Wednesday, October 05, 2011

IFC Acquires Malcolm in the Middle; NBC Cancels Playboy Club, Picks-Up Up All Night, Whitney

IFC has acquired another sitcom, this time it is the family comedy Malcolm in the Middle starring Frankie Muniz. The sitcom actually started last week (Sept. 26) and it airs weeknights back-to-back starting at 6pm and 11:30pm. The series also is airing Tuesday nights from 7-10pm. The deal is not exclusive as TeenNick has been airing the series weeknights 10-11pm and 4-5am and will continue to do so. The series also was on FX but they removed it a few months ago, as they lost rights. The comedy also stars critically acclaimed actors Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston, who has made it big on Breaking Bad.
Malcolm in the Middle joins other comedies on IFC such as Arrested Development and other series such as Freaks & Geeks, Mr. Show with Bob and David and Undeclared, which is being relegated to a few airings in early mornings. FC has announced the season two renewal of Portlandia, created by and starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney). IFC has ordered 10 episodes of its original series Portlandia, up from season one's six episodes. Production began this summer with the debut scheduled for January 2012. And The Onion News Network returned last night for its second season airing Tuesday nights at 10pm after Malcolm in the Middle.
Created and executive produced by Emmy Award-winning writer Linwood Boomer, Malcolm in the Middle is an inventive half-hour series that is seen through the eyes of Malcolm, a regular kid trying to navigate his way through life despite the various obstacles thrown in his way--a complete misunderstanding of girls, an eclectic group of classmates and the constant burden of masterminding plans to get himself and his brothers either into or out of trouble.

The first cancelation of the new TV season is... NBC's The Playboy Club. After just three weeks, NBC has pulled the struggling drama from its schedule. It was more than likely determined after week two but NBC went ahead and aired episode three anyway and the ratings dropped again. NBC will now air repeats of Prime Suspect instead, which is struggling itself on Thursday nights. Repeats will air for three weeks (Oct. 10-24) in the Monday at 10pm timeslot, then starting Monday, Oct. 31 (which is the first Monday of November sweeps), NBC will launch a new news-magazine titled Rock Center with Brian Williams to be the replacement for at least three months (Oct. 31-Jan. 30). While that might be an improvement to Playboy Club's ratings, does NBC honestly believe it will do that well? Not sure what they are expecting here, but I don't think it will be that much.
Led by Brian Williams, the newsmagazine will feature Harry Smith, Kate Snow and other award-winning correspondents and anchors of NBC News, including Meredith Vieira, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Richard Engel, Matt Lauer and Ann Curry. Broadcast live from the historic Studio 3B in Rockefeller Center, the weekly, hour-long newsmagazine will be built around the week’s most provocative events, compelling coverage, and newsmaker interviews. In this new venue, Williams and NBC's trusted global news division will take viewers deeper into the world's most talked-about stories -- and raise the curtain on stories begging to be told.

NBC has picked up the new comedies Up All Night and Whitney for the remainder of the 2011-12 season, which means at least 22 episodes, joining Fox's New Girl (which will air 24 episodes actually). Up All Night has aired three episodes so far, with the fourth one airing tonight. Despite the ratings dropping each week, it has performed decently for NBC. As for Whitney, the series has only aired twice and saw a decent size drop in week two, making this early pick-up a bit surprising. Nevertheless, Whitney airs episode three tomorrow night. The jury is still out on new comedy Free Agents, which airs tonight, possibly for the last time ever as it has done poorly from the get go.
On Up all Night, Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?) stars as Reagan Brinkley: loving wife, successful career woman, life of the party and, most recently, mom. Determined not to compromise her career or cool reputation to the clich├ęs of motherhood, Reagan adjusts to life with a baby and returns to work with the support of her stay-at-home husband, Chris (Will Arnett, Arrested Development). As Reagan and Chris figure out their new life, self-doubt, sleep deprivation and the pressure of today's parenting protocols rattle their confidence. What's more, the endless needs of Reagan's boss, ambitious but vulnerable talk-show host Ava (Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live), threaten to throw Reagan off balance.
NBC's new multi-camera comedy Whitney is a look at modern-day love, which centers around Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and Alex (Chris D'Elia, Glory Daze), a happily unmarried couple. Together for three years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched, which seems to get a mixed response from their friends.
I expect full season pick-ups in the next week or two for 2 Broke Girls, Revenge, Suburgatory, Ringer, Pan Am, and likely Unforgettable. The CW's Secret Circle and Hart of Dixie are iffy. Fox's Terra Nova is only producing 13 episodes due to cost, so if there is a pick-up, it will be for a second season for next year. And Fox's The X Factor will air through mid-December, as previously announced, so no pick-up is needed, unless it is for next fall. Joining Free Agents on the "got to be nervous list" are A Gifted Man, Charlie's Angels, How To Be A Gentleman, H8R, and Prime Suspect. Will some of these go the same way as Playboy Club? Still yet to premiere are ABC's Last Man Standing, Man Up!, Once Upon a Time, NBC's Grimm and Fox's I Hate My Teenage Daughter. I expect two of those to do somewhat well (Last Man Standing and Once Upon a Time) and the rest, well you can probably tell. Stay tuned!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 21

Last Man Standing - "Trick or Treat" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who’s reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they’ll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as… Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she’s being laid off.

Dr. Ken - "D.K.'s Korean Ghost Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Allison is disappointed the holiday doesn’t seem to scare Dave anymore, meaning her little boy is growing up, perhaps too fast. But that might change after D.K. tells a scary Korean gwishin (ghost) story. The Park family, as well as the gang at Welltopia, bring the story to life playing the various gwishins.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Jack" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Marcus deals with the loss of one of his former teammates.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 17)

Friday, October 21

  • Matthew Perry (The Odd Couple/Go On/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Matthew on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Jerry appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Matt LeBlanc (Man with a Plan/Episodes/Joey/Friends) - Matt is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah talks about Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1:15pm.
  • Lindsay Sloane (The Odd Couple/The Stones/Mr. Rhodes) - Lindsay visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Tom and Ron will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian talks about King Cobra on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Netflix's Good Girls Revolt on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Grey (Red Oaks/It's Like, You Know...) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Thomas Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) and Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Thomas and Jason are guests on Chelsea on Netflix.
  • Marisa Tomei (A Different World) - Marisa appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Paul Reiser (Red Oaks/Mad About You/The Paul Reiser Show) - Paul is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.