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

Sunday, March 18

Bob's Burgers - "Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob decides to start serving brunch at Bob's Burgers in order to offer more strict competition against Jimmy Pesto and his pizzeria.

Bob's Burgers - "The Secret Ceramics Room of Secrets" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The kids set out to find a secret room filled with homemade ceramics which is rumored to be hidden at their school; Teddy starts a phone repair service and the adults become determined to improve his online rating.

The Simpsons - "Homer Is Where the Art Isn't" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Homer is accused of stealing a million-dollar painting, only a detective from the 1970s can clear his name.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Safe House" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Seamus threatens Kevin, Holt devises an elaborate plan to hide him in a safe house, using Jake as his guard; Kevin is miserable as the 99 works overtime to find Seamus and take him down.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Last Man on Earth - "Hamilton/Berg" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After the graveyard incident, Tandy and Todd try to convince the rest of the gang that something is wrong with Karl.

School of Rock - "Photograph" (Nickelodeon, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The whole band works together to get Zack to look perfect for photo day, so he can finally have a picture on his parents' mantle at home.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 12)

Friday, March 16

  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Watch Yara on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. J. Totah (Champions) - J. J. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew talks about Santa Clarita Diet on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.