Mar 30, 2015
1:27 pm

More Records Fall for 2015 NCAA Tournament (TVWeek)

Through this weekend’s Elite Eight games, the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship continues to set viewership records.

CBS Sports and Turner Sports announced that the overnight ratings for the tournament to date have the highest averages in 25 years. CBS’s coverage of Duke vs. Gonzaga delivered a 9.9 overnight rating, the highest for a Sunday Regional Finals game in 10 years.

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live has set an all-time record for live video streams with more than 71 million.

Please click here for the rest of the latest numbers on “March Madness” in the announcement from Turner Sports and CBS Sports.

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Mar 30, 2015
1:11 pm

The Best Reaction to the News That ‘The Daily Show’ Has a New Host (E! News)

Since news broke today that Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” has settled on its replacement for Jon Stewart, the media has offered a wide range of reactions, many of them along the lines of “who the heck is Trevor Noah.”

But what may be the best reaction so far — and it’s an angle we admit we didn’t think of — comes from Jenna Mullins, writing on E! News.

Mullins writes:

“Monday morning went like this for most people:

“Sees Trevor Noah is announced as replacement for Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’

“Asks self: ‘Who?!’

“Googles ‘Trevor Noah’

“Sees photo of Trevor Noah

“Licks lips and says ‘I could spread him on a cracker.’”

Mullins goes on to say: “Yes, Trevor is hilarious, smart and will do a wonderful job manning the ‘Daily Show’ desk, but there are a lot of people on Twitter who are excited about this announcement simply because he is delicious and they want to gobble him up. (We’re one of those people).”

We recommend clicking on the link to E! News near the top of this story to read the rest of Mullins’ reaction to Trevor Noah, which includes an extensive sampling of tweets from people — mostly women — who appear to be thinking along the same lines as Mullins.

trevor noah 2Trevor Noah

Mar 30, 2015
1:01 pm

Cable Series Does Something That Has Never Been Done Before (TVWeek)

A cable series has just pulled off an achievement that is a first in the history of cable. The series is AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

AMC reports that the zombie drama, which has been TV’s top show in the key 18-49 demo, had its most-watched finale in series history Sunday night. The special 90-minute finale to season five delivered 15.8 million total viewers and 10.4 million in the 18-49 demo.

“The episode capped the show’s strong fifth season with all 16 episodes ranking in the top 20 entertainment telecasts across all of television this broadcast season among adults 18-49.”

The series also chalked up an achievement that has never been done before by a cable show. Counting up all telecasts across television including sports and specials, all 16 episodes of “The Walking Dead” during season five placed among the top 50 in adults 18-49 — a first in cable history.

The finale is expected to total more than 20 million viewers and 14 million in 18-49 once time-shifted playback is added in.

Please click here for additional numbers and details from AMC.

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Mar 30, 2015
12:44 pm

Travel Channel Fills Key Programming Post (TVWeek)

Travel Channel announced it has filled the post of vice president of programming and development. Brian Leonard has been promoted to the position, in which he will “oversee the team of directors of programming and development as well as manage several of his own projects,” the channel said in its announcement.

Leonard, who joined Travel Channel in 2011, has been an executive producer on series including “Breaking Borders,” “Hotel Impossible,” “Man Finds Food” and “Time Traveling with Brian Unger.”

Making the announcement was Ross Babbit, senior vice president, programming and development, Travel Channel.

Please click here to read the announcement.

travel channel logo

Mar 30, 2015
12:31 pm

An Inside Look at HBO’s Controversial New Documentary (TVWeek)

With a controversial documentary debuting on HBO over the weekend — and set to air again tonight — TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin takes a look behind the curtain to explore “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”

Her report includes the insights of the project’s award-winning director, Alex Gibney, who is used to courting controversy after taking on the Catholic Church, Lance Armstrong and Enron, among a number of high-profile subjects.

Please click here for a fascinating look inside HBO’s most talked-about program in recent memory.

going clear-scientology-poster

Mar 30, 2015
12:07 pm

Creator of One of the Most Acclaimed TV Dramas of the Decade to Receive International Emmy Founders Award (TVWeek)

The creator and writer of a TV drama series that has been chalking up awards since its debut in 2010 is in line to receive another one.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that it will present the 2015 International Emmy Founders Award to Julian Fellowes, the driving force behind “Downton Abbey.” The honor will be presented during a gala ceremony Nov. 23.

The Academy calls the series “one of the most acclaimed, widely watched and best reviewed television series in the history of the medium.”

“Downton Abbey” has been a force at awards ceremonies since its debut, including racking up six Primetime Emmys in 2011 alone, the first year it was up for the awards. It received a total of 11 nominations that year.

Maggie Smith has received two Emmys for her supporting role as the Countess of Grantham.

Please click here for all the details.

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Mar 30, 2015
8:44 am

‘Daily Show’ Picks a Surprise Replacement for Jon Stewart (NY Times)

Comedy Central’s late-night staple “The Daily Show” has found its replacement for Jon Stewart, who is leaving after 16 years as host. The New York Times reports that the show is elevating on-air contributor Trevor Noah to the post.

The surprise move comes after Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, has made just three appearances on “Daily Show” after debuting in December. Noah, a biracial South African, has been providing an outsider’s perspective, the report notes.

Noah, currently on a comedy tour, commented on the promotion by phone from Dubai.

Said Noah: “You don’t believe it for the first few hours. You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”

The Times adds: “The appointment of Mr. Noah, a newcomer to American television, promises to add youthful vitality and international perspective to ‘The Daily Show.’ It puts a nonwhite performer at the head of this flagship Comedy Central franchise, and one who comes with Mr. Stewart’s endorsement.”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read more.

trevor noahTrevor Noah

Mar 30, 2015
8:37 am

YouTube Testing Ultra Hi-Def, Ultra-Smooth Video Playback — Here’s a Sample (Tech Crunch, YouTube)

YouTube has been quietly working on ratcheting up the quality of the videos hosted on the site. Tech Crunch reports that the site recently began allowing 60 FPS video playback and is now testing playback at 4K.

“The catch? It’s just something of an experiment, for now, and is limited to a reaaally tight batch of clips,” the report notes. The article adds: “The very vast majority of videos on YouTube aren’t shot at anywhere near this resolution/framerate yet, anyway. Cameras capable of shooting 4k/60FPS footage aren’t impossible to find, but they’re generally crazy expensive and are far from the standard.”

One reason the initiative remains in the experimental stages, the report notes, is because many users’ computers can’t take advantage of the higher resolution.

“You’ll need a display capable of handling 3840×2160 to take advantage of the resolution to begin with — but if the rig behind the display isn’t up to snuff, these videos will look way worse than they usually do,” the article reports. “On a brand new Retina iMac, they’re mindbendingly beautiful. On my one-year old MacBook Air? They’re a chunky, choppy mess.”

Only a few videos are currently a part of the 4K60FPS tryout — you can click here to find YouTube’s playlist.

Here’s a sample, showing the eruption of the Sinabung volcano in Indonesia in January 2014:

Mar 30, 2015
8:17 am

NBC’s Flagship Station Gets New President and GM (Variety)

The flagship TV station among the NBC O&Os has a new boss. Taking over at New York’s WNBC-TV will be Eric Lerner, Variety reports.

Lerner, the GM at WCAU-TV, NBC’s O&O in Philadelphia, will step in as president and general manager of WNBC starting April 13, the story reports. He takes over for Michael Jack, who is retiring from a 40-year broadcasting career that includes heading WNBC for the past five years.

The report quotes Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, saying: “Eric Lerner has done a great job revitalizing WCAU and making it a strong and very competitive station in a difficult market. With his vision and leadership, I know Eric will continue to build on the momentum generated by Michael Jack and his team and take WNBC to the next level.”

eric lernerEric Lerner

Mar 30, 2015
8:11 am

Daypart Dip: Long-Running Series Sinks to Another Historic Low in Key Demo (TVbytheNumbers)

One of the longest-running shows on TV continues to see its viewership fall off in one of its most important demos. Citing figures reported by Soap Opera Network, reports that ABC’s daytime institution “General Hospital” hit an all-time low for the second consecutive week in women 18-49 for the week ending March 20.

The daytime drama, which has been on the air since 1963, notched 488,000 viewers in the demo, down from 503,000 a week earlier and an all-time low for the series. As we reported previously, both “GH” and NBC’s “Days of Our Lives,” which bowed in 1965, hit all-time lows in the metric for the week ending March 13.

Figures are based on Nielsen Live+Same Day data.

Both “GH” and “Days” equaled their all-time lows in average rating in the demo of women 18-49 during the latest week — a 0.76 average for “General Hospital” and a 0.71 for “Days of Our Lives.”

Here are the numbers for the broadcast soaps, including CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless”:

Week of March 16-20, 2015:

(change from last week/change from last year)

Total Viewers

1. Young & Restless: 4,778,000 (-56,000/-168,000)

2. Bold & Beautiful: 3,553,000 (+52,000/-334,000)

3. General Hospital: 2,759,000 (-61,000/+161,000)

4. Days of Our Lives: 2,424,000 (+160,000/-76,000)

Women 18-49

1. Young & Restless: 770,000 (-52,000/-56,000)

2. Bold & Beautiful: 578,000 (-16,000/-117,000)

3. General Hospital: 488,000 (-15,000/-96,000)

4. Days of Our Lives: 452,000 (+30,000/-124,000)

Women 18-49 rating

1. Young & Restless: 1.2/9 (-.08/-.09)

2. Bold & Beautiful: 0.9/7 (-.03/-.19)

3. General Hospital: 0.76/5 (-.03/-.15)

4. Days of Our Lives: 0.71/5 (+.05/-.19)

Results are based on Nielsen Live+Same Day figures.

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