Feb 10, 2016
7:13 am

Viacom Goes All In on Social Media Site (LA Times)

Viacom is partnering with a popular social media site, announcing an advertising and content deal Tuesday with Snapchat.

Viacom “will lend its advertising relationships and large portfolio of TV shows to the hot start-up Snapchat Inc. as the two try to shake off questions about their financial futures,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Privately held Snapchat is valued at $16 billion — more than Viacom’s $13 billion market capitalization — but the Venice company has yet to figure out how to turn a profit.”

The deal with Snapchat was seen as one of the few bright spots in Viacom’s first-quarter earnings report Tuesday, with the company facing “increasing challenges as viewers younger than 35 shun cable TV and instead head to online video options such as Netflix, YouTube and Facebook,” the story reports.

“Viacom and Snapchat became instant friends last summer when they paired up on MTV’s Video Music Awards: 5 million people tuned into MTV to watch the show on cable television; 12 million watched highlights on the social media app,” the Times notes. “The numbers sent a clear message: If TV shows want to stay relevant, they have to go to where the viewers are — their phones.”


Feb 9, 2016
3:11 pm

Zsa Zsa Gabor Hospitalized (Reuters)

Just days after celebrating her 99th birthday Feb. 6, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor has been hospitalized. Reuters reports that she was in a Los Angeles hospital today awaiting surgery.

“Gabor’s ninth husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, told Reuters Gabor was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center on Monday after having difficulty breathing,” the news service reports.

The Hungarian-born actress starred in 1950s films “Moulin Rouge” and “Lili.” She has been homebound for years after having a leg amputated in 2011, the report notes.

Said von Anhalt: “We are waiting for the surgeons to remove her feeding tube and put in another. We don’t have a date yet for the surgery.”


Feb 9, 2016
3:01 pm

Video: Bill O’Reilly and Stephen Colbert Get Into It About Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders (CBS)

Fox News staple Bill O’Reilly tried to convince Stephen Colbert that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are pretty much the same person during an appearance by O’Reilly on CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Here’s the video:

Feb 9, 2016
2:44 pm

New Late-Night Show Gets Off to a Fast Start (Deadline)

The newest entry in the scramble for late-night viewers had a strong launch Monday night. Deadline.com reports that the new TBS entry “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” delivered 2.2 million total viewers, including 1.2 million in the 18-49 demo. The premiere was simulcast on Adult Swim, TNT and truTV.

“That’s a strong start for a new late-night comedy franchise launched in an unusual late-night 10:30 p.m. time slot,” Deadline notes. “Last September, when Trevor Noah took over for Jon Stewart as host of the very well-established ‘The Daily Show,’ he averaged 3.5 million viewers, but his unveiling had been launched across 12 Viacom networks. Jon Stewart’s final night hosting the show, in August, clocked 3.5 million viewers, which had been his second-largest ever same-night audience.”

The breakdown for the Samantha Bee debut included 629,000 total viewers on TBS, 402,000 on TNT and 142,000 on truTV, with the biggest turnout, 986,000, on Adult Swim, the story reports, citing Nielsen time slot data.

full frontal with samantha bee

Feb 9, 2016
2:17 pm

Veteran Producer to Oversee New ‘Star Trek’ TV Series (TVWeek)

A TV veteran with roots in the “Star Trek” universe will be the showrunner on the new “Star Trek” series. CBS Television Studios announced today that Bryan Fuller is on board as co-creator and executive producer of the new series, which is headed to CBS All Access.

Fuller was a writer for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” early in his career. He joins a team on the new series that includes executive producer Alex Kurtzman.

The new program will launch with a special preview on the CBS TV Network in early 2017.

“The premiere episode and all subsequent first-run episodes will then be available exclusively in the United States on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service. The new ‘Star Trek’ series marks the first original series developed for CBS All Access,” the announcement notes.

In the announcement, Fuller commented: “My very first experience of ‘Star Trek’ is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls. Before seeing a frame of the television series, the ‘Star Trek’ universe lit my imagination on fire. It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand-new iteration of ‘Star Trek’ with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no ‘Star Trek’ series has gone before.”

Kurtzman added: “Bringing ‘Star Trek’ back to television means returning it to its roots, and for years those roots flourished under Bryan’s devoted care. His encyclopedic knowledge of ‘Trek’ canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds.”

star trek-the original series-opening logo

Feb 9, 2016
2:09 pm

How Ad-Cluttered Was This Year’s Super Bowl? (TVWeek)

If you think you spent a lot of time watching commercials during Sunday’s Super Bowl, you’re right. Figures just released by Kantar Media show that Super Bowl 50 was the second-most-cluttered Super Bowl of all time.

The broadcast included 49 minutes and 35 seconds of advertising and promos, accounting for 22% of the total broadcast.

“Anheuser-Busch InBev was the top advertiser in the game with 3:30 minutes of ad time, followed by Fiat Chrysler and Pepsico with 2:00 minutes of ads across various brands,” Kantar announced. “Auto was the lead category during the game, accounting for 11 spots and 9:00 minutes of ad time.”

The total ad time in this year’s game breaks down to 39:15 of brand ads, 1:30 of NFL promos and 8:50 of network promos.

The total ad time is second all time, trailing only the 2013 Super Bowl, with 51:40. However, the 2013 game included a blackout, which increased the total ad time.

super bowl 50-cbs

Feb 9, 2016
11:27 am

Comedy Series Canceled (THR)

CBS pulled the plug on a comedy series and is shuffling its prime-time lineup to fill the slot. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the network has canceled “Angel From Hell.”

The rookie sitcom, which stars Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson, was pulled after airing five episodes. CBS will fill the Thursday 9:30 p.m. slot with “2 Broke Girls” starting Feb. 18, with a “Big Bang Theory” repeat to plug into the slot this week.

“Angel From Hell” delivered a 1.6 average rating in the key 18-49 demo for its opener, along with 8.13 million total viewers, but its numbers slipped in subsequent weeks. The show hit a low with its most recent episode, pulling 6.34 million viewers for the Feb. 4 broadcast.

It is unknown whether remaining episodes of “Angel From Hell” that have been produced will make it to air.

angel from hell-2015-cbs

“Angel From Hell”

Feb 9, 2016
11:07 am

Video: Contestant’s Struggle With Game Question Tests Steve Harvey’s Patience on ‘Family Feud’ (YouTube)

A video clip posted by “Family Feud” features what’s being called the worst answer of all time on the game show. The eight-minute clip can be painful to watch at times, as a player’s attempts to answer the question appear to frustrate host Steve Harvey.

Here’s the clip …

Feb 9, 2016
10:44 am

Executive Shakeup Under Way at Scripps Networks (B&C)

A shakeup in the executive ranks at Scripps Networks has been triggered by word that Joseph NeCastro, Scripps Networks Interactive chief financial and administrative officer and chief development officer, is set to retire after 13 years with the company, B&C reports.

“The company said that its international division, headed by Jim Samples, will now report directly to CEO Ken Lowe,” the publication reports. “Samples will also be appointed to succeed NeCastro as chairman of the board of TVN, the Polish media company Scripps Networks acquired last year.”

Also reporting to Lowe will be Mark Hale, executive VP of global operations and chief technology officer.

B&C notes: “The company’s corporate development and early stage investment strategy will continue to be headed by Julie Yoo, who will report to chief financial officer Lori Hickok.”

Feb 9, 2016
10:41 am

Diane Sawyer Lands ‘Big Get’ Media Outlets Have Been Chasing for 17 Years (TVWeek)

ABC News and Diane Sawyer are touting a “big get” that will be the focus of a special episode of “20/20” set for this Friday, Feb. 12. Sawyer will interview Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine High School shooter Dylan Klebold, who will speak publicly about the tragedy for the first time.

The special, “Silence Broken: A Mother’s Reckoning,” precedes the Feb. 15 release of Sue Klebold’s memoir “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy.”

Dylan Klebold was one of the shooters, along with Eric Harris, responsible for killing 13 people and injuring as many as 24 others in the school shooting in Colorado on April 20, 1999.

Here’s a promo clip for the special …

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