May 27, 2015
9:41 am

Netflix Comedy Picked Up for Second Season (TVWeek)

A comedy series that has been well received since its debut on the streaming service Netflix earlier this month will be back for a second season. “Grace and Frankie” announced through its Twitter account that it has been picked up for season two.

Co-created and executive produced by “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, the series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Netflix rolled out the 13-episode first season on May 8.

The show focuses on two mismatched older women — Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) — who come together after their husbands, who are longtime partners in a law firm, reveal that they are in love with each other and leave their wives.

grace and frankie-poster

May 27, 2015
9:29 am

The Story Behind Three of Television’s Most Eclectic Comedies of Recent Years (TVWeek)

The people behind three comedy series that have enthusiastic followings and a decidedly skewed perspective talked about their shows last week at an FYC event held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

On hand to discuss “Portlandia,” “Togetherness” and “The Last Man on Earth” were Will Forte, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel. The panel was moderated by TV Guide’s Michael Schneider.

Please click here for the full rundown on the discussion, from TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin.


May 27, 2015
9:21 am

Networks Eye a Potential Fix for Ratings Woes — With NBC Leading the Way (Boston Herald)

The broadcast networks appear to be warming up to one type of content in an attempt to stem ratings erosion: live programming.

“With viewers clamoring to watch their favorite shows on their own schedules, the networks are frustrated, advertisers are antsy and accurate ratings increasingly harder to calculate,” the Boston Herald reports. “Live TV might be the key to drawing viewers back to prime time on the network clock, and no one will test it more in the fall than NBC.”

The report notes that NBC is betting on the live variety hour “Best Time Ever,” to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Meanwhile, NBC’s “Undateable,” which recently experimented with a live episode, will try out a live format for its entire third season, which debuts in fall.

“In what is becoming an annual tradition following successful stagings of ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Peter Pan,’ NBC plans to air a live version of ‘The Wiz’ in December with Stephanie Mills, the original Broadway Dorothy, as Aunt Em,” the report notes.

The network also has one long-running live success story, “Saturday Night Live,” which wrapped up season 40 this month.

Other networks have taken notice. “ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ recently aired two live episodes packed with terrific drama, direction and acting,” the story reports. “There were two shootings, one character died, another was wounded, and two of the least likely Port Charles residents married. Is this a way to save the soaps? Many daytime serials aired live through the 1960s. A live five-day-a-week show would be daunting yet could invigorate the genre.”

general hospital-title-cast

May 27, 2015
9:07 am

The Case Against Binge Viewing (THR)

The creator of one of the most binge-viewed series ever is not a fan of binge viewing.

In an article in The Hollywood Reporter, “Orange Is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan is quoted saying: “I miss having people on the same page. I do miss being able to go online and have the conversation the day after. But it’s kind of a waste of time to lament that because that’s not the way our show comes.”

And Kohan’s not alone in her sentiment.

“The comments by Kohan, whose prison dramedy debuts its third batch of episodes June 12, echo ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner saying May 20 that if he created a series for Netflix, he would ask that it roll out episodes over time ‘so at least there was just some shared experience. I love the waiting [and] marination.'”

The report notes that NBC is ready to make a significant foray into binge viewing this week, with the May 28 online release of the full 13-episode first season of its David Duchovny drama series “Aquarius,” which will also roll out on a weekly basis on the linear channel.

“NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt proclaimed that the move — a first for a broadcast network — would ‘push some new boundaries’ and give audiences what they want,” THR reports. “But NBC may be serving up the binge just as Hollywood is beginning to ask: Have viewers had their fill?”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read THR’s full report.

Orange in the new black1

May 27, 2015
8:51 am

Media Firm Buys Tech News Site Re/code (NY Times)

The tech news website Re/code has been acquired by a media company that operates a number of news and entertainment sites. The New York Times reports that Vox Media purchased Re/code, just 18 months after Re/code spun off from The Wall Street Journal.

Re/code is run by veteran journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who will stay with the company following the merger, according to the report.

The deal is expected to bring Re/code to a wider audience.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The purchase of Re/code, which was announced by the companies on Tuesday, is just the latest significant move involving a digital media start-up in the past few months,” The Times notes. “In March, Gigaom, which had been one of the early sites dedicated to coverage of Silicon Valley, abruptly closed after nine years because of financial problems.”

Vox Media runs a number of websites, including The Verge.


May 27, 2015
8:29 am

New Study Reveals the Most Valuable Brands in the World — With a Familiar Name Back at No. 1; Here’s the Top 10 (Millward Brown)

A new study listing the most valuable brands in the world has a familiar name back at No. 1 after it was knocked down to No. 2 last year. Topping the list again is Apple, which traded places with Google, this year’s No. 2.

The top four companies on the list are all tech firms, with Apple and Google followed by Microsoft and IBM.

The list, the “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands,” is compiled annually by marketing research firm Millward Brown.

Here’s the Top 10, with the brand name, followed by the category, the brand’s 2015 value, percent change in value from 2014 and change in ranking from 2014:

2015 BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands — Top 10

  1. Apple (Technology): $246.992 billion (up 67%); +1
  2. Google (Technology): $173.652 billion (up 9%); -1
  3. Microsoft (Technology): $115.500 billion (up 28%); +1
  4. IBM (Technology): $93.987 billion (down 13%); -1
  5. VISA (Payments): $91.962 billion (up 16%); +2
  6. AT&T (Telecom Providers): $89.492 billion (up 15%); +2
  7. Verizon (Telecom Providers): $86.009 billion (up 36%); +4
  8. Coca-Cola (Soft Drinks): $83.841 billion (up 4%); -2
  9. McDonald’s (Fast Food): $81.162 billion (down 5%); -4
  10. Marlboro (Tobacco): $80.352 billion (up 19%); -1

Here’s a link to the Top 100.

apple logo

May 27, 2015
8:01 am

NBC Show Lines Up Appearances by Neil Patrick Harris, Piers Morgan and Others (TVWeek)

A number of top entertainers are lined up to appear on an NBC prime-time program. The network announced that its competition show “America’s Got Talent” will feature guest judges Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Buble, Piers Morgan and Marlon Wayans starting Tuesday, July 14.

Morgan is a former regular on “America’s Got Talent,” which is now in its 10th season.

Please click here for details.

america's got talent

May 27, 2015
7:33 am

Merriam-Webster Declares the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2014 — and Adds a Bunch of New Words to the Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, AOL)

Here’s the list of the top 10 words of 2014, which was just released by the people who put out the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. Culture
  2. Nostalgia
  3. Insidious
  4. Legacy
  5. Feminism
  6. Je ne sais quoi
  7. Innovation
  8. Surreptitious
  9. Autonomy
  10. Morbidity

The list was reported by AOL.

In addition to rolling out the Top 10 list, the editors have also added 1,700 new entries to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, including adding the phrases “colossal squid,” “colony collapse disorder,” “net neutrality,” “dark money,” “click fraud” and “sharing economy.”

The dictionary has also added the abbreviations WTF and NSFW.

The online world is heavily represented among the dictionary’s latest additions, which include “emoji,” “jegging,” “photobomb,” “clickbait” and “meme.” Also making their way into the book for the first time are “vocal fry,” “eggcorn,” “palliative care” and “neurofeedback.”

merriam-webster dictionary

May 26, 2015
2:42 pm

Report: Some Major Advertisers Say They Won’t Advertise Again on TLC’s ’19 Kids and Counting’ (TMZ)

With child molestation allegations swirling around Josh Duggar, some major advertisers reportedly say they will no longer advertise in the program featuring the Duggar family, TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.”

Currently TLC is not running any reruns of the series. However, the network, part of Discovery Communications, has not said whether it will renew the show for another season, or whether it will air reruns in the future.

TMZ reports that the companies who have said they will not air in the show if it comes back on the air are General Mills, Payless ShoeSource and Choice Hotels.

The reports notes: “Several customers voiced complaints to Payless and the company responded by saying, ‘Our ads ran during this show as part of a larger buy w/ TLC. We are taking steps to have them removed from future episodes.’ Choice Hotels said, ‘We have decided to remove our advertising from the show.’

“Walgreens, another major advertiser with TLC, posted a response saying that they were continuing to monitor the situation.”

May 26, 2015
2:31 pm

Update, Now Counting Live+3 Results: ‘Mad Men’ Finale Sets a Ratings Record (TVWeek)

The final episode of AMC’s acclaimed drama series “Mad Men” got a big bump from time-shifted viewing and wound up setting a series record, the network announced.

Once the Nielsen data for live+3 was crunched, the finale came in with 4.6 million total viewers and 2.5 million in the 25-54 demo — both series highs. The figures include three days of time-shifted viewing.

The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series, set in the advertising world of the 1960s, ended its seven-season run May 17. The finale drew 2 million viewers in the 18-49 demo.

Among the highlights in the live+3 numbers for the finale:

  • 4.6 million viewers, up 41% from live/same day
  • 2.5 million adults 25-54, up 46% from live/same day
  • 2.0 million adults 18-49, up 48% from live/same day

The finale also generated the most Twitter activity in series history and made “Mad Men” the No. 1 series across all broadcast and cable on Twitter that night with nearly 50 million impressions.

AMC President Charlie Collier commented: “While it’s true that AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ ended with its highest-ever live+3 ratings, we believe the most meaningful metric for this iconic series will turn out to be live+forever. We hope Matthew Weiner and the many extraordinarily talented people who helped elevate his vision over the last decade are smiling and finding peace like Don Draper at Esalen.”


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