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 (March/April)

The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, April 29

Henry Danger - "Stuck in Two Holes" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Whaaaat?!? Captain Man and Kid Danger are each stuck in a hole?!? Charlotte and Jasper better go help, 'cuz Schwoz is takin' a bean bath!

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "I Want My Mae B. Back" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Mae starts to spend more time with her new boyfriend, Dawn begins to get jealous so enlists Nicky, Ricky, and Dicky to help separate them so that she can have her friend back.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 1)

Sunday, April 30

  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, May 1
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to the Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/Two and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison teams up with Mario Batali to make a cheesy, decadent Gnocchi Al Telefono and dishes about her new Broadway show on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11:15am.
  • Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) - Nick talks about his new film Everything, Everything on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.