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post #95971 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 01:40 AM
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Preseason ‘SNF’ bow dominates Sunday night
Buffalo Bills-New York Giants game posts a 2.5 in 18-49s on NBC
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 4, 2013

The NFL preseason kicked off last night with the annual Hall of Fame Game, and that boosted NBC to an easy primetime victory.

The “Sunday Night Football” contest between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants averaged a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen.

Ratings for NBC’s NFL coverage are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data, and they don’t account for time zone differences.

Still, it’s a sure bet that NBC will win the night when final ratings come out tomorrow.

The game’s fast national rating was down from last year’s Hall of Fame Game, which posted a 3.4.

The additional Sunday night competition appeared to take a toll on CBS’s “Big Brother,” which fell 14 percent from last week, to a 1.9 at 9 p.m. That was still the No. 2 show of the night on broadcast.

ABC’s “Wipeout” grew by a tenth over last week, to a 0.9 at 8 p.m.

ABC’s “Rising Star” (0.9) and CBS’s “Unforgettable” (1.0) and “Reckless” (0.6) were even to last week.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.2 average overnight rating and an 8 share. CBS was second at 1.1/4, ABC and Fox tied for third at 0.9/3, Univision was fifth at 0.7/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.4/2.

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-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

NBC was first each hour of the night, starting with a 1.2 at 7 p.m. for “Wrestlemania 30,” while ABC and CBS tied for second at 1.0, ABC for a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and CBS for “60 Minutes.” Fox was fourth with a 0.6 for repeats of “American Dad” and “Bob’s Burgers,” Univision fifth with a 0.5 for “Aqui y Ahora” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.3 for the movie “Salt.”

At 8 p.m. NBC extended its lead with a 2.8 for its first hour of football, followed by CBS with a 1.9 for “Brother.” Fox was third with a 1.1 for reruns of “The Simpsons,” ABC fourth with a 0.9 for “Wipeout,” Univision fifth with a 0.7 for “Bailando por un Sueño” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for the end of “Salt.”

NBC led at 9 p.m. with a 2.7 for more football, with Fox second with a 1.1 for repeats of “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” CBS was third with a 1.1 for “Unforgettable.” ABC and Univision tied for fourth at 0.8, ABC for the first hour of “Star” and Univision for more “Bailando,” and Telemundo was sixth with a 0.5 for the movie “Knight and Day.”

At 10 p.m. NBC was first again with a 2.1 for football, followed by ABC with a 1.0 for more “Star.” Univision was third with a 0.7 for “Sal y Pimienta,” CBS fourth with a 0.6 for “Reckless” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for the end of its movie.

NBC was also first for the night among households with a 4.1 average overnight rating and a 7 share. CBS was second at 3.9/7, ABC third at 2.3/4, Fox fourth at 1.3/2, Univision fifth at 1.1/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/pre...-sunday-night/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes
How ’24′ grew with multi-platform viewing
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Aug. 4, 2013

For months the networks have been talking up time-shifting and multi-platform TV viewing, but it’s not just them making excuses for declining ratings on traditional TV.

The way people watch TV really is changing, and the latest example can be seen in numbers for the finale of Fox’s “24: Live Another Day.”

So far viewership stands at 9.4 million with live-plus-seven-day DVR playback added in, according to Nielsen, up 45 percent from 6.5 million for live-plus-same day viewing.

Further, using the program’s average 30-day performance during the season, Fox projects the finale will grow another 12 percent via non-linear viewing, which includes video-on-demand more than four days after it aired, the Fox Now streaming app and Hulu.

That would put the finale’s total audience at 10.7 million viewers, which is actually higher than the 10.5 million the season eight finale of “24″ averaged back in 2010, when the show left the air for the first time.

For the extra non-linear viewing, Fox projects about 600,000 viewer will be added from Hulu, along with 500,000 video-on-demand and 200,000 from the Fox streaming app.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/24-...tform-viewing/
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post #95972 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 01:44 AM
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Nielsen Notes
Netflix binges on new shows
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Aug. 4, 2013

BEVERLY HILLS — Netflix is still a new player in original programming, but with 31 Emmy nominations for House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and Derek, it's besting the likes of Showtime in the awards derby. Now it's plotting a "pretty massive step up" in new shows over the next two years and is venturing into new genres, says chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

As the service crossed the 50-million-subscriber mark worldwide and readies launches in France and Germany, five new series based on Marvel characters are in the works, led by Daredevils next year; Chelsea Handler is moving her act online, with a stand-up special Oct. 10, a docu-series and a weekly talk show in 2016; and Netflix's first push into "adult" cartoons, BoJack Horseman, arrives Aug. 22, voiced by Will Arnett and Aaron Paul.

On the drama front, historical fantasy Marco Polo is due late this year. And in 2015, look for: New seasons of Cards and Orange; Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace and Frankie, whose husbands fall in love, in a comedy from the co-creator of Friends; Sense 8, a sci-fi series from the Wachowskis (The Matrix) about a group of telepathically connected strangers; and an untitled family drama mixed with murder starring Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek and Kyle Chandler, from the creators of Damages.

Sarandos is also "positive" that another season of Arrested Development is in the offing: "It's just a matter of when," he says, adding that sorting out actors' schedules is a concern: It was "a fair criticism" of last year's revival of the cult comedy "that the cast didn't appear on screen often enough together."

He still won't talk numbers, but he says he's surprised by "the size and scope of Orange and how mainstream it's become" as the most popular of Netflix's original series, which will account for 10% of its programming budget.

Netflix won't go after sports rights — "the strength of our brand is on-demand," Sarandos says — and is less aggressive in pursuing rights to network series, allowing Amazon and Hulu to snap them up. HBO "didn't seek a competitive bid from us" before selling older series to Amazon.

But in addition to its focus on serialized dramas, he'd "love to do" a "classic structured" comedy such as The Big Bang Theory, and sees acerbic comedian Handler as a big step away from the all-at-once binge model. "Chelsea points to a format we think can be reworked in a way that's fresher, even if it's not live," he says, adding her new format is still being worked out. Handler will wrap up her current late-night series on E! Aug. 26, then use the gap to tour overseas, "build her brand (there) and create distance between Chelsea Lately and her show on Netflix."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...lack/13463283/
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TV Notes
The Easy Banter and the Vicious Retorts of ‘Married’
By Melena Ryzikaug, The New York Times - Aug. 3, 2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Scenes from a Hollywood marriage, the cable television version:

Exterior — nighttime, in an affluent section of Los Angeles. Russ, a sporadically employed, marginally responsible, undersexed husband and father, and Lina, his put-upon but sharp wife and the stay-at-home mother of their three daughters, are going to an engagement party. It’s in a mansion.

“God, I hope my second husband is this rich,” Lina says as they walk through. Russ replies, “Well, you’re free to marry him as soon as my next wife graduates high school.” They debate whether they should make out in a stranger’s shower.

Scenes from an arranged Hollywood marriage:

Interior — afternoon, at a beachside restaurant here. Judy Greer, a comedic actress beloved for her supporting turns in dozens of TV shows and movies, who plays Lina in the new FX series “Married,” enters. She is late and harried. Her co-star, Nat Faxon, a writer, director and actor who won an adapted screenplay Oscar for “The Descendants,” is waiting. He plays Russ. “I’m going to cry,” Ms. Greer says, by way of hello. She had been stuck in traffic for nearly an hour.

Mr. Faxon suggests a drink; Ms. Greer orders rosé. “I’m not a big rosé guy,” says Mr. Faxon, who grew up around Boston and still plays in an ice hockey league. The bottle appears. He makes fun of her, swirling it around in his glass and murmuring, “Mmm, Côtes de Provence.”

“Stop,” she commands and turns to their audience. “Will you write that he ordered the rosé?” she asks a reporter sweetly. Mr. Faxon laughs. They polish off the bottle.

“Married,” a half-hour comedy that airs Thursdays on FX, begins with a well-worn TV premise: A middle-class couple bicker about kids, money and their sex life. On a broadcast network, their struggles might be played through affection and smooth punch lines; on this cable show, the humor is spikier and raunchier. What sets it apart is the chemistry of the two leads, Ms. Greer and Mr. Faxon, along with scripts that allow for copious improvisation from the comedian-heavy cast.

“Faxon and Greer are both charismatic, jangly, scene-stealing performers,” the critic Willa Paskin wrote on Slate. “They may not like their circumstances, but at least they like each other, and that makes them good sitcom company.”

Created and written by Andrew Gurland, the series is a way for FX, known for dude-centric shows like “Louie” and “Sons of Anarchy,” to broaden its approach. “I did want to branch out from doing shows that were about man-children or arrested development,” said John Landgraf, the president of FX. “In truth, we haven’t had a relationship comedy.” (“Married” is programmed with “You’re the Worst,” about the dating habits of solipsistic singles.)

But Mr. Landgraf added that his channel specialized in shows that deconstructed genres. “I loved the idea of doing a comedy where Russ and Lina are just frankly, at times, harsher and more honest and more open with each other than most married people are,” he said.

For Mr. Gurland, 43, that dynamic wasn’t a stretch. “The inspiration for the show was: I was in a bad place, and I literally started calculating how many more times I was going to have sex before I die,” he said.

He pitched a pilot to FX that drew from his friends’ lives, and his own: Mr. Gurland and his wife, Michelle, also have three daughters and a mocking repartee. Though she’s uncredited, his wife helped write the final episodes. Now, he said, “if we’re in the middle of the fight, she’ll just roll her eyes and go, ‘Put it in the show.’ ”

Mr. Faxon, himself a father of three, and Ms. Greer, recently married with two teenage stepchildren, found that the show’s themes resonated, too. In one episode, Russ tells Lina he’s going to work, sneaks off to surf instead and gets caught. “That has certainly happened to me,” Mr. Faxon said, and added, deadpan, “Just showing up in a wet suit and sandy hair — I can’t believe I didn’t get away with it.”

During a two-hour lunch interview, the co-stars were as in sync as a real couple, if perhaps more tolerant. “I love my TV husband,” Ms. Greer said, patting his arm, after having to remind him about a pivotal moment in an episode. Mr. Faxon pretended to mask his jealousy when she mentioned the number of gifts she got from her agents. Mr. Faxon was the first to sign on for “Married.”

She: “How was the audition process?”

He: “I auditioned. Judy did not. That gives you some indication of our careers.” He began fake-crying.

She, rolling her eyes: “Whatever, Oscar.”

They knew each other from “The Descendants,” the 2011 Alexander Payne family drama in which she had a small role. (Mr. Faxon memorably sharedthe Oscar for it with his writing partner, Jim Rash, and Mr. Payne.) Since then, he and Mr. Rash have written and directed the family comedy “The Way, Way Back” (2013), and he has starred in the Fox sitcom “Ben and Kate,” which lasted one season. “I thought I had accrued enough currency at this point to just have an easier time getting things made, but it has proved otherwise,” he said. He and Mr. Rash are nonetheless working on two film scripts to direct.

Ms. Greer, currently in theaters as the female chimp in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” had recurring roles on “Arrested Development” and “Two and a Half Men,” and wrote a well-received memoir, “I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star.”

“Even though I’ve had, depending on how you look at it, no success in television or a lot of success in television, I don’t ever really get a second season,” she said.

It was Mr. Faxon’s involvement in “Married,” she insisted over his protestations, that helped persuade her to take the part. Given that the material could be raw and emotional, she said, “I didn’t want to do it with a jerk face.”

To prepare for their short, intense shoot, an assistant compiled binders filled with scripts and schedules. “I went to Staples and picked out the binder colors,” Ms. Greer said, and she decorated Mr. Faxon’s, with pictures of the Boston Celtics, “and an ugly picture of you.”

Mr. Faxon: “It was so well thought out.”

Ms. Greer: “Did you ever open your binder?”

Mr. Faxon: “Never, not once. And neither did you. It spoke volumes about our working relationship.”

Their loose approach was encouraged by Mr. Gurland. The cast, which includes the writer-performer John Hodgman (a contributor to The New York Times Magazine) and the comedians Jenny Slate and Brett Gelman, improvised freely: “Welcome to my ex-home,” Mr. Gelman’s character says to some call girls. “Try not to slip on my tears.” (Disclosure: I have known Mr. Gelman for over a decade.) The show has not been an immediate hit, and, Mr. Gurland said, “I understand why — it’s a little bit polarizing.”

But Mr. Landgraf, the FX executive, expressed his commitment, noting that the network’s longtime cult favorite “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” took a while to find traction. And the stars said they liked the freedom of cable and black comedy.

“Life is like that; marriage is like that,” Mr. Faxon said. “It is not all, like, embracing and witty quips, and” — in a network-announcer voice — “she’s this way and he’s that way, but they complement each other!’”

Ms. Greer, in an exasperated TV-wife tone: “The keys are in your hand! I love you.” They laughed.

“We’re never getting a network TV show again,” Ms. Greer said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/ar...ref=television
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post #95974 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 01:52 AM
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TV Notes
TV version of 'School of Rock' heading to Nickelodeon
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 4, 2013

As if Nickelodeon wasn't already a school of rock with its many teen stars turned pop stars, the network announced it has given a straight-to-series order to a small-screen adaptation of the 2003 film "School of Rock."

The network is teaming up with Paramount Television, the small-screen arm of Paramount Pictures (the studio that produced the film), to produce the series. It marks Paramount Television's first dip into children's programming.

As with the film, the show will follow the madcap adventures of a rocker-turned-substitute teacher Dewey Finn at a prestigious prep school. The film starred Jack Black in the lead role and featured Miranda Cosgrove as one of his pipsqueak pupils before she went on to star on Nickelodeon in "iCarly."

“'School of Rock' is one of those great movies that always felt quintessentially Nickelodeon in its tone and humor, and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Paramount Television and bring it to life as a TV series,” Russell Hicks, president of content and development at Nickelodeon said in a statement. “Once again, kids will be able to laugh and rock!”

The network has ordered 13 episodes of the series. Production is scheduled to begin this fall, with a rollout slated for next spring. Casting for the series, according to the network, will be announced soon.

In addition to writing the series, Jim and Steve Armogida ("Crash & Berstein," "My Family") will serve as executive producers and show runners. And the film's kingpins will have a hand in the small-screen version: the movie's director Richard Linklater (currently earning buzz with his film opus "Boyhood") and producer Scott Rudin will be executive producers of the series.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...804-story.html
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post #95975 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 01:57 AM
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TV Notes
NBC Renews Amy and Greg Poehler’s ‘Welcome to Sweden’
By Whitney Friedlander, Variety.com - Aug. 4, 2013

NBC has given a 10-episode, second-season order to “Welcome to Sweden,” the comedy created by Greg Poehler based on his life as a fish-out-of-water American living in Mother Svea.

Poehler, who was named one of Variety’s 10 comics to watch and who is the younger brother of “Parks and Recreation’s” Amy Poehler, stars in the show along with Josephine Bornebusch, Lena Olin, Claes Mansson, Christopher Wagelin and Per Svensson.

“Sweden” received OK ratings when it premiered in July, with Variety TV critic Brian Lowry calling it “cute” in the best sense of the word.

Exec producers of the Entertainment One Television, TV4, FLX and Syskon show are the Poehler siblings, Pontus Edgren, Carrie Stein, Frederik Arefalk and Felix Herngren.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/amy-...en-1201275556/

* * * *

TV Notes
TV Land Renews Cedric The Entertainer’s ‘Soul Man’
By Shelli Weinstein, Variety.com - Aug. 4, 2013

TV Land has renewed its Cedric “The Entertainer” and Niecy Nash-fronted “The Soul Man” for a fourth season, announced Larry W. Jones, president of the net.

“We are thrilled to bring back Cedric, Niecy and ‘The Soul Man’ for another season,” said Jones. “TV Land has loved working with this cast and crew who come together each week and create one of the funniest half-hours on TV.”

“The Soul Man” follows R&B star-turned minister Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine (Cedric) and his wife Lolli (Nash) who are learning to adjust to a new life after relocating from Las Vegas to St. Louis. Wesley Jonathan also stars as Cedric’s brother Stamps.

The series has been picked up for 12 new episodes and follows a season studded with guest stars Brandy, Martin Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Yvette Nicole Brown and more.

Cedric and Suzanne Martin (“Hot in Cleveland”) serve as co-creators and executive producers of the sitcom, along with Eric C. Rhone of Bird and a Bear Entertainment, and Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions. Keith Cox and Larry W. Jones are executive producers for TV Land.

The fourth season will premiere in 2015.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/cedr...nd-1201275048/
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post #95976 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 02:01 AM
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TV/Critic's Notes
Why the Big Bang Theory Cast Deserves Even More Money Than They’re Getting
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Aug. 4, 2013

A few weeks ago, when reporters asked CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler about ongoing salary negotiations with the cast of The Big Bang Theory, the exec smiled her best Alfred E. Neuman smile and made it clear she wasn’t sweating it. "These deals manage to get worked out somehow miraculously year after year,” she said. And that’s exactly what’s happened: After a brief work stoppage that saw the actors refusing to show up for rehearsal last week, the Hollywood trades are now reporting that Big Bang’s Big Three stars — Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, and Jim Parsons — have struck a massive, multi-year deal under which producer Warner Bros. TV will basically triple the actors’ respective salaries to “around” $1 million per episode. The studio will also give each actor a bigger ownership stake in the series (and thus a bigger share of profits from syndicated reruns), resulting in a payday Deadline estimates could ultimately be worth upwards of $100 million. While that’s certainly a whole lot of bazinga, there’s a solid case to be made that Warner Bros. and CBS are actually getting away cheap.

First, it’s worth noting that while today’s deal is being described as on par with the then-landmark $1 million per episode Warner Bros. agreed to pay the cast of Friends back in 2002, that’s only true if you have a time machine. Adjusted for inflation, the cool one mill the Big Bang cast is getting is worth only around $750,000 per episode in 2002 dollars. To match the payday earned by Ross, Rachel, et al., the Big Bang cast would’ve had to hold up Warners for just over $1.3 million in today’s currency. In fact, the Big Bang deal is actually closer in real dollars to what the Seinfeld sidekicks held out for in 1997. Back then, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards were able to negotiate a $600,00 per episode paycheck (Jerry Seinfeld was getting $1 million per ep for both acting and producing). Adjusted for inflation, that translates to nearly $900,000 per half-hour. We’re not suggesting a pity party for the Big Bang actors, but their new deal — at least in terms of salary — is nowhere close to being a record-breaker. This raises the question of whether the Big Bang actors should be making as much coin as their sitcom ancestors — or, put another way: Is The Big Bang Theory as valuable to CBS and Warner Bros. now as Seinfeld and Friends were in their time?

On the network side, Big Bang is arguably more important to the Eye than either Friends or Seinfeld were to NBC. Sure, in a world without DVRs and reduced cable competition, the latter two comedies reached many more same-day viewers (as many as 30 million at their peaks) than Big Bang (20 million on a good night). But the sitcom economy (and network TV in general) was also far healthier in the 1990s and early aughts than it is now. As vitally important as Seinfeld and Friends were to NBC during their runs, the Peacock had other big comedy hits on its schedule when it was negotiating new deals for those shows. During the final Seinfeld negotiation back in 1997, for example, Friends and Frasier were drawing big ratings of their own. NBC was in a more precarious place when it signed the Friends to $1 million per episode in 2002, but even then, it still had other big comedy anchors: Will & Grace, a fading Frasier, the solidly performing Just Shoot Me!

By contrast, the list of huge comedy hits on CBS — and all of network TV— begins and ends with The Big Bang Theory. The network said good-bye to How I Met Your Mother earlier this year, while Two and a Half Men is well past its glory days and is about to begin its final season. The Eye’s attempt to expand to four comedies on Thursdays last fall was a bust (though the network is giving The Millers another try), while its storied Monday comedy block fell so far last season, it’s being reduced to just an hour for the first time in decades (not even Melissa McCarthy has been able to turn Mike & Molly into a big hit). Fact is, no comedy on CBS (or any network, for that matter) comes close to generating the sort of ratings Big Bang pulls. Last season, including DVR data, the Chuck Lorre–Bill Prady show averaged just under 21 million viewers. The No. 2 comedy on TV, Modern Family? It had half the audience (11.8 million). Compare that to the situation in 2002, when the Friends cast made their blockbuster deal: The Central Perk crew were TV’s No. 1 comedy, but the No. 2 sitcom, CBS’s Everybody Loves Raymond, was averaging just a couple million fewer viewers each week. While CBS has a number of big drama hits on its roster and would still have had plenty of ways to make money had its comedy jewel gone away, Big Bang is its comedy everything. It’s the one show that can guarantee any comedy the network puts behind it (even The Millers) at least gets sampled by viewers in an era when many comedies never even get noticed (RIP, Enlisted and Trophy Wife).

The question of relative worth is thornier when it comes to producer Warner Bros. TV. At this point, every episode of Big Bang represents pure profit to the studio, since CBS is almost certainly covering the full cost of production on the show, even after the actors’ salary hikes. What’s more, syndication rights to the show generate at least $2 million per half-hour, piling on even more profit for Warners. The studio also makes money from DVD and iTunes downloads. But there’s a case to be made that Big Bang’s biggest paydays are yet to come. One day in the future, for example, a streaming service such as Netflix will undoubtedly back up a Brinks truck for online rights to the show. And shorter term, when the cable rights for Big Bang come up for renewal in the next few years, it wouldn’t be shocking if Warners were able to negotiate an even bigger price tag for the show than its last sale. After all, reruns of the comedy have been transformative for TBS, often helping the cable network beat broadcast competition among viewers under 35. And the lack of big new comedy hits on the broadcast networks in recent years only makes Big Bang reruns more valuable. All of this means that if Big Bang had gone bye-bye, Warner Bros. would have been walking away from hundreds of millions in syndication money from the loss of what will now be 72 additional episodes. The tens of millions in extra salary now being funneled to the Big Bang cast seems a relative pittance when compared to what’s expected to end up being billions in profit for the show. That was true for the final seasons of Friends, of course, which is why it’s tougher to say if Big Bang is a bigger deal to Warners than Friends was. But it’s hard not to say that both shows are at least equally important in value.

In the end, of course, every salary negotiation is its own unique animal. Whether Big Bang is more or less “valuable” than earlier sitcoms isn’t what ultimately decided the final cost of the cast’s new deal. At the time, Jennifer Aniston was seen as a bigger potential movie star than any of the Big Bang crew is today, something which gave her — and, by extension, her Friends friends — more leverage than their present-day peers. And while the Big Bang actors may be getting a smaller per episode salary in terms of real, 2014 dollars, what’s not known is exactly how much they’ll make from their increased ownership in the series. The Seinfeld sidekicks are not believed to have gotten any back-end profit participation (though Seinfeld himself, as a creator, did). The Friends gang did get a stake, but the exact amount wasn’t widely known at the time and could well have been smaller than what the Big Bang actors will get. In any event, all of the actors on Big Bang had high-profile agents and lawyers looking after them, meaning it’s unlikely that much money was left on the table. Likewise, even though they’ll be handing out much bigger paychecks this fall, Warner Bros. and CBS will still end up making an absurd amount of money off of a half-hour comedy about some lovable nerds. Bang!

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/big-b...ore-money.html

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TV Notes
Halle Berry's ‘Extant’ Finale Bumped Up a Week
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Aug. 4, 2013

“Extant” will complete its mission a week earlier than expected.

The CBS series, which stars Halle Berry and counts Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, will air its Season 1 finale on Sept. 17 at 10 p.m., rather than Sept. 24, when it was originally intended to air.

Instead, the network will air a 90-minute season premiere of the reality TV mainstay “Survivor” and a super-sized season finale of its other unscripted juggernaut, “Big Brother,” starting at 8 p.m. on Sept. 24.

All 13 episodes of the first season of “Extant” will air.

“Extant,” which stars Halle Berry as an astronaut who returns from a 13-month mission to discover that she's mysteriously pregnant, hasn't exactly been a ratings blockbuster, premiering in early July to a lukewarm 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic most sought by advertisers. By its third airing, the sci-fi drama had dropped to a 1.1 rating.

The network shifted the show's timeslot from Wednesdays at 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. in hopes of goosing the show's ratings with a “Criminal Minds” lead-in, but the show failed to move the ratings needle during its first night in the new slot.

http://www.thewrap.com/halle-berrys-...ped-up-a-week/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY 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)

ABC:
8PM - CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock (Three hours)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Ted Danson; Eva Green; Jake Owen performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R - Oct. 29)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Jan. 14)
10:01PM - Person of Interest
(R - Oct. 1)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Colin Firth; comic Tommy Johnagin; St. Vincent performs)
(R - Jul. 17)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Diane Kruger; comic Brad Trackman)

NBC:
8PM - Food Fighters
9PM - America's Got Talent (120 min., LIVE)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Clive Owen; Nina Dobrev; The Head and The Heart perform)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Daniel Radcliffe; Neal Brennan; filmmaker Morgan Spurlock)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (J.B. Smoove; Warm Soda performs; Andrew Santino)
(R - May 20)

FOX:
8PM - Family Guy
(R - Sep. 29)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Feb. 25)
9PM - New Girl
(R - Mar. 11)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Apr. 8)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Mark Twain (Part 2 of 2, 120 min.)
(R - Jan. 15, 2002)
10PM - Frontline: Generation Life
(R - Feb. 18)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Lo Que La Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
(R - Mar. 19)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Mar. 4)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina De Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Helen Thorpe)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Director James Cameron)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Rob Riggle; Rob Huebel; Owen Burke)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Ethan Hawke; Mary Lynn Rajskub; musician Jamie Scott)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Jake Owen)
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post #95979 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 02:21 AM
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Critic's Notes
Nostalgia economy sets back television
By Alexis Wilkinson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug. 5, 2013

In mid-July, Vulture reported that Katy Perry was being considered for the role of teen darling Cher in the new “Clueless” musical, a production still in its early stages with the director of the movie on which it is based, Amy Heckerling, leading the way.

The Internet was quick to express its general disapproval. Comments in the Twittersphere and beyond ranged from concerns about her age (“She’*s great, but she‘*s not 17 anymore as much as she likes to pretend”) to the ever constructive “yeeeeah no.”

Whether it’*s deciding on new people to play fictional icons or real-life public figures, the public has strong opinions about how and when it should be done. This year alone, casting backlash has torpedoed biopics about Aaliyah and Nina Simone. The upcoming movie “Annie,” produced by Will Smith and starring Quvenzhane Wallis, received praise and racist outrage. In 2014, the silver screen will have re-debuted “RoboCop,” “Godzilla,” “Hercules,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Leprechaun.” Though nostalgia never leaves theater, recently we’ve had “Legally Blonde,” “Heathers,” “Rocky” and “Matilda.” And television has seen a revival of revivals as well.

In production right now are dozens of reboots, from “The Odd Couple” to “Roots.” Though in the past TV shows brought back from the afterlife of cancellation have done pretty well (see: “Family Guy” and even “Baywatch”), the consensus on the new seasons of previously canceled fan favorites like “Arrested Development” and “The Boondocks” is that both are now mediocre at best. One notable exception, “Girl Meets World,” seems to be decent only relative to its excellent predecessor. The Post-Gazette’*s own Rob Owen called it “a perfectly pleasant Disney show,” a pat compliment at best. The consensus on Rotten Tomatoes praises its “nostalgia,” and it‘*s this growing tendency to reminisce instead of innovate that is exactly the problem.

We get it. The ’80s were great. The ’90s might have been even better. And the early 2000s? Oh, don‘*t even get me started. But, as Hollywood insists on trying to re-create old shows — only to have the same audience who demanded them often turn its back on them — network television moves less toward the sort of groundbreaking series now almost strictly on places like Netflix and Amazon and toward a never-ending cycle of Pre-Teen Mutant Ninja Turtles and I Like-Like Lucys. And reruns. So many more reruns.

The adage that Hollywood wants “the same thing, only different” explains why the nostalgia economy continues to grow. Why take a risk on something new when you can cash in on people’s memories of how fun 1985 was? Why spend the ever increasing amount of money it costs to make quality television on the avant-garde when you’*re way more likely to make your money back on the original?

But as we continue to see our old recollections repackaged and shot back in our faces, we are less and less likely to be satisfied with the results. The truth is that you don‘’t actually want new episodes of “Hey Arnold!,” “Cheers” or “Seinfeld,” as much as you might think you do. You want what life was like when you watched those shows. You want the glorious times when television felt fresh and new, your own idealized version of when TV meant something. Hindsight may be 20-20, but it most certainly is rose-colored.

The tale of “Community’s” tragic half-death with the replacement of creator Dan Harmon, then actual death with its cancellation and soon-to-be rebirth on Yahoo, serves as a cautionary tale. The “Six Seasons and a Movie” campaign started by fans can be credited with the show’*s return, but at what cost? I am a huge “Community” fan, but when old network shows move into the only space where new original shows thrive and may no longer be able to connect with their original audience because of it, television overall suffers.

Instead of calling for new episodes of “Hawaii Five-0” or begging your favorite now out-of-work showrunner to pleeeease bring back your favorite obscure childhood cartoon about a talking rat, perhaps the better option is urging that same showrunner to create something new and then actually watch that show. As much comfort as we draw from the familiar, we are running the risk of banishing all true creative innovation to the Internet and leaving these sad half-zombies of shows to wander astray on prime time without our love or viewership.

If the success of shows such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “Scandal” proves anything, it is that the public might be ready to move fully into the 21st century, with all the diversity and inventive plot structures that come with it. Though it is the business of entertainment to give the people what they want, let’s hope that sometime soon a network executive or two might wake up and consider giving television what it needs.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201408100008
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TV Sports/Business Notes
DirecTV Calls Signal For ESPN’s SEC Network, But Other Sports Nets Still On Bench
By David Bloom, Deadline.com - Aug. 4, 2013

August kicks off not just football but some football programming deals too, as DirecTV announced it would be the latest of many pay-TV providers to carry the SEC Network. The sports net will feature dozens of exclusive games from the football-mad Southeastern Conference, generally considered the country’s best collection of college teams, when it launches in 10 days.

DirecTV might not have had much choice in whether to pass on this particular sports-programming deal: While the SEC’s 14 schools may be a long way from many major TV markets, its corporate parent is ESPN, which has been running interference for the SEC Network like a Hall of Fame pulling guard. That’s in marked contrast to other regional sports channels, which have signed big rights deals with teams and conferences but don’t have the leverage to get distribution deals done that can justify those fat payouts.

DirecTV logo“Our agreement with DirecTV continues to push the SEC Network towards one of the most successful network launches when it debuts August 14,” said Sean Breen, SVP Affiliate Sales for Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

And the conference was cheering, too: “With opening day firmly in sight, we are happy to count DirecTV, the country’s largest satellite provider, among our many distributors,” said conference Commissioner Mike Slive. “The SEC is home to the most passionate fans in college sports, and I am pleased to have such a wide distribution by launch date for the benefit of SEC fans everywhere.”

As of last week, the channel already was being carried by cable providers passing 75 million homes, enough by one calculation to put it at No. 5 among the most lucrative sports outlets, behind only two ESPN channels, Fox Sports 1 and that other pro football channel, NFL Network. And that was before DirecTV joined the team, and ensured that hard-core fans could get the network basically anywhere in the country with a roof, a clear view to a satellite and some electricity.

That’s what happens when ESPN comes calling about its newest offering. Pay-TV providers that want to keep sports fans happy have extra motivation to make sure they keep ESPN happy. But the announcement still leaves other regional sports networks on the sidelines, waiting for the coach to send them in.

That includes Time Warner Cable‘s SportsNet LA, which carries the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games and has been getting batted around lately for its inability to sell the channel to other distributors. Just last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sent a nastygram asking TWC to explain what it was doing to ensure that everyone gets to see the Dodger games. Then DirecTV piled on, and even invoked many of its competitors, to say that TWC’s approach on the Dodgers — wanting to be on a basic tier that was part of all customers’ cable bills — was striking out everywhere.

“We agree with Congressman (Brad) Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) that any loyal Dodger fans deserve the opportunity to see games,” DirecTV said, “yet not at the expense of the millions of other AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DIRECTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Verizon FiOS and other families who have little or no interest in paying for Time Warner Cable’s excess. Rather than force everyone to bail Time Warner Cable out, the simplest solution is to enable only those who want to pay to see the remaining Dodgers games to do so at the price Time Warner Cable wants to set.”

http://www.deadline.com/2014/08/dire...-sportsnet-la/
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post #95981 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 02:33 AM
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TV Review
When Jury Duty Is a Trial
‘Sequestered,’ on the Streaming Service Crackle
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 5, 2013

Some of the new dramas that have materialized this summer, while quite good, are a bit off-putting because they demand a significant emotional commitment, with their complex characters and dense plots. “Sequestered,” which begins on Tuesday on the digital service Crackle, is a refreshing change. It, too, is pretty good, but in an easy-to-digest way.

As it opens, the young son of California’s governor (Patrick Warburton) has been murdered, and in short order a jury is deliberating the fate of the man accused. But when a juror is assaulted in an apparent homophobic crime, the judge sequesters the panel in a hotel.

During the deliberations, one juror, Anna (Summer Glau), begins receiving threats from someone who seems to know how the panel is leaning. At the same time, Danny (Jesse Bradford), a supporting or “second chair” lawyer on the defense team, looks further into the crime and starts to wonder if his high-powered boss has given the case his full and vigorous attention.

All of this is served up at a fast clip, with an emphasis on plot twists rather than character development. The show isn’t without interpersonal dynamics. The relationship between Danny and his father, a retired police officer played by the always reliable Bruce Davison, is particularly satisfying.

But twists and turns are the propelling force here. It’s a little gimmicky: “Has it been five minutes? Another surprise must be coming.” But you can watch it the way you read a beach novel: quickly, looking for the next plot rush, not taking anything very seriously. That each episode is only 22 minutes or so — uncommonly short for a drama — reinforces that mind-set.

Sure, you’ll still make room for weightier hourlong shows, but here’s one you can squeeze into the smaller spaces in your life. Crackle is making six episodes available on Tuesday, with six more to follow in October.

Sequestered
Available for streaming on crackle.com.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/ar...ref=television

* * * *

Critic's Notes
An Auteur, in His Own Words
The Director Robert Altman Tells His Story in ‘Altman’ on Epix

Robert Altman was, by most accounts, a man who burned a lot of bridges during his long career as a director. That career receives a slick and enjoyable recapping on Wednesday at 8 p.m. when Epix offers “Altman,” a documentary in which Altman, who died in 2006, tells much of his own story via archival interviews.

He was far from the only prickly guy in Hollywood. He tells of an encounter with Jack Warner, who had reluctantly hired him to direct the 1967 film “Countdown,” even though Warner had told Altman to his face that he didn’t like him or his work. Sure enough, Warner was infuriated after watching some of Altman’s dailies, the raw footage from the shooting. A subordinate related Warner’s displeasure this way, Altman recalls, “If you want to hear what he said, he says, ‘That fool’ — meaning me — ‘has actors talking at the same time.’ ”

Altman’s use of multilayer soundtracks went on to become one of his signatures as he built a formidable body of work that included “MASH,” “Nashville,” “The Player” and “Gosford Park.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/ar...ref=television
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post #95982 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 10:45 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 5, 2014

CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL: COUNTRY'S NIGHT TO ROCK
ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Actually, the title is only 25 percent accurate, because the Country Music Association Music Festival (that title comes, surely, from Mad magazine's Department of Redundancy Department) actually unfolded over four days, back in June. But there are indeed some high-energy, rocking performances on tap here, including a duet featuring Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood that’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit hot pants.

MARK TWAIN
PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET
Part 2 of 2.
I love how thoughtful and perceptive Ken Burns’ biography of Sam Clemens and his literary alter ego is, and how it takes its time. Part 1 ended with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, so we still have two hours for the rest of Clemens’ eventful life – and the older he gets, the more his story veers towards the tragic side. Check local listings.

BALL OF FIRE
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

All day and all night, it’s Barbra Stanwyck’s day on TCM. And though she’s showcased in plenty of movies familiar and unfamiliar, comedic and dramatic, the network has saved one of the most enjoyable Stanwyck roles to open its prime-time roster. In this 1941 Howard Hawks film, Gary Cooper plays a professor of lexicography out to catalog the latest examples of popular slang – and Stanwyck dazzles him, and his colleagues, as flashy nightclub singer Sugarpuss O’Shea, who’s both the cat’s meow and the bee’s knees.

DRUNK HISTORY
Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET

This new edition is devoted to Hollywood, and one of its segments is on the making of Citizen Kane – featuring John Lithgow, who’s playing King Lear in Shakespeare at the Park right now in New York, as media baron William Randolph Hearst (how’s that for an eclectic resume), and Jack Black as Welles, who lampooned Hearst so devilishly in his classic film. By the way: the brief preview segment of this episode didn’t reveal the greatest secret about Citizen Kane (think “Rosebud,” but in a different context), but if it’s not in this show, the drunk guy telling the Kane story may not know it. I heard it from Bob Hope, as perhaps the best insider show-biz story I ever heard. Come to think of it, Bob Hope told me the second best story, too, about Milton Berle at a poker game hosted by Jackie Gleason. But I digress…

TYRANT
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this week’s episode of Tyrant, the threat of retaliatory violence continues to escalate (what a stretch, in a drama set in the Middle East). After Jamal targets Sheik Rashid with an assassination attempt, word arrives that Rashid may somehow survive the brutal attack. In other words, I guess, he may be able to Sheik it off…


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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post #95983 of 98765 Old 08-05-2014, 10:51 AM
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TV/Business Notes
Gannett Is Latest Media Co. To Separate Print And Hitch A Ride With TV
By Brian Steinberg, Variety.com - Aug. 5, 2013

Even newspaper companies don’t want to depend on newspapers any longer.

Gannett Co. once had a reputation for being the nation’s most disciplined manager of print publications that could be as large as USA Today and as small as the Palladium-Item of Richmond, Indiana. Now, in a telling maneuver, the company is jettisoning its newspapers in favor of broadcast and digital – and it isn’t the only one. The fact that it will keep the Gannett name alongside the print publications is at best a semantics discussion.

Gannett joins a long line of storied newspaper publishers who are abandoning the medium that brought them decades of growth as changes in how consumers gain access to news and information turns those broadsheets and tabloids into creaky vehicles that capture significantly less interest from advertisers than in years past. Belo Corp. was once known as the publisher of the Dallas Morning News. But in 2008, it split off its newspaper holdings from a passel of TV stations it owned, and is now part of the new Gannett. Tribune Co., named for the Chicago newspaper that once stood at the center of its assets, this week spun off its newspapers and is now known as Tribune Media Co., an owner of WGN and other broadcast properties. And just last week, E.W. Scripps Co. and Journal Communications announced a merger that would combine broadcast assets while jettisoning the various local papers that once were the foundation of both companies into a separate concern.

“We believe separating these businesses will unlock shareholder value both in the near term and increasingly as they develop independently in the future,” said Gracia Martore, Gannett’s chief executive, in a prepared statement. Martore will take the reins of a new broadcasting and digital company that has yet to be named, while Robert J. Dickey, currently president of Gannett’s community publishing unit, will take the reins of the print-focused concern.

The recovering publishers are only following advertising trends. In 2013, ad spend fell 3.8% for local newspapers and 3.6% at national newspapers, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending, as financial-services advertisers, retailers and movie studios sought new places to get the word out about their products. In 2012, ad spending on local newspapers fell 2% while ad outlays for national newspapers declined 12%, according to Kantar data.

The one-time companies are betting that TV stations and digital properties associated with them will be able to achieve the kind of steady growth that newspapers are less able to provide. The moves come as a new generation of consumers starts to spend more time using mobile devices to access news and information, as well as streaming video.

While Gannett’s maneuver marks a break with its history, it doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise to market watchers. After closing on a purchase of the Belo stations in December, Gannett agreed in May to buy six TV stations in Texas from London Broadcasting.

http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/gan...tv-1201275817/
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TV/Business Notes
New A+E Networks-Dish Deal Includes Over-the-Top Streaming Rights
By Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter - Aug. 5, 2013

A+E Networks and satellite provider Dish Network said Tuesday that they have agreed to a new multiyear carriage deal that includes over-the-top rights for streaming live and video-on-demand content.

The renewals applies to all of A+E Networks' channels, which include A&E, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI (formerly Biography Channel), H2, History en Espanol, Crime + Investigation and Military History.

The new OTT rights will give customers access to content through a "future multistream subscription service of linear and video-on-demand content."

The deal also increases distribution of H2 and FYI, which will be part of the America's Top 200 programming package.

Additionally, it expands authenticated live and VOD A+E Networks' programming on Internet-connected devices, including TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. Dish customers will be able to use the Dish Anywhere app, dishanywhere.com, or A+E Networks' websites and apps to view live, VOD and full-season content.

"I am pleased to call A+E Networks an innovative partner in developing this wide-ranging, creative agreement that will help to define the future of TV," Dish president and CEO Joseph P. Clayton said. "Together we are enhancing the customer experience today with fresh, dynamic programming that Dish customers will be able to watch when and how they prefer."

Added A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc: "We are thrilled that Dish's valued customers will be able to enjoy A+E Networks' award-winning portfolio of brands across their multiple platforms. We continue to grow and make significant investments in new brands, and as such, we're particularly pleased with the expanded distribution of FYI and H2."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...ks-dish-723393
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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Bachelor in Paradise’ is no ‘Bachelor Pad’
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 4, 2013

ABC’s latest spinoff of “The Bachelor” didn’t do as well as its previous spinoff.

“Bachelor in Paradise” premiered with a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m. last night, according to Nielsen overnights, off 13 percent from the most recent premiere of “Bachelor Pad,” which posted a 1.3 two years ago.

“Pad” was canceled last year, and this year ABC revived the same basic premise as “Pad” for the new show “Paradise,” reuniting rejected suitors from previous “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” seasons and sent them to the tropics, where they’re looking for “love” once again.

The ratings erosion from “Pad” isn’t a surprise, as nearly everything on broadcast is drawing lower ratings than two years ago.

The show did average 5 million total viewers in its two-hour timeslot, first among the Big Four.

Elsewhere last night, Fox’s “MasterChef” finished as the night’s top show with a 2.0 at 8 p.m. Lead-out “Hotel Hell” dropped a tenth from last week, posting a 1.4.

The second episode of NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” posted a 1.3 at 8 p.m., also down a tenth, while lead-out “American Ninja Warrior” drew a 1.9 from 9 to 11 p.m., off a tenth from last week’s season high.

At 10 p.m., CBS’s “Under the Dome” was up a tenth from last week to a 1.6.

NBC and Fox tied for first for the night among 18-49s, each with a 1.7 average overnight rating and a 6 share. Univision was third at 1.5/5, ABC and CBS tied for fourth at 1.2/4, Telemundo was sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

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-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Fox opened the night in the lead with a 2.0 at 8 p.m. for “MasterChef,” followed by Univision with a 1.4 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo.” ABC and NBC tied for third at 1.3, ABC for “Paradise” and NBC for “Wild,” CBS was fifth with a 0.9 for repeats of “2 Broke Girls” and “Mom,” and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and Telemundo for “Reina de Corazones.”

NBC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 1.8 for “Ninja,” while Univision remained second with a 1.6 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo.” ABC and Fox tied for third at 1.4, ABC for more “Paradise” and Fox for “Hotel.” CBS was fifth with a 1.0 for reruns of “Mike & Molly” and “Two and a Half Men,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “En Otra Piel” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “Arrow.”

At 10 p.m. NBC was first again with a 2.1 for more “Ninja,” with CBS second with a 1.6 for “Dome.” Univision was third with a 1.3 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos” and ABC and Telemundo tied for fourth at 0.9, ABC for “Mistresses” and Telemundo for “El Señor de los Cielos.”

Among households, CBS was first for the night with a 3.3 average overnight rating and a 6 share. ABC was second at 3.1/5, NBC third at 2.9/5, Fox fourth at 2.8/5, Univision fifth at 1.8/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.7/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bac...-bachelor-pad/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
Country twang with a ratings bang
ABC's 'CMA Music Festival' features the top names in Nashville
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 5, 2013

There are still seven more weeks before the fall TV season officially kicks off, so that means a lot more summer filler to come on the broadcast networks.

For ABC, one of its more reliable summer fillers is the “CMA Music Festival,” a three-hour show that airs tonight at 8 p.m.

“CMA” replays the highlights of the annual Country Music Association festival in Nashville, which was held in June.

Though all the gossip from the event has already leaked online, including an unexpected on-stage smooch session between Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw, whose marriage had been rumored to be on the rocks, the show should draw good ratings simply because of the star wattage.

In addition to those two singers, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry and many other country headliners take part, as well as some rock stars who sit in for a few jams, including Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora and Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil.

Last year’s “CMA” drew good ratings for ABC, posting a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. In fact, it was by far the network’s highest-rated show of the week last year, and it should be again this week.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bac...-bachelor-pad/
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TV Notes
The Cocaine, the Blood, the Body Count
Modern Medicine, Circa 1900, in Soderbergh’s ‘The Knick’
By Jennifer Schuessler, The New York Times - Aug. 3, 2013

The Burns Archive, a trove of more than a million historic photographs crammed into a ramshackle townhouse on East 38th Street in Manhattan, is well known to scholars as one of the world’s most important repositories of early medical history, and to the ophthalmology patients who visit its proprietor, Dr. Stanley Burns, one day each week as surely the most atmospheric place in New York City to get an annual eye exam.

But last summer, the place briefly took on another identity. At the Knickerbocker Hospital and Medical School, as Dr. Burns jokingly called it, cast members of “The Knick,” Steven Soderbergh’s new period medical series, which has its premiere on Cinemax this Friday, Aug. 8 at 10:00 p.m., came by for immersive tutorials in the sometimes gruesome world of early-20th-century surgery, complete with plenty of hands-on practice on silicone limbs.

“We gave them fake arms and taught them to hold a scalpel, how to tie sutures, how to hold multiple instruments,” Dr. Burns, the show’s medical adviser, said in a recent interview in his cluttered study, demonstrating the gunslinger reflexes needed to flip a waiting hemostat, a scissor-like tool, off the wrist and seal a broken blood vessel.

And there was plenty of blood gushing on the set, where the show’s star, Clive Owen, and the rest of the fictional Knick’s surgical staff carried out meticulously recreated vintage procedures.

“They would joke about how they couldn’t wait for the zombie apocalypse,” Dr. Burns said. “With their training, they would be able to handle it.”

There are no monsters on “The Knick,” in which Mr. Owen plays John Thackery, a brilliant, driven surgeon trying to take the profession “out of the barbershop and into the future,” as he puts it, while his hospital struggles to stay afloat amid the social tumult of New York in the year 1900. In fact, many of the show’s most seemingly gothic elements, from Thackery’s cocaine and opium addiction to the sometimes surreal surgeries he and his colleagues perform to the grim body count, are taken pretty much straight from the history books.

From the spectacularly gory opening set piece — a harrowing emergency cesarean section, scored only to the frantic spinning of hand-cranked suction machines — it’s clear that the show won’t be offering any “Grey’s Anatomy”-style uplift.

“If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say, I was hoping maybe half the people would look away,” Mr. Soderbergh — who directed, shot and edited every episode — said recently in a telephone interview, when asked about the unflinching medical realism.

“We felt that at minimum, there’s just got to be one thing in each episode that really makes your head snap back,” he added. “I think we managed that.”

For Cinemax, known as much for its soft-core programming as for original series like “Strike Back” and “Banshee,” the new show is its most ambitious foray into high-end novelistic television. (A second 10-episode season has already been ordered.) For Mr. Soderbergh, who saw the pilot script when he was only a few months into his announced retirement from feature filmmaking, “The Knick” was an irresistible chance to have his genre-convention-tweaking way with one of television’s hoariest staples.

“Mostly I was being selfish, since I knew right away someone was going to make this,” Mr. Soderbergh said of the script by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler. He added that any seeming continuity with his recent medical-themed thrillers like “Side Effects” and “Contagion” was mostly “happenstance.”

“It was about everything I’m interested in — science, medicine, problem solving, knowledge creation, race, class, the social contract,” he said. “Part of the reason the doctor show is so indestructible is that the stakes are so high.”

The show was born quite literally out of gut trouble — Mr. Begler’s, to be precise. “I was going down the road of traditional treatment, and then alternative treatments,” he said in a joint telephone interview with Mr. Amiel, his longtime writing partner. “At times, I was amazed at how much medical science had figured out, at other times frustrated at how much we didn’t know. It got me thinking, how would I have gone about this 100 years ago?”

He ordered some vintage medical books from eBay, and while he didn’t swallow a tablespoon of turpentine as one recommended, soon he and Mr. Amiel were brainstorming about a historical medical drama built around the crucial discoveries — and gruesome failures — behind today’s modern, scientific treatments.

“Michael was like the H. P. Lovecraft of surgery, going through all the gory details,” Mr. Amiel recalled. “Every day, we’d email each other all the information we’d found.”

History books provided the writers with plenty of narrative momentum — the first decade of the 20th century saw an explosion of surgical progress, thanks to advances in anesthesia and germ theory — as well as a flamboyant central character who could hold his own against any cable-television antihero. Thackery is based largely on the pioneering surgeonWilliam Halsted, who developed the principles behind modern surgery (among other feats, he is credited with the first emergency blood transfusion in the United States, taken directly from his arm and injected into his sister as she lay hemorrhaging after childbirth) while in the grip of a lifelong addiction to cocaine and then morphine.

But words only told part of the story, and so last spring, after they’d written two episodes, Mr. Amiel and Mr. Begler, with Mr. Soderbergh, visited Dr. Burns to look at pictures and discuss interesting cases and complications. .

Images from the Burns Archive became important references for everything from the antiseptic atomizers in the operating theater to an early X-ray machine (built by the props department from vintage tubes) to the prosthetic worn by a recurring character, a syphilis patient whose ravaged face prompts perhaps the season’s most shocking strange-but-true surgical intervention.

Real stories from the archive also inspired some significant plot points, like the particularly ghoulish treatment that a psychiatric patient undergoes. “It was a gigantic bucket of material we could pull from,” Mr. Soderbergh said. “With a lot of things we’d joke: ‘This is too big. Save it for Season 2.’ ”

The surgeries in the show are authentic to the period, recreated from sources like “The Stereo Clinic,” a rare, multivolume early-20th-century surgery manual illustrated with 3-D stereoscopic images. “The Stereo Clinic” even gets a cameo when Algernon Edwards, a Harvard-educated African-American surgeon (played by Andre Holland) hired at the Knick over Thackery’s objections, is shown creating it to document the daring procedures he is developing in secret, unbeknown to the white colleagues who bristle at operating alongside him.

The writers allowed themselves more license with the more experimental procedures, only to find medical history sometimes sneaking up on them. After Dr. Burns showed them a photograph of a 19th-century doctor holding a peculiar inflatable bladder, they decided to have Mr. Owen’s character play with using it to create enough internal pressure to prevent a second emergency C-section patient from bleeding to death during surgery.

Later, they came across an old journal article describing a surgeon’s not particularly successful attempts to use a similar device for precisely that purpose. “My jaw hit the floor,” Mr. Amiel said. “I realized I could have been a failed doctor in 1900, too.”

When it came to the opening C-section, the screen doctors had more room for error than real surgeons, but not by much. There was a careful rehearsal, but no blood until the camera rolled, when the actors worked frantically to siphon the liquid into jars with a period-correct hand-cranked suction machine as fast as it gushed out of an actress’s prosthetic belly.

“It was pretty interesting to watch the actors in the first take,” Mr. Soderbergh said of the sequence, which climaxes with a startlingly lifelike baby, complete with inflatable lungs, being pulled from the carnage. “Even they were kind of alarmed at how quickly things got out of control, which was great for the scene.”

Mr. Owen said he had kept his surgeon’s cool. “I was more concerned with looking like I knew what I was doing,” he said by phone. “There was no time to be reacting or thinking.” But not everyone was so stoic. Howard Cummings, the production designer, left the room. “The level of reality made it hard to watch,” he said.

Even Justin Raleigh, the makeup effects designer and creator of the prosthesis (which was rigged to bleed via pressure pots hidden under the table), said he was shocked by how much of the unusually dark, syrupy liquid — “David Fincher blood,” Mr. Soderbergh called it — came out.

“It was pouring off the tables onto the floors,” Mr. Raleigh said. “It was quite disgusting. It looked like a murder had just happened.”

In one episode, Thackery dismisses an old-guard doctor as practicing medicine “like it’s 1885.” If his own cutting-edge hospital sometimes looks to us like a killing field, Mr. Soderbergh sees a lesson in that.

“There are so many treatments on the show that make you gasp because they’re so wrong,” he said. “It just makes you wonder what treatment we’re all taking at face value that 10 or 15 years from now we’re going to be told, ‘Well, that didn’t work, and in fact that makes it worse.’ ”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/ar...ref=television
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TV Review
‘Celebrity Legacies,’ chatter chatter
Talking heads go on at length in this Reelz documentary series
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 5, 2013

In 1990, the historian Shelby Foote became famous because of his quirky appearances as a talking head in Ken Burns’ documentary “The Civil War.” Burns was probably fine with that, but he also probably didn’t want Foote to be the only thing people would remember about the work.

The most memorable thing in Reelz’s new documentary series “Celebrity Legacies,” at least in the episode made available for review, is the assortment of in-your-face talking heads who comment on the financial legacy of Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, who died at age 27 in 1971.

But none of these presumed experts seems to have any connection to or special knowledge of Morrison’s life or legal situation. Morrison himself is sufficiently interesting to keep lazy viewers watching, but a little more work and a higher budget could have made the show worth the time.

Premiering tonight at 10, the series will examine the finances of deceased celebrities including James Gandolfini (in the premiere episode), Whitney Houston, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.

The Morrison episode, airing next week, actually spends two-thirds of its time talking about his life. The show uses a frugal blend of still photos, graphics and stock footage, with text read by an overenthusiastic but generic narrator.

But the salient feature is those talking heads. As far as we can tell, none of them has any first-hand knowledge of Morrison or the Doors, or even any real connection to the music business. Nearly all the biographical details they share could be found in Morrison’s Wikipedia entry.

Despite this, they’re allowed — or encouraged — to flaunt their own personalities. Norman Pattis, a criminal defense attorney and author, has nearly the last word in the episode: “You’re asking a 58-year-old guy with a ponytail what he thinks about the Doors,” he says. “What am I supposed to say?”

Andy and Danielle Mayoras, identified as estate legal experts, who are presumably husband and wife, interrupt each other adorably, sometimes finishing each other’s sentences. Their strengths are probably better suited to a daytime talk show.

The experts talk directly into the camera. When they’re making an important point, we cut to a close-up.

No one who actually worked with Morrison or knew him personally is interviewed.

The narrator throws around a lot of round numbers when discussing how much money Morrison earned before his death. Our confidence in these figures isn’t boosted when he says that the Doors sold 10,000 tickets to a show at the Fillmore East in New York City, which was a medium-size theater.

Nonetheless, Morrison’s story both before and after death holds our attention. The courts eventually ruled that his longtime girlfriend, Pamela Courson, was his common-law wife, even though he once celebrated his relationship with another girlfriend in a Celtic pagan ritual in which they drank each other’s blood.

Danielle Mayoras notes wryly that drinking blood doesn’t make for a valid marriage.

Ironically, control of Morrison’s estate, and his money, eventually passed to Courson’s parents, who never liked Morrison. They were sued by Morrison’s conservative parents — his father was a Navy rear admiral — who won 50 percent.

Unsurprisingly, the surviving Doors have had their own internal legal battles.

The narrator provides details of the money brought in since 1971 by greatest-hits compilations, Morrison’s poetry collections and the use of his image and life story. In a rare example of vivid writing, the narrator says, “It seems everything the ghost of Jim Morrison touches turns to platinum.” But most of these numbers are, again, suspiciously round.

Viewers with a passing interest in Morrison who don’t already know his biography will nonetheless glean a few fun factoids and details.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/cel...atter-chatter/
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post #95989 of 98765 Old 08-06-2014, 03:03 AM
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TV Notes
Craig Ferguson to Be Replaced by James Corden as Host of ‘Late Late Show’
By Jeff Sneider, TheWrap.com - Aug. 5, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: James Corden is taking over for Craig Ferguson as host of “The Late Late Show” on CBS, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.

A representative for Corden did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while CBS couldn't confirm at this time.

Corden stars in Disney's “Into the Woods” and can currently be seen alongside Keira Knightley in “Begin Again.” He also played Paul Potts in the Weinstein Company's “One Chance.” He's represented by CAA.

Ferguson, who's hosted “The Late Late Show” since 2005, announced that he would be departing the series in April, noting that he'd exit at “the end of this year.”

The host was vague about his future plans, saying “and then I'll do something else … Probably, I'm thinking, carpentry.”

Ferguson's decision to exit the series came after “Late Show” host David Letterman's announcement that he would be retiring. While some regarded Ferguson as a possible heir to Letterman's hosting chair, “Colbert Report” host Stephen Colbert eventually landed the gig instead.

A number of names were thrown around as possible replacements for Ferguson, including “Community” star Joel McHale and Neil Patrick Harris, who starred in CBS’ hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” which wrapped this year.

While Corden might not be a household name in the U.S., he boasts a sizable social media presence with more than 4 million Twitter followers, which could bring a modern edge to the show, which airs at 12:35 a.m.

http://www.thewrap.com/craig-ferguso...how-exclusive/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes
‘Late, Late Show’ Replacement James Corden Has Small Shoes to Fill, Ratings-Wise
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Aug. 5, 2013

James Corden will have to overcome relatively low name recognition when he takes over the “Late, Late Show” from Craig Ferguson next year — but at least he won't face high ratings expectations.

Devout as Ferguson's fans may be, his CBS show, which follows Letterman's “Late Show,” is sitting in third place out of three.

The top dog at 12:35 is NBC's “Late Night,” which was passed from Jimmy Fallon to Seth Meyers this season. It averages a 0.65 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, and has averaged 1.93 million viewers in its first season.

ABC's “Nightline,” which flipped timeslots with “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in January 2013, has a 0.42 rating and averages 1.68 million viewers this season. “Nightline” is just a half-hour show, which gives it a distinct advantage over the hour-long talkers that must retain their audiences as the midnight oil burns.

Ferguson's “Late, Late Show” has averaged a 0.38 rating and 1.44 million viewers.

NBC's “Late Night” has gotten a boost from viewers curious about Fallon's final episodes and Meyers’ first ones. Since Meyers took over on Feb. 17, “Late Night” has averaged a 0.59/4 in the key demo and 1.65 million total viewers.

“Nightline” pulled in a 0.40/2 and 1.59 million viewers in that same time frame, while Ferguson has received a 0.33/2 and 1.32 million viewers.

Also in that period, Carson Daly's “Last Call” at 1:35 a.m. has fallen just shy of Ferguson in the demo with a 0.32/3. Daly averages 880,000 total viewers.

Historically, Ferguson has never beaten “Late Night” in the demo, though the Scottish-born comedian's show topped Fallon in total viewers during the tumultuous 2009-2010 season, when Conan O'Brien briefly ascended to “The Tonight Show.”

The competition between CBS’ “Late, Late Show” and ABC has been stiffer, but all comparisons are tricky due to ABC's floating timeslots over the last few seasons.

In 2008-2009, Ferguson topped Kimmel in total viewers at 12:35 a.m. That season and the next, the two tied in demo ratings.

On Tuesday, TheWrap broke the news that Corden would replace Ferguson in 2015. (CBS declined to comment.) Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman at 11:35 next year.

CBS is hoping that Colbert performs a turnaround of his own, as “The Tonight Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” have been steadily beating “The Late Show.” Fallon's “Tonight Show” has been regularly besting Kimmel and Letterman combined.

http://www.thewrap.com/james-corden-...bs-tv-ratings/
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post #95990 of 98765 Old 08-06-2014, 03:09 AM
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TV Notes
Syfy Adapting Futuristic Military Drama 'Ghost Brigades'
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Aug. 5, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Syfy is continuing to ramp up its sci-fi fare.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has put into development Ghost Brigades, a drama based on John Scalzi's Hugo-nominated Old Man's War universe book series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The NeverEnding Story's Wolfgang Petersen will oversee development on the project alongside Scott Stuber (Safe House), with Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig (Winter's Knight) on board to pen the first script. The drama hails from Universal Cable Productions, Petersen's Radiant Productions and Stuber's Bluegrass Films.

Ghost Brigades follows John Perry, who at 75 enlists in the Colonial Defense Force to fight a centuries-long war for man's expansion into the cosmos. Technology allows experiences and consciousness to be transplanted into younger bodies that are outfitted to endure the harsher rigors of war in space. However, soon after John arrives, he finds himself involved with a mysterious woman, and at the same time, at the center of an unraveling conspiracy involving an elite fighting force known as the Ghost Brigades.

Military sci-fi book Old Man's War was first published in 2005 and was nominated for the Hugo Award for best novel in 2006. Paramount Pictures optioned the property with Petersen attached to direct, David Self (Road to Perdition) attached to adapt Scalzi's book and Stuber on board to produce in 2011 but nothing ever came of it.

Ghost Brigades followed in 2006, marking the second in the five-book series that included The Last Colony (2007), Zoe's Tale (2008) and The Human Division (2013), which was published in serial form.
Ghost Brigades comes to Syfy as the cabler has renewed its effort to focus more on sci-fi fare and space tales along the lines of Battlestar Galactica. To that end, the network has added series including Dominion, Ascension, 12 Monkeys, Olympus, The Expanse and zombie entry Z Nation, among others. Syfy also is developing The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman's futuristic comic Clone, Frank Miller's Ronin and Letter 44, as well as The Magicians and more.

Petersen, a two-time Oscar nominee for his work on Das Boot, is repped by Paradigm and Bloom Hergott. Lustig and Thornton are repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...y-drama-723323
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TV/Emmy Notes
The Treacherous Business of Ending A TV Series
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Aug. 5, 2013

From Breaking Bad and How I Met Your Mother to True Blood and Sons Of Anarchy, a number of shows have ended or are ending their run this year, so take a trip to some goodbyes here and then tell us what you think have been the best and the worst TV series finales. We’ll announce a winner later this week.

On television, as in life, the exit rather than the entrance often is what forms our memories of things. TV series finales, in particular, hold a special place of distinction in both the industry and the culture. A good ending can deepen one’s commitment, even postmortem, to a show, while a bad or negligible one can leave audience members feeling deep-sixed. Dexter is a prime example of how the way a show ends even can have Emmy impact. While Showtime’s serial-killer series enjoyed past Emmy love, including best drama noms from 2008 to 2011—and even experienced record show ratings for its finale last fall—it’s no secret its heat had dissipated. The Dexter-Morgan-still-lives ending failed to maximize the show’s last shot at redemption and was dead with Television Academy voters. There were zero nominations this time around.

A good finale is hard to define, and getting it right is something that can elude even the most celebrated networks and creators. It’s not just a matter of closing the door on an iconic set and turning off the lights. Here are some of the more recent ways several series have met their ends.

The Main Event

True Blood Season 7“I think we feel that the right thing is always to end (a show) with some creative integrity so the viewers feel satisfied and the creators feel satisfied,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said at this summer’s TCAs. He knows a thing or two about goodbyes. HBO has made an art of eventizing its series finales, what with all the endless reminders that the final season of the cabler’s True Blood is upon us. Although The Sopranos’ ambiguous ending left many viewers feeling ripped off and disappointed, there’s no denying it was the cultural event of 2007. People who never had seen a prior episode of the show tuned in. Even now, in clear retrospect, there appears to be a real method to creator David Chase’s Journey-soundtracked, cut-to-black madness. Like the tortured soul of the show itself, the space opened by that final scene left everything out there. It just took time to find it.

Will HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which was created by former Sopranos writer Terence Winter, take the same approach when it concludes at the end of this year? Is that even a fair expectation? Well, yes, if you consider that conceived of as an event, finales always have been great promotions for broadcasters, and HBO will take full advantage of the opportunity afforded by the Prohibition-era drama’s end.

The AMC Effect

Treacherous Business of Season Finales on TVAMC’s double-your-luck strategy of splitting its big shows’ final seasons into two parts paid off again this year for Breaking Bad. Having snagged the best drama trophy last year with the first part of its fifth and final season, the blaze of bullets that ended the stunning Vince Gilligan series in September effectively built up the finale into enough of a cultural touchstone that the show’s Emmy history could repeat itself. Bad has been showered with 16 nominations for its swan song’s second half and looks to be the favorite to take the drama win again.

Under the same split-season edict and carnival barker ballyhoo Mad Men could find itself in a very similar position, even though the show’s creator Matthew Weiner has stated he tries to stand outside the business of the finale. Another Sopranos alumni, Weiner told me earlier this year that the final episode is “set in stone” and his big hope is that viewers next year will “walk away changed or better or at least entertained by it.”

Disappearing Act

The converse of the split season or spinoff ending is when a show is cancelled before a proper finale can be aired or even conceived, oftentimes resulting in a cliffhanger of the worst kind: one without hope of any resolution. Such was the case with NBC’s once-celebrated Revolution, whose plug was pulled at the end of Season 2 after a promising start. Not even co-creator J.J. Abrams could save it. The end, obviously a season finale now tasked with tying up storylines, lacked the emotional punch of a true sendoff. The Peacock network’s Community also was headed for the chopping block sans finale before it was curiously salvaged by Yahoo. Will creator Dan Harmon get the #SixSeasonsAndAMovie that he tweeted about in June? Here’s hoping he can end the show on his own terms.

Perfect Ending

The finale gold standard in many books is the 1990 ending to CBS’ Newhart. After years working as an innkeeper in Vermont, Bob Newhart’s Dick Loudon wakes up in the Chicago bedroom of the ’70s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show and tells his wife, played by Suzanne Pleshette, about the weird dream he had. “No more Japanese food before you go to bed,” she admonishes. The polishing touch was the credits from the elder Newhart show, and the witty rendition of “Oklahoma” from the 1978 finale, that ran at the end.

I’ve always been partial to the 2008 close of The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street’s finale from 1999. The former because it was a conclusive and secure end, the latter because, suddenly cancelled by NBC after a seven-season run—and really only given a final season because the network had experienced Seinfeld’s controversial end the year before—the gritty drama displayed its characteristic brutal intelligence by bookending the series with a last scene that mirrored its first.

This is why True Detective’s season ender this spring was so fulfilling: It made sense within the construction of the HBO show for the circle to be complete. By following the anthology structure that has worked so well for FX’s American Horror Story, viewers will get the satisfaction of a complete story arc every season, an indirect homage to Rust Cohle with its TV version of Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence perhaps?

Of course, there’s always the risk that a finale will go down in a blaze of disappointment and obscurity. While I’ve actually met people who say they liked it, there’s the sad, sad end of Seinfeld from 1998. We don’t need to open that wound again except to say that for what must have looked great on paper, the painful, “horrible people” end made the recent and almost equally hyped finale of How I Met Your Mother look good in comparison—nearly no one was happy with that sleight-of-hand swindle.

Never Say Never

It used to be that reruns were the only ways to relive our favorite show’s best moments, but spinoffs have taken off the past few years. Breaking Bad is over but will live and breathe in the body of the upcoming prequel series Better Call Saul, starring Bob Odenkirk. Even though FX’s biker drama Sons of Anarchy is slicing its way to a conclusion after seven seasons, creator Kurt Sutter still muses about giving it the movie or prequel treatment.

And four years after ending its eight-season run, 24 and Jack were back this spring. “I would have bet everything that Jack Bauer had seen his last day,” says executive producer Howard Gordon. And yet, Fox’s aptly titled limited event series, 24: Live Another Day, debuted for a 12-episode run in May. “The fact that (Jack) lived to see another day is testimony to how resilient this character is and how much we all missed him,” Gordon adds. But that’s one of the things about finales, isn’t it? Just because it’s over, doesn’t mean it’s ever really over—just ask Larry David.

The Good, The Bad And the Ugly

Series finales have run the gamut from perfect to pathetic. Here’s a look:

Ample ambiguity: The Sopranos
The cut-to-black last scene of the finale left many wondering if Tony Soprano died in that diner.

Blaze of bullets: Breaking Bad
Walter White gets revenge and a smidge of redemption in this finale for the annals.

Off into the sunset?: Dexter
Serial killer Dexter Morgan’s life being spared at the end of this drama left some viewers nonplussed.

Rust Cohle lives!: True Detective
Cohle and Marty Hart’s tender “odd couple” final moment touched viewers who were expecting something darker.

Wah wah wah: Seinfeld
There was nothing too redeeming in the Seinfeld cast’s incarceration for violating a Good Samaritan law in the finale.

Phoenix rising from the ashes: Community
The comedy somehow has managed to live on, thanks to Yahoo, and will get its finale in due time.

No Chance for goodbye: Revolution
The show’s Season 2 finale ended up being its series ender and was criticized for lacking an emotional punch.

Back where it started: The Wire
The gritty, Baltimore-based drama was hailed for delivering a finale that was understated and honest–no fireworks or ticker-tape parade.

It was Robin all along: How I Met Your Mother
Fans didn’t like finally meeting the titular mom only to have her die and Ted rekindle his romance with Robin.

A piece of perfection: Newhart
Newhart actually managed to pull off the “It was all a dream” trick ending, flashbacking to actor Bob Newhart’s 1970s sitcom.

Event of the season: Cheers
The long-running comedy’s finale was followed by a live taping of The Tonight Show, during which Jay Leno wrangled with a drunk, united cast.

What did it all mean?: Lost
The drama series was criticized for consistently being open-ended, and nowhere more so than its finale.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/08/true...eason-finales/
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
FX’s Kelsey Grammer-Martin Lawrence Comedy ‘Partners’ Opens to OK Ratings
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Aug. 5, 2013

FX’s Kelsey Grammer-Martin Lawrence comedy “Partners” got off to a pretty modest start on Monday, averaging a little over 1 million viewers for its two episodes.

The half-hour, starring the comedy vets as mismatched Chicago lawyers, is produced under Debmar-Mercury and Lionsgate Television’s 10/90 model that bore comedies like “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “Anger Management.” If the show meets certain ratings benchmarks after its initial 10 episodes, as those did, it will get the go-ahead for 90 more.

FX has stated that its analysis of ratings data doesn’t begin until L+3s come in (DVR playback within three days of a telecast), but according to same-night estimates by Nielsen, “Partners” averaged a 0.35 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.12 million viewers overall in the 9 o’clock half-hour. It then dipped at 10:30 to a 0.30 and 1.01 million. This puts it a bit behind the March premiere of George Lopez 10/90 series “Saint George,” which wasn’t picked up for its back-90 episodes.

On Monday, “Partners” certainly fared better than “Anger Management,” which averaged a 0.22 demo rating and 658,000 for its back-to-back episodes in the 10 o’clock hour.

FX’s most recent comedy premieres, “Married” and “You’re the Worst,” have faded after their OK starts. Last Thursday, “Married” drew 538,000 same-night viewers and “You’re the Worst” could only pull in 393,000.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/fxs-...gs-1201276264/
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Surgery gone wrong, ratings so right
New E! show 'Botched' is perfect summer entertainment
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 5, 2013

It sounds appalling: Watching the results of botched plastic surgery play out on the TV screen.

And yet it’s become summer’s latest hit.

E!’s “Botched,” which follows plastic surgeries gone wrong, is one of the network’s top shows and has just been renewed for a second season. It’s the latest example of the sort of mindless television that seems to take off on cable each year during the lazy days of July and August.

“Botched” hit a series high with 1.7 million total viewers in its Sunday 10 p.m. timeslot on July 27, according to Nielsen.

It’s averaging 1.54 million viewers and nearly 1 million adults 18-49, making it E!’s top new reality show in three years.

It’s been winning its timeslot among women 18-34 and 18-49 this summer as well, and the network has picked up a second season that will premiere in first quarter of next year.

The show is sometimes laughable and sometimes sad.

It follows people, often women, who have had plastic surgery gone terribly wrong. Doctors Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif try to fix the horrendous results, often with surprising success.

Some of the show’s subjects are just plain strange, like the guy who spent $100,000 trying to look like Justin Bieber. Some are done in by their own vanity, such as the women with botched boob jobs.

But sometimes there’s a sob story thrown in, like people with facial deformities just seeking to look a little more normal.

“Botched” follows in the tradition of light summer shows that burn hot in their first or second season, as viewers search for something fluffy to distract them before the heavier fare that invades TV in the fall.

This tradition has been going on for years, dating back to MTV’s “The Osbournes” and all the way through TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”

Of course, “Botched” is also helped by the fact that it leads out of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” E!’s longtime No. 1 show.

* * * *

In cable ratings for the week ended Aug. 3:


Top five networks in primetime (18-49s): TBS, USA, Adult Swim, Syfy, History.

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers): TNT, Disney Channel, USA, Fox News Channel, History.

Top five cable news networks in primetime (25-54): Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, CNBC, FBN, Al Jazeera America.

Top five cable news programs (total viewers): 1. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.); 2. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Monday, 8 p.m.); 3. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Wednesday, 8 p.m.); 4. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Thursday, 8 p.m.); 5. Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” (Monday, 9 p.m.).

Top movie (total viewers): Syfy’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One” (Wednesday, 9 p.m.) 1.64 million.

Top sporting event (total viewers): ESPN’s “NASCAR Sprint Cup” (Sunday, 12:47 p.m.) 4.37 million.

Shows making the top 10 among 18-34s, 18-49s and 25-54s: VH1′s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” (Monday, 8 p.m.).

Show on the rise: FX’s “The Strain,” Sunday, 10 p.m. The new drama averaged 1.50 million viewers 18-49, up 14 percent from 1.32 million the previous week.

Show on the decline: VH1′s “Hit the Floor,” Monday, 9 p.m. The show slipped 20 percent week-to-week among 18-49s, from 1.52 million to 1.21 million.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/sur...ings-so-right/
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Business Notes
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox withdraws bid for Time Warner
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Aug. 5, 2013

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has abandoned its $80-billion offer for rival media giant Time Warner.

The media mogul said Tuesday that combining the two companies would have been a “unique opportunity” but he wanted his bid to be friendly. Time Warner board members had dug in with their resistance, and Murdoch said he did not want to engage in a protracted and hostile battle.

Murdoch's move was a stunning reversal following the company's disclosure last month that it wanted to buy Time Warner, which boasts such assets as HBO, CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros., Hollywood's largest television and movie studio.

Most analysts had expected Murdoch to up Fox's offer to more than $90 billion in an effort to create a global media colossus. Instead, Fox said it would spend $6 billion of its war chest to buy back its own shares in an effort to raise the value of Fox.

"Our proposal had significant strategic merit and compelling financial rationale and our approach had always been friendly," Murdoch said in a statement. "However, Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling. Additionally, the reaction in our share price since our proposal was made undervalues our stock and makes the transaction unattractive to Fox shareholders."

Time Warner shares plunged more than 11% to $75.50 in after-hours trading after its stock surged since the offer was disclosed last month. Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox’s Class A shares surged 8% to $33.70 in after-hours trading.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...805-story.html
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Technology Notes
Russian gang stole 1.2 billion Net passwords
By Donna Leinwand Leger, Elizabeth Weise and Jessica Guynn, USA Today - Aug. 5, 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Security researchers say a Russian crime ring has pulled off the largest known theft of confidential Internet information, including 1.2 billion username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses.

The cyber gang injected malicious code to steal databases from at least 420,000 websites, says Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer for Hold Security in Milwaukee, Wisc.

"It is absolutely the largest breach we've ever encountered," Holden said late Tuesday.

Most unsettling, he said, was finding his own credentials among the compromised data.

Hold Security cyber sleuths have been monitoring the cyber gang for about seven months, but only recently realized the magnitude of the gang's operation, Holden said.

"We thought at first they were run-of-the-mill spammers," he said. "But they got very good at stealing these databases."

Holden won't identify the gang, but he says his investigators know their names and locations. "The perpetrators are in Russia so not much can be done. These people are outside the law," he said.

Hold Security said it is trying to contact the victims, but most of the websites remain vulnerable. Holden would not identify the victims, but said they included the auto industry, real estate, oil companies, consulting firms, car rental businesses, hotels, computer hardware and software firms and the food industry. The gang targeted SQL databases, Holden said.

The New York Times first reported the breach Tuesday.

Word comes as hundreds of the world's computer security professionals gather here for Black Hat, a major computer-security conference.

While the breach appears to be large, it's still hard to say if it's the biggest that's ever been discovered, said Marc Maiffret, the chief technical officer at BeyondTrust, a Phoenix-based computer security company. "There's always lots of changes when the dust settles, it takes months to know" how important a breach was, he said.

If a cache of passwords this big has been found, others likely exist. "I would absolutely assume there are others," said Maiffret.

The cache of credentials was created by taking advantage of the two most common types of hacking — attacking web sites to gain access to underlying databases of customer information, as well as going after individuals and "everyday email," said Maiffret. "It's really a perfect storm" of an attack, he said.

The size of the operation shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, Maiffret said. "In the past, when people thought of hacking, they thought of a lone teen-aged hacker sitting in the basement," he said. "But people need to realize that most hacking today is related to organized crime."

Even large companies need to acknowledge that modern-day hackers are likely "much better funded than they are," said security expert Sharon Vardi, who is the chief marketing officer of Securonix. "They are backed by millions of dollars to get the job done," he said.

Describing the breach as "easily five times the size of the Target breach," Vardi said that most organizations are not set up to defend these types of attacks. "They are not monitoring anomalies in their networks to detect these breaches quickly," he said.

Security expert Phil Lieberman, CEO of Lieberman Software, thinks the theft may be more of a warning or a veiled threat from the Russians. "I think this is a political statement rather than a security threat," he said. "I think there is a message being sent and the message is: Watch out."

The Russian government could have prevented the breach, he says. "But then the question is: Why should they? Are we such good friends that they should stop this?"

Leinwand Leger reported from McLean, Va.; Guynn reported from San Francisco.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/p...ords/13639285/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY 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)

ABC:
8PM - The Middle
(R - Jan. 22)
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
(R - Feb. 4)
9PM - Modern Family
(R - Mar. 5)
9:31PM - The Middle
(R - Mar. 5)
10PM - Nashville
(R - Apr. 23)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Chloë Grace Moretz; light heavyweight champion Jon "Bone" Jones; The Mighty Mighty Bosstones performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Big Brother
9PM - Criminal Minds
(R - Oct. 16)
10PM - Extant (Time Slot Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Martha Stewart; Bill Murray; Lady Gaga performs)
(R - Apr. 2)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kelsey Grammer; author Sloane Crosley)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent: Cutdown
9PM - America's Got Talent: Results (LIVE)
10PM - Taxi Brooklyn
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Megan Fox; TV host Nick Cannon; Wiz Khalifa performs with The Roots; Lester Holt sits in with The Roots)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Clive Owen; Sarah Paulson; Chase Rice performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Chef Roy Choi; The Growlers perform; musical group Sylvan Esso)
(R - May 21)

FOX:
8PM - So You Think You Can Dance (120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - My Wild Affair: The Seal Who Came Home (Season Finale)
9PM - NOVA - Australia's First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures
(R - May 1, 2013)
10PM - Sex in the Wild: Dolphins (Season Finale)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Lo Que La Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9PM - The 100
(R - Apr. 30)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina De Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (The Wu-Tang Clan)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Michael Fassbender)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Kurt Braunohler; Jessimae Peluso; Jason Biggs)
12:31AM - The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Larry King; Lizzy Caplan; Sam Morril)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Ethan Hawke)
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TV/Critic's Notes
40 Years Later, Still Trying to Define Presidential Power
Richard Nixon’s Tenure and Downfall Are Reassessed
By Peter Baker, The New York Times - Aug. 4, 2013

WASHINGTON — Talk of impeachment is in the air. A handful of conservatives issue statements and sell T-shirts promoting an impeachment their party leaders consider a fool’s errand. Democrats beat the drums even louder, raising money by scaring supporters into taking it seriously.

If history seems intent on repeating itself as farce, the events of recent days have served as a reminder that 40 years after President Richard M. Nixon resigned in the face of impending impeachment, the nation he left behind is still struggling to define the contours of presidential power and the nature of political accountability.

As the anniversary of his fall arrives this week, Watergate has faded into a few pages in a history book or a cliché to pull out in a news conference or a suffix to attach to some new scandal-gate. More than half of Americans were not alive when Nixon resigned and many others were too young to remember it. But a series of new books, documentaries, panel discussions and television programs has opened a re-examination of a dark and difficult period in American history.

“We’ve gotten sloppy about this, and politicians for their own reasons — the Democrats as well as Republicans — exploit the term ‘impeachment,’ ” said Elizabeth Drew, one of the leading chroniclers of Watergate. “Democrats are just as bad as Republicans about this. They’re raising money off the impeachment term just like the Republicans. This is disgusting. It’s an awful serious thing to talk about impeaching a president.”

Ms. Drew has contributed to the re-evaluation by releasing an updated version of her seminal book from 1975, “Washington Journal,” with a new afterword including fresh reporting. John W. Dean, the Nixon White House counsel, is back as well with a new volume, “The Nixon Defense,” based on a comprehensive review of the infamous White House tapes. The historians Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter have also mined the recordings for “The Nixon Tapes,” transcribing conversations on issues other than Watergate.

Patrick J. Buchanan celebrates Nixon in “The Greatest Comeback,” recalling the 1968 election he won after his previous defeats. Rick Perlstein in his latest installment in the history of the conservative movement traces the fall of Nixon to the rise of Ronald Reagan in “The Invisible Bridge.” In “Chasing Shadows,” Ken Hughes explores Nixon’s role in thwarting Vietnam peace talks before the 1968 election.

Television viewers will also find plenty to transport them back in time. HBO debuts “Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words,” on Monday, for some voyeuristic eavesdropping into the Oval Office. PBS follows on Friday night, 40 years to the hour after Nixon’s announcement that he would step down, by airing “Dick Cavett’s Watergate,” telling the story through the lens of the popular talk show host.

“I had forgotten things,” Mr. Cavett said of going through the shows he did on Watergate, which included interviews with figures like G. Gordon Liddy, John Ehrlichman and Alexander Haig. It was so implausible that “it seems either we must remember it wrong or it’s fiction,” he said, adding, “It made me angry watching it.”

From a more sympathetic vantage point, the Richard Nixon Foundation will post online starting Tuesday a series of interviews Nixon gave to his former White House aide, Frank Gannon, recalling the final days leading to his resignation.

In Washington, at least, there still seems to be an audience. When Ms. Drew and Mr. Hughes joined Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the famed investigative reporters, for a panel discussion of Nixon’s resignation at the headquarters of The Washington Post last week, the line stretched out the door and down the block.

All of which goes to show that Nixon still captures the public imagination all these years later. “It’s not that the American people 40 years later are wishing Nixon was still around,” said Mr. Brinkley, a professor at Rice University. “Nobody in their right mind would want Nixon back in the White House. But it was a momentous time and Nixon was a gigantic figure.”

And a well-documented one. While he was not the first president to tape his White House conversations, the 3,700 hours captured remain a unique record for history. Mr. Brinkley and Mr. Nichter focused not on Watergate but on other aspects of his presidency, including the opening to China, the Vietnam War, Middle East peacemaking and dealings with the Soviet Union.

The Nixon who comes through in the transcripts they have made is crude and vain, gossipy, sometimes paranoid, plotting against enemies real or imagined. He is also deeply involved in determining war strategy, plotting out hardball diplomacy and dictating policy to Henry Kissinger. “We like to put people in boxes,” said Mr. Nichter, an associate professor at Texas A & M University, Central Texas. “What box do you put Richard Nixon in, and who else is in that box — if a box can even contain him?”

While Mr. Brinkley and Mr. Nichter steered clear of Watergate — saving it for their next book of transcripts — Mr. Dean did not. Until now, Stanley Kutler’s 1997 book, “Abuse of Power,” offered the most complete look at what the tapes revealed about Watergate. But Mr. Dean and a team he assembled reviewed 600 additional conversations.

He concluded, among other things, that Nixon really did not order the break-in at the Democratic headquarters that precipitated the investigation leading to his downfall, but he was deeply involved in the cover-up. He also argued that it was mechanically impossible for Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, to have erased the tape with the infamous 18-and-a-half-minute gap, but dismisses the importance of the missing portion.

Mr. Dean, who cooperated with prosecutors to become Nixon’s accuser, said he learned more about the president he worked for while listening to the tapes, how he behaved differently with different people and relied so much on a small inner circle. “This is just the epitome of the kinds of mistakes a president can make, including the way a president gets himself isolated, and just getting information from one or two aides,” he said.

What lessons that may hold for today depends on who’s talking. President Bill Clinton was impeached, though acquitted by the Senate, for lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and now Barack Obama all heard rumblings of impeachment at different points.

Timothy Naftali, the former director of the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, said the anniversary should prompt discussion about the proper constitutional balance of power. “It’s a good time to reflect why some presidents are really threatened with impeachment,” he said, “and why for other presidents impeachment is just a term tossed around for political effect.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us...ref=television
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TV Notes
GSN Joins The Naked Reality TV Trend With Skin Wars
By Dina Gachman, Forbes.com - Aug. 5, 2013

Watching strangers date naked, buy and sell houses in the buff, and scavenge for food and water without a stitch of clothes on is becoming de rigueur in the world of reality television. We’ve got VH1’s Dating Naked, TLC’s Buying Naked, Naked and Afraid on Discovery Channel, and now we can add Skin Wars to that list – GSN’s new body-painting competition show featuring artists who use nude models as their canvas.

GSN (formerly known as Game Show Network) has been developing more original content over the past few years, thanks in large part to the EVP of Programming Amy Introcaso-Davis, who came on in 2011 after working as an exec at Oxygen and Bravo. One of her first mandates when she stepped into her role at GSN was to tell her team to look for the “game-ification of trends,” and Skin Wars definitely fits the bill.

It’s hosted by Rebecca Romijn (who knows what it’s like to stand around and have your body painted for hours on end thanks to her role as Mystique in X-Men) and RuPaul is one of the judges. They also rounded up “body painting rock stars” Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina as judges, and the contestants are ten of the most versatile body painters in the country. Contestants_Rebecca_3

“It’s fun to be in the middle of a trend and we’re trying to make this channel much more relevant in terms of pop culture so that’s great,” Introcaso-Davis says. When producer Michael Levitt pitched her the show, the naked reality phenomenon hadn’t become a thing yet, and it was the artwork – and not the skin it’s painted on – that wowed Introcaso-Davis and her team. “When Michael brought it to us he said, ‘This probably isn’t right for you guys but I’m going to pitch it to you anyways,’” she says. “We’d been looking at the competition/reality area and we didn’t want to go into it with something that was ordinary. We needed something that we thought conceptually and visually was unique and special and we really think this one is it.”

Skin Wars will be the first reality TV show about body painting, and with shows like The American Bible Challenge and It Takes a Church, the network is no longer just about playing reruns of old game shows. Their core audience is women, and Skin Wars is focused on the “beauty” of the body art “as opposed to it being a more male thing with big ugly monsters,” says Introcaso-Davis.

As for premiering Skin Wars at the height of the naked TV trend, Introcaso-Davis says, “Television always sort of happens like this.” You won’t see any black censor lines or blurred out body parts on GSN’s show though – and you definitely won’t see buck naked, drunk singles flirting in a Jacuzzi.

“With Skin Wars, you kind of forget that they’re naked,” says Introcaso-Davis.

Skin Wars premieres Wednesday night on GSN.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dinagach...ith-skin-wars/
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post #95999 of 98765 Old 08-06-2014, 04:08 AM
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TV Review
Morgan Spurlock’s ‘7 Deadly Sins’ (Showtime)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Aug. 5, 2013

Cheeky in the extreme — and “extreme” is the operative word — Morgan Spurlock’s “7 Deadly Sins” takes Showtime into TLC territory, albeit operating with a bit more style and latitude. Serving as host from what looks like the old “Night Gallery” set, Spurlock guides viewers through out-there examples of each vice, from gluttony to lust, envy to wrath. With a trio of vignettes in each half-hour, the show is fast-paced, fun and voyeuristic: the pay-cable equivalent of empty calories, while mirroring what’s become a pretty saturated basic-cable subgenre.

Sporting a funereal black suit, Spurlock introduces each story, and frequently cites historical examples of the various sins. The taped pieces then focus on individual cases that demonstrate different forms of unorthodox or fetishistic behavior: A 700-pound woman whose work revolves around her weight, and the man who desires her; men who like dressing up in rubberized suits that approximate a woman’s body, and the company that sells them; an honest-to-God fight club; and a man who markets dildos modeled after, among other things, horses and dogs. (It is, we’re told, a lot safer for all concerned than actual bestiality.)

Spurlock and his collaborators (he created the show with Jeremy Chilnick) have a good eye for the absurd, and for presenting what amount to carnival-sideshow acts without engaging in excessive smirking. In that regard, this is a more intellectually provocative exercise than something like “Gigolos” and the other unscripted Showtime fare that occupy similar latenight environs.

That said, “Sins” is also such well-trod territory that TLC has already devoted an entire show to young men who harbor a sexual yen for elderly women (“Extreme Cougar Wives” for those keeping score at home), a thread that finds its way into the “Lust” episode.

“You like what you like because your brain is hard-wired that way,” the guy explains.

Four sins were screened (greed, sloth and pride remain), and the producers were wise to limit each to a half-hour, given the somewhat flimsy nature of the material.

Mostly, the series reflects Spurlock’s slightly tweaked curiosity, which has led him into a form of participatory journalism that easily expanded beyond longform documentary into the episodic TV realm — although mercifully, the hand’s-on approach he usually favors doesn’t figure into this.

“Who am I to judge?” Spurlock asks in closing a couple of the episodes.

But of course, it’s human nature to do just that, as well as to gawk. And inasmuch as the collective hunger to visit the outer regions of behavior borders on gluttony, it’s hard to be wrathful about “Seven Deadly Sins” lustily joining in the lucrative business of feeding those appetites.

Morgan Spurlock's '7 Deadly Sins'
(Showtime, Thurs. Aug. 7, 11 p.m.)


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...ns-1201273065/
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TV Review
‘Extreme Guide to Parenting,’ goofiness
The children's issues are real but the parents are something else
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 4, 2013

It’s always disheartening when people engage us emotionally and then we realize they have something to sell.

That’s what happens with Bravo’s new documentary series “Extreme Guide to Parenting.” The profiles of families with varying approaches to child rearing are mostly engaging, raising issues that many parents have confronted. But all of the parents in the show are also promoting either a product or themselves, so we question their sincerity and the honesty of the show itself.

But since the self-promotion is a serious problem in only one of the three stories we see in the first two episodes, the show is worth checking out. Two out of three, as they say, ain’t bad.

The premiere episode, airing this Thursday, Aug. 7, at 9:30 p.m., profiles two families. The first is the Adlers, of Katonah, N.Y., who, according to an onscreen graphic, practice “parenting style #73 : eco-kosher, shamanistic, aromatherapy.”

The mother, Shira, is a cantor who was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family but now is strictly New Age. She believes she can read auras and has a line of “aromatherapy synergy sprays.” We come to suspect that she wouldn’t be using them so often on air if the cameras weren’t providing free publicity.

But the family has a serious and relatable problem: Shira’s 10-year-old son, Yonah, seems to have ADHD. Shira, however, has read his aura and has decided he’s an “indigo.”

Indigos, she says, are sent here to change the world, so she prefers to treat him with sprays and a singing bowl instead of medication. Her attention to Yonah seems to come at the expense of her 12-year-old daughter, Emma.

Yonah is a handful. When he comes home from school one day with a bullet, Shira says, “Please tell me you were not carrying that in your school bag.”

“I was not carrying it in my school bag,” he says.

“Where was it?” she asks.

“In my school bag.”

Shira’s boyfriend, Andy, gently tries to persuade her to try medication, as does a psychiatrist who sensibly points out that even indigos have to learn to wait in line. We genuinely become involved in Shira’s dilemma and worry about her decision.

That can’t be said for the other family in the episode, a Los Angeles gay couple named Scout Masterson and Bill Horn and their 3-year-old daughter, Simone. They go by “parenting style #22 : all baby, all the time.”

The men say they have changed their careers so they can work from home and be close to Simone. They pay Scout’s mother, whom they call Nana, to work as a part-time nanny.

Unsurprisingly, this relationship is tricky, but the way it plays out in the episode feels contrived. Scout and Bill constantly check on Nana, whom they treat so rudely that we become convinced they’re doing it for the cameras.

When Nana insists that the men let Simone have a sleepover at her apartment, they refuse, and she quits.

According to Bravo’s press materials, Scout and Bill are the “guncles” on Tori Spelling’s reality series “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.” On this episode, their story plays out like a plotline on a bad celebreality show, and the only insight we get is into the mentality of people who want to be famous.

The second episode features only one family, which has a more nuanced story. Nate and Christian Axness, of Sarasota, Fla., are raising their 16-month-old daughter, Ella, through “conscious attachment.”

They let Ella sleep with them, breast-feed whenever she wants and run around without a diaper. For potty training, they use a technique called “elimination communication”: The mother is expected to sense when the baby has to go. From what we see, this isn’t working so well.

Still, Christian teaches courses in the technique in the “organic children’s boutique” that she has recently opened. She also recommends placenta eating, public breast feeding and teaching infants sign language. Although she seems sincere, we can’t help wondering if her proselytizing on the show is also intended to drum up business at the store.

In an amusing and recognizable scene, Christian takes Ella to a mommy-and-me yoga class, where another mother is taken aback by Ella’s bare bottom and enthusiastic breast feeding. More seriously, we see the strain that Christian’s perfectionism puts on her friend Bethany, a working mother who can’t be with her own son as much as she’d like.

The episode addresses the issue of childhood vaccination. Christian doesn’t want to give Ella the chickenpox vaccine, preferring for her to get the virus naturally through a “chickenpox party.” This drives another wedge between Christian and Bethany and sets up some suspense when Christian starts to question her own convictions.

If “Extreme Guide to Parenting” can find more mothers like Christian, it will succeed. If it can find some whose only motivation to appear on the show is the desire to share their stories, it will thrive.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/ext...ing-goofiness/
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