May 29, 2015
7:20 am

Newspaper Posts Comprehensive Lineup of Shows Set to Run on Cable Over the Next Three Months — and Wow, There Are a Lot of New Series (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

A veteran TV writer has compiled a long list of the programming that is due this summer on cable, including an impressive lineup of new shows.

Writing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rob Owen notes: “Not every cable TV series has been scheduled, including FX’s returning comedy ‘You’re the Worst,’ and there’s not enough space to include one-off TV movies like ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!’ (9 p.m. July 22). But here’s a pretty comprehensive list of what viewers can expect from cable networks over the next three months.”

While the summer lineup includes plenty of reality shows — OK, “docuseries” — it also loads up on new dramas. Among them: “Strange Empire: Rise of the Women” (premiering tonight on LMN), “Unreal” (Lifetime), “Stitchers” (ABC Family), “Serial Thriller” (Investigation Discovery), “Dark Matter” (Syfy), “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” (BBC America), “Proof” (TNT), “Deutschland 83” (SundanceTV), “Complications” (USA), “Killjoys” (Syfy), “Mr. Robot” (USA).

On the comedy side, the list includes “100 Things to Do Before High School” (Nickelodeon), “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo), “Clipped” (TBS) and “The Brink” (HBO).

And that’s just a sample. Click on the link near the top of this story for the full list.

stitchers-abc family 2

May 29, 2015
6:47 am

A Familiar TV Studio Is Poised to Come Back (Deadline)

A banner that was once a familiar sight on television is preparing for a comeback. Writing on, Nellie Andreeva reports that Sony Pictures Television is set to revive the TriStar Television brand.

Sony is reportedly bringing back the banner as a boutique production unit.

“I hear it would be run by Suzanne Patmore Gibbs, who would segue to the new position after a three-year stint as EVP drama development for Sony Pictures Television,” Andreeva reports. “The new division is expected to tackle a small number of projects, including Sony’s 1970s drama ‘The Good Girls Revolt,’ which is being picked up to pilot by Amazon.”

The TriStar Television banner, with its familiar flying horse logo, was behind TV shows on all of the major broadcast nets from the banner’s launch by TriStar Pictures in 1986 through the 1990s. Among them: NBC’s “Mad About You,” CBS’s “The Nanny,” Fox’s “Ned & Stacey” and ABC’s “The Dana Carvey Show.”

tristar television-flying horse logo

May 29, 2015
6:29 am

Comcast Getting Heat From Regulators (NY Post)

Officials at the Justice Department and the FCC may take action against NBCUniversal owner Comcast over allegations that the company violated agreements going back to 2011 that made it possible for the cabler to acquire NBCUniversal, Claire Atkinson reports in the New York Post.

“The allegations were made during the public comment period of the review of Comcast’s now defunct plan to acquire Time Warner Cable,” Atkinson writes, citing Washington insiders.

Among the alleged complaints being examined, the story reports, is one that “Comcast tied linear programming negotiations with digital deals — forcing programmers to sell to Comcast digital rights to their content on the same or better terms than they sold it to other online video distributors — when they promised not to,” Atkinson reports.

Another possible problem is that “NBCUniversal’s just-announced deal to use Comcast set-top box data to help it win advertising creates an uneven playing field,” Atkinson notes.

Additionally, Comcast, which has been fined in the past for violation of one of the 2011 agreements, may have interfered with the running of Hulu after agreeing not to do so. Comcast co-owns Hulu with Disney and 21st Century Fox, and has reportedly suggested that the other co-owners not sell the streaming service.

comcast logo

May 28, 2015
1:21 pm

’19 Kids and Counting’ Loses a Key Distribution Outlet — but TLC Has Yet to Comment on the Show’s Fate (LA Times)

While TLC remains mum about the fate of its beleaguered reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” another distributor that has been a key venue for the program, Hulu, has severed ties with the show, the Los Angeles Times reports.

As we have been reporting, the show is in the midst of a child molestation scandal surrounding one of its stars, Josh Duggar.

“The website, which is co-owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Disney’s ABC Television Group and 21st Century Fox’s Fox Broadcasting Co., confirmed Thursday that the reality show is no longer available on its platform,” the Times reports. “Now, when users go to, an error message shows up that reads ‘the page you’re looking for doesn’t exist.’ Though the streaming website currently still has ’19 Kids and Counting’ content, if users click on it they are redirected to TLC’s website.”

Since the child molestation scandal surfaced, advertisers have been bailing out on the show in steady numbers. Meanwhile, the show has become a focus of anger on social media, where hashtags including “#CancelTheDuggars,” “DitchTheDuggars” and “#BoycottTLC” have gained momentum, the Times report notes.

TLC has pulled reruns of the show from its programming lineup, but has yet to announce the show’s cancellation and has declined to comment on the situation.

19 kids & counting-title

May 28, 2015
1:17 pm

Reality TV Personality Arrested in Domestic Violence Case — With a Camera Crew in Tow (CBS News, TMZ)

The star of a popular reality TV show was taken into custody today by authorities in Myrtle Beach, S.C., after she turned herself in to law enforcement in connection with a domestic violence case. CBS News reports that Jenelle Evans, the star of MTV’s “Teen Mom 2,” is accused of assaulting her ex-boyfriend, Nathan Griffith.

The alleged incident took place just after midnight Tuesday, when Evans reportedly went to Griffith’s home and lured him outside by saying she was damaging his car.

Citing a police report, the story says: “Once Griffith went outside, Evans said ‘now I know where you live,’ the report said. Griffith told police that Evans assaulted him and began to try to choke him while digging her fingernails into his neck.”

Police reportedly indicated that Griffith appeared to have scratches in his neck area a long with a torn T-shirt.

TMZ is reporting that Evans had a camera crew with her when she turned herself in.

“Teen Mom 2″ has been airing for five seasons on MTV, starting in 2011, following the lives of four women who first appeared on the cable channel’s “16 and Pregnant.” The program is part of MTV’s successful “Teen Mom” franchise that also includes “Teen Mom” — recently retitled “Teen Mom OG” — and “Teen Mom 3.”


May 28, 2015
1:11 pm

Comedy Central Locks In Premiere Date for ‘Daily Show with Trevor Noah’ — and Rolls Out a ‘New and Sexy’ Trailer; Here It Is … (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central has set the premiere date and released a trailer for the upcoming “Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” which will premiere Sept. 28. Noah is replacing longtime “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart.

Here’s the clip, which comes with the warning that it includes a mild expletive:

May 28, 2015
1:01 pm

NBCUniversal Fills Key Executive Post (TVWeek)

NBCUniversal today announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer. The company gave the position to Anand Kini, who has been serving as interim CFO since February. Kini has been the company’s executive vice president, Strategy and Business.

“Kini helped shape NBCUniversal’s long-term strategic direction, led the data-driven consumer and business insights division and the Information Technology group,” the company said in its announcement. “In addition to his role as CFO, he will maintain responsibility for these other areas. He remains a member of the Executive Committee and reports to Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.”

Said Burke: “Anand is a very important member of our executive team and his contributions have played a key role in our success. His business sense and his strategic vision have been invaluable. I know that he will bring that same focus and commitment to this new position.”

The announcement notes: “Prior to joining NBCUniversal in July 2011, Kini was Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis for Comcast Cable Communications, LLC. In that role he managed Comcast Cable’s forecasting, annual budget, and three-year planning process, and served as a key analytical resource to help the cable businesses identify emerging market trends, evaluate competitive positioning and determine attractive growth strategies to drive strong financial returns.”


May 28, 2015
9:41 am

NBC Launches New Unit to Focus on an Increasingly Popular Form of Programming (Variety)

NBC is looking to push deeper into a content area that is reportedly growing in popularity: documentary programming. Variety reports that the company has launched a new unit, NBC Sports Films, with an eye on gaining broader distribution for sport-focused documentaries.

The new programming is expected to be centered on sports with which NBC already has an association, such as hockey and NASCAR, the report notes.

Said Mark Levy, senior VP of original production and creative for NBC Sports Group: “Our goal is to produce one a quarter.”

Levy added: “People are not coming to us for that content. If you came to us to watch a hockey game and you are being served a great hour right after that game, you are going to stay with us longer. We like to engage our viewers for longer periods of time. That is anyone’s goal.”

The unit’s first project is “Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson.”

Variety reports: “The one-hour documentary will look at the up-and-down life of former NHL star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Derek Sanderson, who went from being a sports superstar to spending time homeless to, later, becoming a financial adviser to athletes.”

Narrated by “Mad Men’s” John Slattery, the doc is set to premiere Monday, June 8, leading out from Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final on NBCSN.

center of attention-unreal life of derek sanderson-nbc sports

May 28, 2015
9:33 am

Why McDonald’s Is Changing the Way It Makes Hamburgers (NY Times)

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has revealed that it will change the way it cooks hamburgers, The New York Times reports. The company’s outlets will now toast the burger buns longer to help keep the hamburgers warmer.

McDonald’s will also “change the way it sears and grills its beef so that the patties are juicier,” the story reports.

The idea is to win back customers, with business having fallen off recently.

The report quotes the company’s CEO, Steve Easterbrook, speaking at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York, saying the company is recommitting to “tastier food across the menu.”

Easterbrook, who took over the CEO job March 1, added: “It’s these little things that add up to big differences for our customers.”

mcdonald's logo

May 28, 2015
9:27 am

Former First Daughter May Get Talk Show (NY Post)

The daughter of a former president of the United States is reportedly in the running for a talk show from NBCUniversal. The New York Post reports that Jenna Bush Hager is being eyed for a daytime panel show that might end up taking the place of “The Meredith Vieira Show.”

Hager, the daughter of George W. Bush, is already a part of the NBC family, working as a special correspondent to the network’s “Today” show and serving as a contributor to “NBC Nightly News.” She is also an editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine.

“Hager, 33, was spotted out in Los Angeles last week testing for the potential pilot, which we hear would include both male and female hosts,” the Post reports. “We hear that ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ actress Tatyana Ali was also among those testing for a host seat.”

Hager began working on “Today” in 2009, and has filled in for a number of co-anchors in the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours.

jenna bush hager-nbc newsJenna Bush Hager (NBC News)

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