Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ENCORE Networks Acquire Classic Sitcoms: Amen, Diff'rent Strokes, What's Happening, 227, Murphy Brown, Night Court; Celebrity Name Game Cleared for Fall 2014 Syndication

Diff'rent Strokes

ENCORE networks are about to launch classic TV hits, including many sitcoms, to their networks starting Monday, Dec. 2, 2013! We already have classic westerns airing on ENCORE Western, but now two ENCORE networks will rebrand and add sitcoms as a part of their schedule. Already a favorite for consumers as the most widely subscribed premium pay TV service in the United States with 35 million subscribers, Starz has strengthened ENCORE and its family of thematic multiplex channels and service offerings. The new ENCORE pack of channels bring programming enhancements to further super-serve the nation's evolving demographics and focus on groups who over-index in viewing within the premium pay TV category. First up, ENCORE BLACK will be the new name of the current ENCORE DRAMA network. Showcasing popular programming for the African-American community, ENCORE BLACK will bring a terrific combination of commercial-free premium movie content, comedy such as Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand Up, and the introduction of TV favorites including: What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes, 227, and Amen. The sitcoms will be commercial-free and unedited! ENCORE BLACK will be originated in HD and service the strong viewership from the African-American community, which has historically over-indexed on premium channel viewership. The December 2 launch will spotlight Academy Award® nominee, actor Samuel L. Jackson with films such as Unbreakable, Losing Isaiah, Freedomland, One Eight Seven, and more. Back to the sitcoms, they will launch in primetime on Monday, Dec. 2 with the premiere episode of Sony's Diff'rent Strokes at 8pm, followed by back-to-back episodes of Universal's Amen at 8:30pm and 9pm. '70s classic What's Happening!! from Sony Pictures will round out the night at 9:30pm. These sitcoms will air in primetime in these time periods every weekday, but starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 additional airings will air from 6-8pm in the same order. They will be encores of the previous night in primetime. Starting on New Year's Day (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014), 227 will join the ENCORE BLACK line-up and will air at 8:30pm and encore the next day at 6:30pm, taking one of Amen's airings. All times are Eastern.

Murphy Brown

But wait, there's more! Another ENCORE network will add sitcoms starting Dec. 2. ENCORE CLASSIC will be the new name for the current ENCORE LOVE. It is a new addition to the ENCORE HD channel portfolio, ENCORE CLASSIC will be a favorite for the Baby Boomer set, with a mix of generational evergreen movie favorites and classic TV series. Leveraging the deep and broad ENCORE movie library of new release and favorite hits, ENCORE CLASSIC will add TV hits, Murphy Brown, Magnum, P.I., and Night Court to its programming slate. The TV hits will be commercial-free and unedited! Classic movie titles will air every night with a new favorite every day of the month at 9PM ET/PT. Films include Kramer vs. Kramer, American Graffiti, Independence Day, Breaking Away, Stand By Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Good Will Hunting, Tootsie, Basic Instinct, The Notebook, and more. Back to the sitcoms, they will launch with in primetime on Monday, Dec. 2 with the premiere episode of Murphy Brown at 7pm, followed by Night Court at 7:30pm. Then Universal-owned drama Magnum, P.I. will round out the night at 8pm leading into the movies at 9pm. These classic TV hits will air in primetime in these time periods every weekday, but starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 additional airings will air from 5-7pm in the same order. They will be encores of the previous night in primetime. And finally on New Year's Day (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014), Magnum P.I. will have a New Year's marathon on ENCORE CLASSIC starting at 2am on the night of New Year's Eve and will last until 12:20am on New Year's Day. Also on the night of New Year's Eve, the pilot episodes of Murphy Brown and Night Court will air in the 1am hour leading into the Magnum P.I. marathon. All times are Eastern.

ENCORE

This is certainly great news for classic TV fans. Fans can watch their favorite series without commercial interruption and even more importantly, unedited! ENCORE told SitcomsOnline that they "anticipate acquiring more sitcom titles in the future." We are not sure if these are exclusive deals, but 227 is starting a month later. ENCORE says that they "cannot shed any additional light on the contractual specifics for each series including terms of exclusivity." Currently, 227 is airing on GMC on basic cable. As for the other series, only What's Happening!! is on basic cable on TV One. Diff'rent Strokes is airing on digital broadcast on Antenna TV, as is Magnum P.I. on COZI TV. Warner Bros.-owned Night Court and Murphy Brown are not airing anywhere else. In addition, the December 2 roll-out will also feature brand new channel logos, graphics and audio package as part of a fresh, new on-air style representative of the newly improved and fortified ENCORE channels and services. Stay with us for continued updates on ENCORE's new networks and series. For now, find out where these networks on your service by visiting their website.


Craig Ferguson

Moving on, Debmar-Mercury has sold Celebrity Name Game, a nationally syndicated pop culture game show hosted by The Late, Late Show's Craig Ferguson from co-producers FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury, to Tribune Broadcasting stations covering 40% of the U.S., including seven of the top-10 markets. U.S. distributor Debmar-Mercury has provided a firm fall 2014 launch for the half-hour strip, which will air on Tribune stations including WPIX New York, KTLA Los Angeles and WGN Chicago. We first announced this new series a few weeks ago, but now clearances have been already been made. Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions (Cougar Town) teamed with veteran showrunner Scott St. John (Deal or No Deal), as well as Laura Robinson and Richard Gerrits of North 44 Productions, to develop the fast-paced game show in which celebrities team with contestants to identify famous names, including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. Stay with us for continued updates, especially in January at NATPE and as we get closer to next Fall.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
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
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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