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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
9:07 am
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What Were the Top 10 Shows of the 2014-2015 Broadcast Season? (Deadline)

The rankings are out for the top-rated shows of the just-concluded 2014-2015 broadcast season, and it’s no surprise that “NBC Sunday Night Football” came in at No. 1 — both in total viewers and in the key demo of adults 18-49.

But what may be a surprise is how close the second-place show, Fox’s “Empire,” came in the demo. “Empire” earned a 7.1 average rating in 18-49, just behind “Sunday Night Football’s” 7.3.

It was a close finish in total viewers, too, with CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” (19.1 million) not far behind NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (20.8 million).

Here’s the top 10 for the season in the 18-49 demo:

  1. Sunday Night Football (NBC): 7.3
  2. Empire (Fox): 7.1
  3. CBS and NFL Network Thursday Night Football (CBS): 5.9
  4. The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 5.6
  5. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick (NBC): 5.3
  6. The OT (Fox): 4.6

– (Tie) The Big Bang Theory (2) (CBS): 4.6

  1. Modern Family (ABC): 4.3

– (Tie) Scandal (ABC): 4.3

  1. The Voice (NBC): 4.0

Top 10 shows for the 2014-2015 season in total viewers:

  1. Sunday Night Football (NBC): 20.8 million
  2. The Big Bang Theory (CBS): 19.1 million
  3. NCIS (CBS): 18.3 million
  4. NCIS: New Orleans (CBS): 17.4 million
  5. Empire (Fox): 17.3 million
  6. CBS and NFL Network Thursday Night Football (CBS): 17.1 million
  7. The Big Bang Theory (2) (CBS): 15.8 million
  8. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick (NBC): 15.6 million
  9. Dancing with the Stars (ABC): 14.7 million
  10. Madam Secretary (CBS): 14.2 million

The full list has been published by Deadline.com.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
9:01 am
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Wait Till You Hear What CBS Did With the ‘Letterman’ Set (NY Post)

On the day after David Letterman’s landmark show Wednesday night ending his 33-year run in late-night TV, a crew was spotted hauling parts of the show’s set to the Dumpster, the New York Post reports.

“CBS wasted no time in kicking David Letterman’s set to the curb,” the story reports. “Sentimental fans gathered outside the Ed Sullivan Theater on Thursday to watch as stagehands unceremoniously crushed and sawed through iconic pieces of the “Late Show” backdrop the day after the final show.”

A fan who was in the audience for Wednesday’s finale of “Late Show with David Letterman” summed up some of the sentiments of those who witnessed the teardown the next day. Said Stephanie Strausz: “I can’t believe they’re just demolishing the whole thing. It’s shocking.”

Strausz added: “It should go in the Smithsonian, not the Dumpster.”

The report notes: “Strausz was one of many ‘Late Show’ lovers who successfully snagged a keepsake from a theater Dumpster that overflowed with red audience seats and bits of the bridges that made up the set behind Letterman’s desk.”

The piece notes that a few choice artifacts received better treatment.

“There were a few things stagehands carefully carried out, including Letterman’s on-air desk — which was covered in bubble wrap and headed for the Smithsonian — a replica of the George Washington Bridge, loaded into a van, and furniture and instruments belonging to band leader Paul Shaffer,” the Post reports.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
8:57 am
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Veteran TV Stuntman Dies — He Was Known for His Work on TV’s First 90-Minute Color Western Series (THR)

A veteran stuntman who was known for his work on a 1960s NBC Western series has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Choya Shane died May 8 of complications from emphysema.

Shane, 80, reportedly died in a rehabilitation center in Las Vegas.

He was known as a bullwhip expert, and doubled for actor James Drury on the NBC series “The Virginian,” which was television’s first 90-minute color Western series. The show ran for nine years, from 1962-1971, the third-longest run for any TV Western behind “Gunsmoke” (20 years) and “Bonanza” (14 years).

Along with his older brother Dick Shane — who also worked on “The Virginian” — Choya Shane was a part of a traveling troupe called Whips, Garters & Guns and also performed as The Shane Duo. The report notes that the pair once performed a bullwhip act before the Queen of England at London’s Palladium.

Choya Shane’s extensive list of film credits includes “Cimarron” (1960), “How the West Was Won” (1962), “Cat Ballou” (1965), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) and “The Wild Bunch” (1969).

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
8:51 am
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TVWeek Memorial Day Holiday Schedule (TVWeek)

TVWeek is taking off Monday, May 25, for the Memorial Day holiday, and will not publish our newsletters that day. We will return with all of our newsletters on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Meanwhile, if news breaks, we’ll send out a TVWeek EXTRA.

From our family to your family, we wish you a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
8:49 am
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Host Named for 2015 ESPYs (TVWeek)

A familiar TV personality has been announced by ABC Entertainment as the host of the 2015 ESPYs ceremony, to be broadcast live July 15. The host will be comedian and actor Joel McHale.

McHale is known for hosting the E! show “The Soup” and for playing Jeff Winger on the NBC comedy series “Community.” He has also appeared in feature films including “Spider-Man 2,” and hosted last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

The ESPYs honor achievements in sports during the past year.

Please click here for details.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
8:47 am
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‘Flintstones’ Voice Actor Dead at 91 (THR)

A prolific voiceover actor who had a role on the classic animated show “The Flintstones” has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Stephenson, the voice of Fred Flintstone’s boss Mr. Slate, died May 15 in Woodland Hills, Calif., after struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91.

Stephenson “also worked as a narrator on the 1960s version of TV’s ‘Dragnet,’ revealing the verdicts and sentences at the end of each episode,” THR notes. He also voiced Fancy-Fancy on “Top Cat.”

The report adds: “Stephenson, a mainstay of the 1960s Hollywood cartoon factory Hanna-Barbera, also voiced characters for such shows as ‘Jonny Quest’ (as dad Benton Quest), ‘The Peter Potamus Show,’ ‘The Magilla Gorilla Show,’ ‘The Banana Splits Adventure Hour’ and several iterations of ‘Scooby-Doo.'”

mr slate-flintstonesMr. Slate (“Flintstones”)

TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
8:07 am
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Hispanic Media Company Buys African-American-Focused Online Destination (Variety)

A major Hispanic media company, in a move designed to broaden its reach to a new audience, has acquired a top African-American-oriented online site. Variety reports that Univision Communications bought the news and commentary site The Root, a subsidiary of the Slate Group, from Graham Holdings Co.

Terms of the contract were not revealed.

“In joining Univision, The Root will use UCI’s digital production facilities and publishing infrastructure while preserving its editorial voice, according to the company,” the story notes.

The Root, which reaches an average of 5 million unique users per month, was founded in 2008 by Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard University, and Donald Graham, CEO and chairman of Graham Holdings.

Commenting on the sale, Gates said: “This bold new partnership between Univision and The Root underscores the ties that have long bound people of color together throughout the Western Hemisphere and is a sign of even greater levels of communication, collaboration and exchange between these culturally vital groups of people.”

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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
7:07 am
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Summer Concert Lineup Released for ‘Fox & Friends’ Series (TVWeek)

Fox News Channel has released the lineup for the “Fox & Friends” All-American Summer Concert Series for 2015, with the series launching this morning with country singer Jerrod Niemann.

Here’s the full lineup for summer 2015:

‘Fox & Friends’ All-American Summer Concert Series lineup

May 22 – Jerrod Niemann

May 29 – O.A.R.

June 5 – Lifehouse

June 12 – Billy Currington

July 3 – Lee Greenwood

July 10 – Bret Michaels

July 17 – Kelsea Ballerini

July 24 – Blues Traveler

July 31 – Scotty McCreery

Aug. 7 – KC & the Sunshine Band

Aug. 14 – Alice Cooper

Aug. 21 – Night Ranger

Aug. 28 – Blue Oyster Cult

TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
3:29 am
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Bombshell: Magazine Story Says According to a 2006 Police Report, Josh Duggar Was Accused of Child Molestation. In Response to Story, Josh Apologizes for Acting ‘Inexcusably’ and His Parents Say Josh Made Some ‘Very Bad Mistakes and We Were Shocked.’ The Duggars Star in TLC’s Hit ’19 Kids and Counting.’ What Will TLC Do? (In Touch, Facebook, USA Today, Washington Post, Deadline, TMZ)

“Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.”

Thus begins a story on the In Touch magazine website.

The story continues, “What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by In Touch magazine.

“The report has been hidden since 2006 and was just obtained by the mag through a Freedom of information Act request. Jim Bob also refused to allow police to interview Josh when they opened a felony investigation in 2006. The Duggars star on TLC’s hit show ‘19 Kids and Counting.’”

In response to the magazine report, Josh, 27, his wife Anna and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, all posted separate statements on Facebook.

Josh’s statement says, in part, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life….”

Anna’s statement says, in part, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married – it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes….” Anna is currently pregnant with her and Josh’s fourth child.

The statement of Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, reads, in part, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God….”

To read all three of the statements in full, please click here. None of the statements mention the words “molested,” “molestation” or “abuse” or give any indication about what Josh specifically did.

According to TMZ, Josh “was the subject of a police investigation for allegedly sexually molesting 5 girls, some of whom are his sisters.” This abuse allegedly began in 2002, TMZ notes. Josh would have been 14 or 15 years old.

The TMZ story continues, “According to the police report, Josh fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him … in one case reading a book.

“There was another reported incident 9 months later. According to the police report, the police were not immediately contacted. Instead, Jim Bob, the dad, met with church elders and agreed Josh should be put in a treatment program.  The police report says Josh’s mom, Michelle, said it wasn’t really a treatment center … they simply sent Josh to a guy who was remodeling a building to do manual labor.”

Says a report on this story in USA Today, “In Touch [also] reported that [Jim Bob] took Josh to an Arkansas state trooper who was a personal friend, who took no action other than [giving Josh] a ‘very stern talk.’ That officer is now serving a 56-year term in prison for child pornography, the magazine reported, and no case was ever brought against Josh Duggar.”

“Josh Duggar was never charged with a crime,” the USA Today story notes, “and the statute of limitations has now expired.”

In light of the revelations in In Touch magazine, Josh Duggar has resigned his position as the executive director of the Family Research Council, reports the Washington Post.

The Post adds, “Duggar, his wife Anna and their three children live in Washington, where Duggar worked as executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.

“The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization led by Tony Perkins, is known for its advocacy against same-sex marriage, ‘with the mission to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.’

“Perkins said in a statement Thursday [May 21, 2015] that Duggar resigned from his post ‘as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.’ [Perkins added that] ‘Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work.’”

One lingering question is about the reaction to all of this by Discovery Communications’ TLC, the network that airs “19 Kids and Counting.” According to the Washington Post, TLC “declined to comment on the allegations against Josh, his apology, or the network’s future plans for the series, a spokesperson said in an email to the Washington Post on Thursday evening.”

Other media outlets also reported that TLC has remained silent thus far.

Clearly, “19 Kids and Counting” is an important show for the network. In a press release issued on Jan. 6, 2015, TLC said, “TLC wrapped up 2014 as a top 10 primetime cable network with all key women demos for yet another year. Fueled by hit series including ‘19 Kids and Counting;’ ‘The Little Couple;’ and ‘Little People, Big World,’ TLC secured the #1 Female Cable Network spot with W25-54/18-49 on Tuesday nights in 2014.”

The release added, “‘19 Kids and Counting’ also garnered TLC’s most watched telecast in four years, with 4.4M P2+ viewers tuning into the October wedding special [of Duggar daughter Jill].”

Of ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ Deadline’s Lisa de Moraes on Thursday wrote that the “most recent batch of episodes, Season 9A, debuted in February and ended this past Tuesday. TLC has not yet announced whether it is picking up the reality series for another season.”

De Moraes continued, “Also in October, TLC pulled the plug on its reality series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ after reports that the tot’s mother again was seeing a former boyfriend convicted of child molestation. Another of Mama June’s daughters, 20-year-old Anna Cardwell (aka Chickadee), came forward saying she had been a victim of Mark McDaniel at age 8 (McDaniel got out of prison in March). TLC, which cut ties to the show after confirming details of June’s renewed relationship with McDaniel, offered counseling to Anna, issuing a statement saying, ‘Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority.’”

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
2:01 pm
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E! Takes Wraps Off Summer Schedule — Including Bruce Jenner Series (TVWeek)

E! Entertainment has rolled out plans for a number of new series, with premiere dates set for the summer programming.

New Series Include “Hollywood Cycle” (premiering July 7), “Sex With Brody” (July 10), “Stewarts & Hamiltons” (July 26), Bruce Jenner Documentary Series (title to be announced later) (July 26), “The Comment Section” (August 7) and “WAGS” (August 18).

Premiere dates were also announced for returning series “#RichKids of Beverly Hills” (May 24), “Botched” (June 7), “Total Divas” (July 7) and “House of DVF” (August 31).

Please click here for full details on the E! summer programming.

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