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post #96271 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:18 AM
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TV Notes
‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Renewed for Season 2
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Aug. 20, 2014

AMC has renewed the 1980s computer drama “Halt and Catch Fire” for a second season.

The series stars Lee Pace as Joe, tortured entrepreneur driving hardware mastermind Gordon (Scoot McNairy) and wunderkind developer Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) to develop an entirely new kind of personal computer the Silicon Prairie of 1980s Texas. Gordon's wife, Donna, is a wild card: potentially the smartest of the bunch, she's also shockingly underestimated.

Though the show debuted to modest ratings, it earned critical praise and maintained a steady and affluent core audience. That made it appealing to AMC as it seeks successors to acclaimed dramas like “Breaking Bad,” which ended last year, and “Mad Men,” which will end next year.

“This is a show about invention, experimentation, and the inherent risks in trying to break new ground – themes that really resonate with us as a network and attracted a passionate audience,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time. We see that opportunity here and look forward to a second season of ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ from creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and showrunner Jonathan Lisco.”

“We're thrilled to have the opportunity to continue telling this story. Our series about creation, innovation, and taking bold risks wouldn't be possible if it weren't for our partners at AMC, a network known for these very things,” from show creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers, and showrunner Jonathan Lisco. “Harnessing the momentum of our first season, this next chapter will take the rich characters our audience has come to love in new and surprising directions.”

It averaged 1.3 million total viewers in live + same day for its initial 10 episodes.

http://www.thewrap.com/halt-and-catch-fire-renewed/
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post #96272 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:21 AM
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TV Sports/TV Notes
The NFL Wants Its Super Bowl Halftime Performer to Pay
By Lindsey Weber, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Aug. 19, 2014

On the one hand, when artists play the highly watched Super Bowl, they stand to get a huge bump in not only album sales but ticket sales for their tours. On the other hand, the NFL has never asked for money before. For the first year in history, The Wall Street Journal reports, the NFL is asking artists (or record labels, rather) to pay for the privilege of headlining the 2015 Super Bowl.

They've put out the request to their top three choices: Rihanna, Coldplay, and Katy Perry — who, unsurprisingly, aren't thrilled. "The pay-to-play suggestion got a chilly reception from the candidates' representatives." If they won't pay, the NFL is asking whether the musicians "would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league." A pop star layaway program, you could say.

Meanwhile, the amount of money the NFL is asking remains undecided, but I'm sure Katy Perry would be happy to sing the "Are You Ready for Some Football?" song.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/nfl-w...ure+Inbound%29
Regarding that last sentence. Leave it be. That's Hank Williams Jr's song, let him have it.

We all saw the catastrophe years ago of other people trying to do it in their style during that one year of Monday Night Football (when it was still on ABC) where Hank was replaced with a cacophony of noise trying to do the Monday Night opening. It was such a failure that they even brought Hank back to sing (he did a variation of the song for that one night).
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post #96273 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:24 AM
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘America’s Got Talent’ boosts NBC to No. 1
Hit reality show posts a 1.9 in 18-49s, down 10 percent
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 20, 2013

NBC dominated another slow Tuesday for broadcast last night.

The network’s hit reality show “America’s Got Talent” was well ahead of the competition, despite falling to a season low on the night.

“Talent” averaged a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating from 9 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, down 10 percent from a 2.1 last week.

Still, it was 0.8 ahead of the night’s No. 2 show on the Big Four, “Food Fighters,” which averaged a 1.1 at 8 p.m. on NBC. “Food” was up a tenth from last week.

ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss” was the only other new entertainment program on the Big Four Tuesday. It posted a 0.9 in 18-49s, sliding 25 percent from last week.

NBC led the night among 18-49s with a 1.6 average overnight rating and a 6 share. Univision was second at 1.2/4, ABC and CBS tied for third at 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.

Univision started the night in the lead with a 1.3 at 8 p.m. for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo,” while NBC and CBS tied for second at 1.1, NBC for “Food” and CBS for a repeat of “NCIS.” ABC was fourth with a 0.9 for “Weight,” Fox fifth with a 0.7 for reruns of “Family Guy” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for “Reina de Corazones” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for a repeat of “Arrow.”

At 9 p.m. NBC took the lead with a 1.9 for “Talent,” followed by Univision with a 1.3 for “Hasta el Fin del Mundo.” ABC was third with a 1.0 for more “Weight,” CBS fourth with a 0.8 for a repeat of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for “En Otra Piel,” Fox sixth with a 0.4 for reruns of “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “Supernatural.”

NBC increased its lead at 10 p.m. with a 2.0 for more “Talent,” with Univision second with a 1.1 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.” ABC and Telemundo tied for third at 0.8, ABC for “20/20″ and Telemundo for “El Señor de los Cielos,” and CBS was fifth with a 0.7 for a repeat of “Person of Interest.”

CBS was first for the night among households with a 4.8 average overnight rating and an 8 share. NBC was a close second at 4.7/8, ABC third at 2.4/4, Univision fourth at 1.7/3, Fox fifth at 0.9/2, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/ame...-boosts-nbc-1/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
For ‘Suits,’ finding its quirky voice
The USA drama recently has been renewed for a fifth season
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 20, 2013

Sometimes it takes a few seasons for a show to find its voice, but when that happens, it’s usually worth the wait.

That was certainly true for “Parenthood,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Big Bang Theory,” recent shows that have gotten a lot better as they aged.

And it’s the same for “Suits,” the funny drama that wraps up its fourth season tonight at 9 p.m. on USA.

The show’s premise sounds odd. Harvey and his law firm associate Mike have a secret: Mike cannot legally practice law. Nobody else knows.

But what sounds like a lame attempt at a sitcom is actually a very good drama. The characters have been well developed, and the quirky concept has become pretty believable with heavy doses of humor thrown in.

The show has posted good ratings this summer, ranking among the top 10 scripted programs on cable and averaging just under 4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

On tonight’s finale, Harvey works with Jessica to try to stop another firm from stealing their clients.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/sui...-quirky-voice/
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post #96274 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:29 AM
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TV Sports/TV Notes
The NFL Wants Its Super Bowl Halftime Performer to Pay
By Lindsey Weber, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Aug. 19, 2014

On the one hand, when artists play the highly watched Super Bowl, they stand to get a huge bump in not only album sales but ticket sales for their tours. On the other hand, the NFL has never asked for money before. For the first year in history, The Wall Street Journal reports, the NFL is asking artists (or record labels, rather) to pay for the privilege of headlining the 2015 Super Bowl.

They've put out the request to their top three choices: Rihanna, Coldplay, and Katy Perry — who, unsurprisingly, aren't thrilled. "The pay-to-play suggestion got a chilly reception from the candidates' representatives." If they won't pay, the NFL is asking whether the musicians "would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league." A pop star layaway program, you could say.

Meanwhile, the amount of money the NFL is asking remains undecided, but I'm sure Katy Perry would be happy to sing the "Are You Ready for Some Football?" song.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/nfl-w...ure+Inbound%29
WTH?!?! This crap has got to stop at some point. The NFL is getting too big for their Britches.
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post #96275 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:31 AM
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TV/Business Notes
Cable's New Business Model: Lower Ratings, Higher Revenue
By Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter - Aug. 20, 2014

The stats are sobering: Seven of the 10 most profitable cable channels have seen total viewership fall significantly in both primetime and full-day averages during the past 12 months, the exceptions being ESPN, Discovery and TBS. At the same time, THR reported Aug. 4 that cable upfront deals for the 2014-15 season dipped 4.7 percent to $9.7 billion, the first drop since the recession ended in 2009.

But the metric that matters most — profits — keeps climbing. At Disney Channel, cash flow in 2014 will be up 5 percent compared with 2013, estimates SNL Kagan, even though Nielsen says primetime viewership is off 12 percent. Cash flow at USA should be up 5 percent, MTV up 3 percent and FX up 4 percent, yet all have had smaller audiences. In fact, of the top 10 cable channels based on cash flow, just one — ESPN — is expected to decline in 2014 (albeit by less than 1 percent).

It's enough to ask: What's going on in the cable TV business?

Reasons for fear are many: A glut of similar reality programming is fragmenting audiences; several popular cable shows are ending amid a lack of new hits; too many new channels and online video outlets offer original programming; and consolidation among providers — Comcast buying Time Warner Cable and AT&T scooping up DirecTV — will give these mega-entities more leverage in future fee negotiations.

So far, though, those reasons for pessimism have been no match for rising subscriber fees and cost-per-thousand rates, and many analysts say the upfronts were an anomaly and ad revenue is headed higher. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for example, says advertising at multichannel networks in North America will generate $30.5 billion by 2018, up from $24.2 billion in 2013. Plus, in many cases, foreign expansion is more than making up for sluggishness at home. Discovery Communications said June 30 that while its quarterly revenue decreased 2 percent year-over-year domestically, international growth was 23 percent. Taken together, revenue was up 10 percent.

Also, as Laura Martin of Needham notes, while large cable channels might not be adding viewers, some smaller ones are. Investigation Discovery, for example, has averaged 774,000 primetime viewers during the past 12 months, up 16 percent versus the previous year. Conglomerates own lots of channels — Viacom's stable includes MTV, Spike, Comedy Central and more than a dozen others — so declines at some hurt less.

"Viewing is not down if you look at the cable-channel ecosystem. We see it growing 1 to 2 percent annually," says Martin. "ID is so popular that if it grows another 12 percent, 10 smaller channels can decline 4 percent each and still not equal the gain made by ID."

New channels often don't turn profits immediately, but they can become cash cows when nurtured. 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch told analysts Aug. 6 that it took Fox News Channel seven years to turn a profit, and now it makes $1 billion annually. Of course, consumers can support only so many new channels. Nielsen says the average U.S. household had 189 channels to choose from in 2013, up from 129 in 2008, but the average consumer tuned in to only about 17, the same number as five years earlier.

"There are a lot of channels that have questionable brand propositions," conceded Disney CEO Robert Iger on Aug. 5. "I think the marketplace will continue to grow for those channels that are best branded, most in-demand, best programmed — and I think we've got those channels."

Iger and other CEOs can't afford to be wrong about their cable channels given how dependent they are on them. Barclays estimates that Disney's ESPN is worth $47.2 billion by itself. Viacom's cable networks are worth $46 billion, compared with $2.4 billion for the film unit, while Turner, owned by Time Warner, is worth $45.4 billion. Even CBS boasts a cable business worth $13.7 billion, more than its $13.2 billion broadcast network, says Barclays.

All of the majors have seen financial growth at their cable networks in 2014, despite ratings issues. But it's not all rosy. In early August, Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of HGTV and Food Network, and AMC Networks, owner of AMC and WE tv, each reported declining quarterly profits. Those dips owed to rising production costs as the channels shift to owning programs, which analysts say is a good strategy.

CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, for example, boasted to analysts Aug. 7 that the company now owns many of its cable hits: "As our collection of owned Showtime hits grows, so too will our syndication revenue, which is now becoming a very meaningful part of our cable segment."

Even those who fret that larger channels are losing viewers might be exaggerating, say some analysts, because Nielsen won't begin counting viewership on new platforms like mobile devices until the fall season. It could make a meaningful difference: TV viewing in fourth-quarter 2013 essentially was flat at slightly more than five hours a day compared with 2011, but viewing of video on smartphones grew from 48 minutes a day to 67 minutes. In June, 80 million people connected to ESPN via computers and mobile devices to keep up with the FIFA World Cup and other sports, Iger said Aug. 5.

"When you look across platforms, viewership is very rich," says EY analyst Peri Shamsai. "Younger viewers are watching shows on mobile devices, and that measurement information is certainly not coming through yet."

And despite ratings challenges, advertising rates keep rising. Indeed, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said July 22 that USA, the conglomerate's biggest cable channel, needs to raise its CPMs by about 10 percent to be on par with the competition, even as ratings at the network have dropped. In the short term, cable ad sales also are not expected to suffer from competition from online video, according to RBC Capital Markets, which notes that a half-hour TV show can support 16 commercials but the average online video (about four minutes) can support one 15-second spot.

"There are a lot more companies that want to be affiliated with The Walking Dead than with a dog on a skateboard," quips Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets.

The strongest case for bullishness remains sub fees. Disney Channel, for example, rose from $1.09 per subscriber in 2012 to $1.15 now despite the ratings drop, and 21st Century Fox says its affiliate revenue has surged by 16 percent this year. "Inflation in affiliate fees will continue," predicts Steve Birenberg of Northlake Capital Management. But to help reverse ratings, "there has to be more and more investment in TV production."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...l-lower-726445
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post #96276 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM
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That's Hank Williams Jr's song, let him have it.
"Lord I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam and they both tried to kill me in 1973."

A different Hank song but one of my fav lines ever.

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post #96277 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 10:37 AM
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Obituary
Don Pardo, the Voice of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies at 96
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 19, 2014

Don Pardo, who literally introduced television viewers to some of America’s biggest stars and soon-to-be-stars as the longtime announcer for “Saturday Night Live,” died Monday in Tucson. He was 96.
I can't think of another living booth announcer from that time period. He and Bill Wendell were my favorites, even though I liked many others.

So long, Don. We will miss that baritone of yours.

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post #96278 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 11:13 AM
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I can't think of another living booth announcer from that time period. He and Bill Wendell were my favorites, even though I liked many others.
Don't forget Johnny, This is Jeopardy, Gilbert, who is still working at the young age of 90.
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post #96279 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 12:52 PM
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Don't forget Johnny, This is Jeopardy, Gilbert, who is still working at the young age of 90.
I didn't know he was still alive. Glad to hear that!

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post #96280 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 01:10 PM
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From LiveTVLa

CBS Sports, NFL Network Get Ready for Some ‘Thursday Night Football’

Quote:
Posted in Features on August 20, 2014 by Ken Kerschbaumer.

CBS Sports and the NFL Network took the wraps off of its plans for Thursday Night Football this week as Sean McManus, president of CBS Sports, and Brian Rolapp, COO for NFL Media at the National Football League took part in a media event earlier this week. “It’s exciting to have two football packages and the entire CBS corporation is behind Thursday Night Football and we are working hand in hand with the NFL to establish the Thursday Night franchise,” said McManus. “And I don’t think we have ever mounted a larger or more expansive promotional campaign than we have for this as from the minute we got the rights the promotional campaign started. We are going to work with the NFL to put all of our resources both in front of and behind the camera to work to make this a success.”

McManus says that the goal from a production standpoint is to bring a playoff-level of coverage to every game and one improvement, bringing back sideline reporters, will also be part of Sunday games.
“It’s a change of philosophy and a change for the better,” he explained.

There will also be new graphics and animations as well as the requisite theme song that is a part of primetime football programming. In addition, Thursday Night Football logos and branding will incorporate both the NFL Network logo and the CBS logo as it is very much a mutual effort. The pregame show, for example, will begin on the NFL Network at 6 p.m. and will involve two stages, one along the edge of the field and another in an area with fans. Then at 7:30 p.m. the pre-game show is simulcast on both the NFL Network and CBS stations that will continue until kickoff at 8:20 p.m.

“The results will be evident on the screen and the way we have worked together is not dissimilar to the way we work with Turner Sports on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships,” added McManus.

Rolapp said that the new franchise is the culmination of a vision the NFL has had for a long time as the NFL Network has broadcast NFL games since 2006. The question for the league was how do they make Thursday night better from both a business and marketing perspective and the answer was broadcast television.

“When Leslie [Moonves] and Sean presented their vision we had the highest rated network and top production talent and a promotional plan so we are very excited to work with them,” explained Rolapp. “And we aren’t abandoning the NFL Network but enhancing the profile of the network, its talent, and programming.”

Harold Bryant, CBS Sports, EVP and SVP, Production, says that Game Creek Glory and Pride will be at the center of the production.

“We will ramp up the equipment levels to our higher-end playoff levels,” he says. “We want to put on a primetime show that is as big and as grand as possible.”

The relationship with the NFL Network is benefitting from the Turner Sports/CBS March Madness relationship as many of the processes, like the need for communication and how to best have two different organizations work together effectively, is something CBS Sports has been through.

“We’ve talked everything through with the NFL Network and have gone through line-by-line to figure out what works and what can improve,” says Bryant. “We’ve moved some cameras around but what the NFL Network already had in place was impressive.”

http://www.livetvla.com/features/cbs...ight-football/
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post #96281 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 02:20 PM
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From LiveTVLa

CBS Sports, NFL Network Get Ready for Some ‘Thursday Night Football’

There will also be new graphics and animations as well as the requisite theme song that is a part of primetime football programming. In addition, Thursday Night Football logos and branding will incorporate both the NFL Network logo and the CBS logo as it is very much a mutual effort.

Will there be any space left on the screen to see the game? I realize that is so 60s, but...
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post #96282 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
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Will there be any space left on the screen to see the game? I realize that is so 60s, but...
Bah, who needs to see the game when you've got splashy new graphics .
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post #96283 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 03:58 PM
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Will there be any space left on the screen to see the game? I realize that is so 60s, but...
In 1960 one could purchase a 21-in color table-top TV for $495. That would give a viewing area of roughly 16.8 in. by 12.6 in. Actually, with the rounded corners (the diameter of the viewing area of the picture tube was 17 inches), it would be a smaller viewing area than if it were a 16.8x12.6 rectangle.

A modern 50-in HDTV has a viewing area of roughly 43.6 in. by 24.5 in. If one could squeeze in a bit of the live action into 39% of the width and 51% of the height, or 20% of the viewing area, then, yes, you could enjoy a 1960s-sized spot of viewing the action on a modern 50-in HDTV!

Me? I'd rather enjoy listening to pop and folk music than watching football in a 1960-sized area of my HDTV!

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post #96284 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 04:20 PM
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In 1960 one could purchase a 21-in color table-top TV for $495. That would give a viewing area of roughly 16.8 in. by 12.6 in. Actually, with the rounded corners (the diameter of the viewing area of the picture tube was 17 inches), it would be a smaller viewing area than if it were a 16.8x12.6 rectangle.

A modern 50-in HDTV has a viewing area of roughly 43.6 in. by 24.5 in. If one could squeeze in a bit of the live action into 39% of the width and 51% of the height, or 20% of the viewing area, then, yes, you could enjoy a 1960s-sized spot of viewing the action on a modern 50-in HDTV!

Me? I'd rather enjoy listening to pop and folk music than watching football in a 1960-sized area of my HDTV!
There's one in every crowd.
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post #96285 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 04:21 PM
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TV/Nielsen Notes
For ‘Suits,’ finding its quirky voice
The USA drama recently has been renewed for a fifth season
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 20, 2013


The show’s premise sounds odd. Harvey and his law firm associate Mike have a secret: Mike cannot legally practice law. Nobody else knows.
I normally don't read any reviews here, but anything "Suits" related catches my eye. Another review by a so-called reporter who obviously doesn't watch the show. Either that or she just doesn't know what the word "nobody" means, probably both. Jessica knows. Donna knows. And Rachael knows. That's 5 and there are only about 3 more regulars on the show. Lame, lame, lame.

Cheers, Dave
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post #96286 of 96300 Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM
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TV Notes
NBC Cancels ‘Working The Engels’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 20, 2014

After renewing three of its four new summer original scripted series, drama The Night Shift and comedies Undateable and Welcome To Sweden, NBC fell short of a full sweep, opting not to continue with family/legal comedy Working The Engels. The U.S.-Canadian half-hour, picked up straight-to-series under NBC’s deal with Halfire-CORE Entertainment, is being pulled from the schedule after five airings, with NBC double pumping Welcome To Sweden in the Thursday 9 PM hour tonight.

The Canadian-made Working The Engels, from Shaw Media and Halfire-CORE, opened with 2.7 million viewers, dropping to 1.9 million for its two most recent airings. Even without the yanking of Working The Engels from the schedule, the series didn’t have long-term prospects at NBC as its Canadian network, Global TV, which aired all 12 episodes from Season 1 in the spring, was not expected to proceed with a second season, making a renewal by NBC virtually impossible.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/working-...ed-nbc-822242/
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TV Notes
‘Nurse Jackie’ Casts Tony Shalhoub as ER Doctor With ‘Special Touch’ for Season 7
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Aug. 20, 2014

Tony Shalhoub has an appointment with “Nurse Jackie.”

Shalhoub, who played obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk on the USA Network series “Monk,” has been cast on the Showtime comedy “Nurse Jackie.”

In a recurring role, Shalhoub will play Dr. Bernard Prince, a new ER doctor who has a great bedside manner and a special touch with his boss, Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith). He also offers Edie Falco‘s title character Jackie something she desperately needs – a friend.

In addition to “Monk,” which earned him four straight Emmy nominations, Shalhoub's credits include “Wings,” “Men in Black” and the current big-screen offering “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

http://www.thewrap.com/nurse-jackie-...-for-season-7/
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TV Review
‘Epic Ink,’ yes, it’s really about tattoos
A&E reality series is refreshingly absent of cooked up conflicts
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 20, 2013

Viewers have come to expect certain things in reality shows set in workplaces: characters who pride themselves on being obnoxious, contrived story lines in which the workers have to meet a difficult deadline, and new hires who are there only to provide eye candy, comic relief or conflict.

Surprisingly, A&E’s new series “Epic Ink” lacks the first two, generating enough goodwill that most viewers will be willing to pretend that it lacks the third. The cast members, who work at a tattoo parlor that specializes in pop-culture designs, are mostly likable misfits who fit well together. The low-stakes subplots scroll by pleasantly.

Premiering tonight at 10:30, “Epic Ink” is set at a Springfield, Ore., shop called Area 51 Tattoo. Its owner, Chris 51, says that people come from all over the world for their unique designs.

Chris and his staff are mostly either self-described nerds or self-described geeks, obsessed with the sort of pop-culture phenomena that have made Comic-Cons a booming industry.

The sole exception is the receptionist, Caroline Russell, a pretty blonde who says, “I’m the weird person at the shop because I’m normal.” Cynics will assume she was hired to provide the aforementioned eye candy, comic relief and conflict.

The comic relief and conflict, however, are both minimal.

In the premiere episode’s main story line, after a client comes in requesting a tattoo of Chunk and Sloth from “The Goonies,” the other staffers are shocked to learn that Caroline has never seen the movie. So she watches it.

The staff and the client throw around catchphrases from the movie, including “Sloth loves Chunk” and “the truffle shuffle.” To end the episode, Caroline takes her co-workers on a surprise jaunt that shouldn’t be a surprise to any of them, but they all play along for the cameras.

Caroline’s scenes are the only false notes in the episode. Most of the time is taken up with the creation of various tattoos and with quick-cut montages in which the cast members introduce themselves.

The tattoo artists’ enthusiasm feels sincere. One, Chris Jones, says that in addition to the tattoos covering his body, he’s had his teeth done, his tongue split and some skin removed.

Jones works with a soft-spoken client who wants a tattoo of Arnold Schwarzenegger based on his early movie “Hercules in New York.”

While Jones works, the staffers have a typical geek conversation about what is the best Schwarzenegger movie. An artist named Jeff Wortham says “Total Recall” is the best because of the scene with the “three-breasted lady.” Chris 51 declares, “Argument over!”

Other tattoos created in the premiere are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes the reveal of the finished piece is held until after a commercial break. The work is usually impressive, but the wait isn’t worth it.

The constant barrage of geekiness and nerdiness can grow tiresome. By the time an artist named Josh Bodwell says, “I can’t remember where I put my keys or my phone, but I can tell you the entire family history of Frodo Baggins from ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ” viewers may be yearning for someone to say, “I don’t care about this pop-culture crap. I do it for the money.”

But at least the staffers aren’t picking fights, staging lame practical jokes, telling us how people either love them or hate them or doing any of the other tired things used as filler on this kind of show. On TV nowadays, that’s pretty epic.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/epi...about-tattoos/

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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
"Lord I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam and they both tried to kill me in 1973."

A different Hank song but one of my fav lines ever.
Hank, Jr. doesn't have even a tenth of the talent (or the charm) that his daddy had.
If you want to hear a tune that will really lift your spirits, listen to Hank, Sr. sing "Jambalaya".
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Bah, who needs to see the game when you've got splashy new graphics .
Well we should actually see the new graphics package before complaining about it. It isn't fair to CBS or the NFL Network.

As far as them getting a new package, I am not surprised. Look at what they did for March Madness when they started doing the joint CBS/Turner package. Most likely the new package will be just used for the TNF games (even after the CBS simucast is concluded).

Since CBS will be doing two preseason games on Friday and Saturday, perhaps we will get a preview of the new package so that any kinks will be worked out. It could be possible that the CBS logo will be on one side of the current score bar and the NFL Network logo will be on the other side (both logos placed in the 16:9 area of the screen). That is my guess anyway.
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TV Notes
'Entertainment Tonight' Promotes Kevin Frazier to Co-Host
By Alex Ben Block, The Hollywood Reporter - Aug. 20, 2014

Kevin Frazier is jumping from The Insider to be co-host of Entertainment Tonight alongside Nancy O’Dell, the show’s executive producer Brad Bessey announced Wednesday.

Louis Aguirre, who has been an anchor in Miami, will now take over as co-host of The Insider, the companion show to E.T. under the CBS Television Distribution banner.

“Kevin lives and breathes entertainment news,” Bessey said in a statement. “He is the ultimate professional and has a phenomenal relationship with Nancy. When searching for a new co-anchor, we realized Kev, who gives 110 percent every day, is the perfect fit.”

Frazier, who is bidding for the title of busiest man in show business, replaces Rob Marciano, who in July left to join ABC News and Good Morning America delivering the weather in his role as a senior meteorologist.

Frazier, meanwhile, will continue to anchor college football broadcasts on FX and Fox Sports Network, and also appear on SportsNet for Time Warner Cable.

Frazier also hosts Game Changers With Kevin Frazier, which airs on CBS on Saturday mornings as part of a programming bloc aimed at 13- to 16-year-old viewers.

Frazier has also emceed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast for CBS and hosts CNET’s online series Hooked Up, where celebrities talk about high-tech gadgets.

Frazier joined E.T. in 2004 after being host of ESPN’s SportsCenter, NBA Shoot Around and NBA Fastbreak. He has also worked for FX Network as co-host of The FX Sports Show and hosted pregame NFL, NHL and college football for Fox.

Aguirre most recently was co-anchor for Deco Drive, an entertainment show in Miami on WSVN. He began his career at Telemundo in 1989 as a Spanish-language reporter. He then moved to WPLG, the ABC affiliate in Miami, as a reporter and weekend anchor.

In 1994, he moved to L.A. to be a correspondent for Extra, and later served as a correspondent for A Current Affair. He also was co-host on Fox News' morning show Fox & Friends before returning to South Florida.

Entertainment Tonight has been the longtime leader among entertainment news magazine shows in the ratings. In the most recent national syndication rankings, E.T. had a 2.9 household rating and a 0.9 rating among adults 18 to 49. It had a 1.6 rating among women 25 to 54, and averaged about 4.2 million total viewers a day over age 2.

In April, Bessey replaced Linda Bell Blue as the executive producer of E.T. and The Insider, both of which are distributed by CBS Television Distribution.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...frazier-726622
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Emmy/Critics' Notes
Who Should Win in the Miniseries and Movie Races?
By Margaret Lyons and Brian Steinberg, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Aug. 20, 2014

The 66th Emmy Awards are next Monday and all this week Vulture has been breaking down the major categories. Forget trying to predict who will win, and let’s focus on the question that matters: Who should to win? Here are our picks in the comedy and drama races. Below: miniseries and movies.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Jim Mantello, The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart


There's a reason The Normal Heart has four contenders in the men's supporting race alone: It's an actor's showcase. But one transformation was truly remarkable: Director Ryan Murphy shut down production so Matt Bomer could drop 40 pounds to play Felix, a closeted New York Times journalist who falls in love with activist Ned Weeks and later becomes infected with AIDS. Even without the scary weight loss, Bomer rips your heart out amid an all-star cast as a living window into Ned’s private world, portraying someone who finds happiness, bravery, and love in the face of the worst possible circumstances.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven

Allison Tolman, Fargo

Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic

Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven


We're tempted to say "Balenciaga!" and give it to Frances Conroy, but Allison Tolman had a breakout year, particularly on a show where she was by far the least recognizable face. Viva Tolman.

Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo


Hell, give the Emmy to any of them and we'd probably be pretty happy: Sherlock’s stand-off with Magnussen, Lester and Lorne’s blood-soaked game of cat and mouse, Luther’s lonely, coatless crusade — all incredible performances in iconic roles. But then there's Mark Ruffalo as pissed-off, ferocious gay activist Ned Weeks, rattling us to our core and making sure we never forget a national act of neglect. Easy call.

Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven

Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor

Minnie Driver, Return to Zero

Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven


Sometimes American Horror Story's over-the-top campiness can overshadow the fact that there's some real acting being done. Jessica Lange won in a supporting capacity for season one's Murder House, but she turned up the telenovela scowls and femme fatale purrs for this season, and she deserves 100 trophies for it. Trophies of any kind, really.

Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: "His Last Vow"
The Trip to Bountiful


The Normal Heart is a very worthy contender, and certainly its prestige and message make it a likely winner. But Sherlock has never won an Emmy, and that's starting to feel a little ridiculous. (Even if it should probably be in the miniseries category.)

Outstanding Miniseries
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie and Clyde
Fargo
Luther
Treme
The White Queen


Had HBO submitted True Detective in the miniseries category, no doubt it would have steamrolled the competition. Not that FX’s risky proposition Fargo would have been any less deserving of a win. Noah Hawley revealed himself to be the long lost Coen brother, introducing us to a familiar world set in the not-too-distant future of the Oscar-winning classic but populated with wholly original characters. Throw in a cast that includes Billy Bob Thornton as an amused (and amusing) killer and it just might be better than getting to Carcosa.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/emmys...vie-races.html
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TV Sports
The Thrill Of Induction (Eventually): Hall Of Fame Names Chris Schenkel
By David Bloom, Deadline.com - Aug. 20, 2014

The late Chris Schenkel — for decades ABC’s workhorse announcer through nine Olympics, the NBA, horse racing, college football, and of course 36 years of those winter Saturday bowling tournaments — has been named to the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, nine years after his death at 82, the hall announced today.

Other honorees on this year’s list include a group of heavy-hitting executives, including NFL Network CEO and President David Bornstein, CBS Sports operations executive Ken Aagaard; audio pro Bob Dixon; 21st Century Fox Sr. EVP David Hill; F&F Productions founding CEO George Orgera; and the just-retired NBA Commissioner David Stern. The ceremony will be held Dec. 16 in New York.

All the inductees have been important for decades in one fashion or another to the business of sports broadcasting. But none, with the possible exception of Stern and his 30-year stewardship over the NBA as it became a TV powerhouse, was as visible to the public as Schenkel was during his glory days at ABC.

Schenkel was among the very first to announce sports events on TV, beginning with Harvard football games in 1947, in the earliest days of the commercial medium. He was later the voice of the New York Giants NFL team for 13 years before leaving CBS in 1965 to join ABC Sports. He had a lot of other first TV broadcast landmarks: with the PGA’s Masters Tournament, a coast-to-coast college football game; and as live anchor for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. That all earned him a raft of other honors, including induction into the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement Emmy, and the Pete Rozelle/Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio-TV Award. He retired in 1997 and died in 2005 in his native Indiana.

Other inductees include Bornstein, who joined ESPN when it was four months old and rose to be president between 1990 and 1998 during a period of massive expansion for the sports giant. Bornstein became president of ABC in 1999. In 2005, Bornstein became president and CEO of the NFL Network. He is also the NFL’s EVP of Media.

Fox’s Hill has a long and prominent career in sports TV on three continents, beginning at 19, while in Australia. He rose to VP, Sports of the Nine Network there, then came to England with Sky TV, where he helped launch Eurosport, and later headed the BSkyB Sport Channel. Beginning in 1993, Hill was head of Fox Sports in the United States, and later rose to chairman and CEO of the Fox Sports Media Group, which includes all of Fox’s regional sports channels and other ventures. He was for two years also head of the Fox network, and later was a senior executive at DirecTV and National Geographic. Hill now is Sr. EVP at Fox, overseeing American Idol and also serving as chairman of National Geographic Channels U.S.

Aagaard is now CBS Sports’ EVP, Operations, Engineering & Production Services, and has been with the network since 1998. He previously was an executive at Creative Broadcasting Techniques, consulting with NBC, CBS, Fox and other prominent sports and music clients, and is credited with introducing several technological innovations in broadcasting football and golf events.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/sports-b...-stern-822570/
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TV Notes
Infidelity on TV is becoming quite a common affair
By Ann Oldenburg, USA Today - Aug. 20, 2014

Matters of the heart have long been fodder for TV plots, from soap operas to dramas to reality fare. But a new spate of shows is blatantly tackling the touchy topic of cheating.

And like the Facebook status says: It's complicated.

Grace is cheating on Neil and so Neil cheats on Grace — but they love each other — in USA's new drama Satisfaction. On FX's Married, a hapless Russ is comically struggling with his sex life with wife Lina. (Both shows air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT) And now Showtime is prepping an intense drama set to debut in October called The Affair.

"A generation ago, you never talked about having an affair. Then Oprah got us all talking about these things. And now that we're all talking, the next step is we're living things out more and less afraid — and TV's catching up," says relationship coach Donna Barnes, founder of DonnaBarnesDating.com.

While infidelity is certainly featured on each series (with varying degrees of spicy sex scenes and humor), the adultery is just a launching pad for shows, say the people behind them.

"It's really about the notion of when neglect has infected a marriage, how do people cope with it? And about infidelity as a reaction to marriage, an exploration of how that happened," says Jackie de Crinis, EVP of original programming for USA Network, who describes Satisfaction as "a postmodern love story."

Postmodern, in this case, means Neil is fed up with his long hours at his big-money job and then finds out that his wife, who has been at home raising the kids for the past decade, is getting it on with another man. "It's about all those different things that life throws you at different points," de Crinis says.

Executive producer Sarah Treem makes the same case for The Affair. Despite the title, she says, "we really do think of the show as a show about marriage more than a show about an affair."

There's a similar scenario in the July 17 opener of FX's half-hour comedy series Married as Russ can't seem to connect to his wife, who spends her time running errands and raising their three daughters. She tells him maybe he "should go be with someone else." She doesn't want a divorce. She's just too tired for sex. He winds up trying to find some satisfaction with a waxing-salon employee. It doesn't go well.

"We knew there was some comedy to be mined," says Married creator Andrew Gurland. "One thing that friends say to me a lot: 'Oh, monogamy is not natural.' And I always say, 'Well neither are toilets, but when you don't use them, things get very messy.'"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...trip/13721367/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY 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 Quest
9PM - Rookie Blue (Season Finale, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper ("Guardians of the Galaxy"); Classixx performs)
(R - Jul. 21)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Apr. 3)
8:31PM - Mom
(R - Oct. 28)
9:01PM - Big Brother (LIVE)
10PM - Elementary
(R - May 1)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Tennis player Serena Williams; Chadwick Boseman; Echo & The Bunnymen performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kathy Bates)
(R - Jun. 23)

NBC:
8PM - Hollywood Game Night
(R - Mar. 13)
9:01PM - Welcome to Sweeden
9:31PM - Welcome to Sweeden
10PM - America's Got Talent: Countdown
(R - Aug. 20)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Josh Brolin; comic Artie Lange; chef Giada De Laurentii)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Zach Braff; musician Jack Antonoff; Bleachers performs)
(R - Jul. 21)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Director Gareth Evans; Arthur Beatrice performs; "Finding Vivian Maier")
(R - Mar. 26)

FOX:
8PM - Sleepy Hollow
(R - Nov. 18)
9PM - Bones
(R - Mar. 13)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Mar. 13)
9PM - Secrets of Althorp -- The Spencers
(R - July 17, 2013)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Junk in the Trunk
(R - Nov. 7, 2011)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - The Vampire Diaries
(R - Mar. 27)
9PM - The Originals
(R - Mar. 18)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Alfombra de Premios Tu Mundo (LIVE)
9PM - Premios Tu Mundo (120 min., LIVE)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Scraps show)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Jennifer Lopez)
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Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
Summer’s least appreciated shows
They don't get the attention the biggest hits on broadcast do
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 20, 2013

Each morning, the overnight ratings deliver the news of another big ratings win for “Big Brother,” “America’s Got Talent” or one of Gordon Ramsay’s many reality shows.

What’s easy to lose track of in the slow summer months are those second-tier shows, the ones that rarely get a shout-out in the overnights but still provide very solid ratings.

This is important in the summer, when there are a lot of repeats and bombs on the schedule that can pull ratings way down.

Here’s a look at a few of summer’s most underappreciated shows and why they’re critical to their broadcaster’s success.

ABC’s “Rookie Blue”
Last week’s adults 18-49 Nielsen rating: 0.9

“Blue” has been airing for five seasons on ABC, and it’s long been the network’s top summer scripted series. Though its ratings are lower than top summer dramas like “Under the Dome,” the show is ABC’s Thursday night anchor, where it remains the network’s No. 1 show.

CW’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us”
Last week’s 18-49 rating: 0.5

In a summer where nothing else worked for the CW, which has canceled three shows, new magic program “Fool” is a keeper. It’s the network’s No. 2 summer show behind “Whose Line is It Anyway” and it even matched the recent premiere of onetime hit “America’s Next Top Model.”

NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night”
Last week’s 18-49 rating: 1.0 (it was a repeat)

This program, in which celebrities play random games with host Jane Lynch, is an underrated hoot. It draws consistent ratings no matter where NBC moves it and has even done decently as a regular-season placefiller.

CBS’s “Unforgettable”
Last week’s 18-49 rating: 0.8

The third-year drama does well in total viewers, where it actually outdrew Fox’s Sunday night football game this past weekend. Since CBS targets an older demo, that could be enough to earn a fourth season.

Univision’s “Lo Que la Vida Me Robo”
Last week’s 18-49 rating (for Friday’s episode): 2.0

The show has helped Univision to No. 1 on Friday for six consecutive weeks in 18-49s. It posted a 2.0 for Friday’s series finale, better than all but six other shows on broadcast for the week.

* * * *

In broadcast ratings for the week ended Aug. 17:

Among adults 18-49[/U]
, Univision averaged a 1.3 rating and a 5 share, followed by NBC at 1.1/4, Fox and CBS at 1.0/4, ABC at 1.0/3, Telemundo 0.5/2, ION and CW at 0.3/1, UniMás at 0.2/1, Me-TV, Estrella and Bounce TV at 0.1/0 and Azteca and MundoFox at 0.0/0.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (18-49s): Tie-1. CBS’s “Big Brother-Sunday” and “Big Brother-Thursday” 2.2; Tie-3. CBS’s “Big Brother-Wednesday,” NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Tuesday” and Fox’s “NFL Preseason” 2.1.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (total viewers): 1. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Wednesday” 9.97 million; 2. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Tuesday” 9.68 million; 3. CBS’s “NCIS” 8.13 million; 4. CBS’s “60 Minutes” 7.86 million; 5. CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” 7.66 million.

Show on the rise: NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Thursday, 9 p.m. The two-hour season finale posted a 1.4 in 18-49s, up 40 percent from a 1.0 for the previous week’s episode.

Show on the decline: NBC’s “Food Fighters” Tuesday, 8 p.m. The reality competition posted a 1.0 among 18-49s, off 17 percent from a 1.2 the previous week.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bro...-recap-aug-20/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Cable overnights: Comedy reruns top Tuesday
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Aug. 20, 2013

Reruns once again topped cable among adults 18-49 on Tuesday.

Adult Swim’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” tied with TBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” as the top program of the night, each posting a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights.

The top original programs were ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” and TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” which both posted a 0.8 in the demo.

Both were also down from last week, when “Liars” drew a 0.9 and “Rizzoli” had a 1.0.

“Rizzoli” was also the night’s top show in total viewers, drawing 5.21 million.

Top 10 Cable Programs
Ranked on Total Viewers
August 19
# Program Net (000)
1 RIZZOLI & ISLES-08/19/2014 TNT 5206
2 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 3017
3 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 3010
4 FAMILY GUY-08/19/2014 ADSM 2603
5 PERCEPTION-08/19/2014 TNT 2573
6 AMERICAN DAD-08/19/2014 ADSM 2534
7 THE OREILLY FACTOR-08/19/2014 FOXNC 2529
8 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 2521
9 FAMILY GUY-08/19/2014 ADSM 2428
10 KELLY FILE, THE-08/19/2014 FOXNC 2390
Source: Nielsen

Top 10 Cable Programs
Ranked on Adults 18-49
August 19
# Program Net (000)
1 FAMILY GUY-08/19/2014 ADSM 1511
2 AMERICAN DAD-08/19/2014 ADSM 1504
3 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 1463
4 FAMILY GUY-08/19/2014 ADSM 1446
5 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 1432
6 AMERICAN DAD-08/19/2014 ADSM 1317
7 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 1209
8 RIZZOLI & ISLES-08/19/2014 TNT 1050
9 ROBOT CHICKEN-08/19/2014 ADSM 1032
10 BIG BANG THEORY, THE-08/19/2014 TBSC 976
Source: Nielsen

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/cab...s-top-tuesday/
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TV/Business Notes
Al Jazeera America rejects allegations in Al Gore's lawsuit over sale
By Saba Hamedy, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Aug. 20, 2014

The Al Jazeera America television network is rejecting claims it owes former Vice President Al Gore and his business partner $65 million.

Last week, Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt sued the satellite TV service owned by the Qatari royal family for fraud and breach of contract. The two men alleged Al Jazeera America Holdings illegally withheld $65 million of the agreed-upon $500-million purchase price for cable channel Current TV, which was rebranded as a news network, Al Jazeera America.

Al Jazeera America, in a statement, called some of the Gore-Hyatt public statements “blatantly false” and “potentially misleading.” The network said the matter is simply “an ordinary commercial dispute.”

"The lawsuit and statement simultaneously issued by Al Gore’s celebrity trial lawyer were designed to grab headlines with misleading accusations like 'fraud' and 'price discount,'" the statement said.

Current Media, founded by Gore and Hyatt nearly a decade ago as a youth-oriented news and pop culture channel, struggled for traction and in early 2013, the partners sold the channel to Al Jazeera America Holdings for $500 million. The channel was rebranded as news service Al Jazeera America.

Following the January 2013 sale of the channel, $85 million of the agreed-upon purchase price was placed in an escrow account until Gore and his partners could satisfy some indemnification obligations, according to a public court filing in Delaware.

Gore and his partner received $20 million of that amount -- but $65 million remained in the escrow account.

Al Jazeera America said the Gore-Hyatt group promised at the time of purchase the network was not in breach of any of its significant contracts and it would indemnify Al Jazeera for any claims made. The network said it was still dealing with third parties over disputes that originated during the Gore-Hyatt ownership.

"Rather than indemnifying Al Jazeera as they were required to do, Gore and Hyatt have resorted to a preemptive lawsuit and lawyer-driven public relations maneuvers," Al Jazeera said in its statement.

The network said it has not committed fraud nor is it wrongfully holding escrow funds.

"Al Jazeera is not seeking a 'discount' from the hundreds of millions of dollars it has already paid to the Gore-Hyatt group," the statement said. "The money in the escrow fund is intended to indemnify Al Jazeera, and Al Jazeera’s indemnification claims are more than the amount held in escrow. The sellers themselves agreed that if Al Jazeera’s right to indemnification exceeded the escrow fund, the sellers would not receive anything from it."

Andrew L. Deutsch, a partner of DLA Piper LLP, which represents Al Jazeera, said in the next few weeks, the network will provide a clear explanation of its position and right to indemnification from escrow funds.

"Al Jazeera welcomes the opportunity to resolve this commercial dispute before an impartial tribunal," Deutsch said in the statement.

Gore and Hyatt's attorneys are demanding the lawsuit, which was filed under seal, be made public.

The business partners' attorney David Boies said in a statement Tuesday if the network "thinks that this is an ordinary commercial dispute, then Al Jazeera America should be willing to allow the entire complaint to be made public.”

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...820-story.html
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TV Notes
AMC Backlash: Budget Squeezing, Producer "Bake-Offs" and Post-'Breaking Bad' Challenges
By Kim Masters, The Hollywood Reporter - Aug. 21, 2014

The AMC network's cupboard is a lot barer than it used to be, and to some in the industry that's because, as one talent representative puts it, "Karma is a bitch."

Since helping usher in TV's so-called golden age in 2007 with Mad Men and its antihero Don Draper, AMC has had lightning-in-a-bottle success, launching TV's top-rated show in the 18-to-49 demographic in The Walking Dead and scoring 207 Emmy nominations and 33 wins. But AMC also has engaged in high-profile battles with several showrunners, leaving some to wonder whether the network is too tough for its own good.

As AMC goes for its sixth Emmy drama series win in seven years on Aug. 25, the network is at a crossroads. Breaking Bad is gone, and Mad Men is down to its last seven episodes. It has yet to leverage Walking Dead to launch a new scripted hit. The drama Low Winter Sun was canceled after one season, and the Revolutionary War series Turn has performed wanly, though AMC ordered a second season. It also ordered a second season of the computer-industry drama Halt and Catch Fire, even though it has failed to — you know. And the stock of parent company AMC Networks is off 21 percent from its March high.

Worse, the network has no new shows scheduled between now and February's Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul. And AMC nearly lost that series during a heated negotiation at the height of Bad's popularity in 2013. Some associated with the show were said to be offended when AMC suggested that Sony TV and Bad creator Vince Gilligan, having brought the network 10 Emmys, first make a pilot. When Netflix quietly offered to take the project straight-to-series, AMC was forced to ante up.

Some showrunners and their reps say AMC's heavy hand in certain circumstances has caused them to avoid bringing top material to the network. In a town thirsting for buyers, even some who have reaped profit from their AMC dealings are almost rooting for failure. "They got lucky," says one agent. "But now they're coming to the end."

AMC's messiest battle involves Frank Darabont, who launched Walking Dead only to find himself fired just days after promoting the outsized hit at Comic-Con in July 2011. Glen Mazzara, his replacement, exited months later. Pending in New York state court now is a lawsuit alleging that AMC cut itself a sweetheart deal in licensing the show to itself and shorted Darabont tens of millions of dollars of his profit participation. CAA is suing on the same grounds.

At the same time, AMC has defenders, including Kevin Smith, who has Comic-Book Men on the network and shows in development. After Smith ruffled feathers by holding a faux auction for his movie, Red State, at Sundance in 2011, he says, "I burned every bridge in this town, and the only people who would still talk to me were at AMC. For most of the creatives I know, it's a safe haven."

An AMC insider attributes some of the negative feelings to a learning curve as the network transitioned rapidly from launching Mad Men in 2007 and Breaking Bad in 2008 to producing and owning Walking Dead, which premiered in 2010. The exec team that brought the network its early hits is long gone. Current president Charlie Collier and executive vp Joel Stillerman have guided AMC through the shift toward ownership from paying stiff license fees to outside studios, including a 2011 standoff with Lionsgate and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner that delayed season five and ended with Weiner scoring $30 million for the show's final three seasons.

"They had been paying 70 to 80 percent licensing fees on Mad Men and Breaking Bad," says a knowledgeable source. (AMC disputes this.) "That was 10 or 15 percent higher than FX might have paid. But that's the price of entry for a new network." (For Bad's first season, for example, the license fee was $1.65 million for a show that cost $2.1 million an episode.)

Eventually, AMC figured it wouldn't cost much more to produce its programming, and it would reap the benefits of owning. Meanwhile, there were new ways to diminish risk thanks to SVOD and other platforms.

AMC is hardly the only network that wants to control its content. But it's fair to say the transition has been rough and that Stillerman is a focus of wrath among AMC's critics. One of AMC's original sins, to many creative types, was the invention of the "bake-off," in which showrunners who already had sold ideas and spent months developing them were called before top AMC executives — often at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica — to give a highly detailed pitch in the hope of getting a pilot order. "After a show has been in development for six months or a year, people feel like, 'Why am I pitching this again?' " says a former AMC insider.

The process was so unpopular that AMC doesn't even want it to be called the bake-off anymore. A company spokesman says it has been changed based on feedback. For example, AMC has started to pay for formats — 20-page detailed descriptions of proposed shows — that producers submit before attending what the network calls "producer meetings," where they lay out the first and subsequent seasons of the proposed series.

Turn executive producer Barry Josephson went through the process two years in a row. The first time, the network didn't pick up the show but kept developing it. Josephson says AMC's insistence on a highly detailed pitch kept him on his toes. "It was kind of refreshing," he says. "A lot of times people [taking pitches] are rushing to another meeting, but it felt like they had done the homework." The network had "very specific input, very strong opinions," but those were "additive."

An AMC spokesman notes that this process has led to AMC picking up every pilot that it has ordered with one exception. But even in success, AMC has been hard on showrunners. After Darabont delivered a version of Walking Dead that exceeded the network's dreams, says one source with knowledge of the situation, "Stillerman immediately looked at the numbers and said: 'We have to cut the budget. It's too expensive.' " Before the show held its premiere party, Darabont was notified by email that AMC proposed to cut his episodic budget from $3.4 million to $2.75 million. At the party, says one witness, Darabont jabbed his finger at Stillerman and said: "This is completely inappropriate! You cut my budget after I've been killing myself in Georgia?" (The show got a generous rebate from that state, but AMC had decided it no longer would apply it to the show's second season.)

Through his attorney, Darabont declined comment. But a source close to the showrunner says, "For that decision to be made unilaterally without any discussion was completely inappropriate and offensive."

The network declined comment specifically on complaints about Stillerman and the network's clashes with showrunners. But AMC provided THR with a statement: "It is never lost on us that AMC's success has been driven by the enormously gifted people we have had the good fortune to work with. It is gratifying that so many of them have chosen to remain at AMC with new projects and opened the door to a growing list of top creative talent that will help define our future."

AMC might have stepped on toes in Hollywood, but on Wall Street, several analysts like what they see despite the parent's recent stock dip. Bryan Goldberg of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch puts a buy on AMC Networks stock even though second-quarter earnings from continuing operations fell to $58.7 million from $135.7 million in the year-ago period, which the company attributes to higher costs for original programming.

"Can they replicate a Walking Dead or Breaking Bad? No one can predict that," says Goldberg. "But owning their productions, the thresholds for financial success are a lot different today. We don't hold the view that it's all downhill from here — in fact, we think they're positioned well for long-term growth."

Analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG, who has a sell rating on the stock, isn't so optimistic. He's amazed the parent company didn't offload the network while its shows were peaking. Asks Greenfield, "When you get lucky like that, why didn't they take advantage of it?"

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...roducer-726231
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 21, 2014

DOCTOR WHON TAKEOVER WEEK
BBC America, Check local listings

There are now two warring series marathons on cable this week. The one that’s been running since Monday, and continue through Saturday night, is BBC America’s Doctor Who modern sampler. I’ve been watching way too much of this particular marathon, because there’s always something to hold my attention. And that continues with the Matt Smith episodes, featuring the actor who played the Doctor in the show’s most recent seasons.

THE SIMPSONS MARATHON
FXX, 10:00 a.m. ET

Every episode, in order, from the start – this FXX presentation isn’t a Simpsons marathon, it’s a Simpsons miracle. Starting at 10 a.m. ET, the gang’s all here – every single installment of The Simpsons series, beginning with the 1989 Christmas special and moving on from there. Yesterday, I previewed the marathon on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross – and Terry took it from there, devoting the rest of the hour to excerpts of interviews with various people involved in bringing The Simpsons to life. You can hear the entire show on the Fresh Air website – but hurry, because once the marathon begins, you won’t have a spare minute to think about The Simpsons until Sept. 2.

PROJECT RUNWAY
Lifetime, 9:00 a.m. ET

The designers always are charged with some challenging task on this fashion competition series, but tonight it’s personal: The contestants have to design clothing for the show’s host, Heidi Klum, to wear at a red-carpet event.

RECTIFY
Sundance, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
Tonight this series ends its second season – and since it only recently was renewed for a Season 3, tonight’s season finale may offer a bit more finality than most, because the show’s writers couldn’t count on continuing the story.

GARFUNKEL AND OATES
IFC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci have turned their new series into a clever showcase, and not just for their songs. They’re playing with sitcom conventions, much in the tradition of Louis C.K., Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Flight of the Conchords, and Larry David before them. If you haven’t seen this series yet, give it a chance.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Notes
FXX Mega-Marathon: All 'Simpsons,' All the Time
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 20, 2014

With every episode of The Simpsons about to appear in a mega-marathon on FXX, I can’t help but think back to when the series launched on Fox. Neither can my now-grown kids…

The Simpsons began as animated shorts, created by Matt Groening, presented as interstitial treats between the comedy skits on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Ullman’s show was one of the fledgling series, and the first really good one, on the brand-new Fox TV network, launched by Rupert Murdoch to add a U.S. television network to his international multimedia empire.

I was hired that same year as TV critic for The New York Post, Murdoch’s flagship New York newspaper – and I was so worried about writing for that infamous tabloid, and for the even more infamous Murdoch in particular, that I demanded – and got – a contract explicitly stating that I could choose the subjects of my own stories and reviews, and that they could be edited only for length or to correct factual errors.

In other words, no editor could make me do a puff piece on a new Fox network show, or censor a negative review – which, for the first wave of Fox programs, was the only kind of review I could write.

And then came Tracey Ullman, and The Simpsons. I raved about them – not only in the Post, but on an NPR radio show that had launched nationally a few years before, Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Today (Wednesday, Aug. 20) on Fresh Air, marking the occasion of tomorrow’s FXX marathon, the entire program is dedicated to The Simpsons. You can hear it this afternoon by going to the Fresh Air website.

It includes, among other things, two different Terry Gross interviews with Groening, interviews with Julie Kavner and Nancy Cartwright (who play, respectively, Marge and Bart Simpson) – and my own report on The Simpsons then and now. The “Then” part includes a snippet from my original Fresh Air review of The Simpsons series, back in 1990. I talked faster then, and may have been on helium – but so far as recognizing a TV Classic when I saw one, I was right on the money.

Other things I remember about the start of The Simpsons is how eagerly I exposed my then-young children to it – Kristin was 7, and Mark was 5, when the series premiered. I was able to show them an early preview VHS copy of the 1989 Christmas special that preceded the series – and which launches the FXX marathon Thursday at 10 a.m. ET – and they loved it as much as I did.

That holiday season, I tipped the colonially costumed carolers traveling table to table at Braddock’s Tavern in Medford, NJ, a swanky place serving period food in an 1880s building, to have them sing Bart Simpson’s version of “Jingle Bells”: the one that starts “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin lays an egg.” The kids still remember it – just as they remember me hauling a suitcase full of first-season Simpsons VHS tapes along on a dual-family skiing vacation at Montana’s Big Sky, so that the children would all shut up and watch TV after dinner, as kids are meant to do while their parents drink and recuperate.

My son also remembers, to this day, asking me, when The Simpsons premiered, whether the shows The Simpsons were watching on their TV sets were real. What a meta question.

And in season two, when Marge Simpson went on a local Springfield TV talk show to protest the violence in the “Itchy & Scratchy” cartoons her kids were watching on television, that question was addressed brilliantly – and hilariously.

You can see that episode of The Simpsons, one of my very favorites, during the FXX marathon, at 8:30 p.m. ET Thursday night, Aug. 21. In fact, you can see every episode, plus The Simpsons Movie, starting Thursday at 10 a.m. ET – 278 hours in all, 25 complete seasons, running all the way until 11:30 p.m. ET on September 1, when FXX replays the most recent episode, Episode 552, “The Yellow Badge of Cowridge.”

It’s the longest single-series marathon ever televised – and The Simpsons isn’t over yet. Season 26 begins on the Fox network on Sunday, Sept. 28 – followed by an episode of Family Guy with a Homer Simpson crossover. One thing’s for certain: Over the years, Homer’s creator, Matt Groening, has made an awful lot of “D’oh!”

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7997
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Ferguson kicks up cable news ratings
CNN tops total day and primetime ratings among 25-54s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 21, 2013

The cable news networks have been providing around-the-clock coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., following the recent shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer, and it’s sparking strong ratings.

CNN has seen the most notable boost, as it usually does during times of breaking news.

Though it remains behind longtime cable news leader Fox News Channel among total viewers in most dayparts, it’s moved into the lead the past two days in total day and primetime viewership among the key news demographic, viewers 25-54.

CNN averaged 529,000 viewers in the demo during primetime Tuesday, according to Nielsen, 6,000 more than rival FNC and more than triple its July average in the demo.

And in total day CNN averaged 305,000 to FNC’s 290,000.

FNC maintained its sizeable advantage in total viewers, posting 2.26 million in primetime to CNN’s 1.197 million and 1.376 million in total day to CNN’s 845,000.

MSNBC has seen less of a ratings kick, which is not a surprise. The network usually sees much lower gains in viewership for breaking news.

It averaged less than half CNN’s totals in 25-54s in primetime (201,000) and total day (125,000) and was well behind in total viewers (774,000 in primetime and 475,000 in total day).

CNN’s morning program, “New Day,” had a particularly strong performance Tuesday, the day after more journalists were arrested in Ferguson.

The program averaged 251,000 adults 24-54, its best tally ever, and finished ahead of Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” for the first time since July 2013 in the demo.

The protests in Ferguson have turned violent several times, and at least a half dozen journalists have been arrested while covering the story.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, whose show is more focused on news than any of the other primetime cable news programs, has seen the most notable primetime gains.

He’s airing a special 9 p.m. show on location in Ferguson, and he drew 601,000 25-54s Tuesday, ahead of both FNC powerhouses “The Kelly File” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” which posted 530,000 and 521,000, respectively.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fer...-news-ratings/
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