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 clichés 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

Wednesday, January 23

The Goldbergs - "I Coulda Been a Lawyer" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Beverly decides their street needs another stop sign and pleads her case to the city comptroller. Barry panics when he realizes he’s neglected his college applications, but the situation only gets worse once Murray is involved. Meanwhile, Erica struggles with her career choice.

Schooled - "Tamagotchis and Bells" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Lainey and Glascott encounter an overbearing parent and enlist the help of Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey). Mellor realizes he might want to start a family and be a father after CB shows him how to care for confiscated Tamagotchis.

Modern Family - "Whanex?" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
While preparing a presentation for his students about their future goals, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) must also contend with a bully at the school and Jay (Ed O’Neil) is having a little technical trouble during his video conference. Meanwhile, the local mall is holding a photo shoot for its new ad campaign and Gloria tricks Phil and Joe into participating.

Single Parents - "Graham D'Amato: Hot Lunch Mentalist" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Will wants to get back together with Mia, but as their relationship progresses, he finds himself having to choose between the “normal” family he’s always wanted and the new family he’s created with Angie, Poppy, Miggy, Douglas and the kids. In order to get Will to come back to his senses about Mia, Angie kicks him off the babysitting grid and fills the spot with Dr. Mark, Douglas’ rival dermatologist, much to Douglas’ chagrin. Meanwhile, Graham is nervous to compete in the talent show and relies on Will to calm him down when he gets nervous on stage.

Schitt's Creek - "The Plant" (Pop, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Alexis and Johnny come up with a plan to impress a motel reviewer; David and Patrick look for an apartment.

grown-ish - "Girls Like You" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Nomi's endless string of one-night stands starts to throw off the apartment dynamic.

You're the Worst - "The One Thing We Don't Talk About" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Jimmy challenges Gretchen to tackle some of the responsibilities that come with being an adult.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 21)

Wednesday, January 23

  • Sam Elliott (The Ranch) - Watch Sam on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Molly Shannon (Divorce/Kath & Kim/Cracking Up) - Molly is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Danny Trejo (Saint George) - Danny appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • The Cast of The Good Place - Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D'Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto are guests on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Sarah Paulson (Leap of Faith) - Sarah visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Billy Eichner (Difficult People) - Billy drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cobie Smulders (Friends from College/How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie is a guest on E!'s Busy Tonight at 11pm.
  • Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk/American Dad!) - Patrick chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Lost at Home) - Connie appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Leslie Grossman (What I Like About You/10 Things I Hate About You) - Leslie is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Paul W. Downs (Broad City) - Paul talks about Broad City on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Vivica A. Fox (Mr. Box Office/Getting Personal/Arsenio/Out All Night) - Vivica gives the scoop on her show, Face the Truth – and she's facing the truth herself with a lie detector test on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Mädchen Amick (Freddie) - Mädchen talks about Riverdale on People Now at 12pm and on the BUILD Series at 1pm.
  • Joey McIntyre (The McCarthys) - Joey can be heard on The Morning Mash Up on SiriusXM.
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) - Amy and Natasha talk about their new show Russian Doll on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Natasha will also be on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
  • Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men/Jenny) - Jenny talks about The Masked Singer on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

Step by Step - The Complete Third Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season Fuller House - The Complete Third Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season The Game - The Complete Series

11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
11/28 - The Great Indoors - Season 1 (The Complete Series)
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
01/08 - Family Guy - 20 Greatest Hits
01/22 - Fuller House - The Complete Third Season
01/22 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fourth Season (WBShop.com)
01/29 - Ballers - The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
01/29 - Crashing - The Complete Second Season
01/29 - The Game - The Complete Series
01/29 - Kidding - Season One
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