ABC


New week, new programming.

AliasWell, here’s a pleasant surprise. ABC has added J.J. Abrams’ other series, the one that skyrocketed him to popularity enough to allow ABC to take a risk on the ridiculously-popular Lost, Alias. Now, I say its addition is a surprise because Alias is ending its five-season run this year. New episodes are supposed to begin tomorrow (4/19), taking advantage of Lost‘s final hiatus before the end of the season, but I thought it would be too late in the game for ABC to add this show. Turns out I was wrong and am happy that I was. Seasons 4 and 5 (the current one) are now available for purchase and download.

The ApprenticeAlso added to iTunes this morning, another popular request, NBC’s wildly popular The Apprentice. With the moderate success of some of the other reality television offerings in iTunes, I imagined that The Apprentice‘s addition would really be only a matter of time. An additional bonus for this one though, NBC is offering a free, 42-minute clips show that reviews the first eight episodes of season five. So happy, happy, joy, joy for the iTunes freebie lovers out there.

Finally, one more addition, Disney has added more of their old animated shorts into iTunes. Among the additions here, the some of the earliest animated shorts with Chip ‘n’ Dale, the classic “Pluto’s Blue Note” and the really early Mickey Mouse short, “Building a Building.”

The additions are still coming regularly even as the end of this year’s television season draws to a close. It will be interesting to see what kinds of additions we see (if any) during the long summer break in iTunes.

America's Funniest Home VideosWell, it’s Tuesday, so everyone gather around and let’s see what goodies were left for us under the iTunes Tree.

First up is ABC’s long-running staple, America’s Funniest Home Videos. That’s right, for those of you who stopped paying attention to it somewhere around 1995, that show is indeed still around. No, Bob Saget isn’t there anymore, it’s hosted by Tom Bergeron now, but the same general guiding principle is still in place. iTunes claims that it’s hosting season 1 of this, but it looks more like season 11.

The X'sNext, we’ve got another series from Nickelodeon, The X’s. This show first premiered in November and iTunes is making the first six episodes available for purchase. Missing are two subsequent episodes from this month, so we’ll see when those and subsequent episodes are added. But this continues to build up the kid content in iTunes.

NBC has also added a few things. The easy one first: three new Conan sketches are available. Still nothing really new and certainly no full episodes, but there is some new stuff there if you’re interested.

Conviction Free PremiereNow to get to the interesting new bit. NBC is premiering an episode of their forthcoming mid-season replacement from Law & Order‘s D**k Wolf (ha!), Conviction in iTunes for free. In addition, they’ve also made available a music video for the show and a short behind-the-scenes video, also for free. It’s actually quite the masterstroke for NBC. If you’ve watched the Olympics at any point, you’ve probably seen the advertisements already, but the Olympics have not been achieving the ratings that NBC has hoped for. So NBC is making this available for everyone early in the hopes of generating some buzz for the show before it’s premiere in a week and a half on Friday, March 3. The cynic might point out that if NBC had more faith in the series, they wouldn’t put it out on a Friday (the day where shows go to die), but they’re obviously using this freebie release on iTunes and subsequent paid episodes to gauge reaction to the show and determine if there is a positive response for the new legal drama.

Also good about this, NBC is also promoting the free iTunes download on their own website.

NBC is consistenly proving that they’re willing to be the front runner in trying new things with iTunes, so we’ll see if this move pays off for the new series.

School House Rock!Well, it’s my favorite day of the week: New Content Tuesday. So let’s see what presents Apple has for us this morning.

First up, ABC has posted some of their classic School House Rock! segments. This had previously been announced and we were just waiting for this to come to fruition. The bad news is that these aren’t full shows, just the segments from them, so if you want to get Conjunction Junction for your iPod, you have to shell out the full $1.99. This is already irritating a number of people just by looking at the comments in the store. It may not be as bad as the SportsCenter Ad situation, but it seems apparent that charging the full two smackers for any content that runs less than five minutes is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

Next up, NBC continues to post some of their older content with Saved by the Bell. That’s right, the classic cornball teen show from the 1990s is now available for your iPod. Or at least the first twenty episodes from season one.

And finally, as announced yesterday, eight Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition videos are now available. If these aren’t in the top 20 by the end of the day, I’ll be pretty surprised.

Also, one final note, it appears that there’s some rearranging going on in the Saturday Night Live section. It seems like whomever originally arranged the content there finally wised up and started organizing everything by decade rather than just labelling everything as either a “sketch” or a “parody.” They’re not all linked up from the main SNL section yet, but you can access them all by decade here.

Night Stalker - Never-Before Aired EpisodesI love Tuesdays. Really I do. Scores of new content is released to an adoring public, but it’s the little announcements that hide behind the big ones that I love the most. Spotted in the iTMS today was the announcement that they were now hosting three never-before seen episodes of the cancelled ABC series Night Stalker. This is actually bigger than you think. The most frequently asked questions I hear about television in the iTunes Music Store are “When will ________ be added?”, “When will ________ network add their content?” and “Can iTunes add episodes from cancelled series ________ so that it can reward its fan base?”

This is the first time that we’ve had any kind of answer to that third question. Now, Night Stalker was never a critical or popular hit, but it opens up the door for other cancelled series to make a final stab with a limited run of content at very little financial risk for the content creator.