November 2013

One in a Million: Guess Who's Leading the Public Voting for Time's Person of the Year (Hint: It's NOT Obama, Edward Snowden, or Syria's Bashar al-Assad)

Guess who's leading Time magazine's public online poll for "Person of the Year." We can tell you that it is NOT President Obama, NSA leaker Edward Snowden or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "The winner so far: Miley Cyrus, with more than 29 percent of the vote.The twerk-loving pop star is beating world leaders, sports stars, the Boston Marathon bombers and numerous Hollywood figures as the person voters think most influenced the news this year for better or worse."

The story continues, "As of Wednesday afternoon, Cyrus was getting 29.1 percent of votes, ahead of Indian politician Narenda Modi (12.1 percent), NSA leaker Edward Snowden (9.4 percent), Texas state senator and abortion-rights activist Wendy Davis (5.4 percent) and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad (5.0 percent).

"Cyrus' success, however, may not be based on the will of the people, but that of two hackers who have been rigging the vote for the pop star, as they explained to The Daily Dot."

The article adds, "Online voting closes at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 4 and the winners of the reader polls will be announced Dec. 6. Those of you who don't agree with the online vote will be relieved to know that Time's editors will make the final decision about who will be 2013's 'Person of the Year,' a selection that will be announced Dec. 11."

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Miley-Cyrus-2012.jpgMiley Cyrus

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Thanksgiving Holiday Marathons on TV

Seems like more and more people are creating their own TV marathons using their DVR, on-demand programming, or one of the streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon.

But we have found a few traditional marathons still on TV. The most impressive one we found was Syfy's marathon of James Bond movies that starts tomorrow morning, Thursday, 11/28/13, and runs through the weekend. The marathon includes our two favorite Bond movies "Casino Royale" and "Goldfinger." The movies start at 8 a.m. ET on Syfy.

Also, TBS has a "Friends" marathon going on tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., ET.

For a compete listing of the special programming over the next few days we suggest you click here, which takes you a schedule at the TVTango website.

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The Hunt for Time Warner Cable Continues: Now Cox Cable Reportedly Wants In. And Charter Raises $25 Billion for Its Acquisition War Chest

"Cox Communications is considering jumping into the bidding for Time Warner Cable, according to people familiar with the situation, the latest twist in a fast-evolving takeover battle for the second-largest U.S. cable operator," report Dana Mattioli, Amol Sharma and Martin Peers in the Wall Street Journal.

Separately, The WSJ reports: "Charter Communications is arranging about $25 billion of debt financing as it pursues an acquisition of Time Warner Cable, allowing it to include a hefty cash component in any offer it makes for the New York-based cable operator, according to people familiar with the matter." This second story is reported by Mattioli, Peers and Dana Cimilluca.

In the Cox story, The WSJ says, "Atlanta-based Cox is the nation's third-biggest cable operator, with about 4.5 million TV subscribers, ranking slightly ahead of Charter."

The article continues, "Analysts said Cox, which has a stronger balance sheet than Charter, may be in a good position to pursue a deal. 'In some ways they make perfect sense as a white knight,' said Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson.

"Cox has maintained 'conservative credit metrics' in recent years, including a ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about 2.7, according to Moody's Investor Services, compared with 3.2 for Time Warner Cable and 5.5 for Charter."

In its story about Charter, The WSJ says, "Charter could be battling other suitors for Time Warner Cable, including Cox Communications and Comcast, both of which are mulling whether to make bids. Time Warner Cable would be more receptive to a sale to Cox or Comcast, a person familiar with the matter has said, in part because of its concerns a deal with Charter could be financially risky since it carries significant debt relative to its earnings.

"The risks are highlighted by the size of the debt financing being arranged. Charter already has about $14 billion of debt, more than five times its annual earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization, while Time Warner Cable has about $24 billion of net debt. In a report in July, Moody's Investor Services said that assuming a Charter offer was funded with $20 billion in new debt, the combined company's debt would approach $60 billion, 'the largest high yield non-financial corporate issuer by far.' Moody's said that would raise the price of the debt."

To learn a lot more details about each story we urge you to click on the links above, which will take you to the articles in The WSJ. NOTE: The WSJ is behind a pay-wall and may charge you to read its stories.

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More Ratings Woes for Cable News Network

More ratings woes for one of the major cable news networks, which is liikely to post its worst-performing month since the cable network suffered record drops in August 2012, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed.

The network is CNN.

“CNN's situation did not improve in November,” the piece notes. “Initial data from Nielsen Media has the network down the most of any cable news network this past month -- with all suffering year-to-year drops compared to the surge that accompanied last November's presidential election and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy battering the East Coast.”

Additionally, “New Day” suffered new lows for CNN’s morning programming. Since debuting in June, the show saw its worst month, with an average of only 83,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. That represents a 46% drop from “Early Start” in the same time period a year earlier, the piece adds.

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TVWeek Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

After today, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, TVWeek will be closed tor the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

We will be back on our regular schedule on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

In the interim, we'll be sending out our TVWeek EXTRAs to keep you informed.

Have a wonderful holiday and hey, let's be careful out there...

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Jennifer Love Hewitt Has a Baby

“The Client List” actress Jennifer Love Hewitt has given birth to a baby, reports People.

Hewitt gave birth to a baby girl and named her Autumn James Hallisay, the story says. 

Hewitt met her husband, Brian Hallisay, on the Lifetime show “The Client List,” the story says. Their daughter was born Nov. 26.

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If Bad Weather Continues Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Faces Drastic Step It's Only Had to Do One Time Ever, 42 Years Ago

The weather is such in New York CIty that Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade may have to do something it's only had to do once in its history, reports USA Today.

On Thanksgiving day in 1971, for the first time ever, the Macy's parade had to ground its balloons, according to the paper. This is the 87th year of the parade.

The article says, "Travelers flying home for Thanksgiving aren't the only ones who could potentially be grounded due to messy East Coast weather -- Snoopy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Toothless the dragon may have to stay out of the air as well.

"Those Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons -- and 13 other giant balloons -- won't take off Thursday morning if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph."

The article adds, "Weather has caused parade organizers -- and watchers -- troubles in the past. In 1997, winds drove a Cat in the Hat balloon into a metal pole. The ensuing damage left a woman in a coma for almost a month before she recovered. In 2005, an M&M balloon knocked over a streetlight that injured two sisters."

The story also notes, "In addition to the possible weather issues for tomorrow, controversy is swirling around two floats.

"Animal rights activists are upset that a SeaWorld float, which features two 27-foot orcas, is joining the parade. They claim SeaWorld doesn't treat its whales well.

"SeaWorld says the accusations have 'absolutely no basis' and that 'the men and women who care for these animals at SeaWorld are dedicated in every respect to their health and well-being.'

"And ranchers were rankled that singer Joan Jett was slated to perform on the South Dakota tourism float, saying the vegetarian and animal-rights activist wasn't a good representative for their beef-producing state. She will still be in the parade, just not on that float. Macy's said the parade does not engage in social commentary or political debate."

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Report: Chef's TV Future in Doubt Amid Charges of Alleged Drug Use

The TV future of a chef is being questioned amid charge of alleged drug use.

Because of the charge, ABC executives are reportedly considering whether to invite Nigella Lawson back for a third season of “The Taste,” reports the New York Daily News.

The drug claims emerged in a London trial, as a court ruled that two former aides to the TV chef could use her “bad character” in their defense against charges they defrauded Lawson and her husband, according to the U.K.’s Telegraph.

The aides, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, claim that Lawson allowed them to spend the disputed money on holidays and designer items as a way to ensure their silence about her drug use, the story says.

A prosecutor said Lawson has called the claims “totally scurrilous” and false, the Telegraph notes.

An ABC representative told the Daily News that the next season of “The Taste” is already taped and is so far scheduled to air starting on Jan. 2, 2014.

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