Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Network Fall Preview Specials; Remembering Uncle Frank from Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Pretty soon it will be that time of year again...the start of the new TV season. So let's get ready for that with annual network preview specials to inform us on what is new and returning! See our Fall 2010 preview from last year.

First up we will look at ABC. ABC's Fall 2011 preview special is titled The ABC Fall Preview Special. It starts airing on local ABC affiliates this coming weekend (Aug. 27-28). It can be aired between August 27-Sept. 18, 2011 on local stations, so check your local listings (WABC in NYC hasn't scheduled it yet). No word yet if ABC will air these specials nationally, as they did last year on Sunday afternoon. The preview spotlights ABC's four new one hour fall dramas: Charlie's Angels, Once Upon A Time, and two 10PM dramas Pan Am and Revenge. Also, the special features a preview of ABC's returning Fall dramas, direct from beautiful Miami, FL, home to ABC's Charlie's Angels and the host, Ramon Rodriquez, also known as "Bosley." I'm sure they will highlight the new comedies as well like Last Man Standing, Suburgatory and Man Up! The special usually airs on ABC-owned cable networks as well, but as of now networks like ABC Family have not scheduled it. And also as of now, it isn't on abc.com like it was last year...but it is still early.

Next is CBS. The CBS Fall 2011 preview special, simply titled again CBS Fall Preview will be a primetime special previewing CBS's new fall lineup, to be hosted by the stars of The Big Bang Theory - Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar - will be broadcast on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT nationally on the CBS Television Network following an encore of The Big Bang Theory. The preview will feature sneak peeks of the five new additions to CBS's primetime schedule this fall: the drama series Unforgettable, Person Of Interest, and A Gifted Man, and the comedy series 2 Broke Girls and How To Be A Gentleman. The hosts, appearing as themselves, will introduce the video previews for each new series while interjecting some fun, character-related jokes about one-another. CBS.com doesn't usually post the preview, so you'll have to watch it on-air or if you miss that, your local CBS might air it on a weekend in the daytime.

Moving on to NBC, the NBC Fall 2011 preview special (titled once again The NBC Primetime Preview) has started airing on their cable owned networks & local NBC affiliates (such as USA, Syfy, Bravo, UniHD, Chiller, mun2, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen, Sleuth, Xfinity, E! Entertainment Television, mun2, NBC2Go, on-demand and broadband) since Aug. 8 and will continue to run through Sept. 25 (in NYC it is on next on WNBC Sun Sept. 4 at 1pm). Whitney Cummings - star of the upcoming NBC comedy Whitney -- hosts the fast-paced program. Joining Cummings as co-host of the preview will be Chris D'Elia, her Whitney co-star. It will spotlight exclusive views of various series to be delivered across a wide horizon of NBC Universal media platforms. The program is estimated to be transmitted more than 500 times over broadcast, digital and cable entities. The entertainment special will focus on NBC's new shows for the fall, including the dramas The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect and Grimm, while the new comedies are Up All Night, Free Agents and Whitney. Viewers will also get a first look at Smash, the musical drama set for mid-season that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire -- to be a "Smash." In addition, returning favorites to be included are Parenthood, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Harry's Law, Chuck (for its fifth and final season of 13 episodes), Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock. Among next season's returning alternative series are The Voice, The Sing-Off and The Biggest Loser. Sunday Night Football also will be included in the show.
Watch the special right now.

Onto Fox, the Fox Fall 2011 preview special starts airing on local Fox affiliates this weekend (in NY WNYW Sun Aug. 28 at 4:30pm) and is simply titled Fox Fall Preview Special. It will only run on local Fox affiliates again and not on Fox in primetime. No information is available as of this writing on who is hosting and what the special features, but it will of course feature their new programs: The X Factor, Terra Nova, New Girl, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter. No idea yet also if it will be on fox.com, but check your local Fox listings for on-air showtimes.

And finally we conclude with The CW. The CW's Fall 2011 TV preview special called The 2011 CW Fall Preview Special is airing on local CW affiliates (such as NY's WPIX on this Sunday, Aug. 28 at 4:30pm)! It will also air nationally on The CW on Monday, September 12 from 9:15–10:00pm ET. Series featured will be Ringer, The Secret Circle, Hart of Dixie, and H8er. The affiliate special is a half-hour, so we have fifteen more minutes in primetime. The special will be hosted by Nikita star Maggie Q and Ringer star Kristoffer Polaha. Watch the special right now.

Uncle Frank

We have some sad news to report. Although he wasn't involved with sitcoms, we here at Sitcoms Online were big fans of him and his comedy. Frank Potenza, known as Uncle Frank on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, died Tuesday morning (August 23) at the age of 77. Jimmy Kimmel's real-life uncle worked as a security guard and was a cast member on the show since the show debuted in 2003. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! said in a statement that Potenza was "beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all." It also said that "his kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched." Uncle Frank is the second member of the security guard staff and "The Worst Team on Television" to die. Veatrice Rice (Miss V), who played the quiet but foul-mouthed on-air security guard, died on January 21, 2009, after a battle with cancer.

Uncle Frank was a Brooklyn, NY native and Korean War veteran. He worked as a New York City police officer for twenty years, ten years as a private security guard in Las Vegas, and seven years as an usher at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. When his nephew Jimmy Kimmel got his own show in 2003, he was asked to move to Los Angeles to work with him. He appeared in many comedy bits and was a regular sidekick over the years. His ex-wife, Conchetta "Chippy" Potenza, appears semi-regularly on the show and did a series of segments with him called "Uncle Frank and Aunt Chippy's Adventures." In late 2009, he suffered a stroke and didn't appear on the show from December 2009 through March 2010 (except for the seventh anniversary show on January 26, 2010). He would appear less frequently when he returned.

You can tell he loved being part of the show and the crew enjoyed having him around. He always had a smile on his face and made us smile with the humor he brought in his appearances. Mr. Potenza is survived by his three daughters and a newborn granddaughter. The show is in repeats for the next couple weeks. I'm sure they will have an on-air tribute when they return on September 6. He will be deeply missed on the show.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February)

The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series Girls - The Complete Fourth Season Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series Togetherness - The Complete First Season

02/16 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series
02/16 - The Brady Kids - The Complete Animated Series
02/16 - Girls - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
02/16 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - The Complete Series
02/16 - Togetherness - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, February 9

Fresh Off the Boat - "Love and Loopholes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Honey and Marvin babysit the boys so Jessica and Louis can enjoy a Valentine’s Day evening out.  But Emery makes an alarming discovery when he walks in on his parents’ special alone time.  Meanwhile, Eddie pulls out all the stops to take Alison to the Janet Jackson concert.

The Muppets - "A Tale of Two Piggies" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Miss Piggy suffers a scandalous wardrobe malfunction, the network is outraged, and Piggy is forced to question everything she stands for, but Kermit and the gang rally together and come to her defense. Meanwhile, Gonzo misses his ex-girlfriend Camilla, so Pepe and Rizzo decide to throw a house party to cheer him up.

New Girl - "Reagan" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
A beautiful pharmaceutical rep (guest star Megan Fox) enters the gang’s life when she agrees to sublet Jess’ room while she is on jury duty.

Grandfathered - "The Biter" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Edie is bitten at school, Jimmy and Sara go to great lengths to find out who did it. Meanwhile, Ravi sets up a meeting for Gerald and Vanessa to meet a flashy tech investor named Kirk (Drake Bell), but once they meet him, they are not so sure they’d like to do business with him.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The 9-8" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The Nine-Nine host the detectives from the Nine-Eight, their neighboring precinct, reuniting Jake with his old partner (guest star Damon Wayans, Jr.). Charles is immediately jealous and tries to reclaim his best friend status with Jake. Meanwhile, the rest of the precinct tries to be welcoming to the Nine-Eight, but it doesn’t go as well as they had planned.

The Grinder - "The Retooling of Dean Sanderson" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Dean scares off a big prospective client by being too dramatic, Stewart tells him maybe it’s finally time to let go of his “Grinder” persona and come down to earth. He tries to convince Dean he should go to therapy. Dean reluctantly agrees, but in typical Dean fashion, he overcorrects and begins “therapizing” the whole family, including Debbie, who is now tempted to quit her grueling job.

Born Again Virgin - "A Pregnant Pause" (TV One, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Maddy's upsetting news to her boyfriend, Cedric; Loretta enhances her image; Kayla goes on a hunger strike for a worthy cause.

Born Again Virgin - "Mama-Pause" (TV One, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jenna’s mom comes to visit and brings her own brand of crazy, which we later find out is exacerbated by the onset of menopause. In an effort to escape Jenna’s mom, Tara and Kelly seek refuge in Donovan’s apartment and worm their way into helping him prepare for his impending trial.

Zoe Ever After - "The Interview" (BET, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Zoe is livid when she suspects Miguel has told Gemini about her Atlantic City getaway; Gemini finally gets the spotlight.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 8)

Tuesday, February 9

  • Fred Savage (The Grinder/Working/The Wonder Years) - Fred chats about The Grinder on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Meagan Good (Mr. Robinson/Raising Dad/Cousin Skeeter) - Meagan and her husband DeVon Franklin talk about their new book The Wait on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brandy (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha) - Brandy talks about Zoe Ever After and her new music on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore at 11:30pm on Comedy Central and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identiy) - Jerry is strapped in a Velcro suit and he's playing a game to win prizes for the audience on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Joe Manganiello (Mom/How I Met Your Mother) - Joe discusses his guest starring role on Mom on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS and on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. and the cast of Deadpool are guests on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
  • Kyle Mooney (Hello Ladies) - Kyle talks about Zoolander 2 on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Alison Brie (Community) - Alison talks about How to Be Single ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jason Sudeikis (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Jason talks about Tumbledown on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Megan Fox (Hope & Faith) - Megan appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • The Cast of Fuller House - Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber are guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl chats on Tavis Smiley on PBS, so check your local listings.