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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3070

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TV Notes
MTV’s Picks Up Coming-Of-Age Drama Pilot ‘Finding Carter’ To Series
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 30, 2013

We have the first new drama series commissioned by MTV‘s new programming team under president Susanne Daniels. The network has picked up hourlong pilot Finding Carter to series with a 12-episode order in the kind of success story that inspires young writers. Up-and-coming scribe Emily Silver, a story editor on Bones, originally penned Finding Carter as a writing sample, which was sent to ABC Family and MTV in 2012. When CarterArt copyMina Lefevre moved from ABC Family to MTV to head scripted development in January 2013, she put the project on a fast track. Veteran Terri Minsky (Sex And The City) was brought in as executive producer and, following a quick rewrite, the script landed a pilot order, which has now been followed by a series green light.

Finding Carter, directed by Scott Speer is about teenage girl Carter (Kathryn Prescott) who seemingly has the perfect life with fun-loving single mom Lori (Milena Govich), until she discovers Lori abducted her as a toddler. Now Carter must return to the family who thought they had lost her. As she navigates brand new parents (Cynthia Watros, Alexis Denisof), a twin sister (Anna Jacoby-Heron), high school and boys, she vows to find Lori before the only mom she’s ever known is gone forever. MTV’s new regime ordered four scripted pilots last year, comedies Faking It and Happyland and dramas Finding Carter and Eye Candy. Both comedy pilots were picked up to series, joined today by Finding Carter. No final decision on cyber thriller Eye Candy but it is a departure for MTV and its prospects are considered so-so.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/mtvs-picks-up-finding-carter-to-series/
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No political comments, please.

TV Notes
Maher Wants His Show to Decide a House Race
By Bill Carter, The New York Times - Jan. 31, 2014

Bill Maher makes little effort to hide his own contempt for many politicians, most of them Republicans. Now, he wants to take it to the next level: finding one he might be able to help oust from office.

On his weekly HBO talk show, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” on Friday night at 10:00 p.m. ET, Mr. Maher and his staff plan to ask viewers to make a case for their individual representatives in the House to be selected as the worst in the country.

After some culling and analysis, one member of Congress will be selected, and the show will follow up through November with examples of what it considers terrible work by that representative. Mr. Maher will make occasional visits to that member’s district to perform stand-up and generally stir up hostile feelings toward the show’s target.

“This year, we are going to be entering into the exciting world of outright meddling with the political process,” Mr. Maher said in an email message.

The project — which the show is calling the “flip the district” campaign — is intended to get real results, said Scott Carter, the show’s executive producer. Among the criteria for selecting a representative, other than some degree of outrageousness in statements or voting record, is that the member be in a truly competitive race. Those running unopposed will not be selected, no matter how egregious the show’s fans may claim them to be.

“We want the chance to win,” Mr. Carter said. The choice may be a Republican or a Democrat, though he acknowledged, “with our viewers voting, I imagine it is much more likely we will pick a Republican.”

Mr. Maher has been a frequent critic of conservatives — and a target for them. “There are a lot of terrible, entrenched congressmen out there,” Mr. Maher said. “We’re going to choose one of them, throw him or her into the national spotlight, and see if we can’t send him or her scuttling under the refrigerator on election night.”

Before beginning its campaign, Mr. Carter said, the show would make sure that the challenger in the race would not be harmed by Mr. Maher’s presence. “We will suss out whether or not the challenger might think there was reason why our participation in the effort to unseat the incumbent would not be welcomed,” he said.

He acknowledged the possibility that the incumbent will play the famed “outside agitators” card and accuse “Hollywood liberals” of interfering where they don’t belong.

“We do not want to do harm,” Mr. Carter said, but he suggested that many people might welcome “Hollywood types” adding a little pizazz to a local race.

Of course, getting laughs out of the effort will also be a goal. “We think there will be no shortage of nominations of incumbents who are ludicrous, who are ridiculous for one reason or another,” Mr. Carter said, “and we think there is no lack of entertainment value among sitting members of Congress.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/arts/television/maher-wants-his-show-to-decide-a-house-race.html?ref=television
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
‘American Horror Story: Coven’ Scores Series’ Highest-Rated Season Finale
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Jan. 30, 2013

The finale of “American Horror Story: Coven” put its spell on 4.2 million total viewers Wednesday night, making it the highest-rated season finale of the FX drama, which has now aired three seasons.

The “Coven” finale was also higher-rated than the season averages of the first two seasons, “American Horror Story: Murder House” and “American Horror Story: Asylum.”

In the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, the “Coven” finale racked up 2.84 million viewers, and 1.58 million viewers in the 18-34 demo.

To contrast, the “American Horror Story: Murder House” finale drew 3.222 million total viewers, while the “Asylum” finale had 2.288 million total viewers.

The “Coven” finale not only beat out its predecessors, but it also bested all broadcast competition in the 10 p.m. hour and ranked third in primetime in the 18-49 demo with a 2.2 rating.

http://www.thewrap.com/fx-american-horror-story-coven-scores-series-highest-rated-season-finale
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TV/Business Notes
Time Warner Cable to upgrade Los Angeles, New York service
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jan. 30, 2013

Time Warner Cable is planning major upgrades to its Los Angeles and New York operations.

The cable giant, which is resisting a takeover attempt by Charter Communications, said Thursday it will be substantially boosting Internet speeds and its video-on-demand platforms. The improvements in Time Warner Cable's two biggest markets are part of an overall three-year plan to upgrade its systems across the nation.

“We’ll triple Internet speeds for customers with our most popular tiers of service, add more community Wi-Fi, dramatically improve the TV product and, perhaps most importantly, we’ll set a high bar in our industry for differentiated, exceptional customer service," promised Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Rob Marcus.

On a call with analysts to discuss its fourth-quarter results, Time Warner Cable officials said its capital spending would be about $3.8 billion annually over the next three years with much of that money used to improve its service.

In Southern California, the first two areas to be overhauled are to be West Hollywood and Costa Mesa.Officials also said the company is converting its network in Southern California to all-digital, which means any customers that have no cable box and connect directly to a wall outlet will need to get a set-top adapter to receive TV service. The move, Time Warner Cable said, allows for more bandwidth that can then be redeployed for faster broadband.

The pay-TV distributor said it is also going to make its video-on-demand platform easier to navigate and will boost its library of content to about 75,000 hours of product. Time Warner Cable will also start to offer advanced set-top boxes that can record up to six channels at the same time, officials said. Currently, most customers can only record two channels at the same time.

For the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013, Time Warner Cable had better-than-expected results. The company, which has 14.4 million customers overall and 11.2 million video subscribers, said profits jumped 5% to $540 million. Revenues increased about 2% to 5.6 billion.

The company continued to lose video subscribers, primarily as a result of its ugly fight with CBS last summer. For the fourth quarter, Time Warner Cable lost 217,000, but that was a smaller loss than the third quarter, when 300,000 subscribers cut the cord. Executives said that so far this year the picture is brightening.

Marcus reiterated that Charter's current offer of $37.4 billion or $132.50 per share for Time Warner Cable is insufficient. Including debt, Charter's offer is valued at $61.4 billion. Marcus said an offer of $160 per share, of which $100 would be in cash and $60 in Charter stock would bring Time Warner Cable to the table.

"That’s a firm position," he said.

Charter, which has been very critical of Time Warner Cable management and its operations, is trying to persuade Time Warner Cable shareholders to back its unsolicited bid. It has also approached Comcast Corp. about buying some Time Warner Cable systems should it succeed in its acquisition plans.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-time-warner-cable-upgrade-earnings-20140130,0,4119840.story#ixzz2ryPX0Z3K
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
FRIDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Last Man Standing
8:30PM - The Neighbors
9PM - Shark Tank
10:01PM - 20/20
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kim Kardashian, Sean Lowe & Catherine Giudici, Jason Derulo performs)
(R)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Undercover Boss: Hudson Group
9PM - Hawaii Five-0
10PM - Blue Bloods
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bill Murray; Eagulls performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Hayden Panettiere; comic Brooke Van Poppelen)

NBC:
8PM - Hollywood Game Night
(R - Jan. 20)
9PM - Dateline NBC (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Tim Allen; animal handler Dave Salmoni; Sara Bareilles performs)
12:36AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (David Beckham; comic David Steinberg; Busta Rhymes performs with The Roots)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Vanish Valley performs; actor Brody Stevens)
(R - Jan. 8)

FOX:
8PM - Bones
9PM - Enlisted
9:30PM - Raising Hope

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
8:30PM - Charlie Rose: The Week
9PM - Great Performances: Barrymore (90 min.)
10:30PM - Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour
(R - Mar. 22, 2012)

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

THE CW:
8PM - The Carrie Diaries (Season Finale)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Jan. 28)

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

HBO:
10PM - Real Time with Bill Maher (LIVE; Screenwriter John Ridley; journalist Ronan Farrow; author Chrystia Freeland; Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.))

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Timothy Olyphant; comic Michael Yo; comic Jamie Lee; comic Ross Mathews)
(R - Jan. 23)

SYNDICATION:
Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Esai Morales; Ming-Na Wen; Dolvett Quince; Chop It Up Panel)
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Business Notes
Amazon may raise price of Prime program by $20 to $40
By Alistair Barr, USA Today - Jan. 30, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon.com said it may raise the annual price of its popular Prime subscription by as much as $40 as the world's largest Internet retailer battles higher shipping costs.

During a conference call with analysts on Thursday, following disappointing quarterly results, Amazon said it may increase the cost of Prime in the U.S. by $20 to $40.

The service, which includes free two-day shipping on most products from Amazon.com, currently costs $79 a year in the U.S.

Amazon has become the dominant online retailer by focusing on getting products delivered to customers quickly and cheaply. However, as fuel prices have climbed, the company has struggled to keep a lid on the cost of making those deliveries.

Amazon said on Thursday that its net shipping costs jumped 19% to $1.21 billion in the fourth quarter. That was 4.7% of net sales, up from 4.5% a year earlier. Expenses like this contribute to the company's wafer-thin profit margins, which have been a concern on Wall Street for years.

"They can't keep losing so much. This is their profit margin," said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners. "Drones aside, they have to find a way to get the package from the warehouse to the user in a timely way but also in a cost-effective way."

Amazon may lose some Prime subscribers, especially if the annual cost goes above $100. However, Gillis and other analysts expect the impact to be limited.

"Where are these customers going to go? I want some competition because they've got me hooked on Prime. Hello Walmart or Alibaba, somebody else please step up," Gillis said

"They will use some Prime members, but most people will probably take it," he added.

"Pricing power!" Colin Sebastian, an analyst at RW Baird, wrote in an email to USA TODAY when asked why Amazon would make such a move. He expects few Amazon customers to cancel their Prime subscriptions.

"Why would they cancel?" he added. "Keep in mind that a lot of Prime paying members allow family members to use the service as well."

That may reduce the impact of a price increase, because the benefits of the subscription are spread among more customers.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/01/30/amazon-raise-prime-price/5063693/
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
‘Duck Dynasty’ Rises, Auds Flip for ‘Wahlburgers’ on Wednesday
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Jan. 30, 2013

One week after it fell to its lowest ratings since 2012, A&E’s unscripted dynamo “Duck Dynasty” rebounded some on Wednesday while the net’s new “Wahlburgers” picked up even more steam.

According to Nielsen, “Duck Dynasty” grew slightly in adults 18-49 rating (2.95 vs. last week’s 2.92) but showed meaningful gains of 10% in adults 25-54 (3.33 vs. 3.02) and 13% in total viewers (7.49 million vs. 6.65 million). Last week’s viewership had plunged 21% from its fifth-season premiere on Jan. 15 (8.88 million), so any kind of uptick is important.

Among adults 18-49 and other key demos, “Duck” was the No. 1 show on all of television in the 10 o’clock half-hour. It was also Wednesday’s No. 2 program overall in 18-49, behind only Fox’s “American Idol” (3.8 rating).

“Duck Dynasty” may also have benefited from synergy with docu-series “Wahlburgers,” which held onto more of the vet’s lead-in than last week.

“Wahlburgers,” which follows Chef Paul Wahlberg and brothers Mark and Donnie as they run their family’s burger joint in Boston, averaged a 1.68 rating in adults 18-49 this week, up 8% from its premiere (1.55). It also surged 23% in total viewers, rising from 3.26 million to 4.02 million.

At 10:30 p.m., it tied for second place in adults 18-49 with NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” and behind only FX’s season finale of “American Horror Story: Coven.”

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/duck-dynasty-rises-auds-flip-for-wahlburgers-on-wednesday-1201078581/
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TV Review
'Barrymore'
Writer-director Erik Canuel teams with star Christopher Plummer to effectively bring William Luce's stage play about the legendary actor to film
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Jan. 30, 2014

Capturing a stage play on film often proves far trickier than we civilians could imagine, so it’s a pleasure and a relief to say writer/director Erik Canuel did a splendid job transferring Christopher Plummer’s performance in “Barrymore.”

This isn’t exactly a rush production. Plummer’s one-man show about the gifted and doomed actor John Barrymore ran on Broadway in 1997, winning Plummer a Tony, and it was more than a dozen years before he re-created the role for this film.

If anything, the years deepened Plummer’s grasp. Canuel’s adaptation of William Luce’s Broadway play also retains the character of the original, adding only a few restrained cinematic touches.

“Barrymore” is set in early 1942, when 59-year-old “Jack” Barrymore is trying to recapture the stage triumphs of his youth by once more playing Shakespeare's Richard III.

Two decades earlier he had played Richard III and Hamlet on Broadway and in London, capping off a stage career in which he was compared to the finest of his generation.

After “Hamlet,” however, he abruptly switched to the movies, where he became both a star and a tormented drunk.

Plummer’s Barrymore has the luxury of looking back on all that, sometimes smoothly and sometimes jarringly shifting from a man who savors the memories to a man who loathes them.

The surest sign of getting old, he muses at one point, is when one’s thoughts shift from dreams to regrets.

Plummer commands the stage as easily and firmly as Barrymore must have. He makes us believe that Barrymore would indeed, as he tries to reach deep into his past and revive Richard, keep recalling his wives or breaking in to sing a pop song of the day.

It’s exasperating, funny and sad on film, just as it was on stage. Like Jack, we appreciate what Barrymore was and may always wonder what he wasn’t.

'BARRYMORE'
Network/Time: PBS, Friday at 9 p.m.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/barrymore-television-review-article-1.1597024
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TV/Critic's Notes
Which On-the-Bubble TV Shows Will Survive to See Another Season?
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jan. 30, 2013

This week brought good news for the producers of Bones (it got renewed for a tenth season) and heartache for the team behind Sean Saves the World (NBC shut down production on the Sean Hayes sitcom, almost certainly spelling doom). But the fates are not so certain for the folks behind the many so-called "bubble" shows, those new and veteran series that have neither tanked hard enough to merit being yanked (R.I.P., Ironside) nor broken out enough to earn early renewal (such as NBC's The Blacklist and Fox's Sleepy Hollow). Every year around this time, Vulture takes a trip to the land of bubbles, where we compile a list of shows whose futures have at least a shadow of a doubt. We process the ratings numbers, look at the scheduling grids, and, increasingly these days, consider the various financial factors surrounding them (e.g., whether the network owns the show, how well it does in the international marketplace, etc.). We throw that data into our time-tested Bubble Meter, which then spits out a numerical score representing each show’s odds of survival. A top score of ten means another season is as certain as The Blacklist; the low score of one signals that the series is likely to meet the same fate as the short-lived CBS sitcom We Are Men.

Before we get to our predictions, we need to issue the usual caveats: Already renewed shows (Fox's Glee, for instance) and those that have been pulled and/or outright canceled aren’t included here. (Hence no Lucky 7 or Welcome to the Family.) Unless we've identified a financial issue, veteran shows whose renewals are likely formalities are also missing from the list (no need to worry about Person of Interest, Grey's Anatomy, or anything from Dick Wolf). Reality shows, animated shows, and anything from the CW also can't be processed by the Bubble Meter; the usual rules of renewals simply don't apply to them. And this year, we've also opted against including any shows that debuted or returned after January 1 (the sole exception: Community, which has already racked up five episodes), as there’s just not enough existing data to gauge the staying power of newbies such as Rake and Chicago P.D., or even ABC's returning Suburgatory, whose third season began just a few weeks ago.

Finally, an acknowledgment: It's becoming harder than ever to render a verdict on some bubble shows. As one industry source told us this week, "The bubble stuff is infinitely trickier now because you have to factor in so many more things." Those factors include the aforementioned matters of ownership and profitability, as well the networks’ increasing realization that they're better off sticking with even very low-rated programs than launching new series to fill the void (this explains why NBC kept Hannibal around for another season, and why ABC renewed The Taste even after it bombed on Thursdays last winter).

The bottom line: Predicting which bubble shows will float and which will get popped is an art, not a science.

Nashville (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
The critical buzz of season one faded long ago, and ratings are meh at best. But DVR growth is huge, ABC chief Paul Lee is a fan, and ABC has much bigger holes in its schedule. Y'all come back now, you hear?

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) - Bubble Meter: 10 (out of 10)
The Golden Globe winner is a favorite of Fox execs, and Fox execs are patient with most new comedies (see last year's renewal of The Mindy Project). A renewal is certain.

Mom (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
It hasn't reached the levels of other Chuck Lorre comedies, but it does fine on Mondays. Also, Chuck Lorre. Mom isn't going anywhere (unless it moves to Thursdays).

Revolution (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 7 (out of 10)
Last season's big hit now just sort of limps along Wednesdays at eight, with zero buzz and so-so ratings. But while it hasn't lived up to its early potential, there is a loyal audience for the show and it manages to open up the night better than NBC's Thursday or Friday leadoffs and about as well as The Biggest Loser starts Wednesdays. Its fate could well depend on how NBC's drama development goes: The more the network loves its new crops, the longer the odds. Right now, though, the show is slightly more likely to return than not.

Trophy Wife (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 4 (out of 10)
There's not much of a case to made for this show based on ratings: Nobody's watching. This isn't a shock, given its random 9:30 Tuesday time slot and the misleading title. But the show has gotten better reviews than any other new comedy this season. And if you count DVR replays, Trophy is averaging around the same ratings as Parks and Rec. NBC has shown a willingness to stick by low-rated shows such as Parks. It's unclear whether the network that killed similarly rated Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- will.

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
The Mothership is long past its glory days, but it's a workmanlike performer and CBS owns the show. The only reason we're mentioning it is because shows this old have expensive casts and production costs (see: Two and Half Men). It will still be back.

The Mindy Project (Fox) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
Though it does very well with one demographic, women under 35, Mindy remains little-seen, even once DVR replays get tallied. It doesn't do much worse than Brooklyn among viewers under 50, but that's mostly because it follows the higher-rated New Girl. But, just as NBC's Bob Greenblatt gave a thumbs-up to Parks and Rec, Fox boss Kevin Reilly told reporters a few weeks ago that he's pretty certain Mindy will be back. Reilly's rating is the only one that really counts in this equation, so there's hope.

The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 3 (out of 10)
After a solid start and decent reviews last fall, viewers began to drift — then run — away from Fox's much-anticipated return to weekly TV. This is a shame, because unlike Sean, this show is actually pretty good. Fox has suffered from extraordinary expectations, both from the media and the execs inside NBC who shelled out big bucks to land him. It didn't help that producers seemed to struggle early on to find the show's voice. Something similar happened nearly two decades ago, when CBS brought Bill Cosby back to sitcoms: Ratings were far below what were expected, and most in the business expected CBS to move on. But Eye brass stuck with Cosby, and the show ended up running nearly 100 episodes. Will NBC be as patient? Probably not, but if its spring sitcoms flop, the Peacock may decide to give Fox another shot.

The Crazy Ones (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 9 (out of 10)
Robin Williams's TV comeback is in no danger: Despite a much lower lead-in, Crazy's season-to-date average is now on par with Millers once its much bigger DVR audience gets tallied. CBS is very happy with the show.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 10 (out of 10)
ABC prayed for a game-changing hit from this franchise spinoff. What it got was a narrowly focused success that does particularly well with young men, and reasonably well with everyone else. It also jumps nearly 70 percent via DVR time-shifting, and thanks to a huge launch, its season-to-date ratings put it on a par with Scandal and other drama hits. It will be be back, even if ABC execs are quietly bummed about what might have been.

Elementary (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 10 (out of 10)
Its same-day Thursday numbers are just okay opposite ABC's red-hot Scandal. But nearly 5 million more viewers watch Elementary via DVR, allowing the CBS drama to actually draw a bigger overall audience than Shonda Rhimes's aforementioned hit. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out this show is safe.

The Neighbors (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 3 (out of 10)
Despite solid numbers from lead-in Last Man Standing (the Tim Allen comedy that's a lock to return next season), and a spot before Friday hit Shark Tank, ABC's alien comedy falls off a cliff at 8:30 p.m. Friday. It's a mystery why the network has left the show on this long. It won't be patient much longer.

Parenthood (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
This show often out-rates everything else NBC airs on Thursdays, has a passionate fan base, and does great DVR numbers. The only reason it's not a slam dunk: The show's huge cast makes producing it particularly pricey. Still, unless the network's post-Olympics dramas all do unexpectedly well, it's hard to see NBC not ordering at least a partial season.

The Good Wife (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 10 (out of 10)
Its ratings aren't great among younger viewers. But it does fine in overall audience, it reaches upscale viewers advertisers love, and CBS covets the show's critical buzz. Add in the fact that CBS makes money from various syndication sales of the show, and there's no reason for fans to worry. Good Wife is good to go.

The Goldbergs (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
It does okay same-day numbers on Tuesday nights behind the not-very-compatible S.H.I.E.L.D., but shoots up almost a full ratings point among viewers under 50 once DVR replays get counted. That, plus ABC chief Paul Lee's public pronouncements of support, makes it likely ABC will give the show more time to find its audience. Then again, Lee loudly told the world how much he loved Happy Endings, and we all know how that ended. (Sniff.)

Betrayal (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 0 (out of 10)
Nope.

Community (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 6 (out of 10)
There's more buzz now that Dan Harmon is back at the helm; sadly, there aren't any more viewers. But there also aren't notably fewer viewers, either. And Community does about the same ratings as Parks, and it's outrating all of ABC's new comedies this year. As long as Harmon and his bosses at NBC and producer Sony don't clash again, at least the first part of #SixSeasonsAndAMovie seems within reach. A potential hurdle: If one of NBC's upcoming mid-season half-hours suddenly catches fire, the Peacock might be okay graduating from Greendale for good (particularly if the network also decides to cut back to two — or even zero — comedies on Thursday next fall).

The Mentalist (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 5 (out of 10)
With an average audience approaching 13 million viewers, why put this long-running CBS success on the bubble? Because it has two big strikes against it: Its age makes it costly, and CBS doesn't own the syndication or international distribution rights to it. If CBS has a good drama development year, it's quite possible the net will part ways with the show.

Revenge (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 8 (out of 10)
Some of you are still watching this Sunday soap, particularly via your DVRs. Unless ABC finally admits there's no more story to tell here, Emily will live to scheme another season.

Raising Hope (Fox) - Bubble Meter: 3 (out of 10)
Sadly, Fox seems to have forgotten it even airs the show. It seems to be a goner.

Hostages (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 1 (out of 10)
See Betrayal.

Dads (Fox) - Bubble Meter: 5 (out of 10)
We're pretty sure the same viewers who kept Coach on the air for a decade are watching Dads, but the fact is, the audience for this show is on par with Fox's other comedies (though viewership skews older). Fox did trim the show's episode count to 19, down from 22, but that could be a function of Glee moving back to Tuesdays later this year. We don't get the sense Fox execs love Dads, but unless its numbers start tanking, a renewal is a real possibility. Are you proud of yourselves, America?

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 2 (out of 10)
ABC honchos admit they screwed up by not sticking to their original plan of airing this spinoff in the Once Upon a Time time slot come winter. The show died on Thursday, with lower ratings than last fall's Last Resort (a show ABC should've given a second season to work). While we wouldn't be shocked to see ABC do another Once spinoff or companion, it won't be Wonderland.

Sean Saves the World (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 1 (out of 10)
NBC has shut down production on the show a few episodes before it was scheduled to end. Sean can't save the world if he can't even save himself.

The Millers (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 9 (out of 10)
It bleeds viewers from The Big Bang Theory, and its DVR increases are pretty tiny. But CBS loves the show and its cast, and it produces the series in house. The farting continues, next fall on CBS.

Dracula (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 4 (out of 10)
NBC chief Bob Greenblatt is a big fan; viewers have been less receptive. On the plus side, the show is cheap to produce thanks to international partners, and it nearly doubles its audience once DVR replays get tallied. It's a long shot to return, but financial considerations could save it.

Two and a Half Men (CBS) - Bubble Meter: 6 (out of 10)
The show's ratings are fine, often building on lead-in The Crazy Ones. What's not fine: Everybody associated with this show gets paid a ton of money, and CBS doesn't own the syndication rights. CBS might decide to shell out for at least some episodes, if only to have one more reliable comedy performer in its arsenal (something it will need with How I Met Your Mother ending). But it's also possible the net will just move on. It's CBS. It can do that.

Parks and Recreation (NBC) - Bubble Meter: 10 (out of 10)
NBC chief Bob Greenblatt told TV critics the show will return next season. That's not an official renewal, but it's the next best thing. Don't be shocked if NBC announces it as the show's final season, though.

Almost Human (Fox) - Bubble Meter: 7 (out of 10)
It draws more viewers under 50 than Glee and has done about as well as the long-established Bones. If it doesn't return, it would only be because Fox execs didn't like the show. As of now, it seems more likely to return than not.

Super Fun Night (ABC) - Bubble Meter: 4 (out of 10)
Everybody loves Rebel Wilson! But does anybody really love her ABC comedy? Alphabet execs have certainly been patient, ordering extra episodes and keeping it behind Modern Family well into the New Year. Problem is, the show literally loses half of its lead-in some weeks. And consider DVR replays: While Modern Family goes up a healthy 50 percent or more from its already big same-day numbers, SFN barely goes up 25 percent from its much smaller base. There's no sign SFN has a passionate audience that's simply watching it later. The one scenario where we could see the show returning: Wilson agrees to a serious revamping, perhaps with her character relocating or getting new friends. ABC did something similar with Ellen DeGeneres's 1994 comedy These Friends of Mine, which shed some cast and changed its name to Ellen between its freshman and sophomore years. It worked.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/tv-bubble-watch-renew-cancel-2014.html
post #92080 of 93675
TV/Business Notes
High Stakes for Agencies, and Products, at Super Bowl
By Stuart Elliott, The New York Times - Jan. 31, 2014

Remember the line from “Animal Farm” that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”? On Sunday, the stakes will be high for the sponsors of Super Bowl XLVIII, but for some the stakes are higher than for others.

The stakes are stratospheric for all the 30-plus advertisers because the price tag for 30 seconds of commercial time during the game is in the neighborhood of $4 million. And they all run the risk of not living up to the scrutiny on the biggest day of the year for Madison Avenue as well as for the National Football League, which has been intensified by how easy it is topreview the spots in social media.

There are many examples of brands that fouled up or frittered away their chances to be noticed, praised and liked; the flops include Groupon,HomeAway, Just for Feet and a dozen dot-com start-ups that disappeared after the 2000 Super Bowl.

While no one has figured out a surefire formula for Super Bowl success, some participants in the annual ad bowl may have more reason to be nervous than others. Take, for instance, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser,WeatherTech, which is not only competing against a lengthy list of longtime sponsors but is also pitching perhaps the most prosaic products ever proffered in a Super Bowl spot: car accessories like floor mats and cargo liners.

“I don’t have any puppies and ponies,” said David MacNeil, chief executive at WeatherTech in Bolingbrook, Ill., evoking a commercial that was released early by one old hand at Super Bowl advertising, Budweiser beer, and has already been viewed 15.8 million times on YouTube.

“I looked at some of the other spots” online, he said, adding: “They’re very creative. Our spot will resonate, I believe, because it has a message near and dear to many, the core need in our country to create more jobs.”

The WeatherTech commercial, a 30-second spot planned for the second quarter, is not being released before the game. The commercial will promote how the company is “supporting American manufacturing,” Mr. MacNeil said, and act as a rebuttal to the naysayers who insisted, as the commercial is titled, “You can’t do that.”

“I want people to have jobs in America,” Mr. MacNeil said. “If my neighbor doesn’t have a job, sooner or later I won’t have a job, either.”

To make the commercial, WeatherTech was not tempted to hire an agency that has been to the Super Bowl rodeo before, Mr. MacNeil said, and stuck with its roster shop, the Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group in Schaumburg, Ill. “I have one word for you: loyalty,” he said. “There’s not enough of it.”

Another agency with much at stake on Sunday is Argonaut, a unit of Project WorldWide that opened in San Francisco in March. Its first major assignment is a Super Bowl commercial for Volkswagen, which is also to appear in the second quarter. Deutsch L.A., part of the Deutsch unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies, remains creative agency of record for Volkswagen, so how the Argonaut spot performs may determine whether it is a one-off or the agency is awarded additional work.

The Volkswagen spot offers a humorous, automotive twist on a plot point from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”: A father tells his daughter that “every time a Volkswagen hits 100,000 miles, a German engineer gets his wings.” (The commercial, which was released early online, has 2.8 million views on YouTube and was featured on Wednesday on a CBS special, “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials.”)

“We have a lot to live up to with this commercial,” said Hunter Hindman, who with Rick Condos is a co-chief creative officer at Argonaut. “The pressure is intense, and the competition is always tough, but that’s what makes it fun, and we both love it.”

Although the pair has previously worked on Super Bowl commercials for advertisers like Doritos, Mr. Condos said, “I think the nerves never go away; you could have the best Super Bowl spot ever and still be nervous.” Mr. Hindman chimed in: “You never really do get used to it, get used to the pressure and the stress. But if you don’t have something, it feels worse.”

That feeling was echoed by Tony Ponturo, who worked for Anheuser-Busch, the Budweiser parent, from 1982 to 2008, holding posts that included vice president for global media and sports marketing. It was under Mr. Ponturo that Anheuser-Busch became a Super Bowl ad mainstay with promotions like the Bud Bowl and commercials like “Separated at Birth,” a 1999 tale of puppies and ponies.

“Absolutely, we took it really seriously,” Mr. Ponturo, who with Fran Kirmser runs the Kirmser Ponturo Group in New York, said on Thursday after a presentation at a panel in Midtown Manhattan about Super Bowl advertising. “We felt the heat and the expectations, not only our own but from employees, shareholders, distributors.”

Even if Super Bowl spots for Budweiser and Bud Light finished first for many consecutive years in surveys like the USA Today Ad Meter, Mr. Ponturo said, executives would worry “what if it wasn’t No. 1” the following year.

“And you knew the next day, it had to sell beer,” he added. “You had to make sure the ads grew the business.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/business/media/high-stakes-for-agencies-and-products-at-super-bowl.html?ref=television
post #92081 of 93675
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 31, 2014

MOYERS & COMPANY
Public Television, Check local listings

Before David Simon was a TV writer and producer, creating such brilliant series as The Wire and Treme, he was a newspaper reporter – covering the police beat in Baltimore in an eye-opening experience that inspired Homicide: Life on the Street. In this new installment of Bill Moyers’ talk show, Simon applies the same skills he used so surgically and perceptively in all those TV series – taking the time to probe and explain, in human terms, the various institutions that shape poverty, crime, hope and hopelessness, and applies them to the larger canvas of America itself, right on the heels of President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address. Moyers & Company airs from Friday to Sunday on local public TV stations; to find it in your local area, check the BillMoyers.com website.

GREAT PERFORMANCES: "BARRYMORE"
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

This is one of the great things TV can do for us: import, into our living rooms, something that can enrich as well as entertain us, and treat us to something we might otherwise have missed. This is a Great Performances presentation of Christopher Plummer’s Broadway performance of Barrymore, for which he won a Tony. He plays John Barrymore in that famous actor’s twilight year of 1942, preparing to humble himself for a backer’s audition in hopes of raising funding for a revival of his legendary Richard III production from 22 years earlier. Barrymore is written by William Luce, the playwright who also wrote The Belle of Amherst. Check local listings.

BILLY JOEL: A MATTER OF TRUST – THE BRIDGE TO RUSSIA
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

In 1987, Billy Joel took his high-energy band, and act, to the U.S.S.R., making a significant and unprecedented visit to that Iron Curtain country as a very loud and spirited exercise in glasnost. At the time, the trip was captured in two works: the documentary A Matter of Trust, and the concert special Billy Joel: Live in Leningrad. More than 25 years later, here comes a new look at that trip, using additional as well as familiar footage, and conducting new interviews that put Joel’s trip in a truly historic perspective. And watch as Joel covers The Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” – what a cover version. And, given the setting and the context, what a moment.

JAY LENO
CNN, 10:00 p.m. ET

This new CNN special profiles Jay Leno, on the even of his stepping down – for the second time – as host of NBC’s Tonight Show. Nischelle Turner is the interviewer.

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER
HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Here’s hoping, for tonight’s show, Maher recycles one of his jokes that made me laugh out loud earlier this week. He was “live tweeting” for the Huffington Post during President Obama’s State of the Union Address, and noticed the same odd color disparity between the President and the two men seated behind him on TV. Maher tweeted: “Biden, Obama, Boehner – it’s like watching Neapolitan ice cream.”


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #92082 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Amazon may raise price of Prime program by $20 to $40
By Alistair Barr, USA Today - Jan. 30, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon.com said it may raise the annual price of its popular Prime subscription by as much as $40 as the world's largest Internet retailer battles higher shipping costs.

During a conference call with analysts on Thursday, following disappointing quarterly results, Amazon said it may increase the cost of Prime in the U.S. by $20 to $40.

"Pricing power!" Colin Sebastian, an analyst at RW Baird, wrote in an email to USA TODAY when asked why Amazon would make such a move. He expects few Amazon customers to cancel their Prime subscriptions.

"Why would they cancel?" he added. "Keep in mind that a lot of Prime paying members allow family members to use the service as well."

That may reduce the impact of a price increase, because the benefits of the subscription are spread among more customers.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/01/30/amazon-raise-prime-price/5063693/
When that increase happens (especially if it's $40), I'll likely dump Prime.

I've found it's less and less valuable than it used to be for me for several reasons:

1 - While I sampled a lot in the beginning, I almost never use any of the extras now, in particular video streaming. It's been at least a year since I watched anything using Amazon streaming.

2 - The Gold Box is hogwash now. I haven't seen anything worth buying from the daily deals page in months. What that means is I'm less likely to pick up small, spur of the moment items that go on sale. Instead, I tend to add stuff to my shopping cart until the price hits an acceptable level, then buy. If I no longer get free prime shipping, I'll simply go back to keeping cheap sundries that I eventually buy anyway in my cart and use them to meet the minimum for free shipping. Or, if it's cheap enough, I'll just eat the shipping for some items. When I was buying a lot of movies and other items that would come up as lightning deals, Prime allowed me to not have to worry if the total was enough to get Super Saver shipping. That hasn't been an issue lately.

3 - The next day shipping is no longer a fixed price add on. I seldom used it, but it was nice if I needed to order something like printer ink because I ran out. Normally, I plan well ahead for that stuff.

4 - More an more items are becoming "add-on" items that need something else purchased with them to qualitfy from Prime shipping. If I'm going to have to combine items, I may as well combine them and get Super Saver shipping without paying for Prime.

Honestly, my spending as a whole has gone down steadily via Amazon as prices in stores have gotten lower while the great deals seem to be fewer and fewer on Amazon. Plus, I'm buying few movies and physical books, which was great having Prime for those things. As time goes on, I'll likely only use Amazon for things that don't require something to be shipped.
Edited by NetworkTV - 1/31/14 at 7:44am
post #92083 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 31, 2014

MOYERS & COMPANY
Public Television, Check local listings


REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER
HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Here’s hoping, for tonight’s show, Maher recycles one of his jokes that made me laugh out loud earlier this week. He was “live tweeting” for the Huffington Post during President Obama’s State of the Union Address, and noticed the same odd color disparity between the President and the two men seated behind him on TV. Maher tweeted: “Biden, Obama, Boehner – it’s like watching Neapolitan ice cream.”


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

I can't stand Billl Maher and don't watch his show. How is that joke about the State of the Union Address funny?? I don't know. I find his humor "cheap" but I guess there are a lot of people that enjoy his show. I just don't get it.
post #92084 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnetop View Post

I can't stand Billl Maher and don't watch his show. How is that joke about the State of the Union Address funny?? I don't know. I find his humor "cheap" but I guess there are a lot of people that enjoy his show. I just don't get it.

I suspect that the people who don't "like" Bill really don't like the fact that it's usually their ox being gored. Personally, I find him hilarious, witty, and on-target 90% of the time, and he gores my share of oxen too. I find Leno insufferably boring. But Jay's quite popular and so is Bill. To each his own, as they say.
post #92085 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I suspect that the people who don't "like" Bill really don't like the fact that it's usually their ox being gored. Personally, I find him hilarious, witty, and on-target 90% of the time, and he gores my share of oxen too. I find Leno insufferably boring. But Jay's quite popular and so is Bill. To each his own, as they say.

I don't mind, to use your expresion, my oxen being gored at all. A good portion of comedians do. But in my opinion, he often goes over over the line (my personal line) and he does it on a tateless manner. But like you said, to each its own.
post #92086 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 31, 2014


BILLY JOEL: A MATTER OF TRUST – THE BRIDGE TO RUSSIA
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

In 1987, Billy Joel took his high-energy band, and act, to the U.S.S.R., making a significant and unprecedented visit to that Iron Curtain country as a very loud and spirited exercise in glasnost. At the time, the trip was captured in two works: the documentary A Matter of Trust, and the concert special Billy Joel: Live in Leningrad. More than 25 years later, here comes a new look at that trip, using additional as well as familiar footage, and conducting new interviews that put Joel’s trip in a truly historic perspective. And watch as Joel covers The Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” – what a cover version. And, given the setting and the context, what a moment.



http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

 

I agree, one of the best concert albums ever. I bought it way back then as a two-record set on vinyl, made a tape cassette recording to play in the car. Wore them both out. Got the CD, eventually converted to mp3s, which I still have on my phone to listen to occasionally wherever I go. One of Billy's best performances.

post #92087 of 93675
THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #92088 of 93675
TV Notes
Michael Pitt joins 'Hannibal' in major role
By James Hibberd, EW.com - Jan. 31, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Pitt is returning to TV in a major role on NBC’s dark thriller Hannibal.

Pitt is playing the character of Mason Verger, an unstable wealthy patient of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) who begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with the deadly serial killer.
Pitt was last seen on TV starring in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as Jimmy Darmody, a character that was shockingly killed off at the end of the second season. He also co-starred in the 2012 film Seven Psychopaths.

The Mason Verger role will be introduced late in the upcoming second season, which finds FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) in prison, falsely convicted for Lecter’s crimes, while the doctor advises the agency on cases. Gary Oldman previously played an older version of Mason Verger in the 2001 Hannibal film, which is based on Thomas Harris’ Hannibal novel. NBC’s Hannibal timeline precedes the events in the film and is also set before the events in Thomas’ Red Dragon so this is Mason how we’ve never seen him before (a cast description for the role compared him to the way Andrew Scott played Moriarty on Sherlock). Recently, Hannibal also cast Verger’s sister Margo, who is played by Katharine Isabelle (Being Human).

Other guest stars in season 2 include the return of Gillian Anderson as Hannibal’s shrink, as well as Jeremy Davies. Hannibal returns Feb. 28. Here are seven scoops about showrunner Bryan Fuller’s plan for the new season and its creepy trailer.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/01/31/michael-pitt-hannibal/
post #92089 of 93675
Nielsen Overnights
‘Rake’ Drops In Week 2, CBS Comedies Down In Return From Break
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 31, 2013

There is no way of sugarcoating this — Fox’s Rake is in big trouble. After an underwhelming 1.7 18-49 rating for its premiere last week, the drama starring Greg Kinnear dropped an alarming 24% to a 1.3 in its second outing last night, matching the average of Fox’s last drama misfire, fall 2012′s Mob Doctor, before it was cancelled. And that was despite a solid lead-in from American Idol (3.1), which weathered The Big Bang storm relatively well, down 6% from last week.

Viewers punished CBS for playing hide-and-seek with them on Thursday — bringing the lineup back from winter hiatus on January 9 only to send it immediately back to two weeks of repeats. The network’s entire comedy block last night was down double digits from their last originals on January 9. In its first airing against American Idol this season, Big Bang (5.1) was down 9%. The Millers (2.8) was down 15%. The Crazy Ones (1.9) and Two And A Half Man (1.9) were both down 21% to tie series lows. At 10 PM, Elementary (2.0) held down the fort, even with its last original. CBS still won the night in 18-49 (2.6) and total viewers (11.3 million).

The good news for NBC is that veterans Community (1.1) and Parks & Recreation (1.2) is that they have very loyal audience – the comedies have maintained the same ratings for a third straight week despite airing against reruns of The Big Bang Theory and The Millers the last two times and originals last night. The bad news is, those loyal audiences are very small (but still helped Parks & Rec clinch a renewal for next season.) A sports-themed Saturday Night Live special (1.8) almost doubled the rating that The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves The World and Parenthood delivered in the 9-11 PM slot last week and posted NBC’s highest marks there since The Sound Of Music in December. ABC’s The Taste (1.0) was down 9% from last week. On The CW, The Vampire Diaries (1.0) was down 17% from last week’s 100th episode; Reign (0.7) was up a tenth.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/ratings-rat-race-rake-drops-in-week-2-cbs-comedies-down-in-return-from-break/
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TV Notes
NBC Orders More 'Chicago P.D.'
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Fee' Blog - Jan. 31, 2013

NBC is banking on more Chicago P.D.

The Chicago Fire spinoff, which has averaged 6.8 million viewers and a 1.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo, will get two additional episodes to its rookie-season order, bringing the episode total to 15.

Chicago P.D., from executive producer Dick Wolf, centers on uniformed police patrol and the Intelligence Unit that pursues the perpetrators of the city's major street offenses.

The series stars Jason Beghe, whose character was introduced on Chicago Fire last season, Sophia Bush, Jon Seda, Patrick Flueger, Jesse Lee Soffer, Elias Koteas, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins and Archie Kao.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbc-orders-more-chicago-pd-676042
post #92091 of 93675
Obituary
John Cavacas, Prolific TV, Film Composer, Dies at 83
By Variety.com Staff - Jan. 30, 2013

Composer John Cacavas, who scored hundreds of television episodes, telepics and feature films – died at his home in Beverly Hills on January 28. He was 83 and had been suffering from multiple health problems. Among the TV shows for which he wrote music were “Hawaii Five-O,” “Matlock” and “Quincy.”

Cacavas was also a noted composer, arranger and conductor of orchestral music and served as a member of ASCAP’s board of directors from 1993 to 2001.

Cacavas was born in Aberdeen, S.D., and began leading a touring band at 14. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Composition and Theory. He joined the Army after completing college and was chosen to be chief arranger for the U.S. Army Band. During that time, he co-wrote an oratorio with lyricist and future CBS news correspondent Charles Osgood called “The Conversion of Paul.” An NBC telecast of the oratorio was the first of many television successes for Cacavas.

Cacavas formed a friendship with actor Telly Savalas, a relationship that helped bring the composer scoring assignments for such films as “Poncho Villa” and “Horror Express.” Cacavas later worked as a composer on Savalas’ television show, “Kojak,” contributing a new theme for the show’s final season in 1977 and 1978. Cacavas became one of the most in-demand composers in TV scoring, writing music for “Hawaii Five-0,” “Matlock,” “Mrs. Columbo” and many more network shows. In addition, he scored numerous made-for-TV films, including “The Executioner’s Song” and “Still the Beaver.”

Theatrical film releases featuring Cacavas scores include “Airport 1975,” “Airport ’77″ and “The King of Comedy.”

Cacavas, who in his younger years served as assistant to composer and conductor Morton Gould, was also active in the concert music field. He either guest-conducted or had his music performed by many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Manhattan Pops, the symphonies of Vancouver, Detroit, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Miami. In later years, Cacavas was official conductor of the Beverly Hills Pops Orchestra.

Cacavas is survived by his wife, Bonnie; two daughters and a son; as well as three grandchildren.
Donations be made to the Aberdeen Public School Foundation (1224 South 3rd Street, Aberdeen, SD 57401) for the John Cacavas Memorial.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/people-news/john-cavacas-prolific-tv-film-composer-dies-at-83-1201079161/
post #92092 of 93675
TV Sports
Wind Simulator? Fox Has Innovations Lined Up for Super Bowl Broadcast
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Jan. 31, 2014

Outside the 21st Century Fox building in Manhattan on Thursday, Terry Bradshaw and the Naked Cowboy were taping a commercial for Pizza Hut that will run Sunday before the Super Bowl.

It was 25 degrees, and the cowboy, usually dressed in briefs, boots and guitar, donned a coat.

Sixteen floors above the Bradshaw-Naked pairing, the president of Fox Sports, Eric Shanks, was fully dressed and talking about the network’s Super Bowl XLVIII production toys.

First, there is a wind simulator, software that will be able to show the breezy patterns (in yellow trails that look a little like fast-moving ghosts) inside MetLife Stadium.

“Wind speeds are different at different elevations,” Shanks said. “The wind is different on top of the stadium where the flags are than it is at the 20-yard line.”

Second, an infrared camera will detect, in colors from white to dark blue, how hot or cold the players are.

The fading of frigid temperatures to what is forecast to be warmer weather Sunday might render this less of a visual attraction.

Its use will tell us if it will be a more striking innovation than, say, Fox’s glowing hockey puck.

But if the infrared camera had been available for the Ice Bowl in 1967, we might have been able to see Ray Nitschke’s face glow white hot; how could his preternaturally snarly mug not have appeared so?

Third, Fox will use, if necessary, a graphic technology that can, as Shanks said, “extend the goal posts to infinity.” So if a field-goal attempt soars high over an upright, making it difficult to determine if the kick is good, Fox will try to show if the referee’s call was correct. It was tested successfully, off the air, during the N.F.C. championship game in Seattle.

This is Fox’s seventh Super Bowl, in its 20th season of N.F.L. broadcasting. It has carried games that have ranged in viewership from 83.7 million in 1999 to 111 million in 2010. But it is the first Super Bowl since the start of Fox Sports 1, which has had extensive pregame programming, and the first that Fox will stream live to desktops and iPads (but not to mobile phones).

Shanks said that Fox was prepared for the sort of blackout that befell last year’s Super Bowl; its broadcast will be powered by a generator and is off the Meadowlands electrical grid.

“We’re prepared for a whiteout and we’re prepared for a blackout,” he said. Fox News correspondents will be available if serious news breaks.

Even with 52 cameras, Shanks said, Fox will not isolate one continuously on Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who dropped the rant heard round the world on the sideline reporter Erin Andrews after the N.F.C. title game.

This week in a conference call, Richie Zyontz, the Fox game producer, said that he cut away quickly from Sherman because “it started crossing over a line that I just didn’t want to see us go.”

Sherman is a bright Stanford graduate who knows that he could have expressed his postgame emotions in calmer, more erudite terms that night.

Whenever he retires, he will be in demand as an analyst, angry or not.

“He’s great to be around,” Shanks said. “Maybe after the game, we’ll try to sign him.”

Looking past Sunday, Shanks is awaiting the N.F.L.’s decision on selling an eight-game Thursday night package.

“Everybody that’s a partner of the N.F.L. would definitely — all of us — like to be a closer partner of the N.F.L.,” Shanks said.

Fox, NBC, CBS and ESPN (bidding for ABC) all want it, as does Turner Sports, which would like to get back into carrying the N.F.L.

The one-year contract is designed to expand Thursday night games beyond the 72 million who can watch the games on NFL Network, and it appears likely that the winning network will produce the games. The proposal by the league also anticipates that the eight games will be simulcast on NFL Network.

“The reasoning behind the simulcasts is we think people are conditioned to come to the NFL Network anyway,” said Brian Rolapp, the chief operating officer of NFL Media.

He added, “The demand and interest has been very high,” but he would not say when the deal would be completed. But others involved said that it could be announced as early as next week.

Ultimately, the deal is a short-term experiment; if it works out well for the 2014 season, it will establish a value that can be used for a long-term agreement that will further enrich the league.

The winning network must wait until after the Super Bowl. Then it will have its wish: more N.F.L. games — albeit from a historically not-so-great schedule — that will probably snare more viewers than its prime-time series.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/sports/football/wind-simulator-fox-has-innovations-lined-up-for-super-bowl-broadcast.html?ref=media
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TV Notes
'Tonight Show' staffers to be laid off as show leaves Burbank
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jan. 30, 2013

As "The Tonight Show" moves from its longtime Burbank home to New York City, where it originally debuted, 164 staffers will be laid off, an NBC spokesman confirmed on Friday.

The layoffs, which were first reported in the Burbank Leader, involve primarily production-based jobs and were not a surprise. Last May, NBC announced that Leno would leave "The Tonight Show" after 22 years (minus a few months when Conan O'Brien hosted) and be replaced by the New York-based Jimmy Fallon. The week leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics was picked to be Leno's final week on the show.

The layoffs are expected to be staggered and will take place between Feb. 14 and April 4. Leno's last episode of "The Tonight Show" will be next Thursday. Fallon's first episode from New York City will be on Feb. 17.

Affected staffers have been encouraged to apply for other positions within the company, including Fallon's East Coast version of the show.

"The Tonight Show" debuted in New York City in 1954 with Steve Allen as host. Jack Paar and Johnny Carson succeeded him, and it was during Carson's 30-year run as host that the show moved to Burbank in 1972.

It isn't the first time the show has seen layoffs in recent years. Back in 2012, dipping ratings and the changing economics of the TV business led to around 20 staffers getting laid off and Leno getting his estimated $26-million-a-year salary cut by 10%.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-tonight-show-laid-off-burbank-new-york-20140131,0,187513.story#axzz2s1Sv9Zxr
post #92094 of 93675
TV Review
TCM's ‘And the Oscar Goes to…’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jan. 31, 2013

Turner Classic Movies provides so much enjoyment for film buffs one almost hates to identify its occasional shortcomings. But the channel’s feature-length documentary to kick off its annual “31 Days of Oscar” showcase, “And the Oscar Goes to…,” is one of those productions that tries so hard to incorporate everything as to wind up being about nothing. With so many rich angles to explore and a wealth of footage and interviews, directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman settle for an assemblage of moments and recollections that don’t add up to much more than a calorie-free stroll down memory lane.

There are a half-dozen different mini-sections within the 95-minute doc, each of which — fleshed out and pumped up — could almost have provided its own solo topic: Great (or terrible) Oscar acceptance speeches and moments, including backstage comments; hosting the Oscars; Oscar-related controversies and politics, such as Marlon Brando declining his award, or Jane Fonda and Michael Moore delivering anti-war messages; the history of the Academy Awards; explaining what lesser-known technical categories actually contribute to a movie; and what the validation of winning an Oscar means to the recipients, and their careers.

Instead, the movie delivers what amounts to a medley of them all, extracting some amusing anecdotes and observations (“It’s your bar mitzvah times a million,” says director Jason Reitman) without giving any one aspect enough time to truly resonate.

Narrated by Anjelica Huston, the filmmakers provide some history of the awards, their relationship with the industry through the years and how the advent of television (NBC initially paid $100,000 for the broadcast rights, a mere pittance versus today) changed them. That evolution, however, is mostly lost amid a lot of misty-eyed reminiscing about what it’s like to hear one’s name called, without going beyond that to, say, what “Moonstruck” meant to Cher once the Oscar glow faded.

As usual, TCM — gearing up for its 20th anniversary celebration — will feature Oscar-winning and nominated films throughout February in conjunction with the awards, and it is touching to see Jane Fonda discuss bringing the Oscar for “On Golden Pond” to her ailing father; or a clip of Hattie McDaniel breaking the color barrier for her role in “Gone With the Wind” — and the other African-American performers who followed — right before showing the movie.

Simply put, though, the audience’s sophistication goes beyond the structure of “And the Oscar Goes to…,” which, for a project about the movie business, suffers from a fundamental and rather glaring flaw: It lacks focus.

'And the Oscar Goes to...'
Turner Classic Movies, Sat. Feb. 1, 8 p.m. ET


http://variety.com/2014/film/reviews/tv-review-and-the-oscar-goes-to-1201080009/
post #92095 of 93675
TV Sports/Critic's Notes
A Cord-Cutter's Plan to Watch the Big Game
By Martin Peers, Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2013

We disconnected our pay-television service last fall and now rely entirely for our video entertainment on outlets piped through the Internet: Netflix, Amazon's Prime Instant Video and HBO's HBO Go Internet application. And that means no automatic access to the Super Bowl telecast.

Until now, this setup has worked fine. We're not sports fans and rarely watched the broadcast networks when we had pay TV. But having regular TV comes in handy during the year for a couple of big events: the Super Bowl and the Oscars. With both coming up, I needed to figure out how to tune in.

It should be simple. Both the big game and the Academy Awards air on broadcast networks, theoretically available to anyone with an antenna. Moreover, I am technically receiving the local stations—the broadcasters—from my broadband provider, Verizon. That is because we agreed to keep "receiving" local TV channels in exchange for a discount on our broadband price. One advantage is that we are classified as video subscribers, qualifying us to get HBO. In other words, we aren't technically cord-cutters but what is known in the industry as cord-shavers.

No matter. We can't watch local channels without a cable box, which we don't have, or a TV set more advanced than ours. Using an old-fashioned antenna is an option but not as simple as it sounds. Since television broadcasters switched to digital transmission technology a few years ago, viewers with a set more than a few years old need an antenna and a digital converter box. Even though I have a 42-inch plasma flat-panel TV, I needed both. After online research, where I noted that quite a few people reviewing antennas claimed to be cord-cutters, I headed to Best Buy.

It took two trips, to different Best Buys, and an outlay of $100 before I have the right equipment—almost. For best reception, online reviewers say, I needed an outdoor antenna perched on top of my house. But because I don't feel like killing myself climbing up onto my steep roof in the middle of a New Jersey winter, I opted for an indoor model that looked like a dinner plate, which can sit on a table next to the TV.

But this may become a fatally flawed decision. After spending some time plugging in cables to the converter box, antenna and TV, I can receive a few channels, including most major networks, but none too reliably. On many of them, the screen image pixilates frequently. And I can't pick up ABC at all—a problem when the Oscars roll out.

Fox, which is airing this year's Super Bowl, comes in reasonably clearly, most of the time. How it will work on game night, though, is literally up in the air.

There are a couple of other viewing options. I could sign up for Aereo, the legally contentious service that is streaming broadcast stations to those willing to pay $8 a month. But aside from the fact that the broadcasters are fighting through the courts to shut the service down, I'm not keen on signing up for another subscription service on top of Netflix, Amazon and HBO.

The final option: Fox plans to stream the game via its Fox Sports Go app to tablets like iPads. Balancing an iPad on my lap while my son and I shovel salsa and chips into our mouths sounds like a recipe for a messy screen, not a viewing experience. Fox tells me I will be able to "mirror," or transfer, the iPad image to the TV via my Apple TV device. That sounds ideal, but Fox says the commercials won't be the same for those watching via the app—which turns me off this option. Watching the ads is for me half the reason to see the Super Bowl.

Also, I've tried mirroring broadcast TV before and I've found it doesn't always work. That is likely my own technological klutziness, but whatever the case, I'd like to test this setup beforehand. Unfortunately, the Fox Sports Go app is usually only available to subscribers of certain TV providers, and Verizon isn't on the list. Fox is making the app available for everyone on the day of the Super Bowl—but whether it will work and mirror to the TV is something I won't know for sure until game night.

Chances are that one of these options will work—at least until I lose interest in the game, usually around the second quarter. But on March 2, when ABC shows the Oscars, I will need a better solution. Giving up early then won't be an option.

My wife is already buttering up friends to find us a friendly pay-TV household for optimal viewing.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304007504579346691464491718?mod=WSJ_ArtsEnt_LifestyleArtEnt_2&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304007504579346691464491718.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_ArtsEnt_LifestyleArtEnt_2
post #92096 of 93675
TV Notes
Verizon Wireless Prepares Network for TV Broadcasting
By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times' 'Bits' Column - Jan. 31, 2014

Cord cutters, the people who cancel their cable TV subscriptions in favor of Internet-based alternatives, are a looming threat for the television industry. Verizon Wireless wants to capitalize on that.

Verizon this week demonstrated LTE Multicast, its new technology to broadcast live video over its cellular data network. Inside a tent at Bryant Park in Manhattan, the company installed antennas to create a small network where people can watch the Super Bowl on mobile smartphones and tablets on Sunday.

Parissa Pandkhou, a director of mobile video delivery for Verizon, said that normally when people are watching video over the network, they each pull a connection from a cell tower to download a copy of the content. With LTE Multicast, Verizon pushes broadcasts that can be received by multiple devices at once. That method reduces congestion of the network because it is not creating multiple copies of the content.

Ms. Pandkhou used the analogy of a large group of people taking a train or driving their own cars. “It’s like if 1,000 people take the train going to work versus 1,000 people getting into their cars and going to the same destination,” she said. “You start congesting the road.”

Verizon expects to upgrade its network with the new broadcasting technology by the third quarter this year. It is still working out business models that would support video delivery to mobile devices. There are plenty of possibilities, like allowing customers to pay a monthly subscription to watch video through a channel provider’s app. Verizon could also take sponsorships from TV channel providers to pay for the bandwidth used to broadcast their content.

Verizon says it already has a relationship with the National Football League, so live sports will probably be among the first offerings from the new service.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/verizon-lte-multicast/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=technology&_r=0
post #92097 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Review
TCM's ‘And the Oscar Goes to…’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jan. 31, 2013



Simply put, though, the audience’s sophistication goes beyond the structure of “And the Oscar Goes to…,” which, for a project about the movie business, suffers from a fundamental and rather glaring flaw: It lacks focus.
TCM also lacks high definition content.
post #92098 of 93675

Wow, that's just sad. Sounds like there's no solution easy enough for this guy. eek.gif
post #92099 of 93675
He should head on over to Jedi Masters house.
post #92100 of 93675
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Sports/Critic's Notes
A Cord-Cutter's Plan to Watch the Big Game
By Martin Peers, Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2013


It should be simple. Both the big game and the Academy Awards air on broadcast networks, theoretically available to anyone with an antenna. Moreover, I am technically receiving the local stations—the broadcasters—from my broadband provider, Verizon. That is because we agreed to keep "receiving" local TV channels in exchange for a discount on our broadband price. One advantage is that we are classified as video subscribers, qualifying us to get HBO. In other words, we aren't technically cord-cutters but what is known in the industry as cord-shavers.

No matter. We can't watch local channels without a cable box, which we don't have, or a TV set more advanced than ours. Using an old-fashioned antenna is an option but not as simple as it sounds. Since television broadcasters switched to digital transmission technology a few years ago, viewers with a set more than a few years old need an antenna and a digital converter box. Even though I have a 42-inch plasma flat-panel TV, I needed both.


]

He probably has a QAM tuner with which he can get the locals. Otherwise just get a box. Channels502-549 and 899-912 await.
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