Jul 22, 2016
3:41 pm

Why NBCUniversal Just Hired BBC Worldwide’s COO (Variety, TVWeek)

NBCUniversal has brought aboard a high-ranking executive from the BBC. Variety reports that the company’s new senior VP of international operations and technology is David Gibbons, who was chief operating officer at BBC Worldwide.

Gibbons is tasked with helping to accelerate NBCU’s digital growth agenda, the company said today.

“Gibbons, who will be based in London and starts Sept. 30, will assume strategic leadership of the digital technology teams, broadcast operations, IT and operational service functions, including security and facilities,” Variety reports.

NBCU says in its announcement: “He will focus on driving technological and operational excellence and building opportunities for further innovation and collaboration across NBCUniversal’s international divisions.”

Gibbons will report to Ian Trombley, president, operations and technical services, and Kevin MacLellan, chairman, NBCUniversal International, Variety adds.

Gibbons reportedly stepped up to the COO position at BBC Worldwide earlier this year after serving as the company’s global technology chief.

david gibbonsDavid Gibbons

Jul 22, 2016
3:09 pm

Fox Reboots the Movie With the Longest Theatrical Run in History — Here’s the Airdate Along With Other Details (TVWeek)

The movie that has had the longest theatrical distribution of any film in history is getting a reboot on Fox, which has announced broadcast plans for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.”

The new two-hour musical production will air Thursday, Oct. 20. The project stars Laverne Cox, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan, Annaleigh Ashford, Adam Lambert, Reeve Carney, Christina Milian, Staz Nair and Ivy Levan, with Ben Vereen and Tim Curry.

The production is a reboot of the 1975 feature film that became a cult sensation at midnight movies worldwide and has remained in theatrical distribution for a record 40-plus years.

Please click here to read additional details in the Fox announcement.

rocky horror picture show-movie poster

Jul 22, 2016
2:57 pm

GOP Convention Delivers Huge Ratings (TVWeek)

Numbers are in for Thursday’s final night of the Republican National Convention, and the numbers are, as Donald Trump might say, “yuuuge!’

CNN was clucking about a number of achievements, including beating the prime-time coverage on all of the broadcast networks for the first time ever on the final night of the GOP convention, surging over the cable net’s 2012 numbers and narrowing the demo gap with Fox. But overall, Fox still had a sizable advantage.

The climactic 10 p.m. hour on Thursday breaks down like this:

10 p.m. hour Thursday, July 21, 2016

Total Viewers

Fox News — 9.354 million

CNN — 5.477 million

NBC — 4.587 million

ABC — 3.867 million

CBS — 3.809 million

MSNBC — 2.954 million

Adults 25-54

Fox News — 2.483 million

CNN — 1.901 million

NBC — 1.766 million

ABC — 1.434 million

CBS  — 1.208 million

MSNBC — 927,000

“Compared to the final night of the RNC in 2012, CNN is up by a dramatic +161% in total viewers (4.323m vs. 1.658m in 2012) and is also up an impressive +137% among adults 25-54 (1.375m vs. 581k in 2012) during primetime,” CNN noted in its announcement. “CNN has narrowed the gap with Fox in the demo 25-54 compared to four years ago. In 2012, CNN averaged 581k to Fox News’ 1.627m on the final night; this year, CNN averaged 1.375m to Fox’s 1.728m on the final night in primetime.”

Jul 22, 2016
1:59 pm

Al Jazeera Returns to the U.S. (Reuters)

The Al Jazeera Media Network, which shut down its U.S. cable channel on April 30, will relaunch in the U.S. market.

Reuters reports that the company plans to make Al Jazeera English available domestically via digital streaming. The company’s English-language international news channel reaches more than 305 million households internationally, but U.S. viewers have not had access to its live stream.

Al Jazeera unveiled its plans in an email sent Thursday to employees.

“Al Jazeera English is in talks with cable carriers that carried the now defunct Al Jazeera America to make its live video stream available in the U.S. starting in September, according to the email from Giles Trendle, acting managing director of Al Jazeera English and director of programs,” Reuters reports.

The email adds: “I am pleased to be able to say that, all going well, AJE will [be] available in the USA, across digital platforms, in September. The exact date will be fixed once we get the green light from our Legal team, who have been concluding deals with the cable carriers of AJAM.”

al jazeera-aljazeera-logo

Jul 22, 2016
1:55 pm

The Resignation of Roger Ailes and the Stench of Mendacity (TVWeek)

The problem, according to TV Week Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross, is not that 21st Century Fox got rid of Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of the Fox News Channel – it’s what Rupert Murdoch and his sons said about it. Please click here to read Ross’ provocative essay.

Jul 22, 2016
1:44 pm

Amazon Takes Wraps Off New Comedy Lineup (TVWeek)

Amazon unveiled a lineup of new comedy projects featuring stars from Jean-Claude Van Damme to Kevin Bacon and notable creators such as Ridley Scott and Jill Soloway.

The streaming service’s comedy pilot season debuts Aug. 19 on Amazon Video with three new pilots: “The Tick,” “I Love Dick” and “Jean-Claude Van Johnson.”

Please click here for details.


Jul 22, 2016
1:17 pm

If You’re Too Busy to Play Pokemon Go, Now You Can Get Someone Else to Play It for You (For a Price) (AP)

A cottage industry has sprouted in connection with the Pokemon Go augmented reality game. For a price, entrepreneurs will play the game for people who are too busy to play it themselves, the AP reports.

“New ads are popping up on Craigslist nearly every day from people who say they will log on to your ‘Pokemon Go’ account and effectively run up your score while you are stuck at work or sitting in class,” the story reports.

The report mentions Lewis Gutierrez, who has been playing the game in the New York area for clients who pay about $20 an hour for his services.

“Gutierrez, who described himself as a welder and writer, said he began by helping relatives with the game after it was released in the U.S. in early July. Then he put a post on Craigslist advertising his services professionally,” the story reports. “He said he was immediately inundated with requests from potential customers and had to recruit [Jordan] Clark, a part-time wine purveyor, to help.”

Said Gutierrez: “I couldn’t even do it by myself. I had two phones. I was doing, like, 10-hour days and I got my friend Jordan to come along with me. And now it looks like we are going to have to hire another person. So, it’s just been booming.”

Clark and Gutierrez, who are college friends, call themselves Pokewalkers and say the service is reminiscent of dogwalking.

Jul 22, 2016
10:47 am

Cable Drama Series to End Its Run (TVWeek)

A drama series that has had a good run on cable, becoming one of the trademark shows for MTV, will end its run after one more season. MTV announced at Comic-Con that the sixth season of “Teen Wolf” will be its last.

The show’s 20-episode season six will premiere in November and will take “Teen Wolf” to 100 episodes when the show wraps up its run in 2017.

MTV also unveiled a new teaser for season six, which you can watch below.

“Teen Wolf” stars Tyler Posey, Holland Roden, Dylan Sprayberry, Cody Christian and Khylin Rhambo, along with executive producer Jeff Davis, appeared at Comic-Con to announce the show’s endgame at a panel attended by more than 4,000 fans.

Please click here to read additional details in an announcement released Thursday by MTV.

Here’s the new trailer for season six …

Jul 22, 2016
10:01 am

‘Bachelor’ Star Decides Not to Run for Office — Here’s His Mysterious ‘Explanation’ (TVWeek)

Just two days after news surfaced that he was throwing his hat in the ring with a bid for the Colorado House, former “Bachelor” star Ben Higgins announced today that he has changed his mind and will not run for the office after all.

Higgins released a statement that raises more questions than it answers. Here’s the complete statement:

“I regret that I must withdraw my candidacy. Despite my best efforts to pursue this opportunity in good faith, I recently received information that has made such a pursuit unworkable. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be able to move forward as a candidate. I find solace in knowing that our intentions and actions have been fair and sincere. I entered into this endeavor wanting to bring positive change to my community, and it is with that same spirit that I will move forward, albeit on a different path.”

– Ben Higgins

Higgins, a 28-year-old Republican, was expected to face incumbent Democrat Dan Pabon, the Speaker Pro Tempore. Higgins starred on season 20 of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” which wrapped in March with his selection of Lauren Bushnell to become his fiancee.

Freeform will air the follow-up “Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After” in October.

the bachelor ben higgins abc


Jul 22, 2016
9:48 am

What Are the Top Scripted Series on Cable? One Network Is Dominating the Rankings (TVWeek, Nielsen)

Figures just out ranking the most-viewed scripted series on basic cable and pay cable for the week of July 11 show that TNT is dominating the top of the rankings. In total viewers, TNT has the top three shows, led by “Major Crimes” at No. 1 with 6.161 million viewers, followed closely by “Rizzoli & Isles” at No. 2 with 6.153 million.

The rankings are based on Nielsen Live+3 data.

TNT’s “The Last Ship” is ranked third, but well behind the channel’s two top shows. “The Last Ship” comes in with 3.644 million viewers, just ahead of OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” at No. 4 with 3.415 million.

OWN is having a pretty good run, with “Greenleaf” also making the Top 10 (No. 8; 2.695 million total viewers).

TNT has a total of four shows in the Top 10, with “Murder in the First” coming in at No. 10 with 2.323 million viewers.

The rest of the Top 10 in total viewers consists of USA’s “Suits” (No. 5, 3.068 million); Starz’s “Power” (No. 6, 3.027 million); AMC’s “Preacher” (No. 7, 2.882 million); and AMC’s “Hell on Wheels” (No. 9, 2.405 million).

The picture in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demo is quite different, with pay-cable shows claiming the two top spots. The Starz drama “Power” tops the chart with 1.830 million demo viewers, followed by HBO’s “Ballers” at No. 2 with 1.465 million. AMC’s “Preacher” is No. 3 in the demo with 1.432 million, followed by TNT’s top demo show “Rizzoli & Isles” at No. 4 with 1.310 million.

The rest of the week’s Top 10 in the 18-49 demo are OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” (No. 5, 1.280 million); Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” (No. 6, 1.257 million); USA’s “Mr. Robot” (No. 7, 1.208 million); TNT’s “Major Crimes” (No. 8, 1.135 million); USA’s “Suits” (No. 9, 1.127 million); and OWN’s “Greenleaf” (No. 10, 1.049 million).

major crimes tnt

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