Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ENCORE Networks Acquire Classic Sitcoms: Amen, Diff'rent Strokes, What's Happening, 227, Murphy Brown, Night Court; Celebrity Name Game Cleared for Fall 2014 Syndication

Diff'rent Strokes

ENCORE networks are about to launch classic TV hits, including many sitcoms, to their networks starting Monday, Dec. 2, 2013! We already have classic westerns airing on ENCORE Western, but now two ENCORE networks will rebrand and add sitcoms as a part of their schedule. Already a favorite for consumers as the most widely subscribed premium pay TV service in the United States with 35 million subscribers, Starz has strengthened ENCORE and its family of thematic multiplex channels and service offerings. The new ENCORE pack of channels bring programming enhancements to further super-serve the nation's evolving demographics and focus on groups who over-index in viewing within the premium pay TV category. First up, ENCORE BLACK will be the new name of the current ENCORE DRAMA network. Showcasing popular programming for the African-American community, ENCORE BLACK will bring a terrific combination of commercial-free premium movie content, comedy such as Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand Up, and the introduction of TV favorites including: What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes, 227, and Amen. The sitcoms will be commercial-free and unedited! ENCORE BLACK will be originated in HD and service the strong viewership from the African-American community, which has historically over-indexed on premium channel viewership. The December 2 launch will spotlight Academy Award® nominee, actor Samuel L. Jackson with films such as Unbreakable, Losing Isaiah, Freedomland, One Eight Seven, and more. Back to the sitcoms, they will launch in primetime on Monday, Dec. 2 with the premiere episode of Sony's Diff'rent Strokes at 8pm, followed by back-to-back episodes of Universal's Amen at 8:30pm and 9pm. '70s classic What's Happening!! from Sony Pictures will round out the night at 9:30pm. These sitcoms will air in primetime in these time periods every weekday, but starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 additional airings will air from 6-8pm in the same order. They will be encores of the previous night in primetime. Starting on New Year's Day (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014), 227 will join the ENCORE BLACK line-up and will air at 8:30pm and encore the next day at 6:30pm, taking one of Amen's airings. All times are Eastern.

Murphy Brown

But wait, there's more! Another ENCORE network will add sitcoms starting Dec. 2. ENCORE CLASSIC will be the new name for the current ENCORE LOVE. It is a new addition to the ENCORE HD channel portfolio, ENCORE CLASSIC will be a favorite for the Baby Boomer set, with a mix of generational evergreen movie favorites and classic TV series. Leveraging the deep and broad ENCORE movie library of new release and favorite hits, ENCORE CLASSIC will add TV hits, Murphy Brown, Magnum, P.I., and Night Court to its programming slate. The TV hits will be commercial-free and unedited! Classic movie titles will air every night with a new favorite every day of the month at 9PM ET/PT. Films include Kramer vs. Kramer, American Graffiti, Independence Day, Breaking Away, Stand By Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Good Will Hunting, Tootsie, Basic Instinct, The Notebook, and more. Back to the sitcoms, they will launch with in primetime on Monday, Dec. 2 with the premiere episode of Murphy Brown at 7pm, followed by Night Court at 7:30pm. Then Universal-owned drama Magnum, P.I. will round out the night at 8pm leading into the movies at 9pm. These classic TV hits will air in primetime in these time periods every weekday, but starting Tuesday, Dec. 3 additional airings will air from 5-7pm in the same order. They will be encores of the previous night in primetime. And finally on New Year's Day (Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014), Magnum P.I. will have a New Year's marathon on ENCORE CLASSIC starting at 2am on the night of New Year's Eve and will last until 12:20am on New Year's Day. Also on the night of New Year's Eve, the pilot episodes of Murphy Brown and Night Court will air in the 1am hour leading into the Magnum P.I. marathon. All times are Eastern.

ENCORE

This is certainly great news for classic TV fans. Fans can watch their favorite series without commercial interruption and even more importantly, unedited! ENCORE told SitcomsOnline that they "anticipate acquiring more sitcom titles in the future." We are not sure if these are exclusive deals, but 227 is starting a month later. ENCORE says that they "cannot shed any additional light on the contractual specifics for each series including terms of exclusivity." Currently, 227 is airing on GMC on basic cable. As for the other series, only What's Happening!! is on basic cable on TV One. Diff'rent Strokes is airing on digital broadcast on Antenna TV, as is Magnum P.I. on COZI TV. Warner Bros.-owned Night Court and Murphy Brown are not airing anywhere else. In addition, the December 2 roll-out will also feature brand new channel logos, graphics and audio package as part of a fresh, new on-air style representative of the newly improved and fortified ENCORE channels and services. Stay with us for continued updates on ENCORE's new networks and series. For now, find out where these networks on your service by visiting their website.


Craig Ferguson

Moving on, Debmar-Mercury has sold Celebrity Name Game, a nationally syndicated pop culture game show hosted by The Late, Late Show's Craig Ferguson from co-producers FremantleMedia North America and Debmar-Mercury, to Tribune Broadcasting stations covering 40% of the U.S., including seven of the top-10 markets. U.S. distributor Debmar-Mercury has provided a firm fall 2014 launch for the half-hour strip, which will air on Tribune stations including WPIX New York, KTLA Los Angeles and WGN Chicago. We first announced this new series a few weeks ago, but now clearances have been already been made. Courteney Cox and David Arquette's Coquette Productions (Cougar Town) teamed with veteran showrunner Scott St. John (Deal or No Deal), as well as Laura Robinson and Richard Gerrits of North 44 Productions, to develop the fast-paced game show in which celebrities team with contestants to identify famous names, including actors, singers, athletes, pop culture figures, politicians and even cartoon characters. Stay with us for continued updates, especially in January at NATPE and as we get closer to next Fall.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, December 8

The Conners - "Sober Sex, Plastic Silverware, and Losing My Religion" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Part of Becky’s recovery program mandates she make amends with people she has lied to over the years, leading her to meet up again with former high school friend Mikey to apologize for lying to him about her living a successful life. Meanwhile, Darlene visits with Pastor Phil (Jason Alexander), and Louise continues planning her wedding.

Home Economics - "Bottle Service, $800 Plus Tip (25% Suggested)" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The family is in for a wild night out when they accompany Connor to a club to help him jumpstart his dating life. When Tom steps up as Connor’s wingman, things don’t exactly go as planned.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Buys a Roller Rink" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
In the past, an innocent Dennis learns the horrifying details of Frank's business; a truly sweet Dee is excited to head off for Hollywood while Charlie and Mac's jobs at the roller rink are in jeopardy.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - " The Gang Replaces Dee With a Monkey" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When the Gang suspects Dee is menopausal, they scramble to find a new employee for Paddy's Pub; Dee decides to put her acting career on hold in order to mentor young actors.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 6)

Wednesday, December 8

  • Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia/Mythic Quest) - Watch Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ariana DeBose (Schmigadoon!) - Ariana appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Schmigadoon!/Trial & Error/Kristin) - Kristin is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 3:30am on Bravo. She chats about her new album Happiness is…Christmas! on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim) and Ashley Williams (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Good Morning, Miami) - Kimberly and Ashley talk about Hallmark's Sister Swap on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Cynthia Nixon (And Just Like That.../Sex and the City) - Cynthia talks about And Just Like That... on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Heather Graham (Californication/Emily's Reasons Why Not/Scrubs) - Heather talks about her role in the film The Last Son on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Yvonne Orji (Insecure) - Yvonne is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Eric AndrĂ© (Man Seeking Woman/2 Broke Girls/Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) - Eric will be on The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Lachey (Truth Be Told/Dads) - Vanessa talks about living the island life with her kids and husband, Nick Lachey, her new role in NCIS: Hawai‘i and her new book on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Michael talks about No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
  • Patricia Heaton (Carol's Second Act/The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia shares the moment that made her re-think her relationship with drinking on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
  • Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect/Telenovela) - Zachary talks about American Underdog on ABC's Good Morning America somtime between 7-9am.
  • Kal Penn (Sunnyside/Deadbeat/We Are Men) - Kal talks about Hot Mess Holiday on ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


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

Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release) Mom - The Eighth and Final Season Punky Brewster (1984-88) - The Complete Series (2021 Release) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

10/19 - Maude - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - The Honeymooners Specials - A Christmas Carol
11/02 - Mom - The Eighth and Final Season
11/02 - Punky Brewster - The Complete Series (2021 Release)
11/02 - Sex and the City - The Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
11/09 - Saved by the Bell (2020) - Season One
11/09 - Younger - The Complete Series
11/16 - Kevin Can F*** Himself - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
11/23 - Dead Pixels - Seasons One and Two
11/30 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (2021 Release) (Blu-ray)
12/07 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/07 - Rick & Morty - Season 5 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray Limited Edition Steelbook)
12/14 - The Abbott and Costello Show - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
12/14 - Letterkenny - Season 9
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