Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SitcomsOnline.com 2010-11 Upfront Preview: ABC; TV Land's Hot in Cleveland Begins Production; Network Notes

With major hits declining a bit in the spring, it might be hard to bring them back up from what they were doing this past fall, so ABC might need to find some major hits. Comedy Wednesday was one of the better success stories of this season and ABC should bring more stuff like that.
Here is the SitcomsOnline.com ABC 2010-11 preview:

New Series Already Picked-Up: Obese (reality, 6 episode order--but doesn't mean it will air in fall).
Already Renewed Returning Series: Brothers and Sisters, Castle, Cougar Town, The Middle, Modern Family, and Supernanny.
Likely Returning Series: 20/20, America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Romantically Challenged, V, Wife Swap, Shark Tank, and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.
Likely To Be Canceled or Already Canceled: FLASHFORWARD, happy town, the forgotten, [scrubs] [Med School], Better Off Ted, Eastwick, The Deep End, Find My Family, Hank, Ugly Betty and LOST.
Likely New Series Pick-Ups: No Ordinary Family (drama), Off the Map (drama), Body of Proof (drama), Boston's Finest (Drama), True Blue (drama), Generation Y (drama), Mr. Sunshine (sitcom), It Takes a Village (sitcom), Wright vs. Wrong (sitcom).

OUR FALL 2010 PREDICTION:

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM No Ordinary Family (NEW!)
9:00PM Desperate Housewives
10:00PM Off the Map (NEW!)

Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
10:00PM Castle

Tuesdays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars: The Results
9:00PM Boston's Finest (NEW!)
10:00PM Body of Proof (NEW!)

Wednesdays
8:00PM The Middle
8:30PM It Takes a Village (NEW!)
9:00PM Modern Family
9:30PM Mr. Sunshine (NEW!)
10:00PM Cougar Town
10:30PM Romantically Challenged

Thursdays
8:00PM Obese (NEW!) / Generation Y (NEW!)
9:00PM Grey's Anatomy
10:00PM Private Practice

Fridays
8:00PM Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9:00PM Shark Tank / Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM College Football

Comments: ABC needs to liven up a few nights, particularly Sundays and Thursdays with some new blood. There are a few pilots that are almost a lock to be picked-up such as No Ordinary Family & Mr. Sunshine but you never know with pilots. This is the toughest schedule to predict so far that I have two ideas (I only posted one idea here). I really think ABC could expand Comedy Wednesday into the 10pm hour in the fall, as no drama has worked at all and comedies would likely do better, especially in 18-49 and coming out of other comedies. It's worth a try.
So let's look at each night. I'll start with Mondays. Dancing with the Stars should be two-hours every week in the fall -- sorry no comedy testing at 9:30pm in the fall. ABC will easily fill the two-hour hole from Jan-Mar with The Bachelor and surging Castle will remain Mondays at 10pm all season.
On Tuesdays, Dancing with the Stars: The Results should remain at 8pm in the fall. This way ABC doesn't have to fill a big hole from Jan-Mar in the 9pm anchor slot. They can bring back V from Jan-Mar and air it Tuesdays at 8pm with a 10-13 episode order, with holiday specials airing in December. ABC should go with two series that would probably repeat well from 9-11pm. Two new procedurals such as Boston's Finest starring Katee Sackhoff at 9pm and the Dana Delany medical examiner drama Body of Proof at 10pm. The fall version of Dancing with the Stars usually has a special two-hour episode on Tuesday, so it will directly lead into Delany's show at 10. If anything fails, ABC could try True Blue in mid-season. V into Sackhoff's new series would be a nice two-hour block from 8-10 for sci-fi fans (since Sackhoff is known for her Battlestar role)!
For Wednesdays, Comedy Wednesday did well this season and I think they need to expand on that. They need to add a third hour because no dramas have worked in the 10pm timeslot at all and the 10pm hour is more and more DVRed now. Also, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson has said they don't plan on airing comedies outside of Wednesday. So 10pm comedies looks like it might be a go. Cougar Town and Romantically Challenged could work in the hour and is different from what will air on NBC and CBS--that's good counter-programming. Perhaps the most buzzed comedy would air at 9:30pm out of Modern Family, which was the number one new comedy this season. And the comedy that could work at 9:30 is Mr. Sunshine starring Matthew Perry. It would be a good lead-in to Cougar Town at 10, as well. But there is speculation that Mr. Sunshine/Cougar Town could be in the Tuesday 9pm slot. If that happens, then that changes a lot what I predicted. The first Wednesday of the season, a special Dancing Results will likely happen, since they have done a three-night premiere in the fall the past few years. That means the 8pm hour comedies will probably start a week later, with The Middle probably anchoring the hour next season at 8pm and a new comedy at 8:30 perhaps It Takes a Village. I want a multicamera sitcom in this hour, though, so maybe something like Who Gets the Parents?
As for Thursdays, Flashforward at 8pm didn't really work this season after a good start--so that tells you not all buzzed series pan out. Maybe the hiatus hurt it, not sure. I think ABC needs to air something light and low key here that could just surprise. I wanted Food Revolution here in January, but ABC went with legal drama The Deep End instead and that didn't work, while Food Revolution showed promise on Fridays. Perhaps the reality series Obese, which has a six episode order, could be used in this slot (if it is ready)? And then in late fall they can launch new drama Generation Y from Noah Hawley. I don't think there is a doubt that Grey's and Private Practice will return in the 9 and 10pm hours but hopefully they have an uptick from these spring numbers. The reason they should go something light at 8 is because has there been any major night with three big drama hits in recent memory? It is a very low chance that 3 dramas on the same night would be big hits for one network.
As for Fridays, ABC will likely keep the same plan and go with unscripted. A possible move for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Fridays could work and could easily be the night's top show in 18-49. That could be a lead-in to something like Shark Tank or Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. One could be fall and the other in winter/spring. ABC could also mix in Primetime: What Would You Do? from time to time, as that does well.
On Saturdays ABC will have College Football in the fall and then holiday movies in December, but what about after that? I don't think movies/repeats should be it from Jan-May. They could use Superanny and Wife Swap in the winter there maybe followed by a drama repeat at 10.
Finally, on Sundays, I mentioned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition could probably move to Fridays, so that would open the 8pm hour up. Or it can be held until mid-season. New drama No Ordinary Family seems like a good Sunday fit. At 9pm Desperate Housewives is still one of the top scripted series in 18-49 and it could help tropical medical drama Off the Map at 10 get off on the right track. If that hits big, ABC could slide it to 9pm eventually. I do not have Brothers & Sisters on my fall schedule, but it will be back of course. Perhaps if something fails, maybe on Wednesdays at 10 in January or even back on Sundays in mid-season. The show still generates decent numbers, so it would be a good sub. I think either this or Home Edition will be used as a sub, not sure which but I went with Brothers and Sisters.
In the age of DVR and Internet watching, the days of live TV watching keeps getting smaller and smaller as the days go by. Now if a show hits a 4.0 in 18-49 it is a big hit. We really need a better way of measuring TV shows so shows that don't deserve to get canceled, don't get canceled. ABC did good with the comedies and Castle this past season, as they repeated well. ABC needs to find more shows like that (more comedies, Body of Proof) plus shows they are known for (i.e. Off the Map). A good mix of shows always is the best way to go and this schedule I predicted has that.
Discuss your thoughts on our prediction and feel free to make suggestions of your own.

Remember, next Tuesday (May 18) is the actual date when we will find out ABC's plans for the 2010-11 season. So, come on back next Tuesday and we will let you know the details and you can see how much we were right (or wrong!). Stay tuned tomorrow for a preview on CBS's upfront!

TV Land announced that production on the network's first original sitcom, Hot in Cleveland starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White has begun (Monday, May 10). This means they are now taping episodes 2-10, as the pilot was already taped. The 10 episode series premieres Wednesday, June 16 at 10pm on TV Land. The sitcom is TV Land's first foray into scripted comedy series and is a TV Land PRIME presentation. Hot in Cleveland is executive produced by Emmy® Award-winner Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions and is helmed by Emmy® Award-winning Suzanne Martin serving as executive producer, show runner and writer.
Betty White was just on SNL on Saturday and gave SNL its highest ratings in 18 months. Will she make this TV Land sitcom get record ratings for the network? We shall see!
View a promo that has been airing for the series (it even aired during SNL on Saturday!).

We leave you today with some network notes. No surprise here, NBC has picked up its fifth scripted series pilot for the 2010-11 season in Chase, a new drama from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer and executive producer Jennifer Johnson. Chase joins previously announced Undercovers, The Event, Love Bites, and Outsourced as the fifth new scripted series currently announced for NBC's new season with additional pickups yet to be announced. I had it on my prediction for NBC yesterday anyway, but now it is official Chase is coming. In a related note, NBC will actually announce its 2010-11 line-up on Sunday at 5:15pm ET, so check with us at that time! The formal presentation will still be Monday morning, though, but we get the schedule a full 15 hours or so earlier! This means Fox has all of Monday to itself now.
The CW has gotten rerun rights of the canceled CBS show Moonlight. The series aired during the 2007-08 season on CBS and lasted just 16 episodes on CBS Fridays. Summer just got a lot scarier on The CW. The network will air the acclaimed drama Moonlight on Thursday nights beginning June 3. Moonlight will air at 9:00 p.m. ET, following encore episodes of the first season of the The CW's hit drama, The Vampire Diaries. As a result, Supernatural repeats will slide to Fridays at 9pm beginning May 28. Cable network Syfy has scheduled a Moonlight marathon on the same day (Thursday, June 3) from 8am-7pm and 11pm-4am. Wow! Why is the Alex O'Loughlin series so popular now? Is it because Alex O'Loughlin is potentially starring on CBS's Hawaii Five-0 remake or is it because he can be seen currently in the theatrical film The Back-Up Plan opposite Jennifer Lopez?
Anyway, view more summer updates for The CW.


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


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, August 22

The Mick - "The Mess" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Mickey’s attempts at disciplining the kids are ignored, she decides to shed her “cool aunt” persona and lay down the law.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Monster in the Closet" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pimento and Rosa decide to pick up where they left off and get married, so the whole squad preps a perfect wedding under Amy’s careful direction. Pimento enlists Jake and Gina to hunt for his grandmother’s ruby earrings for Rosa to wear in the ceremony, but the universe has other plans for them.

Wrecked - "Nerd Speak" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
As the ship sinks, the survivors try to escape.

Still the King - "Vernon's Single" (CMT, 1:00AM ET/PT)
Vernon discovers his manager has given his new single to another recording artist to perform.

Still the King - "Who's Your Daddy?" (CMT, 1:30AM ET/PT)
It's Debbie and Ronnie's big wedding day, but when Debbie's water breaks on the altar, Vernon races against the clock to be there for the birth.

In The Cut - "Party Things" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jay and Smitty see dollar signs when an enthusiastic lawyer convinces them their complaints can result in big cash settlements; Kenny reconnects with Angelique, but it's her new boyfriend, Conrad, that is interested in a relationship with Kenny.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 21)

Tuesday, August 22

  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Catch Jim on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later/Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Maya Rudolph (Up All Night) - Maya is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Topher Grace (That '70s Show) - Topher appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jake Smollett (On Our Own) - Jake takes store-bought ramen to the next level on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Spencer Sutherland (Still the King) - Spencer dishes on playing a young Billy Ray Cyrus on Still the King on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Mindy Sterling (Con Man/A.N.T. Farm) - Mindy talks about Syfy's Con Man on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Lucky) - John talks about All Saints on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 11am.