Monday, March 07, 2011

ION Adds Late Night Hours; ABC Family Schedules Original Series Dates for Summer 2011

ION Television is adding more hours to its schedule at the end of this month. Starting Monday, March 28, 2011, ION Television will expand its schedule thru 3am. Currently the network airs programming on weekdays from 3pm-1am and on weekends from 1pm-1am, with infomericals the rest of the time (well except qubo kids Wed-Fri in the 8am hour). It will add two extra hours every night now (weekdays 3pm-3am and weekends 1pm-3am). So what will air in the 1am and 2am hours starting March 28? More of its dramas and movies. Mondays and Tuesdays in both new hours will have Without a Trace. Ghost Whisperer will air on Wednesday nights, while Thursdays and Fridays will have movies. Weekends in the 1am-3am will be a mix of movies or filler airings of My Name is Earl, M*A*S*H or a drama.
Sorry to report that nothing new is being added to these new hours, but hopefully something new will come soon rather than just more Ghost Whisperer, Without a Trace or Criminal Minds. ION Television did announce they have acquired crime drama Flashpoint, though. They have rights to all existing episodes, including up to 18 originals which are currently in production and scheduled to air later this year. Additionally, the network has the right to continue original production for season five and beyond. Stay tuned for more info when it is scheduled on the actual schedule.

We gave you updates on ABC Family's four new original series pick-ups, now we have premiere dates for all of them! For the first time in its seven-year history of original programming, the network's slate will be expanded to offer viewers three nights of original programming this summer, including four new original series, three returning hit series and original movies, in addition to showcasing blockbuster theatrical acquisitions.
The Secret Life of the American Teenager will returns on Monday, March 28 with 24 all-new episodes and will premiere throughout the summer on Mondays at 8:00PM ET/PT. It will be finishing off its third season episodes from March 28 to June 6, then it will start on its fourth season episodes. Not sure how many of the season four episodes they plan on airing, but it does look like the second half of season three (11 episodes) will go right into the start of season four! Perhaps the first 13 of season four will air after the final 11 of season three, for a total of 24 all-new episodes?
Airing right after The Secret Life will be new drama Switched at Birth at 9pm starting Monday, June 6. The series will air for 10 straight weeks in the timeslot. The series tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital and stars newcomer Katie Leclerc as Daphne Vasquez; Vanessa Marano as Bay Kennish; Constance Marie (George Lopez as Regina Vasquez; D.W. Moffett (Friday Night Lights) as John Kennish; Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City) as Kathryn Kennish; Lucas Grabeel as Toby Kennish; and newcomer Sean Berdy as Emmett. Marlee Matlin guest-stars as Melody. Switched at Birth will succeed Make It Or Break It, which wraps up its second season a week before on Monday, May 30.
Moving to Tuesdays, ABC Family's big hit Pretty Little Liars will move back to Tuesdays for its second season, where it aired last summer for the first half of its first season. Currently, the series is airing the second half of its first season on Monday nights at 8pm through March 21. The second season premieres on Tuesday, June 14 at 8pm. The second season premiere will lead into new drama The Nine Lives of Chloe King at 9pm, which follows Chloe King, who is looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her friends and single mother, just like every other year...that is until she starts developing heightened abilities and discovers she's being pursued by a mysterious figure. The drama stars Skyler Samuels (The Gates) as Chloe King; Amy Pietz (The Office) as Meredith King; Grey Damon (True Blood) as Brian; newcomer Grace Phipps as Amy; Benjamin Stone (10 Things I Hate About You) as Alek; Alyssa Diaz as Jasmine; and Ki Hong Lee (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Paul. It is unclear how many episodes the series as, but it is likely 10 episodes, like Switched at Birth. It is also unclear if Pretty Little Liars season two will be split up into two batches or run throughout, but it is probably the former.
ABC Family will add Wednesdays to its original series night this summer. Melissa & Joey, the hit comedy starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, will return to complete its first season on Wednesday, June 29, at 8:00pm! The series has a first season order of 30 episodes and 12 aired last summer/early fall. So that means 18 will air this summer. If it airs weekly, that should have it last through the end of October, similar to last year. Following the sitcom will be a new sitcom, The Great State of Georgia, a new a half-hour multi-cam comedy series starring Raven-Symoné as Georgia, an aspiring actress with a larger than life personality, and her science geek best friend, who try to make headway in New York City. The series also stars Majandra Delfino (Roswell) as Jo and Loretta Devine (Grey's Anatomy) as Aunt Honey. It is unclear how many episodes have been ordered, but it is likely 10. And if it does well, I'm sure more will be ordered, like how Melissa & Joey was extended.
Finally, when new drama Switched at Birth completes its 10-episode run, another new drama, The Lying Game, will premiere at 9pm starting Monday, August 15. The drama follows Emma, a kind-hearted foster kid who learns she has an identical twin sister, Sutton. Sutton, unlike Emma, was adopted by wealthy parents and is seemingly living an ideal life. The series stars Alexandra Chando (As The World Turns) as Emma/Sutton; Andy Buckley as Ted; Helen Slater as Kristin; Blair Redford as Garrett; Sharon Pierre-Louis as Nisha; Kirsten Prout (Kyle XY) as Char; Alice Greczyn as Mads; and Allie Gonino (10 Things I Hate About You) as Laurel. The series is based on the novel by author Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars). No idea also how many episodes have been ordered, but it seems like 10 episodes. If The Secret Life ends its summer run in early September, then this would mean The Lying Game will probably air for over a month without The Secret Life as its lead-in. If it has 10 episodes, it will air through mid-October.
Movie wise, they announced a new new original two-hour movie, Teen Spirit, premieres on Sunday, August 7, at 8:00pm, during the network's annual summer programming event, "Campus Crush" (Sunday, July 31 through - Tuesday, August 9). The movie stars Lindsey Shaw (Pretty Little Liars) and Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It). The network will also present a special summer Harry Potter marathon from Thursday, July 7 through Sunday, July 10, showcasing the first five installments of Warner Bros. Pictures’ hit film franchise, leading into its highly anticipated theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2 (in theaters on July 15, 2011). Additionally, the Walt Disney Pictures film G-Force will make its network television premiere on ABC Family in September 2011.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, May 22

Roseanne - "Knee Deep" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Roseanne’s knee gets worse so Dan is forced to a make an important work decision; but when a major storm hits Lanford, their fortunes change for the better. Later, Darlene realizes she has to go back to her first passion … writing.

The Middle - "A Heck of a Ride: Part One" / "A Heck of a Ride: Part Two" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After nine hilarious and heartfelt seasons, a Heck leaves the nest as the family takes a road trip to Denver, where Axl will start his new job – and new life away from home.

Splitting Up Together - "Heat Wave" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Lena and Martin choose to share the house for the summer while the children are away at camp despite Lena’s reservations, but both soon realize it might not be the worst idea. Meanwhile, they collectively agree to throw their annual backyard piña colada party where they will celebrate their independence from their children. Elsewhere, a friendly face returns back home and Martin can’t help but see it as a sign.

The Last O.G. - "That Backslide" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Left reeling from the error of his ways, Tray goes into a tailspin and turns to Bobby for support.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 21)

Tuesday, May 22

  • Chris Hardwick (Guys Like Us) - Catch Chris on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Cristin Milioti (A to Z/How I Met Your Mother) - Cristin is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia talks about the series finale of The Middle on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings. Mychael Symon cooks with Patricia on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • David Spade (The Mayor/Rules of Engagement/8 Simple Rules/Just Shoot Me!) - David appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Buffal Bill) - Geena is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Nolan Gould (Modern Family) - Nolan talks about Modern Family on Chatter on PeopleTV at 8pm.
  • Dan Fogler (Man Up!) - Dan talks about his new book Brooklyn Gladiator on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Will Arnett (Arrested Development/The Millers/Up All Night) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development/Veep) - Will and Tony talk about Arrested Development on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Gillian Jacobs (Love/Community) - Gillian talks about her new film Ibiza on the BUILD Series at 5pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

Atlanta - The Complete First Season Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season One Day at a Time - Season Two Perfect Strangers  - The Complete Third Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season

03/06 - Atlanta - The Complete First Season
03/06 - Curb Your Enthusiasm - The Complete Ninth Season
03/13 - The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete First Season
03/27 - One Day at a Time - Season Two
04/03 - Ballers - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/03 - 90's Sitcom (Just Shoot Me!/The Larry Sanders Show/Wings) Starter Set - Season 1 & 2 Bundle
04/10 - Vice Principals - The Compelte Series
04/17 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Third Season
05/08 - Dear White People - Season 1
05/08 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Final (Eighth) Season
05/29 - I'm Dying Up Here - Season 1
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest