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.




New on DVD/Blu-ray (May)

Mad About You - The Complete Series The Jim Gaffigan Show Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season The Wonder Years - Season Five

05/03 - Mad About You - The Complete Series
05/03 - The Jim Gaffigan Show - Season One
05/10 - Newhart - The Complete Fifth Season
05/17 - Angie Tribeca - The Complete First Season
05/17 - The Facts of Life - The Final (Ninth) Season
05/24 - The Wonder Years - Season Five
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, May 4

The Middle - "Not Mother's Day" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After enduring year after year of botched Mother’s Days, Frankie declares that the family gets to take a pass on doing anything at all for her this year. But after a man offers to buy Frankie’s groceries at the market when she discovers that she forgot her wallet – and tells her to pay the kindly gesture forward – she decides to have the family pull each other’s names out of a hat and do something nice for that person, which doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

The Goldbergs - "Smother's Day" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Barry and Erica forget to get Beverly a Mother’s Day gift and make last minute “Mom Coupons” instead.  Beverly is understandably hurt, and decides to get revenge by cashing in every coupon they have made.  Meanwhile, Adam tries to get Murray to let him go to space camp and accuses him of being as dream crushing as Pop-Pop.

Modern Family - "Promposal" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With Closet-Con right around the corner, Claire is on high alert and convinced there is a mole in the company. Meanwhile, Phil goes vigilante when he and Gloria confront Auntie Alice for stealing her hot sauce recipe. Jay tries to teach Joe how to do some manly handy work, and with prom coming up, Mitch helps Luke with his “promposal” while Cam helps with Manny’s, but Cam goes a little overboard, revealing that there maybe something deeper going on.

black-ish - "Super Rich Kids" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre has always felt his older son was never like him, but when he finally meets Junior’s cool friends, Dre is all in and happy that his son may have the opportunity for an actual social life.  Meanwhile, Bow is dealing with Ruby, Zoey, Jack and Diane not confessing to things breaking around the house and decides to handle it her own way after some judgment from Vivian.

Lopez - "George Hosts a Golf Tournament" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
George hosts a celebrity golf tournament to bolster his Vegas residency credentials in the midst of personal chaos with his AWOL daughter.

The Soul Man - "Soul Train" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When Lolli gets kicked off a wine train, she forces Boyce to have her back, even though he knows she’s in the wrong. Stamps helps Alicia relieve her campaign stress.

Schitt's Creek - "Moira's Nudes" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Moira is worried that racy photos from her past will jeopardize the campaign; Johnny asks for financial help; Alexis gets a job.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 2)

Wednesday, May 4

  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family) - Watch Julie on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Rob Reiner (All in the Family) - Rob is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Being Charlie on NBC's Today in the 9am hour, on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT and on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bradley Whitford (Happyish/Trophy Wife) - Bradley appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple/Sean Saves the World/Reno 911!) - Tom is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Ron Funches (Undateable) - Ron appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jussie Smollett (On Our Own) - Jussie sings for his supper and helps Rachael cook up Chicken Milanese on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • CCH Pounder (Brothers/Women in Prison) - CCH is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse talks about his Broadway show Fully Committed on People Now.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Garry Marshall (Creator of Happy Days/Laverne & Shirley/Mork & Mindy) - Garry is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.