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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2778

post #83311 of 93720
Nielsen Overnights
‘Malibu Country’ & ‘Last Man’ Drop In Week 2, ‘Undercover Boss’ Up
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 10, 2012

After giving comedies a warm welcome back to Friday last week, viewers turned a cold shoulder last night. In their second week, Last Man Standing (1.6/5) was down 16% from last Friday’s fast national, while Malibu Country (1.6/5) tumbled 27% from its premiere. The comedies surrendered the top spot in the 8 PM hour among adults 18-49 to CBS’ Undercover Boss (2.0/7) which, after a mediocre season start last week, jumped 33% to finish a close second for the night in the demo behind former time slot rival Shark Tank (2.1/6). With its comedy lead-in dropping big, Shark Tank slipped 9% from last week’s series highs but still led ABC to a nightly win in 18-49. The network topped the 9 PM and the 10 PM hours in the demo with Shark Tank and 20/20 (1.6/5, up a tenth from last week)

Meanwhile, CSI: NY (1.4/4) didn’t take advantage of its much improved Undercover Boss lead-in, down a tenth from last week. Blue Bloods (1.5/5) was up two tenths with the episode marking the exit of Jennifer Esposito’s character (for now). CBS won the night in total viewers.

Grimm (1.7/5) was down a tenth from last week with virtually no lead-in (comedy repeats that tied the CW’s America’s Next Top Model in the 8 PM hour). It still ranked as the highest-rated scripted show on the night. Dateline (1.3/4) was flat.

Top Model (0.6/2) was up 50% from last week, while Nikita (0.3/1) was flat. In 18-34, Top Model (0.7/4) logged its best rating in nearly a year, since Dec. 7, 2011.

post #83312 of 93720
Business Notes
Hulu drags down ABC operating income
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times - Nov. 9, 2012

Digital media didn't do any favors for ABC last quarter.

Losses from Walt Disney Co.'s one-third ownership of Hulu resulted in a $9 million decrease in operating income at the media giant's broadcasting division, which consists of the ABC Network, its production studio and local channels, compared to the same period a year ago.

On a conference call with analysts this week, Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said the decline in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings was due entirely to higher programming and marketing costs at online TV service Hulu, which were partially offset by higher advertising and subscription revenues.

"If you back Hulu out, the broadcasting numbers would have been slightly positive," Rasulo explained. "[But] it was not a real driver for the quarter."

post #83313 of 93720
Critic's Notes
Women’s TV Block With 2-Track Mind
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 10, 2012

A plea to all the women out there, especially the mothers: Resist the numbing allure of NickMom, a late-night programming block Nick Jr. began last month. Do not be seduced by its rehashing of mother-child dynamics from drab sitcoms or its relentless focus on penises. Do not allow yourselves to be captured by its I.Q.-lowering gravitational pull. You’ll end up like me. Like us. Like guys.

I am speaking to you as a member of the subspecies known as men, a group with a noble past but a rather sorry present. We men were once a proud people known for erudition, wit and curiosity. Aristotle was, as far as I know, a man. Galileo was a man. Leonardo da Vinci was a man. Albert Einstein, T. S. Eliot and Thomas Edison were men.

In our prime — which is to say, practically anytime in recorded history but the last 35 years or so years — we men invented important stuff and made magnificent art and thought great thoughts. Then we started watching television geared specifically to us, and we almost immediately developed a level of stupidity seen previously only in slugs and really dumb dogs, the kind that when they want to go out run headfirst into a closed door at full speed.

A combination of jiggle TV and 24-hour sports networks, both introduced in the 1970s, did us in. Network programmers found a couple of our weaknesses and exploited them ruthlessly, turning attributes that once were only parts of our being into our entire being.

It’s no accident that most problems from the 1970s — high gas prices, environmental degradation, comb-overs — are still with us. Men stopped solving problems when Nascar and basketball became available all day long. A lot of people probably think of “The Simpsons,” with Homer sitting mindlessly on the couch, with a beer, watching the tube, as an animated sitcom, but it’s actually a documentary. As I write this — on the couch, beer in hand — only by an immense exercise of willpower am I resisting the urge to turn on the Big 10 Network’s “Greatest Games,” reruns of football games whose outcomes I already know.

This, sadly, is what will become of women who tune in to NickMom, a collection of shows both aggressively lowbrow and narrowly focused on a few areas of interest to the female audience, namely sex and children.

It includes “MFF: Mom Friends Forever,” a reality show about two boorish mothers from St. Louis; “NickMom Night Out,” a stand-up comedy series whose performers, most of them women, lean toward jokes about toddlers and genitals; and “Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor,” a talk show/street interview hybrid in which crass is the new urbane. (Sample question in a segment about multitasking moms: “What is one of the tasks that you have done while being on the toilet?” Answer: “Brush my teeth.”) And the commercial breaks include interstitial bits that sometimes seem borrowed from restroom graffiti.

When NickMom first hit the air, it drew a chorus of complaints from lax parents who apparently allowed their toddlers to watch it, thinking it was akin to Nick Jr.’s daytime fare, which includes “Bubble Guppies” and “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” How these parents missed the prominent advisory warnings remains unclear, and in any case, shame on them for letting their kids watch so much television. Would it kill the little darlings to pick up a book once in a while?

The real worry about NickMom isn’t that some 4-year-old might be watching; it’s that women will watch and feel that same narcotic effect that the original “Charlie’s Angels” had on heterosexual men: “Mmm. Pretty. Mindless. Me likee.” Sure, hard-working mothers and other women deserve a chance to veg out now and then, but that’s what the Lifetime channel is for.

It, too, is full of female-slanted programming, but with a broader range and paced more slowly; it can be watched with a blank stare without doing permanent damage. The problem with NickMom’ s version of vegging out is that it is dangerously addictive, because it is rapid-fire and panders to just a couple of obsessions — exactly like the male equivalent programming that destroyed my subspecies.

When the baser regions of the female neocortex — on medical diagrams, those labeled “cute potty-training anecdotes” and “naughty innuendo about the male sex organ” — are stimulated repeatedly in a short amount of time, they emit endorphins that dumb down the entire brain, as cat videos do. At least, I presume that’s the case; to verify that hypothesis, I’d have to get off this couch.

But, assuming that it is right, repeated exposure to NickMom’s two-note material will quickly turn otherwise smart women into zombies who can talk of nothing but sex and the mundanities of child-rearing. Women are the only ones left who have a chance to solve humanity’s many problems. We don’t want the following to happen at some all-female science panel:

Moderator: “Ladies, we are gathered here today to try to figure out what to do about global warming, since America’s men are all watching a rebroadcast of the 1999 Michigan-Illinois game. Any ideas?”

NickMom Watcher: “Wait, you guys, this is so funny: Last night on ‘Parental Discretion,’ Stefanie asked a tattoo parlor dude for a full frontal tattoo of an apron.”

There are, of course, some men who don’t care about sports and never watched “The Bionic Woman.” And there are some women who aren’t moms and don’t want to be. But will there be enough to carry the human race forward? All I know is, Illinois upset No. 9 Michigan, 35-29.

post #83314 of 93720
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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)

7:00PM - College Football: Kansas State at Texas Christian (3 hrs., LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Masterchef (New Episode)
Midnight - 30 Seconds to Fame SD[/B] (R - Jul. 24, 2002)

"Masterchef" is a repeat from last season.
post #83315 of 93720
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Tvbythenumbers had an article about this saying shows just basically gain the same ratings % ratio respective of their dvr+3 ratings in that extra 4-7 day window.
Yea the viewer total #s will naturally be higher but when comparing show to show the overall rankings stay basically the same.
+ weve been thru this before that theyre saying if you ask 100 people almost 50 will say they NEVER skip commercials....pu-leez.rolleyes.gif

But isn't the number of (younger) eyes that count rather than the comparisons with other shows?

Oh, and I watch all commercials. They just run incredibly fast. biggrin.gif
post #83316 of 93720
TBS shot a pilot of the long running British satirical comedy panel show "Have I Got News For You" last night, with input from the show's creator. I could see it working well as a companion piece to Daily Show and Colbert on Comedy Central, but on TBS? Sitcom central?


The original is frequently hilarious (if you keep up with some international news) but a lot of that depends on the quality of guests and team captains. The BBC version has a roster of sharp UK personalities (like Damien Lewis), politicians and some crazier guests (William Shatner) that keep it lively. If TBS just goes for bland and cheap then it will probably be completely forgettable.
post #83317 of 93720
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
8PM - Once Upon A Time
9PM - Revenge
10:01PM - 666 Park Avenue

7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The Amazing Race
9PM - The Good Wife
10PM - The Mentalist

7PM - Football Night in America (80 min., LIVE)
8:20PM - NFL Football: Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (LIVE)

7PM - NFL Football: Regional Action (from 4:25PM, LIVE)
7:30PM - The OT (LIVE)
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy: 200th Episode (60 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - National Salute to Veterans
9PM - Masterpiece Classic - Upstairs Downstairs, Series 2: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
10PM - Broadway: Putting It Together (1980-Present)

7PM - Aqui y Ahora
8PM - Mira Quién Baila (125 min.)
10:05PM - Sal y Pimienta

6PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Tijuana (120 min., LIVE)
8PM - Larry Hernandez: Más Alla del Escenario (Special)
9PM - Yo Me Llamo (120 min.)
post #83318 of 93720
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 11, 2012

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

With the spell lifted in Storybrooke, time has returned more or less to normal. Which means the city and its inhabitants experience, for the first time in decades, a full moon. Which means Ruby, a.k.a. Red, played by Meghan Ory, has a tough time of it. In this show's imaginative twist on the Red Riding Hood story, she's a werewolf.

CBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Christina Ricci guest stars tonight, in this new episode, as standup comic who takes to national TV to get something off her chest – namely, her top. She bares herself on live TV, arguing afterward that she had a very good reason. And it’s an argument that becomes one of the firm’s newest cases, with F. Murray Abraham returning in his recurring role of opposing counsel.

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week, this show featured another unexpected, emotionally moving death – one that rocks the usually stoic Rick, and has him acting a lot less reserved than usual.

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

You’d think James Cromwell would be causing enough trouble on TV these days as the heartless doctor on FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum. But even though he’s a regular there, the actor had enough time to also pop in on last week’s Boardwalk Empire episode, playing the wealthy and imposing Andrew Mellon (James Cromwell) in an episode that, like at least one other prime-time drama last Sunday, featured the sudden death of a beloved supporting character.

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s show included two scenes that, much more than usual, strained credulity.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Brody’s daughter, haunted by her boyfriend’s hit-and-run on a pedestrian, found the victim in a local hospital (how?) and talked to the woman’s daughter, just to learn that death was imminent. And in another scene, the terrorist’s tailor shop was being searched by the CIA when heavily armed and armored terrorists burst in, in broad daylight, and shot up the place.
But both scenes, however improbable, enhanced the stakes for what will happen tonight, so let’s see what happens next.

post #83319 of 93720
TV Review
‘Breaking Magic,’ the science of foolery
New Discovery series uses science to create magic tricks
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine

Magicians aren't supposed to reveal how they do their tricks, but it would be OK to do that if the tricks use science, because science isn't secret, right?

That's the argument advanced by Discovery's new series "Breaking Magic," a show in which magicians perform tricks that supposedly exploit scientific principles. The argument doesn't really hold up. Moreover, the explanations of how the illusions worked are vague or cursory, so the series fails as an educational show.

But the various tricks we see are usually entertaining, and the magicians are young and cool. The show could keep channel surfers distracted for a few minutes.

Premiering this Sunday, Nov. 11, at 10 p.m., "Breaking Magic" sends four young magicians out to perform tricks in front of small crowds of people. Each trick uses an arguably scientific phenomenon.

For example, an American magician named Wayne Houchin goes to an auto garage and shows some mysterious motor oil to a group of mechanics. Pouring it into a water bottle provided by one of them, he makes the bottle roll toward his hand.

Then he pours out a puddle of oil and tells it to come alive. It rises to form a bristly lump and then moves, apparently at Wayne's command, toward a wrench on the table.

The narrator explains that the oil is actually a ferrofluid, a magnetizable liquid. A purportedly explanatory animated graphic is filled with N's and S's. We don't learn whether these letters stand for "north" and "south" or "sodium" and "sulfur." The explanation is detailed enough to sound scientific without imparting any interesting information.

A snarky Canadian magician named Billy Kidd tells some guys in martial-arts outfits that, using a wooden sword, she can pick up more grains of rice than they can. She wins easily. The narrator explains that she has taken advantage of such arcane scientific phenomena as friction and gravity.

A British magician named Ben Hanlin goes to the streets of Warsaw, Poland, to demonstrate what he calls a new lie detector, which he uses on unsuspecting passers-by. He has them hold a jar of clear liquid that will change color if they lie. He proceeds to embarrass a series of men who are strolling with their significant others.

The science behind this trick is a little more surprising, having an interesting real-world application.

In both of the episodes that were made available for review, the Australian magician James Galea has the most elaborate and dangerous stunt. An audience member locks Galea's hand to a table, directly underneath a tube through which a cannonball is about to drop 50 feet. The scientific part of the trick is obscured by a lot of elaborate business involving a hidden key, and one bit of nonscientific sleight of hand is revealed to us viewers.

The second episode is more of the same. But Galea's stunt, a larger-scale and more dangerous version of the kind of trick that professors perform in Physics 101 lectures, runs into some major difficulties that try the patience both of his audience and us viewers at home.

Generally, however, it's amusing to see how the performers use showmanship and humor to pump up what are often very simple tricks. Since we folks at home get to learn how the tricks work, we can feel superior to the dupes onscreen.

Science or not, those reveals are probably violating the magician's code of silence. Fortunately, it's hard to take anything about "Breaking Magic" seriously. Any impression that it makes disappears magically in seconds.

post #83320 of 93720
SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #83321 of 93720
TV Notes
'America's Funniest Home Videos' hits 500 eps: The writers pick their Top 10 clips
By Dan Snierson, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog

It began all the way back in 1989, with a man jumping on a diving board that breaks in half, depositing him unceremoniously into a pool. Since then, America’s Funniest Home Videos has left no wacky clip unspooled: Take the woman who tumbles into a pool after a diving board accident. Or the kid who tumbles into a pool after a diving board accident. Or the dog who tumbles into a pool after a diving board accident…

Indeed, over the last 23 seasons of the original viral video machine, we’ve seen it all: more than 26,000 clips of high jinks, from great ones to groaners, from countless skiing wipeouts, wedding pass-outs and doggie freak-outs to three different incidents of nuns falling over. This Sunday at 7 p.m., the ABC show celebrates a big milestone with its 500th episode, complete with a presentation of the Golden Cup Award, in honor of the millionth groin hit (that figure may be only slightly exaggerated). To mark the occasion in our own special way, we asked AFV’s writers — Todd Thicke, Mike Palleschi, Jordan Schatz, and Erik Lohla — to scour their brains and video databases to assemble a list of their ten favorite clips of all time. These are the videos that still tickle them silly after a thousand viewings (that figure may be a little low).

And because America, America, this is you, we’ve also included a bonus montage from the 50oth episode of people losing all sorts of battles with windows and doors. Raise your cups (of the athletic kind) to AFV and press play. [CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE CLIP]

post #83322 of 93720
TV Notes
Spike TV gathered a number of Eddie Murphy's pals to celebrate the comic's career in 'Eddie Murphy: One Night Only'
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Nov. 11, 2012

Casey Patterson remembers when, as a young girl, she snuck down to the TV to watch Eddie Murphy’s comedy special “Delirious.”

“I probably shouldn’t have,” she says. “But I had never seen anything like it. It was like what I imagine it would have been to see the Beatles for the first time.

“This wasn’t just telling jokes. This was comedy.”

These days Patterson is executive vice president of event production at Spike TV, a network that loves comedy. So she’s quite pleased it was the Spike team that finally talked Murphy into sanctioning a filmed tribute to his career, featuring an army of his funny friends.

“Eddie Murphy: One Night Only” was filmed Nov. 3 and will air Wednesday night at 10 on Spike.

It features Murphy watching and sometimes joining friends like Stevie Wonder, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson and Tyler Perry as they reminisce about the man who has played everyone from Buckwheat and Gumby to Detective Axel Foley and soul singer James (Thunder) Early.

Sometimes he’s played a bunch of people at once, like the “Nutty Professor” films in which he appeared as a professor, his alter ego and his brother, father, mother and grandmother.

At one point in this special, Perry takes the stage to say he hadn’t even thought of playing multiple characters until he saw Murphy doing it. Making Murphy, perhaps, a parent of Madea.

Murphy has often noted that he got the multicharacter idea himself from Peter Sellers movies, which places him exactly where Patterson says he belongs: as one of the major links in the chain of comedy.

“I think when you look at comedians, you have to put him at the top,” she says. “No one else has done all the things he can do.”

Born in Brooklyn, Murphy was one of many comics who got their first big break on “Saturday Night Live,” where he starred in the second-wave cast of 1980-1984.

That’s where he invented Buckwheat, whom he eventually arranged to have assassinated, as well as Gumby and Mr. Robinson, a soft-spoken but sometimes insidious street version of Mr. Rogers.

He busted out of “SNL” as a rising star, thanks also to the 1983 “Delirious” special, in which he ensured a permanent spot for the red leather jumpsuit in pop-culture history. Tracy Morgan pays tribute to that suit in “One Night Only”by taking the stage in a slightly larger replica.

Meanwhile, Murphy had also moved into films, starting with his 1982 role opposite Nick Nolte in the action drama “48 Hrs.”

The next year he played the same deceptively smart character, only this time wearing a suit as a commodities broker in “Trading Places.”

A year later he filmed the first “Beverly Hills Cop,” in which Axel Foley goes west and shows the Cali cops how they do it in Detroit.

All this propelled him into the pop-music world. His 1984 dance tune “Party All the Time” was produced by Rick James and became a hit.

He didn’t have another hit, however, and his musical career shared some of the trajectory of his movie career, where he had his share of bombs as well as successes.

After making “Best Defense” with Dudley Moore in 1984, he called it “the worst movie in the history of everything.” He was equally blunt in trashing “Beverly Hills Cop 3,” though that hasn’t stopped him from signing on for a TV-series revival of that franchise.

He probably won’t make more than an occasional appearance in the TV version, he says, since the show will feature a next-generation cast.

At the taping of the new special, he joked several times that at 51, he’s “retired.”

Patterson, for one, isn’t buying that.

“This isn’t one of those AFI events that just looks back on a long career,” she says. “I expect we’ll see a lot more work from Eddie Murphy — maybe his best work.

“He doesn’t have to do standup comedy. He’s proven he can do almost anything.”

“One Night Only” is less a straight tribute, she says, than “something a lot closer to a Rat Pack event, one of those Dean Martin roasts.

“Eddie’s sitting with all his friends, Chris and Tracy and Samuel L. Jackson. He told us ahead of time that the best event he could imagine would be one where his friends made him laugh, and that’s just what they do.”

Nor is it all friends. One of the funniest riffs, Patterson says, comes from Russell Brand.

“He talks about how he never met Eddie, but how he knew his work even overseas, when he was a little girl growing up in Britain.”

Over the years, says Patterson, Murphy has been asked “by just about everybody” to do an event like this.

“He always turned it down,” she says. “But now it just seems like the right time, coming up toward the 30th anniversary of ‘Delirious’ and ‘48 Hrs.’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ I think he feels like he’s in a good place now.”

She adds that it still took “three or four years” for Spike to coordinate everything and make it happen.

And in case anyone wonders how much of the special was unsuitable for TV, even on a cable network that has a raunchy side, Patterson has an answer: none of it.

“That’s not what this is about,” she says. “I mean, it’s a 10 p.m. show, but no one was doing anything we couldn’t include.

“That’s one of the things about Eddie. He does comedy that reaches everyone.”

post #83323 of 93720
My all-time Funniest Video was one where a boy swam under water and surfaced amidst a flock of baby ducklings, then gets STRAFED by the duckling's mother! biggrin.gif
post #83324 of 93720
For those interested, "Space Dive" the 2 hour BBC/NatGeo documentary produced to accompany Baumgartner's leap, airs tonight 7pm on NatGeo.
post #83325 of 93720

For those uncertain about where the Ravens game was played today, this screencapture from the actual CBS broadcast should answer the question.  Oh, and Ravens win 55 - 20.



post #83326 of 93720
Originally Posted by flint350 View Post

For those uncertain about where the Ravens game was played today, this screencapture from the actual CBS broadcast should answer the question.  Oh, and Ravens win 55 - 20.

The Parent's Television Council is going to have fun with this one! biggrin.gif
post #83327 of 93720
TV Notes
'America's Best Dance Crew' canceled
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Nov. 11, 2012

MTV is shutting down America’s Best Dance Crew.

Randy Jackson’s long-running competition series is coming to an end on the network. MTV released this statement to EW: “We are grateful to Randy Jackson and Warner Horizon for having brought our audience seven amazing seasons of dance with ABDC, and look forward to more successful and dynamic entertaining collaborations in the future.”

Along with the conclusion of Jersey Shore, at least two major reality shows will finish their runs on MTV this year. At least Jackson still has his gig on Fox’s American Idol, which returns in January with several new judges.

post #83328 of 93720
TV Notes
History Channel takes a giant leap for 'Mankind'
By Carol Memmott, USA Today - Nov. 11, 2012

Scientists tell us it took billions of years for the Earth to form, and billions more to create conditions in which humans and their precursors could survive.

The History Channel takes on an equally ambitious task: squeezing the story of the human race into 12 hours of television. Mankind the Story of All of Us airs six consecutive Tuesdays, beginning this week at 9 ET/PT.

"To boil this down, we needed a filter, and the filter we applied is, 'What were the key tipping points in history that impact who we are today?' " says Julian Hobbs, an executive producer for History, who estimates there are about 80 of these "essential turning points we share in common" in Mankind. Among them: harnessing fire, the Iron Age, the Bronze Age, explorations and the discoveries of certain minerals.

And sharing is the key, he says, because Mankind is not a localized history; it's a global one. "This gave us a very clear filter. It had to be of central importance to all of humanity."

Mankind, produced by Nutopia, which also made the Emmy-winning America the Story of Us for History in 2010, starts with a quick nod to the Big Bang and, within minutes, arrives on the plains of east Africa about 150,000 years ago, where Homo sapiens first lived.

Ian Morris, who teaches world history at Stanford University and served as the series' historical consultant, says two points were particularly pivotal. "One is the origin of farming, which was about 10,000 years ago, and the other is the Industrial Revolution, just a couple of hundred years ago."

"Both of these changed just about everything about the way humans live," Morris says. "Both changed the amount of energy we were able to capture from the world around us, and as the amount of energy you have goes up, the number of people goes up, the size of the cities goes up, and the complexities of the organizations goes up." Everything, he says, changes in these two big moments.

"What we liked is that there's a way to cross disciplines," says History programming executive Dirk Hoogstra. "We're using various sciences to help tell the bigger story. History becomes very exciting when you can make those unexpected connections and see their impact."

And because this is a global story, it was a global production, filming in such locales as South Africa, Morocco, China and the United Kingdom. Actors played some of the leading roles in the historical re-enactments, but many of the supporting roles were played by locals, adding yet another layer of authenticity.

The series' narrator, Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, who has played San Francisco supervisor Dan White in Milk and George W. Bush in W., says he's drawn to the big historical figures who populate the series, including Genghis Khan and Napoleon. "What are the similarities between the two? How they dealt with themselves, how they dealt with their own ego, what transpired in the hundreds of years after that. I start to attach myself to some of these people," he says.

Human drama comes to life through those re-creations, and computer-generated imagery plays an equally important role in Mankind. "The CGI is not just to give you a background that looked as it did then, because we actually found locations around the planet that would do that," says Hobbs. "What we put our money and expertise behind was bringing to life, through CGI, the jaw-dropping ancient monuments, be it the building of the great pyramids, the construction of the aqueducts of Rome, the building of the Great Wall of China."

Keeping with the series' global theme, Mankind will have a worldwide (although not simulcast) premiere in most countries this week, a first in the network's history. The company is located in 150 countries and has 250 million viewers worldwide, and Mankind is being given what Hoogstra calls a "custom fit," with some countries, including Germany and Israel, re-dubbing it with their own celebrity narrators.

It's an ambitious endeavor, "but on any given night," Hoogstra says, "we're competing with sports, movies and dramas, and we have to be able to stay competitive. We are a business, and we have to get ratings and meet ad sales goals."

And History is taking pointers from Hollywood's playbook. "Hollywood takes history all the time and turns it into big blockbuster movies," Hobbs says. "I think it's fair for us to take some of what Hollywood does well, in terms of scale and scope and emotion and the action-adventure kind of genres, and apply it to real history."

post #83329 of 93720
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY 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 - Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars (120 min., LIVE)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Jessica Lange; Adam Pally; Game, Tyga and Wiz Khalifa perform)

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - Partners
9PM - 2 Broke Girls
9:30PM - Mike and Molly
10PM - Hawaii Five-0
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bradley Cooper; comic Robert Klein; Soundgarden performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Comic Dave Attell; Nikki Reed performs)

8PM - The Voice (120 min., LIVE)
10:01PM - Revolution
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Lea Michele; photographer Nev Schulman; Toby Keith performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Comic Chelsea Handler; Charlie Cox; Meek Mill performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer; artist Lauren Greenfield; The Walkmen perform)

8PM - Bones
9PM - The Good Doctor

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Cats & Dogs
9PM - Market Warriors
10PM - Independent Lens - Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream

8PM - Por Ella Soy Yo
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - 90210
9PM - Gossip Girl

8PM - Rosa Diamante
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Politician Mike Huckabee)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Director Ken Burns)

11PM - Conan (Bryan Cranston; music Walk the Moon; Globe Of Steel performs)
(R - Jul. 18)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Guest host Ross Matthews; Martha Plimpton)
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TV Review
Park Avenue’s Well-to-Do: How They Stay That Way
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 12, 2012

“Park Avenue,” Monday night’s installment of PBS’s “Independent Lens,” begins by noting a particularly glaring example of wealth disparity in New York. A residential building at 740 Park Avenue on the Upper East Side, the film says, is home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the United States, while just a few miles away, Park Avenue in the South Bronx is a high-unemployment, high-poverty zone.

Mr. Gibney, though, isn’t interested in a human-interest comparison of how the residents of these two neighborhoods live, though we are given glimpses of a food handout on the poorer Park Avenue. The focus here is on the richer one and specifically on how the people of 740 Park — like David H. Koch, a big backer of the Tea Party movement — ensure that they will stay rich by manipulating the political process with their money.

This is no surprise, of course, but Mr. Gibney’s presentation (based on Michael Gross’s book “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building”) is particularly damning. He looks at how a tax break benefiting hedge-fund moguls became law and why all efforts to roll it back fail. (Charles E. Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, is a chief culprit.) And he explores how the wealth lobby has somehow claimed the populist mantle, selling upper-income tax cuts and deregulation as things that reinforce the American dream. Though if that dream is “work hard and you will end up rich,” it has never been less true, especially for people on that poorer Park Avenue.

“What’s hard to understand about this relentless push to cut taxes for the rich is that they already have so much more than the rest of us,” the film’s narration says in a characteristically blunt line.

Parts of the film feel as if they were intended for a pre-election audience — Paul Ryan gets a lot of attention — and the notion that the superrich can buy the political process has been at least partly undercut by the many races in which super PAC money did not sway last week’s results.

A bigger flaw is in Mr. Gibney’s effort to show that wealth breeds callousness and misanthropy. Many of the nation’s wealthiest people are also its most generous, but he shrugs that off in favor of a flimsy-looking study involving the board game Monopoly. (Some players were given more money than others and quickly exhibited what could be interpreted as a sense of entitlement.)

Still, there is plenty here to turn you into a Wall Street occupier. Those who attribute Mitt Romney’s loss to an inability to project empathy for the less well-off get some ammunition from a former doorman at 740, who says the job was not the gravy train of big tips that you might expect.

“The cheapest person over all was David Koch,” says the doorman, whose identity is shielded.

“You would never get a tip from Mr. Koch,” he recalls. What about a lucrative holiday gift? “A $50 check for Christmas,” he says.

Independent Lens - Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream
On PBS stations on Monday night at 10 (check local listings).

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TV Review
'The Untold History' review: Oliver Stone
By David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

History is a record of what happened and, perhaps, why. But, implicitly, it can also be about what could have happened but didn't. If Lincoln hadn't gone to the theater that night in April, for example, he might have died of old age.

Once events happen, they can't "unhappen," yet it is human nature for us to ask, "What if?" Oliver Stone has asked the question through much of his film work over the years, and asks it again in the first four films in his 10-part documentary series, "The Untold History of the United States," premiering on Showtime on Monday (8 p.m.).

In fact, "What If" might have been a more accurate title for the series, at least on the basis of the first four films, because much of their content isn't untold, per se, but, rather, retold with Stone's interpretation and emphasis.

The first four chapters focus on American history from World War II, through the development and deployment of the atomic bomb, to the postwar Truman and Eisenhower years and the Cold War.

The primary points Stone makes in the first four episodes are:

-- The price of American aid to Britain in the early years of World War II was the end of British trade dominance after the war and a new and more powerful role for the United States in global economics.

-- Although the United States believes World War II was won by the Allies, Stone says the Soviet Union should get the credit for defeating the Germans.

-- Similarly, although popular thinking is that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war in the Pacific, Stone says the bombs had nothing to do with defeating Japan but, rather, it was the eastward push by the Soviets in China that forced Japan to surrender. This was Joseph Stalin upholding his pledge to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to attack Manchuria.

-- The "real" Harry Truman was a "far darker" figure than portrayed in David McCullough's Pulitzer-winning biography.

-- If FDR had backed his third-term vice president, Henry Wallace, for the fourth term, it would have prevented the Democratic convention from being manipulated by party bosses into nominating Truman. That would have made Wallace president after FDR's death, the atomic bombs never would have been dropped on Japan, the rise of the military-industrial complex would have been blocked, the United States and the Soviet Union might have forged a postwar working alliance, and the Cold War might never have occurred.

The films are at their best when they provide a panoramic view of our history in the middle part of the 20th century. Ably abetted by the superb editing work by Alex Marquez, "Untold Story" shows how the nation's international policies were shaped, refracted and, at times, undermined by internal politics.

That said, Stone's predictably narrow intensity sometimes works against him, frequently throwing the overall balance of each film off by leaving us with unanswered questions on some topics, and, in a way, too much information on others.

Stone has always displayed a provocative fascination with history, and it is valuable, to an extent, to consider how things could have been different. During the 1944 Democratic convention in Chicago, for example, Wallace was pretty much a shoo-in for renomination at first, but party bosses adjourned the proceedings before Florida's Sen. Claude Pepper, who was only a few feet away from the podium, could place Wallace's name in nomination. The delay gave the bosses a chance to bully, horse-trade and sway votes away from Wallace and to the seemingly unremarkable failed Missouri haberdasher - Sen. Harry Truman.

The films are narrated by Stone, who must have taken elocution lessons from William Shatner: He has an unnerving habit of pausing every few words for no apparent reason other than dramatic effect, especially after the emphasized article "the." In other words, the ... film would have benefited from ... someone other than the ... director ... doing the ... narration.

But, since they've already been made, there's no going back to correct that problem, is there?

Documentary series by Oliver Stone; 8 p.m. Monday on Showtime.

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SUNDAY'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
'666' ratings stabilize, but is it too late?
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Nov. 12, 2012

Ratings for ABC’s supernatural freshman drama 666 Park Avenue managed to avoid dropping this week, but is this stabilizing performance too late to save the show?

Sunday’s 666 delivered 4 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in the adult demo, same as last week, apparently ceasing (for the moment, at least) the show’s recent downward trend. (Last night’s episode was actually titled “Downward Spiral” though, ratings wise, that’s exactly what the show managed to halt). That’s getting firmly beat by CBS’ The Mentalist (10 million, 1.8) at 10 p.m. and, of course, NBC’s football coverage. That 1.3 demo rating makes it tough to see ABC picking up a full season of 666. Then again, Thursday’s Last Resort, which is said to be leaning toward a pickup, only did a hair better last week.

Meanwhile, Once Upon a Time (8.7 million, 2.7) fell 23 percent this week for its Ruby-centered episode, with Revenge (7.5 million, 2.4) down 11 percent too.

Also Sunday: Amazing Race fell 8 percent and The Good Wife was steady. Fox’s animated lineup got pushed by 20 minutes thanks to NFL overrun. From eyeballing the chart, it looks like pretty low modest ratings for its Family Guy 200th episode and special. [CLICK LINK TO SEE CHART]

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TV Notes
ABC’s ‘Nashville’ Gets Full-Season Order
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 12, 2012

ABC has handed out its second full-season order to a freshman show this season, drama Nashville, starring Connie Britton. The soap, created by Callie Khouri, was one of the best reviewed new shows this fall. It was a late starter, held back two weeks because of presidential debate coverage. Nashville has been soft in the ratings but had an 11% ratings uptick last week to a 2.0 in adults 18-49 rating. The show went through growing pains, including a showrunner change, with Dee Johnson replacing Jim Parriott.

Nashville joins freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors, which also has received a full-season pickup. Also recently getting a full-season pickup was sophomore Scandal, which started off with a 13-episode second-season order. Waiting word are new dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Ave. Both shows are on the fence (ABC doesn’t own either of them but does own Nashville), with Last Resort looking a little more likely to get some sort of a back order. New ABC comedy Malibu Country and sophomore Last Man Standing, which premiered two weeks ago, just received orders for 3 scripts each.

With help from DVR viewing, Nashville is No. 1 in its Wednesday 10 PM time period among Adults 18-49 (3.2/9), beating CBS’ veteran CSI (3.1/9) and NBC’s freshman Chicago Fire (2.4/7), as well as adults 18-34. Overall for the season, Nashville ranks among the Top 3 new TV series in Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34. Nashville is produced by Lionsgate TV, ABC Studios and Gaylord Entertainment, with Dee Johnson, R.J. Cutler, Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan executive producing.


* * * *

TV Notes
ABC Comedies ‘Malibu Country’ & ‘Last Man Standing’ Get Orders For More Scripts

As ABC is nearing back episodic decision on new dramas Nashville (UPDATE: Nashville just received a full-season order), Last Resort and 666 Park Ave, I hear the network has ordered three additional scripts each of comedies Malibu Country and Last Man Standing. Both shows started the fall with 13-episode orders.

Freshman Malibu Country and sophomore Last Man Standing launched only two weeks ago. Both had a great start in the Friday 8 PM slot before dropping double-digits in Week 2.

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TV Notes
'Today' Show Shakeup: Alexandra Wallace to Replace Jim Bell as Top Producer
By Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 12, 2012

There are more changes afoot at NBC's Today. Executive producer Jim Bell will leave the morning program for a full-time position at NBC Sports, where he’ll be executive producer of the network’s Olympics coverage, according to network sources.

It’s unclear exactly when Bell will exit the formerly top-rated morning show, but his departure has been rumored for some time. NBC News executive Alexandra Wallace, who recently took over as executive producer on Brian Williams’ Rock Center, is likely to become the executive producer of Today, but sources caution that a transition is not yet finalized. The decision is being made by NBC News president Steve Capus and NBCUniversal News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel. Wallace - who was Capus' No. 2 before being tapped in October to lead Rock Center and also oversee Ann Curry’s production unit - is expected to get a deputy to run Today day-to-day. Fili-Krushel was brought in post-Comcast merger by NBCUni CEO Steve Burke. Last summer, Burke installed Fili-Krushel to oversee the company's news assets including NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.

News of the transition was first reported by The New York Times. NBC News declined comment.

Bell, who counts Dick Ebersol among his mentors at NBC, rose through the ranks of NBC Sports. And he pulled double duty during the summer as executive producer of the London Olympics. NBC has the U.S. rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and last year locked up rights to the next four Olympics for $4.38 billion.

Bell led Today through a successful anchor transition from Katie Couric to Meredith Vieira. But the more recent ouster of Curry – Vieira’s replacement – was far less smooth. Bell was known to be wary of putting Curry, who had spent 14 years as the show’s newsreader, in the co-host chair next to Matt Lauer. But Capus basically overruled him. (He told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year the he thought Curry “deserved a shot” after doing yeoman’s duty as the show’s newsreader and globetrotting correspondent.)

But the lack of chemistry between Lauer and Curry was apparent immediately. And the snapping in April of Today’s 16-plus-year morning news winning streak by ABC’s Good Morning America set in motion what became an extremely awkward transition between Curry and new co-host Savannah Guthrie, with Bell urging NBC News brass to remove Curry. But a hoped-for reset with the London Olympics never materialized, and GMA has continued to best Today most weeks.

Meanwhile, Bell professed as recently as late September to being fully committed to Today, even as rumors of his departure were rampant.

“I’m very happy where I am,” he told THR during a Sept. 26 interview. “I think part of the daily grind here is you don’t allow yourself to think grand or long-term thoughts. We’re just sort of plugging along with [Today]. I love the show; it’s been part of my life. I can’t speak beyond that.”

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Technology Notes
Less Than a Month After Launch, Windows 8 Head Steve Sinofsky Departs Microsoft
By Joanna Stern, ABCNews.com - Nov. 12, 2012

Less than a month after Microsoft launched its Windows 8 operating system, Steven Sinofsky, the president of Microsoft’s Windows division, is departing after 23 years with the company.

“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft,” Sinofsky said in a statement this evening. “I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer returned the gratitude in his own statement.

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said.

From Windows 8 to Outlook.com to Windows Phone 8, Sinofsky has been credited with a lot of the recent change at Microsoft. In 2009, he joined the Windows team after the Vista operating system debuted and headed up the development of Windows 7 and then Windows 8, which marks the biggest change to Windows since Windows 95.

“We started to look back and we said, ‘Wow, the user interface, the experience, the form factors, the kinds of PCs were all developed in the mid 1990s,’” Sinofsky said last month in an exclusive interview with ABC News at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash. “We looked and we said, ‘Things are so different. We need to envision a new kind of software for those scenarios, because the world is a different place.’”

Many even anticipated that Sinofsky would be the next CEO of the company. Microsoft did not explain why Sinofsky was leaving so soon after the Windows 8 launch, but, according to technology website All Things D, Sinofsky “was viewed at the top levels as not the kind of team player that the company was looking for.”

The technology site compared the exit to the recent exit of Apple’s Scott Forstall.

Julie Larson-Green will step in for Sinofsky and lead the Windows software and hardware teams. She was responsible for Windows 8 interface and experience.

“Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role. All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie, and Julie will report to me,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in a company-wide email.

Ballmer highlighted Larson-Green’s ability to work with other teams, which is becoming increasingly important as Microsoft continues to integrate its services, including Xbox, Windows, Windows Phone and more.

ABC News interviewed both Larson-Green and Sinofsky last month. The video clip is below.

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Business Notes
NBCU Lays Off Employees at Bravo, G4, Others
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Nov. 12, 2012

NBC Universal engaged in another round of belt-tightening on Monday, enacting a small number of layoffs across its cable entertainment networks, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

According to the individual, the cuts were minor, accounting for about 1.5 percent of NBCU's workforce, which totals about 30,000 -- or about 450.

Networks such as USA, E!, Bravo, G4 -- which recently canceled "Attack of the Show" and "X-Play" -- and Syfy were affected by the cuts. NBC's news group, which includes MSNBC, also felt the pinch. The creative side of NBC Entertainment was not affected by the layoffs, the individual said.

The cuts came after the corporate end of the company asked each of the business units to look at what inefficiencies or duplications could be eliminated as the company prepares for 2013.

The conversation about potential cuts began some months ago, the individual said.

Monday's layoffs are the latest example of budget-shoring for NBCU, which has been trimming its workforce in the latter half of 2012. In August, 20 staffers at "The Tonight Show" were laid off. Earlier this month, Universal Pictures enacted across-the-board layoffs that affected 25 employees -- which accounted for about 1.5 percent of Universal Pictures' workforce.

Deadline first reported the news of Monday's layoffs.

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TV Notes
'Fringe': Science Channel to re-air all five seasons
By Hillary Busis, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Nov. 12, 2012

Good news for all Observers! Starting next week, Science Channel will air three full hours of Fringe every Tuesday night. These nights of reruns will begin with a special message from John Noble, who plays brilliant mad scientist Walter Bishop; by 2013, the network will have re-aired the sci-fi series in its entirety.

The great Fringe rewatch begins Nov. 20 at 8 p.m., when the series’ two-hour pilot and first regular episode will play. Science will then air Fringe‘s full first season during daylong marathons on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24. Season 2 starts airing the following week. Even those with piles of Fringe DVDs may want to tune in: the Fringeblock’s commercial breaks will feature episodes of “Science of Fringe,” a short-form series in which real scientists will examine “phenomena such as time travel, dream sharing and parallel universes,” according to a release.

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY 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 - Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars (LIVE)
9PM - Happy Endings
9:31PM - Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
10PM - Private Practice
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Christina Applegate; "Dancing With the Stars" castoffs; Youngblood Hawke performs)

9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
10PM - Vegas
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Julianna Margulies; stupid pet tricks; Mumford & Sons perform)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (J.R. Martinez; Toby Keith performs)

8PM - The Voice (120 min.)
9PM - Go On
9:30PM - The New Normal
10PM - Parenthood
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Keira Knightley; Whitney Cummings; Gin Wigmore performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Sally Field; Finesse Mitchell; entrepreneur Elon Musk; Lee Brice performs)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele; Ceremony performs)

8PM - Raising Hope
8:30PM - Ben and Kate
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - The Mindy Project

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - American Masters - Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home (90 min.) (R - Jul. 12, 2006)
9:30PM - Frontline: The Suicide Plan (90 min.)

8PM - Por Ella Soy Eva
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravío

8PM - Hart of Dixie
9PM - Emily Owens, M.D.

8PM - Rosa Diamante
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Jason Sudeikis)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Newt Gingrich)

11PM - Conan (Joel McHale; James "Bobo" Fay of "Finding Bigfoot"; Just Saying contest winner Samuel Comroe)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Greg Fitzsimmons; Loni Love; Matt Braunger)
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Business Notes
Are Big Media Companies Needlessly Frightened About Pay TV Cord Cutting?
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Nov. 12, 2012

Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett seems to think so in a thought experiment this morning. Asked to envision a change that could reshape the long-term prospects for media — part of Lazard’s Imagine That collection of analyst essays — he says that it “could be good for content-owning conglomerates” if consumers began to use the Internet to just subscribe to the channels that they want. To be sure, the analyst doesn’t see things changing soon; he says that the current system of pay TV bundling is “resilient, and not crumbling.” Still, he challenges the conventional wisdom that media giants would find themselves on a toboggan ride to financial ruin if consumers escaped from a system that requires them to pay for channels that they don’t want. Crockett bases his conclusion on two assumptions: Consumers would continue to spend $78B a year on pay TV. And, in a post-bundle world, content creators could collect all of that instead of settling for the $32B in program fees that they currently receive from distributors. Actors or producers wouldn’t try to appeal directly to consumers, cutting out Big Media companies, because they need someone who will “write big checks, and take care of the administrative hassles of marketing and distribution,” he says. “Anyone can make a singing competition, but networks like Fox and NBC can make them popular by touting them to large audiences, and investing large sums for the highest profile judges and best production values.”

Crockett taps his effort from this summer to estimate who’d gain and lose the most cash flow if networks had to fend for themselves in the market. Whipping together financial data with a survey of consumer loyalty to different channels, he says the biggest winners would include A&E (+$3.0B), Viacom (+$2.4B), Scripps Networks (+1.9B), and CBS (+$1.9B, not including Showtime). He sees one big loser: Disney (-$3.4B). Mind you, that’s just a calculation for the program fees. But the analyst says that ad sales likely would be unchanged. Even though each channel would reach fewer households, “the remaining viewers would likely be more loyal, so engagement could be increased.”

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