TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
8:17 am
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Ad Spending Grows, as TV Is the Only Sector to Post Third-Quarter Gains (TVNewsCheck)

Spending on advertising in the U.S. posted year-to-year gains in the third quarter, with TV the only sector in a new analysis by Kantar Media to show growth, TVNewsCheck reports.

According to the data released today, spot TV rose 5.2% in the quarter, with political spending the primary contributor, the story reports. Television ad spending overall rose 6.5% in the quarter.

“Spanish-language TV rose 23.7% and was fueled by the final two weeks of the World Cup tournament in July,” the story reports. “Spending on cable TV networks was up 7.9% in the period with roughly one-third of the gain attributable to increased commercial time.”

Gains in spot TV and the Spanish and cable segments — collectively estimated at $700 million higher than a year ago — offset softer results in network TV, which was up 0.2%, and national syndication, up 1.6%, according to Kantar.

“Total U.S. advertising expenditures increased 0.3% in the third quarter of 2014 to $33.7 billion. During the first nine months of 2014, ad spending grew 2.2%,” TVNewsCheck adds.

Internet display spending slipped 1.7% in the third quarter, with the report attributing the loss to fewer page views by desktop computer users, resulting in fewer ad impressions. The analysis does not cover Mobile Internet display spending.

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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
8:01 am
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‘The Colbert Report’ Ends on a High Note (Deadline)

Stephen Colbert’s “The Colbert Report” ended its run on Comedy Central on a high note, pulling in the largest audience in the show’s history for Thursday’s final episode, Deadline.com reports.

About 2.5 million viewers tuned in to watch Colbert air his last episode of the show. By comparison, when the show recently hosted President Obama, the program drew what was considered a big audience, with 1.732 million viewers.

Colbert will return to television next year, when he takes over CBS’s “Late Show” from David Letterman. The time slot for “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central will be filled by “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” starting Jan. 19.

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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
7:47 am
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Sarah Jessica Parker Has a New HBO Comedy (Deadline)

Sarah Jessica Parker, whose six-season run on “Sex and the City” from 1998-2004 helped cement HBO’s reputation for top-tier original programming, has a new HBO comedy project in the works. Deadline.com reports that the pay-cable channel is finalizing deals for a half-hour comedy to star and be executive produced by Parker.

The comedy, “Divorce,” which focuses on the long, drawn-out process of ending a marriage, is written by British writer-actress Sharon Horgan and is expected to be produced in New York, where “Sex and the City” was based and where Parker lives.

“This is the first major TV acting commitment since ‘Sex and the City’ for Parker, who has been actively pursued by broadcast and cable networks,” the story reports. “Her only series gig has been a recent arc on Fox’s ‘Glee.’ As a producer, she exec produced the 2009 HBO pilot ‘Washingtonienne.’ In features, CAA-repped Parker will next be seen in ‘All Roads Lead to Rome.’”

Paul Simms, who has worked with Lena Dunham on HBO’s “Girls,” will work with Horgan as executive producer and co-showrunner, the report adds. Horgan created or co-created the British shows “Dead Boss” and “Bad Management.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
7:39 am
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Fox News Channel Goes Dark on Dish Network (AP, TVNewser)

Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network went dark Sunday on Dish Network, when the networks were taken down amid stalled contract negotiations over subscription fees, the Associated Press reports.

Dish recently ended a dispute that led to temporary blackouts for some local CBS stations and another blackout that blocked access to some Turner Broadcasting channels.

Both sides are pointing fingers in the Dish-Fox dispute. Dish claims that Fox is blocking access to its networks, while Fox said Dish shut down the server 10 minutes before the contract ended at midnight on Saturday night.

In a statement, Warren Schlichting, Dish’s senior vice president of programming, said: “It’s like we’re about to close on a house and the Realtor is trying to make us buy a new car as well. Fox blacked out two of its news channels, using them as leverage to triple rates on sports and entertainment channels that are not in this contract.”

Fox News viewers are stepping up to complain about the blackout, with more than 12,000 calls placed to Fox since 6 a.m. Sunday, TVNewser reports. About 7,000 of those callers reportedly asked to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service.

Fox News Executive Vice President of Distribution Tim Carry told TVNewser that Dish has agitated a devoted fan base. “Relative to any other fight they’ve had, they’ve never had a viewer as personally invested as Fox News. Our viewers are invested. They have a personal relationship with us,” Carry said.

About 22,000 emails from viewers have been sent to Dish to complain about the Fox blackout, the story adds.

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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
7:31 am
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‘Planet of the Apes’ Actor Dies (Deadline)

A character actor who appeared in a number of TV shows including “Planet of the Apes” has died. Deadline.com reports that Booth Colman died in his sleep Dec. 15. He was 91.

A Shakespeare expert who portrayed authority figures, Colman was known for his role as Dr. Zaius on the TV adaptation of “Planet of the Apes,” which aired on CBS in 1974. The role brought him invitations to appear at fan conventions for years, the story notes.

His other TV roles included “Gunsmoke,” “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Star Trek,” along with many other guest appearances. His film roles included his 1952 debut in “The Big Sky” and later roles in movies such as “Intolerable Cruelty.”

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Booth Colman

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
7:17 am
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FX’s ‘American Crime’ Casts One of NBC’s ‘Friends’ as Robert Kardashian (THR)

An actor known for his role as one of the “Friends” on the long-running NBC sitcom is joining the FX anthology “American Crime: The People v. O.J. Simpson.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that David Schwimmer will co-star as Simpson’s friend and attorney Robert Kardashian.

The first season of the anthology series from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

The 10-episode series will look at the trial through the attorneys’ perspective, as well as the behind-the-scenes dealings of the court. The cast also includes Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark.

run of his life-people v OJ Simpson-book cover

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
7:01 am
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NBC Orders Comedy From ‘Homeland’ Producer (THR)

Howard Gordon, the executive producer of the Showtime drama series “Homeland,” has sold a new comedy project to NBC, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

The single-camera comedy, “Human Resources,” is described as an action workplace comedy, a sort of “24” meets “Die Hard,” featuring workers who band together to save themselves, their co-workers and their jobs. Tom Gormican will write the script and executive produce with Gordon and Hugh Fitzpatrick, who is head of TV for Gordon’s Teakwood Lane.

The project is Teakwood Lane’s first-ever comedy, the story adds.

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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
6:44 am
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Emmy-Winning TV Director Dies (LA Times)

A veteran director of television drama series who spent much of his long career working on New York-based soap operas has died. The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that Larry Auerbach died Saturday in La Jolla, Calif.

His son Scott told the newspaper that Auerbach died of complications from glioblastoma. He was 91.

Auerbach directed “Love of Life” throughout its nearly 30-year lifespan, the story notes. The soap opera, which debuted in 1951, featured actors including Warren Beatty, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider, Jessica Walter and Jon Voigt, as well as Sammy Davis Jr., who was a fan and guest starred in the 1970s, the report adds.

At the end of its run in 1980, the show’s head writer was Ann Marcus, who died earlier this month. She went on to write and help create the soap opera spoof “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

During his 50-year career, Auerbach also directed episodes of the soaps “All My Children” and “As the World Turns,” and won a Daytime Emmy in 1984 for his work on “One Life to Live.”

The story notes: “He was considered such a soap opera expert that Dustin Hoffman consulted with him on ‘Tootsie,’ in which the actor played a soap opera star.”

The Directors Guild of America says in its profile of Auerbach: “As the director of the early CBS soap opera ‘Love of Life’ — from its first episode in 1951 to its finale 28 years later — Auerbach was associated with a single television program possibly longer than any other director. And through his longstanding participation in the DGA, he tirelessly pushed for the increased stature of soap opera directors and better working conditions for the entire directing team.”

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Larry Auerbach

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
6:37 am
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Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Hospitalized (AP)

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was hospitalized over the weekend, the Associated Press reports. Citing a spokesman for Ali, the report says the boxing legend has a mild case of pneumonia and was expected to have a short stay in the hospital.

Ali, who has Parkinson’s disease, is being treated by a team of doctors and is in stable condition, the spokesman said. The three-time world heavyweight champion’s illness was caught early and the prognosis is good, he added.

No other details, such as where Ali is hospitalized, were released due to the family’s request for privacy, the AP noted.

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Muhammad Ali in 1967

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 22, 2014
6:21 am
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‘Fargo’ Lands on Streaming Service (B&C)

A newly signed deal will bring the acclaimed FX drama series “Fargo” to online streaming. B&C reports that Hulu bought exclusive streaming rights to the show.

The first season of the drama, which is adapted from the 1995 film of the same name, will be available before the second season airs next year, the story reports. The deal comes shortly after Hulu signed a broader licensing agreement with FX Networks.

“After announcing our landmark output deal with FX Productions [Thursday], this expanded partnership with MGM brings even more hit titles to Hulu,” said Craig Erwich, senior vice president and head of content for Hulu.

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