Feb 22, 2017
5:57 pm

CBS Dominates Prime Time in Total Viewers — Including Pulling Off a Feat It Hasn’t Achieved in 12 Years (TVWeek)

CBS’s prime-time lineup put in a dominant performance during the week ending Feb. 19, based on Nielsen data for total viewers. The network cites live plus same day numbers indicating that CBS had nine of the top 10 broadcasts of the week, and 17 of the top 20.

The network reported that the 17 programs matches its best result in the Top 20 rankings since at least the 2004-2005 season.

Another stat that bodes well for CBS is that it had six freshman series in the top 20 for the second consecutive week. Additionally, the network’s special preview of the CBS All Access show “The Good Fight” landed at No. 20.

CBS also noted that it won the week in adults 25-54.

Here are the Top 20 broadcasts in total viewers for the week ending Feb. 19 (Live+SD), followed by Nielsen figures for the week by network, and season-to-date:

Top 20 broadcasts (total viewers)

(CBS, except where noted)

  1. NCIS (15.29m)
  2. THE BIG BANG THEORY (13.51m)
  3. BULL (10.64m)
  4. 60 MINUTES (10.35m)
  5. NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (10.32m)
  6. BLUE BLOODS (10.14m)
  7. HAWAII FIVE-0 (9.62m)
  8. THIS IS US (NBC) (9.03m)
  9. NCIS: LOS ANGELES (8.61m)
  10. THE GREAT INDOORS (8.01m)
  11. MOM (7.87m)
  12. KEVIN CAN WAIT (7.85m)
  13. GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC) (7.68m)
  14. THE BACHELOR (ABC) (7.56m)
  15. CRIMINAL MINDS (7.34m)
  16. SUPERIOR DONUTS (7.25m)
  17. MACGYVER (7.239m)
  18. SCORPION (7.237m)
  19. MAN WITH A PLAN (7.20m)
  20. THE GOOD FIGHT-S (7.17m)

National Nielsen Summary — Prime Time

Week No. 22 of the 2016-2017 Season (ending: 2/19/17)

Total Viewers

CBS: 7,545,000

NBC: 4,606,000

ABC: 4,494,000

FOX: 2,867,000

Adults 18-49 (Rating/share)

ABC: 1.2/4

CBS: 1.1/4

NBC: 1.0/4

FOX: 0.8/3

Adults 25-54 (Rating/share)

CBS: 1.6/5

ABC: 1.5/5

NBC: 1.3/4

FOX: 1.0/3

National Nielsen Summary — Prime Time

Season-to-Date (9/19/16-2/19/17)

Total Viewers

CBS: 10,095,000

NBC: 8,792,000

FOX: 7,123,000

ABC: 6,329,000

Adults 18-49 (Rating/share)

NBC: 2.4/8

FOX: 2.3/8

CBS: 1.9/7

ABC: 1.6/6

Adults 25-54 (Rating/share)

NBC: 3.0/9

CBS: 2.7/8

FOX: 2.7/8

ABC: 2.1/6

Feb 22, 2017
5:41 pm

Video Shows How Close Harrison Ford Came to a Commercial Airliner in Flying Incident Earlier this Month (NY Post)

Video that was just released, which you can watch below, shows actor Harrison Ford piloting his single-engine plane just above a commercial airliner in an incident that took place earlier this month at John Wayne Airport in Southern California.

“Ford’s yellow Aviat Husky is seen on short final as an American Airlines 737 is taxiing slowly,” The New York Post’s Page Six reports. “The plane then flies above the airliner, casting its shadow over the jet before landing on a taxiway.”

Ford was supposed to land on a runway that runs parallel to the taxiway, according to the report.

As we reported last week, the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, in which Ford could be heard on air traffic control recordings asking, “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” The American Airlines flight took off safely a few minutes after the encounter.

The Post report notes that no reason for the error has been given.

Here’s the new video …

Feb 22, 2017
5:31 pm

Drama Series Picked Up for Second Season (TVWeek, Fox)

A prime-time broadcast drama series has been picked up for a second season. Announcing the renewal for the Lee Daniels series “Star,” Fox Entertainment President David Madden said: “Lee Daniels is a true visionary and he and Tom Donaghy have delivered a series with a unique and meaningful point of view.”

Madden added: “Our incredible cast, led by Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, instantly infused their characters with tremendous depth and passion, and the show has proved to be both powerful and really entertaining. We are thrilled that this ‘Star’ will continue to shine for a second season.”

The network’s announcement notes that the show has delivered an average audience of more than 7.5 million viewers across multiple platforms. The show is scheduled to air a new episode on Fox tonight, as it leads up to its season finale on March 15.

The announcement describes the series as “an emotionally powerful drama that follows three talented singers — running from their pasts and desperate for a new start — with ambitions of stardom, as they navigate the cut-throat music business. The series features Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Jude Demorest, Brittany O’Grady, Ryan Destiny, Amiyah Scott and Quincy Brown.”

The series is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Lee Daniels Entertainment. Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy are the creators and executive producers, with Pamela Oas Williams and Effie Brown also serving as executive producers. Chuck Pratt is an executive producer and is the showrunner on the series.

Feb 22, 2017
5:09 pm

NBC’s ‘SNL’ Surge Continues, as Show Hits an Eight-Year High (TVWeek)

NBC’s venerable late-night sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has been on a roll lately, and that roll continued with the Feb. 11 show, which the network says ranks as the show’s most-watched telecast in eight years.

The network cites Nielsen Live+7 data, reporting that the show delivered 16.03 million total viewers. For the season to date, NBC reports that “SNL” is delivering its most-watched season in 24 years, based on L+7 data.

The Feb. 11 show, which featured guest host Alec Baldwin and musical guest Ed Sheeran, delivered the biggest overall audience in L+7 since the broadcast of Oct. 19, 2008. “That 2008 telecast featured host Josh Brolin and musical guest Adele, with cameo appearances by vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin,” NBC notes.

The network also reported that the Feb. 11 show averaged a 4.88 rating in adults 18-49, based on L+7 data, ranking No. 2 among broadcast series for the week — behind only NBC’s “This Is Us” and ahead of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.”

Click here for more of the numbers in the full announcement from NBC.

Feb 22, 2017
3:51 pm

Paramount Chief Brad Grey Is Out, and the Studio Has a Plan in Place to Replace Him (Variety, LA Times)

Studio chief Brad Grey made it official today that he’s stepping down at Paramount Pictures, and Variety reports that the studio plans to put an interim committee of insiders in charge to run the studio until Grey’s successor can be found.

The committee includes film group chief Marc Evans and TV boss Amy Powell, the story reports.

“He has three years to go on the five-year contract he signed in 2015, so a financial settlement has to be consummated before he formally resigns under pressure from Viacom’s new CEO, Bob Bakish,” Variety notes. “Grey’s departure had long been expected in the industry amid the top-to-bottom shakeup at Viacom and the continued poor performance of Paramount.”

The interim committee also includes Andrew Gumpert, who joined Paramount as chief operating officer in November from Sony; and Megan Colligan, Paramount’s president of distribution and marketing, Variety reports. Other names are also expected to be added to the committee.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Grey made it official today that he has left the company after 12 years running the studio. Grey sent out a memo to staffers today, writing: “It has been my privilege to be a part of Paramount’s storied history, and I am grateful to Sumner Redstone for giving me this opportunity.”

He added that he would “remain engaged” for an unspecified period of time to help with the transition, The Times notes.

“Grey’s departure, which was telegraphed last week and announced Wednesday, takes effect immediately,” The Times adds. “It comes as Viacom’s new chief executive, Bob Bakish, aggressively shakes up the management ranks of the New York media company controlled by ailing media mogul Sumner Redstone.”

Feb 22, 2017
3:01 pm

Amid Turmoil at Paramount, Scorsese’s New Gangster Movie — with De Niro, Pesci and Pacino on Board — Lands at Netflix (THR)

With Brad Grey resigning as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, the studio suffered another blow as Martin Scorsese’s upcoming A-list gangster movie, which had been set up at Paramount, moved to Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie, “The Irishman,” reunites the legendary director with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. THR cites sources confirming that Netflix has obtained the rights to the project, which was first announced back in 2008.

A start date has not yet been set for the movie.

“Steve Zaillian adapted ‘The Irishman’ from Charles Brandt‘s book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses,’ which chronicles the exploits of Frank Sheeran, a high-ranking Teamsters official with ties to the Bufalino crime family,” THR notes. “Shortly before his death in 2003, Sheeran confessed that he killed fellow Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa, whose body has never been found. He also claimed that it was Hoffa who wanted John F. Kennedy killed.”

Feb 22, 2017
2:47 pm

Who’s on Top in Late-Night? CBS and NBC Each Have Their Own Spin, But Here Are the Actual Numbers (TVWeek)

To hear CBS tell the story, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” is now the No. 1 show in late-night. But NBC’s take has “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” on top.

The truth is they’re both right, with CBS winning total viewers while NBC takes the key demos — not an unfamiliar breakdown for the two networks, who often see similar ratings comparisons in prime time.

CBS announced the late-night ratings news for the week of Feb. 13-17 with a release this morning under the headline “‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ #1 in Late-Night for the Third Straight Week.” The network also noted: “‘The Late Show’ Extends Its Winning Advantage to +296,000 Viewers.”

The numbers are based on Nielsen Media Research Live+Same Day data, focusing on the figures for total viewers.

Analyzing the same data, NBC puts the focus on key demos, especially 18-49. NBC’s announcement runs under the headline: “‘Tonight Show’ Wins the Week of Feb. 13-17 in Every Key Demographic, Taking Five of Five Nights in Adults 18-49.”

The NBC release adds: “‘Tonight’ Tops ‘Late Show’ by +24% in Adults 18-49, ‘Kimmel’ by +60%.”

So who’s on top? Both CBS and NBC have a claim to No. 1, so you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Here are the numbers for late-night for the week of Feb. 13, 17, based on Nielsen L+SD:

ADULTS 18-49

11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET

NBC “Tonight,” 0.67 rating, 4 share

CBS “Late Show,” 0.54/3

ABC “Kimmel,” 0.42/2 *

12:35-1:05 a.m. ET

ABC “Nightline,” 0.28/2

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET

NBC “Late Night,” 0.36/3 *

CBS “The Late Late Show,” 0.30/2 *

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET

NBC “Last Call,” 0.22/2 *


11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. ET

CBS “Late Show,” 3.004 million viewers

NBC “Tonight,” 2.708 million viewers

ABC “Kimmel,” 2.110 million viewers *

12:35-1:05 a.m. ET

ABC “Nightline,” 1.410 million viewers

12:35-1:35 a.m. ET

NBC “Late Night,” 1.427 million viewers *

CBS “The Late Late Show,” 1.341 million viewers *

1:35-2:05 a.m. ET

NBC “Last Call,” 0.791 million viewers *

* Friday’s “Kimmel,” “Late Night,” “Late Late Show” and “Last Call” were encores.

Feb 22, 2017
2:44 pm

Former AMC Networks Exec to Run New SVOD Service (TVWeek)

A new SVOD service set to launch next month in the U.S. announced today that former AMC Networks digital exec Jen Robertson has been hired as general manager. The new service, Walter Presents, is a joint venture between the U.K.’s Channel 4 and Global Series Network.

The streamer will launch in mid-March on multiple platforms, with Robertson to run U.S. operations out of New York. She will report to the management team at Global Series Network in London.

“Robertson joins Walter Presents from AMC’s WE tv, where she led the team responsible for extending the network via advanced media platforms, including social media, content development and the vision for all digital properties and initiatives including online, video on demand, mobile, EST and TV Everywhere,” the company’s announcement notes. “Her leadership and innovative execution led to award-winning digital initiatives including WE-D, the first-ever second screen app for TV to utilize 360-degree camera technology, and the WE Insider Panel, the network’s first crowd-sourced consumer insights tool.”

Robertson is responsible for day-to-day operations and partnership development for Walter Presents, which is described in the announcement as “a carefully curated SVOD that will deliver award-winning, top rated, exclusive and original first-run drama series from around the world to U.S. audiences.”

The service is founded and managed by Jason Thorp, Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino.

Thorp, CEO of GSN International Ltd., commented: “We are very excited to have Jen leading the launch and operations of Walter Presents in the U.S. As an experienced marketer and digital brand strategist, her extensive market insight and operational prowess will be key in establishing Walter Presents as a must-have SVOD service in the States.”

Jen Robertson

Feb 22, 2017
2:01 pm

Famed Tech Columnist Tells Why Traditional TV Delivery Is Changing Too Slowly for His Tastes (Recode)

Television is changing way … too … slowly … for at least one noted tech writer. In a column today on Recode, Walt Mossberg, executive editor of The Verge and editor at large for Recode, expresses frustration at the pace of innovation.

“A huge number of households in the U.S. — over 90 million — are still stubbornly sticking to buying big bundles of mostly unwatched networks, with shows primarily presented in linear fashion and interrupted by interstitial ads, even if they also use the newer devices and services,” Mossberg writes. “Their numbers are declining, but not yet collapsing. For these viewers, it might as well be 20 years ago.”

Mossberg notes that “the upending of traditional TV” was a hot topic at the recent Code Media conference in Dana Point, Calif. “I came away from the event convinced that more change is coming, but impatient that a fundamental reworking of TV looks like a slow process.”

The column goes on to offer a rundown of just what’s holding up the process, offering observations from Apple Senior VP Eddy Cue and tech analyst Ben Thompson, along with a look at Caavo, which Mossberg describes as “a cool new universal set-top box.”

Thompson, Mossberg notes, foresees “a future where Amazon and Netflix could be ‘giants’ in most genres of TV, and cable one day may consist mainly of live sports at a stiff price.”

Mossberg cites Caavo, co-created by Blake Krekorian, who also co-created Slingbox, as “a workaround to the systemic problems of reinventing TV. It physically links together everything plugged into your TV — cable boxes, streaming boxes, game consoles — and presents all their contents in one interface with both visual and voice control, down to the individual show level.”

But Mossberg adds: “It says a lot about the state of TV that the most promising near-term path to the solution is a clever hack that sits on top of everything else, not a tightly integrated new product.”

We encourage readers to click on the link to Recode near the top of this story to read Mossberg’s full analysis.

Feb 22, 2017
1:19 pm

‘Live With Kelly’ Announces Guest Hosts for Two Upcoming Weeks (TVWeek)

Just when some fans of “Live with Kelly” thought they had figured out who the new permanent co-host would be, the show today delivered a surprise announcement.

The previous guest host announcement gave the impression to a number of fans handicapping the selection process that actor Jerry O’Connell had the job, after O’Connell was named co-host for five shows over a two-week span. But today’s announcement has actor Christian Slater landing the guest spot for a solid week, from March 6-10, placing Slater back among the apparent front-runners.

The following week, March 13-17, will see the guest host spot open up more, with four different personalities slated to take a seat alongside Kelly Ripa — including Chris Hardwick for two days, March 16 and 17.

Here’s the schedule for the weeks of March 6-10 and March 13-17:

Monday, March 6 – Friday, March 10 – Actor CHRISTIAN SLATER

Monday, March 13 – Actor MICHAEL WEATHERLY

Tuesday, March 14 – Actor JOSH GAD

Wednesday, March 15 – TV Personality JASON SILVA

Thursday, March 16 – TV Host CHRIS HARDWICK

Friday, March 17 – TV Host CHRIS HARDWICK

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