Oct 30, 2014
6:48 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook Becomes the First Sitting Chief Executive of a Fortune 500 Company to Come Out as Gay (Bloomberg Businessweek, NY Times, TVWeek)

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

By writing those words in an essay today, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, on the website of Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook becomes the first chief executive of a Fortune 500 company to become openly gay while he is still CEO.

Several months ago Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Stewart wrote a piece in The New York Times about John Browne, a former CEO of British Petroleum, who talked about being gay — though when he worked for BP he had not talked about it.

In that piece Stewart wrote, no CEOs of major companies “have been willing to publicly acknowledge being gay. I reached out to several of them for this article, and all refused to be identified.”

Stewart’s article got a lot of attention when, on June 27, 2014, he went on CNBC to discuss it. During the discussion one of the CNBC anchors blurted out, “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?”

After an awkward silence Stewart said no, and reiterated that no CEO had told him on the record that he was gay.

That exchange was picked up and written about in thousands of press reports.

In today’s essay Cook adds: “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

Similarly, in an interview published last month in TVWeek, Stewart, who himself is openly gay, was asked whether CEOs who are gay should identify themselves as such, and told us: “I do feel that in many ways it would be very, very good. It’s healthy — not just for gays, but for all minorities. It breaks down stereotypes, it provides role models, it’s inspiration for people. It shows that, indeed, sexual orientation is irrelevant when you’re talking about managing large institutions, as it should be, just as race and ethnic identity should also be irrelevant. I think it creates a healthy perception that people should be judged on the merits and not based on stereotypes of particular groups.”

We urge you to click here to read Cook’s full essay.

tim-cook-on-charlie-roseTim Cook last month on Charlie Rose’s TV program

Oct 30, 2014
6:12 am

Game-Changer! FCC Proposes Rules That Would Make Cord-Cutting More Enticing to Consumers. Finally, the Widespread Ability to Truly Choose TV Services A la Carte? (NY Times, Wired, FCC blog)

“In just the latest sign that the future of television is online, the Federal Communications Commission has proposed a new rule that would let Internet TV providers license television content just like cable and satellite companies do,” reports Wired.

The story adds: “On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler explained the thinking behind the proposal, writing in a blog post that opening access to Internet TV providers will foster competition in the television industry and give viewers more control over what programming they pay for. In other words, it would allow companies to use the Internet to serve up any show that’s available on good old-fashioned broadcast television.”

In its version of the story The New York Times reported: “‘Consumers have long complained about how their cable service forces them to buy channels they never watch,’ Mr. Wheeler wrote in [his] blog post. ‘The move of video onto the Internet can do something about that frustration — but first Internet video services need access to the programs.’”

In other words Wheeler, a former president of the National Cable Television Association, was saying that if the FCC makes this change, a la carte TV choices could become widespread.

Wired reported that the “new rule would essentially expand the definition of a so-called ‘multichannel video programming distributor’ or MVPD. These are the companies that are entitled to negotiate carrying fees directly with broadcasters for television content. Currently, the MVPD distinction only applies to cable companies, satellite providers, and services like Verizon FiOS. The new rule would change that, redefining MVPDs so they’re ‘technology-neutral.’”

To read more about this potential game-changer, we urge you to click on the various links in this item, which will take you to the original reports.

Oct 29, 2014
4:43 pm

Wow! Here’s a Good Test of Your TV IQ: Why Was This Tuesday Night Cable TV Show, Now in Its 7th Year as a Regular Series, the Most Viewed Show on Its Network in the Last Four Years? It Was Also the No. 1 Cable Show on Tuesday Night in Households, Total Viewers and All Key Female Demos (TVWeek)

Talk about a show that has great legs. Last night, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, a wedding drew millions of viewers to TLC’s long-running reality series “19 Kids & Counting.” The show features the Duggar family, and the wedding was between Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard.

According to a TLC press release, Jill and Derick “walked down the aisle Tuesday night (10/28/14) to record ratings, driving TLC to the #1 cable network of the night among all key women demos. The record breaking episode delivered 4.4 million P2+ viewers and averaged a 3.5 HH rating and a 3.0 W25-54 and W18-49 rating

“The much anticipated two-hour wedding special was the #1 cable program in prime on Tuesday night among HH, P2+ and all key women demos (W25-54, W18-49, W18-34), beating out FX’s ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ It was the highest rated and most watched episode ever for ’19 Kids & Counting’ and TLC’s highest viewed telecast in four years.”


Jill Duggar in her wedding dress

Oct 29, 2014
1:27 pm

Bruckheimer and Paramount Readying TV Series Adaptation of Popular 1980 Movie (Variety)

A popular 1980 movie is being adapted for television, with heavyweight producer Jerry Bruckheimer on board in partnership with Paramount Television. Variety reports that the effort surrounds the Richard Gere-Lauren Hutton drama “American Gigolo,” on which Bruckheimer was a producer.

Bruckheimer is set to executive produce, with Paul Schrader, who directed and wrote the movie, in the lineup as an executive consultant.

“Bruckheimer TV’s Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed and Michael Azzolino will exec produce, co-exec produce and produce, respectively. ‘American Gigolo’ will be a Paramount Television production,” Variety notes.

Bruckheimer said: “With its signature noir aesthetic, ‘American Gigolo’ has remained a deeply entertaining, psychological thriller and I’m thrilled to partner with [Paramount's] Brad [Grey] and Amy [Powell] on remaking it into a television series.”

The report notes that Bruckheimer has a first-look film deal with Paramount and is developing theatrical sequels to his “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Top Gun.”

american gigolo-poster

Oct 29, 2014
1:21 pm

Netflix Banking on Another Series It Thinks Will Become a Binge-Watching Favorite — Here’s the Teaser (Netflix)

Netflix, which hit it out of the park with “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” is banking on a continuation of its success in original programming with its next big series: “Marco Polo.”

The streaming service today took the wraps off a teaser for the series, which rolls out in December.

Here’s the video:

Oct 29, 2014
1:17 pm

There’s a New No. 5 on TV: Broadcaster Reveals It’s Closing In on the Big 4 (Deadline)

The broadcast service that ended the 2013-14 television season in the No. 5 position behind CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in household rating is PBS. reports that PBS announced it ended the season with a 1.5 average rating in prime time, based on Nielsen data — up 5% from a 1.43 a year earlier.

The service ranked No. 8 among all broadcast and cable networks in 2012-13, which represented an improvement from its No. 11 ranking in 2011-12.

The piece quotes Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive for PBS, explaining that PBS “deals in households because PBS’s mission is different than commercials networks — we’re not selling eyeballs and demographics. Our mission is to reach as much of the American public as possible.”

Contributing to the improved numbers are both season four of “Downton Abbey,” the highest-rated drama series in the history of PBS, which pulled an average audience of 13.2 million total viewers, and the Ken Burns documentary series “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” which rolled out Sept. 14 and is included in the PBS measurement period of Sept. 23, 2013-Sept. 21, 2014.

THR notes: “PBS claimed its audience increases were seen across the schedule, including its biggest bump on Sundays, but also 4% hikes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. The prime-time improvement makes PBS one of only a small group of networks, including NBC and ESPN, to see rating increases over this period of time. The pubcaster said it enjoyed increases on 19 of its prime-time hours.”


Oct 29, 2014
1:11 pm

Fox Wins Key Demo as Game 6 Sees an Uptick; CBS Continues to Draw Older Viewers (TVbytheNumbers)

Tuesday night’s Game 6 of the World Series, in which the Kansas City Royals forced a Game 7 tonight by crushing the San Francisco Giants 10-0, gave Fox a win in broadcast prime, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo. But CBS’s drama lineup continued to demonstrate its appeal among older viewers, as the network coasted to an easy win in total viewers. reports that the baseball game delivered a preliminary 3.1 average rating in viewers 18-49, a 3% uptick from Game 5. The game averaged 11.92 million total viewers, well below the numbers for CBS’s “NCIS” (17.2 million) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (15.74 million).

The top non-sports show of the night on broadcast prime was NBC’s “The Voice,” with a 2.8 average rating in 18-49 — down 15% from a week ago. The show also broke into double digits in total viewers with 10.84 million.

CBS’s “NCIS” rose 4% from last week in the 18-49 demo to record a 2.5 average, while “NCIS: New Orleans” slipped 4% to a 2.4 and “Person of Interest” climbed 7% from last week’s series low to a 1.6.

Leading out from “The Voice,” NBC’s new comedy “Marry Me” was down 13% from a week ago with a 1.6 average in 18-49, with “About a Boy” off 14% to a 1.2. The 10 p.m. drama series “Chicago Fire” also dipped, losing 11% to register a 1.7.

ABC brought up the rear among the big four broadcast nets, as “The Great Halloween Fright Fight” kicked things off with a 1.1 average in adults 18-49. “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” improved 6% from last week with a 1.7, but “Forever” matched its series low, dipping 8% to a 1.1 average.

CW’s “The Flash” settled for a 1.3 average in 18-49, falling 13% from a week ago, while “Supernatural” ticked down 11% to a 0.8.

For prime time overall, Fox led the way in the 18-49 demo with a 3.1 average, followed by CBS (2.1 average), NBC (2.0), ABC (1.3), CW (1.1) and Univision (1.0). CBS averaged 14.2 million total viewers to lead comfortably in that metric, ahead of Fox (11.9 million), NBC (7.7 million), ABC (4.4 million), CW (2.690 million) and Univision (2.686 million).

2014 world series-logo

Oct 29, 2014
1:01 pm

Bin Laden Shooter: Fox News Slates Two Nights of Special Programming Around Big ‘Get’ (THR)

Fox News has rolled out plans for special programming on two nights after landing an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The special two-night documentary will be televised Nov. 11 and 12.

“In the special, titled ‘The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden,’ the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed Bin Laden, also known as ‘The Shooter,’ will reveal his identity and speak out publicly for the first time,” THR reports. “The shooter will describe the events leading up to and during the raid that took place in May 2011, including his elite training and involvement in Operation Neptune Spear, the mission that killed bin Laden. He’ll also offer his first-hand account of what happened during the SEAL Team 6 raid. Fox News promises that the documentary will include never-before-shared details.”

The special is scheduled to run from 10-11 p.m. ET both nights, with Fox News Washington correspondent Peter Doocy hosting. fox news channel-logo

Oct 29, 2014
8:17 am

Weather Channel Co-Founder Denies Climate Change, Blasts Al Gore — Here’s the Video (THR)

Weatherman and Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman told Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” that climate change is fake, and also slammed former Vice President Al Gore for making “a billion dollars off climate change,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Shame on you, Al Gore,” Coleman said. He also complained that climate skeptics “can rarely get on TV, ever since Al Gore made it a plank of the Democratic Party.”

The story notes, “Coleman criticized the notion that carbon dioxide is a significant greenhouse gas, adding that thousands of experts have signed a petition to that effect. He also said that the ice caps are not melting.”

“More polar bears are alive and happy today than we’ve had in a hundred years,” he said.

Here’s the interview:

Oct 29, 2014
8:09 am

Why CNN Failed to Land Former ‘Meet the Press’ Host David Gregory (NY Post, NY Times)

Former “Meet the Press” host David Gregory met with CNN about joining the network, but a deal failed to materialize because of his salary demands and the network’s cost cutting, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

Gregory met with CNN’s Jeff Zucker in August, and the network chief was reportedly considering hiring the TV host, the story notes. CNN has recently cut about 10 percent of its staff, as has its parent, Turner Broadcasting.

At NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Gregory earned up to $5 million a year. He reportedly was paid $4 million to leave NBC so that he could be replaced by Chuck Todd, the article adds. Todd took over on the program Sept. 7.

Separately, Gregory will host a Yahoo midterm election program with Katie Couric, reports The New York Times.

david gregory

David Gregory

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