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Discussion Starter #11,041
Fyvush Finkel, ‘Picket Fences’ and ‘Boston Public’ Actor, Dies at 93
By Variety.com Staff - Aug. 14, 2016

Fyvush Finkel, an Emmy Award-winning actor who is best known to contemporary audiences for his roles on “Picket Fences” and “Boston Public” but who spent most of his early career on Gotham’s Lower East Side performing in the Yiddish theater, died Sunday in his Manhattan home. He was 93.

His son, Ian, confirmed the news to the New York Times, and said Finkel had been suffering from heart problems.

While Finkel was popular in his niche stage community, he broke out into the mainstream in 1964 with the national production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which he played Mordcha the innkeeper; in 1981 he took on the role of Tevye the milkman in a national touring production. Soon thereafter he landed a part in “Little Shop of Horrors” Off Broadway and won an Obie Award for his work in the New York Shakespeare Festival revival of “Cafe Crown.”

On the bigscreen, Finkel had a breakout performance in the 1990 Sidney Lumet pic “Q&A” as a corrupt attorney. He also appeared in “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “For Love or Money” and “Nixon.”

In 2009 Finkel appeared in the opening scene of best picture nominee “A Serious Man.” He played a Treitle Groshkover, known as a “Dybbuk” in Jewish lore — the wandering soul of a dead person that enters the body of a living person and controls his or her behavior.

In 2011 he starred in Philip R. Garrett’s film “The Other Men in Black,” playing a grandfather who recounts stories of Hasidic life.

But Finkel was best known to TV auds as public defender Douglas Wambaugh in “Picket Fences,” for which he was twice Emmy nominated, winning in 1994. He soon became a favorite of “Fences” creator David E. Kelley, who also cast him in “Boston Public” as an eccentric high school teacher.

Two years after “Picket Fences” ended its run, Finkel was cast in a remake of the ABC skein “Fantasy Island,” but the show was canceled after 13 episodes.

One of Finkel’s first television appearances was in a 1977 episode of Telly Savalas cop drama “Kojak.”

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents, Finkel was given the English first name of Philip but quickly became known as Fyvush, the Yiddish equivalent.

He took to the stage at age 9. Over the years he refined his act as a singer, dancer and comedian in the Jewish theater as well as a standup comedian. When not working in Manhattan, he would often head upstate to the Catskills resorts, part of the Borscht Belt.

Finkel was married to Trudi Lieberman for 61 years until her death in 2008. Survivors include two sons: Ian, a musical arranger and xylophone virtuoso, and Elliot, a concert pianist.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,042
TV/Media Notes (Broadcast)
Adele Nixes Super Bowl Offer, Says Halftime Show ‘Is Not About Music’
By Meriah Doty, TheWrap.com - Aug. 14, 2016

Ten-time Grammy winner Adele isn’t going to perform at next year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Sure, she got the offer, the English singer-songwriter told fans at a Los Angeles concert on Saturday. But, as the 28-year-old pop star put it, “That show is not about music and I don’t really — I don’t dance or anything like that.”

Rumors started to swirl about Adele’s Super Bowl prospects after a story in The Sun claimed show organizers were doing everything they could to recruit the popular singer to what’s historically one of the most-watched events on television.

An NFL source allegedly told the British publication: “There is nobody bigger in the world than Adele right now and organizers are doing absolutely everything they can to try to persuade her to sign up. She’s sold out every date on her tour, everyone wants a piece of her and they know they can bank on her bringing in the viewers.”

Adele set everyone straight Saturday night at her Los Angeles Staples Center concert, saying, “First of all I’m not doing the Super Bowl.” She also corroborated reports that she was invited to perform: “So they were very kind. They did ask me but I did say ‘no.’ I’m sorry but maybe next time.”

The Sun’s alleged NFL source blamed the singer’s nerves, saying “It hasn’t been an easy sell.”

“I’m going to do a dance album next time,” Adele added on Saturday. Hey, maybe then we’ll see her shake her thing on behalf of good old American football.

Here is a fan video that captured Adele’s comments at the concert in L.A.: [CLICK LINK AT BOTTOM]

Beyonce’s performance of “Formation” at Super Bowl 2016 sent shock waves of controversy through social media, with some praising her for a bold political statement, others questioning if her berete dancers were too polarizing, while others calling it “a race-baiting stunt.”

The whole show, also featuring Coldplay and Bruno Mars, received widespread criticism for not being cohesive. But hey, at least no censorable flesh made it into the broadcast as it did during 2004’s Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performance.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,043
Technology Notes (Gadgets)
The $99 Peripheral that Turns Your Smartphone Into a Laptop
By David Z. Morris, Fortune.com - Aug. 14, 2016

There’s a good chance your smartphone has more processing power than a 1985 Cray-2 Supercomputer. What it doesn’t have is a display big enough for a spreadsheet, or a keyboard good for more than cramped fumbling.

Enter the Superbook, currently available for $99 through a Kicksterter campaign. It looks like a slim laptop, but it doesn’t have its own storage or processor. Instead, it gets its power and data connection from your Android phone, via a simple USB cable and a free app. In addition to the keyboard and screen, the Smartbook has a battery, which will last 8 hours and actually charge your phone as you use it.

Together, a phone and the Smartbook are plenty for basic word processing, email, and web browsing—all most people really need.

There have been a few tries at phone-laptop crossovers, including by major players like Motorola, but none have proven durable. The Smartbook, created by Andromium Inc., seems to have circled back around at the right moment. It has raised over $2.1 million from 12,800 backers so far in its ongoing campaign.

That success may be because smartphones are now truly powerful enough to provide a PC-like experience. The Android environment also now provides a nearly complete application ecosystem, with everything from games to accounting apps to CAD software.

The Smartbook campaign is even a turnaround for Andromium itself, which tried in early 2015 to fund a similar, but less successful project. The Andromium dock was intended to connect to an external keyboard and monitor, turning a phone into a desktop, rather than a laptop. The more portable form factor, clearly, has a lot more appeal.

There is a major common thread between the two projects, though. The Andromium team, which includes alums of Google and Y Combinator, is strongly motivated to help users in developing countries, where smartphones (mostly Android-based) are becoming increasingly common, but both PCs and wi-fi connectivity are still rare. As part of the current campaign, you can donate a Superbook to the Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Education Project’s #Freedom2Learn , which promotes computing accessibility in Africa.

At press time, the Superbook Kickstarter campaign has five days left. The Superbook is projected to ship to backers in February of 2017.


Super Moderator
17,800 Posts
And don't forget the west coast does even get a live option for the evening broadcast.
I also think you meant "doesn't." But that's understandable. 8pm in the West is midnight Rio. There's nothing live to present.

I was kind of surprised the Saturday daytime coverage wasn't at least partly live on the West Coast. Though I can understand the many reasons why. Also found it awkward when the West Coast feed "joined" the closing holes of the Golf competition.. that had long since concluded on the Golf Channel, which I assume ran live in the west. I couldn't watch all day, so it was nice to flip between East and West to see what I missed.

Speaking of the Golf Channel.. I'm a little surprised NBC doesn't use that channel for SOMETHING live when there's no golf. I'd seriously rather watch live fencing than endless discussions of a golf match for DAYS before it happened. Hell, put up the Gold Zone Channel. I still say it's a shame that channel is streaming-only.
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63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,045
TV Notes/Q&A (Cable)
Rizzoli & Isles: Sasha Alexander on Directing a Revealing Episode, Plus the 'Beautiful' Series Finale Ahead
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Aug. 14, 2016

After seven seasons on Rizzoli & Isles, this Monday’s episode took Sasha Alexander someplace she had never been before — behind the camera, as director of the TNT drama.

And it’s not just any old episode the actress got to helm. Rather, “For Richer or Poorer” (airing Monday at 9/8c) drops the none-too-tiny bombshell that Dr. Maura Isles once was, for a brief moment, married to rich kid Edward Dunn (played by Life Unexpected‘s Kristofer Polaha).

With this and just three other episodes left in the series’ run, TVLine spoke with Alexander about her directing debut, Maura and Jane’s growth over seven years, what she’ll miss most about the cast and the “morbid” prop she took home.

TVLINE | Had you been angling to direct all along, or was it something offered to you during the final season?
I graduated from film school at USC for directing, and I had done short films and so forth, but I put it on the backburner because acting was my focus. Since Season 2, I did want to direct this show — it was contractually there to say, “Hey, I want to do this” — and every season they found a reason not to let me do it! [Laughs] There’s scheduling, and it’s also very challenging to organize it so that we are given the opportunity to be “light” in the [preceding] episode, so we can prep. It takes a lot of sacrifice on their part, and [showrunner] Jan Nash made that happen, which was a great gift.

It was a really inspiring, enriching and fun experience for me, to be able to work with everybody behind the scenes. That part of the collaboration is something I’ve really missed as an actor. It’s so much more insular, and one of the reasons I went to film school was to hone behind-the-scenes skills. Rizzoli & IslesTV’s hard, because we have eight days of prep and eight days of shooting, and it’s really fast — you don’t get a lot of takes, so you have to make decisions quickly.

TVLINE | What’s nice is that you got to direct a bit of everything. There’s some stunt work, a chase scene, comedy, romance, a party scene….
The party scene was my “Birdman shot.” We had a time constraint that day and we had seven actors in the scene, and I really felt that scene needed movement. When you have to cut to these quick bits of dialogue within party scenes, it can take hours on end. I felt it should have a flow, so I designed the scene, with our cinematographer, to shoot it as one take. From the moment that we do our hellos, it’s one consecutive shot until Jane (played by Angie Harmon) and Maura end up on the couch. Now, that is an unusual thing to do on our show, mostly because they want you to cover everything a lot. I thought that after I did my edit they would say, “No, it doesn’t work,” but when we got to the end of that scene, it was very emotional.

TVLINE | It was. It was.
Yeah, we all felt that way. But yes, I did get a lot to do, which when I initially read the script was super-exciting. The wonderful [co-executive producer] Ken Hanes wrote my script, and he really loves to write character stuff, so I knew I’d get a character-driven episode. I was thrilled to find out I also got an action sequence and all this other stuff to do, but in the end it’s a very character-driven episode. It had that lovely scene with Jane and Maura in the house, which at first was four pages. We ended up cutting it because as an actor I said it’s too long. So we did one part of it in the kitchen, and then one part by Maura’s fireplace, which we’ve never used in seven years! And it wound up being this intimate conversation between two friends, talking about past loves.

TVLINE | It is a strange thing for someone to learn that their best friend had a husband she never mentioned — you had that sticky wicket to address — but the way Maura lays out the story, it makes sense.
When I read that too, it was one of those things that stood out, like, “How do we approach this without it feeling like something Maura kept as a secret?” It was something I recognized as a bit of a hurdle, but it was also something that made me laugh, because I love when Jane finds the photo of her in this totally wacky Vegas setting. That’s so not Maura! But the way it played out, particularly because of Maura’s attitude about it, I think you do buy it. The scene that was really important to me as well was when Maura goes to see Edward [in the hospital], it was really important for me that you immediately believerizzoli-isles-maura-husband that they had something between them that was palpable.

TVLINE | I did notice that they held hands. There’s this instant intimacy, regardless of what happened in the past.
Yes, and also when she talks about his mom not being someone who really approved of her, how Maura wasn’t the kind of woman she wanted for her son…. He had to be somebody you believed was in her past, but we also had to understand why it didn’t work out at the time.

TVLINE | In this same episode, Maura learns that Jane has a job offer at Quantico. What do you want to say about her reaction to that?
I feel that our writers and producers and Jan Nash have serviced all of the characters in the most beautiful way, until the very end, straight through to the finale (airing Sept. 5). I do think that they send off these characters with hope, with love, with friendship and family… all of the things that you would want to see happen to them. With Jane and her new job, and Maura as well, we’re dealing with two independent women who have been very career-minded and who are leaving after seven seasons unmarried, with no children. We’re seeing them grow and make choices to live differently. That’s a beautiful thing, because all you ever want to see when you’re committed to any series is that growth. We are left feeling that everyone will stay close, but we are moving on.

TVLINE | The growth thing leaves us feeling like we’ve been watching a meaningful section of these characters’ lives.
Yes, and yet you still feel like they will be together. They may not be in the same place, but they will take the relationships they’ve made with them. For me, the most satisfying part of this series is that it obviously has this crime show element, but what keeps you watching is this personal journey for not just Jane and Maura, but for everyone. You’re watching family and friends move through life, be put in dangerous situations, traumatic situations, and coming out of it closer.

TVLINE | How did saying goodbye to this show differ from ending your second-longest TV run, which was on NCIS?
Well, this was seven years and that was two. [Laughs] And NCIS was a choice of mine, to go on. I feel very… satisfied with our success. I feel satisfied with the amount of time that we’ve gone on. We’ve been really fortunate from the very beginning to have a fan base that stayed with us throughout. Unlike a lot of shows that do a big run and then you get bored by the end, I actually feel like we’re leaving on an “up,” in that there are more stories to tell. As a creative person, I’ve always looked forward to Dr. Isles; it’s been a really interesting, funny character for me to explore, and I’ve never gotten bored. That’s a danger on any series, that you sort of hit a wall where you feel like you’re “making sausage” every week, which is a quote from my old NCIS costar, Michael Weatherly. He’d be like, “It’s TV, we make sausage every week. And you don’t change the flavors too much.” But I was like, “I don’t want to do that!” [Laughs] I want to make characters that are always growing, always pushing the envelope. So I feel really lucky to have been on something where I have learned so much, that we were able to shoot in Los Angeles…. It’s all around been a really positive experience.

TVLINE | What are going to miss about your castmates?
Angie would scream every morning after our rehearsal, “Good morning, everyone!” — in her big, Texas, football stadium voice. I think I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss Jordan [Bridges, who plays Frankie] questioning every bit of dialogue. I’m going to miss the “Bruce McGill-isms,” because he will sort of turn everything into a Shakespearean soliloquy. I will miss Lorraine Bracco’s laugh…. I’m going to miss this whole cast, because as actors we’re only as good as the people we’re playing with.

TVLINE I Did you take anything from the set?
I took this big picture from Maura’s office, which was a replica of an old photograph of five women in the 1900s performing an autopsy. It’s something Maura had in her office from the very beginning, and it totally embodied that character for me. Because not being a doctor and not understanding why someone would want to work with dead bodies, for me it was always about understanding what drives a person to do this job. When [series creator] Janet Tamaro was first designing Maura’s office she called me and asked my opinion on certain design things. She chose that photograph as the representation of the power of women who were doing this hundreds of years before us, and that clicked with me. I’m not sure where I’m going to hang it [Laughs] It’s a little morbid. But it had sentimental meaning to me.

TVLINE | Lastly, whats next for you?
I got a tan! [Laughs] I’ve traveled. I took a break all summer, and now I’m going to hit the ground running. I’ve got a couple of projects that I’ve developed, and I’d like to produce and star on my own show, Shameless Sasha Alexanderso I’m just kind of creating my next vehicle, meeting with people…. It’s just a question of finding something that feels like you want to do it every day for a long time. My experience over on Shameless for a couple of seasons was really eye-opening, in the way that it’s such an unconventional show that pushes boundaries, and I liked that. I like working in that style, the way they shoot, and how the material is just constantly changing. I think that television is a beautiful place to be, and we’re doing such good work. I want to find that next thing that inspires me.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,046
TV/Legal Notes (Broadcast)
Thomas Gibson Mulls Lawsuit Over 'Criminal Minds' Firing as New Details Emerge
By Lesley Goldberg and Matthew Melloni, The Hollywood Reporter's 'THR, ESQ.' Blog - Aug. 13, 2016

Thomas Gibson, fired on Friday after an altercation on the set of his CBS drama Criminal Minds, has hired a top Los Angeles law firm to pursue possible legal claims against the show's producers.

Skip Miller, a prominent litigator with experience in entertainment industry disputes, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he and partner Sasha Frid have begun representing Gibson and are evaluating whether to pursue legal claims. Miller, Frid and other attorneys at the Miller Barondess firm are set to meet with their client early next week. Miller declined to comment further.

The move comes as new details emerge from the fracas on the long-running CBS procedural and of Gibson's sometimes contentious relationship with his cast and crew.

Gibson, 54, was terminated by producers ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios after allegedly kicking writer-producer Virgil Williams in the shins during an on-set argument more than two weeks ago. Gibson, who stars on Criminal Minds and was directing an episode written by Williams, is said to have disagreed with Williams about a creative choice, and the argument escalated to a physical fight. (A source close to Gibson describes his actions as "self defense" because Williams trains as a boxer, but other sources say Williams is known to be a non-aggressive presence on the set and is small in stature.) The incident was witnessed by several Criminal Minds producers, including showrunner Erica Messer.

After the altercation, Williams, who is known to wear a bow tie and blazer to work, filed a formal complaint with human resources representatives for the studios and sat for an extensive interview. (Howard Davine, executive vp for ABC Studios, which is the lead producer on the show, is said to be playing a key role in the internal investigation). Gibson, who has been with the drama for 12 years, was suspended for two episodes and another director was brought in to finish the episode he was helming. A day after news of the suspension became public, Gibson was let go. Neither Messer, Davine nor ABC Studios or CBS Studios would comment, but the language in the statement announcing his dismissal lacked the usual Hollywood sugar-coating. "Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds," CBS and the studios said Friday in a joint statement. "Creative details for how the character's exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date."

Gibson, who is said to have made about $5 million to star on the show last season, issued his own statement Friday in which he said he loved Criminal Minds but declined to apologize for any bad behavior. Instead, he said, "I had hoped to see it through to the end, but that won't be possible now. I would just like to say thank you to the writers, producers, actors, our amazing crew, and most importantly, the best fans a show could ever hope to have."

It's unclear what claims, if any, Gibson might pursue against the studios or CBS. In 2011, Charlie Sheen sued Warner Bros. Television and writer-producer Chuck Lorre for $100 million over his dismissal from the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men after repeated erratic behavior. In the suit, Sheen alleged he had "suffered the intangible loss of employment-related opportunities," among other claims, from his termination. (The case settled.) In a key difference from the Gibson matter, Sheen was not accused of physical abuse.

In 2012, ABC Studios went to trial with Nicollette Sheridan, who claimed she was wrongfully terminated from Desperate Housewives when she complained about physical abuse at the hand of showrunner Marc Cherry. That case is still winding its way through the appeals courts.

Gibson, who first became a TV star on ABC's Dharma and Greg before starring as an original castmember when Criminal Minds launched in 2005, has had on-set dustups before. In 2010, he was ordered to attend anger management therapy after he allegedly shoved assistant director Ian Woolf during a location shoot. Sources close to the show say there have been other incidents of verbal abuse by the actor, who is said to have a short fuse and a low tolerance for disagreement on the set. Gibson had a contentious relationship with Criminal Minds co-star Shemar Moore, who left the series after last season. Gibson, who tightly scheduled his duties on Criminal Minds so he could fly home to his family in San Antonio, often was upset by Moore showing up late to work. In 2013, Gibson pleaded no contest to reckless driving after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The ABC-CBS investigation is said to be ongoing, and producers and castmembers are said to be expressing support for Williams. But as part of the probe, Williams' role in the altercation also will be dissected, as will Gibson's history of on-set relations. And if Gibson does decide to file a legal claim against the studios, Williams and other cast and crew members likely would be deposed.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,047
Summer TCA Tour Notes (Broadcast)
Fox takes a swing with ‘Pitch,’ CBS remakes ‘MacGyver’
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Column - Aug. 14, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Fox’s new drama “Pitch” (9 p.m. Sept. 22) follows Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), the first female pitcher in Major League Baseball, playing for the San Diego Padres. (The show is made with the cooperation of MLB, so it’s conceivable a fictional Pirates team could appear in a future episode.)

It’s from executive producer Dan Fogelman, who’s also behind NBC’s Pittsburgh-set pilot, “This Is Us.” Regarding the show’s realism, Mr. Fogelman thinks “Pitch” may prove prescient.

“I think this will happen in my lifetime,” he said of a woman on an MLB team. “The human anatomy makes it a challenge — it’s addressed in the pilot — but I think the right young woman is gonna come along sooner rather than later.”

Director Paris Barclay called “Pitch” “a true story on the cusp of happening.”

And while baseball is the backdrop, Mr. Fogelman said he’s more interested in the impact of a woman in baseball on the characters.

“The thing we found most interesting about the show is when it happens, that young woman will become the biggest story in the country overnight,” he said.

Fox will host a “Pitch” night at ballparks across the country, including in Western Pennsylvania at a Washington Wild Things game Aug. 28 at Consol Energy Park in North Franklin Township.

After the regularly scheduled game, the pilot episode of “Pitch” will be screened on the centerfield scoreboard while ticket holders are invited to enjoy free snacks.

Remaking ‘MacGyver’

In the new “MacGyver” (8 p.m. Sept. 23), 20-something actor Lucas Till (“X-Men: Apocalypse”) stars as Angus “Mac” MacGyver, who uses unconventional problem-solving and scientific knowledge to save lives.

Unlike the original MacGyver, who was generally a lone wolf, the new MacGyver will have a Department of External Services team to work with, including former CIA agent Jack Dalton (George Eads), former field agent Patricia Thornton (Sandrine Holt) and computer hacker Riley Davis (Tristin Mays). At home, MacGyver hangs with his roommate, Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires, “Rush Hour”).

Showrunner Peter Lenkov (“Hawaii Five-0”) said the new series will use the theme song from the original show blended with a new theme for an opening credits sequence. There also will be some nods to the original, including a possible guest appearance by original “MacGyver” star Richard Dean Anderson.

“We actually have a role in mind so we’re hoping he says yes,” Mr. Lenkov said.

Mr. Lenkov said MacGyver will repurpose more modern technology for his benefit, but he’ll remain cerebral.

“His superpower is his brain,” Mr. Lenkov said. “Tech is so prevalent these days it’s clearly going to play a role in the show, but ‘paper clip’ is still No. 6 on the call sheet, and we’ll make sure to service that.”

As for the decision to have MacGyver surrounded by other characters, Mr. Lenkov said that was an intentional choice to differentiate the new series.

“I wanted that character to have a family around him, people he relies on,” he said. “I wanted to explore his character, and how do you do that? By having him interact with people close to him.”

MacGyver will be betrayed in the pilot and go on an emotional journey that will be a serialized story that plays out over the first season.

MacGyver’s aversion to guns remains, but ex-military man Dalton will have no qualms about gunplay.

“It would be unrealistic to do this type of show and not have anybody have a gun,” Mr. Lenkov said. “But if MacGyver needs a weapon, he’ll build it. George’s character is the muscle of the show. ... MacGyver is not a gun guy. He’s a different type of hero.”

The old MacGyver’s first name was never revealed until the final episode, but the new show starts with everyone knowing his name is Angus.

“If you’re doing a reboot or reimagining, you can’t hide the ball on things like that,” Mr. Lenkov said.

Fierce mom is never ‘Speechless’

ABC’s “Speechless” (8:30 p.m. Wednesday beginning Sept. 21) is the rare prime-time series that puts its focus on a family with a special needs child.

“It’s not the disability show,” said executive producer Scott Silveri, who has a brother with special needs, which inspired this series. “We’re telling family stories. We have this specific way in, and it’s really exciting to explore that and it will give some specifics to universal themes. At its core, it’s a show about being different and not apologizing about being different and embracing who you are.”

Minnie Driver stars as Maya DiMeo, mother of son JJ (Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy), a special needs student moving to a new school.

“It’s not an issue show, but because there are so few representations of disabilities on television, you can’t help but feel the responsibility of depicting it in an informed and intelligent way,” Mr. Silveri said.

Ms. Driver keeps her natural British accent for a specific reason when playing the fiercely protective mom.

“You can get away with a lot more when you speak with a British accent,” she said. “You can say very rude things and make them sound charming, and you can offend people and they will smile at you and only subsequently realize how offensive you were.”


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,048
TV Sports (Football)/Technology Notes (Digital)
With N.F.L. Deal, Twitter Live-Streams Its Ambitions
By Mike Isaac, The New York Times - Aug. 15, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Last March, Twitter and Facebook, along with other tech companies, faced off over which of them would get the rights to live-stream National Football League games on Thursday nights.

Twitter, in a rare win against larger rivals, emerged victorious with the deal. The N.F.L. saw disadvantages with some of the other bids. Facebook, for example, had set tough terms, under which the social network wanted to sell all the ads that would air during the football games, essentially cutting out the sales relationship between the N.F.L. and marketers, according to two people who asked for anonymity because the discussions were private.

Twitter, in contrast, agreed to pay the N.F.L. around $10 million to stream 10 games and to sell only a portion of the ad inventory exclusively. Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, wanted the Thursday night games because of their popularity; each game drew an average of 13 million viewers last season.

“Having that live programming every night when sports are playing — with no paywall, no logging in and directly from the source — that’s key to us,” said Anthony Noto, the chief financial officer for Twitter and formerly for the N.F.L., who helped forge the streaming deal.

When Twitter streams its first N.F.L. game on Sept. 15, it will get to assess whether its vigorous pursuit will pay off — and whether live streaming can viably be a linchpin of its future.

Since April, Twitter has signed a series of live-streaming deals, including with Wimbledon, CBS News, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Pac-12 Networks. Twitter is also in discussions with other organizations, including Major League Soccer and the Professional Golfers Association, for similar agreements, according to people briefed on the talks.

Facebook declined to comment on the N.F.L. talks. In a statement at the time, the N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell, said Twitter “is where live events unfold and is the right partner.” Major League Soccer declined to comment on discussions with Twitter, and the P.G.A. did not respond to requests for comment.

For Twitter, the bet on live streaming is crucial to turning itself into a mainstream internet destination after other efforts have failed. Live streaming could finally broaden Twitter’s appeal, attracting an even wider audience. And perhaps more important, live events would be another way to sell video ads. If streaming football or basketball games on Twitter’s mobile apps and on desktop computers, along with other platforms, draws viewers, the company could sell more video ads, which typically command a premium.

Twitter has directed Mr. Noto, a former Goldman Sachs banker with deep ties to the sports media industry, to lead the charge on live streaming and has assigned an engineering team to create its streaming video player. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, considers streaming a critical component of the company’s focus on “live” experiences, along with Periscope, its app that allows smartphone users to live-stream video.

To bolster the effort, Twitter is in talks with Apple to bring the Twitter app to Apple TV, which would potentially let millions of Apple TV users watch the streaming N.F.L. games, according to the two people briefed on the discussions.

Apple and Twitter declined to comment.

Yet even as Twitter increases its live-streaming efforts, so are many of its rivals. Snapchat and Facebook are working on deals with media companies to acquire live-streaming rights to sporting events and entertainment; Instagram is also experimenting with live products. All of the companies are fiercely competing for video advertising dollars, as marketers slowly begin to shift money to online video promotions and away from television ads.

There are other hurdles to live streaming, especially from wary content providers who view the technology world with a dose of suspicion.

“We, as a television news organization, and the social media platforms are sort of sizing each other up, trying to figure out what the relationship is going to be,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News, which recently teamed up with Twitter to live-stream the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. “Are they distributors? Are they promotional platforms? Are they creators in their own right?”

Twitter’s push on live streaming began in late 2014 when Dick Costolo, then the company’s chief executive, called Mr. Noto to discuss how to better use content — video, text or photos — to bring people to its service. Over the next 18 months, senior executives at the company debated options. Some batted around the idea of buying Mic, a news website aimed at young audiences, according to a person briefed on the conversations. Others were bullish on video.

Eventually, video won out. Mr. Noto said that introducing premium content like sports, politics and entertainment — the types of programming people often pay to see — would entice and retain more Twitter users.

The live-streaming bet is taking on greater importance as referral traffic from a deal made with Google last year — one in which Twitter posts would appear more prominently in Google search results — has not continued to grow over time, according to three people who asked for anonymity because the numbers were confidential. Twitter declined to comment on the traffic.

Even with competition from Snapchat and Facebook, Twitter has a foundation to attract more live-streaming deals. For years, Twitter forged relationships with networks and content owners through a program known as Amplify, in which Twitter worked with TV programmers to distribute short video clips that were preceded by ads sold by both Twitter and the content owners.

Last year, Twitter struck a multiyear deal with the N.F.L. to continue that Amplify relationship. In the new live-streaming deals with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, all advertising will be sold by Twitter — as opposed to Twitter’s agreement with the N.F.L. Every deal is different, Mr. Noto said.

Twitter is also emphasizing its younger audience as a reason for marketers to advertise on live events. About 72 percent of the social media service’s user base is 18 to 34 years old, according to third-party data and company models, said two people who asked for anonymity because Twitter’s internal metrics were confidential.

That focus has in part enabled Twitter to land advertisers like Bank of America for the streaming N.F.L. games.

“Twitter really owns those moments that matter to everyone,” said Lou Paskalis, senior vice president for enterprise media planning at Bank of America. “As a marketer, what we can do with the context that Twitter creates is to join that shared moment.”

Mr. Noto cautioned that Twitter’s live-streaming strategy was still not fully formed and was just one part of a multipronged plan to remake the company. If live streaming works out, the plan is to make the live videos more easily accessible on Twitter — whether through notifications in the main timeline or through a mobile tab in Twitter’s app called Moments, said two people briefed on the company’s product plans.

But first comes the N.F.L. game next month between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, which will be live-streamed from Buffalo.

“Our opportunity is to use these familiar platforms that people understand, like streaming video, as a window into seeing everything else we really have available,” Mr. Noto said.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,049
TV Notes/Analysis (Opinion)
Reality TV Must Evolve to Keep Pace With Audience Savvy
By Mark Cronin, Broadcasting & Cable's 'Guest Blog' Column

The prime TV target of 18-to-49-year-olds has now been watching reality TV for 30 years. You can imagine how hard they are to fool with the old tricks! Can it still be done? Of course, but reality TV has to evolve and become as sophisticated as an audience with three decades of viewing experience.

I have been making reality TV for 25 of those 30 years. I’ve managed to keep at least a program or two on the air for that entire time. To keep that going and grow my business I’ve got to figure out what’s next before the audience knows. To do that, I find it’s instructive to look at the cycles of the past.

In the '90s, the airwaves got oversaturated with sitcoms and eventually most began to feel formulaic and unsurprising. Conditions were perfect for Survivor and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to grab the audience's attention. This beginning of the reality TV explosion was mostly about formats that focused on social experiments.

Producers “cast” people and forced them to either just live together (The Real World, Surreal Life…) or live together and compete (Survivor, Flavor of Love).

Soon, too many of those formatted shows crowded the channels and the audience evolved toward more organic premises. Keeping Up With the Kardashians may be a heavily produced show, but they are at least a real family with genuine stakes with each other. Then the trend continued toward more extreme—but still organic—reality like Deadliest Catch and Below Deck.

Now, after 30 years, the audience knows every trick. They can hear all the edits in a franken-bite. They’re still willing to forgive a little producing—they are sophisticated enough to know the story has to be structured and tightened through editing—but they want a true story. The audience and reality TV have grown together to the point where TV is starting to reflect actual reality and tell more truth. I think that trend will continue, but there are other pressures on reality production and budgets that will affect what the future shows will look like.

One phenomenon occurring is what I call “the destruction of the middle class.” The proliferation of new channels and streaming services demanding original content is fragmenting the audience. That drives down the revenue from advertising and distribution, in turn squeezing production budgets. Also, once a show that costs very little becomes a hit, the pressure is on to find more like it. A cable network would rather take a shot at three series costing $200,000 per hour to produce and hope one of them hits than put all of their chips on one show costing $600,000 an hour.

That pressure is now coupled with the younger audiences seeming to not really care about expensive production value. In fact, high production value makes them suspicious that they are watching something faked by producers. A grittier look indicates a truer story. Below Deck is a good example of this. It is filmed on a cramped boat at sea with a cast working long hours at their actual jobs all while dealing with the drama of demanding clients. With those conditions and schedule, we simply can’t make the show look as polished as some others. But people are responding to Below Deck, because it feels and looks more like a true story—which it is.

So, with networks not having the same revenue streams but still needing more volume, and the audience not caring if the show is shot on an iPhone: If you’re pitching a cable reality show these days, you better be talking about $200,000 to $300,000 an hour—even less in some places. Sure, broadcast networks still need “event” reality, but they only buy five of those a year compared to the 500 reality shows bought for cable. So you can try to sell one of those $1 million-per-hour network shows or you can try to sell lots of $200,000 shows. The bottom line is, the $600,000 “middle class” is dying out faster than classic rock stars.

And what about YouTube and the explosion of digital and mobile? Does the fact that most millennials watch original content on Snapchat instead of NBC mean the end is near? To me, it seems similar to when everyone thought CD-ROMs were going to supplant TV. People were saying that CD-ROMs would enable the audience to take their own pathways through stories and even pick their own endings. Turns out, not so much. No one under 30 even knows what a CD-ROM is. The lesson is people want good stories. Vines, Snaps and YouTube are good time-killers and fill a void that broadcast or cable can’t, but people will always want a program worth some time investment. Long-form stories will always be in demand. If you’re a good storyteller, you’re in business—forever.

So, what would I develop right now to stay ahead of the evolving audience?

I think the audience is sophisticated enough now to allow a boom in lower-budget social experiments. They will now forgive a certain amount of “set-up” by producers as long as the story that unfolds is true and reveals the truth about the characters. I think Naked and Afraid is the first of this new breed but there will be more soon.

That’s where reality TV is going: low-budget, extreme social experiments cast with great characters who can’t help being themselves, produced and edited for truth and revelation. That is at least until we’ve seen Lost and Dancing, Tied-up and Cooking and Underwater House Flippers (please, no one steal my development slate!). At that point, everyone will go back to wanting sitcoms again.

Mark Cronin is a producer, writer and showrunner. Among his 40 TV credits he has worked on are VH1’s The Surreal Life and Flavor of Love, MTV’s Singled Out and Bravo’s Below Deck.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,050
TV Notes (Fall Season)
Networks (and show runners) look to strike a careful balance with fall's slate of reboots
By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 15, 2016

Do not adjust your set: What’s on television may look more familiar than usual this fall.

The roster of recognizable names for the 2016-17 season goes beyond longtime TV fixtures Matt LeBlanc and Kiefer Sutherland and includes roughly a dozen shows based on already existing series and films, some of which stretch back decades.

“Lethal Weapon,” “The Exorcist” and “Frequency” are just three of the shows coming to screens this fall that first appeared in theaters. One new series, CBS’ rebooted “MacGyver,” debuted on a different network more than 20 years ago.

Some of the reasoning is simple: In a TV landscape that’s more expansive and competitive than ever, it’s perceived as a far safer bet for networks to dip into the past and ask audiences to get reacquainted with stories they recognize than start from scratch with a new one.

“Our hope is the well-known titles -- if, and only if, well-executed -- will lighten the load on our marketing team,” Fox Television Group Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Dana Walden said at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. Fox has “Lethal Weapon” and “The Exorcist” on the fall schedule and new takes on “24” and “Prison Break” coming mid-season. But, Walden added, the network recognizes that a familiar name is not enough and was unconvinced by the prospects of a new “Lethal Weapon” as the show first entered production.

“At every stage, we kept lifting the bar,” Walden said after her panel concluded last week. “Because again we are aware of the skepticism. It’s an iconic franchise, it’s a film franchise, it’s evocative of a specific cast. At each stage, they kept upping the bar; they delivered great material.”

Networks have been drawing from multiplexes for decades. “M*A*S*H,” “Alice” and “In the Heat of the Night” ran on TV for years after being inspired by the big screen. But for every success story like recent award winner “Fargo,” there’s a wasteland of single-season failures that includes long-forgotten attempts to revive “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Working Girl” (starring Sandra Bullock) and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

The trend has expanded in recent years with the rise of streaming services. For all its success with originals, including “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” Netflix has an open-door policy to rebooting or launching continuations of long-gone TV series, including “Fuller House,” “Voltron” and “Gilmore Girls.” HBO is also getting into the re-imagination business this fall with its update of the 1973 film “Westworld.”

Results have been typically uneven, but in some cases, these reboots can strike a chord among critics and audiences. The 1990 TV version of “Parenthood,” the 1989 film by Ron Howard, was cancelled quickly. But a subsequent adaptation in 2010 lasted five years. In the late ’90s, Joss Whedon’s critically beloved “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” built a world over seven seasons that expanded into directions and spinoffs that reached well beyond the original 1992 film. The mid-’00s small-town high-school football drama “Friday Night Lights,” adapted from the 1990 book and 2004 film of the same name, may be the contemporary gold standard for film-to-television translations.

“ ‘Friday Night Lights’ was one of my favorite shows of all time,” said Jeremy Carver, who departed his post as show runner for CW’s long-running series “Supernatural” to adapt the 2000 film “Frequency” for the network.

After his panel at the TCA press tour, Carver also listed “Parenthood” as one of his favorite silver-screen to small screen adaptations. (Perhaps not coincidentally, the two shows shared an executive producer in Jason Katims.) He believes the secret to a reboot’s success lies in the characters. “There was a real soulfulness . . . They found the opportunity to deepen those characters and those relationships, and I thought [both shows] did it magnificently.”

For its part, “Frequency” may not be receiving the same buzz as its television counterparts partly because the 2000 film, led by Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel, was a more modest hit.

Cast member Lenny Jacobson believes that could work to the show’s advantage. “In this day and age where people are doing reboots, sometimes it’s safer not to reboot something that is untouchable, as you can see with, like, ‘Ghostbusters’,” he said at the press tour panel for “Frequency.” “Thank God, if it wasn’t super-popular, we’re not going to ruin anyone’s childhood by doing this movie into a TV show.”

That pressure was also on the minds of the creators of the new series based on “The Exorcist,” the 1973 horror classic that spawned multiple sequels that struggled to reach the same heights because, in the mind of series creator Jeremy Slater, they adhered too closely to the original. “The only way you can succeed is by doing something new,” he said during the press tour, adding that even the use of the original film’s theme music in the series pilot was done with some reluctance.

“Exorcist” star Geena Davis said she would not have agreed to join the cast if her character had been intended to echo the role played by Ellen Burstyn in the original. “Before they explained what it was about, at first, I went [gasp] ‘The Exorcist’,” she said. “I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to do that.”

For Peter Lenkov, who rebooted “Hawaii Five-0” for CBS as well the upcoming “MacGyver,” satisfying the rules of the previous series while staking new ground was a balancing act.

The new MacGyver, played by Lucas Till, is described as less of a lone wolf than Richard Dean Anderson’s original character, and modern technology plays more of a role than it did in the lo-fi ’80s series.

That said, the new iteration deviates from a running joke of not revealing MacGyver’s first name, which the original series upheld nearly to its conclusion. “If you're going to do a reboot of something or re-imagination of something, you can't hide the ball on things like that,” he said at the press tour. “Everybody knows his first name.” (It’s Angus.)

The creators of “Lethal Weapon” also felt a need to fiddle with the backstories created for buddy cops Riggs and Murtaugh, played by Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans, slipping into the shoes of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, respectively. “I’m a fan of all four of the films, but the first one is the one that resonated the most for me,” said executive producer Matt Miller, adding that he adapted the series with a darker, more character-driven arc in mind, rather than trying to replicate the screwball buddy-comedy franchise the films became. “In order to do something that had legs . . . you had to have some depth that the characters were drawing on.”

For the creators, however, the show will still rise or fall on the strength of those characters. “We’re dealing with that gigantic shadow of Mel Gibson, and obviously Danny Glover, a tremendous performance,” said McG, who directed the “Lethal Weapon” pilot. “You start talking to Damon, you start talking to Clayne, and you can assess what their strengths are, and you want to play into them.”

For all the efforts to walk the line between offering something familiar yet original enough to attract an audience week after week, there is hardly a guarantee of success. CBS, which reboots the 2001 film “Training Day” in mid-season, has an uneven track record for film-to-TV adaptations of late. Highly touted reboots of “Limitless” and “Rush Hour” were both launched by the network last year, but both were canceled after struggling to find an audience. Still, the network remains optimistic.

“We buy [intellectual properties] every year. I think they have just as good a shot of getting on [TV] as a show that doesn’t have a title that was well-known,” said CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller after his executive session at the press tour.

“I don’t think you can judge a show just because of its title.”


6,266 Posts
Dont know how they dont try to get Taylor Swift for halftime.
Hottest artist in music her last cd had 5 billboard top 40 #1 songs - shes got alot of energy probably wouldnt do anything controversial probably will have a new cd out around then to promote - just seems too perfect.

5,238 Posts
Dont know how they dont try to get Taylor Swift for halftime.
Hottest artist in music her last cd had 5 billboard top 40 #1 songs - shes got alot of energy probably wouldnt do anything controversial probably will have a new cd out around then to promote - just seems too perfect.
If they did manage to get her it would be guaranteed that I wouldn't watch it because I can't stand her. I wish they'd do away with the whole halftime show period, as that's the time to grab more beer and food, use the bathroom and take the dog out.
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Premium Member
9,008 Posts
If they did manage to get her it would be guaranteed that I wouldn't watch it because I can't stand her. I wish they'd do away with the whole halftime show period, as that's the time to grab more beer and food, use the bathroom and take the dog out.
The halftime show is the ONLY part of the Super Bowl that I watch (if it is an artist that I like).

UHD Addict
37,084 Posts
If they did manage to get her it would be guaranteed that I wouldn't watch it because I can't stand her. I wish they'd do away with the whole halftime show period, as that's the time to grab more beer and food, use the bathroom and take the dog out.
The Superbowl is the worst of all sports programs for advertising. A regular NFL game is bad enough with the bombardment of advertising. but the Superbowl takes it to another level. It's why i need to record it to skip over most of what is broadcast,

63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,056
Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
ABC game shows take a hit against the Games
All three programs fall to seasons lows, not totally unexpected
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 15, 2016

ABC’s game shows aired repeats last week so as not to face the Olympics.

That was probably a smart move. With originals last night, all three of the programs fell to or tied season lows, against another big night for the Games.

“Celebrity Family Feud” scored the best number, a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights. That tied its second episode of the season and was off 27 percent from last week’s 1.5.

At 9 p.m., “$100,000 Pyramid” drew a 0.9, down 25 percent from last week, its previous season low of 1.2.

“Match Game” closed out the night at 10 p.m. with a 0.8, off 27 percent from a 1.1 last week.

While the Olympic competition proved formidable, CBS’s “Big Brother” held up much better. In fact, the long-running CBS reality series grew 0.2 from last week, to a 1.8.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

NBC’s "Olympics" 7-11 p.m., 7.8 rating.

Top show of the night in 18-34s
NBC’s "Olympics" 7-11 p.m., 5.7 rating.

Top show of the night in total viewers
NBC’s "Olympics" 7-11 p.m., 26.50 million.


* * * *

TV Sports/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Where Rio Games are seeing gains: On cable
While NBC viewership lags, Golf Channel, NBCSN and others have risen

NBC has suffered a well-documented slide in viewership for the Rio Games compared to four years ago in London, which has been blamed on everything from lack of buzz for the Olympics to greater digital viewership.

But NBCUniversal is seeing gains on cable, which is carrying primetime Games programming for the first time.

NBCSN, Bravo, USA and Golf Channel, among others, have posted numbers well above what the networks usually draw and also at times bigger than the London Games.

Golf in particular did well Sunday. It marked the first time the Olympics have featured golf since 1904, and NBCU had the perfect place to air it on Golf Channel, which carried the final round Sunday afternoon.

Justin Rose’s gold medal performance averaged 1.6 million total viewers, including 495,000 adults 25-54, according to Nielsen.

That was the best showing in the timeslot (from noon to just after 3 p.m.) in four years, since Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in 2012.

Early-morning coverage of the gold medal round averaged 556,000 viewers and 174,000 25-54s, the best in the slot in eight years.

Meanwhile, Bravo averaged 929,000 for Andy Murray’s gold medal singles victory, well above what the network usually averages on a Sunday evening.

The Olympic halo netted NBCSN, which has posted several all-time high ratings for Olympic soccer, its best-ever Premier League opening weekend match, averaging 745,000 total viewers for an Arsenal-Liverpool showdown.

NBCSN promoted Premier League heavily during the Olympics, and undoubtedly reached a lot of soccer fans who wouldn’t otherwise be watching the network.

Cable has benefitted from airing programming in primetime, a first for the Olympics. Soccer and basketball games and other events have drawn solid numbers despite competing against NBC’s more popular events.

NBCU may continue to use the strategy in order to appeal to fans of niche sports, since it can sell ads for more on cable than digital.

NBC Sunday Rio Games viewing

On broadcast, the story remained the same Sunday night: Huge numbers, but not nearly as huge as London four years ago.

With an evening highlighted by Usain Bolt’s 100-meter dash repeat and Simone Biles’ historic vault win, the first for an American gymnast, NBC averaged 28.1 million total viewers, off 10 percent from the same night in London.

The network’s total audience, including cable and digital, was 29.9 million, still 1.4 million shy of London.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,057
TV Notes (Cable)
HBO Eyes Series From Robert Downey Jr. & ‘True Detective’ Creator Nic Pizzolatto
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 15, 2016

HBO is developing a Perry Mason drama series to star Robert Downey Jr. as the unorthodox investigator/defense attorney and be written by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto. The project eyes short-run installments in the vein of True Detective, whose seasons have consisted of 8 episodes each. The drama is eyed as an ongoing series, with future seasons’ timing contingent on Downey’s availability and the principals settling on an idea for a new story arc.

The project, which is in the process of securing rights, is believed to stem from the Perry Mason feature reboot Team Downey (Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan) set up at Warner Bros. five years ago. This has been a passion project for Downey Jr. He was attached to star in the movie, which was to be based on an original story by him and David Gambino that was to retain the Noir setting of 1930s Los Angeles from author Erle Stanley Gardner’s source material.

The character of Perry Mason, an unorthodox investigator/defense attorney, was created by Gardner in the early 1930s. Mason has been featured in over 80 novels and short stories, a radio series and six feature films in the 1930s, a comic strip in the early 1950s, an Emmy-winning TV series starring Raymond Burr that ran from 1957 to 1966, the short-lived New Perry Mason TV show from 1973-74, and some 20 made-for-television films that aired during the 1980s and 90s.

The series project, first reported by Variety, falls under Pizzolatto’s overall deal at HBO, which also covers a potential third installment of True Detective, which continues to be in limbo. Pizzolatto and Team Downey executive produce with Joe Horacek.

This would mark Iron Man star Downey’s biggest TV series commitment since his role on Fox’s Ally McBeal.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,058
TV Notes (Cable)
Brian Williams expected to get 11 p.m. time slot at MSNBC
By Melanie Dostis, New York Daily News - Aug. 15, 2016

Brian Williams is expected to make his prime-time comeback — at least temporarily.

The beleaguered "Nightly News" alum will apparently receive his own time slot on MSNBC at 11 p.m. to cover the presidential campaign from Labor Day to Election Day, CNN reported Monday night.

The 57-year-old would have a half hour of airtime each night during weekdays to cover the latest news in the presidential race, insiders dished to the news site.

A rep for MSNBC did not immediately return the News' request for comment and the network has yet to announce the program.

The new time slot would be a big step for Williams, who hasn't had a regularly scheduled gig since serving a six-month suspension for exaggerating stories during his time on the Iraq War frontlines.

He returned last fall to win back viewers as a roving anchor, appearing during daytime hours to cover developing news.

Still, Williams won't be facing off with notable competition as the late night folk of television — Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and others —kick off their shows at 11:30.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,059
Technology/Legal Notes (Gaming)
Mich. couple suing Pokémon Go for ruining their quality of life
By Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press - Aug. 15, 2016

DETROIT — Nintendo says its mission is to "put smiles on people's faces."

Scott and Jayme Dodich of St. Clair Shores aren't smiling. Pokémon Go, they say, is making them miserable — so they've decided to sue the video game giant and its wildly successful game in federal court.

After weeks of complaining about Pokemon players trampling their landscaping, peering into their windows and even cussing at them, the Dodiches have filed a class action lawsuit, claiming Pokémon Go developers and owners have made millions of dollars while ruining the quality of life for many Americans. They claim the so-called Pokestops and gyms — which are actually GPS coordinates for Pokemon hunters looking for virtual creatures — are being placed on or near private property without the permission of owners.

In their case, they live across the street from Wahby Park — a Pokemon hotspot that has a so-called Poke gym and at least seven stops that draw hundreds of players on any given day.

This virtual playground, the Dodiches say in their lawsuit, has turned into a real-life nightmare for their typically quiet neighborhood.

"Nobody gets sleep anymore," the lawsuit claims. "How is this acceptable? ... They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles ... We don't feel safe ... I don't feel safe sitting on our porch."

The plaintiffs are suing three defendants: Niantic, the San Francisco-based software company that developed and published Pokémon Go; Nintendo, which owns 32% in the Pokemon company and receives a percentage of all Pokémon Go revenues, and Pokemon Co., which is headquartered in Tokyo. None of the defendants could be immediately reached for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, seeks to stop Pokemon from designating GPS coordinates on or near private properties without an owner's permission. It also seeks to force Pokemon to share a cut of its profits with the residents whose yards and streets — the suit claims — contributed to the game's wild success. According to the lawsuit, as of July 23, Pokémon Go had been downloaded more than 30 million times and made more than $35 million.

According to the lawsuit, Niantic has acknowledged placing Pokestops on private property by advising users on its website: "If you can't get to the Pokestop because it's on private property, there will be more just around the corner, so don't worry!"

The Dodiches' lawsuit is not unique. Pokémon Go lawsuits and similar complaints have popped up all over the country since the game made its debut. According to the lawsuit, here are some Pokémon Go complaints:

• In Washington, D.C., at least three Pokestops were placed within the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, prompting the museum to issue a statement: "Playing the game is not appropriate in the museum, which is a memorial to the victims of Nazism. We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game."

• A cemetery owner in Mobile, Ala., expressed a similar concerns about Pokemon players on the property, stating: "This is private. I owe it to the families we serve to provide a sense of decorum here."

• In Massachusetts, one resident tweeted about a "Pokémon Go" gym showing up in his house, which was once an old church.

"Indeed, defendants have shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokemon without seeking the permission of property owners," the lawsuit states.


63,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #11,060
TV Notes (Cable)
Comedy Central cancels Larry Wilmore's 'Nightly Show'
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Aug. 15, 2016

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart spawned new shows for correspondents Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Samantha Bee, now on rival networks. But Larry Wilmore's Comedy Central's spinoff, TheNightly Show, is ending Thursday after a disappointing 19-month run.

The show, a mixture of topical segments, a panel discussion and games ("Keep it 100"), just never caught on with viewers, says Comedy Central president Kent Alterman, despite heightened interest in the unprecedented presidential election and Wilmore's stint hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner in April.

"Even as the show has evolved creatively ... it hasn't seemed to connect with our audience, which is disconcerting and disappointing to us," Alterman says. With decisions looming on third-season contract renewals for Wilmore and key producers, "When we took a hard look — especially after the conventions, where we also didn't see any traction we were hoping for — we didn't have enough evidence to justify committing to another year."

In the second quarter of this year, Nightly Show averaged 738,000 viewers including seven-day delayed viewing, vs. 1.35 million for Daily Show.

Chris Hardwick's @midnight, which has a larger audience than Nightly, will shift a half-hour earlier, to Wilmore's 11:30 ET/PT time slot for the next several months. Comedy is "actively developing" a replacement series eyed for next spring, though the network isn't wedded to a specific format.

Wilmore, in a statement, said: "I'm really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart, and our fans to have had this opportunity. But I'm also saddened and surprised we won't be covering this crazy election or "The Unblackening," as we've coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn't counted on "The Unblackening" happening to my time slot as well."

Nightly premiered in January 2015 as a replacement for The Colbert Report, after Colbert quit to replace David Letterman on CBS. A month later, Stewart announced plans to leave The Daily Show, but Alterman says Stewart's exit last August wasn't a factor in Nightly's demise. Wilmore "kind of struggled out of the gate, even when Jon was still there."

The cancellation also raises questions about Stewart's replacement, South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah, who's been eclipsed in the cultural conversation, and especially by critics, in favor of Oliver's HBO series, Last Week Tonight, and Bee's TBS show, Full Frontal, both of which air weekly.

But Alterman says Comedy Central is "fully committed" to Noah, citing improvement of his hosting skills, increased online viewing and his large social-media footprint. Comedy Central claims Daily is the top-rated late-night show among a narrow audience segment of men ages 18 to 34, although at his peak Stewart was No. 1 among all 18- to 49-year-olds. "When we hired Trevor we didn't hire him for his experience" — he had none — "we hired him for his talent, which is enormous." He asserted that in recent months, Noah has "a new plateau of confidence, and he's taken ownership of the show and exudes a strong point of view and voice."

Despite a political bounce that has sharply boosted ratings for cable-news networks, Noah's Daily Show is averaging less than half the same-day audience Stewart had last year.

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