Oct 13, 2015
5:38 pm

Former Top Universal Pictures Exec Tapped to Run Participant Media by Its Billionaire Owner. Searching for a Strategic Partnership for Participant’s Pivot TV (Variety)

Jeff Skoll, the billionaire former founding president of eBay and the owner of Participant Media, “the multi-faceted entertainment company that is reorganizing and seeking new film and television partners as it moves to reinvigorate its brand,” has picked a new CEO for Participant, reports Variety.

He’s former Universal Pictures Chairman David Linde.

The story says, “Pivot [TV] has hired a consultant to help it search for a strategic partner. A model for Pivot could be the deal that BBC America struck last year with AMC Networks, in which AMC paid $200 million to BBC Worldwide for a 49.9% stake and operating control of the channel. Insiders at Participant said the company has looked at a variety of potential partners such as Discovery Communications, A+E Networks and 21st Century Fox. But obscure Pivot’s challenge is being viewed as having enough heft to entice a larger player to view an alliance as advantageous. There are no active negotiations for a TV partnership.”

Pivot is available in 47 million households, the story notes.

To read more details about this item, please click on the link, above, which will take you to the original Variety piece.

Participant Media


Oct 13, 2015
5:07 pm

Syfy Cancels Series (Deadline)

At this time of year most viewers usually hear about broadcast shows that get canceled, having not broken through the rush of new shows that premiere each fall.

But today it’s a cancellation by a cable network.

“Syfy has decided not to order a third season of supernatural action drama ‘Dominion,’ which just wrapped its Season 2 run,” reports our friend Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.

The story continues, “Created by Vaun Wilmott based on characters from the 2010 feature ‘Legion,’ ‘Dominion,’ which starred Christopher Eagan, was set 25 years in the future after a war between an army of angels and mankind has transformed the world.”

To read more details about this story, please click here, which will take you to the original Deadline story.

Oct 13, 2015
2:19 pm

Moonves and Diller — Who Were Adversaries Over Aereo — Have Another Encounter (Adweek)

Two veteran TV executives with decidedly different priorities brushed up against each other this morning. Adweek’s TVSpy reports that CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves and IAC Chairman Barry Diller were among the guests on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” for a discussion of the future of media.

According to Diller, it’s all about local. Diller was a backer of Aereo, which provided access to local TV signals to viewers via the Internet until it was shut down last year due to legal challenges — with Moonves and CBS among those bringing action against the company.

Said Diller: “All TV news, other than local news, is irrelevant. People watch local. I’ve always thought the last one standing is a local television station. I think they’re going on forever. They are the ones organized to deal with their local community. People like to know about things in their area: weather, sports. Local, local, local, is always going to be relevant for television.”

The CBS chairman, sitting next to Diller, pushed him on that point, asking whether Diller thinks CBS’s “60 Minutes” is irrelevant.

Said Diller, according to Adweek: “No, no, sorry, not saying ’60 minutes’ or documentaries and specials and things like that. The concept of the evening news — it has an audience, but that audience is declining. It’s no longer relevant.”


Oct 13, 2015
2:15 pm

Drama Series Canceled (TVLine)

A broadcast drama series will be wrapping it up after one more season. Announcing the end game for “Beauty and the Beast” was the CW, which said the show will air a fourth season and then shut down.

The series, which has never been a huge ratings performer, had its episode order cut from 22 to 13 for season three, which wrapped last month. Season four is currently winding down production and is due to air in 2016, with the exact dates not yet announced.

“Starring ‘Smallville’ alum Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in the title roles, the supernatural-tinged take on the romantic fairy tale averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.6 demo rating during its freshman run (which had a buzzy ‘Vampire Diaries’ for a lead-in), but during Season 3 (where it self-started summertime Thursdays) it mustered just 880K and a 0.2,” TVLine notes.

Produced by CBS Television Studios, the series was loosely inspired by the CBS series of the same name that aired in the 1980s.

beauty and the beast-cw

Oct 13, 2015
2:07 pm

Harry Connick Jr. Readying His Own Entertainment Show (TVWeek)

Award-winning musician, singer and actor Harry Connick Jr. is readying a show to roll out in fall 2016, with NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announcing that the syndicated daytime program has already been sold to the Fox Television Stations.

The show, “Harry,” will debut in national syndication in September 2016. Announcing plans for the entertainment program today was Ed Swindler, President, NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution and NBC Broadcast Operations.

The show will air on Fox-owned stations in 17 markets and is currently being sold to other station groups, the announcement notes.

Brothers Justin and Eric Stangel, both former head writers and executive producers for the “Late Show with David Letterman,” will serve as executive producers for “Harry.”

Said Connick: “I’m a lucky guy. I get to be a husband to a wonderful wife, a father to three incredible daughters, and an entertainer to the most amazing fans. And now, I’m honored to be able to put smiles on people’s faces on a daily basis. Working with the amazingly talented and hysterical Stangel brothers is a dream come true. ‘Harry’ will be an hour filled with fun, music and laughter. Fasten your seat belts — it’s gonna be one heck of a good time!”

Swindler commented: “We could not be more excited to partner with Harry Connick, Jr. on this multi-faceted entertainment show. We believe Harry will emerge as daytime TV’s most distinctive, talented, relatable, and consistently funny host. The Stangel Brothers’ distinguished writing and producing achievements are second to none. They will add an engaging, upbeat, and comedic energy to this multi-layered program.”

The announcement says of the show: “Drawing inspiration from the family-friendly variety shows of the past, ‘Harry’ will reflect the unparalleled hosting and entertainment skills of Harry Connick, Jr.’s varied career in music, film, television, and Broadway. His goal is to bring the party back to daytime by delivering entertainment and laughter through a variety of segments — from comedic man-on-the-street interviews, live musical performances and parodies, to hilarious stunts and audience participation and surprises. “Harry” is a unique variety program for the new millennium aimed at entertaining the modern daytime audience.”

NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Oct 13, 2015
2:01 pm

Donald Trump to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ (USA Today)

GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is showing no signs of giving up the media spotlight anytime soon. USA Today reports that Trump is scheduled to host the NBC sketch show “Saturday Night Live.”

Trump is lined up for the Nov. 7 installment of the show, with Sia on tap as musical guest. It will be Trump’s second time as host, following an appearance back in 2004.

“Expect an audience bump for the Republican presidential candidate’s appearance,” USA Today notes. “An August Republican debate on Fox News Channel, powered by front-runner Trump’s presence, set a primary debate record with 24 million viewers. A September Republican debate on CNN drew an impressive 22.9 million viewers.”

“SNL” averaged 6.2 million viewers last November, and this season’s premiere Oct. 3, featuring Miley Cyrus as host, brought in 6.3 million, the report notes.



Oct 13, 2015
1:44 pm

New Drama Series Gets Full-Season Pickup (TVWeek)

A freshman broadcast drama has received an order for a full season. The show is “Quantico,” with ABC announcing the pickup today.

“Season to date, ‘Quantico’ ranks as Sunday’s No. 1 scripted broadcast show in Adults 18-49, improving the 10 o’clock hour for ABC by 44%,” the network said in its announcement. “The new ABC drama is a big gainer in TV playback, with its debut telecast jumping by 5.0 million viewers and 79% in Adults 18-49 from the Live + Same Day to Live + 7 Day numbers to draw an average of 12.2 million viewers and a 3.4 rating in young adults.”

Produced by ABC Studios, the series stars Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish, Josh Hopkins as Liam O’Connor, Aunjanue Ellis as Miranda Shaw, Jake McLaughlin as Ryan Booth, Tate Ellington as Simon Asher, Johanna Braddy as Shelby Wyatt, Graham Rogers as Caleb Haas, Yasmine Al Massri as Nimah Amin and Anabelle Acosta as Nathalie Vasquez.

Executive producers are Joshua Safran, Mark Gordon, Nicholas Pepper, Jake Coburn and Robert Sertner.

The network describes “Quantico” as “a thrilling drama about a diverse group of FBI recruits who have arrived at Quantico headquarters for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.”


Oct 13, 2015
1:21 pm

Colbert Unveils ‘RejecTED Talks’ Segment — Check Out the Clip (YouTube, CBS)

Stephen Colbert broke out a new segment on his CBS late-night show that has some promise, purporting to present would-be TED Talks that were rejected by the TED Talks organization.

Here’s the inaugural segment:

Oct 13, 2015
12:51 pm

Nation’s Largest TV Station Operator Reorganizes Programming Division (TVNewsCheck)

In a reorganization of its programming operations, the largest operator of television stations in the U.S., Sinclair Broadcast Group, has named Arthur Hasson chief operating officer, Sinclair Programming, TVNewsCheck reports.

Hasson, who joined Sinclair in 2012, will be in charge of all programming for the station group. He most recently was COO of Sinclair Original Programming, overseeing new program development for the company’s stations.

“Bill Butler, VP of programming and promotion, becomes SVP of promotion and corporate marketing in the reorganization,” the story reports. “Hasson will report to the Co-COOs of Sinclair Television Group, with Tammy Dupuy and David Howitt, VPs of programming, reporting to Hasson.”

Butler will report to David Amy, EVP-COO of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Said Amy: “Bill will expand our efforts to focus and amplify the marketing of Sinclair Broadcast Group to the industry, expanding news efforts and our public agency constituencies.”

Hasson commented: “I am excited by the possibilities our rapid growth has given us. Our significant scale and reach on all screens is a major advantage in program development and planning; one that yields real benefits to our audience and shareholders.”

sinclair broadcast group-logo-sbg

Oct 13, 2015
12:44 pm

Esquire Names Its Sexiest Woman Alive — You May Know Her From a Popular TV Show (Esquire)

Esquire magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive for 2015 is also a star on a wildly popular television show. The publication just took the wraps off its November issue showcasing Emilia Clarke, the 28-year-old London native who plays Daenerys Targaryen — Mother of Dragons — on the HBO drama series “Game of Thrones.”

Clarke, who has received two Emmy nominations for “Thrones,” was also recently named Woman of the Year by GQ. She recently starred as Sarah Connor in “Terminator Genisys.”

esquire november 2015 cover emilia clarke sexiest woman alive

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