Saturday, April 30, 2011

Digital Digest: The Space Kidettes/Young Samson DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, your weekly dose of all things digital in the sitcom world! After a few decent weeks of news, we're back to a standstill again, but we're here every week no matter what. And, this week, we've got more vintage Hanna-Barbera DVDs from the Warner Archive to review for you, with The Space Kidettes/Young Samson. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

If you are a subscriber of Comcast, the nation's largest cable television provider, you can now watch programs from all four major network on your On Demand service! As of Thursday, Comcast has become the first cable provider to provide programming from all four major networks (with Fox and ABC being the most recent additions), allowing subscribers to watch current programs a day after the original broadcast. Among the sitcom offerings available, Comcast subscribers can now watch 30 Rock, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, Community, Cougar Town, The Office, Outsourced, Parks and Recreation, Raising Hope, Rules of Engagement, The Simpsons, Traffic Light, Two and a Half Men, among many other series, a day after the episodes originally air. If you have another cable provider, you can likely watch programming from some of the major networks as well, but only with Comcast can you watch them all.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (May 3) doesn't bring us much, aside from three releases from Lionsgate, all of which actually have additional seasons coming out in July (it is nice to be able to look ahead like that!). First up, we have According to Jim - The Complete Third Season. We've also got the fan favorite series that appeared to be abandoned forever, with Boy Meets World - The Complete Fifth Season. And finally, we step into the animated realm with The PJ's - Season One. We'll have reviews of all of these on our Main DVD Reviews Page as soon as we possibly can.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

Warner Archive has truly been digging deep into the Hanna-Barbera archive over the past few months releasing the most obscure of series, and they've got another one for us now with The Space Kidettes/Young Samson. It's a bizarre mesh of two cartoons, The Space Kidettes, a story about kids living in outer space and having a treasure map that is always at risk of being taken (but never actually is), and Young Samson is the story of a teenager going across the country on a motorbike with his dog, always able to transform into a biblical hero when the time is right. Sound strange? Well, it is, so you should definitely check out our review of The Space Kidettes/Young Samson.

DVD Review: The Space Kidettes/Young Samson
by Greg Brobeck

The Space Kidettes/Young Samson (Warner Archive, $29.95) is coming to DVD from Warner Brothers as they seem to be determined to release every single Hanna-Barbera series they can through their burn on demand Warner Archive service. Today we're reviewing another of those released recently, a four-disc set called The Space Kidettes/Young Samson. The shows are made up of shorts from these two different cartoons. Kidettes follows the adventures of four children—Scooter, Jenny, Countdown, and Snoopy, along with their dog Pupstar--who live in a futuristic space setting. The kids have secret meetings in a clubhouse, and go on adventures in their spaceship… leaving you constantly wondering where the adults are. The only adults in the show are the evil space pirate Captain Skyhook and his sidekick Static. The two are constantly chasing the Kidettes, trying to steal a treasure map that the kids inexplicably have obtained… and though they are pirates, they refuse to hurt the kids, because they're only kids. The Kidettes win out every time and keep the treasure map.

Young Samson follows a teenager and his dog that travel the country on a motorbike. Whenever they encounter some sort of villainous happening, Samson can turn himself into a version of the Biblical hero by hitting his golden wristbands together. The dog, Goliath, also transforms into a menacing lion. Samson has great strength and abilities and manages to stop whatever is happening. These two shows have one of the strangest broadcast histories in the entire Hanna-Barbera library. The two cartoons were not originally part of the same series... and didn't even debut in the same year! The Space Kidettes premiered in 1966 on NBC, while Samson premiered in 1967. The shows' main sponsor was cereal company General Mills and they owned part of the show. In fact, the syndication arm of General Mills' advertising representative, The Program Exchange, still syndicates the shows. The seven-minute Kidettes and Samson segments were originally grouped with cartoons, not produced by Hanna-Barbera, but by other companies with which General Mills was associated, such as Fractured Fairy Tales and Tennessee Tuxedo! The Kidettes and Samson cartoons were also broken up into multi-part segments which would be scattered throughout the 30 minute broadcast.

Eventually, Hanna-Barbera began syndicating the shows themselves, and paired Kidettes and Samson together. The multi-part cartoons were edited together to make one continuous story. Warner claims that the original negatives were cut to make the new syndicated versions, and besides, they would be unable to release the original network versions of this show to DVD anyway because they would contain cartoons that are owned by other companies. Because of this, the show running times are a bit short. On original network broadcast, the shows would have contained either Kidettes or Samson and two or three other cartoons. Since these presentations are only two cartoon shorts, they are a bit shorter. Each short features the main title and closing credits for the corresponding series, minus any credits for the non-Hanna Barbera shorts. Nothing is missing from any of these cartoons. The first cartoon episode title is listed is from The Space Kidettes and the second from Young Samson:

Disc 1:
1. Molemen Menace/The Curse of Monatabu (19:24)
2. Jet-Set-Go/The Aurora Borealis Creature (19:43)
3. Space Indians/The Great Colossus (19:45)
4. Swamp-Swamped/Cold Wind from Venus (19:51)
5. Space Heroes/The SSX-19 (19:46)

Disc 2:
6. Space Witch/Operation Peril (19:50)
7. Tale of a Whale/The Secret of Evil Island (19:40)
8. Space Giant/The Monsteroids (19:33)
9. Space Carnival/The Idol Rama-Keesh (19:42)
10. The Laser Breathing Space Dragon/Salamandro (19:29)

Disc 3:
11. The Flight Before Christmas/Baron Von Skull (19:41)
12. Beach Brawl/Moon Rendezvous (19:39)
13. Dognapped in Space/The Lost City of the Dragon Men (19:07)
14. Secret Solar Robot/The Colossal Coral Creature (19:41)
15. King of the Space Pirates/Zuran's Creature (19:35)

Disc 4:
16. Planet of Greeps/The Dome (19:35)
17. Cosmic Condors/Nerod (19:39)
18. The Space Mermaid/The Terrible Dr. Desto (19:44)
19. Haunted Planet/From Out of the Deep (19:39)
20. Something Old, Something Gnu/Thing From the Black Mountains (19:12)

We again have a clear multi-disc Amaray case holding the four discs in this set. This is the same thin plastic case that seems to be vulnerable to damage. Fortunately mine came intact. Two moving pages hold the four discs. The front cover has the two show's logos, along with characters from each show, with a big slash down the middle separating them, with Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection at the top, and 4-Disc Set at the bottom. No mention is made of "Complete Series" or anything. The back cover features more pictures (though The Space Kidettes are more prominent) and text describing the two shows. The disc artwork is nice, though bland. Each disc features a starburst sort of design with the two shows' logos, along with numbers to indicate which episodes are on which disc. Each disc is a different color as well. There is nothing on the outer packaging to indicate what the episode titles are, so that can make it a bit difficult to navigate the disc and tell which episode is where.

This is the first H-B set released in a while that doesn't have a designed menu. When you pop a disc in, you get the generic blue Warner Archive menu asking you to choose either "Episode Selection" or "Play All." Episode Selection then takes you to a menu screen with screenshots of the title cards corresponding to the first three shows on the disc. Selecting "More Shows" reveals two more episodes, along with another "Play All" option. While the menus are a little boring, it's nice to finally have episode titles on the menu screens (as opposed to some previous sets that only had numbers) but now we're lacking that information on the outer packaging!

I was very impressed by the video and audio quality. I won't go as far as to call either of them perfect, but considering likely no remastering work went into these episodes, they look very good. This is the first H-B show from the 1960's from the Warner Archive to be released, as most have been from the 1970s, but some of the episodes look as if they could have been on network TV last week! You might find a bit of dust or grain on some episodes, and there are a few whose colors appear a little washed out, but for the most part colors are vibrant and shows are relatively dirt-free. Audio is surprisingly clear as well, with no noticeable pops or defects. One chapter stop is in each episode, in between the Space Kidettes and Young Samson segments. There are no closed captions or subtitles.

There are no special features, once again for these Warner Archive sets. There have never been any on any of the Warner Archive Hanna-Barbera releases, and I'm not sure what they could have included. While the show is decent, it's not that memorable, and much of the original broadcast material is likely either destroyed, or contains elements that Warner does not own. There were bridging materials and commercial bumpers for each show, but again, I'm not sure what exists of that, so I'm not at all sure what could have been included as a bonus feature. Fans should feel fortunate the show is being released at all, I suppose.

Overall, this is sort of high-end mid-grade Hanna-Barbera product. It was produced in the waning days of what was the height of the company's creativity, but at the same time, was part of the beginning of the "cartoon factory" era. I enjoyed the Space Kidettes segments more than the Young Samson ones, but I've always been more of a fan of comedy/adventure, rather than action/adventure. With its two vastly different segments, this show is a blend of both. Many people have fond memories of watching both cartoons on Saturday mornings, and they are far better than some of H-B's 1970s and 1980s product. I could recommend the set for any Hanna-Barbera fan and many cartoon fans in general. The shows still get heavy airplay on the Boomerang cable channel, and are appropriate for just about any age group.


(3/5 stars)

To purchase this DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Main DVD Reviews Page
The Space Kidettes TV.com page
Samson and Goliath TV.com page


LOOKING AHEAD

That concludes this week's edition of Digital Digest. We'll have more news and reviews for you next week, and we hope that you'll be back for that. Until then, keep it digital!

Friday, April 29, 2011

TeenNick Adds Buffy, Brings Back Saved by the Bell in May 2011; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 2, 2011)

TeenNick will make some changes in May 2011 and among those changes are adding Buffy the Vampire Slayer and bringing back Saved by the Bell! The high school themed series air in May just as the school year is about to close for most of the country. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, is not a new deal because they are borrowing it from sister network Logo. Buffy has also appeared on MTV, another sister network. The drama will continue to air on Logo as well, but not as much as it did before. These networks are all part of Viacom and Viacom is sharing the series with Universal, which airs the series on Chiller.
You thought nothing could be as intense and terrifying as high school. But Buffy and the Scooby Gang contend with all the same high school drama you do – but with demons and evil around every corner it’s even more treacherous. While the struggles of teendom can make you feel like something is the end of the world, in Sunnydale the ups and downs are literally Apocalyptic. Buffy the Vampire Slayer will air every day of the week from 10pm-12am and 2-4am, starting on Monday, May 9 only on TeenNick!
And finally of note on TeenNick, the sitcom Saved by the Bell is coming back to TeenNick after a long hiatus. The series apparently hasn't aired in nearly two years (has it been that long?). It's alright because it's "saved by the bell." The series will air in the after school hour of 3-4pm ET starting Monday, May 9 on TeenNick. Of course, Screech and the gang are everyday staples on TBS every morning since the early '90s and that will continue for many more years I think. Other series airing on TeenNick still are sitcoms That '70s Show and What I Like About You, but it seems One on One is leaving the late night schedule on weekends. And finally, a Memorial Day weekend marathon of True Jackson airs Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30 from noon–7pm ET.

Moving on to some wedding news (I'm sure everyone watched some of the Royal Wedding this morning), our friends at TV Tango have sketched out the top 10 comedy sketches that parody the Royal Family. You can feast on video clips from SNL, Kids in the Hall, Monty Python, The Carol Burnett Show and more. Check out their picks and see if you agree!


It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of May 2-6, 2011, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, May 2, 2011
  • Mindy Kaling (The Office) - Watch Mindy on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) - Catch Yvette on Lopez Tonight at 12am on TBS.
  • Niecy Nash (Do Not Disturb/Reno 911!) - Niecy drops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Steve Carrell (The Office) - Steve visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings. We'll miss him on The Office.
  • Terry Crews (Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry bakes New York-style crumb cake on The Martha Stewart Show at 1pm on Hallmark.
  • Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo appears on The Joy Behar Show on HLN at 10pm ET.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family/Back to You/Out of Practice) - Watch the hilarious Ty on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) - Catch the young and talented Atticus on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - The lovely Kaley appears on Lopez Tonight at 12am on TBS.
  • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/The Golden Girls/The Mary Tyler Moore Show) - The legendary Ms. White makes her first ever guest host appearance The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) - Melissa stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - The legendary Mr. Van Dyke talks about his book My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir on Today on NBC between 7-9am.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Watch Alec on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) - Melissa continues to make the rounds on Chelsea Lately on E! at 11pm.
  • Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Dick visits the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Estelle Harris (Seinfeld), Patricia Richardson (Home Improvment, Marion Ross (Happy Days) - A trio of TV mothers appear on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - Catch John on LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check your listings. He'll also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Terry Crews (Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry drops by The Mo'nique Show at 11pm on BET.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Catch the funny lady Tina on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - John stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) - The funny Amy chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/The Golden Girls/The Mary Tyler Moore Show) - Betty visits The Joy Behar Show at 10pm ET on HLN.
Friday, May 6, 2011
  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia appears on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom looks back at some of his most memorable appearances on the show and favorite, funniest moments on The Oprah Winfrey Show, so check your local listings.

Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TV Land and AFI Honor Morgan Freeman; The CW Renews Five Series for 2011-12

American film's finest have confirmed their participation on the American Film Institute (AFI) Gala Benefit Committee honoring 39th Life Achievement Award recipient, Morgan Freeman. Members of this year's benefit committee are Ben Affleck, Jim Carrey, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Ashley Judd, Helen Mirren, Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Robert Redford, Tim Robbins, Steven Spielberg, Hilary Swank, Denzel Washington and Alfre Woodard. AFI will present the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award – America's highest honor for a career in film – to Freeman on Thursday, June 9. TV Land Presents: The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman will air on TV Land on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The black-tie event will take place on historic Stage 15 at Sony Pictures Studios, where The Wizard of Oz, Grand Hotel, Spiderman and other classic movies were filmed. The stage will be transformed into an elegant ballroom to honor the storied career of Morgan Freeman. Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala directly support the Institute's national educational programs and the preservation of American film history.
We will have more on this special on the TV Land June 2011 highlights very soon, so come on back!

The CW Network has given early pickups to five of its established series for next season, including an All-Star Cycle of America's Next Top Model and the network's top-rated drama The Vampire Diaries. Dramas Gossip Girl, 90210 and Supernatural will also return next season. All five shows will return in Fall 2011.
America's Next Top Model has been ordered for both cycles next season, as The CW's signature reality series will kick-off the Fall with its first-ever All-Star Edition, featuring the models who became breakout characters and who had the most memorable stories from past cycles. The CW's bloodily addictive hit The Vampire Diaries was also given an early renewal, and in its sophomore season, remains the network's most-watched show and the network's number-one show among its target audience of women 18-34.
Also given early pickups for next season are The CW's scandalous guilty pleasures Gossip Girl, which is the network's second most popular series with women 18-34, and 90210, which posts some of TV's largest percent increases from DVR playback, more than doubling its women 18-34 live ratings once live+7 data is included. The network also renewed fan favorite Supernatural, which enters its seventh season next year. In moving to Fridays last September, the series immediately helped make The CW more competitive on the night and dramatically contributed to year-to-year gains on Friday in adults 18-34 and total viewers.
So we have half of the series set to air on The CW next season. What will be the other five hours? We'll see on Thursday, May 19 when The CW announces its fall 2011 schedule at its annual upfront presentation. Will One Tree Hill, Hellcats and Nikita return? Veteran drama Smallville will end its run next month with a proper send-off.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TBS Orders New Series From Tyler Perry, Ends 'Payne'; MeTV Network Presents Not-So-Royal Weddings

More Tyler Perry comedy is coming to TBS, but this time not a multi-camera family comedy. TBS has ordered 10 episodes of the new series Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse from Tyler Perry Studios. The dramedy, based on Perry's hit Why Did I Get Married? films, marks the third Tyler Perry series to come to TBS, which is also home to Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Meet the Browns. As with House of Payne and Meet the Browns, syndication will be sold by Debmar Mercury.
Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse follows the ups-and-downs of married life for Marcus and Angela, two characters who originated in the feature films Why Did I Get Married and Why Did I Get Married Too? Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight) and Tasha Smith (Couples Retreat) are set to reprise the roles of television anchor Marcus and salon owner Angela. Additional cast members will be announced at a later date.
For Better or Worse marks a new direction for Tyler Perry's television properties. Unlike his family-oriented sitcoms, For Better or Worse will target young adults. Production on the series is slated to begin this summer at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. As of now, it will be a half-hour/single-camera production. Stay tuned for a premiere date as soon as we know, but it looks like it will premiere in fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Tyler Perry's House of Payne will end its run after seven seasons on the air later this year. Meet the Browns will continue to air as that started only in 2009, but has over 100 episodes already. House of Payne will be nearing 200 episodes.

For viewers looking for more wedding fun after Will & Kate say their 'I do's,' MeTV Network is the place to be to watch more walks down the aisle! After Prince William and Kate tie the knot, tune in to the MeTV Network for a slew of hilariously "Not-So-Royal Weddings," this Sunday (May 1) starting at 11:00am ET. You'll see the weddings of Betty Jo (Petticoat Junction), Ted & Georgette (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Latka & Simka (Taxi), Joanie & Chachi (Happy Days), Carla (Cheers), Steve & Barbara (My Three Sons), Hot Lips (M*A*S*H) and of course Mike & Carol (The Brady Bunch).
The wedding fun starts at 11am and ends at 4pm ET on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nick at Nite's George Lopez: George's Most Embarrassing Moments; NBC Cancels Paul Reiser After 2 Episodes

Nick at Nite is having a week-long George Lopez marathon this week titled "George's Most Embarrassing Moments" airing 10pm-6am each night this week until Friday (April 29). We hinted at this marathon on our April 2011 highlights, but it was tentative. The marathon started yesterday (April 25) and George has no where to run and no where to hide his embarrassing moments! Nick at Nite is just coming off a week-long marathon for My Wife & Kids that aired last week (April 18-24) from 11pm-6am each night.
We still have Nick at Nite May 2011 to give you, but we can hint that the movie The Nutty Professor will make its Nick at Nite debut in May! Nick at Nite has seen some success with some movie airings in recent weeks such as with Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.

In not so surprising news, NBC canceled The Paul Reiser Show after two episodes on Friday--if you haven't heard. The comedy premiered on Thursday, April 14 with low ratings and did even worse last week (April 21), falling under a 1 rating in 18-49. That is a historic low for NBC. Effective this Thursday (April 28), repeats of The Office will take over the time period for the final four weeks of the season. The repeats will lead into all-new episodes at 9pm. Four episodes of The Paul Reiser Show will remain on the shelf and likely will never be aired--even in summer after those terrible ratings.
Since apparently no one watched Paul Reiser's new show, it was a single-camera comedy from Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor/writer/producer Reiser and had Reiser star as -- Paul Reiser. It's been a few years since his hit TV series went off the air. Since then, he's been enjoying the quiet life at home with his lovely wife, Claire (Amy Landecker), and kids and generally minding his own business, writing and producing television but enjoying life out of the spotlight. Getting him into trouble -- and into adventures -- are a group of new "friends," most of which he didn't choose since they're the husbands of his wife's friends and the dads of his kids' classmates. Thrown together by circumstance, Reiser and his cohorts, including Jonathan (Ben Shenkman, "Angels in America"), Habib (Omid Djalili), Fernando (Duane Martin, All of Us) and Brad (Andrew Daly, MADtv), form an unlikely comradeship -- and a pretty lame basketball team.

Monday, April 25, 2011

TV Land May 2011 Highlights; Remembering Madelyn Pugh Davis

May 2011 on TV Land will have the same schedule that launched in April that we relayed to you. The mini-marathon madness will continue in late nights every night with shows such as The Nanny, Roseanne, Three's Company, Home Improvement, and M*A*S*H. Primetime will still feature All in the Family and Everybody Loves Raymond with Sanford & Son leading in. And as a reminder, Boston Legal has returned airing Sunday-Thurs nights at 5am.
Among the highlights, TV Land salutes moms everywhere with an Everybody Loves Raymond marathon featuring everyone's favorite meddling mother, Marie Barone! Celebrate your mom with this three-hour block highlighting the overbearing matriarch as she literally but lovingly smothers her brood with TLC in classic Marie fashion. Starting at 10pm on Sunday, May 8, through 1am, only on TV Land!
The TV Land Movies now air Mondays at 8 since April, and will feature the premiere of Made in America on May 2. Encores for the month are Money Train, Crocodile Dundee, Crocodile Dundee II, and When Harry Met Sally.
View the TV Land May 2011 schedule and highlights.

Madelyn Pugh Davis, who with her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. made television history in the 1950s writing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's landmark situation comedy I Love Lucy, has died. She passed away after a brief illness at age 90 in Santa Monica, CA.
Pugh began her career as radio writer for NBC and later CBS, where she met Bob Carroll Jr. Their professional partnership lasted more than 50 years and together they would write some 400 television programs and roughly 500 radio shows. They began writing for Lucille Ball's radio show, My Favorite Husband, which they worked on for 2 1/2 years along with head writer Jess Oppenheimer. Pugh and Carroll would later create a vaudeville act for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, which became the basis for the pilot episode of I Love Lucy. During the six season run of the show, they received two Emmy Award nominations but they never won. Their other Lucille Ball television credits included writing episodes of The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (aka The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour) and Life with Lucy.
Some of their other television writing credits included The Paul Lynde Show, Dorothy, Those Whiting Girls and The Tom Ewell Show. In 1967, they created and wrote The Mothers-in-Law for Desi Arnaz Productions. For seven years, they were executive producers and occasional writers for the long-running sitcom Alice on CBS. They received a Golden Globe Award for one of their scripts in 1979. Their film credits included Forever, Darling and Yours, Mine and Ours. In 2005, she released her memoirs titled Laughing with Lucy: My Life with America's Leading Lady of Comedy.
You can view an extensive two-and-a-half-hour interview with Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll, Jr. from November 1997 at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television at emmytvlegends.org . Ms. Pugh Davis is survived by her son Michael Quinn Martin, four stepchildren, Brian Davis, Charlotte Davis, Lisa Davis and Ned Davis; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. We thank her for her many years working on television and for bringing us many laughs. She will be missed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week 31 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

2010-11 Week 31 TV Ratings (first four nights averages, Mon-Thu):

Households: #1. Fox 7.1/11.2 rating/share; #2. CBS 5.9/9.4; #3. ABC 5.5/8.9; #4. NBC 3.0/4.8; #5. The CW 1.1/1.7
Total Viewers: #1. Fox 12.29 million; #2. CBS 9.39 million; #3. ABC 8.66 million; #4. NBC 4.76 million; #5. The CW 1.65 million
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 3.9/11.0 rating/share; #2. CBS 2.2/5.9; #3. ABC 2.1/5.8; #4. NBC 1.7/4.5; #5. The CW 0.8/2.1

Week 31 (April 18-24) Analysis: Week 31 saw ratings go south due to Passover, Easter and Good Friday. Through the first four nights Fox has the lead in all categories, as CBS and ABC had some repeats mixed in. CBS is in second and ABC is in third. NBC is way back in fourth across the board. Fox should win the week in 18-49 and likely even in HH/viewers, unless there is a collapse. Last week, week 30, had CBS win the in HH/viewers, but Fox took the important 18-49 crown. ABC was second in HH but third in viewers again, while Fox was third in HH but second in viewers. ABC was second in 18-49, leaving CBS in third in 18-49. And of course NBC was in a distant fourth place.

Monday saw ABC get the win but lower than usual. ABC started with a new Dancing with the Stars but in 90-minute form rather than two-hours, as it did 20.1 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. At 9:30pm, a special airing of Cougar Town followed with 7.88 million, which is OK but only a 2.2 18-49 rating, which is below normal for this show. Proved a point that comedies work with other comedies in a block. If you keep reading, you'll see the normal Wednesday edition did better. At 10pm ABC aired a 20/20 Special on William & Kate instead of Castle and did 7.47 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, probably on par with what a Castle repeat would have done. CBS was next with its comedies and Hawaii Five-0. How I Met Your Mother started it off with another below normal 6.48 million and a season low 2.5 18-49 rating. This week was plagued by Passover and Easter, I guess, as everything was down. Mad Love was not a winner as it did 5.62 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, up a tenth from previous week. Two and a Half Men was next with a repeat doing 7.44 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, just about matching its previous week's numbers at 9:30. A new Mike & Molly at 9:30pm did 9.98 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, which is up two million from previous week when it was at 9pm, but only up a tenth in 18-49. Hawaii Five-0 was all-new at 10pm and did 11.44 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, a rare series going up this week. Fox was all-new with House doing a season low 8.8 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, on par really with previous week. A new episode of Chicago Code followed at 9pm with still its normal showings of 6.38 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. NBC started with a new Chuck doing just 4.22 million and only a 1.3 18-49 rating, on par with previous week's lows. The Event was next and did terrible with 3.85 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating. Law & Order: Los Angeles did just as bad with 5.12 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, down from previous week's two-hour return. The CW was finally all-new with 90210 doing 1.72 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating and Gossip Girl followed with 1.43 million and a 0.7 18-49 rating. These two are just not working and 90210 at least needs to be axed.

Tuesday had Fox with the win in 18-49, with CBS and ABC battling overall. CBS started with a repeat of NCIS and did 13.43 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating which was old skewing. NCIS: Los Angeles followed with a repeat and did 11.23 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, growing from the lead-in. A second repeat followed instead of The Good Wife and did 9.11 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, up a tenth from previous week's all-new Good Wife, ouch. For ABC the Emmy-winning Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution did 4.72 million and only a 1.1 18-49 rating, not good. At 9, Dancing with the Stars: The Results did 16.31 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week but up in viewers. At 10pm, week four of Body of Proof won its hour again with 11.37 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week but up in viewers. Renewal news to come soon, I think. Fox FINALLY had a new Glee and did 9.8 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, which is good but below normal. Next Fox aired a new episode of comedy, Raising Hope and did 5.31 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, which could be better. New comedy Traffic Light was all-new too and did only 3.08 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating only, but up from previous week when it aired out of repeats. NBC aired a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 6.62 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, which was a season low and possibly a series low. Then at 10pm, Parenthood had its season finale and did its best ratings since early fall doing 6.32 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, up from previous week. With the state of NBC, I already knew this was coming back next season but this performance confirmed it. The CW was open for business on Tuesdays with a new One Tree Hill doing 1.4 million and a 0.7 18-49 rating, which is bad. Next at 9pm was a new Hellcats and that did worse with 1.19 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. The CW needs to ditch these dramas and go for comedy next season for one night at least, but that won't happen since they have none in development.

Wednesday it was all Fox with American Idol carrying it again. A 90-minute Idol did 22.54 million and a 7.1 18-49 rating, down some from the previous week. The 90-minute telecast was followed by week three of new comedy Breaking In that did 7.46 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. It needs to air with other comedies. Odette Yustman in a racing jumpsuit, oh my! CBS started the night off with Survivor: Redemption Island doing 11.02 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, which was on par with previous week and on the low side again. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was a repeat doing 8.71 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. At 10pm, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior was also a repeat for the first time and did 7.19 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, which wasn't too bad out of its lead-in. Still one of the most disappointing new series in terms of ratings when it is new this year as expectations were much higher since it was a spin-off of a big hit. ABC had its Laugh On comedy block and had a new The Middle open the night with 6.82 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. Lower than fall/winter due to a combination of daylight savings and Idol/Survivor I guess. Then at 8:30, Better With You was new doing 5.24 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up some from previous week's series low. I think tomorrow's special airing will do good numbers and better than Cougar Town because of two reasons--more compatible with Dancing and guest star Derek Hough. But still no comedy will do well on its own out of Idol or Dancing. Anyway, then ABC aired a new Modern Family at 9pm doing 9.95 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, which is below normal but on par really with the previous week. Then at 9:30, Cougar Town returned from its hiatus with 6.18 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, like its lead-in, below normal but the 18-49 rating was better than Monday's showing. At 10pm, new comedy Happy Endings did OK with 4.59 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, down some from previous week at 10pm. It was good enough to win its half-hour in 18-49. Keep it right here or even go up, and ABC will renew. A special all-new episode followed and did a lower 3.88 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, which is lower than Modern Family repeat the previous week. Not good, but this show isn't airing at 10:30 every week. It'll be fine at 10. NBC aired a new Minute to Win It and did only 3.12 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, for another series low. NBC is totally wasting this series. Then a repeat followed and did only 2.99 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, which is embarrassing. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU at 10pm did only 4.96 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week. The CW had a repeat of America's Next Top Model starting it off at 8pm doing 1.17 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. Now new episodes are at 9pm but it got off to a slow start doing 1.58 million and a 0.7 18-49 rating, for a season low and possibly lowest ever. As of now, this move hasn't paid off.

Thursday saw Fox win the night with CBS and ABC in repeats so there was no competition. But first, ABC opened the night with a repeat of a Spring episode of Wipeout doing 4.68 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating. Then Grey's Anatomy was a repeat at 9pm doing 3.88 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, down some week-to-week. A repeat of Private Practice at 10 closed the night with 2.64 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. These dramas return this week as May sweeps (already??) gets started. CBS aired repeats too, with The Big Bang Theory at 8pm doing 7.15 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. Rules of Engagement was next with a repeat doing 5.46 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, up a tenth from previous week. At 9, CSI repeat did 8.47 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. And at 10pm The Mentalist was a repeat too and jumped to 11.08 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, also up some from previous week. Onto #1 Fox, it was all American Idol as an one-hour airing did 20.32 million and a 5.8 18-49 rating, but down from previous week. Fox then followed with a new Bones at 9pm doing 10.96 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, down from previous week. NBC comedies were all-new but low as usual. Community started it off with only 3.17 million (just barely beating math formula Pi's 3.14) and a 1.4 18-49 rating, tying a series low. Then week two of burn-off The Paul Resier Show did only 2.38 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, for a historic low and NBC pulled it the next day. It is gone. The Office was next and did 6.85 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down a lot from previous week. Carrell leaves this week, but competition returns along with the NFL Draft on ESPN. I don't see it going above a 4, but we'll see. Parks and Recreation was next with 4.88 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, down a tad from previous week and not as down as much as the lead-in. 30 Rock followed at 10 with a one-hour episode celebrating its 100th episode doing 4.6 million but an acceptable 2.2 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. And the likely doomed Outsourced was preempted. The CW was next with all-new episodes of Vampire Diaries doing 2.7 million and only a 1.2 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. Then a new Nikita did 2.01 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, on par with previous week.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but Friday had CBS win the night with the two-hour special Superstar Women of Country from 9-11pm, while Shark Tank won the 8pm hour for ABC. Fringe did a series low for Fox. Saturday had ABC win by a a lot with the classic film The Ten Commandments.

Tonight ABC is all-new with AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, & Brothers & Sisters, since it is Easter they will be lower than normal probably but will win the night. NBC has a new episode of ratings challenged America's Next Great Restaurant & another two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, all starting at 8 following Dateline at 7. CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by The Amazing Race at 8 but Undercover Boss & CSI: Miami are preempted from 9-11pm for a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie starring Emily VanCamp. Fox is in repeats with Animation Domination starting at 7pm with all The Simpsons tonight, including the 2007 big screen movie.

As for the week (week 31), Fox will win the week in 18-49 and should prevail in HH/viewers barring a collapse. CBS will likely battle Fox for HH/viewers, but should come up short. ABC will be second likely in 18-49, but third in HH/viewers. NBC is certain for fourth. And for the coming week (week 32), has the reality competition series (just what we need?) The Voice on NBC Tuesday from 9-11pm. It should be sampled, but I don't think it will be as big as Idol or Dancing of course. Fox and ABC are even "teaming" together to derail the premiere with a longer Glee and a Dancing special leading into a star-studded Dancing Results Show with a popular Idol contestant from THIS season. And sweeps starts on Thursday as we near the end of the 2010-2011 season already.

Week 31 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 30 -- April 11-17)

  • American Dad! (Fox) - A repeat did 2.7 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating at 7:30pm. An all-new episode at a special time of 8:30pm did 4.74 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, beating a new Bob's Burgers from the previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) - A repeat at 8pm did 4.18 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating.
  • Bob's Burgers (Fox) - preempted.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did a below normal 5.98 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, down some from previous week.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode airing did 4.61 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode once again did lower than usual ratings with 6.48 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, for a season low.
  • Mad Love (CBS) - For a CBS Monday comedy, 5.62 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating is pretty low but it did go up a tad from previous week.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A repeat did 7.44 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating which was on par with previous week when it aired at 9:30.
  • Mike & Molly (CBS) - A new episode of this sitcom did 9.98 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, up two million week-to-week but only a tenth in 18-49, as it skewed older. Weird. Possibly the Dancing audience came over.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - The return of this comedy on a special night did 7.88 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, as the latter is lower than normal. It proves the lead-in doesn't help all of the time, as this show is not suited to air after Dancing, just like how Breaking In doesn't fit out of Idol. Comedies alone usually do not do well...they perform better with another comedy (or three).

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Raising Hope (Fox) - A new episode did 5.31 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, which is OK, and could be better.
  • Traffic Light (Fox) - A new episode did only 3.08 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, better than previous week when it aired out of repeats.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode of this sitcom did 6.82 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, up a lick from previous week.
  • Better with You (ABC) - A new episode did 5.24 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, also up some from previous week...as a special Dancing themed episode is airing tomorrow night at 9:30 after Dancing. I think it will do decent as Derek Hough is guest starring.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode did 9.95 million and a 3.8 18-49 rating, which is basically on par with previous week.
  • Cougar Town (ABC) - The return of this comedy to Wednesdays did 6.18 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, which is below normal, but so was its lead-in. It did do better than the special Monday airing in 18-49, so that proves my point of airing with other comedies.
  • Happy Endings (ABC) 2 episodes - A new episode at 10pm did 4.59 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, down some from previous week at 10pm, but good enough to win its half-hour. If it stays around this level or if it even goes up a bit, it will be renewed. A special second episode did only 3.88 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating. Perhaps this week when Modern Family Fan Favorites airs in this half-hour, this new comedy will do better at 10pm.
  • Breaking In (Fox) - The new comedy aired following American Idol again and didn't hold too much again, doing 7.46 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. ONCE AGAIN, comedies work better with other comedies. And this show is not compatible at all with Idol.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A repeat did a good 7.15 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, on par really with previous week.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - A repeat did 5.46 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, up a tenth in the latter category from previous week.
  • Community (NBC) - A new episode did only 3.17 million and 1.4 18-49 rating, on par with previous week in 18-49.
  • The Paul Reiser Show (NBC) - NBC was at another historic low with just 2.38 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating for a new episode. It has since been pulled from the line-up...and everyone saw that coming.
  • The Office (NBC) - A new episode did 6.85 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down quite a bit from previous week in this week of south ratings.
  • Parks and Recreation (NBC) - A new episode did 4.88 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, down a lick from previous week.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A special milestone 100th episode was one-hour and did 4.6 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, on par with previous week when it was a half-hour...the 18-49 rating for 10pm is acceptable.
  • Outsourced (NBC) - preempted.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are Fox's animated comedies from 7-10pm, but in repeats.

Summing it up. Modern Family, The Office, Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men (R) were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Cougar Town, Breaking In) or just plain old terrible (such as The Paul Reiser Show, Traffic Light, Community).

[Source: Nielsen NTI Ratings. View Travis Yanan's Ratings Website].

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Digital Digest: South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season DVD/Blu-ray Disc Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, where we give you your weekly fulfillment of all things digital in the world of home media! We've got a healthy bit of news for you this week (it's getting a little less anemic lately, thankfully!) and we've got a review of South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc). Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

CBS Home Entertainment announced some time ago that they were going to bring more cat fights and caviar to DVD with the fifth season of Dynasty, and that got shelved for a bit, but as it turns out now, Dynasty - The Fifth Season is on the way, set for release on July 5. But it isn't JUST half a season being released on that day! You can purchase Volume 1, Volume 2, or both volumes (the entire season) on the same day. It would be nice if they would just release the entire season as one set, but at least this will speed up the releases a bit.

Dynasty isn't the only set coming out from CBS Home Entertainment on July 5, though. You can also see the fifth season of the classic action drama Mannix, with Mannix - The Fifth Season. No details are known about this set yet, but it probably won't include any special features (as the previous few sets have not), but we'll let you know if that is incorrect.

American Dad! - Volume 6 was just released on Tuesday, but information inside revealed some more animated releases on the way from Fox. The Cleveland Show - The Complete Season Two and the first season Bob's Burgers were both revealed (box art was shown for The Cleveland Show, even), but no dates or further information was given. Still, it is nice to know that these are on the way.

The Lucy Show - The Official Fourth Season is set for release by CBS Home Entertainment on Tuesday, but as is often the case, the set includes information for MPI Home Video's releases of Here's Lucy, and the latest set indicates that Here's Lucy - Season Five is indeed on the way! This is no surprise, of course, as MPI has indicated in the past that they intend to release all six seasons of the series. No release date is given just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we do.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (April 26) brings us more Lucy (a favorite of sitcom fans) with The Lucy Show - The Official Fourth Season. We don't have a review copy of this yet, but as soon as we do, we'll have a review for you. Also on Tuesday, you can "smile again" as Warner Home Video brings us more of the Seavers in Growing Pains - The Complete Second Season. You can read our review of this set here. Finally, just in time for Wednesday's premiere of the fifteenth season, Comedy Central DVD has South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc) for Tuesday. You can read our review of this today in Digital Digest.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

A sweet little town in Colorado must be nice, clean, and perfect, right? If you live in the town South Park, you'd be wrong. Just in time for the April 27 premiere of the the fifteenth season (yes, it is the fifteenth season already!), Comedy Central DVD presents The Complete Fourteenth Season of South Park, the series about a group of foul-mouthed fourth-graders who seem to get themselves into all sorts of bizarre, controversial, and hilarious situations. Check out our review of South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (DVD/Blu-ray Disc)

DVD/Blu-ray Disc Review - South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season
by skees53

South Park - The Complete Fourteenth Season (Comedy Central, $57.99 Blu-Ray Disc/$49.99 DVD) gives viewers the opportunity to head back to South Park, Colorado for 14 more episodes of the most dysfunctional kids on the planet. The fourteenth season brings yet more comedy and controversy as the series takes on the Tiger Woods scandal, Facebook, Towlie's drug addiction, NASCAR, Jersey Shore, and more.

The season begins with "Sexual Healing," where some of the boys at South Park Elementary (care to guess which ones?) are diagnosed as being addicted to sex in the wake of rich and successful men wanting to have sex with many, many women. Butters writes a vulgar story that makes him into a critically acclaimed author in "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs." KFC has been banned from Colorado, but medicinal marijuana is on the way in in "Medicinal Fried Chicken," but while Randy is doing whatever it takes to get some medicinal marijuana, Cartman is running a black-market KFC operation. In "200" and "201" (aka the "lost" episodes), South Park is about to be sued by all of the celebrities they've ever made fun of... unless they can convince a certain Muslim prophet to show his face in South Park! Towlie faces drug addiction while Jimmy and Timmy are facing crushing competition at Lake Tardicaca in "Crippled Summer."
Cartman's dreams of being a NASCAR driver are crushed because he realizes that he isn't poor and stupid enough in "Poor and Stupid." The Snooki monster and GTL are taking over the whole nation in "It's a Jersey Thing," and an all-out civil war erupts. In "Insheeption," the series Hoarders comes to South Park after Wendy complains about Stan's locker, but it isn't long before he and Mr. Mackey are placed in a dangerous dream. The Coon is back and is facing competition from another superhero in the three part trilogy, including the episodes "Coon 2: Hindsight," "Mysterion Rises," and "Coon vs. Coon and Friends." The Season ends with "Crème Fraîche," where Randy becomes obsessed with Food Network and wreaks havoc on all of South Park Elementary.

The episodes are all unedited, although that is a subjective term depending upon what you mean by unedited. The most important thing to note is that nothing is missing from the original broadcast versions of the episodes. That means that the episodes on the set are presented "uncensored" and have any objectionable language restored. But just exactly how "uncensored" are the episodes? Well, the episodes "201" and "202" are exactly as they aired on Comedy Central, with the deep censorship that Matt Stone and Trey Parker objected to when they aired. Apparently, Comedy Central has made it very clear that they do not want the completely unedited versions out there, and that is a shame. They even put a disclaimer about this at the beginning of the episode "202," which was so heavily censored that it only aired once on Comedy Central before being permanently pulled from their rotation. Runtimes are as follows:

1. "Sexual Healing" (22:16)
2. "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" (22:16)
3. "Medicinal Fried Chicken" (22:16)
4. "You Have 0 Friends" (22:16)
5. "200" (22:16)
6. "201" (22:44)
7. "Crippled Summer" (22:17)
8. "Poor and Stupid" (22:16)
9. "It's a Jersey Thing" (22:16)
10. "Insheeption" (22:16)
11. "Coon 2: Hindsight" (22:16)
12. "Mysterion Rises" (22:16)
13. "Coon vs. Coon and Friends" (22:16)
14. "Crème Fraîche" (22:16)

Both the DVD and Blu-ray Disc versions have relatively similar packaging, although like most Blu-ray sets, the Blu-ray set is shorter and a bit thinner (and fewer discs). The DVD contains three discs, while the Blu-ray contains two discs. Aside from that, the packaging is the same. The cover features a red background, with Kenny dressed as Mysterion and Cartman dressed as Captain Hindsight (and Kyle and Stan just as themselves) with an explosion in the background. Inside, both sets have a digipak, which has a scene from the "It's a Jersey Thing" episode on the back, and various other episode scenes inside. All of the episodes are listed on the far left and far right panel of both sets. On the DVD set, Disc 1 has a picture of Randy with his oversized testicles (from "Medicinal Fried Chicken"), Disc 2 has a picture of a shark (from "Crippled Summer," and Disc 3 contains a picture from "Crème Fraîche." The disc artwork from Discs 1 and 3 on the DVD can be found on Discs 1 and 2, respectively, on the Blu-ray set. On the DVD, Disc 1 contains episodes 1-5, Disc 2 contains episodes 6-10, and Disc 3 contains episodes 11-14. Each disc on the Blu-ray version contains seven episodes each.

The menus are rather different on both sets, but that is to be expected between DVD and Blu-ray sets. The DVD menu has a brief video clip playing from an episode on the disc, followed by a still screen that gives options of Play All, Episode Selection, Bonus Features, and Commentaries. Beyond the beginning of the main menu, none of the menus include video animation. The episode selection menu lists all of the episodes, along with a snapshot from all of the episodes. Of course, on the Blu-ray version, the menus are all animated, and the set has a pop up menu (with the same options as the DVD set). But other than the menus looking different, they are really about the same, and there aren't any extra special features that can be found on one set that can not be found on the other. Chapters are placed throughout all of the episodes on both versions.

Both sets look excellent with regards to video and audio quality. There really aren't any problems to note on either set, and honestly, I think that the DVD looks just about as good as the Blu-ray set, though there is some improvement from the true high-definition quality of the Blu-ray. The DVDs are closed-captioned, while the Blu-ray set contains English subtitles.

The special features on this set are really not as impressive as I would have hoped for. There are the usual mini-commentaries (which only last the first few minutes of the episode) from Trey Parker and Matt Stone on every episode, as usual. Also, there are deleted scenes (6:08) from the episodes on Disc 1 of each set. And finally, the season 13 episode "The Coon" (22:16) is included, as a way to introduce the character (who appears in a three-part story in this season) to audiences who may have missed him before.

I really don't have any problems with this set, as it is just another typical South Park set. In other words, it is a great quality set with a modest amount of special features, although I always do wish that they would go deeper with the special features. I am a little disappointed that we didn't get to see the unedited versions of "200" and "201," and I'm sure that a lot of fans will be too, but I suppose those just weren't meant to be scene (well, at least by Comedy Central's standards). I'm anxiously awaiting the fifteenth season in order to see how they push the envelope this season. It seems that they push it further and further each and every season, and each time, it makes the previous seasons seem rather tame. So head on down to South Park and meet these friends of mine!

(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase the DVD version, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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To purchase the Blu-ray Disc version, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
South Park on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week with more news and reviews, including a review of yet another rare Hanna-Barbera cartoon straight from the Warner Archive (they really keep those coming, which is great!). Until then, keep it digital!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sitcom Schedule Changes on BET; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 25, 2011)

We have more BET news for you--this time more specific scheduling news. This week BET aired every single episode of The Game so far from 8am-6pm (four seasons worth), now today they are airing a marathon of Everybody Hates Chris and a marathon of Girlfriends tomorrow. Then some regular schedule changes will begin next week, starting Monday, April 25. Basically, The Jamie Foxx Show and Girlfriends will switch times, as Foxx will now air from 11am-1pm and Girlfriends from 3pm-5pm (leading into spin-off The Game). The rest of the line-up will remain the same. Weekends will also have sitcoms still with more of a presence on Sundays now in the late mornings/early afternoons. Stunts wise, there will be a Bernie Mac Day on Saturday, May 2 with a marathon of his sitcom Bernie Mac from 9am-9pm leading into some of his movies like Soul Men and Mr. 3000.
Sister network Centric will have a few marathon stunts in the next few weeks as well. Next weekend will have Miami Vice on Saturday (April 30) from 12pm-8pm with an encore on Sunday (May 1) from 9am-3pm. The following weekend has comedy with Sister, Sister on Saturday, May 7 from 12pm-6pm and encoring on Mother's Day (Sunday, May 8) from 9am-3pm. These are two good showcases because Miami Vice only airs weekdays at 6am and Sister, Sister doesn't air regularly on Centric anymore. Stay tuned for any further updates, as always!


It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of April 25-29, 2011, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!

Monday, April 25, 2011
  • Paul Reiser (The Paul Reiser Show/Mad About You/My Two Dads) - Watch Paul on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - The funny lady appears on a March repeat of Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mario Lopez (Saved by the Bell) - Tune in to see Mario on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check listings.
  • Kathy Griffin (Suddenly Susan) - Kathy chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Sinbad (The Sinbad Show/A Different World) - Catch Sinbad on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • David Alan Grier (Life with Bonnie/DAG/Damon) - David visits with Kathie Lee and Hoda on Today on NBC between 9-10am.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
  • Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly/Drake & Josh) - Watch Miranda on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • Sinbad (The Sinbad Show/A Different World) - Sinbad continues to make the rounds on The Gayle King Show at 10am on OWN.
  • David Alan Grier (Life with Bonnie/DAG/Damon) - Catch D.A.G. on The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy seems to appear on at least one talk show every week. Watch him on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:37am on NBC.
  • John Lehr (10 Items or Less/Jesse) - Catch John on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:37am on NBC.
  • Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope) - Martha drops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check your listings.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family/The Knights of Prosperity/Hot Properties) - The lovely and funny Sofia appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12am on ABC.
  • Odette Annable (Breaking In) - Watch the beautiful Odette on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson) at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) - Alec stops by LIVE! with Regis & Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Tia Mowry (The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
Friday, April 29, 2011
  • John Krasinski (The Office) - John appears on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bob Saget (How I Met Your Mother/Full House/Surviving Suburbia) - Catch Bob on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Terry Crews (Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - See Terry on The Martha Stewart Show at 10am on Hallmark.

Leave us comments on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us to let us know what you think of this Friday feature! We do listen!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BET 2011 Upfront; Remembering Sol Saks and Jon Cedar

We mentioned details on BET's plans for comedy last Friday, but now BET officially announced plans to renew The Game and Let's Stay Together for next season and the new comedy Reed Between the Lines premiering this fall.
We won't repeat ourselves, but we do have more details and casting for the upcoming new comedy. In Reed Between the Lines, Alex is an English professor. Carla's a psychologist. Theirs is quite the contemporary blended Black family, and the couple's hands are beyond full parenting teenage twins and an outspoken 7-year-old daughter. Watch as the couple navigates modern family life and marriage with warmth, wit and humor. Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show), Anna Maria Horsford (Amen) and Melissa De Sousa (The Best Man) star in this new BET original scripted comedy series.

Sol Saks, a veteran comedy writer who created the classic ABC sitcom Bewitched, died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia on April 16 in Los Angeles at the age of 100. He began his career as a radio actor as a child. Saks would later write for radio comedies such as Duffy's Tavern and early television sitcoms including My Favorite Husband, Mr. Adams and Eve and I Married Joan. In addition to his writing work for radio and television, he wrote the screenplay for Cary Grant's final film in 1966, the comedy Walk, Don't Run. In 1985, he wrote The Craft of Comedy Writing.
In 1964, he created the long-running and successful Bewitched for ABC. According to harpiesbizarre.com, Saks drew inspiration for the story about a witch who weds a mortal man from two films: I Married a Witch (1942), starring Fredric March and Veronica Lake, and Bell Book and Candle (1958), with James Stewart and Kim Novak. He would write only the pilot episode of the series that was titled, "I, Darrin, Take This Witch, Samantha."
You can view an extensive 2009 interview with Saks at the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television at www.emmytvlegends.org . We thank Mr. Saks for bringing us the classic Screen Gems sitcom Bewitched. Unfortunately, Bewitched is currently off the TV Land schedule. He will be missed.

Veteran character actor Jon Cedar died April 14 at Providence Tarzana Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 80.
His career began as a youngster on the stage. He would travel across the country with his family and appear off-Broadway and in national tours in shows including The Deputy and South Pacific.
Cedar is probably best known for his regular role as the lovable Corporal Langenscheidt on the 1965-71 sitcom Hogan's Heroes. He played one of Sergeant Schult'z guards. Some of his many television guest appearances included Ben Casey, Mission: Impossible, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak, Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, The Greatest American Hero, Dynasty, Hardcastle and McCormick, Diff'rent Strokes, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, and Matlock. He wrote, produced and appeared in the 1978 Tony Curtis film The Manitou. Some of his other feature film roles included Foxy Brown, Death Hunt, Capricorn One and Murder in Mind.
Cedar is survived by his actor brother George, actress daughter, Loren Thompson, his producer son, Michael Cedar, and his longtime companion, Elynore Leigh. Mr. Cedar will be missed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 TV Land Awards Highest Rated Ever; Michael Scott Gets Send-Off Marathon On TBS

The 2011 TV Land Awards 2011 scored huge, record-breaking numbers for the network, attracting over 2 million viewers for its premiere telecast this past Sunday (April 17) at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This makes it the network's most watched TV Land Awards show ever (not counting simulcast airings on Nick at Nite, which was done the first few years). The star-studded special, which was held in New York City for the very first time, was the highest rated TV Land Awards show since 2004 across all key demos and posted double-digit gains in rating and viewers over last year's show. The 2011 TV Land Awards, which honored John Travolta and the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, Michael J. Fox and the cast of Family Ties, Bill Cosby and the cast of The Cosby Show, the cast of The Facts of Life, Regis Philbin and music duo Daryl Hall and John Oates, reached nearly 7 million viewers for its premiere night on the network.
The TV Land Awards averaged over 2 million viewers, up 20% over last year's show. Among the network's target Adults 25-54 audience, the special earned a 0.8 rating and 856,000 viewers, an increase of 19% in rating and 16% in viewers 25-54 over 2010's telecast. The special was a hit among Women 25-54, posting a 1.0 rating and 503,000 viewers among women 25-54, up 32% in rating and 30% in viewers over last year. And among the network's core Adults 40-54 audience, it posted a 1.3 rating and 697,000 viewers 40-54, up 19% in rating and 17% in viewers over 2010's show.
Also, this year's TV Land Awards attracted a 48% larger audience to the Awards site section of TVLand.com versus last year, making it the most visited TV Land Awards to date. Social Media played a role in helping to drive this increase, specifically the TV Land Facebook Fan page which drove users to engage with posts on the page via comments and likes, and ultimately clicking through to TVLand.com for additional content around the TV Land Awards. Additionally, the photo gallery featuring celebrities on the red carpet at the show was a hit with visitors on the site, with each fan viewing nearly all 50 photos contained within the gallery.

And now a special message from "The Management" of Dunder Mifflin Scranton:
"Our beloved boss, Michael Scott, is leaving Dunder Mifflin, Inc. and moving to Colorado with his fiancée, Holly. On Tuesday, April 26, two days before the happy couple departs, we'll hold a special going-away party to celebrate the world's best boss.
We've asked our friends at TBS to put together six of the most memorable events from Michael's time at Dunder Mifflin. The event will include "The Injury," "Gay Witch Hunt," "Survivor Man," "Dinner Party," "Café Disco," and "Double Date."
Tune in from 8-11pm in primetime on TBS next Tuesday to see the best of Michael Scott, aka the man with two first names! I don't think you need to write this on paper, but you can watch the finale of Michael Scott at Dunder Mifflin Scranton on Thursday, April 28 at 9/8 central on NBC. That's The Office to the rest of the world.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TV Land Developing Hot in Cleveland Spin-Off; Network Notes for ABC, CBS and Fox

TV Land is developing a sitcom with renowned comedian/actor Cedric the Entertainer, it was announced by the network. The series is currently set to be a spin-off of TV Land's hit original sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, which stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and the incomparable Betty White. The spin-off revolves around a character that Cedric will originate in the second half of season two of new episodes of Hot (premiering this summer) in which he will play a minister who finds himself involved in the four ladies' latest humorous adventures.
The untitled series is contingent upon the pilot script, which will be co-written by Cedric and Suzanne Martin. Martin would also serve as executive producer of the series along with Emmy® Award-winner Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions, who are also executive producers of Hot in Cleveland.
Hot in Cleveland launched on TV Land in summer 2010 and quickly won over viewers, becoming the number one cable sitcom of 2010. It remains the highest-rated and most-watched program on the network, averaging 3.1 million total viewers per week. The show returns June 15 with new episodes.
TV Land's development deal is one more step by the network into the world of original sitcoms. The network recently announced two more new series pick-ups – Happily Divorced, starring Fran Drescher, and The Exes, starring the ensemble of Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche and Kristen Johnston. In addition, TV Land has also renewed Retired at 35 for a second season and Hot in Cleveland for a 24-episode third season, both for 2012. The series pick-ups take the network from zero to four scripted sitcoms, all with leading comedic talent, within a year's time. The upcoming series with Cedric is just one of the many projects in TV Land's development pipeline, but it hasn't been officially picked-up yet. If and when it does, we will let you know...but you will 100% see Cedric at least on Hot in Cleveland. If it works out, he will be spun-off!

Moving on to some network notes, ABC announced last Thursday after promising ratings that an extra episode of new comedy Happy Endings will air this Wednesday at 10:30pm, replacing a Modern Family "Fan Favorites" encore. The comedy airs regularly in the 10pm half-hour after Cougar Town at 9:30, which returns tomorrow in the time period. Happy Endings premiered last week at 9:30pm after Modern Family and also aired in its regular 10pm half-hour to decent numbers, especially for ABC Wednesday at 10. We have seen episodes three and four airing this Wednesday in the 10pm hour, as you read in our review, and they are must see and go to another level from the premiere. Tune in!
In a scoop to us, CBS announced that Friday drama Chaos has been removed from the schedule effective immediately after only three airings. The series has struggled in the ratings and will be replaced this week by a repeat of CSI: NY. The following week (April 29) was the already scheduled special on the Royal Wedding, but starting Friday, May 6, CBS will air a new season of the Canadian series Flashpoint. In addition, we also announced that tonight's repeat of The Good Wife has been replaced by a second hour repeat of NCIS: Los Angeles. No reason was given, but they probably want to be a bit more competitive with ABC's new Body of Proof, which has done solid ratings and The Good Wife doesn't repeat as well as all the other CBS dramas. One other CBS repeat note has The Big Bang Theory stepping in next Monday (April 25) at 9pm in place of a repeat of Two and a Half Men.
And finally, you'll get to see Running Wilde finish off its run after all--but not on Fox. Fox's cable network FX will air the series Thursdays at 10pm starting next week (April 28). The Will Arnett-Keri Russell comedy has four episodes remaining from its 13 episode order and they will finally air during four consecutive Thursday airings. Repeats will air in the 10:30pm half-hour as well along with late night encores later in the night. The series last aired a new episode on Sunday, December 26 and was last seen on the Fox Saturday late night encore block in early January before being pulled to low ratings there, too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hallmark Channel May 2011 Schedule; MeTV Network Coming to San Francsico and Seattle

May 2011 kicks off on The Hallmark Channel with a 24-hour marathon of I Love Lucy on Sunday, May 1, 2011 starting at 6am. The regular weekday and weekend schedule will remain unchanged, as of now, so expect the current schedule to go into May as well. The schedule can be found here, if you have forgotten.
No changes to the schedule doesn't mean there won't be any marathon stunts! Other stunts in May 2011 besides the Lucy marathon has a 24-hour Little House on the Prairie marathon on Saturday, May 21, 2011 starting at 6am and a Memorial Day Weekend sitcom stunt! The sitcom stunt lasts three days and starts at 5am on Saturday, May 28, 2011. It's a three-hour tour for three days for Memorial Day Weekend! The laughs begin at 5am with a three-hour block of I Love Lucy, followed by three hours of Empty Nest from 8am-11am. The Golden Girls will air also for three hours starting at 11am and running to 2pm. The triple play marathon continues with three-hours of Frasier beginning at 2pm, then more The Golden Girls at 5pm, and more Frasier starting at 8pm. Cheers gets in on the three hour act starting at 11pm and then Empty Nest closes out the night from 2am-5am. This schedule repeats on Sunday, May 29, 2011 as well! On Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) itself, the marathon is interrupted by the regular Martha Stewart Home block from 10am-3pm, so that is the only change, as the rest of the day will be identical to the previous two days' blocks.


Weigel Broadcasting Co. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) announced that MeTV (Memorable Entertainment Television) Network, the new digital classic television network, will be cleared as primary signals on Newport Television's full power stations KFTY-TV50 serving San Francisco (DMA 6) and KVOS-TV serving Seattle (DMA 13). Both stations have full market distribution with cable and satellite carriage and are scheduled to premiere as MeTV affiliates later this spring. Currently, both KFTY and KVOS are independent stations, so they will be changing to be MeTV affiliates.
These two stations join WBME-TV49, serving the Milwaukee area, as MeTV primary station clearances. Since its 2008 launch, MeTV Milwaukee has experienced impressive triple digit growth across key time periods. MeTV Chicago was where the concept began on primary station WWME-TV23. And now it is available on many digital stations in the United States, with Chicago, Milwaukee and the upcoming San Francisco and Seattle stations being primary stations (meaning on a dot one!). The rest are on digital stations like Raleigh (WRAZ-TV50.2) and Louisville (WLKY-TV32.2).
Me-TV is now cleared in more than 45% of the country on leading station groups including: Hearst Television, Raycom Media, Cox Television, Newport Television, Media General, Capitol Broadcasting, Bahakel Communications, Gray Television, Quincy Newspapers, New Age Media, MPS Media, London Broadcasting Group, Bonten Media Group, and Titan Broadcast Management. We will announce more official clearances when available, whether it is on primary or digital stations. See an unofficial list for now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 30 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did

2010-11 Week 30 TV Ratings (first four nights averages, Mon-Thu):

Households: #1. CBS 6.8/10.6 rating/share; #1. Fox 6.8/10.6; #3. ABC 6.3/10.0; #4. NBC 3.2/5.1; #5. The CW 0.9/1.4
Total Viewers: #1. Fox 11.76 million; #2. CBS 10.83 million; #3. ABC 9.93 million; #4. NBC 5.12 million; #5. The CW 1.35 million
Adults 18-49: #1. Fox 3.7/10.5 rating/share; #2. CBS 2.5/7.0; #3. ABC 2.5/6.9; #4. NBC 1.8/5.0; #5. The CW 0.6/1.6

Week 30 (April 11-17) Analysis: Week 30 saw two new sitcoms launch with one seeing good numbers and the other at a historic low. Through the first four nights CBS and Fox are battling for first in HH/viewers with Fox a clear first in 18-49. ABC in a close third in HH/viewers and tied with CBS for second in 18-49. NBC is way back in fourth across the board. Fox should win the week in 18-49 and CBS will win the week in HH/viewers. Last week, week 29, had CBS win the week across the board thanks to the NCAA Final Four on Monday, as they nipped by Fox by a tenth in 18-49. ABC was second in HH but third in viewers, while Fox was third in HH but second in viewers. ABC was third in 18-49. And of course NBC was in a distant fourth place.

Monday saw ABC get the W. ABC started with a new Dancing with the Stars doing 20.93 million and a 4.5 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. At 10pm ABC aired Castle and did 12.33 million and a 3.0 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. CBS was next with its comedies and Hawaii Five-0. How I Met Your Mother started it off with a below normal 6.87 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating. It can do better than this, but in a week of lower numbers, it is winner. Mad Love was not a winner as it did series lows with 5.48 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. I have a hunch this one will not be back next season. Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly switched time periods for one week, and it wasn't a success, as Mike & Molly at 9pm did a series low of 7.9 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, which is lower than the usual Men repeats in this slot. Men followed with a repeat at a below normal 7.49 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, which for a repeat is good. Hawaii Five-0 was all-new at 10pm and suffered with a series low of 9.54 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. Usually CBS's moves pay off, but not this time. Fox was all-new with House doing a season low 8.93 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, not good for this show. A new episode of Chicago Code followed at 9pm with still its normal showings of 5.94 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, as it will battle with other similar performing shows like Lie to Me for a renewal. NBC started with a new Chuck doing just 4.03 million and only a 1.3 18-49 rating. It doesn't look like this series will be back now...no more Subway campaigns to save it. The Event was preempted for a two-hour return of Law & Order: Los Angeles that did only 6.1 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. I don't think this one will be back next season either. The CW was in repeats with 90210 doing only 720,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating, which was on par with previous week. Gossip Girl followed and was even worse with a repeat doing 570,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating, on par week-to-week.

Tuesday had CBS on top. CBS started with a new NCIS and did 19.87 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating which was up some from previous week. NCIS: Los Angeles followed with a new episode and did 15.46 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating. The Good Wife was new and did 11.05 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, up some from previous week in viewers but the same 18-49 as previous week. For ABC the season premiere of the Emmy-winning Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution did an OK 5.36 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. Probably would be better on Fridays, though. At 9, Dancing with the Stars: The Results did 15.96 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week. At 10pm, week three of Body of Proof won its hour again with 11.06 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, up a tenth from previous week. Renewal news to come? Fox started off with another repeat of Glee and did 4.2 million and a 1.4 18-49, which is up a tenth from previous week. Next Fox aired a repeat of comedy, Raising Hope and did only 3.11 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, on par week-to-week. New comedy Traffic Light was next but all-new and did only 2.24 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating only. NBC aired a two-hour The Biggest Loser doing 7.4 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, which was down a tad from previous week. Then at 10pm, Parenthood was new and did 5.22 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. The CW was in repeats with One Tree Hill doing 660,000 viewers and a 0.4 18-49 rating, up a lick week-to-week. Next at 9pm was a repeat of Hellcats and that did 650,000 viewers and a 0.2 18-49 rating, down a tenth from previous week's repeat.

Wednesday it was all Fox with American Idol carrying it. A 90-minute Idol did 23.03 million and a 7.3 18-49 rating, on par with the previous week. The 90-minute telecast was followed by week two of new comedy Breaking In that did 7.79 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, nearly down a full point in 18-49. Not good news. CBS started the night off with Survivor: Redemption Island doing 11.09 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, which was up some in viewers but down a tenth in 18-49 from previous week. Veteran drama Criminal Minds was next with a new episode doing 13.59 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, both down some from previous week. At 10pm, a new Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior did 9.96 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, up some from previous week with no new SVU. I think this is one of the most disappointing new series in terms of ratings this year as expectations were much higher since it was a spin-off of a big hit. ABC had its Laugh On comedy block and had a new The Middle open the night with a below normal 6.14 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating. Then at 8:30, Better With You was finally airing and new doing 4.85 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, by far a series low. Then ABC aired a new Modern Family at 9pm doing 9.61 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, which is below normal but still great. Then at 9:30, Happy Endings premiered with two episodes as the special 9:30pm did a solid 7.3 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. The regular time period of 10pm airing did decent with 5.7 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, which is acceptable these days at 10pm. A repeat of Modern Family followed with 4.56 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, which is solid for a repeat and at 10:30. Cougar Town will return with a special airing tomorrow, and then return to Wednesdays at 9:30 starting this week! The return of the cul-de-sac crew AT LAST! NBC aired a new Minute to Win It and did only 3.27 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, for a series low. Then a repeat followed and did only 3.08 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating. A repeat of Law & Order: SVU at 10pm did only 4.91 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. The CW had a new America's Next Top Model starting it off at 8pm doing a low 2.08 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating, which was up some from previous week. It will move to 9pm this week. At 9pm, the finale of Shedding for the Wedding did only 1.12 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating, up from previous week, though.

Thursday saw Fox win the night for the second night in a row, as Idol carried it--nothing new. But first, ABC opened the night with a new Spring episode of Wipeout doing a solid 6.19 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Then Grey's Anatomy was a repeat at 9pm doing 4.25 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, down some week-to-week. A repeat of Private Practice at 10 closed the night with 2.78 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. CBS aired repeats, with The Big Bang Theory at 8pm doing 7.51 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, solid but it has done better. Rules of Engagement was next with a repeat doing 5.67 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, lower than usual. At 9, CSI repeat did 8.1 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating. And at 10pm The Mentalist was a repeat too and jumped to 10.83 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Onto #1 Fox, it was all American Idol as an one-hour airing did 21.92 million and a 6.4 18-49 rating, on par with previous week. Fox then followed with a new Bones at 9pm doing 11.45 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, up from previous week. NBC comedies were all-new but low. Community started it off with only 3.48 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, for a series low. Then the premiere of burn-off The Paul Resier Show did only 3.37 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, for a historic low. The Office was next and did a good 7.87 million and a better 4.0 18-49 rating, saving NBC on this night. Parks and Recreation was next with 5.16 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. 30 Rock followed at 10 with just 4.45 million but an acceptable 2.2 18-49 rating. And the likely doomed Outsourced was all-new doing 3.5 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating. The CW was next with all-new episodes of Vampire Diaries doing 2.8 million and only a 1.3 18-49 rating, but up some from previous week. Then a new Nikita did 2.21 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, also up some from previous week.

Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but Friday had ABC win the night in 18-49. Chaos bombed even more on CBS at 8pm, while Shark Tank won the 8pm hour going up 25% from previous week. Fringe returned with lower numbers. Saturday had ABC win by a tenth in 18-49, but only at a 1.0 rating.

Tonight ABC is all-new with AFV, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, & Brothers & Sisters, as Desperate will be all-new for the rest of the season. NBC has a new episode of ratings challenged America's Next Great Restaurant & another two-hour Celebrity Apprentice, all starting at 8 following Dateline at 7. CBS has a new 60 Minutes, followed by The Amazing Race at 8 and Undercover Boss & CSI: Miami from 9-11pm. Fox is all-new with Animation Domination starting at 8:30pm.

As for the week (week 30), Fox will likely win the week in 18-49 but CBS should prevail in HH/viewers. ABC will likely battle Fox for second in HH/viewers. NBC is certain for fourth. And for the coming week (week 31), has the return of Cougar Town on ABC tomorrow and back to its normal night on Wednesday!

Week 30 How the Sitcoms Did

Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 29 -- April 4-10)

  • American Dad! (Fox) - A new episode did 3.35 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating at 7:30pm, which was down some from previous week.
  • The Simpsons (Fox) 2 episodes - A new episode at 8pm did 5.06 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating, which is way below normal.
  • Bob's Burgers (Fox) - A new episode did only 4.0 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating, and it has been renewed for a season two despite OK showings like this.
  • Family Guy (Fox) - A new episode did 6.59 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, which is also below normal.
  • The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode airing did 4.93 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, up from previous week's season low which was out of a repeat A special repeat at 7pm only did 2.06 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating.

Monday Sitcoms

  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode came back to lower than usual ratings with 6.87 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating.
  • Mad Love (CBS) - For a CBS Monday comedy, 5.48 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating is pretty low and this was a series low for this comedy.
  • Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A repeat at a special time of 9:30pm did 7.49 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating which was lower than usual.
  • Mike & Molly (CBS) - Airing in an anchor time period of 9pm, a new episode of this sitcom on a special time didn't deliver with 7.9 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating. While that is certainly not bad, it isn't good enough in this half-hour as Men repeats do better than this and it is very rare that the 8pm comedy did better in 18-49 than the 9pm comedy. This was by far a series low for this comedy.

Tuesday Sitcoms

  • Raising Hope (Fox) - A repeat only did 3.11 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, on par with previous week's repeat. When this sitcom returns with new episodes, I can bet you that it will come lower than usual with all of these repeats in a row airing.
  • Traffic Light (Fox) - A new episode did only 2.24 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, airing out of repeats. Not good.

Wednesday Sitcoms
  • The Middle (ABC) - A new episode of this sitcom did a below normal 6.14 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating as either many didn't know it was new or the reality competition of Idol/Survivor was too much. Look for it be better this week, I think.
  • Better with You (ABC) - Finally it aired but it came out lower than normal as well with 4.85 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. I don't see this comedy on Wednesdays next season...perhaps Fridays.
  • Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode did 9.61 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, which is good but once again below normal. All of this week's comedies seem to be going that way thus far. A repeat at 10:30pm did a solid 4.56 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, best in this half-hour in months--and it was a REPEAT.
  • Happy Endings (ABC) 2 episodes - The series premiere of this comedy got off to a promising start with 7.3 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating. A second episode on its normal time of 10pm did decent as well with 5.7 million and a 2.3 18-49 rating. The latter is good for 10pm and if it can stay in this area, ABC will be competitive in this troubling slot.
  • Breaking In (Fox) - The new comedy aired following American Idol again and didn't hold too much again, doing 7.79 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, dropping quite a bit from the premiere. The premiere of Happy Endings did better in this slot, so the Idol lead-in doesn't help that much. Comedies work better with other comedies.

Thursday Sitcoms

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A repeat did a good 7.51 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, but seems below what it usually does for repeats.
  • Rules of Engagement (CBS) - A repeat did 5.67 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating.
  • Community (NBC) - A new episode did only 3.48 million and 1.4 18-49 rating, for a series low.
  • The Paul Reiser Show (NBC) - The series premiere of this new comedy got off to a historic start...a historic low that is, with just 3.37 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating. Ouch. Will this see more than two airings? Make your bets now.
  • The Office (NBC) - Finally something higher than usual...a new episode did 7.87 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, its best ratings since January, as it had been dropping every single week since its season high back then.
  • Parks and Recreation (NBC) - A new episode did 5.16 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, which is OK. Nothing to write home about, but decent enough out of that lead-in.
  • 30 Rock (NBC) - A new episode at 10pm did just 4.45 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, the latter is acceptable in the half-hour though.
  • Outsourced (NBC) - An all-new episode did 3.5 million and a 1.7 18-49 rating, up some from previous week out of repeats but this is still low, as a repeat of Modern Family on ABC Wednesday in this time period did better.

Friday Sitcoms

  • None.

Saturday Sitcoms

  • None.

Airing tonight (Sunday) are Fox's animated comedies from 7-10pm, with new episodes from 8:30-10.

Summing it up. The Office, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings (9:30) were impressive for the week. Everything else was OK (such as Parks & Recreation, Mike & Molly) or just plain old terrible (such as The Paul Reiser Show, Traffic Light, Community).

[Source: Nielsen NTI Ratings. View Travis Yanan's Ratings Website].


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

New Girl - The Complete Season Three The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season

Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season Mom - The Complete First Season Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season

09/02 - Benson - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/02 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Halloween Episodes Collection
09/02 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season Nine
09/02 - The League - The Complete Season Five
09/02 - New Girl - The Complete Season Three
09/02 - Soap - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/02 - What's Happening!! - Season 1 (Mill Creek) / Season 2 / Seasons 1 & 2
09/09 - The Goldbergs - The Complete First Season
09/11 - Growing Up Fisher - Season One
09/16 - About a Boy - Season One
09/16 - Awkward - Season 3
09/16 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray/DVD)
09/16 - South Park - Season 17 (Blu-ray)
09/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One
09/23 - How I Met Your Mother - The Ninth and Legendary Final Season / The Complete Series
09/23 - Mama's Family - The Complete Fifth Season / The Complete Collection
09/23 - Modern Family - The Complete Fifth Season
09/23 - Mom - The Complete First Season
09/30 - The Donna Reed Show - Season 1 (MPI)
09/30 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Fourth Season
Other TV Series:
09/02 - Grey's Anatomy - The Complete Tenth Season
09/09 - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
09/16 - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Fourteenth Season
09/16 - Castle - The Complete Sixth Season
09/23 - Nashville - The Complete Second Season
09/23 - Scandal - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, September 23

New Girl - "Dice" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Schmidt tutors Jess in the not-so-fine-art of dating via mobile apps. Meanwhile, Winston is desperate to make a good impression on his fellow police cadets, which backfires when Nick, Coach and Cece show up at a party thrown by fellow officers.

The Mindy Project - "Annette Castellano Is My Nemesis" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
It’s Mindy’s time to shine when Danny’s mom (guest star Rhea Perlman) comes to the city and Mindy is determined to win her approval. Meanwhile, Morgan tries to stand up for himself in his relationship with Tamra (Xosha Roquemore).

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of September 22) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, September 23

  • Lauren Graham (Townies/Conrad Bloom) - Catch Lauren on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ed Weeks (The Mindy Project) - Ed is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jason Mantzoukas (The League) - Jason appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) - Tune in to see Kim on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Andrea Martin (Working the Engels) - Andrea chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael and his parents are guests on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Sara/Buffalo Bill) - Geena is interviewed by Norah O'Donnell on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Debra Messing (Will Grace) - Debra talks about her new show The Mysteries of Laura, growing up in the same place as Meredith and even participating in a former Junior Miss competition on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Haley Joel Osment (Thunder Alley/The Jeff Foxworthy Show) - Haley Joel will be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York between 7-10am.
  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons and Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Reed Between the Lines/Girlfriends) - Anthony and Tracee talk about their new show black-ish on 106 & Park on BET at 3pm.