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Thursday: A Titanic Opening Night
ABC, CBS Split Night
From The Futon Critic

It was anything but smooth sailing for CMT's new quiz show "Pontoon Payday".

The Frank Nicotero-hosted game show - which takes place largely on a the deck of a party boat - attracted 198,000 viewers and rated 0.08 in the ad-friendly adults 18-49 demographic, holding onto only 46 percent of the audience for the season 2 opener of "Party Down South".

On broadcast, on a night packed with finales, ABC (6.893 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 with "Grey's Anatomy" (8.252 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2), "Scandal" (8.120 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) and "American Crime" (4.308 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

CBS (7.926 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (9.568 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) followed by the season finale of "The Odd Couple" (8.220 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), repeats of "Mom" (8.046 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4) and "The Big Bang Theory" (7.861 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5) plus the season finale of "Elementary" (6.929 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

Next up was NBC (5.367 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a repeat "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.795 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #13) alongside the season finale of "The Blacklist" (7.262 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.045 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.231 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up a new "Bones" (4.647 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and the premiere of "Wayward Pines" (3.815 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

And finally, the season finales of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.450 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) and "Reign" (0.866 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) on The CW (1.158 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

Elsewhere on cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.545 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.091 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 370,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/15/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "The Axe Begins"

  • Per Blankens was brought to rebuild Idol... Now that that's a total failure, Fremantle's giving him the axe (The Hollywood Reporter) and in the end... these guys may be to blame (The Concourse)
     
  • Rove McManus brings "Lie Detectors" to... (Access Hollywood)
     
  • A bunch of big-time musical acts followed by a five-minute announcement of who will be forgotten in about a month. Don't you do this to me too, "Voice" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Harry Shum Jr. goes from "Fake Off" judge to "Shadowhunter" alongside the Old Spice Guy (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Alex Trebek used to party (Uproxx)

posted 5/15/15


CW Sends "Top Model" to the Fall
Network Releases Upfront Presentation
From the Futon Critic

Wrapping up its most watched season in seven years, The CW Network presented its 2015-16 broadcast schedule today to advertisers, affiliates and national media at New York City Center in New York City. The indie-pop band Of Monsters and Men kicked off the presentation with a live performance of their latest single "Crystals," and their international hit song "Little Talks."

"This has been a terrific season for The CW, and is a result of a strategy we set in motion a few years ago to broaden out and grow our audience," said Pedowitz. "We had our most watched season, and our highest-rated season among men, in seven years. We launched The CW's most watched series ever with THE FLASH, and with THE FLASH and JANE THE VIRGIN, we received more critical acclaim than ever before.

"The CW is heading into next season with incredible stability and strength, and continuing its strategy of adding more original programming all year long. Our new fall series CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND is original and hilarious, and will work as a perfect companion for JANE on Monday nights, while at midseason we have the much-anticipated DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, and the tense action of CONTAINMENT. These three new series are a terrific complement to our already strong schedule, and allow us to keep building on our momentum in 2015-16."

The CW will launch its 2015-16 broadcast season in October, with premiere dates to be announced later.

Monday night is back-to-back comedy night with CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND at 8:00-9:00 p.m., starring Rachel Bloom as an unhappy lawyer who quits her job and moves across the country in search of love, with her inner monologue providing irreverent musical interludes, followed by Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez starring in JANE THE VIRGIN returning at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Tuesdays, Grant Gustin returns as the Fastest Man Alive in The CW's smash hit THE FLASH at 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by the brainy zom-com iZOMBIE, starring Rose McIver at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

ARROW, starring Stephen Amell as Starling City's masked hero, is back on Wednesday in the 8:00-9:00 p.m. time slot, followed by the monster-hunting Winchester brothers in SUPERNATURAL at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Thursdays will be fang-tastic, with Damon and Stefan returning in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by the first family of vampires, THE ORIGINALS at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Mary, Queen of Scots will face off with Queen Elizabeth this season on REIGN, moving to Fridays at 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by Cycle 22 of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, which will move from Wednesdays in the Summer to Fridays in the Fall.

The new series DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and CONTAINMENT will premiere in midseason, and THE 100 and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will return with new seasons in 2016.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 5/14/15

Wednesday: Squeaker of a Split
ABC Splits Night with "Idol"-Fueled Fox... but Only Just
From the Futon Critic

ABC (6.226 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 on Wednesday with the season finales of "The Middle" (6.987 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #5) and "The Goldbergs" (6.712 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4) followed by new episodes of "Modern Family" (8.096 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and "Black-ish" (6.170 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3) and the season closer to "Nashville" (4.695 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

FOX (7.739 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with the season finale of "American Idol" (7.739 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6). The 8-10:06 PM American Idol last night hit a new finale low for the Ryan Seacrest-hosted series. Last night’s Season 14 ender fell a harsh 38% among adults 18-49 from what its Season 13 finale drew on May 21 last year.

Next up was CBS (7.666 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with new episodes of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.434 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and "CSI: Cyber" (6.878 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10) alongside the season finale of "CSI: Cyber" (6.688 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.580 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up the penultimate weeks of "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.141 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.762 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "Chicago PD" (6.837 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

And finally, the season finale of "Arrow" (2.798 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12) and a new "Supernatural" (2.142 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #14) on The CW (2.470 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 349,000
- Fake Off (truTV): 300,000
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 286,000

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/14/15

What's French for "Boom"?
TF1 Takes Foreign Format
From C21 Media

French commercial broadcaster TF1 will test two gameshow formats this summer as it fights back against pubcaster France 2 in access primetime.

The French version of Keshet International’s Boom! will be produced by TF1 Productions, while the distributor’s format Win Your Wishlist will be made by Sony Pictures Television’s prodco Starling.

The shows will each be hosted by popular TF1 hosts, Boom! by Vincent Lagaff (The Price is Right) and Win Your Wishlist by Christophe Dechavanne.

The news was confirmed by TF1 programs director Fabrice Bailly on radio station France Inter yesterday.

C21 Media

posted 5/14/15

GSN Plays Against Cablevision
On the Table: Channel Position
From Hollywood Reporter

Is a television network that's best known for game shows being hampered by a cable ecosystem that's been rigged against fair competitions?

The question is now being addressed in a proceeding before the Federal Communications Commission, which is examining the plight of the Game Show Network, which offers such fare as Deal or No Deal and Family Feud as well as original programming like Idotest, Skin Wars and Lie Detectors. The media regulatory agency is examining whether Cablevision's repositioning of GSN from a wide tier to a premium sports tier amounted to program carriage discrimination in violation of Section 616 of the Communications Act of 1934.

This contest has been a long one.

GSN filed its complaint against Cablevision in 2011, when the FCC got tired of the often contentious negotiations between programmers and distributors on the tube and aimed to do something about it. Now, the latest buzz in television has advanced towards talking about the opportunities and tensions inherent in the unbundling of television content, but GSN and Cablevision continue to fight the good fight over how decisions to put networks into certain tiers on the cable dial can have big consequences to ratings, ad dollars and licensing revenue. In the past couple of weeks, the two sides have delivered arguments in advance of a summary decision. The FCC's coming ruling may be quite impactful in an industry where vertical consolidation always causes a big headache.

GSN argues that it was taken out of a more widely distributed tier that included WE tv and Wedding Central — two networks that feature "female-oriented" reality and competition-based programming. That's how GSN sees itself. By being placed into a premium sports tier that included "male-oriented" ESPN Classic, ESPN-U, MLB Network and the NHL Network, GSN says that many of its viewers didn't want to pay the extra fee and its ratings began to crater.

Cablevision allegedly had an ulterior motive in doing this because it wanted to benefit its own affiliated WE tv and Wedding Central networks.

The FCC ruled early on in the dispute that it wouldn't force Cablevision to immediately put GSN back into the basic tier while the dispute played out, but the agency did in 2012 find that GSN had established a prima facie case of program discrimination.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 5/14/15

TNT, TBS Rebrand. Again.
Turner Plans New Games in Upfront
From the Futon Critic

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. brought its entire portfolio of leading entertainment, kids, news and sports brands to The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City this morning for one powerful Upfront presentation. The strength of Turner's diverse portfolio of brands - including Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Sports - was highlighted throughout the presentation, which showcased content and offerings from the networks and brought Turner's "Turn It Up" message to life.

Turner is a global content leader across all screens and platforms, reaching more than 230 million Americans in a given month through its top-rated entertainment networks, leading digital brands, the only kids network with a growing audience, premier championship sports and the global leader in news. Collectively, the company creates 15,000 hours of premium original content each year that reaches and engages with the entire range of adult and kid viewers.

"Turner's portfolio consists of leading multiplatform brands, each with a unique voice and identity that is unmatched in the marketplace," said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting. "Our brands deliver content that resonates with socially connected audiences across a wide range of demos, from kids to Generation Next to Millennials to Generation X and beyond. We also have data and partnership opportunities that give advertisers the insight and tools to engage our viewers in exciting new ways. Turner's collective strength and reach across all platforms and demographics, combined with our ability to connect advertisers with viewers, firmly positions us for success today and well into the future."

The Turner Upfront 2015 presentation tipped off with Turner Sports' award-winning Inside the NBA team - Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal - followed by the introduction of Turner's all-star ad sales team, led by Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales.

"Today is a historic day," Speciale told the audience. "For the first time, all of Turner is together on one stage. We're focusing all our assets on your business needs, to help drive your results. To do that, all of our divisions are working together, re-inventing what it means to be a content company. To us, change means opportunity, and we are disrupting our own business model to grab hold of all the incredible opportunities ahead. That's what we mean when we say, 'TURN IT UP!'"

Below are details on each portion of Turner Upfront 2015, including links to news announcements and some of the video pieces included in today's presentation. Turner Upfront news and photos are being posted on social media using #TurnerUpfront.

There's a revolution coming to TBS and an evolution coming to TNT, announced Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief content officer for Turner Entertainment, during this morning's Turner Upfront 2015. Reilly revealed his initial strategy for the two networks, including plans for a major TBS rebrand, a shift in focus for the TNT slate of original dramas and an increase in the development and production of original content for both networks.

"We're on the move in a big way at TNT and TBS," Reilly said. "We're doing a proactive makeover of these networks. We'll double the number of our original series on TBS and TNT over the next three years. And we'll sharpen the point of view and be even more adventurous in our programming choices."

Reilly emphasized that both networks are currently very strong. TBS tops the charts as basic cable's #1 network in primetime delivery of adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and total viewers. And TNT is home to more hit series than any other cable network. On a monthly basis, TNT and TBS collectively reach nearly half of all adults 18-49.

Reilly's plans for TNT call for a shift in the focus and tone of its original programming. Today, the network announced an eight-part drama and two pilot orders:

· The Alienist, an atmospheric, eight-part psychological thriller based on Caleb Carr's bestseller and set in the fascinating and gritty world of Gilded Age New York City, from Emmy(R) winner Cary Fukunaga, Oscar(R) winner Eric Roth and Oscar nominee Hossein Amini.

· Will, a series about a young William Shakespeare told in raucous style by Craig Pearce, the long-time writing partner of auteur filmmaker Baz Lurhmann.

· Animal Kingdom, a family crime drama set in a gritty surf community from executive producers John Wells and Jonathan Lisco.

For TBS, Reilly's strategy calls for a major reposition of the network's brand and programming, all of which is set to begin by the end of 2015, as well as an expansion of the network's original programming slate to more than 15 scripted and unscripted series over the next two years.

TBS will launch Separation Anxiety, a relationship-based game show with a unique twist.

HLN's 2016 programming slate will feature the highly-anticipated premiere of Heads Up!, the TV series based on the mega-popular game and best-selling smartphone app from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This 65-episode half-hour game show strip, produced by DeGeneres' A Very Good Production in association with Telepictures, will be hosted by Loni Love, comedian, actress and co-host of syndicated talk show The Real. From famous names, to song titles, to animals - players must guess the word before them from their teammate's clues before time runs out. Each team is made up of one celebrity and one civilian. In the first few rounds, two teams go head-to-head, but only one team will make it to the final round and play for the jackpot prize. And heads up: There are a lot of laughs along the way.

In October 2014, truTV flipped the switch on an extensive brand makeover. Since then the network has been on a roll, rapidly expanding its lineup of original programming and scoring across-the-board ratings growth and chart-climbing competitive rankings.

"We have turned over a whole new network, building momentum with a premium lineup of new series that will keep viewers coming back for more," said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. "We now have 17 new shows, with a slate that represents nearly 200 hours of original programming. These new shows, specials and pilots are the kind of fresh and innovative programming that will help us build on the success our 'Way More Fun' brand is generating."

Over the past six months, the truTV audience has been getting younger, and the network has been climbing the charts as a result of its brand and programming refresh. Since the rebrand, truTV has garnered a median age of only 38, and its median age for the first quarter of 2015 was four years younger than first quarter last year. Primetime deliveries were up across the board compared to the first two months of the network's brand and programming update, including adults 18-49 (+36%), adults 18-34 (+35%), men 18-49 (+45%), men 18-34 (+54%) and total viewers (+35%).

truTV also finished the first quarter as one of basic cable's Top 20 networks with men 18-49 and men 18-34, climbing 13 and nine spaces, respectively, among the two demos compared to the opening months of the rebrand. Among total viewers, truTV has risen 10 spots, while its rankings among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 have improved six and four spots, respectively.

truTV's current hits include Impractical Jokers, The Carbonaro Effect, Fake Off, Friends of the People, Hack My Life, How to Be a Grownup and Barmageddon. The network's extensive lineup of upcoming series include the scripted comedy Those Who Can't, the genre-busting half-prank/half-sketch show Fameless and the unscripted series The Hustlers, Santas in the Barn and Six Degrees of Everything. In addition, the streetwise game show Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner is set to become a truTV original series, starting with its fourth season in October.

Other pilots include Smartface (working title), produced by Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions and Core Media Group. The show is based on a format distributed by Tel Aviv-based Dori Media Group.

The series, which has been sold to broadcasters around the world by Dori, is a trivia gameshow in which contestants have to find a random member of the public to answer questions on their behalf.

The Futon Critic
AV Club
Realscreen
Deadline
Akron Beacon Journal
Multichannel News
Hollywood Reporter
The Futon Critic
C21 Media

posted 5/14/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "It's All Fun & Games"

  • Steven Tyler would return to the final season of "Idol"... if they paid him enough (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 10 cringe-worthy game show moments (HLN)
     
  • Britt & Kaitlyn's response doesn't sound at all like it was prepared for a conference call (E!)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Pontoon Payday" (CMT, tonight) (Channel Guide)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 10 reasons why we still watch "Hell's Kitchen" (Hidden Remote)
     
  • #TBT: Pat Sharp, twin cheerleaders return "Fun House" to Evesham (Hereford Times)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: the 7 worst "Pointless" answers. EVER. (BT)
     
  • BBC buys into a Mighty "Tipping Point" indie (TBI Vision)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Worst Cooks in America (Reality Wanted)
     
  • ICYMI: Oh yeah, and America has a new "Idol" (TV Insider)

posted 5/14/15


CBS Renews "Survivor", "Race"
Network Releases Upfront Presentation
From the Futon Critic

CBS has renewed 10 of its 11 remaining scripted series, leaving "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" as the sole question mark at the network.

Per multiple reports, earning 2015-16 season stripes are: "Blue Bloods," "Criminal Minds," "CSI: Cyber," "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Hawaii Five-0," "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "The Odd Couple" and "Person of Interest."

Also returning next season will be its newsmagazine ("48 Hours," "60 Minutes") and reality ("The Amazing Race, "Survivor" and "Undercover Boss") mainstays.

SURVIVOR once again opens the night at 8:00 PM, where it continues to win in viewers and demos. CBS's highest-rated 18-49 drama, CRIMINAL MINDS, which grew its audience this year, delivers the perfect lead-in at 9:00 PM for the fast-paced new medical drama CODE BLACK at 10:00 PM.

CBS's winning Friday night returns intact with the Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM, followed by the two-hour crime-solving block of HAWAII FIVE-0 at 9:00 PM and BLUE BLOODS, Friday's most-watched show, at 10:00 PM.

As for "CSI," the network is working on a finale plan to wrap up the series, whether it be a TV movie or short run 16th season. The two-hour series swan song will air September 27.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 5/13/15

Tuesday: Well That Was a Whole Heap of Nothing
NBC, CBS Split Night. Idol... Non-Event.
From the Futon Critic

CBS (12.321 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) was the most-watched network on Tuesday with the season finales of "NCIS" (14.745 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) and "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.518 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) plus a special "CSI: Cyber" (8.702 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11).

NBC (6.578 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) then shared in the demo crown with its mix of "The Voice" (8.976 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1), a new "Undateable" (4.316 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and the season finales of "Undateable" (3.945 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and "Chicago Fire" (6.628 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4).

Next up was ABC (5.953 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and a special "Dancing with the Stars" (9.955 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4) followed by a new "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.219 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and the season finale of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (3.685 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.359 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up fresh installments of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.228 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11) and "American Idol" (5.491 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.506 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6) and "iZombie" (1.760 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.633 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.346 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 406,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/13/15

"Travel Channel Star" Has Its Final 15
Stream Entire Season on TravelChannel.com
From the Futon Critic

Who will be the next Travel Channel Star? After reviewing over 1,000 entries from travel enthusiasts across the country, Travel Channel has narrowed the search to the top 15 contestants. Each with their own take on travel, these wanna-be hosts bring many areas of expertise and perspective on how they would explore the world. The professions they are willing to leave behind include part-time poll worker, personal trainer and high school science teacher.

In the 15 five-minute webisodes, three judges and host Bert Kreischer, professional fun-seeker and host of "Trip Flip," provide colorful commentary and feedback about each audition.

Did the judges get it right? Fans can vote for their favorite contender on TravelChannel.com's "Travel Channel Star" page and on Twitter using #travelchannelstar until Friday, May 15. The top five will be revealed on Travel Channel's website on Monday, May 25 with additional commentary from Kreischer and the judges.

The winner of 2015's "Travel Channel Star" will host their own five-part series on TravelChannel.com and will be named in a one-hour special, hosted by Kreischer, on Travel Channel later this year.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/13/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Cat on a Hot Gold Derby"

  • Cat Deeley to host Critic's Choice Awards on A&E (The Futon Critic)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Five reasons why Idol failed (TV Line) plus a few good minutes with William Hung (People)
     
  • How did Aaron Rodgers get to be in "Jeopardy!" His girlfriend Olivia Munn said no. Simple (ESPN Wisconsin)

posted 5/13/15


ABC Upfront: ... Nope. No Big Changes
All of ABC's Primetime Games Will Continue On
From The Futon Critic

ABC continues its commitment to great storytelling with the announcement of its 2015-16 slate of programming, including the addition of 10 new series. Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, will unveil the network's new lineup to the advertising and media communities this afternoon at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.

"Our new slate of shows continues the momentum from last year. ABC was the most buzzed about network, and the only major network to hold on to its audience and to grow in the target demo. Our 2015-16 schedule, with new shows and returning favorites that reflect our commitment to world-class storytelling, will solidify ABC's place as the network that raises the bar for what viewers expect from broadcast television," said Lee.

ABC is the only major network to increase its Adult 18-49 audience during the 2014-15 season. ABC delivered 7 of the Top 20 entertainment series on broadcast TV this season in Adults 18-49, placing 4 of the Top 10 and claiming 3 of the Top 5 dramas: "Modern Family" and "Scandal" tie at No. 4, "How to Get Away with Murder" - No. 9, "Grey's Anatomy" - No. 10, "Once Upon a Time" - No. 12, while "black-ish" and "The Bachelor" tie at No. 18.

New series "The Catch," "Dr. Ken," "The Family," "The Muppets," "Of Kings and Prophets," "OIL," "Quantico," "The Real O'Neals," "Uncle Buck" and "Wicked City" will join the lineup.

Returning this season are "America's Funniest Home Videos," "American Crime," "The Bachelor," "Beyond The Tank," "black-ish," "Castle," "Dancing with the Stars," "Fresh Off the Boat," "Galavant," "The Goldbergs," "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away With Murder," "Last Man Standing," "Marvel's Agent Carter," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "The Middle," "Modern Family," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Scandal," "Secrets and Lies," "Shark Tank" and "20/20."

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2015-16 season.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider
TV Insider

posted 5/12/15

Syndies: Week 32
Results for the Week Ending May 3
From B&C

CBS Television Distribution’s rookie court show Hot Bench hit the 2.0 household ratings barrier in the week ending May 3, climbing 11% for the week to a new series high, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The Judge Judy Sheindlin-created court panel had the largest weekly increase of any daytime show in the top 15. Hot Bench also was syndication’s only strip to hit a new high and was easily court’s second-highest rated show after Judy, of course.
The week marked the first full week of the May sweep, which started April 23 and runs through May 20. Warmer weather and lower levels of people using television made it a difficult week for most shows.

In access, game shows weren’t having much fun. Both Wheel and Jeopardy! sank, with Wheel sliding 7% to a 6.3, tying Jeopardy!, which stumbled 6%.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 5% to a 5.9, but was up 13% compared to last year at this time and was the only show in the category with an annual increase. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire matched its series-low 1.6, with a 6% drop for the week and a 27% drop for the year. Debmar Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game sagged 7% for the week to a 1.3.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Monday: Business As Usual
ABC, NBC Split Night
From The Futon Critic

NBC (8.254 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was once again the demo champ on Monday with its duo of "The Voice" (9.844 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.075 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

ABC (11.768 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then was a close second with a new "Dancing with the Stars" (13.314 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and the season finale of "Castle" (8.677 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5).

Next up was CBS (7.278 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with the penultimate weeks of "2 Broke Girls" (7.076 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.747 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3), canceled "Stalker" (6.351 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (8.071 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.130 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) offered up a new "The Following" (3.210 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and a second "The Following" (3.050 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, the season finales of "The Originals" (1.106 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.265 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) on The CW (1.185 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 367,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 266,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Ink Master: Rivals
Catch It on Spike June 23!
From The Futon Critic

Spike TV's hit original series "Ink Master" returns for a sixth season starting Tuesday, June 23 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it's best to 'know your enemy.' Eighteen tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of 'Ink Master.' This season it's not just about the rivalries the artists create during the competition, each contestant comes with their own personal tattoo rival - their master or apprentice.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/12/15

La Banda Comes Back for Season 2
Univision Renews Simon Cowell Series
From TV by the Numbers

Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today hosted its annual Upfront presentation to unveil its 2015-16 programming line-up and to highlight how targeting U.S. Hispanics through Univision’s multiplatform portfolio is the way forward for marketers to fuel growth. At the UCI Upfront event, Univision announced that “La Banda,” the music-based, multi-media competition show developed by Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment and Haim Saban’s Saban Brands and co-produced with FremantleMedia Latin America is back for a second season. Simon Cowell as executive producer brings SYCO Entertainment’s trademark talent for finding stars and creating great entertainment to Spanish-language television for the first time this fall. For the second season, “La Banda 2” will scour the U.S. for the ultimate Latina girl super group.

With its signature new take on the singing competition show format, “La Banda 2” will search the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Representing Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, female contestants will compete for their place in “La Banda 2.”

“Music plays a central role in the lives of Hispanics and we are pleased to continue to bring new musical projects to our audience via this exciting new platform,” said Alberto Ciurana, president, Programming and Content, Univision Communications Inc. “We’re thrilled to collaborate once again with Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment as part of our commitment to entertain and empower Hispanic Americans through the programming they crave.”

“I am absolutely delighted to be announcing Season 2 of ‘La Banda’,” said Simon Cowell. “The enthusiasm for this format is already very exciting and most importantly we are seeing some incredibly promising talent. Univision and Saban Brands are brilliant, music-focused, passionate partners and we are all looking forward to next year’s search for a Latina girl group.”

“La Banda 2” will continue in its Sunday night primetime position on the Univision Network in 2016.

Simon Cowell, Kelly Belldegrun and Nigel Hall will executive produce “La Banda 2” for SYCO Entertainment and Cisco Suarez will executive produce for Univision.

TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Weekend: Many Tanks
ABC Takes Friday
From TV by the Numbers

ABC (5.731 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the demo champ on Friday with its mix of "Shark Tank" (6.580 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1), "Beyond the Tank" (5.566 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) and "20/20" (5.047 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3).

NBC (5.227 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "Grimm" (4.284 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6) and "Dateline NBC" (5.699 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

Next up was CBS (7.317 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with new episodes of "The Amazing Race" (5.468 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6) and "Hawaii Five-0" (8.367 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) plus the season finale of "Hawaii Five-0" (8.118 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.297 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.4, #4) offered up the feature "Scream" (1.297 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #10).

And finally, The CW (0.991 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) served up its revised Friday lineup of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.380 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.5, #9), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.229 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) and "The Messengers" (0.679 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12).

On Food Network...
- Spring Baking Championship: 1.363 million
- Guy's Grocery Games: 1.240 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious: 1.189 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/12/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Sharks"

  • Daymond John swims with Washington sharks as White House entrepreneurship ambassador (Variety)
     
  • Sometimes Erin Andrews' "I'm gonna bawl" face (Twitter @ErinAndrews) is just that. An "I'm gonna bawl" face (Twitter @Tom_Bergeron)
     
  • Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe react (Billboard) to "Idol" cancellation (Extra) PLUS a LIST ABUSE of 9 of American Idol's greatest success stories (TV Insider)

posted 5/12/15


Curtain Call
Season 15 to Be "Idol's" Last, Plus Other Upfront Details
From Variety

“American Idol” is finally coming to a close. The fifteenth and final season will premiere January 2016.

Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban will return as Season 15 judges, along with host Ryan Seacrest.

While searching for the final “Idol” superstar, the last season will also serve as a “celebratory event,” paying tribute to fourteen seasons of contestants, winners and fans.

“American Idol,” created by Simon Fuller, first debuted in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Throughout its fourteen seasons, other A-list judges have included Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Steven Tyler, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.

The reality competition made a star of Seacrest who has served as emcee since Season 1 when he shared hosting duties with Brian Dunkleman, who exited after the first round.

Based off Fuller’s hit British series “Pop Idol,” on which Cowell was a judge, the duo brought “Idol” to America, and is credited with launching the genre craze stateside, leading to other singing competitions including “The Voice,” “The Sing Off,” the short-lived “Rising Star,” plus “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent,” both created by Cowell and inspired by the British versions.

The Futon Critic
Variety
Deadline
Entertainment Weekly
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider
Time
TV Insider
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/11/15


Get Ready to Have "Best Time Ever"
NPH's "SNTA" Take Has a Name, Date
From Broadway World

NBC has revealed the name of its upcoming variety show to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. The weekly extravaganza will be called BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS.

The one-hour series, which will debut this fall on the Peacock Network, will be based on the long-running, successful British series Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. The show will feature a combination of comedy, music, and game-show elements.

In preparation for his upcoming hosting gig, Harris recently served as guest announcer on Takeaway. He is expected to make an appearance at NBC's upfront presentation to advertisers, taking place on Monday at New York's Radio City Music Hall. NBC has ordered 10 episodes from ITV Studios America, all of which will be filmed in front of a live audience.

Meanwhile, NBC has renewed "The Voice" for another season to air Mondays & Tuesdays, while "Best Time Ever" will air the first 10 Tuesdays of the new season.

Broadway World
Radio.com
Bustle
Vulture
Entertainment Weekly
The Futon Critic
Realscreen
TV Insider

posted 5/11/15

More on "The Bachelorette"
Catch It on ABC May 18
From TV by the Numbers

What do a buff fitness coach, whose mother’s untimely death left him with painful scars; a dashing executive recruiter, who is a Princeton graduate; a cocky and confident architectural engineer with movie star good looks; an insurance agent, who is the total package, and a charming dentist, who has a million dollar smile, all have in common? They’re all on the hunt for the new Bachelorette – whether that is Britt or Kaitlyn -- when the 11th edition of the female version of ABC’s popular romance reality series, “The Bachelorette,” premieres with a two-night special, MONDAY, MAY 18 at a special time (9:01-11:00 p.m., ET), and TUESDAY, MAY 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

TV by the Numbers

posted 5/11/15


JOANNE CARSON: 1931-2015
Johnny Carson's Second Wife Co-Hosted "Video Village"
From CBS News

Joanne Carson, the second wife of "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, has died in Southern California. She was 83.

Ed Rada, the executor of her estate, says Carson died Friday at her longtime home in Los Angeles. Rada says she had been in declining health and was in hospice care.

Born Joanne Copeland in Los Angeles, she married Johnny Carson in 1963, a year after he began hosting "The Tonight Show."

After their divorce in 1972, she became close to writer Truman Capote. He kept a writing room at her house, where he died in 1984.

Joanne had her own career as a talk show host, appearing on early 1960s gameshow Video Village and health and fitness show Joanne Carson's VIPs.

Rada says she will be interred next to Capote at Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Joanne Carson had a second marriage late in her life to Richard Rever that also ended in divorce.

CBS News
Digital Spy
The New York Times
Sport Act
Hollywood Reporter

posted 5/11/15

The Points Don't Matter... on Stage
Clive Anderson to Return to "Whose Line" Live Show
From the Guardian

Channel 4 hit Whose Line Is it Anyway? is set to be revived as a live show featuring regulars from the original series including host Clive Anderson.

Comics from the original show including Colin Mochrie, Josie Lawrence, Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood will reunite 16 years after the TV comedy show was cancelled in the UK.

The live show will premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End on Saturday June 20 for a limited two-week run.

“It’s great to be back in charge of the iconic Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” said Anderson, who hosted the Channel 4 show in its 10 series run 1988 to 1999. “Joining up with some of the show’s most impressive improvisers to play many of its best loved games, together with some exciting new features – expect all the fun of the television program only this time live on stage.”

The stage show has been devised by the co-creators of the original TV show Dan Patterson, who also created BBC2’s Mock The Week, and Mark Leveson.

“I’m extremely excited to be bringing the official worldwide premiere to London’s West End,” said Patterson.

Just as Channel 4 cancelled the show US network ABC opted to remake it, with Drew Carey as host and featuring a number of the regulars from the British version, which ran from 1998 to 2007.

It was revived again in 2013, this time by The CW with Aisha Tyler hosting, and continues to air.

“Since it was last aired on Channel 4 in 1999 the show has really evolved and with the US TV show running for so long we’ve seen some incredible performances,” said Patterson. “The level of talent involved in the show on both sides of the Atlantic has been phenomenal and we’ve been very lucky to work with all of them. Expect the best of both versions.”

Last year, a version of the live show appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Anderson hosted an adaptation of the TV comedy, featuring regulars including Stephen Frost, retitled as Whose Live Show Is It Anyway? because the producers of the show didn’t hold the rights to the original name.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? began life as a short-lived six-part series on BBC Radio 4 in 1988 with Stephen Fry and John Sessions as regulars.

The Guardian
CultHub

posted 5/11/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Derek The Red Nosed Host"

  • Derek Gaines gets his nose on for Red Nose Day (The Interrobang)
     
  • Simon's talking like he's losing an X Factor coach... oh wait... (Digital Spy)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Game show looking for superfans (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Ant & Dec pick up a couple more BAFTAs (CBBC Newsround)

posted 5/11/15

More on "WWE Tough Enough"
Catch It on USA June 23!
From the Futon Critic

USA Network and WWE announced today that WWE Superstar Chris Jericho will be the host of the highly-anticipated series, WWE TOUGH ENOUGH, and will be joined by a panel of experts comprised of WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan(R), WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan(R) and WWE Diva Paige(TM). The high-octane reality series premieres LIVE Tuesday, June 23 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on USA Network and around the world.*

This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will combine the can't-miss excitement of live television with reality-show drama, as WWE hopefuls vie for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Unlike anything on television today, the lightning-fast hour of entertainment and competition will include live results every week, giving fans worldwide the power to decide who stays and who goes the very same night. Each week, one cast member will be eliminated until one man and one woman are considered "Tough Enough," with each earning a one-year, $250,000 WWE contract.

Throughout the competition, the contestants will be trained by WWE Legends Booker T(TM), Billy Gunn(TM) and Lita(TM). Contestants will also come face-to-face with WWE icons including WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon; Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative, Paul "Triple H(R)" Levesque; Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon; and WWE Superstar John Cena(R), among others.

"These athletes, each with varying skill sets, will be put through a grueling boot camp that will test their physical, mental and emotional limits in a way that the series hasn't done before," said Jessica Sebastian, Vice President of Unscripted Series, USA Network. "Each week, their training and experience culminates in a spectacular live event where they will be put in front of their WWE heroes and an audience of fans. In this reimagined version of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH only the best will survive."

"This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will be the most innovative, unique and engaging series on television," said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer. "A live global telecast, real-time voting with immediate results, and unprecedented use of digital and social media during and between telecasts will all lead to a groundbreaking viewing experience."

To date, entrants from 113 countries have submitted videos, which have been viewed more than two million times on YouTube. To view play lists of entrants' videos or to submit a new audition video, go to WWEToughEnough.com. For a compilation of entrants' video submissions, click here.

On Monday, May 25, the WWE TOUGH ENOUGH App will be available for free download, giving fans even more opportunity to engage with this cutting-edge reality competition series. Through the App, viewers will receive access to exclusive content, learn more about the contestants, take part in social conversation between live telecasts and vote in real time. Fans around the world can also vote live each week for who stays and who goes via text (U.S. only), on Twitter @WWEToughEnough as well as on the WWE App, WWEToughEnough.com and USANetwork.com.

WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will emanate live from both the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., home to WWE's developmental division NXT, and the innovative professional production studios at Full Sail University located in Winter Park, Fla. This launch will mark the inaugural use of the University's latest high-caliber, on-campus production facility. In 2012, WWE and Full Sail announced an innovative partnership, which created a student scholarship fund, and also allows students of the university's entertainment-focused degree programs, including Film, Show Production, Digital Arts and Design, Internet Marketing and Entertainment Business, to gain real-world experience alongside WWE's professional production staff during WWE NXT tapings.

The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/8/15

A Second Chance at Survivor Glory
UPDATE: CBS Takes Itself Out of the Running
From the Futon Critic

Don’t worry Survivor fans, you really are the ones—and the only ones—voting for the next cast of the CBS reality show. Host Jeff Probst got viewers all atwitter on Twitter on Wednesday when he announced at the end of that night’s World Apart episode that fans would be able to vote in the next cast of 20 from a pool of 32 former players. And not just part of the cast—like on the network’s Big Brother: All-Stars back in 2006, when viewers picked eight contestants and producers picked six others—but the entire cast.

However, a few-eagle eyed fans and former contestants noticed something that seemed to contradict that in the fine print found in the Terms and Conditions page that accompanied the online voting—a section that read: “A combination of votes from CBS & the public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”

A combination of votes from CBS & the public? That’s not what Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly in our exclusive interview about the twist, nor how the voting was being promoted anywhere else on the Survivor website or in a press release about the twist. Naturally, it was time to investigate. A source close to the show informs me that the language in the terms and conditions was mistakenly added in by someone on the network’s legal team. The good news? It’s now gone. The text now reads, “The public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”

CBS also released a statement to EW on the matter, and managed to have a bit of fun with it in the process: “We voted the lawyers off of the island. The language has been corrected. It’s only the fans’ vote that counts. Always has been.”

The Futon Critic
TV Insider
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/8/15

Dancing 10th Anniversary: One More Thing...
The Judges Are Hitting the Floor!
From E!

Dancing With the Stars? More like Dancing With the Judges!

For the first time in the ABC reality hit's 10-year history, the judges will be entering the competition.

Each judge—Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli—is set to coach one of the four remaining couples leading up to Monday night's performance show. They'll have final say over their song, dance style and creative. The judges' choice dances will be scored by the three remaining judges.

The couples:
- Len Goodman will be with Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough
- Julianne Hough will be with Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
- Carrie Ann Inaba will be with Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
- Bruno Tonioli will be with Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy

E!

posted 5/8/15

Thursday: Early Locks
CBS, ABC Take Penultimate Thursday of Season
From the Futon Critic

CBS (8.420 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T1) was the most-watched network thanks to the season finale of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.315 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1) followed by a new "The Odd Couple" (8.509 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4), a second "The Odd Couple" (7.026 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (6.911 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and a new "Elementary" (6.879 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8). CBS is expected to announce their lineup next week.

ABC (6.528 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T1) then shared in the demo honors with its penultimate weeks of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.880 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2), "Scandal" (7.447 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2) and "American Crime" (4.259 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #11). ABC has already renewed all three shows.

Next up was FOX (4.522 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a new "Bones" (4.684 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) and an additional "Bones" (4.361 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8). Friday, Fox announced that "Bones" would return.

Meanwhile, NBC (4.990 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a repeat "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.306 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) alongside new episodes of "The Blacklist" (6.746 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "Dateline NBC" (4.917 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12). NBC has slotted "The Blacklist" for season 3.

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.311 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) and "Reign" (0.964 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) on The CW (1.138 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.300 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.139 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 420,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/8/15

Back to the Arcade
"Nick Arcade" Creators, Host Hope to Kickstart Update
From Entertainment Weekly

The virtual reality game show Nick Arcade is an indisputable classic of Nickelodeon’s golden age—a time capsule of the early 1990s and the gaming craze that accompanied the era. Contestants on the 1992-1993 game show competed in video game trivia before moving on to the Video Zone, the show’s primary setpiece—wherein kids bluescreened their way into an actual virtual reality challenge, one of the first of its kind on television.

Now, Nick Arcade creators James Bethea and Karim Miteff, along with the show’s original host Phil Moore, have re-teamed for what they’re calling a “spiritual successor” to Arcade. After reuniting at a 2014 event celebrating ‘90s Nick, the trio is taking the Kickstarter approach to funding Enthlevel, a new elimination competition series that the guys hope oozes the DNA of the 1992 show.

“In the last three or four years, I was finding myself stopped by a lot of grown fans who constantly kept saying, ‘Can you imagine doing a show like Nick Arcade now with today’s technology?’” Moore tells EW about the reunion of the creative team. “The timing just felt right the more I heard it.”

“One of the biggest pushes was what happened with the Oculus Rift and the era that ushered in,” says Bethea. “There was a point where almost every week, there was a new announcement of another large hardware manufacturer—Sony or Panasonic or HTC or Samsung—getting into the space, and every time we’d feel a bit of a pang, but a joyful one, because all of these stories were framed in the same context, which was, ‘Imagine if you could be inside these environments and experience these games in a new way.’ And that’s exactly what we were trying to say with Arcade.”

Bethea continues, “Just like with Arcade, it was about what was the state of the art in gaming, and if today’s state of the art is Destiny and Forza and The Witcher, and things executed at that level in terms of story and cinema and how they’re done, then that’s our jumping off point for this show.”

Enthlevel, if funded, would boast more contestants and more games overall, replacing Arcade’s avatar Mikey with a new cast of CG characters and swapping out the trivia round with other non-gaming challenges that involve “fun games you wouldn’t normally think to do with your devices,” adds Miteff. The show’s cornerstone would still involve virtual reality challenges that progressively become more immersive and difficult as they cut down the number of teams in each round. Miteff explains, “In this next generation, it’s still a sincere take on games and technology. We have such a span of time and technology that I’m hoping people will be similarly impressed by the stuff we’ll be able to do.”

Enthlevel is hoping for a $350,000 goal to fund a presentation reel, with $1,250,000 funding a pilot and $2,750,000 needed for a fully produced series.

If you want to be a player should this show get funded, your best chance is to donate now at the contestant level to get access to the pool they will be picking from.

Entertainment Weekly
AV Club
Geek

posted 5/8/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Four Defining Moments of Awesome"

  • #ICYMI: "Monopoly Millionaires' Club" has a new member (TV Insider) PLUS a few good minutes with Billy Gardell (Uproxx)
     
  • Pointless fact: Alexander Armstrong is a baritone. He'll bring said voice onto a new album (Broadway World)
     
  • Bill Engvall to play "Millionaire" for Children's Miracle Network today! (Broadway World)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 17 UK game shows from the 1990s that deserve another go (one of them is still on the air stateside) (Good To Know)
     
  • Want to say at Merv Griffin's desert hideaway? Got $6000? A NIGHT?! (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • UPDATE: double amputee from TPIR gets something better from Jimmy Kimmel (YouTube)

posted 5/7/15

Wednesday: "Labor Games" Is Born
TLC Debut Attracts on Average 535,500 Over Hour
From the New York Times

This would have been an interesting moment in television game-show evolution even without the show that is having its premiere Wednesday night on TLC. But that debut elevates it to near historic status. “Labor Games” may be simultaneously the most brilliant and the most head-shaking game-show idea ever.

The concept: Expectant parents try to win prizes by answering trivia questions in a delivery room while the woman is in labor. While the woman is in labor. Presumably “Cash Cavity,” in which root-canal patients answer questions while being operated on by a dentist, was rejected because potential contestants couldn’t make themselves heard.

The show, which offers two sneak-peek episodes in advance of Mother’s Day, with the full series to begin later this year, debuted to 572,000 at 10p, dropping to 489,000 at 10:30p. It attracted an above-average 0.46 and 0.39 for the two respective shows in the target demo of females aged 12-34.

Elsewhere on cable...
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p): 482,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30p): 478,000
- Fake Off (season premiere/truTV): 381,000
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 364,000
- MTV2's Joking Off (MTV2): 211,000

On broadcast, ABC (6.503 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 on Wednesday with its mix of "The Middle" (6.923 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6), "The Goldbergs" (6.772 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "Modern Family" (8.481 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (6.918 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) and "Nashville" (4.964 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

The silver then belonged to CBS (8.805 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) with its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.328 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3), the season finale of "Criminal Minds" (9.633 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) and "CSI: Cyber" (7.453 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

Next up was FOX (6.875 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and a two-hour installment of "American Idol" (6.875 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.369 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up originals from "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.171 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.224 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and "Chicago PD" (6.711 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.347 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12) and "Supernatural" (1.576 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (1.961 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening.

The New York Times
TV by the Numbers
ABC News
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/7/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Four Defining Moments of Awesome"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Brian Cox's new series "Six Degrees" (The Boar)
     
  • She lost on Jeopardy!, but she's no loser (Bustle) (disclaimer: writer is a former GSNN correspondent)
     
  • Want to say at Merv Griffin's desert hideaway? Got $6000? A NIGHT?! (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • UPDATE: double amputee from TPIR gets something better from Jimmy Kimmel (YouTube)

posted 5/7/15

The Philippines Can Do That
Armoza Formats Bows Version for ABS-CBN
From the New York Times

ABS-CBN, the largest broadcaster in the Philippines, has commissioned a local version of an Israeli gameshow format from Armoza Formats.

I Can Do That! will be produced in-house at ABS-CBN and marks the first time the broadcaster has acquired an Israeli format.

The show takes groups of celebrities and challenges them to perform live acts that prove there’s nothing they can’t do. It is currently in production in 15 countries, including the US, Mexico and, most recently, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

It will be the first Philippine version of an Armoza format but follows other recent Asian commissions including gameshow Who’s Asking?, which recently launched in Thailand and India, and The Gran Plan, which got a multi-territory deal in Australia, Singapore, India and the Philippines.

C21 Media

posted 5/6/15

Tuesday: Flashed
CBS Wins Totals, Shares Demo with NBC
From the Futon Critic

CBS (11.896 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) was the most-watched network on Tuesday with its mix of "NCIS" (14.235 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.248 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3) and "Person of Interest" (8.206 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

NBC (6.591 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) then shared in the demo honors with its lineup of "The Voice" (8.753 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "Undateable" (4.771 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), a second "Undateable" (3.791 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and "Chicago Fire" (6.739 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3).

Next up was ABC (6.238 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (10.128 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.482 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and the season finale of "Forever" (4.103 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.668 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) served up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.423 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) followed by the season finales of "New Girl" (2.239 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11) and "Weird Loners" (1.586 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.643 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "iZombie" (1.933 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (2.788 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4).

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.305 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 466,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/6/15

Syndies: Week 31
Results for the Week Ending April 26
From B&C

Nearly all of the entertainment magazines climbed higher in a week that included coverage of Diane Sawyer’s high-profile interview with Bruce Jenner, the Olympic champion turned reality star who is now turning female.

The week ending April 26 included the first two week days of the May sweep, and new episodes and higher-profile marketing saw many shows hit five- or six-week highs.

CBS Television Distribution’s number-one and two games broke out of a tie, with Wheel of Fortune inching ahead with a 3% rise to a 6.8, while Jeopardy! upticked 2% to a 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud also nudged ahead 2% to a 6.2, up 27% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire grew 6% to a 1.7, but was down 19% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Celebrity Name Game advanced 8% to a 1.4, after four straight weeks at a 1.3.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
Mediapost

posted 5/6/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Because The Internet"

  • "Knife Fight" partners with Buick (The Futon Critic)
     
  • CW clips "Cedric's Barber Battle"; show to return Monday, June 29 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS?: In what has to be the most unfortunate of coincidences overblown by people with ZERO knowledge of what goes into a daily production of "The Price Is Right" (you know who you are), a contestant with no legs wins a treadmill... but this contestant may end up having the last laugh. LITERALLY (People)
     
  • Tom Bergeron makes 60 look sexy (Instagram @tombergeron)
     
  • Marc Summers hosts game show at Parx Casino in Pennsylvania (PR Newswire)
     
  • Why there will never be another Ken Jennings (FiveThirtyEight)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: ... sounds like "Who Knows You Best" (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Chris Soules denies he & Whitney are broken off... I mean just because your woman isn't at Dancing with the Stars doesn't mean anything, right? (Us Magazine)
     
  • Alex Trebek honored by his alma mater (Ottawa Sun)

posted 5/6/15


Turning It Up to 1001
Let's Make a Deal Celebrates Milestone!
From New York Post

On May 4, the venerable gameshow threw an on-air party when its latest iteration, which premiered in the fall of 2009, hit 1,001 episodes, and handed out over $370,000 worth of cash and prizes.

The 1,001st episode — aired Monday — layered in a story line of Brady presenting his fellow cast members with gag gifts: a Segway for assistant Tiffany Coyne, a group hug for germaphobic announcer Jonathan Mangum and backup dancers for musician Cat Gray.

“Deal” also upped its game by giving a contestant the chance to win $50,000 (instead of the usual $20,000) in its “Smash for Cash” game, as well as sending every studio audience member home with a surprise gift worth $1,001 — the largest audience giveaway in the show’s history.

“It was [hard to find gifts at that exact value], but our prize department is just that good,” executive producer Mike Richards says of the episode, which was filmed last fall. “Everything’s elevated because we’re having fun and showing off.”

Created by Stefan Hatos and host Monty Hall, “Deal” has aired in daytime and primetime and the classic episodes will soon encore on upstart digital net Buzzr. The skein originally premiered on NBC in 1963, before moving to ABC, into syndication, back to NBC, and eventually landing at CBS, where it now airs every weekday.

New York Post
Variety
Cinema Blend
Variety

posted 5/5/15

Monday: Four in a Row for "The Voice"
NBC, ABC Split Night
From The Futon Critic

NBC (8.375 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was once again the demo champ on Monday with its duo of "The Voice" (9.746 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.632 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

ABC (10.958 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (12.245 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) and "Castle" (8.384 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

Next up was CBS (7.428 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with new episodes of "2 Broke Girls" (6.449 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Mike & Molly" (6.722 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) followed by a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (7.147 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) and the special "David Letterman: A Life on Television" (8.084 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.055 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up the season finale of "Gotham" (4.857 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) and a new "The Following" (3.253 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #10).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.138 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.034 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) on The CW (1.086 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 405,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 263,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/5/15

Weekend: Tanks for Everything
ABC Wins Demo Friday Night Thanks to Double Dose of "Tank"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (5.890 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the demo champ on Friday with a new "Shark Tank" (6.921 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1), the premiere of "Beyond the Tank" (6.305 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2) and "20/20" (4.446 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

CBS (8.344 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "The Amazing Race" (5.535 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and "Hawaii Five-0" (8.481 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) followed by the season finale of "Blue Bloods" (11.016 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3).

Next up was NBC (4.990 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with originals from "Grimm" (4.222 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #8) and "Dateline NBC" (5.373 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.557 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up the feature "Taken" (2.557 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #9).

And finally, The CW (0.696 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening with its lineup of "Cedric's Barber Battle" (0.747 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.742 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10) and "The Messengers" (0.647 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12).

On cable:
- Spring Baking Championship (Food): 1.549 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.245 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (Food): 1.238 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/5/15

Meet the Celebrity Jeopardy 15 One More Time
Catch Special Week May 11!
From About.com Game Shows

Celebrity Jeopardy is back with a new slate of stars for the 2015 tournament. The roster is the usual mix of actors, reporters, comedians, writers, and other celebs who will play Jeopardy! to win money ($50,000 to be exact) for their chosen charities. Here are the stars who will be competing in this year's Celebrity Jeopardy tourney (and their charities).

MONDAY:
- Neil Flynn - Neil Flynn is an actor, who has appeared on Scrubs and is currently one of the stars in the sitcom The Middle on ABC (Children's Miracle Network Hospital).
- Vince Gilligan - Vince Gilligan is a television writer, director, and producer. He's the creator of the hit series' Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond).
- Debra Messing - You likely know Debra Messing from the popular sitcom Will and Grace. She currently stars in the NBC show The Mysteries of Laura (PSI/Youth AIDS).

TUESDAY:
- Captain Mark Kelly - Kelly is a retired astronaut, whose final mission was also the last one for Space Shuttle Endeavor. He's also an engineer and former Navy Captain. He is married to former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (Memorial Hermann Foundation).
- Kevin O'Leary - Financial guru, entrepreneur, investor, and writer who currently appears on the ABC reality show Shark Tank, as one of the sharks (Martin P. Solomon Medical Scholars Foundation).
- Aaron Rodgers - Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers NFL football team (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).

WEDNESDAY:
- John Berman - John Berman is an anchor on CNN. He recently competed on the CNN President's Day Quiz show with fellow anchor Erin Burnett (Friends of Karen).
- Wendi McLendon-Covey - McLendon-Covey is an actor, comedian, producer, and director. Her best-known roles have been in the film Bridesmaids and on the sitcom The Goldbergs (Women Shelter of Long Beach).
- Mo Rocca - Mo Rocca is a humorist and television personality who works as a CBS news correspondent, among other things. He's the host of My Grandmother's Ravioli (a cooking show), and has worked as a correspondent for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Inner-City Scholarship Fund).

THURSDAY:
- Josh Gad - Josh Gad is an actor who has played numerous parts on many television shows and starred in several films. He's also a Broadway actor and is best known as the voice of Olaf in Frozen (Children's Hospital Los Angeles).
- Bellamy Young - Bellamy Young is an actor who plays Mellie Grant on ABC's Scandal. She has also had roles on numerous other shows including Scrubs, CSI: Miami, and Dirty Sexy Money. Young has also had several supporting roles in films (Operation Blankets of Love).
- Ginger Zee - Ginger Zee is a meteorologist and works as the weather anchor for both Good Morning America and ABC World News (Susan G. Komen of Western Michigan).

FRIDAY:
- Penn Jillette - Penn Jillette is a magician, comedian, and entertainer, and half of the team of Penn & Teller (Opportunity Village Las Vegas).
- Zachary Quinto - Zachary Quinto is a television and film actor. His best-known roles include Sylar on the NBC drama Heroes, and the "new" Spock in the Star Trek reboot films, as well as American Horror Story: Asylum (Direct Relief).
- Cynthia Rowley - Cynthia Rowley is a well-known, award-winning fashion designer. She's designed the uniforms for United Airlines flight attendants and pilots, created exclusive lines for Target, Band-Aid, and Roxy, and created several of her own collections (FEED/Public Art Fund).

The 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament is a bit abbreviated from some of the past star-studded tourneys, and will air from May 11th through the 15th - check your local listings for show times and channels.

About.com Game Shows

posted 4/30/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The 4th Is Strong With This One"

  • "Jeopardy!" College Championship begins this July. Here's one of the players (WLFI Kokomo)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 12 things that weren't far off the mark from the Jeopardy! pilot... we dare these people to compare the 1983 pilot (Bustle)
     
  • Why "Lip Sync Battle" is a hit for Spike... and not NBC (TV Week)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "Sports Jeopardy!" season 2... The Test is Coming (Jeopardy.com)

posted 5/4/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Boob Grabber: A Love Story"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: "Dancing with the Stars" returns to two nights a week for the rest of the season (E!)
     
  • #TBT: I thought Boob Grabber looked familiar (Fox News)
     
  • Steve Harvey and his biggest fan.... who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • Sandi Toksvig trades comedy for politics (Digital Spy)
     
  • Meredith Vieira is Boston University's final answer as commencement speaker (BU Today)
     
  • Bob Eubanks revived the "Not So Newlywed Game" for Brea... and for $100,000 (Orange County Register)

posted 5/1/15

History Rides Shotgun
Ridealong Quiz, Isolation Test Greenlit
From Entertainment Weekly

A+E Networks unveiled the rest of the new additions to their family of channels on Thursday during the company’s upfronts. We already knew about Damien, Critics’ Choice, the Roots reboot, War and Peace, Fall Into Me, and Food Porn, but there’s more on the plate for A&E, History, Lifetime, and FYI.

Moving to the History Channel: Alone will be “the country’s boldest and longest survival experiment ever captured for television.” What’s going to happen? Scheduled for this summer, 10 people will be stuck in the wilderness without a camera crew, teams, and producers to fight it out the longest. Last person standing wins $500,000.

Shotgun is a game show that’ll live online, as people attempt to answer questions while flying around in racecar on a track at top speeds.

Entertainment Weekly
The Wrap
The Futon Critic

posted 4/30/15

Wild'n Out at 10
Season 7 Bows June 10
From TV by the Numbers

 MTV2 today announced that its highest-rated series ever, “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” will return to the network for a seventh season summer run with 12 all-new episodes beginning Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The season seven premiere night will feature two all-new episodes, as a new slate of special guests and performers will take the stage for the hit series that mixes lightning fast comedic improv, head-to head competition and cutting edge entertainment where only the funniest survive. Four additional episodes of the seventh season will air later in 2015.

“Everybody needs to get ready for what is without a doubt the best, wildest, and funniest season in ‘Wild ‘N Out’ history,” said Nick Cannon. “When we taped the new season, the studio audience in New York went crazy and I know the fans at home watching will feel the same. As we celebrate 10 years of ‘Wild ‘N Out’ this year, we’ll continue to add to the show’s immense legacy with the biggest names in comedy and music.”

The incredible roster of celebrity guests and performers for season seven includes Kevin Hart, Jordin Sparks, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Zendaya, Fabolous, Pete Wentz, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, A$AP Ferg, Nick Young, French Montana, Fat Joe, Rae Sremmurd, Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Mack Wilds, DJ Drama, Ray J, Lil Duval, O.T. Genasis, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Dej Loaf, K Camp and the hosts of Power 105’s The Breakfast Club.

2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of the first “Wild ‘N Out” premiere in 2005. In order to celebrate the milestone, MTV2 today is launching #BestofWNO, a social voting competition across several platforms to determine fans’ favorite moments from the first six seasons of the show. From April 30 through May 6, seven different categories will be voted on by fans: “Favorite All-Star” (showcased via GIFs on MTV2 Twitter); “Favorite Game” (showcased via video on MTV2 Instagram); “Favorite Wildstyle Moment” (showcased via video on MTV2 YouTube); “Favorite Wild ‘N Out Girl” (showcased via photos on MTV2 Instagram); “Favorite Wild ‘N Out Song” (showcased via video on MTV2 Tumblr); “Favorite Cast Member” (showcased via photos on “Wild ‘N Out” Facebook); and “Wildest Moment” (showcased via video on MTV2 Vine). The winners of each competition will be featured on MTV2 in the days leading up to the season seven premiere.

TV by the Numbers
Comedy Hype

posted 4/30/15

Wednesday: Split in the Middle
ABC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

ABC (6.248 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the top demo draw on a competitive Wednesday with its mix of "The Middle" (7.313 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4), "The Goldbergs" (6.714 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Modern Family" (7.945 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (6.000 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4) and "Nashville" (4.758 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #10).

The silver then went to CBS (8.314 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) with its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.171 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Criminal Minds" (8.570 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) and "CSI: Cyber" (7.202 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #11).

Next up was FOX (7.316 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) with another two-hour "American Idol" (7.316 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.291 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up an encore of "Chicago Fire" (4.606 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) followed by special crossover editions of "Chicago PD" (8.051 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9.217 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.400 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and "Supernatural" (1.850 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.125 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30): 533,000
- Food Fortunes (season finale/Food): 515,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8): 506,000
- The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians (FS1): 454,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 366,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/30/15

Pontoon Party Game
Frank Nicotero Hosts "Pontoon Payday" May 14 on CMT!
From The Futon Critic

CMT is kicking off summer a little early with a wet and wild season premiere of the smash hit series "Party Down South 2," along with the premiere of "Pontoon Payday," the first-ever game show on a boat where contestants can either get drenched in cash or just plain drenched. Both series, from the masterminds behind the "Jersey Shore," 495 Productions, bow on Thursday, May 14 with "Party Down South 2" at 9pm ET/PT and double shots of "Pontoon Payday" at 10pm ET/PT.

CMT is setting sail with "Pontoon Payday," the first-ever game show on a boat. Throughout the half-hour series, unsuspecting lake-goers are plucked from their party boats to suddenly find themselves competing on a floating game show hosted by comedian Frank Nicotero. If they can answer a few questions correctly, they'll win quick cash to keep their party afloat. But get the questions wrong, and they're tossed overboard with only their pride.

CMT wrapped its most recent quarter on a high note, posting A18-49 gains in both Primetime (+32%) and Total Day (+8%) over the previous quarter.

"Pontoon Payday" is produced by 495 Productions, with SallyAnn Salsano and Joel Zimmer serving as executive producers. Jayson Dinsmore, Morgan Selzer and Matt Trierweiler executive produce for CMT.

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Realscreen

posted 4/29/15

Tuesday: Anniversaries & Eliminations...
... and Yet CBS Still Takes the Night
From B&C

CBS (12.444 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1) was the winner of a tight demo race on Tuesday with its trio of "NCIS" (14.541 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.320 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) and "Person of Interest" (8.469 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

NBC (6.677 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then was a close second with its combination of "The Voice" (9.285 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1), "Undateable" (4.618 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10), the season finale of "One Big Happy" (3.200 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13) and "Chicago Fire" (6.836 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

Next up was ABC (6.755 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and its lineup of "Dancing with the Stars" (9.881 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.463 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7) and "20/20: Captive: A Journey of Hope and Survival" (5.921 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Meanwhile, The CW (2.803 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served originals from "The Flash" (3.836 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) and "iZombie" (1.770 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14).

And finally, new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.206 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11), "New Girl" (2.103 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12) and "Weird Loners" (1.478 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) on FOX (2.498 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.267 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 338,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/29/15

Fox Phones (In) "Home"
Network Greenlights Home-Renovation Contest for a House for July 22
From TV by the Numbers

FOX has ordered HOME FREE, a new competition series that will feature never-before-seen twists and plenty of surprises, as couples vie to win their dream home. From Relativity Television and executive producer Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”), and hosted by famed professional contractor Mike Holmes (“Holmes on Homes®”), the eight-episode unscripted series breaks ground Wednesday, July 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

“HOME FREE is a ‘renovation’ of the home makeover genre and FOX is, without question, the right network to partner with,” said Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television. “We’re thrilled to have host Mike Holmes, the most legit name in renovation. He’s going to inspire our contestants, but also push them to the limit...and that’s a great thing. I’ve done some big shows, but this is the biggest, complete with all sorts of twists and turns you’ll have to watch to believe. We can’t wait to get renovating.”

“A home is way more than brick and mortar. So being part of this new series and partnering with FOX is truly exciting for me,” said Holmes. “I’m ready to break ground with these couples. It’s going to be a lot of sweat and tears but I promise you, all worth it in the end...trust me on this.”

On HOME FREE, nine deserving couples are challenged to revive one run-down home every week. During each episode, Holmes will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Holmes will be with the competitors every step of the way – picking apart their work and demanding they meet his high standards, while also sharing his expertise and guidance to help them reach new heights. But in a surprise twist, when the work is done for the day, the couples don’t have far to travel to get home…because not only must they work together to restore the home, they must all live together in the same dilapidated home 24/7. The more they accomplish, the better they sleep at night.

Each week, the couples with the best work will move forward in the competition, while the couple who didn’t perform up to code will face elimination. Eliminations will continue each week, until only two couples remain, who will fight to the finish to win their ultimate dream home.

Holmes is a professional contractor and the host and creator of the hit TV series “Holmes on Homes®,” “Holmes Inspection” and “Holmes Makes It Right.” After working in the building and renovation industry for more than 20 years, Holmes was asked to develop and host his own television series, “Holmes on Homes®,” which became an international success and broke ratings records, solidifying his career in television. With more than 30 years’ experience as a licensed contractor, Holmes has been able to use television as a tool to educate homeowners on how to manage a renovation; what to look for in contractors; the right products for the right job; proper home repair and maintenance; and their rights as homeowners.

HOME FREE is produced by Relativity Television and executive-produced by Tom Forman, George Verschoor, Trice Bartow, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus and Mike Holmes. The series will be distributed internationally by ELECTUS.

TV by the Numbers
Entertainment Weekly

posted 4/29/15

Meet the "Food Network Star" Hopefuls
Catch The New Season June 7!
From The Futon Critic

Food Network competition series Food Network Star returns for an eleventh season this summer, with a cast of twelve talented hopefuls competing to become the next new face in food television. Food superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back as mentors/judges, joined this season by a roster of top-notch special guests and judges. In the biggest audition of their lives, the finalists battle in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to win the ultimate prize - their own show on Food Network. Exclusive web series Star Salvation also returns, giving one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. Food Network Star season eleven premieres on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT and the winner will be crowned in the season finale on Sunday, August 16th at 9pm ET/PT.

"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of Food Network Star contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."

The finalists are: Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA); Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA); Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis); Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles); Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ); Eddie Jackson (Houston); Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA); Sita Lewis (New York); Alex McCoy (Washington DC); Arnold Myint (Nashville); Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).

The Futon Critic

posted 4/29/15

More on "Labor Games"
Catch the Sneak Preview May 6
From TV by the Numbers

The impending birth of a baby is one of the most memorable moments in a family's life - a time of emotion and excitement, and of course... games and prizes? For the first time ever, TLC brings a game show to the most unexpected of places - directly to parents who are expecting. The outrageous new series LABOR GAMES takes viewers into the delivery room as women in labor are given the chance to win prizes for their baby-to-be. Hosted by Lisa Arch, the series will get a special sneak peek on May 6 at 10/9c, during the network's MOTHER OF ALL WEEKS.

It's a race against nature as Lisa and the LABOR GAMES camera crew surprise a new set of parents who are in labor, offering the opportunity to win a nursery full of prizes before the baby is born. If they agree to play, their normal delivery room immediately transforms into a game show set - flashing lights, game monitor, theme music, and all. But, the clock is ticking: the game could be a distraction from their contractions while they try to win trips, cash, baby monitors, food, clothing, and the grand prize - a $10,000 scholarship - before their ultimate prize, their newborn baby, arrives.

TLC has ordered 12 half-hour episodes of LABOR GAMES, which is produced by Lighthearted Entertainment. The full series will debut later this year.

The Futon Critic
News.com.au

posted 4/29/15

VH1 Lines Up Summer
Catch "Twinning" & "Dating Naked" July 15, "She's Got Game" August 10
From TV by the Numbers

VH1 continues to bring the heat this summer with the announcement of the network's summer slate. VH1's fan-favorite series, "Love & Hip Hop" will kick off the summer season on Memorial Day Monday, May 25th with the network's first-ever LIVE wedding special, "Love & Hip Hop LIVE: The Wedding,". Also premiering this summer is the return of VH1's buzzworthy series "Dating Naked," followed by the network's brand-new reality competition series, "Twinning" beginning on July 15. Additional series premiering this summer will be "T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle," "Basketball Wives: LA," "CandidlyNicole" "She's Got Game," and "Black Ink Crew."

VH1's summer game slate is as follows:

- "DATING NAKED" SEASON 2 PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, JULY 15TH AT 9:00PM*

"Dating Naked" is a 10-episode, one-hour series that explores the art of romance, free of preconceived notions, stereotypes - and clothes. Hosted by Amy Paffrath, Dating Naked season 2 is once again set on a romantic tropical island, BUT this time features two primary daters, Kerri and Chris, as they search for love. Each week, 2 new men and 2 new women will strip down for a shot at igniting a spark with our primary daters. At the end of each episode, Kerri and Chris will each pick the one person they connected with the most to be their 'keeper,' and ask them to remain on the island. As sexy new singles arrive every week, vying for the coveted 'keeper' spots, initial connections will be put to the test and deeper feelings may begin to develop. Can Kerri and Chris handle the competition? Or will temptation and jealousy run rampant on the island? When everyone has stripped away the artifices of the modern world and revealed their ultimate, honest selves, the results will be truly surprising. "Dating Naked" season 2 premieres Wednesday, July 15th at 9PM ET/PT on VH1.

Join the conversation with @DatingNaked on Twitter using #DatingNaked. Follow "Dating Naked" on Facebook.

"TWINNING" PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, JULY 15th AT 10:00PM*

For the first time ever, VH1 is doubling down on a reality competition series that will put "twin-tuition" to the test in "Twinning" premiering Wednesday, July 15th at 10PM ET/PT with ten hour-long episodes. Hosted by Angie Greenup, "Twinning" is an arc'd competition series in which twelve sets of twins will go head to head for a grand prize of $222,222.22. But getting there won't be easy. Viewers will experience double the meltdowns, double the hook-ups, and, of course, double the twists when twin teams are pushed to their limits in unexpected ways. As the strengths and weaknesses of each twin pair is revealed, relationships will be tested and resentments will be exposed. In the end, the pair of twins left standing will win the cash prize, and be crowned as the twinners.

"Twinning" was created and is produced by Lighthearted Entertainment. Executive producers are Howard Schultz, Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler. Executive Producers for VH1 are Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, Fernando Mills and Tricia Biggio.

Join the conversation with @TwinningVH1 on Twitter using #Twinning. Follow "Twinning" on Facebook.

"SHE'S GOT GAME" PREMIERES MONDAY, AUGUST 10th at 9PM*

We all know Jayceon Taylor better known as "The Game" from his hit VH1 series "Marrying The Game" as an amazing father as well as family man, that goes without saying. But what we don't know is if there is a woman out there that would satisfy him enough to slow him down. In the past we've seen him give being a family man his all, but sometimes in life and love other cards come into play. Now, in the new series "She's Got Game," The Game sets out in pursuit of his perfect love match while he embarks on a national tour. Tired of picking the wrong women, in "She's Got Game," Taylor turns to his celebrity friends to see who can help him most when it comes to matters of the heart. Each celebrity will select a young woman to accompany Game on his national tour. But which women will succumb to the not-so-innocent rock star lifestyle, and which will have his back and ultimately win his heart? "She's Got Game" premieres Monday, August 10 at 9PM ET/PT with 10 one hour episodes.

"She's Got Game" is executive produced by 51 Minds' Christian Sarabia and Angela Aguilera. Jayceon Taylor serves as an executive producer. For VH1, the series is executive produced by Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, Fernando Mills and Tricia Biggio.

Join the conversation with @ShesGotGameVH1 on Twitter using #ShesGotGame. Follow "She's Got Game" on Facebook.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/29/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Do You Have It?"

  • Nickelodeon released six game shows on manufacture-to-order DVD (TV Shows on DVD)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: You've never wanted to be so bad so bad... Worst Cooks in America is looking for new cooks (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Bill Engvall, not to be outdone by 15 other celebs on some other quiz show, will play "Millionaire" May 8 as part of CMN Champions Week (The Futon Critic)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: You better twerk (Bustle)

posted 4/29/15

Syndies: Week 30
Results for the Week Ending April 19
From B&C

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil regained sole possession of the top talk spot in the week ended April 19, breaking two weeks of ties with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael.

Most syndies were flat or down in the week before the start of the May sweep, which kicked off April 23 and runs through May 20.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and CTD’s Jeopardy! tied to lead the games for the second time in the past three weeks. Wheel slowed down 3% to a 6.6, while Jeopardy! downticked 1%. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was the only game with a winning week, edging up 2% to a 6.1 and growing 22% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which will add The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison as host next fall, slumped 6% to a 1.6, equaling its series low and dropping 24% from last year at this time.

Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game — the host of which, Craig Ferguson, was named outstanding game-show host at the Daytime Emmys — remained at a 1.3 for the fourth week in a row.

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Monday: And Down the Stretch They Come
ABC, NBC Split First Monday of Sweeps
From the Futon Critic

NBC (8.892 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was network to beat among adults 18-49 with new episodes of "The Voice" (10.640 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.396 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T8).

ABC (11.493 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with its duo of "Dancing with the Stars" (12.966 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) and "Castle" (8.545 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T8).

Next up was CBS (7.079 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with originals from "2 Broke Girls" (7.079 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4) and "Mike & Molly" (7.505 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) followed by the return of "Stalker" (6.036 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and a new "NCIS: Los Angeles" (7.908 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.099 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up fresh installments of "Gotham" (4.626 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and "The Following" (3.572 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10).

And finally, new episodes of "The Originals" (1.101 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.078 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) on The CW (1.089 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 533,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 320,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Esquire Sharpens "Knife"
Catch New Season May 26
From the Futon Critic

Stakes for bragging rights have never been higher. Esquire Network's raucous after-hours cooking competition series KNIFE FIGHT gets shaken up in a new tournament that will crown one ultimate champion of season three, premiering Tuesday, May 26 at 10/9c.

In each episode, two chefs go head-to-head, making at least two dishes in one hour from a combination of secret ingredients. 16 New York area chefs will compete to conquer mystery ingredients and each other, but only one will be left standing.

Week after week, each bout is 'do or die' as chefs will either advance to the next round or be eliminated from competition. The chefs that move on will face harder ingredients and even tougher opponents as each week the battles whittle the competition down to two challengers who go head to head in a one-hour grand finale fight for glory. Ilan's newest outpost The Gorbals Brooklyn serves as the venue, and Judges Naomi Pomeroy and Kris Morningstar join him as they determine New York's "Beast of the East."

Award-winning chefs battling include: Einat Admony, Miguel Aguilar, Wolfgang Ban, Franklin Becker, Joey Campanaro, Vincent Chirico, Leah Cohen, David Felton, Edi Frauneder, Daniel Holzman, Pete Lipson, Tony Maws, Jonah Miller, Todd Mitgang, Dale Talde and Sean Telo.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/28/15

Ink Fast
Catch New Season on Spike June 23
From the Futon Critic

Spike TV's hit original reality-competition series "Ink Master" returns for a sixth season starting Tuesday, June 23 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it's best to 'know your enemy.' Eighteen tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of 'Ink Master.' This season it's not just about the rivalries the artists create during the competition, each contestant comes with their own personal tattoo rival - their master or apprentice.

Each week "Ink Master" puts artists through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a 'Human Canvas.' Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including American traditional, Japanese, trash polka, anatomical and Victorian, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.

After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest stars including Avan Jogia ("Tut"), Khaseem Greene (Chicago Bears), Tony Jefferson (Arizona Cardinals), Keith Pough (Cleveland Browns), Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Darius Slay (Detroit Lions) and Kamerion Wimbley (Tennessee Titans),

Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the "Ink Master" contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home. The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination. In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/28/15

YouTube + Your Clips = Profit!
FremantleMedia Claims Rights Off Uploaded Clips
From Variety

FremantleMedia is turning thousands of fan-uploaded YouTube clips of “American Idol” — and dozens of other shows it produces — into cash.

In a partnership pairing two corporate cousins, TV production firm FremantleMedia is working with BroadbandTV to identify and manage user-uploaded content on YouTube for more than 200 shows, including “American Idol,” “The Price Is Right,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Baywatch” and “The X Factor.”

FremantleMedia is owned by European entertainment conglomerate RTL Group, which holds a majority stake in BroadbandTV.

Using YouTube’s Content ID system for tracking copyrighted material, FremantleMedia has already claimed ownership of some 500,000 clips, according to Olivier Delfosse, FremantleMedia’s senior VP of digital. Now, with BroadbandTV’s system in conjunction with Content ID, the company expects to find significantly more, and that will expand Fremantle’s advertising inventory on the site.

“For us, it’s like flipping a switch to an immediate expansion of our business,” Delfosse said.

Variety

posted 4/28/15

DON MANKIEWICZ: 1922-2015
Hollywood Royalty Organized Quiz Show Writers
From Philly.com

Don M. Mankiewicz, 93, a novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter who grew up in a fabled Hollywood family and went on to create TV's Ironside and Marcus Welby, M.D., has died at his home in Monrovia, near Los Angeles.

Mr. Mankiewicz's death Saturday was caused by congestive heart failure, his son, John Mankiewicz, said.

His father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, the screenwriter behind Citizen Kane. His uncle was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director of All About Eve and other classic films.

Early in his TV career, Mr. Mankiewicz wrote scripts for the drama series Playhouse 90. He was assigned to adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon at least in part because he grew up steeped in its luminous, old-Hollywood setting.

While a number of entertainment figures emerged from the Mankiewicz dynasty, Don was drawn to politics and union activism. Active in the Writers Guild of America, he helped gain union representation for quiz-show writers.

"For that, the writers on Jeopardy! made him the answer to a question," said his son, John, an executive producer of the political drama House of Cards.

When guild writers went on strike in 2007 and 2008, Mr. Mankiewicz, then in his mid-80s, joined them on the picket line.

Mr. Mankiewicz received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of I Want to Live!, a 1958 film about a prostitute falsely accused of murder. It was loosely based on the true story of Barbara Graham, who was put to death in California's gas chamber in 1955 and was known in headlines as "Bloody Babs."

Philadelphia Inquirer

posted 4/27/15

Weekend: Oh, THAT Interview...
ABC Wins Night on the Back of Special, "Shark Tank"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (13.838 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) was the top draw on Friday thanks to a new "Shark Tank" (7.788 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) and the two-hour special "20/20: Bruce Jenner - The Interview" (16.863 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.2, #1).

CBS (7.984 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then was a distant second with its trio of "The Amazing Race" (5.921 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3), "Hawaii Five-0" (8.280 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and "Blue Bloods" (9.752 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Next up was NBC (4.453 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) with originals from "Grimm" (4.697 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and "Dateline NBC" (4.331 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.015 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) offered up the feature "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (3.015 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

And finally, new episodes of "Cedric's Barber Battle" (1.357 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.249 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9) and "The Messengers" (1.198 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9) on The CW (1.250 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Spring Baking Championship (season premiere/Food): 1.369 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (Food): 1.332 million
- Guy's Grocery games (season finale/Food): 1.142 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Sword. Play."

  • Jeopardy! makes history with the help of a cat (Rotoscopers)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: Pontoon Payday (CMT, May 14) (CMT)
     
  • Chris Hardwick becomes "The Dick Clark of Nerds" (New York Post)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Gordon Ramsay (Bon Appetit)

posted 4/28/15


Betty White: A Lifetime of Achievement
And the Other Awards Went to...
From Variety

Betty White’s escapades on television go so far back her late husband used to say that she started on “silent TV.”

Allen Ludden’s joke still makes White chuckle. And just because White has been around since the dawn of television, doesn’t mean she’s any less enchanted by it. Happily, it’s a mutual love, which is why the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Daytime Emmys will present her with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I can’t be coy,” she says of the honor. “I was thrilled.”

Some of White’s daytime work is well-known, such as her guest stint on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and constant appearances on gameshows including “Password,” “Match Game” and “The $25,000 Pyramid.” Her television debut, though, was for a lesser-known program that defines early daytime TV. For “Hollywood on Television,” White was on camera, 5½ hours a day, six days a week, for four years.

“Anybody who came through town, any celebrity, any political figure, anybody,” would stop by, she recalls. In between interviews, “I would sing three or four songs, and then we would do little drama scenes that we would make up as we went along. The audience liked that because we made fools of ourselves. I spent more time on television than anyplace else.”

She even did most of the commercials. During the few pre-recorded commercials, White bolted off-stage for a bathroom break. The marathon show “was a wonderful experience because you had to think on your feet,” she says.

She continues to apply that lesson and will not write a thank-you speech for the live kudocast. “I always ad lib, but it is not ad libbing, speaking from your heart,” White says.

She’s also skipping another awards show tradition: no shopping or agonizing over what to wear. Rather, White will rifle through her closet for a gown she wore to another occasion. “I have been in the business for 102 years,” jokes the lively 93-year-old star.

Her career may not be quite that long, but David Michaels, senior vice president of the Daytime Emmy Awards, explains why White is so deserving of this honor.

“No. 1, she is the first woman to ever win a Daytime Emmy for hosting a game show, ‘Just Men,’ ” he says of the show that had White flirting with gorgeous guys. “No. 2 is, she’s the queen and pioneer of the celebrity guest on gameshows.

“There is no part of television she wasn’t and isn’t iconic in,” Michaels says. “This is probably the only award in the world she hasn’t won.”

The awards, which were presented live from the Warner Bros. lot on Pop Sunday night, were as follows. We present them with our congratulations:

- Outstanding Game Show Host: Craig Ferguson (Celebrity Name Game)
- Outstanding Game Show: Jeopardy! (its 33rd total win & 15th for the category)
- Outstanding Direction for Game Show: Lenn Goodside (Let's Make a Deal)
- Outstanding Live & Direct to Tape Sound Mixing: The Price Is Right

"Family Feud's" Steve Harvey (Talk Show - Informative) and "The Price Is Right" guest model Hunter King (Younger Actress) were also winners.

Sunday’s Daytime Emmy Awards on Pop were seen by nearly 900,000 total viewers over two airings, with the premiere marking the most-watched live event on Pop in eight years.

The viewership broke down like this: 719,000 watched the debut; 165,000 tuned in for the repeat. Those numbers are fast nationals, and thus subject to change in the finals.

The last live event on the former TV Guide channel to top that was the Academy Awards premiere of “Live on the Red Carpet with Joan and Melissa.” For a recent comparison, the Daytime Emmys beat the recent TV Land Awards on TV Land by double digits in both total viewers and adults 18-49, when considering the premiere and repeat telecasts.

Variety
TV Insider
The Wrap
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/27/15


JAYNE MEADOWS: 1919-2015
Wife of Steve Allen Panelist on "I've Got A Secret"
From The Hollywood Reporter

Actress Jayne Meadows, the widow of comedian Steve Allen who is perhaps best known for her work as a celebrity panelist on such TV game shows as I’ve Got a Secret, has died. She was 95.

Meadows died of natural causes in her longtime Encino home on Sunday night, her son, Bill Allen, told Entertainment Tonight.

Allen, the first host of NBC’s Tonight Show (from 1954-57), died in 2000 of a heart attack at age 78. Her late sister was Audrey Meadows, who played Alice, the wisecracking wife of Jackie Gleason's character, on The Honeymooners. She died in 1996.

Meadows was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on the series Meeting of Minds, St. Elsewhere and High Society.

She started out in Hollywood with a contract at MGM, and her film resume includes Undercurrent (1946) opposite Katharine Hepburn, Lady in the Lake (1947) with Robert Montgomery, Song of the Thin Man (1947), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Luck of the Irish with Tyrone Power (1948) and Norman … Is That You? (1976) opposite Redd Foxx.

Meadows played Billy Crystal’s mom in City Slickers (1991) and its 1994 sequel, and her last onscreen role came as Michelle Pfeiffer’s mother in The Story of Us (1999).

Meadows also appeared on the games shows To Tell the Truth, The Match Game, What’s My Line? and The Hollywood Squares.

“I’ve Got a Secret was my favorite,” she said in a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television. “The next day after the show I would go to the grocery store and the cab drivers would say: ‘Jaynie, great show last night! How’s Steve O?’ It was the medium that came to every living room. Didn’t matter if it was the Rockefellers or the guy who was struggling to pay the bills in The Bronx, I wasn’t Miss Meadows from the movies, I was Jaynie.”

I’ve Got a Secret was a huge primetime hit for CBS in the 1950s, and Meadows at the time was about as popular as another network star, Lucille Ball.

Besides her son, Meadows is survived by three grandchildren.

The Hollywood Reporter
Los Angeles Times
The Wrap
Us Magazine
Variety

posted 4/27/15

No More Beers at the Goodson House
FremantleMedia North America CEO Thom Beers Bows Out
From C21 Media

Thom Beers, the reality TV production veteran behind hits like Deadliest Catch and Storage Wars, is stepping down as CEO of FremantleMedia North America.

Beers has been at the helm of the US arm of FremantleMedia since 2012 after the company bought his indie Original Productions in 2009.

He will leave the role, which includes oversight of FremantleMedia’s US prodcos Original and 495 Productions and more than 600 hours of new content a year, including American Idol and Family Feud, when his contract expires in June.

Beers will be replaced by Jennifer Mullin, executive VP of current programming, and Craig Cegielski, executive VP of scripted programming, who are both being promoted to co-CEO. Mullin is currently the co-executive producer of "Family Feud" & "The Price Is Right".

Beers’ stint in charge saw the prodco broaden its output considerably. It moved into drama, partnering with A+E Studios on a US version of The Returned for A&E Network.

Later this summer, the company will launch its first channel, Buzzr, airing content from its 40,000-hour library of gameshows. Beers recently hired industry veteran Ron Garfield as the channel’s executive VP and general manager ahead of a June debut.

Beers founded Original in 1997 and built his reputation on series like Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and Black Gold. He’d previously spent 11 years as a production executive and series and specials producer for Turner Broadcasting and Paramount Pictures. He is a well-known, out-spoken face on the unscripted television event circuit.

Mullin and Cegielski will report to FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz.

C21 Media
Realscreen
Deadline

posted 4/27/15

Tiesto Vevo DJ YouTube
"Your Shot" Looks for the Next Great DJ
From NoisePorn

In a new reality game show series on Vevo called Your Shot, contestants will try to become the next big DJ. Tiesto, who will be one of the headlining judges, was named No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of 25 DJs that will rule the earth.

The winner will have a chance at playing alongside Tiesto at a venue in Las Vegas, and a set at the biggest electronic music festival in the world, Ultra Music Festival, in Miami in 2016.

“I’m so excited about Your Shot because it takes the idea of the DJ competition and turns it on its head. This contest really provides aspiring DJs with an opportunity to realize their dreams,” Tiesto said.

In the 10-part webseries, 30 contestants will compete in various competitions testing their skill level and knowledge of music. Unlike previous DJ competitions, no experience is required.

NoisePorn

posted 4/27/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Spoilers..."

  • Tom Bergeron had to stop his "double elimination" spiel for a very important reason (Twitter: @tom_bergeron)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Five lives changed by Nickelodeon game shows... and you won't believe one of them (Refinery29)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with an "American Idol" castoff who had a very public flare... and a very public flare up (Reality Wanted)

posted 4/27/15


Meet the 5th Grader Elementary Class of 2015
Catch the New Series of "AYSTA5G" on Fox May 26
From the Futon Critic

This summer, brush up on your grammar school knowledge with Angela, Dee, Lauren, Mason, Reagan and Tres, the new class of fifth graders who will assist the grown-up contestants on the popular quiz show ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER?, when it returns Tuesday, May 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Following a nationwide search, these six kids were chosen to help the grown-ups graduate toward the top prize of $1 million.

Unlike the typical game show that measures intelligence, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? tests adults' lack of knowledge - as revealed by how much they've forgotten since their grammar school days, proving that older doesn't always mean wiser.

Executive-produced by Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick, and hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? includes new and fun elements for a new generation of viewers, including the "The Grade School Give Away," in which contestants reaching the $10,000 level, can play for a deserving school that also could win $10,000.

Whether they are doctors, lawyers, pilots or military personnel, the grown-ups will need the help of these real-life fifth graders, as they are asked 11 increasingly difficult grade-school questions, covering 10 subjects taken from first-through-fifth grade textbooks. If a player correctly answers the first 10 questions, he/she can answer a sixth grade question worth $1,000,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider

photo courtesy Fox/The TV Page

posted 4/24/15

More on "Dating Naked" Season 2
Catch It On VH1 July 15
From Entertainment Weekly

The weather is starting to warm up, which means everyone can start peeling off a few layers of clothing. And on VH1, that means taking it all off. Season 2 of Dating Naked—the “romantic” reality show on which birthday suits are required—will debut July 15 at 9 p.m.

If you’re thinking that the show will look exactly the same this year, we’d like to strip you of that notion. EW has learned that instead of offering up new contestants every week, the second season focuses on two primary daters, who will remain with the show for the entire 10-episode season. Our two extremely brave souls are Kerri Cipriani, a 25-year-old traveling nurse recruiter from Tampa whose (ex-)boyfriend cheated on her with a woman whose phone number she dared him to try to procure, and Chris Aldrich, a 27-year-old financial consultant/accountant from San Diego who “lost the girl of his dreams when he didn’t take her or her dreams seriously.”

Each week, Chris and Kerri will embark on nude romantic adventures with two new suitors. At the end of the episode, they can each select one of them to remain on the island. At one point this season, s date will feature a pair of love seekers making papier mache molds of each other’s butts. Who said courtship without clothes can’t be all artsy and stuff?

Hosted again by Amy Paffrath, Season 2 was filmed earlier this year on an island in the Phillippines. Last season, which created six couples, culminated with a naked not-exactly-a-wedding-let’s-call-it-a-commitment-ceremony.

Entertainment Weekly

posted 4/24/15

Thursday: RIP McDreamy
CBS Wins Night in Viewers; Shares 18-49 with ABC
From the Futon Critic

CBS (9.405 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T1) kicked off May sweeps as the most-watched network thanks to new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.403 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1), "The Odd Couple" (9.471 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4), "Mom" (9.042 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.258 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6) and a new "Elementary" (7.629 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8).

ABC (7.115 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T1) however shared in the demo honors with fresh installments from "Grey's Anatomy" (9.432 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.8, #2), "Scandal" (7.770 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) and "American Crime" (4.141 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T10).

Next up was NBC (5.480 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) with a repeat "The Blacklist" (3.439 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #14) followed by originals from "The Blacklist" (7.232 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #7) and "Dateline NBC" (5.770 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T10).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.781 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) served up new episodes of "Bones" (4.557 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and "Backstrom" (3.004 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.390 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13) and "Reign" (0.841 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) on The CW (1.116 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.509 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.080 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 372,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/24/15

Second "Sync"
Spike Renews "Lip Sync Battle"
From the Futon Critic

"Lip Sync Battle" is a ratings and multiplatform superstar for Spike TV. As a result, the network has announced it will pick up another 20 episodes of the highly-rated critically-acclaimed series, debuting in 2016.

"Lip Sync Battle is a television and viral rock star for Spike," proclaimed Kevin Kay, President, Spike. "We are thrilled to be renewing Lip Sync Battle whose success is a direct result of the brilliance and creativity of our producers, the brave performers, and of course the coolest new duo on television, LL COOL J and Chrissy Teigen."

Through four episodes, "Lip Sync Battle" is the most-watched original series in network history, averaging 3 million viewers, and is the top-rated series in its timeslot in the coveted demographic of Adults 18-49 in all of cable. The series is a digital hit as well, amassing over 107 million video streams in three weeks, with the Anne Hathaway "Wrecking Ball" clip securing 14 million views alone.

Other ratings highlights include:

· Across 50 airings (Spike, MTV & BET) between 4/2 and 4/19, "Lip Sync Battle" reached 33.1 million viewers (including 16.5 million women)

· The highest rated series in network history with Adults 18-49

· The most watched program of any kind in network history with women in all demos

Production details, location, and talent participating will be announced at a later date.

The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter
TV by the Numbers
AV Club
Grantland

 

posted 4/24/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "See Jane Sing"

posted 4/24/15

More on "MasterChef"
Christina Tosi Joins the Crew May 20
From the Futon Critic

Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot welcome judge Christina Tosi, renowned pastry chef, owner and founder of New York City's Milk Bar, to Season Six of MASTERCHEF, premiering with a special two-hour event Wednesday, May 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The culinary smash hit moves into its regular time period the following week on Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

More hopefuls than ever before auditioned at MASTERCHEF's open casting calls in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; San Antonio, TX; San Diego, CA; and San Francisco, CA; to prove they have what it takes to make a mark on the culinary world. Only one talented home cook will join MASTERCHEF winners Courtney Lapresi (Season Five); Luca Manfe (Season Four); Christine Ha (Season Three), the first-ever blind contestant; Jennifer Behm (Season Two); and Whitney Miller (Season One) in the elite group of MASTERCHEF titleholders.

This season will feature 40 contestants from all walks of life representing 16 states - including an engineer, chiropractor, elementary music teacher, petroleum landman, fashion stylist and a drummer - all with the hopes of turning their culinary dreams into reality.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

Upfront: BET
Kelly Rowland Looks for Next Girl Group in "Chasing Destiny"
From the Wrap

Singer and former “X Factor” judge Kelly Rowland embarks on a quest to find a Destiny’s Child-like female supergroup in the upcoming competition series “Chasing Destiny,” BET Networks announced at its annual upfront presentation on Thursday.

The series is from Den of Thieves and executive producers Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Rowland, Tim Weatherspoon and Danny Rose and co-executive producers Jared Morell and Jordan Barrow.

The project is among the new and returning programming on the network’s 2015 slate. BET also announced the 2015 programming for Centric, its network aimed at black women.

The Wrap

posted 4/23/15

More on "Fake Off"
Catch Season 2 May 6
From the Futon Critic

This summer, 10 teams of gifted performers will set out to stun viewers like never before in the second season of truTV's eye-popping competition series Fake Off. Launching its new season Wednesday, May 6, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), Fake Off takes viewers into the visually stunning world of Faking, a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion. In each episode, teams are challenged to reimagine iconic moments in pop culture to see who's got the skills to be named America's Fake Off Champions and walk away with a $100,000 cash prize.

Actor and dancer Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) is set to host the second season of Fake Off. Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend) returns to the judging panel and is joined by two new judges: actress, choreographer and Emmy(R)-nominated director Laurieann Gibson (Lady Gaga Presents: The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, Making the Band) and actor, creative director and choreographer Beau Casper Smart (Street, Big Bang Theory, Nick Jonas, Jennifer Lopez). Meghan Camarena better known as YouTube sensation Strawburry17, will serve as backstage correspondent, a new role created this season.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

Wednesday: Most Popular Show of the Night... was NOT on Fox
CBS Wins Night; Splits Demo with ABC
From the Futon Critic

CBS (9.335 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T1) was the most-watched network on Wednesday thanks to its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.838 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2), "Criminal Minds" (9.920 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5) and "CSI: Cyber" (8.248 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7).

Sharing in the demo honors however was ABC (6.820 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T1) with originals from "The Middle" (7.746 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #6), "The Goldbergs" (7.119 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T3), "Modern Family" (8.759 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (6.590 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T3) and "Nashville" (5.352 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

Next up was FOX (7.360 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with another two-hour "American Idol" (7.360 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.022 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up a new "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.620 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10) followed by repeats of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.256 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11) and "Chicago PD" (4.189 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11).

And finally, fresh installments from "Arrow" (2.716 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11) and "Supernatural" (1.778 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.247 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1/season premiered): 490,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 289,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/23/15

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