Dec 18, 2014
8:17 am

Meteorologist Shot in Front of TV Station (KCEN-TV)

A TV meteorologist was reportedly shot multiple times outside the station where he covers the weather on the local news. Central Texas station KCEN-TV said Patrick Crawford was shot early Wednesday in front of the station’s building, and was in stable condition after surgery.

“The shooter, as of this note, has not been caught. We do not know who the shooter was or if he is connected in any way to KCEN or its employees,” the story reports. An update today added that law enforcement officials had taken a man into custody, but were not saying whether he was the suspected shooter. The man is described in the report as a “person of interest.”

Crawford has worked with Gannett-owned KCEN, an NBC affiliate, for more than two years, after leaving the NBC affiliate in New Orleans. His wife, Heather Crawford, is also a KCEN employee.

The suspect reportedly exchanged words with Crawford, then pulled a semi-automatic handgun and fired multiple times, the story notes. Crawford managed to drive away and flag down a construction worker, who called for assistance.

patrick crawford

Patrick Crawford

Dec 18, 2014
8:01 am

How Did CBS’s Scott Pelley Make It to Cuba in Time for Breaking News? (TVNewser)

Some viewers were “stunned” to see “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley, dressed in a crisp suit and tie, broadcasting from Havana on Wednesday, making him the only evening news anchor in the country on the night that President Obama announced he would move forward with normalizing relations with Cuba, TVNewser reports.

How did Pelley make it to the country in time? TVNewser writes, “On air, Pelley may have made it look effortless, but it wasn’t. Not at all. The decision to go for it was made shortly after the Cuba story broke. CBS execs decided it was worth the risk of having Pelley absent from the newscast on a major news day — Norah O’Donnell was slated to fill in on the anchor desk in New York — for the chance to make a bold statement by having Pelley in place in Cuba.”

Pelley began his day in Washington D.C., but headed directly to the airport once the decision was made. He tweeted that he had “just landed” in Havana at 6:22 p.m. ET. By 6:41 p.m., he was on-air from Havana, the story reports.

The article notes: “For the show’s producers and technical team, it was one of those liveshots that produces instantaneous newsroom applause merely for happening — just the way they hoped it would.”

scott pelley-cbs evening news

Dec 18, 2014
7:49 am

U.S. Officials Tie North Korea to Sony Hack (NY Times)

American officials have concluded that North Korea was “centrally involved” in the hack on Sony Pictures’ computers, which led to the studio’s cancellation of the release of “The Interview,” a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korea’s leader, reports The New York Times.

The movie’s plot is believed to have sparked the cyberattack from the country. As previously reported, threats from the hackers prompted Sony to shelve the movie.

The White House is debating whether to accuse North Korea of cyberterrorism, the story adds.

“Officials said it was not clear how the White House would respond. Some within the Obama administration argue that the government of Kim Jong-un must be confronted directly,” The Times writes. “But that raises questions of what actions the administration could credibly threaten, or how much evidence to make public without revealing details of how it determined North Korea’s culpability, including the possible penetration of the North’s computer networks.”

North Korean officials may be seeking a direct confrontation, and Japan has argued that a public accusation could impede negotiations between the countries for the return of Japanese nationals who have been kidnapped.

The hackers warned that if “The Interview” were to be released as planned on Dec. 25, “the world will be full of fear.” The warning added, “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.”

The Times adds, “It is not clear how the United States determined that Mr. Kim’s government had played a central role in the Sony attacks. North Korea’s computer network has been notoriously difficult to infiltrate.”


Dec 18, 2014
7:41 am

HBO to Drop Overnight Ratings in Favor of Live Plus 7 (Variety)

HBO will shift to Nielsen’s Live Plus 7 ratings measure as of Jan. 1, becoming the next network following FX to de-emphasize overnight numbers, reports Variety.

The decision “aims to send a message about the growing importance of evaluating a show’s performance after viewers have had a week to catch up with a program on various platforms,” the article reports.

FX made the decision to issue only Live Plus 3 ratings for series premieres earlier this year.

Of course, since HBO is a premium cable network, it doesn’t have the same issues that impact ad-supported networks. Advertisers only want to pay for viewing made within the L3 timeframe, the report notes.

“But as a matter of bragging rights, HBO and every other network are seeing big audience swings away from live viewership,” the article points out. “Even a broad-based hit like ‘Game of Thrones’ derives a solid proportion of its viewers from VOD, DVR and streaming plays, as well as reruns across HBO’s suite of channels.”


Dec 18, 2014
7:27 am

Syfy Promotes Executive Behind ‘Sharknado’ (Deadline)

Syfy has given a promotion to one of the key players behind the cable channel’s hit “Sharknado” franchise. reports that the network promoted Chris Regina to senior vice president, program strategy, Syfy and Chiller.

Regina is one of the designers of the network’s acquisitions strategy, which includes the “Sharknado” franchise, the report notes.

Regina, who joined Syfy in 1998, will report directly to Dave Howe, the president of Syfy and Chiller.

“In his newly expanded role, Regina will oversee Syfy and Chiller’s program planning and strategy, original-movie development and production, and scheduling,” the story notes. “He also will oversee Syfy’s acquired international and domestic co-productions ranging from the series ‘Z Nation’ to such programs as ‘Lost Girl,’ ‘Bitten,’ ‘Continuum,’ and the upcoming ‘Olympus.’”

chris regina

Chris Regina

Dec 18, 2014
7:11 am

Time for What May Well Be the Final Awards Show of 2014 (TVWeek)

Tonight’s the night for what may be the final awards show of 2014. With so many gala awards presentations on the air these days, it’s hard to be sure, but TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin reports that a new entry, “The People Magazine Awards,” aims to wrap up the year’s biggest names and events in pop culture.

The program airs tonight on NBC. Please click here to get the scoop on what it’s all about and who will be taking part.

people magazine awards

Dec 18, 2014
6:57 am

Broadcast Nets Are Seeing a Not-So-Jolly Holiday Trend (Medialife)

One staple of the broadcast networks’ holiday season is having a less-than-jolly time of it in the ratings. Medialife reports that children’s holiday specials, traditionally a sure-fire audience draw at this time of year, are struggling to find viewers.

Seven years ago, the debut of “Shrek the Halls” drew an 11.6 rating with kids 2 to 11 years old. But this year, new specials such as “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” and returning shows such as the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” have seen ratings decline.

The top-rated holiday special this year among children 2-11 is “Rudolph,” which drew a 4.0 rating on CBS. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was in second place, with 3.4, while “Toy Story That Time Forget” drew a 3.3.

The most recent holiday special, NBC’s “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas,” posted a 1.7 in the demo Monday night.

So what’s going on? Kids are watching less TV, the article notes.

“There’s been a well-documented decline in kids ratings for top cable networks such as Nickelodeon in recent years too, so broadcast is hardly alone,” the story points out. “One big reason is that streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video target kids with repeats of hugely popular shows such as ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ and, increasingly, their own originals.”

elf-buddy's musical christmas-title

Dec 18, 2014
6:31 am

ABC Studios Signs Deal With Bollywood Star (THR)

ABC Studios has signed a talent holding deal with a Bollywood superstar. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the studio signed an agreement with Priyanka Chopra.

“Under the one-year pact, ABC will either develop a starring vehicle for Chopra or cast the actress (with 8 million Twitter followers and another 15.4 million fans on Facebook) in an existing project set for fall 2015,” the story reports.

It’s the first U.S. development deal for Chopra, who has starred in more than 45 movies and was Miss World 2000. Keli Lee, the executive vice president of casting who also runs ABC’s diversity casting program, traveled to Mumbai to sign the actress and singer. Lee also has helped sign Kerry Washington of “Scandal” and Sofia Vergara of “Modern Family.”

“To a storyteller, each platform of performance offers its own artistic challenges, and if you have a good story to tell, regardless of the platform, audiences will follow,” Chopra said. “I’ve been a longtime fan of ABC shows, and an admirer of how the network has changed the landscape of TV through the diversity of their lead characters.”


Priyanka Chopra

Dec 18, 2014
6:17 am

Late-Night Animation Block to Roll Out Next Month (Deadline)

A new block of animated late-night programming is set to premiere in January. reports that FXX will debut a block Jan. 22 that will feature shows originally developed and produced by ADHD Studios for Fox.

The block will air at midnight on Thursdays and will include eight new episodes of “Lucas Bros. Moving Co.” and “Stone Quackers.” Those will be joined by repeats of “High School USA!” and “Axe Cop,” along with other animated shorts.

The block will air after “The Simpsons” repeats, which are scheduled to run until midnight most evenings.

The new programming is scheduled to air until at least the summer.

“Based on the successful launch of ‘The Simpsons’ on FXX, this is the perfect time to expand our animation offerings and make FXX the after-hours destination for animated shorts and series,” said FX Networks’ Chuck Saftler.

lucas bros moving co

Dec 18, 2014
5:57 am

Universal Studios Exec Dies at 82 — He Was Behind ‘Hill Street Blues’ (Variety)

A development executive at Universal Studios and other companies who brought shows such as “Hill Street Blues” to television has died. Variety reports that Stuart Philip Erwin Jr. died Nov. 22 after a brief illness at his home in Solana Beach, Calif. He was 82.

“Erwin had a long, successful career in the entertainment industry, beginning as an assistant director on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in New York City, running the advertising division at Ralston Purina in St. Louis, then moving on to long stints as a development executive at Universal Studios, MTM Enterprises and GTG Entertainment,” Variety notes.

Older Articles