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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2899

post #86941 of 93703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

FOX said New Girl & a new comedy will air after Super Bowl XLVIII so i think this is the 1st time ever that 2 different shows get that timeslot.

I wished CBS had 2 Broke Girls after this year's game.

As for Fox it depends upon which show goes first. If it is Girl I will shut it off after Girl if it is the new show i may give it a look see.

2/3/2014 update: Saw Girl but not that other show. Saw the game too
Edited by chitchatjf - 2/3/14 at 2:01pm
post #86942 of 93703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

FOX said New Girl & a new comedy will air after Super Bowl XLVIII so i think this is the 1st time ever that 2 different shows get that timeslot.

No, that has been done before, most recently by Fox in 2005 when an episode of The Simpsons and the series premiere of American Dad aired after the Super Bowl (Fox did something similar in 1999 when The Simpsons was paired with the series premiere of Family Guy).

If the new comedy Fox premieres after the Super Bowl is live action, then that would be the first time since 1994 that a live action sitcom has premiered after the Super Bowl. That year, NBC premiered The Good Life, which ended up being a flop and was off the schedule by the end of the season.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_lead-out_programs
post #86943 of 93703
Obituary
TV pioneer, famed psychologist Joyce Brothers dies
By Steve Almasy, CNN.com - May 13, 2013

(CNN) -- Joyce Brothers, who pioneered the television advice show and was called the mother of media psychology, has died, her daughter said Monday. She was 85.

"She passed away peacefully and in her home ... with her family all around her," Lisa Brothers Arbisser said.

Brothers, whose charming, reassuring demeanor appealed to television audiences, became a television star as a game show contestant, a sports interviewer, then as a psychologist answering audience questions about relationships and other emotional subjects.

She grew her fame as a frequent guest on television talk shows and as an advice columnist for Good Housekeeping magazine for four decades and for newspapers throughout the United States.

She also made many cameo appearances parodying herself on television sitcoms and in movies.

Dispensing advice on public airwaves didn't please all of her colleagues. Some members of the American Psychological Association asked early in her media career that her membership be revoked because they didn't think dispensing advice outside a one-on-one setting was appropriate.

Media psychology became part of the organization's structure in 1986, according to the APA website.

Born Joyce Diane Bauer, she married Milton Brothers in 1949, according to a biography provided by her family. He died in 1989.

Brothers became a practicing psychologist in 1958, five years years after she got her masters at Columbia University.

By then, she had already caused a stir on television, winning the top prize on "The $64,000 Question" in 1955. The topic: boxing.

The family biography said she appeared on the show at a time when her husband was in medical school and they were living with her parents. Her husband suggested she tryout as a boxing expert, seeing that would make her an usual contestant -- a woman versed in pugilism. When the show asked her to be on, she memorized the Encyclopedia of Boxing in a few weeks.

She repeated her success two years later on "The $64,000 Challenge," leading to a job on "Sports Showcase."

In 1958, she was the host of a self-titled show on local television that became so popular NBC syndicated the program nationally.

During the quiz show scandal of the late 1950s, she demonstrated her well-versed knowledge of boxing to a congressional panel, her family biography said.

She is survived by her sister, Elaine Goldsmith; her daughter; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family didn't disclose the cause of her death, which happened in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Her funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/univision-sony-firm-up-plans-521718
post #86944 of 93703
Critic's Notes
Upfront Scorecard: Fox Pushes Back Against Cable Challenge
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - May 13, 2013

Fox talked a pretty good strategic game during its upfront presentation. If only more of its shows — based, admittedly, on the limited view from the cut-down clips shown — had been equal to the task.

Adopting a broader focus than NBC, Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly opened the event by chatting up broadcast television’s unique “scale and consistency” compared to cable, where some channels “have a legitimate hit or two.” At a moment where the networks faced stories in major newspapers like the New York Times charting their decline, it seemed like a shrewd attempt to try restoring faith in the medium, and Fox enlisted outside voices to join in a taped segment.

Still, Fox’s development appeared to offer a decidedly mixed bag, and the network didn’t present anything that indicated a comprehensive scheme to address the biggest problem it faces — namely, the cannibalization issue with “The X Factor” in the fall and “American Idol” in the winter and spring. So far, shuffling judges and Simon Cowell’s bravado hasn’t provided much of a solution, and while Reilly spoke about “Idol’s” durability, with the two shows occupying such a sizable chunk of Fox’s 15-hour schedule, almost any other inroads could be eclipsed if the talent programs continue to fade.

Elsewhere, Fox showcased one sitcom that seemed to have ample potential in Seth MacFarlane’s “Dads,” and a lot of others — starting with “Enlisted,” which looks like a good reason to go rent “Stripes” again — that made me feel slightly more charitable toward NBC’s presentation earlier in the day. (Another possible exception: “Us & Them,” an adaptation of the U.K. romantic comedy “Gavin & Stacey,” here starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel.)

By contrast, Fox’s plans to do a spate of limited series — including the much-discussed 12-part “24″ revival — seems like a terrific response to the difficulty of sustaining some of these big serialized concepts, and its new dramas generally looked big and cinematic, including the gothic, “X-Files”-ish “Sleepy Hollow” and “Almost Human.” That doesn’t mean Fox won’t screw them up, naturally (witness how “The Following” went skidding off the rails creatively speaking), but it does give them an opportunity to garner attention — or at the very least, create a lot of buzz around Comic-Con time.

Reilly noted that Fox’s programs “dominate in the social space … And that engagement has value.” It does, but even now, an engaged audience isn’t a substitute for a mass one, unless you’re operating in the rarefied environs of the pay-cable realm.

All told, the Fox presentation had a lot in common with the network itself — occasionally playful, clever and ambitious, and at other times a little too smugly pleased with itself and grating.

Give Fox a slight edge simply for liveliness relative to NBC, but for those networks yet to present this week, the “Wow” factor bar hasn’t been set too high to clear.

Preliminary grade: B-
(Upfront presentations are graded on a curve, so all evaluations are subject to revision at the end of the week.)

http://variety.com/2013/tv/columns/upfront-scorecard-fox-1200480215/#networktype-1/status-7/page-1

* * * *

Critic's Notes
Upfront Scorecard: NBC Bets on Stars, Families, Synergy – And Downplays Latenight

NBC’s upfront presentation lasted an hour and 45 minutes, but almost all of the important messages had to be decoded in a kind of subtext – some intended, others not and requiring a more trained eye to read.

The network opened by discussing what NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt called “a bit of a rollercoaster season for us” – which exhibits a gift for understatement – and touting the synergistic potential of the full slate of NBCUniversal networks, a strategy the company has given the name Symphony.

In other words, pay no attention to that struggling broadcast network in front of the curtain. It’s just a small part of a massive entertainment machine. Sounds great, except every other network presenting this week can point to its own array of assets, so demonstrating how finely tuned Symphony is will warrant a bit more proof.

After that, there were some discordant – or downright puzzling – notes.

Perhaps the most inexplicable involved latenight, where Greenblatt thanked Jay Leno for his 20 years of yeoman service, then discussed the plans to launch Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers as the network’s new latenight tandem coming out of the Winter Olympics in February.

Remarkably, none of the three hosts appeared live on stage. Not Leno to take a bow. Not Fallon or Meyers (who was in the audience and took a bow) to provide a few jokes and lighten up the morning. Greenblatt thanked the audience for “having a sense of humor about latenight,” but that’s more than NBC – after its protracted game of cat and mouse with the media about the shift – exhibited. And a taped Fallon-Leno duet, this time set to “Les Miserables,” felt a little tired after the “West Side Story” version.

Seriously, not one Conan joke? Lighten up, guys.

Granted, in the bigger scheme of things it’s not a big deal, except comics are one of the few ways to bring some showmanship to these presentations. And instead of showcasing its comedic stars, NBC looked as if it is was hiding them.

In terms of the network’s primetime development, the other unspoken messages were A) we’re going to rely very heavily on recognizable stars; and B) we would like to bring a family audience back to primetime. The latter has been shown to be an iffy approach, and the latter an extraordinarily difficult, thread-the-needle one in this fragmented day and age.

Even with big names returning to the lineup on Thursday night – including former occupants Sean Hayes and Michael J. Fox – it’s also hard to expect too much from a comedy block consisting of “Parks & Recreation” and three new sitcoms. A little more salesmanship on why that has the potential to work – other than the clips of the shows, which were so-so – certainly would have been advisable.

As for the new dramas, although the concept looks like another “Silence of the Lambs” rehash (which felt odd after “Hannibal”), “The Blacklist” showed potential thanks primarily to the prospect of seeing James Spader in that kind of serpentine-criminal role, just as Blair Underwood brought some sizzle to “Ironside” that the show otherwise appeared to lack. (NBC Entertainment Prez Jennifer Salke stressed the new version had nothing to do with the Raymond Burr one, which does sort of make you wonder why bother dredging up the name at all.)

Once again, NBC seems to be putting a lot of stock in the Olympics as a launching pad to its midseason/spring programming efforts, which requires a bit of willful amnesia about what a hit-miss proposition that has been in the past.

On the plus side, the Olympics will help bridge the gap between editions of “The Voice” during which NBC struggled so mightily this season. In addition, the Peacock is hardly the only network facing a “Prove it to me” challenge this week, so by Thursday, its wares might look a little better in the rear-view mirror.

Still, the message execs pushed about their momentum and progress – based on Monday’s preview – felt more hopeful than tangible. For a network that wound up axing “The New Normal,” that remains the old normal.

Preliminary grade: C+
(Upfront presentations are graded on a curve, so all evaluations are subject to revision at the end of the week.)

http://variety.com/2013/voices/columns/upfront-scorecard-nbc-bets-on-families-downplays-latenight-1200480042/#networktype-1/status-7/page-1
Edited by dad1153 - 5/13/13 at 11:20pm
post #86945 of 93703
Technology Notes
How ABC plans to use live streaming and the cloud to challenge Aereo
By Janko Roettgers, GigaOM.com - May 12, 2013

This week, ABC is taking the fight against Aereo to the New York-based startup’s home turf: the network will start streaming its entire programming schedule in real-time to viewers in New York and Philadelphia. This marks the first time one of the major broadcasters has streamed a 24-hour live feed online.

However, there are a few key differences between ABC’s and Aereo’s approach: After a six-week introductory phase that will be open to anyone in the two markets, ABC’s streams will only be available to authenticated cable subscribers. And ABC is using cloud technology to deliver its live streams, making the endeavour a whole lot cheaper than Aereo’s.

ABC will start to stream its programming to iOS devices in these two markets Tuesday, and intends to quickly expand the service to other markets where it owns local stations. Viewers served by ABC affiliates may get access to the live streams a bit later — ABC first has to negotiate revenue sharing for advertising served on the live streams and navigate the treacherous waters of content licensing.

But Ken Brueck, co-founder and CMO of upLynk, the company that powers the live streaming for ABC, thinks it’s only a matter of time before affiliates join the live stream. That’s because, from a technology perspective, ABC’s live streaming is incredibly cheap: Local affiliates who want to live stream their feed only need a simple $1,000 Linux box that taps into their live broadcast feed and uploads everything to the cloud, where transcoding happens in real time.

Specialized software on the upLynk device also taps into the broadcaster’s programming guide, and Uplynk swaps out programming on the fly if the broadcaster doesn’t have the rights to air a certain show online. Also swapped out are ads, with ABC replacing its generic TV advertising with targeted ads served to iOS devices.

The combination of that $1,000 box and upLynk’s cloud transcoding may seem like a minor technical detail, but it’s one of the main reasons broadcasters haven’t attempted to stream live programming online before. Previously, live streaming would have required them to deploy hardware encoders to each and every affiliate, something that Brueck estimates would have cost many millions of dollars. Now, the transcoding is done by Amazon’s EC2.

That’s an approach that Aereo can’t take advantage of, because it has to transcode a unique feed for each and every customer, which is why Aereo’s roll-out is much more expensive — and has been somewhat slow. The startup, which captures live programming from major broadcasters with tiny personal antennas and then streams it to subscribers, announced that it wants to be in 22 cities by the end of 2013. But so far, it’s only available in New York.

The flip side, however, is that Aereo can serve up shows that even ABC can’t. The broadcaster doesn’t have the rights to stream each and every show online, so upLynk’s cloud servers occasionally have to swap out programming on the fly. “Sometimes, your content is going to be different” that on live TV, admitted Brueck. He added that he hopes that ABC’s new live streaming app can help the entire industry to sort out these kinds of issues.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/univision-sony-firm-up-plans-521718
post #86946 of 93703
Critic's Notes
After Playing It Safe, Fox Will Spend Lots of Rupert Murdoch’s Money to Find More Hits
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - May 13, 2013

At first blush, the new fall schedule Fox unveiled today is not much different than last year's lineup, which itself wasn't radically different from the 2011 model. Mondays are still about drama, comedies are still on Sunday and Tuesday, people sing on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday (at least early in the fall) is a mix of Gordon Ramsay and leftovers. But despite the surface stability, Fox is actually planning to make big changes next season by dramatically increasing the amount of original programming it offers, as well as when it offers it. The network will air a big chunk of Glee in the summer, serve up at least four shows whose seasons run a cablelike fifteen episodes or less (including a reboot of 24), and all but eliminate in-season repeats for a number of shows. Some of this has been tried before, by Fox and other networks. But this time, Fox is also putting what may be an unprecedented amount of programming muscle behind this effort, ordering a whopping thirteen new series (including two so-called "event" series). "We're making the biggest investment in entertainment programming we've ever made at Fox," network chief Kevin Reilly told reporters Monday during a conference call. "We're going to really try to break out of the traditional season." Reilly chalked up the strategy shift to the quickly changing "way people are watching TV," and no doubt that's a big part of it. But there's another, much more practical reason for Fox's big push.

As we noted in our upfront walk-up last week, Fox has produced precious few scripted hits in recent years. It nonetheless finished first among adults under 50 for eight consecutive seasons, a streak that will be ended this month by an ascendant CBS. What kept Fox on top, in good development years and bad, was American Idol. Its towering strength served as a sort of insurance policy for the network, covering up for misfires such as Lone Star or The Mob Doctor (and turbo-charging scripted successes, as it did with House and Glee). Idol was so powerful, it allowed Reilly to brush off reporters who last May challenged him on Fox's decision to order just four new series (one of which, The Goodwin Games, would end up being burned off in the summer). "You don't have to have three more backups when you feel really good [about development]," he said then. Reilly's obviously had a change of heart. The thirteen different series Fox has announced so far for next fall (and next year) is triple the number of bets Fox took last spring. Spending a ton on new product is no guarantee of success, of course: ABC launched a dozen shows this season, and neither of the two renewed so far (Nashville and The Neighbors) could be considered hits.

But Fox seems to be taking a much smarter approach to the big volume strategy than ABC. Rather than just tossing on shows whenever holes open up, Fox seems to have an idea of where they'll all go. And it's opening up more real estate in the summer, when network competition will be (slightly) less intense and more marketing money will be available. Once again, this isn't a new approach: CBS renewed Unforgettable specifically as a summer show, and it's beating Fox to the "event series" punch with Under the Dome. And nineties-era Fox loved summer originals, from Melrose Place to its first summer event, the short-lived Heath Ledger series Roar (think Game of Thrones, only not good). What's updated, though, is the way Fox will integrate these shows into its regular season. New drama Gang Related and the rebooted 24: Live Another Day are likely to start in May and run until just before the fall launch; they'll be supported by new episodes of Glee and very possibly some first-run Fox comedies. What's more, a number of other shows will take the place of reruns during the traditional season. Glee, for example, won't have an on-again, off-again air pattern next season, because the two halves of its season will be spelled by the Greg Kinnear drama Rake. Mondays also figure to be mostly, if not all, originals for most of the year as Fox cycles different ones in and out.

This won't be cheap, of course. Repeats have long been a massive source of revenue for networks, monies that amortize the high costs of original programming (networks don't pay more for second or third runs of shows). But even mighty CBS is seeing Nielsen numbers for many of its repeats collapse as more viewers get DVRs (and those viewers who've had DVRs upgrade to machines which can hold hundreds of hours of content). Curtailing reruns may not be the best short-term business strategy, but in the long run, it might result in more successful scripted shows, while also stemming audience erosion.

Beyond the big-picture strategy of Fox's new lineup, there are also smaller changes worth examining. Like, for example, the network's decision to go big with sci-fi and fantasy on Mondays. Fans of the genre have to be happy that the various writers and producers behind the excellent Fringe have been handed the night for Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow. Reilly seemed to stretch a bit by comparing both shows to Bones, noting all three have what he calls the "partner dynamic" of folks working together to fight bad guys. That may be true, but it's also worth nothing that Fringe, after a strong start, quickly lost audience and was kept alive on Fridays via life support for years. It could be that the new shows have broader appeal and will be good counter-programming to the female-skewing fare on ABC, CBS, and NBC Mondays. Still, Reilly is showing an awful lot of faith in genre programming, which, save for The X Files, has never worked in a big way on Fox.

The network's Tuesday comedy plan is much simpler and, on paper at least, more likely to yield results. Dads, from the Seth MacFarlane factory, promises to be as noisy and over-the-top as Raising Hope is quiet and quirky. It seems well matched with the Andy Samberg–led ensemble Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which industry insiders tell us has a broad-based appeal that should attract both male and female viewers. We're also glad Fox kept New Girl and The Mindy Project together. Comedies need time to find their voice and, often, their audience; splitting the two after just one year would've been a mistake. By contrast, the biggest head-scratcher on Fox's schedule is its Friday lineup. Not the kiddie version of MasterChef, which could attract the family audience that now loves Shark Tank. No, what's puzzling is why Fox would bury Bones on Friday, when an episode last month drew a bigger rating among adults under 50 than NBC's much-hyped (and The Voice–boosted) Revolution. Reilly says Bones will boost Fox's Friday ratings, and that's likely true. And maybe in the DVR era it doesn't matter if an established show shifts to the hinterlands. But it's odd that Fox would trade stability for the unknown. Moving Raising Hope makes a tad more sense, since it's only a modest ratings performer and is likely in its last stretch of episodes. But slotting a brand-new comedy behind it (Enlisted) is just bizarre, perhaps even more bizarre than NBC's announced, but never executed, plan to pair Whitney and Community on Fridays last fall. The odds of Enlisted finding an audience Fridays at 9:30 on Fox, opposite established successes Shark Tank and Grimm, are tiny. It just doesn't compute. Don't be surprised if Fox changes its mind between now and the fall.

Last year, our analysis of Fox's lineup made much of the fact that Reilly is known around Hollywood as something of a gambler, an executive willing to take risks on shows such as The Shield (he green-lit it when he ran FX) or The Office (from his NBC's days). Last season's decision to stick with a pat hand seemed a bit out of character. This spring, Reilly the Gambler is back in a big way. He's spending a whole bunch of Rupert Murdoch's cash on a bevy of new programming. He's reducing the number of financially lucrative repeats. And he's returning to a genre (sci-fi) that has often resulted in failure for Fox. But given how quickly the TV landscape is changing, and how awful the 2012-13 season was for Fox, betting big may actually end up being the safest bet Fox could make right now.

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/fox-schedule-spending-big-to-find-more-hits.html
post #86947 of 93703
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Wipeout
9PM - Dancing with the Stars (LIVE)
10:01PM - Body of Proof
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Zoe Saldana; sports columnist Bill Simmons; Fitz & The Tantrums perform)
(R - May 8)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS (Season Finale)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles (Season Finale)
10PM - Golden Boy (Series Finale)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Tom Hanks; performance from "Pippin.'')
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Ray Liotta; comic DeAnne Smith; Pistol Annies perform)

NBC:
8PM - The Voice: Recap
9PM - The Voice (LIVE)
10:01PM - Grimm
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Comic Wanda Sykes; entrepreneur Martha Stewart; Drop City Yacht Club performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Matt Lauer; Ken Jeong; Phoenix performs; Bilal performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Singer Davey Havok; Kitten performs)

FOX:
8PM - So You Think You Can Dance (Season Premiere)
9PM - New Girl (Season Finale)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project (Season Finale)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Annie Oakley: American Experience
(R - Jan. 31, 2012)
9PM - CONSTITUTION USA With Peter Sagal: It's a Free Country
10PM - Frontline: Never Forget to Lie

UNIVISION:
8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Qué Bonito Amor

THE CW:
8PM - Movie: Leap Year (2010)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Pasión Prohibida
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Nathan Lane)
11:31PM - The Colbert Show (Author Dan Brown)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Jennifer Love Hewitt; Justin Bartha; The Slide Brothers featuring Shemekia Copeland)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Peter Facinelli; Dan Levy; Sarah Tiana; Ross Mathews)

Edited by dad1153 - 5/13/13 at 9:52pm
post #86948 of 93703
Critic's Notes
‘New Girl’ Season Finale, With Zooey Deschanel
Letting Go of Whimsy in Favor of Feeling
By Jon Caramanica, The New York Times - May 13, 2013

Here’s a traditional sitcom setup: A new person is introduced into a circle that has established relationships and routines, and high jinks ensue. Everyone regards the contagion funnily, moves around him or her to avoid confrontation, and professes not to understand the mannerisms of the intruder, which don’t neatly align with How Things Have Always Been Done. Eventually, of course, things line up — sweet, sweet resolution.

This was the premise of the first season of “New Girl,” which made its debut on Fox in 2011, except for one thing: in that situation the new person was, in essence, a zebra, beholden to no human rules.

Jess (Zooey Deschanel), a bundle of unmediated emotions, vocal tics and oddball fashion choices, lands at the doorstep of a longstanding group of friends. Her new roommates — Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris) — are more aghast and vexed than fascinated. Jess fit into no known mode, sitcom or interpersonal.

For much of the season, she remained a cipher. Her interactions with the rest of the crew were unfailingly odd — there was no common language, and that was the root of the show’s comedic alchemy, or lack thereof.

By the end of that first season, Jess’s sharp angles had been sandpapered down a bit, but the show’s second season, which concludes on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m., represented a change in approach that has rescued “New Girl” from its whimsy and turned it into one of the most reliable and reliably affecting sitcoms on television.

At root, these changes sprang from the recognition that Ms. Deschanel’s charms lie not in her quirk but in her empathy and warmth. Deviation from the mean may be what fast-tracked Ms. Deschanel, but it was not a sustainable career plan. This season she’s turned from mythical, unknowable creature to reliable rock.

That was clearest in March when Nick’s father died, an episode that was one of this show’s finest, blending its characters’ familiar features — Nick’s goofy alcoholism and emotional avoidance, Schmidt’s unbreakable vanity, Winston’s charming tenderness — with what was perhaps its first true breakthrough of feeling. Jess comes to the rescue of Nick and his family, sobering him up for the eulogy, donning an Elvis costume and singing “In the Ghetto” to appease his mother. It was an act of sweetness in weird clothes, but no weirder than that.

This isn’t to say that “New Girl” has abandoned eccentricity. Rather, it’s been squeezed out of Jess as a character and woven more into the story lines, in writing that is almost always strong, and at times deeply impressive, all the more so because the show rarely relies on flashy monologues. What it achieves it does with small gestures: Schmidt’s hilarious descriptions of his sexual technique, Nick’s one-sided conversations with a silent older man he meets in a park. (The rare melodramatic speech this season came from Rob Reiner, as Jess’s father, Bob, but it was spot-on, brutal and brief.)

Winston, the lone black character, is still an outlier, though far less so than in the first season. He’s a sharp foil when other characters, especially Schmidt, get too racially comfortable. “New Girl” is the rare mainstream sitcom that’s exceedingly at ease in discussing race, largely because it acknowledges the characters’ — Schmidt’s especially — well-meaning, flawed views, and plays them for eye rolls and laughs.

“New Girl” has also been sharp with details: smart and judicious music supervision, elegant wardrobe design — “New Girl” has the brightest color palette in prime time since “Ugly Betty” — and also careful attention to, say, when Nick should be clean-shaven and when he should be stubbled.

That’s come into play heavily in the evolving relationship between Jess and Nick, which was teased in the first season and then erupted in fantastic and bizarre fits and starts this season. From the beginning they’ve been at odds, Nick’s natural curmudgeonliness the dark cloud blocking Jess’s persistently bright sun. Women tend to be attracted to Nick for his air of tragedy, but he can be genuinely weak in front of Jess, especially now that she’s more than a curiosity, and the moments this year in which he begins to claw away at his own shroud have been moving.

Throughout the season, each has been involved with other people, which has given their courtship a pinballing quality, but one with underlying sincerity. The dynamic, wisely, isn’t will-they-or-won’t-they, a rote motif that has sunk mightier shows. That they should be together is a fait accompli; the emphasis is instead on how. That’s made for hilarious setups, especially when Jess decides she is in awe of Nick’s (very dubious) masculinity, which leads to high-level Abbott and Costello slapstick.

They have a modern love. She woos him while she is high on pain medications. He grows enraged when she speaks about losing her virginity. She asks for his help in planning her best friend’s bachelorette party. He awkwardly paws at her chest like a revved-up teenager. Together, they are fully functional. They make each other human.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/arts/television/new-girl-season-finale-with-zooey-deschanel.html?ref=television
post #86949 of 93703
TV Review
‘Crowd Rules,’ an easy crowd to like
We meet small busines owners on this CNBC reality challenge
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - May 13, 2013

Certain groups are sacrosanct across the political spectrum. Liberals and conservatives alike can get applause by saying nice things about, for example, old people, farmers and small-business owners.

The last group’s inclusion is odd when one considers that so many of our encounters with small businesses — whether it’s the franchise that sells five-dollar coffee, the house painter who keeps failing to show up and does a lousy job when he does or the auto-body shop that keeps overcharging for unnecessary repairs — are unpleasant. But we digress.

Small business is the star of CNBC’s new reality competition show “Crowd Rules,” in which three proprietors try to persuade three judges and 97 audience members that they’re the most deserving of a $50,000 prize.

As the judges and the audience decide which of the business owners will be able to do the most good with the prize money, we come to like the competitors and learn a little about what it’s like to start or run one’s own company. Pleasant and diverting, the show is like a “Shark Tank” in which no one gets bitten.

The premiere episode, airing Tuesday, May 14, at 9 p.m., features three businesses in specialty foods, all based in New Jersey. The first is Mr. Green Tea, a maker of all-natural ice cream run by a Brooklyn native, his wife and their grown son. The son says that his grandfather founded the company after a dispute with a business partner who went on to launch Häagen-Dasz.

The second contestant is a store called Picklelicious, a maker of gourmet pickles, sauces and relishes run by a widow and her daughter. They hope to expand to more locations.

The third is Heartbreaking Dawns, a husband-and-wife operation that makes sauces and dry rubs. They got into the business when they had a surplus of hot peppers from their backyard garden.

The proprietor of Heartbreaking Dawns becomes an early favorite after he explains his wife’s absence by saying that she’s seven months pregnant with a girl who’s going to be “our best creation to date.”

The competitors are interviewed in front of the studio audience by a panel of two regular judges, a New York news anchor named Pat Kiernan and a fashion entrepreneur named Kendra Scott. After the audience votes on an early favorite — the hot-sauce guy takes a big lead — the judges are joined by an expert in the week’s theme, in this case Elizabeth Chambers, a television host who owns a bakery in Texas.

In taped segments, we see Chambers visit each place of business, where she uncovers some less sanguine information. The hot sauce guy, she says, has broadened his line into too many products and spends too much time on things like packing and loading.

The father and son in the ice-cream business disagree seriously about the direction they want the business to take. The mother, we learn, acts as referee in these disputes. Chambers points out that the mom is standing between her husband and her son on the stage.

And the pickle shop suffers from slipshod accounting and inventory. The daughter, who is supposedly handling marketing, wildly inflates the number of the shop’s Twitter followers and the frequency with which she tweets.

The competitors try to explain away these problems, with varying success. They also face questions from several audience members, all of whom seem to be CEO’s of their own companies. That’s another advantage of starting a business: You can give yourself whatever title you want.

The judges eventually name their favorite, but they point out that they get only one vote each and are outnumbered by the audience. The logic behind the audience’s eventual choice as winner is hard to figure.

But most viewers would be happy to see any of the competitors win. “Crowd Rules” will not only improve viewers’ already high opinion of small businesses. It will also improve their low opinion of reality TV contestants.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/crowd-rules-an-easy-crowd-to-like/
post #86950 of 93703
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - May 14, 2013

STAR TREK (2009)
FX, 8:00 p.m. ET

With the new Star Trek Into Darkness movie about to beam up into theaters, this is a very opportune time to revisit the 2009 movie that rebooted the franchise. In this prequel, Chris Pine plays a young James T. Kirk, and Zachary Quinto plays the pointy-eared Mr. Spock. It really works, as both a new sci-fi movie and as a full-length homage to the original 1960s series.

THE VOICE
NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

NBC just announced its plans for the coming season, and The Voice is a big part of those plans. In 2013, it surpassed Fox’s American Idol as the most popular music-competition reality series on TV, ending a decade of Idol dominance. Tonight at 9 ET, two of the Top 12 vocalists performing last night will be let go, leaving the show with a neater, and leaner, Top 10.

NEW GIRL
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
There’s a wedding in the works for tonight’s season finale, as CeCe (Hannah Simone) prepares to marry her adoring fiancé. But her ex, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), wants to pull a Graduate and steal the bride. Also part of the wild wedding day: guest star Taylor Swift, playing a wedding guest who has a few ideas of her own.

CONSTITUTION USA WITH PETER SAGAL
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s episode, Peter Sagal shifts his focus on the Bill of Rights. Even though this series is titled what it is, Sagal has every right to do that. And the Bill of Rights, in part, explains why. Check local listings.

FRONTLINE: "NEVER FORGET TO LIE"
PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Filmmaker Marian Marzynski, who made Shtetl for PBS back in 1996, tells the story of some of the last surviving witnesses of the Holocaust: concentration-camp prisoners and ghetto residents who were small children when they were victimized by the Nazis. In Warsaw, Marzynski convenes with these last living witnesses to hear their testimony and revisit haunting locations and memories. Then he tells his own story – for the first time – as one of them.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
'Frontiline' Features Director's Holocaust Memories
By Eric Mink, TVWorthWatching.com

I first encountered the work of documentarian Marian Marzynski in the spring of 1996. I watched and reviewed Shtetl, the first film of his personal Holocaust trilogy for PBS’ Frontline, for the New York Daily News and later that year served on the duPont-Columbia Awards jury that honored it with a prestigious Silver Baton.

Born Jewish in Poland in 1937, Marzynski survived the Holocaust as a child. And while he has applied his considerable storytelling skills to other topics over the course of a long career, he has always returned to that shattering foundational experience for raw material.

His new film, Never Forget to Lie, which premieres Tuesday, May 14, on Frontline, does just that. There’s almost a sense of completion to it, as if Marzynski, now 76, might feel that time will preclude another piece of work. Perhaps.

But even as the film ties up some loose ends, it’s also clear that some questions with which Marzynski has wrestled all his life will forever go unanswered — as they must.

The link included here takes you to the column I’ve written for the St. Louis Jewish Light about the new film and Marzynski’s earlier work.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=4912
post #86951 of 93703
Somebody take a flier on this: Which OTA broadcast network would be the best fit for "Mad Men" (assuming it had not gone to AMC)? And how long would it have lasted there?
post #86952 of 93703
^^^ Me thinks ABC. Most of its shows skew female but this one would have been kept at 9 or 10PM ET Sunday nights and, because of its rich demographics and Emmy bait high profile, be given a long leash. CBS would also have probably kept it since, as proven with "The Good Wife," they're patient with Emmy bait shows that do poorly in ratings (by CBS standards; on other networks a disappointing CBS show would be good-enough to build an entire night around)..
Edited by dad1153 - 5/13/13 at 11:15pm
post #86953 of 93703
Critic's Notes
NBC starts from scratch again with Michael J. Fox, J.J Abrams and James Spader
After some brief success last fall, the Peacock once again needs a major overhaul
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - May 13, 2013

For a few months last fall, it looked like NBC had finally pulled itself out of the gutter and built a foundation for ongoing success. The Peacock was even the number one network going into 2013, had a genuine freshman hit in "Revolution" and several other promising rookies in "Go On" and "The New Normal," both of which were said to symbolize NBC's move away from the niche appeal of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" and towards something broader and more sustainable.

Then, as usual, NBC went back to being NBC. The three shows that had been primarily responsible for that fall success — "Sunday Night Football," "The Voice" and "Revolution" — went away, and all the ratings success went with them. Without "The Voice" as a lead-in, "Go On" and "The New Normal" cratered, and eventually weren't renewed, while "Parks and Rec" and "Community" are the network's only returning comedies. Every new premiere was a disaster. The return of NBC president Bob Greenblatt's pride and joy, "Smash," was a catastrophe that was eventually banished to Saturdays before cancellation. Even when "The Voice" came back strong in the spring, "Revolution" returned to fading numbers suggesting that, like "Smash" and "Go On," it might be barely viable without Adam Levine and friends as a lead-in.

So it's no surprise that the network is basically starting over from scratch with its newly-announced schedule, with a new drama slotted in after "The Voice" on Mondays, "Revolution" sent to fend for itself on Wednesdays, a revamped Thursday lineup that hopefully won't do as poorly as the last several, and change on nearly every night.

Fienberg has the full schedule, for both fall and mid-season — and note that "Community" and several new series (including "Chicago PD," "The Night Shift" and "Undateable") have no timeslots yet in either period — and I have some night-by-night thoughts:

MONDAY: "The Voice" is the only entertainment programming working consistently for NBC these days, so it stays. Rather than stubbornly keeping "Revolution" here to pretend like it's a genuine success rather than a timeslot hit, NBC went with something new: James Spader as a reformed master criminal in "The Blacklist." NBC will have the Winter Olympics in 2014, and presumably these two shows won't be taking as long a mid-season hiatus as "The Voice" and "Revolution" did this year.

TUESDAY: Fairly conservative in the fall, with "Biggest Loser" leading into "The Voice" and then into "Chicago Fire," which was a pleasant surprise for the network on Wednesdays at 10 (and successful enough to inspire the still-unscheduled "Chicago PD" spin-off). The real heavy lifting for "The Voice" will come in the spring, when it'll slide down to 8 and try to launch Jason Katims' "About a Boy" adaptation with David Walton and J.K. Simmons in "The Family Guide."

WEDNESDAY: At 8, "Revolution" will go from having the best lead-in on NBC to having no lead-in at all. NBC's previous J.J. Abrams-produced drama "Undercovers" died in this timeslot a few seasons ago, though it was starting from scratch, rather than trying to migrate viewers from a solidly-rated season on Monday. "Law & Order: SVU" will once again duke it out with (presumably) "Modern Family" and "Criminal Minds," and we'll get yet another remake at 10, with Blair Underwood succeeding Raymond Burr as "Ironside." (Under Bob Greenblatt, NBC loves remakes and other adaptations of pre-existing material.)

THURSDAY: With "Community" in limbo until something else fails, it falls to "Parks and Rec" to be the sacrificial lamb against "Big Bang Theory" at 8, leading into a trio of new comedies in "Welcome to the Family," "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show." The surprising thing is the scheduling of the last two. Sean Hayes and Fox are both beloved NBC stars from decades past, but Fox was the bigger star, and his show the object of an enormous bidding war that saw NBC commit to an entire season before a pilot had been shot. Everyone assumed it would be treated as a show that could anchor a night and launch something else; instead, it's the 9:30 show and "Sean Saves the World" is at 9. "Parenthood," NBC's best returning drama (though the fate of "Hannibal" remains up in the air for now) moves into what once upon a time would have been the perfect place for it on Thursdays at 10, but which is now a radioactive wasteland thanks to all the shows that have failed here since "ER" went away. Still, we'll get a full season of the Bravermans this year, and that's a plus.

FRIDAY: "Dateline" and "Grimm" remain where they've been for a while, and we get a pair of high-concept dramas in fall and spring in "Dracula," with Jonathan Rhys Meyers (who worked for Greenblatt at Showtime on "The Tudors") and then "Crossbones," with John Malkovich as Blackbeard the pirate.

SATURDAY: Repeats of shows from earlier in the week. Nothing to see here.

SUNDAY: Football will trounce all comers in the fall. Then after the Olympics, NBC tries something other than Donald Trump ("Celebrity Apprentice" remains in limbo, and will hopefully never get to leave there) with two of its higher-profile new series: "Believe," from Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron; and "Crisis," from "Life" creator Rand Ravich (and starring Dermot Mulroney, not to be confused with the other guy).

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/upfronts-2013-nbc-starts-from-scratch-again-with-michael-j-fox-j-j-abrams-and-james-spader

* * * *

Critic's Notes
FOX tries to program year-round with '24' miniseries, J.J. Abrams drama and more
Does FOX have enough inventory to fill all the gaps on the annual schedule? And will 'Bones' really air on Fridays?

Of the cliches that get spouted every year by network presidents during Upfront Week, one of the most popular is the idea of doing year-round programming with few repeats. Usually, the reality falls well short of that, with the usual confusing pre-emptions and dead spots. With the usual skepticism in mind — we're talking about a network that practically every year (including this one) claims that "Bones" will move to Fridays, and then never actually puts it there — FOX's Kevin Reilly sounded more convincing than most when he made that promise.

"Our goal as a network is virtually year-round programming, and we're going to get pretty close to that," Reilly told reporters on a conference call to discuss the network's 2013-14 schedule.

That schedule includes some of the usual timeslot sharing between fall and spring — "The Following," FOX's biggest new hit of the season, can only produce 15 episodes per season because of Kevin Bacon's contract, so the modern-day Ichabod Crane series "Sleepy Hollow" will air Mondays at 9 in the fall — but also between early fall and late fall (to allow for the disruptions caused by baseball), late winter and late spring, and even into summer. The network has four different scripted series ("Gang Related," "Us & Them," "Surviving Jack" and "Murder Police") that have no timeslots yet but will be plugged in down the line. "Glee" will take a longer-than-usual mid-season break for the launch of the Greg Kinnear drama "Rake." And the network is reviving "24"(*) as a 12-episode miniseries, tentatively called "24: Live Another Day" and likely to premiere in early May and run into the summer, where it'll be joined by another miniseries produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and possibly some of FOX's ongoing series.

(*) Reilly noted that Howard Gordon and the rest of the "24" creative team were burned out by the end of that show's run, then struggled to try to adapt the concept into a two-hour movie before realizing FOX's commitment to short-run series was the perfect compromise: "The spine of the 24 episodes was really about 12 hours," Reilly explained. "Those were where the big events occurred... We take the best of the 12, go in chronological order of the day, but skip hours."

"We're not going to be confined to a traditional 22 episode" order for most shows, Reilly promised. "There will be shows that play at 13, 15, 17. There's no magic number. Shows will premiere and stagger throughout the year." Later, he said, "I'd like to strike the word 'midseason' from our lexicon. It makes it sound like you can only launch shows at two times of the year: September and January."

If FOX can pull this off, it'll help combat some of the problems that are afflicting all of the broadcast networks other than CBS, where shows erode in the ratings because they take long breaks and viewers fall out of the habit of watching them. But what FOX needs more than anything— after "American Idol" finally proved itself very vulnerable in a season that will end the network's long run as the top-ranked broadcaster among adults 18-49, with the "Idol" stumble in turn failing to compensate for myriad problems throughout the schedule — are hits. And by greenlighting lots of series and scheduling them throughout the year — rather than foolishly trying to launch all of them in September because that's the way it's always been done — FOX at least gives itself a better shot at finding those hits.

Some thoughts on the schedule (Fienberg has the full details here), night-by-night:

MONDAY: "Bones" stays where it is until the baseball playoffs, then allegedly gets sent to Fridays. (As the saying goes, that trick never works!) The future cop drama "Almost Human," from J.J. Abrams and a lot of the "Fringe' team, then takes over after the World Series, where at least it will get to air without interruption for a long stretch. "Sleepy Hollow" keeps 9 p.m. warm until "The Following" comes back.

TUESDAY: Reilly gave up on a four-comedy Tuesday bloc midway through this season, admitting they tried to launch too much at once, and in the process let the night's tentpole, "New Girl," suffer. With so many new comedies, there was no choice but to go with the same kind of lineup again, with the Seth MacFarlane-produced "Dads" at 8, cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (from the "Parks and Recreation" creative team and starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher) at 8:30, leading into "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project." "New Girl" will air after the Super Bowl this season, in hopes of restoring it to its early big hit status (another trick that doesn't really work anymore), and figure some of the bench comedies (and/or some of the comedies tentatively set to air on Fridays) will cycle through this night throughout the year.

WEDNESDAY: Two hours of "X Factor" in fall, two hours of "Idol" (presumably with an all-new judging panel, though Reilly would only acknowledge Randy Jackson's previously-announced exit) at midseason. This will do solidly for FOX, but not as well as either show did in the past, and by keeping the performance shows at a bloated two hours, there's no opportunity to use either one to launch something new.

THURSDAY: "X Factor" results at 8 in fall, "Idol" results at 8 in spring. "Glee" at 9 in the fall, then taking a long break so that FOX can launch "Rake" (which will premiere out of the NFC Championship Game).

FRIDAY: I believe that "Junior Masterchef" (in which Gordon Ramsay will attempt his act with small children) and repeats of "Sleepy Hollow" will air here in early fall. I am more skeptical that "Bones," "Raising Hope" and the new military comedy "Enlisted" will air here after baseball. Again, FOX has often promised to put "Bones" without doing it, and last year NBC promised to put a comedy bloc on Friday with "Community" and "Whitney" before backing out at the last minute. Until proven otherwise, this seems like FOX announcing timeslots so it won't seem like they have too much on the bench, then waiting to see how the early fall premieres go.

SATURDAY: Sports as often as possible; the network finally canceled "Cops" (which will move to Spike TV).

SUNDAY: Same as it ever was, minus "The Cleveland Show," which was not picked up: "The Simpsons" at 8, "Bob's Burgers" at 8:30, "Family Guy" at 9 and "American Dad" at 9:30.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/upfronts-2013-fox-tries-to-program-year-round-with-24-miniseries-j-j-abrams-drama-and-more
post #86954 of 93703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Technology Notes
How ABC plans to use live streaming and the cloud to challenge Aereo
By Janko Roettgers, GigaOM.com - May 12, 2013



However, there are a few key differences between ABC’s and Aereo’s approach: After a six-week introductory phase that will be open to anyone in the two markets, ABC’s streams will only be available to authenticated cable subscribers. And ABC is using cloud technology to deliver its live streams, making the endeavour a whole lot cheaper than Aereo’s.



The flip side, however, is that Aereo can serve up shows that even ABC can’t. The broadcaster doesn’t have the rights to stream each and every show online, so upLynk’s cloud servers occasionally have to swap out programming on the fly. “Sometimes, your content is going to be different” that on live TV, admitted Brueck. He added that he hopes that ABC’s new live streaming app can help the entire industry to sort out these kinds of issues.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/univision-sony-firm-up-plans-521718

Yeah, this sounds like a loser before it even gets started.
post #86955 of 93703
TV Notes
Will ABC’s ‘Body Of Proof’ Find Cable Home?
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 14, 2013

Despite improving its ratings in the second half of its recent midseason run and getting good marks creatively, crime drama Body Of Proof couldn’t avoid the retool curse, getting a pass from ABC on Friday after three seasons, the latest series to get cancelled after being reworked. But the show is not as cold as the corpses on Megan Hunt’s (Dana Delany) table yet. I’ve learned that producer ABC Studios is actively shopping the drama series. In addition to the usual suspects for such a character-driven procedural with a strong lead — TNT and USA Network — I hear also in the mix is Tribune’s WGN America, which is in building mode, looking to join the ranks of cable networks offering original programming. With its average of 11 million viewers and 2.0/6 in 18-49 this season, Body Of Proof would bring a sizable audience to a cable network. (It ranked as the third-most-watched ABC drama this season, behind only Dancing With The Stars-buoyed Castle and flagship Grey’s Anatomy). The prospect of WGN America is particularly intriguing as the network only signaled its intention to get in the original scripted game in March, and acquiring an existing show is the fastest way of doing that. On the superstation, Body Of Proof would fit with the current off-network drama offerings, all crime procedurals, particularly the only contemporary hourlong series Bones.

Cancelling Body Of Proof at ABC was financially detrimental to sibling ABC Studios, which has incurred three seasons worth of deficits on the show and is making a lot of money off of it internationally. Additionally, Body Of Proof won the California tax credit lottery, making keeping it going it even more appealing.

Last May, another broadcast procedural with a female lead, CBS’ Unforgettable, found itself in a similar position when CBS cancelled it despite decent ratings. Like Body Of Proof, it explored a move to cable until CBS reversed its decision and renewed the show for a summer run. I hear ABC Studios is trying to move quickly on Body Of Proof so it doesn’t lose the writers who, given the situation, would have to start looking for new jobs.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/will-abcs-body-of-proof-find-cable-home/
post #86956 of 93703
Ever notice on the show "pawn stars" nobody ever actually pawns anything they always just sell it. confused.gif
post #86957 of 93703
TV Notes
Aereo to Launch in Atlanta in June
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter - May 14, 2013

Aereo will be bringing its technology to the Atlanta metropolitan region beginning June 17.

The announcement follows the expected nationwide roll-out plan for a service that allows subscribers to access local television online. Aereo originally launched in New York City in March 2012 and will be starting up in its second city of Boston on Wednesday.

The expansion plans have already triggered a new litigation round with the TV networks not overjoyed with a business model that they say threatens billions of dollars in retransmission fees.

For all the buzz on Aereo's hop-stopping across the nation, however, the company has yet to circulate much word on its own consumer subscription numbers. In the courtroom battle where Aereo is fending off the broadcasters, there is talk of just a few thousand subscribers in New York, but at the moment, there is very little substantiation of either the company's success or failure in the marketplace.

Aereo announced on Monday that it would be shaking up its pricing structure on the eve of its Boston launch. Going with a "new pricing plan (that) simplifies Aereo access," the company said it would charge consumers $8 per month for 20 hours of Aereo's cloud-based antenna/DVR technology and $12 per month for 60 hours of DVR storage.

After coming out with news about its new pricing, Aereo is now ready to hit the road once again. According to the latest press release, Aereo will be available to those in the Atlanta region who pre-register on June 17 and all others there after June 24.

The Atlanta market that Aereo is targeting covers 55 counties across Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina and has an estimated 5.3 million consumers.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/aereo-launch-atlanta-june-522178
post #86958 of 93703
Critic's Notes
Remembering ‘Seinfeld,’ 15 Years After ‘Nothing’ Happened
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - May 14, 2013

Fifteen years ago today, “Seinfeld” signed off for the last time. It averaged a staggering 76.3 million viewers, per Nielsen estimates, at the time the sixth-most-watched entertainment event (excluding Super Bowls) ever.

Somehow, it’s hard to imagine this week’s “The Office” sendoff inspiring similar tune-in in the same timeslot.

So was the “Seinfeld’s” exit a kind of “last hurrah of the huge broadcast event that knits us as a nation,” as someone (OK, me) suggested it could potentially represent in a front-page Los Angeles Times piece tied to the show’s final episode?

Nope.

That’s not to say nothing has happened since the end of the show about nothing. But a tremendous amount has happened that nobody could have foreseen at the time, which is a good thing to remember as we engage in similar analysis today.

Since “Seinfeld,” notably, the really huge TV events that have knitted the nation together other than sports have generally involved reality TV – a genre that, in its modern incarnation, as defined by the introduction of “Survivor” and “Big Brother” in the U.S., didn’t even exist until a couple of years after Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine occupied their jail cell. So it might be true scripted programs can’t reach those heights again, in an age of niche tastes and alternatives.

Some of the other quotes in that 1998 piece also bear revisiting and comment, with the original passages in italics:

* “This is a culture of dispersion, and it’s dispersed in television as in other forms,” said Todd Gitlin, a New York University professor and author of “The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Cultural Wars.” ” ‘Bonanza’ belonged to a time when culture was more conglomerated and focused–there were three networks and three car companies. In a larger sense, the significance is that the culture no longer has a common story.”

Not only does that appear to be true, but it has enormous implications, for everything from culture to politics. Fox News and MSNBC were in their infancy when “Seinfeld” ended. Today, partisan constituencies can consume news channels tailored to their specific narrative, which leaves us not only lacking a common story, but a common set of facts.

* The challenge facing the networks will become more difficult as the spectrum of options expands. An explosion of choices promises to follow once the industry solves the technological and marketing puzzle of how best to wed digital television, computers and the telephone to disseminate information and entertainment.

This challenge, arguably, continues to define — and unsettle — the TV business, although the broadcast networks are still around, even if NBC’s Thursday lineup is a shadow of its former self.

* The challenge of attracting viewers has also influenced programming content, according to Pier Massimo Forni, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who established the university’s “civility project.”"You need more and more abrasive behavior–or so the producers and the writers believe–in order to grab the attention of an audience that is becoming inured to breaches of civility,” he said, citing the “happy rudeness” displayed in situation comedies, including “Seinfeld,” and the gritty realism of dramas like “NYPD Blue” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

“Every new show wants to establish a shock level for itself in order to put itself on the map. It’s a way of besting the previous show.”

This is almost certainly true, if not always necessarily a bad thing. “Game of Thrones” generates buzz by being shocking at times, but it’s also one of the best programs on television.

* Ironically, one of the people I turned to for insight at the time was producer Chuck Lorre, who subsequently co-created “Two and a Half Men” and the closest thing to a current Thursday-night water-cooler comedy of old in CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” For a guy who is often kind of gloomy, he was surprisingly optimistic about the future.

According to Chuck Lorre, executive producer of the ABC comedy “Dharma & Greg,” which paid homage to “Seinfeld” in this week’s episode, the water-cooler show will merely lie dormant “till somebody does something remarkable. The medium fools you. It still has the capacity to bring people together.”

* Finally, the late Larry Gelbart — always a voice of sobriety and reason — suggested there was simply too much ado about nothing, and that the outpouring of coverage (what writer Frank Rich has dubbed a “mediagasm”) was disproportionate to the merits of the actual show.

“It is a case of another kind of media frenzy that is self-perpetuating, [naming] a winner of the moment,” Gelbart said. “I think virtues are being attributed to the show [that] the people involved don’t even claim for themselves. It’s a show about a bunch of spiteful, mean-spirited people. It’s fun, but it’s hardly statue material.”

There might be a better way to put it, but at this point, I’ve got nothing.

http://variety.com/2013/tv/columns/seinfeld-finale-15th-anniversary-1200480376/
post #86959 of 93703
^^^^
Still waiting for the "like they did with Friends" reformatted for syndication 16x9 complete series bluray boxset....maybe for this Christmas. eek.gif
post #86960 of 93703
TV Notes
Bill Hader Exiting 'Saturday Night Live'
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - May 14, 2013

The hottest New York City comedy show is no longer "Saturday Night Live" -- at least not for Weekend Update city correspondent, Stefon.

Bill Hader, the man of a thousand voices and an inability to keep a straight face, will be leaving "SNL" after eight seasons. Hader's final episode will be the season finale airing on Saturday, which will be hosted by Ben Affleck.

"It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Hader told the New York Times. "It got to a point where I said, 'Maybe it’s just time to go.'"

Hader, 34, joined "SNL" as a featured performer in 2005 and was promoted to a full cast member in 2006. He was nominated for an Emmy for supporting actor in a comedy series last year -- a rarity for a show like "Saturday Night Live."

"He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there’s something strikingly original," executive producer Lorne Michaels said of Hader. "He didn’t explode onto the air, but gradually he found his voice, and that became a huge thing.”

Hader told the New York Times that his decision was motivated partly by seeing friends Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig move on, and partly by a desire to move his family to Los Angeles. His wife, Maggie Carey, is a filmmaker.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/bill-hader-exiting-saturday-night-live-91401
post #86961 of 93703
Quote:
Originally Posted by agus0103 View Post

No, that has been done before, most recently by Fox in 2005 when an episode of The Simpsons and the series premiere of American Dad aired after the Super Bowl (Fox did something similar in 1999 when The Simpsons was paired with the series premiere of Family Guy).

If the new comedy Fox premieres after the Super Bowl is live action, then that would be the first time since 1994 that a live action sitcom has premiered after the Super Bowl. That year, NBC premiered The Good Life, which ended up being a flop and was off the schedule by the end of the season.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_lead-out_programs

Didnt realize that many shows were split afterwards.

Looking at the last 10 years on that list 10 of the 11 shows are still on the air as of today only House from 2008 is gone.
post #86962 of 93703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Didnt realize that many shows were split afterwards.

Looking at the last 10 years on that list 10 of the 11 shows are still on the air as of today only House from 2008 is gone.

I remember the House Episode(Frozen). It guest starred Mira Sorvino located at the South Pole. I always thought it was one of the best House eps in it's long run.
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TV Notes
ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-’Modern Family’ Slot, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ On Tuesday, ‘Dancing’ Shrinks To One Night
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 14, 2013

ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the popular actress landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is trying to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by killing the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri.

ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle

TUESDAY
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7

WEDNESDAY
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville

THURSDAY
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal

FRIDAY
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20

SATURDAY
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL


The agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be going after the agents of NCIS next fall. ABC is showing some serious balls, slating its high-profile (and male-skewing new drama) Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. against CBS’ veteran drama NCIS on Tuesday. It is one of four new series on Tuesday as ABC is giving the night a complete makeover, including comedies The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife and new drama Lucky 7. The cushy half-hour slots in ABC’s established Wednesday block went to Super Fun Night (9:30 PM) and Back In The Game (8:30 PM). Returning comedy The Neighbors will join Last Man Standing on Friday.

Surprisingly, ABC is keeping Revenge in the high-profile Sunday 9 PM slot despite the show’s serious creative struggles in Season 2. In fact, ABC is keeping ALL of its returning dramas put, including the dynamic duo of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal on Thursday, Castle on Monday, Nashville on Wednesday and Once Upon A Time on Sunday.

The Once creators have their work cut out for them as both Once and the spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland are on the fall schedule. Wonderland can use some magic as it will try to break the ABC 8 PM curse that has claimed a slew of new series over the last several years. MORE

Here are the networks’ descriptions of the new shows:

Betrayal — A chance meeting between photographer Sara Hadley (Hannah Ware) and Attorney Jack McAllister (Stuart Townsend) leads to an instant and undeniable attraction. Sarah’s husband, Drew (Chris Johnson), is a successful prosecutor with political aspirations, while Jack is married to Elaine (Wendy Moniz), the daughter of his boss, Thacher Karsten (James Cromwell). When Karsten’s brother-in-law Lou is murdered, all evidence points to Karsten’s son, T.J. (Henry Thomas). Jack, the company’s lead counsel, will have to defend him, but for Sara’s prosecutor husband, Drew, this is the kind of high-profile murder case that can secure his political future. Just as Sara and Jack’s affair is starting, the lovers find themselves in an impossible situation — on opposite sides of a murder investigation. “Betrayal” stars Hannah Ware (“Shame,” “Boss”) as Sara, Stuart Townsend (“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”) as Jack, James Cromwell (“Babe,” “American Horror Story”) as Thacher Karsten, Henry Thomas (“E.T.,” “Gangs of New York”) as T.J. Karsten, Chris Johnson (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Drew, Wendy Moniz (“Guiding Light,” “The Guardian”) as Elaine, Elizabeth McLaughlin (“The Clique”) as Val and Braeden Lamasters (“Men of a Certain Age”) as Vic. “Betrayal” was written by David Zabel (“ER”) and directed by Patty Jenkins (“The Killing,” “Monster”) and is executive-produced by David Zabel, Rob Golenberg (“Red Widow”) and Alon Aranya. “Betrayal” is produced by ABC Studios.

Killer Women — Of all the notorious lawmen who have ever patrolled the violent Texas frontier, none are more storied than the Texas Rangers. But being the only female ranger in this elite squad isn’t going to stop ballsy, badass Molly Parker (Tricia Helfer). Molly is committed to finding the truth and seeing justice served. While she’s surrounded by law enforcement colleagues who want to see her fail, including Police Lieutenant Guillermo Salazar (Vic Trevino), the Rangers have her back, led by Company Commander Luis Zea (Alex Fernandez). Molly has also got her brother, Billy (Michael Trucco), and his wife Becca (Marta Milans). On the verge of getting divorced from her smarmy husband, Jake (Jeffrey Nordling), Molly begins an affair with sexy DEA Agent Dan Winston (Marc Blucas). “Killer Women” stars Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Molly Parker, Mark Blucas (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) as Dan, Marta Milans (“Shame”) as Becca, Alex Fernandez (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”) as Luis and Michael Trucco (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Billy. “Killer Women” was written by Hannah Shakespeare and is executive-produced by Sofía Vergara (“Modern Family”), Martin Campbell, Ben Silverman, Luis Balaguer, Electus, Latin World Entertainment. The pilot was directed by Larry Trilling. “Killer Women” is produced by ABC Studios.

Lucky 7 — In Astoria, Queens, a group of seven gas station employees have been chipping into a lottery pool for months, never thinking they’d actually win. Money could solve problems for each of them: Matt (Matt Long) could get his girlfriend and two kids out of his mother’s house; Matt’s brother, Nicky (Stephen Louis Grush), an ex-con, could pay off a dangerous debt; Samira (Summer Bishil), a second-generation Pakistani immigrant, could afford to go to Juilliard; Denise (Lorraine Bruce), a plucky cashier, could focus on rebuilding her crumbling marriage; Leanne (Anastasia Phillips), a young mother, could help her daughter realize her dreams; Bob (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.), the store’s manager, could finally retire; and Antonio (Luis Antonio Ramos) could give his wife and kids a whole new life. “Lucky 7” stars Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (“The Wire”) as Bob Harris, Matt Long (“Private Practice”) as Matt Korzak, Stephen Louis Grush (“Detroit 1-8-7”) as Nicky Korzak, Lorraine Bruce (“Eden Lake”) as Denise, Anastasia Phillips (“Stoked”) as Leanne, Summer Bishil (“Towelhead”) as Samira Rajpur, Luis Antonio Ramos (“The Ruins”) as Antonio Clemente and Christine Evangelista (“The Joneses”) as Mary. Written by David Zabel (“ER”) and Jason Richman (“Detroit 1-8-7”), “Lucky 7” is executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, David Zabel and Jason Richman. The pilot was directed by Paul McGuigan. “Lucky 7” is produced by ABC Studios and Amblin Television.

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.l.E.L.D. — Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange and the unknown around the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson’s team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet). “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Marvel’s first television series, is from executive producers Joss Whedon (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote the pilot (“Dollhouse,” “Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Jeffrey Bell (“Angel,” “Alias”) and Jeph Loeb (“Smallville,” “Lost,” “Heroes”) also serve as executive producers. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.

Mind Games — Clark (Steve Zahn) and Ross (Christian Slater) Edwards are brothers and partners in a unique agency committed to solving clients’ problems using the hard science of psychological manipulation. Clark is a former professor and a world-renowned expert in the field of human behavior. But he has a checkered history due to bipolar disorder, which sometimes results in quirky, manic episodes. Older brother Ross is a slick con man who has spent time in prison. Each in their own way knows what makes people tick. Drawing from the most cutting edge research in psychology, they can a tailor a plan to influence any situation. It’s a little bit science, a little bit con artistry, plus a smattering of Jedi mind tricks. The brothers, along with their team of master manipulators, are offering clients an alternative to fate. “Mind Games” stars Steve Zahn (“Treme”) as Clark, Christian Slater (“True Romance”) as Ross, Megalyn Echikunwoke (“CSI: Miami”) as Megan, Cedric Sanders (“The Social Network”) as Latrell, Gregory Marcel (“The Good Shepherd”) as Miles and Wynn Everett (“The Newsroom”) as Claire. Written and executive-produced by Kyle Killen, the series is also executive-produced by Keith Redman. “Mind Games” is a 20th Century Fox Television production. Miguel Sapochnik directed the pilot.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland — In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice (Sophie Lowe) tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole. An invisible cat, a hookah smoking caterpillar and playing-cards that talk are just some of the fantastic things she’s seen during this impossible adventure. Surely this troubled girl must be insane, and her doctors aim to cure her with a treatment that will make her forget everything. Alice seems ready to put it all behind her, especially the painful memory of the genie she fell in love with and lost forever — the handsome and mysterious Cyrus (Peter Gadiot). But deep down Alice knows this world is real, and just in the nick of time the sardonic Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the irrepressible White Rabbit (John Lithgow) arrive to save her from a doomed fate. Together the trio will take a tumble down the rabbit hole to this Wonderland where nothing is impossible. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” stars Sophie Lowe (“Beautiful Kate”) as Alice, Michael Socha (“This Is England”) as Knave of Hearts, Peter Gadiot (“The Forbidden Girl”) as Cyrus, Emma Rigby (“Hollyoaks”) as Queen of Hearts and John Lithgow (“3rd Rock from the Sun”) as the voice of the White Rabbit. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (“Once Upon a Time”), who serve as executive producers. Steve Perlman and Zack Estrin also serve as executive producers, and the pilot was directed by Ralph Hemecker. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” is produced by ABC Studios.

Resurrection — The people of Arcadia, Missouri are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. An 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, and an Immigration agent, Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Harold (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Garland (Frances Fisher), who lost their son Jacob more than 30 years ago. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. Those closest to the family try to unravel this impossible mystery, including Sheriff Fred Garland (Matt Craven), whose wife Barbara drowned 30 years ago while trying to save Jacob. But this boy who claims to be the deceased Jacob knows secrets about his own death that no one else knows — secrets that Fred’s daughter, Gail (Devin Kelly), will begin to investigate and discover to be true. “Resurrection” stars Omar Epps (“House”) as Martin Bellamy, Matt Craven (“Crimson Tide,” “A Few Good Men”) as Fred, Devin Kelley (“Chernobyl Diaries,” “The Chicago Code”) as Gail, Frances Fisher (“Titanic”) as Lucille, Kurtwood Smith (“That ‘70s Show”) as Harold, Sam Hazeldine (“The Raven”) as Abel, Samaire Armstrong (“Entourage,” “The O.C.”) as Elaine, Nicholas Gonzalez (“Off the Map”) as Connor, Mark Hildreth (“Dragon Ball Z”) as Tom and Landon Gimenez as Jacob. Written by Aaron Zelman (“Damages,” “The Killing”), “Resurrection” is executive-produced by Aaron Zelman, JoAnn Alfano, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Jon Liebman, Brillstein Entertainment and Plan B. The pilot was directed by Charles McDougall. “Resurrection” is produced by ABC Studios.

Comedies

Back In The Game —
Terry Gannon Jr. (Maggie Lawson) was an All Star softball player until life threw her a few curve balls — a baby, a lost college scholarship and a loser for a husband. After striking out on her own, Terry and her son, Danny (Griffin Gluck), move in with her estranged father, Terry Sr., aka “The Cannon” (James Caan). The Cannon is an opinionated, beer-guzzling, ex-athlete who never quite made the cut either as a single father or professional baseball player. As hard as Terry tries to keep Danny away from the sports-driven lifestyle of her youth, Tommy wants to play Little League. His stunning lack of baseball skills (he doesn’t even know which hand the mitt goes on) makes him the laughing stock of the baseball field and of his grandfather’s living room. When Danny and a group of other athletically-challenged hopefuls fail to make the team, Danny’s disappointment forces Terry to face her past. So when a wealthy neighbor volunteers to finance a team for the rejected kids, Terry reluctantly offers to coach the team of misfits. “Back in the Game” stars Maggie Lawson (“Psych”) as Terry, Jr., James Caan (“Las Vegas”) as Terry “The Cannon” Gannon, Sr., Lenora Crichlow (“Being Human,” “Fast Girls”) as Gigi, Griffin Gluck (“Private Practice”) as Danny, Ben Koldyke (“Big Love”) as Dick, Kennedy Waite (“I-Doll”) as Vanessa, J.J. Totah (“Jessie”) as Michael and Cooper Roth as David. “Back in the Game” was written by Mark and Robb Cullen (“Lucky,” “Las Vegas”), who also executive-produce along with directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (“Bad Santa,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”) and Aaron Kaplan (“The Neighbors”). “Back in the Game” is from 20TH Century Fox Television/ Kapital Entertainment.

The Goldbergs — Before there were parenting blogs, trophies for showing up and peanut allergies, there was a simpler time called the ‘80s. For geeky 11-year-old Adam (Sean Giambrone) these were his wonder years, and he faced them armed with a video camera to capture all the crazy. The Goldbergs are a loving family like any other, just with a lot more yelling. Mom Beverly (Wendi McClendon-Covey) is a classic “smother,” an overbearing, overprotective matriarch who rules this brood with 100% authority and zero sense of boundaries. Dad Murray (Jeff Garlin) is gruff, hot-tempered and trying to parent without screaming. Sister Erica (Hayley Orrantia) is 17, hot, terrifying and not one to mess with. Barry (Troy Gentile) is 16, a grade-A spaz with classic middle child syndrome. Adam (Sam Giambrone) is the youngest, a camera-wielding future director who’s crushing on an older woman. Rounding out the family is beloved grandfather Al “Pops” Solomon (George Segal), the wild man of the clan, a shameless Don Juan who’s schooling Adam in the ways of love. When Pops buys a new sports car and offers his Caddy to middle child Barry, it’s enough to drive this already high-strung family to the brink of chaos. “The Goldbergs” stars Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids”) as Beverly, Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) as Murray, George Segal (“Don’t Shoot Me”) as Pops, Hayley Orrantia (“The X Factor”) as Erica, Sean Giambrone as Adam and Troy Gentile (“Good Luck Chuck”) as Barry. “The Goldbergs” was written and executive-produced by Adam F. Goldberg (“Breaking In,” “Fanboys”) and also executive produced by Doug Robinson. The pilot was directed by Seth Gordon (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”). “The Goldbergs” is from Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison, and is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Mixology — One bar. One night. Ten single people. Welcome to Union, a high-end bar in Manhattan’s trendy meat-packing district. Recently dumped by his fiancée, Tom (Blake Lee) hasn’t been out on the town in a decade. His best friends, handsome, confident Cal (Craig Frank) and fast-talking Bruce (Andrew Santino), are throwing Tom back into the dating pool whether he likes it or not. Tom’s first encounter is with Maya (Ginger Gonzaga), an attorney who’s as beautiful as she is brutal; before long, Tom is in tears. After that, it only gets worse. Rounding out Union’s chic crowd is Maya’s engaged-for-now friend, Liv (Kate Simses); aggressive single mom Jessica (Alexis Carra); her younger, naive sister, Janey (Sarah Bolger); bubbly cocktail waitress Kacey (Vanessa Lengies); dark, mysterious bartender Dominic (Adan Canto); and failed internet entrepreneur Ron (Adam Campbell), who’s having the worst night of his life. “Mixology” stars Blake Lee (“Parks and Recreation”) as Tom, Andrew Santino (“Punk’d”) as Bruce, Kate Simses (“What’s Your Number”) as Liv, Adam Campbell (“Epic Movie”) as Ron, Craig Frank (“8.13”) as Cal, Vanessa Lengies (“Glee”) as Kacey, Alexis Carra (“Incredible Girl”) as Jessica, Sarah Bolger (“Once Upon a Time”) as Janey, Ginger Gonzaga (“Legit”) as Maya and Adan Canto (“The Following”) as Dominic. “Mixology” was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (“The Hangover,” “21 and Over”), and is executive-produced by Lucas, Moore, Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass and Adam Sher. It’s directed by Larry Charles (“Seinfeld,” “Entourage,” “Borat”), and is produced by ABC Studios.

Super Fun Night — Junior attorney Kimmie Boubier (Rebel Wilson) and her two best friends, Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash), have had a standing date every Friday night for the last 13 years. They even have a motto for what they call “Friday Night Fun Night”: “Always together! Always Inside!” However Kimmie’s recent promotion throws a monkey wrench into the tradition. Not only is she now working with her idol, “Lady Lawyer of the Year” Felicity Vanderstone (Kelen Coleman), but she meets a dashingly handsome British attorney, Richard Lovell (Kevin Bishop), who invites her to his party at a trendy club. Determined to spend time with Richard and heed Felicity’s advice to network, Kimmie sets out to convince her friends to take Super Fun Night on the road. “Super Fun Night” stars Rebel Wilson (“Pitch Perfect,” “Bridesmaids”) as Kimmie, Lauren Ash (“Lars and the Real Girl”) as Marika, Liza Lapira (“Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23”) as Helen-Alice, Kelen Coleman (“The Newsroom”) as Felicity and Kevin Bishop (“Star Stories”) as Richard. “Super Fun Night” was written by Rebel Wilson who also serves as co-executive producer. Executive producers are Conan O’Brien, Jeff Ross, David Kissinger and John Riggi (“30 Rock”), who also directed the pilot. “Super Fun Night” is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Conaco and Warner Bros. Television.

Trophy Wife — They say the third time’s the charm, and reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman) is hoping that’s true when she becomes Pete’s (Bradley Whitford) third wife. She fell into his arms (literally) at a karaoke bar, and a year later Kate’s got an insta-family, complete with three stepchildren and two ex-wives. Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) is ex-wife number one, an intense, over-achieving doctor and the mother of twin teenagers Hillary (Gianna LePera) and Warren (Ryan Scott Lee). Diane is quick to convey her withering disapproval of Kate’s barely tapped maternal instinct. Ex-wife number two, Jackie (Michaela Watkins), is mother to adopted son Bert (Albert Tsai), and can pull Pete’s strings with her special blend of neurotic, new-ageyness. Juggling all this baggage is uncharted territory for Kate, who finds support with her best friend Meg (Natalie Morales), a party-hearty singleton and the only woman Kate knows who has less experience with kids than she has. “Trophy Wife” stars Malin Akerman (“Suburgatory”) as Kate, Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”) as Pete, Marcia Gay Harden (“Into the Wild,” “Damages”) as Diane, Michaela Watkins (“Saturday Night Live”) as Jackie, Natalie Morales (“90210”) as Meg, Ryan Scott Lee (“Super 8”) as Warren, Albert Tsai (“How I Met Your Mother”) as Bert and Gianna LePera (“Modern Family”) as Hillary. “Trophy Wife” is written and executive-produced by Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins, executive produced by Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky (“The Office”), produced by Malin Ackerman. The pilot was directed by Jason Moore (“Pitch Perfect,” “Avenue Q”). “Trophy Wife” is from ABC Studios.

Alternative Series

The Quest —
“The Quest” is a new reality adventure that takes 12 lucky contestants on the journey of a lifetime when they enter the world of “Everealm.” For “The Quest,” the producer of the blockbuster movie franchise “The Lord of the Rings” has joined forces with the creators and producers of “The Amazing Race” to conjure a land of magic and malevolence, where mythical creatures lurk in the woods, agents of darkness stir in the shadows, and mystical beings infiltrate the keep. For 12 lucky souls, a fantastic world will come alive in a unique competition series where players will engage in epic challenges. Fantasy meets reality when one player emerges as a real-life hero. “The Quest” is from executive producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri (“The Amazing Race,” Profiles Television), executive producers Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming (Court Five), and executive producers Rob Eric and Michael Williams (Green Harbor Productions).

Specials

Toy Story Of Terror —
From Disney•Pixar comes a spooky new tale featuring all of the favorite characters from the “Toy Story” films. What starts out as a fun road trip for the “Toy Story” gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse when the trip detours to a roadside motel. After one of the toys goes missing, the others find themselves caught up in a mysterious sequence of events that must be solved before they all suffer the same fate in this “Toy Story of Terror.” The cast of “Toy Story of Terror” includes Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz, Joan Cusack as Jessie, Carl Weathers as Combat Carl/Combat Carl Jr., Timothy Dalton as Mr. Pricklepants, Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head, Wallace Shawn as Rex and Kristen Schaal as Trixie. “Toy Story of Terror” is produced by Galyn Susman and directed by Angus MacLane. The special, from Disney•Pixar, will premiere on ABC in October 2013.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/abc-2013-14-schedule-rebel-wilson-gets-post-modern-family-slot-s-h-i-e-l-d-on-tuesday-dancing-shrinks-to-one-night/
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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
A ‘Mother’ of a finale: CBS sitcom surges
'How I Met Your Mother' hits a three-month high with a 3.4
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - May 14, 2013

After eight seasons of teasing, “How I Met Your Mother” finally revealed the titular mom last night, and the results were, as Barney might say, legendary.

The sitcom surged 31 percent from last week and just barely beat NBC’s juggernaut “The Voice” in their shared timeslot.

“Mother’s” finale averaged a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights, up from a 2.6 last week and its best rating since February.

“Mother” finished a tenth ahead of “Voice” in the 8 p.m. half hour, though the latter, which aired for two hours, was the night’s top show overall with a 3.6. “Mother” was second.

CBS had been teasing the “Mother” reveal for days, and she appeared in the final seconds of the episode, the first time viewers have ever seen the mom. The show is heading into its ninth and final season.

The finale did fall 12 percent from last year’s 3.7 one-hour ender, when Lily and Marshall’s baby was born.

CBS’s other two comedies also saw gains last night, albeit smaller ones. The 9 p.m. “2 Broke Girls” was up 7 percent from last week, to a 2.9, and lead-out “Mike & Molly” was up 4 percent from last week, to a 2.4.

In other season finale news, ABC’s “Castle” won its 10 p.m. timeslot with a 2.2, beating NBC’s recently fading “Revolution.” “Castle” was up 10 percent from last week.

NBC led the night among 18-49s with a 3.1 average overnight rating and a 9 share. CBS was second at 2.5/7, ABC third at 2.0/6, Fox fourth at 1.7/5, Univision fifth at 1.4/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.7/2 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won’t be available for several weeks. Forty-eight percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. NBC was first with a 3.5 for “Voice,” followed by CBS with a 2.9 for “Mother” (3.4) and a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.4). ABC was third with a 1.8 for “Dancing with the Stars,” Fox fourth with a 1.7 for “Hell’s Kitchen,” Univision fifth with a 1.3 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “Pasion Prohibida” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for “90210.”

NBC was first again at 9 p.m. with a 3.8 for more “Voice,” while CBS remained second with a 2.7 for “2 Broke Girls” (2.9) and “Mike & Molly” (2.4). ABC was third with a 2.1 for more “Stars.” Fox and Univision tied for fourth at 1.7, Fox for more “Hell’s Kitchen” and Univision for “Amores Verdaderos,” Telemundo was sixth with a 0.7 for “La Patrona” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for another hour of “90210.”

ABC took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 2.2 for “Castle,” while NBC slipped to second with a 1.9 for “Revolution.” CBS was third with a 1.8 for “Hawaii Five-0,” Univision fourth with a 1.2 for “Que Bonito Amor” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.9 for “El Señor de los Cielos.”

ABC finished first for the night among households with an 8.2 average overnight rating and a 13 share. NBC was second at 5.7/9, CBS third at 5.1/8, Fox fourth at 2.5/4, Univision fifth at 1.9/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/a-mother-of-a-finale-cbs-sitcom-surges/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
Back on the ‘Dance’ floor, a bit earlier
Fox's 'So You Think You Can Dance' returns for summer run

It’s not just finale season right now, though there are certainly a lot of them taking place this week.

It’s also the unofficial start of the summer season, with the networks starting to roll out their summer fare in hopes of luring in viewers by debuting these programs before broadcast viewership levels plummet on May 23, the day after the TV season ends.

And so tonight “So You Think You Can Dance” returns for season 10 at 8 p.m., a week before Fox usually brings the show back on the air.

It’s the second summer program to debut over the past few days. ABC’s “Wipeout” returned last Thursday, though the early return didn’t seem to help. The show managed a mere 1.1 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating, a series low for a premiere.

“Dance” should do better.

The show bowed to a 2.4 last year, when it aired the day after the “American Idol” finale and received heavy promotion throughout that show.

Ratings will probably be down this year without the benefit of such promotion and on a night with a lot more competition. Last year’s bow, coming the day after May sweeps wrapped up, faced minimal competition, with ABC’s premiere of “Duets” the only notable original series.

This year “Dance” faces the season finale of “NCIS,” ABC’s “Wipeout” and NHL and NBA playoff games.

Fox has drawn fairly low ratings in the 8 p.m. Tuesday slot all year. It won’t expect to win the hour tonight, but it will be happy with a small decline from last year, assuming that the audience sticks around through the rest of the summer.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/back-on-the-dance-floor-a-bit-earlier/
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TV Notes
ABC Upfronts: Network's 'Damage Control' Includes Going Big, Jabbing Rivals and 'Dancing'
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 14, 2013

With broadcast audiences shrinking, ABC mostly avoided admitting its troubles in its upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday. Instead it enlisted Jimmy Kimmel to skewer its rivals and focused on positives that include its news coverage and a new season that looks to have some crowd-pleasers.

NBC and Fox, also suffering in the ratings, offered more sedate upfront presentations than ABC's. The network first unveiled the the warmly received Jeff Garlin '80s comedy "The Goldbergs," and closed with the hotly anticipated drama "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," a TV offshoot of the blockbuster "The Avengers." People seemed to be having fun onstage: Rebel Wilson cursed and made an oral sex joke. Kimmel tore into CBS, Fox and NBC.

The network also delivered some news of special interest to advertisers: It announced a joint initiative with Nielsen to measure tablet and smartphone ads in its mobile apps.

The upfront opened with a skit starring Kimmel, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington and president of Disney-ABC Television Anne Sweeney. The joke was that the president – Sweeney – needed help from Washington with "damage control." But they weren't talking about ratings.

The first problem, Kimmel said, was "Dancing With the Stars" – "they’re not really stars," he said. The joke was a tough one, because it came as ABC is scaling back "Dancing" -- a show past its ratings prime -- from two nights to one next fall.

For about the first hour of the 90-minute presentation, that was as close as ABC got to acknowledging its problems, which include slipping to fourth place in the key 18-49 demographic this season.

But later in the presentation Kimmel noted the shrinking audience, joking, "Every year Apple products get smaller, and no one has a problem with that."

Wilson's show is the Conan O'Brien-produced "Super Fun Night," which scored a plum timeslot after "Modern Family" for fall. It is about three young women who aspire to good times, and Wilson called it an anti-"Sex in the City."

"When these three ladies eat at night, they're not talking ahout dick," she said.

She also promised she wouldn't be "doing a Lena Dunham" by appearing nude on her show, unless it's essential -- "or if it's Wednesday."

Kimmel pushed the envelope too, telling advertisers, "It's time to stop calling this an upfront and start calling it what it is: Throwing a bunch of s--- at a wall to see what sticks. And guess what? You guys are the wall."

He was harsher on ABC's rivals, saying Fox's was lineup was good the way the Titanic was good except for the hole. He said NBC's plan to beat Univision was to "to oppose immigration reform." And he said he would stop joking about CBS's older audience when "my grandmother throws away her 'Mentalist' hemorrhoid donut."

Kimmel joked that "Univision is beating NBC" – but in fact, NBC is outrating ABC in the demo, and Univision trails both. ABC is in second-place behind CBS in total viewers. But it's a distant second.

All networks are down in the demo ratings, and all but CBS are down in total viewers. CBS is up slightly in total viewers.

Despite its mixed success this season, ABC went bigger and bolder than NBC and Fox did in their Monday upfronts.

NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt said at his network's presentation that he had "no illusions" about his network's challenges, noting that it had, however, passed ABC in the key demo and was in a tight race with Fox.

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly conceded his network hadn't had its best year.

ABC also highlighted Barbara Walters and the success of "Good Morning America."

There was a long applause break for "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts, who is battling a bone and blood disease, and a standing ovation for Walters, who announced Monday that she will retire next year.

One of Kimmel's best jokes was about her retirement.

"As you know, Barbara Walters is leaving ABC after 50 years to have a baby – my baby," he said.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/abc-2013-14-schedule-rebel-wilson-gets-post-modern-family-slot-s-h-i-e-l-d-on-tuesday-dancing-shrinks-to-one-night/
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TV Notes
Live-Blog: ABC’s Upfront Presentation
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 14, 2013

ABC has the hottest broadcast drama series at the moment, Scandal, and the network didn’t waste any time to flaunt it to advertisers. ABC’s upfront presentation opened with a pre-taped skit featuring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope summoned to the Oval Office to do damage control for Disney-ABC Group president Anne Sweeney and her henchman, played by Jimmy Kimmel. The skeletons in ABC’s closet:

1. “Dancing With the Stars … they’re not really stars. We pick them up at the bus station”. (Kimmel)

2. [ABC president] “Paul Lee isn’t really British – he’s Mexican. We think that’s why Univision is beating NBC”. (Kimmel)

3. “ABC Family is adopted” (Kimmel)

4. “I steal Diane Sawyer’s clothes… and eyelashes”. (Sweeney).

Pope’s advice — “Own it; go out there and admit everything” is met with objections from Kimmel. “I think we lie about everything except Good Morning America,” he says. And with that, Sweeney comes out onstage, greeted with scorning gestured by Sawyer. The highlight in her opening remarks is when she acknowledged Barbara Walters and her announcement yesterday that she will retire next year. A huge standing ovation brought down the house. Sweeney continued with the Scandal theme with a “gladiators” reference in her speech.

“Hola,” Lee greets advertisers, drawing laughs. He is elaborating on the plan to introduce 8- to 12-episode limited series and splitting some of its serialized dramas into cycles running all originals from September to Christmas and then in the new year. “That will create buzz and lower repeats,” Lee said, also highlighting the switch to launches throughout the year to get away from the “September slugfest.”

Of the new ABC series, a supersized trailer for 1980s throwback The Goldbergs gets a very warm reaction as it plays heavily (and sweetly) on nostalgia. Also getting big laughs is the Bad News Bears-in-tone Back In The Game.

Hot Aussie comedian Rebel Wilson was on hand to introduce her new Wednesday comedy series Super Fun Night, which launches after Modern Family. The audience loved her raunchy monologue, which included lines like “Super Fun Night is the anti-Sex And The City: when these three ladies eat at night, they’re not talking about dick”, and “Don’t worry, I won’t be doing a Lena Dunham. I’ll only put my boobs out if it’s necessary for the storyline… or a Wednesday.” She received a big applause, with the trailer for her show also getting good reaction sans her American accent, which irked some. “Isn’t she great,” Brit Lee said seeing her off. “I have no idea why my ancestors sent her ancestors to prison.”

Of the new series, Resurrection, which will replace Betrayal in midseason, seems to be tugging on the audiences’ heartstrings with the theme of dead people returning to their love ones.

The cast of Scandal comes out on stage to tease the series’ season finale Thursday and give Lee another opportunity to talk about the show’s success.

No matter if the new shows ABC presents are good or bad, the best thing in network’s presentation always is Kimmel. He didn’t disappoint, skewering advertisers, ABC and the other networks alike. (for his full monologue, click here). A few highlights:

To advertisers: “It’s time to stop calling this an upfront and call it what it is: throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks… You’re the wall”.

“NBC is on a roll. Wait, no, not a roll. A what’s it called… A spiral”.

“Every time you cancel one Matthew Perry show, three more rise up to take its place”.

Kimmel’s jokes about CBS’ older viewership “will not be over until my grandmother throws away her Mentalist hemorrhoid donut.”

Closing off the presentation, a rare appearance of a new ABC show cast: Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., led by creator/exec producer Joss Whedon. “What I loved about The Avengers is the S.H.I.E.L.D.,” he said, before the trailer for the show rolls.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/abc-upfront-presentation-2013-live-blog/
Edited by dad1153 - 5/14/13 at 6:45pm
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Nielsen Notes
A Rough Road for Reality TV Stalwarts
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - May 14, 2013

The axoim what goes up must come down ” was certainly true this season for two of primetime’s heavyweight reality series.

“American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” qualify as two of this season’s biggest losers, but they aren’t alone.

On the other hand, it’s been a good season for Ellen DeGeneres, CBS News’ Scott Pelley, “Game of Thrones” and, of course, “The Big Bang Theory.”

Here’s a look at those who choked and those who smoked in the just-about-spent 2012-13 season:

“American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars”:

This will go down as the year the Fox music contest came back to the pack — down 25% in adults 18-49 and 23% in total viewers on the heels of double-digit losses a year earlier. “Dancing,” meanwhile, has tumbled by 25% in the demo and 19% in total viewers.

NBC’s “The Voice” could be credited with contributing to the demise of both: “Dancing” has fallen off sharply since “The Voice” invaded its Monday turf, and there has to be some correlation between “Idol’s” decline and the rise of the shiny new music contest on the block.

Tuesday primetime for the Big Four

Try as they might, the major networks have been unable to make much of an impression on the night.

CBS still does well, and won Tuesdays again this season, but the combined regular-program average for the Big Four this season on the night (10.3) is well below that of Monday (12.6), Sunday (12.3), Thursday (12.2) or Wednesday (12.1).

There’s certainly an opening for somebody in the fall to tackle Tuesday.

Daytime doctors not named Phil

While No. 1 talker “Dr. Phil” has held steady or even gained a bit in key categories this season (averaging about 4 million viewers per episode), “Dr. Oz” has slid about 15% (to 3.1 million); after challenging Phil for the top talk spot last season, it’s fallen to fourth this year. And “The Doctors,” which was created by Dr. Phil McGraw, is off nearly 15% to 2.05 million viewers.

Sophomore Girls

The two biggest new comedies of last season — CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” and Fox’s “New Girl” — faltered in their soph seasons. “New Girl” has fallen off 22% for the year, while “Girls” has tumbled by 16%, but remains one of TV’s biggest half-hours.

Lead-ins still matter, and “New Girl” went from “Glee” last year to “Ben and Kate” this season, while “2 Broke Girls” played
for a while behind “Partners” instead of “How I Met Your Mother.”

TNT dramas

It’s a good thing the Turner cabler has big guns like “Fallen Skies” and “Rizzoli & Isles” ready to fire, because its 2013 dramas haven’t been big draws. “Dallas” was renewed for a third season, but it looked shaky airing in the broadcast season compared with its summer run last year. After closing its first season with an aud of 4.3 million, it wrapped season 2 with 2.8 million. Cop drama “Southland” drew 1.8 million for its finale, and David E. Kelley drama “Monday Mornings” was dead on arrival in January; both have been canceled.

“The Big Bang Theory”

It’s the No. 1 comedy not only in primetime for CBS, but also on cable for TBS as well as in syndication. Repeats of “Big Bang” are so big, and played so often on TBS, that the net has shot up to No. 1 among all cablers in adults 18-49. For CBS, the Thursday megahit crushed “American Idol” and is up 9% this season in 18-49, and 17% in total viewers.

“The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones”

If there’s anything as hot as “Big Bang” it’s these two shows, which are taking increasingly bigger slices of the young-adult pie on Sundays. “Dead” is the season’s No. 1 drama in 18-49 (broadcast or cable), peaking with a monster 6.4 demo rating for its finale. And “Thrones” has set new records in four straight weeks (up to 5.5 million viewers).

“CBS Evening News”

Long mired in third place, the newscast has shown some ratings sparks since Pelley took a seat behind the anchor’s desk. For the season, “Evening News” is the only newscast up vs. last year in the key adults 25-54 news demo. And in total viewers, it’s added about 500,000 viewers and now averages 6.8 million nightly.

Latenight Jimmys

ABC is pleased with the performance of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” since it moved to its earlier 11:35 p.m. slot; its 0.73 rating in 18-49 is better than David Letterman (0.68) and within striking distance of Jay Leno (0.81). And in the 18-34 half of the demo, “JKL” is tied with Leno.

Over at NBC, 12:35 a.m. host Jimmy Fallon is up 19% in adults 18-34 to a rating (0.44) just a bit below what Leno is doing an hour earlier (0.48) when many more people are watching TV. The Peacock likes Fallon’s youthful skew enough to proclaim him the next host of “Tonight.”

http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/a-rough-road-for-reality-tv-stalwarts-1200480918/
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TV Notes/Sports
2013 TV upfronts: ESPN not worried about a la carte or competition
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - May 14, 2013

ESPN President John Skipper said Tuesday he isn’t too worried about proposed legislation from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would allow consumers to pick what channels they want instead of buying a big package of networks.

“We don’t think the bill has any momentum,” Skipper said to reporters after ESPN made a presentation to advertisers in New York City. His view that McCain’s legislation is a long shot is shared by many television industry insiders. ESPN is a unit of Walt Disney Co.

Still, McCain on Tuesday made the case for a so-called a la carte pricing model for pay television at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. He said it is not fair that consumers who aren't sports fans have to pick up the tab for ESPN and added that, “I truly believe a lot of Americans are fed up with the size of their cable bill.”

Skipper countered that ESPN is priced appropriately given the popularity of the channel and that McCain is “dead wrong” on this issue. He added that the cost for a family of four to go to dinner and a movie is as much if not more than the cost of a monthly cable bill.

McCain’s bill isn’t the only thing Skipper isn’t worried about. He’s also not losing sleep over the two new national sports cable channels that Fox Sports is starting or competing outlets operated by NBC and CBS.

Citing all the rights to major sports that ESPN holds, Skipper said, “We have a significantly broader portfolio.”

ESPN rights include Major League Baseball games, college and NBA basketball, "Monday Night Football" and most of the big college football events. It is also now in pursuit of CBS’ rights to the U.S. Open tennis championship.

Skinner acknowledged that Fox, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and NBC, owned by Comcast, have deep pockets and can play the long game but countered that ESPN has most major events locked up for years to come.

“Let them chase us,” he said.

Skipper also confirmed that ESPN has had preliminary discussions with wireless carriers about perhaps subsidizing data-usage costs for customers who watch a lot of ESPN on their smartphones. However, no such agreement with a wireless carrier is imminent, he said.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-2013-espn-a-la-carte-or-competition-20130514,0,5943299.story
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