Aug 30, 2016
5:00 pm

Key Cast Move for ‘Criminal Minds’ (Variety)

As the CBS drama series “Criminal Minds” regroups following the firing of longtime star Thomas Gibson, the show will bring back Paget Brewster as a series regular for season 12, Variety reports.

“Brewster starred on the CBS procedural from 2006 to 2012, and has appeared in guest spots ever since. She will reprise her role as SSA Emily Prentiss with her first episode set for Oct. 12,” Variety reports.

The report notes that a number of cast changes are set for Season 12.

“With the loss of Gibson and also long-running star Shemar Moore, who departed the series after Season 11, the show is filling up its ensemble with the return of Brewster and the previously announced Adam Rodriguez and Aisha Tyler, who was recently upped to a series regular,” Variety reports.

The season premieres Sept. 28.

criminal minds-logo

Aug 30, 2016
4:44 pm

Stuntwoman Makes ‘American Ninja Warrior’ History — Watch the Incredible Video (USA Today, NBC)

A stuntwoman just made history on the NBC competition program “American Ninja Warrior.” USA Today reports that Jessie Graff became the first woman to complete the Stage 1 obstacle course in the show’s national finals.

“The 32-year-old stuntwoman, who wowed viewers by completing a top-speed Los Angeles qualifying run in a Wonder Woman outfit this year and has competed on the show last year, expertly navigated the Log Grip, Propeller Bar, Jumping Spider and Warped Wall (translation: should-be-impossible obstacles) on the Las Vegas course Monday,” the story reports. “And she had 12 seconds to spare. And she did it all in an awesome Green Lantern outfit. (She’s into superheroes — she’s done stunts on ‘Supergirl.’)”

Even if you’re not into that sort of thing, we think this clip is worth a look …

Aug 30, 2016
4:17 pm

NBC Has Its Winning Streak Snapped (AP)

The winning streak is over for NBC, which had the Rio Olympics as the centerpiece of a ratings run that saw the network notch 21 consecutive nights as the most watched network.

“It was the longest string of consecutive victories among television viewers since the Nielsen company began keeping more precise records in 1987,” the AP reports. “The dominance of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was the chief reason why, but NBC kept it going until last Friday when CBS won with an NFL exhibition game between Cleveland and Tampa Bay.”

On a weekly basis, NBC has won total viewers for the past nine consecutive weeks, its longest streak since 1997, the story reports, citing Nielsen data.

“Behind the success of ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ NBC has increasingly done well during the summer months on broadcast television, and the Olympics emphasize that trend,” the AP reports. “It’s not nearly as important as winning the traditional television season from September to May, however, which CBS has dominated for several years.”

agt-america's got talent

Aug 30, 2016
4:01 pm

Why MTV May Change Its VMAs Strategy (AP)

MTV is looking at implementing one big change with its VMA telecast in response to what the cable channel says is a shift in how its audience watches the event.

The AP reports that the channel will consider airing the annual Video Music Awards live across the country because it is increasingly being seen online instead of on TV.

“This year’s show, featuring a 16-minute Beyonce mini-concert, four performances by Rihanna and a Kanye West monologue, was watched by 6.5 million people on one of the 11 Viacom networks that aired it, the Nielsen company said. That’s sharply down from the 9.8 million who watched the 2015 show,” the AP reports.

“The network said Tuesday that there were 149 million streams of VMA content online Sunday and Monday, a combination of live streaming through MTV’s website and aggressive packaging of video clips on venues like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like,” the report notes. “The majority of streams (86 million) came Monday, after people heard or read about the show and wanted to check out clips, MTV said.”

MTV said the comparable number of streams for 2015 was 30.7 million, the AP adds.

The show is traditionally aired live on the East Coast and tape-delayed in other time zones.

But MTV President Sean Atkins suggested that might change, saying: “In a world where you are multi-platforming, when I can experience it on my feed from my friends on Facebook who are in New York, are you better off just going live? You give everyone essentially equal access to every platform at the same time.”

mtv VMAs Video Music Awards

Aug 30, 2016
3:57 pm

Just Out Today: Trailer for the Upcoming Season of ‘Shameless’ (Showtime)

Showtime released a trailer today for season seven of “Shameless,” starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. The season premieres Sunday, Oct. 2.

Check it out ….

Aug 30, 2016
1:09 pm

Cable Net Pulling the Plug on Popular Drama Series (TVWeek)

A cable drama series that has maintained a popular following, chalking up a series of awards while also seeing critics warm up to it over its long run, will go away after its seventh season. Freeform announced Monday that it is ending “Pretty Little Liars” after a run of shows that will premiere in April 2017.

The first half of season seven debuted in June and wraps with the summer finale tonight, Aug. 30. Part two of the final season will consist of another 10 episodes, including the two-hour series finale.

The young adult-focused drama series has been a consistent winner at the Teen Choice Awards since 2010, while also chalking up People’s Choice Awards, Young Hollywood Awards and other honors. Viewership has gradually eroded since season one averaged 2.87 million viewers, with season six slipping to an average of 1.72 million.

The wind-down of “Pretty Little Liars” will be used to help launch Freeform’s new series “Famous in Love,” which will lead out from episodes of “Liars.”

Freeform issued a detailed release about its plans to wrap “Pretty Little Liars,” along with plans for the new show, which you can read by clicking here.

pretty little liars

Aug 30, 2016
11:51 am

ABC Unveils Celebrity Lineup, Pairings for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ — Stars of ‘Taxi’ and ‘The Brady Bunch’ on Board, Along With Two Olympians and a Former Presidential Contender (TVWeek)

The celebrity cast for ABC’s competition show “Dancing with the Stars” has been revealed, with two gold medal-winning U.S. Olympians in the lineup along with sitcom stars, celebrities from music and football, and the former governor of Texas.

Rick Perry, who came up short in his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, will dance on the show, as will Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.

Actress Marilu Henner, whose credits include a long run on “Taxi,” and Maureen McCormick, known for “The Brady Bunch,” are also in the cast for the new season, which premieres live on ABC on Monday, Sept. 12.

Here’s the full lineup announced today:

  • Amber Rose with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
  • Calvin Johnson Jr. with Lindsay Arnold
  • Jake T. Austin with Jenna Johnson
  • James Hinchcliffe with Sharna Burgess
  • Jana Kramer with Gleb Savchenko
  • Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds with Allison Holker
  • Laurie Hernandez with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  • Marilu Henner with Derek Hough
  • Maureen McCormick with Artem Chigvintsev
  • Rick Perry with Emma Slater
  • Ryan Lochte with Cheryl Burke
  • Terra Jolé with Sasha Farber
  • Vanilla Ice (Robert Van Winkle) with Witney Carson

Please click here for bios on each celebrity contestant along with other details in the announcement from ABC.

dancing with the stars

Aug 30, 2016
11:27 am

Reality Show Star Killed in Plane Crash (Reuters, TVWeek)

One of the stars of a popular cable reality show that is currently airing its 10th season on History was killed Sunday in a plane crash. Reuters reports that Darrell Ward, a star of “Ice Road Truckers,” died in a crash in Montana.

A spokeswoman for History confirmed Ward’s death.

Ward, 52, was a star of the series from its sixth season on. He came to the show with 31 years of highway trucking experience, including driving logging trucks in the Rocky Mountains.

Reuters reports that Ward was flying to Missoula to start filming a pilot for a new documentary-type show about the recovery of plane wrecks.

In a statement, the History channel said: “We are saddened by the tragic loss of Darrell Ward, a beloved member of the History family. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”

Reuters adds: “The co-pilot of the Cessna 182, 56-year-old Mark Melotz, was also killed when the plane crashed on the shoulder of Interstate 90 while trying to land at a nearby airstrip, according to local media. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.”

Here’s a short video we found on YouTube wherein Ward introduces himself to viewers back in 2012:

Aug 30, 2016
11:19 am

Gene Wilder’s Last Major Interview — Watch It Now (92Y, TVWeek)

In a rare public appearance, Gene Wilder sat down for an interview with Robert Osborne at the 92nd Street Y in New York on June 12, 2013, talking about, among other things, why he stopped acting regularly.

Wilder died Sunday at 83, as we reported previously.

In the interview, Wilder discusses his work in films such as “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Young Frankenstein,” and talks about working with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor.

He also talks about the “Willy Wonka” remake, revealing that he’s not a fan. And he talks about Gilda Radner, who was married to Wilder at the time of her death due to ovarian cancer in 1989.

Here’s the interview, posted by the 92nd Street Y …

Aug 30, 2016
11:07 am

How Television’s Next Big Transformation Will Take Shape (Media Life)

As digital technology continues to transform the medium of television, the next big transition will include the abandonment of the notion of prime time, according to a veteran television writer.

In an article in Media Life Magazine, Toni Fitzgerald writes: “The idea of a linear lineup has increasingly become outdated. DVRs and online viewing allow people to watch what they want when they want, and within a few years, viewers will no longer be content to watch when the networks tell them to.”

Fitzgerald’s other predictions for the industry include the collapse of cable MSOs, the shutdown of small cable networks, the transition of sports viewing to a digital model and the airing of TV shows on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and other social networks.

Please click on the link to Media Life near the top of this story to read Fitzgerald’s full analysis.

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