Nov 21, 2014
8:57 am

Cable Comedy Series Canceled (Deadline)

As part of a programming overhaul taking place at a couple of major cable channels, a comedy series has been canceled after three seasons. reports that TBS canceled “Sullivan & Son,” part of an ongoing renovation of the programming lineups at that channel and TNT.

“Sullivan & Son” and “Men at Work” were the first original comedies series on TBS to take hold, the story notes. “Men at Work” was canceled in May, while “Cougar Town” was also wrapping up. That means the only returning original scripted series on TBS for 2015 is “Ground Floor,” the story reports.

“Sullivan & Son” was set at a bar in a working-class Pittsburgh neighborhood. The third season averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.6 rating in viewers 18-49, with those numbers down 21% and 26%, respectively, from the previous season, the piece reports.

The article notes that TBS’s sister network TNT has recently canceled three established shows: “Dallas,” “Franklin & Bash” and “Perception.”


Nov 21, 2014
8:47 am

Here’s a Good One: 40 Percent of HBO’s Subscribers Watch Only This … (and We’ll Bet You’ve Just Guessed Wrong) (B&C)

Here’s a terrific factoid we picked up from B&C this morning: According to Richard Plepler, HBO’s CEO, 40% of HBO’s subscribers ONLY watch the channel’s theatrical releases, and not any of HBO’s award-winning original programming.

And fully 78% of ALL viewing on HBO comes from watching theatrical features. Said Plepler: “While original programming obviously takes up an enormous amount of the cultural halo for HBO, don’t forget the power of theatrical movies.”

Plepler made his remarks at an event called the International Council at the Paley Center for Media in New York City.

Plepler also spoke about HBO’s upcoming over-the-top service. According to the B&C article, Plepler “reiterated his stand that the premium network’s play to offer its broadband HBO Go service to non-HBO subscribers will not cannibalize its customer base.

Said Plepler: “I don’t think it’s cannibalistic at all. … We’re going to have a big business with [MSOs] and we’re going to have a big business with new partners.”

B&C adds: “In fact, Plepler argues that since most consumers around the country get their Internet service from their cable companies, those operators would only serve to benefit. ‘Who controls the broadband pipes in the U.S.? Our distributors,’ he said. ‘There is gold in the hills, let’s go get it together … its your money too.’ He estimated there are roughly 10-15 million homes that are broadband only.”

rpleplerRichard Plepler

Nov 21, 2014
8:31 am

TLC Being Pressured to Cancel Reality Show (THR)

On the heels of a widely publicized controversy that led to the cancellation of one reality show, TLC is getting heat over another show. This time around, TLC is under pressure to cancel “19 Kids and Counting” after a controversy flared up over what is being called anti-gay speech.

The controversy comes after TLC canceled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” last month amid a scandal centered on a convicted child molester.

A petition seeking the cancellation of the long-running “19 Kids and Counting” has gained more than 100,000 signatures, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

The petition was reportedly sparked by a robocall from Michelle Duggar, the matriarch of the family featured on the program, who urged Arkansas residents to oppose an anti-discrimination ordinance. According to the call’s claim, the ordinance would have allowed men “to use women’s and girls restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only.”

The ordinance, geared to prohibiting public facilities and businesses from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation or gender, eventually passed, the piece notes.

“The Duggars have thrown massive amounts of money to repeal this law so business owners and land lords can evict and fire people solely over gender idenity and sexual orientation! They need to be taken off the air!“ the petition claims.

On the robocall, Duggar said, “Hello, this is Michelle Duggar. I’m calling to inform you of some shocking news that would affect the safety of Northwest Arkansas women and children.”

She added, “I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls. ”

According to the petition, her “words reek of ignorance and fear mongering. Just because someone is transgendered doesn’t mean they are a child predator or a rapist.”

As of Friday morning, the petition had gained more than 122,000 supporters.

TLC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, according to THR.

19 kids & counting-title

Nov 21, 2014
8:17 am

Fox Unveils Midseason Premiere Dates, Maps Out Endgame for ‘Glee’ — and a Former Ratings Juggernaut Gets Its Episode Count Reduced (Deadline)

Fox has scheduled its midseason series, including the final season of “Glee,” which will return Jan. 9 and will air on Fridays during its 13-episode run, reports

“Glee” will share Friday prime time with a new unscripted hourlong comedy project, working title “World’s Funniest Fails,” which is based on the YouTube channel FailArmy.

Fox also said it is officially reducing the number of “American Idol” episodes. The competition program, which was the highest-rated program on broadcast prime during its heyday from 2003-2011, has struggled with dwindling ratings in recent seasons.

“The veteran singing competition will start off its fourteenth season with its usual twice-a-week airing pattern before dropping the Thursday edition starting March 26,” the story reports.

Two new live-action comedies will air in midseason. They are “The Last Man on Earth,” which stars Will Forte and will debut March 1 behind Sunday’s “Family Guy,” and “Weird Loners,” which will air Tuesdays after “New Girl,” and will debut March 31.

“Idol” will help debut the new drama “Backstrom,” which will air on Thursdays after the reality series starting Jan. 22.

Please click here to see the full Fox midseason schedule.

glee-season 5-cast


Nov 21, 2014
8:11 am

CBS and Dish Head Off Potential Blackout — for Now (Bloomberg)

As negotiations continue between CBS and Dish Network, the companies headed off a potential blackout by agreeing to a five-day extension of their contract, Bloomberg reports. The agreement keeps CBS in the lineup for Dish’s 14 million pay-TV customers for the time being.

“Negotiations are continuing, New York-based CBS said [Wednesday, Nov. 19] in an e-mailed statement,” the story reports. “The network, which airs ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘NCIS,’ had warned viewers that Dish may stop carrying the channel when the contract expired [Wednesday]. Dish, the third-largest U.S. pay-TV provider, was ‘dragging its feet,’ CBS said on Nov. 18.”

Last month, Dish dropped several channels owned by Time Warner’s Turner, including CNN. Turner and Dish are still talking about TBS and TNT, which have deals with Dish that are set to expire soon.

dish network-logo

Nov 21, 2014
8:01 am

Amazon Steps Up Push Into Streaming, Plans to Launch New Service, Separate From Prime — the Service Is Being Called a ‘Netflix Killer’ (NY Post)

Amazon plans to launch a new ad-supported streaming service early next year, which will be offered separately from its $99 Prime membership, reports the New York Post.

“The ad-supported option — part of an overhaul of its media offerings — poses a serious challenge to streaming rivals such as Hulu and Netflix, analysts said,” according to the report.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter called the plan “a Netflix killer.” Amazon could offer something less than Netflix’s current monthly price of $7.99, he added.

“Who wouldn’t switch if you were poor or you’re a cord-cutter?” Pachter said.

Amazon would offer the ad-supported plan separately from Prime, but would hope to upgrade customers to the annual $99 plan, the story notes.

The move by Amazon has been rumored in the media since as far back as March, but the Post reports, “Sources confirmed that it’s a definite go.”


Nov 21, 2014
7:44 am

AMC Slots Special Rollout for ‘Better Call Saul’ — Here’s a New Teaser for the ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff (EW)

AMC has set the premiere date for its “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul,” which will be introduced over two consecutive nights, reports’s Inside TV.

The debut will air Feb. 8 at 10 p.m., with the second episode bowing Feb. 9, also at 10 p.m., the story reports. The spinoff features Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the attorney who helped “Breaking Bad’s” meth dealer Walter White out of scrapes. The new show is set before Odenkirk’s character teamed up with White.

The first season will have 10 episodes, and AMC has already ordered a second season, which is slated to debut in 2016.

Here’s a new 30-second teaser for the show, posted this week by AMC:

Nov 21, 2014
7:31 am

Fox Prevails in Racism Lawsuit (TheWrap)

The Fox Network has prevailed in a racism lawsuit that was filed against it, with a judge ruling in favor of the network after 10 former “American Idol” contestants claimed the Fox singing competition disqualified them based on race, reports

“According to the plaintiffs, producers of ‘American Idol’ used old criminal records of African American contestants to justify eliminating them from the series, in addition to forcing ‘Idol’ hopefuls to sign ‘unconscionable Willy Wonka contracts,’” the story reports.

But Judge Naomi Buchwald wrote in her decision that the plaintiffs waited too long and that the statute of limitations had expired.

“Here, each plaintiff’s claims run from the date of his disqualification, as the adverse and allegedly discriminatory act of disqualification or elimination from competition is sufficient to put a contestant on notice that he should ‘protect himself by seeking legal advice’ and therefore to trigger the statute of limitations,” Buchwald wrote.

Only one contestant, Chris Golightly of season 9, was allowed to sue, but Buchwald also disallowed his case on different grounds, writing, “While the complaint asserts that defendants disqualified Golightly because he was an African-American man with a criminal record, it offers no facts beyond this bare allegation of racism to show that either Golightly’s race or his criminal record motivated his disqualification.”

american idol-logo

Nov 21, 2014
7:17 am

More Women Allege Sexual Assault by Bill Cosby — What the Actor’s Attorney Is Saying About It (People, TMZ)

More women are publicly saying they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, with one woman, Linda Joy Traitz of Florida, using her Facebook page to describe an incident she says took place when she was 19, People magazine reports.

Traitz wrote that when she worked at a Cosby-owned restaurant in Los Angeles, he offered her a ride home. Instead, he allegedly took her to the beach and offered her “pills to relax” that he took out of a suitcase, and then reportedly became “sexually aggressive,” the story says. She demanded that he take her home.

In a statement, Cosby’s attorney, Marty Singer, said: “Linda Joy Traitz is making ridiculous claims and suddenly seems to have a lot to say about a fleeting incident she says happened with my client more than 40 years ago. There was no briefcase of drugs and this is an absurd fabrication.”

Carla Ferrigno, the wife of “Incredible Hulk” star Lou Ferrigno, said on a radio show Thursday that Cosby once kissed her “forcefully” while they were playing pool, the story reports.

Singer added: “This continued pattern of attacks on Mr. Cosby has entered the realm of the ridiculous, with a purported ‘forceful kiss’ at a party in 1967, nearly 50 years ago, being treated as a current ‘news story’ and grossly mischaracterized as ‘sexual assault.’ This is utter nonsense. People coming out of nowhere with this sort of inane yarn is what happens in a media-driven feeding frenzy.”

Singer also dismissed claims by former actress Louisa Moritz, now 68, who told TMZ that Cosby forced her to perform oral sex backstage when she was waiting to appear on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” in 1971.

“We’ve reached the point of absurdity. The stories are getting more ridiculous,” Singer said. “I think people are trying to come up with these wild stories in order to justify why they have waited 40 to 50 years to disclose these ridiculous accusations.”

bill cosby

Bill Cosby

Nov 21, 2014
7:01 am

Young Actress Named Miss Golden Globe 2015 — It’s All About the Genes (TheWrap, TVWeek)

A young actress who is the daughter of a big TV star has been named Miss Golden Globe — an honor that traditionally goes to the offspring of a celebrity. reports that the title for 2015 goes to Greer Grammer, the daughter of veteran sitcom star Kelsey Grammer and makeup artist Barrie Buckner. Greer Grammer, 22, is known for her portrayal of Lissa on the MTV series “Awkward.”

The duties that come with the title include helping the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its annual Golden Globe Awards.

Last year, the title went to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s daughter Sosie Bacon, while Francesca Eastwood, the daughter of Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher, was honored in 2013.

Other famous couples whose kids have held the title include Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (Rumer Willis, 2008), Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard (Lorraine Nicholson, 2007) and Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens (Joely Fisher, 1992).

Actress Melanie Griffith has been a part of the title both as a daughter and as a mom. The daughter of Peter Griffith and Tippi Hedren was Miss Golden Globe 1975, and later saw her daughter with Don Johnson, Dakota Johnson, named Miss Golden Globe 2006.

In a statement, Greer Grammer said: “I am flattered to have been chosen by the HFPA for this year’s Miss Golden Globe. It’s truly an honor to be included in this experience that so many incredible men and women have been a part of.”

Her father, who is a three-time Golden Globe winner along with his five Primetime Emmys, had a long run as Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms “Cheers” and “Frasier,” more recently starring on the Starz political drama “Boss.”

greer grammer-miss golden globe 2015

Greer Grammer

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