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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2873

post #86161 of 93700
TV Review
‘The Kandi Factory,’ empty calories
Bravo series promises an inside look at how stars are made
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 8, 2013

If we need any proof that corporations can still manufacture pop stars, just look at the long line of Disney Channel starlets who have found success on the charts and on tour. But the Disney Channel had a stake in those stars, using their pop success as cross-promotion for their TV shows.

Bravo’s new reality show “The Kandi Factory,” in which two pop hopefuls vie to get a single and video released by the songwriter and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kandi Burruss, tries to make us believe that it will launch the career of a new star each episode. Since we know that is astronomically unlikely, the suspense over who will win is minimal.

As shown by the gradual slide in the ratings of “American Idol,” audiences have lost interest in shows in which ambitious kids are torn down and built up by industry professionals.

What’s more, “The Kandi Factory” doesn’t reveal anything interesting about the process of making a song or grooming an artist. This is one of those shows that we forget almost as quickly as we’re watching them.

In the premiere episode, airing this Tuesday, April 9, at 10 p.m., Lauryn, a 21-year-old student, and Darian, a 27-year-old dance instructor, both of whom live in Los Angeles, come to the Kandi Factory, Burruss’ “artist-development center,” in Atlanta. She says she is giving each one of them a song written by her but “based on their lives.”

Lauryn, whose boyfriend still lives in her hometown in Texas, gets a song about long-distance relationships. Darian, who says he was teased in high school because he’s gay, gets a song that repeats “I’m a winner” a lot. The lyrics of both songs are bad; the music is almost laughably generic.

The contestants will rehearse their songs, get help with choreography and get a makeover; then they will perform the songs at a showcase, after which Kandi will choose the winner. To help them, Kandi has enlisted a producer, who goes by the name of Don Vito, a choreographer, Victor Jackson, and a stylist, Kwame Waters.

Darian is by far the most trouble of the two contestants. He says he can’t commit to his song because he’s always felt like a loser. He questions Victor’s teaching methods and then asks what his credentials are. Victor tries to kick him out of the studio.

Lauryn, meanwhile, proves problematic because she looks so young and innocent. Kandi notices that she wears a promise ring. “Now you know everything about me,” Lauryn says ruefully to the camera.

Kandi and her associates decide to encourage Lauryn’s natural sweetness but try to get her to add a little sexiness to her voice. Otherwise, we see very little coaching. People interested in how pop songs are made will leave this show as well informed as they were when they came in.

After yet another reality-show makeover — Lauryn gets a wave in her hair and too much makeup; Darian gets a pattern shaved into the sides of his head — both singers perform in front of a small audience.

Since they’re singing to a prerecorded track, it’s hard to tell how much of their vocals are live and it’s thus impossible for us to judge whose performance is better. One of them has a slip-up that adds a tiny bit of drama.

Kandi then discusses who should win with her associates. Their discussion is mostly based on the contestants’ commercial viability and thus is mostly based on things they knew before the showcase.

“Welcome to the music business,” Kandi says to the winner. From what we’ve heard, the music business is full of people who tell you they’re going to help you but are simply blowing smoke and wasting your time. If that’s true, “The Kandi Factory” is a pretty good introduction.

post #86162 of 93700
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Now if Jon Stewart leaves, otoh…

I suppose you're going to be pretty unhappy this summer, then.

Well, I think it will be interesting to see how John Oliver does.

Can’t really say I’m looking forward to it, but nobody stays on TV forever, and Oliver seems to want the gig when Stewart steps down. He did a mock takeover bit when Stewart pretended to resign over his mishandling of the Anthony Weiner story.
post #86163 of 93700
TV Notes
Alec Baldwin Said to Be in Talks to Join NBC’s Late-Night Lineup
By Bill Carter, The New York Times' 'Media Decoder' Blog - Apr. 10, 2013

A well-known name is the latest to surface in the populated field of late night television hosts: Alec Baldwin.

The Emmy-winning actor is in the mix for a spot in NBC’s late-night lineup, one executive involved in the network’s program planning said. The executive asked not to be identified because the talks were still in initial stages.

The most likely landing place for a show hosted by Mr. Baldwin would be in the latest of NBC’s entries, the show now called “Last Call.” That half-hour interview program currently stars Carson Daly.

Mr. Daly is also the host of NBC’s biggest show, “The Voice.”

NBC is in the midst of what looks like a complete overhaul of its late-night lineup. Last week, the network confirmed that Jimmy Fallon, now host of NBC’s “Late Night,” would be taking over the “Tonight” from Jay Leno when he steps down next February. The show will move from Los Angeles to New York with Mr. Fallon as star.

After that move was announced, speculation immediately began about who might succeed Mr. Fallon at the “Late Night’ show. Now the mutual interest between Mr. Baldwin and NBC about opening a late-night spot for the actor could result in three new late-night hosts for NBC.

Mr. Baldwin ended his much-praised run as a star on this NBC comedy “30 Rock” this season. He twice won the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his work as Jack Donaghy.

Mr. Baldwin has also been long regarded one of the best guests on late-night television shows. And he has won critical praise for a podcast series he created with WNYC radio in New York, called “Here’s The Thing.”

In the series, Mr. Baldwin has interviewed a wide range of guests, including David Letterman, Billy Joel, Kristen Wiig, Chris Rock, Lena Dunham, and the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck.

The format of the half-hour podcasts takes Mr. Baldwin out of the studio and into some remote locations — like a star’s apartment – to conduct the interviews. The advantage of hosting a similar show for television would be that Mr. Baldwin could record several interviews in a single day and leave his schedule open to perform as an actor, either in movies or potentially another television comedy.

He is also a Broadway star, currently heading the cast of the play “Orphans.”

post #86164 of 93700
Technology Notes
Second screens popular but not always companion TV apps, study says
By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times - Apr. 9, 2013

A new study from the NPD Group reveals that nearly all U.S. households own at least one device that can be used as a second screen while watching TV.

It's not surprising that 87% of consumers are splitting their attention between the TV and their laptops, smartphones and tablet computers. Here's the kicker: Although such distracted viewing is common, fewer people are using these second screens to interact with the applications designed specifically for the TV programs they're watching.

Television networks and firms such as Viggle and Zeebox have invested energy in offering applications designed to enhance the viewing experience through play-along games, voting, rewards for checking in and other interactive features. The hope is such second-screen applications will hold the viewer's attention, even when their eyes wander off to their portable device.

Although these so-called "companion" applications are popular with some viewers, they don't resonate with most consumers, according to NPD's new "Digital Video Outlook Second Screens Report."

Some 47% of viewers have used their portable devices to learn more about the TV shows or movies they're watching, or the actors appearing on screen. But they are turning to established sources, including IMDb, Wikipedia and social networks, for such information, NPD found.

"For the most part, we're sitting there fiddling with these devices and if something catches our attention we're off to do our own thing," said Russ Crupnick, NPD's senior vice president of industry analysis. "I think that viewers ... want to create their own experiences around the show."

Crupnick said there are notable exceptions, such as televised competitions like Fox's "American Idol," where viewer participation is integral to the experience.

Shopping for a product seen on TV emerges as the third most popular use for the second screen. Consumers ages 35 to 49 who are watching TV with their laptops nearby were the most likely to shop for products, according to NPD's research.

NPD's "Digital Video Outlook Second Screens Report's" findings were based on a survey of 3,387 consumers who reported watching a television show or movie in the previous week.

post #86165 of 93700
TV/Nielsen Notes
'Idol' fatigue sets in as ratings free fall in finals
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Apr. 10, 2013

If Angie Miller and Kree Harrison aren't the household names their forerunners were, it's no wonder.

Now in its 12th season, Fox's American Idol has accelerated its ratings free fall in the show's final round. The audience for Wednesday's live performance shows has dropped each week since the top 10 finalists began singing live on March 13 and hit a low last week of 11.7 million, the show's worst showing since Idol's first season in summer 2002. Overall, the singing competition is averaging 15.4 million viewers, down a huge 10 million from the same point two years ago, just before NBC's rival The Voice launched.

The Voice, which wraps up its spinning-chair auditions this week, rose to 13.7 million on Monday, according to Nielsen. The show is up from last fall, though down from last spring's cycle, which was fueled by a post-Super Bowl premiere.

"The existence of a fresh, fun new show has created a new choice for viewers," says NBC's reality chief Paul Telegdy.

His Fox counterpart, Mike Darnell, has defended Idol, and says other long-in-the-tooth series such as CBS' Survivor have also faced sharp ratings drops, with less attention.

Why the decline? A combination of factors, says analyst Brad Adgate of ad firm Horizon Media, including "fatigue, competition, (new) judges and maybe singers, too."

Idol remains in TV's top 10, is the only singing competition yet to manufacture top-selling stars, and continues to be Fox's top-rated show. But it's no longer capable of guaranteeing the network a first-place finish for the season among young adult viewers, a crown it has claimed for most of the past decade. Instead, Fox is projected to finish a distant second to CBS.

Still unclear is whether Idol will remain tops in its genre. Though its January audition episodes easily outdrew the comparable Voice episodes, it has now fallen far behind, especially among young adults. Idol ends May 16, The Voice on June 17.

post #86166 of 93700
Technology Notes
James Cameron, Vince Pace Throw Support Behind Dolby 3D
By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 9, 2013

LAS VEGAS -- James Cameron and Vince Pace’s 3D company Cameron|Pace Group gave a big endorsement to the Dolby 3D format, revealing Tuesday that it will integrate the format into its CPG 3D production workflow.

Co-developed by Dolby and Philips, the Dolby 3D format was initiated to support the creation, delivery and playback of glasses-free 3D content on TVs, smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices.

“James Cameron broke new ground in entertainment with his use of 3D in film, but it’s been a challenge to bring his vision to the home and to smartphones and tablets,” said Pace. “The Dolby 3D format gives filmmakers the means to bring an artistic vision through production and distribution all the way to presentation while delivering what we believe to be the best possible 3D experience to consumers -- without the need for special glasses.”

A new technical spec for Dolby 3D, which attaches playback information to content, is becoming available for licensing through an early adopters program. Dolby plans to publish the spec for wide use by year’s end and expects Dolby 3D-supported devices will become available “in the next year or two.”

Dolby and Philips also are aiming to standardize the Dolby 3D format with standards body Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

Dolby believes glasses-free capabilities are needed to advance 3D. This week, the company is demonstrating the use of Dolby 3D technology in postproduction, distribution and playback at its NAB exhibition.

post #86167 of 93700
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - The Middle
8:30PM - Suburgatory
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
10PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Jason Bateman; Chadwick Boseman; Alice in Chains performs)
12:35AM - Nightline

8PM - Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites
9PM - Criminal Minds
10PM - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Harrison Ford; Rita Wilson; Jake Bugg performs)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Lisa Kudrow; Bonnie Raitt performs)
(R - Feb. 20)

8PM - Dateline NBC
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - Dec. 5)
10PM - Hannibal
(R - Apr. 4)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Charlie Sheen; NBA coach Andy Enfield; Brad Paisley perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Bill Cosby; Ashley Tisdale; chef Sandra Lee)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Natalie Zea; director Brandon Cronenberg; Niki & The Dove perform)

8PM - American Idol (120 min., LIVE)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature - Clash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves (R - Jan. 17, 2010)
9PM - NOVA - Australia's First 4 Billion Years: Awakening
10PM - The Truth About Exercise With Michael Mosley

8PM - Porque El Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - Arrow
(R - Feb. 20)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Jan. 16)

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Filmmaker Ken Burns)
11:30PM - The Colbert Report (Producer Shane Smith)

11PM - Conan (Jeremy Piven; host of "River Monsters'' Jeremy Wade; The Three O'Clock)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Josh Groban; Thomas Dale; Sarah Colonna; Jo Koy)
post #86168 of 93700
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV/Business Notes
2 Networks Hint at Leaving the Airwaves
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - Apr. 9, 2013

Executives in charge of Fox and Univision raised the prospect Monday of one day moving their programming off the broadcast airwaves and exclusively onto cable in a stepped-up response to Aereo, a streaming TV service.

Well, given that ~90% of viewers in my DMA are already paying for so-called "OTA" FOX programming, I don't see how this following through on this "threat" would actually change anything (other than leaving a whole bunch of affiliates up the proverbial creek.) biggrin.gif
Edited by HDTVChallenged - 4/9/13 at 11:58pm
post #86169 of 93700
Technology Notes
MTV Cancels 'Buckwild' Following Star Shain Gandee's Death
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Apr. 9, 2013

In the wake of Buckwild star Shain Gandee's death, MTV has opted to cancel the series, according to a source close to the show.

The news, first reported by TMZ, comes more than a week after Gandee, 21, was found dead April 1 in his vehicle, along with his uncle and a friend, after going off-roading, or "mudding," on a remote road in West Virginia. The local sheriff's office ruled the death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, likely caused be the car's tailpipe being submerged in mud.

Production on the MTV show's second season was suspended following the tragic incident, and grief counseling quickly was set up on location for the cast, crew and their families. At that time, Charleston, West Virginia Mayor Danny Jones urged the network to cancel Buckwild, noting that "the show only enhanced the negative stereotype the Kanawha Valley already has."

After several days spent weighing the implications of moving forward with the reality show, MTV brass ultimately decided it would be imprudent to do so. The move -- a bid to avoid any potential controversy as well as a recognition that Gandee was the show's breakout star -- comes after a heavily hyped and ultimately successful first season. In fact, the hope on the part of MTV executives was that Buckwild could fill a void left by one-time juggernaut Jersey Shore.

While Buckwild had yet to garner the ratings Shore did at its height, it did draw 2.5 million viewers to its January premiere, putting it ahead of the 2009 Shore bow (1.4 million) and the opener of spinoff Snooki & JWoww (2.4 million). During the series' first season, Buckwild averaged 3.2 million total viewers on a Live+7 basis. Advertisers responded, too, spending a healthy $10 million collectively on ads to run during the show in January, according to Kantar Media.

The West Virginia-based cast was poised to benefit from that success in season two. Gandee and seven fellow castmembers renegotiated their contracts to score a 300 percent raise. Each went from $1,000 an episode in season one to $4,000 an episode in season two, plus a $5,000 bonus, according to multiple sources. (Salwa Amin, the ninth member of the ensemble, who has been in and out of jail on drug charges, was not part of the re-negotiation.)

According to one series insider, internal conversations were had on the day of Gandee's death about potentially "softening" the show, which has focused on such behavior as off-roading, tire roll-downs and hard partying. But doing so likely would prove incongruous with the show's brand -- and potentially turn off viewers in the process.

MTV didn't immediately return request for comment.

post #86170 of 93700
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Technology Notes
James Cameron, Vince Pace Throw Support Behind Dolby 3D
By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 9, 2013

Dolby believes glasses-free capabilities are needed to advance 3D. This week, the company is demonstrating the use of Dolby 3D technology in postproduction, distribution and playback at its NAB exhibition.


For the first time I'm regretting that I don't go to NAB anymore. I would love to see a demo of that.
post #86171 of 93700
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Apr. 10, 2013

Spike, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1995 Mel Gibson movie is one of my nephew Hamilton’s favorite “spider-web” movies, and he’s far from alone – which is why Spike, aiming to please its young male demographic, is hitting the bullseye by presenting this action film in prime time. Fans of this movie can talk about it until they’re blue in the face. Which, in this particular case, is a form of tribute.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Kenneth Branagh remade this Anthony Shaffer play as a movie in 2007, but this is the original screen adaptation, made in 1972. Shaffer himself wrote the screenplay for this one, which stars Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier in a story about marital infidelity, jealousy – and potential murder. Lots of fun, and very, very clever.

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Benjamin Bratt returns as Javier, the biological father of Rico Rodriguez’s Manny and the ex of Sofia Vergara’s Gloria – and tonight, in this new episode, he brings along a guest. It’s his new girlfriend, played by former Criminal Minds star Paget Brewster.

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Stan (Noah Emmerich) pursues some new leads that get him closer to discovering the identity of an undercover KGB cell – and closer, therefore, to someone with whom he already shares a neighborly proximity: across-the-street neighbor Elizabeth (Keri Russell).

TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET

Eric Gould, in a recent Cold Light Reader column, raved about Gerald McRaney’s acting on last week’s excellent episode of this series. Our own Noel Holston reacted with a comment, agreeing with Eric and wondering exactly when McRaney shifted from the tossaway comedy of Major Dad and Simon & Simon and morphed into one of TV’s best dramatic actors in Deadwood, House of Cards, Justified and elsewhere. Guest star McRaney is reason enough to watch Southland this season – but the way this show has evolved, there are plenty of others.


* * * *

Critic's Notes
Daddy Dearest: The Dark Backbeat of 'The Cowills' Family Band
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com - Apr. 10, 2013

The startling thing about some '60s and '70s pop hits were how icky sweet they were, and, simultaneously, how deep they could go. For all of us kicking around the Carpenters at the time, it's a fair bet we were all singing (tearfully) along to Karen's plaintive "Superstar" in the privacy of our cars.

For some of us, it was the same with The Cowsills breakthrough 1967 hit, "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" (which some know as "The Flower Girl"). It's a virtual Phil Spector-like "little symphony for the kids" — a bittersweet organ refrain, harp flourishes and Bill Cowsills' high-register melody of teen love leading the way over everything.

The tragic prettiness of that song, along with the story of the crystalline five and six-part harmonies of The Cowsills' are recalled, and unraveled, in the 2011 documentary Family Band: The Cowsills Story now running on Showtime and Showtime 2 through April.

On one hand, the story of the Cowsills is a typical fame to wreckage story. The documentary reveals that they grossed an estimated $20 million in 1970s dollars during their three-year run of hit records and 200-plus live performances per year. And all that money disappeared, with no one knowing exactly where it went. Older brother Bob remembers that it took him ten years to reconcile with the IRS, paying taxes and penalties on income and gains he never saw.

Family Band is also a milestone marker, showing us the cracked foundation that supported a squeaky-clean family image, and a veneer-thin ideal, so often polished in the advertising of the '50s and '60s. (For a while the Cowsills served as the spokespersons for the American Dairy Association, always at the ready with big white glasses of wholesome milk, and big white teeth to go along with them.)

If any family suffered the schizophrenia of a happy-go-lucky public personae papering over a dysfunctional, unhappy home, it was the Cowsills.

The Cowsills catapulted to fame when "mini-mom" Barbara Cowsill and her young daughter, Susan, were put into the already-working band of brothers Bill, Bob, Barry, Paul and John by the band's producers and handlers. What was a workmanlike group of talented, young singer-musicians toiling away on the local circuit in Rhode Island, erupted into financial gold when it was transformed and marketed as an effusive family band.

With the release of the single "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" the Cowsills rocketed to national recognition, and made numerous television appearances on popular shows including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Mike Douglas Show.

The Cowsill family was also the model for the sitcom The Partridge Family (ABC, 1970-74.) They were actually supposed to star in the series, but the producers killed the deal, opting for actors instead. (There's a charming interview with Partridge Family mom Shirley Jones lamenting the dismissal of the Cowsills from their own project while introducing them at a 2004 benefit concert for Bill Cowsill.)

But Family Band is primarily the unfortunate story of the Cowsills' main handler and fearmonger, father Bud Cowsill (photo right, at far right). From the get-go, he was the font of the Cowsills success and their unhappiness. By all Cowsill family accounts, Bud Cowsill broke down doors to make them famous, and pretty much broke everything else in his way after they got there. He was band manager, unpredictable alcoholic, philanderer and violent tyrant.

Many of the documentary's interviews are hand-held homemade videos with the now-graying, surviving children. It's a harrowing account of young children functioning as obedient, fearful soldiers in a family battalion lead by the ex-Navy father.

Bill also recalls how they went on to produce a small-studio track of the title song from the Broadway musical, Hair, a song counter to their wholesome image (and counter to their record company's wishes) for the Carl Reiner-hosted special, The Wonderful World of Pizzazz. A surprise success, Hair found its way to the Billboard Top Ten in 1969, becoming their third chart hit.

At times, Family Band finds the Cowsills as a sort of haywire Von Trapp Family singers, or a white-bread version of the Jacksons. The Brian Wilson-level analog of the Cowsill brothers self-producing their own cover of Hair rightly points to the parallel of the Beach Boys' genius, similarly destructing under an abusive, controlling father.

At the height of the Cowsills success, alcoholic Bud kicked Bill out of the group for the offense of trying pot. (No hypocrisy there.) But it was more likely for Bill's habitual defiance, and his point of view as a talented musician.

Excommunicated and separated from his brothers and sisters, Bill moved to Canada, and struggled with substance addiction and illness for much of his adult life. In failing health during the early 2000s he gained sobriety shortly before his death in 2006.

The documentary shows clear moments of Bill's considerable talent and his vindication as leader of the alt-country band, The Blue Shadows. (Little brother John now tours with The Beach Boys, taking lead vocals on some of their biggest hits, sister Susan went on to considerable success in New Orleans with The Continental Drifters, and oldest brother Bob is now the front man for the touring version of The Cowsills.)

The 2011 film by Louise Palanker is a memoir of sorts for Bob Cowsill, who does all the narration, and admits at the end he's ambivalent about his reasons for excavating through all that history and what he's trying to accomplish. Is it for closure of some sort? Is it to understand and forgive his father? Was it a way of rediscovering the family's original love of music and how that had held them together as children, and how it still binds them as a family today?

The documentary closes with the darkest crease of Bud Cowsill, which you may have seen coming all along, and also shows the surviving children now performing their current road act (with a few of their own children as side musicians) now seemingly reconciled with their past and singing as joyfully, and as beautifully, as they did 40 years ago.

And that's good for all of us watching. We can look back with them at a time when the American family image was something much different than it is now.

post #86172 of 93700
TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #86173 of 93700
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Not a good start for ‘Ready for Love’
New NBC dating series debuts with a 1.6 in adults 18-49
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 10, 2013

Viewers just aren’t that into NBC’s new dating show.

“Ready for Love,” the reality show following three bachelors as they search for their soulmates, debuted to low numbers last night despite getting a hefty lead-in from “The Voice.”

“Love” averaged a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating from 9 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen, losing 62 percent of “Voice’s” rating.

The show declined from a 2.1 in its first half hour to a 1.2 in its final half hour, and it finished behind even Univision at 10 p.m.

Though lead-in support no longer makes a show as it once did in the years before cable, DVRs and online video, it’s not a great start for the new program.

“Voice” had another stellar night, averaging a 4.2 at 8 p.m., easily the night’s top show despite a 7 percent decline from last week, when it did not face an original “NCIS” on CBS.

In fact, “Voice” was so strong that NBC still won the night despite “Love’s” struggles.

Several shows fell to or tied season lows last night, including Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.8), ABC’s “Splash” (1.2) and “NCIS” (2.6).

Fox’s “The Mindy Project” was one of the few to gain, up 15 percent from last week to a 1.5. Last week “Mindy’s” lead-in, “New Girl,” was a repeat.

CBS’s “Golden Boy” also grew 15 percent from last week to a 1.5, for the same reason – it had an original lead-in last night.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.4 average overnight rating and a 7 share. CBS was second at 2.2/6, Fox third at 1.8/5, Univision fourth at 1.6/5, ABC fifth at 1.5/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

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.

NBC started the night in the lead with a 4.2 at 8 p.m. for “Voice,” followed by CBS with a 2.6 for “NCIS.” Fox was third with a 1.8 for “Hell’s Kitchen,” Univision fourth with a 1.4 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” ABC fifth with a 1.2 for “Splash,” CW sixth with a 0.6 for “Hart of Dixie” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “Pasion Prohibida.”

CBS took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.6 for “NCIS: Los Angeles,” while ABC moved to second with a 1.9 for “Dancing with the Stars Results,” off 17 percent from last week. NBC and Fox tied for third at 1.8, NBC for “Love” and Fox for “Girl” (2.2) and “Mindy” (1.5), with Univision fifth with a 1.7 for “Amores Verdaderos,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.9 for “La Patrona” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for a repeat of “America’s Next Top Model.”

At 10 p.m. Univision led with a 1.7 for “Amor Bravio,” with CBS second with a 1.5 for “Golden Boy.” ABC was third with a 1.4 for “Body of Proof,” NBC fourth with a 1.3 for more “Love” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for “El Rostro de la Venganza.”

CBS was first for the night among households with an 8.1 average overnight rating and a 13 share. ABC was second at 5.8/9, NBC third at 4.4/7, Fox fourth at 2.5/4, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.7/1.


* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Fore! Golf is suddenly hot stuff again.
Tiger Woods' career revival pumps Golf Channel ratings

Ratings for this weekend’s Masters could be way up compared to last year.

Tiger Woods is back on top of the world rankings after winning the two tournaments he entered before the Masters and six of his past 20 events.

Whenever Woods makes a run, ratings surge.

That’s true for both the events he plays in and on the Golf Channel, the NBCUniversal cable network that has seen ratings hit record levels over the past 15 months.

Golf Channel posted its best-ever quarter to start the year, with total-day viewership up 10 percent year to year, to an average 129,000.

Compared to first quarter of 2010, that’s a huge 90 percent jump.

January, February and March of this year all ranked as the network’s most-watched months ever, and it’s not only tournaments that feature Woods that’s driving the growth, though that’s a good part of it.

The network, which had its best-ever year in 2012, has seen a 20 percent timeslot improvement over last year for the new seven-day golf news and features show “Morning Drive,” which airs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The latest season of “The Haney Project,” which follows the storied golf coach helping Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and “Feherty” have helped boost Monday’s primetime lineup by 21 percent over last year.

Why the golf boom?

Certainly Woods’ comeback has sparked a lot of it. The golfer hasn’t won a major in nearly five years, and his last Masters victory was eight years ago, so his recent hot streak has brought a lot of attention to the game that it hasn’t had in recent years.

Woods’ new relationship with Olympian Lindsey Vonn has also raised his profile further. It’s the first time Woods has gone public with a new girlfriend since the sex scandal that derailed his career three years ago and ended his marriage.

But there are also other factors in golf’s popularity gains. Rising star Rory McIlroy has brought a lot of attention to the game, not all of it positive.

McIlroy drew lots of criticism for stalking off the course at the Honda Classic earlier this year, a topic that got a lot of airtime on Golf Channel.

* * * *

In cable ratings for the week ended April 7:

Top five networks in primetime (18-49s): TBS, USA, A&E, Adult Swim, TNT.

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers): USA, Disney Channel, A&E, History, TBS.

Top five cable news networks in primetime (25-54): Fox News Channel, MSNBC, HLN, CNN, CNBC, FBN.

Top five cable news programs (total viewers): 1. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Thursday, 8 p.m.); 2. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Friday, 8 p.m.); 3. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.); 4. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Wednesday, 8 p.m.); 5. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Monday, 8 p.m.).

Top movie (18-49s): No movie during the week made the top 50 among 18-49s.

Top sporting event (total viewers): ESPN’s “Women’s NCAA Basketball: Connecticut/Notre Dame” (Sunday, 9 p.m.) 3.03 million.

Shows making the top 10 among 18-34s, 18-49s and 25-54s: A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (Wednesday, 10 and 10:30 p.m.).

Show on the rise: Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Sunday, 8 p.m.[/b] The first half of the reunion episode averaged 2.38 million viewers 18-49, up 27 percent from 1.88 million the previous week for the season finale.

Show on the decline: truTV’s “Hardcore Pawn,” Tuesday, 9 p.m.[/B] The reality show averaged 1.42 million 18-49s, off 12 percent from the previous week’s 1.61 million.

Edited by dad1153 - 4/10/13 at 9:43am
post #86174 of 93700
TV Notes
AMC Eyes ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff Toplined By Bob Odenkirk
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Apr. 9, 2013

As AMC‘s Breaking Bad is heading into its final eight-episode run this summer, the network and series producer Sony TV are exploring keeping the franchise alive with a spinoff series centered on one of Breaking Bad‘s most recognizable supporting characters, Bob Odenkirk‘s unflappable criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. There are no deals in place yet as the project is in its nascent stages, but I hear it is being conceived by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and series writer-producer Peter Gould, who created the Saul character together for a Season 2 episode written by Gould.

In the episode, titled “Better Call Saul“, Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) hire the flamboyant Goodman after Badger (Matt L. Jones) is caught by the DEA. Goodman, who has been a regular presence on the show since, is a sleazy but highly competent criminal lawyer with a penchant for over-the-top TV commercials in which he uses his signature tagline “Better Call Saul!” Saul has served as Breaking Bad‘s comic relief, which is not surprising given Odenkirk’s strong comedy background. As a result, I hear the potential spinoff is eyed as a comedy, which could be one-hour, but a half-hour format also is being explored.

The idea for the potential spinoff had been gestating for awhile, with Gilligan mentioning it hypothetically in the past. “I would love to see a Saul Goodman spinoff,” he said in a July 2012 interview. “I like the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of a court of law. He’ll settle on the courthouse steps, whatever it takes to stay out of the courtroom. That would be fun — I would like that.”

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Technology Notes
Mobile TV has station owners intrigued, flummoxed
By Roger Yu, USA Today - Apr. 10, 2013

LAS VEGAS — Mobile TV — finally here after years in development — has local TV stations both flummoxed and intrigued.

Several recent developments show that the technology likely will stick around, meaning TV station owners will have to invest heavily to get ready or risk losing a chunk of a small but growing audience that might otherwise tune them out.

"This is the make-or-break year in mobile TV," says John Lawson, executive director of Mobile500 Alliance, a group of media companies that came together to develop a mobile TV app/antenna system called MyDTV.

MyDTV launched in January with trial markets in Seattle and Minneapolis and will expand to Raleigh, N.C., next month. Early adopters in Seattle and Minneapolis watch local TV about 28 minutes a week on average on their iPhone or iPad.

Dyle, a competitor of MyDTV that began operation in August, announced on Monday that it'll add three more markets — Baltimore, Jacksonville and Salt Lake City — to bring the number that have or will have service this year to 39 markets and 116 stations. (Gannett, parent of USA TODAY, is a partner in the consortium of media companies that is developing Dyle).

Also this week, Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates more than 100 TV stations, said it'll begin broadcasting via Dyle at more than 10 stations in the next six months, broadening its experiment beyond the current two stations.

In using Dyle and MyDTV, TV stations send broadcast signals over the air to a smartphone or tablet (currently limited to Apple devices). Users must pay about $80 to $100 for an antenna dongle, inserted into their device, that receives the broadcast signals.

"We're energized by the technology and anxious to see numbers come back," said John Kukla, vice president of creative services at Fox affiliate KDFW-KDFI in the Dallas area, which has installed Dyle's system.

Aereo — a service that has stirred broadcasters' vigorous opposition to its streaming of local, over-the-air broadcasts to subscribers through the Internet — won an important federal appeals court ruling last month that allows its service to continue. That clearly has unsettled even the largest of broadcasters.

Aereo runs a farm of individually leased antennas — one for each subscriber — in Brooklyn and insists its antennas are no different than the ones purchased at a RadioShack. Broadcasters say Aereo is infringing on their copyrights because it doesn't solicit their permission or pay retransmission fees to stream their content.

At the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas on Monday, Chase Carey, COO of Fox network and station owner News Corp., said the company may consider charging for local network content if Aereo's service continues in its current form. "We will not sit by idly and let people steal our signal," he said, predicting broadcasters will ultimately win in the courts.


In pitching to TV station operators to adopt their service, Dyle and MyDTV say that mobile TV brings additional viewers, rather than taking them away from the group that watches from the living room TV, and generally gives people more opportunities to watch.

"Existing viewers will watch more TV," says Karen McCall, marketing manager for NBCUniversal, a Dyle investor.

Viewers watching on tablets and smartphones can be tracked more precisely for what they're watching, how long, when — and the collected data can be used to air tailored ads, Lawson says. Typical "30-second ads are a really blunt instrument," he says.

In its Seattle and Minneapolis trials, MyDTV has also inserted more than 3,000 ads on screens that otherwise go black when viewers flip through channels, says Randa Minkarah, senior vice president of revenue at Fisher Communications, a TV station operator that is a lead organizer of Mobile500 Alliance's MyDTV development. TV stations could generate a "potential 7% increase" in revenue from mobile TV viewership, she told a seminar crowd at the NAB conference on Tuesday.

Still, only a tiny fraction of TV stations have rushed to embrace the service. The cost of investing in a nascent technology is a chief concern, especially at a time when ad revenues are declining. TV stations are required to invest about $150,000 in equipment to send mobile signals via Dyle or MyDTV.

"Mobile TV is a no-brainer, but it's not inevitable," Lawson says. "If more broadcasters don't light up their stations, this train will leave. And the future of mobile TV will belong to wireless carriers."

post #86176 of 93700
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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

7PM – Rise of the Continents: Africa (R – Mar. 20; series premiere)
8PM – Rise of the Continents: Eurasia (R – Mar. 27)
9PM – Rise of the Continents: The Americas (R –Apr. 3)
10PM – Rise of the Continents: Australia (New – series finale)
* * * *
repeats from 11PM-3AM

First (and for immediate future, maybe last) chance to catch this excellent 2013 BBC/Science series in its entirety. Tells history of present day continents dating back to the last supercontinent, Pangaea, and even before, exploring the impact that history had on evolution and modern civilization.

I found the first three episodes of this series fascinating. Last week’s episode, for instance, explained the distribution of skyscrapers in Manhattan, and the evolution of sex – not gender, but the evolution of copulation as a means of fertilization. Some of the connections are a bit unusual, but very interesting, nonetheless. Geologist host Iain Stewart’s Scottish accent is a little challenging at times, but it’s definitely worth turning on the captions if/when necessary.
post #86177 of 93700
TV Notes
Syfy Developing Miniseries Based On Sci-Fi Classics ‘Ringworld’ And ‘Childhood’s End’, Renews ‘Being Human’ For Season 4
By the Deadline.com Team - Apr. 10, 2013

A four-hour miniseries based on Larry Niven’s Ringworld, and Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End from producer Michael De Luca join the Syfy development slate announced today at its upfront presentation in NY. The network’s previously announced longform projects include Philip K. Dick’s The Man In The High Castle, Stephen King’s Eyes Of The Dragon, and Darkfall.

The network also said today it is renewing its drama series Being Human for a fourth season. The Season 3 finale aired Monday.

In Ringworld, a team of explorers travels to the farthest reaches of space to investigate a mind-blowing alien artifact called Ringworld, an artificial habitat the size of 1 million Earths. They discover the remnants of ancient advanced civilizations, mysteries that shed light on the origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth. Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) is adapting the book. The project is a co-production of MGM TV and UCP, with MGM as lead studio; William S. Todman Jr. and Edward Milstein are exec producers. Childhood’s End follows a peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war and turns the planet into a near-utopia. De Luca (The Social Network) is producing with UCP.

Being Human is one of the network’s youngest- and most female-skewing scripted dramas, with the just-completed Season 3 averaging 1.8 million viewers and 1.1 million adults 18-49. The Muse Entertainment production stars Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington and Kristen Hager as vampires who struggle to suppress their supernatural secrets and temptations and live their lives as close to normal as possible.


* * * *

TV Notes
Syfy On Galaxy Quest With Bryan Fuller Pilot Order, Other Space Series In Development
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Apr. 10, 2013

Over the past year, Syfy has been quietly amassing a slate of space/alien drama projects with the goal of launching a new series in the genre that has felt a void after the end of Battlestar Galactica. The effort started in February 2012 with the decision to develop a series adaptation of the 2010 supernatural Sony movie Legion with the film’s director Scott Stewart. The network went on to take in Georgeville TV’s adaptation of British classic Blake’s 7, Bryan Fuller’s High Noon and several other projects. Today, High Noon was ordered to pilot, with several other space projects remaining in development. (List below)

High Moon is described as an imaginative, out-of-this-world series exploring what happens when the countries of Earth establish colonies to mine the Moon’s resources and discover a new form of life. Chaos erupts in a genuinely emotional, humorously thrilling and always unexpected fashion as the people of the Moon race to uncover this life form’s powerful secrets. Co-executive producer/writer: Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies). Executive producer/writer: Bryan Fuller. The pilot is written by Gray from a story by Fuller and Gray. Executive producers: Cary Granat & Steve Granat of Reel FX and Don Murphy & Susan Montford of Angry Films. Studio: UCP.

Here are the other space projects in development, in addition to Blake’s 7 and Legion:

Orion – In this space opera Orion, an adventurous female relic hunter, tracks down valuable artifacts while trying to piece together her past. Set amidst an intergalactic war pitting humans against a terrifying alien race, Orion must decide whether to use her abilities to save herself or commit to the cause and unearth long hidden artifacts that could free all of humanity from a horrible fate. Executive producers/writers: Ron Milbauer & Terri Hughes Burton (Alphas). Co-executive producers: George Krstic & Ryuhei Kitamura. Supervising producer: F.J. Desanto. Studio: UCP.

Sojourn — The first detective ever in space is tasked with investigating a murder on a starship — headed to colonize another planet – and instead becomes embroiled in a vast conspiracy involving a mysterious terrible crime dating back to the original launch of the ship 50 years ago. Writer: Phil Levens (Smallville). Producer: Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity). Studio: Lionsgate.

Clandestine – After a clan of bandits are nearly destroyed and left for dead by Coalition forces, they take refuge in the nearest safe haven, a derelict Coalition starship floating in space. Once onboard, they masquerade as Coalition officers while continuing their criminal ways – until they stumble upon a shocking realization about the true nature of the Coalition. Writers: Todd Stashwick & Dennis Calero. Executive producers: Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) and John Shiban (Hell on Wheels). Studio: UCP.

Infinity – When an alien armada is sighted in the region of Pluto, the Earth government turns to a young billionaire industrialist — who has the only ship ready for interstellar travel — to greet the aliens and avoid a catastrophe. Powered by secret alien technology discovered on Earth in the 1960’s, the ship engages in a firefight that sends them spinning through a wormhole into an uncharted region of space. Lost in the universe, the team struggles to survive as they encounter new planets and alien species, searching for a way back home. Writer: Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost). Producer: Berman/Braun Television. Studio: Universal Television.

Silver Shields – When his father is slain by assassins connected to the government of the large nearby city of Pont Royal, farm boy Caymer journeys there to continue his father’s legacy as a member of the local police force — and to solve the mystery of his father’s death. He discovers that his simple country view on life is at odds with the big city, filled with orcs and other magical creatures. Executive Producer/Writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas). Producer: Aaron Kaplan. Studio: UCP.

Shelter – A massive meteorite is headed toward Earth, forcing 30,000 hand-picked humans to live underground in a government funded shelter in order to start a new society. What begins as a Utopia quickly succumbs to the old human faults and jealousies as certain members of society create alliances to gain favor and power. Meanwhile things on the surface are not what they seem. Humans slowly realize that this event may have been fated and the survivors meant for a greater purpose in rebooting life on Earth. Executive Producer/Writer: Bruce Joel Rubin (Deep Impact) and co-executive producer/writer Ari Rubin. Studio: UCP.

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TV Notes
'Cult' Cancelled by CW
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Apr. 10, 2013

Looks like The CW's "Cult" needed more cultish devotion: The network has cancelled the freshman drama.

The series premiered Feb. 19 to disappointing numbers, scoring a meager 0.3 rating/1 share in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic and 941,000 total viewers. The show -- which hailed from "Gossip Girl" executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage -- wasn't helped by a timeslot shift to Fridays.

The series, starring Matt Davis of the network's "Vampire Diaries" and "Melrose Place" star Jessica Lucas, had a fairly meta concept. It centered on a show called "Cult," whose fans are rabidly obsessed with the show's star, Billy Grimm.

In the place of "Cult," the network will air a repeat of "The Carrie Diaries" on Friday, with a repeat of the reality show "Oh Sit!" airing next Friday.

post #86179 of 93700
TV Notes
NBC Renews Last Call With Carson Daly
By Kimberly Potts, TVLine.com - Apr. 10, 2013

At least one NBC late-night host is staying exactly where he is.

The Peacock Net announced Wednesday that it has renewed Last Call With Carson Daly for a 13th season.

The renewal comes amid reports that 30 Rock‘s Alec Baldwin is in talks with the network for a late-night show of his own.

With Late Night host Jimmy Fallon taking over for Jay Leno at The Tonight Show in Spring 2014 and Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers reportedly in the lead for Fallon’s time slot, the half-hour Last Call – which airs at 1:35 am — seemed like the place Baldwin would most likely wind up.

post #86180 of 93700
Technology/Business Notes
Broadcasters Circle Wagons Against a TV Streaming Upstart
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - Apr. 10, 2013

When Chase Carey, Rupert Murdoch’s top deputy at News Corporation, told broadcasters on Monday about his contingency plan to turn the Fox network into something available only on cable, he knew policy makers would be listening, too. But a few of them were busy that day, meeting with Chet Kanojia, the very man who had provoked Mr. Carey’s stark warning.

Mr. Kanojia had come to Washington to sell lawmakers and reporters on the virtues of his upstart service, Aereo, which scoops up the free signals of local television stations and streams them to the phones and computers of paying subscribers. Because Aereo cuts off the stations from the retransmission fees that they have grown to depend on, they are determined to shut down the service — even, the station owners say, if they have to take their signals off the airwaves to do so.

Mr. Carey’s suggestion was dismissed by some as a hollow threat intended to scare the courts — which have ruled twice in favor of Aereo so far — and perhaps prod Congressional action. It is, at best, a far-fetched outcome. But it revealed a lot about the state of broadcasting, which appears increasingly antiquated in an age when wireless companies like AT&T and Verizon — instead of TV stations — are snapping up spectrum and using it to deliver Internet services like Aereo.

The networks aren’t just concerned about Aereo, which has a tiny following, but about copycats. “It’s Aereo today, but it could be something else tomorrow,” said Robin Flynn, a senior analyst at SNL Kagan.

For several decades companies that were lucky enough to own licenses for local TV stations thrived on advertising revenue alone, and because there was relatively little competition they enjoyed huge audiences and profit margins to match.

As cable and then the Internet introduced new competitors, station owners began to rely on a second revenue source, the so-called retransmission fees that come from the cable and satellite operators that pick up their signals and repackage them for subscribers. Now that they’ve had a taste of these fees, the stations aren’t willing — or able, they say — to go back to the old model of advertising alone.

SNL Kagan estimates that station owners took in $2.36 billion in retransmission fees from subscribers last year. (Some of that money is pocketed by owners, while a portion is paid to the network that the station is affiliated with, like Fox or CBS. Each of the networks also owns some stations outright.)

The research firm projects the fee revenues to hit $6 billion by 2018. The trend lines for broadcasters are similar to those in the newspaper business — subscribers are paying a bigger and bigger piece of the overall cost of content creation.

That’s why the stations are doing battle with Aereo, because it doesn’t pay any fees, the same way antenna users do not. News Corporation, the Walt Disney Company, Comcast, the CBS Corporation and Univision, all of which own stations in New York, sued Aereo shortly after the service was announced last year, accusing it of copyright infringement. But the media giants failed to win a preliminary injunction against the service last summer, and their appeals were rejected last week in a 2-to-1 decision in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Aereo’s success in court could embolden cable and satellite providers to do their own end-runs around retransmission fees. So now the station owners are plotting their next moves.

“We won’t just sit idle and allow our content to be actively stolen,” Mr. Carey said after speaking on stage at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas. “It is clear that the broadcast business needs a dual revenue stream from both ad and subscription to be viable.” If the revenue from retransmission fees starts to erode, he said, “one option could be converting the Fox broadcast network to a pay channel”

“It sounds like an idle threat,” said John Bergmayer, a senior staff lawyer for Public Knowledge, a public interest group in Washington. Mr. Bergmayer called Mr. Carey’s comments “probably just part of an opening gambit to Congress,” noting that the broadcasters could press for a change to copyright law that would effectively choke Aereo out of existence.

Mr. Carey’s comments also seemed meant to reassure affiliates. “He made clear that moving to a cable network isn’t their preference,” Ms. Flynn said.

The head of the board that represents Fox-affiliated stations said Tuesday that it backed Mr. Carey, and suggested that the stations could start broadcasting two flavors, a light version over the airwaves that would be without hit sports and entertainment programming, and a fuller version for subscribers to cable and satellite providers that pay the necessary fees.

On Monday night, the chairman of Univision, Haim Saban, became the first rival to back Mr. Carey publicly, saying that his network, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the country, would also consider converting to a cable channel. Representatives for NBC, which is owned by Comcast, and ABC, which is owned by Disney, declined to comment on Tuesday. But Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, expressed his support for Mr. Carey’s point of view privately, according to a person who insisted on anonymity.

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that he “wholeheartedly supported what Chase said.”

CBS has already had some exploratory talks with cable operators about taking its local station signals off the air. “For now, we’re talking about the New York-Connecticut area,” Mr. Moonves said, because that’s the only area where Aereo now operates. He emphasized that he does not want to go down that path, and said, “Frankly, we don’t think it will get to that point.”

Aereo has said that it plans to expand to nearly two dozen cities this year. (Not to the West Coast, however; a district court has halted an Aereo-like service there, so that is risky territory for the time being.)

Lost amid all this saber-rattling is the sobering fact that millions of Americans receive television via only antennas, and would be cut off if the television industry moves toward a pay model. As Bill Reyner, the owner of the Fox station in Rapid City, S.D., said to The Associated Press on Tuesday, “The real loser in all of this are those that can’t afford pay TV.”

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TV Notes
WWE Models TV Network Plan After NFL’s Approach
By Marc Graser, Variety.com - Apr. 10, 2013

For the past two years, WWE has worked toward the goal of launching its own TV network: Thousands of hours of TV episodes and pay-per-view events from its vast library have been digitized, staff has been hired, and a Twitter feed has some 94,000 followers. Part of the $40 million already spent has gone to original series, including a “Big Brother”-like reality show featuring WWE legends.

What’s still missing is a launch date. With carriers clamping down on the costs of basic cable and satellite channels (and the per-subscriber fees they’re willing to pay to channels on that tier), plans have shifted to launch the WWE Network this fall as a premium pay-TV outlet, akin to the NFL Network, which airs live games and vintage programming from a vast library. WWE Network will share its revenues with carriers, and executives believe it will need just 1 million subscribers to break even. Given that WWE already produces 12 pay-per-view events per year, priced as high as $60 each, and that it generated more than 4 million buys for those events, the wisdom is that fans will pay $15-per-month to subscribe.

The network will be the home of most of WWE’s current PPV events, except for its biggest, WrestleMania, which will remain a per-view buy, though in a recent call with analysts, WWE’s chief financial officer George Barrios said he thinks that eventually, “pay-per-view does go away.”

The premium model looks especially attractive in overseas territories like Canada and Mexico. During the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in February, company topper Vince McMahon extolled the virtues of an international approach.

“Although we did not announce the launch of a domestic television network during the year, we believe, now more than ever, that we can realize the full value of our intellectual property using a variety of approaches in our global markets,” McMahon said. “Our confidence is based on the rising value of content and the tremendous global appeal of our brands.”

WWE plans to continue to air its current shows on USA, Syfy, Ion and the CW, and not pull its current lineup from those channels. The addition of shows, even on lower-proile nets like CW and Ion, expanded WWE’s overall TV reach by 35%.

“We started on (basic tier) TV,” said Michelle Wilson, chief marketing officer of WWE. “It’s where our bread is buttered.”

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TV Notes
IFC upfront: Committing to comedy
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Apr. 10, 2013

IFC isn’t joking about its commitment to original scripted comedies.

The cable home to “Portlandia” said at Wednesday’s upfront presentation that it has 11 comedies in the works, including three pilots: “Timms Industrial Piping,” a stop-action animated series that mimics primetime soaps from the ’80s; “Garfunkel & Oates,” starring the comedy duo Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci; and “International Plan,” about two single guys who become friends while traveling the world.

IFC has ordered scripts for eight other comedies: “American Storage,” based on the short film of the same name; “Cult Following,” about two friends who unknowingly start a cult; “God’s Work,” starring comedian Kyle Dunnigan in a number of roles; “Jetpackula,” described as a supernatural buddy comedy; “Stupid Life,” based on the autobiography of comedian Chris Gethard; “Trigger Men,” an action comedy based on a graphic novel; and “Two Idiots,” co-created by actress Megan Mullally about two women raised in a Beverly Hills hotel.

The cable network will hope to grow ratings after viewership stumbled in a bit in first quarter. During the first three months of the year IFC averaged 70,000 primetime viewers, according to Nielsen, down 7 percent from 75,000 a year earlier.

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TV Review
'The Moment' (USA Network)
Making the American Dream a Two-Week Endeavor
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Apr. 11, 2013

“The Moment,” a new reality series on USA in which people are given the chance to try out for the dream job they thought had passed them by, wants us to root for the weekly hopeful, of course. But here’s the thing: Success for those people would mean that the Western educational and economic systems are giant houses of cards and that everything we have come to believe about how the socio-economic structure ought to work is a lie.

The series, which has its premiere on Thursday night, is hosted by Kurt Warner, the former N.F.L. quarterback, whose personal story is often truncated into something that resembles what the contestants on the show are trying to achieve. The short version: Mr. Warner was bagging groceries when the N.F.L. called, and next thing you know he was being named Super Bowl M.V.P. The real version has several football-playing stops between grocery and trophy.

Mr. Warner is a genial presence but is forced to execute the kinds of hokey clichés that these types of shows thrive on, including the obligatory opening scene in which the candidate of the week gets the news: Surprise, your loved ones have nominated you to be on a TV show! Then off the aspirant goes to get some lightning training and then a make-or-break tryout.

In the opener the lucky one is Tracie, an Alabama woman who, she says, always wanted to be a photographer and gets a chance at a job with Sports Illustrated. In Week 2 a Georgia man, Kyle, who did a little racing years before, gets a shot at being a Nascar driver.

Each episode has an interesting 10 minutes or so in which we see what it takes to be a real sports photographer or Nascar driver. But then we’re invited to choke down the notion that anyone who has taken a few pictures or driven a go-cart can leap immediately to the top of the profession.

This is not the way things are supposed to work. What’s supposed to happen is: You go to college, earn a few degrees, get an introductory job in your field, work hard, prove yourself and eventually, at the midcareer point, climb to the peak of your profession. If the drippy narratives of “The Moment” are allowed to stand, all who followed that traditional path will be forced to admit that their lives are built on falsehood: any old Tracie or Kyle could do their jobs with a two-week crash course.

National malaise would set in. Just hope that malaise doesn’t have neurological consequences, because when you go in for your corrective brain probe Kurt Warner and a camera crew may be at your bedside with some grocery bagger in scrubs who always wanted to be a neurosurgeon and is now getting a telegenic opportunity to live that dream.

USA Network, Thursday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.

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TV Review
‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ (Starz)
An Inventive, Erotic Da Vinci? Elementary!
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com

An enlightened, scientific man in barbaric, medieval times, the Leonardo Da Vinci of David S. Goyer’s “Da Vinci’s Demons” recalls an earlier variation on Sherlock Holmes — William of Baskerville, the sleuthing friar played by Sean Connery in “The Name of the Rose.” Granted, Tom Riley’s anachronistic Da Vinci feels as much like a Silicon Valley eccentric as a 15th-century artist/inventor, but the show is still a good deal of fun, while indulging in all the lusty debauchery one has come to expect from period cable dramas. For Starz, it’s a welcome reinforcement as longtime staple “Spartacus” breathes its last.

Goyer (whose credits include “The Dark Knight” and “Blade” movies, as well as the genre TV series “Flash Forward” and “Threshold”) presents Da Vinci as a tortured genius, one who smokes opium because, “I need to dull my thoughts,” but a man who’s also a gifted swordsman — in every sense of the term.

The writer-director has also concocted an elaborate latticework around his leading man, with Da Vinci seeking out the patronage of Lorenzo Medici (Elliot Cowan), while simultaneously setting his eye on Medici’s mistress (Laura Haddock) and being drawn into a chase to locate something called “The Book of Leaves,” a mysterious conduit to great knowledge and power. Da Vinci seeks this MacGuffin along with Count Girolamo Riario (Blake Ritson), operating on behalf of the Holy Roman Church and his lascivious uncle, Pope Sixtus IV (James Faulkner).

Suffice to say Da Vinci, who like Holmes in the recent Guy Ritchie movies, sees things in a visually detailed manner others don’t, must use all his formidable intellect to survive, and to finance his inventions, ranging from early flying machines to weapons of war.

Riley takes a bit of getting used to as Da Vinci, but once one adjusts to the program’s tone, it’s an entertaining serialized plot with plenty of twists, nudity and violence, but not the same grim streak or stuffiness of something like “The Borgias.” (The show opens, incidentally, with a cameo by “Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville, offering a side of Lord Grantham that might require a moment to expunge.)

Production-wise, the eight-episode series (which Fox International Channels will launch globally in a relatively narrow window) exhibits some obvious limitations, with uneven CGI quality in replicating the pristine vistas of Da Vinci’s Florence.

Then again, audiences mostly have been unperturbed by the sometimes-fuzzy edges of the virtual world in, say, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” and despite its historical moorings, this feels like no less a fantasy.

The show also benefits from a solid cast, perhaps especially Ritson (“Upstairs Downstairs”), who seems very much like a worthy Prof. Moriarty to Riley’s Holmes, even if the image of a brutally ruthless religious warrior feels a trifle overdone.

After a few dramatic misfires (“Magic City,” comes immediately to mind), “Da Vinci’s Demons” also places Starz back on comfortably escapist turf, with a show that will premiere on “Spartacus’” back, and appears designed to be sprung from its rib. While that won’t necessarily exorcise all the channel’s demons, it should be enough, like some of Da Vinci’s most forward-thinking designs, to stay airborne.

Starz; Fri. April 12, 10 p.m.

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY 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 - Wife Swap: Cochran/Curry
9PM - Grey's Anatomy
(R - Mar. 14)
10:02PM - Scandal
(R - Feb. 21)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Tom Cruise; singer Ke$ha; Paramore performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Dec. 6)
8:31PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Oct. 25)
9PM - Person of Interest
(R - Nov. 1)
10:01PM - Elementary
(R - Nov. 29)
* * * *
11:35PM - 2013 Masters Tournament Highlights: First Round
11:50PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Alec Baldwin; Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell perform)
(R - Feb. 25)
12:52AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Carl Reiner; Anna Chlumsky)

8PM - Community
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9PM - The Office
9:31PM - Go On (Season Finale)
10:01PM - Hannibal
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (LL Cool J; TV host Andy Cohen; Tegan and Sara perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Vince Vaughn; comic Amy Schumer; technology journalist Joshua Topolsky; Major Lazer performs)
1:36AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Author Sebastian Junger; Monster Mike Schultz; Joshua James performs)

8PM - American Idol (LIVE)
9PM - Glee

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Oct. 11)
9PM - Frontline: Syria Behind the Lines
(R - Apr. 9)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Cincinnati
(R - Apr. 8)

8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - The Vampire Diaries
(R - Feb. 7)
9PM - Beauty and the Beast
(R - Dec. 6)

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Edie Falco)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Cass Sunstein)

11PM - Conan (Charlie Sheen; Tony Hale; Dropkick Murphys)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Avril Lavigne; John Caparulo; Heather McDonald; Mo Mandel.)

11PM - Brand X with Russell Brand

Edited by dad1153 - 4/10/13 at 10:18pm
post #86186 of 93700
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY 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 - Community
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9PM - The Office (R - Apr. 11)

They are showing a repeat of the April 11 episode on...April 11 ??
post #86187 of 93700
^^^ No they're not! eek.gif It's fixed, sorry! tongue.gif
post #86188 of 93700
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Apr. 11, 2013

ESPN, 3:00 p.m. ET

There's one overwhelmingly dominant story line as we begin the first round of the 2013 Masters in Augusta: Tiger Woods. For the first time in years, he's ranked No. 1 - and seems poised, the way he's been playing lately, to win his first major tournament since 2008. Will he rise to these great expectations? Or will he crumble under them, continuing his slide from golfing dominance rather than reclaiming it? The first round will give an early inclination - but amazingly, TV viewers won't be able to watch much of Woods playing live. ESPN's live coverage begins more than four hours after Woods tees off today, so the only way to watch Woods play live today is to tune to Masters.com and wait for Woods to reach a handful of holes on the back nine, where cameras are set up to provide live Internet coverage. After all this media hype about Woods' improved play, not being able to watch him tee off really tees me off.

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last night’s show all but buried Lazaro Arbos, the last remaining male singer in the Final 6. His performance on “Close to You,” was harsh, and the judges were harsher (even Mariah Carey nailed him for missing a key change). This season, the show’s judges have been pushing to finally anoint another female winner – and after tonight, Idol should guarantee that.

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Here’s a guest-star alert worth mentioning: Portraying a talent agent who sees potential greatness in Ed Helms’ Andy is Roseanne Barr.

FX, 9:30 p.m. ET

Here’s a guest-star alert worth mentioning, on a show that usually isn’t: Charlie Sheen, as a therapist, gets a new patient: Lindsay Lohan, playing an off-kilter version of herself. If that’s not redundant. When Lohan teared up the other day on Late Show with David Letterman, responding to some words of support from her host, that was a good career move. Whether this appearance, which has her hawking some product for a Japanese TV ad, continues that positive momentum, or negates it, soon will be seen – not only by those who watch this sitcom, but by all the TV shows and YouTube clips showing “highlights.”

TCM, 9:45 p.m. ET

Many movies have been made of this classic Victor Hugo novel – and while this is by no means the best of them, it’s fun to watch nonetheless. Michael Rennie stars as Jean Valjean in this 1952 version, made the year after he starred as Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Robert Newton plays Inspector Javert, and the leading ladies are portrayed by Debra Paget (as Cosette) and Sylvia Sidney (as Fantine).


* * * *

TV Review
"Leo" Struts His 15th Century Stuff in 'Da Vinci's Demons'
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com - Apr. 11, 2013

Robin Hood had Little John, Batman had Robin and now Leonardo “Leo” Da Vinci has doughy, diminutive Nico.

The latter sidekick actually goes on to be an A-lister in his own right, although the Starz network is asking reviewers not to foretell his somewhat distant future. Not that Da Vinci’s Demons is big on believability or historical accuracy. The eight-part series, premiering Friday, April 12 at 10 p.m. ET, is patently ridiculous on those fronts. But it’s also an often energetically entertaining and handsomely mounted romp through 15th century Florence, Italy.

Tom Riley as Da Vinci is a handsome mount as well, whether on horseback or atop the manipulative Lucrezia Donati (Laura Haddock), who in a howler of a bedroom scene tells the famed Renaissance man, “You saw me, you drew me, you fell in love. It’s as simple as that … Now (f-bomb) me again, Leonardo.”

No need to be so formal. His friends call him “Leo,” and he’s prone to fits of temperament and leather outfits that invariably expose a goodly amount of our hero’s muscular chest. Forget about those familiar portraits of an old, fulsomely bearded Da Vinci. This one is very much (male) modeled on Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ portrayal of a slim, trim Henry VIII in the Showtime series The Tudors.

Starz, like Showtime and HBO, is not beholden to any advertiser constraints. So in just the first five minutes of Sunday’s opener, we’ve already had male nudity, female nudity and an industrial strength expletive.

The male on display is none other than Hugh Bonneville, who stars as Earl of Grantham Robert Crawley in PBS’ Downton Abbey. Don’t get used to him as the Duke of Milan. He’s barely had time to dispatch a young likewise nude male lover before encountering a quick and unexpected end to this walk-through.

Da Vinci’s Demons is created, written and directed by David S. Groyer, who co-wrote the big screen’s Dark Knight trilogy and has sole credit for the penmanship on the upcoming Man of Steel. He seems intent on quickly proving that his Pope Sixtus IV (James Faulkner) is more diabolical and amoral than Jeremy Irons’ Pope Alexander VI on Showtime’s The Borgias, which returns for its third season on Sunday, April 14.

Sixtus is first seen in a big indoor pool, holding a young nude man at knifepoint. He then emerges with privates dangling in full view before ordering his pool mate’s throat slit. Not a nice man. And he’s also the not-so-holy father of villainous Girolamo Riario (Blake Ritson), who arrives full force in Episode 2.

Da Vinci tends to be full of himself, although he prefers to call it confidence. Sidekick Nico (Eros Vlahos, right) is regularly used as a guinea pig for his latest invention. And early in Episode 1, Nico flies picturesquely high while strapped to a giant kite pulled along by Leo aboard a horse-drawn cart.

Odd-looking oracles drop in and out, informing the title character of mysteries he must uncover and challenges he’ll face. Because, after all, “the knowledge you are destined to learn will upend the established order of things.” One of these seers comically says he’s staying at the local Inn of the Black Swan, maybe because the Ugly Ducking Lodge had no vacancies. Da Vinci’s Demons is never too far from a silly or over-blown slice of dialogue. Still, it’s not boring.

One of Leo’s principal challenges is a despotic father who’s enraged by his growing influence with the fairly nasty Lorenzo Medici (Elliot Cowan), for whom the young visionary wants to build state-of-the-art siege weapons.

“I see things as they are, not as they might be,” says a shackled Leo, whose father responds with, “Beat him for another hour. Then toss him back onto the street with the rest of the garbage.”

He emerges incredibly and remarkably unscathed to reunite with Nico and other pals. And in Episode 2, Leo also survives his father bellowing at him, “You’re the bastard son of a servant girl I spilled my seed into.” That’s cold.

Da Vinci’s Demons halfway succeeds on the strength of its vigorous, devil-may-care approach, even if it’s also almost thoroughly preposterous in terms of the central character’s deductive powers and abilities. The overall intent, it seems, is to present Leonardo Da Vinci as a dashing, glib-tongued comic book action hero with an eye for the pretty ladies and they for him.

“The whole point of progress is over-reaching,” he declares. Which this fable certainly does.


post #86189 of 93700
No one has said anything, but 'The Borgias' are back on Showtime this Friday! Same day as Spartacus finale.
post #86190 of 93700
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