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 (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.