Dec 1, 2015
9:17 am

TV News Fixture Calls It Quits (AP)

A news personality who has been a familiar face on television for decades is ready to call it a career. The AP reports that Linda Ellerbee, 71, announced today that she will retire after a one-hour retrospective of her work airs on Nickelodeon Dec. 15.

Ellerbee was already well-known for her work at NBC News when she carved out a new niche as the face of Nick News. She wound up staying with Nickelodeon for a quarter-century.

During her time at NBC, going back to the late ’70s, Ellerbee’s many jobs included covering politics, co-hosting the prime-time newsmagazine “Weekend” and contributing to programs including “Today.” She settled into a run as co-host of “NBC News Overnight” in the mid-1980s, earning accolades for what the duPont Columbia Awards called “possibly the best-written and most intelligent news program ever.”

Ellerbee’s traditional signoff phrase, “And so it goes,” became the title of her first book, published in 1986. The no-holds-barred inside look at TV news became a bestseller, but it also apparently played a role in her departure from NBC.

“I wrote it predicated on the assumption that my bosses at NBC News had a sense of humor,” Ellerbee is quoted saying in the AP story. “I turned out to be wrong on that.”

Ellerbee bounced around among a series of TV jobs, including contributing to ABC’s “Good Morning, America” and doing commentaries on CNN, before landing at Nickelodeon. The children’s network reportedly hired her to create a show that would explain the Iraq war to young viewers.

“She was Nick News head for 25 years, making programs tied to events like the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina,” the AP reports. “The show delved into social issues like same-sex marriage and AIDS. She won Emmys for shows on AIDS, children of alcoholics, kids living with cancer, the adjustment of parents returning from war, autism and ethnic cleansing.”

nick news with linda ellerbee

Dec 1, 2015
8:59 am
Dec 1, 2015
8:41 am

HBO Sports Gets New Boss (B&C)

Pay cabler HBO continues to change the lineup in its sports division. After the high-profile addition earlier this year of former ESPN personality Bill Simmons, the company has named a new executive VP of HBO Sports.

B&C reports that the job is going to Peter Nelson, who has been VP of programming for HBO Sports since 2013 after joining the division in 2011.

Nelson, who will report to HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo, will oversee an HBO sports portfolio that includes “HBO Pay-Per-View boxing,” “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley,” “Hard Knocks” and “24/7,” along with documentaries, the report notes.

Said Lombardo: “Peter Nelson is the ideal choice to spearhead our groundbreaking programming initiatives as well as our commitment to world class boxing, which have made HBO Sports an acclaimed franchise for the network. He has a comprehensive understanding of boxing, a key programming staple for our subscribers for more than four decades.”


Dec 1, 2015
7:57 am

‘Bones’ Drama: Stars Join Producers in Suing Fox (THR)

The legal drama over a Fox crime drama is intensifying. The two top stars of “Bones” are now suing the network, producer 20th Century Fox Television and others alleging they are owed “tens of millions of dollars” in profits, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show, in its 11th season, is the longest-running drama in the history of the Fox Network. Stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz have now added their star power to a growing dispute over profit sharing.

Deschanel and Boreanaz joined with author and executive producer Kathy Reichs in filing their own suit, following a similar suit filed last week by Barry Josephson, one of the show’s executive producers.

The new suit from Deschanel, Boreanaz and Reichs “claims they saw zero profits for years despite the success of the show,” THR reports.

In the suit, “the trio claim Fox has underpaid them through accounting tricks and ‘vertical integration,’ in which a company’s production division licenses a show at an artificially discounted rate to the company’s affiliated distribution channel,” the story reports. “They also claim Fox fraudulently accounted for revenue, employed strong-arm tactics to lower license fees to the point that the series never showed a profit, and withheld key documents that would help them better ascertain the extent to which they are owed money.”

The filing also makes note of what the complaint says is Fox’s “leading role in the well-documented history of Hollywood accounting scandals,” pointing to a history of lawsuits over shows including “M*A*S*H,” “The X-Files” and “NYPD Blue,” THR adds.


Dec 1, 2015
7:33 am

Report: Black Friday Weekend In-Store Sales Plunge as Online Sales Surge (Forbes)

Walter Loeb, a former retail analyst and current consultant to the retail industry, writes in Forbes that when all is said and done over the Black Friday weekend, retail (in-store plus online) sales were up 3% over last year.

He writes:

“1. … I estimate that in-store sales decreased by 12-15% in the three-day period (Friday to Sunday) over the previous year.
Smart phone sales were very strong. I estimate that they increased by 38%.

  1. Cyber Sales – purchases by traditional computers and tablets increased about 18%.
  2. Total sales increased 3%. This means that all figures combined gave stores a slight positive edge over last year.”

To read more about Loeb’s analysis, please click here, which will take you to his Forbes article.

Dec 1, 2015
7:01 am

Amazon Beating Apple in Sales of Streaming Media Players — But There’s a Catch (Apple Insider)

Amazon announced today that its Fire TV was the top-selling streaming media player across all U.S. retailers for the period from July through October, topping Apple TV and others.

The company notes that the data is available only through October, but Apple Insider points out that the new fourth-generation Apple TV just arrived in stores Oct. 30. Apple has yet to report on sales for the new Apple TV.

The Amazon announcement did tout a surge in Fire TV sales on the Amazon site over the Black Friday weekend, saying sales of Fire TV devices were up more than six times from a year earlier. The Fire set-top box was the top seller among streaming devices, with the Fire TV Stick in second place.

“Highlighting Amazon’s role in the low-end tablet business, the company also revealed that its $49.99 7-inch Fire tablet is the fastest-selling Amazon tablet ever, with ‘millions’ sold since launch,” Apple Insider reports. “The budget-priced Fire helped to increase tablet sales more than three times that of Black Friday 2014.”

Amazon wasn’t revealing exact sales figures on the devices.

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices, said in the announcement: “This has already been the biggest holiday shopping season for Amazon devices, and we’re energized by the year over year growth for all of our product categories. With a sub-$50 price point for one or $250 for a six-pack, we’ve reached a tipping point with Fire — it is our fastest-selling tablet ever. We’ve already built millions — and we’re ramping up production to build millions more.”

amazon fire stickAmazon Fire TV Stick

Nov 30, 2015
2:31 pm

CBS Introducing New Comedy Block; Network Takes Wraps Off Midseason Schedule (TVWeek)

CBS has unveiled a midseason schedule that includes a new comedy block. The network will air an hour of comedy on Wednesday nights, reuniting “Mike & Molly” and “2 Broke Girls” from 8-9 p.m. to fill the gap between cycles of “Survivor.”

The two sitcoms were previously paired as part of CBS’s Monday nights when the network aired a comedy block on that night. Their new Wednesday night pairing launches Jan. 6.

The Jane Lynch comedy “Angel From Hell” will move into the Thursday 9:30 p.m. slot currently being held down by “2 Broke Girls,” with that launch set for Jan. 7.

Here’s the full schedule of CBS premiere dates for winter and spring:

Sunday Dec. 20 (Football doubleheader)

8:30-9:30 p.m., ET/8-9 p.m., PT — Undercover Boss (7th Season Premiere)

Sunday, Dec. 27

8-9 p.m., ET/PT — Undercover Boss

Sunday, Jan. 3 (Football doubleheader)

8:30-9:30 p.m., ET/8-9 p.m., PT — Undercover Boss

Wednesday, Jan. 6

8-8:30 p.m., ET/PT — 2 Broke Girls (Time Period Premiere)

8:30-9 p.m., ET/PT — Mike & Molly (6th Season Premiere)

9-11 p.m., ET/PT — People’s Choice Awards

Thursday, Jan. 7

8-8:30 p.m., ET/PT — The Big Bang Theory

8:30-9 p.m., ET/PT — Life in Pieces

9-9:30 p.m., ET/PT — Mom

9:30-10 p.m., ET/PT  — Angel From Hell (Series Premiere)

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Elementary

Friday, Jan. 8

8-9 p.m., ET/PT — Undercover Boss (Time Period Premiere)

9-10 p.m., ET/PT — Hawaii 5-0

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Blue Bloods

Wednesday, Jan. 13

8-8:30 p.m., ET/PT — 2 Broke Girls

8:30-9 p.m., ET/PT — Mike & Molly

9-10 p.m., ET/PT — Criminal Minds

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Code Black

Friday, Feb. 12

8-9 p.m., ET/PT — The Amazing Race (28th Season Premiere)

9-10 p.m., ET/PT — Hawaii 5-0

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Blue Bloods

Wednesday, Feb. 17

8-9:30 p.m., ET/PT — Survivor (32nd Season Premiere)

Wednesday, Feb. 24

8-9 p.m., ET/PT — Survivor

9-10 p.m., ET/PT — Criminal Minds

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Code Black (Season Finale)

Wednesday, March 2

8-9 p.m., ET/PT  — Survivor

9-10 p.m., ET/PT — Criminal Minds

10-11 p.m., ET/PT  — Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (Series Premiere)

Thursday, April 7

8-8:30 p.m., ET/PT  — The Big Bang Theory

8:30-9 p.m., ET/PT  — The Odd Couple (2nd Season Premiere)

9-9:30 p.m., ET/PT — Mom

9:30-10 p.m., ET/PT — Angel from Hell

10-11 p.m., ET/PT — Elementary

Nov 30, 2015
2:17 pm

Will It Be Another ‘Gangnam Style’? The Pop Sensation Who Topped 2 Billion Views With Mega-Hit Drops His New Video — Here It Is (YouTube)

The international pop star whose “Gangnam Style” is the most viewed YouTube video of all time — by a lot — just dropped his new video.

Korean singer Psy became a worldwide sensation with “Gangnam Style, released in 2012. One of the many versions of the video has almost two and a half billion views on YouTube.

Psy’s new video is “Daddy.” Here it is:

Nov 30, 2015
2:09 pm

Singer Sinead O’Connor Reportedly Safe After Posting Overdose Message (Reuters)

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor is reportedly safe and was receiving medical attention after posting what has been described as a suicide message on her Facebook page.

Reuters reports that O’Connor, who had a huge hit with a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” posted: “The last two nights finished me off. I have taken an overdose. There is no other way to get respect. I am not at home, I’m at a hotel, somewhere in Ireland, under another name.”

She also described problems with her family in the post, writing: “If I wasn’t posting this, my kids and family wouldn’t even find out. I’m such a rotten horrible mother and Person, that I’ve been alone. Howling crying for weeks. I’m invisible. I don’t matter a shred to anyone.”

O’Connor canceled a tour back in July, citing illness.

Nov 30, 2015
2:01 pm

Drama Series Renewed for Fourth Season (TVWeek)

A hit drama series has been picked up for season four. The renewal of the original series “The Fosters” was announced today by ABC Family Executive VP, Programming and Development, Karey Burke.

The family drama will roll out season three starting Monday, Jan. 25, on ABC Family, which is becoming Freeform starting in January.

In the announcement, Burke said: “We have so many more stories to tell about ‘The Fosters’ family — these incredible characters have come into our lives and touched so many — from Stef and Lena’s wedding to the adoptions of Callie and Jude. We look forward to more of the groundbreaking storytelling from this creative team.”

The announcement notes that “The Fosters” ranked as cable TV’s No. 1 scripted series on Mondays at 8 p.m. in total viewers (2.1 million) and across key target adults 18-34 and adults 18-49 demographics in its recent summer season.

the fosters-abc family

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