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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2999

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WEDNESDAY'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)
Promising premiere for ‘Super Fun Night’
Rebel Wilson's new comedy draws a 3.2 rating in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Oct. 3, 2013

Rebel Wilson’s much-hyped new comedy “Super Fun Night” got off to a good start last night behind “Modern Family.”

“Fun” averaged a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating at 9:30 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, retaining 76 percent of “Family’s” 4.2 at 9. The 76 percent retention was the highest percentage retention behind “Family” for any new comedy in four years.

The rating ties “Fun” with “The Golbergs” for the No. 2 comedy premiere this season, behind CBS’s “The Crazy Ones” (3.9). “Fun” was also the No. 2 show of the night behind “Family.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean “Fun” is a hit yet. Last year “The Neighbors” debuted to the same rating but quickly slid below a 2.0, though it did move to an earlier timeslot.

And “Fun’s” rating includes a minute of overrun from “Family.”

Elsewhere last night, NBC’s “Ironside” debuted with a 1.4 at 10 p.m., finishing a distant third in the timeslot. It marks NBC’s lowest-rated new drama debut ever in the fall.

CBS’s “CSI” was first at 10 p.m. with a 2.1, up 5 percent over last week, while ABC’s “Nashville” placed second with a 1.9, down 5 percent from last week.

“CSI” was one of only two shows on the Big Four to see a week-to-week gain, along with CBS’s “Survivor,” which was up 8 percent to a 2.6.

“Family” was even to last week.

Most Big Four shows saw declines. ABC’s new “Back in the Game,” the 8:30 comedy behind “The Middle,” dropped 18 percent from last week’s debut to a 1.8. That echoed “Middle’s” 12 percent dip, to a 2.2.

NBC’s “Revolution” plunged to a series-low 1.5 at 8 p.m., off 17 percent from last week. And lead-out “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which bowed to a surprisingly robust 2.7 last week, settled back to a 2.0 last night.

Fox’s “The X Factor” was down a tenth from last week, to a 2.4.

ABC and CBS tied for first for the night among 18-49s, each with a 2.5 average overnight rating and a 7 share. Fox was third at 2.4/7, NBC fourth at 1.6/5, Univision fifth at 1.3/4, and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5/1.

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

CBS began the night in the lead with a 2.6 at 8 p.m. for “Survivor,” followed by Fox with a 2.3 for “Factor.” ABC was third with a 2.0 for “Middle” (2.2) and “Game” (1.8). NBC and Univision tied for fourth at 1.5, NBC for “Revolution” and Univision for “Porque el Amor Manda.” The CW was sixth with a 0.5 for an “Arrow” recap show and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Dama y Obrero.”

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.7 for “Family” (4.2) and “Super Fun Night” (3.2), while CBS slipped to second with a 2.7 for “Criminal Minds.” Fox was third with a 2.6 for more “Factor,” NBC fourth with a 2.0 for “SVU,” Univision fifth with a 1.2 for “La Tempestad,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for “Marido en Alquiler” and CW seventh with a 0.4 for reruns of “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”

CBS regained the lead at 10 p.m. with a 1.4 for “CSI,” with ABC second with a 1.9 for “Nashville.” NBC was third with a 1.4 for “Ironside,” Univision fourth with a 1.2 for “Que Bonito Amor” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for “Santa Diabla.”

Among households, CBS was first for the night with a 6.4 average overnight rating and a 10 share. ABC and Fox tied for second at 4.8/8, NBC was fourth at 4.1/7, Univision fifth at 1.8/3, CW sixth at 0.9/1 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.


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Nielsen Cable Overnights (18-49)
‘Duck’ drops against broadcast originals
Falls 21 percent in 18-49s from most recent new episode
By Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine - Oct. 3, 2013

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” lost some viewers facing broadcast’s new season for the first time.

The smash reality show, which aired a repeat last week as the broadcast networks began showing original fare again, was still cable’s No. 1 show and the No. 2 show on broadcast and cable for the night among adults 18-49.

“Dynasty” averaged 8.05 million total viewers Wednesday at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, down from 9.43 million for its most recent original episode two weeks ago.

The show dipped 21 percent among adults 18-49, going from a 4.3 to a 3.4.

Still, it topped the broadcast competition in the hour among 18-49s and finished behind only CBS’s “CSI” (9.66 million) in total viewers.

And “Duck” was the No. 2 show of the night in 18-49s, finishing second to ABC’s “Modern Family” (4.2) and just ahead of the new ABC comedy “Super Fun Night” (3.2).

“Duck” will continue with original episodes through Oct. 23, when it airs its fourth-season finale.

Elsewhere Wednesday night, MTV’s “Miley: The Movement” was the network’s most-watched show of the day with 1.56 million total viewers, 500,000 more than MTV’s No. 2 show on the day, “Big Tips Texas.”

“Miley” averaged a 0.8 in 18-49s. Not surprisingly, on Thursday MTV announced that it will reair the show with an additional 30 minutes of footage on Sunday night.

TBS drew 4.7 million viewers for its coverage of the American League wild card play-in game between the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays, averaging a 1.4 18-49 rating. Viewership was up 2 percent over the 2012 AL game.

Wednesday’s contest also rose slightly over Tuesday night’s 4.6 million viewers and 1.3 rating for the NL play-in game between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.

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TV Notes
NBC Picks Up Mark Burnett And Richard Branson’s Space Travel Reality Series
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Oct. 3, 2013

With the broadcast reality space in a runt of late, NBC continues to take big swings. Following the expensive two-week Million Second Quiz stint, the network has bought another even bigger-budget show — the space travel reality series that Survivor and The Voice producer Mark Burnett had been pitching with British mogul Richard Branson. This marks a reunion, as 12 years ago NBC outbid several other networks for Burnett’s Destination: Mir, which was later scrapped as the Russian space station that was to be the series’ destination was brought down shortly thereafter. Burnett later tried with Destination: Space, which also didn’t get off the ground. Both were in partnership with the Russian space program and to use Soyuz rockets. The new NBC series, titled Space Race, is done with Branson’s Virgin Galactic, advertised as the world’s first commercial spaceline. The premise is the same — everyday people compete for a trip into space — in this case on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. (The first flight of the new spaceline is reportedly already fully booked, dominated by celebrity travelers.) The training of the contestants will be done at Virgin Galactic’s home in Spaceport America in New Mexico.

“The term ‘trip of a lifetime’ has for once been delivered on!,” said NBC’s alternative chief Paul Telegdy. Burnett reflected on the long journey to Space Race. “For the past 10 years I have relentlessly pursued my dream of using a TV show to give an everyday person the chance to experience the black sky of space and look down upon mother Earth,” he said. The genesis for the new series came from a visit he made last year to the New Mexico facility where he spent time with Branson and his team. “I am thrilled to be part of a series that will give the everyday person a chance to see space and that NBC has come on board too so that viewers at home will have a first class seat.” One Three Media, Burnett’s joint venture with Hearst, will be selling Space Race at the upcoming MIPCOM TV market in Cannes where it will be one of two space reality series. Sony Pictures Television will introduce its Milky Way Mission, which will send celebrities into space through an agreement with Netherlands-based Space Expedition Corporation.


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TV Notes
‘Rachael Ray’ Renewed For Two More Seasons
By Deadline.com Staff - Oct. 3, 2013

CBS Television Distribution‘s daily strip Rachael Ray has been renewed in nearly 90% of the country that will take the talk show through the 2015-2016 season. The deal will take the syndicated staple to 10 seasons. The renewals include on ABC Owned Television Stations in New York, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C; and stations from the CBS Television Stations, Hearst, Post-Newsweek and Sinclair.

Rachael Ray, which debuted in 2006, won Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment Emmys in 2008 and 2009. “Rachael Ray is one of the best brands in the business, and our station clients and advertisers recognize that,” said DiSalvo, President of Sales for CBS TV Distribution, which co-produces with Harpo Prods, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment.

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TV Notes
‘Spartacus’ Saga Revived by Starz With ‘Uncut’ Run
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Oct. 3, 2013

Spartacus lives!

Starz will rebroadcast its entire “Spartacus” series from beginning to end Saturdays starting on Oct. 26, the network said Thursday.

The re-airing — dubbed “The Spartacus Saga: Uncut” — will deliver multiple episodes every week, with bonus footage that was previously available only on the series’ Blu-ray discs.

In addition, Liam McIntyre — who inherited the title role from original series star Andy Whitfield after the latter bowed out due to health issues — will host each night.

The series, which still has more than 3.5 million Facebook followers, wrapped up its run with “Spartacus: War of the Damned” earlier this year.

The re-airings begin at 10:05 p.m., following “Dancing in the Edge,” with the “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” episodes “The Red Serpent,” “Sacramentum Gladiatorum” and “Legends.”

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TV Notes
'Sleepy Hollow' gets surprise renewal for second season
By James Hibberd, EW.com - Oct. 3, 2013

The first new show to get an order for additional episodes this fall is the first title that really impressed in the ratings: Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, which got a modest jump on competitors by debuting Sept. 16, has been renewed for a second season.

To which industry-savvy readers will say: “You don’t mean renewed, you mean a full-season pickup — a back-9 order.”

Nope, renewed. As in: Sleepy Hollow just got an order for a second season. Which is extremely unusual for a new fall show, especially since the fantasy drama doesn’t have a full-season order for this season.

Fox originally committed to airing 13 episodes of Sleepy Hollow. No more episodes beyond the current batch are expected for this season. Now Fox just ordered another 13 for the 2014-15 season.

Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly has previously said he wanted to do more cable-style short-order seasons, so this move shouldn’t be that big of a shock. But it’s one thing for a network executive to make such a declaration of restraint, quite another thing to actually do it once they get a show in a time slot that’s working and there’s a whole dark scary season stretching out before them. So kudos to Fox.

Sleepy Hollow premiere has delivered 13.6 million viewers and a 5.0 adults 18-49 rating when including three days of DVR playback making it Fox’s most successful drama premiere since 24 opened in 2001.

“The show has proven to be a risk well worth taking – it’s a conceptual blast unlike anything else on television and it all holds together with inventive writing and a fantastic cast,” said Reilly. “I can’t wait for fans to experience what else is in store for this fall and even more of this wild ride into Season Two.”

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Nielsen Notes (Late Night)
Leno Triumphant In Final Fall Return for NBC
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Oct. 3, 2013

NBC has carried its primetime momentum over to latenight, as Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon opened the season with dominant performances in their timeslots and their best premiere-week scores in three years.

According to Nielsen, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” averaged 1.21 million adults 18-49 for the week of Sept. 23-27, up 29% from last year and well ahead of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (863,000) and CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” (792,000).

Kimmel was up 38% from last year when he aired at a later time, while Letterman was down 8%.

In total viewers, “Tonight Show” drew 3.68 million (up 12% from last year), followed by “Late Show” (3.14 million, up 5%) and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (2.43 million, up 36%).

Leno’s guests included Justin Timberlake, Dana Carvey and Sandra Bullock. Kimmel booked Paul McCartney, Jon Hamm and Rebel Wilson, among others, while Letterman’s guests included Bill Clinton, Cher and Bono.

Letterman continues to skew older, logging a median age of 58.9 during premiere week. Leno’s median age was 56.5, and Kimmel’s was 54.1.

in the 12:35 a.m. timeslot, “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” soared 29% year to year to 764,000 adults 18-49 — easily topping ABC’s “Nightline” (516,000 for its half-hour, down 50% from its earlier timeslot a year ago) and “Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson” (470,000, down 3% from last year).

NBC’s latenight shows were aided by the network’s good performance in primetime during premiere week, which it won in adults 18-49 and 25-54 by healthy margins.

Led by dramas “The Blacklist,” “Chicago Fire” and “Law & Order: SVU,” the Peacock’s 2.3 average rating in adults 18-49 in the 10:30 p.m. half-hour on weekdays put it ahead of ABC and CBS (both at 1.9). It similarly held the edge in adults 25-54 (3.0), followed by CBS (2.6) and ABC (2.3).

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

8PM - Last Man Standing
8:30PM - The Neighbors
9PM - Shark Tank
10PM - 20/20
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live!
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - Undercover Boss: Loehmann's
9PM - Hawaii Five-0
10PM - Blue Bloods
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Tom Selleck; comic Michael Somerville; Albert Hammond Jr. performs.)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Justin Long)

8PM - The Michael J. Fox
(R - Oct. 3)
8:30PM - Sean Saves The World
(R - Oct. 3)
9PM - Dateline NBC
10PM - Elizabeth's Story: A Meredith Vieira Special
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Terry Bradshaw; fantasy football tattoo league; Nelly performs.)
12:36AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Artie Lange; Tavi Gevinson; Phantogram performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Mixed martial artist Georges St. Pierre; "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl''; Glossary performs.)
(R - Apr. 29)

8PM - MasterChef: Junior Editing
9PM - Sleepy Hollow
(R - Sep. 30)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
8:30PM - Charlie Rose: The Week
9PM - Great Performances - The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2 (2 1/2 hrs.)

8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9:02PM - Amores Verdaderos
9:55PM - Qué Bonito Amor (Series Finale)

8PM - The Originals
(R - Oct. 3)
9PM - America's Next Top Model

8PM - Dama y Obrero
9PM - Marido en Alquiler
10PM - Santa Diabla

10PM - Real Time with Bill Maher (LIVE; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Carl Reiner, Alan Grayson, Suzy Khimm, Reihan Salam)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Chef Cat Cora; comic Jeff Wild; comic Fortune Feimster; actor Ross Mathews)
(R - Sep. 26)

Edited by dad1153 - 10/4/13 at 1:10am
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Technology/Business Notes
Amazon gadget speculation heats up as holiday nears
By Alistair Barr, USA Today - Oct. 3, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- Amazon.com is reportedly designing a series of new gadgets as the world's largest Internet retailer wades deeper into the hardware business to take on rival Apple.

Amazon is working on a video-streaming device in time for the seasonal buying rush that will compete Apple TV and the Roku set-top box, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Details also leaked Thursday about Amazon's long-rumored attempts to get into the smartphone business, where Apple's iPhone dominates.

Amazon is working on two smartphones -- one cheaper model that may be ready for this holiday and a more expensive device with a 3-D-type user interface that won't be released until next year, according to a post on Y Combinator's Hacker News website. TechCrunch confirmed details of the project, which is code-named "Smith."

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday.

Amazon has mostly focused on software and selling digital content and services, such as ebooks, video and music, rather than designing and selling its own hardware . However, the company may be realizing that to compete with Apple it needs its own gadgets because this is how to reach most consumers directly now.

"Amazon lost the music market to Apple and they are determined not to let Apple beat them again in these other areas," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

Amazon is particularly focused on the digital video market. The company announced Thursday that it green-lighted three TV pilots that may become original TV shows, depending on early customer feedback.

Amazon recently launched new tablets that allow subscribers to its Prime two-day shipping and video-streaming service to download videos onto the devices for viewing later, without the need for a Wifi connection.

"They are determined that they will not lose the TV and film market," Pachter said, while noting that the video download feature that comes with the new tablets is "appealing."

Smartphones may be more difficult for Amazon to crack, the analyst added.

"This is a hard business to start from scratch at this point," Pachter said.

Amazon denied a report in September that it was launching a smartphone this year.

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TV/Business Notes
Social Networks in a Battle for the Second Screen
By Vindu Goel and Brian Stelter, The New York Times - Oct. 3, 2013

After “Breaking Bad” drew 10.3 million viewers to one of the most crowd-satisfying finales in television history on Sunday, Twitter and Facebook raced to tell the news media about the throngs who shared their instant reactions to the show on the social networks.

The companies were seeking more than just bragging rights.

Facebook and Twitter both see the social conversation around television as a way to increase use of their sites and win a bigger piece of advertisers’ spending, which eMarketer estimates will be $171 billion across all types of media this year in the United States. In recent months, they have engaged in an escalating battle — publicly and behind the scenes — to claim the title of the nation’s digital water cooler as they woo networks and advertisers.

Sorting out which site deserves the crown, however, is tricky. Each company uses its own standard for determining social TV conversation, and unlike other types of Internet traffic, there is no neutral arbiter.

Twitter, citing data calculated by Nielsen’s SocialGuide service under a confidential formula, said about 600,000 people had posted more than 1.2 million messages, or tweets, about the “Breaking Bad” finale over about a 10-hour period surrounding the East and West Coast broadcasts. But that included retweets, which are messages that simply pass along what others have posted.

Facebook said three million people had chimed in on its service. But that counted original posts, comments on those posts and even “likes,” the quick thumbs-up that people can give to a friend’s Facebook item. And the service looked at everything in a 24-hour period that included the broadcasts.

The public relations blitz shows how important old-fashioned television has become to the Internet-era social networks, particularly Twitter. The company, based in San Francisco, has signed TV-related deals with dozens of advertisers and content distributors over the last year, like Verizon Wireless and ESPN, to burnish its growth prospects as it prepares to sell stock to the public for the first time. That initial public offering is likely to take place next month.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter has disclosed how much revenue it makes from advertising related to TV, and some industry experts doubt they are earning much.

Still, there is little question that television is a favorite topic for users. About half of Americans visit social networks while watching TV, and one in six Americans posts comments about shows during their broadcasts, according to a coming report by eMarketer, which found that people in some countries like China and India are even more active in their chatter.

Live events like sports attract the highest engagement. “Sports events comprise somewhere between 2 and 3 percent of TV programming in any given month but generate close to 50 percent of the Twitter activity” around TV, said Sean Casey, senior vice president for product at Nielsen’s SocialGuide unit.

Nielsen has found that the average audience for Twitter messages about a TV show is 50 times the number of people posting messages about the show. If 2,000 people are posting messages about a show, for example, an average of 100,000 people are seeing those messages. The research firm also found that heavy Twitter activity around a popular broadcast can drive more people to both the show and Twitter.

That kind of potential impact intrigues networks and advertisers, and this week, Nielsen began reporting detailed Twitter activity along with conventional TV audience ratings to its clients.

For viewers, the line between what they see on TV and what they see on their smartphones and tablets is quickly blurring.

During this year’s United States Open, for example, the beer maker Heineken sponsored the tennis tournament in New York, the television broadcast and video highlights posted on Twitter, including a remarkable 54-shot rally between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Potential viewers could catch up on the matches from anywhere.

“We were trying to bring people to the event who weren’t there,” said Ron Amram, senior media director at Heineken USA. “All of us have realized how powerful Twitter can be to get the conversation going.”

Twitter, considered by many to be the leader in social conversation around live TV, has spent much of 2013 courting networks like Fox and MTV and consumer brands like Heineken. Last week, for example, it signed a deal with the National Football League to distribute football clips sponsored by Verizon Wireless and other companies.

Such partnerships have created a significant new revenue stream for Twitter.

“We’ve built a business around working collaboratively with TV,” said Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of global revenue. “We really see our role as a force multiplier.”

Although Mr. Bain declined to provide financial details about the initiative, the public may learn more when the company files information for prospective investors, which could occur as soon as this week.

Facebook, whose social platform is built more around each individual’s web of relationships than rapid-fire conversation, has a more complicated relationship with TV.

With about 128 million Americans and 699 million people worldwide visiting the site on any given day, the company contends that it has become a mass medium with something that television does not have: a vast amount of information about its users that can be used to finely target advertising pitches.

Emphasizing its ability to reach consumers wherever they are through their mobile devices, Facebook has stepped up its efforts to convince traditional TV advertisers like Microsoft, the Ford Motor Company and Mondelez International, formerly known as Kraft Foods, that its platform can reach their customers more efficiently than TV.

“Marketers want to be where their consumers are,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president for global marketing solutions. “We are a formidable brand-building platform.”

Facebook’s most direct challenge to television is yet to come. In the next few months, the company is planning to offer marketers a video ad format that would let them automatically play short clips directly in users’ news feeds, with rich links to further information.

“It will allow you to build a canvas around a brand story,” said Ritu Trivedi, a managing director of MediaVest, which helps companies create ads and has had preliminary discussions with Facebook about the product.

Even as Facebook competes with television networks for ad dollars, it is also trying to cozy up to them. In recent weeks, it has begun offering networks like CNN and Fox Sports access to publicly posted comments and the ability to search for broad trends.

Facebook is also sending roundups of data similar to the information it released about “Breaking Bad” to the four big broadcast networks.

Privately, Facebook executives acknowledge that they are playing catch-up to Twitter, which has dominated industry thinking about social TV.

Twitter’s format — which presents 140-character comments by its users in a chronological stream but also allows the embedding of photos and video clips — is well suited to the real-time nature of TV events, according to advertisers and network executives. And over the last year, Twitter has created several tools that make it easier for advertisers to reach its users, including a unique targeting system that can scan a show for specific ads, then display another ad from the same marketer to people posting about the show.

Twitter is also testing ways to highlight to its users the most active conversations about TV shows during prime-time hours.

“Twitter is, in my view, the only social television application that you could say is at critical mass,” said Pete Vlastelica, senior vice president at Fox Sports Digital, which is trying out Facebook’s new social TV search tools.

Jason Kint, a senior vice president for the CBS Corporation’s interactive division until earlier this year, said that real-time conversation about TV was valuable, but he doubted that Twitter and Facebook could meaningfully cash in.

“There’s definitely a lot of hype, and maybe one day they’ll live up to it all,” he said. “But I certainly don’t see it taking away ad share from television.”

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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Oct. 4, 2013

Various Networks, Check local listings

Today’s games – four of them – are spread between two networks. The day’s first game, with the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 of their series, is on MLB Network at 1 p.m. ET. After that, the postseason baseball action shifts to TBS, where the Tampa Bay Rays play the Boston Red Sox at 3 p.m. ET, the Los Angeles Dodgers play their second playoff game against the Atlanta Braves (at 6 p.m. ET), and the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics get the night game, with TBS coverage beginning at 9:30 ET. The Dodgers and the Pirates won their games yesterday.

PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET
Henry IV, Part II.
It may look like an old-fashioned baseball score, but it’s actually the latest entry in this new PBS presentation of William Shakespeare’s history cycle. Jeremy Irons stars as King Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal, and Simon Russell Beale, making the most of a big supporting role (literally a big one) as Falstaff. Check local listings.

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

This 2012 Steven Spielberg movie, and its central performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, are worth watching any time. But I’m looking forward to this particular repeat telecast because, in the interim, I screened for one of my TV classes at Rowan University an episode of Gidget, the Sixties series in which Sally Field played a peppy surf chick teenager. Watching her play Mary Todd Lincoln to Day-Lewis’ Abraham, after all the intervening years, is an enthralling history lesson – twice.

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

I don’t care who else is on Maher’s show tonight. I’ll be watching, and thrilled, because the mid-show interview guest is the great Carl Reiner. He’s 91 years old now, and has been turning out great entertainment for at least 63 of them. That’s how long ago he played a very funny straight man to Sid Caesar on NBC’s Your Show of Shows. To put it into perspective, that was 15 years before Sally Field played a perky teen in Gidget.

Sundance, 10:00 p.m. ET

Matthew Broderick and Marlon Brando star in a 1990 movie that somehow manages to be a dark comedy, a satire, a drama and a love story all at once – and succeeds at every turn. To say more, other than to urge you to watch, would be taking away from the fun… which definitely includes having fun with the star of The Godfather.


* * * *

TV Sports
HBO Lands a Combination in 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'
By Gerald Johnson, TVWorthWatching.com - Oct. 4, 2013

One of the world’s most recognizable figures is an easy sell for documentary or cinematic treatment. So it comes as no surprise that HBO Films would offer a combination in Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight to an 8 p.m. ET Saturday night audience.

In this new HBO telemovie, written by Shawn Slovo and directed by Stephen Frears, documentary film footage of the outspoken heavyweight boxing champion during the time he refused military induction is layered with a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court of the United States, portrayed by an immensely talented cast of the “nine old men” whose decisions shaped a nation.

Led by Frank Langella as Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Ali’s Greatest explores the complex relationships on the court, even with glimpses of their home life, and how the men approached deliberations on the champion’s refusal to answer the draft. All this is told against the background of protest and upheaval over the Vietnam War.

Because it’s an HBO movie and not a Robert Caro biography, so much is abbreviated, and certainly omitted. But one particular juxtaposition of the justices sitting at conference and documentary footage of Ali presenting his argument almost perfectly puts the boxer before the Supreme Court, making his own case.

In some ways, the movie side is much less compelling when it is left to stand opposite the historic footage of a rapid-fire Ali – both fists and speech – in his prime. The dramatic performances, though, let the audience surmise what might have taken place in the private lives of the men – and, on the highest court, they all were men at that time – whose decisions made history.

Langella’s presentation of the patrician and racial elitist Berger is helped supremely by Christopher Plummer’s rendering of an earthy Justice John Harlan II.

Demeanor is the order of the day on matters inside the Court, and the cast is up to the task. Many of the justices were so obscure outside of legal circles, in the late 1960s and into the ’70s, that this cast could bring them to the screen without much stir. Harris Yulin as Justice William O. Douglas and Fritz Weaver as Justice Hugo Black are convincing, but really, who’d know the difference?

John Bedford Lloyd mimics Justice Byron White, and Ed Begley Jr.’s portrayal of Justice Harry Blackmun seems to work. Two, however, are difficult for an aging baby boomer to digest: Peter Gerety as Justice William Brennan and Danny Glover as Justice Thurgood Marshall. Perhaps Brennan actually was an elfin character to those who knew the inside of the court. Court biographers can duke it out.

Glover captures perfectly the wily machinations that some have attributed to Marshall, even in his decline, but Glover appears nearly a professional athlete next to images of Marshall at that time. Glover nevertheless takes audiences past the stark physical contrasts by applying lessons on how race is lived in America. His being mistaken for an elevator operator, for one thing. His applying the cold compress of reality to justices in their deliberations is another.

Maybe the frat house antics of the clerks – again, all of them men, and, at this time, all of them white – is overstated. Maybe it’s spot-on accurate. Howard Bingham and Max Wallace might have plumbed unimpeachable sources for their book that formed the basis for this film.

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, by way of historic reminder, probably is more informative than it is entertaining. Each portrayal, though, will prompt viewers to pause and ponder the character and intellect of the current Supreme Court. It’s a fascinating aspect of American government.

post #89951 of 93675
Lucasfilm will be showing a 15 second trailer of the new animated series "Star Wars: Rebels" during the premiere of "Mighty Med" this Monday night
around 8:30 ET on Disney XD. biggrin.gif
post #89952 of 93675
THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #89953 of 93675
Did the clone wars end? I thought there was one more season.

Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Lucasfilm will be showing a 15 second trailer of the new animated series "Star Wars: Rebels" during the premiere of "Mighty Med" this Monday night
around 8:30 ET on Disney XD. biggrin.gif
post #89954 of 93675
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
A record return for ABC’s ‘Scandal’
Third-year drama bows to series-high 3.6 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Oct. 4, 2013

ABC’s “Scandal” started the new season just as it ended the last one, with record ratings.

The hot drama debuted to a series-high 3.6 adults 18-49 rating last night at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 13 percent over its then-record season finale last May, which drew a 3.2.

“Scandal” soared by an impressive 71 percent over last fall’s 2.1 premiere, and it finished as the No. 2 show of the night on broadcast, behind only CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” (5.0).

The Kerry Washington show also reached a series high in total viewers with 10.5 million.

Earlier in the night, CBS’s “The Millers” bowed to good numbers behind “Bang.” The new comedy averaged a 3.3 in 18-49s, becoming the second-highest-rated new sitcom this season.

The show maintained 66 percent of “Bang’s” lead-in in the 8:30 timeslot.

The season’s top new comedy, “The Crazy Ones,” cooled off versus last week, when it premiered behind a special one-hour “Bang.”

“Crazy” averaged a 2.9, off 26 percent from last week’s 3.9. A decline was expected because of the smaller lead-in, and “Crazy” still took second in the timeslot behind ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” which drew a 3.0.

NBC, meanwhile, struggled with its comedy lineup. “Parks and Recreation” led off the night at 8 p.m. with a 1.3, tying last week’s series low.

That led into “Welcome to the Family,” which managed a mere 1.2 at 8:30 and became one of NBC’s lowest-rated comedy premieres ever.

Things didn’t get much better at 9 p.m., where the network’s much-hyped new comedy “Sean Saves the World” bowed to a 1.6.

At 9:30, the new comedy “The Michael J. Fox Show” recovered a bit, rising to a 1.9. That was down from a 2.2 for last week’s series premiere.

The network’s 10 p.m. drama, “Parenthood,” did increase 6 percent over last week despite facing greater competition in “Scandal,” averaging a 1.7.

The night’s other new broadcast premiere, the CW’s “The Originals,” drew okay numbers. It posted the biggest audience in a year in the 9 p.m. timeslot behind “The Vampire Diaries,” the show it’s being spun off of, averaging a 0.9 in 18-34s and a 1.4 in women 18-34.

It retained 78 percent and 69 percent of “Diaries’” lead-in, respectively. “Diaries” averaged a 1.3 in 18-34s and a 1.8 in women 18-34, the latter its best rating since March.

Fox’s shows had mixed results. “The X Factor” was even to last week in 18-49s with a 2.0, while 9 p.m. lead-out “Glee” slid 20 percent from last week’s bow, to a 1.6.

CBS finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.9 average overnight rating and a 9 share. ABC was a very close second at 2.8/8, Fox third at 1.8/5, NBC fourth at 1.6/5, Univision fifth at 1.3/4, CW sixth at 1.0/3 and Telemundo seventh at 0.4/1.

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

At 8 p.m. CBS was first with a 4.2 for “Bang” (5.0) and “Millers” (3.3), followed by Fox with a 2.0 for “Factor.” ABC was third with a 1.6 for a “Scandal” recap show, Univision fourth with a 1.5 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” NBC fifth with a 1.3 for “Parks” (1.3) and “Welcome” (1.2), CW sixth with a 1.2 for “Diaries,” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Dama y Obrero.”

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.0 for “Grey’s,” while CBS slipped to second with a 2.7 for “Crazy” (2.9) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.4). NBC was third with a 1.7 for “Sean” (1.6) and “Fox” (1.9), Fox fourth with a 1.6 for “Glee,” Univision fifth with a 1.3 for “La Tempestad,” CW sixth with a 0.9 for “The Originals,” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Marido en Alquiler.”

At 10 p.m. ABC led again with a 3.6 for “Scandal,” with CBS second with a 2.0 for “Elementary.” NBC was third with a 1.7 for “Parenthood,” Univision fourth with a 1.2 for “Que Bonito Amor,” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.4 for “Santa Diabla.”

CBS was also first for the night among households with a 7.4 average overnight rating and a 12 share. ABC was second at 5.8/9, Fox third at 3.5/6, NBC fourth at 2.9/5, Univision fifth at 1.8/3, CW sixth at 1.5/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.6/1.


* * * *

TV Sports/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
A hot return to the ice for the NHL
NBCSN posts best opening-night game in cable history
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Oct. 4, 2013

The NHL’s red-hot ratings didn’t cool off over the long, hot summer.

The league returned to play Tuesday night on NBC Sports Network with record numbers, following the most-watched Stanley Cup finals in 16 years last June on NBC.

Tuesday’s contest between the Washington Capitals and the defending league champion Chicago Blackhawks averaged 935,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, the biggest crowd ever to watch a game on cable on opening night.

It also became the second-most-watched regular-season game ever on NBCSN, behind only last January’s Boston Bruins-New York Rangers contest.

Comparisons to last year are skewed, as the NHL lockout pushed the start of the season well past October. But Tuesday’s game was up 7 percent over the 2011-’12 season, which drew 874,000.

post #89955 of 93675
Originally Posted by jim tressler View Post

Did the clone wars end? I thought there was one more season.

It ended....they had planned a season 6 but the disney deal ended it.

There is actually production that was done before the announcement that will be eventually released but they havent announced how like online, on disney xd, on disc etc.
post #89956 of 93675
Originally Posted by PJO1966 View Post

Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

This is old news. The announcement was made a while ago.

It's the first I've heard it, so I'm glad it was posted.

The posting of said article was perfectly fine. The point was the author got it wrong in saying that it was just announced. It wasn't.
post #89957 of 93675
TV Review
Witches of East End (Lifetime)
By Allison Keen, The Hollywood Reporter - Oct. 4, 2013

Maybe it has to do with the Halloween season, but witches are getting something of a revival. In addition to Lifetime's adaptation of Melissa De La Cruz's best-seller Witches of East End, witches are the focus of American Horror Story's upcoming season, and have also made appearances recently on True Blood and Sleepy Hollow. Are they the female empowerment version of the handsome, mysterious vampire?

Whatever they are, Witches of East End is filled with them. The series focuses on the Beauchamp family: artist mother Joanna (the lovely Julia Ormond, with a wavering accent), and two daughters, the bookish "realist / skeptic" Ingrid (Rachel Boston) and impulsive bartender Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, wife of Channing). The twist is that the daughters don't know they are witches yet, though a series of inexplicable events gets them wondering if something supernatural might be going on.

It turns out that Joanna has been protecting the girls from that particular knowledge "this time around." Both the girls and their mother have been around a number of times before. Joanna gives birth, the girls grow up and they die before they are 30 -- over and over again. The Beauchamp's backstory is filled with plenty of mythology, with a focus on cycles and curses. This depth in the world building is a nice way to set up the potential of the entire series, which marries the past and present together fairly seamlessly (time isn't so important when you're immortal).

As Joanna struggles to keep her girls away from the magical, her estranged sister, Wendy (Mädchen Amick), shows up to warn Joanna of a shape-shifter killing in her name (and, well, her face). As the darkness from their past begins to catch up with them, Joanna must decide how to train her daughters in their newfound powers to save all of their lives.
One of the differences between the Witches of East End series and the book is that Freya and Ingrid don't initially know they are witches. It's a good change, because now the daughters (who are older than typically young "I'm different!" characters) must navigate this revelation within their adult lives, which grounds the series from being too silly.

Freya is engaged to the handsome and rich Dash Gardiner (Eric Winter), but feels magnetically drawn to his ne'er-do-well brother Killian (Daniel DiTomasso), who first shows up in her dreams and then in person. Ingrid lives a quiet life as a librarian (both women also live at home with their mother), and has a crush on a local cop, Adam (Jason Winston George), who is investigating the murders that the shape-shifter set Joanna up for.

If this sounds a lot like a romance novel (just from the names -- Freya! Dash! Killian!), it feels a lot like one, too. There are billowing dresses and longing looks and magical bursting flowers. That doesn't mean the show isn't fun, though, and the dialogue is snappy. Witches of East End doesn't overdo the mythology (like Sleepy Hollow) or make it all about the sex (like True Blood). Instead, it set up a complicated interpersonal world, a plausible (for this kind of show) backstory, and then populated the town with really good-looking people. What else do you really require from a show about witches and shape-shifters?

Witches of East End is up against a number of other supernatural shows, and there becomes a question of saturation. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your own tolerance for it), we aren't at that point, yet. It seems there's plenty more room at the table, and there, Witches of East End currently looks like the most fun.

Premieres: 10 p.m. Sunday, October 6 (Lifetime)
The Bottom Line: Though much of it feels like a romance novel come to life, the gothic drama is surprisingly fun.

post #89958 of 93675
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Not to mention FX probably has a better reputation than Exxon even when it's running 4 hour blocks of Mad About You. They are at least only polluting the airwaves. biggrin.gif

It would be a real trick for Fxx to pollute the airwaves, considering that they are not broadcast via OTA. biggrin.gif
post #89959 of 93675
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

It would be a real trick for Fxx to pollute the airwaves, considering that they are not broadcast via OTA. biggrin.gif

But, but, I receive my FXX via Satellite TV. Is that not over the air? ;
post #89960 of 93675
I was under the impression that OTA meant via antenna.
post #89961 of 93675
I see OTA i think Organized Team Activity.

Sunday is The Simpsons annual halloween episode its the only ep i still watch....good writeup on this years opening.

'The Simpsons'
Guillermo del Toro on creating the epic opening to 'Treehouse of Horror XXIV'

By Dan Snierson on Oct 3, 2013 at 4:04PM @dansnierson

In trying to scare up some laughs for its annual Halloween episode, The Simpsons also got deadly serious: They recruited big-screen writer-director Guillermo Del Toro. Known for crafting surreal worlds of fantasy and horror (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) as well as action (Pacific Rim), Del Toro turned Springfield into his own wicked playground with a 2-minute-45-second couch gag/ opening-titles extravaganza to kick off Oct. 6′s “Treehouse of Horror XXIV.” It’s a dense, elaborate, clever, creepy, impressive creation — and it requires several viewings to process all of the action. (See for yourself below.)

The entire video of the opening is in the link:

Initially offered the opportunity to record a guest voice or whip up a simple couch gag, del Toro decided to go for gory glory and reimagine the entire opening credits, too. “The Simpsons titles are so iconic and yet they’ve never been riffed in this vein,” he says. “I really wanted to land the connections between the [show’s] set pieces and the titles and some of the most iconic horror movies, and intersperse them with some of my stuff in there for pure joy,” he says. “For example the idea that Ms. Krabappel could be outside the school with Alfred Hitchcock which is a reference to the sequence in The Birds that happens outside of the school in Bodega Bay. To use Chief Wiggum as the Cyclops from Harryhausen, dipping the [Lard Lad] donut in a water tank, to have the nuclear spill from Mr. Burns’ plant create zombies — all of this stuff seems to make sense to interconnect. If Homer really gets a radioactive isotope, he could turn into a reaper from Blade. Or the famous shot that is always in the titles — Maggie driving and then you pull back and there’s Marge driving, right? But in this case Maggie is driving, and she’s driving the car from the horror movie from the 70s called The Car, which is one of my favorite guilty pleasure B-movies. And what if Lisa is in the music class, but she’s in the music class with every Phantom of the Opera ever made? It was a unique opportunity.”

Del Toro wound up creating a mash-up love letter to all sorts of his horror/fantasy inspirations in paying tribute to The Simpsons, while taking a page from Mad magazine’s Mort Drucker, Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman. “They would try to cram so many references in,” he says. “You as a kid could spend an afternoon on your bed with your magnifying glass going through a frame of Mad magazine and finding all these references to this and that.” (Keep your eyes peeled for a Futurama nod too. “I integrate[d] Lisa falling through the couch like Alice in Wonderland but in the dress of the girl from Pan’s Labyrinth, and instead of landing next to the giant toad in Pan’s Labyrinth, she lands next to the Hypnotoad from Futurama.) He stuffed in as many horror/fantasy masters and iconic characters as he could (from H.P. Lovecraft to Edgar Allen Poe to Stephen King to the Universal monsters), though many more had to be left on the cutting room floor. “At the last minute I wanted to put a Mexican wrestler in there,” he notes with a chuckle, “but [casting producer] Bonnie Pietila said to me, ‘We’ve got to go! We cannot keep adding and adding stuff. “

What was his favorite moment from the finished product, which took several months to complete? That would be the scene in which Smithers tends to Mr. Burns — seen as the Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth — before meeting his demise. It was a gag pitched by frequent del Toro collaborator/comic book artist/monster designer Guy Davis. “Guy said, ‘Why don’t we have Smithers clean the eyes and he gets eaten?’” says del Toro. “It defined the relationship between Burns and Smithers perfectly. That was the thing that I enjoyed the most — to take what we feel when we’re watching the title sequence or the characters and make it organic.”

Del Toro is game to team up with the animated Fox comedy again, mentioning that he would be interested in directing a “Treehouse of Horror” segment in the future. “There’s a lot of stuff in the title sequence that’s pretty graphic,” he notes, “but it would be great to make a Treehouse of Horror that is really scary — that actually makes you shiver.”
And if you’re getting the sense that del Toro is a big fan of The Simpsons, you’re right. Not only did he slip a few homages to The Simpsons in Hellboy (“Mmmm, nachos” “Why you little…!”), he has a room in his house that’s brimming with Simpsons memorabilia. “My favorite is a 30-inch tall Mr. Burns as Dracula that they only make in Germany,” he says. “It’s a really good sculpture. It’s going to run away eventually, but I think that’s very appropriate.”
Edited by dcowboy7 - 10/4/13 at 5:00pm
post #89962 of 93675
Originally Posted by rviele View Post

I was under the impression that OTA meant via antenna.

My dish receiver attaches to an antenna so that it can receive its signal from the sky.... wink.gif
post #89963 of 93675
Originally Posted by rviele View Post

I was under the impression that OTA meant via antenna.

It does. The acronym OTA stands for Off The Air.
post #89964 of 93675
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

It would be a real trick for Fxx to pollute the airwaves, considering that they are not broadcast via OTA. biggrin.gif

One more time, the quote was pollute the airwaves, not OTA (although there is a misnomer that airwaves include only OTA)...... FXX can and does get transmitted via satellite and that is sent via the airwaves....
post #89965 of 93675
Originally Posted by Leftcoastdave View Post

It does. The acronym OTA stands for Off The Air.

Or in this case Off Topic Again. tongue.gif
post #89966 of 93675
Originally Posted by tomhunter8 View Post

Or in this case Off Topic Again. tongue.gif

haha that's pretty good biggrin.gif
post #89967 of 93675
TV Notes
‘The Blacklist’ Gets Full-Season Pickup
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Oct. 4, 2013

No surprise here — NBC breakout new drama The Blacklist has received an early back 9 pickup, bringing its first-season order to a full-season 22 episodes. James Spader shines as the enigmatic Red Reddington in the thriller procedural from Sony Pictures TV and Davis Entertainment, which opened with a 3.8 Live+Same Day adults 18-49 rating. “The many layers of Red Reddington and his mysterious reasons for getting into bed with the FBI seem to be fascinating to fans of this show,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke.

Through the first two weeks of the season, The Blacklist has averaged a 3.6 18-49 rating and 12 million viewers, ranking as the No. 1 most watched new drama this fall and No. 2 in 18-49. The series has dominated the Monday 10 PM hour, and the September 23 premiere added 4.4 million time-shifting viewers in Live+3.

The Blacklist stars Spader and Megan Boone, with Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, Ryan Eggold and Parminder Nagra co-starring. It joins Fox’s new drama Sleepy Hollow, which received a second-season order yesterday, with a pickup for ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. likely to come next.

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TV Notes
‘Lucky 7,’ Fall’s Unluckiest Show, Pulled From ABC Schedule
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Oct. 4, 2013

“Lucky 7″ has been pulled from ABC’s schedule, and will be replaced by repeats of “Scandal.”

TheWrap noted Wednesday that the lottery drama had the lowest average ratings of any new show in the fall, and the lowest of any Big 4 show overall. “Even the most nervous gambler would have to bet on “Lucky 7″ to be the first show to be canceled in 2013-14,” we said.

Though the show shared a night with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” an early fall hit for ABC, it mustered only an unlucky .7 rating Tuesday in the key 18-49 demographic.

That was down from its debut, which was the worst for a drama in ABC history.

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Critic's Notes
David Letterman: How long can the TV talk host stay on the job?
By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Oct. 4, 2013

Now that David Letterman has extended his deal with CBS through 2015, it's time to ask: How long can the onetime heir to Johnny Carson stay on the job?

Letterman, host of CBS' "Late Show," will turn 68 in 2015. Television executives strive to reach "the demo," or the demographic comprised of viewers ages 18 to 49. At 68, Letterman wouldn't just be outside the demo, he'd be at least as old as the fathers of most people inside it. As painful as it is for those of us who grew up on his old NBC late-night show to admit, this guy is your dad's TV host — at least if you're under 40.

Is that a horribly ageist thing to say? Maybe. But it's also realistic. Before you bury me under a mountain of comments and emails for being a hateful person who wants to rob an old pro of a steady gig, remember that Letterman has faced succession speculation for years, dating back at least to 2000, when he underwent heart surgery and missed five weeks of work.

Nothing lasts forever, and television hosting gigs, just like TV hosts themselves, are no exception. Yes, I know that CBS is comfortable with older viewers and that Andy Rooney kept working on "60 Minutes" until a month before he died at age 92. But hosting a nightly talk show is different. It's a young person's game. There's a reason why NBC is finally putting Jay Leno to pasture (at age 63) and replacing him with Jimmy Fallon (39). Look at the number of jokes — many of them from Letterman! — about Larry King's age during his final years on CNN. (King's marriage to a woman 26 years his junior also made him a target, but that's a different issue.)

"Late Show" has never reached the heights of absurdity Letterman hit on his old NBC show, which had the freedom of a relatively expectation-free 12:30 a.m. time slot. Letterman became a sensation during an era when most people still watched just three networks and late-night competition was virtually nonexistent. Now, while Letterman still knocks off some amazing interviews with celebrity guests and newsmakers, the comedy on the CBS show has settled into a calcified formula, with the humor a lot broader and less cerebral and a large band providing aggressive musical cues. (Some faint glimmers of the old surrealism remain, such as in the off-again, on-again bit "Is This Anything?") It's a recipe that still delivers, but alongside the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it's also tasting a little stale. Which is ironic because 30 years ago Letterman's humor was so subversive and bracing many believed he'd never find work outside of the wee hours.

The ratings are revealing. During premiere week this fall, Letterman was No. 2 to Leno's "Tonight Show," with 3.1 million total viewers versus 3.7 million, according to Nielsen. But among adults ages 18 to 49, "Late Show," which just marked its 20th anniversary on CBS, ranked third behind Leno and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel. In fact, Letterman had the same 18-to-49 rating as NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" show, despite the fact that Fallon airs an hour later.

So how long will Letterman hold out? Will his dotage be televised, or did we just witness the last re-upping for the man many believe is the best talent in late night?

Time will tell, but we already know one thing: Letterman has surpassed his idol Carson in one notable respect.

Carson, the undisputed King of Late Night who laid down the rules everyone else has either followed or broken for the last 50 years, left "The Tonight Show" in May 1992.

He was 66 — the same age as Letterman right now.

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TV Notes
‘The Simpsons’ Renewed for Season 26 by Fox
By AJ Marechal, Variety.com - Oct. 4, 2013

“The Simpsons” has received another record-setting renewal from Fox.

The network has ordered a 26th season of the venerable toon series, it was announced this afternoon. Renewal continues “The Simpsons” streak as the longest-running American sitcom and animated program.

“For more than a quarter of a century, ‘The Simpsons’ has captured the hearts and minds of fans in a way that transcends ages, languages and cultures,” said Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. “This ground-breaking series is not only the longest-running scripted show in television history, it’s one of the greatest sitcoms of our time, and I’m looking forward to yet another landmark season.”

Despite its more-than-veteran status on Fox’s lineup, “The Simpsons” is still a solid ratings performer. Its season-25 premiere last Sunday ranked as the top entertainment program of the night in adults 18-49 and was up 12% from last season’s average. The program has also managed to remain in the pop culture dialogue, as creatives announced plans last month to kill off a character, stirring up Web chatter with speculation about who will get the ax.

Renewal news follows word that Fox is indeed planning a cable syndication push for the series. With a library of nearly 600 episodes at 20th Century Fox TV’s disposal, the syndie deal for cable reruns is poised to be vastly lucrative for the studio.

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