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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
11:09 am
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Selection of Host City for Olympics Sparks Outcry (Reuters)

A history-making decision announced today by the International Olympic Committee to award hosting rights for the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing has drawn outrage from human rights activists.

The decision, announced today, will make Beijing, where the 2008 Summer Olympics were held, the first city in history to host both the Summer and Winter Games.

“Campaigners say human rights have deteriorated markedly in China since Beijing held the 2008 Summer Games,” Reuters reports. “The last two years under President Xi Jinping’s administration have been marked by a sweeping crackdown on dissidents, activists and human rights lawyers.”

Beijing was picked over Almaty, Kazakhstan, as those two cities were the final contenders following the withdrawal of other hopefuls including Oslo, Munich and Stockholm.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, was among those saying the Olympic Committee is sending the wrong message.

“The IOC’s awarding of the 2022 Olympics to China is a slap in the face to China’s besieged human rights activists,” said Richardson. “Over the next seven years, the IOC has enormous work to do in China to win the credibility on human rights that will ensure a successful Olympics.”

Reuters notes that six groups opposing the Beijing effort appealed to the IOC ahead of the announcement to try to convince the committee not to award the Games to Beijing.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
11:01 am
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Millennials Barely Watch Regular TV (Media Life)

A new study puts a number — a shockingly low one — on how much traditional television is still being viewed by young adults.

Citing the study by entertainment and media research firm SmithGeiger and streaming company Net2TV, Media Life reports: “A mere 18 percent of TV viewing time by adults 18-34 is done through live broadcast or cable TV.”

On the flip side, the study found that 61% of millennials’ viewing time takes place on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones.

“That’s a very high number, considering tablets have only been widely available for five years, and smartphone video quality was spotty up until a few years ago,” Media Life notes.

The report includes an in-depth interview with Seth Geiger, president and co-founder of SmithGeiger, who notes that it has been a surprise how quickly the migration to new devices has taken place.

“The explosion of video consumption on screens, and not just snackable short-form video, but pretty significant degrees of long-form television content being watched across a broad number of platforms, is pretty eye opening,” Geiger said.

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
10:44 am
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AMC Drama Series Picked Up (TVWeek)

The AMC network confirmed the renewal of a popular drama series. The cable channel was joined by Channel 4 and Kudos in today’s announcement that the British-American production “Humans” will be back for a second season.

The program’s first season has performed well in the U.S., with AMC announcing that the show is one of the top 5 cable drama launches this season in adults 25-54, averaging 2 million total viewers and 1 million adults 25-54 through four episodes.

In the U.K., the premiere episode was Channel 4’s highest-rated original drama in 20 years.

The critical reception for the dystopian sci-fi-drama, set in suburban London, has been generally positive.

Please click here for more details.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
10:31 am
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What’s the No. 1 Network at 10 p.m. Weeknights? You May Be Surprised … (TVWeek)

The top network at 10 p.m. Monday-Friday in the key demo of adults 18-49 during the month of July has been Spanish-language broadcast net Telemundo, the network announced today, citing Nielsen data.

Telemundo was also No. 1 in adults 18-34.

“The third season of the network’s hit super series ‘El Senor de los Cielos’ earned an average of 1.4 million 18-49 viewers and 679,000 adults 18-34 this month, outperforming all Spanish-language and English-language broadcast networks in the coveted demo,” Telemundo said in its announcement.

The network also appears to be gaining ground on Spanish-language rival Univision, the segment’s perennial front-runner.

“Telemundo averaged 785,000 adults 18-49 in the Monday-Friday prime time in July, registering the smallest gap with Univision in its history (238,000),” the announcement notes. “In July 2013, the gap between Telemundo and Univision was nearly 1.2 million adults 18-49 in weekday prime time and in July 2014, it was further reduced to 680,000 adults 18-49.”

Telemundo reports that it topped Univision three out of five nights in prime time in adults 18-49 during the week of July 20, 2015. “The average gap between the networks was 40,000 in the day part and demo during that week, the smallest distance between the networks for any week ever in Telemundo’s history,” the network announced.

el senor de los cielos-telemundo

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
10:17 am
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Political Thriller and Mystery Series Coming to BBC America — Full Development Slate in the Works as Partnership With AMC Ramps Up (TVWeek)

AMC and BBC America are collaborating on two new series, the first to be co-developed under their partnership agreement announced late last year.

“Undercover,” from writer Peter Moffat, is a political thriller starring Sophie Okonedo and Adrian Lester. “Thirteen,” from Marnie Dickens, is described as a contemporary mystery. Both projects are due to air on BBC America in 2016.

BBC America President and GM Sarah Barnett unveiled a slate of original scripted development projects that also includes “Dirk Gently,” an adaptation of Douglas Adams’ comic novel; an untitled project from filmmaker Sebastian Silva; and “Moths,” a crime story set in Tokyo’s Shibuya subculture; along with a number of other projects.

Please click here for all the details.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
10:09 am
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WNBA All-Star Game Sees a Surge in Viewership (TVWeek)

In a sign that women’s professional sports are gaining momentum in the U.S., the WNBA All-Star Game, aired Saturday on ABC, saw a double-digit spike in viewership from last year’s telecast.

Viewership was up 23% from 2014, when the game was carried by ESPN, averaging 583,000 viewers. In the game, held at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., the West rallied to beat the East, 117-112.

Minnesota Lynx standout Maya Moore, a former star at the University of Connecticut, set a WNBA All-Star Game record by scoring 30 points en route to being named the game’s MVP.

The top five markets for the game in U.S. household rating were Louisville (2.1), Hartford-New Haven (1.9), Kansas City (1.7), Richmond (1.4) and Raleigh-Durham (1.3.).

wnba all-star game 2015-logo

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
10:01 am
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The ‘Most Interactive Show on Television’ Raises the Bar (TVWeek)

A program that’s billed as “the most interactive show on television” is pushing the interactivity factor even higher. Fusion announced today that “The Chris Gethard Show” — which the network also calls the most unpredictable show on TV — will produce a full-length virtual reality episode.

Fusion is partnering with immersive entertainment company Surreal on the project, with the VR episode being produced as a complement to the TV broadcast of the Aug. 6 installment of the series. Kumail Nanjiani of “Silicon Valley” will be a guest on the episode.

VR viewers will have a virtual front-row seat in the audience along with access to behind-the-scenes content. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Fusion.

Said Gethard: “At ‘The Chris Gethard Show,’ we try to make the audience a part of the experience and really put them in control. With virtual reality technology, we’re proud to make the experience of attending a taping available to anyone anywhere in a real way. It doesn’t matter if you’re in New York City with us anymore. You get to be a part of this.”

Fusion Chief Programming Officer Wade Beckett added: “Audience interaction and participation has been a hallmark of ‘The Chris Gethard Show’ since its inception. We’re excited to partner with Surreal and enter uncharted territory of interactivity, allowing viewers to have an even deeper personal experience with Chris and the TCGS crew. It certainly won’t be boring — of this, we are certain.”

chris gethard show-fusion

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 31, 2015
9:41 am
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Disney Celebrating Early Momentum for New Original Movie Ahead of Tonight’s Premiere (TVWeek)

With the new Disney Channel Original Movie set to premiere tonight on the linear channel, the company is celebrating a massive turnout on its streaming app in advance of the premiere of “Descendants.”

Disney announced that the movie attracted more than 1 million views in five days on the WATCH Disney Channel app, setting records for viewing and engagement.

The TV premiere is set for tonight, July 31, 2015, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, with Disney Channel’s new comedy series “Bunk’d” launching in the leadout spot.

The announcement notes: “A modern-day coming-of-age adventure, ‘Descendants’ stars Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart and Sofia Carson as the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains. With a knowing wink at traditional fairy tales, the original live-action movie fuses castles with classrooms to create a contemporary, music-driven story about the challenges in living up to parental and peer expectations.”

Other cast members include Mitchell Hope, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Maz Jobrani, Kathy Najimy and Kristin Chenoweth.

The Watch Disney Channel app “allows consumers to watch programming anytime and anywhere via their desktop, smartphone, tablet and connected TV devices,” Disney notes. “WATCH viewers who verify with a pay TV service can also watch a live 24-hour feed of the network and access exclusive content, including the premiere of ‘Descendants.'”

descendants-disney channel

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 30, 2015
10:28 pm
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Comcast’s NBCU Reportedly Has ‘a handshake agreement’ to Make a $250 Million Investment in Hot Digital Publisher (re/code)

In a bid to “tap into millennial audiences,” Comcast’s NBCU will invest $250 million in a digital publishing company, report Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka at re/code.

Says the story, “Sources say Comcast’s TV and film unit has a “handshake” agreement with BuzzFeed, which raised $50 million last year at a $850 million valuation. NBCU also is negotiating to invest in Vox Media, which owns this website, in a deal that would value Vox at $850 million. Last fall Vox Media raised money at a $380 million valuation.”

The story notes that one of the entities Vox Media owns is re/code.

Write Swisher and Kafka, “People familiar with the proposed deals say they’re part of a new effort from NBCU CEO Steve Burke to bet on digital outlets he thinks can tap into millennial audiences, who are tuning out of NBCU’s TV networks and most others. The idea is that NBCU can get a crash course on digital content and distribution from its new investments — and that those companies may want to distribute some of NBCU’s content as well.”

To read more about this item, we urge you to click here, which will take you to the original re/code story.

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 30, 2015
10:20 pm
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Fox Cancels Series (EW; Deadline; Variety)

Fox has canceled a series that was hosted by one of the most popular hosts in TV history.

After only two episodes, “Fox has axed ‘Knock Knock Live’—Ryan Seacrest’s highly mock-able reality show that sends a quiz team to everyday Americans’ homes (while Seacrest hosted from the comfort of a studio),” reports our friend James Hibberd on the website of Entertainment Weekly.

Seacrest, of course, has been the popular host over the run of “American Idol.”

Adds Deadline.com, “A one-hour encore of ‘The Last Man On Earth’ is set to air in its Tuesday 9 PM time slot next week, and encores of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and ‘Last Man On Earth’ will fill the spot going forward.”

Notes Variety, ”The July 21 premiere episode [of ‘Knock Knock Live’] averaged a 0.5 rating in 18-49 and 1.7 million viewers overall, marking the smallest demo rating for any Big Four series premiere this summer.”

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