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!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest