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post #61 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
But if I consider a lengthy article worth reading then the whole thing goes, in and long... wait, that didn't come out right.
LOL ... occupational hazard. Welcome to Day 12? (I've lost count ... I swear yesterday was Jan 18th or something. )
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post #62 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 03:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post
The whole reason I read this thread is so I can scroll through one long page in one place, instead of having to do 50 gazillion clicks that generate 50 gazillion ads each in order to see what’s happening in the TV world.

And p.s. to previous, please keep up the great work, dad! Two thumbs up and no complaints whatsoever. I very much appreciate all of your effort, so thanks very much for all you do!
Maybe I should change my Dexter avatar to a more appropriate pic:
joblo, aaronwt, DrDon and 1 others like this.

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TV Reviews
'Weird Loners,' 'Younger' won't solve TV's comedy problem
By Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar. 30, 2015

Ten years later, television is still looking for a new “Friends.” A new “Sex and the City” would also be more than welcome.

“Weird Loners” and “Younger,” both arriving Tuesday, aren’t horrible shows, but they aren’t the hoped-for answers to TV’s comedy problem, even though the former is about friends and the latter comes from Darren Star, who created “Sex and the City” (based on the Candace Bushnell books) for HBO.

Comedy problem, you ask? Well, yes.

Although niche comedies — from edgy adult fare like “Girls” on HBO to sitcoms tailored for young viewers on Nickelodeon and Disney — can survive and even thrive on cable, the broadcast networks are struggling to make viewers laugh.

Of the half-hour comedies that made debuts on the four major broadcast networks this season, the majority have already been canceled. Others hung on longer but seem unlikely to return for fall.

ABC dumped “Manhattan Love Story” and “Selfie” and seems unlikely to bring “Cristela” back.

NBC dropped “A to Z” and “Bad Judge” and pulled the returning “About a Boy” off the schedule, prognosis uncertain. The future of “Marry Me” is also in doubt.

CBS canceled “The Millers” almost as quickly as its second season began, and hopes for “The McCarthys” (which CBS Entertainment boss Nina Tassler called her favorite new show of the season) were also dashed.

“Mulaney,” meanwhile, was a dismal flop for Fox.

What new comedies have done well? The list is much shorter. “Black-ish,” on ABC, is a critical and popular winner. “Fresh Off the Boat,” which arrived at midseason, also has a chance to survive for fall.

CBS boasts about ratings for “The Odd Couple,” the sitcom remake people seem to be watching even though few profess to love it.

“One Big Happy” and “Undateable,” which just arrived on NBC (the latter for its second season), still stand a chance of taking off.

Fox likes the looks of “The Last Man on Earth,” so far at least.

Solid comedy hits are the shortest list yet. “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS and “Modern Family” on ABC still top the ratings, though both are aging and at least one (you know who you are, “Modern Family”) is showing wear. Fox’s animated Sunday night comedies are going strong, and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has been renewed for fall.

Otherwise, “Mike & Molly” and “2 Broke Girls” do well enough for CBS. “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” hold their own for ABC. “New Girl” and most likely “The Mindy Project,” which just ended its third season, will continue their runs on Fox.

“Weird Loners” fills the “Mindy Project” time slot at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Fox for six weeks, a tryout that may prove too short to engage viewers even though the show has things going for it.

The setup alone takes several episodes. Becki Newton is Karen, a dental hygienist in her mid-30s who is desperate to meet Mr. Right. A perfectly nice doctor has proposed, and would more than satisfy her mother, but Karen just doesn’t feel it.

Zachary Knighton is Stosh, a womanizing, gambling playboy we meet as he’s getting fired from his sales job for sleeping with the boss’ fiancée. The company owns his condo, so he’s out on the street, with debts.

Luckily, Stosh has his cousin, Eric (Nate Torrence), who works in a toll booth and lives with his elderly father, until Pops dies suddenly. (Laughing yet?) Stosh decides to sponge off Eric, showing up at the funeral and moving into his townhouse, which happens to adjoin Karen’s.

And then there’s Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani), an artist Eric meets on the street when he buys one of her bizarre paintings. We haven’t seen a character like Zara before in a sitcom, so she’s a welcome addition as she moves in with Karen.

Every one of these people, except sensible free-spirit Zara, is deeply dysfunctional. The two who should be most successful, Karen and Stosh, are actually the biggest messes. Can these four, together, make one normal person, or will they remain weird, if not loners?

A single-camera comedy with no laugh track, “Weird Loners” is a pleasant enough viewing experience in the three episodes provided for preview. The new show seems like a good fit with “New Girl,” which precedes it, but “could be a lot worse” isn’t a ringing endorsement.

‘Weird Loners’
★★1/2 (out of four)

When: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Fox


* * * *

Also arriving Tuesday, “Younger” marks an attempt by TV Land to get, well, younger.

When it was spun off Nickelodeon 18 years ago, TV Land targeted baby boomers with reruns of classic sitcoms. Now, programming will cater to the Gen X crowd, “sometimes known as the original MTV generation,” TV Land boss Larry Jones told TV critics meeting this summer in Los Angeles. (In February, Jones left TV Land after 28 years.)

Jones was introducing “Younger,” which sends the apparent message to 40-something viewers that it’s all downhill from there, at least until you reach “Hot in Cleveland” territory.

The wonderful Sutton Foster, who made her TV series debut in the under-appreciated “Bunheads,” stars as Liza Miller, a 40-year-old, divorced single mom who needs to go back to work.

She took time off from a career in publishing to raise her daughter, and now she has aged out of the profession, because who would want to hire someone 40 years old?

What to do? Liza decides to get “Younger,” reinventing herself as a 26-year-old. Of course, you’d want to tell an obvious and easily exposed lie to get a job that would negate all your previous experience and put you back on the “who wants coffee?” crew. A premise hasn’t been this unlikely since two men decided to pose as women, because women get all the good jobs, in ABC’s fortunately short-lived “Work It.”

Debi Mazar is Liza’s BFF, who conceives her ruse and helps make her over. Hilary Duff is Kelsey, the junior editor who takes Foster’s Liza under her wing, and Miriam Shor is boss Diana, who would also like to be younger.

“Younger” finds a lot of fun in Liza being out of touch with today’s trends. Told to set up a Twitter account, she uses Bing (which must have paid for the mention) to search for “how to set up a Twitter account.” Her attempts to use cool young-person lingo are painful, but that’s the point.

TV Land sent all 12 episodes of “Younger,” which turned out to be a smart move. Shot single-camera style with no laugh track (a blessing on a network where originals are often really loud), “Younger” feels far more grounded than its premise would suggest.

Instead of being pointlessly mean, the characters almost universally turn out to be surprisingly nice. Liza isn’t dim at all; she actually has great ideas and executes them well. Rather than a rival, Duff’s Kelsey is a sweetie. The hot young tattoo artist (Nico Tortorella) with whom Liza explores singlehood is a gentleman.

Most important, though, is the fact that Foster is so likable, she makes us care about Liza more than we would have expected. “Younger,” like “Weird Loners,” could be a lot worse.

‘Younger’
★★1/2 (out of four)

When: 9:00 p.m. Tuesday
Where: TV Land


http://www.stltoday.com/entertainmen...609c84c72.html

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post #64 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Alas, the ‘Amish Mafia,’ knocked off
Discovery's reality series airs its finale, capping a four-season run
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 31, 2015

It’s hard not to guffaw when you hear the phrase “Amish mafia,” but for many in Pennsylvania, the idea was no laughing matter.

As Discovery Channel’s reality series “Amish Mafia” comes to an end tonight at 9 p.m., there are those who are happy to see the show go.

Since “Mafia” debuted in late 2012, the program has sparked controversy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the show is set. The controversy is not so much among the actual Amish—they don’t own TVs, after all, and don’t really care what Discovery has to say about them—but among the neighbors and fellow Pennsylvanians of the Amish who feel angry about the way they are portrayed in “Mafia.”

The show follows Lebanon Levi, who is painted as a sort of suspendered Mafia don. He has unconventional (for the Amish) relationships and allegedly does shady things with the community money.

Amish experts say the whole series is poppycock. The premise is absurdly over the top and the show reflects little of the actual Amish lifestyle.

A petition was even circulated in Pennsylvania urging cancellation of “Mafia,” and it was signed by then-Gov. Tom Corbett.

So how did the show survive the backlash? Simple: Ratings.

It averaged a solid 0.84 adults 18-49 rating last year, according to Nielsen, and posted 2.2 million total viewers as well, solid numbers for cable.

But after Rich Ross took over as president of Discovery last year, he decided “Mafia” did not reflect the more sober, sophisticated direction he envisioned for the network.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/ala...a-knocked-off/

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post #65 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 03:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Notes
‘Nightly News’ Wee-Hours Eyeballs Poked Out Of Nielsen Ratings
By Lisa de Moraes, Deadline.com - Mar. 30, 2015

NBC News no longer will be able to factor those wee-hour re-runs of its Nightly News into the broadcast ratings, after media buyers asked the network to stop running their clients’ ads in those rebroadcasts. Starting today, those re-broadcasts on Gannett stations would not include national ads. Lacking national spots, Nielsen does not rate the broadcasts, which cannot then be merged into the franchise’s ratings.

We’re imagining the happy dance being performed over at ABC News which, two weeks ago, had been all set to celebrate finally breaking Nightly News’ 285 consecutive week total-viewer winning streak, only to have its party canceled when NBC’s final stats dropped with those additional viewers factored in. Surprised by the additional eyeballs, ABC fell behind NBC by 11,000 viewers and had to scrub a ready-to-go news release announcing its victory.

The next week, ABC dashed off the following note in its weekly evening news ratings release, like it meant it to sting:

NOTE: *NBC’s stated averages now include both its 6:30 p.m. E.T. airings and re-broadcasts on some stations between the hours of 2-4 a.m. E.T. NBC News has not publicly stated the markets in which the re-airs occur nor how many additional viewers they are claiming as a result.

ABC News and NBC News have been in a very tight evening news ratings race, and all eyes have been on Nightly News to see how the numbers would hold up with Brian Williams suspended and Lester Holt filling in since early February. NBC yanked Williams in February for six months, as it investigates questions about his versions of news events reported by the news division.

NBC News has, since word of its late-night repeats first broke, insisted in a statement: “Like any forward-looking media organization, we have been focused on ways to reach our audience when and how they want to be reached,” adding, “Over the last year we have launched NBC Nightly News on VOD and SiriusXM, and we have made the broadcast available at later airings in some markets. We believed there would be an appetite for NBC Nightly News in addition to its regular time slot, and that has proven to be true: the viewer response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

http://deadline.com/2015/03/nightly-...ms-1201401530/
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post #66 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Bravo Orders New 'Housewives' Spinoff, Oxygen and Esquire Partner for Companion Series
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 30, 2015

Bravo is reuniting two of the most famous frenemies in Real Housewives history. Part of the Bravo and sister channels Esquire and Oxygen's sprawling upfront news on Monday, the network has ordered a road trip docuseries starring Atlanta alums NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann.

NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches (working title) will follow the duo as they drive from Atlanta to Los Angeles. It's a Bravo resurgence for Zolciak, who has also gotten a fourth-season order for her series Don't Be Tardy...

Other Bravo series nabbing renewals are Ladies of London, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and Manzo'd With Children. The network will push further into scripted in June with Odd Mom Out, and initial foray Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce already picked up a second-season order, but this new slate is all about unscripted. The network ordered 10 new reality shows (including NeNe and Kim) in all: Après Ski, Fit Club, My Fab 40th, Mother Funders, Tour Group and Recipe for Deception — as well as spinoffs of existing franchises Below Deck Mediterranean, Ladies of Dallas and Married to Medicine Houston.

"Bravo continues to super-serve the most educated, affluent, engaged and loyal audience with our original content on all platforms," said NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment lifestyles networks president Frances Berwick. "We are excited to launch these new unscripted and scripted series and believe the new slate will deliver the same high-quality and viewing benefits, but with a broader lens to drive even more 'affluencers' to view as well as engage socially."

Berwick, who also counts Esquire, Oxygen and E! under her purview, also announced a slew of new series on Esquire and Oxygen, including the first-ever pair of companion series across the two networks: Comedians of L.A. on Esquire and Living With Funny on Oxygen. Though most of the casting is still forthcoming, Tropic Thunder star Brandon T. Jackson is already signed on to star in both. Esquire's take on the series will focus on comics' careers and comedy tours, while the Oxygen version dwells on their personal lives and relationships.

Also new on Esquire: the previously announced The Agent, wine-centric Somm, Going Deep With David Rees and United States of Burgers.

As for Oxygen, the network has added new unscripted series Douglas Family Gold, The Hustle, Pretty. Strong., Player Gets Played, Boss Nails and the third installment of franchise Preachers of Atlanta.

Additionally, the network has secured exclusive cable rights to the half-hour syndicated comedy show Crazy Talk — which is set to debut this fall from NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution.

"Oxygen is unveiling our most ambitious slate, embracing the new brand filter with bold and optimistic programming for young multicultural women," added Berwick. "We are excited to be partnering with leading producers to create content that cuts through the clutter, connects our millennial viewers to the things that matter to them, with depictions of real people living life on their own terms."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...spinoff-785296
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Fresh Off the Boat
8:30PM - Repeat After Me
9PM - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10PM - Forever
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kurt Russell; comic Jeff Ross; Van Halen performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
9PM - The Dovekeepers (Miniseries Premiere, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (David Duchovny; Josh Gad; Houndmouth performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with James Corden (Thomas Lennon; Matthew Perry; Aubrey Plaza)

NBC:
8PM - The Voice
9PM - Undateable
9:30PM - One Big Happy
10PM - Chicago Fire
(R - Oct. 21)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Ethan Hawke; TV personalities Willie and Korie Robertson; Alt-J performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Chris D'Elia; chef Eric Ripert)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Britt Robertson; Hidden Ritual performs; musical group Mimicking Birds)

FOX:
8PM - Hell's Kitchen
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - Weird Loners (Series Premiere)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Twice Born: Stories From the Special Delivery Unit (Series Premiere)
9PM - Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies - The Blind Men and the Elephant (Part 2 of 3, 120 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Aromas con Trampa
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - Que Te Perdone Dios... Yo No

THE CW:
8PM - The Flash
9PM - iZombie

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Biblia
9PM - Tierra de Reyes
10PM - Dueños del Paraíso

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Will Ferrell)
(R - Mar. 19)
11:31PM - The Nightly Show with Larry Whitmore: Unaccountable Rich People & March Madness
(R - Mar. 16)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Ron Funches; Bianca Kajlich; Rick Glassman)
(R - Mar. 18)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Keith Urban; rapper Ludacris; comic Mark Little)
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TV Reviews
TV's take on the biblical ranges from innovative to groan-worthy
By Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer - Mar. 29, 2015

Twice a year, like clockwork, religion visits the TV. Twice a year, we consume the same stories: the Nativity in December, the Exodus and the Passion of Christ in spring.

The stars are periodically upgraded and the special effects given a little bit more va-va-voom, but little else ever changes.

ABC, for one, isn't even changing the faces. It plans to air Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 version of The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston as astronaut George Taylor, er, I mean Moses ("Get your stinking hands off that Golden Calf, you dirty ape!") at 7 p.m. next Sunday.

Hollywood seems incapable of doing what millions of worshipers achieve on a daily basis - breathing new life into stories they live by, and finding new meanings in the proverbs and parables that have helped define their sense of self.

We don't need a sexier Moses (take a gander at Christian Bale in the 2014 film Exodus: Gods and Kings) or an action hero Moses (Heston upgraded Russell Crowe?).

We need to discover different ways of telling the same myths, the same histories, so that they are relevant to us today.

Despair not. Things are beginning to change. Of the three major miniseries set to premiere over the next week, only one is unpardonably insipid: NBC's A.D.: The Bible Continues (9 p.m. next Sunday on NBC).

The National Geographic Channel's offering, Killing Jesus (8 p.m. Sunday, various repeats throughout the week), based on Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's book, is for the most part a conventional retelling of the gospel narrative. But it displays great regard for the viewer's intelligence.

The one to look forward to this year is CBS' The Dovekeepers, the latest in a growing series of stories that recast traditional tales from heterogeneous, even conflicting, points of view. It's part of minirevolution of sorts, shifting focus from the stories of the big - usually male - heroes that propel the tide of history to the smaller folk who populate its world and who barely make the footnotes in textbooks.

A two-part adaptation of the Alice Hoffman best-seller, which will air at 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, The Dovekeepers recounts the Siege of Masada, from the point of view of three women.

In a way, it's a companion piece to Lifetime's winter holiday offering The Red Tent, a modest adaptation of Anita Diamant's biblical novel that plucked a minor character, Dinah, from Jewish tradition and made an epic story of her life.

The Dovekeepers is produced by married couple Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice) and Touched By an Angel star Roma Downey, who also are responsible for NBC's A.D. and History's surprise ratings smash The Bible. The Dovekeepers stars NCIS' Cote de Pablo, House of Cards' Rachel Brosnahan, The Blacklist's Kathryn Prescott, and Fiona O'Shaughnessy as members of an ad hoc community of 967 Jews. In A.D. 73, they sought refuge from the Roman army - which had destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, ransacked the city, and slaughtered its population - at the impregnable mountaintop fortress Masada in Judea, while the Romans amassed at the foot of the mountain.

The Jewish community ended the siege by committing mass suicide. Only seven survived.

The Dovekeepers is about a confrontation between two (fictionalized) survivors - a healer and purported witch named Shirah (de Pablo) and her closest friend, Yael (Brosnahan) - and Flavius Josephus (Sam Neill), the real-life Jewish-Roman historian who wrote the first account of the siege, a text scholars use to this day.

What if, the film posits, the official story, the one taught to all Jewish boys and girls as part of their living tradition, came from the mouths of two women deemed outcasts? Shirah and Yael, whose backstories are told in detail, were transgressive, independent, outspoken, sexually liberated individuals.

The men who led the rebels, the fathers and priests who held the reins of power in the community, also are present, but they no longer have a privileged place in the telling of this portion of history.

While feminist scholars and artists for four decades have reconstructed stories from marginalized perspectives, the approach we see in The Red Tent and The Dovekeepers is relatively new.

The premium cable channel Starz is responsible for two other notable examples, The White Queen, a retelling of the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the major players' mothers, daughters, and lovers, and Outlander, an adaptation of novelist Diana Gabaldon's best-selling series, which returns from a midseason hiatus Saturday, about WWII nurse who is transported to 18th-century Scotland, where she plays a role in the Highlander rebellion against the English.

But there's more to this development than through specifically women's perspectives. Entries such as the British miniseries The Great Fire and AMC's Turn: Washington's Spies, which returns to television April 13, have made an effort to frame their accounts of history from the point of view of average people who were most directly affected by major events, such as the Great Fire of London and the American Revolution.

Even Killing Jesus, a conventional, male-centered account of the Passion of Christ, incorporates elements of the new storytelling.

The 2 1/2 hr. drama is an episodic, sometimes fragmented, dramatization of the gospel accounts that takes pains to present a realistic view of first-century Judea. Director Christopher Menaul's otherwise humdrum film strives for naturalism, never portraying the supernatural on-screen. The miracles happen off-camera, and the viewer only hears about them secondhand through the disciples.

The miniseries isn't concerned with the factual accuracy of traditional biblical accounts - Killing Jesus takes seriously the perspective that Christianity derives its power from its tradition, textual and spoken.

The Dovekeepers
9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday on CBS3.


* * * *

A.D., on the other hand, does not follow this trend. As the goofy title suggests, A.D.: The Bible Continues is a sequel to 2013's The Bible. And like its predecessor, the 12-episode series uses every trick in the book to make literal every miraculous and supernatural phenomenon in the scriptural account.

The first episode, "The Tomb Is Open," picks up the story with a quick run-down of the trial and execution of Jesus (Juan Pablo Di Pace). Larger-than-myth (much less life), the episode is a literalist, image-by-image cinematic illustration of the gospel accounts: Jesus' death initiates a chain-reaction that brings black clouds, thunder, and earthquakes to Jerusalem. The complex special effects are counterbalanced by the simplistic portrayal of Jesus' enemies as dastardly gangsters and goons.

Is this the account of one of the most significant events in human history, or just another entry in the Kick-Ass movie franchise? The series pretends to stay true to tradition, yet seems to care very little about presenting Jesus with due dignity, if not reverence.

A.D. makes us all the more grateful that there are producers and writers willing to look at tradition with fresh eyes, however imperfect the results.

A.D.: The Bible Continues
12-episode miniseries premieres 9 p.m. April 5 on NBC10.


http://www.philly.com/philly/enterta...an-worthy.html
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TV Notes
Sling TV Subject to Content Restrictions
By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News - Mar. 30, 2015

Dish Network confirmed that certain shows offered on A&E and some other channels aren’t available to Sling TV subscribers because of digital rights restrictions.

“Certain content on A&E and LMN and other select channels can't be streamed on Sling TV due to rights restrictions,” a Sling TV spokesperson said via email. “However, when possible, these channels will offer other programming in place of the restricted content.”

TechHive, citing posts on the Reddit cord-cutters forum, reported on this limitation with the Sling TV service on Friday (March 27), noting that some but not all of shows such as Criminal Minds on A&E are restricted, and the same is true with certain movies and episodes of Intervention on LMN.

On Monday morning (March 30) at 10 a.m. ET, Criminal Minds (a show originally produced by CBS) on A&E was not available on Sling TV due to those rights restrictions, and it appeared that the content had been replaced by a sales pitch for a pressure cooker.

On March 26, Sling TV added A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime to its $20 per month “Best of Live TV” package, and has added FYI and LMN to its $5 per month Lifestyle Extra add-on pack. Sling TV, an OTT service from Dish tailored for cord-cutters, launched nationwide on February 9.

Though limited, streaming restrictions such as these highlight the challenges that emerging virtual MVPDs will face in the early going. TV Predictions reported that Sony’s new PlayStation Vue service, currently offered in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, also is not immune to streaming rights restrictions.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/tec...ictions/389282
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TV Notes
NBC's next live musical: 'The Wiz'
By Donna Freydkin, USA Today - Mar. 30, 2015

First came The Sound of Music and Peter Pan.

Next up for NBC: a live musical production of The Wiz, airing on Dec.3, the network announced.

Instead of the vocal stylings of Allison Williams, this show will be created in partnership with Cirque du Soleil. And it's executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the guys who brought us Neil Patrick Harris' ill-advised Oscars hosting gig.

The Wiz will be then move to the Great White Way -- it will be presented as a Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season. Both the TV production and the Broadway musical will be done with stage legend Harvey Fierstein, who will contribute new material.

No cast members have been announced yet.

The Wiz is adapted from Frank L. Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...tein/70683942/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Mar. 31, 2015

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Even with a scorecard, it’s gotten all but impossible, on this show, to tell the good guys from the bad guys, especially when there’s talk of the “true S.H.I.E.L.D.” Perhaps tonight’s episode will offer some clarity in its flashback, a tie-in to the most recent Avengers movie which recounts the day the spy agency was attacked from within, as well as without.

CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES
PBS, 9:00 p.m.
Part 2 of 3.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, this three-night, six-hour documentary series, presented by Ken Burns, continues. If you saw yesterday’s Part 1, you’ll most likely be captivated enough to stay tuned to follow the progress of the understanding and treatment of this infuriatingly complex disease. It’s presented and structured here more like a murder mystery, with clues, dead ends, red herrings and inspired leaps of logic – and, in one sense, a murder mystery is exactly what the story of cancer is. Check local listings.

IZOMBIE
CW, 9:00 p.m. ET

I don’t know if Rose McIver, as Liv, is having as much fun playing her zombie character as I am watching her do it, but so far, it’s been a blast. She has to munch on cadaver brains, attained at her morgue job, to keep from turning into “full-out Romero” zombie mode – but the clever twist here is that as she consumes each dead person’s brains, she also temporarily absorbs some of their memories, abilities and emotions. So already, we’ve seen Liv get more artistic, more emotional, more ruthless, and a lot more skilled at martial arts. She’s like one of the reprogrammable ciphers from Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, only with a pastier complexion.

JUSTIFIED
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

I keep warning that the final episodes of this great series are likely to serve up surprises and shocks – but even I was unprepared for the sudden turn of events in last week’s show, which found Raylan, Boyd and Ava in the same scene, with Boyd’s ill-gotten gains, Raylan’s determination to arrest him, and Ava’s sudden trump card, which had her becoming the number one fugitive on Raylan’s list, and everyone else’s.

YOUNGER
TV Land, 10:00 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE:
TV Land is trying something new here, and it’s worth a peek. It’s a single-camera hour-long filmed comedy from Darren Star of Melrose Place and Sex and the City fame, not a sitcom performed in front of a live audience, and it’s got a premise that should appeal to viewers much younger than, as well as smack in the middle of, the TV Land demographic. Younger stars Tony-winning Broadway musical headliner Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes) as Liza, a woman who left the New York publishing world 15 years ago to devote herself full-time to marriage and parenthood. Now, with her child in her teens and her marriage over, she wants to re-enter the workplace, only to be rejected for being much too old for an editorial assistant position. So Liza lies about her age – a lot – with help from a fashion and makeup makeover from a supportive close friend (Debi Mazar). She hits the job-hunting trail again, this time posing as a fresh-faced 26-year-old, and nails it. Now all she has to do is maintain the illusion…


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insights' Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
ABC rises Monday as other networks fall
'Dancing with the Stars' posts a 2.1 in 18-49s, up 5 percent
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 31, 2015

On a Monday night dominated once again by NBC, another network was the only one of the Big Four to see gains.

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and “Castle” were both up a tenth from last week among adults 18-49.

“Stars” was the night’s No. 2 program behind “Voice” with a 2.1 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, tying a season high.

“Castle” posted a 1.5, tying CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles” as the No. 1 show at 10 p.m.

But it was a night of declines for the other networks.

In fact, every other drama on broadcast was off from last week, including Fox’s “The Following” (1.1), CBS’s “Scorpion” (1.9) and “NCIS: LA” (1.5), which all tied series lows.

“Voice” was easily the night’s top show with a 3.2, though that was a 6 percent dip from last week.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

NBC’s “The Voice,” 3.2 rating from 8-10 p.m.

Top show of the night in 25-54s
NBC’s “The Voice,” 4.3 rating from 8-10 p.m.

Top show of the night in total viewers
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” 13.55 million from 8-10 p.m.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/abc...networks-fall/
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TV Notes
Fox Renews Comedy ‘New Girl’ For Fifth Season
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Just in time for its return to original episodes tonight, Fox comedy “New Girl” has been picked up for a fifth season, the network announced Tuesday.

While not the ratings dynamo it was early in its run, “New Girl” remains a key component of Fox’s live-action comedy roster, so it’s renewal was something of a no-brainer. The show is also set to celebrate its 100th episode during the upcoming 2015-16 season (most likely in November).

“Four seasons in, ‘New Girl’ continues to be one of the smartest and most relatable comedies on television,” said David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “The writing is razor-sharp, the ensemble is consistently hilarious, and we couldn’t be more proud of Liz, Brett, Dave and the entire ‘New Girl’ team. We absolutely love this show and we’re so excited to bring it back for Season Five.”

After airing repeats the last three weeks, “New Girl” returns to originals tonight and will serve as lead-in to the premiere of new comedy “Weird Loners.”

Created by Liz Meriwether (“No Strings Attached”), “New Girl” is produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Meriwether, Dave Finkel, Brett Baer, Jake Kasdan, Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope are executive producers.

Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Damon Wayans, Jr. and Hannah Simone star.

http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/fox-...on-1201463417/
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Critic's Notes
The Unexpected Resurgence of the Comedy Duo
By Adam Sternbergh, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Mar. 31, 2015

Not all that long ago, way back in the 1990s, when every other stand-up comedian was getting a sitcom deal and every funny group of friends was aiming to be the next Kids in the Hall, the comedy duo looked to be nearly extinct. At the very least, the duo, or double act — that foundational comedic configuration, the straight man and the quipster, the stooge and the bananaman, the fat one and the skinny one — seemed quaint, archaic, and prepped for retirement. Sure, it had given us Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, Nichols and May, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and the Smothers Brothers, but that was precisely the point: By the end of the 20th century in American comedy, the duo hadn’t felt really relevant since the 1960s, possibly since the 1930s. They had the whiff of vaudeville about them. The “Who’s on First” banter seemed stale. There was, of course, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, the two stars of Mr. Show With Bob and David on HBO, but they seemed like the exception that proved the rule. They came across, in form if not in sensibility, as comedy nostalgists. Instead, in both form and sensibility, they’ve proved remarkably prescient.

The comedy duo is now resurgent. Within the overall Second Comedy Boom, we’re witnessing a double-act renaissance. Key & Peele. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City. Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman of Gabe and Jenny. The Lucas Brothers. Garfunkel and Oates. Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair of Playing House. This year Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will finally cement their Hope and Crosby–for-the-modern-age act with the feature film Sisters. You could even argue that performers with traditional solo showcases, like Nick Kroll and Kroll Show, tend to work in a series of rolling, equally yoked duos: Kroll and Jon Daly, or Kroll and Jenny Slate. (“PubLIZity” wouldn’t be funny with only one Liz.) What’s notable is not just that duos are back, but why they’re back — and how these twosomes reflect a distinctly modern and ascendant comedic sensibility.

The double act was born of theatre: of the necessity, in noisy halls, to have two comedians — one to deliver the punch lines, and one to repeat them again, to make sure they’re heard over the din. And there’s something inherently theatrical about duos — unlike stand-ups, who engage the audience directly, duos engage with each other, behind the fourth wall. The comedic current, if the circuit is successful, is flowing between the performers, not between the performer and audience. This meant duos were perfectly suited to live radio, for example, a medium that’s not particularly stand-up-friendly. (Sure, you can listen to a live stand-up set performed in front of a laughing crowd, but imagine a set delivered on radio without any audience reaction.) In the post-1975 heyday of stand-up, the era of great comics, from George Carlin to Steve Martin to Richard Pryor to Jerry Seinfeld to Roseanne, the audience learned to crave direct address. Talk to us, not to each other — that’s where the action was. So comedy went in one of two directions: toward the intimacy of the solo performer, and toward the anarchy of the sketch group. You either commented on the craziness of life, or you reenacted it with a crew of other loons. Duos, with their feigned mutual antagonism and antiquated badinage, got lost in the middle ground.

Now, consider Key & Peele, arguably the most classic of the current duos, right down to their physical presentation — “The two men are physically incongruous,” writes Zadie Smith in a recent New Yorker profile. “Key is tall, light brown, dashingly high-cheek-boned, and L.A. fit; Peele is shorter, darker, more rounded, cute like a Teddy bear.” Yet they personify the modern advantage of the duo — the power of the comedic fellow traveler. They aren’t enemies; they’re co-conspirators. In the sketch “Auction Block,” arguably their greatest (thought the competition for that title is stiff), it’s not one man lobbing jokes to a befuddled other; it’s two men facing down the ultimate absurdity, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.

That’s the telltale innovation of the modern comedy duo. Today’s double acts aren’t split into straight-man/banana-man classifications; they’re made up of two equals boldly venturing, hands clasped, into the anarchic unknown. It’s Abbi and Ilana, each with distinct personalities, yet brazenly facing the world together. It’s those weirdo, shape-shifting, platonic sometime-bedmates Fred and Carrie, navigating the fun-house world of Portlandia. The essence of the classic duo schtick — from Abbott and Costello to Burns and Allen to the Smothers Brothers — is the idea that one person can’t stand the other. One is the clueless naïf; the other the simmering sophisticate. Yesterday’s duos were built on comedic friction, but today’s are built on comedic cohesion.

This is the genius, in hindsight, of Mr. Show. Bob and David weren’t some bickering twosome; they seemed like actual friends. (And they set the stage for the now-standard convention of having both members of the duo act as kibitzing hosts for their show.) The lunatic side of that same coin is Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, whose bond was so tight, and sensibility so simpatico, that they existed almost like a closed comedic ecosystem. Tina and Amy work well now because we love to imagine they’re real-life BFFs, and it’s no accident that Gabe and Jenny’s web series is titled “Bestie X Bestie.” More than a renaissance of comedy duos, we’re seeing the rise of the comedy besties.

Modern, post-Catskills stand-up was built on the notion of a lone person kicking against the world — whether cuttingly noting its many deficiencies or absurdly sending them up. The modern duo, in contrast, is the timely compliment to the ascent of “like” culture: It’s comedy that’s built, above all, on the acknowledgment and celebration of a shared sensibility, starting with the twosome that’s creating it. (As Jesse David Fox notes, even lone stand-ups now do better being personal and conversational rather than rattling off polished wisecracks.) The stand-up might still be an ideal tour guide to the head-shaking absurdity of the world, our wisecracking Charon the Ferryman, but we’ve also come to appreciate the joys of antic collaboration, the fun of seeing two like-minded people who are inviting us to join in their fun. That’s the promise, and the appeal, of the modern comedy duo: It’s the triumph of the buddy system. Things are always easier, or at least funnier, with a bestie at your side.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/03/unexp...omedy-duo.html
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TV Reviews
‘Younger,’ ‘Weird Loners’ comedies debut
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Blog - Mar. 31, 2015

As the 2014-15 TV season zooms toward its conclusion in May, broadcast and cable networks stake out premiere dates over the next few weeks, which will be followed by a comparatively quiet period between mid-April and late May.

Then the summer TV onslaught begins.

Two new comedies debut tonight: One seems like an afterthought for its network while the other is an attempt to draw in a completely new, younger audience.

* * * *

Fox has not had great luck with comedies lately. Niche shows “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” failed to cross over to a larger audience, but seemingly broad-appeal sitcoms “Mulaney” and “Dads” also failed.

Maybe network executives are just throwing their hands up for now and clearing the cupboard shelves of what’s left, which includes the funny, engaging “Weird Loners” (9:30 tonight, WPGH).

But “Weird Loners” is weird enough — as the title promises — that it seems unlikely to connect with a broad audience. Its tone brings to mind “Happy Endings,” another funny series that never found enough viewers to make it a broadcast network success.

“Weird Loners” follows four 30-something singletons in New York. Caryn (Becki Newton, “Ugly Betty”) is too desperate; Stosh (Zachary Knighton, “Happy Endings”) schemes too much; Zara (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is too commitment-phobic and Eric (Nate Torrence, “She’s Out of My League”) is too dim.

By the end of the pilot, the four are neighbors and/​or roommates and their lives intertwine.

Tonight’s pilot, in particular, is a strong outing as Caryn attempts to convince herself she should settle for marrying a nice guy she’s not passionate about even as dashing, conniving Stosh arrives in her life.

“I always go for guys like you who offer me nothing but pleasure and excitement, and at a certain point, a girl gives those things up for stability,” she tells Stosh. “And that moment happens the second she turns 35, which I just did two years ago.”

Written by series creator Michael Weithorn (“The King of Queens”), this single-camera comedy really gets in high comic gear in its closing scene when the four observe a wedding in a public park and attempt to lip-read the bride and groom’s wedding vows from afar with hilarious results.

“Weird Loners” features a terrific cast. It’s the best role Ms. Newton has landed since “Ugly Betty,” and newcomer Ms. Kumbhani is a terrific find. The guys play parts that feel a lot like roles viewers have seen them in before, but even if these characters are similar, the actors play them well.

Perhaps “Weird Loners” will do better than expected — Fox’s “Last Man on Earth,” although down in ratings since its premiere, certainly got off to a stronger ratings start than its oddball premise suggested it would — but with a seemingly smaller-than-usual Fox marketing effort, “Weird Loners” seems like it faces an uphill battle.

‘Weird Loners’
When: 9:30 tonight, Fox.


* * * *

TV Land had early original scripted series success with “Hot in Cleveland,” but the network recently canceled that sitcom as part of an overhaul of its slate of original series that’s designed to bring in a younger audience.

There’s no more overt way to signal that to advertisers, viewers and the creative community than to put on a single-camera show called “Younger” (10 tonight).

Ostensibly a comedy — but really somewhere between comedy and drama tonally — “Younger” was developed by Darren Star (“Sex and the City”) and based on a novel of the same name by Pamela Redmond Satran. The show follows the adventures of about-to-be-divorced 40-year-old suburban New Yorker Liza Miller (Sutton Foster, “Bunheads”) as she pretends to be a 20-something in order to return to work in the publishing field she left more than a decade earlier to raise her now grown daughter.

“I’m ready to pick up where I left off,” Liza tells the much younger and uninterested women interviewing her for a publishing job.

Later, perhaps echoing the thoughts of TV Land’s well-north-of-40 viewers, Liza wonders aloud, “How is it the older and more experienced you are, the less desirable you become?”

With the help of her lesbian artist friend Maggie (Debi Mazar), Liza gets a makeover that gets her noticed by young, hot tattoo artist Josh (Nico Tortorella, “The Following”), the kind of guy who refers to his tattoo parlor as a “studio — It’s more like a lounge, really.”

Liza ignores his pretentiousness and lets her heart alight anyway.

Her makeover also leads to a job with a brittle, prone-to-anger boss, Diana Trout (Miriam Shor, “GCB”), and a new friend in junior editor Kelsey (Hilary Duff), who dates a Wall Street banker played by 2006 Carnegie Mellon University grad Dan Amboyer in a recurring role.

Ms. Foster is delightful as always and she’s passable for playing younger than her years, and while the theme of ageism is worth exploring in popular entertainment, “Younger” seems like an odd fit on TV Land, where multi-cam, flat-out comedies dominate the schedule.

‘Younger’
When: 10 tonight, TV Land.


http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201503310031
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post #77 of 33314 Old 03-31-2015, 01:38 PM
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DISCOVERY CHANNEL UNVEILS 2015-2016 UPFRONT SLATE

First Ever Programming Events, Award Winning Films, All-New and Returning Hit SeriesHighlight Discovery Channel in 2015-2016

(New York, NY ) - Discovery Channel presents its 2015-2016 Upfront slate highlighted by the introduction of Elevation Weekend, a weekend of epic mountain climbing series and documentaries featuring the award-winning film VALLEY UPRISING; significant natural history programs, including the groundbreaking documentary film RACING EXTINCTION; new unscripted series such as PACIFIC WARRIORS, KILLING FIELDS, NAKED AND AFRAID XL and TREASURE QUEST, and returning favorites that include DEADLIEST CATCH, FAST N' LOUD, GOLD RUSH, and BERING SEA GOLD. Discovery will also look at the real-life story behind HARLEY-DAVIDSON in its next scripted series which examines how the iconic brand has paved the way to becoming a national symbol in American culture.

"Discovery Channel is going from strength to strength this coming year. We're adding new documentaries, scripted series and themed programming to a strong lineup of new unscripted series. Our male audience has broken records this year which has been complimented by strong growth in women," said Rich Ross, President of Discovery Channel.

The highlights of Discovery Channel's 2015-2016 Upfront schedule includes:

NATURAL HISTORY SPECIALS

RACING EXTINCTION - In this documentary film, Louie Psihoyos and the group behind the Academy Award(R)-winning film The Cove, assembles a team of artists and activists on a new undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world's most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, the documentary reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world. RACING EXTINCTION will be the catalyst for a larger, ongoing campaign that unites people to work collectively toward reduction of carbon emissions and the prevention of species extinction. Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions is on board to develop and execute this ongoing impact campaign, educational initiative and metrics surrounding impact. (Oceanic Preservation Society/Vulcan Productions)

SHARK WEEK is television's longest running summer programming event and everyone's favorite summertime ritual, and this year it premieres earlier than ever before on July 5. Discovery Channel is working with nearly two dozen of the world's most respected marine biologists and science institutions as this audience pleaser continues to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent and elusive creatures. SHARK WEEK 2015 will go to new depths to deliver new scientific findings using significant advancements in technology to track shark behaviors. Discovery will track and film great white sharks into the deep for the first time to depths of up to 2000 feet; use a "sonar camera" (Coda Octopus Echoscope) to film sharks, marking the first time a marine creature will ever be filmed in sonar; and include the first satellite tags permitted and deployed on sharks in Cuba. Additionally, Discovery Channel will continue to draw attention to the threats currently facing sharks around the world through in-depth, multi-platform content produced in conjunction with conservation partnerships.

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING

ELEVATION WEEKEND
- Elevation Weekend embarks this year to take viewers on an annual adventure to rarely seen, striking destinations that follow men and women on their journey to conquer the elements. A weekend of epic and groundbreaking documentaries, Elevation Weekend documents new conflicts and obstacles as well as reflects on the history of heroic expeditions and how they inform modern explorations. Elevation Weekend 2015 begins with the premiere of the award-winning film VALLEY UPRISING which explores the stories of those who pushed the limits of what's possible at Yosemite Valley, CA, going beyond the risk and commitment over the span of 50 years as rock climbing evolved from a group of self-reliant, bold mountain men who took months and years to scale the peaks of Half Dome and El Capitan into the sports of aid climbing, free climbing, speed climbing and freebase climbing, where both legendary peaks could be scaled in a single day, leading to today's extreme sports that include BASE jumping. (Sender Films in partnership with Big Up Productions)

MOTOR MONDAYS is guaranteed appointment viewing for all-motor action and fun each Monday night for 52 weeks a year. Motor Mondays features all new series as well as returning favorites, including FAST N' LOUD with motor mastermind Richard Rawlings and mechanical prodigy Aaron Kaufman. This dynamic duo makes an unbeatable team as they travel the country from the back roads of Texas to surrounding states and beyond, scouring barns, backyards, swap meets and open fields in search of these rare rides. Once Richard wheels and deals for a good price, the real work begins back at the garage, where Aaron and the guys race against the clock to finish the job in time.

SCRIPTED SERIES


A Harley Davidson is more than a motorcycle. It is a brand that has shaped the cultural landscape and defined our national character. Based on a true story, the series HARLEY-DAVIDSON will tell how Milwaukee schoolyard pals William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson built - and rode - the machines that rule the road. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, at the shores of Lake Michigan, this mini-series charts the birth of Harley-Davidson during a time of great social and technological change. Full of spectacular crashes, family feuds, inspired engineering and strokes of genius, this epic story of how two 19-year-old kids from Milwaukee started a company in their backyard that would go on to become an American legend. (Raw Television)

NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES/SPECIALS

NAKED AND AFRAID XL - What do you get when you multiply Discovery Channel's monster survival hit Naked and Afraid by six? A survival challenge unlike any other survival challenge attempted before. NAKED AND AFRAID XL will premiere this summer on Discovery Channel with 12 of the smartest, most dynamic survivalists who have previously appeared on Naked and Afraid. These six men and six women, all extreme survivalists with their own expertise, will find themselves in an almost un-survivable situation, stranded in a very remote area with no food, no water, and no clothing, and at first, they won't even have each other. Some may find a partner within minutes or hours. Some may not meet up with anyone at all. At its core, NAKED AND AFRAID XL is a societal challenge. How will these survivalists respond to each other if and when they meet up? Will they live together as one large group or will they break into smaller pockets of people? Will some want to survive solo for the full challenge? (Renegade 83)

TREASURE QUEST - In 1524, a horde of Incan gold - known as the "Treasure of the Trinity" - was stolen. For 500 years, Jesuits priests, privateers such as Thomas Cavendish and mathematician Paul Thiry have all searched for this legendary bounty but it has remained elusive. But now a new theory has emerged about the treasure's possible location - a remote location home to 1,000's of deadly vipers. The series will feature a team of the world's top explorers who set out on a two-month journey to find this priceless treasure. Along the way, they'll need to solve complex mathematical clues and puzzles protecting the treasure - the same ones that have thwarted countless others before them. But most of all, they'll need nerves of steel as they brave one of the most deadly places in the world - where one careless step could not just cost everyone incredible riches, but ultimately their lives. (MAK Pictures)

PACIFIC WARRIORS - This new series follows the only commercial fishermen in the world who fish from a kayak... alone. With only a paddle, these brave Hawaiian men and women venture out to catch some of the most desirable fish in the sea. They must rely on brute strength to pull in 500 pound Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Ono. However, the battles on the sea aren't just with the fish. Turf wars and classic rivalries among families run deep among this tiny community of kayak fishers, with the natives coming into conflict with the newcomers - not unlike a modern/Hawaiian West Side Story. They put everything on the line - with families battling it out on their turf. But the slightest mistake could cost them their lives. Fishing is their livelihood, and nothing will stop them from feeding their families. (Original Media)

LUNAR XPRIZE - It's been 46 years since millions of television viewers witnessed man first set foot on the Moon in 1969. In 2016, history will be made again when Discovery Channel partners with XPRIZE on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE to bring an edge-of-your-seat international space competition to homes around the world. In this special, space exploration will reach new heights as teams from all over the world set off on a race of stellar proportions to launch and land a robot on the Moon. LUNAR XPRIZE will go behind-the-scenes of a competition nearly a decade in the making as viewers witness the enormous engineering challenges undertaken by the teams and the extraordinary history of Moon exploration as the robots beam back footage from the journey that includes a 500 meter dash across the lunar surface. Discovery Channel will take audiences to new frontiers and inspire a new generation of space exploration. (Arrow Media)

KILLING FIELDS - An all new series that uses the most up to date science advancements and technologies to reveal the deep history attached to isolated and idyllic outside areas in America that are killing fields; locations where crimes have occurred and have gone undetected due to their geography and outside elements that have erased the scene of the crime. Investigations are followed in real time through the course of each episode as unmarked graves are uncovered as attempts are made to find the truth and bring resolution to what lurks just below the surface. (Sirens Media)

CUBAN CHROME - After the 1959 Cuban Revolution and the subsequent United States embargo, it has been illegal to import American cars to the island nation - as a result, Cuba's vintage American vehicles are frozen in time, and each of these cars has a unique story to tell. For Cubans, these cars are not just a means of transportation, but a way of life. CUBAN CHROME will give viewers an intimate look into this rarely seen country as they meet the men who put everything on the line to keep these classic cars running. Through A Lo Cubano Car Club - a passionate group of car enthusiasts, restorers, mechanics and apprentices - the series explores the challenges and joys of life in Cuba, presenting an authentic look into their culture of passion, grit, determination and ingenuity. (Pilgrim Studios)

RETURNING SERIES


DEADLIEST CATCH - Massive storms, a super typhoon and new regulations will change all the rules. With great risks come even greater opportunities - and for those willing to put it all on the line, it means an even bigger payoff. From Original Productions, the 13-time Emmy Award-winning series DEADLIEST CATCH kicks off its 11th season this year. The fearless captains of the Bering Sea are back and must lean on their brethren to survive. But just how far will they push their crabbing brotherhood to the edge? After years of keeping a lid on Bairdi crab quota, new government regulations have increased the inventory by 400 percent. These changes mean the potential for huge paydays. But it's first come, first serve on the Bairdi grounds, forcing everyone to risk it all. As the struggle for Bering Sea crab continues, only one thing is for certain: this season will push them closer to the brink. (Original Productions)

ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE - Deep in the Alaskan wilderness lives a newly discovered family who was born and raised wild, featuring Billy Brown, his wife Ami and their seven grown children - five boys and two girls - are so far removed from civilization that they often go six to nine months of the year without seeing an outsider. They've developed their own accent and dialect and refer to themselves as a "wolf pack." Simply put, they are unlike any other family in America. (Park Slope Productions)

GOLD RUSH
- Friday night's number one show for men is coming back for its sixth season. Next season will be all about the gold... and family. The entire Hoffman family - Todd Hoffman, his son Hunter, his wife Shauna, Jack Hoffman and his wife Georgia - will return to the Klondike to get McKinnon Creek up and running only to soon head out on a mining adventure that dates back to the original Gold Rush of 1898. Parker Schnabel earned $3 million in gold last season but as he turns 21 he's decided to get back to basics, to treat his crew with more dignity and above all, to have more fun. Without his trusty foreman, Gene Cheeseman, Parker and his faithful friend, Rick Ness, will finally have the freedom to run the mine their way. And as usual, Parker will surround himself with his much loved family - including his beloved grandpa and his Mom, Nancy. The Beets are considered the first mining family in the Klondike. This season Tony Beet and his daughter Monica, son Kevin and the brains of the operation, his wife Minnie, will finally put their 75-year-old, $1 million dollar dredge to work. And as always, The Viking may have a few gold mining tricks up his massive sleeve. (Raw Television)

BERING SEA GOLD - The summer dredging season has officially kicked off in Nome, Alaska - ground zero of the great American gold rush. With warmer weather, brings jam-packed claims, unexpected storms and rising tempers where gold fever is a family affair. Despite incredible obstacles with serious competition and a short Alaskan summer, the miners battle treacherous conditions and each other in hopes of finding gold. But how much can they push their crews before the season ends? (Original Productions)

DUAL SURVIVAL - Two trained and expert survivalists enter the most forbidding terrains in the world where they must overcome all obstacles in order to survive using intuitive tactics and finely tuned skills. Finding food, water and shelter are nothing compared to their toughest challenge of all: getting along with one another. (Original Media)

MYTHBUSTERS - Quirky special effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage continue their mad scientific quest to discover the truth behind popular myths and urban legends. This mentally tantalizing series takes on the myths and uses modern-day science to show what's real and what's fiction. (Beyond Productions)

NAKED AND AFRAID - In Discovery's survival series, a new pair of strangers each episode will find themselves stranded in some of the world's harshest environments with no food, no water, no tools... and no clothes. As their extreme survival skills are put to the test for 21 days, each couple must battle the elements, each other and their own inner weakness to triumph over the terrain and their predicament. (Renegade 83)

ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER - This series follows the Kilcher family and their unique homesteader community outside Homer, Alaska. The Kilchers, led by patriarchs Atz and his brother Otto, have cultivated and lived on their homestead for four generations. These men, and their wives and children, live off the land, racing the clock during the limited months of summer and fall to hunt, fish, gather and grow enough food to last the harsh Alaskan winter. They proudly choose this rugged lifestyle in hopes that future generations carry on the family tradition of living off the land. (Discovery Studios)

FAST N' LOUD - Motor mastermind Richard Rawlings and mechanical prodigy Aaron Kaufman are back on Discovery Channel, searching for forgotten and neglected vintage cars. Most assume these old classics are rust buckets - but to this crew, they're potential goldmines. Richard and Aaron need big projects and, more importantly, big profits to keep the doors open at Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas, Texas. (Pilgrim Studios)


Read more at http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2...5ikFLHGGsI5.99


Read more at http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2...5ikFLHGGsI5.99

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TV Notes
'Bloodline' Renewed for Season 2 on Netflix
By L.A. Ross, TheWrap.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Netflix has renewed family drama “Bloodline” for a second season, which will begin production later this year for a 2016 release in all Netflix territories.

The renewal comes less than two weeks after “Bloodline” premiered to great acclaim on March 20.

The series stars Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Norbert Leo Butz and Linda Cardellini as the Rayburns, children of Robert (Sam Shepard) and Sally (Sissy Spacek). In the first season, this dysfunctional brood began to tackle demons that stretched back decades, ultimately affecting the entire family.

From creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler (“Damages”), “Bloodline” is produced by KZK Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television for Netflix.

http://www.thewrap.com/bloodline-ren...kyle-chandler/

* * * *

TV Notes
‘House of Lies’ Renewed for Season 5 by Showtime
By Joe Otterson, TheWrap.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Showtime announced Tuesday that they have renewed “House of Lies” for a fifth season.

The series follows Don Cheadle as cutthroat management consultant Marty Kaan, who will stop at nothing to secure a business deal.

In its fourth season, Marty’s brief stint in white collar prison left his firm in shambles and a pregnant Jeannie (Kirsten Bell) in charge of Clyde (Ben Schwartz), Doug (Josh Lawson), and a tainted Kaan & Associates. Client flight decimated the bottom line, but Marty returned on the scene with a singular focus: winning, at any and all cost.

Cheadle has been nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for three consecutive years for his role on the show, winning the Globe in 2012.

Based on the book “House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time” by Martin Kihn, the show is created and executive produced by Matthew Carnahan. Jessika Borsiczky, Don Cheadle and David Walpert served as executive producers for the series’ fourth season.

http://www.thewrap.com/house-of-lies...5-by-showtime/

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TV Notes
Daytime Emmy Nominations announced: 'General Hospital' and 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' lead in their categories
By Isabella Biederharn, EW.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Nominations were announced today for the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and long-running soap General Hospital (ABC) is in the lead with 28 noms. The show’s potential accolades include multiple Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress nominations, and a run at Best Drama.

Among talk shows, The Ellen DeGeneres Show earned 10 nominations, while The Wendy Williams Show, with its first-ever nominations, is up for Best Entertainment Talk Show and Best Entertainment Talk Show Host. Ellen DeGeneres and Wendy Williams will compete with Live with Kelly and Michael and CBS’s The Talk for Best Entertainment Talk Show.

Other contenders in the Best Talk Show Host category include Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, and the ladies of CBS’s The Talk: Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood.

Craig Ferguson was nominated as a game show host for his Celebrity Name Game—he’ll compete against Family Feud’s Steve Harvey, Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak, and Todd Newton of Discovery Family Channel’s Family Game Night.

CBS had the most nominations of any channel, with 62. PBS and syndicated series had 50 each, while ABC and NBC had 35 and 20, respectively.

The Daytime Emmys will air on April 26 on cable channel Pop: one step up from last year’s webcast-only broadcast, which made many winners decide not to attend.

For the full list of nominees, head over to The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/03/31...degeneres-show
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
MSNBC Ratings Crater To All-Time Lows, Fox News Tops Q1 Results, CNN Up
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Talk about a tale of two cable news networks. With its 53rd consecutive quarter total audience win, Fox News Channel saw a 10% primetime rise among adults 25-54 in first-quarter 2015 over last year. In fact, with 321,000 on average among the 25-54s in primetime, Fox News thrashed rivals CNN (187,000) and MSNBC (132,000) with more news demo viewers than the other two combined, according to Nielsen.

Contrast that to the fate of the NBCUniversal-owned MSNBC, which not only saw a 39% drop in the demo compared to Q1 2014 but its worst quarterly result in the category since Q2 2005. If that almost decade-old result wasn’t enough of a blow, and rising CNN’s fourth consecutive win over MSNBC in prime didn’t cut deep enough, take a look at the gutting the cabler newser’s nighttime offerings are suffering.

With just 145,000 viewers among the 25-54s on average over the December 29, 2014 – March 29, 2105 period, the once-proud flagship The Rachel Maddow Show hit an all-time quarter low with the worst result since its September 8, 2008 launch. Not only is Maddow down 46% in the demo, but her 9 PM show is also down 19% in total viewers. Fellow primetime show All In With Chris Hayes and Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell fell to their worst quarterly demo ratings since their respective 2013 and 2010 debuts. O’Donnell’s show also had its lowest total quarterly viewership results. And 7 PM’s Hardball With Chris Matthews had its lowest-rated quarter in the demo since 2Q 2005 with an average viewership of 126,000.

Does it even seem worth mentioning that CNN sister station HLN beat MSNBC for the fourth quarter in a row in total day demo? Or that MSNBC lost out to its own sister station CNBC in primetime demo for the second quarter in row? Well, they did.

There was more good news for Jeff Zucker this quarter as CNN saw an 11% rise in the demo and a 7% bop upwards in total viewers (535,000) in primetime over Q1 2014. Now solidly No. 2 behind Fox News, Zucker’s CNN beat his old NBC colleagues at the cable news network in total day by the biggest quarterly margin in eight years in the news demo and since 3Q 2006 in total viewers. CNN had an audience of 466,000 in total day with 147,000 in the demo for a 22% and 20% rise over Q1 2014. MSNBC had 316,000 total day total viewers and 85,000 adults 25-54, a drop of 20% and a hard 38% from the same period last year. With 1.068 million total viewers and 209,000 in the total day demo, Fox News was fairly steady with a 3% and 7% dip from Q1 2014.

Ranked fourth in all cable in primetime and total day viewers, Fox News had the five top watched and rated shows on Bill O'Reilly for the quarter. With 2.836 million and 509,000 respectively, The O’Reilly Factor was tops for the 60th quarter in a row with a 2% rise in total viewership and a 19% jump in the demo. That’s its best result in the former category since Q2 2013 and its best in the former since Q4 2012. The Kelly File (2.246 million/413,000), The Five (2.160 million/338,000) Special Report With Bret Baier (2.079 million/333.000) and On The Record With Greta Van Susteren (1.860 million/315,000) filled out the rest of the top 5.

Coming behind an 11 PM Factor repeat and in 16th place, The Rachel Maddow Show was MSNBC’s top cable news offering in total viewers. CNN’s AC 360 was that network’s best in 17th place. In the 25-54 demo, Anderson Cooper’s show was 12th while Maddow was MSNBC’s best at No. 26.

http://deadline.com/2015/03/msnbc-ra...nn-1201402274/
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Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
Time to winnow the bubble shows
Fox renews low-rated comedy 'New Girl' for a fifth season
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 1, 2015

It’s the time of year when the number of bubble shows on broadcast slowly begins to dwindle, as the networks place them into the renewed or canceled column.

“New Girl” has found a spot among the renewed.

Today Fox picked up the low-rated comedy for a fifth season.

The move wasn’t a huge surprise—“Girl” has long been a network favorite despite its falling numbers—but the fact that Tuesday night companion “The Mindy Project,” another struggling comedy, was not picked up as well is leading to speculation it will fall into the canceled list.

There is just over a month until the networks must make their final decisions. They hold their upfront presentations, when they set their schedules for the coming season, during the second week of May.

Here’s a quick rundown on which shows remain on the bubble at the Big Five networks.

(Note: This does not include shows that have not yet been picked up but will clearly get orders for next season, such as ABC’s “Scandal.”)

ABC bubble shows

“American Crime”

“Cristela”

“Forever”

“Galavant”

“Last Man Standing”

“Marvel’s Agent Carter”

“Nashville”

“Resurrection”

“Revenge”

“Secrets & Lies”

CBS bubble shows

“Battle Creek”

“CSI”

“CSI: Cyber”

“Elementary”

“The Odd Couple”

“Stalker”

“Undercover Boss”

Fox bubble shows

“The Following”

“Last Man on Earth”

“The Mindy Project”

NBC bubble shows

“About a Boy”

“Constantine”

“Hannibal”

“Marry Me”

“The Mysteries of Laura”

“The Night Shift”

“One Big Happy”

“State of Affairs”

“Undateable”

CW bubble shows

“Hart of Dixie”


* * * *

In broadcast ratings for the week ended March 29:

Among adults 18-49
, CBS averaged a 1.8 rating and a 6 share, followed by ABC and NBC at 1.4/5, Univision at 1.1/4, Fox at 1.0/4, Telemundo 0.6/2, CW at 0.5/2, ION and UniMás at 0.3/1, Me-TV, Bounce TV and Estrella at 0.1/0 and Azteca, MundoFox and COZI TV at 0.0/0.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (18-49s): 1. NBC’s “The Voice-Monday” 3.4; 2. ABC’s “Modern Family” 2.9; 3. NBC’s “The Voice-Tuesday” 2.8; 4. CBS’s “NCAA Basketball Championship-Thursday” 2.7; 5. CBS’s “NCAA Basketball Championship-Friday”2.5.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (total viewers): 1. CBS’s “NCIS” 16.23 million; 2. CBS’s “NCIS: New Orleans” 14.42 million; 3. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” 13.85 million; 4. CBS’s “60 Minutes” 13.83 million; 5. NBC’s “The Voice-Monday” 12.20 million.

Show on the rise: NBC’s “The Night Shift,” Monday, 10 p.m. The new drama posted a 1.5 rating among 18-49s, up 15 percent from the previous week’s 1.3.

Show on the decline: NBC’s “One Big Happy” Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. The comedy tumbled 25 percent week-to-week among 18-49s, from a 1.6 rating to a 1.2.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/tim...-bubble-shows/
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TV Notes
FX renews 'The Americans' for season 4
Low ratings and lack of Emmy love don't matter for one of TV's best dramas
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Mar. 31, 2015

Great news, comrades: FX has renewed "The Americans" — aka one of the very best shows in all of television — for a fourth season.

“Remarkably, this season of 'The Americans' has achieved even greater acclaim than that of its first two seasons," FX original programming president Nick Grad said in announcing the order for a 13-episode fourth season, to air next year. "The series has cemented it status with critics as television’s best current drama and arguably the best show on TV, and we couldn’t agree more. That universal critical praise is a tribute to the talents of Joe, Joel, Keri, Matthew, Noah and the entire cast and crew. We look forward to the final four episodes of season three, and beyond, in Philip and Elizabeth Jennings' riveting journey.”

FX boss John Landgraf has repeatedly put his support behind the Cold War spy drama, despite its meager ratings and complete shunning by the Emmys and showbiz guild awards. At the TV critics press tour in January, he said "I think it will be at least five" seasons for the series. This puts it within striking distance.

"The Americans" was my number two overall show for 2014. I don't know where it'll rank this year — 2015 has been absurdly strong so far — but I've liked season 3 even more than its predecessor. This is a great drama that I wish more people watched — even as I recognize that the subject matter can be off-putting (each week, the comments seem to pivot into a discussion of how hard it is for people to invest in the adventures of two Soviet agents) — and I'm relieved that it will get to stick around and presumably tell the full story that Fields and Weisberg have in mind.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...s-for-season-4
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TV Notes
Classic TV shows get new life on digital airwaves
By Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Apr. 1, 2015

When cable TV was growing in the 1980s and '90s, many of its programs were past hits from the lineups of ABC, CBS and NBC.

"The Andy Griffith Show" was the top show on Turner Broadcasting's TBS. Viacom made classic TV a big business by packaging series from the 1950s, '60s and '70s on Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite, which later spawned TV Land.

But many cable networks abandoned classic TV shows once the baby boomers who watched them moved out of the 18-to-49 age group that advertisers covet most. That's created an opening for multicast TV networks — the channels that viewers can watch over the air for free with a digital antenna — to come to their rescue.

Unplug your cable system and find MeTV, which stands for Memorable Entertainment Television. The network airs hits such as "M*A*S*H," "Bonanza" and "Star Trek," and averages about 521,000 viewers in daytime — higher than all but nine national cable networks. From 5 to 11 p.m., MeTV ranked 20th with 667,000 viewers compared with those networks.

Other media companies have also turned to classic TV as a low-cost programming solution for multicast channels, which now reportedly take in more than $250 million a year in ad revenue.

Multicasting was born out of the federal government's mandate in 2009 that all over-the-air television stations convert from analog to digital signals for high-definition broadcasting. They also were given the ability to simultaneously deliver programming on up to five additional digital channels through receivers or HDTV sets.

Once the digital TV conversion deadline was set, Norman Shapiro, chairman of Weigel, a family-owned Midwestern station group, stepped into the office of his programming whiz Neal Sabin and said, "You have four more channels — what do you want to do with them?"

Growing up in the 1960s, Sabin traveled around Chicago neighborhoods with a movie projector to entertain kids at birthday parties with a reel of cartoons. By the time he reached the eighth grade, business was so good he pulled in $100 a weekend. "It was a real education," he said.

One of the things he learned was to give people more of what they already like. He had MeTV as a successful classic programming block on Weigel-owned outlets in Chicago and Milwaukee. He secured more programming from the libraries of NBC Universal, CBS and 20th Century Fox and rolled out MeTV as a national service — or "diginet" — for multicast channels at the end of 2010.

It was not a slam-dunk idea; the owner of a similarly themed service, Retro TV, had previously gone into bankruptcy.

Tribune Media followed in early 2011 with the launch of Antenna TV on its multicast stations — including Los Angeles outlet KTLA. Antenna TV depends largely on shows from the Sony Pictures Television catalog, including "Bewitched," Three Stooges shorts and all of the 1970s hit sitcoms from producer Norman Lear such as "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times."

Tribune does not break out the financial results for Antenna TV, but Sean Compton, president of strategic programming and acquisitions for the company, said the operation was profitable after five months on the air.

In late 2012, NBCUniversal joined the fray with Cozi TV, which airs over its TV station group that includes KNBC. TeleXito, which shows pre-2000 prime-time hits such as "The A-Team" dubbed in Spanish, is carried alongside NBCU's Telemundo stations.

CBS multicast stations recently signed on with a new network called Decades, which will formally launch May 26. Programmed by Weigel, Decades will have a six-hour repeating block of programs and movies from the 1950s through the 1980s tied to a date in history that will be reviewed in a nightly original documentary show, "Through the Decades."

The host is Bill Kurtis, the veteran TV newsman whose authoritative pipes are now known for the narration in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

"It's a history buff's dream," Sabin said. "Every day will be like a time capsule."

Antenna TV, MeTV and the others are happy to cater to the 50-plus age group that still wants what Compton calls "comfort TV." Nearly all of their advertising is direct response, which moves products through the toll-free numbers shown on the screen. Such advertisers base their commercial buys on what will make the phones rings and not Nielsen ratings.

But MeTV is successful enough that it's starting to attract general brand advertising, and its competitors are hoping to capture some of that money as well.

The biggest beneficiaries of the classic TV movement are the studios that now have new buyers for thousands of hours of programming in their libraries that appeared to have limited value.

Warner Bros. would not deal with the new entrants when it was offered ad revenue shares in return for the rights to its shows. But now that some are paying license fees of $25,000 per episode and up for shows, the vaults have opened up.

"You may laugh at 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Gilligan's Island,' 'The Odd Couple' or 'Little House on the Prairie,' but guess what? There is a huge audience that is willing to watch them," said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. "Way back when television was designed for the entire family with one TV, everybody in the business was focused on developing shows that had broad appeal to everyone, and that continues to have efficacies."

More classic series became available since the guilds representing writers, actors and directors negotiated a residual rate that made them more economically feasible for airing on the diginets. The new pact enabled Cozi to add "Murder She Wrote," "Miami Vice," "Quantum Leap" and other 1980s hits to its lineup.

"You're going to see more shows you haven't seen in years," said Meredith McGinn, senior vice president for Cozi TV.

The classic TV services have to make a financial sacrifice to preserve the old-school viewing experience they promise by keeping the shows close to their original running times. Both MeTV and Antenna TV carry only 12 minutes of commercial time per hour — with about half going to local affiliates. The major networks run about 18 minutes per hour, and many cable networks currently run as much as 21 minutes.

"It's a good business, but it's a small niche business that has its limits," Sabin said. "There are no subscriber fees from cable, and the commercial inventory is really limited."

Without big promotional budgets, they depend largely on programming stunts, such as themed episode marathons, to get viewers to notice them.

Compton said he personally obsesses over which holiday episodes of Antenna TV's series to run, as the network tends to get sampling on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when families watch together.

Having an audience of high-profile TV enthusiasts helps too. On April 5, MeTV is turning over its prime time to "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan, a major MeTV fan. On a special night called "Vince Gilligan's Island of MeTV," he will introduce his favorite episodes of "The Twilight Zone" and other series with the help of "Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk.

Compton said the emotional bond that classic TV viewers have with their old favorites can be powerful.

"You wouldn't believe how many e-mails we get every time we rest or move a show's time period," Compton said. "When you get 350 messages because you've moved 'Hazel' from 7 a.m. to somewhere overnight — that's a high-class problem."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...ry.html#page=1
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Business Notes
Charter Communications to Buy Cable Operator Bright House Networks
The deal, valued at $10.4 billion, comes as the pay-TV industry rapidly consolidates
By Angela Chen, Wall Street Journal - Mar. 31, 2015

Charter Communications Inc. agreed to buy cable operator Bright House Networks LLC for $10.4 billion in cash and stock, the latest deal in a rapidly consolidating pay-television industry.

Bright House is the sixth-largest cable operator in the U.S. and serves approximately 2 million video customers in central Florida, as well as Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California.

Charter, currently the country’s fourth-largest cable operator, said it would become the second-largest cable operator after the deal. Shares of Charter jumped 7.5% to $197.18 in morning trading.

“Bright House Networks provides Charter with important operating, financial and tax benefits, as well as strategic flexibility,” Charter Chief Executive Tom Rutledge said in a news release.

Connecticut-based Charter has struggled as consumers have turned away from more-traditional forms of pay television toward Internet-based entertainment services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. It had earlier sought to purchase Time Warner Cable, which had a long-standing arrangement to handle programming and technology acquisitions for Bright House.

The merged business announced Tuesday would be conducted through a partnership that Charter will own 73.7% and Advance/Newhouse—the parent company of Bright House Networks—will own the rest.

The Bright House cable systems are part of the Newhouse family’s media empire, which also includes publisher Advance Publications Inc. as well as an interest in Discovery Communications Inc.
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In addition, Liberty Broadband Corp. has agreed to purchase $700 million of shares in the new company after the deal closes, with equity ownership totaling about 19.4% of the shares outstanding, out of the 26.3% owned by Advance/Newhouse.

Advance/Newhouse has agreed to grant Liberty Broadband a voting proxy on its shares, capped at 6%, for the five years following the close of the transaction, such that Liberty Broadband would have total voting power of about 25% at closing.

The Charter and Bright House deal comes amid changes in how viewers consume television.

For years, TV channel owners and their pay-TV distributors—cable and satellite providers—were able to count on two reliable trends: that pay-TV subscriptions in America would grow each year, and that consumers would submit to paying ever-higher cable bills. In the past two decades, the pay-TV industry has grown by about 40 million subscribers to a total of about 100 million homes, and typical cable bills increased at a compound average annual growth rate of about 6.1%, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

But evidence mounted over the past couple years that something fundamental was changing. In 2013, the industry’s base of subscribers contracted for the first time. Last year, pay-TV subscriptions fell by 129,000 industrywide, according to MoffettNathanson, even as analysts said new household formation surged, typically a good sign for the industry in years past.

Instead, consumers increasingly are cutting the cable cord and signing up for TV services delivered over the Internet. Others, meanwhile, are “shaving” it and downgrading to cheaper packages that operators began to offer.

In response, pay-TV distributors have begun to merge. Comcast Corp. has announced a deal for Time Warner Cable Inc., and AT&T Inc. is planning to buy satellite-TV provider DirecTV. The deals, though, have been held up as regulators study the implications of such moves.

As part of Comcast’s $45 billion agreement to buy Time Warner Cable, Charter agreed to pay about $7.3 billion in cash for 1.4 million existing Time Warner Cable Inc. customers, while it will swap another 1.6 million customers with Comcast.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/charter-...rks-1427805730
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post #85 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Middle
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Blackish
10PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Dwayne Johnson; Rihanna; Death Cab for Cutie performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor
10PM - The Dovekeepers (Part 2 of 3, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Late Show with David Letterman (Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.); comic Billy Eichner; musician David Sanborn)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with James Corden (Katie Couric; Jeremy Piven; Emmy Rossum; Olly Murs performs)

NBC:
8PM - The Mysteries of Laura
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago P.D.
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Musician Pharrell; TV producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett; Milky Chance performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Ludacris; Charlie Cox; Dead Sara performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Peter Facinelli; The Wolf performs; comic Maz Jobrani)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol (20 min., LIVE)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - NOVA: Alien Planets Revealed (R - Jan. 8, 2014)
9PM - Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies - Finding the Achilles Heel (Part 3 of 3, 120 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Amores con Trampa
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - Que Te Perdone Dios... Yo No

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
9PM - Supernatural

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Biblia
9PM - Tierra de Reyes
10PM - Dueños del Paraíso

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Kevin Hart)
(R - Mar. 18)
11:31PM - The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore: Race, Gender, & Superheroes
(R - Mar. 19)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Natasha Leggero; Jeff Ross; Sarah Tiana)
(R - Mar. 26)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Ringo Starr; Rob Corddry; Waters performs)
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post #86 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Scientology Exposé 'Going Clear' Is HBO's Biggest Doc Premiere in Almost a Decade
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 31, 2015

The Walking Dead may have dominated the dial on Sunday night, but it did not stop HBO from setting a handsome record with its latest documentary premiere.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Alex Gibney's two-hour exposé on the Church of Scientology, nabbed nearly 1.7 million viewers during its premiere telecast. And while that number is sure to grow once HBO-Go plays, encores and DVR views are taken into account, it already represents the network's most watched doc premiere since Spike Lee's four-part When the Levees Broke aired in 2006. (The Hurricane Katrina feature nabbed 1.75 million viewers.)

It should be noted that Going Clear also comes shy of HBO's 2013 Beyonce doc Beyonce: Life Is but a Dream (1.8 million viewers for the premiere), though that project was, essentially, a concert special.

For a more recent comparison, Going Clear's audience also bests any individual same-day performance earned by buzzy doc miniseries The Jinx. With the latest time-shifting stats, Andrew Jarecki's six-part television event about Robert Durst has thus far averaged 3.2 million weekly viewers.

HBO became the latest cable network to nix same-day ratings reports at the top of the year in response to more and more viewers opting for delayed viewing. The pay-cable network soon will see its audience shift (and likely grow) even more when it launches its over-the-top streaming service HBO Now in April. The service will open up the network's roster of original programming, as well as its film catalog, to non-cable-subscribers for the first time.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...lear-is-785556
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post #87 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
TV revivals test appeal of cult series
By Jayme Deerwester, USA Today - Apr. 1, 2015

Imagine what it would be like if The X-Files and Twin Peaks had been around in an age of live-tweeting, Snapchats and memes.

The creators of those social media-friendly series will soon find out, because they're bringing them back.

Last week, Fox announced the return of The X-Files for a six-episode run next season, including original cast members David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their roles, 13 years after its nine-season TV run ended. Production is set to begin this summer. Showtime has lined up a nine-episode revival of the 1990 ABC murder mystery Twin Peaks for 2016, starring Kyle MacLachlan. And NBC is working on Heroes Reborn, a reboot of its regular-people-as-mutants drama from the mid-2000s, including appearances by a few former cast members such as Masi Oka and Jack Coleman.

Why dig them up now? "This is something (X-Files) executive producers Carter and Frank Spotnitz have been considering since the last movie (in 2008)," says Matt Hurwitz, author of a companion book, The Complete X-Files. "They were considering doing a third film, and it evolved into this short series.

Fan interest in The X-Files has never dwindled. "(They've) always loved the relationship between Mulder and Scully," he says.

Shorter commitments are also a factor in luring back stars. "I can't nor would I be interested in doing a full season," Duchovny told USA TODAY this year. "We're all old, we don't have the energy for a full season."

The Twin Peaks team had also been contemplating a comeback, timed to coincide with murder victim Laura Palmer's vow to "see you again in 25 years." In January, co-creator Mark Frost said, "The idea has been percolating for years. It really caught fire for us about three years ago, when we found the sparks that led us to where the story should go and what we could do with it."

There are new viewers to tap: "X-Files and Twin Peaks can attract two audiences," says Ellen Seiter, a professor of cinematic arts at the University of Southern California: "The Boomers who remember them nostalgically from the original, and the millennials who know they were cult series and see a strong hip factor in these shows."

Like X-Files and Heroes, Twin Peaks lost its spark toward the end of its first run, "but not enough to damage the brand," says Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture. "Twin Peaks was an enormous cultural phenomenon and demonstrated that television could play by different rules than we ever thought possible," he says.

"It's dangerous when you remake something that's beloved or that has a very intense following," Thompson says. "You have to walk a very fine line between being true to the original while also breaking out of that mold enough to make something new."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...roes/70434892/
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post #88 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 09:39 AM
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I wonder if someone can explain the difference between WGN and WGN America. The Cubs games were on WGN America last year, but seem to be missing this year here on the east coast (Alexandria, VA). Apparently carried on WGN, which we apparently do not get. Just WGN America
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post #89 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mchief99 View Post
I wonder if someone can explain the difference between WGN and WGN America. The Cubs games were on WGN America last year, but seem to be missing this year here on the east coast (Alexandria, VA). Apparently carried on WGN, which we apparently do not get. Just WGN America
WGN did not renew with the Cubs, so no more games .

I really ought to act more like a woman of my advancing years, but I’m growing old disgracefully.
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post #90 of 33314 Old 04-01-2015, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Nayan View Post
WGN did not renew with the Cubs, so no more games .
WGN still carries Cubs games, they just decided not to extend (pay $$$) for the rights to broadcast them nationally on WGN America.
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