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TV/Business Notes
Cable Operators Continue To Lead Industry In Profitability: Report
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Sep. 15, 2014

Next time a cable operator complains about rising programming costs, studio execs should pull out the chart on page 6 of the report about media profitability out this morning from accounting and advisory firm EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young).

Cable operators collectively will end this year with cash flow (EBITDA) margins of 41.3%, up from 40.7% last year — not including Comcast, which is categorized as a conglomerate. It’s the best performance cable has generated in the last five years (the period covered in the report). To be fair, cable operators spend a lot on capital improvements that this financial measure overlooks. Still, the strong performance — driven in part by growing sales of broadband services — is way ahead of most in the pack of 10 media and entertainment sectors that EY tracked, which together should average 28%.

Even 28% is still pretty darn good: Assuming no dramatic changes, it would mean that investments in M&E outperformed leading markets including the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100, the S&P 500, the French CAC 40, and Japan’s Nikkei. EY says that industry’s profits improved as companies “gain scale in content production and distribution, divest underperforming businesses and continue to benefit from the proliferation of digital platforms.”

After cable operators, the most profitable sectors in media are: cable networks (37.0%, down from 37.2% in 2013), interactive media (35.8% from 34.8%), electronic games (28.8% from 27.3%), Big Media conglomerates (26.3% from 25.6%), satellite TV (25.0% from 25.7%), publishing and information services (20.9% from 19.7%), TV broadcast (19.4% from 18.4%), film and TV production (12.1% from 11.4%) and music (11.1% from 10.8%).

http://deadline.com/2014/09/cable-co...report-833747/


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post #96812 of 96822 Old Today, 10:26 AM
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TV Notes
‘Dating Naked’ Renewed for Season 2 by VH1
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Sep. 15, 2014

VH1 doesn't plan to strip “Dating Naked” from its schedule anytime soon.

The channel has renewed the reality series, which features brave souls seeking love while baring it all in every sense of the phrase, for a second season.

The first season of the series has averaged 1 million total viewers weekly, with a .6 rating in the 18-49 demographic most sought by advertisers. Online, “Dating Naked” has racked up 500,000 weekly streams, with a season high of more than 750,000 streams the week of its sixth episode.

“‘Dating Naked’ has been a ratings success for us and a viewer favorite,” VH1's executive vice president of original programming & production, Susan Levison, said in a statement. “VH1 has always been about shaping the cultural conversation and we're so glad to have created another pop culture lightning rod. The show is funny, engaging, and it actually works – we've helped six couples find love this season. You're welcome, America.”

On Sept. 18, VH1 will air “Dating Naked: The Wedding,” which will feature the wedding of “Dating Naked” couple Ashley and Alika as they tie the knot in an all-nude — guests included — ceremony.

The second season of “Dating Naked” will premiere in summer 2015.

http://www.thewrap.com/dating-naked-...ason-2-by-vh1/


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post #96813 of 96822 Old Today, 10:36 AM
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The 2014/15 Season
The new TV season reveals small gems among mediocre fare
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Sep. 14, 2014

Viewers have seen worse.

Yes, that’s damning with faint praise but better to set expectations accordingly, right?

The fall 2014 TV season on the broadcast networks — now with NFL games on CBS Thursday night — probably won’t repeat the excitement of a decade ago when both ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” debuted in 2004 and offered innovation and a sense of excitement and discovery as writers pushed against accepted storytelling formats.

But there are enough small gems this fall, hidden among more mediocre fare, and a refreshing dose of diversity in casting that there’s reason for hope that it won’t be a disastrous fall TV season.

Here’s what’s new:

SUNDAY

“Madam Secretary” (8 p.m., CBS):
Tea Leoni stars as an abruptly appointed U.S. secretary of state on this drama that’s closer in tone to the short-lived Geena Davis-starring “Commander In Chief” than it is to the heralded “The West Wing.” The pilot focuses mostly on efforts to free some “stupid kids” being held prisoner in Syria while it sketches out the secretary’s relationship with the president of the United States, who previously hired her when they both worked for the CIA. The secretary’s home life is dullsville and takes time away from establishing her work colleagues, an area that should offer more fertile story ground. A highly predictable, pilot-ending reveal sets up a potential conspiracy that will likely send viewers’ eyes rolling. Still, anything’s better than another CBS crime show, and “Madam Secretary,” with recalibrations, could develop into something decent. (Sept. 21)

“Mulaney” (9:30 p.m., Fox): It has been 25 years since the debut of the hit “Seinfeld.” So it’s not surprising that someone would try to re-do that show, and it’s also not surprising that they’d fail. “Mulaney,’” starring comic and former “Saturday Night Live” writer John Mulaney, is like an unfunny “Seinfeld.” In an episode made available for preview, he opens the show doing stand-up in front of his apartment set, and it’s just downhill from there as his platonic best female friend (Nasim Pedrad) gets a job with his boss (Martin Short), making Mulaney jealous when he’s not hanging out in his apartment with oddball buddy Motif (Seaton Smith), a Kramer stand-in. So far there is no George Costanza character. (Oct. 5)

MONDAY

“Gotham” (8 p.m., Fox):
Media consumers living under a rock since 1988 might find something new in this “Batman” prequel, but for the rest of us who have lived through two “Batman” movie series, this early story of the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and the investigation by Gotham homicide detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie, “Southland”) is pretty much a rehash. Viewers do get to meet younger versions of the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman but to what end? Dark, brooding and violent, “Gotham” executes its creation of a gloomy world well, but it’s one we’ve seen so many times before (and recently) that there’s not much reason for it to exist. (Sept. 22)

“Jane the Virgin” (9 p.m., The CW): This cute one-hour comedy, reminiscent of ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” is based on a Venezuelan telenovela and gleefully uses that soapy style of storytelling to pack multiple twists into its busy, entertaining pilot. Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez, “The Bold and the Beautiful”) hasn’t yet had sex with her police detective boyfriend (Brett Dier, “Ravenswood”) but finds herself accidentally artificially inseminated with the only sample from her unhappily married boss, Rafael (Justin Baldoni, “Everwood”), a cancer survivor. It’s an absurd premise that the show embraces with gusto. (Oct. 13)

“Scorpion” (9 p.m., CBS): Lighthearted drama about a group of tech geniuses who helps the Feds with tough cases. This dream team includes a guy with a photographic memory, a psychology expert, a mechanical prodigy and a statistics guru. The pilot involves a waitress (Katharine McPhee, “Smash”) in a speeding car and her ridiculous attempt to plug an Ethernet cable into a laptop after the cord is dropped from the wheel well of a jetliner flying just a few feet over a runway. (Sept. 22)

“State of Affairs” (10 p.m. NBC): Here’s the problem with getting a bad personal reputation as an actor: It colors what people think of you in future roles. Given her none-too-kind assessments of the writing on her previous TV series, “Grey’s Anatomy,” among other public airings of dirty laundry, Katherine Heigl gained a reputation as a big-mouthed prima dona. And that makes it tough to take her seriously as a CIA adviser to the U.S. president (Alfre Woodard) in “State of Affairs.” Her character is also in therapy after the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan that turns out to be less straightforward than first presented. So plan for a long, drawn-out mystery. Also, the melding of rom-com silliness with the CIA setting (she sings while making coffee, yuks it up with co-workers over a terrorist who inadvertently blows himself up) does not help to create a serious, credible universe. (Nov. 17)

TUESDAY

“The Flash” (8 p.m., The CW):
A superhero spinoff of The CW’s “Arrow” featuring Barry “The Flash” Allen (a likable Grant Gustin, “Glee”), a Starling City forensic assistant who gains the power of super speed after getting hit by lightning. The series begins with a well-made, thoroughly entertaining pilot episode that features John Wesley Shipp, star of CBS’s 1990 “The Flash,” as Barry’s dad. (Oct. 7)

“Selfie” (8 p.m., ABC): “My Fair Lady” made for a terrific one-shot stage musical and movie, but can you imagine it as a weekly TV series? “Selfie” updates the “Pygmalion” story and sets it in the social media era as Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) seeks help in rebranding her Facebook/Twitter-obsessed image, enlisting doubting co-worker Henry (John Cho), who chides her, “You are addicted to the unearned adulation from a group of perfect strangers you insist on referring to as your friends.” “Selfie” gets off to a good start with an entertaining pilot – Ms. Gillan is a hoot as the self-obsessed Eliza – but it’s difficult to imagine how the show can sustain itself as a weekly series. (Sept. 30)

“Manhattan Love Story” (8:30 p.m., ABC): Viewers yearning for more voice-over narration – wait, why do I hear crickets? – may take to this romantic comedy about jerky New York hipster Peter (Jake McDorman, “Greek”), who only thinks about sex, and nervous New York newcomer Dana (Analeigh Tipton), who is filled with self-doubt and cries easily. The pilot includes an awkward first date, followed by apologies galore. There’s really not much to love. (Sept. 30)

“Utopia” (8 p.m., Fox): A rare (these days) fall debut for an all-new reality series on a broadcast network, “Utopia” follows a group of 15 people chosen to colonize some private land in Southern California and live off it for a year. Not available for review at press time. (Already premiered)

“Marry Me” (9 p.m., NBC): It’s rare that a comedy can so consistently surprise its audience, but the pilot of “Marry Me” does just that as writer David Caspe reunites with his “Happy Endings” star (and real-life wife) Casey Wilson (“Hotwives of Orlando”) for this story of Annie and Jake (Ken Marino, “Party Down”), whose engagement gets off to a rocky start when Annie inadvertently insults all their friends and family during an epic tirade. Clever and crackling with comic energy, “Marry Me” has the makings of a stand-out comedy series. (Oct. 14).

“NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS): Scott Bakula stars in the second “NCIS” spinoff that already introduced many of its characters in an episode of “NCIS” earlier this year. Not available for review at press time. (Sept. 23)

“Forever” (10 p.m., ABC): Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd (“Horatio Hornblower”) stars as Dr. Henry Morgan, a super observant 200-year-old New York City coroner who dies over and over and then returns each time naked in some body of water. His friend Abe (Judd Hirsch) is the only one who knows Henry’s secret until a New York cop realizes Henry’s the sole survivor of a subway accident and considers him a suspect in the subway driver’s murder. Henry then inexplicably joins her to interview another suspect. It’s a seriously stupid plot turn, but Mr. Gruffudd makes for a charming romantic lead and the show comes off as a supernatural-tinged “Castle.” (Previews 10 p.m. Sept. 22; time period premiere Sept. 23)

WEDNESDAY

“The Mysteries of Laura” (8 p.m., NBC):
Imagine the tone of, say, “Father Dowling Mysteries” with a single, stereotypically harried, working mother as the lead and you’ve pretty much got the vibe that runs through NBC’s light police drama “The Mysteries of Laura.” The show stars Debra Messing, who will likely continue to be hate-watched in some quarters as she was on “Smash,” as Laura, a New York homicide detective who loves to mention shopping at Target when she’s not punishing her disobedient preschoolers who look like they are 7 or 8. The pilot’s murder plot is uninvolving, but Laura’s disastrous home life makes for occasional amusing, if entirely predictable, moments. (Sept. 24)

“Red Band Society” (9 p.m., Fox): Told from the point of view of a comatose kid, this light drama uses an early “Glee”-style tone to chronicle the lives of young patients who live in a hospital pediatric ward. The notion of a medical drama about sick and/or dying kids sounds depressing, but writer Margaret Nagle (“Warm Springs”) brings a light touch to this series that features Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as a sarcastic, no-nonsense nurse and Dave Annable (“Brothers and Sisters”) as a doctor. But this show — nickname it “Dying Poets’ Society”? “Band of Bedridden Brothers”? — belongs to its youngest, red band-wearing characters, including one who’s anorexic, one with an enlarged heart and another who’s losing his cancer-riddled leg in the morning but his friends throw him a party the night before. (Wednesday)

“Black-ish”: Anthony Anderson stars as Andre, an ad agency executive who fears his family is losing a connection to their African-American identity in this funny-ish sitcom. Tracee Ellis Ross (“Girlfriends”) steals the show as his biracial wife, who often provides something akin to a white point of view. On first glance, some viewers may compare “Black-ish” to “The Bernie Mac Show,” but “Bernie Mac” was funnier. It’s uncertain who “Black-ish” envisions as its target audience: Some viewers might be put off by Andre’s sense of victimization while others might tune in and be disappointed that Andre is the latest in a long line of Dumb Daddy buffoons. (Sept. 24)

“Stalker” (10 p.m., CBS): In the first five minutes, a masked stalker tracks a woman down, throws gasoline on her and sets her on fire. Later, the stalker goes after a second woman in an elevator. It’s another horrific CBS crime drama with women in jeopardy (for equal-opportunity purposes, a guy also gets stalked in the pilot). This one stars Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) and Maggie Q (“Nikita”) as the investigators. (Oct. 1)

THURSDAY

“Gracepoint” (9 p.m., Fox):
Viewers who already watched BBC America’s “Broadchurch” have pretty much already seen Fox’s “Gracepoint,” an almost shot-for-shot remake of the British series, although Fox execs promise a different killer. The series stars Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”) as a cop investigating a child’s murder in a small town after she gets passed over for a promotion in favor of an outsider played by David Tennant. “He has a lot of experience,” says the police chief, and he’s not kidding: Mr. Tennant played the same character in “Broadchurch,” although this time he does it with an American accent. “Gracepoint” isn’t bad – after all, “Broadchurch” was a great crime drama – but since producers chose to do little to differentiate it from the British original, this remake also seems unnecessary. (Oct. 2)

“The McCarthys” (9:30 p.m. CBS): It’s hard to imagine this collection of stereotypes – Bostonians, gays, sports fans, parents – catching on, but the disappointing “The Millers” is still on the air, so who knows. A close-knit Boston family grieves at the thought of their son, Ronnie (Tyler Ritter, who looks just like his father, the late John Ritter of “Three’s Company” fame), moving to Providence, R.I. Ronnie’s dad (Jack McGee, “Rescue Me”) offers him a job as an assistant high school basketball coach, and his mother (Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”) throws a gay bar party in his honor. There are some laughs to be had, but more would be welcome. (Oct. 30)

“Bad Judge” (9 p.m., NBC): Kate Walsh (“Private Practice,” “Fargo”) stars as a superior court judge who’s a mess: Rebecca Wright sleeps around, fails her friends, fails her co-workers. To complement the crass, writer Chad Kultgen (“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”) throws in the cloying when a smart-mouthed child whose parents the judge sent to jail starts asking her for favors and eventually moves in with her. The final indignity: “Bad Judge” invokes “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” when Rebecca and her friend play a rock show that includes the song “Love Is All Around.” Rebecca Wright, you are not Mary Richards. (Oct. 2)

“A to Z” (9:30 p.m., NBC): What did this nice show do to get an incompatible lead-in like “Bad Judge”? A meet-cute rom-com about workers in adjacent office buildings who fall for one another despite differing attitudes toward romance, “A to Z” gets off to a great start with a funny, sweet pilot episode. But this single-camera comedy feels like it wants to be a one-shot movie, not an ongoing series. Perhaps the series that follows Andrew (Ben Feldman, “Mad Men”) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti, “How I Met Your Mother”) will turn out to be great, but it’s just too soon to know after this set-up-filled pilot. (Oct. 2)

“How to Get Away With Murder” (10 p.m., ABC): Viola Davis (“The Help”) stars as law professor Annalise Keating, who enlists law students from a class she teaches to help prepare a criminal defense case before a trial. But that’s just one of the story engines in this ingeniously devised, thoroughly addictive soap. A flash-forward device shows Keating’s students four months in the future as they prepare to bury a body – its identity is revealed at the end of the pilot. In addition, each of the young guns gets a personal story as does Keating, whose marriage to her psychology professor husband (Jack Coleman, “Heroes”) may be in trouble. And there’s a missing girl from the college campus whose story intersects with other characters by the end of the pilot. Some of the show’s legal shenanigans may be bunk, but the plot twists in this series executive produced by “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes are entertaining enough to cover up any license taken. (Sept. 25)

FRIDAY

“Cristela” (8:30 p.m., ABC):
A sitcom with a Latino cast and jokes that seem leftover from ABC’s original TGIF era in the 1990s — with added ethnic humor! — the series stars Latin stand-up comic Cristela Alonzo as a law student living with her mother, sister and brother-in-law. Her mom thinks Cristela is being uppity trying to better herself through education. “We had fun games like getting water from the well and digging the well!” Cristela’s mother says. “That is your problem: You think life is to be enjoyed, that’s why you will never be happy!” (Oct. 10)

“Constantine” (10 p.m., NBC): Another adaptation of a comic book — DC’s “Hellblazer” — albeit one that lacks as much mainstream familiarity, this one’s about demon hunter John Constantine (Matt Ryan), who’s soul has been damned to hell and he’s effectively given up until demons target the daughter (Lucy Griffiths, “True Blood”) of an old friend. The pair team up to fight demons — but only for the pilot as Ms. Griffiths will be replaced in a subsequent episode. “Constantine” is kind of an ideal companion to “Grimm,” but significantly dumber. (Oct. 24)

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201409140004


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TV Review
“Red Band Society” an appealing drama
By Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post - Sep. 15, 2014

Terminal illness brings out the love, humor and camaraderie in a group of teens in “Red Band Society,” premiering Sept. 17 on Fox (locally 8 p.m. on KDVR), a series that is much more nuanced and thoughtful than it sounds.

“Red Band Society” has the potential to be a teen destination as a tear-jerking and humor-laced hospital dramedy. Anyone who felt misty-eyed at “The Fault in Our Stars” will recognize the angst in this story of ill youth confronting mortality (and sneaking beers and kisses) in a hospital, pushing the limits like teens anywhere.

Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) plays a tough-love nurse. Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters”) plays a knowing doctor. Griffin Gluck (“Back in the Game,” “Private Practice”) is Charlie, narrating the story from within a coma. New patient Jordi (Nolan Sotillo, “Prom”), comes to the hospital seeking treatment. The usual “Breakfast Club” personalities, including the “mean” cheerleader, the rebel and the know-it-all, are all aboard.

What could be a trite pitch for togetherness is probed for deeper meaning in an hour that has a big heart behind its hip stance. The narrative will play with time in a way that takes the story out of the confines of the hospital, exploring life before illness. Overall, there’s optimism here, if not about recoveries then about humanity in general.

The series was inspired by the personal story of Albert Espinosa, who lived in a Spanish hospital for 14 years. The executive producer, Margaret Nagle, said her experience in hospitals during the time her brother was in a coma. She acknowledges it’s a hospital dramedy, but she aims to make it something more. The pilot suggests, her prescription is working.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2...g-drama/19926/


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post #96815 of 96822 Old Today, 10:45 AM
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Q&A
Q&A: Queen Latifah Talks Adding Twists to Her Talkshow
By Shelli Weinstein, Variety.com - Sep. 15, 2014

The second season of “The Queen Latifah Show” premieres on Monday (check local listings) with not only a new look, but with twists in store for guests and viewers. Queen Latifah talked to Variety about her motivations for hosting a talkshow, what audiences can expect from the new season, being a hip-hop kid at heart and her HBO biopic on Bessie Smith.

What originally inspired you to do a talkshow?
Honestly, a lot of people had come to me about doing a talkshow since everyone found out that Oprah was going off the air. Everybody was kind of rushing to fill that vacuum and we saw a lot of people have come and gone and tried, and I think you have to take your time. No one else is Oprah, there is only one Oprah and there is no such thing as the next Oprah. Oprah is still busy being Oprah. So I don’t want to try to fill Oprah’s shoes.

But I did feel when Overbrook came to me, the idea of doing it with them and the idea of doing it with Sony, which is known for high-quality material, I felt was intriguing. I’m telling you, people threw money at me, but it was not interesting to me at all because I enjoy doing the things I like to do. So if I’m acting in a project, I’m doing that project because I enjoy doing it and think it challenges me in a way that I feel is fulfilling. Money does not do it for me. I think you do great things and money comes. That’s how it’s always been since I was a young kid.

The idea of doing it with these partners was a great thing to me. I felt this is my generation. We all kind of started from the bottom and made it to the top and built our careers, and we’ve been all around the world, we’re hip-hop kids at heart, and we wanted to bring that journey to the show and build a show around me.

It feels like home. I walked back into that studio a week and ago and it felt good, like “this is my house.” In a way of “I’m home, I’m comfortable.” This is where I’m going to come to work every day and work with my crew to present a great show.

What’s been the biggest challenge in keeping things fresh every day?
For us it’s trying to be original and reflect who I really am, and that’s the challenge. I’m a music lover and I have an extremely varied taste in music, in art and culture, and appreciation of everything I’ve seen in my journey on this planet. And it’s trying to bring those things to people’s attention. For me it’s about making sure that we offer information that people may want to use in their daily lives that could be helpful to people. Continuing to do that is always a challenge and it’s something that we desire to do so we’re always trying to make that happen and keep it fresh and as high quality as we can.

How did it feel finishing your first year?
It felt like I had pledged a sorority and it was that sort of hell week for nine months. It started off like that and it had its ups and downs and its challenges. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done, but I already knew it would be tough. But where it might have been tough for other people, it wasn’t for me because I had done another talkshow years and years ago, so I know how tough the schedule is, but I also know how rewarding it is. I knew what it felt like to walk out of there after having done a great show or having changed someone’s life. I knew what the power of this show could be, so I never lost the light at the end of the tunnel, and I knew if we could just get a rhythm and get everything flowing on the set and book great guests and have great execution then I would be very comfortable being just me, just La. And that’s what’s happened. It’s worked its way toward being great, not just good, so I’m excited. I’m still as passionate as I was when it all came together.

Has any interview gone in a completely different direction than you planned?
That would be Cloris Leachman. And guess what, I’d have Cloris Leachman back tomorrow. I just remember it was so funny, because I was still green and everyone was freaking out, like “What the hell is Cloris gonna do?” but I just laughed my ass off. It was actually a day off for me! It was just, “Listen, camera’s – go wide! Mics – stay on! Let her do whatever the hell she wants to do!” Because it’s Cloris Leachman, we’ll get a question in here and there but just let her go! So for me, as a performer, that was no problem but it was probably hell for the producers.

What new elements do you have coming up in season 2?
Well, there’s going to be a lot of spontaneity, I can tell you that! Some of the things we have for this year are really taking things one step further. We were able to do a lot of great things last year and make a lot of cool things happen for people. There are so many people out there doing extraordinary things every day. We were just hoping to take their lives one step further, and that’s one of the things that helps us walk out of the building feeling good about ourselves.

Also, this cool thing we have called the “Queen Screen” where we’re popping up all across America, showing up live, people won’t expect us, and we’re going to play some fun games to see if they can win some prizes. The cool thing about just kind of popping up on people is that you never know what’s going to come out of their mouth, so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of fun we can have.

And one of the things we’re going to do is take you out on a high note. Having this hour a day is a privilege, for so many people it’s a break from their day, a chance to step out of whatever is going on in their everyday lives, have a little fun and be inspired in some way. At the end of the day, we want to send you out the door feeling good. So we want to end our show on a high note, with whatever that may be. It may be a performance, something funny, a game, anyway it’s going to be something that makes you feel “Man, that felt good, that was a good hour.”

“Bessie” is coming up on HBO, what can you share about that?
“Bessie” is done, we shot “Bessie” this summer, which tells the life of Bessie Smith, who was a great blues singer, one of the greatest of her time. The first to play in front of an integrated audience, the highest paid entertainer of her time. She took down so many barriers and really brought blues to a national and international level, initially in the 1930s. She was an incredible woman and I wanted to tell her story. This is a project that’s been 22 years in the making and we finally found the right script and the right team and HBO, and I’m excited for people to see it.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/quee...ow-1201304808/


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TV Sports
Time Warner Cable to televise final six Dodgers games on local TV
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

Time Warner Cable has agreed to broadcast the final week of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular season baseball on local broadcast station KDOC.

The move -- in a show of goodwill to Los Angeles area baseball fans -- enables millions of viewers throughout the region to watch the final six games of the regular season. The Dodgers are locked in a tight race to clinch the National League West Division title.

For much of the season, millions of Dodgers fans have been unable to see much of the action because Time Warner Cable is the only major pay-TV distributor in the region that offers sports channel Sports Net LA, which carries the Dodgers games.

On Monday, Time Warner Cable said it has secured an agreement to broadcast the final week of Dodger games, beginning on Sept. 22, on the independent broadcast station KDOC. Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully will call the games.

KDOC is carried by cable and satellite operators, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse.

Fans who do not have a pay-TV subscription can receive the station over the air with an antenna.

The final six games, including a series against rival San Francisco Giants, could determine whether the Dodgers make the post-season playoffs and have a chance to win the World Series. The games also will be simulcast on the cable channel owned by the Dodgers, SportsNet LA.

“Time Warner Cable is part of this community and we’re Dodger fans too,” said Dinni Jain, Time Warner Cable’s chief operating officer. “Angelenos love their Dodgers, and we’re happy to give them a way to watch their beloved team during this pennant chase.”

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/


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post #96817 of 96822 Old Today, 11:38 AM
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Critic's Notes
Frights That Tickle the Funny Bone
Tim and Eric Debut ‘Bedtime Stories’
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Sep. 14, 2014

Tim and Eric, those early adapters of the short satirical video, are still around, and in the Thursday-into-Friday Adult Swim block, they serve up a pretty amusing new series, a “Twilight Zone” with a deadpan sense of humor.

The show, “Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories” (at 12:15 a.m. Eastern time on Friday), features Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, along with assorted guests, in bite-size stories that might have been written by the love child of Rod Serling and Steven Wright. That a doctor (played by Bob Odenkirk) might have a practice that consists entirely of amputating people’s toes is only the beginning of a tale from this bizarre universe. How he disposes of those toes is another matter entirely.

Mr. Heidecker and Mr. Wareheim have long been Adult Swim regulars (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!”). The new series is slicker, and perhaps sicker, than most of their work, which should only increase its ability to attract guest stars. Certainly M. Emmet Walsh, as the investigator who pursues that psycho doctor, looks to be having a great time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/ar...ref=television


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Nielsen Notes
'Utopia' Bucks Reality Trend With Big DVR Ratings Growth
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

Reality is not a genre that typically sees significant improvement from DVR views. As much as networks have (justifiably) been focusing ratings attention on time-shifting, it's largely an arena for scripted dramas and comedies.

But Utopia's initial DVR boosts show a stronger-than-typical delayed audience for Fox's big unscripted play for the fall — after largely stumbling out of the gate in live-plus-same day showings. The second episode of Utopia rose a full 56 percent in the key demo — the biggest lift of any broadcast show last week (Mon. - Wed.) outside of CBS' Extant.

The average 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, after the DVR lift, put it as No. 3 for that Tuesday — and not the last-place position it was in same-day showings. It's good news for the freshman series, which opened on the eve of the official 2014 fall TV season. Friday's episode averaged just a 0.7 rating in the demo in same-day showings.

Newly-minted Fox Broadcasting chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman say that they're banking on the show to grow.

"We're definitely going to exhibit patience," Walden told The Hollywood Reporter last week. "What exactly that means, it's hard to tell. I'd say that as long as we're feeling creatively satisfied with the show, we're going to do everything in our power to give it an opportunity to thrive and grow."
Utopia adopts its regular twice-weekly schedule this week, airing on Tuesday and Friday.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...end-big-732838


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TV Review
‘The Meredith Vieira Show,’ same old
Former 'Today' anchor's talk show entirely lacks orginality
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Sep. 15, 2014

Jane Pauley, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira all left their jobs as anchors on “Today” trailing enormous amounts of goodwill. They decided to draw on that goodwill by starring in a daytime talk show.

Judging by the brief experience of Pauley and Couric on the job — and the long experience of stars like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen De Generes and Jerry Springer — one needs more than a fan base to make it in daytime talk. Oprah brought inspiration and self-improvement; Ellen brought humor; and Jerry brought trashy chaos.

Judging by the first three episodes of “The Meredith Vieira Show,” which premiered in syndication last Monday, Vieira is making the same mistake as Pauley and Couric: She’s imitating earlier daytime successes without offering anything new except herself.

The result is a dully familiar if inoffensive hour, with some awkward moments. Vieira will burn through her goodwill quickly if she doesn’t start providing something original and unique.

Each episode starts with a segment called “The List,” in which Vieira addresses three topics. In her first episode, the first was topic “Why This Show?” Her answer was “Because I missed you!”

She went on to say that the show is “sort of a combination of everything I’ve been doing for past almost 40 years in this business: a lot of storytelling, talk and opinion, and games. And if I do this right, I hope to make a little difference in everyone’s life and have fun doing it.”

That vague description fit what followed.

She introduced her husband and her daughter, saying that her sons were unavailable. After a supposedly surprise taped segment in which her family members talked about her — her daughter said she cries at everything —her sons showed up, and Vieira cried.

Then a bunch of performers from current Broadway musicals sang songs with rewritten lyrics about Vieira. Although the hooha was typical of current talk-show premieres, it would have been more appropriate in a series finale. Why is the show paying tribute to its host before she’s done anything?

Except for one member, the house band is female, but the show loses feminism points because the one man is the bandleader.

Meredith introduced a middle-aged man as Jon Harris, her best friend of 20 years, adding, “I know you’re going to love him as much as I do.” Presumably meant to be the on-set sidekick, Harris did almost nothing in the first three episodes.

The celebrity interviews are standard. In the first episode, Vieira encouraged Jennifer Lopez to say that she has trouble finding dates and that she sometimes has “unsexy mom moments.”

Lopez then played a game called “Car-aoke,” in which Vieira and the “Today” co-hostess Hoda Kotb took turns singing songs in a car; only they could hear the music, through headphones. Lopez, sitting at the wheel, had to guess the songs’ titles. Hilarity didn’t quite ensue.

The gears shifted when Vieira introduced a segment about a group of disabled young dancers, one of whom spoke inspiring words about overcoming obstacles and redefining beauty. Vieira announced that the troupe’s dream was to perform at Lincoln Center, then surprised them with the announcement that the show had arranged the booking for them.

After another game segment, in which an audience member participated, with much help from Vieira, everyone in the audience was given a high-end blender.

The episode ended with a very brief tribute to the late Joan Rivers.

The second episode was more serious.

The actor Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren, spoke about their campaign to raise funds for research into Alzheimer’s disease, which killed her mother. Vieira said that her own brother died this summer from Alzheimer’s at age 65.

Harris announced that the show had a surprise for Vieira: A line of women representing various corporations entered holding enormous checks to be donated to Alzheimer’s research. Each woman made a brief presentation that included a description of the company — e.g., “the leader in long-term-care insurance” — reducing the emotional impact of the moment.

The former Spice Girl Mel B., a.k.a. Scary Spice, discussed her current projects and then sat through a pointless segment called “What Scares Scary Spice?” All of the comedy segments are introduced by the band members with deliberately cheesy theme songs, a bit that was funny when Paul Shaffer first did it on “Late Night” 30 years ago.

Wednesday’s episode featured the Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in an ATV accident this summer and who talked about her impressive progress in rehab. The impact of that was lessened by yet another surprise: The star of a home-improvement show came on to announce that while Van Dyken-Rouen was in the hospital, he had installed accessible features in her kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

The thinking behind various segments is hard to follow. On Tuesday, Vieira talked about a young boy who advertised his free piano concert with a hand-lettered sign that drew attention when someone posted it online. So the show invited a completely different boy with his own internet following to sing a song.

In the third show, two audience members dressed as bananas had to answer rapid-fire questions or be dropped into vats of whipped cream. Oddly, when they got a question correct, they were lowered toward their vat. Even more oddly, the segment plugged a national baked-goods company because the company had donated the banana costumes.

But even if the segments were well executed, they would still be the same sort of drollery that is featured on most celebrity-oriented daytime talk shows. The plug-filled interviews, social-media-driven human-interest features, backstage pranks and constant giveaways and surprises are also tediously familiar.

Vieira’s chief asset, the hint of mischief and sarcasm she brought to “Today” and even “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” is absent on her own show.

If Vieira and her producers can’t make “The Meredith Vieira Show” a little different, no one is going to have any fun, and soon they won’t have any show.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the...show-same-old/


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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Sep. 15, 2014

...

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART
PBS, 11:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s show features two of the people making some of the smartest, most entertaining and most illuminating television of their generation: guest Ken Burns, whose The Roosevelts: An Intimate History continues tonight on PBS, and host Jon Stewart.
...

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
tvworthwatching now lists The Daily Show where I expect it: on Comedy Central. The Comedy Central web site likewise lists Ken Burns as the guest for tonight's The Daily Show.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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tvworthwatching now lists The Daily Show where I expect it: on Comedy Central. The Comedy Central web site likewise lists Ken Burns as the guest for tonight's The Daily Show.
HA. Fixed.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #96822 of 96822 Old Today, 03:03 PM
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TV Sports
Time Warner Cable to televise final six Dodgers games on local TV
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

The final six games, including a series against rival San Francisco Giants, could determine whether the Dodgers make the post-season playoffs and have a chance to win the World Series.
That would be an EPIC collapse.

Dodgers have a 7.5 game lead over the brewers so for the dodgers to miss the playoffs even if the brewers went 10-2 all the dodgers have to do is go 4-9.

Think we can say the dodgers are in....they dont have the highest $$ payroll for nuthin.

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