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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider

photo courtesy Fox/The TV Page

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

Other ratings highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

 

posted 4/24/15

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

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

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

The Wrap

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/23/15

Upfronts: Food Network
Renewals and Spinoffs are On the Menu
From Variety

Food Network is ordering extra helpings of two program genres that have reliably filled its schedule for some time: road trips that explore how a certain kind of cuisine is served up around the nation, and a bevy of competition programs.

The Scripps Networks-owned outlet on Wednesday unveiled its next programming cycle at a morning presentation. Below, a select list of some of the new series expected to air in 2015 and 2016:

Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (April 2015): Sixteen memorable chefs from previous seasons return to do battle in a five-round tournament. Alton Brown hosts as the chefs vie for a chance to win $75,000. Produced by Embassy Row for Food Network

Spring Baking Championship (April 2015) Eight bakers must prove their abilities in front of tough-love judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale as they try their spatula at Mother’s Day brunches, family picnics, birthday parties and weddings. Hosted by Bobby Deen. Produced by Triage Entertainment for Food Network.

Cake Wars (July 2015) Four bakers compete to determine who will get to take a magical cake creation to a big event and advance their career as a baker. Produced by Super Delicious for Food Network

Camp Cutthroat (August 2015) Alton Brown invites the most elite Cutthroat Kitchen alumni to a secret location deep in the wilderness for an extreme culinary throw down. Produced by Embassy Row for Food Network

Crazy Kitchen (wt) (August 2015) Amateur competitors take on a revolving set of fast, fun games which test their knowledge, quickness, and common sense. Produced by Electus for Food Network

Guy’s Grocery Games All-Stars (August 2015) In this five-episode stunt, some of Food Network’s and Cooking Channel’s biggest stars take over the grocery store aisles for an all-star supermarket showdown, hosted by Guy Fieri. Produced by Relativity Lifestyle for Food Network

Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off (August 2015) Host Rachael Ray is joined by a rotating panel of all-star guests in this six-episode series where they mentor and guide young competitors through a series of cooking challenges and obstacles as these junior chefs vie for their very own series on FoodNetwork.com and the title of Kids Cook-Off champion. Produced by Jane Street for Food Network

Chopped: After Hours (September 2015) Judges move from the table to the kitchen and take a turn at tackling the tricky ingredients of a Chopped basket. Produced by Notional for Food Network

Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition (wt) (September 2015) Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray each lead a team of celebrity-recruits through rigorous culinary skills-training and challenges, with the goal of turning them into skilled cooks. A $50,000 grand prize for charity is awarded to the celebrity contestant who makes the most impressive culinary transformation. Produced by Optomen Productions, an All3 Media Company, for Food Network

Chopped: Impossible (October 2015) In this four-episode stunt, competitors wind up competing against Robert Irvine in a bid to win this contest. Produced by Notional for Food Network

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
TV by the Numbers
AV Club

posted 4/22/15

Tuesday: The Calm Before the Storm
CBS Wins Despite Airing Pre-Sweep Repeats
From the Futon Critic

NBC (7.403 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 last night with its mix of "The Voice" (10.987 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1), "Undateable" (4.927 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #5), "One Big Happy" (3.943 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) and "Chicago Fire" (6.786 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2).

ABC (4.239 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) then claimed the silver with the season finales of "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.045 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3) and "Repeat After Me" (3.567 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) plus new episodes of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.268 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3) and "Forever" (4.143 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12).

Next up was CBS (9.442 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) and repeats of "NCIS" (10.138 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12) and "NCIS: New Orleans" (9.831 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) followed by a special "CSI: Cyber" (8.358 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6).

Meanwhile, The CW (2.917 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up new episodes of "The Flash" (3.664 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6) and "iZombie" (2.171 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14).

And finally, FOX (2.388 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening with a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.441 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8), a repeat "New Girl" (1.408 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) and a new "Weird Loners" (1.263 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.5, #16).

On cable...
- Chopped (Food): 1.516 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 484,000
- Keywords (HLN): 84,000

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

posted 4/22/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Overbooked Daytime"

  • Tom Bergeron, Julie Chen, Vicki Lawrence, Mario Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Alan Thicke to present Daytime Emmys (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Billy Eichner, Donald Trump, Chrissy Teigen go to "Nerd Prom" (aka the White House Correspondent's Dinner) (Deadline)
     
  • Derek Hough injures his foot after a freak accident (Us)
     
  • Inside the world of Buzzr (Greenfield Reporter)
     
  • "The Talk" to air Daytime Emmys postgame (Broadway World)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Alison Sweeney (TV Insider)

posted 4/22/15


Upfront: MTV
"Broke A$$ Game Show", "ABDC" Will Be Back
From the Futon Critic

MTV, a unit of Viacom Inc., (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), today unveiled a world premiere look at its reimagining of the beloved horror franchise "Scream," premiering Tuesday, June 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, and "The Shannara Chronicles," an ambitious fantasy drama currently shooting in New Zealand. The two series headline a slate of 8 new and 10 returning series and more than 85 series in development, some of which were previewed at the 2015 MTV Upfront at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

"We're exploding our development process across screens - getting faster, more daring, putting more projects into play and taking bigger swings than ever," said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. "We've exponentially expanded the ways we connect with our audience and deliver for our advertisers."

"This slate demonstrates the creative breadth of what MTV can do - epic scripted dramas, irreverent comedies, inventive format-driven series, fun topical talk shows, all with a distinct, youthful voice," said Susanne Daniels, President of Programming for MTV.

MTV is reinventing the hit competition series "America's Best Dance Crew" with six all-new Video Music Award-themed episodes. All-star dance crews from previous seasons return with their amazing moves and innovative choreography as they battle for dominance on the "America's Best Dance Crew" stage. Hip hop superstar T-Pain, G.O.O.D. Music recording artist Teyana Taylor and television and Broadway performer Frankie Grande will judge the all-star season of "America's Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs," premiering Wednesday, July 29. The new "America's Best Dance Crew All Stars: Road to the VMAs" will be hosted by Jason Dundas ("Entertainment Tonight").

The winner will be crowned in the live finale episode, which will air as the lead-in to the "2015 MTV Video Music Awards" Pre-Show.

"America's Best Dance Crew: Road to the VMAs" is executive produced by Jane Mun ("The Sing Off"), Rob Lee (Bayonne Entertainment) and Howard and Karen Schwartz (Hip Hop International). Brooke Karzen, Dan Sacks and Louise Wuare the executives overseeing the project for Warner Horizon Television ("The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," "The Voice").

MTV also provided advertisers with a look at the latest in its ongoing "Always On" initiative, through which it harnesses the power of its 220 million social followers to create and distribute real-time video and editorial content across on-air, online, mobile and social. Recently, MTV has expanded the "Always On" initiative to create live, multiplatform programming events, from its "MLK IS NOW" pro-social campaign in January to the "Beyoncé-thon" Guinness World Record-breaking dance relay marathon in Times Square last month.

Also returning:

-  "Are You The One?" (Season 3): In the most ambitious dating experiment ever attempted, 10 single women were selected and put through an extensive matchmaking process to find 10 single guys who are their perfect match. Now all 20 are living together in Hawaii trying to figure out who is their match and if they do, they'll split the largest cash prize in MTV history - ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Executive Producers include Howard Schultz, Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler of Lighthearted Entertainment. Scott Jeffress is Executive Producer for Lighthearted Entertainment.

- "Broke A$$ Game Show" (Season 2) is a half-hour comedy that hits the streets of NYC luring unsuspecting contestants to push their own personal limits for cash. By never wasting money on fancy lights, stages or expensive props, hosts David Magidoff and Derek Gaines bring the savings to the people with truly "broke ass" challenges and irreverent games, all promising cold hard cash in exchange for contestants' dignity.

Executive Producers are Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher. The show is produced by B-17 Entertainment (A Division of Core Media Group).

- "The Challenge" (Season 27) takes some of MTV's most favorite competitors, along with fresh faces from "The Real World" and "Are You The One?," to an exotic location for a brand-new explosive format. They will battle it out to bring home a life-changing grand prize. Between the new twists and the demanding pressures of the game, it'll take more strength than ever to succeed in this game.

Executive Producers are Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldshein, Scott Freeman and Justin Booth. "The Challenge" is produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, LLC.

The Futon Critic
Yahoo!
Deadline
B&C

posted 4/21/15

Syndies: Week 29
Results for the Week Ending April 12
From B&C

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael each grew 3% in the week ended April 12 to tie for first among the syndicated talk shows for the second consecutive week at a 3.1 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In access, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled ahead 3% to a 6.8, and regained game’s sole possession of first-place among households. CTD’s Jeopardy!, which tied Wheel for the first time in 2015 in the prior week, stayed in the race, outpacing 2% to a 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 5% in households to a 6.0, still up 25% from the same week last year. Family Feud also tied with Judge Judy to lead all of syndication among women 25-54 at a 2.9.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire rebounded from a 13-year low with a 6% rise for the week to a 1.7, still down 15% from last year at this time. Next season, Millionaire will add The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison as host. Debmar-Mercury’s freshman Celebrity Name Game remained at a 1.3.

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/21/15

Monday: Downtrend
NBC Wins Demo, ABC Wins Night
From The Futon Critic

NBC (8.692 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the demo champ for the second week in a row thanks to new episodes of "The Voice" (10.276 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.526 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

ABC (11.511 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) then was the most-watched network with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (13.065 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "Castle" (8.402 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Next up was CBS (8.950 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) with new episodes of "2 Broke Girls" (7.443 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) and "Mike & Molly" (8.041 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) followed by the season finale of "Scorpion" (10.425 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and a new "NCIS: Los Angeles" (8.685 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.826 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) offered up new episodes of "Gotham" (4.299 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #6) and "The Following" (3.353 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.279 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.074 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) on The CW (1.177 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 367,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/21/15

Weekend: Cut Off
ABC Wins Night, CW Premieres Stall
From The Futon Critic

ABC (5.950 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) claimed the top spot on Friday thanks to the season finales of "Last Man Standing" (6.206 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and "Cristela" (4.926 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #8) plus new episodes of "Shark Tank" (6.458 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) and "20/20" (5.827 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2).

CBS (5.586 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) then claimed the silver with new episodes of "The Amazing Race" (5.519 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3), another "The Amazing Race" (5.373 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and a repeat "Blue Bloods" (5.866 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10).

Next up was NBC (4.778 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) and its mix of a new "Grimm" (4.548 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5), a repeat "Dateline NBC" (4.552 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #9) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.234 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.161 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) served up the feature "Bad Teacher" (2.161 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10).

And finally, The CW (1.076 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening with the launch of its lineup of "Cedric's Barber Battle" (0.826 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.2, #14), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.109 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) and "The Messengers" (1.184 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #13).

On cable Sunday...
- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.512 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (Food): 1.332 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.272 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/21/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Anniversary"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: "Dancing with the Stars" anniversary special to air April 28 (Glamour)... but not with Derek Hough (E!)
     
  • Gwen Stefani... Cee Lo Green... and Usher... one night only (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • Nahnatchka Khan can handle the freshman season of "Fresh Off the Boat". Eddie Huang...  not so much (Vulture)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Wheel heads to Denver May 8 (KDVR Denver)
     
  • ON THIS DAY: "Take It or Leave It", the show that spawned "The $64,000 Question", began in 1940 on radio (The News Gazette)

posted 4/21/15


Vaya Con Dios, Sabado Gigante
Univision's Record-Breaking Variety Game Show to End After 53 Years September 19
From The Hollywood Reporter

Univision has announced that its top-rated variety show Sabado Gigante is ending after a more-than-53-year run. The show, hosted and created by Don Francisco, will air its final episode on Sept. 19.

Francisco, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, will continue contributing to the Univision Network with new projects and by hosting entertainment specials and campaigns like TeletonUSA, the network's annual benefit for disabled children. He will also help Univision look for and develop new on-air talent and professionals.

Sabado Gigante launched in 1962 on Chile's Channel 13, began in the U.S. in 1986, and is still No. 1 on Saturday nights among Hispanics. The weekly, three-hour show is the longest-running variety series in television history and Univision's longest running program.

In 2013, Univision added cohosts Chiquinquira Delgado, host of Univision's morning show Despierta America, and telenovela host Julian Gil to Sabado Gigante's team. The Hispanic network has also been trying to modernize its lineup.

“During my 40 years in the industry I have met few people with the same energy, creativity and passion for television and the audience as Mario, and I join in celebrating him and his team at Sabado Gigante for the great success and the milestones achieved in broadcast television,” Univision Communications CEO Randy Falco said in a statement. “Mario is an important part of the Univision family, and his knowledge of the industry and commitment to innovation will help us to continue defining the future of the media industry."

Kreutzberger (aka Francisco) added: “I’m excited to share with the audience this announcement, with which we’re starting to bring to a close the 53-year cycle of Sabado Gigante, 30 of which were possible thanks to Univision in the United States. There is no doubt that they have been fundamental in my professional development and in my personal and family life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Catolica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our Sabado Gigante into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week. I have no words to thank our viewers for the support, loyalty and enthusiasm with which they have honored us through the years and which have allowed the show to become an unprecedented success in the history of this medium."

TV by the Numbers
The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
USA Today
Heavy
Miami New Times
TV Line
AV Club
CNN Money
Washington Post
Los Angeles Times

posted 4/20/15

"Only One" Sale
Armoza Sends French Canadian Celebrity Quiz to Turkey
From World Screen

OttO Productions in Turkey has picked up the rights to make a local version of the prime-time studio game show Only One Knows, part of the Armoza Formats catalogue.

Only One Knows looks on as celebrity contestants participate in a competition that tests their general knowledge and intuition for the chance to win money for charity. The program has aired daily on TVA in French Canada, where it is the number one game show. It is distributed by Armoza Formats as part of a strategic collaboration with TVA, along with the celebrity entertainment show By Invitation Only.

Gokhan Mutlay, the executive producer at OttO Productions, commented: "Only One Knows is an amazing game of strategy, suspense, fun and humor with a mesmerizing set. This is a marvelous show which creates excitement and anticipation and will glue viewers to the TV. It also provides a great platform for celebrities to support good causes in an entertaining, fun way."

Avi Armoza, the CEO of Armoza Formats, added: "We are looking forward to working with OttO Productions and to seeing Only One Knows adapted for Turkish audiences. This is an incredibly fun game show that not only keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, but also provides an innovative solution for the in-demand daily stripped slot."

World Screen

posted 4/20/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "High on Life"

  • Mark Burnett's 11 shows... and one seriously epic beard (Adweek)
     
  • "Fear Factor" lives on... line (TV Media Insights)
     
  • SPOILER ALERT: Chris Soules went from can-hardly-wait to get married to "putting off marriage for as long as possible", because... (Classicalite)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Lie Detectors (GSN, TODAY!) (Beaver Times)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: Seven Envelopes (Watch, Monday) (Digital Spy)
     
  • Chris Hardwick to play Atlanta (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
     
  • Share a Coke with Erin Andrews' boyfriend... before he gets popped for it (TMZ)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Six lessons from Tim Gunn's new book (TV Insider)

posted 4/20/15

Thursday: Close Calls
CBS Wins AGAIN
From The Futon Critic

CBS (9.560 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.495 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.7, #1), "The Odd Couple" (9.765 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T3), "Mom" (9.656 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T3), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.582 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #6) and "Elementary" (7.430 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #7).

ABC (6.627 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then took home the silver with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.575 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #5), "Scandal" (7.863 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "American Crime" (4.443 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8).

Next up was FOX (4.057 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #3) with originals from "Bones" (4.749 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10) and "Backstrom" (3.364 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.207 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up repeats of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.847 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11), "The Blacklist" (3.330 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.442 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8).

And finally, the return of originals from "The Vampire Diaries" (1.341 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #14) and "Reign" (0.999 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) on The CW (1.170 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.594 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.068 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 452,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Vulture

posted 4/17/15

Wednesday: Eye Guess
CBS Wins
From Televisual

CBS (9.243 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday thanks to new episodes of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.437 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1), "Criminal Minds" (10.202 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "CSI: Cyber" (8.090 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7).

ABC (5.859 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "The Middle" (7.440 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "The Goldbergs" (6.853 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2), a repeat "Modern Family" (5.961 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #6), a second "The Goldbergs" (5.692 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) and "Nashville" (4.604 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9).

Next up was FOX (7.491 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and another two-hour "American Idol" (7.491 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.223 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T4) offered up repeats of its trio "The Mysteries of Laura" (4.546 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.018 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11) and "Chicago PD" (4.107 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.408 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10) and "Supernatural" (1.829 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13) on The CW (2.119 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T4) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p): 473,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 281,000
- MTV2's Joking Off (MTV2): 276,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/17/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Finish Line"

posted 4/17/15

And the Emmy Goes to... Twitter
CBS Celebrates Daytime Emmy with Tweet Week
From TV by the Numbers 

CBS Daytime will celebrate the “42nd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards” with a special week-long live Twitter chat event featuring stars and producers from across the Network’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated lineup. Beginning Monday, April 20, cast and crew from THE TALK, The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL, LET’S MAKE A DEAL, THE YOUNG AND The Restless and THE PRICE IS RIGHT will live-tweet every weekday, through Friday, April 24, leading up to daytime’s biggest night on Sunday, April 26.

THE TALK hosts Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood will kick off the Twitter event with a live group chat on Monday, April 20. Actors Linsey Godfrey, Scott Clifton and Jacob Young (B&B), Keyboardist Cat Gray and Director Lenn Goodside (LMAD), Actresses Gina Tognoni and Amelia Heinle (Y&R), and Executive Producer Mike Richards (TPIR) will participate in chats throughout the week (see below for full schedule).

CBS leads the 2015 Daytime Emmy nominations with 62 nods, more than any other network. The #1 daytime drama, THE YOUNG AND The Restless, received 25 nominations. In addition, The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL received 19 nominations, THE TALK received seven, LET’S MAKE A DEAL and THE PRICE IS RIGHT received two nominations each.

CBS Daytime’s entire entertainment lineup was honored, with both THE YOUNG AND The Restless and The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL receiving nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. THE TALK was nominated for Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment and Outstanding Talk Show Host, and THE PRICE IS RIGHT was nominated for Outstanding Game Show.

The following is the schedule for the live Twitter chats:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22
3:00 PM, ET / 12:00 PM, PT: LET’S MAKE A DEAL (#LMAD)
o Keyboardist Cat Gray (@letsmakeadeal)
o Director Lenn Goodside (@letsmakeadeal)

FRIDAY, APRIL 24
11:00 AM, ET/ 8:00 AM, PT: THE PRICE IS RIGHT (#PriceIsRight)
o Executive Producer Mike Richards (@MRichTV)

TV by the Numbers

posted 4/16/15

This X Factor Gets Another One
AXS Gets Season 12
From TV by the Numbers 

AXS TV, cable’s premier music entertainment channel, has renewed the hugely successful global hit The X Factor UK for a second consecutive year. The network will continue as the official U.S. broadcast home for the 12th season of the signature program, premiering in the fall on AXS TV. The agreement, which features a 34-episode order, was signed with FremantleMedia International (FMI) and Syco Entertainment. The X Factor UK was created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and is co-produced by Syco Entertainment and Thames TV (part of FremantleMedia UK). AXS TV is the first American television network to air the legendary UK version of the show.

AXS TV will continue to air all episodes of The X Factor UK within 24 hours after the respective UK broadcasts. Encore episodes will be broadcast directly following AXS TV’s premieres.

Last year’s broadcast of season 11 was a success for AXS TV, as the DVR-friendly series lifted The X Factor UK’s average audience on AXS TV by 68% (Live+3) during its broadcast run, according to Rentrak. Additionally, the network achieved social media milestones when former contestants of The X Factor, such as One Direction and Fifth Harmony, supported the channel with live tweets and custom video messages.

Known for its high-caliber performances showcasing lavishly produced sets and wardrobes, the series is also one of the first stops for major recording artists to promote their latest hits. Last season, AXS TV viewers were among the first in America to enjoy Taylor Swift’s smash “Shake It Off”; Maroon 5’s “Animals”; two separate Sam Smith performances featuring “Like I Can,” and “Stay With Me,” respectively; One Direction’s single “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” performed live for the first time on TV; and Ed Sheeran’s chart-topper “Thinking Out Loud,” which he later sang with winner Ben Haenow in the finale.

TV by the Numbers

posted 4/16/15

David Flynn Leaving Endemol
Creator Departs After 16 Years
From Televisual

Endemol UK's chief creative officer David Flynn is to leave the company in the summer after 16 years.

His departure comes four months after the completion of Endemol’s merger with Shine.

Flynn joined as a creative intern in 1999, rising to oversee creativity across all of the UK group.

His credits include creating and executive producing the Million Pound Drop. He also co-created and executive produced the game show Pointless, talent show The Singer Takes it All, multiplatform gameshow The Bank Job, factual entertainment format Seven Days On The Breadline and quizshow Ejector Seat.

After joining Endemol in 1999, Flynn became Managing Director of Brighter Pictures in 2007, before becoming Joint Managing Director of Remarkable Television in 2009. Taking the role of Chief Creative Officer in 2013, he co-chaired Endemol UK’s Digital Board and represented Endemol UK at global creative team level.

“In my time at Endemol, I’ve seen the company transform into one of the largest independent producers in the UK and I’m proud to have been part of that journey. It’s been a fantastically creative and supportive environment where I’ve been able to take big risks and make television that’s travelled the world.” said Flynn.

“David has those qualities that absolutely define the creative people here,” said Tim Hincks, President of Endemol Shine Group. “He combines brilliantly innovative thinking with a risk taking spirit and a keen instinct for what makes a hit. We owe him huge thanks for all he’s done during his time here and, as a colleague and friend, I wish him every success in his next adventure.”

Televisual

posted 4/16/15

Tuesday: Close, but Still CBS
CBS Takes Night ... but Just
From the Futon Critic

CBS (12.873 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1) pulled into the top spot with new episodes of "NCIS" (15.401 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.058 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) and "Person of Interest" (9.161 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

The silver then went to NBC (6.349 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) with originals from "The Voice" (10.391 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1), "Undateable" (5.214 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and "One Big Happy" (3.671 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #10) plus a repeat "Chicago Fire" (4.215 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12).

Next up was ABC (3.436 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and its quartet of "Fresh Off the Boat" (4.659 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), "Repeat After Me" (3.076 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #11), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (3.909 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (2.532 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12).

Meanwhile, The CW (2.739 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up fresh installments from "The Flash" (3.500 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8) and "iZombie" (1.978 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #14).

And finally, a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.518 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9), a repeat "New Girl" (1.329 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.5, #16) and a new "Weird Loners" (1.430 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) on FOX (2.449 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped (Food): 1.383 million
- Face Off (season finale/Syfy): 1.197 million
- Keywords (HLN): 203,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/15/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Lip Sync Respect"

  • Tonight's "Countdown Rude Word" brought to you by...  (Huffington Post)
     
  • "American Idol" down, but not out... (The Wrap)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Cedric's Barber Battle" (CW, Friday) (WISH Indianapolis)
     
  • Ben Gleib plays Calgary (Calgary Herald)
     
  • Add Craig Ferguson to the list of Daytime Emmy presenters (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • Bob Barker donates $200,000 to bird project (Daily Progress)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Derek Gaines (Fuse) and Bruce Forsyth (Wales Online)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: ... all we can safely say is that a) it's NSFW, b) it's NOT for anyone under the age of consent, and c) singing is involved. (Uproxx)

posted 4/16/15


A Drink for Syfy!
Zachary Levi to Host, Produce Bar Trivia Quiz Series July 16
From  The Futon Critic

Syfy announced today that Zachary Levi, star of NBC's Chuck and upcoming Heroes Reborn, will executive produce and host the game show Geeks Who Drink through one of his production arms, The Nerd Machine. The weekly series is based on the pub trivia contest of the same name, which has become a nationwide phenomenon with more than 25,000 people participating in over 600 bars across 35 states. Produced by Kinetic Contact (Married at First Sight, Little Women, The Taste) and Condé Nast Entertainment, Geeks Who Drink will premiere on Syfy Thursday, July 16th.

In each installment of Geeks Who Drink, two teams of self-proclaimed "trivia geeks" battle it out in rapid-fire quizzes that cover topics from pop culture to science fiction. Each team consists of three players - a celebrity team captain and two trivia pros. After three rounds of raucous game-play and (mostly) friendly competition, the winning team will earn bragging rights, a spot on the Geeks Who Drink leaderboard and a bevy of prizes to geek out over.

"Not only is Zachary a spectacular talent both in front of and behind the camera, he lives and breathes geekdom and is a true pioneer in bringing the nerd community together," said Heather Olander, SVP, Alternative Programming and Development, Syfy. "As executive producer and host of this series, Zachary has the unparalleled ability to introduce the beloved bar game to the masses, inviting viewers at home to experience the infectious joy of the game for themselves."

Added Levi: "To be the executive producer and host of Geeks Who Drink is an exciting opportunity to broaden my experience on both sides of the camera. Geeks Who Drink is such a fresh take on the game show genre, and something that we at The Nerd Machine believe will resonate with everyone who loves trivia and pop culture. We're looking forward to collaborating with the teams at Syfy, Kinetic Content and Condé Nast Entertainment."

An avid gamer, Levi, co-founded The Nerd Machine with David Coleman as a company designed to create unique new content, spread nerd culture, and bring passionate geeks together from all around the world.

Levi recently signed a first look deal with Universal TV. Under the deal, Levi will be optioning and developing new properties of interest for the company.

In addition to Levi, executive producers for Geeks Who Drink are Chris Coelen, Karrie Wolfe, Corin Nelson, Dawn Ostroff, Joe LaBracio and David Coleman.

The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter
Nerd Reactor
Realscreen
TV Media Insights
B&C
Entertainment Weekly

photo courtesy Warner Bros.

posted 4/15/15

Sports Jeopardy! '15
Crackle Renews Online Quizzer
From Tubefilter

This year, Sony’s Crackle platform opted to present its upcoming original programming during TV’s upfronts rather than the web’s Digital Content Newfronts. In choose to align with TV, Crackle GM Eric Berger cited content that is “long form and premium,” which he believes most closely appeals to TV advertisers.

At Crackle’s upfront presentation, it showed off some of this long form content. Among other new programs, Crackle will debut the feature film Joe Dirt 2 and its first hour-long series, The Art of More.

Crackle’s plan to roll out a sequel to 2001 cult classic Joe Dirt has been in the works for two years, and during its latest presentation, the distributor revealed a July 16th release date for the David Spade comedy, which is billed as the “first ever made-for-digital sequel to a major motion picture.”

Later in 2015, Joe Dirt 2 will be joined by two more brand new Crackle originals. The Art of More, which will star Dennis Quaid, will be a drama set in the world of auction houses. Another new project, Supermansion, sees Crackle team up with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios for an animated, half-hour comedy that will feature Bryan Cranston in the lead voice role.

Several existing Crackle programs will also return. Chosen, starring Milo Ventimiglia, will transition to an hour-long format for its fourth season, and the Dan Patrick-hosted Sports Jeopardy! will return with new episodes as well. The most well-known Crackle series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, will also roll into its sixth season. As seen in a recent teaser, Jerry Seinfeld‘s upcoming guests include Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Steve Harvey, Julia-Louis Dreyfus, and Trevor Noah.

Tubefilter

posted 4/15/15

Top Chef Does California
Catch the New Season
From B&C

Bravo Media's Emmy and James Beard Award-winning "Top Chef" embarks on an epic gastronomic road trip through California for season 13.

Returning to San Francisco and Los Angeles where the series began, the culinary competition will also make stops in San Diego, Santa Barbara, Oakland and the Greater Palm Springs area. Set to premiere this fall, cheftestants will battle it out in iconic destinations across the Golden State to see if they have what it takes to earn the title and culinary bragging rights. Production begins this spring with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio as well as judges Gail Simmons and Richard Blais. The competition will also feature California-based chefs, culinary stars and celebrities as guest judges throughout the season. "Top Chef" is the #1 food competition show on cable among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 year to-date, according to Nielsen. The announcement was made today in partnership with Visit California

"The entire food landscape has transformed in the 10 years since 'Top Chef' first launched," said Shari Levine, Executive Vice President, Current Production, Bravo Media. "What better way to explore where it all started then to head out to California, one of the top culinary destinations in the world, for an unprecedented six-city expedition."

Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California adds, "The Golden State truly is the 'land of wine and food.' California is the ultimate destination and viewers will see first-hand the abundance and diversity of the state's fresh produce offerings, world-class chefs and renowned dining experiences within our iconic cities, wine regions and agricultural communities."

The Futon Critic
Variety

posted 4/15/15


Heads Up! An App Is Coming to Television!
HLN Picks Up Ellen DeGeneres Project for 2016
From TV by the Numbers

Heads Up!, a new television series based on the wildly popular game and app of the same name from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is coming to HLN as its own highly addictive, fast-paced game show. Launching in first quarter 2016, the 65-episode half-hour game show strip from Telepictures will be hosted by Loni Love — comedian, actress and co-host of syndicated talk show The Real — and will air daily, Mondays through Fridays.

In the Heads Up! TV show, contestants pair up with a celebrity and try to correctly identify as many cards as they can based on clues from their teammate in categories ranging from movies and songs to actions, accents, body parts and more. In Heads Up!, (almost) nothing is off limits.

Ellen DeGeneres said: “I’m so excited that Heads Up! is going to be a game show. It’s so fun and addictive. I play it on my show all the time. I play it at home. I played it last night at Jennifer Aniston’s house. She wasn’t home, so please don’t print that part.”

“We’re excited to translate this innovative game app into a TV show on HLN, and create another all-screens experience for our social media audience,” said Albie Hecht, Executive Vice President and General Manager, HLN. “And to be in business with a break-the-Internet star like Ellen is incredible.”

The Heads Up! app (iOS and Android) has been downloaded more than 16 million times worldwide and been played more than a half billion times. It was Apple’s top paid app of 2014.

The Heads Up! series is HLN’s second game show based on a successful app. In January, the Keywords app paved the way for the premiere of Keywords, the TV show, in March.

Heads Up! is from A Very Good Production in association with Telepictures. Ellen DeGeneres, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Jeff Kleeman are the executive producers of the series.

TV by the Numbers
Variety
Tubefilter
Deadline
Radio Times

photo courtesy Warner Bros.

posted 4/15/15

More on "500 Questions"
ABC, Warners Quiz Goes to International Market
From C21 Media

Warner Bros International Television Production (WBITVP) will preview a forthcoming US gameshow from executive producer Mark Burnett and creator Mike Darnell at MipTV.

500 Questions is a primetime ABC entertainment format from Darnell, who joined Warner Bros as president of its unscripted and alternative television division in 2013 after leaving Fox.

The preview event will take place on Monday April 13 with Survivor creator Burnett and Darnell in Cannes, presented by CNN’s Richard Quest, who hosts 500 Questions in the forthcoming ABC version.

The show will be produced by Burnett’s United Artists Media Group in association with Warner Horizon Television (The Voice, The Bachelor).

Contestants compete to answer 500 difficult general knowledge questions and cannot advance if they get three wrong in a row.

Andy Zein, senior VP of creative and format development and sales at WBITVP, said: “500 Questions brings together an unrivalled combination of Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell, two of the world’s most trusted and successful primetime entertainment producers.

“This is a show unlike any seen in years: original in structure, immediately accessible in game play and epic in suspense, with big characters competing against the clock. The entire show is staged within an incredible-looking and high-concept studio setting.”

Burnett and Phil Parsons are executive producers of the series. 500 Questions is distributed globally by Warner Bros Worldwide Television Distribution, with format sales handled by WBITVP.

C21 Media
Realscreen
World Screen
Variety

posted 4/15/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Lip Sync Respect"

  • VIDEO WALL: ever see an Emmy-nominated game show host get lip-sync serenaded by a not-Emmy-nominated game show host? Want to? (The Futon Critic)
     
  • "The Voice" has its battery of mentors... and they are... (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Jimmy McGuire brings Classroom Jeopardy! to the Triangle (WTVD Durham)
     
  • Nigel Lythgoe is watching. He's watching. He's watching American tel-e-VIS-ion (Twitter @dizzyfeet)
     
  • How Tim Gunn makes "Make it work" work (USA Today)
     
  • "The Chase UK": bad contestant... or WORST. CONTESTANT. EVER? (Metro)
     
  • Richard Osman brings classic British series to iPlayer (Digital Spy)

posted 4/16/15

LEN FIRESTONE: 1921-2015
Founded Syndicator for "Gong Show", "To Tell the Truth"
From Miami Herald

Decades before networks kept low-rated programs like Nashville on the air long enough to build up enough episodes to sell into lucrative syndication, Len Firestone was a pioneer.

Among the shows that syndication executive Firestone helped sell when TV was in its infancy: Sea Hunt, starring Lloyd Bridges, and The Rifleman with Chuck Connors. After he founded his own company, he was distributing first-run talk shows like The New Steve Allen Show and game shows To Tell the Truth, Beat the Clock and The Gong Show.

For Firestone, born to immigrant parents in 1921 in Pittsburgh, “he was the business part of show business,” his son, actor Jack Firestone, said from his home in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where his father died at age 93 on March 4. He bought a home in Aventura in 1993.

“He was such a great promoter of the TV shows he produced and distributed, the business portion of him was so much that people mistook him for a lawyer,” his son said. “That’s the legacy he left me and my siblings.”

So much so, author Telly Davidson (TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows of the ’60s and ’70s) wrote in an email to Firestone’s other son, Brian: “I remember talking with another old-school exec covering NATPE (National Association of Television Executives) about 10 years ago, and Len’s name came up. He laughed that while Mr. Firestone had quite the ego, I guess he was entitled. He was sort of the Blake Carrington of the syndication biz — he knew it, and so did everyone else!”

His son Jack chuckles at the Dynasty reference.

“He would always say a good business deal was one that worked for you and for me … and had to be fair and square.”

But, at the same time, “he had a lot of humility,” his son added. Firestone, by the mid-1960s, had founded his company, Firestone Films. His biggest sell into first-run syndication: the 1960s game show To Tell the Truth.

A young Jack appeared on the program in 1968 and attempted to fool the panel, which included host Garry Moore, radio and TV personality Bill Cullen, and singer-actress Kitty Carlisle.

“At the reveal at the end of the show, I only got one vote out of the four and Garry said to me, ‘What is your real name?’ I stood up and said, ‘My name is Jack Firestone, and my father is the syndicator of this show.’ Kitty Carlisle and Bill Cullen said, ‘We should have voted for him.’”

Miami Herald
B&C
Variety

posted 4/14/15

Syndies: Week 28
Results for the Week Ending April 5
From B&C

With the end of Queen Latifah, CBS Television Distribution’s rookie court show, Hot Bench, made moves in several markets and gained 6% in the week ended April 5 to a 1.7 live plus same day national rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In top market New York, Hot Bench moved from WLNY at noon, where it was doing a 0.2 rating/1 share to WCBS at 9 a.m., where it improved 550% to a 1.3/4. In Los Angeles, Hot Bench shifted from KCAL at 10 a.m., where it was averaging a 0.1/0, to KCBS at 2 p.m., where it gained 300% to a 0.4/1. And in Chicago, the show moved from WCUU at 11 a.m., where it was turning in a 0.1/0 to WBBC at 2 p.m., where it increased 1,000% to a 1.1/4.

As for the other rookies, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game remained unchanged at a second place 1.3. Warner Bros.’ The Real also was flat at a 1.1, but led the newcomers among women 25-54 at a 0.9. NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira dropped 9% to a 1.0 in households, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith faded 11% to a 0.8.

In access, CTD’s Jeopardy!, which with Wheel of Fortune has been renewed through the 2017-18 TV season, tied Wheel as the top game show in households for the first time since Dec. 22. Jeopardy! jumped 5% to a 6.6, while Wheel inched up 3%, reversing three weeks of straight declines.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud edged ahead 2% to a 6.3, and also led all of syndication among women 25-54 at a 3.2.

In repeats, Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which will replace host Terry Crews with The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison this fall, sank 11% to a 1.6, the show’s lowest rating in its 13-year history and down 24% from last year at this time.

B&C
TV News Check
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

Monday: Dancing Voices
ABC, NBC Split Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (9.153 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the demo champ on Monday thanks to new episodes of "The Voice" (10.832 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.796 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

CBS (8.627 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with its quartet of "2 Broke Girls" (7.140 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Mike & Molly" (7.487 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Scorpion" (9.397 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.171 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6).

Next up was ABC (11.165 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) and a new "Dancing with the Stars" (13.627 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) plus a repeat "Castle" (6.243 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.952 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up the return of "Gotham" (4.417 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and a new "The Following" (3.487 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.396 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.463 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11) on The CW (1.429 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Food Fortunes (Food): 547,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 382,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 340,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

Weekend: Shark Blood
ABC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

ABC (6.095 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) was the top draw on Friday with its mix of "Last Man Standing" (6.352 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3), "Cristela" (5.154 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9), "Shark Tank" (6.559 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) and "20/20" (5.975 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2).

CBS (8.205 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2) then was the most-watched network with its trio of "The Amazing Race" (5.846 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5), "Hawaii Five-0" (8.637 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and "Blue Bloods" (10.133 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3).

Next up was NBC (5.116 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2) with originals from "Grimm" (4.797 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and "Dateline NBC" (5.275 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.905 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) offered up the feature "Date Night" (1.905 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #10).

And finally, second runs of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.620 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11), another "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.685 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.068 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.3, #13) on The CW (1.360 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On Sunday...
- Nuestra Belleza Latina (Univision): 6.9 million
- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.677 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.376 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.228 million

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

"Boom!" Exploding Over the World
Asia, South America Latest on Board
From C21 Media

Cambodian broadcaster Bayon Radio and Television has picked up format rights to Keshet International’s gameshow Boom!, marking the programme’s first foray into Asia.

Made in-house by Bayon, Boom! is due to start airing on the channel in a weekly slot from this summer.

The format is also broadening its South American footprint, with Peru’s TV America the latest broadcaster to license it. The Peruvian version of Boom! will also be made in-house at the broadcaster and is set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Argentina’s Telefe and TVN in Chile both licensed Keshet’s format earlier this year, while Uruguay’s Canal 10 picked up a finished 35-episode Spanish version. Fox is due to launch a US version this June.

In Europe, Boom! earned itself an extended run on Spain’s Antenta 3, while on TV2 in Hungary, it grew the slot average by 134%. VTM in Belgium and TF1 in France have also licensed the format.

C21 Media
Realscreen

posted 4/14/15

Mark Burnett in a Family Way
UAMG, Televisa Team for "Generation Gap"
From Variety

High-flying Mark Burnett, whose reality/faith shows are No. 1 in U.S. adult 18-49 ratings four or five nights out of seven, is teaming with Mexican TV giant Televisa to create a new multigenerational, family-friendly quiz show ”Generation Gap.”

Presented at Mip TV on Monday by Burnett and Ricardo Ehrsham, Televisa managing director, global entertainment formats, “Generation Gap” was created by United Artists Media Group and is being co-produced by United Artists and Televisa.

United Artists/MGM and Televisa will distribute the gameshow worldwide with companies splitting territories. A pilot has been produced. The Mexican original will air on Televisa from September in a Sunday evening primetime lead-in slot, which represents a big bet on the show, said Ehrsham.

“Generation Gap” features a parent, grandparents and children from the same family who answer easy multiple-choice questions about subjects from their decade. If a contestant answers correctly a question aimed at another family member, the whole family scores more money. “A grandparent getting, say, a Katy Perry question right would win even more money,” Burnett explained.

Questions are easy. Four families compete. Two go through to the final for big prizes. “’Generation Gap” is “fast-paced, a lot of fun, very play-along and uplifting,” Burnett said at Mip TV, presenting a trailer.

Variety
World Screen

posted 4/14/15

Continuing to "Do" the World
Nordisk Buys "I Can Do That" for Sweden, Denmark, Norway
From C21 Media

Banijay-owned Nordisk Film has bought the rights to Armoza Formats’ primetime entertainment format I Can Do That! for Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

The show is already in production in the region for MTV Oy, made with Banijay Finland.

I Can Do That! is underway in 15 countries, including a second season on Italy’s flagship public channel Rai Uno, which launched this month.

It is also in its second season on Brazil’s Rede Record, while first seasons are currently in production in the US and Mexico, with an all-star US version lined up by NBC for this May.

The weekly primetime studio format involves a group of competitive celebrities who are challenged to perform daring live acts.

Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats, said the show “continues to meet the broadcasters’ need for a fresh, new primetime show.”

The deal follows the sale of gameshow Still Standing, which has been picked up by Mediaset’s Canale 5 for Italy.

C21 Media

posted 4/14/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Avengers Assembled"

  • #ICYMI: ABC is re-airing the Avengers Feud on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" tonight (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • Sue Perkins takes a break after the Internet reacted in sadly all-too-typical fashion to news that she's a favorite to host "Top Gear". This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we can't have nice things. (The Guardian)
     
  • #ICYMI 2: Snatch Game (Jezebel)
     
  • Buzzr bolsters team (World Screen)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Scott Borchetta (TV Insider) and Amanda Byram (Irish Mirror)

posted 4/14/15


The Most Shocking Host Change EVER!
"Bachelor's" Chris Harrison Named New Host of "Millionaire"
From the Futon Critic

Chris Harrison (ABC's "The Bachelor" franchise) has been named the new host of the nationally syndicated game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." The versatile Harrison will join the popular long-running franchise beginning with its 14th season in fall of 2015, it was announced today by Disney|ABC.

"Chris is an accomplished host and valued member of the Disney|ABC family and now he'll also be bringing his classic talent and charm to 'Millionaire,'" said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney|ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution.

"Chris has hosted 19 seasons of 'The Bachelor,' and with that has developed a very deep connection with the TV audience," added Lisa Hackner, executive vice president, Daytime & Syndicated Programming, ABC Entertainment Group. "He is smart, warm and a formidable host and we are thrilled to have him join 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.'"

"There are few shows on television as strong and iconic as 'Millionaire,'" said Harrison. "This is a great fit and I'm extremely excited and honored to take on this new endeavor."

Harrison will continue with his hosting duties on ABC's hit romantic reality series "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor in Paradise" while also appearing on "Millionaire." He will be taking the hosting reigns from Terry Crews, who is unable to continue on with "Millionaire" due to his successful and demanding film and primetime TV projects. "We thank Terry enormously and are very grateful for the time and energy he put into the show this season," commented Hackner.

Harrison became host of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" in 2001. He also has hosted the spin-off reality show, "Bachelor Pad," as well as the "all-star" reunions from previous seasons of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," the last two years.

Harrison co-hosted ABC's live coverage of "The Miss America Pageant" for the past four years. He first hosted the broadcast on ABC in 2004. Additional hosting credits include "Emmys Red Carpet Live" at the 2012 Primetime Emmys, ABC's 2011 "American Music Awards Red Carpet," ABC's live television coverage of the final championship rounds of the 2010 "Scripps National Spelling Bee," and the 2008 "American Music Awards Red Carpet Live!" on ABC.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Tonight
Wetpaint
Deadline
B&C
Bustle

photo courtesy ABC

posted 4/13/15

What Price Love
Couples Week Begins April 13
From WUSA Washington

Daytime Emmy Award-winning game show THE PRICE IS RIGHT, network television's #1-rated daytime series and the longest-running game show in television history, is celebrating couples with the first-ever 'Couples Week,' Monday, April 13 – Friday, April 17 (11 a.m. -12 p.m.) on the CBS Television Network. The special week of themed episodes will feature singles being set up on blind dates, an anniversary party, a salute to military couples, a baby shower and a mass wedding officiated by host Drew Carey.

The following is a complete list of the week's episodes:

Monday, April 13: First Date Episode. Every member of the studio audience is single and looking for love. Matchmakers from Match.com pair the audience into couples who meet at Bidder's Row for their first date and play the entire show as a couple.

Tuesday, April 14: Anniversary Episode. Married couples celebrating anniversaries play as teams for fabulous prizes, including a trip to Paris, couple's massages and his and hers designer accessories.

Wednesday, April 15: Military Couples Episode. The show salutes our nation's active duty military members when an audience representing all five branches of the armed services and their significant others have the opportunity to play for prizes as a team. To honor the brave men and women for their service, every member of the audience receives a two-night stay at a resort in Las Vegas. Plus, the '50th Academy of Country Music Awards' presents a special showcase, including tickets to the award show. Co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, Country Music's Party of the Year® will be broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, April 19 (8-11:30 p.m., live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Thursday, April 16: Baby Shower Episode. An audience filled with expectant parents are thrown a baby shower, with prizes geared towards parents-to-be, including a 'babymoon' vacation in Los Cabos and a car seat with a new car.

Friday, April 17: Mass Wedding Officiated by Drew Carey. In a first on the show, Drew Carey marries the entire audience of engaged couples.

WUSA Washington
Broadway World

posted 4/13/15

Second Skin
GSN Locks in June 10 for Season 2 of "Skin Wars"
From the Futon Critic

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today the season two premiere of SKIN WARS, hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn (X-Men), on Wednesday, June 10 at 9PM ET/PT.

Television's first-ever body painting competition show and GSN's most watched original series ever, SKIN WARS seeks to find the most skillful, accomplished and versatile body painter in America. In its second season, twelve contestants will compete in elaborate body painting challenges to avoid elimination and win over the approval of judges, including legendary entertainer RuPaul Charles and body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina.

The winner of SKIN WARS season two will receive a $100,000 cash prize, an all-expense paid trip for two to the World Body Painting Festival in Austria, and a nationally-distributed Royal and Langnickel custom brush collection with their name on it. Natalie Fletcher of Bend, Oregon, was named the series' first winner in season 1.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

Switching Things Up
"Hot Seat" Introduces New Lifeline
From 9News

Fans of Millionaire Hot Seat are in for an extra special treat today, with a couple of noticeable differences to the popular afternoon game show.

Tonight, fans of the show will be treated to both an updated set, as well as the introduction of a lifeline known as "The Switch".

"The Switch" allows contestants in the Hot Seat playing for the final question the ability to switch questions and get a second chance at going home with the enormous cash prize.

Since the show launched in 2009, 7000 contestants have sat in the famed Hot Seat opposite host Eddie McGuire, with the total prize money won by contestants fast approaching $30 million.

Seventeen people have walked out of the Millionaire Hot Seat studios with a cheque for $250,000, with a further 72 contestants claiming $100,000 each.

9News
TV by the Numbers
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

Nine Lives for Face Off
Syfy Picks Up Series for New Season July 28
From Variety

Syfy’s inventive competition series “Face Off” has been renewed for a ninth season, Variety has learned exclusively. The contest — which tests the skill and creativity of special-effects makeup artists — will return for season nine on Tuesday, July 28, at 9 p.m.

The ninth season of “Face Off” will also include the show’s 100th episode. McKenzie Westmore hosts the series, with Ve Neill (“The Hunger Games,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”), Glenn Hetrick (“CSI: New York,” “Heroes,” “Legion”) and Neville Page (“Avatar,” “Prometheus”) returning as judges. World-renowned Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore (“Star Trek”) serves as the contestant mentor.

The show wraps its eighth cycle on Tuesday, April 14, at 9 p.m., with the remaining contestants facing one of the most challenging finales in “Face Off” history, which will bring back all the previously eliminated competitors from this season to assist the finalists. Their challenge will be to create four characters who could star in a new film franchise and will also be displayed to the public at Universal Studios Hollywood. Before starting work, the finalists choose genres for their films and pick words from an enormous board to help them come up with their new movie titles.

Variety

posted 4/13/15

Game Show
VH1 Picks Up "She's Got Game"
From the Futon Critic

VH1 has given the greenlight to "She's Got Game," a one-hour weekly series starring Jayceon Taylor, better known as platinum-selling rap artist "The Game," as he sets out on tour this summer ready to find love - with a little help from his celeb friends.

We all know The Game from his hit VH1 series "Marrying The Game" as an amazing father as well as family man, that goes without saying. But what we don't know is if there is a woman out there that would satisfy him enough to slow him down. In the past we've seen him give being a family man his all, but sometimes in life and love other cards come into play. Now, in the new series "She's Got Game," The Game sets out in pursuit of his perfect love match while he embarks on a national tour. The 10-episode series is slated to premiere summer 2015.

Tired of picking the wrong women, in "She's Got Game," Taylor turns to his celebrity friends to see who can help him most when it comes to matters of the heart. Each celebrity will select a young woman to accompany Game on his national tour. But which women will succumb to the not-so-innocent rock star lifestyle, and which will have his back and ultimately win his heart?

"Relationships are hard. And The Game knows that working in the entertainment business makes it even harder," said Susan Levison, EVP, Original Programming & Production, VH1. "In this series, he gets to try a different strategy, taking the advice and suggestions of the friends who know him best. We can't wait to go on this adventure with the Game as he searches for the woman that could ultimately be his match."

Follow the conversation on Twitter @ShesGotGameVH1 using hashtag #ShesGotGame. Like "She's Got Game" on Facebook here.

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

The Futon Critic
The Verge
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

CW Plots Summer
On Deck: "Top Model", "Wicked Offer"
From the Futon Critic

Continuing to bolster its schedule with more year-round original programming, The CW Network has set its summer premiere dates, including the series debuts of SIGNIFICANT MOTHER, DATES and A WICKED OFFER, the return of magic series PENN AND TELLER: FOOL US and MASTERS OF ILLUSION, and Cycle 22 of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. As previously announced, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will premiere its 13-episode third season as part of The CW's 2015 summer line-up on Thursday, May 21 (8:00-9:00 pm ET).

The magic competition series PENN & TELLER: FOOL US returns with all new episodes Monday, July 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET). PENN & TELLER: FOOL US is a one-hour competition series celebrating magic and featuring the legendary duo Penn & Teller. On each episode of PENN & TELLER: FOOL US, aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick to try and fool the world-famous team of Penn & Teller. Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn & Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The live studio audience and the TV audience watch along with Penn & Teller as they try to figure out the secrets. Penn & Teller see the trick only once, and have to immediately try to work it out. The live studio audience knows there are no camera tricks, secret edits or helpful camera cuts. This is all real magic. Hosted by Jonathan Ross, PENN & TELLER: FOOL US is created and produced by 117 PRODUCTIONS and September Films (part of DCD Media), with executive producers Penn Jillette, Teller, Peter Adam Golden, and Andrew Golder.

After the debut of PENN & TELLER: FOOL US, the current season of The CW's hit improv comedy WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? moves from Friday to its new night beginning Monday, July 6, with all new episodes at 9:00-9:30p.m. ET, followed by an encore episode of WHOSE LINE at9:30-10:00p.m. ET.

AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL returns with an all new cycle of guys and girls competing for the TOP MODEL title on Wednesday, August 5 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET). AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with The Tyra Banks Company. The executive producers are Ken Mok ("Making the Band"), Tyra Banks, Dana Gabrion, and Laura Fuest Silva. The series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. Tyra Banks also hosts the series. Currently, "America's Next Top Model" is under license in over 100 markets around the world and has 20 international versions in production. "America's Next Top Model" and the "America's Next Top Model" format are licensed internationally by CBS Studios International.

In the outrageous, darkly comic one-hour series A WICKED OFFER, premiering Wednesday, August 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m ET), couples are presented with a series of Faustian bargains, as they must decide to complete a series of scandalous and controversial tasks involving their unsuspecting friends, families and co-workers for cash prizes. With each challenge testing the couple's moral and ethical boundaries, the couples must weigh the potential havoc wreaked on their relationship with each other and everyone involved. As each task is completed, the stakes and the cash value are raised, forcing the couple to decide how far they're willing to go for money. A WICKED OFFER is executive produced by Bobby Sizemore ("Giuliana and Bill," "Tori and Dean") and by Jenny Daly ("Storage Hunters," "Mystery Diners," "Container Wars," "Invention USA") through her T Group production company.

The Futon Critic
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

Going Beyond the Tank
Catch It May 1
From the Futon Critic

"Beyond the Tank" is a one-hour companion series from the producers of the Emmy-winning reality series, "Shark Tank." Audiences familiar with the compelling ups and downs of the negotiations will be further engaged in the drama that takes place after the entrepreneurs' appearance on "Shark Tank." What lies in the aftermath of their investment? Did a promising deal turn sour, or did it lead to millions of dollars in sales? The season premiere, "Episode 101," airs FRIDAY, MAY 1 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. ("Beyond the Tank" will run for three weeks through Friday, May 15).

The Futon Critic

posted 4/13/15

A Fine Mess
Padma Lakshmi, Nigel Lythgoe to Spin Off "Top Chef" for the Military
From Eater

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is teaming up with the Pentagon on a new cooking competition show. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon has given Lakshmi "its blessing" for her to develop a Top Chef spinoff show that focuses on the military. It's apparently an attempt to rebrand military meals — which do not have a reputation for being delicious — "into something you would want to serve your favorite dinner guests." To sell the show, Lakshmi dropped some cheesy quotes on Pentagon officials: "An army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon said, and it's really true... For many of these service officers, as you know, especially in the field, the last meal may really be their last meal, so we take this very seriously."

This isn't the first time military chefs have been featured on a cooking show: The Pentagon Channel used to run a weekly show called The Grill Sergeants. However, the show did not pit chefs against one another in a competition format. Lakshmi — who is teaming up with American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe for the project — wants to take "the show out to sea aboard an aircraft carrier and into the field with soldiers." They also want some of the cooking competitions to take place at West Point. Eventually, they'd like to take the show overseas — but the Pentagon is hesitant about the idea of sending Lakshmi and a show into a war zone like Iraq. Not all Pentagon officials are into the idea: Some find the show to be a "waste of time." However, others think that "it is a great way to humanize the military."

Eater

posted 4/13/15

"Picture" Duplicates
Dutch Series to Return for Second Season
From World Screen

The Big Picture, a connected game show from Talpa that lets viewers participate in real time using a special app, has been renewed for a second season in the Netherlands.

The Big Picture launched in February on RTL and increased the channel's Sunday evening time slot by up to 124 percent over the course of the series. Season two is slated for a fall debut.

Created by Talpa and A Cappella, the format sees online app players selected in real time during the broadcast to get the chance to win big money by correctly answering questions. The Big Picture app has been fully integrated into the show's action and also allows for the winner's picture to be shown on screen.

World Screen

posted 4/13/15

"Babushka" Lands First Three Deals
Armoza, Ryan Seacrest Export Series
From World Screen

Armoza Formats' new studio game show Babushka, developed in partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions and TF1 Group, is set for local adaptations in Italy, Spain and Portugal.

The format sees in-studio contestants presented with ten giant Russian babushka dolls. Players must open eight of them for the chance to win up to $500,000. If the doll is empty, they lose whatever money they have accumulated up to that point.

Avi Armoza, the CEO of Armoza Formats, said, “We’re thrilled to see this early success for Babushka and look forward to this continuing at MIPTV. Babushka is a unique game show that uses a powerful combination of knowledge, strategy and luck to hold its own in prime time, whether in daily or weekly programming. Since its launch we have seen a lot of interest in the show and we are happy to have found such great homes for this special format in Italy, Spain and Portugal.”

World Screen

posted 4/13/15

Thursday: CBS Masters Thursday
Wheel, Jeopardy!
From the Futon Critic

CBS (9.276 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with new episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.638 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.4, #1), "The Odd Couple" (9.912 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Mom" (9.209 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.007 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5) and "Elementary" (6.944 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6).

The silver then went to ABC (5.500 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) with an encore of the "Grey's Anatomy" (4.751 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #8) pilot followed by new episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.331 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2) and "American Crime" (4.416 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11).

Next up was NBC (4.584 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with repeats of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.374 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9), "The Blacklist" (4.107 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.270 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.187 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up new episodes of "Bones" (4.997 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and "Backstrom" (3.377 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12).

And finally, a repeat of "The Flash" (0.983 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T14) and a second "The Flash" (1.105 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T14) on The CW (1.044 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.829 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.077 million
- Chopped Canada (season finale, Food): 837,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (CC): 374,000
- It Takes a Church (GSN): 278,000
- Match Made in Heaven (WE): 118,000

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

posted 4/13/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Pre-Show"

  • Hunter King & JD Roberto present Creative Arts Daytime Emmys (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • UPDATE UPDATE: Jeremy Clarkson will return to "Have I Got News For You" when he's darn good and ready (The Guardian)
     
  • Chuck Woolery hits Homers for Health (KPLR St. Louis)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP! The secret double life of the latest "Jeopardy!" champion (Poker News)
     
  • Buzzr on YouTube retains viewers (Stream Daily)
     
  • ICYMI: what happened on "Monopoly Millionaires' Club" (Atlanta Journal Constitution) and how it happened (YouTube)

posted 4/13/15


2018!
Wheel, Jeopardy! Renewed
From the Futon Critic

WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY!, television's top two game shows each averaging more than 10 million viewers daily, have been renewed through the 2017-2018 season, it was announced today by Joe DiSalvo, President of Sales for CBS Television Distribution.

Both shows were renewed for two more years beyond stations' current contracts in 80% of the country including on the ABC Owned Television Station Group, Sinclair, Media General, Gray Television, Hearst, Graham Media, Tribune, Cox, Meredith, Dispatch Broadcasting, NBC and Scripps.

"Not only are WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY! iconic brands that have consistently delivered ratings and revenue to stations for years, but they are beloved by viewers who have made them appointment viewing in households across the country," DiSalvo said. "They are two of the most sought after shows by political advertisers, so our station partners will benefit from locking up these shows through the upcoming 2016 presidential election season."

The new deal will take WHEEL OF FORTUNE through its 35th season and JEOPARDY! through its 34th season; the shows' hosts Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have all renewed their deals through the 2017-2018 season.

In the top three markets, WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY! air on the ABC-owned stations WABC-TV, New York; KABC-TV, Los Angeles; and WLS-TV, Chicago.

WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY! are two of syndication's most successful series and both continue to attract a larger audience than many primetime television shows. WHEEL OF FORTUNE has been the #1 syndicated game show since its inception. Hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White, WHEEL OF FORTUNE has earned seven Emmy Awards, including the 2011 Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.

Hosted by Alex Trebek, JEOPARDY! is the #2 game show in syndication. JEOPARDY!, holds the Guinness World Records(R) title for the most Emmy Awards won by a TV game show (31 Emmys), including the 2014 Emmy for Outstanding Game Show. In 2014, JEOPARDY! won the inaugural Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Writing for Quiz and Audience Participation; it is also the recipient of a 2011 Peabody Award.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Variety
TV Media Insights
TV Series Finale
AV Club
The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline

posted 4/10/15

Oh Baby...
TLC Picks Up Electus' "Labor Games"
From the Futon Critic

Multimedia entertainment studio Electus, an operating business of IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], today announced that Electus International has picked up the format rights for Lighthearted Entertainment's Labor Games, which will air in the U.S. on TLC.

In Labor Games, host Lisa Arch surprises a couple in a hospital delivery room with a pop-up game show that will give them the opportunity to win prizes for their baby-to-be.

"Labor Games is sure to be talked about, and we're excited to bring the show to audiences around the world," said John Pollak, President of Electus International. "We're always on the lookout for buzzworthy programming, and we expect this series to resonate globally."

The Futon Critic

posted 4/10/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "#BringBackLucy"

posted 4/10/15

Pop Goes the Upfront
On Tap: Daytime Emmys, "Doubt", "Sing It On"
From TV by the Numbers

Pop, the network that celebrates the fun of being a fan, announced today its original programming and development slate for the 2015-2016 Upfront season, including more than 300 hours of original programming that will premiere this year. The network’s schedule includes 11 new and returning original series and specials, as well as new projects in development with top industry producers, including Gail Berman and Nigel Lythgoe, John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co., Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets, Left/Right Productions and Lionsgate.

“We are heading into the upfront season with a fresh, uniquely positioned media brand covering the landscape of what’s popping in culture and an original programming slate driven by enthusiastic content and award-winning talent,” said Brad Schwartz, President of Pop. “Backed by the support of CBS and Lionsgate, full-screen distribution in more than 80 million homes, and the momentum of seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year ratings growth, we are poised to capture and engage our passionate ‘modern grown-up’ audience who are seeking a channel that celebrates fandom as much as they do.”

Pop's programming slate includes the following:

Spring/Summer Series (In Order of Premiere):

· THE 42ND ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY® AWARDS: The exclusive live awards ceremony hosted by Tyra Banks recognizing outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television production. The show will be produced by Michael Levitt of Michael Levitt Productions with Gary Tellalian and Mike Rothman also serving as executive producers. Premiere: Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM, ET/5:00 PM, PT

· SING IT ON: The real-life “Pitch Perfect” docu-series from the co-producers of “American Idol” CORE Media and John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. which features the nation’s top collegiate a cappella groups. Series Premiere: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT; Moves to regularly scheduled time of Wednesdays at 9:00 PM, ET/PT beginning May 20, 2015.

· Big Brother AFTER DARK: A late-night companion to CBS’s “Big Brother” with a live look inside the house. Season Premiere: Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM, ET/PT.

In Development (All Projects Are Working Titles):

· DOUBT: A pop culture game show based on the simple query: TRUE or FALSE? Contestants’ pop culture knowledge gets put to the test when they have to quickly identify 20 facts as right or wrong. They spend the rest of the game doubting their snap decisions through several rounds of high stakes play. Executive produced by Nigel Lythgoe and Gail Berman and Eric Levy/The Jackal Group.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Deadline
Variety
TV by the Numbers
The Hollywood Reporter
B&C

posted 4/9/15

An International Flight
CBS Studios International Takes "Game Plane" to Cannes
From Variety

CBS Studios Intl. has inked an exclusive deal with production company Alpine Labs to license the format rights to “The Game Plane,” the first game show to be filmed entirely on real, regularly scheduled airline flights.

The deal covers territories outside of the U.S. and Canada.

The show’s first season debuted in U.S. syndication and digital network AMGTV September 2014 and has been picked up for a second season, launching in September of this year. Production begins on Allegiant airplanes later this month.

In each episode, unsuspecting passengers board the show’s plane en route to their destination. All passengers receive a playing card when they’re on board. If their card is called, the passenger is invited to play one of many games that have been created for the show and adapted to be played on a commercial airplane. Contestants can win cash and prizes such as hotel suites, five-star dining experiences and luxury vacations.

“The Game Plane” was created by Kevin Abrams, developed by Jeff Mirkin and is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Trifecta Entertainment and Media.

“‘The Game Plane’ is a terrific show with a unique twist, making it the perfect format for broadcasters looking to give audiences an exclusive game-show experience,” said Paul Gilbert, senior VP, international formats, CBS Studios Intl.

Variety
World Screen
TV Wise
C21 Media

posted 4/9/15

Upfronts: USA
"Tough Enough" Returns June 23
From The Wrap

USA Network’s summer slate includes five original dramas, two reality series and one comedy. Its fall lineup is even more robust, and adds an untitled project with The Rock to Mark Wahlberg‘s “Shooter” adaptation.

Summer will see “Chrisley Knows Best", “Royal Pains,” “Complications,” “WWE Tough Enough,” “Suits,” “Mr. Robot,” “Graceland” and “Playing House” hit the small screen.

The top-rated ad-supported cable channel is also increasing its investment in WWE wrestling. In addition to the returning reality competition “Tough Enough,” USA is bringing “Smackdown” to its lineup in the first quarter of 2016.

“WWE consistently delivers one of the largest and most socially engaged live audiences in entertainment and we’re excited to expand our long-standing relationship and be the true cable home for the WWE fan,” commented USA Network President Chris McCumber.

“WWE is proud to have ‘SmackDown’ join ‘Raw’ as part of our expanded partnership with USA Network,” added WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Vince McMahon. “The combination of the No. 1 cable network and two ratings juggernauts provides a destination for our viewers and an extraordinary platform for our partners.”

Originally airing on MTV, “WWE Tough Enough” (June 23 at 8p ET) is an action-packed competition reality show from the ratings juggernaut WWE. Featuring a new format, with live elements, the series gives unknown athletes a chance at being crowned the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Fans can expect harder challenges, fiercer competition and rivalries that are more dramatic than ever.

The Wrap

posted 4/9/15

A Genius in France
Simon Cowell Brings "Beat the Brain" to Cannes
From C21 Media

FremantleMedia has acquired worldwide production rights to UK quizshow Beat the Brain and is taking the series to MipTV.

Beat the Brain hails from Simon Cowell’s Over the Top Productions and All3Media-owned Objective Productions, and will air on BBC2 in the UK later this year.

The show tests the way contestants think by pitting teams of four in challenges that involve different parts of the brain.

Covering six ‘brain zones,’ participants will be given a complete cerebral workout as they face visual puzzles, logic problems, memory challenges and an array of thorny brainteasers.

C21 Media

posted 4/9/15

Wednesday: CBS Wins... Barely.
NBC a CLOSE Second
From the Futon Critic

CBS (9.242 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday with its original trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.582 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1), "Criminal Minds" (10.084 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "CSI: Cyber" (8.061 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10).

NBC (7.869 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then was a close second with a special "The Voice" (9.537 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) followed by new episodes of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.313 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6) and "Chicago PD" (6.755 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #9).

Next up was ABC (5.805 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) and new episodes of "The Middle" (7.193 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T6), "The Goldbergs" (6.456 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), a repeat "Modern Family" (5.777 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) and originals from "Black-ish" (6.060 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) and "Nashville" (4.673 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12).

Meanwhile, FOX (6.522 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up a new two-hour "American Idol" (6.522 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (1.150 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T13) and "Supernatural" (1.003 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T13) on The CW (1.077 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (CC): 440,000
- Idiotest (GSN, 8:30p): 345,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/9/15

Tuesday: Young Voices, Older Eyes
NBC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (10.078 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with its expanded two-hour edition of "The Voice" (10.867 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and a new "Chicago Fire" (8.500 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3).

CBS (13.072 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "NCIS" (16.530 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.008 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Person of Interest" (8.677 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #7).

Next up was ABC (4.150 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and a new "Fresh Off the Boat" (4.839 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6), a repeat "Fresh Off the Boat" (3.625 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and fresh installments from "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.194 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and "Forever" (4.025 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T10).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.711 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.470 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8), "New Girl" (2.180 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T10) and "Weird Loners" (1.724 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T12).

And finally, a repeat "The Flash" (1.520 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.5, #14) and a new "iZombie" (1.832 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T12) on The CW (1.676 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped (Food): 1.438 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.054 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (CC): 339,000
- Keywords (HLN): 93,000

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

posted 4/9/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "No You Don't Got News For Me"

  • Remember when it was announced that Jeremy Clarkson was going to host "Have I Got News For You"? Well.... never mind (Business Insider)
     
  • Alison Sweeney goes to Hallmark... for a lot of radio hype (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Adam Richman a born-again vegan (Time)
     
  • Chris Hardwick plays Minneapolis (vita.mn)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "Who Knows Who" heading to Arizona (KTVK Phoenix), Cleveland (WKYC Cleveland)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Bill Kurtis (Inside Halton) and "Ninja Warrior UK" host Ben Shephard (What's on TV)

posted 4/9/15


ABC = Answers. Bots. Celebrities.
The Full Summer Schedule. Right Here.
From the Futon Critic

ABC announced its summer lineup, with four new series joining the schedule: "500 Questions" on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m.; "The Whispers" on Monday, June 1 at 10:01 p.m. and "Celebrity Family Feud" on Sunday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m., followed by "BattleBots" on Sunday, June 21 at 9:00 p.m. on the ABC Television Network.

These series join returning shows "The Bachelorette," which premieres Monday, May 18 at 9:00 p.m.; "Celebrity Wife Swap" on Wednesday, May 20 at 10:00 p.m.; "Extreme Weight Loss" on Tuesday, May 26 at 9:00 p.m.; "Mistresses," with a special two-hour premiere on Thursday, June 18 at 9:00 p.m.; "Rookie Blue" on Thursday, June 25 at 10:00 p.m.; and a two-night premiere of "Bachelor in Paradise" on Sunday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m. and on Monday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m.

ABC's summer premiere dates are as follows listed in chronological order (all times are ET/PT):

Monday, May 18
9:01-11:00 p.m. "The Bachelorette"

Wednesday, May 20
8:00-9:00 p.m. "500 Questions" (new series premiere)

Sunday, June 21
8:00-9:00 p.m. "Celebrity Family Feud" (new series premiere)
9:00-10:01 p.m. "BattleBots" (new series premiere)

Sunday, August 2
8:00-10:01 p.m. "Bachelor in Paradise" (special two-hour premiere)

Monday, August 3
8:00-10:01 p.m. "Bachelor in Paradise" (time period premiere)

Following are upcoming summer series descriptions in chronological order (all times ET/PT):

"THE BACHELORETTE" - PREMIERES MONDAY, MAY 18

Will it be Kaitlyn or Britt? ABC's hit romantic reality series, "The Bachelorette," will kick off its 11th season with one of the biggest surprises of all: there will be two Bachelorettes greeting their suitors for the first time ever. The charming, charismatic beauty, Britt, who captivated Chris Soules and the rest of Bachelor Nation with a memorable hug on that first night at the Bachelor mansion, and Kaitlyn, the gorgeous, fun-loving, warm-hearted, but irreverent firecracker who let down her guard only to have her heart crushed will take their place in Bachelorette history. Who will the men prefer? Eventually, only one woman will be left to hand out the final rose. Chris Harrison hosts.

"500 QUESTIONS" - PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

From Emmy(R) winner Mark Burnett, CEO, United Artists Media Group ("Shark Tank," "Survivor," "The Voice"), and Mike Darnell, President, Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television, and Warner Horizon Television ("The Voice," "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," "Bachelor in Paradise") comes "500 Questions," an all-new game show event where the smartest people in the country try to achieve the seemingly impossible task of answering 500 of the most difficult general knowledge questions ever devised. There's only one simple rule: never get three wrong in a row - or you're gone. No saves, no helps, no multiple choice, "500 Questions" will keep you on the edge of your seat to see if any of these geniuses can do it. It is the ultimate test, where intellect, strategy and stamina are all equally essential in order to win. The innovative "genius game show," hosted by CNN's Richard Quest ("Quest Means Business"), will air nine hours over nine nights, premiering on Wednesday, May 20 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), with its season finale set for Thursday, May 28. Mark Burnett and Phil Parsons are the executive producers. The show was created by Mike Darnell and Mark Burnett.

"CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD" - PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 21

"Celebrity Family Feud," a primetime celebrity version of "Family Feud," is based on one of television's most popular and enduring game show formats. The six-episode special series will feature fan-favorite celebrities competing with their families for charity on the famous stage of "Family Feud." Hosted by the highly popular multi-hyphenate standup comedian, actor, author, deejay and Emmy Award-winning talk show host Steve Harvey, "Celebrity Family Feud" will pit celebrities against each other in a contest to name the most popular responses to a survey-type question posed to 100 people. "Celebrity Family Feud" is produced by FremantleMedia North America and will be taped in front of a live audience in Los Angeles, California. Thom Beers, Gaby Johnston, Jennifer Mullin are executive producers.

"BATTLEBOTS" - PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 21

"BattleBots" is a reimagined take of the killer robot combat sport from Whalerock Industries and the creators of the original "BattleBots" franchise, Ed Roski and Greg Munson. The homeade robots will battle against each other, in a single elimination tournament style format, until there is one champion. The six episode series features next generation robots - bigger, faster and stronger than ever before. The show will have a greater emphasis on the design and build elements of each robot, the bot builder backstories, their intense pursuit of the championship and the spectacle of the event. Separate weight classes will be eliminated so that robots of all sizes will battle against each other. State of the Art Onboard Technology and Cameras will provide audiences with enhanced viewing and combat analytics. There will be cash prizes for winners in the Championship Rounds. MGM Television, which has a development deal with Whalerock Industries, will be distributing the program internationally. Executive Producers are Lloyd Braun, Chris Cowan, Ed Roski and Greg Munson.

"BACHELOR IN PARADISE" - PREMIERES SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 AND MONDAY, AUGUST 3

The long awaited second season of last summer's #1 new unscripted hit series, "Bachelor in Paradise" returns to ABC. The cast comprised of former fan favorites and controversial characters from the "Bachelor" franchise are back looking for a second chance at love. They all left "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" with broken hearts but now they'll travel to a romantic paradise hoping to turn a potential summer fling into the real thing. Over the course of the season, we'll follow cast members as they explore new relationships and viewers at home will watch as they fall in love or go through renewed heartbreak. If last season was any indication, "Bachelor in Paradise" will feature shocking twists, surprises, unexpected guests and some of the most unlikely relationships in "Bachelor" history. In true "Bachelor" fashion, it's sure to be an "amazing journey." Hosted by Chris Harrison, "Bachelor in Paradise" is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss, Martin Hilton and Alycia Rossiter are executive producers.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Variety
B&C
Los Angeles Times
Deadline
USA Today

posted 4/8/15

More at MIP
Another Look at the International Market
From Realscreen

Mip TV will see ITV Studios Global Entertainment hit the Croisette with a number of new dramas from around the world.

“We want to be known as a global distributor and global production company, not based in one particular place in the world, but able to move rather agilely across the world, and working with the best creators, wherever they may be,” says Maria Kyriacou, managing director of ITVSGE, which distributes ITV programs around the world.

Although dramas headline the slate, ITVSGE’s lineup also includes a wide variety of shows from different genres, like “10,000 BC,” in which a group of people must live like their Stone Age ancestors; quiz show “The Chase”; cooking shows “Come Dine With Me” and “Hell’s Kitchen”; jungle-set competition “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!”; and variety show “Saturday Night Takeaway,” which has been commissioned by NBC in the U.S., where it will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Elsewhere...

- Endemol Shine Group makes its MIPTV debut with a slate of heavy-hitter formats such as Big Brother. MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, The Biggest Loser, and Your Face Sounds Familiar among others, but the recently launched mega-indie will also be bringing newer fare to the format feast.

Recent returning formats include survival series The Island, a hit in the UK and coming to the U.S. this summer via NBC. The Brain, billed by the producer-distributor as a “cerebral talent show,” will also be shopped.

Bullseye, Endemol Shine North America’s game show that turns its contestants into human darts, will also be making its international debut, in advance of its May 27th premiere in America on Fox.

- Amsterdam-based Off the Fence is heading to Cannes with a whopping 500 hours of new content under its belt, including 150 hours of scripted content courtesy of its 2011 deal with IFC Films.

On the factual front, newly acquired content includes such lifestyle and travel titles as Girl Eat World (10 x 30 minutes) which follows MasterChef South Africa winner Kamini Pather as she travels to the top 10 international food destinations.

- Among Global Agency's MIPTV highlights this year will be The Big Steal, a new quiz show format created by Andre Sousa and Anti Reinthal.

The Big Steal looks on as contestants use strategic thinking to eliminate their rivals over the course of three rounds for the chance to win money. The show has already been optioned in Italy.

Izzet Pinto, the CEO of Global Agency, remarked: "We're proud to be bringing to MIPTV 2015 another fantastically strong lineup of formats originating from so many different countries, including the world's biggest markets. The Big Steal is one of the most important highlights of our format slate as well as Stairway to Fame and It's Showtime. With our strong lineup of wonderful original programs and audience favorites from all over the world, Global Agency's slate will be a big hit with broadcasters and viewers alike this MIPTV."

Sousa added: "Anti and I have always believed in the format and are extremely happy to be working with Global Agency, the leading global distributor. The Big Steal has all the ingredients to be a successful format and being launched at MIPTV will definitely give it the visibility it needs."

Realscreen
Variety
World Screen

posted 4/7/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Vegas Loser"

  • Penn Jilette lost over 100 pounds. No magic about it. (People)
     
  • From the people who passed on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" comes... passing up "Lip Sync Battle!" (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • Viacom learns the hard way: live by reality TV, die by reality TV (Quartz)
     
  • Jeremy Clarkson to return to BBC to host "Have I Got News For You"... after he was ceremoniously let go of "Top Gear" (Radio Times)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: The 10 Greatest Kids Game Shows of All Time (Cinema Blend)
     
  • Bill Anderson playing the fandango at Llano Opry (Mason County News)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: a student of education in college meets a comedian game show host of improv (Cinema Blend)
     
  • Gary Kroeger goes from clock watcher to poll watcher (Sioux City Journal)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Family Feud heads to Birmingham (AL.com)
     
  • Phil Hellmuth heads to CBS Sports' Poker Night in America (Cards Chat)

posted 4/8/15


MILTON DeLUGG: 1918-2015
Bandleader of "The Gong Show"
From the New York Times

Milton DeLugg, the in-house bandleader of "The Gong Show", died Monday at the age of 96.

In 1950, after years of working in radio, Milton Delugg became music director on television's Broadway Open House, often considered the forerunner of The Tonight Show. He worked with many other fine composers, including Frank Loesser One of his best known compositions is "Orange Colored Sky", remembered as a hit for Nat King Cole. His "Hoop-Dee-Doo" polka was a smash hit for Perry Como. In 1958 he produced the Buddy Holly hit "Rave On!"

He was music director of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in 1965-66. Delugg also enjoyed a long association with Chuck Barris, producer of many popular game shows. Milton remained active as the Music Director of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade through 2013.

No services at this time. Donations to St. Jude's Hospital.

He is survived by two loving sons Michael (Vivien) and Stephen.

New York Times

photo courtesy Classic Television Showbuz

posted 4/7/15

Syndies: Week 27
Results for the Week Ending March 29
From B&C

March Madness, spring break and many shows in repeats meant that most syndicated shows were flat at best in the week ending March 29.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench continued to lead at a steady at a 1.6 in households. Hot Bench also topped the category among women 25-54, jumping 29% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was steady, and Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which improved 13%.

In households, Celebrity Name Game weakened 7% to a second-place 1.3. NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira and The Real both were unchanged at a 1.1, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith gained 13% to a 0.9.

The game show race remained tight as CTD’s household leader Wheel of Fortune fell for the third straight week, dipping 3% to a 6.4, that show’s lowest rating since the holiday week of Dec. 29, 2014. CTD’s Jeopardy! was one-tenth behind at a flat 6.3, while Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was a tenth behind that. In the prior week, Feud beat Jeopardy! in households for the first time but this week, Feud dropped 5% to a third-place 6.2.

In fourth place, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was unchanged at a 1.8, down 18% from last year at this time.

Ratings for the premiere of "Monopoly Millionaires' Club" were not available at press time.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/7/15

Monday: One Shining Moment
Duke Wins... So Does CBS
From The Futon Critic

(C-Note: I feel ashamed going with that subhead.)

(Gordongram: I don't!)

CBS (18.008 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.6, #1) pulled into the top spot on Monday with its coverage of the "NCAA Men's Basketball Championship" (22.614 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 7.2, #1). Kicking off the night was a repeat of "Mike & Molly" (9.940 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.4, #3) and the pre-game "Championship Central" (7.652 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4).

NBC (9.048 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) then had to settle for the silver with its duo of "The Voice" (10.720 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2) and "The Night Shift" (5.706 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6).

Next up was ABC (10.925 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) and a new "Dancing with the Stars" (13.504 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #5) alongside a repeat "Castle" (5.767 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.8, #8).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.432 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) offered up a repeat "Gotham" (1.991 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T9) and a new "The Following" (2.874 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #7).

And finally, the return of "The Originals" (1.112 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T9) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.931 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #11) on The CW (1.021 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Food Fortunes (Food): 469,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 325,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 285,000

Over the weekend...
- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.539 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.244 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.206 million

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/7/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Duke"

  • James Best (1926-2015) (Us Magazine) on "All-Star Family Feud" (YouTube)
     
  • Old and busted: Redfoo getting kicked off of "Dancing with the Stars". New hotness: Redfoo getting kicked off of the panel of "X Factor Australia" (Herald Sun)
     
  • Speaking of "Dancing": the "Perfect 10" are hitting the road (The Futon Critic)

posted 4/6/15

Monday Lightspeed Round
... or "It's No Baseball, But..."

  • Alexander Armstrong hosts CIPS Supply Management Awards (SupplyManagement.com)
     
  • "IdioTest" is going global (Realscreen)
     
  • Chris Soules to dedicate tonight's dance to his "Bachelor" fiancee Whitney... in another attempt to prove the franchise's validity (International Business Times)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: The age of consent?! (ET Canada)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: the 10 best American Gladiators events (Cinema Blend)
     
  • Cameron Mathison to host ET Weekend (B&C)

posted 4/6/15

Thursday: Battle On
Spike's New Show Launches Large
From The Futon Critic

Spike's premiere of "Lip Sync Battle" on Thursday, April 2 at 10:00pm ET/PT drew record ratings for the network. The half-hour original series delivered 2.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched non-scripted series debut in network history. "Lip Sync Battle" also delivered the highest rating with Adults 18-49 in network history for a non-scripted series debut (1.3 Adults 18-49).

"The record ratings are indicative of the incredible talent and creativity of the producers and participants who delivered in so many ways," said Kevin Kay, President, Spike. "We are incredibly encouraged by the balanced audience of the premiere as we continue our mission to target a broad viewership."

Enclosed are some other key ratings/ social media notes from Lip Sync Battle's debut:

· This was the highest rated series premiere in Spike history among W18-49 (1.5) and W18-34 (1.4)

· Spike has never had higher W18-49 and W18-34 ratings in this time period

· This was Spike's highest P18-49 rating and largest average audience in the time period in over 8 years.

· The 18-49 audience was 56% female

· The new episode at 10:30pm ET/PT delivered 2 million viewers and 1.2 with Adults 18-49.

· Total Video Views: Lip Sync Battle content has generated 15 million Video Views across Spike's Owned & Operated properties as well as Facebook and YouTube.

· Twitter Ranking Ranked #1 series on cable and ranked #2 series across all networks with #LipSyncBattle trending in the US and Worldwide during both East and West coast airings.

Elsewhere on cable:
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 986,000
- Chopped Canada (Food): 603,000
- Match Made in Heaven (WE): 478,000

Meanwhile, CBS (8.910 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was still the network to beat on Thursday with the return of "The Big Bang Theory" (13.352 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.2, #1), "The Odd Couple" (8.713 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.286 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), "Mom" (8.385 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "Elementary" (7.363 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9).

ABC (6.173 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (6.604 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), "Scandal" (7.231 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and "American Crime" (4.686 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10).

Next up was NBC (5.792 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and originals from "Dateline NBC" (6.516 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8), "The Blacklist" (7.538 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #7) and the concluding "The Slap" (3.323 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.915 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up new episodes of "Bones" (4.652 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10) and "Backstrom" (3.179 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12).

And finally, repeats of "The Flash" (0.913 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) and another "The Flash" (0.846 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #15) on The CW (0.880 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/3/15

America's Got 10 Years
Catch the New Season May 26
From The Futon Critic

"America's Got Talent," NBC's hit reality-competition series, announced today new features and surprises to celebrate its 10th anniversary season, premiering Tuesday, May 26 (8-10p.m. ET). New features will include an enhanced Golden Buzzer, bigger and more extreme acts, new elements in the boot camp round of auditions and a two-hour series retrospective.

To accommodate acts that are simply too big for the theater, "AGT" will bring the show outdoors to showcase some of the biggest and most dangerous acts to ever audition. Similar to the acts in theater, the extreme contestants, filmed at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., will be subject to the judges' dreaded "X" buzzers.

This season's Golden Buzzer will send an act from the audition stage directly to the live performance shows at Radio City Music Hall. Each judge can hit the Golden Buzzer only once for an act they think has what it takes to win America's vote. Live performance shows will premiere Tuesday, Aug. 11 (8-10 p.m.).

A new version of boot camp will shake things up this season, beginning Tuesday, July 14 (8-10 p.m. ET). Each week, one judge will receive a special advantage over the others in determining which acts become part of the Top 36 to perform live for America's vote.

To celebrate a decade of talent, "AGT" will also debut a two-hour special featuring the best acts of the series, the most heartwarming stories, the oddest personalities and the biggest show-stopping moments from the last 10 years.

Tickets are available now for the final audition tapings, April 6-8 and April 10-11 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. www.nbc.com/tickets.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/2/15

GSN Breaks Its Own Record
1Q Was Network's Most Watched Ever
From TV by the Numbers

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today that in the 1st quarter of 2015, it delivered its most-watched quarter ever in Primetime, Total Day, Fringe, Late Night and Weekend Daytime in several key demos. This comes on the heels of GSN’s recent announcement 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.

The network continued bucking the current downward trend in viewership being felt by other well-established cable channels through the success of original programs such as “Idiotest,” “The Chase,” “It Takes a Church” and newcomer “Baggage On The Road,” as well as favorites like “Family Feud.”

“It’s wonderful to see viewers coming in ever-increasing numbers to GSN’s new shows while continuing to enjoy our classic programming,” says Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Development. “We remain committed to increasing GSN’s original programming and expanding the television game genre in every conceivable way.”

The Futon Critic

posted 4/2/15

Wednesday: Down the Middle
ABC, Fox Split Night
From The Futon Critic

ABC (6.951 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the demo champ on the first night of April thanks to new episodes of "The Middle" (7.572 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T5), "The Goldbergs" (7.180 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4), "Modern Family" (9.333 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (7.401 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "Nashville" (5.110 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

FOX (8.366 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with a new two-hour "American Idol" (8.366 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T5).

Next up was NBC (6.522 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and fresh installments from "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.360 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.320 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "Chicago PD" (6.886 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #7).

Meanwhile, CBS (7.422 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) offered up a new "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.470 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3) and the concluding "The Dovekeepers, Part 2" (6.398 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.357 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12) and "Supernatural" (1.741 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13) on The CW (2.049 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.7, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 422,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p): 388,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30): 360,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/2/15

2013: Rising Star. 2014: Boom! 2015: ... ?
Keshet's MIPCOM Offering? A BRAND NEW CAR!
From Deadline

Keshet International can roundly be counted on to bring a splashy new format to the French Riviera when the big TV markets roll around. In 2013, Rising Star took Mipcom by storm with local versions licensed in some 25 territories. Then last Mip-TV, Keshet rolled out bomb-defusing game show Boom!, with Fox and TF1 among the takers. Rising Star ultimately had mixed results abroad, but Keshet continues to be a source of sought-after concepts. For this month’s Mip, Keshet is driving Trade Up, a primetime game show format that gives families the chance to win their dream car. Can it also be a game-changer for the auto advertising industry?

Because contestants spend the length of play sitting inside the cars they hope to drive away, Keshet Media Group SVP Content Ran Telem calls it “the most tangible game show we have. It’s not an imaginary sum of money — you’re sitting inside the prize.”

It’s also an engine for branded content. It’s “a step toward the solutions we should be finding,” says Telem. “In the world right now, we see the power of commercials and the break fading away, and the great need for advertisers to find themselves in the shows and not in the commercial breaks.” The Israeli version of Trade Up, which is yet to air, counts a major car importer and gas company among its sponsors.

The show’s contestants are selected from a group of applicants who have written in as to why they deserve a new car. Two families of successful candidates are surprised at their homes by a truck carrying several gift-wrapped automobiles. They then hop in their own undesirable rides and follow the truck to a huge car hangar where two rows of identical models of increasing value, from used to “jackpot,” are waiting. Each of the cars has three keys on the dashboard representing three answers to general knowledge multiple choice questions. If the family chooses the correct answer and the key turns the ignition, they advance. But they are also competing against the other family and must employ tactics — what Telem refers to as the “stick in the wheel, or the deathline” — to knock their rivals out, because only one team can win a car.

After eliminating their opponents, the next time the team switches on an engine, they can either opt to drive the car away, or risk an attempt to trade up to the next model. Per Keshet’s synopsis, if the contestants play well “the steering wheel to their dream car is already in their hands. If they don’t, they leave in the sorry ride they arrived in.”

Contrary to some of the previous shows that Keshet has brought to Mip, Trade Up will arrive without the benefit of local ratings to boost it since it won’t debut in Israeli primetime until later this month.

The local marketing campaign, however, kicked off this week. A TV teaser is out and beginning tomorrow a promotional contest goes live online and on social media. The latter falls on the first day of Passover which typically means massive traffic jams throughout Israel. It’s designed to create a conversation about the show with a captive audience stuck in traffic, in their cars.

Deadline
Realscreen

posted 4/2/15

Holly Gets a Whistle
ITV to Launch "Play to the Whistle"
From ITV News

ITV Entertainment has commissioned a brand new Saturday night sports comedy panel show.

Hosted by Holly Willoughby, Play To The Whistle is a comedy entertainment show with sport at its heart.

Launching with team captains Frank Lampard and Bradley Walsh, Play To The Whistle will feature the very best names in comedy and sport. Frank and Bradley will don their captain’s armbands and will be joined by the very best global talent and the funniest comedians to play on their teams – the only criteria being that losing simply isn’t an option.

Each weekly fixture will see the opponents battle it out and prove their sporting prowess to find out who really knows their Tom Daleys from their Daley Thompsons.

Seann Walsh will be acting as the series’ comic umpire as both teams simply…Play To The Whistle. Whether using their encyclopaedic sporting knowledge, their funny bones or physical skills, each round is only completed at the sound of Holly’s whistle.

Peter Davey, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment ITV said: “Whether watching with friends or family, Play To The Whistle will provide that essential sporting fix.”

Dan Baldwin, Managing Director of Hungry Bear Media, said: “Play To The Whistle is a superb watch whether you like sport or not. It’s packed with the biggest names from the world of comedy and sport. It’s worth staying in for on a Saturday night.”

Play To The Whistle is made by Hungry Bear Media and was commissioned by ITV’s Director of Comedy and Entertainment Elaine Bedell and Commissioning Editor, Entertainment Peter Davey for ITV. It is executive produced by Dan Baldwin for Hungry Bear Media.

ITV News

posted 4/2/15

Squares Gets Squared
Principles to Return
From Stock Market Wire

DCD Media group company September Films and GroupM Entertainment have been commissioned by ITV to co-produce a new series of 'Celebrity Squares'.

The format is based on the classic comedy gameshow, Hollywood Squares, from CBS Studios International.

ITV Entertainment has re-commissioned the second series for ITV primetime in a new 8 x 45 minute format.

The executive producers will be Bob Massie for September Films and Abigail Adams for GroupM Entertainment. The series producer is Aaron Morgan.

Hollywood star, Warwick Davis (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Willow), who made his presenting debut in the first series, will reprise his role as host. Meanwhile, Celebrity Squares resident comedians, Tim Vine and Joe Wilkinson will also be returning.

Stock Market Wire

posted 4/2/15

Tuesday: Road to a Clip Show
"Voice" Clips Give CBS The Night
From The Futon Critic

CBS (11.433 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T1) was the most-watched network on Tuesday with a new "NCIS" (16.325 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) and the launch of "The Dovekeepers, Part 1" (8.986 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

NBC (5.612 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T1) however shared top demo honors with its mix of "The Voice" (8.374 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "Undateable" (5.054 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T3), "One Big Happy" (3.983 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6) and a repeat "Chicago Fire" (3.944 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12).

Next up was ABC (4.265 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and fresh installments from "Fresh Off the Boat" (4.817 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #5), "Repeat After Me" (3.362 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.174 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T3) and "Forever" (4.532 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.738 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T4) served up new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.357 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6) and "New Girl" (2.322 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) plus the premiere of "Weird Loners" (1.917 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14).

And finally, originals from "The Flash" (3.503 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6) and "iZombie" (1.897 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14) on The CW (2.700 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T4) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Chopped (Food): 1.633 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.256 million
- Keywords (HLN): 81,000 avg. over two episodes

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

posted 4/2/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Puttin' on a Put-On"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW of "Lip Sync Battle" (Spike, tonight) (New York Times) PLUS in a Throwback Thursday, it's not the first time this has ever been done (Vulture)
     
  • Bob Barker on TPIR. Good April Fool's prank... OR THE BEST APRIL FOOL'S PRANK EVER? (Vulture)
     
  • There are two things you don't prank about on social media during April Fool's, even with the best of intentions - death and pregnancy. Guess which one Catherine Giudici went for (Us)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: so Manuela Arbelaez was feeling a little generous today (Huffington Post)
     
  • Mat Franco gets his own TV special. He has arrived (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Terry Crews to host TV Land Awards. He has arrived (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Wink Martindale honored as an LA radio legend. He done been arrived (Los Angeles Daily News)
     
  • David Letterman would do "Billy on the Street" again (Funny or Die)
     
  • Rachel Riley goes sabermetric over Manchester United (ManUTD.com)

posted 4/2/15


Fox Aims for the Bullseye
Summer Challenge Series to Air May 27
From TV by the Numbers

BULLSEYE, an exhilarating one-hour unscripted challenge series, hosted by Kellan Lutz (“The Legend of Hercules,” “The Twilight Saga” franchise), premieres Wednesday, May 27 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. From Endemol Shine North America, the producers of “Wipeout” and “Fear Factor,” BULLSEYE will challenge four men and four women to test their bodies and brains in three ultimate challenges that ask nothing more than for them to hit the BULLSEYE – literally. Comedian Godfrey (“The Godfrey Complex”) will serve as co-host.

BULLSEYE’s fierce “weekend warriors” will participate in three levels of extraordinary challenges, all of which involve using their bodies like human darts to hit targets – on land, sea and air. As the rounds advance in this fun-for-the-family summer series, only those with the sharpest aim move forward. The first challenge finds the eight competitors vying to hit the center of a stationary target while leaping from a moving 18-wheeler, being pulled by a helicopter or acting as a human slingshot being projected hundreds of feet through the air. In round two, the remaining four competitors – two men and two women – race to hit as many targets as possible. These competitors may be aiming for targets while descending down a building or jumping between two racing speedboats. In the third and final challenge, the remaining three competitors race against the clock to conquer the ultimate test and hit the final BULLSEYE.

The competitors’ ability to defy gravity and the laws of physics, while maintaining their focus, could mean the difference between going home empty-handed …or up to $50,000 richer.

“I am a huge fan of extreme sports, and for me, nothing beats an adrenaline rush, which is why I am so excited to host this series,” said Lutz. “I love the concept of physicality and strategy combined with the most awesome challenges that will blow your mind. I am looking forward to watching these competitors push themselves out of their comfort zones and I’ll be on the sidelines cheering them on, and probably wishing it were me trying to hit the BULLSEYE!”

TV by the Numbers
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline
B&C
TV Line
The Hollywood Reporter

photo courtesy Fox

posted 4/1/15

truTV Spring
"Fake Off", "Barmageddon" Renewed
From The Futon Critic

truTV, which recently began rolling out an extensive slate of new series, is set to keep the fun going through Spring 2015 with new premieres and existing series' returning to the network.

In May, truTV will welcome back eye-popping performance competition series Fake Off (May 6) for season 2 with new judges Beau Casper Smart and Laurieann Gibson joining Harry Shum Jr. as well as new host Corbin Bleu. New docu-series The Hustlers (May 4) gives an inside look at the cut throat world of competitive pool players; How to Be a Grown Up (June 2) returns with more comedic advice on the relatable trials and tribulations of true adulthood. Eight new episodes of bar and business competition series Barmageddon (June 1) will also premiere this spring.

A competition series that stands out from the rest, truTV's Fake Off (Wednesday, May 6 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)) takes viewers into the visually stunning world of Faking: a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion.

Actor and dancer Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) is set to host as ten teams from around the country compete in the captivating art of Faking. In each episode, teams are challenged to reimagine iconic moments in pop culture to see who's got the skills to be named America's Fake Off champions and walk away with a $100,000 cash prize. Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2) returns to the judging panel, and is joined by two new judges: actress, choreographer and Emmy(R)-nominated director Laurieann Gibson (Lady Gaga Presents: The Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden, Making the Band) and actor, creative director and choreographer Beau Casper Smart (Street, Big Bang Theory, Nick Jonas, Jennifer Lopez). Meghan Camarena better known as YouTube sensation Strawburry17 will serve as backstage correspondent, a new role created this season.

truTV has ordered 8 one-hour episodes for season 2 of Fake Off, which is produced by Endemol Shine North America.

Returning with even higher stakes, including a $10,000 grand prize, Barmageddon (Monday, June 1 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)) is an engaging competition series that seeks to settle once and for all which bar owner has the best recipe for success. In each episode, comedian Mo Mandel travels to a different city and pits two bar owners against each other while providing insider facts, tips, and tricks. The goal is to see who can turn the most profit...while running the other owner's bar. The result is a wild rollercoaster ride of comical conflicts and one-upmanship as the bosses compete to see who can win over new staff and customers with their charm, expertise and skill.

truTV has ordered eight additional one-hour episodes of Barmageddon. Barmageddon is produced by ITV Studios America & Gaspin Media.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/1/15

What's Drew Doing at the Marketplace? What's BOB Doing at 33?
And Plinko? No, NONE OF THIS MAKES SEN... Oh, it's April Fool's...
From TV by the Numbers

LET’S MAKE A DEAL, hosted by Wayne Brady, will celebrate April Fools' Day with a special episode filled with pranks and surprises, Wednesday, April 1 (check local listings) on the CBS Television Network.

Drew Carey, Host of “The Price Is Right,” makes a surprise appearance during the Lotto game. In addition, the fan favorite game Plinko, will be hosted by Wayne Brady on the LET’S MAKE A DEAL stage. Jonathan Mangum and Tiffany Coyne will also have tricks up their sleeves!

Meanwhile, across town at Television City, Bob Barker is heading back to The Price Is Right on the show's April 1 show for a very special April Fools' prank.

Barker's big homecoming is a part of this year's annual April 1 joke, and although we can't reveal his role in the shenanigans, we can offer you these photos of Barker and his successor, Drew Carey, behind the scenes on the CBS Television Studios soundstage where TPIR has filmed for 43 years now. Just click on the Us link below.

The last time Barker returned to The Price Is Right, which he hosted for 35 years from 1972 to 2007, was for the Dec. 12, 2013 episode honoring his 90th birthday.

The Price Is Right has a history of April Fools' Day pranks. In 2014, then-Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson hosted the show instead of Carey, and the year before saw the models swap jobs with Carey and announcer George Gray. And during Barker's tenure, there was also a Showcase full of cars - half of them die-cast.

TV by the Numbers
Us Magazine
People
Mashable

posted 4/1/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "April Fools' Joke or..."

  • ... a BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW of MTV2's "Joking Off" (tonight) (Beaver Times)
     
  • ... a Shark, an astronaut, and a Packer on "Celebrity Jeopardy!" (ESPN)
     
  • ... or Letterman on the street with Billy Eichner (Twitter @billyeichner)
     
  • .... or Twitter can help you save an Idol (The Futon Critic)

posted 4/1/15


Daytime Emmys: The Nominees Are...
Three Up for Outstanding Game Show; Four for Game Show Host
From Sydney Morning Herald

America's four decade old award for daytime soaps, game shows, talk shows and cooking programs - the Daytime Emmy - is pushing into the digital age.

Online "web soaps" such as Anacostia, The Bay, Beacon Hill and East Los High have been nominated alongside traditional soaps such as The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.

And while traditional networks such as CBS, ABC and NBC still scooped the pool with 62, 35 and 20 nominations apiece, next-generation broadcasters such as Netflix (13 nominations), YouTube (9), Amazon (7) and Hulu (3) also put in a solid showing.

Congratulations to the following nominees:

OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW
- Family Feud (FremantleMedia North America)
- Jeopardy! (Sony Pictures TV)
- The Price Is Right (FremantleMedia North America)

OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW HOST:
- Craig Ferguson (Celebrity Name Game, syn)
- Steve Harvey (Family Feud, syn)
- Todd Newton (Family Game Night, Discovery Family)
- Pat Sajak (Wheel of Fortune, syn)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A GAME SHOW
- Kevin McCarthy (Jeopardy!, syn)
- Lenn Goodside (Let's Make a Deal, CBS)
- Hal Grant (The Chase, GSN)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
- Betty White

Sydney Morning Herald
USA Today
TV by the Numbers
About Game Shows

posted 3/31/15

Syndies: Week 26
Results for the Week Ending March 22
From B&C

The NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament took its annual bite out of syndication in the week ending March 22. In addition to preemptions on CBS affiliates, programs also faced stronger than usual competition from the broadcast and cable runs of the numerous early round games.

That said, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, hosted by Steve Harvey, bucked the trend, inching up 2% to a 6.5, and beating CBS Television Distribution’s long-standing second-ranked Jeopardy! in households for the first time. The two shows have tied once in the past and Family Feud has been the game leader among women 25-54 for months. Jeopardy!, meanwhile, declined 6% to a 6.3. Feud, which was up 23% from last year at this time, also came within a tenth of CTD’s long-standing game leader Wheel of Fortune, which weakened 3% to a 6.6. Both Wheel and Jeopardy! were at a 11-week lows.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire climbed 6% to a 1.8, although it was down 18% from last year at this time.

Among the first-run rookie strips, CTD’s Hot Bench finished first for the 27th week in a row with a steady 1.6 in households. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game climbed 8% to a second-place 1.4.

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/31/15

Monday: Split Start
ABC Grabbed the Totals, NBC Grabbed the Younguns
From TV by the Numbers

NBC (9.555 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) was still the demo champ on Monday with new episodes of "The Voice" (11.667 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.2, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.332 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8).

ABC (11.806 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then was the most-watched network thanks to originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (13.548 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and "Castle" (8.321 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6).

Next up was CBS (8.551 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) and its lineup of "2 Broke Girls" (7.164 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Mike & Molly" (7.715 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Scorpion" (9.203 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.011 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.564 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up a repeat of "Gotham" (1.878 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #10) alongside a new "The Following" (3.249 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9).

And finally, repeats of "The Originals" (0.555 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.2, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.441 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.1, #12) on The CW (0.498 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.1, #5) closed out the evening.

RuPaul's Drag Race (9p, Logo) took in 404,000, while 24 hours ago...

- All-Star Academy (Food): 1.494 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.377 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.277 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/31/15


Question (and Answer) Everything
On Tap from Science: Race to Escape, Geek Out or Freak Out
From TV Insider

What is "science"? As Science Channel looks to expand its program offerings, the cable network is testing the boundaries of that definition. Among its new series are reality competition shows that fall under the realm of social sciences like psychology and sociology.

"One of the things we've been trying to do is broaden the audience for the channel," says Science Channel general manager Rita Mullin, who took over the network last year. "When you look at some of our most successful shows like Outrageous Acts of Science and Mythbusters [which Science airs after its initial run on Discovery Channel], those are shows that make learning about science fun. I used those as we were thinking about where to take the channel next."

New shows include Race to Escape, which launches in July. The competition series, hosted by comedian Jimmy Pardo, pits two teams of three strangers against each other as they are trapped in a room and forced to solve hidden clues in order to win. "It's a bit of a psychology show," Mullin says. "You see an interesting social dynamic different in every group of three. Who's going to be the leader, who's the game player? The clues they have to solve require both the contestants and viewers to think creatively. That's why it fits very well in the new Science Channel."

Premiering in early 2016 is Geek Out or Freak Out, which Mullin describes as "Mr. Wizard meets Wipeout." The game show hybrid features contestants as they answer questions, conduct unusual science experiments and perform stunts in front of a studio audience. Geek Out or Freak Out premieres in early 2016.

TV Insider
The Futon Critic

posted 3/31/15

300: Rise Of A Game Show
Dori Media Picks Up Global Rights to Euro Game
From C21 Media

Israel’s Dori Media Group has picked up worldwide distribution rights to a quizshow format from Tel Aviv-based producer Studio Glam that already has the attention of producers in Europe.

300 Second Ride; is a studio-based show in which contestants on a moving platform must correctly answer eight multiple-choice questions whilst a timer counts down from 300 seconds. The longer contestants take to answer questions, the less money they stand to win.

The format, produced in association with TV Format Fund and created by Ami Glam, Oded Kremer and Itai Hermann, was picked up by Zodiak Media-owned French production outfit ALP and Endemol Spain at Mipcom last year.

Studio Glam is the prodco behind gameshow formats including The Selfie Challenge, Win the Crowd and Duel Games.

C21 Media
World Screen

posted 3/30/15

Could You Be? The Most Beautiful Girl in the World?
FremantleMedia to Play German Format at MIPTV
From C21 Media

FremantleMedia is taking reality, dating and culinary competition formats to MipTV next month, including a German reality series that aims to find the country’s most beautiful woman.

The Most Beautiful Woman, which launched on RTL1 this year, invites women of different ages and backgrounds to take part in a national beauty competition.

Over the series, the 20 contestants to take part in challenges designed to bring out their confidence, self-esteem and “inner beauty.” Meanwhile, Chef On The Block, produced by FremantleMedia in Finland and Denmark, follows three pairs of chefs as they visit each other’s restaurants and score the establishments’ food, décor and overall service. The restaurants with the highest score over the series meet in the grand finale as the top three battle it out.

Other titles heading to Cannes include reality dating quizshow 10 Questions You Wouldn’t Ask On a First Date, family gameshow format Cash or Splash, an amalgamation of the hit Fuji TV formats Clock Hanger, Boxing Glove and Run Quiz Run, and Extreme Love, a dating format from Israel’s Studio Glam.

C21 Media
World Screen

posted 3/30/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "History Down Under"

  • Maroon 5 inducted into the Four Timers Club of "The Voice" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Chrissy Teigen goes from snacks to music awards (The Futon Critic)
     
  • "The Voice", former "5th Grader" take home Orange Blimps at Kids Choice 2015 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Nicky Buckley says she was too old to remain on "Sale of the Century"... at 33. I'd love to be 33 again. (Herald Sun)
     
  • GSN Games gets Idle... Gaming (Gamasutra)
     
  • Ben Bailey plays Rhode Island (Broadway World)
     
  • Howie Mandel plays The Sands Bethlehem (Allentown Morning Call)
     
  • Stuart Wagstaff to be memorialized (9News)

posted 3/30/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Last Comic Standing” resumes its search for the funniest comic in the country with the best panel of judges to date, surprise celebrity guests and a new riveting head-to-head phase of the competition. The season will open up with hilarious auditions by invitation only.

The top 100 comics in America will vie for 20 spots. These 20 will then compete in a semifinal round and the best of the best will emerge, with the top 10 moving into the compelling head to head round. In this phase, they will be paired in a high stakes single-elimination round of stand-up stand offs. The top five comedians will move on to the finals, where the funniest of all will take the coveted title of “Last Comic Standing,” winning an incredible prize package worth $250,000, including a cash prize, a talent deal and a development deal for a television show.

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

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

TV by the Numbers
TV Line

posted 3/27/15

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

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

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
We Love Soaps

posted 3/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cinema Blend

posted 3/26/15

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

posted 3/26/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Top Tip"

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

posted 3/25/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV NewsCheck
TV Week
B&C

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 3/24/15


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly
UPI
Popcrush
Mashable

Photo courtesy Mashable

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
C21 Media
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Excellent!"

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

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Sunday...

- The Voice (R/NBC): 3.505 million

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/23/15

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

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

posted 3/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Broadway World
Moviehole

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/20/15

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

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

posted 3/20/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo courtesy the Guardian

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV NewsCheck
The Wrap
World Screen

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/19/15

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

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

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/18/15

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

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

posted 3/18/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly
TV Insider
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV NewsCheck

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

New York Magazine
Vox

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

Who's Doing The Dishes?
© ITV

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Spy

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/17/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Tiger Blood"

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

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Digital Spy

posted 3/16/15


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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Canada Journal
Radio.com

photo courtesy Geeks of Doom!

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

Celebrity Name Game advanced 27% to a 1.4.

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

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers
B&C

posted 3/16/15

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

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

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/13/15

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

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

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Street
The Drum
New York Times

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

USA Today
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
Televisual
Deadline
Digital Spy
C21 Media
TBI Vision
Broadcast

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable:

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/12/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Host Spotting"

posted 3/12/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

Two New Greenlit Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Interstitial Series and Development

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

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

Returning Series

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

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

Realscreen
TBI Vision

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline
Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last year, Wagstaff was hospitalized with pulmonary fibrosis.

Sydney Morning Herald
Yahoo!/7News
The Australian

photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald

posted 3/11/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "15 Seconds"

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Sport Act

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/10/15

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

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

Yahoo!

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Futon Critic

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Sunday...

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

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yahoo!
World Screen
Unreality TV

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

VideoInk

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Zap2it
TV Line

posted 3/9/15

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

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

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Picture Show
Talpa Media USA Shopping New Quiz Show
From Deadline

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

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

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

Deadline

posted 3/6/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

photo courtesy Memory Alpha

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "2003"

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

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
Soap Opera Network

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUSE 2015-16 SLATE

In development:

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

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

NUVOTV 2015 SLATE

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV NewsCheck
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/4/15

Can Do
NBC Greenlights Israeli Format
From People

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

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

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

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

People
TBI Vision

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kidscreen
Prolific North
World Screen
C21 Media

posted 3/4/15

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

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

posted 3/4/15

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

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

Among the new offerings...

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

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

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

posted 3/3/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elsewhere on cable...

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

Washington Post
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/3/15

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

On Friday...

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

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

posted 3/3/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/3/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Just Duet"

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

posted 3/3/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Insider
The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Altered Course on Twitter @GCAlteredCourse

Become a fan of Altered Course on Facebook at: GCAlteredCourse

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

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

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

posted 3/2/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I loved Spock," he said.

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

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

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

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

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

posted 2/27/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider
The Wrap

posted 2/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/27/15

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

posted 2/27/15

CBSummer
Big Brother Returns June 24
From the Futon Critic

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 2/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 305,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 2/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Screen
C21 Media

posted 2/26/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Curses"

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

posted 2/26/15