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

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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