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More on "Monopoly Millionaires Club"
Catch It This Weekend
From AM New York

When the opportunity to host a game show based on the iconic board game Monopoly came up, comedian Billy Gardell jumped at the "Chance."

"I've been a fan since I was a kid," he says. "In fact, I think there's still a game going on at my house on the kitchen table somewhere that we left and have to return to."

The "Mike & Molly" star is the host of the new game show "Monopoly Millionaires' Club," premiering this weekend, which ties in with the scratch-off lottery ticket game. You buy the $5 ticket and play the game on the front of the card, winning if you're lucky. Flip the card over and there's a second chance where you can enter online to win a trip to Las Vegas to be on the game show.

"And we encourage people to play responsibly," Gardell says. "I don't want you to go out and buy 9,000 of these things. Play responsibly."

Of course, you can watch the show for some classic game-show appeal. Similar to "The Price is Right," contestants get to play one of a series of games, here inspired by spots from Monopoly. So, for example, Ride the Rails is inspired by the four railroads.

One of the unique attributes of this game show is that it's not just the contestants who are in line to bring home the big bucks. The audience members, all winners of the contest on the back of the lottery ticket game, are seated in one of five sections (named after one of the iconic game pieces). The show's contestants are selected from each of those sections, and whatever they win is split with that section. So if a contestant wins $100,000, the contestant gets half and the other half is split amongst the people in the contestant's section.

Before starting his new side career as a game show host, Gardell chatted with a few of his comedian brethren about the gig.

"Craig Ferguson is doing a game show, and I've known ['Lets Make A Deal' host] Wayne Brady for many, many years," Gardell says. "I got advice from both of them and they said you just have to try and make it your own. It's a lot like stand-up because you're talking to people all the time, but be generally interested and want them to win the money, because, hey, it's not your money!"

AM New York
TV Media Insights
Fox News
WPIX New York
TV NewsCheck
Orlando Sentinel
TribLive.com
Variety
Fast Company
New York Post
New York Daily News
Tifton Gazette

posted 3/27/15

HLN Gets the Keys
Summer Sanders to Host Network's First Game Show March 31
From TV by the Numbers

Keywords, the search and tag game of internet trivia, launched as an app by HLN in January and downloaded by thousands of players, makes its debut as the network’s first game show, hosted by Olympic gold medalist (1992, Barcelona) and television personality Summer Sanders, on Tuesday, March 31 at 10pm ET.

In the five-episode weekly HLN Original Series, developed in-house, Sanders tests the contestants’ internet knowledge by providing up to five keyword clues and challenging them to guess the search term.

The Keywords app is available on iTunes. Please click the following link for a preview of Keywords, the TV show, and to download the app and play along: http://www.hlntv.com/video/2015/03/26/test-your-internet-trivia-hln-new-game-keywords

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/27/15

Thursday: How Sweet It Is... Unless You're a Fan of Xavier
CBS Wins Night
From the Futon Critic

CBS (7.790 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with its second week of "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (7.114 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4) coverage followed by "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Update" (6.130 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5) and more "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (9.634 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.3, #1).

ABC (7.251 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then claimed the silver with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (8.162 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3), "Scandal" (8.052 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) and "American Crime" (5.539 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

Next up was NBC (5.897 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and its combination of "Dateline NBC" (6.275 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9), "The Blacklist" (7.988 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6) and "The Slap" (3.429 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.693 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) served up the return of "Bones" (5.748 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #7) and "Backstrom" (3.638 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.689 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and "The Flash" (0.679 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.684 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.159 million
- Chopped Canada (Food): 667,000
- Broke A$$ Game Show (season finale/MTV): 518,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 494,000
- Snack-Off (MTV): 362,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/27/15

Israel Has the Yum Factor
Cook Off Heads to MIP
From C21 Media

Israel’s Armoza Formats has partnered with a local production outfit on a primetime format described as a combination of a gameshow and a cooking show.

The distributor is working with Israeli prodco Abot Hameiri on Yum Factor, which sees three contestants cook two of their favorite dishes for six jury members.

The cooks must guess which jurors like their dish the most after watching their reactions, although they cannot hear anything they say, with every correct guess worth money.

The cook who accumulates the most money throughout the show has the chance to take home all their winnings, or choose to risk everything for double or nothing by hearing whether the show’s star chef thinks their food has the “yum factor.”

The 60-minute show, which is launching at MipTV next month, comes after the two companies previously worked together on the dating reality show Love Lab and scripted reality series TLV.

C21 Media

posted 3/27/15

Swedish for Renewal
"Lyrics Board" Gets Two More Seasons
From World Screen

Swedish pubcaster SVT has ordered 21st and 22nd seasons of the music game show The Lyrics Board.

Philip Kampff and Andy Ruane created the series, which originally aired on Ireland's RTÉ. Local versions of the long-running format have been produced in over 30 territories. Mastiff, a Zodiak Media company, produces the show in Sweden.

“Any format that goes 21 seasons is very, very special. This is an incredible achievement,” Ruane said. “The Lyrics Board is truly an original global format.”

World Screen

posted 3/27/15

Game Night Set... Plus More
Season 3 of NBC Party Game Launches July 7
From TV by the Numbers

NBC has set Wednesday, Aug. 5 for a new hourlong block of comedies as “Mr. Robinson” will premiere at 9 p.m. immediately followed by “The Carmichael Show” at 9:30 p.m. In addition, new summer alternative series “The Island” (May 25) will immediately follow “American Ninja Warrior” on Mondays while “I Can Do That” (May 26) will have “America’s Got Talent” — summer’s #1 reality show — as its Tuesday lead-in.

Returning reality series “Food Fighters” (July 2), “Hollywood Game Night” (July 7), “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (July 13) and “Last Comic Standing” (July 22), as well as second-year comedy “Welcome to Sweden” (July 19), will all come back for new seasons on NBC, which has won the last four summers in the 18-49 demo.

I CAN DO THAT— Tuesday, May, 26, 10-11 p.m.

In this exciting new variety format, America’s brightest entertainers will come together to compete and showcase their incredible talent. Each week, a group of six celebrities perform breathtaking and unique acts to prove to the audience that “they can do that!” In each episode, we will see current top music and variety groups showcase unique talents and performances. During each performance, the eight celebrities enter a friendly rivalry as they choose their favorite act, what they think they can master, and who they would pair up with to master the act. Unlike most talent shows, there are no judges or eliminations, it’s all for bragging rights. Watch your favorite stars master a new skill every week and face challenges beyond their imagination. They may already be winners, but can they do…THAT?

Comedian-actor-producer Marlon Wayans will serve as host. Celebrities participating are acclaimed dancer and choreographer Cheryl Burke, superstar recording artists Joe Jonas, Nicole Scherzinger and Ciara, national standup comedian Jeff Dye and actor Alan Ritchson.

The series is a Universal Television production. Audrey Morrissey (“The Voice”) and Matilda Zoltowski (“Dancing with the Stars”) serve as executive producers. Rick Alvarez, Avi Armoza, Nehama Cohen, Elwin De Groot, Steve Harris and Marlon Wayans also executive produce.

FOOD FIGHTERS — Thursday, July 2, 8-9 p.m.

It’s the perfect recipe for the ultimate food battle when the best amateur cooks in America put their signature dishes to the test against five professional chefs in “Food Fighters,” a high-stakes culinary game returning for season two. Television personality, author and food enthusiast Adam Richman (“Man Vs. Food,” “Man Finds Food”) hosts the series that takes culinary sparring to an exciting new level.

In a series of compelling, tension-filled showdowns, a top-notch amateur home cook will Face Off one by one against five professional chefs from every corner of the world. In the final round, they’ll compete against a celebrity chef. Armed only with recipes for their best signature dishes, they’ll square off against an expert chef who will have to cook the same dish. The completed dishes will then be sampled in a blind taste test by culinary judges known as “The Dinner Party.” After the two competing dishes are tested, the verdict determining the winner is given to the host.

If the home cook wins, they earn a cash prize. Even if they don’t win, they still get to Face Off again against another culinary expert, climbing a money ladder with increasing cash prizes for every professional chef they knock out. Any amateur cook who wins each of the five rounds will walk away with $100,000. It’s the ultimate food fight, pitting amateur cooks against the most formidable culinary pros in America to see if they have what it takes to beat the very best.

Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Tim Puntillo and Laura Caraccioli are executive producers. “Food Fighters” is from Electus and Universal Television.

“Food Fighters” delivered a 1.2 rating, 4 share in adults 18-49 and 4.7 million viewers overall from 8-9 p.m. ET in “live plus seven day” averages from Nielsen Media Research last summer. In its Tuesday 8-9 p.m. ET slot, “Food Fighters” ranked #1, tied for #1, #2 or tied for #2 among the Big 4 networks with each of its eight season-one telecasts (“live plus same day”).

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT — Tuesday, July 7, 10-11 p.m.

Summer hit series “Hollywood Game Night” returns for a third season with new and returning celebrity players that will join in the fun as they Face Off in hilarious party games. In the series, two contestants are transported from their everyday lives into a once-in-a-lifetime night of fun and celebration as they step beyond the velvet rope and rub shoulders with some of their favorite celebrities and compete for the chance to win up to $25,000.

“Hollywood Game Night” averaged a 1.5 rating, 4 share in adults 18-49 and 5.0 million viewers overall during the traditional September-to-May 2013-14 television season, up +7% versus the show’s first season over the Summer of 2013 in adults 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.4) and up +21% in total viewers (5.0 million vs. 4.1 million viewers overall).

“Hollywood Game Night” is produced by Universal Television in association with Hazy Mills Productions (“Grimm,” “Sean Saves the World,” “Hot In Cleveland”) and Mission Control Media (Syfy’s “Face Off”). Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner, Michael Agbabian and Dwight D. Smith are executive producers.

LAST COMIC STANDING — Wednesday, July 22, 9-11 p.m. premiere, 10-11 p.m. beginning July 29

“Last Comic Standing” resumes its search for the funniest comic in the country with the best panel of judges to date, surprise celebrity guests and a new riveting head-to-head phase of the competition. The season will open up with hilarious auditions 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 head to head round. In this phase, they will be paired in a high stakes single-elimination round of stand-up stand offs. The top five comedians will move on to the finals, where the funniest of all will take the coveted title of “Last Comic Standing,” winning an incredible prize package worth $250,000, including a cash prize, a talent deal and a development deal for a television show.

“Last Comics Standing” averaged a 1.7 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers overall last summer, and ranked #1 or tied for #1 versus its regular ABC and CBS time-slot competition with 12 of 13 telecasts. “Last Comic” was a strong upscale draw, indexing at a 126 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes (100 represents an average concentration of those homes).

“Last Comic Standing” is executive produced by Wanda Sykes, Page Hurwitz and Javier Winnik. The series is produced by Universal Television and Push It Productions.

TV by the Numbers
TV Line

posted 3/27/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "History Down Under"

  • CASTING COUCH: Wheel keeps Austin weird (KXAN Austin)
     
  • Betty White's biggest regret (Fame10)
     
  • ICYMI: History was made on "Million Dollar Minute" (Herald Sun)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Chris Cubas, the winner of the #PointsMe Challenge on @midnight (Austin360)

posted 3/27/15

Tuesday: All CBS All Day
Eye Takes the Night
From AM New York

CBS (13.153 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) pulled into the top demo spot on Tuesday with originals from "NCIS" (16.014 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.251 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and "Person of Interest" (9.193 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4).

NBC (6.644 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then had to settle for second place with its mix of "The Voice" (11.196 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1), "Undateable" (5.239 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4), "One Big Happy" (3.947 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9) and a special "The Night Shift" (4.144 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T11).

Next up was ABC (4.289 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and fresh installments of "Fresh Off the Boat" (4.949 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #7), "Repeat After Me" (3.555 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T11), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.201 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4) and "Forever" (4.412 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.781 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.699 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8), a repeat "New Girl" (1.676 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T15) and the season finale of "The Mindy Project" (2.051 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #14).

And finally, The CW (2.637 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) closed out the evening with a new "The Flash" (3.210 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #10) and week two of "iZombie" (2.064 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T15).

On cable...
- Chopped (Food/season premiere): 1.381 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.197 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 (MTV/season finale): 1.033 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 388,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/26/15

March 31. Daytime Emmy Noms. The Talk
Episode to Repeat on Pop
From TV by the Numbers

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and THE TALK today announced that the daytime talk show will exclusively reveal the “42nd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards” nominations live on Tuesday, March 31 (2:00-3:00 PM, ET; 1:00-2:00 PM, PT/CT) on the CBS Television Network.

NATAS will release the full nominations list immediately following the program online at www.emmyonline.org/daytime.

Encores of this special episode of THE TALK will air on Pop on Tuesday, March 31 (8:00 PM and 11:00 PM, ET/PT) featuring the nominations of the Daytime Emmy Awards. The “42nd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards” ceremony airs live exclusively on Pop on Sunday, April 26 (8:00 PM, ET/5:00 PM, PT).

THE TALK will continue the celebration following the Daytime Emmys with its fourth annual “After Party,” honoring some of the night’s biggest winners on Monday, April 27. Guest names to be announced following the Daytime Emmy Awards early Monday morning, April 27.

Meanwhile, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced today that “Jeopardy!” game show icon, Alex Trebek and Florence Henderson, stage and television star of “Oklahoma” and “The Brady Bunch,” will host the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Friday, April 24, 2015. The reception and presentation will take place at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m.

In addition, this year’s Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to producer, director, Michael Gargiulo, who in his over 50-year career has had a hand in many television classics such as “Password,” “I’ve Got A Secret,” “The Tell the Truth,” The Thanksgiving Day’s Parade,” the “Tournament of Roses,” plus many variety specials for CBS, including the “New Year’s Eve Celebration” for more than 30 years.

“I feel like we have garnered two icons of television royalty in having Alex Trebek and Florence Henderson as co-hosts for our grand celebration of the best in the craft of television at this year’s Daytime Creative Arts gala,” said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “Adding Producer/Director Michael Gargiulo as our lifetime achievement honoree to the evening’s festivities with his over-half a century of Emmy-Award winning work guarantees a terrific evening as we honor the best in daytime television.”

“Michael Gargiulo is a behind the camera pioneer who goes back to his days with television legends Bob Stewart and Mark Goodson,” said David Michaels, Senior Vice President, Daytime. “From his historic recording of the Nixon Khrushchev “kitchen debate” to the “$10,000 Pyramid,” Michael Gargiulo has produced and directed just about everything in a career that includes game shows, variety specials and news. We’re delighted to be honoring him with this well-deserved lifetime achievement award.”

TV by the Numbers
We Love Soaps

posted 3/26/15

Price Gets into Wedding Game
Mass Wedding to Take Place at March 31 Taping
From Cinema Blend

The Price is Right has always been one of the most irreverent, unconventional game shows on television. However, lately, it has been embracing the concept of love, trying to guess its proverbial retail price in the form of Baby Showers for expecting couples, salutes to military couples and even a cross-promotional exhibition of match-making with Match.com that paired up single contestants as potential paramours. However, their next event will feature several couples who ready to “come on down” and tie the knot right there in the studio!

The venerable game show will be holding a Mass Wedding Special this coming week, on March 31. Yes, in what will surely be an obscene spectacle (in a good way,) the show’s producers will apparently corral a collection of (presumably) willing couples into the studio for their nuptials. Hopefully, the staff's organizational skills will keep things tight for the presumably numerous tiers of knots, who will collectively say their vows on TV. While they probably shouldn’t expect members of the audience to come bearing gifts, there will actually be plenty of opportunities to earn some freebies, as well, as the couples will reportedly have a chance to win “great prizes.”

So, who, may you ask will be presiding over this bridal bonanza? None other than the host, Drew Carey, himself! Yes, the former comedian and sitcom star-turned game show legacy proprietor actually took the (oddly easy) step of having himself ordained through one of the many online sites who do that sort of thing. Now, the man who set out to prove to the world that “Cleveland Rocks” will preside over a ceremony involving several potentially expensive rocks. For many of the fanatical followers of the program, holding an event that ideally should be one of the definitive moments of their lives squished together in a smaller-than-it-looks studio full of strangers for all the country to witness on television is the kind of homage-paying fandom of which dreams are made.

Does the idea of having a wedding on The Price is Right sound like a price-tag-sporting bandwagon on which you’d like to jump? Is it a proverbial treadmill on which you’re willing to risk falling like announcer, George Gray, potentially breaking your coccyx? Well, there may still be time for you to make that all-too important decision which alters the way you’ll have to do your taxes, among other things.

The Price is Right Mass Wedding episode tapes on March 31 at 8:30am at CBS Television City in Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles and it is apparently open to all willing couples, even non-California residents. The only small caveat is that you need to have your California (and ONLY California) marriage documents with you and ready to be signed. They don’t have time to watch you lollygag with your manila folder full of bills and eviction notices, so prepare to have your shit together, or it’s off to Vegas with you two.

Cinema Blend

posted 3/26/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "All At Sea"

posted 3/26/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Top Tip"

  • Jeremy Clarkson wins the sack race at the BBC (Radio Times)
     
  • Regis Philbin hasn't seen much of Kelly Ripa since their talker days (Fox News)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS: Michelle Obama appears on Jeopardy! It was a hair-raising affair. You'd think she'd tear her hair out. Alopecia. (WTOP Washington)
     
  • CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME (unless you're allergic): Wink Martindale, Ruta Lee, and a really REALLY big peanut butter cup (Candy Industry)
     
  • Wayne Brady plays New Jersey in May (Broadway World)
     
  • Steve Harvey brings his brand of tough love to the Trop in Atlantic City. After a bad day at the pai gow tiles, you may need it (Press Of Atlantic City)
     
  • Jim Ed Brown, host of TNN's early talent series "You Can Be a Star", can be a star in the Country Music Hall of Fame (Contact Music)

posted 3/25/15


Game Over for "Let's Ask America"
Skype Survey Quiz to End After Three Seasons
From B&C

The syndicated game show Let’s Ask America distributed by MGM Domestic Television Distribution and hosted by Bill Bellamy will not return for a fourth season this fall, a spokesperson for station group E. W. Scripps confirms.

“In reviewing the data after three seasons of the game show, we see that the audience affinity settled at a level that is below where we want it to be,” she says.

Let’s Ask America was created by Jeff Apploff and the late Jim Paratore and was originally produced by Warner Bros.’ Telepictures for Scripps. Kevin Pereira hosted the show’s first two seasons.

Bob Sullivan, who this month was named SVP of programming at Gannett Broadcasting, was instrumental in getting the show on the air when he held a similar position at Scripps.

For the two-week period March 9-20, Let’s Ask America averaged a 0.6 household rating and 2 share in 16 metered markets, according to Nielsen.

Scripps said it will continue to produce original programs for its stations. “We remain committed to our three other original programs: The List, The Now and Right This Minute,” says the Scripps spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Bob Sullivan, Scripps VP of programming, who spearheaded development on Scripps' original first-run shows, decamped for Gannett, where he will serve as senior VP, programming.

Let’s Ask America was developed for Scripps by Telepictures, which serves as Warner Bros.’ Television first-run development and production arm, and paraMedia Inc., which was led by the late Jim Paratore. Michael Canter and Jeff Krask are executive producers.

TV NewsCheck
TV Week
B&C

posted 3/24/15

Syndies: Week 25
Results for the Week Ending March 15
From TV Newscheck

The first week of Daylight Saving Time saw PUT levels plummet, taking the vast majority of syndicated shows lower in the session ending March 15.

For example, CTD's Wheel of Fortune, which had been the clear syndication leader in the prior frame, sank 12% to a 6.8 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, and was tied for first place overall by Judge Judy, which was down only 3% to a 6.8.

Other games beside Wheel losing steam included:
- Jeopardy (CTD), which dropped 9% to a 6.7.
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA), which faded 9% to a 6.4.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (DADT), which lost 11 to a 1.7, matching its season low.
- Celebrity Name Game (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA), which dropped 13% to a 1.3.

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

Evil. Delicious. Evilicious
Catch "Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious" on Food April 19
From TV Newscheck

Host Alton Brown welcomes back sixteen of the most devilishly memorable contestants to ever enter Cutthroat Kitchen in the five-episode primetime tournament Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious, beginning Sunday, April 19th at 10pm (all times ET/PT). In each episode, four returning chefs compete in a battle of wits, sabotage skills and cooking chops - with only one from each heat advancing to the final showdown on Sunday, May 17th at 10pm. The tournament grand prize winner will receive up to $75,000 and be crowned Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious champion.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/24/15

MIPTV: Global Agency
On Offer: Stairway to Fame, Joker, Flying Wheel
From World Screen

Izzet Pinto, the founder and CEO of Global Agency, discusses the company's MIPTV highlights and hot format genres.

Last month at DISCOP Istanbul, Global Agency debuted its new reality singing format It’s Showtime, which garnered a great deal of interest for the company. “Many people came to me and said, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ and to me, that shows it’s a good idea,” says Izzet Pinto, the founder and CEO of Global Agency. “That means that it’s simple and easy to understand, and that it is something that was missing from the market.”

Pinto says that the reaction to the show—which searches for the ultimate lead singer across four different categories: voice, stage performance, song selection and styling—was very encouraging. He cites France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany among the countries looking to get on board with their own versions. “At MIPTV, we expect it to sell really fast,” Pinto adds.

Global Agency also has high expectations for the format Stairway to Fame for MIPTV sales. The show is a studio-based, 14-week search to find the country’s next big vocal star. A key part of the format’s innovation is that contestants first appear behind a frosted panel, and only when they receive a certain number of votes are they revealed to the judges. The concept came from the Turkish singer Rafet El Roman, who presented the format to Global Agency, and together they developed it with some new twists. Pinto says he has “big hopes” for Stairway to Fame since the first pitch he made, to France, got it optioned straightaway.

“Even though people are saying that they are tired of talent shows, they are still a perfect fit for prime-time slots,” says Pinto. “They are still doing well in the market, whether it’s singing, dancing or other talents.”

Other hot genres, according to Pinto, are game shows and quiz shows. In these areas, Global Agency is promoting Joker. The show had a strong launch in France, “where it boosted the channel’s share by at least 50 percent,” says Pinto. “We are relaunching this format at MIPTV.”

Also in the way of game shows, The Flying Wheel is a studio-based series that gives contestants the chance to pay off their debts. “It is one of my favorites in the catalogue,” says Pinto. “It’s lots of fun and very entertaining. The format is suitable for many different types of broadcasters, as it’s such a cool, unique, simple idea.”

World Screen

posted 3/24/15


LIL' CHRIS: 1990-2015
British Rapper Featured on "Gene Simmons' Rock School"
From Entertainment Weekly

British pop singer Lil’ Chris, real name Christopher Hardman, whose career took off after he appeared on the UK reality show Rock School, has died at age 24, the BBC reported.

Rock School star Gene Simmons confirmed the death on Twitter on Tuesday.

"Sad to report Lil Chris from the Gene Simmons Rock School TV show, has passed on. He was loved. RIP, Lil Chris."
- @genesimmons


Simmons worked with a group of teenagers from a UK high school to transform them into a rock band. Hardman ended up becoming the breakout star of the series and released the single “Checkin’ It Out” shortly after it aired in 2006. The song went on to hit No. 3 on the British charts.

According to the BBC, Suffolk Police said they were not treating the death, which was reported on Monday, as suspicious.

Hardman’s last single, “Christmas Number One,” was released in December 2013. He recently performed in the West End production of the musical Loserville.

Entertainment Weekly
UPI
Popcrush
Mashable

Photo courtesy Mashable

posted 3/24/15

Monday: Knockout or Stalemate?
ABC, NBC, CBS Split Night Three Ways
From The Futon Critic

NBC (9.849 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) was still the network to beat on Monday with fresh installments from "The Voice" (11.882 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.3, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.782 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

ABC (11.856 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) then claimed the silver with new episodes of "Dancing with the Stars" (13.680 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T2) and "Castle" (8.209 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

Sharing second place honors was CBS (8.796 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) and its mix of "2 Broke Girls" (7.328 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.799 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5), "Scorpion" (9.571 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T2) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.253 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.803 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) offered up a new "The Following" (3.891 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and a second hour of "The Following" (3.715 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

And finally, repeats of "The Originals" (0.954 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.815 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) on The CW (0.885 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 440,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 325,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

The Great Israeli Bake-Off
BBCWW Brings Cooking Show Overseas
From Realscreen

Israeli free-to-air broadcaster Keshet has signed on for a local version of BBC Worldwide format The Great Bake Off.

In what marks the first format deal between BBC Worldwide and Keshet, the latter is to produce an 8 x 90-minute series slated to air in 2016.

BBC Worldwide has inked several sales for The Great Bake Off thus far, with licensing deals in place for Australia (Nine Network), Belgium (VTM), France (M6) and Poland (TLC), among others. Format creator Love Productions has also licensed the program to the U.S. (CBS), making 17 international commissions for the BBC1 show.

Elsewhere, among BBC Worldwide’s MIPTV-bound formats is the comedy game-show format You’re Back in the Room, where five strangers play games under hypnosis; The Edge, a quiz and game-show hybrid; The Big Painting Challenge, in which amateur painters take on art challenges in various locations; and Pressure Cooker, in which home cooks choose random ingredients from a conveyor belt to create meals.

Realscreen
C21 Media
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Excellent!"

  • Derek Hough, Mark Ballas flip over HGTV (The Futon Critic)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEWS: The Quizeum (On the Box) and if you ever read one review of "The Price Is Right", read this one (AV Club)
     
  • Remains of "Food Network Star" finalist found in an oven (Eater)
     
  • ICYMI: the "Jeopardy!" bookie that was also a DJ (Uproxx)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: a game for families in the Los Angeles area (Reality Wanted) and Billy Gardell (TV Insider)

posted 3/24/15

Weekend: Don't Stop Believin'
ABC Sweeps "Blue Bloodless" CBS
From The Futon Critic

ABC (6.282 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) was the top draw on Friday with its mix of "Last Man Standing" (7.056 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2), "Cristela" (5.466 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9), "Shark Tank" (7.455 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) and "20/20" (5.131 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6).

NBC (6.114 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) then claimed the silver with the return of "Grimm" (4.905 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (6.719 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2).

Next up was CBS (3.809 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) and its coverage of "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (4.147 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4), "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Update" (3.335 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6) and more "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (3.539 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.610 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) offered up a new "Glee" (2.695 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.8, #10) followed by the series finale of "Glee" (2.526 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11).

And finally, a new "Hart of Dixie" (1.363 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12) and a rebroadcast of "iZombie" (1.283 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12) on The CW (1.323 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On Sunday...

- The Voice (R/NBC): 3.505 million

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/23/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Love. Unscripted."

  • Why would Chuck Woolery, Bob Eubanks, Chris Harrison & Trista Sutter share a room with Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt? The real question... Why would anyone? (Variety)
     
  • Somebody's record may be going down on "Million Dollar Minute" (Herald Sun)
     
  • Marty Allen turns 93 (Las Vegas Blog)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Blake Shelton (TV Insider) and Billy Gardell (TV Insider)

posted 3/23/15

More on "Lie Detectors"
Catch It Weekdays on GSN Starting April 20
From The Futon Critic

Game Show Network, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today its new original game show series, LIE DETECTORS, hosted by Australian TV talk show icon Rove McManus ("Rove Live") will air weekdays at 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT), beginning Monday, April 20. The premiere episode will also feature guest comedians Michelle Buteau, Christian Finnegan and Sherrod Small.

LIE DETECTORS is a quick-witted comedy panel game show that invites the studio audience to play along by separating incredible truths from bold-faced lies. In each episode, three comedians try to stump the audience by presenting a mix of outrageous facts and more outrageous lies, gathered from the farthest corners of the pop culture universe. Which celebrity tweet, obscure smart phone app, or late-night infomercial product is real or phony? The audience member who gets the most correct answers in the fastest time will win a prize and come forward to face off against the comedians in a final round for even more cash.

Rove McManus, who will host the show, is widely acknowledged as Australia's most successful talk show host and one of its biggest producers of entertainment television, having hosted the top-rated live talk/comedy show "Rove Live," where he interviewed the biggest names in showbiz. He was introduced to American audiences first as a regular guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and later hosted a weekly talk show, ROVE LA, for TV Guide Network. He also continues to appear regularly on Comedy Central's @Midnight.

LIE DETECTORS is produced by Jim Co. and is based on an original idea by Tim Fornara of Kobiyoshi. Executive producers include Jim Biederman, Marla Ratner and Tim Fornara.

The Futon Critic
Broadway World
Moviehole

posted 3/20/15

With Eight, You Get Drag Race
Logo Renews Series, Production Starts... Oh... Now.
From The Futon Critic

Hot off the heels of the seventh season premiere of "RuPaul's Drag Race," Logo today announced the greenlight for an eighth season. The recent season premiere saw a ratings spike of nearly 20% from last season's kickoff among P18-49 and now ranks as one of the most watched debuts in the show's history. Continuing the upward trajectory, the second episode of the season outpaced the premiere by double digits. Production on the new season kicks off today with a nationwide casting call to seek out the fiercest queens across the land to compete in this genre-defining, battle royale of drag.

This success comes as Logo heads into its 10-year anniversary ranked as one of the fastest growing cable networks. After finishing 2014 with its most watched and highest rated year to date, this year is shaping up to shatter even more records with this current quarter pacing to be the network's highest rated in its history.

"Logo is like the Jay Z to my Beyonce," said Executive Producer, RuPaul. "I was a star before we met, but together we have raised the bar to new heights, and created a brand that has taken over the world."

Think you have what it takes to be "America's Next Drag Superstar?" Click below!

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/20/15

This Is The ... Songbook
"The Voice" EP, Adam Levine Team to Find America's Next Great Songwriter
From The Hollywood Reporter

NBC's next big music show could come from those who've helped make The Voice a hit.

The latter's executive producer Audrey Morrissey and coach Adam Levine are teaming with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Dave Stewart on a pilot called Songland. The project is predicated on the simple premise that the songwriter is king in the music business.

While artists make money on songs that they record, songwriters have multiple avenues and points at which they can generate hefty revenue from their works. If ultimately ordered to series, Songland will pull back the curtain on the song marketplace and the power brokers within it. The project is expected to feature everyday people with compelling stories who get the opportunity to pitch original compositions to the music industry's biggest producers and artists, all hunting for the next global smash.

Songland is being produced by Live Animals in association with Dave Stewart Entertainment and Levine's 222 Productions. The three-time Grammy winner will be an exec producer on the project alongside Morrissey, Stewart, Live Animals' Ivan Dudynsky and Levine's manager-turned-producing partner Jordan Feldstein.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/20/15

Thursday: Basketball or Idol?
Fox Takes Total Viewers; CBS Wins the Demo
From The Futon Critic

CBS (6.533 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) took home the demo crown on Thursday with its mix of "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (5.987 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), a "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Update" (8.028 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) and more "NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament" (6.607 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T3).

ABC (7.146 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then was a close second with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.798 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T3), "Scandal" (7.957 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "American Crime" (5.683 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

Next up was FOX (8.405 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) and a new "American Idol" (8.108 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) plus a second hour of "American Idol" (8.704 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.063 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up originals from "Dateline NBC" (6.379 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9), "The Blacklist" (8.369 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5) and "The Slap" (3.440 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.558 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11) and "Reign" (1.090 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #13) on The CW (1.324 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.245 million
- Chopped Canada (Food): 1.035 million
- Broke A$$ Game Show (MTV): 626,000
- Snack-Off (MTV): 401,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 359,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/20/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Making the Drop"

  • Davina McCall to wrap season of "The Million Pound Drop" with a family (MKWEB)
     
  • Speaking of Red Nose Day, Comic Relief is bringing the poverty fight to America (TV Week)
     
  • What Evan Marriott looks like now. In a word... damn. (USA Today)
     
  • Willie Revillame makes 42nd comeback attempt (Inquirer.net)

posted 3/20/15


SHAW TAYLOR: 1924-2015
Pioneering UK Broadcaster Hosted British "Password"
From the Isle of Wight County Press

Police 5 presenter Shaw Taylor has died, aged 90, at his Isle of Wight home.

Taylor was best known for presenting the pioneering ITV show — with his catchphrase 'keep 'em peeled.'

Shaw Taylor moved to the Isle of Wight around 20 years ago, with his partner Shirley Ferrari. She was with him when he died peacefully, at their Totland home, last night (Wednesday).

Isle of Wight Radio presenter John Hannam, who had been friends with Shaw since he moved to the Isle of Wight, paid tribute to him.

Hannam said that although Police 5 might be what Shaw was best known for to many people, his career had been incredibly varied.

"One of his proudest moments was interviewing all four of The Beatles when he was at Radio Luxembourg.

"Another great moment came when he was in Moscow at a British Trade Fair and they were demonstrating one of the first video recorders and he was asked to test it by interviewing Nikita Khrushchev. The interview was broadcast live," said John.

Having served with the RAF on the Isle of Wight, during the Second World War, Shaw trained as an actor at RADA and started as a stage actor before moving into television.

He presented several game shows, including "Password", but it was his work on Police 5 — a forerunner to program such as Crimewatch — that he would become best known for.

In each episode, Shaw would present details of real crimes and urge the public to help solve them.

"ITV had bought a show from the US, but the episodes were five minutes too short for the slot, so they created Police 5. It was only supposed to for a few weeks, but it ended up running for 30 years with spin-offs around the world," said John.

During his years on the Isle of Wight, Shaw supported many charities and the local amateur dramatic scene.

"He was such a charming man and if there was something he could do to help you, he would," said John.

Isle of Wight County Press
Mirror
ATV Today
Digital Spy
The Independent

photo courtesy the Guardian

posted 3/19/15

Ron Garfield Gets Buzzrd
Former Sony Executive Heads New Digital Network
From TV NewsCheck

FremantleMedia North America today appointed Ron Garfield as executive vice president and general manager of Buzzr TV.

The digital multicast network, announced at NATPE in January and set to launch this summer in all 17 Fox O&O markets, will tap into the company’s vast portfolio of more than 40,000 hours of game shows, including Family Feud, Let’s Make A Deal, To Tell The Truth, Password, Match Game, Beat the Clock, What’s My Line, Blockbusters and Card Sharks.

“Launching Buzzr TV and growing its footprint is one of the top priorities for the business this year,” said Thom Beers, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “It was essential for me to appoint an executive with a strong record of launching secondary channels and growing their penetration in the market. Ron’s extensive background in this area, as well as his innate passion for Buzzr, made him the right choice to join me in leading this endeavor.”

"I am thrilled to be joining Thom Beers and his team at FremantleMedia,” said Garfield. “Buzzr TV is a dynamic vehicle for FMNA to make its entry into the channels space, offering viewers a fun, entertaining and a nostalgic ride through some of the best game shows of our time. For advertisers, Buzzr provides a family-friendly platform, and for our affiliate partners, a new source of revenue.”

Garfield comes to FMNA with a lengthy background in the entertainment industry. Most recently, he was with Sony Pictures Television where he served as the chief revenue officer for FEARnet and SVP of distribution for Sony Movie Channel and Cine Sony.

Prior to Sony, Garfield was the founding COO of Ovation TV where he oversaw all revenue generating functions and network operations.

TV NewsCheck
The Wrap
World Screen

posted 3/19/15

Wednesday: The Calm Before the Madness
Fox Wins Night with Season Finale of "Empire"
From The Futon Critic

FOX (16.522 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 6.4, #1) decimated the competition on Wednesday with a new "Empire" (15.578 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 6.0, #2) followed by the season finale of "Empire" (17.467 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 6.8, #1).

CBS (9.004 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then claimed a distant second place with new episodes of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.846 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3), another "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.222 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #4) and "CSI: Cyber" (7.944 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

Next up was ABC (5.697 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) and repeats of "The Middle" (5.154 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9), "The Goldbergs" (4.561 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8), "Modern Family" (5.390 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), "Black-ish" (4.442 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) plus the special "20/20: The Untold Story of 'The Sound of Music'" (7.318 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.470 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T4) served up repeats of "The Mysteries of Laura" (4.447 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.731 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and "Chicago PD" (4.234 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.368 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and the relocated "Supernatural" (1.912 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.140 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T4) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 555,000
- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 296,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/19/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "The Other March Madness"

  • American Idol sets up its own bracket for you to shred after day one (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Boy George brings culture to the round of 9 club for 80s night (TV Line)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? The Kiwi "Bachelor" date that ended with gas (New York Post)

posted 3/19/15

Tuesday: When Being a Zombie Is a GOOD Thing
CW Scores with "iZombie", Fox Loses Steam on "HK", NBC Wins Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (8.480 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was still the network to beat on Tuesday with a new "The Voice" (12.454 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) followed by the return of "Undateable" (6.454 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), the debut of "One Big Happy" (5.551 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3) and a new "Chicago Fire" (6.984 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3).

The CW (2.946 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then took home a rare silver with a new "The Flash" (3.552 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #7) and the launch of "iZombie" (2.340 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11), based on the graphic novel of the same name.

Next up was CBS (8.337 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T3) with repeats of "NCIS" (9.885 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8), "NCIS: New Orleans" (9.313 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) and "Person of Interest" (5.815 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11).

Meanwhile, ABC (3.449 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T3) offered up second runs of "Fresh Off the Boat" (3.822 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10) and "Repeat After Me" (2.599 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14) plus a new "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.287 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3) and a repeat "Forever" (2.849 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14).

And finally, a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.711 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #6), a repeat "New Girl" (1.579 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.6, #16) and a new "The Mindy Project" (2.027 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11) on FOX (2.757 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T3) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Chopped (Food): 1.400 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 (MTV): 1.012 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.010 million
- Restaurant Startup (CNBC/season finale): 393,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 378,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/18/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Off the Floor"

  • Robert Herjavec dancing with a pro. Alternative shareline: Kym Johnson swimming with a shark (Zap2it)
     
  • Pat Sajak throws shade. Tom Bergeron throws it back. And then it gets weirdly amusing. (E!)
     
  • Karla Mosley has just made soap opera history as... (USA Today)
     
  • Jeopardy!'s newest superchamp Kristin Sausville had a little help: her husband's a superchamp himself (Newark Post)
     
  • Alton Brown's tour bus is better than yours (Eater)
     
  • Ryan Knight's death was ruled an accidental OD (TMZ)

posted 3/18/15

Dancing with the Stars at 10
Season Premiere Gives ABC Win
From Entertainment Weekly

Ten years ago, viewers were introduced to the world of Dancing With the Stars—and tonight, the series’ 20th(!) season, featuring the youngest competitor to date (The Hunger Games’ Willow Shields), a fomer Olympian (Nastia Liukin), and even a farmer (The Bachelor’s Chris Soules), premieres on ABC.

NBC (10.052 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) was the demo champ on Monday with new episodes of "The Voice" (12.208 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.3, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.740 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

ABC (12.372 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then claimed the silver with the return of "Dancing with the Stars" (14.024 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) and "Castle" (9.067 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

Next up was CBS (6.998 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with a special repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.394 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4) followed by a new "Mike & Molly" (8.456 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and second runs of "Scorpion" (6.437 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #7) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (6.133 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.971 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a repeat "Gotham" (2.438 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and a new "The Following" (3.505 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8).

And finally, fresh installments from "The Originals" (1.286 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.074 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) on The CW (1.180 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Food Fortunes (Food): 688,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 472,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 265,000

Entertainment Weekly
TV Insider
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/17/15

Syndies: Week 24
Results for the Week Ending March 8
From B&C

With the February sweeps wrapped, syndies were mostly down in the week ended March 8.

Among the rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench topped households for the 25th week in a row at a 1.8, and also led the field among women 25-54 with a 0.9, tied with Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game. In households, Celebrity Name Game gained 7% to a second-place 1.5.

Most access shows were steady, although Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 4% higher at a third place 7.0, tying Judge Judy and leaping 21% from last year at this time.

CTD’s game show topper Wheel of Fortune was flat at a 7.7, leading all of syndication. CTD’s Jeopardy! inched up 1% to a 7.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.9, and down 21% from last year at this time.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV NewsCheck

posted 3/17/15

Trump Fires Himself
"Apprentice" Host Forms Exploratory Committee for 2016
From New York Magazine

While many viewed all the speculation about his next career move as merely a publicity stunt, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports that Donald Trump has decided to take the plunge: despite receiving a personal call from producer Mark Burnett, the real estate mogul will not renew his contract with NBC for The Apprentice. "Nobody in the history of television has turned down a renewal," boasted senior Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski. "But Mr. Trump can do that."

Trump will launch a presidential exploratory committee Wednesday, the New Hampshire Union Leader's Dan Tuohy reports.

Trump toyed with the idea running for president in 2012, but opted against it. This time around, he's already hired several early-state staffers.

New York Magazine
Vox

posted 3/17/15

Second Helping of Dishes
ITV Renews Cooking Game Show
From Digital Spy

Who's Doing the Dishes? has been recommissioned for a second series.

The ITV cooking game show hosted by Brian McFadden will return for another 30-episode run later this year, ITV Daytime has announced.

Who's Doing The Dishes?
© ITV

Who's Doing the Dishes? involves four diners trying to guess which celebrity's house they are in each day for a week, with clues given throughout the meal.

The celebrity watches from a monitor in the kitchen, and must wash the dishes if the diners correctly guess their identity.

ITV Studios Entertainment executive producer Katie Rawcliffe said: "We are delighted Who's Doing the Dishes? has been commissioned by Helen Warner and her team, and that it has become a returnable brand for ITV Studios.

"But most importantly, we are looking forward to Brian McFadden stirring up a feast of delights in more celebrity homes, as the diners guess who is cooking their dinner."

Who's Doing the Dishes? launched last year in September.

Digital Spy

posted 3/17/15

Weekend: We Have A New Challenger!
CBS Wrests Demo Crown from ABC
From the Futon Critic

CBS (9.300 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the network to beat on Friday with its mix of "The Amazing Race" (6.823 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T2), "Hawaii Five-0" (9.793 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) and "Blue Bloods" (11.285 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T2).

ABC (6.118 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) then was a close second with originals from "Last Man Standing" (7.021 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5), "Cristela" (5.271 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #8), "Shark Tank" (7.221 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) and "20/20" (4.989 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #7).

Next up was NBC (4.605 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with a repeat of "Grimm" (2.641 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #11) plus a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (5.587 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.370 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up the spring finale of "World's Funniest Fails" (2.685 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #9) and a new "Glee" (2.055 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #10).

TBS' "King of the Nerds" closed out the season with 831,000 viewers.
 
And finally, repeats of "Hart of Dixie" (0.801 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T12), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.663 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T12) and another "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.655 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.1, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (0.730 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5).

On Sunday:
- The Voice (R/NBC): 3.345 million
- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.499 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.289 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.214 million
- Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge: 714,000

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

posted 3/17/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Tiger Blood"

  • Wink Martindale among University of Memphis alumni to be Distinguished (Memphis Business Journal)
     
  • Jeremy Clarkson booked for "Have I Got News For You" before the elections... and after his fracas with "Top Gear" (The Times)
     
  • Christina Aguilera goes brunette for "Nashville" (TV Line)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Dancing with the Stars by the numbers (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Howie Mandel gets epic rolled (E!)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: An epic moment from LMAD (Advocate)
     
  • David St. John, Guinness' king of games, to release an officially amazing memoir (Southern Daily Echo)

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Digital Spy

posted 3/16/15


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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Canada Journal
Radio.com

photo courtesy Geeks of Doom!

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

Celebrity Name Game advanced 27% to a 1.4.

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

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers
B&C

posted 3/16/15

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

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

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/13/15

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

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

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Street
The Drum
New York Times

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

USA Today
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
Televisual
Deadline
Digital Spy
C21 Media
TBI Vision
Broadcast

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable:

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/12/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Host Spotting"

posted 3/12/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

Two New Greenlit Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Interstitial Series and Development

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

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

Returning Series

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

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

Realscreen
TBI Vision

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline
Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last year, Wagstaff was hospitalized with pulmonary fibrosis.

Sydney Morning Herald
Yahoo!/7News
The Australian

photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald

posted 3/11/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "15 Seconds"

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Sport Act

posted 3/10/15

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

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

Host and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot welcome judge Christina Tosi, renowned pastry chef, owner and founder of New York City's Milk Bar, to Season Six of MASTERCHEF, when it premieres with a special two-hour event Wednesday, May 20 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The culinary smash hit moves into its regular time period the following week on Wednesday, May 27 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). The three celebrated food experts will put the latest group of contestants through a series of challenging elimination rounds, in order to turn one home cook into a culinary master.

Popular quiz show ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? returns for a brand-new season, beginning Tuesday, May 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Unlike the typical game show that measures intelligence, this show tests adults' lack of knowledge - as revealed by how much they've forgotten since their grammar school days, proving that older doesn't always mean wiser. Executive-produced by Mark Burnett, and featuring returning host Jeff Foxworthy, as well as a top-notch group of grade schoolers to assist the adult contestants, ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER? will include new twists and fun elements for a new generation of viewers.

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

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

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

posted 3/10/15

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

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

Yahoo!

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Futon Critic

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Sunday...

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

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yahoo!
World Screen
Unreality TV

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

VideoInk

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Zap2it
TV Line

posted 3/9/15

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

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

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Picture Show
Talpa Media USA Shopping New Quiz Show
From Deadline

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

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

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

Deadline

posted 3/6/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

photo courtesy Memory Alpha

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "2003"

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

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
Soap Opera Network

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUSE 2015-16 SLATE

In development:

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

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

NUVOTV 2015 SLATE

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV NewsCheck
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/4/15

Can Do
NBC Greenlights Israeli Format
From People

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

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

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

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

People
TBI Vision

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kidscreen
Prolific North
World Screen
C21 Media

posted 3/4/15

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

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

posted 3/4/15

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