Nov 13, 2018
5:27 pm

‘Classic’ Reality Show to Return (TVWeek)

A reality show that raised eyebrows at the time — and is being called a “classic” reality series by USA Network — is being brought back to television by the cable network.

USA announced plans today for a reboot of “Temptation Island,” the former Fox series that ran for three seasons from 2001-2003 in which couples were placed on an island and tempted to cheat on their partners.

Original “Temptation Island” host Mark L. Walberg will be back, with the 10-episode series set to premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019.

Please click here for details in today’s announcement.

Nov 13, 2018
5:21 pm

Poll Reveals America’s Most Trusted TV News Anchor (THR)

A new poll about how much viewers trust TV news anchors gives the highest marks to NBC’s Lester Holt. The poll by The Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult found that Holt was trusted “a lot” by 32% of respondents and “some” by another 30% — better results than any of the other broadcast or cable news anchors in the survey.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was close behind with 29% indicating “a lot” of trust and 27% saying “some” — placing Cooper well ahead of his cable competition.

ABC’s David Muir and Robin Roberts also fared well, both scoring 28% in the “a lot” category.

At the other end of the spectrum, “the 10 least-trusted television news personalities all work for cable networks: Fox News host Sean Hannity leads the way (30 percent say they don’t trust him ‘at all’) followed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (26 percent), CNN’s Don Lemon (25 percent) and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski (23 percent),” THR reports.

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to see the full poll results.

Nov 13, 2018
4:59 pm

Two Broadcast Nets Locked in Battle for Ratings Dominance (AP)

The current broadcast television season has developed into an “intriguing battle” for ratings dominance between NBC and CBS. That’s the assessment of veteran TV writer David Bauder in a piece today for the AP.

Each of the two networks has won three weeks so far this season, Bauder writes, with Fox winning the one week when it had the World Series.

“For the season as a whole, CBS is averaging 9.1 million viewers in prime time compared to NBC’s 8.9 million, which is the closest NBC has been in 17 years, Nielsen said,” Bauder writes, adding: “NBC’s ability to stick close with its rival will be tested after the football season. The Sunday night game between division rivals Dallas and Philadelphia this weekend reached 20 million viewers, far more than the next most-watched event, also a pro football game.”

NBC came out on top in total viewers last week with 7.1 million, followed by CBS with 6.8 million, Fox with 5.3 million and ABC with 4.6 million.

Fox News Channel, which led the way with its midterm election coverage, was the week’s top cable network, averaging 3.25 million viewers in prime time. ESPN followed with 2.98 million, then MSNBC with 2.3 million, Hallmark with 2.07 million and CNN with 1.68 million.

Nov 13, 2018
4:44 pm

Trump to Skip Kennedy Center Honors Again — Here’s the Official Reason (AP)

Donald Trump has opted out of attending the Kennedy Center Honors for the second consecutive year, with the White House explaining that the remaining weeks of 2018 are “the busiest time of the year for the East Wing.”

That’s the word today from Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, the AP reports. Grisham said neither Donald nor Melania Trump will attend the gala, scheduled for Dec. 2. Among those being honored are Cher and “Hamilton” playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, both of whom have been critical of Trump.

“Grisham also told The Associated Press it was ‘not likely’ any new winners of the National Medal of Arts, National Humanities Medal or National Medal of Science would be announced before the end of the year,” the AP reports. “Tuesday’s announcements continue the Trump administration’s unprecedented distance from the arts and science communities. No arts or humanities medals have been announced or handed out since September 2016, when Barack Obama was president — the longest gap by months since the awards were established in the mid-1980s. No science medals have been given since May 2016.”

Grisham cited schedule conflicts, noting that Trump is expected to attend the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of the month.

Nov 13, 2018
4:31 pm

Is the Top NBA Play-by-Play Announcer on Television About to Be Replaced? (NY Post, YouTube)

The sports broadcasting legend who is widely considered to be the greatest NBA play-by-play announcer in the history of the game may soon lose his gig calling some of the league’s top games, according to The New York Post.

“This may be Marv Albert’s final season as one of the marquee voices on the NBA, The Post has learned,” the publication reports. “Turner officials have discussed replacing the legendary Albert as their No. 1 play-by-player after this season, according to sources.”

Turner is reportedly deciding whether to move Albert — known for his trademark “Yes!” — off its top NBA events — the conference finals and the All-Star Game.

“He is scheduled to be on both calls this season, but next year is now in question,” The Post reports. “While Turner executives have begun developing a plan forward, they want to be respectful of Albert’s place in sports broadcasting history. All sides stressed that no final decisions have been made.”

The 77-year-old Albert has been calling NBA games for more than five decades. His Turner contract runs through the 2020-21 season, and even if he’s bumped from the top telecasts, he could still call other NBA games.

“Sources familiar with Turner’s thinking said Brian Anderson is considered the current front-runner to replace Albert for the 2019-20 season as Turner’s No. 1 play-by-player,” The Post reports. “Anderson, 47, is already the network’s lead play-by-player on the MLB playoffs.”

Nov 13, 2018
2:59 pm

Where Will the Next Country Superstars Come From? Tune In Tonight (TVWeek, USA Network)

A new series premiering tonight aims to discover the next superstars of country music. Hosted by L.A. country radio DJ Graham Bunn, USA Network’s “Real Country” will feature not only 21 hand-picked emerging artists, but also a few who are already country legends, with a panel made up of Shania Twain, Travis Tritt and Jake Owen.

TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin got the lowdown on the new series straight from Bunn. Please click here to read the interview.

Nov 13, 2018
2:29 pm

Actress Sues Harvey Weinstein, Alleges Rape (AP)

A well-known actress is the latest woman to sue former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual assault. Paz de la Huerta, known for her work in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and in films including “The Cider House Rules” and “A Walk to Remember,” filed suit today accusing Weinstein of raping her in 2010, the AP reports.

The suit also accuses Weinstein of orchestrating a campaign of harassment that damaged de la Huerta’s career, the report adds.

“The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges Weinstein raped de la Huerta twice in New York in December 2010, taunting her with phone calls between the two assaults,” the AP reports. “New York police said a year ago that they were investigating de la Huerta’s allegations. No charges have been filed in the case, but Weinstein is charged there with the rape of another woman.”

The report adds: “In a new allegation, the suit states that the following month Weinstein exposed himself to the actress in a Beverly Hills hotel when she went to confront him. She alleges Weinstein tried to get de la Huerta to have a sexual encounter with him and another woman.”

The lawsuit reportedly states that de la Huerta believes Weinstein was involved in her getting fired from “Boardwalk Empire” about a year after the incidents.

Nov 13, 2018
2:27 pm

CBS Continues to Beef Up Programming Lineup for Its All Access Service (TVWeek)

CBS continues to add programming to the CBS All Access digital subscription VOD and live streaming service, announcing an order this week for the true-crime series “Interrogation.”

Nine episodes, designed to be watched in any order, will be released upon the show’s launch. Each episode is based on a real interrogation taken from police case files.

The individual episodes lead up to a conclusive season finale, enabling the viewer to play detective throughout the series.

“‘Interrogation’ is based on a true story that spanned more than 30 years, in which a young man was charged and convicted of brutally murdering his mother,” CBS says in its announcement.

“This non-linear approach to storytelling is closer to how real detectives work, picking their own path through the evidence in a search for the truth,” said Anders Weidemann, executive producer and co-creator.

The series is produced by CBS Television Studios and Fabrik Entertainment. Co-creators Weidemann (“30 Degrees In February”) and John Mankiewicz (“House of Cards,” “Bosch”) will serve as executive producers alongside Fabrik Entertainment’s Henrik Bastin and Melissa Aouate.

Said Julie McNamara, executive VP of Original Content for CBS All Access:”‘Interrogation’ pushes the boundaries of what a television series can be with its truly unique format. It’s also a series that could only be executed with the technical capabilities of a streaming service, and we look forward to bringing its innovative approach to our CBS All Access subscribers.”

“Interrogation” joins a slate of CBS All Access original series that includes “Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Good Fight,” ” No Activity,” “Strange Angel,” “One Dollar” and “Tell Me a Story.” Also coming up are a new version of “The Twilight Zone” along with “Why Women Kill,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and a new untitled “Star Trek” series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard.

Nov 13, 2018
2:01 pm

White House Responds to CNN Lawsuit
(NY Times, TVWeek)

The White House responded today to a lawsuit from CNN seeking the reinstatement of reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials.

Acosta’s credentials were pulled after a confrontation between Acosta and Donald Trump at a press conference. Acosta was accused of interfering with an intern who attempted to take his microphone away. As we reported previously, CNN responded to the move with a suit filed today.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to the lawsuit with a statement saying: “This is just more grandstanding from CNN, and we will vigorously defend against this lawsuit.”

“Ms. Sanders made no mention of her original claim that Mr. Acosta had reacted inappropriately with the intern,” The New York Times reports. “Instead, she wrote that ‘he physically refused to surrender a White House microphone to an intern, so that other reporters might ask their questions.’

The Times also quotes Sanders writing: “The White House cannot run an orderly and fair press conference when a reporter acts this way, which is neither appropriate nor professional.”

The Times adds: “In turning to the courts, CNN has taken perhaps the most aggressive action yet by a news organization against a president who has systematically vilified journalists and media outlets since starting his campaign in 2015. Mr. Trump’s denigration of the news media as ‘the enemy of the American people’ — and his popularization of ‘fake news’ as a way to dismiss critical coverage — has alarmed press freedom groups around the world.”

The report notes that Sanders is named as a defendant in the suit, along with Trump; his chief of staff, John Kelly; the head of White House communications strategy, Bill Shine; and the Secret Service.

Nov 13, 2018
1:44 pm

HBO Unveils Big Plans for Final Season of ‘Game of Thrones’ (TVWeek, HBO)

HBO revealed today that the final season of its series “Game of Thrones” will premiere in April 2019. In anticipation of the six-episode eighth season, the pay-cable channel launched #ForTheThrone, a multi-phased, global marketing campaign that will unfold over the months leading up to the final season.

“The ‘Game of Thrones’ franchise has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, with a massive global army of die-hard fans who go to great lengths to honor the show,” HBO said in today’s announcement. “At its onset, the #ForTheThrone campaign will showcase the extremes the show’s characters have gone through in their quest for the Iron Throne, while encouraging fans to re-watch the series and potential new viewers to watch the series for the first time before the final season begins.”

The campaign launches today on HBO’s social platforms with a #ForTheThrone retrospective video, featuring the most iconic scenes from the series thus far.

“The video release will be followed by complementary character posters shared on ‘Game of Thrones’ social media profiles, that highlight what major characters have done #ForTheThrone,” HBO added. “Twitter has also designed a custom emoji to celebrate the final season. Fans can Tweet with #GameofThrones, #GoTS8, #GoT, #ForTheThrone, or #PorElTrono to unlock the emoji.”

The series will also have an “event-level outdoor marketing presence” in New York and Los Angeles, and will take over Grand Central Station beginning Nov. 27 with more than 150 variations of the #ForTheThrone creative and a limited edition run of 250,000 metrocards.

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