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Betty White to Receive Lifetime Achievement
Catch Daytime Emmys on Pop April 26
From the Wrap

Betty White should probably clear a spot in her trophy case.

The “Hot in Cleveland” actress and general icon will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, which will air live Apr. 26 on Pop at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said Monday.

Hailing White as “an American institution,” NATAS president Bob Mauro added that the 93-year-old actress is “one of the most beloved female performers in the history of television.”

“Betty’s career as a female pioneer has followed television from literally the beginning of the medium, winning her first Emmy Award in 1952, to the digital-streaming future, winning again in 2010,” Mauro said. “She is one of the most beloved female performers in the history of television and the National Academy is proud to be honoring her with a most well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.”

NATAS senior vice president, daytime David Michaels lauded White’s extensive game show experience in Monday’s announcement, noting that she was the first woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host.

“Betty White is the ‘First Lady of Game Shows,’” Michaels said. “Betty was the darling of ‘Password, where she met the love of her life, Allen Ludden, and a favorite on ‘Match Game,’ ‘The $25,000 Pyramid,’ and countless others. She was the first woman to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show, ‘Just Men.’ From her iconic dramatic turn as Ann Douglas on ‘The Bold and the Beautiful,’ to her classic sitcom performances, to her movies and books, Betty is a woman who has excelled in everything she has ever done. She is also one of the nicest women in show business and we are proud to be bestowing this honor on such an exemplary role model for our entire industry.”

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Barker, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin and Alex Trebek.

The Wrap
Digital Spy

posted 3/16/15


GENE PATTON: 1932-2015
The Gong Show's "Gene Gene The Dancing Machine"
From the Hollywood Reporter

Gene Patton, the NBC stagehand in Burbank who stole the spotlight as Gene Gene the Dancing Machine on NBC’s wacky The Gong Show, died Monday, his family announced. He was 82.

Patton died in Pasadena, according to a spokeswoman at the local Woods-Valentine Mortuary. He had suffered from diabetes.

The Gong Show, dreamed up and hosted by producer Chuck Barris (The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game), aired on NBC in daytime from 1976-78 and then in syndication. Acts — most of them amateurish and just plain awful — auditioned for three celebrity judges, who banged a gong on stage to mercifully send the bad ones packing.

At a random moment during the game show, Barris would introduce Patton, and the curtain would part, bringing the shuffling stagehand with the painter’s cap onstage to the sounds of “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” a jazz tune made popular by Count Basie. His dance sent everyone on the set — Barris, the judges, the cameramen, the audience — into an uncontrollable boogie.

The Hollywood Reporter
Canada Journal
Radio.com

photo courtesy Geeks of Doom!

posted 3/16/15

More on "SYTYCD: Street vs. Stage"
tWitch, Travis Wall to Serve as Mentors
From the Futon Critic

Season 12 of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE will bring back two powerhouse alumni - Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Travis Wall - as mentors to the Top 20 finalists. Mentors tWitch and Travis join new judges Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo, alongside returning judge Nigel Lythgoe and host Cat Deeley. Beginning in the Las Vegas callbacks round, the dancers will be divided into the best street and best stage dancers. Travis will mentor the stage dancers and tWitch will mentor the street dancers. Although they have never faced each other in competition, they will go head-to-head now, fighting for one of their dancers to be crowned America's Favorite Dancer. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE premieres Monday, June 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

The STAGE dancers will feature those trained in styles such as contemporary, ballet, jazz or tap; and the STREET dancers, hopefuls skilled in styles such as hip-hop, animation or breaking. When the competition goes "live," the Top 20 will be challenged weekly to perform a variety of styles, working with world-renowned choreographers. One dancer from each genre will be eliminated each week leading up to the Season Finale. Who will win... a dancer from the stage or the street?

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 3/16/15

Food Network Springs Forward
"Baking Competition" Returns
From the Futon Critic

As temperatures warm up outside, the competition heats up in the kitchen as eight of the country's best bakers compete on Food Network's Spring Baking Championship, premiering Sunday, April 26th at 9:00pm ET/PT. Bobby Deen hosts this sweet competition, as the contestants attempt to rise to the occasion with their springtime treats and win a sweet spot in the hearts of judges Duff Goldman (Duff Till Dawn, Kids Baking Championship), Nancy Fuller (Farmhouse Rules), and Lorraine Pascale (Lorraine's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food). Only one winner will take home the grand prize of $50,000 and the title of Spring Baking Champion.

"After the sweet success of Holiday Baking Championship, viewers craved more delicious desserts and fun baking competition. Now, Spring Baking Championship is the icing on the cake! This competition - filled with creative baking challenges to celebrate the season - is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network.

From Mother's Day brunches, to Memorial Day family picnics, to birthday parties, and weddings, the competitors must prove their spring baking abilities each step of the way. In each of the six hour-long episodes, the bakers are tested in a pre-heat round, where one baker will be granted a special advantage in the main-heat. Along the way they must endure surprising twists in order to succeed.

On the first episode, the bakers must create the best flower-inspired cupcake. Then, in the main-heat they must take on the upside down cake using fresh fruit, leaving one baker turned upside down in this difficult challenge. Throughout the season, the bakers will be challenged to buzz around the kitchen creating sweets featuring honey as the main ingredient. Then, they must make tart treats using lemons and limes. Which dessert will turn the judges sour and make them pucker? In another challenge, the bakers must create a dozen dessert pops to stay in the competition. Which baker's dreams will pop when their treat does not make the cut? Contestants will also be challenged to create a layered springtime trifle, and then they will have the freedom to create any dessert as long as it is red, white and blue. In the grand finale, the three remaining bakers must create an impressive wedding dessert bar, before tackling the main centerpiece of the big day - the wedding cake. Who will shine, and who will melt in the competition?

Fans can learn more about the contestants, and view special photo galleries of the tops moments in the competition on FoodNetwork.com/BakingChampionship. They can also access web-exclusive video interviews with the judges, as well as new spring baking tricks and how-to tips for the most delectable desserts. Join the baking banter on Twitter using #BakingChampionship.

Spring Baking Championship is produced by Triage Entertainment, an LEG company.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/16/15

"STRONG" Is The New "Loser"
NBC Greenlights New Competition from "TBL" Creator Dave Broome
From the Hollywood Reporter

Sylvester Stallone is on board to executive produce S.T.R.O.N.G., an upcoming competition reality series from Sony Pictures TV.

S.T.R.O.N.G. (Start To Realize Our Natural Greatness) hails from The Biggest Loser creator/executive producer Dave Broome and stems from the two-year overall deal he inked with Sony TV last year. The show will feature six men and six women looking to improve their fitness who will be paired with trainers specializing in strength and conditioning. Like with The Biggest Loser, the series will chronicle the contestants’ transformation as they get eliminated until a winner is named.

Stallone, a fitness devotee who has credited his hard work in the gym for the longevity of his career as an action star, executive produces S.T.R.O.N.G. with Broome and Kevin Templeton for Sony TV and Broome’s 25/7 Prods.

"There's a monumental shift in the world of health and fitness," explains Broome, who had interest from multiple networks. "We've seen this interviewing trainers over the years. We've gone away from 'thin' and 'skinny' and into fit and strong."

"Dave crossed the finish line on a creative challenge I'd thrown to several producers," says NBC president of alternative and late-night programming Paul Telegdy. "If there was a show that would get people ready to be a contestant on American Ninja Warrior, what would it be? Multiple people came in with pitches, and he blew them away."

Physical transformations don't happen overnight, so production is expected to last about three months, with a premiere likely happening sometime in the next year.

The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

Ryan Seacrest Finds His Babushka
RSP to Launch First Overseas Series
From Variety

Ryan Seacrest Productions has linked up with leading Israeli distribution group Armoza Formats and France’s TF1 for the primetime gameshow “Babushka,” which will be launched at the MipTV market next month.

“Babushka” takes the concept of the classic Russian nesting doll and brings it to life in a high-stakes on-air challenge, with contestants having to choose which dolls will reveal up to $500,000 and which will send them packing from the stage.

An empty doll means the player loses all money accumulated up to that point, whereas the discovery of a smaller doll keeps them in the game and on the road to earning more cash.

“Babushka” marks RSP’s first-ever international production. The concept, says RSP prexy Eugene Young, is “the next generation of TV programming.”

“We’re looking forward to working with Armoza and TF1,” he added. “The combination of such an engaging and emotional game show and the fresh take of bringing contestants along for the whole ride struck us from the first moment and led us to choose it as the first format we have taken on as an international partnership.”

Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Productions, told Variety that his production house has high hopes for the concept. “We’ve been engaged with Ryan Seacrest Productions over the past year, and have been searching for the ideal project on which to work together,” he said.

The French, Israeli and American trio of producers will present “Babushka” at MipTV, which runs April 13-16 in Cannes.

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

Syndies: Week 23
Results for the Week Ending March 1
From TV Newscheck

The February sweep (Jan. 28-Feb. 25) is over and the closely watched talk show race was won handily by Dr. Phil. Live with Kelly & Michael finished a strong second in the national results.

Celebrity Name Game advanced 27% to a 1.4.

Among veteran game shows, Family Feud was easily up the most with a 17% increase to a third-place 6.8 average. Wheel of Fortune was tops in the group with a 3% rise to a 7.6, followed by Jeopardy, which added 6% to a 7.4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire trailed with a 1.9, down 14% from last February.

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers
B&C

posted 3/16/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Line And How to Cross It"

  • VIDEO WALL: Natalia Kills & Willy Moon's all-too-brutally honest review of an "X Factor New Zealand" hopeful just cost them their jobs (Huffington Post)
     
  • Nate Ruess brings fun. to The Voice as the resident mentor (Buzzfeed)
     
  • Jeopardy! pro-tip: When in doubt, "What is China?" (Vox)
     
  • La Voz Kids lines up sponsors (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • "You're Back in the Room" plays to 4.3 million Britons (Broadcast) PLUS a Brutally Honest Review (Huffington Post)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Millionaire Hot Seat to Million Dollar Minute: "Oh YEAH?!" (Hitfix)
     
  • GSN taps Rentrak to monitor ratings, VOD (Multichannel News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with David Arquette (Neepawa Press)

posted 3/16/15

Another Round of "Barmageddon"
truTV Announces Renewals
From the Futon Critic

After successfully refreshing its brand as the place for "Way More Fun" television, truTV is ready to keep the fun quotient high with several programming moves, including four series renewals and an order for a brand new show. On the renewal side, truTV is ordering new seasons of Hack My Life, a funny spin on life's little shortcuts that can save you time, effort and money; How To Be a Grownup, a comedic take on the trials and tribulations of true adulthood; and truTV Top Funniest, featuring a collection of wildly hilarious viral videos. truTV is also expanding the first season of Barmageddon, the high-stakes bar competition with a twist, and has greenlit the brand new series Six Degrees of Everything, a fast-paced, comedic look at the unexpected connections between various topics.

truTV's latest programming moves come on the heels of the network greenlighting its first-ever fully scripted series, Those Who Can't. The comedy about a trio of frustrated high school teachers stars show creators Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy, members of the Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix.

Since its extensive brand makeover in October, truTV has been rapidly expanding its lineup of original programming. The network has ordered additional seasons and episodes of the hit series Impractical Jokers, featuring four lifelong friends who dare each other to carry out hilarious stunts in public; The Carbonaro Effect, in which comic magician Michael Carbonaro amazes unsuspecting people on hidden camera; the eye-popping performance competition series Fake Off; and Friends of the People, truTV's first-ever sketch comedy series. In addition, truTV has launched such new series as Breaking Greenville, a look at the playful rivalry between the news teams at two small town television stations, and Kart Life, a look inside the big-stakes, little-driver world of kart racing. And later this year, truTV will debut the new series The Hustlers, about the high-stakes, cutthroat competition in New York City's pool halls, and Santas in the Barn, a refreshingly unexpected holiday-themed series.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

Thursday: Remember When Idol was #1 Instead of #6?
CBS Wins Night
From the Futon Critic

CBS (10.196 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (16.080 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.4, #1), "The Odd Couple" (10.741 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #T2), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (9.645 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5), "Mom" (9.176 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4) and "Elementary" (7.768 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #10).

ABC (7.158 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then took home the silver with originals from "Grey's Anatomy" (7.381 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.1, #6), "Scandal" (8.281 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.6, #T2) and "American Crime" (5.812 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #11).

Next up was FOX (8.139 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) with a new "American Idol" (7.877 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T7) and second hour of "American Idol" (8.401 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T7).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.922 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up its revised lineup of "Dateline NBC" (4.510 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12), "The Blacklist" (7.340 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T7) and "The Slap" (2.919 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.334 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) and "Reign" (1.037 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) on The CW (1.185 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

Wednesday: "... Uh, Guys, I Need an 'Empire' Headline"
Fox Takes Another Wednesday Night
From the Futon Critic

FOX (12.022 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) was still the network to beat on Wednesday with new episodes of "American Idol" (9.313 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) and "Empire" (14.731 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.6, #1).

CBS (9.817 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then was a distant second place with its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.375 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3), "Criminal Minds" (10.376 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4) and "CSI: Cyber" (9.700 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5).

Next up was ABC (3.990 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) and its second run mix of "The Goldbergs" (4.607 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T8), another "The Goldbergs" (4.316 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T8), "Modern Family" (5.089 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6), the special "Black-ish: Bloop-ish" (4.589 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6) and a rebroadcast of "American Crime" (2.670 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.448 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up repeats of "The Mysteries of Laura" (4.917 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.719 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11) and "Chicago PD" (4.708 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, a repeat "Arrow" (1.186 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) and the season finale of "The 100" (1.317 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) on The CW (1.251 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 493,000
- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 433,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/13/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Friday the 13th Part 2"

  • Bruce Beresford-Redman, former "Survivor" producer, convicted in Mexico (NBC News)
     
  • Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol, plays mentor April 1 (no foolin') (E!)
     
  • Mike Fleiss basically cops to stealing from "For Love or Money 4" (Twitter @fleissmeister)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Add Josh Elliott to the short list of the Alex Trebek Sweepstakes (CNN Money)
     
  • Christopher Titus to play Boise (Boise Weekly)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Wheelmobile rolls into Vegas, baby (Las Vegas Sun)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with last night's Jeopardy! champion (People)

posted 3/12/15

$531 Million
That's How Much ITV Paid for Owner of "The Voice"
From Realscreen

Two weeks after the UK media company confirmed it was in discussions to buy Talpa Media, ITV has acquired The Voice creator for $531.68 million.

ITV revealed today that it has made the initial payment for the Dutch producer-distributor, with further payments “dependent on Talpa’s future performance.”

A maximum total – including the initial payment – is approximately $1.17 billion, though it is contingent on Talpa delivering “significant profit growth” over an eight-year period as well as Talpa owner John de Mol remaining with the business during that period.

Following the transaction, De Mol and Talpa’s senior management and creative team “will continue to play a key role in format creation and development to maintain Talpa’s strong creative pipeline.” The group is to work exclusively for Talpa alongside ITV Studios MD Kevin Lygo and his team. Talpa is also expected to maintain and develop its client relationships.

The Talpa acquisition is the latest – and largest – of a number of high-profile deals made by ITV over the past few years. The company paid $360 million for Leftfield Entertainment in May 2014, and has also added such companies as Thinkfactory Media, Gurney Productions, The Garden, DiGa Vision and High Noon Entertainment to its roster.

The Dutch company’s portfolio includes the global singing competition format The Voice, social experiment Utopia and game show Dating in the Dark. Talpa confirmed in September that it had retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to “register and further investigate the interest shown by international parties in the company.” At that time, reported suitors included Shine Group and FremantleMedia, and speculated price tags for the production company ranged between €600 million to €700 million. According to ITV, Talpa in 2014 generated €233 million in revenue from productions, format fees and new revenue sources.

The transaction – which ITV says will be financed through existing cash resources and new debt facilities – is expected to close during the year’s second quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

“Great content is at the heart of ITV’s growth strategy and the acquisition of Talpa builds on the success of our international content business and is absolutely in line with our desire to create and own formats that travel,” said Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV, in a statement.

“John de Mol and his team have an incredible track record of doing that consistently over many years and I’m delighted to welcome them to the ITV family,” he continued. “This is a great opportunity for ITV to accelerate its progress in building a global content business of scale.”

De Mol added: “Of all the potential partners for Talpa, there’s no doubt ITV is the best fit. When it comes to the importance of content, the strategy of both successful companies is exactly the same and for Talpa this represents a fantastic opportunity for strong further growth. It also enables me personally to concentrate and focus even more on creating new, groundbreaking content.”

Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Street
The Drum
New York Times

posted 3/12/15

Okay Let's Try This Again...
Anthony Jeselnik Tapped as New Host of "Last Comic Standing"
From USA Today

NBC's Last Comic Standing will be back this summer — with a comedic infusion of Norm MacDonald.

The Saturday Night Live veteran will be the new guy on a ninth-season panel that includes returning judges and famed comedians Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans. McDonald, who wrote for Roseanne, fills the seat held by Russell Peters when the comedian search returned in 2014 after a three-year hiatus.

Anthony Jeselnik (Comedy Central's The Jeselnik Offensive), a veteran of numerous comedy roasts, will succeed J.B. Smoove as host for Comic's streamlined, eight-episode season, which will feature celebrity guests and a new head-to-head phase of the competition. A premiere date has not been announced.

USA Today
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/12/15

More All-Stars, More Chopped
Latest Special Series Drops April 28
From the Futon Critic

With a $75,000 grand prize for charity on the line, sixteen culinary stars enter the Chopped kitchen for a new round of Chopped All-Stars, premiering Tuesday, April 28th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. The five-part competition series, hosted by Ted Allen, includes four chefs going head-to-head each week over three rounds: appetizer, entrée and dessert - as each chef creates a unique and delicious dish using the mystery ingredients within the Chopped basket. The dishes are judged by a rotating roster of Chopped judges, including Maneet Chauhan, Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Aarón Sánchez, Chris Santos and Geoffrey Zakarian, to determine which chefs will advance to face off in the finale, with a chance to win the $75,000 grand prize for the charity of their choice.

"In its fourth season, this tournament brings together the most talented group of chefs to compete in the Chopped kitchen for causes that are near and dear to their hearts," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network. "Not only do the chefs put their reputations out there, but with a $75,000 grand prize, these culinary masters don't hold anything back as they compete for their charities."

Visit FoodNetwork.com/Chopped for exclusive video, interviews, photos and more. And join in on the conversation at #Chopped.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/12/15

BBC Can't Touch This
This and More From Sony's Irish Indie
From World Screen

The BBC has commissioned a host of new entertainment shows for its various networks, ranging from reality titles to game show formats.

For BBC One, Stellify Media will produce Can’t Touch This, a game show where contestants can win a prize if they manage to touch it while dealing with an assault course. Victory Television Scotland’s quiz show Win Your Wish List returns for a second season, while 12 Yard Scotland and Boom Cymru (a Twofour company) will co-produce Five Star Family Reunion. Who Dares Wins will return for a further eight episodes, along with a new run of In It To Win It, both also from 12 Yard Scotland. Meanwhile, the network has ordered a pilot for Perfect Match, produced by the BBC’s In-house Entertainment team, and has re-commissioned Objective Scotland’s Now You See It for another series.

Over on BBC Two, the Parasol Media and RDF Television co-pro Only Connect has been greenlit for a second run, along with a pilot for the competition format Airheads, which is being produced by So Television. Objective Scotland is also behind BBC Three’s returning Killer Magic, while BBC Four has ordered the tentatively titled quiz show The Hive from Green Inc Film & Television and Saltbeef TV.

Alan Tyler, the commissioning editor for BBC Entertainment, said: “We are delighted to be working with producers across the U.K. to bring such a terrific range of both new and much-loved entertainment programs to our audiences across all our channels. These commissions are another sign of the BBC’s commitment to producing top-quality programs from around the country.”

Realscreen
Worldscreen
Televisual
Deadline
Digital Spy
C21 Media
TBI Vision
Broadcast

posted 3/12/15

Tuesday: Splitskies
NBC Takes the Younguns, CBS Takes Everyone Else
From The Futon Critic

NBC (11.689 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) was the demo champ on Tuesday thanks to a special two-hour "The Voice" (13.255 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.6, #1) and a new "Chicago Fire" (8.557 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2).

CBS (12.158 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with its trio of "NCIS" (15.722 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2) - tying its series low, "NCIS: New Orleans" (12.251 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) - also a low - and "Person of Interest" (8.501 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

Next up was ABC (3.679 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and its original lineup of "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.064 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), "Repeat After Me" (3.497 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (3.733 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) - its series low - and "Forever" (3.024 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.8, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.547 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.451 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8), a repeat "New Girl" (1.496 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #12) and a new "The Mindy Project" (1.793 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, repeats of "The Flash" (1.310 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #13) and "Supernatural" (0.786 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) on The CW (1.048 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:

- Chopped (Food): 1.319 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.187 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 (MTV): 1.034 million
- The Chase (GSN) (winter finale): 621,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 439,000
- Framework (Spike) (finale): 299,000
- Restaurant Startup (CNBC): 286,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/12/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Host Spotting"

posted 3/12/15


Upfronts: GSN
Two New Shows, Three New Pilots, One Revival, Five Renewals, and a New Logo
From Broadway World

Following three consecutive years of growth, driven by an aggressive, original programming slate, GSN is introducing at its upfront presentation today in New York City its strongest, most innovative and creative original series to date.

The announcement of new programming follows GSN's most-watched year ever (2014), a year in which the network also added more than 30 million new viewers to its air*. Additionally, the popularity of the network's skill-based, competitive entertainment shows provided the perfect, organic platform to bolster its social media strategy, with premieres of GSN originals enjoying a social engagement rate of more than 6%. The network also delivered in February 2015 its highest month ever in the W25-54 demographic.**

Over the last two seasons, GSN has more than doubled its original programming output, and is introducing an even larger slate of originals in 2015.

Announcing GSN's growth, as well as new original programming, to press and advertisers at the company's annual upfront today, were GSN's President and CEO, David Goldhill; Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, John Zaccario; and Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, Amy Introcaso-Davis.

The executives were joined by popular GSN talent including Rebecca Romijn, host of hit series SKIN WARS; Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett from the Emmy(R)-nominated THE CHASE; TV icon and host of GSN's series BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD, Jerry Springer; comedian and nationally Syndicated radio host Mike Catherwood; and Oscar(R)-nominated and Emmy(R)-winning producer Jason Blum, who will partner with GSN on an upcoming project. Comedian Ben Gleib, host and producer of GSN's hit series IDIOTEST, emceed the event.

Two New Greenlit Series

GSN has greenlit two original series, the visual design competition series STEAMPUNK'D, and comedy game show LIE DETECTORS, to be hosted by Australian media personality and comedian Rove McManus.

STEAMPUNK'D is a skill-based competition series celebrating the talented artists and designers who create in the genre called Steampunk, a popular vein of Science fiction and fantasy that fuses modern technology with the romance of Victorian Age aesthetics, turning everyday objects into works of art.

Contestants will be challenged to marry objects from the past and present in order to create grandiose futuristic designs. Dramatic reveals each week will build to a grand finale of a fully realized Steampunk'd world. Steampunk'd is executive produced by Kimberly Belcher Ehrhard, John Ehrhard ("Hogan Knows Best," "Miami Social") and Lauren Stevens of Pink Sneakers Productions.

LIE DETECTORS,hosted by McManus, is a sharp, quick-witted game show series that invites the entire studio audience to play along. In each round, a panel of three comedians presents to a studio audience OUTRAGEOUS "facts," but only one of them is telling the truth. The audience member who guesses which comic is telling the truth correctly the most, and in the fastest time, earns a chance to play for the cash prize. Produced by Jim Co. (executive producers Jim Biederman, Marla Ratner and Tim Fornara).

Joining new series STEAMPUNK'D and LIE DETECTORS is the previously announcedcontemporary game series CHAIN REACTION, which GSN also announced today will be hosted by Mike Catherwood (co-host of the nationally Syndicated radio show "Loveline" on KROQ). The half-hour game show, which originally debuted in the 1980s, features teams of two competing against one another to complete chains of words after the first and last words of the chain are revealed. Each word in the chain is related in some way to the word directly above and/or below it. Produced by Sony Pictures Television and executive produced by Vincent Rubino.

In addition, the network will begin production on three pilots: THE UNTITLED SKIN WARS SPIN-OFF, HELLEVATOR and WINSANITY (the latter two were previously announced as development).

From the producers of hit body painting competition SKIN WARS, THE UNTITLED SKIN WARS SPIN-OFF invites brilliant artists who primarily work in other mediums to learn to use the human body as a canvas for the very first time. In this one-hour, stand-alone competition format, four talented artists will be trained and mentored by our favorite SKIN WARS pros, and challenged to apply their skills in unfamiliar ways. Eventually eliminating three of the artists, judges ultimately crown one winner who will walk away with a cash prize and a unique new way to monetize his or her talents. Produced by Michael Levitt Productions (executive producers Michael Levitt and Jill Goularte).

His genius brought the world the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, among others; now, award-winning producer Jason Blum is bringing to GSN the brilliantly twisted HELLEVATOR, a terrifying, genre-mashing game show that dares three friends to ride a haunted elevator into the depths of an abandoned warehouse. One player must get out on each floor and conquer a frightening challenge in order to earn money for the team; but should players not make it back in time, the Hellevator moves on without them. Pulling the strings throughout the game are two comedic masterminds who delight in the horror they inflict on the hapless, helpless contestants. HELLEVATOR is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. Executive Producers are Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity," "The Purge," "Sinister" and "Insidious"), who won a 2014 Emmy(R) Award for "The Normal Heart," and was nominated for an Academy Award(R) for "Whiplash," and Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador.

Which is greater: the number of times a man thinks about sex in a day, or the number of words a woman speaks in a day? In WINSANITY, one person will attempt to organize seven compelling and surprising facts in numerical order, from lowest to highest. Each successful ranking wins prizes for the contestant and the audience, making this show "total insanity," because when the contestant wins a prize, a random lucky section of the audience is awarded that same prize; but... if the contestant strikes out, then the audience members lose everything. From executive producers Barry Poznick ("Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?") of Barracuda Television Productions, Chris Grant of Electus, and Corie Henson.

New Interstitial Series and Development

In addition to its new original and returning shows, GSN has acquired 50 three-minute episodes of the interstitial series MAN VS. FLY, which will run on air; GSN also will put the show into half-hour series development. In the history of television, a higher stakes battle for dominance has never been waged! In MAN VS. FLY, Brave human warriors are placed into a sealed white box with a cunning, dastardly housefly. Every contestant is allowed one weapon of choice to aid in battle: a cleaning lady wields her vacuum, a knight in armor swings his broadsword, a scuba diver brandishes a fish. Each has only 60 seconds to bring down the fly, or leave in disgrace. Two will enter... but only one will leave. Off-camera sports commentators announce the play-by-play with hysterically deadpan wit. Cheering for the fly is encouraged. Produced by UK-based Gogglebox Entertainment ("Release the Hounds," "Plain Jane"), a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television, with executive producers Mat Steiner, Adam Wood and Sam Pollard.

Also in development is WINDOW WARRIORS (working title). Anyone who's ever walked by the windows on Fifth or Madison Avenue, Rodeo Drive or the Champs Elysées knows window design can be museum-worthy art. This new skill-based competition lifts the curtain on the intensely competitive and theatrical world of visual merchandising. From the festive, to the luxurious, to the fantastical, these artists will push their creativity to the limits in the hopes of winning a career-changing contract to design the annual holiday display at a major department store. From the producers of SKIN WARS, Michael Levitt Productions (Executive Producers Michael Levitt and Jill Goularte).

Returning Series

Among the hit series returning to GSN with new seasons in 2015 are body painting competition series SKIN WARS, hosted by Rebecca Romijn, with entertainer RuPaul Charles and body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina serving as judges; fast-paced game shows THE CHASE, featuring Brooke Burns and Mark "The Beast" Labbett, and IDIOTEST,hosted by comedian Ben Gleib,recently picked up for a 65-episode second season; hit dating show IT TAKES A CHURCH, which launches its second season on March 26;and previously announced BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD, a traveling version of the network's hit series, BAGGAGE, hosted by Jerry Springer.

Broadway World
Variety
The Futon Critic
Deadline
Multichannel News
Adweek
TV Media Insights

Realscreen
TBI Vision

posted 3/11/15

Sony's Awesome Threesome Reups
Sajak, White, Trebek Sign On for Two More Seasons
From Deadline

The obligatory round of negotiating-via-press concluded — “game show veteran revealed that he would likely not renew his contract,” “probably won’t return for another round after his contract expires in 2016,” etc. — Sony Pictures Television this morning announced it had signed Alex Trebek to a new contract through the 2017-18 TV season.

Likewise, Sony’s Wheel of Fortune duo Pat Sajak and Vanna White have signed through ’17-18, both shows’ EP Harry Friedman announced.

“The enduring success of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! serves as a testament to the talents of these remarkable hosts,” said Friedman.

Wheel of Fortune, averages 11.4 million viewers daily in its current 32nd season; Jeopardy!, in its 31st season on the air, clocks 10.7 million viewers. Both shows are produced by Sony Pictures TV and distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution, and internationally by CBS Television International.

Deadline
Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/11/15

DeRay Davis Jokes Off
Catch It on MTV2 April 1
From The Futon Critic

MTV2 today announced that its newest comedy series, "MTV2's Joking Off," will premiere Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by stand-up comedian and actor DeRay Davis, "MTV2's Joking Off" is a hilarious, fast-paced, half-hour comedic game show where teams of jokesters test their improv skills against the wildest social media memes, tweets, Instagram images and videos to deliver laugh out loud reactions and out-joke the competition. Click here to watch a first look of the new series.

"Everyone should watch 'MTV2's Joking Off' because you need it in your life - you'll be empty without it," said DeRay Davis. "It will fill your funny void. It's like the sugar in your Kool-Aid."

"This show celebrates the most ridiculous aspects of social media," said Paul Ricci, Senior Vice President, Head of Development and Production for MTV2. "Watching these talented comics and improv gurus target the most roast-worthy gifs, pictures, videos and profiles, is hilarious."

The teams are made up of the best up-and-coming comedians and improv performers, which consist of rotating series regulars Dave Ebert, Desus Nice, The Kid Mero, James Davis, Matt Pavich, James Manziello, Kristen Acimovich, Liza Treyger, Matteo Lane and Mike Camerlengo. Throughout the season, "MTV2's Joking Off" will also feature guest appearances by Charlamagne, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Lil Duval, Jon Gabrus, Tanisha Long, Donnell Rawlings, Chris Distefano, Damien Lemon, Jordan Carlos, Monroe Martin, Shalyah Evans, Mike Winfield, Stephen Guarino, Awkwafina and Mac Lethal.

In each episode, three teams of two comedians compete in improv games inspired by Internet memes, photos, video and texts. Games include "Ok Stupid," where performers make up dating interests inspired by fake profiles on our 'Ok Cupid' parody site, "Textify," in which scenes are created out of awkward text conversations and "If They Could Talk," in which the comics create dialogue from funny animal videos. To conclude each episode, the two members of the final team remaining compete head-to-head in an epic prank call contest, "Call You Out," to decide the one jokester that will reign supreme.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15

This Summer... TWO Bachelorettes
Catch It on ABC This Summer
From TV Line

Feminism suffered another sucker-punch at the hands of ABC’s reality-dating franchise on Monday night when Chris Harrison announced the upcoming season of The Bachelorette will begin with a runoff election between Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson.

Yes, the series that typically puts the power in the hands of its titular female singleton will begin by allowing its male competitors to strike the first blow.

“We actually decided not to decide: For the first time in Bachelorette history, we’re gonna have two bachelorettes,” Harrison explained cheerily. “The 25 men on Night 1 are going to have the ultimate say about who they think would make the best wife.”
The host did not provide any additional particulars about how the pack of men will settle on their pursuer.

“It’s an amazing opportunity,” said Britt. “It’s more than I can comprehend.”
“I think we discussed we’ll end up in the same hot tub at one point,” added the typically sarcastic Kaitlyn.

The one thing the finale could not do, though... Overtake "The Voice". NBC (10.945 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1) held onto the top spot on Monday with new episodes of "The Voice" (13.515 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.6, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.804 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

ABC (9.569 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #2) then had to settle for second place despite the season finale of "The Bachelor" (9.526 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.7, #T2) and its special "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose" (9.656 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.7, #T2).

On cable, "@midnight" scored 449,000. "RuPaul's Drag Race" had 374,000.

TV Line
Salon
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
E!

posted 3/11/15

New Fakers, New Fake Off
Catch It on TruTV This Spring
From TV by the Numbers

Actor and dancer Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) is set to host the second season of truTV's hit series Fake Off. The series produced by Endemol Shine North America features ten teams from around the country competing in the captivating art of Faking. Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, The LXD) returns to the judging panel, and is joined by two new judges: actress, choreographer and Emmy®-nominated director Laurieann Gibson (Lady Gaga Presents: The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, Making the Band) and dancer-choreographer Beau Casper Smart (So You Think You Can Dance, Step Up: 3D). Meghan Camarena better known as YouTube sensation Strawburry17 will serve as backstage correspondent, a new role created this season.

Season two of Fake Off is slated to premiere on truTV spring 2015.

TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15


STUART WAGSTAFF: 1925-2015
Australian Entertainer a Regular on "Blankety Blanks"
From Sydney Morning Herald

Stuart Wagstaff, the actor, singer and raconteur, and one of Australia's best known showbusiness identities, has died.

Wagstaff passed away peacefully at Castlecrag Private Hospital, aged 90. The legendary entertainer was born on February 13, 1925, in Great Durnford, Wiltshire, in the United Kingdom.

A chance visit to a pantomime gave the young boy a glimpse into another world. "I thought, that's it, that's what I want to do," he later recalled. "I want to be down there, on that stage. And I've never wavered from that at all."

But showbusiness would have to wait for the war. Wagstaff joined the Royal Navy and became an aircraft mechanic. It was not, he says, a successful career. "I was very bad. I hope they're better these days," he later joked. "I don't know who had the greatest score, the Germans or me."

After the war, Wagstaff properly dabbled in showbusiness and made his film debut in an uncredited role, playing a steward in the 1958 dramatization of the sinking of the Titanic, A Night to Remember.

Emigrating to Australia at the end of the '50s, Wagstaff made an early mark on the stage, playing Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

In the 1960s, Wagstaff moved into television, both as an actor, with roles in the series Whiplash and Homicide, and as a host, compering the variety show Studio A, and as the "beast" in the panel show Beauty and the Beast.

When he joined the series, replacing broadcaster Eric Baume, Wagstaff's gentle manner won him high praise.

Wagstaff confirmed himself as a household name in the 1970s, as a regular panelist on the game shows Celebrity Squares (Hollywood Squares), for Nine, and Blankety Blanks (Match Game), for Ten. On the latter he, and comedians "Ugly" Dave Grey and Noeline Brown, were mainstays, along with host Graham Kennedy.

It was, he later recalled, like "going to a party every night. You lived and died on your wits."

Never willing to give up his connection to the theatre, however, he also presented a series of plays for the ABC.

In addition to return tours with My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music, Wagstaff played the narrator in The Rocky Horror Show production, which co-starred Russell Crowe and Daniel Abineri.

And all of that, he would later note, despite his inability to sing.

"I've done 11 major musicals and I still can't sing," he told the ABC's Talking Heads program in 2006. "And I'm not being modest."

His most recent roles included Old Cookson in a production of Pan at the Capitol Theatre, and Mr Brownlow in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Oliver.

Behind the scenes, Wagstaff was active in philanthropy and charity work. notably working with Variety, The Children's Charity.

In 1998 he was created a Member of the Order of Australia, for his service to the community.

In 2014, he was also a late addition to the painting Entertainers of the Century, owned by Variety, which depicts 100 of the most-loved entertainers in Australia.

Wagstaff was added in place of disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris, who was removed from the painting, which hangs in Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market.

Last year, Wagstaff was hospitalized with pulmonary fibrosis.

Sydney Morning Herald
Yahoo!/7News
The Australian

photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald

posted 3/11/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "15 Seconds"

posted 3/11/15

Tragedy in Argentina
Reality TV Cast Killed in Helicopter Crash
From The Wrap

Eight cast members from a reality TV show were killed Monday when two helicopters collided mid-air over Argentina, according to multiple media reports. Two pilots also died.

The cast members — all French nationals — were filming a survival series called “Dropped” in the rugged mountains of the La Rioja province of the South American country, reported the Guardian.

“Apparently, the two helicopters collided as they were filming. There are no survivors,” provincial spokesman Horacio Alarcon said. Weather conditions were reportedly good and the reason for the crash is still unknown.

Among the dead are champion sailor Florence Arthaud, Olympic gold medalist swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine. In addition to the contestants, two Argentine pilots were killed.

“Dropped,” which was to air on French television channel TF1, involved eight sports stars being dropped into inhospitable environments for the survival-themed reality series.

Shooting began in late February in Ushuaia, at the southern tip of South America in the glacial landscape of Patagonia, and then moved to the mountainous La Rioja region.

The Wrap
Sport Act

posted 3/10/15

Summer on Fox
"5th Grader" Returns May 26
From the Futon Critic

FOX is announcing summer premiere dates for the returns of MASTERCHEF, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5TH GRADER? and the Season 12 premiere of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE; as well as the series premiere date for new series BOOM!.

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, when it premieres 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). The three celebrated food experts will put the latest group of contestants through a series of challenging elimination rounds, in order to turn one home cook into a culinary master.

Popular quiz show ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? returns for a brand-new season, beginning Tuesday, May 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Unlike the typical game show that measures intelligence, this show 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 featuring returning host Jeff Foxworthy, as well as a top-notch group of grade schoolers to assist the adult contestants, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? will include new twists and fun elements for a new generation of viewers.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE enters its 12th season on a new night and with a new twist: the series will showcase America's most talented dancers from the stage and the street, beginning with the audition rounds on Monday, June 1 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Hosted by Cat Deeley, and featuring returning judge Nigel Lythgoe and new judges Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo, the new season of the Emmy Award-nominated hit dance competition series once again will include awe-inspiring performances, as well as nail-biting eliminations, as the contestants compete to be named America's Favorite Dancer.

Combining high drama and high stakes with high comedy in a fun-filled, trivia-charged, slime-soaked, entertainment explosion, new quiz show BOOM!, hosted by comedian Tom Papa ("The Marriage Ref"), premieres Thursday, June 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). From Keshet DCP, BOOM! is a general knowledge quiz show that challenges teams of three players to defuse a series of ticking slime-bombs, by dramatically cutting the wires relating to the correct answers and leaving the wrong answers untouched. Get it right - and the players win big money. Get it wrong or run out of time - and, after a tense countdown, the players - and portions of the audience - are showered with anything from "guacamole" to "mashed potatoes," forcing the players out of the game.

The Futon Critic
Variety
Entertainment Weekly
B&C
Los Angeles Times
Digital Spy
The Interrobang
TV Week
Realscreen

posted 3/10/15

Scratch That...
"Monopoly Millionaires' Club" to Return as a Scratchie, TV Show Premieres Weekend of March 28
From Yahoo!

 "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB," the first-of-its kind television game show will launch a new multi-state companion lottery scratch ticket. With as many as 14 state lotteries joining immediately, and more states to follow, the MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB lottery scratch ticket created by Scientific Games under license from Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) will debut in March 2015 just in time for the new premiere date of the "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" television game show on March 28 and 29 (check local listings for time, day and station). "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" is hosted by actor, comedian and television star Billy Gardell ("Mike & Molly," "You, Me and Dupree"), and co-hosted by Todd Newton ("Family Game Night," "Hollywood Showdown").

Yahoo!

posted 3/10/15

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgian
China Picks Up "Sooner or Later"
From the Hollywood Reporter

U.K.-based TV distributor DRG has licensed a host of formats to China, including popular U.K. bridal reality show Don’t Tell the Bride and Belgian game show Sooner or Later.

Both of the shows will air in the country for the first time this year, said DRG, part of Modern Times Group's Nice Entertainment Group in Scandinavia.

Popular Belgian game show Sooner or Later will debut in China for the first time this year following a deal with Shanghai-based production company Idea Asia Media for Shenzhen.

The format involves four celebrity contestants who embark upon a comedic journey under the guidance of the series host. With a focus on key events, music, culture, movies, politics, fashion and sports, the contestants are faced with a series of questions across five testing rounds. All questions can be answered by stating either "sooner" or "later."

The Hollywood Reporter
Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Futon Critic

posted 3/10/15

Weekend: CBS Overtakes ABC... BUT....
"Shark Tank" Beats "Amazing Race"
From The Futon Critic

CBS (8.994 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) pulled into the top spot on Friday with its mix of "The Amazing Race" (6.158 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4), "Hawaii Five-0" (9.641 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4) and "Blue Bloods" (11.183 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2).

ABC (5.653 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then claimed the silver with a special earlier "Shark Tank" (8.200 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) and the premiere of "In an Instant" (4.380 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #6).

Next up was NBC (5.633 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a repeat of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.180 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T8) followed by "Dateline NBC" (6.360 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.284 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up fresh installments from "World's Funniest Fails" (2.761 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #7) and "Glee" (1.808 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T8).

And finally, a new "Hart of Dixie" (1.121 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T10) and repeats of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.821 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and another "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.050 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T10) closed out the evening on The CW (1.028 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

On Sunday...

- The Voice (NBC) (R): 3.488 million
- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.628 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.518 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.281 million

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/10/15

Ant & Dec Have 15 Million Reasons to Trust NPH
Price Tag Released for Saturday Night Takeaway
From Yahoo!

Ant & Dec are to score a huge payday for taking 'Saturday Night Takeaway' to the US.

It's said that ITV's Geordie stars will net a huge $15 million acting as producers on the American version of the Saturday night gameshow.

Rather than presenting the show themselves, as with the UK version, they will hand over the reins to Neil Patrick Harris instead.

The move comes eight years after they tried to break the US with the show 'Wanna Bet?' for the ABC network, but it flopped after six shows over low ratings and claims viewers found it too hard to understand them.

“The boys know that if they hosted Saturday Night Takeaway in the US it wouldn’t work. They learnt their lesson before,” a source told the Daily Mirror.

“But it’s their baby – they love it – and they are proud of the success it has had in the UK and they want to be involved.

“They can’t wait to get going on it and hope this is something they can do more of in the US. They want the show to take off.

“The boys’ input will be huge, but they are delighted Neil is hosting.”

It's hoped that the pair can replicate the success of their former co-host on 'SM:TV' and 'CD:UK'. Cat Deeley has become a huge star in the US, hosting 'So You Think You Can Dance'.

Yahoo!
World Screen
Unreality TV

posted 3/9/15

Spinning a YouTube Channel
"Beat the Parents" Among Projects
From VideoInk

Toy brand Spin Master has partnered with Mondo Media to launch a new animation channel on YouTube. Aimed at kids between the ages of 6 and 11, the channel, called SpindoTV, will be the home for animated and live-action series based on popular toy lines from the manufacturer.

Sick Bricks, a toy-game hybrid, will be one of the first products to receive a series on SpindoTV. Launching alongside the channel (and also airing on Cartoon Network), the animated series is written by Ray Delaurentis, a writer on Nickelodeon’s hit toon “The Fairly OddParents.”

“Sick Bricks” will soon be joined by shows such as “Adrenalini Brothers,” “Gummandos,” “Happy Together,” and “Skater Vs.,” as well as a live-action kids-vs-parents game show based on the Beat the Parents board game. In total, Spin Master and Mondo Media are making a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to produce hundreds of episodes of original content for SpindoTV, the companies said.

The channel launch comes on the heels of the YouTube Kids, a mobile video app focused on family-friendly animated and live-action programming. “There are a number of SpindoTV episodes that will sit comfortably on the new YouTube Kids app but several of our shows will appeal to a slightly older-skewing demographic,” said Jennifer Dodge, VP and executive producer for Spin Master Entertainment.

VideoInk

posted 3/9/15

NBC Sets Summer Schedule
It All Begins with "Ninja Warrior" May 25
From The Futon Critic

March 6, 2015 - NBC has announced premiere dates for its summer tentpole programming, including the #1 most-watched summer show of the past nine years, "America's Got Talent."

"AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR" - Monday, May 25, 8-10 p.m.

The action-packed series follows competitors as they tackle a series of challenging obstacle courses in both qualifying and finals rounds across the country. Those that successfully complete a course in their designated region move on to the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a stunning four-stage course modeled after the famed Mt. Midoriyama in Japan. Matt Iseman serves as host, along with former NFL player Akbar Gbaja Biamila (NFL Network).

"American Ninja Warrior" delivered a 2.0 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.9 million viewers overall last summer and was up versus the prior summer by +11% in 18-49 rating (2.0 vs. 1.8) and up +7% in total viewers (5.9 million vs. 5.6 million). The Sept. 9, 2014 season finale improved versus the year-earlier finale by +20% in adults 18-49 (1.8 vs. 1.5) and +31% in total viewers (5.3 million vs. 4.0 million).

"AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" - Tuesday, May 26, 8-10 p.m.

NBC's top-rated summer series "America's Got Talent" celebrates its landmark 10th season with the hottest performers from across the country competing for America's vote. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel return as judges and Nick Cannon returns as host.

With the talent search open to acts of all ages, "America's Got Talent" has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing unique performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of the American spirit, featuring a colorful array of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and hopeful stars, all vying for their chance to win America's hearts and the $1 million prize.

Last year, for the first time in the show's history, America chose a magician as their winner: Rhode Island native Mat Franco, who went on to headline the "America's Got Talent Live" stage show in Las Vegas.

"America's Got Talent" last summer averaged a 2.7 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 with its Tuesday and Wednesday editions and 11.6 million viewers overall, according to "live plus seven day" results from Nielsen Media Research. The Wednesday and Tuesday telecasts finished #1 and 2 among summer shows in total viewers, marking the ninth time in nine years "Talent" has ranked #1 among summer series in total viewers.

The Futon Critic
Zap2it
TV Line

posted 3/9/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Fine Print"

  • Kai Hibberd's tell-all fetching an all-out bidding war (New York Daily News)
     
  • Jessie Nizewitz's lawsuit is tossed. Lesson learned: if you're going on a reality show, read the contract from start to finish. Then read it again (Deadline)
     
  • Sam Bailey goes from "X Factor" to "Family Fortunes". We gon' play, Vernon! (Leicester Mercury)
     
  • Regis Philbin plays Foxwoods (Hartford Courant)

posted 3/9/15

Thursday: Breaking Allegiance
CBS Wins Totals, Ties Demos with ABC
From The Futon Critic

CBS (10.900 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T1) was the most-watched network on Thursday with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (17.877 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.7, #1), "The Odd Couple" (12.474 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.0, #T2), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (10.475 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T4), "Mom" (9.545 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #6) and "Elementary" (7.516 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #10).

ABC (8.690 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T1) however shared in the top demo honors with new episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" (8.081 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T4), "Scandal" (9.569 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.0, #T2) and the premiere of "American Crime" (8.418 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.0, #8).

Next up was FOX (6.632 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) with fresh installments of "American Idol" (9.336 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #7) and "Backstrom" (3.928 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #11).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.077 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up originals from "The Slap" (3.867 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12), "The Blacklist" (8.002 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.7, #9) and "Allegiance" (3.362 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12). "Allegiance" has since been canceled after five episodes.

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.704 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) and "Supernatural" (0.604 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) closed out the evening on The CW (0.654 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5).

On cable...

- Wizard Wars (Syfy): 1.008 million (0.33 A18-49)
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food) (season premiere): 1.008 million (0.26 A18-49)
- Duff till Dawn (Food) (season finale): 823,000
- Broke-A$$ Game Show (MTV): 628,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 442,000
- Match Made in Heaven (WE): 314,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Picture Show
Talpa Media USA Shopping New Quiz Show
From Deadline

John de Mol’s Talpa Media is bringing to the U.S. another reality series after a successful initial run in his native the Netherlands. The Big Picture, which will be taken out shortly by Talpa Media USA, is an interactive studio-based game show. In the 12-round trivia contest, a player has to identify a succession of pictures that appear on a large screen, with the cash prize going up to $1 million for the 12th photo. Viewers at home will be able to play along in real time via app, which allows for up to three of them to share a portion of the in-studio contestants’ winnings in each hourlong episode. There is a scenario where a viewer at home could win $1 million.

Since he launched Talpa a decade ago, Big Brother creator de Mol has brought two reality formats to the U.S. after successful debuts in Holland, singing competition The Voice, which had aired on RTL4 locally, and social experiment Utopia, which had been carried by the smaller, Talpa-co-owned channel SBS 6. The Voice has been a hit for NBC, while Fox’s Utopia adaptation did not work.

Like The Voice, The Big Picture airs on RTL4 where it is wrapping its 6-episode first season and already has been renewed for a second cycle. The four episodes to date have drawn over 1 million viewers each, up more than +100% from the time slot average. Talpa acquired the format for The Big Picture from Israeli company A-Cappella at the MIP TV market last year. (watch A-Capella’s promo below) De Mol and his team made some tweaks before setting up the series at RTL4. The modified format is expected to be pitched in multiple territories once the series concludes its first season in Holland.

Deadline

posted 3/6/15


HARVE BENNETT: 1930-2015
TV Superscribe Was a "Quiz Kid" on the Radio
From Deadline

Harve Bennett, the producer who helped guide four of Paramount’s Star Trek movies in the 1980s and produced TV series Mod Squad, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, died Wednesday in Oregon. He was 84 and becomes the latest key figure lost from the seminal Star Trek franchise following Leonard Nimoy’s death February 27.

After executive stints at ABC and CBS and co-creating Mod Squad, Bennett had a hand in creating or producing some of the most iconic sci-fi series on TV including serving as exec producer on both The Six Million Dollar Man (he voiced the opening credits, according to Bennett in a 2008 Archive of American Television interview) and The Bionic Woman.

Bennett then moved to Columbia Pictures Television as a TV producer where his shows included Salvage 1, the miniseries The Jesse Owens Story and A Woman Called Golda, which was Ingrid Bergman’s final role and which co-starred Nimoy. Such creds led Bennett to the Star Trek movie franchise, eventually teaming with director Nicholas Meyer on the second movie in the series, Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan — which featured the death of Nimoy’s character Spock — after cramming for the writing gig by watching every episode of the TV series. The pic’s success sealed the franchise’s place and led to Bennett producing Star Treks III, IV and V.

“He was a remarkable man and he was unpretentious and self-effacing. I don’t think there would be a Star Trek franchise without him. He rescued it. He’s endangered of being lost in the shuffle, but he’s the guy who figured it out,” said Meyer, who worked with Bennett on Wrath Of Khan and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

“He watched all 79 of those original episodes and he was the one who plucked out Khan,” added Meyer. The fact that actor Ricardo Montalban, who originated the role of Khan, was in the spotlight at the time with ABC’s Fantasy Island also further fueled the return of the character to the Star Trek canon.

1986’s The Voyage Home became the first Star Trek film to surpass the century mark at the domestic box office with $109.7M. The film centered around the Star Trek crew time-traveling to 20th century America to retrieve humpback whales which could communicate with an alien probe. The film resonated with its environmentalism themes. Bennett and Nimoy, who served as director and co-screenwriter on the film, hatched the story. Meyer and Peter Krikes also worked on the script.

The Chicago-born Bennett appeared frequently as a child on the radio game show Quiz Kids, and after graduating from UCLA’s film school he served in the Army in the Korean War. After he got out he became one of CBS’ youngest executives. Eventually moving to ABC, he shifted into programming, becoming VP Daytime Programming and eventually VP Programming under Leonard Goldberg.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

photo courtesy Memory Alpha

posted 3/6/15

Wednesday: Live vs. Live to Tape
"The Voice" Ties "Idol" with Clip Show
From the Futon Critic

FOX (11.468 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.9, #1) was still the network to beat on Wednesday with new episodes of "American Idol" (8.751 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T7) and "Empire" (14.185 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.7, #1).

ABC (7.180 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then took home the silver with its combination of "The Middle" (8.304 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.2, #6), "The Goldbergs" (7.897 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.5, #3), "Modern Family" (9.568 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.4, #2), "Black-ish" (6.748 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T4) and "Nashville" (5.281 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #11).

Next up was CBS (10.205 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and fresh installments from "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.869 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T4), "Criminal Minds" (10.450 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #9) and the premiere of "CSI: Cyber" (10.296 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #10).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.248 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) served up a special two-hour "The Voice" (8.441 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T7) and a new "Chicago PD" (4.861 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12).

And finally, a repeat "Arrow" (1.437 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) and a new "The 100" (1.475 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #13) closed out the evening on The CW (1.456 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

On cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 529,000
- Baggage on the Road (GSN, 10p): 414,000
- Baggage on the Road (GSN, 10:30p): 361,000
- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 227,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "2003"

  • Kelly Clarkson cops to the worst-kept secret ever... (People)
     
  • Cat Deeley gets the four-finger yellow-skin treatment (TV Line)
     
  • Les Moonves & Julie Chen's bill for the USC building that will bear their name? Some say it's a steal (Jim Romenesko)

posted 3/6/15

Sweeps Was Kind of a Big "Deal"
CBS Breaks Records
From TV by the Numbers

CBS’ “The Talk” and “Let’s Make a Deal” continue showing ratings growth based on the just completed 2015 February Sweeps period. According to Nielsen Media Research data, both programs delivered their largest audiences ever during a February Sweep. The period also happened to be a good one for the network’s “The Bold and the Beautiful,” which attracted its largest February Sweeps audience since 2008. The daytime drama series averaged 3.97 million viewers, up 2% compared to last year’s February Sweep.

“Let’s Make a Deal,” which is broken into two parts, averaged 3.39 million for “Deal 1″ and 3.92 million for “Deal 2.” The game show was up 5% (vs. 3.23 million) compared to last February, while “Deal 2″ was up 3%.

“The Talk” averaged 2.96 million viewers, up 1% compared to last February Sweep when it averaged a then record 2.94 million viewers.

TV by the Numbers
Soap Opera Network

posted 3/5/15

Tuesday: Voices Carry
"The Voice" Wrests Tuesday Crown for NBC
From the Futon Critic

NBC (13.274 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.4, #1) dominated the competition on Tuesday with a two-hour "The Voice" (15.343 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.1, #1) and a new "Chicago Fire" (9.137 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2).

ABC (4.614 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.983 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3), "Repeat After Me" (4.041 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7), the returning "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.464 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Forever" (4.365 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Next up was FOX (3.202 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) and the season premiere of "Hell's Kitchen" (4.082 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5) followed by new episodes of "New Girl" (2.498 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #6) and "The Mindy Project" (2.145 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Meanwhile, CBS (8.354 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) offered up its all-repeat lineup of "NCIS" (10.747 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7), "NCIS: New Orleans" (8.796 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and "Person of Interest" (5.519 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #12).

And finally, repeats of "The Flash" (1.490 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #13) and "Supernatural" (0.866 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (1.178 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

On cable...

- Chopped (Food): 1.351 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.153 million
- The Chase (GSN): 613,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 363,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers
TV Media Insights

posted 3/5/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "This. Is. The Rematch."

  • Barker. Sandler. This time... It's charitable (Zap2it)
     
  • Noel Edmonds plays his own game on a new app (Gizmodo)
     
  • BURIED LEAD?: Melissa Peterman to host "Dreamer Dinner" in LA this weekend (Brroadway World)
     
  • SPOILER ALERT: the Mystery Star on this upcoming DWTS is... or is not, source considering...  (Us Magazine)
     
  • Jeff Probst. Nudity. You've already clicked the link, haven't you? (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • The Great White Way will light up for Polly Bergen March 26 (Broadway World)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Wheel Disney Week is off to a rip-roaring start... (Perez Hilton)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Food Fighters heads to Atlanta (WXIA Atlanta),
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Marc Price (Naples News)

posted 3/5/15

Upfronts: Fuse/NUVOtv
In Development: Dance Competition from Wilmer Valderrama
From TV by the Numbers

Fuse Media, Inc., parent company of Fuse and NUVOtv networks, announced today that Fuse (www.fuse.tv) is kicking off the upfront season with a line-up of new and returning original programming that will roll out throughout 2015, leading up to the launch of a new look and feel this fall. Designed to appeal to New Young Americans (NYAs) – the fast-growing, culturally-diverse audience defined as influencers and tastemakers, ages 18-34 – this programming will extend beyond music to reflect a new attitude that is sexy, edgy, relevant and honest.

Among the new programming premiering throughout the next few months is White Guy Talk Show, a daily pop culture talk show featuring a diverse cast and writing staff. Debuting this week, the show is hosted by comedians Grace Parra and Saurin Choksi and executive produced by Brian McCann (Conan). White Guy Talk Show celebrates music, movies, TV and all things pop culture from a point of view that's 100% new to the talk show world and will air weeknights at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Also green-lit for 2015 is SKEE TV, a new series starring award-winning DJ, producer, digital media pioneer and entrepreneur DJ SKEE. Premiering on April 9 at 11 p.m. ET/PT, SKEE TV will air weekly on Thursdays and provide insider access into the world of music with interviews and live performances as well as cover the trends in tech, culture and style.

Returning to the Fuse line-up is Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, the best-rated original series in Fuse history, which Slate recently called “genuinely charming” and “the sweetest 22 minutes on television.” The third season, bringing viewers into the New Orleans underground hip hop scene, debuted on February 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT as the most watched original series premiere in the 12-year-history of Fuse. Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce airs new episodes weekly on Wednesdays, and season four is premiering this fall.

Also this fall, and to further target the New Young American audience, Fuse Media, Inc. will launch a new network, named FM. The cable and digital media brand will deliver an innovative programming line-up with music at its core and a focus on up-and-coming, young, diverse talent. Linear and digital programming plans for FM will be announced at a later date.

“From the biggest events and festivals that make the music landscape so compelling, to unique looks at artists and performers pushing boundaries in comedy, fashion, digital and beyond, Fuse will bring New Young Americans the content that fuels their passion, and converts fans into influencers,” said Fuse Media, Inc. President Bill Hilary. “Our new line-up reflects the interests and diversity of a Millennial generation who set their own trends and whose tastes know no cultural boundaries."

Additionally, Fuse is announcing several series in development, including an unscripted show from Jennifer Lopez’ Nuyorican Productions and a scripted, animated comedy from the mind of comedian Gabriel Iglesias. Meanwhile, NUVOtv’s new 2015 programming will include a new season of docu-series boxing competition Knockout along with several comedy specials. Full descriptions can be found below.

“Fuse is well positioned for growth heading into the upfront season, with a clear vision that will take the brand to new heights in 2015/16,” said Fuse Media, Inc. EVP, Advertising Sales & Integrated Marketing Jason Miller. “With our expanded content lineup, influential talent and must see live events, Fuse is providing more Touch points than ever before to engage and connect with this generation of New Young Americans everywhere they are. We look forward to drilling deeper into this vision as we begin meetings with the top agencies and clients in the coming weeks.”

FUSE 2015-16 SLATE

In development:

· Hey! It’s Fluffy (new series) – A scripted series from the mind of comedian Gabriel Iglesias, the hottest and fluffiest Latino comic touring the world today. Take a stroll down memory lane and a walk on the wild side as this irreverent animated comedy goes way back to the young adventures of this larger than life comic. Produced by The Fluffy Shop (The Fluffy Movie).
· King of the Floor (new series) – Hosted and executive produced by Wilmer Valderrama, King of the Floor is a competition series that seeks to find the best street dancer in America. Produced by Electus Productions (Marco Polo, Jane the Virgin).

· Rell Roast Battle (new series) – With mentoring from The Roast master General Jeffrey Ross, two comics go head to head for three rounds in a boxing-style no holds barred battle of insults. The show is hosted by Rell Battle. Produced by 3 Arts Entertainment.

NUVOTV 2015 SLATE

Additionally, the NUVOtv brand will continue to premiere new original programming throughout most of 2015, before being phased out this fall. This programming will include:

· Knockout (Season 2) – In this returning weekly competition docu-series like no other, rookie boxers will come to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and train with legends of the ring. Floyd Mayweather Sr. and “Sugar” Shane Mosley will test their limits and show them what it takes to be a champion. Premieres Wednesday, June 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Produced by Steve Marcano Holdings. Directed by Benny Boom (BET’s Music Video Director of the Year).

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/4/15

Syndies: Week 22
Results for the Week Ending February 22
From B&C

Six of the top eight talk shows saw ratings spikes and several others clocked double-digit, year-over-year improvement in the session ending Feb. 22, which marked the third full week of the February sweep.

Among the freshman field, all of which have been greenlit for year two, CTD’s Hot Bench was tops in households for the 23rd consecutive week with a steady 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was second with a 7% rally to a new season-high 1.5. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira rose 9% to a 1.2, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat at a 1.2.

Among women 25-54, however, The Real was first with an unchanged 1.0 demo rating followed by Celebrity Name Game, which was up 13% to a new high 0.9 and Hot Bench at a steady 0.8. Meredith ballooned 40% in the key demo to a 0.7, matching its season high. Trifecta’s Judge Faith, meanwhile, fell 11% to a 0.8 household rating and lost 20% to a 0.4 in the demo.

In game show action, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune inched up 3% to a 7.6. CTD’s Jeopardy! edged ahead 4% to a 7.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud spurted 11% to a 7.2, matching its series high set three weeks ago. While Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, devalued 5% to a 1.8.

B&C
TV NewsCheck
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/4/15

Can Do
NBC Greenlights Israeli Format
From People

Can Cheryl Burke do that? And what about Joe Jonas, or maybe Ciara?

That's the question NBC will ask as part of its new variety show tentatively eyed for summer called I Can Do That! The network announced today that it has ordered six hour-long episodes of a new comedy variety series that will pit six celebrities against one another while they perform skills that they never knew they had.

Marlon Wayans will host the weekly competition, on which the former Dancing with the Stars pro Burke will join Jonas and Ciara, as well as Nicole Scherzinger, stand-up comedian Jeff Dye and actor Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).

I Can Do That! was developed by an Israeli production company and is currently in production in more than 15 countries, including Italy, Brazil, Spain, Finland and Mexico.

People
TBI Vision

posted 3/4/15

Brain Vision
CBBC Reups "Ultimate Brain" for Season 3
From Kidscreen

UK pubcaster CBBC has ordered another two seasons of London-based Zig Zag Productions’ game show format Ultimate Brain.

Zig Zag is on deck to produce a second and third season, each 10 x half hours. The quiz show, which focuses on science, is filmed in a giant brain-shaped studio set.

Originally a popular family game show on Japan’s NTV, the kid-focused remake sees Dr. Brain pit children and CBBC celebrities against one another in a series of science-based tasks designed to find the Ultimate Brain.

Having acquired the UK rights for the format directly from NTV, Zig Zag also holds the US and Canadian rights to remake Ultimate Brain in those territories.

The deal is the prodco’s latest commission in the kids space, having previously sold 15 episodes of slow-motion, physical game show Split/Second to Nickelodeon.

Commissioned by CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor, Ultimate Brain is executive produced by Danny Fenton and Peter Wyles for Zig Zag and Hugh Lawton for CBBC.

Kidscreen
Prolific North
World Screen
C21 Media

posted 3/4/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Quite Interesting Show"

  • Alan Davies plays the Sands Centre in Cumbria (In Cumbria)
     
  • Bob Barker is looking to stop another Seattle-based team (of elephants) from relocating to Oklahoma City (NewsOK)
     
  • Drew Carey opposes medical marijuana "monopoly" in Ohio (Columbus Dispatch)
     
  • Craig Ferguson adds another show in Philadelphia (Broadway World)
     
  • Food Network's getting into the shark tank with "Food Fortunes" March 9 (AM New York)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Family Cookoff (Reality Wanted)
     
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: ABC to devote the entire night to the countdown to the next "Bachelor" breakup March 9 (TV by the Numbers),
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Colby Burnett (CarterMatt.com)

posted 3/3/15

Upfronts: Spike
New Logo, New Shows, New Approach
From various sources

Spike TV’s logo and tagline have gotten a makeover. The network unveiled the new network identifiers today at its upfront in New York. The network says its new tagline “Spike: The Ones to Watch” reflects Spike’s strategic shift to a general entertainment network, “delivering compelling original entertainment with an edge and a distinctive point of view,” adding, “It speaks to the network’s bold personalities and a brand pushing the boundaries of the unexpected.”

Among the new offerings...

SWEAT, INC. Jillian Michaels, one of the nation's leading health and wellness experts, is partnering with Spike TV to find the next big fitness craze in the non-scripted original series, "Sweat Inc." Over the last decade, the fitness industry has exploded with over 30,000 fitness clubs around the country and over 58 million memberships. Fitness enthusiasts are always on the lookout for next big thing. Whoever creates the next Soul Cycle(R), Zumba(R), or Crossfit(R) could be sitting on new billion dollar idea. In the new Spike reality-competition series "Sweat Inc," twelve aspiring fitness entrepreneurs compete to prove they've developed the next groundbreaking exercise program. Michaels serves as host and judge for "Sweat Inc," utilizing her vast knowledge of the fitness industry along with her keen business sense, in deciding which workout program might very well be the next new phenomenon.

LIP SYNC BATTLE: Spike TV has green lit an additional eight episodes of the highly-anticipated new, original series, "Lip Sync Battle." The series is based on the cultural phenomenon of lip sync battling seen by millions on television and online. Featured performers for the new eight episodes include Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Queen Latifah, Justin Bieber, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Mike Tyson, and Terry Crews.

Deadline
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/3/15

Monday: ... Um, Okay, So That Happened...
HGTV Finale Breaks Records with CONTROVERSY!!!
From various sources

There’s no doubt that the first season finale of Ellen DeGeneres’s reality competition show was bizarre. But the questions it raises are even stranger, along with the weird and frustrating way the network chose to handle a controversial situation.

At first, things were going merrily along on “Ellen’s Design Challenge” finale Monday night, a six-week series that featured furniture designers competing for $100,000 and a spread in HGTV Magazine. Finalists Katie Stout (a 26-year-old from Brooklyn) and Tim McClellan (a 44-year-old from Colorado) presented their respective final table designs to the judges, who were impressed by Stout’s execution and McClellan’s technical skill.

After some debate, they declared McClellan the winner. Hugs everywhere as confetti rained down. “My life just changed even beyond what I can imagine,” said McClellan, sounding emotional.

Then, the screen went dark with the message “ONE WEEK LATER.” A voiceover narrator jumped into explain.

“After the finale, it was discovered there was an existing piece of furniture designed by European designer Simon Schacht that resembles Tim’s,” the narrator said. “That led to the conclusion that Tim did not fulfill the requirement of the final challenge, which was to create an original piece.”

The narrator continued, a bit mischievously: “Unfortunate for Tim, but good news for someone else!”

Cut to Stout, on set of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” She thought she was there to do an interview with a journalist about the show, but then DeGeneres appeared. And she had some good news! McClellan was disqualified, and she was a winner! After making sure this wasn’t a prank, Stout was thrilled. Her brother and boyfriend appeared from backstage, and more hugs. More confetti rained down. End of show.

The first season of Ellen's Design Challenge now ranks as one of the highest-rated series in HGTV history. The finale on Monday, March 2, which was the highest-rated show of the night on HGTV, averaged a .86 P25-54 rating -- making HGTV a top 10 rated cable network in primetime among viewers P25-54. Averaging a .83 P25-54 rating this season, the six-episode furniture design competition grew 48% versus the prior 13 week average. Since its premiere on Monday, January 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Ellen's Design Challenge consistentlyranked as a top 10-rated cable program for the Monday 9P-10P time period among P25-54.

NBC (11.633 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.0, #1) was the evening's top draw thanks to week two of "The Voice" (14.280 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.8, #1) and "The Night Shift" (6.338 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

ABC (6.781 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then claimed the silver with a new "The Bachelor" (8.057 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and a rebroadcast of "Secrets & Lies" (4.231 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was FOX (5.421 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with a new "Gotham" (6.054 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4) and the return of "The Following" (4.789 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6).

Meanwhile, CBS (7.834 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.613 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5) followed by a new "Mike & Molly" (9.466 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) and second runs of "Scorpion" (7.465 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (6.999 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9).

And finally, repeats of "The Originals" (0.763 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.603 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12) on The CW (0.683 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the night.

Elsewhere on cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 352,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo) (premiere): 348,000

Washington Post
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/3/15

Weekend: It's Funny After The End
CBS Takes Totals, Fox Takes Demo
From the Futon Critic

FOX (4.078 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) pulled into the top demo spot on Sunday with its mix of a "The Simpsons" (2.511 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14) repeat followed by new episodes of "Bob's Burgers" (2.979 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9), "The Simpsons" (3.973 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (3.635 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), the premiere of "The Last Man on Earth" (5.702 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1) and a second "The Last Man on Earth" (5.667 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1).

ABC (5.705 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with fresh installments from "America's Funniest Home Videos" (4.379 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Once Upon a Time" (6.552 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) followed by the launch of "Secrets & Lies" (5.829 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7) and a second hour of "Secrets & Lies" (6.062 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7).

Next up was CBS (10.362 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) with its lineup of "60 Minutes" (13.310 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6), "Madam Secretary" (11.417 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), "The Good Wife" (8.917 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13) and the debut of "Battle Creek" (7.805 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14).

And finally, an encore of "The Voice" (5.115 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #12) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (3.851 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #16) closed out the evening on NBC (4.483 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4).

On cable...

- Nuestra Belleza Latina (Univision): 3.2 million
- All-Star Academy (Food) (premiere): 1.661 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.631 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.489 million
- Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge (CMT): 542,000

On Friday...

- The Amazing Race (CBS): 6.148 million
- Shark Tank (ABC) (R): 5.912 million
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CW) (R, 9p): 881,000
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CW) (R, 9:30p): 862,000
- King of the Nerds (TBS): 856,000

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/3/15

Wheel Plays "Secret Santa"
The Rewards of the CMN Partnership
From Sony PR

It may be March, but Wheel of Fortune is playing “Secret Santa” to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. For the first time in Wheel of Fortune’s 32 seasons, the popular game show produced two weeks of shows that directly benefitted one charity through its fourth annual “Secret Santa Sweepstakes.”

During the 10-day sweepstakes last winter, more than 10 million viewers tuned in nightly and a total of $435,655 will be distributed among a group of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.

Each weeknight, from Dec. 8-19, Wheel of Fortune Wheel Watchers Club members watched to see if their Special Prize Identification Number (SPIN) ID was revealed, making that viewer the winner of the same prizes as the show’s in-studio contestants. Whatever the viewer won has been matched in cash and a minimum of $10,000 is being donated to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of that winner’s choice.

“What an amazing opportunity for Wheel of Fortune’s viewers to support kids in their communities,” said Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO John Lauck. “Every dollar from these donations will allow our hospitals to continue providing critical treatments and services for sick and injured kids in their area. We feel so fortunate to have been a part of this program.”

Pat Sajak will visit Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Md. to present a check in the amount of $20,000. Vanna White will be on hand to present a check in the amount of $18,300 to Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital in Charleston, S.C.

Other hospitals receiving donations are:
· Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Ill. - $10,000
· Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Orlando, Fla. - $40,750
· Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Detroit, Mich. - $71,200
· Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. - $10,000
· Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. - $14,150
· Children’s Hospital Foundation, Oklahoma City, Okla. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, Ga. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of Richmond VCU, Richmond, Va. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Norfolk, Va. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis. - $25,450
· Children’s National Health System, Washington, D.C. - $10,000
· Children’s Specialized Hospital, New York, N.Y. - $10,900
· Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio - $10,000
· Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Conn. - $11,650
· Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, Tex. - $10,000
· Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, Maine - $18,150
· Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Minneapolis, Minn. - $28,655
· Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, R.I. - $10,000
· Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich. - $10,000
· St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, Las Vegas, Nev. - $10,000
· Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Tex. - $10,000
· University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. - $10,000
· Valley Children’s Hospital, Fresno, Calif. - $10,000
· West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, Morgantown, W.Va. - $14,500
· Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. - $11,950

posted 3/3/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Just Duet"

  • Kelly Clarkson plays History of Duets with Jimmy Fallon. No, not the failed ABC series from a few years back (Us Magazine)
     
  • Jane Lynch is an angel from Hell... in a CBS pilot (Variety)
     
  • Carrie Underwood births a half-Canadian half-Okie baby Idol. Welcome Isaiah Michael Fisher (People)
     
  • Looking for the Daily Double? Check out the $800 or the $1600 clue (Vox)
     
  • Food Network's getting into the shark tank with "Food Fortunes" March 9 (AM New York)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with a former "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), a present "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), and Nathan Odom... a guy who's probably watched "Family Feud" in between winning "MasterChef Junior" and spending his cash money (TV Insider)

posted 3/3/15

Daytime Emmys Pop Back on TV
Catch Them on Pop April 26
From the Hollywood Reporter

After a one year exile to digital-only carriage, the Daytime Emmy Awards are returning to television Sunday April 26 as part of a new two-year deal with the recently re-branded Pop cable channel (formerly the TV Guide Network).

Bob Mauro, who has been president of the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences since November, announced the agreement Monday along with Brad Schwartz, who became president of Pop on Feb. 23.

“We have this opportunity to bring back its glory,” said Mauro, “and bring it back to television and have fun with it and really champion it.”

“In some ways we’ve got to save the Daytime Emmys,” added Schwartz, “reinvent it. Even if you don’t watch daytime TV, you’re going to love this show.”

The two-hour show which honors programs including soap operas, talk shows, game shows, morning news programs and children’s programming will air live nationwide (8 pm EST and 5 pm PST).

This will be the 42nd edition of the Daytime Emmys and the 24th year in primetime (it was on in daytime before that). In an earlier era when there were three major networks and more than a dozen daytime dramas, the awards program could pull seven million viewers. In recent years, with only four daytime dramas still on the air, the show on The CW fell to under three million and then on HLN, to under one million viewers.

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Insider
The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

A Scandal in the Making
GSN Plots Another Celebrity "Chase" March 10
From the Futon Critic

Stars from the hit ABC drama series SCANDAL will be featured in a special winter finale of GSN's Emmy(R)-nominated THE CHASE, airing Tuesday, March 10 at 8:00pm ET/PT. Actors Joe Morton, Kate Burton and Brian Letscher will face-off against British trivia master Mark Labbett (aka "The Beast") in the ultimate trivia challenge, attempting to raise money for their respective charities.

Hosted by Brooke Burns, THE CHASE is one of GSN's most popular original series, attracting more than 18 million total viewers since its premiere in August 2013. The season four premiere on January 27 saw its highest rating ever for a premiere. Throughout its season three run, the series posted impressive ratings growth among P18-49 (+52%), P25-54 (+56%), W25-54 (+36%), W18-49 (+30%), with total viewership up 37%, vs. GSN's year-to-date time period average.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

Altered Beast
Golf Channel Signs Up for New Series, Kristen Kenney to Host
From the Futon Critic

Golf Channel announced today a new reality competition series, Altered Course, currently in production that combines golf, speed, fitness, teamwork and decision-making as teams navigate re-imagined and extreme golf holes in excess of 700 yards, traversing the natural obstacles and challenging terrain as fast as possible.

"Athleticism and fitness have taken on a much greater emphasis in golf in recent years, and as a result we are seeing more athletes coming up in the ranks of men's and women's golf," said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of programming development and original productions. "Altered Course is taking this trend to a whole new level, rewarding teams that are the most physically fit and play the best golf. The terrain and re-imagined golf holes will test their golf skills and challenge them both mentally and physically. Pace of play will not be an issue on Altered Course."

The tournament-style competition series will feature eight two-person teams racing against the clock as they take on the twists and turns of these extreme golf holes - one Altered Course hole can incorporate upwards of three traditional golf holes - in an alternate-shot or scramble format. Teams will be scored on both shots taken as well as time, with weekly eliminations leaving one team left standing as the champion of Altered Course. To capture the action of this innovative format, Golf Channel will utilize Sony Action cameras and aerial footage to track the teams' progress on each challenge, providing rarely-seen golf course camera angles.

Altered Course's inaugural season will take place in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Filming will commence at the all-new Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort, with the competition staged at two of Montego Bay's premier courses, White Witch and Cinnamon Hill. Kristen Kenney, pit reporter for the Red Bull Global RallyCross series on NBC and NBCSN, has been tabbed to host the inaugural season. Altered Course Montego Bay presented by Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva will premiere in summer, 2015.

For the series inaugural season, additional sponsors include Skechers GO GOLF as the official footwear provider, MusclePharm as the official nutritional supplement and Bushnell as the official range finder.

Follow Altered Course on Twitter @GCAlteredCourse

Become a fan of Altered Course on Facebook at: GCAlteredCourse

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Cuban Shark Crisis"

  • Get ready for President Mark Cuban in "Sharknado 3" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Vanna White heads to South Carolina to hand over check to children's hospital (WLTX Columbia)
     
  • Crackle drops Newfronts for traditional upfronts in April (Tubefilter)
     
  • Jerry Springer hopes to give away baggage as host of "The Price Is Right Live!" March 6 & 7 in Midland (Midland Daily News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with a former "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), a present "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), and Nathan Odom... a guy who's probably watched "Family Feud" in between winning "MasterChef Junior" and spending his cash money (TV Insider)

posted 3/2/15


LEONARD NIMOY: 1931-2015
"Star Trek's" Spock Was Also a Game Show Veteran
From NBC News

Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing the emotionless, pointy-eared Spock on the "Star Trek" television series, died on Friday. He was 83.

His granddaughter, Dani, confirmed the death on Twitter. She called him "an extraordinary man." Nimoy revealed a year ago that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

As the half-human, half-alien chief science officer for the Starship Enterprise, Spock gave the world the indelible blessing "Live long and prosper" and his familiar split-fingered Vulcan salute. He was second in command to William Shatner's Captain James T. Kirk, his stoicism the perfect counter to Kirk's fiery personality.

"I loved him like a brother," Shatner said in a statement. "We will all miss his humor, his talent and his capacity to love."

Word of his death inspired expressions of respect not just from his fellow actors and from "Star Trek" fans but from NASA. A tweet from the agency read, "RIP Leonard Nimoy. So many of us at NASA were inspired by Star Trek. Boldly go..."

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future."

"I loved Spock," he said.

Nimoy's career boldly went beyond television. He was also a poet, a photographer, a director and a singer. And a decade after the series went off the air, he breathed new life into the brand by appearing in a series of blockbuster movies.

"The word extraordinary is often overused, but I think it's really appropriate for Leonard," the actor George Takei, who played Sulu on the series, told MSNBC. "He was an extraordinarily talented man, but he was also a very decent human being."

When he was not aboard the Enterprise, Nimoy was also a talented game player, counting appearances on "What's My Line?", "You Don't Say!", and a memorable turn against his costar Shatner for a week on "The $20,000 Pyramid".

Nimoy invoked his best-known line in his last tweet, posted Monday: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP."

NBC News
New York Times
Vox
TV Insider
Vulture
TV Insider
KNTV San Jose
The Daily Caller

posted 2/27/15

Challenge Accepted... for the 27th Time
MTV Renews Reality Game Show Long Runner
From the Futon Critic

MTV President of Programming Susanne Daniels announced today the renewal of "Are You The One" for a third season, "The Challenge" for season 27 and greenlit two new pilots to series: "Girl Code Live" a live weekly talk show from the popular "Code" franchise; and "Greatest Party Story Ever" a half-hour weekly that will showcase peoples' most outrageous epic tales.

MTV's 'The Challenge' returns with the most mind-blowing season yet, placing contestants in exotic locations to compete in extreme challenges that test their physical, mental and emotional strength in the hope of winning a massive cash prize.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider
The Wrap

posted 2/27/15

Thursday: Getting Away With Murder
CBS Ekes Total Win, ABC Takes the Demo
From the Futon Critic

ABC (8.472 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the demo champ on Thursday thanks to a new "Grey's Anatomy" (7.472 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5) followed by part one of the "How to Get Away with Murder" (8.673 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.7, #4) season finale and part two of the "How to Get Away with Murder" (9.272 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2) season finale.

CBS (8.740 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (16.333 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.5, #1), "The Odd Couple" (11.040 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #3), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.879 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6), the relocated "Mom" (8.155 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6) and its special "Victoria's Secret Swim Special" (4.018 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was FOX (6.516 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with fresh installments from "American Idol" (9.269 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6) and "Backstrom" (3.763 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.029 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) offered up originals from "The Slap" (3.624 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13), "The Blacklist" (7.854 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #9) and "Allegiance" (3.609 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12).

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.761 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) and "Supernatural" (0.669 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #15) on The CW (0.715 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Wizard Wars (Syfy) - 997,000
- Duff til Dawn (Food) - 849,000
- Broke A$$ Game Show (MTV) - 585,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/27/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Who Cares About the Dress?!"

posted 2/27/15

CBSummer
Big Brother Returns June 24
From the Futon Critic

CBS today announced premiere dates for its lineup of original summer programming that includes the new drama ZOO, returning event series UNDER THE DOME and EXTANT, and the summer reality hit BIG BROTHER.

ZOO, a new drama based on the #1 bestselling novel by James Patterson, will premiere Tuesday, June 30 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). In the series, a wave of violent animal attacks against humans begin taking place across the globe. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, a young renegade biologist (James Wolk) is thrust into the race to unlock the pandemic's mystery before there's no place left for people to hide.

BIG BROTHER debuts with a special two-night premiere on Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25, both at 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT. The Thursday edition, featuring the live eviction show hosted by Julie Chen, moves to its regular time period on July 2 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). The Sunday broadcast premieres June 28 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT). Last summer, all three editions of BIG BROTHER regularly won their time periods in key young demographics and ranked among the summer's top 10 programs in both adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.

UNDER THE DOME returns for its third season with a special two-hour premiere on its new night, Thursday, June 25 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). It moves to its regular time period on Thursday, July 2 (10:00-11:00 PM), following BIG BROTHER, forming a strong two-hour block of established summer hit shows. Based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, UNDER THE DOME tells the story of a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. This season, Emmy Award winner Marg Helgenberger will guest star in an extended story arc, beginning with the premiere episode, as the town's inhabitants figure out the Dome's purpose and what it wants from them. UNDER THE DOME was last summer's most-watched (11.32m) and highest-rated scripted program in adults 18-49 (2.8/09) and adults 25-54 (3.7/10).

EXTANT, a serialized mystery thriller starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry, makes its sophomore debut Wednesday, July 1 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). This season, astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) discovers she has unwittingly put the human race on a path to destruction, and that she and mysterious stranger J.B. Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) may be the only hope for survival. In its first season, EXTANT was the most-watched new scripted program of the summer, winning its Wednesday 10:00-11:00 PM time period in viewers (8.65m) and key demographics.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 2/26/15

Wednesday: Musical Youth
Fox Wins Night on "American Idol", "Empire", Holding Off CBS
From the Futon Critic

FOX (11.966 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) claimed another victory on Wednesday thanks to a new episodes of "American Idol" (10.179 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #3) and "Empire" (13.753 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.3, #1) - another series high.

ABC (6.772 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then took home a distant second with its mix of "The Middle" (7.393 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #7), "The Goldbergs" (7.459 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.5, #4), "Modern Family" (9.303 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.4, #2), "Black-ish" (6.724 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T5) and "Nashville" (4.875 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11).

Next up was CBS (7.973 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and its 90-minute season openers to "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.884 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T5) and "The Amazing Race" (6.061 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.562 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up fresh installments of "The Mysteries of Laura" (7.645 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.693 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8) and "Chicago PD" (7.347 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.866 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #13) and "The 100" (1.786 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (2.326 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5).

On cable...

- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 305,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/26/15

Take Notes, ABC...
CBS Once Again the Daytime Lineup to Beat
From TV by the Numbers

All of CBS's daytime shows posted year-to-year growth in viewers, with several delivering their biggest audiences in more than a year, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending Feb. 22.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 2 averaged 4.25 million viewers, its largest audience ever, and was up +13% in women 18-49 (0.9/06 from 0.8/06) from a year ago.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 1 averaged 3.66 million viewers, up +14% from a year ago.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1 averaged 5.71 million viewers, up +7% from last year.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 2 averaged 6.65 million viewers, a gain of +9% from the same week a year ago in both viewers and women 18-49 (1.2/08 from 1.1/07).

TV by the Numbers

posted 2/26/15

ITV Studios Going Global
Among MIPTV Offerings: "Money Where Your Mouth Is"
From World Screen

At this year's MIPTV, ITV Studios plans to present 14 new formats spanning such categories as reality, entertainment, factual entertainment, quiz shows and factual.

The company's slate is led by 10,000 BC, a Group M Entertainment/The Garden co-production that looks on as 20 men and women give up modern-day luxuries to experience what life was like during the Stone Age, and ITV Studios' Get Your Act Together, which sees celebrities master variety acts with assistance from experts in the field.

There are also Seven Days With... (Shiver), which explores the lives of celebrity couples; Bargain Battle (ITV Studios Nordic), in which two hosts compete to find the best deals; My Child, Your Child (Imago), spotlighting the different ways children are raised today; Go Mad In... (Potato), which challenges a boy band to take over a popular beach bar; Judge Rinder (ITV Studios), focused on a variety of court cases; and My Body Shock (UNITED), which looks at a country's aesthetic trends.

Additional formats include Trading Tables (ITV Studios Germany), which sees contestants try to convince others that their favorite restaurant is the best; Saved (The Garden), a factual program that tells the stories of ordinary people who have saved lives; Money Where Your Mouth Is (Believe Entertainment Group), a comedy quiz show; The Nation's Favourite (Shiver), a celebratory countdown format; I Shot (Shiver), which examines the impact of camera phones; and Darkest Taboos (Shiver), centered on families affected by crimes.

Mike Beale, ITV Studios' executive VP of global development and formats, commented: "The rich diversity of our MIPTV slate spans formats across a variety of genres, originating from our producers around the world. We are excited to be bringing to market a portfolio of formats that will suit a wide range of slots and broadcasters."

World Screen
C21 Media

posted 2/26/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Curses"

  • Is "America's Next Top Model" cursed? Our better nature says no, but this article says yes (The Daily Beast)
     
  • Vanna White to v_s_t MUSC Ch_ldr_n's H_sp_t_l (Moultrie News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Marc Summers (WGN Radio), "American Idol" EP Trish Kinane (TV Line) and Vernon Kay (The Bolton News)

posted 2/26/15


GSN Wants a Millionaire (So Freakin' Bad)
Network Picks Up Same-Week Runs Starting March 31
From the Futon Critic

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it has acquired the new nationally-syndicated game show "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB." GSN will air new episodes of the series, Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET beginning Tuesday, March 31.

Based on the iconic MONOPOLY brand, this groundbreaking show is a companion to the multi-state lottery of the same name. Hosted by popular comedian and actor Billy Gardell ("Mike & Molly"), the show is taped in front of a live studio audience comprised of lottery game winners who have won a trip to Las Vegas to participate in a taping, and who will have the chance to win $1 million.

In a unique twist for a game show, the studio audience of "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" will be divided into groups corresponding to classic MONOPOLY game tokens, such as the shoe, wheelbarrow, etc. Each player on stage will split their winnings with members of the audience who share their same game token. Every contestant chooses to keep their winnings or risk losing it all in the exciting final round where they will attempt to land on "GO" to win $1 million.

Executive produced by Scott St. John ("Celebrity Name Game," "Deal or No Deal," "America's Got Talent") and Kevin Belinkoff ("Family Game Night," "Game of Life," "Scrabble Showdown"), every episode of "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" will feature five members of the audience selected at random to play games derived from a popular MONOPOLY theme, such as Electric Company, Community Chest, etc. and will offer up to $100k in each game. "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" is taped at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (a Caesars Entertainment property) in Las Vegas.

The Futon Critic
TV Media Insights
Broadway World
Multichannel News

photo courtesy Las Vegas Sun

posted 2/25/15

Syndies: Week 21
Results for the Week Ending February 15
From B&C

None of the 15 talk shows showed gains in the week ended Feb. 15, the second full week of the February sweep.

Among the first-run rookies, all of which will return next season, CTD’s Hot Bench led the way for a 22nd straight week in households at a steady 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 8% to a 1.2.

Among women 25-54, however, The Real led the pack at a 1.0, followed by Hot Bench and Celebrity Name Game, which tied at a 0.8.

Remaining in access, the game shows were down or flat.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 7.4. CTD’s Jeopardy! also softened 5% to a 7.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud slipped 4% to a 6.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.9.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 2/25/15

Tuesday: Knope... No Win for You
"Parks & Recreation" Ends Quietly; NBC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (10.611 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 with night two of "The Voice" (13.822 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.8, #1) followed by part one of the "Parks & Recreation" (3.594 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) finale and part two of the "Parks & Recreation" (4.785 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) finale.

CBS (13.577 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "NCIS" (17.427 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.839 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "Person of Interest" (9.466 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6).

Next up was FOX (3.716 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and the season finale of "MasterChef Junior" (4.802 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #7) alongside new episodes of "New Girl" (2.905 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) and "The Mindy Project" (2.356 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.496 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up its mix of "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.786 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "Repeat After Me" (3.894 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), the season finale of "Marvel's Agents Carter" (4.003 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Forever" (4.646 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #13).

And finally, the special "TV's Hottest Commercials Countdown" (1.395 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) and a repeat "The Flash" (1.119 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (1.257 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

On cable:

- Chopped (Food): 1.304 million
- Child Genius (Lifetime) (season finale): 1.013 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.009 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes (MTV): 755,000
- The Chase (GSN): 600,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily
Twitter @SonOfTheBronx

posted 2/25/15


MIRJANA PUHAR: 1995-2015
"America's Next Top Model" Contestant Murdered
From CBS Los Angeles

A young man has been charged with killing a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”

Police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., said in a statement Wednesday that 19-year-old Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Mirjana Puhar and two other victims. The victims’ bodies were found Tuesday in a Charlotte home. Police did not reveal how they were killed.

TMZ reported Puhar was killed along with boyfriend Jonathan Alvarado, 23, and Alvarado’s roommate, Jusmar Gonzaga-Garcia, 21.

Tyra Banks and Ken Mok, co-producers of the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model,” confirmed Wednesday in a written statement that Puhar appeared on the show last year.

Police say Rangel-Hernandez is also charged in connection with a murder at a motel Sunday.

The suspect is being held at a local jail. Online records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

CNN reported Puhar was a Serbian refugee who came to the United States along with her family when she was 5. She began modeling at 12.

Puhar finished in eight place and was eliminated in episode 10. Tattooed former pro football player Keith Carlos, 26, was cycle 21’s winner, the first male to ever win the top spot.

Sources told TMZ Puhar only had been dating Alvarado for a couple of months and that they believed the murders were drug-related and that the victims knew their killer.

CBS Los Angeles
E!
TV Line
WCNC Charlotte
TMZ

photo courtesy Paddylast Inc.

posted 2/25/15


Dancing with a Surprise!
Stars Announced for 10th Anniversary Season
From the Futon Critic

The 10th anniversary celebrity cast of "Dancing with the Stars" is strapping on their ballroom shoes and getting ready for their first dance on MONDAY, MARCH 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. This 20th season's lineup of celebrity dancers includes a television icon, a party rocker, a football star and a Shark, to name a few. The reigning Mirrorball champion, Witney Carson, will be partnered with a surprise celebrity to be announced at a later date, completing the cast of twelve celebrity dance couples.

This season of "Dancing with the Stars" will be filled with surprises as we celebrate the last 10 years. The show will bring back fan favorite theme nights including Disney and Latin night and also introduce new themes, including Spring Break Night. Viewers will also have more access to the show than ever before with #DWTSAllAccess offering viewers a behind the scenes look with six live stream videos from key positions in the ballroom. Additionally, viewers will have access to the DWTS rehearsal studio like never before, with live streaming videos available throughout the week on ABC.com.

As announced this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America," the celebrities with their professional partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:

· Iraq War veteran Noah Galloway partnered with Sharna Burgess
· Entrepreneur Robert Herjavec ("Shark Tank") partnered with Kym Johnson
· Legendary singer Patti LaBelle partnered with Artem Chigvintsev
· Ace gymnast Nastia Liukin partnered with Derek Hough
· Singer-songwriter Riker Lynch (R5) partnered with Allison Holker
· Model Charlotte McKinney partnered with Keo Motsepe
· Hip-hop artist Redfoo (LMFAO) partnered with Emma Slater
· Former NFL player Michael Sam partnered with Peta Murgatroyd
· Actress Willow Shields ("The Hunger Games") partnered with Mark Ballas
· Actress & entrepreneur Suzanne Somers ("Three's Company", "Step By Step") partnered with Tony Dovolani
· Actress Rumer Willis ("Pretty Little Liars") partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Line
E!

posted 2/24/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Another Deal"

  • "Deal or No Deal" returns to the Philippines (Inquirer.net)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Broke A$$ Game Show (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Oso mudslide becomes the subject of a "Jeopardy!" clue. Social media + slow news day = OUTRAGE! (KCPQ Seattle)

posted 2/24/15

Monday: This Is A Drop!
NBC Reclaims Monday With "The Voice"
From the Futon Critic
NBC (10.903 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) pulled into the top spot on Monday thanks to the return of "The Voice" (13.612 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.486 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #9).

ABC (8.489 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) then had to settle for second place with its duo of "The Bachelor" (8.908 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.6, #2) and "Castle" (7.652 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7).

Next up was CBS (9.584 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and its combination of "2 Broke Girls" (8.457 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4), "Mike & Molly" (8.828 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #6), "Scorpion" (10.520 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.591 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8).

Meanwhile, FOX (5.406 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) served up a new "Gotham" (6.459 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) and the season finale of "Sleepy Hollow" (4.353 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10).

And finally, the "World Dog Awards" (1.267 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) on The CW (1.267 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Kids Baking Challenge (Food) (season finale): 1.864 million
- Ellen's Design Challenge (HGTV): 1.783 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 554,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/24/15

Sunday: And the Award Went to...
ABC... with a BUT.
From the Futon Critic
ABC (30.756 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 8.8, #1) was of course the top draw on Sunday with its primetime portion of "The 87th Annual Academy Awards" (34.628 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 10.3, #1). Leading off the night then were "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 1" (19.311 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 4.6, #4), "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 2" (23.589 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 6.1, #3) and "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 3" (30.007 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 8.3, #2).

A year ago, "The 86th Annual Academy Awards" delivered 40.168 million viewers and a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49 in the fast nationals.

The silver went to FOX (2.139 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #2) with its all-repeat lineup of "Bob's Burgers" (2.007 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9), "The Simpsons" (2.243 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #6), another "The Simpsons" (2.988 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #5), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (1.749 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9), "Family Guy" (1.914 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) and another "Bob's Burgers" (1.933 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Next up was CBS (4.573 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.7, #3) and an expanded "60 Minutes" (6.518 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) followed by the feature "Act of Valor" (3.406 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13).

And finally, repeats of "Dateline NBC" (5.388 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7) and the crossover episodes of "Chicago Fire" (2.330 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #16), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2.449 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #15) and "Chicago PD" (2.756 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) closed out the evening on NBC (3.231 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4).

On cable...

- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.510 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.058 million
- Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge (CMT): 593,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/24/15

One Job, Richard... You Had ONE.... JOB...
The Banker's Identity Revealed... Albeit By Accident
From the Daily Express
He is one of the most elusive personalities on television but the identity of the banker in Deal or No Deal has FINALLY been revealed.

Richard Osman, who hosts Pointless and Two Tribes for Endemol - where he got his start as a producer - confirmed many viewers' suspicions that the banker is in fact Deal Or No Deal's producer, Glenn Hugill.

The mysterious figure's identity has long been debated - with some even suggesting that there is in fact NO banker.

But Osman let slip the secret in an interview with Metro.

When asked how he comes up with ideas for new quizzes, Osman replied that his new show, BBC2's Two Tribes, "was an idea that Glenn Hugill - the Banker on Deal or No Deal - and I had been thinking about for a long time".

The former actor is responsible for calling presenter Noel Edmonds and making contestants offers at the end of each round.

Hugill previously appeared on screen as policeman Alan McKenna in Coronation Street in the mid-1990s. He also hosted two seasons of the UK version of "The Mole".

Daily Express
Leicester Mercury
Daily Mirror
Metro
AOL Money

posted 2/24/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Snow Delay"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: CW delays "Cedric's Barber Battle", "Whose Line" a week to April 17 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Alton Brown returns to Salt Lake February 27 (Salt Lake Tribute) and to "Food Network Star" June 1 (Rockford Record American)
     
  • "Ellen's Design Challenge" promises a "huge surprise" for its March 2 finale (Broadway World)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 9 times Alex has been a bully on "Jeopardy!" (MTV)
     
  • Ever wonder how "The tribe has spoken" entered the game show vernacular? Wonder no more (TV Insider)

posted 2/24/15

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