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!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season

01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, February 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Dependence Transcedence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Tensions rise when the boys struggle to complete their government project on time and Sheldon tries an energy drink to stay awake. Also, Penny and Amy go to a “party” at Bert (Brian Posehn) the geologist’s house, and Kooothrappali learns Bernadette’s true feelings about her pregnancy when they clean out the future baby room. Dean Norris returns as Air Force Representative Colonel Williams.

Man with a Plan - "Assisted Living" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Adam's parents visit unannounced, they reveal surprising plans for their future living arrangements. Emmy Award winner Swoosie Kurtz and Stacy Keach guest star as Bev and Joe, Adam and Don’s parents.

Superior Donuts - "Takin' It to the Streets" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Franco and Sweatpants discover their new landlord, Fawz, wants to convert their apartment building into luxury condos, they decide to organize a protest. Also, Randy realizes she needs to be nicer to James in order to get a good recommendation for her sergeant’s exam.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Dad Day Afternoon" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Han’s new therapist suggests that Max needs to confront her “daddy issues” and fear of intimacy, she reluctantly heads to Rhode Island to track down her birth father with the diner gang in tow. Also, Oleg is up in arms when Sophie wants him to help out around the house.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 27)

Monday, February 27

  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Watch Keri on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Lost at Home) - Connie appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Slink Johnson (Black Jesus) - Slick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. He also talks about The Arrangement on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) - David chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Leighton Meester (Making History) - Leighton stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John talks about Trial & Error on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 1:30pm.
  • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy dishes on how This is Us is following in Mike & Molly’s footsteps – and why both shows are so beloved on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) and Craig Robinson (The Office) - Lisa and Craig talk about their new film Table 19 on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Sinbad (A Different World/The Sinbad Show) - Sinbad is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Bradley Whitford (Trophy Wife) - Bradley visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Craig Robinson (The Office/Mr. Robinson) - Craig appears on The Real, so check your local listings.