Nov 21, 2014
8:16 am

Cable Comedy Series Canceled (Deadline)

As part of a programming overhaul taking place at a couple of major cable channels, a comedy series has been canceled after three seasons. reports that TBS canceled “Sullivan & Son,” part of an ongoing renovation of the programming lineups at that channel and TNT.

“Sullivan & Son” and “Men at Work” were the first original comedies series on TBS to take hold, the story notes. “Men at Work” was canceled in May, while “Cougar Town” was also wrapping up. That means the only returning original scripted series on TBS for 2015 is “Ground Floor,” the story reports.

“Sullivan & Son” was set at a bar in a working-class Pittsburgh neighborhood. The third season averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.6 rating in viewers 18-49, with those numbers down 21% and 26%, respectively, from the previous season, the piece reports.

The article notes that TBS’s sister network TNT has recently canceled three established shows: “Dallas,” “Franklin & Bash” and “Perception.”


Nov 21, 2014
7:29 am

Fox Unveils Midseason Premiere Dates, Maps Out Endgame for ‘Glee’ — and a Former Ratings Juggernaut Gets Its Episode Count Reduced (Deadline)

Fox has scheduled its midseason series, including the final season of “Glee,” which will return Jan. 9 and will air on Fridays during its 13-episode run, reports

“Glee” will share Friday prime time with a new unscripted hourlong comedy project, working title “World’s Funniest Fails,” which is based on the YouTube channel FailArmy.

Fox also said it is officially reducing the number of “American Idol” episodes. The competition program, which was the highest-rated program on broadcast prime during its heyday from 2003-2011, has struggled with dwindling ratings in recent seasons.

“The veteran singing competition will start off its fourteenth season with its usual twice-a-week airing pattern before dropping the Thursday edition starting March 26,” the story reports.

Two new live-action comedies will air in midseason. They are “The Last Man on Earth,” which stars Will Forte and will debut March 1 behind Sunday’s “Family Guy,” and “Weird Loners,” which will air Tuesdays after “New Girl,” and will debut March 31.

“Idol” will help debut the new drama “Backstrom,” which will air on Thursdays after the reality series starting Jan. 22.

Please click here to see the full Fox midseason schedule.

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Nov 21, 2014
7:02 am

Young Actress Named Miss Golden Globe 2015 — It’s All About the Genes (TheWrap, TVWeek)

A young actress who is the daughter of a big TV star has been named Miss Golden Globe — an honor that traditionally goes to the offspring of a celebrity. reports that the title for 2015 goes to Greer Grammer, the daughter of veteran sitcom star Kelsey Grammer and makeup artist Barrie Buckner. Greer Grammer, 22, is known for her portrayal of Lissa on the MTV series “Awkward.”

The duties that come with the title include helping the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with its annual Golden Globe Awards.

Last year, the title went to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick’s daughter Sosie Bacon, while Francesca Eastwood, the daughter of Clint Eastwood and Frances Fisher, was honored in 2013.

Other famous couples whose kids have held the title include Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (Rumer Willis, 2008), Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard (Lorraine Nicholson, 2007) and Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens (Joely Fisher, 1992).

Actress Melanie Griffith has been a part of the title both as a daughter and as a mom. The daughter of Peter Griffith and Tippi Hedren was Miss Golden Globe 1975, and later saw her daughter with Don Johnson, Dakota Johnson, named Miss Golden Globe 2006.

In a statement, Greer Grammer said: “I am flattered to have been chosen by the HFPA for this year’s Miss Golden Globe. It’s truly an honor to be included in this experience that so many incredible men and women have been a part of.”

Her father, who is a three-time Golden Globe winner along with his five Primetime Emmys, had a long run as Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms “Cheers” and “Frasier,” more recently starring on the Starz political drama “Boss.”

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Greer Grammer

Nov 21, 2014
6:26 am

CBS and Dish Head Off Potential Blackout — for Now (Bloomberg)

As negotiations continue between CBS and Dish Network, the companies headed off a potential blackout by agreeing to a five-day extension of their contract, Bloomberg reports. The agreement keeps CBS in the lineup for Dish’s 14 million pay-TV customers for the time being.

“Negotiations are continuing, New York-based CBS said [Wednesday, Nov. 19] in an e-mailed statement,” the story reports. “The network, which airs ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘NCIS,’ had warned viewers that Dish may stop carrying the channel when the contract expired [Wednesday]. Dish, the third-largest U.S. pay-TV provider, was ‘dragging its feet,’ CBS said on Nov. 18.”

Last month, Dish dropped several channels owned by Time Warner’s Turner, including CNN. Turner and Dish are still talking about TBS and TNT, which have deals with Dish that are set to expire soon.

dish network-logo

Nov 20, 2014
3:40 pm

After 45 Years, One of the Best-Known Executives in the TV Station Business Is Retiring (TVweek)

From coast-to-coast, he’s had a storied career in TV station management and, before that, in TV station ad sales.

Arnie Kleiner, who has been the president and general manager of ABC’s KABC-TV in Los Angeles for the past 19 years, announced today that he will be retiring at the end of January 2015.

“I’ve been so lucky to have had such a long and rewarding career in the television business,” Kleiner, 71, said in a statement. “I’ve had the great privilege of working with an amazing group of people and I’m very glad to have helped build KABC-TV into the great station it is today. I leave the station in good hands, and they can count on me to be their most loyal viewer.”

Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC-owned television station group, said in a statement, “Through his strong leadership, Arnie has led a team that has built KABC into the number one television station in Los Angeles. We are extremely appreciative of his many years of commitment and dedication to our owned station group, and the great passion that Arnie has brought to KABC. We wish him the best in his retirement — he will be missed.”

According to the statement, here’s a quick summary of Kleiner’s career: “Kleiner has served as President and General Manager of KABC-TV since February 1996. Prior to his appointment at KABC-TV, he served as President and General Manager of KFMB-TV-AM/FM in San Diego, California.

“Mr. Kleiner began his career with Westinghouse Broadcasting in 1968 as an Account Executive at KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh. He moved into its television group in 1969 as an Account Executive at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. This was followed by positions at Group W Television Sales in Chicago and WBZ-TV in Boston.

“Mr. Kleiner subsequently joined Group W Television Sales in New York in 1974 as Sales Manager. In 1975 he returned to WJZ-TV as General Sales Manager. In 1978, he joined WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as Director of Sales. In 1981, Mr. Kleiner was named Vice President and General Manager of WMAR-TV in Baltimore. He remained there until 1993, when he moved to KFMB-TV AM/FM in San Diego, prior to his present position.”

Kleiner has also been involved with many philanthropic activities.

arnie kleiner Arnie Kleiner

Nov 20, 2014
12:44 pm

Shakeup at CBS: Change of Leadership for News Division (TheWrap)

The chairman of CBS News has stepped down from his post, and another executive is set to take the reins of the organization. reports that Jeff Fager circulated a memo announcing that he is resigning as chairman of CBS News and will focus full time on his role as executive producer of “60 Minutes.”

CBS News President David Rhodes will take over running the news division, the piece reports, noting that he will retain the title of president and will not be named chairman.

Fager, who has been executive producer of “60 Minutes” for 10 years, said in his memo: “Today I am announcing that I will be stepping down as Chairman of CBS News and returning my full attention to ’60 Minutes’ effective at the beginning of the new year.” He added that he and CBS President Leslie Moonves “agreed that when the time was right I would be able to return to ’60 Minutes’ full time.”

The report adds: “Fager became the first chairman of CBS News in 2011; he simultaneously kept his role as executive producer of ’60 Minutes.’ During his tenure, he oversaw the re-launch of ‘CBS This Morning’ as a harder news program with hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King (Norah O’Donnell later joined).”

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David Rhodes

Nov 20, 2014
11:44 am

Why Jay Leno Backed Out of Vegas Gig (UPI)

Jay Leno has pulled the plug on an upcoming appearance in Las Vegas, and a spokesman for the former “Tonight Show” host said it had to do with Leno finding out what kind of an event he had agreed to participate in.

UPI reports that the event is a gun show put on by lobbyists against gun control whose group is based near the site of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

“Leno was scheduled to host the 2015 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, but upon learning it was backed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation — a Newtown, Conn.-based pro-gun group, similar to the National Rifle Association — Leno quickly backed out and contacted the parents of victims of the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people,” the story reports.

Leno’s spokesman Bruce Bobbins said: “When it came to his attention that this was actually a pro-gun lobby show, [Leno] immediately canceled his appearance.”

Leno apparently had been under the impression that the show was non-political and was strictly about hunting.

The pro-gun organization blamed Leno’s cancellation on pressure from anti-gun advocates.

On its blog, the NSSF said: “[Leno] unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail.”

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Nov 20, 2014
10:29 am

CNN Documentary Asks Whether College Is Worth the Price (TVWeek)

What used to be taken as generally accepted wisdom — that the path to success in our society includes a college degree — is called into question in a thought-provoking documentary, “Ivory Tower,” which asks the burning question of whether college is worth the cost.

“Ivory Tower” airs tonight, Nov. 20, 2014, on CNN at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT. Please click here to read a preview of the program by TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin.

Nov 20, 2014
9:29 am

NBC News Chief Answers ‘False Rumors’ of ‘Today’ Show Anchor Firings (Deadline, Us Weekly)

With media attention focused on apparent turmoil behind the scenes at NBC’s “Today” show, NBC News President Deborah Turness released a statement Wednesday shooting down what she called “false rumors,” reports.

The move came after Us Weekly ran a report saying “Today” anchors Natalie Morales and Willie Geist had been fired.

The statement from Turness says: “The entire ‘Today’ show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.”

The Us Weekly report came out after “Today” executive Jamie Horowitz was fired just 10 weeks after he had been hired to improve the morning show’s ratings, as we reported previously.

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Nov 20, 2014
9:21 am

Report: After ‘Cringe-Worthy’ Gaffes, NBC Execs Warn Al Roker to Think Before He Speaks

Al Roker was reportedly recently told by NBC executives that he needs to think before he speaks, following a number of “cringe-worthy live gaffes,” reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

The story cites a source characterizing the incident as an “Al Roker intervention.”

“Classic Roker-isms that left ‘Today’ producers wincing include when he insulted a woman by asking if her husband was her father, and telling a mother in the crowd on the ‘Today’ plaza on Oct. 15 that her crying baby looked like a ‘Japanese anime,’” the story reports.

Other past comments by Roker have also been noted, such as his confession last year that he soiled his pants at the White House.

Following the “intervention,” an NBC representative said, “Al would have had a comment, but it was inappropriate and over-the-top, so we decided we couldn’t release it.” But a source indicated that Roker took the feedback to heart and was prepared to make an effort.

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Al Roker on “Today”

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