Oct 18, 2017
1:01 pm

NBC Announces the Fourth Coach for ‘The Voice’ (TVWeek)

NBC announced today who will occupy the fourth and final spot on the coaches’ panel for “The Voice.” Alicia Keys will return for her third stint on the panel.

The show made the official announcement with a video clip posted today, which you can watch by clicking here.

Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner, joins veterans Adam Levine and Blake Shelton along with newcomer Kelly Clarkson as coaches. Keys returns to the show as a champion, having coached Chris Blue to the title when she last appeared as a coach in season 12.

Please click here for full details in today’s announcement, along with the video clip posted today.

Oct 18, 2017
12:42 pm

Netflix Says Nielsen Measurement Is ‘Not Even Close’ (USA Today, Variety)

Netflix and Nielsen are having what might be politely described as a misunderstanding about Nielsen’s newest effort to measure Netflix viewing. USA Today reports that Nielsen “is offering its first data on how many people actually watch the streaming giant’s original series in the first week following their release,” but the data isn’t coming from Netflix.

“Instead, Nielsen uses the same ‘people-meter’ technology it employs for traditional TV ratings to measure Netflix’s movies, original series and reruns of older series,” the story reports, adding: “What Nielsen found for new seasons of three original series — ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Fuller House’ and ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ — was a big crowd for a service that reaches only 59% of U.S. TV homes.”

Nielsen determined that “The Defenders” had an average audience of 6.1 million viewers in the week following its Aug. 18 release, while “House of Cards,” which premiered May 30, and “Fuller House,” which bowed Sept. 22, each averaged 4.6 million viewers for their season premieres in the week following their season premieres, according to the USA Today report.

While the numbers are pretty good, Netflix apparently isn’t buying them. Variety quotes a statement from Netflix in which the company says: “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”

For its part, Nielsen seems to want the effort to work out. Variety quotes Megan Clarken, the Nielsen executive who oversees measurement products related to video, saying: “Measurement of SVOD content has been a big blind spot for the industry.”

Clarken confirms that the latest efforts by Nielsen are focused on Netflix. “It is clearly the largest in the industry, and the one in which most of our clients said they don’t have transparency,” Clarken says in the Variety report. “There are about 12,000 shows that appear on Netflix that have not been measured in the past. This provides measurement across some 12,000 of those assets, and we will extend it to the SVOD services that are not measured today.”

Oct 18, 2017
12:15 pm

U.S. Olympian Says Team Doctor Molested Her (Time, TVWeek, Twitter)

Adding her voice to the #MeToo movement that has spread since allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced in connection with Harvey Weinstein, gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney has accused former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of molesting her.

Maroney, who won a gold medal as part of the “Fierce Five” U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, along with an individual silver medal in the vault, at the London Games in 2012, published a Twitter post containing her allegations, which you can read below. The post encourages other victims of abuse to speak out.

Time magazine notes that Nassar “is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges.”

“Several of Maroney’s teammates have accused Nassar of abuse while they were minors, but Maroney is the highest-profile gymnast yet to come forward,” Time reports. “Nassar, who was team doctor for USA Gymnastics from 1996 to 2015, is due to stand trial over charges of sexually assaulting nine girls, to which he has pleaded not guilty.”

The Time report adds: “Nasser, an osteopath, allegedly abuses gymnasts under the guise of ‘treatment’ that included inserting his bare finger in the vagina.”

USA Gymnastics issued a statement in response to Maroney’s post, saying: “USA Gymnastics admires the courage of those, like McKayla Maroney, who have come forward to share their personal experiences with sexual abuse. Because of their strength in coming forward, predators can be held accountable for their actions. We, like so many others, are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of which Larry Nasser is accused. We are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.”

Here’s Maroney’s Twitter post …

Oct 18, 2017
11:56 am

Cable Channel Pulls the Plug on Signature Show (Variety)

A series that became a fixture of the cable landscape following its launch back in 1995 is about to end its run. Variety reports in an exclusive that E! is pulling the plug on “Fashion Police,” which has been a signature franchise for the channel.

The show, which grew out of Joan Rivers’ comedic red-carpet commentaries, remained focused largely on the veteran comedian until her death in 2014. In recent years, Rivers’ daughter Melissa has carried on as the franchise’s central figure.

The show’s most recent installment was a special that aired in September, focusing on the Primetime Emmys.

Variety reports that the series will wrap with “Fashion Police: The Farewell,” a special installment set to premiere on E! on Nov. 27.

“The special will be hosted by Melissa Rivers and the current panelists, including Giuliana Rancic, Brad Goreski, NeNe Leakes and Margaret Cho,” Variety reports. “It will also feature highlights from Joan Rivers’ run on the show, as well as clips from an unaired episode featuring Joan Rivers and her co-hosts paying tribute to ’80s fashion.”

Oct 18, 2017
11:16 am

Legendary TV Executive Linda Bloodworth-Thomason on Four Decades of Harassment in Hollywood: ‘The No. 1 casting criterion in Hollywood is that, above all else, an actress must be ‘hot and f—able’’ (THR)

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a veteran of decades as a Hollywood writer and TV producer best-known for creating “Designing Women” and for her long allegiance with the Clintons, tells of years of sexual impropriety and abuse of power in Hollywood in a guest column published today by The Hollywood Reporter.

While she says she warned Democratic operatives about Harvey Weinstein, she paints a picture of a more pervasive problem with misogyny in Hollywood.

“Harvey Weinstein may have been at the top of the sexual predator food chain, but these kinds of atrocities against women routinely go unreported and unpunished in the entertainment industry,” Bloodworth-Thomason writes. “The No. 1 casting criterion in Hollywood is that, above all else, an actress must be ‘hot and fuckable.’ The late blockbuster movie producer Don Simpson had his own way of measuring hotness when he bragged about which actresses’ butts he was able to bounce a dime off of.”

The column pulls back the curtain on incidents involving network executives, producers, stars and others who Bloodworth-Thomason says are part of a culture of gender inequity and sexual misconduct that runs rampant in Hollywood. The writer even gives a shout-out to Donald Trump as “the only sexual predator, to date, who’s told the truth.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to The Hollywood Reporter to read the column.

Oct 18, 2017
8:44 am

‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin’s Family to Carry On His TV Legacy (AP)

The family of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, who was killed by a stingray in 2006, has just signed a deal to return to Animal Planet with a new show.

“The network said Wednesday that Irwin’s widow, Terri, and children Bindi and Robert will reappear on Animal Planet starting next year,” the AP reports. “The family has carried on Steve’s conservation work in Australia, running a zoo, a wildlife preserve and supporting projects that try to save endangered animals worldwide.”

With Steve Irwin at the forefront, “The Crocodile Hunter” aired on Animal Planet from 1996 to 2007. Details about his family’s new show are not clear.

Patrice Andrews, Animal Planet’s general manager, commented: “Steve was very much the face of our channel. People even today in focus groups bring up the impact of ‘The Crocodile Hunter.’”

The report adds: “Having such defining characters is becoming tougher and tougher for cable networks. Bringing back the Irwins is part of the network’s refocusing on animals, Andrews said. That may seem obvious for a network called Animal Planet, but in recent years the network drifted from that, even adopting the tagline, ‘Surprisingly Human.’”

Oct 17, 2017
6:41 pm

Amazon Studios Head Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations (NY Times)

The head of Amazon Studios resigned today after being accused of sexual harassment by a producer, The New York Times reports, noting that a spokesman for Amazon confirmed the resignation of Roy Price.

“Mr. Price, who was in charge of Amazon’s efforts to create original movies and television shows, had been suspended last week,” The Times reports. “Last week, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Isa Dick Hackett, an executive producer of the popular Amazon show ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ said Mr. Price had lewdly and repeatedly propositioned her in 2015.”

The report adds: “Mr. Price, who could not be reached for comment, made no secret of his departure from Amazon. Shortly before 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, he updated his Facebook page to say he had left his job.”

Price had been an executive with Amazon for the past 13 years.

“Mr. Price became a bit player in the [Harvey] Weinstein story when Rose McGowan, an actress who had reached a settlement with Mr. Weinstein in 1997 after an episode at a film festival, posted a series of tweets directed at Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon,” The Times notes. “In them, Ms. McGowan said she had told the head of Amazon Studios that Mr. Weinstein had raped her. (Ms. McGowan did not mention Mr. Price by name and did not respond to a message on Twitter asking for clarification.)”

The Times adds: “Before that series of tweets, Ms. McGowan had directed a Twitter message at Mr. Price concerning Mr. Weinstein, asking, ‘Remember when I told you not to do a deal with him and why?’”

Price oversaw shows including “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle” while at Amazon.

Oct 17, 2017
6:29 pm

‘SNL’ Alum Recalls the ‘Embarrassing and Shameful’ Donald Trump Guest-Hosting Appearance (NPR)

One of the former regulars on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” revisited the night when then-candidate Donald Trump guest-hosted the show almost two years ago, telling NPR that the incident “only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on.”

Taran Killam, who did Trump impersonations on the show before Alec Baldwin got the role, recalled that protesters gathered outside the studio during Trump’s appearance in November 2015.

“We could hear the protests during our table read,” Killam told NPR’s “It’s Been a Minute.” “As we’re reading 40 mediocre sketches, we just hear, ‘No Trump! Donald Trump!’ … I am embarrassed, upon reflection, just because of how everyone was right. Every person outside of that building protesting was absolutely right.”

Killam also said: “It was not enjoyable at the time and something that only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on. I don’t necessarily put so much weight into [the idea of] Trump hosting ‘SNL’ helping him become president, but there’s definitely something where it normalizes him and it makes it OK for him to be part of the conversation.”

Killam added: “I don’t think the intention of having him on was ever politically based. … But I don’t think it was considered — the implications that it had then and could have moving forward. And I think looking back … there’s nothing good I can take from that week. Because he’s not an enjoyable person to be around — he’s from a different class; he’s from a different way of life. There was never any common ground.”

Killam also recalled: “The most heartbreaking moment at the time: We’re at the host dinner, and he brings [his wife] Melania and he brings [his daughter] Ivanka and [son-in-law] Jared [Kushner]. And he says [to SNL creator Lorne Michaels], ‘You know, Lorne, if I don’t win this thing, I’m gonna be fine. We just bought this beautiful piece of property in Scotland. If I have to be president, I’m never gonna see that thing.’ And that that was his priority in that moment, that that was even a consideration, made me sad.”


Oct 17, 2017
6:17 pm

NBA Star Suffers Horrific Injury on Opening Night — Here’s the Video (TVWeek, NBA)

An NBA player who was one of the biggest acquisitions of the off-season saw his start with his new team, the Boston Celtics, come to a gruesome end. Gordon Hayward broke his ankle early in the team’s first game of the regular season, against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here’s the video, with disturbing footage of Hayward’s injury in the first few seconds of the clip …

Oct 17, 2017
6:09 pm

How Big Is Delayed Viewing? In Some Cases, Bigger Than Live Viewing — and In Others, Almost Nothing; Here’s How Some of the Top Shows Break Down (AP)

Delayed viewing is an increasingly important part of the picture in the current broadcast season, with a show like ABC’s new drama “The Good Doctor” ranking as “a bona fide hit” when delayed viewing is added in, the AP reports.

“A look at newly released Nielsen data for ‘The Good Doctor’ and other programs illustrates the extent to which television viewers make their own schedules nowm” the AP reports. “An estimated 11.3 million people watched the drama’s debut on Sept. 25, but that number swelled by 69 percent — to 19.2 million — when you add in the people who saw it on a delayed basis within seven days.”

The report adds: “More people actually watched ABC’s “Designated Survivor” on a delayed basis than watched its season premiere on the first night, Nielsen said.”

Fox’s “The Orville” and ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” each had bumps of more than 80% for their premieres with delayed viewing added in.

“Meanwhile, hardly anyone records sports events for later viewing; NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ had 16.74 million viewers that night, and 16.8 million when you add in the seven-day figures,” the AP notes. “Same thing for news programs, with CBS’ ’60 Minutes’ increasing its 12.46 million first-night viewership to 12.89 million through the full week.”

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