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 (January)

The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek) Married with Children - Seasons 7 and 8 (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - The Complete Series Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season

01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 5 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Season 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - The Cosby Show - Seasons 5 & 6 (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Girls - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Seven (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Season Eight (Mill Creek)
01/06 - Married with Children - Seasons Seven and Eight (Mill Creek)
01/13 - The Big House - The Complete Series
01/13 - Episodes - The Third Season
01/13 - The Facts of Life - The Complete Series (Shout! Factory
01/20 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Second Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, February 1

Bob's Burgers - "Easy Commercial, Easy Gommercial" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
To compete with fellow “restaurateur,” Jimmy Pesto, and his blowout Super Bowl event, Bob is determined to create a Bob’s Burgers commercial to air during the “big game.” In an effort to outshine Pesto, the Belchers recruit Randy, a documentarian, to assist with the filmmaking and hire on former pro football star Connie Frye (guest voice Jordan Peele) to be the celebrity endorser.

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXV" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the annual spooktacular Halloween special, Bart and Lisa are transported to a demon-filled alternate universe after Bart reads a set of Aramaic symbols he finds on the underside of his desk; Moe’s “Clockwork Orange”-style gang is disrupted when Dum (Homer) falls for a girl (Marge) who wants him to give up the thug life; and, in an homage to “The Others,” the Simpsons are visited by their former Tracey Ullman-era versions of themselves.

The Simpsons - "Covercraft" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer has a mid-life crisis, takes up bass guitar and forms a cover band with some of the other dads in town. But the band’s modest early success is soon overwhelmed by the breakout potential of their most unlikely star, Apu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Jimmy Jab Gabes" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The squad has time to kill when the arrival of the Serbian President’s motorcade to Brooklyn has been delayed. So, Jake launches “The Jimmy Jab Games,” an annual series of competitions in the precinct. Meanwhile, Terry and Holt take on a new drug task force approved by Holt’s nemesis, Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch (guest star Kyra Sedgwick).

Family Guy - "Turkey Guys" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
On the night before Thanksgiving, Brian and Peter drunkenly devour the holiday bird, and then must go out to find a replacement. In Peter absence, Chris attempts to step up and become the man of the house.

Bob's Burgers - "Uncle Teddy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bob and Linda leave town for a romantic getaway (at a Burger Convention), they ask Teddy to babysit Tina, Gene and Louise. While the ’rents are away, Teddy is eager to earn the coveted title of “Uncle Teddy” and does so by putting Tina’s crush in his rightful place after discovering that he was just using her for – gasp – free burgers! Hijinks ensue.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 2) (All times ET unless noted)

Monday, February 2

  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Martin visits Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11pm.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Seth Morris (The Hotwives of Orlando/Go On/Happy Endings) - Seth appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) - Busy chats on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/Tom/The Tom Show) - Tom is a guest on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Simon appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET. He also talks about his new film We'll Never Have Paris on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela guest co-hosts The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Josh Segarra (Sirens) - Josh talks about USA Network's Sirens on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Gregory Harrison (Joey/The Family Man) - Gregory gives a look at his new Hallmark Channel original movie Cloudy with a Chance of Love on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall discusses his new ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat on HuffPost Live at 4:40pm. Fresh Off the Boat premieres on ABC on February 4 at 8:30pm and 9:30pm ET/PT.
  • Michael Ian Black (Burning Love/Ed) - Michael is a guest on Larry King Now at 2/5pm PT/ET on Ora.tv and Hulu.
  • Chelsea Handler (Are You There, Chelsea?) - Chelsea discusses the Super Bowl on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is part of the guest panel on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) - Barry talks about his new show A Very Barry Branson on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings. A Very Barry Branson premieres on GAC on February 5.