TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
12:31 pm
Comment

‘Downton Abbey’ Stunner: The Series Calls It Quits (USA Today)

The producers of the global hit period drama “Downton Abbey” stunned the show’s fans today with the announcement that the series is shutting down.

The show’s sixth season, which is currently in production, will be its last, executive producer Gareth Neame confirmed.

The news was jarring for fans even though they could see it coming. USA Today notes: “This can come as no surprise to anyone — the signals have been obvious for some time — yet fans around the world will likely mourn anyway.”

Neame made the announcement in a telephone news conference, saying: “Our feeling is it’s good to quit while we’re ahead. The show is in incredibly strong shape. … The danger is to let it go on forever … eight, nine, 10 years. We wanted to end when the time is right, so that people will love it for years to come and not feel there’s a drop-off, and we’ve not outstayed our welcome.”

Downton Abbey-title

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
12:17 pm
Comment

Was It the Most Politically Incorrect Comedy Central Roast Yet? (TVWeek)

The latest Comedy Central Roast wasn’t just one of the most high-profile in the history of the series, but may have also been one of the most politically incorrect.

TVWeek Open Mic blogger breaks down the recent all-star zingerfest aimed squarely at easy target Justin Bieber, which is set to premiere Monday. Please click here for the lowdown — including a taste of the many off-color insults.

Comedy-Central-Roast

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
12:11 pm
Comment

HBO Getting Into the Daily News Game (Reuters)

HBO is entering the business of daily newscasts. Reuters reports that the pay cable net and Vice Media are expanding their partnership in an arrangement that the report says will include “daily newscasts and more weekly series and specials.

“Vice’s half-hour show on weekdays will present news reports from journalists in bureaus around the world, the first time HBO has offered a daily newscast,” Reuters reports. “The weekly Vice series will expand from 14 to 35 shows a year, exploring current issues and unrest around the world.”

Vice is also expected to produce 32 specials over the span of four years.

In a statement, Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith said: “This deal, simply put, allows Vice the freedom to go after any story, anywhere we find it, and to do so with complete independence.”

vice-hbo

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
12:01 pm
Comment

Cable Drama Picked Up for Fourth Season (TVWeek)

A drama series that has been performing well on cable will be back for a fourth season. History announced that it greenlighted season four of “Vikings.”

The program has been the No. 1 cable series on Thursday nights in all key demos, the channel reported, citing Nielsen Live+3 data. For its first five episodes of season three, “Vikings” has averaged 4.3 million total viewers, along with 2.2 million in the 25-54 demo and 2.0 million in 18-49.

Dirk Hoogstra, EVP and general manager for History and H2, announced the season four pickup.

In the announcement, Hoogstra said: “’Vikings’ has raided the hearts of both audiences and critics, establishing itself as one of the most compelling, visually stunning dramas on television. We are so proud of our immensely talented cast and crew led by Michael Hirst, whose intriguing storylines and pivotal arcs have the perfect balance of scope, smarts and bloodshed to keep our loyal fans watching and wanting more.”

The season three finale is set for April 23 at 10 p.m., with production on season four due to begin in the spring in Ireland.

Please click here for additional details.

vikings-history“Vikings” (History)

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
11:49 am
Comment

Chelsea Handler Recalls Incident With Bill Cosby — ‘So Yeah, He’s Guilty’ (Billboard)

Chelsea Handler opened up about an experience involving Bill Cosby in which “he tried to Cosby me,” she said. Billboard reports that the revelation is part of a recent interview with Handler by Esquire. The alleged incident took place about a decade ago.

The report quotes Handler saying: “Oh, I was in Atlantic City playing, doing stand-up, and he was doing stand-up in Atlantic City in the same hotel, and at like three o’clock in the afternoon, someone from the hotel came down and said, ‘Oh, you know, Mr. Cosby would really like to meet you up in his hotel suite.’ And I thought, ‘That’s really weird.’ This was like ten years ago. And I said, ‘That’s really weird. I don’t want to go alone.’ I go, ‘I don’t know him.’”

Handler said she did go up to the comedian’s room, but she brought three men with her.

“Thank God these guys were with me,” she said. “One was filming and one was like a producer; we were filming something — I brought them up with me to his room and thank God I did, because now I know what would’ve happened if I went up there alone.”

Handler concludes: “Yeah, so yeah, he’s guilty.”

chelsea handlerChelsea Handler

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
8:59 am
Comment

Cate Blanchett Drops the F-Bomb — and the Media Gets It All Wrong (People, TVWeek, YouTube)

Actress Cate Blanchett is the focus of media attention after dropping the F-bomb in an interview for her new movie “Cinderella,” but for the most part the media coverage is off the mark.

Media outlets are reporting “Cate Blanchett lost her temper,” “Cate Blanchett launches ‘F’ word fusillade” and “Cate Blanchett upset at interview question, leaves,” among other headlines and leads.

But People magazine reports that a look at the complete four-minute interview reveals that Blanchett and the interviewer, Australian journalist Jonathan Hyla, were having a great time and the alleged outburst was in keeping with the fun tone of the quirky interview.

Near the end of the interview, Hyla, referring to a scene in the movie, asks the actress: “How were you able to get that cat to do what you wanted it to do on a leash? I tried to put my girlfriend’s cat on a leash, and it just never works for me.”

Blanchett replies, colorfully: “That’s your question? That’s your f—ing question?” And the interview ends with smiles and giggles.

Throughout the interview, the two-time Oscar winner plays along with Hyla’s offbeat approach, and if anything, is often the instigator in a sometimes flirtatious exchange. But most of the clips circulating online contain only the end of the interview, along with the incorrect interpretation that the situation was contentious.

Here’s the full clip:

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
8:44 am
Comment

Cable Network Breaks Viewership Record (TVWeek)

A cable net notched its most-watched night in history this week, on the strength of a season finale and a season premiere. OWN — the Oprah Winfrey Network — pulled in 3.5 million viewers for Tuesday’s season finale of “The Haves and the Have Nots,” followed by a turnout of 2.9 million for the season premiere of “If Loving You Is Wrong.”

The performance made “Haves,” which aired at 9 p.m., the top program of the night on all of cable in OWN’s target demo of women 25-54 and in total viewers, OWN announced. It was the No. 2 telecast in OWN history in total viewers, trailing only the show’s previous season finale, which notched 3.6 million viewers one year ago.

“Loving,” airing at 10 p.m., was the night’s No. 2 show on cable in the demo, the network announced. Both programs are from Tyler Perry.

The season premiere of “If Loving You is Wrong” had its best performance to date across all key demos, and was No. 1 in its time slot across all of cable in all key demos, the network noted.

Please click here for additional details.

the haves and the have nots“The Haves and the Have Nots”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
8:41 am
Comment

L.A.’s Beloved ‘Dr. George’ Dies — Weatherman Was an Institution on L.A. Television (LA Times)

A former science teacher who became an L.A. television icon as a weatherman for almost two decades on KABC-TV, Dr. George Fischbeck has died.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Fischbeck died early Wednesday morning at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Fischbeck, 92, reportedly died of natural causes.

Trained as a meteorologist, “Dr. George” first signed on with KABC in 1972. His enthusiasm for the weather became a trademark — to the point where he sometimes forgot to deliver the weather report itself, the Times notes.

The report quotes Fischbeck saying during a 1978 broadcast: “I must begin with an apology. Last Friday we got carried away again and we got everything in but the forecast.”

But his folksy image and his love for his work became a hit with viewers.

The Times report notes: “When the rare inclement weather threatened Los Angeles, his newscast’s ratings went up as viewers tuned in to see a seemingly real-life Mr. Wizard — complete with thick black-rimmed glasses, animated mustache and signature bow tie — race around the set.”

Fischbeck signed off from KABC in the early 1990s and later spent a few years doing feature stories on L.A. station KCBS.

dr george fischbeckDr. George Fischbeck

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
8:37 am
Comment

Upstart News Telecast Outperforms Fox News and CNN (TVWeek)

Some perennial cable news heavyweights were beaten at their own game this week, when a program airing on the digital cable and satellite TV network TV One topped the numbers for CNN and Fox News in the key news demo.

TV One announced that the first-ever prime-time news special for its “News One Now” program, “Mo’Nique: Uncensored,” airing Sunday, March 22, at 10 p.m. ET, delivered a .24 average rating in adults 25-54 (144,000 demo viewers), topping the time period competition from CNN’s “Wonder List with Bill Weir” (139,000 demo viewers) and Fox’s John Stossel program “Stossel” (77,000).

The program featured an interview with the Oscar-winning actress by “News One Now” host and managing editor Roland S. Martin. The special is set to air again Sunday, March 29, at 10 p.m. ET.

The weekday morning program “News One Now” has been airing for less than a year and a half, since its premiere in November 2013.

Said Martin: “This viewer response is a tremendously satisfying way to launch our first primetime special. The cultural relevance ‘News One Now’ provides clearly fills a void with viewers interested in the Black perspective on topical news and entertainment issues.”

Please click here to read the announcement from TV One.

news one now-roland martin-title

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 26, 2015
8:31 am
Comment

CNN ‘Reimagines the TV News Experience’ (TVWeek)

As part of the industry-wide TV Everywhere initiative, CNN has rolled out a plan that brings its CNNgo service to more than 86 million homes and to Apple TV devices.

“The CNNgo experience on Apple TV features the largest collection of CNN’s on-demand content to date,” the network announced.

The move makes CNNgo the first Turner brand to launch on Apple TV, CNN noted, adding: “CNNgo’s launch on Apple TV joins CNN’s current offerings on CNN.com and on the iPad. CNNgo is a next-generation product that gives viewers unprecedented control over their TV news experience through TV Everywhere.”

Said Alex Wellen, CNN’s chief product officer: “CNNgo on Apple TV brings together our live CNN TV simulcast and deep library of original films, franchises and short-form video in a powerful, on-demand way unlike any product we’ve launched to date. Apple TV is the first critical platform in our digital strategy to reimagine the TV news experience.”

Please click here for additional details in the CNN announcement.

CNNGo-logo-CNN Go

Older Articles