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 (February)

The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) The Wonder Years - Season Two Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season

02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - Season Five
02/03 - The Bob Newhart Show - The Final (Sixth) Season
02/03 - Maude - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) / The Complete Series Available 3/17 (Shout! Factory)
02/03 - The Wonder Years - Season Two
02/10 - Mama's Family - The Complete Sixth Season
02/10 - Nurse Jackie - Season Six (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Thursday, February 26

The Big Bang Theory - "The Intimacy Acceleration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As a joke, Sheldon and Penny try an experiment designed to make participants fall in love. Also, Leonard, Amy, Raj and Emily spend the evening trying to escape a room with a “zombie.” And, after returning from Mrs. Wolowitz’ funeral, Bernadette and Howard run into trouble at the airport.

The Odd Couple - "The Ghostwriter" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Oscar is hired to ghostwrite the autobiography of a retired baseball player, Felix offers his “help” by advising Murph to go in a different direction, making Oscar’s job more difficult.

The Big Bang Theory - "The Champagne Reflection" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Sheldon says a tearful goodbye to “Fun with Flags.” Also, Leonard, Howard and Raj look for something significant in a dead professor’s research, and Bernadette is shocked to learn her co-workers’ true feelings from Penny.

Mom - "Turkey Meatballs and a Getaway Car" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Christy discovers she enjoys sex most when there's a risk of getting caught. Meanwhile, Bonnie takes her new role as secretary of the women's meeting a little too seriously.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 23) (All times ET unless noted)

Thursday, February 26

  • J.B. Smoove (The Millers/'Til Death/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Catch J.B. on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) - Kunal guest co-hosts The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Bob Newhart (The Bob Newhart Show/Newhart/Bob) - Bob appears on The Late Late Show at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/30 Rock) - Will drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley/The Goodwin Games/Carpoolers) - T.J. is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kate Micucci (The Big Bang Theory/Raising Hope/'Til Death) - Kate is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project/The Office) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) - Jack visits Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Téa Leoni (The Naked Truth/Flying Blind) - Téa will be on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Teri Polo (I'm with Her/Man Up!) - Teri chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Robbie Amell (1600 Penn/True Jackson, VP/Life with Derek) - Robbie discusses The Flash on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Amanda Peet (Togetherness/Bent) - Amanda will be on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Debi Mazar (Younger/Entourage) - Debi is tentatively scheduled to appear on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.