Sep 20, 2014
3:44 pm

Emmy-Winning Actress and Singer — Best Known To Baby-Boomers For Her Long Run as a Panelist on ‘To Tell the Truth’ – Polly Bergen Dies at 84 (Variety; LA Times; YouTube)

Polly Bergen, who won an Emmy for “Playhouse 90” and who was Tony-nominated for the 2001 Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman musical “Follies,” has died at age 84.

Bergen played in many theatrical movies and TV shows, and was a popular Columbia recording artist in the 1950s.

Baby boomers will most likely best remember Bergen as a panelist from the popular quiz show “To Tell the Truth,” which premiered in 1956. The show was on CBS’ prime-time schedule until 1967, and Bergen was a regular panelist from the show’s debut through the 1961 season, according to Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh’s “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.”


Bergen “died at her home in Connecticut [today] Saturday, [Sept. 20, 2014]” according to Variety. The story adds that Bergen, who was then a life-long smoker, “had battled emphysema in the late 1990s.”

The story continues, “Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 for her role as Helen Morgan on the 1950s anthology series ‘Playhouse 90.’ She was a regular in TV movies and miniseries in the 1980s, most notably in the 1983 epic ‘The Winds of War’ and its 1988 sequel, ‘War and Remembrance,’ which earned her an Emmy nom for best supporting actress. She was also the star of her own short-lived NBC variety series, ‘The Polly Bergen Show,’ which ran from 1957 to 1958.”

The Variety obituary adds, “Most recently, she played Felicity Huffman’s mother on ‘Desperate Housewives’ and the mistress of Tony Soprano’s late father on ‘The Sopranos.’ ”

On the big screen Bergen is remembered for her roles in “Kisses for My President,” “Cape Fear,” and “Move Over Darling,” among many others.

Bergen also had a cosmetics and beauty line. “She sold the company in 1973 to Faberge, staying on for a couple of years afterward to run it as a Faberge subsidiary,” according to the Bergen obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

The Times story also says, “In 1982 she married entrepreneur Jeff Endervelt. She co-signed his loans and gave him millions to invest from her beauty company profits. She said in a 2001 New York Times interview: ‘He would come home and say, “Honey, sign this.” I wouldn’t even look at it. Because you trust your husband.’

“The stock market crash of the 1980s wiped out the investments. She divorced him in 1991, and she said he left her with so many debts that she had to sell her New York apartment and other belongings to avoid bankruptcy.”

To read more details about the life of Polly Bergen, please click on our links above that will take you to the original stories Variety and the Los Angeles Times.

Here’s Bergen singing “By Myself,” a torch song by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz from their 1937 show “Between the Devil.” This is from Bergen’s 1958 Columbia album “All Alone By the Telephone” that we found on YouTube:

Sep 19, 2014
1:24 pm

AMC Making a Seven-Figure Ad Pitch for ‘Mad Men’ Finale (B&C)

If advertisers want to be a part of next year’s “Mad Men” finale on AMC, they’re going to have to pony up. B&C reports that the cable channel is making a seven-figure pitch to would-be buyers.

“The network has assembled a package of one of the 20 or so 30-second spots in the ‘Mad Men’ finale, the most upscale show on TV, plus a spot in ‘Walking Dead,’ the highest-rated series among adults 18 to 49, that it’s calling Brawn and Brains. The price tag is north of $1 million,” the story reports.

The final episode of “Mad Men” is due up in spring, and AMC opted not to sell it during the upfront.

“Since then a few dozen advertisers have asked the network to let them know when those spots go on sale. The network began notifying those advertisers late this week about the offer and expects replies by late next week,” the story reports.

For comparison, 30-second spots in last year’s “Breaking Bad” finale on AMC were sold in the scatter market for $300,000 to $400,000, the report notes.

Scott Collins, executive vice president of ad sales for AMC, said of the combination of “Mad Men” and “Walking Dead”: “This is a 100% pure premium package. Advertisers like to buy what they want and they don’t always like to be beholden to buy a bunch of other stuff in order to get what they really want.”

Collins added: “Both shows are in demand by very similar advertisers. They appreciate the big upscale nature of ‘Mad Men’ and they appreciate the large viewership of ‘Walking Dead.’”

mad men

Sep 19, 2014
1:23 pm

Institutional Corruption on Trial — or Not — in CNN’s ‘Whitey’ (TVWeek)

His name was once second on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, right after that of Osama bin Laden. But even with notorious gangster Whitey Bulger captured, convicted and behind bars for the rest of his life in a federal penitentiary, the families of those he killed are not convinced that justice was done.

A new documentary, “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” airing this week on CNN, examines the Bulger trial and attempts to make sense of a complicated case that put not only a lifelong gangster, but also the nation’s flawed law enforcement system, in the spotlight.

Please click here to read TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin’s interview with the film’s director, Joe Berlinger.

whitey bulger

Whitey Bulger

Sep 19, 2014
1:22 pm

Shonda Rhimes Takes to Twitter to Fire Back at New York Times Critic Who Called Her ‘an Angry Black Woman’ (NY Daily News, NY Times)

Shonda Rhimes has taken “umbrage with a New York Times article written about her by TV critic Alessandra Stanley,” reports the New York Daily News.

According to the News, “The piece, which was published Thursday [Sept. 18, 2014], begins with an eyebrow-raising lede: ‘When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.” ‘ ”

Stanley’s Times piece also identified Rhimes as the creator of the new ABC show “How to Get Away With Murder.” In fact the show was created by Peter Norwalk, a white man. Rhimes serves as one of the executive producers on the new series.

Rhimes responded to Stanley’s piece in a series of tweets:

“Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing.”

The next tweet said, “Apparently we can be “angry black women” together, because I didn’t know I was one either! @petenowa #LearnSomethingNewEveryday.”

Rhimes then tweeted, “Final thing: (then I am gonna do some yoga): how come I am not “an angry black woman” the many times Meredith (or Addison!) rants? @nytimes… Wait. I’m “angry” AND a ROMANCE WRITER?!! I’m going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out. Because ish is getting real.”

shonda rhimes

Shonda Rhimes

Sep 19, 2014
1:22 pm

‘Simpsons’ Producer Serves Up a Warning About an Upcoming Death on the Show (SPOILER ALERT) (LA Times)

“The Simpsons” is planning to kill off a character during the show’s 26th season, and executive producer Al Jean is warning the death will be permanent, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.

“When we kill [a character], they stay dead,” Jean said in a conference call with reporters. The death will occur in the episode “Clown in the Dumps,” which will air Sept. 28.

The comment comes after the Fox animated show “Family Guy,” which airs in a block with “The Simpsons,” killed off Brian, the family dog, only to bring the character back a short time later, the piece notes.

“We gave [the episode] that title for a reason,” Jean said. “Some people have guessed it correctly and some people are really, really off.”

In the episode Krusty the Clown gets offended at a celebrity roast in his honor, and decides to retire from show business. It will feature the voices of Sarah Silverman, David Hyde Pierce and Jeff Ross.

Jean also mentioned that he has no idea how much longer the show will continue to run, although he added, “At least two more years.”

He continued, “Probably four, maybe more. Nobody has talked to us about wrapping it up.”

FOX's 'The Simpsons" - Season Tweny Four

Sep 19, 2014
12:01 pm

Wow. One of the Classiest Tribute Ads We’ve Seen, Saluting One of the Classiest Athletes Ever (YouTube)

Kudos to Gatorade for producing one of the best tribute spots we’ve seen. It’s a salute to Derek Jeter of the Yankees. Even if you’re not a Yankees fan we’d be surprised if you don’t like this tribute to a classy athlete.

Only posted a day ago, this video is already viral with about 2.5 million hits.

By the way, if you were a subscriber to our free Daily Viral Video e-newsletter you would have already received this video.

Here’s the video:

Sep 19, 2014
8:44 am

Veteran Broadcaster Pulls the Plug on His Television Show (NY Times)

A broadcaster and former White House press secretary who has been a fixture on television for more than 40 years is calling it quits — again. Writing in The New York Times, Elizabeth Jensen reports that Bill Moyers sent word to public television stations that he’s ending his weekly show “Moyers & Company” after its Jan. 2 episode.

Jensen writes: “He made a similar announcement last October, but changed his mind in the face of an outpouring of support from his fans on social media. This time, however, ‘it’s the real deal,’ he wrote in the Sept. 11 letter, which was first reported by the trade publication Current.”

Moyers wrote in an email, “A few months ago I began to hear what Shakespeare described as that ‘inaudible and noiseless foot of time’ that only you can identify as the stranger suddenly trotting beside you.”

He added that he plans “for the indefinite future” to keep up his website, where much of his public television programming since 1971 is available, the story adds.

Moyers served as White House press secretary under Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965-1967.

moyers & company-title-bill moyers

Sep 19, 2014
8:31 am

Nielsen Phasing Out Ratings Method That Has Been in Use for 60 Years (TVNewsCheck)

TV ratings service Nielsen is getting rid of a system that has been used for at least 60 years, replacing its paper diaries with new electronic devices, reports TVNewsCheck.

The paper system will eventually be retired, with the company already phasing out the diaries in 14 markets, the story reports.

“The dismantling has already begun in 14 markets designated by Nielsen, confirmed Shad Family, SVP of local media for Nielsen,” the article notes. “The 14 are the first of the 154 markets in which hand-written ‘viewing diaries’ — paper booklets in which Nielsen participants record by hand what they’ve watched on TV — are still the primary source for viewership data.”

The report notes that the new devices “track viewing in Nielsen households by ‘listening’ to the audio portion of any TV shows that are being watched and a Nielsen ‘audio watermark’ embedded in the signals transmitted by TV stations. The devices — or ‘code readers,’ as Nielsen is calling them — are about the size of a Roku or Apple TV set-top box, Family said.”

While broadcasters are eager for a new system, they are also cautioning Nielsen to move slowly because they have used the paper-based system for so long, the story adds.

“We just want to make sure that Nielsen doesn’t skip a step and is doing all it can to not have this come off as half-baked,” Jon Rand, chief operating officer for Northwest Broadcasting, a station owner, told the publication.

The markets that are seeing the diary-system phased out are: Yakima-Pasco-Richland-Kennewick, Wash. (DMA 122); Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (40), Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, Pa. (45), Fresno-Visalia, Calif. (54), Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (58), Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola (Fort Walton), Fla. (59), Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich. (70), Tucson (Sierra Vista), Ariz. (71), Paducah, Ky.-Cape Girardeau, Mo. (81), Madison, Wis. (82), Charleston, S.C. (95), Reno, Nev. (107), Traverse City-Cadillac, Mich. (118), and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, Calif. (123).

Nielsen Diary

Sep 19, 2014
8:27 am

NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Lands Exclusive Automotive Sponsor (B&C)

The NBC singing competition “The Voice” has entered into a three-year deal with the automaker Nissan, which will become the show’s exclusive automotive sponsor, B&C reports.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but it includes product integrations on the show and covers multiple platforms.

“Among the newer sponsored elements is a pre-show social media event called ‘The Voice Tailgate’ that gives fans the opportunity to interact with people on the show and view photos and video from backstage,” the story reports. “The automaker will also present ‘The Voice’s’ ‘official’ app. The app allows viewers to vote for their favorite singers live during the broadcast.”

Kia previously was the official automotive sponsor for “The Voice,” the piece notes.

In a statement, Fred Diaz, senior VP, Nissan sales & marketing and operations for Nissan North America, said: “This new three-year partnership with NBC is another way that Nissan is going beyond traditional sponsorships to provide innovation to our consumers with exciting experiences. Between the on-air broadcast, ‘The Voice Official App’ and ‘The Voice Tailgate,’ we’re adding a new dimension to big cultural experiences like ‘The Voice’ — far beyond what has been available in previous seasons.”

the voice-logo only

Sep 19, 2014
8:11 am

Ads for Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’ Yanked After Complaints (Deadline)

Metro Los Angeles pulled bus ads for Fox’s new series “Red Band Society” after some activists complained it included offensive language geared toward Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, reports

The ad that offended included a photo of Spencer with the words “scary bitch,” the story notes. The ads were pulled after being on the buses for months and a day after the show debuted.

Fox apologized for the issue. “We were notified this morning of the concern around the ads and immediately offered to remove the language,” a spokeswoman said. “Metro Los Angeles ultimately decided to take down the ads, and we respect that decision. We sincerely apologize if the copy was offensive to viewers.”

red band society-poster-scary bitch

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