Sep 12, 2014
1:59 pm

Against Backdrop of Ray Rice Controversy, CBS Scores a Ratings Blowout With ‘Thursday Night Football’ (Variety)

With the Ray Rice domestic violence controversy swirling around the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens, CBS rolled out its most high-stakes fall program, “Thursday Night Football,” last night, and predictably, raked in huge ratings.

Variety reports that the Ravens’ 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, simulcast on CBS and NFL Network, delivered a combined 13.7 household rating/23 share for the two networks, based on Nielsen’s metered-market overnights for 56 of the largest markets.

CBS’s portion of that number was an 11.2, with NFL Network pulling a 2.5.

The report notes that the combined figure more than doubled the 6.6 delivered last year for the NFL Network’s solo coverage of the Thursday night opener, which featured the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

“The rating may have been boosted by the maelstrom surrounding the league’s punishment of Ray Rice, but it also likely was dinged a bit by the lopsided result. The Ravens dominated the second half and put the game away with three fourth-quarter field goals,” Variety notes.

The report adds: “For the night, CBS and NFL Network averaged a 12.9 household rating/22 share in the metered markets, more than triple what CBS did a year ago on the comparable night (4.1/7) with ‘Big Brother’ and other, mostly repeat programming.”

Preliminary prime-time results in other metrics Thursday night break down like this for the broadcast networks: In the key 18-49 demo, CBS led the way with a 5.2 rating/17 share, followed by NBC, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.1/4; Fox, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.6/2; ABC, 0.5/2; CW, 0.2/1.

CBS was also a big winner in total viewers with 15.2 million, followed by NBC, 5.0 million; Univision, 2.8 million; Fox, 2.5 million; ABC, 2.1 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million; CW, 0.7 million.

CBS-NFL Network-Thursday Night Football

Sep 12, 2014
1:58 pm

How Many Young People Plan to Cut the Cord? Not as Many as You Might Think (THR)

A new media survey provides some insights into the number of people who plan to cut off their cable or satellite subscriptions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the survey by Frank N. Magid Associates found that about 5 percent of people between the ages of 24 and 34 currently plan to end their pay-television subscriptions.

The findings were presented at the Goldman Sachs media conference in New York.

“Among the wider population of those surveyed, those saying they intend to cut the cord was 2.9 percent, which might not sound like a lot, but would represent millions of customers and is more than the 2.2 percent in 2012 who said they would soon cancel pay TV,” the story notes.

About three-quarters of people who are getting rid of their pay-TV service said they are satisfied with what they can view without the subscriptions, either via streamed shows or digital content, the story adds.

“Not surprisingly, about 40 percent rate their customer service from cable and satellite companies fair or worse,” the piece notes.

The report adds: “The amount of people who say they can’t live without their TV remains steady at 57 percent, but among 18-to-34-year-olds, TV as the primary medium for entertainment is down 40 percent to 21 percent. Those who say they can’t live without their smartphones is up sharply in the last three years — from 22 percent to 50 percent.”

Sep 12, 2014
1:57 pm

Doctor Who Worked on Joan Rivers Fired by Clinic (TMZ)

The doctor who performed a procedure on Joan Rivers’ throat at a New York clinic where Rivers went into cardiac arrest last month has been fired by the clinic, reports.

“Sources at Yorkville Endoscopy tell us Dr. Lawrence Cohen stepped down after the board asked him to do so — however the board isn’t directly blaming him for Joan’s death,” the story reports, adding: “A rep for the clinic confirmed he was ousted from his position as medical director.”

Cohen was apparently under fire for allowing Rivers’ ear, nose and throat specialist to conduct an unauthorized procedure, which has been reported by some media outlets to be a biopsy. The clinic has denied that a biopsy occurred, as we reported previously.

Rivers reportedly went into respiratory and cardiac arrest while she was being worked on at the clinic. She was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she died Sept. 4.

The TMZ report adds: “Cohen is a world renowned gastroenterologist … and also co-owner of Yorkville. He’s been on administrative leave since Joan’s procedure on August 28.”

lawrence b. cohen

Dr. Lawrence B. Cohen

Sep 12, 2014
1:51 pm

DC Comics’ ‘Teen Titans’ Poised for Run on TNT (TheWrap)

TNT is nearing a pilot order for a project based on DC Comics’ “Teen Titans,” with Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes writing and executive producing, reports

The one-hour drama would focus on Nightwing, also known as Dick Grayson, who leads a superhero team called Titans. Warner Horizon Television, a division of Warner Bros. Television, would produce. Goldsman won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind.”

“The super crew first appeared in DC Comics in 1964 as younger versions of fan favorite stars and enjoyed several boosts in popularity over the years,” the piece notes.


Sep 12, 2014
1:47 pm

How Gay Friendly Is Hollywood? A New Survey Finds That Significant Barriers Remain (Deadline)

A survey of SAG-AFTRA members suggests that Hollywood isn’t as gay-friendly as some might think, with more than half of lesbian, gay and bisexual performers saying they have heard directors and producers make anti-gay comments about actors, reports

The study, which was funded by the SAG-Producers Industry Advancement and Cooperative Fund and conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute, found that more than one-third of respondents had seen “disrespectful treatment” of LGBT performers on the set, the story notes. One in eight non-LGBT actors said they had witnessed discrimination against LGBT performers.

“We found that LGBT performers may have substantial barriers to overcome in their search for jobs,” the study’s authors said.

Gay men were the most likely to report they had experienced discrimination, with one in five reporting some form of discrimination, the piece adds. Thirteen percent of lesbians said they had experienced some type of workplace discrimination.

“The study found that 9% of gay and lesbian respondents reported that they had been turned down for a role due to their sexual orientation, while 4% of bisexual respondents reported that they’d lost jobs because of their sexual orientation,” the story adds.


Sep 12, 2014
10:01 am

‘Saturday Night Live’ Shakes Things Up, Replaces Weekend Update Anchor (THR)

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has named a new co-anchor for its Weekend Update segment, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

Comedian Michael Che has been tapped for the role, replacing Cecily Strong, who will stay on the show as a repertory player. Che will co-host the segment with Colin Jost, the story adds.

Che joined “SNL” last year as a writer, and has also performed as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” His last report on “The Daily Show” was seen Sept. 4.

The change comes as “SNL” undergoes some shakeups ahead of its 40th season debut. The program didn’t renew contracts for players Noel Wells and John Milhiser, and cut Brooks Wheelan. Nasim Pedrad also recently left “SNL” for a role on the Fox comedy “Mulaney.”

michael che

Michael Che

Sep 12, 2014
9:57 am

ABC’s ‘The View’ Is Hit With $1 Million Lawsuit (NY Post)

ABC’s morning talk staple “The View” has been hit with a $1 million lawsuit, the New York Post’s Page Six reports, with a former producer on the show claiming she was “abused” and forced to deal with poor office conditions and low performance evaluations because of her age.

“Bernadette Piccolomini, 63, was ‘humiliated’ after her younger boss, Scott Tucker, played favorites with workers his own age, lashed out at her and screamed, ‘I’m the boss!,’ according to an age discrimination lawsuit filed against ABC in Brooklyn federal court on Aug. 28,” the story reports.

The piece quotes court papers alleging: “The younger and less experienced Mr. Tucker commenced a course of abusive conduct against the older plaintiff,” and, “Tucker engaged in a tirade, screaming and abusing Ms. Piccolomini.”

The report adds: “Despite Piccolomini’s stellar performance, Tucker also gave her a poor performance review in October 2012 and assigned her to an office with no windows, the suit claims.”

Piccolomini, who had worked for ABC since 1981 and began work on “The View” in 2000, reportedly made higher-ups at the network aware of her situation. In response, according to court papers, she was given a choice between losing her job and moving from New York to an office in Los Angeles.

She opted not to relocate and has been out of the job for about a year. The lawsuit is asking for $1 million, according to the report.

the view-title-obama

Sep 12, 2014
9:51 am

HBO Pulls the Plug on Ryan Murphy Drama Series (EW)

A drama series from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy that was in development at HBO is dead.’s Inside TV reports that the pay-cable channel pulled the plug on “Open,” which was slated to star “Fringe” actress Anna Torv.

“HBO has shut the door on ‘Open,’ the ‘Glee’ and ‘American Horror Story’ co-creator’s risque take that was described as ‘a multicharacter exploration of the complex, ever-evolving landscape of sexuality, monogamy and intimacy in relationships,’” the story reports.

In a statement, HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said the project “was not the right next step for all involved.”

The article adds: “The decision is somewhat surprising given Murphy’s hit-making track record.”

anna torv

Anna Torv

Sep 12, 2014
9:47 am

ABC Buys Cop Drama From Producer Who Already Owns a Full Night of the Network’s Prime Time (THR)

ABC continues to expand on its partnership with a prolific TV producer, giving a script commitment to a drama from Shonda Rhimes’ and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland production company, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

The drama, “Protect & Survive,” is about the last Los Angeles Police Department precinct that’s left after a massive disaster. David Slack of CBS’s “Person of Interest” will write the script and executive produce with Rhimes and Beers.

“The drama marks the first sale of the season from Shondaland, which this month will take over ABC’s Thursday night lineup with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’ in their new time slots — 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively — and the Rhimes-produced Pete Nowalk rookie drama ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ at 10 p.m.,” the story notes.


Sep 12, 2014
9:31 am

Spinoff of Popular 1990s Comedy Series in the Works (E! Online)

A popular TV comedy that had a long run in the late 1980s and 1990s may be getting a spinoff. E! Online reports that Sony Pictures Television is taking out a pitch based on “Married … With Children.”

The original series aired for 11 seasons on Fox, from 1987-1997.

The spinoff would be based on David Faustino’s character, Bud Bundy, the family’s son. Pitch meetings are just starting, and there’s no network deal in place.

It’s also not clear which actors from the original show might appear in the spinoff, the story adds. Major cast members Ed O’Neill, Christina Applegate and Katey Sagal have all gone on to successful post-”Married … With Children” careers, including regular series roles on “Modern Family” for O’Neill and on “Sons of Anarchy” for Sagal.

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