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post #99931 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 11:13 AM
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We're darn close now. Who will be the lucky person to get post number 100,000?
It turns out it was me, and it happened back on Dec 11, 2011.

Post 100,000

There were 25,503 posts in the first HOTP thread, add that to Post 74497 and you have 100,000 posts!

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post #99932 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 12:10 PM
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It turns out it was me, and it happened back on Dec 11, 2011.

Post 100,000

There were 25,503 posts in the first HOTP thread, add that to Post 74497 and you have 100,000 posts!
Not if I go back and delete just one post from either thread
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post #99933 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 12:15 PM
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Not if I go back and delete just one post from either thread
The HOTP time machine!
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post #99934 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 02:35 PM
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TV Notes
‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ Gets 2-Season Renewal By HBO
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 17, 2015

Silencing any chatter of a possible John Oliver return to Comedy Central to take over The Daily Show, HBO has renewed his weekly program, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, for two more seasons. Each season will consist of 35 shows, with Season 3 running in 2016, to be followed by Season 4 in 2017.

The news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement by Jon Stewart that he would be leaving The Daily Show later this year. Oliver landed the HBO series after a breakout turn as a fill-in host of The Daily Show in summer 2013 while Stewart was away directing his first movie. Oliver’s contract at HBO was said to cover two seasons of Last Week Tonight but the network was believed to have options for more, which it has now triggered. Last Week‘s 35-episode second season premiered February 8.

The renewal also follows Last Week‘s big win at the WGA Awards on Saturday where it topped heavyweights like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, HBO’s incumbent weekly comedy/talk show, Real Time With Bill Maher, and 40-year-old Saturday Night Live to win the comedy/variety category for his first major awards recognition. The pickup follows a similar two-season renewal of Real Time last month (Seasons 14-15), guaranteeing that both Maher and Oliver will be on HBO during the upcoming presidential campaign and beyond.

In its short run to date, Oliver’s HBO program, which tackles topical and broader issues, has made headlines with a number of provocative pieces and calls to action that have irked the Kremlin and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and shut down the FCC’s website.

“We are incredibly proud to have John as part of the HBO family,” said HBO head of programming Michael Lombardo. “His unique ability to deliver socially significant commentary week after week, along with his innate comedic brilliance, puts John in a class by himself.”

Last Week is produced for HBO by Avalon Television; executive producers, John Oliver, Tim Carvell, Jon Thoday, James Taylor; co-executive producer, Liz Stanton; producer, Diane Fitzgerald; and director, Jim Hoskinson.

http://deadline.com/2015/02/last-wee...bo-1201375223/
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post #99935 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 02:41 PM
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TV Notes/Q&A
Jeff Zucker Strikes Back: CNN Chief Takes on Critics of Original Series, News Facelift
By Jordan Chariton, TheWrap.com - Feb. 17, 2015

Outside of CNN President Jeff Zucker‘s office, the newsroom is humming with activity. Host Brooke Baldwin is live, a digital meeting is underway and a new sense of confidence permeates the air. Two years ago when Zucker arrived the 24 hour cable news network was all but declared a dwindling relic of the past. Now it is making its move.

The original cable news network surged past ratings-challenged MSNBC into second place in 2014, finishing the year in front of the “Lean Forward” network in all measurements aside from primetime total viewers.

And CNN’s up big: 59 percent in viewers and 62 percent in the coveted 25-54 demo during the day; 35 percent in viewers and 50 percent in the demo in primetime (Monday-Sunday).

The formula: riding the coattails of breaking news — in many cases stretching that news far beyond its natural life cycle — mixed with a heap of original series. When Zucker deployed the latter, spearheaded by Anthony Bourdain, John Walsh and Morgan Spurlock, media critics howled he was stomping the news right out of the organization most trusted for it.

“Everyone said we were getting out of news,” Zucker told TheWrap in an exclusive interview, defiantly flipping his hand in dismissal of the media chorus. “We doubled down on news.”

The CNN chief also touched on the blending of news and original series, his talent expressing their views on certain stories and more in a wide-ranging interview with TheWrap last week.

What are some of the broader factors that allowed you to make significant gains in 2014 and 2015?
I think we’ve reconfirmed that CNN stands for news, and our commitment to covering news on a global scale is clear. And there’s been a tremendous amount of news — especially international news — and we’ve committed to covering that … Covering news coupled with the original series strategy has given us a very firm footing.

Has focusing on individual stories [Malaysia Airlines, Ebola outbreak] for longer been a key to your success?
I think what people didn’t understand about the plane [missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370] is that was the strategy. And we’ve born that out whether it was Ukraine, or Ferguson, or the Paris terror attacks; whatever the story was, we have the resources to go all in on that story. We’re covering every story in the world — we’re just not necessarily putting every one of them on television. Our digital strength continues to be tremendous. That is what I think people haven’t fully appreciated, and that is a fundamental strategic shift. I do think the strategy of honing in on whatever the two or three major stories of that time are has really worked and obviously something we’re going to continue to do.

Are you concerned with pushing away longtime CNN viewers who want all the news on CNN TV?
Good question, but wrong. Because what’s actually increased at CNN is the length of tune-in of our viewers, meaning that those viewers are actually watching for a longer length of time each time they come. So, we’re not alienating those viewers; actually by giving them what they’re interested in and more of it, they’re staying longer. That criticism from media critics — it may be a media criticism — but actually has been completely the opposite for our viewers. And our viewers have actually completely responded to it, and our length of tune-in has actually increased.

In terms of the broader CNN, it seems anchors like Don Lemon and Jake Tapper seem comfortable showing more of themselves and their opinion. Does that come from you?
It doesn’t come from me urging them to do it, but it comes from knowledge on their part that we’re comfortable with it. I hope I’ve encouraged an atmosphere were they know that is OK, and we’re comfortable with it. I think that’s made CNN better. I think what Jake did in Paris; what Jake did in calling out folks who didn’t vaccinate their children; I think Chris Cuomo’s 25-minute, uninterrupted interview with the Chief Judge in Alabama is another example of it. Anderson Cooper’s on-air reaction to Bob Simon’s death; Wolf Blitzer personalizing his experience in going back to Auschwitz where his grandparents lost their lives — I think that has all made our air more authentic.

In previous years, critics said CNN was stuck in the 20th century of news, without a real identity in the increasingly partisan news world. What’s your identity now?
News. New. I believe we have reestablished the brand identity that this is the place for news. When the Paris terror attacks happen, when war breaks out in Ukraine, when unrest happens in Ferguson, people know that CNN is the place to come. News is our brand, and I think we’re doing more news in the morning, we’re doing more news all day, we’re doing news. We’ve added in the last year, five hours of additional news by doing news from 12 midnight to 5 a.m., so there’s more news on the network, so that has helped. We are basically doing live news 22 out of 24 hours a day. Everyone said we were getting out of news. We doubled-down on news.

Are programs with Anthony Bourdain and Bill Weir traveling around the world in some ways redefining news by going out and finding interesting stories?
Yes and no. We’re just broadening the definition of what news is. We have doubled down on covering news, especially global international crises, but at the same time, we’ve also introduced this original series strategy that is not entertainment. It’s informative, educational, interesting; you learn as much from Anthony Bourdain, or Bill Weir, or Morgan Spurlock as anything else. I think we’ve been willing to broaden out what we define as news, and I think that’s allowed us to do series like Weir, Spurlock, Bourdain and Lisa Ling. And I think that’s really helped.

As your numbers go up, why has Fox and MSNBC’s numbers gone down?
Listen, we should only have Fox News’ numbers. We’d be thrilled to have Fox’s numbers, and they deserve a lot of credit. With regards to MSNBC, I can’t speak to why they’ve declined dramatically — we’re just focused on what we’re doing here now.
*CNN up 51 percent, Fox News up 5 percent in all-important primetime news demo while MSNBC is down 45 percent for 2015

Is there a risk for your competitors who don’t adapt to changing viewer habits and continue to ride their partisan success?
I can’t speak for my competitors, but our digital investment and strength is so important to us, and why we’re spending a tremendous amount of time on it. Digital is so strong here and so important to our future and a real driver for both our profitability and success. We think we’re completely adapting to that and we think our digital strength feeds off our television success and vice versa.

What about the old news stalwarts who have a rigid line that says Jake Tapper should just give us the news, you see no issue with that?
No.

Are you guys happy with second place, or do you strive for No. 1?
No. We strive to do the best we can do every day, and that’s report the news. We are a global network in television and in digital, and our goal is to do the best journalism every day. We have tremendous respect for our competitors, and our focus is on ourselves. Moving from third to second is not something we spend a lot of time thinking about, and we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about.

New streaming networks have been popping up. Any plans of your own?
No. We do that every day: That’s called CNN television. We don’t need to do that because we do it on a day-to-day basis.

http://www.thewrap.com/cnn-president...news-makeover/
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post #99936 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 02:47 PM
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Technology Notes
How to Trim Your Internet Bill After You Cut the Cord on Cable
By Mitch Lipka, Money.com/Reuters - Feb. 17, 2015

You can cut your land line and sever your cable TV, but if you want to stream the new season of “House of Cards,” you need to hang on to your Internet connection. Whatever savings you might achieve by ditching other services, you will almost certainly give them back as your bill for Web connectivity inexorably creeps up.

Consumers now pay an average of $50 a month for a broadband connection to the Web, which is up from a monthly average of about $40 a decade ago. But costs can vary widely—ranging from $10 to $120— depending on whether the service is bundled with cable and phone, is an introductory rate, and depending also on your connectivity speed.

Cutting costs for Internet starts with understanding what you are currently paying. Most people cannot even parse this out because their bills are a jumble of bundled pricing and fees, says Kim Komando, who has hosted a national radio talk show on computers and technology for more than 20 years.

“If you haven’t looked at your whole internet package, then it’s time to go through it A-Z,” she said.

The items to look for include: the base price, speed surcharges, and equipment. If you cannot figure it out based on the arcane coding on your bill, call and ask.

One potential way to save is to buy your own modem/router combination—at $50 to $100, you could quickly make up the $5 to $10 a month rental fee you may be charged.

Another variable to control is your speed. A study released recently by the Federal Communications Commission says standalone Internet service that delivers 10-25 megabits per second (Mbps) is becoming the standard for the typical family that streams video. Many, however, opt for even higher speeds.

You could be paying for more than you need, or getting less than you expect because the wiring to your home simply cannot deliver.

The bottom line, according to savings expert Andrea Woroch, is do not pay for more speed than you need. Someone who goes online mainly to check email could make it work with a connection of 1 Mbps rather than the typical offering of 10 Mbps or more.

Some of the biggest cable providers are offering “basic” Internet connections for about $15 a month for these light users. The same deal applies for DSL, a slower Internet connection offered by phone companies and delivered over traditional phone lines. Light users will enjoy a decent price compared with those who pay for high-speed broadband, but the trade-off is that they cannot expect to stream movies without frustration or engage in video game battles online.

For those who want to make sure they are getting the speed they are paying for, numerous websites such as SpeedTest.net measure the actual speed of your connection.

If it turns out that you are paying for one speed but are receiving far less, Komando said it is important to go back to your provider and ask for an adjustment.

Vote With Your Feet

The next step is to call the competition, if you have alternate service providers in your area. If you do not, Woroch said it is still worth calling your provider to ask for a lower rate.

If you price out a cheaper plan, you can ask your current company to match it.

If they balk, all the better. The best deals can come from the cancellations department, says Ian Aronovich, 42, of Great Neck, New York.

Aronovich, who runs the website GovernmentAuctions.org, says he first went to Cablevision Systems Corp, his provider, about four years ago and asked for a rate that would match the introductory offer of a competitor. That deal bundled phone, TV and Internet for about $90 rather than the more than $150 he was paying.

After following up yearly to ask for better rates, Aronovich is still receiving about the same discount today—which works out to $29.99 for a high-speed connection with a free router.

http://time.com/money/3712480/pay-le...net-cut-cable/
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post #99937 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 02:53 PM
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TV Notes
MTV architect Van Toffler to leave Viacom
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Feb. 17, 2015

One of the last of the MTV originals -- a man who helped introduce the world to "Beavis & Butthead," "The Real World," "Jackass," "The Osbournes," "Jersey Shore," and an infamous question posed to President Clinton: "Is it boxers or briefs?" -- is leaving Viacom.

Van Toffler said Tuesday that he planned to step down from his job running MTV, VH-1 and Logo channels in April after 28 years with the company.

Toffler has long been an influential architect of the MTV networks and of pop culture.

Toffler also was the executive most closely associated with music when MTV stood for Music Television. He was part of the kitchen cabinet during the reigns of former MTV heads Tom Freston and Judy McGrath.

Trained as a lawyer, Toffler joined the start-up networks in 1987, six years after MTV went live with the music video, "Video Killed the Radio Star."

But now, it is online video that threatens the health of traditional TV channels.

"I won't recount the highs and lows of my time here; there are far too many for one email or even one lifetime," Toffler wrote in an email to his staff that announced his departure.

"And pretty much all the lows have been quite well-documented (#wardrobemalfunction)," Toffler wrote, a reference to the MTV-produced Super Bowl half-time show in 2004 when Janet Jackson bared her breast to more than 90 million viewers on CBS.

"The truth is I never had a single moment that wasn't made better by those around me... But just remember, some of the best creative is often ahead of its time," Toffler said. His email carried the subject line: "XO."

Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, in a separate email, said a year ago, he offered Toffler an extension to his contract, which expires in a few months. But Toffler ultimately said no.

"Van has chosen to venture out to build a content creation business of his own," Dauman said in an email to Viacom staff.

Dauman said he would announce a succession plan later this week.

The probable candidate to take over MTV, VH-1, CMT and Logo channels is Doug Herzog, president of the Viacom Entertainment Group, which includes Comedy Central, Spike and TV Land channels.

Toffler will continue to executive produce some of MTV's marquee events, including the "Music Video Awards" and the "CMT Awards."

"Who are we kidding, most days this joint paid us for making magic we would beg to do for free," Toffler wrote in his email. "Hell, I danced onstage in Rio behind Axl and Slash and I wasn't hammered…and I have no rhythm. Crazy but pretty friggin memorable."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...217-story.html
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post #99938 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 03:01 PM
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TV Notes
NBC courts teens by remaking the Polish post-Communist series The Decalogue
By Alex McCown, AVClub.com - Feb. 17, 2015

TV executives are always chasing that youthful marketing demographic. Anyone young with disposable income—tweens, teens, maybe even the oldsters in the 18-24 demographic. Get the kids, the advertising dollars follow. That’s surely the reason for NBC’s latest move: Deadline reports the network has signed up to produce The Decalogue, a remake of the masterful 10-part TV series by acclaimed Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieślowski (Three Colors).

It’s a move that cannily traffics in the hot TV auteur trend, as Kieślowski—known as the Seth MacFarland of Poland’s late Soviet era—directed and co-wrote each of the ten hourlong films in the original series. Plus, each one is based on one of the Ten Commandments. That allows NBC to tap into that big-money Christian market, much as Kieślowski was trying to do with his searching meditations on the nature of morality and existence in a world just beginning to embrace democracy amid the ruins of the Communist regime. And that setting—the decaying political morass of Poland—will be similarly adapted to the decaying morass of Boston, a city equally known for meditative existential art and being incredibly nice and welcoming. No word yet on who will be starring in NBC’s Decalogue, although the network is probably itching to give Zachary Quinto a few more chances to slap people.

http://www.avclub.com/article/nbc-co...nist-se-215383
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post #99939 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 09:37 PM
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Business/Washington Notes
FAA shoots down Amazon's drone delivery plans
By Mike Snider and William M. Welch, USA Today - Feb. 16, 2015

Amazon says it is still committed to delivering products by drone despite new federal rules that it considers an obstacle to commercial use of unmanned aircraft.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2...ules/23473791/

I'm trying to find an HDTV or any TV connection in this story. I really am...
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post #99940 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 09:44 PM
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I'm trying to find an HDTV or any TV connection in this story. I really am...
^^^ It's a little peripheral, but it ties with (a) government regulations (a topic near and dear to many "HOTP" readers) and (b) the rising use of drones for filming TV/movies by the industry. Plus it's Amazon, where many of us buy, watch and/or rent our favorite movies/TV shows from. Don't you want be kept abreast of the latest method your next Prime order might be shipped to you in THE FUTURE?
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post #99941 of 100746 Old 02-17-2015, 09:54 PM
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^^^ It's a little peripheral, but it ties with (a) government regulations (a topic near and dear to many "HOTP" readers) and (b) the rising use of drones for filming TV/movies by the industry. Plus it's Amazon, where many of us buy, watch and/or rent our favorite movies/TV shows from. Don't you want be kept abreast of the latest method your next Prime order might be shipped to you in THE FUTURE?




Hey...if they're gonna deliver my 100" OLED 4K monitor via drone, I better go move the car (and warn the neighbors.)
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post #99942 of 100746 Old 02-18-2015, 04:51 AM
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^^^^ Guess that means I will have to like less and reply more

Oh no! "Say it ain't so, Joe".

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post #99943 of 100746 Old 02-18-2015, 05:43 AM
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Oh no! "Say it ain't so, Joe".
LOL Very funny

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post #99944 of 100746 Old 02-18-2015, 06:18 AM
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How was the PQ and which streaming device did you try it on? Was it outputting 1080p @ 60HZ or 24HZ assuming it wasn't plain vanilla 720p?
I tried on a PC and a Roku. Picture quality seemed surprisingly good when compared to the same content being played from my TiVos. fine. And browsing channels was almost as quick as browsing channels with an STB. But I don't really channel surf. FOr a person that does and does watch some content live, I could see this being a good service. But I stopped watching live TV back in the 80's and have no desire to go back to it in 2015.

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TV Notes
The 'Mentalist' ties the knot
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Feb. 17, 2015

As The Mentalist nears its end, the darkness of serial killer Red John is in Patrick Jane's past, replaced by the brightness of a future with law-enforcement colleague Teresa Lisbon.

The CBS drama, airing its two-hour finale Wednesday (8 p.m. ET/PT), took a sharp turn in the middle of last season as fake psychic-turned-observant investigator Jane (Simon Baker) killed Red John, who had murdered Jane's wife and daughter. The series then jumped ahead two years and moved its base from California to Texas.

When a studio chief first suggested concluding the long-running Red John story, "it took me a while to get my head around that," says series creator Bruno Heller (Gotham). "I had felt that when we got there that was the end of the story, but I realized that — not to get into pretentious analogies — after the Trojan Wars, Ulysses has to come home. And the story of coming home is as great a story as the adventure itself."

The series essentially reinvented itself after Red John, Baker says, posing "a tricky set of circumstances."

"I feel like the transition into the FBI in Austin and that regeneration of the show was reasonably successful," says Baker, who initially had doubts about it..

The Mentalist, thought to be a goner at the end of last season, got a surprise reprieve — a 13-episode seventh season — which allowed time to bring Jane and Lisbon (Robin Tunney) together without it seeming too forced, Heller says.

Changes included the departure of two main characters, Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti).

"I think ultimately it worked out well," Tunney says of the changes, which separated Lisbon and Jane. "That was sort of the impetus for the relationship turning romantic, realizing how much you miss the other person in their absence."

The finale will feature the couple's wedding, in a scene that Tunney calls "beautiful."

Baker felt a "simmering chemistry" between Jane and Lisbon fairly early in its run. "It sort of vacillated between sibling rivalry and confidante and mutual affection."

The wedding-related scenes made for "a lovely day," says Baker, who initially had "a bit of a bristling reaction" to the idea. "It seemed so TV cliche to have a wedding. So, I was pretty prescriptive on how we should do it, to have it more of an intimate thing and not in a church and to have it more thrown together."

The post-Red John run "has been a wonderful gift," Heller says. "There's a lightness to the episodes and a sunshine after the clouds."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...sons/23127399/
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post #99946 of 100746 Old 02-18-2015, 06:57 AM
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TV Notes
Producer Chuck Lorre shines on as "Two and a Half Men" goes dark
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Feb. 18, 2015

BURBANK, Calif. — CBS’s long-running “Two and a Half Men” comes to an end with back-to-back episodes this week (9 p.m. Thursday, KDKA-TV) and with it one of the oddest behind-the-scenes soap operas in TV history.

In 2011, following years of bad behavior, the sitcom’s original star, Charlie Sheen, went on a tirade against the show’s executive producer, Chuck Lorre. Production on the show was shut down for months, and Mr. Sheen was eventually dropped from the series. His character, Charlie Harper, was “killed off” when season nine began in September 2011, and Ashton Kutcher joined the cast as Walden Schmidt and the show continued, although its ratings began to drop.

Now it appears all has been forgiven. CBS hasn’t released much information about the series finale, but the title of the episode is “Of Course He’s Dead — Part One and Part Two,” the logline asks, “Charlie Harper is alive. Or is he?” and the network promises “surprise guest stars will appear.”

In addition, at a January press conference, Mr. Lorre, had only kind words for Mr. Sheen, because, you know, this is how Hollywood rolls.

“It would be inappropriate here to not acknowledge the extraordinary success we had with Charlie and how grateful I am, and we all are, to his contribution,” said Mr. Lorre, whom Mr. Sheen once called a “maggot.” “And there's nothing but good feelings for the 8½ years we worked together. But how to wrap the show up, it's tricky. It's a sticky wicket. Because, in a way, the show morphed into something else entirely for the last four years, and it's something we love, and we want to honor both. So, how to honor both has been the challenge of this finale. And the other challenge is how to get people watching it without telling them what it is.”

Also, Mr. Sheen has been quiet on this subject, and one suspects if he was not invited back, he would have vented his spleen all over Twitter by now. If Mr. Sheen is not in the finale, it will be a shock — and an unforgivable tease on the part of CBS.

Whatever happens when the sun sets on 12 seasons of “Two and a Half Men,” it probably won’t affect Mr. Lorre, who is the most successful comedy producer on television thanks to his role executive producing CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” rising ratings for critically acclaimed sophomore CBS comedy “Mom” and still-hanging-in-there CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” starring Swissvale native Billy Gardell.

Why do Mr. Lorre’s comedies succeed when so many sitcoms fail these days? Despite their sometimes raunchy humor, they work because at the heart of each is a family of sorts, said Mr. Kutcher.

“They’re all built on these obscure, broken, beat up, messed up families that are just like yours,” Mr. Kutcher said at a press conference about Mr. Lorre’s shows on the Warner Bros. lot last month. “And I think that Chuck works with people that understand that that works, and that's extraordinarily relatable. Even if it’s two straight guys acting like gay guys so they can adopt a kid; that’s a family. If it’s a bunch of kids in a dorm room talking about physics, that's a family. … Ultimately, you sit at home and you laugh at yourself.”

Squirrel Hill native James Widdoes directed more episodes of “Men” than anyone, including the series finale, which taped Feb. 6.

“Taste in comedy is so subjective, but there are notes in Chuck’s sense of humor that hit very deeply in a lot of people,” Mr. Widdoes said in a recent phone interview. “Chuck takes by and large not perfect people and has you root for them.”

He also credits CBS for its support.

“The run on CBS is directly attributable to CBS’s appetite for and ability to connect its viewers with this genre,” Mr. Widdoes said. “They’ve been so supportive of it schedule-wise and that hasn’t wavered.”

Bill Prady, co-creator of “The Big Bang Theory,” chalks Mr. Lorre’s success up to liking the shows he produces.

“People are often making something with the idea that those people who watch it will like it,” Mr. Prady said. “He makes stuff that he genuinely, personally enjoys, and he likes the jokes and laughs at them, and he is moved by the moving scenes, and I think that that makes a difference.”

Aside from “Two and a Half Men,” which is set in Malibu, Mr. Lorre’s shows are decidedly middle class while TV comedies are often about the upper-middle class (see: ABC’s “Modern Family”). He attributes that to being a struggling musician until age 35.

“I remember vividly what it's like to put 38 cents in the gas tank and drive to your second cousin's house so they feed you,” he said. “And how humiliating and hard that is, and how hard it is when you can’t cover the rent and stuff.

“Making the rent is very much an element on ‘Mom,’” he said. “‘Two and a Half Men’ was very much a magical show. There were no STDs and no alcoholism; it was a make-a-wish kind of show. And that's not how the real world works, we knew that, but we hoped that we could find some way to make people laugh even inside that.”

Mr. Widdoes said “Men” really breaks into two comedic sensibilities: the Charlie Harper years and the Walden Schmidt era.

“There was an enormous, loyal and large fan base for the show when Charlie was in it and when Charlie went away … we had this extraordinary opportunity to bring Ashton in, who was such a ray of sunshine and goodness and a very different comedic style,” he said. “People will come up to me and say, ‘I gotta be honest, I liked it with Charlie better,’ but then other people say, ‘I liked it so much better with Ashton.’ They were different comedic voices, and I know we hunted for it in the first year or two to find what that was going to be, but, boy, we sure did have fun finding it.”

‘Two and a Half Men’
When: 9 p.m. Thursday, CBS.


http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201502180023
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TV Sports
Live Boxing Returns to CBS After 15-Year Hiatus
By Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 17, 2015

For the first time in 15 years, CBS will return regular live boxing its schedule. Premiere Boxing Champions will kick off on Saturday, April 4, with light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson defending his WBC title against Sakio Bika, the former super middleweight champion from Australia. The network will carry up to eight fights in 2015, with others possible on CBS Sports Network.

The CBS events will be promoted during Showtime's long-running Championship Boxing series; Showtime's March 28 doubleheader featuring Jhonny Gonzalez and Gary Russell Jr., and Jermell Charlo and Vanes Martirosyan, will preview the April 4 debut of CBS' Premiere Boxing Champions.

Shoulder programming will air on CBS, Showtime and CBS Sports Network, while a significant marketing budget has been earmarked to promote the fights on CBS.

The venture will culminate in the May 2 Showtime PPV presentation of Floyd Mayweather against an opponent who has yet to be determined. Manny Pacquiao is Mayweather's anticipated opponent, but so far the two sides have yet to settle on a contract for what could be the next PPV blockbuster.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves has been a proponent of bringing boxing back to CBS; the last time the sport aired on CBS regularly was in the late 1990s. The initiative gives CBS more live sports programing at a time when sports is about the only DVR-proof genre left on broadcast television. And robust cross-promotional efforts on CBS, the most-watched TV network, could potentially bring a new audience to Showtime's signature Championship Boxing series.

Mayweather has proven to be a big draw for Showtime; his September 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez generated 2.2 million PPV buys on the network, grossing a record $150 million, with total fight revenues closer to $200 million, including sponsorships, international TV rights and a blockbuster $20 million gate.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...-cbs-15-774675
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TV Notes
‘Dreadstar’ Superhero TV Series in Development With Comic Creator Jim Starlin
By Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety.com - Feb. 17, 2015

“Dreadstar” is coming to TV.

Universal Cable Productions and Benderspink are teaming with legendary comic book artist and creator Jim Starlin to develop the superhero series, UCP announced Tuesday.

Starlin (“Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Captain Marvel” and the “Infinity Gauntlet” Trilogy) will serve as an exec producer and writer on the project. Ford Gilmore will also produce.

The sci-fi series will follow the classic ’80s character from Marvel’s Epic Comics, Vanth Dreadstar, the sole survivor of the entire Milky Way galaxy, and his crew, including cyborg sorcerer Syzygy Darklock, on their dangerous journey to end an ancient war between two evil empires, the Church of the Instrumentality, run by the Lord Papal, and the Monarchy, led by King Gregzor.

“Jim Starlin’s cosmic space opera is a great read, and it’s time for Vanth Dreadstar to make his television debut,” said Dawn Olmstead, exec VP of development at UCP, which is part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

“I consider ‘Dreadstar’ to be an extension of my family, so it took me a while to feel comfortable letting anyone else take care of this project,” commented Starlin, who’s worked on famous comic book characters Iron Man, Batman, the Avengers and Justice League. “It has taken some time, but I know I’ve put my trust in the right team, and I’m excited to collaborate with Universal Cable Productions and Benderspink to bring ‘Dreadstar’s’ unique brand of chaos to television.”

Previously announced, Benderspink was adapting “Dreadstar” for the bigscreen with Illuminati Entertainment.

http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/drea...nk-1201435486/
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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! (Neil Patrick Harris; Gillian Jacobs; Rascal Flatts perform)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Mentalist (Series Finale, 120 min.)
10PM - Stalker
* * * *
11:35PM - The Late Show with David Letterman (Will Smith; Grizfolk performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show (Thomas Lennon guest hosts; Matthew Perry; Nick Krol)

NBC:
8PM - The Mysteries of Laura
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago P.D.
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Sigourney Weaver; TV host Andy Cohen; Ella Henderson performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Kathy Griffin; Peter Sarsgaard; The Mavericks perform)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Rob Corddry; Hidden Ritual performs; athlete Michael Johnson)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol
9PM - Empire

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: Owl Power
9PM - NOVA: Petra -- Lost City of Stone
10PM - Earth: A New Wild - Oceans

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - Que Te Perdone Dios... Yo No

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
9PM - The 100

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Los Miserables
9PM - Tierra de Reyes
10PM - Dueños del Paraíso

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Jennifer Aniston)
(R - Jan. 22)
11:31PM - The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (Jake Trapper; Katie Nolan; Sherrod Small; Seaton Smith)
(R - Jan. 29)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Aisha Tyler; Chris Parnell; Judy Greer)
(R - Jan. 22)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Ashton Kutcher; Jon Cryer; snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg; composer Kristian Bush)
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 18, 2015

THE MENTALIST
CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET
SERIES FINALE:
In this two-hour installment, which says goodbye to Simon Baker’s sometimes affable, sometimes haunted character, there’s a serial-killer mystery to solve – but also a wedding to stage, to his former detective boss, Robin Tunney’s Lisbon. Will Baker’s sneaky Patrick Jane actually be able to pull a happy ending out of his hat? Even for a show that stuck around a few seasons too long, it’s worth watching to find out.

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

Here’s another change to Idol this year, in hopes of grabbing some lost attention: A new hoop through which contestants must jump (and sing): “The Showcase,” in which they take turns at the mike at the House of Blues.

MODERN FAMILY
ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Elizabeth Banks returns, as Cam and Mitch’s out-of-control friend Sal – but this time she’s not traveling solo. She’s a mom now. Which, given Sal’s past behavior, is slightly horrifying. Also guest starring: Nathan Lane.

EMPIRE
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

Courtney Love continues her guest starring role on Empire, taking Cookie’s advice and taking her comeback seriously. Also continuing her multiple-episode guest arc: Naomi Campbell, who made a strong impact last week with very little screen time. Expect more of the same tonight.

THE AMERICANS
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

Paige (Holly Taylor) makes a birthday wish in tonight’s episode – but her dad, especially, is more concerned with the wishes of his KGB superiors, who want Paige’s parents to recruit the teenager into the ways of the secret Soviet spy ring.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
Latest Remake of 'The Odd Couple' is Grounds for a Quick Conscious Uncoupling
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 18, 2015

Except that The Odd Couple has already greatly succeeded as a Broadway play, a hit movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and a long-running TV series with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.

CBS’ The Odd Couple is more in line with ABC’s The New Odd Couple, a deservedly short-lived 1982 sitcom fronted by Ron Glass (Barney Miller) and Demond Wilson (Sanford and Son). It initially recycled old scripts as a plug-in series during a Writers Guild strike. New scripts eventually were written, but to no avail.

Matthew Perry for some reason is the main force behind this latest Odd Couple. He’s a co-executive producer and co-writer who also has woefully miscast himself as unkempt New York sports commentator Oscar Madison opposite Thomas Lennon’s persnickety neat freak, Felix Unger.

CBS has made only Thursday’s premiere episode available for review. That was merciful on their part. Nothing about this latest re-do offers any hope for its future.

Perry’s idea of being slovenly is a little extra facial hair. Otherwise he dresses pretty well, even wearing a tie in some scenes. His handling of his speaking part otherwise is forced and kind of sad. The male spark plug of Friends since has gone clunk in NBC’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and NBC’s Go On, in which he also played a sportscaster (right). It’s not pretty watching him flailing about like this.

Lennon fares a bit better as Felix, but the laugh track-laced jokes are uniformly hard to take. Felix has been booted after 20 years of marriage and Oscar is happily divorced. The former college pals reunite and begin living together while Felix pines for his wife and quickly makes Oscar miserable.

“He seems incredibly gay but he’s not,” Oscar assures poker pals Teddy (Wendell Pierce on the rebound from The Michael J. Fox Show) and Roy (guest star Dave Foley).

But Felix’s vegan meal is a turnoff, prompting Oscar to rage, “They didn’t leave. They fled. To a place called No Felix-stan.” Oof.

The first episode of this Odd Couple also includes a bulimia joke and an even worse one after Oscar is getting ready to bed a comely blonde named Casey (guest star Leslie Bibb) before Felix screws it up.

“There’s a beautiful person inside you,” he tells Oscar.

“Well, I was about to be inside a beautiful person!” Oscar rages.

Also caught up in this mess is Yvette Nicole Brown as Oscar’s radio show assistant, Dani. Lindsay Sloane will be joining the cast as a “quirky” next-door neighbor named Emily.

Episode 1 ends with Oscar making up with Felix and then putting a cup of coffee on his crotch while he’s doing a yoga headstand. The studio audience/laugh track roars at this sight. Most viewers instead might recoil while wondering why CBS didn’t do likewise.

GRADE: D-minus

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=9034
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TV Notes
‘Beauty and the Beast’ Renewed for Season 4 by CW
By Jethro Nededog, TheWrap.com - Feb. 13, 2015

On Demand and online viewership and international sales into their programming decisions.
International sales goes into the bottom line of CBS Studios, not the CW network. Yes, they both report to the same parent, sort-of. Since 50% is owned by Warner Bros., who will not see a penny of the international sales.

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TV Notes
‘The Jack and Triumph Show,’ what fun
New Adult Swim comedy is a delightful parody of TV sitcoms
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 17, 2015

Is it fair for a comedy to mock others for milking an old act when the comedy itself is milking an old act? Probably not, but it can be funny.

Adult Swim’s new comedy “The Jack and Triumph Show” is very funny. A vehicle that allows the show’s co-creator, Robert Smigel, to drag out Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the puppet character he first presented in 1997 on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” the show viciously but hilariously skewers old-fashioned family sitcoms and a variety of washed-up or would-be stars.

Viewers who like their comedy with bite and no warm fuzzies will eat it up.

Premiering this Friday, Feb. 20, at 11:30 p.m., the show is mostly a sitcom parody. Jack Mlicki (Jack McBrayer) is the former child star of a “Lassie”-type show called “Triumph’s Boy.”

In a flashback, we see how that show continued well into Jack’s awkward adolescence. After its cancellation, Triumph led him down the wrong path.

We see Jack partying with the former ‘N Sync singer Joey Fatone, the infomercial star Tony Little and Michael Winslow, who’s best known as the sound-effects guy from the “Police Academy” movies.

Soon, Jack is doing cocaine and sleeping with a transvestite. Ever polite, he compliments the dealer and is impressed by the transvestite’s skills with duct tape.

Down and out, Jack and Triumph move in with their former co-star, June (June Squibb), who promptly drives Triumph out to the wilderness and ditches him there.

Now, 15 years later, Triumph has finally made his way home, returning with Winslow. Triumph says, “Michael and I ran into each other while Dumpster diving behind a P.F. Chang’s in Scottsdale.”

June tells Triumph, “I’ve tossed all your sex toys. If you’re still looking for the plaster cast of Al Roker’s leg, it’s long gone.”

“You bitch!” says Triumph. “That leg was from the fat years. They don’t make those models anymore.”

Through a series of complications, Jack and Triumph have to raise $2,000. They decide to attend an autograph show.

This sequence was apparently shot at a real autograph show, the sort of event at which Triumph did some of his best work on “Late Night.” He tells the YouTube celebrity Tay Zonday, “I saw you in the pages of Variety last week. Yeah, you were using it as a blanket at the bus stop.”

After saying he doesn’t recognize Brent Spiner, who played Data on the second “Star Trek” series, Triumph says, “You’ve clearly been aging at warp speed,” and follows that up with “You never became a victim of typecasting. Or any casting.”

To drum up autograph business, Triumph makes Jack offer a variety of humiliating acts. He posts signs reading “Autograph and Happy Ending $60″ and “Autograph + Jack Mlicki Handwritten Swastika $1 Extra.”

In the sitcom part of the show, Triumph constantly mocks Winslow’s overenthusiastic efforts. At one point, it’s unclear whether Winslow has gone off script or whether the awkward moment was scripted that way.

Occasionally we see the studio audience and various glitches. At one point, Triumph’s paw simply drops in sight of the camera.

Although “The Jack and Triumph Show” has a superior attitude toward its targets, it isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. Washed-up TV stars have been a comedy staple for decades.

When Winslow comically attacks Jack, Triumph says, “He’s hitting us with his most terrifying weapon.”

“Karate?” asks Jack.

“No,” says Triumph, “comedy from 1983.”

That exchange could have been in Mad magazine in 1963.

McBrayer is basically giving us another version of Kenneth, his overeager page from “30 Rock.”

But the difference between Triumph and McBrayers’ old shticks and Winslow’s is that theirs still work.

One would assume that Smigel is fond of the has-beens and wanna-bes of show business, but he actually seems to simply find them ridiculous. The laughter in “The Jack and Triumph Show” may be mean, but there’s lots of it.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the...show-what-fun/
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TV Notes/Q&A
Joelle Carter on Justified’s Final Season, Ava’s Next Move, and That Kiss
By Bruce Fretts, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Feb. 17, 2015

On Tuesday's episode of Justified, Constable Bob Sweeney (Patton Oswalt) says of Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter): "That girl could make a dog break its chain." In the FX drama's current sixth season, she's got two men chasing their proverbial tails: Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), her ex-fiancé/partner in crime, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), another former flame, who sprang her from jail on the condition that she become his confidential informant to bring down Boyd. "They're not exactly fighting over her," Carter says. "It's more like they're pulling her apart. But a lady does love a little attention one way or another." The Georgia-born actress has been drawing praise for her powerful performance, not to mention her character's passionate kiss with Raylan in the latest episode. She spoke with Vulture about Ava’s next move and what lies ahead in the final season.

When did you realize Ava would be so much of the focus of this season?
Halfway through last season, when Ava was in jail, they told me, "We're doing this for a reason. Because in season six, we're bringing her back home, and Ava is going to be a huge part of the story." Of course, I was like, "Sounds good to me!"

How did Ava's experience in jail change her?
She was a good person who had to do a lot of hard things to survive in jail. The love relationship with Boyd was too much for her to handle when she was inside, so she tried to disconnect with him by telling him to go away — you know, like a woman does. She wanted him to come back, but she had to reject him to put him in his place. We saw her become a little more calculating and a little less human. She brought that out of jail with her. So who is she now? She's trying to redefine herself.

Does she still have feelings for Raylan?
She's beholden to him because he got her out of jail. In this episode, she's trying to find a footing with this new role she's playing. She's trying to get Raylan to admit he might care about her a little bit more than he's willing to say. But she's a desperate, scared animal. She doesn't know what to do, and her options don't seem good on either side, so she makes a move to run without thinking it through too well.

When the show started, Ava was an abused wife who killed her husband. Now she's caught in the crossfire between two deadly men. What's her next move?
Ava was born again in the beginning of the show. She was fresh out of this horrible circumstance, but with hope and desire to get out and see the world she'd missed. As the seasons have gone on, she's gotten knocked down more and more. This season is all about: Can someone stop the madness and end the cycle of violence? Ava just wants to start over somewhere she can breathe and be at peace. I like the idea that she still holds on to that hope.

Is there any residual spark with Boyd, or is she just using him to win freedom?
For Ava, the perfect scenario would be for Boyd to figure out how to get them out of Harlan and be on the run together. She's still in love with this man, but he's not her best option. When he comes in so enthusiastic about this new plan to keep them in Harlan and become the king and queen of the soon-to-be-legal pot industry, she realizes that option of running away together might not be a future choice for her. Everyone wants to know where her loyalty lies and whom she loves, but from here on out, she's got to look out for Ava. She's just trying to survive. That makes it even harder, to have those feelings for Boyd and to have to choose a different direction.

What was it like shooting the kiss with Timothy?
It all happened spontaneously, and it turned into a great scene. The characters have this chemistry and history, so there's always the possibility of a romance between them. But I didn't feel like this was as romantic as it was desperate. He offers her the option she desires — "I can help you get somewhere you can start over." She wants to believe him, but she's very scared. And he wants to make sure she's okay before he leaves her alone, because she's already run away once.

Is there hope Ava may find a happy ending, or at least get out of Harlan alive?
I hope so. I think she deserves it. But I love my character. She may not be the most upstanding citizen on the planet, but she gives you a reason to believe in her, and I do. I want to see her have that opportunity.

So what's next for you — how will you top Justified?
I just hope I get to play another woman who's so flavored, complicated, and strong — and so lovely, soft, and feminine. And so flawed! I'll miss the collaboration with these actors and writers. But it's time to grow new relationships and get out of the nest.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/02/joell...al-season.html
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TUESDAY'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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TV Notes
Amazon Orders 5 Original Series Including ‘Man In The High Castle,’ ‘Mad Dogs’
By Nancy Tartaglione, Deadline.com - Feb. 18, 2015

During Amazon Studios’ latest pilot season, The Man In The High Castle became the most-watched since the original series development program began. Amazon has now greenlit a full season of the drama from Frank Spotnitz. It has also picked up full seasons of hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs, from Shawn Ryan; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; and kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show. The new series will premiere exclusively for Prime Instant members in the U.S., UK and Germany later this year and into 2016.

Additionally, Amazon picked up freshman comedy Mozart in the Jungle for a second season, making it the second series in a row to go to Season 2, along with Transparent.

The newly picked up projects were part of Amazon’s first pilot season of 2015, which also included hourlong pilots Cocked from Samuel Baum and Sam Shaw and Point Of Honor from Carlton Cuse and Randall Wallace as well as half-hour pilots Down Dog from Robin Schiff and Salem Rogers from Will Graham and Lindsey Stoddart and kids pilots Buddy: Tech Detective, Sara Saves It, Table 58 and Niko and the Sward of Light. Of them, I hear only Salem Rogers remains in contention with an order for a second script. Here are details about Amazon’s newest original series:

The Man In The High Castle is based on Philip K. Dick’s alternative history novel in which Nazi Germany and Japan were the victors of World War II. Almost 20 years later, much of the globe has been split between the two countries. But tension is mounting for the Axis powers, and the stress is playing out in the U.S. where fascism rules and the few surviving Jews hide under assumed names. (Check out a clip below.)

The drama pilot starred Alexa Davalos (Mob City), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars), Rupert Evans (The Village), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy), Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove), Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) and DJ Qualls (Z Nation). David Semel directed and exec produced with X-Files alum Spotnitz. Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker are also exec producers with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free. Executive Producers for Headline Pictures are Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute. Isa Dick Hackett will also executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (the production arm of Dick’s estate). Christopher Tricarico is also executive producer.

Mad Dogs is an hour-long dark comedy/drama from Cris Cole (The Good Times Are Killing Me), and Shawn Ryan (The Shield). Based on the UK original, Mad Dogs follows the reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends in a Belizean villa where grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. The pilot starred Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin. It was directed by Charles McDougall (The Good Wife) who is an exec producer with Cole, Ryan, Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Andy Harries (Strikeback) and Suzanne Mackie (Kinky Boots). It’s co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.

The New Yorker Presents is Amazon’s first docu-series which brings the magazine to life. The pilot featured a short film starring Alan Cumming and Brett Gelman; a documentary by Jonathan Demme; and an interview with performance artist, Marina Abramović. The half-hour series is exec produced by Alex Gibney, Dave Snyder (Death Row Stories) and Dawn Ostroff (The Fashion Fund). The pilot was co-produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions.

The kids series going forward are Just Add Magic, for the 6-11 set, and The Stinky & Dirty Show, for preschoolers. Magic is based on Cindy Callaghan’s YA book and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son). The single-camera live-action pilot was directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas In Love) and centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some magical recipes. The project stars Olivia Sanabia (Extant), Abby Donnelly (Suburgatory), Aubrey Miller (Austin & Ally), and Judah Bellamy (Home).

The Stinky & Dirty Show, based on the I Stink! book series by Kate & Jim McMullan, is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends) and animated by Brown Bag Films (Peter Rabbit). It follows the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty, the backhoe loader.

http://deadline.com/2015/02/amazon-o...eo-1201375797/
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TV Notes
MSNBC’s Competitive Bite: ‘Top Chef’ Host Named Food Correspondent
By Jordan Chariton, TheWrap.com - Feb. 18, 2015

MSNBC hired celebrity chef Tom Colicchio as its first-ever food correspondent, the network announced Wednesday.
The “Top Chef” host will report original stories about the role food plays in people’s lives for MSNBC TV while also hosting “Stirring the Pot” on the digital channel “Shift.”

He’ll continue to host his culinary reality show on Bravo while also contributing across MSNBC platforms. The food correspondent role adds to MSNBC’s growing strategy to evolve beyond just politics and cover a broader range of topics.

“There are few voices – if any – that are as passionate as Tom Colicchio is when talking about the food we eat and how it impacts our families and communities. I’ve long been a fan of his work and am thrilled that Tom’s fresh perspective will be integrated across all our platforms, from TV to Shift to social media,” said Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC.

“As a chef, a father, and an advocate for sane food policy, I’m looking forward to bringing stories to MSNBC that highlight how critical food is to the workings of a functional, humane society,” said Tom Colicchio. “In today’s world it is impossible to separate our food culture from the politics and policies that shape our choices as consumers and taxpayers, whether we’re aware of them or not. The one thing we all have in common is that everyone eats, and I’m excited to partner with MSNBC on a show that fosters healthy dialogue and speaks to this basic common truth.”

http://www.thewrap.com/msnbcs-compet...correspondent/

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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Fresh Off the Boat’ grows in week three
ABC comedy jumps 12 percent over last week to a 1.9 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 18, 2015

The new ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat” continues to show promise.

In its third week, and second in its regular Tuesday timeslot, “Boat” posted a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen, up 12 percent over last week’s 1.7.

The 8 p.m. program finished as the highest-rated comedy of the night on broadcast, and it was also ABC’s No. 1 show of the night.

“Boat’s” lead-out, “Repeat After Me,” doesn’t look quite as promising. The new reality show bowed to a 1.4 at 8:30 p.m., not a terrible number but not great considering its lead-in.

Elsewhere last night, Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” soared 29 percent over last week to a 1.8 at 8 p.m., its best rating in four weeks.

Its lead-outs, “New Girl” (1.4) and “The Mindy Project” (1.1) were both up a tenth from last week.

CBS’s “NCIS” was the night’s top show with a 2.5 at 8 p.m., though that was off 14 percent from last week. Lead-out “NCIS: New Orleans” also slid, down 13 percent to a 2.0, though 10 p.m. drama “Person of Interest” managed to stay even.

On NBC, back-to-back episodes of “Parks and Recreation” at 8 and 8:30 p.m. grew a tenth over last week to a 1.2 and 1.1. The network’s 9 p.m. comedies continued to struggle, with “Marry Me” posting a 0.8 and “About a Boy” tying a series low with a 0.7.

And on the CW, “Supernatural” grew a tenth from last week to a 0.9, matching a one-month high.

CBS was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.0 average overnight rating and a 6 share. Fox was second at 1.5/4, ABC third at 1.3/4, Univision fourth at 1.2/4, NBC and CW tied for fifth at 1.1/3, and Telemundo seventh at 0.6/2.

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

At 8 p.m. CBS was first with a 2.5 for “NCIS,” followed by Fox with a 1.8 for “MasterChef.” ABC was third with a 1.6 for “Boat” (1.9) and “Repeat” (1.4), CW fourth with a 1.4 for “The Flash,” Univision fifth with a 1.2 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo,” NBC sixth with a 1.1 for “Parks” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.6 for “Los Miserables.”

CBS was first again at 9 p.m. with a 2.0 for “NCIS: NO,” while ABC rose to second with a 1.4 for “Marvel’s Agent Carter.” Fox and Univision tied for third at 1.3, Fox for “Girl” (1.4) and “Mindy” (1.1) and Univision for “Hasta el Fin del Mundo,” with CW fifth with a 0.9 for “Supernatural,” NBC sixth with a 0.7 for “Marry” (0.8) and “Boy” (0.7) and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “Tierra de Reyes.”

At 10 p.m. CBS led with a 1.6 for “Person,” with NBC second with a 1.4 for “Chicago Fire.” Univision was third with a 1.0 for “Que te Perdone Dios,” ABC fourth with a 0.8 for the special “Countdown to the Oscars” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.7 for “Dueños del Paraiso.”

CBS also finished first for the night among households with an 8.5 average overnight rating and a 14 share. ABC was second at 2.6/4, NBC and Fox tied for third at 2.4/4, CW was fifth at 1.8/3, Univision sixth at 1.5/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fre...in-week-three/

* * * *

TV Notes
Goodbye to ‘The Mentalist,’ for now
CBS drama airs its series finale but Thomas Jane may be back
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Feb. 18, 2015

Call it the ultimate procedural cliffhanger. Tonight at 8 p.m. CBS’s “The Mentalist” wraps up its seven-season run with a two-hour series finale – or does it?

While the show is definitely done on CBS, the studio behind the show, Warner Bros., has been shopping the program to other networks.

No deals have been announced yet, but it’s possible “Mentalist” could be resurrected. Though the show’s ratings have declined over the years, falling to series lows this season, it could be a solid pickup for a cable network such as TNT, which airs “Mentalist” repeats and is focused on drama.

“Mentalist” has averaged a 1.4 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating this season, even to last year. But that’s less than half what the show averaged at its peak, when it aired on Thursdays as part of CBS’s once-powerful reality and drama lineup.

The network moved the show to Sundays to help give that night a kickstart, but “Mentalist” never gained traction there and ratings sank.

It was a surprise renewal last year, considering how many other CBS dramas draw better ratings, but the network wanted to give the show a chance for a farewell season.

In tonight’s series finale, Thomas Jane, the faux psychic, and his longtime partner in crime solving, Teresa Lisbon, decide to tie the knot.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/goo...alist-for-now/
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TV Review
‘Cop Show,’ Colin Quinn’s Police Procedural Satire
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Feb. 18, 2015

The comedian Colin Quinn is a cunning self-deprecator: He makes fun of his own middling level of fame with an aggressive edge that suggests that he really ought to be bigger by now. On Twitter, he draws attention by encouraging his haters, retweeting their most imaginative insults. (Recent sample: “My girlfriend and I are going to play the CQ game. Every time you come on screen, we drink arsenic.”)

His new eight-episode online series, the ragged, amiable and occasionally quite funny “Cop Show,” fits this pattern. It’s billed as a satire of police procedurals like “Law & Order,” but it’s really a double-edged satire of Mr. Quinn’s pretensions and desires. Playing himself as the creator, writer and star of a cut-rate, amateurish detective drama, he’s clueless, affected and obsessed with righting the wrongs done to him during his career. It’s a funny and fairly merciless self-portrait, but hey, “Cop Show” is, indeed, his show. No one else is getting the last laugh.

The show debuts Wednesday, with new episodes of five to six minutes each appearing weekly on the Lexus-sponsored video site L/Studio. It is a mock making-of documentary. We see the unspeakably bad show-within-a-show, which features Mr. Quinn, Sue Jean Kim and Keith Robinson as detectives, and we see behind-the-scenes interviews and outtakes filmed by a reporter for a snooty-sounding French publication, played with an amusingly exaggerated accent by Elsa Carette. Encountering Jerry Seinfeld on the set, wincing as he observes the proceedings, she cautiously asks, “Your name ees on zees?”

Mr. Seinfeld’s name isn’t on the series, but he showed up for Episode 1, and a number of other comedians drop by to help Mr. Quinn: Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan (doing a surprisingly convincing Congolese warlord), Jim Norton, Pat Cooper. In one amusing bit, Michael Che — currently a “Weekend Update” anchor, a role Mr. Quinn filled before his unceremonious off-season exit from “Saturday Night Live” — shows up to play a detective who has the Quinn character’s old job.

“All people do is talk about how great you were,” Mr. Che says, reading his Quinn-written dialogue. “It feels like I’m following your shadow.” Mr. Quinn, with his contradictory blend of smugness and wounded pride, replies: “Well, I was just doing my job, fella. And I left of my own accord, I wasn’t forced out. Over the summer.”

Cop Show
Available for streaming on LStudio.com.


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/ar...ref=television
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TV Notes
Millennials ditching their TV sets at a record rate
By Claire Atkinson, New York Post - Feb. 16, 2015

The biggest TV drama among millennials is playing off screen.

So far this season, younger viewers, the most important audience for advertisers, have ditched their TV sets at more than double the rate of previous years, new Nielsen figures show.

Traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4 percent a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6 percent between September and January.

In the era of smartphones and Netflix, it’s no surprise that traditional TV is losing relevance for younger viewers. But the sudden acceleration is alarming to even the most seasoned analysts.

“The change in behavior is stunning. The use of streaming and smartphones just year-on-year is double-digit increases,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told The Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”

Brad Adgate, Horizon Media’s chief researcher and often one of the first to spot trouble, was equally surprised at the sudden drop.

“Usage is really down in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic this season,” he said.

This season’s steep slide means there are almost 20 percent fewer young adults watching their TV sets in primetime than four years ago.

In 2011, 21.7 million young adults tuned in to their TV sets. By the end of last month, that figure had fallen to 17.8 million, according to Nielsen figures.

Adding insult to injury, the median age of the TV audience hit 50 this year. That’s older than the 18- to 49-year-old audience that network executives have banked on for decades.

If the TV-as-an-anachronism trend holds, the implications for the media industry are huge, possibly causing a seismic shift in the $80 billion TV ad market.

Of course, the trend of zero TV doesn’t mean zero video. Millennials are watching online video from Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO and other “streaming” sources.

Consumption of video is bigger than ever. Wurtzel’s research shows a year-over-year increase of 22 percent in subscription video viewing in 2014, and a 26 percent rise in “binge viewing.”

The problem is finding those missing viewers — or measuring them. Nielsen’s traditional ratings don’t capture the full picture, making it tough for networks to monetize viewers who watch shows on smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Network executives are trying to get around the problem. Media giant Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central and other younger-skewing networks, said recently that around 30 percent of its ad deals are based on non-Nielsen data sources.

“Industrywide declines in ratings are generating debate about ways to close the gap between currently accepted ratings and actual consumption,” Viacom CEO Philipe Dauman said in a recent earnings call.

NBC hopes to juice ratings with data on viewers who are watching shows via NBC.com and online hub Hulu. To bolster its case, the network points out that an additional half-million viewers ages 18 to 49 watch the hit show “The Blacklist” on digital devices.

http://nypost.com/2015/02/16/milleni...a-record-rate/
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TV Notes
CBS’ Bob Simon Tribute Runs 90 Minutes This Sunday
By Lisa de Moraes, Deadline.com - Feb. 18, 2015

CBS’ tribute to its correspondent Bob Simon will run 90 minutes this Sunday, 7-8:30 PM ET/PT. Steve Kroft anchors this 90-minute 60 minutes, which will be followed by the 2½ hour movie Act Of Valor.

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes opened with a report Simon finished the day he died in a car crash on New York City’s West Side Highway. Simon was killed February 11 when the Town Car in which he was a passenger sideswiped another car on the highway, reportedly while doing 55 mph in a 35 mph zone, then slammed into a barrier between the northbound and southbound lanes. Simon’s report, Z Mapp, looked at the development of a promising drug to combat Ebola.

His private funeral was held Tuesday at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, attended by about 150, including NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, CBS News’ Charlie Rose, Jeff Fager, Scott Pelley, Morley Safer and CBS cameraman Norman Lloyd, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, former CBS honcho Howard Stringer, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, and family, among others, according to news reports.

http://deadline.com/2015/02/bob-simo...es-1201376073/
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