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post #7771 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 11:43 AM
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Media can't be bothered with learning the difference between an O&O and affiliate. It would muddle their brains of which many don't possess enough to lose any.
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post #7772 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Keenan View Post
Also, the below could be misunderstood by the uniformed,



Yes, CBS owns the stations in all those markets, but to put that sentence right after the one that talks about the Cablevison streaming makes it sound as if viewers in all those cities also have the ability to stream CBS content.

Unless I've missed something, the streaming being discussed in the article is only available in Cablevision markets, which I believe is only the New York city area and maybe Philadelphia?
I read it to mean when traveling Cablevision customers, like myself, can access the stream in those cities only. So if in Atlanta I can't watch CBS on my phone but I could in Chicago. With all of the other streaming agreements Cablevision has I can watch them wherever I am.
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post #7773 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Business Notes (Broadcast)
Paul Lee Resigns as ABC Entertainment Chief; Successor Named
By Brooks Barnes, The New York Times - Feb. 17, 2016

LOS ANGELES — ABC’s entertainment president, Paul Lee, who found hits like “How to Get Away With Murder” and led an industry push toward more diverse casting, resigned on Wednesday after losing a struggle over the network’s direction with a higher-ranking executive.

Mr. Lee’s departure was orchestrated by Ben Sherwood, chairman of the Disney-ABC Television Group, who became Mr. Lee’s boss early last year. Mr. Sherwood, who disagreed with Mr. Lee over programming choices and future strategy, has used ABC’s soft standing in the overall ratings race to make a case inside Disney for a management shake-up at the network.

ABC announced that Mr. Lee would be succeeded by Channing Dungey, who becomes the first black president of a major broadcast network. Ms. Dungey has been the network’s executive vice president for drama development, movies and mini-series, where she was closely involved with shows like “Scandal” and “American Crime.”

In addition to overseeing ABC’s prime-time schedule, Mr. Lee was in charge of the network’s sister production studio, ABC Studios. Patrick Moran, an ABC executive vice president, will now step into that role and report to Mr. Sherwood, the network announced.

“Leading ABC has been a fantastic experience,” Mr. Lee said in a statement. “I’m especially proud of the incredible team I built and the strategic, creative vision we established and successfully executed for both the network and studio.”

Mr. Lee and Mr. Sherwood have repeatedly clashed over control of ABC’s creative pipeline. Mr. Sherwood, whose background is in television news, wanted to be more involved in ABC’s affairs than Mr. Lee allowed. Mr. Sherwood also wanted ABC to focus more on CBS-style procedural crime series like “N.C.I.S.,” while Mr. Lee continued to back serialized dramas like “Scandal” and “American Crime.”

While the Oxford-educated Mr. Lee consistently found new hits, including the comedy “Black-ish” and the drama “Quantico,” he had a difficult time finding a ratings success of the caliber of Fox’s “Empire,” one with the power to improve the network’s overall standing greatly.

Among the big four broadcast networks, ABC ranks third among total viewers and last among ages 18 to 49 — a demographic that advertisers pay a premium to reach — for the season that started in September, according to Nielsen data.

For the most recent quarter, Disney’s broadcasting division, which includes ABC and a chain of eight local television stations, had operating income of $223 million, a 7 percent decline from a year earlier, as higher programming costs and a loss related to Hulu offset higher advertising sales.

Mr. Lee’s departure comes as ABC prepares to introduce several new series, including “The Catch,” another drama from Shonda Rhimes, who is responsible for “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” as well as a promising comedy called “The Real O’Neals,” about a Catholic family that stops pretending to be perfect and embraces its uniqueness.

ABC is also hurtling toward the television industry’s traditional pilot season, when starter episodes of potential new series are made.

Mr. Lee became president of the ABC Entertainment Group in July 2010 after a successful tenure as the overseer of ABC Family, a cable channel that was recently renamed Freeform. Born in Britain, Mr. Lee previously served in top jobs at the BBC.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/bu...ment.html?_r=0
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post #7774 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Business Notes/Opinion
Cable Prices Are Rising at 4 Times the Rate of Inflation
By Alicia Adamczyk, TIME.com's 'Everyday Money' Column - Feb. 17, 2016

Need another reason to complain about your cable provider and finally cut the cord? It seems the companies are all too happy to oblige.

The Federal Communications Commission reported back in 2014 that the average monthly price of expanded basic service (which the FCC defines as the most popular cable package) increased by 5.1% to $64.41 in 2012, compared to a 1.6% annual increase in the Consumer Price Index. From 1995 to 2013, the price for the same package increased at an average annual rate of 6.1%, compared to a 2.4% CPI growth.

But it’s actually even worse than it sounds, according to Cut Cable Today (yes, not necessarily the most un-biased source). Citing numbers from Leichtman Research Group in a post that’s lit Reddit users on fire, the site notes that the actual average price for cable (not just the cost of the most popular package) now stands just below $100, an increase of about 8% per year since 2010. Meanwhile, the U.S. inflation rate was just 2.3% for the same time period.

With the average inflation rate for those same five years at just over 2%, that puts the rising price of cable at almost four times the rate of inflation.

Don’t expect things to be any better this year: DirecTV and AT&T’s Uverse (now one and the same) announced at the end of 2015 that they are jacking up prices, ranging anywhere from $2 to $8 per month, while Time Warner customers could see rates sky-rocket by as much as $10 per month. Comcast too is raising rates by 3.9%, on average.

Oh, and prices for modems (and modems you don’t even own), remote controls, data caps, DVR services, and other hardware are also increasing steadily according to the FCC, along with your blood pressure.

CutCableToday.com notes that “if cable prices increased consistently with the U.S. inflation rate over the past 18 years, you’d be paying $35 a month for about 165 channels and there would likely be a lot less cord cutting going on.” Don’t want to give Comcast or DirecTV another chance? Here’s how you can cut the cord for good, without missing any of your favorite shows.

http://time.com/money/4227133/cable-.../?xid=homepage
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post #7775 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RemyM View Post
I read it to mean when traveling Cablevision customers, like myself, can access the stream in those cities only. So if in Atlanta I can't watch CBS on my phone but I could in Chicago. With all of the other streaming agreements Cablevision has I can watch them wherever I am.
Ah, yes that could be, I guess we'll have to wait and see if a Cablevision sub confirms that it does indeed work in those markets.
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post #7776 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by grittree View Post
Would this article been more appropriate?
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment...iends-co-host/
Yeah, and I got a kick out of all the comments about short skirts. Like I read Playboy for the articles, I watch F&F for the news.

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post #7777 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:47 PM
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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Unforgettable’ Canceled: No Season 5
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 16, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: After cheating death twice, crime drama Unforgettable has finally come to an end.
All I can say, politely, is CRAP!
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post #7778 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 01:47 PM
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Many small TV stations may soon be forced off the air

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...217-story.html

I really ought to act more like a woman of my advancing years, but I’m growing old disgracefully.
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post #7779 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 02:48 PM
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That's bullcrap (excuse my language), because it's only going to benefit the already greedy (AT&Pee, Verizon, etc)..
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post #7780 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 08:34 PM
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There may be some LPTV stations that have interesting programming, but the few LPTV stations that I've seen seem to just show a whole lot of infomercials.
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post #7781 of 30980 Old 02-17-2016, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Without delving into the particulars (And dad can correct me if needed) the ability to repost entire articles on HOTP comes with a price.. .
In all fairness, the article at the USA today site had links that led to videos that put the quotations into a fuller context that would allow the reader to determine for himself whether F&F is worthy of the derision. USA Today reports, you decide.
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post #7782 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^ Per Fredfa's instructions, as long as we post a link to the original article and we credit the news organization/writer we're OK. If the parties involved want us to stop virtually re-printing their article they can either ask us or send a cease and desist letter to AVS Forum, and we'd comply immediately. That's the reason we don't (and ask readers not to) post links to Associated Press articles. Every other news source so far is fair game.
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post #7783 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
‘Better Call Saul’ Ratings Return Down Against Grammys; Viewership Steady With Season 1 Finale
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Feb. 17, 2016

The AMC series about the man who will become the slippery Saul Goodman was back on Monday for its second season and the results were unsurprisingly mixed for Better Call Saul.

With 2.57 million viewers and a 1.06 rating in the 18-49 demo, the drama’s sophomore opener was down 23% and 33% from its Monday time slot debut of a non-President’s Day February 9 last year. Unlike it’s 2015 Monday opener, the Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould created Breaking Bad prequel of sorts had not just a holiday to contend with but some heavy competition on broadcast with the declining but still ratings packing Grammy Awards on CBS this year.

However, finale-to-debut, Monday’s BCS was up a tad in viewership from its Season 1 ender of April 6 last year. That “Marco” episode drew in an audience of 2.53 million. In the key demo, the S2 debut was down from the S1 finale by 12%

Compared directly to its Season 1 premiere, which was on a Sunday, the February 15 Season 2 debut was always going to be down, significantly. The February 8 BCS S1 opener had 6.88 million viewers and a 3.4 rating. Unlike that cable record busting February 8 opener, the S2 start of BCS didn’t have the ratings Atlas rocket boosters of The Walking Dead as a lead-in.

Now, AMC like to deal in Live + 3 not Live + Same Day numbers so we’ll have to wait until early next week to hear from them on the BCS S2 start.

As a point of reference, with the 3-day digital time shifting viewing, the February 8 debut of BCS ended up with drew 9.8 million total viewers. That was a 42% jump from the Live + SD numbers. In delayed viewing, BCS’s opener had a 40% leap among the 18-49s to 6.1 million viewers, a cable record at the time. With 5.8 million in total viewers, the Monday February 9 airing was up 69% from its Live + SD numbers and rose 76% among the 18-49s to 3.6 million.

http://deadline.com/2016/02/better-c...ut-1201703368/
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post #7784 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Media/Business Notes
How Chris Hardwick Turned His Frustration into a Media Empire
By Kia Kokalitcheva, Fortune.com - Feb. 18, 2016

When comedian and television host Chris Hardwick leaped into entrepreneurship several years ago to build what is now geek media company Nerdist Industries, it felt like second nature.

“Inherently, standups are entrepreneurial,” he tells Fortune in a phone interview on a busy Saturday. Much like traditional entrepreneurs, standup comedians interact directly with their audience—the customers—and rely on themselves to achieve success, he explains.

Today, Hardwick, who’s been in the entertainment business for more than two decades and whose resume includes everything from hosting television and radio shows, to standup comedy, is the chief executive officer of his media company, Nerdist Industries. Thanks to a loyal following built over a few years, especially thanks to the Nerdist Podcast, Hardwick sold the company to Legendary Entertainment in 2012.

But the story of Nerdist goes back to 2007, a time during which Hardwick says he was essentially not working and in need of direction for his career and life. According to him, he woke up one morning, and decided he finally wanted to channel his life-long interests in science, technology, and all things geek into his work.

“I had zero career prospects and I was waking up in the middle of the night with the crushing foot of the universe on my chest,” he recalls. “I had been emotionally crapping my pants for a while.”

To get his career back on track, Hardwick told his manager he was only interested in jobs related to science, technology, or otherwise “nerd” topics—areas of interest his parents supported and helped him nourish while he was growing up. First up, was a job hosting a video show for Wired and PBS.

Though his company is best-known for the Nerdist Podcast, which today has almost 800 episodes and garners 6.9 million monthly downloads, the first Nerdist-branded project was actually a reimagining of the professional websites he saw from other entertainers. They usually contained information important to their fans, like tour dates and locations, but Hardwick found them boring and static, and failing to keep fans coming constantly coming back.

At that time, Hardwick had already spent roughly a year in his newfound career as a science and technology video host and writer, and was gaining a growing appreciation and understanding for digital media. So he decided to build a website where he could collect all of his work for other companies about geeky topics, and where his fans could continuously find new content from him.

“Somehow, ‘Nerdist’ was available on all Internet places,” says Hardwick as he remembers his surprise that he could register the brand name on all digital platforms, from the web domain to the Twitter handle.

Two years later came the Nerdist Podcast, his company’s crown jewel, which was born out of a yearning that is all too familiar to most entrepreneurs: to gain control over his professional destiny.

As Hardwick tells it, in 2010 he came once again face-to-face with the lack of control many entertainers have over their careers when they lose out on jobs or projects fall through. Hardwick had been looking forward to taking over the hosting duties of a television show on E!, one he says he was perfect for, but last-minute changes left him without the gig, devastated, and frustrated. To cope, he decided to create his podcast, something he could do himself and that would be entirely under his direction (at the time).

“It’s going to be mine, and no one can tell me what to do with it,” he laughs, recalling how he felt when he decided to start recording his own podcast. “A lot of the things I’ve done are a result of frustration with the business,” he adds.

Even in those years, from 2007 to 2010, content for niche audiences was thought of as limited because it had a small audience. Those potential fans were negligible because there were so few of them, he explains. But Hardwick stuck with his interests—and his fans.

Since then, Hardwick has grown Nerdist into a small media empire, which now includes a variety of podcasts, videos, online articles, and even events, and over the years he’s inked deals with the likes of AMC, among many others. In 2011, Hardwick published The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life), and his company merged with geek newsletter publisher GeekChicDaily. The following year, he struck a deal with Legendary Entertainment and sold the company. He’s since also started Puny, an interactive entertainment company, whose series Danger & Eggs was recently picked up by Amazon, and continues to host and produce television shows on major cable networks.

Though Nerdist is quite unique in the topics and interests it covers, a growing number of celebrities and entertainers are using similar approaches when it comes to their own business ventures. Kim Kardashian, for example, has harnessed her fans’ enthusiasm through social media, releasing a video game and mobile app that lets them role play and consume even more content she produces. Another fellow entertainer, Chelsea Handler, recently co-designed a mobile app that lets users set up notifications for fake excuses as part of a documentary she filmed for Netflix. The app her co-creators describe its function as solving “a very Chelsea Handler problem.”

“I used to think that a company had to come along and hire me,” he says of the many years he spent working in entertainment before changing his tune. “To me, success is being happy doing what you’re doing.”

http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/chris-hardwick-nerdist/
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post #7785 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:33 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Critic's Notes (Analysis)
Paul Lee’s Exit and What Went Wrong at ABC This Season
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Feb. 17, 2016

Just-ousted ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee spent much of his nearly six years at the network preaching the gospel of “sticky” programming — shows that permeate the pop culture past prime time, generating viewer loyalty and engagement not fully measured by their overnight Nielsen numbers. It’s not that Lee gave up looking for big audiences; he just argued that broadcast networks needed to be more cablelike in choosing series with the ability to resonate beyond any given time slot. For much of his reign, the strategy worked: Factoring out sports and focusing just on scripted series, Lee’s ABC — with buzzy fare such as Scandal, Once Upon a Time, and Black-ish — regularly competed for first in prime time among key demographics and boasted a heavy concentration of the upscale (read: rich) viewers advertisers love. ABC seemed to be a model for how a broadcast network could shine in a world of 400-plus scripted shows. And then came the season from hell.

It can’t be overstated just how much has gone wrong for ABC since the 2015–16 TV season began last September. Save for Sunday freshman Quantico, the Disney-owned network struck out with its new series orders. Subpar Dallas karaoke Blood & Oil lasted just a few weeks before getting the hook. After big-budget biblical epic Of Kings and Prophets was mysteriously pushed from its planned fall launch, the network had to scramble to get serial-murderer mystery Wicked City on the air; it promptly flopped. ABC also (intentionally) rushed its promising reboot of The Muppets, moving from pitch to series in barely six months. The result: After a huge premiere, ratings dropped as audiences rejected a show whose producers clearly hadn’t had the time to fix a number of inherent flaws. ABC then doubled down on the dumb by hiring a new showrunner for Muppets and making her rush a reboot of the reboot earlier this month. Viewers didn’t even show up to check out the changes. Lee was no doubt under enormous pressure to make a big Disney property work, particularly since the presence of The Muppets on ABC’s fourth-quarter schedule helped build advertiser buzz for the network’s fall schedule. But rushing was ultimately a big mistake.

Beyond a weak crop of new development, this season has also been a hellscape of disturbing declines in ratings for a slew of established ABC hits. While the Rhimes-produced TGIT block still works as a whole, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder are down 15 percent and 27 percent, respectively, this season. These declines aren’t disastrous — particularly given the nearly universal declines hitting network TV of late — but they’re a sign that even the mighty Rhimes isn’t immune to the forces of gravity. More worrisome is the big year-to-year drop for long-reliable procedural Castle: After finally hitching its two leads, the show has lost nearly one-third of its under-50 audience this season. And ABC can’t be happy about the unexpectedly large viewership dive for the usually stable Sunday night anchor America’s Funniest Home Videos, which has shed a quarter of its young-adult audience since replacing longtime host Tom Bergeron. Once Upon a Time has also taken a massive hit, though that’s partially because last year’s numbers were inflated by a hugely popular Frozen-related story line.

Then, most recently, there’s been the audience reaction to three sophomore series Lee optimistically renewed last spring with the hope they’d be able to build viewership with a little more time: Marvel’s Agent Carter, Galavant, and American Crime. Rather than grow or at least stabilize, Carter and Galavant have lost fully half of the already small number of viewers they averaged a year ago, and are also certainly destined for cancellation. And while Crime is doing a bit better — it’s down 25 percent, with some of that erosion due to no longer having the advantage of a Scandal lead-in— it hasn’t (yet) capitalized on rhapsodic reviews and its season-one Emmy wins.

All three shows have been hurt by the fact that they returned in January, when ABC was in the middle of what it calls its “gap” months — that time when big guns such as the TGIT dramas and Dancing With the Stars are off the air. Overall ratings for ABC plunged in December and January, which meant many viewers probably had no idea the sophomore shows were back. Lee can be criticized for not having a good plan in place for managing these gap months, but, really, all networks are struggling to make sense of the new realities of scheduling. Reruns don’t work anymore, shows are producing fewer original episodes, and audiences like to binge-watch some shows. A bigger, more valid critique of Lee was that he renewed perhaps one too many of his favorite low-rated shows. The auspices and reviews for American Crime made a second season a smart choice, but bringing back both Galavant and Agent Carter when neither did all that well last year? That seemed … odd.

The New York Times, which broke the news of Lee’s departure, reported that he and his boss, Disney-ABC TV group chairman Ben Sherwood, clashed over Sherwood’s desire to see ABC program fewer “sticky” shows and a few more meat-and-potatoes hours. (The Wall Street Journal hinted at a similar struggle last month.) And indeed, ABC’s biggest shortcoming right now is the lack of even a single hit procedural drama, along the lines of NBC’s Chicago hours or CBS’s multiple cop franchises. Castle filled this role ably for many years but clearly is coming to the end of its natural life. ABC actually had a promising procedural last season — Forever — but it killed it mostly because the show was produced by a non-Disney studio (which means the Alphabet didn’t stand to share in any long-term profits). It’s completely understandable that ABC has been focused on duplicating the Rhimes-perfected formula of sexy, serialized, and, yes, “sticky” storytelling with shows such as Quantico, Secrets and Lies, and, possibly, the upcoming thriller The Family. But there’s also something to be said for the more traditional case-of-the-week form of TV, particularly since such shows don’t have to take off months at a time and can draw in viewers who haven’t seen every single episode. If Sherwood really did make this case, it’s hard not to agree with him.

Still, despite being hit by a perfect storm of awfulness since the fall, there’s also a very strong argument to be made that ABC under Lee has actually performed very well, particularly in this era of audience erosion and the shift to nonlinear viewing via streaming and DVRs. Thanks to Lee, ABC either established or improved upon several major centers of strength in its schedule:

• Shonda Rhimes’s Thursday dramas, despite experiencing some turbulence of late, remain a collective juggernaut among younger women. Scheduling them together under the TGIT banner was a genius move, and the marketing of the night has been brilliant.

• ABC retains what is by far the most successful night of broad-appeal comedy on TV with its Wednesday block of half-hours. Its family-comedy brand has only gotten stronger with 2015 mid-season addition Fresh Off the Boat, which has established a beachhead on Tuesday nights. True, Modern Family continues to fade, but like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, it’s still a huge hit. And, unlike the Eye’s non-TBBT comedies, the rest of ABC’s Wednesday comedies are all big, healthy hits that make sense together. Lee pushed to make ABC’s comedies reflect America’s diversity, and it has paid off handsomely. (Of course, he also killed Cristela, Happy Endings, and Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 way too soon. #NeverForget.)

• Sunday night’s Quantico was arguably the most successful new series launch last fall, rocketing into Nielsen’s top 20 among adults under 50 without the benefit of a big lead-in. (NBC’s Blindspot has a bigger audience, but it’s also gotten a boost from following The Voice.)

• On Mondays, Dancing With Stars draws big (albeit older) audiences in the fall, while The Bachelor attracts millennial eyeballs in droves. Both franchises predate Lee, of course. But he and his team have arguably helped strengthen them and extended their runs.

• And over the summer, ABC shocked the TV industry with the massive success of the Steve Harvey–hosted Celebrity Family Feud, one of the few new unscripted hits to be launched by a broadcast network in recent years. After a misguided attempt to rebrand ABC’s reality division by bringing in a former E! network executive, Lee deserves credit for giving current ABC unscripted boss Robert Mills the freedom to go after broader audiences. It’s worked.

Given the many positive accomplishments that can be credited to Lee over his five-and-a-half-year run at the network, his ouster Wednesday seems likely to end being seen as less about his record at producing results and more about a personality clash with Sherwood. Disney in general, and the ABC TV Group in particular, are known for their incredibly cutthroat corporate cultures. The man Lee replaced, former ABC boss Steve McPherson, was forever battling his boss, Anne Sweeney, who herself ended up “resigning” and was replaced by … Sherwood. While ABC’s recent bad run of luck can’t be entirely dismissed, it seems Lee’s ultimate undoing was the result not of a bad development season, but rather an inability to manage up.

http://www.vulture.com/2016/02/paul-...ent-wrong.html
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post #7786 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports/Media Notes (Digital)
Code/Media: ESPN Exploring Streaming Deals With Amazon, Others
By Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 17, 2016

ESPN as a standalone streaming service isn't happening anytime soon, but that doesn't mean sports fans won't be able to watch the big game on outlets like Dish, Apple TV or Amazon in the future.

John Skipper, the sports giant's president, is facing increased pressure to move the network to other outlets as a way to combat a loss of subscribers. He says more ESPN streaming is coming as an increasing number of Americans cut the cable cord and look for more inexpensive ways to watch programming.

"We can sell ESPN as a standalone product but we do not believe it to be, right now, a good business," Skipper told the audience at the Code/Media 2016 conference late Wednesday.

Skipper explained that ESPN is satisfied with the early performance of Dish's SlingTV, where the network offers some of its programming. He added that he is having further talks with the $20-a-month service about "creating other multi-stream products" for SlingTV that would be different than what ESPN offers on TV but "would narrow the differential" between the two offerings.

With prodding, he also acknowledged that ESPN is speaking with other potential new entrants into the streaming space that are exploring "putting similar products in the market," including Amazon. But when asked about Apple, all Skipper would say is that the iPhone maker "understands the value of our content."

He detailed that these streaming partnerships are a way to create "entry packages" to introduce potential new subscribers to ESPN. "Our concern is whether or not we're getting new subscribers," Skipper says of SlingTV.

Losses at ESPN parent company The Walt Disney Co. set off a media stock slump last summer when CEO Bob Iger hinted at slow growth among its media properties, including ESPN. Then, late last year, Disney revealed that ESPN had lost 7 million subscribers over the last two years. The situation brightened in February when Iger announced an "uptick" in subscribers at ESPN without giving specifics.

Even so, Skipper will need to find new options to get the sports giant's programming in front of new audiences. He came out swinging during his talk at the tech and media conference, noting right away that "ESPN is not a drag" on Disney. "We have a very good hand to play in navigating the future."

When asked about the subscriber losses that ESPN has faced, he acknowledged that they have come to some extend from cord cutting or the move to lower cost cable packages. "The current landscape does not particularly surprise us," he said, noting that revenue will continue to grow because ESPN will increase it affiliate fees.

So if ESPN isn't launching a standalone service, what is it doing to innovate?

The cable company ended its relationship with Bill Simmons and shuttered Grantland last year, a decision that Skipper declined to discuss ("The Bill Simmons territory might be the most-plowed territory on the face of the earth."). Now, ESPN is launching The Undefeated, a site that will be focused on race, culture and sports. "African Americans are an important part of our constituency," Skipper says. "They watch a lot of sports. I believe we have to be their home, that we have to represent their interests."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...g-deals-867230
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post #7787 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Fewer followers for ‘The Walking Dead’
It's still a huge smash, nearly doubling broadcast's top 18-49 show
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 18, 2016

Yes, “The Walking Dead” remains a phenomenon, well ahead of any other scripted show on television.

But it’s clearly peaked.

The drama drew huge numbers for the premiere of the second half of its sixth season on Sunday night on AMC, averaging 13.7 million total viewers, including 8.6 million adults 18-49, according to Nielsen.

Among 18-49s, that’s a 6.8 rating, or three full points ahead of the highest-rated program on broadcast last week, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” which averaged a 3.8.

So clearly “Dead” still has a lot of kick.

Yet the show’s numbers are notably declining. This marked the least-watched season premiere for the show since the second half of season three, when it averaged 12.3 million.

Ditto for 18-49s, where it was also the least-watched since season three’s second half pulled 7.7 million in the demo.

It marked the third straight decline for a season premiere, including fall’s season six debut and the second half of season five last February.

Granted, they are down from record-setting numbers. “Dead” peaked with 17.3 million total viewers, including 11 million 18-49s, for its fifth season debut.

Those marked all-time cable records for a drama.

So what’s this mean? Only that “Dead’s” best numbers are behind it.

The drama will stay atop the cable charts for another few seasons at least, and there’s nothing on broadcast capable of challenging it for top scripted show.

It’s merely a reminder that no phenomenon can keep up its outrageous numbers forever.

* * * *

In cable ratings for the week ended Feb. 14:

Top five networks in primetime (18-49s):
TNT, AMC, FX, TBS, USA.

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers): Fox News Channel, TNT, AMC, USA, HGTV.

Top five total-day networks (total viewers): Fox News Channel, Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, Disney Channel, HGTV.

Top cable news networks in primetime (total viewers): Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, HLN, FBN, Al Jazeera America.

Top five cable news programs (total viewers): 1. Fox News Channel’s "America’s Election Headquarters" (Tuesday, 9 p.m.); 2. Fox News Channel’s "America’s Election Headquarters" (Tuesday, 8 p.m.); 3. CNN’s "Democratic Debate" (Thursday, 9 p.m.); 4. Fox News Channel’s "America’s Election Headquarters" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.); 5. Fox News Channel’s "The O’Reilly Factor" (Monday, 8 p.m.)

Top movie (total viewers): Disney Channel’s "Frozen," (Sunday, 7 p.m.) 3.89 million.

Top sporting event (total viewers): TNT’s "NBA All-Star Game" (Sunday, 8:40 p.m.) 6.18 million.

Show on the rise: Fox News Channel’s "The O’Reilly Factor," Monday, 8 p.m. The news show averaged 3.68 million total viewers for its Monday edition, up 9 percent from 3.39 million for the previous week’s most-watched episode.

Show on the decline: FX’s "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," Tuesday, 10 p.m. The drama cooled off following its hot premiere, slipping 24 percent week-to-week among total viewers, from 5.11 million to 3.89 million.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/pic...-csi-left-off/
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Channing Dungey Is Broadcast TV’s First Black President — Years Too Late
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Feb. 17, 2016

In July 2014, ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee boasted to a room full of reporters about the diversity of the executives who work at ABC. Speaking from a stage before a hotel ballroom, he invited the journalists to turn around and look at the ABC executives behind him, to see just how diverse a group they were.

The next time people want to see diversity in ABC’s executive ranks, they won’t have to look to the back of the room. They can look to the person speaking on stage.

Lee was replaced Wednesday by Channing Dungey, who becomes the first African-American woman to lead a broadcast television network. She ascends at a time of a black renaissance on television: Black-led series such as “Scandal,” “Empire” and “How to Get Away With Murder” have thrived. At the SAG Awards in January, black talent dominated the Television portion, with Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, Idris Elba and Queen Latifah taking home awards.

Compare that to the big-screen landscape, where the overwhelmingly Caucasian slate of Academy Award nominees gave birth to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign.

Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, told TheWrap that Dungey’s promotion is a “significant” step in diversity. But he also feels it’s long overdue.

“It’s the type of thing that you wonder why people didn’t do it five years ago,” Hunt said.

Hunt said it’s no shocker that ABC, which has been on a diversity campaign for the last few years, would be the network to break this particular barrier.

“There’s no question that if you factor in the Shonda Rhimes shows, ‘Black-ish,’ ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ some of the other shows they’ve done in the last few years, that they’ve taken an aggressive step in the direction toward changing American demographics,” Hunt said. “Having someone in the executive suite who has a track record, who is sensitive to that marketplace, just makes sense.”

Hunt’s studies have noted in the past that the U.S. is no longer expected to have a white majority by 2042. A 2014 Nielsen report, meanwhile, found that African-Americans, who represent about 13 percent of the television audience, watch about 223 hours of traditional TV each month, compared to 159 hours for viewers overall.

With 39 percent of the overall population being minorities, and minorities comprising a disproportionate share of the viewing audience, Hunt said, “You need to have people making greenlighting decisions who understand that.”
Hunt added that he hopes other networks will be spurred toward more diversity by Dungey’s promotion. Despite TV’s jump on the film industry, Hunt said, “There’s a lot of room for improvement, particularly behind the camera more than anything, and that’s why this particular appointment is so important.”

“This is not the end of the game; there need to be more choices like this made across the industry,” Hunt added.

In terms of what he hopes Dungey will personally do to advance the status of minorities, Hunt said that he’d like her to send “a clear message to talent agencies that we’re in the diversity business. Don’t bring me a roster of talent that’s devoid of color and women.”

Dungey would do well to “encourage diverse voices to pitch projects, pitch ideas” in her network’s own pilot development process, Hunt said.

“That’s something that I’m hopeful will happen in this case, and frankly should be happening at all the networks,” Hunt said.

http://www.thewrap.com/channing-dung...ears-too-late/
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Technology/Washington Notes
FCC to consider new TV set-top box rules
By Mike Snider, USA Today - Feb. 17, 2016

In the age of apps, the Federal Communications Commission is set to wage a battle for the future of the old-school pay TV set-top box.

The five-member commission on Thursday is set to consider whether rules should be crafted that would require cable, satellite and fiberoptic TV providers to allow a new wave of third-party devices -- and software-based apps -- that consumers could use instead.

Pay TV providers and content companies have banded together to combat the proceeding, while consumer groups are joined in supporting new rules by companies such as Google, TiVo and Amazon that also deliver video and programming.

Today, consumers pay $20 billion annually to lease set-top boxes and that's too much, says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other supporters such as Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "A competitive marketplace could drive down costs," Wheeler says in his proposal, released last month.

Tom Wheeler ✔ @TomWheeler FCC
Today, there is limited competition in set-top boxes. When competition exists, prices go down and innovation goes up. #Unlockthebox 2/5
11:56 AM - 16 Feb 2016


Opponents argue that technology is already fostering new methods of getting programming and those set-top boxes that consumers lease are smarter than predecessors, letting consumers pause and rewind content, record multiple programs at once -- and access on-demand content.

Among issues raised by the opposition group The Future of TV Coalition in a media briefing Tuesday: the resulting multi-year process would increase costs, as well as ignite concerns about the privacy of new consumer data viewing threads -- and cut into revenue returns from content created by small and large studios.

"This is government assistance to allow one set of big tech commercial interests to get access to the intellectual property that belongs to others," said Michael Powell, President and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which is among the coalition members.

In December 2014, Congress directed the FCC to look into ways to increase competition in the set-top box market. These actions come amid a slow decline in the more than 80% of homes that get pay TV service -- thanks to consumer cord-cutting and cord-shaving.

At the same time, more than 80% of U.S. homes now subscribe to broadband Internet service, according to Leichtman Research. More than half of homes (57%) subscribe to a streaming service such as Netflix, the research firm estimates.

The FCC's move could result in consumers getting pay TV and streaming content via a smart TV, for instance, proponents say. "When consumers are able to access all their content – from MVPD programming to streaming video – in a single place, they will be better able to find and enjoy the programming most relevant to them," Wheeler says in his proposal.

The proposal could "help usher in a new wave of innovation," said Markey, who participated in briefing Wednesday with consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge and other supporters of the measure.

Should the commission approve the proposal, the agency will take public comment on the issue and craft rules that the commission can vote on. With such major companies as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon among the coalition opposing the possible rules, a court challenge is likely -- just as occurred with the FCC's net neutrality laws.

"It is too early to talk about lawsuits," and "it will take quite some time before rules are developed," said Powell, who served as FCC chairman for four years starting in 2001. "We would hope we could influence the outcome in a way that we can all live with. But we always reserve the right to seek redress for violations of the statute in federal court."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/n...ules/80504710/
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Technology/Business Notes (Hardware)
The Divergence: Comcast really loved the idea of open cable boxes before hating it
By Nilay Patel, TheVerge.com - Feb. 17, 2016

Tomorrow, the FCC will vote on what is formally known as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices, or what the teens are (not) calling #unlockthebox. The goal is to require companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to allow anyone to connect to cable TV networks with their own devices — which would mean that Apple, Microsoft, and Roku could finally build complete TV products without having to negotiate for programming deals. As you might expect, the cable industry is fighting this idea tooth and nail — they've set up an entire new industry lobbying group called the Future of TV Coalition that's running some super scary ads about the FCC, um, killing diversity or something.

But really, make no bones about it: unlocking the box is a terrific idea. You should definitely be able to go out and buy a fancy new Samsung or LG smart TV and be able to use it without a nasty cable company set-top box in the way. And things like the Xbox One and Apple TV should definitely be able to integrate with the cable television you're already paying for, allowing you to see streaming services and games and live TV all in one interface. I mean, that is the dream.

How might one describe this dream? If you're a wild-eyed optimist, you might say that "whether you're at the PC, or at the TV using your home network, or even an Xbox, or even a portable device, the consumer gets one single, integrated user interface."

You might even go farther: you might say that "the age of the closed, proprietary set-top box is behind us," or that the "era of open cable is here."

Yeah. Here's the thing about those quotes: they're not from Apple, or Microsoft, or Roku. They are direct from Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who gave a speech at CES 2008 announcing a platform called tru2way that was designed to — surprise! — let any company build a device that could access and record cable television. He even brought Panasonic's then-CEO Toshihiro Sakamoto on stage to unveil a portable LCD TV with a built-in DVR that could record shows from Comcast's cable and then play them on the go. The thing looks completely insane now — it's all here in this CNET video: [CLICK LINK AT BOTTOM]

Roberts was also effusive about tru2way to Reuters at the time: "We also knew there would be more competition and we had to change," he said. And the massive NCTA cable lobbying group published a gushing blog post about tru2way, comparing it to the internet revolution that allowed an entirely new economy to be built on top of unrestricted broadband internet.

"The original premise then, as now, is ‘choice sells,'" they said.

Well then. That's an awful lot of love for the idea that anyone should be able to connect a device to the cable network. So why the complete walkback eight years later?

In a word: apps.

The concept of apps simply didn't exist in 2008, and definitely not the explosion of video apps that are now the mainstay of every phone, tablet, and streaming box like the Apple TV. "The future of TV is apps," is literally Apple's marketing slogan for the Apple TV. And the TV industry is betting big on apps instead of boxes. Cable companies like Comcast say they would actually love to get rid of the aging set-top boxes gathering dust in customers' homes and instead deliver cable TV service to apps running on every screen in your home. It's an interesting vision of the future, and parts of it are already here: there's a Time Warner Cable app for the Roku, for instance, and Comcast has Xfinity apps for a variety of platforms. (But not the Apple TV yet. Someone please send me a screenshot!)

And, of course, if the cable companies keep their sky-high rates as they are while reducing the costs of delivering and servicing hardware, well, they just created a bunch of pure profit.

But all of that assumes that the cableco apps will be any good. And it assumes that the current deeply fragmented consumer TV hardware market is even ready to support an app revolution, which it most definitely is not. Here's a non-exhaustive list of the current major players who sell TVs and streaming boxes and the platforms they run:

Samsung: Tizen
Apple: tvOS
Vizio: Via Apps
LG: webOS
Sony: Android TV
Roku: Roku OS


Yeah, that's totally sustainable. Small cable companies are definitely going to be able to write, support, and maintain apps for all of these platforms, no problem. And all of these apps are going to integrate natively into all these platforms and allow them to compete as first-class citizens, leading to a burst of innovation in the living room as computing and television finally meet.

Yeah, that's never going to happen.

Instead, cable companies are going to pick one or two favored platforms — say, Samsung and Apple — and everyone else will get stuck with a cable box. And that's not so bad, because the cable box business is pretty good.

"It's no surprise that cable monopolies, which thrive on overcharging consumers for renting boxes, haven't followed though on their commitment to an open set-top box world," says Gene Kimmelman from Public Knowledge. "Why should we now believe they are motivated to move away from the price-gouging model? It will take real competition to ensure consumers get a better deal."

And deeper inside the industry, people think it's actually time to break this whole thing open.

"There has been a mafia-style carve up of the nation, market by market, where cable companies don't compete with each other," one very senior executive in the TV industry told me. "This is not a technology problem. It is a business problem compounded by the duopoly that exists in every TV market. (Would you like cable or satellite?) And without a bomb being dropped, the situation will likely stay on its current path."

The cable companies say that it's unfair to let companies like Samsung and Apple and Google build devices that sit in front of their TV services — the cable companies endure the tense, endless negotiations and pay millions for content, after all — but it's possible they're cutting off their nose to spite their face.

"If [they] stepped back and looked at the marketplace they would realize that this could be a great way for them to retain pay TV subscribers," said this executive. "Many people want to quit because of the bad interface, the cost of STB rentals, the limited access across device types, and the total lack of innovation in the experience."

What would you rather have: an Apple TV with a Comcast app, or an Apple TV with an Apple-designed program guide and DVR interface in front of Comcast's services? The TV industry made the promise of open cable in 2008, and now it's time to see which dream actually comes true.

Disclosure: Comcast's NBC Universal division is a minority investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/17/11...an-roberts-fcc
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post #7791 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
That's bullcrap (excuse my language), because it's only going to benefit the already greedy (AT&Pee, Verizon, etc)..
Corporate gain aside, this is clearly what the public wants. Ever-expanding use of Smartphones and ever-increasing demand for content drives providers to find new ways to utilize a finite electromagnetic spectrum. The demand for low-powered television stations that show ethnic programming or infomercials.. not so much. And, given the avenues the internet now provides, those voices won't be silenced by the re-allocation of the band. They have a place to go. Well, maybe not the infomercials. I don't see the Schticky Channel getting a lot of hits.

Plus, they knew this could happen when they got the license. LP call letters might as well be TMP. Always been the case.
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post #7792 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 06:23 AM
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Um, isn't this why all the fuzzy channels went away? Or are we talking about the very last of the fuzzy channels?
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post #7793 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Nayan View Post
Many small TV stations may soon be forced off the air

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...217-story.html
Quote:
"The government wants to take it and raise a lot of money and we're not going to get a dime of it," Maxwell Agha said.
It's not like they paid for that spectrum? When they were given the spectrum to use was there any stipulation that they would be allowed to use it forever?
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WEDNESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Programming Insider Blog.
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Grey's Anatomy
9PM - Scandal
10PM - How To Get Away With Murder
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kerry Washington; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; Jason Derulo performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
8:31PM - Life in Pieces
9:01PM - Mom
9:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
10PM - Elementary
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Téa Leoni; Amanda Peet; Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog; bicyclist Jeffrey Tanenhau)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Katie Couric; Gillian Jacobs; Anders Holm)

NBC:
8PM - You, Me and the Apocalypse
9PM - The Blacklist
10PM - Shades of Blue
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Vince Vaughn; Ryan Seacrest; Dead & Company performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Kiefer Sutherland; Carice van Houten)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Model Stephen James; Lower Dens performs; director Lenny Abrahamson)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol (120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Charleston
(R - Feb. 15)
10PM - Mercy Street
(R - Feb. 14)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Premios Lo Nuestro 2016 (3 hrs.)

THE CW:
8PM - DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9PM - The 100

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - ¿Quién es quién?
9PM - Eva La Trailera
10PM - La Querida del Centauro

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Ice Cube)
(R - Jan. 14)
11:31PM - The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (Columnist Jemele Hill; Jordan Carlos; Robin Thede)
(R - Jan. 21)
12:01AM - At Midnight with Chris Hardwick (Marlon Wayans; Affion Crockett; Jenny Zigrino)
(R - Jan. 26)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Tom Jones; Oliver Hudson)
(R - Dec. 1)

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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 18, 2016

AMERICAN IDOL
Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last night’s solo performances were, on average, average. Five of the 12 contestants singing last night will be voted off tonight – but not before getting the chance to sing duets with former American Idol contestants, including Kellie Pickler (sixth season contestant, seen here), Jordin Sparks, and David Cook. Unfortunately, last week’s duets, with the other 12 Idol singers still in this final year’s mix, were, on average, below average. To stay alive past tonight, this evening’s singers must sing with, not merely at, their duet partners.

THE BIG BANG THEORY
CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

How much have these characters grown during this sitcom’s nine seasons? Howard (Simon Helberg) not only got a girlfriend, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), and eventually married her, but now they’re expecting a child. I know, that’s the normal plot trajectory for sitcoms that last so many years on the air, but the four geeks at the center of The Big Bang Theory started out so stunted emotionally, it’s an especially impressive evolutionary achievement in this case. And they stay true to character, because in tonight’s episode, Howard tells the other guys he’s afraid he’s not ready to be a father. In fact, he’s terrified. Little does he know, he shares those feelings with just about every impending father in the history of the universe.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Two fantastic, visually opulent movie musicals are shown in prime time tonight by TCM. Leading things off: Gene Kelly in 1951’s An American in Paris, with an extended dance climax, set to the George Gershwin suite, that not only brings painted masterpieces on canvas to life, but is a masterpiece in itself.

THE BAND WAGON
TCM, 10:00 p.m. ET

The second fabulous movie musical shown tonight is 1953’s The Band Wagon, in which Fred Astaire plays an over-the-hill dancing star who tries to mount a comeback in a new musical based on the story of Faust. His dance with Cyd Charisse is as beautiful as she is, which is saying a lot. Both this film and the one shown before it on TCM, An American in Paris, are directed by Vincent Minnelli.

JOIN OR DIE WITH CRAIG FERGUSON
History, 11:00 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE:
For some reason, History didn’t send a DVD preview copy or press website link of this new series to me, and I didn’t notice that until it was too late to ask. So I’m recommending, and diving into, this new series sight unseen. That’s because its host is Craig Ferguson, whose conversational gifts and intellectual interests are sufficiently impressive and varied to make him a well-chosen host for a show that talks about, and has fun with, history. So let’s try it out together…


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Review (Streaming)
The New Rom-Com Model of 'Love' on Netflix: It's Complicated
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Feb. 18, 2016

The 21st century makeover of the rom-com continues with Love, a new Netflix series whose first 10 episodes drop Friday morning (2/19).

Love stars Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs as Gus and Mickey, a potential couple who must be half centipede considering how many of their own feet they trip over.

Awkwardness is not an unusual premise for a rom-com, but where classic would-be couples tend to face frothy little problems rooted in silly misunderstandings, the issues in Love run darker and deeper.

Gus is romantic, nerdy and neurotic, not always in a light sitcom way. Mickey is an addict who’s afraid of all the things she wants, including love.

Jacobs plays Mickey brilliantly enough to pretty much steal the show. When she’s not on screen, we’re waiting for her to return. Not because she’s always likeable, which she isn’t, but because we all know a Mickey, someone who seems so much sadder than she should be.

Nor is she just sad in a wistful way, as if she broke up with a long-time boyfriend. Like Aya Cash’s Gretchen on FX’s You’re the Worst, Mickey clearly suffers from depression, and probably serious depression.

Traditional rom-coms have tended to skirt around that sort of uncomfortable affliction. Not this one. While Love never forgets its comic mission, it also dwells at length on both Mickey’s depression and the façade behind which she tries to hide or deny it.

It won’t shock anyone that Love was co-created by Judd Apatow, with Rust and Lesley Arlin. Apatow for years has been rewiring big-screen rom-coms into films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, and Trainwreck.

Love continues that work, and because it’s a series, it takes its time with the Gus-and-Mickey part of the show. Several episodes linger on side dramas that feed the main stream, with a strong cast of mostly young-and-single characters who are also trying to cope with the shifting cultural landscape of the social media age.

That’s often as funny as it sounds, and Love also doesn’t neglect the pop culture details. A whole website could spring up around the T-shirts worn by the Love characters, particularly Mickey.

Regular TV watchers will also note that Gus’s first girlfriend is played by Milana Vayntrub, who is better known these days as Lily Adams in the AT&T commercials.

No AT&T ad is likely ever to include the lines she has here.

Not surprisingly, some of these side dramas work better than others. The show’s meandering path also makes it harder to establish Gus as the potential solution to Mickey’s problems.

He has a good heart and all that, and their first chance meeting has a classic touch. He pays for her coffee at a convenience store because she forgot her wallet.

But he’s got long-term problems of his own, and in the new rom-com model, characters aren’t wired as neatly as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to dance into the sunset and live happily ever after.

So even though viewers will desperately want Mickey to find someone who can wash away her unhappiness, they may not insist it be Gus.

The first season leaves a lot dangling, so it’s good news that Love has already been signed for a second season. Besides, Love deserves it. A new-fangled rom-com is way better than no rom-com at all.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=11452
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Another tight night for broadcast
ABC, CBS and Fox tie for first among 18-49s, with NBC just a tad behind
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 18, 2016

Wednesday night remains very competitive between the Big Four networks.

ABC, CBS and Fox tied for first place, all averaging a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating for the night, according to Nielsen. And NBC was just a bit behind with a 1.4. All four networks posted a 5 share.

ABC had the top-rated show with “Modern Family,” which averaged a 2.4, down 8 percent from last week.

The network’s 8 p.m. comedy, “The Middle,” hit a five-week high with a 1.9, though lead-out “The Goldbergs” was down a tenth from last week to a 1.9. The network’s fourth comedy, “black-ish,” was even to last week with a 1.8.

Fox’s “American Idol” was the night’s No. 2 show with a 2.0, a new season low and off 9 percent from last week.

The season debut of CBS’s “Survivor” averaged a 1.9 from 8 to 9:30 p.m., an all-time low for a premiere of the reality show.

Of course, it’s been running for 32 seasons, so the fact that it remains competitive in its timeslot – it tied “Idol” for No. 1 at 8 p.m. – is impressive. And it was the night’s top show in total viewers with 8.35 million.

NBC was stable from 9 to 11 p.m., with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Chicago P.D.” both averaging a 1.6. But “Mysteries of Laura” fell from last week, to a 1.0 at 8 p.m.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

ABC’s “Modern Family,” 9-9:30 p.m., 2.4 rating.

Top show of the night in 25-54s
ABC’s “Modern Family,” 9-9:30 p.m., 3.1 rating.

Top show of the night in total viewers
CBS’s “Survivor,” 8-9:30 p.m., 8.35 million.


[CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE ALL OF WEDNESDAY SHOW's OVERNIGHTS RATINGS]

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/ano...for-broadcast/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
Back on Thursday again, ‘2 Broke Girls’
The fifth-year show returns after a brief sojourn to Wednesdays
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 18, 2016

“2 Broke Girls” never quite turned into the hit CBS had hoped for when it debuted big behind “Two and a Half Men” back in 2011.

But it has turned into a steady draw for the network capable of plugging holes, which is what it’s doing tonight when it slides back into the 9:30 p.m. Thursday spot where it aired to start the season.

In January, “Girls” moved to Wednesday to make way for the new comedy “Angel From Hell,” which took over the 9:30 Thursday spot.

But “Angel” didn’t pull the numbers CBS had hoped for. More damning in this era of delayed viewing, its DVR numbers were low, indicating little interest in the show. So CBS canceled it, the first new program it’s axed this season.

And the network recalled “Girls” from Wednesday night to fill the spot left open by the cancellation.

“Girls” has proven reliable moving around the schedule this season. Though ratings are down from last year – it’s averaging a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating, off 20 percent from season four – it’s better than “Angel” was posting the past few weeks.

Plus, the show’s ratings didn’t fall when it moved from Thursday to Wednesday, so it should remain at about the same level with its return. That’s all CBS wants from this slot, some consistency on a night where it’s still trying to find the right mix.

The network has replaced the 8:30 and 9:30 shows on Thursday many times over the past two years as it tries to find the best companions for 8 p.m.’s “The Big Bang Theory” and 9 p.m.’s “Mom.”

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bac...2-broke-girls/
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Obituary
William H. Tankersley, Watchdog for CBS Taste Standards, Dies at 98
By Bruce Weber, The New York Times - Feb. 18, 2016

William H. Tankersley, who defined broadcast standards for CBS during a volatile period of change in mores on television and in American society, doing celebrated battle with envelope pushers like Norman Lear and the Smothers Brothers, died on Feb. 5 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 98.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Marcy Scott.

From the mid-1950s until 1972, when he left CBS to become head of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus, Mr. Tankersley served as the firewall between the viewers of the network’s programs and those writers, producers and advertisers who might willfully or inadvertently offend their sensibilities. He was, in effect, the network’s chief censor, though he would not have labeled his role that way.

His job was not to protect the public, he said, so much as it was to guard the business and reputation of the company he worked for: “Mainly it was to make whatever came out of that tube on a CBS station be something you could be proud of,” he said in 2001 interview with the Archive of American Television.

Working for and with the trust of William S. Paley, the founder and chairman of the network, and Frank Stanton, the president and later vice chairman, Mr. Tankersley wielded great power. Under the Code of Practices, a set of ethical standards established in the early 1950s and voluntarily agreed to by broadcasters, things like profanity, sexual references, disparagement of religion and the depiction of drug use and drunkenness were closely monitored on all three networks. However, the standards at CBS, which was known, both admiringly and mockingly, as the Tiffany network, were considered stricter than the norm.

“I was a czar,” Mr. Tankersley said. “I wanted to be a czar, they wanted a czar, and I ran it that way.”

On Mr. Tankersley’s watch, Rob and Laura Petrie, the lovey-dovey suburban couple played by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore on ”The Dick Van Dyke Show,” were consigned to twin beds. A laxative advertisement was rejected for the “CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite. Mr. Tankersley vetoed gunfight scenes on the long-running western series “Gunsmoke,” whose star, James Arness, once threatened to resign, Mr. Tankersley said, “if he can’t shoot more people.”

But that said, Mr. Tankersley was hardly inflexible as time passed, social attitudes toward ribald subject matter and language grew more relaxed, tolerance for violent imagery increased and entertainment programming veered more often into politics.

He gave the O.K. to Mr. Lear’s breakthrough series, “All in the Family,” with its sexual innuendoes, political debates, periodic sounds of a toilet flushing and frank (if comic) expressions of bigotry by the main character, Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O’Connor), whose declarations in 1971, the show’s first season, would have been anathema a decade or perhaps only a handful of years earlier.

“In my day nobody went around calling themselves Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, Afro-Americans,” Archie said in one fit of pique. “We was all Americans. After that if a guy was a jig or a spic, it was his own business.”

Perhaps Mr. Tankersley’s most famous battle was with the Smothers Brothers, whose variety show was on CBS from 1967 to 1969 — or, to be more specific, with Tom Smothers, who was generally considered more challenging to authority and more cantankerous than his brother, Dick.

“We had nothing but problems with the Smothers Brothers,” Mr. Tankersley said in the archive interview, recalling a variety of antics employed by Tom Smothers to get around network oversight, including withholding tapes of episodes for previewing by affiliates. “They had something to offend everybody. They brought more complaints than any show in history on CBS.

“They injected politics up to the sky, refused to do anything we asked, really, to the point that our affiliates rebelled. Tommy, as likable as he is — and I liked him, got along well with him — but he has never told the truth much in his entire life.”

“The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” proved popular and profitable for the network even though it was programmed on Sunday nights against the long-running NBC hit “Bonanza.”

The show featured rock acts including the Doors, the Who and Jefferson Airplane and often ventured into antiwar commentary and political satire (one regular bit was the faux presidential campaign of the deadpan comedian Pat Paulsen). In what turned out to be a last straw, the comedian David Steinberg was scheduled to deliver a mock sermonette in the guise of a clergyman, a character whose previous appearance on the show had elicited substantial viewer outrage.

In April 1969, after a dispute ostensibly over whether the brothers had fulfilled their obligation to allow the network affiliates to view a tape of the coming episode in advance, Mr. Tankersley encouraged Robert D. Wood, then the network president, to cancel the show and fire the brothers, which he did, just weeks after having renewed their contract for another season.

“It had to be done, no question,” Mr. Tankersley said to Allan Neuwirth for his book “They’ll Never Put That on the Air: An Oral History of Taboo-Breaking TV Comedy” (2006). He added: “I told Bob when I called him, ‘They’ll sue us, Bob, because nothing has changed that much since we re-signed them. Why did we re-sign them if they’re so bad? But we did, and now you have no choice. We’ll be sued, and we may lose. But we can’t go forward.’ ”

Mr. Tankersley was right. The Smothers Brothers sued CBS for breach of contract and won a reported $766,000 settlement.

William Howard Tankersley was born on Jan. 28, 1918, in Tankersley, Tex., a small town near San Angelo that had been founded by his grandfather Richard F. Tankersley. His father, Richard Jr., was a rancher; his mother was the former Annie Roll.

William went to public schools in nearby Knickerbocker and eventually graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. During the Depression he worked as an accounting clerk at a copper mining company in Arizona before getting into radio, working as an announcer, programmer and administrator in Arizona, Utah and Montana.

In 1950 he joined CBS Radio in Los Angeles as manager of program promotion and merchandising for the regional network, and shortly thereafter became director of program operations for the national network. He made the move to television in 1955 as director of program practices, a job in which he had oversight of standards for a rapidly expanding menu of network offerings.

Mr. Tankersley married Velma Bowling, a sculptor, in 1944. In addition to her and their daughter Marcy, he is survived by another daughter, Jan Rowe; a sister, Maxine Wick; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

In spite of his role as enforcer and chief network spoilsport, Mr. Tankersley was generally well respected, even by his antagonists.

In his own television archive interview, Mr. Lear recalled going back and forth over the script of an episode of “Maude” in which the title character, played by Bea Arthur, ends up suspecting (mistakenly) that her husband (played by Bill Macy) had been unfaithful. To regain her good will, her husband has pretended to be enfeebled by a heart attack, but when Maude says she forgives him, he confesses that he’s fine. The episode ends with their embrace and Maude’s whispering into his ear, “You son of a bitch.”

Mr. Lear said he won the battle over the ordinarily objectionable expression when he challenged Mr. Tankersley to come up with a better line and Mr. Tankersley was unable to and so gave in.

“I loved Bill Tankersley — he was a terrific man, strong, sensible, articulate,” Mr. Lear said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. In a separate message, he said, “He understood the foolishness of some of his job just as well as I did.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/18/ar...elevision&_r=0
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Technology/Business Notes (Hardware)
The Divergence: Comcast really loved the idea of open cable boxes before hating it
The goal is to require companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to allow anyone to connect to cable TV networks with their own devices.

But really, make no bones about it: unlocking the box is a terrific idea. You should definitely be able to go out and buy a fancy new Samsung or LG smart TV and be able to use it without a nasty cable company set-top box in the way.
I can can connect to Comcast or TWC with my own devices. Been doing it for years. Not every device I own, but there are choices. Journalism has gotten really sloppy.

And then there was this quote from an earlier post:
>Today, consumers pay $20 billion annually to lease set-top boxes and that's too much, says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other supporters such as Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "A competitive marketplace could drive down costs," Wheeler says in his proposal, released last month.

>Tom Wheeler ? @TomWheeler FCC
>Today, there is limited competition in set-top boxes. When competition exists, prices go down and innovation goes up. #Unlockthebox 2/5

The three people mentioned are among the most anti "free market" politicians. Any good journalist should have noted that.
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post #7800 of 30980 Old 02-18-2016, 03:57 PM
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Today, consumers pay $20 billion annually to lease set-top boxes and that's too much, says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
This is the same public that wouldn't part with an extra couple hundred to have a CableCARD TV. Granted, some of that was probably bad retailing, but it's been my experience that people would rather pay $10 a month than $300 up front any day of the week.
DoubleDAZ and Nayan like this.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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