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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3081

post #92401 of 93688
Nielsen Overnights
Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day
Down From Vancouver 2010 But Even With Torino 2006
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Feb. 15, 2014

Virginia may be for lovers but the Olympics are not when it comes to ratings. The final numbers for NBC’s primetime coverage last night of the Winter Games are in and the traditionally slow TV night of Valentine’s Day delivered the network its lowest result from Sochi so far. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, NBC’s 8PM – 11PM coverage drew an 11.0/19 national household rating and 19.2 million viewers. The previous low for NBC during this Olympic cycle so far was the first “bonus” night of the XXII Winter Games on February 6. The network got an 11.818 rating and 19.5 million viewers. The highest has been the 17.0/28 rating and audience of 31.7 million that the Opening Ceremony pulled in on February 7. While delivering the second most watched Friday primetime show on any network since the Summer Olympics in the UK two years ago, last night’s ratings were down 17% from the 13.4/23 rating that the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games garnered. The coverage out of Vancouver was virtually live, at least for Americans on the East Coast, but put side-by-side with the 11.2/19 that similar tape-delayed night of Torino 2006, Friday’s Sochi games were basically even – as has been the case often throughout these Games so far.

Meredith Vieira received a lot of attention yesterday when it was announced that she would take over NBC’s anchor desk at the Winter Games for at least one night and became the first woman ever to host the network’s Olympics coverage. However the former Today co-host’s stint replacing the still ailing Bob Costas last night did not translate into better numbers for NBC’s tape-delayed primetime package out of Sochi on Valentine’s Day. In early fast nationals, NBC drew 19.08 million viewers and a 4.5/19 rating - the worst the Sochi Games have performed among viewers and adults 18-49 so far. The viewership is down hard from the 23.3 million who watched the comparable night of February 19, 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics. Friday’s result is also a slide of 16% from the 5.4/17 rating the last Winter Games pulled in on its first full Friday of competition four years ago. It’s also an 18% drop from the 5.5 rating of the comparable night in Torino 2006. Up until now, the Sochi games have been beating or matching the the last European held Winter Games on average so far during this cycle.

Unsurprisingly, last night’s results are also a drop from the 31.7 million who watched NBC’s tape-delayed XXII Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony, which Vieira co-hosted, on February 7. That broadcast had a 8.7/26 rating. We’ll update the ratings once the final numbers come in later today. Vieira, NBC announced this morning, will be anchoring the Olympics again tonight where no doubt there’ll be highlights of the U.S. Men’s Hockey Team’s shootout victory over Russia this morning.

With ice sledding, free skating, some hockey highlights and skiing, including the super combined, NBC’s Olympics Friday primetime Olympics coverage received a 11.7/20 result in overnight metered-markets, with loyal Minneapolis (16.5/33) coming in as top local market once again. Looking back four years ago, NBC’s Vancouver coverage got a national household rating of 13.4/23 on its first full Friday of competition. That was jump up of 20% from the comparable night out of Torino 2006, which had a 11.2/19.

The only other original on any of the other nets last night was a new 20/20 at 10PM. The news mag show garnered a 1.1/4. That’s down a tenth from last week’s 1.2/4. Earlier in the night, ABC aired the Be My Valentine Charlie Brown special, which got a 1.0/4 – a rise of 43% from last year. Looks like there was some love in the air there.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/olympics-sochi-meredith-vieira-nbc-ratings-official-day-seven/
post #92402 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

ABC Family will not be returning to “Ravenswood,” as the cabler pulls the plug on the “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff after just one season.

That decision pisses me off as I enjoy(ed) this series. Some threads were closed, with others left open.
post #92403 of 93688
Critic's Notes
TV the Old Way: Watching What’s On
By Jon Caramanica, The New York Times - Feb. 14, 2014

Picture it: a cold, quiet night in December, little to do. On the television screen is the channel guide, a sea of possibility and a tantalizing burden. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Finally, a show with a title too blunt to resist: “Mega Shredders.”

Hit “O.K.” on the remote, and see big machines tearing various objects to pieces, making men giddy. A reality show set at Shredding Systems Inc., in Portland, Ore., “Mega Shredders” is structurally dull, a run-of-the-mill workplace program, and even though it’s on the Science Channel, there is essentially no technical discussion about the science behind these machines. There is only shredding. This is pure primal pleasure, this show, watching sailboats and basketballs and crushed automobiles being gnashed into bite-size chunks. The satisfaction is deep.

I moved at the beginning of November, and made two big TV-related decisions in the process: to switch from Time Warner to Verizon FiOS (the jury’s still out on that one) and to learn what life would be like without relying on a DVR. (I do have one, but chose to use it only sparingly, for work purposes.)

Albatross, thy name is DVR. It is the thing that turned TV into homework, ruthlessly cataloging my failings in the form of a queue that never dies. When the old DVR had to be returned before moving, 30 or so hours of unwatched programming went with it. (Apologies to the Kardashian-Humphries wedding. I just couldn’t.)

Stumbling onto oddball TV used to be one of my great pleasures, but the urge to keep up with too many shows necessitated a recording tool that allowed for viewing flexibility, and then that same tool, by constantly reminding me how behind I was, became the thing that made life the most inflexible.

So I opted out, instead trying to experience television in a passive way, not as a set of programs that must be viewed but as a utility that’s always available. Cable is a bazaar. If I wanted to take a midafternoon work break, I’d watch what was on TV then. If I wanted a 10-minute diversion, I’d flip channels and sniff out something diverting.

Surprisingly, old habits changed quickly. My body clock — typically nocturnal, abetted by an endless supply of grist for the small-hours viewing mill — began to resettle into the routines of my late-night-talk-show-watching ancestors. After midnight, I mostly shrugged at the infomercials and the sports highlights: TV off.

I also tired of television more quickly. The DVR was an implicit sorting device: Anything on it was likely to be good, or at least necessary. But only living in the present moment made viewing less essential. Allowing myself to be bored by TV was a great gift.

In theory there was pleasure in live television. It became more of an event, one that settled the body and mind, and less Styrofoam filling up all available minutes of the day and night. (I didn’t mind the commercials, themselves a diversion or, at minimum, a brief respite.) But apart from the BET Awards, there are no TV shows I have a burning desire to experience live and keep up with the Twitter joke stream.

Besides, most of the things I chose to watch, I was probably very much alone in. On a lump of coal called “American Car Prospector,” on Velocity, I watched the titular prospector get accosted by a man with a shotgun for peeking at his car, then buy the car, all blatantly staged. I watched Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner extend their brands with a not-unfunny guest appearance on the BET sitcom “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” I learned, after much effort, to be sympathetic to David Tutera, the stern and tart wedding planner who manages to help brides even more brittle than he is on We TV’s “My Fair Wedding.” But I never could sympathize with Scott Yancey, the loudmouth home renovator on “Flipping Vegas,” a brutal A&E show.

Did you know Tracy Morgan has an octopus? I can tell you all about it after watching his appearances on “Tanked,” the Animal Planet series about a custom-aquarium business.

More vexingly, did you know there is a channel called Destination America, filled with pro forma reality shows about the backwoods? Try “Hillbilly Blood.” A whole episode is devoted to making applejack from apples, using several suspect methods including a rusty wood chipper.

I finally watched “Hart of Dixie,” the Rachel Bilson vehicle on CW, which was far more religious minded than I’d expected, verging on “Save Me” territory. I spent one night easing back into reruns of “The Unit,” the show that pretended that Scott Foley’s jaw was square, and watched enough of “Dog With a Blog” to know better than to share that fact.

And I watched movies for pleasure finally. “The Best Man,” the 1999 rom-com, was a reminder of how Taye Diggs once shone, and of the lost potential of Morris Chestnut. “2 Days in New York,” from 2012, showed the outline of Chris Rock’s limitations, and was also a reminder that Vincent Gallo was the original James Franco but better, which is to say worse.

One night near the holidays I stumbled across one of the final episodes of “Treme” on HBO. I’d never cottoned to the show. It always seemed like a Colonial Williamsburg version of New Orleans, a bunch of people putting on smiles and going to work to sell an agreed-upon image.

I’d never lasted more than 15 minutes before, but I saw this episode through, and left unclear if “Treme” was the most patronizing, balmiest drama on television, or actually just the worst. The draining sincerity, the hamhandedness, the dim belief that music is truth — this was rough going.

It looked especially sallow next to the show that followed, a rerun of “The Sopranos” in which Tony travels to Italy for the first time. James Gandolfini was great, of course, and so was Edie Falco, like a Jenga tower barely standing upright, all surface tension. By comparison, “Treme” was a coloring book, just outlines.

After “The Sopranos” came “Getting On,” a dramedy set in a California hospital ward that was exactly the sort of show I previously would have blindly set my DVR to record. This tendency to collect is one of the blessings of the DVR and also one of its flaws. The quality-television era has made us all slaves to hype, and it’s easier to record and later dismiss than to overlook in the first place.

I’d not seen “Getting On” before, so I stayed put on the couch. Niecy Nash’s nurse character was doing her best to hold things together on an overnight shift while around her, decorum collapses. It was farcical and also tragic, exceedingly well written and well acted, and fundamentally fresh. For the first time since moving, I set my DVR to record the series, and with that, my holiday was done.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/arts/television/tv-the-old-way-watching-whats-on.html?ref=television
post #92404 of 93688
TV Sports
Sochi 2014: Olympic Broadcasts Are 24% Action, 33% Commercials
By Ben Cohen, Wall Street Journal - Feb. 14, 2014

A typical night of coverage from Sochi may show people pulling off "YOLO flips" from a slushy halfpipe or, weirder yet, shooting rifles while on cross-country skis. But here's the truly bizarre part of a Winter Olympics broadcast: There isn't that much Winter Olympics.

Olympic action accounted for 24.4% of NBC's primetime and late-night broadcasts on Tuesday night, according to The Wall Street Journal's trusty stopwatch, less than breaks in the Olympic action (26.8%) and almost 22 minutes less than commercials (33.1%). A similar Journal analysis from 2010 found that Olympic action made up 25.5% of a Vancouver Games broadcast.

We chose to audit NBC's coverage from Feb. 11, the first night that Matt Lauer replaced Bob Costas as the NBC host from Sochi. But you might have missed Lauer if you weren't paying attention. Studio shots accounted for just 4.1% of the broadcast.

Unlike hockey games, for example, the medal events that night weren't packed with action. Tuesday's schedule included Iouri Podladtchikov beating Shaun White in the men's snowboarding halfpipe, Dara Howell winning women's slopestyle skiing and the short programs from pairs figure skating—none of which lasted for three straight minutes of continuous action. Even the athlete interviews were short: The longest clocked in under two minutes.

But NBC pays billions of dollars for Olympic broadcast rights because of what happens between the Games: commercials. In fact, some of the most prominent advertisements were for NBC, which is busy during these Games promoting Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers's new late-night television shows that premiere this month.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579383152207344072?mod=WSJ_ArtsEnt_LifestyleArtEnt_4&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304703804579383152207344072.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_ArtsEnt_LifestyleArtEnt_4
Edited by dad1153 - 2/15/14 at 11:07pm
post #92405 of 93688
TV Notes
'Sharknado 2' announces cast with Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Feb. 13, 2014

"Sharknado 2" won't air for our Twitter hashtagging pleasure until July, but production on the SyFy TV movie is set to begin in New York City. And to stoke the anticipation of cheese, the channel has revealed the cast.

Besides returning "Sharknado" alums Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, the sequel will boast Vivica A. Fox and Mark McGrath in major roles and cameos from Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Andy Dick and Judah Friedlander.

The sequel, reteaming the original director Anthony C. Ferrante with original screenwriter Thunder Levin, will move the shark-infested tornado action from Los Angeles to New York City.

Fox is expected to play an old classmate of Ziering's character, Fin, and McGrath will play his brother-in-law.

Meanwhile, Osbourne, Hirsch, Dick and Friedlander will crop up as assorted New York City-type characters, including Hirsch playing off the popularity of his character from "Taxi" by playing a cab driver.

For those who spent last summer outdoors, the original "Sharknado" aired on SyFy in July and became an overnight media sensation. Though actual ratings for its premiere were a bit lower than the usual SyFy original movie fare, it was the subject of thousands of tweets, many of them from celebrities.

Based on the surprising reaction to an otherwise run-of-the-mill creature feature, SyFy re-aired "Sharknado" to an even larger audience of 1.89 million viewers. The film was also released in 200 theaters for a one-night-only midnight screening.

It remains to be seen if the original "Sharknado" was lightning in a bottle or the beginning of America's unquenchable thirst for sharks flying through the air in tornado-like formations, but the truth will discovered this July.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-sharknado-2-announces-cast-with-kelly-osbourne-judd-hirsch-20140213,0,3056897.story#ixzz2tPT3xCPH
post #92406 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

... All I know is I'm paying $20 more this month than I did last month with no change whatsoever and that should be a crime. smile.gif


I have to chuckle a little bit when I see comments like "no change whatsoever." When channels like Pac-12 Net, BeIN Sports, etc., are added or Internet speeds are increased with NO rate hike, all I hear are crickets.

Well, now, when you say "NO rate hike", it is pertinent to ask "For whom?" and "For how long?"

What I'm referring to is channel additions in late fall/early winter, but the rate increases don't come until late winter/early spring.
post #92407 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

I didn't ask for over 90% of the channels I get. I didn't ask for the beIN Sports Network. In fact, I lobbied against it. Nevertheless, I pay for it. I didn't ask for Fox Sports SD either (not a Padre fan.) I pay for that one, too. I never watch it. Solution: choose to not pay.
It always comes down to that simple of a solution for some of you, doesn't it? smile.gif Next you'll suggest I walk the 10 miles to work because I don't believe gas prices should be so high and I should drink water instead of milk because I think milk prices are also too high.

You think milk is high now, just wait until they lose their federal subsidy. And, walking is good for you. Perhaps you should get a bicycle.
post #92408 of 93688
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R - Nov. 17)
8PM - Movie: Up (2009)
10:01PM - Castle
(R - Oct. 21)

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - Elementary
(R - Nov. 7)
9PM - The Mentalist
(R - Nov. 10)
10PM - The Good Wife
(R - Nov. 17)

NBC:
7PM - XXII Winter Olympics: Figure Skating, Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding, Speed Skating, Bobsled (4 hrs.)
* * * *
11:35PM - XXII Winter Olympics: Biathlon (60 min.)

FOX:
7PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Dec. 9, 2012)
7:30PM - American Dad
(R - Dec. 8)
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - Nov. 4)
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Feb. 10, 2013)
9PM - Family Guy
(R - Oct. 6)
9:30PM - American Dad
(R - Dec. 1)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey
(R - Feb. 9)
9PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (75 min.)
10:15PM - Movie: Murder on the Home Front (2013)

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aqui y Ahora
8PM - Nuestra Belleza Latina (Season Premiere, 125 min.)
10:05PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
6PM - Movie: Red (2010)
8PM - Top Chef Estrellas (120 min.)
10PM - Suelta La Sopa Extra
post #92409 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post
 

 

Well, now, when you say "NO rate hike", it is pertinent to ask "For whom?" and "For how long?".

IMHO, it's even worse than that because I've rarely seen channels added, etc., without a rate hike. The hike may not come the day of the changes, but it comes. As I said, I had a $6 increase just last year and another $20 increase already this year. I could go back and find the earlier $5 hikes, but it's been pretty steady with Cox the past several years and, until now, I've been a reluctant supporter, apologist, whatever you want to call it. Granted, some hikes did result from increased internet speeds and more channels, but that doesn't make them any easier to swallow when only the speed increases provided added benefit for ME and many others. Even that has ceased to be the case now because speeds over a certain level don't have a significant impact on those of us who don't stream, etc., a lot.

post #92410 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post
 

 

That's a 233% increase, not a 300%+ increase.

Still, your point is well made. The price of a basic cable package (the locals along with such cable channels as TBS, USA, and ESPN) has been increasing at roughly 6% per year, much higher than the general rate of inflation.

And that's for a service that is by no means a necessity.

 

Things won't get any better, though, until consumers show that they are willing to simply do without the cable channels.

Yeah, I should have said 3-fold, but then wrote 300% for some reason. :) Anyway, cableco's know that most of us won't simply walk away. While cable is not a life and death necessity, the internet, at least, has become a significant part of our lives. I think I'd pull the plug today if my daughter and granddaughter weren't living with us at the moment. While they don't watch a lot of TV per se, our granddaughter does watch a lot online and on Netflix with her iPad, all of which rely on the dollars they get from cable retrans fees, etc. Now, when they move out next year, things may be different enough for me to vote with my wallet.. Channels like FOOD, HGTV, FNC and CNBC are mostly just background noise throughout the day and I think we can get used to doing without those. I use Netflix to "catch up", but I don't know how long it will be a viable alternative to paying for cable. How long before its price starts going up year after year too? I truly wish I could subscribe directly to cbs.com, etc., to watch shows online even if it had to be a week delay with commercials. Now they make you subscribe to cable or satellite in order to view online episodes. Then again, if they charge $5/mo each, I'd probably still hit the $100/mo mark pretty quickly, the argument the anti ala carte crowd uses to justify the all or nothing cable/sat model being the most cost-effective delivery system.

post #92411 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post


You think milk is high now, just wait until they lose their federal subsidy. And, walking is good for you. Perhaps you should get a bicycle.

You are just so funny........ Anyway, I'm originally from Wisconsin and never supported the milk subsidies (or any other subsidies for that matter). And I'm an early morning mall-walker who walks 3 miles between 6:30-7:00 every day and ride the bicycle when the mood strikes me. I know you got my point, so I won't bother explaining things further.

post #92412 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
'Sharknado 2' announces cast with Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Feb. 13, 2014

"Sharknado 2" won't air for our Twitter hashtagging pleasure until July, but production on the SyFy TV movie is set to begin in New York City. And to stoke the anticipation of cheese, the channel has revealed the cast.

Besides returning "Sharknado" alums Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, the sequel will boast Vivica A. Fox and Mark McGrath in major roles and cameos from Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Andy Dick and Judah Friedlander.

Proof that there is a God. And He has a sense of humor.

I'm not one who typically watches the Saturday night Syfy schlock-fests, but I caught 'Sharknado!' on one of it's many rebroadcasts (NBC Universal was determined to milk every last drop of seawater out of it). And it was hysterical! Looking forward to this one, which I'm sure will be hyped to the moon. Which will probably be the setting for 'Sharknado 3'. You know its coming. tongue.gif
post #92413 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by veedon View Post

That's a 233% increase, not a 300%+ increase.

Really 233.3% with the 3 going forever.
post #92414 of 93688
Critic's Notes
Why Did Anyone Buy a TV? He Made It Indispensable
Sid Caesar Was a Force in New Industry
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Feb. 15, 2014

Television owes a lot to people like Sid Caesar, who died on Wednesday at 91. I’m not talking about television the entertainment medium, although that, too, owes a lot to Mr. Caesar. I’m talking about television the appliance.

Mr. Caesar was part of a group of men and women, few of them left now, who tend to have the phrase “TV pioneer” attached to their names. They created or starred in shows in the pivotal formative decade for that medium, the 1950s. Mr. Caesar is in this pantheon because of “Your Show of Shows,” a variety series featuring him and several co-stars, which ran from 1950 to 1954 and served up comic sketches of all sorts.

His influence on subsequent comics and shows has been duly noted in the last few days, but it’s also interesting to pause and contemplate the role he and his contemporaries played in simply turning television into a ubiquitous feature of our lives. They were part of an equation that included technological innovation, salesmanship and more, all of it combining to make possible the blossoming of programming in the 1960s and beyond, and to change modern life, much the way the Internet has in more recent times.

When “Your Show of Shows” came on the air, Saturday nights on NBC, few American households had televisions: 10 percent or less,studies show. By a decade or so later, the ratio had flipped; only 10 percent of households didnot have a TV. Although today, we think of product dispersion in terms of months — “Have you bought the new iPhone yet?” — the spread of television ownership was relatively rapid for the time. And it required a convergence of forces, with people like Mr. Caesar only the most visible component.

Just like automobiles or telephones, television needed an infrastructure to make it an appliance people would want to buy. No sense owning one if you couldn’t pick up a signal. In urban areas, over-the-air broadcasting worked well enough, but out in the suburbs and country, where hills and mountains got in the way, owning a TV could be an exercise in frustration.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, entrepreneurs sprung up all over the country, offering in various ways to bring a TV signal into towns that weren’t able to get one. They would, for example, erect an antenna on a mountaintop, catch the broadcasts coming out of the nearest city and run them downhill on a wire to subscribers, an early version of cable television.

While this was going on, the business and the legal structure of the television industry were also being worked out, sometimes in court. What would be the relationship between the people making TV shows and those broadcasting them? Could an odd-jobber in the hills of Pennsylvania simply catch the free broadcast signal coming out of New York or Philadelphia and sell it to cable customers, or did the networks have to be compensated?

It was, in short, a rapidly evolving business with a make-it-up-as-we-go-along ethos. But it wouldn’t have gone far if there had been nothing worth watching. And that’s where Mr. Caesar’s series and other programming — televised boxing, kiddie fare like “The Howdy Doody Show” — fit in. They made people want to own a television, so as not to be left out of the evolving national conversation.

Mr. Caesar, like other early TV stars, had the Catskills on his résumé; many of his contemporaries came out of vaudeville. But he figured out early that television could be more than simply aiming a camera at a stage and filming a vaudeville act. It allowed an up-close type of humor that made use of hand gestures and facial expressions. It allowed recurring characters or situations, since the audience was coming back week after week.

And the creativity he and others brought to the new medium helped spread TV ownership. You can almost hear the conversation around the early-’50s water coolers, or, perhaps, the cigarette machines. “Did you see the Sugar Ray Robinson fight?” “Did you see that Sid Caesar sketch with Imogene Coca?”

Mr. Caesar’s direct effect on later television programming is clear through the shows eventually created by people who worked for or with him, like Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart. But he is also part of the reason that, by the time the 1960s came along, practically everyone had a television and was ready to tune in to the explosion of programming to come.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/arts/television/sid-caesar-was-a-force-in-new-industry.html?ref=television&_r=0
Edited by dad1153 - 2/16/14 at 11:06am
post #92415 of 93688
TV Notes
Matt Lauer steps in again for Bob Costas at NBC
By Kristina Bustos, DigitalSpy.com - Feb. 16, 2014

Matt Lauer is anchoring NBC's coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics tonight (February 16).

The NBC journalist will step in for Bob Costas once again, having filled in for him earlier in the week.

Costas left his post after contracting conjunctivitis in both eyes, but NBC Sports has said that his eye condition is improving.

He previously explained that his eye have become sensitive to light due to the infection.

Meredith Vieira hosted the NBC Olympics coverage on the last two nights - Friday (February 14) and Saturday (February 15).

Vieira made history, becoming the first woman to ever anchor NBC's primetime Olympics coverage solo.

The 2014 Winter Olympics continues until next Sunday (February 23).

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a551584/winter-olympics-2014-matt-lauer-steps-in-again-for-bob-costas-at-nbc.html
post #92416 of 93688
SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #92417 of 93688
Nielsen Overnights
Sochi Olympics Hit New Low On Second Saturday, Steep Drop From Vancouver 2010
By Dominic Patten, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 16, 2014

The second Saturday of the Sochi Olympics saw Meredith Vieira subbing in for the still ailing Bob Costas on NBC and a whole lot of hockey highlights from the dramatic USA-Russia men’s game earlier in the day. It also saw NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage pull in a 4.2/13 rating and 16.58 million viewers in early fast nationals. On the traditionally least watched TV night of the week, that’s the worst performance the network has had so far these Games – dipping 6% and 15% respectively from mv sat olympics picNBC’s previous low of a 4.5/19 rating and 19.5 million viewers on Valentine’s Day. Saturday’s result also slide a hard 37% from the 6.8/21 rating of the virtually live Vancouver 2010 Games on the comparable night of February 20 of that year. That second Saturday of the Vancouver games was watched by 26.7 million viewers. Last night’s results are also a 32% drop from the 6.2/20 rating and audience of 25.1 million that the first full day of Sochi competition garnered for NBC on February 8, the day after the Opening Ceremony.

With the exception of the 48 Hours Presents: The Whole Gritty City docu (0.4/2) on CBS, the competition was all encores and movies on the other networks last night. However, the Olympics did have to face off against the NBA All-Star Weekend’s crowd-pleasing Slam Dunk contest on TNT and that truly jaw-dropping off the mascot, double-pump reverse dunk from the Washington Wizard’s John Wall. With that said, we’ll update with final Olympics ratings info as it comes in later today.

In the meantime, here’s some more Olympics numbers to put things in a bit more perspective. Last night’s NBC primetime coverage got a 10.3/18 rating in overnight metered-markets. The national household rating for the respective night of the Vancouver games four years ago was a 14.7/24. That was up 30% from the 11.3/19 result of comparable Saturday night of the Torino Olympics in 2006. The tape-delayed coverage of that Saturday 8 years ago was watched by an audience of 19.7 million – 36% less than watched Vancouver coverage on February 20, 2010.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/olympics-sochi-nbc-ratings-hockey-official-day-eight/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes
NBC Sports Network Scores Record Ratings With Olympics USA-Russia Hockey Game

No one’s won an Olympics hockey medal in Sochi yet but NBC Sports Network has hit its own Gold. NBCSN scored a record 3.3/10 rating in overnight metered-markets for its live Saturday morning broadcast of the dramatic U.S. and Russia men’s hockey game. The Americans won yesterdays’ 7:30 – 10:30 AM ET game 3-2 after a to-the-wire 8-round shootout. The ratings results of Saturday’s game, which took Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 8 - United States v Russiaplace in front of a crowd of 11,678 (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) at the Bolshoi Ice Dome, surpasses NBCSN’s previous high of 3.1/5 in overnight metered-market results. That result was from the 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 3 match-up on June 17 that year between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks in Beantown.

Highlights of yesterday’s hockey game were shown on NBC‘s primetime coverage on Saturday night. NBCSN plans to run the game in full again this afternoon. Both the USA and Russia played again today, beating Slovenia and Slovakia respectively.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/nbc-sports-network-hockey-olympics-usa-russia-record-ratings-sochi/
post #92418 of 93688
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 16, 2014

THE XXII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Various Networks, Check local listings

Last night, in prime time, NBC presented its 2014 equivalent of the “Do you believe in miracles?” Olympics men’s hockey match between Russia and the U.S. – and once again, Al Michaels was there to put it in perspective. Somehow, I suspect, NBC will find a way to replay that latest overtime thriller yet again, while reminding viewers that, yes, this year’s Olympics will be providing its own highlights, and heroes, for the ages. Among tonight’s highlights on NBC’s prime-time coverage, beginning at 7 p.m. ET: gold medal events in several men’s and women’s competitions. For live coverage of all events, go to NBCOlympics.com.

PASSING STRANGE
The Movie Channel, 8:00 p.m. ET

Shown on PBS’s Great Performances in 2009, this is Spike Lee’s filmed version of the semi-autobiographical stage musical by Stew, with music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. It’s about a young black man who leaves Los Angeles to see, then live in, Europe, as part of his search for identity. Stars, reprising their acclaimed stage roles, are Daniel Breaker as Youth, Elsa Davis as Mother, and De’Adre Aziza, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge and Rebecca Naomi Jones in multiple roles. Stew and Rodewald are on stage as well, providing music, while Stew also provides narration. A very original, very interesting production, with some really catchy music.

MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: "DOWNTON ABBEY"
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

It’s episode seven of Season 4 – and we’re getting closer to the season finale, which brings with it the return of one familiar American character and the introduction of another. Meanwhile, at least one private romance goes defiantly public – but there may be troubled waters ahead. Check local listings.

THE WALKING DEAD
AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s midseason premiere split its time between two groups of survivors from last season: Rick and his son Carl (Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs), and Michonne (Dinai Gurira) and her replacement set of armless, led-by-ropes zombie decoys. This week, we follow some of the other survivors – who, like everyone else, is facing steep odds finding their way after barely escaping the prison.

TRUE DETECTIVE
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode, with its already famous tracking-shot climax, was a great hour of television. Get set, tonight, for another, as the shifting motivations of Martin and Rust (Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey) become a little more clear.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
Take a Peek at 'Peep Show,' A British Import on Netflix
By Gabriela Tamariz, TVWorthWatching.com

Easily and instantly, Peep Show has squeezed its way into my top five favorite television comedies, alongside Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development. I recently discovered the British comedy favorite, created by Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain and Andrew O’Connor, and proceeded to binge-watch the Netflix gem in a matter of weeks.

The show follows Mark and Jez, best friends since college, in their late twenties to mid thirties living very mundane lives as flatmates in London. They don’t seem to have anything in common, yet they depend on each other to be equally miserable, luckless and morally compromised.

Originally, the sitcom, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb, aired on Channel 4 in England. But thanks to Netflix, you can binge-watch the hilarious series in eight easy, digestible seasons of six 22-minute episodes each. The series struggled with low ratings and has faced multiple cancellation scares, but its strong cult following and DVD sales have kept the series alive for 10 years, as the longest-running sitcom on Britain’s Channel 4.

(Peep Show creators have confirmed that the ninth series will be the last of the long-running sitcom. They recently collaborated with Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle with their new British police drama Babylon.)

David Mitchell plays Mark Corrigan, whose life is so terribly humdrum and unexciting, he’d rather stay home and watch history programming than ask the girl at work out to dinner. He works a nine-to-five suit job, and is desperate to find “the one” with whom he will spend the rest of his life, but he lacks the self-confidence necessary to make big things happen.His self-deprecating sense of humor, akin to a British George Costanza, is further amplified in the show’s creative POV camera style. Mark’s submissive personality is a perfect match to Jez’s alpha-loser persona.

Robert Webb plays Jeremy Usborne, also known as Jez, an aspiring DJ/musician with the temperament of an artist and the ambitions of a 17-year-old boy. He’s the typical irresponsible roommate: unemployed, chasing impossible women, and doing drugs with Super Hans, his washed-up-looking rock ‘n’ roll sidekick and bandmate. Their band name changes about as frequently as Super Hans lights up a cigarette.

"Oh, right now we’re called ‘Various Artists’, just to f*** over people with iPods," Jez explains.

Nearly every scene is shot from a character’s perspective in a POV camera style à la 1999's Being John Malkovich. This technique offers unique perspectives from various characters as they express their honest, unfiltered inner thoughts. Mark’s inner monologue polishes every scene depicting awkward encounters, social catastrophes and life-changing decisions. His dark and dry sense of humor is supported by years of life failures and mediocre relationships.

The writing in Peep Show is quick, smart and fresh. Mark and Jez are deeply flawed, and while their intentions might be in the right place, they seem to drop the ball at every social situation with the same cringe-worthy commitment as Larry David. My favorite element to this series is the way the writers weave pop culture references and European history innuendos into the script, and can produce something so organically funny, yet unlike any other scripted sitcom on television.

Start with Series 1, Episode 1: “Warring Factions” which exhibits Mark’s best attempts to flirt with neighbor Toni during a party when it’s finally just the two of them.

“You know, the Red Army shot 16,000 of their own men at Stalingrad. And, of course, the majority of the Wehrmacht had no winter clothing,” Mark begins, as Toni listens romantically unscathed.

“See, by the winter of ’42, the whole city was surrounded by the massed Sixth Army. It was pressing, pressing…” Mark takes Toni by the hand. “The Russians couldn’t hold on much longer. Many wanted to submit.”

Peep Show is one of my favorite discoveries on Netflix. It deserves praise for not only its originality, but also for its loyal following, which has helped keep the series alive for so long. I love this show, and recommend it to anyone who thinks he or she has the weirdest inner monologue. Peep Show definitely is worth binge-watching.

MUST WATCH:

Series 2, Episode 1: “Dance Class”

Series 1, Episode 4: “Mark Makes A Friend”

Series 8, Episode 3: “The Love Bunker”

Series 3, Episode 3: “Shrooming”

Series 2, Episode 2: “Jeremy Makes It”


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=6881
post #92419 of 93688
Critic's Notes
'Broad City' Is The Best New Show You're Not Watching
By Jessica Goodman, HuffingtonPost.com - Feb. 14, 2014

Not all TV shows about white girls in Brooklyn are created equal. Some land on HBO and inspire thousands of words worth of think-pieces. Others, instead, nuzzle into a Wednesday night time slot on Comedy Central, right after cult hit "Workaholics," and coin phrases like "p--sy weed."

"Broad City" (obviously the latter) is Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's bizarre baby. The comedians met while taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade, and started "Broad City" as a web series while working their fair share of dumpy jobs. They made the move from YouTube to Comedy Central, picked up Amy Poehler as an executive producer and attracted big name guest stars like Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo and Rachel Dratch.

Jacobson and Glazer play heightened versions of themselves, twenty-somethings also named Abbi and Ilana, who scrape together money for Lil Wayne tickets and define being a grown-up as buying their own weed. (It should be noted that Abbi does not live in Brooklyn. She lives with a never-seen roommate and her roommate's disgusting video game-playing boyfriend in Astoria, Queens.) Together, they muck through horrible service jobs -- Abbi works at an Equinox/ Soul Cycle parody called Soulstice where she's forced to wear a shirt that says "CLEANER" -- vomit up stolen booze and trek to the ends of the city to pick up packages for hot neighbors.

Jacobson and Glazer find a comfort in one another you don't often see on television, due to years crafting their bit together. Through Skype calls and unforced hang time in Subway cars and restaurants, viewers are let into that easy friendship. In the series' opening scene, Abbi and Ilana Skype while Ilana has sex with her on-again-off-again dentist boyfriend, played by Hannibal Buress, who simply slays in the role. Then, Abbi and Ilana most definitely become the boss bitches they are in their minds.

Each half-hour is a breath of fresh air for Comedy Central and funny television in general. It's a welcome departure from the dozens of shows that proclaim, "Look at me! I'm a real version of YOU." But then again, "Broad City" isn't trying to be an accurate reflection of your life. It's just trying to be "Broad City," and it's doing that damn well.

"Broad City" debuted on Jan. 22. It airs Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-goodman/broad-city-best-new-show_b_4776073.html?utm_hp_ref=tv&ir=TV
post #92420 of 93688
TV Notes
‘Snake Salvation’ Reality Star Dies of Snake Bite
By Variety.com Staff - Feb. 16, 2014

Jamie Coots, a Pentacostal preacher at a snake-handling church in Middleboro, Ky. turned reality TV star, died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.

Coots was one of two pastors featured on the National Geographic TV series “Snake Salvation,” about the practice of snake handling at a sect of Christian churches, mostly in Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee, where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.

“Snake Salvation” bowed last year on Nat Geo TV. The status of the show was unclear Sunday; Nat Geo TV reps did not immediately respond to request for comment on Coots’ death.

Coots’ death was reported Sunday by the website of Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/jamie-coots-pastor-and-star-of-nat-geo-tvs-snake-salvation-dies-of-snake-bite-1201107704/
Edited by dad1153 - 2/16/14 at 3:40pm
post #92421 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

You think milk is high now, just wait until they lose their federal subsidy. And, walking is good for you. Perhaps you should get a bicycle.
You are just so funny........ Anyway, I'm originally from Wisconsin and never supported the milk subsidies (or any other subsidies for that matter). And I'm an early morning mall-walker who walks 3 miles between 6:30-7:00 every day and ride the bicycle when the mood strikes me. I know you got my point, so I won't bother explaining things further.

Oh, I got your point. I just don't think that complaining about something in an AVS forum will change anything. Cable TV is considered a luxury. If you think it costs too much, do without. Or, get your facts together, organize a group of people, and complain someplace where it might do some good. Complaining here is little more than venting.
post #92422 of 93688
Critic's Notes
'House of Cards' returns on Netflix
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Blog

Netflix's "House of Cards" garnered a lot of attention out of the gate last year because it was the first streaming series to equal in style and presentation the type of scripted dramas on HBO and AMC. "House of Cards" had a respected pedigree in star Kevin Spacey and the original British miniseries it was based on.

But through its first season (season one SPOILER ALERT for the next couple of paragraphs), "House of Cards" proved to be somewhat less than the sum of its parts. That's not to say it's a bad show, just not quite as groundbreaking, beyond its then-unique delivery system, as it first appeared.

The show did not lose me when Congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood (Mr. Spacey) turned into a murderer -- although that, too, was a bit much -- but did when the vice president of the United States quit his job to run for governor of Pennsylvania again. Say what you will about the prestige or lack thereof of the vice presidency, but that particular plot twist was just too unbelievable. Up to that point, "House of Cards" operated in a heightened but generally realistic universe; with that plot turn the show devolved into a melodramatic soap opera. Again, nothing wrong with that; it's just not as respectable as a realistic soap opera.

(The too-long, aimless plot about Frank's wife, Claire, and her dalliance with a New York artist also undercut the strength of the character so well played by a perma-frosty Robin Wright.)

Season two picks up right where season one ended as Frank and Claire continue their jog home, and Frank begins to sweat the details that reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) might uncover about his role in the death of Congressman Peter Russo.

"Let's start this chapter with a clean slate," Frank tells Zoe. As usual, Frank finds a way to get what he wants.

Meanwhile, vicious Claire prepares to ascend to her new job as wife of the vice president. So she threatens a pregnant former underling at the Clean Water Initiative whose health insurance she cut off, separating her from a life-sustaining drug. ("I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside of you," Claire says.)

Written by executive producer Beau Willimon, the season two premiere -- debuting today on Netflix along with the 12 other episodes that comprise the second season -- offers no reminders of season one. The episode just dives back into the fast-moving plot, which may take some forgetful viewers a little time to catch up.

New stories kick off, too, including Frank's efforts to install his own successor as House majority whip through his usual manipulative machinations.

Molly Parker plays Frank's hand-picked replacement, and at first her character seems like a convenient, controllable choice. But episode by episode, she begins to emerge as a power broker in her own right who might someday be capable of turning on Frank.

Mr. Willimon does not rest on his laurels, getting Frank installed as VP in episode two ("Not the most inspiring choice for a vice president," opines Rachel Maddow), but he does pull back on the amount of Frank's direct address to the camera. It's almost absent from the premiere until a funny moment toward the episode's end that allows Frank to comment on some viewers' dislike of the device.

HLN's new direction

On Monday, cable's HLN added the syndicated show "Right This Minute" at 10 p.m., airing Monday through Thursday. The show also airs at 3 a.m. on WPXI and features Steven Fabian Lisowski, a 2002 Plum High School grad who goes by Steven Fabian on TV, among its hosts.

The move is part of HLN's makeover that seeks to position it as "the first TV home for the social media generation" with stories "ripped from the most plugged-in sites and blogs" as HLN forsakes news judgment for trending news and viral events. And, yes, that does sound like a further dumbing down of TV news.

'Army Wives' salute

Lifetime's promised "Army Wives" look back special will finally air at 9 p.m. March 16. The two-hour program features interviews with cast members and producers who reminisce about their experience making the network's longest-running scripted series, which was canceled last year.

Kept/canceled

Fox canceled "The X Factor" late last Friday after three seasons; judge Simon Cowell is returning to the British "X Factor."

TNT canceled its noir drama "Mob City" after a three-week, six-hour first season aired in December.

CNN canceled "AC360 Later."

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva," canceled and revived once already, will conclude its run (presumably for good this time) after the upcoming sixth season that debuts at 9 p.m. March 23.

On Thursday The CW gave early renewals to "Arrow," "The Vampire Diaries," "Supernatural" and freshman dramas "The Originals" and "Reign" for the 2014-15 TV season.

TNT ordered an additional six episodes of the docuseries "Cold Justice."

Adult Swim renewed "Rick and Morty" for a second season.

Netflix has picked up a final season of former Cartoon Network series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Dubbed "The Lost Missions," 13 episodes will debut on the streaming service on March 7.

Channel surfing

At long last, "The Wonder Years: The Complete Series" will come to DVD with most of its music intact when StarVista Entertainment releases the show in the second half of 2014. ... NBC.com will debut shorter, online episodes of "Chicago Fire" (already posted), "Grimm" (online today), "Parks and Recreation" (Feb. 20) and "Parenthood" (already posted), which includes crossover appearances by two characters (Landry Clarke and Billy Riggins) from "Friday Night Lights." ... Jay Leno ended his "Tonight Show" era with 14.6 million viewers tuning in for his last telecast, the show's biggest audience since the night of the "Seinfeld" finale in May 1998; the final "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" drew 6.6 million viewers, the biggest audience for the show since David Letterman's final episode in 1993. ... AMC's midseason premiere of "The Walking Dead" outperformed NBC's Olympics coverage Sunday night among viewers 18-49. ... Incoming NBC "Late Night" host Seth Meyers surprises a bride on the season 11 premiere of TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" (9 p.m. Feb. 21). ... Fred Armisen ("Portlandia," "Saturday Night Live") has been named bandleader for "Late Night With Seth Meyers." ... HBO's "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" will premiere at 11 p.m. April 27 with the former "Daily Show" correspondent offering a satirical look back at the week in news. ... Former CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo debuts her new show, "Opening Bell," at 9 a.m. Feb. 24 on Fox Business Network. ... FX viewers take note: "Archer" and "Chozen" are on a two-week hiatus for the Olympics, returning the week of Feb. 24. "Justified" took a one-week hiatus and returns Wednesday. ... TLC's "The Little Couple," starring former Pittsburgher Jen Arnold, returns for a new season at 10 p.m. March 4. ... "Ralph Kiner: Pittsburgh's Home Run Hero" will air Saturday on PCNC at 7 p.m. with encores on Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-radio/2014/02/14/House-of-Cards-returns-on-Netflix/stories/201402140050
post #92423 of 93688
TV Notes
Bullish on Boyish
NBC Hopes Jimmy Fallon Brings Younger Viewers to ‘Tonight’
By Bill Carter, The New York Times - Feb. 16, 2014

In 2004, as Jimmy Fallon was leaving “Saturday Night Live” after a six-year run creating sketch characters and sharing the “Weekend Update” desk with Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels floated an idea.

Mr. Michaels, Mr. Fallon’s patron at “SNL” and the show’s executive producer, had a hunch that this comedian’s future did not lie in Hollywood and movies, which he wanted to pursue, but on a traditional late-night talk show.

“I always thought that was the best use of his talents,” Mr. Michaels said. “There are very few people who can do that job. I always say there are a hundred U.S. senators and eight people with their own show.”

That instinct has paid off for both men: Starting on Monday, Mr. Fallon, fresh from almost five years of very-well-received work at “Late Night” on NBC, will become the star of that network’s venerable “Tonight Show,” with Mr. Michaels overseeing it as executive producer, now in control of all the most important properties on the NBC late-night landscape.

“I think he’s ready for the moment,” Mr. Michaels said last week.

More than ready, Mr. Fallon is brimming with confidence after his apprenticeship at “Late Night,” which follows “Tonight.” In his stylized club of an office on the sixth floor of NBC’s Rockefeller Center headquarters, known as 30 Rock, Mr. Fallon, lanky, loose limbed and still boyish at 39, was bubbling with enthusiasm. “I’m supremely excited,” he said. “But I’m older. I’ve grown up. I was nervous at the start of ‘Late Night.’ Now I know I can do this show.”

NBC certainly believes he can — and that Mr. Fallon will be up to the daunting challenge of keeping “Tonight” relevant in the face of altered viewing habits, an upheaval in audience demographics and diminishing late-night profits. The network, for a second time, put together a plan to ease a reluctant (and still winning) Jay Leno out of the “Tonight” chair in favor of a new-generation star. (Mr. Leno’s last night was Feb. 6.)

The motive for the change was not purely economic, because “Tonight” is not the profit generator it once was. The show can still make money on a tighter budget, and Mr. Fallon will, at least for a time, make considerably less than Mr. Leno’s reported annual salary of about $20 million. (NBC imposed staff and salary reductions on Mr. Leno in 2012.)

For NBC, the move is more about maintaining a vital piece of its birthright than retrofitting an ATM machine. That is one reason Mr. Fallon will open his “Tonight” in an expensive, elegant renovated studio at Rockefeller Center. Still, to remain an essential part of American culture, “Tonight” required a generational change at some point, adjusting the focus from baby boomers to their millennial kids. Mr. Leno’s audience, while still the largest in late night, had steadily aged. The median viewer was below 50 in 2005; when Mr. Leno left the air this month, it had climbed to 57.8.

The network shows all have older audiences. At ABC, the median age for viewers of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is 54.2. Then there’s David Letterman, the CBS veteran who has the oldest viewership, with a median age of 58. That audience may expand and get even older, if he inherits some of Mr. Leno’s more traditional viewers, as he did for the eight months when Conan O’Brien (who had a considerably younger core audience) took over “Tonight.”

Though NBC clearly wants Mr. Fallon to hold onto the lead in total audience, the larger question is whether any of the network late-night shows can induce younger viewers to commit regularly. They tend to steer clear of traditional broadcasting, and they realize they can see Mr. Fallon’s best comedy bits the next day on YouTube.

Even with potent competition for younger viewers all over cable, from the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central and Mr. O’Brien on TBS, the host NBC is clearly most concerned about is Mr. Kimmel, who is 46. (The only female host in late-night is Chelsea Handler, 38, on E!) Mr. Fallon has posted steadily climbing ratings recently, but one underacknowledged reason NBC pushed for the change to occur now is that its executives did not want Mr. Kimmel to settle in for too long, taking the competition to the new platforms of online videos and social media. Adding Seth Meyers, 40, as the new “Late Night” host is another NBC move to reassert its late-night block as a continuing franchise, ready to continue its decades of dominance.

But change is always risky, and by almost every estimation, NBC is getting a different kind of host with Mr. Fallon, one who brings talents both new and old to the job.

The new is obvious: He has already moved aggressively to take advantage of the increasing importance of Internet viewing of bits from late-night shows. Like Mr. Kimmel and Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Fallon has broken though with widely watched videos, like his recent “Born to Run” parody with Bruce Springsteen about Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic fiasco. It has had about four million views. That’s modest by Mr. Fallon’s standards. “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” with Michelle Obama is up to 17 million views. And a conversation with his pal Justin Timberlake, all in hashtags, has 21 million.

Mr. Fallon likes extending the shelf life of his best bits on YouTube. It reminds him of his “SNL”-obsessed childhood when he would take a VHS tape of favorite sketches to friends’ houses to play for them. “I was like a human YouTube,” Mr. Fallon said. “I was You-Man Tube.”

But he said he did not want the show to divert itself into a studio for Internet videos. It is unclear whether the videos provide a net gain by building awareness of shows, or a new loss, because viewers know they can see what they like online.

It’s still all about the television show, he said, which is where the old part comes in.

Given the range of his talents — singing, guitar playing, impressions, sketches — the big shift in a Jimmy Fallon “Tonight Show” would seem to be toward a variety show rather than stand-up-based comedy. Mr. Michaels said, “Jimmy is by no means a pure stand-up, far from it.”

Mr. Michaels made a connection to a venerable chapter of show business history, likening Mr. Fallon and Mr. Timberlake to Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. “When you see Jimmy and Justin performing on his show or ‘SNL,’ you’re going back to another time, when they were making those kinds of shows and movies. They would have been huge stars, just because they can sing and dance and do jokes.”

Mr. Fallon accepts the comparison: “What I do is more a variety show. It’s always been older in style. I’m an old soul.” His favorite channel on Sirius XM satellite radio is one with big-band era music, the ’40s on 4. “It will be a new take, but the show will have an old soul.”

Specifically, he feels linked to the first “Tonight” host, Steve Allen, who featured humor and music but also wild and silly stunts like climbing into a bowl of banana splits. “I would love for Steve Allen to still be around,” Mr. Fallon said, “because I think he would say, ‘This guy gets it.’ ”

Mr. Fallon acknowledged that his “Tonight” will not be a place to go — at least initially — for hard-hitting interviews with politicians or celebrities dealing with some unpleasantness. When President Obama and Mitt Romney were his guests, Mr. Fallon had them “slow jam the news,” one of his signature bits. If that means taking criticism for soft interviews, Mr. Fallon said, so be it.

“Other people do that better,” Mr. Fallon said. “I leave that to Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey. The political stuff? Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, they have it. And Stephen Colbert, who is an animal. He’s amazing. Those guys are good at it. I don’t want to mess with that.”

Of course, Johnny Carson, host of “Tonight” from 1962 to ’92, had to deal with Vietnam; Mr. Leno and Mr. Letterman had to deal with Sept. 11. Things will happen, and “Tonight” will inevitably be drawn in.

For that reason, Mr. Fallon recently began extending his monologues on “Late Night” and will extend them more on “Tonight,” though Mr. Michaels noted that one difference would involve inserting news clips to illustrate the humor.

And of course Mr. Fallon still breaks himself up with his jokes. “That’s another difference,” Mr. Michaels said. “Jimmy is enjoying the jokes.”

Will they both enjoy the pressure that is sure to come? They understand the stakes, especially after NBC’s quick leap to the panic button when Mr. O’Brien didn’t immediately retain the Leno-size audience.

“We’re both determined to win,” Mr. Michaels said. “Not so much the ratings, but just to restore and make that show important.” He said he expected a predictably big first night on Monday: “And right after the premiere comes Tuesday. And then there’s another show.” Fortunately, he said, Mr. Timberlake will arrive on Friday as a guest, which creates another event to bookend the first week.

Mr. Fallon is trying to shrug off the pressure. “I don’t think we have to win,” he said. “I just think we have to keep doing better.”

He did acknowledge that there was a primary measuring stick for this new-generation “Tonight Show.” “I think Kimmel is going to be my main competitor,” Mr. Fallon said. “It’s a friendly rivalry, it really is. I needed someone to compete against me, to make me want to be sharper. Jimmy makes me want to be better.”

A winner is harder than ever to determine officially because viewers, especially younger ones, watch entertainment in such different ways now. With “Late Night,” a show that started at 12:35 a.m. (really more like 12:37 a.m.), Mr. Fallon said he told people that he understood it was difficult to stay up that late. He even set up his parents’ DVR so they could see him the next day.

“Now they have no excuse,” he said. “They better stay up — 11:30 is not that late. You can do it now, Mom and Dad. And in Chicago, people really have no excuse — 10:30? Come on, people. There is no excuse. Local news, ‘The Tonight Show.’ That’s the way your life should work. Here’s your schedule. Let’s do this for the next 20 years.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/arts/television/nbc-hopes-jimmy-fallon-brings-younger-viewers-to-tonight.html?ref=television
post #92424 of 93688
Fallon is awesome! I hope he doesn't change a thing. Most of his bits are geared towards my age group (30s), which I love.
post #92425 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
Bullish on Boyish
NBC Hopes Jimmy Fallon Brings Younger Viewers to ‘Tonight’
By Bill Carter, The New York Times - Feb. 16, 2014

In 2004, as Jimmy Fallon was leaving “Saturday Night Live” after a six-year run creating sketch characters and sharing the “Weekend Update” desk with Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels floated an idea.

Mr. Michaels, Mr. Fallon’s patron at “SNL” and the show’s executive producer, had a hunch that this comedian’s future did not lie in Hollywood and movies, which he wanted to pursue, but on a traditional late-night talk show. {...snip}

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/arts/television/nbc-hopes-jimmy-fallon-brings-younger-viewers-to-tonight.html?ref=television

The author used "Mr." 60 times in the above article. Clutter.
post #92426 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
'Broad City' Is The Best New Show You're Not Watching
By Jessica Goodman, HuffingtonPost.com - Feb. 14, 2014

Not all TV shows about white girls in Brooklyn are created equal. Some land on HBO and inspire thousands of words worth of think-pieces. Others, instead, nuzzle into a Wednesday night time slot on Comedy Central, right after cult hit "Workaholics," and coin phrases like "p--sy weed."

"Broad City" (obviously the latter) is Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's bizarre baby. The comedians met while taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade, and started "Broad City" as a web series while working their fair share of dumpy jobs. They made the move from YouTube to Comedy Central, picked up Amy Poehler as an executive producer and attracted big name guest stars like Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo and Rachel Dratch.

Jacobson and Glazer play heightened versions of themselves, twenty-somethings also named Abbi and Ilana, who scrape together money for Lil Wayne tickets and define being a grown-up as buying their own weed. (It should be noted that Abbi does not live in Brooklyn. She lives with a never-seen roommate and her roommate's disgusting video game-playing boyfriend in Astoria, Queens.) Together, they muck through horrible service jobs -- Abbi works at an Equinox/ Soul Cycle parody called Soulstice where she's forced to wear a shirt that says "CLEANER" -- vomit up stolen booze and trek to the ends of the city to pick up packages for hot neighbors.

Jacobson and Glazer find a comfort in one another you don't often see on television, due to years crafting their bit together. Through Skype calls and unforced hang time in Subway cars and restaurants, viewers are let into that easy friendship. In the series' opening scene, Abbi and Ilana Skype while Ilana has sex with her on-again-off-again dentist boyfriend, played by Hannibal Buress, who simply slays in the role. Then, Abbi and Ilana most definitely become the boss bitches they are in their minds.

Each half-hour is a breath of fresh air for Comedy Central and funny television in general. It's a welcome departure from the dozens of shows that proclaim, "Look at me! I'm a real version of YOU." But then again, "Broad City" isn't trying to be an accurate reflection of your life. It's just trying to be "Broad City," and it's doing that damn well.

"Broad City" debuted on Jan. 22. It airs Wednesdays, 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-goodman/broad-city-best-new-show_b_4776073.html?utm_hp_ref=tv&ir=TV

I am watching and I love this show.
post #92427 of 93688
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
‘Snake Salvation’ Reality Star Dies of Snake Bite
By Variety.com Staff - Feb. 16, 2014

Jamie Coots, a Pentacostal preacher at a snake-handling church in Middleboro, Ky. turned reality TV star, died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.

Coots (pictured center) was one of two pastors featured on the National Geographic TV series “Snake Salvation,” about the practice of snake handling at a sect of Christian churches, mostly in Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee, where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.

“Snake Salvation” bowed last year on Nat Geo TV. The status of the show was unclear Sunday; Nat Geo TV reps did not immediately respond to request for comment on Coots’ death.

Coots’ death was reported Sunday by the website of Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/jamie-coots-pastor-and-star-of-nat-geo-tvs-snake-salvation-dies-of-snake-bite-1201107704/
Quote:
....where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes....

eek.gif WHere do they find these people? Well I guess you have to give him props for actually believing it. Still seems kind of pointless though since his death could have been prevented if had just gotten the medical treatment.
post #92428 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
'House of Cards' returns on Netflix
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Blog

Netflix's "House of Cards" garnered a lot of attention out of the gate last year because it was the first streaming series to equal in style and presentation the type of scripted dramas on HBO and AMC. "House of Cards" had a respected pedigree in star Kevin Spacey and the original British miniseries it was based on.

But through its first season (season one SPOILER ALERT for the next couple of paragraphs), "House of Cards" proved to be somewhat less than the sum of its parts. That's not to say it's a bad show, just not quite as groundbreaking, beyond its then-unique delivery system, as it first appeared.

The show did not lose me when Congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood (Mr. Spacey) turned into a murderer -- although that, too, was a bit much -- but did when the vice president of the United States quit his job to run for governor of Pennsylvania again. Say what you will about the prestige or lack thereof of the vice presidency, but that particular plot twist was just too unbelievable. Up to that point, "House of Cards" operated in a heightened but generally realistic universe; with that plot turn the show devolved into a melodramatic soap opera. Again, nothing wrong with that; it's just not as respectable as a realistic soap opera.

(The too-long, aimless plot about Frank's wife, Claire, and her dalliance with a New York artist also undercut the strength of the character so well played by a perma-frosty Robin Wright.)

Season two picks up right where season one ended as Frank and Claire continue their jog home, and Frank begins to sweat the details that reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) might uncover about his role in the death of Congressman Peter Russo.

"Let's start this chapter with a clean slate," Frank tells Zoe. As usual, Frank finds a way to get what he wants.

Meanwhile, vicious Claire prepares to ascend to her new job as wife of the vice president. So she threatens a pregnant former underling at the Clean Water Initiative whose health insurance she cut off, separating her from a life-sustaining drug. ("I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside of you," Claire says.)

Written by executive producer Beau Willimon, the season two premiere -- debuting today on Netflix along with the 12 other episodes that comprise the second season -- offers no reminders of season one. The episode just dives back into the fast-moving plot, which may take some forgetful viewers a little time to catch up.

New stories kick off, too, including Frank's efforts to install his own successor as House majority whip through his usual manipulative machinations.

Molly Parker plays Frank's hand-picked replacement, and at first her character seems like a convenient, controllable choice. But episode by episode, she begins to emerge as a power broker in her own right who might someday be capable of turning on Frank.

Mr. Willimon does not rest on his laurels, getting Frank installed as VP in episode two ("Not the most inspiring choice for a vice president," opines Rachel Maddow), but he does pull back on the amount of Frank's direct address to the camera. It's almost absent from the premiere until a funny moment toward the episode's end that allows Frank to comment on some viewers' dislike of the device.
................

I've been really enjoying Season 2. I've watched the first six episodes so far and am looking forward to the seven that are left for me to watch.
post #92429 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post


eek.gif WHere do they find these people? Well I guess you have to give him props for actually believing it. Still seems kind of pointless though since his death could have been prevented if had just gotten the medical treatment.
I'm glad he didn't, who wants that guy spreading his DNA any further than he has already? He was an ignorant idiot, he's now dead, good riddance.
post #92430 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Still seems kind of pointless though since his death could have been prevented if had just gotten the medical treatment.

A miracle could have occurred. However, God was busy helping John Wall win the NBA dunk contest. Priorities.
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