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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2779

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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.”

Large organizations don't like change. So they'll stay with the current model as long as they can. But I do agree with this assessment. I'm guessing that Disney's income would drop because of people who don't care about sports not paying for ESPN. Which is fine by me, ESPN has totally distorted the fee structure paid for sports licenses. Now the three big winners put out a lot of reality programming, do you think that people would specifically pay for that stuff? Although my wife loves House Hunters, so I guess I would pay for HGTV. eek.gif
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 13, 2012

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s new episode, Jimmy (Lucas Neff) finds a family photo he’s never seen before. That, in itself, doesn’t sound like a big deal – but other than himself, the people in the photo aren’t his parents, but seem to be other parents. As Rod Stewart sang: Every picture tells a story, don’t it? Chris Klein guest stars.

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

Here’s a guest-star alert well worth noting: Carla Gugino, who never did get the hit TV series she deserved, guest stars as Schmidt’s boss, whose power games with Schmidt (Max Greenfield) end up extending to something more erotically charged.

History, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE:[/b] Hooray for History for remembering what its network is named, and actually mounting a history series for a change. Hooray, too, for tackling a formidable subject: a 12-hour examination, presented in six weekly installments, of nothing less than the entirety of man’s history, starting (even before us) with the Big Bang. The presentation, though, is a combination of tacky recreations and often superfluous talking heads. Good basic information, but not very good television. It’s noted here, though, to commend the effort, and perhaps to recommend the show to high-schoolers, for whom even information this basic might be surprising.

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Kristina (Monica Potter) begins her cancer treatment, as family members rally around in support. In the hands of a lesser show, this would be a drama-of-the-week kind of thing – but here, already, it’s been an arduous and emotional roller coaster just getting to this point. Peter Krause co-stars.

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

The plan by Jax (Charlie Hunnam) to keep his enemies closer, by having Gemma (Katey Sagal) lull Clay (Ron Perlman) into a sense of false security, went well – but lasted only one episode. Tonight, now that he knows who has helped Clay plot against him, Jax gets aggressive, and not just with his battle plans.

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TV Review
‘Mankind The Story of All of Us' (History)
Yes, a Big Topic. Want to Fight About It?
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 13, 2012

If you run a documentary-oriented television channel, apparently you are periodically overcome with an irresistible urge to go for the everything program: a program, usually a mini-series, that tries to capture the totality of an impossibly big subject. The BBC and the Discovery Channel had the acclaimed “Planet Earth,” followed a few years later by “Life.” The National Geographic Channel has had projects like the sumptuous “Great Migrations.”

In 2010 History checked in with the 12-hour “America: The Story of Us,” and on Tuesday night it applies the formulas used in that mini-series to the even more all-encompassing “Mankind: The Story of All of Us.” That preposterously grandiose title really needed to be strung out a bit to give an accurate picture of the program. Something like, “Mankind: The Story of All of Us, Delivered Somewhat Superficially by People You Know and Love, Because We Don’t Want to Bore You.”

The series, at least judging from the first two hours, feels as if its broadcast incarnation is a secondary concern. What it is really aiming for is the high school market. It’s a quick survey of our species’ high points — walking upright, cultivating seeds, learning more efficient ways to kill one another — delivered in student-friendly fashion with a stay-awake soundtrack and a narrator (Josh Brolin) who intones the important points in imposing, write-this-down fashion.

Nothing wrong with that. As a teaching tool, the series has much to recommend it, especially the way it emphasizes how one historical development influences another, a cause and effect often missed in the dry dates-and-places method of some classrooms.

The mastering of agriculture led to a sense of territory that led to wars. Domestication of livestock led to living in proximity to animals, which led to more diseases.

That last point is made by Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television personality, one of many well-known faces who turn up here. As did the “America” series, this gallop through history relies only partly on academic talking heads. (Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard scholar, is one.) It also draws on a sort of pop-culture cast to underscore important developments — the newscaster Brian Williams, for instance, and the chef Anthony Bourdain.

This isn’t as gimmicky as it sounds. The observations from these folks are just as trenchant as those from the college professors, and they help make the series feel less like a lecture.

It falls not to a professional historian, but to Richard Machowicz, a former member of the Navy SEALs and a television personality, to summarize how iron weaponry, military strategy and budding democracy came together in ancient Athens, as its men voted not to submit to the invading army of the Persian Empire.

“The ability to express yourself freely is so uniquely tied to the ability to defend yourself freely,” Mr. Machowicz says. “The Athenians appreciate and value freedom, their ability to be self-expressed, their ability to have a say in their government. And they’re willing to fight for that.”

The series, though, seems too eager to focus on warfare, perhaps because that allows for lots of imagery of men swinging swords and taking an arrow to the heart. It’s true, as the series notes, that war has often driven technological innovation. But as this series goes along, the test of its ambition will be whether it lets other strands of history that are harder to illustrate — religious thought, scientific inquiry — have an equal place.

Mankind: The Story of All of Us
History, Tuesday night at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.

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Nielsen/Business Notes
Nielsen Faces 'S' Storm Over Sandy: Pulls NY DMA, Billions In Ad Guarantees At Stake
By Joe Mandese, MediaPost.com - Nov. 13, 2012

While a small matter compared with the loss of life, homes and other property caused by “superstorm” Sandy, two weeks after the nation’s largest media markets were essentially knocked off the grid, Nielsen has finally begun disclosing some of the impact it has had on the national and local TV marketplaces. While Nielsen executives say they are still assessing the full impact, they began notifying some customers late last week that among other things, Nielsen would not “release November 2012 survey data for the New York DMA,” the nation’s largest media market, accounting for nearly 6.5% of the U.S. population.

A Nielsen spokesperson said some customers would still have access to some of the data for specific days in November that pass Nielsen’s statistical guidelines for reporting, but could not confirm exactly which or how many days would be involved, or what the impact of those statistics would be.

Nielsen also informed clients that it is still evaluating which days will be excluded from the “survey data” it reports for at least four other major markets -- Philadelphia (ranked No. 4), Boston (No. 7) Cleveland-Akron (No. 18) and Baltimore (No. 27) -- which, like New York, are part of Nielsen’s so-called “local people meter” samples. Those local people meter panels are also part of Nielsen’s 20,000 national people meter sample, and add up to more than 13% of Nielsen’s total national sample, which is the basis for billions of dollars worth of broadcast and cable TV advertising deals.

It is not clear how the storm, as well as a subsequent Northeaster that also knocked power out in the region, may have affected other households along the Eastern Seaboard outside of those five LPM markets, or how other meter/diary and diary-only ratings markets would ultimately be impacted by the effects of the storm -- but to strike a metaphor, Sandy is clearly proving to be the storm of Nielsen’s Century.

The effects -- pulling an entire month of survey data for the nation’s largest market, removing some from others, and potentially needing to revise national TV ratings and universe estimates -- are without precedent, especially since this comes during one of the most valuable advertising periods of the television calendar year, the start of a new season, as well as the November sweeps, when ratings for many smaller TV markets are set for an entire quarter.

The loss of Nielsen households happened two ways. One was when Nielsen homes in metered markets lost power and the batteries on their electronic meters drained, or when homes in the sample were literally destroyed or the families living there were relocated.

Nielsen has experienced the devastation of storms on its sample before. Last year, it had to pull significant amounts of data in markets affected by Hurricane Irene, and the impact of Hurricane Katrina was so severe that when a significant percentage of its population was permanently relocated, New Orleans actually dropped from the 43rd largest media market in the U.S. to 52nd. It has subsequently moved up to 51st following some population gains.

A Nielsen spokesperson said it was too early to assess the ultimate impact of Sandy on either local markets or the national ratings, and conceded that “we need to have better answers.”

Asked why it is taking more than two weeks to get those answers, when Nielsen claims that it has systems sophisticated enough to know what its daily “in-tab” -- or the percentage of households that are actually reporting data in its tabulations -- are, the spokesperson did not comment.

But the implications are clear that Sandy has severely impacted both the nation’s largest TV market, as well as the national TV advertising marketplace by some level of magnitude that was serious enough for Nielsen to pull the entire survey period from its November books.

One Nielsen client said those moves raise questions about how Nielsen has been estimating and reporting ratings since the storm, including some especially high-profile events of “national interest” like the TV industry’s presidential election night coverage.

“The presidential election of 2012 has been decided without a recount,” he said, adding: “Nielsen will not be so lucky.”

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MONDAY'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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TV Review
Ratings take a tumble Sunday night
CBS and ABC shows sink to season lows opposite football
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 13, 2012

With NFL overrun on Fox going past 8 p.m., competing networks ABC and CBS saw ratings for several of their shows tumble Sunday.

“Once Upon a Time” and “Revenge” both fell to season lows on ABC, as did CBS’s “60 Minutes” and “The Amazing Race.”

“Time” slid 23 percent from last week to a 2.7 adults 18-49, according to Nielsen, facing off with Fox’s football game for the first 20 minutes of the show.

“Revenge” also fell to a season low of 2.4, off 11 percent from the previous week. Lead-out “666 Park Avenue” matched last week’s series low with a 1.3.

On CBS, “Minutes” led off the night with a 1.7, matching its season low set two weeks ago. At 8 p.m. “Race” drew a 2.4, falling 8 percent from last week.

The network’s 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. dramas, “The Good Wife” and “The Mentalist,” were flat to the previous week with a 1.7 and 1.8, respectively.

The football overrun gave Fox a boost. The first hour averaged a 6.9, and Fox drew a 5.6 for the 8 p.m. timeslot, which included the first 10 minutes of “The Simpsons.”

But as usual, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” dominated the night.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 5.5 average overnight rating and a 14 share. Fox was second at 4.6/11, ABC third at 2.0/5, CBS fourth at 1.9/5, Univision fifth at 1.1/3 and Telemundo sixth 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-six percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Also, ratings for NBC and Fox are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

At 7 p.m. Fox led with a 6.9 for NFL overrun, followed by NBC with a 2.3 for "Football Night in America." CBS was third with a 1.7 for "Minutes," ABC fourth with a 1.4 for "America's Funniest Home Videos," Univision fifth with a 0.8 for "Aqui y Ahora" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.3 for a Mexican league soccer match.

NBC took the lead at 8 p.m. with a 5.7 for NFL pregame and the start of "Sunday Night Football," while Fox slipped to second with a 4.2 for more NFL overrun, "The Simpsons" and the start of "Bob's Burgers." ABC was third with a 2.7 for "Time," CBS fourth with a 2.4 for "The Amazing Race," Univision fifth with a 1.3 for "Mira Quien Baila" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.2 for "Larry Hernandez: Mas Alla del Escenario."

At 9 p.m. NBC led again with a 7.2 for football, with Fox second with a 2.6 for "Burgers" and the start of the 200th episode of "Family Guy." ABC was third with a 2.4 for "Revenge," CBS fourth with a 1.7 for "Wife," Univision fifth with a 1.4 for more "Baila" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.3 for "Yo Me Llamo."

NBC was first at 10 p.m. with a 6.9 for football, followed by CBS with a 1.8 for "Mentalist." ABC was third with a 1.3 for "Park," Univision fourth with a 1.0 for "Sal y Pimienta" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.3 for "Llamo."

Among households, NBC was first for the night with an 8.9 average overnight rating and a 14 share. Fox was second at 6.7/10, CBS third at 6.4/10, ABC fourth at 4.0/6, Univision fifth at 1.6/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.3/0.

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY 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 - The Middle
8:30PM - The Neighbors
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Suburgatory
10:00PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Martin Short; Suraj Sharma; Ne-Yo performs)

8PM - Survivor: Philippines
9PM - Criminal Minds
10PM - C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Alec Baldwin; Dirty Projectors perform)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Billy Crystal; Bérénice Marlohe)

8PM - Whitney (Season Premiere)
8:30PM - Guys with Kids
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10:01PM - Chicago Fire
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Helen Hunt; DJ Pauly D; Kylie Minogue performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Chris Tucker; Kellan Lutz; photographer Jonathan Becker; Electric Guest performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Author Robert Greene; Divine Fits perform)

8PM - The X-Factor (120 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: An Original DUCKumentary
8PM - NOVA: Ultimate Mars Challenge
8PM - Nova scienceNOW: What Will the Future Be Like?

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

8PM - Arrow
9PM - Supernatural

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 (Jon Meacham)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Writer Tony Kushner)

11PM - Conan (Kristen Stewart; Glenn Howerton; Lianne La Havas)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Nate Berkus; John Caparulo; Annie Lederman; Kurt Braunohler)
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Critic's Notes
DVR Essentials and Potentials: Play-by-play
By Roberto Bianco, USA Today - Nov. 14, 2012

The time has come to clean out your DVR.

Entranced by the you-can-see-it-all possibilities the technology offers, most of us end up with a DVR stuffed to the electronic gills with shows we're never actually going to watch. (Not to mention that a lot of those recorded shows are loaded with ads from the election, and even at fast-forward, who wants to go through those again?) If that weren't reason enough to go through a cleanse, remember that a host of favorites — from Justified, Episodes and Downton Abbey to Mad Men, Breaking Bad and American Idol — will eventually be coming your way and clamoring for space.

What to keep? Here are 10 Essential DVR picks from the programs currently on the air — including the best of them all, Homeland — along with a dozen Potentials to add or substitute. Erase, replace, and enjoy.



The Good Wife (CBS, 9 ET/PT):
If you're going to survive Sundays, you'd better have a DVR, because no night is more crowded with top choices — so many that we're skipping such worthy long-running series as 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, The Simpsons and The Mentalist. Whatever you do, however, don't skip broadcast TV's best drama, which is in the middle of two great running stories, one following Peter's campaign for governor, the other, the firm's efforts to pull itself out of bankruptcy (a story boosted by a great guest run from Nathan Lane). True, there is Nick, but the writers have felt your pain, and this much-loathed character is headed for the exit.

The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 ET/PT): There's no question Dead is one of the season's best series: It's a tightly plotted, constantly surprising show that does precisely what it's designed to do -- scare you senseless. Whether it merits a spot on your DVR, however, depends on your tolerance for violence and gore, your desire to be scared senseless, and your certainty that no small child in your house is going to hit the "play" button while you're out. If you're on the fence, keep in mind another DVR advantage: You can save these zombies for a Saturday afternoon, when they're less likely to keep you up at night.

Homeland (Showtime, 10 ET/PT): You're so pressed you only have time for one drama a week? It has to be Homeland, a brilliantly acted series that jettisoned its central mystery — everyone now knows Brody was turned by the terrorists — without losing any of its complexity or ambiguity. It may seem more plot-driven this season, but those who think it's morphed into 24 are focusing solely on the similarity in plot mechanics and ignoring the vast differences in tone, intent and depth. 24 was a great series, but last week's "romantic" encounter between Brody and Carrie, that scene that left you wondering whether even the characters themselves knew if they were being honest? That was Homeland and Homeland alone.

Treme (HBO, 10 ET/PT): This is not by any stretch of the imagination an entertaining series in the conventional sense, in large part because it seems more interested in its characters than its stories, and in its setting than its characters. Yet taken together, Treme's episodes weave a rare, complete portrait of a great American city and cultural hub fighting to recover from its worst crisis. At any rate, if you're paying to subscribe to HBO, you might as well watch something, and Treme is your best choice.

Potentials: None


: None


Bones (Fox, 8 ET/PT):
If you really want your DVR to replace live viewing, then you need to throw in a few extra shows for those days when you don't feel like an intense drama or you've already watched your favorite comedies. And it helps to include a series like this still-solid procedural in the mix, a show you like but that you don't feel compelled to watch every week. Because let's face it, there are only so many weekly demands we can take.

Castle (ABC, 10 ET/PT): Like Bones, this mystery-comedy leaned too heavily on its relationship story at the start of the season, but it's recovered over the past few weeks and now seems set to reclaim its standing as TV's most enjoyable procedural. The writers were right to unite Nathan Fillion's Castle and Stana Katic's Beckett (two of TV's most appealing actors and characters), but now that they're working as a couple, the show needs to return its attention to their weekly murder-solving work.

House Hunters (HGTV, 10 ET/PT): There's a place on every TV list for at least one mindless diversion, that show you turn to as a time-waster when all else fails, and you can find few more addictive picks than this one. It was easier to embrace before we knew it was mostly fake, but at least it's harmlessly phony. In today's reality world, that's close to the best you can hope for.


: None


There's a natural tendency among all of us to focus on the new and the young, and on shows that appeal to the young. So it's worth pausing to remember that the most-watched program on TV this season is NCIS. It may not draw as many ad dollars as shows that pull in a greater number of younger viewers, but pleasing some 20 million people a week is no mean achievement. The silliness of its banter can be suffocating for some, but if you've never tried it, you should at least find out what your neighbors are fussing about.

Raising Hope (Fox, 8 ET/PT): Thanks to Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt as the funniest bad parents this side of Marge and Homer, Raising Hope was always worth watching. But this season the show's appeal has expanded, in large part because it's granted Cloris Leachman's sometimes too-grotesque Maw Maw a bit more dignity. Not a lot more, grant you, but that little bit helps.

New Girl (Fox, 9 ET/PT): A breakout performance from Max Greenfield as Schmidt — which, aside from being a gift in its own right, allowed star Zooey Deschanel to take her daffiness down a step — has helped this steadily improving sitcom move closer to Essential status. It just needs to strengthen the stories for its other supporting characters.

The New Normal (NBC, 9:30 ET/PT): Most every complaint you've heard about this struggling freshman sitcom is true: It's too preachy by half, its characters and situations are often completely unbelievable, and its tone wobbles uncomfortably between sweet and nasty. Yet there's something incredibly charming about its four central characters, and if it's trying too hard to make a social statement, it's also willing to address issues most network shows are too frightened to tackle. It's a mess, but so far, the parts that work compensate for those that don't.

Don't Trust the B (ABC, 9:30 ET/PT): It's not easy to pull off heart, snark and absurdity at the same time, and B doesn't always get the mix right. But when it does, it ranks with the funniest, cleverest shows on TV. And as that girl in the title, Krysten Ritter is giving a grand, theatrical comic turn that is something to behold.

Vegas (CBS, 10 ET/PT): This '60s-set series continues to rank as one of the fall's most promising. But it might come closer to living up to that promise if star Dennis Quaid acted a bit younger — more mischievous, less grim — and if the set looked a bit older — more lived-in and authentic, less "look-what-we-built" ersatz.

Covert Affairs (USA, 10 ET/PT): Current events being what they are, it's hard for a fictional version of the CIA to compete with the real thing. Still, this USA drama remains one of TV's best action adventures. It's a busy night and we're busy people, so if you only have time for an occasional episode, hold out for the ones that team star Piper Perabo's Annie with Christopher Gorham's Auggie.



The Middle (ABC, 8 ET/PT):
TV's best traditional family comedy has only gotten better this season, as an injury that endangered the oldest son's football scholarship has forced his parents to confront the horrors of college tuition. It's another example of the show's ability to confront economic realities head-on without losing a comic step. The day may never come when Emmy voters notice, but viewers have. For this superb cast and crew, that may have to be recognition enough.

Modern Family (ABC, 9 ET/PT): There isn't anything "traditional" about TV's best sitcom, unless you count great acting, perfect casting, hilarious dialogue, lovable characters, heartfelt stories and intricate plotting as a TV tradition. Where other sitcoms are merely clever, Modern Family is smart; where others are glib, Modern Family is sincere; where others are vulgar, Modern Family is witty, and where others are content to be absurd, Modern Family stays rooted in the real world. No series produces perfection every week; there are always going to be some stories that work better than others, and some characters you like better than others. But week to week, moment to moment, no sitcom comes closer to the ideal.


Nashville (ABC, 10 ET/PT):
I haven't given up on Nashville yet, but patience is waning. If it's going to be a soap, so be it, but it has to stop being a boring soap. And that means giving the women back some of the spunk they had in the pilot, because we can't spend many more weeks watching wealthy country stars whine about their problems.



The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 ET/PT):
The challenge for every long-running TV series is to grow and change without changing so much that you lose what attracted viewers in the first place. Few sitcoms have handled that process better than Bang, which has added a rom-com overlay while staying true to its nerd-genius core. Like all CBS comedies, the show can sometimes push its sex jokes a bit too far — but unlike the worst of those shows, sex isn't all it has to offer. If flat-out funny is what you want, Bang is as reliable a provider as TV has to offer.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 9 ET/PT): People who mock Anatomy's fondness for grand melodramatic "special" events miss how often the show uses these events to reset itself, as it did this season in the aftermath of its cliffhanger plane crash. By jettisoning a few characters whose stories had run their course and sending a few others off in new directions, Grey's has reinvigorated its plots and re-established itself as one of TV's fastest-moving hours.

Elementary (CBS, 10 ET/PT): Don't watch for the plots, though by weekly mystery standards, they're solid. And don't watch expecting this Sherlock Holmes to be markedly different from every other intuitive TV detective, not when they've all stolen so freely from the original. For the moment at least, watch for Jonny Lee Miller's Sherlock and his relationship with Lucy Liu's Watson, one of TV most intriguing and best realized male/female partnerships.


Parks & Recreation (NBC, 9:30 ET/PT):
If you were a fan of 30 Rock or The Office when they were the standard-bearers for NBC's house style of ironic, absurd comedies, then you should try out the genre's best current representative, Parks, if for no other reason than to watch Amy Poehler's intensely likable star turn at the center. And, to be fair, there are people who think Parks is the best sitcom on TV, so you might as well find out whether you happen to be one of them.



Fringe (Fox, 9 ET/PT):
If you're not watching Fringe, you're probably not going to jump in now, not when the show is on its last legs. And if you are watching, you're not going to stop, even though this final stretch has been a bit grimmer than those of us who like happy endings may have wished. (I'm clinging to the "always darkest before the dawn" hopes.) But here's the good news: Next Tuesday (8 ET/PT), this wildly complex sci-fi show begins its off-network run on Discovery Science channel, which allows those who never tried it to come in on the ground floor. Let your DVR join in the fun.

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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 14, 2012

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

This week’s new Nature special is just ducky. And I’m not the first one to stoop to a pun here, as this program, which follows ducks with as much intent and dedication as a newborn duckling, already has served up one in its title. And if you’re trying to place the voice of the narrator, it belongs to Paul Giamatti. Check local listings.

TCM, 9:00 p.m. ET

Humphrey Bogart. Sydney Greenstreet. Peter Lorre. May Astor. And John Huston, behind the camera for the first time. All this, in a 1941 dramatization of a Sam Spade story that ranks as classic film noir.

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

This week’s new episode has a special sweeps-month guest star. Phil (Ty Burrell) meets a friend at the gym, and brings him home for a guy’s night. But the new guy is played by Matthew Broderick, and he misinterprets Phil’s invitation – and his intentions.

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Rayna (Connie Britton) decides to get aggressive about moving her career forward, and decides to reach out to a producer who’s been navigating the music charts with seeming ease. But what, if anything, will she have to sacrifice if he agrees to collaborate?

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
Part 2 of 2.
This week’s new episode concludes the story called “I Am Anne Frank,” which features guest star Franka Potente and the ever-escalating cruelty of the doctor played by James Cromwell.

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Is there a good web site somewhere that maintains a listing of upcoming movies (or even just movie premieres) on the major premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.), all visible in one place? Something a little easier to manage that looking over separate networks' web sites and/or the program guide grid on one's satellite/cable box.
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TUESDAY'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)
New shows hit lows on Tuesday night
CBS's 'Vegas' slides to a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 14, 2012

Absence apparently did not make the heart grow fonder for a number of Tuesday night shows, which were preempted last week for coverage of the presidential election.

ABC’s already-canceled “Private Practice,” CBS’s new show “Vegas” and “Ben and Kate,” one of Fox’s new comedies, saw especially notable slides.

“Practice” fell to a series-low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen, placing fourth in the 10 p.m. timeslot.

It was down 21 percent from its most recent original outing three weeks ago.

“Vegas,” which has already received a full-season order, was down 6 percent from its previous outing to a 1.6, tying its series low.

And “Kate” also hit a new low with a 1.1, off 21 percent from its previous outing.

A few shows did see improvements, most notably Fox’s new “The Mindy Project,” up 13 percent to a 1.7, and the CW’s second-year drama “Hart of Dixie,” which had its most-watched episode (1.68 million total viewers) since last December.

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars Results” (1.9) and NBC’s “The New Normal” (1.8) also grew slightly.

In the 9 p.m. comedy battle, NBC’s “Go On” finished slightly ahead of Fox’s “New Girl” with a 2.3 to the latter’s 2.2.

ABC’s sitcoms are struggling. “Happy Endings” managed a 1.4 at 9 p.m., while lead-out “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” fell to a series-low 1.1.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.6 average overnight rating and a 7 share, followed closely by CBS at 2.5/7. Fox was third at 1.7/4, Univision fourth at 1.6/4, ABC fifth at 1.4/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

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-six percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. NBC led with a 3.8 for "The Voice," followed by CBS with a 3.0 for "NCIS." ABC was third with a 1.9 for "Dancing with the Stars," Univision fourth with a 1.7 for "Por Ella Soy Eva," Fox fifth with a 1.4 for "Raising Hope" (1.6) and "Kate" (1.1), CW sixth with a 0.7 for "Hart of Dixie" and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for "Rosa Diamante."

CBS took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.8 for "NCIS: Los Angeles," while NBC slipped to second with a 2.0 for "Go" (2.3) and "Normal" (1.8). Fox was third with a 1.9 for "Girl" (2.2) and "Mindy" (1.7), Univision fourth with a 1.8 for "Amores Verdaderos," ABC fifth with a 1.2 for "Endings" (1.4) and "Trust" (1.1), Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for "Corazon Valiente" and CW seventh with a 0.4 for "Emily Owens, M.D."

At 10 p.m. NBC regained the lead with a 1.8 for "Parenthood," with CBS second with a 1.6 for "Vegas." Univision was third with a 1.3 for "Amor Bravio," ABC fourth with a 1.1 for "Practice" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for "Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal" (0.8) and "El Rostro de la Venganza" (0.5).

CBS led the night among households with a 9.2 average overnight rating and a 14 share. ABC was second at 4.4/7, NBC third at 4.2/7, Fox fourth at 2.1/3, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, CW sixth at 1.0/1 and Telemundo seventh at 0.7/1.


* * * *

Nielsen Notes
Nielsen: Time-shifting eating into live TV viewing
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Nov. 14, 2012

Not only does DVR penetration continue to grow but people are spending more time with the devices to play back their recorded shows.

That's one of many findings from Nielsen's latest Cross-Platform Report, which examined media consumption for the second quarter.

The study found that Americans spent an average of 22 minutes per day with DVR playback during the second quarter of the year, up from 20 minutes a year ago and 18 minutes in 2010.

That growth coincides with the overall gains in DVR penetration, which Nielsen says stands at 46 percent currently, up from 43 percent at this time last year.

But increased DVR playback has come at the expense of live TV viewing. Nielsen says TV viewers spent an average of four hours, 18 minutes with live TV in second quarter, down from four hours, 23 minutes in 2011.

The report also found that using a second screen such as a smartphone or tablet while watching TV is becoming increasingly common. In second quarter 85 percent of tablet and smartphone owners said they use their device while watching TV at least once a month, with 40 percent doing so on a daily basis.

For more findings from Nielsen's Cross-Platform Report click here.

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TV Notes
Don Nash Named Executive Producer of 'Today' Show
By Jordan Zakarin, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 14, 2012

A familiar face has gotten a promotion at NBC's Today.

Don Nash, who has worked on the show for the past 23 years, has been named executive producer of the formerly top-ranked morning program. He replaces Jim Bell, who left the show Monday after seven years as EP to oversee NBC Sports' Olympics coverage full time. Nash takes over Dec. 1, reporting to Alexandra Wallace, another NBC News vet who was tapped Wednesday as executive in charge of Today.

Wallace, who had been tipped as Bell's successor, will have executive oversight of the show and continue to report to NBC News president Steve Capus.

"Don Nash deserves to be at the helm of Today," Capus said in a statement. "He is a beloved member of the Today family who brings vision, commitment and a deep familiarity to all aspects of the broadcast. The formidable individual talents of Alex, Don and the Today leadership are now combined, and I’m confident our team is well positioned for success."

Bell left the show after a troubled summer in which Ann Curry was removed from the anchor's chair after just one year and replaced by Savannah Guthrie, a move that rubbed many viewers the wrong way. Bell was an advocate of the switch. Today had its 16-plus-year streak of being No. 1 in the ratings broken earlier in the year, and ABC's Good Morning America is now the consistent top-rated program in morning television.

Nash had been Today's senior broadcast producer since 2005, orchestrating the show from the control room. Before that, served as executive producer of Weekend Today for three years. He began his NBC career in 1989 as a page in Burbank and joined Today soon after.

Along with her Today duties, Wallace will continue as executive producer of Rock Center With Brian Williams, a job she started in October.

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Critic's/Nielsen Notes
The Six Untold Stories of This Season’s TV Ratings
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Nov. 14, 2012

Here are the three most commonly cited revelations about the 2012 TV season so far: Every major network but NBC is down in the ratings; there are no new breakout hits (with the possible exception of Revolution); and the networks really, really want everybody to remember how many folks now watch shows via DVR. Oh, and a fourth: The Walking Dead may now be the most commercially successful series in the history of basic cable. But beyond these well-covered talking points, a few other interesting trend lines have emerged six weeks into the new season. We dug into TV's version of exit polls – the Nielsen ratings – and identified six other notable nuggets about the season-to-date.

1. New Girl and 2 Broke Girls are having major sophomore ratings slumps

When shows debut as well as these two did last season, networks have often been able to keep the momentum going and even increase viewership in season two. ABC's Modern Family, for example, was a big hit when it bowed in 2009; its Nielsen numbers in its second and third seasons were actually even bigger. Over at CBS, The Big Bang Theory grew its ratings each of its first three seasons; now, in its sixth season, the show is drawing some of its biggest audiences ever. But so far, last season's two biggest comedy hits are going in the opposite direction. Compared to a similar time frame last fall, New Girl is down a whopping 35 percent and 2 Broke is off 23 percent with adults under 50. These declines are particularly concerning because both CBS and Fox were expecting these shows to anchor their respective Monday and Tuesday comedy lineups; the down numbers ripple through the rest of the evening and have helped contribute to both networks' overall double-digit Nielsen declines this fall.

Now, while none of this can be considered good, there are mitigating factors that help explain why programmers at CBS and Fox aren't totally flipping out over the development. For one thing, a big part of the year-to-year declines can be chalked up to new lead-ins for both shows. 2 Broke Girls, which shifted from 8:30 p.m. last year to 9 p.m., now has the horribly-rated (and likely soon-to-be-canceled) Partners airing in front of it, rather than former lead-in How I Met Your Mother. And instead of following Glee, New Girl now airs behind struggling freshman Ben and Kate (which this week notched a meager 1.1 rating among viewers under 50, sending New Girl to third place in its 9 p.m. timeslot). It's also worth noting that both shows had been declining last spring, so while they're still down from their fall 2011 numbers, the declines don't indicate some sudden abandonment by viewers. The challenge now for CBS and Fox (and producers) is to try to lure back audiences who had drifted away from these comedies. The Eye will likely cancel Partners in January, and put something stronger (Rules of Engagement? Big Bang Theory repeats?) in the pre-2 Broke Girls slot. Fox has indicated that it's sticking with Ben and Kate until spring, so it will have to hope that New Girl continues to get good buzz and that viewers remember why they fell in love with it in the first place. Perhaps a holiday week marathon of the show might help.

2. FX's Sons of Anarchy has become a Tuesday powerhouse

AMC's The Walking Dead has rightfully garnered lots of attention this fall for its jaw-dropping Nielsen performance. But it's not the only cable drama that's challenging broadcast fare for timeslot supremacy. FX's Sons of Anarchy, now in its fifth season, is regularly garnering bigger ratings among adults under 50 than either of its two network drama rivals on Tuesdays at 10 p.m.: Sons averages a 3.4 rating (including DVR) in the demo, dwarfing the 2.8 garnered by both ABC's Private Practice and NBC's Parenthood. Sons is also a bigger demo draw than a slew of other 10 p.m. dramas on other nights, including Castle, Hawaii Five-0, Chicago Fire, Scandal, Vegas, The Good Wife and Private Practice. It's an even bigger hit when compared to other shows on cable: Except for Dead and HBO's True Blood, no other series on cable has a bigger number of 18-49 viewers this year.

3. Dancing with the Stars is in need of Nielsen CPR

The once-mighty reality competition has been cha-cha-cha-ing its way down the Nielsen charts for a couple cycles now, but the extent of its decline has become striking this fall: Average tune-in is down nearly 25 percent, to 14.3 million viewers. Worse, younger audiences – never a super-strong suit for DWTS – have pretty much abandoned the series: It's down 32 percent among those under 50 and a shuddering 38 percent with those under 35. ABC had hoped to arrest recent declines this fall by bringing back fan faves for an all-star edition, but the move seems to have had the opposite effect. Some industry insiders speculate that viewers really weren't interested in seeing the "stars" go through all the same moves again, figuring that the biggest part of the show's appeal is discovering new amateurs attempting to get down. Regardless of the reasons behind the falling ratings, what's particularly worrisome for ABC is the fact that DWTS occupies a full three hours of the network's lineup. So in much the same way The Voice and American Idol sharply boost NBC and Fox, the drop-off for DWTS hurts ABC three times as much as just one poorly performing drama. One industry insider speculated that if there's a bright side to all of this, it's that, by not casting new celebs this season, ABC might have a better shot at making the next cycle's cast stronger, since the talent pool will not have been drained as quickly. (Which is definitely looking at the glass as one-sixteenth full.) Longer-term, however, Alphabet suits may want to consider resting DWTS a bit, limiting it to once a year. That's the strategy ABC pursued with The Bachelor starting in 2008, and it worked: The show is still a proven Nielsen performer and begins its seventeenth cycle next winter.

4. Shark Tank has bite

Most returning shows on ABC this fall are drawing less viewers than they did last fall, but not Shark Tank: Its audience this fall of roughly 7.1 million viewers is actually up nearly 20 percent vs. the same period last fall. And even though its premise — aspiring entrepreneurs hit up moguls for money — might seem a little old-skewing, Tank does great with young viewers, regularly ranking as one of the only shows on Friday nights to crack a 2 rating among viewers under 50 and giving ABC its best Friday 9 p.m. demo numbers since 2005. What's particularly amazing about Tank is that it's achieving these great results relatively late in its life. So far in this fourth season, nearly 50 episodes into its run, the show has notched its five biggest audiences ever. And while this may say as much about the aforementioned fade of Dancing with the Stars, Tank now almost matches the ratings of the dancing show's Tuesday results hour. (Shark Tank is also very popular with rich folks: Other than The Amazing Race, no other reality show on network TV boasts a bigger concentration of viewers under 50 who make more than $100,000 per year.)

This success could lead to some serious debates inside ABC over the next few weeks over whether to move Tank to another night of the week, where the overall TV audience is bigger, in order to make the show an even bigger hit. The risk in that, of course, is that Tank would also face more intense competition, and actually end up with lower numbers. One idea: ABC could double-pump Tank for a few weeks this season, perhaps airing new episodes on both Thursday and Friday. It could then see how the show fares on another night, without risking its hard-earned status as a Friday night hit.

5. NCIS: LA is thriving opposite the other networks’ Tuesday comedy tsunami

As ABC, Fox and NBC slug it out with similarly young-skewing sitcoms in the 9 p.m. Tuesday hour, CBS's very unhip crime procedural has emerged as the undisputed time period champ – not just in overall viewership, but also with younger viewers under 50. Last fall, Fox's red-hot New Girl was often beating NCIS: Cool J with adults under 50, while the Dancing with the Stars results show was stealing away older viewers. But the story is much different this season. The Eye drama is averaging 17.6 million viewers every week, nearly matching the combined audience of comedy hours on the other three networks (which collectively reach a little over 20 million viewers). And with those under 50, NCIS: LA averages a 3.5 rating, tied with New Girl and better than Go On, The New Normal, The Mindy Project, Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23. Impressively, despite the much-hyped new competition, NCIS: LA's overall audience is virtually unchanged from last fall. And while its demo ratings are lower than last season, the roughly 15 percent decline is smaller than the drop-offs for other established CBS dramas such as the CSI franchise, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, and The Mentalist.

6. Glee: Signs of life?

Last season, much of the buzz surrounding Ryan Murphy’s high school musical was negative: The show's ratings were down, critics (many of whom hadn't loved the show since season one) seemed particularly harsh on it, and there was uncertainty about just how Glee would make sense once so many of its core cast graduated. It's still early, but so far this fall, Glee appears to have rediscovered at least some of its musical mojo. The year's fourth episode, in which everybody broke up with each other, didn't just send Gleeks into an emotional tailspin – it also got critics raving. And while the new kids in Lima have been a snore, the New York-based portions of the show have generally seemed to work. As for ratings, they are down from last year, but just barely. While most of Fox's regular series have plunged 20 to 30 percent (in line with similar declines for many CBS and ABC shows this fall), Glee so far is off just 10 percent vs. last fall among viewers under 50. And its 4.0 demo rating (once DVR viewing is factored in) puts Glee on par with younger shows such as Revenge and New Girl. Part of the encouraging Nielsen numbers can be chalked up to the show's new 9 p.m. Thursday timeslot: Instead of leading off a night, it now has a lead-in from The X Factor.

Of course, with Glee, it's always best to temper any optimism: It's proven quite capable at veering completely off track at a moment's notice. Last week's episode, devoted almost entirely to Lima, had little of the magic seen in the break-up hour. Still, for now at least, a series that seemed ready to wrap it up just a few months ago now seems very likely to return for a fifth season.

Edited by dad1153 - 11/15/12 at 12:23pm
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TV Notes
Why David Geffen is Getting the 'American Masters' Treatment
By Brent Lang, TheWrap.com - Nov. 14, 2012

David Geffen is not a singer. Nor is he a movie star. Nor is he a writer.

Thus he would seem an odd subject for "American Masters," a series devoted to artists ranging from Willa Cather to Woody Allen.

Yet series creator Susan Lacy claims that the mogul has had a profound impact on American popular culture that equals any of those figures. She pleads her case in "Inventing David Geffen," which will be broadcast Nov. 20 on PBS. The documentary had its premiere in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

"He seems like a bit of an odd choice," Lacy admitted to TheWrap. "But I have a degree in American Studies and I learned that the people with the most influence are often the ones behind the scenes."

In Geffen, Lacy saw a figure like Alfred Stieglitz, a photographer whose lasting legacy was a series of modernist shows he held at his New York galleries that influenced visual arts in this country and brought cubism to the masses.

Some arm twisting must have been required to get the press-averse Geffen to emerge from semi-retirement to reflect on his career in movies, music and Broadway. Lacy said that part of the reason she was able to convince him to participate is that he was a fan of the series and had participated in her documentaries on figures such as Joni Mitchell.

""It wasn't hard," she said. "I knew from other people that he thinks my Leonard Bernstein documentary is one of the best documentaries anyone ever made. Mike Nichols told me that he makes everybody who stays with him watch it."

In addition to Geffen, the documentary features interviews with his friends and colleagues -- an A-list rolodex that includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Elton John, Neil Young, Clive Davis, Barry Diller, and Irving Azoff. His sphere was huge, Lacy claims because his influence was tectonic.

By championing musicians such as Jackson Browne and Laura Nyro, Geffen put his own imprint on the emerging singer-songwriter movement in the 1970s. Later, Geffen managed to adapt to shifting tastes, by aligning himself with groups like Aerosmith and Guns 'N Roses and helping to usher in the heavy metal craze. For more than 30 years, his labels -- Asylum Records, Geffen Records, and DGC Records -- represented the high-water mark for musicians, who clamored to get in the door.

"He had an incredible eye for talent," Lacy said. "These people would have eventually found their way. But he helped them get there. He fixed their teeth and allowed them to write music that’s history."

Though he made his name in music, Geffen also became a force in the theater and film businesses. He enriched himself by producing hit musicals like "Cats" and "Dreamgirls," and branched out into movies with memorable pictures like "Risky Business." In 1994, he co-founded DreamWorks SKG, the studio behind Oscar-winners like "American Beauty" and "Saving Private Ryan."

"In each decade, he has done something that has affected the culture," Lacy said. "If I had to boil it down to one thing it would be his genius at business."

It's a mastery of deal-making and talent-scouting that has made him a very wealthy man, worth an estimated $5.5 billion. It is also a trajectory that Lacy maintains cannot be replicated in a more fractured media landscape, where mega-corporations wield disproportionate influence and are more interested in quarterly earnings than fostering rising stars.

"Even he would say that nobody could do what he did today," Lacy said. "The times have changed so much. I asked him if he could raise $2 billion to start a new studio, and he said 'absolutely not.' And record companies, well, we know what happened to them. Behind all the conglomerates and corporations, to find someone with a genuine sensibility like David Geffen's would be impossible. He was unique."

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TV Notes
The One to Watch, Just to the Left of the Star
By Jeremy Egner, The New York Times - Nov. 14, 2012

Starting a series is hard. Just ask the producers of “Made in Jersey.” So it helps to have an indelible character to keep viewers entertained long enough to get them invested in stories they don’t know and actors they’ve often never seen.

The most memorable scene stealers in this fall’s new series largely carry on the noble tradition of Kramer (“Seinfeld”), Carla (“Cheers”) or, more currently, Schmidt (“New Girl”), Ron Swanson (“Parks and Recreation”) and Roger Sterling (“Mad Men”) — firing off the best lines from the side while the leads carry the story forward. The screen time may be limited, but it comes with the “freedom to just go in and do my job as an actor,” said Sara Rue, who appears on the new “Malibu Country” and knows what it’s like to be the lead from her time on the mid-'00s sitcom “Less Than Perfect.”

This time around “I get to just show up, wear my fake nails and my fake eyelashes, flounce around and say my funny lines and go home,” she said. “It’s kind of great.”

* * * *

Brett Gelman, ‘Go On’ (NBC)

, one of the group-therapy patients who charm and torment Matthew Perry’s Ryan King.

DEFINING QUALITY Slack-jawed oddness.

SPECIALTIES Non sequiturs; dead-eyed stares; beard fondling.

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HIM As Chris Elliott’s sidekick in “Eagleheart” or one of the unsettling Little Bit of Luck characters in New York Lottery ads.

“Go On” has dizzying quirks per capita even without Mr. K, a man Mr. Gelman describes as “a positive Hannibal Lecter.” But the character’s peculiarity stands out even from the other goofballs. The Lecter comparison stems from Mr. K’s intense observation of his surroundings, Mr. Gelman said, as he hovers — watching, always watching — on the fringe of group activities. When Mr. K does act out, he’s equally likely to share a convincing Gene Kelly impersonation, a savantlike understanding of real estate law or an enthusiasm for streaking.

“He doesn’t have a knowledge of how people operate socially,” said Mr. Gelman, a longtime Upright Citizens Brigade regular, “but he loves people.” He credits the show’s writers, but the Gelman oeuvre — including his Gelmania podcast and Funny or Die videos — suggests a flair for the bizarre. “I commit hard to the weirdness every time,” he said.

* * * *

Lucy Punch, ‘Ben and Kate’ (Fox)

, a co-worker and sidekick to the titular Kate.

DEFINING QUALITY A Gervaisian mix of cluelessness and self-regard.

SPECIALTIES Brassy quips; bad decisions.

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HER Cuckolding Anthony Hopkins in “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” antagonizing Cameron Diaz in “Bad Teacher,” licking Steve Carell in “Dinner for Schmucks.”

In this sitcom about mismatched but loving siblings sharing a roof B J is a saucy conniver who keeps the show’s sweetness in check. “She’s coming from somewhere darker and corrupt,” Ms. Punch said.

Early episodes found her helping Ben steal a tree from an ex-girlfriend’s backyard and faking her own death to get out of a relationship. Ms. Punch finds laughs in the gap between reality and her character’s oblivious ego.

“I kind of like characters who are blindly confident and deeply selfish,” she said. “She’s bad, but she doesn’t realize it.”

Ms. Punch, who grew up in London but now lives in Los Angeles, didn’t set out to become a comic actress. But it’s a niche she embraces, at times unintentionally. Early dramatic auditions found her striving for wrenching emotion but inspiring something else.

“I thought I was giving some really intense, moving performance, and instead I moved everyone to tears of laughter,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s natural humor or my atrocious acting.”

* * * *

J D Souther, ‘Nashville’ (ABC)

ROLE Watty White
, a country music guru.

DEFINING QUALITY Grizzled wisdom.

SPECIALTY Sage, plot-goosing ideas.

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HIM Acting in “Thirtysomething,” performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center, partying with the Eagles at the Troubadour in the ‘70s.

A Nashville Yoda who, as one character notes, has “discovered half the people in this town,” Watty White links the various subplots and frames the big-picture narrative about a town full of flawed strivers (like Connie Britton’s Rayna Jaymes). “He kind of shows up occasionally and provides some perspective and some clarity,” Mr. Souther said.

Mr. Souther’s easy authenticity as a seen-it-all music business Zelig probably springs from his having seen plenty himself. A fixture in the Los Angeles country-rock scene in the 1970s, he was a writer of several of the Eagles’ hits (“Heartache Tonight,” “New Kid in Town”) and performed with (and dated) Linda Ronstadt. Other hits followed, but he dropped out of the recording business in the mid-'80s, after the rise of MTV. “People I knew were thinking about the videos while they were writing the songs, and it didn’t appeal to me,” he said.

Mr. Souther, who moved to Nashville a decade ago, continued writing songs for Bonnie Raitt and the Dixie Chicks, among others; when he started putting out his own records again in 2008, they were jazzier affairs (including “Midnight in Tokyo,” released last month). He even contributed a song to “Nashville,” though he’s not sure viewers will ever hear it.

“There are a lot of songs in the hopper right now,” he said, “because everybody in town wants a song on this show.”

* * * *

Toks Olagundoye, ‘The Neighbors’ (ABC)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, first lady of a colony of aliens, all named after athletes, in New Jersey.

DEFINING QUALITY Aspirational anxiety with a dash of intraspecies condescension.

SPECIALTY Perky mutability.

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HER In guest spots on “Law & Order” and “Ugly Betty” or Off Broadway.

In a show full of offbeat performances, Ms. Olagundoye stands out for being charmingly game for just about anything. She’s showed off a flair for accents, pratfalls and mimicry, at times simultaneously. One episode found Jackie channeling a reckless Real Housewife of New Jersey for a night out with normal housewives.

“She really wants to get it right, but she hardly ever does,” Ms. Olagundoye said. “I get to do so many strange, strange things.”

She rolled her eyes when she heard the series’s subdivision-full-of-aliens concept. But Ms. Olagundoye, who was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, was impressed by the show’s cleverness and could relate to her character’s outsider perspective. Perhaps most alluring: The show allowed her to indulge a natural tendency to mug for the camera. “It’s nice to finally have a role in which it comes in handy and people are like, ‘Oh, good,' ” she said, “instead of: ‘No, less, less. What are you doing?’ ”

* * * *

Sara Rue, ‘Malibu Country’ (ABC)

, nosy neighbor to a fish-out-of-water Tennessee family headed by Reba (Reba McEntire) and her mother, Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin).

DEFINING QUALITY California shallow.

SPECIALTY Personal space violations.

YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HER In “Less Than Perfect” or in recurring roles on “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Rules of Engagement.”

Actorly insecurity almost prevented Ms. Rue from joining “Malibu Country.” She rejected early overtures from the producers because “I just felt like they weren’t going to give me the job,” Ms. Rue said, laughing. “I wrote myself off.”

Her reluctance was because Kim, an oversharing socialite with verve, runs counter to Ms. Rue’s typical “uncomfortable-in-my-own-skin awkward girl” roles. But she found a secret weapon in her cable box. “I’ve watched a lot of ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ and ‘Beverly Hills,’ ” she said. “Both of those shows really inform the character.”

After starring in “Less Than Perfect,” which ran from 2002 to 2006, she is happy to cede “the pressure of carrying the show” to Ms. McEntire. “She has such a huge fan base and such a huge following,” Ms. Rue said. “It’s kind of a relief to just be like, ‘Oh my gosh, you handle this part.’ ”

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Nielsen/Business Notes
Broadcasters’ Proposed Ad Sales Changes Won’t Solve Problems Right Away: Analysts
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Nov. 14, 2012

Analysts are starting to wrap their minds around an idea raised by CBS’ Les Moonves (here) and Disney’s Bob Iger (here) in recent earnings calls in response to questions about broadcasters’ disturbingly soft ratings in the new primetime season: With DVRs and time-shifting becoming more popular, they said, it’s time to sell ads based on the number of people who watch them up to seven days after they first air (C7, in industry jargon), up from today’s Live+3 days (C3). But the early verdict seems to be that a change would only help broadcasters a little, if at all — and won’t happen quickly. With DVRs’ ability to speed through commercials, “The problem is not ‘when’ people choose to watch particular content, it is that they are not watching advertising at all when they watch that programming,” BTIG’s Rich Greenfield says this morning. “You can try boosting viewership via C7 or even C14, but the ads are simply not being watched.” His suggestion: Networks should offer more shows on VOD, and fill them with fewer ads that are targeted to viewers’ needs and interests. The shift to that kind of model, including through TV Everywhere initiatives, “has simply been far too slow and we are being kind,” he says.

RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank is a little more optimistic about C7 ad sales, although he says the idea probably won’t catch on in time for the Spring 2013 upfront market. Broadcasters would have to develop a two-tiered pricing system: One for advertisers such as movie studios and retailers that need to reach a lot of people quickly, and another for companies that are less time-sensitive including those that sell consumer products and financial services. Advertisers also would insist on a drop in the networks’ rate for each viewer reached to compensate for the additional viewers in the C7 pool. The networks would end up making a bet that the growth in the number of people who time-shift shows four to seven days “will be faster than the trade-off in pricing,” Bank says.

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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 8, 2012

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s episode, Tracy (Tracy Morgan) and Jack (Alec Baldwin) square off against one another, after Tracy portrays Jack as a villain in his latest film. Meanwhile, Liz (Tina Fey) puts her worst foot forward – to finally face some long-needed foot surgery.

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

Grease is the word – and in this week’s episode, past graduates of the program return to McKinley High to watch the younger glee club veterans, and the newbies, stage a high-school version of Grease. There are worse things they could do.

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

This new documentary covers the birth, and about the first half of the 50-year career of The Rolling Stones. The title comes from the opening line of “Jumping Jack Flash,” and that song is one of many included in this toothless, but not uninteresting, study of one of rock’s most iconic and durable groups. For a full review, see Bianculli’s Blog.

CBS, 10:01 p.m. ET

What’s the special reason to watch this week’s new episode? Elementary, my dear Watson: It’s guest star Callie Thorne, sliding over from USA’s Necessary Roughness to make an appearance on tonight’s show, playing a detective. Is she as good as Sherlock? Improbable. But entertaining nonetheless.

NBC, 10:01 p.m. ET

Added to this week’s show: A report, by Andrea Mitchell, on the scandal enveloping Gen. David Petraeus, whose extramarital relationship with Paula Broadwell led to his sudden resignation from the CIA last Friday.

Edited by dad1153 - 11/15/12 at 5:01am
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TV Review
Rolling Stones myth, fact swirl in 'Crossfire Hurricane'
'Crossfire Hurricane' on HBO has the Rolling Stones telling their own story in an energetic, streamlined form.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - Nov. 15, 2012

If you needed another reminder of the implacability of time, the Rolling Stones are currently celebrating 50 years in show business — a fact that might blow the minds of people old enough to use the phrase "blow my mind" and at the same time mean less than nothing to people young enough to regard 50 years as an imponderable abstraction.

As part of the band's several-pronged multimedia anniversary — a two-year party, dating either from the initial 1962 confluence of blues fans Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards or to the January 1963 addition of last original Stone Charlie Watts — HBO will premiere Thursday a new documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane." The title, taken from the song "Jumpin' Jack Flash," reflects the film's temperament: It pictures their life together as a swirling maelstrom that sucks them up out of the London clubs in the early '60s and spits them out, a decade and a half later, as the stadium attraction they remain to this day, when they feel like it.

Director Brett Morgen (co-director, with Nanette Burstein, of the visually fanciful 2002 Robert Evans documentary "The Kid Stays in the Picture") begins with a series of voice-overs from his panel of somewhat contradictory narrators, as if to say, This cannot be definitive: "It's almost a fairy story, you know," says Keith. Charlie "can't remember much of it, to be honest" and Mick can remember some of it but says that it's all written down somewhere, and Bill Wyman, the last man to quit the Rolling Stones, quotes the old adage that one shouldn't "let the truth spoil a good story."

Like the Evans film, which was a kind of illustrated memoir, "Crossfire Hurricane" relies almost exclusively on the voices of its subjects. (This is an authorized biography.) Given that there are seven of them, however, including former members Wyman and Mick Taylor and the late Jones, heard in archival clips, there is a certain amount of self-correction and myth-busting.

The principals, who sat for a reported 80 hours of interviews, are heard but not, in their present forms, seen, avoiding the cognitive dissonance that results from the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band also being perhaps its oldest. (Mick turns 70 next year; Charlie is 71, Wyman 76.)

It is, for all its two and a half hours, a streamlined retelling, organized more around energy and atmosphere than facts and figures. (As have chroniclers before him, Morgen discerns in the Stones' clubhouse and career a dialogue between truth and fiction, playacting and authenticity, as embodied most obviously, though not categorically, in "Glimmer Twins" Mick and Keith, the theatrical superego and the dedicated id.)

Some major events zip by in dependent clauses; some important supporting players, like pianist-turned-road manager Ian Stewart, might as well never have been born. The band's private lives, except as regards the unavoidable matter of drug use, do not come into it at all. But the essential essentials are essentially here.

My quibbles with it as a film are minor. It feels a little visually overstuffed here and there and inevitably loses a little steam toward the end. But viewers without much prior knowledge of the band may well be intrigued; fans with too much knowledge may whine a little over what was left out, but should be pleased by what has made it in, and what they haven't seen or heard. There is a healthy amount of little-to-unseen footage, some alternate takes of famous songs, and at least one late-date revelation.

From reupholsterers of American blues and R&B, to louche chroniclers of Swinging London, to revolutionists for the hell of it, to jet-set tax exiles, and finally to beloved old grandpas of rock — the irony of their evolution is not lost on them, that a band so perfectly expressive of its times now exists out of time, as perpetual purveyors of what might be called The Rolling Stones Experience.

But the music, at least, has remained unruly. They may be an institution, but they remain just crummy enough to keep from ever seeming slick.

"You can't be young forever," are the last words Mick speaks in the film, and are followed immediately by footage from the 2005 Beacon Theatre concerts Martin Scorsese shot for his "Shine a Light," as if to say: Not forever, no, but 50 years, just maybe.

Where: HBO
When: 9 p.m. Thursday

post #83361 of 93678
Maps up for NFL week 11.


(I think homcom's a little busy with stuff in his life, probably why no separate thread for the week's games)
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WEDNESDAY'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)
Fox wins Wednesday as ‘X Factor’ grows
Reality show averages a 2.9 in 18-49s, up 12 percent
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 15, 2012

It was close, but Fox pulled off another Wednesday night victory over CBS.

Fox averaged a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating and 8 share in primetime last night, according to Nielsen, 7 percent ahead of No. 2 CBS at 2.7/7.

Fox’s entire night was taken up by “The X Factor,” growing 12 percent over last week’s 2.6, though it was not the night’s highest-rated show.

That distinction once again went to ABC’s “Modern Family,” which drew a 4.6 at 9 p.m. CBS’s “Criminal Minds” was the night’s No. 2 show with a 3.0 at 9 p.m.

The season premiere of NBC’s “Whitney” drew a 1.4 at 8 p.m. That was lower than the show’s 1.6 average last year in the same timeslot, though it did mark NBC’s highest rating for a regularly scheduled show in the slot since the final week of September.

Second-year comedy “Whitney” replaces the now-canceled “Animal Practice.”

At 10 p.m. NBC’s “Chicago Fire” declined 27 percent from last week’s season high, when it aired behind a special episode of “The Voice,” to a 1.6.

ABC’s “Nashville” fell 10 percent week to week to a 1.8. Both new dramas recently earned full-season pickups.

CBS’s “CSI” continued to win the timeslot, drawing a 2.4 last night.

Fox was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.9 average overnight rating and an 8 share. CBS was second at 2.7/7, ABC third at 2.5/7, Univision fourth at 1.6/4, NBC fifth at 1.5/4, CW sixth at 1.1/3 and Telemundo seventh at 0.5/1.

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-six percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. Fox led with a 2.9 for "Factor," followed by CBS with a 2.6 for "Survivor." ABC was third with a 2.2 for "The Middle" (2.5) and "The Neighbors" (1.9), Univision fourth with a 1.6 for "Por Ella Soy Eva," NBC fifth with a 1.3 for "Whitney" (1.4) and "Guys With Kids" (1.3), CW sixth with a 1.2 for "Arrow" and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for "Rosa Diamante."

ABC jumped to first at 9 p.m. with a 3.5 for "Family" (4.6) and "Suburgatory" (2.4), while CBS and Fox tied for second at 3.0, CBS for "Criminal Minds" and Fox for more "X Factor." Univision was fourth with a 1.7 for "Amores Verdaderos," NBC fifth with a 1.6 for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," CW sixth with a 1.0 for "Supernatural" and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for "Corazon Valiente."

CBS led at 10 p.m. with a 2.4 for "CSI," with ABC second with a 1.8 for "Nashville." NBC was third with a 1.6 for "Fire," Univision fourth with a 1.5 for "Amor Bravio" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for "Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal" (0.7) and "El Rostro de la Venganza" (0.5).

Among households, CBS was first for the night with a 6.9 average overnight rating and an 11 share. ABC and Fox tied for second at 5.0/8, NBC was fourth at 3.5/5, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, CW sixth at 1.9/3 and Telemundo seventh at 0.7/1.

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TV Notes
CBS Expands ‘Elementary’ Order By Two Episodes, Trims ‘Vegas’ By One
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 15, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: CBS has tweaked the full-season orders to freshmen Elementary and Vegas as the network is firming up its scheduling needs for the rest of the season. Elementary, the stronger between the two rookies, is getting two extra episodes for a 24-episode season.

Elementary just landed the coveted post Super Bowl slot, and one of additional episodes accounts for that. Vegas‘ order has been trimmed from 22 to 21 episodes.


* * * *

TV Notes
NBC’s ‘Guys With Kinds’ Gets Order For Four More Episodes

NBC has given a back order to freshman comedy Guys With Kids.

The pickup is for four episodes, bringing its first season to 17 episodes.

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TV Notes
FX Renews 'American Horror Story' for Third Season
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Nov. 15, 2012

FX has signed up for a third round of American Horror Story.

The anthology series from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk has been renewed for a third season, the network announced Thursday, with series star Jessica Lange returning for a third installment of 13 episodes.

Featuring a new story, location and cast of characters -- with several actors returning in different roles -- the second season, dubbed Asylum, returned to a record 3.85 million viewers and topping its series premiere by 22 percent year-over-year. This season is up 19 percent compared with its freshman run.

When factoring in Live+7 numbers, AHS: Asylum ranks as the No. 1 program in FX history among women 19-49 and a tie at the top among adults 18-34. The season two premiere collected 5.5 million total viewers with 4.07 million among adults 18-49, up 19 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Its most recent episode, which revealed the identity of serial killer Bloody Face, topped all broadcast networks in the 10 p.m. slot among adults 18-34 (2.1 rating), women 18-34 (2.4) and men 18-34 (1.7). The hour was up 30 percent week over week in adults 18-34 and marked a 45 percent gain among women 18-34, up 9 percent in adults 19-49 when factoring in live plus same day numbers.

"With American Horror Story: Asylum, Ryan and Brad have raised the bar in every way from Murder House, the first American Horror Story miniseries,” FX president and GM John Landgraf said of the 20th Television effort. “And their original idea -- the notion of doing an anthological series of miniseries with a repertory cast -- has proven groundbreaking, wildly successful and will prove to be trendsetting. We can’t wait to see what deviously brilliant ideas they come up with for their third miniseries.”

Asylum, which takes place at an East Coast institution for the criminally insane, stars Lange, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Chloe Sevigny, James Cromwell, Zachary Quinto and Joseph Fiennes.

The freshman season -- submitted as a miniseries -- tied for the most Emmy nominations with 17 and was 2011's most time-shifted program, according to Nielsen.

A new title for the third installment, which will return in fall 2013, has yet to be revealed. The season two finale is slated for Jan. 23.

“The American Horror Story anthology is a labor of love for all of us and we could not be prouder of the work our brilliant company of actors and everyone on the production team is doing this year,” Murphy said. “To John and our friends at FX and Dana Walden and Gary Newman at 20th, we thank you for your vote of confidence -- and to our loyal audience, keep watching!"

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TV Notes
Kennedy miniseries is getting a sequel
By Erin Strecker, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Nov. 15, 2012

It’s the return of Camelot!

The eight-part Kennedy miniseries, The Kennedys, that starred Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes and premiered on Reelz channel in April 2011, is getting a sequel of sorts.

Reelz announced today that rights to J. Randy Taraborrelli’s bestselling book After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family 1968 to the Present have been acquired by Muse Entertainment Enterprises and that REELZ has entered a co-development agreement with Muse to produce a miniseries.

“With The Kennedys miniseries we saw tremendous response to powerful storytelling along with an intense interest in this remarkable family. In his book, J. Randy Taraborrelli tells the incredible true story of the Kennedys from 1968 to today,” Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of REELZCHANNEL, said in a press release. “The Kennedy family is truly a part of the fabric of America and we’re thrilled to once again work with our partners at Muse Entertainment Enterprises to bring our viewers this fascinating and continuing story.”

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Business/Nielsen Notes
Why Won’t the Networks Cancel Partners and The Mob Doctor?
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Nov. 15, 2012

The Walking Dead isn't the only zombie show on the air this fall: CBS and Fox have Partners and The Mob Doctor, respectively, a pair of freshman Monday-night programs that soldier on even with disastrous out-of-the-gate ratings and continued Nielsen erosion that would normally have resulted in their execution after just two or three weeks. After all, the Eye killed Made in Jersey after just two airings, even though both episodes of the Friday-night drama drew more viewers than any of the six installments of Partners. And in the case of MobDoc™, its most recent airing (episode six) attracted only 3 million viewers and averaged a 0.8 among viewers under 50; that's 20 percent below the 1.0 rating that just two years ago prompted Fox to euthanize the critically-loved Lone Star after its second broadcast. So why do MobDoc™ and Partners continue to wander haplessly about the primetime landscape, even though most industry observers believe there's virtually no chance either will survive until the end of this TV season, let alone earn a sophomore pickup? CBS and Fox aren't commenting, but according to the best guesses of industry insiders surveyed by Vulture, three major factors may be at play.

1. Money

The first thing to keep in mind when trying to analyze the scheduling decision of networks is that advertising revenue plays a critical role in most decisions. Companies buy commercial time on shows shortly after the nets announce their new schedules at the May Upfronts, snapping up spots for the whole season priced according to guesses of how well they think the newbies will perform. So, for example, if you're an ad buyer for Coca-Cola who bought lots of time on NBC's Revolution six months ago, you probably got a hell of deal: Expectations for the show were modest, which meant the Peacock had to sell spots on the cheap. (According to Ad Age, a 30-second spot on Revolution sold for around $97,000, about one-third the cost of an ad on The Voice and far less than the roughly $140,000 CBS charges for timeslot rival Hawaii Five-0 and the $125,000 ABC gets for Castle.) And while its numbers have been slipping a bit in recent weeks, Revolution actually turned into the season's biggest Nielsen success story, making it an incredible bargain for ad buyers.

On the flip side, CBS's track record for comedy success on Monday allowed the Eye to demand a whopping $162,000 per spot on Partners, according to Ad Age. Similarly, the magazine says Fox was able to get ad buyers to shell out around $168,000 for time on MobDoc™, a slightly higher rate than its more established lead-in, Bones. So while the new shows bombed in the ratings, at least in the short-term, it doesn't matter that much to either network's bottom line: They've already sold millions of dollars' worth of ad time at premium rates through the end of the season. And while CBS and Fox might have to offer some extra ad time to make up for the shows' weaker-than-expected ratings — so-called "make-goods" — that loss in future revenue is likely tiny compared to what would happen if they were to simply have pulled Partners and MobDoc™ off the air after their second or third broadcasts (when it became abundantly clear the shows were tanking). "If you have ad dollars booked against a show, and then you change shows, you give advertisers the opportunity to bail," explains one broadcasting veteran who's well-versed in the particulars of the ad marketplace. In other words, while the low numbers that come out for the two shows each Tuesday morning might hurt network pride, it doesn't cause much financial pain — at least in the short term.

2. Bench strength

That said, there are still times when it makes sense for a network to dump a Nielsen loser, despite the out it gives ad buyers who had committed to said dog. For one thing, if the show didn't sell all that well in the Upfront season, then it's possible replacing it with repeats won't make that much of a monetary difference. The aforementioned Made in Jersey was only pulling in about $71,000 per 30 second spot, per Ad Age, which meant CBS didn't give up that much revenue when it briefly subbed in repeats of crime dramas Fridays at 9 p.m. But even more importantly, CBS had a ready-to-go alternative waiting on its shelf to sub in for Jersey: Proven Friday performer Undercover Boss. After CBS gave its marketing team a few weeks to promote its return, Boss is now doubling Jersey's demo performance while attracting about 2 million more viewers. What's more, Boss fetches virtually the same ad rate as the canceled Jersey, making the swap even more painless (except for the cast and crew of the latter show). A similar logic applied when NBC stopped monkeying around and shut down Animal Practice on Wednesdays. The Peacock went into the fall with a slew of sitcoms — including Whitney, Community, 1600 Penn — all waiting in the wings, ready to be tapped in if needed. (Whitney got the call and debuted last night.)

In the case of Fox, however, its bench this season is exceedingly thin, particularly in terms of dramas. The only two scripted dramas that might have replaced MobDoc™ quickly are season two of Keifer Sutherland’s Touch and Kevin Bacon’s new serial killer series The Following. The latter has always been intended for a finite fifteen episode run on Monday nights starting in January. Had the show been a typical drama, network execs might have decided to move up its premiere date, perhaps to November, and then extended its episode order to make up for its early debut. But since Bacon is only contractually committed to fifteenepisodes per season, an extension wasn't an option. Shifting Touch from its planned Friday slot was also a theoretical possibility for Fox execs, but not a particularly attractive one: The show didn't perform all that well earlier this year, and given how hot NBC's The Voice is right now, there's little reason to have expected it would've done that much better on Mondays. What's more, given how poorly Fox's new Tuesday comedy block is doing, an early launch of Touch would've meant shifting marketing resources away from those shows in order to hype Touch. In the end, it seems as if Fox execs have decided sucking it up and enduring the weak numbers for MobDoc™ is a slightly better option than shaking up Mondays, particularly since the show actually generated decent pre-season ad rates.

3. Loyalty

It may sound radical, but it's true: Not every decision in TV is made from a steely-eyed financial perspective. That seems to be why Partners has remained on the air as long as it has over at CBS. While nobody at the network is talking, industry insiders tell Vulture that Eye entertainment chief Nina Tassler really, truly believes in the show and its creators (Will & Grace alum David Kohan and Max Mutchnick). While critics may have been brutal to the sitcom, and audiences have shown no enthusiasm for it, Tassler is known as an exec who fights for projects she believes in (she kept the underrated Swingtown on the air longer than many at the network would have liked).

The "Nina Likes It" theory seems particularly strong when you weigh some of the other reasons CBS might have killed the show earlier. While it fetched solid numbers in the upfront, meaning CBS would have to sacrifice some dough by killing it early, the Eye has a luxury no other broadcast network has: Several comedies that actually repeat very well with viewers. Slotting in encores of Two and a Half Men or The Big Bang Theory would probably give CBS a Nielsen boost while not costing the network all that much in ad revenue, given how well both shows do in repeats. And unlike Fox, which didn't have a strong contender to replace its Monday night laggard, CBS actually does have a comedy bench strong enough to allow for an original to replace Partners. The on-deck Rules of Engagement is a proven performer on multiple nights of the week and could easily be plugged into the slot with as little as two weeks' notice to promote it. The Eye also has a new half hour, Friend Me (about two friends working at Groupon), that might also have been given an early launch — though it seems unlikely CBS would want to rush an untested new show on the air.

There are a few other considerations that may be contributing to the slow trigger fingers at CBS and Fox, and which might explain why other shows whose performances are less-awful-but-not-great (The Last Resort, 666 Park Avenue) have stayed on the air. We now live in the Age of DVRs, which means networks pay close attention to how shows do once recorded viewing is factored in. Since Nielsen takes up to two weeks to process that information, some execs argue it makes sense to wait a bit longer to see if a show is actually finding an audience that, while not watching the same day, is watching nonetheless. (However, by week six we've seen enough DVR intel to demonstrate that neither Partners nor MobDoc™ is getting much of a boost from time-shifting.)

There's also the embarrassment factor: As recently as a few seasons ago, a demo rating hovering at or below a 1.0 would've been seen as nothing short of a disaster and reason for immediate cancellation. (See: Episode two of Lone Star.) Now? "A bad number isn't quite as obvious as it was even two or three years ago," one industry vet says. "It doesn't stick out like a sore thumb the way it once did." It's sort of the way Team Obama spun the unemployment rate to voters: 7.9 percent ain't great, but it's better than the 10 percent-plus rates from a few years ago.

Of course, none of these factors will matter in the long term, or even the near term. You'd be hard pressed to find a single agent or rival network exec who believes CBS or Fox will order a single additional episode of its two troubled shows beyond the thirteen they've already green lit. Fox has already said The Following will replace MobDoc™ by January 21. And while CBS is still staying mum, this week's worst-yet ratings for Partners — and the impact its poor lead-in numbers are having on its follow-up, 2 Broke Girls — has some industry insiders wondering just how much longer the Eye's Tassler will continue to be patient. For now, though, Monday night remains safe territory for this fall's zombie shows.

post #83368 of 93678
Maybe someone doesnt want to end up next to a horses head if they cancel mob doctor.
post #83369 of 93678
FYI, DIRECTV has added Time Warner Cable SportsNet (TWCSN) on channel 691, Spanish version on channel 458. Link
Edited by TheRatPatrol - 11/15/12 at 5:46pm
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Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

Large organizations don't like change. So they'll stay with the current model as long as they can. But I do agree with this assessment. I'm guessing that Disney's income would drop because of people who don't care about sports not paying for ESPN. Which is fine by me, ESPN has totally distorted the fee structure paid for sports licenses.

Something needs to be done about ESPN. They are buying up all the sports rights to events and jacking up the price of their channel and making everybody pay through the nose for it if they watch it or not. This is nothing but corporate greed.

Move them to a the sports only tier and the crap will stop.
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