Well, we were wondering what we were going to get from iTunes when there are fewer new television shows being broadcast over the summer? We get a dip in the archive, that’s what we get.

Trial By JuryFirst up is the failed fourth installment of the Law & Order franchise, Law & Order: Trial By Jury. Cut down in the prime of its life after only two months of episodes in 2005, Trial By Jury is reborn in iTunes form. It’s so sad when a source television series outlives its spinoff. Anyways, NBC must have decided that it had nothing further left to lose by tossing the 13 produced episodes into iTunes. It is claimed that there is an exclusive episode among the bunch, but alert Law & Order fans will know this is incorrect as the thirteenth episode was never aired on NBC, but the entire series (including the missing episode) were reaired on Court TV.

ESPN Draft PreviewNext up is a quickie from ESPN, their preview of this weekend’s NFL Draft. Although they don’t actually say “NFL Draft” (as the NFL would likely be displeased at this development), we know what they really mean by “Pro Football” and it’s not the USFL. Anyways, if you’re a sports fan and you’re not completely sick to death of all the NFL Draft previews yet, you can purchase another 12-minute preview from ESPN for the usual $1.99.

StellaBut it’s not just NBC dipping into the archive for new material, Comedy Central is doing the same. Up first is the short-lived sketch comedy series Stella which ran briefly in the “Summer of Love,” by which I mean 2005. The series was a cult favorite, but unfortunately, TV execs translate “cult favorite” to “ratings death” and it was not renewed for a second season. However, it continues to live on in iTunes.

Crank YankersFinally, we have a series that I thought was cancelled but perhaps not (although new episodes haven’t been seen since last year). That’s right, season one of Crank Yankers, that absurdist series of crank calls from popular comedians set to puppets, has been added to iTunes. The series has always had a good lineup of comedians to lend their voices to the effort, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Denis Leary, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Dane Cook, David Alan Grier, Tracy Morgan and, of course, Super Dave Osborne.

So there you are, more ways to evade the spirit of TV Turnoff Week. Me? I plan on watching twice as much television to pull the extra wait of those slackers not watching TV. Have an interesting week!


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.

Of all the adjectives I might use to describe my computer today, “cooperative” wouldn’t be amongst them. So, let’s try writing this post again…

ScrubsGood news on the “frequently requested” front. As previously reported by Tunevision, Disney’s Touchstone Television and NBC Universal have come together to get NBC’s Scrubs into iTunes. Currently, only the current season, season 5, is available and new episodes will be added as they are aired. No word on when or how older seasons might be added, but as you’ll recall from the previous blog post, Touchstone would receive all of the profits from previous season sales, so that may be a factor in the lack of expedience concerning previous seasons.

South Park Season PassAlso as previously reported on Tunevision, South Park seasons 3 and 10 (the current one, currently only one episode) have been added into iTunes. Also more good news here, South Park also has the season pass option. I’m happy to see more networks buying into the season pass option.

Variety is reporting that NBC Universal and Disney are close to a deal to put the NBC comedy series Scrubs for sale in iTunes. How is Disney involved? Well, Scrubs is produced by Touchstone Television, a Disney company. The deal, which is said to be the first deal of its kind between any two conglomerates like this, is said to split the profits of the season 5 (the current one) 50-50 between the two companies through August 31 when the rights would fully revert back to Touchstone. Touchstone would also receive all of the profits from sales of previous seasons.

Variety goes on to say that one of the reasons this particular series is even able to be considered for iTunes is that Scrubs is already in syndication and, thus, selling the show in iTunes isn’t considered a threat to the overall long-term profitability of the show. They also go on to say that while no one knows for sure what other series are being negotiated in this fashion, industry insiders consider My Name Is Earl (broadcast on NBC, produced by 20th Century Fox) and House (broadcast on FOX, produced by NBC Universal) are possible candidates. I don’t know if I fully agree with those candidates, especially given FOX’s technophobic tendencies lately, but you just never know.

(Thanks, TV Squad!)

SVUApparently the new content fairy was just running late this week. She missed her connecting flight in Denver because of weather-related delays coming from Chicago. Random farcical tales aside, Wednesday is apparently the day for new content this week. As pointed out by Tunevision cub reporter Ruben, iTunes now features pages for seasons 1 and 7 (the current one) of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and for season 2 of SpongeBob SquarePants. Unfortunately, the new content fairy’s luggage was lost in transit and at the moment there are no episodes for any of these, only placeholders for them. So, hopefully by tomorrow morning, you’ll be able to get your fill of the sternness of Detective Stabler, the surprising hotness of Detective Benson and the incongruous wisecracks of Detective Munch.

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.

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