January 2014

Bombshell: Chris Christie Knew About the Lane Closings, Says David Wildstein, Christie's Former Appointee to the Port Authority

"The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that 'evidence exists' the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening," reports The New York Times.

The article reports: "In a letter released by his lawyer, the former official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as 'the Christie administration’s order' and said 'evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference' three weeks ago."

Adds the Washington Post: "The letter, written to the Port Authority general counsel by Wildstein's lawyer, Alan Zegas, disputes the agency's decision not to pay Wildstein's legal fees during the state and federal investigations into the scandal."

The Post story continues: "Suspicions about Christie's involvement with the lane closures began when The Wall Street Journal and the Bergen Record released e-mails between Christie's recently fired deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and Wildstein, one of which said, 'Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.'

"In a news conference Jan. 9, Christie denied knowledge of his staffers' involvement in the lane closures, adding, 'I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.'"

chris christie.jpgGov. Chris Christie

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Video: Budweiser's New Super Bowl Commercial Already Has Almost 25 Million Views

Budweiser has positioned itself near the head of the pack -- again -- among Super Bowl advertisers with a new commercial that has become a huge hit online. The latest "Puppy Love" spot already has close to 25 million views on YouTube, just two days after its release.

See for yourself:

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CBS's 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Crazy Ones' Match All-Time Lows

CBS saw a number of shows lose ratings momentum Thursday night, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo. But TVbytheNumbers.com reports that even with two shows equaling their all-time lows in the demo, CBS was able to win the night.

"The Big Bang Theory" gets a lot of credit for the CBS win. Even losing six-tenths of a ratings point from its previous original episode, "Bang's" 5.1 average in 18-49 was by far the best number for any show on broadcast Thursday night. The closest any other program came was a 3.1 average for Fox's "American Idol," which was down three-tenths from a week ago.

CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and "The Crazy Ones" both delivered 1.9 averages in the 18-49 demo, with both shows falling a half-point from their previous originals and both matching their series lows. "The Millers" was also down a half-point, to a 2.8 average. "Elementary" equaled its previous 2.0.

Fox led out from "Idol" with "Rake," which dipped four-tenths from last week to a 1.3 average in viewers 18-49.

NBC got its best result from its two-hour special "Saturday Night Live Presents: an 'SNL' Sports Spectacular," which delivered a 1.8 average in the 18-49 demo. "Community" and "Parks & Recreation" both matched last week's numbers -- a 1.1 for "Community" and a 1.2 for "Parks."

ABC's two-hour "The Taste" slipped one-tenth from a week ago to a 1.0 -- the same number delivered by a "Shark Tank" repeat at 10 p.m.

For prime time overall, CBS led the broadcast nets with a 2.6 average in adults 18-49, followed by Fox (2.2 average), NBC (1.6), Univision (1.3) and ABC (1.0). CBS won total viewers with 11.3 million, ahead of Fox (8.3 million), NBC (4.2 million), ABC (3.6 million) and Univision (3.2 million).

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NBC Expands Order for Drama Series

NBC has increased its order for a new drama series. The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that the network has ordered additional episodes of "Chicago P.D."

"The 'Chicago Fire' spinoff, which has averaged 6.8 million viewers and a 1.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo, will get two additional episodes to its rookie-season order, bringing the episode total to 15," the story reports. "'Chicago P.D.,' from executive producer Dick Wolf, centers on uniformed police patrol and the Intelligence Unit that pursues the perpetrators of the city's major street offenses."

The show's cast includes Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Jon Seda, Patrick Flueger, Jesse Lee Soffer and Elias Koteas.

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CBS Unveils Plans for Letterman Beatles Celebration

CBS has taken the wraps off its high-profile celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first "Ed Sullivan Show" appearance, back in 1964. In honor of the occasion, a number of top recording artists will pay tribute to the Beatles next week on "Late Show with David Letterman."

Letterman's show tapes at the Ed Sullivan Theater, the site of the group's historic U.S. performance. Among those participating in the weeklong celebration will be Sting, Lenny Kravitz, the Flaming Lips, Sean Lennon and Broken Bells -- made up of the Shins' James Mercer and producer Brian Burton, or Danger Mouse.

Please click here to read the full press release from CBS, which includes the latest schedule of appearances and the Beatles songs that will be performed.

beatles-1964.jpgThe Beatles

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CBS's 'Late Show With David Letterman' Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles' First 'Ed Sullivan Show' Appearance With Music Tributes From Top Artists the Week of Monday, Feb. 3

Press release from CBS, Jan. 31, 2014

The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ groundbreaking first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” with performances of Beatles music from top artists on the broadcast, Monday, Feb. 3 - Friday, Feb. 7 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT).

The Ed Sullivan Theater, site of the Fab Four’s U.S. debut, will be the setting for this week-long commemoration of that historic television event on Feb. 9, 1964. The Beatles’ first “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance is hailed by many historians and critics to be one of the most important moments in music and television.

On Monday, Feb. 3, Broken Bells, the duo comprised of The Shins’ James Mercer and producer Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse, will perform The Beatles’ classic “And I Love Her.” Sting takes the Ed Sullivan Theater stage Tuesday, Feb. 4 when the music superstar performs “Drive My Car,” and Lenny Kravitz rocks the broadcast Wednesday, Feb. 5. On Thursday, Feb. 6, the LATE SHOW welcomes The Flaming Lips, joined by special guest Sean Lennon, son of the late John Lennon, who will perform “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” The music lineup for Friday, Feb. 7 will be announced next week.

Also visiting the LATE SHOW the week of Feb. 3 will be actor Will Arnett, star of the hit CBS comedy series THE MILLERS, who lends his voice to the upcoming “The Lego Movie” (Feb. 3); actor George Clooney, who stars in the new film “The Monuments Men,” which he also co-wrote and co-produced (Feb. 4); actor Matt Damon, who stars with Clooney in “The Monuments Men” (Feb. 5); actor Michael Keaton, who stars in the upcoming remake of the classic “RoboCop” (Feb. 6); and actress Amy Adams, who recently received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for “American Hustle” (Feb. 7).

The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope, Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.

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The Most Famous Super Bowl Commercial Ever -- Called '1984' and Introducing Apple's Macintosh Computer -- Ran 30 Years Ago. Most Believe That Outside of That One Airing It Was Never Shown on TV Again, Except in Highlight Reels. Not So. Read the Truth Now

This Sunday commemorates what many believe is truly a landmark event in advertising. It was in the Super Bowl 30 years ago that Apple ran the most famous Super Bowl commercial ever, a 60-second spot entitled "1984," introducing the Macintosh computer.

Most people believe that, outside of subsequent airings in various highlight reels, that was the only time the commercial aired on TV.

No so. Here's an article from The New York Times by Philip H. Dougherty that was published on Monday, Jan. 23, 1984, the day after that year's Super Bowl:

"Yesterday's Super Bowl telecast marked the opening of a far bigger competition than a mere football tussle: International Business Machines vs. Apple for dominance in the personal computer market.

"Each entered a 60-second commercial with the time alone costing more than $800,000 for each advertiser.

"In the process, the world learned that Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein, the I.B.M. agency, is once again using the Charlie Chaplin character for PC jr, its new entry. But instead of Gary Merrill as the voice-over, this new campaign features the voice of Estelle Parsons. A baby carriage was also included in the spot for ''the bright little edition to the family.''

"The spot for Apple's Macintosh can only be described as something else. It was created by Chiat/Day ..."

Dougherty then went on to describe the commercial, which you can see below.

Then he wrote, "Since the $400,000 production was scheduled to be played only about 18 times in 11 markets, Jay Chiat was asked, 'How can one amortize the cost of the spot in such a short time?' 'What we are amortizing,' he responded, 'is the future of the company. If we don't do well, I.B.M. will own it all.' "

Fred Goldberg, himself a legendary adman, worked at Chiat/Day at the time and in his memoir, "The Insanity of Advertising: Memoirs of a Mad Man," which was just published at the end of last year, confirms that the famous "1984" commercial was indeed seen repeatedly on TV after the Super Bowl on a limited ad schedule in selected cities.

Goldberg also writes, "Steve Hayden, creative person extraordinaire and then copywriter on the Apple account, gets most of the credit for conceiving the idea. Brent Thomas, responsible for the brilliant art direction in the commercial, along with Lee Clow, a uniquely exceptional art director and creative director at Chiat/Day, gets some credit too. Ridley Scott, the director who actually shot the spot, brought much to the production as well."

Then Goldberg adds this interesting information: "The fact is that an art director and copywriter working in the Chiat/Day San Francisco office on the Apple account a year and a half earlier had come up with the idea, before Macintosh was even a reality. Art director Mike Moser and copywriter Gary Gussick created an ad in 1982 for the Apple III computer: 'Why 1984 Won't Be Like 1984.'

"Steve Jobs saw the concept and rejected it. He didn't feel the product it featured lived up to the revolutionary claim. Boy was he right, as the Apple III died a slow, excruciating death thereafter, not being a very elegant computing solution."

Goldberg then writes that the ad concept was resurrected for the Macintosh.

Here's the "1984" commercial introducing the Macintosh, from YouTube:


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Which Is the Most Trusted News Network? How About Least Trusted? Yep, They're the Same Network -- Again

One news network ranks as both the most trusted and the least trusted news network for the third year running, reports TVNewser, citing a poll from Public Policy Polling. That network is Fox News, which has a big lead in both categories.

“The poll found 35% of Americans trust Fox News more than other TV outlets, with PBS (14%), ABC (11%), CNN (10%), CBS (9%), MSNBC and Comedy Central tying at 6%, and NBC (3%) rounding out the list,” the story says.

Among Republicans, the number of people who view it as trustworthy was particularly high, with 69% of Republicans saying it’s their most trusted network.

“FNC also leads the way as least trusted: 33% ranked it as their least trusted network, followed by MSNBC (19%), Comedy Central (14%), CNN (11%), ABC (5%), CBS (4%), and a tie for NBC and PBS at 2%,” the piece adds.

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CNN Reviving a Show That's Been Off the Air for Almost a Decade

CNN is resurrecting a show from almost a decade ago. TVNewser reports that the cable news channel will bring back “Inside Politics,” which ended a 20-year run on CNN in 2005.

The show will return with John King as its anchor, the story reports. “Inside Politics” is the second show that CNN has recently revived, following its revamp of “Crossfire,” which was also canceled in 2005.

"Inside Politics" will debut Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET, and will feature King with a rotating panel of political reporters. “Inside Politics” ended its run in 2005 when host Judy Woodruff opted not to renew her contract.

“I’m honored to be part of bringing ‘Inside Politics’ back to CNN, with a focus on ahead-of-the-curve political reporting,” King said in a statement. “It’s a fascinating time in American politics, in Washington and across the country, and we have a remarkable group of journalists committed to sharing their reporting and their insights each week.”

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for john-king.jpgJohn King

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'Dukes of Hazzard' Star Rails Against Reality Show, Calling It a 'Slimy, Semi-Obscene Fake Show'

One of the regulars on the hit 1970s-1980s series “The Dukes of Hazzard” is lashing out at a reality show. EW.com’s Inside TV reports that Ben Jones, who portrayed the mechanic Cooter on "Dukes," came down hard on CMT's new show “Party Down South."

In an open letter to CMT and Viacom, Jones, a former Georgia congressman, calls the series "cultural pornography," a "vile travesty" and “a slimy, semi-obscene fake show from the people who put out 'Jersey Shore.' It is about a bunch of trashy, foul-mouthed morons. It is another massive insult to the South, created by New Yorkers and 'green-lighted' by people in Los Angeles.”

Jones wants CMT to stop promoting the reality show, which is set in South Carolina, during its airings of old “Dukes of Hazzard” episodes.

“Since 1979 America's parents have trusted us with their children. CMT has thoughtlessly violated that trust. Enough is enough,” he wrote.

He added, “There are maybe a million kids watching it on CMT every night. But at every commercial break those kids are being exposed to some of the sleaziest advertising I've ever seen."

EW reported that it had asked CMT for a response, but hadn’t yet heard back.

party down south-cast.png"Party Down South"

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