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post #96181 of 97134 Old 08-14-2014, 01:23 PM
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TV Sports
Happy Birthday, Tim Tebow: Is your NFL Career Really Over?
By Dan Shanoff, USA Today - Aug. 14, 2014

It seems fitting that today is both the birth day of the new SEC Network and the birthday of Tim Tebow, the biggest star on the SEC Network.

It was just more than five summers ago that I launched TimTeblog.com, offering obsessive coverage of the Tim Tebow phenomenon.

The site was fascinating to produce — there was obviously plenty of material around Tebow during his insane senior season at Florida, his insane NFL Draft process, his insane rookie year with the Broncos, the truly insane apex 2nd year in Denver, the modestly insane debacle in New York and the not-really-insane denouement in New England last August.

I can’t help but think that the moment the lights officially go on for the SEC Network, with Tebow on-air live from Gainesville, the NFL chapter of Tebow’s career will really be over.

I remain biased and mystified — that no team will give him a shot, that QBs like Brady Quinn and Rex Grossman can land on rosters, that this really might be it.
I know he continues to train — I actually believe him when he says that his skills have never been better. I am left with one lingering question:

Why doesn’t he switch positions?

Yes, I understand that the day he lines up at anything but QB is the day that his dream of being an NFL QB is over, but — from the looks of things — his dream of being an NFL quarterback IS ALREADY over.

The implication: Wait, he would really rather remain a QB and never play in the NFL again than switch to anything-but-QB (fullback? tight end? the invented-just-now “T-back?”) and get a shot to contribute on an NFL roster in some other way?

It’s not like he wasn’t willing to do whatever it took to help his teams previously: His rookie year with the Broncos, before he took over as starting QB, he lined up as a receiver. On the Jets, he eagerly accepted a role on special teams. Anything to help the team.

The irony is that if he was on a roster as a fullback, coaches might actually be willing to deploy him more innovatively (the way they should have when he was playing QB), in short-yardage situations or otherwise:

Four or five plays per game, what if you weren’t sure if Tebow the T-back was going to plow you with a block, trample you with the ball tucked away, pitch to a running back or flip a toss over your head to a wide-open receiver?

If not a starting QB, Tebow’s advantage to an NFL team has always been at the margins — not marginalized: Helping secure the drive-sustaining or clock-killing first down, caroming in for the goal-line score, delivering the defense-distracting feint. He is a specialist at producing the handful of plays that become the difference between W and L.

The next phase of Tim Tebow’s fascinating career begins today. He will be wildly successful and popular, because he has always been wildly successful and popular.

Look: I subscribe to the First Rule of Tim Tebow (“Just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it does”) and hold out that at least one more NFL opportunity will present itself (say, when Urban Meyer eventually takes over for Bill Belichick in New England).

Even with that faith, I can’t help lamenting whether the previous phase — Tebow’s NFL career — ends today, too.​

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/08/tim-tebow-birthday-sec-network-nfl-career


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post #96182 of 97134 Old 08-14-2014, 01:29 PM
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Critic's/Business Notes
First ‘Sharknado.’ Now ‘Zombie Sharks.’
Media Companies Spin Off Newspapers, to Uncertain Futures
By David Carr, The New York Times' 'Media Equation' Column - Aug. 11, 2013

A year ago last week, it seemed as if print newspapers might be on the verge of a comeback, or at least on the brink of, well, survival.

Jeff Bezos, an avatar of digital innovation as the founder of Amazon, came out of nowhere and plunked down $250 million for The Washington Post. His vote of confidence in the future of print and serious news was seen by some — including me — as a sign that an era of “optimism or potential” for the industry was getting underway.

Turns out, not so much — quite the opposite, really. The Washington Post seems fine, but recently, in just over a week, three of the biggest players in American newspapers — Gannett, Tribune Company and E. W. Scripps, companies built on print franchises that expanded into television — dumped those properties like yesterday’s news in a series of spinoffs.

The recent flurry of divestitures scanned as one of those movies about global warming where icebergs calve huge chunks into churning waters.

The persistent financial demands of Wall Street have trumped the informational needs of Main Street. For decades, investors wanted newspaper companies to become bigger and diversify, so they bought more newspapers and developed television divisions. Now print is too much of a drag on earnings, so media companies are dividing back up and print is being kicked to the curb.

Setting aside the brave rhetoric — as one should — about the opportunity for a “renewed focus on print,” those stand-alone print companies are sailing into very tall waves. Even strong national newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are struggling to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth; the regional newspapers that make up most of the now-independent publishing divisions have a much grimmer outlook.

As it turns out, the journalism moment we are living in is more about running for your life than it is about optimism. Newspapers continue to generate cash and solid earnings, but those results are not enough to satisfy investors.

Even the most robust evangelism is belied by the current data. Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corporation, espoused the “power of print” on Thursday even as he announced that advertising revenue at the company plunged 9 percent in the most recent quarter.

And remember that it was Mr. Thomson’s boss, Rupert Murdoch, who started the wave of print divestitures when his company divorced its newspapers last year, although it did pay out $2 billion in alimony, which gave the publications, including The Journal, a bit of a cash cushion. (News Corporation’s tepid earnings report came two days after Mr. Murdoch, who has swashed more buckles and cut more deals than almost anyone, was forced by the market to let go of his latest prey, Time Warner.)

The people at the magazine business Time Inc. were not so lucky, burdened with $1.3 billion in debt when Time Warner threw them from the boat. Swim for your life, executives at the company seemed to be saying, and by the by, here’s an anchor to help you on your way.

E. W. Scripps and Journal Communications put a twist on the situation just over a week ago by marrying, then promptly orphaning the print assets that each company owned. On Tuesday, when the embattled, post-bankruptcy Tribune Company officially introduced a separate publishing division so that it could concentrate on television, it handed the new company $350 million in debt as a parting gift.

Many industry observers sucked in their breath and wondered what Gannett, the last big operation featuring both newspapers and television, would do. We didn’t have to wait long. On Tuesday, Gannett said its print division would go it alone.

No debt was built into the arrangement, but the broadcast division hung onto two lucrative digital sites, CareerBuilder.com and Cars.com.

In the main, it’s been like one big, long episode of “Divorce Court,” with various petitioners showing up and citing irreconcilable differences with their print partners. It’s not that television is such a spectacular business — there are plenty of challenges on that front — but newspapers and magazines are clearly going to be smaller, less ambitious businesses and journalistic enterprises regardless of how carefully they are operated.

Even if the writing has been on the wall for some time, let’s play a bit of sad trombone for the loss of reporting horsepower that will accompany the spinoffs.
Newspapers will be working without a net as undiversified pure-play print companies. Most are being cut loose after all the low-hanging fruit, like valuable digital properties, have been plucked. Many newspapers have sold their real estate, where much of their remaining value was stored.

More ominous, most of the print and magazine assets have already been cut to the bone in terms of staffing. Reducing costs has been the only reliable source of profits as overall revenue has declined. Not much is left to trim.

The Tribune Company, which is to be run by Jack Griffin, who had a short, unsuccessful stint overseeing the pre-spin Time Inc., has cut $250 million in costs since 2011, according to the media analyst Ken Doctor. Businesses have to either peddle a growth story — a tough sell for any print enterprise — or produce a reliable cash flow that reaps dividends for shareholders. Gannett has eliminated more than a third of its employees since 2005.

And with ads declining at a steep rate, newspapers (and magazines) are trying to turn toward readers for digital revenue at the same time that they have denuded their products of much of their value. It’s a little like trashing a house by burning all the furniture to stay warm and then inviting people in to see if they want to buy the joint.

At Gannett newspapers, reader metrics will drive coverage and journalists will work with dashboards of data to guide reporting. After years of layoffs, many staff members were immediately told that they had to reapply for jobs when the split was announced. In an attempt to put some lipstick on an ugly pivot, Stefanie Murray, executive editor of The Tennessean, promised readers “an ambitious project to create the newsroom of the future, right here in Nashville. We are testing an exciting new structure that is geared toward building a dynamic, responsive newsroom.” (Jim Romenesko, who blogs about the media industry, pointed out that Gannett also announced “the newsroom of the future” in 2006.)

The Nashville Scene noted that readers had to wait only one day to find out what the news of the future looks like: a Page 1 article in The Tennessean about Kroger, a grocery store and a major advertiser, lowering its prices.

If this is the future — attention news shoppers, Hormel Chili is on sale in Aisle 5 — what is underway may be a kind of mercy killing.

So whose fault is it? No one’s. Nothing is wrong in a fundamental sense: A free-market economy is moving to reallocate capital to its more productive uses, which happens all the time. Ask Kodak. Or Blockbuster. Or the makers of personal computers. Just because the product being manufactured is news in print does not make it sacrosanct or immune to the natural order.

It’s a measure of the basic problem that many people haven’t cared or noticed as their hometown newspapers have reduced staffing, days of circulation, delivery and coverage.

Will they notice or care when those newspapers go away altogether? I’m not optimistic about that.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/business/media/media-companies-spin-off-newspapers-to-uncertain-futures.html?ref=media&_r=0


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post #96183 of 97134 Old 08-14-2014, 03:47 PM
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TV Notes
Chuck Todd Replacing David Gregory on 'Meet the Press'
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Aug. 14, 2014

In news that should come as a shock to no one: Chuck Todd will replace David Gregory on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

The move was anticipated for some time, and is expected to become official sometime on Thursday or Friday. Gregory is expected to leave NBC altogether, CNN Money reported on Thursday.

NBC did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment.Gregory moderated “Meet the Press” for the past six years. Todd is NBC News political director and hosts “Daily Rundown,” which airs in 9 o'clock hour on MSNBC.

Politico's Mike Allen reported earlier this week that Todd was the “likely successor” to Gregory.

http://www.thewrap.com/chuck-todd-david-gregory-meet-the-press-nbc/
Nothing against Gregory or Todd who I think are very good at what they do, but I SO miss Tim Russert. Meet the Press was the only political show I could stand to watch regularly because Russert was so good at keeping things even-keel and professional. I've lost interest in the show since his death.
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post #96184 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 12:18 AM
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Nothing against Gregory or Todd who I think are very good at what they do, but I SO miss Tim Russert. Meet the Press was the only political show I could stand to watch regularly because Russert was so good at keeping things even-keel and professional. I've lost interest in the show since his death.
Agree. Ever since Russert's untimely passing I've stopped watching Sunday morning shows. That man was an amazingly well-prepared interviewer whose drive to expose the truth on what his guests were saying was on a class of its own.
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post #96185 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 12:21 AM
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Ferguson Coverage Hands MSNBC Huge Late Night Demo Ratings Boost
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Aug. 14, 2013

MSNBC reaped the ratings benefits of covering the protests and fall-out in Ferguson, Mo., live across Wednesday's late night time period (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.).

The cable news channel's ratings jumped 244 percent versus the prior four Wednesdays, and 139 percent against its third quarter Wednesday average in the key 25-54 demo.

Gains against MSNBC's Monday-Friday averages were lower, but still at roughly triple-digit percentage growth.

MSNBC had pulled in 62,000 viewers in the demo over the last four Wednesdays, and averaged 89,000 thus far for Wednesday's late night throughout Q3.

Last night, however, it got 213,000 viewers — good for second place against the competition.

Fox News still won with 272,000 viewers in the demo, a number that was essentially flat in both comparisons.

Third-place CNN saw solid gains itself, with a 32 percent boost versus the past four Wednesdays and a 26 percent increase when measured against the quarter. Typically, however, CNN gets the strongest push during times of breaking news.

CNN was also live and covering the situation in Missouri.

Fourth-place HLN's numbers dipped double-digits last night in both comparisons. HLN did not cover the Ferguson situation live.

In the late-night, the standard night sees Fox News winning the demo, HLN is second, CNN third and MSNBC fourth.

Both CNN and MSNBC saw double digit percentage gains in primetime (8 p.m. – 11 p.m.) as well.

While the Ferguson protests have been going on for days — ever since unarmed 18-year-old African-American teenager, Michael Brown,was shot and killed by the police on Aug. 9 — TV news and social media coverage really began to get momentum and top billing during the latter part of primetime last night and beyond.

http://www.thewrap.com/ferguson-cove...ratings-boost/


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post #96186 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 12:28 AM
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Critic's Notes
David Gregory Wasn’t the Real Problem with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’
By Andrew Wallenstein, Variety.com - Aug. 14, 2014

To the surprise of no one, Chuck Todd was tapped Thursday to replace David Gregory in the anchor chair at NBC’s struggling “Meet the Press.” Rumors of his demise had been rampant for so long that his removal was a foregone conclusion.

Even Gregory’s harshest critics should have some sympathy for the guy. He had some bumps in the road but for the most part proved himself just as tough an interviewer as his peerless predecessor, Tim Russert. Perhaps Russert was really the problem here: When a legend casts a shadow that long, no one underneath it really has a shot at shining through.

NBC threw out the baby instead of the bathwater that is the show’s real problem: its format. Terrific an interviewer as Gregory is, there was too much airtime devoted to overheated, predictable rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. What few light tweaks that were made to the format, like Jim Miklaszewski’s bland dispatches, weren’t nearly enough to fix Gregory’s problems.

Had NBC News chief Deborah Turness, who is now suggesting that significant format changes are ahead with Todd in place, experimented meaningfully with the “Meet the Press” format while Gregory was still in the anchor chair, perhaps he would still be there.

Then there was the sight of Gregory twisting in the wind for as long as he had while NBC futilely tinkered on the show. Not a month seemingly went by without some press report on his imminent ouster, followed by strenuous denials from NBC. If Turness was going to stick so firmly by Gregory’s side, perhaps she owed him more time to make the kind of substantive changes to his show that never really materialized.

Given the sideshow Gregory’s fate became, no wonder he’s out of a job. Which isn’t to say that NBC can be blamed for making the tough choice to drop Gregory given the reality of the show’s ratings. At some point, there’s no distinction to be made between baby and bathwater–the latter taints the former if they’ve been in the tub together for too long.

As successors go, Todd is certainly worthy. He has years of practice under his belt on “Press” and MSNBC, building up a reputation as an insider with a keen eye for poll numbers.

It will be interesting to see what’s next for Gregory. The year-long vulture-pecking that preceded his ouster may make him damaged goods for competitors that might otherwise tap someone with his level of talent. Surely a CNN or CBS isn’t going to put him in the game on Sunday mornings, but there’s got to be other venues for Gregory to do his thing.

But thinking about his possibilities elsewhere on the dial may be an anachronistic way of thinking in an era when a veteran like Katie Couric now calls Yahoo home. For instance, what about Netflix?

The streaming VOD service stunned the industry recently by announcing its entry into the talk show genre, with Chelsea Handler. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Netflix has contemplated getting into the news business as well in some limited fashion, and someone with Gregory’s bona fides might represent just the opportunity.

No matter where Gregory goes next, it’s in his best interest in the short term to just lay low and let the memory of the last six months fade. In time, the industry and viewers will remember the talent that brought him to “Press’ in the first place.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/davi...ss-1201283260/


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post #96187 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 12:45 AM
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Critic's Notes
New Tiger joins 'Neighborhood'
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug. 14, 2014

PBS’s “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” produced in part by the South Side-based Fred Rogers Company, begins its second season Monday with back-to-back episodes (11 and 11:30 a.m., WQED-TV) that expand the show’s cast and universe as preschooler Daniel Tiger becomes a big brother.

Series creator Angela Santomero, who scripted the second half-hour with writer Becky Friedman, said the notion of adding a baby sister came from moms who watch the show with their children and wrote in asking about the possibility of an episode that acknowledged the challenges of new siblings on older brothers and sisters.

“The Fred Rogers Company has so much in their curriculum on how to deal with transitions, so we wondered what we could do,” Ms. Santomero said by phone from the New York offices of Out of the Blue Enterprises, which producers “DTN” with the Fred Rogers Company.

Initially there were conversations about which character on the show should get a new sibling, but Ms. Santomero was firmly in favor of making Daniel the new big brother.

“Our research shows whenever anything happens to Daniel, kids are much more empathetic because they love him so much,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine it happening to anybody other than Daniel.”

The new baby, who arrives in the second of the two new episodes airing Monday, is named Margaret, after Fred Rogers’ mentor, the late Margaret McFarland, a child psychology expert and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

The introduction of Margaret won’t be a one-and-done scenario. She will continue to appear and have an influence on Daniel’s life, aging from a newborn to 14 months during the show’s 25-episode second season.

Daniel remains in the foreground, but the baby’s presence is felt. Episodes deal with how Daniel feels when neighbors stop by to see the baby and how Daniel reacts when his friend Prince Wednesday doesn’t want to play because he’s having “brother time” and how Daniel can have family time with Margaret.

Other episodes in the new season deal with trying something new and a little scary, misplacing a favorite red sweater and how children can “look for the helpers,” inspired by the Mister Rogers Internet meme that inevitably returns anytime there are tragedies such as school shootings or terror attacks (in Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood, the scary event is a preschool-appropriate thunderstorm).

Live-action interstitials for season two continue to be filmed in Pittsburgh, this time with a regular rotating cast of local children who make up the show’s sweater crew. They include Veronica Garcia, 7; Olivia Hill, 7; Evie Marshal, 7; Phineas Pennington, 6; Brayden Sims, 7, and Joey Verzinskie, 6.

Paul Siefken, vice president of broadcast and digital media for The Fred Rogers Company, explained earlier this year that these live-action segments will more closely approximate Mister Rogers’ visits in the real world on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

“When you see one of the children going out to visit the Benedum to see ‘The Nutcracker’ ... they get the opportunity to meet with some of the behind-the-scenes people to find out more about how something works,” he said. “It’s exciting for us to be able to go a little further with the interstitials and have the children play more of the role Fred played in the original series, meeting people and asking them questions.”

In addition to a second season of “Daniel,” a new one-hour episode of PBS’s “Dinosaur Train” will follow “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” Monday at 11 a.m. on WQED-TV.

Canceled/renewed

TV Land has canceled “Kirstie” after one season.

ABC gave the ax to low-rated medical drama “Black Box.”

USA Network renewed “Suits” for a 16-episode fifth season to air next summer.

Comedy Central renewed “@Midnight” for a 40-week second season to air in 2015.

DirecTV’s buzz-free “Rogue” has nonetheless been renewed for an additional two seasons with 10 episodes for 2015 and another 10 for 2016.

ABC Family canceled mystery-drama “Twisted” after a single season.

HBO renewed “The Leftovers” for a second season.

SEC Network launches

College football’s SEC Network will debut locally on Comcast’s Xfinity service today for customers with digital preferred and above service tiers.

The new network can be found on Channel 269 or 842HD.

Channel surfing

This week Comedy Central launched “The Daily Show Podcast Without Jon Stewart,” a 20-30-minute podcast that will post to iTunes every other week. Each episode will explore how different elements of the program are put together. … Roundtable chat show “Live From E!,” hosted by Jason Kennedy, Maria Menounos and Ross Mathews, will expand to three nights — Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 8 p.m. — starting Sept. 8. ...“Play It Again, Dick,” a “Veronica Mars” Web series spinoff, will debut on The CW Seed website (cwseed.com) Sept. 15 and will feature guest spots from most of the “Mars” cast, including star Kristen Bell.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201408150006


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post #96188 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 12:52 AM
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TV Sports
Commissioner Rob Manfred's top priorities entering office
By Paul White, USA Today - Aug. 14, 2014

The key issues facing commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, who is scheduled to replace Bud Selig on Jan. 25, 2015:

Credibility, inside and outside the game

The most remarkable accomplishment of Selig's tenure has been the accord among the owners. Selig seldom allowed a major decision to even be voted on unless he was certain the result would at least give off the appearance of unanimity. That's because he constantly worked the phones, cajoling owners with varying individual interests – often based on market size and revenue streams. Now, at the very end of Selig's time in charge, is the most open challenge of his authority – the dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals over their TV network.

Is that a crack in what Selig has built? Now, will strong-willed owners attempt to wield more power and challenge the Park Avenue authority? Can Manfred maintain the balance and cooperation? He'll be tested and if the discord and disarray that was visible under previous commissioners bubbles up again, it will affect the view of baseball from the outside. The faction of owners who opposed Manfred wasn't enough to keep him out of the job, but will their reservations carry over into how they respond to his authority?

Early tests of their authority have been crucial to the perceptions of the NFL's Roger Goodell and the NBA's Adam Silver. The same will happen quickly in baseball. Selig didn't always give off the perfect PR-agency aura of commissioner but his clear control of his game helped him get by. Does Manfred project the requisite CEO-type style?

Performance-enhancing drugs

Selig is correct that his game has the strongest drug program in pro team sports. That doesn't mean the problem has gone away. As long as someone is out there determining how to stay one step ahead of the posse, the need for vigilance continues.

Remember that MLB didn't discover Biogenesis on its own. It came upon the scandal only because of a disgruntled employee of the company and MLB needed to conduct a subsequent investigation that has been criticized for methods spearheaded by Manfred. And those punished from Biogenesis weren't caught in the testing program. It would be naïve to think there wasn't or aren't other similar suppliers of the methods to cheat out there.

A significant number of players are on board for stiffer penalties but plenty of challenges still remain in the detection of cheaters.

Labor

This is another area in which we shouldn't be fooled by improvements over the past decade or so. The next collective bargaining agreement doesn't come until after the 2016 season but some of the debate during the commissioner search should be instructive.

Some of the owners who raised objections to Manfred contended he had become too soft in his relationship with the players' union. During the early portion of his 15 years as MLB's top labor guy, Manfred was seen by the union as a take-no-prisoners pit bull.

New union executive director Tony Clark said after taking over last year that he fully expected his resolve to be tested during his first CBA negotiations. How stiffly he's tested and how the bargaining strategy is formulated in advance of the next talks could be a strong indicator of who's really calling the shots on the management side.

Part of the improved relationship that has led to three consecutive CBAs without a work stoppage comes from both sides learning they can profit from cooperation – starting with their partnership in the World Baseball Classic. Is that enough for all the owners?

Stadium issues

The dispute continues over territorial rights in the Bay Area that has hampered the Oakland Athletics' attempts to get a new stadium. Unlike the Baltimore-Washington TV dispute, Selig has kept this one under wraps while frustrating the public with his trademark vague references to ongoing talks.

The Tampa Bay situation only figures to become more pronounced. Little has changed there with the Rays and MLB aware that the Tampa side of the bay is the source of the most potential revenue while the St. Petersburg side clings to its ironclad stadium lease through 2027.

The Rays have been remarkably successful on the field despite attendance problems that just won't go way. Continuing that combination for another decade or more might not be realistic.

Selig was adept at shrugging off public criticism of these problems. Can Manfred ignore the outside pressure?

Growth

The bottom line for owners is, well, the bottom line.

And the owners remain the commissioner's boss. Manfred comes from the labor side so he'll have to prove he has the business acumen or surround himself with the requisite experts.

International growth sounds good, and will be a major part of MLB's future direction, but in the owners' view it's really about more revenue. Just as MLB.com has been. Just as the MLB Network has been.

Baseball revenues have steadily increased to record levels – projected to be in the $9 billion range this year. Teams are lining up record TV contracts.

But the pressure will continue to find more revenue streams, to keep attendance from leveling off, to find a strong spot in a TV ratings battle that faces all sports.

The competition for the entertainment dollar becomes stiffer every day and the key to staying ahead of the curve is keeping the next generation excited about the game.

All of that remains a battle for baseball, a sport that had to play catchup several decades ago when other sports seized the marketplace momentum.

Remaining as relevant as ever will require vision and a plan. Just the appearance that one is in place will be a long way for baseball.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...elig/14065521/


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post #96189 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 01:01 AM
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TV Notes
Best tube bets this weekend
The top draws on broadcast and cable and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 15, 2013

FRIDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: NBC, “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” 11:35 p.m.
Jason Statham, Demi Lovato and David Chang guest.

Best bet on cable: The Hub, “Happy Days” 9 p.m. Paying tribute to late actor Robin Williams, the kids’ network airs the episode of “Happy Days” that launched Williams’ sitcom, “Mork & Mindy.” “My Favorite Orkan” features Mork arriving at the Cunninghams’ house.

Top sporting event: NBCSN, “Major League Soccer,” 9 p.m. On a slow night for sports, this match between Houston and Philadelphia might be the most exciting thing on the schedule.

SATURDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: NBC, “Saturday Night Live,” 11:30 p.m.
A re-airing of the episode featuring Anna Kendrick and Pharrell.

Best bet on cable: HBO, “Katt Williams: Priceless,” 10 p.m. Spike Lee directs a new stand-up comedy special from Ontario, California.

Top sporting event: Showtime, “Boxing,” 9 p.m. Welterweight title fight between Shawn Porter and Kell Brook.

SUNDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: ABC, “Wipeout,” 8 p.m.
Tonight’s episode features 12 former couples teaming up on the obstacle course.

Best bet on cable: Food Network, “The Great Food Truck Race” 9 p.m. Season premiere. Eight teams start the new season in Santa Barbara, and the challenge is to create a signature dish.

Top sporting event: Fox, “NFL Football,” 8 p.m. Yes, it’s just preseason, but plenty of people will still watch the Chiefs take on the Panthers.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bes...ts-weekend-45/


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post #96190 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 01:12 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
FRIDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Wipeout
(R - Jul. 13)
9PM - Shark Tank
(R - May 16)
10PM - 20/20
(R)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Mickey Rourke; Jordana Brewster; Banks performs)
(R - Aug. 7)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
(R - Mar. 19)
9PM - Hawaii Five-0
(R - Apr. 4)
10PM - Blue Bloods
(R - Apr. 4)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Harry Connick Jr.; Jesse Eisenberg; The Black Keys performs)
(R - May 12)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Hugh Laurie, and Hugh performs with the Copper Bottom Band)
(R - May 29)

NBC:
8PM - Running Wild With Bear Grylls: Channing Tatum
(R - Aug. 11)
9PM - Dateline NBC (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Jason Statham; singer Demi Lovato; chef David Chang)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Ethan Hawke; TV host Megyn Kelly; writer Paula Pell)
(R - Jul. 31)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Emily Mortimer; K. Flay performs; "Maidentrip")
(R - Mar. 18)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
(R - Aug. 11)
9PM - Bones
(R - Jan. 31)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
8:30PM - Charlie Rose: The Week
9PM - Side by Side: The Science, Art, and Impact of Digital Cinema (2012)
10PM - One Voice (2010)

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

THE CW:
8PM - Masters of Illusion
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Jun. 9)
9PM - Penn & Teller: Fool Us
(R)

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

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Chandler Parsons)
(R - Aug. 7)


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post #96191 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhunter8 View Post
Nothing against Gregory or Todd who I think are very good at what they do, but I SO miss Tim Russert. Meet the Press was the only political show I could stand to watch regularly because Russert was so good at keeping things even-keel and professional. I've lost interest in the show since his death.
Totally agree. Russert was good at keep both sides in line. Gregory and NBC only seem to be interested in one side of most views.
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 15, 2014

MOYERS & COMPANY
Public Television, Check local listings

This second installment in a two-part special devoted to Maya Angelou provides excerpts from another of Moyers’ shows featuring her. This one is from 1988, in which he and Angelou, a childhood rape victim who was stunned into a five-year silence before poetry reawakened her spirit, attend a conference on “Facing Evil.”For dates and times when this series runs in your area, check the Moyers & Company website. Check local listings.

BONNIE & CLYDE
TCM, 3:30 p.m. ET
Today is Faye Dunaway day on TCM.
And really, the lineup the channel is presenting of her films makes for one of the month’s strongest overall offerings. The morning movies are good enough, but starting with 1967’s influential Bonnie and Clyde, in which she starred opposite Warren Beatty, at 3:30 p.m. ET, it’s a five-film assault of dizzying creativity, spanning many different genres. At 5:30 p.m. ET, from 1970, it’s Little Big Man, a Western comedy of epic proportions starring Dustin Hoffman. At 8 p.m. ET, from 1973, it’s The Three Musketeers, a comedy swashbuckler. At 10 p.m. ET, from 1975, it’s Three Days of the Condor, a spy thriller starring Robert Redford. And at midnight ET, from 1974, it’s Chinatown, Jake, the seminal Roman Polanski period detective film starring Jack Nicholson. Great movies. Great leading men. And in all instances, great performances from Dunaway, all within an explosively fertile eight-year period.

HAPPY DAYS
Hub, 9:00 p.m. ET

Why devote some Friday night viewing time, and a Best Bet, to a 1978 episode of Happy Days? Because this particular episode of this nostalgic sitcom is the one that introduced Robin Williams as Mork, a fast-talking, freewheeling alien visitor from the planet Ork. The Hub network is repeating it tonight, as a special tribute to Williams – and the title of the episode is sly enough to nod to TV’s past. It’s called “My Favorite Orkan.” He was indeed.

THE KNICK
Cinemax, 10:00 p.m. ET

In Episode 2 of The Knick, the characters deepen, the conflicts sharpen, and another trip into the operating theater proves just how intelligently this show intends to proceed. Clive Owen stars as a gifted but abrasive surgeon at the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York, in the pivotal year of 1900 For a full review, hear or read my report on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross website.

REMEMBERING ROBIN WILLIAMS
CNN, 10:00 p.m. ET

CNN devotes an hour to the memory, and pop-culture contributions, of Robin Williams, whose death has provoked lots of sadness, and just as much conversation.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/


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post #96193 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 08:20 AM
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Q&A
WWE's Stephanie McMahon discusses bullying, SummerSlam and Triple H
By Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 15, 2014

WWE is having its annual "SummerSlam" pay-per-view Sunday at Staples Center. WWE co-owner and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was in town Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles to promote the show and to talk to the kids about how to prevent bullying as part of WWE's Be A STAR anti-bullying program. As part of the youth program, McMahon sat down with 13-year-old Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Times Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell, to discuss bullying, WWE and her husband, pro wrestler and WWE executive Triple H.

Did you face a lot of obstacles from men in your rise to the top of WWE?
Well I tend to not let anyone or anybody stand in my way, so any time that I had an obstacle in front of me, I found a way to rise to the challenge and rise above it.

What advice would you give to girls my age about how to become a successful businesswoman?
I would say the two most important things are to believe in yourself. You have to have confidence. You have to believe in yourself and you also need to have a very strong education. So you need to utilize all of the people and all of the tools that are around you to help you succeed. So if that means staying in school a little longer, if that means learning another language, if that means getting a degree that's higher than a college degree, those are the things that you need to do. But the most important thing is to believe in yourself and respect yourself.

With all the time you have to devote to business, how do you find time to train for your SummerSlam match with Brie Bella?
Late at night, I train after I put my kids to bed, because putting my kids to bed is very important to me. I have three daughters, they are 8, 6 and soon to be 4. So I train after they go to bed. And it's very challenging, but I've got to do it because health and fitness are also very important to being a success.

Everyone loves to hate you on TV. Do you still get nervous before you have to go out live on "Monday Night Raw?"
I always get nervous and someone once told me, "If you're nervous, it means you care." So I always think it is a good thing that I am nervous before I go out.

Who were some of your favorite wrestlers when you were a kid?
My very favorite wrestler of all time was Andre the Giant. He was sort of like my best friend, believe it or not, and I have a picture in People magazine of me sitting on his lap when I was 8 years old after WrestleMania I. The caption below it said "Andre the Giant just slammed Big John Studd, not the person on his lap."

What advice would you give to a kid who was being harassed by a bully?
I would suggest that they tell a trusted adult. It's very important that you tell someone when you are being bullied, someone that you trust. You should never be quiet when you are being bullied or when you see someone being bullied. It's so important to stand up and say something.

The last and most important question: Do you prefer Hunter [Triple H] with long hair or short hair?
Wow, no one has ever asked me that question directly before! I'll say he is handsome both ways, how about that?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...814-story.html


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post #96194 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 11:02 AM
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THURSDAY'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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post #96195 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 11:05 AM
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Solid finish for ‘Last Comic Standing’
Season finale of the NBC reality show posts a 1.4 among 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 15, 2013

NBC’s reality stand-up comedy competition “Last Comic Standing” ended on a high note on Thursday.

The two-hour season finale of “Comic” posted a 1.4 rating among viewers 18-49, according to Nielsen overnights, up 40 percent from a 1.0 for last week’s penultimate episode.

The show was also up 43 percent week-to-week among total viewers, and it helped NBC win the 9-11 p.m. timeslot among viewers 25-54.

Elsewhere, CBS’s “Big Brother” was the night’s top-rated program among 18-49s with a 2.2 rating in its 9 p.m. hour.

That helped CBS tie Univision for first place for the night among 18-49s, each with a 1.4 average overnight rating and a 5 share. NBC was third at 1.3/5, ABC fourth t 0.9/3, Fox and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.6/2 and CW was seventh at 0.2/1.

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.

At 8 p.m. CBS was first with a 1.4 for repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mom,” followed by Univision with a 1.3 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo.”

NBC was third with a 1.0 for a repeat of “Hollywood Game Night,” ABC fourth with a 0.6 for “The Quest,” Fox and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.4, Fox for a repeat of “Sleepy Hollow” and Telemundo for “Reina de Corazones,” and CW was seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “The Vampire Diaries.”

CBS extended its lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.2 for “Big Brother,” while Univision remained second with a 1.7 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo.”

NBC was third with a 1.3 for “Last Comic Standing,” ABC fourth with a 1.0 for “Rookie Blue,” Fox fifth with a 0.7 for “Gang Related,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “En Otra Piel” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “The Originals.”

At 10 p.m. NBC took the lead with a 1.5 for more “Comic,” with Univision second with a 1.3 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.” ABC was third with a 0.9 for “NY Med,” Telemundo fourth with a 0.8 for “El Señor de los Cielos” and CBS fifth with a 0.6 for a rerun of “Elementary.”

Among households, CBS led the night with a 3.5 average overnight rating and a 6 share. ABC was second at 3.0/5, NBC third at 2.9/5, Univision fourth at 1.9/3, Fox fifth at 1.3/2, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/sol...omic-standing/


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post #96196 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 11:51 PM
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TV Notes
Showrunner Ed Bernero Departs NBC’s Katherine Heigl Series ‘State Of Affairs’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Veteran TV writer-producer Ed Bernero has left NBC’s fall drama State Of Affairs about two months after boarding the new series as executive producer/showrunner. Trauma creator Dario Scardapane is rumored as a replacement. State Of Affairs, originally conceived by Alexi Hawley, had been shepherded at the pilot stage by The Blacklist‘s Joe Carnahan, who rewrote Hawley’s script and directed the pilot, steering it to a series order and the plum post-The Voice slot Mondays at 10 PM, taking over The Blacklist in November.

It is not uncommon for showrunners joining new series that they didn’t create to leave after a brief stay if the fit is not good; another veteran, Rene Echevarria, did the same on CBS’ Intelligence last summer. State Of Affairs attracts extra scrutiny because of its star, Katherine Heigl, and her so-called reputation of being difficult on set. According to multiple sources, there were no issues between the showrunner and the star. (Bernero actually jumped to Heigl’s defense when she was grilled about her “difficult” perception at TCA last month.) I hear Bernero departed over creative differences with Carnahan, who continues to be very much at the helm of the series, directing the important post-pilot Episode 2 as well as several more episodes of the initial 13-episode order. Bernero’s departure will have no impact on production of State Of Affairs, which is filming Episode 2 and is on track to make its November 17 premiere. The series is expected to bring in another experienced writing showrunner. Former Criminal Minds showrunner Bernero remains on good terms with NBC, where he also had series Crossing Lines last summer, and State Of Affairs producer Universal TV. Carnahan serves as executive producer of State Of Affairs with Heigl, her mother Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/state-of...ts-nbc-820102/


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post #96197 of 97134 Old 08-15-2014, 11:55 PM
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TV Notes
‘Outlander’ Renewed for Season 2 on Starz
By Laura Prudom, Variety.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Starz’s “Outlander” has been renewed for season 2, the premium cabler announced Friday.

The second season will comprise at least 13 episodes and will be based on “Dragonfly in Amber,” the second novel in Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping, eight-book historical series.

The freshman drama has aired one episode out of its initial 16-episode order so far, with Saturday’s premiere garnering over 5 million views thanks to a multiplatform rollout.

“The overwhelming support ‘Outlander’ has received from the fans, viewers and critics made the decision for us to go ahead with the second book a very easy one. Diana Gabaldon has given us years of great drama. With an incredible artist such as Ronald D. Moore at the helm and a cast as spectacular as this, we look forward to continue this spell-binding journey with Claire, Jamie, Frank, Brianna, Roger and everybody over the centuries,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht in a statement.

Creator Ron Moore said, “I’m thrilled at the prospect of doing another season of this show for Starz. This project has been a labor of love from the very beginning and it’s incredibly gratifying to see it succeed with viewers and critics alike.”

“Fans of the ‘Outlander’ books have waited a long time to see this incredible story brought to life on screen, and Ron and his team have delivered a show that exceeds expectations,” said Zack Van Amburg, president of programming for Sony Pictures Television. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Starz to present the next chapter of this epic tale to longtime fans and viewers who are just discovering the series.”

“Outlander” was developed for television by Moore, who serves as executive producer for the series alongside Jim Kohlberg. “Outlander” is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining and Supply Co. and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television. Starz will retain all domestic multiplatform pay TV rights to the original series.

“Outlander” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/outl...rz-1201283582/


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TV Notes
Ferguson appears headed to early-evening talk show
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Aug. 15, 2014

It looks like Craig Ferguson has more to talk about.

The Late Late Show host, who is scheduled to leave that gig in December, is near a deal with Tribune Media to host a syndicated, early-evening talk show, according to a Friday report in Variety.

Tribune Broadcasting would not comment on the report, which says the matter is in "final negotiations," or on any potential deal with Ferguson.

The half-hour, weekday talk show would be designed to run in the 7 p.m. ET/PT time slot on Tribune's 42 stations, with plans to distribute it to other stations, according to details of the arrangement in the Variety story.

The program, which would begin in the fall of 2015, would mix comedy and talk-show elements and likely lead into syndicated reruns of popular sitcoms, the trade publication's story says. Ferguson's show would constitute an unusual format for the early-evening hours.

Ferguson, who began his CBS late-night tenure in 2005, is likely to bring along a couple of his late-night comic pals, Geoff the Robot and the fake horse Secretariat, according to Deadline.

Ferguson already is busy in syndication. He will host Celebrity Name Game, which is produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette. It will premiere on Sept. 22 on TV stations throughout the country.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...show/14141569/


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post #96199 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 12:07 AM
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No political comments, please.

Business/Legal Notes
Al Gore Slaps Al Jazeera With Lawsuit Over $500 Million Current TV Deal
By Travis Reilly, TheWrap.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt have sued Al Jazeera, claiming the media company wrongfully withheld escrow funds after its $500 million acquisition of their company, Current TV.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” said their attorney David Boies in a statement given to TheWrap. “We are asking the Court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current's former shareholders.”

Hyatt and Gore sold Current TV to the Qatari-controlled network in 2013 and, according to the Bloomberg report, the re-branding of Gore's channel put Al Jazeera America in 43 million more U.S. homes. Al Jazeera has had the complaint sealed.

“We do not believe that our complaint should be sealed,” Boies continued. “However, despite being a news organization, Al Jazeera America has said that the full complaint should be kept from the public file. We have therefore filed the complaint under seal until the Court can resolve this issue. We expect that the Court will reject Al Jazeera America's argument.”

This isn't the first time Boies has represented the former Vice President in a high profile court case. He was Gore's attorney in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court Case that surrounded the 2000 presidential election. President George W. Bush eventually won that case, and Florida's 25 electoral votes along with it.

According to Politico, Al Jazeera is presently reviewing the lawsuit. ”Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” said Dawn Bridges, the Al Jazeera America's EVP of communication. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America.”

http://www.thewrap.com/al-gore-slaps...rrent-tv-deal/


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TV Sports
Time Warner Cable adds Pac-12 channels in Los Angeles
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Aug. 15, 2014

Just in time for the college football season, Time Warner Cable is adding five additional Pac-12 television channels to its lineup available to Los Angeles area subscribers.

Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse all currently offer Pac-12 channels that carry UCLA and USC college football games.

This week, Time Warner Cable added five additional Pac-12 network channels to its Sports Pass specialty tier. That brings to seven the number of Pac-12 feeds available to subscibers in the area.

The new channels are regionally focused: Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado/Utah, and Northern California (UC Berkeley and Stanford).

Time Warner Cable already offered two Pac-12 channels in its standard package: a national channel and one focused on the two L.A. college teams.

But the cable operator has been beefing up its sports offerings, and has been looking to tout any advantage it might have over its primary competitor in Los Angeles -- DirecTV.

The satellite TV giant currently does not carry Pac-12 channels.

DirecTV and Time Warner Cable have been stuck in a seven-month stalemate over carriage of the Los Angeles Dodgers television channel.

Although the Dodgers own the channel SportsNet LA, Time Warner Cable agreed to distribute it. The company has been unable to negotiate carriage agreements with other pay-TV providers in the area, including DirecTV, Dish, Cox Communications and Charter Communications.

That means about 70% of the Los Angeles television market is unable to regularly see Dodgers games on TV.

DirecTV and others say the price that Time Warner Cable has demanded to carry the Dodgers channel is too high.

Last month, Time Warner Cable warned Wall Street that a resolution to the SportsNet LA channel standoff might not be reached during the current baseball season.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...815-story.html


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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

CBS:
8PM - 48 Hours
(R - Mar. 15)
9PM - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
(R - Jan. 15)
10PM - 48 Hours
(R - Mar. 8)

NBC:
8PM - Dateline NBC: The Man Who Talks To Dog (120 min.)
10PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - Mar. 12)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Anna Kendrick hosts; Pharrell performs, 93 min.)
(R - Apr. 5)

FOX:
8PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Nov. 12)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Nov. 26)
9PM - Glee
(R - May 6)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)
(R)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits (Portugal. The Man; Local Natives) (R - Jan. 25)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (Three Hours)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
9PM - Movie: A Better Life (2011)


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post #96202 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 12:28 AM
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TV Notes
For Its New Shows, Amazon Adds Art to Its Data
By Emily Steel, The New York Times - Aug. 15, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Joe Lewis, a television executive at Amazon, lies on his stomach on a rumpled bed. Jill Soloway, the Emmy-nominated writer and director, sits next to him, stroking the back of his head. The two stare at a pair of monitors watching the filming of a scene in the next room from their new dark comedy about a family in which the father comes out as transgender.

“What Amazon has been able to do is create something almost like an indie studio from the 1970s,” Ms. Soloway said.

That vibe is a far cry from Amazon’s initial foray into television production, a tech-oriented approach driven by data analysis. Ms. Soloway’s new show, “Transparent,” is one of four new series that Amazon will unveil in the coming months as the company tries to find the right balance between art and algorithms. After an underwhelming start, it has increased its gamble on creating its own shows to draw new customers to its Prime subscription service.

Amazon’s push comes during a glut of new programming and fierce competition for viewers. The traditional broadcast and cable networks continue to ramp up their investment in programing, while other insurgents like Netflix and Hulu are trying to distinguish their services by pouring more money into creating new shows.

Known for its retailing prowess, Amazon turned heads when it entered the cozy, relationship-driven world of Hollywood four years ago. Rather than hiring established talent, it started a studios group to develop feature films and television series based on online submissions. It later started a unique program, posting TV pilots to the web and analyzing viewer data and feedback to determine which shows to give the green light.

Last year, the first slate of those much-hyped original productions appeared on its Prime Instant Video streaming service, and failed to make much of a splash. The shows’ debuts garnered little attention or critical acclaim, especially compared with the notice and strong reviews for Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” So far, only one — the Washington-meets-frat-house comedy “Alpha House” — has been renewed for a second season.

Rather than retreat, Amazon is pressing its video bet and conscientiously adding more artistic nuance to its science of programming. The company recently named Judith McGrath, the former chief executive of MTV Networks, to its board and announced plans to invest $100 million into original content in the third quarter of 2014. (Hollywood executives said that Amazon previously seemed less willing to pay up for programming than other media groups, especially compared with its rival Netflix, which reportedly spent about $100 million for two seasons of “House of Cards.”)

Usually secretive about its business strategy, Amazon is parading studio executives and talent before the press to build buzz.

“It’s not like you can come in on Tuesday and the computer says: ‘Doot, doot, doot. Here are the shows you are going to do,’ ” Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, recently told a room full of television critics. “It’s not ‘The Barefoot Executive,’ ” he added, referencing the 1971 film about a pet chimpanzee named Raffles who predicts the popularity of television programs. “You have to use some judgment as well.”

The company is still learning the ropes, though. Last month, it rankled some critics when it failed to provide release dates for its new shows and viewer numbers for past ones. Many critics and viewers complained about not knowing how to find the programs on Amazon’s site.

Like Netflix, Amazon does not release audience figures for its programs or subscriber counts for its Prime service. A recent report from the research firm Park Associates revealed that Amazon made steady gains in the United States streaming video market in the last two years. About 20 percent of all homes with broadband connections now have a subscription to Amazon’s Prime service, an average annual growth rate of about 55 percent since 2012. (In comparison, Netflix service subscriptions grew an average of 16 percent per year during the same period.)

Amazon has said that an increasing number of Prime members are streaming more free content, and that those customers ultimately buy more products across the site. In addition to free two-day shipping, the $99 Prime annual membership includes streaming access to a library of movies and television shows from networks including Time Warner’s HBO, as well as more than a million songs.

In an interview, Mr. Price said that Amazon was happy with its initial foray into original programming. The self-described Hollywood émigré turned tech executive — he holds seven United States patents — predicted that in 10 years people were likely to watch a stream of personalized videos rather than one-size-fits-all traditional broadcasts. “Often things change more than people expect them to change,” he said.

To that end, Mr. Price said Amazon did not need its original series to become blockbuster hits, but rather to inspire passion and prove meaningful to groups of people. He listed “Transparent” as an example of the type of programming that Amazon was pursuing, with a distinct tone, novelistic storytelling approach and cinematic quality. Ms. Soloway, the show’s creator, is known for her work on the HBO series “Six Feet Under,” the Showtime series “United States of Tara” and the film “Afternoon Delight.”

All told, the company has released two shows for adults and three for children, and has announced that it is producing full series from six other pilots. Projects to be released in the coming months include the science fiction drama “The After” from the “X-Files” creator Chris Carter; “Bosch,” based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling book series; and “Mozart in the Jungle,” about behind-the-scenes drama at a New York symphony.

While Amazon has taken the tactic of producing its own series, it has not ruled out the strategy of picking up exclusive rights to series produced by traditional studios, a model deployed by Netflix and others.

Most of the projects currently in the pipeline are the works of established Hollywood talent. Notably absent from the lineup of originals are online submissions from amateurs. (Amazon said that a coming children’s pilot was discovered through an online submission.)

Many of these established creators said that they had not considered Amazon as an outlet until an agent made the suggestion. “I am a Luddite,” said Eric Overmyer, the co-writer and executive producer for “Bosch,” who has worked on series including “The Wire” and “Law & Order.” “I don’t know how to get my computer on my TV.”

Ultimately, several writers and directors said they were lured by the opportunity to explore a new frontier of digital and video storytelling that broke free of television standards. It also helped that Amazon paid competitive rates, they said.

The creators also said that despite their employer’s algorithm-driven image, they were going with their creative gut. Producers said that they did not look at the comments posted next to the episodes by viewers or the audience data on with the pilots.

“Nobody has ever come to me with any kind of data gleaned from an algorithm as a direction for this show,” Mr. Carter said. “I am sure they are mining all kinds of data, but my job is to be a good storyteller.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/bu...html?ref=media


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post #96203 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 08:39 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 16, 2014

TOO CUTE: PINT-SIZED
Animal Planet, 8:00 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE: This new spinoff series takes the Too Cute concept, of cramming lots of adorable animal footage into one place, and thinks smaller. Specifically, it presents its cuddly creatures in 30-minute doses instead of hour-long shows, and focuses exclusively on the tinier spectrum of playful pets. Tonight, the series launches with a double-dose premiere. First, at 8 p.m. ET, is an episode devoted to English bulldogs and mixed breeds, followed at 8:30 p.m. ET by a show giving other animals their shots at small-scale stardom. By Animal Planet standards, this new Pint Sized series is the Shih Tzu.

2 GUNS
HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg co-star in this 2013 action movie as undercover agents who are coming at the same case from opposite angles – then realize the only hope they have of surviving, as they’re targeted in a wider conspiracy, is to work together.

THE GREAT WHITE MATRIX
Discovery, 9:00 p.m. ET
The last evening of Shark Week ends with one last bite at the apple – one last evening of prime-time special programming, including this special that, like every other Discovery prime-time program this week, has something to do with sharks. It doesn’t have to be new information, or even verifiable information in some cases – just sharky. But in my view, that’s okay. In our current multimedia landscape, sharky beats snarky any day. Or any week.

OUTLANDER
Starz!, 9:00 p.m. ET
If you watched last week’s super-hyped premiere, and want to return for more, here’s Episode 2. I point this out only as a possible service, not with any degree of actual enthusiasm.

KATT WILLIAMS: "PRICELESS AFERLIFE"
HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET
This is Katt Williams’ first standup comedy special in several years – almost a decade, in fact – and it’s clear he’s stored up a lot of material. As always, some of the topics on which he touches are so unusual, and usually left alone by fellow comics, that the road less traveled tends to lead to something funny as well as fresh.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/


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post #96204 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 08:49 AM
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TV Notes
NBC's next musical? 'Robin Hood!'
By Hoai-Tran Bui, USA Today's 'Entertain This' Blog - Aug. 15, 2014

NBC is dominating when it comes to musicals, fresh off the success (?) of The Sound of Music Live! and currently embroiled in the hype storm that is Peter Pan Live! Let’s see if it can bring that enthusiasm — with an exclamation point — to Robin Hood.

The network is developing Robin Hood & Marian, a 10-episode series set in 1190 that tells the origin story of the greatest man in tights that ever lived — a.k.a. Kevin Costner’s role of a lifetime.

It’s not going to be a “traditional” musical however, according to Boardwalk Entertainment Group co-founder Tim Bogart. So there goes our dream of hot men shimmying and dancing.

NBC hopes to crank out about 60 original songs for the show and follow the series with a stage tour and possibly a radio series.

The Robin Hood series is being developed alongside musical shows set in the 1970s (creatively called The 1970s), to be produced by Adam Levine.

Dancing or not, we’ll gladly lend our ears to you, NBC. With that, we leave you with this gem.

http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/20...d-musical-nbc/


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post #96205 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 08:57 AM
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TV Notes
Ann Compton Retiring From ABC News After 4 Decades
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Ann Compton, who has covered six presidents for ABC News, is retiring after four decades with the network.

Compton, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has had a career that included being the sold broadcast reporter to remain with President George W. Bush on Air Force One when he was unable to return to Washington after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Weeks after President Nixon's resignation 40 years ago, she became the first woman to cover the White House full-time for a TV network, according to her ABC News biography.

Covering eight presidential campaigns, she served as a panelist for presidential debates in 1988 and 1992 and covered the 1976 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In 2000, she became chief Washington correspondent for ABCNews.com, where she wrote and anchored a daily political column, “On Background.”

She was part of the team that won the Silver Baton Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for 9/11 coverage. That coverage also won Emmy and Peabody Awards. In 2005 she was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting's Radio Hall of Fame, and in 2000 she joined the the Society of Professional Journalists’ Journalism Hall of Fame.

Politico first reported her retirement, which was confirmed to TheWrap by a person familiar with her plans.

http://www.thewrap.com/ann-compton-r...ter-4-decades/


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post #96206 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 09:02 AM
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TV Notes
Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor Join PlayStation’s ‘Powers’
By Marc Graser, Variety.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Eddie Izzard and Noah Taylor have joined Sony PlayStation Network’s original series “Powers,” based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.

The series follows two homicide detectives who are assigned to solving cases involving people with superhuman abilities, known as Powers.

Izzard, who has been making regular appearances on NBC’s “Hannibal,” will play the primary Power, Wolfe, incarcerated for decades in order to keep his abilities in check.

Taylor, most recently seen in “Edge of Tomorrow,” will play criminal mastermind Johnny Royalle, who runs the Here and Gone Club.

The cast also includes Susan Heyward, Olesya Rulin, Max Fowler and Adam Godley.

David Slade will direct the first two episodes of “Powers,” written by Charlie Huston. Series is PlayStation Networks’ first foray into original programming as a way to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. It ordered 10 episodes of the show in March that Sony Pictures Television will produce.

Show had originally been in development at FX since 2011.

“Powers” is expected to launch on Sony’s PlayStation platforms in December.

http://variety.com/2014/digital/news...rs-1201283949/


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post #96207 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 09:03 AM
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FRIDAY'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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post #96208 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 10:03 AM
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TV Notes
NBC's next musical? 'Robin Hood!'
By Hoai-Tran Bui, USA Today's 'Entertain This' Blog - Aug. 15, 2014

The network is developing Robin Hood & Marian, a 10-episode series set in 1190 that tells the origin story of the greatest man in tights that ever lived — a.k.a. Kevin Costner’s role of a lifetime.

Kevin Costner indeed..... There is only one Robin Hood, and that is Errol Flynn!
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post #96209 of 97134 Old 08-16-2014, 11:21 AM
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TV Notes
Ann Compton Retiring From ABC News After 4 Decades
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Ann Compton, who has covered six presidents for ABC News, is retiring after four decades with the network.

Compton, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has had a career that included being the sold broadcast reporter to remain with President George W. Bush on Air Force /
I wondered if some reporters "sold" out, proof in this article?
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Q&A
WWE's Stephanie McMahon discusses bullying, SummerSlam and Triple H
By Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 15, 2014

WWE is having its annual "SummerSlam" pay-per-view Sunday at Staples Center. WWE co-owner and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was in town Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles to promote the show and to talk to the kids about how to prevent bullying as part of WWE's Be A STAR anti-bullying program. As part of the youth program, McMahon sat down with 13-year-old Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Times Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell, to discuss bullying, WWE and her husband, pro wrestler and WWE executive Triple H.
Quote:
Did you face a lot of obstacles from men in your rise to the top of WWE?
Well I am the bosses daughter, you decide.

Quote:
What advice would you give to girls my age about how to become a successful businesswoman?
Make sure your dad owns a multi-million dollar company. And then make sure your brother (one of the driving forces behind the WWE's foreign expansion success) leaves to pursue other ventures.
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