NBC rode its high-profile live production of "The Sound of Music," starring Carrie Underwood, to a huge ratings win Thursday night, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the production delivered a 4.6 average rating in viewers 18-49 from 8-11 p.m., along with a whopping 18.47 million total viewers, as NBC easily outpaced its broadcast rivals in prime time.
One show did match "Sound of Music's" number, as CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" also recorded a 4.6 in the 18-49 demo. But that number was a season low, and seven-tenths of a ratings point off the pace of the show's previous original installment.
CBS's results overall were mixed: "The Millers" was down three-tenths from its previous original with a 2.5 average in 18-49, and "The Crazy Ones" slipped one-tenth to a 2.1, but "Two and a Half Men" ticked up two-tenths to a 2.1 and "Elementary" held steady with a 1.8.
Third-place ABC saw its veteran drama series "Grey's Anatomy" sink to an all-time low in adults 18-49, falling two-tenths from its previous original to a 2.4 average. But the network's other programs were up: "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" ticked up one-tenth to a 1.0, while "Scandal" rose two-tenths to a 3.1.
Fox found itself a distant fourth among the broadcast nets, even as "The X Factor" rose three-tenths from a week ago to a 1.3 average in viewers 18-49 and "Glee" climbed two-tenths from its series low last week to a 1.1.
For prime time overall, NBC was comfortably ahead in the 18-49 demo with a 4.6 average rating, topping CBS (2.5 average), ABC (2.2), Fox (1.2) and Univision (1.0). NBC also had a big win in total viewers with 18.47 million, leading CBS (9.50 million), ABC (6.56 million), Fox (3.99 million) and Univision (2.89 million).
"The Sound of Music Live" may have been a big ratings success for NBC, but TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross says it came up short artistically. Click here to read why.more »
One of the greatest legends in rock music shoved aside another legend, Eric Clapton, to claim the title as the man behind the most expensive guitar ever auctioned.
"Bob Dylan's sunburst Fender Stratocaster, first unsheathed at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, sold at auction for a record-breaking $965,000 on Friday," Rolling Stone reports. "Dropping nearly a cool million on an axe might seem excessive, but this guitar is one of the most iconic instruments in music history. Dylan's three-song Newport performance is the stuff of legend: Many folk diehards booed the set, viewing the switch to amplified rock as a sell-out (and labeling Dylan a traitor to the folk movement)."
Dylan went on to prove his detractors wrong, by most accounts, using the amped-up sound of the electric guitar to help broaden the audience for lyrically meaningful music -- and eventually bringing the rest of the pop music world along with him.
"Despite the historical importance of the instrument, Christie's auction house wasn't expecting such a massive price: pre-auction estimates for the guitar (which also included the original leather strap and hardshell case) were between $300,000 and $500,000," Rolling Stone notes. "Within the case itself was another hidden gem: early-draft lyrics to [four] Dylan tunes ('Absolutely Sweet Marie,' 'I Wanna Be Your Lover' and two others). Those pieces were estimated between $3,000 and $30,000 by the auction house."
Dylan's Strat becomes the most expensive guitar ever auctioned, taking over the title from Clapton's "Blackie," which sold for $959,500 in 2004.
The report adds: "The buyer of Dylan's Stratocaster remains unnamed for now, but the story of its prior ownership is fascinating: Dylan left the guitar on a private plane, and when the pilot notified the songwriter's management, he never received a response. The Strat has remained in the pilot's family for nearly 50 years, and it was authenticated last year when his daughter, Dawn Peterson, brought it on the PBS program 'History Detectives.'"
That program sparked a controversy over ownership of the guitar, as we reported last year. The dispute was reportedly recently settled out of court.more »
A new television series version of the "Terminator" film franchise is in the works, four years after "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" wrapped up on Fox, The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports.
The new series is being developed in conjunction with the upcoming fifth installment in the movie franchise.
"Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures are teaming to bring the Arnold Schwarzenegger franchise back to TV," THR reports. "The producers behind the upcoming fifth installment have tapped 'Thor' and 'X-Men: First Class' writers Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller to write and executive produce a new Terminator television series that will be a companion piece to the rebooted trilogy."
The report adds: "The TV series will follow a critical moment from the first 'Terminator' film (1984), and where the film's story goes one way, the upcoming series will take the same moment in a completely different direction. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new TV series progress, the two narratives will intersect with each other in surprising and dramatic ways."
The first four "Terminator" movies have grossed more than $1 billion in combined worldwide box office receipts.
THR adds: "The TV series will be produced by Annapurna's Megan Ellison and Skydance's David Ellison alongside Skydance chief creative officer Dana Goldberg and TV chief Marcy Ross. Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier will executive produce. Kalogridis and Lussier also will pen the first feature in the upcoming 'Terminator' trilogy, which will be directed by Alan Taylor and released via Paramount Pictures on July 1, 2015."more »
A teenager was arrested Thursday in connection with the theft of some of the wreckage from the crash that killed actor Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, the Associated Press reports. A second suspect in the theft, meanwhile, was reportedly making arrangements to turn himself in.
"The theft occurred as the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was being towed from the accident scene Saturday night, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said," the story reports. "The investigation led detectives to Jameson Witty, 18, who was arrested at his home in Los Angeles and was being held on $20,000 bail, the Sheriff's Department said in a statement. A second suspect, a 25-year-old man whose name has not been released, was outside California and arranging to surrender, the statement said."
Investigators were told by witnesses that they saw someone driving behind the tow truck hauling away the wreckage in the hours following the fatal crash, the piece reports.
"The witnesses said a man got out of the car when the truck was at a stoplight, grabbed the part, and drove away," the story reports. "Detectives identified the two suspects, and while serving a search warrant at a home in Canyon Country, a community north of Los Angeles, they found a red T-top roof panel from the Porsche, sheriff's officials said. They would not say what led them to the two men or what evidence they had against them."
Sheriff's detectives reportedly planned to discuss possible charges with prosecutors. The report notes that investigators are still working to determine what caused Rodas, who was driving the Porsche, to lose control.
The report notes: "Walker, who starred in all but one of the six 'Fast & Furious' blockbuster films that glorified fast cars and dangerous driving, was killed when the Porsche smashed into a light pole and tree then caught fire on Saturday afternoon, authorities said. The seventh installment of the movie series was on a break from shooting for the Thanksgiving holiday."more »
In an interview with Bloomberg, the next chief executive of Time Warner Cable said he’s the right guy to sell the company, if the price is right.
“I am the perfect guy to manage the M&A component out there,” Rob Marcus said in the interview. “As much as I’d like to be modest, I am kind of built to manage situations like this.”
Marcus is taking over from Glenn Britt, while Charter Communications -- a smaller competitor in terms of market valuation -- is trying to put together an offer to buy the company. Comcast and Cox Communications have also considered offers, the piece adds.
He’s taking over at a “weird” time, Marcus told Bloomberg. He declined to comment on potential bid prices, but said he isn’t against selling the company.
“I am interested only in the value creation and not in entrenchment or my role here,” he said. He added that he’s not worried about losing his job.
“If I want another job, I’m going to get one. I have no doubt. And it’s going to be a good one,” he said.more »
Katie Couric is under fire after airing a report on “Katie” that some critics are deriding as “fear mongering,” reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker. The report was about the HPV vaccine.
The segment, which aired Wednesday, included Couric and guests discussing the vaccine, Gardasil, which is designed to prevent the transmission of HPV, a sexually transmitted disease. The episode came under fire for a teaser that said, “The HPV vaccine is considered a life-saving cancer preventer … but is it a potentially deadly dose for girls?"
Science writer Seth Mnookin called out the episode as “fear mongering” in a blog post on PLOS -- the Public Library of Science, a nonprofit open-access science publishing outfit.
Mnookin wrote that he was contacted about appearing on the show, and spoke for several hours with a producer. Eventually, he was told the show didn’t want him on the air, but he wrote that he came away feeling they understood the issue.
“The producer seemed to have a true grasp of the dangers of declining vaccination rates and she stressed repeatedly that her co-workers, including Couric herself, did not view this as an “on the one hand, on the other hand” issue but one in which facts and evidence clearly lined up on one side -- the side that overwhelmingly supports the importance and efficacy of vaccines,” he wrote.
“Apparently, that was all a load of crap,” he added.
The show focused on a mother who claims her daughter died after getting the vaccine. Meanwhile, a study published in the British Medical Journal found no link between the vaccine and short- or long-term health problems, while more than 25,000 new cancers attributable to HPV occur each year in the U.S., Mnookin writes.
Other critics also called out the report, with New Yorker writer Michael Specter calling the report “shameful” and saying Couric had lost her credibility.
Couric will address the controversy on today’s show, the Times adds.more »
With NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music," starring country singer Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp, now a matter of record -- and critics' generally low expectations from Underwood, at least on the acting front, having been met -- TVWeek Open Mic writer Chuck Ross takes a look at how this Big TV Event went awry.
Click here to read his insightful take -- including how NBC could have taken a lesson from its past success.more »
The person Barbara Walters wanted to pick as the most fascinating person of 2013 was nixed by ABC executives, the New York Daily News reports.
The publication reports that Walters wanted Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified documents to the press.
Snowden, of course, is on the list, as we reported earlier this week when nine of the 10 names on the list were made public. But Snowden is not No. 1 -- and that selection has not yet been revealed.
“Walters had been collaborating with ‘The View’ executive producer Bill Geddie throughout the year on choosing the 10 figures to appear on ‘Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.’ She had a particular fascination with the former NSA contractor, we’re told, because at one point she believed he would be chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year,” the story reports.
One reason for the network's reticence about Snowden may be his lack of availability. The report notes that Snowden "is particular about his outlets, relying mainly on journalist Glenn Greenwald -- formerly of the Guardian -- to tell his stories, and would not participate. Instead, the network did a write-around with old interview clips for his part, much like they did with Gen. David Petraeus in 2012."
Other figures picked for the special include Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, singer Miley Cyrus and baby Prince George. ABC declined to confirm who will be interviewed for the special or who will be picked as the most fascinating person of the year.
The show will also include Walters’ picks for the most fascinating people of the past 20 years, the story adds.more »
TNT’s new drama series “Mob City,” created by Frank Darabont of “The Walking Dead” and rolling out in an unusual three-week, two-night-a-week format -- remember when the miniseries was a common occurrence? -- got off to a soft start Wednesday night as far as ratings go, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.
"Something of an experiment for the procedural-driven network, the period piece did not prove to be much of a game changer with an average 2.3 million viewers off the bat," the story reports.
That number puts "Mob City" a bit below other recent TNT premieres, but the piece notes that the unusual rollout makes direct comparisons difficult.
"There's little to compare to 'Mob City,'" the story reports. "While this opening is far south of summer flagship fare 'Rizzoli & Isles' and 'Falling Skies,' its December launch and 'event' billing are outliers for the Turner network. In the network's targeted adults 25-54 bracket, 'Mob City' raked in 875,000 viewers."
And the report notes that viewer numbers will climb as DVR viewing is added in. “Still, Monday's episode of ‘Major Crimes’ averaged 4.2 million viewers in the second outing of its midseason run,” the piece adds.more »
Alec Baldwin, who left MSNBC after allegedly making homophobic remarks to a photographer, has added his voice to the controversy over fellow network host Martin Bashir, who announced he’s leaving MSNBC after getting into trouble over remarks he made about Sarah Palin, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.
As previously reported, Bashir intimated that Palin deserved to have someone “sh-t” in her mouth for her comparison of slavery and the U.S. debt to China. Baldwin, writing on Twitter, said: "I'm sorry to learn that @MartinBashir is out at MSNBC. Bashir created great television.”
Baldwin also wrote: “Broadcasters on certain networks are called upon to offer analysis of events and public policy, day in, day out. Often with tremendous aggression and scalding language. If, over the course of hundreds of hours on the air, they commit a foul..... Then it's like high-sticking in hockey or a late hit in the NFL. Throw a flag. But to end someone's job? I wish @MartinBashir the best of luck.”more »