Today we have some new sitcom acquisition news for cable TV! Greendale Community College's most famous study group will have a new member beginning in Fall 2013 (and it's not Beetlejuice) as Comedy Central has reached a multi-year deal with Sony Picture Television to license the critically-acclaimed comedy series Community. The all-comedy channel will launch the series with three seasons beginning in the fall of 2013. Currently in its third season on NBC, Community stars Joel McHale as a fast-talking lawyer whose degree has been revoked and who now attends Greendale Community College sitting at the center of a study group comprised of a band of misfits who, adventure-by-adventure, learn more about themselves than their course work. Also among the series stars who comprise the study group are comedy legend Chevy Chase as "Pierce," a man whose life experience has brought him infinite wisdom; Gillian Jacobs as "Britta," the 20-something dropout with something to prove; Yvette Nicole Brown as "Shirley," a sassy middle-aged divorcee; Danny Pudi as "Abed," a pop culture junkie; Alison Brie as "Annie," a high-strung perfectionist; Donald Glover as "Troy," a former high school football star trying to find his way; Jim Rash as "Dean Pelton," the Dean of Greendale Community College; and Ken Jeong as Senor Chang.
NBC has not yet renewed the sitcom for a fourth season, but the sitcom returns to finish off its third season starting tonight at 8/7c. Comedy Central doesn't air many sitcoms, but they air Scrubs which is a long time staple for the network. The network also airs reruns of comedies 30 Rock, Futurama, Entourage and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Looking at that list of comedy styles, Community will feel right home on Comedy Central. Who knows if NBC does cancel it, maybe Comedy Central will revive it? For now, the story is reruns are coming to Comedy Central in fall 2013, so stay with us for further information!
The Middle will be coming to another cable network when it hits syndication! Hallmark Channel is proud to announce it has acquired the popular comedy series as the newest member in its programming family and will begin airing the first 88 episodes beginning March 2014. Additional seasons will join the rotation as they become available. The first-run, off-network comedy is a perfect fit in Hallmark Channel's line-up of family-friendly programming. The Middle joins ranks with such modern-day classics as The Golden Girls and Frasier, which are already tremendous ratings successes for Hallmark Channel. The Middle is Hallmark's first ever acquisition of a current series but I think it will fit right home as it has a modern classic feel to it.
Hallmark Channel will have rights to the series six months after it debuts in local syndication in Fall 2013 and on ABC Family (both of which we mentioned last week). Hallmark Channel will share the cable rights with ABC Family. We're not sure yet if there are any daypart restrictions between the two, but if both networks have no restrictions on times, then I could see Hallmark Channel airing the sitcom in the early evenings. If there is a restriction, I think ABC Family would have the evening/primetime rights over Hallmark, with Hallmark probably having daytime rights. But this is still a long way away, so stay with us for further information as we get it!
The Hallmark Channel announced this acquisition as part of their annual upfront presentation. They also announced a groundbreaking new original Daytime Series, Home & Family and it will launch in fourth quarter 2012 as part of the network's robust Lifestyle block. Home & Family is 220 original two-hour shows over 44 weeks from award-winning production company Woody Fraser Productions (Good Morning America, Nightline, The Dick Cavett Show). The hosted series is the ultimate destination for innovative home ideas and improvements, as well as, being the place for the latest information, trends and products for everyone in the home. Hosts for the new daytime talker will be announced shortly.
Also coming to the Lifestyle block is a new talk show, since The Martha Stewart Show is being canceled. Hallmark Channel and international super star Marie Osmond announce the start of production on a new one-hour talk show, Marie!, hosted by the popular entertainer. Production commences shortly for a fourth quarter 2012 premiere on the network. Associated Television International will produce the new lifestyle series which will air weekday afternoons on Hallmark Channel. Marie! is an inspirational journey to help people make a difference in their own lives. The segments will feature celebrity and non-celebrity guests who drop by for everything from revelatory discussion, lifestyle tips and trends, socially important issues, and breakthroughs that empower families. Marie's potential guests include everyone from the publicly famous to everyday people with out-of-the-ordinary experiences, to the star's famous family, her closest girlfriends, and the nation's leading experts in diverse fields designed to revolutionize lives.
In addition, Hallmark Channel, the industry's undisputed leading producer of original movies for television, announced for the first time in the network's young history that it is in active development on two Hallmark Channel Original Series for premiere in 2013. The potential series are based on concepts from authors whose books have been previously adapted into highly-successful original movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. Movie pilots for these two series, Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart, will be produced in 2012 for broadcast during the 2012-2013 season. Should they move forward you'll seem them on air in 2013, so stay tuned for info on if and when that happens. They also announced that 28 Hallmark Channel Original Movies will premiere on the network Q4 2012 - Q3 2013. Among the new offerings: Patricia Heaton's The Christmas Heart, starring Teri Polo and Tess Harper; Annie Potts in The Music Teacher, Hallmark Channel's first-ever musical drama with original songs penned by former Madonna composer, Allan Ett; Tom, Dick & Harriett stars Steven Weber; Meddling Mom features Latin sensations Sonia Braga and Tony Plana; The Confession, is the second story in Beverly Lewis' popular book series Heritage of Lancaster County and stars Sherry Stringfield, Katie LeClerc and Cameron Stewart; and Hallmark Channel's ratings blockbuster "Countdown to Christmas" featuring more original holiday films than any other network.
That's about it from the notables at the Hallmark Channel upfront. Stay with us for any further information!