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TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
12:10 pm
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1960s TV Crimefighter Dies — He Starred on the Show That Introduced U.S. Audiences to Bruce Lee (NY Times, TVWeek, YouTube)

An actor who played crimefighters on TV during the 1960s and 1970s — notably on the short-lived ABC series “The Green Hornet” — has died. The New York Times reports that Van Williams died recently at a care facility in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Williams reportedly died of renal failure. He was officially declared dead Nov. 29, but apparently died the night before. He was 82.

Williams starred as Britt Reid, aka the Green Hornet, on the ABC series, which lasted just one season, airing 26 episodes during the 1966-67 season. He also appeared as the Green Hornet on crossover episodes of “Batman.”

“The Green Hornet” featured Bruce Lee as the title character’s aide Kato, a role that played a big part in introducing Lee to U.S. audiences.

Williams previously had regular roles on “Bourbon Street Beat,” “Surfside 6” and “The Tycoon,” along with guest spots on shows including “Cheyenne,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” He continued to work consistently on TV during the 1970s, with a regular role on “Westwind” along with many guest spots, including appearances on “Mission: Impossible,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Barnaby Jones” and “The Rockford Files.”

“A tall, athletic Texan, Mr. Williams looked the part of a superhero and grew up an actual cowboy — although, curiously, he was not cast in many Westerns,” The Times notes.

Here’s a clip from a crossover episode of “Batman” in which Batman and Robin encounter Williams and Lee as the Green Hornet and Kato …

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
11:06 am
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Justice Department Probe: Did Ad Agencies Rig Bids to Favor In-House Production Units? (WSJ, Ad Age)

“The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether advertising agencies inappropriately steered business producing commercials to their in-house production units over independent companies by rigging the bidding process for those contracts, according to people familiar with the matter,” report Suzanne Vranica and Brent Kendall in The Wall Street Journal.

The story reports: “Rebecca Meiklejohn, a government antitrust attorney based in New York, has been interviewing ad industry executives on the subject over the past few months, the people said.”

Advertising Age, in a follow-up to the Journal story, wrote: “The Association of National Advertisers, which has been pushing the topic of transparency related to media throughout the year, finds the information about the investigation ‘very disturbing,’ according to a statement from ANA CEO Bob Liodice.

The Ad Age report quotes Liodice saying in the statement: “It’s especially interesting to note that this revelation comes only six months after we released the results of our own investigation with K2 Intelligence into allegations of rebates, non-transparency, and related issues in the U.S. media ecosystem. This new development raises even more concerns about trust between advertisers and their agencies and we plan to follow it closely as it develops.”

To read more about this item, please click on the links above, which will take you to the stories in The Wall Street Journal and Ad Age.

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
11:02 am
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Guess Which Cable Net Is Working on a Plan to Bring Us More Trump (NY Post)

For viewers who can’t get enough Donald Trump by just watching the news and comedy shows, one network — CNBC — is working on ramping up its Trump content by running repeats of his former reality show “The Apprentice.”

The New York Post reports that talks are under way to make that happen.

The report quotes a well-placed source saying: “It’s going to CNBC.” The source adds: “The deal is not quite done yet.”

The Post quotes a CNBC spokesman saying: “We’ve always loved the show and it certainly fits nicely in our prime time with ‘The Profit,’ ‘Jay Leno’s Garage,’ ‘Shark Tank’ and ‘Billion Dollar Buyer.’”

CNBC aired repeats of the NBC program in prime time back in 2004, the report notes.

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
10:35 am
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Wow! Ad Giant WPP (GroupM) Will Spend $5.5 Billion Buying Ads From This Company This Year (MediaPost)

Advertising giant WPP, the world’s largest advertising company by revenue, will spend about $5.5 billion this year buying ads from Google on behalf of its clients, MediaPost reports, citing comments by WPP CEO Martin Sorrell speaking Tuesday at the UBS conference in New York.

That figure is reportedly up from $4 billion a year ago, with Google ranking as the company’s largest media supplier.

“The holding company will spend about $1.75 billion with Facebook this year, making it the third-largest media supplier for the ad giant in 2016,” MediaPost adds. “Sandwiched in between at the number two spot collectively are the Murdoch-controlled properties including News Corp. and Twenty-First Century Fox.”

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
10:16 am
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Is Scott Pelley About to Be Removed as Anchor of ‘CBS Evening News’? (NY Post)

A new report says CBS plans to remove Scott Pelley from his anchor spot on the “CBS Evening News,” shifting him to a full-time position on “60 Minutes.” The New York Post’s Page Six cites “multiple sources” saying Pelley’s run on the flagship news program is coming to an end.

Pelley already has a part-time post on “60 Minutes.”

CBS is denying the rumors, with a network rep quoted in the story saying, “There’s no truth to this.”

“Insiders tell us the switch is ideal because the ’60 Minutes’ position is prestigious enough that the network wouldn’t have to deal with the PR headache of seeming to ‘demote’ one of its most high-profile talents,” The Post reports.

The report adds: “Despite rumors that Norah O’Donnell could be a favored candidate to take over for Pelley and become the sole female anchor of a major evening news program, we’re told, ‘She’s staying at “CBS This Morning” [with Charlie Rose and Gayle King]. The ratings are strong, and they’re a great team.’”

Pelley has been anchoring the network’s evening news telecast since 2011.

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
8:47 am
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Time Magazine Reveals Its Person of the Year for 2016 (Time)

Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2016, unveiled by the publication in a high-profile online feature published today, is Donald Trump — widely considered to be one of the most predictable selections in years.

On the cover of its Person of the Year issue, the publication calls Trump the “President of the Divided States of America.”

Here’s a clip released today by Time about the selection of Trump …

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
8:44 am
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Here Are All of Time’s Person of the Year Covers in 30 Seconds (Time)

In connection with its announcement today of its Person of the Year for 2016, Time magazine also released a short clip that the magazine says contains every Time Person of the Year cover — in just 30 seconds. (See separate report for a clip about the magazine’s choice of its Person of the Year for 2016.)

Here’s the clip of all the covers …

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
8:32 am
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Tonight’s the Night for NBC’s Live Production of ‘Hairspray’ — Here’s What the Performers Have Had to Say About It (TVWeek, NBC)

NBC’s eagerly awaited, high-profile live musical production “Hairspray Live!” is set to air tonight, and TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin takes a look at some of the historical context surrounding the production, including what the key players have had to say about it.

To get ready for tonight’s broadcast, click here to read Hillary’s full report.

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
8:17 am
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NBC to Air Live Commercials During Its Live Broadcast of ‘Hairspray’ Tonight (AP)

When NBC airs its musical production “Hairspray Live!” tonight, not only will the production be live, but so will some of the commercials. The AP reports that Toyota, Reddi wip and Oreo cookies will be among the marketers taking part in the live spots.

“NBC hopes some innovative approaches will keep viewers interested and point the way toward more creativity among advertisers at a time viewers are accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials,” the story reports. “The live musical, which is quickly becoming a December tradition for NBC, is ‘the biggest test kitchen that we could possibly have,’ said Linda Yaccarino, chairwoman of advertising sales and client partnerships at the network, on Tuesday.”

Toyota will reportedly air a live commercial in the style of the musical’s 1960s setting, showing both a 2017 Corolla and a 50-year-old model of the car.

“During another break, Reddi wip will be featured in a musical commercial choreographed by the ‘Hairspray Live!’ team and featuring crew and cast members,” the AP reports. “NBC says it is inspired by the whipped cream brand’s history of being delivered to the door by milkmen years ago.”

Additionally, NBC will run some commercial breaks showing live backstage scenes from the musical on a split screen with the commercials.

TVBIZWIRE
Dec 7, 2016
7:57 am
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Will Joe Biden Run for President in 2020? Here’s What He Told Stephen Colbert — Watch It Now (CBS)

In an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Vice President Joe Biden addressed the question of whether he will run for president in 2020.

Here’s how it went down …

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