November 2012

NBC Abandons Thursday 'Rock Center' Experiment, Juggles Schedule

NBC announced a number of scheduling moves as it scrambles to resuscitate its Thursday night lineup, which has been getting battered in the ratings.

“NBC‘s experiment with a newsmagazine in the iconic Thursday 10 p.m. time slot is over,” Nellie Andreeva reports on “The network just announced that midseason drama ‘Do No Harm’ will move into the time period on January 31, following the hourlong series finale of ‘30 Rock,’ which will air the same night from 8-9 p.m., ‘The Office’ and newbie ‘1600 Penn.’”

“Rock Center with Brian Williams,” which has delivered consistently wimpy ratings, moves to Friday night starting Feb. 8. It will air in the traditional newsmag slot at 10 p.m., with “Dateline” moving to 9 p.m.

“’Dateline’ will take over ‘Grimm‘s’ slot while the supernatural drama is on a hiatus,” Andreeva writes. “When ‘Grimm’ returns to its 9 p.m. berth March 8, I hear ‘Dateline’ will either get off Fridays (by then the Sunday edition will already have launched post-football), or replace ‘Rock Center’ if the show does not get any traction on its new night.”

Said NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt: “Jan. 31 will be a special night as one classic series will mark its finale with a great hour-long sendoff episode while a promising new drama will make its debut on Thursdays.”

Andreeva notes: “’Do No Harm’ faces long odds as NBC’s Thursday lineup is a far cry from the glory days of Must See TV. Both new drama series the network launched in the time period last season, ‘Prime Suspect’ and ‘Awake,’ fizzled.”

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Two NBC Shows Sink to Historic Ratings Lows

Two NBC series hit all-time lows as the network sank to a distant fifth place among the broadcast networks for prime time overall Thursday night, based on Nielsen overnight figures. reports that “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation” both dipped to series lows in the key 18-49 demo. “The Office” turned in a 1.9 average rating, down 10% from its previous airing Nov. 15, and “Parks” slipped to a 1.4, down 18%.

NBC’s “Up All Night” was also down -- off 8% from Nov. 15 to a 1.2 in adults 18-49 -- and “Rock Center” was down 18% to a 0.9. Bucking the trend was “30 Rock,” which managed to climb 8% to a 1.3.

At the other end of the ratings spectrum, CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” was the top show of the night, with a 5.4 average in 18-49 -- but that was down 5% from two weeks ago. “Two and a Half Men” held steady with a 4.1, while “Person of Interest” dipped 6% to a 2.9. “Elementary” tied its series low with a 2.2, down 4%.

CBS won the night handily with a 3.3 average for prime time overall in adults 18-49, ahead of Fox (2.5 average), ABC (2.1), Univision (1.7) and NBC (1.2). CBS distanced itself further from the pack in total viewers, averaging 13.4 million to 7.0 million for Fox, 6.9 million for ABC, 4.0 million for Univision and 3.4 million for NBC.

Fox was paced by “The X Factor,” which slipped 4% from last week to a 2.7, while “Glee” delivered a 2.2, surging 47% from its Thanksgiving broadcast.

ABC had a weak turnout for “Last Resort,” in its first broadcast since its cancellation. The show sank to a series-low 1.0 average rating in the 18-49 demo, while “Grey’s Anatomy” tied its season low with a 3.0, down 6% from two weeks ago. “Scandal” went the other direction, climbing 10% to deliver a season-high 2.2.

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Video: TV News Team Falls Victim to Fake Plane Crash

The news team at Tribune station WGN-TV in Chicago was caught this morning by what turned out to be a fake plane crash being staged for a TV show. WGN posted video of its report on the incident, which can be seen below.

The station later reported that the crash scene was staged for the TV show “Chicago Fire.” Shortly after 8 a.m. reports began coming in from commuters who thought the incident near the busy intersection of 29th and King Drive was a real plane crash.

Here’s the clip of how it went down during the live report:

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Date Set for Broadcast of the 65th Primetime Emmys

CBS has set the date for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast, with the program set to air from L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Nominations will be announced July 18. The 2012 Emmy Awards, broadcast on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, averaged 13.3 million viewers.

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Popular Telenovela Gets English-Language Adaptation by Fox

Fox is adapting a popular telenovela for English-speaking audiences, putting in development an hourlong series based on the 2004 show "Rubí,” reports

The project focuses a beautiful but penniless woman who wants to become rich, even if it means giving up the love of her life, the story notes. Written by Lisa Loomer, the project is executive produced by Loomer and Michael Garcia, with 20th Century Fox TV and Televisa producing.

When it aired in the U.S. on Univision, the show's two-hour finale drew almost 8 million viewers, the piece notes.

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Want to Know How Chevy Chase Will Be Written Out of 'Community'?

The abrupt decision to dump Chevy Chase from NBC's "Community" will not cause disruption in the writers room, reports It turns out that the show had already filmed a season finale in which the fate of several characters is up in the air.

Chase Hawthorne, Chevy Chase's role, is one of the characters included in a cliffhanger ending. Presumably, Hawthorne will not make it back for any future seasons of "Community," should there be any more.

According to the website's source, the cliffhanger episode "wasn't intended to set up his [Chevy's] departure. It just worked out that way."

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Plot Thickens in Angus T. Jones Meltdown: Report Explores Role LSD May Have Played

There may be more to Angus T. Jones' YouTube video meltdown than religious conversion, according to a report by Newsweek’s Daily Beast.

The controversial video focused on the young “Two and a Half Men” star -- which you can see by clicking here -- delves into Jones’ interest in the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry ForeRunner Chronicles and presents him as an acolyte of the group’s unconventional pastor, Christopher Hudson.

But it also contains the “interesting tidbit” that Jones “began experimenting with LSD prior to stumbling across the radical organization’s videos online,” the piece reports.

“The summer of senior year, I started doing acid,” the report quotes Jones as saying. “This drug could change the world ... if this was legal, everyone would be different.”

The story reports: “Jones’ comments about the transformative powers of the drug echo those famously made by Apple founder Steve Jobs in the 2005 book ‘What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer.’

“’Doing LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life,’ said Jobs, further alleging that Microsoft’s Bill Gates would ‘be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once.’”

The article notes that Jones’ use of acid appears to differ from Jobs’ case in that it was more than mere experimentation. “His parents had recently split and Jones describes in the video being haunted by feelings of inauthenticity; that he had, in essence, become a materialistic windbag who purchased fancy cars and dated girls, but felt empty inside,” the piece reports.

The story also examines Hudson, the pastor, noting that he “delivers bizarre sermons online. Some of Hudson’s greatest hits: accusing rapper Jay-Z of being a devil-worshipping Freemason; denouncing Oprah Winfrey as a disciple of Satan; declaring masturbation a sin; and calling superstorm Sandy a harbinger of a food-shortage crisis and cannibalism.”

Jones tells Hudson in the video: “Your videos have no doubt been a blessing to me,” and adds, “I don’t want to be contributing to the enemy’s plan … You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like [‘Two and a Half Men’]. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.”

Jones, whose salary for “Men” is reported to be $350,000 per episode, has apologized for his comments on the YouTube video.

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MTV Reveals Replacement for 'Jersey Shore'

MTV announced that it will replace "Jersey Shore" with a new reality show, reports's Inside TV. The new series, called "Buckwild," features a group of nine young friends in West Virginia doing "Jackass"-style stunts.

The friends live by their motto, "Whatever happens, happens" -- including activities such as drinking, fighting with neighbors, driving ATVs and riding down hills inside giant tires, the story notes.

The show debuts Jan. 3 at 10 p.m., in "Jersey Shore’s” time period, with MTV airing two half-hour episodes back-to-back each week for six weeks.

Here’s a preview:

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New CNN Boss Jeff Zucker Hints at What He Has in Mind for the Cable News Channel

Jeff Zucker, the newly named CNN Worldwide president, told reporters on a conference call that he wants to make the cable news channel "relevant, vibrant and exciting," while hinting that he wants to broaden its programming, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.

"News is not just about politics and war," he said. "The definition of news is broader than perhaps has been historically thought about here."

Zucker, who is a former executive producer of NBC's morning program "Today," comes to CNN after several missteps. While serving as chief executive at NBCUniversal, NBC's prime-time ratings tumbled, and the network stumbled further when it moved Jay Leno from late night to prime time. He left the company after Comcast took a majority stake in NBCUniversal.

On the conference call, Zucker said his comfort zone remains daily journalism. "There is no doubt I made mistakes in the entertainment world, and I own those," he said.

TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross has his own ideas about how Zucker might be able to fix CNN. Click here to read his suggestions.

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TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

Coroner Releases Explanation for Death of Johnny Lewis, 'Sons of Anarchy' Star Who Killed His Landlady

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

Batmobile From 1960s 'Batman' TV Series Going up for Sale

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

'Honey Boo Boo' Star Arrested for Highway Prank -- Alcohol and a Gorilla Suit Allegedly Were Involved

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

VH1 Cancels Series

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

CW Searching for New Wonder Woman

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

Mob Drama in Development at Cinemax

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

Nickelodeon Picks Up Spinoff Series Bringing Together Characters From Two Shows

TVBizwire | November 30, 2012

Jackson Family Patriarch Joe Jackson Suffers Stroke

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

CBS Gives Straight-to-Series Order to Steven Spielberg/Stephen King Drama

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Video: Harvey Weinstein on 'SEAL Team Six' Controversy, Oprah's Movie Surprise and His Beef With NFL Network

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Charlie Sheen Offers a Job to Angus T. Jones

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Four-Way Logjam Atop the Broadcast Ratings for Wednesday Night

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

For the First Time in Its 64-Year History, Motor Trend Gives Its Car of the Year Award to a Vehicle With No Internal Combustion Engine -- Can You Guess What It Is?

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Four-Time Emmy Winner Loses Home to Foreclosure

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

CW Cancels the Series That Had Fall Season's Lowest-Rated Premiere

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Lindsay Lohan Arrested

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Endgame for Fox Drama: Network Still Won't Invoke the C-Word, but the Show Is Clearly Finished

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

The Rather Odd Reason Matt Lauer Says He Doesn't Pay Attention to One Form of Viewer Criticism

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Kevin Reilly, Chair of Fox Entertainment, Has Tough Words for Hollywood: 'We're Too Obsessed With Each Other and Not Enough With the Consumer.' Rethinking Needed, From the Way Shows Are Created to When They Air

TVBizwire | November 29, 2012

Report: Angus T. Jones Staying on 'Two and a Half Men'