Thursday, September 30, 2010

TBS Schedule Changes When Conan Starts; Greatest TV Holiday Moments on Nov. 26 on Fox

TBS made a schedule change this week to get ready for the launch of Conan O'Brien's new talk show starting Monday, Nov. 8. TBS moved the Lopez Tonight encore to 1am, bumping Sex and the City to the 4am hour. The TBS late move now airs at 2am. But what happens when Conan starts? Effective Monday, Nov. 8, Conan will air Mon-Thurs at 11pm, as Lopez Tonight moves to its new time of 12am. This means My Name is Earl will no longer air from 12-1am, instead the sitcom will move to weekdays at 5pm replacing one of the Everybody Loves Raymond airings. Raymond will still air from 1:30pm-3pm every weekday. Back to late night, encores of Conan and Lopez Tonight will air at 1am and 2am, so the Lopez Tonight encore moves back to 2am after over a month at 1am. The TBS late movie moves back to 3am, so this means Sex and the City is gone at 4am and totally off the schedule. But TBS is losing the rights to the show, as we mentioned E! and style have acquired the series beginning in January, 2011.
Elsewhere on TBS November, we mentioned already that original series Glory Daze airs Tuesdays at 10pm starting Nov. 16. TBS will air a movie marathon on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 25) from 10am-4pm leading into a special block of The Office and My Name is Earl from 4pm-7pm. The day after on Friday, Nov. 26 it's the Seinfeld Happy Festivus marathon from 11am-8pm. Also, TBS gets into the holiday spirit early with the classic holiday special Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Friday, Nov. 19 at 8pm and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 7pm.

Speaking of the holiday season, celebrate the start of the holiday season with TV's Greatest Holiday Moments: A Paley Center for Media Special (working title), an all-new holiday event airing Friday, Nov. 26 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox.
The two-hour special will count down the Top 40 holiday moments of all time gathered from holiday sitcoms, dramas, variety specials, late-night programs and sketch shows. Relive television's most memorable holiday scenes and laugh, cry and remember the reason for the season.
We wonder what classic sitcom holiday moments will be included? Maybe Mrs. Brady singing and getting her voice back on Christmas morning on The Brady Bunch? Or perhaps one of the Bewitched holiday episodes? Watch and see on Nov. 26!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fox Cancels Lone Star, Makes Changes to 3 Nights; Centric Adds Girlfriends

Fox coming off a disappointing premiere week has canceled new Monday drama Lone Star after just 2 airings. The most recent airing did only a 1.0 18-49 rating, coming in last and losing to Gossip Girl on The CW in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour. The series premiere a week prior only mustered a 1.3 18-49 rating. As a result, Lie to Me, the No. 1 broadcast drama of the summer, will now have its third season premiere this Monday (Oct. 4) in that 9pm slot. Originally Lie to Me was scheduled to return to the Fox schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 8pm, but that is no longer happening. Instead, Human Target will now return to Wednesdays at 8pm starting Nov. 17 (two-hour episodes of Hell's Kitchen will air until then). This is a last minute change for Human Target, as it was slated to have its season premiere this coming Friday (Oct. 1) at 8pm, but that is not happening anymore. Instead Fox will air repeats of House in the slot leading into the poorly performing Good Guys at 9pm. That is my bet for the next cancellation. So there you have it, changes to three nights on Fox--two immediate changes and one change starting in November.

Centric has quietly added Girlfriends to its schedule starting this Sunday (Oct. 3). The series will air on this date back-to-back in the 10pm ET hour leading into The Cosby Show at 11. Girlfriends will encore in the 1am hour as well. As of now, it is only airing Sundays, but if they make any changes to its line-up, we will certainly let you know.
Centric will be adding The Steve Harvey Project starting Oct. 18 in primetime at 9pm. Award-winning comedian and author, Steve Harvey, and his co-hosts light up weekday mornings with the Steve Harvey Morning Show. The show features the latest in news, entertainment, and celebrity interviews and the offers dating advice through the popular Strawberry Letter segments and is coming to TV via Centric starting Oct. 18. The network already airs reruns of the sitcom The Steve Harvey Show, so this radio show should be a nice companion.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reelz Adds 3rd Rock, Becker, Brothers & Sisters; Hallmark Adds I Love Lucy Back to Weekdays

We mentioned in early August that ReelzChannel is now airing Ally McBeal and NewsRadio and hinted that 3rd Rock from the Sun would be coming in October, so we now have details on that plus more shows they have acquired for Fall 2010!
ReelzChannel today announced four new shows in Brothers & Sisters, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Becker and DigiVangelist will premiere on ReelzChannel on Monday, October 4, 2010. Brothers & Sisters is making its cable debut and will air weekdays at 7pm, as current timeslot holder NewsRadio will move to the 12 noon hour. 3rd Rock from the Sun will air weekdays following NewsRadio in the 1pm hour and also air on weekends in the 7pm hour on Saturdays and the 10am hour on Sundays. Becker will start the schedule off seven days a week in the 9am hour. Meanwhile, Ally McBeal will shift its airings from 3pm & 4pm to 4pm & 5pm every weekday afternoon.
Reelz also will continue to air Carson's Comedy Classics every weekday but it will move to 8am & 8:30am. That's highlights from the first 20 years of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As we mentioned before, ReelzChannel TV is carried via satellite on DIRECTV (Channel 238) and DISH Network (Channel 299). Local cable channel information is available on the website's home page through a zip code look-up.
And view and discuss the full ReelzChannel Fall 2010 schedule. Stay with us for further updates.

We didn't get a chance to blog this (we did post it on our message board, though), but Hallmark Channel didn't end up airing Little House on the Prairie starting yesterday (Sept. 27) weekdays from 3-6pm, as they kept the Martha Stewart Show encores in the 4pm & 5pm hours. Now Hallmark Channel will remove the 1pm-4pm block from the "Martha Stewart Home" block starting tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 29)! First at 11:30am, Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn will get a repeat airing following an original episode at 11am replacing Everyday Food, which is now gone. Talk show Whatever with Alexis & Jennifer remains in the 12pm hour, but the 1pm-4pm series are now removed. From Martha's Home, From Martha's Garden, From Martha's Kitchen, and a repeat of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn from 1pm-3pm will be replaced by a two-hour block of I Love Lucy! Yes, as I suggested last week, Lucy is back on weekdays! And finally the 3pm hour will now be an episode of Little House on the Prairie, replacing a repeat of talk show Whatever with Alexis & Jennifer. The repeats of The Martha Stewart Show will remain in the 4pm & 5pm hours. Maybe Hallmark is hoping that Lucy/Little House will jump start their afternoon schedule and give a better lead-in for the repeats of The Martha Stewart Show? We shall see...everything else remains the same as it is now. Keep staying with us for continued updates, as always!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hub Acquires More Sitcoms - Happy Days, Family Ties, Laverne and Shirley; Schedule for New Houston Classic TV Station

As we have mentioned a few times already, Discovery Kids is turning into The Hub on Sunday, October 10, 2010. We mentioned they have acquired two sitcoms--Doogie Howser, M.D. and The Wonder Years, but now we have the full schedule and it will consist of many sitcoms in primetime/late night!
These other sitcoms acquired are Happy Days, Family Ties, and Laverne & Shirley. The Hub has also acquired the half-hour 1960's Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward! This is totally unexpected indeed! We were told back at TCA that they would add about one more sitcom, but we get three more plus Batman!
The network's programming blocks are Pre-school (ages 2-5; 9am-1pm); Kids Afternoon/Kids Prime (ages 6-12; 1pm-6pm); Kids and Family Prime Access (6pm- 7pm); and Kids and Family Prime (7pm-1am). We will cover mostly 7pm and on. Kicking off the kids and family primetime block starting Monday, October 11 is Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show at 7pm. Then back-to-back episodes of Family Ties will air in the 8pm hour, leading into an episode each of The Wonder Years and Doogie Howser, M.D. at 9pm. Then airing back-to-back in the 10pm hour it is Happy Days! This is feeling like classic Nick at Nite! Airing at 11pm is Laverne & Shirley followed by Batman at 11:30pm. Airing at 12am is the animated Transformers – Generation 1 followed by G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero at 12:30am. From 1am-6am will be encores of the same series starting at 7pm.
Among the notable highlights during the day is Fraggle Rock (8:30am, 1:30pm & 2pm), Batman Beyond (7:30am & 5:30pm), and Men in Black: The Series (6:30am & 4:30pm).
This is certainly good news that The Hub will be airing 5 sitcoms and the classic Batman! They also are airing a few older animated series that we pointed out, but the sitcoms and Batman are what we are most interested in and will cover. Stay tuned for more information and this is a network to watch! We will post the entire schedule as soon as we get the first full week schedule so we don't miss anything, as of now the first three days are only available.

Last week we told you the news that KAZH in Houston will turn from a Spanish station to an English classic TV station starting today (Sept. 27). And now we have the schedule for your lucky people in Houston! The station will change its call letters to KUBE. They will air series from the CBS Paramount library along with a few Universal series as well it seems. Among the comedies airing are Happy Days, Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Ties, Taxi, The Brady Bunch, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and Saved by the Bell, along with dramas like Hunter, Star Trek, Little House, Perry Mason and Quincy ME. Weekends will be filled with classic dramas like The A-Team, Dragnet, and Adam-12.
View the FULL Houston's KUBE-TV schedule. Thanks to reader Michael Dudas from Houston for his updates on this!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Week 1 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

2010-11 Week 1 TV Ratings (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: #1. CBS 8.5/13.9 rating/share; #2. ABC 7.7/12.7; #3. NBC 4.7/7.6; #4. Fox 4.5/7.2; #5. The CW 1.5/2.4.
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.95 million; #2. ABC 12.15 million; #3. Fox 7.8 million; #4. NBC 7.54 million; #5. The CW 2.35 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. CBS 3.7/10.3 rating/share; #2. ABC 3.4/9.5; #3. Fox 3.0/8.4; #4. NBC 2.7/7.5; #5. The CW 1.1/2.9.

Week 1 (Sept. 20-26) Analysis: We're back with another all-new TV season! The 2010-11 season has begun and most of the shows debuted this past week, with still a few shows debuting or having their season premieres in the coming week. Through the first four days, CBS has the lead in all categories thanks to some decent series premieres, with ABC in second in all categories as they have been first in premiere week the past few years, Fox is in third while NBC is back in the familiar fourth. This could change after tonight, due to NFL overrun, but I expect CBS to take the week and ABC to remain second with possibly NBC overtaking Fox. Both CBS and ABC are down though a bit from this time last year in 18-49, as is Fox, with NBC up a tick. Fox is down huge from premiere week last year.

Monday was the first night of the 2010-11 season and it was ABC on top. Two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 21.29 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating, way higher than last fall. The season premiere of Castle followed with a solid 10.7 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up from the season premiere last year. Next up was CBS with its comedies and the premiere of Hawaii Five-0. How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.79 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating, below last year's premiere in viewers and Rules of Engagement followed with its season premiere doing 8.34 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, which could be better and lower than the premiere of Accidentally on Purpose last fall. Two and a Half Men followed with 14.63 million and a 4.9 18-49 rating, up nicely from last season's premiere, but Mike & Molly's premiere did a nice 12.23 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, but lower than Big Bang last year. It needs to maintain these numbers or CBS might have a problem. The series premiere of Hawaii Five-0 was next doing 14.2 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, off some from the season premiere of CSI: Miami last season. While good numbers, I expected more from the premiere of this hyped-up show. Will the numbers remain here or drop, though? Fox was next with the season premiere of House down big from last year's two-hour premiere. This year's premiere was only an hour and did 10.69 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating, good but disappointing. The series premiere of Lone Star followed and dropped each 15 minutes doing just 4.1 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, ouch. Lie to Me should be ready to jump in if needed. NBC followed with the season premiere of Chuck doing only at 5.79 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. This is not good. The series premiere of The Event was next and showed some promise doing 10.88 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating. Much better than Heroes last year, but can it continue? The series premiere of Chase was next and did 7.31 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, needs to be better though. The CW on Mondays has been a struggle so far, with 90210 doing only 1.83 million and Gossip Girl at 1.84 million. Don't know why 90210 was brought back and leading off a night.

Tuesday, Fox, CBS and ABC battled. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 19.41 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, but down over a million from last year's premiere. The season premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 15.76 million and 3.4 18-49 rating. And finally CBS aired another episode, as The Good Wife won't return until this week, and did 13.6 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating. ABC was next with the a recap of Dancing with the Stars leading the night off doing 12.15 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating. Even a recap did well! The regular live Results Show followed at 9pm and did a best ever for a season premiere doing 18.52 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating as we sadly said goodbye to The Hoff. The series premiere of Detroit 1-8-7 followed and did a decent 9.34 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. Could be better though, but the episodes we hear get a thousand times better a few episodes in, so give it a chance. Fox started off huge with the season premiere of Glee doing 12.45 million but an even better 5.6 18-49 rating. Huge opening, and as of now the top rated series in 18-49. That led into the two sitcom premieres of Raising Hope and Running Wilde doing 7.31 million and 5.59 million and also a 3.1 and 2.4 18-49 rating. The jury is still out on these. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour premiere doing 7.22 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, down from its season premiere last season, followed by an all-new Parenthood at just 5.85 million but a better 2.5 18-49 rating. The CW aired One Tree Hill with just 1.86 million, followed by an even worse Life UneXpected at just 1.45 million.

Wednesday again it was CBS on top, but the other networks did solid. CBS started the night off on top with week two of Survivor: Nicaragua at 12.59 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, on par with its premiere previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 14.13 million and a solid 4.0 A18-49 rating, but down from last season's premiere. At 10pm, with CSI: NY now moved to Fridays, the premiere of The Defenders aired and did a decent 12.17 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, but lower than CSI NY's premiere last year. We cannot tell yet if CBS will benefit with these new shows until we see more ratings the next few weeks. ABC started off with its Laugh On comedy block with The Middle returning to a big 8.8 million and a solid 2.7 18-49 rating. The series premiere of new sitcom Better With You was next and did a decent 7.86 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. It needs to stay in this area every week. The season premiere of Modern Family was next and opened with series highs of 12.67 million and a 5.1 18-49 rating. It will breakout even more I think this season. The season premiere of Cougar Town did a solid 8.32 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, not good retention from the lead-in but this show is always consistent. At 10pm The Whole Truth premiered to just 4.85 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, down big from Eastwick's premiere last year...not good. NBC opened the night with the series premiere of Undercovers doing 8.7 million, not bad, but the 2.0 18-49 rating is really bad. Old skewing series. Law & Order: SVU had two episodes and averaged 10.08 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating. Decent. Fox did solid with Hell's Kitchen at 5.98 million and 7.16 million and a 2.6 and 3.1 A18-49 rating. Quietly does well on a competitive night. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at a only 2.82 million, and a new episode of Hellcats followed with 2.31 million. Not too bad.

Thursday it was CBS on top again, but ABC had the top show. ABC opened the night with the series premiere of My Generation doing only 5.17 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, both down big from FLASHFORWARD's premiere but it did grow throughout the hour. The Grey's Anatomy season premiere followed with 14.32 million and a great 5.4 A18-49 rating. down from last tear but that was two hours. The season premiere of Private Practice was next doing 8.83 million and a 3.2 18-48 rating, solid. CBS opened with The Big Bang Theory at a huge 14.04 million and a 4.9 A18-49 rating, nice numbers for its new night and time. The series premiere of $!*# My Dad Says followed with a good sampling of 12.58 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating. Good start (and the pilot was bad)! The season premiere of CSI followed with 14.69 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, down from last season's premiere, while the season premiere of The Mentalist did 15.5 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, winning its hour. Fox started off well with Bones at a solid 9.89 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, but Fringe followed and only did 5.73 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, down a lick from last season's premiere. NBC was in the familiar fourth place with Community doing 5.0 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating only, followed by 30 Rock on its new time at only 5.91 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating. At 9pm The Office jumped to 8.48 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating, up a million from last season's premiere. The premiere of Outsourced closed the comedy block with 7.49 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating, but it had a noticeable drop in the second half, so be aware of that this week. The Apprentice closed the night with only 3.84 million and a 1.4 18-49...where is Jay Leno when you need him? The CW's big gun Vampire Diaries did 3.56 million, and a 1.6 18-49 rating followed by a new Nikita at 3.15 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won Friday with their dramas including the move of CSI NY to Fridays and the premiere of Blue Bloods. ABC was in repeats, but 20/20 was new and did OK at 10pm. Fox had a dismal Friday with a new Good Guys and NBC's Outlaw bombed in its timeslot premiere.
Saturday numbers had ABC win with Saturday Night Football in 18-49, with CBS winning (f0r now) in total viewers.

Tonight are the season premieres for ABC Sunday (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters). Look for Vanessa Williams to join the casrton Desperate Housewives as the ratings will be good. NBC should do well with the NFL but the game is not as intriguing with the Jets/Dolphins. CBS has a 90-min season premiere of Amazing Race following 60 Minutes and Undercover Boss at a special time of 10pm. Fox launches its animation block with season premieres from 8-10pm, including the one-hour season premiere of Family Guy.

As for the week (week 1), CBS will win in HH, viewers and 18-49 most likely. ABC could come close in 18-49, especially if Desperate does big tonight, but with the NFL overrun, CBS will likely win. As for the coming week (week 2), look for the series premiere of No Ordinary Family on ABC Tuesday at 8pm and the season premiere of CBS's The Good Wife at 10pm on Tuesday.

Week 1 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for summer week 16 -- September 13-19)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) 3 episodes - three repeat episodes starting at 7pm did 2.54, 3.45, and 4.86 million with the latter doing a 2.2 18-49 rating, not bad ...season premiere is tonight
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - preempted, season premiere tonight.
  • Family Guy (Fox) 3 episodes - Three repeats starting at 8:30pm did well doing 5.02, 5.04, and 5.3 million but even better in 18-49 with 2.4, 2.4, and 2.5 rating ...season premiere is tonight.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - preempted.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season premiere did 8.79 million, a bit lower than the season premiere last year. 3.6 18-49 rating is good. Still decent.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.34 million for the season premiere is lower than last year's premiere of Accidentally on Purpose series premiere, and the 3.1 18-49 rating compared to Purpose's 3.3 from last year. After nice summer climbs from the lead-in, this is a bit disappointing.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 14.63 million, up a million from last year's season premiere. Unbelievable. 4.9 18-49 rating even is excellent.
  • Mike & Molly (CBS) - 12.23 million for the series premiere is great, but a bit off from the season premiere of Big Bang in this slot last year. 18-49 rating of 3.9 is great but well off from the premiere of Bang in this slot last year. That is expected, but can this show continue to pull these ratings or go lower?


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Raising Hope (Fox) - The series premiere aired after Glee, which did a 5.6 18-49 rating (and even better in the second half), so this show was certainly going to be sampled. The pilot did a decent 7.31 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, could be better or worse though. If it can maintain these, then Fox is happy. Anything lower is probably not suitable.
  • Running Wilde (Fox) - The series premiere of this new comedy did only 5.59 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating. This could be better. The pilot wasn't too good, but we hear the second episode gets better, but will the ratings?

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • The Middle (ABC) - Season premiere on its new time of 8pm did nearly series highs in total viewers with 8.8 million and a solid 2.7 18-49 rating. Nice numbers.
  • Better with You (ABC) - The series premiere of this new comedy did a solid 7.86 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. Could certainly be worse, but this shows promise in quality unlike last year's Hank.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - The season premiere did a massive 12.76 million for a series high and a gigantic series high of a 5.1 18-49 rating. This show is breaking out even more and I expect series highs to continue as we go into the season, especially in colder months.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - The season premiere of this sitcom did a solid 8.32 million and an even better 3.4 18-49 rating, no series highs here but very consistent to what it was doing last fall/winter before Idol.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - The move to a new night and earlier time paid off for the season premiere doing 14.04 million and a 4.9 18-49 rating, no series highs, but it did better than the season premiere last year on Monday at 9:30.
  • S#*! My Dad Says (CBS) - Following the big lead-in, this series surprised a bit doing 12.58 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating. That is great, but there was a bit of a drop in the second half of the premiere. Key will be the next few weeks. If it can maintain these, numbers or only go down say another 10% or so, CBS has a hit.
  • Community (NBC) - The season premiere did 5.0 million and 2.2 A18-49 rating. Certainly not too good, but better than expected I think. Better than Parks & Recreation for sure.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - The season premiere on its new time did 5.91 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating.
  • The Office (NBC) - The season premiere of this series did better than last year's season premiere, doing 8.48 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating. Steve's last season curiosity maybe? I expect it go down below a 4 in the next few weeks, though but build by the end of the season.
  • Outsourced (NBC) - The series premiere was not a train wreck in the ratings doing 7.49 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating. The concern was the huge drop in the second half and that doesn't bode well for next week. For now, a good start but be aware next week.

Friday Sitcoms

  • Modern Family (ABC) - A special repeat of the season premiere did OK for a repeat with a prelim 4.17 million and a prelim 1.2 18-49 rating in a weak 8pm slot.
  • Better with You (ABC) - A special repeat of the pilot did a prelim 3.07 million and a prelim 0.9 A18-49 rating at 8:30. Just some more sampling and hopefully it found more viewers for its regular Wednesday airings.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are season premieres of Fox's animated comedies from 8-10PM.

Summing it up. Modern Family, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, $#*! My Dad Says, How I Met Your Mother, Mike & Molly, The Middle, Cougar Town, were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Better With You, Rules of Engagement, Raising Hope, Outsourced) or just plain old terrible (such as Running Wilde, Community).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Digital Digest: C.S.I. - The Tenth Season DVD Review; EXCLUSIVE "Community 101 Pop Quiz"

Fall has arrived, and while that certainly does mean that the temperatures are cooling down and the trees are starting to lose their leaves, it also means that the new fall season has officially started on all of the major networks. We've got some more news for you this week (though the news is still slow on the home media front, as it has been for the past few months) and a review of C.S.I. - The Tenth Season this week. But wait! We also have a very special treat for you in this week's Digital Digest! School is back in full swing too for the fall, and today we will be taking you back to school for an exclusive "Community 101 Pop Quiz," where we will give you a brief multiple-choice quiz where you'll be quizzed over the NBC series Community. Answer all of the questions correctly and email them to us by Monday morning at midnight EDT (details will be explained a bit later in this edition of Digital Digest) and you will be entered into a drawing where one lucky winner will receive a copy of Community - The Complete First Season!


DIGITAL NEWS


The fall season may have just started, but some pre-order links are already showing up on amazon.com for some of the most popular TV series that have already returned! Of interest to sitcom fans are the pre-order listings for Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eighth Season and The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Fourth Season (and Blu-ray as well)! Of course, no details are known about either of these sets right now, and it seems very strange to us that they would even list these titles already!

Lucille Ball fans will be pleased to know that the third season of The Lucy Show is going to hit shelves before Christmas. According to TVShowsOnDVD.com, The Lucy Show - The Official Third Season should be released on November 30. No other details are known at this time.

As we mentioned a few months ago, MPI is planning a release of The Honeymooners Christmas Special, and now it is on the schedule for December 14. It will come at a $14.98 MSRP and will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette. On an unrelated sidenote, MPI is releasing the fourth season of the British comedy hit that almost made it to America on NBC (but didn't), The IT Crowd, on the same day at a $24.98 MSRP.

Going outside of the sitcom realm, we have some news about the classic TV series Ironside. According to their weekly newsletter, Shout! Factory is preparing season 4 as a Shout! Select title with a date to be determined. It is good to see that this show hasn't been abandoned as many fans believed it was!

We conclude our news this week with some formative rumors and gossip from Shout! Factory's Brian Ward. Of course, as we all know, he is a producer for many of their DVDs and the hints and information that he drops is always accurate, just not set in stone, so we have no idea what will actually happen. Earlier this week, he hinted on his Twitter feed that he is working on a complete series set that will be announced in a few weeks! Of course, that is very ambiguous, and it could be literally anything, so we won't speculate on what exactly it could be. Brian Ward has also mentioned that the quality of the Father Knows Best reunion movies is being reviewed for the release of the sixth (and final) season of the series, so it is possible that we could see that released sometime in the future. But bear in mind, this is all speculative at this time, and no release is scheduled YET, but it appears that something will be coming eventually.

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (September 28) brings us the final chapter for Scrubs, with both Scrubs - The Complete Ninth Season and Scrubs - The Complete Series on DVD. Unfortunately, the ninth season isn't being released on Blu-ray yet, so hopefully a release of that is forthcoming so that both of the seasons that aired in high-definition will be on Blu-ray.

Fox will be releasing The Cleveland Show - Season One on Tuesday, as well a separate single episode Family Guy release of the banned-from-air episode "Partial Terms of Endearment." Also on the animation front, we have Comedy Central DVD's South Park - A Little Box of Butters, featuring 13 of the best episodes of one of the funniest characters on the series.

Finally, Shout! Factory is releasing single disc "best-of" releases of Rhoda and Designing Women. If you already own the season sets of either of these shows, then you probably won't be interested in these releases, but if you are a casual fan and want just a few episodes, then these releases are perfect for you.

Unfortunately, we don't have reviews of any of these yet (the studios have been slacking on getting releases to us on time lately), but when we do, they will be on Digital Digest or on our reviews page!

COMMUNITY 101 POP QUIZ CONTEST

Community - The Complete First Season

As we mentioned earlier in today's Digital Digest, we have a special contest this week! We have five multiple choice questions for you about Community, and if you get all of the answers correct, then you could win your own copy of Community - The Complete First Season, now available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment!

All you have to do to enter is to email us at communitydvd@sitcomsonline.com with the letters that correspond to the correct answer (no Scantron forms!) by midnight on September 27, 2010. You must have all answers correct in order to have a chance to win. Be sure to check out our complete rules at the end of the quiz.

Oh, and before we get started on the quiz, we want this to feel like a real community college quiz, so we're even going to give you a free cheat sheet to help you with this quiz, so that you can cheat your way through college just like Jeff Winger! Here we go with the quiz!

1. In "Spanish 101," which classmate does Jeff get paired with for the Spanish project?
a. Britta
b. Shirley
c. Pierce
d. Annie

2. What is the name of Troy's comic book?
a. Kickpuncher
b. Britta the Warrior
c. Justice Fighter
d. Women of Troy

3. Which food item was there a shortage of at Greendale Community College?
a. pizza
b. chicken fingers
c. hot dogs
d. tacos

4. What subject did the instructor who was found to not have his college degree teach?
a. religious studies
b. statistics
c. Spanish
d. home economics

5. Which of the following is a real member of the study group?
a. Monique
b. Abed
c. Amanda
d. Cara

Contest Rules:
  1. Limit only "one" entry per e-mail address and household. All entries must be submitted to communitydvd@sitcomsonline.com.
  2. US and Canadian residents only.
  3. The contest begins Saturday, September 25th and ends at 12:00 AM EDT on Monday, September 27th (Sunday night/Monday morning).
  4. No purchase necessary.
  5. One entry will be selected at random and the entrant will be notified by e-mail if they have answered the questions correctly; otherwise another entry will be selected at random until an entry with all correct answers has been chosen. Winners must respond within 48 hours of being notified with their mailing address or another winner will be contacted. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  6. Employees of SitcomsOnline.com (that includes the DVD Review Team - Moderators can enter the contest), its parents, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies and the immediate family members of said employees are not eligible.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Tenth Season

DVD Review: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Tenth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $79.99)
by Todd Fuller

In CSI's exciting, must-own Season 10, Dr. Ray Langston (Tony winner, Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne) uncovers clues in a conspiracy so vast, it takes him to New York. This segment of the CSI Trilogy crossover event is just one reason to savor this superb collection, which features new episodes guest-starring Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle. The team, which also stars Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger and George Eads, digs into the seamy underbelly of Las Vegas to solve murders of a rising ingenue and two beautiful scam artists. Meanwhile, a menacing new serial killer known only as Dr. Jekyll shows his sadistic side, while the specter of the team's old nemesis, Paul Millander, arises anew. In this landmark tenth season of the Emmy and People's Choice Award-winning series, the legendary forensics unit proves once again that there's no shortage of sin in Sin City.

This 7-disc set contains all 23 episodes (plus 2 crossover CSI: Miami and CSI: NY episodes) from the tenth (2009-10) season of the long-running crime drama. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Stereo audio (Spanish Stereo is also available). It has a total running time of approximately 16 hours, 47 minutes. The attractive packaging has photos of Marg Helgenberger, Laurence Fishburne and George Eads on the front cover, with the Las Vegas skyline in the background. There is an embossed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation logo at the top of the box. After using Digipak packaging for the previous seasons, they've switched to a cardboard box that holds a snapcase. Marg Helgenberger, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Laurence Fisburne, Robert David Hall and Paul Guilfoyle are pictured on the back of the box. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are given. There is a clear plastic snapcase that slides out from the right of the outer cardboard box. The snapcase has the same cover art, photos and information as the cardboard box. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features on the inside cover. Discs 1-6 are held back-to-back in plastic trays, while Disc 7 is an embedded holder in the back of the case. The discs have a portion of a casino sign and list the episodes and special features. Unfortunately, they didn't include the Crime Scene: Do Not Cross tape around the packaging this time around.

The menus are stylish and easy to navigate. There is a series of previews for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV DVD releases and the CSI: Fatal Conspiracy game which you can play or skip. The main menu opens with some aerial views of Las Vegas that lead to a montage of video clips from the show. A great instrumental cue by composer John M. Keane plays in the background and then the sequence loops. Options are available for Episode Selection, Set Up, Previews (only on Disc 1) and the various special features by disc. You can choose either English 5.1 Surround or
EspaƱol audio on the Set Up Menu. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes, but some of the special features are not rated any may not be closed captioned. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. They do a lot of nighttime shooting and make the show look dark and like a theatrical film. There is no disclaimer on the back of the box about any of the episodes possibly being edited. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number, which was the same order for this season. Running times are between 42-44 minutes in length. It doesn't appear that they are releasing the tenth season on Blu-ray at this time.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:

Disc 1
Episode 1001 "Family Affair" (44:22)
Episode 1002 "Ghost Town" (44:13)
Episode 1003 "Working Stiffs" (44:13)

Disc 2
Episode 1004 "Coupe De Grace" (43:52)
Episode 1005 "Bloodsport" (44:12)
Episode 1006 "Death and the Maiden" (43:53)

Disc 3
CSI: Miami 807 "Bone Voyage" (43:51)
CSI: NY 607 "Hammer Down" (41:44)
Episode 1008 "The Lost Girls" (44:13)
Episode 1007 "Lover's Lane" (44:03)

Disc 4
Episode 1009 "Appendictement" (44:22)
Episode 1010 "Better Off Dead" (42:02)
Episode 1011 "Sin City Blue" (44:13)
Episode 1012 "Long Ball" (43:12)

Disc 5
Episode 1013 "Internal Combustion" (42:43)
Episode 1014 "Unshockable" (44:23)
Episode 1015 "Neverland" (43:02)
Episode 1016 "The Panty Sniffer" (44:22)

Disc 6
Episode 1017 "Irradiator" (44:22)
Episode 1018 "Field Mice" (44:22)
Episode 1019 "World's End" (43:51)
Episode 1020 "Take My Life, Please!" (43:52)

Disc 7
Episode 1021 "Lost & Found" (42:32)
Episode 1022 "Doctor Who" (42:21)
Episode 1023 "Meat Jekyll" (44:01)

A decent number of special features are spread out over the 7 discs. Once again, there are only 2 audio commentaries on this set like last season. They have really cut back on the number of them from previous seasons for all of the CSI franchise shows. No deleted scenes are included on this release. The 5 features run about 90 minutes total in length. Here is the breakdown by disc:

Disc 1
Frozen in Time: CSI's Season Opener (12:21) - This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Director/Supervising Producer Kenneth Fink, Co-Producer Brad Tannebaum, Jorja Fox, Robert David Hall, Director of Photography Christian Sebaldt, Visual Effects Supervisor/Zoic Studios Rik Shorten,
They discuss in detail the motion control shooting and the digital effects for the season premiere. It took them 2 months to complete the scene.

Disc 3
Leaving Las Vegas: Langston Heads East (23:28) - This featurette details the triple crossover event. It started out in Miami, moved to New York and finished in Las Vegas. Inteviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Peter M. Lenkov, Laurence Fishburne, Co-Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Mark Dube, Director/Producer (CSI: Miami) Sam Hill, David Caruso, Omar Benson Miller, Executive Producer (CSI: Miami) Barry O'Brien, Christian Clemenson, Emily Procter, Executive Producer (CSI: NY) Pam Veasey, Melina Kanakaredes and Gary Sinise.

Disc 4
Audio Commentary by George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Wallace Langham & Jon Wellner on "Appendicitement"

Disc 5
Audio Commentary Rascal Flatts (Jay DeMarcus, JoeDon Rooney and Gary LeVox) , Writer Michael Frost Beckner and Executive Producer/Director Kenneth Fink

Disc 6
Lab Rats: The Saga Continues (15:31) - This featurette chronicles the 4th annual Lab Rats episode. Liz Vassey and Wallace Langham helped write this episode. Unfortunately, they didn't include an audio commentary to supplement this featurette. Interviews include Liz Vassey, Wallace Langham, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Paul Guilfoyle, David Berman, Robert David Hall, Director Bran Tanenbaum, Sheeri Rappaport and Jon Wellner.

Disc 7
CSI: The Experience (15:38) - Eric Szmanda profiles and gives a tour of the CSI: The Experience traveling interactive exhibit. Clips of Gil Grissom, Greg Sanders, Nick Stokes, Catherine Willows, and Al Robbins speaking to the visitors are shown. Creator and Executive Producer Anthony E. Zuiker, Ron Rohovit, Firearm and Toolmark Examiner Jamie Becker, and Arthur Eisenberg, Ph.D. are interviewed.

KillerTales: Season 10 of CSI (23:17) - This featurette highlights some of the key developments and moments of the tenth season. They talk about the addition of Laurence Fishburne to the cast, Catherine's and Nick's characters this season, the return of of Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle, the characters of Greg Sanders and Jim Brass, the panty sniffer episode, the stakeout of a casino episode, Rascal Flatts, their favorite episode of the season, and the serial killer story arc of Dr. Jekyll. Interviews include Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn, Executive Producer Naren Shankar, Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenbrger, Jorja Fox, George Eads, Robert David Hall, David Berman, Eric Szmanda, Paul Guilfoyle, Director/Co-Executive PRoducer Louis Shaw Milito, Co-Producer Jacqueline Hoyt,

This season started out with a great opening sequence and ended with a thrilling cliffhanger. This was Laurence Fishburn's first full season as Langston and he has fit in the show nicely. They really gave him a chance to shine in the 3-part crossover event. It was also great to see the return of Jorja Fox as Sara Sidle. She has been missed. This is another nicely produced set. A number of entertaining featurettes and a couple of audio commentaries are included. Amazon.com has it priced at $71.99 at the moment. That seems ridiculously high. Hopefully that price will come down. You can probably find it much cheaper at other online retailers and in stores.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller

(4/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS.com Official Site
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TV.com Page

LOOKING AHEAD

Before I wrap things up this week, I want to say that it is good to be back on the blog this week, and I should be back to doing the Digital Digest regularly from now. Many great features are planned for upcoming blog entries, and we hope that you'll keep checking with us every week, even if things have been very slow on the news front lately! Remember, keep it digital!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Centric Fall 2010 Schedule, BET Notes; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 27, 2010)

We finally have the Centric Fall 2010 schedule. As we mentioned on the BET Fall 2010 schedule, The Cosby Show is joining sister network Centric starting Sept. 26. Centric will have a 12-hour launch on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 9am-9pm featuring all 24 first season episodes. Then BET will promote the sitcom coming to Centric with a week-long marathon on BET from 11am-5pm all next week (Sept. 27-Oct. 1) featuring the all-time best episodes. So we knew all that already, now we know when Centric will air the show! The series will air weeknights from 8-10pm ET and 1-2am starting Monday, Sept. 27. It will also air on weekends, Saturdays 8-9pm & 12-1am and Sundays 6-7pm & 11pm-12am. The weekend airings will be encores from weeknights, though. Also joining the Centric line-up will be the '90s sketch comedy In Living Color, which has aired on sister network BET in the past. The series will air back-to-back weeknights in the 10pm hour and encores at 2am every weeknight.
The series schedule for Centric looks like this on weekdays starting Monday: 6am Miami Vice, 7am The A-Team, 12pm Soul Train, 1-2pm The Steve Harvey Show, 2-3pm Jamie Foxx Show, 3pm Flick Central movie, 5-6pm The Steve Harvey Show, 6-7pm Jamie Foxx Show, 7pm original encores, 8-10pm The Cosby Show, 10-11pm In Living Color, 11pm The A-Team, 12am Miami Vice, 1-2am The Cosby Show, 2-3am In Living Color, 3am Flick Central Movie, and 5am The A-Team.
Weekends will continue to have marathons in the daytime, such as October 2-3 will have The Proud Family (Sat 12pm-6pm and Sun 9am-5pm). The Proud Family is no longer airing weekdays at 12 noon as you can see. And we mentioned Cosby Show's weekend slots above.
View the episode info for The Cosby Show launch marathon on Centric.

We have a BET note for you, too. City Guys didn't have the launch marathon last Saturday (Sept. 18) as planned, but BET has moved that launch to Saturday, Oct. 2 from 9am-12pm. Then after that you can still catch the show every Saturday morning from 9am-11am as planned starting Oct. 9. And view the episode info for BET's The Cosby Show week-long marathon.


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 Sept. 27-Oct. 1, 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, September 27, 2010
  • Keri Russell & Will Arnett (Running Wilde) - The stars of the new Fox comedy will be on The Rachel Ray Show, so check your listings.
  • Tony Danza (Who's the Boss?) - Catch Tony promoting his new A&E reality series on the Oprah Show so check your listings.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Catch Melissa on an all-new Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jim Belushi (According to Jim) - Catch Jim on Lopez Tonight at 11pm on TBS. Maybe they will discuss their days on their sitcoms for ABC?
  • JoAnna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You) - Catch the two stars of the new sitcom on The View at 11am ET/10am CT-PT on ABC. Then catch JoAnna on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
  • David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) - Catch David on an all-new The View as well at 11am ET/10am CT-PT on ABC.
  • Tony Danza (Who's the Boss?) - Watch Tony on the TODAY show on NBC. And then later catch him on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 9pm.
  • John Stamos (Jake in Progress/Full House) - Watch John on The Ellen DeGeneres Show so check listings.
  • Marla Thomas (That Girl) - Catch Marla on the TODAY show on NBC as well.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
  • Joel McHale (Community) - Catch Joel on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:06am on ABC.
  • Busy Phillips (Cougar Town) - Watch Busy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as well at 12:06am on ABC.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Catch Bryan on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Catch the legendary star promoting her new book on The View, at 11am ET/10am CT-PT on ABC.
  • Jim Belushi (According to Jim) - Watch Jim-bo on The Rachel Ray Show so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Modern Family - Watch the entire cast of the Emmy award winning sitcom on The Oprah Show so you'll for sure want to check your listings. Hey hey!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
  • David Cross (Running Wilde/Arrested Development) - Catch the funny David Cross on an all-new Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:06am on ABC.
  • Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) - Catch the Emmy Winner on Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
  • Rashida Jones (Parks & Recreation/The Office) - Watch Rashida also on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
  • Steve Harvey (The Steve Harvey Show) - Watch Steve on Rachel Ray Show so check your listings.
  • Cybill Shepherd (Cybill) - Watch Cybill on The Oprah Show, so check listings.
Friday, October 1, 2010
  • Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy/American Dad!/Cleveland Show) - Catch Seth on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • David Cross (Running Wilde/Arrested Development) - Watch David on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kyle Massey (Cory in the House/That's So Raven) - Catch the Disney star on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your listings.
Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NBC Fall Pilot Review: Outsourced - Premieres September 23; WGN America Pulls Entourage, Curb from Primetime

Outsourced

Outsourced - Thursdays 9:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 9:30PM ET/PT

Outsourced is NBC's latest "clash of the cultures" sitcom to explore how one person functions when being suddenly immersed in an unfamiliar environment. Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport) returns from his vacation to his office at Mid America Novelties to find that the call center his workplace has been "right-sized" in order to save the company every penny possible. Everybody has been fired, and their jobs have been replaced by employees in Mumbai, India. Well, not exactly everybody has been fired. Todd still has a job with Mid America Novelties, but now he is the lone American manager of the call center in India. But that is just the beginning of the story. Upon Todd's arrival into India, he discovers that his job is going to be much more difficult than anticipated when he finds that his employees are not exactly top-notch.

Cast Details:

* Ben Rappaport as Todd Dempsey
* Rizwan Manji as Rajiiv Gidwani
* Sacha Dhawan as Manmeet
* Rebecca Hazlewood as Asha
* Parvesh Cheena as Gupta
* Anisha Nagarajan as Madhuri
* Diedrich Bader as Charlie Davies
* Pippa Black as Tonya

Ben Rappaport (Todd) makes his television debut in his starring role in the series. A recent graduate of the Julliard School, he received the Drama Division's highest honor, the Michel and Suria Saint-Denis Prize. His credits include several Julliard performances and work with Roundabout, Ars Nova, Naked Angels, Irish Rep., The Actors Studio, and New Dramatists.

Rizwan Manji (Rajiiv) has many credits from guest starring roles in several series, including Glee, FlashForward, 24, Better Off Ted, Medium, How I Met Your Mother, and Without a Trace, among several other series. His movie credits include Charlie Wilson's War and Transformers.

Manchester-born Sacha Dhawan (Manmeet) has many credits to his name in the United Kingdom, but is new to American audiences. He is an accomplished tap-dancer who has previously appeared in British series such as Out of Sight and The Last Train.

Parvesh Cheene (Gupta) made his acting debut as Samir in the movie Barbershop and sequel Barbershop 2. He has many television credits in guest starring roles, including ER, The OC, Brothers & Sisters, and 'Til Death.

Diedrich Bader (Charlie) has many credits from films including EuroTrip, Napoleon Dynamite, Ice Age, Office Space, and more. Additionally, he has done many cartoon voices (including Batman) and also played Oswald Lee Harvey on the long-running series The Drew Carey Show.

Pilot Plot:

#1 "Pilot" (Airs September 23, 2010) - Directed by Ken Kwapis
In the pilot, Todd Dempsey returns from his vacation at Mid America Novelties to find that the call-center that he has been hired to manage in Kansas City is gone, outsourced to Mumbai, India. Upon arriving in India, he meets his assistant manager, Rajiiv (Rizwan Manji), who already has his eyes on Todd's job, in anticipating that Todd won't last long in India. Once Todd arrives in the office, he finds that his new employees are less-than-stellar, including Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan), the call-center employee with no self-confidence, Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood), who seems to be the most in-touch with American culture (but still struggles), Gupta (Parvesh Cheena), the obnoxious co-worker, and Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan), who is deeply intrigued by Todd's explanation of American lifestyle. He also meets Charlie Davies (Diedrich Bader), who works for All American Hunter and knows what the future holds for Todd, and Tanya (Pippa Black), a young Australian woman who quickly attracts Todd's attention.

Everything appears to be a disaster at first, but as the episode progresses, the call-center employees are slowly becoming interested in the products they are selling and in American culture, even if their understanding of American culture is fatally flawed. Will they make the adjustment before Todd loses his sanity?

Analysis:

The pilot was decent, but leaves some holes that need to be filled. In particular, it felt as if too much of the attention focused on Todd's adjustment to his new job. While it makes sense that the character should be the central character of the series, the other characters often seemed to just be an afterthought and seemed to have two-dimensional personalities. The series is going to need to have some complicated plots focusing on multiple characters and bring some depth into their distinct personalities. In particular, I'm hoping to see some power struggles between Todd and Rajiiv, similar to the power struggles between Michael and Dwight on The Office.

Some of the funniest moments in the pilot came from the cultural misunderstandings of the employees in India, but the problem with this is that the call-center employees are not the "fish out of water" in the series, and instead, that role belongs to Todd. He seems to adapt to the culture a little too easily in the pilot, and the series could certainly benefit if his character was more naive about the culture in India. Still, it is important for the series to continue to include the difficulties that the employees have adapating to American culture, as they are working with American customers. There were certainly many funny elements in the pilot, but there weren't enough (if any at all) laughs regarding Todd's character.

The series has a pretty decent cast, with each cast member fitting into the profile of the character he or she is playing. One of the things that I feared before seeing the pilot is that the series would stereotype all of the Indian characters as being the same, but they actually successfully managed to create a dynamic cast with each having a distinctive personality, even if the pilot episode did not present an adequate opportunity to present those personalities. Even though the cast is made up almost entirely of unknown actors, all of them seem to be prepared to take upon their roles and have great potential for the series.

Conclusion:

All in all, this isn't a bad show, although the pilot could have been better. The series probably wouldn't have a chance on another network, but it may benefit from being paired with The Office on NBC's Thursday night lineup. Still, NBC has the series Parks and Recreation returning later in the season, and something will have to be bumped to make room for it--and this series seems to be a prime candidate for that.

The success or failure of the series will depend upon whether or not people tune in, and the somewhat weak pilot may affect that significantly. Still, the pilot isn't a total disaster, and I'm hoping that the creative staff was really intending to JUST introduce us to the cast instead of creating a complex plot involving the characters (as there really wasn't any complex plot at all). The concept for the series is one that I hope to see work out for the best, and I think that with some improvements, it may attract some fans. It won't be a huge hit for NBC, for sure, but it has potential to be a stable part of the lineup.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/23/10

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 23 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Outsourced Photo Gallery

    Preview:



  • So, that's a wrap for the new sitcom pilot reviews. Better With You and Raising Hope were the pilots we liked best, while Outsourced was the lowest rated for us. Stay tuned later this season for more pilot reviews which includes Matthew Perry's Mr. Sunshine for ABC.


    Moving on to news, WGN America will make some schedule changes to its primetime/late night line-up beginning on Monday (Sept. 27). It looks like Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm didn't do well in primetime in the ratings and they will be moved to late nights only. Starting Monday, they will now air in the 1am ET hour leading into the already scheduled late night airings at 2am ET. Replacing them in primetime will be two episodes of How I Met Your Mother in the 9pm ET hour, as that series will no longer airing in the 11pm ET hour, with Scrubs returning to that hour now. Replacing Scrubs at midnight ET will be South Park, which moves up an hour (from 1am ET). One note, How I Met You Mother won't air in the 9pm hour on Mondays, because of CBS network obligations, so Old Christine will air in the 9pm ET hour then, in addition to its regular weekdays 8pm ET hour. Old Christine will not air now in the 7pm hour on Fridays, so Dharma & Greg is all five days now in the 7pm ET hour. The 9pm move is better news for Mother, as it was airing at 11pm where Lifetime also airs it. Now you don't have to choose what network you want to watch it at 11pm.
    There are some schedule changes to weekends, too. Saturdays will also see changes in primetime and late night. Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm will be replaced on Saturdays at 9pm ET also, this time by America's Funniest Home Videos. After the news at 10pm ET, How I Met Your Mother remains in the 11pm hour on Saturdays, so it will air Tues-Fri at 9pm and Saturdays at 11pm. But the Saturday late night line-up has changed, with South Park moved up to 12am ET instead of Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Instead Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm will now air in the 1am ET hour and another hour at 2am ET. So, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm airs Mon-Sat in the 1am and 2am ET hours now. Another hour of South Park bookends Saturdays at 3am ET.
    On Sundays, Just Shoot Me! will now air on the schedule after all, airing in the Sundays at 6pm ET hour after Scrubs. Dharma & Greg is no longer planned in this hour now on Sundays. Be on the look out for Just Shoot Me! airing as a filler as well (such as when there is no WGN News at 10pm ET).
    View the FULL and updated WGN America Fall 2010 schedule. And stay tuned for any special stunts and marathon that WGN America always plans for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    CBS Fall Pilot Review: $#*! My Dad Says - Premieres September 23; Hallmark Dumps Martha Encores for Little House Afternoon Airings

    $#*! My Dad Says

    $#*! My Dad Says - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on CBS
    Premieres Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    $#*! MY DAD SAYS (pronounced "Bleep My Dad Says"), based on the popular Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, stars Emmy Award winner William Shatner as Ed Goodson, a forthright and opinionated dad who relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot. Nobody is safe from Ed's rants, including his sons, Henry, a struggling writer-turned-unpaid blogger; and Vince, the meek half of a husband/wife real estate duo with domineering Bonnie. When Henry finds he can no longer afford to pay rent, Ed reveals a soft spot and invites Henry to move in with him. Henry agrees, knowing that the verbal assault will not abate and now there will be no escape. Describing their father/son relationship is tricky, but Ed will easily come up with a few choice words.

    Cast Details:

    * William Shatner as Ed
    * Jonathan Sadowski as Henry
    * Nicole Sullivan as Bonnie
    * Will Sasso as Vince

    William Shatner's (Ed) career has spanned over 50 years. He's an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, director, producer, screenwriter, recording artist, author, and horseman. He is one of pop culture's most recognizable figures and a Hollywood philanthropist. In 1966, Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series Star Trek, which rocketed to fame - but only after the show was cancelled and then later re-launched in syndication. The series spawned a feature film franchise in which Shatner reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven of the Star Trek motion pictures. Shatner played the title role in the series T.J. Hooker before hosting one of television's new generation of reality-based series, Rescue 911, which aired on CBS for six seasons.

    He has since guest-starred in several hundred television programs, including classics such as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Mission: Impossible. He also recurred on other staples, including 77 Sunset Strip and Dr. Kildare before garnering an Emmy nomination in 1999 for his appearances in 3rd Rock from the Sun. He made his feature film directorial debut in 1989 with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (in which he also starred and helped conceive the story). Since then, he has directed several other features, television movies and series.

    In September 2004, Shatner won an Emmy Award for his recurring role as eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on The Practice, the David E. Kelley-created legal drama that finished its run in 2004. Shatner then reprised the role - this time as a series regular - on Boston Legal. He won his first Golden Globe Award in January 2005 and another Emmy Award that September. He has since earned four more Emmy nominations, a second Golden Globe nod as well as two SAG Award nominations. Shatner's Raw Nerve, an edgy and off-beat celebrity interview series, currently airs on the Bio channel.

    Jonathan Sadowski's (Henry) film credits include She's the Man, Live Free or Die Hard, Friday the 13th and The Goods. His television credits include starring roles on Our Show, Two Dollar Beer, Courtroom K, Miss/Guided and a recurring role on The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    Before moving from Vancouver, B.C., to Los Angeles, Will Sasso (Vince) starred for five seasons as quirky teen Derek Wakaluk on the award-winning Canadian series Madison. In 1997, he went on to star for five seasons on the hit sketch comedy series, MADtv, playing characters such as the accident-prone handyman Paul Timberman and doing offbeat impressions of Bill Clinton, Kenny Rogers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Segal and Randy Newman.

    Moviegoers know Sasso from his roles in over 30 feature films, including Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Beverly Hills Ninja, The Hot Chick and Happy Gilmore. Recently, Sasso appeared in the feature films College Road Trip and Southland Tales and will be seen in the upcoming films, Lower Learning and For Christ's Sake, which Sasso produced under his Lord Mucker Entertainment banner. Due for release in October 2010, Sasso stars in Life As We Know It opposite Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Sasso has been busy the past several years writing/developing television series for several major studios and networks. In 2010, he teamed with producers Eric Tannenbaum and Mitch Hurwitz as well as writing partner Chad Kultgen, which resulted in the half-hour comedy pilot, Waiting To Die. He can be heard this season as the lead character in the animated series Neighbors From Hell.

    Nicole Sullivan (Bonnie) has been acting since she was 7 years old. She attended Northwestern University where she spent four years studying the classics, including Shakespeare and Chekhov. After graduating on the Dean's List, she joined the Greenwich Shakespeare Company. In 1995, Sullivan joined the original cast of the hit sketch comedy show, MADtv, as its youngest cast member. In the six years that she worked on the show, she was credited with some of its funniest moments, playing memorable characters such as the Vancome Lady, and doing scathing impersonations of celebrities such as Britney Spears and Meg Ryan. In 2001, Sullivan joined the cast of The King of Queens on CBS as Holly, the dog-walker. Her numerous television guest appearances include Scrubs, Law & Order: SVU, Boston Legal and Monk. She also appeared in the feature films Guess Who and 17 Again.

    As a distinguished comedic voice actor, Sullivan has lent her voice to numerous animated hits such as The Ant Bully and Meet the Robinsons. In addition, Sullivan lent her voice to a number of popular animated television shows, including Kim Possible, Family Guy, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Secret Saturdays and The Penguins of Madagascar. Since the end of September 2009, Sullivan has served as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, chronicling her "baby-weight loss" journey through a series of video and written blogs with a goal of losing 35 pounds. Her reveal was seen in a set of nationally televised commercials in spring and summer of 2010.

    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 23, 2010)
    After being laid off from his job writing for a men's magazine, Henry moves in with his cranky, outspoken father, Ed.
    Directed by Jamesa Burrows
    Written by David Kohan & Max Mutchnick and Justin Halpern & Patrick Schmacker
    Guest stars: Tim Bagley as Tim, Steve Sandoval as Delivery man

    Analysis:

    I was hoping for a stronger pilot. It is a traditional multi-camera sitcom that is filmed in front of a studio audience. There just aren't enough laughs in the pilot. Some of the lines were very predictable and might be offensive to some. I think they put in a little too much drama and some emotional scenes where people might be expecting more non-stop jokes. It seems like they had a team of four writers on the pilot and they all weren't on the same page. Hopefully they will lighten the mood in future episodes. Legendary director James Burrows helms the pilot.

    Henry goes to his father's home and needs to borrow some money after being laid off in the opening scene. Ed brings out a shotgun and tells him "guts or nuts - your choice." Henry wants to crash on the couch, but Ed tells him to use a cot in the attic. Henry's brother Vince and his wife Bonnie drop by to bring some groceries. In the kitchen, Henry tells Vince and Bonnie that he wants to have a relationship with his father, who he really hasn't known since he was 5. While "It Had To Be You" plays on the record player, Henry helps Ed study for his driving test. This is the song that Ed and his ex-wife used to dance to. A huge argument ensues between Henry and Ed. Ed talks to Vince and Eddie and tells them he won't be taking them up on their offer of moving in with them in their condo. Ed goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles to retake the driver's test. A delivery man brings a mattress to the house. Ed has bought him a bed as a nice gesture. Henry and Ed dance in the final scene.

    The cast they've put together is a pretty good one. William Shatner does a fine job as the cranky and opinionated dad. He was great on Boston Legal as Denny Crane. The role of Henry was first played by Ryan Devlin in the original pilot. Jonathan Sadowski was recast in the role in July. He does a pretty good job with a mix of comedy and drama in the pilot. Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan round out the cast. They are only in a few scenes in the pilot. They seem more like brother/sister than husband/wife, so maybe they will develop some more on-camera chemistry. Both bring a lot of comedic experience to the table. Hopefully their roles will be expanded a bit in future episodes. The show is mainly about the father/son relationship, but it will help to have some additional recurring characters. San Diego is the location for the show.

    Conclusion:

    When CBS first announced the show in the spring with William Shatner in the role of dad, I thought it would be the highest rated new comedy of the season. I was really expecting that they would put it on after Two and a Half Men on Monday nights. The Sh*t My Dad Says Twitter feed by Justin Halpern and best-selling book are very funny, but I don't think they translate as well on a broadcast sitcom. Some of the outrageous things and profanity that the real-life father says obviously can't be heard on network television. The show would be funnier and they could get away with more on cable. There are no bleeped out words in the pilot episode. I would expect the pilot to do well in the ratings. It does have a comfortable time slot between The Big Bang Theory and C.S.I.. I'm sure some people will tune in just because of the name of the show. Pavan has suggested they rename it Shat My Dad Says. DVR users might find it difficult to find under the current title.

    William Shatner makes this show watchable. The pilot wasn't really great, so there is a lot of room for improvement in the writing department. There was some hard-hitting drama and emotional scenes that you don't usually find in a pilot episode of a sitcom. It does set up the storyline nicely, but I'm hoping for many more laughs and less seriousness in future episodes. They should also expand the roles of Will Sasso and Nicole Sullivan. Both have a lot of comedy experience, but they are barely used in the pilot. The pilot is more of a mix of comedy and drama, so this is a show that you will probably want to give 3-4 episodes before deciding to watch it for the rest of the season. It could take them a few weeks to find a comedic groove. Meet the Gordon family on CBS on Thursday nights at 8:30-9:00PM ET/PT.

    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 3.5/5
    Funniness: 3/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Todd on 09/22/10

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, September 23 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • $#*! My Dad Says Photo Gallery

    Preview:



    Beginning Monday (September 27, 2010), Hallmark will make another schedule change to its new Martha Stewart daytime block. This week they tried shuffling the shows around a bit. Now next week, the 1pm-3pm block will get replaced with two encores of The Martha Stewart Show. This means, From Martha's Home, From Martha's Garden, From Martha's Kitchen and an encore of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn will be pulled. That's not all, the 3pm-6pm block will be now three airings of Little House on the Prairie, as the "Martha Stewart Home" block gets cut to 11am-3pm only, instead of 11am-6pm. Little House replaces an encore of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn and two encores of The Martha Stewart Show, which will move to 1-3pm, as we mentioned above.
    So, if you're wondering this is how the Martha block looks like now: 10am The Martha Stewart Show (premiere), 11am Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn (premiere), 11:30am Everyday Food (premiere), 12pm Whatever with Alexis & Jennifer (premiere), 1pm The Martha Stewart Show encore and 2pm The Martha Stewart Show encore. Little House on the Prairie will also remain in its current weeknights at 8pm slot as well.
    Stay with us for any further updates on any more changes. As sitcom fans, maybe we will get the 1pm-3pm hours back, too. We need I Love Lucy back on weekdays.
  • Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    ABC Fall Pilot Review: Better With You - Premieres September 22; Houston Station to Feature Classic TV

    Better With You

    Better With You - Wednesdays 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
    Premieres Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 8:30PM ET/PT

    From Friends producer Shana Goldberg-Meehan comes a comedy about three different couples at various stages in their romantic relationships. There's a couple in a happy, long-term relationship and not married. Another couple is in a brand-new relationship and unexpectedly motivated to make a rush to the altar. Last but not least, there's a longtime married couple who've been together for 35 years but may have a new take on life.

    Maddie, a lawyer, and Ben, a hotel manager, are a career-oriented couple who are head-over-heels in love. Both in their 30s, they've been together for nine years but never felt the need to get married. They know each other inside and out and are in a relationship marked by contentment and affection. They've thoroughly analyzed their commitment to each other and say they're happy with their "valid life choice," something they proclaim often -- and loudly.

    Maddie's younger sister, Mia, is a free spirit and creator of a paperless web invitation company. She is in a very passionate seven-and-a-half-week-old relationship with Casey, a musician in an avant-garde metal band. Both in their 20s, they're smitten. Things are moving along at a fast rate for these two lovebirds who can't wait to discover the oh-so-many things they don't know about each other.

    The girls' parents, Vicky and Joel, have been married for 35 years. Like Mia, they've adopted a carpe diem sort of philosophy. One reason for this new attitude is that they lost a good portion of their savings when the economy tanked. At this stage in their lives, they don't feel the need to take things too seriously.

    When Mia invites Maddie and Ben to meet Casey, they think they're meeting just another in a long line of boyfriends. But Maddie soon realizes how serious the relationship is when Mia and Casey excitedly announce they're engaged. Surprised by the news, she feels like her little sister has leapfrogged over her -- jumping ahead of her in some major, life-changing way -- and sees the light it shines on her own life choices. In addition, Maddie worries that Mia is just plain moving too fast. But reluctant to be a negative voice, she resolves to be supportive and let her parents, the critical Vicky and Joel, be the ones to object when the time comes.

    Mia is nervous about introducing Casey to her parents, who are hard to please or impress -- they once made a former boyfriend of hers cry. But when Mia tells them that she and Casey are getting married, Vicky and Joel greet the news with celebration, much to Mia's delight and Maddie's surprise. Evidently they'd given up on Maddie and Ben ever marrying. Now they seem all too eager to toast Mia and Casey's sudden union. Things get even more complicated for Maddie when it turns out that Casey has shared something with Ben but not with her, and then Ben accidentally blurts it out - that Mia is pregnant! Although Vicky and Joel are ecstatic to become grandparents, Maddie wonders why her sister kept this from her.

    Maddie and Ben have been together a long time, and the relationship they have works, but they'll come to learn that there may be value in Mia and Casey's impulsiveness and spontaneity. And both sisters could surely learn something about relationships from their long-married parents. With three very different relationships intertwined in one family, is it free thinkers vs. over-thinkers, or will each couple begin to see things a little bit differently?


    Cast Details:

    * JoAnna Garcia as Mia
    * Jennifer Finnigan as Maddie
    * Josh Cooke as Ben
    * Jake Lacy as Casey
    * Kurt Fuller as Joel
    * Debra Jo Rupp as Vicky

    JoAnna Garcia's (Mia) recent memorable guest turns include her recurring role as Bree Buckley on the third season of the CW's Gossip Girl and her guest starring role as the girl who continues to get away from Josh Radnor on How I Met Your Mother. She also appeared in the ABC Family telefilm Revenge of the Bridesmaids, opposite Raven-Symone. In 2008 Garcia portrayed the lead character in the teen angst comedy, Privileged. Based on the book "How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls," she starred as Megan Smith, a Yale graduate hired to tutor two wealthy teenage twin girls to ensure their entrance into an Ivy League college. Although Privileged only aired for one season, it gained a huge fan following and earned Garcia rave reviews. She also starred in the 2008 primetime series Welcome to The Captain, alongside Jeffrey Tambor, Chris Klein and Raquel Welch. Previously she dazzled audiences for six years on Reba as Reba's teenage daughter, and earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for Breakout Star. Earlier in her career, she starred as Fiona in the television series Clarissa Explains It All and from 1994-96 as Samantha in Are You Afraid of the Dark? In 1998 Garcia was cast in a recurring role on the acclaimed drama Party of Five. After graduating from high school, she briefly attended the University of Florida before heading to Los Angeles to further her acting career. Almost immediately she landed a key role opposite John Ritter in the TV movie Holy Joe. She also had a memorable role in 2000 on the series Freaks and Geeks. On the big screen she starred in two hit teen comedies in 2001, American Pie 2 and Not Another Teen Movie.

    Jennifer Finnigan (Maddie) is an actress with great depth and comedic talent. Born and raised in Montreal, she started acting professionally at the age of 18, taking roles on various television shows on Nickelodeon and Fox Family in Montreal. Landing the role of Bridget Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2001 spawned Finnigan's move to Los Angeles. That role earned her the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for three consecutive years, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Additional television credits include the CBS drama Close to Home, in which she played Annabeth Chase, a young, aggressive prosecutor with a perfect conviction record. Prior to that she starred in the NBC comedy Committed (opposite Josh Cooke) and the NBC drama Crossing Jordan.

    Josh Cooke (Ben) has quickly jumped onto Hollywood's radar screen. He landed back-to-back lead roles on two NBC shows, including Committed (which also had Jennifer Finnigan) and the half-hour comedy Four Kings, in which he starred opposite Seth Green for director James Burrows. In 2006 Cooke starred on ABC's Big Day for creators Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, playing a newlywed opposite Kurt Fuller, Marla Sokoloff and Wendie Malik. In 2007 he appeared in the one-hour drama Law Dogs for creator Barry Schindel, as a slick district attorney opposite Janeane Garofalo.

    Jake Lacy (Casey) grew up in Vermont and graduated from The North Carolina School of the Arts in 2008. His recent work includes a Sundance Institute Theatre Project with director Mark Brokaw and a lead role in the 2010 Columbia thesis film, "C'est Moi."
    Lacy has been seen on stage in Hartford Stage's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Demetrius. He was a member of the Oberon Theater Ensemble and appeared in their production of "Much Ado About Nothing" as Conrad.

    Kurt Fuller (Joel) is best known for his work in the films Wayne's World with Mike Myers and Anger Management with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler. Others will remember him as the wacky sheriff who likes to pose in Speedos in Scary Movie. Kurt is no stranger to ABC. His last regular role on a TV series was on ABC's Big Day, with Josh Cooke and Wendie Malick. He had previously been a regular on That's my Bush!, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Last year he had recurring characters on both Supernatural and Psyche, and in the past has had arcs on ABC series Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal and Alias. Other TV appearances include HBO's Live from Baghdad with Michael Keaton, as well Glee, Ugly Betty, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Men of a Certain Age, The West Wing, In Justice, Eyes, Karen Sisco, Grey's Anatomy, House M.D, My Name is Earl, Monk and Drop Dead Diva.

    Debra Jo Rupp (Vicky) has made over 300 television appearances, but is probably best known as Kitty Forman in the long running series That '70s Show. As a result, in her current role as Vicky in Better with You, she's excited to actually "live" in the 21st century and wear fashionable clothes. Other notable TV roles for Rupp include Seinfeld's booking agent, Katie, and Phoebe's sister-in-law on Friends. Sally Field directed her in HBO's acclaimed From the Earth to the Moon, and she was listed as "crowd member" when she actually got to go to the 2004 World Series and watch her Red Sox win. Rupp was most recently seen in the feature film She's Out of My League, playing Jay Baruchel's mom, Mrs. Kettner. Other film credits include Jackson, the award-winning short The Act, Kickin' it Old Skool with Jamie Kennedy, Clockwatchers with Toni Collette and Parker Posey, Spymate, Lucky Thirteen with Lauren Graham, Sgt. Bilko with Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd, and her first film ever, Big, with Tom Hanks. In addition her voice can be heard in the Emmy-winning Teacher's Pet with Nathan Lane (both cartoon and feature film), Garfield, Air Buddies and in various other projects with tiny animals.


    Pilot Plot:

    #1 "Pilot" (Airs September 22, 2010)
    Mia invites Maddie and Ben to meet Casey, and they think they're meeting just another in a long line of boyfriends. But Maddie realizes how serious things actually are when Mia and Casey excitedly announce that they're engaged. Surprised by the news, Maddie feels like her little sister has leapfrogged over her -- jumping ahead of her in some major, life-changing way -- and sees the light it shines on her own life choices. But reluctant to be a negative voice, she resolves to be supportive and let her parents, the critical Vicky and Joel, be the ones to object when the time comes. But when Mia tells them that she and Casey are getting married, Vicky and Joel greet the news with celebration, much to Mia's delight and Maddie's surprise. Things get even more complicated for Maddie when it turns out that Casey has shared something with Ben but not with her, that Mia is pregnant! Maddie and Ben have been together a long time, and the relationship they have works, but they'll come to learn that there may be value in Mia and Casey's impulsiveness and spontaneity. And both sisters could surely learn something about relationships from their long-married parents.

    Guest starring are Tiya Sircar as Reena and Jerrika Hinton as saleswoman.
    "Pilot" was written by Shana Goldberg-Meehan and directed by James Burrows.


    Analysis:

    The pilot episode is very strong. It is a traditional half-hour comedy and we really need more of those as they repeat well and are better players in syndication. Anyway, there is nothing groundbreaking here but it is just plain funny. And that is the point of sitcoms, isn't it? The episode starts off with three different couples in three different cabs. It is startling the difference you see inside. The first couple (Mia & Casey) have only been together 7 1/2 weeks. The next couple (Maddie & Ben) have been together for 9 years. And the final couple (Vicky & Joel) have been together for 35 years. The twist? They are all related, like on Modern Family. Except here we find out they are related very early on rather than at the end of the pilot. Mia & Casey want to meet at a restaurant with Maddie & Ben so they can see Casey. Mia and Maddie are sisters and their parents are the older couple, Vicky & Joel. It is pretty easy to follow. Maddie and Ben have been together 9 years but are still not married.

    Casey wants to propose to Mia and he tells her sister Maddie that, but there is a twist in the pilot. Mia is pregnant, but she didn't tell her sister Maddie. Though Casey DID tell Ben! Hilarity then comes after with that. It's good old fun! You need to watch to see how it plays out. All of the characters are pretty damn funny, especially Casey (Mia's fiance). He steals the pilot with laughs. Kurt Fuller, who plays the father (Joel), is always funny, as is his wife Vicky (played by Debra Jo Rupp). The cast have worked together in other sitcoms before. Jennifer Finnigan and Josh Cooke were both on NBC's Committed, while Cooke was with Kurt Fuller on ABC's Big Day. Both sitcoms didn't last, so maybe they just needed to find a sitcom together? I think this one will click.


    Conclusion:

    While this is nothing new, it is familiar. And familiarity always does well in the ratings because people want sitcoms like this. I think this is the best sitcom pilot of the fall season. So far we have reviewed Mike & Molly (Todd gave it a 4/5, a B), Raising Hope (Todd gave it a 4.5/5, an A) and Running Wilde (I gave it a 3.5/5, a C). To me (or "to I" as Casey would say), this is the best one so far. And as a preview S#*! My Day Says and Outsourced are not good, but stay tuned to see our reviews of those the next two days. Anyway, Better With You is perfectly placed in between The Middle and Modern Family, so it has a shot of finding an audience. The only question mark is can it succeed in an all-single camera comedy block? I don't see a reason why it wouldn't since the show is pretty similar to Modern Family with the extended family. This is a good mix of a romantic comedy and a family comedy. I haven't seen a sitcom tackle both of those in one show in a while. JoAnna Garcia is stunning in the show and plays the role of Mia very well. Be on the look out for newcomer Jake Lacy, who played Casey. He is outstanding in this and is a scene stealer. As the show's opening theme says, "you and I, we smile inside," you'll certainly be smiling or laughing after watching this pilot but on the outside not inside! Good 'ole fun and let's hope the episodes continue to be like this!


    Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

    Watchability: 4/5
    Funniness: 4.5/5
    Overall: 4.5/5

    -- Reviewed by Pavan on 09/21/10

    Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, September 22 on our message board.

    Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Better With You Photo Gallery

    Preview:






  • B&C reports tha Titan Broadcast Management's KAZH Houston will switch from Spanish-language programming to English starting next Monday (Sept. 27). The station will get new call letters, too. It will now be KUBE. KAZH currently airs Vasallo Vision Network programming. It claimed $2.1 million in 2009, according to BIA/Kelsey, which is 0.5% of DMA No. 10's market revenue.
    "There are an equal number of Spanish language and English stations in Houston," said Titan CEO Dan Sullivan. "However, the Houston English language television market revenues are [five times] the Spanish market revenues in Houston. With the same amount of competitors, we prefer to compete for the dollars in the bigger market."
    Sullivan said the Houston TV market looks strong. "The prospects for the success of KAZH as an English language independent station are very promising," he said. "The availability of quality classic television programming was also a driving force in this decision to change format." We will have the schedule of shows very soon, so stay tuned. If the schedule is out todayfor KUBE, check back right here in this spot...so come on back!


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

    New Girl - The Complete Season Three The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season

    Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season Mom - The Complete First Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season

    09/02 - Benson - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
    09/02 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Halloween Episodes Collection
    09/02 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season Nine
    09/02 - The League - The Complete Season Five
    09/02 - New Girl - The Complete Season Three
    09/02 - Soap - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
    09/02 - What's Happening!! - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
    09/09 - The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season
    09/11 - Growing Up Fisher - Season One
    09/16 - About a Boy - Season One
    09/16 - Awkward - Season 3
    09/16 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray/DVD)
    09/16 - South Park - Season 17 (Blu-ray)
    09/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One
    09/23 - How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season / The Complete Series
    09/23 - Mama's Family - The Complete Fifth Season / The Complete Collection
    09/23 - Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season
    09/23 - Mom - The Complete First Season
    09/30 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 1 (MPI)
    09/30 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season
    Other TV Series:
    09/02 - Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Tenth Season
    09/09 - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
    09/16 - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Fourteenth Season
    09/16 - Castle - The Complete Sixth Season
    09/23 - Nashville - The Complete Second Season
    09/23 - Scandal - The Complete Third Season
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Wednesday, October 1

    The Middle - "The Loneliest Locker" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Frankie and Mike scramble to find second jobs in a desperate attempt to afford sending Sue to a good college next year. Sue and Brad strive to do something different and important while writing, directing and starring in the senior play, entitled “The Loneliest Locker,” instead of eating the family out of house and home, Axl literally begins to take the home apart when he removes -- without asking -- as many household items as he can to furnish his and Hutch's new rented house, and Brick drives the family crazy when he finds a box containing all of his noisy and annoying childhood toys -- that were purposely stowed away by Frankie -- and begins playing with them.

    The Goldbergs - "Mama Drama" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Adam’s desire to be the lead in the school musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” goes unfulfilled when he’s cast in something other than the leading role. Insistent her son is a star, Beverly casts Adam in a rival show, but when he becomes too self-obsessed for the rest of the cast, Beverly makes a drastic decision. Meanwhile, Murray’s disdain for traffic results in leaving every sporting event early much to Barry’s dismay, including a Flyers game that ends with an unprecedented event. Actor and comedienne Ana Gasteyer guest stars.

    Modern Family - "Do Not Push" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    It’s Jay and Gloria’s anniversary and they can’t seem to get on the same page on what kind of gift to give – sentimental or expensive? And, the Dunphys head to Caltech for Alex’s college tour and while Claire is busy convincing her to choose this school and stay close to home, Phil, Luke and Haley branch off to participate in a psyche experiment. Mitch and Cam are taking a new family portrait with Lily to replace the old one above their mantel, but Lily gives some serious face.

    black-ish - "The Talk" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Dre, disappointed that Bow has already given Andre Jr. “the talk” because she thinks he’s too big of a prude to do it, decides to rectify matters by giving his son HIS version of “the talk.” But Dre soon finds himself wishing he’d left well enough alone when Andre Jr. starts to drive him crazy with non-stop questions about sex.

    The League - "The Hot Tub" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    Kevin and Jenny get a hot tub, Taco shops for a new home, Pete tries to put an end to hand holding.

    Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Shawn" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Though Shawn thought she was looking for a man named Marcus, Todd discovers that Shawn is actually carrying his child.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 29) (All times ET unless noted)

    Wednesday, October 1

    • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Watch Cristin on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil continues to make the rounds on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Gone Girl on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton drops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Lena Dunham (Girls) - Lena is a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
    • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Nasim Pedrad (Mulaney) - Tune in to see Nasim on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Tom Lennon (Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
    • Ana Gasteyer (Suburgatory) - Ana visits LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
    • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda chats on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher talks about being crowned the "best butt in primetime" and shares who he still keeps in touch with from SVU on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
    • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Entusiasm) - Jeff chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. He will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-10am.
    • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Better Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James dishes with Rach on his new show, CSI: Cyber, and shares an adorable pic of his kids on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Reed Between the Lines/Girlfriends) - Tracee is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
    • Craig Robinson (The Office) - Craig discusses the USO Comedy Tour on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
    • Kate Walsh (Bad Judge) - Kate will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
    • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William discusses his new project Brown Bag Wine Tasting on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia is a guest on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.