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TV Notes
On The Air

TUESDAY AUG. 4, 2020 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)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid

ABC:
8PM - Modern Family
(R)
8:30PM - Modern Family (R)
9PM - Black-ish (R)
9:30PM - Black-Ish (R)
10PM - What Would You Do?
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Billy Eichner guest hosts; comic Amy Schumer; South Carolina senatorial hopeful Jaime Harrison)
(R)
12:06AM - Nightline
12:37AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live!
(R)

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R)
9PM - FBI (R)
10PM - John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero (Special)
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Comic Jon Stewart)
(R)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Russell Crowe; astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley; Charlie Puth performs) (R)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent (120 min.)
10:01PM - World of Dance
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Jesse Eisenberg; NBA player Blake Griffin; Gracie Abrams performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Matthew Macfadyen; Foster The People performs; Thaddeus Dixon sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Stephanie Beatriz)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - Hell's Kitchen
9PM - Prodigal Son
(R)

THE CW:
8PM - DC's Stargirl
9PM - Tell Me A Story: Episode 2

PBS:
8PM - American Experience - Reagan: Lifeguard (120 min.)
(R)
10PM - Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team

UNIVISION:
8PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
9PM - Médicos, Línea de Vida
10PM - Como Tú No Hay Dos

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Exatlón Estados Unidos (120 min.)
9PM - Cennet
10PM - Enemigo Intimo


TNT:
6:30PM - NBA Basketball: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (LIVE)
9PM - NBA Basketball: Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)

ESPN:

7PM - MLB Baseball: New York Mets at Washington Nationals (LIVE)
10PM - MLB Baseball: Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7PM - WNBA Basketball: Phoenix Mercury vs. Atlanta Dream (LIVE)
10PM - WNBA Basketball: Connecticut Sun vs. Seattle Storm (LIVE)

MTV:
8PM - Siesta Key (60 min.)

NAT GEO:
8PM - When Sharks Attack, Extra Bite: Four Strike Summer
9PM - When Sharks Attack - Compilations: Small Town Siege (63 min.)
10:03PM - Shark vs. Dolphins - Blood Battle: Extra Bite


NBCSN:
8PM - NHL Hockey: Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers (LIVE)
10:30PM - PLL Championship Series - Playoff Round: Archers LC vs. Atlas LC (LIVE)

SCIENCE:
8PM - Forbidden History: Mystery of Ancient Wonders (120 min.)
10PM - Mysteries of the Deep: Secrets of the Loch Ness Monster

TLC:
8PM - Counting On (3 hrs.)

A&E:
9PM - What's It Worth? (Series Premiere)
9:30PM - What's It Worth?
10PM - Extreme Unboxing (Series Premiere)
10:30PM - Extreme Unboxing

BRAVO:
9PM - Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles
10PM - Backyard Envy (Season Premiere)
* * * *
11PM - Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen (Alanis Morissette and Sean Hayes)

FOOD NETWORK:
9PM - Chopped
10PM - Chopped (Season Premiere)

HBO:
9PM - The Swamp (Documentary Premiere, 2020, 120 min.)

OWN:
9PM - Greenleaf

TRUTV:
9:30PM - Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes - Tipping Point
10PM - Hot Ones: Grandmas Get Sauced
10:30PM - Hot Ones: Maisie Williams

TBS:
10PM - Celebrity Show-Off
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Joel McHale)
(R)

USA:
10:30PM - NHL Hockey: Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks (LIVE)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: The Daily Social Distancing Show - July 13, 2020 (45 min.)
(R)


Source: https://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap
 

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TELL ME A STORY
CW, 9:00 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE:
Recycled from CBS All Access, Tell Me a Story – a “mature” interweaving of several fairy tales, told in modern day settings and with very dark variations – began showing on the CW last week.
Tonight, Episode 2….
"Premiere." You keep using that word... :)
 

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TV/Business Notes
As productions restart, California tax credits lure HBO’s ‘In Treatment,’ TBS’ ‘Miracle Workers’
By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 3, 2020

Film and TV shoots have been slow to resume in the Los Angeles area. But California’s recently relaunched tax incentive program continues to lure productions from other states even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

....

California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave the green light for music, film and TV productions to restart on June 12, clearing the way for local governments to make their own decisions. Labor unions and studios collaborated on detailed guidelines for how to return to work safely. But a recent surge in outbreaks has renewed concerns about onset health dangers.

The restart has been “slow but steady,” starting with game shows, documentaries and indie movies and other smaller-scale projects said Colleen Bell, the commission’s executive director. Many larger shows and films are hoping to resume in late fall or by year’s end, she said, though some have been pushed back into 2021.

Bell said she is encouraged by the “robust” number of independent films and studio movies that applied for incentives in the latest round, which closed July 15 and is being reviewed by the commission. Local film offices, meanwhile, are seeing upticks in permit applications.

“Production is definitely picking up in the state,” Bell said. “There is definitely a collective will and desire to get productions up and running.”

.....

Source: As productions restart, California tax credits lure HBO's 'In Treatment,' TBS' 'Miracle Workers'
I just wanted to give an independent confirmation to this. My daughter is out there working as a production manager on a variety of smaller projects (commercials, music videos and the like) and she has been quite busy the last few weeks and is scheduled into the future. She has had a few get quickly postponed and then restart, but there is a lot of work going on. Everyone is frequently tested there using the instant tests with results back in 15 minutes.

Neil
 

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Media/Business Notes (Streaming)
‘Mulan’ to Premiere on Disney Plus as Streamer Surpasses 60.5 Million Subscribers
By Elaine Low, Variety.com - Aug. 4, 2020

Even amid a pandemic that has battered major parts of its business, including theme parks and studio entertainment, Disney flexed the power of its streaming service Tuesday, releasing whopper subscriber figures and announcing that its tentpole film “Mulan” will bypass American theaters and go straight to Disney Plus next month.

Disney Plus now has over 60.5 million paying subscribers as of last month, just nine months after the launch of the direct-to-consumer streaming platform. And after several delays to its theatrical release date, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that “Mulan” will premiere on the service on a “premiere access” basis on Sept. 4 for $29.99. The film will be released theatrically in markets in which access to the movie on Disney Plus is not available.

Chapek was quick to emphasize on the call with analysts that the “Mulan” release on Disney Plus is a one-time event.

“We’re looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off, as opposed to saying there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at,” he said.

“We find it very interesting to take a premiere offering to consumers at that $29.99 price and learn from it,” said Chapek, noting that they would study the number of transactions and the number of subscribers generated by the movie.

He also said that the premiere access window created on Disney Plus for “Mulan” acts as a “fairly large stimulus” for new consumers to sign up for the streaming service.

Between Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus, the company has surpassed 100 million in global SVOD subscribers. That has made the company “even more confident about our future” and encouraged them to be “more aggressive” with programming. During the last earnings call, Disney reported 54.5 million worldwide subs. Chapek highlighted the 15 Emmy nominations earned by the service’s flagship live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.”

Hulu’s total subscribers have reached 35.5 million as of June 27, up 27% from the year ago quarter. Of those subscribers, 3.4 million take the SVOD Hulu service as well as the Hulu Live virtual MVPD service. Hulu Live subs are up from 2.2 million in the year-ago frame.

ESPN Plus now has 8.5 million subscribers.

Disney plans to launch an international direct-to-consumer general entertainment offering under the Star brand in calendar year 2021. Chapek said it would draw content from Disney-owned ABC Studios, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight, among other Disney assets.

At this stage of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company’s direct-to-consumer and international segment is the only division that generated year-over-year revenue growth during the quarter, rising 2% to $4 billion. The unit delivered an operating loss of about $706 million, which was $200 million less of a loss than previously forecast, thanks to the growth of Disney Plus and Hulu.

Meanwhile, the normally lucrative parks, experiences and consumer products segment saw revenue plummet 85% to $1 billion, while studio entertainment revenue sank 55% to $1.7 billion. Media networks segment revenue slipped 2% to $6.6 billion.

Disney’s direct-to-consumer offering is a “top priority and key to the future of the company,” said Chapek on the call.

In the company’s fiscal third-quarter earnings, total revenue plummeted 40% to $11.7 billion and diluted per-share earnings sank 94% to 8 cents.

Source: ‘Mulan’ to Premiere on Disney Plus as Streamer Surpasses 60.5 Million Subscribers
 

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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
Ren & Stimpy Reboot Ordered at Comedy Central
By Ryan Schwartz, TVLine.com - Aug. 5, 2020

Comedy Central is bringing back another one of TV’s most beloved animated duos. Just one month after commissioning a Beavis and Butt-Head revival, the network has ordered a reboot of the Nickelodeon classic The Ren & Stimpy Show.

The Ren & Stimpy reboot will be overseen by a new creative team, as the property is reimagined for a new generation. An episode count and premiere date have not yet been revealed.

In addition to Ren & Stimpy and Beavis and Butt-Head, Comedy Central ordered a Jodie-centric Daria spinoff back in June. ViacomCBS has also commissioned a Clone High reboot by way of MTV Studios — though a network is not yet attached.

“I want to thank our partners at Nick Animation as we re-imagine these iconic characters with a new creative team,” Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and CCO for ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group, said in a statement.

Added ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group president Chris McCarthy, “We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

The original Ren & Stimpy Show premiered in 1991 as one of Nickelodeon’s first animated series, alongside Rugrats and Doug. It ran for five seasons before it was cancelled in 1995. The following year, a previously unseen installment aired on MTV.

Seven years later, the spinoff Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon premiered on the now-defunct Spike TV and was axed after just three episodes. Additional unaired episodes were eventually released on DVD in 2006.

Source: Ren & Stimpy Reboot Ordered at Comedy Central
 

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Media/Business Notes (OTT)
Walmart has again delayed the launch of its Amazon Prime competitor Walmart+
By Jason Del Rey, Vox.com - Aug. 4, 2020

Amazon may have a 15-year head start, but Walmart is close to finally unveiling its own membership program that it hopes will eventually become an alternative to Amazon Prime.

Walmart had planned to launch a new subscription service in July called Walmart+ that will cost $98 a year. It will include perks like same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise, discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, and early access to product deals, multiple sources told Recode.

But Walmart has once again delayed the launch of Walmart+, Recode has learned. It’s unclear whether there’s a new internal launch date and whether the program will launch nationally or first on a regional level when the company finally unveils it. Walmart originally planned to launch Walmart+ in late March or April, Recode reported in February, but the retailer first pushed back the date to July after the Covid-19 pandemic began sweeping across the US in March.

A Walmart spokesperson declined to comment on the Walmart+ launch.

While Covid-19 panic-buying helped boost Walmart sales to record highs earlier this year, its US e-commerce presence is still only around an eighth the size of Amazon’s. Today, Amazon is valued at $1.56 trillion, while Walmart is worth $372 billion. And Amazon Prime is a big reason why.

Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime has become a loyalty program that now boasts more than 150 million members globally and sports a portfolio of perks, including express delivery of groceries and other items, access to a large catalog of TV shows and movies, as well as exclusive discounts at Whole Foods stores. Amazon Prime members, who pay $119 annually in the US, shop more frequently and spend more on Amazon than non-Prime members do. They also do price comparisons less across competitor sites.

Perhaps most problematic for Walmart is the fact that more than half of its top-spending families now have Amazon Prime memberships, Recode previously reported. It’s a trend that has been several years in the making, as Amazon has made moves for Prime to appeal to households with less disposable income that historically have favored shopping at Walmart.

Amazon added a monthly payment option for Prime in 2016, a 45 percent Prime fee discount for those on government assistance in 2017, and ways for Prime customers to pay for orders with cash last year. While Walmart’s overall grocery business is larger than Amazon’s, one fear at the Bentonville, Arkansas, retailer is that top Walmart customers could eventually turn to Amazon for groceries as well, as they get sucked further into the Prime suite of perks.

When Walmart+ launches, the $98 annual membership is expected to include unlimited same-day delivery of groceries and other goods from Walmart Supercenters, reserved delivery slots and open-slot notifications, as well as some access to Walmart’s new Express two-hour delivery offering, though not unlimited usage. During the pandemic, customers have run into issues securing grocery delivery slots in some parts of the country as companies like Walmart and Amazon struggled to handle drastic increases in demand for online grocery services.

Walmart+ perks are also expected to include discounts on fuel at Walmart gas stations, early access to some product deals, and a Scan & Go service that would allow shoppers to check out in Walmart stores without waiting in line — a tool Walmart briefly tested but discontinued nearly two years ago. A Walmart+-branded credit card will also be introduced at some point after launch.

Walmart also has plans to add video entertainment components to the program, though the details of this remain unclear. In July, Walmart unveiled an online family entertainment program called CAMP by Walmart, in partnership with the retail startup CAMP and the online video technology firm Eko. This video content, featuring celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris, Drew Barrymore, and LeBron James, will be free to all Walmart app users this summer. But the program could point to a future where similar programming is gated off for Walmart+ members. Walmart has also considered partnering with big media companies on video content perks.

The timing of the Walmart+ unveiling could both create opportunities for Walmart and present new challenges. On one hand, as Recode recently reported, “the share of people who said they have a positive impression of Amazon dropped from 74 percent in January before the pandemic hit the US to 58 percent in May in two similar, separate polls of more than 1,000 people conducted by Survey Monkey with Fortune and Recode, respectively.” Amazon customers have seen extended delivery times during the pandemic, especially in March and April, in part due to the company’s focus for several weeks on prioritizing delivery of essential items.

The pandemic has also accelerated adoption of grocery delivery while simultaneously forcing tens of millions of Americans out of work, which could make fuel discounts especially attractive. But at the same time, those same record unemployment numbers could call into question the timing of introducing a program that is asking customers to spend more with you than they have during even good economic times.

Either way, the Walmart+ initiative is a top priority for Janey Whiteside, the company’s chief customer officer who joined from American Express in 2018, according to sources. Other top Walmart leaders, including CEO Doug McMillon, have also been active in planning, signaling the importance of the initiative. Walmart executives have hoped the program would strike a balance of being valuable enough that customers will pay for it, while boasting different enough perks from Amazon Prime so that there aren’t perk-by-perk comparisons. Shoppers should soon be able to decide for themselves.

Source: Walmart has again delayed the launch of its Amazon Prime competitor Walmart+
 

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TV/Production Notes
Who's The Boss Sequel Series Happening with Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano
By Diane Gordon, TVGuide.com - Aug. 4, 2020

One of TV's best-loved father/daughter duos is returning as Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano are set to return to their roles as Tony and Samantha Micelli in a new Who's The Boss? sequel series, according to Deadline. The original version ran eight seasons and produced 196 episodes for ABC from 1984-1992, a timespan that allowed viewers to watch Milano grow up on TV.

The new show is set 30 years after the original series and will center on Tony and Samantha's relationship. Tony is now retired - he was a retired baseball player in the original series but has now retired from his second profession of housekeeping. Samantha is now a single mom, living in the original house viewers saw in the original series. The new series will explore Tony and Samantha's very different parenting styles and how the generational divide affects their approaches to child-rearing.

Original cast members Judith Light and Danny Pintauro are said to be supportive of the new show, but there's no confirmation yet as to whether they will be part of the new series. Sadly, Katherine Helmond, who played Light's mother Mona in the original series, passed away in 2019. Let's hope they incorporate some flashbacks of her in the new series.

Who's the Boss is part of Norman Lear's show library under his Embassy Communications banner that is now owned by Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers on the new series will include Lear, his producing partner Brent Miller of ACT III Productions, Dan Farah of Farah Films, Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano.

Source: Who's The Boss Sequel Series Happening with Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano | TV Guide
 

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TV Sports/Health Notes (College Football)
UConn becomes first FBS team to cancel football season in 2020
By Chris Bumbaca, USA Today - Aug. 5, 2020

The University of Connecticut football team has canceled its 2020 season, the school announced Wednesday.

Players will still remain on scholarship and continue to receive the support services set aside for athletes.

"After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," director of athletics David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."

Spring football is not an option for the school either; the announcement states the team will "cancel all competition for the 2020-21 school year."

As a football independent, UConn watched games against Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi float off the schedule, as leagues transition to a "conference-only" schedule due to coronavirus concerns; the Huskies were also unsure if contests against North Carolina and Virginia would be played.

Earlier this week, coach Randy Edsall said he was doubtful the season could be played.

"We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being," Edsall said. "Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season."

The players also released a joint statement through the school:

"As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020. We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome."

UConn, who went 2-10 last season, began spring practice on Feb. 4 and completed spring practice before the COVID-19 pandemic ceased workouts.

Since the players returned to campus, UConn has reported zero positive coronavirus cases.

Source: UConn becomes first FBS team to cancel football season in 2020
 

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Wait, didn't Guillermo Del Toro already do this with his FX Limited Series "The Strain"? :whistle:

TV/Production Notes
‘Mimic’ TV Reboot From Paul WS Anderson in the Works at Miramax
By Tim Baysinger, TheWrap.com - Aug. 4, 2020

A TV reboot of the 1997 sci-fi horror film “Mimic” is in development at Miramax TV with Paul W.S. Anderson on board to direct the pilot and executive produce.

The series, an adaptation of Donald A. Wollheim’s short story of the same name, will be led by Jim Danger Gray who will write and serve as showrunner. Anderson’s longtime producing partner Jeremy Bolt will be an executive producer as well.

“Mimic” centers on genetically engineered insects who evolve and develop the ability to mimic their human prey. The 1997 film was co-written and directed by Guillermo del Toro and produced by Miramax’s Dimension Films label and Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam and Josh Brolin. The movie spawned a pair of direct-to-video sequels in 2001 (“Mimic 2”) and 2003 (“Mimic 3: Sentinel”).

The reboot is among the first major projects under new head of worldwide television Marc Helwig, who came aboard Miramax in May.

Anderson and Bolt are best known for the “Resident Evil” franchise, as well as films “Event Horizon” and “Death Race.” Gray was most recently an executive producer on the scrapped “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot with Naomi Watts.

Deadline was first to report the news.

Source: 'Mimic' TV Reboot From Paul WS Anderson in the Works at Miramax
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Amy Adams reunites with Vice director for Netflix's Walmart miniseries Kings of America
By Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com - Aug. 4, 2020

Amy Adams is re-teaming with Vice director Adam McKay for a new Netflix miniseries... about Walmart.

The streamer announced on Tuesday that Adams will star and executive produce Kings of America with McKay, who is also attached to direct the first episode.

According to the official series description, the drama "centers on the stories of three powerful women whose lives were inextricably intertwined with the world's largest company: a Walmart heiress, a maverick executive, and a longtime Walmart saleswoman and preacher who dared to fight against the retail giant in the biggest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history."

Along with Adams and McKay, the limited series will also be executive produced by Stacy O’Neil, Betsy Koch, and Brunson Green, with Diana Son serving as showrunner and executive producer and Jess Kimball Leslie as writer/creator/executive producer.

Adams and McKay previously worked together on Vice, which went on to earn eight Oscar nominations including a supporting actress nod for Adams. They first collaborated on the 2006 comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Source: Amy Adams reunites with 'Vice' director for Netflix's Walmart miniseries 'Kings of America'
 

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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: NBC, Univision Tie for Demo Lead
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Aug. 4, 2020

The Titan Games remained in the No. 1 spot among adults 18-49 on Monday night, helping NBC tie for the primetime lead in the key ad demographic. Univision joined NBC atop the demo rankings, paced by the finale of Te Doy La Vida.

The Titan Games scored a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 3.71 million viewers, right in line with its season averages. It also finished in a virtual tie with a rerun of CBS' The Neighborhood (3.72 million) for the lead among total viewers on the broadcast networks.

A repeat of American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World averaged 0.5 and 2.65 million viewers, helping NBC claim at least a share of the 18-49 crown on broadcast for the 11th straight week — the entire summer season to date.

The finale of Te Doy La Vida earned a 0.5 in adults 18-49 for Univision, while Medicos and Como Tú No Hay Dos each averaged 0.4.

The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! drew a 0.3 in adults 18-49 and 1.72 million viewers for ABC, on par with its last airing two weeks ago. Whose Line Is It Anyway and Penn & Teller: Fool Us (both 0.2) were steady on The CW.

NBC and Univision each averaged a 0.5 among adults 18-49 in primetime (though NBC is likely ahead by a few hundredths of a point). CBS was close behind at 0.4, while ABC, Fox and Telemundo tied at 0.3. The CW averaged 0.2.

Source: TV Ratings: NBC, Univision Tie for Demo Lead
 

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Media/Health Notes
Rockettes cancel 'Christmas Spectacular' show for the first time in 87 years, citing coronavirus concerns
By Nate Day, FoxBusiness.com - Aug. 5, 2020

The Rockettes have elected to cancel their annual New York City show, “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes,” in light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first time the show has been canceled since it began in 1933.

The show was scheduled to run at Radio City Music Hall from Nov. 6 to Jan. 3.

"We regret that the 2020 production of the ‘Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes’ ... has been canceled," said Madison Square Garden Entertainment in a statement obtained by Fox Business.

The statement cites the “uncertainty associated with the Covid-19 pandemic” as the reason for cancelation.

The note said they plan to hold the production again in 2021. Tickets can now be purchased, while tickets for this year's production will be automatically refunded.

More than 75 million people have seen the Rockettes perform since their initial show, according to their website.

Additionally, MSG Entertainment, parent company of the Rockettes and owners of Madison Square Garden, confirmed to the New York Post that they plan to lay off 350 employees, which is about a third of its workforce, due to the pandemic.

Sister company MSG Sports, owner of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, plans to lay off about 15% of their employees, which is about 50 people.

“This was a difficult decision for both companies, as we know that our success rests on the strength of our people, who consistently set the industry standard for excellence and professionalism,” the companies said in a joint statement obtained by the Post.

“While we believe this is a necessary step to protect the long-term future of our businesses, we continue to actively pursue solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors, so we’re able to bring as many employees back as quickly as we can, once a return date for live events is established.”

Source: Rockettes cancel 'Christmas Spectacular' show for the first time in 87 years, citing coronavirus concerns
 

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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
‘American Ninja Warrior’ Champion Drew Drechsel Arrested For Child Sex Crimes
By Alexandra Del Rosario, Deadline.com - Aug. 4, 2020

American Ninja Warrior winner Drew Drechsel was arrested Tuesday following accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey, Drechsel, who won the last season of NBC’s athletic competition show, was arrested in his Florida home. The office’s official press release detailed that Drechsel, 31, traveled to New Jersey to engage in sexual activity with a minor. The Florida native also encouraged the girl to send him inappropriate pictures of herself.

Drechsel is being charged with manufacture of child pornography, enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, among other crimes.

Official documents say that Drechsel and his victim met in 2014 at a filming of American Ninja Warrior. They exchanged phone numbers and began texting each other. Drechsel invited the girl to his Connecticut gym where they engaged in sexual behavior, the report details.

When the girl’s mother spoke to Drechsel about the incident, the report explains that the American Ninja Warrior star, then 26, “did not deny the sexual activity, but rather stated he did know her age at the time.” Drechsel and the girl continued to meet multiple times after 2014. They continued speaking with each other until June 2019.

Dreschel’s lawyer Frank J. Riccio II posted a statement on Twitter on behalf of the athlete.

“Mr. Drechsel is presumed innocent of the charges and that presumption will remain throughout the pendency of his case. He intends on entering a ‘not guilty’ plea,” the lawyer wrote. “It is respectfully requested that you respect the privacy of Mr. Drechsel and his family.”

Drechsel and Riccio were not readily available for comment.

Source: ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Champion Drew Drechsel Arrested For Child Sex Crimes
 

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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
NBCUniversal Begins Round of Staff Layoffs
By Jon Lafayette, Multichannel News - Aug. 4, 2020

Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit has begun a substantial round of layoffs that could mean the loss of more than 1,000 jobs in the middle of a pandemic.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the layoffs are expected to be less than 10% of NBCU’s 35,000 full-time employees. Jobs are being cut in nearly all parts of the company, including its TV channels, movie studio and theme parks.

NBCU reported profits of $1.6 billion in the second quarter, down 30%, as revenues fell 25.4% to $6.1 billion.

During the company’s earnings call, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell announced plans to restructure the businesses under Mark Lazarus, who was named chairman, NBCU Television and Streaming, in May.

“Mark is finalizing a new structure that will demonstrate the unique way we intend to manage this business going forward,” Shell said. “We will announce the structure soon.”

Source: NBCUniversal Begins Round of Staff Layoffs
 

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Technology/Cultural Notes (Gaming)
Blizzard Employees Share Salaries With Each Other to Protest Wage Disparities
By Jason Schreiber, Bloomberg/TIME.com - Aug. 4, 2020

Employees at Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., began circulating a spreadsheet on Friday to anonymously share salaries and recent pay increases, the latest example of rising tension in the video game industry over wage disparities and executive compensation.

Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, makes popular games including Diablo and World of Warcraft. In 2019, after an internal survey revealed that more than half of Blizzard workers were unhappy with their compensation, the company told staff it would perform a study to ensure fair pay, according to people familiar with the situation. Blizzard implemented the results of that study last month, which led to an outcry on the company’s internal Slack messaging boards.

One employee then created a spreadsheet and encouraged staff to share their compensation information. The anonymous document, reviewed by Bloomberg News, contains dozens of purported Blizzard salaries and pay bumps. Most of the raises are below 10%, significantly less than Blizzard employees said they expected following the study.

“Our goal has always been to ensure we compensate our employees fairly and competitively,” Activision Blizzard spokeswoman Jessica Taylor said. “We are constantly reviewing compensation philosophies to better recognize the talent of our highest performers and keep us competitive in the industry, all with the aim of rewarding and investing more in top employees.”

This year, Blizzard top performers received a salary increase that was 20% more than in prior years, and more people got promotions, Taylor added. “Our overall salary investment is consistent with prior years,” she also said.

Wage disparity has become a hot-button issue in the $150 billion video game industry as calls for unionization grow. A pro-labor group recently slammed Activision Blizzard for the pay of Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick. His 2019 compensation was worth $40 million at the end of that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the package has grown since then as the company’s stock has soared. Last year, the company also paid $15 million in stock awards and sign-on bonus to incoming Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin. In the anonymous spreadsheet, one employee listed the CEO’s annual salary, bonus and stock award.

In internal messages reviewed by Bloomberg News, Blizzard employees said they were struggling to make ends meet while watching Activision Blizzard revenue grow year after year. Some producers and engineers at Blizzard can make well over $100,000 a year, but others, such as video game testers and customer-service representatives, are often paid minimum wage or close to it.

Blizzard Entertainment has traditionally remained autonomous from its parent company, but in recent years, Activision’s corporate office has pushed the game-development studio to cut costs. Last year, the company eliminated hundreds of jobs and asked some of the remaining staff to take on the responsibilities of those who were let go. That extra work did not come with more pay, according to the people familiar with the company, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive private information.

One veteran Blizzard employee told Bloomberg News they received a raise of less than 50 cents an hour. They are making less now than they did almost a decade ago because they are working fewer overtime hours than they did back then. Several former Blizzard employees said they only received significant pay increases after leaving for other companies, such as nearby rival Riot Games Inc. in Los Angeles.

In 2018 messages on internal Blizzard communication channels reviewed by Bloomberg News, employees talked about money-saving measures they’ve taken to remain with the company. One employee wrote that they had to skip meals to pay rent and that they used the company’s free coffee as an appetite suppressant. Another said they would only eat oatmeal and bail on team lunches because they couldn’t afford to buy food at the company cafeteria. A third said they and their partner stopped talking about having kids because they knew they wouldn’t be able to afford it. That contrasted with pictures they saw of more senior Blizzard employees enjoying vacations to Disneyland with their families.

With assistance from Anders Melin.

Source: Blizzard Employees Share Salaries With Each Other to Protest Wage Disparities
 

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TV Notes
Syndicated ‘Raw Travel’ Packed for Eighth Season
By Jon Lafayette, NextTV.com - Aug. 4, 2020

AIM Tell-A-Vision Group said that its syndicated series Raw Travel has been greenlit for an eighth season.

The show was shot aggressively before the pandemic, enabling it to roll out a full slate of original first-run content when the new season starts on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4. The pandemic prevented many other shows from being produced.

The new season of Raw Travel will feature destinations including Lithuania, Turkey, Colombia, Indonesia, Jamaica, Ethiopia and Georgia (the country, not the U.S. state). Some U.S. destinations will also be featured.

"Travelers miss traveling, and viewers need a dose of optimism, love, and hope. I'm so grateful that last year, I said 'yes' to so many travel opportunities. I had no idea that we'd need this content in 2020-21 to complete our eighth season of all-original content," said Robert G. Rose, founder and executive producer of AIM TV Group.

"First-run, original content can help broadcasters attract viewers on weekends when sports are uncertain, and many syndicated shows have no choice but to re-run or repackage old content. We want to help viewers face this daunting new reality by giving them a chance to live vicariously through our adventures until eventually we can all safely and enjoyably travel again," said Rose, who also hosts the series.

Raw Travel is distributed to outlets in 174 cities covering 95% of U.S. homes, including WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV New York, KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV Los Angeles, and WFLD-TV and WPWR-TV Chicago.

Source: Syndicated ‘Raw Travel’ Packed for Eighth Season
 

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TV Notes
On The Air
WEDNESDAY AUG. 5, 2020 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)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid

ABC:
8PM - United We Fall
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
(R)
9PM - The Conners (R)
9:30PM - American Housewife (R)
10PM - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Sebastian Maniscalco guest hosts; former MLB star Robert Roguiguez)
(R)
12:06AM - Nightline
12:36AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live!
(R)

CBS:
8PM - Tough as Nails
9PM - Big Brother (Season Premiere, 120 min., LIVE)
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Sherrilyn Ifill, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; comic Mike Birbiglia)
(R)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (David Tennant; Jodie Whittaker; Leon Bridges and Terrace Martin perform) (R)

NBC:
8PM - Chicago Med
(R)
9PM - Chicago Fire (R)
10PM - Chicago PD (R)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Jamie Foxx; comic Tig Notaro; Black Pumas perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Seth Rogen; Gillian Jacobs; Thaddeus Dixon sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Karen Gillan)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef (120 min.)

THE CW:
8PM - The 100
9PM - Coroner (Series Premiere)

PBS:
8PM - Animals With Cameras, A Nature Miniseries
(R)
9PM - NOVA: Rise of the Mammals (R)
10PM - Forces of Nature: Color (R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
9PM - Médicos, Línea de Vida
10PM - Como Tú No Hay Dos

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Exatlón Estados Unidos (120 min.)
9PM - Cennet
10PM - Enemigo Intimo


ESPN:
6:30PM - NBA Basketball: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers (LIVE)
9PM - NBA Basketball: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics (LIVE)

CBSSN:

7PM - WNBA Basketball: Minnesota Lynx vs. New York Liberty (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
8PM - Johnsonville ACL Cornhole Championships: 2020 ACL World Championships (120 min., LIVE)

LIFETIME:
8PM - Married at First Sight (123 min.)
10:03PM - Marrying Millions (Season Premiere)

MTV:
8PM - Catfish: The TV Show
9PM - True Life: Quarantine Stories (Series Premiere)
10PM - John Lewis: Celebrating A Hero (Special)

NAT GEO:
8PM - When Sharks Attack: Extra Bite - Blood in the Water
9PM - When Sharks Attack: New England Nightmare
10:03PM - Sharkcano: Extra Bite

NBCSN:
8PM - NHL Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens (LIVE)

10:30PM - NHL Hockey: Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks (LIVE)

SCIENCE:

8PM - How It's Made: World's Strongest Engine
9PM - Impossible Engineering: World's Strongest Ship

10PM - Super Factories: Volkswagen Mega Factory

TNT:
8PM - All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite (LIVE)

USA:
8PM - WWE NXT (120 min., LIVE)

BET:
9PM - No Limit: Chronicles
10PM - No Limit: Chronicles

BRAVO:
9PM - The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
10PM - Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Jerry O'Connell, Meghan McCain, S.E. Cupp)

A&E:
10PM - The First 48: The Case That Haunts Me

TBS:
10:30PM - Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Luke Wilson)
(R)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
10:30PM - Corporate
* * * *
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: The Daily Social Distancing Show - July 22, 2020 (45 min.)
(R)

E!:
11PM - The Soup
11:30PM - Nightly Pop


Source: https://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap
 
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