May 23, 2018
3:01 pm

ABC Expands ‘GMA,’ Pulls the Plug on Another Morning Show (TVWeek)

ABC announced plans today to expand its flagship morning show “Good Morning America,” adding a new third hour at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT/PT.

The expansion comes at the expense of “The Chew,” which will cease production at the end of this season. “The Chew” will continue to air as planned until September, including rolling out all-new episodes starting in June.

Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney|ABC Television, commented: “Over the past six years ‘Good Morning America’ has solidified its place as America’s No. 1 morning show. We believe there is great opportunity for viewers and advertisers in expanding to a third hour.”

Please click here for full details in today’s announcement from ABC.

May 23, 2018
1:31 pm

New Norman Lear TV Series in the Works — But It Won’t Be Like ‘All in the Family’ or ‘The Jeffersons’ (TVWeek)

A new TV project from Norman Lear is being developed, but a big difference between this one and the classic sitcoms most closely associated with Lear — “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons,” “One Day at a Time” and others — is that the new show is animated.

It’s also aimed at a much younger audience than the classic Lear shows. The project, “Man of the House” (working title), from Lear’s Act III Productions, is in development at Nickelodeon.

“With creative concept by Colombian-American writer and illustrator Michael Molina (‘Trivia Night’), ‘Man of the House’ follows 11-year-old José as he helps his mother Maria watch over his two younger siblings, Maria Juliana (Maju) and Diego, while trying to form a hip-hop group with his quirky classmate and neighbor, Wilbur, who lives downstairs,” Nickelodeon says in today’s announcement.

Lear and Brent Miller (“One Day at a Time”) will serve as executive producers. Claudia Spinelli will oversee the project as the newly appointed VP of animation development for Nickelodeon.

Please click here for full details in today’s announcement.

May 23, 2018
1:19 pm

Advertisers Skeptical of Reboots and Reduced Ad Loads (THR)

With the success of “Roseanne,” TV programmers appear to be more reboot happy than ever — but that enthusuasm does not appear to extend to advertisers.

The Hollywood Reporter surveyed ad buyers in the wake of the upfront pitches, and reports that they remain skeptical about all the reboots. THR quotes one buyer saying: “The networks need hits, but I’m a viewer too, and it’s disheartening that they can’t come up with new concepts.”

The report also notes a mixed reaction to the splashy rollout of reduced ad loads, such as Fox’s “JAZ pods” and NBC’s “prime pods.”

“While many welcome the promise of greater resonance for their messages in a less cluttered environment, they also question the markup, which can be as much as 50 percent more than the standard CPM (cost per thousand viewers),” THR reports, quoting one buyer saying: “It’s tough math to swallow.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the full report.

May 23, 2018
1:11 pm

ESPN to Be Exclusive Media Home of UFC (TVWeek)

ESPN today announced the scope of a new multiyear agreement with UFC that makes ESPN-branded media platforms the exclusive digital and television home of the UFC in the United States.

Starting in January 2019, ESPN+ and ESPN become the exclusive digital and linear distributors in the U.S. for UFC, showcasing 42 live events, 30 of which will feature a full card of 12 UFC bouts. ESPN linear networks will broadcast 10 exclusive events as well as all UFC pay-per-view preliminary fights, while ESPN+, the recently launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, will offer 20 exclusive events and all preliminary fights for “UFC on ESPN Fight Night” programs.

Events televised by ESPN will be branded “UFC on ESPN Fight Night,” while events streamed live on ESPN+ will carry the “UFC on ESPN+ Fight Night” brand. With this agreement, the only destination where fans can watch all UFC programming is the ESPN app, and in the future, all of the content will be available on ESPN+.

Please click here for additional details in today’s announcement.

May 23, 2018
1:07 pm

ABC Unveils Plans for New-Look Miss America Competition (TVWeek)

ABC announced today that the upcoming Miss America pageant “marks the dawning of a new day for the Miss America Organization.”

This year’s program, “The 2019 Miss America Competition,” will air live on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 9, 9-11 p.m. ET, from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

“This year’s show will highlight women from all walks of life who are advancing the message of female empowerment through their efforts in the areas of scholarship, talent and social impact,” ABC says in the announcement. “Now with a historic, all-female leadership team paving the way for both the Miss America Organization and the Miss America Foundation, a new era of progressiveness, inclusiveness and empowerment has begun.”

May 23, 2018
1:01 pm

Viceland Set to Roll Out Nine Summer Series (TVWeek)

Viceland unveiled plans today to bring nine series to television this summer, including the new Paris Hilton show “Hollywood Love Story” and “Mister Tachyon,” from prolific music video director and filmmaker Director X.

Also new is the skateboarding show “Post Radical,” hosted by pro skater and amateur anthropologist Rick McCrank.

Returning shows include “Beerland,” “Most Expensivest” and “King of the Road.”

Below is a glance at the new and returning shows and premiere dates. Please click here for details about the programs.


BEERLAND (premiered) MAY 22 @ 10:00 PM









May 23, 2018
12:01 pm

Freeform Gets Into ‘Good Trouble’ With ‘The Fosters’ Spinoff (TVWeek)

Freeform is moving ahead with plans for a spinoff from “The Fosters,” announcing today that the show will be called “Good Trouble.” Announced earlier this year, the series will follow Callie (Maia Mitchell) and Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) as they embark on the next phase of their young adult lives in Los Angeles.

Jon M. Chu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) is attached to direct and executive produce the first episode, which will begin production this summer. Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg are the show’s creators and showrunners, with Gregory Gugliotta, Christine Sacani, Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina on board as executive producers. The series is produced by Nuyorican Productions, Inc. in association with Freeform.

In a joint statement, Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg said: “We’re seeing millennials in this country doing extraordinary things, making noise, taking action. Stirring up ‘Good Trouble’ as they grow, strive and struggle to make the mess of their early twenties into the message. As Callie and Mariana venture to Los Angeles to start their adult lives and embark on their separate but intertwined journeys to change the world, they’re going to have all the ‘Good Trouble’ they can handle.”

Chu most recently directed the feature adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians,” which hits theaters Aug. 17. He is also set to direct the upcoming film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights.”

Freeform’s slate of original scripted dramas includes the mermaid thriller “Siren”; breakout dramedy “The Bold Type”; supernatural drama “Shadowhunters”; fan-favorite “Famous in Love”; and the highly anticipated “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.”

“The Fosters” will go out with a three-night series finale event running Monday, June 4, through Wednesday, June 6.

“Good Trouble” (Freeform)

May 23, 2018
11:44 am

Victor Hugo’s Classic ‘Hunchback’ to Be Updated by Netflix (TVWeek)

Netflix is set to do an updated version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” to be produced and directed by Idris Elba, who will also star in the feature. The adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic is untitled.

“The feature film will be a sonic and musical experience for which Elba will also produce the music,” Netflix said.

Producers are Fred Berger (“La La Land”) and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (“Midnight Special”) for Automatik and Elba and Ana Garanito for Elba’s Green Door shingle.

The writer is Michael Mitnick (“The Current War”).

May 22, 2018
9:39 pm

A Second Great American Writer in the Last Eight Days Has Died: Philip Roth Was 85 (NYTimes; TVWeek; LATimes; Web of Stories; YouTube)

“Philip Roth, the prolific, protean, and often blackly comic novelist who was a pre-eminent figure in 20th century literature, died on Tuesday night at a hospital in Manhattan,” writes Charles McGrath in The New York Times.

He notes that Roth, 85, died of congestive heart failure.

The Times obituary says, “In the course of a very long career, Mr. Roth took on many guises — mainly versions of himself — in the exploration of what it means to be an American, a Jew, a writer, a man. He was a champion of Eastern European novelists like Ivan Klima and Bruno Schulz, and also a passionate student of American history and the American vernacular. And more than just about any other writer of his time he was tireless in his exploration of male sexuality.”

The Times story also notes that “Mr. Roth was the last of the great white males: the triumvirate of writers — Saul Bellow and John Updike were the others — who towered over American letters in the second half of the 20th century.”

Roth’s death comes just eight days after writer Tom Wolfe, 88, passed away.

Notes the Los Angeles Times’ obituary, “Roth’s first book, ‘Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories,’ came out in 1959, propelling him to national prominence and the first of his two National Book Awards. The titular novella explored the cultural divide between working-class Neil Klugman and the beautiful Brenda Patemkin, whose upper-middle-class life of consumption and privilege Roth lampooned unmercifully, drawing early rumbles that he was a self-hating Jew.”

Ten years later Roth published “Portnoy’s Complaint.” Notes the L.A. Times, “Readers made ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ a bestseller, and the income from the book, combined with the movie rights to ‘Goodbye, Columbus,’ gave Roth the financial freedom to quit his teaching job at the University of Pennsylvania and devote himself to writing full time.”

To see Roth tell a wonderful story about his mother and the publication of “Portnoy’s Complaint,” please click here.

Also, below, in this very short clip we found on YouTube, Roth tells Tina Brown that he’s not optimistic about the future of the novel:

May 22, 2018
5:59 pm

CBS Locks Down 10th Consecutive Season Win in Total Viewers (TVWeek)

When the 2017-2018 broadcast season concludes Wednesday night, CBS will be able to claim its 10th consecutive season win in total viewers, based on Nielsen data.

CBS has now won 15 of the last 16 years in total viewers. As we reported separately, NBC won the season handily in the key demo of viewers 18-49.

Nielsen reports that CBS averaged 9 million total viewers in prime time throughout the season, edging NBC’s 8.9 million. NBC had both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics during the season.

ABC is third with 6.1 million total viewers, followed by Fox with 4.9 million.

CBS put out an announcement today touting its 10th consecutive “most watched” crown along with a late-season drive that saw the network notch 11 consecutive weekly wins. Please click here to read the full CBS announcement.

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