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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3009

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TV Notes
NBC Cancels ‘Welcome To The Family’ & ‘Ironside’
Gives ‘Sean Saves The World’ Script Order, Sets Premiere Dates For ‘Community’ & ‘Chicago PD’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Oct. 18, 2013

NBC has pulled Ironside and Welcome To The Family three weeks into their freshman runs. Welcome To The Family is gone effective immediately, while Ironside will air one more episode next Wednesday before falling off the schedule. Beginning October 30, repeats, Dateline and specials will air in Ironside’s 10 PM berth until January 8, when Chicago Fire spinoff Chicago P.D. will debut in the slot that successfully launched the mothership series last season. On Thursdays, NBC will air a mix of back-to-back Parks And Recreation episodes and various specials for the next two months, with veteran Community launching its fifth season on January 2 with back-to-back episodes from 8-9 PM before moving to its old 8 PM slot, with current occupant Parks And Rec sliding to Welcome To The Family‘s 8:30 PM period beginning with the January 9 episode, the show’s 100th.

Ironside and Welcome To The Family have been among NBC’s lowest-rated series on the air. In their most recent airings, Ironside logged a 1.1 in 18-49, flat with the previous week and the same as Sean Saves The World, while Welcome To The Family was up a tenth to a 0.9. Here is a rundown of NBC’s plans for the two time periods:

Wednesday 10 PM time slot:

Oct. 30: “Law & Order: SVU” (encore of season premiere)
Nov. 6: “Dateline” (original)
Nov. 13: “Dateline” (original)
Nov. 20: “Dateline” (original)
Nov. 27: “SNL Thanksgiving”
Dec. 4: “SNL Christmas” (9-11 PM)
Dec. 11: Kelly Clarkson Christmas Special
Dec. 18: Michael Buble Christmas Special
Jan. 8, 2014: Premiere of “Chicago P.D.”

Thursday 8 PM time slot:

Oct. 24: “The Voice” (encore)
Oct. 31: “SNL Halloween”
Nov. 7: “The Voice” (live)
Nov. 14: “Parks And Recreation” (back-to-back new episodes)
Nov. 21: “Parks And Recreation” (back-to-back new episodes)
Nov. 28: “Sunday Night Football” Thanksgiving game
Dec. 5: “The Sound Of Music Live” telecast
Dec. 12: “The Sing-Off”
Dec. 19: “The Sing-Off”
Jan. 2, 2014: Season premiere of “Community” (back-to-back episodes)
Jan. 9: 100th episode of “Parks And Recreation” (8:30 PM)

UPDATE: I’ve learned that NBC‘s other new Thursday comedy awaiting word on its fate, Sean Saves The World, has received an order for 4 additional scripts. While the series posted a 1.1 in adults 18-49 last night, same as freshly cancelled Ironside, it does build on its Welcome To The Family lead-in (0.9 last night), and NBC brass have been encouraged with the show’s creative direction. The third new NBC comedy, The Michael J. Fox Show, has a 22-episode order.

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TV Notes
Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Picked Up for Full Season
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Oct. 18, 2013

Hipster criminals beware: The detectives of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are sticking around the borough a little longer.

Fox picked up an additional nine episodes of the Andy Samberg comedy, bringing the series to a 22-episode order. The network also announced that the show will join “New Girl” in a special one-hour comedy event airing immediately after the Super Bowl.

“It’s exciting to see that both critics and fans love ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ as much as we do,” said Kevin Reilly, chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “With Andy (Samberg) and Andre (Braugher) out in front of this incredible ensemble, it feels like this show is going to be around for a long time.”

Through five telecasts, the comedy is averaging a 2.1 rating/6 share among the key 18-49 demo, with 4.9 million total viewers, according to Nielsen’s most current data.

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was created and written by Dan Goor (“Parks and Recreation”) and Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Office”). It is produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment and Fremulon.

The special hour block with “New Girl” will air on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 following Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox.


* * * *

TV Notes
‘America’s Next Top Model’ Renewed for Cycle 21 by CW
By Jethro Nededog, TheWrap.com - Oct. 18, 2013

The CW has renewed Tyra Banks-produced and hosted “America’s Next Top Model” for a 21st Cycle.

The producers have already started casting for the upcoming season, which will once again feature male and female contenders. The CW didn’t release a return date.

One of The CW’s longest-running series, “America’s Next Top Model” has become an important player in its summer programming slate, currently airing Fridays at 9/8c. Alongside Banks, the series stars judges Kelly Cutrone and Rob Evans with social media correspondent Bryanboy. Johnny Wujek serves as photo shoot creative director.

Formerly one of the network’s highest rated series, its viewership has declined in later cyles. Last Friday’s episode, for example, garnered a 0.4 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and 1.13 million viewers. At its height during Cycles 7 and 8, the show averaged 5.4 million viewers.

Executive produced by Banks, Ken Mok and Laura Fuest Silva via 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with The Tyra Banks Company, ANTM formerly aired on the UPN for three seasons before UPN and The WB merged in 2006 to form The CW.

Licensed internationally by CBS Studios International, ANTM airs in more than 100 markets around the world and has 20 international versions in production.

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TV Notes
Betty White's 'Off Their Rockers' Revived at Lifetime
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime is reviving Betty White's Off Their Rockers.

The female-skewing cable network has picked up 20 original half-hour episodes of the hidden-camera series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

White will return to host the third season of the series in 2014. A formal premiere date has not yet been determined.

The deal with producer Kinetic Content brings new episodes of the series to Lifetime, which has aired off-network repeats.

NBC aired the first two seasons of the series, which featured White overseeing the elderly playing pranks on younger folks in a hidden-camera fashion similar to Candid Camera. The show launched with a preview in April 2012 timed to an NBC special tribute for White's 90th birthday earning 12 million total viewers.

Following its 12-episode run from January to May 2012, NBC renewed the series for a second run of 14 installments, which started with back-to-back airings in January into February with its final four episodes airing March 19, June 25 and July 9.

Rockers' most recent in-season run -- which was used to help fill holes on the network and often held up well -- averaged a 1.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers. The series failed to really see an uptick when factoring in Live+Seven-Day numbers as the show didn't traditionally perform well with the DVR crowd.

Rockers marks the latest series to be spared the ax at Lifetime. The cable network revived America's Most Wanted for a 25th season after Fox dropped the John Walsh crime-fighting series after 24 runs. (Lifetime ultimately canceled the series in March.) The network also picked up ABC's Devious Maidsafter the network originally passed on the Marc Cherry drama. That series has already been renewed for a second season.

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TV Notes
New show 'Hieroglyph' gets series order from Fox
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

Ancient Egypt is getting the 21st century treatment in the form of a new fantasy-driven action-adventure show called "Hieroglyph," Fox announced Thursday.

The network is picking up the show for a 13-episode series order. "Hieroglyph" takes ancient Egypt to new extremes through the tale of a charismatic thief who is taken out of prison to serve the pharaoh. We're told to expect sorcery, sexy concubines and plenty of palace intrigue.

The show was created by Travis Beacham who also co-wrote "Pacific Rim" and "Clash of the Titans." Beacham also serves as an executive producer with Peter Chernin ("New Girl," “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Katherine Pope ("New Girl") and Miguel Sapochnik (“Repo Men,” “Fringe”), who will direct the pilot episode.

“We wanted to do a show about deceit, sex, intrigue in the court and fantastical goings-on -- no better place to set that than ancient Egypt,” said Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for Fox. “Travis Beacham has an inventive mind, and he has wrapped this all together in this intoxicating new drama.”

Perhaps Fox was spurred to take on another fantastical drama by the success of its new show, "Sleepy Hollow," which was the first new show of the season to receive a renewal notice.

Production for "Hieroglyph" will begin early next year.

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

8PM - College Football: Florida State at Clemson (LIVE)

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
(R - Feb. 25)
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Nov. 5, 2012)
9PM - Hostages
(R - Oct. 14)
10PM - 48 Hours

7:30PM - College Football: USC at Notredame (LIVE)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Tina Fey hosts; Arcade Fire performs; 93 min.)
(R - Sep. 28)

8PM - Dads
(R - Sep. 24)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Sep. 24)
9PM - New Girl
(R - Sep. 17)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Sep. 17)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: The Lumineers; Shovels & Rope

8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

6:30PM - Movie: Cars (2006)
9PM - Movie: Toy Story (1995)
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Critic's Notes
On Late TV, Hosts Go From Snide to Sweet
By Jason Zineman, The New York Times - Oct. 19, 2013

In one of the signal moments of the greatest talk show in my lifetime, “Late Night With David Letterman,” on NBC, Cher called the host a big jerk.

She used harsher language, but that was the idea. What’s often forgotten in that 1986 exchange is how quickly Mr. Letterman defused the tension. “You know,” he said, without a smidgen of defensiveness, “I think a lot of people feel that way about me.”

What host of a nightly talk show would make such a concession now?

Stephen Colbert might, in character. Maybe Chelsea Handler. Mr. Letterman, who recently signed a deal to continue as a host through 2015 on CBS, has become less caustic. In a nostalgic mood, he could muster it. But in an era when the most celebrated TV dramas ask you to identify with often repellent antiheroes, the new stars of late night are ingratiating sweeties. We probably shouldn’t even call the coming battle between Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, who is taking over “The Tonight Show” in February, a late night war. How about a pillow fight?

Consider the newest players. Arsenio Hall, who is technically more retro than new, butters up guests and gently tells the audience of his syndicated show to relax. The casually self-deprecating W. Kamau Bell, who started producing “Totally Biased” nightly on FXX last month, outsources the harshest comedy to his writers, who make often quite funny cameos. When Sarah Silverman, whom Mr. Bell had called racist years ago, came on as a guest, he gave her a shirt that read “Mostly Not Racist” and told her if he did a roast of anyone, he might cry.

Later this month, two exceedingly friendly faces will start appearing on your television screens at midnight: Pete Holmes, whose half-hour TBS show has its premiere after “Conan” on Oct. 28, and Chris Hardwick, whose comedy show, “@midnight,” produced by Funny or Die, starts on Monday, following “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. Mr. Holmes, a canny stand-up who runs the podcast “You Made It Weird,” has said he wants his show to be a “silly safe space.” And Mr. Hardwick, a comic whose show includes comedians in a competition for funniest take on a topical subject, is so upbeat, amiable and inclusive that he can sometimes sound like a self-help guru.

Talk shows have always been about personality as well as comedy. And these are the kind of approachable-seeming stars who are far more likely to be silly than abrasive, sunny than acerbic. No one tests the limits of endearing charm more than Mr. Fallon, now in the last few months as host of “Late Night” before moving to “The Tonight Show.”

Whereas his “Tonight” predecessor Johnny Carson kept a cool, elegant distance, and Jay Leno delivers a joke-dense monologue with the professionalism of an old-school entertainer, Mr. Fallon has a much warmer, offhand presence. Leaning on the superb “Late Night” band the Roots, he seems like the host of a party as much as of a show. He is not a gifted joke teller, but his willingness to sing, dance, riff or use social media suggests a performer looking to get laughs but happy to settle for smiles.

Among celebrities, Mr. Fallon sometimes adopts the persona of a fan. At the MTV Video Music Awards, he bowed in awe before Justin Timberlake. This week, he told Katy Perry he’d be part of her fan club. The impression Mr. Fallon gives is that he doesn’t just want you to identify with him. He also identifies with you.

Mr. Kimmel is also chummy with guests, but of all the network late-night hosts, he has the most potential to be the prickly alternative to the current cult of likability.

That was evident in the enthusiastic way he engaged in and exploited a feud with Kanye West last week. Mr. Kimmel took a page from Mr. Letterman’s playbook by assuming the role of aw-shucks rube poking fun at a star. (Mr. Letterman used to do this masterfully with celebrities like Joan Collins, Madonna and Oprah.) Some critics skewered Mr. Kimmel’s mockery of Mr. West for its ignorance of fashion or music, but in so doing, the host surely came off as more relatable to a mass audience.

Mr. Kimmel slightly fumbled the execution, appealing to Mr. West when he appeared on his show as a fellow star; still, trading quips on television and Twitter in advance of that show was dramatic enough to draw eyeballs and ratings. Perhaps more important, it positioned him in stark contrast to Mr. Fallon, who it’s hard to imagine would ever take on a pop star so strongly. In Mr. West’s appearance on Mr. Fallon’s show last month, he changed a lyric to take a shot at the ex-boyfriend of his partner, Kim Kardashian. The buzz that created was hard to top, but Mr. Kimmel did.

Part of the reason late-night comedy has become kinder and gentler may be that in our current culture, there is already a steady supply of meanness. Cruelty, you might say, has been outsourced to the Internet, not to mention Comedy Central roasts and weekly shows like “The Jeselnik Offensive” (Comedy Central), which makes a cartoonish joke of the arrogance of its host, Anthony Jeselnik, a precise, skilled stand-up who has described his stint writing for Mr. Fallon’s show as a bad fit.

“He couldn’t be the bad guy in the joke,” he said in an interview. “He couldn’t upset people, really.”

It may also be that the slyly sardonic David Letterman of the 1980s was an anomaly. Indeed, his style was trickier and harder to accomplish than it appeared. He didn’t aim to be the bad guy. Nor was he. He invited you to join him as a fellow outsider, together tossing spitballs at phony show business targets.

The clever trick of his rejoinder to Cher is that by emphasizing how others saw him as rude, he became more human, vulnerable and even likable. If you doubt it, consider that just last month, Cher went on his show on the day her first studio album in more than a decade was released and made quick, fond mention of her quarter-century-old insult.

“That was a whole different time in our love life,” she told him.

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TV Review
'Dancing on the Edge'
Jazz band does its own British invasion in perceptive Starz show starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Goodman
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Oct. 18, 2013

Don't be fooled by its out-of-the-way time slot. “Dancing on the Edge” is a complex, stylish drama with a lot of fine music and a lot to say.

Chiwetel Ejiofor heads a large ensemble cast as Louis Lester, a 1930s jazz band leader modeled loosely on Duke Ellington.

He has taken his band to England, and while the potential audience there might be best characterized as suspicious or indifferent, Lester also meets a small group of believers who can shape the course of both music history and the Louis Lester Band.

That includes Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode), a journalist whose beat includes music; Masterson (John Goodman), a rich man who can open any door if he likes you; Lady Cremone (Jaqueline Bisset), a rich woman with her own power; Sarah (Janet Montgomery), a photographer who finds a personal connection with Lester; and Jessie (Angel Coulby), whom Lester hires as a vocalist.

“Dancing on the Edge” isn’t the story of dusty bus rides to small village halls. Not long after we meet all these folks, Lester is playing for the Prince of Wales, who becomes enamored of Jessie.

The band is also hired to play the Imperial Hotel, an elite venue where band members are instructed to use the servants’ entrance.

The music gives “Dancing on the Edge” a faint whiff of “Boardwalk Empire,” but the show really has something else on its mind: the struggle of musicians against cultural prejudice and the struggle of people against social prejudice.

Many of the people we meet in the cast are good guys, which gives “Dancing” a hopeful tone, even when the odds go the other way. We want the folks who deserve it to win, and so does the show.

Network/Time: Saturday at 10 p.m., Starz
Rating: ★★★★ (out of five)

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
New show 'Hieroglyph' gets series order from Fox
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

Ancient Egypt is getting the 21st century treatment in the form of a new fantasy-driven action-adventure show called "Hieroglyph," Fox announced Thursday.

The network is picking up the show for a 13-episode series order. "Hieroglyph" takes ancient Egypt to new extremes through the tale of a charismatic thief who is taken out of prison to serve the pharaoh. We're told to expect sorcery, sexy concubines and plenty of palace intrigue.

Credit to a Fox for still swinging for the fantasy fences, but this has cancellation written all over it. Pure retro period drama of any kind fails miserably on network and when combined with some high concept fantasy will be lucky to keep an audience of 6 million.

If it isn't set in modern day, it will go away.
post #90249 of 93720
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
New show 'Hieroglyph' gets series order from Fox
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

Ancient Egypt is getting the 21st century treatment in the form of a new fantasy-driven action-adventure show called "Hieroglyph," Fox announced Thursday.

The network is picking up the show for a 13-episode series order. "Hieroglyph" takes ancient Egypt to new extremes through the tale of a charismatic thief who is taken out of prison to serve the pharaoh. We're told to expect sorcery, sexy concubines and plenty of palace intrigue.

Production for "Hieroglyph" will begin early next year.

Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Credit to a Fox for still swinging for the fantasy fences, but this has cancellation written all over it. Pure retro period drama of any kind fails miserably on network and when combined with some high concept fantasy will be lucky to keep an audience of 6 million.

If it isn't set in modern day, it will go away.

Maybe Fox is still trying find a way to make back the losses on "Cleopatra" from 1963...perhaps they can re-use the boat...
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FRIDAY'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 Notes
‘Undercover Boss’ Surges, ‘Shark Tank’ & ABC Comedies Up, ‘MasterChef Jr.’ Down, CBS Win Night
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Oct. 19, 2013

Friday night was a good night for most unscripted shows and I don’t just mean for baseball (sorry Dodgers). In fact, on a traditionally older skewing primetime on the Big 4 and with the LA vs. St. Louis Cardinals MLB NLCS Game 6 on TBS, it was a good night overall with most shows either up or essentially steadies. ABC for instance saw rises for its entire line up – comedies, reality and newsmag. But let’s start off with the big jumper – CBS’ Undercover Boss (1.8/7). While not the highest rated show on Friday (that’s you again Shark Tank) or the most watched (Hello again Blue Bloods), the Emmy-winning corporate switcheroo series rocketed up 38% over last week. That’s by far the biggest rise of anyone for the night. And CBS has seen growth in other respects on Fridays too. The network’s new 9 PM – 11 PM crime block teaming of Hawaii Five-O (1.4/5) and Blue Bloods (1.3/4) have both helped pump up adults 18-49 (up 21%) and overall viewers (up 9%) for the network’s Friday primetime compared to last year when it was hit by flop Made In Jersey. Having said that Five-O dipped 5% last night from last week and Bloods slipped 7%. Still, Blue Bloods actually saw a small viewership rise last night, going up to 10.23 million watching from last week’s 10.19 million. In total, CBS took the night’s top spots in both the key demo (1.5/5 rating) and total viewers (9.42 million watching). Yet again, ABC was a close No. 2 among the 18-49s with a 1.4/5 rating. ABC was also in second spot viewershipwise with and 5.46 million watching.

While not No. 1, Friday night was still pretty all right for ABC. At 9 PM, Shark Tank (1.9/7) was once again for the fifth week the top rated show of the night. Winning its slot obviously, the entrepreneurial reality series was also up 12% from last week. Coming off slumping numbers the week before, both comedies Last Man Standing (1.3/5) and The Neighbors (1.0/4) were up 8% and 11% respectively at 8PM and 8:30PM. After a stellar result two weeks ago and a 31% dive last week, 20/20 (1.2/4) closed out the night for ABC up 9% from its October 11 show.

Last week Fox’s MasterChef Jr. (1.2/4) was the only show to see a rise, this week it was down 14% from its October 11 broadcast to hit a low. Still the freshman Gordon Ramsay-led kids cooking show can take some solace in the fact that it was basically steady in viewers with 3.8 million to last week’s 3.9 million. NBC’s only original of the night was its 9 PM – 11 PM Dateline (1.3/4) which bopped up 8% over last week. On The CW, America’s Next Top Model (0.4/1) was even in the demo with last week.

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TV Notes
MTV's 'Faking It,' 'Happyland' Picked Up to Series
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

MTV has added two comedies to its original programming roster.

High-school set entry Faking It and theme park comedy Happyland have been picked up to series, each receiving orders for eight episodes.

Faking It hails from Carter Covington (Greek, Hart of Dixie) and revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school, including pretending to be something they're not. The cast includes Bailey Buntain, Gregg Sulkin, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett and Rita Volk. Jamie Travis directed the pilot.

Happyland, from Ben Epstein (Daddy's Girls), is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country's most popular theme parks and those who work there. The project centers on Lucy, a cynical teen whose mother makes a living as a fairy tale princess, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world. Smash's Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will executive produce. Bianca Santos, Zulay Henao, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulene, Brady Smith and Ryan Rottman star.

The two comedies join Awkward on the schedule as the network continues its push into original scripted programming. On the drama side, the network recently renewed Teen Wolf for a fourth season with a companion talk show.

Drama pilots Scream, Finding Carter and Eye Candy remain in the mix at the network. Casting on the latter two has already begun, with Scream on the back burner.

The series orders come as no surprise as MTV programming president Susanne Daniels told THR in July after both comedies were ordered to pilot that she was looking to add one drama for 2014 and either one or two more comedies.

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
8PM - Once Upon A Time
9PM - Revenge
10:01PM - Betrayal

7PM - NFL Football: Regional Action (Continued from 4:25PM, LIVE)
7:30PM - 60 Minutes
8:30PM - The Amazing Race
9:30PM - The Good Wife
10:30PM - The Mentalist

7PM - Football Night in America (80 min., LIVE)
8:20PM - NFL Football: Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts (LIVE)

7PM - Bob's Burgers
7:30PM - Family Guy
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - The Simpsons
9PM - Family Guy
9:30PM - American Dad

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace
(R - Jan. 30)
9PM - Masterpiece Classic: The Paradise
10PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
(R - Jan. 15, 2012)

7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Mira Quién Baila (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

7PM - Movie - The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
9PM - Movie: The Expendables (2010)

Edited by dad1153 - 10/19/13 at 11:59pm
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TV Notes
Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz on 'This Week'; Marco Rubio on 'Fox News Sunday'
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Oct. 18, 2013

ABC's "This Week" will offer an in-depth interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has been blasted for his strategy on the government shutdown.

"There's an old saying that 'politics, it ain't beanbag.' And, you know, I'm not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate," Cruz tells Jonathan Karl.

"This Week" airs at 11 a.m. Sunday on WFTV-Channel 9. Other guests will be former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The panel will be ABC's Matthew Dowd; Peter Baker of The New York Times; Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.; and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. The program will spotlight actress Lupita Nyong'o of "12 Years a Slave."

Cruz dishes out blame of his own about "the lousy deal" that ended the shutdown. "Unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans," Cruz tells ABC. "I wish Senate Republicans had united. I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans."

Also on the Sunday guest list:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., visits "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. Rubio will discuss recent budget negotiations and the Republican Party's approach to Obamacare. Other guests will be Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. The panel will be Brit Hume, George Will, Charles Lane of The Washington Post and Julie Pace of The Associated Press. The program will salute Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, as a power player.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to CBS' "Face the Nation" at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Other guests are Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics. A panel brings together Stuart Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Political Report, Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal, Michael Gerson of The Washington Post and Rana Foroohar of Time.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew stops by NBC's "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. Lew will discuss the shutdown's impact on the economy. Other guests will Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; and Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize winner for economics. The panel will be David Brooks of The New York Times, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post, Maria Bartiromo of CNBC and Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, both of NBC.

Sen. Cruz and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will be guests on "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. and noon on CNN. The panel will be Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Republican consultant Alex Castellanos and Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker. The guest anchor will be Gloria Borger.

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Critic's Notes
'Black History’s Missing Chapters
‘The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,’ on PBS
By Felicia R. Lee, The New York Times - Oct. 20, 2013

The television mini-series “Roots,” about the slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants, is a classic, inspired by real lives and real history. But it is a truism among historians that young people do not know enough about African-American contributions to history. Even a tiny slice of recent history — the civil rights movement — is not required teaching in most states, the Southern Poverty Law Center found in a recent assessment.

“It boils down to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and ‘I Have a Dream,’ ” Maureen Costello, director of the center’s Teaching Tolerance Project, said of the typical level of knowledge. Films and the occasional series on black history have helped fill in the gaps, creating a kind of “cultural accretion,” Ms. Costello added, but television in recent years has not consistently offered informative entertainment.

When “Roots” was broadcast in 1977, “the whole nation watched it because there were three networks vying for our attention,” Ms. Costello said. “As a culture, we’ve become so fragmented. I think more Americans can reasonably discuss the meth trade or the Mafia because of ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’ than they can African-American history.”

Into the breach has stepped Henry Louis Gates Jr., assisted by dozens of historians. His six-part series, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” beginning on Tuesday on PBS, aims to chronicle 500 years of black history. The program starts with Juan Garrido, a free black man whose 1513 expedition with Spanish explorers in Florida made him the first known African to arrive in what is now the United States, and ends with Barack Obama in the White House in 2013, a time of complexity and contradictions for black Americans. In between, Professor Gates, director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, draws on the latest scholarship to put flesh on characters like the resilient South Carolina slave girl Priscilla as well as her descendants.

“I first had the idea when I was 17 years old,” Professor Gates, an executive producer, writer and host of the series, said in a recent telephone interview. “I was at home in Piedmont, W. Va., watching television on our little black-and-white RCA Victor with my parents and Bill Cosby’s documentary ‘Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed,’ came on and I was riveted.”

That program, hosted by Mr. Cosby, was included in a seven-part series about a wide swath of black issues, said Tim Brooks, a television historian. Mr. Cosby’s segment looked at the search for racial identity; profiled inventors, surgeons and other black people left out of history books; and showed TV and film clips depicting the evolution of blacks in those mediums. By now there have been more than 100 documentaries about black history, but they have dealt with a particular segment of the story, Professor Gates said.

Mr. Brooks has not seen “The African Americans,” but said that by “covering in reasonable depth the whole sweep of black history until today, it is distinctive.”

Like Mr. Cosby’s program, broadcast in 1968, “The African Americans” lands on TV in a pivotal year, when the country’s racial past has been pushed front and center in politics and culture. The confluence of events includes the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, and Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action and voting rights.

The “African Americans” also arrives amid an unusually large, diverse number of black feature films, some with historical elements, like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “Twelve Years a Slave,” for which Professor Gates, a cultural historian and literary critic, was a consultant.

“We’re certainly in a renaissance of black film and the willingness to confront slavery,” said Professor Gates, who has presented several documentaries on history and genealogy, including “Black in Latin America” in 2011 and “Finding Your Roots” in 2012, both on PBS.

At the same time, he said, “there is a whole generation, a new generation; they’re very cosmopolitan, multiracial and ahistorical. They haven’t seen ‘Roots’ and they haven’t seen ‘Eyes on the Prize,’ ” the 1987 documentary about the civil rights movement.

Professor Gates began this project, which cost about $8 million, by putting a question to the historians: If you had six hours to tell 500 years of African-American history, what periods and stories would you include? After amassing 500 stories, Professor Gates and his creative team winnowed them down to 11 or 12 an episode.

“It is not just about the English and Africans at Jamestown, but the Spanish in the Southwest and at St. Augustine, the French in the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Dutch in New York,” said Ira Berlin, a professor at the University of Maryland and one of the historians consulted for the series. “It’s a whole new cast of characters.”

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a historian and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, said he hoped that the show would help “move the needle” on a much-needed comprehensive examination of black history. His concern is that not enough resources flow to public schools and other institutions where most learning takes place, especially since films and television do not always get things right.

And there is an appetite for the work, he said. Many sophisticated young people “see the past as a cautionary note,” he said. “These people I’m describing are using history to make contemporary critiques on race, commenting on the deeply fragile state of race relations.”

But history cannot be used if it is not adequately taught, Dr. Muhammad said, and he contends that these lessons still face political and social land mines. “Our young people are not being taught these lessons in school because these questions inevitably lead to challenging the status quo,” he said.

A DVD of “The African Americans” and a companion book are intended to provide a one-stop resource for students at many levels. The show’s Web site at PBS.org will elaborate on the history in the program. In New York, the public television station WNET is also creating middle and high school lesson plans for each episode.

Professor Gates said that one of his motives was to provide tools to other teachers and schools. “We shape citizens through our schools and it’s done invisibly,” he said. Lessons about the Pilgrims, George Washington and others “are designed to mold a certain attitude that makes you an American citizen,” he said. “Well, what’s been left out historically is us: the contributions of African-Americans.”

On PBS Tuesday Night (check local listings)

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SATURDAY'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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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Oct. 15, 2013

NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET

Now that we know who’s in the World Series this year (Spoiler alert: the team that earned its way in last night rhymes with Austin), let’s take a moment to shift our attention back to pro football. Tonight is a Sunday night game with all sorts of drama: Peyton Manning is taking his Denver Broncos to Indianapolis to play his old team, the Colts, for the first time since the Colts released him. There’s no way Eli’s older brother won’t be pumped for this game – and coming in, to this point in the season, he and his Broncos are undefeated.

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode ended with a zombie deluge that was as creepy as it was unexpected. Tonight, expect more danger from unexpected places, as this season, which suggested its heroes would enjoy a temporary respite, is turning out to offer anything but.

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

The focus this season has been bifurcated – sometimes on Carrie, sometimes on Brody – and tonight, for much of the episode, it’s Carrie’s turn again. Claire Danes stars.

CBS, 9:30 p.m. ET

I was premature last week, claiming that last Sunday’s episode would include Will’s discovery of Alicia’s plans to defect. (I fell for the old “Overstuffed On-Air Promo” trick, without noting the “later this season” disclaimer.) But hey – maybe tonight, right?

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

Michael Sheen’s William Masters admits a new volunteer to his sexual study: the ex-husband of his co-researcher, Lizzy Kaplan’s Virginia Johnson. And one of the questions he asks right away is, in effect, “What’s she like in bed?” Once again, anything for science…

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY 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 - Dancing With the Stars (120 min., LIVE)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (James Franco; Snoop Lion performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
9PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Sep. 26)
9:30PM - Mom
10PM - Hostages
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Alec Baldwin; Toni Collette)
(R - Sep. 12)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Jay Leno; comic Cameron Esposito)
(R - Sep. 3)

8PM - The Voice (120 min.)
10:01PM - The Blacklist
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Michael Douglas; Larry the Cable Guy; Thomas Rhett performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Alec Baldwin; Kevin Connolly; Chris Cornell performs with the Avett Brothers)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Humor Abuse; Tomahawk performs; The Pack A.D.)

8PM - Bones
9PM - Sleepy Hollow
(R - Sep. 16)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Miami Beach (R - Jan. 3, 2011)
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Miami Beach
(R - Jan. 10, 2011)
10PM - POV: The Waiting Room; Let Me Down Easy (90 min.)

8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - La Tempestad
10PM - Mentir Para Vivir

8PM - Hart of Dixie
9PM - Beauty and the Beast

8PM - Marido en Alquiler (120 min.)
10PM - Santa Diabla

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Alan Greenspan)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Music Group The Reflektors)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Series Premiere; Doug Benson; Natasha Leggero; Kumail Nanjiani)

11PM - Conan (Ethan Hawke; Pete Holmes; Tedeschi Trucks Band)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Snooki & JWoww)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Kevin Hart; Duane Martin; Bobby Brown; Fifth Harmony)
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Critic's Notes
Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News
By David Carr, The New York Times' 'Media Equation' Column - Oct. 21, 2013

Producing serious news is an expensive enterprise with a beleaguered business model, one that remains tied to the tracks as a locomotive of splintered audiences and declining advertising hurtles toward it.

But just when it looked as if all were lost, an unlikely cavalry has come roaring over the hill with serious money, fresh ideas and no small amount of enthusiasm. Silicon Valley and its various power brokers — some who had roles in putting the news business in harm’s way to begin with — are suddenly investing significant sums of money in preserving news capacity and quality.

Pierre M. Omidyar, the founder of eBay, revealed last week that he would back the journalist Glenn Greenwald and his colleagues in a newly conceived news site to the tune of $250 million. Just over two months ago, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, spent the same amount to personally buy The Washington Post. That’s half a billion dollars dropped into serious news production, a sector that investors in distressed assets have been fleeing.

It doesn’t stop there. In July, Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Steve Jobs, invested in Ozy Media, a news start-up, joining a group that includes the angel investor Ron Conway; Larry Sonsini, a lawyer from an eminent Silicon Valley law firm; Dan Rosensweig of Chegg.com; and David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer.

Chris Hughes used his Facebook money to buy The New Republic and provide financial support to Upworthy, an aggregator of quality material. Next-generation news companies including Vice, Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider have all recently received significant investment. (In addition, Jeff Skoll, another eBay alum, backed Participant Media and now the TV channel Pivot, to make “socially relevant” films and television.)

The list goes on, but the trend is clear: quality news has become, if not sexy, suddenly attractive to smart digital money. It makes sense once you step back. For all its excesses, Silicon Valley has not been a place where ostentation creates social capital. While any tech reporter will tell you that the valley is far from media-friendly, the people in leadership there are close, ferocious consumers of news and have strong opinions about its current shortcomings. And it would be a mistake to view the recent moves by some of the most important people in technology as a lark.

“Technologists have a view, perhaps inflated, that they can make the world better,” Mr. Omidyar said in an interview over the weekend. “There may be limits to doing it only through technology, or perhaps you get tired of doing it only through technology. So getting into content and broad communication is appealing.”

It would also be a mistake to believe that the only thing digitally enriched players bring is money. The investment of intellectual capital will be just as important. If ever an industry was in need of innovation — of big ideas from uncommon thinkers — it is the news business.

“I think that technology could help find a way to actually do important journalism for our democracy that can impact many more people and help serve it to a general-interest audience in a way that can be commercially sustainable,” Mr. Omidyar said. (More excerpts from the interview with Mr. Omidyar are at www.nytimes.com/pages/business/media/index.html.)

Smaller companies have created news sites that point a way forward but cannot begin to fill the loss of journalistic capacity that accompanied the great shakeout in the industry. For a time, it seemed as if newspapers, where much of journalism’s horsepower is stored, would either be strip-mined or become a plaything.

“People have been speculating that newspapers would become nothing more than trophies for rich businesspeople at the end of their careers,” said Michael Zimbalist, vice president for research and development at The New York Times. “But now successful midcareer entrepreneurs are investing and willing to play the long game. They have been disrupters themselves and won’t be bringing the same assumptions to the table.”

A profound reset is under way. In more than a decade of covering the news end of the media business, I cannot think of a time of greater optimism or potential. Nontraditional operators like Mr. Bezos can afford to adopt a long-term strategy, something he has done rather effectively at Amazon. And the barriers to entry for ventures like Mr. Omidyar’s start-up have evaporated: cheap digital tools enable production and collaboration, while social media like Twitter and Facebook enable the spread of content through sharing.

Technology and journalism, former antagonists, are about to give bromance a try, with Mr. Bezos and Mr. Omidyar leading the way.

Both men have upended and reinvented entire legacy categories. EBay created a community out of private buyers and sellers, while Amazon found gold among stacks of books with a seemingly infinite catalog, one-click buying and later, all manner of consumer goods. (Amazon also knows a little about last-mile delivery, so plopping a newspaper on the doorstep never had it so good.)

Kenneth Lerer, who is a partner at Lerer Ventures and has backed online sites like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, says Mr. Omidyar’s enterprise, which does not even have a name yet, has a leg up.

“The freedom to start a digital concern without legacy baggage is an enormous opportunity, much easier than trying to pivot a traditional news organization,” he said, adding that in both instances digital innovation would be in the front seat. “You cannot launch a successful modern media company without technology as an equal partner.”

It does not take an M.B.A. to understand that the ability to capture consumers’ attention and move them around a platform, all the while extracting value, might come in handy in the media business. ITunes used cheap, uniformly priced content to animate the sales of devices like the iPod; Amazon used cheap devices like the Kindle to push lucrative content sales. EBay reduced the friction and suspicion between buyers and sellers of all kinds of goods.

Reverse-engineering those skills into the production of news could have a big impact, as publishing companies turn toward consumers for revenue, pivoting from passive delivery of news to a deeper relationship with customers.

The willingness to answer bedeviling old questions in new ways does not ensure success, but it creates remarkable possibilities. “Both Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar have a hacker’s ethos, a willingness to engage in lateral thinking to solve problems in a nonconventional way, to reject what has been taken for granted and MacGyver their way to solutions,” suggested Shane Snow, a founder of Contently, a marketplace for content creators.

Consider Amazon’s ability to lead consumers through a highly personalized array of choices.

“If you have a story that is read by a million people, that’s great, but how do you get those million people to read another story?” said Henry Blodget of Business Insider. “Amazon is extraordinary at customizing its site for every visitor. They do endless testing and understand stickiness and relevance in a way few media companies do.”

One of the secrets of Amazon (and Netflix) is that it never offered one site, but millions of customized sites. It is not hard to envision a carefully measured invitation at the bottom of a highly trafficked news article: “People who read this story are also reading ...”

This unfolding partnership will be fun to behold. For all their differences, the news and technology businesses share a kind of utopianism, an idealistic belief that the work of human hands can make life better for other humans.

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Nielsen Notes
‘Blacklist’ Sets New DVR Record, Retains 100% Of Premiere Demo Rating In Week 2
‘New Girl’ Tops Percentage Gains With 89%
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Oct. 20, 2013

After becoming the first broadcast show to grow by 5 million viewers or more from Live+Same Day to Live+3, NBC‘s hot freshman The Blacklist has set another DVR record, becoming the first broadcast series to add more than 6 million viewers from L+SD to Live+7. Both milestones were achieved by Blacklist’s second episode, which averaged 17.9 million viewers in Live+7, up 6.50 million or 57% vs. the 11.35 million who watched live or the night of the original airing.

Proving that DVR viewing is growing in leaps and bounds this season, the previous record for Live+7 viewership gain was posted only a week earlier, by CBS monster hit The Big Bang Theory, which added 5.7 million viewers for its season premiere between Live+SD and Live+7. What’s more, The Blacklist was able to erase its entire 13% Second Week drop among adults 18-49 in Live+SD through time shifted viewing. The second episode of the James Spader starrer rose to a 5.49 18-49 rating in week two, matching exactly its premiere 18-49 result. It appears to be the only new series to hold onto its premiere rating in Week 2 this season. The Blacklist also supplanted ABC‘s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the No.1 new series in 18-49 as S.H.I.E.L.D. dropped 23% in Week 2 L+7 vs. its debut to a 5.4. For Fox‘s Sleepy Hollow, which launched a week earlier, the Week 2 drop-off in L+7 was 9%. Big Bang remained the highest-rated broadcast program for a second straight week (7.6 in L+7), eclipsing NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Other highlights from the second week of the season’s Live+7 results: Does anyone watch New Girl live? The Fox comedy almost doubled its live+SD result, posting the biggest percentage gain in Live+7, 89%, to a 3.6. It was followed by fellow Fox comedy, newbie Brooklyn Nine-Nine, up 79% to a 2.5. Coincidentally, the two heavily DVR-ed comedies are set to air behind the biggest live TV event, the upcoming Super Bowl.

Here are the 18-49 program rankings for the second week of the 2013-14 season: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

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Lou Scheimer, Filmation Founder, Dies at 84
By Carmel Dagan, Variety.com - Oct. 19, 2013

Emmy-winning animation giant Lou Scheimer, founder of Filmation Studios, which produced toon series including “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids,” “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” and even the animated version of “Star Trek,” died Thursday. He was 85. The cause of death was not revealed, but Scheimer had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and had had quadruple bypass heart surgery.

Scheimer founded animation producer Filmation with Norm Prescott and Hal Sutherland in 1963. Filmation series included “The Archies,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Bravestarr.” Scheimer occasionally did voice work for the company’s series.

With Bill Cosby he created “Fat Albert,” ground-breaking as the first animated series centering on African American characters.

Scheimer won a Daytime Emmy in 1974 for the animated “Star Trek” series and a Primetime Emmy in 1977 for “A Fat Albert Christmas” special. As recently as April of last year, Scheimer was acting as a consultant to Gang of Seven (G7) Animation. DreamWorks purchased the Filmation library last year.

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TV/Business Notes
TV Network Time Slots Where Nothing Seems to Go Right
The haunted dead zones
By Anthony Crupi, AdWeek.com - Oct. 21, 2013

They’re scattered across the prime-time schedule like missing teeth in a jack-o’-lantern’s crooked grin—dead spots where nothing seems to prosper. Every network has at least one haunted time slot, one tumbledown chunk of real estate that defies development, and the longer they remain unsettled, the harder it is to draw viewers back.

ABC is saddled with two of the most pernicious time slots on the broadcast schedule (Sunday nights at 10 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursdays), while unrelenting pressure from CBS and a string of high-profile failures have made a ghost town of NBC’s once mighty Thursday lineup. While both networks have enjoyed big wins on other nights—ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (3.4) and NBC’s The Blacklist (3.3) are the season’s two highest-rated freshman series—the trouble spots are only getting worse.

Because Thursday is the most important night for advertisers (movie studios will pay any price to get fannies in the seats on opening weekends), the underdeliveries have had a destabilizing impact on NBC’s ad sales revenue. Leading off with the unvanquishable The Big Bang Theory, CBS’ two-hour comedy block commands more than twice the average unit cost booked by NBC in the same period ($207,006 versus $85,318). The same applies at 10 p.m., although in that instance, it’s ABC’s Beltway potboiler Scandal that outearns and outdelivers Parenthood by a 2.5-to-1 ratio.

Season to date, NBC’s Thursday night roster is averaging a meager 1.3 in the dollar demo, down 13 percent versus the year-ago period. This is particularly disconcerting, given entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt’s big bet on the broad, family-oriented comedies Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show, the latter of which was locked in for a full 22-episode run before the pilot was even shot. While Parenthood has pulled its weight in the night’s final hour, the 10 p.m. slot has been a boneyard since ER closed up shop in 2009. Among the failed dramas that have inhabited the hour are Prime Suspect, which averaged a 1.2 rating; The Firm (0.9); and Do No Harm (0.8). By comparison, Parenthood’s 1.4 rating is electrifying.

ABC’s own Thursday night woes include a dog’s breakfast of expensive flops: Charlie’s Angels, Missing, Last Resort, Zero Hour and the new fairy tale drama, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. A spinoff of the surprise Sunday night hit, Wonderland on Oct. 17 drew a 1.2 in the demo. If such a delivery can be said to have a silver lining, it’s this: Wonderland’s weak anchor performance didn’t appear to have inflicted too much damage to lead-outs Grey’s Anatomy (2.6) and Scandal (3.3).

ABC also faces an uphill battle at 10 p.m. Sunday, which has played host to the likes of Pan Am, 666 Park Avenue and ailing newcomer Betrayal. But, as one buyer notes, “Between cable and the DVR, 10 o’clock is everyone’s problem. … But for a few exceptions, no one is immune—Even CBS is feeling the heat.”

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Critic's Notes
American Horror Story, The Returned, and Dracula Do Small-Screen Horror Right
By Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Oct. 20, 2013

It’s a bloody good time for horror on television. Right now the grid offers vampires and lycanthropes, witches and zombies, serial killers and spree killers, in tonal variation: relatively chaste psychodramas and sweaty humpfests, horror-­flavored dramas and lighthearted adventures.

It’s a bit of a shame that AMC’s The Walking Dead is TV’s highest-rated horror series because it’s among the least compelling. Now shambling through season four, it remains one of TV’s most inexplicably popular shows—or maybe explicably popular, alas. Despite legit-scary moments, it’s as dramatically sophisticated as a weak soap, easy to half-watch and easier to hate-watch. Will Rick and the gang defend the prison against the zombie hordes? Will Rick find time to get it on with the badass swordswoman Michonne? Will Daryl and Carol become a memorable TV couple even though their names rhyme and she calls him “Pookie”? And, after four seasons, will the show reveal some semblance of a point? At least makeup master Greg Nicotero keeps topping himself; he’s a master sculptor working in Karo syrup and latex. Luckily, though, The Walking Dead is surrounded by horror shows that take risks, of a sort, and that play sprightly games with genre expectations. MTV’s Teen Wolf might be the best series based on a really stupid movie since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its mix of teen angst, superheroic mayhem, and poker-faced philosophizing is very Joss Whedon, even more so than the solidly entertaining and seemingly indestructible Supernatural (now in its ninth season) and The Vampire Diaries (in its fifth).

The freshmen series Bates Motel and Hannibal sliced through the first half of 2013 like dervishes. Both were present-day “prequels” built around too-familiar serial-killer narratives, and both did new and frequently astonishing things with the one-hour weekly form. Vera Farmiga’s sensitive work as Norma Bates and Mads Mikkelsen’s unexpectedly dapper and empathetic work as Hannibal’s flesh-eating shrink demonstrated that horror was perfectly suited to modern TV’s post-Sopranos urge to create sympathy for devils. By delving deep into the tortuous relationship between Norma and her son, Norman, and expanding its scope and scrutinizing the hothouse corners of their furtive little Northwest town, the show evoked Twin Peaks in the best way. Hannibal was even more fascinating: a waking nightmare that might be the most purely visual (and visually arresting) series to air on American network TV since Miami Vice almost 30 years ago. Its bizarrely fussed-over tableaux reached back into horror history, beyond TV, beyond cinema even, to reconnect with Grand Guignol theater and the history of Western painting, with special emphasis on Francis Bacon and Salvador Dalí. On both shows, a big part of the excitement comes from wondering, Is any of this working? An impressive percentage of the time, the answer is yes.

American Horror Story’s third season, subtitled Coven, is part bitchy-cutesy ­misfit-teen drama about witches in training, part antebellum race nightmare about a slave-torturing New Orleans society lady (Kathy Bates) supernaturally transplanted into the present. Returning star Jessica Lange steals the show, as she always does. She plays a stylish succubus looking for a personal fountain of youth while spouting militant slogans to her young charges, who’ve been warned to keep a low profile. As always, there’s an extra-dramatic excitement to American Horror Story, and it comes from wondering if series creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk will be able to mix several brands of oil and several types of water. But it’s okay. If they don’t pull it off, there’ll be a new story with new characters next season. Both its form and its content are, for commercial TV, quite radical. It is simultaneously a mini-series and an anthology show (with the season rather than the episode as unit of measure), and it thrills at the chance to be at once trivial and cathartic, pandering to lust and bloodlust while sympathizing with society’s underdogs. It’s the show that HBO’s True Blood promised to be, and briefly was, and likely never will be again.

Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and NBC’s Dracula (debuting October 25) liven up old horror stories with lush visuals and conspiracy-laden story lines about secret societies. In Sleepy Hollow, reawakened nineteenth-century soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) teams up with small-town cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to battle the Headless Horseman, a harbinger of coming apocalypse. The series has some of the same coiled comic energy as Tim Burton’s same-named 1999 film; it’s a comedy-­horror concoction, with action scenes that split the difference between brutality and elegance, and Scully-and-Mulder–style banter between Ichabod and Abbie. The hero’s fish-out-of-water rants are priceless. “What’s insane is a 10 percent levy on baked goods,” he grouses. “You do realize the Revolutionary War began on less than 2 percent? How is the public not flocking to the streets in outrage?” When the show threatens to become too arch, the horseman comes stalking in, blades flashing. He’s a great screen monster; he and the Terminator would have a lot to not talk about.

Better still is the French mini-series The Returned, which makes its American debut on the Sundance Channel on October 31. Pushing against TV horror’s tendency toward emphatic music and quick cutting, this early Stephen King–style tale of small-town creepiness takes its cues from older horror films in which silence and pregnant pauses put viewers off balance before springing the scares. People who were long dead start coming back without warning or explanation (a development signaled by an early, stunning image of a pinned butterfly crashing through a glass display case), sparking confusion and terror. Some of the encounters evoke the returned abductees in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while others have the nasty, bone-deep chill you associate with John Carpenter’s stalk-and-kill classics. Beneath it all is an air of existential dread. The universe is out of order. Life itself has gone haywire.

NBC’s Dracula bears little relation to Bram Stoker’s original story, but that’s not a bad thing. The show’s big selling point is its continual sense of surprise—well, that and its production values. A period piece by some of the producers behind Rome, Carnivàle, and Twin Peaks, Dracula is a steampunk-flavored reboot of the story, with all of our expected sympathies inverted. It looks like the most lavishly funded network show since, well, Hannibal (maybe NBC should replace the peacock logo with a pile of burning money). Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the go-to leading man for tales of decadent, sexually avid anti-heroes, plays Vlad Tepes, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, a Drac drawn from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film—a tragic anti-hero, out of his time in late-nineteenth-century London, posing as the American industrialist Alexander Grayson, falling madly in love with the (possible) reincarnation of his great lost love, Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw), and plotting to defeat the minions of the Order of the Dragon, a Stonecutters type of secret society that’s responsible for his epic suffering. The show has a knack for Godfather-style plots and counter­plots, as well as for sixties Hammer-horror violence that doles out gore and suffering strategically: a dollop of blood here, a severed head there. There’s a bracing wantonness to the writers’ inventions here. Nobody—not Dracula, not Mina, not Jonathan Harker (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), not even the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann)—is quite as you expect them to be. Horror is a genre filled with dying and dead and undead things, but its pulse is undeniable. You can hear its heartbeat.

FX. Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Sundance Channel. Thursdays at 9 p.m. (Oct. 31)

NBC. Fridays at 10 p.m.

Edited by dad1153 - 10/21/13 at 2:27am
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TV Notes
Prime time's new married couples, like Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz on 'Bones,' are a growing market
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Oct. 21, 2013

Every TV season needs a few weddings, and the 2013-14 crop gets a properly quirky marital episode Monday night at 9 when Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) of Fox’s “Bones” finally gets hitched to Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).

They didn’t exactly rush into this. The audience knew they were destined for each other when the show started eight seasons ago, even though the principals took a while to catch on.

Things heated up at the end of season six, they had a baby in season seven, and now they’re getting married. Such a modern couple.

Monday’s episode lets Bones demonstrate all her quirks, notably including a lack of social skills, filters and any sense of tact.

The wedding invitation scene is an instant classic.

Elsewhere on the TV wedding front this season, “The Mentalist” on CBS had a small wedding last weekend that could be a prelude to a larger one.

But it’s not Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), the centerpiece “will they/won’t they” couple, who so far won’t.

No, we saw the unsurprising engagement of agents Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti).

On ABC’s “Scandal,” President Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) keeps saying he wants to divorce his wife Mellie (Bellamy Young) and marry Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), but don’t look for Olivia to register at Macy’s any time soon.

In that same boat, Emily (Emily Van Camp) and Daniel (Josh Bowman) are engaged on ABC’s “Revenge.” History tells us that union is about as stable as the Syrian stock market.

The starting point of NBC’s “Welcome to the Family” is that Junior Hernandez (Joey Haro) and Molly Yoder (Ella Rae Peck) have to get married. It’s a shotgun wedding with a double barrel of urgency, though, because it’s possible the show won’t last long enough for us to see it.

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TV Review
'CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story' (VH1)
By Marah Eakin, AVClub.com - Oct. 21, 2013

It’s hard to believe TLC formed almost 25 years ago, but it’s even harder to believe that the group hasn’t really been active since 2004, two years after Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in a car accident. Several of the R&B trio’s songs are still around, and the remaining members—Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas—haven’t wholly disappeared from the spotlight. Thomas, in particular, has done everything from showing up in music videos of her then-boyfriend Usher to proclaiming herself “Team Guy” on a recent episode of Food Network’s Rachael Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.

And though the TLC may not have been making music the past five or 10 years, it’s been in the conversation. Watkins and Thomas, played some dates recently, and, perhaps most notably, signed a deal with VH1 in 2011 to make a feature-length TV movie about the group’s inception, near demise, and redemption. The result, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story airs Monday, October 21 on the network.

While there certainly are some sordid details in the TLC story (Lopes’ fiery relationship with football player Andre Rison, Watkins’ sickle-cell anemia, and the group’s longstanding financial problems, to name a few), VH1 already objectively covered most of the real dirt with its 1999 and 2011 Behind The Music episodes. While the members were interviewed and involved in those episodes, the shows did a good job taking an unbiased look at the group, something that CrazySexyCool certainly can’t do.

CrazySexyCool fails on a number of planes, but its biggest faults come from its blatant inability to look at the group from an outsider’s perspective. The movie has clunky exposition, horrible lip-synching, and questionable messages about relationships, but more than anything, it’s just goddamn hokey. Considering both Watkins and Thomas developed and signed off on the script, it shouldn’t be a surprise that rather than presenting a story about Lopes’ struggles with alcoholism and the series of deadbeat men in the group’s life, Crazy comes off as a story about three wacky girls who might have grown up without dads, but always knew they were stars.

Narrated in part by Watkins’ and Thomas’ characters, the biopic finds the group battling and overcoming cartoonish villains—from manager Perri “Pebbles” Reid, who signed the group to a bad contract, but apparently didn’t really try all that hard to keep them around, to Lopes’ ne’er-do-well boyfriend “Larry,” who everyone but her knows is married. While it’s got to be hard to tell the story of three members’ lives and one band’s career in two hours, everything in CrazySexyCool is painted with such broad, hazy strokes that the entire thing reads like a Chicken Soup For The Soul story: Try hard enough, sing and dance well enough, and everything will be all right.

There are definitely sweet moments in the biopic—Watkins learns she’s pregnant after being told for years that she would never have a child, for instance—but they’re quickly tempered with such overwhelming schlock that even the genuinely heartwarming stuff becomes overly saccharine. One positive for the movie: The actors cast to play the girls (Keke Palmer, Lil Mama, and Drew Sidora) are great, and the reenactments of the band’s signature music videos (“Waterfalls,” “Creep,” “No Scrubs”) are really spot on.

While it’s possible to make a good movie about a living person, or to capture the legacy of a band or an actor while still remaining mostly honest, CrazySexyCool doesn’t do that. That’s not necessarily the fault of the movie; maybe the drama the public perceived with Lopes wasn’t really all that dramatic within the group. It probably was, though, yet Watkins and Thomas chose not to air any of the group’s dirty laundry. That’s fine. That’s their choice, but it makes for a pretty boring, hokey biopic. Anyone other than fawning superfans should just watch those Behind The Musicsinstead.

Airs: Monday, October 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern on VH1
Grade: D

post #90266 of 93720
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Prime time's new married couples, like Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz on 'Bones,' are a growing market
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Oct. 21, 2013

The starting point of NBC’s “Welcome to the Family” is that Junior Hernandez (Joey Haro) and Molly Yoder (Ella Rae Peck) have to get married. It’s a shotgun wedding with a double barrel of urgency, though, because it’s possible the show won’t last long enough for us to see it.

That's a sign of someone who is on the journalistic ball. I wonder how long it will take before an editor wakes up?
post #90267 of 93720
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Oct. 21, 2013

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ted is angling for dates for the wedding weekend, and comes up with a trio of last-minute possibilities – each of them, apparently, a little less acceptable than the last.

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

There’s a wedding tonight on Bones, as this show’s central couple actually threatens to become a couple. And the ceremony itself includes a musical reason to tune in – a vocal performance by a guest star who, like the song she sings, is best left as a sweet little surprise.

TCM, 10:00 p.m. ET

This 1962 thriller, originally released in Poland as Nz W Wodzie, was Roman Polanski’s first fill-length film after a series of shorts, and generated enough international acclaim to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature that year. It didn’t win, but Polanski did: He was noticed, and received enough attention, and backing, that three years later he made his 1965 masterpiece of a woman’s descent into madness, Repulsion, starring Catherine Deneuve.

Comedy Central, 12:01 a.m. ET
The Nerdist multimedia host and enthusiast Chris Hardwick gets yet another TV series – this time on Comedy Central, in a midnight slot that, on this network, is a plum position. It follows The Colbert Report, which follows The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – and thus, is poised to be the final leg of a very irreverent, very topical comedy trifecta.

TCM, 12:00 a.m. ET

With tonight’s Part 8, we’re only halfway through this inspirational historical analysis of world cinema – and tonight, TCM shifts the program from its usual 10 p.m. ET slot to midnight. So if this program has become a weekly habit, set your recorder or stay up later, rather than miss it. Tonight’s installment: , Tonight is Part 7, which means we’ve almost reached the halfway point of this excellent, inspirational film history documentary. Tonight’s focus is 1965-1969 – New Waves Sweep Around the World, and includes snippets of movies that don’t usually get discussed, or seen, on these shores. Included among them is the 1967 twisted comedy Daisies, released in its home country of Czechoslovakia under the title Sedmikrsky. It’s about two hedonistic teen girls who go on a brief rampage of meaningless destruction, excess and provocation. TCM shows the movie in its entirety at 1:15 a.m. ET, as soon as tonight’s documentary is concluded.

Edited by dad1153 - 10/21/13 at 9:06am
post #90268 of 93720
SUNDAY'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)
Peyton’s place: Broncos-Colts game dominates
Manning boosts 'SNF' to season-high 17.3 household rating
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Oct. 21, 2013

Peyton Manning’s much-hyped return to Indianapolis, where he played the first 14 seasons of his storied NFL career, produced ratings records for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

The game between Manning’s current team, the Broncos, and his former one, the Colts, averaged a 17.3 household rating from 8:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., according to Nielsen metered-market ratings.

The game peaked with a 19.0 rating from 9:30 to 10 p.m.

That marked a season high for “SNF” and the fourth-best overnight rating in the franchise’s history, behind two games from last year and the season opener from 2010.

“SNF” also scored the best rating for a primetime NFL game in October in 15 years, since the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers played on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.”

The 5-2 Colts prevailed 39-33 over their former QB, whose Broncos entered the game undefeated.

“SNF” dominated everything else on broadcast and cable last night, drawing a 10.0 in adults 18-49. The evening’s No. 2 show, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” posted a 6.1 in the demo.

Fox aired a lineup of reruns. The network had been slated to air Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, but the Boston Red Sox wrapped up the series victory Saturday night, negating the need for a seventh game.

ABC’s dramas saw mixed results. The 10 p.m. show “Once Upon a Time” fell to a series-low 2.0, and lead-out “Revenge” dipped a tenth from last week, to a 1.6. But the new 10 p.m. drama “Betrayal” rose a tenth to a still-critically low 0.9.

CBS’s entire lineup was delayed by a half hour due to a late-running football game. The network’s 9:30 p.m. drama “The Good Wife” bounced back from last week’s series low with a 1.4, up 17 percent.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 7.8 average overnight rating and a 20 share. CBS was second at 2.7/7, ABC third at 1.4/4, Fox fourth at 1.1/3, Univision fifth at 1.0/3 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2.

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.

Also, ratings for NBC’s NFL coverage and CBS’s NFL overrun are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

At 7 p.m. CBS was first with a 5.6 for NFL overrun and the start of “60 Minutes,” followed by NBC with a 3.7 for “Football Night in America.” ABC was third with a 1.1 for “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Fox fourth with a 0.9 for reruns of “Bob’s Burgers” and “Family Guy,” Univision fifth with a 0.6 for “Aqui y Ahora” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for the movie “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.”

NBC took the lead at 8 p.m. with an 8.7 for NFL pregame and the start of “Sunday Night Football,” while CBS slipped to second with a 2.2 for the end of “60 Minutes” and the start of “The Amazing Race.” ABC was third with a 2.0 for “Time,” Fox fourth with a 1.3 for repeats of “The Simpsons,” Univision fifth with a 1.1 for “Mira Quien Baila” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for its movie.

NBC extended its lead at 9 p.m. with a 9.8 for football, with CBS second with a 1.6 for the end of “Race” and the start of “The Good Wife.” ABC was third with a 1.5 for “Revenge,” Univision fourth with a 1.3 for more “Baila,” Fox fifth with a 1.2 for repeats of “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.7 for the movie “The Expendables.”

At 10 p.m. NBC was first again with an 8.8 for football, with CBS second with a 1.4 for the end of “Wife” and the start of “The Mentalist.” Univision was third with a 1.0 for “Sal y Pimienta,” ABC fourth with a 0.9 for “Betrayal” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.7 for its movie.

NBC also finished first for the night among households with a 12.6 average overnight rating and a 20 share. CBS was second at 7.6/12, ABC third at 3.5/5, Univision fourth at 1.6/3, Fox fifth at 1.5/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1.

post #90270 of 93720
TV/Business Notes
'Parks and Recreation's' audience is modest, but wealthy
By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Oct. 21, 2013

"Parks and Recreation" may not have much to brag about in terms of audience size, but the cult-beloved NBC comedy can certainly point to one advantage: its viewers' paychecks.

Among the series on the four major networks this fall, "Parks" has the highest concentration of upscale young adult viewers.

In this context, "upscale young adult" means people in the 18-49 demo who live in households with yearly income of $100,000 or more. Three weeks into the fall season, "Parks and Rec" boasts a score of 171 on the upscale density index, for which 100 equals an average concentration of homes. That makes it the show with the audience that skews most toward upper incomes.

The first runner-up on the upscale concentration index is, unsurprisingly, the high-rated, Emmy-winning ABC comedy "Modern Family," which also has a much larger audience overall. On Wednesday, Phil Dunphy et al drew an average of 10.9 million viewers.

In the top 10 within this category, ABC also has "Nashville" and "Revenge." CBS is represented by "The Good Wife," "60 Minutes" and "the Amazing Race," while Fox has "The Mindy Project" and "New Girl."

Another NBC non-sports show that leans toward the well-off is fellow Thursday night offering "Parenthood," which follows a family going through various emotional upheavals related to bringing up children.

To be sure, while "Parks and Recreation" has a considerable dose of the moneyed demographic, the program has a relatively small pull with young adults in general.

The antics of the local government workers in Pawnee, Ind., drew about 3.27 million viewers Thursday night and a rating of 1.3 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age demographic Thursday night, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen.

In other words, if you're one of the people who watch "Parks," you might be doing so on a pretty nice couch.

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