Sep 2, 2015
9:09 am

Why One Media Giant’s Plunge in Stock Prices Is Outpacing the Rest of the Industry (NY Post)

A media giant with a massive television portfolio has seen stock prices fall a whopping 50.2% in the past year — a plunge that is outpacing the overall industry decline. The New York Post reports that the stock plunge at Viacom has wiped out $16 billion of the company’s value, as of Tuesday’s close.

Much of Viacom’s media empire consists of cable TV channels, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, Epix, Nickelodeon, TV Land and BET.

“After watching ratings at the company’s MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and Comedy Central fall more sharply than their peers — with nary a response from Viacom’s executive team — investors are now watching the company’s shares tumble at a faster rate than other media companies,” the Post reports.

The report notes that since Jan. 3, 2006, when Viacom and CBS were split off into separate companies, CBS shares have gained 72% while Viacom is down 2%.

Adding to investors’ nervousness, the report notes, is anxiety over upcoming carriage talks with Dish Networks.

“Investors are concerned that Dish will be able to force Viacom to accept a cheap price — something Viacom will then have to give its other distribution partners,” the Post reports. “In addition, questions are still swirling about how Viacom will replace the popular show hosts Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert and comedy duo Key and Peele — all of whom exited Comedy Central.”

Other concerns have been noted about Sumner Redstone, the 92-year-old head of the company, along with Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman.

We encourage you to click on the link in the first paragraph, above, to read the Post’s full analysis of the Viacom situation.

daily show-jon stewart-comedy central

Sep 2, 2015
8:57 am

We Think This Is a Tough Question: Which Cable Channel Is No. 1 for the Summer in Prime Time Among Women 18-34? (TVWeek)

You may have a hard time coming up with the answer to the question of which channel is No. 1 this summer in prime-time cable in the demo of women 18-34 — even though the channel has now won that title for the third time in the past four summers.

The channel is ABC Family, which announced that it has averaged 200,000 in the demo to come out on top. The channel noted that it has also been among the top five cable networks for six consecutive summers in adults 18-34 (No. 5 this summer, averaging 275,000) and women 18-49 (No. 4 with 328,000).

It’s also ABC Family’s seventh consecutive summer in the top five in viewers 12-34 (No. 4; 397,000) and its eighth in a row in females 12-34 (No. 2; 295,000).

The channel has an especially hot show in “Pretty Little Liars,” winner of six 2015 Teen Choice Awards.

“’Pretty Little Liars’ stood as cable TV’s #1 series in Adults 18-34 (1.45 million/2.1 rating), Women 18-34 (1.23 million/3.6 rating), Viewers 12-34 (2.10 million/2.3 rating) and Females 12-34 (1.83 million/4.0 rating) and was the #1 scripted basic cable TV series in Adults 18-49 (1.94 million/1.5 rating) and Women 18-49 (1.62 million/2.5 rating),” ABC Family said in a press release.

The network also noted that “The Fosters” was the No. 2 scripted cable TV series in women 18-34 (561,000/1.7 rating) and females 12-34 (927,000/2.0 rating), while “Baby Daddy” ranked as the No. 2 cable TV comedy of the summer in women 18-34 (384,000/1.1 rating)

Source: NTI, U.S. Ratings. Summer 15 (Most Current=L+7: 6/1/15-8/16/15; L+SD: 8/17/15-8/30/15). Series ranks based on originals only with minimum 5 telecasts.

pretty little liars

Sep 2, 2015
8:44 am

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Unveils Full LIneup for Star-Studded 21st Season — Including a First for the Show (TVWeek)

The hit ABC competition program “Dancing with the Stars” unveiled a lineup of celebrities that includes a first for the show — its first married couple.

Also in the lineup, according to today’s announcement, are three platinum-certified music superstars, an Academy Award nominee, a Triple Crown winner and an American hero.

Among the notable names in the star-studded lineup for Season 21 are Paula Deen, Gary Busey, Nick Carter and Chaka Khan.

Husband and wife Carlos PenaVega and Alexa PenaVega are both competing — although they will not be partnered with each other. Alexa is known for her roles in films including the blockbuster “Spy Kids” movies, and Carlos made a big splash in the Nickelodeon musical comedy “Big Time Rush.”

Please click here to see the full lineup of dance partners, along with details about each of the celebrity contestants.

dancing with the stars-cast reveal-season 21

Sep 2, 2015
8:31 am

Three News Anchors Quit Station in Five Days (Adweek)

An NBC affiliate has experienced a sudden exodus by its on-air news personalities. The first of three anchors to bail out on Casper, Wyo., station KCWY-DT was Jeff Platt, who announced his departure Friday, Adweek reports.

Platt wrote on his Facebook page Friday: “Tonight I signed off and said goodbye to my News 13 team, family, and most importantly viewers. I am proud to have worked and lived in the state of Wyoming and the city of Casper. I have covered stories which have impacted peoples’ lives. I have seen them on their worst days and their best. I thank you all for welcoming me into your homes, your lives, and your community. You taught this Brooklyn, NY guy the code of the west, and how to truly be a Cowboy. My heart will always remain ‘Forever West.'”

Platt’s exit was followed by an announcement Sunday by Tony Cedrone that he was out the door. Cedrone gave an on-air farewell and wrote on Twitter: “Thanks! For now, back to family in Philly for a short while. My next news station is still in the works! Watch 10pm!”

Then on Tuesday morning, Amanda del Castillo gave an emotional signoff on the air. She followed up on Facebook, writing: “Ahaa! Everyone thought I was going to cry… and maybe I did… it’s just the ten pounds of makeup hiding it! Haha. Hope everyone enjoyed Today in Wyoming as much as I have! Thanks again for tuning in!”

The Adweek report notes that the publication was seeking an explanation for the rash of departures, but had not heard back from the station.

KCWY, owned by Gray Television, is the NBC affiliate for most of Wyoming.


Sep 2, 2015
7:59 am

NFL Games to Be Live-Streamed for Free (Variety)

In a first for CBS, some games played during the upcoming NFL regular season will be live-streamed.

Variety reports that the network will live-stream two games: the Oct. 4 meeting between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and a showdown on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, between the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys.

The move comes as CBS aims to expand its digital coverage of football in response to the increased use of mobile screens by viewers.

“The network said it planned to stream two regular-season games and four playoff games, as well as Super Bowl 50 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.,” Variety notes. “The coverage will be available on laptops, desktops and tablets at CBSSports.com and on televisions through select devices such as Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV models.”

The report adds: “All of the games will be available for free, with no authentication of a subscription to a cable or satellite provider required.”

The CBS coverage will include the AFC playoffs.

nfl on cbs 2014

Sep 2, 2015
7:27 am

More Politics — and Another High-Profile Guest — for CBS’s New ‘Late Show’ (TVWeek)

After signaling a political direction for the upcoming “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” — with a week two guest list that includes a Democratic presidential hopeful, a Supreme Court justice and the U.N. Secretary-General — the CBS program made another announcement this week that positions it to get even more political.

CBS announced that Vice President Joe Biden will appear on the late-night program for the first time on Thursday, Sept. 10, during the newly rebooted program’s premiere week. Colbert, who is replacing late-night institution David Letterman in the CBS 11:35 p.m. time slot, debuts as host Sept. 8.

Also on the guest list the night Biden is scheduled, as previously announced, are Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and country singer Toby Keith.

Please click here to read the lineup for week two, and here to see the previously announced guest list for week one.

late show with stephen colbert-logo


Sep 2, 2015
2:51 am

Over the Last 14 Years More Than 20 Million Copies of This Fantasy Book Series Have Been Sold Worldwide. The Movie Adaptation Has Been in Development Hell, But Now It Seems on Track, With Kenneth Branagh Onboard (Variety)

After spending years in development limbo, Disney’s adaptation of a popular fantasy novel series “may have found new life,” reports Variety.

The movie would be based on the “Artemis Fowl” novels by Eoin Colfer.

Says Variety, “Kenneth Branagh has signed on to develop the property and is attached to direct an adaptation of the popular YA novel for Disney, with Irish playwright Conor McPherson in talks to pen the script.”

To read more details about this item, please click on the link in the first paragraph, above, which will take you to the original Variety story.



Sep 2, 2015
2:22 am

She’s a Tireless Advocate for Women’s Rights, and Represents a Number of Women Who Have Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault. She’s Gloria Allred, and Now CBS is Developing a Legal Series ‘Inspired’ by Her Exploits (Variety)

“ CBS has a script deal in place for a drama series, inspired by the life of Gloria Allred,” reports Variety.

The series is the brainchild of Deborah Schoeneman, who told Variety, “When I was finished working on the last season of ‘The Newsroom,’ I was trying to figure out what kind of show I wanted to develop. Gloria Allred was in the center of the stories in the news that most interested me, particularly about women seeking justice. I was thrilled that she was receptive and excited about partnering with Paul Young and me on this project. She was a lot of fun to pitch with … I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with Gloria Allred to create a dynamic, passionate and polarizing character based on her. Gloria’s an amazing storyteller with a deep well of perfect material for television.”

Allred herself will be one of the executive producers should the series get picked up, Variety says.

Gloria-AllredGloria Allred during a recent televised press conference

Sep 1, 2015
1:09 pm

Cable Dramas Get Second Seasons (THR)

Two drama series airing on cable made a strong enough impression in their freshman seasons to earn renewals. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Syfy picked up “Killjoys” and “Dark Matter” for second seasons.

“Killjoys,” from “Orphan Black” producer Temple Street Productions and creator Michelle Lovretta, received an order for 10 episodes, THR notes. “Dark Matter’s” order is for a 13-episode season.

Both shows will roll out their new seasons in 2016.

“Dark Matter” comes from Canadian producer Prodigy Pictures and creators Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.

In a statement, Bill McGoldrick, executive VP of original content for Syfy, said: “With exciting space-based action, deep world building, and a standout cast, ‘Killjoys’ has struck a nerve with viewers and critics alike.”

“Killjoys” stars Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore and Luke Macfarlane.

“Dark Matter,” based on a comic book of the same name, stars Marc Bendavid, Melissa O’Neil and Anthony Lemke.

dark matter

Sep 1, 2015
1:01 pm

Why Four High-Profile Broadcast Series Have Already Lost Their Showrunners (Variety)

The fall season has yet to premiere, but already the top broadcast networks have parted ways with showrunners on four high-profile shows, Elizabeth Wagmeister reports in Variety.

NBC’s “Chicago Med,” Fox’s “The Grinder” and two shows on ABC — “Blood & Oil” and “The Catch” — have sent showrunners packing during the runup to the season, the report notes.

Part of the problem: The talent pool is too shallow to keep up with the volume of productions.

“In this era of ‘too much TV’ — as FX Networks chief John Landgraf pointed out at this summer’s Television Critics’ Assn. press tour — insiders report the fallout is serious, with most veteran showrunners already booked on one of the 400-plus shows on air,” Wagmeister reports.

The report quotes Landgraf saying of the current TV landscape: “We’re playing a game of musical chairs, and they’re starting to take away chairs.”

An insider told Variety for the report: “The business is going through some growing pains in terms of scarcity. There’s more to go around than people available.”

Wagmeister says the growing range of platforms helps complicate the situation, as the challenge to top the competition is getting stronger.

“There’s also increased scrutiny, along with less patience among programmers; letting a show marinate and find an audience is a thing of the past,” she writes.

We encourage you to click on the link near the top of this story to read the rest of Wagmeister’s in-depth report.

chicago med-2015-nbc

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