Oct 30, 2014
1:37 pm

ABC Shakes Things Up at ‘The View’ (Huffington Post)

ABC’s daytime staple “The View,” which underwent an overhaul as show creator Barbara Walters headed out the door and into retirement earlier this year, has undergone a shakeup by the network. The Huffington Post reports that ABC News has taken over the show after 18 years as part of the entertainment division.

“ABC News President James Goldston on Thursday assigned Tom Cibrowski, the producer responsible for the ‘Good Morning America’ rise to the top of the ratings, and colleagues Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work on ‘The View,’” the story reports.

The piece notes that Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez were brought in as part of the transition from the Walters era, with host Whoopi Goldberg remaining as the only on-air holdover.

“A new production team was named led by Bill Wolff, Rachel Maddow’s former producer,” the story notes. After a fast start for the updated show, ratings have reportedly flattened.

The story reports: “Through the end of last week, ‘The View’ has averaged 2.9 million viewers, similar to the 2.92 million average during the same period last year, the Nielsen company said. There’s a sharper drop (712,000 to 652,000) among viewers aged 18-to-49 years old, a group prized by advertisers.”

But the move may be more about logistics than ratings. An ABC News spokeswoman, Julie Townsend, said it’s not about concern over ratings, and noted that Goldston, the new division boss, has been advising the new “View” team since this summer.

The piece notes that Lisa Hackner, the head of daytime TV for ABC Entertainment, is based in California, while “The View” is based in Manhattan, with its studio adjacent to ABC News headquarters.

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Oct 30, 2014
1:31 pm

CBS Reveals Secret Tributes to the Original ‘Hawaii Five-0′ That Have Been Hidden Throughout the Run of the Series Remake (TVWeek)

CBS today sent out one of the more interesting press releases we’ve seen lately, in connection with the upcoming 100th episode of the network’s current drama series “Hawaii Five-0.”

The release runs through a list of 33 hidden tributes to the original “Hawaii Five-0″ that have been hidden throughout the run of the remake, going all the way back to the 2010 pilot.

The orginal series, in which Jack Lord starred as Steve McGarrett, aired from 1968-1980 on CBS. The remake, which is in its fifth season, will air its 100th episode Nov. 7.

Here are a few examples:

• In the pilot for the remake, McGarrett’s 1974 Mercury Marquis is the actual car from the original series. It was owned by Jack Lord himself and is seen several times throughout the series.

• In the episode “Malama Ka Aina” (“Respect the Land”) during the first season, the mother who took Grace (Teilor Grubbs) to hide in the bathroom is played by Helen Kuoha-Torco. Helen was the original Tahitian dancer featured in the main credits of the original series.

• In the episode “Kalele” (“Faith”) during season two, in August March’s home, we see a collection of miniature sculptures from Japan. These sculptures are a wink to how in the original series episode, March framed McGarrett for stealing one of these priceless statues.

Please click here to see the full list of hidden tributes in the CBS press release.


Oct 30, 2014
1:19 pm

Drama Series Canceled (Variety)

A cable drama series has been canceled after one season. Marking the demise of the channel’s first attempt at scripted drama, WE tv pulled the plug on “The Divide,” Variety reports.

The series “revolved around a lawyer’s efforts to prove a death-row inmate was wrongfully convicted. The show was produced in-house by We and hailed from feature vet Richard LaGravenese and ‘Scandal’ star Tony Goldwyn, who wrote and directed the pilot, respectively. John Tinker served as showrunner and exec produced with LaGravenese and Goldwyn,” Variety reports.

In a statement, the network said: “We are extremely proud of ‘The Divide’ and grateful to its brilliant creators, Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn, and an amazing cast and crew, for bringing this story to life as WE tv’s first scripted series.”

The show premiered in July and had an eight-episode run. The channel has its second original drama, the supernatural thriller “South of Hell,” waiting in the wings.

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Oct 30, 2014
1:11 pm

Dominant Performance by Game 7 of World Series in Broadcast Prime (TVbytheNumbers)

Fox’s coverage of Game 7 of the World Series, in which the San Francisco Giants won the championship with a tight 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals, dominated the prime-time ratings Wednesday night, based on Nielsen overnights. reports that the game delivered a preliminary 5.7 average rating in the key 18-49 demo along with 20.17 million total viewers. The demo number was up a whopping 84% from a preliminary 3.1 average for Game 6 the previous night.

The report notes that the numbers are subject to significant adjustments due to the nature of live sports. Additionally, NBA basketball coverage pre-empted the CW in Chicago and NBC in Portland, meaning numbers for those networks may be inflated.

In non-sports programming, ABC had the top show on broadcast prime in “Modern Family,” which equaled last week’s 3.4 average in the 18-49 demo. “black-ish” was also up, rising 13% to a 2.7, and “Nashville” rose 12% to a 1.5.

ABC’s “The Middle” headed the other direction, slipping 14% from last week to a 1.8 average in 18-49, while “The Goldbergs” dipped 9% to a 2.1.

CBS’s “Survivor” came in with another 2.2 average in viewers 18-49, matching last week’s number. “Criminal Minds” lost 8% to register a 2.5 and “Stalker” fell 12% to a 1.5.

NBC aired two drama reruns — “Law & Order: SVU” (0.9 average in 18-49) and “Chicago PD” (0.8) — along with a fresh installment of “The Mysteries of Laura, which slipped 8% to a 1.2. The Peacock Network wound up in a tie for fourth place among the broadcast nets with Univision.

For prime time overall, Fox led the way in the 18-49 demo with a 5.7 average rating, followed by ABC (2.2 average), CBS (2.0), Univision and NBC (both with 1.0 averages) and CW (0.8). Fox also won big in total viewers, averaging 20.2 million to lead CBS (8.9 million), ABC (7.1 million), NBC (5.4 million), Univision (2.7 million) and CW (2.3 million).

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Oct 30, 2014
1:07 pm

Twentieth TV Fills Newly Created Executive Post (TVWeek)

Twentieth Television announced that it has filled a newly created executive post, naming a new senior vice president, Media Sales Research & Insights. The company announced that Debbie Reichig will assume the post, effective Nov. 10.

Making the announcement was Michael Teicher, Twentieth’s executive vice president, Media Sales.

“Reichig will oversee the media sales research department, assisting in sales strategy, and positioning Twentieth Television and Debmar-Mercury’s portfolio of television programming to advertisers,” the company said in its announcement. “Based in New York, she will report to Teicher.”

In a statement, Teicher said: “Continuously taking a dynamic approach to media analytics and positioning, Debbie is a truly respected industry leader and innovator. Debbie’s breadth of experience within the media research field will allow her to look beyond the data to identify fresh opportunities for advertisers of Twentieth Television’s first-run and off-network programming.”

Please click here to read the full announcement from Twentieth TV.

debbie reichig

Debbie Reichig

Oct 30, 2014
8:57 am

NBC Under Pressure to Pull New Comedy Series (Miami Herald)

One of NBC’s new comedies has offended a group of viewers, who are putting pressure on the network to cancel the program. The Miami Herald reports that the sitcom, “Bad Judge,” is taking heat from female attorneys.

The attorneys say the show depicts a female judge as “unethical, lazy, crude, hyper-sexualized and unfit to hold such an esteemed position of power.” They have sent a letter to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke, asking him to cancel the show.

“We believe that media images that depict women in a negative light, even when intended to be funny, are damaging and often dangerous,” said Deborah Baker, president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. “Our mission has been to advance women in the legal profession, to help women climb the ranks and to be taken seriously in the legal profession. However, this show does just the opposite.”

The complaints include references to Kate Walsh’s character having a hickey, parking in a disabled spot, and showing up late to court because she was hung over, the story says.

“Our organization understands that ‘Bad Judge’ may be intended to be hyperbole, but we nonetheless find it damaging to women in the legal profession,” Baker said. Her letter pointed out that fewer than 35 percent of active judges on the 13 federal courts of appeal are women, and there have only been four female justices on the Supreme Court.

NBC didn’t return calls requesting comment, the article notes.

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Oct 30, 2014
8:44 am

Need College Credit? One Cable Network Is Offering the First ’Network-Branded Online Course’ (LA Times)

For people who may be a few college credits short, a cable channel is offering what it’s calling the first “network-branded online course for college credit.” The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that the program is being offered by History.

The network is working with University of Oklahoma to offer a course called “United States, 1865 to the Present,” which will cover topics including the Gilded Age and the two World Wars, the story notes. The 16-week course will be taught by University of Oklahoma Professor Steve Gillon, who also serves as History’s “scholar-in-residence,” the story adds.

Students will be able to receive credit if they pay $500 in tuition, or can take the class for $250 and receive no credit.


Oct 30, 2014
8:31 am

Dish Ordered to Pay $22,500 to Man Who Complained About 31 Calls for an Overdue Bill (NY Post)

Dish Network has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $22,500 to a man who complained the company called his cell phone 31 times to get him pay an overdue bill, even though he wasn’t a customer, reports the New York Post.

Chester Moore wasn’t a Dish customer and didn’t owe the company any money, and even though he told customer service reps that he didn’t have an account with the company, the calls didn’t stop, the story reports.

The calls were made by an automatic telephone dialing system to a number that was apparently shared by Moore and the customer Dish was trying to reach, the publication noted. During an eight-month period in 2012, Moore claimed he received up to seven calls a week.

Dish “knowingly employed methods and/or has a corporate policy designed to harass and abuse individuals,” Moore alleged, “and has set up their ATDS in a manner which makes it virtually impossible for the automated calls to stop.”

The judge ruled that the calls violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which doesn’t allow non-emergency auto dials to mobile phones if the customer hasn’t given consent, the piece reports.

The award partly covers “emotional distress, frustration, worry, anger and/or loss of capacity to enjoy life,” the judge said.

Dish declined to comment.

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Oct 30, 2014
8:17 am

‘Redskins’ Challenge to Target at Least One L.A. TV Station (B&C)

A legal challenge against broadcasters’ use of the term “Redskins” on the air is expanding from the East Coast to include the West Coast.

B&C reports that legal activist John Banzhaf plans to challenge at least one TV station license in Los Angeles over the on-air use of the term. The report notes that Banzhaf didn’t disclose which station or stations he might challenge.

“Why L.A.? It is the largest market with the nearest license renewal date,” the story notes. “California TV station licenses expire Dec. 1. Petitions to deny renewals of those licenses are due Nov. 3.”

Banzhaf, who has filed a petition to deny the renewal of Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio station WWXX in Washington, D.C., told the publication, “I plan to have filed — by and on behalf of Native Americans — at least one and perhaps more petitions opposing the renewal of the broadcast licenses of major L.A. TV station(s).”

He argues that the use of the term to refer to the Washington NFL team is a form of hate speech and that its use isn’t in the public interest. Team owner Snyder has said some Native Americans don’t oppose the name, and said he won’t change it.

The B&C story adds: “The FCC is currently considering the WWXX petition. Three out of the five commissioners (the Democrats) have expressed their own concerns about the name, including FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, but that is different from a finding that its use invalidates a station license, something Wheeler has made clear.”


Oct 30, 2014
8:15 am

Fox Getting In on the Peter Pan Phenomenon (EW, Deadline)

Another network is jumping on the Peter Pan bandwagon, with Fox developing a project called “League of Pan,” a series that would follow the Lost Boys after they leave Neverland, reports’s Inside TV.

Fox has given a script commitment plus penalty to the project, which will be set in modern-day Los Angeles. The project comes as NBC is working on a live production of “Peter Pan,” as well as a workplace comedy called “Wendy and Peter.”

The Fox project is described as a “soapy thriller,” with Andrew Miller of “The Secret Circle” writing and executive producing. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo of Imagine are executive producing.

The same project was developed two years ago by 20th TV and Imagine, which had optioned a script by Brian McCauley Johnson, notes. Johnson will get a producer credit on the new project, the story adds.

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