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

Thursday, March 22

Superstore - "Target" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Jeff (Michael Bunin) leaves Cloud 9 to work at Target, Garrett (Colton Dunn) leads Glenn (Mark McKinney) to believe that he's poaching other employees to go with him. In return Glenn tries to poach employees from Target. Amy (America Ferrera) goes on a double date with Dina (Lauren Ash), and Kelly (Kelly Stables) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) discuss moving in together.

A.P. Bio - "Selling Out" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack (Glenn Howerton) receives an offer from Miles' (Tom Bennett) publisher to write a book of feel-good philosophy that could be his ticket out of Toledo. Durbin accidentally sets off an emotional firestorm when he reveals that while Stef (Lyric Lewis) chose Mary (Mary Sohn) as her emergency contact, Mary chose Michelle (Jean Villepique).

Atlanta - "Money Bag Shawty" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
People act differently outside the city.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 19)

Thursday, March 22

  • Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - Catch Roseanne and John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Rob Riggle (Golan the Insatiable/Gary Unmarried) - Rob appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Eddie Kaye Thomas ('Til Death/How to Make It in America) - Eddie drops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Natasha Leggero (Dice/Another Period/Free Agents) - Natasha is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Jay Pharoah (White Famous) - Jay appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie stops by Desus & Mero at 11pm on Viceland.
  • Mark Hamill (The Texas Wheelers) - Mark chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Nia Long (Uncle Buck/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Nia appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jason George (Eve) - Jason drops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan and The Real, so check your listings. He opens up about Station 19 on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lamorne Morris (New Girl) - Lamorne is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) - Cameron and Rhea are guests on Good Mythical Morning with Rhett & Link on YouTube.
  • Keith Carradine (Complete Savages) - Keith is at the kitchen table on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Sex and the City) - John joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. He talks about his movie God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani talks about Netflix's Alexa & Katie on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella talks about Midnight Sun on the BUILD Series at 1:30pm.
  • Jim Jefferies (Legit) - Jim talks about Comedy Central's The Jim Jefferies Show on the BUILD Series at 2:30pm.