Oct 31, 2014
8:37 am

Report: Kevin Reilly Back in Talks With Turner Broadcasting (Deadline)

Former Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly is back in talks with Turner Broadcasting, after executives there broke off negotiations a few weeks ago, reports Nellie Andreeva at

“I hear that Turner Broadcasting President David Levy’s string of meetings last week with prospective candidates to succeed Steve Koonin included a sit-down with Reilly,” Andreeva writes. “There hasn’t been anyone else to emerge as a serious alternative for the post in the past two weeks, though there had been a few names thrown in the mix, including former NBC chief Jeff Gaspin.”

The story adds: “I hear Reilly explored some possibilities in the digital space before rekindling his interest in the Turner double vacancy. The company has not replaced longtime Turner Entertainment Networks President Koonin, who left in April, and TNT and TBS President of Programming Michael Wright, who departed at end of August. I hear Turner Broadcasting had been looking for an executive to essentially handle both jobs (some of Koonan’s responsibilities had been transferred to Levy some time ago.)”

One sticking point has been the reporting structure, with the new hire slated to report to Levy, although the article says that the two sides are working on a compromise.

“According to multiple sources, Reilly and Turner might have a deal in sight, though they were in the same position a couple of weeks ago before talks went south,” Andreeva notes.

kevin reilly

Kevin Reilly

Oct 31, 2014
8:29 am
Oct 31, 2014
8:21 am

‘SNL’ Cast Member Under Fire for Comments About Harassment Video (THR, Salon)

One of the cast members on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is taking heat for comments about a viral video aimed at exposing sexual harassment.

Michael Che sparked criticism for comparing the harassment shown in the video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman” to his own experiences being approached by fans, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As previously reported, aspiring actress Shoshana Roberts used a hidden camera to tape the catcalls she received while walking around New York City for 10 hours. Roberts said the harassment “on a daily basis — this day included — feels awful.”

Che wrote a Facebook post comparing sexual harassment to being approached by crazed fans, the story notes. The post has since been deleted.

“i wanna apologize to all the women that ive harrassed with statements like ‘hi’ or ‘have a nice day’ or ‘youre beautiful,’” Che wrote. “i cant imagine what that must feel like. the closest thing I’ve experienced is maybe when a girl recognizes me from tv and they say things like ‘AHHHH!! OH MY GOD!! SNL SNL SNL!! TAKE A PICTURE!! TAKE A PICTURE!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! WHATS YOUR NAME AGAIN?! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! WAIT SAY SOMETHING FUNNY!!’ but even that is nothing like the harrassment of having a complete stranger tell me to ‘smile.’”

Che’s comments were “totally unhelpful,” writes Katie McDonough in Salon.

“My first and main thought is that we do not hear about many women assaulting or murdering ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members they meet in bars or on the street, but we do actually have women getting assaulted and murdered after being harassed by men on the street, so I am not really feeling Che’s parallel. But he’s free to make it, of course. Because free speech and America,” McDonough writes.

michael che

Michael Che

Oct 31, 2014
8:17 am

Weather Channel Distances Itself From Co-Founder’s Controversial Comments on Climate Change (TVNewser)

The Weather Channel is moving away from widely publicized remarks about climate change that one of the channel’s co-founders made on Fox News. TVNewser reports that the channel’s CEO, David Kenny, addressed the issue in a memo to company staffers.

As previously reported, Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman said on Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” that climate change is fake, and also criticized former Vice President Al Gore for making “a billion dollars off climate change.” His comments attracted a lot of attention and set off a swirl of controversy.

Kenny wrote in his memo: “Mr. Coleman does have a place in our company’s history, and we appreciate the contributions he made more than 30 years ago. However, we want to be clear: John Coleman is no longer affiliated with our company, and his opinions do not represent The Weather Company. We regret any confusion this has caused.”

Coleman, 80, was the first weather anchor for “Good Morning America” in the 1970s, and co-founded the Weather Channel in 1981. The channel is now owned by The Weather Company.

You can see the video of Coleman’s comments by clicking here.

weather channel-logo

Oct 31, 2014
7:51 am

Daytime Talk Show Gets a Second Season (LA Times, Variety)

Less than two months after its debut, a syndicated daytime talk show has been picked up for a second season. The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that NBCUniversal Television Distribution’s “The Meredith Vieira Show” was renewed.

The series currently airs in 98% of the country, including NBC-owned television stations, the story notes.

Variety notes that the show most recently delivered a 0.7 average rating for the week ending Oct. 19 in the key demo of women 25-54. “Warner Bros.’ new roundtable show ‘The Real’ has narrowly outpaced ‘Meredith Vieira’ among freshman talk show strips for the season to date,” the report adds.

Ed Swindler, president of NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and NBC Broadcast Operations, commented: “With its singular host and talented producers, ‘Meredith’ has grown creatively since launch, continues to gain viewers and we are optimistic it will emerge as a staple in daytime.”

meredith vieira show-title

Oct 31, 2014
7:44 am

‘The Colbert Report’ Slates Final Airdate (TheWrap)

Stephen Colbert, who is taking over the reins of CBS’s “Late Show” from David Letterman, has scheduled his last airing of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” according to TheWrap.

The show’s last episode will air Thursday, Dec. 18. Before that final installment was announced, the show had been showing what TheWrap calls “a sporadic countdown during opening credits,” but it wasn’t entirely clear when the show had been slated to sign off.

“Colbert will retire his fictional ‘Colbert Report’ persona as well, hosting ‘Late Show’ as himself,” the report notes.

“The Colbert Report” first aired in 2005 as a spinoff of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” and Colbert was eventually tapped to succeed Letterman when he steps down in 2015. No specific date for Letterman’s departure from “Late Show” has been announced yet, the story adds.

“There is expected to be a break between hosts, with some speculation that Colbert might launch his ‘Late Show’ in September 2015 to coincide with next year’s fall television season,” the piece notes.

colbert report-title

Oct 31, 2014
7:37 am

20th Century Fox Has Its New Co-Chair Lined Up (LA Times)

20th Century Fox has reportedly decided on a veteran media executive as the company’s new co-chair. The Los Angeles Times’ Company Town reports that Stacey Snider is expected to get the position.

Snider is currently co-chair and chief executive of Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios. She will serve as 20th Century Fox’s second-in-command under Jim Gianopulos, the story notes.

“Snider’s move to a key position at Fox has been widely anticipated in Hollywood. Her start date has not been set because she is still under contract at DreamWorks until the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter but who were not authorized to speak on record,” the article reports.

At DreamWorks, “Snider was said to have chafed under the financial restrictions placed on the company by Reliance, the Indian conglomerate that is DreamWorks’ main outside investor,” the story adds.

stacey snider

Stacey Snider

Oct 31, 2014
7:31 am

Tiers of the Crown: Pay Hikes All Around for ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Members (THR)

HBO has signed on the cast of “Game of Thrones” for a seventh season, handing out salary increases to the principal actors according to a tiered system, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

While the show hasn’t been given a seventh season yet, its renewal is considered likely given the show’s huge ratings and many awards, the story notes. The actors have completed renegotiations on their contracts that include an option for a seventh season, with HBO in return giving them “huge raises” for seasons five, six and the potential seventh season, the piece adds.

“With one of the largest and most diverse ensemble casts on TV, ‘Thrones’ employs a tiered system to compensate its stars, according to sources. The ‘A’ tier — which includes actors Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) — is paid at the highest level. The ‘A’ tier actors are said to have renegotiated their deals in concert,” the story says.

The piece adds: “The lower-salaried ‘B’ tier — which is said to include co-stars Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and others — is said to be scoring raises as well in exchange for season seven options. A still-lower tier of regular actors will receive much smaller pay increases, according to sources.”

HBO wasn’t commenting on the negotiations.


Oct 31, 2014
6:21 am

AMC Wins Bidding War for John le Carre Project (THR)

AMC has come out on top in what has been reported as a multiple-network bidding war for a new John le Carre project. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the project, “The Night Manager,” will be a limited series.

The drama stars Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston, and is being developed in partnership with the BBC, the story reports. AMC Networks has just closed a deal to acquire a 49.9% interest in BBC America, as we reported last week.

AMC is reportedly considering the new project for either a six- or eight-part miniseries.

“The Night Manager” is a novel by le Carre that was published in 1993. It focuses on a former British soldier who turns into a luxury hotel night auditor, but ends up wrapped up in plot involving intelligence operatives and a weapons dealer.

The project marks a return to TV for Laurie following his run on Fox’s “House,” the piece adds.

night manager-book cover

Oct 30, 2014
1:37 pm

ABC Shakes Things Up at ‘The View’ (Huffington Post)

ABC’s daytime staple “The View,” which underwent an overhaul as show creator Barbara Walters headed out the door and into retirement earlier this year, has undergone a shakeup by the network. The Huffington Post reports that ABC News has taken over the show after 18 years as part of the entertainment division.

“ABC News President James Goldston on Thursday assigned Tom Cibrowski, the producer responsible for the ‘Good Morning America’ rise to the top of the ratings, and colleagues Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work on ‘The View,’” the story reports.

The piece notes that Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez were brought in as part of the transition from the Walters era, with host Whoopi Goldberg remaining as the only on-air holdover.

“A new production team was named led by Bill Wolff, Rachel Maddow’s former producer,” the story notes. After a fast start for the updated show, ratings have reportedly flattened.

The story reports: “Through the end of last week, ‘The View’ has averaged 2.9 million viewers, similar to the 2.92 million average during the same period last year, the Nielsen company said. There’s a sharper drop (712,000 to 652,000) among viewers aged 18-to-49 years old, a group prized by advertisers.”

But the move may be more about logistics than ratings. An ABC News spokeswoman, Julie Townsend, said it’s not about concern over ratings, and noted that Goldston, the new division boss, has been advising the new “View” team since this summer.

The piece notes that Lisa Hackner, the head of daytime TV for ABC Entertainment, is based in California, while “The View” is based in Manhattan, with its studio adjacent to ABC News headquarters.

view-2014 cast-title

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