Sep 25, 2017
6:41 pm

Mixed Results for Football After Trump Clashes With NFL (Variety, TVWeek)

Sunday’s NFL programming was marked by a show of unity among the league’s owners and players after Donald Trump lashed out at the league in connection with player protests. In terms of ratings, the results were mixed.

Variety reports that NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” typically the top-rated program on TV, showed some erosion, averaging an 11.6 household rating in Nielsen’s metered markets — off 11% from the equivalent week three numbers a year ago.

The report notes that the game between the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders was not competitive, with Washington winning easily, 27-10.

“Earlier in the day, ratings for CBS’s NFL doubleheader were up 4% from the same week last year,” Variety adds. “The early regional game drew a 10.0 in overnights, up 11% from last year. CBS’s later game drew a 13.8, down 1% from last year. Fox’s afternoon game did a 10.3, down 16% from last year.”

The report also notes that earlier in the week, “Thursday Night Football” had a surge in ratings for the game between the Los Angeles Rams and San Fransisco 49ers on NFL Network, delivering a 4.4 final household rating, up 38% from week three a year ago, and 7.4 million total viewers, up 47% from the previous week.

Sep 25, 2017
6:29 pm

Wow: Look at All the Great Shows on This New Commercial-Free TV Service (TVWeek)

A new commercial-free television service is expanding its programming lineup and its reach. The service, FX+, launched on Comcast this month and will become available to Cox subscribers next month.

The service reportedly costs about $6 a month.

The service said in today’s announcement that it now features all seasons of almost every current and library title of FX original series The service just added all seasons of 15 additional FX original series.

FX has been a hot programming brand on the awards circuit, so the FX+ offerings include some acclaimed titles.

Here are a few of them, with the number of seasons and number of episodes offered:

American Horror Story (7, 84)

The Americans (5, 65)

Atlanta (1, 10)

Baskets (2, 20)

Better Things (2, 20)

Damages (5, 59)

Legion (1, 8)

Louie (5, 61)

Nip/Tuck (7, 100)

The Shield (7, 88)

Sons of Anarchy (7, 92)

Taboo (1, 8)

Please click here to see the full list along with other details in today’s announcement.

Sep 25, 2017
5:27 pm

Fox Locks In Plans for Live Musical (TVWeek)

The Fox Broadcast Network has set the date for its live adaptation of the Broadway musical “Rent.” Fox announced today that “Rent” will air Jan. 27, 2019.

Details on casting are still to be announced.

“A re-imagining of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme,’ and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, ‘Rent’ tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil,” Fox said in today’s announcement. “After winning four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, as it continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship.”

The Fox production will be executive-produced by Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”), Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

“Rent” originally was produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop.

Sep 25, 2017
5:01 pm

Secret Society Gets a TV Series (TVWeek)

One of the most mysterious secret societies of all time is the focus of a new scripted series coming to History. “Knightfall,” a drama series about the Knights Templar, is set to premiere Dec. 6.

The series begins after the fall of the city of Acre, the group’s last stronghold in the Holy Land, where the Holy Grail is lost, History said in today’s announcement.

“Knightfall” stars Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey,” “Gunpowder”), Padraic Delaney (“The Wind That Shakes the Barley,” “The Tudors”) and Simon Merrells (“Spartacus,” “Dominion”).

Please click here to read all the details and see a 2-minute trailer for the series.

Sep 25, 2017
1:57 pm

TV Station Group and Newspaper Group Merge (AP, Washington Post)

A station group that owns or operates TV and radio stations in 20 states, covering more than 16% of U.S. television households, is merging with a newspaper group that owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and publications in 22 states.

The AP reports that Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. announced the merger agreement with Raycom Media Inc. today.

“Both companies are based in Montgomery, Alabama, and are financed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which manages pension funds for state employees,” the report notes.

Raycom Media reportedly owns or operates 65 television stations and two radio stations, mostly in Southern states.

“Under the merger agreement, CNHI will operate as a Raycom Media subsidiary,” the report notes. The merger is expected to be completed Sept 29.

In its statement, CNHI noted that in seven instances where markets for Raycom Media broadcast stations and CNHI newspapers overlap, the newspaper properties will be sold to a third party, the report adds.

Sep 25, 2017
11:09 am

Canceled Drama Series Gets a Spinoff (TVWeek)

After a long run that wrapped up earlier this year, the popular TV drama series “Pretty Little Liars” is poised to live on in the form of a spinoff. Freeform announced today that it has ordered the pilot for the spinoff, “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.”

“Pretty Little Liars” ended its run on Freeform back in June after seven seasons and 160 episodes. Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish will reprise their roles from the show on the new project.

Announcing the order for the new show, which comes from Warner Horizon Scripted Television, was Karey Burke, Freeform’s executive vice president, Programming and Development.

Please click here for full details in today’s announcement.

Sep 25, 2017
10:51 am

Leslie Moonves vs. Lachlan Murdoch: CBS Outmaneuvers Fox to Land Key Acquisition (THR)

A piece published today by The Hollywood Reporter details how Leslie Moonves and CBS got the better of Lachlan Murdoch and 21st Century Fox in a hotly contested fight for control of Australia’s third-ranked TV network, Network Ten.

“CBS surprised, some even say shocked, Murdoch & Co., Australian media and industry folks alike by pulling off the reported $160 million (AUS $201 million) acquisition of Ten, the least-watched commercial network in what is the fourth-largest English-speaking TV market in the world, that had gone into receivership in June when it had a market capitalization of just $53 million (AUS $66 million),” THR reports.

The report adds: “It was a bruising result for Murdoch, executive co-chair of 21st Century Fox and News Corp, both financially and to his reputation as a top media executive. He had sunk $137 million of his own money into Ten in 2010, served in such roles as executive chairman, acting CEO and putative financial savior of the struggling network, and struck content and advertising sales deals with News Corp-managed pay TV outfit Foxtel.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the full analysis.

Sep 25, 2017
10:44 am

Paramount Network Locks In Launch Plans, New Programming (TVWeek)

Paramount Network now has a launch date and time, with the company announcing today that the network will officially bow Thursday, Jan. 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The network will kick off with a live one-hour episode of “Lip Sync Battle,” to be televised from the Paramount lot in Hollywood.

Details on the star-studded event will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Spike TV is being rebranded as Paramount Network, a premium entertainment destination that pushes the limits of storytelling with bold original scripted and non-scripted series,” the company said in today’s announcement. “Inspired by over a century of cinema, Paramount Network is where today’s brightest stars bring the experience of the big screen to every screen with stories that are immersive, inclusive, and deeply personal.”

Plans are also shaping up for the premiere later in January on Paramount Network of the six-part event series “Waco” with a cast that includes Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, John Leguizamo and Melissa Benoist.

“On the heels of the 25th anniversary, the eye-opening and captivating series is based on the controversial and harrowing true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect that resulted in the deadly shootout and fire,” the announcement notes.

New original scripted series coming to Paramount Network in the first part of 2018 include “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner and written and directed by Taylor Sheridan; “American Woman,” from producer John Wells, a single-camera comedy set in the 1970s amid the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism, starring Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari; and “Heathers,” an hour-long pitch-black comedy anthology set in the present day, based on the 1988 cult film of the same name.

Spike TV will have a new website, ParamountNetwork.com, launching  today, along with new social accounts including @ParamountNet on Twitter and @ParamountNetwork on Instagram and other social platforms.

Sep 25, 2017
10:31 am

Megyn Kelly Says She’s ‘Done With Politics’ (TVWeek, NBC)

New NBC morning show host Megyn Kelly joked about Donald Trump and proclaimed that she’s “done with politics” — “kind of” … “for now” — as she launched “Megyn Kelly Today” this morning on NBC.

Here’s her emotional opening segment, posted by NBC …

Sep 25, 2017
10:27 am

‘The Voice’ Returns to NBC Tonight — Here’s a Preview (TVWeek)

“The Voice” returns to NBC tonight with a new powerhouse coach in one of its swiveling red chairs. Jennifer Hudson — who first shot to fame as a contestant on “American Idol” in 2004 before going on to an acclaimed career that has included an Oscar for 2006’s “Dreamgirls” — joins “Voice” OGs Adam Levine and Blake Shelton along with Miley Cyrus, who returns for a second go-round.

Attending a preview screening of the first episode of Season 13 on the Universal lot last week was TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin, who had to agree not to reveal TOO much … but still offers a few tidbits about the show — no huge spoilers — in her report on the screening. Please click here to read the report.

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