The Programming Insider: Monday 4/18/11

CBS dominates over the weekend

TV Tidbits: Notes of Interest

Coming Up on CBS This Summer: The home of Big Brother, CBS, has picked up another original reality series this summer, Same Name.  The premise will revolve around celebrities trading places with total strangers who just happen to share the same name.  For one week, the star and their counterpart live in each other's houses, meet and interact with family, friends, and co-workers and experience how the other lives. No official premiere date has been announced yet for Same Name.

A.J. Cook Returns to Criminal Minds: A.J. Cook will return to CBS crime solver Criminal Minds full-time after appearing in only a handful of episodes this season. She will reprise her role as Special Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau in the season finale and will be back full time in 2011-12.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Heads to HBO: Former Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine star Julia Louis-Dreyfus will headline an upcoming HBO sitcom on HBO called Veep, the tale of a female senator turned vice president.  It is expected to debut in 2012.

AMC Beefs Up Nonscripted Slate: Cable net AMC, the home of scripted dramas Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, will introduce two reality series: Inside the DHS and The Pitch. Inside the DHS will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Department of Homeland Security, while The Pitch will follow real-life ad agencies competing for accounts.  Inside the DHS is expected to launch in fourth quarter, with The Pitch in 2012. 

Speaking of the Summer: Cable net Syfy has several original programming options planned for the summer. Debuting on Wednesday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT is Haunted Collector, the reality tale of a family of paranormal investigators who hunt down haunted items. It leads into all new episodes of Hollywood Treasure. Next is new scripted drama Alphas, which follows a team of ordinary citizens with extraordinary mental and physical abilities.  It premieres on Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT out of new seasons of Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Also coming up on Syfy is the new reality series Legend Quest, which follows archaeological explorer Ashley Cowie as she travels the world in search of some of history’s greatest and most mysterious artifacts. It opens on Wednesday, July 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT out of new episodes of Ghost Hunters International. Season two of scripted dramas Haven, meanwhile, kicks off on Friday, July 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. New Saturday night movies on Syfy this summer will include Ice Road Terror (June 11), Swamp Shark (June 25), Age of Dragons (July), and Super Eruption (July), as a scientist and a park ranger (Juliet Aubrey, Richard Burgi) try to stop the eruption of a massive volcano under Yellowstone Park.

TV Trivia Time: Working on Park Avenue

What was the first name of the housekeeper Mr. Drummond on Diff'rent Strokes hired after Mrs. Garrett left for to work at Eastland on spinoff The Facts of Life? a) Adelaide, b) Charlene, c) Glenda, d) Molly, e) Pearl

The answer to Friday’s question…Which one of the following TV characters was commended by the IRS for his well organized tax return? a) Cliff Clavin, b) Jim Dial, c) Maxine Gray, d) Robinson Peepers, e) Felix Unger. The answer is: e) Felix Unger of The Odd Couple, who stressed for days when he heard the IRS wanted to speak to him.  Remember this?

On November 13th, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down he knew she was right. But he also knew that someday he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Sometime earlier, Madison’s wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

Current kudos goes to: Janice Barney, Gerry Bixenspan, John Brooker, Mitch Burg, John Carlo, Paul Certo, Audrey Davis, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, John Ferlazzo, Billy Hall, Bob Ingersoll, David Jackino, Greg Janover, Marie Lefevre Karp, Richard Mann, Jim Moore, Michael Murphy, Tony Naldrett, Alan Perris, Alex Petrilli, Jr., Francine Purcell, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, James Saggese, Anthony Salerno (2x), Steve Sosnick, Larry Weinstock, Tammy Wiard, Jeanne Yonkers