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MICKEY ROONEY: 1920-2014
Legendary Actor Paneled Several Games
From
USA Today
Mickey Rooney was the original Hardy boy.

His 200-plus film credits notwithstanding, the spry, spirited Rooney will be best remembered for playing the impetuous title character in MGM's beloved Andy Hardy movies.

Multiple news outlets reported that Rooney, 93, died on Sunday. He is survived by his eighth wife Jan, and nine children.

But most of all, he leaves behind a colorful Hollywood legacy that spanned 80 years and more than 200 films, including Boys Town and The Black Stallion. Rooney won two honorary Oscars, the first in 1938, the second in 1982. In January 2005, Rooney made headlines for the unlikeliest of reasons when the Fox network rejected a Super Bowl cold remedy commercial -- featuring Rooney's bared bottom -- for being inappropriate.

Rooney certainly knew how to put on a show. But of all the characters that Rooney inhabited — from Puck in the 1935 film production of A Midsummer Night's Dream to his Oscar-nominated turn as a preternaturally mature teen in 1943's The Human Comedy — not one could compete with or begin to overshadow Rooney himself.

Laurence Olivier called Rooney "the greatest actor of them all," yet he was the unlikeliest of stars. At 5-foot-3, Rooney was short, with pointy, elfin features and a spirited, in-your-face energy more suited to selling cars than starring in films. Yet during the Depression, when jobs were scarce and the national mood grim, audiences loved his joie de vivre and his down-home appeal.

Born Joe Yule, Jr. in a Brooklyn, N.Y., rooming house on Sept. 23, 1920, Rooney made his first stage appearance at 17 months as part of his comic father and dancer mother's vaudeville performances. Performing, Rooney told BackStage, was " in my blood. It's who I am."

In addition to a storied Hollywood career, Mickey Rooney was also a familiar face in game show panels, having guest on titles including "The Name's The Same" (where he wished to be a judge in a Miss America contest), "I've Got A Secret", "Password All-Stars", "The Celebrity Game", six appearances on "What's My Line?", "The Hollywood Squares", and "The $25,000 Pyramid".

GSNN's Jason Huhn contributed to this story.

USA Today
Variety
YouTube: Mickey Rooney on "The Name's The Same"

photo courtesy MickeyRooney.com

posted 4/6/14


JOHN PINETTE: 1954-2014
Comic Was Referee for "The Grudge Match"
From
USA Today
John Pinette, the chubby stand-up comedian who portrayed a hapless carjacking victim in the final episode of Seinfeld, has died. He was 50.

Pinette died of natural causes Saturday at a hotel in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said Sunday evening. Pinette's agent confirmed his death.

The portly Pinette was a self-deprecating presence on stage, frequently discussing his weight on stand-up specials "Show Me the Buffett," ''I'm Starvin'!" and "Still Hungry."

Pinette had been working on another stand-up project when he died, his agent, Nick Nuciforo, said.

"He should be celebrated for the amazing comedian he was," Nuciforo said.

The Boston native appeared in movies including The Punisher and had a trio of stand-up shows released on DVD but was perhaps best known as the portly carjacking victim whose plight lands the "Seinfeld" stars before a judge for failing to help under a "good Samaritan" law. Pinette also appeared in the television series Parker Lewis Can't Lose.

Pinette also appeared on state in a national tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad, the mother of the play's heroine.

The medical examiner's office said no autopsy was performed and Pinette's own physician signed off on the cause of death.

Pinette had been preparing for a stand-up tour of the U.S. and Canada, Nuciforo said.

In 1990, he was the referee of the late-night syndicated entry "The Grudge Match", hosted by Steve Albert & Jesse Ventura.

GSNN's Chico Alexander contributed to this report.

USA Today
Huffington Post
YouTube: John Pinette on "The Grudge Match"

photo courtesy JohnPinette.com

posted 4/6/14

Bruce Forsyth Leaving "Dancing"
"Before Anyone Asks, I'm Not Retiring Yet"
From
the Guardian
Sir Bruce Forsyth is stepping down as presenter of the hit BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing after a decade, signalling the winding down of an illustrious career in showbusiness that has spanned more than 70 years.

While Forsyth insisted on Friday "before anyone asks, I'm not retiring yet" – he will continue to work on pre-recorded Strictly shows for Christmas and Children In Need as well as one-off BBC specials – at 86, he is stepping back from the demands of the weekly live Strictly broadcasts.

Forsyth also plans to continue performing in theatres, a nod to his showbiz roots and the almost unique longevity of a career that began, as with other TV light entertainment stalwarts including Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howerd, in the long defunct music hall variety circuit of the 1930s.

He said it was the "right time to step down from the rigors" of hosting Strictly, the BBC's biggest entertainment hit of the past decade.

Forsyth's future on the show had been a cause of speculation for several years. He had scaled back some of his commitments, stepping down from the weekly results show and writing occasional rest weeks into his deal with the BBC.

The presenter had also talked in interviews about how he would like to spend more time abroad to avoid the cold winters in the UK. Forsyth said yesterday: "After 10 wonderful years and 11 series, I believe it is now the right time to step down from the rigors of presenting the Strictly live shows.

"I am very proud of what the show has achieved and confident it will entertain the nation for many years to come."

Bookmaker Paddy Power immediately installed Strictly dancer Anton Du Beke as the favorite to take over as host, with other contenders including Claudia Winkelman, John Barrowman, Graham Norton, Vernon Kay and Terry Wogan.

With catchphrases including "nice to see you, to see you ... nice" and "didn't they do well", Forsyth has been a fixture of primetime BBC and ITV light entertainment since hosting Sunday Night at the London Palladium in the late 1950s. Other shows he is most closely associated with include The Generation Game – for two stints on BBC1 in the 1970s and 1990s – and ITV gameshow Play Your Cards Right.

Landing the Strictly hosting job in 2004 marked something of a late career comeback for Forsyth, following a rare fallow period after he fell out with ITV and quit gameshow Bruce's Price is Right.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore described Forsyth as "one of the great showbiz legends of our time" who had contributed a "vast amount" to Strictly's success; while Mark Linsey, the BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning, said he was the "all-time master and commander" when it came to great British entertainers.

Strictly will return in the autumn for its 12th series.

The Guardian
Daily Express
Digital Spy
Irish Herald
LIST ABUSE: 9 Things About The Man They Call "Mr. Entertainment" - Radio Times


file photo

posted 4/4/14

High Eye
CBS Daytime's Ratings Up Across the Board
From
CBS Press Express
THE TALK and LET’S MAKE A DEAL both delivered their largest first quarter audiences ever with the rest of CBS’s Daytime lineup also posting some of their best ratings in the last 10 years, according to Nielsen most current ratings.

THE TALK averaged a first quarter-best audience of 2.92 million viewers, up +17% from a year ago and 1.1/06 in women 25-54, matching its best first quarter performance in the key women demographic.

LET’S MAKE A DEAL 1 averaged a best-ever first quarter audience of 3.21 million, up +12% from a year ago, while LET’S MAKE A DEAL 2 had its largest audience (3.75m, up +13%). Both editions matched quarter-highs in women 25-54 and women 18-49.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1 notched 5.42 million viewers, up from a year ago by +15% and its largest first quarter audience since 2004 while THE PRICE IS RIGHT 2 averaged 6.26 million viewers, up +12% with its largest audience since 2005. Both editions notched their best women 25-54 ratings since 2010.

Both of CBS’s daytime dramas posted their largest audiences since first quarter 2008, with THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS averaging 5.51 million viewers, up +11% from last year and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL averaging 4.02m, up + 10%.

Overall, CBS Daytime had its most-watched first quarter (4.41m) since 2005, up +13% over last year's comparable quarter.

(C-Note: for tracking purposes, both halves of both "The Price Is Right" and "Let's Make a Deal" are counted as separate series)

CBS Press Express

posted 4/4/14

Thursday: A Clean Sweep... Almost
CBS Owns the Night, "Game Night" Up
From
the Futon Critic
CBS (10.041 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) was the top draw on Thursday with the return of "The Big Bang Theory" (17.391 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.8, #1), "The Millers" (11.431 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2), "Two and a Half Men" (9.371 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #5), "The Crazy Ones" (6.467 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6) and "Elementary" (7.793 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

ABC (6.685 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then took home the silver with the series finale of "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (3.238 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T14) followed by new episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.978 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.6, #4) and "Scandal" (8.839 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.8, #3).

Next up was FOX (5.501 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) and its mix of "Hell's Kitchen" (4.896 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8), "American Idol" (7.721 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6) and "Surviving Jack" (4.490 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10). "Hell's Kitchen" is down 6 percent from last week and 39 percent on the year (opposite "American Idol").

Meanwhile, NBC (3.154 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up originals from "Community" (2.583 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T14), "Parks & Recreation" (2.688 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12), "Hollywood Game Night" (3.092 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12) and "Parenthood" (3.734 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10). "Game Night" is up on its last new episode by 10 percent, but down 21 percent on the year (opposite the final season of "The Office").

"Under the Gunn" led the games in cable with 1.448 million for Lifetime opposite 951,000 for the season finale of Food Network's "Chopped Canada". After that came 1.003 million for "Beat Bobby Flay".

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 4/4/14

Face Time
ABC Sets Premiere for "Sing Your Face Off" for May 31; "The Quest" Pushed Back to July 31
From
the Futon Critic
ABC announced the premiere of new summer series "Sing Your Face Off," on Saturday, May 31 from 9:00-11:00 p.m. Two all-new episodes will air back-to-back in that two-hour time period each week. The show will be paired with "Bet On Your Baby," which as previously announced, will debut that same night at 8:00 p.m., making for all-original programming on Saturday nights on the network.

In addition, new premiere dates were announced for returning summer drama "Rookie Blue" on Thursday, June 19 at 9:00 p.m., ET and new alternative series "The Quest," on Thursday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m., ET (they had previously been announced as premiering July 17 and June 19, respectively).

"Sing Your Face Off" is a talent variety competition featuring celebrities who are transformed and trained to perform as a legendary musical icon. Over the course of the series, the five celebrities - Sebastian Bach/legendary rock star from the band Skid Row, Landry Fields/NBA's Toronto Raptors, Jon Lovitz/comedian, actor, singer, China Anne McClain/Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm," and Lisa Rinna/"Days of Our Lives" - will take on the identity of an iconic music performer. The celebrities could find themselves transformed into someone far older, younger or even someone of the opposite sex.

From the hours in the makeup chair to the days spent with choreographers and vocal coaches, each show will feature the complete transformation - not just physical - the celebrities will embody everything about the assigned icon - their walk, their talk, and their distinguishing mannerisms leading up to the live performance in front of the studio audience. Viewers will get the chance to see each of the celebrities portray multiple musical performers during the series -- such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Pavarotti, Pitbull, Britney Spears, and Tina Turner to name a few.

John Barrowman ("Arrow," "Torchwood") is the host. Debbie Gibson and Darrell Hammond are the primary judges, while guest judges along the way will include David Allen Grier, RuPaul, Carnie Wilson, Richard Simmons, Tom Arnold, and Carmen Electra.

Based on Endemol's global hit "Your Face Sounds Familiar," "Sing Your Face Off" is produced by Endemol USA. Georgie Hurford-Jones ("America's Got Talent," "Britain's Got Talent") is Executive Producer.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/4/14

More on "Webheads"
Jukin Media to Supply the Material
From
the Hollywood Reporter
When Webheads premieres on Nickelodeon this summer, the game show will air as many as 15 viral videos an episode as the foundation for its elimination challenges. With a 40-episode order, that means the Ryan Seacrest Productions series will need a library of at least 600 clips.

So RSP has turned to Jukin Media, a Culver City startup that has made a business out of scouring the Web for laugh-out-loud bloopers and other buzzy videos to license and distribute.

"We do clearances all the time for our shows, but given the volume, it made more sense to partner with someone like Jukin," says RSP evp production Robert Norris. "They're efficient in locating the clips, and a few hours later it's cleared and ready for use."

Jukin will help RSP source videos for Webheads, license the clips and obtain masters. It’s a process that Jukin has perfected since founder Jonathan Skogmo left his job as a producer in 2009 to start the more than 30-person company.

"We have this machine where we're constantly looking for videos," says Skogmo. "So they can focus on production while we support all their licensing needs."

Jukin has a library of more than 6,000 videos that it licenses for projects such as Pizza Hut’s Go For Greatness campaign and ESPN’s Highly Questionable talk show. It also operates a small YouTube multichannel network -- that includes channels such as Fail Army and Vine stars such as BatDad --- with more than 6 million subscribers.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 4/4/14

Buzzfeed
France's Newen Develops "Run & Buzz" for MIP
From
C21Media
French producer-distributor Newen Group is launching a new gameshow co-developed with Big Nose Productions and has picked up two formats from Eyeworks and Armoza Formats.

Described as “feel-good TV” family entertainment, Run & Buzz challenges players to run and sit on a buzzing chair before answering sets of questions. Contestants are eliminated if they don’t make it to the chair or give the wrong answers. The last one left wins a cash prize.

Newen will unveil the trailer and stage simulations of the show for buyers during MipTV.

Newen has also acquired French rights to Eyeworks format IQ Test and comic dating show Guys in Disguise from Armoza.

Run & Buzz was co-developed by the same Big Nose and Newen R&D teams that worked on gameshow Harry. Like Harry, it will be pitched simultaneously to the French and international markets.

Harry was first produced for ATV in Turkey before being picked up by France 3, which stripped the show in its late-afternoon strand and renewed it this year.

C21Media

posted 4/4/14

More on "The Link"
Warners' New Format Hits MIP
From
Worldscreen
From the Warner Bros. International Television Production catalogue, the quiz show The Link sees three teams using strategy, teamwork and quick thinking to identify the link between the answers to a range of questions.

“We know that buyers are always on the lookout for a new twist to the standard game show format,” says Andrew Zein, the senior VP of creative, format development and sales at Warner Bros. International Television Production. Zein says the show has “a simple yet addictively entertaining idea, which we are confident will travel really well internationally.”

Zein also has high hopes for the factual-entertainment format Extreme Family School, which “offers a unique new twist on the tried-and-tested parenting/coaching format.”

Also a highlight is the entertainment show Two vs. the Nation, which pits two celebrities against the country in a variety of physical and mental challenges.

Worldscreen

posted 4/4/14

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Friday Night Videos"

  • VIDEO WALL: Before Jon Hamm was one of a few "Mad Men", he was on "The Big Date" (Buzzfeed)
     
  • Wink Martindale's Tic Tac Dough Dragon goes on a T-shirt to benefit Dream Factory (Teespring)
     
  • "Dragons' Den" renewed by the CBC (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • Nick Cannon: "I'm racist" ... it's for a bit in his new album (Syracuse.com)
     
  • Cedric the Entertainer performs a song about greying hair with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
     
  • I'm a 74-time Jeopardy! champion. Ask me anything! (Huffington Post)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with the first member of the Survivor jury (TV Guide)

Posted 4/4/14

Wednesday: A Criminal Offense
CBS' One-Two of "Survivor", "Criminal Minds" Gives It the Night Over "Idol"
From
TV Line
A typically extra-twisted Matthew Gray Gubler-helmed episode of Criminal Minds this week drew 10.4 million total viewers and a 2.5 demo rating, rising three tenths from its last fresh outing to — if the numbers hold — best American Idol for the first time ever in head-to-head competition.

Opening the Eye’s night, Survivor (9.6 mil/2.2) dipped a tenth to a season low, while at 10 pm CSI (9.7 mil/1.9) also was down a tenth.

The aforementioned Idol did 8.8 mil and a 2.1, down a tenth week-to-week.

Elsewhere, "Deal With It" continues to deal the deal in for TBS with 1.392 million at 10:30.

TV Line
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 4/3/14

Pick Up, Aisle Two
Catch Season 2 of "Guy's Grocery Games" on Food May 11
From
the Futon Critic
Guy Fieri returns for the second season of the hit supermarket-themed culinary competition Guy's Grocery Games, premiering Sunday, May 11th at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network. Each episode four talented chefs compete in a number of challenges as they navigate their way through the aisles of a grocery store, adhering to "real-world" obstacles. Whether it is shopping on a budget, substituting out-of-stock ingredients or grabbing groceries at closing time, each chef has to shop, prepare, and plate three different dishes using whatever they can pull off the shelves. Ultimately, the food does the talking, as one-by-one the losing chefs "check out," by a rotating panel of judges that includes Melissa d'Arabian, Richard Blais, G. Garvin, Troy Johnson, Catherine McCord, Aarti Sequeira, among others. The last chef standing goes on a shopping spree of a lifetime worth up to $20,000!

"Guy's warm and approachable personality as well as his ability to see almost any task as fun makes him the perfect host of Grocery Games," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "With new, never-before-seen games, competitors will have their hands full - literally - in these supermarket-based challenges that are sure to have them scrambling down the aisles for a chance at $20,000."

The Futon Critic

posted 4/3/14

High Noon: Time to Get Lucky
Deals for Format Development
From
the Hollywood Reporter
High Noon Entertainment is hoping to broaden its reach in the game and competition spaces with a first-look deal with Big Brother and Celebrity Apprentice producer Michael Dietz and his company Lucky Butterfly Productions.

The pact expands High Noon's relationship with Dietz, who most recently helped develop The Line game show format for GSN and marks High Noon's first co-production deal. As part of the agreement, Dietz will create unscripted game and competition formats to be co-produced with High Noon for the U.S.

Lucky Butterfly will relocate to High Noon's Sherman Oaks office under the new deal, working with Patrick Jager, senior vp development and production, and Scott Feeley, senior vp current programming.

Dietz's production credits include Celebrity Apprentice, Stars Earn Stripes, Killer Karaoke, Minute to Win It and Big Brother. He has also created board games Life's a Pitch and the award-wining BubbleBrain.

“Michael is one of the best game and competition format creators in the business,” said Jim Berger, CEO of High Noon Entertainment. “We take great pride in our diverse slate of genres ranging from survival to dating to docu to lifestyle. We intend to make a bigger splash in the game space and Michael provides the creative muscle to get us to that goal."

The news comes as High Noon closed deals on four new series in March. Their current production slate includes Next Great Baker, Polka Kings, All-Star Celebrity Bowling and two Latin docuseries.

Hollywood Reporter
Carrick Today

posted 4/3/14

Maniac "Mansion"
NTV Takes Format to MIPTV
From
World Screen
For buyers looking for new formats, Nippon Television Network is introducing Mansion Madness.

In the format, contestants are locked up in a mansion filled with spooky rooms and must be prepared to answer quiz questions at any time. The format, which features reality, comedy and mystery elements, is “perfect for those who are looking for something more than just an audition/competition show,” according to Mikiko Nishiyama, the director of international business development at Nippon TV.

The company is also presenting the game show Pharaoh, which challenges contestants’ knowledge and physical strength. Perfect Balance!, meanwhile, is a family entertainment format. “This is a show that has a flexible budget and can be localized as a weekly or daily show, for any time of the day,” says Nishiyama.

World Screen

posted 4/3/14

More on "Fifteen to One"
Catch It on C4 This Saturday
From
Radio Times
As quiz shows go Fifteen to One is one of the toughest. Hitting screens in 1988, the show gave contestants no room for error, no time to prove they knew the Periodic Table backwards. The elusive Laura said they're name and a few minutes later they were on their way.

But, more than a decade after its final episode in 2003, Fifteen to One is winging its way back to Channel 4. And it's had an update; contestants can come back. In fact, contestants can take part in a maximum of three shows in one week. Got your composers in a muddle and out in the first round? No biggie, come back and try again.

And there’s an extra incentive to come back – there’s a £40k prize up for grabs in the Grand Final, which sees the top fifteen scorers of the series battle it out. Unfortunately that does mean the underwhelming antique vase prize has gone forever…

Following in the footsteps of quiz master William G. Stewart, beloved by university students (it's on in the afternoon after all), is broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

With three appearances apiece, Toksvig will get more of a chance to get to know the contestants. Banter with them a little. But the show isn't moving too far from Stewart's 'question, question, question' style. Stewart asked 350,000 questions in his 35 series run and it's still fast-paced quizzing at its heart. Leave the backstory at the door.

Tom Blakeson, Chief Creative Officer at Remedy Productions, said that the meeting to choose Sandi as the question master was a short one. Discussion basically surrounded whether she was available. Job done.

Toksvig says of joining the show: “I'm thrilled to be taking up the mantle of hosting Fifteen To One. It is a legendary quiz show with tough questions. I'm glad I'll be asking not answering. I'm also delighted to be back at Channel 4.”

Radio Times
Carrick Today

posted 4/3/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday"

  • VIDEO WALL: David Letterman announces that he's retiring in 2015 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Paula Deen's Uncle Bubba's... aka the restaurant that started her whole mess... goes the way of her Food Network deal (TMZ)
     
  • Al Roker recovering from shoulder surgery (TV Newser)
     
  • Rachel Frederickson looks a lot healthier now (Defamer)
     
  • There are some things that you just don't do on Jeopardy!. Tom Kavanaugh manages to pull one last night (E!)
     
  • Al Roker recovering from shoulder surgery (TV Newser)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: GSN's new office weight loss series (Reality Wanted)
     
  • This is going to make "The Taste" season 3 difficult... Nigella Lawson detained (Reason)
     
  • Marc Summers gives ComedySportz "Double Dare"... double dare we say, gravitas? (Chicago Tribune)

Posted 4/3/14

Tuesday: Spinoff Wars
CBS Wins Night on NCIS, NCIS:LA, and Not NCIS
From
The Futon Critic
CBS (14.498 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) held onto the top spot on Tuesday thanks to new episodes of "NCIS" (16.835 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3), "NCIS: Los Angeles" (15.159 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "Person of Interest" (11.501 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5).

NBC (7.635 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then had to settle for second place with originals from "The Voice" (11.788 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.0, #1), "About a Boy" (7.486 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4) and "Growing Up Fisher" (6.103 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7) plus a repeat of "Chicago Fire" (4.325 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Next up was ABC (3.863 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with the return of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (5.387 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #6), "The Goldbergs" (4.468 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "Trophy Wife" (2.920 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) alongside a repeat of "Resurrection" (2.508 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.265 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a new "Glee" (2.606 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13) plus the spring premiere of "The Mindy Project" (1.928 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and a second "The Mindy Project" (1.921 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

On cable, "Ink Master", which has been renewed for another season, led the way with 1.129 million viewers to 924,000 for Syfy's "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge's" 924,000. An hour earlier, "Face Off" bested "Bad Girls All-Star Battle Reunion", 1.111 million to 1.081 million.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 4/2/14

More on "Broken Skull Ranch"
Catch It on CMT July
From
The Futon Critic
CMT will continue to build its impressive slate of original programming this summer with two new series and three returning hits, it was announced today at the network's annual upfront presentation. CMT will launch its summer lineup with the series premieres of BROKEN SKULL RANCH, where the ultimate tough guy Steve Austin pushes eight adrenaline pumped contestants to the limits in a test of endurance and strength

"We've had a tremendous year of growth at CMT," said Jayson Dinsmore, EVP of CMT Programming and Development. "We produced the biggest show in the channel's history, established a beachhead on the highly competitive Thursday night and have more returning series than at any point ever before. With more fresh content across all platforms, we've grown our audience and increased our social footprint to over 10 million active users. And by engaging our audience on a deeper, personal level and connecting with them beyond the linear channel, we're laying the foundation for the next generation of loyal CMT viewers."

Today's announcements come at a time when CMT has posted four consecutive quarters of year-over-year ratings increases, with 22% total day growth and 31% growth in prime.* CMT just wrapped the first quarter (1Q'14) with its highest-rated prime rating since 2009. It is one of the fastest-growing networks among all of cable due in large part to its loud slate of new originals, proven returning hits and expansion into additional key nights featuring original premieres.

In this ultimate badass competition show, Steve Austin brings eight elite athletes to the Broken Skull Ranch each week to test their strength, stamina and endurance. Each episode, contestants go head-to-head until the last man standing earns the right to take on the toughest obstacle course in America, the "Skullbuster," and the chance to win $10,000. STEVE AUSTIN'S BROKEN SKULL RANCH is produced by 51 Minds Entertainment with executive producers Christian Sarabia, Rabih Gholam, Steve Austin and co-executive producer Vincent Cariati. Julia Silverton, Jayson Dinsmore and Joe Livecchi executive produce for CMT.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/2/14

MIPTV: Italy Has a BlueBox
Tons of Formats on the Way
From
World Screen
The Wine Match, a talent show for sommeliers, tops the list of new titles Italy’s BlueBox plans to bring to MIPTV.

The show has eight contestants learn the secrets of wine in order to compete with each other in service and wine/food matching challenges. The winner gets a contract as a sommelier for a first-class restaurant. Another highlight will be Rocco to the Rescue, in which a porn actor helps couples in crisis improve their sex lives.

In Trip Coach, travel agents compete to organize the perfect holiday for two clients, while Battle Dance sees two teen dance crews compete in three different challenges. The game show Fashion Race will test the ability of two shopping addicts to get a brand-new look with a limit on budget, time and number of shops.

Other titles include Artistars, Magic School, Web Reputation, Best Holiday, Non solo pappe, Insider and #mytummyway.

World Screen

posted 4/2/14

Celebrities Are Pointless
BBC One to Air Primetime Specials in  April
From
ATV Today
BBC One quiz show Pointless returns with a raft of well known faces for primetime episodes of Pointless Celebrities this April in a series of themed shows, guests from the worlds of sport, comedy, television and music will be taking on the Pointless challenge in the hopes of winning for their chosen charities.

Hosted by Alexander Armstrong and his knowledgeable yet Pointless friend Richard Osman, each question has been put to a panel of 100 people before the show and all our celebrities must do is find the lesser known answers. The Holy Grail is a Pointless answer – an answer that none of the 100 people thought of.

The celebrities’ obscure knowledge will be put to the test as they battle it out to make it through to the final round winning not only a coveted Pointless trophy, but the opportunity to walk away with the jackpot for charity if they can come up with one final Pointless answer.

The World Cup Special sees the four teams of two lined up with Sir Geoff Hurst MBE & George Cohen MBE, Peter Shilton & Steve Bull, Hope Powell & Casey Stoney and Greame Le Saux & Jonathan Pearce.

In the 1970s Special its a music team with Roy Wood from Wizzard & Rick Wakeman from Yes. While its drama with Paul Henry of soap opera Crossroads fame & Madeleine Smith of action and horror movies. For the sitcoms Sally Thomsett from Man About the House teams up with Anna Karen from On the Buses. Finally from children’s television its Ed Stewart from the BBC’s Crackerjack & Sally James from ATV’s Tiswas.

In the Medical Special the teams are Ian Bleasdale & Sunetra Sarker from Casualty, Dr Sarah Jarvis from The One Show & George Layton from the Doctor in... franchise. Ian Kelsey from soap opera Doctors & Paul Bradley from Holby City. Finally a medical comedy team with Duncan Preston & Nichola McAuliffe from Surgical Spirit.

The Crime Special features from The Bill Lisa Maxwell & Mark Wingett, crime authors Laura Wilson & Mark Billingham, Jack Ellis & Helen Fraser from Bad Girls and Donal MacIntyre & Sue Cook from Crimewatch.

A Eurovision Special sees Cheryl Baker & Mike Nolan (Bucks Fizz UK Winner 1981) battle it out with Martin Lee (Brotherhood of Man UK Winner 1976) & Sonia Evans (UK Entrant 1993) as well as Dana (IRE Winner 1970) & Johnny Logan (IRE Winner 1980, 1987, 1992) and Chris Cromby & Gemma Abbey (Jemini UK Entrant 2003)

The Comedy Special brings Tim Brooke-Taylor & John Bird together as team one, while Richard Herring & Rhona Cameron join forces as team two, Don Warrington & Ray Burdis as the third team and Dom Joly & Robert Llewellyn making the final team members.

The new run of primetime Pointless Celebrities will air on BBC One later this month.

ATV Today
Chortle

posted 4/2/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "App-Reciation"

  • CASTING COUCH: GSN's "App Wars" (Reality Wanted)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: "Game Night" with Joel Madden tomorrow (Hollywood Life)
     
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: While Craig was hosting "Price", Drew was hosting "Late Late Show". Fun was had by all (The Comic's Comic)

Posted 4/2/14

Five-Star "Family Game Night"
Hub Renews Flagship, Adds Celebrities
From
The Futon Critic
"Family Game Night" will be returning for a star-studded fifth season, it was announced today by the Hub Network. For the first time ever, the series, from Hasbro Studios, will invite celebrities and their families to show off their gaming skills in addition to families picked from the audience. Celebrity contestants will play games based on classic Hasbro brands and compete for a charity of their choice. Hosted by Daytime Emmy Award(R)-winning host Todd Newton, "Family Game Night" is a one-hour game show in which families of varying sizes are picked from the audience to compete for a chance to win cash and prizes, including a brand-new car. The flagship series has been showing families playing together since the 2010 launch of the Hub Network, champions of family fun and the only network dedicated to providing kids and their families entertainment they can watch together.

Production for season five is scheduled to begin in June with an air date slated for the summer of 2014. The series will return with the classic, action-packed life-sized Hasbro games viewers love including JENGA, BARREL OF MONKEYS, MONOPOLY Remix, YAHTZEE, BATTLESHIP, CONNECT 4 Basketball, SIMON FLASH, OPERATION, SORRY! and BOP IT! Boptagon. Every family that participates on "Family Game Night" plays in the Community Chest round. One lucky family with the combination that opens the chest advances to the final MONOPOLY Crazy Cash round and has a chance to win cash and a new car.

The Futon Critic
World Screen


"Family Game Night" will return for season 5 this summer
photo courtesy Hub/Hasbro Studios

posted 4/2/14

Syndies: March Weirdness
Results for the Week Ending February 23
From
B&C
The NCAA college men’s basketball tournament shook up syndication in the week ending March 23, as numerous games on CBS stations and on cable preempted some shows and presented stronger-than-usual competition to others.

Game shows were a mixed bag. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune inched up 1% from the prior frame to a syndication-leading 7.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! lost 8% to a 6.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud upticked 2% to a 5.3. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 2.2.

B&C
TV by the Number

posted 4/1/14

Monday: #NWBR
NETWORKS WITH BETTER RATINGS
NBC Takes Night Over Legen-wait for it-Dary Finale
From
The Futon Critic
NBC (11.852 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.2, #1) held onto the top spot on Monday thanks to new episodes of "The Voice" (12.082 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.4, #3) and "The Blacklist" (11.394 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.8, #4).

CBS (8.701 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.0, #2) then claimed the silver with big numbers from the penultimate "How I Met Your Mother" (12.774 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 5.1, #2) followed by the series finale of "How I Met Your Mother" (13.114 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 5.4, #1), the premiere of "Friends with Better Lives" (7.985 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.7, #5), a new "Mom" (7.244 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T6) and the season finale of "Intelligence" (5.545 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10).

Next up was ABC (11.592 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with an original "Dancing with the Stars" (13.685 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T6) and a repeat of "Castle" (7.407 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.933 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up fresh installments of "Bones" (5.634 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "The Following" (4.233 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9)

"Worst Cooks in America" finished season five with 1.347 million viewers, while MTV's "House of Food" failed to impress with 510,000 viewers.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 4/1/14

Weekend: One Shining Week Away
NCAA Overrun Helps CBS Sunday
From
The Futon Critic
On Friday, Whose Line Is It Anyway? scored 1.831 million viewers for the CW.

Meanwhile, CBS (11.729 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) was once again the network to beat on Sunday with its mix of "NCAA Overrun" (18.305 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.8, #1), "60 Minutes" (13.245 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #2), "The Amazing Race" (9.821 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.0, #6), "The Good Wife" (10.391 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) and "The Mentalist" (8.614 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

ABC (6.454 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "America's Funniest Home Videos" (5.940 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #13), "Once Upon a Time" (6.457 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4), "Resurrection" (8.180 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) and "Revenge" (5.240 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11).

Next up was FOX (3.478 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and its combination of "Bob's Burgers" (2.272 million viewers, #18; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T15), "American Dad" (2.777 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11), "The Simpsons" (3.936 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.9, #7), "Family Guy" (4.099 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4) and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" (3.891 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

And finally, a repeat of "The Voice" (3.036 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.7, #18) led into new episodes of "American Dream Builders" (3.276 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #17), "Believe" (4.813 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #14) and "Crisis" (4.321 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T15) on NBC (3.861 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4).

Food Network's lineup fared thusly...

- 8p - Food Court Wars - 948,000
- 9p - Chopped Tournament of Stars! - 1.527 million
- 10p - Cutthroat Kitchen - 1.452 million

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 4/1/14


Jeopardy! at 50
The Legacy of "America's Favorite Quiz Show"
From Esquire
It is the 50th anniversary of Jeopardy! this month, which is really quite a testament to many things, from Merv Griffin's developmental brilliance to our insatiable appetite for feats of strength that require no actual physical strength.

If you break down any contest to its essence, it will fall somewhere on a long spectrum that starts with Pure Luck and ends with Pure Skill. The lottery is an obvious example of Pure Luck, and it's equally obvious why stupid people are drawn to it. Moving along that spectrum, poker is a good example of a game that falls somewhere in the middle. It involves some significant element of chance, but it rewards skill more often than it rewards luck, which is why the same clutch of weird assholes keeps raking in pots. At the other extreme, devising a duel of Pure Skill isn't easy, because there are very few competitions that can be designed to eliminate luck as a factor completely, but something like the javelin throw is the best we can do: a simple and equitable contest, resistant to the influence of uncontrollable outside forces, that rewards genetics and practice and not much else.

Now, after all this time, Jeopardy! remains the closest we've come to the javelin throw of game shows. It is, in short, the game show that requires the highest degree of Pure Skill — both a vast knowledge base and very quick access to the brain's darkest reaches. Any idiot can win the slots. A very small percentage of the population could conceivably win a game of Jeopardy!

The only element of chance that has been introduced to its otherwise perfectly logic-based system is the Daily Double. There are entire articles to be written on its chaotic genius, but mostly it is Merv Griffin's concession to our collective need for life, or at least for our entertainments, not to be a true meritocracy. Even smart game shows need to give underdogs an opening, and each episode's Daily Doubles offer three tiny windows to those of us who might dream that we will someday be the lucky ones. Hit those Daily Doubles and bet big and correctly on yourself and the outcome of a lopsided game can be reversed in seconds.

Yet even with those Daily Doubles in place, we still see what happens when a truly great player enters the Jeopardy! field: He or she can roll the table, and there is no truer evidence that a competition is skill-based than the potential for dominance. The design of Jeopardy! made a machine like Ken Jennings possible. Nobody gets lucky 74 times in a row. Only skill gives you 74 times in a row, and there lies the principal reason Jeopardy! has lasted. In some strange way, a game show that provides an opportunity for its contestants to be immortal has a better chance of becoming immortal itself.

Unfortunately, the program had a checkered history. Ratings had soared in the 1960s and early 1970s, but the show had also been canceled—twice. Now the high-paying trivia contest was being updated for a new generation. And as a then-44-year-old Alex Trebek had quickly learned, Jeopardy!’s biggest hurdle was convincing station managers that a smart game show deserved premium air time. It was a hard argument to make. Programmers knew that established game shows like The Price Is Right and Family Feud could reliably draw a mass audience. But a show this cerebral was a gamble. In several major markets, including New York, Jeopardy! was relegated to a 2 a.m. time slot, a ratings wasteland. Trebek and the producers were pressured to dumb down the program and make the clues easier so viewers wouldn’t feel left out. Still, he remained optimistic.

As he and the reporter chatted, Trebek suavely flipped on his TV. At the time, Los Angeles was an outlier, airing the show at the decent hour of 3 p.m. But instead of seeing himself trot out to greet the audience, Trebek saw Jack Klugman. The local affiliate had replaced Jeopardy! with reruns of Quincy, M.E. “The fact that Quincy was a coroner seemed appropriate,” Trebek would later write. His optimism instantly disappeared.

What a difference three decades make. Trebek no longer worries about job security. But before viewers grew accustomed to shouting answers at the screen, its host and crew had to resolve one nagging question: Was Jeopardy! too smart for its own good?

In the early days of TV, game shows were a network’s secret weapons. The programs were cheap to produce, with no highly paid actors, and they attracted rabid fan bases—everyday people who could identify with the ecstasy that came from winning a new oven. According to Olaf Hoerschelmann, Ph.D., director of the school of mass communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, “One successful quiz show could get a 50 percent ratings share or more—half of all households watching.”

At the height of the genre’s popularity in the 1950s, Twenty-One and The $64,000 Question became national obsessions. City streets, Hoerschelmann says, were quiet when they aired. But with ratings and revenue at stake, producers became hungry for melodrama, so they manufactured suspense by feeding answers to contestants. It was all fun and games until 1956, when one contestant blew the whistle, and Congress stepped in to investigate.

Having broken the audience’s trust—and inviting a federal law that prohibited the fixing of game shows—the genre all but disappeared. This didn’t sit well with Merv Griffin, a television host, producer, and game show developer for NBC. On a flight to New York in 1963, Griffin was discussing his worry with his wife, Julann: How could he convince a network to take another chance on trivia?

“Why not just give them the answers to start with?” Julann mused.

She was joking, but Griffin’s eyes lit up. Back in his office, he outlined a template: 10 subject categories, each containing 10 answers of varying difficulty, with a dollar value assigned to each. Griffin invited friends over to his Central Park West apartment for run-throughs. Although he wasn’t the first to use the inverted answer format—1941’s CBS Television Quiz had a similar premise—Griffin was sure he could create something special. He called his show What’s the Question? and presented it to NBC executives.

The network was intrigued, but skittish. To convince the execs, Griffin reminded them that, unlike in decades past, there was little money at stake. Instead of tens of thousands of dollars in prize money, some clues were worth just $10. Before long, he got the green light.

As Griffin refined the format, the network wanted to ensure that the show was compelling enough. What the game needed, one executive suggested, was “more jeopardies.” “I didn’t hear another word he said,” Griffin later wrote. “All I could think of was the name: Goodbye What’s the Question?, hello Jeopardy!” After months of tinkering, he presented his show for final approval.

The game was streamlined into six categories. The rounds moved from Jeopardy, to Double Jeopardy, with harder questions worth more cash. In NBC’s boardroom, Griffin pasted envelopes onto poster board and filled them with index cards revealing the answers. He emceed the run-through himself.

“It’s too hard!” Mort Werner, the head of NBC, cried, throwing up his arms in frustration. He hadn’t gotten one question right. Werner’s assistant leaned over to him and said, “Buy it.”

Griffin composed the now-familiar think music, hired a game show novice in Arthur Fleming, and the rest, as they say, is History for $200, Alex.

Esquire
The Wire
Mashable
Mental Floss
CNN/KMOV St. Louis
Martinsville Reporter-Times
OZY
NBC News
Time

photo courtesy Sony Pictures TV

posted 4/1/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "#TheBigSwitch"

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Drew Carey & Craig Ferguson (Washington Post)
     
  • Julianne Hough returns to "Dancing" with a paddle (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • You can watch @midnight @4:15 in the afternoon with Comedy Central's new  app (CNet).
     
  • "The Chase" is on... in Turkey (Deadline)
     
  • Sandi Toksvig doesn't think a ban on all-male panel shows is a good idea (Digital Spy)
     
  • CBS inflicts Aisha Tyler's book upon itself (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted 4/1/14

"Voice" About to Get "Happy"
Pharrell Williams Inherits Cee-Lo Green's Chair for Season 7
From
The Futon Critic
Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee Pharrell Williams has signed on as a coach for the upcoming seventh season of NBC's Emmy Award-winning musical competition series "The Voice."

The rest of the coach line-up will be confirmed at a later date.

"It's been a huge year for Pharrell, with recognition for his contribution in the world of music - the 'Despicable Me' franchise soundtracks, his Oscar-nominated song 'Happy' and his Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the breakout dance hit 'Get Lucky.' His dominance in record sales in 2014, coupled with his incomparable accomplishments in the world of fashion and design, make him an irresistible addition to 'The Voice' family," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. "He has already made a considerable impact as a mentor, drawing on an impressive track record as both a producer and performer. It is a perfect fit for 'The Voice' as we evolve and reach for new heights with this franchise. It feels like we are welcoming an existing family member home."

Said executive producer Mark Burnett: "I am thrilled to have Pharrell come back to 'The Voice' family, and this time ... as a coach. Continuing in 'The Voice' tradition of having the biggest and most current music stars as coaches, Pharrell fits perfectly."

Pharrell, who was previously an adviser to team Usher on season four of "The Voice," is a multi-platinum and international singer-songwriter, producer and fashion designer. He performed the hit single "Blurred Lines" with music sensation Robin Thicke last May on "The Voice."

Pharrell's most recent album, "G I R L," was released on March 3. The critically acclaimed new disc, highlighted by the chart-topping and Oscar-nominated single "Happy," debuted at #1 in the U.K., France, Switzerland and Belgium. The album also debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S.

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 3/31/14

Ink Master Renewed
Spike Reups for Tattoo Competition
From
The Futon Critic
On the heels of another strong ratings start for the new season of "Ink Master," Spike TV has picked up a fifth season of the network's hit original series. The new season will increase to 16 one-hour episodes and will debut Fall 2014. The announcement was made today by Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV.

Season four (through 5 episodes) of "Ink Master" is once again proving to be ratings driver for the network, delivering 1.72 million viewers, and has improved the timeslot in Adults 18-49 by 81% and Adults 18-34 by 115%. The series is 49% male, demonstrating the network's ongoing plan to deliver gender-balanced original hit series.

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Original Media, the immensely creative and innovative team who produces 'Ink Master,' the defining series of tattoo culture," said Levy. "The ever-increasing ratings for the series is a testament to the huge stakes and drama in each episode with the incredibly-talented and knowledgeable hosts including Dave Navarro, Chris Nunez, and Oliver Peck."

The Futon Critic

posted 3/31/14

KATE O'MARA: 1939-2014
"Dynasty", "Doctor Who" Actress Was Mrs. Peacock on "Cluedo"
From
on the Red Carpet
British actress Kate O'Mara, who played Cassandra "Carress" Morell in the 1980s soap opera "Dynasty," has died age 74.

The British actress passed away on Sunday, March 30, in a nursing home in southern England after a short illness, her agent told the Associated Press. O'Mara is survived by her sister, actress Belinda Carroll.

"Tragic news about Kate O Mara , we had great fun on Dynasty when she played my sister Caress who Alexis insisted on calling CASSIE ! RIP,'" Joan Collins, who played Alexis Colby, O'Mara's character's sister on "Dynasty," said on Twitter.

Aside from "Dynasty," O'Mara is also known for playing The Rani in the original "Doctor Who" series during the 1980s, Kathrine Laker on the British soap opera "Triangle" and Laura Wilde on the BBC drama series "Howards' Way."

She also played Mrs. Peacock on the British game show "Cluedo," based on the popular mystery board game that is known as "Clue" in the United States, and Jackie Stone on the comedy "Absolutely Fabulous."

On the Red Carpet


Kate O'Mara
photo courtesy Rotten Tomatoes

p
osted 3/31/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The End of the Story"

Posted 3/31/14

Thursday: More Madness
CBS Wins on Basketball
From
The Futon Critic
CBS (7.791 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) was the network to beat on Thurdsay with its mix of "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Regional Semifinals - Dayton #11 vs. Stanford #10" (8.157 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T2), "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Update" (7.866 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T2) and "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Regional Semifinals - UCLA #4 vs. Florida #1" (7.206 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T2).

ABC (6.757 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (3.296 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #12), "Grey's Anatomy" (8.132 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T2) and "Scandal" (8.844 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1).

Next up was FOX (5.887 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) with new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (5.246 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7) and "American Idol" (7.942 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #6) followed by the premiere of "Surviving Jack" (5.115 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.252 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) offered up repeats of "Hollywood Game Night" (4.637 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10), another "Hollywood Game Night" (3.727 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11) and a new "Parenthood" (4.393 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

Cable games fared thusly:

- Under the Gunn (9:00) - Lifetime
1.474 million viewers, #23; 0.611 million adults 18-49 (0.48 rating), #25
- Beat Bobby Flay (10:00) - Food
1.288 million viewers, #27; 0.549 million adults 18-49 (0.43 rating), #29
- Chopped Canada (9:00) - Food
1.185 million viewers, #30; 0.582 million adults 18-49 (0.46 rating), #28

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/28/14

Happy Friday! Lightning Round
... or "Moving Out (Bradley's Song)"

  • "The Chase" moves to Elstree (Broadcast)
     
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: the rudest "Catchphrase" ever? (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Bob Barker gets a visit from the LAPD bomb squad thanks to a small package (Hollywood News Daily)
     
  • Simon Cowell wants to turn "I Can't Sing!" (aka the X Factor musical) into a film (Unreality TV)
     
  • Cedric "The Entertainer" hosts Critics Choice Television Awards (The Futon Critic)
     
  • "Dancing" plans a "Full House" reunion (E!)
     
  • Trace Adkins finally gets fired... from his marriage (The Huffington Post)
     
  • Gina Carano open to go from "Gladiator" to acting BACK to fighting (Yahoo! Sports)

Posted 3/28/14

Thursday Lightspeed Round
... or "Survivor Story"

  • WEDNESDAY: "Survivor" wins 8p, but Fox wins the night (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Carlos PenaVega tapped to host "WebHeads" for Nick (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: AGT heads to NYC, LA (TFC)
     
  • The Winner Is, I Love My Country head to Africa (C21Media)
     
  • Cedric "The Entertainer" hosts Critics Choice Television Awards (The Futon Critic)
     
  • IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Alex Trebek as a park ranger. With a gun. Your argument is invalid (YouTube)
     
  • Lara Spencer won't flip flea markets for NBC. She's staying with GMA (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • Billy on the sweet (Slate)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: the 15 hardest Wheel puzzle according to... (Slate)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with ... MK Nobilette (TV Guide), Susan Calman (STV), and Anne Hegerty (CLW83)
     
  • AND FINALLY... TWOP... today, we mourn a site (Flavorwire)

Posted 3/27/14

Fox Summer
Returning: "MasterChef", "SYTYCD"
From the Futon Critic
FOX is announcing additional spring and summer premiere dates for 2014. FOX spices up summer with new seasons of Gordon Ramsay's KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, MASTERCHEF and HOTEL HELL; the debuts of event series 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY and new drama GANG RELATED; the premieres of dating show I WANNA MARRY "HARRY" and new unscripted series RIOT; and the Season 11 premiere of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

- Slide into Tuesdays with the premiere of RIOT (formerly titled SLIDE SHOW) on May 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following the Season Finale of GLEE (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). From executive producer Steve Carell and Shine America, and hosted by Australian comedian and talk show host Rove McManus, the series features the nation's funniest celebrities and comedians facing unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show's trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22 degree angle.

- MASTERCHEF returns for an exciting fifth season on Monday, May 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). MASTERCHEF gives talented home cooks from all walks of life the chance to showcase their skills, knowledge and passion in front of the show's esteemed judges: Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.

- Reality meets romance, with a little twist, in the surprising dating show I WANNA MARRY "HARRY," premiering Tuesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). Summer love is in the air, as an average English "bloke" is given the royal treatment and an upper crust makeover before meeting 12 single American women searching for Prince Charming. Will he be able to convince them he's regal? And if he does, will they fall for the crown, or fall in love with the real him? Join "Harry" as he courts each of the ladies, taking them on romantic dates worthy of a princess and trying to make some version of their fairytales come true.

- SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE soars into its 11th season with a two-hour premiere event showcasing America's most talented dancers during the audition rounds, beginning Wednesday, May 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). Hosted by Cat Deeley, and featuring resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, 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.

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Realscreen
B&C
Entertainment Weekly


photo courtesy Fox

posted 3/26/14

NBC Summer
Returning: "AGT", "ANW"
From
TV by the Numbers
Continuing NBC’s summer dominance, which for the past three years has been led by “America’s Got Talent,” the network spreads its wings to bring a content-rich summer schedule to build off strong anchor shows that also include the emerging hit “American Ninja Warrior” and returning favorite “Last Comic Standing.”

Premieres for the new seasons of “Last Comic Standing” (Thursday, May 22, 9-11 p.m.), “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday, May 27, 8-10 p.m.) — the #1 summer reality series in adults 18-49 and total viewers — and “American Ninja Warrior” (Monday, May 26, 9-11 p.m.) were previously announced.

- "America's Got Talent" (May 27): Last summer, the eighth season of “America’s Got Talent” averaged a 3.3 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.0 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen Media Research, making “Talent” the #1 summer reality series in adults 18-49 and total viewers. It’s the eighth year in a row “Talent” has been the #1 summer reality series in total viewers. “Talent” grew year to year by 6% in total viewers (12.0 million vs. 11.4 million).

- "American Ninja Warrior" (May 26): Last summer’s NBC run of “American Ninja Warrior” averaged a 1.8 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day” results from Nielsen Media Research, winning its time period among the Big 4 networks in 18-49 with four of its last five telecasts. On Jan. 13 of this year, a special “USA vs. Japan” edition of “American Ninja Warrior” scored the show’s highest adult 18-49 rating (1.9 in “live plus same day”) since July 23, 2012 and equaled the series record in men 18-34 (1.8).

- "Last Comic Standing" (May 22): America’s most compelling comedy competition is back when NBC’s Emmy Award-nominated series “Last Comic Standing” returns with three new celebrity judges — comedy icons Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans, along with international comic sensation Russell Peters. The top 100 comics in America will vie for 20 spots. These 20 will then compete in a semifinal round and the best of the best will emerge, with the top 10 moving into the compelling challenge rounds. In this phase, they will compete in different comedy disciplines, such as sketch, improv and stand-up, proving themselves both individually and in teams. Then the funniest of all will take the coveted title of “Last Comic Standing,” winning a prize package that includes $250,000, an NBC talent deal and a half-hour scripted project to be developed by Universal Television.

"Food Fighters" (July 22): The best amateur cooks in America put their signature dishes to the test against five professional chefs. Television personality, author and food enthusiast Adam Richman (“Fandemonium,” “Man vs. Food”) hosts this compelling food battle in which home cooks face off against five culinary pros, climbing a money ladder with increasing cash prizes for every professional chef they knock out. A “Dinner Party” of culinary judges determines who has made the tastiest dish, revealing whether amateur cooks have what it takes to beat the very best.

TV by the Numbers


photo courtesy NBC

p
osted 3/26/14

Zonk Redemption 2: Electric Dealaroo
Catch It on CBS - You Guessed It - April 1
From
TV by the Numbers
The second annual Zonk Redemption Show is back on LET’S MAKE A DEAL, as an audience filled with previously Zonked Traders from the last five seasons gets a second chance at more than $122,000 in cash and prizes, Tuesday, April 1 (check local listings) on the CBS Television Network. Host Wayne Brady will also orchestrate not one, but two audience giveaways for Zonked Traders who hope to make better choices the second time around and be redeemed. Tensions are at an all-time high, as the only thing worse than getting Zonked once in front of millions of people is getting Zonked twice!

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/26/14

More on "Fifteen to One"
British Quizzer to Return April to C4
From
ATV Today
Legendary quiz show Fifteen To One will return to Channel 4 this April.

The series, produced by Remedy Productions for the broadcaster, sees the pressure back on as the fifteen contestants hope they’re the fastest with the answers to become the last one standing. The new series follows a one-off special last year as part of Channel 4′s 80s night. The general public version of the show is to be hosted by Sandi Toksvig.

The great British public applied in droves to participate in the cult quiz known for its tough questions and demanding nerves of steel from its players. Thousands up and down the land applied to take part, including some very dedicated former contestants who had appeared in the original show. Some of the former contestants, who in many cases have been waiting for more than a decade to return, go head to head with fresh-faced hopefuls all in a bid to become the Fifteen to One Grand Final Winner and take home £40k

Twenty episodes are to air in the new daytime run of hour long episodes. The cash prize is brand new to the show but that’s not the only difference. The new generation of Fifteen To One will also herald some other key changes; Each player will now be given three chances to reach the final round of a show therefore getting the opportunity to appear on a maximum of three shows throughout the week. This allows for both Sandi to form relationships with contestants and for viewers at home to really champion their favorites.

ATV Today

posted 3/26/14

More on "Crossfire"
Irish Quizzer to Premiere Friday April to TV3
From
TV3
TV3’s brand new prime-time quiz show Crossfire premieres on TV3 this Friday 28th March 2014 at 8pm. The third major production from the TV3 Sony HD Studio in 2014, Crossfire is set to be a hit with viewers. Presented by Sean Moncrieff, the series premiere sees contestants Ray Tobin (52), a sales and customer care consultant from Dublin, Craig McMahon (28), a prison guard from Dublin, Christine Kwak (35), a pharmaceutical technician from Offaly and Dan O’Malley (39), an IT manager from Dublin face the pressure of the fast paced quiz show as they compete to force each other out of the game.

Each of the contestants undergo the pressure of three diverse rounds of general knowledge questioning, where they each compete to force each other out of the game, and ultimately attempt to win €2000. Competitors must get their answers correct in order to attack the opposition. The tension mounts as the rounds go by, with the winner staying on to the next show, all in the hope of potentially winning big if they can stay on avoid getting caught in the crossfire.

TV3 will also air a number of celebrity versions of the show which will see well-known names play for a charity of their choice.

TV3

posted 3/26/14

MIP Rundown
A Lot of Formats Going to Market
From World Screen
A lot of news to go through here, so follow us...

- Part of the Dori Media Group catalogue, the prime-time reality game show Power Couple sees eight couples move into a house together and face extreme challenges that test how well they really know each other.

“Power Couple is a success not only in ratings but also in the fact that it shows the couple’s dynamic in extreme, funny and moving situations that give the viewers a whole new watching experience,” says Revital Basel, the VP of sales for Dori Media Group.

Dori is also presenting AHA! Experience, an entertainment quiz show with a companion Internet application. The company also has Taste of Love, a dating cooking show. “Taste of Love combines two successful genres in a new, fun and elegant way that is not too serious. It is all about producing a light and pleasant viewing experience,” says Basel.

- Electus' cooking game show Food Fighters is launching in the U.S. on NBC. “Cooking game shows have never been created at the scale of Food Fighters,” says Pollak. “Thanks to some early presales, we have already moved forward with productions in many of the world’s key markets.”

- Twofour Rights is moving into the distribution of children's programming, with a slate of titles that spans preschool, kids and teens.

The interactive game show Ludus is being produced by Boom Kids for CBBC. The live-action fantasy-adventure sees children trying to negotiate their loved ones back from space after being hijacked by the villain Ludus. The show has a dual-screen format, with an app that allows viewers at home to play along.

- Canadian broadcaster Quebecor Media has struck up a strategic alliance with Israel's Armoza Formats that includes co-developing new TV format concepts. Armoza will launch the family game show Only One Knows from TVA, which has a 30 percent audience share in Quebec after around 350 episodes have been produced and aired.

- Following a one-off special in the U.K., the youth-skewing channel ITV2 ordered a full season of Release the Hounds, while ProSieben in Germany ordered a two-hour special. “Release the Hounds is a completely new take on the game show genre, mixing horror, humor and suspense in each episode, and is already getting a lot of attention from international broadcasters,” says Wayne Garvie, the chief creative officer for international production at Sony Pictures Television.

- The Guess List, which comes from ITVS-owned 12 Yard, is a Saturday night comedy entertainment series in which two contestants compete for a specially-selected prize with the help of five famous faces.

The show stems from an entertainment format that was to be fronted by Brendan O’Carroll (Mrs. Brown’s Boys), which was reworked with comic actor Rob Brydon presenting after O’Carroll dropped out.

World Screen
World Screen
World Screen
Realscreen
World Screen
The Hollywood Reporter
World Screen
TBI Vision

posted 3/26/14

Tuesday: Creatures, Inc.
CBS Wins Broadcast Night With Backdoor Pilot
From the Futon Critic
CBS (15.002 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) pulled into the top spot on Tuesday with its mainstays "NCIS" (17.276 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #2), "NCIS: Los Angeles" (15.478 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #3) and "Person of Interest" (12.251 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4).

NBC (7.805 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then had to settle for second place with originals from "The Voice" (12.285 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.3, #1), "About a Boy" (7.796 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4), "Growing Up Fisher" (6.437 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6) and a repeat "Chicago Fire" (4.015 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was FOX (2.629 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and its mix of "Glee" (2.722 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9), "New Girl" (2.481 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8) and the season finale of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (2.591 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #7).

Meanwhile, ABC (2.348 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) was out the hunt with repeats of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (2.749 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13), "The Goldbergs" (2.778 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12), "Trophy Wife" (2.038 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T14) plus a new "Mind Games" (1.886 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T14).

Meanwhile, on cable, Syfy’s new critically-acclaimed competition series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge became the channel’s highest-rated unscripted premiere among Adults 25-54 (628K) since July 2013 during its telecast on Tuesday, March 25.

From 10-11PM (ET/PT), the series averaged 1.12 million total viewers and 585K Adults 18-49, while proving especially strong among women demographics.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge was Syfy’s highest-rated Tuesday night reality premiere ever among Women 25-54 (322K).

The series also performed across digital and social platforms:

· The series earned a total of 29K page views, 7K uniques and 19K video streams on Syfy.com on the day of its premiere, ranking as the #1 show site yesterday and among Syfy.com’s top five unscripted series premieres since 2013 across most key traffic metrics.

· Boosted by a live tweet with host Gigi Edgley and judge Kirk R Thatcher, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge became the #1 trending topic on Twitter and Facebook, trending throughout the episode’s air. The series was among Syfy’s top 10 most social unscripted series premieres ever in unique authors (2K), tweets (3K) and tweets per unique (1.8).

· The series starts its first season with 19K Facebook Fans; the highest Facebook fan base ever for any Syfy original unscripted series on the day of its premiere.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge continues with an all-new episode focused on the Henson classic, The Dark Crystal, on Tuesday, April 1 at 10 PM ET/PT.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Brian Henson - Variety
BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW - Variety

posted 3/26/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Spoilers"

  • What happens when Neil and Hilary appear on "The Price Is Right". Find out with a fake game of Plinko in front of a real audience on "Young & the Restless's" 41st anniversary special (International Business Times)
     
  • Rachel Riley sees "Blue Moon" spelled out on the Countdown board. Which wouldn't be bad, except she's a Man U fan! (Manchester Evening News)
     
  • Regis Philbin ain't nothin' to (^_^) wit'! (VH1)
     
  • "Top Chef" takes to the seas, not letting "MasterChef" get all the hype (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Ashley Hebert-Rosenbaum expecting a baby "Bachelor(ette)" (People)
     
  • Joey Essex, Kym Marsh ... take on "The Cube" (Digital Spy)
     
  • Andi Peters on Noel Edmonds threatening to buy the BBC: "a ludicrous thing". Not sure if she means the plan or the BBC itself (Digital Spy)

Posted 3/26/14

Fight On
Edgar, Penn Duke It Out on "TUF 19" April 16 on FS1
From the Futon Critic
Syndicated shows got hit with a double whammy in the week ending March 16 and most shows lost ground.

It was the second week of daylight savings time and average PUT levels sank by more than 4 million viewers from the week before. On top of that the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, drove viewers to news networks and away from syndication.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 6.9. CTD's Jeopardy! shrank 7% to a 6.6. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 10% to a 5.2, while Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire devalued 8% to a 2.2.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/25/14

Syndies: Spring Broke
Results for the Week Ending March 16
From B&C
Syndicated shows got hit with a double whammy in the week ending March 16 and most shows lost ground.

It was the second week of daylight savings time and average PUT levels sank by more than 4 million viewers from the week before. On top of that the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, drove viewers to news networks and away from syndication.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 6.9. CTD's Jeopardy! shrank 7% to a 6.6. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 10% to a 5.2, while Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire devalued 8% to a 2.2.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/25/14

Monday: Splitsville
NBC, ABC Split Night on 8p Games
From the Futon Critic
NBC (12.107 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.4, #1) was the network to beat on Monday thanks to new episodes of "The Voice" (12.645 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.6, #1) and "The Blacklist" (11.030 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #3).

ABC (12.754 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then snagged the silver with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (14.251 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5) and "Castle" (9.760 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8).

Next up was CBS (6.914 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and its mix of "How I Met Your Mother" (9.059 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.4, #2), "2 Broke Girls" (7.333 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.812 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.0, #6), "Mom" (7.363 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #7) and "Intelligence" (4.958 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.953 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) offered up fresh installments of "Bones" (5.729 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9) and "The Following" (4.178 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9).

On Food Network, "Worst Cooks in America" grabbed 1.420 million willing diners.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/25/14

Insta-Star
Rising Star to Allow Auditions via Instagram
From the Futon Critic
"Rising Star," the groundbreaking singing competition which opens the gate to a new era in reality entertainment, today announced an Instagram campaign to make the audition process simple, fun and fast through 15 second or less Instagram video auditions. Aspiring solos, duos, and vocal groups (up to 5 members), from all music genres, can submit audition videos via Instagram Direct beginning today, March 25, 2014. "Rising Star" premieres SUNDAY, JUNE 22 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on ABC.

To submit an Instagram video submission:

1) Follow RisingStarABC on Instagram

2) Use Instagram Direct to send a 15 second or less audition video

3) Include your e-mail address in the caption of the video. Contestants must be 16 years old to participate.

Singers are encouraged to visit www.abc.com/risingstar to find information on the nationwide in-person auditions and for more information on the audition process. Through the website, singers can register to audition in person, audition online or nominate a friend or family member to audition. Nationwide in-person auditions begin Saturday, March 29th.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/25/14

The Friday Line (and the Rest of the Weekend)
CW's Second Season Opens on a High
From the Futon Critic
The return of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.905 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11), a second "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.913 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11) and the relocated "Hart of Dixie" (1.227 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T14) on The CW (1.568 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T4) closed out the evening. The total viewers rose by 8000 over the hour and was a 50% improvement on the evening last year. Comparatively, "Shark Tank" on ABC logged in 8.048 million viewers, which was also an improvement over the week and year.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, basketball on CBS turned NBC's "Dream Builders" into a nightmare.

CBS (10.266 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) moved into the top spot on Sunday with its mix of "NCAA Overrun" (13.933 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.9, #1), "60 Minutes" (12.041 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #2), "The Amazing Race" (9.067 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7), "The Good Wife" (8.898 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #10) and "The Mentalist" (8.188 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T14).

ABC (7.071 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then had to settle for second place with its lineup of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.740 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11), "Once Upon a Time" (6.612 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #5), "Resurrection" (9.223 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #3) and "Revenge" (5.708 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

Next up was FOX (3.652 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) with originals from "Bob's Burgers" (2.535 million viewers, #18; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T14), "American Dad" (2.707 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11), "The Simpsons" (3.934 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.9, #6), "Family Guy" (4.282 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 2.2, #4) and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" (4.228 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8).

And finally, NBC (4.270 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) closed out the evening with a repeat of "The Voice" (3.406 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.8, #18) followed by the premiere of "American Dream Builders" (3.572 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.9, #17) and new episodes of "Believe" (5.059 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T14) and "Crisis" (5.043 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11).

On cable, "Cutthroat Kitchen" led with 1.741 million, followed by "Chopped" at 9p (1.546 million) and "Food Court Wars" (973,000).

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: American Dream Builders - Reality Wanted
The Futon Critic

photo courtesy Warner Bros. TV

posted 3/2
5/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Joker's Wild"

  • IGT teams with Sony for Wheel, Jeopardy! slots until 2024 (Gaming Intelligence)
     
  • Wink Martindale is the new voice of EZLoans.biz, cementing his status as the crown prince of credit (Digital Journal)
     
  • Chris Jericho to play St. Louis' Wizard World Comic-Con (Newsmagazine Network)
     
  • Billy on the Streep (VH1)
     
  • RuPaul's "Snatch Game" 2014 (AV Club)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: Andi Dorfman as "The Bachelorette" (Daily Mail)
     
  • Robin Roberts to be first guest judge on this season's "Dancing with the Stars" (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • Nick Cannon in whiteface. Naturally people have a problem with this (E!)
     
  • Joey Fatone doesn't understand for The Hub (The Wrap)
     
  • CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME: "The Voice" of G-d gets a four-turn in Italy (Gazzetta del Sud)

Posted 3/24/14

ABC Sticks to a Game Plan
"Bachelorette", "Wipeout" to Return This Summer
From the Futon Critic
ABC announced its summer lineup, with four new series joining the schedule, three of them game shows: "Bachelor in Paradise" on Monday, August 4 at 8:00 p.m.; "Rising Star" on Sunday, June 22 at 9:00 p.m.; and "The Quest" on Thursday, June 19 at 8:00 p.m.

These series join returning shows "The Bachelorette," which premieres at a special time, on Monday, May 19 at 9:30 p.m., before moving to its regular time period of 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 26; "Bet On Your Baby" on Saturday, May 31 at 8:00 p.m.; and "Wipeout," which debuts with a special two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m., before moving to its regular time period of 8:00 p.m. the following Sunday, June 29.

- "The Bachelorette" (May 19): Andi Dorfman, 26, a beautiful and successful woman, has it all at first glance - her loving family, her great friends, and even her dream job. But she realized there was something missing. So, last September, she put her busy life on hold to try and find love on "The Bachelor." She thought she had found her match, but in the end it was not meant to be, and Andi walked away from Juan Pablo. She did not, however, let that experience stop her desire to find her perfect soul mate. Andi will embark on her own journey to find love when she stars in the tenth edition of "The Bachelorette," on ABC.

Hosted by Chris Harrison, "The Bachelorette" is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Alycia Rossiter are the executive producers.

- "Bet On Your Baby" (May 31): All parents think they know their baby well, but are they willing to bet on it? Find out when actress/comedienne and working mom Melissa Peterman, star of ABC Family's "Baby Daddy," hosts this adorable, hilarious and surprisingly suspenseful game show. Parents try to predict their toddler's next move in an effort to win money for their child's future education.

"Bet On Your Baby" was created by 5x5 Media's Craig Armstrong, Rick Ringbakk, Charles Wachter and Electus' Ben Silverman and Jimmy Fox. The series is executive produced by Electus (Chris Grant, Corie Henson, Ben Silverman) and 5x5 Media (Craig Armstrong and Rick Ringbakk). Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, will distribute the series universally.

- "The Quest" (June 19): Great fantasy is filled with adventure, challenges, discovery, fish out of water and good vs. evil -- turns out, another modern genre shares these exact same traits. Announcing "The Quest," a reality show that will literally take contestants and audiences to an amazing, imaginative realm, where the ogres are advancing in the woods, the dragons are stirring, agents of a dark lord are infiltrating the keep, and the only thing that stands between peace and chaos are 12 very unlikely heroes. From the producers of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, paired with the producers of "The Amazing Race," "The Quest" will be a fully immersive experience. In and around this castle, our fantasy realm will come to life with state-of-the art projections, animatronics, prosthetics, real-time motion capture and art direction. The narrative and mythology of "The Quest" is deep and fully imagined, and it has been designed to incorporate seamlessly with the unexpected actions and decisions of our contestants - fantasy comes alive as it never has before in this genre-bending series.

"The Quest" is executive produced by Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri, Mark Ordesky, Jane Fleming, Rob Eric and Michael Williams.

- "Wipeout" (June 22): As summer temperatures heat up, everyone's favorite Big Balls are coming back! Each episode will showcase twenty four daring contestants of all shapes and sizes as they compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course, but for the first time ever, winners will be brought together at the end of the season for a "Tournament of Champions," during which they will compete for the title of Ultimate Wipeout Champion. The season will continue to bring lots of laughter, with new special themed episodes, including a chance to win a date with Jill Wagner, and the return of some of our favorites, such as "Family," "Exes," and "Hotties vs. Nerds." In the end, only one contestant will be victorious and win the title of Wipeout Champion, while everyone else will "wipeout!"

The series is hosted by John Anderson (ESPN's "SportsCenter"), John Henson (E! Entertainment's "Talk Soup") and co-hosted by Jill Wagner (MTV's "Teen Wolf").

"Wipeout" executive producers are Matt Kunitz ("101 Ways to Leave a Game Show," "Fear Factor") and Scott Larsen. Kevin Wehrenberg, Trice Barto and J. Rupert Thompson are co-executive producers. The series is produced by Endemol USA. David Goldberg is the chairman of Endemol North America.

- "Rising Star" (June 22): ABC's new reality series "Rising Star" completely reinvents the traditional singing competition as--for the first time ever--the audience has the final say in real time. The show follows a group of aspiring singers as they audition in live performances. During the performances, viewers vote via an App in real time to determine if the singer will advance in the competition. If the voting reaches a certain threshold, the performer moves on, and the performer can see how the voting is going during the performance, so the feedback is immediate and dramatic.

"Rising Star" is from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, and DC Media, the parent company of dick clark productions (dcp). Keshet DCP was formed to leverage Keshet's globally successful unscripted business with DC Media's expansive U.S. infrastructure and production expertise. The singing competition for ABC will mark the company's first foray into the market since its formation in October. Ken Warwick ("American Idol") and Nicolle Yaron ("The Voice") are executive producing.

- "Bachelor in Paradise" (August 4): From the creator of "The Bachelor" franchise comes the new summer series, "Bachelor in Paradise." Some of "The Bachelor's" biggest stars and villains are back. They all left "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" with broken hearts, but now they know what it really takes to find love, and on "Bachelor in Paradise" they'll get a second chance to find their soul mates. Contestants will live together in an isolated romantic paradise and, over the course of six episodes, we'll follow these former bachelors and bachelorettes as they explore new romantic relationships. America will watch as they fall in love or go through renewed heartbreak. The romantic dating series will feature new twists, shocking surprises, unexpected guests and some of the most unlikely relationships in "Bachelor" history, plus all the usual romance, drama and tears we've come to expect from the "Bachelor" franchise. It all comes together in the romantic television event of the summer.

Hosted by Chris Harrison, "Bachelor in Paradise" is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter


ABC releases its summer schedule
photo courtesy ABC

posted 3/2
4/14

"Challenge" Goes on Free Agency
Catch 25th Season on MTV April 10
From
The Futon Critic
MTV travels to Punta del Este, Uruguay, for "The Challenge: Free Agents" premiering on Thursday, April 10 at 10:00 PM ET/PT. Twenty-eight money-hungry players arrive in South America ready to take the competition by storm only to find that they'll be facing the most unpredictable Challenge game yet: FREE AGENTS.

The 25th season of The Challenge, hosted by TJ Lavin, is an individual game. There are no permanent teams, no demanding partners, no one to slow you down. The FREE AGENTS answer to no one but themselves. Alliances are useless and tried and true strategies no longer work because players will have no idea if they will be competing in teams, pairs, or as individuals until moments before each challenge begins. They're forced to adjust to whatever is thrown their way because with $350,000 at stake, winning challenges has never been so important.

And losing has never been so nerve-wracking. After each challenge the winners select one guy and one girl to fight for their spot in the game while the losers must take part in the biggest elimination twist in challenge history - the DRAW, where one guy and one girl are selected by pure chance to face the two players nominated by the day's winners. With competitors' fates being determined by a flip of a card, no amount of strategy can protect them.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/24/14

Fort Boyard at 25
French Favorite Celebrates Its 25th Season
From World Screen
The format Fort Boyard, sold by Zodiak Rights, has been going strong for 25 seasons.

In the mid-1800s, a Napoleonic fort was constructed off the west coast of France, but was never actively used for battle or protection. Instead, years later it became the site of a physical game show, Fort Boyard. The series is said to be the first game show to involve a “hub” production, based in a highly unique location.

The format itself was developed in 1990 by Jacques Antoine, who at the same time created the highly successful The Crystal Maze for Channel 4 in the U.K. “In fact, they are effectively the same format, but Fort Boyard has proven much more durable, much like the fort itself,” says Barnaby Shingleton, the head of entertainment at Zodiak Rights, which represents the format. “Since that time, Fort Boyard has become a mainstay of French TV, and this year the show will enjoy its 25th season. This is an incredible achievement in the flighty world of entertainment television, which is only added to by the success of the show in countless other territories across the globe.”

A studio-based version of the Fort Boyard format was adapted in the U.K. for Channel 4 in 1990 at the same time as the original production, but the first true adaptations of the format using the fort itself were broadcast later in 1990 and early in 1991 for broadcasters in Sweden (TV4), Germany (SAT.1) and the Netherlands (AVRO). “Fort Boyard was way ahead of shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in terms of format distribution, at a time when the market was not nearly as developed or sophisticated as it is now,” says Shingleton. “It’s a real credit to Adventure Line Productions [ALP, the show’s producer] that they rolled the show out so quickly and efficiently. And it remains a great example of how to distribute a hub production, years ahead of rivals such as Wipeout.”

ALP has now co-produced 1,299 Fort Boyard shows with broadcasters from across the globe. Local versions of the format have been produced for 30 territories outside the home market of France, including 15 seasons in Sweden, nine seasons in Canada, nine seasons in Denmark and multiple seasons in the U.K., Russia and Germany. It recently penetrated Azerbaijan and enjoyed success on its return to Dutch screens after a 19-year absence. “The facts speak for themselves; this is a format that consistently performs the world over and broadcasters renew it again and again based on reliably strong ratings,” says Shingleton.

World Screen

posted 3/24/14

"The Taste" do Brasil
Red Arrow Licenses ABC Series to Globosat
From World Screen
Red Arrow International has licensed the format rights for The Taste to Globosat in Brazil.

The Brazilian version will air on Globosat's GNT channel. Brazil marks the first Latin American country to create their own version of the show, which has been adapted in more than 80 territories.

Ana Carolina Lima, the programming manager of GNT channel, said: "It's a real pleasure to be the first in Latin America to obtain the rights of The Taste format. We know it is a successful show all over the world and it will perfectly fit in our lifestyle programming. We are planning to create our version in 2015."

Henrik Pabst, the managing director of global format distribution at Red Arrow International, added: "Within a year, The Taste has built a terrific track record for itself with sales to over 80 countries. Brazil is a pioneer for format adaptations in Latin America, so The Taste is in great hands with Globosat!"

World Screen

posted 3/24/14

Endemol Brings Everything It's Got To Cannes
Among Offerings: "Your Face Sounds Familiar", "Fundastic"
From World Screen
Endemol is slated to unveil a slew of new international formats at next month’s MIPTV.

Among the headline formats will be Fundastic, a live, multiplatform series from Endemol Israel and Reshet. In that show, entrepreneurs must face a panel of judges and win over viewers, who’ll decide via app how much financial backing the contenders deserve. The winner gets funding, along with mentoring and guidance to help make his or her business a reality.

In Endemol UK’s Ejector Seat, losing contestants exit the show by being tipped backwards from their seats. Host in the Box, created by Endemol Germany for Prosieben, has a presenter locked in a wooden box and shipped to an undisclosed location where he or she must adapt to a completely different lifestyle. Finally, from Endemol Spain comes Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids & Co, which brings the cast from previous Your Face Sounds Familiar seasons to mentor talented kids.

“This year we have an extremely strong lineup of entirely new formats all set to make their international debut in Cannes,” said Iris Boelhouwer, Endemol’s managing director of creative operations. “These groundbreaking shows originate from some of the world’s most creative markets and are a great mix of entertainment, game shows and multiplatform innovation.”

World Screen

posted 3/24/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "I Just Want to Sing"

  • "The Voice" teams with "Extra" to offer a bootcamp experience (The Futon Critic)
     
  • This Jeopardy! host will kick off season 5 of "Hot in Cleveland" (Yahoo!)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "The Biggest Loser" is going on the road (The Futon Critic), while Mid Devon feels the "Pressure Pad" (Mid Devon Gazette)
     
  • Speaking of which, John Barrowman is returning to the stage in Cinderella (Herald Scotland)
     
  • "Shark" Mark Cuban thinks the NFL will be chum in 10 years. Gooooooood luck with that. (CBS Sports)
     
  • You would never think that a daily game show is changing the lives of its contestants... Okay, so you would, but none like "Let's Ask Pilipinas" (Philippine Star)
     
  • Jimmy Tarbuck a free man after sex probe (Yorkshire Post)

Posted 3/24/14

Last Comic Standing: The Show That Refuses to Die
JB Smoove to Host Third Iteration May 22
From the Futon Critic
America's most compelling comedy competition is back Thursday, May 22 (9-11 p.m. ET) when NBC's Emmy Award-nominated series "Last Comic Standing" returns with three new celebrity judges - comedy icons Roseanne Barr and Keenen Ivory Wayans, along with international comic sensation Russell Peters - as well as dynamic new host JB Smoove.

The series will air Thursdays (10-11 p.m.) following the premiere.

Emmy Award winner Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz ("Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious,"), who are producing partners at Push It Productions, will executive produce the season's 13 one-hour episodes, along with Javier Winnik ("The Marriage Ref").

"We are ready to bring back the funny with this relaunch of 'Last Comic Standing,' and can't wait to discover the next great stand-up," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. "With Keenen, Roseanne and Russell set as our new judges, JB as host and Wanda, Page and Javier at the helm, there will be plenty of laughter all summer."

"Last Comic Standing" resumes its search for the funniest comic in the country with innovative format changes, surprise celebrity guests and unexpected twists. The season will open up with hilarious auditions, this time by invitation only.

The top 100 comics in America will vie for 20 spots. These 20 will then compete in a semifinal round and the best of the best will emerge, with the top 10 moving into the compelling challenge rounds. In this phase, they will compete in different comedy disciplines, such as sketch, improv and stand-up, proving themselves both individually and in teams.

Then the funniest of all will take the coveted title of "Last Comic Standing," winning a prize package that includes an NBC talent deal and a half-hour scripted project to be developed by Universal Television.

The Futon Critic
NBCU Media Centre
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/21/14

More on "Riot"
Rove McManus to Host "Slide Show" Adaptation for Fox
From Sydney Morning Herald
Australian comedian and television personality Rove McManus is heading to America to front a new game show for the Fox network.

McManus has secured a gig hosting the US adaptation of the studio-based comedy game show SlideShow.

The US version, which will be titled Riot, is being developed by Shine America and US comedian/producer Steve Carell.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox network has given Shine America an eight episode order for the series.

It is based on the international format Anything Goes, originally created by Arthur Essebag for French television, in which two teams of comedians and actors challenge each other to a series of stunts.

It was a hit for France's TF1, where it is titled Vendredi Tout est Permis Avec Arthur. That roughly translates as: On Fridays, Anything Goes with Arthur.

Shine America's parent company, Shine Group, represents the format internationally, and has sold local-language versions of the format into Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Brazil, Ukraine and Romania.

When Fox signed the deal with Shine America for the series in October last year, Fox network boss Kevin Reilly described the show as "the most ridiculously fun and out-there thing I've seen in quite awhile."

An Australian version screened on the Seven Network last year, but was cancelled this year. It was hosted by Grant Denyer and featured Cal Wilson and Toby Truslove as the team captains.

The US version will be produced by Shine America and Carell's production company, Carousel Television. Shine America's Eden Gaha and Paul Franklin - both Australian - will executive produce the series, along with Carell.

Sydney Morning Herald

posted 3/21/14

Bachelor in PAraDise...
ABC Greenlights Another Bachelor Spinoff
From Entertainment Weekly
Finally, some relief for fans who never forgave ABC for yanking Bachelor Pad from its summer lineup last year.

ABC is expected to launch a new franchise called Bachelor in Paradise, which shares some similarities to Pad but comes with a much nicer locale — a tropical port of call! Bachelor guru Mike Fleiss and Warner Horizon TV are the masterminds behind this latest iteration, which ABC says will bring back many of the Bachelor‘s fan favorites and villains to give them a second chance to find their soul mates.

Participants will live together in an “isolated romantic paradise” and over the course of six episodes, and then will get busy finding love… or at the very least a tropical hook-up. (Think Temptation Island meets Paradise Hotel.) Like the mothership, Bachelor in Paradise will feature a rose ceremony but ABC won’t say if someone will go home each week. Here’s what the network would say, via an official logline: “The romantic dating series will feature new twists, shocking surprises, unexpected guests and some of the most unlikely relationships in Bachelor history, plus all the usual romance, drama and tears we’ve come to expect from the Bachelor franchise. It all comes together in the romantic television event of the summer.”

Naturally, Chris Harrison will host. The show is expected to bow after the summer run of The Bachelorette.

Last year, Fleiss told Dalton Ross that he wanted to bring back Bachelor Pad to ABC’s summer lineup. “I love Bachelor Pad,” he told EW at the time. “I thought it might be good to give it a break for a little while — let the fans starve for it a little bit so that next summer when it comes back… I have a good feeling it will be back next summer. I really wanted to give it a break because I did not feel like we had enough superstars to populate the Pad.”

Entertainment Weekly

posted 3/21/14

Thursday: Split Pea Soup
Basketball Gives ABC, Fox the Night
From the Futon Critic
ABC (6.798 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) moved into the top demo spot on Thursday with its mix of "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (3.498 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #13), "Grey's Anatomy" (7.972 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "Scandal" (8.923 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1).

FOX (6.830 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (5.296 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4) and "American Idol" (8.365 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3).

Next up was CBS (3.752 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) with its coverage of the "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Second Round - Wofford #15 MW vs. Michigan #2" (4.096 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5), "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Update" (3.004 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11) and "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Second Round - Arizona St. #10 MW vs. Texas #7" (3.608 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.467 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) offered up originals from "Community" (3.456 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9) and "Parks & Recreation" (3.094 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5) followed by a repeat "Hollywood Game Night" (2.949 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11) and a new "Parenthood" (4.176 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5).

On cable, "Under the Gunn" delivered 1.473 million for Lifetime at 10p to "Beat Bobby Flay's" 1.267 million. An hour earlier, "Chopped Canada" gathered 964,000 for Food.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/21/14

Exit Enters Egypt
Film Maker Buys Into Japanese Game
From C21Media
Egyptian production outfit Film Maker has picked up rights to Japanese gameshow format Exit from Scandinavian distributor Eccho Rights.

Film Maker will produce 26 episodes for an as-yet unnamed broadcaster in the Middle East and build a production set in Cairo, which will be available for future European productions of the show.

The room escape format, which first aired on Nippon TV, has already been remade in the US for Syfy and a spin-off series called Pharaoh launched in Thailand earlier this year.

C21 Media

posted 3/21/14

Shed Operation
Talpa Holding Enters Into JVs
From Variety
John de Mol’s Talpa Holding has inked joint-venture pacts with Warner Bros.’ Shed Media Group in the U.K., Italy’s Toro, and Nordisk and Banijay Finland in the Nordic region.

Talpa’s agreement with Shed Media will see the company become the exclusive home for all Talpa formats in the U.K. The joint venture will be named Talpa UK.

This follows two successful seasons of Talpa’s format “The Voice UK,” with the third season already airing on BBC One. The show is produced by Shed Media’s Wall to Wall in co-production with Talpa.

Shed Media will now have exclusive access to the Talpa catalog, including new reality show “Utopia,” which has recently been picked up in the U.S.

Variety

posted 3/21/14

Imagic, a Zebra, an Elephant and a Chalkboard
Companies Buy Into UK Outlet
From
C21Media
A fledgling UK prodco co-founded by the former MD of Shine Group’s formats business has received an financial boost from a new Middle-Eastern/European production group.

Lebanese prodco Imagic, Zebra Productions in Spain and the Elephant Group in France have combined to form Izen Group, which has invested in UK-based indie Chalkboard TV.

The latter company was recently co-founded by Shine Group exec Ben Hall; Warwick Banks, whose credits include series editor on gameshows Reflex and Total Wipeout; and Mike Benson, previously a development executive at Shine and also at BBC Factual.

With its investment, Izen Group hopes to see Chalkboard become a profitable, top-50, UK independent production company within three years and to launch formats that the group can produce in their markets.

“The formation of the group is a response to the ‘closed shop’ reality of the global format market and our desire to shake it up a little,” said Jose Velasco, CEO of Zebra.

“We needed to take action to ensure that we have a source of top quality, original formats and we felt that sharing IP within our group and investing in like minded creative entrepreneurs was the right way to go.”

“We’re now looking at additional investment opportunities but they have to be the right fit,” added Rony Jazzar, Imagic’s CEO.

Zebra and Elephant are both major drama producers and Chalkboard also has drama aspirations, Izen Group said.

C21Media

posted 3/21/14

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Lost My Voice"

Posted 3/21/14

Wednesday: It Finally Happened... And There's a Rematch A-Coming
"Survivor" Beats "Idol" to Take Night, PLUS There's More
From
various sources
After years of scheduling its “Survivor” finale on a Sunday, CBS has slotted the conclusion to the reality adventure show’s 28th edition for Wednesday, May 21. “American Idol” is expected to wrap on May 21, one night after the show’s finale performance episode, so this would be the first time “Survivor” finished opposite “Idol.”

The “Survivor” finale will air from 8 to 10 p.m., followed by its reunion special.

CBS has good reason to feel good about its chances on that night, since “Survivor” has pulled ahead of “Idol” head-to-head in adults 18-49 for the past two weeks, and last night it won out in total viewers for the first time, according to Nielsen.

CBS (9.909 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) was the most-watched network on Wednesday with its usual mix of "Survivor: Cagayan" (9.579 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1), "Criminal Minds" (10.055 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (10.094 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4).

FOX (9.662 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) then shared the demo crown with another two-hour edition of "American Idol" (9.662 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2).

Next up was NBC (5.204 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with originals from "Revolution" (4.300 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (5.645 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #6) and "Chicago PD" (5.669 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #7).

Meanwhile, ABC (3.835 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up repeats of "The Middle" (5.100 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8), "Suburgatory" (4.059 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11) and "Modern Family" (5.359 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #5) followed by a new "Mixology" (3.598 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and a repeat "Nashville" (2.447 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #14).

On cable, the season premiere of TBS' "Deal With It" picked up where it left off with 1.781 million, over half of which were in the adults 18-49 demo. Meanwhile, "Mind of a Man" and "The Face" help GSN and Oxygen to a 493,000 and 170,000 average respectively.

Variety
The Futon Critic
TV Line
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/20/14

Sony Takes the Money and Runs... Ireland
Producers Team to Form Stellify
From
the Hollywood Reporter
Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television arm has teamed with media executives Kieran Doherty and Matt Worthy to launch production banner Stellify Media, marking SPT’s first move into production in Northern Ireland.

Stellify Media, as a part of SPT’s global production group, will also collaborate with Sony’s U.S. and international production companies on development, while its U.K. shows and formats will be exported by SPT’s distribution arm.

Based in Belfast, the partnership will also produce TV content for U.K. networks and global export, developing original programming in the entertainment genre.
Doherty said: "We are delighted to be launching our own independent production company at a time when the production industry in Northern Ireland is thriving and producing some of the most popular shows on TV. We are looking forward to capitalizing on the current zeitgeist with our own innovative, original developments."

Doherty and Worthy created the international quiz format Secret Fortune (BBC One) and the reality game show format Take the Money and Run, which aired in the U.S. on ABC with Jerry Bruckheimer as executive producer.

They also developed a number of original entertainment series and game shows for the U.K., including Dara O Briain's School of Hard Sums and magic and mentalism series David Meade: Make Believe for BBC One in Northern Ireland.

SPT’s U.K. production business also comprises Victory Television, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River Productions, Left Bank Pictures and the recently announced joint venture with Karl Warner, Electric Ray.

Current productions in the U.K. include Release the Hounds (ITV2, Gogglebox Entertainment), Cardinal Burns (E4, Left Bank Pictures) and the recently broadcast Tough Young Teachers (BBC Three, Victory Television).

With Stellify Media, SPT’s international production business now comprises 18 companies in 12 countries.

The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline
Variety
C21 Media
Televisual

posted 3/20/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Z, 4, Q, Batman Symbol"

Posted 3/20/14

GSN Upfront 2014
New Series, Plus Renewals for TABC, The Chase
From The Futon Critic
At an upfront presentation held today at the Sony Building in New York, GSN executives unveiled their programming and development slate. The network announced a greenlight for IDIOT TEST, a new original series hosted by comedian Ben Gleib; re-upped two hit series, THE CHASE and THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE; and revealed a vigorous 2014 development slate. In the coming year, GSN plans to ramp up its commitment to original content, a strategy which helped re-write the network's ratings record book this past year. The details were announced by GSN's President and CEO, David Goldhill; GSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, Amy Introcaso-Davis and John Zaccario, GSN's Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales. GSN talent Rebecca Romijn, host of SKIN WARS, Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett from THE CHASE, and DeRay Davis, host of MIND OF A MAN as well as Ben Gleib were all on hand for the presentation.

In addition to the news surrounding new content, the network also pointed to strong first quarter performance with January being the most watched month ever followed by its best February ever. GSN also delivered on the demo front hitting new ratings records with W18-49, P25-54 and W25-54. In January, GSN's year-over-year delivery increased double digits in both total day, where P25-54 rose +34% and W25-54 rose +38% and primetime where P25-54 rose +46% and W25-54 rose +47%. In February, P25-54 rose +22% and W25-54 +26% in total day. In primetime, P25-54 rose +16% and W25-54 +6%."

GSN also had a stellar 2013, the network's most-watched year ever, with double-digit audience growth across all key demos and total viewers. The network delivered its largest total day audience to date among target demos including total viewers, W18-49 and W25-54 with a majority of that growth came from its primetime line-up, which hit ten-year highs. In total day, total viewers rose 13% and in primetime, total viewers rose 11%.

In digital news, GSN Games recently acquired Bash Gaming, the creator of breakout hit Bingo Bash, which is the #1 social bingo game in the world with more than 4.8 million monthly active users (MAUs) playing across Facebook, iOS, Android and Kindle devices. GSN Games, with a monthly active user base of nearly 10 million players in its social casino product offerings, operates two of 2013's top 10 overall grossing iPad apps, GSN Casino and Bingo Bash. GSN Games also operates the #2 skill gaming platform, in which players pay an entry fee to compete in a skill game tournament that awards winners with cash prizes. "GSN has always offered advertisers an engaged audience on multiple platforms. With the breakout success of our original programming, we are now delivering that same fan-base in record numbers, making GSN an extraordinary value in the market today," said David Goldhill, GSN's President and CEO. "We are committed to continuing to deliver stand-out original programming that will only build on the success we have seen so far in 2014 and give advertisers a multitude of opportunities to reach their target demos."

"In 2013 our original programming began hitting on all cylinders and our ratings reached record highs. And that's because our viewers are active, engaged and asking for more--and we are giving it to them," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. "We see limitless possibilities in the game show category and we feel confident that we can grow our audience with outside the box thinking around this genre."

GSN's Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales, John Zaccario, added: "We had an amazing 2013 and fortunately, last year was not an anomaly. We started 2014 right where we left off, with growth fueled by our distinctive originals - all of which contributed to building our momentum and sustaining our audience growth. Our performance has been a great benefit for our advertising partners who understand the value of aligning their brands with our engaged and incredibly passionate audience."

GREENLIT ORIGINAL SERIES
- IDIOT TEST, hosted by comedian Ben Gleib and based on the highly popular app game, gives two pairs of contestants with a preexisting rivalry in anything from colleges (i.e. UCLA vs USC) to sci fi (i.e. "Star Trek" fans vs. "Star Wars" fans), the opportunity to face off to determine once and for all, which teams of two are the true "Idiots." The rival pairs will go head to head in several rounds of rapid-fire questions whose answers any "idiot" should know: the questions, taken from the game, test observation and attention to detail as much as they test general knowledge. The contestant pairs will really need to be on their toes to come out on top. IDIOT TEST is executive produced by Adam Rosenblatt, Jamie Rosenblatt, and Christian Horner of H2R Productions; Ryan Devlin and Shawn Greenson of He Shoots, He Scores Productions; and Larry Barron and Ryan Curtis. Mark Cronin of Little Wooden Boat Productions will also serve as Executive Producer. (40 X :30)

PILOT ORDERED
- APP WARS: Got the next Flappy Bird? How many times have you seen a hot app and thought, 'I could have thought of that?" APP WARS gives fledgling app creators their chance at stardom. In each self-contained show, five contestants present their original app ideas to a panel of judges. The top three ideas continue on as contestants are paired with mentors who help develop the look, feel and functionality of the apps. After a final beta-testing showdown between the top two contestants, our panel awards a cash prize. APP WARS is executive produced by Cheri Brownlee of Cheri Sundae Productions.
- SAY WHAT? We've been playing a version of Telephone since we were kids. SAY WHAT? (working title) brings the childhood favorite into the 21st Century. Based on a format from Nippon Television, SAY WHAT? (working title) is a humorous contest that pits two teams of five against one another in a high stakes test of memory. The teams initially must pass a phrase or expression down their telephone chain before a timed partition drops between them. The tension ratchets up in our next round as contestants utilize everything from art supplies to musical instruments on their way to EXTREME TELEPHONE, the high-paced third round. The winning team goes on to the bonus round for an opportunity to win big money in this fun and frenetic game. SAY WHAT? (working title) is executive produced by Kevin Healey and Jesse Fawcett of Essential 11 Television along with Darryl Trell and Howard Kitrosser of Smoke And Mirrors Creative.

ORIGINAL SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT
- THE TUNNEL (working title): The human mind is like a maze. THE TUNNEL (working title) puts contestants there, literally. Combining trivia knowledge with chess-like cunning - all in the dark! The game pits three trivia buffs against one another - each in their own physical tunnel. After answering a question correctly, a contestant gets one step closer to exiting THE TUNNEL and a cash prize. But in addition to moving toward escape, contestants must block their opponents' moves by memorizing players' locations. Our winning player takes home the cash of defeated opponents, making strategy as critical as trivia knowledge. THE TUNNEL (working title) is a game of skill, memory, and strategy. Based on a format from Absolutely Independent and executive produced by Scott St. John ("Deal or No Deal") of Entertain The Brutes.
- HEAVY BETTERS (working title): Put your money where your mouth is. Diet bets are popping up everywhere - online, in gyms, at weight-loss classes, and especially as intense wagers among friends, spouses, and coworkers. They're big because they work. Those who stood to lose money if they didn't succeed in shedding weight were about five times as likely to reach their goal. HEAVY BETTERS (working title), goes inside the diet betting craze sweeping the nation as two teams of plus-size co-workers compete against each other in the ultimate weight loss wager. For the winning team a cash prize awaits - but will all the co-workers pull their own weight? HEAVY BETTERS (working title) is an original format from GSN & Savannah Media. Eric Evangelista and Shannon Evangelista of Hot Snakes Media serve as Executive Producers along with Richard Drew of Savannah Media.
- THE LINE is a traveling game show that sets up shop in different cities across America. Potential contestants will join THE LINE in the hopes of making it to the front of the line to the Tent where contestants enter one at a time to try to win the jackpot. But in this game, getting to the front of the line is part of the challenge. The road to the tent is fraught with chances to move up, move or be eliminated altogether. THE LINE will culminate with a season finale that will air on live television on GSN. THE LINE is from ITV Studios and High Noon Entertainment.

STAR CROSSED LOVERS (working title)

You have notoriously bad taste in lovers. Online dating is a bust, and your friend's setups are even worse. It's time for a radical new approach to dating. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a new twist on a dating game designed to help lovelorn singles find their perfect match by crowd-sourcing opinions from the ones we trust the most - celebrities! After a series of getting-to-know-you games with the participation of a panel of fun, opinionated stars -- the Bachelorette (or Bachelor) will have to choose a match. If his/her pick matches the panel's, the new couple will win an extravagant date. STAR CROSSED LOVERS is a World of Wonder Production with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Tom Campbell Serving as Executive Producers.

UPCOMING/ONGOING:
- The American Bible Challenge - May 22
- The Chase - TBA
- It Takes a Church - June 5
- Mind of a Man - ongoing
- Minute to Win It - ongoing
- Skin Wars - Summer TBA

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Broadway World
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Variety
Deadline
Adweek
B&C
Multichannel News
Realscreen
C21Media


"The Chase" will return to GSN later this year.

posted 3/19/14

Syndies: That's Entertainment
Results for the Week Ending March 9
From B&C
“Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” have long led syndication among total viewers and households, but neither is the top game show among viewers 18-49.

That distinction belongs to “Family Feud,” or at least it did during the week ended March 9 with a 2.0 rating in the demo, according to Nielsen, ahead of “Jeopardy’s” 1.6 and “Wheel of Fortune’s” 1.5.

Syndies mostly avoided the downturn that follows sweeps in the week ending March 9, with entertainment magazines and talkers both given an assist by the highly viewed 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 3% from the prior week to a 7.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 7.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 2% to a 5.8, while Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire upticked 4% to a 2.4.

B&C
The Futon Critic
Media Life

posted 3/19/14

Tuesday: Split Decision Part 2
CBS, NBC Split the Uprights
From the Futon Critic
NBC (9.143 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) was the demo champ on Tuesday with its mix of "The Voice" (13.003 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1), "About a Boy" (7.952 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #4), "Growing Up Fisher" (6.784 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6) and "Chicago Fire" (7.058 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5).

The silver then went to CBS (13.988 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and its mainstays "NCIS" (16.765 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2), "NCIS: Los Angeles" (14.248 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) and "Person of Interest" (10.950 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6).

Next up was ABC (3.336 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) and its special "Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe" (3.918 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9) followed by new episodes of "The Goldbergs" (4.665 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8), "Trophy Wife" (3.147 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12) and "Mind Games" (2.186 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.440 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up the 100th episode of "Glee" (2.835 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10) alongside a repeat "New Girl" (1.590 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14) and a new "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (2.500 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10).

On cable, the season premiere of Food Network's "Chopped" led the games with 1.362 million viewers to 1.273 million for "Face Off" on Syfy and 1.039 million for the season finale of "Bad Girls All-Star Battle". 

"Ink Master" scored 1.121 million for Spike TV at 10p. Meanwhile, the weekly "Minute to Win It" runout has helped GSN to a primetime average of 438,000.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/19/14

Cooking Down Under
"My Kitchen Rules" Goes Global
From World Screen
My Kitchen Rules, a Seven Network Australia production that is sold by Endemol Worldwide Distribution, has been going from strength to strength.

While competitive cooking game shows are all the rage today, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when this type of show was rarely seen in the TV landscape. The Australian culinary competition My Kitchen Rules, which went on air in 2010 on Seven Network, has been among the most successful to arise from the trend.

“In 2009, we realized we had to get into the food space, so a small group of us from the development team locked ourselves away and came up with the format,” recalls Brad Lyons, the director of production at Seven Network.

The concept was to have teams of two contestants with preexisting relationships competing against each other to turn an ordinary home into an instant restaurant for one night, complete with a theme, table decorations and more. “Real people cooking real food was our motto, and we were excited about how the contestants would feel having two of the best chefs in the country sitting at their dinner party,” says Lyons. “Having couples or teams of two also gave us another fantastic dynamo.”

The initial performance “started slowly, because it was a brand-new format,” says Lyons, “but it just took off and it’s one of the rare formats that has grown year-on-year.” Indeed, My Kitchen Rules has increased its ratings every season and has been doing record shares again this year. It is currently the number one show in the country, regularly hitting 2 million viewers, a 40 percent share.

Thanks to its success in the Australian market, the My Kitchen Rules format has been licensed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution into a host of international territories. This includes versions in the U.K., French-speaking Canada, Lithuania and Serbia, with other deals currently in negotiation. The finished Australian version has sold to more than 180 territories, including Africa, Asia, Brazil, Eastern Europe, India, Israel, the Middle East, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the U.K. and Ukraine.

World Screen

posted 3/19/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Ill Timing"

  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP: Bitcoins get their own game show... right after they become worthless (Digital Facility)
     
  • SOUTH CAROLINA CASTING COUCH: "Wheel of Fortune" heads to Myrtle Beach (home of Vanna White) April 26-27 (MyrtleBeachOnline), while "Family Feud" heads to Charleston March 29-30 (Charleston City Paper)
     
  • Brian Ormond: apparently a "Big Money" liability (Irish Independent).
     
  • To celebrate BBC Two's 50th anniversary, Dara O Briain hosts a quiz show contest (ATV Today)
     
  • "The Voice", "The Celebrity Apprentice" renewed for 2014 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Pat Sajak (Huffington Post)

Posted 3/19/14

Monday: Split Decision
ABC, NBC Split Night
From The Futon Critic
ABC (13.273 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) was the most-watched network on Monday with the return of "Dancing with the Stars" (14.984 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #4) and a new "Castle" (9.854 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6).

NBC (12.576 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.6, #1) however held onto the demo crown with new episodes of "The Voice" (13.304 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) and "The Blacklist" (11.121 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.8, #3).

Next up was CBS (6.692 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with originals from "How I Met Your Mother" (7.881 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2), "2 Broke Girls" (7.095 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #5), "Mike & Molly" (7.594 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6), "Mom" (7.054 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6) and "Intelligence" (5.265 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.775 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) offered up fresh installments of "Bones" (5.562 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9) and "The Following" (3.987 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9).

"Worst Cooks in America" topped all cable gamers with 1.198 million.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/18/14

Switcher-Drew
This Year's April Fools Joke: Craig Ferguson
From USA Today
They starred on a sitcom together. They're studio neighbors. So what's a little job sharing between friends?

Daytime game-show emcee Drew Carey and late-night talk host Craig Ferguson are pulling an April Fools' Day switcheroo, with Carey taking over CBS' Late Late Show (12:37 a.m. ET/PT) and Ferguson giving away prizes on the network's long-running The Price Is Right (11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. PT) April 1.

The longtime friends praise each other on the colorful Price set, where Bob Barker held sway for 35 years before Carey took over in 2007.

"I think Craig is the best late-night-show host," says Carey, who makes his debut Monday as a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

"And I think Drew is one of the best Price Is Right hosts," Ferguson says slyly, drawing one of many raucous laughs from Carey.

Carey, who will get things rolling that Monday night in the early hours of April 1, will feature comedy icon Carl Reiner, rocker Joan Jett and Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from Carey's native Cleveland.

"I'm just using it as an excuse to meet people. … That's one of the great things about doing a show like that," says the comedian. He'll bring his announcer, George Gray, and the famed Price models to Ferguson's nearby studio in the CBS Television City complex when he tapes the episode later this week. He and Gray switched roles with the Price models last April Fools' Day. (Another comedian, HBO's Bill Maher, also tapes at the Price studio. "Sometimes, I come in here when Bill Maher is here, and it's all black. Black curtains and black tile. They kill a goat, and then they do a show.")

Ferguson, a Scotland native who has been known to refer to himself as "TV's Craig Ferguson," looks slightly askance at Carey when considering his estimable guests. "You're raising the tone a little. Be careful. Don't raise it too much."

Carey plans to ad-lib his monologue, as Ferguson does, rather than come out with a set list of jokes. "I'm not going to burn my stand-up on his show," he says.

Ferguson nods: "Yeah, that's right. Don't throw it away."

Carey, who guest-hosted The Late Late Show a couple of times before Ferguson's tenure, has one concern: "I'm worried about Carl Reiner and Joan Jett, that I'm going to ask them such an obvious question that they've heard a million times."

Ferguson protests: "That's my signature move."

Ferguson, who brought along announcer Shadoe Stevens and sidekicks-turned-models Geoff the Robot and Secretariat when he recently taped his Price episode, approached TV's longest-running game show with a simple strategy. "I'm just going to give away money, as much as I can get away with giving away. Legally, of course."

His favorite Price game is Plinko, "because I just like the sound of that."

The late-night host, who starts his own syndicated game show, Celebrity Name Game, in the fall, says he was prepared for the hard-charging, bear-hugging Price winners. "They come at you fast. You've got to move," he says. "You played football," he tells Carey. "You were a reserve Marine. (You) know how to deal with that kind of situation. I was scared."

Carey revels in the contestants' enthusiasm. "I love it. People go crazy. It's a big day for them. And you get to be a part of it," he says. "They've been watching since they were a kid. They watch it with their grandmother. And then they get to be on the show. It's a big deal."

Each offers the other a tip he received from the wisest of men, legendary Price host Barker and Late Late Show's executive producer, who is affectionately known as "the host whisperer."

"I'll give you the same advice Bob gave me. You've got to be yourself. Make it your own show," Carey says.

"And I'll give you the advice Peter Lassally, the guru of late night, gave me," Ferguson counters. "Don't be too Scottish."

USA Today
Uproxx
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/18/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Back to the Start"

  • Wayne Brady plays UT (U-Texas Patriot Talon)
     
  • Mike O'Malley goes back to game shows... for charity... for the Red Sox (NESN)
     
  • Andrew O'Keefe: Seven trades "Deal or No Deal" for "Million Dollar Minute" (mUmbrella).
     
  • Talk about a rush of blood to the head. Chris Martin of Coldplay joins "The Voice" as a key advisor (NBCUMV Media Centre)
     
  • Isn't marriage counseling for married people and not "The Bachelor"? (E!)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Erin Andrews' hosting job (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Arthur Chu and entertainment for $200, Alex (TMZ)
     
  • Rob Evans goes from hands-on judging to hands-on a model's face (TMZ)
     
  • Jesse Csincsak gives a baby to his wife. No, it isn't named Rose (Us)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP: Knightmare convention (Metro)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Theo Von (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Posted 3/18/14

The Search Begins...
Auditions to Begin for "Rising Star"
From the Futon Critic
ABC's innovative new series "Rising Star," which opens the gate to a new era in reality competition, kicks off its nationwide search for talent on Saturday, March 29th. The U.S. series is helmed by executive producers Ken Warwick ("American Idol") and Nicolle Yaron ("The Voice"). Aspiring singers are encouraged to visit www.abc.com/risingstar for more information on the audition process. Solo vocalists, duos and vocal groups (up to five members) can register to audition in person, online or nominate a friend/family member.

"Rising Star" completely reinvents the traditional singing competition as--for the first time ever--the audience has the final say in real time. The show follows a group of aspiring singers as they perform live. During the performances, viewers vote in real time via an App to determine if the singer will advance in the competition. If the voting reaches a certain threshold, the performer moves on. In addition, the performer can see how the voting is going throughout the performance, so the feedback is immediate and dramatic.

"RISING STAR" HOPEFULS CAN AUDITION IN-PERSON IN THE FOLLOWING CITIES:
DALLAS: March 29th
ATLANTA: April 1st
CHICAGO: April 8th
NASHVILLE: April 11th
LOS ANGELES: April 15th
NEW YORK: April 24th
BOSTON: April 26th

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/17/14

Weekend: Madness Resurrected
CBS, ABC Split Sunday
From the Futon Critic
ABC (7.653 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) took home top demo honors yet again on Saturday with its mix of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.176 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10), "Once Upon a Time" (7.468 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T2), "Resurrection" (10.801 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.0, #1) and "Revenge" (6.170 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T7).

FOX (3.944 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then was the number two network with its lineup of "Bob's Burgers" (2.489 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 1.1, #16), "American Dad" (2.751 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T13), "The Simpsons" (4.016 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "Family Guy" (4.585 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T2) and "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" (4.911 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4).

Next up was CBS (9.114 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3) with originals from "60 Minutes" (11.109 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T7), "The Amazing Race 23" (8.302 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #6), "The Good Wife" (8.382 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T13) and "The Mentalist" (8.663 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T13).

And finally, a recap of "The Voice" (5.315 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10) lead into the time period premiere of "Believe" (6.505 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10) and the launch of "Crisis" (6.506 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9) on NBC (5.910 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3).

Telemundo Media’s “La Voz Kids” reached a cumulative audience of 3,467,000 total viewers and 1,630,000 adults 18-49 on second season premiere night, according to Nielsen. Produced for the first time out of Universal Studios Florida, the Sunday night reality show averaged 2,148,000 total viewers and 977,000 adults 18-49, 27% and 12% growth versus season one premiere, respectively. Locally, “La Voz Kids” outperformed Univision as the highest ranked Spanish-language television show in the time period in San Francisco, Chicago, Phoenix and Denver among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

On Friday, "Shark Tank" scared up 7.489 million for ABC.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/17/14

Yours Truly, Aspiring Game Show Host
Kaiser Chiefs Frontman Reportedly in Talks for a Game Show
From
Contact Music
Ricky Wilson - the lead singer with the Kaiser Chiefs and current coach on The Voice UK - is in talks for his own quiz show. According to The Sun newspaper, Wall to Wall producers are keen for Wilson to helm his own programme 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' style show on BBC.

A source told the tabloid, "Producers are developing ideas to match his personality -- irreverent and credible."

Wilson was the surprise choice to line-up alongside Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones and Will.i.am on the new series of The Voice, though has impressed with his naturalistic TV style. He is also set to present a handful of shows on BBC6 Music.

Contact Music
MTV UK
Yahoo! TV
Mirror

posted 3/17/14

"Voice Kids" Heads to Philippines
Host, Coaches Named
From ABS-CBN News
Three of the four coaches in the debut season of "The Voice of the Philippines" will return for the hit program's "Kids" edition, producer ABS-CBN announced Monday.

Pop star Sarah Geronimo, rock icon Bamboo Manalac, and Broadway actress Lea Salonga will be coaching singing hopefuls, aged 8 to 14, in the "The Voice Kids" when it premieres this summer.

Last year, The Black Eyed Peas' Allan "apl.de.ap" Pineda joined the three Filipino superstars in the local debut of "The Voice," a format which has so far aired in some 50 countries.

Joining "The Voice Kids" as co-hosts are Alex Gonzaga, who was one of last season's "V Reporters," and Luis Manzano, who recently wrapped up work on the morning game show "Minute to Win It."

On Monday, the official social media accounts of "The Voice of the Philippines" shared the first photo of the new set for its "Kids" edition.

ABS-CBN News

posted 3/17/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Lucky Us"

  • Bill Engvall goes from TBS to Lingo to Dancing back to TBS (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • Mel B joins Rob Lowe to fight "Big Ass Spider" for Syfy. Well, it's a step up from being married to Annie Edison (Twitter: @RobLowe)
     
  • Billy Eichner before "The Street" (Splitsider).
     
  • Candice Glover heads to "Northpole" for Hallmark (The Honesty Hour)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Pointless-Quiz with Friends" (MacWorld)
     
  • Noel Edmonds thinks it's time to sell the BBC... to Noel Edmonds (Bristol Post)
     
  • Davina McCall... as straight edge as they come (Contact Music)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Eliminated "American Idol" contestant complains about the judging (In Touch Weekly)
     
  • THIS WEEK ON THE EXPERTS: Three VERY SPECIAL contestants... Discworld vs. Mad Men vs. Prince (YouTube)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Justin Willman, Dove Cameron, and Joey Bragg ("Win, Lose or Draw") (MSN)

Posted 3/17/14

THE CLOCK STRIKES 12
Arthur Chu Unseated After 11 Wins, Almost $300,000
From Time
Since 'Reddit AMAs' was a category during his run on Jeopardy!, it's only fitting Arthur Chu answers questions himself in an 'ask me anything' session on reddit.com.

Chu, a compliance analyst and voiceover actor from Broadview Heights, recently won 11 straight games on Jeopardy!. He took home $297,200, third-most in the show's 30-year history.

Chu made fans and enemies alike for his unorthodox playing style and cold, robotic demeanor. In his AMA introduction, Chu writes of himself,

"I am also known as the "Villain of Jeopardy", "Mad Genius Who Destroyed America's Favorite Game Show", "Jeopardy Jerk", "Jeopardy Thug", "Smarmy and Punchable", etc. My performance on the game show has been overshadowed by the enormous negative reaction to my gameplay from "hardcore" Jeopardy fans and my own reaction to their criticism on Twitter."

Chu goes on to answer numerous questions about his run on the game show, including what ultimately led to his downfall,

"In reality the main thing was that I knew that lots of Jeopardy contestants are smart but it's their emotions that make them lose. And I was really really intent on not letting my emotions get to me -- in the end I was unsuccessful and went "on tilt" once I started having a bad day, leading to my loss, but it was being a "robot" onstage that kept me from freaking out and kept me focused enough to still pull out victories even after taking big losses."

He also talks about his post-Jeopardy! plans,

"I'd be lying to say that I haven't thought about how to "monetize" my success on the show but the problem is Ken Jennings has already basically colonized the space of "Trivia merchandise created by famous Jeopardy champion"."

As Chu racked up victory after victory, his playing style – jumping around the board looking for Daily Doubles and keeping his opponents off balance – irritated many long-time fans of the show who are used to contestants working through categories from lowest to highest. Chu told USA Today that his strategy was based on game theory and that he was playing the game to his best advantage within the rules.

Now that Chu has been dethroned – defeated in a pretaped episode Wednesday night by a former synchronized swimmer from Michigan – the “Jeopardy! villain” says he plans to be just as strategic off-air with his nearly $300,000 in winnings.

“The main thing is I don’t want to do anything crazy or stupid,” Chu, 30, said today on “Good Morning America.” “I’ve been very strategic so far so I want to be strategic in the future.

“I did talk to my wife,” he said. “We do want to go to China. She’s never been. I want to see relatives that I haven’t seen for a very long time [and] maybe start thinking about buying a house in the future.”

Time
ABC News
Yahoo!
TV Guide
Detroit Free Press
AP/Yahoo!
The Celebrity Cafe
AceShowbiz
Entertainment Weekly
Washington Post
AP/Yahoo!
Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Hollywood Gossip
New York Daily News
Uproxx
KSDK St. Louis
TMZ
Zap2it
Yahoo!
About.com Game Shows
Entertainment Weekly
Reddit AMA
AP/Yahoo!
CBC
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Columbus Dispatch


Arthur Chu bows out after an 11-day run
photo courtesy Sony Pictures TV

p
osted 3/17/14

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