Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Charmed also airs on TNT weekday mornings from 8-10am and has been airing on TNT since 2001. Will it be shared with TNT or will TNT finally lose rights? It will indeed be shared with TNT, as TNT will continue to air the series weekday mornings. Back in 2008, the then Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) acquired Charmed in a library deal with Paramount, but it still hasn't aired there on the network. So maybe WE tv is getting Sci-Fi's portion of the deal while TNT will still have it? We'll let you know about the Syfy portion as soon as we find out. Stay tuned!
Sunset Daze is a reality version of The Golden Girls, reruns of which air on WE tv, about a group of Arizona retirees who behave like they're sill in college (minus the keg stands). It will air Wednesday nights at 10 pm beginning April 28.
Among the other original series they have ordered is Mother Knows Best?, which has Joan Rivers moving in with her daughter Melissa Rivers and Melissa's son and new live-in boyfriend, intends to cast Joan Rivers in a sympathetic light. WE tv has ordered eight episodes of the show, which is targeted to debut in fall 2010.
Actor, screenwriter and director Robert Culp has died. He was on a walk when he fell and struck his head outside his Los Angeles home and was declared dead shortly before noon at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center on March 24, 2010. Culp is probably best known for his role as special agent Kelly Robinson on I Spy, the 1965-68 NBC espionage series that co-starred Bill Cosby. The groundbreaking series combined humor and adventure and was the first American television drama to feature an African-American actor (Cosby) in a lead role. In addition to acting, Culp wrote seven of the episodes, one which he directed. He earned an Emmy nomination for the writing of one of the episodes. All three years he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series, but lost each time to Cosby. "I was the proudest man around," he said in a 1977 interview. In 1987, he once again reunited with Cosby on an episode of The Cosby Show playing Dr. Cliff Huxtable's old friend Scott Kelly. His name was a combination of their I Spy characters' names. In 1994, they re-teamed for the two-hour CBS TV movie, I Spy Returns.
He began his television career with a role on Trackdown, a 1957-1959 western series in which he played Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman. His guest starring television roles included The Dupont Show with June Allyson, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Outer Limits, Target: The Corruptors!, Empire, Bonanza, Columbo and The Name of the Game. From 1981-1983, he co-starred with William Katt as tough FBI agent Bill Maxwell on The Greatest American Hero. Several episodes were also written and directed by him. He would reprise the role in a voice-over on the stop-motion sketch comedy Robot Chicken. In addition to his television work, he also appeared in a number of theatrical films. His best known role was probably in the critically acclaimed Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Other film roles included The Castaway Cowboy, Golden Girl, Turk 182!, PT 109, The Raiders, Sunday in New York, Hannie Caulder, Hickey & Boggs (with Billl Cosby) and The Pelican Brief as a U.S. President.
His sitcom roles included guest appearances on Who's the Boss?, The Golden Girls, The Nanny, Wings and Cosby. Culp also had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan – Debra Barone's father and Ray's father-in-law. Culp was married five times, to Nancy Ashe, Elayne Wilner, France Nuyen, Sheila Sullivan and Candace Culp. He had four children with Ashe and one with Candace Culp. He will be greatly missed. Mr. Culp was 79.
Professional football star, broadcaster and actor Merlin Olsen has died. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009 and had battled cancer before passing away at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California on March 11, 2010.
Olsen began his football career at Utah State University where he was a three-year leterman as defensive tackle. He was a three-time Academic All-American and won the Outland Trophy after his senior season. Following his time at Utah State, he went on to play his entire 15-year career (1962-1976) with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962, was First-team All-Pro in 1964 and 1966-70, and was elected to the Pro Bowl 14 times - missing it only his final season. In 1982, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, he teamed with Dick Enberg on NBC's NFL broadcasts throughout the 1980's. They also did the Rose Bowl together from 1980-1988. In 1989, he worked with Charlie Jones. For the 1990-1991 seasons, he moved to CBS and teamed with Dick Stockton.
His acting career began in 1977 when he played Michael Landon's sidekick and farmer Jonathan Garvey on Little House on the Prairie. In 1981, Olsen moved on to star in the series Father Murphy, playing a kind-hearted frontiersman in that show, which lasted until 1983. He also had the lead role in the short-lived Aaron's Way that ran in 1988 on NBC. His sitcom roles included appearances on Petticoat Junction in 1970 and The Brian Keith Show in 1972.
He also starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Fathers and Sons that ran for 4 episodes in 1986. In addition to his television acting work, he was the commercial spokesman for FTD Florists for many years.
He is survived by wife Susan, and their three children: Kelly, Jill and Nathan, and four grandchildren. The gentle giant will never be forgotten. Mr. Olsen was 69.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tim Allen to Host 8th TV Land Awards; ABC Family Pulls 'Rules' for More '70s Show', ABC Family Summer 2010 Plans
Tim Allen will next be heard reprising his role as Buzz Lightyear in the Disney/Pixar animated film Toy Story 3 scheduled for release on June 18, 2010. Allen was last seen on screen in his feature film directorial debut, the independent comedy Crazy on the Outside in which he starred opposite Ray Liotta and Sigourney Weaver. The film is scheduled to be released on DVD in April 2010. Allen honed his talents as a stand-up comic throughout the eighties, providing the perfect lead-in to his very successful television series Home Improvement which ran for eight seasons on ABC. He made his film debut in 1994 in Disney's The Santa Clause and later two sequel films.
Read more on The 8th Annual TV Land Awards that we previously announced.
ABC Family will be pulling 8 Simple Rules from the weekday 6pm hour starting next week after two months in the hour. Effective Monday, April 5, another hour of That '70s Show will air instead. That '70s Show regularly airs in the 7pm hour, but on some nights it is preempted for movies/original encores/AFV episodes, so now it will air every weekday for sure. As a result of this change, the groovy sitcom will however no longer air on weekend mornings and will be replaced by movies or My Wife & Kids. As for 8 Simple Rules, it is currently not on the schedule after this change, sadly. Hopefully it returns soon! Enjoy this last week for now. And we'll keep you up to date if we hear any return news. Stay with us!
Meanwhile, ABC Family has announced the network's summer 2010 schedule. The network's programming slate includes three new original series, returning hits, original movies and blockbuster theatrical acquisitions. The network finished 2009 as its best year on record. The one that most interests us is an original multi-camera sitcom! Melissa & Joey, a half-hour multi-cam comedy with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence executive producing and starring, finds Hart portraying Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and her brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and pre-adolescent nephew, Ryder. With Mel spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family's "manny." David Kendall & Bob Young are executive producers and writers. Paula Hart also serves as executive producer. Melissa & Joey will premiere in August 2010 (Date TBA).
The other two original series are dramas and will premiere in June. Pretty Little Liars starring Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson launches on Tuesday, June 8 at 8pm, while Huge starring Nikki Blonsky launches on Monday, June 28 at 9pm. As for returning series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager will launch its third season on Monday, June 7, at 8:00pm ET/PT, and Make It or Break It will premiere its second season on Monday, June 28 at 10:00pm ET/PT.
View info on the ABC Family Summer 2010 launches and returns, plus details on an original movie and theatrical movies.
Monday, March 29, 2010
TV Land Not Moving Home Improvement to Late Night; Two Showtime Comedies Get Third Seasons; Network Notes
View the updated TV Land April 2010 schedule and stay with us in the coming days when we give you the May 2010 highlights.
On the heels of record ratings for their second season debuts, two of Showtime's critically and audience acclaimed original comedy series Nurse Jackie and the Emmy winning United States of Tara, have both been renewed for a third season. Both half-hour comedy series have received 12 episode orders and will go into production later in the year.
The season two premiere of Nurse Jackie registered 1.084 million viewers (1.521 million viewers with additional airings counted) on Monday, March 22 at 10pm, while the season premiere of United States of Tara did 816,000 viewers (1.165 million viewers with additional airings counted) at 10:30pm on March 22.
Nurse Jackie stars Edie Falco and United States of Tara stars Toni Collette.
Fox will be adding repeats of the sitcom Brothers to its Saturday late night schedule. Brothers will air after The Wanda Sykes Show at 12 midnight ET starting Saturday, April 17 replacing reruns of canceled animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up. The future of Brothers has still not been revealed, but it doesn't look too bright for the sitcom starring former NFL star Michael Strahan.
In other Fox schedule news, they have officially announced that 24 will be ending after this season. In a joint decision made by 24's star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, executive producer and showrunner Howard Gordon, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Imagine Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company, it was determined that the acclaimed series will end its eight-season run. Jack Bauer's last day on Fox will conclude when the final two hours of "Day Eight" air Monday, May 24 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. As the countdown to the series' climactic conclusion races on, the final 11 hours will air uninterrupted Mondays in the 9:00 PM ET/PT) hour on Fox.
And finally, Glee returns Tuesday, April 13, as announced already, but now the time has changed. It will air at a special time for the return on Tuesday, April 13 airing from 9:28-10:30 PM ET/PT, following an expanded American Idol. This is only for the return, as Glee will air Tuesdays at 9:00PM otherwise (through June 8).
ABC will return the popular hidden camera scenario series, Primetime: What Would You Do? starting Friday, May 7, 2010 in the 9pm hour, as the current season of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution would have wrapped up its run by then. The ABC News series with John Quiñones returns for a third season of all-new scenarios that will be even more interesting! What Would You Do? last aired as a regular series in Winter 2009 to decent numbers on Tuesday nights at 10pm. This is the first time the regular series will air on Fridays, however some 20/20 episodes have featured some segments in the past. Past scenarios included Date Rape Drug and Latino Day Laborers where the show explored how people react when they witness blatant racial discrimination. In that scenario, Latino men and women attempted to place an order in broken English at a deli in downtown Linden, NJ. But their requests were met by extreme prejudice from the cashier. Hidden cameras captured how customers responded to the scenario.
And finally NBC will schedule three Wednesday airings of Sunday game show A Minute to Win It in place of scheduled Mercy repeats. 2 of the 3 airings will be repeats of the game show, though, as it seems NBC is trying to get more exposure for the game show since the drama Mercy doesn't repeat well at all. March 31 and April 14 will be repeats of the game show, while April 7 will be all-new. Mercy returns with new episodes starting April 21, while a Minute to Win It will continue to air with mix of new and repeats on Sundays at 8pm. The game show has an order of 8 episodes, and will have aired 6 episodes by April 14. Elsewhere on NBC, the network will have an extra week of Who Do You Think You Are? adding a repeat on Friday, April 9, so the series will now conclude on April 30, rather than April 23. This means the season premiere of DirecTV's Friday Night Lights will be bumped to Friday, May 7 at 8pm.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
(We don't have the final network averages through Thursday AGAIN (sorry), but we do have final program averages through Thursday in the analysis below. We might just have to remove this if we never get these in time again.)
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A
Week 27 (March 22-28) Analysis: For week 27, thus far through the first four nights it is a three-network race. So far through the first four days of the week I can project, Fox is first in HH/viewers and 18-49, but the battle for second is close between ABC and CBS. In HH/viewers ABC/CBS are neck and neck through the first four nights, and ABC has a slight lead in 18-49 as well. NBC is back in fourth across the board. Last week, week 26, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, but Fox did tie CBS in 18-49, as CBS was fueled by the NCAA tournament in 18-49. Fox was second in HH/viewers. NBC was third across the board beating by ABC which was primarily in repeats.
On Monday it was ABC with a big win as the megahit Dancing with the Stars returned for season ten. ABC aired thw two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars doing a best ever for a season premiere at 24.19 million and an impressive 6.4 18-49 rating. In total viewers, this was the series' 6th best performance ever, only behind 5 performance and season finales. At 10pm, ABC aired part one of a GREAT two-part Castle event to series highs of 12.21 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating for first place in its timeslot. Dana Delany guest starred and will continue tomorrow for the conclusion. Series highs again tomorrow I'm guessing. CBS took a bit of a hit with its comedies and CSI: Miami closed the night. How I Met Your Mother started it off with a new episode at a below normal 8.37 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, while a new Rules of Engagement did 8.48 million and a 3. 18-49 rating, up from previous week but its lead-in was a repeat that week. Two and a Half Men followed with a new showing doing 14.46 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating, still great but below recent levels and The Big Bang Theory followed with a new showing of its own doing 13.42 million and a 5.2 18-49 rating, like the other comedies...below normal. Look for repeats the next few weeks. A new episode of CSI: Miami at 10pm took a bit of a hit with 10.79 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating for second place, instead of the usual first place. Fox started off with a repeat of House doing 5.22 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating. A new episode of 24 was next doing 8.69 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, down some from previous week in viewers. The series will end after this season. NBC was of course in fourth with a new Chuck doing a season low for the second straight week, this time 5.46 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating again, then Trauma followed and did 4.32 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down from previous week. At 10pm a new Law & Order did only 6.02 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, down some from previous week in viewers but Castle/Miami is hurting it. The CW started with Life UneXpected at 8pm and it did 1.88 million, down some from previous week. Then at 9pm Gossip Girl was all-new and did 1.9 million, up some from previous week.
On Tuesday, Fox ruled. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 24.21 million for two-hours, up from previous week. Its 18-49 rating went up a bit going from a 8.1 to 8.4 this week. CBS started with a repeat of NCIS doing 13.04 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, that is old skewing. Then spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles was next with a repeat of its own doing 11.33 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. And finally CBS aired a repeat of The Good Wife doing 7.87 million and only a 1.4 18-49 rating. ABC started off with a LOST enhanced encore doing 4.17 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, both up a bit from previous week. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 9.31 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, both up some from the previous week. ABC aired a recap/clip show for V: The Arrival at 10:06-11pm and did 4.44 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating...not bad for a recap, and a bit better than FLASHFORWARD's recap the previous week. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 8.12 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. A new Parenthood was next and gained a bit more from previous week with repeats opposite it, doing 7.01 million and 2.7 18-49 rating. Question is, can it do this on Tuesday when the return of V on ABC takes place? The CW aired new episodes of 90210 and Melrose Place but they were brushed off by everyone as usually, as they did only 1.51 million and 970,000 viewers. Both down, but the latter was below a million...not a good sign for renewal if you ask me.
On Wednesday Fox prevailed again. Fox started with a new Human Target and did only 6.8 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, down a million from previous week. American Idol Results were next at 9pm and did 21.44 million, up near a million from previous week. 18-49 rating was up a bit too from a 6.8 to 7.2. CBS started at 8pm with a special Wednesday airing of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains doing a solid 11.15 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, much better than the usual Old Christine and Gary Unmarried which were preempted. Next CBS aired a repeat of Criminal Minds at 8.18 million, up some from previous week, and a repeat of CSI: NY at 10pm did 7.46 million, exactly the same as previous week. ABC comedies were next with a Modern Family repeat at 8pm doing a decent 5.7 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, both up from previous week when a new [scrubs] aired, a new airing of The Middle was next building up to 7.16 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, solid. Modern Family was a all-new in its normal 9pm slot and did 9.18 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating. Next Cougar Town was new too and did 6.28 million and a decent 2.6 18-49 rating. Ugly Betty was next and did much better this week at 4.56 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating. The series finale airs on April 14. NBC started with Mercy and only managed 5.5 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, both down a bit from previous week. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and did 5.74 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, up some week-to-week, but that was leading into an all-new episode at 10pm that did a solid 10.58 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, both up from previous week but remember CSI: NY was a repeat for CBS again. When was the last time SVU was this high? The CW aired aired the first 60-minute edition of America's Next Top Model doing a solid 3.08 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, but down from previous week when it was 90-minutes. The series premiere of Fly Girls had nothing to be happy about doing only 1.16 million and at 9:30pm week three of High Society could only do 790,000 viewers. CW should just air two-hour Top Model every Wednesday.
Moving on to Thursday it was CBS with the win thanks to more NCAA Basketball. CBS preempted its regular line-up of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm, CSI at 9pm, and The Mentalist at 10pm for NCAA coverage from 7-9:37pm doing 9.68 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating. Then 9:37pm-12:34am did a solid 11.32 million and a 4.3 18-49 rating. ABC started with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm and did 6.17 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, off a bit from the two-hour return the previous week. Grey's Anatomy was all-new and did 11.57 million and a 3.7 1-49 rating, below normal but at its recent levels still. A new Private Practice was next doing 8.71 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, also a bit below normal but not as much as the lead-in. Fox aired a repeat of Bones and did 6.17 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, on par really with previous week. A repeat of Fringe was next and did 4.0 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, down a dad week-to-week. NBC aired new episodes of their comedies as Community did 5.07 million again and Parks & Recreation did 4.47 million, down a tad from previous week. Next The Office did 7.28 million but a season low again of 3.5 18-49 rating. Next 30 Rock was new and did 6.25 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, both off a bit from previous week. At 10pm NBC aired a new episode of the crazy The Marriage Ref and did 6.62 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, down from previous week. The CW aired a new Vampire Diaries doing 3.33 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating and Supernatural was new and did 2.95 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won Friday with coverage of the NCAA Basketball tournament, but ABC had a great outing out of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution at 9pm doing a prelim 2.6 18-49 rating, the best on this night this season for a regular series since 20/20 on Nov. 6 did a 2.8 rating at 10pm. Nothing has beaten it from 8-10pm, though. Good start!
Saturday numbers saw Fox take a back seat with their crime reality series as CBS won thanks to NCAA Basketball again.
Tonight ABC airs a new AFV, but Extreme Makeover: Home Edition & Desperate Housewives are repeats and Brothers & Sisters is preempted for a Castle repeat at 10. CBS has a new The Amazing Race and the fake Undercover Boss at 9pm. NBC has new game show A Minute to Win It followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 8pm. Fox has new episodes of their animated comedies and new episodes of live action sitcoms 'Til Death and Sons of Tucson, but both of those are doing bad. Will Fox hang on for the win this week? It will be close, but I think Fox might hang on despite NCAA on CBS. The loser will be second place for sure though. ABC will be third and NBC will be 4th. As for this coming week, ABC returns V on Tuesday and it looks great!
Week 27 How the Sitcoms Did
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 26-- March 15-21)
- 'Til Death (Fox) - Two all-new episodes were barely on the map again in the 7pm hour doing only 2.52 and 3.27 million...not good but both were up from previous week which were season lows.
- The Simpsons (Fox) - A new episode only managed 5.71 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating...below normal but up from previous week.
- The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode did 5.07 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, also below its average.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A new showing did 6.67 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating. On par with previous week, but like the rest of Animation Domination, below normal.
- American Dad (Fox) - on hiatus.
- Sons of Tucson (Fox) - New episode did worse than the premiere. Only 3.84 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. When will it get pulled for American Dad?
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did 8.37 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating...below normal.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.48 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating for a new episode, up from previous week when the lead-in was a repeat. Still below normal from its previous outings prior to previous week.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.46 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating for a new airing is great but for this series it is below normal. Recent levels had it at 17 million and 5.7 18-49.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 13.42 million and a 5.2 18-49 rating for a new episode is outstanding, but below normal. The CBS block was down because of Dancing season premiere on ABC.
- Old Christine (CBS) - preempted.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - preempted.
- The Middle (ABC) - A new episode did 7.16 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating out of a Modern repeat. It is great that it builds on its own.
- Modern Family (ABC) - The regular 9pm airing was new and did a solid 9.18 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating. Stonestreet ruled that episode! A repeat at 8pm did a solid 5.7 million and 1.8 18-49 rating. New episode this week again at 9!
- Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 6.28 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, affected by Idol yes, but perhaps it should air at 10pm next season?
- Community (NBC) - 5.07 million for a new episode and a 2.1 18-49 rating. On par in viewers and up a tick in 18-49 from prev. week.
- Parks & Recreation (NBC) - 4.47 million for a new episode and a 2.0 18-49 rating. Needs to do better, don't understand why it was renewed.
- The Office (NBC) - A new episode did 7.28 million and a 3.518-49 rating, down some from previous week, and 18-49 was a season low for the second straight week.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - 6.25 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating was down a tad from previous week.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of 'Til Death at 7 on Fox followed by new episodes of the Fox animated comedies starting at 8 and sitcom Sons of Tucson.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Accidentally on Purpose, The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Community, Cougar Town ) or just plain old terrible (such as Parks and Recreation, Sons of Tucson from week 26).
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Rhoda Morgenstern (and Shout! Factory) gives New York a third "last chance" in Rhoda -- Season Three, set for release on July 6. It comes at a $29.98 MSRP and is expected to include all unedited episodes. But Shout! Factory has yet another release of another classic sitcom set for a release on April 20. The Bill Cosby Show -- Season Two contains the second (and final) season of Bill Cosby's early 1970s sitcom on a four disc set. It is available for $39.99, but it is being sold exclusively through Shout! Factory's direct-to-consumer program.
Two of Sunday night's animated sitcoms will have new releases on June 15. Family Guy - Volume 8 will include 15 episodes from seasons seven and eight of the series, and will include deleted scenes and a Family Guy Karaoke featurette. No commentaries have been announced yet, but it is expected that the set will have them, probably on every episode. It comes at a $49.98 MSRP. American Dad -- Volume 5 contains 14 episodes, with commentaries for most episodes, deleted scenes, and a "Power Hour Drinking Game" featurette (we aren't quite sure what that is yet). It comes at a $39.98 MSRP. Both sets are being released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
MPI Home Video has been on a roll lately with their recent announcements of The Honeymooners -- Second Honeymoon and The Honeymooners -- Valentine Special, both being specials from the 1970s and set for a May 4 release. Coming up in just a little over a week, on April 6 (and we will even have a review of it today), is The Lucille Ball Specials -- Lucy Calls the President, a 1970s Lucille Ball special featuring both Gale Gordon and Vivian Vance. But there is even bigger news for Lucille Ball fans with the announcement of Here's Lucy -- Season Three, set for release on June 15. It will include a plethora of special features, including introductions on every episode (from Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr.), home movies, syndication promos, photos, and even a crossover episode from Danny Thomas' series, Make Room for Granddaddy. And the best part? It comes at a low $29.98 MSRP.
MGM has announced some new titles that will be available exclusively through CreateSpace, a DVD-R format where DVDs are created on-demand for customers at Amazon.com. While there are no sitcoms in this batch (which is already available for preorder), Flipper -- Season Two, The New Adventures of Flipper -- Season One, and Highway Patrol -- Season One are among the TV series being included. MGM has very few sitcoms in their library, and much of what they do have aside from The Addams Family (which has been released in its entirety) has been licensed out to Shout! Factory. Hopefully the abandoned series Green Acres could be a potential future release through CreateSpace, but considering that MGM will likely be under new ownership in the near future, it is entirely possible that DVD releases from MGM could go in an entirely different direction.
A&E Home Video has two releases coming up for sitcoms airing on A&E's sister network, Lifetime. Sherri -- The Complete Season One contains all 14 episodes of the first season, along with some special features on a two disc set at a $19.95 MSRP. Rita Rocks -- The Complete First Season contains 20 episodes and special features on a three disc set. Both sets will be released on April 27.
Mill Creek Entertainment has announced several re-releases of action dramas previously released by Anchor Bay, including Hunter -- The Complete Second Season, 21 Jump Street -- The Complete Second Season, The Greatest American Hero -- The Complete First Season, and The Greatest American Hero -- The Complete Series. All are scheduled to be released on May 18, with the season sets having a $14.98 MSRP and The Greatest American Hero -- The Complete Series having a $29.98 MSRP. But if you just can't wait, you may already be able to find some of these releases at some stores at a nice discount! Target has been selling multi-season packs of all of the series mentioned for $15.00 since January (stock seems to be dwindling down now, though), and Best Buy has recently started selling (within the past week or so) The Greatest American Hero -- The Complete Series at the very low price of $19.99. These appear to be available only in stores, and not online.
Finally, CBS DVD is preparing My Three Sons -- The Second Season, Volume Two for a June 15 release. The set will contain the final 18 episodes of the sophomore season of the series.
UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Next week (March 30) brings us a couple of DVD releases of interest to sitcom fans. The Abbott and Costello Show -- The Complete Series Collector's Edition from E1 Entertainment contains every episode of a series that often ranks as one of the greatest series of all-time. Shout! Factory has two sitcom releases, including Sports Night -- Season One (which has actually already been released as part of their previous Complete Series compilation) and Rhoda -- Season Two. The best part about the Rhoda set is that every episode is unedited and presented in much higher quality than the release of Rhoda -- Season One. You can read our review of Rhoda -- Season Two by clicking here. At the time of this edition of Digital Digest, we had not yet received review copies of the other two releases, but you can read our review of Sports Night -- The Complete Series by clicking here. Check back on our DVD Reviews page for reviews of these two sets coming shortly.
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW:
This week, we are going to take a look at another DVD of The Lucille Ball Specials. After Here's Lucy left the air in 1974, Lucille Ball began a series of specials for CBS where she played characters similar to her roles in her previous series. In July, we took a look at the first release by MPI Home Video, The Lucille Ball Specials -- Lucy Gets Lucky/Three for Two. Now, we are going to take a look at Lucy Calls the President, a special from 1977 co-starring Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, and Ed McMahon.
DVD Review: The Lucille Ball Specials -- Lucy Calls the President
The Lucille Ball Specials -- Lucy Calls the President (MPI, $14.98) is one of Lucille Ball's specials from CBS that aired following the conclusion of Here's Lucy. Airing in 1977, Ball plays Lucy Whittaker, a housewife from a small town named Bundy in Indiana, who calls President Jimmy Carter, and before she knows it, she finds herself planning for him to have dinner at the Whittaker house.
This special is one of the best of the series of specials, featuring a cast that reunites several of her former co-stars from previous series, as well as Ed McMahon and Steve Allen. Ed McMahon plays Floyd Whittaker, Lucy's husband, while Gale Gordon plays his father, Omar Whittaker, a staunch Republican who is less than pleased with the idea of a Democrat coming to dinner at the Whittaker house. Vivian Vance plays Lucy's best friend and neighbor Viv, who insists upon coming to dinner. Rounding out the cast is Mary Wickes as Lucy's Aunt Millie, and James Broadhead and Mary Jane Croft as the mayor and his wife. Steve Allen appears as himself, taping an interview with Lucy as she prepares for the visit from President Carter. Unlike the previous release of The Lucille Ball Specials, this one is more like a standard sitcom, being shot with multiple cameras and containing a live studio audience. It was also shot on videotape as opposed to film, and has the distinction of being the only thing that Lucille Ball ever starred in on tape.
The special begins with Lucy making a call to the White House to speak to the president, none other than Jimmy Carter. During the phone call, however, one thing leads to another, and before she knows it, President Carter decides that he will personally come to Bundy and have dinner at the Whittaker house. Of course, in the typical style of any Lucille Ball comedy, chaos and hilarity ensues as Bundy prepares for Mr. Carter's visit. Word spreads in Bundy like wildfire, and Viv insists upon coming over, using her friendship with Lucy as a reason to be invited. When Lucy's Aunt Millie wants to come, Viv tries to tell her that she isn't invited, which backfires when Millie threatens to have Viv's home foreclosed upon (and thus Millie is invited). The mayor insists upon being invited as well, and before Lucy knows it, everybody has invited every single person in town to dinner.
Now planning a dinner for 42 people (as opposed to the ten that she had initially planned to have), Lucy has her hands full preparing for the visit. Steve Allen drops by for an interview where everything goes wrong (including the sprinkler system going off in the lawn while taping the interview). The Secret Service makes a visit to the Whittaker house to make sure that everything is fine at the Whittaker house while Lucy and Floyd are at the grocery, which creates a serious problem when they return home and see the "prowler" roaming their living room. More shenanigans ensue, leading up to the big moment, which actually turns out to be a major disappointment at first, at least until Lucy gets a very special phone call from President Carter's mother, playing herself. The special appears to be completely unedited, running at 51 minutes and 3 seconds.
The DVD is packaged in a standard DVD case, as would be expected for a single special such as this one. The cover art has a photograph of Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, and Ed McMahon from the special. The back of the case has two photos, one showing Lucy on the telephone and the other showing a photo of Lucy and Viv. The disc artwork has the same photo as shown on the front cover of the DVD.
The menus are pretty straightforward, with the main menu having the theme music from the special and options of Play with Introduction, Play without Introduction, Special Features, and Subtitles On/Off. These are all pretty straightforward. Special Features takes you to another menu that simply lists the special features. Chapters are placed all throughout the special at all of the usual places.
The video and audio quality of this DVD is excellent, with no real problems to report. There aren't any defects in the video other than some slight aging, and the audio, presented in mono, is loud and clear. English subtitles are available on the main feature.
The DVD includes special features, and plenty of them at that. James Broadhead, who played the mayor, gives a brief introduction (1:42) that can optionally be played right before the beginning of the special. "From Rehearsal to Broadcast" (37:05) is a very lengthy featurette that contains a ton of lost footage from rehearsal of the special. It compares the rehearsal scenes to what we actually see in the special, and is very fun to watch. We even get to see shots from the different cameras used in the multiple camera setup here. "Working with Lucy" (18:39) is an all-new interview with James Broadhead, where he talks about his experiences of working with Lucille Ball. This featurette appears to be something that was intended to be included on one of the Here's Lucy DVD sets, but it is probably more appropriate for this set anyway. He talks a lot about his experiences of working with Lucy, with a lot of attention to her personality on the set. It was very interesting to watch. Perhaps the best feature, though, is "Lucy on The Tonight Show" (12:12), where we get to see a clip of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from the late 1960s where Carson interviews Lucy. It even includes some rehearsal footage from a Here's Lucy episode that Carson and Ed McMahon guest starred on. This is presented in black and white. "Let's Talk to Lucy" (18:22) is another edition of Lucille Ball's radio show, in a 1965 interview where she interviews Steve Allen. She seems to be very honored to have the opportunity to interview him, which is very much a change from how others would be honored to interview Lucy.
This is an excellent DVD that is a must-own for any Lucille Ball fan. This is the best special that I have seen from this so far, and many fans agree with that, particularly as it includes a final reunion of most of the cast of The Lucy Show. Specials like this wouldn't air on TV these days, but Lucille Ball was clearly such a powerful television star that she was able to get these on the air. It is too bad that more of the specials couldn't be as great as this one. Still, I look forward to seeing the other releases, and hope that MPI continues to do as good of a job on them as they did on this one.
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BLOG FEATURE STORY:
American Sitcoms on DVD Around the World
Take any DVD that you have out of your collection and look at the packaging. Chances are, if it is a release from any prominent studio, you'll see a little globe somewhere on the package that has the number "1" inside of it. If you are DVD savvy, then you already know what that means. But if not, I'll briefly explain it. It means that the DVD is manufactured such that it can only be viewed on DVD players manufactured to be used in Region 1, which includes the United States and Canada. A detailed explanation of regional coding can be found on Wikipedia.
We all know, however, that many of our favorite American series are popular in other countries besides our own, particularly in Europe. So one might suspect that the DVDs are encoded slightly different and that number "1" on the globe is replaced with another number. That is the case sometimes, but sometimes, the releases are much different than the United States releases, containing different edits of episodes, different special features, different audio tracks, and sometimes even different studios.
One Region 2 (that includes much of western Europe) DVD set that is drastically different from it's Region 1 counterpart is the first season of ALF. In the United States, Lionsgate Home Entertainment released ALF -- Season One in a highly disappointing set that included severely butchered episodes, some even running under 20 minutes. But in Region 2, Warner Home Video Germany released ALF -- Die Komplette Erste Staffel, containing episodes that are all unedited with the exception of one minor edit made for music copyright reasons. Lionsgate claimed that there were video quality issues with the first season episodes of ALF, but in watching the German release from Warner, there didn't appear to be any areas of concern at all.
Fans were disappointed with the releases of Roseanne -- The Complete First Season and The Cosby Show -- Season One in the United States, as they included all edited episodes. First Look Studios somewhat rectified the situation with The Cosby Show by releasing the first season unedited on The Cosby Show -- 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Edition, but that set is now out-of-print, leaving only the edited first season available for purchase. In the United Kingdom, however, Universal Pictures UK has the rights to release both series, and has been steadily releasing both series on DVD with unedited episodes. Other companies have the rights to the series in other countries, and it appears that only the first season of the Region 1 versions have suffered from edits.
Still, it doesn't take a whole other company to produce a better quality DVD set for another country. While Paramount's release of Happy Days -- The Complete First Season was a very nice set, subsequent releases from CBS DVD (Paramount's successor) have been a complete disappointment with music replacements all over the place. However, if you take a look at the later seasons as they were released in Region 2, you'll find the episodes unedited as they were intended to be. The Region 1 release of Married... With Children -- The Complete Fourth Season was a disaster, with more than 1/3 of the episodes being edited episodes. However, in Germany, the series was released by Sony without any edits. There is even a special DVD release for the series in the United Kingdom that includes every episode and a special bonus features disc not available in the United States. There are also Complete Series sets available for Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie in the United Kingdom and Japan.
We have even reviewed a few Canadian titles from the studio VEI, which has released Kate & Allie, Gimme a Break!, Hardcastle and McCormick, and Riptide. The best part about the VEI titles is that their titles are encoded for Region 1, as Canada and the United States are in Region 1. All of these titles were abandoned (or, in the case of Hardcastle and McCormick, never even started) in the United States. The Canadian releases give viewers a chance to see their favorite series on DVD. My Favorite Martian -- The Complete Third Season was even released in Australia (with Region 1 encoding for fans in the United States) after Rhino abandoned the TV-on-DVD business, although MPI is now planning a new Region 1 release for the third season.
All of these series include multiple audio tracks, with English being included on virtually every single international DVD release of an American sitcom that I have researched. The menus are typically in English, but in some cases, the packaging and episode information may be in a foreign language. Still, most viewers can usually figure things out with a little research. In general, it seems that there are fewer special features available on the international DVDs, likely a result of the original series cast and crew being based in the United States and having no deep interest in the international releases. Still, there are many cases where the international releases are better than the Region 1 release.
Due to the regional encoding, you can't just put one of these DVDs in your player and expect it to play. But it is relatively easy to modify your DVD player to make foreign DVDs work on your DVD player. VideoHelp.com has an excellent resource that can be found here that will help you modify your DVD player to play these DVDs (although you have to do this at your own risk, as any errors or mistakes could potentially render your DVD player useless). There are countless other resources available around the internet that can help you modify your DVD player to play DVDs from other regions. You can even look on Amazon.com or eBay to find DVD players that are already modified to be region-free, although you will likely pay quite a bit of money to get something that you can do yourself. There is also a secret that some DVD manufacturers won't advertise on some generic brand DVD players that just cost a few bucks. Many of these are region-free out of the box. They do not advertise this due to legal constraints (it is not illegal to own a modified DVD player or DVDs from another region, but it is illegal to ADVERTISE a DVD player as being modified), so you would have to do your own research to find out which ones are indeed region free.
You can find some of these DVDs for sale on various websites around the internet, but the best places to look are the various websites owned by Amazon.com, particularly Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.de. Note that Amazon.de is completely in German, so you might need to use a translation site such as Yahoo! Babel Fish to translate for you. Before you finalize your order, the total amount of the order will be converted into US dollars, so that you know exactly how much you are spending.
We'll be back next Saturday for Sitcoms Online Digital Digest, where we will have more news for you (as we will each and every week!), a review of Battlestar Galactica -- The Complete Series, and a very special review of the international release of ALF -- Die Komplette Erste Staffel (that is The Complete First Season for those who don't know German). You won't want to miss it! In the meantime, we would like to hear your thoughts about this new blog feature. Let us know what you think by posting comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us. We are definitely interest in hearing what you think!
Friday, March 26, 2010
ABC Officially Announces Romantically Challenged Premiere Date; TV Guide Network Acquires Weeds; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 29, 2010)
The sitcom has a 6 episode order and the series finished the tapings for this season last Thursday (March 18). The episodes will air April 19, 26, May 3, and 17. But that's only 4 episodes. On May 10 there is a two-hour Dancing with the Stars scheduled, so Romantically Challenged is not on that date but perhaps one of the episodes might air on a special night (like Wednesday with ABC Comedy Wednesday?). Or just saved for next season, if it gets picked-up. We'll let you know as soon as we now, but we are so happy this show has a premiere date! And for you fans of The Big Bang Theory, that series will be in REPEATS on April 19 and 26, so you can watch Romantically Challenged without missing that series!
Romantically Challenged is an ensemble comedy about four friends trying to find love and happiness. Alyssa Milano stars as Rebecca, a very recently divorced mom of two who hasn't gone on a date since President Clinton was in office. Rebecca's best friend since childhood, Perry, is a romance-aholic who falls in love with women 20 minutes after meeting them. Perry lives with his BFF Shawn, a struggling writer who has depended on Perry for financial stability since the turn of the century. Rounding out the group is Rebecca's younger sister Lisa, a sweet kindergarten teacher who tries to hurt every man before he can hurt her. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Rebecca, Kyle Bornheimer as Perry, Josh Lawson as Shawn and Kelly Stables as Lisa.
Stay with us for more info on this series, but make sure you watch the show on April19 and the other dates! It is going to be GREAT!!
The acclaimed comedy series Weeds will be available for the first time ever on basic cable exclusively on TV Guide Network beginning in September 2010. Produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Tilted Productions, Weeds is executive produced and created by Emmy Award winner Jenji Kohan and stars Mary-Louise Parker who earned a Golden Globe award for her series role as a suburban mom who deals pot to make ends meet after the death of her husband. TV Guide Network has acquired rights to air all episodes in the first five seasons of the series, as well as the show's future episodes, including its sixth season which is currently in production.
Weeds, which was acquired through Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury subsidiary, is the third major award-winning scripted series TV Guide Network has acquired over the past nine months. As TV Guide Network repositions itself as an entertainment programming destination, it will be debuting new, high-profile premium series beginning this summer. In June, the network will premiere Curb Your Enthusiasm, the groundbreaking improvisational comedy series created by and starring legendary producer Larry David. In Fall 2010, the network will launch a revamped primetime schedule including strips of Weeds, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ugly Betty.
Currently the TV Guide Network schedule consists of sitcom Just Shoot Me! weeknights at 6, Punk'd at various times, Ugly Betty Saturdays at 7, American Idol Rewind on weekends, VH-1 repeats of My Fair Brady, movies and more.
It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of March 29-April 2, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!
Monday, March 29, 2010
- Kevin Nealon (Weeds) - Kevin stops by to chat on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:05am ET.
- Joel McHale (Community) - Joel stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am ET on CBS.
- Kelsey Grammer (Cheers/Frasier/Hank) - Kelsey gives an interview for LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check your local listings for time and channel.
- Raven Symone (Cosby Show/Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/That's So Raven) - Raven stops by The Wendy Williams Show in this repeat from last month. Check local listings or watch it on BET at 12am.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
- Clark Duke (Hearts Afire) - This former child sitcom star stops by Lopez Tonight at 11pm ET on TBS but he is now on Greek and theatrical movies, but who knows he might mention his start on sitcoms like last week on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!
- Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) - The little guy stops by The Bonnie Hunt Show. Check local listings for time and channel.
- Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Former sitcom star stops by NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm.
- Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time/Hot in Cleveland) - She stops to talk to Joy on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 9pm.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
- Tyler Perry (House of Payne/Meet the Browns) - Tyler stops by THREE talk shows! First he stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly (check local listings for time/channel), then he is off to do the 10am hour of NBC's Today show, then finally stay up for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am ET.
- Wanda Sykes (Old Christine) - Wanda will be on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:35am ET.
- John Corbett (United States of Tara) - John chats with Ellen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show so check your local listings for time and channel.
- Thomas Haden Church (Wings) - Thomas stops by The Bonnie Hunt Show, so check local listings for time and channel.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
- Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/Like Family) - Holly and her daughter stop by the Today Show on NBC sometime between 7-9am ET.
Friday, April 2, 2010
- Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - He will be on Tavis Smiley on PBS but probably not talking about his former sitcom dad role. Check your local listings for time.
- Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Cheers/Hank) - Kelsey stops by NBC's Today during the 10am hour.
- John Corbett (United States of Tara) - John stops by CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am on CBS.
- Tyler Perry (House of Payne/Meet the Browns) - The director stop by the Oprah Show. Check local listings.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Nick at Nite Upfront 2010: My Wife and Kids Coming Fall 2010; Raymond Marathon Scores in Ratings for TV Land; New Blog Feature Coming Saturday
As of Fall 2008, My Wife & Kids has been airing on cable network ABC Family. The series has been in local broadcast syndication since Fall 2005. Will it continue on ABC Family or will Nick at Nite end up sharing the cable rights with ABC Family? We have confirmed it is a shared deal between the two cable networks, so ABC Family will continue to air next fall when Nick at Nite starts airing it. Stay with us for updates on the timings of the deal (and if we do have an update today, we will EDIT it in here ASAP).
The series aired originally on ABC from 2001-2005. The series was paired with George Lopez, which is Nick at Nite's highest rated show, on two separate occasions on ABC (2002-2003 on Wednesday and 2004-05 on Tuesdays). Now they will possibly air together again come this fall!
Additionally, Nick at Nite announced that it will premiere the second season of the family favorite Glenn Martin, DDS, on Father's Day, June 20, 2010.
TV Land viewers fell in love all over again with the hilarious Barone family during the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond launch marathon on Thursday, March 18 through Sunday, March 21 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET/PT. The primetime launch marathon event averaged nearly 1 million total viewers and posted double digit ratings and delivery increases over recent and year ago primetime levels.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the marathon posted an increase of 56% over recent levels among total viewers and was up 22% over a year ago attracting 942,000 total viewers. The event scored a 0.4 rating and 430,000 viewers among the network's target A25-54 audience, up 37% in rating and 35% in viewers 25-54 over recent levels and up 41% in rating and 39% in viewers 25-54 versus a year ago.
Among TV Land's core A40-54 audience, the launch event posted a 0.5 rating and 276,000 viewers 40-54, scoring double digit increases of 26% in both rating and viewers 40-54 over recent levels. Compared to a year ago, it scored a 20% increase in rating and was up 18% in viewers 40-54.
The event was a success with TV Land's female audience posting a 0.5 rating and 278,000 viewers among W25-54, up 44% in rating and 42% in W25-54 viewers over recent levels. Versus a year ago, it was up 58% in rating and 57% in W25-54 viewers.
All in all, a decent start for Everybody Loves Raymond on TV Land. Will it continue? We will have to see, so stay with us for further updates! We will have the TV Land May 2010 highlights soon, so stay with us for that as well!
Finally, there will be a new feature coming to the blog this Saturday. It will be called "Digital Digest" and we will have it every Saturday effective this Saturday (March 27). Just what does "Digital Digest" mean? Basically we will give you some news on sitcoms on DVDs, along with a reminder of what sitcoms are coming on DVD for the coming week. And don't fret, our blog review will immediately follow with a new name that we will reveal on Saturday. You'll have to come and see on Saturday to see what this is like! I think it is going to be a refreshing change to Saturdays! Do come by and check it out!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
TeenNick Books That '70s Show Marathon; Episode Cut for Two and a Half Men, While 'Til Death and Scrubs Canceled?
That '70s Show revolves around the lives of several teens living in Wisconsin in 1976 including Eric Forman (Topher Grace), who lives under the authority of parents, the girl next door and girlfriend Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), Fez (Wilmer Valderrama), a foreign-exchange student soaking up American culture, Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), her on-again, off-again boyfriend Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) and Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), the conspiracy theorist of the group. The gang spends their time in Eric's basement, thinking of their lives, parents, and futures, but they manage to get into funny adventures and mishaps along the way through their teenage years.
Also in primetime all next week on TeenNick starting Sunday, March 28 at 8pm, get caught up on Degrassi everyday in primetime (8pm-12am) all-week long leading up to the Degrassi: Broken Promises premiere on Friday, April 2. The entire day on Friday, April 2 will be Degrassi starting at 6am.
Last month we mentioned because of Charlie Sheen dealing with "a personal matter," that production would be halted for a few weeks on his CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. He recently came back to the set so production has resumed, but because of the delay, two episodes will be cut from this season's order going from 24 episodes to 22 episodes. It is unclear if CBS will still schedule the next new episode (episode 19) scheduled for April 12, since they will likely have to save the remaining four episodes (eps 19-22) of the season for May sweeps. The other CBS Monday comedies have more than a 22 episode order (How I Met Your Mother has 24 and The Big Bang Theory has 23) so they can air one or two times in April with no problem. I guess stay tuned!
Meanwhile, it looks like the end of the road for Fox's 'Til Death after four seasons. The series star Brad Garrett announced the news. The series hasn't really aired in a normal timeslot since season two when it was pulled from the schedule after November 2007. It has been brought back to be burned-off in a bulk load since (you know it is bad when they air four new episodes on Christmas Day). A few unaired season two episodes ended up airing in season three and at least fifteen unaired episodes from season three have been airing this season (the fourth season). And the fourth season has a full 22 episode order, too, so Fox is double-pumping these episodes and the unaired season three episodes to quickly get through them.
Back in Jan. 2009, Fox surprisingly announced it had renewed the series for a fourth season despite pulling the series from the schedule with many episodes left in the third season. It was done because Fox got a very cheap deal from Sony, which produces the series, and they would have enough episodes for syndication. It's still unclear how many total episodes the series will have, but it seems at least 85 episodes will be available when it is all said and done.
Finally, the long-running sitcom [scrubs] looks like it is also ending after nine seasons. Zach Braff posted on his Facebook fan page that the series will not return:
"Many of you have asked, so here it is: it appears that "New Scrubs,"
"Scrubs 2.0," "Scrubs with new kids," "Scrubbier," "Scrubs without JD" is no
more. It was worth a try, but alas... it didn't work. zb."
Zach appeared on 6 of the 13 episodes this season, which focused on the new med school students and had a subtitle of [Med School]. So, [scrubs][Med School] looks like is no more, but ABC has yet to announce this. This is not a surprise, though. If [scrubs] is not back then certainly Better off Ted won't be back either (which is a shame).
Stay with us for an official update, as [scrubs] has been called dead before and it came back, but with Braff saying this, it is less likely of a return.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sister network FamilyNet TV will air The New Flipper! That series was a one-hour revival series that aired 30 years later. It aired from 1995-2000 and it is remembered mainly for featuring (in its first two seasons) the gorgeous Jessica Alba before she was a star! The series lasted four seasons and 88 episodes (like the original series), with the first two seasons airing in first-run syndication and the last two seasons airing on PAX TV (now known as ION Television). All episodes are available on Hulu but have not been released on DVD. This version of Flipper will air on FamilyNet TV weekdays at 4pm (so yes it is odd that it will go up against the original Flipper on sister net ALN), replacing an hour of Black Beauty (which will now only air Sunday nights from 2-4am ET). The New Flipper will be in between Merv Griffin's Crosswords (3-4pm) and Lou Grant (5-7pm). There are no other changes to the FamilyNet line-up.
Believe it or not, our good buddy Eric of JustMyShow.com has a new podcast up! At long last, one of his most wanted guests...William Katt, star of The Greatest American Hero, joins Just My Show to talk about the world's most reluctant superhero and his comic book company. And if that is not enough for you, there is a special surprise appearance by The Greatest American Hero's Faye Grant and also Stunt Coordinator Dennis "Danger" Madalone! Are you walking on air after reading that? Head on over there to listen to this podcast!
Finally, V returns next Tuesday on ABC, but tonight there is a recap of the first four episodes at 10:06pm ET on ABC. Hurry and catch up before they return next Tuesday!
Monday, March 22, 2010
Nick at Nite April 2010 Highlights; Ritter Rules Created to Help Prevent Aortic Health Issues, Join Facebook Page
Highlights wise, the weekend of April 3-4 will see some movies air. On Saturday, April 3 from 9-11pm ET/PT (and again on Sunday, April 4 from 7-9pm), the movie What A Girl Wants airs. The movie is about a 17-year old free spirit Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes), raised by her equally free-spirited mother, goes to England to meet her father, who turns out to be a wealthy aristocrat (Colin Firth). Daphne then must struggle with a snobby half-sister and with following the social obligations expected of her while maintaining her own identity. Also airing is an encore of the movie Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging on Sunday, April 4 from 9-11pm ET/PT.
Finally, an all-new episode of Glenn Martin, DDS will air Monday, April 12 at 8pm. A special airing of that episode will also air on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 8pm. I do not have episode details yet, but it seems it will be a Tax Day related episode since it is airing on Tax Day. Stay with us for more.
For now, view the full Nick at Nite April 2010 schedule and highlights.
As you all know here John Ritter passed away in 2003 of a torn aorta and a large aneurysm, but he was treated for a heart attack, and died later that night. In a lawsuit that followed his death, the family's lawyers claimed his life could have been saved. After John passed away, his widow, actress Amy Yasbeck, started looking for information on the condition that killed him. She began searching online and making connections with people who've been affected by similar heart conditions.
Since then, Amy has created the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health (which we have mentioned many times here and we here at SitcomsOnline are big supporters of) and campaigns for greater public awareness of the disease with The Thoracic Aortic Disease (TAD) Coalition.
Amy Yasbeck was on the CBS morning program The Early Show last week announcing "The Ritter Rules." The rules will help people with detection and treatment of the disease. Dr. Dianna Milewicz, of the University of Texas Medical School, who developed "The Ritter Rules" also appeared on the broadcast. View the video of this interview, especially if you missed it.
And next week (March 31), the Foundation will have a new design to its website. Recently, the Foundation joined Facebook, and as of this writing, has over 840 fans already. And many people are being helped and guided who have this condition or knows someone who does! It is just amazing. Amy is personally assisting everyone! John's name is going into a good cause and is going to save many lives for years to come! What better way to preserve John Ritter's memory! PLEASE be a fan of The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health on Facebook! It really is making a difference and I'm so proud to promote this!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
(We don't have the final network averages through Thursday AGAIN (sorry), but we do have final program averages through Thursday in the analysis below)
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A
Week 26 (March 15-21) Analysis: For week 26, thus far through the first four nights it is a battle between CBS and Fox. So far through the first four days of the week I can project, Fox is first in HH/viewers and 18-49, but with a bigger lead in 18-49. In second is CBS. NBC is in third actually and ABC is in fourth with lots of repeats. Last week, week 25, CBS took home first place in HH/viewers, but it did come short to Fox in 18-49. Fox was second in HH/viewers while CBS was second in 18-49. ABC was third across the board but NBC did manage to tie ABC for third in 18-49, but NBC was fourth in HH/viewers.
On Monday it was Fox with the win but CBS was in repeats primarily but still did decent. Before I get to that, ABC started it off with A Special Edition of 20/20: Inside the Bachelor - The Stories Behind the Rose special from 8-10pm doing a decent 7.99 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, with growth every half-hour. ABC will launch Dancing with the Stars tomorrow in this timeslot. At 10pm, ABC aired a repeat of Castle to decent repeat numbers doing 6.58 million, but the buzz is all about tomorrow's first part of the two-part episode event that guest stars Dana Delany! Series highs tomorrow I'm guessing. CBS was primarily in repeats with its comedies and a repeat of CSI: Miami closed the night. How I Met Your Mother repeat started it off with 5.97 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, on par really with recent repeat airings, while a new Rules of Engagement did 7.7 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, both down a lot from previous week but its lead-in was a repeat this week. Two and a Half Men followed with a repeat doing 12.7 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating and The Big Bang Theory followed with a repeat of its own doing 11.67 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating. Look for new airings tomorrow of the comedies then a few more weeks off. A repeat of CSI: Miami at 10pm did 8.96 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. Fox started off with a an all-new House doing a solid 11.37 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, but way down from previous week, especially in 18-49. Daylight Savings effect? 8pm hour is always slaughtered it seems. A new episode of 24 was next doing 9.01 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. NBC was of course in fourth with a new Chuck doing a season low 5.85 million and only a 1.9 18-49 rating, then Trauma followed and did 5.24 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, but actually up some from previous week's return of series lows. At 10pm a new Law & Order did only 6.95 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, up some from previous week but it just barely beat a Castle repeat on ABC. Looks like this show doesn't have any legs anymore after 20 seasons. The CW started with Life UneXpected at 8pm and it did 2.08 million, up from previous week actually even with DST in effect. Then at 9pm Gossip Girl was all-new and did 1.73 million, on par really from previous week in this slot, but still could be better.
On Tuesday, Fox and CBS battled. Fox aired an all-new American Idol with 22.91 million for two-hours, up a tad some from previous week when it was only an hour. Its 18-49 rating dropped a bit though going from a 8.2 to 8.1 this week though even with two-hours. CBS started with a new NCIS doing 18.0 million, down a lot from previous week. DST effect again. Then spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles was next with a new episode of its own doing 15.1 million, down nearly two million from previous week, maybe because of Idol at 9pm this week. And finally CBS aired a new The Good Wife doing a solid 13.4 million, down some from previous week. ABC started off with a LOST enhanced encore doing 3.77 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, both off a bit from previous week and season lows for the enhanced encore. Again...DST effect. Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 8.87 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, both down from the previous week when it didn't face Idol head to head. Look for a 6 minute overrun for this week's episode (airing from 9-10:06pm). ABC aired a recap/clip show for FLASHFORWARD at 10pm and did 4.26 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating...not bad for a recap, but could have been a bit better. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 7.34 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, but both were off from previous week again as it seems this season the ratings haven't been as strong as before. The third episode of Parenthood was next and dropped a bit more from previous week doing 5.83 and 2.3 18-49 rating. It needs to do better and before the return of V on ABC next week (March 30). The CW aired new episodes of 90210 and Melrose Place but they were brushed off by everyone as usually, as they did only 1.84 and 1.13 million. The former was actually up a bit from previous week, but not the latter series.
On Wednesday Fox prevailed, with a slower than usual night. Fox started with a new Human Target and did 8.01 million, good for first place in its hour, and up some from previous week. American Idol Results were next at 9pm and did 20.51 million, down a tad from previous week. 18-49 rating was down too from a 7.5 to 6.8. CBS started at 8pm with a repeat Old Christine doing 5.23 million and only a 1.4 18-49 rating. Gary Unmarried was next and new for the last time this season doing 5.7 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating. Not too good against ABC's repeat. Next CBS aired a repeat of Criminal Minds at 7.74 million and a repeat of CSI: NY at 10pm did 7.46 million, as both seem below normal for repeats. ABC comedies were next with the finale of [scrubs] instead of the normal Modern Family repeat at 8pm doing 3.44 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, both off from previous week, a repeat of The Middle was next doing building up to 4.07 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. Modern Family was a repeat in its normal 9pm slot and did 4.92 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par with normal repeat numbers. Next Cougar Town was a repeat too and did 3.51 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, as this series doesn't repeat as well. Ugly Betty was next but it was all-new and only mustered 3.33 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating airing out of repeats for series lows. The series finale airs on April 14. NBC started with Mercy and only managed 5.55 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU was next and did 5.05 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, down some week-to-week, but that was leading into an all-new episode at 10pm that did a solid 9.65 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, both up from previous week but remember CSI: NY was a repeat for CBS. The CW aired aired another 90-minute America's Next Top Model doing a solid 3.78 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, up some from previous week's premiere, but then a new High Society could only do 1.18 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating, not good and down from the premiere even.
Moving on to Thursday it was CBS with the win thanks to the first day of NCAA Basketball. CBS preempted its regular line-up of Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains at 8pm, CSI at 9pm, and The Mentalist at 10pm for NCAA coverage from 7-9:59pm doing 8.9 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating. Ratings for 9:59pm and on were not available just yet, but coverage from 9:59pm-10:10pm did a solid 10.11 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating. ABC started with the two-hour return of FLASHFORWARD from 8-10pm and did 6.5 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, but the latter grew in the half-hour marks. It was a great return so hopefully the positive message spread and most viewers know about it and return. It needs to do at least 8 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating I think. Grey's Anatomy was preempted this week, but returns with a new showing this week. A repeat of Private Practice was next doing 4.1 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating. Fox aired a repeat of Bones and did 6.41 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating. A repeat of Fringe was next and did 4.32 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating. NBC aired new episodes of their comedies as Community did 5.07 million and Parks & Recreation did 4.63 million, both up a tad from previous week. Next The Office did 7.67 million but a season low 3.6 18-49 rating, as the total viewers was up some from previous though. Next 30 Rock was new and did 6.8 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. At 10pm NBC aired a new episode of the crazy The Marriage Ref and did 7.6 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, up from previous week but there was lighter competition this week. The CW aired a repeat of Vampire Diaries doing 1.38 million and Supernatural was a repeat and did 1.4 million, both up some from previous week.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won Friday with coverage of the NCAA Basketball tournament.
Saturday numbers saw Fox take a back seat with their crime reality series as CBS won thanks to NCAA Basketball again.
Tonight ABC airs two new series as the normal line-up of AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters doesn't fully happen, as the special Thin Ice airs at 7 and a preview of new series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution airs at 10. 8pm and 9pm are normal though and all-new. CBS has a new The Amazing Race and the fake Undercover Boss at 9pm, but will there be an overrun for CBS tonight with NCAA into the 7pm hour? NBC has new game show A Minute to Win It followed by a new Celebrity Apprentice starting at 8pm. Fox has new episodes of their animated comedies and new episodes of live action sitcoms 'Til Death and Sons of Tucson, but both of those are doing bad. Will Fox or CBS win the week? It will be close, but I think Fox might hang on. The loser will be second place for sure though. NBC will be in a distant third and ABC will likely have to settle for 4th since it aired lots of repeats. As for this coming week, ABC returns megahit Dancing with the Stars tomorrow, and it looks to be a big season!
Week 26 How the Sitcoms Did
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 25-- March 8-14)
- 'Til Death (Fox) - Two all-new episodes were barely on the map in the 7pm hour doing only 2.01 and 1.98 million...not good and both were lower than the previous week. Daylight savings time or not, these are not good numbers.
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - A new episode only managed 5.18 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating...on a very slow night it seems across the board. There was also a special repeat at 8:30pm that did better, doing 5.44 million and 2.5 18-49 rating, a bit higher than previous week's repeat.
- The Cleveland Show (Fox) - preempted again.
- Family Guy (Fox) - A new showing did 6.66 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating. Viewers seems lower than normal and 18-49 is a bit off as well, but still solid.
- American Dad (Fox) - on hiatus.
- Sons of Tucson (Fox) - The series premiere did TERRIBLE. Only 4.47 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, lower than the average repeat airing even in this half-hour this season. Fox needs to learn scripted comedies do not work with Animation Domination. Will it be pulled after tonight's airing? I don't think Fox can muster 12 more weeks out of this.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A repeat did 5.97 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating...on par it seems with its normal repeat numbers.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.7 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating for a new episode, but it was obviously down from previous week since its lead-in was a repeat. Not bad numbers, but could have been better.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 12.7 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating for a repeat. Excellent.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - 11.67 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating for a repeat. Even better since it skewed younger than its lead-in.
- Old Christine (CBS) - 5.23 million for a repeat is OK but 1.4 18-49 rating could be better.
- Gary Unmarried (CBS) - 5.7 million for a new episode was down a million from previous week when its lead-in was new.
- [scrubs] [Med School] (ABC) - The final airing of the season only did 3.45 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating...much lower than the usual Modern repeat in this slot. I don't think we will see this series again next season.
- The Middle (ABC) - A repeat did 4.07 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, but could have done better with the normal Modern repeat as its lead-in. New episode this week!
- Modern Family (ABC) - The regular 9pm airing was a repeat and did 4.92 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par with normal repeat numbers. New episode this week!
- Cougar Town (ABC) - A repeat did 3.51 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. And yes, new airing this week!
- Community (NBC) - 5.07 million for a new episode and a 2.0 18-49 rating. Not good but up a tad from previous week at least.
- Parks & Recreation (NBC) - 4.63 million for a new episode and a 2.0 18-49 rating. Needs to do better.
- The Office (NBC) - A new episode did 7.67 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating. Viewers was up some from previous week, but 18-49 was down a tad for a season low.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - 6.8 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating seems above average. I guess this series skews more female than male?
Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of 'Til Death at 7 on Fox followed by new episodes of the Fox animated comedies starting at 8 and sitcom Sons of Tucson.
Summing it up. Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, The Office were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Rules of Engagement, 30 Rock) or just plain old terrible (such as [scrubs], Sons of Tucson & 'Til Death from week 25).
New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)
10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - The Exes - Seasons 1 & 2
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/06 - Kenan & Kel - The Best of Seasons 3 & 4
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dharma & Greg - The Complete Season 2
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Broad City - Season 1
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/02 - The Simpsons - The Seventeenth Season (Blu-ray)
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - Family Guy - Volume 13
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Sunday, December 21
Mulaney - "It's a Wonderful Home Alone" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT)
John’s resentment of actor Macaulay Calkin dampens his Christmas spirit. Meanwhile, Lou is worried when his rival, network host Jesse Tyler Munoz (guest star Nick Kroll), announces a competing holiday special, and Andre is mistaken for a puppet.
Bob's Burgers - "Father of the Bob" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is invited to Bob’s dad’s Christmas party, and Bob is forced to step inside his father's diner for the first time in 20 years. In the basement, the kids compete for a “mistle-tony” – the award for best homemade gift.
The Simpsons - "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Moe convinces Homer to stay out drinking on Christmas Eve, Marge tells Homer not to come home. This leads to Homer’s sad trek through lonely Springfield, where he learns that the only place where one should truly get drunk on Christmas is home.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Christmas" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Holt receives death threats and Jake is put in charge of his security, a job he enjoys and abuses as much as he can. Meanwhile, Amy attempts to get the precinct to take a Christmas photo for Holt, but a lack of enthusiasm and Rosa’s refusal to smile defeats her efforts. Also, Terry gets his mojo back.
Family Guy - "The 2,000-Year-Old-Virgin" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After running into Jesus at the mall, Peter enlists Quagmire and Cleveland’s help to throw him the best birthday ever, but is shocked at Jesus’ request to make the night special.
Bob's Burgers - "Christmas in the Car" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Linda accidentally kills the family tree, the Belchers must go out on Christmas day to find a new one. But when Bob cuts off a giant candy cane truck, they are forced to outrun the madman driver (Bobcat Goldthwait) and spend the entire holiday together in the car. Back at the Belcher home, Bob’s friend, Teddy, accidentally gets stuck in the kids’ Santa trap.
Monday, December 22
- Steve Carell (The Office) - Watch Steve on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Christine Baranski (Cybill/Welcome to New York) - Christine talks about Into the Woods on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
- Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie is a guest on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
- Donald Faison (The Exes/Scrubs) - Donald drops by The Better Show, so check your local listings.