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.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 22

The Mick - "The Haunted House" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mickey and Jimmy organize a special Halloween party at their mansion, but the party soon goes awry; Sabrina hopes to further her legacy with the party; Mickey becomes determined to give a group of practical jokers a lesson.

Bob's Burgers - "The Wolf of Wharf Street" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween night, Linda tries to impress the kids by taking them to look for a wolf that has been terrorizing the town; an injured and medicated Bob believes that Teddy has turned into a werewolf.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maggie becomes possessed by an ancient demon; Lisa discovers a perfect version of her family in an alternate universe; Homer cannibalizes himself.

Ghosted - "Lockdown" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Director Romslo puts the whole office on lockdown when a deadly amphibious creature escapes in The Bureau Underground, giving Max and Leroy only 30 minutes to eliminate the threat.

Family Guy - "Follow the Money" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After Chris gets a special $1 bill for his birthday and quickly loses it, the dollar gets passed from character to character throughout Quahog.

The Last Man on Earth - "Wisconsin" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol panics when Todd and Melissa leave for their honeymoon, and Erica and Gail decide to live on their own for a while.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Friday, October 20

  • Woody Harrelson (Cheers) - Watch Woody 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.
  • Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana) - Miley appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mark Feuerstein (9JKL/Good Morning, Miami/Conrad Bloom/Fired Up) - Mark is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Sofia appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Craig Robinson (Ghosted/Mr. Robinson/The Office) - Craig is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Julie Klausner (Difficult People) - Julie appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Reno 911!) - Niecy is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie) - Susan chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Anne Heche (Save Me/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Anne talks about The Brave on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • James Burrows (Sitcom Director) - James is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) - Jeremy appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley) - Michael will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso talks about America’s Funniest Home Videos on the AOL Build Show at 10am.
  • Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Life) - Nia will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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