December 2012

Pepsi Supersizes Plans for Super Bowl Halftime Show

Pumping up the volume on the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, set to air Feb. 3 on CBS from the New Orleans Superdome, Pepsi announced plans today for a contest that will give 100 fans the opportunity to join Beyonce's onstage performance, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The contest, which officially launches Saturday, will invite fans to submit images of themselves in various poses, which will be used in a television commercial for Beyonce's performance. Fifty people, and a designated friend they each bring with them, will then be chosen to join Beyonce onstage.

Pepsi's contest wraps up Jan. 19, but images have to be in by Jan. 11 for those hoping to join the halftime show.

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How Chris Matthews Is Filling the Void Left by Olbermann at MSNBC -- and Why Matthews Chose to Stick With TV Rather Than Run for Senate

MSNBC President Phil Griffin has dubbed Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball," as "the model figure" for the network and also revealed that Matthews contemplated a run for the U.S. Senate four years ago, reports TVNewser.

Griffin was interviewed by the AP's David Bauder and speculated that Matthews would have been "one of the stars of the Democratic Party" by running and winning in 2008. Matthews, however, chose not to enter politics as a candidate.

Matthews told the AP, "I never want to do what everybody else is doing. I don't want to be part of the chorus."

Bauder writes of Matthews' current stature with MSNBC, "Matthews symbolized MSNBC’s growing comfort in being a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel. With Keith Olbermann out of sight, Matthews essentially replaced him as the commentator that most annoyed conservative viewers."

Griffin adds, "[Matthews] is at a place in his life where he's really comfortable in his own skin. He's a statesman."


Chris Matthews

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Letterman's 'Back-Handed Compliment' to Jay Leno

David Letterman gives his longtime rival Jay Leno what writer Nellie Andreeva describes as a “back-handed compliment” in his upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey for her show “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” The program is set to air Jan. 6 on OWN.

In a promo clip released for the program, Letterman says of Leno: “He’s an unusual fellow. I’ve never met anyone quite like Jay. And I will say, and I’m happy to say, that I think he is the funniest guy I’ve ever known. Just flat out, if you go to see him do his nightclub act, just the funniest, the smartest, a wonderful observationist and very appealing as a comic. Therefore, the fact that he is also maybe the most insecure person I have ever known -- I could never reconcile that.”

Andreeva adds: “Letterman’s statement on Leno was actually in response to Winfrey’s question when the duo’s rivalry began (not when Leno got the ‘Tonight Show’ gig, according to Letterman), so we’ll presumably find that out.” She adds that the interview “comes on the heels of fellow late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel bashing Leno.”

Check out the clip:

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Showtime Goes Big With Free Preview Weekend -- Mark Your Calendar

Showtime has announced plans for its biggest free preview weekend ever, sending out its programming lineup to more than 80 million U.S. homes during the weekend of Jan. 11-13, 2013, Multichannel News reports.

“The network currently attracts 22 million subscribers and will be available to 58 million more, for one weekend only,” the story reports. “Viewers across the country will have the opportunity to sample the premium network's programming on Showtime, Showtime HD, Showtime On Demand and Showtime Anytime. The Free Preview weekend will include the series premieres of the critically acclaimed series ‘Shameless,’ ‘House of Lies, and ‘Californication,’ live offerings from Showtime Sports including ‘ShoBox: The New Generation’ and ‘Strikeforce,’ and the television premieres of the blockbuster hit ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part I’ and ‘The Iron Lady,’ starring Meryl Streep.”

Additionally, the free preview weekend will allow viewers to have access to every season of original series "Dexter," "Homeland," "Nurse Jackie" and "Weeds," via Showtime On Demand and Showtime Anytime.

“The premium network also will air a number of feature films and documentaries throughout the weekend,” the report adds, “including ‘My Week with Marilyn,’ ‘The Help,’ ‘War Horse,’ ‘Source Code,’ ‘A Better Life,’ ‘Our Idiot Brother,’ ‘Real Steel,’ ‘Scream 4,’ ‘Fright Night,’ ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ and ‘50/50.’ The Free Preview Weekend will be offered by nearly 50 distributors nationwide including AT&T U-verse, Cable One, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS.”

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'Yellow Submarine' Remake Torpedoed

Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis' plan to remake the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" has fallen apart, reports New York Magazine. Disney was behind the project but is no longer on board -- perhaps in part because the director's enthusiasm for the project appears to have waned.

Zemeckis, who is riding high with the success of the Denzel Washington drama "Flight," said recently of "Yellow Submarine”: “That would have been a great one to bring the Beatles back to life. But it’s probably better not to be remade -- you’re always behind the eight-ball when do you a remake."

The filmmaker then veered into talking about "the state of the industry" and how difficult it is to stay enthused about moviemaking, the piece notes.

"Yellow Submarine" was originally filmed in 1968 as an animated musical, using the music of the Beatles. However, their cartoon characters were voiced by other actors, not the Fab Four.


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TVWeek Holiday Schedule

TVWeek will not formally publish on Monday and Tuesday next week, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

We WILL publish Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week (Jan. 2, 3 and 4), resuming regular publication.

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy New Year's weekend and a great 2013.

As always, if major news breaks, we'll let you know through one of our TVWeek Extra alerts.

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Not Much Movement Atop the List of Most-Forged Autographs, but One High-Flying Newcomer Has Landed on the List

Entertainment icons the Beatles and Elvis Presley appear near the top of many lists of accomplishments for their musical legacies, but they are also at the top of the most-forged autographs list, reports

Memorabilia authenticator PSA/DNA announced Thursday that on the 2012 list of most-forged celebrity signatures, Elvis Presley and the members of the Beatles -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr -- remained at the top of the list. When the list was last released two years ago, they were also leading the pack.

Others on the list include Michael Jackson and former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Joining the list in 2012 was recently deceased astronaut Neil Armstrong. According to Joe Orlando, president of PSA/DNA, "Armstrong is someone who [was] very conscious of the value of his own autograph. Even before he passed away he was very tough to get. ... It really heightens the level of his market."


Neil Armstrong

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Jeff Zucker Considering Poaching '20/20' Anchor for Key CNN Role

As incoming CNN chief Jeff Zucker prepares for his new role in turning around the cable news channel, he's eyeing some ABC talent, including "20/20" co-anchor Chris Cuomo, reports the New York Post's Page Six.

Zucker is searching for an anchor who will become CNN's centerpiece, the story notes. Cuomo is also ABC's chief law-and-justice correspondent and is the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Zucker has already snagged the services of senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper from ABC, as previously reported.

Chris Cuomo co-hosts “20/20” with Elizabeth Vargas.

Also reportedly in Zucker’s sights is NBC’s Ann Curry, whose high-profile ouster from “Today” made negative headlines for NBC during 2012. NBC has noted that Curry remains under contract with the network.

One move Zucker is reportedly considering for CNN is moving Erin Burnett to mornings to go head-to-head with “Today and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

One source commented for the story, “Jeff should be careful how many people he tells will be the face of the network.”

Representatives for CNN and ABC declined to comment.


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He Was One of Those Familiar Faces on TV and in the Movies Whom Most People Never Knew by Name -- Character Actor Cliff Osmond Dead at 75

Character actor Cliff Osmond, who appeared in many films and TV shows and who estimated that he taught more than 10,000 actors, has died, reports The New York Times. Osmond, 75, died Dec. 22 of pancreatic cancer.

Osmond appeared in films including four Billy Wilder comedies, playing the private investigator Purkey in "The Fortune Cookie" (1966), which was the first movie to star Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau together, the story notes.

He appeared on TV more than 100 times, acting in shows including "Gunsmoke" and a 1962 "Twilight Zone" episode called "The Gift."

Osmond had a career as an acting teacher, with his students including Armand Assante and Carlos Alazraqui, the story notes.

He also appeared in Wilder’s films “Irma La Douce” (1963), “Kiss Me, Stupid” (1964) and “The Front Page” (1974). His other TV credits included “All in the Family,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Kojak.”


Cliff Osmond


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Petition Demands Arrest of David Gregory, Host of NBC's 'Meet the Press'

A petition urging the arrest of NBC News host David Gregory has been picking up signatures, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that 11,000 people had signed it as of Thursday.

Gregory is under investigation by Washington, D.C., police for displaying a high-capacity gun magazine during an interview on Sunday's "Meet the Press," as previously reported.

The petition, which is posted on the White House's We the People site, says, "David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.” It adds, "We the People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on 'Meet The Press.'"

Thumbnail image for david-gregory.jpg

David Gregory

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TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

NBC Station Expresses Regret for 'Chicago Fire' Episode

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

Report: 29 out of This Fall's Top 30 Programs Were NFL Games -- What Was the Only Non-Sports Program to Make the List?

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

DirecTV Subscribers to Be Hit with Price Hike in 2013

In Depth | December 28, 2012

Lessons to Take Away From the Year in TV -- From Technology to Song-and-Dance Shows, Everything About the Medium Is in Flux

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

TV Industry Learned a Lot in 2012, Including Lessons About Zombies and DVRs

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

'Downton Abbey' Star Explains His Decision to Leave

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

With Spinoff Looming, Starz Faces Questions About Its Future

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

'Grey's Anatomy' Star Trying to Rescue Troubled Coffee Company

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

'Mockingbird Lane,' NBC's Remake of 'The Munsters,' Is Officially Dead

TVBizwire | December 28, 2012

Fontella Bass, Singer of 'Rescue Me,' Dies at 72

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

One and Done for 'Boring Britney'? Singer Reportedly Headed Out the Door at 'X Factor'

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

ABC, ESPN Celebrate Christmas With Record Numbers for NBA Action

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Video: Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart Nail 'Stairway to Heaven' as Led Zeppelin Members Well Up at the Kennedy Center Honors

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Imitation Gordon Ramsay a Hit on Spanish TV -- Host 'Cusses Like an Ernest Hemingway Character and Has the Dinner Manners of a Goatherd'

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

After Delivering Must-Have Gizmos Like the iPhone and iPod, What's Apple's Next Big Thing? (Hint: It's Not Apple TV)

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Report: Matt Lauer Is Upset That Passers-by Are Screaming at Him

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Time Warner Cable Playing Hardball, Telling Small Networks to Provide Programming Without Payment

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Forbes Magazine Names Hollywood's Most Bankable Star -- and in Case You Missed It, the Most Overpaid Star Too

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

NBC Was Told by Police Not to Show Gun Clip on Air

TVBizwire | December 27, 2012

Disney Settles Lawsuit Over Alleged Rear-Slapping Incident on 'Good Luck Charlie'