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.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 24

Hollywood Darlings - "She's Not All That" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After years of pretending to be her own assistant to avoid saying ``no'' to people, a non-confrontational Beverley finally hires former child star Lori Beth Denberg to be her assistant; Jodie asks a stranger to pretend to be a fan of Christine's.

Return of the Mac - "An Offer Joe Can't Refuse" (Pop, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Joe is forced to book his own celebrity guests, he finds out there's a daytime mafia controlling the booking of celebrities.

Bunk'd - "Girl Meets World" (Disney Channel, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Xander and Emma learn two of their campers have a crush on one another.

Nobodies - "Devil in a Red Dress" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Larry, Rachel and Hugh, at their most fractured, turn to another writing team for help: fellow Groundlings alums Jim Rash and Nat Faxon.

Lopez - "Cuck You George Lopez" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
George’s friends have him worried that Lori wears the pants in their relationship. Pfeiffer complicates Olly’s work life, and Manolo gets laser eye surgery to please Wendy.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 22)

Wednesday, May 24

  • Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces/Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Watch Zoe on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Hannibal Buress (Broad City) - Hannibal appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ed Helms (The Office) - Ed visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Topher Grace (That '70s Show) - Topher stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C) - Gabourey is a guest on a repeat of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
  • Andree Vermeulen (Angie Tribeca) - Andree appears on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Steve is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • T. J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T. J. appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Lennon Parham (Playing House/Best Friends Forever/Accidentally on Purpose) - Lennon appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Eric Stonesteet (Modern Family) - Eric drops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jake Smollett (On Our Own) - Jake throws down spicy honey chicken on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan talks about Wakefield on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris and trainer Obi Obadike have tips to lose ten pounds in ten days on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank talks about his new hit, Brockmire, with Clinton Kelly on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie talks about Beat Shazam on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.