Monday, January 18, 2016

Netflix Announces Premiere Dates, Including Ashton Kutcher Sitcom; Tracy Morgan Joins FX Comedy Pilot

Netflix

Netflix, the world's leading Internet TV network, announced premiere dates for several upcoming comedy series and kids series; the renewal of its acclaimed drama Marvel's Jessica Jones for a second season; and casting on the highly-anticipated series Black Mirror. That latter series: British star Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights, Concussion and Doctor Who) and Canada's Mackenzie Davis (The F Word, Halt and Catch Fire and The Martian) have been cast in lead roles in one of the episodes of the Netflix original series Black Mirror. Owen Harris (Kill Your Friends) will direct the episode. Created and written by Charlie Brooker, the series is produced by House of Tomorrow, and Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones serve as executive producers. Among the other pick-ups:

Flaked - Premieres globally Friday, March 11, 2016 at 12:01am PT. Flaked is the serio-comic story of Chip, a celebrated long-time resident of the insular world of Venice, California who falls for the object of his best friend's fascination. Soon the tangled web of half-truths and semi-bullshit that underpins his all-important image and sobriety begins to unravel. Five-time Emmy Award nominee Will Arnett plays Chip, a man doing his honest best to stay one step ahead of his own lies. The series also stars David Sullivan, Ruth Kearney and George Basil. Executive producers Will Arnett and Mark Chappell co-created and co-wrote the 8-episode series.

The Ranch - first 10-episodes premiere globally Friday, April 1, 2016 at 12:01am PT. Set in present day on a Colorado ranch, this multi-camera sitcom stars Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliott and Debra Winger. The show follows Colt's (Kutcher) return home after a brief and failed semi- pro football career to run the family ranching business with his older brother Jameson "Rooster" (Masterson) and father Beau (Elliott), whom he hasn't seen in 15 years. Winger stars as Colt's and Rooster's mother, Maggie, who runs the local town bar. The Ranch is executive produced by Don Reo (Two and Half Men, My Wife and Kids) and Jim Patterson (Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly). Kutcher and Masterson serve as executive producers and co-executive producer respectively.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - second installment premieres globally Friday, April 15, 2016 at 12:01am PT. After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper - The Office) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she's ready to take on a world she didn't even think existed anymore. Wide-eyed but resilient, nothing is going to stand in her way. She quickly finds a new job (working for 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski), a new roommate (Tituss Burgess - 30 Rock), and a new beginning. The cast also includes Lauren Adams, Sara Chase, Sol Miranda and Emmy winner Carol Kane (Taxi, The Princess Bride). The first season of this acclaimed comedy was nominated for an Emmy(R) award.

Grace and Frankie - second installment premieres globally Friday, May 6, 2016 at 12:01am PT. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as Grace and Frankie, two women whose lives are suddenly turned upside down when their husbands, played by Martin Sheen ("Robert") and Sam Waterston ("Sol"), reveal they are gay and leave them for each other. Both sparring partners and partners-in-crime, they form an unlikely bond to face an uncertain future together and discover a new definition of "family," with laughter, tears and plenty of mood enhancers along the way. From executive producers Marta Kauffman (Friends) and Howard J. Morris (Home Improvement), the hilarious and heartbreaking comedy takes on aging with gusto - from joint pain to joint rolling and blind dates to night blindness - and offers a poignant look at how life's turning points show us who we really are. The series also stars Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, Baron Vaughn and June Diane Raphael.

Among the other notable announcements were: Orange is the New Black - fourth installment premieres Friday, June 17, 2016 at 12:01am PT; new drama Stranger Things starring Wynonna Ryder - premieres globally Friday, July 15, 2016 at 12:01am PT; and new drama The Get Down - part-one premieres globally Friday, August 12, 2016 at 12:01am PT. These announcements already join the other series already announced, including new comedy Love (Feb. 19) and a new season of House of Cards (March 4).


Tracy Morgan

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has closed a deal to develop and star in a comedy pilot for FX Networks to be written by Jordan Peele and John Carcieri. A career criminal is released from prison after 15 long years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Now a man whose only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron must navigate a modern world of political correctness, internet, and self-driving cars. Morgan (30 Rock, Cop Out), Peele (Key and Peele, MADtv, Wanderlusts), Carcieri (Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals) will serve as Executive Producers of the untitled pilot along with Eric Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men, The Odd Couple) and Joel Zadak (Key and Peele, Dark Minions). The half-hour pilot episode will be produced by FX Productions and is tentatively set to begin production this summer.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 14

Fresh Off the Boat - "Cousin Eddie" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The battle begins between mother and son when Eddie informs Jessica that he wants to spend Christmas with friend Nicole in New York. But Jessica insists that tradition prevails and he needs to spend the holiday with the family, so he does everything within his power to try and get her to crack and allow him to go. Meanwhile, Louis and Evan do their best to try and help an overwhelmed Emery decide on which one of his numerous friends to invite to the family’s Christmas Eve dinner.

Speechless - "J-I-- JINGLE T-H-- THON" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A Christmas tree fire leads Maya to tell a small lie with big consequences. Meanwhile, Ray struggles to live in Pepper’s shadow as Dylan twists the knife, and JJ encourages Kenneth to stand up to his sisters (guest stars Niecy Nash and Lisa Leslie).

I Love Lucy - "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Pioneer Women.” Both were colorized with a nod to the 1950s period in which they were filmed. The main titles and end credits are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS on Christmas Eve, 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Long thought to be lost, the program was rediscovered by CBS in 1989.

In “Pioneer Women,” Lucy and Ethel’s hopes of joining the posh Society Matrons’ League leads to a bet with their husbands over which sex – the men or the women – had it harder living in a bygone era. They select the turn of the last century, and as Lucy and Ethel start to bake their own bread and churn their own butter, the men become acquainted with straight-blade shaving and riding home from work on horseback. They all have some “‘splainin’” to do when two ladies from the Society Matrons’ League stop by for an unexpected visit.

“Pioneer Women” was originally broadcast on March 31, 1952, and became an immediate viewer favorite.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - "The Dick Van Dyke Show -- Now in Living Color!" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
The special features the season one episode “Where Did I Come From,” written by Carl Reiner, and the season four episode “Never Bathe on Saturday,” also written by Reiner. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set – at the beginning and end of the hour – with no interruption between the episodes.

The Emmy Award-winning series starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore as television comedy writer Rob and his wife, Laura Petrie; Larry Matthews as their son, Ritchie; Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie as Buddy Sorrell and Sally Rogers, co-writers on the fictional “The Alan Brady Show”; Carl Reiner as Alan Brady; Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley; Jerry Paris as Dr. Jerry Helper; and Ann Morgan Guilbert as Millie Krumbermacher Helper.

In “Where Did I Come From,” 6-year-old Ritchie asks his parents the inevitable “where did I come from?” question, and they recall the days before his birth. The episode was first presented on Jan. 3, 1961 during the series’ first season.

In “Never Bathe on Saturday,” the Petries’ romantic second honeymoon becomes a disaster when Laura’s toe gets caught in a bath spout. The episode was first presented on March 31, 1965, during season four.

Last Man Standing - "The Gift of the Mike Guy" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Vanessa helps the family realize the importance of its long-standing holiday family traditions.

The Cool Kids - "Margaret Dates the Zodiac Killer" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Margaret begins dating Karl, a fellow resident who may or may not be the "Zodiac Killer."

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 10)

Friday, December 14

  • Karen Gillan (Selfie) - Watch Karen on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. She talks about The Party's Just Beginning on the BUILD Series at 2pm.
  • Tony Shalhoub (Wings/We Are Men) - Watch Tony on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle, Laura Linney (The Big C) and Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Bryan, Laura and Nick make special guest appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Bill Burr (F Is for Family/Townies) - Bill is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Busy appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Romany Malco (Weeds/Blunt Talk) - Romany is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick/Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Kathryn talks about the film Private Life on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/The Office) - Ellie appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Minnie Driver (Speechless/About a Boy) - Minnie is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Leah Remini (Kevin Can Wait/The Exes/Family Tools/The King of Queens/Fired Up) - Leah visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Angela Kinsey (The Office/Haters Back Off/Your Family or Mine/The Hotwives of Orlando) - Angela and her husband Joshua Snyder serve up monkey bread and chocolate peppermint cupcakes on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens (Powerless) - Vanessa talks about Second Act on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek/Get a Life) - Chris talks about Clara's Ghost on Couch Surfing at 8am.
  • Tia Mowry (Instant Mom/The Game/Sister, Sister) - Tia talks about Hallmark Channel's A Gingerbread Romance on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings/Step by Step) - Christine is a guest on Steve, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection Alice - The Complete Eighth Season Step by Step - The Complete Third Season

10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 6th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 7th Season
10/02 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 8th Season
10/02 - Ghosted - The Complete First Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Community - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/23 - Alice - The Complete Eighth Season
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Two
10/24 - The Odd Couple (2015) - Season Three
10/31 - The Bad News Bears - The Complete Series - All 26 Episodes
11/01 - Episodes - Season 5
11/05 - Robin Williams - Comic Genius (includes Mork & Mindy)
11/06 - American Dad! - Volume 13
11/16 - Man with a Plan - Season One
11/20 - Step by Step - The Complete Third Season
11/27 - What I Like About You - The Complete Third Season
12/04 - Family Guy - Season Sixteen
12/04 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Sixth Season
12/18 - Our Cartoon President - Season One
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