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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3077

post #92281 of 93678
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Right up until the point he gets interesting?

So, we're only going to see the non interesting parts?

Great. A show set in the Batman universe without.... Batman. Kind of like 'Shield', a show set in the Marvel superhero universe without any actual Marvel superheros.
post #92282 of 93678
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I'm certainly not a millennial but I watched and enjoyed both commercials that has a few people up in arms. I thought the Coke commercial was a great take on America and how we are a collection of cultures. As for the Cheerio's I still recall the tag line "And a puppy too..." which in itself is amazing because i skip commercials and ignore those that I don't.

I think the backlash is a function of social media and people feeling free to rant and get it heard. These are a very small miinority of people in the population - they have always existed - they just seem to be getting attention becasue the media has to have something to focus on.

I enjoyed the Cheerios commercial but felt the Coca-Cola ad failed to capture the same feel as the "hilltop" commercial from all those years ago. I think it would have been far more effective to see those various singers in front of our most recognizable landmarks (Times Square, the Empire State building, the Gold Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, etc.) to reenforce the idea that we have those various cultures living here in our melting pot society rather than simply her a bunch of faceless voices that don't make it clear that they aren't just random people from elsewhere.

When you have to look into someone's eyes - especially children - it makes it harder to hate.

Personally, I think most of the backlash comes from people knowing they can say things they wouldn't day say in person without consequence due to that shield of anonymity.

In my opinion, social networking has done more to divide us than ever before due to its ability to allow us to only following and listen to people that we agree with, effectively allowing us a wider audience for our biases all while shutting out anything we don't agree with. It's only going to get worse as sites work harder to target advertising and search suggestions to our own little slice of reality, at the expense of suggesting anything new.

Just look at the new Youtube: where it used to give suggestions based on what you're watching now, it gives suggestions based on everything you've watched before. The result? Doing research is all but impossible. I recently tried searching for tutorials on a particular repair I needed to make to my car, but found the video suggestions clogged with stuff related to videos I had watched months ago and had nothing to do with what I was trying to find.

Google is no better, since even when not signed in, I still get search suggestions based on my location (presumably from my IP address) rather than an overall picture.

This targeted crap is going to ruin us by allowing people to retreat into their own little virtual bunkers where they don't have to deal with anything they don't like.
post #92283 of 93678
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I enjoyed the Cheerios commercial but felt the Coca-Cola ad failed to capture the same feel as the "hilltop" commercial from all those years ago. I think it would have been far more effective to see those various singers in front of our most recognizable landmarks (Times Square, the Empire State building, the Gold Gate Bridge, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, etc.) to reenforce the idea that we have those various cultures living here in our melting pot society rather than simply her a bunch of faceless voices that don't make it clear that they aren't just random people from elsewhere.

It wouldn't have made any difference. Actually, it may have been worse. A lot of the outrage was because people dared to sing America the Beautiful in a language other than English. Singing it in front of a landmark may have sent some of the crazies over the edge.

No sooner than I think we've grown as a society, a segment that still lives in the '50s reminds me we have along way to go.
post #92284 of 93678
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

It wouldn't have made any difference. Actually, it may have been worse. A lot of the outrage was because people dared to sing America the Beautiful in a language other than English. Singing it in front of a landmark may have sent some of the crazies over the edge.

No sooner than I think we've grown as a society, a segment that still lives in the '50s reminds me we have along way to go.
I kinda look at it this way:
At least they're singing about America, instead of about their country in America.
post #92285 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 10, 2014

Various Networks, Check local listings

You can watch any of today’s Olympics events live on NBCOlyympics.com – but today, the TV networks present mostly tape-delayed coverage. Curling, for example, which starts its competition live at midnight ET, is shown on TV beginning at 3 a.m. ET on NBCSN, with taped coverage of Germany vs. Canada. Other taped curling events include women’s curling at 5 a.m. on USA Network, with U.S. vs. Switzerland, and men’s curling, also on tape delay, at 5 p.m. ET on CNBC, when the U.S. plays Norway. And check out Norway’s uniforms – eight different outfits, each more attention-getting than the last. Here’s a Norwegian player, for example, in a pair of rose-painted knickers from a recent Olympics practice round. He’s got to have a lot of stones to wear that – but, like all curling athletes, he’s got a lot of stones, right at his feet. There are other sports on TV today, of course, including cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and speedskating on NBC in prime time. But, as always, I’m pushing curling. What’s not to love about what amounts to heavyweight shuffleboard on ice?

IFC, 8:00 p.m. ET

So many TV series in prime time right now owe their existence to this 1991 serial-killer thriller, from the direct descendent of NBC’s Hannibal to the spiritual twisted sisters of NBC’s The Blacklist and Fox’s The Following, that it makes sense to pay close attention to the original article. Anthony Hopkins kills it, in more ways than one, as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the cannibalistic killer who manipulates new FBI profiler Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster). Hopkins and Foster won Oscars for their work as leading actors, just as Jonathan Demme won for directing, Ted Tally for best (adapted) screenplay, and the film itself for Best Movie. Those top five awards had been swept by a film only twice before: by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975, and, before that, by It Happened One Night in 1934.

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

This new documentary is by Antony Thomas, who won a Peabody Award in 2011 for his sensitive, thoughtful, brave work in For Neda. In Questioning Darwin, he handles twin subjects, by recounting the life and works of beliefs of Charles Darwin himself, and also looking at those who teach the science of evolution in classrooms today. Or refuse to.

Sundance, 9:00 p.m. ET

In 1980, two years after he starred in Dennis Potter’s brilliant British miniseries Pennies from Heaven, but eight years before he became a movie star thanks to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bob Hoskins starred as a tough British gangster in this modern film noir, whose requisite femme fatale is a real killer: Helen Mirren, in one of her early standout film roles as well. This drama, because of its toughness and its controversial ending, was shelved from distribution – until a young company named HandMade Films, co-created by former Beatle George Harrison, came to the rescue.

Showtime, 11:00 p.m. ET

On tonight’s new installment, David Steinberg’s guests, there to discuss comedy, are comic actors from different generations – who, in other movies, also play serious roles. One is Jonah Hill, who’s gone from Superbad and Get Him to the Greek to Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. The other is Alan Arkin, the Second City veteran whose movie career has encompassed everything from Wait Until Dark and Catch-22 to Little Miss Sunshine and Argo.


* * * *

Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By Ed Martin, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 10, 2014

Those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up as members of the television generation fondly remember the monster movie shows run by our local independent stations. Most of them had spooky-kooky hosts of some kind with names like Zacherley, Vampira and Ghoulardi. They introduced weekly horror and science-fiction movies, usually of the low-budget variety commonly seen as the second or third flick in a drive-in triple bill.

I grew up in the Tri-State area around New York, so the channels that came in clearest in our house (via rooftop antenna) originated in New York City. They included WNEW-Ch. 5 and WPIX-Ch. 11. (The former is now known as WNYW, Fox’s official NYC affiliate. The latter is still WPIX, but has long been a network affiliate, first for the WB and now for CW.)

In the Sixties and Seventies, WNEW ran a relatively upscale Saturday night monster movie show titled Creature Features, that kept flicks featuring the Universal monsters in heavy rotation. WPIX offered Saturday night monster movies as well, mostly cheesy science-fiction stuff. The WPIX franchise was known as Chiller Theatre. It had perhaps the most famous animated opening of any monster movie show ever, that featured a six-fingered hand that rose out of a swamp, snatched up each letter of the word “Chiller” and then slid back into the ooze as an eerie voice spoke the word "Chil-l-l-l-l-er."

A Google search reveals that Creature Features was hosted by a man named Lou Steele. I don’t know why, but I don’t remember him at all. Perhaps I was too fixated on the monsters of the week. Horror hosts, in fact, were largely unknown to me until I recently became acquainted with Svengoolie on the classic television network Me-TV. This nutty character has been a well-known horror host in the Chicago area since 1970. He was played, at first, by Jerry G. Bishop, but in 1979 Rich Koz took over the role, and has kept Svengoolie and his Saturday night monster showcase alive ever since.

In 2011 Svengoolie’s monster mash was made available to a national audience on Me-TV, fittingly on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. ET. I hadn’t been aware of this, because up until recently Me-TV didn’t play after 10 on my cable system. When I stumbled upon him a few weeks ago I had an instant nostalgia rush back to the Saturday night movie watching of my youth.

I’ll admit I’m not all that enchanted by Svengoolie himself, his jokes or his sidekicks (which include a disembodied skull named Zalman T. Tombstone and a rubber chicken known as Kerwyn), but the movies they celebrate are as enjoyable as ever. They include such sub-budget camp classics as Tarantula, Mole People and The Invisible Ray, along with those great Universal monster movies I still adore. I was so excited to discover that Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man and the rest still have a home on Saturday night television that I’ll happily forgive Svengoolie his punishingly juvenile humor.

Since becoming acquainted with Svengoolie, I’ve been thinking a lot about my long-ago fondness for Saturday night monster movie viewing.

I’ll never forget the time Creature Features invited viewers to send in humorous quotes about their favorite monsters, with the promise that the best entries would appear on screen during ad breaks in Creature telecasts. After weeks of seeing clever quips about Frankenstein, Dracula and the like, I decided to enter a humorous comment of my own. I wrote “The Werewolf of London gets lost in the fog,” along with my name and address on the back of a postcard, and mailed it to WNEW.

Several weeks later, when The Werewolf of London cycled through Creature Features, I assembled my friends in front of our old black and white TV to watch and see if my quote was selected. (There was no advance notice given by WNEW. Anyone who entered had to patiently wait to see if his or her quote was used during movies that featured the monster he or she had sent in a joke about.)

I remember the thrill of seeing my joke appear on screen that Saturday night with my name and hometown underneath. I couldn’t have known it at the time, but this was my first experience with interactive television, albeit in its innocent infancy.

Similarly, I didn’t realize at the time that my friends and I (and who knows how many other people) were being compelled to sit through commercial breaks during the movies and pay close attention. When The Werewolf of London was on, we watched each and every commercial during each and every break for fear that we might miss my quote. In fact, we watched every commercial in every week’s movie just to read the two or three jokes that were scattered throughout each telecast.

I later received a card from the “creatures” at WNEW (pictured above) and a complimentary Aurora monster-model kit of The Wolf Man. Aurora kits were the prize WNEW sent if one’s quote was selected. The company did not make a kit for The Werewolf of London, so The Wolf Man was substituted. It didn’t matter at all. I was thrilled. In fact, I still have that model today.

By the way, this Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, Svengoolie will present the 1946 thriller She-Wolf of London (starring classic TV favorite June Lockhart as the title character). Like the creature quote contest on WNEW forty-plus years ago, Svengoolie invites fans to come up with funny lines that might be read on his Web site (by Kerwyn the rubber chicken). It's certainly not the same, but I can't resist.

Say it with me: "The She-Wolf of London gets lost in the fog."

Edited by dad1153 - 2/10/14 at 11:54am
post #92286 of 93678
SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #92287 of 93678
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Beatles’ special bops to 14 million viewers
CBS's 'The Night That Changed America' draws big crowd
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 10, 2014

The Olympics dominated broadcast on Sunday night, as they’re probably going to do every night through the closing ceremony on Feb. 23.

But CBS still managed a good crowd for its much-hyped special on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

“The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, A Grammy Salute” drew 14 million total viewers from 8 to 10:30 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights.

The special also drew a solid 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, second behind NBC in primetime.

Otherwise broadcast was mainly repeats Sunday night. Not only were the other networks not interested in airing original fare against the Games, they were also staying out of the path of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which premiered the second half of its fourth season last night.

“Dead” was the No. 1 scripted series on broadcast or cable last fall.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 6.9 average overnight rating and an 18 share. CBS was second at 1.7/4, Fox and ABC tied for third at 1.0/3 and Univision and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.5/1.

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

Also, ratings for the Olympics are not accurate. Overnight ratings reflect only primetime timeslot data and not actual program data, and the Games ran past 11 p.m. Plus they do not account for time zone differences.

Accurate numbers for the Games will posted later today on Media Life when they are released.

NBC was first during each hour with the Olympics, starting with a 5.7 at 8 p.m., followed by ABC with a 1.3 for a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” CBS was third with a 1.2 for “60 Minutes,” Fox fourth with a 0.6 for reruns of “Bob’s Burgers” and “American Dad,” and Univision and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.4, Univision for “Aqui y Ahora” and Telemundo for the movie “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.”

At 8 p.m. NBC led with a 7.9 for Olympics, while CBS moved to second with a 1.9 for “Beatles.” Fox was third with a 1.2 for repeats of “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burgers,” ABC fourth with a 1.0 for the movie “Toy Story 3,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for the end of “Street Fighter” and the start of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and Univision sixth with a 0.4 for “Bodas de Telenovelas.”

NBC was first at 9 p.m. with a 7.4 for Olympics, with CBS second with a 2.2 for its Beatles special. Fox was third with a 1.3 for repeats of “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” ABC fourth with a 1.0 for “Toy Story,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for its movie and Univision sixth with a 0.4 for more “Bodas.”

At 10 p.m. NBC finished first with a 6.7 for the Olympics, followed by CBS with a 1.6 for the end of the Beatles special and a repeat of “The Millers.” ABC was third with a 0.7 for a “Castle” rerun, Telemundo fourth with a 0.6 for the end of its movie and Univision fifth with a 0.5 for “Sal y Pimienta.”

NBC also led the night among households with a 14.0 average overnight rating and a 21 share. CBS was second at 7.0/11, ABC third at 2.1/3, Fox fourth at 1.4/2, Univision fifth at 0.9/1 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1.

post #92288 of 93678
TV Notes
The Challenges Of Dramas With Antihero Lead On Broadcast TV
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 10, 2014

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” goes Leo Tolstoy’s famous opening line from Anna Karenina. The same applies for successful and unsuccessful shows: For those that work, the reason is always the same — all elements magically came together. For those that don’t, there is a usually a host of factors for each individual demise. But there have been a slew of ill-fated broadcast dramas recently that shared one thing — an unlikable antihero at the center. Two of the biggest flops of the past few years, Fox’s Lone Star and NBC’s Do No Harm and The Playboy Club, had that in common. That also applies to Fox’s newest drama entry Rake, which has been doing poorly, opening low and sliding to a 1.1 in its third airing last Thursday, despite solid reviews and a likable star in Greg Kinnear.

The Shield‘s Vic Mackey and The Sopranos’ Tony Soprano ushered in the era of the antihero, which has dominated cable ever since with such series as Showtime’s Dexter, Shameless and now Ray Donovan, AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and FX’s Rescue Me and Sons Of Anarchy. Most have been commercial and critical successes.

While thriving on cable, dark antiheroes have had a tougher time on broadcast the lines between the two blurring these days with crossover successes like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Duck Dynasty. Audiences seem to embrace protagonists that are flawed, scarred and imperfect, but there has to be nobility to them. Two broadcast drama hits, Fox’s House and NBC’s The Blacklist, were built around a central character — Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House and James Spader’s Red — that are dark and certainly qualify as antiheroes. But no matter how mean Dr. House is and how many pills he popped, each episode he saved a human life and that shadowed all his personal demons. Similarly, Red, an unapologetically bad guy, helps get guys far worse than him off the street, saving innocent lives in the process. In contrast, there were few redeemable qualities about the protagonist in Lone Star who was living a double life, deceiving two women; the sleek attorney with ties to the mob lead in The Playboy Club; or Rake‘s title character, who often represents horrible people, including serial killers, and is a lousy dad too. None of these shows were panned by critics but none of them connected with viewers either.

To put things in perspective, those struggling broadcast antihero shows often have ratings comparable or higher than their cable counterparts, at least in the early going, as not all of the dark cable series took off right away. Breaking Bad, for instance, started very low and took years to grow into a monster hit. That is something the broadcast networks can rarely afford.

post #92289 of 93678
Critic's Notes
TV tonight: 'Top Gear,' Westminster Kennel Club show
By Roberto Bianco, USA Today - Feb. 10, 2014

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show | CNBC, 8 ET/5 PT

Tuesday's finals of America's best-known dog show will air on USA, but the first night, featuring the herding, toy, non-sporting and hound groups, gets shuttled again to lower-rated CNBC. You can take that as yet another indignity heaped upon the hounds, or as USA's recognition that many viewers will skip tonight out of fear that the basset will once again get the shaft. Prove us wrong, Westminster!

Top Gear | BBC America, 8:30 ET/PT

You can see why Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville might want to guest on Top Gear: He never gets to drive on his own show. So here he is, helping this British hit open its 21st season by being the show's "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" – which in this case is a red Vauxhall Astra. While he's in his Astra, the team sets out to prove that hatchbacks from the '80s were better than their modern incarnations by racing them inside a supermarket. Just in case you have to be warned: Do not try that at home.

The Following | Fox, 9 ET/PT

All those Super Bowl ads didn't push any more viewers to The Following, which actually dropped a bit last week. Take that as a lesson: Sometimes all an ad does is remind people why they're not watching a show in the first place.

post #92290 of 93678
TV Review
State-Sanctioned Snooping to Keep Progress at Bay
‘Spies of Mississippi,’ About Segregation’s Defenders
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Feb. 10, 2014

Peer into the history of the South, and it’s not hard to find things that once might have seemed acceptable to many people but today register as appalling. “Spies of Mississippi” is such an exploration, one with an especially clear parallel to today.

The film, an installment of “Independent Lens,” Monday night on PBS stations, traces the evolution of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, an agency that worked surreptitiously, in the 1950s and especially the 1960s, to thwart integration and equality for the state’s black population. Like a lot of things that are invitations to abuse, the 1956 bill creating the commission didn’t initially raise red flags.

“At that time, it seemed to be a harmless kind of legislation,” says William Winter, the Mississippi governor from 1980 to 1984. “It was more like a white Chamber of Commerce.”

But as the state’s white establishment felt itself increasingly under siege with the federal government and courts advancing civil rights, the commission became considerably less innocuous.

“Within three to four years of its being formed, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission transforms itself into a full-blown spy agency,” the writer W. Ralph Eubanks says, “with a whole network of investigators and agents to go around the state exploring things that were going to possibly change what people euphemistically called the Mississippi way of life.”

The agency kept tabs on things like who was attending civil rights meetings and working on voter registration, sometimes recruiting black informers. The film, by Dawn Porter, builds to the murder of three civil rights workers during the Freedom Summer and a present-day effort to identify a pivotal black informer used by the commission.

A shadowy government entity exercising questionable powers in the name of a vaguely defined goal? It’s not hard to draw a parallel between the commission and today’s government activity in the name of homeland security, and the film concludes with a brief but poignant interview with Representative Bennie G. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, and who is black.

“You have to have boundaries,” he says, “or you start down that slippery slope.”

Independent Lens: Spies of Mississippi
On PBS stations on Monday night (check local listings).

post #92291 of 93678
TV Notes
‘Wahlburgers’ Gets 18 More Episodes From A&E
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Feb. 10, 2014

A&E is sinking its teeth into more “Wahlburgers.”

The network has ordered 18 more episodes of the reality series, which chronicless Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg and Paul Wahlberg as they attempt to expand the family restaurant business.

The January premiere of “Wahlburgers” grabbed 3.3 million total viewers, while the series overall has averaged 3.5 million total viewers.

“Viewers are responding to the heartwarming dynamics of Boston’s first family as they balance living in the Hollywood spotlight and growing a business,” A&E general manager and executive vice president David McKillop said. “We look forward to seeing what the Wahlbergs cook up next.”

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Nielsen Overnights (Cable)
'The Walking Dead' Return Nears Record With 15.8 Million Viewers
By Michel O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 10, 2014

TV's reigning ratings champ kicked off its midseason run on Sunday night, facing an unfamiliar foe: the Olympics. For the first time in its four-season run, AMC's The Walking Dead went head-to-head against the games -- though it lost no steam faced with the competition.

AMC saw the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead deliver whopping 15.8 million viewers. That comes in just a hair shy of the fall's record 16.1 million viewers.
Among adults 18-49, The Walking Dead matched its previous series high with 10.4 million in the key demo.

The Walking Dead ratings timeline:

Season 4 midseason finale, Dec. 1, 2013: 12.1 million viewers, 7.7 million adults 18-49,

Season 4 premiere, Oct. 13, 2013: 16.1 million total viewers*, 10.4 million adults 18-49

Season 3 finale, March 31, 2013: 12.4 million total viewers*, 8.1 million 18-49*

Season 3 midseason premiere, Feb. 10, 2013: 12.3 million total viewers*, 6.8 million 18-49

Season 3 midseason finale, Dec. 2, 2012: 10.5 million total viewers, 6.9 million 18-49

Season 3 premiere, Oct. 14, 2012: 10.9 million total viewers, 7.3 million 18-49

Season 2 finale, March 18, 2012: 9 million total viewers, 6 million 18-49

Season 2 midseason premiere, Feb. 12, 2012: 8.1 million total, 5.4 million* 18-49

Season 2 premiere, Oct. 16, 2011: 7.3 million total, 4.8 million* 18-49

Season 2 midseason finale, Nov. 27, 2011: 6.6 million total, 4.5 million 18-49

Season 1 finale, Dec. 5 2010: 6 million total, 4 million 18-49
Season 1 premiere, Oct. 31, 2010: 5.4 million total viewers, 2.7 million 18-49

* Record at the time

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TV Notes
TNT’s ‘Mob City’ Not Getting Second Season
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 10, 2014

TNT will not be going forward with a second installment of Frank Darabont’s period drama Mob City after a low-rated, six-episode run this fall as a limited series. “Mob City was created as a three-week television event and we are incredibly proud of the six hours we presented of this remarkable drama,” a TNT spokesperson said. “Although the ratings of the limited series haven’t warranted more hours we are eager to work with Frank Darabont again and were delighted to bring the vibrant world of Mob City to life.” Despite a big promotional push, Darabont’s Mob City didn’t get much traction from the get-go. The noir series opened with a soft 2.3 million total viewers and 801, 000 adults 18-49. That was at the higher end between TNT’s two previous debuts Monday Mornings and King And Maxwell - both of whom have since been cancelled. Mob City marks TNT’s third consecutive new drama series to be cancelled after one season.

Mob City was out of TNT’s wheelhouse of character-based procedurals, like Rizzoli & Isles, and action-adventure popcorn Sunday fare, like Falling Skies. “Every once and then, we take a big swing, and I’m so happy we did Mob City,” TNT’s programming chief Michael Wright told me last month, before a final decision on Mob City had been made. “Ratings have been mediocre but the show is great, it was beautifully made, got good reviews and was an attention grabbing show.” He noted that Mob City had gotten more buzz than some of the network’s highest rated shows. “In today’s world, it makes sense to make shows that get attention,” he said.

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TV Notes
CBS Corp. Doubles Down on Hulu Plus Library Deal
By Andrew Wallenstein, Variety.com - Feb. 10, 2014

CBS Corp. and Hulu are expanding an existing deal for a catalog of TV series that will double to 5,300 episodes, the companies announced Monday.

The new pact builds on a November 2012 pact that steered 2,700 titles to Hulu Plus. Now an additional 2,600 episodes are being added on a multi-year, non-exclusive basis. Titles include “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Ghost Whisperer,” and “United States of Tara.”

Content is largely concentrated on subscription side at Hulu Plus, with some selections from the library rotating into free ad-supported Hulu.

Titles from the previous CBS-Hulu deal include “The Good Wife,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Amazing Race,” “I Love Lucy,” “Star Trek,” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

CBS and Hulu have been active on the deal front as of late, having secured separate deals to deliver previous seasons of current series “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary” on an exclusive basis.

“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them, providing more terrific CBS content to their growing base of subscribers,” said Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer at CBS Corp.

“With the newly expanded CBS content library, Hulu Plus subscribers will be treated to some of the most significant shows ever seen on television,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.

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TV Notes
'Pretty Little Liars' looks back in noir tribute
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Feb. 10, 2014

A TV series that's a social-media favorite is embracing the past with an episode done largely in black and white..

ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars, among TV's most-tweeted series, pays tribute to film noir Tuesday in "Shadow Play," (8 p.m. ET/PT), an episode that transforms its characters into the tough guys and brassy dames of post-World War II.

As the Raymond Chandler-quoting Spencer (Troian Bellisario), under the influence of prescription pills, watches 1952's The Narrow Margin, her mind transports her teen friends and other Rosewood cohorts back to a dark, ominous world of men in hats, mysterious women and shadowy, lamp-lit streets. Their alter egos bear the same names and character traits as their contemporary versions, and the story ultimately provides Spencer a needed clue to decode a present-day journal.

An homage to old-time moviemaking in a show aimed at teens and young women born generations later isn't contradictory, says executive producer Joseph Dougherty, who wrote and directed the episode, which starts and ends in color.

"We do a lot of references to classic movies and our show is darker and the shadows are a little more scary," he says. ABC Family suggested the black-and-white episode and provided research "that younger audiences now do not have a prejudice against black-and-white films the way audiences slightly older did. ... They see it as an artistic choice."

Liars' Hollywood bloodlines provide a historical connection, too. The popular fourth-season series, which is averaging 2.6 million viewers (and 1.5 million in its sweet spot of females 12 to 34), is shot on the same Warner Bros. soundstages as noir classics The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart, and Dial M for Murder, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

"To pull a pre-war Cadillac onto the stage where Howard Hawks made The Big Sleep was a rush for me and a lot of people," Dougherty says. "Just about all of us, young and old, on the writing staff have a tremendous connection to classic films. We're kind of paying back some karmic debt."

Besides the lighting and suspenseful music, the episode evokes an earlier era with everything from switchboards to period costuming to a reference to a woman as "a skirt." A portrait of the missing Alison (Sasha Pieterse) echoes the 1944 classic Laura, while a visually arresting mirror scene reflects Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai.

"Everything was so authentic. The whole set transformed," says Pieterse of the "glamorous" feel. Her mysterious Alison is working as a showgirl in the period story, secretly alive but in hiding. "It's natural for Alison. Of course she'd run away and be a showgirl."

On set, however, the wardrobe visuals could be jarring, a clash of mismatched colors chosen for the gray tones they would convey in black and white. Costume designer Mandi Line "was smart enough to realize this really crazy green and this really weird yellow and red, even though it doesn't match in color, will look great on screen," Pieterse says.

Fashion and hairstyles were hardly the only differences between eras, as Emily (Sasha Mitchell) and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) must meet clandestinely during an era where same-sex romance was taboo.

"I wanted to remind young people that they've got more choices. It used to be a lot harder to make a decision like that" in terms of society's response, Dougherty says.

Dougherty hopes viewers will appreciate the latest of the series' cinematic references. "Sometimes we get very close to specific quotes of Hitchcock and usually the Twitter response is either they know it or they want to know the name so they can go see it,"he says. "There's a hunger."

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TV Notes
Kimmel Steals Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Unveiling From Letterman
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 10, 2014

NBC isn't the only one dealing with change in the late-night sphere.

Jimmy Kimmel's ABC late-night talker Jimmy Kimmel Live! will take over duties in unveiling the 50th anniversary cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, an honor that had been bestowed on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman for the past six years. For what it's worth, the Late Show is not filming any new episodes this week.

Kimmel will reveal the cover exclusively on Thursday's episode, with the cover model appearing on the show Feb. 17. The Swimsuit Issue becomes available on all platforms and newsstands Feb. 18.

Last year's Swimsuit Issue cover model was Kate Upton.

The news comes at a pivotal time for the changing late-night landscape, which has increasingly become more competitive with Kimmel, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert among the heavyweights. Jimmy Fallon's impending Tonight Show debut takes place Feb. 17, while Seth Meyers' Late Night launches the following week.

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

8PM - The Goldbergs
(R - Oct. 1)
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
(R - Dec. 10)
9PM - The Goldbergs
(R - Nov. 20)
9:31PM - Trophy Wife
(R - Nov. 12)
10PM - Killer Women
* * * *
11:35AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Gary Oldman; Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champions Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith; Crosses perform)
12:37AM - Nightline

(R - Oct. 1)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Oct. 1)
10PM - Person of Interest
(R - Sep. 24)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Scarlett Johansson; John Grant performs)
(R - Jan. 8)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Jason Alexander; Regina Hall.)

8PM - XXII Winter Olympics: Snowboarding, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping (3 1/2 hrs.)
* * * *
12:05M - XXII Winter Olympics: Speed Skating, Biathlon (60 min.)

8PM - Dads (60 min, Season Finale)
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Billy The Kid: American Experience
(R - Jan. 10, 2012)
9PM - Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid: American Experience
10PM - Frontline: Syria's Second Front

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

8PM - Movie: Attack the Block (2011)

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

11PM - The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Author Elizabeth Kolbert)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Charlie Crist)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Dan Soder; Nate Bargatze; Nikki Glaser)

11PM - Conan (Aubrey Plaza; Joel Kinnamon; musicians Toni Braxton and Kenny "Babyface'' Edmonds)

11PM - Chelsea Lately ("Fashion Week"; comic Eliza Skinner; comic Loni Love; comic Ryan Stout)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Mekhi Phifer; cast of "Hardcore Pawn")
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Shirley Temple has died:
Shirley Temple, iconic child star, dies at 85
Associated Press
By MARTHA MENDOZA 23 minutes ago

File photo of Shirley Temple Black waving as she is honored at the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles

View gallery
Actress Shirley Temple Black waves as she accepts the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 12th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California in this January 29, 2006 file photo. Temple Black, who lifted America's spirits as a bright-eyed, dimpled child movie star during the Great Depression and later became a U.S. diplomat, died late on February 10, 2014 evening at the age of 85, a family spokeswoman said in a statement. Temple Black, who lured millions to the movies in the 1930s, "peacefully passed away" at her California home from natural causes at 10:57 p.m. local time (0657 GMT), surrounded by her family and caregivers, the statement said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE HEADSHOT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY OBITUARY SOCIETY)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, has died. She was 85.

Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died Monday night at her home near San Francisco. She was surrounded by family members and caregivers, publicist Cheryl Kagan said.

"We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black," a family statement said. The family would not disclose Temple's cause of death.

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranking of the top 50 screen legends ranked Temple at No. 18 among the 25 actresses. She appeared in scores of movies and kept children singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for generations.

Temple was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as "Curly Top" and "The Littlest Rebel." She even had a drink named after her, an appropriately sweet and innocent cocktail of ginger ale and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry.

Temple blossomed into a pretty young woman, but audiences lost interest, and she retired from films at 21. She raised a family and later became active in politics and held several diplomatic posts in Republican administrations, including ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the historic collapse of communism in 1989.

"I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. Start early," she quipped in 2006 as she was honored by the Screen Actors Guild.

But she also said that evening that her greatest roles were as wife, mother and grandmother. "There's nothing like real love. Nothing." Her husband of more than 50 years, Charles Black, had died just a few months earlier.

They lived for many years in the San Francisco suburb of Woodside.

Temple's expert singing and tap dancing in the 1934 feature "Stand Up and Cheer!" first gained her wide notice. The number she performed with future Oscar winner James Dunn, "Baby Take a Bow," became the title of one of her first starring features later that year.

Also in 1934, she starred in "Little Miss Marker," a comedy-drama based on a story by Damon Runyon that showcased her acting talent. In "Bright Eyes," Temple introduced "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and did battle with a charmingly bratty Jane Withers, launching Withers as a major child star, too.

She was "just absolutely marvelous, greatest in the world," director Allan Dwan told filmmaker-author Peter Bogdanovich in his book "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Film Directors." ''With Shirley, you'd just tell her once and she'd remember the rest of her life," said Dwan, who directed "Heidi" and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm." ''Whatever it was she was supposed to do — she'd do it. ... And if one of the actors got stuck, she'd tell him what his line was — she knew it better than he did."

Temple's mother, Gertrude, worked to keep her daughter from being spoiled by fame and was a constant presence during filming. Her daughter said years later that her mother had been furious when a director once sent her off on an errand and then got the child to cry for a scene by frightening her. "She never again left me alone on a set," she said.

Temple became a nationwide sensation. Mothers dressed their little girls like her, and a line of dolls was launched that are now highly sought-after collectables. Her immense popularity prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to say that "as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right."

"When the spirit of the people is lower than at any other time during this Depression, it is a splendid thing that for just 15 cents, an American can go to a movie and look at the smiling face of a baby and forget his troubles," Roosevelt said.

She followed up in the next few years with a string of hit films, most with sentimental themes and musical subplots. She often played an orphan, as in "Curly Top," where she introduced the hit "Animal Crackers in My Soup," and "Stowaway," in which she was befriended by Robert Young, later of "Father Knows Best" fame.

She teamed with the great black dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in two 1935 films with Civil War themes, "The Little Colonel" and "The Littlest Rebel." Their tap dance up the steps in "The Little Colonel" (at a time when interracial teamings were unheard-of in Hollywood) became a landmark in the history of film dance.

Some of her pictures were remakes of silent films, such as "Captain January," in which she recreated the role originally played by the silent star Baby Peggy Montgomery in 1924. "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," done a generation earlier by Mary Pickford, were heavily rewritten for Temple, with show biz added to the plots to give her opportunities to sing.

In its review of "Rebecca," the show business publication Variety complained that a "more fitting title would be 'Rebecca of Radio City.'"

She won a special Academy Award in early 1935 for her "outstanding contribution to screen entertainment" in the previous year.

"She is a legacy of a different time in motion pictures. She caught the imagination of the entire country in a way that no one had before," actor Martin Landau said when the two were honored at the Academy Awards in 1998.

Temple's fans agreed. Her fans seemed interested in every last golden curl on her head: It was once guessed that she had more than 50. Her mother was said to have done her hair in pin curls for each movie, with every hairstyle having exactly 56 curls.

On her eighth birthday — she actually was turning 9, but the studio wanted her to be younger — Temple received more than 135,000 presents from around the world, according to "The Films of Shirley Temple," a 1978 book by Robert Windeler. The gifts included a baby kangaroo from Australia and a prize Jersey calf from schoolchildren in Oregon.

"She's indelible in the history of America because she appeared at a time of great social need, and people took her to their hearts," the late Roddy McDowall, a fellow child star and friend, once said.

Although by the early 1960s, she was retired from the entertainment industry, her interest in politics soon brought her back into the spotlight.

She made an unsuccessful bid as a Republican candidate for Congress in 1967. After Richard Nixon became president in 1969, he appointed her as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. In the 1970s, she was U.S. ambassador to Ghana and later U.S. chief of protocol.

She then served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia during the administration of the first President George Bush. A few months after she arrived in Prague in mid-1989, communist rule was overthrown in Czechoslovakia as the Iron Curtain collapsed across Eastern Europe.

"My main job (initially) was human rights, trying to keep people like future President Vaclav Havel out of jail," she said in a 1999 Associated Press interview. Within months, she was accompanying Havel, the former dissident playwright, when he came to Washington as his country's new president.

She considered her background in entertainment an asset to her political career.

"Politicians are actors too, don't you think?" she once said. "Usually if you like people and you're outgoing, not a shy little thing, you can do pretty well in politics."

Born in Santa Monica to an accountant and his wife, Temple was little more than 3 years old when she made her film debut in 1932 in the Baby Burlesks, a series of short films in which tiny performers parodied grown-up movies, sometimes with risque results.

Among the shorts were "War Babies," a parody of "What Price Glory," and "Polly Tix in Washington," with Shirley in the title role.

Her young life was free of the scandals that plagued so many other child stars — parental feuds, drug and alcohol addiction — but Temple at times hinted at a childhood she may have missed out on.

She stopped believing in Santa Claus at age 6, she once said, when "Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph."

After her years at the top, maintaining that level of stardom proved difficult for her and her producers. The proposal to have her play Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" didn't pan out. (20th Century Fox chief Darryl Zanuck refused to lend out his greatest asset.) And "The Little Princess" in 1939 and "The Blue Bird" in 1940 didn't draw big crowds, prompting Fox to let Temple go.

Among her later films were "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer," with Cary Grant, and "That Hagen Girl," with Ronald Reagan. Several, including the wartime drama "Since You Went Away," were produced by David O. Selznick. One, "Fort Apache," was directed by John Ford, who had also directed her "Wee Willie Winkie" years earlier.

Her 1942 film, "Miss Annie Rooney," included her first on-screen kiss, bestowed by another maturing child star, Dickie Moore.

After her film career effectively ended, she concentrated on raising her family and turned to television to host and act in 16 specials called "Shirley Temple's Storybook" on ABC. In 1960, she joined NBC and aired "The Shirley Temple Show."

Her 1988 autobiography, "Child Star," became a best-seller.

Temple had married Army Air Corps private John Agar, the brother of a classmate at Westlake, her exclusive L.A. girls' school, in 1945. He took up acting and the pair appeared together in two films, "Fort Apache" and "Adventure in Baltimore." She and Agar had a daughter, Susan, in 1948, but she filed for divorce the following year.

She married Black in 1950, and they had two more children, Lori and Charles. That marriage lasted until his death in 2005 at age 86.

In 1972, she underwent successful surgery for breast cancer. She issued a statement urging other women to get checked by their doctors and vowed, "I have much more to accomplish before I am through."

During a 1996 interview, she said she loved both politics and show business.

"It's certainly two different career tracks," she said, "both completely different but both very rewarding, personally."


Associated Press writer Matt Reed contributed to this report.

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Rest in Peace, sweetheart
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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Bachelor’ and ‘Following’ fall opposite Olympics
ABC reality show slides 12 percent to a 2.3 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 11, 2014

As expected, the other broadcast networks took a hit last night against NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage.

ABC’s “The Bachelor” and Fox’s “The Following” tied or dipped to season lows.

“Bachelor” was off 12 percent from last week to a 2.3, according to Nielsen overnights, matching a season low.

It was still the No. 1 non-sports program on broadcast last night, with CBS’s lineup largely in reruns.

Fox’s “Following,” which has struggled since returning to Mondays last month, slid to a new series low, a 1.7, off 11 percent from last week. “Following” was the No. 1 new show on broadcast last year.

Earlier in the night, Fox’s “Almost Human” also tumbled, off 21 percent to a 1.5.

And CBS’s “Intelligence,” the only original program the network aired last night, posted a 1.3, down from a 1.5 last week but still its second-best rating so far in the 10 p.m. Monday timeslot.

NBC led the night among 18-49s with a 6.4 average overnight rating and a 17 share. ABC was second at 1.9/5, Fox third at 1.6/4, CBS and Univision tied for fourth at 1.3/3, Telemundo was sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

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

Also, ratings for the Olympics are not accurate. Overnight ratings reflect only primetime timeslot data and not actual program data, and the Games ran past 11 p.m. Plus they do not account for time zone differences.

Accurate numbers for the Games will posted later today on Media Life when they are released.

At 8 p.m. NBC was first with a 5.9 for the Olympics, followed by ABC with a 2.3 for “Bachelor.” Fox was third with a 1.5 for “Human,” CBS fourth with a 1.3 for reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls,” Univision fifth with a 1.1 for “Por Siempre mi Amor,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for “La Impostora” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for “Hart of Dixie.”

NBC added to its lead at 9 p.m. with a 7.0 for the Olympics, while ABC remained second with a 2.3 for more “Bachelor.” Fox was third with a 1.7 for “The Following,” Univision fourth with a 1.6 for “Loa Que La Vida Me Robo,” CBS fifth with a 1.4 for repeats of “Mike & Molly” and “Mom,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.7 for “La Reina del Sur” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for “Beauty and the Beast.”

At 10 p.m. NBC led again with a 6.3 for more Olympics, with CBS second with a 1.3 for “Intelligence.” Univision was third with a 1.2 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos,” ABC fourth with a 1.0 for a rerun of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for “Santa Diabla.”

NBC was also first for the night among households with a 12.7 average overnight rating and a 19 share. ABC was second at 4.1/6, CBS third at 3.9/6, Fox fourth at 3.1/5, Univision fifth at 1.7/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.6/1.


* * * *

TV Notes
Equal bites movement: Mutts invade
Kennel club allows mixed breeds in agility contest
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 11, 2014

While debates rage over whether same-sex marriage should be legalized or if the NFL is ready to embrace its first openly gay player, there’s another equal rights case of sorts playing out on a much smaller scale.

This year for the first time since 1884 the Westminster Kennel Club is allowing mixed breeds to compete alongside purebreds.

The mutts still won’t be eligible for best in show, which will be awarded during tonight’s broadcast at 8 p.m. on USA.

But it’s an interesting new wrinkle for the popular dog show known for its commitment to tradition. The mixed breed dogs competed over the weekend in an agility contest, a new event, alongside purebreds.

The dogs were judged on how quickly and adeptly they could get through obstacle courses. Sixteen of the more than 200 competitors were mixed breeds. The winner was a purebred border collie.

The mood was a bit lighter on Saturday for the agility portion; tonight will be more serious. Westminster will award its 138th best in show, making it the second-longest-running sports competition in the U.S., behind only the Kentucky Derby.

Last year’s final drew 3.7 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, and finished as the No. 1 show of the night on cable, despite airing opposite President Obama’s State of the Union address.

The show also drew a solid 0.8 adults 18-49 rating, ranking ninth on cable for the night.

Edited by dad1153 - 2/12/14 at 1:38am
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TV Notes
MTV Picks Up Drama ‘Eye Candy’ To Series With 10-Episode Order, Pilot Will Be Reshot
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 11, 2014

MTV’s new regime has gone 4-for-4, picking up all four of its scripted pilots to series. The latest to get a series nod is thriller drama pilot Eye Candy, which has received an order for 10 episodes. The pilot, which will undergo extensive recasting and will be reshot, joins recently picked up coming of age drama Finding Carter, which has a 12-episode order, and new comedy series Faking It and Happyland, both with 8-episode pickups.

Eye Candy, from top genre feature producer Jason Blum, stars Victoria Justice as tech genius Lindy who begins to suspect that one of her online suitors might be a deadly cyber stalker. When her friends at the cyber-police uncover a potential serial killer in Manhattan, she works with the hackers to solve the murders while unleashing her own style of justice. Co-starring with Justice in the Eye Candy pilot were Harvey Guillen, Nico Tortorella, Olesya Rulin, Justin Martin, and Lilan Bowden. Of them, only Guillen will stay on alongside Justice, with all other roles recast for a new pilot episode.

Eye Candy, written by Emmy Grinwis and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, marks a departure for MTV. The network also has a pilot based on the Scream horror franchise, which is still being written.

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Legal/Business Notes
Aereo and Networks Get Their Day in Supreme Court: April 22
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Feb. 11, 2014

Attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast networks will face off before the Supreme Court on April 22 as the justices decide on the legality of Aereo’s online TV service.

The networks are asking the justices to reconsider an April 1, 2013 ruling by a New York federal appeals court that sided with Aereo. The company, which uses millions of tiny antennae to beam broadcasters signals to subscribers laptops, tablets, and other devices, says it is only harnessing the same technology used by the earliest TVs, but on a massive scale.

Broadcasters, meanwhile, contend that Aereo is illegally rebroadcasting their signals and violating copyrights. They say Aereo poses a threat to the ad-supported TV model by allowing users to fast-forward through commercials as long as they watch with a slight delay.

Broadcasters have sued in several venues even as New York City-based Aereo has expanded across the country. Both sides hope a Supreme Court decision will settle once and for all whether Aereo is legal.

Both sides have expressed confidence in their cases, but Fox has threatened to become a cable network if Aereo is deemed legal. Fox says it’s priority must be protecting its copyrights.

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TV Sports
Eye Infection Forces Costas to Step Aside From Olympics Coverage
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Feb. 11, 2014

The infection in Bob Costas’s left eye appeared Thursday and spread to his right eye Sunday. When he woke up Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, with his eyes swollen and crusted shut, he told NBC that he could not host that night’s prime-time Olympics broadcast.

“Both eyes were red and angry on Sunday and Monday,” Costas said by telephone Tuesday morning. Matt Lauer, who is in Sochi as a co-host of “Today,” will fill in.

Costas has been wearing glasses, instead of contact lenses, since NBC’s Winter Olympic coverage began Thursday night.

“It was increasingly uncomfortable with each passing night, but I could cope with it,” he said. “But last night until today, it got to where I couldn’t look in the bathroom light without squinting and blinking and my eye watering.”

On Tuesday, after waking up, he gingerly washed the eyes “to open them to a slit.”

He added: “You hear it called pinkeye or conjunctivitis, but, as a practical matter, I haven’t had it before. You have swelling and stinging and burning and eventually tearing. And last night was the most difficult night of the five. But when I left, I fully expected to be back tonight.”

While in the NBC studio, he has treated the eyes with cold compresses in the breaks between taping his segments. Now, he will spend 24 hours in a darkened room, taking antibiotics and using eye drops, while still using the compresses.

Jim Bell, the executive producer of NBC Olympics, said: “It’s day to day. We hope and expect that it will just be one day, but we are prepared in case he needs a little more time.”

Costas said he hoped the symptoms would abate enough for him to return to work Wednesday.

“If it were just a matter of discomfort, I’d be there,” he said. “Everybody’s been on the air at less than 100 percent or feeling lousy.”

The absence will end Costas’s streak of anchoring 157 consecutive Olympic prime-time broadcasts for NBC, dating to the Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992, the network said.

Costas said he could not recall sickness sidelining him since he was supposed to host the broadcast of the A.F.C. championship game between Cleveland and Denver in January 1990.

“I woke up that morning with food poisoning, which is as lousy as you can feel while knowing you’re not going to die,” he said. “They took me to the hospital, and, as I remember, I took my suit thinking they’d stick me with an IV and I’d still go to Mile High Stadium. But then the ceiling started to spin over my head. And I recall a nurse saying to me, with IVs in my arm: ‘I know you from television. You look different.’ ”

Costas’s eye condition has produced a bit of a kerfuffle on social media, which Costas said he ignored, although he has joked about his condition on the air.

“All I can sense,” he said, “is that people see this for what it is: that at the worst possible time, a guy comes down with something, and they’re sympathetic.”

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Nielsen Notes (Syndication)
‘Ellen’ Hits Series Highs As Oscar Telecast Nears
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Feb. 11, 2014

Perhaps boosted by pre-Oscar chatter in advance of her hosting gig, Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime talkshow drew its largest audience ever last week.

In a Jan. 27-31 frame that saw the most popular daytime talkshows post impressive year-over-year gains, Nielsen estimates that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” averaged a 3.3 household rating and 4.6 million viewers overall — both series bests for the show, which is now in its 11th season. It was up about 5% in viewership from the previous week and up 25% vs. the same week a year ago.

That put “Ellen” neck-and-neck with “Live With Kelly & Michael” (3.4 in households, 4.61 million) for second place among syndicated talkshows, with the latter up 25% from last year. They both lagged “Dr. Phil” (3.9 household rating, 5.36 million), which itself was up 27% vs. last year.

DeGeneres is set to host the Academy Awards on March 2. When she hosted previously, in 2007, the show averaged a big 14.1 rating/33 share in adults 18-49 and 40.18 million viewers overall — a demo number that hasn’t been topped since.

In addition to “Dr. Phil,” “Ellen” and “Live With Kelly & Michael,” another standout talkshow gainer last week was “The Steve Harvey Show,” which was up nearly 40% vs. the same frame last year (to a 2.2 household rating and 3.07 million total viewers).

In the key daytime demo of women 25-54, “Ellen” was No. 2 last week (2.0 rating), behind “Dr. Phil” (2.3) and a tick ahead of “Live” (1.9). Guests on “Ellen” last week included Jay Leno and Zac Efron.

Season-to-date, “Ellen” is up 12% in households (to 2.8 rating), 13% in total viewers (3.86 million). It is the talkshow leader (narrowly ahead of “Dr. Phil” and “Live With Michael & Kelly”) in both women 18-49 (1.4) and women 25-54 (1.8).

Elsewhere in syndication, “Family Feud” hit another high in households (6.3, up 5% week-to-week) and again was the No. 1 syndicated gameshow — ahead of both “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” — in women 25-54.

And “Divorce Court” was the biggest year-over-year gainer among all syndicated programs, growing 43% in households (2.0 rating) and 50% in total viewers (to 2.94 million) vs. the same week a year ago. The Judge Lynn Toler-hosted court program, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary season, also hit a four-year high in women 25-54 (1.2).

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TV Notes
Fox's Batman Prequel 'Gotham' Casts Penguin, Alfred
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 11, 2014

Just days after tapping Ben McKenzie (Southland) as Jim Gordon, Fox's Batman prequel is filling out its key players, casting regulars including Alfred, notable villain The Penguin and a love interest for the commissioner-to-be.

Robin Lord Taylor, Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee and Erin Richards have been tapped to join the network's Gotham, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Gotham is described as an origin tale centering on DC Comics fixture Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous.

Taylor (The Walking Dead, Another Earth) will play Oswald Cobblepot -- aka The Penguin. The character, described as having the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor. Taylor becomes the latest actor to play Penguin, joining Danny DeVito (Batman Returns) and Burgess Meredith (the 1960s Batman series).

Guevara (Burn Notice) will portray Captain Essen, rookie Gordon's boss at the Gotham City Police Department's homicide unit, who balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that is as much corporate litigator as cop.

Pertwee (Elementary, Camelot) is set as Alfred Pennyworth, the iconic butler from the Batman franchise. In Gotham, the character is a tough-as-nails ex-Marine from East London who has loyally served Thomas and Martha Wayne for years. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he is fiercely protective of their young son, Bruce. (The part of the eventual Caped Crusader has yet to be cast.) Others who have played Alfred include Alan Napier (the 1960s Batman); Michael Gough (in the Tim Burton Batman features); and Michael Caine, who most recently co-starred in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight franchise.

Richards (Breaking In, Being Human) has been cast as Barbara Kean, a sophisticated ER doctor who is engaged to marry Gordon. Joyful but with an edge of vulnerability, she stands by her future husband -- which can be difficult in a world as corrupt as Gotham.

The Warner Bros. Television drama pilot, which has a series commitment attached, is being written and executive produced by The Mentalist showrunner Bruno Heller. Danny Cannon (CSI, Nikita) will direct and executive produce the pilot.

Speaking to reporters last month at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said the series will explore other characters from DC's massive Batman cannon.

"This is not one of the things where you bought a franchise and then none of characters people know," Reilly said. "We will follow Bruce Wayne right up until the point where he gets interesting."

Reilly confirmed that Gotham will be as much of an origin story for Batman as for Gordon. "It's Gotham teetering on the edge," he said. "This is all of the classic Batman characters."

The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman are also expected to be part of the project, with the plan being for the series to ultimately end with Bruce Wayne putting on the cape and becoming Batman -- much as Smallville did with Clark Kent/Superman.

Following the session, Reilly told reporters that the series will be very serialized and not an "adjunct companion" show. "This is the Batman franchise just backing it up," he said. "It gives a real focus as to what this show is about and what stories we're telling."

Taylor is repped by Abrams Artists Agency; Guevara is with the Kohner Agency and JWS; Pertwee is with the U.K.'s Hamilton Hodell and NB; and Richards is with WME, Magnolia and the U.K.'s Curtis Brown.


* * * *

TV Notes
The CW's 'Flash' Casts Original Barry Allen in Mysterious Role
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 11, 2014

Barry Allen, meet Barry Allen.

The CW's The Flash has snagged Dawson's Creek star John Wesley Shipp, who played The Flash in the early 1990s CBS television series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Shipp will guest star in the pilot playing a mysterious character. Details for his character are being kept close to the vest. If the proposed Arrow spinoff receives a series order, his role would expand to recurring status.

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen/The Flash in The CW pilot, which serves as an origin story similar in vein to Arrow. Barry -- introduced in Arrow's two-part winter finale in December -- is a Central City assistant police forensic investigator who visits Starling City to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. Through a freak accident, he is given the power of super speed that transforms him into the fastest man alive.

The news comes as The Flash pilot nears the end of its casting process. Shipp joins a cast that includes Tom Cavanagh as physics "rock star" Harrison Wells; Jesse L. Martin as Detective West; Candice Patton as West's daughter and Barry's love interest Iris; Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, a bioengineering expert; and Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne. This leaves one main role open: Hartley Rathaway.

Arrow's Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter will serve as executive producers on Warner Bros. TV's eyed spinoff. Berlanti, Kreisberg and DC Entertainment's Geoff Johns will write the pilot script, with Nutter directing. Melissa Kellner Berman will serve as co-executive producer.

Flash originally was slated for a backdoor pilot on Arrow airing in the second half of the season, similar to how The Vampire Diaries helped launch spinoff The Originals last year. The change in tune is an effort for Flash to debut "with a bang like we launched Arrow," The CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters in January at the TCA winter press tour.

CBS' The Flash aired 22 episodes during the 1990-91 season, getting the ax after struggling against tough competition from Fox and NBC's strong Thursday primetime lineups before being relegated to Saturdays.

Shipp, repped by Stewart Talent, starred as patriarch Mitch Leery in The WB's Dawson's Creek and most recently recurred on MTV's Teen Wolf as Isaac's father.

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TV Notes
How Will It End? USA’s ‘White Collar’ Faces Uncertain Future As Renewal Talks Stall
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 11, 2014

By this time, USA Network series White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on the future of the buddy crime drama whose most recent fifth season ended two weeks ago. I hear there has been some communication between USA and White Collar producer Fox TV Studios but no meaningful dialogue so far. Given the way Season 5 ended — with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) — it is safe to assume that there will be some sort of continuation, likely a conclusion for the series. The question is what that sixth and final installment will be. I hear the network has been mulling a short miniseries to wrap the story in the vein of Showtime’s The Big C, while the studio would prefer a traditional final season. While Collar‘s status as one of USA’s signature series would weigh in favor of the second option. All of USA’s other established series – Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — have received a proper send-off with a final season (While USA prefers to announce the end of its series when their last seasons hit the air for tune-in reasons, all producers are told at the time of the final renewal so they can plan their shows’ end game). Moved to fall for the first time since its first season, White Collar got dinged up against in-season competition but rebounded in January when the conclusion of Season 5 averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day, up 22% from fall, and 955,000 adults 18-49, up 32%.

With ratings still solid, the focus turns to the show’s economics and creative vitality. At this point in the run of a series, a network is responsible for the full production cost. With a well-known cast and extensive location shoots in New York, White Collar is an expensive show. What’s more, it is not owned by USA. USA parent NBC Cable Entertainment has made owning content a priority with the appointments of Jeff Wachtel and Dawn Olmstead to spearhead in-house production efforts. The network has a lot of projects in the pipeline with a slew of pilot orders, and has been going through a portfolio changeover, replacing its older shows with new ones. From a business perspective, continuing White Collar at the current price tag may not make a lot of sense for USA. But from a legacy standpoint, the show, which boasts one of the network’s most recognizable stars in Bomer and is one of few USA shows to receive critical praise, deserves a proper conclusion. I hear FtvS is willing to shoulder the cost of a final season and is open to a lower license fee, while USA brass are intent on bringing the show back in some form. The two should be able to find middle ground as they have a lot of business together, with FtvS emerging as one of USA’s top suppliers having produced Burn Notice, White Collar, Graceland, new comedy series Sirens as well as Complications, the pilot from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix.

Creatively, fans have been griping that it’s been getting harder and harder to justify keeping leads Neal (Bomer) and Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) partnered together as their lives evolve, but the show is coming off a solid season creatively, and there is an idea for a satisfying final chapter. But making that a reality is becoming harder logistically as time goes by: Because of the delay in USA’s renewal decision, I hear White Collar lost its writing staff who have moved on to other projects. Additionally, the series no longer has access to New York-based crew members who have been booked for pilots, so production on another installment can start in April at the earliest when broadcast pilots wrap. The uncertainty has been frustrating for the cast who are under options until end of April but would like to know what the future holds sooner to make plans. Busy Bomer is juggling multiple commitments, while the up-in-the-air status prevents cast members from being available for pilot season.

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TV Notes
Frances Ha Star Will Play the Lead in CBS's How I Met Your Dad
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Feb. 11, 2014

This is pretty legendary: Frances Ha star (and Golden Globe nominee) Greta Gerwig has signed on to play the titular "I" role in CBS's How I Met Your Mother kinda-sorta-spinoff How I Met Your Dad. Not only that, but Gerwig will also be a producer on the project and is expected to be one of the show's writers. The pilot will shoot in Los Angeles, but now insiders say that if it goes to series -- something that's very likely -- the show will film in New York City.

As previously announced, the project will have completely new characters and stories, borrowing only the flashback storytelling of HIMYM. Gerwig will play Sally, a character being described by the show's producers as "a female Peter Pan who has never grown up and has no idea of where she's going in life." At the show's start, Sally is facing the end of her one-year marriage, turning to a close circle of friends to help with the pending breakup. Emily Spivey is exec producing the project with HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.

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

8PM - The Middle
(R - Jan. 8)
8:30PM - Suburgatory
(R - Jan. 15)
9PM - Modern Family
(R - Oct. 2)
9:31PM - Super Fun Night
10PM - Nashville
(R - Dec. 4)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Nathan Fillion; Abbie Cornish; Naughty Boy and Sam Smith perform)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Nov. 14)
8:30PM - The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute
(R - Feb. 9)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Andy Samberg; Michael B. Jordan; Ellie Goulding performs)
(R - Jan. 21)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kurt Russell; Aimee Garcia)

8PM - XXII Winter Olympics: Alpine Skiing, Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Snowboarding (3 1/2 hrs.)
* * * *
12:05AM - XXII Winter Olympics: Luge (60 min.)

8PM - American Idol (120 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: The Animal House (R - Nov. 2, 2011)
9PM - NOVA: Great Cathedral Mystery
10PM - Super Skyscrapers: Building the Future

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

8PM - Movie: Best in Show (2000)

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

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Joel Kinnaman)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Director Godfrey Reggio)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Matt Braunger; Ron Funches)

11PM - Conan (Larry King; Cristin Milioti; Jhene Aiko performs)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Alison Brie)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (T.I.; Rocsi Diaz; The Jacksons)
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Business Notes
Charter’s Bid for a Deal in Cable Heats Up
By David Gelles, The New York Times' 'Dealbook' Blog - Feb. 11, 2014

Some corporate takeovers happen in a flash. Others move as slow as molasses.

Charter Communications’ pursuit of Time Warner Cable is shaping up as one of those plodding processes, full of incremental developments and bluffs from both sides. But the stakes are high for Charter: the second position in the lucrative United States cable television business.

The latest twist came on Tuesday, when Charter said that it would nominate a full slate of directors to Time Warner Cable’s board, its most aggressive action to date in an increasingly hostile standoff. Yet Charter’s move is unlikely to be the deciding factor in a process that has already taken the better part of a year and may still not result in a deal.

The nomination of the 13 directors was widely expected, and Time Warner Cable instantly responded with a statement dismissing the announcement as little more than an attempt to push it to the bargaining table.

Charter’s next move could come as soon as the end of the week, according to people briefed on the matter. The company is in talks with Comcast, the country’s largest cable operator, about a deal in which it would acquire some of Time Warner Cable’s large metropolitan markets in the event Charter actually does acquire Time Warner Cable.

Though details of the proposal are not yet clear, Comcast would most likely take some of Time Warner Cable’s big city markets, including New York, while Charter would get the more suburban and rural markets, most of them in the South.

In addition to creating more cohesive national footprints for both Charter and Comcast, the arrangement would give Charter the financial flexibility to raise its bid for Time Warner Cable.

Last month, Charter proposed to acquire Time Warner Cable for $132.50 a share, valuing the company at $37.8 billion. Time Warner Cable rebuffed that offer as “grossly inadequate,” and said it would consider a deal only at $160 a share.

Charter said on Tuesday it had been in touch with Time Warner Cable shareholders and that they were broadly supportive of a deal. Several large shareholders would consider a deal above $140 a share, according to people briefed on the situation.

“It is clear from our meetings with Time Warner Cable shareholders that there is an overwhelming desire to combine these two companies to increase Time Warner Cable’s competitiveness, grow market share and create shareholder value,” Thomas M. Rutledge, Charter’s chief executive, said in a statement.

“Now is the time for the current board and management of Time Warner Cable to respond to their shareholders and work with us to complete a merger to the benefit of shareholders while minimizing their execution and market risks,” he added.

Though Mr. Rutledge called for the current board to negotiate, he and his advisers say they think that it is “entrenched” and unlikely to negotiate in good faith.

This view led Charter to propose its own 13 nominees, which Time Warner Cable shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on before the company’s annual meeting this spring. A date for the meeting has not been scheduled.

The potential directors nominated by Charter are not the biggest names in the American media industry. The list does include Lisa Gersh, former president of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and Marwan Fawaz, a former executive vice president of Motorola Mobility. Several of the nominees come from backgrounds in the European media industry, while others come from careers in consulting and private equity.

Absent from the slate were any Charter insiders or representatives from Liberty Media, the conglomerate controlled by the billionaire John C. Malone that took a large stake in Charter last year.

Mr. Malone and Liberty’s chief executive, Gregory B. Maffei, have been privately involved in the process, even as Mr. Rutledge tries to sell the deal to Time Warner Cable’s shareholders and the public.

Charter is also proposing that Time Warner Cable shareholders amend the company’s bylaws to fix the number of directors at 13 — preventing the company from adding more directors if Charter’s nominees are elected — and to repeal any amendments to the bylaws that were adopted by the board without shareholder approval over the last year.

On Tuesday, Time Warner Cable dismissed the Charter board slate as a negotiating ploy.

“It is clear that Charter is nominating a slate of directors for the sole purpose of pressuring our board into accepting the same lowball offer that it previously considered and unanimously rejected,” Robert D. Marcus, Time Warner Cable’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Our board remains focused on maximizing shareholder value. We are confident in our strategic plan, which was detailed publicly on Jan. 30, and we are not going to let Charter steal the company.”

With Time Warner Cable’s annual meeting approaching, shareholders may have the opportunity to decide whether they want to force in a new board that would be more receptive to a deal with Charter.

In the interim, however, Charter could raise its bid to something shy of the $160 a share Time Warner Cable has demanded. And that could entice the company to the bargaining table, abandoning its desired price but allowing it to avoid a messy proxy fight.

For now, however, it seems Charter is content to let Time Warner Cable shareholders take their time in contemplating how an entirely new board might view its offer.

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