Oct 2, 2015
2:44 pm

CBS Drama Series Renewed (TVWeek)

CBS announced today that it has picked up another season of a drama series. The network ordered the second season of the summer series “Zoo.”

In its freshman run, the series was the most-watched scripted summer series of 2015, the network noted. Season two will air in summer 2016.

Said Glenn Geller, President, CBS Entertainment: “Zoo’s thrilling stories clicked with audiences each week during a very competitive summer. We’re excited for viewers to see where our talented writers and cast take them as the adventure continues to unfold during season two in the ultimate fight of man vs. beast.”

In its announcement, the network notes: “Based on the #1 bestseller by James Patterson, ‘Zoo’ is a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans across the planet. ‘Zoo’ is produced by CBS Television Studios. The series is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and worldwide by CBS Studios International. Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Michael Katleman, James Mangold, Cathy Konrad, James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Steve Bowen are executive producers.”

Season one of “Zoo” is out on Netflix.

The summer 2016 lineup on CBS also includes the recently announced one-hour comedic thriller “BrainDead,” along with the perennial summer hit “Big Brother.”


Oct 2, 2015
2:31 pm

The Big TV Story Americans Haven’t Heard (TVNewsCheck)

“It says something about how broadcasting is perceived that nobody cares that the industry just settled on a new transmission standard that could revitalize, if not revolutionize, the free, universal, over-the-air medium,” TVNewsCheck editor Harry A. Jessell writes in a story posted today by the publication.

The story talks about the announcement Tuesday by the ATSC that it has adopted a “candidate” standard for broadcast television’s next-generation system.

“Assuming that testing goes as well as expected, the candidate standard with perhaps a few tweaks will become the final industry standard sometime next year,” Jessell writes. He notes that the new standard, ATSC 3.0, has great potential.

“It will allow stations to keep pace with other TV media by enabling them to broadcast 4K and to reach TV sets without outdoor antennas and, perhaps more important, smartphones and tablets wherever they go,” the report notes. “Yet, despite this promise, the ATSC announcement of the milestone got no pickup in the popular press, according to my spin around Google.”

Jessell notes that the development of the standard, which has been five years-plus in the making, has been largely ignored by the media the whole time.

“To me, the indifference suggests that popular media, reflecting popular thinking, have written off broadcasting as an archaic medium on its way to oblivion,” Jessell writes. “This notion is reinforced by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who sees it mostly as a place to raid for spectrum for wireless carriers.”

The piece notes that broadcast TV had its big debut in the 1950s, and after a long run at the top, Jessell writes, “There are more and, right now, better ways of delivering TV to most people — cable, satellite and OTT or broadband. (Notice I didn’t say to ‘all people'; only broadcasting can do that.)”

But broadcast TV is not dead yet, he notes. “In fact, that’s the story of ATSC 3.0, that’s the story that the editors, producers and reporters are missing. With ATSC 3.0, broadcasting may enjoy a renaissance — new services, truly ubiquitous reception and, because it’s IP based, integration with the world of the Internet. Who doesn’t enjoy a good come-back tale?”

We encourage readers to click on the link near the top of this story to read Jessell’s full analysis.


Oct 2, 2015
2:17 pm

‘Family Feud’ Clips With Sexual Content Go Viral — and Draw Criticism (Here’s a Sample) (Celebrity Cafe, People, Fox News, YouTube)

Two recent clips from “Family Feud” have gone viral — and they’ve also drawn some criticism for the show. Both clips were posted online by the show, and both feature racy content.

Racy enough to draw fire from critics who say the show is supposed to be family-friendly.

Celebrity Cafe reports: “Earlier this month, one family was asked, ‘What’s the last thing you stuck your finger in?’ That seemed like an innocent enough question until contestant Kevin answered, ‘My wife.’ Host Steve Harvey thought it was the best answer ever, but Kevin’s wife Ryan looked a little embarrassed.”

About a week and a half went by before the next awkward video clip surfaced. This time the question concerned the first part of a woman a man touched to get her in the mood, with contestant Larry giving an answer that horrified his family. (You can see the clip below.)

The host and a number of other people on the show burst out in laughter, but not all observers think the latest trend is funny. Some commenters responding to a People story about the “my wife” incident were sharply critical of the show.

“This used to be a good family show,” one commenter wrote. “Every question now is phrased so the contestants will say something that is construed as nasty. I hate the show now.”

Wrote another: “Stopped watching a long time ago. The questions are too risque and the answers are sometimes downright vulgar. … John O’Hurley was my favorite host and I don’t remember the questions and/or answers being raunchy during his time there. Clean it up, Family Feud. You are losing viewers.”

FoxNews.com quotes Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture at the Media Research Center, saying the recent, more risque, moments on “Family Feud” are part of a broader trend in which sexual content is becoming more commonplace on TV.

Gainor told the website: “I think what has changed is that Hollywood has so undermined and coarsened our culture, that these answers have become the norm. … Sex acts many Americans had never even heard of are now typical dialogue. Shows like ‘Scream Queens’ and ‘Scandal’ are trying to see how far they can go. And TV is always trying to go further.”

Here’s the latest awkward moment posted by the show:

Oct 2, 2015
2:11 pm

Throwback to TV’s Early Days? GE Produces a Science-Fiction Series (Reuters)

In what’s being called “a sign that what is old is new again,” General Electric Co. is producing a science-fiction podcast series. Reuters reports that the series represents an effort by GE ” to raise its profile among a younger, tech-savvy audience.”

“GE, in partnership with The Slate Group’s podcast network Panoply, is running ‘The Message,’ a fictional eight-episode podcast that will follow the decoding of a 70-year-old message from outer space,” Reuters reports. “The cryptologists decoding the message turn to a real ultrasound technology developed by GE to decode the messages.”

The inspiration for the production reportedly comes from another foray into television by the company way back in the earliest days of the medium, when Ronald Reagan hosted the 1950s anthology series “GE Theater.”

Andy Goldberg, GE’s global creative director, said the company is presenting its own series rather than inserting ads into other podcasts because GE wants to raise brand awareness without having the effort come off as advertising.

“The 40-60 minute spots, which begin Oct. 4, will be advertisement-free and will be available for download for free,” the report notes. “Goldberg declined to comment on how much GE is spending on the podcasts.”

general electric-GE

Oct 2, 2015
2:01 pm

With Miley Cyrus Set to Host the ‘Saturday Night Live’ Season Premiere, Here are the Rules to the Miley Cyrus ‘SNL’ Drinking Game (People)

Miley Cyrus will be making her third appearance as guest host of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on this weekend’s 41st season premiere, and in honor of the occasion, People magazine’s Maria Yagoda offers the guidelines for a Miley Cyrus “SNL” drinking game.

Yagoda, who urges participants to drink responsibly but also suggests that the show be accompanied by “discount red wine,” mentions these “rules,” among others:

  • Take a sip every time Miley’s tongue is not in its proper place.
  • Take a swig for every Billy Ray Cyrus sighting.
  • Take an extra sip if Miley whips out her Justin Bieber impression.
  • Take a sip of water every time her, ahem, parts are minimally covered.

We encourage readers to click on the link near the top of this story to read the People report, which includes clips of past “SNL” appearances by Cyrus. Meanwhile, here’s a teaser for the upcoming show:

Oct 2, 2015
10:01 am

ABC Greenlights Return of Prime-Time Event Series (TVWeek)

ABC has renewed a program that aired as an event series this year. Season two of “500 Questions” got the green light for a 2016 debut.

The first round of the game show, which comes from reality veterans Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell, aired over seven nights back in May, pulling about 5.23 million viewers on its biggest night, Monday, May 25. The show’s low was an audience of about 4.03 million on Friday, May 22.

The series is produced by United Artists Media Group in association with Warner Horizon Television.

Said Darnell: “When we created ‘500 Questions,’ our hope was to bring the event game show back to prime time. Thanks to ABC, we had a great summer run and achieved that goal. We are excited that the show is coming back for a second season.”

The program “challenges the smartest people in the country to achieve the seemingly impossible task of answering 500 of the most difficult general knowledge questions ever devised,” the network’s announcement says. “There’s only one simple rule: never get three wrong in a row — or you’re gone. No saves, no helps, no multiple choice, ‘500 Questions’ keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if any of these geniuses can do it. It is the ultimate test, where intellect, strategy and stamina are all equally essential in order to win.”

Burnett and Phil Parsons are the executive producers, with Ed Egan on board as co-executive producer.

500 questions-abc

Oct 2, 2015
9:21 am

Ratings for Scripted Shows Plummet as Football Dominates Thursday Night (TVbytheNumbers)

A number of scripted shows airing on the broadcast networks Thursday night struggled to match their premiere week ratings as CBS’s “Thursday Night Football” dominated the night.

With help from an overtime NFL showdown between Baltimore and Pittsburgh, won by the Ravens 23-20, CBS rolled to a 4.7 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, almost twice that of its closest competitor, TVbytheNumbers.com reports, citing Nielsen overnights. ABC came in second among the broadcast nets with a 2.5, followed by NBC (1.4), Fox (1.2) and CW (0.3).

Total viewers saw a similar result, as CBS won big with an average of 14.194 million, ahead of ABC (8.362 million), NBC (5.699 million), Fox (4.810 million) and CW (1.007 million).

A preliminary average of 5.0 in 18-49 for “Thursday Night Football” represented a big jump from a 4.0 a week earlier.

ABC’s all-drama, all-Shonda Rhimes Thursday night lineup was down across the board from premiere week. “Grey’s Anatomy” delivered a 2.3 average in 18-49, down from last week’s 2.8; “Scandal” fell from a 3.2 in week one to a 2.8 last night; and “How to Get Away With Murder” slipped from a 2.6 to a 2.3.

NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” fell from a 1.9 in the 18-49 demo in week one to a 1.6, while “The Player” dipped from a 1.2 to a 0.9. The network rolled out its season premiere of “The Blacklist,” which pulled a 1.8, nowhere near the 3.4 delivered by the premiere a year ago.

Fox had a couple of season premieres, with “Bones” delivering a 1.3 average in adults 18-49, below the 1.6 for the previous season premiere but better than the 1.1 for the season finale. “Sleepy Hollow” managed only half what its previous season premiere delivered, settling for a 1.0.


Oct 2, 2015
9:17 am

ABC News Program Does Something It Hasn’t Done in 7 Years — Here Are the Numbers (TVWeek)

ABC News announced that one of its shows was No. 1 in the key news demo for the opening week of the season, something it hadn’t done in seven years. The show is “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” which delivered 868,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo with its Sunday, Sept. 27, broadcast.

The show placed third in total viewers behind NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The numbers are based on Nielsen Media Research Live+Same Day data.

The demo win for “This Week” “marked the first time in 7 years to rank No. 1 in Adults 25-54 during the opening week of the season — since the 2008-09 season,” ABC News reported. “In addition, ‘This Week’ has ranked No. 1 in Adults 25-54 for the 5th consecutive week.”

The ABC program scored its largest season premiere margin of victory over CBS’s “Face the Nation” in eight years, topping the CBS show’s 705,000 total in adults 25-54 by 163,000. “This Week” also outperformed NBC’s “Meet the Press” (833,000) by 35,000 in the news demo, topping the NBC program in the first telecast of the season for the first time in seven years.

Here are the numbers for the newsmaker shows on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, with total viewers followed by viewers in the 25-54 demo and the demo rating:

ABC “This Week”: 2,735,000 total viewers; 868,000/0.7 in 25-54

NBC “Meet the Press”: 3,235,000 total viewers; 833,000/0.7 in 25-54

CBS “Face the Nation”: 3,136,000 total viewers; 705,000/0.6 in 25-54

CBS “Face the Nation-2”: 1,688,000 total viewers; 411,000/0.3 in 25-54

Fox “Fox News Sunday”: 1,311,000 total viewers; 398,000/0.3 in 25-54

abc-this week with george stephanopoulos

Oct 2, 2015
9:09 am

Cable Channel Rolls Out Ambitious Slate of October Premieres; Special Program Will Examine Domestic Violence (TVWeek)

October will be a busy month for one cable channel, with four new series set to premiere along with season debuts of three returning series and an important special on domestic violence. Investigation Discovery laid out its programming plans in a detailed press release, which you can read by clicking here.

The new programs are “Hell House,” set to premiere Saturday, Oct. 10; “Killer Confessions,” due Tuesday, Oct. 13; “True Nightmares,” coming up Wednesday, Oct. 14; and “Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors,” unspooling Wednesday, Oct. 21.

A one-hour special on domestic violence, “Behind Closed Doors: Shocking Secrets,” is set for Monday, Oct. 26.

The lineup of returning shows includes season four of “Fatal Vows,” premiering Saturday, Oct. 10; season three of “Surviving Evil,” rolling out Thursday, Oct. 15; and season three of “Evil Twins,” set to bow Thursday, Oct. 15.

Please click here for details on Investigation Discovery’s new programs and returning series, along with the special “Behind Closed Doors: Shocking Secrets.”

surviving evil-investigation discovery

Oct 2, 2015
9:07 am

BBC Readying ‘Doctor Who’ Spinoff (Deadline)

A spinoff of the wildly popular sci-fi series “Doctor Who” is in the works at the BBC. Deadline.com reports that the new project, “Class,” is aimed at young adults.

“Written by acclaimed YA author Patrick Ness, the series is set in contemporary London,” the story reports. “Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. Much of the action will be set around Coal Hill School.”

“Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat is quoted saying: “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant storytelling into ‘Doctor Who.’ This is growing up in modern Britain — but with monsters!”

This will be the first TV project for Ness. “I’m astounded and thrilled to be entering the ‘Doctor Who’ universe, which is as vast as time and space itself,” the author said. “There’s so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories, and to work with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin to find a place to tell one of my own has been an absolute joy. I can’t wait for people to meet the heroes of ‘Class,’ to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your A-Levels.”

Moffat, Ness and Minchin, who is an executive producer on “Doctor Who,” are exec producing the new show, which is due to bow sometime in 2016.

doctor who-2015-bbc

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