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 (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, December 4

The Simpsons - "The Last Traction Hero" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A workplace accident leaves Homer in a cast, and in a position to sue Mr. Burns. This leaves Marge unfulfilled, so she turns to an unexpected source for romance. Meanwhile, Lisa is made “Bus Monitor” and tries to keep the peace.

Son of Zorn - "Return of the Drinking Buddy" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Zorn’s old friend Headbutt Man (guest voice Rob Riggle) is coming to town. Unfortunately for Zorn, Headbutt Man is now sober. Meanwhile, Alan is invited to a party where his crush, Nancy (guest star Emily Wong), will be. Unfortunately, he has to take Headbutt man’s daughter with him.

Family Guy - "Carter and Tricia" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Carter buys the Pawtucket Patriot brewery and decides to cut some corners to save a few bucks. Peter overhears the plan and runs and tells investigative journalist Tricia Takanawa about Carter’s plan to use toxic chemicals in the beer cans. Meanwhile, Brian’s drivers’ license has expired and he enlists Stewie as an instructor.

The Last Man on Earth - "Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After finding a mysterious note left by Melissa that says “Goodbye,” the gang sets off to go look for her. Meanwhile, Gail gets stuck on a solo adventure of her own.

K.C. Undercover - "Holly Holly Not So Jolly" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Christmas time arrives and K.C. tells everyone she has to go pick up a last-minute gift, but instead goes to The Organization's therapist, Dr. Levinstein.

Mech X-4 - "Let's Survive in the Woods!" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Principal Grey sets a trap for Ryan, Harris and Spyder while they're on a camping trip, which leaves MECH-X4 and Mark in danger.

Best Friends Whenever - "The Christmas Curse" (Disney Channel, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Shelby and Cyd encourage a homesick Daisy to incorporate a festive 16th-century tradition into their annual Christmas party.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Monday, December 5

  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Watch Will on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Steve visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development/The Hogan Family/It's Your Move) - Jason visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle) - Gael is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Steve appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • The Cast of Fuller House - The cast of Fuller House are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Miss Piggy (The Muppets) - Miss Piggy and Harry perform Deck the Halls on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Meredith Hagner (Search Party/Men at Work) - Meredith is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Lauren Graham (The Odd Couple/Conrad Bloom/Townies) - Lauren appears on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. talks about Office Christmas Party on the AOL Build Show at 3pm. He will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET. He can also be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 9:50am.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Josh McDermitt (Retired at 35) - Josh can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM at 10:45am.
  • Erinn Hayes (Kevin Can Wait/Guys with Kids/Worst Week) - Erinn talks about Kevin Can Wait on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.