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 (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

Sunday, February 19

Son of Zorn - "The Quest for Craig" (Fox, 7:00M ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Craig runs off to get some perspective on his relationship with Edie, a road trip ensues to bring him back. Meanwhile, Alan’s Zephyrian legs actually make him popular at school, but his desperation to fit in seriously puts off his lady.

The Simpsons - "Trust but Clarify" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Lisa and Bart investigate Krusty’s suspicious new “Krustaceans” candy. Meanwhile, Homer wants a promotion at the nuclear plant and asks Marge to help him dress the part, and news anchor Kent Brockman struggles to find his feet in the changing media world.

The Simpsons - "The Cad and the Hat" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Bart betrays Lisa, he has to deal with his guilt – literally. Meanwhile, Springfield is in awe when Homer is revealed to be a chess savant.

Son of Zorn - "All Hail Son of Zorn" (Fox, 8:30M ET/PT)
Seeing an opportunity to get Linda’s old job back, Zorn increases Sanitation Solutions’ business by tapping into the Zephyrian market. Alan tries to win Layla back by becoming Prom King – with Zorn’s help.

Family Guy - "The Finer Strings" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The guys decide to form a string quartet, but Peter doesn’t make the cut. Meanwhile, Brian is forced to be Carter’s seeing eye dog and enjoys the life of luxury a little too much.

Bob's Burgers - "There's No Business Like Mr. Business Business" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Gayle’s (guest star Megan Mullally) cat, Mr. Business, secures pet agent Ian Amberson (guest star John Oliver), Bob finds out that Linda may have been helping to fund the cat’s career. Ever the skeptic, Bob is prepared to shut it down, but learns that Mr. Business could be on the verge of his big break.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 20)

Sunday, February 19

  • Michael Rapaport (The War at Home) - Catch Michael on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, February 20
  • Jason Jones (The Detour) - Watch Jason on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Norm Macdonald (The Norm Show/A Minute with Stan Hooper) - Norm is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H) - Mike, Loretta and Jamie are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Anne-Marie Johnson (What's Happening Now!!) - Anne-Marie discusses diversity at the Oscars on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Rosie Perez (Search Party) - Rosie is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.