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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2815

post #84421 of 93835
Winter TCA Tour Notes
NBC Orders Summer Drama 'Camp'
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jan. 6, 2012

NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the new drama "Camp" for summer, the network announced Sunday.

The show -- which NBC calls a "sly" drama in the tradition of the comedies "Meatballs" and "Dazed and Confused" -- comes from "Deception" creator Liz Heldens and "Deception" co-executive producer Peter Elkoff.

The series follows adults who "decompress with gin while teenagers make gleeful mischief and fall in and out of love."

The series will be produced by Matchbox Pictures (“The Slap”) and BermanBraun. Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein (“Deception”) also are executive producers.

Production is scheduled to begin in Australia in March, and casting will be named at a later date.

NBC made the announcements at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

post #84422 of 93835
TCA Winter Tour Notes
'Do No Harm' Producer on Pilot Tweaks and Being NBC's Latest Split-Personality Show
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 6, 2012

NBC is hoping to cash in with the new Steven Pasquale drama, Do No Harm, launching Jan. 31.

It's the latest in a long line of the network's recent attempts at the split-personality space, with 2008's My Own Worst Enemy and 2012's Awake, both lasting only a handful of episodes. For executive producer David Schulner, he he looked to those past attempts to better craft and tackle the dual-personality nature of Do No Harm. (The series, he said, was pitched as Dexter meets House.) "I took lessons from those shows," he said at Television Critics Association's winter press tour session Sunday, before touting that "this is going to be a show you want to watch."

Do No Harm centers on a hotshot medical doctor Jason Cole, who at 8:25 p.m. every evening is overtaken by his darker/more dangerous alter-ego Ian Price. Twelve hours later at 8:25 a.m., Jason assumes his body again.

While the significance of the 8:25 switch will be addressed by the final episode of the first season, the idea that Jason and Ian are "on" for 12 hours without any semblance of rest (or sleep) was something the writers have thought through.

"Ian does sleep. He's not always out. ... He's catnapped," Schulner. The consequence of being "on" for 24 hours will be addressed at some point: "He's burning the candle on both ends and that can't last."

There were also a few tweaks made from the original pilot to the episode that will air later this month. One of the major changes included a rape line that was taken out during a compromising sexual encounter between Ian and Dr. Lena Solis (Alana de la Garza).

"What we realized when doing the series was that the Olivia character played by Ruta Gedmintas, her and Ian have that kind of relationship where she is turned on, attracted to that dark side. For Alana's character, what we realized going through ... that wasn't her," Schulner said.

STORY: NBC Slots 'Do No Harm' on Thursdays, Moves 'Rock Center' to Fridays

There isn't a drastic physical change between Pasquale's Jason and Ian, and that was intentional.

"What we decided was we didn't want to do the classic thing where one guy was clearly a monster," Pasquale explained. "So when the characters intersect it would be [interesting to watch]."

How dark will the Ian character go? "Ian's a little bit like a cat. The cat wants to play with the mouse," Schulner said. "It's a constant cat-and-mouse and chess match."

The new trailer of Do No Harm below: [CLICK LINK]

post #84423 of 93835
TCA Winter Tour Notes
NBC executives celebrate success, talk 'Revolution,' 'The Voice,' 'Parenthood' & more
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Jan. 6, 2012

During the last golden age of NBC — so long ago that Warren Littlefield may have come on stage wearing an onion on his belt, which was the style at the time — the network's presidents made an artform of filibustering their way through each press tour executive session, pummeling the press into submission with statistics and graphs and charts demonstrating NBC's unquestioned dominance in primetime, late night, mornings and possibly day-parts that had yet to be invented. It was their way to brag, but also to drain our spirits so we wouldn't have the energy to pounce on the network's few weak spots from the mid-'90s through the early '00s.

NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt didn't quite pull off that trick during his first press tour session since the network's return from the abyss, but his introductory remarks were significantly longer than they've been of late, featured lots of numbers illustrating NBC's success in the fall, and may or may not have ended with Greenblatt dropping the mic before taking our questions.

"I think last year I came right out and admitted that we'd had a bad fall," Greenblatt said. "Well, I'm not saying that this year."

Of course, that success has largely come on the backs of three shows: "Sunday Night Football," which won't be back until next fall, and "The Voice" and "Revolution," which won't be back until March 25.

"No one is more aware of what January through March will bring than us," Greenblatt acknowledged, even as he and fellow executives Jennifer Salke (in charge of NBC's scripted programming) and Paul Telegdy (in charge of reality) defended the decisions to take the two entertainment shows off the air for months.

Greenblatt said that keeping "Revolution" paired with "The Voice" — and letting the show air without reruns — was ultimately "the safer play" than keeping it on without a strong lead-in, and having to stretch the remaining 12 episodes over five months. (And it sounds like Greenblatt, who came from Showtime, would like to follow "more of a cable model" with scheduling any serialized dramas going forward.)

Many critics had wondered if "The Voice" would struggle in the fall by airing two installments in a row. Instead, the show was up in the ratings over most of last season, and Telegdy said he hoped that the arrival of new coaches Shakira and Usher (filling in for Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera) would liven up the spring installment.

We'll see what happens over these next few months, but for now, Greenblatt gets to brag.

Fienberg did a thorough live-blog of the executive session, including the amusing moment where Greenblatt attempted to refer to "Smash" — a show which replaced its showrunner and several castmembers — as "an unqualified success." After it ended, I was in the scrum with Salke, where topics included:

* "Parenthood," which will be wrapping up its fourth season on January 29 before "Smash" takes over, got several shout-outs from Salke and Greenblatt during the executive session. After, I asked how she was feeling about the show. "We're feeling really great about it," she said. "We haven't determined its future, but we would be crazy to tell you that we didn't feel incredibly excited about where the show is creatively and the way the current storylines are capturing a bigger audience. We feel really good about it."

* Salke dismissed the recent reports that David Lynch would be reviving "Twin Peaks" at the network, saying that when she first heard the story, she called around to every relevant NBC executive, and this was the first any of them had heard about it. "It sounds like an interesting idea," she said, "but we have not gotten a call."

* What are NBC's expectations for the return of the critically-adored, low-rated combination of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation"? "We hope that that core group of viewers comes and shows up and helps us launch into 'The Office' and '1600 Penn.'" (Just reading the tea leaves, I'm assuming "Community" is done after this post-Dan Harmon season, while the fate of "Parks" will depend on NBC's comedy development and how new shows like "1600 Penn" do over the next few months.)

* Greenblatt said in the session that the Bryan Fuller-produced "Hannibal" might not air until the summer. Would the success (or lack thereof) of FOX's own serial killer drama "The Following" affect any "Hannibal" scheduling? "I don't think so," said Salke, who heard Kevin Williamson's "Following" pitch after her network had already bought the Fuller show. "Having only seen 'The Following' pilot, it's an incredibly different show."

* Why did NBC ultimately decide not to go forward with "The Office" spin-off built around Dwight Schrute and his family on the beet farm? "Feeling like it was a move into an even more narrow — but probably beloved — world, instead of trying to stay loyal to the brand, but open your arms wider." (Also, in the Greenblatt scrum, he reportedly said that he doesn't expect Steve Carell to return for "The Office" series finale, because Carell was too satisfied with his original exit from the show.)

post #84424 of 93835
TCA Winter Tour's Notes
‘Grimm’ Producers Consider What Makes A “Breakout Hit” And The Friday Night Curse
By The Deadline.com Team - Jan. 6, 2012

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt, executive producers of NBC‘s supernatural drama Grimm, were asked a backhanded question today at the show’s TCA panel: What would it take to make Grimm “a true breakout hit?”

“First of all, I thought it was a true breakout hit,” Greenwalt replied. “By God if we’re not a true breakout hit, we’ll become one soon.” The second part of the question was whether the producers are satisfied with the show’s 9 p.m. Friday time slot since there is a perceived TV industry curse that Friday night shows are doomed to fail.

Greenwalt said he “loves the time slot, it’s the old X-Files time slot” and said fans are managing to find the show. Added Kouf: “I don’t believe in curses so much. If they don’t watch it Friday night, they seem to watch it next Saturday.”

The group was also asked how the show manages to stand out in the glut of supernatural TV fare, and how it plans to distinguish itself going forward. Said Greenwalt: “It’s a hybrid police procedural but has this whole ‘otherworld’ going on that givers us the ability to explain, in this odd and bizarre way, crime.” He added that in upcoming episodes the supernatural otherworld will “go to a macro level” and be tapped to explain “evil in the world, what is wrong with the entire world. We are seeking ways to explain it.”


* * * *

TCA Winter Tour's Notes
‘Deception’ Creators See No Need To Call Attention To Race

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

Given that a pair of its primary lead performers happen to be African American, it might seem logical to assume that the ethnicity of stars Meagan Good and Laz Alonso would be somehow interwoven into the storyline of the midseason NBC soap ensemble Deception (formerly Infamous) that premieres tomorrow night at 10. But this assumption would be wrong, as showrunner Liz Heldens stressed during an afternoon TCA panel. Good portrays a police detective investigating a possible homicide, while Alonso plays an FBI agent and her former flame. “I guess the way it all shook out, (the ethnicity of Good and Alonso) is a way of sort of dealing with race without actually having to talk about it,” Heldens said. “But it’s not something we really talk about too much in the writers room…I just think it is sort of there. I’m not sure what we could put in the characters’ mouths that would speak louder than the fact of what you’re looking at on-screen.” Heldens pointed out that there certainly was no specific intent to cast African Americans in the roles, but that when Good originally came in to read “she just walked in and owned it. It was fantastic.”

The fact that her character isn’t specified as to race was seen as a plus by Good when she read the original script. “I just thought it was really cool that it wasn’t listed as a ‘young black girl’,” she said. ” Added Alfonso: “To me, it’s just great to play a well-rounded human being regardless of color and ethnicity.”

You can watch a trailer below: [CLICK LINK]

post #84425 of 93835
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 - The Bachelor (Season Premiere, 120 min.)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! Goodbye to Midnight (Special)

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
(R - Oct. 17, 2011)
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Nov. 5)
9PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Nov. 12)
9:30PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Jan. 16)
10PM - Hawaii Five-0
(R - May 7)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (TV host Michael Strahan; Jessica Chastain; Conor Maynard performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Billy Gardell; Krysten Ritter)

8PM - The Biggest Loser (120 min.)
10PM - Deception (Series Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Bill Maher; Nicole "Snooki'' Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww'' Farley; Miguel performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Betty White; comic Jeff Ross; Sky Ferreira performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Chuck Zito; Estelle performs; director Rian Johnson)
(R - Sep. 28)

8PM - Bones
(R - Apr. 30)
9PM - The Mob Doctor (Season Finale)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Corps Christi (Season Premiere)
9PM - Market Warriors
10PM - POV: Reportero

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

8PM - Hart of Dixie
(R - Oct. 16)
9PM - Beauty and the Beast
(R - Nov. 15)

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Anne Hathaway)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales)

11PM - Conan (Courteney Cox; comic Chris D'Elia, Dan Sode)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Timothy Olyphant; John Caparulo; Kerri Kenney-Silver; Brad Wollack)
post #84426 of 93835
Critic's Notes
Embracing the Concise Power of Movies
Television's deep dives are great, but film offers something inimitable
By Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

[ED. Joe Morgenstern is the resident film critic for The Wall Street Journal.]

This week's column has no movie reviews, because no movies worth writing about are opening in national distribution. (The sole exception to the opening part, but not the writing-about part, is "Texas Chainsaw 3D.") Only a week ago we were fully engulfed in end-of-the-year releases, many of them quite wonderful. Now the movie business has gone off its own cliff, and I feel like a soul mate of bipolar Pat, the hero of "Silver Linings Playbook," and bipolar Carrie, the heroine of "Homeland." After the manic phase of what has come to be known, tellingly, as the awards season rather than the holiday-movies season, I'm back in the same depressive phase that almost always grips me in January, when plying my profession means scraping the bottoms of studio barrels for months to come. The main difference this year is that I'm also suffering from "Homeland" envy.

It's a consequence of having watched the first season, via downloads; I have no idea what's transpired since Carrie slipped under the anesthesia at the end of that season's climactic episode. Normally I don't get to watch much television, despite my abiding suspicion that the current cream of the home-screen crop is superior to much of what I see on theatrical screens. The problem is finding time between movie screenings to follow a given series faithfully. But what I saw in "Homeland" left me thinking what fun it might be, if only for one season, to write about such sensationally smart and sustained entertainment.

Before discussing this fantasy any further, I should say that I'm already getting over it. Far from inciting me to give up on movies, extended exposure to "Homeland" has helped me appreciate the inimitable strengths of the movie medium, as well as clarify what's missing in most studio product. And I should also explain my focus on the studios as the source of concern about what's happening to feature films. Gifted filmmakers, working outside the studio system, persist in making extraordinary features and documentaries, even though getting independent films financed and distributed grows ever more problematic. Yet the major Hollywood studios, functioning within global entertainment conglomerates that are fixated on winning weekends and garnering awards, continue to dominate the movie business. For better or worse—much worse for much of the year—it's the studios that provide most of the stuff that fills the multiplex maw, and that shapes most moviegoers' taste.

What "Homeland" brought home to me most forcefully was its faith in viewers' taste—a faith expressed by intricate plot development; brilliant performances grounded in the emotional truths of fascinating characters; unerring craftsmanship that builds to moments of barely bearable intensity; and, perhaps most striking of all, layer upon layer of ambiguity laid down, like rich sedimentary soil, by episode after episode in which no one is what they seem, startling secrets are revealed, red herrings are dangled. What's more, all of it feels discovered, rather than concocted, even though the basic premise was borrowed from "The Manchurian Candidate" and some of its unfoldings come perilously close to soap opera. (I can't resist citing one instance out of so many—the deeply moving, phenomenally complex moment at the battlefield in Gettysburg where Sgt. Brody, his family at his side, recounts the events of that blood-soaked day with manifest love for his children and, by his own lights, for the country he plans to punish with an unprecedented calamity.)

The qualities that lend "Homeland" its distinction can be found, though not always in such profusion, in the films I put on my 10-best list last week, and in a good many others that popped up, mercifully, during the year. All the same, most of last year wasn't spent watching the likes of "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty" or "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Too many weeks and months were filled, in a manner of speaking, by studio films that were notable only for being overexplained (thanks to incessant questions from focus groups and anxious production executives), underdeveloped (or so overworked as to be devoid of spontaneity), and formulaic to the point of self-parody (a seemingly incurable addiction to car chases, firefights, fireballs and shattering glass).

It was the public's fate, and therefore mine, to endure a flock of turkeys that included "Wanderlust" (hippie chaos, with Jennifer Aniston baring her breasts off-screen); "The Five-Year Engagement" (Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in a mirthless romcom from the Judd Apatow laugh factory); "Dark Shadows" (Tim Burton strip-mining his aesthetic); "Battleship" (attack of the board games gone berserk); "Prometheus" (storytelling principles lost in space); "John Carter" (showmanship lost on Mars); "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" (the thing speaks for itself); "Total Recall" (total trashing of the original); "Trouble With the Curve" (Clint Eastwood off base); "Alex Cross" (Tyler Perry off stride); and a Tom Cruise twofer, "Rock of Ages" (awful) and "Jack Reacher" (awfulest.)

Hollywood is, to be sure, up against heavy odds, at least in the domestic market; most of the studios' freight has come to be paid by global audiences who love action and don't hold out for nuance. Today's kids live on their phones and laptops; the multiplex pulls them in only on special occasions ("The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit"). Attention spans are shrinking by the minute; how long will it be before two-hour films will be considered intolerably long? And a good part of the reason that shows like "Homeland" can sustain such excellence is the subscription model of cable TV. Once a show reveals itself to be something special, subscribers may be inclined to stay with it. Hollywood, on the other hand, must start from scratch to sell each new movie, which is why sequelitis is an incurable disease; more scratch can be earned when audiences know what they're in for.

But—and here's the but that should give movie lovers heart—the movies, as we know them, won't be going away soon. Feature films, and feature-length documentaries, can still do things that no other entertainment medium can, and I'm not just referring to the sort of spectacle represented by a landmark event like "Avatar," or by a mainstream success like "Skyfall." Unlike the best long-form series, which build their fictional worlds over months or years, the best movies present relatively narrow segments of time in which the crucial qualities are compression, concision and intensity.

One can imagine the story of "Zero Dark Thirty" expanded to fill a dozen episodes, with attention paid not only to the spy work but to the training of the Navy SEAL team. But such a retelling wouldn't capture the hurtling pace of Kathryn Bigelow's film, or the breathless, nearly wordless suspense of the 25-minute climax inside Osama bin Laden's compound.

Intensity doesn't only imply suspense or excitement. Take the case of a film that wasn't on my 10-best list, but might well have been: "Amour," Michael Haneke's exquisite tale of a husband and wife in their 80s, bound by love and confronted with grave illness. Their story needs no expansion, thank you very much; it's harrowing enough at two hours plus a few minutes. Yet it's also unforgettable for the camera's intense gaze at two people who grow ever more vivid as their time together dwindles.

Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" hardly has a story to expand. The film is an ecstatic swirl with two gloriously distinctive people at its center, a father and daughter who embody love of life and the spirit of survival. The great distinction of "Lincoln" lies not in its narrative clarity, but in its remarkable density. Unlike some American variant of Masterpiece Theatre, Steven Spielberg's film plunges us into the rough-and-tumble politics of Lincoln's era. We can't understand everything that's going on, nor are we meant to, but we're taken out of ourselves and into another time for an experience as bracing as it is immersive—for a movie experience, that is.

post #84427 of 93835
Technology/CES Notes
TV’s “Second Screen” Wins Respect As Ultra-HD Scores The Hype At CES Confab
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Jan. 6, 2012

Never mind the ballyhoo about ultra-high definition televisions that Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, Panasonic and other consumer electronics manufacturers will generate this week at the annual International CES gadget confab in Las Vegas. Only a few consumers have the money and desire to buy one of these beautiful but pricey sets which pack four times as many pixels as a conventional HD television: U.S. consumers will buy just 1.4M ultra-HD sets in 2016, accounting for 5% of all sales, the Consumer Electronics Association projected today.

But it looks like the more meaningful announcements for ordinary TV viewers will come this week from companies that want to help them harness their small screens — smartphones and tablets. CEA Senior Analyst Shawn Dubravac says that consumers are becoming “digital omnivores,” adding that “the second screen is now robust.” Dish Network, which likes to use CES to unveil its new technologies, apparently agrees: It’s teasing an announcement tomorrow about “our newest take on mobility.” And this evening it unveiled an iPad app, which will be available this month, that subscribers who have the company’s Hopper DVR can use to help them become more engaged with their TVs. It will alert them to other shows that are hot at the moment — for example it will use Thuuz ratings to identify sports events that are becoming especially exciting. The iPad will serve as a remote control if they want to jump to another channel, or see what else is on. In addition the app it will feed Facebook and Twitter messages about the show that they’re currently viewing.

post #84428 of 93835
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

(quoting "TCA Winter Tour Notes" by Lynette Rice in EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog)

Katherine [sic] McPhee
I guess they can't tell Katharine McPhee from Katherine Helmond.
Anjelica Huston
They got that one right; I'm surprised.
post #84429 of 93835
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 7, 2012

Sundance, 7:45 p.m. ET

This 1988 Roman Polanski movie uses the city of Paris as a primary character, as the backdrop for a Hitchcockian thriller about an ordinary man caught by an underworld of deadly intrigue. Harrison Ford – an excellent equivalent of Hitchcock’s favorite leading man, Jimmy Stewart – plays a doctor attending an overseas medical convention with his wife. After the wife vanishes, the good doctor searches Paris to find her, teaming up with the most unlikely of Paris guides: a young hedonist played by Emmanuelle Seigner. Really taut drama, beautifully photographed.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1965 film was directed and co-written by Federico Fellini, and is one of the wildly imaginative visual narratives that solidified his reputation as a world-class pioneering film director. It stars Giulietta Masina as a woman haunted by, among other things, the infidelity of her husband, a problem that is solved with insights from, for starters, a friendly prostitute. Masina was Fellini’s wife, making her nakedness here – emotionally, that is – all the more intimate.

ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET

If you’ve watched any or all of the dozens of college bowls this year, they’ve all been leading up to, and you’ve all been waiting for, this one. Notre Dame, ranked No. 1, plays Alabama, ranked No. 2, for bragging rights to the national championship title.

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

In Mexico, more than 50 journalists have been killed, or have vanished without a trace, in the past six years, while reporting on the Mexican drug trade. This new edition of P.O.V. follows some of the stubbornly brave and inquisitive reporters at Zeta, an independent newsweekly based in Tijuana. In the United States, it’s the newspapers that are dying. In Mexico, shockingly, it’s the reporters. Check local listings.

Sundance, 10:00 p.m. ET
Part 1 of 8.
This 2004 documentary series has been updated, with two new installments to finish it off and update the story of Michael Peterson, who in 2001 called authorities to report that his wife had fallen down the stairs, to her death, in their lavish North Carolina home. It’s a call, and a case, that quickly uncovered, and unraveled, an entire different set of mysteries, accusations and surprises – all of which led to Peterson being charged with murder. Even without the update, this Staircase would be worth climbing all over again.

post #84430 of 93835
TV/Business Notes
Cable Companies Squeeze More Obscure Channels
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - Jan. 7, 2012

There are two kinds of cable channels in the United States: those operated by major media companies that have dozens of other channels, and those that are on their own.

The outlets in the second group, the independent channels, are feeling threatened these days. Some of the distributors they depend on — Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS — are talking about dropping underperforming channels from their lineups, or at least paying them less. Al Gore’s low-rated Current TV, for example, was at risk of being dropped when it decided to sell to Al Jazeera last week and was, in fact, dropped by Time Warner on New Year’s Day.

Distributors have talked for years about belt-tightening, but two things are different now: potential Web competitors are creeping up and programming costs are soaring, particularly for sports channels and broadcasters.

“We are having to take a very hard look at our lineup, not unlike a network that takes a hard look at its lineup when deciding what shows it will put on the air,” said Melinda Witmer, who oversees Time Warner Cable’s negotiations with channel owners. She predicted more changes in the future that would “enable us to buy the stuff that we’ve really got to have, and let go of stuff that’s not really moving the dial.”

In practice, independently owned channels are more imperiled than those owned by media conglomerates like the Walt Disney Company and Viacom. “Many lesser networks owned by the large content companies are tied to carriage of their more valuable services,” said Dan York, who oversees programming deals for DirecTV.

VH1 Classic and ESPNU aren’t going away anytime soon. But on New Year’s Day, Verizon FiOS withdrew Youtoo TV, a fledgling channel that features videos submitted by viewers, and Time Warner Cable dropped Ovation, which bills itself as an arts and culture channel. Ovation “is viewed by less than 1 percent of our customers on any given day,” the distributor said in December when it announced the change, adding, “They’ve had ample opportunity to improve the ratings and the content, and have failed to deliver.”

Even if obscure channels like Ovation receive only a nickel a month for every customer, those nickels still add up to tens of millions of dollars in costs incurred by distributors and, indirectly, their subscribers. Of the 10 distributors that together account for 90 percent of TV subscriptions in the United States, Time Warner Cable is taking the most aggressive public stance against low-rated channels like Ovation. Programming costs in general are “out of whack,” the distributor’s chief executive, Glenn Britt, told investors last month, citing a 30 percent increase in the subscriber fees paid to channel owners since 2008.

Mr. Britt has been outspoken about limiting price increases to retain customers who otherwise might eliminate cable. When Time Warner Cable warned that it might drop Current last month, it also singled out low-rated channels like Hallmark, IFC, Lifetime, NHL Network, the Style Network and WE tv.

But to date, none except for Current and Ovation have been dropped by Time Warner. And new channels continue to be given a chance: Time Warner Cable started to carry BBC World News and RLTV, formerly called Retirement Living TV, in the last few months. Some programmers say that’s proof that the distributors are just making empty gestures to Wall Street, talking tough about programming costs but not following through.

Chad Gutstein, the chief operating officer of Ovation, said he did not know why his channel was dropped, “but I do know this: What they say they’re doing, they’re clearly not doing.”

“They’re actually doing things to increase their programming cost growth, to drive those costs up for all the other distributors in the marketplace,” Mr. Gutstein said, by starting an expensive regional sports channel in Southern California, for instance.

But channels with exclusive sports rights are crucial, even though they may make profitable distributors feel impoverished. “Any given one may not have a huge amount of viewership relative to a national service, but if you lose that team, you’re losing subscribers,” said Ms. Witmer of Time Warner Cable.

Dave Shull, who oversees Dish Network’s programming deals, said that “with sports costs increasing so much, including the Time Warner products, I think everyone’s aware that they have to cut costs elsewhere to be able to afford those sports products.”

So what’s a tiny channel to do? Some analysts have suggested that low-rated cable channels should remake themselves as freely available channels on the Web, modeled after channels that YouTube is financing. YouTube channel owners make money from advertising but not subscriber fees.

Another model may entail Web subscriptions, something Glenn Beck pioneered with an online channel called TheBlaze. The owner of the Hallmark Channel recently started an online subscription service like Netflix for its library of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies. But at the same time, many online channels, TheBlaze included, are trying to squeeze onto cable and satellite systems, since the vast majority of video viewing still happens on the TV set, not the Web.

Over all, little has changed in the last few years: no major content player has gone “a la carte” and let subscribers choose only the channels they want to have and no one has started a virtual cable company on the Internet, despite efforts by Intel, Sony and other technology companies to do so. The television ecosystem, which at times has seemed close to its breaking point, has not broken. Both programmers and distributors have found it in their best interests to keep it intact.

Last week, for instance, the 11th-biggest distributor in the country, Suddenlink, was caught up in a fee fight with Fox Networks, the cable unit of the News Corporation. Suddenlink proposed that Fox could set prices for each of its channels, big ones like FX and tiny ones like Fox Soccer and Fuel, and then customers could choose to pay for only the ones they wanted.

Suddenlink publicized the offer, calling it “an attempt to respond to what our customers have said they wanted.” But Fox refused the offer. Four hours later, the companies said they had reached an agreement in principle to keep all the channels — and thus keep the system intact.

post #84431 of 93835
TV/Business Notes
Netflix, Warner Bros. Television Sign TV Drama Slate Deal
By Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter - Jan. 7, 2012

Netflix and Time Warner's Warner Bros. Television Group on Monday unveiled a licensing agreement that will give U.S. Netflix members access to complete previous seasons of serialized dramas produced by Warner, including NBC's Revolution.

The agreement, which will make Netflix the exclusive online home for complete prior seasons of shows from the 2012-13 season, covers a current slate of eight Warner Bros. shows and potential future shows, the companies said.

Warner Bros. has previously mostly struck deals with Netflix that cover older library TV content, but the new arrangement will put shows on the streaming site with only about a year's deal. The deal is the latest Netflix agreement with the entertainment giant as Warner Bros. seems to have become more open to making content available on Netflix in delayed windows after Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes a couple of years ago had compared the streaming video platform to the Albanian Army. Late last year, Warner Bros. struck Netflix TV show licensing deals for Canada and the U.K., and Bewkes signaled more deals were likely.

The 2012-2013 drama slate deal also includes supernatural thriller 666 Park Avenue starring Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams, Political Animals, the USA Network miniseries with Sigourney Weaver as a former First Lady serving as Secretary of State, and Longmire, A&E's top-rated Western mystery series.

Warner Bros. said it is keeping the rights to sell the shows into traditional syndication windows, as well as offer them for electronic sell-through and on a catch-up basis for recently aired episodes of the series.

Also coming to Netflix under the deal will be upcoming drama The Following, starring Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer, which premieres Jan. 21 on Fox, as well as such Warner Bros. Television series as Chuck, Fringe and The West Wing.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

"This unprecedented agreement brings to Netflix members earlier and more exclusively than ever before complete previous seasons of some of the most prominent and successful shows on network and cable television," said Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. "Through deals like this, Netflix is making the production economics right for the continued creation of the kind of compelling serialized dramas and thrillers that our members love."

"SVOD has become an important window for our serialized dramas, allowing viewers a chance to discover a series that before might have been intimidating to tune into mid-run," said Bruce Rosenblum, president, Warner Bros. Television Group. "We continue to adapt our business models to include SVOD when it makes sense for the long-term value of each show and are thrilled to have Netflix as one of our distribution partners."

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The Captain Obvious quote of the day is....

"Tonights nd/bama game will be the #1 most watched show in cable tv history."

That is all.
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

The Captain Obvious quote of the day is....
"Tonights nd/bama game will be the #1 most watched show in cable tv history."
That is all.
Yawn... rolleyes.gif
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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 (18-49)
Football fuels Fox to strong Sunday
'Simpsons' is No. 1 scripted program with a 4.4 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 7, 2013

All the networks had something to brag about Sunday night, though Fox had the biggest triumphs of all thanks to huge viewership for the NFL playoff game between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, which spilled into primetime.

Fox had the night’s top three shows, including football runover at 7 p.m. that drew a 9.8 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights.

That boosted “The Simpsons” to a 4.4 at 8 p.m., becoming the night’s No. 2 show overall and the top scripted series. The 9 p.m. comedy “Family Guy” drew a 3.5, finishing first in its timeslot.

At 8:30, “Bob’s Burgers” drew its best rating since its premiere two years ago, averaging a 3.1.

The other networks had some highlights as well. ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” averaged a 3.1, matching its most recent original episode on Dec. 2. It was the night’s highest-rated drama.

ABC wasn’t without problems. The network’s experimental airings of “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” went bust at 10 p.m., where the shows drew a 1.0 and 0.9, respectively, worse than their averages in their regular Tuesday timeslots.

The comedies will be airing in double doses the next few weeks, on both Sunday and Tuesday.

On NBC, the newly relocated “The Biggest Loser” saw improvement, averaging a 2.9 for its two-hour debut at 9 p.m., up 21 percent from last season. The show sat out the fall and moved from Tuesdays to Sunday and Monday; part two of the premiere airs tonight.

And CBS’s “The Mentalist” hit a season high at 10 p.m. with a 2.1, up 31 percent from its most recent original in December. Lead-in “The Good Wife” drew a 1.9, matching its second-highest rating of the season.

Fox led the night among 18-49s with a 5.6 average overnight rating and a 14 share. NBC was second at 2.2/6, ABC third at 1.8/5, CBS fourth at 1.7/4, Univision fifth at 0.7/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1.

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 7 p.m. Fox was first with a 9.8 for football overrun, followed by CBS with a 1.4 for “60 Minutes.” NBC was third with a 1.1 for “Dateline,” and ABC fourth with a 0.9 for a repeat of “Time.” Univision and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.6, Univision for “Aqui y Ahora” and Telemundo for a Mexican league soccer match.

Fox was first again at 8 p.m. with a 3.8 for “Simpsons” (4.4) and “Burgers” (3.1), while ABC jumped to second with a 3.1 for a new “Time.” NBC was third with a 1.8 for more “Dateline,” and CBS fourth with a 1.3 for a “Person of Interest” rerun. Univision and Telemundo again tied for fifth at 0.6, Univision for “Rosa de Guadalupe” and Telemundo for the movie “Transformers.”

At 9 p.m. Fox led with a 3.1 for “Family” (3.5) and “American Dad” (2.8), with NBC second with a 2.9 for “Loser.” ABC was third with a 2.3 for “Revenge,” CBS fourth with a 1.8 for “Wife,” Univision fifth with a 0.8 for more “Guadalupe” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.7 for its movie.

NBC took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 3.0 for more “Loser,” followed by CBS with a 2.1 for “Mentalist.” ABC was third with a 0.9 for “Endings” (1.0) and “Trust” (0.9), Univision fourth with a 0.8 for “Sal y Pimienta” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.4 for the end of “Transformers.”

Fox was also first for the night among households with a 7.8 average overnight rating and a 12 share. CBS was second at 6.2/9, NBC third at 4.0/6, ABC fourth at 3.3/5, Univision fifth at 1.1/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.5/1.

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Winter TCA Tour Notes
'Necessary Roughness' Gets Third Season Order
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jan. 7, 2012

USA Network has ordered a third season of "Necessary Roughness," the network announced Monday.

The 10-episode pickup completes the renewal of the network’s full summer slate, including "Suits," "Burn Notice," "Royal Pains," "White Collar," and "Covert Affairs."

The announcement came from USA Network Co-Presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

The drama, which stars Callie Throrne (pictured), averaged 5.3 million viewers on Wednesday nights last summer.

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Business Notes
TV Guide’s Mike Mahan Steps Down As Prez, Joins Board, Network To Be Renamed TVGN
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 7, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Mike Mahan will be leaving his post as President of TV Guide, the company that encompasses the TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com. Mahan will make the transition in the coming month, with Dennis Miller, strategic adviser of TV Guide co-owner Lionsgate Entertainment, stepping in as interim president as the network and the website continue to mull a potential sale. Mahan just made the announcement in an internal email, which you can read below the post.

In one of Mahan’s last major initiatives at the company, he is shepherding a name change of the TV Guide Network to TVGN, which, along with a new logo, will be introduced at the end of March. The new name eliminates the Guide reference in the network’s moniker, underlying its transition from a TV listings utility to a full-screen programming cable network. Other cable networks that have switched to abbreviations as their programming direction had evolved from what their original names stood for include AMC, GSN and TLC.

I hear that several months ago Mahan informed the TV Guide parent companies of his decision to step down from his full-time management position in order to pursue other opportunities. He was offered to stick around in another capacity and will now join the company board. In addition to that, I hear Mahan is eyeing another high-level TV executive position. No one would comment, but a top post at Dick Clark Productions seems logical as it would reunite Mahan with longtime business partner Allen Shapiro, who became chairman of Dick Clark Prods following the company’s recent acquisition by Guggenheim Partners, Mandalay Entertainment and Shapiro’s Mosaic Media Investment Partners.

Mahan joined TV Guide in May 2009 following the $123 million acquisition of 49% of the company by Shapiro and JPMorgan Chase’s One Equity Partners when Shapiro became chairman of the joint venture. Mahan became president, running day-to-day operations, in 2010, after the departure of previous president Ryan O’Hara.

During his tenure, Mahan focused on transforming the TV Guide Network from a scroll of TV listings to a full-screen entertainment destination. When he took over, only 1/3 of TV Guide Network’s 80 million homes carried the network in full screen, without the guide. Now that share is at more than 83% and is expected to cross the 90% mark within the next year. Even as the guide’s role diminishes (it provided 2/3 of the network’s ratings vs. 12% now), TV Guide Network has been able to keep ratings steady. Its all-day average 2012 viewership, 240,000, was on par with 2011. (Its household rating was down 11%).

Mahan also moved the network away from its dependance on infomercials and, with the gradual phasing out of the listings, its ad time has gone down from 18.5 min to 13 min an hour, in line with a traditional cable network. While that understandably has led to a decline in the network’s ad revenue, the company’s goal has been creating base to build programming on, not so much maximizing cash flow. (Among the originals TVGN has added over the past couple of years are Nail Files and Wilson Phillips: Still Holding On.) Making the network stronger is important as the TV Guide Network has been constantly fielding potential suitors, with CBS and Discovery Communications among those rumored over the past year. I hear talks with potential buyers are currently underway. Depending on their outcome, TV Guide parents would either sell the company or proceed with hiring a new president to run the network as it continues its building process. I hear Lionsgate and One Equity Partners have already retained a head hunting firm to search for a potential new top executive. TV Guide’s online division, TVGuide.com, continues to grow, rising to 25 million monthly unique users online and through syndication.

In addition to his gig at TV Guide, Mahan and Shapiro, who first worked together at Dick Clark Prods. before the company’s sale to Red Zone Capitol in 2007, partnered in July 2012 to purchase Direct Holdings LLC, owner and operator of Time Life’s infomercial business, from Readers Digest. Here is Mahan’s email:


I’m writing to let you know that within the next month, I will transition my responsibilities as President of TV Guide and will pass the baton to an interim President, Dennis Miller, who currently serves as an advisor to Lionsgate and has been integrally involved with TV Guide as a consultant for several months. Although I will not be running the business day-to-day, I will remain closely affiliated with TV Guide in the future and will be actively involved with the company as a member of TV Guide’s Board of Directors.

As most of you know, I joined TV Guide with One Equity Partners’ investment in May 2009. Since that time, I have been very proud to have worked amongst such a talented team of people and to have served as the company’s President during a period of significant change and transition for both the network and digital businesses. Each and every one of you has played a significant part of building and strengthening our company, and you should all be very proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far.

TV Guide Network—soon to be TVGN—has successfully transformed into a full-screen entertainment network. In just three short years, we have accomplished what the skeptics said would never happen. We have taken our full-screen carriage from just 35% to 83% of our total distribution and we have 80 million households, second only to Hallmark Channel amongst the independent channels. On the programming side, our ratings are no longer driven by usage of TV listings and guidance utility, as just 12% of our ratings come from analog distribution (the scroll), down from 67% of our ratings in 2009. Since January of 2009, our satellite ratings are up 195% in primetime. The reason satellite ratings are important is that satellite has been the constant full-screen environment since 2007 and therefore an effective barometer to measure and evaluate interest in TVGN programming. Our length of tune is up 109% since 2009, another indicator that viewers are tuning in longer to our programming in a “scroll free” environment.

Given this dramatic shift in how viewers are now watching our network, we are in prime position to execute on our programming plans and strategy. We’ve already established a solid foundation with our original series and specials, which are starting to gain some momentum. Over the past year, we successfully launched several new and returning originals in which you all had a hand in—from production and programming to research and scheduling to sales, marketing and publicity to legal and finance. The team is working on some new great shows for 2013, and investment in TVGN and the network’s programming will continue strong in the coming year.

TV Guide Digital has also achieved immeasurable success in an industry that is fiercely competitive and rapidly changing. TVGuide.com, which attracts 25 million unique monthly visitors, has reinvented the TV Guide brand online to a whole new generation of users. Our ground-breaking “Watchlist” has become the definitive TV Guide of the digital age and personalizes entertainment discovery like no other product on the market. And, our new TV Guide app already boasts 8.5 million customers, positioning TV Guide as an undisputed force in mobile.

As you can see, there has been an enormous amount of progress made, and I know that it has taken immense dedication and perseverance to get where we are today. We have successfully converted the network from a utility to a true entertainment destination with programming, and we have transformed the TV Guide brand on digital platforms with praise from the industry critics and widespread adoption from users. I’d like to personally thank you for your contributions. I am truly grateful to have been part of the leadership team at TV Guide, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the Company’s future in a new capacity.

I will make an announcement regarding my own future plans in the upcoming weeks. I wish you all the best in 2013, and I know that each of you will continue to make TVGN and TV Guide Digital extraordinarily successful.



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Winter TCA Tour Notes
Ryan Lochte lands E! reality show
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jan. 7, 2012

Is “Jeah” the new “GTL”?

E! has given Olympic swimming star Ryan Lochte his own reality show. The network ordered six episodes of What Would Ryan Lochte Do, which will take viewers “inside the unpredictable and offbeat life of the 2012 London Olympic Games’ breakout star.” The show will follow Lochte as he hunts for the “right gal” and continues his training regimen.

A sneak peek of the show was screened for reporters at E!’s TV critics press tour panel in Pasadena. Lochte came off more than a little dense. Sort of like a male Jessica Simpson (a swimbo?). “I don’t even know what is a douchebag,” said the swimmer, who’s been called America’s Sexiest Douchebag. “I don’t even know what it means.”

“How many people fall in love with the smartest guy in the class? They fall for the fastest swimmer,” E! President Suzanne Kolb told EW.

The show represents a bit of a departure for E!, which typically has shows starring famous (or wannabe famous) females. Then again, Lochte has no shortage of female appeal. “He is an incredibly endearing personality who is sexy, entertaining and fun,” Kolb noted in a statement. “Watching this show, I believe people will fall into three categories: they want to be him, sleep with him or mother him.”

E! promises the show, which debuts in April, will feature plenty of “Lochteisms,” such as his “Jeah” catchphrase and this quote: “I always pee in a pool. Doesn’t everyone?”

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Nielsen Overnights
'Downton Abbey' Premiere Hits 7.9 Million, Nearly Doubles Previous Season
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 7, 2012

The delay did not hurt Downton Abbey.

The British import, which already concluded its third season in its native U.K., surged 96 percent over its previous season premiere when it returned to PBS on Sunday night. The two-hour premiere pulled a whopping 7.9 million viewers, besting all but CBS in the time period.

Downton Abbey's growth comes after spending nearly a year off of U.S. airwaves, though that time saw the period soap burrow into pop culture and nab even more love from the Emmys, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

PBS, which airs Downton Abbey as a part of its Masterpiece Classic franchise, touted in a release that the huge numbers quadrupled the network's average primetime showing.

Elsewhere on television, only CBS' combo of The Good Wife and The Mentalist eclipsed PBS in total viewers. The broadcast network averaged 10.3 million during the same two-hour block, according to fast national returns.

“Downton Abbey continues to enthrall audiences nationwide, and this season is especially riveting with the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the cast and the lively interaction between her and Maggie Smith,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger in a joint statement. “I’m so pleased that audiences have returned to Downton Abbey on their local stations to continue to enjoy some of the best drama on television.”

The Masterpiece Classic broadcast of the season two finale brought 5.4 million viewers to PBS, and the series sophomore showing added as much as 50 percent with seven days of DVR viewing.

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TV Review
In 'Justified' season 4, Raylan Givens investigates a mystery
An Arlo Givens-related cold case ties together the FX drama's new season
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Jan. 7, 2013

FX treats its hit “American Horror Story” not as an ongoing drama series but a collection of miniseries, all operating under the same title, and often using the same actors, but as different characters, in different settings, exploring different corners of the horror universe.

FX’s “Justified,” which returns tomorrow night at 10, is clearly not an “American Horror Story”-style anthology. The hero is always Timothy Olyphant as 21st century gunslinger Raylan Givens, the setting is always the cities and hollers of Kentucky, and there’s now an enormous cast of characters who continue along with Raylan.

Yet watching the first two episodes of “Justified” season 4, I couldn’t help feeling like “Justified” showrunner Graham Yost is using an approach to each season that’s a distant cousin to what’s happening over at “American Horror Story.” “Justified” will always be a show about the fastest gun east of the Mississippi, but each year the show reinvents itself in the kinds of stories it tells about Raylan and friends.

Season 1 was almost a dark action comedy, the story of an anachronistic U.S. Marshal operating by a very strict, public, violent moral code, and the way he ends up irritating so many cops and crooks along the way. Season 2 was a gothic crime tragedy, the downfall of the great and terrible Mags Bennett and her hillbilly criminal empire. Season 3 replaced Mags with an army of colorful criminals operating at cross purposes(*), and came closest in spirit to the quintessential works of Raylan’s creator, novelist Elmore Leonard.

(*) Raylan’s not quite a superhero, but he comes close at times, and it’s often the third installment of a superhero series (like “Spider-Man 3”) where the villains begin to multiply exponentially.

Yost could have tried to up the ante on season 4, either by adding even more villains, or else going for some kind of biggest bad of all (Billy Bob Thornton? Ian McShane?). Instead, he goes in a different direction altogether — and one of the few crime genres Leonard himself has never really bothered with — and turns the new season into an extended mystery.

We open with a flashback to the early ‘80s, where a quiet suburban cul de sac is disrupted by the fatal crash landing of a parachutist carrying bags of dope with him. Thirty years later, Raylan discovers that his father — senile, bone-mean, incarcerated crook Arlo (Raymond J. Barry) — had something to do with the falling man, and that other criminals are beginning to look into the situation.

Raylan doesn’t suddenly swap his Stetson and service weapon for a deerstalker cap and magnifying glass, but the cold case provides a new kind of unifying element for the series, even as it continues to tell stories about Raylan outsmarting thugs and his sometime-nemesis Boyd Crowder (the absurdly charismatic Walton Goggins) trying to build a criminal empire in their childhood home of Harlan County.

There’s room for plenty of old friends, like the continued delight of Jere Burns as Dixie Mafia executive Wynn Duffy, as well as the introduction of new ones. Some of this year’s early additions include comedian Patton Oswalt doing his thing well in an unlikely setting as Constable Bob, a kind of second-rate Harlan cop who has to supply all his own equipment; Ron Eldard as ex-MP Colton Rhodes, whose ease with violence proves useful to his old pal Boyd; and Joseph Mazzello (the former child actor who dazzled in the Yost-produced HBO miniseries “The Pacific”) as Billy, a revival tent preacher whose arrival in Harlan troubles Boyd both because he’s cutting into the local drug business, and because his schtick reminds the chameleonic Boyd of his own time as a born-again minister of sorts, which ended in tragedy during season 1.

But all of it ultimately goes back to Raylan, and the sleuthing isn’t the only thing that’s new for our hero. This is Raylan in a dark place.(**) He’s split with his wife Winona for the second time, even as she prepares to give birth to their first child, is living above the bar owned by current girlfriend Lindsey (Jenn Lyon, with whom Olyphant enjoys a playful, teasing chemistry) and has started to let himself go a bit. (Albeit not in any way that would damage Olyphant’s sex appeal.) His hair has gotten shaggier, he’s working odd hours at the Marshals office, and making professional decisions that seem reckless even by the standards of previous seasons. When his boss Art Mullen (Nick Searcy, the series’ world-weary soul) begins to contemplate retirement, it’s easy to imagine that his top 5 reasons for doing so involve having to supervise Raylan Givens.(***)

(**) Perhaps to illustrate his current emotional state — or perhaps because a basic cable budget only goes so far sometimes — more scenes this time seem to place in small dark rooms, and/or involving only a couple of people at a time. Even with all these miscreants running around, Raylan’s world feels very small at the moment.

(***) Though “Justified” has some ‘80s action movie in its DNA, the show is always willing to acknowledge what a pain in the rear it would really be to work alongside the cop who plays by his own rules. The show has never done a great job writing for Jacob Pitts and Erica Tazel as Raylan’s fellow Marshals, but both characters inevitably come to life whenever they’re allowed to voice (with our complete sympathy) their frustration at working with this clown.

As much fun as it was last season to watch Mykelti Williamson brandish his cleaver as wily crime lord Mr. Limehouse, or watch Neal McDonough flash that terrifying smile as carpet-bagging mobster Robert Quarles, that season ultimately didn’t come down to either of those two men, but to the haunting moment when Raylan realizes that Arlo had killed a cop he mistook for the son he’s always despised. Yost can keep bringing in superb character actors (and he does so here), but the core will always be this cop who came from a family of criminals and set out to have the most rigid moral code possible. By forcing Raylan to retrace his father’s decades-old steps, Yost is reinventing his show yet again, but he’s also going deeper into the heart and mind of the man with the big hat and gun.

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TV Notes
"Carrie Diaries' turns back pages on 'Sex and the City'
By Carol Mamott, USA Today - Jan. 7, 2012

Fans of the original Sex and the City now may have daughters old enough to stream the iconic Sarah Jessica Parker series that aired on HBO from 1998 to 2004.

Parker embodied Manhattanite Carrie Bradshaw's intelligence, optimism and sophistication, and spoke to generations of modern women wanting, like Bradshaw, to have it all.

Now those older City fans and their daughters have a new Bradshaw to share: The Carrie Diaries, premiering Monday Jan. 14 (8 ET/PT) on CW, a network geared toward the teen and 20-something demographic. Based on a 2010 young adult novel by Candace Bushnell, who also wrote the book that inspired the original series, Diaries dishes up Carrie's story before she became a writer living in the Big Apple.

And it shines a bright spotlight on AnnaSophia Robb, the 19-year-old actress who redefines Carrie as a 16-year-old suburban Connecticut high school junior, mourning the death of her mother and struggling to be a mom to her younger sister.

Robb, who has been primarily a movie actress (Because of Winn-Dixie, Soul Surfer,Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), doesn't look exactly like Parker. But, says executive producer Amy Harris, who also worked on Sex and the City, she fills the bill.

"I wanted somebody who embodies Carrie Bradshaw, and if she had brown hair and brown eyes I would have lived with that," says Harris. "Sarah Jessica was perfection. I don't want anybody to ever think there's someone filling those shoes. Those are unfillable. But these are literally and figuratively smaller shoes to fill. This is the younger Carrie."

Harris likes to draw comparisons to CW's Smallville. "There are many people who have played Superman," she says, "but on Smallville it was a young, new fresh take on it, and you kind of celebrated that."

Robb, petite and blond, says taking on the role was "intimidating," but she found comfort in support she received from Parker.

"She sent me a really encouraging, very sweet letter that made me feel really good," Robb says. "She was congratulating me and telling me how much the role of Carrie Bradshaw meant to her and how it changed her life, that she was so excited for me and knew it was in good hands. It was a huge compliment for me."

It also helps, says Robb, that Diaries "is not trying to be like Sex and the City. We have similar flavors and similar characters, but this is very different. It's a different era (the show is set in 1984), and it's for a younger audience, but hopefully fans of Sex and the City will love it too."

Harris, stresses she didn't want to present a "Baby Muppet" view of Sex and the City, which she says would be insulting to fans of the original 94-episode series. So there will be no "mini-me" version of Carrie's City friends Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Samantha (Kim Cattrall) or Stanford (Willie Garson).

"This show is about those beginnings, how earlier friendships and relationships are very different from the ones you have as an adult and yet kind of shape (who) you'll be," Harris says. "My goal is that when you see Carrie with Maggie and Mouse and Walt (her high school friends), you're seeing why she fell in love with Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha and Stanford."

Bushnell, who just turned 54, says she showed The Carrie Dairies pilot to friends. "They love it because it reminds them of their high school years and the kinds of issues they were facing, the insecurities and all their dreams about the future. I was a little bit surprised that women who are my age just took to it so much and identified with it."

"I think it's a very relatable story," says Harris, who says teens with whom she shared the pilot felt like they were watching their own stories unfold. "Carrie is an original. And if you feel you are an original in the universe, then you can relate to watching someone become that person."

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TCA Winter Tour's Notes
USA On ‘Graceland’ & Network’s Expansion Into Comedy In 2013
By The Deadline.com Team - Jan. 7, 2012

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Before today’s TCA panel on USA‘s new series Graceland, USA co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel touted the network’s scripted series as their “signature strength.” They added that USA Network will be “diving into comedy in a big way in 2013” and hailed the addition of a “small show called Modern Family as an important part of our lineup.”

After the session, McCumber added that comedy “is an area that we’ve always wanted to move into, comedy has been a part of what we do; take a look at Psych, it’s always been in our DNA,” McCumber said. “When we have this platform we should be able to launch a true comedy series off of, we’d be crazy not to look at the half-hour world. It’s going to be a tough nut to crack, comedy is just a little more difficult.”

But there’s one minor series development problem at USA Network: The executives joked about its as-yet-untitled Heuton/Fallaci project — “We love the show, we don’t love the title” — and invited all suggestions for a new name for the series.

At the panel, the title Graceland became the subject of the first question to the show’s executive producer Jeff Eastin. Will TV audiences be able to make the leap from expecting Elvis to appear to identifying that name with a reality-based drama about undercover agents living in a repossessed California beachfront mansion called Graceland?

Eastin, also creator/executive producer of USA’s White Collar, said the show had begun with the “dull” working title Safe House. He said the creative team preferred a more “thematic” title. They came up with the story that the mansion was seized from a drug lord known to be an obsessed Elvis fan. “We were going to have a big velvet Elvis hanging in the foyer,” he said. “We decided that wasn’t a good idea, but kept the title.” (McCumber said after the panel that USA Network always loved the title.)

Eastin, who appeared on the panel with cast members Daniel Sunjata, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren, Manny Montana and Serinda Swan, said that he brought the series idea to USA. The script, he said, was based on material on a real-life “house father” to undercover agents first brought to Eastin by his agents at CAA. Said Eastin: “They took me and showed me the real house that had been commissioned, I met the real guys and they started telling me their stories. At that point I said: I gotta make this show.”

Eastin said that he kept his script around “for a while” before bringing it to USA. “I considered it sort of the best script I’d ever written,” he said. “Finally it got to a place where I loved working with USA, brought it out and showed it to them, and they really liked it, especially for the fact that it was very character-driven, there. It is a dark show. What I’m really proud of is that it’s not just a dark show but it’s also a pretty funny show. The laughs are coming out of the reality.”

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Re: the renaming of TV Guide Network to TVGN: I wonder how many viewers will confuse it with TVG, the horse racing channel. Ironically, TVG was once owned by TV Guide (they sold it a couple of years ago to U. K. Internet wagering giant Betfair).
post #84444 of 93835
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

The Captain Obvious quote of the day is....

"Tonights nd/bama game will be the #1 most watched show in cable tv history."

That is all.

28-0 at the half – do you want to stand on that quote or revise and extend?

I'm putting the 2nd half on mute while I catch up on the news. If ND doesn't wake up in the 3rd quarter, I'll be joining them in slumber by the 4th...
post #84445 of 93835
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

28-0 at the half – do you want to stand on that quote or revise and extend?
I'm putting the 2nd half on mute while I catch up on the news. If ND doesn't wake up in the 3rd quarter, I'll be joining them in slumber by the 4th...
The best thing about this game are the shots of AJ McCarron's girl friend.
post #84446 of 93835
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

28-0 at the half – do you want to stand on that quote or revise and extend?
I'm putting the 2nd half on mute while I catch up on the news. If ND doesn't wake up in the 3rd quarter, I'll be joining them in slumber by the 4th...
I turned it off after the 3rd 'Bama TD now watching "Don't trust the B$$$$ in aprt #23" recording rolleyes.gif
post #84447 of 93835
TCA Winter Tour's Notes
CNBC Greenlights Two More Reality Series As Part Of Primetime Rebrand
By The Deadline.com Team - Jan. 7, 2012

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

CNBC announced today that it has greenlighted two new reality series that will be part of its primetime rebrand, CNBC Prime. The series, announced today at TCA by president and CEO Michael Hoffman and SVP Primetime Alternative Programming Jim Ackerman, are the untitled Family Business Project and The Big Fix (working title). Both series will premiere in the spring. Hoffman said CNBC is moving into reality TV to beef up CNBC’s primetime lineup. “Not too long ago, CNBC’s primetime was the land of misfit toys, it really bore no connection to the core brand, which was a daytime brand,” he said. “That has all changed.”

In each episode of the hourlong untitled family business project, from Embassy Row and executive produced by Michael Davies, viewers will meet three family businesses that “have the drive, ambition and desire to succeed, what they don’t have is cash,” They will compete for money and the studio audience will decide who gets it the $50,000 prize. The Big Fix, from THE Company and executive produced by Justin W. Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol, will follow Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, as he helps rebuild businesses that are in serious trouble. Each show focuses on one company over eight episodes the exec will invest $2 million. Ackerman said CNBC thought the concept would be more compelling if it involved “someone who has skin in the game.”

Ackerman said that CNBC’s approach to expanding primetime programming is to make it more about personal finance. “Daytime is about money with a lot of zeroes,” he said. That statement followed Hoffman’s description of two other previously announced CNBC Prime shows, Treasure Detectives and The Car Chasers (the first new series to kick off CNBC Prime on March 5) as meeting participants at “the intersection of fear and greed.” He described CNBC as the “VIP lounge” of television.


* * * *

TCA Winter Tour's Notes
Syfy Gives ‘Defiance’ A Premiere Date And Tries To Explain Its Crossover Worlds

Syfy’s Defiance — a drama series that will exist as both a TV series and a video game in collaboration with Trion Worlds — will have its series premiere April 15 at 9 PM with a two-hour episode launching a total of 12 episodes, the cable channel announced today at TCA. During today’s panel featuring the show’s cast, executive producer Kevin Murphy and Syfy president Mark Stern, Murphy said that although the producers of both the TV show and the game will collaborate on creating parallel realities, players of the game will have no influence over major plot points in either one.

It’s not an “audience vote” adventure, Murphy said. “The analogy I like to use is, I grew up as a gigantic comic book geek, and what I loved about comics is that you could love Batman and read Batman’s adventures, and if you happen to also like Superman, if you read both titles, sometimes there would be crossovers in the summer that lent an extra level of coolness to the whole thing.”

Added Murphy, “The game has its own narrative and story lines. They are shared universes with dual portals. If there is a catastrophic weather experience [in the TV show], the characters in the game [may] put that in motion.” He said the game will create an illusion of spontaneity, but “if you are supposed to get the gadget, you will get the gadget.”

Because the game and the TV drama contain overlapping stories and characters, Stern said, “there was definitely no aspect of this deal-making that was normal. Lawyers love that. Agents love that.”

The show, set on Earth, depicts a futuristic boomtown set on the ruins of St. Louis that is now home to seven alien species and Earthlings. It represents quite a contrast from Murphy’s short-lived cheerleader series Hellcats (he is better known for Desperate Housewives and Caprica). When asked whether he associates himself more with Defiance than Hellcats, Murphy quipped: “It [Hellcats] was not my idea, I was told I was one of the approved people” to run the show. “My agent said ‘Don’t be a snob, you haven’t sold anything in a year’ ”.

Eventually, however, he said that he came to appreciate the story of aspiring cheerleaders as comparable to those of struggling actors in Equity Waiver theater.

On the panel, Murphy said he retooled Defiance when he it took over as showrunner from Rockne O’Bannon, who remains an executive producer but left the show to run the CW series Cult. After the panel, Murphy said that he had been brought in as the “transition guy” to aid in developing O’Bannon’s original script and vision, but would not have taken over the show unless he was free to put his creative stamp on it. He added that Stern approved him making the show his own.

Murphy said he decided to make Defiance “much newer” in the sense of bringing in characters that were new to the town of Defiance in various ways, rather than having old-timers dominate the action. “I wanted to see people make mistakes,” he said.

post #84448 of 93835
TV Notes
'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live' Revivals Back On, With Series Creator Agnes Nixon on Board
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jan. 7, 2012

After a series of twists that would rival any soap opera plot line, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are officially returning -- and the woman who started them is on board to help craft their revivals.

Jeff Kwatinetz and Richard H. Frank, founders of the production company Prospect Park, told TheWrap on Monday that the company is bringing "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" to its The OnLine Network, with the soaps' creator, Agnes Nixon, having an "active involvement" with the revivals via a consulting agreement with Prospect Park.

Prospect Park has also hired "One Life to Live" director Jennifer Pepperman to executive-produce the "One Life to Live" revival and "All My Children" producer Ginger Smith to executive-produce "All My Children." Foz McDermott, former coordinating producer of "Heroes," will serve as head of production for "One Life to Live."

Production on the series will begin in February.

The announcement comes after Prospect Park signed guild agreements with SAG-AFTRA and the Directors Guild of America to revive the series.

The road to revival for the beloved soap operas has been a long one; Prospect Park had hoped to bring the series online in 2011, after they were canceled by ABC, but that plan was scuttled in November 2011 after financing for the revivals fell through.

post #84449 of 93835
TV Sports
NFL weekend TV ratings hold steady
By Michael Hiestand, USA Today - Jan. 7, 2012

Television ratings for the NFL playoff game ratings were predictably huge, and, overall, pretty predictable: They were roughly even with last year.

The drop draw. Fox's Sunday afternoon Seattle-Washington game wasn't particularly suspenseful, but it drew a 23.7 overnight, translating to 23.7% of households in the 56 urban TV markets measured for overnights.

That might end up as one of the year's 10 highest-rated TV shows -- this was, after all, NFL playoff action -- but it was down 8% from comparable coverage of a Denver-Pittsburgh game last year. (Don't forget, Tim Tebow was quite the media sensation when he played for the Broncos in last year's postseason.)

-- NFL ratings roundup. The early game Sunday, CBS' Baltimore-Indianapolis matchup, was not exactly a battle of big-market teams but drew a 19.7 overnight. That was up 4% from comparable coverage of a N.Y. Giants-Atlanta game last year. Pretty good.

NBC's Green Bay-Minnesota game on Saturday night drew a 18.3 overnight, down 5% from New Orleans-Detroit last year. But Saturday was a wash for the network. Its Cincinnati-Houston game drew a 16.2 overnight -- up 6% from comparable coverage of the same teams last year.

Heisman winner delivers: With Heisman winner Johnny Manziel in its Texas A&M-Oklahoma Cotton Bowl Friday night, Fox drew a 7.5 overnight -- up 60% from the bowl's Arkansas-Kansas State game last year.

But Sooners' fans helped ratings too as the two highest-rated local TV markets were Oklahoma City, where 35% of households tuned in, and Tulsa, where 29.2% watched.

L.A. hot for hoops: The surprising success of the Clippers and the continued turbulence for the Lakers produced a great rating for ESPN for a game between two teams Friday night. It drew a 2.7 overnight -- up 145% from comparable coverage of a Portland-Phoenix game last year and ESPN's highest regular-season overnight in two years.

On tap: NBC Sports Radio has named Bobby Valentine, the ex-ESPN analyst fired as Boston Red Sox manager last year, as an analyst. And it would make sense that Valentine, who starts the radio gig this month, would eventually join the NBC Sports Network TV channel as well -- he lives in Stamford, Conn., where NBC Sports is now in the process of relocating to from New York City.


* * * *

TV Sports
Tennis players become more like billboards

Want to put your logo on a pro tennis player's hat? Space is freeing up.

The ATP, the governing body of men's pro tennis, has taken a step to allow its players to offer a little more on-body signage for sale.

This season, players can sell space on their hats for brands beyond their apparel or rackets, the two product categories that had previously been allowed.

And new rules also allow players to sell a bit more logo space on the front of their shirts, and on the back of their shirt collars. And players can finally sell ad space to gambling companies, but not ones involved in betting in tennis.

The loosened restrictions, which also dictate size of the on-body ads, will not apply to Grand Slam events.

ATP spokesman Greg Sharko says "there aren't any more changes planned for this season."

Justin Gimelstob, a former player now on ATP's board of directors, tells SportsBusiness Journal that the idea isn't to make players "become walking billboards like NASCAR. ... But we need to let them monetize their brand."

post #84450 of 93835
TV Notes
Fox's In Living Color Reboot Is Totally Dead
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com - Jan. 7, 2012

The Wayans family is not amused. Remember when Fox announced plans to reboot In Living Color? It's not happening.

An hour's worth of footage was taped last spring, but Fox execs apparently hated it! In July, network chief Kevin Reilly told reporters the special wouldn't be airing any time soon, leaving open just the slightest chance of an eventual burn-off broadcast.

But now Vulture's sources have confirmed that the ILC reboot will never see the light of day — at least on Fox. We can still hope for a YouTube leak.

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