Sep 20, 2017
8:53 am

Key Player Returns to ‘Terminator’ Franchise (THR, TVWeek)

It has been 26 years since one of the most critically acclaimed action/science fiction movies of all time, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” marked the final appearance — until now — of Linda Hamilton as action heroine Sarah Connor. But after all this time, she’s coming back.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision reports that James Cameron, creator of the “Terminator” franchise, revealed Tuesday that Hamilton has signed on for the new “Terminator” movie that’s in the works from Skydance and Paramount. Cameron broke the news at an event celebrating the “Terminator” franchise.

Cameron, who launched the franchise in 1984 with “The Terminator,” knows a thing or two about hit movies and action/sci-fi franchises — his resume includes “True Lies,” “Titanic,” “Aliens” and “Avatar,” to name just a few. He said bringing Hamilton and her character back says a lot about the role of gender in action movies.

“As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return,” said Cameron.

He added: “There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys, but there isn’t an example of that for women.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger is on board too, with Cameron — Hamilton’s ex-husband — producing and “Deadpool’s” Tim Miller directing. The filmmakers are reportedly working on a new “Terminator” trilogy that essentially follows “Terminator 2” and overlooks the three subsequent sequels, 2003’s “Rise of the Machines,” 2009’s “Terminator Salvation” and 2015’s “Terminator Genisys.”

They’re also said to be looking for a new young female protagonist to move the franchise forward once Hamilton walks away from the role.

The next installment is expected in 2019.

Sep 19, 2017
4:07 pm

Fox Has Its Largest Drama Premiere Since ‘Empire’ (TVWeek, YouTube)

Some readers may dispute the network’s classification of the show as a drama, but Fox announced today that its new series “The Orville” gave the broadcast network its largest drama premiere since “Empire” in multi-platform viewers with 12.2 million viewers across platforms over a seven-day span.

Fox said the new space adventure series, created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, delivered the network’s largest L+7 premiere in a year and a half, and is the most-streamed new Fox fall premiere in two years.

“Marking the network’s largest drama debut in two and a half years, since ‘Empire’ (15.6 million viewers, 1/7/15), ‘The Orville’ posted a +44% lift in multi-platform viewers from Live +Same Day, according to Nielsen,” Fox said, noting that the stat excludes Super Bowl lead-outs.

Fox also noted that “The Orville” had TV’s highest-rated scripted series premiere in more than eight months, tying “The Mick” back on Jan. 1, 2017, with a 3.7/12 in L7, again excluding Super Bowl lead-outs.

Fox noted that it now has the top three scripted debuts of 2017, with “The Orville,” “24: Legacy” and “The Mick,” along with the last three scripted debuts to post above a 3.5 L+7 rating, with the same three shows.

Click here to get Fox’s full spin on the numbers for the series to date.

Sep 19, 2017
2:01 pm

Late-Night Talk Show Surges — Here Are the Numbers (TVWeek)

One of the flagship late-night talk shows on the broadcast networks is on a roll, with ABC announcing today that its “Jimmy Kimmel Live” hit a three-month high in total viewers during the week of Sept. 11. The network cites Nielsen Live+Same Day National Program Ratings for the week.

Averages for the week show NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” with a healthy lead, both in total viewers and in the key 18-49 demo, with “Kimmel” in second place in both metrics and CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in third place with a week of encore programs.

Here are the numbers for the week of Sept. 11:

NBC’s “Fallon”: 2.517 million total viewers; 745,000 adults 18-49

ABC’s “Kimmel”: 2.172 million total viewers; 570,000 adults 18-49

CBS’s “Colbert” (repeats): 1.965 million total viewers; 411,000 adults 18-49

ABC notes that “Kimmel” was Wednesday’s most-watched late-night talk show that week, and outdelivered “Fallon” to rank No. 1 on Thursday both in total viewers and in the 18-49 demo. Wednesday’s show featured former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and 2017 U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens, with Thursday’s show featuring Stephen Colbert, Nina Dobrev and musical guest Dustin Lynch.

“During the week of September 11, 2017, ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ grew over the prior week by 11% in Total Viewers (2.172 million vs. 1.955 million) to draw its biggest overall audience in more than 3 months — since the week of 6/5/17,” ABC announced. “In fact, excluding this year’s NBA Finals-led weeks, ‘Kimmel’ attracted its largest weekly audience of the summer.”

The announcement notes that “Kimmel” was re-titled on Tuesday (9/12/17), with that night excluded from the show’s average.

Sep 19, 2017
1:39 pm

Pop Star Who Died Last Christmas at Center of Showtime Project (TVWeek)

A well-known singer who was found dead on Christmas morning 2016 is the focus of a new feature documentary rolling out Oct. 21 on Showtime. The production, “George Michael: Freedom,” was filmed before Michael’s death from heart problems at age 53.

The star-studded project includes appearances by Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ricky Gervais, Nile Rogers, Mark Ronson, Liam Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Jean Paul Gaultier, James Corden and Tony Bennett, along with the original five supermodels from Oscar-nominated director David Fincher’s “Freedom! ’90” video: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz and Linda Evangelista, who come together for the first time to discuss their experiences making the iconic music video.

Michael was reportedly heavily involved in the making of the Showtime documentary. Please click here to read more about the project in Showtime’s announcement, and to watch a teaser video.

Sep 19, 2017
1:21 pm

Fox News Hit With Lawsuit by Commentator Alleging Rape, Blacklisting (NY Times)

A new lawsuit filed Monday against Fox News accuses the cable channel of blacklisting a political commentator after she alleged that a longtime Fox anchor had raped her.

The New York Times reports that the suit was filed by Scottie Nell Hughes, who claims she was raped by Fox Business News anchor Charles Payne and then was retaliated against by Fox after she came forward with the rape allegation.

“Mr. Payne, the host of ‘Making Money’ on Fox Business, returned to the air this month after the network suspended him in July pending an investigation into his conduct,” The Times reports. “Upon his return, the network said that it had completed the investigation, which began after Ms. Hughes took her allegations to the network in late June.”

The report quotes a statement released Monday by Payne’s lawyer, Jonathan N. Halpern, in which he says his client ”vehemently denies any wrongdoing and will defend himself vigorously against this baseless complaint.”

The statement adds: “We are confident that when the evidence is presented in this case, Mr. Payne will be fully vindicated and these outrageous accusations against him will be confirmed as completely false.”

The report adds: “In her lawsuit, Ms. Hughes said that Mr. Payne had ‘pressured’ his way into her hotel room in July 2013 and coerced her to have sexual intercourse with him, even though she had refused his advances by telling him ‘no’ and ‘stop.’

“According to the suit, Ms. Hughes was ‘shocked and ashamed’ and did not immediately report the episode. She said that over the next two years she was forced to engage in a sexual relationship with Mr. Payne. In exchange, she said, she received career opportunities, including increased appearances on Fox News and Fox Business and the promise that Mr. Payne would help her land a contributor contract, a job that can pay several hundred thousand dollars a year. Ms. Hughes never became a paid contributor at either channel.”

Hughes is quoted saying in an interview: “In July of 2013, I was raped by Charles Payne. In July of 2017, I was raped again by Fox News. Since then, I have been living an absolute hell.”

Charles Payne (Twitter)

Sep 19, 2017
10:31 am

Big Change for ‘Saturday Night Live’ for New Season (TVWeek)

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is making a key change to its broadcast plans for the show’s upcoming 43rd season. The network began airing the show live coast-to-coast on an experimental basis back in April, and after getting good ratings results from the move, it will apparently become permanent.

At least, “permanent” by TV standards. Specifically, today’s announcement from NBC states: “NBC’s Emmy Award-winning ‘Saturday Night Live’ will once again air live simultaneously around the country beginning with the highly anticipated season 43 premiere on Sept. 30 with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z.”

This means the show will air at the following times, by time zone:

11:30 p.m. Eastern

10:30 p.m. Central

9:30 p.m. Mountain

8:30 p.m. Pacific

In the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m.

The network notes in the announcement: “The live coast-to-coast airings that began in April grew 11% in ‘live plus same day’ viewership versus what ‘SNL’ was averaging earlier in the season (8.3 million vs. 7.5 million, according to Nielsen Media Research), indicating strong interest in the formerly tape-delayed markets to see the show live.”

Sep 19, 2017
9:53 am

James Corden Addresses the Sean Spicer Incident From the Emmys (TVWeek, CBS)

After creating a controversy that has been swirling since Sunday’s Primetime Emmys, James Corden indicated he has one main regret in the wake of the ceremony: kissing former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Corden milked the controversy for comedy during his monologue Monday night on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Here’s the clip …

Sep 19, 2017
9:51 am

HBO Renews Drama Series (TVWeek)

Two episodes into the season for an HBO drama series, the pay-cable network has made the decision to renew the show for a second season.

The show is the 1970s period drama “The Deuce,” from David Simon and George Pelecanos. The series, which examines the porn industry in New York, premiered online back in August but arrived on the linear channel on Sept. 10. The show’s second episode aired last Sunday.

The announcement was made by Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming.

“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” Bloys said. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”

Please click here for more quotes and other details in the full announcement.

Sep 19, 2017
9:44 am

ESPN’s Talking Heads Destroy an NBA Star (TVWeek, ESPN)

This morning on the ESPN sports chat show “First Take,” the show’s regular commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman brought aboard reinforcements in the form of Will Cain, who led a full-on bash session aimed at NBA star Kyrie Irving.

The segment focused on an appearance Monday on the show by the all-star point guard, who recently joined the Boston Celtics after requesting a trade from the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. During the Irving appearance, the player repeatedly evaded questions from Smith and Kellerman, and appeared to be somewhat aggressive toward Kellerman in particular.

While Cain took the lead on this morning’s Kyrie bashing — even as he professed, “I’m not here to slam Kyrie” — Kellerman also landed his shots at Irving.

Here’s the clip …

Sep 19, 2017
9:31 am

Cybersecurity Firm Names the Most Dangerous Celebrity on the Internet — and You Will Never Guess Who It Is (NY Daily News, Vevo)

The cybersecurity firm McAfee today named the most dangerous celebrity on the Internet, announcing that former pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has the “honor.”

The New York Daily News reports that Lavigne, whose last album came out in 2013, was determined to be the most likely to land Internet users on websites that carry viruses or malware when they do a search for her name.

“Searches for Lavigne have a 14.5 percent chance of landing on a web page with the potential for online threats, a number that increases to 22 percent if users type her name and search for free MP3s,” The Daily News reports.

“Bruno Mars was second in his debut on the list, followed closely behind by Carly Rae Jepsen,” the report adds. “Zayn Malik (No. 4), Celine Dion (No. 5), Calvin Harris (No. 6), Justin Bieber (No. 7), Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (No. 8), Katy Perry (No. 9) and Beyonce (No. 10) rounded out the top 10 list.”

The report also notes: “It’s a dubious step up for Lavigne, who was ranked No. 2 in 2013. Lavigne, whose hits include ‘Sk8er Boi,’ ”Complicated’ and ‘I’m With You,’ has been out of the spotlight for several years as she battles Lyme disease.”

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