Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week 6 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

2010-11 Week 6 TV Ratings (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: #1. CBS 7.9/12.8 rating/share; #2. ABC 7.1/11.4; #3. Fox 6.9/11.1; #4. NBC 3.5/5.6; #5. The CW 1.3/2.1.
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.01 million; #2. Fox 11.62 million; #3. ABC 11.12 million; #4. NBC 5.6 million; #5. The CW 2.09 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 3.7/10.4 rating/share; #2. CBS 3.3/8.9; #3. ABC 3.0/8.1; #4. NBC 1.9/5.3; #5. The CW 1.0/2.6.

Week 6 (Oct. 25-31) Analysis: November 2010 sweeps is underway and so far for week 6 Fox is up big from previous week thanks to the World Series, even though the ratings for that series is not that high. Through the first four days, CBS has the lead in HH/viewers, but second in 18-49. ABC and Fox are battling for second in HH/viewers, but ABC is third in 18-49. NBC is back in the familiar fourth across the board with no NFL yet. This could change like usual after tonight, due to NFL overrun on Fox and World Series action and NFL on NBC. It's too bad sporting events decide who wins the week. Last week, week 5, had CBS in first in all categories once again for the fifth straight week, as they hung on. ABC was second in HH/viewers but third in 18-49. NBC was third in HH/viewers and second in 18-49 thanks to a huge NFL Sunday night game. Fox was fourth across the board. The difference from 1st to 4th in 18-49 was only .5 (2.9 to 2.4), a bit more wider than previous week.

Monday still has ABC on top, like all season. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 20.41 million and a 4.3 18-49 rating, up from from previous week. Next an all-new Castle did a solid 11.32 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, up sharply from the previous week for season highs and #1 in the hour in both. Next up was CBS with its comedies and the new Hawaii Five-0. At 8pm, How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.29 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week's numbers and at a season low again. At 8:30, Rules of Engagement did 8.17 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, up a bit from the previous week. Two and a Half Men followed with 13.77 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating, roughly the same as previous week. At 9:30, Mike & Molly did 10.81 million and a 3.7 18-49 rating, down a lick in viewers from previous week but up in 18-49 rating from previous week. A new Hawaii Five-0 was next and did 10.23 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, down a bit in viewers and still dropping in 18-49 from previous week, as Castle beat it in 18-49 for the first time and the second straight week in total viewers. CBS has to be concerned since this was their big new gun. Fox was next with a repeat of House doing only 3.98 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. A new showing of Lie To Me followed and dropped to 4.26 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, down from previous week obviously since its lead-in was a repeat. NBC followed with the consistent Chuck doing only at 5.44 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, on par with previous week again. The new series The Event isn't consistent. It dropped a bit again in total viewers at 5.97 million and the 18-49 rating was a 2.0 18-49 rating, for series lows. A new Chase was next and did only 4.89 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, for more series lows. What a mess. The CW was next, with 90210 doing 2.03 million and Gossip Girl at 1.88 million...both are under performing.

Tuesday had CBS win in viewers but Fox in 18-49. CBS had the quietly doing well NCIS opening the night off with 20.18 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, up from previous week in viewers yet down two tenths in 18-49. It got even older. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 15.99 million and 3.4 18-49 rating, like the lead-in down in 18-49 from previous week. And finally CBS had a new The Good Wife and did 12.59 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, up some from previous week in viewers but down in 18-49. ABC was next as a new No Ordinary Family was leading the night off doing 7.38 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating. It was on par from previous week in viewers but 18-49 dropped two tenths from previous week. When it airs next week (Nov. 9), it needs to go up in 18-49. The live Dancing with the Stars Results Show followed at 9pm and did 15.93 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, up from previous week in viewers but down a tenth in 18-49, as we said goodbye to shockingly to Audrina Patridge. A new episode of the gritty Detroit 1-8-7 followed and did 8.45 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, up for the third straight week. That's good news. Fox was all-new as Glee did 11.76 million and a 4.9 18-49 rating for its Halloween show. Next were two episodes of Raising Hope, as Running Wilde was preempted, doing 6.0 & 5.37 million and a 2.5 & 2.2 18-49 rating. Not too good, yet picked-up up for a full season. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour episode doing 6.7 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, for season lows, followed by an all-new Parenthood at just 4.94 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, yet up some week-to-week. There are just too many options on Tuesdays as I keep saying, and people are watching the DVRed shows from earlier in the night at 10pm and saving the 10pm shows for the next night or so. The CW was in repeats, as One Tree Hill did just 1.12 million, followed by an even worse Life UneXpected at just 960,000 viewers.

Wednesday it was Fox on top with Game 1 of the World Series. The game did 15.71 million and a 4.8 18-49 rating in primetime (15.01 and 4.7 overall), down a lot from last year. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Nicaragua at 11.82 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, both down again from previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 13.94 million and a 3.4 A18-49 rating, both down from previous week. At 10pm, The Defenders aired and did 9.8 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week. Looks like CBS was affected a bit by baseball. ABC wasn't, as they started off with its Laugh On comedy block with The Middle doing a series best 9.54 million and tying a series best with a 2.9 18-49 rating. Halloween episodes rule! The new sitcom Better With You was next and did 7.67 million and tied a series best 2.5 18-49 rating, up in viewers from previous week for its second best numbers ever. The mammoth Modern Family was next and did a series best 13.14 million and tied a series best with a 5.1 18-49 rating. A new episode of Cougar Town did 8.16 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, up again from previous week, both were its second best ratings of the season behind only the season premiere. At 10pm, the canceled The Whole Truth probably aired its last episode in a while and did 4.4 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, down from previous week. Specials air on ABC the next four weeks, including the CMA Awards next week (Nov. 10). NBC opened the night with disappointing Undercovers doing 5.45 million and only a 1.4 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week. At 9, Law & Order: SVU was next, but with a repeat, doing 4.81 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. A repeat of Law & Order: Los Angeles was next and did 4.52 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating. Fox preempted Hell's Kitchen for the World Series. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 2.66 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, and a new episode of Hellcats followed with 2.03 million.

Thursday it was Fox on top thanks to the World Series. Game 2 did 14.41 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating in primetime (14.13 and a 4.0 overall), down from game one and the similar game last year. ABC opened the night with the all-time classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown doing 6.98 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, down some from last season. Then an all-new Grey's Anatomy followed with 10.79 million and a 3.9 A18-49 rating, both down a tad from previous week...maybe because it wasn't the regular type of episode. Still it was fantastic TV. A new episode of Private Practice was next doing 7.68 million and a 2.7 18-48 rating, on par with previous week. CBS opened with The Big Bang Theory at 13.04 million and a 4.2 A18-49 rating, on par really with previous week. The new comedy (or lack of comedy) $#*! My Dad Says followed with 10.81 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, also on par with previous week. A new CSI followed and did 14.27 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week. A new episode of The Mentalist did 14.76 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. Fox preempted Bones and Fringe for coverage of the World Series. NBC was in the familiar fourth place, but up from normal thanks to the all-new Halloween special Scared Shrekless doing 8.33 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, way up from the usual Community but Community aired at 8:30pm and did 5.63 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, improving on 30 Rock a bit week-to-week. 30 Rock was preempted. At 9pm The Office jumped to 8.07 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, to its best numbers since the season premiere. Halloween episode and the better lead-in helps. Shrek saves NBC Thursday. A new Outsourced closed the comedy block with 5.94 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up from previous week thanks to better lead-ins. At 10, The Apprentice closed the night with only 3.79 million and a 1.4 18-49...just plain bad, but up some from previous week. The CW's big gun Vampire Diaries did great with 3.55 million and tied a season high of 1.7 18-49 rating again, followed by Nikita at 2.48 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating. The latter is not too high in 18-49.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS nipped by ABC in 18-49 on Friday with their dramas. Fox's Good Guys and NBC's School Pride did terrible again with under a 1 ratings. ABC had a great showing from the season premiere of Primetime: What Would You Do at 9, killing NBC's Dateline from 9-11.
Saturday numbers had Fox win with MLB World Series Game #3 nipping by ABC's Saturday Night College Football coverage. Everything else was repeats and low.

Tonight are new episodes for ABC Sunday (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters). NBC has the Saints/Steelers NFL game. CBS has its normal Sunday line-up, which includes Undercover Boss, airing on time tonight. Fox's animation block is preempted for an NFL overrun and World Series Game 4. Look for all four nets to do well again on Sunday. Fox or NBC will win the night.

As for the week (week 6), CBS will win in HH, viewers but for the first time this season, maybe not 18-49. Fox should win that with four World Series games and an NFL overrun. Fox will probably be second in HH/viewers, though. ABC will be third in HH/viewers, but NBC could take third in 18-49 again thanks to NFL. NBC will be fourth in HH/viewers, though, even with NFL. As for the coming week (week 7), November sweeps has its first full week. Look for some Election coverage on the big four on Tuesday and specials such as the Robin Robert CMA special on Wednesday at 10pm on ABC.

Week 6 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 5 -- Oct. 18-24)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - Since there was no need for NLCS Game 7, Fox had to settle for repeats. Repeat at 8pm did 3.98 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) 2 episodes - Two repeats to start the 7pm hour did 1.87 million & 0.7 18-49 with only 96% coverage at 7pm and at full coverage did 2.65 million & 1.2 18-49 rating at 7:30pm. Regular 8:30pm airing was preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A repeat at 9pm did 4.42 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, which is below its normal repeat numbers.
  • American Dad! (Fox) 2 episodes - A special repeat 8:30p held more of its lead-in than the normal 9:30pm airing. At 8:30pm a repeat did 3.88 million & a 1.7 18-49 rating, while a repeat at 9:30pm did 3.58 million & a 1.6 18-49 rating.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did 8.29 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, up some in viewers but down a tenth from the previous week. 18-49 rating was a season low for the second straight week.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.17 million for a new episode is up a bit from previous week, as is the 3.0 18-49 rating.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.77 million for a new episode is up some week-to-week but its 4.4 18-49 rating was similar to previous week.
  • Mike & Molly (CBS) - 10.81 million for a new episode is down just a bit from the previous week. 18-49 rating of 3.7 was up two tenths from previous week. It's getting consistent.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Raising Hope (Fox) 2 episodes - Two all-new episodes aired in the 9pm hour, but they still were under performing. 6.0 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating out of the huge lead-in from Glee is not good and the second new episode at 9:30pm did only 5.37 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, but way better than Running Wilde.
  • Running Wilde (Fox) - preempted.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode at 8pm did series highs in total viewers with 9.54 million and tied a series high with a 2.9 18-49 rating. Great job!
  • Better with You (ABC) - The new comedy did 7.67 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. Up in viewers and 18-49 rating from previous week, tying series highs in 18-49 as well.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode did a series high 13.14 million and tied a series high with a 5.1 18-49 rating. It is the top scripted series again in 18-49. Great Halloween episode!
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 8.16 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, up again from previous week as it went up once again. This show is the most consistent show on TV and I still think it wouldn't get hurt at 10pm.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A new episode did a solid 13.04 million, on par with previous week and a 4.2 18-49 rating, up a tenth. Great numbers for 8pm, but Glee does better in 18-49.
  • S#*! My Dad Says (CBS) - Following the big lead-in again, a new episode did 10.81 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, this is on par week-to-week.
  • Community (NBC) - A new episode at a special time of 8:30pm did 5.63 million and 2.4 A18-49 rating, up from previous week thanks to the new Shrek special lead-in.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - preempted.
  • The Office (NBC) - A new episode did 8.07 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, up big from previous week. Its best ratings since season premiere.
  • Outsourced (NBC) - A new episode dropped to 5.94 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, but both were up week-to-week because of improved lead-ins.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • The Office (NBC) - A special encore of the Halloween episode only did a prelim 2.25 million and a prelim 0.8 18-49 rating, dropping from its Halloween specials lead-ins.
  • Community (NBC) - A special encore of the Halloween episode only did a prelim 1.86 million and a prelim 0.7 18-49 rating.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are no comedies. Fox's animated comedies are preempted.

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Digital Digest: The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 3 and Legend of the Super Heroes DVD Reviews

Happy Halloween weekend and welcome to this week's edition of Digital Digest! We don't have any tricks for you this weekend, but we do have a few treats with our reviews of The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 3 and Legend of the Super Heroes from Warner Archive! We also have a little news for you (though it is a slow news week again!) and a look at Tuesday's new DVD releases!

DIGITAL NEWS

We'll get started by taking care of pre-order business of current series airing on TV, and this time, it is a pre-order listing for a season of a series that has yet to even air on TV! The NBC series Parks and Recreation, which was ordered as a midseason replacement (and has not aired yet), is now available for pre-order on amazon.com. Parks and Recreation - Season Three carries a list price of $39.98, and as usual, no details are known about the contents of this set just yet. Of course, Parks and Recreation - Season Two will be released on November 30, and we'll have a review of that one as soon as we receive it!

Universal is finishing up some business with some series, with a release date now set for Airwolf - Season Four. According to TVShowsOnDVD.com, the five-disc set will be released on February 1 at a $39.98 MSRP. Additionally, fans of Columbo will be pleased to learn that the 1991-1993 movie collection is also on the way! Columbo - The Mystery Movie Collection 1991-1993 is set for February 8 at a $26.98 MSRP.

We have been seeing many direct-to-consumer DVD programs pop up lately (which are good for fans of series that may not show up at retail), but now it appears that CBS Home Entertainment is getting into the game with the 2009 series from The CW, Melrose Place - The Complete Series! It is now available to order as an amazon.com manufacture-on-demand product. While this may not be big news for fans of the series that we normally cover here, this is significant, as it could (and we stress, could) lead to more series from the CBS Home Entertainment vault being released through this method.

We still don't know much about Sony's upcoming Married... with Children - The Complete Series DVD set, but information on amazon.com's listing says that it will be a 32 disc set, which, assuming that they use the same disc breakdown that they used on the season sets, suggests that there will not be any additional discs in this set. That likely means that there won't be any new special features on this set, although we don't know that for certain. Of course, we hope to have a review on this set when/if we receive it.

A while back, we talked about the situation with The Donna Reed Show, and how Virgil Films will no longer be releasing the series. Unfortunately, that situation hasn't changed, and as of right now, nobody else is on tap to release the remainder of series, but some interesting discussions on Home Theater Forum have suggested that perhaps (and we stress, perhaps, because we like to be careful with rumors) more COULD be on the way. While there is some room for skepticism about the information, a source claiming to be close to Mary Owen (daughter of Donna Reed) claims that a release of the fourth season is being prepared for some point down the road. We do want to stress that this is not a confirmation that the fourth season will be forthcoming, and that we really don't have any information other than what can be read in the thread, but it is possible that there is a glimmer of hope.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (November 2) is Election Day, and you'll have some nice choices to vote for from Shout! Factory with several releases, including The Facts of Life - The Complete Fifth Season, Mad About You - The Complete Fifth Season, The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series, and The Larry Sanders Show - Season Two! You can read our review of The Facts of Life - The Complete Fifth Season and Mad About You - The Complete Fifth Season for more details on those releases. We hope to have reviews on The Larry Sanders Show when/if we receive them.

We also have from CBS Home Entertainment on Tuesday their Christmas Treats DVD release, which is a compilation of eight Christmas episodes (plus a segment from Love, American Style) from the CBS Home Entertainment archive. We just received a copy of this DVD on Friday, and we should have a review of it on our reviews page before it is released on Tuesday.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Today we have not one but TWO reviews for you! It's a Halloween double feature! We start off with a Halloween themed review of The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 3 that came out in August from Time Life and we also look at the recently released Legend of the Super Heroes from Warner Archive. That set features Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin in a two-part rarely seen special!

DVD Review: The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 3
by Pavan

The Real Ghostbusters - Volume 3 (Time Life, $39.98) brings us 31 more episodes of the classic animated series on DVD! These episodes are from the syndication season (the last 17 of the 65 episodes) and the full second ABC season (13 episodes), plus the third season premiere...and hence add 17+13+1 and we get 31 episodes. Plus in addition to the episodes, we get many special features! It's a great set, like the previous two volumes were.

The series continues the adventures of paranormal investigators Dr. Peter Venkman (voiced by Lorenzo Music and Dave Coulier), Dr. Egon Spengler (Maurice La Marche), Winston Zeddemore (Arsenio Hall and Buster Jones), Dr. Ray Stantz (Frank Welker), their secretary Janine Melnitz (Laura Summer and Kathy Soucie) and their mascot ghost Slimer (Frank Welker). The series aired from 1986-1991. The series aired on ABC Saturday mornings. It was so popular it also had 65 first-run syndication episodes in 1987. In total, the series had 134 episodes (plus 13 Slimer half-hours during season three). Read our volume one review (which consisted of the first ABC season of 13 episodes and the first 17 episodes from the syndication season). We didn't review volume two, but that set had episodes 18-48 from the syndication season.
Here on this third volume we get episodes 49-65 ("Deadcon I" to "The Hole in the Wall Gang") from the syndication season and all of season two from ABC from "Transylvanian Home Sick Blues" to "The Grundel." We also get the first episode from the third season on ABC titled "Flip Side." The series was titled Slimer! and The Real Ghostbusters for season three on ABC because the series was now one-hour, with the regular episode then two or three Slimer segments in the second half-hour. We don't get any of the 13 Slimer half-hours on this volume (they will be on Volume 5, if you have the complete series set).

The ABC episodes all run longer, with most just over 23 minutes. They are unedited and all, but a few seem fishy in the 22:20s. Not sure if they are edited or anything, though. These episodes are presented in airdate order (with the exception of one episode). The syndication episodes of course run shorter, but nothing is edited here since first-run syndication has more commercial time. They run about 22:20-22:30. These episodes are presented in production order. All of these episodes have those cool bumpers with the "no ghost logo," saying we'll be back in a moment or now back to the show. Here are the runtimes for this set:

Disc 1
1. "Deadcon I" - 22:25 (#49, Syndication)
2. "The Cabinet of Calamari" - 21:52 (#50, Syndication)
3. "A Ghost Grows in Brooklyn" - 22:25 (#51, Syndication)
4. "The Revenge of Murray the Mantis" - 22:25 (#52, Syndication)
5. "Rollerghoster" - 22:25 (#53, Syndication)
6. "I Am the City" - 22:27 (#54, Syndication)
7. "Moaning Stones" - 22:25 (#55, Syndication)

Disc 2
8. "The Long, Long, Long, Etc. Goodbye" - 22:25 (#56, Syndication)
9. "Buster the Ghost" - 22:28 (#57, Syndication)
10. "The Devil to Pay" - 22:27 (#58, Syndication)
11. "Slimer, Is That You?" - 22:28 (#59, Syndication)
12. "Egon's Ghost" - 22:29 (#60 Syndication)
13. "Captain Steel Saves the Day" - 22:26 (#61, Syndication)
14. "Victor the Happy Ghost" - 22:30 (#62, Syndication)

Disc 3
15. "Egon's Dragon" - 22:30 (#63, Syndication)
16. "Dairy Farm" - 22:28 (#64, Syndication)
17. "The Hole in the Wall Gang" - 22:30 (#65, Syndication)
18. "Transylvanian Homesick Blues" - 22:18 (#1 ABC Season 2) NOTE: this episode aired last in ABC season two, but is presented here fire of the season two episodes because of character designs similar to season one.
19. "Baby Spookums" - 23:05 (#2 ABC Season 2)
20. "It's a Jungle Out There" - 23:07 (#3 ABC Season 2)

Disc 4
21. "The Boogeyman Is Back" - 23:07 (#4 ABC Season 2)
22. "Once Upon a Slime" - 23:08 (#5 ABC Season 2)
23. "The Two Faces of Slimer" - 23:09 (#6 ABC Season 2)
24. "Sticky Business" - 22:22 (#7 ABC Season 2)
25. "Halloween II 1/2" - 22:27 (#8 ABC Season 2)
26. "Loathe Thy Neighbor" - 23:08 (#9 ABC Season 2)
27. "Big Trouble With Little Slimer" - 23:08 (#10 ABC Season 2)

Disc 5
28. "The Copycat" - 23:08 (#11 ABC Season 2)
29. "Camping It Up" - 22:23 (#12 ABC Season 2)
30. "The Grundel" - 23:08 (#13 ABC Season 2)
31. "Flip Side" - 22:24 (#1 ABC Season 3)

Let's now move on to the packaging. Now Time Life has already released the complete series in 2008, but we won't get into that yet. This third volume was just recently released individually. Time Life plans to release the remaining volumes individually as well (volumes four and five remain). Anyway, if you have the complete series set, the packaging for this third volume is the same as that, except on the complete series set it is a steelbook case. On this regular individual volume release for volume three, we get a thin outer box holding a case. The cover art has the gang running from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man with their proton packs and Slimer above them. The color scheme is green. The show logo is on top, with the mention of Volume 3 on the bottom. The back of the outer box has the "no ghost" symbol in the background. We have info on the series and set as well, with a special features list and DVD producer credits. The back of the case has the no ghost logo going inside the proton pack's ghost catcher. Inside the case we go, we have an episode booklet on the left. The front of that has the same artwork as the cover art. This booklet is very detailed and handy, just like with volume one. The first page has a very nice series history from the DVD producer, Andy Mangels. He produced great special features, which we will detail later. Then we have episode details, all broken down disc-by-disc, with the episode number, title, production number, whether it was on ABC or syndication, synopsis, trivia, extras for the episode, and even a screenshot from the episode. Wow! Great job once again on this. The last page inside has a full page of credits for this DVD. And the back page has the same info as the back of the outer box--info on the set and series, and a list of bonus features. As far as the discs itself go, the first four discs are inside plastic holders. The first plastic holder holds disc one on the front and disc two on the back and we can flip it like a page in a book. The second plastic holder has discs three and four, and the same goes true for them. Disc five is on the right panel itself. The disc art is the same as the cover art, but has one face on each disc. Disc one has Peter and episodes 1-7. Disc two has Winston and episodes 8-14. Disc three has Ray and episodes 15-20. Disc four has Egon and episodes 21-27. And disc five has Slimer and episodes 28-30 along with the special features.

The menu screen is very cool. It is similar to the first two volumes. We start off with the ghost catcher (the thing you pull out of the proton pack when you catch a ghost) and out of that, the menu screen comes out! Cool! We have green slime on top with the show logo and disc number, video clips are playing in the middle with no sound, the main cast is surrounding the video, and the instrumental theme song is playing in the background! Who you gonna call? We have options for Play, Episodes, and Special Features. Play of course plays them all at once for that disc. When we select Episodes, Slimer pops up, then he slimes us and we are taken to the episode list where the episodes are listed. When we select an episode, we are taken to an episodes option screen, where we can view various items related to the episode such as an introduction from someone behind the scenes, visual commentary for the episode, musical track for effects, or of course play the episode. Only some episodes out of these 31 do not have any of this, so those episodes go right to the episode rather than this screen. Special Features menu lists all the extras on that disc, minus the intros and musical effects, which can only be viewed on an episode screen.

The video is decent, but nothing that great. In fact some episodes look terrible, especially the syndication episodes. There are some that look very good, though. The ABC season two episode looks way better and sharper. The back of the box says it has been remastered but it doesn't seem like it for the syndication episodes. They are watchable though. The audio is very good though. It was nice and loud and not low at all. Each episode has 4 chapter stops.

As for special features, we have a WHOLE lot here. Disc five has the main extras, but each disc has something. We have 15 special on-camera episode introductions! Some even have two for an episode. We have 5 on-camera Visual Commentary tracks featuring producers, writers, etc., hosted by the DVD producer Andy Mangels. Five episodes have also isolated Music & Effects tracks. We have no character audio, just the sound effects. It is interesting that there is music throughout the episode! Here is a rundown of the episodic extras:

Disc 1
1. "Deadcon I" - Introduction by Michael Edens (0:48)
2. "The Cabinet of Calamari" - Visual Commentary Track with Michael Edens, Michael Swanigan, and James Eatock; Isolated Music & Effects Track
3. "A Ghost Grows in Brooklyn" - Introduction by Michael Edens (0:51)
4. "The Revenge of Murray the Mantis" - Introductions by Richard Mueller (0:35) and Michael Swanigan (0:28)
5. "Rollerghoster" - Introduction by Richard Mueller (0:40)
6. "I Am the City" - Introduction by Richard Mueller (0:31)
7. "Moaning Stones" - NONE

Disc 2
8. "The Long, Long, Long, Etc. Goodbye" - Introduction by Dennys McCoy & Pamela Hickey (0:26); Isolated Music & Effects Track
9. "Buster the Ghost" - NONE
10. "The Devil to Pay" - Introduction by Dennys McCoy & Pamela Hickey (0:34); Visual Commentary Track with Dennys McCoy & Pamela Hickey
11. "Slimer, Is That You?" - NONE
12. "Egon's Ghost" - Introduction by Maurice LaMarche (0:29)
13. "Captain Steel Saves the Day" - NONE
14. "Victor the Happy Ghost" - Introduction by Dan Riba (0:31)

Disc 3
15. "Egon's Dragon" - Introduction by Kathryn Drennan (0:24); Visual Commentary Track with Kathryn Drennan; Isolated Music & Effects Track
16. "Dairy Farm" - NONE
17. "The Hole in the Wall Gang" - Introductions by David Gerrold (0:31) and Dan Riba (0:32)
18. "Transylvanian Homesick Blues" - NONE
19. "Baby Spookums" - Introduction by Michael Swanigan (0:29); Visual Commentary Track with Len Janson
20. "It's a Jungle Out There" - NONE

Disc 4
21. "The Boogeyman Is Back" - Isolated Music & Effects Track
22. "Once Upon a Slime" - NONE
23. "The Two Faces of Slimer" - NONE
24. "Sticky Business" - Introduction by Richard Mueller (0:30)
25. "Halloween II 1/2" - Visual Commentary Track with Dennys McCoy & Pamela Hickey
26. "Loathe Thy Neighbor" - NONE
27. "Big Trouble With Little Slimer" - NONE

Disc 5
28. "The Copycat" - NONE
29. "Camping It Up" - NONE
30. "The Grundel" - Isolated Music & Effects Track
31. "Flip Side" - NONE

The rest of the special features are on disc five. We have a very nice featurette called "Who You Gonna Call? The Heroes of The Real Ghostbusters" that runs 19:45. Interviewed are J. Michael Stracczynski (writer/story editor), Michael C. Gross (executive producer), David Gerrold (writer), Kathryn M. Drennan (writer), Michael Edens (writer), Richard T. Mueller (writer), James Eatock (Cereal: Geek Magazine), Dennys J. McCoy & Pamela Hickey (writers), Marc Scott Zicree (writer), Darell McNeill (storyboard artist), Gabi Payn (character design), Marsha Goodman (voice director/casting), Maurice LaMarche (Egon), Laura Summer (Janine #1) and Kath Soucie (Janine #2). Then we have an "Image Gallery of Equipment" with lots of promotional artwork and we also have a gallery for "Character Design of Heroes." Then if you have a DVR-ROM on your computer you can look at scripts and storyboards in PDF format.

I highly do recommend this set for any Ghostbuster franchise fan and classic animation fans in general. If you have the first two individual volumes, then you should have this already or should get it. If you have the complete series set, then there is no real reason for you to get this set. The complete series set has the same content has the individual volumes, but with collectible packaging and a bonus disc. We will try to review that in the future for you. This is really a good show. I remember liking this a lot in the 80s and early 90s. The show is in the same style as the animated Dennis the Menace and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe because there were also by Japanese animators? But I loved all three shows! The video is not great, but everything else here is superb and deserves high praise. Great job by Time Life's producers here. We still have volumes four and five left to be released individually. So hopefully Time Life releases those soon for us to review. Then we will go back and review the complete series set and note the differences between the individual volumes and the complete set. Anyway, after watching this set, you'll be saying, "I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost!"

(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the Volume 3 DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
The Real Ghostbusters TV.com Page


DVD Review: Legend of the Super Heroes
by Pavan

Legend of the Super Heroes (Warner Archive, $19.95) brings us two very obscure and rare TV specials from 1979 on DVD for the first time ever through Warner Archive (onDemand DVD's on DVD-R). On this disc we have heroes and villains of DC Comics squaring off in the two-part, live-action, made-for-TV (with a laugh track!) smackdowns of Legends of the Super Heroes. This two-part special aired on NBC on Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, 1979.

In "The Challenge" (48:45), Batman and Robin (Adam West and Burt Ward of the live-action Batman TV series) lead The Flash, Green Lantern and more JLA members against The Riddler (Frank Gorshin reprising his TV role), Mordru, Weather Wizard and other Doom-dealers. The Legion's ultimate gambit: trick the heroes into downing a diabolical depowering drink! This special stars Jeff Altman, Charlie Callas, Gabe Dell, Frank Gorshin, Howard Morris, Mickey Morton, William Schallert, Burt Ward and Adam West. In "The Roast" (48:44), poking fun beats swapping punches when celebrity host Ed McMahon (The Tonight Show) emcees a rowdy rave-up. Who knew DC Super Heroes and villains packed as much verbal wit as physical grit when not locked in mortal combat? These Legends will leave you laughing. This special stars Jeff Altman, Ruth Buzzi, Charlie Callas, Pat Carroll, Gabe Dell, June Gable, Howard Morris, Mickey Morton, Brad Sanders, William Schallert, Alfie Wise, Burt Ward and Adam West.

Let's now move on to the packaging. We have a very thin keep case, that is movie style. The cover art features Batman and Robin and then various screenshots from the special. The title of the set is on the top, with a mention that this is a Warner Bros. Archive Collection. To the back we go, we have two more screenshots, including one of Ed McMahon. The back also has details on the two specials and a list of credits. When we open the case, there is no artwork inside, so it is just plain black. The disc is on the right panel with a background color of blue and the logo is present.

The menu screen has options of Play All, The Challenge, The Roat, and Deleted Scenes & Outtakes. It's a simple looking menu with the Warner Bros. Archive Logo and the Legend of the Super Heroes logo. There are no submenus, so when you choose an option, it goes right to the chosen item.

The video and audio is OK. Remember this a DVD-R, so it's not expected to look like HD or anything. These two specials wee videotaped in front of an audience, so the colors are bright. These specials are like theatre style. They are very kitschy and cheesy. It's certainly good to see these since they are pretty rare, though. Each special has 5 chapter stops, but at weird places. Chapter stops occur every 10 minutes, just like how they did it on Night Court Season 4.

We actually get a special feature. I would have never thought we would get ANY bonus material for something like this, but Warner Archive has dug up some deleted scenes & outtakes. We get six of them and they run a total of 8:28. If you thought the specials were kitchsy and cheesy, wait until you see these!

I recommend this set for any super heroes fan and of course Batman and Robin fans. It's good to see Adam West and Burt Ward reprise their roles of Batman and Robin about 10 years later. They both look a bit chunky, but not too bad. It's just weird seeing Robin older. This two-part special is realllllly kitschy and cheesy, as I mentioned. I'm sure people hated these specials when they aired. It was very weird, but at the same time cool, if that makes sense. I have never seen these specials, so they are new to me. And I'm sure they are new to a lot of you out there as well. Batman was great on these specials, with his politically correct corrections. As the super heroes gathered, he corrected the super hero term by saying super heroines or super persons. Batman doesn't discriminate against women! Ha! If we can get this special on DVD, we really need the 60s Batman series finally on DVD! I've been enjoying it again on The Hub every night and it would be great to have on DVD. But for now, this is one way to see Batman and Robin on DVD (the other way is the animated The New Adventures of Batman, see our review of that). Sure it is 10 years later after the series and of course no where good as that series, but this is something at least. This is very rare, so you might want to put in your collection, no matter how bad or cheesy this is! See Batman and Robin with a laugh track!

(4/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
WarnerArchive.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Legend of the Super Heroes Wikipedia Page


LOOKING AHEAD

We have received many DVDs for review lately, and we'll have reviews of those on our reviews page and on Digital Digest in the upcoming weeks! Among those are The Boondocks - The Complete Third Season, Perry Mason - Season Five, Volume Two, and others. We had hoped to have a review of the animated series The Addams Family - The Complete Series from Warner Archive for today, but unfortunately, we haven't received that one yet... but we'll bring it to you as soon as we do receive it, kind of like leftover candy from Halloween! Until next time, keep it digital!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lifetime Makes Midday & Late Night Changes; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of November 1, 2010)

If you didn't see our message board post yesterday, Lifetime is making some midday and late night changes beginning Monday (Nov. 1). Weekdays in the 11am hour will now an episode each of Old Christine and How I Met Your Mother, both replacing Wife Swap. This means Old Christine will air three times in a row in the mornings (10am-11:30am), in addition to its evening hour of 6-7pm. Wife Swap will now move to weekdays at 12 noon, replacing two Airline episodes as that series is now off the schedule. Everything else in the afternoon is the same as it is now. In late nights, we also get a change. The 12-1:30am block will now be a triple shot of Frasier, while 1:30am-2:30am will be back-to-back Will & Grace. So if you're keeping score at home, Frasier is now 9-10am weekdays and 12am-1:30am Mon-Thurs. Will & Grace is now weekdays 8-9am, 1:30am Mon-Thurs, 2:00am weekdays. And How I Met Your Mother is now weekdays 11:30am, Mon-Wed/Fri 7-8pm and 11pm-12am Mon-Thurs.


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 Nov. 1-5, 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, November 1, 2010
  • Tyler Perry (House of Payne/Meet the Browns) - The hit producer is on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS at 12:37am.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch the hilarious star on Lopez Tonight on TBS at 11pm.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Catch Melissa on the CBS daytime show The Talk at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres - They both will be on The Oprah Show, so check your listings.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
  • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Catch Phylicia on Tavis Smiley Show on PBS, so check for local times.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock/SNL) - Catch Tina on Late Show with David Letterman on CBS at 11:35pm.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - Catch Shat on Lopez Tonight on TBS at 11pm.
  • Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) - Watch the child star also on Lopez Tonight on TBS at 11pm.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Everybody Loves Raymond) -Watch Patty on The Talk at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT on CBS.
  • Portia de Rossi (Better Off Ted/Arrested Development) - Watch Portia on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - Catch the sultry Latina star on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
  • Andy Richter (Andy Richter Controls the Universe/Quintuplets/Andy Barker P.I.) - Catch Andy on an all-new Lopez Tonight at 11pm on TBS.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock/SNL) - Watch Tina on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check listings.
  • Joel McHale (Community) - Watch Joel on NBC TODAY Show in the 10am hour.
  • Portia de Rossi (Better Off Ted/Arrested Development) - Catch her on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your listings for time and station.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) - Mario is also on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on this day.
Friday, November 5, 2010
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jennifer Grey (It's Like You Know) - Catch Jennifer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC at 11:35pm.
  • Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - The legendary TV star appears on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Community) - Catch Ken on The View at 11am ET/10am CT-PT on ABC.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Catch Jesse on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly so check your local station for showtime.
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, October 28, 2010

ION Television November/December 2010 Schedule, New Movie Deals; Halloween 2010 Specials and Marathons on TV

This November and December on ION Television, the regular schedule will of course remain the same, but there will be a few stunts and lots of holiday movies in time for the holidays! The regular weekday schedule remains intact with a mix of Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace and Criminal Minds every weekday from 3pm-1am. With these series, ION Television delivered its best season ever, growing faster year-over-year than any other broadcast or cable network, according to Nielsen Media Research. Propelled by crime dramas Criminal Minds and Without a Trace, ION has posted growth across all key demos, including A25-54, W25-54, A18-49 and W18-49. ION's ratings success, from October 2009 through September 2010, registered record triple and double-digit growth in sales prime, with a 72% increase in total viewers (1,011,000 vs. 588,000).
Back to November and December 2010, we get a few marathons in time for the holidays. On Black Friday, Friday, November 26, ION Television presents a full-day marathon of Criminal Minds from 3pm-1am. We get another Criminal Minds marathon on Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24 from 3pm-1am. The following week, on Friday, December 31, we close out 2010 with a full-day marathon of Without a Trace from 3pm-1am.
Weekends have movies mainly from 1pm-1am, with some filler airings of My Name is Earl and/or M*A*S*H kicking it off. Movie premieres for November and December are: Under Siege, The Quick and the Dead, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Troy, My Dog Skip, and Gridiron Gang. We also get some encore airings of Scarface, Another 48 Hours, The Negotiator, Courage Under Fire, Point Break, Pay it Forward, The Family Stone, When Harry Met Sally, In Her Shoes, Blood Work, and The Fugitive. The holiday movies kick-off Sunday, November 28 with movies A Golden Christmas, Christmas Town, and The Christmas Clause airing throughout December.

In other ION Television updates, part of the network's commitment to expand its schedule with high profile, 'positively entertaining' programming, ION Television has inked multiple deals this month to acquire over 85 feature films. The deals are with leading Hollywood studios including Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, and Sony Pictures Television - making it the network's largest movie buy to date. The newly acquired theatrical titles begin airing this month and will continue to roll out on ION Television's schedule through 2012.
ION Television's largest studio deal is with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution with 44 films. Highlights of the premier package include comedy Starsky & Hutch, with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson; the sea-faring film The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg; The Guardian starring Kevin Costner; and Analyze This and its sequel Analyze That with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro.
The movie titles acquired from Twentieth Century Fox include the critically acclaimed and Academy Award® winning movie for Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire with Dev Patel and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring award-winning actor Russell Crowe.
The Sony Pictures Television package includes 16 film titles and features Ali, the biographical film of boxing icon Muhammad Ali; the political action thriller Vantage Point starring Dennis Quaid and LOST's Matthew Fox; and the crime drama We Own the Night, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg.
ION Television also acquires over a dozen titles from MGM including top films such as Be Cool, starring John Travolta and Uma Thurman; romantic comedy A Guy Thing starring My Name is Earl's Jason Lee; and Into the Blue, starring Paul Walker and Jessica Alba.
The theatrical acquisitions will be part of ION Television's new expanded daypart and late night schedule, now airing from 1PM-1AM on weekends. Additionally, the new titles will build upon network's thriving Big Movie Weekend, which has seen +48% ratings growth from last season.

Halloween is coming upon us this weekend and we need to let you know of any specials or marathons airing. Last night of course featured Halloween episodes of ABC's Laugh On Wednesday with spooky episodes of The Middle, Better With You, Modern Family, and Cougar Town. The prelim ratings for all four were great reaching season or series highs in either total viewers and/or 18-49.
We have mentioned some of these items already in past blog posts, but of course you have the 13 Nights of Halloween continuing on ABC Family, the classic Halloween special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown airing tonight (and tomorrow) at 8pm on ABC, and the new special Scared Shrekless airing tonight at 8 on NBC. They also have Halloween episodes of Community, The Office and Outsourced following the all-new special. Classic sitcom wise, The Hub has Halloween episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D., Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley tonight starting at 9:30pm. As we mentioned, Nick at Nite has a Halloween episode of Glenn Martin, DDS tomorrow at 10pm and a Halloween episodes stunt on Saturday featuring George Lopez, Everybody Hates Chris, Home Improvement, and Family Matters. TV Land has Roseanne Halloween episodes airing Saturday night from 2-4am and more on Halloween Sunday from 12am-3am. WE tv sees ghosts with Ghost Whisperer on Saturday from 10pm-4am
Our friends at TV Tango has your FULL guide to Halloween hauntings on TV for entire month of October, including marathons, specials, TV movies, episodes, and anything else we could find that might scare you or make you want to carve a pumpkin. Head on over to TVTango as always for your holiday listings!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BET Schedules Season 4 of The Game, New Original Sitcom; Malcolm in the Middle Moves to TeenNick

Various sources are indicating that BET has a set a premiere date of Tuesday, January 11, 2011 for the all-new season of The Game. This will be the fourth season for the sitcom, but the first season on BET. The series hasn't been in production since The CW canceled it after the 2008-09 season. BET has been airing reruns of the series to good numbers so they decided to revive the sitcom "due to popular demand." The show will air Tuesdays at 10pm starting Jan. 11, leading into BET's first original sitcom Let's Stay Together at 10:30pm. In that series, when two independently minded sisters take the step toward marriage, life puts their love to the test. This sophisticated romantic comedy series keeps its sense of humor as it tackles the intricacies of sex, intimacy, and communication. Malinda Williams and Bert Belasco star and will air Tuesdays at 10:30pm starting Jan. 11. Exact episode counts for both are not known yet, stay with us for further details.

Moving on to the current BET schedule, they have removed City Guys from the Saturday line-up, effective last week (Oct. 23). This week, they will air an In Living Color marathon from 9am-4pm, promoting its airings on sister network Centric. Original series stunts will air every other Saturday morning now instead of City Guys and other sitcoms.
BET has also returned The Jamie Foxx Show beginning yesterday to weekdays 11am hour. The series will continue to air on sister network Centric as well. And since last week, Bernie Mac's afternoon hour was moved to mornings with its first hour, so now the series airs weekdays from 9am-11am leading into Jamie Foxx at 11am. Everybody Hates Chris remains in the 12pm and 5pm hours, as The Game's morning hour moved to afternoon to join the afternoon hour. So The Game now airs from 3-5pm. As for Sundays, there are early afternoon airings of Bernie Mac, Everybody Hates Chris, and The Game, but times vary week-to-week. Stunts wise, besides In Living Color for this Saturday, there will be an Everybody Hates Chris day after Thanksgiving marathon on Friday, Nov. 26 from 9am-4pm. A Bernie Mac stunt airs on Saturday, Nov. 27 from 9am-2pm.

Malcolm in the Middle is moving from Nick at Nite to sister network TeenNick starting this November. Malcolm in the Middle was pulled from the Nick at Nite regular schedule last month and hasn't been seen since. An episode was slated to air on Nick at Nite in their Halloween marathon this coming Saturday (Oct. 30), but was replaced by a Halloween episode of Home Improvement instead. Back to TeenNick, Malcolm in the Middle will launch with a three-day block on Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 28 from 10pm-12am for these three nights. Then effective Monday, November 29, the sitcom will air weekdays in the 10pm hour and again in the 1am hour. Malcolm in the Middle will replace Degrassi in the 10pm hour, as that hour will move to the 12am hour, cutting That '70s Show to just the 11pm hour. The second hour of That '70s Show will move to the 2am hour, as the What I Like About You 1-3am block moves to 3-5am replacing One on One, which will be off the line-up then. The daytime line-up will remain the same.
So first Full House goes from TeenNick to Nick at Nite and now Malcolm in the Middle goes from Nick at Nite to TeenNick. I think that is a better fit for Malcolm in the Middle. The series has been in contract with Viacom since July, 2009.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ABC Picks-Up Better With You, No Ordinary Family For Full Seasons; WPIX's Chiller Theatre For Halloween 2010

ABC has picked up additional episodes of new and returning series for the 2010-11 Season. New series Better With You and No Ordinary Family received full season orders, and additional episodes were ordered for Detroit 1-8-7 and returning series Brothers & Sisters.
Sitcom Better With You and family sci-fi drama No Ordinary Family are at least getting the back nine, for at least 22 episodes this season. Better With You has done OK in its Wednesday at 8:30pm slot in between hits The Middle and Modern Family. Meanwhile, No Ordinary Family has improved ABC's Tuesdays at 8pm hour by a lot from last fall despite being up against two of TV's top series (Glee/NCIS).
As for the gritty cop show Detroit 1-8-7, ABC has ordered 5 additional episodes, giving it 18 episodes for the season. That should last it until March or so, unless ABC orders more episodes. The series has done OK in its timeslot (Tuesdays at 10) on a tough night where DVR usage is very high. And the fifth season of family drama Brothers & Sisters is getting 4 more episodes, giving it now a full 22 episode season. That's down from the 24 episodes it has done the last few seasons. The series was only supposed to do 18 episodes this season because ABC was going to launch upcoming tropical medical drama Off the Map in mid-season, but it looks like that series might be used on another night now. Brothers & Sisters airs Sundays at 10pm and is consistent each week in the ratings.
Finally, with all of these series getting good news, it's not good news for ABC's new Wednesday legal drama, The Whole Truth. The series will only fulfill its 13 episode order and complete its production. After tomorrow's episode, five episodes will have aired, but after tomorrow no other episodes are currently scheduled (though Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 is possible). Eight episodes will remain to air after tomorrow night. The series has not done well in its Wednesdays at 10pm slot.

This Shocktober, WPIX-11 in New York is the place for Halloween thrills and chills. The mayhem begins on Saturday, October 30 with the return of Chiller Theatre at 7pm and continues on Halloween night with the exclusive PIX11 broadcast of the Village Halloween Parade at 7pm.
The Village Halloween Parade, now in its 38th year, is the nation's largest public Halloween celebration and PIX11 is the official broadcast home of the Parade (7-10pm on October 31st) hosted by PIX's Jill Nicolini and Tamsen Fadal.
As part of PIX11's Shocktober spooks, CHILLLLLLER THEATRE will return to the station on Halloween weekend with four frightening films: White Zombie, Bride of the Monster, Dolls and Child's Play. Chiller Theatre, which returned to PIX11 in 2008, originally aired on the station from 1961-1978 and again from 1980-1982. PIX11's Chiller Theatre weekend will feature the original franchise opens: "The Six-Fingered Hand" and the "Monster Montage."
On Saturday, October 30, PIX11 will air a Bela Lugosi double feature, White Zombie (1932) from 7-8:30 pm and Bride of the Monster (1955) from 8:30-10 pm. On Halloween, Sunday, October 31, PIX11 will air Dolls (1987) from 2-4 pm and Childs Play (1988) from 4-6pm. On Halloween night, there will also be a Friends Halloween episode at 6:30pm leading into the Village Halloween Parade at 7pm, that makes us happy to have a sitcom in the mix this year as well!
View more info on WPIX's Shocktober and you can also discuss this year's line-up.

Monday, October 25, 2010

TBS Bumps American Dad To Afternoons, More Changes; CBS/The CW Order Full Seasons of Series

TBS is moving American Dad! from weekdays at 7:30pm to weekdays at 1:00pm beginning today. Seinfeld will now air in the 7pm hour, with King of Queens taking the 6pm hour and Everybody Loves Raymond taking the full 5pm hour. The 1pm American Dad! replaces According to Jim's first airing, which now moves to 2pm, replacing one Everybody Loves Raymond airing, but that airing is now at 5:30pm anyway. The animated comedy must have been struggling in the ratings. It only lasted about a month in the evening slot. After tonight, it has also lost its primetime airings. Tonight you'll see it at 8:30pm & 9:30pm, but that's it for primetime now. The Friday 8-9pm airings are replaced by Family Guy. And its Saturdays from 6:30pm-8pm slots are now gone with more Everybody Loves Raymond added earlier in the day (Saturdays 4-6pm) pushing King of Queens (6-7pm) and Seinfeld (7-8pm) to later airings. The latter two air in those slots on weekdays, too. Everything else remains the same as it is now.
A few weeks ago we mentioned when Conan starts on Nov. 8, My Name is Earl will move from 12-1am to 5pm half-hour, replacing Everybody Loves Raymond in that slot...that is SORT OF still happening. Now My Name is Earl will replace Everybody Loves Raymond's 1:30pm slot instead. My Name is Earl will also NOT air on Thanksgiving Day now from 6-7pm, as previously planned. Everything else we mentioned remains as is, such as Sex and the City leaving the schedule and the Seinfeld "Happy Festivus" marathon on Friday, Nov. 26.
View the FULL TBS schedule when Conan starts on Nov. 8.

CBS has given full season orders to its entire freshman class - Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, Mike & Molly, The Defenders and $#*! My Dad Says. Of the five, Mike & Molly and Hawaii Five-0 have emerged as the net's biggest new hits even though they are not breakout hits. Five-0 continues to drop in its timeslot each week in Adults 18-49, but still wins its hour. Exact episode count for each are not available yet, but all of them will for sure air beyond the original 13 episodes. Word is that $#*! My Dad Says has only gotten an additional six episodes ordered, giving it 19 episodes for the season--so technically it's not a full season order. The others are likely at the full season of 22 episodes, with maybe The Defenders getting a bit less. None of these episode counts are official, though so stay tuned! In mid-season CBS still has the comedy Mad Love, dramas Chaos and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and reality series Live to Dance with Paula Abdul.

Meanwhile, The CW Network gave full season, back nine episode orders to both of its new freshman dramas Hellcats and Nikita, as well as veteran drama One Tree Hill, now in its eighth season. The latter was only ordered for a 13 episode eighth season, but now will get the full 22 episode season.
Since its premiere, Hellcats has dramatically improved The CW's Wednesday 9-10pm time period by 80% in women 18-34 (1.8/5), 100% in adults 18-34 (1.2/4) and 126% in total viewers (2.5mil). With breakout star Maggie Q, Nikita has become the second most-watched show on The CW (3.6mil), paired with the network's most watched series The Vampire Diaries.
The CW has not given any additional episodes to second year drama Life UneXpected yet. It has an order of 13 only, but is struggling in the ratings. The only other series The CW has in the bench is new reality series Shedding for the Wedding.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 5 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

2010-11 Week 5 TV Ratings (first four nights of the season, Mon-Thu):

Households: #1. CBS 8.0/13.1 rating/share; #2. ABC 6.7/10.9; #3. Fox 5.3/8.6; #4. NBC 3.9/6.3; #5. The CW 1.3/2.0.
Total Viewers: #1. CBS 13.07 million; #2. ABC 10.47 million; #3. Fox 8.63 million; #4. NBC 6.08 million; #5. The CW 2.04 million.
Adults 18-49: #1. CBS 3.4/9.4 rating/share; #2. Fox 2.8/8.0; #3. ABC 2.8/7.7; #4. NBC 2.1/5.9; #5. The CW 0.9/2.5.

Week 5 (Oct. 18-24) Analysis: So far for week 5 everyone is on par really from previous week, but Fox is up some thanks to baseball. Through the first four days, CBS has the lead in all categories still, with ABC second everywhere and tied with Fox in 18-49 for second, Fox is in third in HH/viewers, but tied with ABC in 18-49 for second, while NBC is back in the familiar fourth with no NFL yet. This could change like usual after tonight, due to NFL overrun on CBS tonight and the second Farve Bowl on NBC as the Vikings take on the Packers. It's too bad sporting events decide who wins the week. ABC should hang on to second in HH/total viewers, though, but will have to battle both sports-fueled NBC and Fox in 18-49. Even CBS might not be first this week in 18-49. Last week, week 4, had CBS in first in all categories once again for the fourth straight week. ABC was second in HH/viewers but a close fourth in 18-49. Fox was third in HH/viewers but second in 18-49 and only .1 behind CBS. NBC as fourth in HH/viewers and third in 18-49. The difference from 1st to 4th in 18-49 was only .3 (2.7 to 2.4), the closest all season.

Monday still has ABC on top, like all season. A two-hour Dancing with the Stars won the total viewer race with 19.33 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week, though it was preempted in Nashville for Monday Night Football simulcast. The same thing happened to an all-new Castle which still did a solid 10.95 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, up some in viewers but down a bit in 18-49 from the previous week. Next up was CBS with its comedies and the new Hawaii Five-0. At 8pm, How I Met Your Mother started it off with 8.05 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down some from previous week's numbers and at season lows. At 8:30, Rules of Engagement did 7.86 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, down a bit in viewers and in 18-49 from the previous week. Two and a Half Men followed with 13.54 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating, roughly the same as previous week. At 9:30, Mike & Molly did 10.9 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, grew a lick in viewers from previous week but the same 18-49 rating as previous week. A new Hawaii Five-0 was next and did 10.94 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, up a bit in viewers for the first time ever, but still dropping in 18-49 from previous week, as Castle nipped it in total viewers for the first time. Say what you will about Five-0, but it is certainly not a blockbuster CBS hoped for. Fox was next with House doing only 9.65 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. What is wrong with this show in live+same day numbers? A new showing of Lie To Me followed and dropped to 5.62 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, also on par with previous week. NBC followed with the should have been canceled Chuck doing only at 5.23 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, on par with previous week again--at least it is consistent. The new series The Event isn't consistent. It dropped a bit again in total viewers at 6.42 million but the 18-49 rating for the first time didn't, staying at a 2.2 18-49 rating, still lower than Heroes numbers from the same week last year. A new Chase was next and did only 5.18 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. Believe it or not it was renewed for a full season. Did NBC not learn from Trauma or Mercy? The CW was in repeats, with 90210 doing 1.11 million and Gossip Girl at 870,000 viewers.

Tuesday had CBS ruling with no new Glee on Fox. CBS had the always reliable NCIS opening the night off with 19.41 million and a 4.3 18-49 rating, up from previous week. Amazing it wet up .4 in 18-49 week-to-week. A new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles was next and did 16.0 million and 3.9 18-49 rating, like the lead-in, up .4 in 18-49 from previous week. And finally CBS had a new The Good Wife and did 12.17 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week. ABC was next as a new No Ordinary Family was leading the night off doing 7.41 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating. It was off a bit from previous week, that's disappointing since Glee was a repeat. This coming week's earthquake episode is to be not missed! The live Dancing with the Stars Results Show followed at 9pm and did 15.53 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, down from previous week, as we said goodbye to Florence Henderson. She was not the one who should have been gone, though. A new episode of the gritty Detroit 1-8-7 followed and did 7.94 million and only a 1.8 18-49 rating, BUT up a million from previous week, and a tenth in 18-49. That's good at least. Fox was in repeats as Glee did 5.68 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating...good repeat ratings. Next were the two sitcoms, a repeat of Raising Hope and an all-new Running Wilde doing 4.28 million and 2.92 million and also a 1.6 and 1.1 18-49 rating. The latter is clearly not coming back. NBC was next with The Biggest Loser 2-hour episode doing 7.08 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, on par from previous week, followed by an all-new Parenthood at just 4.87 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, up some in viewers but down a tenth in 18-49 week-to-week. There are just too many options on Tuesdays, and people are watching the DVRed shows from earlier in the night at 10pm and saving the 10pm shows for the next night or so, as I keep saying. The CW aired One Tree Hill with just 1.89 million, on par really from previous week, followed by an even worse Life UneXpected at just 1.48 million, down some week-to-week.

Wednesday again it was CBS on top, with Fox and ABC close by in 18-49. CBS started the night off on top with week two of Survivor: Nicaragua at 12.26 million and a 3.6 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds did 14.46 million and a 3.7 A18-49 rating, both up some from previous week. At 10pm, The Defenders aired and did 10.03 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, on par in viewers but down two tenths in 18-49 from previous week. ABC started off with its Laugh On comedy block with The Middle doing a solid 8.54 million and 2.6 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. The new sitcom Better With You was next and did 6.83 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, up in viewers from previous week, but the same 18-49, that needs to be a bit better. The mammoth Modern Family was next and did 11.97 million and a 4.7 18-49 rating, up some with previous week in viewers but down (only) a tenth in 18-49. A new episode of Cougar Town did 7.38 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, up from previous week again in viewers but down (only) a tenth in 18-49. At 10pm The Whole Truth returned and did 4.45 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, on par with its previous episode, but down from previous week's A Special Edition of 20/20: Miracle at the Mine which did much better. NBC opened the night with disappointing Undercovers doing 5.9 million and only a 1.5 18-49 rating, on par from previous week. At 9, Law & Order: SVU was next doing 8.74 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up from previous week. A new episode of Law & Order: Los Angeles was next and did 8.12 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, sharply up from previous week. Weird. Fox preempted Hell's Kitchen but didn't miss a beat with Game 4 of the MLB NLCS doing 9.21 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating in primetime. The CW had its usual showing of Top Model at 3.0 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, and a repeat episode of Hellcats followed with 1.53 million.

Thursday it was Fox on top in 18-49 thanks to a nice showing from the MLB NLCS Game 5. But first, ABC opened the night with a previous week repeat of Grey's Anatomy doing 4.27 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, both up some from previous week's encore. Then the all-new Grey's Anatomy followed with 10.97 million and a 4.0 A18-49 rating, both down from previous week...not sure why? A new episode of Private Practice was next doing 7.66 million and a 2.7 18-48 rating, also down from previous week but not as much. CBS opened with The Big Bang Theory at 13.05 million and a 4.1 A18-49 rating, up in viewers but down a few tenths in 18-49 from previous week. The new comedy (or lack of comedy) $#*! My Dad Says followed with 10.9 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating. Up in viewers and down a tenth in 18-49 from previous week. A new CSI followed and did 14.96 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, both up from previous week. Weird since it was up against MLB and everything else has been down. A new episode of The Mentalist did 14.42 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, both down from previous week. Fox preempted Bones and Fringe for coverage of MLB NLCS Game #5 doing 11.37 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating in primetime, vastly improving Fox Thursday. NBC was in the familiar fourth place with Community doing just 4.46 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, both down from previous week, followed by 30 Rock at only 5.18 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, down big from previous week's LIVE episode. At 9pm The Office jumped to 6.87 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, but down from previous week. A new Outsourced closed the comedy block with 4.95 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, down from previous week. At 10, The Apprentice closed the night with only 3.58 million and a 1.3 18-49...just plain bad, but on par with previous week. The CW's big gun Vampire Diaries did great with 3.62 million and a season high 1.7 18-49 rating, followed by Nikita at 2.81 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating. The latter is not too high in 18-49.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available, but CBS won a quiet Friday with their dramas with CSI: NY on top of the night. Fox's Good Guys and NBC's School Pride did terrible again. ABC had a decent showing from 20/20 at 10, killing NBC's Dateline from 9-11.
Saturday numbers had Fox win with MLB NLCS Game #6 and ABC's Saturday Night College Football coverage did well. Everything else was repeats and low or a burn-off (Outlaw).

Tonight are new episodes for ABC Sunday (AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & Sisters). NBC should do better than normal tonight with the Packers/Vikings NLF game. CBS has its normal Sunday line-up, which includes Undercover Boss, but there will be a NFL overrun to boost everything. Fox's animation block is in repeats because there is no MLB NLCS Game #7. Look for all four nets to do well, minus Fox since they are repeats.

As for the week (week 5), CBS will win in HH, viewers and maybe 18-49, I say maybe because yes they have an NFL ovrrun but sporting events on Fox and NBC might help them move past CBS or close to them. ABC will remain second in HH/viewers, but Fox or even NBC could take second in 18-49 again with sports. Fox and NBC will battle for third in HH/viewers, depending on how big the NBC NFL game is tonight. As for the coming week (week 6), we look for more consistency and November sweeps starts on Thursday. Boy that was fast! It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is airing on both Thursday and Friday at 8 on ABC. It's so good you have to watch twice.

Week 5 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 4 -- Oct. 11-17)

  • The Simpsons (Fox) - preempted for MLB NLCS Game 2.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - preempted for MLB NLCS Game 2.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - preempted for MLB NLCS Game 2.
  • American Dad! (Fox) - preempted for MLB NLCS Game 2.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did 8.05 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down some from the previous week for season lows.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.86 million for a new episode is a bit down from previous week, as is the 2.9 18-49 rating. Both are season lows.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - 13.54 million for a new episode is on par really week-to-week but its 4.4 18-49 rating was down a tenth from previous week.
  • Mike & Molly (CBS) - 10.9 million for a new episode is up a bit from the previous week. 18-49 rating of 3.5 was on par with previous week. Not too bad, though it tied series lows in 18-49.


Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Raising Hope (Fox) - A repeat did 4.28 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating. Can't really judge since it was a repeat following a Glee repeat, but the test is this week with two new episodes in the 9pm hour.
  • Running Wilde (Fox) - This show is on cancelation watch. A new episode did only 2.92 million, down again from previous week and a 1.1 18-49 rating, is just terrible. It is being preempted this week. Have we see the last of this?

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode at 8pm did good with 8.54 million and a solid 2.6 18-49 rating. Nice numbers, up from previous week again. Good episode, too!
  • Better with You (ABC) - The new comedy did 6.83 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating. Up some in viewers but the same 18-49 rating from previous week. It needs to be a bit better. Not much is expected from it anyway.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode did a great 11.97 million and a 4.7 18-49 rating. Up some in viewers with the previous week but down a tenth in 18-49. Still the sitcom leader in 18-49 this week! And scripted TV as well.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 7.38 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, up again from previous week in viewers but down a tenth in 18-49. This show is consistent. This is why I think if it moves to 10pm or even 8:30pm, it should retain most, if not all, of its ratings.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A new episode did a solid 13.05 million, up some from previous week and a 4.1 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. Skewed older this week?
  • S#*! My Dad Says (CBS) - Following the big lead-in again, a new episode did 10.9 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating. Up from previous week in viewers but down a tenth in 18-49. Still good, sadly. CBS ordered six more episodes (not the full back nine).
  • Community (NBC) - A new episode only did 4.46 million and 1.9 A18-49 rating, as that is down from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode at 8:30 did 5.18 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, Down big from previous week's LIVE episode. Told you it would tumble.
  • The Office (NBC) - A new episode did 6.87 million, down from previous week and a 3.4 18-49 rating, also down from previous week. It's on the fence in my "impressive" showings for the week.
  • Outsourced (NBC) - A new episode dropped to series lows of 4.95 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. Sad this was picked-up for a full season.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are repeats of Fox's animated comedies from 7-10.

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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Digital Digest: Tonight - 4 Decades of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson DVD Review

Welcome back to another week of Digital Digest! This week, along with our regular news and updates, we celebrate the return of a former reviewer who is rejoining us today with a review of Respond 2's mega-set, Tonight - 4 Decades of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson! And it may not even be Halloween just yet, but we've got some Christmas DVD news for you as well! Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

There have been a few compilations of Christmas episodes released on DVD in the past few years, including the upcoming Christmas Treats DVD from CBS Home Entertainment. But we have an even bigger treat coming sometime next month from Warner Archive (Warner's manufacture-on-demand program) with their just announced Classic TV Christmas Collection! While we don't have specific details on the episodes or cost just yet, we do know that it will be released on November 9, and we also know which series will be included, and some of them have never been released on DVD! The DVD includes episodes from Veronica's Closet, Suddenly Susan, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Welcome Back, Kotter, Dr. Kildare, Mama's Family, Eight is Enough, Perfect Strangers, Alice, and CHiPs! The best part is that, with the exception of Perfect Strangers, none of these series have had any of their Christmas episodes released on DVD, so just about everything on the set should be new to DVD! It isn't available to order just yet, but should be soon. We do have artwork, which is shown below:



That isn't all for Warner Archive, though! Later in November, on November 30, they are releasing the animated spinoff of The Dukes of Hazzard, The Dukes! Details are a little murky on this release right now, but we assume that it will be a release of the entire series, consisting of 20 episodes.

In other news, Shout! Factory has plans to release a few single disc releases of series that they've already released, including Adam-12 - Season Two, Volume One; Dragnet - Season Two, Volume One; and Spin City - Season One, Volume One. They will all be released on January 11 at a low MSRP of $7.93. Each of these will contain ten episodes, which, unless that episode count is incorrect, suggests that these will not be exact copies of discs from the previous releases.

Finally, we go back to the department of current series on TV that we all knew were coming to DVD anyway, as Amazon.com puts up even more pre-order listings for the current seasons of various series on DVD. This week, NBC/Universal is in the spotlight, with pre-orders appearing for The Office - Season Seven (also on Blu-ray Disc), 30 Rock - Season Five, and Parenthood - Season Two! No release dates or other information is known just yet, but we'll have details when we get them, of course!

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

There isn't much coming out on Tuesday (October 26) in the realm of sitcoms, but there are a few other releases of note, including the 15 disc set, Tonight - 4 Decades of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which we have a review of today in Digital Digest. Additionally, we have C.S.I.: NY - The Complete Sixth Season on the way, and The Twilight Zone - Fan Favorites, which contains nineteen popular episodes of the series.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Respond2 Entertainment has compiled a once-in-a-lifetime collection of the greatest moments in Tonight Show history in one 15-disc set - Tonight: 4 Decades From The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Perfect for the Johnny Carson or Classic Television fan on the holiday list, Tonight features over 50 shows hand-selected by the original Producer as the best episodes from the show's 30-year run, covering the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's! The collectable set features over 30 hours of material that has never before been released on DVD including rescued footage from shows originally airing in the 1960's (virtually all episodes and other content from the 1960's were lost) and all-new interviews with some of Carson's most celebrated and regular guest stars including Actress Loni Anderson, Comedian David Brenner, and fan-favorite animal handler Jim Fowler! Here is our review of Tonight: 4 Decades of the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

DVD Review: Tonight: 4 Decades of the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
by Greg Brobeck

I'd like to start off this review by first saying it's great to be back writing reviews again after such a long absence (6 years!). I want to thank the staff for so cordially inviting me back. - Greg

Tonight: 4 Decades of the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (Respond2 Entertainment, $119.99) features 56 episodes of the classic late night talk/variety show hosted by the late, great Johnny Carson for 30 years, in a beautiful 15-disc set. The episodes were hand-picked by one of the show's producers and are intended to give an overview of the best of the show's three decades on the air. This includes great comedy moments with Johnny with such memorable segments as "Tea Time Movie" and "The Great Carnac" and memorable guest appearances that really make up a "who's who" of Hollywood, including the likes of Burt Reynolds, The Muppets, Muhammed Ali, Robin Williams, David Letterman, and then-Governor Bill Clinton just to name a few.

The set includes great moments, including Don Rickles continuously interrupting Frank Sinatra to throw insults, the TV debuts of greats like Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres, and great musical performances from everyone from the Jackson Five to Bette Midler to Luciano Pavarotti. Not to mention hilarious sketches from the Mighty Carson Art Players.

I should explain, though, what this set is and what it is not. This set is not a "greatest moments" set. You will not find such things as Ed Ames throwing a tomahawk at a chalk drawing's crotch, the potato chip lady, or Johnny's last show. All of those can be found on other great DVD sets from Respond2/Carson Entertainment, and very little of those contents seem to be duplicated here. This set is a great sampling of the best shows from Johnny's 30 hears at the helm. These episodes give a great look back at what it would have been like to settle down at 11:30 p.m. to be entertained by Carson and crew.

The episode list speaks for itself on the amount of star power on this set. However, the episodes do seem to be heavily edited from their original broadcasts on NBC. The show was originally one hour and forty-five minutes, reduced to 90 minutes, and then eventually 60 minutes, meaning without commercials each show unedited should be at least 45 minutes long with older ones being even longer. Most of the episodes here on this set were edited down to around 30 minutes, unfortunately, but still include the best parts of the episodes:

Disc 1:
1. December 31, 1965 - Woody Allen, The Muppets (31:35)
2. September 23, 1971 - Della Reese, Bob Uecker (28:26)
3. May 19, 1972 - Adelle Davis, Robert Blake, Gwen Davis (33:01)
4. September 15, 1972 - Vikki Carr, Peter Falk, Albert Brooks (30:08)

Disc 2:
5. November 13, 1972 - Mayor Lindsay, Muhammad Ali, Harry Chapin (30:54)
6. September 12, 1973 - Joan Embery, Bette Midler, David Steinberg (30:10)
7. February 20, 1974 - Joan Embery, David Brenner (33:20)
8. April 9, 1974 - The Jackson 5, Jerry Van Dyke (30:15)

Disc 3:
9. September 2, 1974 - Doris Day, Rodney Dangerfield, Burt Mustin (31:19)
10. September 26, 1974 - Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Art Carney (41:15)
11. May 6, 1975 - Luciano Pavarotti, Maude Tull (26:27)
12. September 19, 1975 - Don Rickles, Robert Blake(29:40)

Disc 4:
13. September 23, 1975 - Glen Campbell, Fernando Lamas (29:48)
12. December 9, 1975 - Carol Burnett, Burt Convy, Tom Dreesen (30:18)
13. July 28, 1976 - Burt Reynolds, Robert Blake (38:56)
14. November 12, 1976 - Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles, Olivia Newton-John (29:24)

Disc 5:
17. May 4, 1977 - Chevy Chase, Richard Pryor (37:06)
18. June 14, 1977 - Alice Cooper, Jay Leno (33:05)
19. September 9, 1977 - Sid Caesar, Eubie Blake (31:24)
20. March 24, 1978 - Donna Pyle, Milton Berle (30:21)

Disc 6:
21. May 2, 1978 - Sammy Davis Jr. (30:17)
22. February 21, 1980 - Steve Landesberg, Loni Anderson (29:59)
23. September 26, 1980 - Steve Martin, The Mighty Carson Art Players (27:53)
24. November 11, 1980 - David Letterman (28:53)

Disc 7:
25. March 4, 1981 - David Brenner (31:58)
26. March 5, 1981 - Slim Whitman (29:41)
27. March 18, 1981 - Richard Benjamin, Garry Shandling (31:27)
28. May 5, 1981 - Jimmy Buffett, Thalasa Cruso (33:13)

Disc 8:
29. October 14, 1981 - Robin Williams (27:18)
30. October 28, 1981 - Lance Burton, Reba McEntire, Dick Cavett (28:33)
31. October 30, 1981 - Michael Landon (30:06)
32. November 12, 1981 - Dom DeLuise, Jerry Seinfeld, Betty White (28:12)

Disc 9:
33. November 19, 1981 - Suzanne Pleshette, Luciano Pavarotti (27:36)
34. November 25, 1981 - Kenny Rogers (27:53)
35. August 31, 1982 - Bill Maher, Joe Garagiola (24:07)
36. December 31, 1982 - Tina Turner, Joe D'Auria & Jonathan Brown (29:39)

Disc 10:
37. January 5, 1983 - Teri Garr, B.B. King (31:34)
38. May 17, 1983 - Albert Brooks, Brooke Shields (31:33)
39. September 8, 1983 - Bill Cosby, Chuck Mangione (33:00)
40. January 4, 1984 - Dabney Coleman, Paul Rodriguez (27:55)

Disc 11:
41. May 17, 1984 - Garry Shandling, Stephane Grappelli (28:29)
42. May 24, 1984 - John Denver, Michael Davis (25:53)
43. November 20, 1984 - Robert Blake, Louie Anderson (31:39)
44. November 22, 1985 - Jim Fowler, Marty Pollio, Ruben Blades (29:32)

Disc 12:
45. December 17, 1985 - Bette Midler (29:28)
46. March 27, 1986 - Billy Crystal, Buddy Rich (31:47)
47. April 18, 1986 - David Letterman (30:00)
48. June 27, 1986 - David Letterman, Judge Wapner (26:48)

Disc 13:
49. November 26, 1986 - George Carlin, Barney Odom (& Flat Nose) (28:14)
50. January 8, 1987 - Robert Goulet, Waddie Mitchell, Baxter Black (29:07)
51. May 21, 1987 - Eddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres (23:47)
52. July 28, 1988 - Bill Clinton, Joe Cocker (30:05)

Disc 14:
53. July 29, 1988 - Michael Landon, k.d. Lang (28:26)
54. November 23, 1989 - Lea Johnson, Tom Wilson (28:07)
55. January 18, 1990 - Joan Embery, Art Donovan (28:59)
56. April 6, 1990 - Jeff Dunham, B.B. King (32:44)

Disc 15 - Special Features:
* Rescued Gems of the 1960s (1:03:51)
* Interviews: The Guests Remember (1:10:57)

The packaging for this set is simply gorgeous. It comes in a sturdy cardboard box with a hinged lid, with the name of the set and a picture of Carson in later days with silver hair. The lid opens up to reveal four removable fold-outs that contain the discs and a booklet. Each fold-out is similar to the outside box, except the picture of Carson is from the same era as the episodes contained therein. The only complaint I have is that some of the discs overlap, meaning you have to take one out to get to another, but this can be overlooked. The booklet has a nice history of Carson and the show with some interesting photos, and a look at some of what you can expect from the set.

The menus are very simple... perhaps too simple. You get the Tonight Show logo, a picture of Johnny, and a list that simply says "Episode 1," "Episode 2," etc. You have to refer to the booklet or the fold-out to determine which episode you want to select. There is a "Play All" button on each disc. After you select your episode, you're then taken to a generic slate giving the airdate and the guests, followed by a generic intro created for this set. The episodes themselves begin with Ed McMahon shouting "Heeeere's Johnny!"

Video and audio quality seems to be good on this set for the most part, especially considering the age of these shows. The show tapes have been kept in a secret salt mine somewhere in the Midwest and the great care taken for them shows. There does seem to be some heavy compression issues with some shows, however. Some sequences seemed very pixilated on my TV screen. Audio is fine. Most of the episodes are in their proper mono sound. Stereo television was introduced in the mid-1980s, and all episodes from that point on are in their proper stereo sound. There unfortunately are no subtitles or closed captions.

The special features are quite interesting. Carson and NBC did not begin maintaining a library of the shows until 1973, so most shows from before then have been lost to time. However, some great bits have managed to survive in clip form. The first special feature is called "Rescued Gems of the 1960s" and is just that. Nearly two hours worth of classic clips from 1960s episodes either thought long lost, or that only survived as clips. The clips are separated by chapter marks. Next is "Interviews: the Guests Remember" which is an interesting piece with frequent guests Loni Anderson, David Brenner, Jim Fowler, and Baxter Black reminiscing about their memories with Carson.

I can recommend this set to pretty much any true Carson fan or to anyone who was either alive and wants to re-experience the Carson viewing experience or wants to see what it was like. The shows contained are highly enjoyable and give a great overview of Carson's three decades as host. On the other hand, I'm not sure I could recommend it to the extremely casual Carson fan who only wants a collection of Carson's most memorable moments. For that there are a number of other great DVDs out there at a less expensive price. Heeeeere's Johnny!

(4/5 stars)

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

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson TV.com page

LOOKING AHEAD

Halloween weekend is less than seven days away, and we'll have few tricks and hopefully a lot of treats for you next weekend! We will have some Halloween themed reviews coming up, and, even though we have no "sweeps" standards to be held to, we have some special November sweeps style stunts coming up! Stay tuned and keep it digital!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Thursday, April 24)

The Big Bang Theory - "The Anything Can Happen Recurrence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Sheldon tries to be spontaneous, it leads to unexpected friction between Penny, Amy and Bernadette. Meanwhile, Raj seeks Howard’s help in preparing for a date with Emily.

The Millers - "Tomlandia" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Nathan pitches a children’s show to his boss, Ed Dolan, based on Tom’s imaginary comic book, Tom has an adverse reaction to the tweaks made to his cherished world. Jeffrey Tambor returns as Ed Dolan, Nathan’s boss.

Two and a Half Men - "Lotta Delis in Little Armenia" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Alan stumbles upon an opportunity to make money. Meanwhile, Walden has to address his co-dependency issues.

Bad Teacher - "Pilot" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Former trophy wife Meredith Davis seeks a return to a life of leisure and luxury by posing as a teacher at an upscale elementary school to meet the students’ rich, single fathers and land one to marry. However, her plan hits a major snag and she faces exposure when her unconventional – and mostly unsuitable – teaching methods raise the suspicions of a fellow faculty member. Read our review.

Surviving Jack - "Something to Talk About" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
During an evening of inopportune timing, Frankie introduces his new girlfriend, Heather (guest star Lili Reinhart), to Joanne, who has just gotten her tubes tied and is still on pain medication. Instead of taking care of Joanne post-surgery, Jack has his hands full policing Frankie and Rachel. Meanwhile, George and Mikey try to retrieve a porn video they disguised in a "Casablanca" VHS case that has been placed into the wrong hands at the Dunlevy house.

Parks and Recreation - "Moving Up" (NBC, 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT)
Leslie (Amy Poehler), Ben (Adam Scott), and Andy (Chris Pratt) head to San Francisco for a National Parks Conference. Tom (Aziz Ansari) opens his restaurant, Ron (Nick Offerman) has another run-in with his ex-wife Tammy 2 (Special Guest Megan Mullally), Andy lives a rock and roll fantasy, and Leslie makes a huge decision about her future.

Saint George - "Hot Blooded" (FX, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Alma sets George up on a date with a Latina doctor, and George discovers the woman is crazy.

Anger Management - "Charlie Spends the Night with Lacey" (FX, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Charlie spends the night with Lacey to keep her from killing her ex-boyfriend.

Sirens - "There's No "I" in Ice Cream" (USA Network, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The crew remembers a day that followed the full spectrum of excitement; Johnny tries to find out who ate the last doughnut.

Instant Mom
- "Distant Mom" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The kids return from a vacation to Mozambique with their mom, Kim, only to learn the trip was actually a job interview at the embassy. They soon find out they are moving to Africa and away from Stephanie and Charlie. Guest Star: Holly Robinson Peete.

See Dad Run - "See Dad Run Into Marcus' Nephew" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Emily takes Amy's car to a party with Marcus' nephew after she was forbidden from driving at night, and must race back to beat David home. Joe wants more responsibility so asks to babysit Janie. Guest Star: Larramie "Doc" Shaw.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "Roll Pounce" (TV One, 10:00PM ET/PT)
The annual skate off has a surprise entry.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Thursday, April 24

  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Catch Neil on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Jim is a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • James Van Der Beek (Friends with Lives/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - James stops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He will also be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am.
  • Zoe Lister-Jones (Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Zoe visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Mary McCormack (Welcome to the Family) - Mary guest co-hosts Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) - Mario appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Brandy Norwood (The Game/Moesha) - Tune in to see Brandy on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • The Cast of Bad Teacher - Sara Gilbert, Ari Graynor, David Alan Grier and Ryan Hansen are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Candace Cameron-Bure (Full House) - Candace guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Molly Ephraim (Last Man Standing) - Molly shares behind-the-scenes stories from her show on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Max Greenfield (New Girl/Modern Men) - Max shares his passion for teaching kids the love of reading and the value of giving back on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William chats and performs on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy will be on HuffPost Live.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.
  • B.J. Novak (The Office) - B.J. is a guest on NBC's Today between 7-9am.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show and Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Jamie, Sally and the rest of the cast The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be on ABC's Good Morning America between 7-9am.