Wednesday, January 11, 2006

TCA Cable Winter Press Tour: Days 1 and 2

As I mentioned yesterday, the TCA Winter Press Tour Cable edition started yesterday. I'll recap the noteworthy news from yesterday and today. Among the networks that were up yesterday were Disney Channel, BET, TV One, Oxygen and E!
Disney Channel announced that it will be creating an original sitcom titled Hannah Montana--a sitcom starring 13-year-old Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart who, unbeknownst to the students in her school, lives a double life as pop singer Hannah Montana. Her father is played by the young actresses' real-life father, country music recording artist and actor Bill Ray Cyrus (Doc). In the role of her best friend Lilly is talented 13-year-old actress Emily Osment who also comes from a family of actors. Miley Stewart is a typical, occasionally awkward teenager but she undergoes a transformation when performing on stage. As Hannah Montana, she travels the world, entertaining fans with music written by her manager/dad. A straight blonde wig combined with a flashy pop star style allows Miley to keep her identity as an international star a secret – and most importantly, she knows her friends at school like her for who she really is. When Hannah's two biggest fans – and Miley's closest friends Lilly and Oliver – discover the true person beneath the costume, Miley is relieved to share her secret as they endure the trial and tribulations of middle school together.

BET and TV One didn't really have anything noteworthy for us to announce, just original reality series and specials. However, BET did announce that a Black History Sitcom marathon is in the works for Saturday, Feb. 18 featuring all of its sitcoms (The Parkers, Wayans Bros, Jamie Foxx Show, Girlfriends and the sketch comedy In Living Color). I'm sure TV One will have something planned to, but they have not announced anything yet.

Oxygen announced details on an original sitcom. Campus Ladies is an original scripted comedy that chronicles the lives of Joan and Barri, two middle-aged housewives who decide it’s better to be freshmen at 40 than unhappy housewives forever. Ditching the suburban life of minivans and malls for keg stands and co-ed dorms, Joan and Barri enroll in school in search of the wild college years they missed the first time around. Throughout the ten half-hour episode series, the co-eds take on the fictional University of the Midwest (UMW) with wild naiveté and optimism, gliding through the raciest of situations with cheerful abandon. This series is
based on characters created by comediennes Carrie Aizley (Joan) and Christen Sussin (Barri) while performing with the famous comedy troupe, The Groundlings. It’s executive produced by Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Carrie Aizley, Christen Sussin, Paul Young, Peter Principato and co-executive producer E. Brian Dobbins of Principato-Young Entertainment (Reno 911).

E! TV's only noteworthy item for us was that the 400th episode of E! True Hollywood Story will premiere this spring. A special E! True Hollywood Story celebrating the 10th anniversary of the series is also in the works. I can't believe it has been 10 years already. The series debuted March 30, 1996.

Moving on to today's TCA Tour news. Lifetime, TV Land, Nick@Nite and VH1 were among the networks in the mix that fits our news. Like Oxygen and Disney Channel, Lifetime will also get into the original sitcom game. The sitcom Lovespring is slated to premiere on the network this summer. This half-hour comedy series is about looking for love in all the wrong places. “Lovespring” is the name of a matchmaking agency portrayed to customers as an “elite Beverly Hills” company, despite its location in Tarzana, California. The ensemble is made up of relationship counselors and a staff psychologist who try to convince loveless people that the
service can lead clients to the perfect mate.
They also announced that the long running sitcom Frasier will start Monday, March 6 and air weekdays at 6pm, 6:30pm, 11:30pm and 12:30am ET/PT. Three sitcom stars get together in an original movie airing Feb. 5 titled For One Night Only. Raven-Symone (The Cosby Show, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, That's So Raven), Aisha Tyler (Friends) and Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) star in a moving drama about a 12th grade student who risks her social and
academic standing to end her high school's long tradition of racially segregated proms, in the town of Mercier, Louisiana. When a gifted and popular senior (Raven-Symone) innocently suggests changing the policy, it re-ignites the town's smoldering racial tensions. The teenager gets some unexpected support from a New Orleans journalist (Aisha Tyler), who has her own complex relationship with Mercier.
Two original reality shows (Cheerleader Nation, Face the Family) are in the works too, starting March 12, airing Sunday nights.

And VH1 even has a new sitcom coming. Tori Spelling stars in So NoTORIous. Tori stars as…Tori Spelling, an actress who spent a decade playing the virginal “Donna” on the hit, Beverly Hills 90210, produced by her mega-producer father. She’s now grown up and has moved out of her parents’ gargantuan manor and lives in a high-rise building with her friend Pete. While being both encouraged and distracted by a close-knit group of friends, Tori slogs through parts on TV movies, tries to meet a normal guy and struggles to get out from under her sometimes burdensome family legacy and tabloid notoriety. While many events and people in the show mirror those in Tori’s (real) life, the show is a fictionalized version of her everyday life. Loni Anderson (WKRP) also stars.

Moving on to the big players for our blog--TV Land and Nick@Nite. I'll start with Nick@Nite. They announced reality series Hi-Jinks' second season starts on Feb. 28. They also laid out plans for the marathon of the hit '90s sitcom Mad About You. The marathon starts April 10 and runs through April 13, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET/PT each night. No regular timeslot has been announced yet. Mad is only one of the sitcoms coming this year. A Different World joins the Nick@Nite line-up in July. Home Improvement joins the line-up this September. Originally that was planned for June 2007, so they moved it up. And in a surprise move, Nick@Nite also acquired the '80s sitcom Designing Women starting this October. I think A Different World will be shared with Oxygen and Home Improvement will be shared with TBS. Mad About You leaves Lifetime Real Women in early March, so Nick@Nite has exclusive cable rights when they start airing it. And I think Designing Women is also exclusive, marking the end of its long run on Lifetime.
TV Land detailed its three-part black history special That's What I'm Talking About, gave details on its airing of the 1967 movie Barefoot in the Park, and detailed episodes of Living in TV Land, which comes in March. We announced that Benson was coming to TV Land in June, today they announced that 227 comes in July and The Jeffersons returns in September. 227 will likely be shared with TV One, similar to how Good Times is being shared right now between those two. They also detailed that the Universal library deal started this month, in which they can air The A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice and Simon & Simon in limited airings and specials. Currently The A-Team and Miami Vice have made the schedule.
For COMPLETE details on the Nick@Nite and TV Land TCA Tour (a must read!), click here. You can also share your thoughts on all of these acquisitions there, too.

Tomorrow Hallmark, A&E, SOAPnet, and the NBC Universal networks are up. Hopefully some surprises show up like today.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Friday, April 12

none scheduled

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 8)

Friday, April 12

  • Dax Shepherd (Bless This Mess) - Watch Dax on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Broad City/Baby Boom) - Susie appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher at 10pm on HBO.
  • Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) - Wilmer is telling Drew about the show hitting a milestone 1,000th episode on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Dennis Quaid (Merry Happy Whatever), Cheech Marin (Rob/The Golden Palace) and Jay Hernandez (Hang Time) - Dennis, Cheech and Jay talk about The Long Game on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Sherri Shepherd (Mr. Iglesias/Trial & Error/Sherri/Less Than Perfect/Suddenly Susan) - Sherri is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Jaime Camil (Schmigadoon!/Broke) - Jaime talks about NBC's Lopez vs Lopez on Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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