Monday, May 31, 2010
Among the marathons today are the marathons we have previously mentioned, such as Bewitched and Sanford & Son on TV Land and The Tracy Morgan Show on TV One. Festivities begin on TV Land at 8am, while TV One starts their sitcom fun at 12 noon. BET has a marathon of The Game starting at 10am through 11pm.
Other marathons include Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon on BBC America, Criminal Minds marathon on ION, Cops on G4, American Gladiators on MTV2, The Unit marathon on Sleuth, Law & Order marathon on TNT, NCIS marathon on USA Network, and TeenNick's marathons of Zoey 101 and Drake & Josh.
For the full times of these marathons and much more marathons we didn't cover (like Band of Brothers on Spike and Hoarders on A&E), check out the full list from our pals at TV Tango!
Next up we have a special book review for you on this holiday! See skees53's Blog Book Review of Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television:
Lost Laughs of '50s and '60s Television (McFarland Publishers, $35.00) is David C. Tucker's look at thirty different sitcoms of the first two decades on television that have, for whatever reason, become "lost." And when they say lost, they really do mean lost. We all remember some of the biggest hits of those decades, such as I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, Leave it to Beaver, Bewitched, The Andy Griffith Show, and many others. But does anybody truly remember, for example Hennesey or Pete and Gladys, or for that matter, even heard of them? Tucker gives us all of the details of thirty sitcoms that shaped and molded the genre, then completely disappeared, mostly to never be seen again.
The book begins with a brief introduction by Tucker where he admits, for the most part, there is a reason that we don't hear much about these series. Simply put, many of the series were awful, but at the same time, fun to watch for that very reason. Some of the series were good series, but couldn't really go on due to financial or artistic differences of the cast and crew. Tucker doesn't claim that these sitcoms deserve more attention than the more popular series of the dawn of television, but rather presents the thirty chapters of this book to give some attention to those series that have come and gone, only to be buried deep in the archives (or in some cases, destroyed).
The book dedicates approximately five to ten pages to each of the sitcoms covered in the book, with each chapter beginning with cast and crew details as well as network and time slot information for the series. He then proceeds to give a few lines of dialog from the actual series itself, after which he goes into a detailed synopsis and critique (although he doesn't try to necessarily form an opinion) of each and every series that is covered in the book. The series that the book covers include the following:
* Angel - This series was supposed to be the answer to the recently ended series I Love Lucy, except in this series, the wife was the foreign one with the accent (French, to be specific) and the husband was the American born half. The series focuses on Angie (Annie Farge) trying to adapt to life in America.
* The Bill Dana Show - Bill Dana plays a Mexican immigrant trying to adjust to life in America (clearly, series like this were a big theme at the time).
* The Governor and J.J. - Late '60s sitcom about the private and public life of a governor and his daughter.
* The Great Gildersleeve - A series about a man raising his niece and her young brother who is always seeking romance, but can't seem to get a wife.
* Grindl - Anthology-style sitcom starring Imogene Coco, a maid and housekeeper who takes different jobs every week, and ends up in different circumstances.
* Happy - Early '60s sitcom that brings viewers inside the head of a baby who can seemingly talk (although the world around him doesn't hear him talk, think of the movie Look Who's Talking.
Hennesey - Early '60s sitcom that showed both the funny and serious world of the Navy.
* Hey, Jeannie! / The Jeannie Carson Show - Musical comedy that tells the story of a young woman arriving to America from Scotland.
* How to Marry a Millionaire - Based upon the film of the same title, three women are going through any means necessary to find the man of their dreams, specifically a rich one. Barbara Eden is one of the golddiggers (for the lack of a better word) of this series.
* Ichabod and Me - A Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher written series that, in the style of Newhart or the '80s film Funny Farm, takes a big city newspaper writer and his five-year-old son to a small New Hampshire town.
* I'm Dickens... He's Fenster - Duo played by John Astin and Marty Ingels perform slapstick-style comedy in this series where they work in the construction business.
* It's a Great Life - Francis Bavier plays a widow who rents a room in her home to two young men who have just returned home from the Army.
* It's About Time - Sherwood Schwartz sitcom about two astronauts who made a bad turn and ended up back in the days of cavemen, leading to confusion and chaos, much like his earlier series, Gilligan's Island.
* The Jim Backus Show: Hot Off the Wire - Series about a two-bit newspaper wire staff that will do almost anything to stay ahead of the game.
* Love on a Rooftop - A series from Screen Gems, produced by Harry Ackerman, about a young couple that finds love, despite her wealthy background and his poor background.
* Margie - A sitcom in the vein of Happy Days or The Wonder Years that goes back in time, to the 1920s to be specific, to tell the story of a 17-year-old girl growing up.
* McKeever and the Colonel - This series was The Phil Silvers Show meets Dennis the Menace, as it tells the story of three mischievous adolescents in military school.
* Meet Mr. McNutley / The Ray Milland Show - A simple sitcom about a college professor and his wife, created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher.
* The Mickey Rooney Show: Hey Mulligan - Before 30 Rock's Kenneth the Page, there was the IBC studio's page, Mickey, who is just as clumsy as the similar character on 30 Rock.
* Mr. Adams and Eve - Ida Lupino and Howard Duff, husband and wife in real-life, play a husband and wife who play a husband in the movies.
* Mr. Terrific - An ordinary man is recruited by the government to take a pill that gives him extraordinary strenth.
* Mrs. G. Goes to College / The Gertrude Berg Show - Series where Gertrude Berg plays a woman in her 60s going to college for the first time.
* My Hero - A real-estate salesman who can never seem to make his quotas manages to keep his job because he saved his boss' life a few years ago--his hero.
* O.K. Crackerby! - An Oklahoma billionaire and his family strive to make it into high society by any means necessary.
* Occasional Wife - A man and woman create a phony backstory and pretend to live a married life to go further in their own lives.
* The People's Choice - A sitcom about a man who travels the country for his job and has a talking dog (voiced by Mary Jane Croft).
* Pete and Gladys - Harry Morgan and Cara Williams star in this spinoff of December Bride.
* Peter Loves Mary - A married couple from the entertainment business in New York City settle down in a small Connecticut town.
* The Tom Ewell Show - A sitcom about a suffering father in a female world with his wife and three daughters.
* Wendy and Me - An attempt by George Burns (he also stars in the series) to recreate a sitcom similar to Burns and Allen after his wife Gracie Allen retired from the previous series.
These are very rare series, as I myself had only heard of less than five of them. Tucker provides interesting insight into each series, complete with quotes from episodes and still photographs from each of the series. He gives details of specific episodes, behind-the-scenes information, audience reception, impact on future television, and more in his insights. The series peaked my interest in many series, although given the "lost" nature of each of these series, it is unlikely that I will ever be able to see most of them (although an episode of Mrs. G. Goes to College did show up on Shout! Factory's release of The Goldbergs).
Everything in the book is carefully sourced, with a complete bibliography in the back of the book. There is also an index in the back of the book to help you find anything that you may be looking for, and an appendix with a chronological listing of the series (the chapters are presented in alphabetical order by the series titles).
Fans of sitcoms of the golden age would want to read this book. Never before has anybody compiled so many details about these truly lost series, and the book is a very interesting read. Of course, I'm sure that there are more than just thirty series that Tucker could have written about, and he also hints in the introduction that a future book may come along some day about lost sitcoms beyond the decades covered here. I would love to read such a book, and hope that he (or somebody) writes a book of that nature in the future.
Reviewed by skees53
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Sunday, May 30, 2010
Final Week of 2009-2010 TV Ratings and Analysis; How the Sitcoms Did; 2009-2010 Final Network Averages
Households: 1. Fox 9.3/15.1 rating/share; 2. CBS 7.4/12.3; 3. ABC 7.1/11.7; 4. NBC 3.7/6.1; 5. The CW 0.6/0.9
Total Viewers: 1. Fox 16.44 million; 2. CBS 11.87 million; 3. ABC 10.91 million; 4. NBC 5.96 million; 5. The CW 830,000 viewers
Adults 18-49: 1. Fox 5.6/15.1 rating/share; 2. CBS 3.0/8.6; 3. ABC 2.7/7.7; 4. NBC 2.1/5.9; 5. The CW 0.4/1.0
Week 36 (May 24-30) Analysis: For the final week of the TV season, only the first three nights of the week count for the TV season, so this is only a 1/2 week. Summer season started on Thursday. For the final three nights of the season, Fox was in front thanks to two nights of Idol, followed by CBS and ABC who battled for second. Last week, week 35, CBS won the final full week in HH/viewers but ABC won the week in 18-49 thanks to a strong LOST finale. ABC was second in HH/viewers, while Fox was second in 18-49. Fox was third in HH/viewers, while CBS was third in 18-49. So that left NBC fourth across the board again.
On the final Monday of the season, it was ABC with the win in viewers but CBS in 18-49. ABC started with The Finals of Dancing with the Stars, as a 1-hour edition did 19.36 million and a 4.0 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week when it was 90-minutes. From 9-11pm, ABC launched an all-new season of The Bachelorette doing a respectable 9.08 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up some from last season's premiere, as ABC will air this in the summer. CBS started off the night with the season finale of How I Met Your Mother doing 8.05 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, up from previous week. A new Rules of Engagement was next doing 8.1 million and 3.2 18-49, also up from the previous week. Then at 9pm the season finale of Two and a Half Men did 15.46 million and a 5.0 18-49 rating, up sharply from the previous week when it faced Dancing directly. Then the season finale of The Big Bang Theory was next and did 15.02 million and a 5.3 18-49 rating... excellent and on par really from previous week, as it didn't face Dancing directly for the second straight week. CBS closed the night with the season finale of CSI: Miami at 12.38 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, up from previous week as the series heads to Sundays next season. Fox devoted the night to the series finale of 24 and it did 8.94 million and a 2.8 18-49, both down a tad from previous week when it was only an hour. For a series finale it went out quietly. NBC was of course in fourth with a two-hour season finale of Chuck at 5.01 million and a 1.8 18-49, down week-to-week when it was only an hour. At 10pm, the series finale of Law & Order did 7.84 million and 1.9 18-49 rating, up some from previous week when it was two-hours. Over at The CW, they are in repeats now, with Gossip Girl at 8pm doing just 800,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating. Then at 9pm a repeat of One Tree Hill did an even worse 570,000 viewers and a 0.2 18-49 rating, needless to say these don't repeat well at all.
On the final Tuesday of the season, Fox has a slim lead in total viewers over ABC, Fox had a comfortable lead in 18-49. Fox aired the final Tuesday edition of American Idol doing 20.7 million and a 6.7 18-49 rating in the 8pm hour, up in viewers from previous week but 18-49 was the exact same. Then an all-new episode of Glee aired and did 11.37 million and a 4.8 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week again. The season isn't over yet, and will spill a bit into summer...I don't think the ratings will be this high this week. CBS was all-new and started with the season finale of NCIS doing 16.3 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, up a bit in viewers from previous week, but 18-49 rating remained the same. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles followed with its season finale doing 13.23 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, down from previous week and a series low in 18-49. And finally The Good Wife closed the night its season finale episode doing 10.6 million but only a 2.0 18-49 rating, for a series low. ABC started off the night with Dancing with the Stars repeat from Monday doing 9.4 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, not bad for a repeat of a reality competition series. Then two-hour season finale of Dancing with the Stars was next with 18.4 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, on a very competitive nigh. Congrats to Nicole Scherzinger taking home the trophy. NBC started with the two-hour season finale of The Biggest Loser doing a solid 9.96 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating, up sharply from the previous week. The season finale of Parenthood was next doing 6.02 million and a 2.6 18-49 rating, down a tad from previous week with the added competition this week. The CW aired more repeats as a repeat of Life UneXpected and a repeat of 90210 did only 770,000 viewers and 510,000 viewers. 18-49 rating was worse at 0.3 and 0.2.
On Wednesday, the final night of the season, Fox prevailed again with Idol. A new American Idol was crowned along with a send-off for Simon Cowell, which spiked the ratings a bit to 24.22 million and a 8.2 18-49 rating, up over 5 million from previous week and two full points in 18-49. The finale was from 8-10:07pm. CBS started with a special repeat of Undercover Boss doing 5.99 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. I think the show will be down a lot next fall when it returns. Next CBS aired the season finale of Criminal Minds and did 12.97 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, down only some week-to-week with the Idol finale even airing. CSI: NY closed the night with its season finale at 10pm with 11.96 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. The series will move to Fridays in the fall. ABC preempted its regular line-up of comedies for the network television premiere of the movie Transformers and did a decent 4.83 million and a 1.8 18-49 rating, growing each half-hour. NBC gaveway to repeats for the entire night as a two-hour a repeat of Minute to Win It did just 2.96 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating, ouch. At 10pm a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did 3.91 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, on par from previous week's repeat at 9pm. The CW aired a repeat of America's Next Top Model at 8 doing 1.18 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. Best repeater for the network it seems and this is a reality series. At 9pm another repeat did 1.16 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating again.
Starting from Thursday on, the summer season started! So we won't do an analysis, but stay tuned all summer to see how your favorite network sitcoms are doing!
Week 36 How the Sitcoms Did
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 35-- May 17-23)
- 'Til Death (Fox) - An all-new episode only mustered 2.16 million, down a bit from the previous week.
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 airings - A repeat episode at 7:30pm did 2.85 million, down some from previous week's repeat. The season finale at 8pm did 5.75 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating...down from previous week as competition from ABC's LOST finale was too much.
- The Cleveland Show (Fox) - The season finale did 4.94 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, like the lead-in down also from previous week in both measures.
- Family Guy (Fox) - The one-hour season finale did 6.31 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating. Down sharply from previous week like the rest of the night as the LOST finale got going.
- American Dad (Fox) - preempted.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - The season finale perked up to 8.05 million and a 3.5 18-49 rating, up from previous week.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 8.1 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating for the season finale, up from previous week and still did build a bit in viewers from lead-in.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - The season finale did 15.46 million and a 5.0 18-49 rating, up sharply from previous week as it didn't face Dancing directly.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - The season finale did 15.02 million and a 5.3 18-49 rating, Viewers was exactly the same as previous week, but 18-49 rating was down 2 tenths from previous week.
- Romantically Challenged (ABC) - preempted.
- Old Christine (CBS) - preempted
- The Middle (ABC) - preempted.
- Modern Family (ABC) - preempted.
- Cougar Town (ABC) - preempted.
- Community (NBC) - A repeat did only a prelim 2.98 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating. It's going to be a long summer for the NBC comedies.
- 100 Questions (NBC) - The series premiere did only 2.48 million and 0.8 18-49 rating. Maybe the lowest rated sitcom premiere ever? These are final numbers.
- The Office (NBC) 2 airings - A repeat at 9 did a prelim 2.99 million and a 1.3 18-49 rating, sharply going up in 18-49 from the lead-in. A repeat at 10pm did a prelim 2.63 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating.
- 30 Rock (NBC) - At 9:30pm a repeat did a prelim 2.82 million and a 1.2 18-49 rating, not too good.
- Parks & Recreation (NBC) - A repeat at 10:30pm only did a prelim 2.33 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating. This sitcom won't be back until mid-season 2011 with new episodes.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are no comedies.
Summing it up. The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, & How I Met Your Mother were impressive this week. Everything was OK (such as repeats of The Office) or just plain old terrible (such as 100 Questions, Community repeat).
Final 2009-2010 TV Season Ratings (9/21/09-5/26/10):
Households: 1. CBS 7.2/12 rating/share; 2. Fox 5.8/9; 3. ABC 5.5/9; 4. NBC 5.1/8.
Total Viewers: 1. CBS 11.78 million; 2. Fox 9.99 million; 3. ABC 8.64 million; 4. NBC 8.22 million; 5. The CW 2.0 million.
Adults 18-49: 1. Fox 3.7/10 rating/share; 2. CBS 3.2/9; 3. ABC 2.7/7; 4. NBC 2.7/7; 5. The CW 0.9/2.
Adults 25-54: 1. Fox 4.1/10 rating/share; 2. CBS 4.1/10; 3. ABC 3.2/8; 4. NBC 3.2/8.
Adults 18-34: 1. Fox 3.2/10 rating/share; 2. CBS 2.2/7; 3. ABC 2.2/7; 4. NBC 2.2/7; 5. The CW 1.1/2.
(Please note, NBC's ratings includes 17 nights of Winter Olympics and CBS's ratings includes the Super Bowl.)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
The last week of May isn't your typical week for news, but we have a ton of news from Shout! Factory this week! There haven't been any "surprise announcements" so to speak, but there have been several announcements of continuations of series already being released by Shout! Factory, including Designing Women - The Complete Fourth Season (September 14, $44.99 MSRP), Leave it to Beaver - Season Four (September 14, $39.97 MSRP), The Facts of Life - The Complete Fifth Season (details TBA), and thirtysomething - The Complete Fourth and Final Season (date TBA, $59.97 MSRP). Designing Women, Leave it to Beaver, and thirtysomething are already confirmed to be regular retail releases, and although we don't have confirmation yet, we believe that The Facts of Life will be as well.
Now on to some shows that had been announced by Shout! Factory, but have yet to see a release so far... The Larry Sanders Show - The Complete Series and The Norm Show - The Complete Series finally have release dates set! The Larry Sanders Show will be released on September 28 at a $149.99 MSRP, and The Norm Show will be released on September 7 at a $59.97 MSRP. These will also be regular retail releases.
While we are discussing Shout! Factory, don't forget their upcoming release of Small Wonder - The Complete Second Season next month, as a Shout! Select title! It is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. We encourage you to purchase this and other Shout! Select titles to make this program work for Shout! Factory!
The Phil Silvers Show - The First Season is coming in July, but we now have some more details about special features, directly from the studio. The set will include the following:
- Commentaries on two episodes
- Original lost audition show
- Cast commercials
- Bonus episode of The Lucy Show guest starring Phil Silvers
One of NBC's newest series, Parenthood, is going to debut on DVD later this August. Parenthood - Season One will contain all 13 episodes from the first season of the comedy-drama about a family trying to balance all aspects in their far from perfect lives. It is set for a release on August 31, and will include commentaries, deleted and extended scenes, and a behind-the-scenes look at the series. That may not sound like much, but if my experience with other current Universal series on DVD is an indicator, it is probably more than what it sounds like... they tend to downplay their special features. It isn't available for pre-order yet.
UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Tuesday (June 1) has quite a few releases in store, but very few that are of interest to us. The one of the most interest to us is Mister Ed - The Complete Third Season from Shout! Factory. We'll have a review of it coming up as soon as we receive the set from the distributor. Also, though not a sitcom, we have Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2. We have a review of this set in today's Digital Digest.
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
Almost anybody born in the past 70 years grew up with the Peanuts gang, Charles Schultz's classic comic strip of characters including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Sally, and the many other members of the Peanuts gang. And as we all know, there were many TV specials and movies made for this cast of characters. Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2 brings more specials from the 70s together in a special compilation.
DVD Review: Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2
Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Vol. 2 (Warner, $29.98) brings us the next six 1970's TV specials on DVD digitally remastered...and again it is really worth it! These are the remaining six TV specials from the '70s. On this set we get Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown; You're A Good Sport, Charlie Brown; It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown; What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown; It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown; and You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown. Please note that, What a Nightmare is being released for the first time ever on DVD!
Among the stories on these six specials are: Charlie Brown hoping he gets a Valentine's Day card from the little red haired girl; a motorcross race between Charlie Brown and Snoopy; the gang play baseball and plant trees for Arbor Day; Snoopy has a nightmare that he is a sled dog in Alaska; Charlie Brown gets a chance to kiss the little red haired girl; and Charlie Brown goes for the decathlon victory.
Let's take a look at the runtimes for each special:
1. "Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown" (25:12, 6 chapters)
2. "You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown" (25:16, 6 chapters)
3. "It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown" (25:03, 5 chapters)
4. "What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown" - First Time on DVD! (24:19, 5 chapters)
5. "It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown" (24:15, 5 chapters)
6. "You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown" (24:21, 5 chapters)
Let's now move on to the packaging. Like all the previous Peanuts sets, we have a thin outer box that holds a very thin case, that is movie style. Also, both the back and front of each are exactly the same, except the box is shinier. The cover art is white in color once again, and has a shot of Charlie Brown getting ready to throw a pitch at a baseball game. The title of the set is below, with a mention that the six specials are remastered on the top with a Snoopy Peanuts logo! To the back we go, we get a nice shot of Charlie Brown next to the mailbox being kissed by Snoopy and the wording "Happiness Is Another Cool Peanuts Collection, Charlie Brown" is on top. The back also has a disc-by-disc breakdown on what specials to expect. When we open the case, we get nice artwork (baseball/Arbor Day themed) and details on each special on each side. The first disc is on the left panel, while disc two is on the right panel. Disc art has a white background, with artwork of Snoopy on top of his dog house with Charlie Brown watching on disc one and Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown and Snoopy motorcross racing on disc two.
The menu screen has options of Features, Special Features, and Languages. We get that white background again, with the theme song playing in the background. We also have the same artwork as the cover art of Charlie Brown getting ready to throw a pitch at a baseball game. We get auto-trailers before the main menu on disc one for items like Peanuts '70s Collection Vol. 1 and Saturday Morning 60s/70s Vol. 2. For Languages, we can have either have English, Espanol, Portuguese or Japanese. For subtitles we have those four again and also French! The Features section has the specials listed by title, we can also select Play All to play them consecutively. Finally, Special Features is on disc two only and lists the featurette and a trailer for Free Willy 4.
The video and audio is tremendous once again. It looks HD even if this isn't Blu-ray. These specials are all so good ever since they started the Remastered Collection sets. They have never looked better or sounded better ever. I am very impressed yet again; what more can I continue to say about these digitally remastered sets? Warner continues to do a great job on this remastering of all these classic specials. And the main thing is that all of the specials are unedited! These sets are must buys for the video quality alone, as it is a major improvement over the VHS versions or anything you taped from TV in the last two decades.
As for special features, we get a nice featurette nice again! Each set seems to have a cool featurette. It is titled "You're Groovy, Charlie Brown: A Look At Peanuts In the '70s" and runs 18:23. We get to see the behind the scenes of all 12 specials from the '70s. Interviewed are Lee Mendelson (executive producer), Alexis Fajardo (cartoonist), Craig Schulz (Charles' son), Paige Braddock (creative director) and Jean Schulz (Charles' wife). While these are good, they should also consider putting original specials/documentaries on here. The 1969 special "Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz," the 1976 special "Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown," and the 1979 special "Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown" remain unreleased and would be cool to see. Hopefully Warner Bros. releases these at some point!
I once again highly do recommend this set for any Charlie Brown-Peanuts fan and classic animation in general. Continue your collection, because we get another special that we never had on DVD before and all are remastered again. This is worth it! It is now safe to say we have the remaining 6 specials from the '70s remastered! We are done with the '60s and '70s, now we have the '80s next! There are about 14 of those, too! Warner continues to do a wonderful job with the remastering and the behind the scenes extras for each set. I just hope we get some of those original specials/documentaries as well. Let's hope they continue to release more Peanuts specials and eventually we get them all remastered in our personal libraries! So head back to the grooving '70s once more and relive the first next six classic specials from that decade all over again! Who knows we might see a sighting of the little red-haired girl!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
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We have a busy slate of reviews coming up both on the blog and on our regular reviews, so you won't want to miss any of those. We'll have a review of The A-Team - The Complete Series next week, along with a special feature story that we do every now and then on Digital Digest. Until next time, keep it digital!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Breaking: Gary Coleman Passes Away at 42; ION Television June 2010 Highlights; Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 31, 2010)
Actor Gary Coleman (Diff'rent Strokes) has passed away this afternoon. Gary Coleman was in a coma earlier today and was put on life support. Gary died after suffering an intercranial hemorrhage. His wife Shannon Price and her father were at the hospital Friday and decided to pull the plug. Coleman suffered the hemorrhage on Wednesday after taking a fall at his Santaquin home, 55 miles south of Salt Lake City. He has also battled kidney disease for nearly his entire life and had heart surgery last fall. He was also in the hospital twice this year after suffering seizures.
Gary has had many troubles over the years. Besides his health problems, he has had marriage problems (he even appeared on Divorce Court), financial problems, and was in trouble with the law for multiple items including assault and domestic abuse. We won't go much into detail of his problems, but you can read that on RadarOnline. Gary also ran for governor of California in 2003's infamous recall election, coming in 8th place out of 135 candidates.
Gary was of course best known for his role of Arnold Jackson-Drummond on the hit sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, that ran from 1978-86 on NBC/ABC. He made his mark on this sitcom and became one of the most well-known faces on all of television at the time. Coleman became the most popular fixture of the show, enhanced by his character's catchphrase "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" At the height of his fame on Diff'rent Strokes, he earned as much as $100,000 per episode. Gary's death is the second major death for a Strokes cast member. In 1999, Dana Plato (Kimberly) committed suicide. Conrad Bain (Mr. Drummond), Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett), Mary Jo Catlett (Pearl), Danny Cooksey (Sam), and Todd Bridges (Willis Jackson) are all still living, but Nedra Volz (Adelaide) and Dixie Carter (Maggie) have passed away. Arnold's friend on the show, Dudley, played by Shavar Ross is on Twitter and has a website. So feel free to let him know your thoughts.
Before he was on Diff'rent Strokes, Gary guest starred with memorable appearances on The Jeffersons and Good Times. His other guest appearances include Medical Center, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Facts of Life, Silver Spoons, Simon & Simon, Amazing Stories, 227, Married with Children, Martin, Unhappily Ever Ater, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Homeboys in Outer Space, The Jamie Foxx Show, Parent'hood, The Naked Truth, Wayans Bros., Shasta McNasty, The Simpsons, The Hughleys, The Drew Carey Show, The Rerun Show, Son of the Beach, My Wife & Kids, Baby Bob, The Parkers, and more.
Gary also starred on his own short-lived animated series The Gary Coleman Show in 1982. He starred in many TV movies in the early '80s including The Kid from Left Field, Scout's Honor, The Kid with the Broken Halo, Jimmy the Kid, The Kid with the 200 I.Q., and Playing with Fire.
We will let you know if there are any plans from any cable network to play a Diff'rent Strokes marathon (or anything else he was in, such as those classic TV movies) in honor of Gary. So please check back with us because we will be the first to know. UPDATE: Bio TV will remember Gary by airing a block of Biography episodes on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Biography: Dana Plato airs at 8pm, Biography: Diff'rent Strokes airs at 9pm, Biography Remembers: Gary Coleman airs at 10pm and The Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals: Gilligan's Island & Diff'rent Strokes airs at 11pm. And if you're in Chicago, Me-TV will pay tribute to Gary by airing a Diff'rent Strokes marathon from 11am-7pm CT on Me-TV Chicago. View the schedule. Stay tuned for further updates.
Mr. Coleman was only 42 and will be deeply missed by many, including the sitcom world. R.I.P. Gary.
Watch Gary Coleman on ABC News' 20/20 feature story from May 1999:
It's a quiet June 2010 for ION Television, as the schedule will remain the same as it is now. Among the changes made last month were The Guard being removed (Saturdays 9-11pm) by more Ghost Whisperer and The Emeril Lagasse Show moving to Sundays at 5pm now instead of 8pm, due to low ratings. As a result, now M*A*S*H airs regularly on Sundays from 3-5pm, in addition to its weekday airings from 4-6pm and filler airings on Saturday afternoons. My Name is Earl will continue to air Sundays in the 1pm hour, or sometimes just 11:30pm if a movie runs long.
ION will continue to air movies on weekends. Movies airing in June on ION are Shanghai Noon, Blood Work, Entrapment, Field of Dreams, The Fugitive, The Godfather, and The Outlaw Josey Wales.
View the full ION Television June 2010 schedule and highlights. Hopefully July will be more interesting, so stay with us in the coming weeks for that.
It's Friday, so it is time for "Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows" for the coming week. This is where we list what sitcom stars are appearing on talk shows for the coming week, the stars are both current and past sitcom stars (but we won't cover movie stars like Tom Hanks or John Travolta, since they won't be talking about their past sitcoms likely), so this is for all sitcom fans of all eras!
For the week of May 31-June 4, 2010, we have many current sitcom stars and past sitcom stars on TV talk shows! So get your DVR's (or whatever you use) ready! Ready? Here is all what you need to know for the coming week!
Monday, May 31, 2010
- Drew Carey (The Drew Carey Show) - Drew stops by Lopez Tonight at 11pm on TBS.
- Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah heads to see the ladies of The View, at 11am ET/10am CT/PT on ABC. You can also catch her on a repeat of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35am.
- The Game cast - Catch the cast of the sitcom on The Mo'nique Show on BET at 11pm. This is a repeat, though.
- Jenna Fischer (The Office) - This is a repeat from a few weeks back, but catch Jenna on Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
- Terry Crews (Are We There Yet?) - Catch Terry on Lopez Tonight at 11pm on TBS promoting his new TBS sitcom.
- Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Catch Susie on CBS's Early Show sometime between 7-9am. And that's not all, she will also be on NBC's Today at 10am and also on HLN's The Joy Behar Show at 9pm.
- Neil Flynn (The Middle/[scrubs]) - This is a repeat, so if you need to see Neil on The Bonnie Hunt Show, check your local listings.
- Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/The Golden Girls/Mary Tyler Moore) - This is a repeat, but catch Betty again on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 12:35am on NBC.
- Carol Burnett (Carol Burnett Show/Mama's Family) - This is also a repeat, but catch Carol again on Tavis Smiley on PBS. Check your local listings.
- Ellie Kemper (The Office) - This is a repeat, but catch Ellie again on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am on CBS.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
- Betty White (Hot in Cleveland/Golden Girls/Mary Tyler Moore) - This is a repeat from March, but catch Betty again on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, check your local listings.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
- Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) - Sean will be on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT/PT.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends) - This is a repeat, but catch Lisa on The Martha Stewart Show again, so check your listings.
- Ed Helms (The Office) - This is a repeat of him on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, airing 11:35pm on NBC!
- Holly Robinson-Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) - Catch a repeat of Holly on The Wendy Williams Show either on BET at 12am or your local station.
Friday, June 4, 2010
- Jay Mohr (Gary Unmarried) - Jay stops by CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:35am.
- Jennie Garth (What I Like About You) - The lovely Jennie stops by The View, at 11am ET/10am CT/PT on ABC.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
That is all that will be changing, so the rest of the line-up will remain intact as it is now. The Nanny is slated to air on sister network TV Land starting in August, so we're not sure yet if it will move totally to TV Land or also air on Nick at Nite. Currently, The Cosby Show is airing on both networks, so The Nanny could also. Stay with us.
Highlights for Nick at Nite June 2010 is a bit of a blur right now, but we do have SOME info. There will be a week-long George Lopez Marathon from Monday, June 21 through Friday, June 25 airing all night from 10pm-6am. We'll have details shortly. Nick at Nite will also air a few Sunday movies in June, with the network premiere of the film Look Who's Talking on Sunday, June 13 from 8-10pm. On Father's Day (June 20), Nick at Nite will present a rebroadcast of the original movie Mr. Troop Mom starring George Lopez from 9-11pm. And finally, original series Glenn Martin, DDS continues to air Fridays at 10:30pm.
For now, view the complete details of Nick at Nite June 2010, including the full schedule. If there is anything more added, we'll let you know.
Starting in 2012, Disney-owned SOAPnet will shut its doors for good...but the network will turn into a cable network for pre-schoolers. Disney/ABC Television Group will launch Disney Junior, a new multiplatform brand and 24-hour basic cable/satellite channel and online site devoted to preschool-age children. Scheduled to debut in the U.S. in 2012, Disney Junior will invite mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, both classic and new, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7.
The 24-hour Disney Junior schedule will include 200 new episodes annually of both new series, including Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and current hits, including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Imagination Movers and Jungle Junction. Disney's vast array of classic and contemporary movies, including among others 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin and Little Mermaid, will be showcased.
In the U.S., the new Disney Junior channel will take the place of the SOAPnet channel, currently available in 75 million homes. Prior to the launch of the 24-hour channel, the Disney Junior brand will be introduced on Disney Channel's daily programming block for preschoolers (currently branded Playhouse Disney). The decision to ultimately transition SOAPnet to accomplish this was not arrived at lightly. SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary. But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company, Disney says.
While I don't mind this change, since SOAPnet's original goal has changed due to technology, I wish Disney-ABC would also create a network for adults. Something like USA Network or TNT, where they can repurpose some of ABC's dramas, develop new series, and air off-network programming from the Disney archive. Just my opinion. Some of the off-network properties of SOAPnet like Beverly Hills 90210 or One Tree Hill could even air there. But since that isn't happening it seems, looks like they will need new cable homes come 2012. This is good news for families with young kids as they get another sure-to-be-a success in Disney Junior.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
100 Questions - Thursdays 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 8:30PM ET/PT
100 Questions is a new comedy series written and executive produced by Christopher Moynihan (For Your Consideration) that provides hilarious answers to 100 questions about love.
Charlotte Payne (Sophie Winkleman, Peep Show) is looking for love and has rejected multiple marriage proposals -- but she has yet to meet Mr. Right. When she joins a popular online dating site, she gets a little help from her dating counselor Andrew (Michael Benjamin Washington, Mamma Mia) - who requires her to take a 100-question compatibility test. The questions aren't easy for Charlotte to answer, and each one requires her to recount a poignant and humorous time in her life with friends Leslie (Smith Cho, Fired Up!), Jill (Collette Wolfe, 17 Again), Mike (Christopher Moynihan, For Your Consideration) and Wayne (David Walton, Quarterlife). The test becomes a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte who begins to realize what she truly wants in a relationship. Ron West (Psych), Kelly Kulchak (Psych) and Michelle Nader (King of Queens) join Moynihan as executive producers. The series is produced by Universal Media Studios and Tagline.
* Sophie Winkleman as Charlotte Payne
* Smith Cho as Leslie
* Christopher Moynihan as Mike Poole
* Collette Wolfe as Jill
* David Walton as Wayne Rutherford
* Michael Benjamin Washington as Andrew
Sophie Winkleman stars in NBC's new comedy series 100 Questions as Charlotte Payne, a young woman who is looking for love through a popular online dating site. Winkleman is most commonly known in Britain for her role as "Big Suze" in the comedy series Peep Show. She also starred as "Princess Eleanor" in Tom Grieves' drama series The Palace and as "Joely" in White Teeth. In addition, she has guest starred on other television series, such as Lewis, Keen Eddie, Waking the Dead and Ultimate Force. Her film credits include The Chronicles of Narnia, Suzie Gold and Galileo's Daughter.
A Bay Area native, Smith Cho has made incredible strides as an actor in a very short time. Perhaps best known for her comedic talent, Cho turned in humorous performances on the big screen in 2007's Norbit and Blades of Glory. Her 2008 releases include Eddie Murphy's Meet Dave, Broken Lizard's The Slammin' Salmon, The Last Lullaby and Ping Pong Playa - the latter written and directed by Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu, in which she played the female lead and love interest. Ping Pong Playa opened to rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival in the Fall 2007. Most recently, Cho wrapped up Will Gluck's cheerleader camp comedy Fired Up. Among her other feature film credits are lead roles in David Von Allmen's Say Goodnight and Columbia Pictures' Bad Boys 2. Cho's television credits include a series regular role on Emily's Reasons Why Not starring Heather Graham, as well as guest-starring appearances on Entourage, Six Feet Under, ER, House, Boston Public and The Gilmore Girls, among others. She has also appeared in over 30 national network television commercials.
Christopher Moynihan is creator, writer and executive producer of NBC's new comedy series 100 Questions, where he also stars as Mike Poole, a close friend of Charlotte Payne (Sophie Winkleman). Moynihan can be seen as one of the stars of Christopher Guest's feature film For Your Consideration. Previously, Moynihan starred with Parker Posey as one of The New Main Street Singers in the feature film A Mighty Wind, also for Guest. After starring in the series Coupling, Moynihan wrote and starred in the pilot Foster Hall. Some of his other television credits include The Fighting Fitzgeralds, House, Boston Legal and Psych.
Actress Collette Wolfe will headline a comedy double-bill this spring, starring in both a film and network television series. The film is MGM's Hot Tub Time Machine, with John Cusack and Rob Corddry. The series is NBC's 100 Questions, written and executive produced by Christopher Moynihan, with an ensemble that includes Sophie Winkleman, Moynihan, Smith Cho and David Walton. Wolfe's very first film audition led to her first film job: Danny McBride and Jody Hill's cult hit karate comedy, The Foot Fist Way. Her comedic talent next led to roles in Will Ferrell's Semi Pro, the Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn film Four Christmases, last year's scene-stealing turn opposite Seth Rogen in Observe and Report, and the girl who steals the job from Matthew Perry in 17 Again. Other acting credits for Wolfe include the film The Great World of Sound (Sundance Film Festival), and guest-starring roles last year on the television series Greek and Reaper.
David Walton stars in NBC's new comedy series 100 Questions as Wayne Rutherford, the son of a millionaire who was cut off by his father and has since been sleeping on his friend's couch. Most recently, Walton appeared in the Sony Pictures film Fired Up as the overly cocky yet hilarious Dr. Rick. His television credits include FOX's The Loop, as well as NBC's Heist and Quarterlife. Additionally, Walton starred in the sitcom Cracking Up, opposite Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon. On stage he appeared in the off-Broadway production of One Day on Wall Street.
Michael Benjamin Washington has appeared on shows such as Hope & Faith, Law & Order, 30 Rock, 10 Things I Hate About You and Glee. He also has a number of Broadway credits.
#1 "What Brought You Here?" (Airs May 27 at 8:30-9:00 p.m. ET)
Charlotte Payne is looking for love and has rejected multiple marriage proposals -- but she has yet to meet Mr. Right. When she joins a popular online dating site, she gets a little help from her dating counselor Andrew - who requires her to take a 100-question compatibility test. The questions aren’t easy for Charlotte to answer, and each one requires her to recount a poignant and humorous time in her life with friends Leslie, Jill, Mike and Wayne. The test becomes a journey of self-discovery for Charlotte who begins to realize what she truly wants in a relationship.
Directed by Christopher Moynihan
Written by Alex Hardcastle
Guest Starring: Joe Manganiello as Rick, Caleb Moody as Painted Guy, Cesili Williams as Receptionist, Morgan Hewitt as Angelique, Alex Enriquez as Bartender
100 Questions will finally debut on Thursday, May 27. The show was originally going to premiere in March following the Winter Olympics. It was pushed back to May. They had their episode order cut from 13 to 6 episodes. The original pilot had different actors playing Leslie, Jill and Andrew and was directed by James Burrows. Smith Cho, Collette Wolfe and David Walton were cast for the re-shot pilot that was directed by Alex Hardcastle.
The pilot opens with Charlotte meeting dating counselor Andrew at Soulmate Specialists, Inc. His first question is what brought her there. She talks about a really bad date with her boyfriend Rick at a Yankees game and there is a flashback with her friends also at the game. Rick asks her to marry him after they have dated for only 3 months. Leslie meets a guy wearing face paint at the game and later goes out on a date with him and finds out that he is an albino. Charlotte (known online as The Yankee Bitch) goes with Jill to Rick's office to bring him back his ring. She discovers that this isn't the ring that he gave her and there are some flashbacks to the night before where Mike and Wayne are playing with the ring. Mike and Wayne compete to see who has the best pick-up line.
This is a multi-camera comedy that is filmed in front of a studio audience, so they have a laugh track. They have a nice little theme song and opening credits sequence that runs for about 20 seconds, which is quite long these days. The show is similar to Romantically Challenged with the romantic comedy and dating set up. It also reminds me of How I Met Your Mother with how they cut to flashbacks quite often. There are also some pop culture references to Lord of the Rings, Gollum, Yoda, the Cookie Monster, Mary Poppins, Die Hard and The Sixth Sense. The show is set in New York City.
100 Questions is a pretty funny and likeable sitcom. Sophie Winkleman is quite lovely as Charlotte and who wouldn't love her British accent? She reminds me of a young Jane Leeves. She's mostly known for her roles in Britain, so hopefully we will be seeing more of her on American television in the future. The rest of the ensemble cast may not be household names to some people, but you've probably seen them in various movies and other tv series. There are some funny one-liners and flashback scenes, but it may be a little too predictable for some viewers. There will also be comparisons to Friends, but you can't really blame NBC for trying to recapture that successful formula again.
NBC hasn't had many multi-camera comedies in recent years, so it's nice that they gave this one an opportunity even if it's just a summer burn-off. I think their original plan was to air it on Tuesday nights in March after the Olympics. It really doesn't fit in with the rest of their single camera comedies like The Office or 30 Rock, so it probably needed to be paired with another multi-camera comedy. There used to be a time when the networks aired nothing but repeats in the summer. This will provide some fresh entertainment for the next 6 weeks. If you liked the short-lived Romantically Challenged or if you are a fan of the hit How I Met Your Mother, you might want to give this new comedy series a shot on Thursday nights.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 5/26/10
Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, May 27 on our message board.
Moving back to news, ABC Family Channel hads acquired drama Friday Night Lights. ABC Family has acquired the basic cable television rights to Friday Night Lights, in a deal with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. The deal gives ABC Family the rights to five seasons of the critically acclaimed series. ABC Family is tentatively set to begin airing the series' first season in September 2010. The fourth season of Friday Night Lights is currently airing on NBC (Fridays, 8 p.m. ET/PT.) The series premiered on October 3, 2006 on NBC, but then beginning in October 2008, the third and fourth season of the drama began airing on satellite provider DirecTV's The 101 Network and rebroadcast on NBC. The fifth season will also air on DirecTV, but is unclear if NBC will rebroadcast it.
Stay with us for further information on this in the coming months when we give you updates on all of the Fall schedules for cable networks!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
On Friday, July 2 at 10pm, Miami Medical has its series finale, while Three Rivers will have its series finale the very next night (Saturday, July 3) at 8pm. On Friday, July 9, 2010 CBS will air two all-new back-to-back episodes of Flashpoint from 9-11pm, before it moves to 10pm starting July 16. Repeats of Medium is currently slated to air at 9pm starting July 16. Replacing Three Rivers on Saturdays will be Canadian import The Bridge starting Saturday, July 10 at 8pm.
Moving on to reality, Big Brother returns for its 12th season starting Thursday, July 8 at 8pm. The series will air this season on Thursdays at 8pm, Sundays at 8pm (starting July 11), and Wednesdays at 8pm (starting July 14). As of now, everything else in the summer are pretty much repeats. CBS airs the 64th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 13 from 8-11pm and the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday, June 27 from 9-11pm. And on Saturday, July 3, 2010, CBS presents the network premiere of the film Die Another Day.
In other CBS updates, Paula Abdul has been named an executive producer, creative partner and lead judge for Got to Dance (working title), a new reality-competition series for CBS. She will also serve as coach, mentor and advocate for contestants during the performances and elimination process, providing critical input and guidance while sharing her experience with hopeful contestants. No word yet when the series will air, but it could possibly air in January 2011. The series is based on the British hit that debuted earlier this year and has been a ratings sensation for Britain's Sky 1, making it one of the UK's top-rated pay TV series this season.
View the full CBS Summer 2010 schedule thus far. We will update it as we get information, so keep checking it!
Tribune Broadcasting has signed a long-term affiliation agreement to air MGM's This TV on Tribune's digital channels. This TV will pick up Tribune stations as new affiliates in New York (WPIX), Miami (WSFL), St. Louis (KPLR), San Diego (KSWB) and Grand Rapids (WXMI). At the same time, This TV has renewed its existing affiliation agreements with Tribune stations in Los Angeles (KTLA), Philadelphia (WPHL), Washington, D.C. (WDCW), Denver (KWGN), Indianapolis/Bloomington (WTTV/WTIC), Hartford (WTIC) and New Orleans (WNOL).
This TV is a 24/7 free, ad-supported network that offers classic movies and TV shows from MGM's library; informational and educational children's programming; opportunities for TV stations to customize the network for their local markets; and no paid programming. This TV, which was created and is operated jointly by MGM and Weigel Broadcasting, was launched in November of 2008. MGM and Tribune have also formed a strategic partnership designed to continue to grow the digital network, which is now carried by stations reaching over 85% of the country. MGM also announced it has reached an agreement with The Nielsen Company, which will provide national ratings for This TV.
This TV airs classic series such as Mister Ed, The Patty Duke Show, and The Outer Limits.
Monday, May 24, 2010
TV Land June 2010 Has Hot in Cleveland, But No Brady Bunch; An Interview with Mayim Bialik, Who Is On Big Bang Tonight
As for the month's highlights, the season finale of How'd You Get So Rich airs Wednesday, June 9 at 10 p.m. The following week (Wednesday, June 16 at 10) has the premiere of sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The sitcom revolves around three fabulous L.A. women of a certain age who are best friends (Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White). Their lives are changed forever when their plane – headed for Paris – unexpectedly lands in Cleveland and they soon rediscover themselves in a new "promised land." Loving their new home, the women find themselves living under one roof and battling the sassy caretaker of the property they have rented, played by the inimitable Betty White.
On Wednesday, June 16 at 10:30pm there will be a special. The third season (6 episodes) of TV Land's hit original series She's Got The Look returns Wednesday, August 25 to discover the next supermodel over the age of 35. But before that happens, get a preview of what is to come in season three airs after the premiere of TV Land's first original sitcom--Hot in Cleveland! It's the only airing, so watch it.
On Saturday, June 26 from 9pm-10:30pm, TV Land presents The 38th AFI Life Achievement Award to Mike Nichols, adding yet another high honor to the hefty resume of the award-winning writer, producer and director. Past honorees include Michael Douglas, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino. The AFI Life Achievement award was established in 1973 to honor an individual whose career in motion pictures or TV has greatly contributed to the enrichment of American culture. The criteria state that "the recipient should be one whose talent has in a fundamental way advanced the film art; whose accomplishment has been acknowledged by scholars, critics, professional peers and the general public; and whose work has stood the test of time."
TV Land Monday Movie premieres for June 2010 are 48 Hours, Roxanne, Naked Gun, Beverly Hills Cop III, and Stand By Me. Encore movies this month are Ghostbusters and Another 48 Hours.
View the COMPLETE schedule and information on TV Land June 2010. And we promise TV Land July will come sooner, maybe even this week...stay with us! One question we will answer is...will Good Times return (its contract expires at the end of June)?
Our pal Chris Mann of Retroality.tv has posted a new interview on his groovy website! Chris has posted an interview with Mayim Bialik of Blossom fame (the '90s sitcom) in connection with her appearance on the season finale of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory airing tonight on CBS. She previews her character/episode and talks about Blossom of course, SNL's spoof of her and her show in the '90s, her return to Hollywood and much more! Chris also mentions of the sort of Blossom reunion on 'Til Death earlier this month (that was watched by only less than 2 million people).
View this very interesting interview with Mayim Bialik. Chris does a wonderful job once again, like usual!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Total Viewers: N/A
Adults 18-49: N/A
Week 35 (May 17-23) Analysis: For week 35, like the previous few weeks, it's a three network race really but CBS has the edge in total viewers and Fox in 18-49.That will all change after tonight's LOST finale, though. ABC could potentially win the week in all categories. We don't have first four nights averages because Thursday final network averages weren't available to us. We have final program averages for Thursday, though, below. Last week, week 34, CBS won the week in HH/viewers, and Fox won the week in 18-49 once again. ABC was second in HH/viewers, while CBS was second in 18-49. Fox was third in HH/viewers. So that left NBC fourth across the board again.
On Monday it was ABC with the win in viewers but CBS and Fox in 18-49. ABC started with Dancing with the Stars, as a 90-minute edition did 19.04 million and a 4.1 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week when it was 2-hours. Romantically Challenged was next and didn't do much now that ABC announced it was canceled, doing 7.71 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating. Why cancel it before a new airing? At 10pm, ABC had the season finale of Castle doing 10.07 million and a 2.4 18-49 rating, down some from previous week when it had the direct Dancing lead-in. CBS started off the night with a new How I Met Your Mother doing 7.63 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, down from previous week. A new Rules of Engagement was next doing 7.65 million and 2.9 18-49, also down from the previous week. Then at 9pm an all-new episode of Two and a Half Men did 13.28 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating, down some from the previous week. Then a new The Big Bang Theory was next and did 15.02 million and a 5.5 18-49 rating... excellent and up sharply from previous week, as it didn't face Dancing directly. CBS closed the night with a new CSI: Miami at 10.52 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating, down from previous week. Fox started the night with the season finale of House doing 11.06 million and a 4.3 18-49 rating, both up from previous week after a season low. At 9pm a new 24 did 8.95 million and a 2.9 18-49, up some from previous week as the series finale airs tomorrow. NBC was of course in fourth with a new Chuck at 5.2 million and a 1.9 18-49, on par really week-to-week. A new two-hour Law & Order did only 6.12 million and 1.7 18-49 rating, down some from previous week when it was only an hour. Over at The CW, they started with the a new episode of One Tree Hill at 8pm and did 2.02 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating, down a bit from previous week. Then at 9pm a new Gossip Girl did 1.96 million and a 1.0 18-49 rating, up slightly from previous week.
On Tuesday, Fox has a slim lead in total viewers but Fox had a comfortable lead in 18-49. CBS, ABC and NBC were neck-and-neck in 18-49 with only a .1 difference. Fox aired an all-new American Idol doing 18.68 million and a 6.7 18-49 rating in the 8pm hour, down some from previous week. Then Glee aired and did 11.47 million and a 4.8 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. Can it sustain these numbers in the fall when it moves to 8pm? CBS was all-new and started with a new NCIS doing 15.96 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, down SHARPLY this time from previous week. The spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles followed with a new showing doing 15.32 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. And finally The Good Wife closed the night with a new episode doing 12.04 million but only a 2.2 18-49 rating, skewing very old, and down some from previous week. ABC started off the night with Dancing with the Stars: The Results doing 13.19 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, up some from previous week in viewers as Chad Ochocinco was sent home. The finale is tomorrow and Tuesday! Then an all-new episode of the final season of LOST was next with 10.47 million and a 4.3 18-49 rating, up from previous week again. The series finale is TONIGHT at 9/8c following a clip show at 7/6c! Tune in!! V finished the night and its first season with 5.46 million and a 2.1 18-49 rating, down some from previous week. NBC started with a two-hour The Biggest Loser and did 8.31 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, down from the previous week. A new Parenthood was next doing 6.25 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up some from previous week despite lead-in going down. NBC needs to air this earlier, like Wed at 8pm. The CW aired a new 90210 and a repeat of Life UneXpected as 90210 did only 1.61 million and a 0.8 18-49 rating, up a bit from previous week, while Life UneXpected repeat did 940,000 viewers and a 0.4 18-49 rating...also up a bit from previous week.
On Wednesday Fox prevailed again with Idol. But Fox first started very slow again with the series premiere of drama The Good Guys doing just 4.93 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating, that is no better than a REPEAT of Lie to Me. I am not lying. Not a good launch. Then Fox aired of course American Idol Results and did 19.0 million and a 6.1 18-49 rating, down from previous week in both categories. CBS started with the special I Get That A Lot doing 7.05 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, not nearly as good as its previous specials. Next CBS aired a new Criminal Minds and did 13.25 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, on par from week-to-week. CSI: NY closed the night with a new episode at 10pm with 11.3 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, on par also from previous week. ABC did solid with their comedies again. In the 8pm hour a repeat of The Middle did 5.25 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down some from previous week's repeat. At 8:30, an all-new episode, the season finale with Betty White, spiked up to 7.56 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating, up week-to-week. In the 9pm hour, the season finale of Modern Family did an excellent 10.14 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. Cougar Town was next at 9:30 and also had its season finale, which did 6.14 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up from previous week. ABC aired a special Primetime: What Would You Do? on a special night and time and did a decent 5.23 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, nearly doubling happy town in the ratings from previous week, as I predicted last week. NBC started with a repeat of Minute to Win It doing 5.3 million and a 1.5 18-49 rating. At 9pm a repeat of Law & Order: SVU did 4.02 million and a 1.1 18-49 rating, nearly identical to the series finale of Mercy the previous week. A new Law & Order: SVU was next and jumped to 8.79 million and a first place 2.7 18-49 rating, on par from previous week. The CW aired a repeat of America's Next Top Model at 8 doing 1.98 million and a 0.9 18-49 rating. Best repeater for the network it seems and this is a reality series. At 9pm a repeat of One Tree Hill did terrible with 650,000 viewers and a 0.3 18-49 rating.
Moving on to Thursday, ABC won the night easily in 18-49, but it was closer in total viewers. CBS started with a repeat of The Mentalist at a special time of 8pm doing 8.05 million and a 1.4 rating in 18-49. The season finale of CSI was at 9pm did 14.35 million and a 3.3 18-49 rating, up from the previous week. The Mentalist season finale finished the night with a new showing doing 15.22 million and a 3.2 18-49 rating, up in viewers and the same in 18-49 from previous week. ABC began the night with FLASHFORWARD at 8pm doing 5.22 million and a 1.6 18-49 rating, up from previous week as we saw April 29 hit. The finale is next week. ABC aired the intense two-hour Grey's Anatomy season finale doing a 15.24 million and a 5.4 18-49 rating, building in each half-hour. Best numbers in months. Private Practice had its season finale the previous week. Fox aired a new Bones and did 9.35 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. A new Fringe garnered 5.58 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, down from previous week as its season finales were no match for the other season finales in the hour. NBC started off with the season finale of Community doing only 4.43 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. Next Parks and Recreation season finale did 4.58 and a 2.2 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. At 9pm the season finale of The Office did 6.64 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, on par really from previous week. The 30 Rock season finale was next doing 5.36 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. At 10pm the falling The Marriage Ref was next doing only 4.47 million and a 2.0 18-49 rating, up from previous week's series lows. The CW aired a repeat of a two-hour Smallville at 1.33 million and a 0.5 18-49 rating. Vampire Diaries was preempted.
Now, final numbers for Friday and Saturday are not available as usual, but CBS won Friday in viewers and in 18-49. ABC had the highest rated show of the night again in 18-49 with Primetime: What Would You Do? doing a prelim 1.8 18-49 rating. On Saturday, Fox won a quiet night with its reality crime series.
Tonight ABC preempts its regular line-up of America's Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters -- for the LOST series finale event from 7-11:30pm! It's going to do BIG! CBS airs a Brooks & Dunn special from 8-10. NBC has A Minute to Win It at 8 followed by a the finale of Celebrity Apprentice starting at 9pm. Fox has season finales of Animation Domination and another burn-off episode of 'Til Death. As for the coming week, look for a lot of big season finales, including Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, and the season premiere of The Bachelorette.
Week 35 How the Sitcoms Did
Last Sunday Sitcoms (counts for week 34-- May 10-16)
- 'Til Death (Fox) - An all-new episode only mustered 2.32 million, but up from the previous week which was a Blossom reunion.
- The Simpsons (Fox) 2 airings - A repeat episode at 7:30pm did 3.05 million, up some again from previous week's repeat. A new episode at 8pm did 6.24 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating...up from previous week in both measures.
- The Cleveland Show (Fox) - A new episode did 5.86 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, like the lead-in down also up from previous week in both measures.
- Family Guy (Fox) - An all-new episode did 7.71 million and a 3.9 18-49 rating. Up from previous week like the rest of the night thus far.
- American Dad (Fox) - New episode did 5.89 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up some in viewers but down week-to-week in 18-49.
- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A new episode did 7.63 million and a 3.1 18-49 rating, but down from previous week.
- Rules of Engagement (CBS) - 7.65 million and a 2.9 18-49 rating for a new episode, down from previous week but still did build a bit in viewers from lead-in.
- Two and a Half Men (CBS) - A new episode did 13.28 million and a 4.4 18-49 rating, down a tad from previous week and below normal.
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - A new episode did 15.02 million and a 5.5 18-49 rating, that is a nice climb from the lead-in again. But it didn't have to face Dancing like its lead-in. Will the show's move to Thursday transfer these same ratings over? It is unlikely given an earlier slot (8pm), but possible.
- Romantically Challenged (ABC) - ABC canceled the series day or two before this airing aired so the ratings were not what they could have been. 7.71 million and a 1.9 18-49 rating only. This show deserved a shot next season, but they canceled it after 3 episodes and decided to air this 4th one after it was already canceled.
- Old Christine (CBS) - preempted
- The Middle (ABC) 2 airings - ABC aired a repeat and a new episode. A repeat at 8 did 5.25 million and a 1.4 18-49 rating, down some from previous week's repeat. A new episode followed and did 7.56 million and a 2.5 18-49 rating...up week-to-week for its season finale with Betty White.
- Modern Family (ABC) - A new episode at 9pm of the hilarious comedy did 10.14 million and a 4.2 18-49 rating. Excellent. Great season finale and I wonder how high it will go in the fall after summer repeats and not airing against Idol.
- Cougar Town (ABC) - A new episode did 6.14 million and a 2.8 18-49 rating, up some from previous week. A good season finale.
- Community (NBC) - A new episode did only 4.43 million, on par really from previous week. 2.0 18-49 rating was the exact same from previous week again.
- Parks & Recreation (NBC) - 4.58 million and a 2.2 18-49 rating, up from the previous week. Maybe because of Rob Lowe?
- The Office (NBC) - A new episode at 9 did 6.64 million and a 3.4 18-49 rating, on par from previous week. This was the season finale, too...
- 30 Rock (NBC) - At 9:30pm the season finale did 5.36 million and a 2.7 18-49 rating, up from previous week.
Airing tonight (Sunday) are new episodes of Animation Domination and 'Til Death starting at 7.
Summing it up. The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Modern Family, Rules of Engagement, & How I Met Your Mother were impressive this week. Everything was OK (such as 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation) or just plain old terrible (such as a new Community, Romantically Challenged).
Saturday, May 22, 2010
If you want sitcom on DVD news, normally I'd say that you've come to the right place... but we simply have none at all this week! It has just been one of those weeks. But never fret, we do have some big news from Mill Creek Entertainment! Last week, they brought us three season sets from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, as they have been for months. But that was nothing compared to everything that they have planned for July! As uncovered yesterday on Mill Creek's website, they are planning to release 21 Jump Street - The Complete Third Season on July 27. Normally, we'd be pretty excited about that, and move on to something completely unrelated.
But we aren't going to do that, because they have more--a LOT more--planned for July 27! We mentioned last week that 21 Jump Street - The Complete Series is now available at Best Buy as a Best Buy Exclusive for $49.99, but it will have a general retail release on July 27 at a $69.98 MSRP. Mill Creek's news gets even better though, with Hunter - The Complete Series! Yes, all 152 episodes of the classic detective drama are FINALLY coming to DVD! More than half of the episodes have never even been released on DVD, so this is definitely exciting news! It'll come at a $99.98 MSRP, which may sound a little more expensive than a typical Mill Creek release, but considering that there were seven seasons and discounts will certainly be found on this set, it is a pretty good deal. Hopefully it won't come in those awful paper sleeves, but with the sellsheet describing the packaging as a 50mm Amaray case, I'm not holding my breath on that. We still aren't done with Mill Creek, though! Prime Time Crime - The Stephen J. Cannell Collection is also coming out on July 27, and will include the complete series of four short-lived crime dramas from Stephen J. Cannell, including Missing Persons, Broken Badges, Palace Guard, and UNSUB! None of these series have ever been released on DVD. If that isn't enough, the set also includes 12 episodes from some of Cannell's more popular series, including 21 Jump Street, Booker, Cobra, The Commish, The Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Silk Stalkings, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe (OK, so that isn't as popular), and Wiseguy. And it comes at a very low $29.98 MSRP!
Now, we move on from all of that news about Mill Creek and their crime dramas to... well... more crime dramas from other studios! Clearly, this week, crime really is paying! Thanks to an article on TVShowsOnDVD.com, we have learned that Simon & Simon - The Complete Fifth Season is on the way from Shout! Factory on July 20, but it will be a direct-to-consumer title ONLY. It will not have a general retail release. No other details are known at this time. Another article, also found on the same website, brings us some information that we discovered late last week regarding McMillan and Wife. VEI is planning to release McMillan and Wife - Season Two in Canada on July 24. But you won't necessarily have to import it, as VEI will also be marketing this release in the United States at a later date! Could this possibly be a sign that VEI may acquire other classic series from the major studios, kind of like Shout! Factory? Although we don't know the answer on that (nor do we want to draw conclusions that have no factual basis), we can only hope! So far, they've released several Stephen J. Cannell series (including Hardcastle and McCormick, which has yet to see a release in the USA), Gimme a Break!, and Kate & Allie, so anything is possible with VEI.
Finally, for our last news story today, we are going to expand on the digital theme and go beyond just DVD and Blu-ray. This week, Google announced their latest product which they claim will change the way that we all watch TV: Google TV. You can read more about this latest innovation here. We'll talk more about Google TV, specifically what it is, and other similar technology in our special blog feature story today!
UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW
Aside from the release of Timeless Media's The Virginian - The Complete First Season, next week (May 25) literally brings us no DVD releases of interest to us. There isn't much that we can do about that, but it does provide all of us with a perfect opportunity to look for bargains on some older sets that we never picked up.
BLOG FEATURE REVIEW
Get ready to JUMP with the detectives who work in a special division that infiltrates high schools to help stop crime! 21 Jump Street is the series that made Johnny Depp a teen hearthrob (something he was never comfortable with) and tackled some of the most serious issues facing teens in a not-so-light fashion. Now, 21 Jump Street - The Complete Second Season is available on DVD--again--from Mill Creek in a four disc set!
DVD Review: 21 Jump Street - The Complete Second Season
21 Jump Street - The Complete Second Season (Mill Creek, $14.98) is Mill Creek's value-priced re-release of the Stephen J. Cannell series about undercover officers who do their work as undercover high school students. Although the set has previously been released by Anchor Bay, this time it is being released as a value-priced selection at a price that is much more affordable. The four disc set contains all 22 episodes of the 1987-1988 season of the series.
The second season begins with the episode "Custody of a Clown," where a ninth grade student is kidnapped and the crew has to solve the crime. The two-part episode "Besieged" takes the division into a rough high school after a student is shot to death in the school parking lot over drugs. Rob Stone, Jason Priestley, and Pauly Shore all guest star in "Two for the Road," where somebody is giving teens fake IDs and they are leading to drunken driving accidents. Hanson and Penhall have to do an investigation when Officer Ioki is accused of impregnating one of the students in a previous investigation in "Higher Education." Homosexual men at a military academy are the target of violence in "Honor Bound." A gymnast dies from steroid use in "How Much is that Body in the Window?" Ioki could be in the country illegally in "Christmas in Saigon." Look for Mindy Cohn in this episode.
In "A Big Disease With a Little Name," Hanson is sent to protect a student who has AIDS from a school that knows the student has AIDS and doesn't want him there. Kent McCord plays Officer Hanson's father in "Chapel of Love." Christina Applegate guest stars in "I'm OK - You Need Work," where there are allegations of abuse in a teen rehab center. Andrew Koenig guest stars in "Champagne High," where somebody has stolen a Porsche. Book burning turns into arson when a science teacher is determined to teach creationism in "Brother Hanson & the Miracle of Renner's Pond." Brad Pitt (yes, Brad Pitt) guest stars in "Best Years of Your Life." The division is abandoned for the summer (since there is no school... it works out very well for the TV season and school year with this series) in the season finale "School's Out," but could funding issues could mean that it could be abandoned for good.
The episodes seem to be mostly unedited, although all of the music has been replaced and some entire scenes are missing due to music copyright issues. Runtimes are as follows
1. "In the Custody of a Clown" (45:42)
2. "Besieged: Part 1" (46:28)
3. "Besieged: Part 2" (46:06)
4. "Two for the Road" (44:38)
5. "After School Special" (46:32)
6. "Higher Education" (46:16)
7. "Don't Stretch the Rainbow" (46:17)
8. "Honor Bound" (46:20)
9. "You Oughta be in Prison" (45:33)
10. "How Much is that Body in the Window?" (46:31)
11. "Christmas in Saigon" (45:52)
12. "Fear and Loathing with Russell Buckins" (46:42)
13. "A Big Disease with a Little Name" (46:09)
14. "Chapel of Love" (45:26)
15. "I'm OK - You Need Work" (46:41)
16. "Orpheus 3.3" (46:36)
17. "Champagne High" (44:33)
18. "Brother Hanson & The Miracle of Renner's Pond" (46:39)
19. "Raising Marijuana" (45:07)
20. "The Best Years of Your Life" (45:22)
21. "Cory and Dean Got Married" (46:36)
22. "School's Out" (46:37)
The set has menus very similar to the previous set, which are very nicely done. The main menu has a shot of the entire cast with options of Play All and Episode Select. The theme song plays in the background. When you select Episode Select, you go to a screen that looks like a page out of a yearbook where the closing theme plays in the background. It is very appropriate and aesthetically pleasing. Chapters are placed throughout each episode in most of the places where a commercial break would be, although they could use one right after the opening credits and one right before the closing credits as well.
The packaging is just plain awful, but we've come to accept that with these Mill Creek value-priced DVDs. The thick keepcase has decent professional-looking artwork with a cast photo on the front and episode snapshots on the back, but once you get inside, you find those obnoxious paper sleeves with the disc. Would it really cost that much more to include a decent and professional case that holds the discs in a way that won't scratch them up? I don't think it would, because Mill Creek HAS used such packaging on other releases at times, just not the Cannell series. The disc artwork has the series logo on each disc, and also has all of the episodes listed on it. An episode list with brief descriptions would have been nicer, though.
As with the previous set, the video leaves something to be desired. It really does look like something off of a VHS, though in all fairness, this series was done on a tight budget, and it probably looks about as good on this set as it is ever going to. The audio isn't too bad, and is generally loud and clear, but it just lacks anything spectacular. There is no closed-captioning or subtitles on the episodes.
There aren't any special features on the set, though I suppose we can't really complain. Mill Creek was trying to make this set as affordable as possible, and special features aren't exactly free to produce. Still, something like original promos would have been nice, or maybe even (dare I say it?) a list of the original songs that SHOULD have been in the episodes. But when you are selling a DVD set that will retail in the $5-$10 range, the episodes alone is really enough.
This is far from a perfect set, but then again, unless Cannell works out some sort of agreement to release this series with all original music intact, it is the best that we're going to get. I'm sure that Mill Creek is aware of the problems with this and other Cannell series, and honestly, I'm happy that they were willing to take the risk and the possible backlash from putting this product out. It really isn't Mill Creek's fault that the music has been removed. If you already have the Anchor Bay set, you'll probably want to keep that one for the better packaging, but if you don't, this set is just as good... though I'd strongly recommend buying a new case to put the discs in.
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BLOG FEATURE STORY
TV Meets the Internet: Watching TV in the 21st Century
As we mentioned in our news a bit earlier, Google recently announced Google TV, which they claim will change the way that we all watch TV. I'll talk more about what this is in a minute, but before I do that, here is a nice video that was created by Google to explain the idea for those who take information in better when it is presented visually.
So, for those who skipped the video or for whatever reason just didn't understand it, Google TV takes a 21st century method of viewing programming to an entirely new level. We used to always watch programs on TV, but with more and more options, our TV schedules became more complicated. A lot of us are moving on to DVDs and Blu-ray now (there probably wouldn't even be a Digital Digest without these formats), but even that creates issues, such as storage space for the discs, frustration of finding lost discs, scratched/broken discs, and just the cumbersome practice of getting each and every DVD and loading it. But now that most of us have moved on to high-speed internet and are watching programming online through websites, most notably Hulu, we have found that the easiest way to watch a lot of our favorite series is on our computer. But what is the point of having a nice 50-inch LCD TV when you are watching your favorite series on your 10-inch netbook with a speaker that sounds like a tin can? Google TV claims that it will bridge that gap with new technology partnerships through Sony, Logitech, and Intel to bring the best of the internet, including (but not limited to, although this is the only part we are really interested in) bringing all of your TV series to your screen, anytime you want to watch them, through the internet. It also claims that it will use an interface similar to Google's search engine to make finding your favorite programming much easier.
This is not entirely new, though. For quite some time, Apple has had their product Apple TV, which is pretty nice, but it is very much a proprietary that functions primarily by the user purchasing everything from iTunes. While this may be a good working model for the very popular iPod or iPhone, issues such as limited content and the absence of advertiser supported material make this technology almost useless to some users. Also, with Apple TV, you really aren't streaming much (which Google TV seems to rely upon much more), and are forced to store everything on your hard drive. It doesn't take much to fill up a hard drive.
Additionally, there are devices that exist out there, such as various Blu-ray players and the Roku player, that allow for limited streaming of certain services such as Amazon Unbox and Netflix, but again, the technology is still somewhat limited in what it is able to provide.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Google TV, of course, and with a few months remaining until it is released, we won't fully know the answers for some time. The main thing that we all want to know is how much will it cost, including any on-going costs. It has already been announced that Google TV will be integrated with select televisions (in other words, the expensive ones) from Sony, and will also be available as a set-top box, but how much of the content will be free/advertiser supported, how much of it will be available for a monthly fee, and how much will be available to purchase on an individual basis? These are all relevant questions that could determine the fate of Google TV.
There are quality issues, as well. While video quality of online streaming video has dramatically improved over the past decade, there are still some quality issues when it comes to the standard connection speeds found in most homes. Additionally, processor speeds cause some concerns as well with computers, though this is an issue that can be somewhat overcome through dedicated technology. The biggest quality issue, of course, is a connection that stalls, something that we all experience every now and then with our internet connection. This is only further complicated with wireless networking, which Google TV will likely utilize.
So, will Google TV revolutionize television? Perhaps, but we'll have to wait and see. Apple and Microsoft have only had limited success in the endeavor so far, but if Google can improve the technology significantly enough, perhaps it will revolutionize TV, and Apple and Microsoft would most likely beef up their efforts to create a similar product. One thing that Google has already stated is that Google TV is designed to supplement our current TV setup, meaning that our Blu-ray players and cable boxes aren't going away yet. But then again, some of the earliest MP3 players were integrated with CD players, and look what has happened to those.
As we learn more about Google TV, we hope to bring you more information about it, but we simply don't know much so far. This could be the future of television, or we could look back at this story a few years from now and realize that we were ridiculous for believing that this is the "future." Who knows. But until then, we'll just take a wait and see approach to see what, if any, effect this has on your TV viewing habits.
We'll be back next week with more news and a review of Peanuts - 1970's Collection, Volume 2 We still want to hear what you think about Digital Digest, so let us know on our message board or Tweet/Facebook us. Until next time, keep it digital!