May 27, 2015
1:37 pm

Moonves: CBS Likely to Sign On With Apple TV (USA Today)

CBS appears to be close to a deal with Apple to be a part of Apple TV after CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said he will “probably” do a deal, USA Today reports.

Speaking at the tech-oriented Code Conference today in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Moonves indicated he met last week with Apple exec Eddy Cue. Said Moonves: “Apple TV is trying to change the universe a little bit, as did Sling, as did Sony. What Apple will offer … are a more select group (of channels) for a lower price.”

The report adds: “For all the changes happening, Moonves told the Code crowd that 70% of the CBS audience are still watching shows during the time period in which they air. But he admits that number is declining.The other 30% might be catching up via DVR. Moonves says they’re still going to be watching and ‘we’re going to get paid for it.'”


May 27, 2015
1:33 pm

Why Didn’t We Think of This: App Gives Away Swag in Exchange for Watching Ads (NY Post)

“Three business bigwigs from Blackstone, Saks Fifth Avenue and Goldman Sachs are backing a new app that offers free swag to users in exchange for watching 15-second video ads,” reports our friend Claire Atkinson in the New York Post.

The app, says the report, is called “Claim It! — which has attracted 42,000 users and shown 227,000 ads since its New York launch four months ago…”

Furthermore, the story says, Claim It! “allows users to get free gifts by claiming codes, which they can redeem at a pink truck that travels around the city every week. The truck’s location is given to users so they can track it down. In a few weeks the app also will allow users to redeem codes in stores like cupcake shop Crumbs.”

Atkinson spoke to Ali Abdullah, a former Google engineer and a co-founder of Claim It, who told her, “I was told the two most powerful words in advertising are ‘free’ and ‘sex,’ and I decided free is the way I want to go.”


May 27, 2015
1:21 pm

FCC Targets Telemarketers in Crackdown on Robocalls, Robotexts (Reuters)

The Federal Communications Commission is getting tough on telemarketers. “The top U.S. telecommunications regulator wants to make it harder for telemarketers and other businesses to place unwanted robocalls and text messages under changes to autodialing rules proposed on Wednesday,” Reuters reports.

The panel will vote on the plan June 18. The proposal “would give legal cover to telephone companies to offer consumers technologies that would block robocalls, regardless of where they originate,” the story reports.

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said: “The FCC wants to make it clear: Telephone companies can — and in fact should — offer consumers robocall-blocking tools.”

Reuters adds: “The wireless carriers have worried that blocking automated calls could be construed as violations of the law that requires them to ensure that all calls placed over their networks reach their intended recipients.”


May 27, 2015
1:07 pm

More Marketers Flee ’19 Kids and Counting’ (LA Times)

The list of advertisers who are bailing out on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” amid a child molestation scandal is growing.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Walgreens is the latest major marketer to pull out from the reality show, which has been dropped from TLC’s current schedule after Josh Duggar, one of the show’s stars, reportedly admitted to inappropriate conduct with minors.

As we reported previously, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource and Choice Hotels have already pulled their advertising from the show. The list now also includes Pure Leaf Iced Tea, the Times reports.

This is the second child molestation controversy for TLC in the past year.

“In October 2014, the network came under fire for its popular reality show ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ after a report surfaced that matriarch June Shannon had rekindled her relationship with a convicted child molester who moved into the family home,” the Times notes. “Subsequently, TLC canceled the series.”


May 27, 2015
1:01 pm

TNT Sees Big Numbers for NBA Eastern Conference Finals (TVWeek)

TNT announced that its coverage of the four games of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference Finals delivered the top two programs across cable all four nights, with the game coverage and the “Inside the NBA” program.

The series, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Atlanta Hawks, averaged 6.8 million total viewers and a 4.2 U.S. household rating, rising 7% and 5% from the comparable coverage last year, based on Nielsen Fast Nationals.

Cleveland’s 118-88 rout of Atlanta in game four Tuesday night delivered 6.3 million total viewers and a 4.0 HH rating, making it the most-viewed and highest-rated sports program of the day across all of television.

Please click here for more details.


May 27, 2015
9:41 am

Netflix Comedy Picked Up for Second Season (TVWeek)

A comedy series that has been well received since its debut on the streaming service Netflix earlier this month will be back for a second season. “Grace and Frankie” announced through its Twitter account that it has been picked up for season two.

Co-created and executive produced by “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, the series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Netflix rolled out the 13-episode first season on May 8.

The show focuses on two mismatched older women — Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) — who come together after their husbands, who are longtime partners in a law firm, reveal that they are in love with each other and leave their wives.

grace and frankie-poster

May 27, 2015
9:31 am

Networks Eye a Potential Fix for Ratings Woes — With NBC Leading the Way (Boston Herald)

The broadcast networks appear to be warming up to one type of content in an attempt to stem ratings erosion: live programming.

“With viewers clamoring to watch their favorite shows on their own schedules, the networks are frustrated, advertisers are antsy and accurate ratings increasingly harder to calculate,” the Boston Herald reports. “Live TV might be the key to drawing viewers back to prime time on the network clock, and no one will test it more in the fall than NBC.”

The report notes that NBC is betting on the live variety hour “Best Time Ever,” to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. Meanwhile, NBC’s “Undateable,” which recently experimented with a live episode, will try out a live format for its entire third season, which debuts in fall.

“In what is becoming an annual tradition following successful stagings of ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Peter Pan,’ NBC plans to air a live version of ‘The Wiz’ in December with Stephanie Mills, the original Broadway Dorothy, as Aunt Em,” the report notes.

The network also has one long-running live success story, “Saturday Night Live,” which wrapped up season 40 this month.

Other networks have taken notice. “ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ recently aired two live episodes packed with terrific drama, direction and acting,” the story reports. “There were two shootings, one character died, another was wounded, and two of the least likely Port Charles residents married. Is this a way to save the soaps? Many daytime serials aired live through the 1960s. A live five-day-a-week show would be daunting yet could invigorate the genre.”

general hospital-title-cast

May 27, 2015
9:29 am

The Story Behind Three of Television’s Most Eclectic Comedies of Recent Years (TVWeek)

The people behind three comedy series that have enthusiastic followings and a decidedly skewed perspective talked about their shows last week at an FYC event held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

On hand to discuss “Portlandia,” “Togetherness” and “The Last Man on Earth” were Will Forte, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel. The panel was moderated by TV Guide’s Michael Schneider.

Please click here for the full rundown on the discussion, from TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin.


May 27, 2015
9:07 am

The Case Against Binge Viewing (THR)

The creator of one of the most binge-viewed series ever is not a fan of binge viewing.

In an article in The Hollywood Reporter, “Orange Is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan is quoted saying: “I miss having people on the same page. I do miss being able to go online and have the conversation the day after. But it’s kind of a waste of time to lament that because that’s not the way our show comes.”

And Kohan’s not alone in her sentiment.

“The comments by Kohan, whose prison dramedy debuts its third batch of episodes June 12, echo ‘Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner saying May 20 that if he created a series for Netflix, he would ask that it roll out episodes over time ‘so at least there was just some shared experience. I love the waiting [and] marination.'”

The report notes that NBC is ready to make a significant foray into binge viewing this week, with the May 28 online release of the full 13-episode first season of its David Duchovny drama series “Aquarius,” which will also roll out on a weekly basis on the linear channel.

“NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt proclaimed that the move — a first for a broadcast network — would ‘push some new boundaries’ and give audiences what they want,” THR reports. “But NBC may be serving up the binge just as Hollywood is beginning to ask: Have viewers had their fill?”

Please click on the link near the top of this story to read THR’s full report.

Orange in the new black1

May 27, 2015
9:01 am

Merriam-Webster Declares the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2014 — and Adds a Bunch of New Words to the Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, AOL)

Here’s the list of the top 10 words of 2014, which was just released by the people who put out the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. Culture
  2. Nostalgia
  3. Insidious
  4. Legacy
  5. Feminism
  6. Je ne sais quoi
  7. Innovation
  8. Surreptitious
  9. Autonomy
  10. Morbidity

The list, with “Culture” declared to be the word of the year, was included in a video report by AOL.

In addition to rolling out the Top 10 list, the editors have also added 1,700 new entries to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, including adding the phrases “colossal squid,” “colony collapse disorder,” “net neutrality,” “dark money,” “click fraud” and “sharing economy.”

The dictionary has also added the abbreviations WTF and NSFW.

The online world is heavily represented among the dictionary’s latest additions, which include “emoji,” “jegging,” “photobomb,” “clickbait” and “meme.” Also making their way into the book for the first time are “vocal fry,” “eggcorn,” “palliative care” and “neurofeedback.”

merriam-webster dictionary

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