Sep 30, 2014
10:16 am

Two New Dramas Continue to Flex Ratings Muscle (TVbytheNumbers)

Two new broadcast series continued to show ratings strength in their second week, based on Nielsen overnights for Monday prime time in the key 18-49 demo. reports that both Fox’s “Gotham” and CBS’s “Scorpion” slipped a bit from their strong debuts a week ago, but the two shows — along with NBC’s “The Blacklist” — came in among the night’s top-rated broadcast dramas.

“The Blacklist” was part of NBC’s top-ranked lineup built mainly on its two-hour singing competition “The Voice,” which paced the network with a 3.9 average in 18-49 — equaling the number delivered by last week’s season premiere. Leading out from “The Voice,” “The Blacklist was off 18% from its premiere, slipping to a 2.8.

The top-rated show of the night in the 18-49 demo was CBS’s powerhouse comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” which led off prime time with a 4.7 average, dipping 13% from a week ago. A repeat of “Big Bang” followed with a 3.1.

“Scorpion” was off just 6% from its premiere number in 18-49, delivering a 3.0 to rank as the No. 1 drama of the night in broadcast prime. Leading out from it, CBS’s 10 p.m. season premiere of “NCIS: Los Angeles” managed only a 1.9, falling 37% from its season premiere a year ago and coming in below the 2.5 average for the season finale.

Fox continued to see promising results for “Gotham,” even as it dipped 13% from its premiere in viewers 18-49. The show’s second airing delivered a solid 2.8 average, while its leadout, “Sleepy Hollow,” slipped 15% from last week’s premiere to a 1.7.

ABC’s numbers were impacted by NFL pre-emptions in Kansas City and Boston and are subject to more than the usual adjustments. Preliminary figures show the season premiere of “Castle” with a 2.4 average in 18-49 at 10 p.m., up 9% from the previous season premiere.

ABC’s two-hour “Dancing with the Stars” fell 14% from last week’s season premiere to a 1.9 average in the 18-49 demo.

For prime time overall, NBC led the way in adults 18-49 with a 3.5 average, followed by CBS (2.9 average), Fox (2.3), ABC (2.1), Univision (1.1) and CW (0.3). CBS inched ahead in a close three-way battle for total viewers, averaging 12.3 million to ABC’s 12.2 million and NBC’s 12.0 million, followed by Fox (6.2 million), Univision (2.8 million) and CW (914,000).


Sep 30, 2014
10:01 am

Ed Sullivan Statue Stolen (TheWrap)

A statue of Ed Sullivan, one of the stalwarts of early television, that was on display outside the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences building in Los Angeles has been stolen, reports.

The 18-inch statue was part of an outdoor exhibit highlighting TV pioneers and significant contributors to the history of the medium. The Los Angeles Police Department has asked the public for help finding who was responsible for the theft.

“While no value has been attributed to the 20-pound statue, the LAPD nevertheless considers the crime grand theft. The statue was on display at the iconic building located at 5220 Lankershim Blvd,” the story reports.

ed sullivan

Ed Sullivan

Sep 30, 2014
9:47 am

Former White House Staffer Joins Political Show (THR)

An actor who is also a former White House staffer will be a part of a political show on Fusion. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kal Penn, who worked for a time in the Obama administration, will be a special correspondent for Fusion’s midterm election coverage.

Fusion is an ABC/Univision joint venture. Penn starred in Fox’s “House” and is known for the “Harold and Kumar” feature film trilogy.

Penn will contribute to Fusion’s “Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown,” the story reports. The show will air Sunday through Thursday at 9:30 p.m.

In a statement, Penn said: “It’s definitely possible to be entertaining while having conversations about things that actually matter in the democratic process. Our political debates generate a lot punchlines and crazy segments, and that’s fun, but we’re hoping to offer some smart, engaging, and entertaining reporting without obsessing over the lowest common denominator. We hope to inspire people to get off the sidelines, get engaged and wake up on election day and actually vote.”

kal penn

Kal Penn

Sep 30, 2014
9:39 am

Union Accuses Bravo of Unfair Labor Practice (LA Times)

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is ramping up its fight with Bravo Media over the reality show “Shahs of Sunset,” alleging in a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board that the company is guilty of “unfair labor practice,” the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town reports.

The filing came after Bravo Media said it would dismiss the editorial crew. As previously reported, Ryan Seacrest Productions said it could no longer work with striking editors and Bravo took over the production.

Members of the crew have been striking since Sept. 10, when they began an effort to join the union, the Times notes.

The report adds: “According to the Motion Picture Editors Guild, an entertainment labor union, preliminary contract negotiations had just begun when the company announced that it would be “unable to continue working with the editors that were previously engaged on this production.”

Bravo said it had no comment. The fourth season was slated to begin on Oct. 13, but the network has said nothing has been decided on the premiere date.

iatse 700-logo

Sep 30, 2014
9:31 am

Report: AMC Closing In on Stake in BBC America (Bloomberg)

AMC Networks is close to a deal to buy a major stake in BBC America. Bloomberg reports that the deal would give AMC Networks almost half of BBC America for $200 million.

The report cites sources saying the deal would value the U.S. channel at more than $400 million. The sources spoke anonymously because the discussions are private.

Bloomberg notes: “BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of government-backed British Broadcasting Corp., would retain a controlling stake, they said.”

AMC Networks would include BBC America in its lineup when it negotiates for fees, giving both companies more bargaining strength, the story adds. That’s important given that pay-TV operators are pushing to restrain programming spending.

“In addition to keeping majority ownership of the channel, BBC Worldwide would control the brand while tapping AMC’s programming and advertising teams, the people said,” Bloomberg adds.

BBC America is available in about 80 million U.S. households, and its programs include “Doctor Who” and “Orphan Black.”

BBC America-logo

Sep 30, 2014
9:23 am

NBC Working on a Crossover Involving Three Shows (TheWrap)

NBC has a crossover event in the works that will weave storylines among three prime-time shows. reports that the network is working on a crossover involving “Law & Order: SVU,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago PD.”

The storyline will focus on a child pornography ring, with the plot beginning on “Chicago Fire” on Nov. 11. The story will continue Nov. 12 on “Law & Order: SVU” and then move to “Chicago PD,” with those two shows airing back to back. All three shows are produced by Dick Wolf’s Wolf Films.

“Warren Leight (“SVU” showrunner) and Matt Olmstead (“Chicago Fire”/”Chicago PD” showrunner) are two of the best writers in the business,” Wolf said in a statement. “We wanted to figure out a way to create a crime that connects all three shows. Warren, Matt and I came up with a story that was big and unique enough to transit to all three.”

chicago fire-title

Sep 30, 2014
9:17 am

20th Century Fox TV Signs Jenna Elfman to Development Deal (Deadline)

20th Century Fox Television has signed a development and talent holding deal with “Dharma and Greg” star Jenna Elfman, reports

Elfman will work with a writer to develop a comedy or drama that will be a starring vehicle for her, the story says. It marks her return to 20th Century Fox TV, which was behind the ABC comedy “Dharma and Greg” and the NBC comedy “1600 Penn,” which also featured Elfman.

Said Sharon Klein, 20th TV executive VP, casting: “Jenna is both a brilliant comedic leading lady and a stunning dramatic actress; she quite frankly can do everything. Audiences love her and so do we; we could not be more excited to be back in business developing something just for her.”

jenna elfman

Jenna Elfman

Sep 30, 2014
9:09 am

‘Sex and the City’ Alum Developing Comedy for ABC (Deadline)

ABC has a new comedy in the works from a veteran of HBO’s “Sex and the City.” reports that the network bought “Dish,” a project about female friends from “Sex and the City” writer and executive producer Cindy Chupack.

The series is based on her experiences, and focuses on three female friends in Venice, Calif. One woman is married, one is single, and the other is a single mom, with the three meeting weekly at a restaurant called Dish to catch up and talk about whether it’s possible to “have it all.”

“Dish” is from ABC Studios and Karey Burke and Todd Holland’s Dark Toy banner. Chupack is writing and will executive produce, with Burke and Holland also executive producing.

Chupack said the show is based on her tradition with some friends to meet on Sunday nights for yoga and dinner.

“With this show, I want to call bullshit on one thing that seems to be the norm on television for shows about friends,” Chupack said. “My friends don’t live or work together. As my friends and I marry and have kids or move up or down in our careers, we increasingly have very separate lives, separate homes, separate jobs … and that’s created the problem I want to address in this show: Once you get the husband or kid or career — or all three — you don’t have time for friends, but you need them more than ever. So you have to make time, even if it’s just once a week, because it keeps you sane.”

cindy chupack

Cindy Chupack

Sep 30, 2014
9:01 am

‘Girls’ Creator Says She Will Pay Performers After All (TheWrap, Gawker)

“Girls” creator Lena Dunham has had a change of heart, announcing on Monday that she will pay seven artists who are slated to open for her at several stops on her book tour, reports

The change of heart comes after Gawker noted that Dunham had worked out the math on her plans to feature warmup acts that weren’t getting paid.

Gawker noted that Dunham makes an estimated $6 million per year and received a book advance of $3.7 million. She also is estimated to generate $304,000 in revenue from the book tour.

Dunham tweeted, “As an artist raised by artists, no one believes more than I do that creators should be fairly compensated for their work.” She added in another tweet, “The fact that Gawker pointed this out really proves Judd Apatow’s saying that ‘a good note can come from anywhere.’”

lena dunham

Lena Dunham

Sep 30, 2014
8:47 am

Rupert Murdoch Gets a Raise (LA Times)

Rupert Murdoch received a small pay raise in 21st Century Fox’s latest fiscal year, taking home $29.2 million in the 12-month period ended June 30, reports the Los Angeles Times, noting that Murdoch’s compensation went up by about 1%.

In the previous fiscal year, Murdoch earned $28.9 million, the story notes.

The compensation reflected the company’s financial performance and growth during the year since News Corp. split into two publicly traded companies — the print business that’s in News Corp. and the TV and film business in 21st Century Fox.

“With his guidance during this fiscal year, the company was able to capitalize on its new alignment and strategic focus created by the separation to more effectively and efficiently build on the momentum in its core businesses and benefit from the global demand for premium content,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

While Murdoch’s base salary fell by $1 million, dipping to $7.1 million, and his performance-based cash bonus also declined, his stock awards rose, the story notes.

rupert murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

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