Friday, January 15, 2010

TCA Winter 2010 Press Tour: Cable Day 2; NBC Midseason 2010 Changes, 10PM Added; CBS Picks Up Second Seasons of Two Rookies

It is day two of the cable portion of the TCA Winter 2010 press tour. Up today are MTV Networks, lunch with Wild and Nat Geo, BBC America, Comcast Entertainment Group and dinner with IFC.
MTV Networks will have MTV, Logo, Spike TV, VH1, and Nickelodeon. Don't think TV Land is announcing anything. We'll let you know if they do. Among MTV's announcement was for scripted sitcom! The Hard Times of RJ Berger, a twisted mix of Superbad and The Wonder Years, is a 30-minute single camera scripted comedy that follows the awkward life of RJ Berger (played by Paul Iacono), a late-blooming loser struggling to navigate the minefield of being 15. This series takes a look at the classic teenage milestones we all experience, and the high school horror stories we would rather forget. The series is slated to air in summer. Two reality series are in the works as well for summer: Warren the Ape and The World of Jenks. Moving on to Logo, The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi, a reality series, launches Feb. 10. Spike TV is announcing Facing Ali, a documentary that showcases ten of Muhammad Ali's acclaimed rivals, from Joe Frazier to George Foreman, paying tribute to perhaps the world's most beloved and inspiring athlete. It premieres Feb. 15. VH1 is teaming up with Jessica Simpson! The Price of Beauty takes Jessica Simpson and a few friends all around the world to meet everyday women to study the local fashions, dietary fads and beauty regimes of various cultures. She and a few of her friends will discover how beauty is perceived in different cultures and participate in some of the crazy things people do to feel beautiful. The series premieres March 14. Finally for MTV Networks, Nickelodeon will launch two comedies. Big Time Rush is a live-action, scripted comedy series that chronicles the journey of four best friends who are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they get a chance to be part of the glamorous L.A. pop music scene. The network has ordered 20 episodes and has started airing it already. The other comedy is Victorious and it follows Tori Vega (Victoria Justice), a teen who unexpectedly finds herself navigating life at an elite performing arts high school. This one launches in February (EDIT: now it is March 27).

During lunch time, NatGeo announced plans for a spin-off network: NatGeo Wild. From the leader in natural history programming for over 30 years, NatGeo Wild is a new network dedicated exclusively to bringing audiences extraordinary wildlife programming -- offering intimate encounters with nature's ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air. The exclusive new programming will use the latest technology to get viewers closer to nature and expose the mysteries of the animal kingdom, including: Expedition Wild with Casey Anderson; Mystery Gorillas with Mireya Mayor; and Predator Island with Enric Sala. Among the announcements for NatGeo was for new series And Man Created Dog coming in the summer. It was the hand of man that led to the great variety of dogs we see, even as we have bent their instincts and their very genes to accommodate our needs. Now, in the ultimate canine ancestral story, the NGC explores this genetic journey and unravels their story. And Man Created Dog journeys back 100,000 years to the original wolf pack, and introduces us to the "mother of all dogs" Then traced is the evolutionary journey of her descendants over the eons, and examined is their complex relationship with people, even as we've evolved ourselves.

After lunch has BBC America going. They will have a new season of Top Gear launching Jan. 25. They will have a new drama series as well. Survivors, set in the present day, focuses on the world in the aftermath of a virus where only a lonely few are left to start over in a devastated world where everything that was once safe and familiar is now strange and dangerous.
Then after a writing break, we join Comcast Entertainment Group executives and talent for informal interviews, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Guests include Ryan Seacrest, E! News, Live from the Red Carpet; Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, Bruce Jenner, Keeping Up with the Kardashians; Kristin Dos Santos, E! Online; Danielle Fishel, The Dish; Kevin Pereira, Olivia Munn, Blair Butler, Alison Haislip, Chris Gore, Attack of the Show and more!
Finally, IFC invites the press to experience its latest food-centric shows -- Food Party and Dinner with the Band -- with live music, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and cocktails! Zany, yet delicious food, drinks and decor will be inspired by show hosts Thu Tran and Sam Mason.
Stay with us tomorrow for final day updates as Encore/Starz, AMC and PBS go.


Goodbye Jay Leno. At least in primetime. NBC is now programming the weekday 10pm hour again. NBC unveiled its new post-Winter Olympics primetime program schedule. The new drama series Parenthood will now premiere on Tuesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. ET and the comedy panel series The Marriage Ref from Jerry Seinfeld will now premiere on Thursday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET after its still scheduled sneak preview on Sunday, February 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET following NBC's coverage of the Closing Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Previously Parenthood was scheduled for Mondays at 9, now it will be Tuesdays at 10 for 13 weeks, while The Marriage Ref was scheduled for Sundays at 8, now it will be Thursdays at 10 for 6 weeks. So two rookies will be plugged in the 10pm hour on two nights of the week. What about the other three nights? Keep reading.
The long-running series Law & Order continues its 20th season debuting on a new night & time with a two-hour telecast from 9-11 p.m. ET on Monday, March 1 before settling into its regular time period the following week, Monday, March 8 in the 10 p.m. ET hour. Spin-off Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will move up an hour to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET beginning March 3. Encore episodes will now air in its current 9 p.m. ET slot followed by original episodes at 10 p.m. ET. Trauma returns to the schedule Monday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET to complete its six remaining episodes. NBC has not announced what will air after that. Maybe encores of USA Network's Law & Order: Criminal Intent? We shall see.
In addition, the new alternative series Who Do You Think You Are? from Lisa Kudrow will premiere Friday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET (in Law & Order's old slot) and the new game show Minute to Win It joins the lineup on Sunday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET leading into Celebrity Apprentice. Also, DirecTV's Friday Night Lights will begin a new broadcast season on NBC on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET starting April 30 after Who Do You Think You Are? concludes its run and will go into summer as it has 13 episodes. Dateline NBC will expand to two-hours on Fridays now starting March 5, and will air from 9-11pm. Still no word on when NBC will schedule midseason comedy 100 Questions.
So, here is a recap for NBC at 10pm: Mondays - Law & Order, Tuesdays - Parenthood, Wednesdays - Law & Order: SVU, Thursdays - The Marriage Ref, Fridays - second hour of Dateline NBC, and Sundays - second hour of Celebrity Apprentice.
See the schedule and details on the new series.

Finally, CBS has renewed two rookie dramas. CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife, the season's top two freshman series in total viewers, have been renewed for the 2010-2011 broadcast season (their second seasons). No surprise.
NCIS: Los Angeles is the number one new program of the season (airs after the number one series on TV, NCIS) with an average audience of 16.8 million viewers. The show is averaging a solid 5.3/12 in adults 25-54 and 3.8/10 in adults 18-49. Shane Brennan and R. Scott Gemmill are executive producers of NCIS: Los Angeles for CBS Television Studios.
The Good Wife regularly wins its Tuesday at 10:00 PM time period in viewers (13.7m), adults 25-54 (4.2/11), adults 18-49 (3.0/8) and key women demographics. Compared to the time period a year ago, The Good Wife is up +3% in viewers, +5% in adults 25-54 and 8% in adults 18-49. Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, David Zucker and Brooke Kennedy are executive producers of The Good Wife for CBS Television Studios.
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Wednesday, April 16)

The Middle - "Vacation Days" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After being forced by his work to take a paid vacation, Mike tries to relax but finds his alone time being invaded by Brick, who wants to cash in and implement all of the personal gift coupons he has given his dad for Father's Day and birthdays over the years. Meanwhile, Frankie is livid when she discovers that Axl has been hanging out at the Donahues for the past few days and didn't let her know that he was even in town, and Sue is horrified when she discovers that someone has given her service at Spudsy Malone’s a bad review online and overreacts in her efforts to better please the customers.

Suburgatory - "Blame it on the Rainstick" (ABC, 8:30PM/ET) (Repeat)
When Noah is released from a court mandated anger management program, George is shocked to find a docile Noah has replaced his former hot-headed friend. Shaken by the change, George decides to put the new Noah to the test. Meanwhile, Tessa ditches “senior tanning” and meets a cool new age band hanging out at the park. The free spirited music group isn’t exactly what they appear.

Modern Family - "The Big Game" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
With a big football game coming up and a record to break, Coach Cam is intensely focused and showing no mercy even when the opposing team is playing with an unexpected disadvantage. Elsewhere, Claire is determined to prove to the staff that she is more than just the boss’s daughter, and Phil tries to teach his kids a lesson about optimism, but the universe just isn’t cooperating.

Mixology - "Jessica & Ron" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jessica regrets sending a naked photo to Ron and sets out to get him to delete it after realizing she barely knows him. Meanwhile, Liv complicates things between Jessica and Ron and Maya hits it off with an attractive guy who gives her an offer she can’t refuse…or can she? And the chance to hook up is in Bruce’s favor when he meets a woman who is into red-heads, but things quickly begin to look grim when a famous red-head also enters the bar.

Melissa & Joey - "Born to Run" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel's father sends out a racy photograph; Ryder tries to come up with a winning business idea.

Baby Daddy - "Play It Again, Bonnie" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Bonnie asks Tucker for help in reconnecting with her former boyfriend.

Hot in Cleveland - "The Undead" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Elka (Betty White) throws a fake funeral for Victoria so she can join her husband in hiding. Her nemesis, Susan Lucci attends. Simon (Craig Ferguson) and Joy face a dilemma in their relationship.
Guest Stars: Craig Ferguson, Susan Lucci, Matt Iseman, David Cheaney, Laird MacIntosh

The Soul Man - "Oh My Goddy" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
Boyce feels the pressure when he's nominated for a big award. So he goes above and beyond to brand himself as the "Second Chance Preacher."

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Reunited" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Joseph and Leslie work on their relationship.

Complete TV Listings


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

Wednesday, April 16

  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Kunal on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Denis Leary (The Job) - Denis appears on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is part of the guest panel on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam appears on The Pete Holmes Show at midnight on TBS.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi previews her new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Crystal (Soap) - Billy stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin talks about new animated movie Rio 2 and her upcoming show at Carnegie Hall on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) - Alan talks about his TV and music career, his son Robin and new reality series, Unusually Thicke, on Katie, so check your local listings. He will also be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am. Finally, he is a guest on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Judy Greer (Mad Love/Arrested Development/Miss Guided) - Judy takes us on a trip to her happy place...the drugstore on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) and Michael Jai White (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse) - Tasha and Jai are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Marlon Wayans (The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS. He will also be on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher is a guest on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered (premieres April 20 on Hallmark Channel) on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. She is a guest on Howard Stern.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime appears on The Queen Latifah Show, so check your local listings.
  • Seth Green (Dads/Greg the Bunny) - Seth is a guest on a repeat of @midnight at 12am on Comedy Central.