Jun 30, 2015
1:17 pm

ABC’s Evening News Program Does Something It Hasn’t Done in Eight Years (TVWeek)

ABC’s news division is celebrating an achievement for its “World News Tonight with David Muir” that the network hasn’t accomplished in eight years: The program won the second quarter in total viewers, beating its rival “NBC Nightly News” along with third-place “CBS Evening News.”

The win for ABC came during a difficult time for rival NBC, which only within the past two weeks appears to have resolved the situation surrounding Brian Williams. ABC’s announcement also comes as NBC touts its own ratings news, chalking up a ratings win in the first week of the new era of “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” as we reported separately.

Among the achievements ABC News was spotlighting:

  • “World News Tonight with David Muir” won the second quarter in total viewers for the first time in eight years.
  • “World News Tonight” was the No. 1 evening newscast in Adults 18-49 for the quarter — its first win in the demo in eight years.
  • “World News Tonight” ranked No. 1 in Adults 25-54 for the quarter — the program’s third win in the past four quarters.
  • Season to date, “World News Tonight” is No. 1 in Adults 25-54 with its largest margin in 19 Years.

Please click here for the full announcement from ABC News, along with all the numbers for the quarter and for the week of June 22 for the big three broadcast news programs.

abc world news tonight with david muir

Jun 30, 2015
1:11 pm

Lester Holt Era Off to a Good Start for ‘NBC Nightly News’ (LA Times, TVWeek)

With Lester Holt officially installed as the permanent host of “NBC Nightly News,” the new era for the company’s flagship news program launched on a winning note. The Los Angeles Times reports that the NBC broadcast won the week of June 22-26 in total viewers and in the key news demo of viewers 25-54.

“Holt’s broadcast averaged 8 million viewers for the week of June 22-26, topping ‘ABC World News Tonight with David Muir’ (7.7 million) and ‘CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley’ (6.6 million), according to Nielsen data,” the Times reports, adding: “It was the best ratings performance for ‘Nightly’ since the week of April 20, and the widest margin of victory over ABC’s program in three months.”

The NBC program had a slim advantage of 37,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, the network’s first win in that metric since the week of May 18.

NBC named Holt as the official replacement for Brian Williams on June 18, after Holt had been filling in on a temporary basis since Williams was suspended in February. As we reported recently, Williams was demoted to a new role at MSNBC.

The Times report notes: “Holt clearly benefited from the national press coverage he received for his ascension to the chair. NBC’s decision on Williams also freed the network to run promotional spots for the newscast, something it hasn’t done since Williams’ suspension began.”

ABC, meanwhile, celebrated a quarterly win for “World News Tonight,” as we reported separately.

Please click here to see numbers for the second quarter and for the week of June 22 for the three major broadcast news programs.

nbc nightly news-lester holt

Jun 30, 2015
1:01 pm

Study Uncovers Side Effects From TV Binging (MediaPost)

A new study sheds light on some side effects from binging on TV programming — which the study also says, not surprisingly, is on the rise.

MediaPost reports that while binging “can bring much joy to consumers, it can also bring the blues. A new study on TV binging by TiVo Research says that 52% of those surveyed are ‘experiencing feeling sad’ when they approach the end of a TV series.”

Binging is also having an impact on sleep patterns, according to the report. “TiVo says 31% have ‘lost sleep to binging,’ and 37% say they have spent entire weekends binging,” MediaPost reports.

A whopping 92% of respondents to the survey, taken in March, reported some binging.

“TiVo says the binging is not just fueled by long stretches of repeat programming on traditional networks, in the summer or around holidays, but also full seasons worth of programming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon,” the story reports. “Netflix continues to be the leader here: 66% of ‘season’ bingers use the big subscription video on demand service.”

Meanwhile, the number of viewers who report having a negative perception of binge viewing has declined. It was 53% just two years ago, but fell to 30% in the latest survey.

Jun 30, 2015
12:44 pm

Survey: One TV Personality Influenced Views on Gay Rights More Than Any Other Public Figure (Variety)

The celebrity who did more than any other public figure to influence the attitudes of Americans on gay rights was daytime host Ellen DeGeneres, according to a new study by Variety and branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev.

“President Barack Obama, who endorsed same-sex marriage during his 2012 re-election bid after initially opposing it, was the second most cited figure, followed by openly gay ‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch and openly gay comedian Rosie O’Donnell,” Variety reports. “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the fifth most influential voice on gay rights, the study found. Like Obama, Clinton initially opposed gay marriage before changing her views two years ago.”

The study, part of Variety’s examination of the role of Hollywood in the gay rights issue, surveyed 2,000 people ages 18 to 65.

Variety notes: “DeGeneres first made waves in 1997 when she came out as gay on the cover of Time and on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’ Art imitated life, as DeGeneres’ character on her ABC sitcom ‘Ellen’ also came out of the closet. There was a backlash, however. ‘Ellen’ was canceled due to falling ratings in 1998 and the comedian didn’t regain her professional stride until her talk show launched in 2003.”

Survey respondents also cited TV shows with gay characters as a factor in changing their attitudes. Variety reports that DeGeneres’ talk show was cited the most, followed by “Modern Family” and “The Fosters.”

ellen degeneres show

Jun 30, 2015
9:31 am

One of the Queens of Reality TV Bows Out: ‘I Feel a Weight Has Been Lifted’ (People)

One of the big stars of reality TV is exiting the show on which she has been a central figure for almost eight years. People magazine reports that NeNe Leakes is leaving Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

“Leakes, 48 — arguably the network’s biggest star, who’s been with the show since its inception — will not be returning for season 8. She says there comes a time when enough is enough,” People reports.

Leakes told the publication: “This was definitely a hard decision for me. Me and my husband [Gregg Leakes] have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time. This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things.”

Leakes, who reportedly already has a new series in the works, is also quoted in the story saying: “I feel a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.”

real housewives of atlanta

Jun 30, 2015
9:21 am

Drummer for Major Rock Band Jailed, Charged With Rape (TMZ)

The drummer for one of the most successful rock bands of the past 40 years has been jailed and faces a charge of rape. TMZ.com reports that Deen Castronovo, the drummer for the band Journey, was due in court today, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in connection with the case.

The rape charge stems from an alleged domestic violence incident, for which Castronovo was arrested June 14 in his home state of Oregon. TMZ reports that the incident involved Castronovo’s wife.

The report adds: “Now the D.A. has added new charges — rape, sexual abuse, coercion and unlawful use of a weapon.”

Castronovo was reportedly dropped from the current Journey tour after his arrest. He has been held in Marion County Ore., without bail, TMZ notes.

In addition to his stint with Journey, Castronovo has reportedly been a part of a number of bands including Social Distortion and Bad English, and has been in the backup bands behind Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Paul Rodgers and others.

Jun 30, 2015
9:17 am

Video of NFL Defender Crushing a Stage Crasher at Rock Concert Becomes a Viral Hit — Here’s the Clip (YouTube)

A video showing a crushing tackle by NFL defensive standout J.J. Watt against a fan who crashed the stage during a concert performance by the Zac Brown Band has become a sensation online.

The 30-second clip shows Watt, apparently in a security role with the band, leveling the fan moments after the fan makes it to the stage and begins dancing.

Here’s the video:

Jun 30, 2015
9:01 am

Univision CEO Says Trump Lied (CNN)

The CEO of Univision, which recently ended its business relationship with Donald Trump in response to Trump’s comments on immigration, is having his say as the war of words continues. CNN reports that Randy Falco addressed a number of claims by Trump in a memo circulated Monday.

In the internal memo, Falco talked about the decision making behind Univision’s move and refuted a claim by Trump that Univision had apologized for severing ties with Trump.

In his first public statement on the issue, Falco wrote: “I made the decision to end business relationships with the Trump Organization simply because it was the right thing to do. No one approached me, asked me or pressured me to take this action.”

Through a deal reached earlier this year, Univision was scheduled to televise Trump’s Miss USA pageant in July. Falco’s decision pulled the plug on that broadcast, with his move prompting the threat of a lawsuit by Trump.

As we reported separately, NBC also pulled out of its arrangement to carry the pageant.

Trump alleged in response to the Univision move that the Mexican government pressured Univision to make its decision.

In his memo, Falco addressed that claim, writing: “There have been a number of ridiculous assertions bordering on the bizarre, made from different people, that the Mexican government put pressure on us, that we were under political pressure to hurt a Republican candidate’s chances to the nomination, or that we were trying to assist other political candidates. None of this is remotely true.”

Falco also wrote: “I can also assure you that we never apologized because we have nothing to apologize for.” Trump had claimed in a tweet Sunday that Univision apologized to him privately.


Jun 30, 2015
8:31 am

Who’s the Highest-Paid Celebrity in Hollywood? Forbes’ New List Is Out (Forbes)

The highest-paid celebrity in Hollywood is one of the revelations in the just-released Celebrity 100 list from Forbes magazine. Although she comes in third behind two boxers — No. 1 Floyd Mayweather and No. 2 Manny Pacquiao — pop singer Katy Perry is Hollywood’s highest-paid star.

Perry’s income over the past 12 months is calculated at $135 million — below Mayweather’s $300 million and Pacquiao’s $160 million, with both boxers’ earnings fueled by their hotly hyped May 2 bout.

Perry places just ahead of No. 4 One Direction, with the pop group posting earnings of $130 million.

Rounding out the top 10: Howard Stern at No. 5 with $95 million; Garth Brooks, No. 6, $90 million; James Patterson, No. 7, $89 million; Robert Downey Jr. and Taylor Swift, tied at No. 8, $80 million; and Cristiano Ronaldo, No. 10, $79.5 million.

forbes celebrity 100-katy perry cover

Jun 30, 2015
8:27 am

Cable Drama Series Gets Third Season (Variety)

A drama series running on cable has been picked up for season three. Variety reports that Syfy renewed the werewolf series “Bitten.”

Produced by Entertainment One, the program received an order for 10 episodes, with the season set to run in 2016.

The Canadian production, filmed largely in Toronto, stars Laura Vandervoort as werewolf Elena Michaels, with Greyston Holt, Greg Bryk and Paul Greene also among the main cast.

Said Chris Regina, senior VP of Program Strategy at Syfy and Chiller: “’Bitten’s’ emotional and engrossing storyline, combined with some truly creepy horror moments, really resonated with fans this past season. We eagerly anticipate seeing where the next chapter of Elena and her werewolf pack’s lives leads us in Season 3.”

The Variety report adds: “The series is executive produced by J.B. Sugar for No Equal Entertainment, John Barbisan and Patrick Banister for Hoodwink Entertainment, and Tecca Crosby, John Morayniss, and Margaret O’Brien for eOne. Daegan Fryklind serves as showrunner. Executive Producers Fryklind and Wil Zmak return to write for season three. Also in the writing room are Larry Bambrick, Jenn Engels, and Garfield Lindsay Miller.”


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