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It's Happy Happy Time!
Happy Birthday...

... to Vanna White. The "Wheel of Fortune" letter toucher turns 57.

Happy Anniversary...
... to The Pyramid.
The game with arguably the most exciting endgame on television turns 40.

Happy Trails...
... to "What's My Line?" On this date in 1967, the original series left the air after more than 17 years on CBS. The last mystery guest: Moderator John Charles Daly.

 

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"If you like what I did, I'm Bob Eubanks. If you don't like what I did, I'm Bob Barker."
-Bob Eubanks, on "The Newlywed Game"

 

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Thursday: Summer Summer Summer Time
CBS Wins the Night, While "500 Questions" Remains Constant in Total Viewers
From Deadline

The first night after the 2014-15 season, which of course ended Wednesday, was packed with encores, but there was also some very good intentions and a couple of second chances as well. The first of those second chances was the second week of Wayward Pines (1.2/4), which had a double-digit good night.

Without the dramatic competition of the Scandal and The Blacklist season finales its premiere faced, the second episode of Fox’s 10-episode limited series saw a rise of 20% among adults 18-49 compared with last week. The Matt Dillon-led ensemble series based on Blake Crouch’s novels and adapted for TV by Chad Hodge also saw a viewership jump of 21% over its admittedly soft premiere to 4.6 million.

Even though they played nothing but repeats last night, CBS won Thursday’s primetime with a 1.1/4 rating and 5.73 million viewers. Didn’t hurt that the highest-rated and most-watched show of the night was a The Big Bang Theory encore that drew a 1.5/6 among the 18-49s and 8 million viewers.
 
For NBC it was all laughs and doing the right thing last night as the network gave over its whole primetime to the first Stateside Red Nose Day (0.8/3) benefit to help children living in poverty. Imported from the UK, NBC’s Red Nose Day had a superstar cast of Julia Roberts, Ed Sheeran dueting with Kermit The Frog, this year’s Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, the cast of Game of Thrones, Gwyneth Paltrow, a tea lady Helen Mirren, Billy Eichner and Martin Short taking to the streets, Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones, Simon Cowell showing he has a heart, and the dancing Nick Cannon to name but a few highlights.

With about 3.2 million watching the live broadcast, Red Nose Day raised more than $21 million for a number of children’s charities internationally, with donations still open for the next 30 days.

Going head-to-head with Wayward Pines in the 8 PM slot and with Red Nose Day for two hours, ABC’s 500 Questions (1.0/4) took a hit on its second night. The game show was down 17% among adults 18-49 from its one-hour debut May 20.

On cable, ESPN saw a big NBA Playoffs ratings surge as the Golden State Warriors eked out a 99-98 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The sports giant dunked a 5.6 overnight rating from the matchup, a 47% rise over the last time ESPN had the Western Conference finals back in 2013, when Game 2 between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies drew a 3.8 rating. Last night’s game was also up 27% from Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Western Conference finals when the Spurs played the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT.

CMT's "Pontoon Payday" remained a dud with 164,000.

Deadline
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/22/15


Wednesday: Question #501: How Did It Do?
CBS Takes the Final Night of the Season
From the Futon Critic

CBS (8.987 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the network to beat on the final night of May sweeps with the season finale of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.406 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) followed by the "Survivor: Worlds Apart Reunion" (6.890 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3).

ABC (4.871 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) then fell to second place despite the premiere of "500 Questions" (5.031 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7), the season finales of "Modern Family" (7.114 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) and "Black-ish" (5.392 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) plus the return of "Celebrity Wife Swap" (3.329 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was NBC (7.227 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with the season finales of "The Mysteries of Laura" (7.256 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.235 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5) and "Chicago PD" (7.192 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.335 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up the season premiere of "MasterChef" (3.335 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7).

And finally, a repeat "Supernatural" (1.074 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and the season finale of "Supernatural" (1.782 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) on The CW (1.428 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 340,000

Zap2it
Us Weekly
Bustle
Entertainment Weekly
Broadway World
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
New York Times
The Hollywood Reporter
Hitfix
Deadline
The Wrap

posted 5/21/15

House of DVF to Reopen
CBS Takes the Final Night of the Season
From the Futon Critic

Pop culture powerhouse E! today unveiled its "E! Summer Here" programming line-up, including a dynamic slate of new series premieres and popular returning franchises that will continue to sizzle all summer along. Kicking off Memorial Day Weekend is the return of fan favorite "#RichKids of Beverly Hills" on Sunday, May 24 at 10pm, following a new episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" at 9pm, which will air its mid-season finale on Sunday, May 31. The WWE Divas are back for a new season of "Total Divas" beginning Tuesday, July 7 at 9pm, followed by new series "Hollywood Cycle" airing at 10pm. Then reality TV star Brody Jenner will make summer nights even hotter when "Sex With Brody" debuts Friday, July 10 at 10:30pm. Later in July, Bruce Jenner's new documentary series following his life as a transgender woman will premiere on Sunday, July 26 at 9pm, along with new series "Stewarts & Hamiltons," featuring a complicated family tree that only Hollywood could produce at 10:00pm.

On the stiletto heels of the "House of DVF" first season finale, E! announced the original series will return for its second season with eight new episodes, which will also premiere on E! in 100 countries. In addition to Diane von Furstenberg, iconic designer and champion of women's rights, familiar faces Jessica Joffe (DVF's Style Editor) and Stefani Greenfield (DVF's Creative Brand Director) return to dole out professional guidance and insight to the new crop of contenders eager to earn the job of a lifetime. While working in different areas of Diane's empire, the new group of fashionistas will be tasked with various challenges that organically play into DVF's business affairs and busy schedule, and may include PR, marketing, sales and events. The candidates will get a taste of the position through current DVF Global Brand Ambassador Brittany Hamtpon, as she trots around the globe for Paris Fashion Week, styles celebrities for awards shows, and makes store appearances. With a high-profile mentor like Diane, the girls can only hope for an invite that will either make or break their chances to advance towards the series finale and the start of an amazing career.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/21/15

Back to the Island... or to Cambodia... or Something
Survivor Reveals Results of Fan Voting
From The Futon Critic

The new cast of the fall edition of SURVIVOR CAMBODIA: SECOND CHANCE was revealed last night during the SURVIVOR: WORLDS APART live reunion show. In a SURVIVOR first, fans of the popular reality series chose the 20 castaways who will compete on the next season. Voting opened May 6 for the new "Second Chance" cast, and the results were revealed live by host and executive producer Jeff Probst.

Fans cast their votes over the two-week period, and the castaways who received the most now comprise the cast of SURVIVOR CAMBODIA: SECOND CHANCE. The newly announced contestants, 10 male and 10 female, immediately boarded a bus following the reunion show and began their journey to Cambodia, where the next season will film for 39 days. The original pool of 32 former players, ranging from Season 1 to Season 30, have never won the game and felt they deserved a second chance to compete for the $1 million prize and the title of Sole Survivor.

The cast:
- Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart)
- Vytas Baskauskas (Blood vs. Water)
- Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan)
- Jeremy Collins (San Juan del Sur)
- Terry Deitz (Panama)
- Ciera Eastin (Blood vs. Water)
- Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins)
- Tasha Fox (Cagayan)
- Abi-Maria Gomes (Philippines)
- Woo Hwang (Cagayan)
- Kimmi Kappenberg (Australian Outback)
- Peih-Gee Law (China)
- Kass McQuillen (Cagayan)
- Keith Nale (San Juan del Sur)
- Shirin Oskooi (Worlds Apart)
- Monica Padilla (Samoa)
- Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands)
- Jeff Varner (Australian Outback)
- Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur)
- Kelly Wiglesworth (Borneo)

The Futon Critic

posted 5/21/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Strip Search"

  • Today's installment of "I Was Only Doing What The Producers Told Me To Do!" comes courtesy of this "Bachelorette" castoff (TMZ)
     
  • Alex Trebek is also a noted conservationist, and he's taking a trip to the Arctic in August to prove as such. Is there anything he CAN'T do? (Jaunted)
     
  • Jeff Foxworthy plays "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" with Jimmy Fallon, Pitbull (KSDK St. Louis)
     
  • Don Lemon apparently lets slip the next CNN Quiz Show: the 70s (TV Newser)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with John de Mol (The Hollywood Reporter)

posted 5/21/15

America's Most Watched Network Is....
CBS Takes Totals for the 7th Consective Year; NBC Wins the Demo Back-to-Back
From Deadline

The season is not officially over for another night but Comcast-owned NBC looks to have clinched the top spot among adults 18-49 for the second year in a row – by a Super Bowl XLIX hair. With the big NFL game on their schedule this year, NBC drew a 2.4/8 rating among adults 18-49 for the 2014-15 TV season compared to CBS’ 2.3/7 result as the latter network took the viewership championship again. It should be noted that without the Super Bowl this year, NBC would have gotten a 2.25 rating compared to CBS’ 2.34 result – so perhaps a flower basket is due to the now suspended Tom Brady, Mr. Greenblatt. With all the ratings and viewership numbers, it should also be noted that CBS will be broadcasting Super Bowl 50 on February 7 next year.

This year’s demo result is an 11% drop for NBC from last year’s season winning rating with a 4% dip for CBS as it moved up from third place to second among the 18-49s. Despite a blockbuster freshman run from Empire and good debuts for Gotham and The Last Man On Earth, Fox fell from second place to fourth, crashing 24% downward from last year. Looking to win its second May sweep in a row, ABC inched up 5% from the 2013-14 season and into third place. In fact, remove sports from the equation and ABC is top among the Big 4 demowise with a 2.2/7 to CBS’ 2.1/7, NBC’s 1.9/6 and Fox’s 1.8/6.

Here are the 2014-15 TV Season 18-49 results for all of the Big 4 plus The CW:

NBC: 2.4/8
CBS: 2.3/7
ABC: 2.2/7
Fox: 1.9/6
CW: 0.8/3

In terms of total viewers, Les Moonves and crew took the top spot for the seventh consecutive year with an average audience of 11.3 million. That’s actually a rise of 5% over what the network average last year. Of the Big 4, only ABC saw a viewership rise also with a move up of just under 500,000 watching over the 2013-14 season. In total average audience, NBC dipped 7% and Fox fell 21%.

Here are the average network viewership numbers for the 2014-15 season:

CBS: 11.3 million
NBC: 8.6 million
ABC: 8.0 million
Fox: 5.8 million
CW: 2.1 million

Deadline

posted 5/20/15

Italy Trades Up
Discovery Italia Orders Keshet Format
From Variety

Discovery Italia has acquired Keshet International’s “Trade Up,” a trivia game show, in which families sit inside a series of cars and must answer trivia questions in order to find the keys and drive away with the prize.

The deal marks Discovery Italia’s first-ever collaboration with Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israeli media company Keshet.

Keshet shopped “Trade Up” at last month’s Mip TV, promoting it as a family-friendly program that also offers a number of branding partnership opportunities.

“‘Trade Up’ was one of the most brilliant and original formats at the most recent MIP, and this is our first deal with Keshet, one of the most interesting creative houses,” said Laura Carafoli, SVP of content and programming for Discovery Italia.

Each episode of the show sees families arriving at a hangar filled with a number of different new cars. After selecting a car to sit in, the families must answer a trivia questions to get the car to start. Each time they manage to turn the key in the car’s ignition, though, they have a choice — do they drive away with the car, or do they hedge their bets and trade up?

The deal is exclusive to Discovery Italy and not connected to other Discovery channels across the globe. Keshet execs say they are currently developing and packaging a U.S. version of the program that they hope to shop soon.

“Trade Up” will begin airing in Italy in the fall.

Variety
Realscreen
C21 Media

posted 5/20/15

Tuesday: The Next to the Last Night
ABC, NBC Split Penultimate Night of 2014-2015 Season
From The Futon Critic

The winner’s circle was looking pretty packed on primetime last night as both The Voice (2.8/9) and Dancing With The Stars (2.3/7) crowned victors.

NBC (10.149 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with its "The Voice Recap" (7.733 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) followed by the season finale of "The Voice" (11.357 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1).

The silver then went to ABC (11.220 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) with night two of "The Bachelorette" (7.046 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) alongside the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" (13.307 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2).

Next up was FOX (3.422 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.503 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #7) plus a second "Hell's Kitchen" (3.341 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #6).

Meanwhile, CBS (7.590 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) served up its all-repeat lineup of "NCIS" (9.075 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #8), "NCIS: New Orleans" (7.260 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9) and another "NCIS" (6.434 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9).

And finally, the season finale of "The Flash" (3.706 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5) and a new "iZombie" (1.762 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) on The CW (2.734 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.166 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Deadline

posted 5/20/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "You Got The Curse!"

  • Alton Brown's long-time marriage to his wife... done, meaning all three Food Network Star hosts are now exes (E!)
     
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: Hell's Kitchen moves to Tuesdays @ 9 beginning THIS Tuesday (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Maks Chmerkovskiy quotes Taylor Swift to "Dancing": we are never ever ever getting back together. Like ever. (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Kaitlyn's relations (The Daily Beast), and the double standard of game playing and slut shaming (Huffington Post)
     
  • Christina Aguilera impersonates Britney, Cher, Miley (New York Daily News)
     
  • Bob Barker wants Marineland orca included in whale ban (Toronto Star)
     
  • Alfonso Ribeiro catches 26... the 26th season of "America's Funniest Home Videos", that is. (The Futon Critic)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Millionaire heads to Louisville (WDRB Louisville)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with RocKwiz host/creator Brian Nankervis (Sydney Morning Herald) and Wayne Brady (Press of Atlantic City)

posted 5/20/15

Syndies: Week 33
Results for the Week Ending May 10
From B&C

At the May sweep’s halfway mark (ending May 10), most syndicated shows were steady as they go.

In access, game shows were steady. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune regained a slight advantage, adding 2% to a 6.4, after tying CTD’s Jeopardy! in the previous stanza. Jeopardy! sagged 3% to a 6.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.9, but was up 20% from last year at this time and was the genre’s only show to notch an annual gain.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at its series-low 1.6 for the third time in four weeks and lost 24% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at 1.3 for the sixth time in seven weeks.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV NewsCheck

posted 5/19/15

Monday: We Have a New Champion
ABC Sweeps the Night Thanks to "Dancing", "Bachelorette"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (9.529 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) pulled into the top spot on Monday with a new "Dancing with the Stars" (14.108 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and the return of "The Bachelorette" (7.239 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T).

NBC (9.174 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then had to settle for second place with a new "The Voice" (11.054 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) followed by the season finale of "The Night Shift" (5.416 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7).

Next up was CBS (7.896 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with the respective finales for "2 Broke Girls" (7.615 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.750 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5), "Stalker" (6.823 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.182 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.096 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a new "The Following" (3.104 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and the concluding installment of "The Following" (3.089 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, the feature "Celeste and Jesse Forever" (0.514 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.1, #11) on The CW (0.514 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.1, #5) closed out the evening.

RuPaul's Drag Race was the sole cable game with 310,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/19/15

Weekend: Penning the Sharks
ABC Closes on a High
From The Futon Critic

ABC (6.225 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the top draw on Friday thanks to the season finales of "Shark Tank" (6.927 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T1) and "Beyond the Tank" (6.251 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T1) plus a new "20/20" (5.497 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3).

The silver then went to NBC (5.180 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2) with the season finale of "Grimm" (4.740 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (5.400 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #6).

Next up was CBS (5.201 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.8, #3) with the season finale of "The Amazing Race" (5.665 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) and a two-hour "ACM Presents: Superstar Duets" (4.970 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.7, #7).

Next up was FOX (1.476 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.5, #4) with the feature "Scream 2" (1.476 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.5, #8).

And finally, a new "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.405 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.450 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9) and a new "The Messengers" (1.026 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9) on The CW (1.227 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Spring Baking Championship (Food): 1.527 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (final, Food): 1.272 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.221 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/19/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Not Exactly The Most Shocking Lightning Round Ever"

  • What you need to know about last night's "Bachelorette": it's totally sexist and degrading (Salon), one of the men is a former "Bachelor" ex (Gawker), entertaining with rape jokes (Jezebel), and there was a triceratops (E!)
     
  • Speaking of... Jesse Palmer is now working for ABC News (TV Newser)
     
  • ICYMI: this is how you lose by a dollar on Jeopardy! (Mediaite)
     
  • ANOTHER BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW of "500 Questions" (TV Insider), plus a video preview (Extra)
     
  • Ant & Dec will have the "Best Time Ever" with NPH (BBC News)
     
  • Jimmy Fallon plays "Password" (Hypable)
     
  • "Mastermind" celebrates IBIIIIIIIZAAAAAAAA! (NME)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Teams of two wanted (Reality Wanted)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Bradley Walsh (Digital Spy) and the sadists in charge of "American Ninja Warrior" (Men's Journal) PLUS Pom Wonderful is getting on the course (The Futon Critic)

posted 5/18/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "500 Problems, But a Quiz Ain't One"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEWS: 500 Questions (ABC, Wednesday) is "a good game wrapped in poor, confusing production decisions" (Buzzerblog), "awash in way too many rules" (Media Life), "a grand spectacle" (USA Today), and "a pressure cooker of a quiz show" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
     
  • Class action suit against GSN filed by former intern who filed a class action suit against MGM for the same thing. We're not lawyers, but this doesn't pass the sniff test (Law360)
     
  • "Amazing Race" producers make the case for an Emmy... using this past season. You see the problem here? (The Wrap)
     
  • "The Bachelorette" promises the best season yet... (Us Magazine) ... or at least better than last season (Twitter @fleissmeister)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Six reason why Survivor will outlast American Idol (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Imagine for a moment Peter Tomarken returned to host "Whammy!". Now watch the unaired pilot #1 (YouTube @WinkMartindale)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Teams of two wanted (Reality Wanted)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Bradley Walsh (Digital Spy) and the sadists in charge of "American Ninja Warrior" (Men's Journal) PLUS Pom Wonderful is getting on the course (The Futon Critic)

posted 5/18/15

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