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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March)

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Maude - The Complete Series WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory) The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)

03/03 - CHiPs - The Complete Third Season
03/10 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series
03/10 - Hey Dude - The Complete Series (Walmart Exclusive)
03/10 - Petticoat Junction - Family Favorite Episodes
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Bewitched - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
03/17 - Maude - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete First Season (Shout! Factory)
03/17 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Second Season (Shout! Factory)
03/24 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 2 (MPI Home Video)
03/31 - Silicon Valley - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
03/31 - Veep - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, March 29

The Simpsons - "Super Franchise Me" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marge opens a sandwich franchise store after her sandwiches become a huge hit at Springfield Elementary. But running day-to-day at the store proves challenging, especially when the same franchise opens another location across the street.

Bob's Burgers - "Carpe Museum" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
While acting as a parent chaperone on the school’s trip to the museum, Bob has a father-daughter bonding moment with Louise. Meanwhile, Gene and his friends are on a hunt to find exhibits that feature the female anatomy. Also, Tina questions her dorkiness and, on the steps of the museum, Linda lends her unique chanting abilities to striking museum workers.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Family Guy - "Our Idiot Brian" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Meg convinces Brian to take the SATs for her, but when he tests poorly, they start to suspect that Brian might not be that smart, after all. Naturally, Peter shows Brian the joys of being stupid and the benefits of having a low IQ.

The Last Man on Earth - "She Drives Me Crazy" / "Mooovin' In" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Phil Miller continues to live in Tucson.

I Didn't Do It - "Logan Finds Out" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Logan is dumped by his girlfriend; Lindy, Garrett and Delia find out that Jasmine likes Logan but she begs her friends to keep her secret.

K.C. Undercover - "Daddy's Little Princess" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Coopers are tasked with protecting Prince Promomomo; Craig becomes worried when K.C. and the Prince begin flirting.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 30) (All times ET unless noted)

Sunday, March 29

  • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/The Golden Girls/Mary Tyler Moore) - Betty talks about her passion for life on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 9pm ET/PT on OWN.
  • Regina King (227) - Catch Regina on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, March 30
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Watch Neil on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Nathan Lane (Modern Family/Encore! Encore!/Charlie Lawrence) - Nathan is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Kristen Schaal (The Last Man on Earth/The Hotwives of Orlando/30 Rock) - Kristen visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Becki Newton (Weird Loners/The Goodwin Games/How I Met Your Mother) - Becki appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC. Becki and Zachary Knighton will also be on Good Day LA on Fox 11 LA KTTV in Los Angeles.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Alyssa Milano (Who's the Boss?/Romantically Challenged) - Alyssa guest hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Regina King (227) - Regina chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy talks about the game show Monopoly Millionaires’ Club on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Hilary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) - Hilary appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) - Candace discusses her new Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original A Bone to Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kevin Rahm (I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Kevin talks about what to expect on the final season of his popular show Mad Men on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton discusses her starring role in TV Land's Younger and talks about her exciting solo debut at Carnegie Hall on HuffPost Live at 3:40pm.
  • Rob Corddry (The Winner) - Rob is a guest on SportsNation at 3pm on ESPN2.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Tracee is a guest on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live at 9am.
  • The Cast of Younger - Patricia Field, Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Tortorella and creator Darren Star are guests on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.