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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2706

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THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
ABC’s ‘Wipeout’ hits a new summer high
Averages a 2.2 in 18-49s, its best rating since January
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 27, 2012

Love was in the air last night on "Wipeout" with a special blind date edition that lifted the show to its best rating this summer.

"Wipeout" averaged a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 29 percent from last week.

The show drew its best rating since Jan. 12, and surged to a 2.5 during its final hour, besting CBS's competing "Big Brother" in the hour by 0.3.

"Wipeout" boosted ABC to its best Thursday night of the summer, with lead-out "Rookie Blue" also hitting a summer high of 1.5.

By contrast, another dating-themed show, CBS's new "3," got no love from viewers.

The new show bowed to a dismal 0.8 at 10 p.m. following "Brother." It managed just 2.4 million total viewers, a new record low for a CBS program.

Meanwhile, the night's other dating show, "Take Me Out," wrapped up with a ho-hum 1.2 on Fox, even to the previous week.

ABC led the night among 18-49s with a 1.9 average overnight rating and a 6 share. CBS was second at 1.7/5, Univision third at 1.3/4, Fox fourth at 0.9/3, NBC fifth at 0.7.2, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 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.

CBS started the night in the lead with a 2.1 at 8 p.m. for repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men," followed by ABC with a 1.8 for "Wipeout." Fox was third with a 1.2 for "Take Me Out," Univision fourth with a 1.0 for "Por Ella Soy Eva," and NBC fifth with a 0.6 for repeats of "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation." The CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.4, CW for a repeat of "The Vampire Diaries" and Telemundo for "Rosa Diamante."

ABC moved to first at 9 p.m. with a 2.5 for more "Wipeout," while CBS fell to second with a 2.2 for "Brother." Univision was third with a 1.3 for "Abismo de Pasion." NBC and Fox tied for fourth at 0.6, NBC for "Saving Hope" and Fox for a repeat of "Glee." Telemundo was sixth with a 0.5 for "Corazon Valiente" and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a rerun of "The L.A. Complex."

Univision led at 10 p.m. with a 1.7 for "La Que No Podia Amar," with ABC second with a 1.5 for "Rookie Blue." CBS and NBC tied for third at 0.8, CBS for "3" and NBC for "Rock Center with Brian Williams," and Telemundo was fifth with a 0.7 for "Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal."

ABC was also first for the night among households with a 3.7 average overnight rating and a 6 share. CBS was second at 3.4/6, NBC third at 2.0/4, Univision fourth at 1.8/3, Fox fifth at 1.5/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

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TV Notes
Pitch Season Starts Slow, NBC And ABC To Scale Back On Development Volume
By Nellie Andreva, Deadline.com - Jul. 26, 2012

Exactly a year ago, at its TCA executive session NBC announced several projects in development, including a Dick Wolf-produced firefighter drama, which became the network’s upcoming drama series Chicago Fire. This year there has been only one big sale so far — the Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci-written and Len Wiseman-directed Sleepy Hollow, which went to Fox with a put pilot commitment. Pitch season is starting late and is shaping up to be calmer, with less action. I hear NBC and ABC, the most aggressive players last year, are paring down the number of projects they will buy and money they will spend. With a new regime and stuffed coffers, NBC went on a buying spree last summer, joined by ABC. The two networks often ended up in heated bidding wars, sometimes joined by Fox, driving up prices and leading to a slew of big commitments. “(NBC) got cash, (ABC) got competitive against that cash, and we took the bait,” was Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly‘s assessment of what network executives called a “crazy” 2011 pitch season. I hear NBC and ABC now plan to spend less and go only after projects they fully believe can get to the air. Fox also will be more targeted in its approach as the network accomplished its goal of assembling a two-hour comedy block, so its comedy needs are not as great.

As late as the start of the buying season has been for all broadcast networks, it may be pushed even further for NBC whose top entertainment executives Bob Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke will be in London for the next two weeks for the Summer Olympics, which NBC carries. Both plan to keep an eye on pitches from there, but it will be mostly their development teams in Los Angeles that will carry the torch in their absence.

As to what is causing the late start of selling action, there don’t seem to be enough writers ready to pitch. The studios have most hot writer-producers locked into “showveralls”, overall deals that tie them to a show. Because now is the most crucial time for series’ writing teams when they finish breaking stories for the season and start churning out scripts for production to begin, most scribes won’t be available to work on pitches until September. So while Independence Day marks the unofficial start of pitch season, the real action this season will likely begin after Labor Day.

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TV Notes
Billie Joe Armstrong Joins 'The Voice' as a Mentor
By Brent Lang, TheWrap.com - Jul. 27, 2012

Billie Joe Armstrong became the latest in a string of high-profile rock stars popping up on televised talent shows when NBC said Thursday that the Green Day frontman was joining "The Voice" as a mentor.

NBC shared the news on Twitter and Facebook, writing "What goes together better than Billie Joe Armstrong and Christina Aguilera? Um, NOTHING!"

A network spokesman did not respond to request for further comment.

Armstrong will serve as a mentor to a panel of judges that includes Aguilera, "F--- You" singer Cee Lo Green, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and country singer Blake Shelton. Carson Daly serves as the show's host.

Past guest mentors have included Mary J. Blige and Michael Buble.

A punk rocker, Armstrong is best known for "Dookie," a 1994 album that sold 10 million copies and launched the hit single "When I Come Around," as well as the critically adored 2004 protest album "American Idiot," which spawned a successful Broadway show.

With "American Idol" shaking up its judge's panel and hiring Mariah Carey and "X Factor" nabbing Britney Spears to dole out advice, the competition to nab the snazziest rock stars is fierce among the top music contest programs."

The next season of "The Voice" debuts on Sept. 10.

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Technology Notes
The state of your digital rights
By Kim Komando, USA Today - Jul. 26, 2012

Technology changes at lightning speed. Laws concerning electronic snooping and privacy lag considerably behind.

But important cases end up in court often enough that it pays to occasionally review where you stand in the event you and technology clash with workplace policies and law enforcement.

The first thing to know is: I am not a lawyer. Although it's possible to draw some general conclusions about the current state of digital affairs you should seek legal counsel in any encounter with the police or whenever you feel your rights are being violated.

Visit the website of digital rights watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation https://www.eff.org/ to stay current on Internet legislation and case law.

You basically have no rights at work

It should be clear to all workers by now that they should never use a company computer or smartphone for personal business. Yet, employees get fired and disciplined every day for questionable Web surfing, downloading and emailing at work.

Time and again, employees also get into trouble for saying dumb things on blogs and social networks, even if it was done on their own equipment and their own time.

When disputes even make it that far, courts consistently side with employers. Your First Amendment right to free speech protects you against the government — not private employers.

Planes, homes and automobiles

If you're driving or flying back into the U.S., agents can take your laptop or other gadget and examine it without a warrant or probable cause. Your Fourth Amendment rights that protect against unreasonable search and seizure take a back seat to the government's right to fight terrorism and crime and to protect the border.

Your home is on more sacred ground. Unless you consent to a search, police can't search your home, your home computer or any of your gadgets without a warrant. When there is a warrant, it must specifically state that the computer and gadgets are part of the search.

If your computer and electronic devices are encrypted, the police can't force you to divulge your passwords. However, a judge or a grand jury can order you to disclose your data.

State laws differ when it comes to cars and smartphones. If you are pulled over while driving, for instance, and the cop suspects there is evidence of a crime in your car, state law may allow the officer to search your phone much as he would your glove box or a center console.

If you're placed under arrest, police can take your phone and whatever else is in your pockets. Some states allow police to search the phone without cause; others require a warrant. Here again, you're not required to hand over a pass code unless ordered by a court.

Snooping through the back door

In response to a recent Congressional inquiry, major cellular carriers in the U.S. revealed that they responded to a jaw-dropping 1.3 million demands for subscriber information from law enforcement agencies in 2011.

Sprint reported that it fielded approximately 1,500 law enforcement requests per day, while AT&T tallied 700.

Keep in mind that Google and many other Web services firms will do the same thing when approached by law enforcement. It's spelled out in all those Terms of Service agreements that you accept but don't read.

A simple subpoena can net the police basic account data, including credit card information. Anything beyond that — your locations, texts and calls — is supposed to require a court order or a warrant. Agencies have been known to cut through red tape by citing an imminent danger or emergency.

There's no question that smartphone surveillance has become a critical counterterrorism and crime-busting tool. Until policymakers shine a light on this shadowy part of the digital frontier, however, the arm wrestling between public safety needs and privacy rights will continue.

Meantime, there isn't much you as a consumer can do about digital dragnets, unless you avoid using your smartphone and the Internet altogether.

Good luck with that!

Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit www.komando.com.

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AMC has canceled The Killing. Fox Studios is shopping it around.
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Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post

The new cast for season 15 of Dancing With The Stars (all-stars) has been announced.
6 former champions (seasons 1 thru 5 and 8) are returning.

Even with an "All-Star" cast DWTS still manages to get a handful of names I've never heard in my life. rolleyes.gif
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Originally Posted by kingpcgeek View Post

AMC has canceled The Killing. Fox Studios is shopping it around.
First thing they should do is get rid of Veena Sud, and then shop it around.
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

How come they say "We have everything from a to z" & they say anchovy/ziti.
How come they say "Count from 1 to 10" & the person goes....8..9..10. biggrin.gif

Because they got it wrong. The dictionary has not changed to make "to" inclusive.
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Billie Joe Armstrong Joins 'The Voice' as a Mentor
By Brent Lang, TheWrap.com - Jul. 27, 2012

George Costanza was also a mentor + another mentor was actually dating Kenny Bania so not sure this mentor thing is all its cracked up to be.
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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
ABC’s Paul Lee On ‘Modern Family’, Decision To Stay At ABC, Multicam Comedy
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jul. 27, 2012

At ABC’s executive session this morning ABC chief Paul Lee fielded questions about the state of the cast salary renegotiations on Modern Family, which have been difficult and resulted in a lawsuit and a table read rescheduling this week. “I expect the season to start on time,” Lee said. “We are in the middle of negotiations, and we’re hopeful and optimistic we will be able to resolve it”. While negotiations are led by Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV, “we are with 20th in this, we are full partners”, Lee said. I hear Lee and ABC’s head of business affairs Jana Winograde have been very involved in the process. The network will take over production cost for the show in a couple of years.

Lee also was asked about the top BBC job that he was reportedly offered but didn’t pursue. “I’m living the dream why would I”, Lee said. “I have one of the best jobs in television, I love this job. I’ve been in the U.S. for 15 years, and my sons are American, my family are Americans. I love ABC, it’s a brand I’m loyal to”‘.

Despite the fact that ABC’s schedule only features two multicamera comedies next season, Last Man Standing and Malibu Country, both on Friday, Lee reaffirmed the network’s commitment to the multicamera genre and confirmed that ABC will be “re-piloting” its multi-camera pilot from this past season, Kings Of Van Nuys, which is based on one of Lee’s favorite British series, Only Fools And Horses. The pilot script has now been reworked, and deals are being made with the entire original cast, led by John Leguizamo, to return.

Lee also addressed the decision to move new comedy The Neighbors from 9:30 PM on Wednesday to 8:30 PM after a premiere behind Modern Family. “I did want to protect it; I certainly felt that suited the show better,” he said. “(Creator) Dan Fogelman is incredibly smart writer, and we are loving the scripts for this show.” Additionally, “I feel Neighbors sits better between The Middle and Modern Family the way Suburgatory is a really good bridge from Modern Family to Nashville.” Lee raved about new drama Nashville, which he said “transcends country.”

Lee has high hopes for the second season of Shonda Rhimes’ midseason drama Scandal. “It is still a little bit underrated, it started a little bit slowly but really found its punch towards the end of the (season).” As for Rhimes’ other two series on ABC, “I think you’ve seen the major moves,” Lee said of Grey’s Anatomy, which saw the departure of three regulars, Chyler Lee, Eric Dane and Kim Raver. “Shonda has maintained the the creative dynamism on the show for such a long time; I love to see her taking risks and reinventing the show every year.” There is no decision yet to brand the upcoming season of Private Practice a last one despite the pending departure of star Kate Walsh. “We’re looking at various options,” Lee said.

Lee also said he doesn’t regret going with summer series Duets and Glass House, none of which have performed well. “It was a good swing and we will continue to do it,” he said of Glass House.

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TV Notes
'Modern Family' Contract Deals Done
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jul. 27, 2012

The "Modern Family" cast has reached a contract deal.

A 20th Century Fox Television representative said late Friday that the dispute over salaries had been resolved. Principal photography will proceed Monday as scheduled, and a lawsuit filed by the cast will be dropped as part of the agreement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The entire cast had sought pay raises for the Emmy-winning hit comedy, which is ABC's top-rated show.

The show's co-creator Steve Levitan (left) said he learned the deal was done while attending a party at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

"They're all deserving," he told TheWrap. "There are many deserving actors in town, and I'm extremely happy."

Asked what he believed led to the deal, he said, "reason, sanity." "There's an inevitable place where deals come together."

Levitan called the negotiations and lawsuit an "annoying distraction."

"Since May 15 or so, our writing staff has been busy writing, and that's what we want to do," he said. "And this led to a flood of phone calls and meetings. It was a distraction."

He also declined to discuss the terms of the deal.

Negotiations became hostile Tuesday when the cast refused to take part in a scheduled table read. Instead, all of the actors except for Ed O'Neill, who was negotiating separately, filed a lawsuit seeking to void their contracts. O'Neill joined the lawsuit in solidarity on Thursday.

In a sign that the standoff was thawing, the cast agreed to take part in a table read Thursday.

On Friday, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said he was "optimistic" that a deal was near.

The announcement came moments after Levitan told TheWrap that an agreement was close.

The deal ends an embarrassing feud for one of television's best loved shows. It won two consecutive Emmys for best comedy and has helped ABC launch other shows, including "Suburgatory."

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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
How '666 Park Ave.' will be like 'The Shining'
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 27, 2012

There’s a long and rocky history of TV producers trying to successfully adapt Stephen King novels. Could a new series capture the horror master’s sensibility while having nothing to do with his actual work?

ABC’s upcoming horror soap 666 Park Ave. (see the show’s curiously sexy marketing poster here) isn’t drawn from any of King’s material (it’s based on a novel with the same title by Gabriella Pierce), but producers admit the author’s work was a heavy influence on the show. “It’s absolutely Stephen King influenced,” said executive producer David Wilcox told TV critics Friday. “Who can’t be influenced by Stephen King when working in this genre?”

The series follows the mysterious proprietor [Terry O'Quinn] of a luxury New York City highrise and his tenants who have their dreams fulfilled — for a price. Wilcox cites King’s page-turner The Shining as having a particular impact on the story. “The [666] building is like the Overlook Hotel from The Shining,” he said. “It has a presence, it has a spirit that seems to be working hand in hand with Gavin [O'Quinn]. But it also might be more powerful than anybody knows.”

Wilcox also noted the influences extend beyond King’s works, to films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen and Jacob’s Ladder. “That was the juice we were looking at and trying to pull that into this show,” he said.

Just don’t expect 666, which airs on Sunday nights this fall, to have too much gore — this is broadcast TV, after all (and on a network watched heavily by female soap fans). “It’s more a psychological horror,” Wilcox said. “This show has the soap and seduction that other ABC shows possess … which isn’t to say there aren’t shocking visceral moments in the show.”

One critic asked the writer-producers how they will convince viewers that people would be foolish enough to stay in a haunted house for season after season. It’s a good question. I mean, it would be one thing if O’Quinn and company were trapped on, oh I dunno, an island, but in a building?

“It’s something we deal with fairly early on,” Wilcox said. “I’m reluctant to give away too much but that’s part of Gavin’s plan as well. When [the building's new tenants] sign that lease at end of the pilot, it may be more than just a lease and leaving might be more difficult than they thought.”


* * * *

Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
ABC defends WTF alien sitcom 'The Neighbors'

Every season there’s one show that critics start piling on long before it premieres. This round it’s ABC’s The Neighbors, the aliens-next-door sitcom that has inspired the entertainment industry and viewers to exclaim a collective “WTF?!”

I suspect viewers will rate a few other new broadcast comedies this fall as far worse (such as ABC’s Malibu Country*). The Neighbors is not without cleverness, and sure doesn’t lack for ambition. I’ve found a few defensive-sounding fans of the pilot out there (not me, but others). The whole premise is just so … so … goofy, and such a throwback to old school sitcoms like 3rd Rock from the Sun and Alf, that it’s more jarring as a concept than it is terrible as a show (if that make sense). Naturally, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee is one of the fans.

“I love The Neighbors,” he told critics at their semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills. “I know there’s some issues in the room about the high-concept nature of the show.”

ABC originally planned to air The Neighbors at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday nights after its biggest comedy, Modern Family. But after a couple months of industry disbelief about that strategy, ABC recently decided to give the show a Modern Family lead-in after its premiere, then move the show to an hour earlier.

“I thought 8:30 p.m. suited the show better, ” Lee said. “I did want to protect it … there’s so much pressure [to perform] after Modern Family … I’m much more comfortable where it is.”

For those who haven’t seen the trailer, here it is: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

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'Grey's Anatomy's' Shonda Rhimes: 'Any Number of People Could Be Departing'
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 27, 2012

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the upcoming ninth season of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.]

Grey's Anatomy will go into its upcoming ninth season down two characters with a third on the way out but that may not be all that's in store when the Shonda Rhimes medical drama returns in September.

Following the finale that saw Owen (Kevin McKidd) fire Teddy (Kim Raver) and the deadly plane crash claim Lexie's (Chyler Leigh) life, there's a strong possibility that any number of people could be joining Lexie in the great beyond.

Confirming that Derek, Cristina and Meredith will all survive the crash, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Mark's (the departing Eric Dane) days may be numbered showrunner Rhimes hints in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Last seen stranded in the woods with a broken bone protruding through her leg and coughing up blood, Arizona -- along with Cristina (Sandra Oh), Mark, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) -- were left clinging to life without food, water or word of rescue. Mark, meanwhile, was in really bad shape and needed emergency surgery in the wilderness and was even ready to join his dearly departed in the afterlife but (at Arizona's encouragement) continued to fight to survive.

THR caught up with Rhimes to preview the ABC medical drama's upcoming ninth season and discuss whether or not Little Grey will have a proper funeral (don't get your hopes up), how Dane's departure will impact those around him and what's next for the rest of Seattle Grace's best and brightest.

The Hollywood Reporter: How are you approaching this season? In the past, you've known what the finale was and worked backward but last season because of all the uncertainty, it was split in two.
Shonda Rhimes:
We know what the finale is and we're working backward from that. It's the usual way we work and we had a lot of fun last season but because we were unsure of a lot of things we were left with building a lot of things and it doesn't matter because we have a finale that's totally separate from what else is happening.

Could we see a time jump in the premiere?
Not a big one. We're doing something really interesting this year. Our first episode takes place two to three months after we left the finale, so you see the aftermath and where everyone ends up. The second episode jumps back and we're back in the woods, we start the episode back in the woods. To me, it's a very different way of telling the story and you have some questions about why people are the way they are and in the second episode you find out why things are the way they are.

Will you continue to play with that format throughout the season?
We're not. We don't have big plans to play with it back and forth. Even though we had a plane crash, this isn't Lost (laughs). We wanted to find a way to clearly and interestingly tell the story of who our character and why they are who they are.

What's the likelihood we could see additional fatalities or cast member departures?
I think that's possible, yes.

Could it be one of the five remaining plane crash survivors -- Arizona, Meredith, Cristina, Derek and Mark -- who don't make it?
I think any number of people could be departing at this point. That's left open.

Considering the way with the finale ended with Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) both being accepted to other programs -- and Cristina, if she survives, could we see some of the season take place in other hospitals?
Yes, we could absolutely see some of the season take place somewhere else; that was always in the cards for us -- the idea that somebody would be somewhere else and we would see things play out that way. When we start the season, there are some doctors who are not at Seattle Grace and we will come to understand what that means as time goes on.

Might that be something that continues on for the length of the series?
I don't know that it's going to be the length of the series; we're going to do it for as long as it feels interesting to us for as long as we have story to tell in the way that we need to tell it. At the end of every season, I always say let's leave it on the table for next season and part of the reason for next season is what happens if a doctor is someplace else and what that means for our story and how that works.

Will there be a funeral for Lexie?
That was heartbreaking. I could have written for Chyler for the rest of my life; that was the hardest thing we did last year. We're not doing funerals this season, that's not part of the language of what we're trying to do this season. It's not about a funeral at all.

You mention funerals -- might there be a need for more than one?
There could be, but we're not doing them even if there were.

How will Mark's upcoming departure be handled?
I'm really proud of the way we're handing his exit. I really wanted and fought for that character to be given their due. I didn't want to come back to this season and say, "Mark Sloane is gone." I really wanted to give that character his due and we came up with a beautiful and creative way to showcase that and that goodbye.

How will his departure impact Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona and their shared family with him?
His departure impacts everybody. Mark is a teacher to Jackson, he's best friends with Derek, he's Callie's best friend, he's Sofia's father. It's going to be a big loss for everyone and I don't want to minimize that.

What shape will Meredith, Cristina and Derek be in mentally and emotionally when the season picks up?
It's surprising. Derek is coping with the loss of the use of his hand in surgery and what that might mean for him. I love the heroic way he deals with it, which is: Who are you if you're not the guy who operates. We really play with that and show what that means for him as a person. Meredith and Cristina are coping in ways that are both expected and unexpected for those characters.

It sounds like all three will survive the crash.
I can confirm to you that Meredith, Cristina and Derek survive.

Which leaves Arizona, who wasn't in great shape in the season finale. What's her heath status like when the season picks up?
I don't know that I want to talk about Arizona.

Arizona has a huge following in the LGBT community and you and Grey's have continued to get recognition from GLAAD. Any comment on the notion that Arizona could be leaving?
I was honored to receive two awards from GLAAD this year and I feel like that character is iconic to me at this point. The way people respond to that character and that relationship, there's something really beautiful about that. We don't make decisions lightly and I certainly don't make these decisions lightly. I really try to stick to what's best for story and what's best for the show and it's really sometimes difficult to do that but it's also sometimes really gratifying to that. We're doing what feels completely right and in line with where we've been and where we're going.

How is Arizona's fate going to impact Callie?
It's going to impact her hugely. We're going to spend a lot of time with Callie this season, there's a lot of story to be told there.

Cristina mentions during the finale that she's experiencing PTSD, is that something you're going to explore this season?
Cristina has been experiencing PTSD since the shooting and trying to cope with that. One of the things I love is that she and Owen experience PTSD at different times, but yes, we're going to really follow that. Not in the typical way that you'd think, although none of them are going to have an easy time getting on a plane again. No one is flying again anytime soon. We're watching her cope in the best way she knows how.

How will Lexie's death impact Meredith? Could we potentially see the return of dark and twisty Meredith from early Grey's Anatomy?
You're going to be surprised at the Meredith you see. I think there's a lot of growth there for the girl who drowned, put her hand on a bomb in a body cavity, the girl whose husband was shot in front of her. She's grown in a number of ways and the way that she's coping with the plane crash is very different from the Meredith you would have seen coping with the shooting and the Meredith who was coping with the bomb guy exploding -- she's a different person at this point.

Will Cristina still be there for her or will she be one of those who explore life outside of Seattle as she mentioned in the finale?
You'll have to wait and see.

Could we see Jeff Perry return as Meredith's father?
I've gone back and forth with that. We lost the chance to cross over the moment that Jeff Perry became both Meredith's father became Cyrus [on Rhimes' Scandal]. There's something very strange about watching Jeff Perry play Meredith's father at 9 p.m. then at 10 p.m. watch him play Cyrus.

How will Owen respond to his role in the crash after he held his calls in the finale and potentially delayed their rescue?
I don't think there's any guilt there. We're not playing with the idea that he did a terrible thing not taking his calls that day, that's not really an issue for us.

What kind of Seattle Grace will the docs be returning to, clearly it will be a bit depleted with a few people moving on.
It's going to be a very interesting place. We've been calling this season the season of romance and talking about playing up the romance of surgery and the romance between characters and the romance of friendships and really mining that as much as we can so it's not going to be a dark season.

What's next for April (Sarah Drew) now that she doesn't have a job?
When we come back to April, she's back home on the farm so how she gets back to us at the hospital is going to be a very interesting journey.

Will the Chief (James Pickens Jr.) and Adele's story continue to be explored?
We love Loretta Devine, so anytime we can get her we are thrilled. So yes. We have a really beautiful and painful journey that we want to really have a chance to watch and see.

You've added a couple recurring characters in Camilla Luddington and Gaius Charles. Will they be doctors at Seattle Grace or elsewhere?
People keep asking me about these guest stars. We didn't add series regulars, these are guest stars who are coming on to be guest stars. I prefer not to discuss guest stars at this time.

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

8PM - Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (120 min.)
(R - Jan. 6)
10PM - Castle
(R - Feb. 13)

8PM - NYC 22
9PM - Hawaii Five-0
(R - Oct. 10)
10PM - 48 Hours Mystery
(R - Apr. 10, 2010)

8PM - XXX Summer Olympics: Swimming, Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball (4 hours, LIVE)
* * * *
12:30AM - XXX Summer Olympics: Gymnastics, Weightlifting (LIVE)

(R - Jan. 7)
8:30PM - COPS
(R - Nov. 19)
9PM - Mobbed
(R - Mar. 31)
* * * *
11PM - The Finder
(R - May 11)
Midnight - 30 Seconds to Fame SD
(R - May. 29, 2003)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: M. Ward; Okkervil River (R - Oct. 31, 2009)

8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

7PM - Movie: Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
9PM - Movie: Finding Nemo (2003)

Edited by dad1153 - 7/27/12 at 11:37pm
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 27, 2012

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

The centerpiece of TV’s Olympic coverage in the U.S. is NBC’s 8 p.m. ET prime-time programming, and events decided earlier will be repackaged and showcased there. But for those who want to watch their sports live, be prepared to tour the TV landscape at an all-day, all-out pace. On cable, the NBC Sports Network begins coverage at 4 a.m. ET, of women’s soccer (USA vs. Colombia) and five other events, including archery and handball. Tennis coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET on Bravo, and beach volleyball, table tennis and two other sports are covered by MSNBC beginning at 7 a.m. ET. And on the big broadcast parent network, NBC provides live coverage beginning at 5 a.m. ET, of swimming, cycling, volleyball, rowing and basketball. And then there’s live streaming, where everything is available (see Christy Slewinski’s Television and Beyond story HERE for where, and how, to see it.) Day 1 highlight: Michael Phelps goes for his first medal of the 2012 Games, in the 400-m. individual medley, at 2:30 p.m. ET.

BBC America, 6:00 a.m. ET

Just as Doctor Who lands on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, BBC America presents an all-day marathon presenting, in order, all episodes from the recently completed Season 5. But it’s only Season 5 of the modern reboot. The Doctor Who series originally began in 1963 – and, except for a brief respite before the current incarnation, has been running, in England at least, ever since. The latest titular star of the show: Matt Smith.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

One of the great all-time camp classics, and diva showdowns. Joan Crawford stars as a disabled woman mocked and tortured by her unhinged sister, a former child star played, with ferocity and glee, by Bette Davis. Her off-camera disdain for Crawford certainly didn’t hurt the final result here. This movie was released in 1962 -- and when I saw it as a kid, I was scared to death.

HBO Family, 8:30 p.m. ET

Last month, what turned out to be an Internet hoax, with a doctored visual, claimed that the future had arrived: That June 27, 2012, was the day on which Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown time-traveled to the future from 1985. Nope. The actual date was, and is, Oct. 21, 2015. So there’s still plenty of time to plan a theme party.

Comedy Central, 8:45 p.m. ET

You’ve seen this 2005 Judd Apatow comedy already, no doubt, and laughed at the antics of Steve Carell’s titular shy guy and his pals, including Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, as he begins a hesitant romance with a single mom played by Catherine Keener. But this time, pay close attention to the supporting actresses in this film: they include Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch and Kat Dennings, all of whom have gone on to more prominent roles in the seven years since.

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TV Notes
CNN chief Jim Walton calls it quits
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Jul. 27, 2012

Admitting his struggling network “needs new thinking,” CNN President Jim Walton announced Friday he will step down at the end of the year.

While CNN is headed toward record profits this year from its mobile and international operations, its showcase franchise in the U.S. has plummeted from domination to a distant third in the cable news race.

CNN’s U.S. ratings fell about 35% in the second quarter. It now trails not only runaway cable news leader Fox News, but MSNBC, whose prime-time shows of late have routinely been doubling the audience for CNN.

CNN also suffered a high-profile embarrassment last month when it inaccurately reported that the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the new health law, then had to scramble to correct itself.

Walton’s departure signals an executive shakeup that mirrors the network’s on-air shakeup – which so far has not yielded the results the company hoped.

In prime-time, CNN tried and quickly dumped a talk show with former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer. It lost long-time institution Larry King and replaced him with Piers Morgan, then added an evening show with Anderson Cooper.

It recently cancelled its 6 p.m. show with John King, extending Wolf Blitzer’s late-afternoon “Situation Room” to 7 p.m.

Blitzer’s 6 p.m. hour has been trailing MSNBC’s Al Sharpton in the ratings, however, and while Morgan’s show has done marginally better than the others, no CNN show in primetime or in the morning is close to its rivals on MSNBC or Fox News.

CNN, which invented the cable-news business and for a long time was its signature brand, has lost ground largely because of its decision to stick to its original mission of trying to provide straight nonpartisan news.

Fox News and MSNBC, at the same time, have been picking up viewers with evening shows that cater to conservative and progressive viewers.

Walton defended CNN’s middle-of-the-road course, however, and said it will continue even after he leaves.

“We know who we are and our corporate colleagues know who we are and there has always been great support internally that we're going to be a news organization,” he said. “We want to report the news from multiple sides, all sides, and without bias.”

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes praised Walton, saying he “took over an underperforming company in 2003 and tripled earnings. . . . Jim has been instrumental in growing the business into the financial powerhouse it has become, while establishing the brand as the worldwide leader for television news."

Walton conceded, however, that it is “reasonable” for outsiders to focus on the health of domestic CNN.

Some numbers for possible chart?

Total average primetime viewership:

Fox News – 1.79 million (down 1% from 2011)
MSNBC – 690,000 (down 13% from 2011)
CNN – 446,000 (down 35% from 2011)

Wednesday, July 25, average primetime viewership:

Fox News – 2,193,000
MSNBC – 1,002,000
CNN – 520,000

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TV Notes
ABC And Marvel Eying ‘Avengers’-Themed TV Series
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jul. 27, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: After scoring huge at the box office with its Avengers movie, Marvel is looking to explore the mythology on the small screen too. I’ve learned that Marvel’s TV division is in conversation with ABC and ABC Studios about doing a drama series in the Avengers world.

I hear that the connection to the Avengers franchise would be light as the project is expected to be set in the universe and feature some of its themes and feel, but may not include any characters from Joss Whedon’s blockbuster. I hear the project is in a nascent stage, described as “a kernel of an idea,” with a number of scenarios being explored, including a high-concept cop show. Marvel has already given the Avengers the animated treatment with Disney XD’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the upcoming Avengers Assemble.

Establishing a primetime foothold has been a priority for Disney-owned Marvel. The company has developed several projects for ABC Studios over the last couple of years, one of which, a Hulk series, is still in the works. Search is under way for a new writer to pen the project.

Edited by dad1153 - 7/27/12 at 11:56pm
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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
Reba returns for 'Malibu Country'
By Robert Bianco, USA Today - Jul. 27, 2012

Reba McEntire is moving to Malibu and back to TV.

This fall on ABC in Malibu Country, she'll be playing yet another character called Reba -- but this time, she's a one-time country singer who leaves her cheating husband, moves her children to Malibu and restarts her career.

Obviously, McEntire has no similar career need: She says she's doing fine. But one of the way she keeps that career going is by doing TV shows like Reba and now Malibu Country, shows that keep her face in front of her old fans and can help win her some new ones.

Those fans should be happy to hear that some of the stories in the show are based on her own life. She moved her then 11-year-old son from Nashville to Los Angeles to make Reba, and like her TV son, he was not happy with the move.

Joining McEntire on the show is comic great Lily Tomlin as her outspoken mother -- a character Tomlin was able to name after her own mother, Lillie Mae. "I thought this character would be an opportunity, and I was very taken with Reba for a long time ... She was always so upbeat and expansive."

For most of that time Tomlin says she was a fan of McEntire as a singer and person. Then she saw her do Annie Get Your Gun and fell in love with her as an actor. "She was beyond brilliant. I went backstage and slobbered all over her." And now she gets to act with her. "I'm sure all that slobbering and gushing didn't go to waste."

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TV Review
Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics
By David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 28, 2012

Venue: London Olympic Stadium
Director: Danny Boyle
Music Supervisors: Karl Hyde, Rick Smith (Underworld)

Details of the $42 million opening ceremony of the 30th Summer Olympics have been cloaked in secrecy. But it was a no-brainer that Danny Boyle – the genre-hopping director who was a key figure of the Cool Britannia wave of 1990s cultural reinvigoration with his first films Shallow Grave and Trainspotting – was never going to settle for standard-issue pomp and pageantry. If Zhang Yimou’s dazzling Beijing opening in 2008 was about automaton-like synchronicity and majestic spectacle, Boyle’s epic opera of social and cultural history was a vibrant work of unfettered imagination that celebrated a nation, but even more so, its people.

The three-hour ceremony was the brainchild of Boyle, with the creative consultancy of Stephen Daldry, two Brit directors who have successfully straddled film and theater. And that twin embrace of fluid cinematic visuals with magical stagecraft was evident above all in the sensational first hour. If the meaning behind some of the imagery was occasionally baffling and the focal points too numerous to absorb in a single television sitting, the overall impact was that of a mesmerizing ADHD banquet.

The key note of any Olympics opener is a celebratory one, but Boyle injected playful irreverence, unexpected humor and even darkness. From the puffy fake clouds suspended over the arena, acknowledging the U.K.’s infamy as lousy-weather capital of the planet, to the mischievous inclusion of the Sex Pistols’ doing “God Save the Queen” in the filmed intro, whimsy played more of a part in the proceedings than solemn sense of occasion.

The biggest surprise was an actual acting cameo from Queen Elizabeth herself. A real sport, she greeted a tuxedo-clad Daniel Craig as he marched up the corridors of Buckingham Palace trailed by the monarch’s pet corgis: “Good evening, Mr. Bond.” A sly switch with a body double followed as they boarded a chopper, with “H.M.” dropped into the Stadium on a Union Jack parachute to the 007 theme music. Genius.

But by far the most striking work was the brilliantly conceptualized live opening, broken into three parts labeled The Green and Pleasant Land, Pandemonium and Frankie and June Say Thanks to Tim. The three parts were cast with a multiethnic crowd heavier on Joe Public volunteers than rigorously drilled professional performers.

Before the kickoff, farm animals milled in pens on the grassy fields of a village green, as agricultural workers tended their veggie patches, a waterwheel slowly turned, maypole dancers twirled and cricketers in period uniforms played a gentlemanly match. Dominating the visual field was a replica of Glastonbury Hill. Its grassy slopes – dotted with dandelions and daisies – evoked the British pastoral tradition with a simplicity that grew even more beautiful as the show progressed and the hill became home to the flags of the 204 participating countries.

While different songs represented the various regions in this segment, a lone boy soprano singing William Blake’s verses to “Jerusalem” set the serene tone.

Boyle then turned somber with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, heralded by Kenneth Branagh in top coat and tall hat, playing pioneering British civil and mechanical engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Accompanied by dozens of drummers, Branagh read the “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises” speech from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which was the inspiration for Boyle’s Isles of Wonder title and the show’s incorporation of dreams as a central element.

As the farmers and villagers rolled up the turf, the scene made way for towering smokestacks that sprouted from the ground as the arena filled with factory workers, suffragettes, war veterans and – incongruously – a troupe of Sgt. Pepper figures in brightly colored satin military jackets. Thematic cohesion wasn’t always a strong point but with so much to amuse the eye, who’s complaining? Blacksmiths toiled away at their furnaces to forge the Olympic rings, which were then hoisted above the stadium, raining down a shower of sparks in one of the show’s more awe-inspiring moments.

This nod to paradise lost was one of Boyle’s boldest strokes, illustrating that Brit patriotism has an infinitely greater variety of shadings than the rah-rah American equivalent.

An extended tribute followed to – wait for it – the U.K.’s National Health Service. Mike Oldfield played “Tubular Bells,” while what looked like hundreds of volunteer nurses and medical professionals took on dance duty. The segment effectively tapped into Britain’s rich tradition of children’s literature via a celebration of Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was largely financed by royalties from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (an excerpt from which was read by J.K. Rowling). The naysayers in the divisive U.S. debate over universal healthcare might want to spend a moment contemplating the heartfelt pride that obviously went into this segment.

As kids were tucked up under illuminated duvets, their bedtime reading conjured villains from Cruella de Vil to Captain Hook to the Queen of Hearts to Voldemort, all of them eventually banished by a flock of Mary Poppinses swooping in under flying umbrellas.

In amongst all this was a nod to the British film industry and its depiction of sports. The iconic Vangelis theme from Chariots of Fire was led by Rowan Atkinson in Mr. Bean guise, hammering away at a single synthesizer note while dreaming of his own athletic glory. This managed simultaneously to provide a daffy centerpiece while acknowledging the vital role of British humor in the popular culture – fart joke included.

The final part of this opening trilogy will no doubt be the most discussed, and while enjoyably messy, it was perhaps the least suited to stadium/television presentation. Basically a story of an average family in an average house, it evolved into a romance between two teens out on a Saturday night, Frankie and June. Their blossoming love served to illustrate the growing impact of social media in a bow to British web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. Projections on the house were a wonderful sampling of TV through the decades.

While the storytelling wasn’t as lucid here as elsewhere, the music was a blast. Music supervisors for the event were Karl Hyde and Rick Smith of electronica outfit Underworld, who have had a long association with Boyle spanning from Trainspotting through his acclaimed National Theatre reimagining of Frankenstein last year.

Among the pearls of the evening, galvanizing use was made of The Clash’s “London Calling” and The Jam’s “Going Underground.” But the Frankie and June chapter also served as a decade-by-decade salute to the British music industry that will no doubt cause a stampede on iTunes. From The Who and The Rolling Stones through The Kinks and The Beatles and then on into the glam-rock years with Mud, David Bowie and Queen, the choices were terrific. The Specials popped up, as did more Pistols as we moved into the punk era (what other country in the world would have the self-irony to include “Pretty Vacant” on its Olympics soundtrack?). Then came New Order, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soul To Soul, The Eurythmics, The Prodigy and Amy Winehouse. Bliss.

There were plenty of glaring omissions of course: No Tears for Fears or Duran Duran from the ‘80s? No Blur or Oasis in the ‘90s bracket? No George Michael or Elton John or Kate Bush? And no Dusty Springfield??!! Are you kidding me? But personal gripes aside, the musical accompaniment that threaded the invention of the steam engine through to the arrival of the World Wide Web was tremendous.

The more pedestrian elements included a tribute to the fallen, with a somewhat stale modern-dance routine to “Abide With Me.” And the Parade of Nations is a format too set-in-stone to play with, though there was some fun to be had with the bizarrely random juxtaposition of national teams with odd musical choices – China with the Pet Shop Boys? Poland with Fleetwood Mac? Fiji with The Bee Gees might have been someone’s attempt at a haiku.

On a side note: Hey, Stella McCartney, what’s with those tacky gold-trimmed white tracksuits on the Brit team? And watching athletes endlessly texting, tweeting and taking photographs on their smart phones did make me wonder if they weren't somehow separating themselves from the actual experience of being there.

The lighting of the torch was preceded by an appearance from The Arctic Monkeys, one of the better live musical elements, doing “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” (why not?) and a cover of “Come Together.” This served as backup to the stunning image of a squad of cyclists wearing illuminated wings to represent the doves at the early Olympics in Ancient Greece. The much ballyhooed Paul McCartney closing slot was a rousing singalong to “Hey Jude,” which added some sentimental value but was otherwise fairly standard Superbowl halftime stuff.

The concluding fireworks (backed by Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse”) were, for once, truly spectacular, making the Macy’s July 4th show look like a bunch of kids with sparklers. One of the big secrets of the event was who would light the torch, which traveled its climactic leg up the Thames on a speedboat piloted by David Beckham. (Only the addition of a pouting Victoria could have made this more sublime.)

Don’t read on if you haven’t yet watched the U.S. broadcast. But in a moving choice, rather than a single figure to light the torch, a group of young athletes in line for the next Olympics was chosen, pushing the “Inspire a Generation” theme. Each nation’s copper petal was lit before they came together to form a gorgeous fire flower on elevated stems.

There’s been much talk about the collective gloom in Britain over the past year, with the economy in the toilet, crippling austerity measures being imposed, a hacking scandal exposing deep-rooted media corruption and a crisis of political faith. It was no doubt a well-considered choice to cut Britain’s captains of government out of the picture, with the exception of a cheesy CGI-animated Winston Churchill statue in the opening film. In an interview during planning, Boyle had said, “This is for everyone,” and in that sense, the show will likely be received at home as a welcome tonic.

In his wild, wacky and often hilarious Games kickoff, Boyle kept his promise, delivering something unique that acknowledged the nation’s people and its innovative creative spirit more than its leaders or its past as a grand empire. The director’s stock got a major boost when he won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, but this audacious show should bump it even higher.

The Bottom Line
The ballsy choice of Danny Boyle to oversee the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony yielded a unique take on large-canvas nation-themed spectacle that is likely to go down as one of the more eccentric and memorable kickoffs in the Games' history.

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Kind of funny to see a US publication reviewing a version of the event that viewers in the US couldn't watch.
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Olympics last nite = 23.0 - highest opener ever for non USA.
6th highest rated sporting event of 2012.

winter 2010 was 20.0.
summer 2008 was 21.5.
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
FX’s ‘Louie’ & Russell Brand Renewed, Network Orders ‘The Bridge’ Drama Pilot
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jul. 28, 2012

At the top of its executive session, FX‘s president John Landgraf announced that the network has renewed acclaimed comedy series Louie for a 13-episode fourth season. Additionally, it has ordered seven more episodes of Russell Brand‘s late-night show.

And the network has ordered The Bridge, a drama pilot based on the Scandinavian series of the same name. The original series, created by Hans Rosenfeldt, follows a police investigation following the discovery of a dead body on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden. Cold Case creator Meredith Stiehm wrote the U.S. adaptation with fellow Cold Case writer Elwood Reid. The project hails from Shine America, marking Elizabeth Murdoch company’s first scripted financing effort. Shine will co-produce the series with FX Prods. and will distribute internationally.


* * * *

Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
Martin Sheen To Play Charlie Sheen’s Father On ‘Anger Management’, Show Nears Pickup

Martin Sheen has closed a deal to play Charlie Sheen‘s father as a new regular on Sheen’s FX comedy series Anger Management on the show’s 90-episode back order. “I think that what the entry of Marty Sheen’s character will do, it will give an extra dimension to the show and make it multi-generational family comedy, which is the setup of many successful sitcoms, including (the original) 2.5 Men,” FX president John Landgraf said at the network’s TCA executive session this morning.

FX has not pulled the trigger on the 90-episode pickup yet but Landgraf admitted that was very likely. Through 6 episodes, the series has exceeded the threshold required for renewal. (All episodes after the first two are counted toward the ratings average.) “It has given us every indication that it will earn that renewal… the odds are overwhelming”, Landgraf said. He later was asked how he feels creatively about the show, which has earned mixed reviews. “I am happy creatively with the show,” he said. He noted that the critics who panned the show compared it to other FX shows such as Louie and Archer. “With all due respect, I think more fair comparison would be 2.5 Men, Two Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. In that regard I think it’s developing very nicely and will stack very fairly and squarely with other multi-camera shows.”

Sheen previously guest starred on Two And A Half Men where he played the father of Charlie’s stalker girlfriend Rose.

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TV Notes
NBC’s Unkind Olympic Cut
By James Poniewozik , Time.com - Jul. 28, 2012

I saw the London Olympics opening ceremony late, on Pacific Time—my colleague Catherine Mayer reviews it elsewhere at time.com—but it was a spectacle and a hoot, in the best sense of both words. Where Beijing’s 2008 ceremony was forward-looking and forcefully impressive, London’s looked back through history with a sense of humor, Tolkienesque imagery and unembarrassed sentiment. It was suitably loony (an inflatable baby! Mary Poppins vs. Voldemort!) and could not have been more British if you put a bowler hat on top of your television.

What we saw of it, anyway.

As it turned out, NBC cut out a performance of “Abide With Me,” by the singer Emeli Sandé, that—as Deadspin and several British news outlets reported—was intended as a tribute to the 52 victims of the 7/7 London bombings in 2005. Way to be a considerate guest, NBC! (Apparently they’re in some sort of offend-the-British competition with Mitt Romney.)

True, there was some disagreement over whether the segment was actually, literally a tribute to terrorism victims. The official program of the opening ceremonies describes that section of the program as a general tribute to “loved ones who couldn’t be with us.” But the commentary on the BBC telecast of the ceremony referenced it as a 7/7 tribute, and from the coverage in the British press, the symbolism and staging of the event seemed to clearly, if not officially, reference the 2005 attack.

But it also doesn’t really matter. Specific or general, a tribute to the missing seems like precisely the most sensitive section of a ceremony to edit out. And besides that, given the stranglehold NBC maintains on content for an event its audience has a massive interest in, why edit anything out? It may have been a long ceremony, as they always are, but there was plenty of time to air the song rather than have Ryan Seacrest interview athletes (which NBC has the rest of the games to do, over and over and over).

I get that the Olympics is a business, that NBC spends a lot of money, that it should be expected to try to make its investment back and turn a profit. There will be edits and compromises and ungainly commercial interruptions. But it also has a compact with its viewers in being their sole source (or at least sole legal source) of access to the events. At minimum, when there is an event, like the opening ceremonies, that its audience is intensely interested in, it should show the whole damn thing.

NBC has, to its credit, been better about that this year, with its commitment to livestreaming every Olympic competition (albeit restricted to cable and satellite subscribers). Then, yesterday, it declined to stream the opening ceremonies live, offering the dubious explanation that the program was too “complex.”

In the spirit of that, let’s keep the argument simple: American viewers give NBC a lot in terms of time and attention to lucrative ads. In exchange, NBC should give them the Olympics—all of it. Save the slicing for the fencing competition.

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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
Jimmy Kimmel wants a 'jazzy' Emmy Awards
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Jul. 27, 2012

Jimmy Kimmel hopes there will be zest and spice to this year's prime-time Emmy ceremony, which he is hosting.

"I'd like it to be jazzy from beginning to end," the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" host said during the ABC portion of the TCA press tour. And instead of disappearing backstage for large portions of the show, Kimmel said he would like to appear regularly throughout the three-hour ceremony to offer commentary on the proceedings.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 23.

Executive producer Don Mischer said he hoped that the show would be funny and well-paced despite the fact that 26 awards have to be presented. He said this show is a look at the "absolute best in television, and if you look at it this year, it's damn good."

Mischer also hinted that the ceremony may pay special tribute to television icon Andy Griffith, who died recently: "It's something we're looking at."

Kimmel said he will probably feel comfortable making jokes and making fun of the audience, since many will have appeared on his show: "I will probably know 40% of the audience."

When asked to compare his hosting of the Emmys to hosting the White House Correspondents' Assn. Dinner, which he did this year, Kimmel quipped that the Emmys would probably be easier: "I'm more comfortable in front of a crowd of shallow Hollywood people."

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Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
FX Optimistic About 'Powers,' May Recast, Reshoot Pilot
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 28, 2012

Powers remains in the mix at FX.

FX president and GM John Landgraf used his platform Saturday morning at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour to tout his optimism for the network's adaptation of the Image/Icon comic series.

Four scripts for the project based on the superhero franchise created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming have been ordered but there's a strong likelihood that the pilot will not look the same.

Jason Patric stars in the pilot as Christian Walker, a cop who works in the Powers division of the police force and deals with crimes involving those endowed with special abilities.

Landgraf, a noted fan of the source material, told reporters it's likely the network will "start from scratch" and reshoot the pilot with a new cast and that Patric "may come back."

"If we elect to move forward, I think we'll just go back and reshoot it with an entirely new cast," he said.

Lucy Punch co-starred as Deena Pilgrim, a rookie detective paired with Christian Walker as they investigate the murder of Retro Girl, a super-powered celebrity. Walker’s role has not yet been cast. Punch, for her part, has already moved on and stars as a series regular on Fox's freshman comedy Ben and Kate. Titus Welliver, Charles S. Dutton and Vinnie Jones co-starred.

From Sony Pictures Television, Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead) is producing the pilot, which is being directed by Michael Dinner. Charles Eglee (The Shield) penned the pilot and will executive produce with Bendis, Oeming, Dinner and Circle of Confusion’sDavid Engel.

Landgraf told reporters in January that he was mulling reshoots on Powers, which he noted was a challenging undertaking.

"This is as difficult an adaptation as I've ever worked on," he told reporters at winter TCA. "Difficult adaptations interest me but this is a really hard one."


* * * *

Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
FX Sets Cast for 'Bronx Warrants' Pilot, Orders Project From 'Homeland' EP

FX has set the cast for its comedy pilot Bronx Warrants and ordered a drama pilot based on the Danish series The Bridge from the executive producers from Cold Case.

Stand-up comic Godfrey and Robert Kelly, among others, will star in the effort that's based on the life of David Joglar and Richard Wetzel, who co-produce, the project revolves around a group of warrant detectives in the Bronx assigned to arrest individuals with outstanding warrants. With bonuses paid out for each "body" they bring in, the detectives are out to get rich rather than dole out justice.

Created by Arrested Development's Dean Lorey, Rescue Me's Denis Leary and Jim Serpico will executive produce Bronx Warrants. In announcing the cast of relative newcomers, FX president and GM John Landgraf also noted Scott Ellis has boarded the project to direct the pilot.

FX ordered the pilot in June, mere months after the cable network's New York-set firefighter drama Rescue Me wrapped its run. Bronx, if ordered to series, would join a scripted comedy roster that includes It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Louie, Wilfred and the animated Archer.

For its part, The Bridge hails from Cold Case's Meredith Stiem (Homeland) and executive produced by Elwood Reid. The pilot hails from Shine America and FX Productions. The series, which Shine will distribute internationally, seems to have an eerie resemblance to AMC's now-canceled drama The Killing and revolves around the police drama investigation that begins with the discovery of a body on a bridge. The Danish concept was recently picked up for a second season.

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TV Notes
Irish Studios Have a Moment in Clover
By John Anderson, The New York Times - Jul. 28, 2012

DUBLIN.- Sometimes it’s difficult getting even the Irish to watch Irish cinema. But the whole world is watching Irish-made television.

“The Tudors,” “The Borgias,” “Camelot,” “Love/Hate,” “Titanic: Blood and Steel,” “Raw,” “Ripper Street” and an assortment of BBC productions have been shot, are being shot or have their productions based in the Irish Republic. (Most of these have reached America already.) As economic uncertainty roils countries in the euro zone, deep cuts in government financing have affected the film and television industry in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and elsewhere. But not so here, where the combination of a weak euro and tax incentives have meant that small-screen work abounds.

At the brand-new Ashford Studios, 30 minutes south of this capital city, the groaning of saws and whining of drills echoed around Ragnar’s house, a rough-hewed Scandinavian-inspired assemblage of timber that will be the centerpiece of “Vikings,” the first scripted series being made for the History channel, as well as the first production for Ashford, in County Wicklow. Large as it is, Ragnar’s home doesn’t even dominate the room: the 30,000-square-foot main stage is a vast space competitive with London’s Pinewood Studios and is just part of this site that includes 300 acres that can provide rolling green fields or a rock quarry.

“Everyone we’d worked with had said, ‘Ireland would be terrific if you had bigger stages,’ ” said the veteran film producer Morgan O’Sullivan, a co-producer on “Braveheart” and “Angela’s Ashes,” among many other films. His companies Octagon and World 2000 are making “Vikings” in collaboration with History, MGM and Shaw Media in Canada. “And we do have a really nice facility called Ardmore Studios. This, Ashford, is sort of an add-on to Ardmore. So now it means that with the facilities in this country we can do a couple of productions at the same time, and a couple of large productions.”

Ardmore, owned by Paul McGuinness, U2’s manager, and the accountant Ossie Kilkenny, and also in County Wicklow, is not as healthy as it might be: it has not seen action since the Starz show “Camelot” ended last year, and its facilities are considered outdated. But despite a possible state takeover it is likely to continue a history stretching from “The Tudors” in 2010 back to “Shake Hands With the Devil” in 1959 with James Cagney.

When Ardmore and Ashford are added to a mix that includes the financial advantages of shooting in Ireland, it’s small wonder that Britain is eager to get its own television incentives in place and fight the outsourcing of its production. New incentives, to take effect in April, are seen as a direct response to Ireland’s TV boom.

“It’s very flattering,” Mr. O’Sullivan said, dryly. Among other projects that might have gone elsewhere, he said, was “Loving Miss Hatto,” a BBC television movie about the pianist at the heart of a notorious fraud in classical music in the 20th century. Mr. O’Sullivan’s partner, James Flynn, is producing that drama in Ireland.

“A lot of that kind of material could have been done in the U.K.,” Mr. O’Sullivan said. “And by the end of next year they’ll have an incentive.”

And when they do, said Derry O’Brien, the managing director of Network Ireland Television, smiling, “will that mean “Game of Thrones’ will get a double incentive?”

That series, an HBO hit, is the production of the moment. Shot largely in Northern Ireland, where filming for Season 3 has begun, “Game of Thrones” would quite likely have been made here, had the British government not delivered a special seven-figure tax incentive (which, it says, has meant approximately $66.7 million to the region’s economy). That, and the kind of room provided by Paint Hall, in Belfast, the cavernous space where the Titanic was painted, have kept Tyrion, Cersei and the other medieval mischief makers in Britain.

But the borders between countries, as well as between film and TV production, are rather porous here. For instance, the Irish Film Board and Northern Ireland Screen together helped finance “Game of Thrones.”

The agencies can team up when a project spends a certain percentage of money in each territory, Mr. O’Brien said. “For example, it would be a film that is primarily shot in Northern Ireland but would be postproduced in Dublin, or the sound work could be done here.”

In the meantime it’s Ashford that’s home to “Vikings.” Behind the scenes the team includes Michael Hirst (“Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), who wrote all 38 episodes of “The Tudors,” and the costume designer Joan Bergin, a multiple Emmy winner for that show. She said she was brought onto “Vikings” under false pretenses.

“My big interest is in when they go to Byzantium,” she said of the Vikings, played in part by the Australian actor Travis Fimmell and the Irishman Gabriel Byrne. “I went to an exhibition at the Met a few months ago, and I had this vision of creating these glorious costumes, so I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ Then I found out they don’t get there till Season 2.”

Presuming there is a Season 2, “Vikings” will thus continue to aid the cause of employment in Ireland. “Our primary focus is to support Irish talent in making audio and visual works” whether it’s Irish co-productions or not, said James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, at the Galway Film Fleadh.

An undertaking like “Vikings” hires 300 to 400 workers, Mr. O’Sullivan said. “So if you have three or four shows on at a time, that’s significant employment. And we’re just one production company.”

Another, headquartered in a Georgian town house along the Grand Canal here, is Element Pictures, which, like similar Irish companies, survives through diversity. It is involved in producing, co-producing, distributing, even showing films (via the city’s Light House Cinema).

Given the Irish economy and the instability within the euro zone, nothing’s a sure thing here. The filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson, whose latest project, “What Richard Did,” was produced through Element, said, “I think lots of us are like the guy falling through the air, having stepped off the ledge of a tall building, thinking, ‘So far, so good’ as he passes floor after floor.”

But as Element’s co-director, Ed Guiney, noted, the country is rather enlightened about the arts. Its president, Michael D. Higgins, is a former arts minister; he’s also a poet.

“The creative industries play very well right now in Ireland,” Mr. Guiney said. “We’re clearly not very good at property development, and clearly not very good at banking. But you could argue we’re not bad at art and theater and music and possibly film. We’re good at that stuff, so we should be nurturing that part of our talent base.”

post #81179 of 93678
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
How '666 Park Ave.' will be like 'The Shining'
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 27, 2012
There’s a long and rocky history of TV producers trying to successfully adapt Stephen King novels. Could a new series capture the horror master’s sensibility while having nothing to do with his actual work?

ABC’s upcoming horror soap 666 Park Ave. (see the show’s curiously sexy marketing poster here) isn’t drawn from any of King’s material (it’s based on a novel with the same title by Gabriella Pierce), but producers admit the author’s work was a heavy influence on the show. “It’s absolutely Stephen King influenced,” said executive producer David Wilcox told TV critics Friday. “Who can’t be influenced by Stephen King when working in this genre?”

The series follows the mysterious proprietor [Terry O'Quinn] of a luxury New York City highrise and his tenants who have their dreams fulfilled — for a price. Wilcox cites King’s page-turner The Shining as having a particular impact on the story. “The [666] building is like the Overlook Hotel from The Shining,” he said. “It has a presence, it has a spirit that seems to be working hand in hand with Gavin [O'Quinn]. But it also might be more powerful than anybody knows.”

Wilcox also noted the influences extend beyond King’s works, to films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen and Jacob’s Ladder. “That was the juice we were looking at and trying to pull that into this show,” he said.

Just don’t expect 666, which airs on Sunday nights this fall, to have too much gore — this is broadcast TV, after all (and on a network watched heavily by female soap fans). “It’s more a psychological horror,” Wilcox said. “This show has the soap and seduction that other ABC shows possess … which isn’t to say there aren’t shocking visceral moments in the show.”

One critic asked the writer-producers how they will convince viewers that people would be foolish enough to stay in a haunted house for season after season. It’s a good question. I mean, it would be one thing if O’Quinn and company were trapped on, oh I dunno, an island, but in a building?
“It’s something we deal with fairly early on,” Wilcox said. “I’m reluctant to give away too much but that’s part of Gavin’s plan as well. When [the building's new tenants] sign that lease at end of the pilot, it may be more than just a lease and leaving might be more difficult than they thought.”

The bolded part actually hits on my thought: this seems more like Fantasy Island in a building than The Shining.
post #81180 of 93678
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Summer 2012 TCA Tour Notes
Martin Sheen To Play Charlie Sheen’s Father On ‘Anger Management’, Show Nears Pickup
Martin Sheen has closed a deal to play Charlie Sheen‘s father as a new regular on Sheen’s FX comedy series Anger Management

I just wish they would drop that incessant whistling between scenes, drives me Nutz mad.gif

Glad to see Marty on the up-coming extension
Glad to see that Father & Son seem to be talking again as well
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