Monday, January 10, 2011

TCA Winter 2011 Press Tour: ABC; First Ever Comedy Awards on Comedy Central

Today at the TCA Winter 2011 Press Tour the broadcast networks begin. Up today will be ABC. The schedule started after breakfast with an executive session with Ben Sherwood of ABC News, followed by an executive sessions with Paul Lee of ABC Entertainment. ABC News will produce more documentaries year-round for primetime, similar to series like Boston Med. On the entertainment side, we learned that ABC has given early pick-ups for the 2011-12 season for Castle, Cougar Town, Grey's Anatomy, The Middle, Modern Family and Private Practice. All of those are no-doubters for us. Desperate Housewives is not on this list yet due to contract negotiations going on for the cast, but it will come back we think, as it is one of the top shows still in 18-49. Brothers & Sisters is also likely for some sort of pick-up, but it depends on the rest of 2011 performance. Lee has "ambitions" on picking it up Decisions on freshman shows, like Detroit 1-8-7, won't be announced for another 2-3 months or at upfront. V only has 10 episodes this season because of "quality control" and it has paid off. Lee would also like to have two nights of comedy next season. He didn't specify if the second night would be an hour or a two-hour block. Pilot pick-ups so far are an untitled Shonda Rhimes crisis management project and comedies Man Up and Smothered. Casting and more still to come on these pilots. ABC is also working on an Incredible Hulk revival from Marvel in the next year or so.
After the executive session, there was a cocoa klatch with Winter Wipeout. Host John Henson, co-host Jill Wagner, showrunner Matt Kunitz and even Ballsy were on hand for casual conversation and a tasty, hot beverage. Winter Wipeout airs Thursdays at 8pm on ABC and is off to a fantastic start in the ratings. After that, there was an executive session with new ABC Family President Michael Riley. We learned that ABC Family has given new season orders to two of the network's hit series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager" which has been renewed for a fourth season, and Pretty Little Liars, which was picked-up for a second season. Both new seasons are slated to start airing sometime in summer 2011. Both series still have to finish their second halves of the current season, with Liars airing Mondays through March 21, then Secret Life returns March 28 for its last batch of episodes this season.
Following that, there were panels for ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars (airs Mondays at 8pm) and ABC's new tropical medical drama Off the Map, which premieres Wednesday at 10pm. Then it was off to lunch with Disney Junior with Gary Marsh (President, Disney Channels Worldwide) and Nancy Kanter (SVP, Disney Junior Worldwide) for casual conversation and a special performance by The Never Land Pirate Band.
Following the lunch break, there was an actual session with Gary Marsh of Disney Channels Worldwide. The new network Disney Junior launches on Monday, Feb. 14. That was followed by a panel with the cast and producers of the upcoming Disney Channel original movie Lemonade Mouth starring Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko, Naomi Scott, Blake Michael, Nick Roux and Tisha
Campbell-Martin. The event concludes tonight with an Off the Map Mid-season Mixer where we are joined by the stars and showrunners of many of ABC's mid-season series for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres themed to Off the Map. The reason why there weren't any panels for upcoming sitcoms Mr. Sunshine and Happy Endings, drama Body of Proof, and reality series Secret Millionaire, was because they all had panels already at the TCA Summer 2010 press tour. Stay tuned tomorrow for an update from the Fox's day at the TCA press tour.

Comedy Central and MTV Networks, both divisions of Viacom, have tapped New York City to host The Comedy Awards, the first-ever multi-network, multi-platform, annual event dedicated to honoring and celebrating the world of comedy. A night for comedy of all kinds, The Comedy Awards will be taped at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday, March 26 and will premiere on Sunday, April 10, 2011, simultaneously across MTV Networks' Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, VH1 and Nick at Nite. All of these networks feature some sort of comedy.
Comedy elite including James Burrows, Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Grey, Seth MacFarlane, Adam McKay, Jimmy Miller, Jay Roach, Ray Romano, Rory Rosegarten, Phil Rosenthal and many more are among the first to join "The Comedy Awards" Board of Directors which will be responsible for selecting the nominees. The winners will be chosen by an invitation-only voting body comprised of 500-1000 members from the comedy community -- including writers, producers, performers and directors. The event will also feature several special awards that will include the voice of the fans through online voting at the event site thecomedyawards.com.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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