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TV Notes (Cable)
HLN poised for more changes, dropping 'social media' format to be more like CNN
By Don Kaplan, New York Daily News - Nov. 24, 2015

Another year, another “transformation” for CNN’s stepchild of a channel, HLN.

CNN boss Jeff Zucker said in a memo to staffers Tuesday that the channel formerly known as Headline News needs to look more like CNN — and less like a social media experiment.

“I now believe that by driving HLN’s programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years, we can take that success to even greater heights,” Zucker wrote. He explained that HLN’s breakfast-time show, “Morning Express,” has grown in the ratings.

Since Zucker took over CNN, he’s added successful documentary programming to the network’s schedule. There’s been an ambitous slate of documentaries like “Blackfish” and “The Hunting Ground,” along with nonfiction series featuring Anthony Bourdain, Morgan Spurlock, Lisa Ling and Mike Rowe.

In his memo, Zucker cited HLN’s primetime as home to “some of the biggest personalities in cable.” Such personalities include bombastic cable TV sneer-itrix Nancy Grace — whose future remains unclear.

Gone from the mix is deeply respected industry veteran Albie Hecht, the founder of Spike TV and former president of Nickelodeon.

Zucker hired Hecht in 2013 to run the channel and reconfigure HLN into a more competitive broadcaster. In February 2014, Hecht cooked up a new format for the channel he called “the first TV network for the social media generation.”

At the time he had promised to “redefine TV news and information, driven by what’s trending, being shared and going viral across all screens.”

The focus was on major headlines of the day, lifestyle stories and user-generated content that was trending online. It was all designed to attract “millennial” viewers.

Among its social-media themed programming are shows like like “The Daily Share”; a reality show about YouTube star, Jack Vale; and “The Social Life,” which follows globtrotting Ali Nejad, a social media powerhouse who boasts more than a million followers on Twitter.

One of Zucker’s most ambitious plans for HLN unraveled last year. CNN tried and failed to aquire a stake in Vice Media — a surging Brooklyn-based digital news company known for visceral reporting from some of the most dangerous places on Earth.

Zucker had hoped to devote much of HLN to Vice-themed programming, according to some reports. But around the time they were talking, Vice co-founder Shane Smith ripped Zucker’s work at CNN .

“CNN is a disaster. It’s spiraling into s---,” Smith told the Daily News at the time. “They are trying to young it down, but everything they do is a f---ing disaster. But what’s bad for CNN is good for me.”

Now HLN, originally called CNN2 at its 1982 launch, seems as if it will become more like its more famous, more widely-watched sibling.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/cnn-hln-poised-change-dropping-social-media-format-article-1.2445510
 

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Critic's Notes
Thanksgiving TV Fare: Wild Animals, a Tame Train and a Tribute
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Nov. 25, 2015

One channel hopes your most fervent Thanksgiving wish is to be bored to death. Another is convinced there’s nothing people want more than to rewatch movies they’ve already seen a zillion times.

Yes, it’s Thanksgiving week, so stunt programming is popping up all across the television landscape. You might think TV executives would operate on the assumption that lots of people will be home for Thanksgiving and idle, and that therefore it’s a good time to put the best programming foot forward. But more often it seems as if the driving philosophy is, “Let’s toss any old prepackaged junk up there so that our employees can have a few days off.”

You be the judge. Here’s a sampling of what’s coming. Much of it is indeed filler. In one case, though, a marathon of old episodes is also likely to have quite a lot of poignancy.

Destination America: ‘Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride’ The channel that at Halloween brought us a live exorcism in a house related to the “Exorcist” story is chilling things down for Thanksgiving. Way down. It’s removing the people from its “Railroad Alaska” workplace reality series and showing nothing but the train ride, five hours of it. It’s a view from a camera mounted on the front of the train: endless snowy landscape and nothing more. “Now Bored-ing!,” the channel’s press material says, then it goes on to brag that the experience will be less exciting than the famed TV yule log. Lest you think they’ve lost their marbles over at Destination America, this is actually a thing in Scandinavia — “slow TV,” it’s called. And you know that all the best American television is imported from Europe.

History: ‘Christmas Through the Decades’ The aforementioned yule log turns up on Wednesday night in the opening installment of this series, where we’re reminded that the practice of putting a roaring fireplace on TV was invented in 1966 by WPIX in New York. Thanksgiving is, above all, a time when television starts looking toward Christmas, and this four-parter milks seasonal nostalgia a decade at a time, beginning in the 1960s. It’s full of incongruous combinations of anecdotes and talking heads. Boomer Esiason for some reason comments on the import of Bob Hope’s Christmas specials. Barbara Eden does the same for the Apollo 8 mission. Also, the most popular gifts of each decade are revisited. Still have your 1963 Easy-Bake Oven? You wish.

AMC: ‘Gone With the Wednesday’ and ‘Thanksgiving With Your Godfather’ If you have never contemplated the similarities between “Gone With the Wind” and the “Godfather” movies, perhaps that’s because there aren’t any, but AMC is at least giving you the chance to look for some with this package. On Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m. it offers repeated showings of “Gone With the Wind,” the 1939 classic. Then, on Thanksgiving, the first two “Godfather” films fill up most of the day, with the third showing in the wee hours of Friday. Frankly, my dear, I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse?

Nat Geo Wild: Disneynature Marathon and Big Cat Week It’s possible that a moose will turn up on Destination America’s train-cam, but if you really want to see wildlife, this is the place to go. On Thanksgiving Nat Geo Wild shows four glossily photographed, sometimes annoyingly narrated films from Disneynature: “Deep Blue,” “Chimpanzee,” “The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos” and “Wings of Life.” Then, on Friday night, “Cougars Undercover” scrutinizes two cougar families in Jackson Hole, Wyo., kicking off a week of big-cat programming.

RFD-TV: ‘Joey+Rory’ Marathon The back story of this Thanksgiving Day marathon will touch you whether or not you’ve heard of RFD-TV and “The Joey+Rory Show.” Joey Feek and her husband, Rory, have become a crowd-pleasing country duo since winning acclaim on CMT’s “Can You Duet” in 2008, and their TV series has documented their lives. A daughter born in 2014 has Down syndrome. Not long after, Ms. Feek was found to have cervical cancer. The couple announced last month that she was stopping treatments, and she recently entered hospice care. At 7:30 p.m. the channel plans to broadcast messages to the couple submitted by fans and by other country artists.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/arts/television/thanksgiving-tv-fare-wild-animals-a-tame-train-and-a-tribute.html?ref=television&_r=0
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
HLN poised for more changes, dropping 'social media' format to be more like CNN
I can't wait for it to come full-circle and go back to the 30-minute complete newscast format. Maybe even 15 minutes. With today's shorter attention spans and the face millennials aren't going to be big cable adopters, you'd think that'd actually do well.
 

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Technology Notes (Gaming)
Finding the best video game console for you
By Brett Molina, USA Today - Nov. 25, 2015

For the video game industry, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

About half of all video game hardware, software and accessory sales take place during the holiday season starting with Black Friday, according to research firm NPD Group. Two years in, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One remain popular gifts. The Consumer Technology Association says video game consoles will be the top gifts to give this season.

"Many families are still upgrading to the latest generation consoles and it appears they will be using Black Friday and the surrounding shopping period to do so," says Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., the CTA's chief economist and senior director of research.

This year might be the best time to jump off the fence and join the new generation of game consoles, as more bargain-priced bundles packaging games such as Halo 5: Guardians and Star Wars Battlefront with game systems can be found on store shelves this year.

"We’ve had bundles for year and years in video games but these are very, very stylized," says Steve Koenig, CTA's senior director of market research. "I think Star Wars is going to be a huge hook around gaming this holiday.”

Choosing a console will depend on the preferences of the users. Let's break down the advantages of all three.

PLAYSTATION 4
Developer:
Sony
Price: Starts at $299

Four reasons to buy a PS4:

— Great controller. The PS4's DualShock 4 controller remains the best — hands down. It's the ideal size, features quick access to important features and includes a speaker to incorporate interesting uses of ambient sound or other effects.

— Easy sharing. With one press of the Share button on the PS4 controller, players can quickly broadcast their exploits on Twitch or YouTube, fire off a screenshot on Twitter or spread their digital adventures on other social networks. No need to navigate multiple menus and setting up social accounts is straightforward.

— A bright future. The first-party lineup looks a bit thin, but 2016 and beyond is really strong between a new chapter in the Uncharted series and the long-awaited action game The Last Guardian. Players will also finally get their hands on PlayStation VR, Sony's upcoming virtual reality headset, while cloud TV service PlayStation Vue will likely continue its push to more national markets.

— Early access. If the gift recipient is into games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, PS4 owners will gain early access to expansions launched throughout the year. Sony also struck similar content deals for Destiny: The Taken King.

XBOX ONE
Developer:
Microsoft
Price: Starts at $299

Four reasons to buy an Xbox One:

— Backward compatibility. Hang on to that Xbox 360 library. Many of those games will work on an Xbox One, either appearing among digital downloads or available by inserting the disc into the console. New buyers will have immediate access to their older games as they slowly build up their Xbox One library.

— Broad selection of apps. As an all-in-one entertainment device, Xbox One has an edge with a larger selection of apps as well as new accessories allowing the console to pick up over-the-air HD TV signals. It might be the closest we have to a cable box replacement.

— Strong first-party lineup. The library overall is strong between games from third-party publishers such as Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront, but its first-party lineup with titles including Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Halo 5: Guardians is really impressive.

— Elite upgrades. For consumers who want to splurge, there's a $499 Elite bundle including a 1 TB Solid State Hybrid Drive — which is expected to improve performance — and Elite controller with interchangeable thumbsticks and directional pads.

WII U
Developer:
Nintendo
Price: Starts at $249

Four reasons to buy a Wii U:

— Lower price. Nintendo's home console enters with the best price for consumers looking to stay on a budget. With that cut in price comes drawbacks including less horsepower than PS4 or Xbox One, as well as missing features such as a game DVR.

— Family-friendly game selection. It's tough to beat an ally like Mario. The company's icon delivers some of the console's best family fare, including Super Mario 3D World and the latest Mario Kart. Between that and new titles including Splatoon, Yoshi's Woolly World and Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, Wii U boasts a variety of quality family titles.

— Virtual Console. For consumers who want to go back to the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Virtual Console feature boasts several old-school video games including Donkey Kong and the original Super Mario Bros. Most games cost $5-$10.

— Access to Wii library. Holding on to all those video games from Nintendo's lucrative Wii era? They're accessible on the Wii U, too. Also, all those Wii controllers work on the Wii U.

Important note on Wii U. There is one huge caveat when considering the Wii U: Nintendo has started work on its successor. The company says it will reveal details on the Nintendo NX console at next June's Electronic Entertainment Expo.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/gaming/2015/11/25/finding-best-video-game-console-you/76244886/
 

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TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
‘Bones’ EP Sues Fox Over Profit Participation, Accuses Top Execs Of Cancellation Threats
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Nov. 25, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Bones executive producer Barry Josephson and his lawyers have done the forensics on the long-running Fox series and claim they’ve found something rotten financially. In a detailed breach of contract and fraudulent inducement complaint filed today in L.A. Superior Court (read it here), Josephson says the “unrelenting” broadcaster stiffed him and others for potentially millions in promised profit participation. A Fox rep declined today to comment on Josephson’s action.

Detailing “underreporting” of more than $19 million from license fees in Europe, “misclassifying” of more than $3.75 million in integration and product-placement deals and “misallocated revenue” from Fox-owned Hulu, among other focused examples, Josephson’s eight-claim lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Corporation, Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Entertainment Group also asserts that take-it-or-cancel-it threats from high-level Fox executives including now co-Fox CEOs Gary Newman and Gary Walden were used over the years to get Josephson — plus showrunner Hart Hansen, producer Kathleen Reichs and stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, who also serve as producers, and their WME and ICM agencies — to agree to a reduction in episodic license fees.

“Specifically, on or about May 13, 2009, then-Fox senior executives Newman and Walden telephoned Plaintiff regarding the Release,” today’s filing says, regarding a conversation with Josephson, Newman and Walden about the $2 million per-episode fee the execs said Fox Broadcasting Company would accept for the successful series’ upcoming seasons. This was coming off a vert successful Season 4 for Bones. “On this call, the Fox executives told Plaintiff that he would have to accept lower license fees for Seasons 5 and 6 of the Series or that it would be cancelled if he did not.”

Josephson then says Fox Network Group boss Peter Rice called him the same day to induce him to sign the agreement. In that conversation, Rice allegedly said he had two primetime schedules in front of him — one with Bones on the air and one without — and that the fate of the series was in Josephson’s hands. “Fox executives also informed Plaintiff or his representatives that all the other Participants had signed or would sign the Release,” the complaint adds.

That turned out to be untrue claims Josephson, who signed that reduced license fee agreement, because he learned that Deschanel and Boreanaz didn’t sign, and the show was not canceled. After a similar negotiating tactic for Seasons 7 and 8, Josephson called Fox’s bluff and refused to sign — and the show again wasn’t cancelled. “Plaintiff is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that there was never any real ‘negotiation’ between Fox and FBC regarding the renewal of the Series for seasons 5 and 6, and this sham ‘negotiation’ was simply another strong-arm tactic used by Fox to induce Plaintiff to sign the Release.”

Similar in many ways to Frank Darabont and CAA’s ongoing nearly 2-year profit-sharing suit against AMC over The Walking Dead, the action today by Josephson — who was an executive producer on AMC’s Turn in 2014 — shares Darabont’s law firm in powerhouses Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP. Like Darabont’s complaint of December 2013, Josephson’s filing dives deep into what he calls the “opaque profits definitions” that Fox “used to manipulate and artificially depress participants’ reported ‘profits’ while keeping the majority-if not all-of the profits for the studio.”

“Fox has repeatedly breached its agreement with Josephson by systematically depriving him of compensation to which he is contractually entitled and by failing to maximize its profits on the Series — all to the benefit of its parent company and the detriment of Josephson and the other profit participants on the Series,” the complaint reads.

Josephson’s initial October 2004 agreement with Fox and subsequent revisions states that his percentage of the Defined Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts shall be “computed, determined and paid pursuant to Fox’s standard Television Definition of MAGR [.]” Definition being the operative word here.

Josephson is seeking unspecified monetary damages, punitive damages, a full accounting and restitution. His complaint also seeks a court order of what Fox owes him based on the contract and the appointment of a receiver to oversee the disbursement of the funds he hopes to get from Fox’s “unfair, unlawful, and/or fraudulent conduct.”

Dale Kinsella and his fellow attorneys Chad Fitzgerald and Aaron Liskin are representing Josephson and his Wark Entertainment, Inc in the action.

http://deadline.com/2015/11/fox-sued-bones-executive-producer-barry-josephson-dana-walden-gary-newman-cancellation-threats-1201637181/
 

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TV/Business Notes (Cable)
For cable networks, holiday movies are the gift that keeps on giving
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Nov. 24, 2015

Even Ebenezer Scrooge might have been impressed with how TV networks are profiting from holiday movies.

Along with early displays of decorations by retailers, the continuous loop of holiday music on radio and the festive color of Starbucks coffee cups, nothing rings in the season quite like the volley of holiday movies that flood the small screen.

Hallmark and its Hallmark Movies spinoff, for example, are showing 21 new original Christmas-themed movies this year, up from just 13 in 2010. Lifetime has seven of its own, and the Atlanta-based cable TV channel UP TV has three in its bank, in addition to returning holiday movies of years past.

These holiday movies are proliferating because they're cheap to produce, generate strong ratings and lots of advertising revenue for the television networks. Hallmark parent Crown Media Holdings credited its holiday programming for helping to spur an 11% increase in advertising revenue last year to $328 million.

November and December are key months for advertisers that want to get in front of consumers in festive moods. Advertisers spent $13.8 billion on television spots during November and December last year, comprising 18% of all ad dollars spent in 2014, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media.

"Advertisers are attracted to eyeballs," said Jason Maltby, head TV buyer at the prominent advertising agency Mindshare. "There's the added benefit that holiday programming tends to be upbeat and positive, and you're always looking to put your brand message in an environment that makes people feel good."

The television channel guide is littered every year with festive titles such as "Murder, She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery," "The Flight Before Christmas" and "Elf" as dozens of original and acquired movies, as well as a long list of specials, roll out on cable, broadcast and streaming networks in November and December. In some cases, the Yuletide ringing started on Halloween.

Broadcast networks rely more heavily on specials and perennial favorites such as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

But the surge of holiday programming is more apparent on cable, where networks such as Hallmark, Lifetime, ABC Family and the small channel UP can dedicate weeks, or months, of programming to the genre.

The holly jolly is working. ABC Family saw its ratings double last year in the holiday period that encompassed the week of Thanksgiving through the first week of January, according to Nielsen.

The network's programming block, dubbed "25 Days of Christmas," is more heavy on acquired movies such as "The Polar Express" and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," as well as the occasional holiday-themed episode of its original series. The block has proved to be such a key tent-pole event through the years that in 2007 the network launched a supplemental block, "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas," for November.

"The holidays are one of the biggest times of the year for families all across the country," said Salaam Coleman Smith, ABC Family's executive vice president of strategy and programming. "There's been such a wealth of Christmas movies and programming that have been created over the years … [that] we really felt like there was a unique opportunity to create this stunt that featured the best of Christmas content. There's something for everyone."

Hallmark, meanwhile, saw its ratings last year nearly double in the holiday period. UP TV experienced a 74% bump, while Lifetime saw it's ratings go up 4% in the holiday period compared with the rest of the year.

"Viewers are really rabid for this content," said Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming for Studio City-based Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. "All we hear every year is that people want more of it."

Additionally, these programs are good investment for cable channels because they are inexpensive to produce and are evergreens, returning for years to come. These two-hour movies cost about $1 million to $3 million to produce, which is equivalent to the cost of producing one episode of an hourlong drama on cable.

TV movies on the Big Four networks have waned in recent years as broadcasters have preferred long-form series that keep viewers engaged over an expanded period of time. That has created an opportunity for some cable networks to become the main suppliers of holiday movies.

The investment in made-for-TV movies is a less risky one on cable because the platform allows for repeated plays the year that a movie debuts and beyond.

"You hear people say, 'We watch your movies while trimming the tree' or 'We watch your movies while wrapping gifts,'" said Barbara Fisher, UP's senior vice president of original programming. "And for us networks that are geared toward families, it's a no-brainer to be in this space."

The holiday movies are popular in part because they follow a simple formula: a Scrooge-like character discovering his or her Christmas spirit; someone stranded while trying to get home for the holidays; and, of course, the heartwarming romance.

There's also a growing roster of talent eager to star in holiday movies. Actresses such as Candace Cameron Bure, Beverley Mitchell and Lacey Chabert have become mainstays of the genre.

"It makes me giggle," said Cameron Bure, who this year stars in "A Christmas Detour" on Hallmark. "I will wear the title proudly. I get so many messages from people saying, 'I hope you have a new Christmas movie coming out.' I love that people know me from those."

Mariah Carey, the unofficial queen of the holidays with her hit "All I Want for Christmas," directed and stars in "A Christmas Melody" for Hallmark. And Dermot Mulroney, also for Hallmark, stars in "North Pole: Open for Christmas."

"The stigma of doing cable TV Christmas movies has really diminished in the last few years," said Tim Johnson, the producer of Lifetime's "Becoming Santa" and "A Gift Wrapped Christmas." "Ten years ago, it was harder to get actors to do it. Now we're getting calls from agents saying, 'We have this client who wants to do a cable Christmas movie.' They know the audience is there."

Of course, the flood of holiday dramas could reach a tipping point. But for now at least, they are ratings gold for some networks.

Planning has already begun for next year's slate and beyond, and expansion in the number of hours dedicated to the programming and/or the number of original TV movies is expected. Hallmark, for one, is looking to increase its output of originals to 28 in 2018.

"The demand is there and the suppliers are there and there's room for more," said Dan Angel, an executive producer of "The Bridge" on Hallmark. "We just have to keep up."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-holiday-tv-movies-20151124-story.html
 

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TV Notes
Best Bets: Another Marvel superhero
The top shows on cable and broadcast and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 25, 2015

WEDNESDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: NBC, “Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving,” 9 p.m.
A mash-up of turkey-themed skits from the long-running late-night program.

Best bet on cable: AMC, “Gone With the Wind,” 7 p.m. The classic movie gets a primetime slot.

Top sporting event: ESPN2, “Maui Invitational,” 7:30 p.m. Third-place game in the men’s basketball tournament.

THURSDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: NBC, “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” 9 a.m.
The annual parade airs until noon, giving you plenty of time to stuff the turkey while you watch.

Best bet on cable: FX, “Despicable Me 2,” 3 p.m. Kids aren’t into football? Catch this fun movie instead.

Top sporting event: Fox, “Eagles at Lions,” 1 p.m. Yes, both teams are terrible. But it’s fun to watch football while you eat, yes, turkey.

FRIDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: ABC, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” 8 p.m.
The rush of holiday specials begins with this 1970 classic featuring the voices of Mickey Rooney and Fred Astaire.

Best bet on cable: WEtv, “South of Hell,” 6 p.m. Series premiere. Mena Suvari plays a freelance exorcist who herself is possessed by a demon. In an interesting strategy, WE is airing all the episodes in a marathon, dubbing it a Black Friday binge.

Top sporting event: ESPN, “College Football,” 7:30 p.m. A key game in the Big 12 between No. 18 TCU and No. 10 Baylor.

SATURDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: CBS, “Frosty the Snowman,” 8 p.m.
Another night, another holiday special. This time it’s the 1969 animated tale narrated by Jimmy Durante.

Best bet on cable: Reelz, “Master P’s Family Empire,” 8 p.m. Series premiere. In the premiere, the former rapper finds out his son went on an $11,000 shopping spree and makes him work off the debt as an assistant.

Top sporting event: ABC, “College Football,” 12 p.m. Classic Big Ten rivalry matchup between No. 12 Michigan and No. 8 Ohio State.

SUNDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: PBS, “A Salute to Downton Abbey,” 9 p.m.
Hugh Bonneville hosts a look at the show’s first five seasons, along with a preview of season six.

Best bet on cable: BET, “Soul Train Awards,” 8 p.m. The 29th annual awards ceremony, hosted this year by singer Erykah Badu.

Top sporting event: NBC, “Sunday Night Football,” 8:20 p.m. The Patriots attempt to keep their undefeated streak alive in Denver.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/weekend-tv-turkey-and-traditions/
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Girl Meets World’ Renewed for Season 3 on Disney Channel
By Linda Ge, TheWrap.com - Nov. 25, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Girl, meet high school.

Disney Channel has ordered a third season of its “Boy Meets World” spinoff series “Girl Meets World,” TheWrap has learned exclusively.

Production on Season 3 of the sequel to the ’90s hit sitcom — which also starred Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel — will begin in January. The third season will premiere on Disney Channel in spring 2016.

Season 2 will conclude the middle-school adventures of Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley Matthews, played by Rowan Blanchard, and her best friend Maya Hart, played by Sabrina Carpenter. The BFFs will enter the uncharted territory of high school in Season 3.

The series also stars Peyton Meyer as Lucas Friar and Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus, Riley and Maya’s classmates, and August Maturo as the Matthews’ other kid, Auggie.

“Michael Jacobs has one of the most authentic voices in television today,” said Disney Channels Worldwide EVP of Programming Adam Bonnett in a statement. “He and the entire ‘Girl Meets World’ team will not only continue to entertain families but also help kids discover who they are and who they want to be in this world.”

The series is a production of It’s A Laugh Productions, Inc and Michael Jacobs Productions.

http://www.thewrap.com/girl-meets-world-renewed-for-season-3-on-disney-channel-exclusive/
 

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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale Wins Tuesday
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Nov. 25, 2015

ABC logged a Tuesday win thanks to the finale of Dancing With the Stars — and the enduring appeal of Charlie Brown.

The umpteenth encore presentation of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving since its 1973 debut remained a huge draw on the Alphabet net, averaging a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers. That lead-in was outdone by Dancing With the Stars, posting its highest adults 18-49 rating in a year, with a 2.4 in the key demo. (DWTS was still down from the comparable fall 2014 finale.)

Rounding out the end of its fourth consecutive November Sweep win, NBC saw The Voice shed a half of a point to a 2.1 rating in the key demo to a season low. That smaller lead-in did not dampen Chicago Med. Following last week's strong premiere, the show retained 82 percent for an average 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 — matching the score of parent series Chicago Fire.

The rest of the broadcast offerings were stable, with NCIS (2.1 adults), NCIS: New Orleans (1.6 adults) and Limitless (1.3 adults) all steady on CBS. The same can be said of Grandfathered (0.9 adults), The Grinder (0.7 adults) and Scream Queens (0.8 adults) on Fox.

The CW aired the special Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown to the tune of a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-dancing-stars-finale-843877
 

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This feature article is too long and movie-focused to appear on "HTOP," but it's worth reading. It does mention TV, although tangentially.

TV/Media Notes (Culture)
The Women of Hollywood Speak Out
Female executives and filmmakers are ready to run studios and direct blockbuster pictures. What will it take to dismantle the pervasive sexism that keeps them from doing it?
By Maureen Dowd, The New York Times - Nov. 22, 2015

CLICK LINK BELOW

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/magazine/the-women-of-hollywood-speak-out.html?ref=television&_r=0
 

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Laugh tracks are a main reason why I cannot watch comedies. Total turnoff for me.
My problem with laugh tracks is they've made everyone think every show uses them. I actually don't mind shows with a live audience. Some of the funniest moments from shows that have an actual audience were even funnier when you heard an actual audience react to a moment happening in front of them.
 

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Muppets
(R - Oct. 13)
8:30PM - Fresh Off the Boat
(R - Nov. 17)
9PM - The Middle
(R - Nov. 18)
9:30PM - The Goldbergs
(R - Nov. 18)
10PM - Last Man Standing
(R - Nov. 20)
10:30PM - Dr. Ken
(R - Nov. 20)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Ty Burrell; Lake Bell; MashUpMonday features "Joss Stone Temple Pilots'' (Joss Stone and Stone Temple Pilots))
(R - Nov. 9)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Sep. 21)
8:31PM - Life in Peaces
9:01PM - Mom
9:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
10PM - Elementary
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Jack Black; CEO of Go Pro Nick Woodman; tap dancer Michelle Dorrance performs)
(R - Oct. 14)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with James Corden (Writer Aaron Sorkin; Bradley Whitford)
(R - Oct. 12)

NBC:
8PM - Football Night in America: Thanksgiving Edition (LIVE)
8:30PM - NFL Football: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (LIVE)
* * * *
12:05AM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Queen Latifah; Rashida Jones; chef Daniel Humm; Kool Keith performs with The Roots)
1:08AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (The Meyers family; Brian Chase sits in with the 8G Band)
2:08AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Rachel Bloom; Houndmouth performs; writer Lena Waithe)
(R - Nov. 7)

FOX:
8PM - The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration (120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert (90 min.)
9:30PM - American Experience: The Pilgrims (120 min.)
(R - Nov. 24)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Antes Muerta que Lichita
9PM - Pasión y Poder
10PM - Yo No Creo en los Hombres

THE CW:
8PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Aug. 24)
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Aug. 31)
9PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Sep. 14)
9:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Sep. 28)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie: Madagascar (2005)
9PM - Movie: Holy Family (2006)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Scrap Episode)
 
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