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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2660

post #79771 of 93688
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I'm IN!

Seriously! Can you possibly put a number on that show? "Epic", given that lineup of all-time-all-stars, seems a term that's strangely inadequate.
post #79772 of 93688
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
FRIDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Shark Tankp
(R - Jan. 27)
9PM - Primetime: What Would You Do?
10PM - 20/20
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Josh Brolin; author Bethenny Frankel; Kimbra performs)
(R - May 23)

8PM - Undercover Boss: BrightStar Care
(R - Apr. 17, 2011)
(R - Nov. 4)
10PM - Blue Bloods
(R - Dec. 2)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Magic Johnson and Larry Bird; comic Jim Gaffigan; Kaiser Chiefs perform)
(R - Apr. 11)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Jeff Garlin; Sonya Walger)

8PM - Best Friends Forever
8:30PM - Best Friends Forever (Series Finale)
9PM - Dateline NBC (120 min.)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Jack Black; the Meatball Shop guys, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow; Beirut performs)
(R - Apr. 24)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Stephen Colbert; TV host Nick Cannon; Big K.R.I.T. performs)
(R - May 11)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly

8PM - House
(R - Nov. 28)
8:30PM - Bones
(R - Nov. 3)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week In Review
8:30PM - Need to Know
9PM - Great Performances - Toni Bennett: Duets II (90 min.)
(R - Jan. 27)
10:30PM - loopdiver: The Journey of a Dance
(R - Jul. 25, 2010)

8PM - Un Refugio Para El Amor
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No PodÃ*a Amar

8PM - Breaking Pointe
(R - May 31)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Mar. 16)

8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Relaciones Peligrosas

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Comic Dan Maurio; comic Loni Love; comic Mo Mandel; actress Malin Akerman)
(R - May 24)
post #79773 of 93688
TV Notes
Sony to shop Jesse Stone movie franchise to cable
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - May 31, 2012

CBS may have retired Jesse Stone but that doesn't mean the sheriff is ready to holster his gun just yet.

Sony Pictures Television, which produces the "Jesse Stone" movies that star Tom Selleck for CBS, is now looking to find a new home for the franchise on a cable network.

The "Jesse Stone" movies deliver big ratings -- "Benefit of the Dead" averaged almost 13 million viewers for CBS earlier this month -- however the audience tends to be older, which makes it a tougher sell for advertisers. CBS had run eight "Jesse Stone" movies.

Sony is already a prolific producer of cable fare. The miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," which is setting ratings records for History, was from the studio. It makes AMC's "Breaking Bad" and is working on a remake of the theatrical movie "Steel Magnolias" for Lifetime where it also produces "The Client List," starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Selleck, who also stars in the CBS police drama "Blue Bloods," is no stranger to cable. In the 1990s, he appeared in three Westerns for TNT.

post #79774 of 93688
Technology Notes
Research in Motion, Struggling, Ponders a Dim Future
By Michael J. de la Merced, The New York Times' 'DealBook' Blog - May 31, 2012

After rejecting the idea of a sale for months, Research in Motion acknowledged on Tuesday that it was considering strategic business model alternatives or in banker's speak, RIM, which makes the BlackBerry, said it was pondering a potential deal for all or parts of the company.

But did it wait too long?

A year ago, RIM, a Canadian company, became the subject of takeover rumors, after Google's $12.5 billion deal for Motorola Mobility. Then, analysts believed that RIM would draw interest from Microsoft, Amazon.com or any number of Chinese phone manufacturers who could afford what would have been a pricey deal.

The company's executives rebuffed the idea, arguing that RIM was on the verge of a turnaround. New phones were coming that combined touch-screens with BlackBerry's e-mail and security features. And the PlayBook, with an industrial-strength operating system, could stand toe to toe with the iPad.

But RIM's prospects have withered since. In March, the company disclosed that its quarterly sales had plunged 20 percent from the previous quarter, as customers migrated to iPhones and Android devices. The company warned on Tuesday that it expected another loss.

The weakness is reflected in the stock's sharp decline. RIM's market value is just $5.4 billion, down roughly 76 percent from a year ago. Its share price fell slightly on Thursday, to $10.33.

Buying this stock is like going to the casino, analysts at National Bank Financial wrote in a research note on Wednesday.

Now, executives appear to be reluctantly admitting they need to make a change. On Tuesday, the company said that it is conducting a strategic review. As part of its effort, RIM tapped JPMorgan Chase and RBC Capital Markets to help assess its potential options.

Those efforts may not lead to a sale, but instead partnerships with other companies or the licensing of BlackBerry software. Earlier this year, RIM's chief executive, Thorsten Heins, disavowed any need to consider drastic change.

Ehud Gelblum, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note entitled No Happy Ending in Sight on Wednesday that he did not believe RIM was seeking to sell itself as a whole, but may consider outsourcing its network operating center or selling off parts.

That may be the best option. Earlier this year, the sales prospects for RIM did not look promising. A few analysts believed that RIM did not have much to offer a potential buyer.

The company's prospects may have deteriorated in the intervening months. Some analysts indicate that RIM may only be worth the total value of its patents and its cash, roughly $1.8 billion. It is unclear what the patents may fetch, though analysts at Jefferies estimated last fall that the intellectual property could bring $1 billion to $2.5 billion.

Should RIM put itself on the auction block, it may find the universe of potential buyers remains fairly small. Microsoft, long considered a possible suitor, has been focused on its new Windows operating system and its tie-up with Nokia. Amazon.com has cast its lot with a version of Google's Android. And buyers in China and India may face complaints from important BlackBerry customers like the United States and Canadian governments.

And patience isn't necessarily a virtue in deal-making.

Take Yahoo, which Microsoft offered to buy for nearly $45 billion in 2008. The talks quickly cratered, and a deal never panned out. Yahoo has since run through three chief executives and cast about for a new business model.

It has agreed to sell about half of its stake in the Alibaba Group of China, a move that will generate cash that can be paid out to investors. And it has revamped its board.

But it is unclear whether such efforts will make up for Yahoo's 58 percent drop in value since Microsoft's takeover attempt.

Then there is Palm Inc., which is often compared with RIM at this stage. Having failed to gain traction with a series of devices built on its own smartphone operating system, the company began a sales process several years ago, drawing in five bids.

One suitor, Hewlett-Packard, was pressured into raising its offer by 20 percent, and ultimately paid $1.2 billion to win the bidding. The deal represented a 23 percent premium to the smartphone maker's closing price from the day before the offer was announced in 2010. Yet by that point, Palm's stock price had dropped 50 percent over the previous 12 months.

Still, there's some hope left for RIM. Motorola Mobility had largely been left for dead by August 2011, trailing Samsung and H.T.C. in the race for Android device dominance. Then Android's creator, Google itself, arrived with a bid carrying a whopping 63 percent premium, spurred by the valuable patents that Motorola held.

post #79775 of 93688
Nielsen Notes (Cable )
'McCoys' do it again: Another cable record
Finale of three-part History miniseries averages 14.3 million
By Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine - June 1, 2012

History's first-ever scripted miniseries was a record-breaking success.

The third and final installment of "Hatfields & McCoys" Wednesday night broke the record set earlier this week by part one with 14.3 million total viewers, becoming the most-watched entertainment program in ad-supported cable history.

It grew by 3 percent over Monday's record-setting opener, which averaged 13.9 million viewers.

The three episodes of "Hatfields" rank as the top three entertainment telecasts on ad-supported cable of all time, with part two drawing 13.1 million viewers on Tuesday night.

"Hatfields" surpassed 2001's "Crossfire Trail" on TNT, cable's former top entertainment show with 12.5 million viewers.

Of note, Disney Channel's "High School Musical 2" drew 17.24 million total viewers five years ago, but that network is not ad-supported.

And numerous pro and college football games on ESPN have drawn more than 20 million viewers.

So "Hatfields" is not the No. 1 cable show of all time. But its numbers are very impressive.

Part three of "Hatfields" averaged 6.3 million adults 25-54, becoming the most-watched entertainment program on ad-supported cable in 14 years in that demo and bettering Monday's bow by 500,000.

The third episode, which drew 5.1 million adults 18-49, did particularly well with men, drawing 3.5 million men 25-54 and 2.8 million men 18-49.

For all three nights, the miniseries averaged 13.8 million total viewers, 6 million 25-54s and 4.9 million 18-49s.

"Hatfields," based on the famous feud between the Hatfield and McCoy clans that began in the mid-1800s, also drove huge traffic to History.com.

The site had its highest-trafficked three-day period ever during the miniseries' run, averaging more than 1.6 million unique visitors.

post #79776 of 93688
TV Notes
Kate Walsh Poised To Depart ABC’s ‘Private Practice’ After 13 More Episodes
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 31, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Dr. Addison Montgomery, who left Seattle Grace five years ago to move to Los Angeles, will be packing again. I’ve learned that Private Practice star Kate Walsh plans to leave the medical drama after 13 episodes of the upcoming sixth season.

There had been speculation that Walsh, who has played the character of Addison for 7 years, starting on Grey’s Anatomy before she segued to spinoff Private Practice, had been looking to move on. Her deal was up at the end of last season and, after intense negotiations, she agreed to return but committed to only 13 episodes. That paved the way to ABC’s sixth-season renewal of the series, which also was for 13 episodes. I hear that Walsh is now ready to move onto other things after she completes her contractual obligation.

It is unclear whether Private Practice, which was built around Walsh’s character, would continue without her. When ABC renewed Private Practice earlier this month, speculation was that the sixth season would be the show’s last, but ABC has stopped short of announcing an end date for the series.

However, with creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes busy with three series on the air — all created and run by her – in Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal, she may decide end Practice after Walsh leaves to focus on her other shows. There is a major cast departure already afoot on Private Practice. Tim Daly, originally tapped as the male lead opposite Walsh, unveiled earlier this week that he won’t be returning next season after his option was not picked up. On the feature side, Walsh will next be seen in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, which opens in September.

post #79777 of 93688
TV Notes
Heading Into Season Two, 'Franklin & Bash' Consider Growing Up
By Andrew Fish, HuffingtonPost.com - May 31, 2012

"There is this whole generation of, they're not man, they're not boy -- they're just kind of 'guy,'" says Breckin Meyer at a press event at the Beverly Hilton. He's sitting beside Mark-Paul Gosselaar, his costar on TNT's Franklin & Bash. The comedy procedural follows the antics of Jared Franklin (Meyer) and Peter Bash (Gosselaar), formerly small-time plaintiff's attorneys recently recruited by a powerful Los Angeles law firm. Winning cases with sharp thinking and clever shenanigans, they quickly become formidable litigators, while still spending nights playing video games or drinking in the hot tub.

They've used Van Halen song titles to present their defense, they've hit on the jury, Franklin has gotten drunk in court to challenge the breathalyzer test and thrown up in the elevator. Preposterous, of course, but metaphoric for the social phenomenon the show has set out to explore: the generation that sees traditional maturity as a choice.

Created by Bill Chais and Kevin Falls, the show is a depiction of this extended adolescence, a philosophy that's yielded some slackers, and also a workforce filled with young professionals well into their 30s who still have roommates and parties, yet in the morning clock in and produce. Heading into their second season on June 5, the two wisecracking high-achievers of the TNT series are back to their courtroom curveballs, but this time with a question: does having real responsibility mean it's time to grow up? According to Meyer and Gosselaar, there may be some change brewing at the firm of Infeld Daniels.

"I think Franklin, more than Bash, embraces it," Meyer suggests. "Bash is kind of ahead of the curve. I think he knows that it might be time to grow up soon, which is one of the struggles of the second season -- especially when you're representing people."

"There seem to be these undertones," remarks Gosselaar, "where Bash wants to mature a little bit faster than Franklin. It's in the very first episode where Bash turns to him and says, we've got to do something. We're at that age now where we can make this leap into making more money, having more stability, more responsibility. In the second season there is a bit of contention between the two, and how they go about this whole feeling of whether or not they're selling out."

Meyer, himself, is a classic example of the crop of hard workers who excel on their own terms. He hit it big as the lovable skateboarding slouch in Clueless and when he's not busy with Franklin & Bash, he's a writer and performer on Robot Chicken, having a blast and making a living bringing action figures to life. And when he and Gosselaar tune out the reporters to discuss Howard Stern's interview with the guy from Hoarders, it's clear their bromance is more than screen deep.

Malcolm McDowell, who plays eccentric senior partner Stanton Infeld, sees Franklin and Bash's freewheeling perspective as their greatest strength. "It's really difficult to teach that kind of stuff," he says, "to come at problems from another angle, an angle that we haven't even thought of."

With any luck, the new season will take on the idea that maturity can be adopted selectively, choosing the elements you need to progress and rejecting the parts that dampen your stride or compromise your principles. It's likely going to be an issue of balance for Franklin & Bash. There will be bikinis, dirty jokes, and possibly Gosselaar's naked butt, and the question will be how much to cut back on and how much to enjoy.

post #79778 of 93688
THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media INsight's Blog.
post #79779 of 93688
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Lower key for ABC's new show 'Duets'
Reality singing program averages a 1.5 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 1, 2012

The second episode of ABC's "Duets" declined after a so-so debut last week, though it was still one of the highest-rated programs on a low-rated night.

"Duets" averaged a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, down 12 percent from a 1.7 for last week's premiere.

The decline came despite very little competition. Last week the reality singing show faced the season premiere of "So You Think You Can Dance" on Fox, which averaged a solid 2.4.

Last night, however, Fox aired the season finale of the new drama "Touch," which managed just a 1.3.

In fact, the highest-rated show of the night was actually a rerun of CBS's "The Big Bang Theory," which averaged a 2.3. Another rerun, "Bang" lead-out "Rules of Engagement," was No. 2 for the night with a 1.8.

"Duets" tied for third on the evening with a repeat of NBC's "America's Got Talent."

Another ABC original, the drama "Rookie Blue," maintained 100 percent of last week's premiere rating, averaging a 1.4 at 10 p.m.

CBS finished first for the night with a 1.6 average overnight rating and a 5 share. ABC was second at 1.5/5, Fox third at 1.3/4, NBC and Univision tied for fourth at 1.2/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.4/1 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Forty-four percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. CBS was first with a 2.0 for repeats of "Bang" and "Rules," followed by ABC with a 1.4 for "Duets." Fox was third with a 1.3 for "Touch," Univision fourth with a 1.1 for "Abismo de Pasion," NBC fifth with a 0.8 for repeats of "The Office," Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for "Una Maid en Manhattan" and CW seventh with a 0.3 for "Breaking Pointe."

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 1.7 for more "Duets," while CBS slipped to second with a 1.4 for a "Person of Interest" rerun. Fox and Univision tied for third at 1.3, Fox for more "Touch" and Univision for a soccer match between Mexico and Bosnia-Herzegovina. NBC was fifth with a 1.1 for a repeat of "America's Got Talent," Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for "Corazon Valiente" and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of "The Catalina."

At 10 p.m. NBC led with a 1.5 for more "Talent," with ABC second with a 1.4 for "Rookie Blue." CBS and Univision tied for third at 1.3, CBS for a repeat of "The Mentalist" and Univision for more soccer, and Telemundo was fifth with a 0.4 for "Relaciones Peligrosas."

CBS was also first for the night among households with a 4.9 average overnight rating and an 8 share. ABC was second at 3.9/7, Fox third at 2.9/5, NBC fourth at 2.4/4, Univision fifth at 1.4/2, Telemundo sixth at 0.7/1 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

post #79780 of 93688
TV Notes
'Red,' 'Step Up' in development as TV shows at Lions Gate
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - May 31, 2012

Lions Gate is developing the films"Red" and "Step Up," two of the most successful titles that came with its purchase of Summit Entertainment, into television shows.

Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer revealed the news on a conference call with analysts Thursday morning. The titles are the first examples of Lions Gate partnering its television production division with properties from Summit, which did not have its own TV unit.

"Red," an action film about a team of aging secret agents played by Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren, among others, also has a movie sequel in development. A fourth entry in the "Step Up" teen dancing series will hit theaters in August.

Feltheimer previously said that he hoped Lions Gate could turn Summit's teen vampire blockbuster franchise "Twilight" into a TV show as well, but the company has not yet taken any steps to do so, as it is focused on the fifth and final film that hits theaters in November.

While Lions Gate's financial results released late Wednesday initially disappointed investors, sending the stock down, shares were up 3% on Thursday after the call, at $13.25.

That was driven in part by Feltheimer's promise that his company expected to generate at least $900 million in so-called EBITDA -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- over the next three years.

Those future earnings are expected to come from "The Hunger Games," the blockbuster box-office hit whose profits have yet to show up on Lions Gate's quarterly reports. About 90% of the returns from the March film -- first in a series of "Hunger Games" titles, which has grossed $643 million worldwide -- have yet to accrue to Lions Gate's bottom line. The first sequel hits theaters in November 2013.

post #79781 of 93688
Emmy Notes
Emmys Combine Lead, Supporting Acting Categories for Movies and Miniseries
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 31, 2012

The Emmys are combining the lead and supporting categories in the movies and miniseries categories.

The consolidated categories (now titled Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie) will include six nominees each. The previously existing categories previously had five nominees.

The combination will likely make it harder for those in supporting film and miniseries roles to win Emmys. If the lead and supporting categories had been merged in 2010, for example, Julia Ormond would have had to compete with Claire Danes, who won the lead actress Emmy while playing the titular character in the movie "Temple Grandin." Ormond, who was nominated for supporting actress, had a much smaller role in the film.

The combination continues a streamlining that began with merging the movie and miniseries categories. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Board of Governors announced in February of last year that it would unite the category into one, partly in response to fewer miniseries being produced.

The decision came under the Emmy's "rule 14," allowing consolidation of categories if there were fewer than 14 submissions in a two-year period.

"It's kind of a respiratory system: You breathe in, you breathe out, you expand here, you contract there," John Leverance, the academy's senior vice president of awards, told TheWrap.

post #79782 of 93688
Business Notes
Consumers Poised To Pay More For Web-Delivered Video Than For Discs: Report
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Jun. 1, 2012

Spending for DVDs and Blu-ray discs is falling so fast that 2012 likely will be first year when consumers will pay more to buy and rent movies via the Internet, according to a report today from IHS Screen Digest Video Intelligence Service.

The research firm says that the average household will spend $123.50 to buy and rent discs this year down from $133.21 last year and $149.53 in 2010. The average home spent $206.78 in 2006, when Blu-ray discs were introduced. Looked at another way, people spent $8.8B last year to buy packaged videos, down 12% vs 2010. That will keep falling to $5.4B in 2016 which IHS notes is the level in 1997 when DVDs were first launched.

Meanwhile, consumers paid $5.7B to rent discs last year, down 7.3%. Much of that drop was due to the cut backs at Blockbuster, as well as the snafus at Netflix' DVD rental business. With that largely behind us, and rental kiosks becoming more popular, disc rentals will increase slightly to $6B in 2016. IHS says that kiosks accounted for 34% of disc rental spending last year, and will grow to 41% this year, and hit 52% in 2015.

The silver lining for studios is that the online business is growing. If revenue were to be added from other viewing options such as video-on-demand, Internet-based sales and rentals, and subscription streaming from providers like Netflix and Hulu Plusconsumer spending across all outlets of home video would amount to nearly $17.2B, says IHS senior analyst for U.S. video Michael Arrington. In a separate report, IHS said that spending for online movies more than doubled to $992M last year, mostly due to the growth of Netflix's streaming service which passed Apple to be the No. 1 online movie provider. Web spending is expected to double again this year but then slow, the company says, unless a company such as HBO offers a standalone streaming service or someone offers a Web-based replacement for pay TV.

post #79783 of 93688
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
CNN Hits 20-Year Monthly Rating Low In May
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - May 30, 2012

The news just went from bad to worse at CNN. After the cable news network delivered its lowest-rated month in total viewers in over a decade in April, May became CNN's worst month in primetime among total viewers in over 20 years. From April 30 to May 27, the cable news network attracted an average of 389,000 viewers in primetime. It was also CNN's second-lowest-rated month in primetime among the 25-54 demographic (114,000) since October 1991. Only May 2000, with 104,000 viewers in the demo, did worse.

Piers Morgan Tonight received the lowest total viewer and 25-54 demo numbers that CNN has had in the 9 PM time slot in two decades. The interview show got only 417,000 total viewers and 117,000 among the 25-54 demographic. At 7 PM, Erin Burnett, another relative CNN newcomer, had the lowest 25-54 demo numbers in 20 years in the time slot for the network and the second lowest after June 2001, in two decades in terms of total viewership. Burnett's show attracted just 89,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo from April 30 to May 27.

The latest numbers follow CNN hitting its lowest-rated weekday primetime in 20 years during the week of May 14-18.


I'd sure like to see them turn this around
post #79784 of 93688
Originally Posted by javry View Post

I'd sure like to see them turn this around

The problem is, they'll do the one thing they shouldn't while this is happening: cut things to the bone to save costs, instead of investing in content and their core news operation to drive viewership numbers up.

Then again, maybe all they need is for things to boil over enough in Syria for a war to break out. People tend to tune into CNN for war and other event coverage than they do the other channels.

It's when all there is to talk about is politics that they flounder.
post #79785 of 93688
Originally Posted by javry View Post

I'd sure like to see them turn this around

I wouldnt.
post #79786 of 93688
TV Notes
Will The Success Of Hatfields & McCoys' Spur A Wave Of Western-Themed Series?
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jun. 1, 2012

Just two weeks ago, TV networks' infatuation with period Westerns seemed to have waned. Of the slew of such projects put in development by the broadcast networks last season, only one, NBC's The Frontier, had been picked up to pilot, and it didn't make the cut to series. At the same time, TNT passed on its own period Western pilot, Tin Star. Two weeks later, History's Hatfields & McCoys burst into the scene, drawing huge crowds. Yes, its viewership skewed older, which is understandable given the historic subject matter, but there were plenty of 18-49-year-olds among the 13-14 million who tuned in for each episode to get the broadcast networks' attention. And the timing is perfect as pitch season is just around the corner.

NBC may be the first to jump in with the Kerry Ehrin Western originally developed this past season. The network has been the most aggressive among the broadcast networks in the arena, ordering period Western drama pilots for two consecutive years: The Crossing in 2011 and The Frontier this year. The network developed a total of three Western scripts and its executives were happy with all of them, eventually narrowing the field to The Frontier and the Kerry Ehrin project and ultimately going with The Frontier. I hear NBC is now revisiting the Kerry Ehrin drama, produced by Universal TV and Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills. Coincidentally, the project's producers and NBC brass met on Tuesday morning, when the big ratings for the first night of Hatfields & McCoys came out. Set in the 1880s, the Kerry Ehrin project centers on Jacob Morris, a young, eccentric East Coast doctor of mental disorders who moves to a primitive Western town at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. I hear NBC executives are open to ordering the script to pilot if a name actor and/or director are attached. Other high-profile Westerns that were developed at the broadcast networks last season included The Rifleman reboot at CBS with Laeta Kalogridis, Chris Columbus and Carol Mendelsohn; a Wyatt Earp Western at Fox penned by John Hlavin; and Ron Moore's Hangtown, set in the early 1900s, and David Zabel's Gunslinger, both at ABC. With TV business being notoriously reactive, look for some of those to be revisited too and new Western concepts to start coming fast and furious once the floodgates at the broadcast networks open.

The only true Western series on the air right now is AMC's Hell On Wheels on Sunday. CBS has period drama Vegas coming out in the fall but despite its protagonist, played by Dennis Quaid, being a cowboy-type sheriff, the drama deals with the mob's 1960s takeover of Las Vegas. Ditto for FX's Justified, despite the lead's penchant for wearing cowboy hats. Another highly-rated Western miniseries, AMC's Broken Trail, didn't have a major impact on series development. But the success of Hatfields & McCoys comes as the Western genre has already built a strong momentum, making a new period Western series order within the next year a strong possibility.

post #79787 of 93688
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Secret Millionaire
(R - Mar. 6)
9PM - Secret Millionaire
(R - Apr. 3)
10PM - Secret Millionaire
(R - Mar. 27)

8PM - Rules of Engagement
(Nov. 1, 2010)
8:30PM - How To Be A Gentleman
9PM - CSI: Miami
(R - Nov. 6)
10PM - 48 Hours Mystery

8PM - 2012 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2: Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils (LIVE)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (93 min.)

7PM - MLB Baseball (Regional Coverage; LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - The Finder
(R - Feb. 9)
Midnight - 30 Seconds to Fame
(R - Jul. 24, 2002)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: The National; Band of Horses (R - Jan. 15, 2011)

8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

7PM - Movie: Toy Story 2 (1999)
9PM - Movie: Anaconda (1997)
post #79788 of 93688
TV Notes
Comcast chief calls his 'Battleship' a 'large miss'
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jun. 1, 2012

Volatility at Universal Pictures, particularly the huge loss the studio is taking on "Battleship," has kept NBC Universal from a steady performance this year, the chief executive of its parent company Comcast Corp. said at an investors' conference Friday.

After noting that the NBC Universal had a 34% increase in operating cash flow during the first quarter driven in part by the success of films "The Lorax"and "Safe House,"Brian Roberts said the Comcast-owned media conglomerate that also operates television networks and theme parks is now facing a "negative quarter."

A major reason is that this spring has been dismal for Universal Pictures, particularly compared to last year when it released the hits"Bridesmaids"and"Fast Five."

"This year we have, unfortunately, a large miss in 'Battleship' and another one in 'Five Year Engagement,'" Roberts said.

The overall result, he added, is a stable first half of the year for NBC Universal with one notable asterisk:

"I think you have to look at this business for what happened in the first six months: We're flat to slightly down, right around what we expected except for 'Battleship' and the film volatility."

post #79789 of 93688
TV Review
Longmire: Contemporary Western Rides High
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com

Sheriff Walt Longmire is a widower grieving the loss of his wife. His house is full of empty beer cans, and his grown daughter has lost patience with him — a year after his wife's death he won't scatter the ashes, and doesn't seem able to move on.

Longmire's got a young, impatient deputy working under him who thinks Longmire's job ought to be his. But Longmire's still the best detective in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, with the sharpened instincts that come with being a veteran lawman.

And then there are the boots — lots of shots of the boots. A visual metaphor of Longmire's determination to walk through the pain.

A&E's Longmire — the new series based on Craig Johnson's novel's about a cowboy sheriff — premieres Sunday, June 3 at 10 p.m. ET. This western feels new. It's modern, with six-shooters and cell phones. And it's interesting to see western landscapes and lifestyles as they are today, and not in historical recreation.

The highlight of the series, though, is its star, Robert Taylor (The Matrix), an Australian actor who hasn't a trace of his native accent, and inhabits the hangdog Longmire character so thoroughly he singlehandedly carries the show. With his weathered features and inner storm, he's that interesting to watch.

And that's a good thing because the premiere episode, a mystery that starts with a dead stranger shot through the chest and found lying face down in the snow, is perhaps standard fare. And it's unraveled by some steady, standard detective work. But that's maybe a plus these days, since it's without the outlandish lab and technology antics we've become accustomed to on procedural shows like CSI. Longmire doesn't need fancy forensics — he knows that a rifle's been fired recently by the smell of the barrel.

As straightforward as the story is, the Longmire character is equally tangible in his dry wit, his earnestness and his demons. He's a plain-spoken, straight-talking, grizzled veteran riding the Wyoming highways and doing his job. Part of the long story arc is Longmire's struggle to keep his job. He's got a wet-behind-the-ears deputy, Branch Connolly (Bailey Chase) who thinks Longmire is washed up and is running against him in the next election.

There's also a strong supporting cast with Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Deputy Vic Moretti, a city emigre new to the wild west and loyal to Sheriff Longmire, and Lou Diamond Phillips (Numb3rs) as Longmire's longtime friend and owner of the local bar, "The Red Pony."

Longmire's struggle to get his job done and reestablish his authority while saddled by the past that still burns fresh in him, unresolved, is key to the series. It's well-written all over Taylor's face, and is something all of us can probably relate to.

When the widow of the victim in the pilot asks Longmire, "Does it ever stop hurting?", he says quietly, "Not really. I guess the only way it could ever stop hurting is that if maybe we could forget about them. That's the thing. I don't want to forget anything."

post #79790 of 93688
TV Notes
Andy Samberg Officially Leaving 'Saturday Night Live'
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Jun. 1, 2012

Andy Samberg is following Kristen Wiig out the door at "Saturday Night Live."

The comedian said he won't be returning to the late-night institution next season in an interview with the New York Times on Friday, confirming suspicions that his run on the show was coming to an end.

It's an incredibly emotional and strange moment in my life, Samberg told the Times. Obviously it's not a huge shock, but I did officially decide not to come back.

Samberg joined the show in the fall of 2005 and was largely known for his musical skits, such as "Lazy Sunday" and "Dick in a Box."

On last month's season finale of "Saturday Night Live," Samberg fueled speculation that he was on his way out with "Lazy Sunday 2," which had lyrics that included the line, "On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship / That's how it began, and that's how I'm-a finish it.

Wiig departed the show during the season finale. Though no official announcement was made, her departure was made clear with a skit during which host Mick Jagger, as a school principal, announced that Wiig was "graduating" this year, and a musical number during which many of her former castmates danced with her.

NBC has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

post #79791 of 93688
Don’t Like the Movie? Let’s Talk About It
Joel Hodgson on ‘Mystery Science Theater’ and Riffs
By Paul Brownfield, The New York Times - June 3, 2012

The scene at a Cinematic Titanic event, with riffers onstage in front of the movie. (Photo: Josh Targownik)

It takes a certain kind of fan to recognize Joel Hodgson, creator of the cult 1990s Comedy Central series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and Shawn Queeney is that kind of fan. In his media and society class at Bucks County Community College north of Philadelphia, Mr. Queeney, an associate professor of communications, discusses the place of the “Mystery Science Theater” in the underbelly of cinema, and he and his wife spent a December evening watching Mr. Hodgson and friends perform their idiosyncratic comedy as part of the live B-movie heckling tour “Cinematic Titanic.”

So when Mr. Queeney spotted Mr. Hodgson at a restaurant not long after, he asked Mr. Hodgson to speak at his college. Mr. Hodgson agreed but later came back with a suggestion more befitting his sensibilities. And so was hatched one of the odder master classes ever offered in formal higher education: a workshop on the art and science of “movie riffing.”

On “Mystery Science Theater,” which began in 1988 and was integral to the early growth of Comedy Central, Mr. Hodgson played a janitor at a byzantine research lab who is sent into space, where he is forced to watch B and C genre movies with two robot companions named Tom Servo and Crow. But that setup, laid out in the theme song, was only the bones of the show. The meat each week was in the riffing, as Joel and his bot-pals, silhouetted at the bottom of the screen, commented on everything from killer lizard films like “The Giant Gila Monster” to cheesy instructional shorts like “Hired!”

“Hey, isn’t that the John Belushi biography?” Mr. Hodgson’s character says when the title appears. (Riff spoiler alert: It’s a reference to the book “Wired.”)

If “Mystery Science Theater” was part insult comedy aimed at movies, there was also something congenial in the show’s tone. (Perhaps it was the puppet robots, or that it was all being produced in Minneapolis.)

Six writers had to deliver a 90-minute episode every week, Mr. Hodgson said, with 600 to 800 riffs per movie, “when all the pistons were firing.” In devising the lines, no reference (Bella Abzug, Roy Lichtenstein) was too outré or rejected initially, Mr. Hodgson said. As he tried to convey to the students at Bucks, it’s best to brainstorm nonjudgmentally first and figure out what’s funny later.

Mr. Hodgson, now 52, left “Mystery Science Theater” in 1993 after, he said, a dispute with the executive producer Jim Mallon over the direction of a feature film based on the series.

Moving to Los Angeles, Mr. Hodgson landed a series of movie and TV deals while also keeping creative in more inimical ways. One of them was an event called the Super Ball, an annual “one-night World’s Fair” that Mr. Hodgson dreamed up with his brother, Jim, combining their interest in comedy, science and art happenings.

Mr. Hodgson, in this way, has long approached comedy as a chemist in a lab does, noodling with a drug protocol to make it more effective. In Minneapolis in the late 1980s he briefly taught a workshop called Creative Stand-Up and Smartology that was based on communication paradigms he’d read about in college. This was after he had earned appearances on “Late Night With David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live.”

Years later he tried to rejigger the sketch comedy series format at HBO, where he made a pilot called “The TV Wheel.” Mr. Hodgson’s idea was to shoot the show live, with a camera that was locked down in the middle of a set that rotated like a record on a turntable. “Your TV doesn’t move, so why should the camera?” Mr. Hodgson said, explaining the philosophy.

Finally, in 2007, Mr. Hodgson, still regretful about leaving “Mystery Science Theater,” returned to movie riffing, forming the tour “Cinematic Titanic” with the writer-performers Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl.

In class Mr. Hodgson kept things loose but wasn’t just fooling around either. In his travels with “Cinematic Titanic,” Mr. Hodgson said, he often meets people movie riffing Ã* la “Mystery Science Theater” but live. “I was always curious what it would be like to participate with these people who wanted to get into it.”

The class was made up mostly of theater, film and video majors, and a number of them were involved in improv comedy, including Kyle Reichert, 21. “Every class he would talk about something new,” Mr. Reichert recalled, “what he would go through on a daily basis making the show.”

Mr. Hodgson’s first lesson was simple: When riffing don’t be a jerk. (He used a different word.) The 25 students in Riff Camp 2012 were divided into groups. They had two and a half months to complete a film’s worth of riffs before performing at the college’s spring arts festival. They also had to dream up a back story and set it to a theme song. One group, the all-female New Valkyries of Valhalla are Valkyries by day, collecting Viking souls, and students in a women’s studies course at Valhalla Community College by night.

That explains why they would be watching “Consuming Women,” an oddly spooky short billed as a portrait of the female consumer circa 1967. The other films Mr. Hodgson assigned for other groups — from the public domain Web site archive.org, which houses the Prelinger Archives — included “Pennsylvania Fish Commission,” a riveting 1950s tour of trout farming narrated by the commission’s decidedly un-emotive executive director, and the delicious University of California romp “Health: Your Posture,” about a girl ostracized by her peers because of bad posture.

“It had nothing to do with posture,” said Stephanie Drejerwski, 20, one of the riffers.

Mr. Hodgson instructed students not to riff more than once every three seconds, so that the audience could absorb each joke. As on “Mystery Science Theater,” scripts were time- and color-coded to indicate when the film’s narrator was speaking (“You need a thorough checkup by your family doctor to discover the cause of your posture defects”) and when the riff was interjected (“Sir? We don’t have insurance?”).

Though the practical application of a course on movie riffing seems negligible, Mr. Hodgson has perhaps hit upon something in the age of social media. Facebook and Twitter, among others, are portals not dissimilar to the sad, empty cinema where Joel, Servo and Crow watched bad movies, their riffs providing a sense of community.

Maybe that’s why “Mystery Science Theater” keeps enjoying afterlives. Michael J. Nelson, who replaced Mr. Hodgson on the TV series until it ended in 1999, offers RiffTrax, audio riffs to play alongside DVD releases of current and older films. The comedian Doug Benson, host of the popular podcast “Doug Loves Movies,” organized a live screening series in Los Angeles, “The Doug Benson Movie Interruption,” in which he and friends (like Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman and Ed Helms) riff on a movie for the audience. And Kevin Smith, the filmmaker and inveterate podcaster, is starting a show on Hulu this week called “Spoilers.”

Mr. Smith was quick to note that this was riffing not like “Mystery Science Theater” but in the tradition of his first film, “Clerks,” in which the characters spitball about a movie everyone’s already seen, “Star Wars.” In “Spoilers” Mr. Smith plans to screen a current release at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles then take the audience to a nearby studio for what he sees as a live version of a movie chat room.

“I don’t think a movie discussion ever dies anymore,” he said.

Meanwhile, as alumni from Riff Camp 2012 prepared to perform this weekend at the Colonial Theater in nearby Phoenixville (the same theater where scenes from the original “ Blob” were filmed), Mr. Hodgson and his fellow “Mystery Science Theater” alums were busy putting together a “Cinematic Titanic” show set for July in Ann Arbor, Mich. They will be riffing on two 1970s films — “Rattlers” (rattlesnakes and nerve gas!) and “The Doll Squad,” which, Mr. Hodgson said, is about “a seven-woman army that was supposedly the prototype for ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ ” Set riffing engines to full throttle.

post #79792 of 93688
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

The problem is, they'll do the one thing they shouldn't while this is happening: cut things to the bone to save costs, instead of investing in content and their core news operation to drive viewership numbers up.

It may have already started.


Then again, maybe all they need is for things to boil over enough in Syria for a war to break out. People tend to tune into CNN for war and other event coverage than they do the other channels.

CNN has been down for a long time. Not sure a war can pull them back to number 1. The last Gulf War was to have done that and FNC won that "war". Over the last year or two, FNC has equaled them or pulled slightly ahead on breaking news. But I agree, lack of big breaking news has hurt them overall but if that is your only claim to fame, time to clean house and look for a new shtick.


It's when all there is to talk about is politics that they flounder.

post #79793 of 93688
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

CNN has been down for a long time. Not sure a war can pull them back to number 1. The last Gulf War was to have done that and FNC won that "war". Over the last year or two, FNC has equaled them or pulled slightly ahead on breaking news. But I agree, lack of big breaking news has hurt them overall but if that is your only claim to fame, time to clean house and look for a new shtick.

The problem with Iraq is that is was a ground and bunker war. It's not entertaining for the viewer seeing guys walking, driving and periodically crouching down to shoot at someone or shake them down for weapons. When the war became unpopular, people started tuning into the yelling heads on the other channels who agreed with the viewer's opinions. Fox and the others won out by saying what the viewers wanted to hear, not for reporting on the events.

Kuwait, by contrast, was an air war taking place mostly at night over a much smaller and more contained area. CNN excelled at bringing live images of it back home - so much so, the military would occasionally use the coverage to see if they hit their targets.

CNN has always done right by live, breaking news coverage from anywhere in the world - be it war, terrorist acts or natural disasters. Fox loses out to that every time. The one thing CNN always seems to do better is showing the event as it unfolds. Too often, Fox and the other news channels cut away to the studio leaving the viewer at home nothing compelling to look at. The problem is, when there's nothing compelling to show, CNN languishes because they have nothing to to say to draw people in.

When speculation and accusations are the only thing left to say when facts are unknown, the viewer is going to want their thoughts projected back at them. They want to be validated by someone. The other news outlets do that well.

The fact is, when someone harms a child or shoots up a building full of people, the viewers don't want to hear words like "allegedly" or "suspected of". The want to hear someone agree with them this is a bad dude.

What CNN needs for the rest of the time is some roundtable shows where people debate each other (intermixed with regular news updates) with the ability to pre-empt it to go somewhere live at a moments notice. Make the shows informal, while the news and breaking stories are at the news desk to shift people's focus from opinion to "this is really important right now, so don't tune away" stuff.

They can't go to automation during those periods or they'll lose the one ace they have in the hole to get instant ratings.
post #79794 of 93688
CNN does the terrible thing of reporting news, while the others are just as interested if not more so in creating news. I notice it more and more, the big ratings go to the channels that seem to interject their opinion in the reporting and blur the line between news and opinion. of course that's just my opinion
post #79795 of 93688
Now, now, now. They're all guilty of that depending on your perspective. And, yes, I speak as a trained journalist (though I never went into news work). I learned from the best. And "the best" still shake their heads at the heavy slants we see, today. Including CNN. Read Bernard Goldberg, sometime.

More likely, in a medium of images, CNN chooses the wrong ones. I still say preference of news networks has less to do with bias and more to do with images. Pretty pictures, flashy graphics, conversational style done by attractive people. It wins every time. Local stations learned this a LONG time ago. CNN missed the memo. Sorry, but Wolf and Candy scare people. Shep and Megyn don't. For that matter, Robin Meade is easy on the eyes, but HLN gets the redheaded stepchild treatment. Otherwise, HLN would beat its sister station most of the day. They do a better job.

You can argue pretty people and production values. Sadly, it's style over substance when you're going for a mass audience. ...but let's not get a bias war going. They're ALL biased. End of story.
post #79796 of 93688
CNN has the best sets, I'd say. Hate the new graphics though. Loved the old minimalist look.

My problem with CNN is that the anchors are either completely disinterested in the story (because it is beyond banal, especially during the daytime hours) or speak to the viewer as if either he/she the anchor has only a first grade education or the viewer does.

Say what you will about Fox and MSNBC, but just about every anchor on either network believes that his show is the most important on television and his viewers the most informed, and treats them as such. CNN acts as if the only news consumption any of its viewers gets is from Access Hollywood or People magazine.
post #79797 of 93688
Its his revenge....

post #79798 of 93688
Originally Posted by URFloorMatt View Post

CNN has the best sets, I'd say. Hate the new graphics though. Loved the old minimalist look.

My problem with CNN is that the anchors are either completely disinterested in the story (because it is beyond banal, especially during the daytime hours) or speak to the viewer as if either he/she the anchor has only a first grade education or the viewer does.

Say what you will about Fox and MSNBC, but just about every anchor on either network believes that his show is the most important on television and his viewers the most informed, and treats them as such. CNN acts as if the only news consumption any of its viewers gets is from Access Hollywood or People magazine.

I agree with this. I've had occasion to watch CNN recently, usually in doctor/hospital waiting rooms, and I cannot believe how boring they have gotten. When I want that, I can turn on NPR on the radio. TV is a visual as well as audio experience and that applies to the news as much as any drama or sitcom. If the "journalist" looks uninterested in the story or guest, why should I stay tuned? When I want the news, I don't care about bias, but I do want a pleasant experience and CNN just doesn't give me that anymore. I actually think our local ABC, NBC and IND do better jobs.

As for wanting stuff repeated back to me, that is just plain hogwash, and I won't comment further or Dr Don won't be happy.
post #79799 of 93688
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Sorry, but Wolf and Candy scare people.

I must be unusual, because I like to watch both Wolf and Candy. Wolf is occasionally guilty of parroting the daily DNC talking points, but he does it in a nice way. Candy is to me just the consummate journalist, and I never see bias there. But she doesn't get much airtime. Guess she's not skinny enough. And Jack Cafferty isn't as biased as he used to be, but is still a "hoot", and fun to watch.

I just hate to see CNN in danger of folding. I don't want to see the only real cable news being FNC. While their "news" programs are fairly balanced, the revenue shows in primetime are strongly right leaning. But at least they do present opposing views, something the NBC cable news network doesn't allow.

My opinion, which network execs consider worthless, is we need honest journalism in cable news. The future doesn't look good there.
post #79800 of 93688
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

They're ALL biased. End of story.

That's the main reason I RARELY watch ANY TV news on any network, especially the sliced, diced and edited news from the NBC outlets. With the internet, there is no need to watch them along with way too many promos and commercials.

Oh, plus I'm over 50, so broadcasters and advertising/marketing reps could care less about me anyway.
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