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dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:29 PM 04-19-2012
TV Notes
Bravo Follows Upfront Orders With Six More Series in Development
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 19, 2012

Just two weeks after announcing that its original programming would increase by 27 percent during the course of the coming television season, Bravo has expanded its development slate with six new projects.

Fitting into the network's expanding lifestyle portfolio of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture, there are also two new series planned for Bravo's recent venture into tech-related subjects. Shop With Stella (Firehouse Productions) and Tone It Up (Fishbowl Worldwide Media) follow women seeking success with fashion and fitness websites, respectively. (Huh, which follows the offices of, already has been ordered to series.)

Also on the slate are two series about a decidedly younger set for Bravo. The Long Island-set The Gold Coast (True Entertainment) is about twentysomethings moving back in with their parents, and Heirs of Palm Beach (Pink Sneakers) follows wealthy Florida children in an exclusive community.

More familiar to the current Bravo wheelhouse are Splitsville (BASE Productions), a divorce lawyer docudrama, and Untitled Male Model Project (Done and Done Productions).

Bravo is moving full speed ahead to ramp up our diverse development slate and bring our highly engaged audience even more breakthrough original programming, Bravo vp development Eli Lehrer said of the orders. Our newly added digital passion point provides an expanded development filter for us to explore the innovative and fascinating digital world.

All projects currently have working titles.

dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:40 PM 04-19-2012
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
FRIDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Shark Tank
(R - May 6)
9PM - Primetime: What Would You Do?
10PM - 20/20
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Ashley Judd; director Bobcat Goldthwait; The Civil Wars perform)
(R - Apr. 11)

8PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Apr. 11, 2011)
8:30PM - Rules of Engagement
(R - Oct. 20)
(R - Oct. 7)
10PM - Blue Bloods
(R - Oct. 21)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Jason Sudeikis; Lionel Richie and Jason Aldean perform)
(R - Mar. 27)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Emily Deschanel; Jerry Ferrara)

8PM - Who Do You Think You Are? (Reba McEntire)
(R - Mar. 2)
9PM - Grimm
10PM - Dateline NBC
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Channing Tatum; football player Drew Brees; Meat Loaf performs)
(R - Mar. 14)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform)
(R - Mar. 2)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Malin Akerman; artist Wayne White; Trentemoller performs)
(R - Feb. 27)

8PM - The Finder
9PM - Fringe

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week In Review
8:30PM - Need to Know
9PM - Art in the Twenty-First Century: Boundaries
10PM - Lidia Celebrates America - Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New
(R - Apr. 17)

8PM - Una Familia Con Suerte
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No PodÃ*a Amar

8PM - Nikita
9PM - Supernatural

8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Relaciones Peligrosas

10PM - Real Time with Bill Maher (LIVE - Economist Todd Buchholz; journalist Thomas Frank; editor Chrystia Freeland; journalist Ross Douthat)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Chris Colfer; comic Jeff Wild; comic Arden Myrin; comic Brad Wollack)
(R - Apr. 12)

dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:46 PM 04-19-2012
TV Notes
Friday's TV Highlights: 'In Plain Sight' on USA
By Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Apr. 19, 2012


A FAMILY REUNION is in store for Mary (Mary McCormack) and her long lost father (Stephen Lang) on a new episode of In Plain Sight at 10 p.m. on USA.


Percy (Xander Berkeley) releases a man (Rick Ravanello) whom Nikita (Maggie Q) captured and sent to prison years ago in this new episode (8 p.m. KTLA).

The Finder: A partial voice mail message is all that Walter (Geoff Stults) has to work with when he's asked to track down a husband and father who has disappeared. An FBI agent (Kelly Carlson) is looking for him too. Michael Clarke Duncan also stars in this new episode (8 p.m. Fox).

The Singing Bee: Six contestants compete in this new singing competition series (8 p.m. CMT).

Locked Up Abroad: Popped: This new spinoff gives the Pop-Up Video treatment to the popular documentary series about Americans detained in far-off lands (8 and 9 p.m. National Geographic).

Supernatural: In this new episode Annie Hawkins (Jamie Luner), an old hunter friend of Sam and Dean's (Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles), contacts the brothers to ask them to help her with a case, but when they arrive in the town where they were supposed to meet, Annie is missing (9 p.m. KTLA).

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: This new episodes looks at the family histories of three clergy members (Angela Buchdahl; Rick Warren; Yasir Qadhi) of different faiths (9 p.m. KOCE).

Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country: Garth, her three daughters, and her personal assistant adapt to living on a farm in California's wine country in this new unscripted series (9 p.m. CMT).

The Ricky Gervais Show: The animated comedy series returns with new episodes (9 p.m. HBO).

Magic City: Ike (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) tries to bribe officials to legalize casino gambling in this new episode (10 p.m. Starz).


The Boston Celtics visit the Atlanta Hawks (4 p.m. ESPN); the Lakers visit the Spurs (6:30 p.m. KCAL and ESPN).

Hockey: NHL Playoffs: The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (If necessary) (4:30 p.m. NBCSP); the Detroit Red Wings visit the Nashville Predators (5 p.m. CNBC).

Baseball: The Dodgers visit the Houston Astros (5 p.m. FS Prime); the Baltimore Orioles visit the Angels (7 p.m. FSN).
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:50 PM 04-19-2012
TV Sports
The Art and Science of Scheduling Meet in the N.F.L. Office
By Judy Batista, The New York Times - Apr. 20, 2012

The e-mail was finally sent to Roger Goodell at 12:33 a.m. Monday White smoke from the scheduling room. That one line put an end to the N.F.L.'s yearly eye-blurring, mind-bending exercise in juggling the absurd and the inconvenient, in balancing prime-time television and 10 a.m. body clocks for West Coast teams, in sifting through 14,000 potential schedules to find the one that pleases the most and infuriates the least.

But even in the hours before the 2012 regular-season schedule was released to the public Tuesday night setting off hours of analysis of matchups whose existence, though not their timing, had been known for months the calls and texts kept coming into the small room at the N.F.L's Park Avenue headquarters outfitted with five computers, a gigantic monitor and a critical shredder.

There were complaints and questions and the occasional compliment from teams and television networks that had spent the last two and a half months lobbying the scheduling department for their preferred combination of games, and who are likely to continue to vent and question or marvel at the schedule's sometimes accidental foresight, until it is time to start planning for 2013.

This is the annual ritual of finding out how stupid I am, said Howard Katz, the N.F.L.'s scheduling czar. We work for months and months in this room and What were they thinking?' It comes with the territory.

After recalling what he thought was a coup last year putting a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts on the Sunday night opposite the World Series, only to watch the Saints obliterate a Peyton Manning-less Colts team, 62-7 Katz summed up the snap judgments of the schedule that are as quick to change as a channel.

We're geniuses one day and absolute morons the next, he said.

For the networks that pay billions of dollars to carry N.F.L. games, they have been mostly geniuses. N.F.L. games were watched by an average of 17.5 million viewers last season, the second most since 1989, and off slightly from 2010. N.F.L. games accounted for 23 of the 25 most-watched television shows among all programming, and the 16 most-watched shows on cable last fall.

Designing a schedule that generates those ratings, while also guaranteeing competitive fairness, is more complicated than ever, even though a computer program in use for eight years now does some of the work that was once done entirely by hand spitting out 400,000 complete or partial schedules from a possible 824 trillion game combinations.

Katz's department must consider a confounding array of factors, from the N.F.L.'s expanded Thursday night package, which gives each team a game in a short week, to potential baseball playoff situations that could affect the availability of stadiums and parking lots in October. The summer is spent rooting against certain baseball teams that share facilities with football teams. When baseball began awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league in the All-Star Game, it further complicated the task.

We walk out of here the night of the All-Star Game and say, Who are we rooting for?' said Onnie Bose, a member of the scheduling staff.

The process gets serious in January, when teams submit lists of requests detailing stadium availability and preferences for scheduling order. This year, teams submitted more than 70 blocked-out dates for stadiums the Jets and the Giants are both on the road in Week 3, for instance, because Bruce Springsteen will be performing at MetLife Stadium and 100 requests, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Florida teams often ask not to play 1 p.m. games in September and October, believing it is more difficult to sell tickets in broiling heat; sometimes the same organization will submit different requests because coaches believe the heat provides a competitive advantage. Southern teams do not want to go north late in the season. Teams that struggle to sell tickets worry especially about their late-season schedule.

There are requests not to play at home on certain holidays the Jets and the Giants typically ask not to play home games during the Jewish High Holy Days. When the N.F.L. put the Jets at home on Rosh Hashana and the start of Yom Kippur in 2009, Katz heard about it from the team. And others.

I heard from every rabbi How could you screw that up?' Katz said. (On Thursday, the N.F.L. moved the start of the Raiders-Dolphins game in Miami on Sept. 16 Rosh Hashana up from 4:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. to give Jewish fans more time to be home before the holiday starts at sundown.)

The Jets asked to host the Thanksgiving night game this year. Jonathan Payne, another member of the scheduling group, opened a folder with more requests.

No games against teams coming off their bye, he read.

During Super Bowl week, Katz meets with representatives from each of the networks that carry N.F.L. games, receiving wish lists from NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network for games they want in prime time, and lists often nearly identical from Fox and CBS of games they do not want to lose from their Sunday afternoon slots.

Among observers, NBC is viewed as getting the best treatment because of the cachet of the popularity of football on broadcast television. ESPN hopes for plenty of division games because there is almost always something on the line. Last year, NBC and Fox wrestled over the regular-season finale between the Cowboys and the Giants, a guaranteed ratings bonanza. The N.F.L. moved the matchup which determined which team went to the playoffs to NBC for the second time in the season, upsetting Fox so much that Katz said the network's lead analyst, Troy Aikman, stopped speaking to him.

Katz's department starts with thousands of seed schedules, empty slates in which a handful of critical games with attractive story lines are placed in select spots. Then the computers generate possibilities around those games. The N.F.L. also feeds the computer with penalties for situations it prefers to avoid three-game trips, for example, or teams starting with two road games.

The Pittsburgh-Denver game in the first week on Sunday night was an early favorite for that spot because it was a rematch of a playoff game and would have featured a ratings juggernaut with Tim Tebow. Then Denver signed Peyton Manning and Tebow was traded to the Jets. The N.F.L. reconsidered, then left the game in the slot. Manning's move to Denver did not change the schedule as much as might have been thought because the Broncos were likely to get considerable prime-time consideration with Tebow. Nor did the Saints' recent strife because Katz and his crew think New Orleans will still be a good team without Coach Sean Payton.

This year, the computers generated 14,000 playable schedules, which were reduced to 150 with an eyeball test. Then the scheduling department reviewed those 150 by hand, scoring them for each team and each network.

It's part art and part science, said Michael North, who works closely with Katz. The science is the needle in the haystack may be so far over here that the computer cannot search through the entire space. What if that seed schedule had one game in the wrong spot and that one game prevented us from looking at that part of the haystack?

A few weeks ago, Katz's department had a schedule it loved, until it realized one team had a three-game trip heading into a Thursday night game. The schedule was tossed.

Finally, late Sunday, after the computers had run one last time, the department settled on the schedule it reviewed with Goodell for two hours Monday and announced Tuesday.

That will undoubtedly not be the last they hear about it.

At the league meeting last month, Katz was approached by Baltimore Coach John Harbaugh and told he had to meet his brother. Jim Harbaugh, John's brother and the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was upset that his team had been sent across the country for last year's Thanksgiving night game against his brother's team.

I talked to him, then I talked to him the next day and then I talked to him the third day, Katz said of Jim Harbaugh. He said, Now that I've met you, I don't hate you quite as much.' His brother said to me, That's as good as you're going to do.'
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:58 PM 04-19-2012
TV Reviews
Love in the Ruins
By Nancy DeWolf Smith, Wall Street Journal - Apr. 20, 2012

"Birdsong," the latest PBS "Masterpiece Classic" offering, is set in the same time period as "Downton Abbey." The series ends in 1918—after the charnel house of World War I in which Britain lost what Masterpiece host Laura Linney calls "the heart of their working class and the flower of their aristocracy." But "Birdsong," which is based on a 1993 novel by Sebastian Faulks, has a much tighter focus on love and war and a much smaller cast. That makes it more intense when it hits the mark, and more disappointing when it doesn't.

As a tapestry of time and place, "Birdsong" is a wonder to behold. It begins in the trenches of northern France in 1916, where British Lt. Stephen Wraysford (Eddie Redmayne) is facing a task more frightening to him than any combat. Instead of going "over the top," he and his infantrymen are headed below ground, into the tunnels being dug close to German trenches so British miners-turned-soldiers can lay charges and blow the enemy to kingdom come.

Eventually these men will take part in the Battle of the Somme, during which the British suffered some 350,000 casualties. Yet no experience here is more ghastly than the tunnels, which flooding or collapse can turn into a mass grave in an instant.

At night in his trench quarters, Stephen tells fortunes with a deck of cards. But mostly he summons memories, escaping in his mind to play and replay the summer of 1910, when he visited France to stay with a wealthy textile manufacturer and fell in love with the Frenchman's wife, Isabelle (Clémence Poésy).

Although it's a bittersweet, if predictable, story, the love affair is not the strongest aspect of "Birdsong." The talented Mr. Redmayne, who can convey emotions with only a twitch of a facial muscle, will nonetheless not be everyone's idea of a romantic lead. When Matthew Goode appears in the small role of a British officer so lovely that he seems doomed for sure, it's hard not to wish that he was the one with all the screen time.

Yet the role of Stephen calls for someone young enough to act on his desire with impetuous energy—before the age when men become more calculating. So too, for dramatic purposes, he must begin the war in innocence, as an idealist. This Mr. Redmayne's Stephen convincingly is, though the most memorable character is an innocent of another sort. That would be the miner-soldier Jack Firebrace (Joseph Mawle). Jack is the British everyman who was shoved into the maw of war. He's also a character out of D.H. Lawrence, a simple man with uncanny instincts. Playing this endangered animal, Mr. Mawle slowly breaks your heart.

Indeed, it is Jack who protects his lieutenant's soul and will make you wonder, long after the curtain falls on "Birdsong," how England might be different today if a generation of such men had not perished in the mud of France and Flanders almost century ago.

Sunday April 22 & 29 at 9 p.m. on PBS

* * * *

The girls of HBO's dark comedy "Girls"—technically women in their early-to-mid 20s—don't know a thing about real sacrifice or suffering. At first that makes them unsympathetic. Although there is a great deal of explicit sex in "Girls," it is not meant to be—and for the most part is not—in any way erotic. Mix that with a bunch of 21st-century spoiled slacker girls and you have the makings of something truly repulsive. But don't turn away yet. Something astonishing is happening here too.

"Girls" kicked off last week with the travails of Hannah Horvath (series creator and writer Lena Dunham), a perpetual unpaid intern and unfinished-memoir writer who is furious when her parents announce that after supporting her for the two years since college graduation, they are pulling the plug. O woe, how dare they!

The rest of the quartet includes Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) and her free-spirited English cousin Jessa (Jemima Kirke), a substitute baby sitter who comes on to already-taken men. Another friend has a real job: Marnie (Allison Williams) works in an art gallery. But she is existentially cursed with a boyfriend who loves her too much, or as Marnie laments: "He's so busy, like, respecting me...that he looks right past me and everything that I need." In a future episode Marnie will find excitement in the flip side of that scenario, which is another reason to hang on until "Girls" gets some traction in your gut, if not your heart.

Hannah is glib and self-deprecating in the way that a clever but plain and plump woman can become, and as self-obsessed as only the aimless can afford to be. The job market for the educated unskilled is rough, though Hannah is so eager to be witty that she blows a promising interview. She passes time at the apartment of Adam (Adam Driver), a male roughly her age who takes $800 a month from his grandmother so he can enjoy the unencumbered lifestyle of a 14-year-old. And in that apartment, in scenes of systematic debasement, Hannah offers her body to Adam without joy or apparent desire.

Stupid girl. Stupid, all of them. Lying down with men that never call, let alone ask for a date, but only text or, lowest of the low, Facebook you. Or just drifting in a tiny universe world where if anything good happens, it will be an accident, like, totally random.

They've come a long way, baby…and then it hits you: Here it is, after some 50 years of women's liberation, and what characterizes the lives and expectations of today's young women? Passively offering themselves to indifferent men; getting pregnant by mistake; well schooled but careerless. Free to roam the globe taking foreign lovers and shucking oysters, but no less hobbled in other ways than their female forbears were. After decades of you-go girl, here they are, reduced to making collages on an "affirmation board," so low is their self-esteem.

Humor can take the edge off. Yet if anything about "Girls" is true, and on some level much of it is, we have a cultural train wreck showcased every week on TV. No wonder it often hurts to watch. No wonder it is so difficult to look away.

Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 11:07 PM 04-19-2012
TV Review
Veep': A playful pander in Washington's zoo
By Hank Stuever, Washington Post - Apr. 19, 2012

If it weren't so viciously funny and laced with f-bombs in every other sentence, HBO's new comedy series Veep (premiering Sunday night) could almost serve as campaign material for all those tea party-esque candidates who are forever running against the usual business in Washington.

Veep confirms everyone's worst suspicions about our sad and frantic little town. The innermost inner-Beltway that is skewered here is a place that takes for granted the art of self-preservation. The knives are always out, even when they're made of eco-friendly, politically opportunistic cornstarch that will break on a pad of butter. Vice President Selina Meyer, played by the superb Julia Louis-Dreyfus, stirs her coffee with one of these enviro-spoons, and it immediately melts. There you have Veep's central metaphor: Washington as the pinnacle of failure, addicted to a never-ending display of pandering and message ma*nipu*la*tion.

That's not news, except in the way Veep treats the corrosive muck as a given a way of life that needs no set-up or explanation. Here we see a narcissistic and unqualified vice president of a government beyond repair, but Veep is not at all outraged about that. Instead, it revels in Washington's ego-driven despicability; it wishes only to make hay.

And as ludicrous as Veep might pretend to be, how far off is it really? Nothing in the episodes I've seen rivals the outlandish laugh riots of a Secret Service detail hiring Cartagena hookers, or the recent implosion over at the General Services Administration after news broke of that scandalous $800,000-plus convention in Las Vegas. The mass-resignations, the political embarrassment, the congressional investigation this is right in line with Vice President Meyer's tragicomic milieu. Even the stern video admonishment by the GSA's new acting chief, Dan Tangherlini, had something Veep-ishly appealing to it. I watched it on YouTube over and over imagining the assured, handsomely blue-eyed Tangherlini slapping his forehead between takes in abject dismay.

In Veep, it's as if all of Aaron Sorkin's hyperverbal West Wing strivers have had every last trace of their idealism scrubbed away, leaving only their raw ambition and incessant yammering. The result is sublimely if sadly appropriate to the present-day vibe, the deeply cynical Washington in which we live and work.

As often as not, the worst of Selina's public humiliations stem from her own sense of hubris and her Larry David-like tendency to stick her foot in her mouth, especially if a nearby microphone is hot. So it happens that she uses the word ****** during a hastily edited fundraising speech at a party, a flub that lands her front and center on the next morning's Style section (holla!) and sets off a hilarious day of attempted atonement with the mental-disability lobby. This is a vice president who schedules a normalizing photo-op visit to a minority-owned fro-yo shop on U Street but comes down with a flu bug on the way, and, after one bite of goopy yogurt, has an unfortunate Bridesmaids-style accident while trying to hustle back to her motorcade limo.

Thanks to Louis-Dreyfus, and the show's remarkable knack for dialogue and timing, Veep is instantly engaging and outrageously fun. Like all memorable TV comedies of late The Office, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm it transacts in awkwardness in a way that summons the oddest sort of cringing sympathy for its lead character. That emotion is as old as watching Lucille Ball try to worm her way out the disasters of her own making.

Did the president call? Selina routinely asks her surly secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw).

No, Sue always says.

The president never calls.

Three episodes in, it's not certain that any of us will get to see this president. An officiously unctuous junior White House aide, Jonah Ryan (Timothy C. Simons), is assigned to be the liaison between Selina's office and the West Wing. His main job is to restrict her access to POTUS, to preemptively stripmine her prepared speeches of anything substantive or politically risque (the term of art here is pencil-[bleep]ing). Jonah even dissuades the vice president from getting a dog, because the first lady is about to get a dog.

Veep was created by Armando Iannucci, who also co-writes and directs the show's early episodes, and it has the quick-witted flavor of his 2009 film In the Loop, a farce about foreign diplomacy. Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich (who now writes for New York magazine) is one of the show's producers, which may help explain the dusting of verisimilitude in Veep that strikes me as intangibly Washington-like, even though much of the show was filmed in Baltimore.

Something here hits the right note between slapstick and plausibility. Iannucci and his co-writers have landed on a brilliantly fresh knack for Washington mockery as Veep sends all those starry-eyed 1990s Beltway fables Sorkin's The American President or stuff like Dave or even that old Goldie Hawn comedy Protocol into the paper shredder. Those comedies shared an optimistic regard for the federal soul, but that sort of thing no longer exists. In stark contrast, Selina's self-absorbed missteps and maladroit scheming depict a Washington of irredeemable dysfunction. (The show's closest kin, D.C.-wise, might be the 1999 Watergate parody, Dick.) You don't get the feeling that Selina is the type of TV politico who will ask her motorcade to stop off at the National Archives so she can gaze lovingly upon the Constitution.

It's as if certain aspects of Sarah Palin, a tiny bit of Joe Biden and a lot of The Comeback's Valerie Cherish have been grafted onto Selina's neuroses a go-getter whose desperate bids for attention and positive limelight lead her to fixate on everything but the gravitas of her position. The joke here is that there is precious little in her job description besides breaking ties in the Senate and taking the oath of office if the president croaks. What have I been missing? Selina asks Sen. Barbara Hallowes (Kate Burton), a rival from her earlier days in Congress.

Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO
javry's Avatar javry 06:01 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Will Hollywood ever top its Cinema Class of 1982?
By Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times' '24 Frames' Blog - Apr. 19, 2012

Certainly a banner year for movies. I'm impressed.
rich3fan's Avatar rich3fan 07:07 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Methinks you better look up the word "alllegory."

Go ahead. Look it up and post back. That way, we'll know what it means and you'll know how to spell it.

I'll look up "methinks".
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 07:31 AM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
America's Next Top Model' Shakeup: Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel And J. Alexander Out
By Nellie Andreeva, - Apr. 20, 2012

America's Next Top Model is cleaning house heading into its 19th cycle next fall. Leaving the veteran CW reality series are longtime co-stars Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander. Top Model executive producer/star Tyra Banks confirmed the exits on Twitter. Fierce & love 2 my Nigel, Jay & Miss J, she wrote. ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us.

The departures come on the heels of historically low ratings for the current cycle of Top Model dubbed British Invasion. Its season premiere dived 45% in adults 18-49 from the previous cycle to log the franchise's lowest-rated opener ever. According to the New York Post, the trio's contracts are not being renewed. Photographer/judge Barker, photo shoot director Manuel have been with the show since the first season, runaway coach Alexander since the second. Manuel also has been Banks' long-time personal make-up artist. Barker addressed his departure in a blog post Thursday night. Many of you have come to know me over the past eight years on the show, during which we have shared numerous amazing adventures, he wrote. It has been an exciting chapter in my life.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 07:39 AM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
'Law & Order: SVU' Star Mariska Hargitay Inks New Deal With Universal Television
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Apr. 20, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Mariska Hargitay is remaining in the NBC fold.

The Law & Order: SVU star has signed a new deal with Universal Television to continue on the long-running procedural drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

While a new contract for one of television's top stars could potentially spell good news for a 14th season of the Dick Wolf-produced crime drama, sources close to the show say it doesn't guarantee that the series will return in the fall. NBC is simply locking up Hargitay, who is said to make about $500,000 per episode, in case L&O: SVU is picked up.

The news comes the same week Hargitay touted the rebooted series' new vibe at NBC's Summer Press Day, where she gushed about new cast members Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish and new showrunner Warren Leight.

"This new cast came on and I had no idea what to expect -- and we had a new showrunner," she told reporters Wednesday in Pasadena. "The show this year is awesome and different and has gone into different areas and I get to play different things; my own story of having a boyfriend after 13 years my character has gone on this unbelievable personal journey that is both reflected in her persona life and the story lines."

How big Hargitay's role with the Universal Television-produced series would be this season was a question heading into last fall. However, NBC Entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt later said the actress wouldn't be scaling back her role or leaving the series anytime soon.

Hargitay's former co-star, Christopher Meloni, departed the veteran procedural after its 12th season following prolonged contract talks with the network. In his absence, the drama added a plethora of new characters, including love interests for Hargitay's Detective Olivia Benson played by Harry Connick Jr. and Andre Braugher.

The veteran procedural has seen its ratings slide this season in the wake of Meloni's departure. Wednesday's installment was down 12 percent week-over-week in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, notching a series low with a 1.5.

Hargitay is repped by CAA.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 07:46 AM 04-20-2012
Critic's Notes
Nine TV Meta-Reunions We Want to See
By Margaret Lyons, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog - Apr. 20, 2012

This week's episode of Suburgatory included a Clueless reunion of sorts when Alicia Silvertsone guest-starred as a love-interest for Jeremy "Elton" Sisto. Last night's Parks and Recreation features Bradley Whitford, who doesn't share any scenes with Rob Lowe but still gets in a West Wing allusion or two. But why are we stopping there, television? There are plenty more duos we'd love to see reunite on the small screen.

Ryan Hansen Reuniting With Jane Lynch on Glee
We wouldn't wish Glee on someone in general, but: The most underrated pairing on the sorely missed Party Down was between Ryan Hansen's Kyle and Jane Lynch's Constance. Sue Sylvester tends to make enemies, but the best thing about Kyle and Constance was their unlikely friendship, so Hansen's Glee character would have to be one of Sue's passionate acolytes.

Wilson Cruz Reuniting With Claire Danes on Homeland
It's so obvious, but we couldn't resist: get the My So-Called Life gang back together. Just about anyone would make sense Brian Krakow could easily work for the CIA but Claire Danes's Carrie doesn't need more drama or romance in her life. She needs some compassion, and Wilson Cruz can just channel that Rickie Vasquez warmth to comfort her in her time of crazy.

Linda Cardellini Reuniting With John Francis Daley on Bones
The Freaks and Geeks cast gets together in various permutations with some regularity, but we dream of the day that the Weir siblings reunite. Daley's character on Bones isn't all that different from Sam Weir, so Cardellini could still be that too-cool older sister.

John Hawkes Reuniting With Timothy Olyphant on Justified
How has this Deadwood reunion not happened already? Hawkes plays grizzled country people on what seems to be an annual basis, and Justified is one big casting call for grizzled country people. It would be fun to see him as a foil for Olyphant's Rayland, but it would be more fun to see him as, oh, a Jewish small business owner married to a reformed prostitute, who's still friends with the head of local law enforcement.

Holly Hunter Reuniting With Anna Paquin on True Blood
Just because it would be hilarious to see The Piano's reputation go through the trash-o-matic of True Blood. Maybe she and Sookie have a secret sign language they use to communicate.

Jason Dohring Reuniting With Kristen Bell on House of Lies
Next to no one cares much about Don Cheadle's Showtime series, but if it included a Veronica Mars reunion, it could instantly become our favorite show. Work things out, Logan and Veronica!

Edward James Olmos Reuniting With Mary McDonnell on The Closer/Major Crimes
Adama and Roslyn 4 life. They were the greatest power couple the roboapocalypsed world had ever known on Battlestar Galactica, but now former President Roslyn is off being a powerful police captain in Los Angeles. Follow her there, Admiral Adama.

Josie Bisset Reuniting With Laura Leighton on Pretty Little Liars
On Melrose Place, the Andrews sisters each married Michael Mancini, each dated Jake Hanson, collaborated to murder Jane's ex-boyfriend Richard, and generally fought and made up every few weeks with magical soapy wonderfulness. These days, both actresses are on ABC Family shows, so a crossover isn't even that far-fetched. Pretty Little Liars has been dragging a little recently, and maybe a jolt of sisterly competition is just what the (evil, scheming, no-good ex-husband) doctor ordered.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 07:49 AM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
Style plans a rebrand with new shows, while BET has sitcoms, reality and more in the mix
By Richard Huff, New York Daily News - Apr. 19, 2012

The Style Network is getting a facelift.

This summer the network will rebrand itself with a new on-air look, new logo, new website and more, said Salaam Coleman Smith, president of Style Media.

We are creating the multimedia staple for women across the globe, Coleman said Wednesday.

As part of the effort, the network, home to such hit shows as Giuliana & Bill, Tia & Tamara and Jerseylicious, will expand original programming by 25% in the next year.

Among the additions are a reality show built around designer Betsey Johnson and her daughter Lulu and a new home-remodeling show featuring Bill Rancic.

Smith said the Johnson deal was just completed, and that the show will be about family, fashion and fun.

Also in the mix is Empire Girl: Julissa & Adrienne, an hour-long series featuring friends Adrienne Bailon and Julissa Bermudez as best friends trying to survive in the entertainment business in New York.

Chicagolicious is a new take on Jerseylicious, set in a Chicago salon.

Party Fabulous Vegas tracks Las Vegas event planners Joan Hammer and Tory Cooper, who only handle events with six-figure budgets.

Tia & Tamara will be back for a second season, as will Glam Fairy, though the show will be transformed from a makeover series to something closer to a documentary in its look at makeup artist Alexa Prisco.

Among the shows in development at Style is Built, a home-makeover show where the handymen are models.

Also in the mix is a celebrity home show starring So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley.

We like to have a good time, we like to have a good laugh and we like to celebrate a happy ending, Smith said.

In other action Wednesday, BET said its new season will add a late-night show called Don't Sleep, with journalist T.J. Holmes as host.

BET's House Husbands, a semi-scripted reality TV satire, will skewer all things Housewives, and Judge Greg Mathis will host a new investigative crime series linking volunteers and law enforcement to solve open homicides.

Also coming up on BET is Second Generation Wayans, a sitcom based on the lives of the next generation of the Wayans family.
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV 08:08 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Bravo Follows Upfront Orders With Six More Series in Development
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 19, 2012

Just two weeks after announcing that its original programming would increase by 27 percent during the course of the coming television season, Bravo has expanded its development slate with six new projects.

Fitting into the network's expanding lifestyle portfolio of food, fashion, beauty, design and pop culture, there are also two new series planned for Bravo's recent venture into tech-related subjects. Shop With Stella (Firehouse Productions) and Tone It Up (Fishbowl Worldwide Media) follow women seeking success with fashion and fitness websites, respectively. (Huh, which follows the offices of, already has been ordered to series.)

Also on the slate are two series about a decidedly younger set for Bravo. The Long Island-set The Gold Coast (True Entertainment) is about twentysomethings moving back in with their parents, and Heirs of Palm Beach (Pink Sneakers) follows wealthy Florida children in an exclusive community.

More familiar to the current Bravo wheelhouse are Splitsville (BASE Productions), a divorce lawyer docudrama, and Untitled Male Model Project (Done and Done Productions).

Bravo is moving full speed ahead to ramp up our diverse development slate and bring our highly engaged audience even more breakthrough original programming, Bravo vp development Eli Lehrer said of the orders. Our newly added digital passion point provides an expanded development filter for us to explore the innovative and fascinating digital world.

All projects currently have working titles.


What a crap-land Bravo has become.

If not for Inside the Actors Studio, I wouldn't even care if I had the channel at all.

Despite having lost its way a bit (and adding a lot of commercials along that way), at least AMC is pumping out some really great TV. Even SciFi (I refuse to use at least tries to do something different, even if much of it falls into C-grade, budget-starved silliness.

AMC, USA, and FX probably get as much eyeball time from me as the broadcast networks now.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 08:14 AM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
Best tube bets this weekend
The top draws in broadcast and cable and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 20, 2012


Best bet on broadcast
: CW, "Supernatural," 9 p.m.
Sam and Dean meet up with an old friend, who promptly disappears in a haunted house.

Best bet on cable: CMT, "Jennie Garth: A Little Bit Country," 9 p.m. Series Premiere. The actress moves to a farm in California with her three daughters.

Top sporting event: NBC Sports Network, "NHL Hockey," 7:30 p.m. Up 3-1, the Flyers attempt to close out the Penguins in game five in Pittsburgh.


Best bet on broadcast
: ABC, "20/20," 9 p.m.
Two-hour special Saturday edition examining Los Angeles' Sunset Boulevard.

Best bet on cable: FX, "UFC 145," 8 p.m. Preliminary bouts leading up to the pay-per-view event.

Top sporting event: NBC, "NHL Hockey," 3 p.m. Game five of the first-round playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.


Best bet on broadcast
: Fox, "Fox 25th Anniversary Special," 8 p.m.
Two-hour special recounting the history of the 25-year-old network, from "The Simpsons" to "Married with Children" to "House."

Best bet on cable: HBO, "Veep," 10 p.m. Series premiere. Comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as vice president of the U.S.

Top sporting event: ABC, "NBA Basketball," 3:30 p.m. As the playoffs loom, a big game between the Thunder and Lakers.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 08:23 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by javry View Post

Certainly a banner year for movies. I'm impressed.

Other great '82 movies not mentioned in the L.A. Times article (YMMV): Cronenberg's "Videodrome," Romero's "Creepshow," Schrader's remake of "Cat People," Henson's "The Dark Crystal," Kotcheff's "First Blood" (aka Rambo 1), Coppola's "One From The Heart," Argento's "Tenebre," Howard's "Night Shift," "The Secret of Nimh," "Basket Case," "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Beastmaster," etc.
lobosrul's Avatar lobosrul 08:41 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by javry View Post

Certainly a banner year for movies. I'm impressed.

Best year for movies IMO, at least in the modern era: 1994.

Shawshank, Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects, Forrest Gump, Leon (aka the Professional), Ed Wood, Clerks, Interview with the Vampire, Il Postino, The Lion King, Speed, True Lies... need I go on?
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV 09:10 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post

Best year for movies IMO, at least in the modern era: 1994.

Shawshank, Pulp Fiction, Usual Suspects, Forrest Gump, Leon (aka the Professional), Ed Wood, Clerks, Interview with the Vampire, Il Postino, The Lion King, Speed, True Lies... need I go on?

I think the studios get maybe one year every decade where they hit home runs left and right with great movies - even if not all of them are fully appreciated at the time (The Dark Crystal and TRON, for example).

Personally, I think 1991 was a pretty big banner year:

Terminator 2 (with it's groundbreaking effects)
Beauty and the Beast (the first animated feature to ever be nominated for best picture)
Silence of the Lambs (which turned around Anthony Hopkins' failing career)
What About Bob
City Slickers
Boys N the Hood
the remake of Cape Fear
Thelma and Louise
Doc Hollywood
Hot Shots!
Flight of the Intruder
Sleeping with the Enemy
Fried Green Tomatoes
Grand Canyon
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
Jungle Fever
New Jack City
The People Under the Stairs
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Toy Soldiers
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
Nayan's Avatar Nayan 09:36 AM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


What a crap-land Bravo has become.

If not for Inside the Actors Studio, I wouldn't even care if I had the channel at all.

Despite having lost its way a bit (and adding a lot of commercials along that way), at least AMC is pumping out some really great TV. Even SciFi (I refuse to use at least tries to do something different, even if much of it falls into C-grade, budget-starved silliness.

AMC, USA, and FX probably get as much eyeball time from me as the broadcast networks now.

Sadly I agree with you. I used to love Bravo but now the only show I watch is Top Chef. Everything else is garbage.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 09:50 AM 04-20-2012
Business Notes
CW Online Push Causes Ratings, Cord Cutting Concerns (Report)
By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 20, 2012

The CW, co-owned by Time Warner and CBS Corp., has been more aggressive than its TV network peers about catering to its younger target audience by making content available online, including on its own Web site and via deals with Netflix and Hulu. 

The network has shifted its focus on purpose to reach its target audience and push advertisers to buy ads online and on TV in package deals.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that the CW has to walk a fine line to avoid hurting its traditional core business as upfront advertising season approaches.

Nearly a fifth of the audience of the CW is now watching its shows online, twice the percentage that did so a year ago, the Journal reported, citing network data. But its average regular TV primetime audience has fallen 14 percent to 1.8 million, it said, citing Nielsen data.

These audience trends are a case of good news-bad news as some TV stations have expressed ratings concerns, and the online availability is seen as possibly encouraging pay TV cord cutting, according to the report.

The CW recently started putting shows online the day after a new episode airs instead of waiting three days as it had previously done. While some TV station affiliates supported the change, others have expressed concern. 

"This should raise the hair on the back of all affiliates," Doug Gealy, CEO of Acme Communications, which used to on several CW stations, but is now down to one, told the Journal. "The bottom line is that they have to have television stations to reach enough viewers to make their business viable."

Meanwhile, Brie Bagwell, a fan of The Vampire Diaries, which launched on the CW nearly three years ago, is an example of a young cord cutter. She used to watch the series on TV, but has ended her cable subscription and now views for free on the CW Web site, the Journal said. "It's more convenient," the 31-year-old told the paper. "I can just load it up whenever I want to."

Concerns about the fallout from the more aggressive online strategy led to some debate at the CW and its owners, especially at TW where CEO Jeff Bewkes was cautious at first, the Journal said. 

But a big check from Netflix and the opportunity to test new models won them over.

The "business model was challenged," said Bruce Rosenblum, a CW board member and president of TW's Warner Bros. Television Group. "Maybe this is now beginning to evolve into a different kind of network - a multi-platform, multi-screen network."

"The bigger danger is not allowing the consumer to watch video where they want to," said Rick Haskins, head of marketing and digital programs at the CW. "There's no point in putting your head in the sand and saying we shouldn't be encouraging the Internet use. That's already happening."
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 09:54 AM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
President Obama will be on 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' April 24
By Lanford Beard,'s 'Inside TV' Blog - Apr. 20, 2012

Even though Jimmy Fallon was embarrassingly bested by President Barack Obama’s wife Michelle during a fitness contest back in February, he’s not holding any grudges against the First Family. Fallon tweeted earlier this morning, “The President of the United States!?!?! @BarackObama see you Tuesday!!! #obamaonfallon.”

No word on whether he’ll address Ted Nugent’s recent run-in with the Secret Service, but you can imagine how he might react by checking out the Obama expressions clips in Late Night‘s archive of Obama videos.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 09:57 AM 04-20-2012
THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media INsight's Blog
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:05 AM 04-20-2012
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
ABC's 'Grey's' hits a 10-week ratings high
Veteran drama averages a 3.2 18-49 rating
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 20, 2012

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" continued to rebound from its series low two weeks ago, growing for the second straight week.

"Grey's" was last night's No. 1 scripted series with a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights, up 10 percent over last week and hitting a 10-week high in the demo.

The veteran drama, now in its eighth year, was up 14 percent over a series-low 2.8 two weeks ago and rose from a 3.0 in its first half hour to a 3.3 in its second.

That helped ABC rise by 0.1 over the previous week, finishing second to Fox on the night.

Fox's "American Idol" was the night's No. 1 show with a 3.9, but that was down 7 percent from last week's 4.2. Lead-out "Touch" was down 9 percent to a series-low 2.1.

NBC's "The Office" also rebounded slightly from a series-low 2.1 last week, rising to a 2.2. New lead-out "Parks and Recreation," which had been on hiatus the past six weeks, tied the network's best rating in the slot since January, a 1.8.

Meanwhile, Fox finished first for the night with a 3.0 average overnight rating and a 9 share. ABC was second at 2.2/6, CBS third at 1.8/5, Univision fourth at 1.6/5, NBC fifth at 1.4/4, CW sixth at 0.7/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.5/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Forty-three percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. Fox was first with a 3.9 for "Idol," followed by CBS with a 2.3 for a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" (2.5) and "Rules of Engagement" (2.2). Univision was third with a 1.5 for "Una Familia con Suerte," NBC fourth with a 1.4 for "Community" (1.3) and "30 Rock" (1.5), ABC fifth with a 1.3 for "Missing," CW sixth with a 1.0 for "The Vampire Diaries" and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for "Una Maid en Manhattan."

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.2 for "Grey's Anatomy," while Fox slipped to second with a 2.1 for "Touch." NBC was third with a 2.0 for "The Office" (2.2) and "Parks and Recreation" (1.8), Univision fourth with a 1.6 for "Abismo de Pasion," CBS fifth with a 1.5 for a repeat of "Person of Interest" and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for "The Secret Circle" and Telemundo for "Corazon Valiente."

At 10 p.m. ABC led again with a 2.1 for "Scandal," with Univision second with a 1.7 for "La Que No Podia Amar." CBS was third with a 1.5 for a repeat of "The Mentalist," NBC fourth with a 0.8 for "Awake" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.4 for "Relaciones Peligrosas."

Fox was also first for the night among 18-49s with a 6.8 average overnight rating and an 11 share. ABC was second at 5.4/9, CBS third at 5.3/9, NBC fourth at 2.1/3, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, CW sixth at 1.2/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.6/1.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:25 AM 04-20-2012
Critic's Notes
FOX at 25: A quarter-century of risk-taking
Not every experiment works, but this is the network that gave us 'The Simpsons,' 'The X-Files' and a lot more
By Alan Sepinwall, - Apr. 18, 2012

Television has changed so much in the 25 years since the FOX network launched in primetime an anniversary(*) being celebrated with a primetime special on Sunday night that it's hard to convey to someone under 30 what a big deal it was for a fourth network to not only debut, but endure.

(*) Technically, FOX launched in the fall of 1986 with Joan Rivers' "The Late Show." The anniversary being celebrated here seems to be of the primetime premiere, which was April 5, 1987.

Today, it seems like there's a new channel being launched every 30 seconds (usually in the 800s of your digital cable tier), but the TV universe in the spring of '87 was mainly about the Big Three broadcast networks. Cable was still something of a novelty, and if you had any independent broadcast stations in your area, they tended to show old movies and repeats, and/or have a signal so weak you'd have to put your TV antenna into your toaster to pick it up.

The DuMont Television Network had folded in 1956, and in the 30 years since, there were many attempts to launch a viable fourth network. A handful actually got on the air for a little bit before going away, but most of them like Paramount's mid-'70s attempt to build a network around a new "Star Trek" series were killed in the planning stage.

So when the Fox Broadcasting Company launched, it seemed simultaneously like a fool's errand and a big deal. There were only a couple of shows on that first April night "Married... with Children" and "The Tracey Ullman Show" with more being added until there was a full Sunday lineup, and then a Saturday lineup, and on and on. But the limited initial roster made it easy for a young TV nerd like me to keep track of all the network's shows for a while. I watched "Married," obviously (I was 13, and that show had both crude jokes and Christina Applegate), and "Tracey Ullman" (though mainly for those "Simpsons" shorts that aired in between the sketches), and "21 Jump Street," but also the ones that didn't endure like "Duet" or "The New Adventures of Beans Baxter," or "Second Chance."

After a while, some trends became clear, and the biggest one was that the most successful FOX shows and usually, but not always, the best ones tended to be ones that broke the mold, and that the more traditional ABC, CBS and NBC wouldn't have dared try.

At the start, there was "Married... with Children" being cited as evidence of the decline and fall of Western civilization: a family sitcom that didn't believe in hugs and tear-jerking and the rest of the false sentiment designed to make you forgive all the insults leading up to the "awww." Then there was "The Simpsons," which also started as an abomination President Bush the first and his wife both condemned it in the early days and is now an institution. There was "In Living Color," which showed that both "Saturday Night Live" and white actors shouldn't have a monopoly on sketch comedy.(**) "The X-Files" proved it was possible to have a commercially successful sci-fi show. For a couple of years, the quirky blend of legal drama, fantasy and music made "Ally McBeal" into a phenomenon. Etc., etc.

(**) For a while in the early-mid '90s, FOX made a concerted effort to program for African-American viewers, not only with "In Living Color," but the Thursday night bloc of "Martin," "Living Single" and "New York Undercover." As the network became more successful and mainstream, those shows dropped away, and would-be fifth networks UPN and the WB tried a similar strategy. Predictably, the WB (run by a lot of early FOX execs) also scrapped its minority-targeted shows once it began having success in other areas.

Every now and then, FOX would have a more conventional hit, but even they seemed to come out of nowhere. "Beverly Hills 90210," for instance, debuted in a season with a half-dozen other high school series and was largely ignored by the media compared to the likes of "Hull High" and "Ferris Bueller." It wound up running 10 seasons, launching an iconic spin-off in "Melrose Place," and eventually a low-rated sequel series on the CW.

"The Simpsons" kept the spotlight on the network in the early days, and then the acquisition of NFL broadcast rights in 1993 an expensive but necessary gambit that elevated FOX even as it damaged CBS (which in turn had to buy the other NFL package away from NBC a few years later to become relevant again) made it clear FOX wasn't going away.

And as the century changed, FOX's successes largely came from thinking outside the box. "24" and "American Idol" seem like obvious hits now, but both were greeted with tons of skepticism at the time. Before "Glee," the idea of a weekly musical seemed like a disaster-in-waiting (thanks in part to '90s failures like "Cop Rock" and the aforementioned "Hull High"), but FOX not only launched it successfully, but in an unconventional way.

Obviously, when you experiment that much, you'll fail, a lot. For every "X-Files," there are a few dozen sci-fi series that FOX canceled quickly, but they're still shows the network tried that their competitors never would. (For all the anger that "Firefly" fans have over how FOX scheduled the show, it wouldn't have gotten on the air at any other network.)

The extraordinary popularity of "American Idol" has changed that game quite a bit, though. When you've been the highest-rated network on TV for as many years in a row as FOX has, you can't quite play the brash upstart anymore. There are more shows that, regardless of quality, feel like they could easily exist on another network, and more extensions of familiar faces (Gordon Ramsay) and creators (Seth MacFarlane). There are still some genuine experiments, like the delightfully weird "Bob's Burgers," but other times even the shows that are risky from one angle are very conservative from another, like the expensive time travel series "Terra Nova," which was designed as a big-tent series with something to appeal to everyone in your family.

While it's possible to create art that satisfies everyone, more often than not, that approach leads to something that's not especially satisfying for anyone. Most of FOX's successes and the existence of the network itself came not from a belief that everybody would watch, but that enough people would to make things both interesting and profitable.

As the anniversary special approached, I began thinking about my favorite FOX shows ever, and most of them qualify as ones I'm not sure the other networks would have tried or, in some cases, as ones the other networks would have killed far, far more quickly.

Even if you haven't been watching FOX since night one, I'm sure you have some favorites of your own, whether series, individual episodes, weird moments, etc. So fire away in the comments.
rolltide1017's Avatar rolltide1017 01:33 PM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
CW Online Push Causes Ratings, Cord Cutting Concerns (Report)
By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 20, 2012

I think the bigger problem for the "CW" is that many affiliates across the nation are still lagging behind. My local CW affiliate has still not gone HD yet. So why not wait a day and watch the shows in better quality online vs watching live in crappy SD.
BCF68's Avatar BCF68 02:05 PM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by rolltide1017 View Post

I think the bigger problem for the "CW" is that many affiliates across the nation are still lagging behind. My local CW affiliate has still not gone HD yet. So why not wait a day and watch the shows in better quality online vs watching live in crappy SD.

Well if I did cut cable and CW pulled it's content online I guess I wouldn't see any at all since the local CW affiliate only broadcast at 350 kW even though they can go up to 1000 kW and they have their antenna lower on the tower than it could be. So maybe affiliates need to put the blame where it lies. ON THEMSELVES.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 02:20 PM 04-20-2012
TV Notes
Matthew Perry Comedy Pilot 'Go On' Picked Up for NBC Series
By Tim Kenneally, - Apr. 20, 2012

Matthew Perry officially has a new NBC series.

The former "Friends" star's comedy pilot, "Go On," has been picked up to series by the network, an individual with knowledge of the situation confirmed to TheWrap.

On the show, written and executive-produced by "Friends" alum Scott Silveri, Perry will play "an irreverent yet charming sportscaster" who finds solace from the members of his group therapy sessions as he attempts to recover from a loss.

The series co-stars "Transformers" star Julie White, Laura Benanti of "The Playboy Club," "Men of a Certain Age" actress Suzy Nakamura and Khary Payton.

Perry's most-recent series, the short-lived ABC offering "Mr. Sunshine," was canceled last May.

Deadline first reported the news.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 02:24 PM 04-20-2012
Business Notes
Netflix chief Reed Hastings got 68% raise in 2011, pay cut for 2012
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times - Apr. 20, 2012

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings' compensation skyrocketed 68% to $9.3 million in 2011, but subscriber losses and strategic missteps will result in a pay cut this year for the head of the popular video subscription company.

The shift is the result of a difficult year for Netflix, during which an unpopular price increase and a botched plan to divide its delivery systems into a DVDs-by-mail and a separate online brand caused a precipitous drop in the company's stock price and a temporary shift in its previously red-hot customer growth.

Hastings' 2011 salary was $500,000, virtually the same as in 2010. However, the value he realized from exercising stock options grew to $8.8 million from $5 million. His total compensation for the year was just under $9.3 million, compared with $5.5 million in 2010.

The company noted in its proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission filed Friday that Hastings' compensation was above the 75th percentile for CEOs at what it considers peer companies primarily Silicon Valley firms such as Electronic Arts and Autodesk.

However, Hastings' compensation pales next to that of CEOs in the media industry with whom he often deals, such as CBS' Leslie Moonves, who received nearly $70 million in 2011, and Walt Disney Co.'s Robert Iger, who took home $31.4 million.

Netflix noted in its filing that 2012 "compensation for Mr. Hastings has been reduced in light of the Company's performance in 2011." As a result, the initial value of his stock option allowance the final value of which is realized when he exercises them was cut in half from $3 million in 2011 to $1.5 million this year. Hastings' salary will remain the same.

Other Netflix executives got huge raises in 2011 as well. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who acquires rights to movies and television shows for Netflix's streaming video service, saw his compensation more than double to $4.9 million. Chief Production Officer Neil Hunt got an 81% raise to $3.6 million and compensation for Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Kilgore, who resigned in February, grew 45% to $4 million.

All of Netflix's senior executives except the CEO will receive pay increases in 2012, leaving Hastings as the only one to take a hit for the company's missteps last year.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company lost 800,000 U.S. subscribers during the third quarter and its stock fell 77% from July to the end of 2011. It gained back 610,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter, however, and Netflix shares are up more than 50% so far this year.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 02:27 PM 04-20-2012
Business/TV Notes
For Hulu, it's all about original content
Introduces four new shows at the first-ever newfront
By Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 20, 2012

Right now the bulk of Hulu's online video viewership comes from the thousands and thousands of archived episodes of TV shows on the site.

But Hulu is hoping to change that.

At yesterday's presentation to media buyers and advertisers in New York City, Hulu introduced four new shows and touted its sharp growth in paid subscriptions over the past year.

It marked the first presentation at the Digitas newfront, the digital video equivalent of the upfront, where companies make their best case to buyers and advertisers to invest in their product.

Hulu's case was simple. It's growing, and it expects to grow even faster with the addition of original programs from well-known names like "Saturday Night Live's" Seth Meyers, "Entourage's" Adrian Grenier and "Super Size Me's" Morgan Spurlock.

It plans to invest some $500 million in new content development and acquisition over the coming year.

Hulu said it had revenue of $420 million last year, based on advertising and subscriptions.

It now has 2 million paid subscribers to Hulu Plus, the premium video service that costs $8 per month, and the company, which is jointly owned by News Corp., Disney and NBC Universal, claims to have a 20 percent share of the online video market.

Up until now, it has relied more on the reruns and current programs from its partners for its video views.

But, like every video site, Hulu is now pushing further into original content.

Meyers' show, "The Awesomes," will follow modern-day superheroes as they battle baddies as well as the paparazzi.

Grenier will expand on a documentary he previously filmed, "Don't Quit Your Daydream," in which aspiring musicians who had given up on their dreams get another chance to record.

The two other new shows are "Flow," about a person framed for a crime, and " We Got Next," about four friends who connect on the basketball court.

Hulu also has three other previously announced new shows in development: the reality show "Up to Speed," Spurlock's "A Day in the Life" and the politically focused "Battleground."

Over the next week YouTube, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and more will make similar presentations in the first newfront, taking place about a month before the broadcast networks introduce their fall schedules.
BCF68's Avatar BCF68 02:28 PM 04-20-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
DirecTV Lowering Price of NFL Sunday Ticket to Lure Users
By Alex Sherman, - Apr. 19, 2012

DirecTV (DTV), trying to broaden its audience, is cutting the price of its Sunday football package by about 40 percent for existing customers and offering it free to new customers for a year.

The largest U.S. satellite-TV provider said today it is dropping the price for the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which gives users access to all regular season National Football League out-of-market broadcasts, to $199.95 from about $325. Customers that also want access to the games on mobile devices will pay $299.95.

Doesn't mention PS3 pricing.

Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

The $199.95 package also doesnt include their redzone channel or the shortcuts of every game.

Why do you need Redzone if you have Sunday Ticket? You have all the games already.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 02:30 PM 04-20-2012
Is PS3 pricing for Sunday Ticket different than, say, people who get it on PC or mobile? I thought it was a flat price across platforms.
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