Monday, January 09, 2012

TCA Winter 2012 Press Tour: Fox; Hallmark Moves Bob Newhart To Late Nights


Yesterday Fox was up at the TCA Winter 2012 press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California and we will recap what happened there today. The festivities began with breakfast celebrating Fox's upcoming 25th anniversary. Then there were panels for new series Touch, Alcatraz, followed by an executive session with Kevin Reilly (Fox Entertainment President) and then a Simpsons 500th episode themed lunch. Following lunch there were panels for more new series: Napoleon Dynamite, The Finder, followed by a unique panel showcasing Fox's Spring Comedy night (Breaking In, New Girl, Raising Hope). After that there were panels for returning series Bob's Burgers and American Idol and then an All-Star party at Castle Green.

Some notes from the executive session included that Fox will NOT develop spin-off series for House and Glee, and both series have not been yet renewed for next season. The latter will most likely will be, but the House might be nearing the end now. Reilly made it official (and no surprise) that animated comedy Allen Gregory has been indeed canceled. He also said he plans to air the approx. 6 episodes or so that are left for the season of new comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter. No decision yet has been made on Terra Nova, but it is very expensive and a decision will be made soon since it would need to go back into production as soon as possible if it wants to be back next season. The same goes true for another season of Fringe, as the cost for the series on a Friday night is almost impossible for them to make money on it and he said they're not in the business of losing money. Reality wise, Reilly expects Idol to be down in its 11th season and that losing the results show for So You Think You Can Dance is happening because Fox wants to add more original programming in summer. Some milestones: the 500th episode of The Simpsons airs Sunday, February 19 at 8:00pm and the 400th episode of American Idol will air on a special night (its original night) on Tuesday, February 28.

In other news, Fox will create a new alternative animated content and the programming will run on a new late-night animated block and digital channel. Building on its more than 20 years of animation domination, Fox has created a new unit to oversee the development and production of alternative animated series, shorts and user-adapted material for a brand new late-night animated programming block and new digital multi-platform network. To run this new unit, Fox has inked an exclusive deal with Nick Weidenfeld, former head of program development for Adult Swim and executive producer of acclaimed series Childrens Hospital and The Boondocks. The network has also tapped producer Hend Baghdady as the executive in charge of production for the new division. Under their leadership, the unit will develop and produce an ambitious slate of original animated shorts and series to run both on-air and online. The late-night programming block will air Saturdays from 11:00 PM-12:30 AM ET/PT on Fox and will feature four new animated series per season starting in January 2013.
The digital channel will extend across platforms such as Web, mobile apps, game consoles and Video on Demand. It kicks off in 2012 and will feature 50 original short-form pieces per year, online windows of Fox animated shows, and user-adapted content. It will create a unique opportunity for fans and up-and-coming talent to engage with professional Fox-curated content, which they could possibly platform into their own series. Fox will also use its expertise and cross-promotional power to nurture these new assets through this pipeline.

Look ahead: Today has ABC/Disney Cable/Daytime/News, while tomorrow it is ABC primetime. We will cover that tomorrow. Then on Wednesday it will be CBS and on Thursday The CW will end the broadcast portion. On Friday (Jan. 13) thru Sunday (Jan. 15) will be the cable portion. Stay with us for key updates from these events.

The Bob Newhart Show

Well that was fast. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 10), The Hallmark Channel will move The Bob Newhart Show out of its weekdays 8-10am block and will air it weeknights from 2-4am instead. Replacing Bob Newhart's 8-10am airings will be more The Golden Girls (thank you for being a friend, Bob), while the 2-4am block of Bob Newhart will replace an hour each of Cheers and Frasier. This means Cheers is off of the weeknight line-up, but will remain on weekend late nights from 4-5am on Saturday and Sunday nights. One other schedule change will be that Little House on the Prairie will get another hour in primetime and will air in the 9pm hour replacing an hour of Frasier. The sitcom will still air from 10pm-12am, while Little House on the Prairie will air weeknights from 6-10pm.
The Bob Newhart Show just started airing in the 8-10am block on Jan. 2, so it will only last 6 days in this time period. Hopefully the late night block will be better suited for the show as it seems the ratings weren't too good for the 8-10am block, perhaps hurting the Martha Stewart at Home block even more. And speaking of that block, Hallmark has canceled The Martha Stewart Show after it finishes its season (thru the end of summer), but the Hallmark Martha block will continue with other programming. Stay tuned for any further updates, if any, on Hallmark, Martha and Bob!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, January 20

The Simpsons - "My Way or the Highway to Heaven" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
God and St. Peter contemplate what merits a soul getting into heaven, while citizens of Springfield remember their divine encounters.

Bob's Burgers - "Nightmare on Ocean Avenue Street" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids set out for their regular Halloween shenanigans, but when everyone's candy bags start mysteriously disappearing, it's up to Tina, Louise and Gene to find the culprit.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXIX" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer wins an oyster-eating contest against the mythical Cthulhu; Springfield is overrun by plant body-snatchers; Lisa finally snaps; Mr. Burns opens a retirement home with some Jurassic upgrades.

Bob's Burgers - "Live and Let Fly" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The kids seek revenge on their school guidance counselor; they get entangled in sibling rivalry between two pilots; Linda and Bob put their game faces on when Teddy invites them to a paper airplane contest.

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

The Cool Kids - "Hank the Cradle Robber" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Hank starts dating a much younger woman, the gang suspects she may be taking advantage of him.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 14)

Friday, January 18

  • Maura Tierney (NewsRadio) - Watch Maura on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs) - Elizabeth visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She talks about The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Andy appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about All These Small Moments on People Now at 12pm.
  • Don Cheadle (Black Monday/House of Lies/The Golden Palace) - Don talks about Black Monday on ABC's GMA Day at 1pm.
  • Dave Franco (Scrubs/Do Not Disturb) - Dave talks about If Beale Street Could Talk on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Adam Pally (Champaign ILL/Making History/The Mindy Project/Happy Endings) and Sam Richardson (Champaign ILL/Detroiters/Veep) - Adam and Sam talk about Champaign ILL on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.


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

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

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