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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2837

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Nielsen Overnights
Friday ratings: 'The Job,' 'Touch' disappoint
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Feb. 9, 2013

Two shows premiered last night: CBS’ new reality series The Job and the return of Fox’s Kiefer Sutherland drama Touch. Both did about the same. Neither did well.

The two-hour Touch debut had 3.8 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49. It’s probably unfair to compare this Friday premiere to the show’s series series opener on a Thursday after American Idol last year — that rating was 230 percent higher (not a typo) than this one. This number is about the same as what Fringe was pulling on Fridays.

CBS’ The Job (4.1 million, 0.9) is a reality competition series where ordinary people compete for ordinary jobs. Sound exciting? The debut — promoted during CBS’ coverage of the Super Bowl — was down 53 percent from the premiere of Undercover Boss in this slot.

Hit competition shows on broadcast tend to have dramatically high stakes — you’re competing to be the next superstar (American Idol), find true love (The Bachelor) or to win a global race (The Amazing Race). As critics pointed out, The Job is about applying to become the next restaurant assistant manager or magazine editorial assistant — the stakes couldn’t be lower.

So ABC’s biz-competition show Shark Tank (life-changing stakes, innovative jobs) topped the night. CBS’ CSI: NY cross-over completion with the CSI mothership was up 7 percent from last week. The CW’s Nikita went up a tick.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/02/09/ratings-the-job-touch/
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW View Post

My solution? Watch it on Apple TV. I paid about $25-$30 for the whole season, no commercials, about 43 minutes per episode, hi definition Dolby Digital, no fast-forwarding, good, good, good.

I never said that I would be watching via ABC network. I was just reporting some facts. I haven't watched a primetime network show, via a network, in ages.

Oh, and I later found out that Grey's Anatomy was shorter by 2 minutes (41 something instead of 43 something. Which makes the idea of Grey's Anatomy running at 1:02 and Scandal running at :58 even more weird.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post


Also tonite HBO 8:00pm:


Good movie. I enjoyed it biggrin.gif
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
8PM - Once Upon A Time
9PM - Revenge
10:02PM - Revenge for Real: The Miami Millionaire

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The 55th Annual Grammy Awards (LIVE)

NBC:
7PM - Dateline NBC
8PM - Betty White's 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special
(R - Feb. 5)
9PM - Saturday Night Live in the '80s: Lost and Found (128 min.)
(R - Nov. 13, 2005)

FOX:
7PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Dec. 8)
7:30PM - The Cleveland Show
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy
9:30PM - America's Dad

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
(R - Feb. 3)
9PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (120 min.)

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Lo que Más Quieres (130 min.)
10:10PM - Sal y Pimienta (50 min.)

TELEMUNDO:
6:30PM - Movie: The Lion King (1994)
8:30PM - Movie: Iron Man 2 (2010)
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Q&A
‘Walking Dead’ EP Gale Anne Hurd Q&A On Glen Mazzara’s Departure, The Series’ Return & ‘Downton Abbey’
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Feb. 9, 2013

You could call her the Queen of the Dead. Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has been with the AMC zombie apocalypse show from the very beginning, through its behind the scenes up and downs and its record breaking ratings results this past year. After a more than two-month break, The Walking Dead is back Sunday at 9:00 p.m. for eight more episodes of its third season. Hurd spoke with Deadline about the show’s return, the sudden exit last year of showrunner Glen Mazzara and how Dead comic creator and show EP Robert Kirkman feels about the detours the series takes from the comics. The seasoned producer also talks about the possibility of a Walking Dead movie and the similarities between her show and its fellow Sunday night airer Downton Abbey.

Deadline: I have to ask right off the bat – What happened with Glen Mazzara?
Gale Anne Hurd:
Essentially with the series moving forward, he saw Season 4 in a different light than AMC did.

Deadline: OK. That’s very similar to what he has said. With Glen having left, are we are going to see any difference in the show with Scott Gimple taking over the showrunner job?
Hurd:
I don’t think there will be any difference. We have the same writers’ room who’ll be contributing to all the episodes as we had before. We have Greg Nicotero and Robert Kirkman and producer Dave Alpert are still very strong voices. So I don’t think you’ll see a shift at all.

Deadline: There did seem to be a shift when Mazzara took over from Frank Darabont, with horror becoming more prevalent in the series.
Hurd:
A lot of the third season had been figured out before Frank’s departure.

Deadline: With the phenomenal ratings The Walking Dead achieved in Season 3, are you worried the expectations are too high as the show comes back for 3B?
Hurd:
You know, you just have to put that out of your mind and just continue to tell the best, most character-driven, exciting stories. And we fully trust AMC to be able to market the show so our audience hasn’t forgotten that we’re there.

Deadline: So you’re worried?
Hurd:
You always worry. You always worry that people will find something more compelling to do at 9 PM on a Sunday night. But I hope that instead they’ll be sticking with us. I’m a Downton Abbey fanatic myself so I tend to tune in at Sunday nights at 9 and now I’ll be tuning in to the zombie apocalypse instead of the post-World War I English gentry.

Deadline: Doesn’t seem like there’d be a lot of crossover between the two shows and Walking Dead fans and Downton Abbey fans.
Hurd:
I like to think that we have a lot of the same type of moral issues and ethic issues that the cast has to deal with – ours is just in a heightened state.

Deadline: AMC ordered a fourth season of the show late last year. Going forward into that fourth season, how much more deviation are we going to see from the original Robert Kirkman comics?
Hurd:
From the very beginning we’ve made detours from the comics and that’s something that Robert Kirkman is 100% on board with. But we don’t do it just to do it. We do it because, as you saw in the mid-season finale and when we come back with the mid-season premiere, we have characters that aren’t in the comic books and that is going to take you in a different direction. On the other hand, we still have the Governor as the villain, we have Michonne as the warrior. We also have the opportunity to delve in even deeper because of the medium of television than you can in a comic book, we you have panels on the page and bubbles for dialogue and not a lot of exposition. Because it’s a different medium we can dive in much more deeply with each of our characters.

Deadline: Any chance we’re going to see a Walking Dead movie?
Hurd:
Not right away.

Deadline: Not on the table?
Hurd:
Not at the moment

Deadline: It would seem to be a natural next step.
Hurd:
Right. I mean, there’s an Entourage movie coming up, right? That’s what I keep reading. Right now, seriously, we’re focused on Season 4. If there was a movie, there are so many decisions that would need to go into it. The availability of the cast and all of that.

Deadline: You mention him before as a strong voice on the show but how deeply involved in the show is Robert Kirkman in day-to-day, episode-to-episode?
Hurd:
He’s part of the writers’ room and has been from the very beginning.

Deadline: You also talked about him being 100% on board with the deviations from the comics that he created. How has that worked?
Hurd:
There are a lot of times when he goes back to the comic book and goes ‘Wow, that actually would have been an interesting thing to do.” Keeping Shane alive in season two was something he fully supported and the change-up of having Rick kill him and then having Carl shoot the zombified Shane was also something he fully supported. In the rest of season three, there were things that I can’t talk about, but same thing, that he fully fully supported.

Deadline: On matters, you can talk about, how has your role changed on the show as it has grown to more episodes each season and the success it has had with viewers?
Hurd:
My role really hasn’t changed with the success of the show. It changes based on the number of episodes. The first season we had six episodes so I was on set the entire time. Last year we had 13 and I was on set amount a less amount of time. This year we had 16 so I was back and forth. Now, with 16 episodes it is a year-round enterprise because we’re still finishing the episodes for Season 3 as our writer’s room is coming back together for Season 4. It is more a factor of the number of episodes and the number of episodes is a result of our success.

Deadline: When will Season 4 hit the air?
Hurd:
I have a feeling that it will more than likely it will be sometime in October and more than likely sometime during AMC’s Fearfest. I don’t know when exactly, we haven’t even discussed it.

Deadline: Will you announce it at Comic-Con like you did last year?
Hurd:
I don’t know yet if we’ll be at Comic-Con. We don’t even begin those discussions for a couple of months. It’s contingent on a lot of things. It’s my favorite thing to do. I love Comic-Con so I’ll be there even if the show isn’t. I’m a geek anyway. And I love New York Comic-Con too and we try to be there as well. But part of it depends on what slot we get and if we have to shut down production. And that’s out of our hands.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/the-walking-dead-gale-anne-hurd-glen-mazzara-robert-kirkman-amc-glen-mazzara-downton-abbey/
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TV Notes
Nancy Pelosi on ‘Fox News Sunday’; Eric Cantor on ‘Meet the Press’
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog

The Sunday morning guest list this weekend:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., discusses the future of the Republican Party on NBC’s “Meet the Press” at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., talks about cooperation in Congress and the Obama administration’s policy on drones. The panel will be Mayor Kasim Reed, D-Atlanta; GOP strategist Mike Murphy; Michael Gerson of The Washington Post; Katty Kay of BBC World News America; and NBC’s Michael Isikoff.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will be guests on “Fox News Sunday.” The program starts at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. The panel will be Bill Kristol, Juan Williams, Liz Marlantes of The Christian Science Monitor and Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ariz.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.; and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., will be guests on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” They will discuss drone policy and cyber attacks at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Also discussing the war on terror will be Jane Harman of the Woodrow Wilson Center; James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and CBS’ Bob Orr. Kevin Merida of The Washington Post and David Leonhardt of The New York Times will provide political analysis.

George Saunders, author of “Tenth of December,” will be a guest on ABC’s “This Week” at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. The panelists will be Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.; Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace; Stephanie Cutter, deputy manager of the Obama 2012 campaign; ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Martha Raddatz.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, will be guests on CNN’s “State of the Union” at 9 a.m. and noon. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is another guest. The panel will be CNN’s Jim Acosta; former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.; and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2013/02/nancy-pelosi-on-fox-news-sunday-eric-cantor-on-meet-the-press.html
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SATURDAY'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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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 10, 2013

THE 55th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS
CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

LL Cool J returns as host, but on this show it’s the performers, not the host, who generate the majority of the excitement. Among the scheduled performers tonight, as always, are some fascinating pairings – including Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with the Black Keys. And Alicia Keys and Maroon 5. And Elton John and Ed Sheeran. And Bruno Mars, Rihanna (pictured), and Sting. It gives whole new meaning to the term “plays well with others.” And there are some solo acts, too, including Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, Justin Timberlake, and fun.

ONCE UPON A TIME
ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Jorge Garcia, who played Hurley on Lost, reprises his role as the Giant in tonight’s new episode of Once Upon a Time. This time the Giant wreaks havoc after being harassed by Jack and delivered forcibly to Storybrooke. Does this mean Jack, who has gone off after the Giant before, is really some sort of obsessed villain? A kind of… beanstalker?

THE 66TH ANNUAL BAFTA AWARDS
BBC America, 8:00 p.m. ET

These are the British versions of our Oscars and Emmys, all rolled into one, and presented on BBC America so Anglophiles can keep track of what makes the tops of the pops over there these days. One big question: Does Daniel Day-Lewis still have the flu, or will he be there in the flesh? His performance in Lincoln makes him, in the BAFTA category of Best Actor, the overwhelming favorite. Or, in this case, the overwhelming favourite.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: "DOWNTON ABBEY"
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

IIn Episode 5 of Season 3, the Earl and Countess of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern) are much more distant and quarrelsome than usual. And even though there’s a very good reason, it doesn’t make their individual (or joint) suffering any easier to watch. But good acting and good writing? It’s all right here. Check local listings.Check local listings.

THE WALKING DEAD
AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET
SERIES RETURN:
All day, you can catch up on previous episodes leading up to the second-half premiere of Season 3. Then, at 9 p.m. ET, the first new episode of the year premieres – picking up exactly where last year’s midseason finale left off. And if you don’t know where that is, because you’re catching up on Walking Dead reruns at the last minute, I won’t tell you. But wow – I’ve been waiting for this resolution for months now.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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TV Notes
They’re From the Future, and Canada
‘Continuum’ on Syfy Is Latest Canadian TV Import
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Feb. 10, 2013

SQUAMISH, British Columbia — The people behind “Continuum,” a slick Canadian science-fiction drama recently imported to the United States by Syfy, are very conscious that their growing international audience is a demanding, detail-oriented bunch. But the other day during the filming here of a Season 2 scene that had actors in a drainage tunnel with a roaring helicopter at one end, one detail was beyond anyone’s control.

“Hair continuity is a real problem with the wind tunnel,” Rachel Nichols, the show’s star, said after sprinting from the tunnel for yet another take, her long hair hopelessly askew.

Ms. Nichols plays a police officer from the future on the series, which became a hit for the Showcase cable network in Canada during its first season last year and began showing on Syfy last month. American viewers have long been accustomed to British imports — “Downton Abbey,” all those interchangeable detective shows — but “Continuum” is a reminder that Canadian series can also be competitive in the international marketplace.

“The show has now sold to 50 countries, and I think one of the reasons it has is because it looks like a quote-unquote American show,” Simon Barry, its creator, said over lunch in Vancouver the day before the Squamish shoot. “Everybody in this town knows how to make those, because a lot of them are made here. But traditionally Canadian shows haven’t really leveraged that aspect of the filmmaking process.”

It helped too that Mr. Barry’s premise for the series has sociopolitical resonance in almost any country. Ms. Nichols’s character, Kiera, is a police officer (or “protector,” as they’re called in the future) in Vancouver in 2077 who, as the show opens, is on hand for the execution of the members of Liber8, a terrorist group responsible for a devastating bomb attack on the corporations that rule the late-21st-century world. Just before the sentence is carried out the eight convicts transport themselves back in time, accidentally bringing Kiera along.

They wind up in the Vancouver of 2012, the Liber8 members trying to stop the coming of a world in which civil government has been supplanted and Kiera — still loyal to the corporate government of 2077 — doing her best to thwart them. The show’s deliberate ambiguity has fans debating on chat boards whether “Continuum” is a pro-business, right-wing series or the opposite. And Kiera, as Season 1 progresses, gradually confronts the possibility that she is fighting for the wrong side.

“We’re trying to keep the gray area gray,” Mr. Barry said. “We all know the old saying of one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Conceptually we can mine that for drama.”

He added, “Time travel and displacement of time allow for displacement of perception and perspective.”

Contributing to Kiera’s angst is concern about the husband and son she left behind in 2077, giving a personal dimension to the classic time traveler’s worry about whether intervening in the past will alter the future.

For Ms. Nichols, whose previous work includes the CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” the role is a mental as well as a physical workout, since each episode spends time in both 2077 and our present.

“It’s studying up two different characters, one from a time that I know that my character doesn’t know, and one from a time that I don’t know that my character does know,” she said. “It’s a little complex.”

The show came about almost by accident. Mr. Barry, who got his start in the business as a cameraman, spent years writing for various pilots in the American market but had never had a series make it to air. He was developing “Continuum” in hopes of pitching it to an American cable network, but he put it on the shelf when he was hired to work on still another pilot.

There it sat until October 2010, when Pat Williams, a veteran director with whom Mr. Barry had worked, was scheduled for a routine meeting with Shaw Media, a Toronto company whose properties include the Showcase channel. Mr. Williams, looking for a project to pitch at that session, asked Mr. Barry if he had anything in the works, and “Continuum” came up.

Shaw liked what it heard. Tom Rowe of Reunion Pictures became an executive producer along with Mr. Barry and Mr. Williams, adding a layer of production and financing expertise, and Jeff King, a producer on series like “White Collar,” helped Mr. Barry get up to speed on how to be a show runner. The premiere of “Continuum” last May drew 1.7 million viewers, a significant number in Canada, where the population is 35 million.

Thomas P. Vitale, Syfy’s executive vice president for programming and original movies, said he knew “Continuum” was a good fit for his network a few minutes into the first episode.

“As the world gets smaller and smaller, these international shows are more appealing, and we’ll be buying more of them,” Mr. Vitale said. “Good entertainment cuts across national lines.”

Countless American series have been shot in Canada over the years, of course, but recently shows initially made for the Canadian market, like “Flashpoint,” have been successful abroad. “Continuum” joined another Canadian show, “Lost Girl,” on Syfy’s Monday night lineup.

“These aren’t just schedule fillers,” Mr. Vitale said. “These are high-profile shows.”

And the actors can feel that they’re in a different league.

“Five years or 10 years ago a Canadian show would only be a Canadian show, ” Victor Webster, who plays Kiera’s 2012 police partner, said as he waited for the next blast of helicopter hurricane. “But the shows that are coming out of Canada now are so good.”

The scene being shot here was fairly elaborate for the series, so much so that cast members were taking cellphone pictures as if they’d never seen a helicopter before. Other high-impact visuals come courtesy of Artifex Studios, a special-effects outfit in Vancouver where the owner, Adam Stern, and his staff brought the Vancouver of 2077 to life.

Anyone who knows present-day Vancouver was given a lot to think about the first time 2077 Vancouver was unveiled. Stanley Park, the city’s equivalent of Central Park, had sprouted skyscrapers, and discerning viewers noted a dam in the background in English Bay, presumably holding back the higher water levels produced by global warming.

Not that Mr. Barry would make any of that explicit in the scripts. “Continuum” fans don’t need to be told what to draw from a given scene; they’re scrutinizing everything pretty carefully. Kiera, for instance, has digitally enhanced vision, and shots from her point of view have graphic displays imposed on them. It quickly became apparent from fan feedback that certain obsessive viewers were freeze-framing those shots and studying the graphics for information.

“I go to my guys and say, ‘That can’t be gibberish,’ ” Mr. Barry recalled. So the digital displays contain nuggets for the freeze-framers.

And there’s the matter of the horse that 2012 Kiera encounters in a Season 1 episode coming up this month for Syfy viewers. The decision was to have Ms. Nichols play the moment as if she had never seen a horse before.

“The Internet lit up, because we never actually said why she reacted,” Mr. Barry said. “And a huge conversation was triggered about whether there were animals in 65 years, whether global climate change affected the ecosystem — all these variations of things that, by the way, we would never have thought up in the room when we were writing. The lesson there is: You don’t have to spell it out.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/arts/television/continuum-on-syfy-is-latest-canadian-tv-import.html?ref=television&_r=0
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TV Notes
David Steinberg on comedy, inside and out
The comedian reflects on what he's learned in his Showtime interview series 'Inside Comedy' and more.
By Irene Lacher, Los Angeles Times' 'Sunday Conversation' Column - Feb. 10, 2013

Veteran comedian David Steinberg, who has directed such hit TV comedies as "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Mad About You" and "Seinfeld," returns to Showtime on Monday evening for the second season of his interview series, "Inside Comedy." This season he turns his lens on Louis C.K., Tina Fey, Bob Newhart, Jim Carrey and more.

Do you think comedy can be dissected?

I don't really dissect comedy. Nothing kills off humor more than overanalyzing it. On our show, it's just a conversation that I don't prepare for at all. Usually I know everyone because I've been around a lot, but the idea is to get their feeling about what it is that they're doing, the start, the middle and where they are now. What you get is very, very funny people who aren't switched on as they usually are on a talk show in front of an audience, so you can see how naturally funny they are.

I thought it was interesting when Jim Carrey told you he thought that comics come from mothers with some form of mental illness. Is it a cliché that comedians really are dark souls or is there truth to that?

I haven't really found that. When I talk to Steve Martin, he's joyful when he talks about comedy. The same with [Jerry] Seinfeld talking about how, if there is any white light of comedy coming from anyone, it's Don Rickles. However, on the Jim Carrey show, where he mentioned that, I had a similar situation, so that was an odd little connection.

Where do you think that cliché came from?

It comes from how difficult it is to do comedy and stand-up comedy. The only way you get good at stand-up comedy is by standing in front of an audience and failing. You can write something and think it's brilliant and you go in front of an audience and they say no, that part isn't even funny. But this little thing on the side is. Then you have to work on this little thing on the side and it takes weeks, sometimes a month to get it right.

In last year's show, I asked Chris Rock, "How do you prepare for Madison Square Garden?" Even now at the top of his game, he goes to a place in Florida, he plays to whoever comes into the audience — old Jews, anybody — and he stays there for a month like, he said, Muhammad Ali in a workout camp before a fight. And for that month every night, if he can get that audience to laugh at what he's doing, which takes a while, then he can take it to Madison Square Garden or anywhere and it's always going to work. It's not that it's dark, it's that it's hard to do.

So what compels people to do it?

What compels people to do it is, in most instances, you can't really do anything else for a living. You have to be funny. You have to be born with a point of view. Usually it comes from being funny in your childhood. I used to have a rule that if you had a great childhood, a happy marriage and money in the bank, you'll make a lousy comedian. But I've learned from this show that that's not true.

What else have you learned about comedy from the show that you didn't already know?

The connection between comedians — at least the comedians on this level — is not an environment of jealousy or envy or any of that. It's almost like jazz musicians who appreciate what they all do. And that was a big surprise to me, the interconnectedness of all these comedians. The influences are all similar — Bill Cosby, Rodney Dangerfield, Carol Burnett. But what's interesting to me is that when all of us started out, comedy wasn't corporate. You didn't become a comedian to make money. You did it because it was the only way you could express yourself. Now it's gone corporate, so you can't throw a rock somewhere where someone's dad isn't going to offer me their son and say, 'Can they apprentice with you on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm?'" At least in this town.

Do you think the corporatization of comedy has inhibited comedians or enabled them because it is, as we used to say, a 500-channel universe and you don't have to entertain everybody anymore?

Yes, the fact that you don't have to get as big an audience and it's more fragmented is healthy. You have cable now, where you don't have as big an outlet. You don't have to do 22 shows of anything, which is hard to sustain in comedy. It's all about the writing for a television comedy, and that takes forever. On "Curb Your Enthusiasm," it takes almost a year to get 10 shows written. It always reminds me of my old yeshiva days, where you used to sit over a piece of Talmud and analyze everything that was going on.

Comedy is still mostly shut out of the Oscars, isn't it?

Yes. It's amazing to me how people just assume that when they see something that's funny — oh, they're just funny people, and it's not worked on like acting. It is more elusive, in fact, than just acting.

At a Television Critics Assn. panel last month, someone asked you why there are so many Jews in comedy, and that kicked up a bit of controversy. Can you talk about that?

I said, "Because they're smarter." The point of that was to get a laugh with my own chauvinism and love for myself and my own people. I don't believe Jews are smarter. I don't believe any particular ethnic group is smarter than any other group. It did create a controversy. Ironically, I've always had controversy in my career, starting with "The Smothers Brothers." I was parodying in my mind a reform rabbi, and I did a sermon, and it created an incredible controversy. Because you can't really do anything about religion and not expect to get some negative response. It was amazing to me that the Smothers Brothers did lose their show because of it, but it was also because of political pressure. They were against the war in Vietnam. They were pushing the envelope everywhere, and it might have been the easiest thing to throw them off the air because of religion rather than politics.

So you've been on tour with Robin Williams lately.

Robin is an old friend of mine. He had some heart stuff, and he went to the Cleveland Clinic, and he's healthy now. So he asked me to do a benefit to raise money for the clinic and said there's no money involved. I said, "Let me explain something to you. I'm a Jew. It's a heart clinic. This is an investment for me. Glad to do it."

We just came back from a 13-city tour.

Are you bringing it to L.A.?

Possibly. I also just finished a one-man show at the La Jolla Playhouse, and I'm taking that to Bucks County [Pennsylvania] in May.

What's the difference between a one-man show and stand-up?

"One-man show" sounds much more impressive.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-david-steinberg-inside-comedy-conversation-20130210,0,390807.story
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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)

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelor (120 min.)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Mindy Kaling; author Carl Reiner; Family of the Year performs)
12:35AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - Rules of Engagement
9PM - 2 Broke Girls
9:30PM - Mike & Molly
10PM - Hawaii Five-0
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bill O'Reilly; Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models present the Top Ten; the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover is revealed; The Avett Brothers perform)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Julie Andrews; Grace Park)

NBC:
8PM - The Biggest Loser (120 min.)
10:01PM - Deception
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (James Spader; mentalist Lior Suchard; Far East Movement performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (John Goodman; NBA player Carmelo Anthony; Gary Allan performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Chef Ludo Lefebvre; photographer Ian Ruhter; Superhumanoids perform)

FOX:erform
8PM - Bones
9PM - The Following

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Boston
9PM - Market Warriors
10PM - Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
(R - Oct. 1)

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

THE CW:
8PM - The Carrie Diaries
9PM - 90210

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Pasión Prohibida
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Journalist George Stephanopoulos)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Garry Wills)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Don Cheadle, Bruce Burr; Ed Sheeran performs)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Tim McGraw; Michael Yo; Kerri Kenney-Silver; Mo Mandel)

Edited by dad1153 - 2/10/13 at 11:09pm
post #85092 of 93688
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 11, 2013

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
CBS, 8:00 p.m.

Abby Elliott, who did some excellent but underappreciated work on Saturday Night Live, continues her recurring guest role on this sitcom as Ted’s seemingly unhinged new girlfriend. She’s not likely to end up as the titular Mother – but in the meantime, she promises to be a very funny distraction.

LITTLE CUKOR
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

George Cukor directed this 1933 version of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved family story, and provided Katharine Hepburn, as Jo, with an early, meaty starring role. Her co-stars include Joan Bennett and Spring Byington, but it’s Hepburn who runs away with this one.

DALLAS
TNT, 9:00 p.m. ET

As long as Larry Hagman appears in these new episodes, I’ll keep noting them. TV icons such as J.R. Ewing just don’t come around that often.

THE FOLLOWING
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

This is the fourth episode – the last one sent to critics in advance – and it’s the one that will either impress its fans or test the loyalty of viewers. There are suggestions that this series already is borrowing from the “Red John” story line on The Mentalist, as well as from the traumatized-child backstory of Dexter. It’s an interesting amalgam, but also an increasingly unsettling one.

ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS
TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET

If you like, think of this 1940 movie as a prequel to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Based on Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play, it tells of Abraham Lincoln’s early years, with Raymond Massey reprising the title role from the stage version. And watch for the woman playing Mary Todd, who eventually becomes Abe’s wife: She’s played by Ruth Gordon, making her cinematic debut.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #85093 of 93688
TV Review
‘The Face,’ one we’ve all seen before
Oxygen series is a poor imitation of 'America's Next Top Model'
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine

Reality-TV producers who know that their new show is going to be accused of being a blatant copy of a previous hit often try to parry those accusations by tweaking the new show slightly. Too often that tweak is lifted from a different previous hit.

Oxygen’s new competition show “The Face” is an obvious clone of the CW’s long-running and quickly fading show “America’s Next Top Model,” with the only significant difference being a borrowed element from NBC’s singing competition “The Voice”: Three celebrities select and then coach teams of contestants.

But the visual and procedural similarities to “ANTM” are so strong that the tweak doesn’t help, and “The Face” still comes off as a weak imitation. Since the ratings suggest that viewers are already tired of the earlier show, it’s hard to imagine anyone enjoying this one.

The series premiere, airing Tuesday at 9 p.m., rushes through the early audition process, so we basically start off with the 12 aspiring models already divided up by the three coaches, all models themselves: the veteran Naomi Campbell and the relative newcomers Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha.

As in so many reality shows, we see the girls moving into their luxurious living quarters, a Manhattan loft. One of them, a 20-year-old Philadelphian named Sandra, is apparently impressed, so she screams her head off, annoying both her loftmates and us viewers.

Except for Sandra, the contestants are somewhat less “colorful” and therefore less grating than those on “ANTM.” But as has been pointed out about the contestants on the earlier show, most of the girls are in their 20s and therefore too old to be starting a career in this youth-obsessed field.

They’ve all learned to spout the usual reality-competition clichés. Sandra says of her rivals, “They better watch out because Sandra’s gonna bring it,” earning extra annoying points for speaking of herself in the third person.

The show keeps cutting to sound bites in which the girls tell us things that we already know, such as “I really want to do well in this competition” and “I really don’t want to be eliminated.”

The three coaches repeatedly assure us that they’re really competitive and really care whether or not their team wins. They wouldn’t say those things just because the producers told them to, right?

Like many competition shows, “The Face” has two challenges per episode. In the first, the show’s host, the fashion photographer Nigel Barker, who’s a former “ANTM” judge, tells the girls to pick accessories for looks that reflect various styles, such as “party girl,” “masculine chic” and “business casual.”

Of course, on a real shoot, the accessories would be picked by a stylist, but never mind. Viewers see the results of the shoot and can guess which ones Naomi will think are better.

The girls compete in pairs until one winner is picked. She gets a $5,000 shopping spree at a store that needs a product placement.

In the second challenge, the girls work with their teammates to create the last frame of a storyboard for a W magazine shoot set on the docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. They have to pick their own outfits and decide how they’re going to pose. Again, this is something that a real working model would never be asked to do.

Although there’s a lot of discussion about what story they’re trying to tell, the elimination boils down to which girl looks least like a professional model. Each coach from the two losing teams has to nominate one girl for possible elimination. The choice is made by the winning coach.

Not only is this needlessly complicated, but it also ignores the fact that a competitive coach would seek to weaken the other teams by eliminating the best model of the two, not the worst.

One of the great strengths of “America’s Next Top Model” is Tyra Banks. Whether she’s serving as host or judge, her aircraft-carrier-size ego makes her fascinating to watch. Although Naomi Campbell is a notorious diva, she can’t measure up.

Otherwise, we could be watching the old show. As we’ve learned through the endless cycles of “ANTM,” none of its winners has ever gone on to a notable career in modeling. The winner of this show merely gets a contract with a chain of retail beauty stores.

This series combines low stakes, a lack of originality, forgettable personalities and distracting rules. To paraphrase Tyra Banks’ old elimination line, “The Face” is not in the running to become America’s next top reality show.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the-face-a-face-weve-all-seen-before/
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TV Notes
AMC Blazes Trail to Thursdays
The cable net looks to unscripted fare to dominate another block
By Sam Thielman, AdWeek.com - Feb. 11, 2013

What's small and quick and filled with heavy drama? AMC, the network behind the literally brainy sci-fi series The Walking Dead, thoughtful period piece Mad Men and the grim crime drama that is Breaking Bad.

It stands to reason, then, that the network would want to let in a little light with some upbeat, unscripted fare—which explains why its dance card is filled with prospective series like the election-themed Majority Rules.

But with Sunday night already staked out for its drama lineup, all of AMC's stand-alone unscripted material now prepares to move to an advertiser-friendly Thursday night block, as the network aims to run an original series every week of the year. (Right now, it’s up to 43 weeks.)

This year alone, AMC's slate jumps from four unscripted originals to eight.

Scott Collins, evp, ad sales, said the unveiling of the Thursday block at AMC's upfront presentation last week spurred interest from movie and auto marketers in particular.

"You'll see a lot of autos, QSR, beer, telecom—you’ll see the younger-skewing brands supporting it," said Collins.

Joel Stillerman, evp, programming, confirmed that the network wants to mirror the success of its Sunday dramas on Thursday. The block launches Feb. 14 with a second season of Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith's reality show about comic fans, at 9 p.m. Then at 9:30, it premieres Freakshow, about a family-run freak show in Venice Beach, Calif. At 10 comes another newbie, Immortalized, a show about taxidermy (yes, this is a thing now).

Other new series include Showville, about local talent trying to make it—not big exactly, but to callbacks at the local community theater—and Owner's Manual, about guys who don’t read the directions as they try to operate machinery, including a submarine.

Lump in returning series The Pitch and Small Town Security, and it all amounts to a big swing for AMC—seven new shows over the space of two years, with an eighth on the way. It is also atypical for cable where the accepted strategy is doing one thing all the time really well (see TLC and TBS).

AMC's unusual tactic is already yielding returns. In early February, investment firm Paulson & Co. listed AMC Networks as one of its top five small-cap stock picks.

The network's string of successes is, of course, the envy of programmers. The Walking Dead outperforms not just everything else on cable but most shows on broadcast, too—at least in demo delivery.

Yet even with its history of rolling the dice (The Walking Dead had its share of naysayers early on), expanding into unscripted so boldly seems an especially big gamble.

Time will tell whether "making whatever seems cool" is a sound business strategy.

http://www.adweek.com/news/television/amc-blazes-trail-thursdays-147172
Edited by dad1153 - 2/10/13 at 11:52pm
post #85095 of 93688
TV Notes
Helicopter crash puts spotlight on safety of reality TV shows
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Feb. 11, 2013

A helicopter crash in northern Los Angeles County that killed three people Sunday -- one of the worst film set accidents in recent years -- is likely to further fuel debate over whether working conditions on reality TV programs are unsafe.

Three people were killed in a helicopter crash early Sunday morning at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in a remote area near Soledad Canyon Road in Acton, authorities said. Polsa Rosa Ranch is a popular location for filming movies and TV shows and was also where a diver working on the Disney movie "The Lone Ranger" drowned in September while prepping a tank for an underwater shooting scene.

Sunday's incident occurred during production of a reality TV show called "Untitled Military Project" for the Discovery Channel, according to a permit filed with FilmL.A. Inc., which had granted permission to film a helicopter landing and takeoff at the site from 5 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday.

The show was being produced by Eyeworks USA, formerly 3 Ball Productions, best known for its "Biggest Loser" series. Producers had to get clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the accident, said Phil Sokoloski, spokesman for FilmL.A.

"It's a grievous accident and our hearts go out to the people affected by it," said Sokoloski, adding that he had no other details. He said FilmL.A. did not have a monitor on the set, but the L.A. County Fire Department did assign an advisor to the site.

In a statement Eyeworks USA said: "We can confirm that a helicopter crash occurred this morning while shooting a new series for a cable network, which resulted tragically in three fatalities. We are cooperating fully with the authorities. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those involved."

"A production company was shooting a show for Discovery Channel when this tragic accident occurred," Discovery said in a statement. "We are all cooperating fully with authorities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families."

The incident is the worst film set accident in California since 1982, when star Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed by a helicopter that crashed into them during filming of "Twilight Zone: The Movie." The deaths led to scrutiny of safety standards and prompted tougher rules for film crews.

Sunday's helicopter crash could bring more scrutiny to the reality TV sector. A recent report in the Los Angeles Times highlighted how some reality TV programs are cutting corners on safety, exposing cast and crew to hazardous working conditions. A combination of tight budgets, lack of trained safety personnel and pressure to capture dramatic footage has caused serious and in some cases fatal incidents, the Times report showed.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-helicopter-crash-reality-show-safety-20130210,0,4334786.story
post #85096 of 93688
Technology/Critic's Notes
The New Tech Economy: Why HP should be split up
By John Shinal, USA Today - Feb. 11, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- If Hewlett-Packard's board of directors isn't planning to split up the company, it should.

That of course won't be news to anyone who's watched HP's long-faltering personal computer business drag down its financial performance and its stock price.

But now that the company's biggest rival, Dell, has given up on the idea of trying to turn itself around as a public company, the clock counting HP's days in its current form has begun to tick more loudly.

The timing and terms of the deal that Michael Dell just put together to try and save his namesake firm show how little value is left in the PC business.

Worse yet, the other hardware businesses that both Dell and HP have counted on to ameliorate their PC woes have also begun to falter, while their high-margin services businesses have stagnated.

In short, the entire model of selling a broad range of hardware products to corporate customers, then charging to manage them, is collapsing after a three-decade run.

And when a long-term trend like that runs its course, its end can get very ugly for the companies and shareholders involved.

HP's last fiscal year, which ended in October, was about as ugly as one could be as sales fell for all of its product segments -- except for its small software business.

While a 10% drop in PC sales and a 6.5% dip in printer sales weren't a big surprise given the rising use of smartphones and tablets, HP also saw sales of servers, storage and networking gear fall more than 7%.

The story was the same for Dell in 2012. For the nine months ended in November, sales of its laptops plunged 18% while desktop PC sales fell 6% as consumers and businesses abandoned their products in favor of lighter, more-mobile devices.

Dell's other hardware businesses were mixed during that same period, as sales of servers and networking gear rose 9% while revenue from storage equipment fell 12%.

Executives at Dell and HP have been telling investors for several years that sales of other hardware could make up for the drop in PC sales. That kind of talk should now be put to bed, because the 2012 numbers don't back it up.

Although sales of servers, storage and networking gear have twice the profit margin of PCs, they're neither large enough nor growing fast enough to boost the bottom line.

The strongest argument against spinning off HP's PC business (or other hardware units) was that selling such hardware allowed HP to later sell higher-margin services to the customers who bought them.

Again, it's an argument with no evidence to back it up. Services revenue at both Dell and HP fell roughly 2% for the first three quarters of last year.

With PC sales collapsing, other hardware sales faltering and profit on services falling rapidly, there are no good arguments for keeping HP together.

Yet a move to break up the venerable tech giant will likely come too late to create much value for shareholders.

That's made clear by the $24.4 billion deal that will make Dell a private company, a transaction whose terms were so disappointing to some shareholders that they immediately sought to challenge them.

If you subtract the $11 billion in cash that Dell held as of November, the company's operations and assets are being valued at $13.4 billion.

That's less than a quarter of the company's annual revenue, which is expected to have dropped 8%, to $57 billion, during the fiscal year ended last week.

That may seem like a bad deal for investors -- until you realize that for the first nine months of that fiscal year, Dell's net income and operating income both fell by a third, while operating cash flow plunged by half.

Dell will report quarterly financial results on Feb. 19, and the fact that Michael Dell wanted to get the deal signed before then suggests the report won't be of a type that shows any major reversals of those financial trends.

HP reports earnings Feb. 21, and its financial trends have been equally bleak of late. For the fiscal year ended in October, HP swung to a net loss of $12.7 billion and an operating loss of $11.1 billion, while operating cash flow fell by 16%, to $10.6 billion.

HP, which ended its year with $11.3 billion in cash, is now valued by the markets at $32 billion, implying a value of just under $21 billion for its operations and assets. That's about one-sixth its annual revenue of $120 billion.

Given that HP shares are already up 20% since the start of the year -- a rise that's likely due in part to speculation related to Dell's move -- HP shareholders, like their Dell counterparts, aren't likely to see much benefit from a move that's too little, too late.

John Shinal has covered tech and financial markets for 15 years at Bloomberg Businessweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal Digital Network and others.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/02/10/hp-dell-pc-sales/1902047/
post #85097 of 93688
TV Notes
Brett Ratner to Bring ‘Farmville’ Game to Television
By Barbara Chai, Wall Street Journal's 'Speakeasy' Blog

Director Brett Ratner will produce a half-hour animated television series based on Zynga’s hugely popular social media game, “Farmville.”

Working with Canadian television production company Six Eleven Media, Ratner will serve as executive producer, along with Kirk Schenck, Charles Bishop and Nina Gelb.

Farmville and Farmville 2 — social-media games that invite players to create their own elaborate, interactive farms — attract millions of players a day.

“Farmville" is one of the most exciting brands out there today and its cross-platform opportunities are endless. I am thrilled to be expanding the brand with existing fans and also engaging a whole new audience,” Ratner said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Farmville creator Zynga reported a quarterly loss and flat revenue. The San Francisco online-game company went public in 2011 but has since struggled amid shifting consumer tastes with games.

Ratner, who also served as executive producer of the TV show “Prison Break,” is set to direct the feature film “Hercules,” which will star Dwayne Johnston. He also directed the films in the “Rush Hour” franchise and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/02/07/brett-ratner-brings-farmville-game-to-television/
post #85098 of 93688
TV Notes
In Makeover, a Channel Takes Its Cue From Esquire
By Bill Carter, The New York Times - Feb. 11, 2013

Esquire, the magazine that has relied on the printed page for the last 80 years, is about to make a move into television.

On Monday, NBCUniversal will announce that it has concluded a deal with Hearst Magazines to rebrand one of NBC’s existing cable properties, the G4 network, as a new entity, the Esquire Network. The purpose: to refashion a cable channel that has been devoted to video gaming and devices into what NBC’s top cable executive described as “an upscale Bravo for men.”

Only last week, that executive, Bonnie Hammer, added Bravo — the network of “Real Housewives” and other female-centric lifestyle programming — to the portfolio of cable networks she oversees, so the juxtaposition is well timed. The Esquire Network will have its debut on April 22. It will be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

Neither side would discuss the specific financial arrangements, but said the renamed channel was not a joint venture. “We own G4,” Ms. Hammer said. “There are no ownership issues here.” David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Esquire, said, “We have a strong interest in this succeeding.”

For viewers of the G4 network, the change will mean a sharp shift from the gaming-centered programming that attracted some men to shows that will draw an audience that NBC executives are persuaded Esquire stands for: “The modern man, what being a man today is all about,” as Adam Stotsky, the general manager of the new network, said.

Specifically, NBC is hoping to capture a more educated, affluent, sophisticated male viewer, who is not being served, as its research concluded, by the male-oriented, nonsports programming on cable channels like Discovery and Spike. “Much of today’s programming targets men in a one-dimensional way,” Mr. Stotsky said, with what he called “down-market shows” about “tattoos or pawn shops or storage lockers or axes or hillbillies.”

The Esquire Network will offer shows aimed at capturing other areas of interest, like cars, politics, world affairs, travel, fashion and cooking. David Granger, Esquire’s editor in chief, said he expected the programming to be “not duplicative of what readers find in the magazine, but in the same wheelhouse.”

Still, he said, there could be some crossovers. For example, “Funny Joke From a Beautiful Woman,” a feature Esquire has included on its Web site, could work as a piece between series, Mr. Granger said.

But Mr. Stotsky said his development staff would generate the program ideas. One of the network’s first original series is “Knife Fight,” a reality competition about “after-hours cook-offs” among young chefs.

The other original series is a travel show featuring celebrities called “The Getaway.”

Neither of those ideas originated in an editorial meeting at Esquire, but as Mr. Carey said, “This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work. The idea is to capture the essence of the magazine.”

Ms. Hammer called that the magazine’s brand. She said NBC had been aware of the limits of G4’s programming niche.

“Realistically, guys who are into gaming are not necessarily watching television,” she said. “If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for.”

Mr. Stotsky was responsible for seeking potential partners, and after some early discussions with Mr. Carey and Mr. Granger, an alliance with Esquire quickly gained traction.

Mr. Carey said that Hearst Magazines was “very focused on partnerships.” He pointed to its success in creating magazines tied to cable channels like the Food Network and HGTV.

Beyond the two original shows to be announced on Monday, the new channel will be filled in the short run with acquired programs — many, Mr. Stotsky said, from the library owned by NBCUniversal.

Two comedies that will appear are in the category of more sophisticated recent comedies, he said. One, “Parks and Recreation,” is owned by NBC and still on the broadcast network. It will get its first cable exposure on the Esquire Network.

The other, “Party Down,” about young caterers, achieved some cult status when it played on the cable network Starz three years ago.

That may mean that the actor Adam Scott, who stars in both shows, is something of the ideal for the Esquire Network. Mr. Stotsky said the channel is hoping to rely on the magazine’s “80 years of insight into what makes men tick.” He added, “When you look at Esquire as a print magazine, it’s really about a point of view, a way of life, telling intelligent witty stories.”

Mr. Granger said the magazine had survived both the media shift from print to digital and the recent recession, even managing to increase its circulation figure, to about 725,000 a month, in December. This was accomplished, he said, by creatively expanding onto digital platforms including Web site and tablet applications. The median age of the magazine’s reader in the last several years falls in the range of 38 to 40 years old, he said.

Mr. Carey said current circulation figures alone should not reflect the brand’s value. “It’s a funny thing about magazines,” he said. “The population of people who know and respect and see a particular magazine brand as an authority is usually much bigger than the audience of the actual magazine. I believe NBC saw the opportunity that the built-in awareness and respect for Esquire was multiples of the actual magazine audience.”

Mr. Carey said he “absolutely saw only an upside” for Esquire. “As we’ve seen from our other ventures, when you have both print and television working together, it clearly lifts all boats.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/business/media/in-venture-with-nbc-esquire-expands-into-television.html?ref=media
post #85099 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Helicopter crash puts spotlight on safety of reality TV shows
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Feb. 11, 2013

A helicopter crash in northern Los Angeles County that killed three people Sunday -- one of the worst film set accidents in recent years -- is likely to further fuel debate over whether working conditions on reality TV programs are unsafe.

Sunday's helicopter crash could bring more scrutiny to the reality TV sector. A recent report in the Los Angeles Times highlighted how some reality TV programs are cutting corners on safety, exposing cast and crew to hazardous working conditions. A combination of tight budgets, lack of trained safety personnel and pressure to capture dramatic footage has caused serious and in some cases fatal incidents, the Times report showed.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-helicopter-crash-reality-show-safety-20130210,0,4334786.story

People are dying making these cheap horrible shows. Cancel all Reality shows now! This is uncalled for. mad.gif
post #85100 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

People are dying making these cheap horrible shows. Cancel all Reality shows now! This is uncalled for. mad.gif
Should they cancel making all movies as well?
post #85101 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRatPatrol View Post

Should they cancel making all movies as well?

They should cancel the news as well, since reporters have died covering stories.
post #85102 of 93688
SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #85103 of 93688
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Grammys draw 28.1 million on CBS
That's well off last year's record of 39.9 million
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 11, 2013

As expected, the Grammy Awards declined from last year’s record performance, which paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston a day after her shocking death.

But last night’s ceremony still scored the second-best audience for the awards show since 1993, behind only the 2012 awards.

The ceremony averaged 28.12 million total viewers from 8 to 11:30 p.m., according to Nielsen metered-market ratings.

It averaged a 10.0 in adults 18-49 and an 11.1 in 25-54s.

Last year’s ceremony averaged 39.9 million total viewers, a 14.1 in 18-49s and a 16.0 in 25-54s.

The ceremony clearly had an impact on its competition.

ABC’s hit drama “Once Upon a Time” fell to a series-low 2.2 in 18-49s opposite the first hour of the Grammys at 8 p.m., down 8 percent from its most recent episode, while lead-out “Revenge” also dipped to a series low of 1.4 at 9 p.m., off 18 percent.

Fox’s male-skewing lineup was also down. “Family Guy” slid 17 percent from its most recent episode two weeks ago to a 2.4, finishing as the night’s No. 2 show behind the Grammys.

“The Simpsons” (down 9 percent to a 2.1), “Bob’s Burgers” (down 10 percent to a 1.8) and “American Dad” (down 9 percent to a 2.0) also declined.

CBS led the night among 18-49s with an 8.2 average overnight rating and a 20 share. Fox was second at 1.8/4, ABC third at 1.5/4, NBC and Univision tied for fourth at 0.8/2 and Telemundo sixth 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-seven percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

CBS was first at 7 p.m. with a 1.9 for “60 Minutes,” followed closely by ABC with a 1.8 for “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” NBC and Fox tied for third at 1.2, NBC for “Dateline” and Fox for a repeat of “Bob’s Burgers” (1.0) and a new “Cleveland Show” (1.3). Univision was fifth with a 0.8 for “Lo Que Mas Quieres” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for the movie “The Lion King.”

CBS remained in first at 8 p.m. with a 9.9 for the first hour of the Grammys. ABC’s “Time” was second with a 2.2, followed by Fox in third with a 1.9 for “Simpsons” (2.1) and “Burgers” (1.8). Univision took fourth with a 0.8 for the first hour of “Lo Que Mas Quieres.” The end of “Lion” on Telemundo and start of “Iron Man 2” tied for fifth with NBC’s first hour of a repeat of “Betty White’s Second Annual 90th Birthday Special” with a 0.6 apiece.

CBS remained in first at 9 p.m. with a 10.9 for the Grammys. Fox moved up to second with a 2.2 for “Guy” (2.4) and “Dad” (2.0). ABC’s “Revenge” was third with a 1.4, followed by Univision’s second hour of “Quieres” with a 1.0 in fourth, NBC’s second hour of “White” in fifth with a 0.7, and “Iron” sixth on Telemundo with a 0.5.

At 10 p.m. CBS remained ahead with a 10.0 for the Grammys. An NBC “SNL” special tied with Univision’s “Sal y Pimienta” for second with a 0.9. ABC’s “Revenge for Real” special was fourth with a 0.8, and the conclusion of “Iron” on Telemundo was fifth with a 0.5.

Among households CBS led the night with a 14.0 rating and 21 share. ABC was second with a 3.4/5, NBC was third with a 2.3/4, Fox was fourth with a 1.9/3, Univision was fifth with a 1.3/2, and Telemundo was sixth with a 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/grammys-draw-28-1-million-on-cbs/
post #85104 of 93688
Business/Legal Notes
Don Johnson Gets $19 Million to End 'Nash Bridges' Dispute
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood, Esq.' Blog - Feb. 11, 2013

Don Johnson's fight over money from Nash Bridges is officially over.

In 2010, Johnson scored a big $50 million courtroom victory in his lawsuit against Rysher Entertainment. Last October, the award was cut to $15 million on appeal.

Both sides could have continued the battle to a higher appeals court, but recent court papers submitted at the Los Angeles Superior Court reveal that at the end of January, Rysher wired nearly $19 million to Johnson's production company.

Johnson has now signed an acknowledgment of satisfaction of the judgment.

Johnson's lawsuit against Rysher became a big deal in the summer of 2010 when it went to a jury trial.

The actor claimed that his 1995 deal with Rysher entitled him to half-ownership of Nash Bridges if it lasted 66 episodes. The show lasted 122 episodes.

Johnson sued for 50 percent of the show's money. At trial, his attorneys pointed to the profits the 1996-2001 drama made from re-reruns.

In response, Rysher believed that Johnson's compensation should be dictated by a contractual provision on "adjusted gross receipts" or the licensing profits that Rysher attained for the series after certain distribution fees and production costs. Rysher maintained that the series was a very expensive show to produce, and that Nash Bridges was $40 million the red.

A jury awarded Johnson $23.2 million, and then, the judge awarded interest, ballooning the total award to $50 million.

In October, a California appellate court said that the trial judge was right to throw the ambiguities of Johnson's contract to a trial, but also trimmed the $50 million down to $15 million because of a finding that both the judge and jury had improperly determined prejudgment interest.

As stated above, the case could have been appealed further. Both sides could have fought at the California Supreme Court over issues including statute of limitations, whether the judge should have interpreted the contract himself and whether there was really any misconduct or error to abrogate the huge interest payments.

Instead, the dispute appears to have been solved. Rysher will now be getting some money back since it deposited nearly $44 million in January, 2011 with the Los Angeles County Treasurer to stay enforcement of the trial award pending appeal.

Rysher is now owned by Mark Cuban's and Todd Wagner's 2929 Entertainment. The company was represented by Bart Williams of Munger Tolles & Olson at trial and John Taylor at Horvitz & Levy on appeal. Rysher was also represented by Theodore Boutrous Jr. and others at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Johnson was represented by Mark Holscher and Christopher Landau of Kirkland & Ellis.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/don-johnson-gets-19-million-420358
post #85105 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayan View Post

They should cancel the news as well, since reporters have died covering stories.

Cancel Sports as well, since people have died playing in these events, oh heck why don't we just cancel EVERYTHING and go back to living in the Dark Ages! biggrin.gif
post #85106 of 93688
TV Notes
'Under the Dome' to Stream on Amazon Days After CBS Airing
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Feb. 11, 2013

They won't be able to watch every episode right away, "House of Cards" style, but Amazon customers will be able to watch episodes of the Stephen King miniseries "Under the Dome" four days after they air on CBS.

The companies announced the agreement Monday for the series from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, which will premiere on CBS on June 24.

Amazon Prime members will have free, unlimited streaming of all the series’ episodes four days after their initial broadcast. Episodes will also be available for purchase and download exclusively at Amazon Instant Video.

The series tells the story of a small Maine town suddenly sealed off from the world by a large, transparent dome. It based on King's 2009 book of the same name.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/under-dome-stream-amazon-days-after-cbs-airing-77086
post #85107 of 93688
TV Notes
CW’s ‘Arrow’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ & ‘Supernatural’ Get Early Renewals
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 11, 2013

The CW Network has given early pickups to its three strongest series, breakout freshman Arrow, flagship The Vampire Diaries and veteran Supernatural, which has had a resurgence paired with Arrow this season. All three shows hail from Warner Bros. TV and will return in Fall 2013. It will be a fifth season for Vampire Diaries and ninth for Supernatural. The renewal for Supernatural became possible after stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles inked rich new multi-season deals last year. “We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and now with our new hit Arrow and fan favorite Supernatural on Wednesday night, and the continued success of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, we’ve been able to do that,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz. “Not only do Arrow, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially.”

Early renewals are reserved for series whose pickup is never in doubt. On the bubble at the CW are 90210, Nikita, Hart Of Dixie and freshmen Beauty And The Beast and The Carrie Diaries all of which have been floundering in the ratings. The pickup of Arrow, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural — all genre shows — and the network’s heavy emphasis on such fare in its pilot pickups indicates a clear shift away from soaps under Pedowitz.

One of the true breakout hits of the season, ARROW posted The CW’s best series premiere since 2009 and currently stands as the network’s most watched show (4.3mil). Heading into its fifth season next fall, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES remains The CW’s highest rated series in target demographics, including adults 18-34 and women 18-34. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also continues to be one of the network’s top performing shows digitally and socially; in fact, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES recently topped Trendrr’s list as network TV’s #1 social program for the week of January 21–27

The Winchester brothers of SUPERNATURAL will continue to fight the forces of evil for a ninth season. Since being paired with ARROW on Wednesday this year, SUPERNATURAL has seen a dramatic uptick in its ratings from last season, rising 15% among total viewers, 10% in adults 18-34 and 18% in adults 18-49.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/02/cws-arrow-vampire-diaries-supernatural-get-early-renewals/
post #85108 of 93688
Nielsen Overnights (Cable)
'Walking Dead' Returns With Series Best 12.3 Million Viewers
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 11, 2013

AMC's The Walking Dead returned from its two-month winter hiatus -- which featured a fourth-season renewal and the departure of showrunner Glen Mazzara -- on Sunday, where it scored a series best in total viewers.

Season three's midseason premiere collected 12.3 million total viewers in its initial broadcast at 9 p.m., more than the 10.9 million who tuned in to the season three opener. The total viewer record is up 5 percent over season two's midseason bow.

In the adults 18-49 demo, the episode -- up against the Grammys on CBS -- scored 7.7 million total viewers, the strongest telecast in basic-cable history in the metric and up 6 percent over the October opener. So far this season, the zombie drama is averaging 6.8 million adults in the demo, outperforming everything including The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and NCIS in the measure. The demo is up 44 percent compared with season two's midseason premiere. Among adults 25-54, the 9 p.m. broadcast scored 6.7 million viewers, up 51 percent year-over-year.

Season three of the series is averaging as the No. 1 ad-supported drama series in basic-cable history among total viewers, adults 18-49, 25-54, 18-35, men 18-49, men 25-54 and men 18-34.

October's third-season premiere scored 10.9 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated episode in series history, up more than 50 percent from its record-breaking season two premiere. The episode previously stood as the biggest telecast for any drama series in basic-cable history among total viewers. In the key advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo, the 9 p.m. broadcast collected 7.3 million viewers, with 6.1 million among adults 25-54 -- all series bests at the time.

Factoring in broadcasts at 9 p.m., 11 p.m., midnight and 2 a.m., the series based on the comics by Robert Kirkman collected 16.6 million total viewers during the course of the night. When combining all four airings, the 18-49 demo numbers rise to 10.7 million and 8.9 million in adults 25-54.

Some ratings highlights from the series:

• Season 3 midseason premiere, Feb. 10, 2013: 12.3 million total viewers*, 6.8 million in 19-49, 6.7 million in 25-54*
• Season 3 midseason finale, Dec. 2, 2012: 10.5 million total viewers, 6.9 million in 18-49, 6 million in 25-54
• Season 3 premiere, Oct. 14, 2012: 10.9 million total viewers, 7.3 million in 18-49, 6.1 million in 25-54*
• Season 2 finale, March 18, 2012: 9 million total viewers, 6 million in 18-49, 5.3 million in 25-54*
• Season 2 midseason premiere, Feb. 12, 2012: 8.1 million total, 5.4 million* in 18-49, 4.4 million* in 25-54
• Season 2 premiere, Oct. 16, 2011: 7.3 million total, 4.8 million* in 18-49, 4.2 million* in 25-54
• Season 2 midseason finale, Nov. 27, 2011: 6.6 million total, 4.5 million in 18-49, 3.9 million in 25-54
• Season 1 finale, Dec. 5 2010: 6 million total, 4 million in 18-49, 3.5 million in 25-54
• Season 1 premiere, Oct. 31, 2010: 5.4 million total viewers, 2.7 million in 18-49

(* Record at the time)

"When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of this show. They embrace The Walking Dead in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “The cast and crew put everything they have into making this show. They’re a phenomenally talented group who truly give their all. We congratulate everyone involved.”
Meanwhile, Chris Hardwicke's Walking Dead postshow The Talking Dead -- the first in its new hour-long format -- collected 4.1 million total viewers at 10 p.m., up considerably from the 2.2 million that December's midseason finale premiere scored.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-ratings-season-3-midseason-premiere-420209
post #85109 of 93688
TV/Business Notes
TV commercial actors feeling pinched as they pitch products
Many are earning less than they once did, an issue that looms as SAG-AFTRA negotiators begin bargaining on a new contract with advertising agencies.
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times - Feb. 11, 2013

In a nearly 30-year television career, Frank Crim has appeared in more than 150 commercials, pitching Honda SUVs, Jack in the Box hamburgers, Allstate insurance, and Capital One credit cards.

The Oklahoma City native has played a plumber, a trash collector, a chef, a cab driver and a demon.
But lately Crim is having to book more jobs to make the same money he did a decade ago.

"I still don't make enough money to buy a house," said Crim, who makes about $60,000 a year and shares an apartment in the San Fernando Valley. "I'm not asking for the moon, just enough to make a livable wage."

Even as the advertising industry rebounds in the wake of the Great Recession — commercial production reached a record level in Los Angeles last year — middle-class actors hired to pitch products for Ford or Budweiser are having a tougher time making ends meet.

They're being pinched by a variety of forces. Celebrities are taking spots once occupied by lesser-known actors. Lucrative network television residuals — the fees that actors get when their work is rerun — have eroded as advertisers shift spending to cable television shows like "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" that pay lower rates.

Many actors feel overexposed and underpaid too when their TV commercials go viral on the Internet.

Those are among the issues confronting negotiators for SAG-AFTRA as they meet in New York this week to begin bargaining on a new three-year contract with advertising agencies. The current contract, which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings for commercial actors, expires March 31.

The negotiation is being closely watched: It is the first since the Screen Actors Guild merged a year ago with its smaller sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA leaders face pressure to make good on their vow that a combined union would have more leverage in negotiations to extract improved pay and benefits for their more than 165,000 members, many of whom rely on commercial and voice-over jobs to supplement income from television and film work.

About 50,000 people work under the commercials contract.

Representatives of SAG-AFTRA and a joint policy committee of the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies and the Assn. of National Advertisers declined to comment on the upcoming talks, which begin Thursday.

But the negotiations could be contentious. In 2000 actors staged a six-month strike, mainly over how they were to be paid for commercials shown on network and cable television.

SAG at that time was dominated by a hard-line group. SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, who is chairing the negotiating committee, and chief negotiator David White, the union's executive director, are known as moderates who eschew outward confrontations with employers.

That was evident last week when the union sounded a conciliatory tone after the board approved a package of bargaining proposals.

"While there are difficult issues to negotiate ahead, we anticipate a productive dialogue with our bargaining partners and expect a result that is positive for our members," White said.

But the advertisers policy committee has warned members to prepare for a possible strike.

"Consider rescheduling production planned for March 31, 2013, through June 2013 to dates prior to March 31, 2013, to account for any possible impasse and strike," lead negotiator Doug Wood said in a memo in December. "This is of particular concern if you are planning production for the rollout of a new campaign or a planning a celebratory production."

Although SAG-AFTRA officials have declined to publicly discuss their package of proposals, sources close to the confidential negotiations said the union is seeking annual wage increases and higher pay for commercials shown on the Internet, as well as larger health and pension contributions. It's unclear how receptive advertisers will be to the demands, having agreed to $36 million in pay increases over three years in the previous contract negotiation in 2009.

But many veteran commercial actors fear being left behind as advertising migrates to new media.

Tom Konkle said he booked five commercials last year but made only one-eighth the income he earned on the same number of commercials three years ago. He attributes the decline mainly to the fact that there are fewer national network commercials as advertisers move their marketing money to cable TV shows and the Internet, where actors receive a fraction of the income.

A single national commercial on network television can bring in $30,000 or more in residual payments, which pay actors a certain fee every time an ad is broadcast. That compares to a few thousand for the cycle of a cable or Internet ad.

Konkle, who's done more than 100 commercials playing characters in spots for such brands as Home Depot, Quiznos and ING — he's the obnoxious neighbor who boasts about not saving any money — said the current situation seems unfair.
"We're not being compensated in any substantial way for creating commercials that can be seen around the world, that are available 24/7 and can be targeted to their audiences," Konkle said.

He added that he can barely afford to pay his union dues and worries that he won't make enough money this year to keep health insurance for his wife and 7-year-old son.

"I used to make a very good living," he said. "I hope this continues to be my day job."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-commercial-actors-20130212,0,3081177,full.story
post #85110 of 93688
Critic's Notes
Icing The Networks
By Michael Rosenblum, HuffingtonPost.com - Feb. 11, 2013

If you were born at the turn of the last Century (20th), and you were looking for a place to invest your money, ice looked like a pretty good bet.

The ice business was everywhere.

There were ice houses in New England that cut up the frozen ponds in the winter and stored the stuff all year long.

Everyone had ice boxes in their kitchens, and the ice in them had to be replaced weekly.

There were regular customers, and delivery routes and an endless demand for ice.

There were even ships that took nothing but ice from Boston to India and sold it on the dock.

Ice transporation, insulation, ice technology, even ice futures were all massive and very successful businesses.

And they had been for more than 1,000 years.

If you were just getting into business, ice looked like a pretty good bet with a pretty solid future.

Then, in 1913, Fred W. Wolfe of Fort Wayne, Indiana, invented a refrigerator that sat on top of a traditional ice box, and the ice business was over.

What had been a global, multi-million (in 1902 dollars) business came to a crashing halt. The ice houses, the ice cutting technology, the ice ponds, the ice boxes, the delivery routes, the contracts, the whole thing was suddenly worthless.

Almost overnight.

That's what new technologies do - they crush existing businesses.

Almost overnight.

I thought about the ice business when my sister sent me an article from TV Week:

"Are NBC's Woes the Peacock in the Coal Mine? Perhaps It's a Signal That Broadcast TV, as We've Known It for the Past 60 Years, Is Going the Way of Brick-and-Mortar Record Stores and Bookstores"

Yes, I rememeber going to Tower Records to paw through their bins of records and later CDs.

Anyone been to Tower Records lately?

Hard to do, they are gone.

Another victim of technology - like the iceman.

And now, the same technology that killed the ice business and the record business is about take its toll on the TV business.

We all know non-linear video on demand is going to replace wait-until-9PM television. And networks are trying to respond with video on demand and online services. You know, 'TV everywhere'- on your computer, on your iPad on your iPhone.

But I don't think that it's the Internet or mobile that's the threat to TV.

I think it's something much more fundamental.

If you have a smart phone in your pocket (and more than 1 billion people already do), then sure, you have a 'little TV screen'. That's what the networks see. But you also have something else that they don't see. You have a 'little TV production company' in there.

That's right.

Between that HD video camera and that iMovie app ($4.99) you have everything it takes to make "The Real Housewives of Cleveland" or wherever else you happen to be.

No kidding.

That's all it takes.

That, and a creative idea or two.

Here are a few astonishing facts to ponder:

72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Over 4 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every month.

It would take all 3 US networks 60 years to produce the content that is uploaded to YouTube by average people every 30 days.

In fact, for NBC to produce the quantity for video that is already on YouTube, they would have to work flat out for the next 3,000 years.


But by then, I think, the tech will probably have changed once more.

Clearly, something very fundamental is happening.

A new piece of technology is destroying what was once a very profitable yet closed business - television.

It takes conventional cable networks about 19 weeks to produce a single hour of a 'reality show'. I know, I used to produce them. The networks are paying conventional production companies anywhere from $70,000 to more than $350,000 per hours for these shows.

Got an iPhone in your pocket?

Got an idea?

Just do it.

Go ahead.

Do it.

Is the broadcast model 'broken'?

You bet it is.

But not in the way networks think.

This isn't about putting traditional network TV shows on Hulu.

This is something much more fundamental.

This is about who gets to make TV shows, and what it costs to make them.

It is crazy that the most powerful medium in the world is in the hands of a few dozen people in NY and LA.

But that won't last.

And the future is, ironically, in your hands.

Michael Rosenblum is a video producer and the founder of Current TV.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rosenblum/icing-the-networks_b_2664064.html?utm_hp_ref=tv
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