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

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

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

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

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

— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) January 15, 2015

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

Sporting News
Deadline
Hitfix

posted 1/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline

posted 1/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

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

posted 1/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STV

posted 1/16/15

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

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

posted 1/16/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 1/15/15

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

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

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

B&C
TV by the Numbers
Broadway World

posted 1/15/15

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

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

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

B&C

posted 1/15/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 1/15/15

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 1/15/15

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/15/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Broadway World

posted 1/15/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Wipeout"

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

posted 1/15/15


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

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

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV

photo courtesy ABC

posted 1/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Yahoo! TV
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/14/15

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

posted 1/14/15


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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Yahoo! TV

photo courtesy ABC News

posted 1/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broadcast

posted 1/12/15

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

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

posted 1/13/15

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

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

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

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

"The Conductor of the Hot Tamale Train,

Mary Murphy."


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

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

E!

posted 1/12/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 1/12/15

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

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

The Futon Critic
MTV

posted 1/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Reality TV World

posted 1/12/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

AV Club

photo courtesy NNDB

po
sted 1
/12/15

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

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

posted 1/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

posted 1/9/15

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV News Check
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/9/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members of the Jewish community looked up to her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo courtesy UPI

po
sted 1
/9/15

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

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

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

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

World Screen
TBI Vision

posted 1/9/15

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

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

posted 1/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

"Top Chef" delivered 1.015 million viewers.

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

posted 1/8/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 1/8/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/8/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Screen Junkies

posted 1/8/15

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

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

posted 1/8/15

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

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

Entertainment Weekly

posted 1/7/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/7/15

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

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

posted 1/6/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WTVY Dothan
WPXI Pittsburgh
AL.com

posted 1/6/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 1/6/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 1/6/15

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

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

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

C21 Media
Realscreen

posted 1/6/15

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

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

posted 1/6/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GSNN's Doug Morris contributed to this report.

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

photo courtesy ESPN/Time

po
sted 1
/5/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 1/5/15

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

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

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

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 1/5/15




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May all rest in peace.

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

CBS DFW
Miami Herald
Seattle Times

posted 1/2/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Hitfix

posted 1/2/15

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

posted 1/2/15

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

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

posted 1/1/15


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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
E!
B&C

photo courtesy the Wrap

po
sted 12/30/14

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

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

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

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

PR.com

posted 12/30/14

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

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

posted 12/30/14

Line Up
GSN's "The Line" Premieres Tonight
From the Tennesseean
Nashville has had its fair share of reality TV spotlight, but now watch locals test their knowledge and patience in Tuesday’s debut of the new game show “The Line.”

“I don’t think you could find a better city (to film this show) than Nashville,” said Jeff Davis, who hosts the show with Candace Bailey. “It was summertime, it was very warm, and people still had the greatest attitude.”

Hundreds came to Bicentennial Mall State Park in July to wait in line and try their turn in the Trivia Vault, where eight true-or-false questions stood between them and the jackpot.

Medical students, jobless adults and everyone in between waited for a number of hours to enter the vault, but Davis remembers one remarkable contestant — 29-year-old Patrick King from Greenbrier.

“He has dealt with autism his whole life and wanted to be on game shows his whole life, but for some reason wasn’t allowed,” Davis said. “ ‘The Line’ is all inclusive. Anyone who comes to the show is allowed to be on the show.”

While some attendees waited for up to 11 hours, they played games while waiting and had a chance of winning even more money — each time a question was answered incorrectly, the jackpot increased.

“It’s kind of like a big party happening,” Davis said.

When he wasn’t working, Davis got the true Nashville experience with Southern food, meeting Little Jimmy Dickens and watching his friend Charles Esten perform at the Grand Ole Opry and Bluebird Cafe.

“I almost died of hospitality there,” he said. “It’s a little town, but it has a huge heart. I would go back anytime.”

“The Line” begins at 9p tonight on GSN.

The Tennessean
Entertainment Tonight

posted 12/23/14

Syndies: Week 12
Results for the Week Ending December 14
From B&C
Two weeks out of the November sweep, talk shows remained strong with CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil on top, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael not far behind and Warner Bros.’ Ellen hitting a season high. Not a single talker out of the top ten declined from the prior week.

Among court shows, CTD’s Judge Judy reigned supreme with a 7.1, up 1% from the prior week. In addition, for the second week in a row, Judy was a tenth of a point out of the overall syndication lead, just behind CTD’s Wheel of Fortune.

Among the rookies, CTD’s court leader Hot Bench, already renewed for season two, dipped 6% to a 1.5 in households. Among women 25-54, however, the show grew 13% to a 0.9 to tie Warner Bros.’ The Real for the lead among that key group. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, also returning next year, held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game.

Elsewhere, game shows were little changed, except for Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which rose 7% for the week and 19% for the year to a 6.3.

Wheel of Fortune inched up 1% from the prior session to a 7.2 to lead all of syndication, but dipped 3% from last year. CTD’s Jeopardy! also upticked 1% for the week and 3% for the year to a 6.9. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.8 but down 14% from last year.

Among women 25-54, Family Feud led with a 2.9, followed by Wheel at a 2.5, Jeopardy! at a 2.3 and Millionaire at a 0.8.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 12/23/14

Monday: A Quiet Holiday
NBC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic
NBC (4.924 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the top draw on Monday with its annual "SNL Christmas" (4.902 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) special followed by a new "State of Affairs" (4.969 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5).

CBS (7.268 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (8.575 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2), "Mike & Molly" (8.474 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1), "Scorpion" (6.539 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (6.742 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5).

Next up was ABC (5.371 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a new "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (5.525 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5), the finale of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (6.142 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) and a repeat "Castle" (4.445 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #9).

Meanwhile, The CW (1.350 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #4) served up encores of "iHeartRadio Jingle Ball" (1.506 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T10) and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.883 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12).

And finally, repeats of "Gotham" (1.835 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T10) and "Sleepy Hollow" (1.344 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #13) closed out the evening on FOX (1.589 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

The Futon Critic

posted 12/23/14

Ninjas in the UK
ITV to Import "Ninja Warrior"
From Digital Spy
NBC's Ninja Warrior will be adapted by ITV.

ITV Studios label Potato has bought the rights to the obstacle course gameshow, Broadcast reports.

Potato's managing director Michael Kelpie yesterday confirmed a 2015 airdate.

"We are bringing @ninjawarrior to the UK in 2015," Kelpie said on Twitter. "Get ready for the toughest obstacle course in the world!"

The US version of the show American Ninja Warrior was spun off G4 show American Ninja Challenge, itself a port of Japanese show Sasuke.

Beginning in 2009, American Ninja Warrior has run for 28 episodes over six seasons.

American Ninja Challenge ran for eight episodes over four seasons from 2007 to 2009.

Digital Spy
Broadcast

posted 12/23/14


Next Stop: Blind Dates
"Race" Finale Ties for First in Demo, NBC Take Night
From the Wrap
CBS’s 10-time Emmy winning “The Amazing Race” is changing formats for its 26th season.

When the franchise returns in February, there will be no parent-children teams, no siblings, and no best friends lugging backpacks and passports.

Instead, the new season is all dating couples, five of whom are on a blind date race around the world.

That makes it not just a shotgun start to the race, but a shotgun start to five romances. CBS made the announcement on Friday night at the tail end of the current season finale in a teaser video.

From the existing couples, “New Kids On The Block” star Jonathan Knight is racing. He’ll see if he has “The Right Stuff” with partner Harley Rodriguez.

The new season premieres in February, but with romance in the air, you can have a very early Happy Valentine’s Day.

NBC (6.040 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #1) took home the top spots on Friday with its special "Caught on Camera with Nick Cannon" (4.663 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (6.729 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T1).

ABC (4.927 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then was a close second with repeats of "Last Man Standing" (4.944 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #6), "Cristela" (3.972 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T7) and "Shark Tank" (5.383 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T1) plus a new "20/20" (4.941 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4).

Next up was CBS (5.372 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.8, #3) with the season finale of "The Amazing Race" (6.497 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T1), its annual special "Home for the Holidays" (3.205 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T9) and a repeat "Blue Bloods" (6.414 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.535 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.5, #4) offered up encores of its "MasterChef Junior" (1.828 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T9) and "Hell's Kitchen" (1.242 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #11) finales.

And finally, repeats of "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol" (1.443 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and "Kung Fu Panda Holiday" (0.969 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) closed out the evening on The CW (1.324 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

Sunday night's episode of "Cutthroat Kitchen" scored 1.029 million for Food.

The Wrap
The Futon Critic
Christian Post
TV by the Numbers
TV Guide
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/23/14

Festivus Lightning Round
... or "An Airing of Grievances"

posted 12/23/14


@11:30
"@midnight" Takes 11:30p Spot for Two Weeks Starting January 5
From the Futon Critic
Bending the very fabric of time and space, on Monday, January 5, Comedy Central's Emmy(R)-nominated "@midnight with Chris Hardwick" moves to 11:30 p.m. ET/PT, following "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Like most New Year's resolutions however, it will only last for two weeks! On Monday, January 19 the series returns to Midnight ET/PT, following the series premiere of "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore."

Ringing in 2015, the show's upcoming panelists include Scott Aukerman, Doug Benson, Neal Brennan, Paget Brewster, Whitney Cummings, Andy Daly, Jon Daly, Ron Funches, Brett Gelman, Nikki Glaser, John Hodgman, Jen Kirkman, Hari Kondabolu, Marc Maron, Paul Scheer and Paul F. Tompkins.

"@midnight with Chris Hardwick" leads viewers down the ultimate internet wormhole with a rotating lineup of today's top comedians battling nightly to determine who has the funniest take on the day's social media and pop culture. Using social media as the catalyst and a fake game show as the setting, "@midnight" challenges comedians to win the Internet by slashing the craziest, most absurd news and posts that social media has to offer: from the latest celebrity Instagram shots to the creepiest Craigslist posting to Buzzspeed lists and infamous #HashtagWars.

Dominating the social media landscape in the late-night arena and receiving a 2014 Emmy(R) nomination for "Outstanding Interactive Program," the series ranks #1 on SocialGuide's All Network Types, Late Fringe ranker. On-air, "@midnight" reaches the youngest and most male audience of all late night programs and ranks in the top three late night shows with People 18-24, Men 18-24 and Men 18-34.

The Futon Critic
Comedy Central PR
Digital Spy

posted 12/22/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Merchandising!"

posted 12/22/14

Thursday: We'll Meet Again
CBS Takes The Night EASY
From the Futon Critic
CBS (8.705 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" (10.672 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1) followed by new episodes of "Mom" (10.106 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1), "Two and a Half Men" (8.947 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3), "The McCarthys" (7.100 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Elementary" (7.703 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5).

NBC (3.710 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #2) then took home a distant second place with a new "The Biggest Loser" (3.787 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #6) and the inaugural "People Magazine Awards" (3.672 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7).

Next up was FOX (3.684 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #3) with a repeat "Bones" (3.563 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7) and a second "Bones" (3.804 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7).

Meanwhile, ABC (2.897 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up a new "The Taste" (3.071 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7) and a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.549 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11).

And finally, The CW (1.650 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) offered up its annual "iHeartRadio Jingle Ball" (1.838 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11) and a repeat of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.084 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #13).

On cable, "@midnight", powered by the series finale of "The Colbert Report", crested 1 million for the first time with 1.055 million. The winner of the night, "Pawnography", averaged 1.9 million viewers over the hour. "Project Runway All-Stars" won over 1.465 million. "Beat Bobby Flay" served 1.018 million. "Food Truck Face Off" signed off with 588,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 12/19/14

Wednesday: Next Up, "Worlds Apart"
CBS Takes The Night EASY
From Entertainment Weekly
Season 29 of Survivor is in the books. Which means it is now time to look ahead to season 30. At the end of tonight’s San Juan del Sur finale, Jeff Probst revealed the title and theme of the next installment to kick off with a special 90-minute premiere on Feb. 25.

Titled Survivor: Worlds Apart, the season will feature three tribes of all new players representing the cross section of American society. “It’s White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar,’ explains Probst. “White Collars are the people who typically in life are educated, might work in an office, wear a suit—they make the rules. Blue Collar—the heart of America. They typically work outdoors. They might wear a uniform. They work with their hands. They follow the rules. And the No Collars are the people who break the rules. They don’t go by convention. They don’t care about the status quo.”

The twist brings to mind last spring’s Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty battle of Survivor: Cagayan, which turned out to be one of the show’s best seasons ever. According to Probst, this one—which was filmed in Nicaragua last summer—could top it. “Person for person and pound for pound, I will say that this is the best group of people I think we’ve ever had,” says Probst. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t duds in the cast, but if you just had to take one entire group of people, I love this group. And I don’t often come up front anymore and say I really like a season because I know that that’s very biased and it’s my own opinion. But just my own Jeff Probst opinion—I have not seen a second of footage cut yet. Just based on my experience, this was one of my favorite seasons of all time.”

CBS (9.110 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday thanks to the two-hour season finale of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" (9.556 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) plus the "Survivor: San Juan del Sur Reunion" (6.877 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T2).

NBC (5.844 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) then claimed the silver with its specials "Michael Buble's Christmas in New York" (7.431 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5) and "The Sing-Off" (5.051 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5).

Next up was ABC (4.827 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) and its repeat lineup of "The Middle" (5.606 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4), "The Goldbergs" (5.021 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5), "Modern Family" (6.001 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T2), "Black-ish" (4.569 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5), another "Black-ish" (4.100 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11) and yet another "Black-ish" (3.667 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.580 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) served up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.597 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5) followed by the season finale of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.563 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T5).

And finally, an encore of "Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown" (1.834 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T13) plus the fall finale of "The 100" (1.411 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T13) closed out the evening on The CW (1.622 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

On cable, the key word was consistency:

- "Top Chef" (Bravo, 10p): 983,000
- "Kitchen Inferno" (Food, 10p): 747,000
- "@midnight" (Comedy, 12m): 618,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers
Entertainment Weekly
Christian Post

posted 12/19/14

Happy Friday! Lightning Round
... or "'Stephen Colbert': 2005-2014"

  • Craig Ferguson signs off from "The Late Late Show" (TV Guide)
     
  • Jeff Probst had a secret ending to the finale planned... and it. Was. Awesome (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Perez Hilton is a brother in the Big Blogger house... wait a minute (The Sun)
     
  • Billy Eichner named Breakout Star of the Year by People in made-for-TV awards ceremony (Gay Star News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Grant Denyer (Daily Mail) and Phil Keoghan (Hitfix)
     
  • AND FINALLY... the epic Colbert Report finale, when "Stephen", Santa, President Lincoln, and Alex Trebek ride off into immortality (YouTube)

posted 12/19/14

Broken 2: Electric Boogaloo
CMT Renews Steve Austin Game for New Season
From the Futon Critic
There's no easy day at the "Broken Skull" ranch. Steve Austin returns with his trademark tough love for a second season of STEVE AUSTIN'S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE, premiering Sunday, January 4 at 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET/PT. The toughest competition series on TV, each week men and women from across the country battle it out in physically and mentally grueling challenges until only one is left standing. That person earns the chance to win $10,000 by beating the new and improved Skullbuster, a harrowing obstacle course designed by Austin himself. Even the strongest athletes fall victim to the Skullbuster, as the course breaks down competitors, body-part by body-part.

Each episode of BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE involves a series of gritty physical challenges, as some of the most elite athletes in America compete head-to-head for the win. Contestants includes highly-trained body builders; Jiu Jitsu and MMA fighters; arena football, rugby and CrossFit athletes, along with every day men and women. Season one winner Tommy Hackenbruck also returns as the reigning champ, to see if any of the new recruits have what it takes to beat his benchmark Skullbuster time. If the final competitor fails to beat the existing benchmark, Hackenbruck will continue to amass winnings.

Fans can catch up on the full first season of BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE with a 10-hour marathon on New Year's Eve, Wednesday, December 31 beginning at noon, ET/PT.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/18/14

Nick Hewer Fires Himself
"Apprentice UK" Right Hand to Devote Full Time to "Countdown"
From Telly Mix
Nick Hewer has announced his exit from BBC1 show The Apprentice after a decade as Lord Alan Sugar’s aide.

The PR guru, 70, who has worked as an adviser for entrepreneur Lord Sugar on the popular business program since its’ first season in 2005 said he felt his exit comes at ‘an appropriate time’ as his stamina isn’t quite what it used to be.

He added that his departure comes with ‘relief tinged with regret’. As well as his role on the series, Hewer has worked closely with Sugar since 1983 when he began promoting the Amstrad brand.

His exit was announced as he filmed the final of this year’s series which will air on Sunday night at 9pm. He said tonight, speaking about his exit: ‘I’ve been pondering my departure from The Apprentice for a while and have decided that year 10 is the appropriate time.’

‘I’ve enjoyed being part of this wonderful television series for two reasons: firstly, because it’s been fun and has opened up many unexpected opportunities for me, but more importantly, because I think The Apprentice is a truly valuable program, teaching young people the basics of business – not in a classroom setting, but in a wonderfully entertaining format.’

‘So I leave with relief, tinged with regret. Anyone can do what Karren and I have been doing, but it takes stamina to follow the candidates week after week, and my stamina is not up to those long weeks.’

‘I shall continue to enjoy the show from my armchair, marveling at the candidates’ self-esteem, at the sky-high production values of the producers and at the extraordinary talent of my old friend Alan Sugar.’

As well as his work on The Apprentice, Hewer hosts Channel 4 daytime quiz show Countdown with Rachel Riley.

Tellymix
The Futon Critic

posted 12/18/14

Hell. 15 and 16
Fox Renews for Next Season
From WRAZ Raleigh
FOX has ordered 15th and 16th seasons of the Gordon Ramsay-hosted culinary competition series HELL’S KITCHEN, it was announced today by Dana Walden and Gary Newman, Chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group. In the hit cooking series, aspiring chefs are put through an intense culinary academy to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win a life-changing grand prize.
“We’ve always been huge fans of Gordon – he’s passionate, authentic and absolutely fearless, and that comes through in everything he does,” said Walden and Newman. “With his massive global brand and his unbelievably loyal fans, Gordon has become one of the biggest names in the culinary world and one of the biggest talents in television – and we’re ecstatic to extend our partnership with him and the incredible team at HELL'S KITCHEN.”

Since its debut in 2005 and 200 episodes later, HELL’S KITCHEN has featured 210 contestants, served more than 15,000 diners and plated thousands of Beef Wellingtons.

WRAZ Raleigh
The Futon Critic

posted 12/18/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "The Show Is Over"

  • Alfonso Ribeiro goes from "Dancing" to "Unwrapped 2.0" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: the current meets the forthcoming (YouTube)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire's suckiest sucks that ever sucked (Tech Times)

posted 12/18/14

Happy Pricemas (Deal Is Over)
CBS Details Daytime Holiday Plans
From TV by the Numbers
CBS, the top-rated Network in Daytime, gets festive this holiday season with themed episodes of LET'S MAKE A DEAL, THE PRICE IS RIGHT, THE YOUNG AND The Restless, The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL and THE TALK.

Kids will take over the Daytime Emmy Award-winning game show LET’S MAKE A DEAL with a special family Christmas episode on Wednesday, Dec. 24 (check local listings). Children ages 8-17 bring their parents to make crazy one-of-a-kind deals and celebrate the season with amazing prizes from everyone’s wish list. From an outdoor movie theater and brand-new cars to family trips to Hawaii and Alaska, there’s enough holiday cheer to make Santa’s elves jealous. The stage will be transformed into a winter wonderland with holiday décor, including lights, wreaths, Christmas trees, presents, candy canes, elves, reindeer, snowmen and Traders dressed as Santa. Plus, every audience member (naughty or nice) gets an early gift – a high-tech Bluetooth speaker and an iPod Shuffle for playing their favorite holiday tunes. Host Wayne Brady and the cast will also dazzle the audience with a holiday mash-up of traditional carols and unexpected twists in the popular Juke Box Game.

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 the holiday season with three festive episodes, Monday, Dec. 22 – Wednesday, Dec. 24 (11:00-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT). ‘Tis the season for giving gifts and THE PRICE IS RIGHT is serving up some special prizes. Over the three episodes, contestants will have the opportunity to win new luxury cars, including a brand-new Lexus and a Mercedes SUV. Plus, winter is the perfect time to travel. Up for grabs are tropical getaways to the Bahamas and Bora Bora and spectacular vacations to Paris, Australia and Peru, and for those who prefer a more traditional holiday trip, Germany to enjoy the famous Christmas markets. On New Year’s Eve, the show will close out the year with the “Best of 2014,” revisiting some of the greatest moments, wildest contestants and most popular prizes from the past year, Wednesday, Dec. 31 (11:00-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT).

TV by the Numbers
Broadway World

posted 12/17/14

Here We Go A-Tattoo-ing
Spike Lines Up 2 Holiday Specials
From the Futon Critic
Spike TV's hit original and the first tattoo reality-competition series "Ink Master" is getting in the festive spirit with two holiday-themed specials, 'Merry Ink' and 'New Year's Ink.' Each special brings back well-known "Ink Master" alumni to compete and design holiday-inspired tattoos to win a grand prize of $10,000, which is awarded at the end of the episodes. Every drop of ink counts, there are no flash challenges on these episodes and after every round, one artist is eliminated from their chance at "Ink Master" redemption.

'Merry Ink,' (#MerryInk) airing on Tuesday, December 23 at 10pm ET/PT brings back four contestants who fell just short of winning the 'Ink Master' title during their respective seasons. Though each artist performed phenomenal tattoos, they were told to pack up their equipment and close up shop. They are all returning with something to prove, that they should have been chosen "Ink Master." In a crazy twist, the artists will tattoo the same group of human canvases throughout the competition. The canvases, who are hoping to get several holiday themed tattoos, face elimination alongside their artists at the end of each round. The artists competing in this episode are James Vaughn (season one), Tatu Baby (season two and three), Jime Litwalk (season three) and Sausage (season 4).

'New Year's Ink,' (#NewYearsInk) airing on Tuesday, December 30 at 10pm ET/PT sees the return of four contestants who each had extraordinary circumstances that lead to their dramatic eliminations. These artists are looking to put the past behind and start out fresh with a 'new year.' The artists competing in this episode are Al Fliction (season one), Cee Jay Jones (season two), Joshua Hibbard (season three and five) and Gentle Jay (season four).

These two holiday-themed specials are designed to not only test the artists technical skills, but also their interpersonal skills and on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on a 'Human Canvas.' After each round, the artists will face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo). The holiday masterpieces or mistakes these artists create will last a lifetime.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/17/14

On the Third Day of Christmas...
ABC Gave to Me Another Season
From the Futon Critic
The Christmas combat continues! ABC has announced the series renewal from FremantleMedia North America. "The Great Christmas Light Fight" will be returning for a third installment of six episodes next holiday season, where the displays will continue to dazzle, and families from across the country will compete for prize money, a trophy, and bragging rights.

Commented Jennifer Mullin, SVP, Current Programming, FremantleMedia North America and Executive Producer, "The Great Christmas Light Fight," "seeing nearly seven million viewers tune in for our second season opener was truly incredible. We are delighted to embark on this journey of lights again in 2015 and look forward to making 'The Great Christmas Light Fight' a holiday tradition on ABC."

"The Great Christmas Light Fight" first debuted on ABC in December 2013 and continued in 2014, increasing the field from 20 to 24 participating families. The families were chosen through an extensive nationwide search, based on their previous elaborate Christmas light displays, incredible choreography and over-the-top designs. On its second season premiere (on 12/08/14), "The Great Christmas Light Fight" jumped year to year by 24% in Total Viewers (6.8 million vs. 5.5 million) and by 21% in Adults 18-49 (1.7/5 vs. 1.4/4) for the program's best numbers ever. The ABC unscripted program has been up year to year on both telecasts this season.

Casting is already underway for season 3 of "The Great Christmas Light Fight," please go to ABC.com for more information on how to apply to be entered in the competition.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/17/14

Tuesday: Finale Tuesday
"The Voice" Ends on a High Note, but CBS Takes the Win
From the Futon Critic
NBC (10.094 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the demo champ on Tuesday thanks to "Elf: Buddy's Magic Christmas" (4.867 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6) and the two-hour season finale of "The Voice" (12.707 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.2, #1).

CBS (13.331 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then took home the silver with its fall finales from "NCIS" (17.214 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.959 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and "Person of Interest" (8.821 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6).

Next up was ABC (4.426 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3) and its repeat lineup of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (6.258 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T4), "Disney Prep & Landing" (4.184 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6), "Disney Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice" (3.617 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9) and "Forever" (3.120 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.733 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3) served up a new "MasterChef Junior" (5.546 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T4) alongside repeats of "New Girl" (2.187 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #10) and "The Mindy Project" (1.654 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #12).

And finally, second runs of "The Flash" (1.734 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #13) and "Supernatural" (1.265 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) on The CW (1.499 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

"Ink Master's" season finale aired live to 1.673 million. "Chopped" scored 1.163 million. "@midnight" has 599,000. Results for "The Chase" forthcoming.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 12/17/14

More on "Restaurant Startup" Season 2
Catch It on CNBC January 13
From the Futon Critic
CNBC today announced the 20 culinary entrepreneurs who will compete for an investment on Season Two of "Restaurant Startup," premiering Tuesday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT. Produced by Shine America, the ten one-hour episodes feature restaurateur and TV personality Joe Bastianich and chef and restaurateur Tim Love who vie to invest their own money in restaurant concepts they believe could make them millions. Joining them this season is chef, restaurateur and TV personality, Antonia Lofaso, who will help guide the hungry entrepreneurs as they are put to the ultimate test: opening a restaurant!

This season features exciting new concepts, inventive cooking techniques, and, for the first time, specially themed episodes - including chefs striving to overcome personal setbacks, struggling businesses desperate to change locations, and established restaurants looking to launch a second location, among others.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/17/14

Biggest Loser: The Postseason Preview
Season Finale: January 29
From the Futon Critic
The previously announced Kauai episodes conclude on New Year's Day, January 1 (8-9 p.m. ET), with contestants celebrating the New Year by facing their fears, island-style, and competing in a fun, Lacrosse-inspired challenge before returning to the ranch for a red-line elimination.

Then it's time for one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the season - the fan favorite makeover episode airing Thursday, January 8 (8-9 p.m. ET). Fashion expert Tim Gunn and celebrity hair stylist Ken Paves return to create amazing, inspirational transformations with the four remaining ranch contestants and the two eliminated players at Comeback Canyon. After the ranch contestants get incredible new looks, they are reunited with their loved ones on a downtown rooftop overlooking Los Angeles. It's a magical night that also features a surprise live performance from Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw, performing his hit single, "Fire."

Meanwhile, the made-over Comeback Canyon contestants are treated to emotional reunions with their loved ones separately, 15 weeks after leaving home. And the stakes have never been higher at Comeback Canyon, because this week's weigh-in winner will be the one making a surprise return to the ranch with trainer Bob Harper, and securing a spot as a finalist.

The long-awaited episode on January 15 (8-9 p.m. ET) marks Bob's stunning return to the ranch with his Comeback Canyon player, ready to re-join the competition. It's a game-changing surprise for the ranch contestants, who don't know Comeback Canyon exists or that Bob is even part of the current season. The four contestants left are excited to see their former teammate again, but fiercely determined to stay in the competition.

The "Today" show's lifestyle and fitness correspondent, Jenna Wolfe, shares her passion for fitness as a guest trainer on January 22 (8-9 p.m. ET), putting the contestants through an intense workout during their final week on the ranch. Then contestants watch heartwarming journey packages with their trainers and see just how far they've come since stepping on the ranch over four months earlier. Later, at a weigh-in where the stakes are higher than ever, the final four become the final three.

Finally, on January 29, in a special two-hour, live finale from 8-10 p.m. ET, all of the former athletes who made up the season 16 cast return to weigh-in one last time. Those who have been eliminated will compete for the $100,000 "at home" prize. Then it's the moment viewers have been waiting for, when one of the three finalists will be named this season's "Biggest Loser" and win the coveted grand prize of $250,000.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/17/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "So You Think You Can Audition"

  • CASTING COUCH: So You Think You Can Dance hits the floor... and the road January 24 (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Easy question. Low money. Wrong answer (Time)
     
  • Craig Ferguson going to the Sands (Allentown Morning Call)

posted 12/17/14

Syndies: Week 11
Results for the Week Ending December 7
From B&C
As the November sweep wound down and TV entered the holiday season, access magazines continued to get a boost from the unfolding Bill Cosby scandal, in which at least two dozen women have come forward to accuse the former TV icon of sexual assault.

In the week ending Dec. 7, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled to a 7.1, up 16% from the prior week but down 3% from last year at this time. Wheel was syndication’s overall household leader for the week. CTD’s Jeopardy! zoomed up 21% for the week and 11% from last year to a 6.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 16% higher for the week and 34% for the year to a 5.9. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.8, and down 18% from the same week last year.

Among the rookies, CTD’s now-renewed Hot Bench continued to set the pace with a 7% gain to a 1.6 in households. Hot Bench tied for first with Warner Bros.’ The Real among women 25-54 at a 0.8. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, also renewed for season two, held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s unchanged Celebrity Name Game. The Real recovered 11% from its season low in the prior week to hit a 1.0, where it’s been for nine of the past ten weeks. Trifecta’s Judge Faith regained 17% to a 0.7.

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 12/16/14

Half a Dozen Inks
Spike Renews Tattoo Competition for Season Six
From the Futon Critic
On the eve of the LIVE "Ink Master" season 5 finale later tonight (Tuesday, December 16 from 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), Spike TV is announcing it has picked up a sixth season of the network's hit original tattoo-competition series.

"Ink Master," currently delivering an average of 2.1 million viewers for Season 5, is on pace for its most-watched season in franchise history. The new season, featuring 13 one-hour episodes, goes into production early next year and will debut in the summer of 2015. Season 6 will have a special twist as mentors will square off against their apprentices.

The announcement was made today by Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV.

"Ink Master" is once again proving to be a ratings driver for the network and has improved the timeslot in Adults 18-49 by 38% and 41% in Adults 18-34. The series is 47% male, demonstrating the network's ongoing plan to deliver gender-balanced original hit series.

"Ink Master is indicative of the distinctive, compelling, gender-balanced original programming that features big stakes," said Levy. "We are thrilled to once again partner with Original Media and our incredible hosting/judging trio of Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck, and Chris Nunez for another great season."

The Futon Critic

posted 12/16/14

Monday: Loud Voice
NBC Sweeps the Night
From the Futon Critic
NBC (10.274 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) continued its winning ways on Monday with the penultimate night of "The Voice" (12.167 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1) followed by a new "State of Affairs" (6.487 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5).

CBS (9.065 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then took home the silver with its mix of "2 Broke Girls" (7.833 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2), "Mike & Molly" (7.872 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4), "Scorpion" (9.890 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.453 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5).

Next up was ABC (5.731 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with originals from "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (6.013 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8), another "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (5.994 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and a repeat "Castle" (5.188 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.391 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up its inaugural "American Country Countdown Awards" (3.391 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, the return of "Hart of Dixie" (1.197 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) and the fall finale of "Jane the Virgin" (1.272 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11) closed out the evening on The CW (1.234 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

"@midnight" raked in 612,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/16/14

Weekend: Closing In
CBS, ABC Split Night
From the Wrap
ABC (6.133 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) was the top demo draw on Friday with its mix of "Last Man Standing" (6.040 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6), "Cristela" (4.540 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #10), "Shark Tank" (7.004 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) and "20/20" (6.108 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2).

NBC (5.179 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then was a close second place with its trio of "Dateline NBC" (7.189 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T3), "Grimm" (5.054 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T3) and "Constantine" (3.295 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9).

Next up was CBS (8.597 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) who was also in the hunt with "The Amazing Race" (5.943 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6), "Hawaii Five-0" (8.738 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T6) and "Blue Bloods" (11.110 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #5).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.758 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) served up a repeat "MasterChef Junior" (1.694 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11) followed by another "MasterChef Junior" (1.822 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T11).

And finally, an encore of "The Librarians" (1.556 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T13) and a second "The Librarians" (1.561 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T13) encore on The CW (1.558 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

"Deal With It" scored 657,000 for its 9p airing. "The Ultimate Fighter: The Ultimate Finale" had its worst faring with 989,000.

On Sunday, Food Network's offerings fared thusly:

- 8p: Guy's Grocery Games: 1.356 million
- 9p: Holiday Baking Championship (season finale): 1.859 million
- 10p: Cutthroat Kitchen: 1.277 million

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

posted 12/15/14

"Monopoly Millionaires Club" Game Goes to Jail
Goes Directly to Jail. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200.
From Inquitistr
The nation’s newest lottery game, Monopoly Millionaires Club, barely passed “Go.” The multi-state game, which began on October 19, will become a thing of the past before the year is out with the day after Christmas now designated as the final day Monopoly Millionaires Club tickets will be sold.

Why are lottery officials in 22 states and Washington D.C. pulling the plug on the new lottery game already? Simple. The game just isn’t selling enough tickets.

“Sales for the game have not met the lottery industry’s projections and have continued to decline nationally since its introduction,” said Gary Grief, director of the Texas Lottery. “Unfortunately, players have not embraced the game as anticipated, and our options to change the game while it is being sold are limited in scope and challenging to implement.”

The nation’s newest lottery game, Monopoly Millionaires Club, will end December 26, doomed by low sales thanks to small prize amounts and a high ticket price.

In other words, at the rate Monopoly MIllionaires Club was going, the lottery would give out more money in prizes than it took in from ticket sales — obviously an unacceptable situation.

The cancellation leaves just two Monopoly Millionaires Club drawings remaining — December 19 and December 26. Any prizes won in those, and all previous drawings will be paid out, and players will still have the same time period — 180 days in most states — to claim those prizes. The Las Vegas game show, to air in 2015, is not expected to be affected by this cycle.

The Monopoly Millionaires Club lottery got off to a promising start, awarding a $21 million jackpot in only its third-ever drawing. But in the end, players apparently did not want to pay $5 per ticket for a chance at winning no more than $25 million — the maximum amount for the soon-to-be-defunct lottery game’s jackpot.
The two other nationwide lottery games, Mega Millions and Powerball, have accustomed lottery players to jackpots that regularly soar well into the nine-figure range. For that matter, the minimum Powerball jackpot is $40 million, $15 million more than the Monopoly Millionaires Club maximum.

The Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday, December 16, features a jackpot of $133 million. But Mega Millions tickets cost only a buck each, while Powerball tickets sell for $2.

The concept driving Monopoly Millionaires Club was not the top jackpot, however, but the $1 million second prize, which would be given out to more players than in either Mega Millions or Powerball. But in today’s lottery market, a flat $1 million prize failed to fire the imaginations of lottery enthusiasts.

“Lotteries developed the Monopoly Millionaires Club game concept based on feedback from players across the nation who desired a game with the potential to make many people millionaires rather than just one person winning many millions,” said Alice Garland, director of the North Carolina lottery.

But that concept, plus a complicated set of rules, appears to be what doomed the Monopoly Millionaires Club. Lottery officials say that the game could return in 2015 with a new set of rules designed to make the game more attractive.

Inquisitr
nwitimes.com

posted 12/16/14

Brazil is The People's Choice
Globo Picks Up Format
From Realscreen
Brazilian network Globo has picked up the live game show format The People’s Choice (pictured) from Tel Aviv-based Armoza Formats.

The channel will begin airing a 13-episode season of the series during primetime next year.

The format was developed by Armoza and TF1 and is based on a series of dilemmas such as, would viewers prefer to go a week without showering or a week without a smartphone? Viewers at home then cast votes and contestants in the studio must guess the decision they chose in order to win cash prizes.

Armoza launched the format at MIPCOM earlier this year and has since sold it to broadcasters in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam.

“The Lat Am region, and Brazil in particular, is one of our key focuses for 2015 and we are proud to be extending our reach there,” said Armoza CEO Avi Armoza in a statement. “The show revolves around a very strong but simple idea of being able to compare ourselves to each other and seeing how well we know our nation, creating a live TV event with ultimate buzzworthy discussions.”

Realscree

posted 12/16/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Terry Gets Another Gig"

  • Terry Crews FAILS... for Fox (The Futon Critic)
     
  • The email that almost got Alex Trebek to quit (Page Six)
     
  • Coke no longer enjoys "American Idol" (Variety)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: The Challenge: Rivals II (MTV, January 6) (Buzzfeed)
     
  • In one article, everything wrong with cable news in 2014 (TV Newser)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Robin Ashbrook (TV Guide

posted 12/16/14


One Night Only
"Idol" Cuts Results Show
From the Wrap
“American Idol” isn’t going to make its viewers wait a day to find out who’s eliminated during its Top 10 portion of its upcoming 14th season.

Host Ryan Seacrest revealed the format change on Friday’s Z100 Jingle Ball red carpet.

“[It will be] one night when we get to the final stage, the Top 10, there will be one night of performances and results all in one night,” Seacrest told THR.

The move takes a page from ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” playbook, which consolidated much of its season to one night as ratings began to fall for the show ahead of its 17th season last year.

“So there won’t be a ‘wait ‘til tomorrow night.’ There won’t be a ‘Coming up, coming up, coming up.’ We are going to put it all into one format in one night. So that will be exciting,” Seacrest also said.

Fox representatives didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
“American Idol” went through an intense period of changes in 2013, including firing longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick in its continuing bid to win back viewers and shake up the show.

For its upcoming season, original judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson had decided not to return. In the mentoring slot, “Idol” brought in president and chief executive of the Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta, as Jackson’s replacement.

Judges Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., and Jennifer Lopez will be back for the show’s Season 14, which will premiere Wednesday, Jan. 7. at 8 p.m.

The Wrap
TV by the Numbers
The Hollywood Reporter

posted 12/15/14

HGTV Team with Ellen DeGeneres
Catch "Design Challenge" January 26
From Broadway World
Ellen's Design Challenge, HGTV's new furniture competition series-conceptualized by television icon and entertainment pioneer Ellen DeGeneres-is set to premiere Monday, January 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The six-episode series, Ellen's first on cable television, will feature six competitors as they tackle ingenious challenges to sketch, design and build extraordinary furniture. Produced by Ellen's production company, A Very Good Production, and A. Smith & Co. in association with Telepictures, the competition series requires that contestants create inventive furniture designs to avoid elimination. The last competitor standing receives a $100,000 cash prize courtesy of Wayfair.com and gets to see their work featured in HGTV Magazine.

"I realized when I had my name on the show that I could change the rules," said Ellen. "Plus, I love furniture and I love television, so to put furniture on television is a win-win."

"Ellen's incomparable style and sense of humor adds a special element to this series," said Kathleen Finch, president, HGTV and DIY Network. "Our team is excited to share this fun, fresh, twist on the traditional design competition with viewers."

"I am most excited about seeing the furniture and then stealing it for my home," laughed Ellen.

Television personality Jay Montepare will serve as the series' host, while Amanda Dameron, editor-in-chief of Dwell, and Christiane Lemieux, executive creative director of Wayfair.com, will participate as judges in the competition. The six competitors include Carley Eisenberg, Boone, N.C.; Gaspar de Jesus, Los Angeles; Tim McClellan, Durango, Colo.; Mark Moskovitz, Cleveland, Ohio; Leslie Shapiro Joyal, Los Angeles; and Katie Stout, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ellen's Design Challenge will highlight Ellen's passion for furniture and house design, as well as her expertise in the subject. The competitors will face design challenges that will keep them on their toes and, since the clock will be ticking, they will be paired with an expert carpenter to help them complete the task at hand, including Karl Champley, Jeff Devlin, Matt Muenster, David Sheinkopf, Brooks Utley and Chip Wade. In addition, each designer will have access to a "build team" and a large workshop with all the tools they'll need to measure and construct their amazing furniture creations.

Broadway World

posted 12/15/14

"Name Game" Reportedly Closing In on Renewal
New Series Has Performed Consistently Modest.
From TV Week
Two syndicated shows appear likely to receive renewals soon, with Warner Bros.’ panel talk show “The Real” and Debmar Mercury’s “Celebrity Name Game” looking likely to receive second seasons, reports Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva.

The renewals would come after a better season overall for new syndicated programs, following a lackluster season last year, the story notes. Two new syndicated shows have already received renewals: NBCU’s “The Meredith Vieira Show” and CTD’s “Hot Bench,” the piece adds.

“During the November sweep, all four syndie rookies that have been renewed or expected to be logged 1.0 rating or above in households. Judge Judy Sheindlin-created and produced court show ‘Hot Bench’ averaged a 1.7, followed by ‘Celebrity Name Game’ (1.3), ‘Meredith Vieira’ (1.2) and ‘The Real’ (1.0),” the piece reports.

Andreeva adds: “Last year, only one first-year syndicated series, ‘Queen Latifah,’ was above 1.0 for the November sweep, at 1.1, followed by ‘Bethenny’ (0.9), ‘Arsenio Hall’ (0.7) and ‘The Test’ (0.6), all canceled by the spring.”

TV Week

posted 12/15/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Holiday Side Jobs"

  • John Anderson accepts ABC's Rose.... Parade coverage (The Futon Critic)
     
  • "New Girl" catches a shark... namely Lori Grenier (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Iliza Schlesinger goes from "Last Comic Standing" to Netflix (Variety)
     
  • Amanda Byram training to be "a Terminator". Skynet unavailable for comment (Irish Independent)
     
  • Jane Lynch hosts DGA Awards (Variety)
     
  • "And It Goes Something Like This": Wayne Brady brings his one-man show to San Francisco (Broadway World)
     
  • Brandi Cochran's appeal is allowed to proceed (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Release the Hounds" app (iOS) (Trusted Reviews)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: You would probably suck on these kid game shows now... (MTV)
     
  • TV's Craig Ferguson heads to New England's Rhode Island (Broadway World)

posted 12/15/14

Syndies: Week 10
Results for the Week Ending November 30
From B&C
Like their network counterparts, the majority of syndicated shows were flat to slightly lower in the 2014 November sweep.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench remained hot in households, averaging a 1.7 for the sweep, up 31% from its September premiere. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which has access clearances in several top 30 markets, posted a 1.3, followed by NBCU’s already renewed Meredith Vieira at a 1.2, Warner Bros.’ The Real at a 1.0 and Trifecta’s Judge Faith at a 0.7.

Among game shows, the biggest gainer was Debmar-Mercury's Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud, which leaped 19% from last November to a 6.2. CTD’s leader Wheel of Fortune fell 1% to a 7.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! jumped 6% to a 6.9, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire faded 10% to a 1.9.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
Deadline

posted 12/12/14

CBS & The NFL vs. Wheel & Jeopardy!
Sony Leak Reaches Top Syndicated Games
From Deadspin
In January, CBS acquired the rights to air NFL Network's Thursday Night Football through the first half of the season. That slate turned out to be some of the worst professional football ever put on television, and it was a financial catastrophe for the Tiffany network.

But prime-time national NFL broadcasts hurt the bottom line elsewhere, too: at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where executives were blindsided just a week before the NFL season kicked off with the news that TNF would be pre-empting two of Sony's most lucrative properties, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, on the dozens of CBS affiliates that air those two game shows.

The details the deal and the seemingly dubious double-cross were archived by Deadspin as a result of the data breach at Sony exposing many internal emails. They describe a Jeopardy! category created to promote the Thursday Night package and a million dollar winner from September's Wheel premiere week moved from Thursday to the less lucrative Wednesday show.

Ratings data show Wheel and Jeopardy! both suffered ratings declines due to the CBS NFL pre-emptions. The worst decline came on October 16th, when the shows were pre-empted for or up against the Jets-Patriots game.

Below is a link to the epistolary story of how CBS tricked Sony into thinking their game shows wouldn't be affected by the NFL, and how Sony even worked with the league to develop a special Jeopardy! category recognizing what turned out to be a ratings-killer. We should warn you that the language gets understandably blue.

Deadspin

posted 12/12/14

Thursday: Fall from Grace
CBS Wins. And It Isn't Even Close.
From The Futon Critic
CBS (10.253 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with its original lineup of "The Big Bang Theory" (15.762 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1), "Mom" (11.527 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #2), "Two and a Half Men" (10.028 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #3), "The McCarthys" (7.713 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) and "Elementary" (8.242 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #5).

FOX (4.737 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T2) then was a distant second place with the fall finale of "Bones" (5.480 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6) and the conclusion to "Gracepoint" (3.994 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9).

Sharing the silver was NBC (3.805 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T2) and its mix of "The Biggest Loser" (4.303 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T7), "Bad Judge" (3.772 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T7), "A to Z" (2.517 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11) and an encore of "Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas" (3.967 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9).

Meanwhile, ABC (2.901 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T4) offered up week two of "The Taste" (3.148 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11) plus a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.407 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T14).

And finally, The CW (1.610 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T4) closed out the evening with its fall finales from "The Vampire Diaries" (1.795 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T11) and "Reign" (1.424 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T14).

On cable, "Project Runway All-Stars" logged in 1.592 million viewers, second to the 10p "Pawnography" with 1.622 million. The 10:30 nightcap had 1.536 million. "Beat Bobby Flay" had 987,000. "@midnight" rounds out the night with 536,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 12/12/14

Spain Gets Decimated
Red Arrow Format Exported
From World Screen
Veralia is set to produce a Spanish adaptation of Decimate, a quiz show format represented by Red Arrow International.

Decimate looks on as a team of three contestants attempt to maintain a wall of money. Each time they answer a question incorrectly, the amount of cash is reduced.

The format was originally created by Hugh Rycroft and co-developed and produced by Red Arrow Entertainment's CPL Productions. It was recently commissioned by the BBC, where a local version will be presented by actor/singer/comedian Shane Richie.

Carlo Boserman, the CEO of Veralia, remarked: "Decimate is the perfect show for a daily slot in Spain, it is a tense and dynamic format that the whole family can enjoy."

Axel Böhm, the senior VP of sales for Europe at Red Arrow International, added: "Decimate is an exciting new quiz show format that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats—we're delighted with this partnership. I'm convinced that Veralia will make an excellent adaptation for Spain!"

World Screen
Broadcast
C21 Media

posted 12/12/14

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

  • Bob Barker turns 91 (Orlando Sentinel) plus the WGMC through the years (Closer Weekly)
     
  • Nick Cannon hosts People Magazine Awards for NBC (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • You will never be Pat Sajak rapping on ESPN cool (Gawker)
     
  • Another result of the Sony leak, Mark Cuban calling his salary for "Shark Tank" "beyond an insult" (Us)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Survivor's medical team (Entertainment Tonight)

posted 12/12/14

Emma Willis, Reggie Yates "Prized"
Meet the New Stars of the BBC's New Saturday Night Game
From Telly Mix
Emma Willis and Reggie Yates are announced today as the hosts of Prized Apart, BBC One’s brand new, nail-biting Saturday night entertainment show.

Filmed on location abroad and in the UK, the show will feature ten contestants who compete in a range of grueling challenges.

Each week, the bottom placed contestants are flown back to the UK, to a studio hanger where their partners await. The stay-at-home players must keep their loved ones in the competition by answering a set of questions in a head-to-head round against the other partners. If they succeed, their loved ones will get back on the plane to continue the game.

Emma Willis says, “Prized Apart will be nail biting, emotional and full of energy. I’ll be there with the partners in the studio as they watch their loved ones go through their hellish challenges in mystery locations abroad. It should be lots of fun to see how far the contestants will go for their loved ones. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Reggie Yates says, “I’m thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and fresh show in Prized Apart with Emma. I’ll be getting to know the adventurers and will be with them every step of the way as they perform the tough challenges. It’s going to be an incredible experience and I can’t wait to get started.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One says, “Emma and Reggie are the perfect team to host our new game-changing Saturday night adventure show – they will bring heart and emotion both inside the studio and out.”

Prized Apart will air on BBC One in Spring 2015.

The six part series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One and will be executive produced by Electric Ray’s joint managing directors, Karl Warner and Meredith Chambers.

Tellly Mix
Unreality TV

posted 12/11/14

NATPE Gets Real
Breakthrough Awards to Premiere This Year
From World Screen
NATPE 2015 is on pace to see strong attendance from both U.S. and international buyers, exhibitors and general attendees.

There are currently 230 exhibitors confirmed. For the third consecutive year, all of the major U.S. studios are expected to attend, while 28 new exhibitors have registered for their first NATPE. Newcomers hail from the U.S., Canada, Latin America and other international territories, with a notable increase in European attendance hailing from Germany. The exhibition floor and Versailles Tower are completely sold out, with the Tresor, Sorrento and Chateau Towers nearly sold out.

It was previously announced that the conference will feature a new NATPE||Reality day on Tuesday, January 20. Part of this effort includes the first Reality Breakthrough Awards, honoring those reality programs that "broke through the clutter" and "made some noise." The finalists for the five categories have now been unveiled:

COMPETITION:
- American Ninja Warrior (A. Smith & Co. & Tokyo Broadcasting System for NBC)
- Face Off (Mission Control Media for Syfy)
- MasterChef Junior (One Potato Two Potato & Shine America for Fox)
- Shark Tank (UA Media Group & Sony Pictures TV for ABC)
- The Voice (UA Media Group, Warner Horizon TV & Talpa for NBC)

GAME SHOW
- @midnight (Nerdist Industries, Funny or Die, Lennon/Garant Productions & Brillstein Entertainment Partners for Comedy Central
- The Chase (ITV Studios America for GSN)
- Hollywood Game Night (Hazy Mills Productions, Mission Control Media & Universal TV for NBC)
- Jeopardy! (Sony Pictures TV)
- The Price Is Right (FremantleMedia North America for CBS)

World Screen
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/11/14

Wednesday: Middle of the Week
CBS, ABC Split Night
From the Futon Critic
ABC (7.307 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) pulled into the top spot on Wednesday with the fall finales of "The Middle" (8.091 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4), "The Goldbergs" (7.399 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4), "Modern Family" (9.682 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1), "Black-ish" (7.380 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) and "Nashville" (5.645 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7).

CBS (8.921 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then was a close second with originals from "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" (9.394 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2), "Criminal Minds" (10.078 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #6) and "Stalker" (7.290 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8).

Next up was NBC (7.172 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and its lineup of "The Mysteries of Laura" (8.029 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.855 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) and "Chicago PD" (6.634 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.555 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) offered up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.798 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #11) followed by a second "Hell's Kitchen" (3.311 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13).

And finally, the fall finale of "Arrow" (3.041 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #14) and a new "The 100" (1.669 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (2.355 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5).

It was a very atypical night in cable, as the top demo draw was Comedy Central's "@midnight" with 650,000 viewers. "Top Chef" had a consistent 979,000 to "Kitchen Inferno's" 594,000. "The Ultimate Fighter" knocked out 508,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/11/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Same Old Song & Dance"

  • Mary Murphy is looking for an exit from SYTYCD. This is not a repeat from always (Deadline)
     
  • MTV's New Year's party will offer the first look of "Broke A$$ Game Show" (E!)
     
  • ICYMI: Seth Rogen & James Franco say "Season's Greetings" (Cinema Blend)
     
  • Regis & Joy Philbin to play Foxwoods (Springfield Republican)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Chris Hardwick (San Francisco Chronicle) and Jeff Foxworthy (Las Vegas Sun)

posted 12/11/14


MARY ANN MOBLEY: 1937-2014
Miss America, Actress Game Show Frequenter
From the Hollywood Reporter
Mary Ann Mobley, the dark-haired and wholesome Miss America who went on to a successful acting career highlighted by two starring turns opposite Elvis Presley, has died. She was 77.

Mobley, who was married to the late actor and TV host Gary Collins, died Tuesday morning in her Beverly Hills home after a battle with breast cancer, execs with Warner Bros. Television confirmed. One of her daughters, Clancy Collins White, is senior vp drama development at the company.

A native of Brandon, Miss., who attended the University of Mississippi, Mobley won the Miss America pageant in 1959, studied acting with Lee Strasberg, appeared in an L.A. production of Guys and Dolls and signed a five-year contract with MGM.

She first attracted attention on the small screen when she appeared on a 1963 episode of Aaron Spelling’s Burke’s Law, which producers loved to populate with beautiful women making a fuss over suave star Gene Barry.

In 1965, the Golden Globes named her Most Promising Newcomer, an award Mobley shared with Mia Farrow and Celia Milius.

After her character dated Presley’s in Girl Happy (1965), she reteamed with her fellow Mississippian later in the year in Harum Scarum, in which she starred as a slave girl who is actually the daughter of a king in the Middle East.

Mobley’s film résumé also includes Get Yourself a College Girl (1964), Young Dillinger (1965), Jerry Lewis’ Three on a Couch (1966), The King’s Pirate (1967), The Legend of Custer (1968) and For Singles Only (1968).

Mobley was among the few Miss America winners to forge a career in show business; the list also includes Lee Meriwether, Phyllis George, Bess Myerson and Vanessa Williams. (When she won, the second runner-up was Miss Oklahoma, Anita Bryant.)

Mobley replaced Dixie Carter as Maggie McKinney, who goes on to marry Conrad Bain’s character, for the final season of the NBC-ABC series Diff’rent Strokes in 1985-86.

Mobley also appeared on such shows as Perry Mason, Love, American Style, Fantasy Island, Ironside, Falcon Crest, The Partridge Family and Vega$ and was a recurring celebrity panelist on the game show Match Game. She also played Password, Body Language, Family Feud, Card Sharks, To Tell The Truth and Tattletales.

She traveled to Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Sudan for documentaries meant to show the plight of homeless and starving children.

“The University of Mississippi family is saddened by the passing of Mary Ann Mobley Collins,” said a statement released by Ole Miss.

Mobley wed Collins in 1967 (it was his second marriage) after they were introduced on the set of Three on a Couch, and they had a daughter. He died in 2012.

The Hollywood Reporter
Variety
Deadline
Yahoo!/AP
AV Club

photo courtesy Speakerpedia

posted 12/10/14

Tuesday: Chasing Another Season Record
Last Night's Show Posts Over 700,000
From TV Media Insights
With just one episode left in the current third cycle, ratings for GSN’s “The Chase” keeps on rising. For its 8 p.m. telecast on Tuesday, December 9, “The Chase” drew an audience of 743,000 total viewers and 166,000 adults 18-49, according to live plus same day final national data from Nielsen.

Comparably, this is the largest total audience for a single telecast of the game show since its second season finale (818,000 viewers on Feb. 4, 2014).

An encore telecast of “The Chase” at 11 p.m. on Dec. 9 delivered 319,000 total viewers and 86,000 adults 18-49.

Also of significant note, a rerun episode of “Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey at 7:30 p.m. (leading into “The Chase”) averaged 901,000 viewers and 212,000 adults 18-49.

Elsewhere on cable, "Chopped" led over "Ink Master", 1.622 million to 1.318 million.

On broadcast,  CBS (10.004 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) claimed top demo and total viewer honors on Tuesday with its mix of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (10.669 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #2) and "NCIS" (10.223 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T4) encores plus "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" (9.119 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.3, #1).

NBC (6.638 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) then claimed the silver with its lineup of "The Voice" (10.870 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3), "Marry Me" (4.858 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9), "About a Boy" (3.732 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #15) and "Angelina Jolie: Unbroken" (4.749 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #14).

Next up was FOX (3.905 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T2) with originals from "MasterChef Junior" (4.884 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6), "New Girl" (3.290 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7) and "The Mindy Project" (2.560 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.849 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4) served up a repeat "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" (4.179 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11) alongside the fall finales of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (5.224 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T4) and "Forever" (5.144 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

And finally, The CW (3.671 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4) closed out the evening with its own fall finales from "The Flash" (4.534 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7) and "Supernatural" (2.808 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

TV Media Insights
Showbuzz Daily
The Futon Critic

posted 12/10/14

BBC's Mud Run
Wookie Ford, Jonny Smith Host Competition January 26
From the Futon Critic
BBC AMERICA's Mud, Sweat and Gears is a brand new competitive car show which hurtles onto screens in the New Year. Each week hosts Tom 'Wookie' Ford and Jonny Smith captain a team of two car nuts and go head-to-head to transform everyday vehicles. They have 24 hours to mutate, supersize and reconstruct - once transformed, the vehicles are raced in three extreme missions involving head-to-head sprints, timed challenges and stunts, lots of stunts. The missions are daring, adventurous, fun, and competitive - and all tied to different episode themes rolling out each week. Mud, Sweat and Gears premieres Monday, January 26 at 10:00pm ET on BBC AMERICA.

The first episode is filmed in an almost abandoned, decaying LA cityscape. The series opens with the two teams making the ultimate cop cars. Jonny is joined by two hot-rodding brothers from Detroit and, in a possibly foolhardy homage to 1970's British police dramas, Jonny chooses to start with a Jaguar. Wookie picks a Pontiac Firebird - like the model used in the movie Smokey & The Bandit - for his team, as they turn the ultimate outlaw car into a cop car. The teams get to work, welding, adding air rams, battering rams and mobile jail cells, before competing in three crazy cops and robbers challenges of increasing scale and difficulty, putting their creations to the ultimate test. Once the winner is declared, the loser's car gets annihilated.

From here episodes go on to explore creating video game cars, trucks of war, cars fit for our very own Olympics, high-speed delivery vehicles, off-road machines, spy cars full of gadgets, end of the world survival vehicles, and mightily destructive demolition vehicles.

Nathaniel Grouille is executive producer and showrunner for the series and Trice Barto is executive producer. Ricky Kelehar is executive producer for BBC AMERICA, Michael Brooks and Jane Tranter are executive producers for BBC Worldwide Productions and Julie Swanston for BBC Worldwide. The production was filmed in California.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/10/14

Underground Cake Battle!
"Duff Till Dawn" Launches on Food Network January 29
From TV by the Numbers
When the sun sets, the ultimate underground cake competition begins on new series Duff Till Dawn, premiering on Thursday, January 29th at 10:30pm ET/PT on Food Network. Host Duff Goldman's bakery becomes a battleground after hours for two talented teams of cake decorators, as their skills and creativity are tested with challenges and twists to create the most outstanding and over-the-top cakes. Competitors must amaze rotating judges Haylie Duff (Real Girl's Kitchen), Elena Fox (Ace of Cakes), Carrie Keagan (Television Personality), Geof Manthorne (Ace of Cakes), Catherine McCord (Guy's Grocery Games), Alysia Reiner (Actress), Kelis Rogers (Musician and Host of Holiday Feast with Kelis), Aarti Sequeiria (Aarti Party), Kevin Smith (Writer/Director) and Sherry Yard (Cutthroat Kitchen) with the boldest, tastiest and most impressive cakes for the chance to win bragging rights and the coveted golden whisk.

"The one-of-a-kind Duff Goldman is the master of dazzling and astonishing cakes," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network. "In Duff Till Dawn, he tests the bakers on these same talents and abilities, as well as their ability to pull all-nighters."

The competition is anything but sweet in this six-episode series. In each episode, two new teams must outdo their competition with their special talents and original cake creations before sunrise, when only one will be crowned the winner. It is complete monster mayhem in one challenge, as the bakers race to make their creations come to life. In another episode, one team will sink and the other will swim, as they create their dream ships out of cake. Is it all smooth sailing, or are the teams headed for troubled waters? It is blast off into outer space in another challenge, where the teams must aim for the stars with gravity defying confections. In another enchanting episode, the decorators delve into the land of make believe as they are challenged to make magical fairy cakes. It is a Castle clash in another challenge, where the bakers must joust for the golden whisk. Which team's medieval manor will take the cake in this gauntlet?

Throughout the season, fans can meet The Bold pro-bakers, see photos of their fierce cake creations, and much more at FoodNetwork.com/DuffTillDawn. Fans can also tweet about the overnight battle using the hashtag #DuffTillDawn.

TV by the Numbers

posted 12/10/14

La Voz Plays Daddy
Daddy Yankee Joins Show as Coach
From TV by the Numbers
Telemundo announces that international music star Daddy Yankee, known as “The Most Relevant Latin Urban Artist in the World,” is joining the third season of the highly-rated singing competition "La Voz Kids," as one of the Coaches on the new season slated to premiere next spring. He will take the coaches chair on the Sunday night show alongside previously announced returning Coach Natalia Jimenez. The Puerto Rican born singer will share his extensive expertise with a team of young talented participants on the “La Voz Kids” stage at Universal Orlando Resort. Following the success of the first two seasons, the reality competition series allows viewers to witness how the voices of the future generations are discovered and developed, as young vocalists between the ages of seven and fifteen years old, compete for a recording contract and a cash prize to support their education.

“Joining the third season of La Voz Kids as a Coach is an honor and it signifies so much to me as an artist since I truly want to help and mentor the new generation of young singers with big dreams in life,” said Daddy Yankee. “With DY in the house, I will make sure my team wins this new season,” he concluded.

Daddy Yankee marked another milestone in his career as a Latin urban artist with the release of his digital-only album titled “King Daddy,” debuting #1 on iTunes in its first day of release. Ten years after “Barrio Fino” became the top-selling Latin urban album of all time and “Gasolina” single-handedly launched reggaetón to the world, he continues to be the most influential and recognizable name in the music industry with over 11 million albums sold and more than 36 million fans throughout his social media networks. Named as one of the most influential Hispanics in the world by both CNN and Time Magazine, Yankee continued his trailblazing path with the release of his own video game in 2013, a world tour in 2014 that included Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His growing business empire includes his own production house El Cartel Records, his award-winning Los Cangris Music Publishing, and the film company that produced “Talento de Barrio,” starring himself. The film’s soundtrack, sold over 1 million copies worldwide and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Album charts, with the single “Pose” also hitting No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

TV by the Numbers

posted 12/10/14

Upgrading Asia
Armoza Sells Format
From C21 Media
Two production outfits in Asia are developing local versions of an Israeli home improvement gameshow format for Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Content Lab, part of Bangkok-based JSL Global Media Group, has picked up rights to Upgrade from distributor Armoza Formats and is now pitching it to broadcasters in Thailand.

Meanwhile, the recently launched Asian production arm of French producer and distributor Lagardère Entertainment has taken the rights to the gameshow for Vietnam and Myanmar.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has already aired three seasons of its version of the show, which sees a celebrity offer to replace a family’s belongings with better items by asking a series of questions. If they answer incorrectly, however, the family risks losing the belongings they own.

Created by Saar Brodsky, Rodrigo Gonzales and Gilli Golan and developed by Armoza Formats and Tanin Productions, the show has now aired in 18 territories, including Norway, Russia and Denmark.

C21 Media

posted 12/10/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "We Can Rebuild It"

  • Alfonso Ribeiro to makeover an entire town for Think Factory (Deadline)
     
  • Fox wants Simon Cowell back (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: "Idol" makes the list of 12 shows we gave up on in 2014 (Buzzfeed); "Harry" makes the list of worst TV moments in 2014 (Rolling Stone)
     
  • Angelea Preston sues CW, Tyra Banks for breach of contract in "Top Model" expulsion. And with a price tag of $3 million, we're just negotiating price now for this former escort. (The Wrap)

posted 12/10/14

"Fake Off" Back On
truTV Renews Freshman Series for 2015
From TV by the Numbers
The truTV programming evolution is kicking into high gear, with a packed slate of series renewals, greenlights and more. Headlining the renewals, truTV has ordered a second seasons of its eye-popping performance competition series Fake Off.

"Building on the success and momentum of recent premieres, we are continuing to take big swings in new spaces with original series that are innovative, surprising and irresistibly shareable." said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. "We are delivering on our promise to make compelling shows that have a voice and take you to unique places. We look forward to working with our new and returning production partners as we set out to take fun to a whole new level."

In the second season of Fake Off a whole new collection of performers from around the country will take the stage to compete in the captivating art of Faking. In this series teams ultilize a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion to reimagine iconic moments in pop culture and see who’s got the skills to be named America's best Fakers. Fake Off has earned high praise from television critics and viewers alike, which has helped expand its audience by +37% since its premiere.

truTV has ordered eight one-hour episodes for the second season of Fake Off, which is being produced by Shine America. The season is slated to launch Spring 2015.

No decision has been made regarding quizzer "Hair Jacked".

TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 12/9/14

Monday: Out of the Loops
"The Voice" Semis Take NBC to 1st
From The Futon Critic
NBC (9.183 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was still the network to beat on Monday with its duo of "The Voice" (10.638 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) and "State of Affairs" (6.274 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T8).

The silver then went to CBS (8.765 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) and its lineup of "2 Broke Girls" (7.739 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T3), the return of "Mike & Molly" (7.946 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), "Scorpion" (9.911 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (8.544 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T8).

Next up was ABC (7.772 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with the season premiere of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (7.684 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5) plus a second "The Great Christmas Light Fight" (7.593 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T3) and a new "Castle" (8.041 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.879 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T4) served up repeats of "Gotham" (2.163 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and "Sleepy Hollow" (1.596 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #13).

And finally, the fall finale of "The Originals" (1.409 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and a new "Jane the Virgin" (1.236 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #12) closed out the evening on The CW (1.322 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T4).

President Obama's appearance on "The Colbert Report" helped "@midnight" to its biggest draw this year, 832,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/9/14

"Estrellas" Curso Segundo
Telemundo Kicks off Second Season January 11
From TV by the Numbers
Gabriel Coronel, Kimberly Dos Ramos, Sissi Fleitas, Judith Grace, Fabián Ríos, Don Pedro Rivera, Maripily Rivera, Henry Santos, Fernando Vargas and Gabriela Vergara kick-off 2015 as contestants on Telemundo’s second season of “Top Chef Estrellas,” the primetime culinary competition premiering Sunday, January 11 at 9pm/8c. Hosted by renowned TV personality, Ingrid Hoffmann, and featuring the return of leading chefs Lorena Garcia, Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu as judges, these prominent celebrities from the world of entertainment, music and sports will compete for a total of $100,000 awarded to a charity of their choice, but only one will win the “Top Chef” title in this hotter, tastier and provocative new season.

Shot in Boston, Massachusetts and produced by Emmy award-winning production house Magical Elves, the new edition of “Top Chef Estrellas” is hosted by TV personality and restaurateur Ingrid Hoffmann, who has hosted multiple cooking shows, including “Simply Delicioso” on the Food Network and “Delicioso” on Galavision. She is also the author of Latin D’Lite and “Simply Delicioso: A Collection of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist.”

In their return as judges of Telemundo’s “Top Chef Estrellas,” TV host and author Chef Lorena Garcia, is one of the leading chefs in the country, having competed in season four of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” Chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, nominated for the prestigious James Beard award, have been featured in numerous TV shows and are the owners of the award-winning restaurant “La Casita Mexicana” in Los Angeles.

TV by the Numbers

posted 12/9/14

Nicky's New Bag
Westlife Star to Host Lottery Game
From Irish Herald
A SHAKE-up of the RTE schedule will see former Westlife star Nicky Byrne fronting a new Saturday night game show.

The 2fm presenter is understood to have already done a number of screen tests for the role.

Winning Streak will be moved to a summer schedule to make way for the new National Lottery game show.

The new licence holders of the National Lottery are reported to have wanted the 2fm presenter for the new show.

A spokesperson for RTE confirmed that the new show would be launched in January.

However, she said that reports of Winning Streak being revamped were wide of the mark and that current hosts Marty Whelan and Sinead Kennedy would remain involved when it returns.

"RTE and National Lottery will have an exciting new gameshow in January and the new presenter will be announced soon," she said.

"We look forward to Winning Streak and Marty and Sinead returning later in 2015," she added.

Irish Herald

posted 12/9/14

Electus Heads to Asia
On Deck, "Fashion Star", "Bet On Your Baby"
From the Futon Critic
Multimedia entertainment studio Electus, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), today announced that its global distribution arm, Electus International, has signed multiple first and second season format deals for Fashion Star and Bet on Your Baby to Asian broadcasters. Sales of these formats to multiple countries, including China, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, demonstrate the considerable growth of Electus' programs in the Asian market.

The Goddesses' New Clothes, a localized version of the Fashion Star format, co-produced by Electus International, Hitao, Blue Flame, and Dragon TV, has been commissioned for a second season on China's Dragon TV, scheduled to return in 2015. In The Goddesses' New Clothes, six female celebrities design and model "themed" clothes with the help of professional designers to win orders from shop owners at tmall.com - one of China's largest e-commerce site. The Fashion Star format is also airing on Vietnam VTV-3. Airing on NBC from 2012-2013, the original format of Fashion Star gave 12 eager young designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize of launching their original collections in three of the nation's largest retailers.

After a hugely successful launch last year in the Philippines, Electus International has secured a deal for a second season of Bet on Your Baby on ABS-CBN, which is airing daily in access prime time. New deals have also been secured in Vietnam's with TVAD - VTV and in Thailand. The format has now been sold into more than six territories including China, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Bet on Your Baby, which airs on ABC in the United States, is a primetime game show in which parents try to predict their child's next move in an effort to win money for their child's future education.

"The successful rollout and continued international growth of both Fashion Star and Bet on Your Baby is due in large part to our partners on the ground who have been relentless in making each show a big local success.' said Cyrus Farrokh, Vice President of Electus International. "We are thrilled to continue building on these relationships going into ATF."

The Futon Critic

posted 12/9/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Stealing Cheryl"

  • Cheryl Burke leaving "Dancing"... for a variety show on NBC. Wonder if NPH knows about this (People)
     
  • Now playing on Gold, Bob Monkhouse (Digital Spy)
     
  • John O'Hurley takes time from Chicago to visit South Florida (SouthFlorida.com)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Mark Burnett. Quiz show... THREE GUESSES WHAT THIS IS. You're probably right (Reality Wanted)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with James O'Halloran, TPIR's newest pretty face (Fox News)

posted 12/9/14

America's Judge Is Coming Back
Howard Stern Will Return for Season 10 of AGT
From The Futon Critic
Howard Stern is set to return as a judge on the milestone tenth season of NBC's top-rated summer competition series "America's Got Talent."

"I decided that a life without 'AGT' is not a life worth living," said Stern. "America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge and who am I to deny the people what they want? It would be selfish of me to walk away."

Stern, who joined "America's Got Talent" in 2012, is a self-described "king of all media" and has been a prominent radio personality for more than 30 years. His current program is aired on subscription-only SiriusXM Radio and features a range of guests from all areas of entertainment and pop culture. Stern is also a bestselling author, actor and entrepreneur.

"Howard's wit and character bring an incomparable humor and insight to 'America's Got Talent,'" said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming. "We are thrilled to have him return."

"I'm delighted that Howard is returning to America's Got Talent," said Trish Kinane, Executive Producer and President of Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America. "He is honest, charismatic and committed to finding the best talent in America. It's going to be an amazing Season 10."

Listen to the official announcement on "The Howard Stern Show" on SiriusXM Radio: https://soundcloud.com/howardstern/howardstern_agt

The Futon Critic
Twitter: @sternshow

posted 12/8/14

Meet the Drag Racers
Catch Season 7 in 2015
From The Futon Critic
RuPaul is back to storm the runway with the highly anticipated seventh season of the groundbreaking series, "RuPaul's Drag Race." Logo TV revealed the eagerly awaited cast comprised of the nation's 14 drag elite tonight during the "2014 New Now Next Awards." In a nod to superfans, Logo TV also launched a social scavenger hunt earlier this week via Snapchat and Facebook that culminated in the announcement of Miss Fame and Jasmine Masters as competing queens.

"This year we have some of the youngest and oldest contestants in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' herstory," said Executive Producer, RuPaul. "Study each queen closely. Do not underestimate anyone. The girls that make it to the top this season will shock you."

The new season, which will premiere in 2015, will feature the Queens competing for the crown to determine who will walk away with a $100,000 cash prize and the coveted title of "America's Next Drag Superstar." Along the way, they'll deliver gag-worthy and jaw-dropping moments as these talented ladies of drag join RuPaul's court of esteemed queens to compete in the pop culture phenomenon that has taken the world by its weave.

The 14 queens going "wigs to the wall" for the win include:

· Sasha Belle Iowa City, IA TW: @SashaBelle3, IG: @Sashabelley
· Violet Chachki Atlanta, GA TW: @VioletChachki, IG: @VioletChachki
· Kennedy Davenport Dallas, TX TW: @KennedytheDoll, IG: @davenportkennedy
· Mrs. Kasha Davis Rochester, NY TW: @KashaDavis, IG: @KashaDavis
· Tempest DuJour Tucson, AZ TW: @TempestDujour IG: @TempestDujour
· Miss Fame New York, NY TW: @MissFameNYC, IG: @MissFameNYC
· Jaidynn Diore Fierce Nashville, TN TW: @jaidynnfierce, IG: @jaidynnfierce
· Kandy Ho' Cayey, PR TW: @kandy_ho, IG: @ho_kandy
· Katya Boston, MA TW: @welovekatya, IG: @welovekatya
· Jasmine Masters Los Angeles, CA TW: @jasminemasters IG: @MsJasmineMasters
· Trixie Mattel Milwaukee, WI TW: @trixiemattel IG: @trixiemattel
· Max Minneapolis, MN TW: @MAXCollective, IG: @MAXCollective
· Ginger Minj Orlando, FL TW: @gingerminj IG: @gingerminj
· Pearl New York, NY TW: @pearliaison, IG: @pearliaison

The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly

posted 12/8/14

Len Goodman Calls It a Day
"Dancing" Judge to End at 10 Years
From Digital Spy
Len Goodman has revealed that he will quit Dancing with the Stars next year.

In an interview with Digital Spy and others, the dancing judge said the spring season will be his last.

"Next year, I'm not going to do the flying backwards and forwards – I'm not going to do the American show... I've got to have a bit of time off," Goodman explained.

"I've got my wife, I've got my son, my mother is still alive and she's in hospital – I've had virtually no time to go and visit her.

"So, I just need a bit of time off to get on with a normal life. And it was either Strictly went or the American one went or the tour went... I'm doing the spring one when I go out there... and that's going to be my last one."

Goodman added that he will not be taking part in the upcoming Strictly tour, with series favorites Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup stepping in to take his place.

The Strictly Come Dancing judge said: "Dancing with the Stars - next year is their 10th year, it's the 20th series of the show. So I think that's a nice place to stop."

Goodman went on to express confidence that fellow judge Bruno Tonioli will remain on both Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

Digital Spy

posted 12/8/14

Who's Asking? Thairath TV, That's Who
Armoza Format Goes to Thailand
From World Screen
Thailand’s Thairath TV has commissioned a first season of Armoza Formats' studio game show Who’s Asking?, which heads into production for a local version in January 2015.

Thairath TV, a leading digital terrestrial channel in Thailand, will be producing the treatment with TV Thunder. The first season is set for 39 episodes to air weekly during a Sunday 4 p.m. slot. The series is scheduled to launch in February 2015.

The studio game show, developed by United Studios of Israel, is not just about what questions the participants must answer, but also who is asking them.

Natakrit Wannapinyo, VP of business development at TV Thunder, said, “We are excited to bring this unique quiz show format to Thairath TV in February. Who’s Asking? Thailand will offer an experience which has never been seen before in other quiz show.”

Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats, added, “Who’s Asking? brings fresh elements to the world of studio game shows through the unique question mechanic, making it more accessible for audiences and players of all ages in a simple yet refreshing way. We look forward to working with Thairath TV and TV Thunder and to seeing the first adaptation of Who’s Asking? airing in Thailand.”

World Screen

posted 12/8/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Lucky Men"

  • Chris Hardwick staying up with a Hearst daughter. The takeaway... he's 43?! POINTS! (Us Magazine)
     
  • Using his best material on players, Pat Sajak turns to the audience (Fansided)
     
  • Stuart Scott's colleagues give him a long-overdue tribute as he battles cancer for the third time (Fansided)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: The five times Jeopardy! was ever whimsically musical (Riverfront Times)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: here comes Pointless King Wenceslas (Classic FM)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with two guys - the winners of America's Next Top Model (Zap2it) and TPIR's Male Model Search (TV by the Numbers) - and a girl - Countdown's main brain Rachel Riley (East Lothian News)

posted 12/8/14

Papa Goes Boom
Comic Tom Papa to Host "Boom" for Fox
From The Hollywood Reporter
Actor and comedian Tom Papa has signed with APA. Two months after recurring as the dubious medical supply peddler Mr. Luff on Cinemax drama The Knick, Papa will be seen as one of the many comedy boldfaces in Chris Rock’s Top Five. Next year, Papa will host the new Fox game show Boom!, to go with previous TV credits The Marriage Ref, The New Adventures of Old Christine and HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, in which he portrayed Liberace’s producer Ray Arnett. Papa, who also has appeared in films The Informant!, Bee Movie and Analyze That, hosts weekly SiriusXM show Come to Papa. He continues to be managed by 3 Arts.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 12/5/14

Thursday: Peter Pan Syndrome
NBC, CBS Split Night
From The Futon Critic
NBC (9.129 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) pulled off a demo victory on Thursday thanks to its presentation of "Peter Pan Live!" (9.129 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3).

CBS (9.531 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then was a close second place with a repeat of "The Big Bang Theory" (10.741 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3) followed by originals from "Mom" (10.569 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T1), "Two and a Half Men" (10.375 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.5, #T1), "The McCarthys" (8.260 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.0, #5) and "Elementary" (8.619 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #6).

Next up was FOX (4.802 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and a new "Bones" (5.968 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) plus the penultimate week of "Gracepoint" (3.636 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8).

Meanwhile, ABC (3.151 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up the return of "The Taste" (3.306 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8) and a repeat "How to Get Away with Murder" (2.841 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.495 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #10) and "Reign" (1.247 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #12) closed out the evening on The CW (1.371 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5).

"Project Runway All-Stars" beat out the competition on cable with 1.641 million. "Pawnography" comes in a close second with 1.622 million at 10p, and 1.497 million for 10:30p. The rest of the offerings scored below 1 million:

- Beat Bobby Flay: 859,000
- Project Runway: Threads: 767,000
- Food Truck Face Off: 545,000
- @midnight: 454,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/5/14

They Really Want a Dancer to Win This, Don't They?
Cris Judd Hired to Find Dancers for America's Got Talent
From The Wrap
“America's Got Talent” is getting a new dance scout.

Choreographer Cris Judd, best known for his eight-month long marriage to Jennifer Lopez, will be joining the reality competition's Season 10. Judd will be in charge of finding the best dancers for the talent reality show.

“I'm so excited to be a part of season 10 of ‘America's Got Talent,” said Judd. “My goal is to offer hesitant contestants confidence and alleviate their fear of auditioning because they don't think that they have it. From the little dance schools, to finding the diamond in the rough, there are so many talented dancers in America and I'm confident we will find the best of the best.”

Judd is no stranger to the “Got Talent” format, having recently served as a judge on the New Zealand version of the reality competition. He has also worked as a choreographer for past episodes of “America's Got Talent.”

The Wrap

posted 12/5/14

Quickest. Retirement. Ever.
Chris Tarrant Taping Pilot for ITV
From ATV Today
Chris Tarrant is venturing back into the world of quiz shows with a new pilot to be produced by RDF Television.

Broadcast reports that the unnamed pilot is being recorded on 15 December at Studio 2000 in Elstree and will see contestants battle against each other as they answers a series of questions to safeguard their prize fund.

The studio audience will also be given the opportunity to win some money if they can predict which player will be eliminated next.

Last year, Tarrant relinquished his Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? presenting duties after 15 years, with ITV subsequently deciding not to continue the long-running format without him.

He said at the time “It’s been a huge part of my life for fifteen years and I’ve loved every minute of it, but it is time for me to move on from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It’s been the most remarkable journey and I consider myself very fortunate to have been associated with Millionaire from its inception. ITV have been fantastic in their support from day one and to see its huge success has been thrilling.”

It is thought that ITV is not behind the pilot which will be exec produced by RDF’s head of entertainment Peter Usher.

ATV Today
Broadcast

posted 12/5/14

Happy Friday! Lightning Round
... or "Write On!"

  • WGA Awards nominations are out... and Jeopardy!, Hollywood Game Night are going head to head (Deadline)
     
  • "Shark Tank Your Life" ... this is a thing? (ABC News)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: TV's most capitalistic game shows (People)
     
  • John O'Hurley returns to Broadway in.... what else? (Broadway World)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Ryan Seacrest to spend New Year's Eve turning 40 (YouTube)

posted 12/5/14

Thursday Lightspeed Round
... or "Boom Crash, the Sound of Our Browser... Sorry"

  • "The Great British Bake-Off Baking Show" comes to PBS December 28 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • "The Challenge" returns with "Battle of the Exes II" January 6, dedicated to both Diem Brown & Ryan Knight (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • SYNDIES: Week 9 (* = season high)
    1. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 7.5* +1%
    2. Jeopardy (CTD) 7.2* +3%
    3. Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) 6.4 NC
    4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) 2.0 +5%
    5. Celebrity Name Game (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 1.3* +8%
    (TV Newscheck)
     
  • It may be Wink Martindale's birthday, but he's got the gift of Elvis on his 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time (All Access Music Group)
     
  • The "Hounds" get released... on iOS, Android (Gamasutra)
     
  • Ola Jordan (who?) makes "Jump" from "Strictly", reports (Unreality TV)
     
  • YOU (SADLY) CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: In Russia, you can apparently throw a punch (Irish Independent)
     
  • QI heads to Kent for a one-off (Kent News)
     
  • IN MEMORIAM: "Biggest Loser" alum Damien Gurganious (1978-2014) (E!)

posted 12/4/14

The Man Who Made Taylor Swift Heads to Idol
New Mentor Replaces Randy Jackson
From The Futon Critic
Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group and one of the most successful forces in the music industry today, has joined AMERICAN IDOL XIV as mentor to help shape the career of the competition's winner. Borchetta's relationship with the next AMERICAN IDOL will extend past the show's finale; Borchetta's Big Machine Records will partner with 19 Entertainment and Universal Music Group to oversee the launch of his/her recording career. The winner will join Borchetta's record label roster of superstar talent, including global pop star Taylor Swift, whom he discovered at the age of 14, as well as Tim McGraw, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry.

The Season XIV mentor role was re-imagined and stepped up to provide Borchetta's unique perspective from early on in the competition - through the live shows, to the final winning moment and beyond. Borchetta joined IDOL during Hollywood Week, when he watched the performances in advance of offering his expertise to the contestants who continue in the competition.

"There's only one reason I'm doing this: AMERICAN IDOL has proven again and again that it can launch superstars. I believe that working with these young artists the same way we work with new artists at the Big Machine Label Group will help the next AMERICAN IDOL be as prepared as possible to continue the tradition of creating new superstars," said Borchetta. "The entire label group will be invested and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels."

"This season, Jennifer, Keith and Harry have found some truly talented singers, and the addition of Scott's expertise in how to develop an artist gives our contestants a unique shot at success," said Trish Kinane, President of Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America and executive producer, AMERICAN IDOL. "It's been terrific to see Scott's enthusiasm as he watched each of the performances at Hollywood Week and we can't wait for America to see our hopefuls transform into superstars."

"AMERICAN IDOL has been directly responsible for creating more music stars and selling more music than any other TV show in history. We are thrilled to partner with Scott and Universal Music Group to continue that tradition. Our contestants have the greatest platform ever created to become music superstars. They deserve the best and, again, they will get it," said Jason Morey, EVP and World Wide Head of Music, 19 Entertainment.

"I'm stoked," said David Hill, Senior Executive Vice President, 21st Century Fox.

"The greatest legacy of AMERICAN IDOL is that we produce legitimate stars," said creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. "Over the years, not only have we made more stars than any other talent show in the world, we have also provided the very best people from the music industry to guide our singers and offer valuable advice. This year, we are thrilled to have one of the music industry's shining lights take on the role of mentor for our talent, overseeing their journey right through to the recording and release of the winner's album. Scott Borchetta is enjoying unparalleled success right now. Not only did he mastermind the incredible career of Taylor Swift, but also countless other incredible artists. We are extremely proud to have him on the AMERICAN IDOL team."

The Futon Critic
Variety
The Hollywood Reporter

posted 12/3/14

Tuesday: Old Network, Young Network
CBS Skews Old, While NBC Takes the Demo
From The Futon Critic
NBC (7.686 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) edged out the top demo spot on Tuesday with its mix of "The Voice" (11.096 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1), "Marry Me" (4.963 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8), "About a Boy" (4.266 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T13) and "Chicago Fire" (7.346 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5).

ABC (5.757 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then was a close second place with its combination of "Toy Story That Time Forgot" (6.789 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3), "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (6.751 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (5.334 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) and "Forever" (5.166 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #12).

Next up was FOX (3.791 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and its lineup of "MasterChef Junior" (4.852 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5), "New Girl" (3.009 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) and "The Mindy Project" (2.453 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T13).

Meanwhile, CBS (9.660 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up second runs of "NCIS" (11.476 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8), "NCIS: New Orleans" (10.490 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) and "Person of Interest" (7.013 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #15).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (4.222 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and "Supernatural" (2.358 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.9, #16) on The CW (3.290 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable, "Ink Master" led with 1.351 million, narrowly beating "Chopped's" 1.345 million.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/3/14

Monday: "Voice" Helps NBC to 1st
No Change from Last Week, Though
From The Futon Critic
NBC (9.676 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) kicked off December on top with new episodes of "The Voice" (10.999 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and "State of Affairs" (7.030 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T2).

ABC (8.685 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2) then took home the silver with its annual special "CMA Country Christmas" (8.851 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T2) and a new "Castle" (8.354 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4).

Next up was FOX (3.755 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) with a repeat of "Gotham" (3.014 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T10) and the fall finale of "Sleepy Hollow" (4.495 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4).

Meanwhile, CBS (5.357 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up its marathon lineup of "Mike & Molly" (6.254 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6), another "Mike & Molly" (5.671 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6), yet another "Mike & Molly" (5.173 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6), even more "Mike & Molly" (5.009 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9) and "Scorpion" (5.017 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T10).

And finally, the specials "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (1.598 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12) and "Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown" (1.497 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T12) on The CW (1.548 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

"@midnight's" return gave Comedy Central's 582,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/3/14

Survivors in Love
Tweak in Format Coming to Market
From World Screen
Zodiak Media has secured a round of renewals for the Survivor format, alongside a deal for a brand-new adaptation: Survivor Love Edition.

Zodiak's Mastiff Sweden scored a commission from the TV4 Group in Sweden for Survivor Love Edition. The new series will see the classic reality game show get a romantic twist, as seven single guys and girls are stranded on a deserted island together. The new iteration will get a 30-episode run to air in early 2015 as Robinson: Love Edition in Sweden. The commission marks Mastiff Sweden's first Survivor order.

In France, ALP has been commissioned by TF1 for a new season of more than 20 hours of programming for 2015. Currently in production, it will be a non-celebrity version of Koh Lanta (Survivor's local title), which will be the 14th classic season.

Magnolia Italy is set to produce its tenth season of Survivor L’isola dei famosi, an adaptation of Celebrity Survivor, for its new Italian home Canale 5. The 8x120-minute series will launch in early 2015.

In Spain, Magnolia has recently finished producing its seventh season, which broadcasts on Mediaset’s Telecinco. Magnolia has now been commissioned for an eighth season by Telecinco for 2015.

World Screen

posted 12/3/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Holiday Dinner"

  • SUNDAY: "Grocery Games": 1.340 million. "Holiday Baking Championship": 1.615 million. "Cutthroat Kitchen": 1.207 million (Showbuzz Daily)
     
  • "Keep It In The Family" can't be kept in the UK (World Screen)
     
  • Blake Shelton "Lonely Tonight" on "The Voice" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Pharrell Williams is "happy" to be in a Chanel commercial (Adweek)
     
  • IN MEMORIAM: Jean Béliveau (1931-2014) on "To Tell the Truth" (Sports Illustrated)

posted 12/3/14

"Best New Restaurant": January 21
Tom Colicchio Takes Over the Gordon Ramsay Role
From The Futon Critic
Bravo Media is warming up winter with the new culinary competition series "Best New Restaurant," premiering on Wednesday, January 21 at 10pm ET/PT. Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio dines across the U.S. as host, judge, and executive producer, taking a look at the food world from a fresh direction: the restaurant. The series is also executive produced by restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay.

The majority of the series takes place on location in the restaurants themselves to highlight each establishment's unique point of view. In the end, only one will be crowned Best New Restaurant and win an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at America's number one global food festival, Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appétit 2015, and $100,000. For a sneak peek at the season, visit http://www.bravotv.com/best-new-restaurant/season-1/videos/a-sneak-peek-at-best-new-restaurant.

Joining Tom as culinary experts on this gastronomic journey across the country are Maggie Nemser (CEO & Editor-in-Chief, BlackboardEats.com) and Jeffrey Zurofsky (Co-founder & Partner, 'wichcraft), who will offer their unique and diverse opinions to help guide Tom in his final decisions. The team will evaluate each restaurant on not only the dishes that are served, but also everything from décor to hospitality to overall concept.

The 16 restaurants hail from four cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Miami, and were chosen to compete based on an extensive search in conjunction with the editors at Bon Appétit as well as executive producers Tom Colicchio and Gordon Ramsay. In the first round of competition, the restaurants are divided into pairs based around a common theme reflected in their concepts or culinary influences. All are challenged to the same three tasks testing their overall performance, the strength of their staff, and the clarity of their concept. First, the restaurants are subjected to a "Pressure Test," in which 30 hungry diners descend on the restaurants without notice to see how the businesses handle the stress of a packed house. Next, Tom sends in two "Undercover Diners" wired with hidden cameras in order to get a patron's perspective when the restaurants do not know they are being judged. Finally, the two paired-up restaurants come together in a neutral location and serve dinner for 30 VIP diners. At the end of each of the first eight episodes, Tom declares one restaurant the victor, and the establishments move on to the semifinals.

The semifinal rounds will feature the restaurants battling in two groups to open a pop-up restaurant based around what the eateries see as the next evolution of their current concepts. The grand finale pits the final two restaurants against each other in a head-to-head contest to put forward their best service possible for a group of 50 VIP diners at Tom's restaurant Riverpark in New York City.

The restaurant pairings featured on the show are:

Shared Plates - The Federal vs. Swift's Attic
Italian Cuisine - Dolce Italian vs. Doma Beverly Hills
New Service Concepts - The Church Key vs. Restaurant Jezebel
Operated by Couples - R House vs. Barlata Tapas Bar
Battle of the Burger - Porter Ale House and Gastropub vs. Tongue & Cheek
European Inspired - L'Apicio vs. Little Sparrow
Fast Casual Dining - Morgan's Barbecue vs. Buns & Buns
Seasonal Menus - Union Restaurant vs. The Pines

"Best New Restaurant" is modeled after the UK hit "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" and is produced by One Potato Two Potato with Gordon Ramsay, Tom Colicchio, Elizabeth Cook, Nicola Moody, Pat Llewellyn, and Ben Adler serving as executive producers.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/2/14

The Bachelor Goes Live for 19
Catch It on ABC January 5
From The Futon Critic
Chris Soules, the handsome successful "Prince Farming," introduced himself to last season's Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, and female fans fell hard for the soft spoken man with a heart of gold. This dreamboat farmer and wealthy businessman from Iowa is looking to fall in love and bring his wife back home. Chris truly believes he can find the right woman who will love him and share a life with him in the small Iowa town of Arlington. So, with the support of his family and the state of Iowa rooting for him, Chris is ready to begin the search for his soul mate, choosing from a record 30 beautiful bachelorettes when the 19th edition of "The Bachelor" premieres MONDAY, JANUARY 5 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Chris Harrison hosts this first-time live premiere event with a studio audience and past fan favorites from The Bachelor and Bachelorette series, as Bachelor Nation goes behind-the-scenes of Chris Soules' everyday life and an up-close-and-personal look at some of the bachelorettes around the country who will try and capture his heart.

The Futon Critic

posted 12/2/14

Wild On Sky1
Kate Humble, Jason Byrne to Host New Nature-Based Course Game
From Digital Spy
TV presenter Kate Humble and comedian Jason Byrne have been confirmed as presenters for Sky1's new wildlife-themed entertainment program Wild Things.

The gameshow, which was commissioned in August, features couples or pairs of relations undertaking challenges on a huge woodland obstacle course in order to win a fortune of gold coins buried within the Wild Wood.

However, there is a twist in that one member of the team must become the Wild Thing, meaning they must wear a woodland protection suit which is designed to look like an animal native to the area, such as an owl, a duck or a mole.

This means that they cannot see anything and will need their partner to guide them to victory.

Humble said of her role: "Wild Things is one of the most gloriously silly, side-splittingly funny programs I have ever had the pleasure of being involved with. Wildlife has never behaved so badly."

Byrne added: "I'm really proud to be a part of Wild Things, one of the funniest and 'funnest' shows I've ever worked on. It's not often I cry laughing at a badger bashing a duck while an owl bowls them over to the ground. But then again, who wouldn't find that funny?"

Digital Spy
FemaleFirst
Sunday World

posted 12/2/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "The Big Two-Oh... Milllion"

posted 12/2/14


GSN Turns 20
Happy Anniversary from the Guys
From various sources
Cable's one-stop shop for game shows reached a milestone today.

GSN (nee the Game Show Network) was launched on this day, December 1, in 1994. Born from Sony Pictures' purchases of the libraries and property rights of the Merv Griffin, Chuck Barris & Barry-Enright libraries - as well as the lease of the Goodson-Todman library, the fledgling network promised "all play, all day", an idea that was previously relegated to cable afternoons and network mornings. Their first show, a rerun of "What's My Line?" not seen in decades.

After making a meager fortune from off-broadcast reruns of owned and leased properties, the network went into production of their own original series such as "Super Decades", "Burt Luddin's Love Buffet" (a sitcom built around an actual game show), "Hollywood Showdown" (an entertainment-themed reboot of "Jackpot!"), and "Inquizition" (a quiz housed in an abandoned warehouse).

The history of GSN would not be complete without acknowledging its well-publicized failures, from the Dark Period (when the network lost the rights to the Goodson-Todman catalog), to numerous attempts at rebranding as a home for all brands of unscripted competition ("GSN Video Games", "DJ Games", and reruns of "The Mole" & "Average Joe" all came and went without much fanfare).

Also, GSN became the go-to for reimagined versions of tried-and-true formats, from 2002's "Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck" to 2010's "The Newlywed Game". The latter gave GSN its first Emmy nomination.

Nowadays, the network has evolved from its humble roots. A forbearer of interactive television now leads a cottage industry of casual gaming thanks to an investment in Worldwinner. A think-outside-the-box mentality that gave rise to "Throut and Neck" now gives rise to critical darlings such as "The American Bible Challenge", "IdioTest", and "The Chase".

So where does the network go from here? GSN has now logged three consecutive years of growth in the target demo of women 25-54 and had its most-watched year in 2013. GSN will continue to rely on acquired game shows — like Steve Harvey’s Family Feud, which has done extremely well — but the primary focus will be on development, with the goal to have 12-15 primetime original series in 2015, double the network’s 2013 output.

"I think GSN today is first and foremost a place where women — 25-to-54 is our primary target — can go for escape, for fun or game. That’s our primary focus," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, EVP of Programming. "We are fun, family-oriented. Bible Challenge was interesting to us because it actually was a family-oriented program. Pegged to a very specific audience, but at the end of the day, what’s appealing to most people is that it’s a family show. Most game shows are. But what we really want to do is differentiate ourselves as new game and primarily we’ll be doing that in primetime. There will always be a place for the old-time shows on GSN but they will be primarily during the day."

Deadline
Hitfix
TV Media Insights

posted 12/1/14

28 Years... and Still Going
Both Games See Rises for the Week Ending Nov. 21
From TV by the Numbers
CBS, the top-rated network in Daytime for 28 consecutive years, posted growth across the daypart as LET'S MAKE A DEAL, THE PRICE IS RIGHT, THE YOUNG AND The Restless and THE TALK all delivered their largest audiences of the season, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending Nov. 21.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 1 averaged 3.23 million viewers, up +9% from its previous week. It was also up +11% in women 25-54 (1.0/07) and +17% in women 18-49 (0.7/05).

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 2 averaged 3.71 million viewers, up +8%. It was up +22% in women 25-54 (1.1/07) and +33% in women 18-49 (0.8/06).

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1 averaged 5.10 million viewers, up +4% in viewers while also up +11% in women 18-49 (1.0/07)

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 2 averaged 5.84 million viewers, up +4% in viewers and gaining +7% in women 25-54 (1.5/09).

TV by the Numbers

posted 12/1/14

Wednesday: We Completely Forgot, Didn't We?
"Survivor" Helps CBS Close Sweeps on a Winning Note
From the Futon Critic
CBS (9.310 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) closed the November sweeps period on top thanks to new episodes of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" (8.926 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Criminal Minds" (10.855 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) and "Stalker" (8.150 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4).

ABC (5.165 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) then claimed the silver with its encore lineup of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (8.044 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Modern Family" (5.329 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), "Black-ish" (4.238 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6) and "Nashville" (2.670 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10).

Next up was NBC (3.696 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with its specials "The Making of Peter Pan Live!" (3.023 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and "Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving" (4.033 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.981 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up originals from "Hell's Kitchen" (3.470 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T7) and "Red Band Society" (2.492 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #9).

And finally, the feature "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (2.073 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) on The CW (2.073 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable, "Kitchen Inferno" took Thanksgiving Eve with 892,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 12/1/14

Kids These Days...
Jeopardy!'s Kids Week Plays Tonight!
From Sony PR
Tomorrow’s leaders, scientists, politicians, novelists and poets aren’t waiting for their chance to shine. They’re ready to flaunt their talents and show off their brains today on Jeopardy!'s annual Kids' Week!

Tune in December 1 – 5 to watch 15 of America’s brightest youths compete for cash that will be put toward their college funds. Five nights. Five winners.

Sony

posted 12/1/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Big Two-Oh"

  • Before the reigning "Voice" cuts a single, Josh Kaufman is heading to Broadway to play "Pippin" (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • Stephen Fry, Richard Osman lend their voices to "Danger Mouse". And who will voice the titular rodent? Xander Armstrong (Licensing.biz)
     
  • Howie Mandel has a serious "fear of missing out" (Adweek)

posted 12/1/14


A Special Message from Us to You...
On This Day of Thanksgiving
From GSNN
Five years ago, we wrote a piece on this site that began with the phrase, "A lot can happen in 10 years." And as much as a lot happened in the first 10 years of Game Show Newsnet's existence, a lot more happened in the next five. The game show became a lot more global, the audience became a lot more sophisticated.

And on this day of Thanksgiving, as we get set to begin our next 15 years, we would like to offer a few words to sincerely express our gratitude to you for making us who we are.

Please read, and have a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

GSNN

posted 11/30/14


RYAN KNIGHT: 1985-2014
"Real World" Alum Competed on "The Challenge"
From CBS LA
The “Real World” family is stunned by the second death in a month of one of their cast mates.

Ryan Knight, who appeared in the 2010 “Real World: New Orleans” season as well as “The Challenge,” has died.

He was 29.

His death comes just 13 days after 34-year-old Diem Brown died after a long bout with cancer. She appeared on “Road Rules” and “The Challenge.” Brown also dated “Real World: Paris” cast mate Chris “C.T.” Tamburello off and on.

TMZ reported that Knight was with friends Wednesday and in good spirits. He was found dead yesterday. No cause of death was given.

CBS Los Angeles
TMZ

photo courtesy MTV

posted 11/30/14

Thanksgiving Lightning Round
... or "Her Too..."

  • FRIDAY: "Amazing Race" third most-watched show of the night (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Victoria Coren Mitchell disconnects with PokerStars' pro team (International Business Times)
     
  • Jeremy Paxman will write about the BBC for a cool million (pounds) (RTE), but don't expect him to run for mayor of London "for all the eclairs in Paris" (RTE)

posted 11/30/14

Stick a Fork In Him...
Joe Bastianich to Exit "MasterChef"
From Entertainment Weekly
MasterChef and MasterChef Junior judge Joe Bastianich is moving on.

A report from Entertainment Weekly confirms that Bastianich, a restauranteur and winemaker, is exiting the franchise after MasterChef Junior‘s third season.

Producers are still searching for someone to replace him alongside returning judges Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot.

“Joe has played an integral role in the success of both MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, and we all appreciate his incredible culinary insight, sense of humor and passion,” Fox said in a joint statement with producers Shine America and One Potato Two Potato. “He will always remain a member of the Masterchef family.”

Entertainment Weekly

posted 11/26/14

Her Too.
Cheryl Burke Hanging Up Her "Dancing" Shoes, Calling It A Career
From the Wrap
ABC's “Dancing With the Stars” will celebrate its 10th anniversary next season in the spring, but one of its veterans won't be there for the festivities.

After teasing her departure for weeks, dance pro Cheryl Burke has decided to leave the ABC dance competition when her contract expires with Tuesday's finale.

“Cheryl has been on the show for close to 10 years,” “DWTS” executive producer Rob Wade told TheWrap exclusively. “She has done a great service to the show and I think she feels that it's time for her to move on.”

Burke, 30, who has been with the show since its second season, was eliminated along with her partner, soap opera actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr. on Week 5 of Season 19 in late-October. She's the show's first female pro to win two consecutive mirror-ball trophies.

Wade feels that the popular pro's exit gives the series a chance to highlight other dancers.

“We'll only survive as a show if we keep innovating and changing. It's very sad to see cast members leave, but again that gives you the opportunity to grow. So, I'm quite positive about having the opportunity to bring new people in or bring back some of the old faces.”

Additionally, head judge Len Goodman, who took a several weeks off this past season due to conflicts with shooting the show's U.K. version, will be back full-time on Season 20. And although there's some scheduling conflicts still to be resolved, Julianne Hough is also contracted to return in the spring to the judges’ table.

The Wrap

posted 11/26/14

Six Teams, One Trophy
Meet the Teams for "The Sing-Off" Special
From the Futon Critic
NBC has announced the six groups competing for a first-place prize of $50,000 on the two-hour Wednesday, Dec. 17 special (8 p.m. ET/PT) of the popular musical competition series "The Sing-Off."

Returning judges Jewel and Shawn Stockman will be joined by Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump while Nick Lachey is once again set as host.

· From Nashville, Timothy's Gift is comprised of six women who met at church and often sing at maximum security prisons around the country to inspire inmates to have hope.

· Also from Nashville is Melodores, a group of 12 male students who attend Vanderbilt University. Founded in 2009, Melodores strives to be the best all-male collegiate group in the world. Lead singer Ted Moock is featured in the upcoming film "Pitch Perfect 2."

· From Los Angeles, several members of The Exchange battled against each other on different teams in season three but have now combined forces to bring their united voices to a new musical level.

· From New York, Traces are five spirit-filled divas who give gospel a modern twist with voices as big as their personalities. With their roots firmly entrenched at church, these women find time away from work to perform afternoon shows in front of appreciative and awe-filled audiences.

· From Northern California, San Fran 6 has a passion for pop. After having formed just a little more than a month ago by compiling the best a capella talent from the Bay Area, the group has all-star talent that is ready to shine.

· From New Haven, Conn., A. Squared is offering their innovative take on a capella reinvented. In fact, leader Jacob Reske turned his senior project into an hourlong 12-song performance.

Also performing on the special will be season four "Sing-Off" champions Home Free, who will sing with Lachey and all three judges, as well as season three winner and hugely popular group Pentatonix.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/26/14

Tuesday: And the First Sweep Goes To...
CBS Wins Viewers, NBC Wins Demo
From the Futon Critic & TV Media Insights
With two days of data left to process, NBC will win its third consecutive November sweeps period in adults 18-49, which is the longest winning streak for the network in the demo since it won four in a row from 2000 to 2003. Through Monday, Nov. 24 (26 of the 28 nights), NBC is averaging a 2.3 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 (-12 percent in rating from the comparable year-ago period), followed by ABC (2.0/ 6: no change), CBS (1.8/ 6), Fox (1.3/ 4: -24) and The CW (0.6/ 2: no change). NBC will also win the sweeps period in adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key adult-male demos. Had sports been excluded, ABC would finish first in adults 18-49. Keep in mind that these results do not include the season-finale of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” last night.

Tops in total viewers, once again, is CBS with 9.48 million (also through 26 out of 28 days), which is a loss of three percent from one year earlier. Next is ABC at 8.27 million (+ 1 percent), followed by NBC (6.40 million: + 5 percent), Fox (3.67 million: -20 percent) and The CW (1.62: + 4 percent).

Speaking of "Dancing's" finale, ABC (14.312 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the network to beat for the first time this season on Tuesday thanks to its "Dancing with the Stars: Road to the Finals" (11.250 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5) recap and the two-hour season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" (15.843 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1).

CBS (12.915 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then took home the silver with its trio of "NCIS" (15.686 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.195 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3) and "Person of Interest" (8.864 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6).

Next up was NBC (6.187 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) and its mix of "The Voice" (9.179 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3), "Marry Me" (3.746 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11), "About a Boy" (3.101 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #13) and "Chicago Fire" (5.959 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #7).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.299 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) offered up new episodes of "MasterChef Junior" (4.044 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8), "New Girl" (2.767 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #10) and "The Mindy Project" (2.339 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

And finally, originals from "The Flash" (3.408 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9) and "Supernatural" (2.290 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #14) on The CW (2.849 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #5) closed out the night.

Spike's "Ink Master" led the games in cable with 1.423 million. "Chopped" had 1.102 million.

TV Media Insights
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 11/26/14

Nine Cubed
Phillip Schofield Challenge Game Reupped
From Digital Spy
The Cube is to return to ITV for a ninth series.

The Phillip Schofield game show's latest run was filmed in September and will air in 2015, Broadcast reports.

The new series will also feature a number of celebrity specials, with the likes of ex-footballer Fabrice Muamba and comedians Rufus Hound, Katherine Ryan and Rob Beckett taking on The Cube for charity.

Elsewhere, Schofield will attempt to break the British record for the longest live TV broadcast in December as part of Text Santa.

The presenter has also recently appeared in an ITV mornings promotional video and Cadbury's 2014 Christmas advert.

Digital Spy

posted 11/26/14

Dropped in Norway
Zodiak Commission for TV2
From World Screen
TV2 Norway has tapped Zodiak Media's Mastiff Norway to produce a local version of the hit prime-time adventure game show Dropped.

The 10x90-minute production will see sports celebrities dropped from a helicopter to face a survival challenge in remote locations. Production is already under way on the local treatment, shooting in locations such as Kenya, Nepal and Argentina. Dropped will launch on TV2 in spring 2015. The show was previously commissioned by TF1 in France and TV4 in Sweden.

Zodiak Rights represents the Dropped format internationally.

World Screen

posted 11/26/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Thanks"

posted 11/26/14

Baggage Hits the Road January 7
Jerry Springer Returns to Host
From the Futon Critic
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today that BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD - a new, 20-episode traveling version of the network's hit series "Baggage" - will debut on Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00pm ET/PT. Jerry Springer, original host of "Baggage," will also host the new series, which travels in its first season to four locations: Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Baton Rouge, Louisiana (at Louisiana State University) and Storrs, Connecticut (at University of Connecticut).

BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD is a half-hour comedic dating game show where one contestant chooses from three potential partners, all of whom come with their own quirky, annoying and sometimes truly shocking physical and emotional "baggage" that could eliminate them from the competition. With Springer guiding the fun, contestants will be required to reveal the various intimate secrets and hidden flaws - housed inside literal suitcases - that typically aren't revealed on a first date. Eventually, only one suitor will win a date with the contestant... as long as that person can also accept the contestant's baggage in a final role-reversal round.

BAGGAGE ON THE ROAD is produced for GSN by Wilshire Studios. Lisa Tucker (Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List) serves as executive producer.

The Futon Critic


"Baggage on the Road" premieres on GSN January 7
photo courtesy GSN

posted 11/25/14

We're Running Out of Pointless Jokes
BBC Renews Survey Quiz for 110 Episodes, Closing In on 1000
From World Screen
The BBC has placed a multi-series order for the game show Pointless, greenlighting 38 episodes of Pointless Celebrities for BBC One and 110 episodes of Pointless for BBC Daytime.

The commission takes the total number of episodes up to nearly 1,000. Remarkable Television, an Endemol company, will produce the new batch of 148 episodes. Alexander Armstrong will continue to host along with Richard Osman, who provides obscure facts and figures.

Damian Kavanagh, controller of BBC Daytime, and Pam Cavannagh, commissioning editor, ordered the series. James Fox, Michelle Woods, Richard Hague and Dom Waugh exec produce for Remarkable Television, as well as Cavannagh for the BBC.

“As we head towards our 1,000th episode, Pointless continues to go from strength to strength,” said Fox, who is also the creative director at Remarkable Games. “This is testament to the brilliance of Xander and Richard, our hard-working production team and our fantastically loyal viewers. We can’t wait to bring them even more Pointless facts and fun in 2015 and beyond.”

Cavannagh added: “Our audience loves spending time with Xander and Richard and there is no sign of the appetite for the show waning.”

World Screen
C21 Media

posted 11/25/14

Syndies: Week 8 (Sweeps Week 3)
Results for the Week Ending November 16
From B&C
Halfway through the November sweep in the week ending Nov. 16, talk and game shows came on strong, with Dr. Phil, Ellen, Maury, Queen Latifah, Judge Judy, Paternity Court, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! all hitting season highs and Family Feud hitting both a season high and an all-time high.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will return next season, held at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which was unchanged. The Real remained at a 1.0 in households for the seventh consecutive week. Trifecta’s Judge Faith rebounded 17% to a 0.7 in households.

CTD’s Judge Judy scored a new season high 7.4, gaining 4% from the prior week, and tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune for the overall syndication lead.

All of the top three game shows hit new season highs. Wheel of Fortune gained 3% for the week to the aforementioned 7.4, down 1% from last year. CTD’s Jeopardy! improved 4% for the week and 8% for the year to a 7.0. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which is produced by FremantleMedia North America, hit an all-time high, gaining 8% for the week to a 6.4, up 23% from last year at this time. Among women 25-54, Feud finished first among the games with a 3.1, followed by Wheel’s 2.6 and Jeopardy!’s 2.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was unchanged for the week at a 1.9 in households, but down 10% from last year at this time.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV News Check

posted 11/25/14

Monday: The Home Stretch
ABC Tops with "Dancing"; "Voice" Gets the Younguns to NBC
From the Futon Critic
NBC (8.905 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) held onto the demo crown on Monday thanks to a new "The Voice" (10.183 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and week two of "State of Affairs" (6.349 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T8).

ABC (13.505 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) then was a close second with the penultimate night of "Dancing with the Stars" (14.800 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T2) and a new "Castle" (10.915 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T6).

Next up was CBS (9.266 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3) and its mix of "2 Broke Girls" (8.522 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (7.822 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T6), "Scorpion" (10.450 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T2) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.177 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T8).

Meanwhile, FOX (5.128 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4) served up the fall finale of "Gotham" (6.004 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4) and a new "Sleepy Hollow" (4.251 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.274 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.052 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) on The CW (1.163 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/25/14

Unleash the Drag Race
New Cast to Be Revealed on New Now Next Awards December 7
From the Futon Critic
Logo TV today announced that for the first time in network history, the new cast of queens competing on the upcoming season of mega-hit reality show "RuPaul's Drag Race" will be revealed live during the 2014 "New Now Next Awards." The shroud of secrecy surrounding the 14 elite drag performers who'll comprise the seventh season cast will be lifted via a series of OMFG interstitials interspersed throughout the "New Now Next" telecast on Sunday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

"I've devoted my life to the art of drag. But NOTHING could have prepared me for this season's queens," warned Executive Producer, RuPaul. "They are truly twisted, sickening, and out of control."

As a lead up to the big reveal during the 2014 "New Now Next Awards," Logo TV will air "RuPaul's Drag Race: 15 Fan Favorite Queens of All Time" on Sunday, December 7 at 7:30- p.m. ET/PT. This all-new, half-hour countdown special will unveil the fifteen favorite queens of all time as voted on by fans. Packed with the most gag-worthy clips from all six seasons of "RuPaul's Drag Race," former drag racers share their thoughts on the most surprising and significant moments that made fans fall in love with these now-iconic contestants.

Additionally, starting Thursday, December 4, diehard fans can embark on a social scavenger hunt across Logo's social channels to "ruveal" a Season 7 queen ahead of the "New Now Next Awards" on the 7th. Logo will be sharing exclusive sneak peeks at the upcoming cast via Snapchat (username: LogoTV), with snaps featuring pieces of a digital code which fans will then use to unlock their first look at the exciting new cast. To piece together the clues, fans will be encouraged to screen grab and share these messages from the popular self-destructing message app on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #ruveal, all to be featured on ruveal.logotv.com, where fans will be inputting the individual clues to form a 7-digit code to claim their prize.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" fans can keep the party going as season six winner Bianca Del Rio takes to the stage at the 2014 "New Now Next Awards," which honor the year's best new actors, artists, films, television and more. The event will include performances by Kristin Chenoweth, Jessie J and Betty Who as well as special appearances from Jennifer Hudson, Joe Jonas, Laverne Cox, Tyler Oakley, "Looking's" Raul Castillo, Fifth Harmony, and more.

"RuPaul's Drag Race: 15 Fan Favorite Queens of All Time" is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Mandy Salangsang, Steven Corfe and RuPaul Charles serving as Executive Producers. Chris McCarthy, Pamela Post and Tim Palazzola serve as Executive Producers for Logo.

For more information on "RuPaul's Drag Race" and sneak preview clips, go to LogoTV.com. For up-to-date "RuPaul's Drag Race" news and exclusives, join the "RuPaul's Drag Race" Facebook page or follow #DragRace conversation on Twitter at @RuPaulsDragRace. Follow along with live gifs from the show on Tumblr and additional content on the show's Instagram page.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/25/14

Weekend: Something for Everyone
ABC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic
ABC (6.983 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1) was once again the demo champ on Friday thanks to its mix of "Last Man Standing" (7.107 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4), "Cristela" (5.286 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10), "Shark Tank" (7.825 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) and "20/20" (6.929 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2).

CBS (9.188 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) then was the most-watched network thanks to its trio of "The Amazing Race" (6.062 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8), "Hawaii Five-0" (10.002 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4) and "Blue Bloods" (11.500 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4).

Next up was NBC (5.545 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2) with originals from "Dateline NBC" (7.664 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3), "Grimm" (5.429 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4) and "Constantine" (3.543 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.823 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) served up encores of "MasterChef Junior" (2.393 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #11) and "Gotham" (1.252 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T14).

And finally, The CW (1.375 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening with the season finale of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.645 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T12), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.528 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T12) and a new "America's Next Top Model" (1.164 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T14).

On Food Network...

- 8p: Guy's Grocery Games: 1.160 million viewers
- 9p: Holiday Baking Championship: 1.435 million viewers
- 10p: Cutthroat Kitchen: 1.162 million viewers

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 11/25/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Small Potatoes"

  • "The Big Adventure" ends small... a little too small (Sydney Morning Herald)
     
  • Bradley Walsh may very well be the best quiz show host in the UK today (The Guardian)
     
  • "Dancing With the Stars" broke for news last night... And Twitter a'sploded (BONUS: Sadie & Mark as Peach & Mario) (USA Today)
     
  • Diem Brown actually died at 34, not 32. Here's why she had her age changed (People)

posted 11/25/14

Money, Money, Yeah, Yeah
Hulu's "Money Where Your Mouth Is" Opens Second Season
From Stream Daily
Believe Entertainment Group on Monday debuted S2 of the game show Money Where Your Mouth Is on Hulu and Hulu Plus.

Hosted by comedian and actor Jay Mohr, the 7-episode series will roll out weekly on Tuesdays. It’s financed by Believe Entertainment Group and sponsored by Campbell’s, which was also the brand partner for the first season that debuted last fall.

Billed a “game show for the man’s man,” Money Where Your Mouth Is sees friends wager their possessions in a battle of “man wits.”

The show is exec produced by studio partners Dan Goodman, Danny Fishman, William H. Masterson III along with Lowell Mate, Barry Katz and Mohr. It’s directed by John Crane and Erik Wong and produced by Andrew Egiziano.

“Besting their buddies is what guys do and it’s something I know well. I’m thrilled to be continuing on with Money Where Your Mouth Is and to see it really come into its own. I’m excited to be a part of it and grow with it,” Mohr said in a statement.

The first season of Money was among the top game shows of the 2013-14 winter season on the streaming service, and the series ranked among the top 40 shows among men aged 25 to 44 for 8 weeks, according to Hulu’s internal stats.

Campbell’s companion content includes behind-the-scenes clips, branded scoreboards, and pre-roll ads promoting both the show and the product.

Stream Daily
VideoInk

posted 11/24/14

Mensa Kids?
Catch "Child Genius" on Lifetime January 6
From the Futon Critic
Lifetime's all-new competition series Child Genius (#ChildGenius) centers on America's most extraordinary and gifted children and their families as they prepare for a national intelligence competition. In cooperation with American Mensa, the competition takes place over eight weeks and tests the nation's brightest young minds on their knowledge of Math, Spelling, Geography, Memory, the Human Body, U.S. Presidents, Vocabulary, Current Events, Zoology, Astronomy and Space, Inventions, Literature and the Arts, Earth Science and Logic.

Hosted by Leland Melvin, former NASA astronaut, the show features 20 boys and girls ages 8 to 12 from across the country, all competing for a $100,000 college fund and the title of Child Genius 2014. Immediately following the Season 5 premiere of Dance Moms(R), Child Genius bows on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, at 10pm ET/PT.

Based on the popular U.K. format, Child Genius is produced by Shed Media. Pam Healey (Who Do You Think You Are?, The Real Housewives of New York City), John Hesling (Atlanta Exes, Top Gear), Dan Snook (Escape Club, Apocalypse Preppers) and Laurie Girion (Cheerleader Nation, Showville) serve as executive producers, along with Lifetime's Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue and David Hillman.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/24/14

Stop Me If You've Heard This One
"Last Comic Standing" on Hold for Retooling
From the Comic's Comic
Hurry up and wait is a common expression in show business.

Now it's all too relevant to the ninth season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, which now has to figure out whether it can return in time for summer 2015 after telling comedians this weekend that production has been put on hold.

"It is on hold for now while we work on revising the format with the network," executive producer Page Hurwitz told The Comic's Comic today. "Once we have something we all like, we'll get rolling."

After being revived by Hurwitz and Wanda Sykes in 2014 with a successful summer season that both NBC brass and comedians seemed to applaud, NBC quickly ordered a ninth season for next summer. New judges Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters all wanted to return, too.

Last Comic producers reacted even quicker to that news, scouting and auditioning stand-up comedians in clubs across America in September, with callbacks in New York City and Los Angeles in October. Last Comic didn't even hold auditions this past year for season 8, instead screening potential contestants themselves and via email submissions. For season 9, however, producers and casting agents already had their list of contestants narrowed down to 200, with the "Top 100" invitationals scheduled to convene in California in March.

But stand-ups were told to effectively stand down on Friday night.

Late Friday, NBC announced it had let upcoming sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt break free to debut on Netflix instead. NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt cited "a very drama-heavy midseason schedule" that had no room for the sitcom. Greenblatt also already has brought back The Celebrity Apprentice for January (it's already wrapped production), and has a recurring summer reality competition in America's Got Talent.

Hurwitz tells The Comic's Comic writer Sean McCarthy, however, that it's more of a need to retool and get things right first before resuming production.

Last year's format began with the "Top 100" Invitationals rounds before breaking down into challenges (sketch comedy, talk-show interview, roast), with challenge winners receiving immunity and other comedians facing off in head-to-head stand-up eliminations before the judges and a live audience. What'll it be for Season 9? That remains to be seen.

So everything is no go for now. Let's hope they come up with something both they and NBC like by March.

The Comic's Comic

posted 11/24/14

Factor Four?
Report: Simon Cowell Looking to Bring "X Factor" Back to US
From TV Line
Is Fox looking to reunite with its X?

The network reportedly is in talks with Simon Cowell to bring The X Factor, which was cancelled in February after three seasons, back for Season 4.

Cowell, who created the singing competition and is now a judge on its British version, would leave that post in order to return to the United States, the British publication Mirror reports.

Representatives from the network have not commented on the report. X Factor‘s Season 3 finale was watched by only 6.2 million people — and scored a 1.7 demo rating — marking year-to-year declines of 36 and 45 percent.

The series’ American iteration made several changes during its run, including dropping mentors Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones after the first season and adding Britney Spears and Demi Lovato to the mix in Season 2.

If Cowell does depart the British X Factor, it will be the second time he’s done so; the first was in 2010, to get Fox’s Factor going.

Per the Mirror report, Fox’s relaunched X Factor would bow in 2015.

TV Line

posted 11/24/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Fast Money"

  • Steve Harvey sued by a videographer for $20 million. Something tells me that early stand-up is not the issue here (Courthouse News)
     
  • "Red or Black's" first big winner in big trouble over abusive texts (Metro)
     
  • Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams to perform together December 1 on "The Voice" (The Futon Critic)

posted 11/24/14

Spike Syncs Up
Greenlight for Jimmy Fallon Project
From the Futon Critic
The pop culture phenomenon of lip sync battling will now have its very own television show. Spike TV is partnering with Jimmy Fallon and his Eight Million Plus Productions, John Krasinski ("The Office," "Promised Land," "It's Complicated") Stephen Merchant ("Hello Ladies," "Extras," "The Ricky Gervais Show") and Matador ("Banksy Does New York") to create a new, half-hour original series "Lip Sync Battle." The announcement was made by Jimmy Fallon last night on "The Tonight Show" during his interview with Stephen Merchant.

"Lip Sync Battling is one of the coolest things happening in pop culture right now and already has a huge fan base thanks to the amazing talent involved," said Casey Patterson, Executive Vice President, Talent Development and Production, Viacom Entertainment Group. "We're thrilled to be in business with producers as talented as Jimmy, John and Stephen as Spike broadens its programming in new and exciting ways."

Each "Lip Sync Battle" episode will feature celebrities going head to head - lip synching the song of their choice - battling for the coolest bragging rights on the planet.

Along with serving as executive producers, Fallon, Krasinski, and Merchant will appear and perform on "Lip Sync Battle." The series will tape in January in New York City and will premiere Thursday, April 2, 2015. Show host and list of talent who will be battling to be announced in the coming weeks.

Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle" will be executive produced by Jimmy Fallon's Eight Million Plus Productions, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, Rick Schwartz of Eight Million Plus, Jay Peterson of Matador, and Casey Patterson, Executive Vice President, Talent Development and Production, Viacom Entertainment Group. Emmy(R)-award winning Beth McCarthy-Miller ("Saturday Night Live," "30-Rock," "The Sound of Music Live," "Modern Family") will serve as Director.

The Futon Critic
Deadline

posted 11/21/14

Thursday: Closing Time for Shondaland
ABC Wins Odd Night on Winter Finales
From the Futon Critic
Due to live coverage of the Presidential Address, Fast Nationals for FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC are approximate. The Presidential Address aired from 8-8:17pm, with FOX sliding prime in 36% of the country and joining prime in progress in 3% of the country.

ABC (9.368 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with the fall finales to "Grey's Anatomy" (8.283 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.4, #5), "Scandal" (10.017 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.1, #T2) and "How to Get Away with Murder" (9.805 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.1, #T2).

The silver then went to CBS (8.904 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.647 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1), "Mom" (10.644 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #4), "Two and a Half Men" (8.970 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.3, #6), "The McCarthys" (6.353 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8) and "Elementary" (6.405 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12).

Next up was NBC (4.425 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with its lineup of "The Biggest Loser" (5.127 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T9), "Bad Judge" (4.093 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #11), "A to Z" (3.048 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13) and "Parenthood" (4.578 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.225 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up originals from "Bones" (5.244 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T9) and "Gracepoint" (3.205 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T14).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.671 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T14) and "Reign" (1.154 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.4, #16) on The CW (1.413 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable, it was another good night for "Pawnography" with 1.569 million at 10p and 1.525 million at 10:30p. "Project Runway: All-Stars" logged in 1.519 million. "Beat Bobby Flay" has 1.127 million fans. "Project Runway: Threads" sewed up 778,000. "Food Truck Face Off" fed 771,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 11/21/14

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Notes of Great Importance"

  • "American Idol": January 7. MasterChef Junior: January 6. Hell's Kitchen: March 3 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Carson Daly undergoes a live testicular cancer check (NBC News Today)
     
  • More on Tylenol Throwback Thursday (Forbes)
     
  • GSN and Worldwinner vs. Stephenson: the final decision (National Law Review)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: a "reality fame project" (Deadspin)

posted 11/20/14

Tyler Florence Rolls into Worst Cooks
Catch Season 6 January 4
From the Futon Critic
Worst Cooks in America, the hit competition series that transforms kitchen disasters into confident cooks, is back for a sixth season on Sunday, January 4th at 9pm ET/PT with returning Chef Anne Burrell going up against first-time opponent Chef Tyler Florence. In the seven-episode series, Anne and Tyler each lead a team of kitchen-challenged recruits in a grueling culinary boot camp designed to turn them into skilled cooks. A $25,000 grand prize is awarded to the contestant who makes the most impressive culinary transformation, in addition to delivering victory and bragging rights for their team leader.

"Welcoming a new roster of Worst Cooks is an annual tradition, and our viewers love watching their comical kitchen mishaps evolve into serious cooking chops," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. "Anne and Tyler are both fiercely competitive and determined to whip their contenders into tip-top culinary shape, and the transformations are remarkable."

In the season premiere, an open call brings some truly horrible cooks to the table to meet Anne and Tyler. Fourteen new recruits are selected for boot camp and each presents their signature dish, then contestants are divided into Team Anne and Team Tyler. In lesson one, recruits must make the ultimate romantic meal. Anne's red team tackles Roasted Chicken with Israeli Couscous and Pomegranate Sauce, while Tyler's blue team makes Chateaubriand with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Mushrooms. The least successful competitors from each team are sent home, while the remaining 12 move on to the next challenge. Upcoming episodes feature a food trivia game, international taco themed competition and a breakfast menu challenge with special guest, Good Morning America Chief Meteorologist and resident foodie Ginger Zee. The season culminates in a finale on Sunday, February 15th at 9pm ET/PT where the most improved recruit is awarded a $25,000 grand prize.

Viewers wanting more can visit FoodNetwork.com/WorstCooks for behind-the-scenes photos, interviews, easy cooking tips and more insider coverage. Fans can also connect with each other on Facebook at Facebook.com/FoodNetwork and on Twitter with the hashtag #WorstCooks.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/20/14

Wednesday: Split Down the Middle
CBS, ABC Split Night
From the Futon Critic
ABC (7.648 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) was the demo champ on Wednesday thanks to its lineup of "The Middle" (8.324 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #6), "The Goldbergs" (7.701 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T3), "Modern Family" (10.902 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.7, #1), "Black-ish" (7.948 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.6, #2) and "Nashville" (5.506 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T10).

CBS (9.473 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then was a close second place with its trio of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" (9.823 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #T3), "Criminal Minds" (10.612 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #5) and "Stalker" (7.982 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8).

Next up was NBC (7.885 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) with fresh installments of "The Mysteries of Laura" (8.570 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.863 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7) and "Chicago PD" (7.223 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.447 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up originals from "Hell's Kitchen" (3.943 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T10) and "Red Band Society" (2.951 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T13).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.625 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T13) and "The 100" (1.658 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) on The CW (2.142 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.7, #5) closed out the evening.

Almost a million (949,000, to be exact) tuned into "Top Chef" on Bravo opposite 717,000 for Food's "Kitchen Inferno" and 381,000 for Fox Sports 1's "The Ultimate Fighter". A total of 632,000 stayed up for "@midnight". 

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 11/20/14

South of the Border
Catch Season Finale of "Top Chef" January 28
From the Futon Critic
For the first time, Bravo's "Top Chef" travels south of the border to Mexico in a fiery three-part finale beginning Wednesday, January 28 at 9pm ET/PT. Tempers and temperatures rise in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the final three will learn which chef from "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen" will be rejoining the competition. The knives will come out as the cheftestants battle for $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the prestigious title of Top Chef.

For a sneak peek at the remainder of the season, visit www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-12/videos/still-to-come-on-season-12-of-top-chef

Upcoming guest judges and diners include Chef Barbara Lynch, "Top Chef" season 10 winner Kristen Kish, New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen, culinary legend Jacques Pepin, Harvard Professor Michael Brenner, and many other award-winning chefs including Enrique Olvera and Sean Brock.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/20/14

More on "Face Off: Return of the Champions"
Catch It on Syfy January 13
From the Futon Critic
Syfy’s critically-acclaimed reality competition series Face Off – the network’s most watched unscripted series – will return on Tuesday, January 13 at 9PM for an action-packed eighth season themed “Return of the Champions.” In a twist on the show’s traditional format, three former champions, Rayce Bird (Season 2), Anthony Kosar (Season 4) and Laura Tyler (Season 5), will return in the premiere and select teams of five new artists who they will coach throughout the season.

Additionally, the Season 8 premiere will be super-sized over two episodes. At the end of premiere, host McKenzie Westmore delivers a challenge twist in lieu of an elimination, forcing the action of the premiere to carry over into the next week’s episode. Makeup super-legend and seven-time Academy Award-winner Rick Baker (makeup artist for American Werewolf in London, The Men in Black trilogy, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Planet of the Apes) will appear in both episodes, first mentoring the artists and then appearing as a guest judge.

In a first for the series, Season 8 will feature an instant “watch and win” sweepstakes. During each episode, fans will be prompted to discuss who their favorite contestant is by using Twitter - making them automatically eligible to win a weekly prize. At the end of each episode, one lucky fan will be announced in an on air spot, on Twitter and featured on the Face Off show site on Syfy.com.

Season 8 will also feature the full-time return of fan-favorite and Academy Award-winning judge, Ve Neill, who recently wrapped work on The Hunger Games franchise.

The Futon Critic

posted 11/20/14


MIKE NICHOLS: 1931-2014
Noted Producer Played "What's My Line", "Laugh Line"
From the
Jewish Journal
Mike Nichols, a nine-time Tony Award winner on Broadway and the Oscar-winning director of influential films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," "The Graduate," and "Carnal Knowledge," died on Wednesday at age 83.

The prolific director passed away at his home of cardiac arrest, his spokeswoman said. A private service for the family will be held this week, followed by a memorial at a future date.

No director had ever moved between Broadway and Hollywood as easily as Nichols, one of the few people to win the Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy Awards.

Nichols, whose career first blossomed with a comedy partnership with Elaine May in the late 1950s, was married to Diane Sawyer, former anchorwoman of ABC's "World News Tonight" broadcast.

ABC News President James Goldston announced Nichols' death in a memo to staff, saying he "passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening."

"In a triumphant career that spanned over six decades, Mike created some of the most iconic works of American film, television and theater," Goldston said. "He was a true visionary."

In memory of Nichols, marquees on Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed on Friday evening for one minute.

"Legendary director Mike Nichols shared his distinct genius for storytelling through the worlds of stage and film. Throughout his celebrated career in many mediums that spanned decades, he was always in awe of the thrill and the miracle that is theatre," Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of the Broadway League, said in a statement.

In addition, Nichols was a guest on "Laugh Line" and "What's My Line?".

GSNN's Jason Huhn & Chico Alexander contributed to this report.

Jewish Journal
Communities Digital News

photo courtesy Rotten Tomatoes

posted 11/20/14


MARIA JOSE ALVARADO: 1995-2014
Miss Honduras, "X-O" Model Murdered
From the Irish Independent
The boyfriend of Miss Honduras’ sister has confessed to killing her and the 19-year-old beauty queen, a leading police officer has said.

Two bodies believed to be of Maria Jose Alvarado, who was due to compete in the Miss World Pageant in London in December, and her sister, Sofia, 23, were found buried on a river bank in mountains near Santa Barbara in Honduras on Wednesday.

Police General Ramon Sabillion told the Associated Press that Sofia’s boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, had admitted shooting the two women dead and taken officers to the burial site. A second man was also in custody.

Ruiz and the two sisters had gone to La Aguagua spa on Thursday last week to celebrate his birthday.

General Sabillon said Ruiz apparently shot Sofia after they argued because she had been dancing with another man. He then shot Maria Jose as she tried to run away, hitting her at least twice in the back.

The sisters were officially classed as missing for six days until the discovery of their bodies. The identities were still to be formally confirmed.

Their mother, Teresa Munoz, told Televicentro: “They were not very astute about assessing the people around them. They were just friendly. They were taken out by people they hadn't known very long.”

She added that Ruiz had called her the morning after their disappearance, acting nervously and claiming the women had left the party in a car with some other people.

Ms Alvarado had worked as a model on the TV game show El Show X O da Dinero, run by former presidential candidate Salvador Nasrallah.

Irish Independent
BBC News
The Guardian
London Evening Standard

photo courtesy Hispanic News Network

posted 11/20/14


DIEM BROWN: 1982-2014
"Challenge" Contestant Loses Battle with Cancer
From MTV
Diem Brown, whose tenacity shined bright throughout her years on “The Challenge” and embodied an unparalleled strength during numerous battles with cancer, has passed away, People confirms. She was 32.

“MTV is tremendously sad to hear the news that Diem Brown has lost her long battle with cancer,” the network said in a statement. “We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends. Diem was a true fighter and brought passion to everything she touched. We will miss her.”

Viewers were first introduced to the Southern native when she appeared on “Fresh Meat” in 2006. The then-wide-eyed newbie revealed on the series that she was suffering from ovarian cancer and opened up about her uphill battle to recover. But she was able to beat the disease and shortly after treatments — including chemotherapy, as well as surgery to remove an ovary, several lymph nodes and part of her fallopian tube — she returned to take part on “The Duel.” The warrior-like competitor showed her incredible bravery by removing her wig in front of the cameras — thanks to the encouragement of eventual boyfriend Chris “CT” Tamburello — and the touching incident is widely regarded as one of the most profound moments in the show’s storied history.

From there, she appeared on “The Gauntlet III,” “The Duel 2, “The Ruins” and “Battle of the Exes.” And while she never took home a top prize, her athleticism and grit were always on display.

Diem wasn’t only an inspiration onscreen: She used her personal experiences to become a patient advocate and founded Medgift, a gift registry site to aid anyone going through a medical hardship. She also hosted an MTV.com special in 2012, in which she spoke with young cancer survivors about their struggles.

But in June 2012, six years into remission, Diem faced another hurdle: Traces of the disease had returned. She candidly opened up about her second battle with cancer, even courageously documenting her hair loss and revealing plans to freeze her embryos in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother.

Diem prevailed again, sharing her positive prognosis in February 2013, and not long after undergoing chemotherapy, she returned to the “Challenge” circuit on “Rivals II,” where she and her partner Aneesa finished strong in fourth place.

Diem faced her toughest hardship in August, when she was diagnosed with cancer for a third time. But through it all, she showed her resilience and vowed to never give up, even during her final days.

“You can count me out all you want,” she recently told People. “But I’m not out. I’m fighting. I want to be here.”

MTV
The Daily Beast
Us Magazine
The Wrap
PerezHilton.com

photo courtesy the Daily Beast

posted 11/20/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Dismissed"

  • "American Idol" racism suit dismissed (Deadline)
     
  • The story behind the famous moniker of Winston Conrad Martindale (ABC News)
     
  • @midnight: making America fall in love with the panel show, one (^_^) joke at a time (The Guardian)
     
  • When is "MasterChef" competing against itself? When it's up for best adapted format at the Asian Television Awards (Business Recorder)
     
  • #TBT: Guy Fieri in 2000... for real this time (Deadspin)

posted 11/20/14

A Family Trip to Flavortown
Catch "Guy's Grocery Games" During January
From the Futon Critic
Guy Fieri's favorite things are food, fun and family, and he is bringing all three together in the New Year for a Guy's Grocery Games: Family Style showdown, premiering Sunday, January 4th at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network. The families will compete over four episodes, with each episode consisting of four teams made up of a different variation of family members, each including a chef, as they compete for a chance at the grand prize. Whether it is a child with two parents, a parent with two children or siblings working together, the families must navigate their way through the aisles of a grocery store, battling it out in different supermarket-themed obstacles, including shopping and cooking on a budget, cooking a meal with five ingredients or less, or the new game of station swap, among others. One-by-one the losing families must "check out" by a rotating panel of judges, featuring Melissa d'Arabian, Richard Blais, G. Garvin, Troy Johnson, Beau MacMillan, Catherine McCord and Aarti Sequeira. The last family standing goes on a shopping spree of a lifetime worth up to $20,000. These families know, live and love food, so don't miss all the laughs, tears, and sibling rivalries delivered Family Style!

Check out FoodNetwork.com/GroceryGames to get Guy's exclusive take on the family-style competition, learn more about the families competing, and see bonus behind-the-scenes photos and videos, including how Flavortown Market was built.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 11/19/14

Tuesday: The War At 8
The Hour Gives Us Options, All Winners
From the Futon Critic
CBS (14.748 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) moved into the top spot on Tuesday with its trio of "NCIS" (17.889 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.6, #T1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (16.677 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) and "Person of Interest" (9.679 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5).

NBC (7.678 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then had to settle for second place with its mix of "The Voice" (10.497 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.6, #T1), "Marry Me" (5.327 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5), "About a Boy" (4.307 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Chicago Fire" (7.718 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4).

Next up was FOX (3.382 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with originals from "MasterChef Junior" (4.180 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8), "New Girl" (2.800 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9) and "The Mindy Project" (2.371 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.483 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4) served up a repeat of "Shark Tank" (4.504 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12) followed by new episodes of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.535 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5) and "Forever" (4.409 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14).
And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.579 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Supernatural" (2.627 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14) on The CW (3.103 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T4) closed out the night.

But the news continues to be bright for "The Chase". The GSN original quizzer was consistent with 645,000, leading into two new episodes of "IdioTest" at a series-high 561,000 and 505,000.

Elsewhere, "Ink Master" had 1.341 million. "Chopped" edged it out with 1.430 million. "@midnight" had 584,000.

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

posted 11/19/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Empire State"

  • "American Idol" has a drop date: January 7 (Deadline)
     
  • "The Voice"... a case of Too Many Cooks? (Hollywood Reporter) PLUS Blake Shelton thinks he knows why we don't have a megastar yet... (Buzzfeed)
     
  • Alex Trebek gets namechecked and hood-passed (Eurweb) ... meanwhile, he'll be hosting the Tech Emmy Awards in January 6 (Broadway World)
     
  • Christopher Titus heads to Broadway (Broadway World)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: five neato keen game show facts... with Wink Martindale! (Mashable)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Terry Crews (WTVD Durham)

posted 11/19/14