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

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest