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rebkell's Avatar rebkell 07:30 AM 05-05-2012
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Wow, if I was on Dish I'd be major pissed - AMC consistently has some of the best shows on TV.

Of course once again, it appears a network is holding the distributor hostage with one good station and several duds, but you have to subscribe to them all. AMC has been a thorn, how long did we on Directv do without AMC HD? Of course I have no idea who was the most stubborn, because the major cable outlets seem to have had no problem with terms and AMC.

All I know is it gets really old, the same old crap every month somewhere and some station. Prices go up and up and up and we get little to no choice in our selection, all or none.

Netflix has shown what people really want, but the networks are going to price them right out of business, collusion and the cartels seem to be intact.

dcowboy7's Avatar dcowboy7 01:06 PM 05-05-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Review
Eddie Izzard the real prize in Syfy's 'Treasure Island'
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - May 5, 2012

I know that dude....he has a great skit on the star wars bluray set with vader in the death star cafeteria....its a good 1.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:00 PM 05-05-2012
TV Notes
ABC's Cougar Town' Eyes Move To TBS
By Nellie Andreeva, - May 5, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Cougar Town is very much on the bubble but a possible cancellation by ABC would not necessarily spell the end of the underrated comedy about a group of wine-loving friends. I've learned that TBS has been in talks with Cougar Town producer ABC Studios about potentially picking up the series starring Courteney Cox if ABC ends up canceling it. Sources close to the situation stress that the conversations are very preliminary and that transitioning a broadcast series to cable is always tricky financially. Should the show become available, TEN looks at all opportunities presented to us that fit our brand, a rep for TBS' parent Turner Entertainment Networks said, declining further comment.

Cougar Town has had a rough third season. It was taken out of the protected post-Modern Family time slot. Its order was reduced and it was kept off ABC's fall and midseason schedules until finally landing in the Tuesday 8:30 PM slot after Work It fizzled. Because Cougar Town is produced by ABC's sister studio, one could assume that the network is aware of the talks with TBS and that the company as a whole might be exploring ways to continue the praised comedy series, which enjoys a devoted following by a core group of passionate fans and is a season away from a shot at syndication.

As ABC is reviewing its comedy pilots for next season, several of its existing series have a good shot at renewals. In addition to Modern Family, The Middle, Suburgatory and Happy Endings, which are assured to return, that also appears very likely for midseason entry Don't Trust The B- In Apt. 23, which has several other networks interested and ready to scoop it up if ABC passes. Also looking good to come back is Tim Allen's Last Man Standing, which had a tough assignment to hold its own as the only multi-camera ABC comedy trying to open a new comedy night for the network. A pickup of Cougar Town by TBS (or ABC) would complicate things for two pilots, CBS' untitled Louis CK/Spike Feresten project and NBC's Kari Lizer project, both of which star Cougar Town cast members in second position, Dan Byrd and Josh Hopkins, respectively. If Cougar Town moves to TBS, it would be the second consecutive Bill Lawrence comedy to switch networks, following Scrubs jump to ABC following its 2008 cancellation by NBC. Lawrence co-created Cougar Town with Kevin Biegel. Turner previously picked up another broadcast series, NBC drama Southland, which was recently renewed for a fifth season by TNT.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:04 PM 05-05-2012
Business Notes
Comcast's NBCUniversal to Sell Stake in A&E Television Networks
By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter - May 5, 2012

NBCUniversal has exercised an option to sell "a substantial portion" of its 15.8 percent stake in A&E Television Networks, the parent company of such cable channels as A&E, Lifetime and History, to joint venture partners Walt Disney and Hearst Corp.

The entertainment arm of Comcast informed its partners in late March, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal cited an analyst who valued NBCUniversal's stake at around $2 billion. Other analysts have in the past also valued it in that range. The companies are currently negotiating the exact size of the stake to be sold, which will affect the final price tag, with a deal likely to close in the second half of the year, according to the regulatory filing.

NBCUniversal's stake in A&E TV Networks, led by CEO Abbe Raven, used to amount to 25 percent. In 2009, Hearst and Disney added their Lifetime venture into the mix, boosting their A&E stakes to about 42.1 percent each. Back then, NBCUniversal got its option to cash out given the company's reduced stake, which made it a non-core asset.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:07 PM 05-05-2012
FRIDAY'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 04:15 PM 05-05-2012
Business Notes
CBS outlines post-CEO production deal with Leslie Moonves
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - May 4, 2012

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves has nearly three years remaining on his employment contract, and after that, he will be entitled to a lucrative CBS-financed television and movie production deal.

CBS and Moonves this week signed an agreement that sketches out Moonves' tentative producer agreement, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The proposed arrangement borrows from a particularly rich production deal that former News Corp. President Peter Chernin exercised when he left the executive suite of Fox in 2009. Last week, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners invested $200 million in Chernin's company -- demonstrating the potential value of a company headed by one of the biggest names in the entertainment business.

But, unlike Chernin, Moonves may choose not to trade in his executive stripes to run a production company. The filing did not rule out the possibility that Moonves, 62, could extend his employment agreement with CBS, keeping him at the CEO controls beyond the current February 2015 expiration of his contract.

Last year, Moonves received compensation of $69.9 million for his CEO role, making him the highest-compensated executive in Hollywood.

Under the proposed contract, Moonves could trigger the production deal once he steps down. CBS would be required to finance the enterprise for at least four years and invest as much as $3 million a year to cover the operation's overhead for staffing and a development fund to buy projects.

CBS would be obligated to buy at least three TV series projects over the life of the deal. CBS would have to pay Moonves license fees for TV shows equal to the highest amount paid to other producers who do business with the network or with CBS Studios.

CBS also would be required to pay Moonves a guaranteed fee of $1.5 million a year.

"This fixed fee is offset and reduced dollar for dollar by all executive producing fees earned for shows ordered from Mr. Moonves," the agreement states. "Mr. Moonves will earn fees for each hour and half hour scripted series and for each alternative series that are accepted by CBS, subject to pre-defined terms and at rates generally consistent with those paid to other top producers with Mr. Moonves' skill, experience and record of success."

CBS would also be required to pay Moonves a "penalty fee" if the network failed to order the agreed-upon number of TV shows. Chernin's agreement with Fox contains a similar provision.

Under the terms of the deal, CBS has a first look at all of his movie projects. If CBS gave its blessing to a movie, Moonves would receive a producer fee, plus "certain contingent compensation if, and only if, the film achieves profitability." He would be entitled to the same profit-sharing agreements that the company's current CBS Films extends to other producers.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:19 PM 05-05-2012
TV/Legal Notes
Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry
By Erik Eckholm, The New York Times - May 5, 2012

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. For 39 years, the Trinity Broadcasting Network has urged viewers to give generously and reap the Lord's bounty in return.

The prosperity gospel preached by Paul and Janice Crouch, who built a single station into the world's largest Christian television network, has worked out well for them.

Mr. and Mrs. Crouch have his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community here, provided by the network using viewer donations and tax-free earnings. But Mrs. Crouch, 74, rarely sleeps in the $5.6 million house with tennis court and pool. She mostly lives in a large company house near Orlando, Fla., where she runs a side business, the Holy Land Experience theme park. Mr. Crouch, 78, has an adjacent home there too, but rarely visits. Its occupant is often a security guard who doubles as Mrs. Crouch's chauffeur.

The twin sets of luxury homes only hint at the high living enjoyed by the Crouches, inspirational television personalities whose multitudes of stations and satellite signals reach millions of worshipers across the globe. Almost since they started in the 1970s, the couple have been criticized for secrecy about their use of donations, which totaled $93 million in 2010.

Now, after an upheaval with Shakespearean echoes, one son in this first family of televangelism has ousted the other to become the heir apparent. A granddaughter, who was in charge of TBN's finances, has gone public with the most detailed allegations of financial improprieties yet, which TBN has denied, saying its practices were audited and legal.

The granddaughter, Brittany Koper, and her husband have been fired by the network, which accused them of stealing $1.3 million to buy real estate and cars and make family loans. They're just trying to divert attention from their own crimes, said Colby May, a lawyer representing TBN. Janice and Paul Crouch declined requests for interviews.

In two pending lawsuits and in her first public interview, Ms. Koper described company-paid luxuries that she said appeared to violate the Internal Revenue Service's ban on excess compensation by nonprofit organizations as well as possibly state and federal laws on false bookkeeping and self-dealing.

The lavish perquisites, corroborated by two other former TBN employees, include additional, often-vacant homes in Texas and on the former Conway Twitty estate in Tennessee, corporate jets valued at $8 million and $49 million each and thousand-dollar dinners with fine wines, paid with tax-exempt money.

In the lawsuits and interviews, Ms. Koper, 26, also charges that TBN has spent millions of dollars in sweetheart deals with a commercial film company owned until recently by a son of the Crouches, Matthew, including poorly monitored investments made after he joined the TBN board in 2007.

My job as finance director was to find ways to label extravagant personal spending as ministry expenses, Ms. Koper said. This is one way, she said, the company avoids probing questions from the I.R.S. She said that the absence of outsiders on TBN's governing board currently consisting of Paul, Janice and Matthew Crouch had led to a serious lack of accountability for spending.

Ms. Koper and the two other former TBN employees also said that dozens of staff members, including Ms. Koper, chauffeurs, sound engineers and others had been ordained as ministers by TBN. This allowed the network to avoid paying Social Security taxes on their salaries and made it easier to justify providing family members with rent-free houses, sometimes called parsonages, she said.

The company did not always succeed. Last year, officials in Orange County, Fla., turned down TBN's application to register the adjacent lakefront houses in Windermere as parsonages, saying they served no religious purpose, The Orlando Sentinel reported. The designation would have resulted in religious exemptions and saved TBN roughly $50,000 in taxes a year.

Ms. Koper said that the company run by Matthew Crouch, 50, who is her uncle, had received an estimated $50 million in TBN money over the years, with little oversight, to finance religious film projects and television shows. TBN recouped only a small fraction of its loans and investments, sometimes forgiving large sums in return for broadcast rights of limited value, she said.

She also questioned the justification for providing rent-free houses for Matthew, now a TBN vice president, and his wife, Laurie, and separate houses for their young-adult sons in Costa Mesa, Calif., including one that Ms. Koper said was remodeled at company expense with wall-mounted Transformer robot figures costing several thousand dollars, a putting green and an indoor basketball court.

Ms. Koper and her husband, Michael Koper, 28, who formerly managed sales of TBN airtime, said they were fired last September after writing memorandums to the elder Mr. Crouch about questionable spending. They showed a reporter for The New York Times what they said were copies of the memos.

People have been conned by my grandparents, Ms. Koper said.

But TBN said the pair made their charges only after the company confronted them with evidence of embezzlement. TBN later filed and then dropped a civil lawsuit accusing the Kopers of fraud, and this week filed a new suit in a California court, repeating only a few of the original allegations. No criminal charges against the Kopers have been filed.

Mr. May, the lawyer, offered a broad defense of TBN and the Crouches. He said that TBN had indeed ordained hundreds of people who felt a true ministerial call and that performers at Holy Land Experience, for example, were ministers playing roles.

He said that all contracts with the film company that Matthew Crouch led until mid-2010, Gener8Xion Entertainment, had been at arm's length and provided good value to TBN.

Mr. May added that TBN owned so many homes because traveling employees and guests used them. He said that the remodeled house, in the Lifestyles complex in Costa Mesa, was not occupied, but used as a set for youth television programs, with the Transformers serving as props. Matthew Crouch, through the company spokesman, declined an interview request. But Gilbert J. Luft, president of the Lifestyles Homeowners Association in Costa Mesa, said that the sons were familiar residents and that the association does not permit filming there.

Extolling TBN's prominence and programs, Mr. May said the spending that some call opulent is necessary to convey the ministry's position of accomplishment.

The Gospel of Prosperity

On the air, the Crouches combine uplifting talk with encouragement to give to the Lord, and so be repaid. This prosperity gospel is shared by several televangelists who appear on TBN. But many conventional Christian leaders regard it as a sham.

Prosperity theology is a false theology, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Between its message and its reputation for high spending, Mr. Mohler said, TBN has been a huge embarrassment to evangelical Christianity for decades.

While TBN said it provided tens of millions of dollars' worth of free advertising time to conventional charities like the Salvation Army and a few million dollars in some years for aid to disaster victims, it is forthright about its overriding purpose: to spread the Gospel to the world through its cable systems, satellite transmitters and, now, via computers and smartphones.

Janice Crouch, called Mama on the air, is known for her pink-tinged wigs, which look like huge swirls of cotton candy, and for talking emotionally about the Lord's blessings. Mr. Crouch, or Papa, is relentlessly upbeat as he quotes flurries of Bible verses on signature programs like Praise the Lord.

Clearly, many viewers have heartfelt responses. In 2010, TBN received $93 million in tax-exempt donations, according to its tax report. The company also had $64 million in additional income from sales of airtime and $17 million in investment income that year.

It spent $194 million operating its far-flung network and investing in new programs. The company was in the red for the year, but could draw on its cushion of $325 million in cash and investments.

Rusty Leonard, an independent tax expert and the leader of Wall Watchers, a charity watchdog group that has long criticized TBN for financial secrecy, said televangelists often escape penalties for extravagant spending because the definition of taxable excess benefits is subjective, and authorities are reluctant to challenge religious groups.

Marcus S. Owens, a tax lawyer with Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, said that lavish spending by nonprofit organizations could raise red flags for tax officials. The law says that any compensation must be reasonable, and the value of a house is part of that, he said. Dinner on the company every night could be an issue too.

At the same time, Mr. Owens said, churches have considerable latitude under the First Amendment. Regarding the ordination of untrained workers, he said, absent clear fraud, the government is not going to touch that.

A TBN spokesman said executive salaries were recommended by independent consultants. In 2010, Mr. Crouch received $400,000 as president, Mrs. Crouch $365,000 as first vice president.

On the air, Mr. and Mrs. Crouch tell viewers that they have almost no personal assets. But that only underscores the problem, said Tymothy S. MacLeod, a lawyer for the Kopers. It's the tax-exempt company that is giving them this opulent lifestyle.

Accounts of Extravagance

Relatives and former employees agreed that Paul and Janice Crouch seem to have deep spiritual feelings and believe they are doing the Lord's work a belief, according to a former employee, Troy Clements, that seemed to justify almost any extravagance.

Mr. Clements, a former executive at Holy Land Experience, said that when employees questioned decisions like remodeling the cafe three times in six weeks, Mrs. Crouch said, No one has told me no' for 30 years, and you're not going to start now.

Mr. Clements, who was sales and then personnel director at Holy Land, said that he resigned in frustration in 2008 and that working for Mrs. Crouch had often been surreal.

In 2008 and 2009, as Mrs. Crouch began remodeling Holy Land Experience, she rented adjacent rooms in the deluxe Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando one for herself and one for her two beloved Maltese dogs and clothes, according to Mr. Clements and Ms. Koper. Mrs. Crouch rented the rooms for close to two years, they said.

Ms. Crouch was seldom without her little white dogs, pushing them in a pink stroller and keeping a costly motor home, originally purchased to serve as an office, for two years as an air-conditioned sanctuary for her pets, the two former employees said.

In Newport Beach, according to Ms. Koper, the elder Mr. Crouch sometimes traveled in a chauffeured Bentley, which TBN says is used to ferry television guests in proper style.

First-class working dinners are a way of life. In pending lawsuits, the Kopers say that Mr. Crouch, Mrs. Crouch and their son Matthew each ran up meal expenses of at least $300,000 per year. Mr. May, the TBN lawyer, said this was not accurate but did not offer other figures.

A Contentious Exit

When Brittany Koper and her husband decided to join TBN in 2007 after college, they were tempted by the generous perquisites, they admit. But they said that as Mr. Koper completed law school on the side, and Ms. Koper her M.B.A., they began to feel uneasy and moved out of their company house.

Nonetheless, they did borrow company money for their down payment on a private home and the purchase of a condominium, and gave Mr. Koper's uncle a company loan of $65,000, among other acts that Mr. May called thefts. The Kopers said the loans were authorized in writing by the elder Mr. Crouch, with clear repayment terms.

TBN says Mr. Crouch's signature was forged. Mr. May showed a reporter letters from the fall in which Ms. Koper apologized for lying and lending herself company money.

Ms. Koper said that she had never admitted to breaking the law. She said she was pressured by TBN lawyers to show Christian contrition and to hand over company property and repay their loans.

In October the Kopers moved to New York. We just wanted a fresh start, Ms. Koper recalled.

Her father, Paul Crouch Jr., Matthew's older brother, was also forced off the staff and quit the board.

He declined to be interviewed, but he wrote in an e-mail, Getting caught in the middle of disputes involving my daughter, brother and parents is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure.

As lawsuits and countersuits swirl, the Kopers are living in the basement of his father's modest house in Elmont, on Long Island.

Mr. Crouch and an assistant, Matthew and his family, and two pilots are nearing the end of a six-week world tour in the larger company jet, visiting affiliates, taping programs and scouting new territory for evangelism in Rome, Dubai, Israel, Hong Kong and Hawaii.

Others may do things differently, and may criticize TBN for how it operates, its look, its doctrine and belief, Mr. May said. But what is absolutely clear is that TBN, with God's grace, has succeeded where most others have failed.

Alain Delaquérière contributed research from New York.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:24 PM 05-05-2012
Nielsen Notes
Cable Loses 2.9M Subscribers As 1.5M U.S. Households Cut Cord In 2011
By The Team - May 5, 2012

For all the talk about cord-cutting in the digital era, movement in that direction is relatively slow, as many viewers switch from cable to satellite or telepone providers rather than drop multichannel service altogether. Nielsen reports that 98% of viewing remained on traditional TV in Q4 2011. Cable lost more than 2.9 million subscribers as viewers switched to telephone or satellite providers. U.S. homes subscribing to cable, satellite or telephone providers for their TV service declined 1.5% or about 1.5 million last year, according to figures Nielsen released this week. Subscribers adding telco (about 1.9 million) or satellite service (roughly 280K) weren't enough to make up the difference.

Additionally, households with broadband and only free, over-the-air broadcast TV increased by 631K over the last year, climbing 14% to 5.1 million. Broadcast-only homes dropped 1%, to about 11 million households versus 11.15 million a year earlier, according to Nielsen's Cross-Platform Report for the fourth quarter of 2011. Americans still watch a lot of TV. The average viewer watched 46 minutes less TV in the fourth quarter, an overall drop of 0.5%. Most of that shift is attributed to DVR use, which was up 12,3%, Nielsen says, but viewing of internet video, which is up 4.2%, is beginning to have an impact. Video game consoles have become a significant factor. More than 45% of US homes have consoles that can also be used to watch movies or internet video. Average time users spend on game consoles was up 30% in Q4 over the same period in 2010.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:28 PM 05-05-2012
TV Review
My 'Sherlock 2' Review: Complimentary, My Dear Watson
By David Bianculli,

Season 2 of the imported Sherlock series begins Sunday on the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series (check local listings for time and station) - and once again, this modern-day updating of literature's most classic sleuth is as clever as its protagonist

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who first worked together (just as inventively) on Doctor Who, return with another trio of tales, just as they did when introducing their sly reboot of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and his intriguing mystery stories.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock as an impatient, antisocial super-geek, much more at home with technology than people. He prefers texting to talking, when he can get away with it, and is just as comfortable surveying a crime scene via a portable laptop as visiting in person. And his Watson, played by Martin Freeman from the original British version of The Office, is younger, more fit, and more feisty than the one in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, and in most movie and TV versions.

And this Watson, instead of publishing stories about his exploits with Holmes, writes a blog. How 21st century - especially for characters who first appeared in the 19th, in Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet novel in 1887.

But my, how superbly Holmes and Watson, and these stories, translate to our times.

Holmes sees himself as a bit of a human computer now - a highly functioning brain whose memory banks need not be cluttered with useless information or bothered with social niceties. And the adaptations, rather than avoiding modern technologies and complications, embraces them fully.

The Season 2 premiere, A Scandal in Belgravia, is based on Conan Doyle's A Scandal in Bohemia, the first of more than 50 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes to be published by Strand magazine after the success of the author's first two Holmes novels. Both the original story and the new TV adaptation, shown Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), feature Holmes investigating a blackmailing beauty named Irene Adler - but most other similarities end there.

In the short story Bohemia, Irene Adler is an American opera singer, in possession of a photograph that documents her illicit liaison with an heir to the Bohemian throne. In the new TV version, Irene Adler, played by Lara Paulver, is a dominatrix whose website's slogan is Know when you are beaten. She, too, has evidence of a politically explosive affair - and when Sherlock and Watson visit her to gather information, she greets them in the nude.

Why? Because it's an unsettling power move, of course - one that makes Sharon Stone's leg-crossing in Basic Instinct looks like an Amish slow dance from Witness. But also - and here's what makes it more great than gratuitous - by stripping down to her bare skin, this Irene is stripping Sherlock, too, of his ability to deduce clues from what a person is wearing.

In the Sherlock's eye view of this mystery woman, instead of producing a superimposed read-out of factual information, the hyper-observant detective gets only a baffling series of question marks. So, naturally, he falls instantly in love - so much as Sherlock Holmes can.

After which, eventually, she steals and replaces his cell phone, but not before swapping out his ring tone for her number with her sexily recorded moan - so that whenever she calls or texts, his phone responds instantly, even if he doesn't. These are the playful moments, the attention to detail, that make Sherlock so entertaining. Well, that's one element. Add to that the performances by Cumberbatch and Freeman - both of whom, coincidentally, are starring in the new Hobbit movies - and script adaptations that, no matter how well you know and love the original stories, will have you guessing. And smiling.

Thursday on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I interview Steven Moffat about the new season of Sherlock - and, as well, about Doctor Who. He credits Sherlock Holmes, in a way, as being the inventor of television, a fantastic claim I've never heard before, but accept unreservedly. After 5 p.m. ET Thursday, visit the Fresh Air website HERE for the full interview.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:33 PM 05-05-2012
Nielsen Overnights
'Fringe,' 'Grimm' Down, 'Nikita' Holds Steady
By Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter - May 5, 2012

ABC eked ahead of CBS in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo on Friday night, earning an evening average of 1.5, versus CBS' 1.4. But CBS was the clear winner with total viewers, averaging an audience of 8.4 million against ABC's 5.2 million.

The final Fringe before next week's season finale slipped to a .9 rating in the 18-49 demo, down from last week's 1.0, and an audience of 2.9 million viewers. Lead-in The Finder also slipped a tenth, down to a .9. It had a total viewership of 4 million.

NBC saw similar drops of one-tenth across its lineup: Who Do You Think You Are ? scored a .9, down from 1.0 last week, and 4.8 million viewers. Dark, fairytale procedural Grimm earned a 1.3 in 18-49, down from 1.4, and a total audience of 4.8 million.

Only ABC saw audience gains in adults 18-49, both with their enterpreneurial reality show Shark Tank -- which scored a 1.7 in adults 18-49, up from last week's 1.4 -- and Primetime: What Would You Do?, which scored a 1.4, up from last week's 1.1.

CBS saw losses across the board in the 18-49 demo, with Undercover Boss dipping from a 1.6 to a 1.4, and a total audience of 6.6 million viewers, and CSI: NY dropping two-tenths to a 1.5, with 8.6 million viewers. But those older-trending audiences won the night for the network in overall viewers.

Perpetual bubble series Nikita on The CW, meanwhile, was dead-even with last week, earning a .4 in adults 18-49. Supernatural held steady at .7, too.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:39 PM 05-05-2012
Legendary TV game shows producer Bob Stewart dies at 91
By Staff - May 5, 2012

Bob Stewart, the creator and producer of such legendary TV game shows as The Price Is Right, To Tell the Truth and Password, died Friday, May 4 of natural causes at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 91, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Stewart created the formats for these long-lasting game shows as a producer with Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions.

In 1964, Stewart started his own production entity and during the next 28 years created and produced 15 network series, highlighted by the Pyramid franchise. Hosted by Dick Clark, The $10,000 Pyramid and its various bigger-money incarnations collected nine Emmys for best game show.

A native of Brooklyn who entered the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2009, Stewart landed his first show business job after World War II as a writer for WNEW-AM New York. He entered television in the early 1950s, writing, producing and directing for several New York broadcasters.

Stewart's big career break came during a 1956 meeting with Goodson, during which he pitched the concepts for Price Is Right and To Tell the Truth. He created Password five years later. Price Is Right premiered on NBC in November 1956 with Bill Cullen as host and lasted seven years before a retooled version, still running and now hosted by Drew Carey, debuted on CBS in 1972. Bob Barker hosted the show from 1972 to 2007.

CBS' To Tell the Truth, emceed by Bud Collyer, debuted in December 1956. The show featured a panel of four celebrities attempting to correctly identify a contestant with an unusual occupation or experience. Password was hosted for nearly two decades by Allen Ludden, the late husband of frequent panelist Betty White.

Password was the first game show to pair celebrities and civilians as teammates. It also was the first to test the intelligence of a celebrity, Stewart said during a 1998 interview with the Archive of American Television.

Stewart also described a particularly funny moment when famous cheapskate comedian Jack Benny was on the show.

The card [with the word the contestant has to guess off a clue from Benny to win the game] comes up on the screen: miser,' Stewart recalled with a smile. When he got this, Jack didn't say a word. He just looked at the camera with that look of his. The audience was falling apart. Finally, he says [as a clue] to his contestant partner: Me.' The contestant says, Comedian?' And the game went on.

Services will be private with a memorial to be announced.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:53 PM 05-05-2012
TV Notes
'Best Friends Forever' Returning To NBC On June 1
By Staff - May 5, 2012

"Best Friends Forever" is returning to NBC. But don't get rid of those sad khakis just yet, it's for one night only.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comedy created by and starring Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair will return to the Peacock's schedule on Fri., June 1, starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The show debuted in April to critical acclaim and about 4 million viewers, decent numbers for NBC. However, the show slipped in ratings in subsequent airings. Its last episode in its original Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. timeslot has 2.7 million viewers. The show was yanked from the schedule and replaced with additional episodes of its lead-in, "Betty White's Off Their Rockers."

Fans have rallied behind the show on social media using the term #SaveBFF on Twitter and circling a petition to save the show from cancellation. Co-creators Parham (@lennonparham) and St. Clair (@jessica_stclair) are also involved with the effort to save the series.
bgooch's Avatar bgooch 10:21 PM 05-05-2012
Voluntary (for Now) Effort Heads Beyond Texas
by Karl Bode yesterday

With their rather disastrous 2009 attempt to forcefully impose low caps and high per-byte overages well in the rear view mirror, Time Warner Cable recently revamped their metered ambitions by launching a new cap & overage model in limited markets in portions of Texas. Unlike their original effort, this option to incur overages is voluntary, though like their original effort there's fairly little real value to consumers underneath the coat of PR paint. While some customers might want a truly usage-based tier where light users like grandma pay very little, once again that's not what's on offer here.

As it stands now, users on Standard, Basic and Lite tiers in those markets can switch to the cap and overage model (known as Internet Essentials) and back again at will. Once they do, they'll face a 5 GB cap, with $1 per gigabyte overages not to exceed (for now) a maximum of $25/month. According to Time Warner Cable, switching to these plans may wind up saving users up to $5 per month, though we've not seen users confirm this, and you'll have to bundle several services to net this supposed savings.

Speaking on their recent earnings call, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt stated the CEO would soon be expanding the voluntary option to additional markets, but unlike their first plan -- they'll continue to offer users an unlimited consumption tier: ...we do think over time, there will be consumption element to the tiers. What we've done in South Texas...a few months ago, we announced people there who want to save money could buy a tier that had a consumption element to it. But we retained our unlimited tier with no cap. I actually don't like the term cap. And I think we should always have that. So this was not in any way coercive, people who wanted to save money, could. People who wanted to keep what they had, have kept it, and they still have unlimited. So our plan is to roll that out further across our footprint as the year goes on.

While Time Warner Cable may keep their unlimited option, they'll obviously make it less and less attractive as an option by making it prohibitively expensive. As we've seen in Canada, those monthly cap ceilings also have a way of magically rising as time goes on. It's fairly clear Time Warner Cable hopes to slowly shift everyone to the cap and overage pricing model, though it will be up to consumers if they want to play a role in the broadband version of the boiling frog metaphor.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 01:06 AM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
8PM - Once Upon A Time
9PM - Desperate Housewives
10PM - GCB (Season Finale)

7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The Amazing Race (Season Finale, 120 min.)
10PM - NYC 22

7PM - Dateline NBC
8PM - Harry's Law
9PM - The Celebrity Apprentice (120 min.)

7PM - The Simpsons
(R - Oct. 2)
7:30PM - The Cleveland Show
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy
9:30PM - American Dad

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Sanjay Gupta; Margaret Cho; Martha Stewart
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! - Sherlock, Series II: A Scandal in Belgravia (90 min.)
10:30PM - America in Primetime: Man of the House
(R - Nov. 6)

7PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
8PM - Nuestra Belleza Latina (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

7PM - Pa'Lante con Cristina
8PM - Movie: Apocalypto (2006)

dad1153's Avatar dad1153 01:09 AM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
Sen. Marco Rubio, Alex Trebek on Fox News Sunday'
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - May 5, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek will be interviewed separately this weekend on Fox News Sunday. The program airs at 9 a.m. Sunday on WOFL-Channel 35. The panel will be Bill Kristol, Juan Williams, Liz Cheney and A.B. Stoddard of The Hill.

Also on the Sunday guest list:

Vice President Joe Biden talks to NBC's Meet the Press. The program starts at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. The panel will be Tom Brokaw, Chuck Todd, economist Diane Swonk and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Obama senior adviser David Axelrod talk to ABC's This Week. The program starts at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. The panel will be George Will, PBS host Tavis Smiley, Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, Bay Buchanan and former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.

Former Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are guests on CBS' Face the Nation. The program starts at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Another guest is Howard Dean. A panel on politics features Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal, David Corn of Mother Jones, Michael Gerson of The Washington Post, John Dickerson of CBS and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Gingrich is also a guest on CNN's State of the Union. The program starts at 9 a.m. and noon. Former Gov. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio, and former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., discuss politics. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., discuss Afghanistan.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 01:28 AM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
The Summer Season
This year's crop of new and returning shows include a series with Broadway star Sutton Foster, a TV news drama by Aaron Sorkin on HBO and a return to Southfork Ranch
By Wall Street Journal Staff

BUNHEADS (ABC Family, June 11)

Tony-winner Sutton Foster, who recently left Broadway's "Anything Goes," plays a Las Vegas showgirl who settles down with a job at a small-town dance school. The cable channel is hoping an audience of both mothers and daughters will line up for the show, executive produced by "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

DALLAS (TNT, June 13)

Producers say they're going for dramatic intensity, not camp, in the sequel to the '80s smash. Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy are still playing brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, but now their sons are butting heads over oil. Unlike the original L.A.-based production, this version was shot in Texas.


After films such as "The Social Network" and "Moneyball," writer Aaron Sorkin pivots back to televisionand yet another frenetic, behind-the-scenes milieuwith this drama about a cable news operation and seesawing journalistic standards. Jeff Daniels, in his first leading role on television, stars as a firebrand news anchor.

EPISODES (Showtime, July 11)

In this satire of the entertainment business, a pair of British comedy writers sees their marriage falter and their clever material pulverized by the Hollywood sitcom machine. Their fictional show stars former "Friends" doofus Matt LeBlanc, who plays a caricature of himself. In real life last year, Mr. LeBlanc won a Golden Globe for his season-one performance.


Kyra Sedgwick enters her seventh and final season as witty detective and master interrogator Brenda Leigh Johnson. The show gave TNT its biggest scripted hit and helped energize the summer programming of cable TV. In a spin-off premiering after the finale, a police captain played by Mary McDonnell stays on the case in "Major Crimes."

LOUIE (FX, June 29)

Going into its third season, Louis C.K.'s raw, loosely autobiographical series has helped elevate him to comic laureate status. FX has built a Thursday block of comedy around it, including the returning "Wilfred" (starring Elijah Wood) and the coming premieres of "Anger Management" (post-meltdown Charlie Sheen) and the late-night "Strangely Uplifting," hosted by Russell Brand.


The story of a teacher-turned-meth chemist (Bryan Cranston) and his manic sidekick (Aaron Paul) has managed to maintain its speedy paceand pick up a load of awardswithout losing love from viewers and critics. Now series creator Vince Gilligan must stick the landing with a fifth and final season, which will air in two batches of eight episodes each.
mrvideo's Avatar mrvideo 04:58 AM 05-06-2012
It seems that there were supposed to be 13 episodes, yet number 4 is missing from the list.

0001: Pilot 4/15/2012
0008: Firebomb 4/22/2012
0011: Thugs & Lovers 4/29/2012
0010: Lost And Found 5/6/2012
0012: Self Cleaning Oven 5/27/2012
0013: Crossing Rubicon 6/3/2012
0009: Block Party 6/17/2012
0007: Schooled 6/24/2012
0003: Playing God 7/1/2012
0005: Jumpers 7/8/2012
0002: Ransom 7/15/2012
0006: Turf War 7/29/2012

Like most schedules, it is subject to change.
javry's Avatar javry 05:05 AM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Wow, if I was on Dish I'd be major pissed - AMC consistently has some of the best shows on TV.

yeah - and the least amount of commercial interruptions
javry's Avatar javry 05:12 AM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
The Summer Season
This year's crop of new and returning shows include a series with Broadway star Sutton Foster, a TV news drama by Aaron Sorkin on HBO and a return to Southfork Ranch

DALLAS (TNT, June 13)

Producers say they're going for dramatic intensity, not camp, in the sequel to the '80s smash. Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy are still playing brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, but now their sons are butting heads over oil. Unlike the original L.A.-based production, this version was shot in Texas.

This outta be interesting - haven't seen either of these two on TV in years.
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV 09:30 AM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by javry View Post

This outta be interesting - haven't seen either of these two on TV in years.

I don't know when it was shown last, but it was airing on Soapnet within the last year or so.
dcowboy7's Avatar dcowboy7 01:12 PM 05-06-2012
The Avengers $200.3 million biggest weekend EVER !!

yes we know inflation adjustment,ticket prices,3D,imax etc etc.
flint350's Avatar flint350 02:04 PM 05-06-2012
George Lindsey, of The Andy Griffith Show's Goober fame, has died:
ti-triodes's Avatar ti-triodes 04:27 PM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Of course I have no idea who was the most stubborn, because the major cable outlets seem to have had no problem with terms and AMC.

It's not too far a stretch to pick AMC (Cablevision/The Dolan family) as the culprit in any fight. They are constantly fighting with just about every provider. It's just another normal day with these chumps.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 04:29 PM 05-06-2012
SATURDAY'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 04:36 PM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
Larry King, Reba McEntire, Stevie Wonder Honor Dick Clark at Private Memorial
By The Hollywood Reporter Staff - May 6, 2012

Dick Clark’s private memorial service was a celebratory affair, says Sam Rubin, longtime entertainment reporter at Los Angeles’ KTLA. He was one of some 300 guests who received an invitation by phone to gather on the grounds of Clark's ocean-side Malibu estate on Thursday, May 3 and honor the television pioneer who died on April 18 of a massive heart attack.

The guest list included Pat Sajak, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Chubby Checker, Bob Eubanks, Jerry Weintraub, Marie Osmond, Reba McEntire, Berry Gordy and Larry King, the latter who recalled Clark’s words of wisdom: that “the secret to broadcasting is to completely be yourself.” Disciple Ryan Seacrest was not in attendance as he was due on the American Idol set one hour after the memorial started, according to reports.

Clark’s three children spoke first, says Rubin, with “eloquence and affection … less about all the professional accomplishments, more about what Dick was like as a dad.” They were followed by Clark’s widow Kari, who read a list of “65 reasons I love Dick Clark,” composed for his 65th birthday.

Eulogies by King, McEntire and Osmond followed as well as performances by David Foster and Paul Anka, singing “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” and Stevie Wonder, who delivered a few measures of the American Bandstand theme, originally sung by Barry Manilow.

Watch Rubin’s recap at the KTLA website.
Jedi Master's Avatar Jedi Master 09:49 PM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by flint350 View Post

George Lindsey, of The Andy Griffith Show's Goober fame, has died:

Jedi Master's Avatar Jedi Master 10:05 PM 05-06-2012
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

All I know is it gets really old, the same old crap every month somewhere and some station. Prices go up and up and up and we get little to no choice in our selection, all or none.

I chose an antenna and I'm finding plenty to watch for free and in HD. Saturday I watched 14 hours of TV and Sunday I watched 7 hours of TV. My DVD player and my Xbox 360 hasn't ran much lately.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:32 PM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY 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 - Dancing with the Stars (120 min.)
10:01PM - Castle (Season Finale)
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kristen Stewart; Chloe Grace Moretz; B.o.B. performs)

8PM - Two Broke Girls (Season Finale; 60 min.)
9PM - Two and a Half Men
9:31PM - Mike & Molly
10PM - Hawaii Five-0
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Dr. Phil McGraw; Beth Behrs; Spiritualized performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Poppy Montgomery; Steve Guttenberg)

8PM - The Voice (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Smash
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Michelle Pfeiffer; adventurer Bear Grylls; Snow Patrol performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Jennifer Connelly; musicians Brian Wilson and Mike Love; The Beach Boys perform)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Jenny McCarthy; Jessie Baylin performs)

8PM - Bones
9PM - House

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Atlanta
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Fame and Fortune
(R - May. 29, 2006)
10PM - America Revealed: Made in the USA
(R - May 2)

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

8PM - Gossip Girl
9PM - Hart of Dixie

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Sacha Baron Cohen)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Andy Cohen)

11PM - Conan (Metta World Peace; Matt Walsh; The Lumineers performs)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (James Van Der Beek; comic Jen Kirkman; comic Mo Mandel; comic Brad Wollack)

dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:39 PM 05-06-2012
TV Notes
Monday's Highlights '2 Broke Girls' on CBS
By Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - May 6, 2012


MARTHA STEWART guest stars in the one-hour season finale of 2 Broke Girls at 8 p.m. on CBS. With Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.


The Voice:
Finalists Tony Lucca, Chris Mann, Jermaine Paul and Juliet Simms perform one last time (8 p.m. NBC).

Bones: While in Los Angeles to consult on a film based on her latest book, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) discovers the prop cadaver is actually a murder victim (8 p.m. Fox).

Two and a Half Men: An outpouring of affection awaits Alan (Jon Cryer) when he's released from the hospital, but Zoey (Sophie Winkleman) wonders if he really deserves it. Jason Alexander guest stars as Alan's cardiologist in this new episode (9 p.m. CBS).

House: House (Hugh Laurie) is missing, but the team must convince a patient that he's still calling all the shots in this new episode (9 p.m. Fox).

Mike & Molly: Mike and Molly's (Billy Gardell, Melissa McCarthy) wedding rehearsal, held two days before the real thing, is an unmitigated disaster. Reginald VelJohnson guest stars in this new episode (9:30 p.m. CBS).

Hawaii Five-0: In this new episode, McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) finally catches up to his archnemesis, Wo Fat (Mark Dacascos), only to discover that the Japanese Yakuza is after them both. Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park also star (10 p.m. CBS).

Castle: Castle (Nathan Fillion) tries to protect Beckett (Stana Katic) as she pursues the man who shot her in the season finale (10 p.m. ABC).


IIHF World Championships: USA vs. Slovakia (10 a.m. NBCSP).

Baseball: The Chicago White Sox visit the Cleveland Indians (10 a.m. WGN A); The New York Mets visit the Philadelphia Phillies (4 p.m. ESPN); the Angels visit the Minnesota Twins (5 p.m. FSN); the San Francisco Giants visit the Dodgers (7 p.m. KCAL).

Hockey: NHL Playoffs: The Washington Capitals visit the New York Rangers (4:30 p.m. NBCSP); the Nashville Predators visit the Phoenix Coyotes (7 p.m. NBCSP).

Basketball: NBA Playoffs (5 and 7:30 p.m. TNT); the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Clippers (7:30 p.m. FS Prime).
dad1153's Avatar dad1153 10:44 PM 05-06-2012
TV Sports
Feud KO'd between Mayweather, Merchant
By Michael Hiestand, USA Today - May 7, 2012

HBO's Larry Merchant on Sunday said it was "understandable people could be skeptical or cynical" about his supposed feud with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. evaporating before there was any showdown.

Mayweather injected extra hype into his $60 HBO pay-per-view fight against Miguel Cotto by saying there was no way he'd give Merchant a postfight interview. That woofing was a follow-up to a Mayweather fight in September when Merchant questioned him on-air about whether he'd fought fairly. Mayweather then offered free advice to HBO — that it should fire Merchant — and told the analyst, "You don't know (expletive) about boxing."

Merchant responded with something rarely heard from sportscasters: "I wish I was 50 years younger, and I would kick your (expletive)."

But Mayweather was all smiles on-air with Merchant on Saturday and told HBO's Jim Lampley that he was wrong about Merchant.

Merchant, in a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports, said he didn't think the brouhaha was hype. "His September thing was spontaneous. And I just responded spontaneously because I wasn't smart to think that up," he said. "If I was smart enough to figure out something that would go around the world three times before I left the ring, I'd be doing something else. … He's the star. He made a big gesture. We'll move on."

Merchant, 81, whose communication jobs date to using Morse code in 1951 while he was an Army radio operator, said the Mayweather flap was sort of an old story. "Athletes, like all of us, want love," he said. "They think you're great and know everything when you give them love. Once you don't, they're not so enamored."

What's new, he said, was today's news media echo chamber: "In September, I had TMZ meeting me at airports. I had no idea what TMZ was."

Spice rack: Swimmer Michael Phelps, on CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday, on why he sleeps in an altitude chamber meant to simulate oxygen at a 9,000-foot elevation: "I'm 26. I don't recover as fast as I have in the past." … Fox's NASCAR coverage Sunday had an in-race interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief, Steve Letarte. Later, Fox aired a radio conversation in which Earnhardt asked his crew chief: "Where you been, man?" Letarte's reply: "I was doing my media duty." First things first.

Running numbers: NBC's Kentucky Derby race coverage (6-7 p.m. ET) drew a 9.0 overnight, translating to 9% of households in the 56 urban TV markets. That's down 7% from last year, but a pretty amazing rating for a two-minute event in a sport whose mass appeal has declined for decades. … NBC's NHL playoff games heading into the weekend, averaged 1.6% of U.S. households — up 45% from last year. NBC's New York Rangers-Washington Capitals game Saturday drew a 1.6 overnight. The NHL playoffs got a TV ratings break in not facing early competition from the lockout-delayed NBA playoffs and caught another in having no Canadian teams left.

On tap: Who'll replace college basketball analyst Hubert Davis on College GameDay at ESPN? With Davis becoming a North Carolina assistant coach, possible GameDay replacements include ESPN's Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg, likely to join ESPN after recently being fired as Virginia Tech's coach. … Sirius XM Radio on Monday will formally announce it will add more channels to stream MLB game radio broadcasts on its Internet radio app and at Now, after only offering home teams' broadcasts, it will also offer visiting teams' broadcasts.
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