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

Thursday, October 19

Superstore - "Workplace Bullying" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Tensions arise among the employees after an attempted robbery, pitting Dina (Lauren Ash) against Jonah (Ben Feldman). Meanwhile, Glenn (Mark McKinney) has a tough time firing the store security guard, and Amy (America Ferrera) discovers that her coworkers have been hanging out without her.

The Good Place - "The Trolley Problem" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael (Ted Danson). Meanwhile, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) harbors a secret and confides in Janet (D'Arcy Carden).

Will & Grace - "Grandpa Jack" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Jack (Sean Hayes) is stunned to learn that his estranged son, Elliot (guest star Michael Angarano) has a son of his own, Skip (guest star Jet Jurgensmeyer). Moreover, Skip needs the kind of help only Will (Eric McCormack) and Jack can provide. Grace (Debra Messing) and Karen (Megan Mullally) behave badly with the hot new guy at work.

Great News - "Award Show" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
For the first time in years, "The Breakdown" has been nominated for an American Journalism Award. Katie (Briga Heelan) is looking forward to spending the night as a peer with the very reporters she has admired her whole life. Fearing her mother will ruin it, Katie tries to stop Carol (Andrea Martin) from attending but is unsuccessful when Carol secures a position as a seat-filler. Katie is stuck babysitting her mom all night but gets distracted by Jeremy (guest star Reid Scott), a handsome New York Times reporter who looks down on cable news. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) is excited to reunite with all of his old anchormen friends, especially Len Archer (guest star Christopher McDonald), an idol of Chuck's who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Better Things - "Eulogy" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Sam demands satisfaction.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 16)

Thursday, October 19

  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Catch Tracy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Paul Shaffer (A Year at the Top) - Paul sits in with Cleto and The Cletones on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Michael Keaton (Working Stiffs/All's Fair) - Michael appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Amy Landecker (Transparent) - Amy is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Carl Reinder (The Dick Van Dyke Show) - Carl appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Garcelle Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Garcelle guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless/Reno 911!) - Cedric is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Office) - Angela talks about the new season of her Netflix show Haters Back Off on the People Now at 8:30am.
  • Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Jeff appears on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
  • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Out of Practice) - Henry is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Hayley Orrantia (The Goldbergs) - Hayley appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna teams up with Michael Symon in the kitchen, giving the scoop on her new show and whipping up a tasty dish on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT. She also talks about Kevin (Probably) Saves the World on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Redman (Method & Red) - Redman appears on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
  • Debra Messing and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Debra and Eric are guests on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest