes Leonard by making him walk a mile in his shoes. Meanwhile, Penny confronts Raj’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Scavenger Vortex" (CBS, 8:30PM T/PT) (Repeat)
When the entire gang competes in a scavenger hunt designed by Raj, it brings out the best – and worst – in everyone.

The Crazy Ones - "The Monster" / "The Lighthouse" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
"The Monster" - Simon and the team try an out-of-the-box idea in order to save a library from being shut down, and Gordon literally becomes the unwilling poster boy for the campaign. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis, Gayle King guest stars as herself and Melody Thomas Scott guest stars as Flora, the librarian.

"The Lighthouse" - When a corporation wants to buy out Lewis, Roberts+Roberts, Gordon calls in the board to vote, and Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mom has the final say. Brad Garrett returns as Gordon Lewis and Marilu Henner guest stars as Simon’s ex-wife and Sydney’s mother.

Surviving Jack - "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
It's homecoming night, but Frankie is bummed that his crush, Heather (guest star Lili Reinhart), is promised to another date and Rachel is protesting the school's "No Grinding" policy. Meanwhile, with the kids out of the house, Jack and Joanne (Rachael Harris) are planning a passionate night to themselves.

Community - "Basic Sandwich" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Season Finale)
The group learns the history of Greendale’s first Dean, Russell Borchert (guest star Chris Elliott, “Eagleheart”), a reclusive, wealthy genius who disappeared amid a personal scandal in the 1970s. Once Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Hickey (Jonathan Banks) locate the school’s blueprints, Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi) lead the search for Borchert’s old computer lab, which was sealed off years ago. Subway returns to Greendale with plans to take over the campus for a Subway University and they enlist Chang (Ken Jeong) to secretly keep tabs on the study group. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) make a grown-up decision about their futures.

Parks and Recreation - "One in 8,000" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) run a charity auction to raise funds for the unity concert. April (Aubrey Plaza) steps in to manage Andy’s (Chris Pratt) schedule, while Donna (Retta) asks Ron (Nick Offerman) for help with her ex-boyfriend (Special Guest Star KEEGAN MICHAEL-KEY).

Sirens - "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Hank fears spiders; Brian encounters his suicidal doppelganger; Johnny gets payback.

Saint George - "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Hit Me with Your Best Shot - George kicks Alma out of his house and discovers he misses fighting with her.

Anger Management - "Charlie Catches Jordan in the Act" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie goes ballistic when a drunk Jordan makes out with a prisoner.

Instant Mom
- "Buy Any Jeans Necessary" (Nick at Nite, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Gabby is held for shoplifting for returning a pair of jeans with the sensor still on, Stephanie and Charlie take sides. Meanwhile, James is selling their unopened wedding presents to make extra cash.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Teach Emily to Drive" (Nick at Nite, 8:30PM ET/PT)
David takes Emily out driving, but his "coaching" makes her nervous, and he insists Emily's not ready for the responsibility. Later, Janie discovers Dr. Monkey Chunks was run over in the driveway, and now everyone is a suspect.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Thursday, April 17

  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Catch Billy on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • David Duchovny (Californication) - David talks about the new season of Californication on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl) - Max speaks about the new film About Alex on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea chats on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi talks about her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) - Edie talks about Nurse Jackie on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
  • Heather Graham (Californication) - Heather talks about Californication on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Jeremy Piven (Entourage/Ellen) - Jeremy is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil discusses his new role on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Itch on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.
  • Jason Alexander (Seinfeld/Listen Up) - Jason is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Fox & Friends on Fox News Channel. She will be on Fox News Radio at 8:45am. She takes a SiriusXM Radio tour with Perri Peltz Shade 45 with SWAY, Morrning Jolt with Larry Flick, Entertainment Weekly Radio between 9:35-11:20am.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:20am.
  • Ana Ortiz (A.U.S.A./Kristin) - Ana chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also talks about the new season of Devious Maids (premieres April 20 at 10pm on Lifetime) on Arise TV.