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/June)

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
06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, June 25

Bob's Burgers - "Thelma & Louise Except Thelma Is Linda" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
After Louise gets in trouble at school, Linda is forced to meet with Mr. Frond (guest voice David Herman) and potentially could lose her hard-earned position as the Wagstaff bake sale leader. When she finds out that her daughter was actually trying to help another student, Linda is torn between following school policy or her own moral code. Don’t miss a dose of mother-daughter drama.

The Last Man on Earth - "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Carol is bummed about Gail’s absence, so Tandy tries to cheer her up with the honeymoon vacation they never had. Meanwhile, Lewis finds new success with his pursuits in aviation and Melissa is contained.

The Simpsons - "Caper Chase" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Disappointed in Yale, Mr. Burns decides to start his own for-profit university and Homer is hired.

Family Guy - "Gronkowsbees" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Rob Gronkowski, of the New England Patriots, moves into the house behind the Griffins, and the guys enjoy partying with him until his antics become overwhelming. Meanwhile, Stewie begins beekeeping and gives his bees steroids to produce more honey, but instead they become aggressive.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 19)

Friday, June 23

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Whitney Cummings (Whitney) - Whitney is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?/That '70s Show) - Laura appears on a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael plays Pyramid on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Zoe Perry and Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) - Zoe and Iain talk about their upcoming CBS sitcom Young Sheldon on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Melora Hardin (The Office/Wedding Band) - Melora talks about Freeform's The Bold Type on the AOL Build Show at 1pm and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso guest co-hosts Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Maggie Lawson (Angel from Hell/Back in the Game/Crumbs/It's All Relative/Inside Schwartz) - Maggie talks about Hallmark Channel's original movie My Favorite Wedding on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Rhys Darby (Wrecked/Flight of the Conchords) - Rhys talks about Wrecked on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Damon Wayans, Jr. (New Girl/Happy Endings) - Damon will be on PIX11 Morning News on WPIX in New York at 8:50am.