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DON HARRON: 1924-2015
Hosted "Anything You Can Do", "Beat the Clock"
From Hollywood Reporter
Don Harron, who wore a trademark sweater and cap to play the character Charlie Farquharson on the U.S. variety show Hee Haw and The Red Green Show in Canada, has died. He was 90.

Harron died on Saturday at his home in Toronto after a long battle with cancer, the CBC News website reported. Born in Toronto in 1924, Harron first introduced the Farquharson character in 1952 on the CBC variety show The Spring Thaw.

Harron later wrote the lyrics for Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, which has been staged every year in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, since 1965. And he hosted the CBC radio show Morningside from 1977 to 1982. He also hosted Anything You Can Do from 1972 to 1974, taking over as host of Beat the Clock after Gene Wood switched to an announcer role.

Harron also hosted The Don Harron Show on the CTV network from 1983 to 1985. He received the Order of Canada in 1980.

Harron is survived by his partner Claudette Gareau and three daughters, one of whom is Mary Harron, director of American Psycho and The Moth Diaries.

The Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Life
CBC News
National Post

posted 1/19/15


Now Boarding for Season 2
"The Game Plane" Begins Production for Sophomore Run
From Los Angeles Times
When you run a small, low-cost carrier with a tiny marketing budget, you have to be creative to get publicity.

That explains why Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air has allowed a television crew to film a game show in the cabin of its planes during regularly scheduled flights.

“We are always looking for ways to get lots of exposure,” said Brian Davis, Allegiant’s vice president of marketing.

“The Game Plane,” hosted by Mark Walberg of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” recently signed with Allegiant to begin filming a second season of episodes that include trivia contests and onboard games of skills, with cash prizes and vacations awarded between takeoffs and landings.

Allegiant reported 13% growth in passengers in 2014 compared with the previous year, plus a 9.5% increase in income for the first nine months of the year.

Davis said he doesn’t know whether the game show has played a direct role in boosting the carrier's popularity or profit, but passengers seem to like being part of the show.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from customers has been great,” he said.

The renewal means that every fall 2014 game show entry has been given the green light for a second season.

Los Angeles Times

posted 1/19/15

1000 Heartbeats, One Look
Sky Vision Deals with Hungry Bear
From Realscreen
Distributor Sky Vision has inked a first-look deal with London-based indie Hungry Bear Media.

The deal gives Sky Vision – the international distribution arm of UK broadcaster Sky – distribution rights for all forthcoming programming from Hungry Bear, which was launched last January by ex-Talkback MD Dan Baldwin, former Talkback development exec Juliet Denison and entrepreneur Peter Jones.

Later this month Sky Vision is slated to launch 30- and 60-minute versions of the Hungry Bear-produced game show format 1000 Heartbeats (pictured above) for ITV.

The deal is the latest in a number of partnerships for Sky, which acquired a minority stake in Los Angeles- and London-based prodco Znak&Jones in September and most recently penned a development and distribution deal with Chalkboard TV in November.

“We are absolutely delighted to have signed such a landmark deal for the company so early on in our journey with a partner that pulled out all the stops to work with us,” said Dan Baldwin, MD of Hungry Bear Media, in a statement.

Barney Shingleton, director of entertainment and factual at Sky Vision, added: “We are really looking forward to working with Hungry Bear Media. It’s clear they are going to become a serious player in the UK as an independent producer and their shows have great potential for the international market.”

Realscreen

posted 1/19/15

"The Voice UK" Gains Half a Mill
"Planet's Got Talent" Struggles Out of the Gate
From Broadcast
The Voice UK gained half a million viewers, thrashing a poor second outing for Stars In Their Eyes.

The Voice (BBC1) 7pm-8.25pm
8.5m (38.5%)

Wall To Wall’s chair-spinning singing show grew in strength, adding to the 8m (35.9%) that tuned in for last week’s series four opener.

It also smashed BBC1’s slot average of 6m (29.3%) for the last 12 months and was up on the equivalent episode last year, which performed to 7.6m (32.9%).

Harry Hill’s reboot of Stars In Their Eyes had differing fortunes, losing 1.2m viewers from last week to entertain 2.5m (11.5%) between 7pm and 8.05pm. It also fell 2m short of ITV’s 4.5m (22.2%) slot average.

Planet’s Got Talent (ITV) 6.30pm-7pm
2.4m (11.7%)

The Warwick Davies-narrated Thames and Syco Entertainment co-production struggled to match ITV’s slot average of 2.8m (15.8%).

The clip show of the best and worst acts on Got Talent around the world also fell well short of BBC1’s Now You See It, according to Barb data supplied by overnights.tv.

The archive magic format comfortably won the 6.30pm and 7pm slot with an audience of 4.8m (23.7%), but this fell slightly short of the 5m (25.3%) conjured up by last week’s opening episode.

On Channel 4, a repeat of George Clarke format Restoration Man informed 580,000 (2.8%) between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, while BBC2’s Dad’s Army amused 2.2m (10.9%) in the half-an-hour slot up to 7pm.

The National Lottery: Win Your Wish List (BBC1) 8.25pm-9.15pm
4.9m (23%)

The Victory Television produced National Lottery format reached its halfway mark with a series high. The eight-part, Shane Richie-fronted game show has recorded a series average of 4.5m (21.1%) to date.

Dating format Take Me Out was ITV’s best offering of the day. It flirted with an audience of 3.3m (15.3%) from 8.05pm to 9.20pm, losing 300,000 from last week’s second episode of the series.

Later on in the evening C5’s Celebrity Big Brother captured 2.6m (11.7%) between 9pm-10pm, adding 300,000 to last Saturday’s viewership.

Broadcast

posted 1/19/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Betty Betty Happy Birthday!"

  • Betty White turns 93... and have we got a surprise for her! (The Futon Critic)
     
  • A former "Biggest Loser" calls the show "a fat-shaming disaster"... among other things that we can't in good conscience print here (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Dancing with the Feud (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Joan Rivers makes one more appearance on "The Celebrity Apprentice" (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Desiree Hartsock a "Bachelorette" no more (E!)
     
  • And neither a bachelor is Stephen Fry (BBC News)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Season 2 of Fake Off (Reality Wanted)
     
  • "The Million Euro Challenge" draws complaints (Irish Independent)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Shane Richie (Daily Express)

posted 1/19/15

People Power!
USA Revives "WWE Tough Enough"
From Sporting News
WWE and the USA Network announced on Wednesday afternoon that the reality series "Tough Enough" is coming back in 2015.

The show debuted in 2001 on MTV where it aired for three seasons with a fourth season included in WWE SmackDown. The show then ended until USA Network brought it back in 2011 for one season. There had been talk last year that the show would make a return on the WWE Network but instead, it is coming back to cable television.

"I am pleased to announce that USA is bringing back 'Tough Enough,' the action-packed competition reality show from the ratings juggernaut, WWE," said USA Network President Chris McCumber during the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "The show will have a completely new format, with live elements that will truly make this event television."

WWE also made the announcement of the show coming back on Twitter:

Who is Tough Enough? Find out when @WWE #ToughEnough returns to @USA_Network this year. http://t.co/f1Z6h9T83W

— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) January 15, 2015

There is no exact word on when the show will be back on the air, but there is already a casting call online for anyone interested in trying to earn a WWE contract.

Sporting News
Deadline
Hitfix

posted 1/16/15

Another Simon Exiting Fox
Reality Head Andreae Falls on Lackluster Sword of a Season; Corie Henson Steps In
From Deadline
Simon Andreae is stepping down as head of alternative programming for Fox after a year on the job. He will be succeeded by Electus’ Corie Henson, who has been named EVP of alternative entertainment, overseeing the network’s slate of unscripted programming, specials and development. She reports to entertainment president David Madden. Meanwhile, Andreae will be returning to his producing roots, inking a producing deal with the network.

"Corie has the perfect combination of broadcast and producing experience to help us move our unscripted brand forward,” said Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Seeing the tremendous work that she, Chris Grant and the team at Electus have done, Corie clearly knows what it’s like to be on the creative side of the business, but also has a proven track record of developing and shepherding big, broad network hits.”

Andreae had a tough act to follow, taking the top unscripted post after the departure of long-time Fox reality boss Mike Darnell. He took a few swings, including buying preemptively the big-budget John de Mol social experiment Utopia and also picking up the eyebrow-raising “bomb-defusing” game show format Boom.

Fox went all in on Utopia, which fizzled, cancelled after a brief run. No other concepts developed or bought by Andreae have hit the air yet though several are in the pipeline. Additionally, Andreae’s bi-continental life — he continues to travel back and forth between Los Angeles and his native UK where his family lives — has been logistically challenging.

“I’ve had a tremendous adventure at Fox and I’m so proud to have built such a strong team of talented executives,” said Andreae. “We have a really exciting range of new unscripted shows in the pipeline, and I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with the Fox team in this new role.”

This is the second department head to depart under Fox’s new regime of Walden, Newman and Madden. Shana C. Waterman, who oversaw longform/event series programming for the network, exited in November.

Rumors about a possible change at the helm of Fox’s alternative department intensified several weeks ago when Newman and Dana reportedly started quietly meeting with potential candidates.

Henson most recently served as EVP of Unscripted Television at Electus, where she oversaw the company’s unscripted TV business, including Running Wild With Bear Grylls, and the upcoming Breaking Greenville and The Raft. Prior to that, Henson was VP of Alternative Series at ABC Entertainment, where she oversaw new series development, as well as production for hit series, including Dancing With The Stars, Shark Tank and the Extreme Makeover franchise.

Henson has also served as a producer on such series as Big Brother for CBS, Grease: You’re The One That I Want!’ for NBC and the syndicated show On Air With Ryan Seacrest for Fox affiliates; and as an executive producer on The Secret Life Of A Soccer Mom for TLC.

Deadline

posted 1/16/15

Thursday: A Bland Taste
ABC Goes Nowhere, while Fox Continues to Slide
From the Futon Critic
FOX (10.357 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with a new "American Idol" (9.834 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4) followed by a second "American Idol" (10.881 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1).

CBS (9.220 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (12.063 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #2) followed by originals from "Mom" (10.841 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #3), "Two and a Half Men" (9.391 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #5), "The McCarthys" (6.914 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #6) and "Elementary" (8.055 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #7).

Next up was NBC (3.515 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #3) with fresh installments of "The Biggest Loser" (4.219 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9), "Bad Judge" (2.773 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11), "A to Z" (1.728 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.5, #13) and "Parenthood" (4.077 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

Meanwhile, ABC (3.058 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up the penultimate week of "The Taste" (3.274 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10) and a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.627 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11).

And finally, The CW (1.924 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening with "The World Dog Awards" (1.924 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14).

On cable...

- Project Runway: All-Stars (Lifetime) - 1.642 million
- Pawnography (History, 10p) - 1.509 million
- Pawnography (History, 10:30p) - 1.441 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food) - 1.074 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central) - 560,000

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/16/15

Wednesday: Crazy Like a Fox
"Idol", "Empire" Give 1st to 4th Network
From the Futon Critic
FOX (10.475 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.4, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday with week two of "American Idol" (10.662 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #3) and "Empire" (10.289 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1).

ABC (6.234 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "The Middle" (7.821 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T5), "The Goldbergs" (7.183 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4), "Modern Family" (9.348 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.0, #2) and "Black-ish" (6.602 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 2.0, #7) plus a repeat "Forever" (3.224 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13).

Next up was CBS (9.103 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) with a new "The Mentalist" (9.359 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #11) followed by the return of "Criminal Minds" (10.174 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T5) and "Stalker" (7.775 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T8).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.601 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up fresh installments of "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.296 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.789 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10) and "Chicago PD" (6.720 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T8).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (0.840 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) and "The Flash" (0.931 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) closed out the evening on The CW (0.885 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5).

On cable...

- Top Chef (Bravo) - 945,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central) - 686,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p) - 343,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30p) - 289,000
- Baggage on the Road (GSN, 9:30p) - 290,000
- Baggage on the Road (GSN, 9p) - 208,000

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

posted 1/16/15

A Link Between Seasons
BBC One Quiz Renewed
From STV
STV Productions has made a brand new series of the hit game show The Link.

The Link sees three teams race against time over the course of 45 minutes to find the link between questions.

The gripping quiz puts contestants' knowledge to the test while rewarding bold, tactical teamwork.

The aim is to make the connections, break the links and win cash.

The Link is presented by actor Mark Williams of Father Brown, Blandings and Harry Potter fame.

Alan Clements, from STV Productions, said: "It is fantastic news that The Link proved such a hit with the daytime audience first time round. We are thrilled the series is continuing on BBC One with Mark Williams at the helm."

The first series of The Link aired in May 2014 and ranked number one in its daytime slot.

This new series, in association with LTV, will begin on January 26 on BBC One at 3pm.

STV

posted 1/16/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Betty Betty Happy Birthday!"

  • Betty White turns 93 (Entertainment Tonight) PLUS List Abuse: 93 facts you may not know about Betty (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Donald Trump told a crowd of TCA reporters that "The Celebrity Apprentice" is the #1 show on television. Yeah... about that...  (Yahoo! TV) PLUS... he's not a fan of Bill Cosby (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Eddie Huang on his new sitcom: let's get this uncomfortable discussion on race, y'all! (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • Keshet bolsters UK output (Broadcast)

posted 1/16/15

It Takes A... Pastor
WEtv Gets Into the Dating Game with "Match Made in Heaven" February 4
From the Futon Critic
Meet Shawn Bullard, an African American real estate magnate and former college athlete looking for true love. And who better to help him find The One than the man upstairs - or someone with a close connection? Enter Pastor Ken Johnson (spiritual advisor to the Indianapolis Colts) who guides Shawn and observes the authenticity and godliness of 24 women living under one roof hoping to find a love connection with Shawn. Not only does the pastor weigh in on Shawn's choices, but when his very outspoken mother moves in, she too has a say on who could potentially be her daughter-in-law. While some ladies are sane and sweet, others are downright devilish leading to plenty of drama and bad behavior. After a series of dates, romantic rendezvous, harsh eliminations, and solicited (and unsolicited) advice from the Pastor and his mother, find out if Shawn finally meets his match. "Match Made in Heaven" premieres on WE tv, Wednesday, February 4 at 10pm ET/PT

In each of the eight hour-long episodes, the bevy of beauties will face temptation at every turn. From the sweet girl next door to the smoking hot vixen; the polished career women to the innocent virgin; no one is immune to temptation. In this proverbial Garden of Eden, the ladies are constantly met with the opportunity to make a choice between good and evil in their quest for Shawn's love. Should they undermine their fellow housemates to win him over? Or take the high road and trust in their connection with him? Does "do unto others" have an alternate meaning? Will Shawn be tempted to take a bite of the forbidden fruit these women have to offer? Or will Pastor Ken and Mama Bullard be able to guide Shawn into the light so he can pick the right girl to spend the rest of his life with? Tune in Wednesday, February 4 at 10pm ET/PT

Produced for WE tv by Glassman Media with Andrew Glassman executive producing, and Gaspin Media with Jeff Gaspin executive producing. Lauren Gellert and Suzanne Murch also serve as the executive producers for WE tv.

The Futon Critic

posted 1/15/15

Syndies: Week 15
Results for the Week Ending January 4
From B&C
Most of syndication returned to normal in the week ended Jan. 4, which included New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, after plunging during the little-watched Christmas week. The gains came despite preemptions for special New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day programs, and of course, sports.

In access, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rebounded 7% from its season low in the prior session to a 6.4, although that was still down 6% from last year at this time. CTD’s Jeopardy! grew 3% to a 6.2, unchanged from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 2% to a 5.7, but picked up 4% from last year. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire rose 6% to a 1.8 (a six-week high), but was down 22% from last year.

Among this season’s rookies, all of which will be back next season, CTD’s Hot Bench lived up to its name. The panel judge show heated up 21% to a 1.7 in households to match its series high even though the show remained in repeats all week. Hot Bench also topped the rookies among women 25-54, spiking 29% to a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game recovered 9% to a 1.2 in households and jumped 17% in the demo to a 0.7. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira was steady at a 1.1 in households, while growing 20% to a 0.6 in the demo. Warner Bros.’ The Real dropped 10% to a 0.9 in households, but was flat in the demo at a 0.7. Finally, Trifecta’s Judge Faith jumped 14% to a 0.8, while remaining at a 0.4 among women 25-54.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
Broadway World

posted 1/15/15

Second House
E! Renews "DVF"
From B&C
E! has renewed The Royals and House of DVF each for a second season, the network announced Thursday at the TCA winter press tour.

The Royals, the first scripted series for E!, is set to premiere March 15. The hour-long drama, about a fictional British royal family, is produced by Lionsgate and Universal Cable Productions and was created by Mark Schwahn.

House of DVF, produced by Electus and Hud:sun Media, features young designers being mentored by Diane von Furstenberg.

B&C

posted 1/15/15

Nerdy Team-Up
Catch "King of the Nerds" Season 3 January 23
From the Futon Critic
As nerds everywhere eagerly await the return of the ultimate geeky competition series King of the Nerds, TBS and Twitch are teaming up for a special sneak preview event to be held at Twitch's San Francisco headquarters on Friday, Jan. 16. King of the Nerds hosts and executive producers Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine will be on-hand for the event, which will feature a sneak peek screening of the first episode of season 3 and a chat session with the hosts to take place live on Twitch. Top Twitch influencers Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham and Jon Carnage are set to moderate the event, which will mark Twitch's first-ever live television viewing party. Fans will be able to watch the fun live on Twitch.tv/twitch on Friday Jan. 16, at 6:00 p.m. PT.

Each year, TBS's King of the Nerds welcomes 12 competitors from across the nerd spectrum who come together to vie for the ultimate nerd title. But first they must face a series of elimination challenges that test their intellect, ingenuity, skills and pop-culture prowess. In the end, only one competitor will be named the quintessential master of all things nerdy, winning the $100,000 prize.

Season 3 of King of the Nerds is set to launch on Friday, Jan. 23, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS, with each episode available via TBS's VOD, digital and mobile platforms the following day. Among the challenges this season will be "Cosplay," "Nerd Anthem" and "Nerdy Game Night." King of the Nerds also features several guest appearances, with season 3 set to welcome such nerd favorites as Danica McKellar, Michael McMillian, Yaya Han, Billy Boyd, Moby, Lisa Loeb, Travie McCoy, Penn Jillette and Rachelle Lefevre.

The Futon Critic

posted 1/15/15

DGA Heads to Broken Skull
CMT Series Nominated for Reality Prize
From TV by the Numbers
STEVE AUSTIN’S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE has been named a contender for this year’s Directors Guild of America Award for outstanding direction in the Reality Programs category, it was announced yesterday by the DGA. The nomination marks a first for both CMT and Adam Vetri, who serves as director on the series for 51 Minds, along with associate director Ian Blankenship and stage manager Richard Mercury Melendez. To capture the gritty and explosive action on BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE, the series incorporates high-speed slow motion and a Cablecam aerial camera system for each of the dramatic competitions. The DGA Awards honor outstanding directorial achievement in film, television, commercials and documentaries, and winners will be announced at the 67th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 7.

STEVE AUSTIN’S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE returned to CMT in January, and has experienced double-digit ratings growth across the first two episodes. The premiere episode, which aired January 4, earned the series’ highest-rated and most-watched telecast to date with 754,000 total viewers (Nielsen Live +3), up an impressive +48% from its season one average.

TV by the Numbers

posted 1/15/15

Tuesday: Eye Guess
If It's Tuesday, It's CBS
From the Futon Critic
CBS (15.257 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was the top draw on Tuesday thanks to originals from "NCIS" (19.615 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (16.124 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and "Person of Interest" (10.033 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #5).

ABC (5.683 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) then claimed the silver with a special "Shark Tank" (7.346 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) followed by new episodes of "Marvel's Agents Carter" (5.053 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6) and "Forever" (4.648 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12).

Next up was FOX (3.801 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) with fresh installments of "MasterChef Junior" (4.922 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4), "New Girl" (2.917 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10) and "The Mindy Project" (2.441 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.197 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up the return of "Parks & Recreation" (3.761 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6) followed by a second "Parks & Recreation" (3.296 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6), "Marry Me" (2.196 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14), "About a Boy" (2.758 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13) and "Chicago Fire" (6.587 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6).

And finally, repeats of "The Flash" (1.614 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) and "Arrow" (1.149 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.3, #16) on The CW (1.381 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Chopped (Food) - 1.448 million
- Face Off (Syfy) - 1.199 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes (MTV) - 907,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy) - 638,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/15/15

GSN's Among Cable's Fastest Growing Networks
2014 Sees Network Make Strides
From the Futon Critic
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today that 2014 was the network's most-watched year ever in cable primetime among total viewers, Adults 18+, Women 18+, People 25-54 and Women 25-54[1]. This is also the third consecutive year of growth for the 20-year old cable network, bucking the current downward trend in viewership being felt by other well-established cable channels.

Additional end-of-year ratings highlights for the network include: 2014 tying with 2013 as the most watched year ever in total day among total viewers; growing their P25-54 and W25-54 for a third consecutive year in cable primetime, which is a first for the network; and ending 2014 on a strong note by delivering its most watched fourth quarter ever in total day among total viewers and in cable primetime among W18+[2]. GSN was also one of the top ten fastest growing ad supported cable entertainment networks in 4Q in cable primetime among P18-49 and P25-54.[3]

The network has also found success with three new series that launched in 2014 and will return in 2015: "Skin Wars," hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn, "Idiotest," hosted by comedian Ben Gleib and "It Takes A Church," featuring award-winning vocalist Natalie Grant. The Emmy(R)-nominated quiz show "The Chase," hosted by Brooke Burns and featuring trivia master Mark "The Beast" Labbett, also returns for a fourth season.

"GSN's commitment to both increasing original programming and expanding the genre of television game has resulted in three years of consecutive growth for our target demo," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN's Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. "We are excited that our audience has embraced these creative, fun, contemporary shows and can't wait for them to see the whole 2015 line-up."

The Futon Critic
Broadway World

posted 1/15/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Wipeout"

  • #ICYMI: karmically speaking, this more than makes up for "Extreme Gong" (Broadway World)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: no more calls, we have a winner, the best answer Steve Harvey has ever heard (Uproxx)
     
  • "Family Feud Australia's" Biker-gate: the counterargument (Sydney Morning Herald)
     
  • Steve Harvey has a few surprises waiting for him... the least of which is a street (WRAZ Raleigh)

posted 1/15/15


Dancing with the Anniversary
Catch Season Premiere on ABC
From the Futon Critic
ABC today announced the premiere dates for the 10 year anniversary edition of "Dancing with the Stars," MONDAY, MARCH 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET).

"Dancing With the Stars" returns for its 20th season with an all-new celebrity cast-- to be announced at a later date -- who will brave the dance floor for the first time. Each week, these celebrities will leave their comfort zones and endure hours of grueling rehearsals to master technical choreography and entertaining performances. In the end, only one star will rise above the rest to be crowned champion and win the coveted mirror-ball trophy. Hosted by Emmy(R) Award-winning Tom Bergeron ("America's Funniest Home Videos") and Erin Andrews, "Dancing with the Stars" is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough. "Dancing with the Stars" is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Rob Wade, Ashley Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur are executive producers.

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV

photo courtesy ABC

posted 1/14/15

Monday: War of the Roses
ABC, CBS Wins Night Dominated by the CFB Final
From the Futon Critic
ABC (6.510 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1) was the broadcast network to beat on Monday with a new "The Bachelor" (6.383 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T3) and the return of "Castle" (6.762 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5).

CBS (7.216 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) then claimed the silver with a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (10.049 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), a new "Mike & Molly" (9.169 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) and second runs of "NCIS: Los Angeles" (6.731 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6) and "Scorpion" (5.308 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #7).

Next up was NBC (5.085 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) with fresh installments of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (5.817 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T3) and "State of Affairs" (3.620 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.275 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up encores of "Empire" (2.761 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T8) and "Sleepy Hollow" (1.789 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #10).

And finally, The CW (1.095 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) likewise went with repeats of "Jane the Virgin" (1.100 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) and another "Jane the Virgin" (1.090 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11).

On cable, "@midnight with Chris Hardwick" scored 501,000.

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/14/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Tours of Duty"

posted 1/14/15


Christina Tosi Joins "MasterChef"
Culinary Franchise Renewed
From the Futon Critic
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) has ordered a fourth season of the hit cooking competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. Additionally, Christina Tosi, renowned pastry chef, owner and founder of New York City's Milk Bar, will join award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and acclaimed chef Graham Elliot on both the MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR judging panels.

"MASTERCHEF has been one of my favorite shows since it began, and like so many others, I fell in love with MASTERCHEF JUNIOR," said Tosi. "I'm incredibly humbled by the opportunity and excited to pay forward all that I owe to learning what you're made of in the home kitchen, and putting your neck on the line to show what you've got to the rest of the world!"

"Christina is one of the most exciting, dynamic and inspirational people in food today, whose brilliant ideas and incredible work ethic have resulted in a meteoric rise in the culinary world," added Ramsay. "I have tremendous respect for her opinions, and she'll be an incredible judge and phenomenal mentor to the best home cooks in America."

Season Six of MASTERCHEF is currently in production and will air this summer. Production on Season Four of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR will begin this spring.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Yahoo! TV

photo courtesy ABC News

posted 1/13/15

Sunday: NFL Beats Golden Globes
CBS Wins Night
From the Futon Critic
CBS (18.498 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.5, #1) was the network to beat on Sunday with a full hour of "NFL Overrun" (36.568 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 11.4, #1) followed by "60 Minutes" (17.355 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.6, #3), "Madam Secretary" (11.590 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7) and "The Good Wife" (8.479 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10).

NBC (14.462 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 4.3, #2) then was a close second with its coverage of the "Golden Globes Red Carpet" (9.527 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #4) and "The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards" (16.107 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 5.0, #2).

Next up was FOX (3.057 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and its mix of "Mulaney" (1.310 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 0.5, #17), a repeat "The Simpsons" (1.944 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T14) and new episodes of "The Simpsons" (4.385 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T5), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (3.303 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.5, #9), "Family Guy" (4.092 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T5) and "Bob's Burgers" (3.308 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8).

And finally, originals from "America's Funniest Home Videos" (5.984 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13), "Galavant" (4.358 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), another "Galavant" (3.836 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #12), "Resurrection" (3.073 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T14) and "Revenge" (3.648 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T14) on ABC (4.201 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) closed out the evening.

On cable, "Worst Cooks in America" was the leader with 1.456 million viewers, followed by 1.171 million for "Cutthroat Kitchen". Third was "Guy's Grocery Games" with 1.153 million, followed by "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" (730,000).

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/13/15

Catchphrase au Français
ITV Sells Format to France
From Broadcast
ITV gameshow Catchphrase and Channel 4 property format Selling Houses are set to be remade in France after indie Pernel Media struck two option deals.

The French production company, set up by factual and entertainment producer Samuel Kissous in 2009, is now in negotiations with French broadcasters to commission local versions of the programmes.

Kissous inked the deal for Catchphrase, which returned to ITV in 2013, with distributor DRG and for Reef Television’s Selling Houses, which airs on More 4 and is fronted by Amanda Lamb, with Passion Distribution.

Pernel Media has previously remade British formats including Optomen’s The Great British Menu, Lion TV’s Cash Cab, Hat Trick’s Dinner Date, Objective’s Balls of Steel and Mentorn’s Most Identical in France.

“There is a significant appetite in France for proven formats from Britain,” said Kissous.

“Broadcasters aren’t necessarily concerned that a show was created 15 years ago – they’re looking for shows that feel fresh and exciting to French audiences and we’re confident once again of proving our expertise at adapting great British formats and making them a success in France.”

Broadcast

posted 1/12/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Dancing with the Big Time"

  • Derek Hough taking next season off for Broadway, Nashville (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP: Jimmy Kimmel guest hosts "The Bachelor". (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Andi Dorfman wanted three baby media hoes (LA Travel)
     
  • Usher hits his button for Grace Miguel (E!)
     
  • 2015 will be the year of the Australian Quiz Show Wars (News.com.au)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: another day, another clip of Brad Walsh giggling while Shawn Wallace just stands there being a bad ass (Who Ate All The Pies)
     
  • CraigyFerg's new website (The Interrobang)
     
  • Sports Jeopardy! gets a second screen (B&C)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "Family Feud" in Louisville (WDRB), "House of DVF" season 2 (Reality Wanted), and... something Money is producing called "Money Match" (Time)

posted 1/13/15

Mary Murphy Evacuates the Dance Floor
This Is Not A Repeat from 2009
From E!
Mary Murphy is leaving So You Think You Can Dance. The longtime judge and former pro dancer made the announcement in a statement below.

Murphy was on the show from 2007 to 2009 and then returned in 2011 and has been there since. According to a release, Murphy's contract option was not renewed.

"I'm saddened of course to be released from my contract," Murphy said in a statement. "I'm very grateful and proud to have been part of such an extraordinary television show, So You Think You Can Dance, for 11 seasons. I'm sure there wasn't a person watching that didn't know I loved what I did!!"

"Thank you to the dancers and choreographers who inspired and enriched my life every week; to the crew and producers, especially James Breen, Jeff Thacker, and Nigel Lythgoe, I thank you for believing in me," her statement reads. "And thank you to my fans, as you always put a smile on my face when I encountered you. It has been a great pleasure and honor to be part of the dance wave that went global.

"The Conductor of the Hot Tamale Train,

Mary Murphy."


News of Murphy's exit first started sparking in December 2014. Nigel Lythgoe has served as a judge throughout the show's entire run. Other judges have included Adam Shankman and Mia Michaels.

"Mary has been a huge part of So You Think You Can Dance, from mentoring the dancers as a choreographer to inspiring fans as a judge," the show, Fox and producers Dick Clark Productions and 19 Entertainment said in a joint statement. "She will always be part of our Dance family and we wish her continued success."
No replacement has been named.

E!

posted 1/12/15

The Barber of CW
"Barber Battle", "Whose Line?" to Debut April 10
From the Futon Critic
The CW announced its midseason schedule today at the winter gathering of the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, CA, including the series premieres of new dramas iZOMBIE and THE MESSENGERS, the new unscripted competition series CEDRIC'S BARBER BATTLE and a new cycle of WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?.

On Friday, April 10, The CW will debut its new reality competition series CEDRIC'S BARBER BATTLE (8:00-8:30pm ET), hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, followed by a brand new season of the hit improv comedy series WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (8:30-9:00pm ET). The new series CEDRIC'S BARBER BATTLE sets out to capture the culture that exists in barbering communities across the country. Each week, the show will visit different barbershops in cities, including Los Angeles, Queens, Harlem and Austin, where the best barbers will go head-to-head in a hilariously unfiltered, no-holds-barred arena. Creating hair sculptures that feature elaborate designs ranging from images of a person's face to grand cityscapes, the barbers will use nothing more than their clippers and a few coloring tools to create intricate works of art that are both imaginative and location-centric.

CEDRIC'S BARBER BATTLE is produced by Big Energy Productions. It's hosted by actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer ("The Soul Man," "The Original Kings of Comedy"), who also serves as executive producer, along with Mark Efman ("Charlamagne & Friends," "Z Rock," "Nick Cannon's Short Circuitz").

The Futon Critic

posted 1/12/15

MTV Gets "Broke" February 5
Derek Gaines, David Magidoff Host
From the Futon Critic
Premiering February 5, at 11:00 ET/PT on MTV, "Broke A$$ Game Show," is a new half-hour comedy that ushers in the next phase of the classic American game show by breaking all the rules and tossing out everything you think you know about game shows. Hosts Derek Gaines and David Magidoff hit the streets of New York City to lure unsuspecting contestants into taking part in some seriously fun, sometimes twisted games that push their personal limits all for some cold, hard cash.

Dispensing with fancy lights, stages and expensive props, "Broke A$$ Game Show" serves up irreverent street games like Twerk Off, a winner-take-all booty-bouncing battle with construction workers, or Cats Humping States, where players win big bucks by correctly identifying states upon which felines are fornicating."

The Futon Critic
MTV

posted 1/12/15

ABDC Coming B-A-C-K
MTV Revives Dancing Competition
From the Wrap
MTV announced that it is bring “America’s Best Dance Crew” back from cancellation.

The competition series will return this summer with six new episodes, the network announced during Saturday’s Television Critics Association press tour.

The series, which is produced by former “American Idol” judge and mentor Randy Jackson, will have new judges. MTV has yet to name them.

Produced alongside Warner Horizon, Jackson, Rob Lee (Bayonne Entertainment) and Howard and Karen Schwartz (Hip Hop International) serve as executive producers.

The cable network canceled “America’s Best Dance Crew” in 2012 after seven seasons. Mario Lopez served as a host, as well as an executive producer.

The judging panel for the final seasons of the show included entertainers Lil Mama, JC Chasez, and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval. Former judges included hip-hop choreographer Shane Sparks and R&B singer Omarion.

The Wrap
Reality TV World

posted 1/12/15


TAYLOR NEGRON: 1957-2015
"Been on Dating Game 13 Times Without Being Picked"... Maybe Not, But Was on "Pictionary"
From
AV Club
Plenty of actors make a comfortable living by repeatedly racking up roles that earn them the description of “That Guy,” but not many are as comfortable with that living as Taylor Negron was.

Negron, who died on Saturday at age 57 after a lengthy battle with cancer (as confirmed by his cousin, Three Dog Night vocalist Chuck Negron, in a brief but emotional statement), was known variously for his work as a stand-up comedian, director, essayist, playwright, painter, and game-show guest. To mainstream audiences, however, Negron was most frequently recognized either because he was “that guy who was on that show that time” or because he was “that guy in that movie they used to show on cable all the time,” and whichever of those two scenarios came into play, the end result was generally the realization that Negron ”the guy who was in that other thing, too.”

This is because Negron was in a lot of things. And when he appeared in those things, he invariably made the sort of impression that’s hard to forget.

Born Brad Stephen Negron, the man eventually known as Taylor entered the world in Glendale, California, a city he later described in his official bio as being “so boring it made Burbank seem like Berlin in the early thirties.” Despite (or perhaps because of) these tedious surroundings, Negron soon ventured out of Glendale and began the process of forging a career in the entertainment business, one which – based on a fascinating story hidden within the Scrapbook section of his website – can arguably be said to have started when a collective of Hanna-Barbera animators spotted him while he was on a school field trip.

By his early twenties, Negron had secured his first recurring role on a TV series, playing Silvio Galindez in the 1979 ABC series Detective School, which placed him in the company of James Gregory (Barney Miller), Randolph Mantooth (Emergency!), LaWanda Page (Sanford and Son), and future Police Squad! and Police Academy writer Pat Proft. Although Detective School proved to be enough of a success during its initial three-episode Tuesday night tryout during the summer to secure an order for an additional 10 episodes, a move to Saturday nights in the fall and a timeslot following the underperforming Three’s Company spinoff, The Ropers, led to the series’ demise.

Although the majority of Negron’s film work in recent years tended to be in smaller independent projects, where his unique comedic sensibilities were embraced, his efforts for the small screen introduced him to a new generation of viewers: in addition to serving as a series regular on the Olsen Twins’ Fox Family series, So Little Time, he also turned up on That’s So Raven, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Zoey 101. (Thankfully, older fans were still able to enjoy him during his one-off appearances on Reno 911! and Curb Your Enthusiasm.) Negron also had a presence on various game shows, including Hollywood Squares, Pictionary, and The Dating Game, on which he claimed to have appeared 13 times without ever once being picked, and he also made a highly memorable appearance in The Aristocrats.

AV Club

photo courtesy NNDB

po
sted 1
/12/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "An Idiot's Guide to Kentucky"

  • Ben Gleib plays Louisville (Lousville Courier-Journal)
     
  • Trivia Crack - the little app that launched a quiz show in Latin America - comes to the US... complete with all those ads featuring Kate Upton's boobs (Bloomberg Businessweek)
     
  • Kids... have I told you about the time that Bob Saget brought "Price Is Right Live!" to the Sands in Pennsylvania (Allentown Morning Call)
     
  • ESPN & the V Foundation establish a cancer research fund in Stuart Scott's name (The Futon Critic)

posted 1/12/15

Celebrenewed
Freshman Syndicated Game Will Be Back for Season 2
From TV by the Numbers
Debmar-Mercury and FremantleMedia North America today announced the nationally syndicated Celebrity Name Game has been renewed for a second season following pickups by Tribune Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Cox Broadcasting and many others. The first season, which premiered this past fall in homes across America, ranks No. 2 among all new strips.

The broadcast renewals provide the game show with initial 2015-16 clearances in well over 80 percent of the U.S. Hosted by the Emmy-nominated Craig Ferguson and executive produced by Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the second season is in pre-production and the first season, currently on air, returns with new episodes on Jan. 12.

Commented Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, and an executive producer of the game show, “Celebrity Name Game came out of the gate with an impressive start, building its audience each week, and showing itself to be a strong contender in syndication. We’re looking forward to producing another season with the comedic genius that is Craig Ferguson, and inviting many more of our celebrity friends to join in on the fun.”

“Celebrity Name Game has proven itself to be worthy of renewal and we are very gratified by the broadcasters’ strong show of support,” commented Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus. “This is the second-highest rated new daily series this season in the key demo of women 25-54 and continues to show steady growth in households. Creatively, it is a really good game show with a brilliant and very funny host, which has made it ideally suited for both sitcom and game blocks.”

The show, currently in the midst of its first season, has seen a variety of celebrities including Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars), Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal), Margaret Cho (Drop Dead Diva), Michael Ealy (Almost Human), Seth Gabel (Salem), Jennie Garth (Mystery Girls), Ian Gomez (Cougar Town), Rachael Harris (Suits), Marilu Henner (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Bianca Kajlich (Undateable), Angela Kinsey (The Office), Ian Ziering (Sharknado), Carson Kressley (Queer Eye), Lisa Lampanelli (comedian), Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey), Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness), Jonathan Mangum (Let’s Make A Deal), Constance Marie (Switched At Birth), Ross Matthews (Hello Ross!), Kevin Nealon (Blended), Teri Polo (The Fosters), Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement), DJ Qualls (Legit), Molly Sims (Las Vegas), Aisha Tyler (The Talk), and Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy).

TV by the Numbers
TV News Check
The Hollywood Reporter
TV Series Finale
The Hollywood Reporter
Variety
Digital Spy
World Screen


"Celebrity Name Game" has been renewed for a second season.
photo courtesy Debmar-Mercury

posted 1/9/15

Syndies: Christmas Blues
Results for the Week Ending December 28
From B&C
The week ending Dec. 28, which included the Christmas holiday, was a week to forget, unless your names were Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan or Rachael Ray.
Most syndicated shows were in repeats and many had the low-rated Christmas Day broken out of its weekly ratings average.

Even in a full week of repeats, CTD’s Hot Bench remained atop the first-run rookies with a 1.4 in households. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench tied Warner Bros.’ The Real for first at a 0.7. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which also was renewed for year two, eased 8% to a 1.1, with a mix of originals and repeats, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which was just renewed for a second season. Week to week, Name Game declined 8%.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and CTD’s Jeopardy! declined sharply to land in a rare tie for the overall syndication and game show lead. Like Judy, Wheel skidded 8% to a new season low 6.0, while Jeopardy! lost 12%.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 8% to a 5.8 to come within only two-tenths of a ratings point of the two leaders, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire brought up the rear at its season-low 1.7.

B&C
TV News Check
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/9/15

Thursday: Idol Worship
Fox Wins Night With Two Hours of "AI"
From The Futon Critic
FOX (11.015 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.0, #1) claimed the top spot on Thursday thanks to a new "American Idol" (10.357 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.7, #4) and a second hour of "American Idol" (11.673 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.3, #2).

CBS (10.809 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" (17.760 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.5, #1), "Mom" (12.291 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #3), "Two and a Half Men" (10.028 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5), "The McCarthys" (7.943 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6) and "Elementary" (8.415 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Next up was NBC (4.058 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with originals from "The Biggest Loser" (4.996 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9), "Bad Judge" (3.119 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #11), "A to Z" (2.021 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13) and "Parenthood" (4.607 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Meanwhile, ABC (2.989 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up a new "The Taste" (3.197 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10) and a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.572 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #12).

And finally, the feaure "House at the End of the Street" (1.266 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) on The CW (1.266 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

"Pawnography" led the cable games with 1.929 million for 10p, and 1.755 million for 10:30p. "Project Runway All-Stars" had 1.420 million. "Beat Bobby Flay" had 1.240 million viewers.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/9/15


BESS MYERSON: 1924-2014
First Jewish Miss America a Game Show Legend
From
Las Vegas Review Journal
Bess Myerson, the 1945 Miss America winner who became a celebrated media personality and public servant and then was brought down by scandal, has died. She was 90.

According to a statement from the Miss America Organization, she died in Santa Monica, California, on Dec. 14. No cause of death was given.

Myerson’s rise to fame was a classic rags-to-riches American success story: a bright Bronx girl from a housing project, the daughter of a house painter, who won the nation’s most famous beauty contest and parlayed her renown into a media career. She became a model and spokesperson and spent many years on the game show “I’ve Got a Secret.”

The path to celebrity was one followed by such pageant winners as Lee Meriwether, Mary Ann Mobley, Phyllis George and Vanessa Williams.

Later Myerson became part of New York’s city government, serving as both commissioner of consumer affairs and commissioner of cultural affairs.

Myerson was also a role model in the Jewish community. If Jewish baseball players Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax were celebrated for their athletic abilities — a response to jokes about Jews’ lack of athletic skills — Myerson was celebrated for her role as the first (and, to this day, only) Jewish Miss America. She won her pageant title in early September 1945 just after the end of World War II, a time when the horrors of the Holocaust were just being revealed.

“Her victory was seen by many as a symbolic statement of America’s post-war rejection of the crimes and prejudices that ravaged Europe as well as a representation of the vitality of the American Jewish community,” noted a biography on the Jewish Women’s Archive site.

Myerson had even been asked to change her name for the pageant — an idea she refused.

“It was the most important decision I ever made,” she recalled. “It told me who I was, that I was first and foremost a Jew.”

It was a decision with consequences, as some Miss America sponsors refused to have her represent them.

Nonetheless, the talented and intelligent Myerson — who played the flute and piano at the pageant and used her Miss America scholarship money to pay for graduate studies at Juilliard and Columbia — landed on her feet, becoming a popular TV personality in the ’50s and ’60s.

Members of the Jewish community looked up to her.

“Bess Myerson was the most important female image in your life,” said a 1940s teenager quoted in Edward S. Shapiro’s “We Are Many: Reflections On American Jewish History And Identity.” “We didn’t just know about her. We felt her.”

For decades, Myerson was a well-known and beloved figure around New York. During Ed Koch’s 1977 campaign for New York mayor, she was often at his side, giving rise to rumors of a romance with the bachelor politician.

“Koch wouldn’t have won without Bess,” Koch’s campaign strategist, David Garth, told New York magazine.

But she fell short of higher office herself, losing a U.S. Senate primary in 1980. After Koch named her to the city’s Cultural Affairs department in 1983, she saw her name tarred by the “Bess Mess,” a mid-’80s scandal involving a romantic affair with a married contractor and an alleged quid pro quo with the judge in his divorce trial.

Myerson was eventually acquitted, but she was forced to resign her job. Moreover, other revelations about her life came to light, including another affair and a shoplifting charge.

She lived out the remainder of her life quietly, devoting her energy to charitable causes.

Myerson was married three times. Her first marriage, to Navy veteran Allan Wayne, ended in divorce in 1956. She was married twice to lawyer Arnold Grant before finally divorcing him in 1971. She is survived by a daughter.

Las Vegas Review Journal
Dallas Morning News
Providence Journal
Voice of America
UPI
The New York Times
TV Media Insights
Washington Post
USA Today
New York Magazine
The New York Times

photo courtesy UPI

po
sted 1
/9/15

Let Me Take a Selfie
Dori Media Group Picks Up International Rights
From World Screen
Dori Media Group has picked up the exclusive international distribution rights for The Selfie Challenge, a Studio Glam format.

The show sees two groups of friends, who are in different locations around the world, compete against each other to perfectly mimic ambitious selfies sent to them in real time. Initially, selfies will be taken of team members themselves, but as the competition progresses, high levels of improvisation and creativity will be required when daring street selfies involve complete strangers.

Nadav Palti, the CEO and president of Dori Media Group, commented: “We are delighted to be collaborating once again with Ami Glam on the innovative The Selfie Challenge as its exclusive global distributor. The massive phenomenon of taking selfies has really captured the public’s imagination and we are excited by the show’s prospects. The show is genuinely funny—viewers experience the tension conveyed by the competitive side of the show, and networks from around the world will find the show very flexible and easily replicable.”

Ilan Glam, the CEO and head of business development of Studio Glam, added: “The Selfie Challenge is a unique game show that incorporates selfies, which have become an integral part of our daily life and culture, into an exciting reality game show. The game takes place around the world and is a very effective production. We are very happy to be working with Naba Productions and Dori Media on this special show.”

World Screen
TBI Vision

posted 1/9/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Re-Agent"

  • FIRST LOOK: Nicky Byrne's "The Million Euro Challenge" (RTE) (Goss.ie)
     
  • District 12 sends Josh Hutcherson to judge "Face Off" January 27 (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" (Reality Wanted)
     
  • So how is Josh Murray's mom taking the breakup? (Reality TV World)
     
  • Jennifer Lopez back together with her boy toy (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • Another "Bachelor" baby is coming? And the former bachelorette that will bring it to you? Emily Maynard (Us)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: the 7 best athletes to play a game show. Surprisingly absent: Ahmad Rashad (CBS Las Vegas)

posted 1/9/15

Wednesday: A New Empire
Fox Wins on "Idol", "Empire"
From the Futon Critic
FOX (10.359 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.4, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday with the return of "American Idol" (10.886 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.1, #3) followed by the premiere of "Empire" (9.833 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.7, #1) - FOX's highest rated series debut in three years among adults 18-49 (since "Touch" on 1/25/12).

ABC (6.288 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then had to settle for second place with originals from "The Middle" (8.486 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #5), "The Goldbergs" (7.790 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.5, #4), "Modern Family" (9.229 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.2, #2) and "Black-ish" (6.309 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 2.1, #6) plus encores of "Galavant" (3.383 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12) and another "Galavant" (2.530 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13).

Next up was CBS (8.714 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) with the relocated "The Mentalist" (8.993 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards" (8.574 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.324 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) offered up the winter premieres of "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.765 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.776 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) and "Chicago PD" (7.432 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (0.975 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #15) and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (1.086 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) on The CW (1.031 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the night.

"Top Chef" delivered 1.015 million viewers.

The Futon Critic
A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Harry Connick Jr. - Reality TV World
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/8/15

More on "The Chase" Season 4: January 27
On Tap: Redemption, Celebrities
From the Futon Critic
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today the premiere of the fourth season of its Emmy(R)-nominated hit quiz show, THE CHASE on Tuesday, January 27 at 8:00pm ET/PT. Brooke Burns returns as host, along with the brilliant and intimidating Mark Labbett (aka "The Beast") facing down all challengers in the ultimate trivia challenge.

The new season will also be marked by two new celebrity episodes and special theme shows, including the season premiere, which features three former contestants who return for a second shot at defeating The Beast. TV stars Carson Kressley ("How to Look Good Naked"), Cameron Mathison ("All My Children") and Tatyana Ali ("The Fresh Prince of Bel Air") will also take on The Beast in a special celebrity episode on Tuesday, February 3. The three celebrities will attempt to earn over $100,000 for their respective charities. An additional episode, featuring "Scandal" stars Joe Morton, Kate Burton and Brian Letscher will air later this season.

One of GSN's most popular original series, THE CHASE has attracted more than 23 million total viewers since its premiere in August 2013. Throughout its season three run, the series has posted impressive ratings growth among P18-49 (+42%), P25-54 (+47%), W25-54 (+33%), W18-49 (+38%), with total viewership up 44%, vs. GSN's year-to-date time period average.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 1/8/15

Tuesday: A Night of Secret Agents
CBS Wins Night
From the Futon Critic
CBS (15.605 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with the return of new episodes from "NCIS" (19.491 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (17.355 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #2) and "Person of Interest" (9.970 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T6).

ABC (6.211 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with the premiere of "Marvel's Agents Carter" (7.430 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3), a second "Marvel's Agents Carter" (6.299 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4) and a new "Forever" (4.905 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9).

Next up was FOX (3.984 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with the season premiere of "MasterChef Junior" (5.261 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4) alongside fresh installments of "New Girl" (3.166 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "The Mindy Project" (2.247 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.843 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up repeats of "Parks & Recreation" (2.895 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11), another "Parks & Recreation" (2.136 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) followed by new episodes of "Marry Me" (2.046 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12), "About a Boy" (2.663 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and "Chicago Fire" (6.659 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T6).

And finally, repeats of "The Flash" (1.355 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.5, #15) and "Supernatural" (1.033 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.4, #16) on The CW (1.194 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

The premiere of "Child Genius" on Lifetime attracted 1.214 million, which ran a dead heat against "Chopped" (1.393 million). "The Challenge: Battle of the Exes" was left with 781,000. "@midnight's" second 11:30 showing averaged 496,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/8/15

LL Lip Sync
"NCIS: LA" Star to Host Spike's "Lip Sync Battle"
From the Futon Critic
Entertainment icon and two-time GRAMMY Award-winner LL Cool J will host Spike TV's original series, "Lip Sync Battle," debuting April 2. Based on the pop culture phenomenon of lip sync battling, the new series will feature celebrities going head to head - lip-syncing the song of their choice - battling for the coolest bragging rights on the planet.

"Like the rest of the world, I'm a big fan of these battles, but this show is going to bring it to a whole new level. I'm thrilled to be working with Jimmy Fallon, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, and the entire team to host the show and can't wait for the fans at home to join in!!" said the NCIS star (born James Todd Smith).

"Icon, Grammy Winner and one of the best hosts in the game, LL Cool J will bring a whole new fan base of music lovers to the show. We have the dream team in front of and behind the camera on Lip Sync Battle and we're ready to BRING IT for our fans" said Casey Patterson Executive Producer/Executive Vice President Talent Development and Production, Viacom Entertainment Group.

Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle" will be executive produced by Eight Million Plus Productions, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, Casey Patterson, Jay Peterson of Matador and Rick Schwartz of Eight Million Plus. Emmy(R)-award nominee Beth McCarthy-Miller ("Saturday Night Live," "30-Rock," "The Sound of Music Live," "Modern Family") will serve as Director. LL Cool J will also serve as a Producer on the show.

The 10-episode series will tape in January in New York City.

The Futon Critic
Screen Junkies

posted 1/8/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Re-Agent"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: A brand new "Shark Tank" will lead into "Agent Carter" Tuesday (The Futon Critic)
     
  • If you had Andi Dorfman & Josh Murray at five months, come up and claim your prize (People)
     
  • Kate Gosselin looking to marry into money. Apparent-LY (E!)
     
  • Giada de Laurentiis denies cheating on her husband with John Mayer, Matt Lauer, Bobby Flay, Jason Block (Reality TV World)
     
  • For every win, something must fail; Craig Ferguson's daytime talker is dead (TV News Check)
     
  • Alan Thicke goes dancing with some pros (Duluth News Tribune)

posted 1/8/15

Go Directly to February
"Monopoly Millionaires' Club" Launches Weekend of February 7
From the Futon Critic
2015 marks the 80th anniversary of the classic board game Monopoly. And on Feb. 7 and 8, the game will come to life on the small screen with Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, a new syndicated game show hosted by Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly).

Executive produced by Scott St. John (Celebrity Name Game, Deal or No Deal) and Kevin Belinkoff (Family Game Night) each hour-long episode will feature five members of the audience selected at random to play games derived from Monopoly (Community Chest, Electric Company, Advance to Boardwalk etc.) with a chance to win up to $100,000. In the show’s final round, every contestant chooses to keep his or her winnings or risk it all for a chance at $1 million. “Like most kids, I grew up playing Monopoly, so being able to help bring this iconic game to life with Monopoly Millionaires’ Club is such an honor for me,” Gardell told Entertainment Weekly. “I get to see people’s lives change on a dime—or a million—every week.”

Entertainment Weekly

posted 1/7/15

Sunday: You're Rehired
"The Celebrity Apprentice" Helps NBC to Second Behind NFL-Powered Fox
From the Futon Critic
FOX (16.870 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 6.2, #1) was the top draw on the first Sunday of 2015 thanks to its mix of "NFL Overrun" (40.072 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 13.1, #1), "The OT" (35.166 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 12.0, #2), "The Simpsons" (10.513 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 4.6, #3), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (6.015 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 2.9, #4), "Family Guy" (5.504 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 2.8, #5) and "Bob's Burgers" (3.948 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T8).

The silver then went to NBC (6.514 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) with a new "Dateline NBC" (6.239 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11) and the return of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (6.790 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.3, #6).

Next up was ABC (5.362 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with a new "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.077 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11) followed by the premiere of "Galavant" (7.875 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #7), a second "Galavant" (6.801 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T8) and originals from "Resurrection" (4.095 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.0, #15) and "Revenge" (3.938 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 0.9, #16).

And finally, new episodes of "60 Minutes" (7.516 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #17), "Madam Secretary" (11.548 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10), "The Good Wife" (10.242 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T11) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (8.476 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #14) closed out the evening on CBS (9.445 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4).

"Worst Cooks in America's" season debut scored 2.123 million, building off of "Guy's Grocery Games'" 1.660 million and feeding into "Cutthroat Kitchen's" 1.480 million.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/7/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "The Category: Benefactors"

  • This is why Jillian Harris is no Bess Myerson (ABC News)
     
  • Chris Harrison thinks "The Bachelor" has created a better man. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii (G..) oh no, you're going to let me finish. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiight (GQ)
     
  • The woman born Jennifer Lynn Lopez, name since changed to Jennifer Muniz, is now Jennifer Lopez again. Confused? You won't be after this episode of... "Soap" (Latina)
     
  • Remember Phil Moore? Well, he's doing cons now, and he'll be at one in Auburndale this weekend (The Ledger)
     
  • Betty White unveils "Smartest Animals in America" for Great American Country January 17 (her 93rd birthday) (Orlando Sentinel)
     
  • "Eggheads" team mourns fallen teammate as their episode airs (GazetteLive.co.uk)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Child Genius" (Lifetime) (ABC News)
     
  • Pedro Fernandez joins "La Voz Kids" as coach (TV by the Numbers)

posted 1/6/15


Wheel of Fortune at 40
Longtime Favorite Reaches a Milestone
From WTVY Dothan
Wheel of Fortune has gone through several hosts, set changes and format tweaks, but the gameshow based on Hangman has endured over 40 years and is still going.

On January 6, 1975, Wheel of Fortune debuted on the daytime lineup of NBC. The show was originally hosted by Chuck Woolery, with Charlie O'Donnell announcing and Susan Stafford turning the letters on the puzzleboard.

The early years of Wheel of Fortune are referred to as the “shopping era.” The backbone of the format—contestants spinning a wheel with various cash amounts and guessing letters in a word puzzle—was there from the start. To keep the money, contestants would need to successfully solve the puzzle. Consonants earned money, while vowels had to be bought.

However, in the “shopping era,” instead of playing for cash, players accumulated money which they would then “spend” on various items after a successful solve. The “shopping” format would endure through the 1980s.

Woolery would replaced in 1981 by Pat Sajak, and Vanna White would join the show a year later in 1982. Woolery would go on to host other successful gameshows in the future such as Scrabble and Lingo.

While the daytime version would continue, a nighttime syndicated version with a larger budget began in 1983. Sajak would host both the daytime and nighttime versions until 1989. He would remain on the nighttime version, but would be replaced by former football player Rolf Benirschke in the daytime. Benirschke's run on the daytime version would last less than a year, and the daytime version would go onto CBS.

By this time, both versions of the show would move away from the original shopping format and would go onto a pure cash format. Bob Goen would host the daytime version on both CBS and its return on NBC until it was finally canceled in 1991.

In 1997, the familiar analog puzzle board with letters that had to be manually turned by an electronic board that is still used to its day. Since the mid-1990s, new additions have been added to the format such as toss-up puzzles, prize puzzles and the eventual elimination of the free spin.

Despite the many changes - Jim Thornton as announcer and the introduction of the Million Dollar Bonus Round - the nighttime syndicated version remains successful and recently entered its 31st season.

WTVY Dothan
WPXI Pittsburgh
AL.com

posted 1/6/15

Monday: No "Voice", Wide Open Field
ABC, CBS Tie for Demo; Eye Wins Outright
From the Futon Critic
CBS (11.012 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) was the most-watched network on Monday with the return of "2 Broke Girls" (9.081 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T2), "Mike & Molly" (9.553 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4), "Scorpion" (12.087 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T2) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (11.634 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #7).

ABC (7.717 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) however split the adults 18-49 honors thanks to its full night event of "The Bachelor" (7.717 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4).

Next up was FOX (5.678 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) with originals from "Gotham" (6.891 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) and "Sleepy Hollow" (4.466 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.879 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4) served up night two of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (6.582 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #6) and a new "State of Affairs" (4.475 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9).

And finally, repeats of "The Originals" (0.813 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.762 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10) closed out the evening for The CW (0.787 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

The Futon Critic

posted 1/6/15

Secret Restaurant
Bravo Orders Companion Series to "Best New Restaurant"
From TV by the Numbers
Bravo Media today announced its slate of original digital offerings that will accompany the network’s new culinary competition series “Best New Restaurant” premiering Wednesday, January 21 at 10pm ET/PT. As part of a multiplatform partnership surrounding the series, Buick has signed on as the exclusive launch partner for several digital extensions such as the companion video series, “Secret Service,” which debuts each week following the linear premiere at 11pm ET/PT on BravoTV.com. In addition, the network will utilize its award-winning “Play Live” technology to give fans the ability to share their opinions on the series each week as well as allow viewers to follow the conversation around “Best New Restaurant” online with "Social Snaps."

Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio dines across the U.S. as host, judge, and executive producer of “Best New Restaurant,” taking a look at the food world from a fresh perspective: the restaurant. Sixteen restaurants from New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami will compete head-to-head and be evaluated on not only the dishes that are served, but also everything from décor to hospitality to overall concept. In the end, only one will be crowned Best New Restaurant and win an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at America’s number one global food festival, Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit 2015, and $100,000.

The companion digital video series will throw the eight winning restaurants from the preliminary rounds of competition for a loop with an additional secret challenge that will determine whether or not they move forward to the semifinals and continue their quest to be named Best New Restaurant. These eight restaurants think they are all moving on; however, unbeknownst to them, Tom sends in three food experts to dine at each establishment with hidden cameras. Traveling in Buick vehicles such as the 4G LTE equipped 2015 Regal, these food experts document their experience so Tom can evaluate how the restaurants perform when they don’t think they are being judged. Tom will screen the best and the worst highlights from the “Secret Service” footage on BravoTV.com immediately following each of the first eight episodes. When the eight remaining restaurants meet for the semifinal rounds for the first time, Tom will shock the competitors by unveiling the footage and cut the semifinal field in half immediately based on the results. In addition to BravoTV.com, “Secret Service” will be available on VOD, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Xbox.

New episodes premiere every Wednesday at 11p ET beginning January 21.

TV by the Numbers

posted 1/6/15

"Tug" Pulls in Italy, Spain
Israel Options to Endemol Territories
From C21 Media
Production companies from the Endemol Shine Group (ESG) and Zodiak Media have picked up formats from Israeli investment outfit TV Format Fund.

ESG-owned Endemol Spain and Endemol Italy have acquired gameshow Tug, which sees teams of three standing on moving platforms and taking turns in a trivia-based tug of war.

The format was created by Israeli prodco July August Productions together with Michael Rothschild, founder and CEO of Vivalet Media. TV Format Fund provided finance for the development and secured the distribution deal with Global.

C21 Media
Realscreen

posted 1/6/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "The Category: Benefactors"

  • This game show host's foundation just helped fund an MFA program at Stephens College (Columbia Daily Tribune)
     
  • It's Quite Interesting that Stephen Fry is engaged to a man 30 years his junior (E!)
     
  • Meanwhile Phillip Phillips gets engaged to his girlfriend (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
     
  • Nick & Vanessa Lachey welcome another baby (E!)
     
  • The news tribe has spoken: Hunter Ellis leaves anchor post (Austin360.com)

posted 1/6/15


STUART SCOTT: 1965-2015
SportsCenter Anchor Hosted "Stump the Schwab", "Teammates"
From
Yahoo! Sports
Any sports fan of a certain age will always remember Stuart Scott's catchphrases.

Scott died at age 49 after a long battle with cancer, ESPN reported on Sunday morning. That sad news brought an outpouring of grief and memories from sports fans who will remember Scott as one of the most memorable and influential "SportsCenter" anchors in ESPN's long history.

When Scott first appeared on ESPN's networks a little more than two decades ago, joining the company in 1993 for its launch of ESPN2, his unique style was an instant hit. He became famous for phrases like "Boo-yah!" and "cool as the other side of the pillow."

During his tenure on the show, he brought his trademark swagger to two of its game show titles, "Stump the Schwab", a sports quiz featuring head of research Howie Schwab, and the "Newlywed Game"-like "Teammates", which aired during the most recent NBA lockout. Scott also hosted "Dream Job", a reality competition that searched for future "SportsCenter" anchors.

Despite becoming one of the most famous names at the network, people who knew him spoke of how gracious, friendly and down-to-earth he was.

“ESPN and everyone in the sports world have lost a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure in Stuart Scott,” said ESPN president John Skipper. “Who engages in mixed martial arts training in the midst of chemotherapy treatments? Who leaves a hospital procedure to return to the set? His energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work while fighting the battle of his life left us in awe, and he leaves a void that can never be replaced.”

"He didn't just push the envelope," says former ESPN anchor and "Sports Jeopardy!" host Dan Patrick. "He bulldozed it."

A native of Chicago’s South Side, Scott and his family moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., when he was 7. He graduated from the University of North Carolina, then worked as a reporter at TV stations in Florence, S.C., Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando before landing a gig at ESPN2.

Scott valiantly battled cancer since he was first diagnosed in late 2007. His courageous fight was documented in many ways.

And he saved his best for his last year on the air. At the ESPYS on July 16, shortly before his 49th birthday and following another round of cancer surgery, Stuart accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance with strength, humor, grace and these eloquent words: "When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."

Scott is survived by his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; siblings Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney and Susan Scott; his daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; and girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski, the Associated Press reports.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The V Foundation (www.jimmyv.org).

GSNN's Doug Morris contributed to this report.

Yahoo! Sports
Time
ESPN
Us Magazine
The Hollywood Reporter
NPR
The Futon Critic
ABS-CBN News
WDAZ Grand Forks

photo courtesy ESPN/Time

po
sted 1
/5/15

Half-(Pints)-Baked
Food Network to Launch "Kids Baking Championship" February 2
From the Futon Critic
Hosts and judges Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli lead eight talented kid bakers through tasty challenges designed to find the most impressive and creative young baker on Kids Baking Championship, premiering on Monday, February 2nd at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network. In each challenge, the kid contestants (ranging in age from 10 to 13) will be tested on their baking skills and originality, as they whip up delectable desserts including creative cakes, mouthwatering cookies and pastries making it seem as easy as pie. At stake, a sweet prize package that includes a complete set of Food Network bakeware products, a profile in Food Network Magazine, an original cake featured at Charm City Cakes and a $10,000 grand prize. Only one will take the cake to become the Kids Baking Champion!

"Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli are the perfect hosts of Kids Baking Championship. Their charisma, boundless enthusiasm and unwavering encouragement expertly lead these young competitors through the obstacles and challenges of the baking championship," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network.

Kids Baking Championship contestants include: Caroline Binkley (Delaware, Ohio; age 13), Annika Coffman ( Boise, Idaho; age 12), Jackson Fujimori (Torrance, California; age 11), Hollis Jackson (Jacksonville, Florida; age 13), Payton Pelaez (San Francisco, California; age 10), Anthony Smith (Rochester, New York; age 11), Cody Vasquez (Gilbert, Arizona; age 12), and Natalie Venable (Thousand Oaks, California; age 11).

The Futon Critic

posted 1/5/15

Syndies: Week 13
Results for the Week Ending December 21
From B&C
Ellen's annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaway shows moved Warner Bros.' strip up to the head of the talk show class, scoring a season-high 3.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the pre-Christmas week ending Dec. 21.

Among the rookies, CTD’s season-to-date leader Hot Bench, moving to CBS-owned stations in top markets after Queen Latifah goes off the air at the end of March, spiked 7% to a first place 1.6 in households. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench also led, clocking a 0.9. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, also returning next season, held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game.

Game shows were slow for the week but mostly up for the year. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune picked up 1% to a 7.3 to lead all of syndication, climbing 4% from last year at this time. CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 1% to a 6.8, but gained 6% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 6.3 but up 21% from a year ago. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire fell to a new season low 1.7, losing 6% from the prior week and 19% from last year at this time.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/5/15




Saying Goodbye in 2014
Jim Lange, Joan Rivers, Geoff Edwards, Casey Kasem Amongst Those We Lost
From various sources
From contestants to legends and everywhere in between, they left their own lasting mark on the game show world. Ordinary people who went on to do extraordinary things. As we close the chapter of the book of life on 2014 and prepare to begin anew in 2015, let us not forget.... they walked among us.

- Jim Lange, 81: He was known to listeners in the San Francisco and Los Angeles radio markets with stints at several stations in both markets, racking up over 45 years on the air. Lange was also known to television viewers as the host of several game shows, including The Dating Game.

- Geoff Edwards, 83:  actor, game show host and radio personality, host of shows ranging from "Jackpot!" to "Starcade". Starting in the early 2000s, he was also a writer and broadcaster on the subject of travel, making many friends with those both in and out of the industry, including with the proprietors of this site.

- Joan Rivers, 81: The sharp-tongued comedienne made inroads for women at a time when stand-up comedy was primarily a boys-only club. Her biting wit and blunt opinions earned her everything from Center Square to a shot at directing a film.

- Casey Kasem, 82: Legendary radio DJ who created the weekend countdown show “American Top 40” which still airs today hosted by Ryan Seacrest. A model for many a budding young disc jockeys. He hosted the short-lived US version of "100%"

- Don Pardo, 96: The best radio/TV announcer ever. Had a lifetime contract with NBC. Was the announcer on countless game shows and most recently Saturday Night Live.

- Meshach Taylor, 67: Nominated for an Emmy for his recurring role on the CBS sitcom Designing Women, the American actor was also known for his portrayal of a flamboyant window dresser in the 1987 movie Mannequin and his role on the panel on "To Tell the Truth".

- Polly Bergen, 84; star of stage, screen, and television, she frequented the panels on the games of Mark Goodson & Bill Todman.

- Chad Brown, 52; an actor who became a Centurion on "Caesars Challenge"... who became a star on the poker stage before hosting "Ultimate Poker Challenge".

- Richard Hayes, 81, singer & talk show host who hosted "All About Faces", "The Baby Game", and "Name That Tune" before returning to his radio roots in New York and Philadelphia.

- Bern Bennett, 92; a staff announcer for CBS radio and television who gave voice to "Winner Take All", "Beat the Clock", and "To Tell the Truth", all hosted by Bud Collyer, and all produced by Goodson-Todman

- Robin Williams, 63: The Oscar-winning actor and comedian, known for his manic stream-of-consciousness stand-up, parlayed a role in the hit TV sitcom Mork & Mindy into a hugely successful film career, from which he took time out for "Hollywood Squares" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway".

- Mary Ann Mobley, 78: The actress, television personality and 1959 Miss America was a popular fixture on the TV game show Match Game ‘76.

- Diem Brown, 34: An entertainment reporter and recurring cast member of the MTV reality series The Challenge, Brown (full name Danielle Michelle Brown) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and created the website MedGift to help cancer victims gain assistance from friends and family.

- Mickey Rooney, 94: One of Hollywood’s most popular stalwarts, the five-foot-two actor began his career in the silent film era and went on to star in more than 300 films over an 80-year career.

- Kate O'Mara, 74: British siren who was known for playing Joan Collins' scheming sister on "Dynasty" and The Rani on the classic "Doctor Who". She took a star turn as Mrs. Peacock on ITV's "Cluedo".

- Luis Raul, 51: Puerto Rican stand-up comic who hosted Telemundo's game show "Pa' Que Te Los Goces" in 2006

- Charlotte Dawson, 47: the beautiful and gracious host of "The Contender Australia" and judge of "Australia's Next Top Model".

- John Pinette, 50: rotund comic impressionist who played the referee on the early 90s entry "Grudge Match".

- Elaine Stritch, 89: The American actress and singer was best known for her work on Broadway (including 1970’s Company, which featured her signature song The Ladies Who Lunch). She also won three Emmy awards, including one in 2007 for her recurring role on NBC’s 30 Rock.

- Ann B. Davis, 88: Best known as always perky housekeeper Alice on TV’s The Brady Bunch.

- Contestants Eric Hill ("The Bachelorette"), Damien Gurganious ("The Biggest Loser"), Michael Johns & Joanne Borgella (both "American Idol"), Simone Battle ("The X Factor"), Ryan Knight ("The Challenge"), and Caleb Bankston ("Survivor")

May all rest in peace.

GSNN reader and resident clock-watcherette Tammy Warner contributed to this report.

CBS DFW
Miami Herald
Seattle Times

posted 1/2/15

Thursday: New Year, Same Ratings
CBS Wins; NBC, ABC Tie on Weak Returns
From the Futon Critic
CBS (5.267 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.0, #1) opened 2015 on top despite its all-repeat lineup of "The Big Bang Theory" (8.104 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1), "Mom" (6.433 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2), "Two and a Half Men" (5.001 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3), "The McCarthys" (3.920 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T5) and "Elementary" (4.071 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T7).

FOX (2.812 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T2) then snagged the silver with repeats of "Bones" (2.816 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T7) and another "Bones" (2.808 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T7).

Next up was ABC (2.499 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T2) with a new "The Taste" (2.688 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T5) and a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.120 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T10).

Meanwhile, NBC (2.210 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T2) served up originals from "The Biggest Loser" (3.490 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3), "Bad Judge" (2.093 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T10) and "A to Z" (1.320 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12) plus a repeat "Parenthood" (1.434 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12).

And finally, an encore of "iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2" (1.050 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (1.050 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

The Futon Critic
Hitfix

posted 1/2/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "So Long, Elly Mae"

posted 1/2/15

New Year's Lightning Round
... or "Here's to 2015"

  • "Pointless Celebrities" tops Saturday night (Telly Mix)
     
  • Anne Robinson has a question for you... well, more like 75 of them (Daily Mail)
     
  • Elisha Joyce goes from "Food Fighters" to ambassador (Pacific News Center)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: note to self: an iPhone does not cost $7000 (Uproxx)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Alexander Armstrong (Belfast Telegraph)

posted 1/1/15


HOWARD SCHULTZ: 1953-2014
Reality Producer Gave Us "Studs", "Moment of Truth", "Dating Naked"
From the Wrap
Television producer Howard Schultz died unexpectedly on Monday while vacationing with his family in Hawaii. He was 61.

The longtime executive founded Lighthearted Entertainment in 1992 and was the creator of ABC’s hit unscripted series “Extreme Makeover,” which he served as executive producer on for several seasons.

Schultz served as the CEO of Lighthearted Entertainment, having developed and executive produced several popular series for the company including MTV’s “Are You the One,” VH1’s “Dating Naked” and VH1’s “Bye Felicia.” He also served as executive producer on Fox shows “Studs” and “The Moment of Truth,” and MTV’s “Next!”

In December, he named Executive Vice President, Rob LaPlante and Vice President, Jeff Spangler co-owners of Lighthearted. The two executives will continue to run Lighthearted in Schultz’s absence.

“Beyond Howard’s incredible television acumen existed a man who truly cared for everyone he encountered in a way unique from anyone I have ever met. TV has lost a visionary mind, and we have lost a mentor in life,” Rob LaPlante said in a statement.

The Wrap
E!
B&C

photo courtesy the Wrap

po
sted 12/30/14

Hit Your Mark
"The Final Mark" to Play in 2015
From PR.com
The Final Mark is a paintball reality game show that will portray the real life experiences of paintball competitors in a hard core environment where survival is the key to the game. In addition to surviving the game and being crowned as having what it takes to leave The Final Mark, the winner will receive award money of $50,000.

With an award winning team, The Final Mark is ready to be filmed in the summer of 2015. Filming paintball in an entertaining, reality television format will enable the production to reach an audience outside the normal sport patrons.

Core Media, with the help of Cory Norman and Bonfire Films, will provide a new venue to a sport that’s both fast paced and exciting.

If you’d like more information about this campaign, visit the fundraising site at http://igg.me/p/1062461/x/212020

PR.com

posted 12/30/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "A Host's Holiday"

  • Stephen Fry to host EE British Academy Film Awards (Movie News Guide)
     
  • James Corden to be awarded OBE (Female First)
     
  • Sandi Toksvig of "Fifteen to One" goes from 22 to 10. Dress sizes, that is. (Mirror)
     
  • #ICYMI: Last Friday's "Wheel" (Zap2it)
     
  • Does Melissa Peterman think that "Bet On Your Baby" will be back for a third season? (Sitcoms Online)
     
  • SUNDAY: 1.342 million for "Cutthroat Kitchen" (Showbuzz Daily)
     
  • Terry Crews, Chrissy Teigen to join Carson Daly for New Year's (The Futon Critic)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Jerry Springer (Smashing Interviews)

posted 12/30/14

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