Sep 2, 2015
7:22 am

Why One Media Giant’s Plunge in Stock Prices Is Outpacing the Rest of the Industry (NY Post)

A media giant with a massive television portfolio has seen stock prices fall a whopping 50.2% in the past year — a plunge that is outpacing the overall industry decline. The New York Post reports that the stock plunge at Viacom has wiped out $16 billion of the company’s value, as of Tuesday’s close.

Much of Viacom’s media empire consists of cable TV channels, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, Epix, Nickelodeon, TV Land and BET.

“After watching ratings at the company’s MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and Comedy Central fall more sharply than their peers — with nary a response from Viacom’s executive team — investors are now watching the company’s shares tumble at a faster rate than other media companies,” the Post reports.

The report notes that since Jan. 3, 2006, when Viacom and CBS were split off into separate companies, CBS shares have gained 72% while Viacom is down 2%.

Adding to investors’ nervousness, the report notes, is anxiety over upcoming carriage talks with Dish Networks.

“Investors are concerned that Dish will be able to force Viacom to accept a cheap price — something Viacom will then have to give its other distribution partners,” the Post reports. “In addition, questions are still swirling about how Viacom will replace the popular show hosts Jon Stewart, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert and comedy duo Key and Peele — all of whom exited Comedy Central.”

Other concerns have been noted about Sumner Redstone, the 92-year-old head of the company, along with Viacom President and CEO Philippe Dauman.

We encourage you to click on the link in the first paragraph, above, to read the Post’s full analysis of the Viacom situation.

daily show-jon stewart-comedy central

Sep 2, 2015
6:59 am

NFL Games to Be Live-Streamed for Free (Variety)

In a first for CBS, games played during the upcoming NFL regular season will be live-streamed.

Variety reports that the network will live-stream two games: the Oct. 4 meeting between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, and a showdown on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, between the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys.

The move comes as CBS aims to expand its digital coverage of football in response to the increased use of mobile screens by viewers.

“The network said it planned to stream two regular-season games and four playoff games, as well as Super Bowl 50 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.,” Variety notes. “The coverage will be available on laptops, desktops and tablets at CBSSports.com and on televisions through select devices such as Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TV models.”

The report adds: “All of the games will be available for free, with no authentication of a subscription to a cable or satellite provider required.”

The CBS coverage will include the AFC playoffs.

nfl on cbs 2014

Sep 2, 2015
2:51 am

Over the Last 14 Years More Than 20 Million Copies of This Fantasy Book Series Have Been Sold Worldwide. The Movie Adaptation Has Been in Development Hell, But Now It Seems on Track, With Kenneth Branagh Onboard (Variety)

After spending years in development limbo, Disney’s adaptation of a popular fantasy novel series “may have found new life,” reports Variety.

The movie would be based on the “Artemis Fowl” novels by Eoin Colfer.

Says Variety, “Kenneth Branagh has signed on to develop the property and is attached to direct an adaptation of the popular YA novel for Disney, with Irish playwright Conor McPherson in talks to pen the script.”

To read more details about this item, please click on the link in the first paragraph, above, which will take you to the original Variety story.



Sep 2, 2015
2:22 am

She’s a Tireless Advocate for Women’s Rights, and Represents a Number of Women Who Have Accused Bill Cosby of Sexual Assault. She’s Gloria Allred, and Now CBS is Developing a Legal Series ‘Inspired’ by Her Exploits (Variety)

“ CBS has a script deal in place for a drama series, inspired by the life of Gloria Allred,” reports Variety.

The series is the brainchild of Deborah Schoeneman, who told Variety, “When I was finished working on the last season of ‘The Newsroom,’ I was trying to figure out what kind of show I wanted to develop. Gloria Allred was in the center of the stories in the news that most interested me, particularly about women seeking justice. I was thrilled that she was receptive and excited about partnering with Paul Young and me on this project. She was a lot of fun to pitch with … I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work with Gloria Allred to create a dynamic, passionate and polarizing character based on her. Gloria’s an amazing storyteller with a deep well of perfect material for television.”

Allred herself will be one of the executive producers should the series get picked up, Variety says.

Gloria-AllredGloria Allred during a recent televised press conference

Sep 1, 2015
1:09 pm

Cable Dramas Get Second Seasons (THR)

Two drama series airing on cable made a strong enough impression in their freshman seasons to earn renewals. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Syfy picked up “Killjoys” and “Dark Matter” for second seasons.

“Killjoys,” from “Orphan Black” producer Temple Street Productions and creator Michelle Lovretta, received an order for 10 episodes, THR notes. “Dark Matter’s” order is for a 13-episode season.

Both shows will roll out their new seasons in 2016.

“Dark Matter” comes from Canadian producer Prodigy Pictures and creators Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.

In a statement, Bill McGoldrick, executive VP of original content for Syfy, said: “With exciting space-based action, deep world building, and a standout cast, ‘Killjoys’ has struck a nerve with viewers and critics alike.”

“Killjoys” stars Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore and Luke Macfarlane.

“Dark Matter,” based on a comic book of the same name, stars Marc Bendavid, Melissa O’Neil and Anthony Lemke.

dark matter

Sep 1, 2015
1:01 pm

Why Four High-Profile Broadcast Series Have Already Lost Their Showrunners (Variety)

The fall season has yet to premiere, but already the top broadcast networks have parted ways with showrunners on four high-profile shows, Elizabeth Wagmeister reports in Variety.

NBC’s “Chicago Med,” Fox’s “The Grinder” and two shows on ABC — “Blood & Oil” and “The Catch” — have sent showrunners packing during the runup to the season, the report notes.

Part of the problem: The talent pool is too shallow to keep up with the volume of productions.

“In this era of ‘too much TV’ — as FX Networks chief John Landgraf pointed out at this summer’s Television Critics’ Assn. press tour — insiders report the fallout is serious, with most veteran showrunners already booked on one of the 400-plus shows on air,” Wagmeister reports.

The report quotes Landgraf saying of the current TV landscape: “We’re playing a game of musical chairs, and they’re starting to take away chairs.”

An insider told Variety for the report: “The business is going through some growing pains in terms of scarcity. There’s more to go around than people available.”

Wagmeister says the growing range of platforms helps complicate the situation, as the challenge to top the competition is getting stronger.

“There’s also increased scrutiny, along with less patience among programmers; letting a show marinate and find an audience is a thing of the past,” she writes.

We encourage you to click on the link near the top of this story to read the rest of Wagmeister’s in-depth report.

chicago med-2015-nbc

Sep 1, 2015
12:44 pm

Donald Trump Returns to NBC (Deadline)

NBC has had its differences lately with Republican presidential front-runner and former “Celebrity Apprentice” host Donald Trump, but it’s not enough to keep Trump off the network. Deadline.com reports that Trump will make a high-profile appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” on Sept. 11.

NBC appeared to sever ties with Trump back in June, following controversial comments by Trump about Mexican immigrants. At the time, NBC issued a statement saying, in part: “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”

But Trump’s name appeared in the lineup this week when NBC released a “Tonight Show” guest list for the first week of the season.

Also lined up for premiere week on the “Tonight Show”: Richard Gere, Jessica Simpson and Keith Urban (Tuesday, Sept. 8); Justin Timberlake, Ellen DeGeneres and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Wednesday, Sept. 9); Andy Samberg and Carrie Underwood (Thursday, Sept. 10); and Terrence Howard and Pharrell Williams, along with Trump (Friday, Sept. 11).

tonight show starring jimmy fallon-title

Sep 1, 2015
12:31 pm

Upcoming Hosts and Musical Guests on ‘SNL': Miley Cyrus and More (TVWeek)

NBC unveiled a lineup of top entertainers who will be appearing on “Saturday Night Live” during the first few weeks of the fall season.

Miley Cyrus kicks things off Oct. 3, making her third appearance as guest host and her second as musical guest to launch the show’s 41st season.

Amy Schumer will host the Oct. 10 installment, which will feature a musical performance by The Weeknd, who recently had his single “Can’t Feel My Face” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The Oct. 17 edition of “SNL” will feature the return of Tracy Morgan, who will guest host for the second time and will be making his most high-profile public appearance since being badly injured in a traffic collision. Demi Lovato, whose album “Confident” is set to drop the previous day, will be the musical guest.


Sep 1, 2015
12:17 pm

James Bond Author Apologizes for Comment About Idris Elba (AP)

The author of the latest James Bond novel backpedaled after a comment about British actor Idris Elba created a bit of a stir.

“In an interview with the Daily Mail newspaper published over the weekend, Anthony Horowitz, the author of the new Bond novel ‘Trigger Mortis,’ said Elba is ‘too “street” for Bond,'” the AP reports. Elba has been rumored to be on the short list of possible replacements for Daniel Craig in the next 007 movie, and would become the first black actor to play Bond if he were cast, the report notes.

Horowitz was quoted saying: “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. It’s not a color issue … Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

The AP report notes: “Horowitz said Tuesday he was thinking of Elba’s gritty detective role in the BBC crime drama ‘Luther’ during the interview, and didn’t mean to cause offense.”

In a statement posted on Twitter, Horowitz said: “In the article I expressed the opinion that to my mind Adrian Lester would be a better choice but I’m a writer not a casting director so what do I know?”

trigger mortis-book cover

Sep 1, 2015
11:57 am

‘Fashion Police’ Returns — and Former Co-Host Kelly Osbourne Has a Surprise Response (People)

Kelly Osbourne, whose departure from the E! Entertainment series “Fashion Police” was marked by a bit of rancor, offered what some observers found to be an unexpected response to the show’s return after the rebooted series premiered its new lineup Monday.

Osbourne indicated that she thought the show was “awesome.” She also sent flowers to the show’s new host Melissa Rivers, who’s also its producer.

Osbourne tweeted to Rivers: “Congratulation on an awesome show tonight!”

People magazine reports that Rivers was receptive, referencing Osbourne’s work on the MTV Video Music Awards pre-show Sunday as Rivers tweeted back: “@KellyOsbourne I love you!!! The flowers are amazing and you owned the lavender carpet! Xxx #friends #mysister.”

People notes that the lovefest followed a less than lovey-dovey moment last week, when Osbourne lashed out at “Fashion Police” regular Giuliana Rancic. Osbourne reportedly called Rancic a liar and added, “I don’t think she’s a good person.”

Osbourne’s warm response to Monday’s show did not extend to Rancic, who was not mentioned in Osbourne’s Twitter messages, People notes.

Fashion Police

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