Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hallmark Channel Reduces Good Wife with More Power; TCA Winter 2014 Press Tour: Cable and Fox

Hallmark Channel

The Hallmark Channel has made a schedule change. The biggest news is that The Good Wife has been reduced by two hours and will now air 8-10pm rather than for four hours from 6-10pm. Moving to the 6-8pm block will be four episodes of Home Improvement, as that show was airing 4-6pm. More power! Airing in the 4-6pm block will be The Brady Bunch, which will move over from 8-10am in a major timeslot upgrade. Groovy! In other schedule news, The Waltons is returning to the line-up and will air weekdays 2-4pm, replacing two-hours of The Golden Girls, which will move back to 8-10am. All of these changes are effective immediately and have already started. Why the change? Likely The Good Wife did not perform as they would have liked in its first week on the schedule. The network will add repeats of The Middle this March, which should be a much better fit. Stay with us for continued updates.


It's that time again, the winter portion of the TCA press tour. The TCA Winter 2014 press tour actually began last Thursday with cable leading it off at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California. The cable networks that went were: Discovery, IFC, TV One, Lifetime/A&E, HBO, Sportsman Channel, Viacom, Starz, Turner, Ovation, National Geographic Channel, AMC/Sundance, Weather Channel, Pivot, ESPN, BBC America, UP, Hallmark Channel, WGN America, Al Jazeera America, Revolt, and the upcoming El Rey Network. We will cover the major news only that deal with TV/sitcoms.

We'll start with the upcoming new cable network El Rey. El Rey Network, the new 24-hour English-language cable network founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, has licensed the cable rights to three fan-favorite and critically-acclaimed series: Starsky & Hutch, Dark Angel, and The X-Files. Under the agreement, El Rey Network will have access to an extensive library of newly-acquired content which will air as part of an expanded 24-hour schedule beginning Friday, February 14. These three celebrated series are part of an adrenaline-infused lineup featuring rebellious heroes, iconic car chases, epic fight scenes and more, which all speak to the network's desire to provide viewers a visceral storytelling experience. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Starsky & Hutch will airs Monday-Friday from 2PM-4PM ET. Dark Angel will air air Mondays and Thursdays from 4PM-8PM ET. And The X-Files will air Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4PM-8PM ET and Sundays from 3PM-7PM ET.
The Hallmark Channel has announced many new movies for the new year, with stars like Jessica Szohr, Deidre Hall, Rachel Boston, Stefanie Powers, Lacey Chabert, Warren Christie, Kristy Swanson, Vivica A. Fox, Sarah Lancaster, Marcia Strassman, and Patricia Richardson. Original series wise, Cedar Grove has began production on season two while Signed, Sealed, Delivered premieres this spring starring Eric Mabius with guest star Valerie Harper. Moving on, Lifetime's critically-acclaimed hit series Devious Maids (#DeviousMaids, #DeviousArmy), returns for a second season on Sunday, April 20, at 10PM ET/PT. The series is executive produced by Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria, and stars Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramírez, Roselyn Sánchez, Edy Ganem and Judy Reyes as five maids with ambition and dreams of their own while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Longoria will direct the series' eagerly anticipated season two opener, marking her television directorial debut.

WGN America has made bold moves, ordering straight to series the production of two standout, scripted dramas: Salem, to premiere Sunday, April 20, 2014, and Manhattan, to start production in New Mexico in March for a July 2014 premiere. WGN America has also ordered the 10-part scripted event series Ten Commandments from The Weinstein Company (TWC). Over 10 nights, 10 different visionary filmmakers will take on a single Commandment with their modern interpretation of that Commandment. Five of the 10 filmmakers on board to direct episodes are Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven and Michael Cera. Academy Award(R) winning producer Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Silver Linings Playbook) and Bob Weinstein will produce the series. Finally, for cable, TV One is expanding its NAACP Image Award-winning Unsung franchise with new series Unsung Hollywood, premiering Wednesday, February 26 at 10PM/ET. From revealing portraits of beloved stars of film and television, including feminist film icon Pam Grier and politically charged comic Dick Gregory, to in-depth stories behind the making (and breaking) of influential films and TV series such as Cooley High and What's Happening!!, Unsung Hollywood shines a spotlight on subjects and stories that have rarely or never been told. Preceding Unsung Hollywood's debut in February, flagship series Unsung will return with all-new episodes beginning Wednesday, January 29 at 10PM/ET. The What's Happening!! episode airs Wednesday, March 12 at 10pm!


Fox was up at the TCA Winter 2014 Press Tour yesterday and we have the full scoop! First up, the big news was that Fox is by-passing the pilot season and have already started to pick-up new series with episode orders. We mentioned one of them already was the Rainn Wilson drama. We'll have more info closer to the upfront on these pick-ups. In other news, Fox announced guest stars on their post-Super Bowl shows. Music royalty Prince will make a special guest appearance on New Girl in the episode, "Party Time" airing approx. 10:30-11:00 PM ET/7:30-8:00 PM PT. Dean Winters, Fred Armisen and Joe Thiesmann are among those set to appear on the all-new "Operation: Broken Feather" episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine airing approx. 11:00-11:30 PM ET/8:00-8:30 PM PT.

Moving on to some new series and scheduling news, Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox) and National Geographic Channel (NGC) announced the global series premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the thrilling new 13-part series from executive producer/writer Ann Druyan and executive producer Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted). The highly anticipated series will premiere in the U.S. on Sunday, March 9 from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on Fox, and encore with all-new bonus footage and behind-the-scenes content on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) Monday, March 10 from 10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT. As a result, beginning Sunday, March 9, all-new episodes of Bob's Burgers will move to 7:00PM ET/PT, followed by all-new episodes of American Dad! at 7:30 PM ET/PT. All-new episodes of Family Guy will move to 8:30PM ET/PT to lead-in to Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. And finally, Fox announced premiere dates for event series 24: Live Another Day, and new series Surviving Jack (comedy) and Gang Related (drama). The iconic pulse-pounding clock resets when 24: Live Another Day premieres with a special two-hour television event Monday, May 5 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, and makes its time period premiere the following week on Monday, May 12 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. 12 hours will air.
New comedy series Surviving Jack will premiere Thursday, March 27 at 8:30PM ET/PT following the American Idol XIII results show at 8. From executive producer and Emmy Award nominee Bill Lawrence (Cougar Town), the series is based on best-selling author Justin Halpern's autobiographical book, "I Suck at Girls." Co-created and written by Halpern and Patrick Schumacker (both of $#*! My Dad Says), the series is set in 1990s Southern California, and stars Emmy Award nominee Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) as a man becoming a dad, as his son (Connor Buckley) becomes a man, in a time before "coming of age" was something you could Google. The series also stars Rachael Harris (The Hangover), Claudia Lee, Kevin Hernandez and newcomer Tyler Foden. And finally, gritty new action-drama Gang Related will have its series premiere on Tuesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET/PT, following Part One of the two-night American Idol XIII Season Finale at 8. Created and written by Chris Morgan (Wanted, Fast Five), the series follows Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez, The Wire), a rising star in Los Angeles' elite Gang Task Force - led by Sam Chapel (Emmy Award winner Terry O'Quinn, Lost) - who teams up with longtime Task Force member Cassius Green (RZA, Californication) to take on the city's most dangerous gangs, including one that he swore an allegiance to as a boy. And that's about the major highlights from the Fox press tour. If anything else comes up, we'll let you know!

Up today at the TCA Winter 2014 press tour will be cable network FX. Stay tuned for any updates, if anything is of note for us. And Wednesday we will have CBS up at the TCA Winter 2014 press tour, as they will be doing a two-day event with CW and Showtime.



Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Wednesday, April 23)

The Middle - "The Wind Chimes" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Frankie pleads with a mean and unyielding Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) to take down her wind chimes, whose noise is driving the Heck family crazy. Meanwhile, Axl and Hutch find a ratty, old couch abandoned on the street and try to figure out a way to retrieve it, instead of complaining to a pretzel manufacturer for skimping on the salt, Brick instead commits himself to coming up with a new pretzel snack idea for the company, and Sue informs the family that she and Darrin are dating again.

Suburgatory - "No, You Can't Sit With Us" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Tessa takes a young social outcast under her wing, she decides to mentor her protégée for the Miss Chatswin pageant to make a statement to Chatswin society. The pageant rivalry between Tessa and Dalia comes to a head and Tessa finds herself stooping to Dalia’s level to win. Meanwhile, George, Noah, Fred and Victor go on a boy’s weekend camping trip where Fred accidently loses Victor in the wilderness.

Modern Family - "Australia" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The entire family tags along as Phil fulfills his mom’s wish for him to return to his roots and visit the country where he was conceived, Australia. Unfortunately, Phil’s attempts to embrace his native land are met by a lot of rejection, while Jay and Claire let work eat into vacation time, and Mitch and Cam get reacquainted with an old friend (guest star Rhys Darby) they can’t stand but is now a big-time celebrity in Australia.

Mixology - "Dominic & Kacey" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After countless meaningless hookups, Kacey confronts Dominic about their relationship status and is taken aback by his response. Dominic then finds himself in unfamiliar territory and turns to Tom of all people for advice. Meanwhile, Maya and Fab try to help a drunken Liv, who has been knocking back drinks all night, after they spot a flock of bar vultures eyeing her. And the chance of hooking up with someone is being hampered for Bruce and Cal as they fend off a table interloper.

Melissa & Joey - "More Than Roommates" (ABC Family, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mel wants to get rid of the ugly chair that Joe inherited from his late grandmother.

Baby Daddy - "Livin' on a Prom" (ABC Family, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Ben tries to score Bon Jovi tickets for Bonnie; Riley and Danny act as prom chaperones.

Hot in Cleveland - "Elka Takes a Lover" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
On the eve of Victoria's big movie premiere, Emmy (Jennifer Love Hewitt) visits with some surprising news while Elka announces she'staken a younger lover (Chris Elliott).

The Soul Man - "Back in the Day" (TV Land, 11:00PM ET/PT)
A disagreement between Stamps and Kim causes Boyce and Lolli to reminisce about the early days of their relationship. Deion Sanders guest stars.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "A Stalker for Hire" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jennifer and the guys think Joseph hired Leslie's stalker.

Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse - "Being Responsible" (OWN, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Jennifer's fearful of getting tested for HIV.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 21) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Wednesday, April 23

  • Sally Field (Gidget/The Flying Nun) - Watch Sally on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Timothy Simons (Veep) - Timothy drops by The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim appears on on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tim Allen (Last Man Standing/Home Improvement) - Tim visits Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Scheer (The League) - Paul is a guest on @midnight at midnight on Comedy Central.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer stops by The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT. He will also be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse is a guest on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • David Alan Grier (Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie/DAG) - David appears on The Queen Latifah Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William will be on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
  • Max Charles (The Neighbors) - Max will be on The Couch on WLNY 10/55 in New York between 7-9am.
  • Christine Lakin Step by Step) - Christine will be on Big Morning Buzz Live on VH1 at 10am all this week.