Sep 29, 2016
7:13 pm

Just Dance: Super Bowl Halftime Music Star is Chosen (TVWeek; NFL announcement)

According to a news release issued Thursday night by the National Football League, the headliner of the “Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show” will be the “global superstar” who has won six Grammys, a Golden Globe and a nomination for an Academy Award: Lady Gaga.

The release continues, “This will be Lady Gaga’s second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February.

“This announcement is just the beginning. On Sunday, October 2, fans are encouraged to tune in to the Fox ‘NFL Sunday Pregame Show’ at 12:00 PM ET on local Fox stations for an exclusive in-studio interview, as Lady Gaga joins Curt Menefee and Michael Strahan to offer a glimpse into what she has in store for this historic halftime show.

“Leading up to Super Bowl LI, fans may visit Pepsi.com for behind the scenes looks into Lady Gaga’s journey to the ‘Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show’ and a chance to win sideline passes to see her perform live at NRG Stadium in Houston.

“Lady Gaga joins an esteemed list of recent halftime acts including Coldplay, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 and more.

“The ‘Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show’ is the most-watched musical event of the year. More than 116.5 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year’s show. Super Bowl LI and the halftime sahow will be broadcast by Fox Sports from NRG Stadium in Houston.

“Super Bowl LI marks Pepsi’s fifth year as title sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and 15th year as an NFL partner. Pepsi and the NFL have teamed up again to provide fans with a halftime experience worthy of pop-culture’s biggest stage.

“The ‘Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show’ is an NFL Network production and will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner and directed by Hamish Hamilton.

“Visit http://www.pepsi.com/en-us/ leading up to Super Bowl LI to see what this historic Halftime Show has in store for fans. For more information about Super Bowl LI, visit SuperBowl.com.”

lady-gaga-sings-at-super-boA Screen-Grab of Lady Gaga Singing the National Anthem at This Year’s Super Bowl

Sep 29, 2016
7:00 pm

Sandra Oh Returning to TV, But Not on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (E! News)

“The good news is that [Sandra Oh] is making her long-awaited return to TV, and even more she’s doing it on ABC. The bad news? She won’t be making all of our wishes come true by stepping back into Cristina Yang’s scrubs on ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’”

So reports E! News.

The story continues, “Oh is set to guest star on American Crime when the critically-acclaimed anthology drama returns for its third season in 2017. Oh will appear in a multi-episode arc as Abby Tanaka, a social worker who runs a local shelter dedicated to housing victims of domestic abuse in the face of community indifference. The third season of the John Ridley-created drama will be set in Alamance County, North Carolina and will tackle labor issues, the economy, and individual rights.”

To read more details about this story please click here, which will take you to the full E! News report.


Sep 29, 2016
3:31 pm

Sumner Redstone’s Company Formally Proposes Viacom-CBS Corp. Merger (Variety)

Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, which controls both Viacom and CBS Corp., has formally asked the boards of both companies to consider an all-stock merger proposal, Variety reports.

National Amusements made the request in a letter sent this morning to board members of the two companies.

“The move had been expected after months of maneuvering at Viacom and signals in recent weeks that Redstone and his daughter, Viacom and CBS vice chairman Shari Redstone, were eyeing a recombination of the companies that merged in 2000 but were split up in 2006,” Variety reports. “The letter makes it clear that National Amusements is not open to considering merger offers with outside companies for either Viacom [or] CBS Corp., a statement that essentially shuts down alternative M&A growth scenarios for both companies.”

The move effectively quashes, at least for the time being, the possibility of a merger of CBS Corp. and Time Warner, which had been the subject of increasing chatter, the report notes.


Sep 29, 2016
2:57 pm

Who Was in Line for the ‘Live with Kelly’ Co-Host’s Job Before Michael Strahan — and Why He Won’t Be Taking It This Time, Either (NY Post)

A new report reveals that before the job of co-host on “Live with Kelly” was offered to Michael Strahan, the show was close to offering the position to Neil Patrick Harris.

Harris was in the conversation back in 2011 when the show needed a replacement for Regis Philbin. The New York Post’s Page Six reports that the subject came up again this week when Harris, who continues to guest host on “Live” on occasion, was appearing at the 92nd Street Y as part of celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s “Food Talk” show.

Initially, Harris was asked whether he’s interested in the current opening.

“That’s when Harris’ husband, David Burtka, chimed in, ‘They offered it to you!,'” The Post reports. “Harris shot back, ‘That’s so absolutely not true,’ before admitting, ‘Well, before the [Strahan] chapter . . . it happened, we talked about the possibility . . . They wanted to gauge my interest.’”

As far as whether he’d be interested this time around, he’s not. The report quotes him saying that guest hosting on the show is “superfun,” but he adds: “I have no interest at all in doing it all year long. It’s a hard show.”

live kelly-new logo

Sep 29, 2016
2:19 pm

ABC Gives Full-Season Orders to Two Shows (TVWeek)

ABC has expanded its orders for two new prime-time series — one drama and one comedy. The network announced full-season orders today for “Designated Survivor” and “Speechless.”

The two freshman shows are airing on Wednesday nights. Each series received an order for nine additional episodes.

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey made the announcement.

“’Designated Survivor’ and ‘Speechless’ are two of the most critically acclaimed new shows of the fall season,” Dungey said. “We’re very proud of the creative excellence in front of and behind the camera, and are thrilled to be giving our audience more episodes.”

The announcement notes that the drama “Designated Survivor” has built on its lead-in by double digits on average, and ranks No. 1 in Wednesday’s 10 p.m. hour in Live + Same Day Total Viewers (9.0 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.0/7).

“More than doubling the audience in its time period on its series debut (+104%), the new drama delivered ABC’s most-watched scripted telecast in the hour in 5 years — since 9/21/11,” the announcement notes. “The season’s biggest gainer in TV playback with viewers, the ‘Designated Survivor’ debut shot up in the Live + 3 Day numbers to 15.3 million viewers (+5.3 million) and a 3.7 rating in Adults 18-49 (+1.5 rating points). In fact, the show’s 5.3 million viewer spike after 3 days of playback is the largest lift for any TV series debut in 2 years — since ABC’s ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ on 9/25/14.”

Produced by The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios, “Designated Survivor” stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as Mike Ritter, Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman; with Kal Penn as Seth Wright and Maggie Q as Hannah Wells.

“ABC’s ‘Speechless’ debuted as the No. 2 regular new comedy during Premiere Week (w/o 9/19/16) among Adults 18-49, behind only CBS’ ‘Big Bang’-led ‘Kevin Can Wait,'” the network noted in its announcement. “In fact, ‘Speechless’ ranked among the week’s Top 5 highest-rated comedies on TV with young adults (No. 5-tie). In Total Viewers, the show’s debut drew ABC’s biggest scripted audience to the time period in 1-year — since 9/30/15. On average in Live + Same Day, ABC’s ‘Speechless’ (6.9 million and 1.9/7) builds on its ‘The Goldbergs’ lead-in by 3% in Total Viewers and retains a strong 95% among Adults 18-49.”

“Speechless,” from Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios, stars Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, John Ross Bowie as Jimmy DiMeo, Mason Cook as Ray DiMeo, Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Kyla Kenedy as Dylan DiMeo and Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth.


Sep 29, 2016
2:07 pm

Stephen Colbert Regrets His Handling of Donald Trump (NY Times, CBS)

CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert reveals in a new interview that among his regrets in his first year on the job on “The Late Show,” he feels he was too nice to Donald Trump back in September 2015.

The Trump appearance was a high-profile moment for Colbert early in his tenure on the show. But The New York Times notes that while Colbert’s NBC rival Jimmy Fallon has been widely criticized for kid-gloves handling of Trump and other guests, Colbert hasn’t exactly distinguished himself by unleashing his razor-sharp political instincts when the moment has presented itself.

Commenting on his Trump interview, Colbert told The Times: “I tried being gracious and pointed at the same time, and got almost nothing out of him. It was actually boring, because he wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Being nice to a guy who isn’t nice to other people, it doesn’t serve you that much.”

Here’s a clip of Trump’s appearance on Colbert’s CBS show in September 2015 …

Sep 29, 2016
11:44 am

End in Sight for Animated Cult Hit (Deadline, Cartoon Network)

An animated series that has become a cult hit since it premiered in 2010 will be wrapping in 2018. Deadline.com reports that Cartoon Network has the endgame in place for the Peabody- and Emmy-winning series “Adventure Time.”

“‘Adventure Time’ content will continue to debut on Cartoon Network over the next two years, including specials, miniseries and the ninth and final season,” Deadline reports.

The show is executive produced by Adam Muto and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

“The Pendleton Ward-created series centers on the post-apocalyptic adventures of Finn the Human (Jeremy Shada) and Jake the Dog (John DiMaggio), best friends who have increasingly surreal adventures in the magical Land of Ooo,” Deadline notes. “Long acclaimed for its groundbreaking visual style and mixture of darkness and whimsy, the show has won six Emmys and two BAFTAs. It has also long attracted numerous celebrity guests including Andy Samberg, Matthew Broderick, Laura Silverman, George Takei, Rainn Wilson and Neil Patrick Harris.”

Here’s a sample …

Sep 29, 2016
10:44 am

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Has an ‘Aleppo Moment’ — Here’s the Painful Clip (MSNBC, TVWeek)

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson suffered through an awkward few moments — again — on live TV when he was unable to come up with a response to questions from MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during a town hall appearance with running mate William Weld.

Matthews asked Johnson to name his favorite world leader — or any world leader he admires. Johnson, who couldn’t come up with a name, said, “I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment,” referring to another TV moment, earlier this month, when he had to ask, “What is Aleppo?” and wound up being ridiculed for his lack of knowledge about the situation in Syria.

Here’s Johnson’s latest tough spot …

Sep 29, 2016
10:31 am

New Service Allows Advertisers to Buy Ad Time on 200 TV Stations Programmatically (MediaPost)

A new platform launching today gives advertisers and agencies the ability to buy local broadcast TV inventory programmatically. MediaPost reports that the “supply-side” TV sales platform, Videa, was incubated by Cox Media Group.

“The platform, which was beta tested late last year, enables buyers to plan and buy full local TV schedules on a forward reserve basis, leveraging the same kind of consumer segmentation data they use to buy, analyze and optimize digital programmatic media,” MediaPost reports.

The report adds: “The platform, which was officially unveiled at the Television Bureau of Advertising’s Forward Conference in New York City Thursday morning, already is working with about a dozen agencies and a similar number of DSPs, or demand-side platforms, used by agencies, advertisers and trading desks to buy programmatic media.”

The service has reportedly already signed more than 200 stations that will make their inventory available directly through the service. “The company cited deals to represent inventory from Graham Media Group, Gray, Hearst Television, Raycom, E.W. Scripps Company, TEGNA, Media General, as well as Cox Media,” MediaPost notes.


Sep 29, 2016
10:17 am

NBC Pulls Plug on Brangelina Breakup Special — But Not for the Rumored Reason (NY Post)

“NBC’s in-house production company Peacock Productions has abruptly pulled the plug on a one-hour special on the breakup of Brangelina, Page Six has exclusively learned,” The New York Post’s Page Six reports.

The report adds that the reason for the decision does not appear to be the one that was widely rumored — that NBC News wanted to avoid taking itself out of the running for a much sought-after sitdown with Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt.

“Sources close to the production said it was actually commissioned by Lifetime — which pulled the plug at the eleventh hour,” the story reports. “A source told Page Six, ‘It was Lifetime’s vice president of nonfiction programming who pulled it,’ and that they greenlighted the show, then quickly decided not to pursue it.”

The report quotes a source saying: “The special was canceled at the last minute — the show had already booked talking heads, hair and makeup, B-roll … Staffers were working to slam it all together. Now they’re all like, ‘F - - k! We just did all this work for nothing?’”

peacock productions

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