Apr 1, 2015
12:59 am

Two Channels Known for Mostly Non-Fiction Programming Plan More Scripted Programming for Next Season (TVWeek)

Both The Discovery Channel and the History Channel are best-known for non-fiction programming. But both networks are looking at additional scripted programming for next season.

First, on Discovery, we have a biker mini-series that’s been ordered by the channel. According to an announcement by the Discover Channel, “A Harley Davidson is more than a motorcycle. It is a brand that has shaped the cultural landscape and defined our national character. Based on a true story, the series ‘Harley-Davidson’ will tell how Milwaukee schoolyard pals William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson built – and rode – the machines that rule the road. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, at the shores of Lake Michigan, this mini-series charts the birth of Harley-Davidson during a time of great social and technological change. Full of spectacular crashes, family feuds, inspired engineering and strokes of genius, this epic story of how two 19-year-old kids from Milwaukee started a company in their backyard that would go on to become an American legend.”

And from the History Channel, it announced a scripted-series in development: ” ‘The Boys of ’67′ is a scripted series about the First Platoon of Charlie Company, 9th Infantry Division; the only division raised, trained and deployed en masse to service in Vietnam, it was announced today by Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and General Manager, History & H2. ‘The Boys ’67′ will be produced for the History Channel by A+E Studios in association with Head First Productions and Muse Entertainment.


Apr 1, 2015
12:41 am

Showtime Renews Series (TVWeek)

With three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win for star Don Cheadle, it’s not a surprise that Showtime has renewed “House of Lies” for a fifth season. The series will return with 10 new episodes next year.

In making the announcement, Gary Levine, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Showtime Networks, said in a statement, “When you have a gifted acting ensemble led by Don Cheadle and smart, acerbic writing led by showrunner Matthew Carnahan you expect something special, and  ‘House of Lies’ delivers for us each season.”

The announcement also notes that “Produced by Showtime, besides Cheadle, the series also stars Kristen Bell (‘Frozen,’ ‘Veronica Mars’) who plays his razor-sharp partner, along with Emmy- winner Ben Schwartz (‘Parks and Recreation’), Josh Lawson (‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’), Donis Leonard Jr. (‘Criminal Minds’) and Emmy-winner Glynn Turman (‘In Treatment’).houseoflies


Mar 31, 2015
1:11 pm

ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ Leads Daytime Emmy Nominations With 28 Nods; CBS Leads All Networks (TVWeek)

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has announced the nominations for the Daytime Emmy Awards, with the ABC soap “General Hospital” topping the list with 28 nominations. CBS is No. 1 among the networks with a total of 62 nominations.

Nominees in the glamour category of Outstanding Drama Series, along with “General Hospital,” are “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS), “Days of Our Lives” (NBC) and “The Young and the Restless” (CBS).

Second on the list of nominations by network is PBS with 50. Syndicated programming also received 50 nods. ABC is next with 35 nominations, followed by NBC with 20, Nickelodeon with 18, Netflix with 13 and Discovery Family Channel with 12.

Coming in behind “General Hospital” as the most-nominated individual programs are “The Young and the Restless” with 25 nods, “The Bold and the Beautiful” with 19, “Days of Our Lives” with 16 and “Sesame Street” with 13.

Please click here to see the complete list of nominees.

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Mar 31, 2015
1:01 pm

Critically Acclaimed Cable Drama Gets Renewal (TVWeek)

A drama that more than one TV critic has called the best series on television has been renewed for another season.


“FX has ordered a fourth season of the critically acclaimed and award-winning drama ‘The Americans,’ it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions,” FX announced.

The announcement continues, “‘The Americans,’ currently the #1-ranked television series on Metacritic with a 92, will return for a 13-episode fourth season in 2016. Four episodes remain in the current season, which will conclude with the season finale on April 22nd.”

The announcement adds, “Grad said, ‘Remarkably, this season of ‘The Americans’ has achieved even greater acclaim than that of its first two seasons. The series has cemented it status with critics as television’s best current drama and arguably the best show on TV, and we couldn’t agree more. That universal critical praise is a tribute to the talents of Joe, Joel, Keri, Matthew, Noah and the entire cast and crew. We look forward to the final four episodes of season three, and beyond, in Philip and Elizabeth Jennings’ riveting journey.’

“‘It’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a show like this with the immensely talented and immeasurably supportive team at FX and Fox 21 Television Studios,’ said Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields.  “We are blessed with an extraordinary cast and crew and grateful that we’ll all be able to continue telling this story that we love so much.’’’


Mar 31, 2015
12:31 pm

Fox Renews Series (TVWeek, Variety)

Fox has renewed a show that has become one of its staples, and a key player in it live-action sitcom lineup: “New Girl.”

“While not the ratings dynamo it was early in its run, ‘New Girl’ remains a key component of Fox’s live-action comedy roster, so its renewal was something of a no-brainer,” writes Rick Kissell in Variety, continuing, “The show is also set to celebrate its 100th episode during the upcoming 2015-16 season (most likely in November).”

“Four seasons in, ‘New Girl’ continues to be one of the smartest and most relatable comedies on television,” said the President of Entertainment for the Fox Broadcasting Company, David Madden, in a statement. “The writing is razor-sharp, the ensemble is consistently hilarious, and we couldn’t be more proud of Liz, Brett, Dave and the entire NEW GIRL team. We absolutely love this show and we’re so excited to bring it back for Season Five.”


Mar 31, 2015
9:31 am

$10.4 Billion Cable Consolidation Deal Announced by Charter (NY Times)

In a deal that has been in the works for some time, as we reported earlier this month, Charter Communications announced today that it has agreed to acquire Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, The New York Times reports. The acquisition is one of a number of current deals that are changing the cable landscape.

The deal comes as Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable awaits approval, with the Charter-Bright House merger dependent on that deal going through. If Comcast-TWC gets the go-ahead, Charter will acquire some of the assets Comcast will shed.

“If Charter is not able to acquire the disposed assets from Comcast, it will not go ahead with this deal,” The Times notes.

The report notes that Bright House, which has about 2 million subscribers in Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and California, is the country’s sixth-largest cable operator. Charter is No. 4, behind Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications.

“The structure of the deal will have Charter own 73.7 percent of a new company and Advance/Newhouse, the parent company of Bright House, own 26.3 percent,” The Times reports. “Charter will pay Advance/Newhouse a mix of $5.9 billion worth of common stock, $2.5 billion worth convertible preferred shares that pay a 6 percent coupon and $2 billion in cash.”

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Mar 31, 2015
9:17 am

How Long Do Viewers Stick With Over-the-Top Video? The Answer Will Surprise You (MediaDailyNews)

A new survey of over-the-top video watching came up with a statistic that is likely to surprise many readers. Writing on MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews, Wayne Friedman reports: “Around 75% of OTT users quit a video experience after more than four minutes, according to new study by video optimization company Conviva.”

In other words, only one viewer in four makes it past the 4-minute mark, Friedman reports, citing poor video streaming quality and signal interruptions among the reasons.

“The research says after having a poor video experience, 49% close the video and try again; 29% close the video and try a different Web site/media platform; 11% stop watching video altogether; and 10% look for new content on the same app/site,” Friedman notes.

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Mar 31, 2015
9:09 am

‘The Tides They Are A-Changing’: High-Powered Kickoff for New Streaming Service (LA Times)

A new streaming service received an A-list launch, with some of the top names in popular music on hand to help get Jay Z’s new music service Tidal on track.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the lineup for Monday’s splashy rollout event included Madonna, Kanye West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Beyonce, Alicia Keys and many other top artists, along with the project’s mastermind, Jay Z. Tidal is seen as a rival to the music service Spotify.

“Describing itself as ‘the first music streaming service that combines the best high fidelity sound quality, high definition music videos and expertly curated editorial,’ the service will reportedly include two tiers of pricing and access,” the Times reports. “A basic service at $9.99 monthly will offer current industry-standard streaming fidelity with high-definition music videos. A second tier at $19.99 monthly will offer lossless, CD-quality streaming, HD videos and access to the service’s original editorial products.”

The Times notes that Jay Z sent out a message Sunday night saying: “The Tides They Are A-Changing,” invoking another artist who had an impact on the music landscape, Bob Dylan.

tidal logo

Mar 31, 2015
9:01 am

NBC and Google Join Forces on Innovative Mapping Project — Companion Website to Net’s Upcoming Spy Series Is Up and Running (TVWeek)

NBC Entertainment and Google have rolled out a new website as a companion to NBC’s upcoming drama series “American Odyssey.”

The site,, is powered by Google Maps and zeroes in on key sites that are a part of the spy drama. The show premieres Sunday, April 5, on the network, with the website now up and running.

Please click here for details on the drama series and the companion site.

Here’s a teaser for the show:

Mar 31, 2015
8:47 am

Cable Net Looks to Extend Impressive Trajectory After Notching Double-Digit Growth Across All Key Demos; Five New Programs on the Way (TVWeek)

A cable net that launched a year and a half ago has maintained an impressive growth trajectory — and the network has just rolled out plans for a lineup of new programs aimed at maintaining that momentum.

The male-focused Esquire Network, which launched in September 2013, announced that it “remains on a growth trajectory that continues to surpass its onset goals: It has built a men’s television channel from the ground up; converted a women’s network to a men’s network; and attracted a highly coveted audience of upscale, affluent, and educated men.”

Esquire says it’s the second-fastest-growing entertainment cable network and the No. 2 cable net among affluent and educated men 18-49.

“Esquire continues to experience remarkable development, achieving double-digit increases across all key demographics in 4Q14 vs. 4Q13,” the network notes.

To keep up its momentum, Esquire has taken the wraps off of five new shows: “Comedians of L.A.” (working title), “Going Deep with David Rees,” “SOMM” (working title), “The Agent” and “United States of Burgers.”

Please click here for the rest of the numbers and details on all of the new programming.


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