Aug 26, 2014
1:19 pm

Emmys Broadcast Scores Second-Biggest Audience in Eight Years (TVWeek)

Monday’s broadcast of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC had strong viewership, generating the awards’ second-highest number in total viewers in eight years and matching the second-highest rating in the key demo of viewers 18-49 in seven years, NBC announced. The numbers are based on time zone-adjusted Nielsen Media Research fast official ratings.

Airing live in all time zones, 8-11 ET, the broadcast scored a 4.2 average rating in 18-49 with 15.6 million total viewers.

“The 15.6 million viewers is the second-biggest overall audience for the Emmys since 2006, trailing over that span only the 17.8 million for last year’s telecast, which benefited from Sunday scheduling, a September airdate and a high-rated NFL lead-in,” NBC announced. “Excluding those 2013 results, this is the top Emmys in total viewers since the Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, telecast on NBC averaged 16.2 million viewers.”

The 4.2 rating in viewers 18-49 equals the second-highest number since 2007, when Fox delivered a 4.3 on Sunday, Sept. 16. CBS had a 4.9 last year, and the Emmys also had 4.2 averages in 2009 and 2011.

“The 15.6 million makes this the most-watched night on any network since ABC’s Academy Awards on March 2 (35.2 million),” NBC noted, adding: “The Emmys topped the combined Big 4 competition in prime time, with a 4.2 rating edging the combined 4.1 of Fox (1.8 in fast national ratings, subject to adjustment), ABC (1.2) and CBS (1.1), while the 15.6 million in total viewers beat the combined total of 13.8 million for CBS (5.0 million), Fox (4.6 million) and ABC (4.2 million).”

Please click here to read the full press release from NBC.


Aug 26, 2014
1:17 pm

Apple Reportedly Working on an iPad With a Screen Size Close to 13 Inches. Will It Revitalize the Tablet Market? End of the Laptop? (Bloomberg)

Apple will soon go into production with “a new iPad [ that] will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, said people [with knowledge of the matter], who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public,” report Tim Culpan, Adam Satariano and Ian King at Bloomberg.

The story reports: “Apple currently produces iPads with 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch displays. The Cupertino, California-based company has been working with suppliers for at least a year to develop a new range of larger touch-screen devices, said the people.”

Production is set to start on the larger iPad in the first quarter of 2015, the story reports. Apple would not comment on its story, Bloomberg said.

Says the article, “Potential customers for larger-screen iPads are businesses, where the device could take on more tasks of a traditional laptop computer. In July, Apple unveiled a partnership with International Business Machines Corp., and [Apple CEO Tim] Cook said part of the pact’s rationale was to sell to corporations so they could ‘be a catalyst for future iPad growth.’

“Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at researcher IDC, said while tablet sales growth has slowed, he projects businesses, schools and governments will become bigger buyers of the devices.”

12_9_ipad_macbook_air-800x450.jpg by macrumors

Mockup of an iPad with a 12.9-inch screen next to a MacBook Air with a 13-inch screen, found at the website of MacRumors   



Aug 26, 2014
1:16 pm

Diane Sawyer Goes Out on Top: ABC News Wins Key News Demo for Seventh Time in Eight Weeks as Longtime Anchor Readies for New Role (Variety)

As CBS and NBC both got encouraging numbers for their respective evening news programs last week, ABC and Diane Sawyer rolled to another weekly win in what may have been Sawyer’s final full week before she moves on to a new role at ABC News.

Variety reports that Sawyer’s “World News” won the key news demo of viewers 25-54 for the seventh time in the past eight weeks. “Also of note in another good week for the evening newscasts across the board, CBS logged its top-rated week of the summer while NBC remained on top in total viewers and averaged more than 8 million viewers for the first time since June,” the report adds.

Sawyer wrapped up what is thought to be her last full week as anchor of “World News,” with David Muir waiting to move into the spot, the story notes. Sawyer’s last day has not been announced, but she is expected to wrap things up sometime this week.

As we reported back in June, Sawyer is expected to focus on prime-time specials for ABC News. At the time the news broke, we noted that Muir, who will continue to co-anchor “20/20″ along with Elizabeth Vargas, was expected to take over the flagship evening news broadcast Sept. 2. However, ABC has yet to officially announce the date.

Variety notes: “According to Nielsen, the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC combined for 21.9 million viewers last week, matching the previous week as the most of the summer. The death of Robin Williams was big news a couple of weeks ago, and the busy news cycle last week included the protests in Ferguson and the murder of James Foley.”

In adults 25-54, ABC’s “World News” led the way with 1.918 million viewers, just ahead of NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” (1.860 million), followed by “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” (1.635 million).

“The ABC newscast has won in adults 25-54 for the seventh time in the eight weeks since the news of Sawyer’s exit first surfaced (including some weeks with Muir in the anchor seat), and is delivering its top-rated season to date in the demo in three years. ‘World News’ was the leader for the second quarter as well, and notched back-to-back sweeps victories in the demo (May and July) for the first time in seven years,” Variety notes.

“NBC Nightly News” was No. 1 in total viewers with 8.025 million, ahead of ABC’s “World News” (7.325 million) and “CBS Evening News” (6.532 million).

diane sawyer 2

Diane Sawyer

Aug 26, 2014
1:16 pm

Discovery’s Eileen O’Neill Moves Up (Deadline)

Veteran TV executive Eileen O’Neill has a new job at Discovery Communications. O’Neill, who has been with Discovery for 25 years, was promoted to global group president for Discovery Studios, reports.

O’Neill “will now lead its worldwide production division, overseeing all international facilities and creative talent at Discovery Studios, managing the company’s in-house production units and serving on the board of directors of All3Media once that transaction has closed, the company announced this morning,” Deadline reports. “Marjorie Kaplan, group president of TLC and Animal Planet, has been tapped to serve as interim head of Discovery Channel, while hanging on to her other duties; Kaplan’s been at Discovery for nearly 15 years.”

O’Neill will report to Bruce Campbell, who was recently named chief development and digital media officer and general counsel for Discovery Communications, and who oversees Discovery Studios Group.

The Deadline report adds: “Lee Bartlett, Executive Vice President, who currently leads Discovery Studios under his portfolio, will continue to oversee the company’s global Business Affairs group as well as Discovery Consumer Products, Program Sales, Private Networks, Footage Sales and Discovery Music Source, also reporting to Campbell. Bartlett will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of betty, Raw and All3Media. Edward Sabin will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Channel, as well as TLC, Science Channel and Velocity.”

In today’s announcement, David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “One of the key pillars of Discovery’s success over the past eight years has been our significant investment in world-class content across all screens, and part of that strategy has focused on strengthening our in-house studio capabilities, acquiring more IP across new genres and formats, and bringing some of the world¹s top production houses into our company. Eileen is one of the very best we have at Discovery. In this new role, she will accelerate the growth, output and development of our production engines, and oversee the strategy and investment in new programming, new content creators, new categories and new technologies.”

eileen o'neill

Eileen O’Neill

Aug 26, 2014
1:16 pm

Robin Williams’ Death Fuels Ratings Surge for TV Newsmags (B&C)

The death of comedian and actor Robin Williams, who committed suicide Aug. 11, drove viewers to syndicated TV newsmagazines, where coverage of Williams’ life and death was extensive.

“CBS Television Distribution’s magazine leader ‘Entertainment Tonight’ ballooned 21% for the week to a 3.5 live plus same day household ratings average, that show’s strongest rating since March,” B&C reports. “CTD’s ‘Inside Edition’ added 7% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ ‘TMZ,’ which often breaks major entertainment news on its Web site, ironically had the smallest gain of the top six, moving up 6% to a 1.8.”

The report adds: “NBCUniversal’s ‘Access Hollywood’ surged 14% to a 1.6, that show’s highest rating in 12 weeks. Warner Bros.’ ‘Extra’ improved 25%, the biggest leap of any top-tier magazine, to a 1.5, that show’s best performance since the week of June 9. ‘Extra’ also climbed 15% from last year at this time, the most of any magazine. CTD’s ‘The Insider’ scored its largest rating in seven weeks, a 1.3, up 18% from the prior session.”

Also up was MGM’s “RightThisMinute,” which improved 10% to a 1.1. “Dish Nation,” from Twentieth, rebounded from its season low, rising 11% to a 1.0 — the same number it has delivered 14 times in the past 15 weeks, the report notes.

“Trifecta’s ‘OK! TV’ climbed 33% from a 0.3 to 0.4, while its out-of-production ‘America Now’ remained at a 0.3 for the 13th consecutive week,” the report adds.


Aug 26, 2014
9:57 am

‘Modern Family’ Star Sofia Vergara Defends Emmys Segment After Getting Backlash (TVLine, Jezebel)

“Modern Family” actress Sofia Vergara defended the Primetime Emmy Awards after the ceremony generated backlash over a segment that featured Vergara standing on a turntable and vamping. TVLine reports that the segment came under fire from viewers who considered it sexist.

Vergara appeared in the segment “to ostensibly illustrate Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman Bruce Rosenblum’s speech about how TV is ‘always giving the viewer something compelling to watch,’” the story notes.

Her vamping provided a contrast to Rosenblum’s “dry speech,” the report adds. When she stepped off the turntable, she said, “That’s why I stopped doing the car shows!,” pretending to be dizzy.

The segment earned thumbs down from and Jezebel, with the latter writing that Vergara “was treated like a literal object.” It added, “We have now entered the unfunny, sexist part of the program.”

Vergara was “visibly irritated” by the criticism, TVLine notes. In the press room, she responded, “I think it’s absolutely the opposite. … I absolutely think it’s ridiculous.”

She said her role in the segment illustrated that “somebody can be hot and be funny and make fun of herself.”

sofia vergara

Sofia Vergara

Aug 26, 2014
9:55 am

TiVo Offers ‘Simple, Brilliant and Legal’ DVR That Doesn’t Require Pay TV (Bloomberg)

TiVo is selling a new DVR for people who don’t have a pay-TV service such as cable or satellite TV, which could provide an additional tool for cord-cutters, Bloomberg reports.

“The TiVo Roamio OTA DVR can record content from broadcast networks including ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as stream Internet video from Netflix and YouTube, according to a statement [Monday]. The device costs $49.99 with service fees of $14.99 per month and a one-year commitment, and will be available at Best Buy stores starting Sept. 14,” the story notes.

TiVo called the device “simple, brilliant and legal.”

The device is reminiscent of Aereo, which used small antennas to record and stream broadcast programming for customers, but which suffered a setback two months ago when the Supreme Court ruled that the service violated the broadcasters’ copyrights.

“What Aereo’s product demonstrated was that there are large numbers of people who are interested in addressing this market,” TiVo chief marketing officer Ira Bahr told Bloomberg. “With this Aereo ruling, they were left stranded. We think that TiVo is an excellent solution for anyone who was looking for that kind of product.”

A spokesman for TiVo said the service is legal because it captures and records content through in-home devices.

“The technology is not anything new,” the spokesman said. “We never had legal challenges regarding recording content in the home for an individual consumer.”

tivo roamio ota-2014

Aug 26, 2014
9:54 am

Chuck Todd’s Vision for ‘Meet the Press’ — and What the NBC News Boss Is Saying About Why David Gregory Got the Boot (TVNewser, NY Times)

Chuck Todd, who will take over the host role on NBC’s “Meet the Press” next month, told “Today” that his goal is to “demystify Washington for the American public,” reports TVNewser.

“The job of all of us, particularly in political reporting, is to demystify Washington for the American public, but then also try to translate the American public’s frustration for out of touch Washington people,” Todd said. “That’s part of the challenge, that’s part of when things are going well in the political journalism world it’s because we’re playing that role of basically being the translator, being the interpreter between America and Washington.”

Meanwhile, NBC News President Deborah Turness told Bill Carter of The New York Times that she tried to work with David Gregory, the ousted “Meet the Press” host, to make changes. “We weren’t able to build a new vision together in the end,” she said.

Turness wants to add a regular panel of journalists who will question guests, the story notes.

“The show needs more edge,” she told The Times. “It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago. We need more of a coffeehouse conversation.”

chuck todd

Chuck Todd

Aug 26, 2014
9:53 am

CBS Serves Up a Different Take on the Sports Show: This One Will Be All-Female (TVWeek)

CBS Sports has announced a prime-time debut next month for a new sports talk show with a difference: The show, “We Need to Talk,” will be hosted, produced and directed entirely by women.

The program is set to roll out Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 10 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. It’s being called the first-ever all-female national weekly sports show.

The announcement notes: “Each week, the ‘We Need to Talk’ panel will feature a core of CBS Sports announcers including Lesley Visser, the highly acclaimed Pro Football Hall of Fame sportscaster in her 40th year covering sports and a trailblazer for women in the industry; Amy Trask, the first female CEO in the National Football League and a contributor for CBS Sports Network’s ‘That Other Pregame Show’; Tracy Wolfson, lead reporter for CBS’s NFL and NCAA Tournament coverage; CBS Sports Radio host and veteran television broadcaster Dana Jacobson; and Allie LaForce, lead reporter for the SEC on CBS.”

Added Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports: “This is a very proud moment for all of us at CBS Sports. A sports show featuring all women is long overdue, and we are thrilled to be able to make television history this fall with the national launch of ‘We Need to Talk.’”

Please click here to read the full press release from CBS Sports.

cbs sports network-logo

Aug 26, 2014
9:52 am

Emotional Tribute to Robin Williams at the Emmys — Here’s the Video (Deadline)

The late actor and comedian Robin Williams was given an emotional tribute at the Emmys by his friend and fellow comedian Billy Crystal, who called him “the brightest star in the comedy galaxy,” reports

“It’s very hard to talk about him in the past, because he was so present, in all our lives,” Crystal said.

As previously reported, Williams committed suicide earlier this month at his home. His wife said he had been suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Deadline notes: “It was a tough tribute to pull off — being maybe the seventh or eighth TV tribute to Williams since he was found dead in his Bay Area home on Aug. 11. After Crystal finished speaking, viewers were shown several clips of Williams performances that already had been seen in other tributes, and a couple of new ones.”

There was some grumbling about the segment before the broadcast, with some noting that Williams was getting singled out but not TV pioneer Sid Caesar, the story notes. Executive producer Don Mischer had said the show was “working to give Robin Williams the proper and meaningful remembrance he so well deserves.”

The evening before, the MTV Video Music Awards aired a segment to commemorate Williams that was called “offensive” by some, given that the 23-second photo tribute ended abruptly and aired right before an ad break, which made it appear that the segment had been squeezed into the the ad break’s first spot, Deadline adds.

Here’s Crystal’s tribute to Williams at the Emmys:

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