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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 1047

post #31381 of 93799
TV Notes
Bubble shows ponder finale, future
Every network has programming in jeopardy
By Michael Schneider, Variety - March 5, 2009

With the network upfronts just two months away, it's the start of nail-biting season for primetime's bubble shows.

Most of broadcast's comedies and dramas are in the midst of plotting their year-end finales. But for producers who still don't have a clue about the fate of their shows, that creates a conundrum.

Do you tie up loose ends, and shoot a de facto series finale, just in case it's all over? Or do you leave the viewers wanting more via a big, messy cliffhanger in hopes that execs will find it more difficult to cut things off midstream?

This year, the producers behind ABC's "Life on Mars" came up with a third option: Persuade the network to announce the show's fate right now in order to at least go out with a bang.

"The producers were really pushing for it," said ABC Entertainment exec VP Jeff Bader. "Based on the ratings the way they are now, it didn't look like it would be back.

"So (the producers) said, 'Let us end it.' We thought, Let's do the right thing and give viewers a satisfying ending."

"Mars" exec producer Andre Nemec said he and the show's other producers -- having just come off another show, "October Road," that left the air without a proper goodbye -- decided to sit the writers down at the very beginning and hammer out what the series' end would look like.

"Obviously we would have loved to be on the air for nine years, and none of this comes without great sadness," Nemec said. "But we found ourselves riding the bubble. The network was aware that we knew where we were going. We think (it's cool) that we're able to wrap this series up and not leave the audience high and dry."

As a result, the mysteries of "Life on Mars" will more or less be resolved when the show winds down at the start of April. But that scenario doesn't frequently occur.

More often, execs don't want to give up the option of bringing back a bubble show until May, when they've screened their pilots and know for certain what their options are.

"The series finale is definitely satisfying for the viewers of the show and provides that closure," said NBC program planning/scheduling exec VP Mitch Metcalf. "But you can't always do that. There are usually so many shows on the air that we like that we want to keep them in contention and see how everything balances out with development."

Last year, the writers' strike ended up helping primetime's bubble brigade: With few new shows available in the fall, nets were more apt to give low-performing skeins the benefit of the doubt, and many of those series returned in the fall (where they promptly collapsed).

With no work stoppage this year, and a hefty number of pilots in the works (particularly at ABC and CBS), this year's fence straddlers won't be so lucky.

Now, over the next few weeks, proactive producers will pitch net execs on their next season plans - "Chuck" producer Josh Schwartz, for example, said the show's season finale ends with a "game changer" that sets up a third season - and fans will start to bombard execs with emails and mailers in an attempt to save their favorite shows.

But it will mostly be up to how well those shows perform during the final weeks of the season -- and how all those pilots look once the nets head into the screening room. For now, a look at what the nets will be pondering over the next two months:

NBC

Among all nets, producers at the Peacock may have the most reason for concern: With "The Jay Leno Show" moving into primetime, NBC will have five fewer weekday hours in the fall.

That could be an issue for shows whose fates are still unclear, including "Chuck," "Life" and "Medium."

Then there's the granddaddy of NBC's lineup, "Law and Order." Having cheated cancellation in the past, "L&O" is once again not a lock for fall.

But given its historic importance to the net, "L&O" is perhaps the latest leading candidate for a program-sharing deal with another entity, much as "Friday Night Lights" now airs first on DirecTV and "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" initially runs on USA.

But before bubble show producers throw in the towel, the Peacock has said that it's aiming to split more time periods, with different shows airing in the fall vs. the spring. That may be why the Peacock is expected to pick up only 18-20 episodes of "Heroes," for example.

NBC is expected to use the Winter Olympics as a buffer between those fall and midseason skeds.

"We have a lot of shows that are in contention," Metcalf said. "And we've got some additional considerations with 'Leno' coming in, as there will be fewer spots. We'll take a very hard look at all of them as the pilots start coming in."

ABC

Given the sheer number of late premieres this year at the Alphabet, net execs really won't get a good read on what should stay vs. what should go until right before their upfront presentation.

Indeed, the net won't be able to make a legitimate assessment on sitcoms like "Surviving Suburbia" and "In the Motherhood" or dramas "Cupid" and "The Unusuals" until mid-April.

ABC's other two newbies, "Castle" and "Better Off Ted," premiere earlier -- but "Castle," at least, really won't be tested until April, when it no longer airs directly behind "Dancing With the Stars."

But beyond those midseason entries, ABC has a pretty good handle on what's returning and what's not now that the fate of "Life on Mars" has been determined. Despite some concerns about its perf, "Ugly Betty" is expected to be back. And although the fate of "Private Practice" was not really in doubt, its boffo numbers during a recent crossover with "Grey's Anatomy" solidified the show's return.

The Alphabet has invested enough in "Samantha Who?" that a pickup seems likely; that means the only real question marks are "Scrubs" -- which would likely be dramatically revamped if returned -- and "According to Jim," which has come back to life so many times that it's now impossible to say for sure whether the show is finally over.

CBS

If the Eye has to make some tough decisions, it's partly because CBS has an embarrassment of riches.

With few slots open for new fare, that's not a good omen for "Eleventh Hour," which cedes its spot to "Harper's Island" in April. And although sitcoms "Rules of Engagement," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried" all perform decently enough, the Eye will want to launch one or two other laffers in the fall -- which could be problematic for at least one of those existing half-hours.

With so many crime dramas in development and so little space on the sked, the Eye may also be looking to rest a long-running performer such as "Cold Case," "Without a Trace" or "The Unit," at least in the fall.

And in the case of close-ended procedurals, there aren't a lot of loose ends to tie up -- so the net can wait until the very end before deciding those shows' fates.

FOX

With "Prison Break" closing up and sitcom "'Til Death" already securing a pickup for next season, most of the remaining uncertainty surrounding Fox's primetime resides on Friday night.

It's still too soon to tell whether "Dollhouse" will be a long-term player for the net, but given the perennial fate of shows on the night, no renewal is assured for that series or "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." It's also too soon to tell on newcomer "Lie to Me," which will get its first real test when Fox moves the drama to 8 p.m. next week.

While the fate of those current shows is still unknown, Fox has announced that one new skein, "Glee," already has a slot on its fall lineup.

CW

With no new laffers in the works, and last comedies standing "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game" both on the bubble, that's a real possibility.

Also up in the air: "Reaper," which just made its return this week, and "Privileged," which ended its season with one of those big "to be continued" cliffhangers. (Viewers waiting for resolution might be waiting a long time, in other words.)

Meanwhile, it's already a foregone conclusion that at least two -- and possibly three -- of the CW's pilots are a shoo-in for the schedule, even before a pilot has been shot: "Melrose Place" and "Vampire Diaries" are considered virtual locks, as is the "Gossip Girl" spinoff "Lily."

http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=14&cs=1
post #31382 of 93799
Critic's Notes
Fallon Faces the Camera, Conscious of the Web
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times - March 6, 2009

He looked nervous, even flustered, at first, and some of the prepared comedy was surprisingly lame. That doesn't matter. Jimmy Fallon's first few days don't really reveal how Late Night With Jimmy Fallon will fare.

Monitoring the opening kinks and experiments of a new talk show is a spectator sport, and this entry comes with an added American Idol edge: NBC had the last word during the auditions, but Internet users are now expected to comment and cavil interactively and build or diminish Mr. Fallon's television audience.

Mr. Fallon was cute and funny on Saturday Night Live, but he is not necessarily the ideal choice for the Late Night core audience of young males: his humor is mischievous, not anarchic. (If fans had a call-in vote, they might have elected Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.)

Still, Mr. Fallon is engaging and has an antic, quick-witted charm. He seemed more confident by the show's third night and, oddly enough, had better comic chemistry with Cameron Diaz on Wednesday than with Tina Fey, his former Weekend Update co-anchor on SNL, the night before. Most of his skits and routines, however, seemed written for the Web, not for broadcast.

It's still too soon to pass judgment on Mr. Fallon's talents as a talk show host, but it's a perfectly good time to examine NBC's latest test of synergy, the marriage of the Internet and a television show.

Almost all shows nowadays have Web sites with extraneous videos, fan blogs and viewer e-mail exchanges. But Mr. Fallon has gone further to co-opt the Internet than either of his two network rivals, Jimmy Kimmel on ABC and Craig Ferguson on CBS, or even cable upstarts like Chelsea Handler, the host of Chelsea Lately on E! In the months leading up to his debut on Monday, Mr. Fallon tried to pump up younger viewers' interest with Late Night Webisodes. He has pages on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Perhaps accordingly, many of the routines he worked into the show in its first nights might have been better suited to YouTube. And that youth-oriented material clashes with the highly conventional, even fusty jokes in his opening monologue (Everybody's cutting back, everybody: Madonna's now down to one teenage boyfriend), as well as with the choice of a veteran actor, Robert De Niro, to be his first guest.

Twitter is so overexposed that it has become a joke, but Mr. Fallon apparently isn't in on it. He interviewed Ms. Diaz by posing questions submitted via Twitter. Those turned out to be as dull and anodyne as any taken from a live audience. (If Cameron wasn't acting, what would her dream job be? Ms. Diaz didn't have a ready answer, so Mr. Fallon supplied it: Forest ranger.)

Wednesday's quite funny parody of romance novels, bromance novels, came with a link on the show's Web site (latenightwithjimmyfallon.com) that allows users to watch a video of the shooting of the cover art.

Mr. Fallon consistently tried to incorporate a wackier Web spirit into his on-air performance, even picking random people in the studio audience and assigning them made-up Facebook identities. None were very funny.

Remarkably, given how many months he has had to prepare, many of his supposedly wacky, Web-style pranks were oddly plodding and unimaginative. On the first night three audience members were invited onstage to lick something in exchange for $10. The things were all inanimate objects: a lawn mower, a copier, a fishbowl. The slow-motion super-sexy replay was funny once, not three times.

Mr. Fallon does not have a sidekick, but he does have a cool band, the Roots, whose musicians are deadpan and steadfastly underwhelmed by his jokes, and over time that could serve as a comic foil to his eager-to-please persona.

There were other amusing moments, including a random, bizarre video of German soccer players dancing that was found on the Web and a mock charitable appeal for laid-off Wall Street workers, a Save the Bankers Foundation, that could have just as easily been a Saturday Night Live skit.

And Mr. Fallon got better, and more relaxed, after his debut, though he joked with Tina Fey about his flop sweat moment with Mr. De Niro. (When performers admit to being nervous, it's a little like a woman on a date bemoaning how fat she is: nobody wants to hear it.)

The first days are tough because large audiences tune in to see what all the prepremiere fuss was about, boosting ratings and expectations, then quickly turn away if not instantly amused. And most hosts go through a trial-and-error period. Mr. Kimmel started out more loutishly and live; now he is more buttoned-down, and his show is taped, even though it is still called Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Mr. Ferguson began with a very conventional Tonight Show format, then slowly allowed more of his own offbeat storytelling and Monty Pythonesque eccentricities into his act.

NBC picked Mr. Fallon, and he can sometimes seem like an old person's notion of a hip young comic, but that doesn't mean that he isn't funny or that he cannot hold his own on Late Night. Only time, not Twitter, will tell.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/ar...l.html?_r=1&hp
post #31383 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Well, just got back from historic show #0004 of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and managed to get on camera twice: right as they go to the first commercial break and the camera pulls out (after the 'flashback' dude exits) and when Fallon walks through the audience as the credits roll. I'm the guy wearing the blue-and-yellow "Late Night with David Letterman" logo sweatshirt and a gray wool cap doing a two-fisted 'V' sign. It's not much but I'm pretty sure it's going to come across well on high-def TV.

Aaaand... heeeeeere's dad1153!
LL
LL
post #31384 of 93799
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Lucky 13: 'Idol' expands the field at the last minute
By Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY

At this point last season, American Idol already was shaping up as a two-man race between David Cook and David Archuleta. This year, there are a lot more guys in the running: eight, compared with five women, thanks to a surprise decision to expand the finalist field to 13. The full lineup revealed Thursday has the potential to be one of the most polarizing in Idol history.

Changes in the show format rendered some singers early favorites and others barely visible until the semi-finals. The return of the wild-card round served to safeguard judges' picks and irritate viewers who felt hyper-emotional Tatiana Del Toro had outstayed her welcome weeks ago.

Can Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds maintain their early momentum? Can Jasmine Murray and Matt Giraud capitalize on their underdog status? Let's assess the field going into the Idol finals (Fox, Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET/PT):

Kris Allen. The Arkansas native has a clean-cut cuteness that could win over the Archuleta speed-dialers.

Megan Joy Corkrey. Her quavering vocal style may be an acquired taste, but the Utah mom's winning smile sweetens the deal.

Anoop Desai. Desai — aka Anoop Dog — led a college a cappella group and is working on his master's, making him the thinking man's contestant.

Matt Giraud. The soulful Michigan singer has always looked more comfortable behind a piano, which made him a judges' favorite during Hollywood Week.

Danny Gokey. This Wisconsin widower has received more face time than any other finalist, thanks to his sympathetic back story and strong performances.

Alexis Grace. The Memphis dark horse came into her own during the semi-finals with a knockout performance of Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You).

Allison Iraheta. The 16-year-old who made a big impression with Heart's Alone won a singing competition on Telemundo two years ago.

Adam Lambert. Flamboyant showman likes to nail every song to the roof, and he's got the voice to make it stick.

Scott MacIntyre. The legally blind former child prodigy can't wait to get behind the piano. He's probably the most musically accomplished contestant Idol has ever seen.

Jasmine Murray. The Mississippi beauty queen has struggled with song choice. Judges want to see her go in a Rihanna/Jordin Sparks direction.

Jorge Nuñez. Nuñez brings a little Latin romance to the show and possesses an endearing charm.

Lil Rounds. The mother of three from Memphis created a reputation as an early favorite with a strong audition and cemented it during the semifinals.

Michael Sarver. He's an oil-rig worker from Texas who looks and sounds like he ought to sing country but prefers blue-eyed soul.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...thirteen_N.htm
post #31385 of 93799
Is it just ME, or does Dad look like Will Ferrell in "Elf?"
post #31386 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

Aaaand... heeeeeere's dad1153!

Yikes! It's true what they say, the camera adds 75 pounds to one's natural weight! Good thing they cut out the other shot at the end of the credits.
post #31387 of 93799
Dad, do you live in the major metro area?

And jtbell, you and I are practically neighbors. I assume you teach at Presbyterian, based on your "subtitle." Nice little college there. (Clinton and Spartanburg are about a half hour apart, if anyone's wondering what I'm going on about).
Jeff
post #31388 of 93799
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Siegfried & Roy's return in '20/20' spotlight
It's a comeback and a likely finale as the famed Vegas show duo steps back in the near-fatal tigers' den once more.
By Richard Abowitz , Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2009

REPORTING FROM LAS VEGAS > > > In a city that is usually impossible to shock, the savaging of Roy Horn on Oct. 3, 2003, onstage and in front of a live audience at the Mirage, created one of those rare moments where all locals can say where they were when they heard the news.

Steve Wynn, who spent millions to have the theater at the Mirage customized for the "Siegfried & Roy" show, remembered his first reaction in an interview this week: "I could not believe one of Roy's cats attacked him."

Media from all over the world had surrounded the hospital by the time Wynn arrived and, inside, Horn had already had a stroke and died on the table. Wynn said: "I was standing there looking down at him with the breathing tube, stitches in his shaved head; his head was caved in from back to front because the doctors had removed part of his brain. They said that he would never be able to do anything below his head again. I just stared and could not believe."

The idea that Horn would even be able to stand up was more than anyone could possibly hope for in those days immediately after the attack as he fought for his life. Setting foot onstage again wasn't even a consideration. But, as a television audience will see on ABC's "20/20" today at 9 p.m., he -- along with Siegfried Fischbacher -- appeared as a duo Saturday for the first time in more than five years, and likely for the last time ever, during a benefit at the Bellagio. In addition to showing that event, the "20/20" episode will include co-host Elizabeth Vargas' interview with the partners at their home, discussing Horn's painful recovery and their lives since the tiger attack.

After that October night in 2003, Wynn said, the surgeon concluded that the beloved Vegas icon had no chance of walking again. Wynn, noting the willpower it takes to train lions, felt otherwise but remembers the doctor saying: " 'Steve, it is not a question of his determination. We took a third of his brain out and it's empty. He was going to die.' "

Mirage moves on

Roy Horn, of course, did not die. But the Siegfried & Roy show, after 13 wildly successful years at the Mirage, closed at once. The hotel and casino reinvented itself by getting a Cirque du Soleil show, the Beatles' "Love," as well as a hipster nightclub, Jet, and some new restaurants with celebrity chefs. It made its famous volcano bigger, flashier and louder. This was no longer the Mirage of Siegfried & Roy.

It wasn't that they were entirely forgotten: Their Secret Garden at the Mirage continues to attract visitors, and tourists regularly pose for photos in front of a statue of the duo on the Strip. But mostly, the image of Siegfried & Roy, covered in rhinestones and wearing codpieces, quickly became a symbol from the distant Las Vegas past.

Horn, meanwhile, in the years after the attack, was engaged in a constant effort at physical rehabilitation, with Fischbacher always by his side. He has managed to recover far beyond what the doctors originally thought possible.

Wynn recalled the first time he saw Horn walk after the mauling, which he did with the aid of a cane. It was along a 240-foot stretch of red carpet at the opening of "Spamalot" at his Wynn hotel in April 2007. "It was unbelievable," Wynn said. "Siegfried had tears in his eyes. I watched it, and all I could think was, 'Where is that surgeon? I want to talk to him.' There it is, Mr. Horn walking down the hall."

Less than a year after that night, the announcement was made that Siegfried & Roy would do a special farewell performance at the 2009 "Keep Memory Alive" charity dinner and auction, which has become mandatory for Vegas elites. The annual event -- held last Saturday and which raised $12 million -- supports the creation of the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, to be housed in a Frank Gehry-designed building in downtown Las Vegas. Dedicated to fighting brain diseases, it will be staffed in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. After 13 of these dinners, the building is set to open by the end of this year.

Tickets for tables inside ranged from $15,000 to $75,000 for dinner, the auction and to view the under-10-minute performance. In an interview at the event, Mayor Oscar Goodman surpassed his usual gift for hyperbole by calling the night of Siegfried & Roy's comeback performance "the most important night in Las Vegas history." He continued, "Siegfried & Roy are the iconic showmen who really put Las Vegas on the map, and to have them come back for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute is so unbelievably special."

Even outside Vegas, the return of Horn to the stage was major news. Vargas, the "20/20" co-host, said, "They are so iconic. I think everyone in the country knows them."

And Larry Ruvo, the Las Vegas businessman behind the brain institute bearing the name of his late father, noted, "I am sure we would not have gotten anything like this attention from the media without Siegfried & Roy."

Certainly, the illusionists had not lost their drawing power among fellow celebrities: Stars such as Teri Hatcher and Hilary Duff were there Saturday. The eclecticism of their fan base was demonstrated by the presence of Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, who said: "I can't wait. I love guys getting dressed to the nines and going out onstage with a tiger."

Rehab continues

Of course, the languages of magic and medicine are very different. And while there has been much emphasis on how completely Horn has defied doctors' expectations, he has hardly fully recovered. According to Wynn, Horn remains blind in his right eye and paralyzed on his left side.

Vargas put it this way: "Roy is still suffering from catastrophic injuries and probably will be for the rest of his life. He walked through death's door. He was told by doctors he would never walk and talk again, and he is doing both those things today. But you can still see the ramifications. His left side is not working the way it should. He has made astonishing progress. But even saluting him, I must also say you can still see he suffers from those injuries."

Still, Vargas stressed this one-night return of Siegfried & Roy to the stage represents the chance for fans, accrued over decades in show business, to say goodbye, and that it's not a return to form of their very physical show from back in their heyday.

"All the magic tricks in the world can't cover that Roy nearly died, did die if you want to be technical," she said. "Our viewers who will watch this are not going to see the old Siegfried & Roy. This is Siegfried & Roy in triumph after a tragedy that they thought would claim the life of one of them. He has fought his way back, but he is a changed man."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,7625358.story
post #31389 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

Well, as I think I said in an earlier post, when the FCC moved the mandatory transition date, they should have mandated that one major network carrier in EACH MARKET stick with the Feb. 17 date so that the folks who just "don't get it" would realize they "weren't getting it" and WOULD get with the program by June. But that just made TOO MUCH SENSE, I guess.

I don't see any more logic in that approach than simply sticking with the February 17 date and requiring one (and only one) major network affiliate in each market to continue broadcasting its analog signal full-power. That accomplishes the imperative for provision of emergency service, if necessary, and would prompt the viewer behavior that you're trying to prompt with much less variability. I think the point, though, is that Congrest wanted viewers to be relatively unaffected on February 17 -- that was the overriding concern -- not incentivizing the move toward preparedness. We may not like that prioritization of objectives, but we cannot call it nonsensical. In the end, letting broadcasters transition on February 17 -- or any time before June 12 -- is best viewed as a compromise offered to mitigate the harm that this changing in priorities would inflict, but nothing more than a compromise -- a peace offering to broadcasters who would be so adversely affected by having to wait. Remember, there was significant bully-pulpit pressure applied to try to discourage broadcasters from making the switch early if they didn't really have to.
post #31390 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

It's my understanding that the FCC was VERY ARBITRARY in that implementation, however.

The FCC has often been capricious in its dealings, but this time, I didn't see any of that. I think you could safely describe their actions as bureaucratic, and also limited in scope of focus (as I suggested above, driven by priorities that we, perhaps, don't like).
post #31391 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffAHayes View Post

Dad, do you live in the major metro area?

Harlem.
post #31392 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes
Lucky 13: 'Idol' expands the field at the last minute
By Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY

Anoop Desai. Desai — aka Anoop Dog — led a college a cappella group and is working on his master's, making him the thinking man's contestant.

Oh joy. To be back in Idol local contestant mode. At least it isn't THREE from the area as it was in 2006 with Chris Daughtry, Bucky Covington and Kelly Pickler. (Daughtry and Covington being actual station viewers!) What a zoo that was. Desai is from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, next market over (UNC actually).

The kid is a good singer. but who really knows?

I think we have had a local in 6 of the 8 seasons with one local winning (Fantasia - High Point) and locally/regionally Clay Aiken (Raleigh), Daughtry (Greensboro), Pickler (Charlotte), Covington (Rockingham, yep same place as old NASCAR track) making national names for themselves. Something in the water I guess.
post #31393 of 93799
On our way to the land of fruits & nuts this morning. I hope we get back with our senses intact.
post #31394 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Oh joy. To be back in Idol local contestant mode. At least it isn't THREE from the area as it was in 2006 with Chris Daughtry, Bucky Covington and Kelly Pickler. (Daughtry and Covington being actual station viewers!) What a zoo that was. Desai is from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, next market over (UNC actually).

The kid is a good singer. but who really knows?

I think we have had a local in 6 of the 8 seasons with one local winning (Fantasia - High Point) and locally/regionally Clay Aiken (Raleigh), Daughtry (Greensboro), Pickler (Charlotte), Covington (Rockingham, yep same place as old NASCAR track) making national names for themselves. Something in the water I guess.

Not surprising, as North Carolina has long been known as a karaoke powerhouse. The Japanese send their national team over here to train in the summers, you know. In fact, NBC is so impressed with FOX's ratings numbers for AI that they're trying to get karaoke added as an Olympic sport. They figure it's good for another Nielsen point or two, and the call-in lines will go international. Al Michaels will do play-by-play with Paula Abdul providing color analysis and fashion tips. Can't wait!
post #31395 of 93799
DWTS: Holly Madison Added

The question is no longer who will win Dancing With the Stars, but who will survive it?

In a DWTS first, not one but two contestants have been sidelined with injuries before the new season has even aired.

ABC has just confirmed that Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell and singer Jewel will not be a part of the new season due to leg injuries.

O'Dell suffered a twist to her right knee during rehearsals and has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus. Jewel has suffered fractured tibiae in both legs. Ouch, right?

So who will replace the two ladies? We have exclusive confirmation...

As our Marc Malkin reported yesterday, inside sources confirm that Holly Madison of E!'s reality series Girls Next Door will be coming on the dancefloor this season.

And now, Hugh Hefner himself comfirms today to Malkin that his ex-girlfriend Holly has been cast, saying he "made the arrangments" for Madison to replace Jewel on the show.

"It's a show she's wanted to be on for a long time," Hefner tells Malkin. "I'm delighted. It's all good stuff."

The other newbie will be announced on the Dancing With the Stars season premiere on Monday night. And according to ABC, Jewel and O'Dell will appear to talk about their injuries.

http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watc..._holly_in.html


this means all 3 of "the girls next door" will be on tv as kendra has her own show on E! this summer & bridget has her own show on the travel channel starting soon.
post #31396 of 93799
DTV Notes
Noncoms Take Issue With FCC's April 16 DTV Deadline
Association for Public Television Stations urges FCC to start accepting requests to pull the plug early
By John Eggerton , Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2009 3:04:31 PM MT

Noncommercial stations have this message to the FCC about the DTV transition: "We're having technical difficulties. Please don't just stand by."

A number of noncommercial stations have asked that they be allowed to pull the plug on analog before April 16, citing technical and financial reasons.

The FCC last week proposed not allowing the next wave of analog cut-offs until at least April 16. Though it has not come out with final rules and won't do so until perhaps the end of next week, it has not accepted the turn-off notifications stations are required to give 30 days before cut-off, according to the Association for Public Television Stations.

APTS urged the FCC to start accepting those requests from noncoms who had planned to pull the plug in late March or early April, saying that not to do so would cause "significant financial hardship" and contravene the will of Congress in moving the date to June 12 with the stipulation that stations have the flexibility to do so "at any time before June 12."

"As a practical matter, the Commission already has begun implementing this proposal by ordering stations not to submit service termination notifications at this time, and by rejecting service termination notifications that had been submitted to it in the past several weeks prior to the release of the NPRM," said APTS in a filing at the FCC.. "APTS urges that the Commission reverse this position with regard to public television stations, begin accepting service termination notifications immediately, and reinstate any notifications previously submitted so that public television stations that have intended to terminate their analog operations between now and April 16, 2009, may do so. "

APTS argues that Congress did not give the FCC the right to override its existing flexibility-
stations, with notice, could have pulled the plug on analog up to 90 days before Feb. 17, the original hard date, and over 200 did.

And in a filing with the FCC, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) asked that its six public TV stations be allowed to cut off analog on April 5, saying it was necessary because of severe financial and technical challenges.

Noncoms, which rely on corporate and individual largesse for most of their money, have been hard hit by the tanking economy.

The FCC has proposed a number of deadlines and requirements associated with the new June 12 hard date, which WPT has asked it to waive, saying it would be a hardship and increased burden on stations. WPT said it had originally planned to pull the plug Feb. 17, as originally instructed by the FCC, then agreed to stay on past that date, as suggested by the FCC, setting April 5 as the new date.

"WPT was quite taken aback when the NPRM [FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] stymied its well-considered plan for analog termination. If WPT had known and understood that, after allowing maximum flexibility for stations to terminate analog service on or before February 17th, the FCC would abruptly change course and restrict further planned analog terminations, WPT would have terminated analog service for the WPT stations on February 17th.

WPT said its analog maintenance and part replacement schedule had been based on Feb. 17, and that it is at ongoing risk of "catastrophic analog equipment failure," saying two stations have already come close to that and have had to greatly reduce analog power do to technical difficulties. WPT wants to "decommission" the stations ASAP, saying they pose a threat to people and property.

It also sites an interference problem with a commercial DTV station in the area.

Facing proposed state budget cuts, the station told the FCC, the state's Education Communications Board, it already planned to use the $100,000 in utility bill savings from a Feb. 17 analog cut-off toward the proposed cuts in noncom funding, and had also reallocated station personnel and building space to cut costs.

"The postponement of the DTV transition date and the worsening economic climate have now exacerbated the financial pressures," WPT said.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...V_Deadline.php
post #31397 of 93799
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Friday’s Network Prime-Time Programming Options

(Reminder: If you are recording these programs, check your network listings for precise start/end times. For PBS, please double check your local listings.)

ABC:
8
Wife Swap
9 20/20: Siegfried & Roy, The Magic Returns HD
10 20/20 HD

CBS:
8
Ghost Whisperer HD
9 Flashpoint HD
10 Numbers HD

NBC:
8
Howie Do It
8:30 Howie Do It (R)
9 Friday Night Lights HD
10 Dateline NBC

Fox:
8
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles HD
9 Dollhouse HD

PBS
8 Washington Week
8:30 NOW on PBS
9 Bill Moyers Journal
10 History Detectives (R) HD

The CW:
8
America’s Next Top Model (two hours,R) HD

MNT:
8 WWE: Friday Night Smackdown! (two hours) HD

MNTV HD Schedule is from jimboy’s http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0714&highlight=
post #31398 of 93799
DTV Notes
Andrew Martin Says DTV Call Center Operators Need More Training
Many need help on issues like antenna positioning and converter box rescanning
By John Eggerton , Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2009 3:47:32 PM MT

The FCC's point person on the government-industry DTV call center says that operators will need to be given more training, and spend more time on the phone with viewers for the next wave of TV station analog cut-offs, which will begin April 16, if not sooner.

At an FCC public meeting on the state of the DTV transition, Andrew Martin, FCC chief information officer, said that one of the takeaways from the call center experience surrounding the Feb. 17 analog transition for over 400 stations was that call center operators would need to be better trained and be able to provide more detailed information about issues like antenna positioning and converter box rescanning.

He conceded there would be a trade-off in volume of calls handled if, as he anticipated, call times would likely go up from 4.8 minutes per call to probably double that.

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps was quick to point out that that was not an implied criticism of the operators, but a reflection on the lack of time the FCC had to get them trained before the Feb. 17 date. He said he had visited the FCC's call center in Gettysburg, PA, and that the operators were eager for more training.

The National Association of Broadcasters has also called for more operator training.

Martin said that while the FCC had projected it would be handling about 600,000 calls in the days surrounding Feb. 17, the actual number was only about a fourth of that. He suggested that was because the data used to model that projection came from Hawaii and Wilmington, NC, both of which terminated all analog signals back in January and September 2009, respectively. The difference on Feb. 17 was that the vast majority of markets where stations pulled the plug-all but 17-still had some full-power analog signals, so it was not a cold turkey cut-off.

One of the other takeaways from the calls was that there was a high percentage of calls from Spanish-speaking households.

While the call volume may have been much less than the FCC predicted, Copps said, the commission still needed to be prepared for millions of calls.

One of the points being hammered home in the FCC meeting was that the Feb. 17 analog cut-off only affected about 15% of the TV viewing population, and mostly in smaller markets, with 85% in big markets still to make the switch.

While no "frogs fell from the skies," as one broadcaster summed up Feb. 17, "or anvils, either," added Association for Multiple Service TV President David Donovan Thursday, the FCC and industry were not out of the woods yet, Copps suggested.

When asked to predict how many calls could come in around June 12, Martin said anywhere between 500,000 and 3 million.

Copps said the FCC should overbuild the system rather than lowball it, suggesting to plan for the higher number. Conceding it was far from an exact science, Copps said, for his money, with millions of consumers still unprepared (Nielsen says about 4.5 million), he was all for erring on the side of too much, "and thank heavens afterward if that does not happen."

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...e_Training.php
post #31399 of 93799
DTV Notes
McSlarrow Praises FCC, Broadcasters
Also discussed the DTV transition call center effort
By John Eggerton , Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2009 4:23:37 PM MT

What a difference an acting chairman makes.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow opened his remarks at an FCC public meeting on the DTV transition by giving a shout-out to acting Chairman Michael Copps' "extraordinary leadership," then added praise for the other two commissioners by extension, saying that the teamwork and collegiality they had all shown had made a "real impact" on communications stakeholders.

That was in contrast to the impact of the commission on cable under Copps' predecessor Kevin Martin, whose apparent anti-cable agenda--Martin billed it as fair and pro-consumer--had once prompted McSlarrow to liken it to a vendetta.

McSlarrow made brief remarks at the session about a transition that is primarily broadcasters' issue.

He said that while cable and broadcast clearly disagreed on a number of issues, they had worked well together to try to make the transition work. In addition to cable's major role in coordinating the DTV call center effort, the two industries have been working together for a year or two with coordinating the "hand-off" of the new digital signals to cable head-ends.

McSlarrow praised Association for Maximum Service Television President David Donovan for "extraordinary" work on the "nitty gritty engineering and technical work" with local cable operators.

On the call center effort, McSlarrow pointed out that the government had not made it easy, saying the date had been whipsawed around from a) Feb. 17 to b) June 12 to c) everything in between to the final answer d) all of the above.

McSlarrow seconded suggestions from the FCC's point person, Andrew Martin, but added an additional concern over the potential volume of Spanish speakers.

He pointed out that while only 2% of the viewers to stations that pulled the plug Feb. 17 were Spanish speaking, 13% of the calls were from Spanish speakers. McSlarrow said that was not a problem since there was more built-in capacity for that date than was needed. But he said that for the next wave, perhaps 30% of the call center operators might need to be able to speak Spanish.

MCSlarrow said March 17 would be an important date for the call center operation. That is the date by which stations must tell the FCC when they plan to pull the plug, on June 12, or sometime before, though if the FCC has its way, not before April 16. That will provide a better read on when the peaks for call volume might be in addition to June 12.

The White House approached the cable industry to help with the call centers given the industry's years of experience in that area.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...oadcasters.php
post #31400 of 93799
Thread Starter 
Thursday’s metered market over night prime-time ratings – along with Media Week Analyst Marc Berman’s view of what they mean -- have been posted at the top of Ratings News -- the second post in this thread.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post10367387
post #31401 of 93799
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Some Friday Basic Cable HD First-Run, Prime-Time Options

Animal Planet
9 Jockeys HD

Big Ten Network
11:30 AM Big Ten Women’s Tournament: Wisconsin-Michigan State HD
2 Big Ten Women’s Tournament: Purdue-Indiana HD
6 Big Ten Women’s Tournament: Ohio State-Illinois HD
8:30 Big Ten Women’s Tournament: Iowa-Minnesota HD

CMTV
9 20 Most Outrageous Motorsports HD

Discovery Channel
10 American Loggers: A Week From Hell HD

ESPN
8 NBA: Cleveland at Boston HD
10:30 NBA: Denver at Utah HD

ESPN2
10:30 World Baseball Classic: China vs Chinese Taipei from Tokyo HD
5 AM (Saturday) World Baseball Classic: Japan vs Korea from Tokyo HD

HBO
10 Real Time With Bill Maher HD

HDNet
8 HDNet Fights Presents: K1 Classics (premiere) HD
9 Inside MMA (premiere) HD
10 DeadlineHDNet Fights: The Heavyweights, Vol.1 (premiere) HD

MLB Network
7 MLB Tonight Live (repeated at 10) HD
8 30 Clubs in 30 days: Cincinnati Reds (repeated at 11:30) HD
9:30 World Baseball Classic Tonight HD

SciFi
10 Battlestar Galactica HD

TLC
9 What Not To Wear HD
10 Say Yes To The Dress HD
10:30 Say Yes To The Dress HD
post #31402 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Injuries Force Nancy O'Dell, Jewel to Stop Dancing'
By Andrew Krukowski, TV Week - March 5, 2009

Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell and singer Jewel have withdrawn from the latest season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars due to injuries sustained during practice, the network announced today.

Ms. O'Dell suffered a torn meniscus, while Jewel was diagnosed with fractures in both of her tibias, ABC said.

Both stars will appear on the season opener Monday to address their departures, with announcements of cast replacements also due to be made during the premiere.

Like most sports, dancing can be a demanding, physical activity. Each participant of Dancing With the Stars' warrants in contract that they are physically fit enough to participate in the competition, Stars executive producer Conrad Green said in a statement.

We love and appreciate Nancy's and Jewel's competitive spirit, drive and desire to perform their best. Though we share in their disappointment that they can no longer continue, their physical well-being takes precedent above all else. We thank them both for giving it their all and wish them a quick and full recovery, he said.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/i..._odell_jew.php

I'm thinking the "Stars" may need to start having stunt doubles to perform the more "dangerous" things...

you know, actual dancing!
post #31403 of 93799
Thread Starter 
Overnight Nielsens in the 18-49 Demo
Fox wins its second straight Thursday
Special 'Idol' episode averages a 7.5 in 18-49s 18-34
By Toni Fitzgerald,MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer, March 6, 2009

It’s a virtual certainty that any night with “American Idol” is going to belong to Fox, and so it was last night, with a special episode of the reality show dominating the usually competitive evening.

“Idol” averaged a 7.5 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, on a night where the final members of the top 13 were filled in.

The show boosted lead-out “Hell’s Kitchen” to a 4.6 rating, placing second in the 9 p.m. timeslot behind CBS’s “CSI.”

It was the second straight week that Fox won the night, following another special “Idol” last week.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback. Seven-day DVR data won’t be available for several weeks. Twenty-eight percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Fox was first for the night among 18-49s with a 6.1 average overnight rating and a 16 share. CBS was second at 4.0/11, NBC third at 3.2/9, ABC fourth at 1.6/4, Univision fifth at 1.5/4 and CW sixth at 0.8/2.

At 8 p.m. Fox led with a 7.5 for “American Idol,” followed by CBS with a 3.8 for “Survivor.” NBC was third with a 2.0 for “My Name is Earl” (2.2) and “Kath & Kim” (1.8), ABC fourth with a 1.7 for “Ugly Betty,” Univision fifth with a 1.5 for “Cuidado con el Angel” and CW sixth with a 0.8 for a repeat of “Smallville.”

CBS took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 5.3 for “CSI,” while Fox slipped to second with a 4.6 for “Hell’s Kitchen.” NBC was third with a 4.1 for “The Office” (4.5) and “30 Rock” (3.8, its best showing since early November), Univision fourth with a 1.8 for “Mañana Es para Siempre,” ABC fifth with a 1.6 for a “Grey’s Anatomy” rerun and CW sixth with a 0.7 for a repeat of “Supernatural.”

NBC took first place at 10 p.m. with a 3.5 for “ER,” its best number since December, with CBS second with a 3.0 for “Eleventh Hour.” ABC was third with a 1.3 for a repeat of “Private Practice” and Univision fourth with a 1.2 for “Rosa de Guadalupe.”

Among households, CBS led the night with a 9.2 average overnight rating and 15 share, edging out Fox at 9.2/14. NBC was third at 4.6/7, ABC fourth at 3.9/6, Univision fifth at 1.9/3 and CW sixth at 1.3/2.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...t_Thursday.asp
post #31404 of 93799
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
On Tonight:
Siegfried & Roy's Return
By Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant TV critic, March , 2009

In their resplendent outfits, German accents and waving hair, Siegfried & Roy were arguably the world's most famous animal act. They were ranked among the Top 10 highest entertainers and were among the most in-demand acts on the Vegas strip.

But it all ended in one minute during a show on Oct. 3, 2003 when a seven year old white male tiger named Montecore lunged at Roy Horn's neck.

Horn survived and surprisingly, so did Montecore (the animal trainers insisted he not be destroyed), Siegfried Fishbacher, for his part, suffered from caretakers syndrome for helping nurse Horn back to health. Neither are back to 100 percent, but they agreed to appear in public last weekend for charity.

And there with Siegfried, 69, and Roy, 64 was Montecore, in the cage with them.

Everything turned out all right, or we wouldn't be watching the special edition of "20/20" tonight called "Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Returns" (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Elizabeth Vargas will report on their performance at the Bellagio Hotel, where the duo once performed for a 13-year run. It will benefit the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health set to open in Las Vegas in a building designed by Frank Gehry.

It's followed by a regular edition of "20/20" (ABC, 10 p.m.) about the perils of work-at-home opportunities.

U2 winds up its week on "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35 a.m.) on a day when the long-running Irish band with a new album to promote also performs on "Good Morning America" (ABC, 7 a.m.).
And the host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (NBC, 12:35 a.m.) can rest, having survived his grueling first week of broadcasts.


Wednesday's season premiere of "America's Next Top Model" (The CW, 8 p.m.) gets a replay.

An online group called "I Hate Holly J" is one of those things one has to endure in high school on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (The N, 8 p.m.).

A fifth season start comes for "Trick My Truck" (CMT, 10 p.m.).

The murder of an American nun killed while trying to save the Brazilian rainforest is taken up on "NOW" (PBS, 10 p.m.). On "Bill Moyers Journal" (PBS, 9 p.m.), it's all about poetry.

Newark mayor Cory Booker and business news anchor Erin Burnett are among panelists on "Real Time with Bill Maher" (HBO, 10 p.m.), where entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens and professor Peter Singer are also interviewed.

Health care is among the topics on "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal" (PBS, 8 p.m.).

With the 31 Days of Oscar Over, the splendidly weird late, late movies of TCM Underground are back. This week, it's the 1974 "Willie Dynamite" (TCM, 2 a.m.) and "Sweet Jesus, Preacher Man" (TCM, 4 a.m.).
Earlier, it's all about submarines: "Run Silent, Run Deep" (TCM, 8 p.m.), "Submarine Command" (TCM, 9:45 p.m.) and "Ice Station Zebra" (TCM, 11:15 p.m.).

NBA action includes Nets at Magic (YES, 7 p.m.), Cavaliers at Celtics (CSN, ESPN, 8 p.m.) and Nuggets at Jazz (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).


Late Talk
David Letterman
: Jason Segel, Brian Kiley, U2.
Jay Leno: Christina Ricci, Papa Roach.
Jimmy Kimmel: Dustin Hoffman, Crooked X (rerun).
Jimmy Fallon: Drew Barrymore, Chace Crawford, Mario Batali.
Craig Ferguson: Amy Adams, M. Ward.
Carson Daly: N.A.S.A.

http://blogs.courant.com/roger_catlin_tv_eye/
post #31405 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Critic's Notes
Taylor Swift appears in an engrossing 'CSI' investigation
By Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune TV critic, in her blog The Watcher

This was an extremely well done episode. In an era where procedurals rule the roost it's sometimes quite rare to find one especially well done. CSI seems to come up with these more often than the others and this is why I continue to watch it. Even for those that don't like the crime shows, this episode is well worth watching.
post #31406 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

This was an extremely well done episode. In an era where procedurals rule the roost it's sometimes quite rare to find one especially well done. CSI seems to come up with these more often than the others and this is why I continue to watch it. Even for those that don't like the crime shows, this episode is well worth watching.

& it was within about a half million viewers of AI (21.24/20.80) which is about as close as any show is gonna get.
post #31407 of 93799
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

DTV Notes
Noncoms Take Issue With FCC's April 16 DTV Deadline
Association for Public Television Stations urges FCC to start accepting requests to pull the plug early
By John Eggerton , Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2009 3:04:31 PM MT

Noncommercial stations have this message to the FCC about the DTV transition: "We're having technical difficulties. Please don't just stand by."

A number of noncommercial stations have asked that they be allowed to pull the plug on analog before April 16, citing technical and financial reasons.

The FCC last week proposed not allowing the next wave of analog cut-offs until at least April 16. Though it has not come out with final rules and won't do so until perhaps the end of next week, it has not accepted the turn-off notifications stations are required to give 30 days before cut-off, according to the Association for Public Television Stations.

APTS urged the FCC to start accepting those requests from noncoms who had planned to pull the plug in late March or early April, saying that not to do so would cause "significant financial hardship" and contravene the will of Congress in moving the date to June 12 with the stipulation that stations have the flexibility to do so "at any time before June 12."

"As a practical matter, the Commission already has begun implementing this proposal by ordering stations not to submit service termination notifications at this time, and by rejecting service termination notifications that had been submitted to it in the past several weeks prior to the release of the NPRM," said APTS in a filing at the FCC.. "APTS urges that the Commission reverse this position with regard to public television stations, begin accepting service termination notifications immediately, and reinstate any notifications previously submitted so that public television stations that have intended to terminate their analog operations between now and April 16, 2009, may do so. "

APTS argues that Congress did not give the FCC the right to override its existing flexibility-
stations, with notice, could have pulled the plug on analog up to 90 days before Feb. 17, the original hard date, and over 200 did.

And in a filing with the FCC, Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) asked that its six public TV stations be allowed to cut off analog on April 5, saying it was necessary because of severe financial and technical challenges.

Noncoms, which rely on corporate and individual largesse for most of their money, have been hard hit by the tanking economy.

The FCC has proposed a number of deadlines and requirements associated with the new June 12 hard date, which WPT has asked it to waive, saying it would be a hardship and increased burden on stations. WPT said it had originally planned to pull the plug Feb. 17, as originally instructed by the FCC, then agreed to stay on past that date, as suggested by the FCC, setting April 5 as the new date.

"WPT was quite taken aback when the NPRM [FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] stymied its well-considered plan for analog termination. If WPT had known and understood that, after allowing maximum flexibility for stations to terminate analog service on or before February 17th, the FCC would abruptly change course and restrict further planned analog terminations, WPT would have terminated analog service for the WPT stations on February 17th.

WPT said its analog maintenance and part replacement schedule had been based on Feb. 17, and that it is at ongoing risk of "catastrophic analog equipment failure," saying two stations have already come close to that and have had to greatly reduce analog power do to technical difficulties. WPT wants to "decommission" the stations ASAP, saying they pose a threat to people and property.

It also sites an interference problem with a commercial DTV station in the area.

Facing proposed state budget cuts, the station told the FCC, the state's Education Communications Board, it already planned to use the $100,000 in utility bill savings from a Feb. 17 analog cut-off toward the proposed cuts in noncom funding, and had also reallocated station personnel and building space to cut costs.

"The postponement of the DTV transition date and the worsening economic climate have now exacerbated the financial pressures," WPT said.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...V_Deadline.php

THIS is yet another EXCELLENT example of the FCC being arbitrary, capricious, overly bureaucratic and completely lacking in flexibility or compassion for situations like this, where there's no commercial money -- and greatly diminishing public money AND charitable contributions -- both due to the current economy! Like MANY OTHER Federal agencies charged with "regulating" large industries, the FCC quite often seems to make decisions that lean towards the PROFITS of those that MAKE profits (the FAA and FDA are NOTORIOUS for this with airlines and drug companies, for instance).

In this case, with CLEAR EVIDENCE that some of these non-profit PUBLIC TV stations may actually not have the money to KEEP BROADCASTING if forced to continue running dual-transmitters longer than anticipated, if the FCC TRULY had the concerns of "broadcasting in the public interest" involved, it would acceed to their requests and allow the earlier transition date!
Jeff
post #31408 of 93799
Thread Starter 
(From Marc Berman’s March 6, 2008, Programming Insider newsletter at Mediaweek.com)
Thursday’s Final Nielsens

(Posted by Travis Yanan)

American Idol (65 minutes)
- 21.498 million viewers
- 12.2/19 HH
- 7.6/21 A18-49

CSI (61 minutes)
- 20.875 million viewers
- 12.7/20 HH
- 5.3/13 A18-49

Eleventh Hour (59 minutes)
- 12.050 million viewers
- 7.8/13 HH
- 2.9/8 A18-49

Survivor
- 11.850 million viewers
- 7.0/11 HH
- 3.8/10 A18-49

Hell's Kitchen (60 minutes)
- 9.710 million viewers
- 5.7/9 HH
- 4.4/11 A18-49

ER (59 minutes)
- 8.713 million viewers
- 5.8/10 HH
- 3.4/9 A18-49

The Office (31 minutes)
- 8.540 million viewers
- 5.1/8 HH
- 4.5/11 A18-49

30 Rock
- 7.253 million viewers
- 4.5/7 HH
- 3.7/9 A18-49

Ugly Betty
- 6.339 million viewers
- 4.3/7 HH
- 1.7/5 A18-49

Grey's Anatomy (R, 62 minutes)
- 5.702 million viewers
- 4.0/6 HH
- 1.6/4 A18-49

Private Practice (R, 58 minutes)
- 4.406 million viewers
- 3.2/6 HH
- 1.3/4 A18-49

My Name is Earl
- 5.455 million viewers
- 3.5/6 HH
- 2.2/6 A18-49

Kath &Kim
- 4.090 million viewers
- 2.7/4 HH
- 1.8/5 A18-49

Smallville (R)
- 2.210 million viewers
- 1.5/2 HH
- 0.8/2 A18-49
- 0.9/3 A18-34

Supernatural (R)
- 2.015 million viewers
- 1.2/2 HH
- 0.8/2 A18-49
- 0.8/2 A18-34

Thursday cable finals

Burn Notice (62 minutes)
- 6.09 million viewers
- 3.9/7 HH
- 2.1/6 A18-49

America's Best Dance Crew (66 minutes)
- 3.45 million viewers
- 2.0/4 HH
- 1.6/5 A18-49

Source: Nielsen Media Research data (R = repeat)

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t.../361106391/p/5

http://travisyanan.blogspot.com/

Note: Previous overnight ratings are available at Marc Berman’s Programmers Insider blog:

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t...51/m/460103871
post #31409 of 93799
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
Reality Is the Small Screen’s Survivor
By Josef Adalian, TVWeek deputy editor, March 6, 2009

There is no cure for reality TV.

This fact will no doubt crush many who work in the business of television, people who have silently prayed for the end of unscripted programming ever since Richard Hatch first strutted naked across the small screen on “Survivor” in the summer of 2000.

These folks generally regard reality as some sort of mutant virus that needs to be purged from TV’s bloodstream. They regularly pounce on any of the genre’s failures or controversies as an opportunity to proclaim its demise.

Not gonna happen, at least if recent events are any indication. If anything, it turns out that reality shows seem to get better with age, rather than fade out quickly.

Last week, ABC’s “The Bachelor” ended its 13th season with a blockbuster finale that scored higher ratings than younger, supposedly “hotter” shows such as “Lost,” “Heroes,” “The Office” and “House.” A series that just a year or two ago was presumed dead by most industry insiders was suddenly dominating the pop culture zeitgeist, from the pages of People to the global Internet partyline that is Twitter.

Meanwhile, CBS last month announced it’s bringing back “Survivor” for its 19th and 20th cycles next season. “Ugly Betty” and “My Name Is Earl” have tried to steal the spotlight away from time to time, but nearly a decade after it premiered, “Survivor” continues to dominate the 8 p.m. hour on Thursdays.

Over at NBC, one of the network’s biggest success stories this season has been the surging ratings for “The Biggest Loser.” Marking its fifth year in October, the franchise continues to lure audiences, even against the biggest show on TV, Fox’s “American Idol.”

And speaking of “Idol,” despite the best efforts of some journalists (and everyone who works at networks not named Fox) to spin otherwise, in its eighth season, the series remains a dominant force in pop culture. Its ratings are down somewhat, but it has shed viewers much more slowly than the typical scripted hit.

Likewise, even if ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” suffers a bit of erosion this month without the presence of rubbernecker magnet Cloris Leachman, it almost certainly will continue to attract millions more viewers than most comedies or dramas currently on TV. And that’s after more than 125 episodes.

There are other unscripted tentpoles of varying ages and success levels scattered across the TV landscape.

“The Amazing Race,” which also has cheated death a few times, continues to do a nice job anchoring CBS’ Sunday lineup. “Hell’s Kitchen” has helped Fox turn Thursdays from an embarrassment into an asset, while in the summertime, CBS’ “Big Brother” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” dominate the warm-weather cultural scene.

And on the cable side of the business, MTV’s never-ending “The Real World” cannot be ignored (even if it becomes less and less real with each successive season). Bravo’s “Project Runway” has grown big enough to spark multimillion-dollar legal wars between giant conglomerates.

The recent success of “The Bachelor,” however, is the clearest proof of just how indestructible the reality genre has become.

This was a series, after all, that went from a peak of 25 million viewers in 2002 down to barely 8 million in 2005. It has been copied so many times, by so many networks, even the original was beginning to feel a bit like a parody of itself.

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson easily could have decided to ditch the show when he took over the network. He chose to stick with it.

“I saw it as a great asset that had fallen on hard times creatively,” Mr. McPherson told me recently.

A good call, clearly.

“It’s a miracle, man,” creator Mike Fleiss told me last month. “How many shows have reversed a trend like this?”

Mr. Fleiss traces the turning point for his show’s resurgence to 2007, when Bachelor Brad opted to reject both his suitors. Since then, “Rather than force the format (onto the contestants), we’ve made the show more real and less predictable,” he said.

That statement likely will produce guffaws among the cynical types who found last week’s “Bachelor” finale to be the ultimate in reality show manipulation. No way, these folks argue, did Bachelor Jason decide on his own to change his mind about which woman he loved.

Given the ratings and fierce reactions from viewers, however, it’s clear that millions of Americans had no problem believing in the genuineness of the unscripted drama ABC served up last week.

Those who doubt the power of such programming continue to underestimate the very real appeal of a TV genre that shows no signs of fading any time soon.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/a...ity_is_the.php
post #31410 of 93799
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
Late-Night TV Chess:
Thanks to a Bishop, Craig Ferguson Is King
By David Bianculli, former NY Daily News TV critic, in his blog “TV Worth Watching”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu showed up for an improbable, unprecedented visit to CBS's The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Wednesday. It's the show the Ferguson folks should submit for Emmy consideration this year -- and it's also the show that should end all sensible speculation regarding the late-night TV wars.

I have seen the future of late-night TV, and his name is Craig Ferguson..

I've been enthusiastic about this Scottish import since he first appeared on The Late Late Show -- even before he got the job, when he was one of many guest hosts given on-air tryouts. But what he's done since taking over -- shaping his show, finding his voice, and every so often shifting gears from the silly to the serious -- couldn't really have been predicted by anyone. Probably not even Ferguson himself.

With his quick wit and friendly manner, Ferguson has a gift for putting guests at ease: He's a world-class flirt, but charms men as easily as women. He has note cards on his desk for each interview, but makes a big show of ripping them up at the start, signalling to the audience, and to the guest, that this conversation need not be rigidly managed.

The decision to book Desmond Tutu to counter all the fuss of Jimmy Fallon's opening week as Conan O'Brien's replacement on NBC's Late Night is, in itself, all you need to know about Ferguson. It's not going to get the ratings, not this week -- but it should get lots of attention. In any case, it makes a very strong statement that Ferguson's talk-show sandbox, on occasion, is big enough to accommodate adults.

Ferguson isn't the first late-night host to conduct lengthy, serious conversations with important guests outside of show business. That would have been Steve Allen. Then Jack Paar, whose conversational style Ferguson most emulates. Both of them made room for special shows featuring politicians, poets, physicists , artists and others. And, more recently, Johnny Carson (on occasion, as with Carl Sagan on astronomy), Dick Cavett, Tom Snyder, Bob Costas and David Letterman.

Right now, Letterman's the only other one in late-night, besides Ferguson, who could interview Tutu competently. Letterman's recent interview with the U.S. Airways "Miracle on the Hudson" crew demonstrated that he's still got strong skills when he wants to tackle serious topics, and talk to people outside the normal Hollywood orbit.

But Ferguson did much more than that, something unique and invaluable. From the very start, he let the studio and home audience know that this visit by Tutu was something different, and special. Then he did an off-the-cuff lengthy monologue that amounted to nothing less than an entertaining, understandable, shockingly thorough history of South African politics and colonization.

It's easy to recognize Ferguson as a natural entertainer, but in Wednesday's show, I saw something new: He's a natural teacher as well. What a wonderful lecture, putting the next guest, and the issues they were about to discuss, in perfect perspective. The best lectures don't feel like lectures, but like stories, and Ferguson told his chosen stories beautifully, punctuated by very funny asides and jokes.

And when Tutu came out, the Archbishop laughed when Ferguson ripped up his note cards, and giggled with glee even before Ferguson asked his first question. "You're crazy," Tutu told him, but with an admiring tone. An Archbishop may not often be greeted with such breezy irreverence -- and it may be just as rare to be talking to someone with such a comfortably conversational command of such topics as religion, politics, history, marriage, faith and forgiveness, all of which Tutu and Ferguson discussed for the rest of the show.

I can think of three times when an interview on a TV talk show has proven inspirational, to me, almost beyond measure. The first was when Bill Moyers interviewed mythologist Joseph Campbell on PBS. The second was when a dying Dennis Potter, author of The Singing Detective, was interviewed on British TV and spoke about treasuring life. (In this country, Letterman's final interview with Warren Zevon, with his advice to savor every sandwich, is a rough analogue.)

Ferguson's talk with Tutu ranks as the third.

"Have you found out how powerful telling one's story can be?" Tutu asked Ferguson at one point.

"A little bit, yeah," Ferguson replied. "I know a little bit about that."

Ferguson could have elaborated, and explained to Tutu that he has come out on his TV show, at certain times, to drop the jokes and speak seriously and honestly: about his past alcoholism, the death of his father and the death of his mother, to name just three unforgettably powerful TV hours. But he didn't. He let Tutu keep going. The show, that night, wasn't about Craig Ferguson -- and knowing that was what made it so fabulous.

Near the end, Ferguson asked Tutu about his reaction to the election of Barack Obama. Tutu danced in his chair, told a story, then made a remark that Ferguson politely challenged, ending the show on a marvelous discussion about American foreign policy and perception.

Well, almost ending it. The show actually ended, as usual these days, with "What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig?," a segment in which the host removes his tie, puts his feet on his desk, and summarizes the preceding hour of TV.

Usually, it's nonsense -- but on this occasion, there was a palpable sense of awe, and maybe even an understandable undercurrent of pride.

"That," Ferguson said of Tutu, "is the single most impressive human being I have ever met."

Everyone interested in the late-night TV wars must seek out an online replay of this hour with Tutu. CBS should replay it in prime time, as a substitution for one of its Saturday night reruns. Or pre-empt The Amazing Race for a week and replay the "Tutu Talk" right after 60 Minutes, where the audience, and the flow-through, would be perfect.

To me, though, Wednesday's show marks the end of the late-night chess match. Thanks to the bishop, Ferguson should be crowned the new king. All the other newcomers and contenders are just late-Knights. Or pawns.

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