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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3064

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TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Huge surge for Fox’s ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’
New sitcom jumps 36 percent over last week to a 1.9
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 21, 2013

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” strengthened its case for renewal with a big ratings jump last night.

The new comedy averaged a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating at 8:30 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 36 percent from a 1.4 last week.

It marked the show’s best rating since its September premiere, when it posted a 2.6 before the season officially kicked off and it faced tougher competition.

Certainly last night “Brooklyn” was boosted by the fact that ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and CBS’s “NCIS” were repeats.

“Brooklyn” actually tied NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” as the No. 1 program of the night in the demo.

Fox’s entire comedy lineup saw gains. At 8 p.m., “Dads” grew 25 percent over last week, to a 1.5.

“New Girl” was up 13 percent at 9 p.m., to a 1.8, and lead-out “The Mindy Project” grew 36 percent, to a 1.5.

“Loser” also benefited from the lack of competition, growing 12 percent from last week.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 1.9 average overnight rating and a 5 share. Fox was second at 1.7.4, CBS third at 1.5/4, Univision fourth at 1.3/3, CW fifth at 1.1/3, ABC sixth at 0.9/3 and Telemundo seventh 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-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

NBC finished first during each hour, starting with a 1.9 at 8 p.m. for “Loser,” followed by CBS with a 1.8 for a repeat of “NCIS.” Fox was third with a 1.7 for “Dads” (1.5) and “Brooklyn” (1.9), Univision fourth with a 1.2 for “Por Siempre Mi Amor,” CW fifth with a 1.0 for “The Originals,” ABC sixth with a 0.9 for a repeat of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “La Impostora.”

At 9 p.m. NBC was first with a 1.9 for more “Loser,” while CBS and Fox tied for second at 1.6, CBS for a repeat of “NCIS: Los Angeles” and Fox for “Girl” (1.8) and “Mindy” (1.5). Univision was fourth with a 1.5 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo,” ABC fifth with a 1.2 for “The Goldbergs” (1.5) and “Trophy Wife” (1.0), CW sixth with a 1.1 for “Supernatural” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.7 for “La Reina del Sur.”

NBC was first again at 10 p.m. with a 1.8 for “Chicago Fire,” with CBS and Univision tied for second at 1.2, CBS for a rerun of “Person of Interest” and Univision for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.” ABC was fourth with a 0.7 for “Killer Women,” even to last week, and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for “Santa Diabla.”

CBS led the night among households with a 6.8 average overnight rating and a 10 share. NBC was second at 4.3/7, ABC third at 2.4/4, Fox fourth at 2.3/3, Univision fifth at 1.6/3, CW sixth at 1.5/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.


* * * *

TV Notes
Like ‘Girls’ without so much angst
Comedy Central's new 'Broad City' focuses on single gals
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 22, 2013

Imagine HBO’s “Girls” with less whining, less angst and less nudity, and you’ve got Comedy Central’s latest new show, about women trying to find their place in New York City

“Broad City,” which debuts at 10 p.m. tonight, follows the trials of NYC besties Abbi and Illana, who have unfulfilling jobs and equally unsatisfying love lives.

The show started as a web series written and acted by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, former members of the Upright Citizens Brigade. They fleshed out the series a bit more for TV, though reviews suggest it still needs a bit more substance if it’s going to last.

Still, the show has some impressive talent behind it. “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler is a producer, and there are cameos by comics Fred Armisen and Janeane Garofalo.

What’s perhaps most interesting about “Broad” is the network it’s airing on, Comedy Central. Most of the network’s shows feature male talent, including “Workaholics,” the show that leads into “Broad,” and “Key and Peele.”

Perhaps the buzzy success of “Girls,” now in season three on HBO, has inspired other networks to consider shows about female Millennials even when that’s outside their usual skew.

Of course, how “Broad” will fit as a lead-out from “Workaholics” remains to be seen. The latter is very strong with young men, with last year’s premiere averaging a 4.3 rating in men 18-24 and a 3.0 with men 18-34, according to Nielsen. It ranked No. 1 in primetime in both those demos.

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TV Notes
Bill Cosby to develop family comedy for NBC
By Lynette Rice, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jan. 22, 2014

If the smart-mouthed young comedians or the hot, twenty-something actors can’t goose the ratings, maybe its time to turn to TV’s elders! NBC is calling upon Bill Cosby to develop a family comedy that addresses parenting and marriage.

Deadline reports that Cosby, who headlined The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992 for NBC, will team with his old producing partner Tom Werner to create a multi-generational sitcom. It will be developed around the 76-year-old TV star, who also starred in Cosby for CBS from 1996 to 2000.

Werner and his old producing partner Marcy Carsey was responsible for some of the most successful TV comedies, which include Roseanne, That ’70s Show, Cybill, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Despite a whole new generation of exciting sitcom stars like Jim Parsons, Melissa McCarthy, and Zooey Deschanel, older, more experienced comedy stars can still attract the eyeballs (see: Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep, Robin Williams on The Crazy Ones, and Patricia Heaton on The Middle).

For every hit, however, there have been notable misses. The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World with Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes have failed to gain traction.

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TV/Business Notes
Cable Backlash: NPD Yanks Negative Report Amid HBO, Showtime, Starz Furor
By Brent Lang, TheWrap.com - Jan. 22, 2014

In the face of fierce backlash from HBO, Showtime and Starz, NPD Group has temporarily pulled a report from its website claiming that premium cable channels have declined in popularity.

A spokesman for the market research company said it is double-checking the numbers after the three channels claimed that the data is faulty and that their subscriber rolls have actually increased in recent years.

“The research is simply incorrect,” an HBO spokesman said in a statement to TheWrap. “Both HBO and Cinemax services have shown significant domestic subscriber growth the past two years.”

A Showtime spokeswoman said, “The NPD research is not accurate. Showtime has increased subscribers over the past two years, and in fact, has added 1 million viewers each year for six of the past 7 years.”

The furor kicked off on Monday after NPD’s study argued the number of U.S. households subscribing to premium cable channels dropped six percent over the last two years, while the number of households with subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix grew by four percent. The company based its survey on roughly 7,500 customers and implied that Netflix’s growing popularity was coming at the expense of HBO and others.

However, Showtime, HBO and Starz claim SNL Kagan data reveals that growth, not diminution, has been the trend of late. From March 2012 through September 2013, Showtime’s subscriber penetration went from 21.1 percent to 22.8 percent, HBO’s jumped from 28.2 percent to 29.2 percent and Starz’s increased from 19.9 percent to 22 percent.

The companies’ claims were echoed by BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, who said in a note Tuesday that NPD’s claims were “100 percent false.”

“We believe premium growth has been quite healthy, with absolute premium subscribers now at an all-time high driven by improving quality of content,” Greenfield wrote.

He went on to say that Netflix and other video-on-demand subscribers tend to have a voracious appetite for content, “meaning you subscribe to HBO and Netflix, not HBO or Netflix.”

An NPD spokesman did not say when its review of the data would be completed.

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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
HBO’s ‘Looking’ Off to Slow Start; ‘True Detective’ Down Vs. Football
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Jan. 22, 2014

HBO’s new half-hour “Looking” is still seeking some viewers after getting off to a slow start Sunday with just 338,000 viewers for its premiere.

Adding encores later Sunday night, “Looking” drew 606,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

The show about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco dropped off sharply from its “Girls” lead-in, as the Lena Dunham half-hour drew 799,000 viewers for its initial telecast Sunday — down from its series high of about 1.1 million the previous week.

In its second week, drama “True Detective” averaged about 1.67 million viewers for its 9 p.m. telecast, down from the 2.33 million of its premiere. At least some of Sunday’s decline can be attributed to its facing football’s NFC Championship Game on Fox, which drew more than 57 million viewers.

According to HBO, “True Detective” cumed a premiere week audience of 6.3 million so far when including DVR playback and viewing on other platforms.

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TV Review
Starz' 'Black Sails'
By Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Bastard Machine' Blog - Jan. 21, 2014

It's clear that Starz is still searching for an identity -- not only how to distinguish itself from pay cable rivals HBO and Showtime, but how to let the world know what it is through its original series.

Gone are the Kelsey Grammer tour-de-force Boss, probably the most HBO-like of Starz' offerings, and the ambitious and stylized Magic City, which was part Sopranos and part Mad Men, but not a series that drew enough viewers in its two seasons to merit a third.

Does that leave Starz as the channel of Spartacus -- glorified homoerotic blood porn played out in swords and sandals? Because that's not exactly the highest creative bar, but likely the kind of mixture of violence, sex and nudity that just might work best on Starz.

Ah, but where to mix in the lighter but entertainingly ambitious Da Vinci's Demons, which is about to enter its second season in March, or the contemporary crime drama Power, or this summer's much-anticipated Outlander series, created by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) from the insanely popular books by Diana Gabaldon (which have a very strong female fan base that loves the romantic nature of its Scotland-based story)? The White Queen, which was a co-production with the BBC based on the books by Philippa Gregory, may even come back as a Starz-only entity.

While that lineup is a little heavier on historical genre pieces, it's more varied than it is cohesive and suggests that Starz is trying to be as broad as HBO in its appeal. But Starz, and to a lesser extent Showtime, have yet to solidify the same reputation for consistently high quality.

Now comes a new Michael Bay pirate series called Black Sails, set in 1715, during the "Golden Age of piracy." Here's a genre series that's got a lot of what you'd expect from Starz -- gratuitous nudity, bloodshed and mayhem -- but it also has a complicated story to spin. What's been interesting to watch is how Starz seems to dictate the balance in an effort not to become the "boobs-and-blood" channel. Black Sails may be an indication that it's an ongoing effort, and finding a balance like, say, Game of Thrones has found, eventually comes back to how well the show is written.

And that's what's intriguing about Black Sails after watching the first four episodes. (The series has already been picked up for a second season.) The first episode delivers all the swords, blood, sex and nudity that a Starz subscriber may be seeking, but slowly, through the next three, it becomes clear that Black Sails has more ambition than merely artfully framing a lesbian sex scene or a sword fight. It has a fairly large story to tell and, even by the end of the fourth episode, is unspooling it slower and with more care than one might have imagined when considering the words "Michael Bay" and "pirates" and "Starz."

Co-created and co-written by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, Black Sails tells the story of Capt. Flint (Toby Stephens), who runs the Walrus ship and is the most feared captain of all those docking in lawless New Providence Island. His crew includes the quartermaster, Gates (Mark Ryan), and first mate Billy Bones (Tom Hopper), who is next in line.

Flint is after a big score -- a Spanish galleon ship larded with gold that nobody can find, much less take down. But he's found the secret hideaway -- unfortunately it's now in the hands (and later head) of the slippery John Silver (Luke Arnold), who is just trying to stay alive but causing a lot of upheaval while he does.

On New Providence Island, everything runs through Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), whose father, Richard, is the wealthiest black marketeer in the Bahamas. Her father has left her to run things on the island, and she's the main arbiter of which pirates get which goods (she also runs a saloon). Her right-hand man and advisor is Mr. Scott (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), but Mr. Scott is rightly concerned with Eleanor's connection to Flint and his dangerous scheme. Eleanor has a lover in Max (Jessica Parker Kennedy), a prostitute in town.

On the opposite side of Flint getting what he wants is his nemesis, the dangerous Captain Vane (Zach McGowan, Shameless), who runs the fast and lethal Ranger ship; Vane's quartermaster, Rackham (Toby Schmitz), the brains behind Vane; and Anne Bonny (Clara Paget), who is both an enforcer for Vane and Rackham's lover.
It's quite a world that Steinberg and Levine have created. More characters show up as the episodes roll on, giving Black Sails a more dense, complicated structure (which is good).

Even after four episodes, however, it's hard to tell what you're getting with Black Sails. In the beginning it feels like a blood-and-sex pirates epic without much depth, but the cast is filled with solid actors and they give more heft to the initial portrayals. As Black Sails progresses, it evolves rather surprisingly into a more serious story with lots of secrets, backstory and intrigue.

Again, that's a welcome direction for a show that already knows how to swing a sword, throw a punch and linger on a naked body. But the fourth episode does move rather slowly, which makes you think the pacing might be a tad bit off for a pirate epic.

Better dense than dumb, however, and the move by Black Sails into something unexpected -- better acted and better written than you might have guessed -- is its own little treasure.

Airdate: Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz, beginning Jan. 25 (first episode available online at Starz.com)
The Bottom Line: This ambitious pirate story is helped immensely by going beyond the pay cable freedoms that often bog down lesser shows in boobs, blood and sex. "Black Sails" steers itself out of that realm after a few episodes and makes a play for bigger, more complicated stories. Solid acting patches up weaker spots. A series worth a look.

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Winter TCA Tour Notes
NYT plagiarist Jayson Blair states his case in PBS documentary
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Jan. 21, 2014

Samantha Grant has a message for viewers who tune in to her documentary "A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power and Jayson Blair," which examines the case of the disgraced New York Times journalist whose plagiarism and invention of sources tarnished the newspaper's reputation and led to the downfall of two top editors.

Be careful about believing Jayson Blair.

Grant's film features exclusive interviews with Blair speaking in rare detail about the events in 2003. She said viewers should be skeptical of his account.

"You should take what he says with a grain of salt," said Grant, who said Blair at various times was both forthcoming and evasive during the course of three interviews between 2007 and 2011.

Getting him to talk about his stint at the Times was extremely challenging and required persistence, she said.

The film premieres May 5 on PBS' "Independent Lens" and explores not only the rise and fall of Blair but also the extensive effect the incident had on the world of journalism. Because Blair was a young African American reporter, the scandal also had a chilling effect on efforts to diversify major metropolitan newsrooms.

After being declared a wunderkind in the New York Times newsroom in 2003 after a series of acclaimed stories, Blair was discovered to have boldly copied the work of other reporters and to have supplemented his own reporting with fabricated details. Mental illness and cocaine fueled his actions, he said.

The film also includes interviews with Howell Raines, who was executive editor of the New York Times during the Blair scandal, and journalist Macarena Hernandez, who was a target of Blair's plagiarism.

Although Blair was reluctant at first to cooperate with Grant, he finally agreed. He wrote, "I became convinced that while the documentary would hardly be flattering to me, it would provide the depth that would answer some questions people had, including me."

Grant said that Blair, who is a certified life coach in Virginia, has not seen the finished film and has expressed no desire to.

"He's afraid that it would be too painful," she said. "But I would love for him to see it."

Edited by dad1153 - 1/23/14 at 2:17am
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - The Taste (120 min.)
10PM - Shark Tank
(R - Nov. 8)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kim Kardashian; reality-TV stars Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Oct. 10)
8:31PM - The Millers
(R - Nov. 21)
9:01PM - The Crazy Ones
(R - Sep. 26)
9:31PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Nov. 14)
10:01PM - Elementary
(R - Oct. 10)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Director Spike Jonze; No Age performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Martha Plimpton; Sarah Jarosz performs)

8PM - Community
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9PM - Sean Saves The World
9:30PM - The Michael J. Fox Show
10PM - Parenthood
* * * *
11:34AM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Matt LeBlanc; House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio); Dorian Holley performs)
12:36AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Jonah Hill; Dick Cavett; chef Wylie Dufresne)
1:36AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Web series "Hudson Valley Ballers''; director Steph Green; Sirah performs)

8PM - American Idol
9PM - Rake (Series Premiere)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock, Series III: The Empty Hearse (120 min.)
(R - Jan. 19)

8PM - Por Siempre Mi Amor
9PM - Lo Que La Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

8PM - The Vampire Diaries
9PM - Reign

8PM - La Impostora
9PM - La Reina del Sur
10PM - Santa Diabla

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Anjan Sundaram)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Patricia Churchland)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Julie Klausner; Jon Daly; Horatio Sanz)

11PM - Conan (Wayne Gretzk)
Midnight - The Pete Holmes Show (Jim Jefferies; Pete visits NBA All Star James Harden in Houston)
(R - Oct. 30)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Timothy Olyphant; comic Michael Yo; comic Jamie Lee; comic Ross Mathews)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Aaron Eckhart; Gabourey Sidibe; Biz Markie; Leland Melvin)
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TV Notes
ABC Picks Up ‘Wipeout’ For Seventh Season
By The Deadline.com - Jan. 22, 2014

The new season will feature the franchise’s first “tournament of champions” event. Each episode will showcase 24 contestants competing in the world’s largest extreme obstacle course, but for the first time, winners will be brought together at the end of the season to compete for the title of Ultimate Wipeout Champion.

When ABC announced, in August of ’12, it was bringing back the competition series for a sixth season, including its 100th episode, Jill Wagner returned as co-host (Vanessa Minnillo replaced her in Season 5), and new obstacles and completely redesigned Wipeout Zones were added. A seventh season will continue to feature special themed episodes, including a chance to win a date with Wagner, as well as the return of popular themes such as “Boss & Employee.” “We are always looking for ways to keep the show fresh and exciting. This year, we are amping up the competition with a season long tournament of champions,” said Matt Kunitz, creator and executive producer.

While not as strong in the ratings as it was early in its run, Wipeout is still one of the few broadcast shows that pops a number during the summer and its family co-viewing numbers are good. Last summer, airing Thursdays at 8 PM, Wipeout was the No. 1 summer show for family co-viewing (adults 18-49 watching with teens and/or kids) on the major broadcast nets — 22% of its adult 18-49 audience watched with teens or kids. During its summer run, Wipeout beat its broadcast rivals in the Thursday hour to rank No. 1 with Kids 2-11.

Wipeout executive producers are creator Kunitz and Scott Larsen. Endemol USA produces. Wipeout is hosted by John Anderson (ESPN’s SportsCenter), John Henson (E! Entertainment’s Talk Soup).

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TV Review
He’s a Train Wreck, but Still Kinda Cute
In ‘Rake,’ on Fox, Greg Kinnear Is a Smart Ne’er-Do-Well
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times - Jan. 22, 2013

He is late, yes, but he is under a lot of pressure. He can’t understand why she can’t understand.

“When you’re late, Keegan,” the woman says coldly, “it shows basic lack of respect, and that is damaging to any professional relationship.”

It’s the kind of thing a shrink or an accountant might say to an overscheduled client. But on “Rake,” a Fox show starting Thursday, the scolder is a prostitute who charges $500 an hour. The call girl, Mikki (Bojana Novakovic), is not amused by her regular, Keegan Deane (Greg Kinnear), a Los Angeles lawyer with a gambling, drinking and womanizing problem. Mikki is the closest thing Keegan has to a solid, loving relationship. He apologizes, they make up, but before he can get his clothes off, his time is up.

That’s the kind of fecklessness, bad luck and terrible timing that has brought Keegan to the brink of ruin. And it’s the secret to this otherwise conventional legal show. The courtroom scenes are perfunctory, just enough to depict Keegan as brilliant and to signal that his work is the least of his problems.

“Rake” is more imaginative when depicting the slow-motion despair that sets in when a sure thing — a client’s payment, a royal flush, a football game — crumbles into dust. Keegan, who owes almost $60,000 to the kind of lender who doesn’t take i.o.u.s, keeps getting close to making a big score, only to watch it all fall apart. His friendship with Roy (Omar J. Dorsey), the thug who is tasked with collecting his debt, doesn’t prevent him from getting his face smashed in as a friendly warning.

“Rake” was adapted from an Australian series that has the same name but a darker sensibility. This version is adjusted for American optimism: It’s a lighthearted look at a serious screw-up. And the first episode, at least, is surprisingly engaging.

The writing is smart and the episodes well structured, but much of the credit goes to Mr. Kinnear, who maintains a veneer of charm without stinting on his character’s underlay of seedy desperation. Keegan is still winsome enough to attract beautiful women in bars, but in daylight, his boyish good looks, like his shirt collar and stalling tactics, are unmistakably creased and worn.

Mr. Kinnear is helped by a good supporting cast, including John Ortiz as his best friend from law school, Ben, and Necar Zadegan as Ben’s wife, Scarlet, an assistant district attorney.

Keegan lost his apartment, works out of other people’s offices and mooches off friends. He’s a disruptive houseguest, to say the least. He brings a one-night stand home after a debauched night, and is still hung over when the children come down for breakfast. When Ben asks him to leave his house after four months, Keegan gently explains why he can’t. “I’m not going to let you kick me out, Ben, because that’s going to make you feel bad about you,” he says with tender concern. “And I’m not going to do that to my best friend.”

Keegan is not television’s first unheroic hero, of course. “House,” the Fox drama, was centered on the exasperatingly juvenile genius Gregory House, a drug-addicted doctor and mercurial boss and friend. There have been plenty of others: The tradition of likable loser goes all the way back to “The Rockford Files,” which starred James Garner as an ex-con turned private detective (he was falsely convicted) who lived and worked out of a mobile home.

But Keegan is worse off than either of those two: He is unreformed and unsuccessful, a profligate parasite who doesn’t seem to earn any money no matter how clever he is in the courtroom. His lifestyle isn’t just downwardly mobile, his life is careening out of control.

In each episode, the missteps, missed opportunities, unforced errors and poor decisions pile up, and the show is quite ingenious in finding ways for Keegan to scrape through — just barely.

“Rake” is a clever look at just how stupidly even smart people behave.

Fox, Thursday nights at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.

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Winter TCA Tour Notes
PBS gets 'Glad All Over' about Dave Clark Five
By Robert Bianco, USA Today - Jan. 22, 2014

PASADENA, Calif. — Ready to feel glad all over, all over and over again?

With the April 8 Great Performances special Glad All Over: The Dave Clark Five and Beyond, PBS is celebrating the work of a band that, in the early '60s, rivaled The Beatles for popularity: Bits and Pieces, Do You Love Me, Over and Over Again, Catch Us if You Can, Anyway You Want It, I Like it Like That, Because, and of course Glad All Over: Clark and the group's songs were the joyful vanguard of the British invasion.

The group, says Clark, got its start playing at the American airbases around their hometown of London. The soldiers asked them to play songs they had on the jukebox from singers like Elvis and Fats Domino, and that's where The Dave Clark Five got their sound.

That sound made them popular in Britain – so popular, that The Ed Sullivan Show came calling. Clark says his first response was "no," because he'd never heard of Sullivan. But Sullivan called again, and this time, Clark figured "What have we got to lose?"

What followed that first performance - in April 1964, two months after The Beatles made their debut - was a run of 18 appearances on Sullivan. That's more than any act, says PBS, outside of Topo Gigio.

As he did for the Beatles, Sullivan made The Dave Clark Five American stars. And like the Beatles and A Hard Day's Night, the group parlayed that success into a movie, Catch Us If You Can.

Clark's main goal with the film, a satire of advertising, was to do something different from what the Beatles had done. "A Hard Day's Night was just a day in their life. This was a bit more ambitious."

After the group disbanded in the early '70s, rights issues limited access to their music - causing them to largely disappear from public view. Their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 renewed interest in the group, and helped inspire the idea for the documentary.

His first response was the same as his first response to Ed Sullivan: No. But Bruce Springsteen, a fan and one of the experts eventually interviewed in the documentary, helped talk him into it. "He said, 'You've got to do this for the boys.' "

Sadly, most of them will never see it. Of the five members of the band – Clark, Lenny Davidson, Mike Smith, Rick Huxley and Denis Payton – only Clark and Davidson are still alive. Clark misses the friends he's lost, but he's proud that until the end, "we were always great mates. We never had any legal letter between us."

And yeah – I like it like that.

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TV Notes
'Enlisted' Moved To Post-'Bones' Time Slot On Fox
By The HuffingtonPost.com Staff - Jan. 22, 2014

The freshman comedy "Enlisted" has gained critical acclaim, but its ratings have been rather mediocre. In an attempt to remedy that, Fox moved "Enlisted" from 9:30 p.m. Friday to the post-"Bones" slot at 9 p.m., bumping "Raising Hope" to the later time slot.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Fox president Kevin Reilly admitted he was disappointed by the show's low ratings, but stood by it, saying, "I just wanted to see that show all the way through. I'm going to hang with it through the 13 and we'll see how the DVR looks."

"Bones" proved to be a strong lead-in for "Raising Hope." But Deadline points out that the show swap might be a bad sign for the veteran comedy.

"Enlisted" airs Friday at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.

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Aubrey Plaza on Her Sundance Zombie Movie, Life After Beth, and Parks and Recreation’s Seventh Season
By Jada Yuan, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jan. 22, 2014

Now, this is the role Aubrey Plaza was born to play. In Life After Beth, written and directed by Plaza's real-life boyfriend of many years Jeff Baena (who co-wrote I Heart Huckabees), the Parks and Recreation (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC) star finds her first great synergy with a big-screen character as a girl who comes back from the dead but doesn't realize she's dead and keeps trying to date her bereft boyfriend (Dane DeHaan). The story plays out less like a zombie movie than a relationship movie, tracing the emotional arc of the living — like DeHaan, and John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon as Beth's parents — who grieve over the young woman's death, eschew all sanity when she comes back to life, and enjoy her company all over again.

Baena wrote the script ten years ago, and like Beth, it's been resurrected. "It was probably informed by the evolution of a relationship that went to **** and you try to get back together, if you broke up. But that was unconscious," he said in the post-screening Q&A. Jada Yuan spoke with Plaza, who said she was starving and hung-over, about how to play the undead, Parks and Rec getting renewed, and being chained to an oven she carried on her back, which was "really special."

Plaza [into my recorder]: Rrrrraaaahhhhhhhhhhh. That’s my zombie voice. I have such low blood sugar.

Has playing a zombie been a dream of yours?
No, it has not been a dream of mine, but it’s a nightmare of mine now ... okay, let’s talk normally. I’m not obsessed with zombie movies or anything. I was more interested in the story of the movie. The relationship between Beth and Zach [Dane DeHaan] made me love the script because it reminded me of my high school, college relationships.

What reminded you of high school, college relationships? Because I do think it really is a relationship movie.
Like the relationships that you have with the other person’s parents and those kind of boundaries — I thought they were handled really well. And certain things that Zach and Beth do, like trying to find a place to go make out and have sex. I remember when you live with your parents, it’s like you can’t go to their house so you have to go make out in the woods or whatever, and that felt real to me because I remember that feeling. And I thought that the love that they had is very young love and I liked it.

Jeff was saying the movie is a metaphor for when you break up with somebody and then you try to get back together with them.
I think definitely one of the themes of the movie is breakups, and how weird they are and how when you break up it almost is like they die. And I think the movie explores, Well, what if they came back and you could say all the things that you wanted to say to them that you didn’t say when you were together? It’s kind of messing with those ideas.

And you say those things but then it’s still never the same.
Right, then you still have to shoot them in the head and they die.

How did you prep for being a zombie — did you work on your zombie voice?
No, but I weirdly enough have this demon voice that I’ve been doing since I was a kid, so I got to use that voice, and then Jeff and I realized, Oh, it’s weird that I didn’t have to prepare a demon voice, that I just had that one in my back pocket. I don’t think a lot of actors have those kind of voices or sounds that are just ready to go. [Does the demon voice.] This is my demon voice. I guess I’ve been preparing my whole life for this part as a zombie, because I’ve always had this weird demon voice inside me and now everyone knows. I just hope my mommy’s proud.

It seems like it would be really fun to play that part, when you destroy the house, wear a stove on your back.
Wear a stove on my back … that was … fun may not be the word. Hard.

Was it a fake stove?
It was the front half of a real stove and the back half of a fake stove, but it was heavy any way you stove it — what? [Laughs.] It was heavy, and I tore my abdominal muscles when I did some of those scenes. I actually really got hurt.

Did you throw out your back, too?
I had back problems, yeah, but I didn’t throw it out. It was from standing up and then leaning back, and you’d think it would be really good exercise for my core but I just overdid it. Also, I don’t know how to exercise.

Onstage, Jeff said that you resurrected the script. What does that mean?
He’s written so many scripts, and we’ve been together for a couple years, and ever since I’ve been together with him, a lot of people have said, “Oh, have you ever read this one script that he wrote that’s, like, the best script?” Because he tried to get it going years ago and studio, whatever, ******** happened and it fell apart for whatever reason. But it was a script that still stuck in a lot of people’s minds and one of my agents at the time was one of those people. And Jeff is not the kind of person — he doesn’t like talking about work, we don’t talk about work that much. He’s not into business stuff or whatever, so he’s never given me a script and been like, “Do this.” So I kind of had to make him let me read it. And then I read it and it was so ****ing good, and it felt perfect for me and he felt the same way, so then we started the process.

What was the directorial relationship like, given that you have a personal relationship?
It was great. I was nervous. I was like, We’re either going to break up or stay together forever.

Forever. [In her zombie voice, imitating something her character says constantly in the movie.] "Together forever. Together forever." It was great, he’s a great director and that didn’t surprise me either because his brain is operating on another level — he’s too smart and he’s got so many opinions and he’s a very confident person that always knows what he wants.

Were there any moments when you were like, “We might break up”?
No, not one. The only weird thing was — and it wasn’t even weird, which is why it was weird — was all of the making out with Dane stuff. In my head, I was like, This is gonna be weird, I wonder how this is gonna go. [Jeff and I] never talked about it. We were never like, “Oh, in the scenes where I have to have sex with Dane, is it going to be weird?” And we did one take where Dane and I are really going at it and [Jeff] was like, “Cut.” In my head I was like, Oh my God, he’s gonna be weird about this and everyone was kind of quiet, and he walked over to me and was like, “Do you think you could get more into it and maybe moan a little bit louder and just kind of amp it up?” And I was like, “Copy that, you want me to moan louder? Okay, I can do that for you.” And then Molly [Shannon] and John [C. Reilly] were like, “You guys have a really weird relationship.”’ And later that night I was like, “Is it weird for you to direct me making out with other guys?” And his response was like, “You know my feeling: You’re going to be doing it anyway so I might as well be supervising it,” which I think is a great attitude to have.

Did you think you might go insane listening to all that smooth jazz? [Editor's note: Eventually, Beth starts to decay and grows so constantly agitated that the only thing that will calm her (and simultaneously give her an orgasm) is smooth jazz.]
Yes! No, I don’t mind smooth jazz that much, I play the saxophone, so ...

Do you really?
Yeah. I actually played on this album on this track that just came online and I played on Conan once with a friend's band. I'm not very good, but I’ve played since I was a kid. I liked the smooth jazz stuff. It was funny to have a trigger that’s supposed to basically give me an orgasm.

Are you just having an awesome time right now, given that Parks and Recreation got renewed just a few days ago?
I actually found out because Jim O’Heir, who plays Jerry on the show, is here [he's also in Life After Beth] and was shouting to me on the street, like "Seventh season!"’ and I was like, "What?! Shut up." So that was bizarre.

And Amy Poehler won the Golden Globe.
I’m so psyched for her. It was so fun to celebrate her that night. I feel like she is always the funniest person in the room and whenever she doesn’t win I’m like, How can the funniest person not win? So finally the funniest person won, which I thought was pretty cool. It was just awesome to have our leader up onstage just leading the night and crushing it like she does. Wait, what was the question?

Oh, just I guess what was that like for you. And I’ll wrap this up: What do you think a seventh season means for April?
I’ve been saying this for two seasons now: If they don’t put a baby inside of me, I’m going to put one in myself, literally, so that they’re forced to write it on to the show! I declare. I just think the idea of her and Andy having quintuplets or something would be pretty hilarious. But I have no idea. I don’t know what they are going to do with her character.

Is this the final season?
I don’t know. I really was shocked that we got picked up, and so early. Every year, we all feel uncertain as to whether we’re going to go back or not, we’ve never felt secure. So I don’t know when the end will be, or when the beginning is — it’s all relative. We're like the little engine that could. We’re just a little fighter guy. We’re not going anywhere.

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TV Notes
David O. Russell Drama Lands Series Order at ABC
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Life Feed' Blog - Jan. 22, 2014

American Hustle's David O. Russell is heading to TV.

Fresh off SAG Award and Golden Globe wins for American Hustle, the prolific producer is attached to executive produce an untitled soap for ABC that the network has picked up straight to series.

ABC has handed out a 13-episode order to the untitled drama that's described as an upstairs/downstairs soap centered on a private country club.

Russell will executive produce; he co-wrote the story with Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant, who penned the script. Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman (Justified, Masters of Sex, Elementary, Unforgettable) also will exec produce the CBS Television Studios (where the duo's banner is based) and ABC Studios co-production. The deal comes the same day that ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told The Hollywood Reporter that Russell was the showrunner he most hoped he would wind up doing business with.

The drama marks Russell's first TV drama series. He was previously attached to a 2011 drama set up at FX as a starring vehicle for Connie Britton that did not move forward. In addition to Hustle's SAG and Golden Globe wins, Russell is nominated for two Academy Awards -- for directing and penning the original screenplay. Last year, his Silver Linings Playbook earned two Academy Award noms -- for directing and for adapted screenplay; he also picking up a helming nomination in 2011 for The Fighter.

For ABC, meanwhile, this marks the network's second straight-to-series order of late. The Russell drama joins Secrets & Lies, which the network picked up with a 10-episode commitment.

The move comes as broadcast and cable networks have been increasingly handing out larger commitments in a bid to lure high-profile producers and talent as the traditional broadcast calendar shifts to more year-round original programming.

Russell is repped by CAA and Gang Tyre.

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Winter TCA Tour Notes
Director of Ruben Salazar film talks about struggle to get files
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Jan. 22, 2014

Newly obtained police documents were pivotal in making the upcoming PBS documentary "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle," which examines the life and controversial death in 1970 of the prominent Mexican American journalist, said filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez.

"Without that data, the film would be utterly incomplete," said Rodriguez in an interview with The Times on Wednesday, the final day of the winter TV press tour in Pasadena. "We wouldn't have been able to address the matter in a responsible way."

The long-confidential documents, which provide additional details about Salazar's death during a Chicano anti-war march in August 1970, did not come easily and only after pressure from activists, said Rodriguez, who directed the film and is one of its producers. The film is slated to air April 29.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department disputed the view that the organization or Sheriff Lee Baca blocked access to the documents. "We made all the documents available for anyone to come down to review," said Steve Whitmore. "Sheriff Baca did not deny anybody the right to review them."

The unredacted files -- autopsy documents, investigative documents and coroner’s photos -- relating to Salazar's death were released in late 2012. Rodriguez said that while they shed new light on the case, there was no "smoking gun."

Salazar, a Times reporter and news director at Spanish-language KMEX-TV, had sought refuge in a bar after rioting broke out during a massive anti-Vietnam War demonstration in East Los Angeles. The 42-year-old award-winning journalist was killed when a sheriff's deputy shot a tear gas missile into the bar.

The killing was blamed on tactical mistakes by deputies, but others have suggested Salazar was deliberately targeted for his aggressive coverage of civil rights issues, including police misconduct.

Salazar's death became a rallying point in the Mexican American civil rights movement. The journalist became an iconic figure with parks, schools, scholarships and even a U.S. postage stamp in his honor.

The one-hour documentary features interviews with some of Salazar's family, friends and former co-workers at The Times and KMEX-TV. The film also features some of Salazar's private writings from his personal journals, provided by his daughter Stephanie Salazar Cook.

"You wonder would he have wanted that, to expose his feelings and thoughts," Cook said during the morning panel. "But I think because of the fact that he was a journalist and had a journal, I think he would have wanted people to know who he was instead of who they thought he was."

Rodriguez told The Times that a member of the Sheriff's Department -- Chief Jim Lopez -- has seen the film, but Baca has not.

"We haven't shown it to Baca," he said. "We haven't invited him yet. I'd be interested to see what he has to say about it, though."


* * * *

Winter TCA Tour Notes
'Makers' on PBS puts women in their place -- in the sun
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Jan. 22, 2014

The Television Critics Ann. press tour in Pasadena ended on an upbeat note with PBS and its "Makers: Women Who Make America" documentary series.

The Makers initiative was founded by Dyllan McGee and features both the PBS television series as well as an online component in which hundreds of films about accomplished women are archived. There are plans to take the Makers initiative global by the end of the year.

This year will see the release of six new documentaries featuring women in space, Hollywood, politics, business, war and comedy.

Joining McGee on the panel promoting the series was outspoken comedian Kathy Griffin, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and exposed CIA operative Valerie Plame.

The women spoke at length about what it was like to break into vocations that were traditionally unwelcoming of women. They also said that the sexism they had encountered along the way was often subtle, which in many ways is the most insidious kind.

"When I joined the CIA, I didn’t join thinking, 'I'm going to be a female spy.' I didn’t grow up thinking that espionage was a viable career path," said Plame. "The CIA definitely was — and is — an old boys' club, even though now there are two women at the head of four directorates. But that doesn’t mean everything magically changes. It takes time."

McGee knows that, and it's part of why she is so passionate about the project. She doesn't just revel in telling the stories of the female stars we have all heard of, she enjoys telling the tales of the unknown women who are changing things on a daily basis.

When she first began, she simply wanted to make a documentary on legendary feminist Gloria Steinem. But Steinem said no. She told McGee that she couldn't tell the story of the women's movement through the life of one woman.

"Little did I know that that 'no' would launch me on a quest to tell the greatest assemblage of women's stories ever told," said McGee.

Those stories matter to people of all walks of life. McGee is happy to report that 50% of the traffic coming to the Makers site comes from men. The site also boasts more than 16 million video views.

"It takes a lot of time for change to happen," Whitson said. "I was really lucky in my field as an astronaut. Once I was selected, after 10 years of trying, I felt that I would be fine after I demonstrated that I could do the job. I was the first female commander on the International Space Station."

Griffin cracked a lot of jokes but on a serious note said that even though she's mouthy and powerful, she has lost many jobs speaking out against sexism.

"The sexism in stand-up comedy is rampant, and anybody who says it isn't, isn’t telling the truth," she said, adding that she often does interviews with radio DJs who introduce her by saying things like, "I don't normally find women funny, but this woman is really funny."

When they say things like that, she'll say, "Do you say to an African American, 'I think you're lazy and shiftless and don’t want to work hard'?"

That’s an interview ender, Griffin said with a laugh.

On a more mundane level, what does Plame think of the TV series "Homeland"?

"I think Claire Danes is amazing, but I think 'Homeland' has jumped the shark this season," she says. "You see things that make you roll your eyes, but it has to be entertainment, and it's certainly that."

Her biggest beefs: "The fact that the character she plays is bipolar and nobody ever notices, and that they always use their cellphones inside headquarters. Your cellphone is like a tiny transmitter and GPS. That would never happen."

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NFL will announce during super bowl week (what a shock) who won the 8 game? thursday night football package & it sounds like it will be a big 4 network.

If i had a guess i would rank them 1nbc 2espn on abc 3fox 4cbs.
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 23, 2014

IFC, 7:15 p.m. ET

This 1978 comedy showed how movies went viral before the age of the Internet. When this film was released, most members of the college-age generation were driven to see it, with word of mouth anointing it instantly as a special, must-see experience. It turned Saturday Night Live player John Belushi into a movie star and comedic force, and captured playful young anarchy as perfectly for the Seventies as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a decade later, would do for the Eighties. Other familiar faces in Animal House include Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert and Donald Sutherland.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Joan Crawford walked away with an Oscar for playing a proud woman who is devoted to her daughter in ways that aren’t always reciprocated. It’s a juicy role – Kate Winslet, in an HBO miniseries version of the same story, won awards as well – but for my money, it’s Ann Blyth, as Mildred’s grown-up, icy daughter, who brings this film home and makes its melodrama so involving.

Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET
Based on the Australian series of the same name, this new Fox show stars Greg Kinnear as a wild, unreliable character – degenerate gambler, compulsive womanizer, irresponsible friend – who just happens to be very good as a defense lawyer, once he manages to get inside a courtroom. It’s the sort of premise David E. Kelley could run with and slam-dunk, but this Americanized remake starts out a little too busy, and a bit too broad, though Kinnear is a winning TV star from start to finish. It’s his facial reactions that often draw the most laughs – which is nice, but you wish some of the spoken lines had been stronger. For a full review, see Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes.

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

The serious downward spiral of the marriage of Joel (Sam Jaeger) and Julia (Erika Christensen) continues. Tonight, they plan to tell their kids that the status quo, and the living arrangements, are about to change. Meanwhile, Sarah (Lauren Graham) tries to redefine a relationship as well – with Hank (Ray Romano).

IFC, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this week’s episode, Cynthia (Kristen Wiig) finds that her marriage to Chet (Michael Sheen from Masters of Sex) brings her no solace or happiness – and the offspring it produces, grown enough very quickly to be played by former “I see dead people” Sixth Sense child star Haley Joel Osment, brings his own brand of misery. Best of all: the bookended intros and summaries by Will Ferrell as miniseries “auteur” Eric Jonrosh.

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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
CNN Insider: ‘Zucker Has a Problem at 9 P.M.’
By L.A. Ross, TheWrap.com - Jan. 22, 2014

Piers Morgan is on ever more precarious footing as CNN’s 9 p.m. talk show host, according to a knowledgeable insider at the network.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker addressed the staff at a town hall meeting on Wednesday to mark his one-year anniversary at the network, where he reaffirmed his intention to change up primetime, including a plan to move documentaries into the later hours.

“Zucker has a problem at 9 p.m.,” and the president intends to solve it, a senior CNN executive told TheWrap.

“Piers Morgan Live” has failed to deliver on ratings in the three years since the British host took over the format from Larry King.

For the week of Jan. 6, MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” topped the time slot with 325,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 news demographic, while Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” drew 305,000, and “Piers Morgan Tonight,” had 159,000, according to Nielsen.

Morgan’s show has averaged less than half million total viewers in recent weeks, while competitors draw closer to 1 million, more on par with predecessor Larry King.

Zucker has acknowledged multiple times that primetime needs a lot of work, and Morgan in particular may be the first target. The view from inside the network is that Morgan damaged himself by taking a strong partisan position against guns during his yearlong coverage of the gun debate.

Morgan famously pontificated from the anchor chair in favor of gun control in the wake of the Washington Navy Yard Shooting in September, haranguing guests and in some cases mocking guests with opposing viewpoints.

“We have this debate every time. I want the day to come when we don’t have to have this ridiculous debate time and again in America,” he said at the time. “AR-15, killing multiple Americans, I just cannot have this debate anymore, and it’s ridiculous! … Think about how it helps save American lives because it doesn’t! More guns is not the answer!”

In general, network brass is mulling whether an evening interview show format like the one King dominated for 25 years even works in this day and age.

Morgan’s contract is up after the summer, and negotiations to re-up his contract would normally be expected to begin in the coming months.

Zucker has made clear his push for unscripted programming — like the successful Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain series that currently air on weekends — to take up some of the coveted weekday primetime schedule.

The tide has already shifted in that direction; CNN Films debuts a new documentary nearly every Thursday night, and the network announced last week it would start airing the weekly limited unscripted series “Chicagoland” starting March 6.

A CNN spokesperson had no comment.

Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.

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TV Sports
The X Games, as precursor to Sochi
Many of the same events will take place at the Olympics
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2013

When they began nearly two decades ago, the X Games were like the looser, louder, crazier version of the Olympics.

They served up a menu of extreme sports that many people had never heard of.

But the Games, which kick off their 18th edition tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN, have taken on a bit more gravitas in recent years now that the Winter Olympics have expanded to include many of those so-called extreme sports in a bid to keep young people’s interest.

New events being added to the Games this year include skiing halfpipe and snowboard and skiing slopestyle.

Snowboarding is the most popular of the extreme events to be added to the Olympics in the past 16 years. It was one of the earliest extreme sports to make the cut, joining the Games in 1998.

The king of snowboarding is Shaun White, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who wasn’t expected to participate in this year’s X Games as he readied for next month’s Sochi Winter Games.

But White had a last-minute change of heart, perhaps because he’s had so much success at the X Games, where he’s won more than a dozen gold medals, and he’ll be competing this weekend after all.

White should pump up ratings for the X Games, which averaged 1.1 million total viewers in nine telecasts on ABC and ESPN last year, according to Nielsen.

That was down 15 percent from the 1.3 million who watched the 2012 Winter X Games. Excitement for the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 7 on NBC, may also fuel stronger viewership for the X Games.

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TV Notes
Lee and Morty Kaufman: Cleaning Up in Their 90s
By Steve Kurutz, The New York Times' 'Home & Garden' Column - Jan. 22, 2014

Valley Stream, N.Y. — “I was retired for 30 years, until at the age of 90 I got swept up in this commercial bit,” Morty Kaufman said.

He was referring to the popular TV spots for Swiffer, the maker of household cleaning products, which he stars in with his wife, Lee. In a series of unscripted 30-second ads, the couple discuss their blissful 44-year union and their division of household labor (Mrs. Kaufman does the cleaning; Mr. Kaufman the napping), and marvel at the Swiffer Sweeper and other supplies that have been left on their doorstep.

In one spot, Mr. Kaufman addresses the camera, saying: “There’s only two of us. How much dirt can we manufacture?” He and Mrs. Kaufman answer in unison — “Very little” and “More than you think” — in a perfect encapsulation of the male-female cleaning divide that has no doubt existed since before the invention of the broom.

After the commercials began airing six months ago, the Kaufmans became Lee and Morty, TV personalities. The couple, whose names and alternating one-liners have the ring of a Catskills comedy duo, have appeared on the “Today” show and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”; have been interviewed by the local PIX 11 weatherman Mr. G (“A hell of a nice guy,” Mr. Kaufman said); and were recently honored by the Senior Pops Orchestra of Long Island.

Last week, they greeted a reporter on the set where the commercials were filmed: their tidy one-story ranch house on suburban Long Island.

“I bought it 62 years ago,” Mr. Kaufman said from his favorite leather recliner in the living room. “It was new. I paid $15,000 for the house and another $1,000 for the garage.”

He had dressed for the interview in gray pants, a white shirt and a tie. Mrs. Kaufman wore a sparkly purple ensemble and sat perched near her husband on a floral upholstered couch. Their daughter, Myra Allen, 62, whose friendship with a casting director led to the couple’s unlikely late-life career as pitchmen, looked on affectionately.

The commercials were filmed over two days last winter. “Two days of work,” Mr. Kaufman said, shaking his head. “After that, it was all residuals and personal appearances.”

He remains mystified by their popularity. “I look at commercials very casually,” he said. “It’s very hard to let it sink in that people are interested. My reaction was, ‘Why?’ ”

For her part, Mrs. Kaufman found it strange to be recognized when she and her husband would go to Woodro Kosher deli and other local spots. “I didn’t understand why people would be looking at me, I really didn’t,” she said. “I looked down. I thought my pants fell off.”

The ads’ success lies less with the magic of the Swiffer WetJet than with the Kaufmans, who project an appealing picture of marriage and old age. They are both 91 and still in their home, and they appear loving and physically spry on camera (to demonstrate her chandelier-dusting method, Mrs. Kaufman scales a dining chair).

“Well, on the TV we look viable,” said Mr. Kaufman, who has twice battled cancer. “They’re not going to show me hobbling around.”

Nevertheless, he drives two days a week to Nassau Community College, where he helps supervise a seniors learning program. And Mrs. Kaufman said she is active in the alumni association of Hunter College, her alma mater. “Make no mistake, we are goers and doers,” she said. “We are not stay-at-homes. We see a lot of opera in Manhattan.”

Mr. Kaufman pointed out that they have slowed down in recent years, and Mrs. Kaufman agreed. “We used to do a lot more, that’s very true,” she said.

Though the couple come across as lifelong companions, they married in their 40s, after their previous spouses died and left them with children. He had four; she was raising a son and daughter and was the reading teacher for his youngest son, Scott. They met at a school parent-teacher conference, Mr. Kaufman said.

“The second time I went I said: ‘I didn’t come to discuss Scotty. Would you care to go out with me?’ ” he recalled. “From there it blossomed. We fit like gloves.”

Mrs. Kaufman smiled at hearing the lines again. “It’s exactly how he said. He remembers every word.”

Of their courtship, she added, “We had very strange date hours.”

Mr. Kaufman explained that he owned a pharmacy in Brooklyn he had taken over from his father. It was open seven days a week, often late.

Mrs. Kaufman said: “He was a man with four children, a store in Brooklyn and rotten hours. That was how we started.”

These days, they are asked as often about their relationship as they are about the Swiffer ads. People see them as oracles who hold the secret to a happy marriage.

Ms. Allen, who is Mrs. Kaufman’s daughter (although the couple doesn’t differentiate between his and her children), said she has observed the way they readily compromise. “Each one at any given moment is willing to let the other one take the day,” she said. “I don’t think anyone has a vested interest in standing their ground.”

Mrs. Kaufman noted they were both the youngest children in large families. “That teaches you how to get along,” she said.

Asked for his take on lasting romance, Mr. Kaufman said: “We’re in love with each other. That’s essential. You have to be compassionate, caring.” Then he turned to his wife and, almost embarrassed, said, “We’re revealing an awful lot about ourselves.”

She cheered. “It’s an evaluation of our lives.”

When the two married, she moved into his ranch house and set about sprucing up the place and making room for their blended family. But where once the house was busy and a little cramped, it now seems calm and right-size for a nonagenarian couple. The living room, with its burnt-orange shag carpet and artwork from their world travels, has the decades-long constancy one associates with grandparents’ homes. The only nod to this century is Mr. Kaufman’s new recliner: He wore the old one out.

Much of their time is spent in his-and-hers dens. Mr. Kaufman’s is wood-paneled and crowded with a large collection of VHS tapes, while Mrs. Kaufman’s has jazzy wallpaper and lots of light and family photos on the walls. It’s noticeably tidier, too.

She was always the house cleaner, she said, “Especially when the children were younger, tracking in dirt, the back door, the front door — all the kinds of things that go on in a household.”

She added: “I like to live clean. I guess that’s really the bottom line.”

Mr. Kaufman sounded philosophical about dust balls: “I can accept dirt.”

He handles the laundry, as Mrs. Kaufman finds the washing machine with its many buttons confusing. For the deep cleaning, what she calls the “soap-and-water work,” the couple hires a cleaning person who comes every two weeks. Theirs is now a Swiffer household, of course.

Are there plans to appear in more commercials in the future?

“Well, we’re waiting,” Mr. Kaufman said.

Mrs. Kaufman said she would be happy either way. “I have nothing to complain about. We’ve had our day in the sun.”

He agreed. “How much more can we ask for? We’re overwhelmed by the nicety of it.”

She summed it up. “What an experience to come to you at this age.”

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TV Notes
For Christina Ricci, 'Lizzie Borden Took an Ax' is a guilty pleasure
Guilt isn't in question. She's more fascinated by Borden's behavior after her parents were found killed.
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog

In the new Lifetime original movie "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax," the protagonist's name is uttered in full many times throughout the film's 87 minutes. She isn't called "Lizzie" or "Miss Borden" but "Lizzie Borden." The notorious name strikes tactical blows on the viewer's psyche, conjuring bits of legend, myth and contested story lines about the accused murderess' storied life.

The movie, which airs Saturday, Jan. 25, stars Christina Ricci, last seen on TV in the short-lived ABC series "Pan Am," a 1960s period piece. In film she was most recently the voice of Vexy in "Smurfs 2." She is also the voice of Yellow in the upcoming animated feature "The Hero of Color City" and is set to appear in writer-director Paul Duddridge's "Mother's Day," which boasts an all-star cast including Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon.

Playing Lizzie Borden, a historical figure firmly lodged in the pop culture canon, is a decidedly dark turn for Ricci. She says she was attracted to the role because of the interesting spin put on it by veteran TV director Nick Gomez ("Damages," "Burn Notice," "The Blacklist").

"We wanted to come at it from the perspective of we know she's guilty and this is the way she behaves afterward," Ricci says over the phone from New York, adding that she believes Lizzie really did commit the crimes.

The real-life Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden, during a trial in 1893. Nonetheless, the sensational nature of the case — her father's skull was crushed with 11 vicious whacks and her stepmother with 19 — and the national press spectacle it engendered, caused her to become an outcast in her hometown of Fall River, Mass.

Ricci's Lizzie is rail thin, a look that makes her big eyes pop in her head in a spooky way. She is cunning and contained, and has a clearly sexualized relationship with her father. She even commits his murder in the nude. This bit of sensationalism is in keeping with the general feel of the movie, which uses modern rock 'n' roll as a somewhat jarring soundtrack a la Baz Luhrmann in "The Great Gatsby."

To play the role, Ricci did quite a bit of historical research and glommed onto an idea that she felt made the most sense.

"One of the main theories is that the father was living for a long time with his two daughters as wives, so that was disrupted when the stepmother came in," says Ricci. "With the amount of rage directed at her you have to wonder why. So the theory is that Lizzie hated her for replacing her role with her father, or that the stepmother came in and was happy to let the father continue and not be the savior that these girls needed."

Lizzie's sister, Emma, is played by Clea DuVall ("Argo") and her lawyer by Billy Campbell ("The Killing"). Both roles are juicy, particularly because Emma seems to know what Lizzie did. The second half of the movie takes place in the courtroom where Campbell argues that it is inconceivable that a woman would be capable of committing such a heinous crime.

That argument is what stirs jurors the most when it comes to acquitting Lizzie, who is seen sneaking out of her house by oil lamp days before the murder to attend a raucous party.

"Aren't you a Sunday school teacher?" asks one jealous girl.

"Only on Sundays," Lizzie replies coyly.

This exchange reflects the overall tone of the dialogue, which is full of innuendo that Lizzie is not at all what she seems.

Even though Ricci plays Lizzie as a clear sociopath, she feels that the real Lizzie had good reason to be angry and violently disturbed. "I think if you look at the way she behaved in court, she very much seemed like a victim," she says. "I think that's the key. She saw herself as a victim and nobody would help her, so she finally helped herself."

Although the truth may never come to light about what really happened on that exceptionally hot day in August 1892, "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax" helps ensure that future generations will continue to wonder — and to hum the eerie children's rhyme that has been passed down for a century.

"Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks; when she saw what she had done she gave her father 41."

post #91912 of 93656
Originally Posted by Kascnef82 View Post

CNN Hits Lowest Rated Week In Demo Since Jeff Zucker Took Over

By DOMINIC PATTEN | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 10:16am PST

cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131After a week at the Sundance Film Festival, this probably wasn’t the 1st anniversary present Jeff Zucker was looking for. Anticipated or not, after a year on the job, the CNN boss was delivered some double bad news today. From January 13 -19, the cable news network had its worst week among adults 25-54 in both total day and primetime since Zucker started running the place. In Total day, CNN pulled in just 78,000 viewers in the key news demo. That is the worst the calber has done since the week of May 14 – 20, 2012 when CNN had 74,000 viewers among the 25-54s. In Primetime numbers, CNN had 99,000 viewers in the demo last week. That’s the just a bit more that the 96,000 it garnered for the week of July 30 – August 5, 2012 in the heart of the last Presidential election. The previous Total Day demo low of Zucker’s reign was the during the near holiday week of December 16 -22, 2013 when CNN had 84,000 among adults 25-54. That same week was the previous Primetime demo low when CNN got 106,000 viewers. By comparison to CNN’s bad week last week, Fox News Channel had 212,000 in the demo for Total Day and 261,000 in Primetime. MSNBC drew 148,000 in Total Day and 235,000 in Primetime among adults 25-54 for the week of January 13 – 19, 2014.

Related: CNN’s Anderson Cooper Hits New Ratings Low: Piers Morgan Almost Joins Him

Looking back over the year, CNN fell hard from the week that the former NBCUniversal exec officially over as president of CNN Worldwide. Compared to the week before, CNN was down 33% in Total Day demo from the comparable week a year before. It also fell 39% in its Primetime demo from that January 14 – 20 week in 2013. MSNBC dipped 5% from the 155,000 it had in the Total day demo back on January 14 – 20, 2013 while FNC actually had a small bump of 3% from the 212,000 it had among adults 25-54. In Primetime, FNC was down 8% from the 283,000 viewers it had that week last year. Despite a rocky year with hosts and schedule changes, MSNBC actually went up 12% from the 209,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo that it had the week of January 14 -20, 2013.

The only time I've watched CNN recently was when they showed the documentary "Blackfish". Maybe they should do a little more of that type programming.
post #91913 of 93656
Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post

The only time I've watched CNN recently was when they showed the documentary "Blackfish". Maybe they should do a little more of that type programming.

Rumor is they may go to more of that type programming since people don't tune them in for much of anything else.
post #91914 of 93656
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

NFL will announce during super bowl week (what a shock) who won the 8 game? thursday night football package & it sounds like it will be a big 4 network.

If i had a guess i would rank them 1nbc 2espn on abc 3fox 4cbs.
I read somewhere it won't be ESPN unless it's ESPN2 due to the college football package they have. That said, I'm betting NBC. Though I wouldn't be surprised to see FOX get it for FoxSports1.
post #91915 of 93656
Correct it wouldnt be on espn it would be on abc but supposedly be branded "espn on abc."
post #91916 of 93656
Durrr. I misread your post. Missed the "on ABC" part.

I remember when ABC punted MNF to ESPN, the reasoning was that

1) Local affiliates in the east balked at the late start for local news and affiliates on the west coast balked at the loss of local news (the big money generator for most affiliates) and/or the syndicated 7-8pm programming.

2) It gave ABC the opportunity to double its money by counter-programming ESPN with shows that would attract women who don't care for sports. A better combination than when ABC had MNF and ESPN was forced to run crap to avoid siphoning off viewers.

For both of those reasons, I'm betting ABC takes a pass. Possibly NBC, too. West coast affiliates aren't going to want to lose all those local avails on one of the hottest days for television advertising. An 8pm ET start means they'd give up 3 hours of local programming in exchange for 2 minutes at the end of the first quarter and a few minutes at the half.

On the other hand, anything to drive up ratings can't be ALL bad.
post #91917 of 93656
Sure do wish they'd get rid of the Thursday night games. Except for Thanksgiving, of course; gotta' have some traditions.

The players hate them, it's a smack in the face of the League's stated concern about player safety (as does the discussed 18 game expanded season) and the home team fans don't enjoy another weeknight game where you get dumped out at midnight onto roads full of tired drunks.

I realize it will never happen now that the League has gotten addicted to that expanded source of revenue. How long before they create a Tuesday night game? Hell, why not one each night of the week?
post #91918 of 93656
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Sure do wish they'd get rid of the Thursday night games. Except for Thanksgiving, of course; gotta' have some traditions.

The players hate them, it's a smack in the face of the League's stated concern about player safety (as does the discussed 18 game expanded season) and the home team fans don't enjoy another weeknight game where you get dumped out at midnight onto roads full of tired drunks.

I realize it will never happen now that the League has gotten addicted to that expanded source of revenue. How long before they create a Tuesday night game? Hell, why not one each night of the week?

I wish the NFL would challenge the constitutionality of the law that prohibits them from playing games on Friday's and Saturday's during college football season. A Saturday night game would be far better than Thursday night. Now I realize part of that law also gave them protections from anti trust lawsuits in negotiating their TV contracts as a league instead of a team, but don't all the other leagues negotiate at least some of their TV rights as a league, yet the NBA isn't prohibited from playing games on certain days of the week.
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

I read somewhere it won't be ESPN unless it's ESPN2 due to the college football package they have. That said, I'm betting NBC. Though I wouldn't be surprised to see FOX get it for FoxSports1.

I bet its Fox, or FS1. Their Thursday nights are pretty much in the doldrums. Glee and American Idol are fading fast. If NBC got it, that would mean they've finally given up on Must See Thursday's. If ABC/ESPN gets it that means they're competing with their own college football package. It makes little sense for CBS, their primetime Thursday ratings are quite strong, although if they wanted to make CBS Sports a major player, live NFL games are a way to do it.
Edited by lobosrul - 1/23/14 at 12:56pm
post #91919 of 93656
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post

I wish the NFL would challenge the constitutionality of the law that prohibits them from playing games on Friday's and Saturday's during college football season.

Like the NFL, the NCAA makes a boatload of money and they have just as many attorneys. We're talking battling it out in court for years. That's a fight neither wants to have. Right now its a win-win for both so that isn't going to happen.
post #91920 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
CNN Insider: ‘Zucker Has a Problem at 9 P.M.’
By L.A. Ross, TheWrap.com - Jan. 22, 2014

Piers Morgan is on ever more precarious footing as CNN’s 9 p.m. talk show host, according to a knowledgeable insider at the network.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker addressed the staff at a town hall meeting on Wednesday to mark his one-year anniversary at the network, where he reaffirmed his intention to change up primetime, including a plan to move documentaries into the later hours.

“Zucker has a problem at 9 p.m.,” and the president intends to solve it, a senior CNN executive told TheWrap.


Zucker has made clear his push for unscripted programming — like the successful Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain series that currently air on weekends — to take up some of the coveted weekday primetime schedule.

The tide has already shifted in that direction; CNN Films debuts a new documentary nearly every Thursday night, and the network announced last week it would start airing the weekly limited unscripted series “Chicagoland” starting March 6.

A CNN spokesperson had no comment.

Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.


Same stuff he did at MSNBC. Look how THAT turned out. Start looking for the plot to put CNN when Zucker is "done with it."
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