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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2900

post #86971 of 93800
Critic's Notes
In Barbara Walters’s Highlight Reel, TV’s Rise and Fade
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times - May 14, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI retired.

And so, soon, shall Barbara Walters.

The announcement on “The View” on Monday that Ms. Walters will leave ABC in 2014 was less a farewell than the kickoff of a drawn-out abdication ritual.

“I plan to retire from appearing on television at all,” Ms. Walters, 83, said after a slick highlights reel spanning 50 years of “gets” (Fidel Castro, Monica Lewinsky) was played. “There will be special occasions, and I will come back — I’m not walking into the sunset — but I don’t want to appear on another program or climb another mountain.”

And that star turn on “The View” was a helpful reminder of two things.

Obviously, Ms. Walters’s remarkable ascent from the secretarial pool of the “Mad Men” era to anchor desks and presidential yachts serves as a timeline of the women’s movement.

Just as significantly, however, her career mirrors the trajectory of television. Intuitively, knowingly or just luckily, Ms. Walters has moved — and is moving — in concert with tastes and audiences and real influence. She defected from nighttime to daytime just as many viewers were doing the same. For politicians and newsmakers, a loosey-goosey appearance on “The View” under her watch took on more value and resonance than a hard-hitting interview on any network evening news program.

And now, as more and more viewers leave broadcast television altogether, so does she. If she followed this road to its true conclusion, there would be a Barbara Walters video game for the Xbox.

Network news long ago began losing viewers and prestige. But now broadcast television itself seems ready for pasture. Every network has lost ground with the viewers most coveted by advertisers, those ages 18 to 49. Some of the best — and most watched — shows are on cable networks like AMC and FX. Netflix, Amazon and other companies are all getting into the production game.

In the era of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour, it’s hard to believe that there was a time when the networks considered the evening news too important to entrust to a woman, and paired Ms. Walters with a more authoritative-looking Harry Reasoner. The year was 1976, and many critics complained that Ms. Walters’s rise represented the fall of respectable television journalism, that her focus on personality and personal lives was too soapy and shallow for serious-minded viewers.

Now, of course, the pendulum has swung so far toward celebrity gossip and news-you-can-use on “NBC Nightly News,” ABC’s “World News” and “CBS Evening News” that Ms. Walters seems like a pillar of old-school journalism. But she pioneered the blurring of news and entertainment for a half-century without losing her authority. She put the Kardashians on her list of the 10 most fascinating people of the year in 2011; that year she also interviewed the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about his country’s uprising.

The current chairman and chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, Robert A. Iger, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York appeared on “The View” on Monday. Even though those men were paying homage to a television legend, it didn’t seem as if Ms. Walters had grown too old to keep working; it seemed as if the television legend had decided that the medium was too old to contain her drive.

Evening newscasts are clearly no longer the pinnacle of network prestige; for important newsmakers they are now a flyover between the hubs of morning talk shows and late-night comedy. There was a big to-do when Ms. Couric left NBC for CBS in 2006 to become the first woman appointed to be a permanent solo anchor of a network evening news show. That historic milestone quickly faded. After five years Ms. Couric left behind the sagging ratings and growing irrelevance of evening news and is now back in favor with an afternoon talk show, “Katie,” that was renewed by ABC for a second season.

Even daytime talk shows are on the losing side of entertainment history. “The View” is one of the leaders, and its ratings are in decline. “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” at its height in the 1990s, had 12 million to 13 million viewers. Even during her latter years on the air, Ms. Winfrey averaged about 6 million; Ms. Couric is holding her own with about 2.5 million.

Cast members come and go, but Ms. Walters is not just the creator of “The View,” she’s television personified, and word of her retirement was the subject of leaks weeks ago. Her plans for a farewell tour include specials and retrospectives and one last Oscar pregame extravaganza. It seems that the ever-ratings-minded Ms. Walters delayed a formal announcement until May to coincide with a sweeps month.

On Monday she playfully asked Mr. Iger, who is planning to retire in 2015, what they should do with their free time. He used the occasion to plug an ABC hit show that, like so many other network crowd pleasers, is also losing steam. “The two of us love to dance,” Mr. Iger said. “I say we go on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ ”

Network television is in its twilight years.

Ms. Walters is quitting at the top by letting others bottom out.

post #86972 of 93800
Critic's Notes
ABC’s New Schedule: A Big Bet on Branding Over Ratings
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - May 14, 2013

Give credit to ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee: His network is about to finish its second consecutive season in fourth place, but you would never know it from the way he talks about the Alphabet. "ABC is the No. 1 television brand in America," he confidently told reporters Tuesday during a conference call unveiling his new schedule. "In a fragmented world, [that's] a crucial advantage." Screw the ratings, says Lee; we've got brand awareness! (CBS is likely happy to be No. 1 in just about every Nielsen-measurable metric.) And yet, ABC's boss has a point: In 2013, Nielsen's annual rankings are hardly the sole (or even the most important) measure of a network's actual health. The strength of ancillary revenue streams, like a deal with Netflix or lucrative international sales agreements, can matter just as much to the bottom line as a ratings report card. More important, programming assets such as Scandal or Shark Tank or Once Upon a Time — noisy series that generate buzz and extraordinary viewer loyalty — go a long way toward compensating for schedule craters where viewers have abandoned a network. Lee likes to call such properties "sticky," because they boast a tail longer even than their overnight ratings might suggest. And it's that theory of stickiness that, for better worse, is driving a new ABC schedule Lee correctly notes is filled with both "stability and out-and-out ambition."

Our first, pre-caffeine take on the sked this morning was that Lee's lineup was a radical remaking of its current schedule. That's not quite right. As one commenter correctly noted, and we didn't immediately notice, those shows with ABC's best ratings and biggest buzz are almost all returning to the same slots as last year, minimizing the risk of viewer defection. If a show is sticky, it sticks right where it's been. No big move of Scandal in order to build a new night of dramas. No demotion of Nashville to a less high-profile night, despite its modest ratings, because of all of ABC's new shows, this was the one that got the most attention. No rest for Dancing With the Stars, which continues to hit ratings lows among viewers under 50, because … well, actually, in this case, the logic is hard to fathom. Does anybody even know or care which non-celebrities are dancing this season on the show? Are the tabloids even still covering it? (Probably, but not as much as in years past.) It's hard to see why ABC didn't decide to rest DWTS for a beat and make it once a year, a strategy that resurrected the then-fading Bachelor franchise about five years ago. Bachelor would've been a bold move in the fall, with DWTS delayed until January and Bachelorette shifted out of the summer and into spring. Instead, Lee compromised: DWTS will shrink to a single two-hour episode on Mondays, replicating its first season launch. It's hard to see how this will energize DWTS at all, but Lee chose to keep Mondays stable so that he could tinker with other nights of the week.

And oy, what tinkering! ABC is debuting a whopping eight new shows in the fourth quarter, more even than NBC's six or Fox's four (five, if you count the November debut of Almost Human). The pockets of stability for the sticky shows will help, and most of the time slots that ABC is messing around with are slots where it's currently struggling. Still, ABC's marketing team will have lots of heavy lifting to do trying to build awareness of all those newbies. Or, maybe not: ABC also debuted eight new shows nearly a decade ago, in the fall of 2004. It made the decision to focus virtually all of its promotional energy that summer on just two freshmen: Lost and Desperate Housewives. Things worked out okay, with another hit coming midseason (Grey's Anatomy, which remains the top-rated drama among viewers under 50 nearly ten years later). ABC has already started airing ads for S.H.I.E.L.D, so perhaps the concentrated marketing strategy will be repeated. The Marvel spinoff will anchor Tuesday, which will be brand-new from top to bottom. Even though established comedies flopped Tuesdays at nine last fall, Lee will try once again, this time with two unknowns. "It's a pretty aggressive play," Lee said, in what stands to be the biggest understatement of upfront week.

The Tuesday night moves, risky as they are, make some sense. They will likely make ABC's overall audience profile younger on the night, what with the disappearance of DWTS and the somewhat sexier Lucky 7 replacing Body of Proof (though, honestly, ABC's cancellation of that show makes no sense, given that it's actually been drawing more young viewers than DWTS of late and does better in the demo than CBS's The Good Wife). Much more of a head-scratcher is Lee's continued insistence on remodeling Wednesday nights every fall. At the end of the 2011–12 season, ABC had nearly perfected its comedy block, with Suburgatory building on its The Middle lead-in, and Modern Family a massive hit. Happy Endings was not doing great behind MF, but it did okay (and improved on what Cougar Town had been doing). Lee wasn't satisfied. He added The Neighbors in the mix and took Suburgatory out of a slot where it had been thriving. And he's still not happy: Suburgatory isn't even on the schedule, The Neighbors has been shifted to Friday, and two new shows will air at 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. (Back in the Game and Super Fun Night). These shows may be great — and betting on Rebel Wilson is a good thing — but the constant churning on Wednesday seems to be counterproductive to any hope of ABC building a coherent, consistent four-comedy block.

The rest of ABC's schedule is pretty stable. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air Thursdays at eight, and if it can capture even half the audience Once debuted to on Sundays two years ago, ABC will have dramatically helped itself in the slot. (One word of caution: Lee is forcing the Once producers to rush the spinoff on the air; it had been designed as a midseason effort. That's often a recipe for trouble.) Moving The Neighbors to Fridays is a very logical move; its broad humor will fit in well with Tim Allen's Last Man Standing. And on Sundays, the news isn't that a new, soapy show called Betrayal will follow the old, soapy Revenge: The real headline here is that Lee said he'll air his Sunday soaps (and possibly other shows) in batches of twelve episodes, eliminating the counterproductive on-off-on-off air pattern that makes it so tough for viewers to keep track of serialized programs. The creative content of a show is still most important, but there's no reason network scheduling should be hurting efforts to build an audience. Lee seems to get this, and if he can institutionalize this for all serialized shows at the network, it will be a very important (and impressive) accomplishment. We also like the idea of bridging the gaps between established shows with so-called "limited series." Scandal was basically that in its first season, and as History has proven with The Bible and Hatfields & McCoys, miniseries still have a place in TV.

Overall, like NBC's very smart new schedule, ABC's lineup (mostly) makes sense. Even if DWTS isn't being rested, it's wisely being reduced, allowing the network to build a new Tuesday filled with potentially buzzy shows. With S.H.I.E.L.D. and Wonderland, Lee is launching new shows that are also pre-sold titles. And by vowing to cut back on repeats, Lee serves the audience (and ultimately his network) well, even if it will cost more in the short term. That said, Fox has the Super Bowl; NBC has the Winter Olympics and The Voice; and CBS is, well, CBS. Unless a couple of ABC's new shows turn out to be very big hits, it may prove tough for the network to climb out of fourth place.

post #86973 of 93800
TV Notes
HBO Greenlights Gay-Themed Dramedy Series
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - May 14, 2013

HBO is heading to San Francisco.

The premium cable network has handed out series orders to its untitled San Francisco comedy project, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The eight-episode dramedy hails from Andrew Haigh, who directed the pilot that is based on Michael Lannan's feature script Lorimer. Haigh will executive produce alongside Bored to Death's Sarah Condon and Brothers and Sisters' David Marshall Grant, with Lannan receiving a co-EP credit.

The untitled entry will revolves around the three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men. Groff stars alongside Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett. Production will begin in the fall in San Francisco for a 2014 premiere.

The Groff vehicle joins recent additions Getting On (six episodes from the creators of Big Love) and Stephen Merchant's Hello Ladies (eight episodes) as HBO bulks up on half-hours to join comedies Girls and Veep. Christopher Guest entry Family Tree also bowed this month to lackluster returns.

For HBO, the news comes a day after it reversed course and ordered James Gandolfini drama Criminal Justice as a seven-episode limited series.

The gay-themed comedy also comes at a pivotal time for the LGBT community, which recently lost scores of gay characters on TV in last week's wave of network cancellations.

post #86974 of 93800
Nielsen Notes (Cable)
TLC’s ‘Breaking Amish’ Spin-Off Debuts Sharply Down From Original’s Finale
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - May 14, 2013

Abe, Rebecca, Kate, Sabrina and Jeremiah may have worn out their welcome. Sunday’s debut of TLC’s Breaking Amish: Brave New World garnered 2.14 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among Adults 19-49. That’s way down from the 3.1 million viewers who watched the September 9 premiere of the fish out of water Breaking Amish last year. That show was the highest-rated debut in two years for the network in total viewers and in the 25-54 demo. Sunday’s spin-off debut is also nearly 45% down from the 3.8 million (1.7 rating) who tuned in for the season 1 finale on November 13. Brave New World picks up the original cast’s stories nine months after the first season ended. A second season of Breaking Amish, with a whole new cast, is scheduled to debut later this year.

Despite proving a ratings hit with 3.2 million viewers on average watching the first season, the original Breaking Amish was repeatedly hit with allegations of fakery, fraud and slight of hand almost from its premiere. Even TLC admitted about halfway through the first season that some of the stories about the show’s cast — like them not knowing each other beforehand and not being so new to big-city life — were not true. The network later aired two one-hour reunion specials hosted by Access Hollywood’s Michelle Beadle to address the rumors.

post #86975 of 93800
TV Notes
'The Office' retires after nine seasons
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - May 14, 2013

LOS ANGELES — Not much was expected when a team of American writers and actors decided to adapt the quirky British comedy The Office for the USA. "I just wanted to do something with a faithful tone," executive producer Greg Daniels says of Ricky Gervais' and Stephen Merchant's U.K. hit.

But nine seasons after its premiere in 2005, the domestic-branch Office closes shop Thursday (9 ET/PT) after more than 200 episodes, earning an Emmy and a Peabody while turning awkwardness into entertainment as long-time anchor of NBC's Thursday comedy lineup.

A one-hour series retrospective will precede the 75-minute series finale, which will feature a wedding, final staff interviews and appearances by former stars Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak.

"When we did the pilot, I (told) the cast that if this was all we got, it would be sufficient, because it was such a marvelous experience. We didn't have any feeling that it would need to be successful for us to get something out of it," Daniels says.

The conceit of The Office, in which a documentary crew records routine events at the Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, Pa., and its off-balance style of humor brought something new to American television, says Ed Helms, who plays Andy Bernard.

"There really wasn't anything like it," he says. "The mockumentary hadn't really breached television at that point, so it was this fun, new format, but it was also just about incredibly mundane things, which in a way made it very special and unique. It's not a big, crazy premise. It's small. It's normal people."

A cast with more than a dozen regulars was unusual. Casting director Allison Jones "managed to get a lot of people to sit at desks in essentially extra roles, with the hope they would turn into something," Daniels says. "It's hard to imagine assembling 17, 19 people like that for a single show."

The Office hit its ratings peak in Season 5 (9.3 million viewers), then NBC's top non-sports show and the No. 7 scripted show among young adults. This season, it averages 4.9 million viewers.

Rainn Wilson, who plays the slightly unhinged Dwight Schrute, saw possibilities, especially with the involvement of King of the Hill's Daniels and star Steve Carell.

But not this kind of run. "I knew we could make something really fantastic. But I had no idea that it would be lasting 200 episodes. I really thought we would do six or 10 or 12 or 17, be something like Freaks and Geeks or Arrested Development, have a season or two and have it live on DVD."

Carell, whose Michael Scott was the central character, left after Season 7 for a film career. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer), whose romantic story became the show's emotional core, have gone from friends to lovers to spouses to parents.

"People related to this couple in a way that was very personal to them, which was really special," says Krasinski, who also has developed a résumé in films, while still other cast members have also gone on to other projects.

And even that long-in-the-making documentary and the crew behind it finally started to appear.

Wilson says the show is leaving at the right time. "A lot of people are like, 'Oh, you should have ended it when Steve left.' But it wasn't really time to end then. There was just a lot more story to tell."

post #86976 of 93800
TV Notes
Univision Upfront: Robert Rodriguez Announces 'Dusk Till Dawn,' Orci-Kurtzman Series for El Rey Network
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 14, 2013

Univision tried to speak to advertisers Tuesday in a language they all understand: ratings.

Aided by fake snow, neon and a guest appearance by film icon Robert Rodriguez, the country's biggest Spanish-language network repeatedly reminded advertisers at its upfront presentation that it is steady while its English-language rivals are down.

No visual cue went unused: At one point, Steve Mandala, Univision's executive vice president of advertising, lugged oversized children's blocks across the stage, turning them to make different points with each letter.

Univison's biggest news was a new partnership with Rodriguez's new El Rey cable network. "Spy Kids" and "Machete" filmmaker Rodriguez announced plans for new drama series from "Star Trek" producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and an adaptation of the 1996 film he directed and co-scripted with Quentin Tarantino, "From Dusk Till Dawn."

The network, which Rodriguez had previously announced, targets young-adult audiences and will debut in December with carriage on Comcast.

Rodriguez, dressed in a leather jacket and cowboy hat, provided the biggest surprise in an announcement that pulled out all the stops to grab ad buyers' attention. Executives danced, fake snow fell from the rafters, and Enrique Igesias did a musical number beamed to Times Square, outside the site of the upfront, the New Amsterdam Theater.

The network also offered a first-look at the "Breaking Bad" adaptation "Metastasis" and the "Gossip Girl" adaptation "Gossip Girl Acapulco," both of which will air on Univision's UniMas network.

Univison wanted vibrant visuals implanted in advertisers' minds to overcome any language barrier: It is trying to make the case that they should ditch ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, which Mandala said "used to be called the Big 4 networks."

Although Univision lags those networks in ratings and viewers, it occasionally beats one or more of them in primetime -- and very occasionally even wins primetime outright. It is also steady at a time when its English-language rivals are slipping.

The English-language networks are all down in the ratings this season, and all but CBS are losing total viewers. (CBS is up very slightly.) Univision is flat in the ratings and up slightly in the ratings.

But it still gets lower numbers overall: Its 1.5 average rating in the key 18-49 demographic lags the 2.2 for ABC, the lowest-rated English-speaking network, and has only 3.7 million average total viewers, compared to 7 million for NBC, the English-language network with the smallest number of total viewers.

post #86977 of 93800
TV Notes
Why ABC axed 'Happy Endings'
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - May 14, 2013

ABC’s entertainment chief Paul Lee was asked the Why? question during a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning: Why did the network dump Happy Endings? One reporter challenged the idea that the comedy wasn’t “on brand” for ABC, noting that two of the network’s newly greenlit comedies for next season, Super Fun Night and Mixology, feel like they’d be perfect companions for Happy Endings.

“I do think Happy Endings is absolutely on brand,” Lee said after the network unveiled its new fall schedule Tuesday. “What we found was it was just too narrow. It was a very hard decisions because, as you know, I love that show and I found it very hard to make that decision. On the same token, I think Super Fun Night and Mixology are broader shows that will bring in a wider audience. So: Hard decision, not happy at all to see it go, but we feel it was on brand and so is [Super Fun Night] and Mixology.”

“Too narrow” is, of course, network-speak for “low ratings.”

ABC declined to pick up the comedy for a fourth season before its upfront presentation to advertisers this week (along with some other under-performing comedies like Family Tools and Malibu Country). Happy Endings averaged 4.6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 this season, though it dropped below a mere 1.0 rating in the overnights after the network moved the show to Friday nights. The show is currently being shopped to USA Network, so there’s still a possibility that it could live on.

Lee also addressed the canceling of Body of Proof, which is being shopped to cable. “We had a very strong season in terms of [new series] development,” Lee said. “I would love to see Body of Proof find a good home for itself.”

post #86978 of 93800
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - The Middle
8:30PM - Family Tools
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
10PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (NBA Players Jason Collins and his brother Jarron; producer J.J. Abrams; Huey Lewis and the News perform )
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Jan. 21)
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Feb. 11)
9PM - Criminal Minds
10PM - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Season Finale)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Ed Helms; TV host Hoda Kotb; Brad Paisley performs)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Ice-T; comic Paula Poundstone)

8PM - Dateline NBC
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago Fire
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Singer Usher; Nick Offerman; Pyramids perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Julie Bowen; singer Demi Lovato; The Flaming Lips perform; Treach performs with The Roots)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Musician Michael Fitzpatrick; Sarah Polley; A Silent Film performs)

8PM - American Idol (LIVE)
9PM - So You Think You Can Dance

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: Great Zebra Exodus
9PM - NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals
(R - Jan. 9)
10PM - Secrets of the Dead: Caveman Cold Cases

8PM - Porque El Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Qué Bonito Amor

8PM - Arrow (Season Finale)
9PM - Supernatural (Season Finale)

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Olympia Snowe)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Musician Cyndi Lauper)

11PM - Conan (Zach Galifianakis; Jim Gaffigan; Beware of Darkness)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Zachary Quinto; Brad Wollack; Morgan Murphy; Greg Fitzsimmons)

Edited by dad1153 - 5/15/13 at 8:44am
post #86979 of 93800
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - May 15, 2013

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

The season finale of this series won't be until next week - but this underrated ABC sitcom got its good news early. Yesterday, ABC revealed its new fall schedule, and The Middle remains a reliable part of it. Watch tonight, if you haven't seen the show, and see why.

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE: Part 1 of 2.
Candice Glover and Kree Harrison are the two singers left standing for this final night of competition – a night in which they sing three songs each. The drama isn’t necessarily from the competition, for Candice has been a powerhouse all season, but at the judges’ table. Tonight and tomorrow, the feud between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey is coming to an end, because there’s no way they both will return next season. So who will get in the last shots?

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Next week is this sitcom’s season finale, which is built around a death in the family. This week’s show is built around something a little lighter: a gymnastics event. But don’t presume that a funeral, on TV, is no place for laughs. (See: the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.)

CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET
Ozzy Osbourne, and the rest of Black Sabbath, are featured guests on tonight’s CSI season finale, which also makes room for a killer that, like the villain in The Following, gets his inspiration from a classic literary work. This time, though, the source material is Dante’s Inferno. Coincidentally, that same source material also was the inspiration for the name of my underground newspaper in 1969. That’s right: Seventh Circle.

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Only two shows from last fall’s ABC lineup will survive to enjoy a sophomore season, and Nashville is one of them. That makes you believe in some sort of wise and discerning TV god – except that the other show to win a reprieve is The Neighbors. Go figure. Meanwhile, be grateful for Nashville, and its music, and the fact that Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will continue to strut their country-music stuff for another year.

post #86980 of 93800
TV Notes
Jimmy Kimmel At ABC 2013-2014 Upfront: Full Transcript
By Jen Yamato, Deadline.com - May 14, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel kicked off ABC‘s upfront presentation Tuesday at NYC’s Lincoln Center with a filmed bit alongside Scandal‘s Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and Disney/ABC TV President Anne Sweeney. The potshots at NBC also came quickly: “[ABC Entertainment President] Paul Lee isn’t really British – he’s Mexican. We think this is why Univision is beating NBC.” Here’s Kimmel’s full network-roasting upfront monologue:

“You’ve seen what we have so far. By show of hands, we’re going to let you vote one new show off our schedule. Which will it be? I’m happy to be here. I really do enjoy seeing a lot of you every year coming to New York, but I’d really rather not do the whole song and dance number again so listen, you don’t know if these shows are going to work. I don’t know if these shows are going to work. Just throw your money in these bags, we’ll pass them around and be done with it. It’s time to stop calling this an upfront and start calling it what it really is. Throwing a bunch of **** at a wall to see what sticks. And guess what, you guys are the wall.

This is my 11th year coming to this event and so far this is what I’ve been able to determine. This process is very similar to going to a strip club. We parade out the girls which are the shows to get you excited, and then spend the rest of the night trying to get your money, and tomorrow you have herpes.

Every year we tell you we have a dozen great new shows that people are going to love, and you give us millions of dollars and we put them on and most of them suck, but here’s what’s crazy: Next year you’ll come back and do it again. Every year I wonder, what is wrong with these people? Someone needs to talk to them about their spending! Then it occurred to me, maybe this is a good place for me to sell some of my ****. This is an HP printer, inkjet color copier – $20, no power cord. I’m also selling a Palm Trio cellphone, Verizon, $40. Works pretty good. I’ve got three parrot cages available – make me an offer. And finally, this Bud Light Golden Wheat neon sign – classes up any place, yours for only $175.

But that’s not why we’re here. The reason we’re here is because you are about to invest billions of dollars in a network that rolled a 400-lb. comedian off a diving board last week.

This is an interesting time in television history. It’s a time of great change. We’re seeing more diversity than ever before. ABC has a big hit with the first show in almost 40 years on which the lead actor is an African-American woman, and at the same time more and more traditional white male characters are being portrayed as morally ambiguous, dangerous, and self-destructive villains – Walter White on Breaking Bad, Don Draper on Mad Men, Matt Lauer on The Today Show… the list goes on.

And yes, it’s true, every year our audience does get smaller. To which I say every year Apple products get smaller and nobody has a problem with that. One of the shows previewed today was written by a 3rd grade class – your challenge tonight is to figure out which one it was.

This has been a tumultuous year for late night television. NBC, as you know, is replacing Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show. They did a lot of research and they found that by being #1 in his time slot he was embarrassing their other shows so they had to get rid of him. Jimmy Fallon will replace him. You know, a lot of people still confuse me with Jimmy Fallon. Here’s an easy way to remember which of us is which. He’s the one who sings and plays the guitar, I’m the one who comes here every year and calls you *******s.

NBC is on a roll – oh wait, not a roll. What do you call it? A spiral. It’s important to remember when you cancel one Matthew Perry show, three more rise up to take its place. Things are looking up for NBC since they finally got rid of their worst shows, The Office and 30 Rock. They’re planning a 12-day long game show called The Million Second Quiz. The top prize is $10 million, which is pretty amazing. Not the prize, but the fact that NBC has $10 million.

NBC actually finished behind Univision this year, and they have an interesting strategy for next year. Their strategy for next year is to oppose immigration reform.

By the way, how does it work at the Univision upfront? Do they lie to you in Spanish?

NBC isn’t the only one struggling. Yesterday Kevin Reilly admitted it wasn’t a great year for Fox network either, so this season they’re taking a different approach with what they call ‘limited run’ shows. Which, by the way, we’ve been doing for years. 666 Park Ave, Last Resort, Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 – all limited, very limited.

The Fox upfront was interesting. With the exception of the problems they’re having with American Idol, there’s a lot to like about their new schedule. Of course, with the exception of the hole in the side of the boat there was a lot to like about the Titanic, too. American Idol will be hard to replace but Fox has one new show with the potential to do it, it’s called Junior Master Chef and the idea is Gordon Ramsay works with 9-12 year old kids. They were originally going to call it Mommy, A Mean British ******* Told Me My Pancakes Look Like Goat Dick, but the title didn’t test well with women or goats.

Then we have CBS, those smug mother******s. Les Moonves told CNBC that jokes about CBS skewing old are ‘over’. Sorry Les, but those jokes aren’t over til my grandma throws away her Mentalist hemorrhoid donut. In a way it doesn’t matter because NCIS, Criminal Minds, Tom Selleck dressed as a cop – these are shows for young people! CBS has a new show premiering at the end of the month called The American Baking Competition. That’ll get the kids to put down their iPhones. They’d better be baking pot brownies because otherwise no one under 60 is going to watch.

The line between online and television programming has never been less well defined. It used to be that you watched TV on your couch and web videos were something you watched on the toilet. Now you can watch everything on your toilet. The internet poses a significant challenge. It’s been difficult for young viewers who watch online to embrace traditional content because so many of them are masturbating… but we are very excited about our app which lets you watch live content on your tablet or mobile phone. Now you need never miss your favorite ABC shows just because you’re driving again.

We have two major new initiatives debuting today. The first is WATCH ABC. We call it this because our market research shows that people did not know what to do with ABC. Do I smoke it? Do I eat it? No you watch it and that’s the message we wanted to send.

The other is ABC Unified. ABC Unified means you can spend less time figuring out how to allocate your ad buy across multiple platforms and more time doing whatever the hell else you people do all day. We believe this is a revolutionary new made-up way for us to take your money.

It was a season of many ups and downs for us here at ABC. Our celebrity diving show Splash didn’t go as well as we’d hoped. But we have a great idea for next season. Next season we’re taking the water out of the pool and calling it Splat.

Then we had Shark Tank, which, let’s be honest, sounded like the worst idea for a show. It’s #1 on Friday nights. If you’re not advertising on Shark Tank you’re missing a golden opportunity to connect with the highly desirable Lonely Failed Inventor demographic.

The Bachelor is still going strong. The Bachelor, of course, is a show based on the theory that one in 25 hairstylists is your soulmate.

And what a year for Kerry Washington. She has a hit TV show Scandal, starred in the Academy Award-winning Django Unchained, she got to be in a sketch with me and Anne Sweeney…

I just want to take a minute to salute the great Barbara Walters. As you know, Barbara is leaving ABC after more than 50 years, to have a baby. My baby. I love you Barbara. Where is Barbara, is she still here? She left…? Well, we’ll have it terminated.

You have a difficult job this week. You have to somehow figure out which if any of these new shows is going to be successful, which is something we can’t figure out, and we made them. But the thing that’s important to remember is that last year NBC made a show starring a monkey and a lot of you bought advertising on it. So clearly none of us have any idea what we’re doing. As the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd, but you can buy $100M in ad time on it. So let’s do that. Let’s go in on a turd together.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to seeing you next year, and I return you now to Harry Potter”.

Edited by dad1153 - 5/14/13 at 9:19pm
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TV/Legal Notes
Suit by a Prosecutor’s Rival Seeks to Block a TV Show
By Joseph Berger, The New York Times - May 15, 2013

The news that Charles J. Hynes, the longtime Brooklyn district attorney, had provided television producers access to his office to film a six-part series provoked an immediate outburst of criticism from rival candidates that it would give him an unfair edge in the Sept. 10 primary. On Tuesday, one opponent filed a lawsuit asking a state court to block CBS from broadcasting the series, calling it an “unlawful campaign contribution” and saying it would cause “irreparable harm” to his campaign.

The lawsuit filed by Abe George, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan who is one of Mr. Hynes’s challengers in the primary, asks for a temporary injunction barring the show from being shown as scheduled on May 28.

“The broadcast is nothing more than an in-kind campaign contribution by CBS to Hynes in excess of the legal limit imposed on corporate contributions by New York State election law,” Mr. George said in his lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The suit describes the series, which would be called “Brooklyn D.A.,” as a reality show.

But in its initial announcement last March, CBS News called it a “six-part news series” that would look “at the men and women in one of the largest district attorney’s offices in the country.”

That characterization is important because news coverage of a candidate is generally viewed as protected. Sonya McNair, a spokeswoman for CBS News, issued a statement calling the lawsuit “a publicity push by a politician.”

“We are surprised that this candidate would not know about the First Amendment,” the statement said.

George Arzt, a spokesman for the Hynes campaign, used similar language in criticizing the lawsuit.

“This series documents the hard work and dedication of the people in the district attorney’s office,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“Mr. George’s remedy for not having a record or a vision for the office is to resort to diversionary tactics to attain any publicity to jump-start his flagging campaign. Pure and simple, this is a publicity stunt.

“We would hope Mr. George’s law school education taught him the essence and import of the First Amendment. He sure doesn’t display it here.”

Mr. Hynes has been district attorney since 1989 but has appeared more vulnerable than in the past because of mounting criticism of his political ties and his prosecution record, including a series of cases in which convictions were overturned. Another candidate, Kenneth P. Thompson, a prominent lawyer and former federal prosecutor, is also running in the primary.

Mr. George said in the lawsuit that the television show would sway the election in Mr. Hynes’s favor but parts of it sounded as much campaign rhetoric as legal argument.

“Mr. Hynes,” the lawsuit said, “has operated under a mounting public perception that he will do anything — including misusing his broad prosecutorial powers — to achieve political gain for himself.”

Mosi Secret contributed reporting.

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TV Notes
2013 TV upfronts: Univision showcases El Rey, 'Gossip Girl Acapulco'
By Yvonne Villareal and Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - May 14, 2013

NEW YORK -- Univision intends to remain the king.

The nation's largest Spanish-language media company, Univision Communications, on Tuesday said it has made a financial investment in the planned El Rey cable channel owned by Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures. El Rey, which means "the king" in Spanish, is expected to launch in December and target male Latinos under 35 with English-language programming.

El Rey becomes the second planned English-language network to capture Univision investment. Though the company declined to provide details about its stake in El Rey, Univision a year ago entered into a 50/50 partnership for a planned 24-hour news channel called Fusion with ABC News. Fusion is supposed to launch late this year.

Univision introduced Rodriguez, director of the cult film "El Mariachi" and the successful "Spy Kids" franchise, on Tuesday during the company's star-studded upfront presentation to advertisers at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. El Rey intends to offer edgy, fast-paced entertainment including a show based on the horror franchise "From Dusk Till Dawn," Rodriguez's collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino.

"The El Rey network is going to be the home for kick-ass entertainment," Rodriguez told advertisers.

Amid a broadcast TV landscape dominated by shrinking and graying network audiences, the networks of Univision have something to boast about: They are growing and have a median age of under 40.

The main Univision network, the nation's fifth-largest, has averaged 3.7 million viewers in prime time during the current TV season, up slightly from its average of 3.6 million viewers during the 2011-12 season, according to ratings firm Nielsen.

The privately held company is attempting to ride the nation's growing wave of Latino influence to capture a bigger slice of marketers' advertising dollars. Year after year, Univision has struggled to persuade advertisers that the Spanish-language audiences were as valuable as more acculturated English-speaking Latinos.

By diversifying into English-language channels, Univision is trying to hedge its bet. The shift comes during a demographic shift as Latinos born in the U.S. are outnumbering new immigrants arriving from south of the border.

"Our country is changing, in fact it has already changed," Steve Mandala, Univision's executive vice president of advertising sales, told the crowd. "We are the power behind the opening weekend of many movies ... and if you are trying to sell autos you cannot succeed without the Hispanic audience."

ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are kicking off the upfront sales auction by asking advertisers to pay higher rates for their time -- despite substantial audience erosion. The demand was not lost on Mandala who noted: "Univision is the only network where you pay for more, not for less."

Univision gave advertisers a glimpse of new programming, including its plans to adapt English-language popular series “Breaking Bad” and “Gossip Girl” for its UniMas network. “Metastasis,” is an adaptation of the hit AMC drama about a high school teacher who becomes a meth dealer, and “Gossip Girl Acapulco,” looks at the lives of Acapulco’s elite based on the CW series. "Gossip Girl Acapulco" is scheduled to air concurrently in Mexico and the United States.

Univision also announced that the awards show "TVyNovelas" will be broadcast live simultaneously in Mexico and the U.S., a nod to the increasing number of viewers who are connected digitally and discuss show plots on social media.

Network upfront presentations are known for prerecorded clips and stage-roaming programming executives, but Univision injected some personality into the mix on Tuesday.

The network’s sales team, taking a cue from “Men In Black,” crashed the stage wearing black outfits and sunglasses, before joining Mandala in a flash mob-style performance, equipped with pom-poms and parasols, proclaiming its advertisers will become “Univisionistas” by the end of the presentation. Mandala, on behalf of his family and pets, then begged the audience to delete any recording of him wiggling around on stage.

All this, as the billionaire Univision Chairman Haim Saban sat in the audience looking slightly amused.

Univision also showed advertisers a spoof on a popular AT&T commercials that feature kids saying the darndest things. In the Univision bit, the company's chief executive, Randy Falco, sat around a tiny table with four children asking what they would think if a doughnut shop only gave them half a doughnut when they paid for the whole thing:

"They're mean!" shouted one of the children, a not so subtle dig at the big broadcast networks.

Univision drew a larger audience than NBC, Falco's longtime home, during the February sweeps ratings period. Univision accented that fact with a graphic showing a big broom sweeping up some dust.

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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

8PM - The Voice (LIVE)
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago Fire
* * * *

No Wednesday "The Voice" this week. "Dateline" airs at 8pm.
post #86984 of 93800
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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.


The family of four going to dinner and a movie are paying for what they want to pay for. Not a sky high price for sports that they have no interest in. Its their money that they are forced to pay that is feeding the ESPN monopoly. Typical answer from a greedy shill. I wonder how he can sleep at night.

At least somebody in the government is noticing what is going on a realizes it needs to be regulated.
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TV Notes
CBS 2013-14 Schedule: Thursday Comedy Block Expanded To Two Hours, ‘Person Of Interest’ To Tuesday, ‘Hawaii’ To Friday
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 15, 2013

CBS‘ fall schedule features five new series. After considering expanding its Thursday comedy block to two hours last years, the network did it this year, with The Big Bang Theory and Two A Half Men flanking newbies The Millers starring Will Arnett and The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams. Missing from the fall schedule is Mike & Molly, which has a 22-episode order, and new series Friends With Better Lives (comedy) and Reckless (drama) on tap for midseason. Here is CBS’ fall schedule, followed by analysis and show descriptions:

(New programs in UPPER CASE; NT=New Time)

8-8:30 PM – How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9 PM – WE ARE MEN
9-9:30 PM – 2 Broke Girls
9:30-10 PM – MOM
10-11 PM – HOSTAGES / INTELLIGENCE (Midseason)

8-9 PM – NCIS
9-10 PM – NCIS: Los Angeles
10-11 PM – Person Of Interest (NT)

8-9 PM – Survivor
9-10 PM – Criminal Minds
10-11 – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

8-8:30 PM – The Big Bang Theory
9:30-10 PM – Two And A Half Men (NT)
10-11 PM – Elementary

8-9 PM – Undercover Boss
9-10 PM – Hawaii Five-0 (NT)
10-11 PM – Blue Bloods

9-10 PM – Crimetime Saturday
10-11 PM – 48 Hours

7-8 PM – 60 Minutes
8-9 PM – The Amazing Race
9-10 PM – The Good Wife
10-11 PM – The Mentalist

While ABC and NBC are making changes on virtually every night of the week, CBS, always the epitome of stability, is limiting its moves to three. The biggest one is on Thursday, where CBS is expanding its comedy block to two hours after picking up five new half-hour series (with another comedy pilot, Bad Teacher, still in contention). A little unusual for CBS, which loves protecting all of its new shows, the network is using veterans Big Bang and Two And A Half Men as bookends, with new comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones. It was done to shore up Elementary, which still needs some nurturing heading into Season 2.

In a first for CBS, the network announced a split time slot, with new dramas Hostages and Intelligence set to alternate in the Monday 10 PM slot as the heavily serialized Hostages will do 15 episodes.

And for the first time in 32 years, CBS will have a night featuring the three most watched dramas on TV on Tuesday, as Person Of Interest relocates there, joining NCIS and NCIS: LA. (Last time it was in the 1981-82 season again on CBS with Dukes Of Hazzard, Dallas and Falcon Crest.) After two unimpressive seasons in the Monday slot, Hawaii Five-0 is being downgraded to Fridays. But there is no danger for the show, as it is a CBS-owned drama with a rich off-network syndication deal.



We Are Men —
WE ARE MEN is a single-camera comedy about four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex who unexpectedly find camaraderie over their many missteps in love. Carter (Chris Smith), the youngest and most recent addition to the group, moved in after being ditched at the altar mid-ceremony, and is now eager to re-enter the dating scene and get on with his life with some guidance from his “band of brothers”: Frank Russo (Golden Globe and multiple Emmy Award winner Tony Shalhoub), a successful middle-aged clothing manufacturer and four-time divorcée who still fancies himself a ladies man; Gil Bartis (Kal Penn), a small business owner who was caught having the world’s worst affair; and Stuart Strickland (Jerry O’Connell), a speedo-wearing OB/GYN who’s hiding his assets until his second divorce is settled. Jill (Rebecca Breeds) is Frank’s charming and attractive daughter, who stands as the one positive remnant from his failed relationships. Armed with a hot tub, pool-side barbeque and plenty of questionable advice, these losers in the marriage department take Carter under their wing to impart their own brand of wisdom about the opposite sex. Emmy Award winner Rob Greenberg, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Rob Greenberg directed the pilot.

Mom — MOM is a comedy from executive producer Chuck Lorre starring Anna Faris as a newly sober single mom raising two children in a world full of temptations and pitfalls, and multiple Emmy Award winner Allison Janney as her critical, estranged mother. Christy (Faris) is a waitress at a posh Napa Valley establishment who is four months clean and doing her best to be a good mom and overcome a history of questionable choices. Her sobriety is tested when Bonnie (Janney), her recovering alcoholic mom, reappears chock-full of passive-aggressive insights into Christy’s many mistakes. Bonnie joins Christy’s already complicated circle of relationships: her handsome, married boss – and lover – Gabriel (Nate Corddry); the restaurant’s hot-tempered chef, Rudy (French Stewart); her pretty, 16-going-on-25-year-old daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano); her sweet but overly honest son, Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal); her irresponsible ex-husband and Roscoe’s father, Baxter (Matt Jones); and Violet’s clueless boyfriend, Luke (Spencer Daniels). Christy tries to remain positive as she pursues her new path in life, but she faces an uphill battle, surrounded by a dubious support system – and a copious amount of dysfunction. Chuck Lorre and Eddie Gorodetsky (“Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory”) are executive producers for Chuck Lorre Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot. Gemma Baker co-wrote the pilot with Lorre and Gorodetsky.

The Millers — THE MILLERS stars Will Arnett as Nathan Miller, a recently divorced local roving news reporter looking forward to living the singles’ life until his parents’ marital problems unexpectedly derail his plans. After Nathan finally breaks the news of his divorce to his parents, Carol (Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale) and Tom (Emmy Award winner Beau Bridges), his father is inspired to follow suit and stuns the family when he leaves his wife of 43 years. Already in shock, Jack is even more aghast when his meddlesome mom decides to move in with him. Meanwhile, his absent-minded dad imposes upon Nathan’s sister, Debbie, her husband Adam and their daughter Mykayla (Eve Moon). Nathan’s best friend and news cameraman, Ray (JB Smoove), was excited to be Nathan’s wingman in the dating scene, but Carol manages to even cramp his style. Now, as Nathan and his sister settle in with their truly impossible parents, they both wonder just how long the aggravating adjustment period is going to last. Emmy winner Greg Garcia (“Raising Hope” and “My Name is Earl”) is the executive producer of THE MILLERS for CBS Television Studios. Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.

The Crazy Ones — Academy Award winner Robin Williams returns to series television in THE CRAZY ONES, a single-camera workplace comedy about a larger-than-life advertising genius whose unorthodox methods and unpredictable behavior would get him fired… if he weren’t the boss. Simon Roberts (Williams) is the head of a powerful agency, with the biggest clients and brands in the world, but even more important to him is that his daughter Sydney (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is by his side. As his partner, Sydney is Simon’s exact opposite – focused, organized and eager to make a name for herself, but also too busy parenting her father, which she’d resent if he wasn’t so brilliant at what he does. Joining them in the firm are the dashing and talented Zach (James Wolk); art director Andrew (Hamish Linklater), who’s as hard-working as he is neurotic; and the beautiful and deceptively smart assistant Lauren (Amanda Setton). With his team and his daughter behind him, Simon continues to set the advertising world on fire, and it looks like they are definitely buying what these crazy ones are selling. Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal” and “The Practice”), Bill D’Elia, Emmy Award winner Jason Winer (“Modern Family”), Dean Lorey, John Montgomery and Mark Teitelbaum are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television. Jason Winer directed the pilot.


Hostages —
HOSTAGES, from executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, is a high-octane suspense drama starring Emmy Award winner Toni Collette as a premiere surgeon thrust into a chilling political conspiracy when her family is taken hostage by rogue FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott). Dr. Ellen Sanders (Collette) and her family are held captive in their home by Carlisle, a desperate man doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, who orders her to assassinate the President (James Naughton) when she operates on him. His highly skilled accomplices include his brother-in-law Kramer (Rhys Coiro), whose loyalty to Carlisle will be tested; quick-tempered and intimidating Archer (Billy Brown), an ex-military man with a razor-sharp tongue; and the only woman involved, Sandrine (Sandrine Holt), a mysterious last-minute replacement to the team. With her family’s life in peril, Ellen faces an incomprehensible moral dilemma in order to save her overbearing husband Brian (Tate Donovan), her secretive daughter Morgan (Quinn Shephard) and her not-so-innocent son Jake (Mateus Ward). In this high-stakes standoff between Ellen and Carlisle, fraught with tremendous national and personal consequences, the choices between right and wrong become even more blurred. Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Rick Eid, Omri Givon, Rotem Shamir and Chayim Sharir are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.


Intelligence —
INTELLIGENCE is a dramatic thriller starring Josh Holloway as a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel (Holloway) is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid and have complete access to Internet, WiFi, telephone and satellite data. He can hack into any data center and access key intel in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies. Leading the elite government cyber-security agency created to support him is Director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger), a straightforward and efficient boss who oversees the unit’s missions. Strand assigns Riley Neal (Meghan Ory), a Secret Service agent, to protect Gabriel from outside threats, as well as from his appetite for reckless, unpredictable behavior and disregard for protocol. Other skilled members of the Cybercom team include Chris Jameson (Michael Rady) and Gonzalo “Gonzo” Rodriguez (James Martinez), two resourceful federal investigators. The brains behind the design of the chip is Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy (John Billingsley), whose son, Nelson (PJ Byrne), is jealous of Gabriel’s prominent place in his father’s life. As the first supercomputer with a beating heart, Gabriel is the most valuable piece of technology the country has ever created and is the U.S.’s secret weapon. Michael Seitzman, René Echevarria, Tripp Vinson, and David Semel (for pilot) are executive producers for ABC Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.

Reckless — RECKLESS is a sultry legal drama set in Charleston, S.C., where a gorgeous Yankee litigator and a charming Southern attorney must hide their intense mutual attraction as a police sex scandal threatens to tear the city apart. Jamie Sawyer (Anna Wood) is enviously cool, confident and armed with south-side-of-Chicago street-smarts as she takes on the good ol’ boys in the South. Her handsome courtroom rival, Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet), a divorced father of two, embodies the Old South and is the newly minted City Attorney, thanks to his influential former father-in-law, Dec Fortnum (Gregory Harrison). When disgraced cop Lee Anne Marcus (Georgina Haig) hires Jamie to represent her in a lawsuit against the police department, Jamie and Roy discover that Lee Anne is at the epicenter of a sinister case with dire implications for the members of the Charleston P.D. Heading that department is Deputy Chief Holland Knox (Michael Gladis), a family man who radiates integrity. Working under him are Terry McCandless (Shawn Hatosy), a cocky and corrupt detective, and Preston Cruz (Adam Rodriguez), Jamie’s well-respected boyfriend who might not be all that he appears. Helping Jamie is her confidante and paralegal, Vi (Kim Wayans), an expert at digging up case-winning information. As Jamie and Roy spar in and out of the courtroom, dark secrets simmer behind every door and threaten to tarnish the genteel facade of seductive Charleston. Ian Sander, Kim Moses, Dana Stevens, Corey Miller and Catherine Hardwicke are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) directed the pilot.

Friends With Better Lives — FRIENDS WITH BETTER LIVES is a romantic comedy about six friends at different stages in their lives – married, divorced, newly engaged and single – who are outwardly happy, but secretly questioning if their friends have it better. Andi (Majandra Delfino) and Bobby (Kevin Connolly) are happily married with two kids but at times long for the days they had less responsibility and more fun; Will (James Van Der Beek) is newly single and preaching the bachelor lifestyle, but still pining for his ex-wife; Jules (Brooklyn Decker) and Lowell (Rick Donald) are high on their passionate new relationship; and Kate (Zoe Lister Jones) has a successful career but may take a swan dive into the L.A. River when she finds out her last remaining single friend, Jules, just got engaged. When it comes to relationships, these six friends are finding it a challenge to look at each other without wondering… who really has the better life? Dana Klein and Aaron Kaplan are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television. Emmy Award winner James Burrows directed the pilot.

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TV Notes
Turner Upfront: TNT and TBS to Offer Nationwide Live Streaming, Debut New Slates
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 15, 2013

TNT and TBS announced Wednesday that they will be the first national entertainment networks to provide live streaming of their broadcasts.

Beginning this summer, subscribers nationally will be able to watch the networks' broadcasts live on any tablet or smartphone.

The announcement came at the Turner Networks' upfront presentation to advertisers, where they also touted a schedule and development slate that includes projects from Steven Spielberg, Dick Wolf and James Duff.

TNT also promoted the new series "Lost Angels," a new scripted drama from Frank Darabont; "S.O.B. (Save Our Business)," an unscripted makeover series featuring entrepreneur Peter Jones; and "Marshal Law: Texas," an unscripted procedural from Jerry Bruckheimer.

In 2014, TNT will launch the new scripted dramas "The Last Ship," starring Eric Dane and executive produced by Michael Bay, and "Legends," starring Sean Bean and executive-produced by "Homeland" co-creator Howard Gordon.

TNT will also debut the unscripted series "Life Flight," about air-ambulance teams; the docudrama "Nashville Confidential," and "Inside Job," which puts executive job candidates through a rigorous screening process.

TNT is also considering two new pilots: an untitled bounty-hunter show with Geena Davis, from executive producer Dean Devlin, and "Murder in the First," a new crime drama from Steven Bochco starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson.

TBS highlighted the recently greenlit comedies "Ground Floor" from "Cougartown" creator Bill Lawrence and the reality show "The CeeLo Life" featuring CeeLo Green.

TBS's upcoming lineup includes "Deon Cole's Black Box," starring the "Conan" writer and actor, "Deal With It," a hidden-camera show hosted by Theo Von and executive produced by Howie Mandel, Bam Margera's "Bam's Bad Ass Game Show," and "Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host," a new series from Mark Burnett featuring D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black.

And Conan O'Brien took the stage to introduce Pete Holmes, who beginning this November will follow him in late night. (They are pictured together, above.)

O'Brien joked about the 10 a.m. start time, earlier than that of most upfronts.

"Let me assure everyone – I'm as pissed about being here as you are," he said.

He added: "This fall marks my 20th year on television. Never a bump in the road."

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TV Notes
TV Upfronts: CBS Chief Leslie Moonves: 'We'll Try to be Less Smug'
By Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - May 15, 2013

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves once again took issue with Jimmy Kimmel's jabs at CBS as the geriatric network. But he did admit to being “flattered” that the ABC late-night host characterized No. 1 CBS as “smug motherf----rs” at Kimmel's annual upfront routine.

“I guess that means we're winning,” Moonves said during the network's pre-upfront press conference Wednesday morning at CBS headquarters in New York. “We'll try to be a little less smug and a little more gracious. But that's hard for me, as you know.”

But Moonves took some shots of his own at the broadcast competition, which touted various multiplatform initiatives, granular demographic data and new measurement schemes. “Anybody who spends 20 minutes talking about multiplatform at their upfront does not have much else to sell,” said Moonves, adding that CBS beats its broadcast competition by 4 million to 5 million viewers and will finish the season as the No. 1 network among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic for the first time in more than 10 years. It's a point Moonves is likely to make for ad buyers who will gather at the network's annual 4 p.m. EST presentation at Carnegie Hall.

Noting that repeats of the Warner Bros. Television comedy The Big Bang Theory is the top-rated comedy on cable, Moonves added: “We are the center of the universe, this is where it all starts. The key is getting hits on this network.”

The key for CBS next season is comedy, a major priority after this season's lackluster development produced the quickly canceled Partners. Next fall, the network will bow four new comedies -- two on Monday and two on Thursday -- a hefty order for the traditionally stable network. On Monday, single-camera We Are Men, about four single guys living in a short-term apartment complex, will get the post-How I Met Your Mother slot at 8:30 p.m., while, Chuck Lorre's Mom will air at 9:30 p.m. after 2 Broke Girls. On Thursday, the Will Arnett-starrer The Millers from Greg Garcia will get a huge lead-in from Big Bang, while the Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar workplace comedy The Crazy Ones will air at 9 p.m. shifting Two and a Half Men to 9:30 p.m.

Asked if it wasn't a lot to expect a new comedy to be slotted in the critical 9 p.m. slot, CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said: “There's maybe one or tow actors in Hollywood who can help you launch a new show at 9 o'clock. One of them is Robin Williams.”

The expansion sets up two hours of head-to-head comedy competition with NBC, which will have three new comedies and is shifting Parks and Recreation, a modestly rated critical darling, into the lead-off 8 p.m. slot.

CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl put the competition between Big Bang, which this season averaged 18.6 million viewers, and Parks and Recreation, which averaged 4 million, into perspective: “The difference between the two alone would be a top 10 comedy,” he said.

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TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
NBC edges CBS on the strength of ‘Voice’
Hit singing show averages a season-low 3.4 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - May 15, 2013

The night’s highest-rated show lifted NBC to a very narrow victory over CBS on Tuesday.

“The Voice” drew a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights, with a 9 p.m. episode that fell 8 percent from last week to its lowest rating this season.

NBC finished the night with a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating and 7 share, with CBS just behind with a 2.3/7.

CBS had the night’s No. 2 show, “NCIS,” which drew a 3.2 at 8 p.m. for its season finale, up 3 percent from last week. It was down 11 percent from last year’s season ender.

Lead-out “NCIS: Los Angeles” also rose slightly, 4 percent, over last week to a 2.5, though it was off 17 percent from last year’s finale.

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars Results” was another show to see week to week gains, rising 6 percent to a 1.8 at 9 p.m., no thanks to its lead-in, “Wipeout,” which slid to a series-low 1.1 at 8 p.m.

Fox’s season premiere of “So You Think You Can Dance” was off 14 percent from last year, drawing a 1.9 at 8 p.m.

The network’s comedies, airing their season finales, were even to last week with “New Girl” drawing a 2.1 and “The Mindy Project” a 1.3.

NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.4 average overnight rating and a 7 share. CBS was a close second at 2.3/7, Fox third at 1.8/5, Univision and ABC tied for fourth 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.

CBS began the night in the lead with a 3.2 at 8 p.m. for “NCIS,” followed by NBC with a 2.0 for a repeat of “Voice.” Fox was third with a 1.9 for “SYTYCD,” Univision fourth with a 1.4 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” ABC fifth with a 1.1 for “Wipeout,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “Pasion Prohibida” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for the movie “Leap Year.”

NBC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.4 for a new “Voice,” while CBS slipped to second with a 2.5 for “NCIS: LA.” ABC was third with a 1.8 for “Stars,” Fox and Univision tied for fourth at 1.7, Fox for “New Girl” (2.1) and “The Mindy Project” (1.3) and Univision for “Amores Verdaderos,” Telemundo was sixth with a 0.7 for “La Patrona” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for its movie.

At 10 p.m. NBC led with a 1.7 for “Grimm,” with ABC second with a 1.4 for “Body of Proof.” CBS and Univision tied for third at 1.2, CBS for “Golden Boy” and Univision for “Que Bonito Amor,” and Telemundo was fifth with a 1.0 for “El Señor de los Cielos.”

CBS was first for the night among households with an 8.2 average overnight rating and a 13 share. ABC was second at 5.3/9, NBC third at 4.6/7, Fox fourth at 2.5/4, Univision fifth at 1.9/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.9/1 and CW seventh at 0.7/1.


* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
‘American Idol’ ends on a different note
It's not finishing on the final night of sweeps, a change
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - May 15, 2013

“American Idol” is wrapping up earlier than usual.

In the past, the hit singing show always aired its finale the final two nights of the May sweeps, usually finishing as the top-rated show of the month and giving Fox one final push as it finished with yet another season-long adults 18-49 title.

Not this year.

Not only is Fox on its way to second place for the season for the first time in eight years, but “Idol,” which airs part one of its two-part finale tonight at 8 p.m. and part two tomorrow at 8, will be done six days before sweeps ends.

Part of that reflects its new timeslot. “Idol” now airs on Wednesdays and Thursdays, rather than Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as it did during its early years, and sweeps wraps up on a Wednesday.

So to close out the season the same night as sweeps ends, the show would have had to move to an entirely different timeslot for its final week, at considerable risk of confusing viewers.

Fox did it last year. It didn’t this year.

That seems appropriate, what with “Idol’s” deep ratings declines this season. It will not finish as the No. 1 show of the season or of sweeps. The latter distinction will likely go to the season finale of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” which airs opposite part two of “Idol’s” finale tomorrow night.

Last year’s “Idol” finale hit an all-time low of 6.4 in adults 18-49 and 21.5 million total viewers in its second night. It will undoubtedly drop lower than that this year, though it will probably improve on last week’s 2.9 rating and 11.5 million viewers and will undoubtedly be Fox’s top show of the month.

Candice Glover and Kree Harrison will square off for the 12th season title.

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
CBS 2013-14 Schedule: Thursday Comedy Block Expanded To Two Hours, ‘Person Of Interest’ To Tuesday, ‘Hawaii’ To Friday
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 15, 2013

Intelligence —
INTELLIGENCE is a dramatic thriller starring Josh Holloway as a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel (Holloway) is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid and have complete access to Internet, WiFi, telephone and satellite data. He can hack into any data center and access key intel in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies. Leading the elite government cyber-security agency created to support him is Director Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger), a straightforward and efficient boss who oversees the unit’s missions. Strand assigns Riley Neal (Meghan Ory), a Secret Service agent, to protect Gabriel from outside threats, as well as from his appetite for reckless, unpredictable behavior and disregard for protocol. Other skilled members of the Cybercom team include Chris Jameson (Michael Rady) and Gonzalo “Gonzo” Rodriguez (James Martinez), two resourceful federal investigators. The brains behind the design of the chip is Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy (John Billingsley), whose son, Nelson (PJ Byrne), is jealous of Gabriel’s prominent place in his father’s life. As the first supercomputer with a beating heart, Gabriel is the most valuable piece of technology the country has ever created and is the U.S.’s secret weapon. Michael Seitzman, René Echevarria, Tripp Vinson, and David Semel (for pilot) are executive producers for ABC Television Studios in association with CBS Television Studios.

Is it just me or does this sound like a straight-laced ripoff of Chuck? Good to see Josh Holloway in action though, he is sorely missed from his great days as Sawyer on Lost.
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Is it just me or does this sound like a straight-laced ripoff of Chuck? Good to see Josh Holloway in action though, he is sorely missed from his great days as Sawyer on Lost.

As I've been following the various pilots in development over the past couple of months, I honestly thought Intelligence would be one of the last shows to be picked, due to the similarities to Chuck (although I've gotta admit, it was about the only CBS pilot I found interesting.) Now here we are into the upfronts and it's one of only 3 dramas CBS even ordered. NCIS: Red and Beverly Hills Cop looked to be sure-things but the network passed on them. I am looking forward to seeing some actual footage of the show, to see what kind of tone they are going for.
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Is it just me or does this sound like a straight-laced ripoff of Chuck? Good to see Josh Holloway in action though, he is sorely missed from his great days as Sawyer on Lost.
...enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel (Holloway) is the first human ever to be connected directly into the worldwide information grid and have complete access to Internet, WiFi, telephone and satellite data. He can hack into any data center and access key intel...

To me, it sounds like Knight Rider without the cool car.
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
CBS 2013-14 Schedule: Thursday Comedy Block Expanded To Two Hours, ‘Person Of Interest’ To Tuesday, ‘Hawaii’ To Friday
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 15, 2013

Missing from the fall schedule is Mike & Molly, which has a 22-episode order, and new series Friends With Better Lives (comedy) and Reckless (drama) on tap for midseason.

So is the show cancelled or going to be moved to a new night? We like the show and hope it sticks around.
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

So is the show cancelled or going to be moved to a new night? We like the show and hope it sticks around.
Smells like a midseason replacement for whichever new comedy fails first.
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Is it just me or does this sound like a straight-laced ripoff of Chuck?* Good to see Josh Holloway in action though, he is sorely missed from his great days as Sawyer on Lost.

* Not to be confused with "Jake 2.0," of course. wink.gif
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Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

* Not to be confused with "Jake 2.0," of course. wink.gif

Is it me, or does the fall season seem even more derivative than usual?

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Originally Posted by drummerguy View Post

Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

* Not to be confused with "Jake 2.0," of course. wink.gif
Is it me, or does the fall season seem even more derivative than usual?
It's not just you.  "Welcome to the Family" is derivative of both "Robb" and "Condo," for example.  [OK, so it reverses the sexes.]  At least so far we don't have yet another cross-dressing sitcom like the three that ABC has aired.
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Critic's Notes
CBS Really, Really Wants to Make You Laugh
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - May 15, 2013

CBS is about to finish the season No. 1 in both viewers (yawn) and adults under 50 (for the first time in 22 years). It's the only network — broadcast or cable — with series that still break the 20 million viewers barrier on a regular basis. And its drama roster is so solid, the network didn't even think twice about canceling three shows (CSI: NY, Vegas, and Golden Boy) that each have weekly viewership in excess of 10 million viewers. As we noted last week in our walkup to the upfronts, it's good to be CBS right now. And so, not surprisingly, the "new" schedule the Eye announced today is not dramatically different than the current lineup. It's the only network grid that brings back two nights (Sunday and Wednesday) without a single tweak. It adds a mere three hours of new programming throughout the week, the same number ABC is rolling out on a single night (Tuesday). And yet, despite all the predictability of the CBS schedule, it is not a lineup without risk.

The biggest gamble is on Thursday, where CBS has expanded to four comedies. "This is the big one," CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl told reporters this morning, and that actually might be an understatement. The last time the network launched a fall schedule with four comedies on Thursday, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and the shows in the lineup include The Phil Silvers Show and The Red Skelton Show. Schedules might not matter quite as much in the era of DVRs, but for a network as rooted in tradition as CBS, trying something that the network hasn't done in more than 50 years probably wasn't done lightly. We actually didn't think the Eye would make this move, since Person of Interest grew nicely in its second season, and 10 p.m. drama Elementary might have benefited from continuing to have PoI as a lead-in next fall. A safer route might have been to roll out shows throughout the season, cutting back on repeats of returning shows and trying out new ones in their slots. But CBS executives clearly liked the way their new half-hours turned out, and they also probably realized they don't have much time to find a new generation of comedy hits. While The Big Bang Theory just keeps getting bigger, How I Met Your Mother wraps up in a year, and there's a good chance Two and a Half Men will also exit next spring. While 2 Broke Girls remains solid on Mondays, the show's numbers did take a hit in season two, and it's not at all clear it will turn into the sort of juggernaut that HIMYM, BBT, and Men have been. And as evidenced by its absence from the fall schedule, while Mike and Molly (now set for mid-season) is a good utility player, it's also been a bit of a disappointment, both creatively and in the ratings. CBS still has a bigger, stronger, and deeper comedy roster than any other broadcast network, but not for long. Adding four new sitcoms this fall — four times the number it launched last year — is a signal that CBS knows it needs to restock and replenish its sitcom supply.

What's more, if CBS were ever going to expand to four comedies, this is the time. NBC, the longtime Thursday comedy leader, is blowing up the night next season, with three new half-hours. Grey's Anatomy is still solid, but it's no longer a behemoth, while Glee's remaining core audience is much younger than CBS's, and not really a threat. CBS is also wisely using a huge, iconic comedy figure — Robin Williams — to anchor the 9 p.m. hour with The Crazy Ones rather than relying on the fading Two and a Half Men or relocating the meh Mike and Molly. Star power is no guarantee of success, of course, but on paper at least, it's a very wise move. And just in case it doesn't work? Meh and Molly has been held on the bench, ready to sub in for failure. (Really, in a way, it's the new Rules of Engagement, which had long been the Eye's comedy insurance policy … until it was finally canceled.)

The rest of the CBS schedule is much more predictable, even boring. That's in no way a slam against the network; it's a sign of the network's amazing core strengths every night of the week. After Thursdays, Mondays have the most changes, with two more new comedies getting launchpads: We Are Men after HIMYM and Mom after 2 Broke Girls. Given the strong buzz on Mom, we were expecting it to land the plum time slot after BBT. But perhaps the show's potential strength is what convinced CBS to put it as a lead-in for the new Monday drama Hostages. We're also happy to see CBS experimenting with having two shows share the same slot during a season: Intelligence, with Josh Holloway, will take over 10 p.m. Monday in the late winter. The Eye's dramas don't repeat as well as they once did — in other words, they're now like everything else on network TV — so it's smart for CBS to make the investment in extra original programming. NBC will still likely win Mondays, thanks to The Voice, but CBS has likely boosted its Monday lineup with these changes.

CBS has also made a smart move on Tuesdays, relocating Person of Interest into the 10 p.m. time slot where the network has struggled in recent years (and for CBS, struggle means "not dominating the hour"). While all of PoI's Thursday audience won't follow it to Tuesdays, enough will that CBS should have no problem dispatching NBC's Chicago Fire or ABC's likely dead-on-arrival Lucky 7. As noted earlier, Wednesdays are unchanged on CBS, which is probably the safest play given the changes elsewhere. At some point, however, it might make sense for CBS to try a new drama in place of Criminal Minds. Over on Fridays, CBS is finally admitting that Hawaii Five-0 has been a disappointment on Mondays, never really breaking out. The show is a massive moneymaker for the network, however, thanks to strong international interest. It will very likely boost the network's Friday lineup, and 10 p.m. drama Blue Bloods, allowing the Eye to keep raking in 5-0 profit while also improving the night. Finally, Sunday is stable, which is great news for fans of The Good Wife. It might make sense for CBS to rest the show mid-season, however, avoiding repeats and giving on-the-bench legal drama Reckless (described as "steamy" by the network) a shot to prove itself.

During a news conference with reporters Wednesday, CBS boss Leslie Moonves responded to a comment by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel that the Eye was filled with "smug mother******s." "You don't call someone 'smug motherf***ers' unless they're winning," Moonves joked. And CBS is very much winning right now. As Moonves noted, the network's average audience of around 11 million viewers is about 4 million viewers more than what its rivals pull in every week. And it's about ten times the audience even the biggest cable networks average in prime time on any given week, even if individual shows such as The Walking Dead and Duck Dynasty now rub shoulders with some CBS series. It's very easy to mock CBS because so many of its shows aren't "cool," and, yes, old people really, really like its programming. But a lot of younger folks watch, too, and they watch consistently. Kahl said his new lineup was "built to last." For that to be true, CBS will have to have more hits than it did this season, when only Elementary graduated to a second season. But if those hits come? CBS should be No. 1 for a long time to come.

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TV Notes
David Letterman Makes Surprise Appearance At CBS Upfront
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 15, 2013

David Letterman is known for shunning public events like CBS’ upfront. But in the midst of big late-night changes at NBC and ABC, the veteran late-night host showed up at the CBS presentation for the first time in 15 years.

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves broached the topic. “What’s going on out there in late night? All of a sudden, everybody’s got a Jimmy: they have a Jimmy, they have a Jimmy,” referrng to NBC and ABC’s new 11:30 PM hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, respectively. “We thought we don’t have a Jimmy. Jimmy Buffet is too tropical, Jimmy Carter too political, Jimmy Hoffa not available. There are a lot of Jimmys out there but there is only one Dave, David Letterman.” Letterman walked out to a thunderous applause and engaged in a looong hug with Moonves. “Im honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman quipped, proceeding to make fun of CBS head of sales Joanne Ross projection dress. Everyone here is very excited to see me, they think I’m Bob Schieffer. When Leslie invited me here, I thought I was being fired.”

“This man has been nothing but supportive of me and my staff, I can’t think of being at a better place,” Letterman said, pointing to Moonves. “Doesn’t he look great after the gastric lap band surgery. This is the man who single-handedly is saving network television.”

Said Moonves after Letterman had left the stage, “We love that guy and we’re proud to have the best in the business and a true legend call CBS home.”

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TV Notes
TV Upfronts: TNT, TBS Chiefs Peddle Popcorn Shows and Comedian Pete Holmes
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - May 15, 2013

Madison Avenue buyers flooded into Hammerstein Ballroom Wednesday for a morning packed with talk of big changes and popcorn fare from Turner networks TNT and TBS.

As Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin noted at the top of the presentation, he and his team have been cable’s biggest cheerleader for years. In fact, it was this group that first moved its upfront presentation to the mid-May week historically reserved for broadcast networks, a tradition that other cable nets, including USA, have since followed. “Over the past decade, the term basic cable has become an oxymoron. There’s nothing basic about it,” Koonin said from stage, noting that the industry had finally reached a tipping point. “I’m so proud of the role we’ve played in shifting the paradigm.”

To hear Koonin and his colleagues tell it, those bold moves are set to continue. He used the upfront platform to make a new pitch to advertisers, asking that they shift their focus away from the demos. “Demos just measure eyeballs. Today it’s about engagement,” he said, pointing to such "engagement" experiments as fanfic from Rizzoli & Isles fans or mock shows from Conan viewers. As part of that push for new and different analytics, Koonin revealed that he is now working with Facebook on an “unprecedented way” to generate a deeper level of research.

And in keeping with the morning's theme of a changing landscape, Turner announced that it would become the first national entertainment network to steam on-air content live across multiple platforms 24/7, part of parent company Time Warner's TV Everywhere initiative. “Our vision is not to be a TV network,” Koonin explained, adding: “Our goal is to be a multi-stream video company.” Beginning this summer, the programming will be available through the networks’ websites and a pair of newly created Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps.

The remainder of the Turner presentation was less about evolving distribution or measurement techniques, and more about the nets' slate of shows, which programming chief Michael Wright introduced. Clips for new TNT dramas, including Frank Darabont's Lost Angels, Howard Gordon's Legends and Michael Bay's Last Ship, were shown, with each of the casts on hand to wave. Unfortunately, it's often harder to tell how drama trailers play in a room since there isn't an audible cue like laughter. Cut-downs for Bill Lawrence's TBS newcomer, comedy Ground Floor, along with a few reality efforts followed, with a Howie Mandel hidden-camera prank show, Deal With It, garnering the biggest laughs.

As ABC shrewdly does with Jimmy Kimmel, Turner again turned to its late night funnyman, Conan O'Brien, to liven up the room -- and take his share of jabs at the larger upfront exercise. "I want to assure everyone that I'm as pissed as you are about being here," he told the tired room, adding: "So let's cut to the chase. Give us your freakin' money." After a string of jokes, he then brought out Pete Holmes, star of the new O'Brien-produced late show, The Midnight Show, that will follow Conan beginning in November. Starting off slow, Holmes ultimately won over the room with quips about his "friendly fella" look, which he later described as "lesbian Val Kilmer."

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