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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, January 24

The Middle - "A Tough Pill to Swallow" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When a devastated Sue discovers that she has been kicked out of college because she forgot to renew her financial aid, Mike tries to come to her rescue and convince a tough college bursar to reinstate her. Meanwhile, having only taken oral liquid medication all of his life, a frustrated Frankie does everything in her power to teach Brick how to swallow a pill when he gets an ear infection; and Hutch becomes angry with Axl after he keeps driving the Winnebago without permission to Orson to visit new girlfriend April – leaving Hutch without any means of transportation to get to class.

American Housewife - "Art Show" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Anna-Kat draws a super plus-sized portrait of Katie for the school art show, Katie sets out to retrieve it by any means necessary. Meanwhile, with Katie away, Doris is left in charge of Oliver and Taylor. She’s determined to whip them into shape with her Tiger Mom skills, but she may have met her match.

Fresh Off the Boat - "Coming From America" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis flies the entire family to Taiwan in an effort to make things right with Gene (Ken Jeong). Upon meeting Gene’s beautiful fiancĂ©, Margaret, and seeing the wonderful life he has built for himself, Louis questions whether his life in Orlando is just as great as it could be in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Jessica takes Eddie, Emery and Evan to her favorite childhood locales, including Dihua Street and Shilin Night Market.

The Real O'Neals - "The Real Match" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Jimmy recruits a reluctant Kenny to join his wrestling team for a one-time match, a surprise victory gives him the confidence to join the team full time to become the first, openly gay athlete at St. Barklays. Kenny’s newfound stardom makes Jimmy feel a bit replaced, but when an opponent refuses to wrestle his brother, Jimmy puts his feelings aside and rallies the team around Kenny. Meanwhile, Pat injures his back trying to help Eileen prepare for a weekend getaway, but things only get worse when she tries to be the perfect caregiver to impress VP Murray but fails miserably.

New Girl - "The Hike" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While on a day hike, Jess and Robby (guest star Nelson Franklin) discover something unexpected about their relationship. Also, Winston throws a surprise welcome home party for Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad). Meanwhile, Schmidt and Cece fail to impress their new neighbors.

The Mick - "The Master" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
All hell breaks loose, as the kids fight over who will take the master bedroom. Also, Mickey pursues a wealthy businessman who quickly discovers that she is not the prize he thought she was.

Teachers - "Stranger Danger" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
There’s a trespasser at Fillmore and a new security guard is hired. Ms. Snap and Ms. Bennigan hold a “Women Empowering Women” workshop, Mrs. Adler takes stranger danger too far, and Ms. Watson purchases a male safety dummy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

Tuesday, January 24

  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Retta on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Claudia O'Doherty (Love) - Claudia is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John talks about Patriots Day on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette visits Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina talks about the new Netflix series One Day at a Time on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.