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November 28, 2014

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Family TV Guide: 'Chuck'

by Rich Keller, posted Mar 14th 2011 2:30PM
Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker of the NBC action comedy 'Chuck.''Chuck'
Network: NBC
Air Date: Monday, 8PM ET
Starring: Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez, Yvonne Strahavoski, Adam Baldwin, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin
TV Rating: TV-PG for mild language and violence

What's It All About?
Chuck Bartowski was a simple computer nerd living with his sister and her boyfriend while toiling away doing menial tech support work at the local big box electronics store, Buy More, with his best friend Morgan. That is, until he opened up an encrypted email and sensitive government information, known as the Intersect, was embedded in his brain. Now able to recall information on terrorists and weapons of mass destruction via "flashes," Chuck is overseen by NSA and CIA agents John Casey and Sarah Walker.

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Family TV Guide: 'The Middle'

by Rich Keller, posted Mar 7th 2011 4:00PM
The Family Heck: Frankie, Axl, Sue, Mike and Brick'The Middle'
Network: ABC
Air Date: Wednesday, 8PM ET
Starring: Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Eden Sher, Atticus Shaffer, Charlie McDermott
TV Rating: Between G and PG, depending on the episode's language or situation

What's It All About?
The Hecks are a middle-income, middle-class family of five living in a middle-American suburb in Indiana. Though Mike and Frankie Heck work multiple jobs to make ends meet, they still find time to be in the lives of their three children: Sue, a junior high schooler who seems to be invisible to the rest of the students as well as the teachers; Axl, their 16-year-old son who tends to walk around in just his underwear while at home; and Brick, their very intelligent third-grader who likes to read, has social issues and repeats words in a stage whisper.

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Family TV Round-Up: 'Dora the Explorer' Primetime Special and More

by Rich Keller, posted Mar 4th 2011 4:30PM
Dora is off on another adventure March 14. This time it's to find her ballet shoes.Welcome to the Family TV Roundup, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

Dora the Explorer
and her menagerie of helpers continue their preschool domination with a new primetime special airing on Monday, March 14. In 'Dora's Ballet Adventure,' the pint-sized explorer is frantic after the ballet shoes she needs for her recital go missing. In their place is a pair of scuba flippers presented by the delivery duck. The rest of the 30-minute episode deals with Dora and Boot's quest to find the missing ballet shoes.

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Family TV Roundup: Remembering Dwayne McDuffie, Disney Junior Ratings and More

by Rich Keller, posted Feb 25th 2011 4:30PM
'Static Shock,' based on the late Dwayne McDuffie's comic book 'Static,' aired in Kids' WB! for 4 seasons.Welcome to the Family TV Roundup, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

Not many folks are very familiar with the name Dwayne McDuffie, but you might know his television work. Especially if you were a regular viewer of shows like 'Justice League Unlimited' and 'Ben 10: Alien Force.' On Tuesday, one day after his birthday, McDuffie died at the age of 49 due to complications from emergency heart surgery.

In this week's column, we take a brief look at McDuffie's impact on animated television.

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Journal of a Couch Potato: A Day with Disney Junior

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 17th 2011 4:30PM
Disney JuniorI haven't been a "junior" anything in a very long time. But I'm a guy, and guys like cartoons as much as kids do, right? Maybe even more sometimes.

For my second Journal of a Couch Potato, I watched the new "Disney Junior" (formerly "Playhouse Disney") programming block on The Disney Channel, a mix of old and new shows. The changes were made to include more "social values" into the pre-school programming.

It all starts at 4AM ...

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Exclusive 'Power Rangers Samurai' Photo: First Look at the Rangers Unmasked

by Kelly Woo, posted Feb 2nd 2011 2:30PM
Power Rangers Samurai
The Power Rangers are back, with a new look, a new cast and on a new network. 'Power Rangers Samurai' debuts on Nickelodeon Monday, Feb. 7, at 8PM ET. When the series, now in its 19th season, made the jump from Disney to its new home, it got a shiny, martial-arts-influenced reboot.

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Family TV Roundup: Liam Neeson on 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' 'Lemonade Mouth' Comes to Disney Channel and More

by Rich Keller, posted Jan 28th 2011 3:10PM
Liam Neeson will voice Qui-Gon Jinn over the next two episodes of 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.'Welcome to the Family TV Roundup, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

After a decade away from the character he portrayed in 'The Phantom Menace,' Liam Neeson is returning to the Star Wars universe in Cartoon Network's 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.' During the next two original episodes (tonight and Feb. 4 at 8:30PM), Neeson will portray Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, the man who helped bring Anakin Skywalker into the realm of the Jedi.

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Family TV Round-Up: 2010 -- The Year in Review (Part 2)

by Rich Keller, posted Jan 1st 2011 11:00AM
'Good Luck Charlie' was one of the new generation of live-action series to premiere on Disney Channel in 2010.Welcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

Last week, we took a look at the past year for family programming on the major networks, PBS, ABC Family and Cartoon Network. This time around we'll look at Disney Channel, DisneyXD, The HUB, the Nickelodeon family of channels and PBS Kids Sprout.

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Family TV Round-Up: The Year In Review, Part 1

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 27th 2010 3:30PM
Katy Perry's revealing costume was the big news story during the 41st season of 'Sesame Street.'Welcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

With 2011 just a week away, it's time to reflect on what happened in family programming in 2010. Turns out, there was a good deal of activity during the year -- so much that it can't all fit in this column. So, to cover everything that took place, we'll split the review into two parts.

This week we'll take a look at NBC, PBS, ABC Family and Cartoon Network.

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Yogi Bear 101: A Primer

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 24th 2010 2:00PM
Yogi Bear has been an animated television icon for half a century.For 52 years, Yogi Bear has been a staple of television's animated universe. With intelligence higher than that of the average bear, a trusty compatriot named Boo-Boo and an addiction to pick-a-nick baskets, the confident Yogi has been a favorite of kids, their parents and their grandparents for generations.

With the release of the 'Yogi Bear' movie on Dec.17, a new generation of viewers were introduced to the character, now animated in glorious CGI. For those not familiar with Yogi, Jellystone Park or Ranger Smith, here is a primer for you.

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Family TV Round-Up: 'Sesame Street' goes back to China, A New Nickelodeon Series and More

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 17th 2010 4:30PM
Big Bird returns to China in a new set of shows spoken in Mandarin ChineseWelcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

Back in 1983, the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and China Central Television worked in conjunction to produce 'Big Bird in China,' a primetime special that aired on NBC.

In the special, Big Bird and the big dog known as Barkley travel through the country to find the Phoenix bird. Highlights of the show featured Big Bird walking across the Great Wall of China as well as strolling around the city of Beijing.

Twenty-seven years later, Big Bird is making a return to the country and bringing some new friends to boot.

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Family TV Round-Up: More Family-Friendly Christmas Programming, PBS Launches 'Design Squad' Spin-Off and More

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 10th 2010 2:55PM
Ryan Seacrest hosts the 'Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade' on Christmas Day.Welcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

Fifteen more days until Christmas means 15 more days of holiday specials. Here are some more family-friendly offerings being offered by the networks:

ABC: The '2010 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade' will air on December 25 from 11AM to 1PM. Filmed at Florida's Disney World and California's Disneyland, the parade will feature guest stars Maria Carey, Selina Gomez, Lee DeWyze and the band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The show will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Nick Cannon.

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Family TV Round-Up: More 'Harry Potter' for ABC Family, New 'Dinosaur Train' and More

by Rich Keller, posted Dec 3rd 2010 3:30PM
The two part 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' will be coming to ABC Family in 2013.Welcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We'll sum up all the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

We start with ABC Family and their love for the Harry Potter movie series. Last week, the cable outlet signed a deal with Warner Brothers to acquire the rights to the last two entries in the franchise -- 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.' The agreement, which will give ABC Family first-run rights on basic cable, allows the network to run Part 1 of the movie in the spring of 2013, with part two to air in the winter of that same year.

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Family TV Round-Up: 'Sonny With a Chance' Sans Demi Lovato, Thanksgiving Specials and More

by Rich Keller, posted Nov 19th 2010 3:05PM
'Sonny With a Chance' may go 'So Random!' without star Demi Lovato.Welcome to the Family TV Round-Up, a recap of all kid-friendly programming across the television universe. We sum up all of the news related to children's programming, as well as profile the people and shows that your kids, tweens and teens are talking about.

We start off with the dilemma facing the producers of Disney Channel's 'Sonny With a Chance.' With star Demi Lovato on indefinite hiatus due to personal reasons, the idea of focusing the newest season on the other characters of the show doesn't seem right.

Therefore, instead of the behind-the-scenes look at the fictional teen sketch show 'So Random!,' the producers will re-center the series on the sketch/music-variety show itself.

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Elmo's Best Moments: Celebrating 25 Years of the Furry Red Monster

by Rich Keller, posted Nov 18th 2010 11:40AM
Elmo was born 25 years ago thanks to the puppetry of Kevin Clash.November 18, 1985 was a day that changed children's television. It was on this day that Elmo, the furry red monster of 'Sesame Street,' came into his own, thanks to puppeteer Kevin Clash.

An extra for years, voiced on occasion by folks like Carol Spinney (Big Bird) and Richard Hunt (Scooter from 'The Muppet Show'), Clash turned the very minor character into a 3 1/2-year-old mainstay that, depending on your feelings, transformed 'Sesame Street' in a good or bad way.

Since his introduction to 'Sesame Street,' Elmo has become the face of the four-decade old series, appearing on talk shows, primetime series, his own movie ('Elmo in Grouchland') and on the toy shelves as Tickle Me Elmo. He even has his own 15-minute show-within-a-show on 'Sesame Street' titled 'Elmo's World.'

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