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TV Notes
Rehired 'Community' Boss Dan Harmon Blasts Sony TV Ahead of His Return
By Jethro Nededog, TheWrap.com - Jan. 17, 2013

There is no love lost between Dan Harmon and Sony Television – even after they rehired him for the upcoming fifth season of NBC's "Community."

"There's a system in place that's winning [and] because I would've had too much leverage, too much power, too much salary -- as would a lot of writers coming into Season 4 -- so they just flushed us," he said of his firing after Season 3 during his recently taped podcast, "Harmontown."

Sony TV representatives declined to comment for this article.

Harmon was let go amid low ratings, feuding with Chevy Chase (who left last season) and a reputation for running late on scripts. With new showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port, the show focused more on relationships between the characters and took on a more traditional sitcom structure.

As the show's creator, Harmon had always known the long term plan for the comedy. He had been very upfront about where the show would go in its fourth season. But without him, Season 5's direction was probably less clear.

Apparently, the podcast was taped a day before he returned to work on the show and after he finally watched Season 4. He calls it "not my cup of tea," adding "it's very much sort of an impression and an unflattering one."

He doesn't blame his replacements for messing with his vision. "I think they tried their best," he said.

He does seem especially sensitive to the camaraderie among writers, something he believes Sony TV isn't especially concerned about.

"Writers fighting writers is the American dream in the eyes of Sony," he said. "They want creative people rewriting each other, they want creative people replacing each other, they want us interchangeable. They want to think about writing the way they think about the guy on Assembly line 24, who puts the final screw in the ****in' Playstation. The want to think of us all that way."

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/rehired-community-boss-dan-harmon-bashes-sony-tv-ahead-his-return-97871
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Business Notes/TV Sports
Fox Ties 2014 Super Bowl Ads to Fox Sports 1 Sponsorship (Exclusive)
By Brian Steinberg, Variety.com - Jan. 17, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: The soon-to-launch cable sports outlet, Fox Sports 1, will not broadcast the Super Bowl next year. Yet executives behind the scenes are making a play for the new network to get its share of Super Bowl advertising dollars.

The Fox broadcast network – a sister to Fox Sports 1 – will televise Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014 from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. To get one of the valuable ad slots available during the network’s broadcast of the game, sponsors have been told they must buy time in other Fox Sports content, according to ad buyers. – with emphasis placed on Fox Sports 1. The sports cable network is slated to launch August 17 in more than 90 million homes with more than 5,000 hours of programming that include broadcasts of college football, college basketball, NASCAR, soccer and UFC.

Using the Super Bowl to gain ad support for other sports properties has become de rigeur in recent years, according to one buyer. Both NBC and CBS tied the purchase of Super Bowl ad time to buying a broader package of ad inventory in sports content. This wrinkle surfaces as all the broadcasters save ABC (whose parent already owns ESPN) develop flanking sports outlets on cable. Both CBS and NBC operate cable networks devoted to sports content, and now Fox is set to join them.

“For the past two years, in addition to buying a unit in the game, there has been a need to support other sports properties within the network’s respective media groups. A couple of years ago, NBC required it. Last year, CBS required it. And this year is no different,” said one ad buyer with knowledge of the tone of Super Bowl ad talks. “Clearly, FS1 is a priority for them,” the buyer added.

To be sure, Fox is open to the purchase of ad packages that do not include FS1, such as the Super Bowl pre-game show, this buyer said, but the emerging network is getting most of the spotlight in pitches to advertisers.

As a result of the packaging, Fox’s Super Bowl ad sales may be pacing behind last year’s effort from CBS, according to ad buyers. By May 30 of last year, CBS had sold more than 50% of its inventory

“We’re anticipating a very healthy marketplace for the NY/NJ Super Bowl in 2014,” a Fox Sports spokesman said in a statement sent by e-mail.

Selling the first 60% to 70% of TV’s gridiron classic is a relatively easy task, so long as the economy is stable. By the time a network gets done booking the usual supporters of the game – think Anehuser-Busch InBev, which has a multi-year deal to support the Super Bowl; PepsiCo, which advertises both its Pepsi sodas as well as its Frito-Lay snacks; movie studios, who often use the Super Bowl broadcast to debut trailers for coming Spring and Summer releases; and, in recent years, a horde of automobile manufacturers – a good chunk of the contest is sold.

Unloading the last 25% to 30% of the event is the challenge, according to ad buyers and network sales executives.

CBS won an average price of between $3.7 million and $3.8 million for a 30-second ad in 2013’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII. Ad buyers have not determined an average unit price for the 2014 event, but suspect Fox will seek to raise the price. The network has already used the game’s presence in the New York market as one way to make the game seem more attractive during sales pitches, according to buyers

As TV viewership splinters thanks to technological advancements such as video on demand, digital video recorders and mobile devices, the Super Bowl has been accorded new value by advertisers. It remains one of the few TV properties that continues to draw an outsize audience that is nearly impossible to duplicate with any other media property. CBS’s 2013 broadcast was seen by an average of 108.41 million viewers, compared with 111.3 million a year ago when NBC broadcast the games.

Ad buyers do not expect the year-over-year ratings decline to affect the price of the 2014 game. CBS’s broadcast was interrupted by an electrical blackout that delayed the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers that lasted more than 30 minutes.

http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/fox-ties-2014-super-bowl-ads-to-fox-sports-1-sponsorship-exclusive-1200497924/
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TV Notes
CBS Schedules Bulk of Fall Premiere Dates After Emmy Telecast
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 17, 2013

CBS has again picked the last full week of September to launch its fall schedule. The network announced its 2013-14 premiere dates on Monday morning, and all series but Survivor will be premiering after the Sept. 22 Emmy telecast.

The network's official fall schedule falls into place the following evening, with a one-hour season premiere of How I Met Your Mother pushing the launch of We Are Men to Sept. 30.

Looking ahead to midseason, CBS has also locked down Monday, Feb. 24, for the premiere of Intelligence. The drama fills the time slot occupied by Hostages when it ends its limited run at the start of the year.

All of the dates are listed below, including opening slots for freshman comedies Mom, The Millers and The Crazy Ones.

Wednesday, Sept. 18
8-9:30 p.m. Survivor

Sunday, Sept. 22
8-11 p.m. The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards

Monday, Sept. 23
8-9 p.m. How I Met Your Mother
9-9:30 p.m. 2 Broke Girls
9:30-10 p.m. Mom
10-11 p.m. Hostages

Tuesday, Sept. 24
8-9 p.m. NCIS
9-10 p.m. NCIS: LA
10-11 p.m. Person of Interest

Wednesday, Sept. 25
9-10 p.m. Criminal Minds
10-11 p.m. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Thursday, Sept. 26
8-8:30 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 p.m. The Millers
9-9:30 p.m. The Crazy Ones
9:30-10 p.m. Two and a Half Men
10-11 p.m. Elementary

Friday, Sept. 27
8-9 p.m. Undercover Boss
9-10 p.m. Hawaii Five-0
10-11 p.m. Blue Bloods

Saturday, Sept. 28
10-11 p.m. 48 Hours

Sunday, Sept. 29
7-8 p.m. 60 Minutes
8-9 p.m. The Amazing Race
9-10 p.m. The Good Wife
10-11 p.m. The Mentalist

Monday, Sept. 30
8:30-9 p.m. We Are Men

Monday, Feb. 24
10-11 p.m. Intelligence


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/cbs-schedules-bulk-fall-premiere-569951
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TV Notes
PBS NewsHour Expands With 'PBS NewsHour Weekend'
By HuffingtonPost.com Staff - Jan. 17, 2013

Starting Sept. 7, the PBS NewsHour is expanding its family, adding a "PBS NewsHour Weekend" newscast on Saturdays and Sundays. The 30-minute show will be anchored by veteran NewsHour correspondent and director of digital partnerships, Hari Sreenivasan. The program will be produced by New York PBS member station WNET and broadcast out of the Tisch WNET studios. The show will be carried by most local PBS affiliates.

"We are so fortunate to be a part of the next chapter of the NewsHour, bringing this trusted brand to audiences on air and online on the weekends," said WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro in a press release.

"PBS NewsHour Weekend" will continue NewsHour's tradition of delivering in-depth analysis of the day's national and international news. It will also feature original field reporting and allow local PBS member stations the opportunity to include local news at the end of the broadcast.

To Sreenivasan, the move to weekends is a natural next step. "It's an evolution in NewsHour's commitment to being a reliable, trusted news source that's available anywhere, anytime, weekdays, weekends and online," he said. Besides the shorter format, solo anchor and different skyline, Sreenivasan also hopes to bring a few more changes to the anchor desk.

"I'd like to infuse the public in the content creation and content distribution using different tools to see how we can best engage with smart audiences," he said. Sreenivasan and WNET's team plan to use social media, Google Hangouts, live chats and other platforms to connect with audiences and also to connect viewers with the program's guests.

Sreenivasan will continue to produce reports for the weekday NewsHour broadcast, allowing for a seamless convergence of the two programs. Through the expansion of the NewsHour's extended online coverage seven days a week, Sreenivasan hopes to increase the program's range of sources to help produce and distribute content, widening NewsHour's audience.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/17/pbs-newshour-weekend-expands_n_3455547.html?utm_hp_ref=media
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TV/Business Notes
Longing to Stay Wanted, MTV Turns Its Attention to Younger Viewers
By Amy Chozick, The New York Times - Jan. 17, 2013

Trying to win over a fickle teenager isn’t easy. Trying to win over millions of them every night is — as the kids say — cray cray.

But that’s exactly what MTV has had to do since its inception in the 1980s as the cable channel for disenchanted youth.

“Unlike other brands that get a lock on the audience and age with them, we have to shed our skin and reinvent ourselves,” said Stephen K. Friedman, president of MTV.

The channel is in the process of shedding its skin again, this time to appeal to viewers age 14 to 17 who have different preferences than the 18- to 25-year-olds who make up the older portion of the millennial generation (a cohort born roughly between 1981 and 2000 and also known as Generation Y or the Facebook Generation).

On Tuesday, MTV will introduce its latest deep dive into generational behavior: a nationwide study of 1,800 “young millennials.” The findings will be presented to marketers and MTV programmers to help show how the channel and its sponsors can speak to the younger end of the audience.

These younger viewers grew up looking up to Katniss Everdeen, the gritty heroine from “The Hunger Games,” rather than Harry Potter, the study says. Older millennials were told by their baby boomer parents that “they were special and gifted, with a magic wand capable of changing the world” and “the world is your oyster.” The Generation X parents who are raising this younger crop of millennials tell them “you have to create your own oyster,” the MTV study says.

Generational studies have been pivotal to MTV’s past success. Faced with double-digit declines in ratings in 2008, the channel embarked on an immense research project to try to understand the country’s roughly 80 million millennials and, in turn, to get them to want their MTV.

That study helped inform hits like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” and by 2010, ratings among MTV’s core audience of 12- to 34-year-olds had increased by 24 percent to 895,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

“Candidly, we were hanging onto Gen Xers a little too long,” said Mr. Friedman, who called the 2008 research “a wake-up call.”

Last year, the average number of prime-time viewers age 12 to 34 fell 23 percent, to 834,000, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to Nielsen. (Jason Rzepka, senior vice president for brand communications and public affairs at MTV, pointed out that online streaming had affected nightly ratings, but that the channel remained the most watched basic cable channel among viewers 12 to 24.)

The new study, called “Young Millennials Will Keep Calm & Carry On,” comes at a turning point for MTV. “Jersey Shore,” the channel’s highest rated series ever, ended in December after six seasons. Around the same time, the channel began to notice shifts in behavior and tastes among younger viewers.

“Catfish: The TV Show,” a documentary series about online dating that had its premiere last year, emerged as a surprise hit with an average of 3.2 million viewers an episode and was the highest-rated premiere for an 11 p.m. series. MTV has attributed the show’s popularity, in part, to this younger demographic.

Alison Hillhouse, the vice president of MTV Insights who oversaw the study, said 14- to 17-year-olds were even more comfortable with social media and technology than their older siblings. She calls them “digital latchkey kids” because their hands-off Generation X parents have largely left them alone to navigate the Web.

Unlike the “Yes We Can” optimistic older millennials, this younger group of teenagers has a raised awareness of economic problems, MTV says.

“At age 13 they know they won’t find their dream job right away,” Ms. Hillhouse said. More than three-quarters of 14- to 17-year-olds interviewed said, “I worry about the negative impact that today’s economy will have on me or my future.”

Viacom, the parent company of MTV, is known for its in-depth audience research and for matching that research with marketers’ needs. MTV will take its latest findings to advertisers like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Pepsi to help inform them about what type of ads will work on this more pragmatic group of teenagers.

“There’s always the research people at the table that helps us really ground the ideas in insight,” said Claudia Cahill, chief content officer at OMD, part of the Omnicom Media Group unit of the Omnicom Group. Ms. Cahill serves as the intermediary between MTV and brands like Pepsi, Hewlett-Packard and State Farm.

Research played a role in Pepsi’s “Live for Now” campaign on MTV and its sister channel, VH1, Ms. Cahill said.

“Marketers who aren’t of this generation have to use tactics to get these teenagers involved,” she said.

The trick for MTV will be to not rely too heavily on cultural anthropology. Skeptics of MTV’s approach say a research-based algorithm could never lead to the alchemy of Madonna in a conical bra, the couch-side cackles of “Beavis and Butt-head” or the first season of “The Real World,” when viewers got a first glimpse at “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.”

MTV will be taking its findings to writers and producers, but Mr. Friedman says he wants the findings to inform creators, rather than dictate what they create. Research, he says, is not brought into the development process until the channel tests pilots with focus groups.

“It’s a marriage of science and art, and you don’t want to underestimate the importance of the art,” Mr. Rzepka of MTV said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/18/business/media/longing-to-stay-wanted-mtv-turns-its-attention-to-younger-viewers.html?ref=media&_r=0
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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 - Jimmy Kimmel Live! Game Night
8:30PM - NBA Countdown (LIVE)
9PM - 2013 NBA Finals, Game 6: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (LIVE)
* * * *
12:05AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Maggie Gyllenhaal; Dean Norris; Empire of the Sun performs)
1:07AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R - Mar. 26)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Feb. 19)
10PM - Person of Interest
(R - Jan. 3)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Don Rickles; TV host Nick Cannon; golfer Justin Rose presents the Top Ten List; Tom Keifer performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Angie Harmon; author Ben Mezrich)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent
9PM - The Voice (Season Finale; 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Kathy Griffin; Billy Gardell; Grouplove performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Jerry Seinfeld; Ice Cube performs with The Root)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Writer Bryan Fuller; "The Iceman''; Blue Hawaii performs)
(R - Apr. 30)

FOX:
8PM - So You Think You Can Dance (120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - John D. Rockefeller: American Experience (120 min.)
(R - Feb. 12)
10PM - Frontline: The Retirement Gambit
(R - Apr. 23)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
8:57PM - Amores Verdaderos
9:55PM - Qué Bonito Amor

THE CW:
8PM - Hart of Dixie
(R - Nov. 27)
9PM - America's Next Top Model
(R - Nov. 2)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Pasión Prohibida
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comic Jim Gaffigan)
11:31PM - The Colbert Show (Author Dan Savage)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Paul Rudd; Von Grey)
(R - Apr. 2)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Heather Locklear; John Caparulo; Liz Carey; Greg Fitzsimmons)
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TV Review
‘Blood & Oil’: Oil-business family gets a crude awakening as small operator fights to survive
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Jun. 17, 2013

You're primed to root for anyone who fights against Big Oil, which is what the family at the center of this new reality show is doing.

You’d just root harder if you didn’t get such an up-close view of what boss man C.J. Cutter has to do to wage that fight.

Cutter Oil, a small family-owned and run company in Ohio, has become increasingly surrounded in recent years by the big boys, as small operators have given up the fight and sold.

C.J. is determined that Cutter, founded by his mother and his late father, will resist.

That means drilling new wells to replace older ones that are running dry. That means spending a lot of money gambling you picked the right spot.

The spot C.J. picks is, well, inconvenient for other members of the family, like his sister Kristin.

So he waits until she’s not looking, in a manner of speaking, to dash in and implement it.

C.J. comes off as a jerk. He may also have saved the company. But as he gets into messy, ragged conflicts with his neighbors, it’s hard to find anything noble or admirable in what he’s doing.

When we sit back and think about it, we’d still like to see him win. We’d like to see the well come in and the family prosper.

But “Blood & Oil” almost feels more like a “Real Housewives” rolling family fight than a microcosm of our national quest for energy independence.

Ironically, if we knew less about C.J., we’d probably like him more. “Blood & Oil” may simply be a case of too much information.

BLOOD & OIL
Network / Air Date: Tuesday at 10 p.m., Discovery
Rating: ★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/hbo-explores-pussy-riot-protest-trial-article-1.1366392
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TV/Business Notes
Netflix to debut original DreamWorks Animation shows
By Julianne Pepitone, Money.CNN.com - Jun. 17, 2013

Shrek is coming to the small screen, as part of a deal Netflix struck with DreamWorks Animation on Monday.

The multi-year deal to air 300 hours of original TV series on Netflix featuring DreamWorks' characters is Netflix's biggest deal to date for original first-run content. It's also part of a larger plan for DreamWorks to expand into TV production.

As is typical for Netflix deals, financial terms weren't disclosed. Netflix shares jumped 7% on the news.

The first series is expected to begin airing on Netflix in 2014. In addition to Shrek, the companies also said characters from DreamWorks franchises "Madagascar," "Kung Fu Panda" and "How to Train Your Dragon" are on tap to star in new TV series. Also next year, Netflix will exclusively air newer DreamWorks feature films including "The Croods" and "Turbo."

As part of the deal, Netflix will also develop shows with some classic TV characters: Last year, DreamWorks acquired the massive Classic Media library, which includes titles like "Rocky & Bullwinkle," "Lassie" and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Netflix and DreamWorks had previously signed a small deal to air an original series based on "Turbo," which will premiere next month.

Netflix is going all-in on its original content strategy. Last month's premiere of a new season of "Arrested Development" followed the splashy February debut of "House of Cards," for which Netflix paid a reported $50 million per season.

The company has insisted it spends as much on original series as it would on exclusive deals for existing content, and it's letting many of those exclusive deals expire. Netflix allowed its Viacom streaming deal to lapse in May, and in June Amazon snapped up the exclusive rights to air children's shows like "Dora the Explorer," plus adult fare from MTV and Comedy Central.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/17/technology/netflix-dreamworks/index.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes/TV Sports
Fox Ties 2014 Super Bowl Ads to Fox Sports 1 Sponsorship (Exclusive)
By Brian Steinberg, Variety.com - Jan. 17, 2013

CBS’s 2013 broadcast was seen by an average of 108.41 million viewers

The final # was actually 108,693,000.
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 18, 2013

CITY SLICKERS
IFC, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1991 film is a sweet, funny comedy, capturing iconic Western villain Jack Palance in a late-career role that redefined him, in a way he celebrated by doing victorious one-armed push-ups at the Oscars. Billy Crystal is the enthusiastic guy who takes his buddies (Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby) to a Dude Ranch, where Palance’s Curly lords over them, and a cattle drive. Great fun. And, like Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou, Palance knew exactly how far to commit to a self-parody to make it hilarious – and unexpectedly tender at the same time.

HISTORY OF THE EAGLES
Showtime, 8:00 p.m. ET

Since Showtime is giving this new documentary another showcase, so will I: It’s a thoroughly engrossing study of the band, as loaded with great music as it is with unexpected details and frank insights, even about their formative days backing Linda Ronstadt.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
Sundance, 8:00 p.m. ET

Dev Patel, now of HBO’s The Newsroom, stars in Danny Boyle’s 2008 Best Picture Oscar winner, about an orphan in India who rises from the slums to become a national TV sensation – because of his knowledge.

NBA FINALS: MIAMI HEAT VS. SAN ANTONIO SPURS
ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

In one respect, this year’s NBA finals don’t sound so exciting: Game 1 was close, but the next four have been blowouts. But the two teams, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, have traded blowouts, each of them bouncing back after a defeat to trounce the opposition with a thrilling extended scoring streak. For Miami, the guy to watch, hot or cold, is LeBron James, but the star of the Spurs has turned out to be someone much more unlikely: Danny Green, whose three-point shooting already has set records for the NBC Finals, with more games to play. The Spurs are up 3-2 in games, with only one to win for the crown – but the rest of the series is played in Miami, so the Heat have home-court advantage.

THE VOICE
NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
Last night’s final performance competition of the season was a bit bloated, but made it clear that the winner should be, and most likely will be, one of the two women. And since 16-year-old country singer Danielle Bradbery not only elicited the most praise from the judges, but is coached by multiple Voice victor Blake Shelton, I’m guessing she’ll walk away with the crown tonight. The Voice has yet to launch a recording star, but Bradbery, especially with Shelton’s well-connected country backing, could change that.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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Opinion
What's Next for Social TV? (Spoiler Alert!)
By Steve Turner, HuffingtonPost.com - Jun. 17, 2013

In case you haven't noticed (and if you haven't, you probably don't LOL or TTYL), social media is the biggest thing to hit TV since the first Survivor contestants were voted off the island. On May 26 alone, there were more than 2.3 million TV-related tweets. That included over 600,000 for that night's NBA game, 230,000+ for The Bachelorette and nearly 58,000 for Arrested Development. And that's just the tip of the social TV iceberg.

With so many of us hopping on our mobile devices to chat on our second screens about what's happening on the first, social TV is the new glue connecting friends, family and the whole TV viewing community in an ongoing dialogue about the latest television goings-on. It's allowing people separated by miles to cozy up and watch favorite shows together virtually, complete with cheers, jeers or tears as the plotline in Game of Thrones takes a new turn or another contestant on The Voice bites the dust.

It's also directly shaping television viewership. Consider:

• Facebook is driving new viewers to watch specific TV programs. Nearly half of the Internet users responding to a September 2012 Nielsen survey reported that they started watching a show because of opinions expressed on Facebook -- including 54 percent of those 18-34, 48 percent of those 35-49 and (most surprisingly) 30 percent of those 50-64.
• Twitter volumes are one of the top three indicators of TV ratings, outstripped only by prior-year ratings and advertising spend, according to a Nielsen/SocialGuide study released earlier this year. For the coveted 18-34-year-old cohort, for example, an 8.5 percent increase in tweets for premiere episodes and a 4.2 percent increase for midseason episodes corresponds to a 1 percent gain in ratings.
• Broadcasters are actively turning to social TV to attract new viewers as well as engage existing fans. In its second season, ABC's Scandal launched a social TV strategy that included aggressive hashtagging focused on sparking tweets about specific episodes and story plots (eg #WhoShotFitz) as well as encouraging live interaction with the cast during shows (#AskScandal). The upshot: a staggering 571,353 tweets in the season finale -- and a second-season surge in viewership from 6.7 million to 9.1 million.

Clearly, social TV is a train that's picking up speed faster than you can text CUL8R. The question is: where is it headed?

One key development that's almost ready for prime time is new single-screen technology that merges the second screen with the first. The change will fundamentally alter the features and benefits of the television/social media engagement experience -- not only for viewers but also (crucially) for broadcasters, content providers and advertisers.

Goodbye, Second Screen

Just as cameras have been built into cellphones and GPS units into car dashboards, social interaction will soon be built into the same screen where content is viewed -- whether on a smart TV, ultrabook, tablet, smartphone, game console screen or the next device du jour.

In this single-screen world, users will be able to form 'viewing circles' where friends and family anywhere in the country can get together to watch their favorite TV programs in real time. Using picture-in-picture social and search components embedded in whatever viewing screen each person is using at the moment, everyone in the circle will be able to chat by video, voice and/or text (including seeing all participants in separate windows via webcam); chat with others using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn; and conduct online searches for information related to the program or commercial they're watching -- all without switching devices.

For viewers like you and me, this single screen will feel more comfortable and natural. There will be no more need to look away from the football game or reality show we're watching to commiserate on our second screen about a referee's call or a contestant's performance with BFFs scattered across the country. We will be able to watch and socialize at the same time with no risk of missing a critical play or mid-episode meltdown.

And in good news for the frequently-mobile crowd (and who isn't?), we'll no longer be tied to our living room TV to get the high-speed Internet access needed for live HD-quality content streaming. With the lower bandwidth requirements of today's emerging single-screen technology, live television as well as video on demand can be delivered to mobile devices at the local coffee shop, airport or any other location with Internet connectivity -- complete with social media and search activities integrated into the screen or available with a swipe.

This will not only create the first true 'TV everywhere' capability, but also produce a never-before-possible 'social TV everywhere' experience that marries social media and television programming outside the home without hauling around two separate devices.

For broadcasters, the single screen will make it possible to seamlessly blend social with programming and reap the benefits. In the case of cable providers without their own social apps, for example, there won't be a need to form partnerships with second-screen apps that dig into their own revenues while simultaneously diverting viewers' attention from their own programming and advertising.

For content creators, the single-platform approach will keep viewers' eyes on the programming even while they tweet, text, chat or search, eliminating the distractions involved in switching devices. It will also provide new opportunities for live viewer engagement similar to listeners calling into radio talk shows as well as in new forms that will evolve over time.

And for advertisers, benefits will range from the ability to consolidate advertising dollars previously split between the first and second screens to rich user analytics that will enable more targeted advertising, peer-to-peer promotions, gamification and e-commerce.

For all these reasons, combining chat, social networking and search on the same screen that's streaming your content is a logical next stop on the Second-Screen Express. In a few years, checking out the cast in a favorite show and chatting with your best buds as well as your social networks from your viewing screen will seem as natural -- and indispensable -- as texting, tweeting and posting pix of last weekend's party on Pinterest. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Steve Turner is the CEO and Founder, Interconnect Media Network Systems.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-turner/social-tv_b_3443987.html?utm_hp_ref=tv&ir=TV
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Critic's Notes
Writer-Performers Search for Their Sweet Spot
By Bob Verini, Variety.com - Jan. 18, 2013

Every year, a gaggle of gagmen and funnywomen set out in pursuit of that holiest of TV grails: the first-person sitcom — a show written around a comedian’s distinctive personality. Nothing can curb their enthusiasm for stepping out of standup or sketch comedy into their own keylight.

“Most comedies work when there’s a strong personality at the center,” says producer Judd Apatow, who has godfathered Garry Shandling and Lena Dunham in their sitcom quests. “And though most of it is fabricated, the core of it comes from truths about a lead actress or actor.”

The secret seems to be finding the topliner’s sweet spot where real-life personality, stage persona and fictional role magically click into place.

In fact, this kind of comedy is older than television itself. Nobody, they say, was kinder or more generous offstage than vaudevillian Benny Kubelsky. But his slightly prickly streak gave radio star Jack Benny something to work with in creating his eponymous show about the vain, preening, penny-pinching 39-year-old egomaniac who went on to make TV history with a show that ran 15 years.

From George Burns to Larry David, orneriness has been handy in portraying “oneself.” Jerry Seinfeld — like Benny, a hilarious observer if indifferent actor — followed the pioneer’s lead in surrounding himself with wacky pals whose antics he could punctuate with wry asides. On that famous couch, Seinfeld found his sweet spot cracking wise about Nothing.

Apatow recalls, “On ‘The Larry Sanders Show,’ Dana Carvey used to call the character ‘Ga-larry,’ because some of it was Garry in real life and some the character he’d created.” Yet the former is “an observer of the human condition” as contrasted with Sanders, “an evil, maniacal host obsessed with being #1. … Very, very different people.”

Louis C.K.’s divorced veteran standup “Louie” falls squarely within the Benny/Seinfeld/Shandling tradition, though without benefit of sidekicks. His is essentially an anti-stock company, as exec producer Blair Breard says. “He has two different sisters … and his mother is played by two different people. It’s purely figments of his imagination.”

The smash FX skein fully exploits its star’s tri-furcated personality: edgy on stage; hapless in love; sympathetic in life. His whip-smart, raw presence at the Comedy Cellar mic contrasts sharply with his bumbling efforts to re-launch his romantic life in his “humane vignettes,” as Breard calls them.

She confesses, “Even my parents go, ‘I can’t take it, he’s much too raunchy.’ And I tell them to get through the standup, because when he leaves the club he’s gentler and quieter, and can be more bewildered by the situations he finds himself in.” Still and all, both personas differ from the Louis she works with, “a thoughtful and sensitive person” who “rarely if ever uses the kinds of expletives he throws around on the show.”

When a star’s temperament is grafted onto a “civilian” role, context is critical. Roseanne shone as a factory worker, and OB/GYN fits Mindy Kaling like a rubber glove on “The Mindy Project.” But one strains to recall the occupations of Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres on their eponymous vehicles. (Both eventually found greater success simply being themselves, Carey as host of the “The Price Is Right” and Ellen as talkshow doyenne.)

Kaling and her onscreen character Lahiri share “less overlap than most people think,” the star reports. “Our cadences are similar … and we both have given our lives over to the jobs we love.” But Dr. Lahiri “is a wildly confident character” with an “ability to bounce back from adversity. I am much more of a sensitive and prickly comedy writer.” (There’s that prickliness again.)

“The single biggest difference is that Mindy Lahiri is a flirt and unafraid of men, and has a limitless confidence in terms of her love life. I am much more shy and have pretty bad social anxiety.”

Strict lines are drawn on HBO’s “Girls” by Dunham, who “made it clear from the very beginning, this wouldn’t be ‘The Lena Dunham Show,’” according to exec prod and writing partner Jenni Konner.

“By calling her character ‘Hannah,’ she’s signaling there’s a distance between the character and herself, a level of fiction,” Konner says, which isn’t to say the star-creator-writer doesn’t pull from her everyday life. “Lena will experience something and almost immediately be able to process it, write it and get it into the show.”

To Apatow, “Lena is similar to Seth Rogen, as they both present themselves as being kind of a mess, when in real life they are very organized, work very hard and get a lot done. In the show she struggles to figure out what she wants to do, but in life it’s clear what her goals are.”

Michael J. Fox and Tracy Morgan’s goals are equally clear as they embark on new sitcom ventures. But can Morgan find his sweet spot as a pot dealer turned war hero? How amusingly will “Mike Henry,” a married dad and newsman with Parkinson’s, reflect Fox’s own family situation and medical adventures?

Stay tuned.

http://variety.com/2013/tv/awards/writer-performers-search-for-their-sweet-spot-1200497409/
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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)
‘The Voice’ bumps up in penultimate episode
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 18, 2013

In its penultimate episode of the fourth season, NBC’s “The Voice” saw its rating rise from last week, once again lifting the network to a nightly victory.

“Voice” averaged a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 6 percent from a 3.3 last week.

Last night was the final performance show of the season, and the program peaked with a 3.9 from 9 to 9:30 p.m.

The finale will air tonight at 9 p.m.

The strong “Voice” showing boosted the second preview of “The Winner Is …,” a new game show that will officially premiere next month, to a 2.0, 11 percent better than last week.

NBC doubled the rating of the No. 2 networks on the night, Univision and ABC, which saw “The Bachelorette” (1.6) and “Mistresses” (1.2) fall 11 percent and 14 percent from last week, respectively.

NBC led the night among 18-49s with a 3.0 average overnight rating and a 9 share. ABC and Univision tied for second at 1.5/4, CBS was fourth at 0.9/3, Telemundo fifth at 0.7/2, Fox sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.2/1.

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 3.2 for “Voice,” followed by ABC with a 1.7 for “Bachelorette.” Univision was third with a 1.5 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” and CBS fourth with a 0.9 for repeats of “How I Met Your Mother” and “Mike & Molly.” Fox and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.6, Fox for a rerun of “Raising Hope” and a new “The Goodwin Games” (0.5) and Telemundo for “Pasion Prohibida,” and CW was seventh with a 0.3 for “Oh Sit!”

NBC was first again at 9 p.m. with a 3.8 for more “Voice,” while ABC and Univision tied for second at 1.6, ABC for more “Bachelorette” and Univision for “Amores Verdaderos.” CBS was fourth with a 1.0 for repeats of “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.7 for “La Patrona,” Fox sixth with a 0.5 for reruns of “New Girl” and “Anger Management,” and CW seventh with a 0.1 for a repeat of “The Carrie Diaries.”

At 10 p.m. NBC hung onto the lead with a 2.0 for “Winner,” with Univision second with a 1.3 for “Que Bonito Amor.” ABC was third with a 1.2 for “Mistresses” and CBS and Telemundo tied for fourth at 0.9, CBS for a repeat of “Hawaii Five-0″ and Telemundo for “El Señor de los Cielos.”

Among households, NBC also finished first for the night with a 6.4 average overnight rating and an 11 share. ABC was second at 3.4/6, CBS third at 2.8/5, Univision fourth at 1.8/3, Telemundo fifth at 0.9/2, Fox sixth at 0.9/1 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the-voice-bumps-up-in-penultimate-episode/

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TV Notes
‘The Voice,’ ending on an off note
The NBC show fell to its lowest rating ever, surprising
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 18, 2013

Tonight at 9 p.m. three musical acts face off for the title in the season four finale of “The Voice,” which has hit a lot of high and low notes this season, just like its contestants.

The NBC singing competition show started off the season very strong with the addition of Usher and Shakira, who replaced original judges Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.

The show’s ratings were pacing ahead of season three, and that was pretty impressive considering “Voice” was the No. 2 show on TV last fall, behind only “Sunday Night Football.”

But midway through the season ratings began to drop. By the end of its run, which stretched into the summer for the second time in three years, “Voice” had dropped to historic lows.

Last Tuesday it aired its lowest-rated episode ever, excluding recaps, drawing a 2.7 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating.

Of course, some falloff was to be expected, since the show is now airing in summer, when broadcast TV viewership falls compared to the regular season. But “Voice” has actually been beat by another NBC program, “America’s Got Talent,” the past two weeks, a surprise.

The ratings declines probably aren’t anything for NBC to be concerned about unless they continue into the fall. Many reality competitions see their ratings fall as their finales approach, as fan favorites are eliminated and some of the juicy infighting between the judges, so prominently displayed in early episodes, winds down.

If “Voice” returns at the same lower level come September, NBC will be worried. Otherwise it’s just a disappointing end to an otherwise very good year for “Voice.”

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the-voice-ending-on-an-off-note/
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Q&A
The Mother of All ‘Housewives’
By Philip Galanes, The New York Times - Jun. 16, 2013

It all began with “An American Family.” Without the dysfunctional Louds and the riveting real-life drama of their household, televised by PBS in 1973, there may never have been an MTV “Real World,” any “Real Housewives,” “Bachelors” or other inescapable figures from the reality TV landscape.

Recently, The New York Times invited Pat Loud, the matriarch of that family and the lightning rod for many of the show’s viewers, to share a lunch with Carole Radziwill, a journalist and the author of “What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love,” and the most recent cast addition to the “Real Housewives of New York.”

Ms. Loud, now 86 and living in Southern California in a relationship that might surprise viewers of “An American Family,” remains close to her surviving children: Grant, a production executive on “Jeopardy”; Kevin, an investment banker; Michele, a fashion designer at Vince; and Delilah, a senior vice president at Sony Television. Ms. Radziwill, 49, currently filming her second season of “Real Housewives” after a brief contract dispute with Bravo, is also about to publish her first novel, “The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating.”

The conversation at Il Cantinori in Greenwich Village touched on the vagaries of fame, the loss of loved ones (Ms. Loud’s son Lance, whom she celebrates in her recent book, “Lance Out Loud,” died of complications from AIDS in 2001 at age 50; Ms. Radziwill’s husband, Anthony, died of cancer in 1999 at 40), and the bizarre experience of having the mundane moments of your daily life watched, scrutinized and judged by millions of Americans.

Philip Galanes: O.K., Pat, you’ve got some serious explaining to do. Duck dynasties and Kardashians and horrible housewives — thousands of hours of reality TV — all thanks to your terrific program, “An American Family.” Did you have any idea you were signing up for revolutionary television?
Pat Loud: No inkling. Ray Bradbury gave a cocktail party, and one of my best friends, the Style editor of The Santa Barbara New-Press, was there. She’d met this producer who told her he’d been in Santa Barbara for ages and couldn’t find a family for a show he was making. So she brought him up to our house. But nobody had ever heard of anything like this. It had never been done before.

PG: Did you and Bill [her husband at the time] watch documentaries?
PL: Documentaries weren’t like this. They were Margaret Mead and Africa. And anybody who knows anything about families knows a lot of what you say and do is totally mundane and totally boring.

PG: Did they say, “We’re going to be with you for 300 hours over seven months”?
PL: Oh, no. They said, “We’re going to do four families, and you’re going to be the West Coast family.” We asked the kids, and they all agreed. It seemed like a fun thing to do.

PG: Now, Carole, you, on the other hand, had the benefit of seeing four or five seasons of “Real Housewives.”
Carole Radziwill: I can’t say I watched all those seasons — —

PG: You wouldn’t have to. What on earth made you say: ‘Yes! Sign me up for that parade of vulgarians!’? You don’t seem the type at all.
CR: That’s a good question. I think what got the best of me is that I’m a journalist, and like many journalists, I’m curious about all sorts of things in life. So whether it’s politics or war, or a cultural phenomenon such as this franchise, there was a hunger for experience.

PG: A hunger for standing around with five women yelling at each other?
CR: I made a promise to myself that I was not going to do anything on camera that I would not do in my real life.

PG: Probably easier said than done. Any slips?
CR: No, I’ve been O.K.

PG: One of the big differences between you two — the alpha and omega of reality TV — is that you’re getting paid, Carole. And when people pay you, it’s more complicated. Do you feel obliged to go along with what the producers want you to do?
CR: There’s no amount of money that would make me humiliate myself or my family on television. It’s an ensemble cast, and it takes all kinds to make a village. It takes all kinds to make a reality show. And I knew my specific role was going to be the voice of reason, not the one who becomes unhinged.

PL: Do they tell you what the plot should be?
CR: There’s a lot of talk about the show being scripted, and it’s absolutely not. Sometimes I wish it were scripted because it would require less work from me. But I work with the producers to create story lines, like this is what I’m doing this week: I’m meeting with my publisher, I’m taking my author photo. Do you want to film it? And they say yes or no, and I’ll invite one of the other ladies.

PG: Was there that approach with you, Pat? Did the producers ask you to do anything?
PL: I was coerced into doing the divorce scene.

PG: The scene in the restaurant where you and Bill break up?
PL: Yes. I was probably drunk. There’s a little bit of drinking that goes on in our show, too.

PG: But tell me what you mean by coerced.
PL: The producer said how important it was, and how WNET would protect me if I did that scene.

CR: Did you have an idea going into the filming that you were going to separate?
PL: When we went into filming, we thought they were only going to be around for a couple of weeks. They were there for seven months. And do you know what? I live with Bill Loud again. We never remarried, but we live together.

CR: You do?
PG: You got back together? Like right after the show?
PL: No, much later. Lance was dying. He was crazy about his dad, and Bill was living in Houston, old and retired. We’re both old and retired.

PG: Pat, you look sensational.
CR: You must never have sat in the sun.
PL: Oh, I was a big sun lover, and I drank a lot of vodka. I’m pioneer stock. My parents were the second wave of pioneers to come into Oregon. We’re tough people.

PG: So set the stage: Bill is living in Houston, old and retired, and you’re gorgeous and living where?
PL: I was taking care of Lance in Los Angeles. And when it was clear that he was not going to make it, Bill came over, and Lance asked that we get back together. And of course, all the other kids wanted that, too. And I thought: Holy mackerel, this will never work.

PG: When was this?
PL: I’m 86 now, and that was 12 years ago.
CR: That’s incredible.

PG: When the show aired, the reaction was strong. Were you prepared for it?
PL: Stunning. You know, we had an ego. We thought we were pretty good. We had all these terrific kids, and ours was a house where all the kids came. It was just a great, happy house. But WNET did not support us in any way.

PG: You mean in terms of media?
PL: Protection of any sort. Their press kit, WNET’s own press kit, gave us bloody hell, and that’s when we knew we were in for it.

PG: You were on the cover of Newsweek magazine: “The Broken Family.” But weren’t you just like every other family?
PL: We were California airheads as far as they were concerned.

PG: What was the response after your season, Carole: lovely or lots of eye rolling?
CR: My group, the people I grew up with, my journalist friends who are working hard, they were the first ones who said, “I get it.” They weren’t judging or eye rolling. They understood.

PG: Having the experience?
CR: I’m a little bit of an experience junkie. So, yes.

PG: And then there’s the money. We all do things for money.
CR: I’ve been working since I was 13, all through my marriage, when my husband certainly could have paid my bills. I got very good advice from [the Hollywood agent] Sue Mengers, when I was offered this job. I said: “Sue, I’m thinking of doing this. It’s strange, but I’m curious, and maybe this will help with my book.” She looked at me and said: “Who are you to walk away from a deal? You’re just another single girl with bills to pay.” I thought: OK, you’re right. And I don’t pretend to be anything other than what I am on the show. I think that’s why I’m fine with how I’m portrayed.

PG: You’re clearly the reasonable one. Has your mother-in-law, Lee Radziwill, called you up to say you were sensational — or an embarrassment?
CR: No, she would never do that. I don’t think she’s watched the show, but she knows me, and she knows I have integrity in whatever it is I’m doing.

PG: You became a working woman too, Pat, after the show?
PL: I did. I came to New York in 1974. I had a friend who was the editor in chief of Delacorte Press, and I said: “I need a job. I have to do something.” He sent me to an agent friend, Ron Bernstein. So I went to see Ron, and I said: “I’ve never done this before, but I will work for you for a week for free, and if we don’t work out, no problem, no harm done. How about it?” He said OK, and I was with him for a long time, until 1983.

PG: Did you become a literary agent yourself?
PL: I did. I didn’t do huge books, but I did some really, really good ones. I did Andrew Holleran’s “Dancer from the Dance.” I did Ruth Warrick’s book, she was Phoebe Tyler on “All My Children,” which was a very big show at that time, and Faith Stewart-Gordon, who owned the Russian Tea Room. I did “The Russian Tea Room Cookbook.”

PG: But no TV people came to you for a follow-up to “An American Family”? Pat Loud: Single Gal in the City?
PL: No! For one thing, the press was pretty unanimously hard on us. But we started getting thousands of letters from people who got it, and they said: Thank you. I got a lot of letters from gay guys, and that was nice because we helped a lot of people.

PG: Lance was the first gay guy on TV.
CR: Do you think that PBS edited the show in a way that didn’t really represent what was going on in those six months?
PL: The thing is, we did all those things. We can’t deny that we did them.

PG: But Carole’s point, 300 hours of film down to 12. That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
CR: There’s a lot of talk about the edit on our show, too. But they’re fair in the edit. We film many, many more scenes that you don’t see, but as a producer, I understand that.

PG: Do you watch “Real Housewives,” Pat?
PL: No. I’ve seen small segments, but that’s about it. Because to me, maybe I just hit the wrong time, but it just seems like all these beautiful blond girls, all made up, with stem glasses of white Chablis, and they’re all just fighting at dinner somewhere.
CR: They’re very loud, my friends on the show. They talk loud, and they talk fast.

PG: You just said “my friends on the show.” But these aren’t your friends, are they? They can’t be your friends. They’re delusional.
CR: Let me just back up there. I’m going to be honest. I didn’t know everyone before I did the show. I didn’t know anyone. But I approached it with an open mind, so I developed whatever friendships I was going to have with them separately, and you see some of that on the show.

PG: Was there anyone affiliated with “An American Family” that you became tight with, Pat?
PL: We were friendly with everybody involved. It was afterward, when they edited the children out — all the kids just fell off the screen, except for Lance. They just went for the sensational stuff.

PG: They also went for you. You were clearly the star of that show.
PL: Well, now you tell me.

PG: I’m stunned that nobody asked you to do a book or a talk show or a scarf line? But I guess it was 1974, that wasn’t what people did.
PL: I would have tried it if I had known about it.

PG: I Googled the top shows in 1973, and there was a definite schism. There were modern shows like “All in the Family” and “Maude,” but also these really old-fashioned shows like “Here’s Lucy” and “Bonanza.” You were part of a cultural moment that was just starting. Ten million people were watching your show by the end of the 12th hour. That’s huge.
CR: That’s incredible. To think it started out on public TV like an experiment, and now it’s an industry at every major entertainment company.

PG: I hate to ask this because I think I know the answer. Did you get paid anything, Pat?
PL: Not a thing. I think they gave me something like $432 to repaint my kitchen because they put gaffers tape up on the top.

PG: But if this experience was not a positive one for the family ...
PL: It is now.
CR: It was then, you just didn’t know it.
PL: I like that.

PG: But when Lance was very sick with AIDS, PBS came back again. What made you get back into those perilous waters again?
PL: I was so shocked. Lance called the people who had been the main photographer and sound person for “An American Family.” I didn’t know that he did that. I didn’t know about it until I saw Alan [Raymond, the cameraman for “An American Family”] standing there with his camera.

PG: And everyone in the family agreed to do it?
PL: Everyone except Grant.

PG: Because he felt burned the first time?
PL: No, because it just seemed so crass to do. I don’t know why Lance did that, but he wanted to do it.

PG: You were accommodating Lance?
PL: Only. I felt so uncomfortable doing it. I just felt terrible.

PG: Like those reunion shows that you Real Housewives do.
CR: That was hard.

PG: They’ve got this guy, Pat — Andy Cohen. And he sits them all on a sofa and restarts all the fights you were talking about. It’s the saddest, tackiest thing that’s ever been in the world.
PL: And totally riveting. I’ve seen him do it with those Atlanta Housewives.

PG: But the difference points up something important about “An American Family.” The camera keeps coming back to the family, because that’s the way life is. Family is always in your face. But what they do with you, Carole, is keep throwing you together with these five irrelevant women. They leave all your important relationships out of the show. Right?
CR: Right. Well, Russ [Irwin, a musician and touring member of Aerosmith], who I was dating at the time, was in the show a little bit.

PG: Do you think the cameras hastened the end of that relationship?
CR: No, no, it had nothing to do with it. In fact, the show was something we did together. We were kind of in cahoots together. The breakup had nothing to do with it. But I know a lot of relationships end on reality television.

PG: It could have helped his career. Did the show increase sales of your book, “What Remains”?
CR: That book was mentioned twice on the show, once in my introduction, and then in one of the scenes, one of the other women had read it and she came over and started talking to me about it. But the book, which has been out for six years now, went back on The New York Times best-seller list during the run of the show. I was completely shocked by that.

PG: There are plenty of viewers.
PL: I was going to say that. You say to people: Do you watch it? And they say no. But everybody does.

PG: One of the things you two have in common is that you’ve both experienced terrible losses much earlier than we’re supposed to. Pat lost a son, and children are not supposed to die before their parents. And Carole lost her husband much too soon. Does death figure into what you’re doing, Carole? Did it figure into the rest of your journey, Pat, after “An American Family”?
PL: There’s a quote in “Flaubert’s Parrot” that says, you don’t come out of grief cleanly like from a dark tunnel into the bright sunlight, you come out of it like a sea gull coming up through an oil spill. You are tarred and feathered.
CR: I love that quote.
PL: That’s how it is.
CR: I think for me the death of Anthony followed so closely after the death of one of my closest friends, Carolyn [Bessette, wife of John F. Kennedy Jr.], that I was in that dark for a long time, and when I emerged, I found an incredible sense of humor about life.
PL: You have to.
CR: You just think this is all crazy. It helped me with the show because I think: yeah, this is crazy, but life is crazy.
PL: You know, old as I am, all my family has died. My mother, father, brother are dead. Bill knew all of them. I knew his mother and father. I’ve known Bill since I was 6 years old. I tell you this to show you what common memories we have and how much we share. The things that he did, I don’t even care about that anymore, it doesn’t interest me.
CR: You can divorce a man but you can’t divorce your life.
PL: Like somebody said: I’m only mad at his face.
CR: If you hadn’t done your show, Pat, what do you think your life would be today?
PL: I’ve often tried to figure that out. I would have been up in that house, and my kids would have all gone, and I would have the empty nest syndrome. So I beat them to it. I got out of there before they did.
CR: In a way, the show probably allowed you to live your more authentic life.
PL: Absolutely.
PL: When you’re divorced, all your friends invite your ex-husband; they’ve all got a girlfriend who needs an escort. But they ruffle their fans at you and look the other way because you are now competition. You go from friend to competition.
CR: I felt that way when I was widowed because the same people that I was friendly with as a couple now see you as single. It’s the first time many of the men see you as a woman, and not a wife.
PL: Oh, yeah, it’s there. That is definitely there.

PG: Do you think they’re waiting for you to find the next relationship? So you can all go out for dinner for four?
CR: No. That’s why I asked Pat. I feel like I’m living a more authentic life now. You know when you’re married and young. I was 29 and you go through something, and it blows up and then you have a chance to rediscover who you are: who I am, what I want and not in the context of being married.
PL: You begin to realize who you are.
CR: Women do, in their 30s.
PL: Yeah. That’s when we start. Of course I had a lot of kids. I had five kids.
CR: My mom had a lot of kids, too.
PL: They’re wonderful people, my kids.

PG: Are you still tight with all of them, Pat?
PL: Absolutely. We’re joined at the hip. The closest family you’ve ever seen.

PG: Tell me about the time that Lance appeared on “The Dick Cavett Show.”
PL: Lance was 20 years old, very young. Lance was brilliant, but Dick Cavett said to him, “Didn’t it bother you when everybody knew you were gay?” And Lance said something like: “Yeah, it did, but I took a couple of aspirin and it went away.” But so much aggression toward a young kid.

PG: But Lance deflected it so well.
PL: Because he had been bullied when he was a kid, he knew how to deflect that. But he also was just ... he had such a quick wit. He was funny.

PG: Did he have a partner?
PL: No. I don’t know much about his sex life, but I assume it was rather promiscuous. In the ’70s it was.
CR: Did he tell you he was going to come out on the show?
PL: None of us had any idea.

PG: I don’t think anyone even knew what that meant then.
PL: Not only that, Lance was just being Lance. He had no idea that people would interpret it as coming out. He was just being himself.

PG: When your shows came out, did you watch them episode-by-episode with the rest of America, or do you watch them early?
PL: Ours aired on Tuesday and WNET would take big ads in The Los Angeles Times, and they would say, “Would you want to live next to these people?” Or about Lance: “He dyed his clothes purple and his hair white.” It was extravagantly outrageous. They definitely broke our trust with that.
CR: Was that a surprise?
PL: Yes.

PG: Did the family sit down and watch together?
PL: Yes. We clutched one another.

PG: Were there tears?
PL: No. Those kids are so strong. When most people would laugh or cry, they would laugh.
CR: Sense of humor will save you every time.

PG: How about you, Carole?
CR: I probably wouldn’t have watched myself just because you become self-conscious, but I had to write a column every week for the Web site. So we would get a copy of the show a couple of days ahead of time and watch it. It was like seeing everything for the first time because you don’t know what happened in the other scenes, obviously. I wasn’t there.
PL: So you didn’t know what the story line would be until you saw it?
CR: No. Scenes that I thought I knew, even scenes when I was at the party ...

PG: It’s lots of parties, Pat. It’s not family dinners. It’s somebody is having a party to launch a toaster-oven business.
CR: Pat, were you expecting the press to be so negative?
PL: No.

PG: Does it feel like redemption now that “An American Family” routinely makes the list of the best TV shows ever?
PL: It doesn’t matter to me anymore because I live a very quiet life. Never in the public eye or very seldom.

PG: Do you regret the missed opportunities that Carole has, for instance? Real Housewives with juice lines and blender drinks. You could have made a boatload of money had you come 20 or 30 years later.
PL: That’s right.

PG: Do you regret that?
PL: It makes me madder than hell.
CR: No one is making a boatload of money. Let me just throw that out there. If you look at all the Housewives, there are 67 of us in the course of the last seven years, and I don’t think a lot of them have made a boatload of money. I think we’re paid a fair wage to do a job, and some of them, yes, they go on to do other things.

PG: They do brand extensions. But other than the book “Pat Loud, a Woman’s Story,” you didn’t get to cash in at all.
PL: No, and the book didn’t even do that well. I wouldn’t have needed a boatload, but I would have appreciated a dinghy-load of money.
CR: A rowboat.
PL: A canoe of cash.

PG: Is that what people come at you with, Carole?
CR: Maybe I’m feeling sensitive about it.

PG: Was the whole thing last week about everybody standing together, and we’re not going to sign a contract because you’re not getting paid enough? Was that all tabloid nonsense or was there truth in that?
CR: This is what I think, and I think Pat you would agree. Whether it’s teachers or management or TV personalities, women are used to being called demanding and difficult when they ask for a pay raise. None of that has changed. Whether it’s teachers or middle management or TV personalities, at the end of the day ...
PL: Any artist needs to get paid for their work, and in the art world, you don’t see that very often.

PG: Do your kids, Pat, at the Christmas table or Sunday dinner, do they ever say: God, look at all this reality television that is flowing pretty directly from Pat and Bill Loud?
PL: My kids are very diplomatic.

PG: They didn’t get angry with you in the aftermath; like Mom, what did you do to us?
PL: They really could have got off on me. No, they didn’t. I didn’t get that.

PG: But you must have had some knockdowns with them.
PL: No, because we all decided to do it. They were young, yes, but it was all our decision.
CR: What did you think of the HBO movie [“Cinéma Vérité” in 2011]? Who played you?
PL: Diane Lane. She was beautiful, she was so great. I loved her.

PG: Did HBO make you a part of the marketing of the movie?
PL: I wasn’t going to do it, but they had this incredible party. I did go do that. Why not?

PG: What if they called you right now, Pat, and said, “We’re doing a ‘Real Housewives of Los Angeles,’ and we really want you to be the centerpiece housewife”? Would you respond to that call or just hang up the phone?
PL: My dear, I am such a whore, I would say, “How much?”
CR: Why don’t you come on the New York show?
PL: I’d love that.
CR: Oh, my God, that would be meta. So meta.

PG: That would be the episode I’d want to watch.
PL: But it’s just so funny. You know, the thing I think both of us said: life is mundane, it’s truly you get up, you put your clothes on, you have your breakfast, you read the paper, you clean the house. You do all this stuff that’s just rote, and you just keep doing it. Then something enters your life that gives you a shot at something entirely different than you’ve ever done, and you don’t know where it’s going to lead, but if you don’t take it, you’ll never know. So you do.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/fashion/the-mother-of-all-housewives.html?ref=television&_r=0
Edited by dad1153 - 6/18/13 at 3:32pm
post #87796 of 93675
TV Notes
ABC's 'Whodunnit?' puts amateur gumshoes to the test
The show puts its participants into made-up crime scenarios that they try to solve for $250,000. Other new reality series include singing-related contest 'The Winner Is...,' 'The American Baking Competition,' 'Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls,' and 'Naked and Afraid.'
By T.L. Stanley, Los Angeles Times

"Whodunnit?" is not your granddad's game of "Clue," nor is it a fusty version of an Agatha Christie novel.

"CSI" creator Anthony E. Zuiker, for his first foray into unscripted TV, has come up with a show he's dubbed a "cinematic murder mystery of tomorrow" that's a bit sinister but still "fun and digestible."

It may also be the first of its kind in a new subgenre that Zuiker called "reality fiction," which puts its participants into made-up crime scenarios and captures their in-the-moment reactions.

The nine-episode series, launching June 23 on ABC, tosses 13 amateur gumshoes into one stately mansion to solve staged murders for a $250,000 payday. The killer is among the contestant pool, which includes an ex-cop, a soccer mom, a former Miss Nevada, a nurse, a TV reporter and a private investigator.

Unlike the gizmo-heavy "CSI," the participants on "Whodunnit?" will have to use their powers of perception and maybe a magnifying glass to parse clues and point fingers.

"It's a roll-up-your-sleeves game," said Zuiker, who's partnering with reality-show maven Cris Abrego ("The Surreal Life," "Next Action Star") to produce "Whodunnit?" "It relies on common sense, wit and mettle."

A proper British butler named Giles, played by actor Gildart Jackson, will help propel the action by delivering information and clues at Rue Manor. The crimes themselves, unlike the knife-in-the-back of old mystery books, will be "big and promotable," involving explosions and fires, but won't push the envelope with cable-TV levels of blood and gore, Zuiker said.

Zuiker's experience on the "CSI" franchise taught him that TV viewers love to play armchair sleuth, whether they see themselves as Ted Danson or Jorja Fox. On "Whodunnit?" they can go step by step with regular folks.

"These are everyday people being put to the test," Zuiker said. "For those fans who want to live vicariously in solving murders, there's a shorter distance between them and this cast."

Since crime procedurals are all the rage in scripted TV, with Zuiker at the forefront of that trend, he's not sure why few producers have tried to adapt the format into reality series. (Fox's eight-episode "Murder in Small Town X" is one of the only examples.) He thinks "Whodunnit?" may be premiering at a good time, though, with most network dramas in repeats for the warm-weather months.

Not into gunshot residue, hair fibers and homicide? There's an array of reality programming, both new and returning, headed for the small screen this summer that features at-home cooks, globe-trotting adventurers, improvisational comedians, would-be superstars and back-stabbing housemates.

"America's Got Talent," a well-watched NBC staple, will introduce an expanded panel of judges, with Heidi Klum and Spice Girl Mel B. taking over for Sharon Osbourne when the show returns for its eighth season June 4. Host Nick Cannon will be back, along with judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel, though the venue will switch to New York's storied Radio City Music Hall.

Perhaps one of the broadest-based reality shows on network TV, "America's Got Talent" fulfills that "sense of wonder and discovery" that audiences crave, said Robert Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School, which trains reality TV hopefuls to be camera ready.

"These talent shows will never go away because they're part of the American dream," Galinsky said. "They're the symbol of, 'Work hard, take a chance, and you can make it.'"

With "The Voice" on summer hiatus, NBC plans to air another singing-related contest in "The Winner Is…" with Nick Lachey as host. The series, which has a game-show twist, starts July 11.

A sweet-treat talent show that centers on skilled amateur cooks premieres May 29 on CBS. Based on a British hit, "The American Baking Competition" will try to dish up the funny alongside the cookies and tarts with comedian Jeff Foxworthy ("American Bible Challenge," "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?") as host.

There's an adventure and exotic-locale trend brewing across network and cable. "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls," shot in New Zealand and coming to NBC on July 8, will have the former "Man vs. Wild" host leading 10 teams of two contestants on a "non-stop extreme-survival journey."

On TNT, "72 Hours" will drop nine people into remote areas with precious few provisions, including a single bottle of water, when it launches June 6. Hawaii, the South Pacific, Fiji and the Southern Rockies serve as backdrops for the action.

"The Hunt," a similarly themed wilderness competition show coming to the CW on July 31, won't give its participants any food, shelter or water. They'll have to capture what they need, including one another, to win a cash prize.

And for the ultimate in deprivation, Discovery Channel will air "Naked and Afraid," which dumps pairs of strangers in the buff into harsh environments like the Serengeti plains and the Borneo rain forest for 21 days. The series, which debuts June 23, is a follow-up of sorts to the channel's spring show, "Naked Castaway."

It wouldn't be summer without subterfuge, with CBS' perennial hit, "Big Brother," returning two weeks earlier than usual, on June 26. The "social experiment" that crams a bunch of strong-willed schemers into one house will air Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the latter being the live eviction show.

Another reliable audience pleaser, ABC's "The Bachelorette," premieres Monday, though it won't be the only relationship show on TV this summer. The CW plans "Perfect Score" on July 16, where contestants win cash and dates if they pick their ideal match.

Escapism and uplift will be part of the reality offerings, too, with NBC's "Hollywood Game Night" based on cocktail parties at actor-producer Sean Hayes' house. The series, with host Jane Lynch, starts July 11 and will allow a few regular Joes to play pop culture-based games with A-listers like Amy Poehler, Jason Bateman, Martin Short and Kristen Bell.

"It'll be fun to watch celebrities not in rehab," Galinsky said. "And since these parties were actually happening organically, this show's less likely to be a cliché of reality TV."

Classic sketch show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" gets a revival on the CW, debuting July 16, with actress-comedian Aisha Tyler stepping into shoes previously filled by Drew Carey. Improv masters Wayne Brady, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie return from the original show, with a rotating guest lineup filling out the panel.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hosts a new reality show, "The Hero," coming June 6 to TNT, where contestants have to complete missions that will test "their brains, their brawn and even their morality." ABC's inspirational-aspirational "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" returns Tuesday to whittle the waistlines of the overweight.

On opposite ends of the cultural spectrum, two powerhouse cable reality shows, TLC's "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and E!'s "Keeping Up wWith the Kardashians" return this summer. The rural Georgia-set "Honey Boo Boo" may offer up a wedding — that would be Mama June and Sugar Bear — after its July 17 kickoff, and "Kardashians" will follow sister Kim's impending motherhood during a season that starts June 2.

Series like these have taken the place of sitcoms and over-the-top melodramas for many viewers, Galinsky said.

"They're not so far from what we used to watch, like 'I Dream of Jeannie' or 'The Beverly Hillbillies' or 'Knots Landing,'" Galinsky said. "Not much has changed about what people like to see on TV, the shows just manifest themselves a little differently."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-summer-reality-tv-20130526,0,2075184,full.story
post #87797 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘The Voice’ bumps up in penultimate episode
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 18, 2013

In its penultimate episode of the fourth season, NBC’s “The Voice” saw its rating rise from last week, once again lifting the network to a nightly victory.

TV Notes
‘The Voice,’ ending on an off note
The NBC show fell to its lowest rating ever, surprising
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 18, 2013

Same publication? Seems that one must be incorrect.
post #87798 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Same publication? Seems that one must be incorrect.

I think Fitzgeralds talking about last night while Seltzer about the season especially lately in general.
post #87799 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Q&A
The Mother of All ‘Housewives’

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Hard to believe this was condensed. It was already 10 times longer than deserved.
post #87800 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 17, 2013

THE BODYGUARD
Style, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1992 movie is your standard romantic melodrama, but with music – and it’s the music that makes it. Kevin Costner stars in the title role, as a gruff guy guarding a flashy musical diva, but it’s the diva who demands attention. She’s played by Whitney Houston, and, in this role, Houston is very impressive, captured at the top of her form, and her game.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
I guess it's true what they say: time heals all wounds.

That, and we tend to look at the past through rose colored glasses.

I seem to remember this movie being widely panned at the time - like "Showgirls" level of panning.

Maybe in 20 years, the "Transformers" movies will be seen as classics....
post #87801 of 93675
Showgirls is on another level like a Plan 9 from Outer Space level.

Bodyguard got 7 Golden Raspberry Award nominations but won 0 & Ebert even gave it 3 of 4 stars.

Showgirls got 14 Golden Raspberry Award nominations (thats still a record) & won 8.
post #87802 of 93675
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)

ABC:
8PM - The Middle
(R - Mar. 27)
8:30PM - Family Tools
9PM - Modern Family
(R - Oct. 24)
9:31PM - How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)
10PM - ABC's The Lookout
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live!
(R)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The American Baking Competition
9PM - Criminal Minds
(R - Sep. 26)
10PM - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
(R - Jan. 16)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Jeff Daniels; Ken Jeong; Jim James performs)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Rosie Perez; The Rubens perform)

NBC:
8PM - 2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks (LIVE)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Journalist David Gregory; the winner of "The Voice'' performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Kevin Hart; Olivia Munn; Chvrches performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Sebastian Junger; Monster Mike Schultz; Joshua James performs)
(R - Apr. 11)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef (120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: Invasion of the Giant Pythons (R - Feb. 21, 2010)
9PM - NOVA: Extreme Cave Diving
(R - Feb. 9, 2010)
10PM - Cave of the Himalayas
(R - Feb. 15, 2012)

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

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
(R - Nov. 7)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Mar.. 20)

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

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Filmmaker Dawn Porter)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Music group The Postal Service)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Steven Yeun; Darius Rucker)
(R - Apr. 3)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (George Stroumboulopoulos; Dov Davidoff; April Richardson; Mo Mandel)
post #87803 of 93675
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 19, 2013

BLAZING SADDLES
Encore, 8:00 p.m. ET

If you watched Saturday's AFI salute to Mel Brooks on TNT, you saw Clint Eastwood wincingly (and playfully) introduce a clip of this 1974 Brooks master work, which skewered the Western as it had never been skewered before. (And never has since.) Now here's the full-length article - the original 1974 comedy, co-written by Richard Pryor and starring Cleavon Little as a black sheriff appointed to a bigoted Old West town. Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman co-star, and excel.

HOLIDAY
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Adapted from the Broadway play by Philip Barry, this 1938 George Cukor film is about a rich young woman (played by Doris Nolan) who has brought home her new fiancé, a dashing young man who insists he would rather do nothing for the next few years of his life, exploring and enjoying the world on “holiday,” rather than join the wealthy family’s business. This aggravates everyone except for the family rebel, a black-sheep sister who finds the young man’s attitude refreshingly laid-back. And with the man played by Cary Grant, and the rebel sister played by Katharine Hepburn, you can guess what path this Holiday is tempted to follow.

FRANKLIN & BASH
TNT, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON PREMIERE:
I wouldn’t normally recommend this series for a Best Bet, but there’s a little bit of TV history going on tonight. For its Season 3 premiere, Heather Locklear joins the cast – a move aim at rejuvenating this show just as when she jump-started the original Melrose Place decades ago (and, more recently, tried to again, with the remake). On Franklin & Bash, she plays an attorney who’s the new boss of Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). In the premiere, she joins them on the set of Piers Morgan’s CNN show (yes, he plays himself here), for a legal debate about nudity. Hope the Piers Morgan Tonight staff is well stocked with Purell for those chairs…

FUTURAMA
Comedy Central, 10:00 p.m. ET
SERIES RETURN:
There hasn’t been a new episode of Futurama since last August, and it’s not clear whether these last-gasp fresh episodes, running until September, are a new final season or the final episodes of Season 7. Either way, it’s another example of how resilient and underappreciated this series has been, since it’s taken 14 years to clock seven seasons of shows – the TV equivalent of dog years. But Matt Groening and company’s other animated gem, this sci-fi Simpsons sibling, returns tonight with two new episodes: “2-D Blacktop” and “Fry and Leela’s Big Fling.” They’re both movie-franchise spoofs, of Fast & Furious and Planet of the Apes, respectively. And they’re both worth watching.

HOT IN CLEVELAND
TV Land, 10:00 p.m. ET
LIVE TELECAST:
To resume its Season 4 after a brief break, Hot in Cleveland tonight presents a live telecast – well, live on the East Coast, anyway – with co-stars Betty White, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick all tackling the challenge of live television. So do recurring and special guest stars, including William Shatner. This episode not only is a bit of TV history: It echoes a bit of TV history.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #87804 of 93675
TV Notes
'Drop Dead Diva' gets Lifetime reprieve
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Jan. 18, 2013

If Drop Dead Diva's title character can come back to life, why can't the show?

After being canceled in January, the Lifetime drama returns Sunday (9 p.m. ET/PT) with its fifth-season premiere, Back From the Dead.

Diva's path seems fitting to creator Josh Berman, who created the series about Deb, a vain model who dies only to have her soul transfer to the deceased body of brilliant, plus-sized attorney Jane (Brooke Elliott).

"Personally, I feel the show itself is about second chances, it's about Deb coming to life as Jane and getting a second chance," he says. "We look at the show as having a second chance."

Diva is the most recent show to experience life after cancellation. AMC's The Killingreturned for a third season this month after its apparent demise, and Arrested Development, which Fox dropped in 2006, staged a comeback in May, courtesy of Netflix.

Diva's cancellation was the result of a financial impasse between Lifetime and studio Sony Pictures Television, and the show was revived after the cable network and studio came up with "a new financial model" that lowered the network's price tag, says Lifetime executive vice president Rob Sharenow. Berman says producers found ways for the show to reduce costs "without affecting the end product."

Fans who'd expressed disappointment with the cancellation via petition and social media played a role in the revival, Sharenow says. "We definitely responded to the fans. There was a lot of fan disappointment that the show wasn't coming back. That was a big part of the decision."

Diva averaged 2.3 million viewers during Season 4, about even with the previous season.

The fourth-season finale, last season's most-watched episode, ended in a cliffhanger, with Jane searching for her missing fiance amid the impending arrival of Jane's original soul in a new body.

"It would have been horrible for me as a writer and as a TV fan to end the show the way we did last year," Berman says. "I'm so happy I could write the season that I wanted to write. ... It's almost like the first four seasons were leading up to this moment."

That includes the arrival of Jane's new guardian angel, the handsome, well-built Paul (Justin Deeley).

"The notion was that as Jane grows, the angel would be a counterpoint to whatever she's going through in her life," Berman says. "Now that Jane is really comfortable with who she is as Jane, what if the angel was a male embodiment of Deb, the woman Jane was before she became Jane, a vapid but beautiful creature?"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/06/18/drop-dead-diva-gets-lifetime-reprieve/2435215/
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TV Notes
'Today' Replacing, Promoting Longtime Director Amid 'Many Changes'
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jan. 18, 2013

NBC's "Today" is replacing and promoting its director of 18 years amid what the show's executive producer calls "many changes" planned for the morning show.

As first reported by The New York Times, NBC News is giving Joe Michaels (pictured) the new title of "senior director" as "Today" tries to reclaim first place in the ratings from ABC's "Good Morning America" and recover from a year of internal turmoil that included the exit of Ann Curry.

The move also comes as former "Today" executive producer Jeff Zucker attempts to make over mornings on CNN with "New Day," a morning show that debuted Monday. The addition of the new show is only the latest change in the competitive early hours.

Michaels' new responsibilities will include leading the creation of a new set and graphics. His replacement as director has not yet been named. As director, he led the moment-to-moment oversight of the show, including choosing which cameras to cut to.

“Today” executive producer Don Nash said in an internal memo that “we are looking at every aspect of the show — tweaking where the show needs tweaking, overhauling where the show needs overhauling. Many changes have been implemented already, many more are in the works.”

“The most critical projects need oversight from a strong, knowledgeable and experienced leader,” he said, referring to Michaels’ change to senior director.

The move is only the latest behind-the-scenes personnel shift at "Today": In the fall, Nash replaced Jim Bell as the head of the show. He reports to Alexandra Wallace, the executive in charge of the show.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/today-replacing-promoting-longtime-director-amid-many-changes-98191

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
CNN's 'New Day' Premieres to Lukewarm Numbers
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Jan. 18, 2013

"New Day," CNN's new entry into the morning-show fray, drew mixed ratings with its Monday premiere.

The show, anchored by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, drew 247,000 total viewers including 95,000 in the key 25-54 demographic.

The good news for "New Day" is that those numbers represent gains over the same week last year for CNN, when it aired "Early Start" and "Starting Point" in the time period.

Though the comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges, since there's only one day of data for "New Day" available, the same week a year ago averaged 198,000 total viewers and 89,000 in the demo. Which puts the "New Day" premiere ahead by 25 percent versus the same week in total viewers, and by 7 percent in the demo.

Also read: CNN's 'New Day' Review: Serious News, Wacky Animals - and Nancy Grace

Compared to a week ago Monday, "New Day" also performed favorably, growing 19 percent in the demo (though suffering a slight 7 percent decline in total viewers).

On the other side of the coin, "New Day" was down 41 percent in the demo compared to CNN's May 2013 average in the timeslot, and 35 percent in total viewers compared to the network's May average.

"New Day" still has a way to go before catching up with its cable competitors in the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. timeslot. Stacked up against the offerings on Fox News Channel, MSNBC and HLN, "New Day" was third in total viewers, behind Fox's "Fox & Friends," which drew 1.06 million -- a little over four times the "New Day" total viewership -- and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which drew 355,000. ("New Day" did beat out "Morning Express" on CNN sister station HLN, which had 215,000 total viewers on Monday.)

In the demo, "New Day" placed fourth, behind 262,000 viewers for "Fox & Friends," 132,000 for "Morning Joe" and 121,000 for "Morning Express."

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/ratings-cnns-new-day-premiere-draws-247k-total-viewers-98176
post #87806 of 93675
TV Notes
Charlie Sheen Fired Selma Blair From ‘Anger Management’ Via Text, Show To Continue Production As Scheduled
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 18, 2013

2ND UPDATE 6:10PM: I’ve learned more details about Selma Blair‘s shocking dismissal from Anger Management. I hear Charlie Sheen “fired” her via text, in which he called the actress a “c–t”. And it was not the only abusive, expletives-filled text she had received from Sheen, who also serves as an executive producer on Anger Management. I also hear that Blair was not the only member of the show’s cast and crew that was frustrated by Sheen’s work habits as I hear they would often sit and wait for hours for him to show up for work. Although it was Blair voicing her concerns that got Sheen to flip out and get her sacked. I hear Blair’s role as Charlie’s therapist will not be recast. Probably not coincidentally, I hear the series just sent out a notice about a new female regular who is expected to fill the void left by Blair. The producers likely will use Blair’s exit for another creative makeover following the recent tweaking following Anger Management‘s sagging ratings. But, while the show took an unplanned hiatus for the recent creative retool, it is now expected to stay in production as scheduled, with the writers making changes prompted by Blair’s departure on the fly. Anger Management is roughly halfway through its 100-episode order from FX. As for Blair, word is that she is being paid per her contract and no legal action is in the cards, at least not for now.

UPDATE TUESDAY 5:15 PM: What Charlie Sheen wants, he gets. After mounting a campaign to get his co-star on the FX comedy series Selma Blair fired over alleged comments questioning his work ethic, it’s mission accomplished for Sheen, who reportedly threatened to quit the show if Blair stayed. Anger Management producer Lionsgate just issued a statement, making Blair’s dismissal from the show official. “We are confirming that Selma Blair will not be returning to Anger Management, and we wish her the very best.”

PREVIOUS MONDAY PM: The producers of FX‘s Anger Management and reps for Selma Blair are hunkered down today trying to patch things up following a scathing TMZ report posted in the middle of the night that series star and executive producer Charlie Sheen was dead set on firing his co-star over alleged complaints about Sheen she had made to other Anger Management producers. There is no official word on Blair’s status on the show with everyone involved keeping mum, but in a recent tweet posted on the show’s first day back from a monthlong hiatus for creative tweaking in light of the recent ratings slump, Blair was more than complimentary of Sheen: “Thanks for a great day back @charliesheen. You looked pretty darn handsome.“

This is a move brimming with irony, starting of course with the name of the show as the dismissal attempt reportedly stemmed from Sheen getting enraged over comments made by Blair that questioned his work ethic. Also, Sheen actually went to the mat for Blair in the original casting process. She was his choice, he spoke very highly of her in TV interviews and, despite FX not going with Blair in the role of the therapist after the final round of auditions, Sheen made a push and got her the part. Anger Management is roughly halfway through its 100-episode order. The show has been getting extra exposure on Fox to help boost its ratings on FX, which have dropped significantly since its original 10-epsiode run.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/06/future-of-anger-management-co-star-selma-blair-in-limbo-over-falling-out-with-charlie-sheen/
post #87807 of 93675
Critic's Notes
‘Catfish: The TV Show’: The New Face of MTV (Really)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jan. 19, 2013

One byproduct of MTV’s youthful audience profile is the dizzying speed with which the channel chews through its zeitgeist moments. So after being defined for a time by “Jersey Shore” — which has spawned a slew of spinoffs and copycats — the network has seemingly moved on to a new signature franchise, which for better and worse niftily defines the times: “Catfish: The TV Show.”

The series returns June 25 for an expanded 16-episode run, having enjoyed an unexpected windfall the first year thanks to the story of Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o, who experienced a very similar this-person-is-not-what-he-or-she-professes-to-be online relationship, shedding light on the phenomenon.

Even more than “Teen Mom” or other tabloid-friendly titles, “Catfish” (adapted from a documentary that also caused a stir) directly taps into a deeper longing within the audience, and a growing hunger for social connection that is often mediated — perilously, in some instances — through a digital interface.

In that respect, even the standard reality-TV manipulations and sleight of hand to intensify the drama — a practice discussed in regard to the show’s first season — is virtually irrelevant. Whether “Catfish” twists these situations to fit a narrative or not, the show identifies a dynamic that clearly resonates with much of its audience. In a way, the “Catfish” generation has been turned into the science nerd who’s so smart about technology that he’s inept when it comes to dealing with the basics.

The season premiere doesn’t add any new wrinkles, beyond the fact “Catfishing” has been added to the lexicon, which, theoretically, should make young love-seekers less gullible. Yet here we are in the premiere meeting Cassie, an attractive young woman who says she is engaged to a handsome (from his photo, anyway) rap star she has never met.

It gives away little to say all is not as it appears, leaving Cassie to say things like “I feel violated” — the sense of violation being one of the more powerful emotions that “Catfish” consistently captures.

The real genius, though, is in the casting, picking people who would seem to be able to have an old-fashioned, meet-in-person romance, at least on the possibly-being-misled side of the equation. “He’s just hiding something,” Cassie says at the beginning, creating an alibi for “Steve” even before the show’s central duo, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, begin googling him.

How can she be so naïve? Why wouldn’t she seek a relationship with someone in her city? These are the kinds of questions “Catfish” practically dares you to shout at the TV. For all the talk about interactivity, that’s still one of the more involving reactions TV can elicit.

MTV’s main problem is the success of “Catfish” will suck up a lot of oxygen, at a time when the network’s nascent steps into original scripted programming continue to be unsteady. At some point, MTV needs to find a higher-class commodity that establishes the same sort of hold on its viewers, which has thus far proved elusive. In programming terms, it’s the difference between maturity and random hookups with the latest cultural oddity.

For now, though, “Catfish” is indeed having its day, and one suspects will have a clear influence on MTV in the near term, until the next inevitable spin of the cultural carousel.

“Sometimes, a little bit of fiction leads to a whole lot of reality,” Schulman says in the intro, rather awkwardly trying to distill the show into a sentence.

Whatever the level of fiction residing in “Catfish,” he’s right about one thing: This peculiar illustration of the modern quest for virtual love is going to lead to a whole lot of similar-looking reality TV.

http://variety.com/2013/tv/columns/catfish-the-tv-show-becomes-new-face-of-mtv-1200498109/
Edited by dad1153 - 6/19/13 at 7:15am
post #87808 of 93675
Business/Legal Notes
Time Warner Cable Sued Over Lakers and Dodgers Channels
By Kimberly Nordyke, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood, Esq.' Blog - Jan. 19, 2013

Time Warner Cable is being accused of requiring subscribers to pay higher cable bills to watch Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers games without offering them the opportunity to opt out of those channels.

A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court -- which names TWC as well as the Lakers and Dodgers as defendants -- charged TWC with "abuse of its position as the primary provider of cable television" in Southern California.

Read the full complaint.

The complaint cites TWC's $3 billion acquisition of Lakers telecast rights in February 2011 and its $8 billion acquisition of Dodgers game telecasts in January 2013. Lakers games air on TWC SportsNet and TWC Deportes, while Dodgers games will air on the SportsNet LA network.

The plaintiffs charge that because TWC has chosen to bundle these channels without allowing subscribers the ability to opt out, subscribers will be forced to pay about $4-$5 in additional fees per month as a result.

"A very large segment of the consuming public is not sufficiently interested in Dodgers games to pay $50-$60 per year, but they have no way of unsubscribing from either the Lakers or Dodgers telecast, which together will add (or will if unrestrained) about $100 per year to the subscriber's TWC bill," the complaint reads.

The Lakers and Dodgers are cited as defendants because, the complaint states, both organizations were aware that consumers -- "even non-sports fans" -- would see their monthly cable bills raised as a result of the two deals.

"TWC's bundling results in Defendants making huge profits, much of which is extracted from unwilling consumers who have no opportunity to delete unwanted telecasts," the complaint states.

The four plaintiffs represent subscribers to TWC, Charter, DirecTV and Verizon enhanced basic cable services. They are seeking an injunction to "prevent future violations and restitution of the money paid to TWC, Lakers, and Dodgers for TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes, and TWC SportsNet LA telecasts they otherwise would have rejected."

The Dodgers organization is owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management, whose parent company owns The Hollywood Reporter.

TWC declined comment. We've also reached out to the Lakers and the Dodgers for comment.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/time-warner-cable-sued-lakers-570770
post #87809 of 93675
TV Review
Futurama: Season Seven (Part 2)
By Mike Levechallier, Slate.com - Jun. 18, 2013

There isn't much that represents the metaphysical heart and soul of Futurama better than the Planet Express crew's faithful freighting ship. The ever-dependable vessel has been to hell and back, damaged and reformatted in a wealth of ways both comical and cruel, yet the lumbering lime-green spacecraft remains an iconic, trustworthy source of steadfast entertainment and excitement. The same can be said of Futurama itself, a series that rarely delivers an episode without a dozen or so memorable one-liners and an animated sci-fi-inspired set piece that makes a strong case for there still being considerable value in American-made cartoons. The Planet Express ship is at the center of "2-D Blacktop," the first episode of the second half the show's seventh, and presumably final final, season. It's an outing that embodies everything that makes Futurama a stone-cold classic: eccentric yet oddly sympathetic characters, scores of clever pop-culture homages, and a unique visual aesthetic that isn't afraid to experiment with a variety of styles both vintage and modern.

Professor Farnsworth's (Billy West) latest modifications to the Planet Express transport, or "Bessy" as he affectionately likes to refer to her, quickly go awry, landing the ship in the junkyard and causing his employees to once again doubt his technical savvy. Without a reliable way to make their deliveries, Leela (Katey Sagal) decides to procure the 31st-century equivalent of a soccer mom's carpool-ready SUV: a clunky, windowless hovering box with an overly padded interior and ultra-sensitive motion detectors, a sacrifice of speed and sexiness in favor of safety. Meanwhile, Farnsworth salvages ol' Bessy from the scrapheap, saving her from being melted down (but not before we see both Speed Buggy and Speed Racer's Mach 5 fall victim to laughably violent liquefaction), and refits the aging barge as a lean, mean, space-racing machine. The episode's ultimate spectacle is as sublime as Futurama gets, a rousing mad dash that, by design, trumps the entirety of Fast & Furious 6. Leela's mom-van faces off against the Professor's souped-up Planet Express hot rod in a showdown on a massive möbius strip, the two vehicles eventually colliding post-Dimensional Drift, sending Leela, Farnsworth, finish-line flag-waving Fry (also voiced by West), and stowaway Bender (John DiMaggio) into a 2D microcosm that's a hyper-surreal fusion of Flatland and Paper Mario.

The second episode, "Fry and Leela's Big Fling," slows things down, but only in the high-octane action department. The writers bring to the table epigrammatic jabs at the depravity of targeted advertising, animals in captivity, and reality television. Beginning with Fry and Leela's hilariously fruitless attempts to get some alone time (Bender, apparently working his after-hours gig, tries to rob them at a park) and climaxing with a never-could've-seen-that-coming twist that evokes The Truman Show without being the slightest bit cliché, the episode remains a remarkable balancing act throughout. Even as it summons a multitude of farfetched scenarios, obscure references, and rapid-fire jokes, it still manages to effectively reinforce the emotional cornerstone of Futurama's offbeat universe: Fry and Leela's rollercoaster courtship. In the short span that we see the enraged orangutan Dr. Banjo (David Herman) shooting tranquilizer darts at a marmoset pajamas-wearing Amy (Lauren Tom), we also witness (mostly off-screen, of course) Fry and Leela, for perhaps the very first time, consummating their love in a refreshingly non-satirical manner. It's a scene that strangely mirrors the pair's embracing, severed limbs floating among the stars in "A Farewell to Arms." It's moments like this that, as the curtain presumably closes on Futurama after these final 13 episodes go to air, will stay encapsulated in the memory banks of allegiant viewers, frozen in time for a thousand years like a certain clumsy pizza delivery boy.

FUTURAMA
Network / Air Date: Comedy Central / 10 p.m.
Rating: ★★★ 1/2 (out of four)


http://www.slantmagazine.com/tv/review/futurama-season-seven-part-2
post #87810 of 93675
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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