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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
TV Line

posted 3/27/15

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

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

posted 3/27/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
We Love Soaps

posted 3/26/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cinema Blend

posted 3/26/15

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

posted 3/26/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Top Tip"

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

posted 3/25/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV NewsCheck
TV Week
B&C

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 3/24/15


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly
UPI
Popcrush
Mashable

Photo courtesy Mashable

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
C21 Media
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/24/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Excellent!"

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

posted 3/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Sunday...

- The Voice (R/NBC): 3.505 million

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic

posted 3/23/15

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

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

posted 3/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Broadway World
Moviehole

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/20/15

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

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

posted 3/20/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo courtesy the Guardian

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV NewsCheck
The Wrap
World Screen

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/19/15

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

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

posted 3/19/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/18/15

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

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

posted 3/18/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly
TV Insider
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV NewsCheck

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

New York Magazine
Vox

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

Who's Doing The Dishes?
© ITV

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Spy

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/17/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Tiger Blood"

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

posted 3/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Digital Spy

posted 3/16/15


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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Canada Journal
Radio.com

photo courtesy Geeks of Doom!

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
Deadline

posted 3/16/15

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

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

Celebrity Name Game advanced 27% to a 1.4.

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

TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers
B&C

posted 3/16/15

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

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

posted 3/16/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/13/15

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

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

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Street
The Drum
New York Times

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

USA Today
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Worldscreen
Televisual
Deadline
Digital Spy
C21 Media
TBI Vision
Broadcast

posted 3/12/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable:

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/12/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Host Spotting"

posted 3/12/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

Two New Greenlit Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Interstitial Series and Development

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

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

Returning Series

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

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

Realscreen
TBI Vision

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

Deadline
Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 3/11/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last year, Wagstaff was hospitalized with pulmonary fibrosis.

Sydney Morning Herald
Yahoo!/7News
The Australian

photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald

posted 3/11/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "15 Seconds"

posted 3/11/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap
Sport Act

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 3/10/15

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

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

Yahoo!

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Hollywood Reporter
Realscreen
Worldscreen
The Futon Critic

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Sunday...

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

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 3/10/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yahoo!
World Screen
Unreality TV

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

VideoInk

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Zap2it
TV Line

posted 3/9/15

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

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

posted 3/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Picture Show
Talpa Media USA Shopping New Quiz Show
From Deadline

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

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

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

Deadline

posted 3/6/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

photo courtesy Memory Alpha

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/6/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "2003"

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

posted 3/6/15

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
Soap Opera Network

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

On cable...

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

posted 3/5/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUSE 2015-16 SLATE

In development:

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

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

NUVOTV 2015 SLATE

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV NewsCheck
TV by the Numbers
Variety

posted 3/4/15

Can Do
NBC Greenlights Israeli Format
From People

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

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

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

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

People
TBI Vision

posted 3/4/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kidscreen
Prolific North
World Screen
C21 Media

posted 3/4/15

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

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

posted 3/4/15

Upfronts: Spike
New Logo, New Shows, New Approach
From various sources

Spike TV’s logo and tagline have gotten a makeover. The network unveiled the new network identifiers today at its upfront in New York. The network says its new tagline “Spike: The Ones to Watch” reflects Spike’s strategic shift to a general entertainment network, “delivering compelling original entertainment with an edge and a distinctive point of view,” adding, “It speaks to the network’s bold personalities and a brand pushing the boundaries of the unexpected.”

Among the new offerings...

SWEAT, INC. Jillian Michaels, one of the nation's leading health and wellness experts, is partnering with Spike TV to find the next big fitness craze in the non-scripted original series, "Sweat Inc." Over the last decade, the fitness industry has exploded with over 30,000 fitness clubs around the country and over 58 million memberships. Fitness enthusiasts are always on the lookout for next big thing. Whoever creates the next Soul Cycle(R), Zumba(R), or Crossfit(R) could be sitting on new billion dollar idea. In the new Spike reality-competition series "Sweat Inc," twelve aspiring fitness entrepreneurs compete to prove they've developed the next groundbreaking exercise program. Michaels serves as host and judge for "Sweat Inc," utilizing her vast knowledge of the fitness industry along with her keen business sense, in deciding which workout program might very well be the next new phenomenon.

LIP SYNC BATTLE: Spike TV has green lit an additional eight episodes of the highly-anticipated new, original series, "Lip Sync Battle." The series is based on the cultural phenomenon of lip sync battling seen by millions on television and online. Featured performers for the new eight episodes include Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Queen Latifah, Justin Bieber, Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Mike Tyson, and Terry Crews.

Deadline
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter

posted 3/3/15

Monday: ... Um, Okay, So That Happened...
HGTV Finale Breaks Records with CONTROVERSY!!!
From various sources

There’s no doubt that the first season finale of Ellen DeGeneres’s reality competition show was bizarre. But the questions it raises are even stranger, along with the weird and frustrating way the network chose to handle a controversial situation.

At first, things were going merrily along on “Ellen’s Design Challenge” finale Monday night, a six-week series that featured furniture designers competing for $100,000 and a spread in HGTV Magazine. Finalists Katie Stout (a 26-year-old from Brooklyn) and Tim McClellan (a 44-year-old from Colorado) presented their respective final table designs to the judges, who were impressed by Stout’s execution and McClellan’s technical skill.

After some debate, they declared McClellan the winner. Hugs everywhere as confetti rained down. “My life just changed even beyond what I can imagine,” said McClellan, sounding emotional.

Then, the screen went dark with the message “ONE WEEK LATER.” A voiceover narrator jumped into explain.

“After the finale, it was discovered there was an existing piece of furniture designed by European designer Simon Schacht that resembles Tim’s,” the narrator said. “That led to the conclusion that Tim did not fulfill the requirement of the final challenge, which was to create an original piece.”

The narrator continued, a bit mischievously: “Unfortunate for Tim, but good news for someone else!”

Cut to Stout, on set of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” She thought she was there to do an interview with a journalist about the show, but then DeGeneres appeared. And she had some good news! McClellan was disqualified, and she was a winner! After making sure this wasn’t a prank, Stout was thrilled. Her brother and boyfriend appeared from backstage, and more hugs. More confetti rained down. End of show.

The first season of Ellen's Design Challenge now ranks as one of the highest-rated series in HGTV history. The finale on Monday, March 2, which was the highest-rated show of the night on HGTV, averaged a .86 P25-54 rating -- making HGTV a top 10 rated cable network in primetime among viewers P25-54. Averaging a .83 P25-54 rating this season, the six-episode furniture design competition grew 48% versus the prior 13 week average. Since its premiere on Monday, January 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Ellen's Design Challenge consistentlyranked as a top 10-rated cable program for the Monday 9P-10P time period among P25-54.

NBC (11.633 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.0, #1) was the evening's top draw thanks to week two of "The Voice" (14.280 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.8, #1) and "The Night Shift" (6.338 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

ABC (6.781 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then claimed the silver with a new "The Bachelor" (8.057 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and a rebroadcast of "Secrets & Lies" (4.231 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was FOX (5.421 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with a new "Gotham" (6.054 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4) and the return of "The Following" (4.789 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6).

Meanwhile, CBS (7.834 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.613 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5) followed by a new "Mike & Molly" (9.466 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) and second runs of "Scorpion" (7.465 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (6.999 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9).

And finally, repeats of "The Originals" (0.763 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (0.603 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12) on The CW (0.683 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the night.

Elsewhere on cable...

- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 352,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo) (premiere): 348,000

Washington Post
The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 3/3/15

Weekend: It's Funny After The End
CBS Takes Totals, Fox Takes Demo
From the Futon Critic

FOX (4.078 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) pulled into the top demo spot on Sunday with its mix of a "The Simpsons" (2.511 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14) repeat followed by new episodes of "Bob's Burgers" (2.979 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9), "The Simpsons" (3.973 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (3.635 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T4), the premiere of "The Last Man on Earth" (5.702 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1) and a second "The Last Man on Earth" (5.667 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T1).

ABC (5.705 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with fresh installments from "America's Funniest Home Videos" (4.379 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Once Upon a Time" (6.552 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) followed by the launch of "Secrets & Lies" (5.829 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7) and a second hour of "Secrets & Lies" (6.062 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T7).

Next up was CBS (10.362 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) with its lineup of "60 Minutes" (13.310 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6), "Madam Secretary" (11.417 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), "The Good Wife" (8.917 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13) and the debut of "Battle Creek" (7.805 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T14).

And finally, an encore of "The Voice" (5.115 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #12) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (3.851 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #16) closed out the evening on NBC (4.483 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4).

On cable...

- Nuestra Belleza Latina (Univision): 3.2 million
- All-Star Academy (Food) (premiere): 1.661 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.631 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.489 million
- Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge (CMT): 542,000

On Friday...

- The Amazing Race (CBS): 6.148 million
- Shark Tank (ABC) (R): 5.912 million
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CW) (R, 9p): 881,000
- Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CW) (R, 9:30p): 862,000
- King of the Nerds (TBS): 856,000

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

posted 3/3/15

Wheel Plays "Secret Santa"
The Rewards of the CMN Partnership
From Sony PR

It may be March, but Wheel of Fortune is playing “Secret Santa” to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country. For the first time in Wheel of Fortune’s 32 seasons, the popular game show produced two weeks of shows that directly benefitted one charity through its fourth annual “Secret Santa Sweepstakes.”

During the 10-day sweepstakes last winter, more than 10 million viewers tuned in nightly and a total of $435,655 will be distributed among a group of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the country.

Each weeknight, from Dec. 8-19, Wheel of Fortune Wheel Watchers Club members watched to see if their Special Prize Identification Number (SPIN) ID was revealed, making that viewer the winner of the same prizes as the show’s in-studio contestants. Whatever the viewer won has been matched in cash and a minimum of $10,000 is being donated to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of that winner’s choice.

“What an amazing opportunity for Wheel of Fortune’s viewers to support kids in their communities,” said Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO John Lauck. “Every dollar from these donations will allow our hospitals to continue providing critical treatments and services for sick and injured kids in their area. We feel so fortunate to have been a part of this program.”

Pat Sajak will visit Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Md. to present a check in the amount of $20,000. Vanna White will be on hand to present a check in the amount of $18,300 to Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital in Charleston, S.C.

Other hospitals receiving donations are:
· Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, Ill. - $10,000
· Arnold Palmer Medical Center, Orlando, Fla. - $40,750
· Beaumont Children’s Hospital, Detroit, Mich. - $71,200
· Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Mass. - $10,000
· Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. - $14,150
· Children’s Hospital Foundation, Oklahoma City, Okla. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, Ga. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of Richmond VCU, Richmond, Va. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Norfolk, Va. - $10,000
· Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis. - $25,450
· Children’s National Health System, Washington, D.C. - $10,000
· Children’s Specialized Hospital, New York, N.Y. - $10,900
· Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio - $10,000
· Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Conn. - $11,650
· Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, Tex. - $10,000
· Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, Maine - $18,150
· Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Minneapolis, Minn. - $28,655
· Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Providence, R.I. - $10,000
· Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich. - $10,000
· St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, Las Vegas, Nev. - $10,000
· Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Tex. - $10,000
· University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. - $10,000
· Valley Children’s Hospital, Fresno, Calif. - $10,000
· West Virginia University Children’s Hospital, Morgantown, W.Va. - $14,500
· Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. - $11,950

posted 3/3/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Just Duet"

  • Kelly Clarkson plays History of Duets with Jimmy Fallon. No, not the failed ABC series from a few years back (Us Magazine)
     
  • Jane Lynch is an angel from Hell... in a CBS pilot (Variety)
     
  • Carrie Underwood births a half-Canadian half-Okie baby Idol. Welcome Isaiah Michael Fisher (People)
     
  • Looking for the Daily Double? Check out the $800 or the $1600 clue (Vox)
     
  • Food Network's getting into the shark tank with "Food Fortunes" March 9 (AM New York)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with a former "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), a present "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), and Nathan Odom... a guy who's probably watched "Family Feud" in between winning "MasterChef Junior" and spending his cash money (TV Insider)

posted 3/3/15

Daytime Emmys Pop Back on TV
Catch Them on Pop April 26
From the Hollywood Reporter

After a one year exile to digital-only carriage, the Daytime Emmy Awards are returning to television Sunday April 26 as part of a new two-year deal with the recently re-branded Pop cable channel (formerly the TV Guide Network).

Bob Mauro, who has been president of the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences since November, announced the agreement Monday along with Brad Schwartz, who became president of Pop on Feb. 23.

“We have this opportunity to bring back its glory,” said Mauro, “and bring it back to television and have fun with it and really champion it.”

“In some ways we’ve got to save the Daytime Emmys,” added Schwartz, “reinvent it. Even if you don’t watch daytime TV, you’re going to love this show.”

The two-hour show which honors programs including soap operas, talk shows, game shows, morning news programs and children’s programming will air live nationwide (8 pm EST and 5 pm PST).

This will be the 42nd edition of the Daytime Emmys and the 24th year in primetime (it was on in daytime before that). In an earlier era when there were three major networks and more than a dozen daytime dramas, the awards program could pull seven million viewers. In recent years, with only four daytime dramas still on the air, the show on The CW fell to under three million and then on HLN, to under one million viewers.

The Hollywood Reporter
TV Insider
The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

A Scandal in the Making
GSN Plots Another Celebrity "Chase" March 10
From the Futon Critic

Stars from the hit ABC drama series SCANDAL will be featured in a special winter finale of GSN's Emmy(R)-nominated THE CHASE, airing Tuesday, March 10 at 8:00pm ET/PT. Actors Joe Morton, Kate Burton and Brian Letscher will face-off against British trivia master Mark Labbett (aka "The Beast") in the ultimate trivia challenge, attempting to raise money for their respective charities.

Hosted by Brooke Burns, THE CHASE is one of GSN's most popular original series, attracting more than 18 million total viewers since its premiere in August 2013. The season four premiere on January 27 saw its highest rating ever for a premiere. Throughout its season three run, the series posted impressive ratings growth among P18-49 (+52%), P25-54 (+56%), W25-54 (+36%), W18-49 (+30%), with total viewership up 37%, vs. GSN's year-to-date time period average.

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

Altered Beast
Golf Channel Signs Up for New Series, Kristen Kenney to Host
From the Futon Critic

Golf Channel announced today a new reality competition series, Altered Course, currently in production that combines golf, speed, fitness, teamwork and decision-making as teams navigate re-imagined and extreme golf holes in excess of 700 yards, traversing the natural obstacles and challenging terrain as fast as possible.

"Athleticism and fitness have taken on a much greater emphasis in golf in recent years, and as a result we are seeing more athletes coming up in the ranks of men's and women's golf," said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of programming development and original productions. "Altered Course is taking this trend to a whole new level, rewarding teams that are the most physically fit and play the best golf. The terrain and re-imagined golf holes will test their golf skills and challenge them both mentally and physically. Pace of play will not be an issue on Altered Course."

The tournament-style competition series will feature eight two-person teams racing against the clock as they take on the twists and turns of these extreme golf holes - one Altered Course hole can incorporate upwards of three traditional golf holes - in an alternate-shot or scramble format. Teams will be scored on both shots taken as well as time, with weekly eliminations leaving one team left standing as the champion of Altered Course. To capture the action of this innovative format, Golf Channel will utilize Sony Action cameras and aerial footage to track the teams' progress on each challenge, providing rarely-seen golf course camera angles.

Altered Course's inaugural season will take place in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Filming will commence at the all-new Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort, with the competition staged at two of Montego Bay's premier courses, White Witch and Cinnamon Hill. Kristen Kenney, pit reporter for the Red Bull Global RallyCross series on NBC and NBCSN, has been tabbed to host the inaugural season. Altered Course Montego Bay presented by Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva will premiere in summer, 2015.

For the series inaugural season, additional sponsors include Skechers GO GOLF as the official footwear provider, MusclePharm as the official nutritional supplement and Bushnell as the official range finder.

Follow Altered Course on Twitter @GCAlteredCourse

Become a fan of Altered Course on Facebook at: GCAlteredCourse

The Futon Critic

posted 3/2/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The Cuban Shark Crisis"

  • Get ready for President Mark Cuban in "Sharknado 3" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Vanna White heads to South Carolina to hand over check to children's hospital (WLTX Columbia)
     
  • Crackle drops Newfronts for traditional upfronts in April (Tubefilter)
     
  • Jerry Springer hopes to give away baggage as host of "The Price Is Right Live!" March 6 & 7 in Midland (Midland Daily News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with a former "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), a present "Family Feud" host (Huffington Post), and Nathan Odom... a guy who's probably watched "Family Feud" in between winning "MasterChef Junior" and spending his cash money (TV Insider)

posted 3/2/15


LEONARD NIMOY: 1931-2015
"Star Trek's" Spock Was Also a Game Show Veteran
From NBC News

Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for playing the emotionless, pointy-eared Spock on the "Star Trek" television series, died on Friday. He was 83.

His granddaughter, Dani, confirmed the death on Twitter. She called him "an extraordinary man." Nimoy revealed a year ago that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

As the half-human, half-alien chief science officer for the Starship Enterprise, Spock gave the world the indelible blessing "Live long and prosper" and his familiar split-fingered Vulcan salute. He was second in command to William Shatner's Captain James T. Kirk, his stoicism the perfect counter to Kirk's fiery personality.

"I loved him like a brother," Shatner said in a statement. "We will all miss his humor, his talent and his capacity to love."

Word of his death inspired expressions of respect not just from his fellow actors and from "Star Trek" fans but from NASA. A tweet from the agency read, "RIP Leonard Nimoy. So many of us at NASA were inspired by Star Trek. Boldly go..."

"Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek's optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity's future."

"I loved Spock," he said.

Nimoy's career boldly went beyond television. He was also a poet, a photographer, a director and a singer. And a decade after the series went off the air, he breathed new life into the brand by appearing in a series of blockbuster movies.

"The word extraordinary is often overused, but I think it's really appropriate for Leonard," the actor George Takei, who played Sulu on the series, told MSNBC. "He was an extraordinarily talented man, but he was also a very decent human being."

When he was not aboard the Enterprise, Nimoy was also a talented game player, counting appearances on "What's My Line?", "You Don't Say!", and a memorable turn against his costar Shatner for a week on "The $20,000 Pyramid".

Nimoy invoked his best-known line in his last tweet, posted Monday: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP."

NBC News
New York Times
Vox
TV Insider
Vulture
TV Insider
KNTV San Jose
The Daily Caller

posted 2/27/15

Challenge Accepted... for the 27th Time
MTV Renews Reality Game Show Long Runner
From the Futon Critic

MTV President of Programming Susanne Daniels announced today the renewal of "Are You The One" for a third season, "The Challenge" for season 27 and greenlit two new pilots to series: "Girl Code Live" a live weekly talk show from the popular "Code" franchise; and "Greatest Party Story Ever" a half-hour weekly that will showcase peoples' most outrageous epic tales.

MTV's 'The Challenge' returns with the most mind-blowing season yet, placing contestants in exotic locations to compete in extreme challenges that test their physical, mental and emotional strength in the hope of winning a massive cash prize.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider
The Wrap

posted 2/27/15

Thursday: Getting Away With Murder
CBS Ekes Total Win, ABC Takes the Demo
From the Futon Critic

ABC (8.472 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the demo champ on Thursday thanks to a new "Grey's Anatomy" (7.472 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5) followed by part one of the "How to Get Away with Murder" (8.673 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.7, #4) season finale and part two of the "How to Get Away with Murder" (9.272 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2) season finale.

CBS (8.740 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (16.333 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.5, #1), "The Odd Couple" (11.040 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #3), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (8.879 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6), the relocated "Mom" (8.155 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6) and its special "Victoria's Secret Swim Special" (4.018 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was FOX (6.516 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with fresh installments from "American Idol" (9.269 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6) and "Backstrom" (3.763 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #11).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.029 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) offered up originals from "The Slap" (3.624 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13), "The Blacklist" (7.854 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.8, #9) and "Allegiance" (3.609 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12).

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.761 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) and "Supernatural" (0.669 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #15) on The CW (0.715 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Wizard Wars (Syfy) - 997,000
- Duff til Dawn (Food) - 849,000
- Broke A$$ Game Show (MTV) - 585,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/27/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Who Cares About the Dress?!"

posted 2/27/15

CBSummer
Big Brother Returns June 24
From the Futon Critic

CBS today announced premiere dates for its lineup of original summer programming that includes the new drama ZOO, returning event series UNDER THE DOME and EXTANT, and the summer reality hit BIG BROTHER.

ZOO, a new drama based on the #1 bestselling novel by James Patterson, will premiere Tuesday, June 30 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). In the series, a wave of violent animal attacks against humans begin taking place across the globe. As the assaults become more cunning, coordinated and ferocious, a young renegade biologist (James Wolk) is thrust into the race to unlock the pandemic's mystery before there's no place left for people to hide.

BIG BROTHER debuts with a special two-night premiere on Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25, both at 8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT. The Thursday edition, featuring the live eviction show hosted by Julie Chen, moves to its regular time period on July 2 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). The Sunday broadcast premieres June 28 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT). Last summer, all three editions of BIG BROTHER regularly won their time periods in key young demographics and ranked among the summer's top 10 programs in both adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.

UNDER THE DOME returns for its third season with a special two-hour premiere on its new night, Thursday, June 25 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). It moves to its regular time period on Thursday, July 2 (10:00-11:00 PM), following BIG BROTHER, forming a strong two-hour block of established summer hit shows. Based on Stephen King's bestselling novel, UNDER THE DOME tells the story of a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. This season, Emmy Award winner Marg Helgenberger will guest star in an extended story arc, beginning with the premiere episode, as the town's inhabitants figure out the Dome's purpose and what it wants from them. UNDER THE DOME was last summer's most-watched (11.32m) and highest-rated scripted program in adults 18-49 (2.8/09) and adults 25-54 (3.7/10).

EXTANT, a serialized mystery thriller starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry, makes its sophomore debut Wednesday, July 1 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). This season, astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) discovers she has unwittingly put the human race on a path to destruction, and that she and mysterious stranger J.B. Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) may be the only hope for survival. In its first season, EXTANT was the most-watched new scripted program of the summer, winning its Wednesday 10:00-11:00 PM time period in viewers (8.65m) and key demographics.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 2/26/15

Wednesday: Musical Youth
Fox Wins Night on "American Idol", "Empire", Holding Off CBS
From the Futon Critic

FOX (11.966 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) claimed another victory on Wednesday thanks to a new episodes of "American Idol" (10.179 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #3) and "Empire" (13.753 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.3, #1) - another series high.

ABC (6.772 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) then took home a distant second with its mix of "The Middle" (7.393 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #7), "The Goldbergs" (7.459 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.5, #4), "Modern Family" (9.303 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.4, #2), "Black-ish" (6.724 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T5) and "Nashville" (4.875 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11).

Next up was CBS (7.973 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and its 90-minute season openers to "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.884 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T5) and "The Amazing Race" (6.061 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.562 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up fresh installments of "The Mysteries of Laura" (7.645 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T11), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.693 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8) and "Chicago PD" (7.347 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.866 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #13) and "The 100" (1.786 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (2.326 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5).

On cable...

- Best New Restaurant (Bravo): 305,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/26/15

Take Notes, ABC...
CBS Once Again the Daytime Lineup to Beat
From TV by the Numbers

All of CBS's daytime shows posted year-to-year growth in viewers, with several delivering their biggest audiences in more than a year, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending Feb. 22.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 2 averaged 4.25 million viewers, its largest audience ever, and was up +13% in women 18-49 (0.9/06 from 0.8/06) from a year ago.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL 1 averaged 3.66 million viewers, up +14% from a year ago.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1 averaged 5.71 million viewers, up +7% from last year.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT 2 averaged 6.65 million viewers, a gain of +9% from the same week a year ago in both viewers and women 18-49 (1.2/08 from 1.1/07).

TV by the Numbers

posted 2/26/15

ITV Studios Going Global
Among MIPTV Offerings: "Money Where Your Mouth Is"
From World Screen

At this year's MIPTV, ITV Studios plans to present 14 new formats spanning such categories as reality, entertainment, factual entertainment, quiz shows and factual.

The company's slate is led by 10,000 BC, a Group M Entertainment/The Garden co-production that looks on as 20 men and women give up modern-day luxuries to experience what life was like during the Stone Age, and ITV Studios' Get Your Act Together, which sees celebrities master variety acts with assistance from experts in the field.

There are also Seven Days With... (Shiver), which explores the lives of celebrity couples; Bargain Battle (ITV Studios Nordic), in which two hosts compete to find the best deals; My Child, Your Child (Imago), spotlighting the different ways children are raised today; Go Mad In... (Potato), which challenges a boy band to take over a popular beach bar; Judge Rinder (ITV Studios), focused on a variety of court cases; and My Body Shock (UNITED), which looks at a country's aesthetic trends.

Additional formats include Trading Tables (ITV Studios Germany), which sees contestants try to convince others that their favorite restaurant is the best; Saved (The Garden), a factual program that tells the stories of ordinary people who have saved lives; Money Where Your Mouth Is (Believe Entertainment Group), a comedy quiz show; The Nation's Favourite (Shiver), a celebratory countdown format; I Shot (Shiver), which examines the impact of camera phones; and Darkest Taboos (Shiver), centered on families affected by crimes.

Mike Beale, ITV Studios' executive VP of global development and formats, commented: "The rich diversity of our MIPTV slate spans formats across a variety of genres, originating from our producers around the world. We are excited to be bringing to market a portfolio of formats that will suit a wide range of slots and broadcasters."

World Screen
C21 Media

posted 2/26/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Curses"

  • Is "America's Next Top Model" cursed? Our better nature says no, but this article says yes (The Daily Beast)
     
  • Vanna White to v_s_t MUSC Ch_ldr_n's H_sp_t_l (Moultrie News)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Marc Summers (WGN Radio), "American Idol" EP Trish Kinane (TV Line) and Vernon Kay (The Bolton News)

posted 2/26/15


GSN Wants a Millionaire (So Freakin' Bad)
Network Picks Up Same-Week Runs Starting March 31
From the Futon Critic

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it has acquired the new nationally-syndicated game show "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB." GSN will air new episodes of the series, Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET beginning Tuesday, March 31.

Based on the iconic MONOPOLY brand, this groundbreaking show is a companion to the multi-state lottery of the same name. Hosted by popular comedian and actor Billy Gardell ("Mike & Molly"), the show is taped in front of a live studio audience comprised of lottery game winners who have won a trip to Las Vegas to participate in a taping, and who will have the chance to win $1 million.

In a unique twist for a game show, the studio audience of "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" will be divided into groups corresponding to classic MONOPOLY game tokens, such as the shoe, wheelbarrow, etc. Each player on stage will split their winnings with members of the audience who share their same game token. Every contestant chooses to keep their winnings or risk losing it all in the exciting final round where they will attempt to land on "GO" to win $1 million.

Executive produced by Scott St. John ("Celebrity Name Game," "Deal or No Deal," "America's Got Talent") and Kevin Belinkoff ("Family Game Night," "Game of Life," "Scrabble Showdown"), every episode of "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" will feature five members of the audience selected at random to play games derived from a popular MONOPOLY theme, such as Electric Company, Community Chest, etc. and will offer up to $100k in each game. "MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRES' CLUB" is taped at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (a Caesars Entertainment property) in Las Vegas.

The Futon Critic
TV Media Insights
Broadway World
Multichannel News

photo courtesy Las Vegas Sun

posted 2/25/15

Syndies: Week 21
Results for the Week Ending February 15
From B&C

None of the 15 talk shows showed gains in the week ended Feb. 15, the second full week of the February sweep.

Among the first-run rookies, all of which will return next season, CTD’s Hot Bench led the way for a 22nd straight week in households at a steady 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 8% to a 1.2.

Among women 25-54, however, The Real led the pack at a 1.0, followed by Hot Bench and Celebrity Name Game, which tied at a 0.8.

Remaining in access, the game shows were down or flat.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 7.4. CTD’s Jeopardy! also softened 5% to a 7.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud slipped 4% to a 6.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.9.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 2/25/15

Tuesday: Knope... No Win for You
"Parks & Recreation" Ends Quietly; NBC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (10.611 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 with night two of "The Voice" (13.822 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.8, #1) followed by part one of the "Parks & Recreation" (3.594 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) finale and part two of the "Parks & Recreation" (4.785 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) finale.

CBS (13.577 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "NCIS" (17.427 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.839 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) and "Person of Interest" (9.466 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6).

Next up was FOX (3.716 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and the season finale of "MasterChef Junior" (4.802 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #7) alongside new episodes of "New Girl" (2.905 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8) and "The Mindy Project" (2.356 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.496 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up its mix of "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.786 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "Repeat After Me" (3.894 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), the season finale of "Marvel's Agents Carter" (4.003 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10) and "Forever" (4.646 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #13).

And finally, the special "TV's Hottest Commercials Countdown" (1.395 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) and a repeat "The Flash" (1.119 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (1.257 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5).

On cable:

- Chopped (Food): 1.304 million
- Child Genius (Lifetime) (season finale): 1.013 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.009 million
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes (MTV): 755,000
- The Chase (GSN): 600,000

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

posted 2/25/15


MIRJANA PUHAR: 1995-2015
"America's Next Top Model" Contestant Murdered
From CBS Los Angeles

A young man has been charged with killing a former contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”

Police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., said in a statement Wednesday that 19-year-old Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Mirjana Puhar and two other victims. The victims’ bodies were found Tuesday in a Charlotte home. Police did not reveal how they were killed.

TMZ reported Puhar was killed along with boyfriend Jonathan Alvarado, 23, and Alvarado’s roommate, Jusmar Gonzaga-Garcia, 21.

Tyra Banks and Ken Mok, co-producers of the reality TV show “America’s Next Top Model,” confirmed Wednesday in a written statement that Puhar appeared on the show last year.

Police say Rangel-Hernandez is also charged in connection with a murder at a motel Sunday.

The suspect is being held at a local jail. Online records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney.

CNN reported Puhar was a Serbian refugee who came to the United States along with her family when she was 5. She began modeling at 12.

Puhar finished in eight place and was eliminated in episode 10. Tattooed former pro football player Keith Carlos, 26, was cycle 21’s winner, the first male to ever win the top spot.

Sources told TMZ Puhar only had been dating Alvarado for a couple of months and that they believed the murders were drug-related and that the victims knew their killer.

CBS Los Angeles
E!
TV Line
WCNC Charlotte
TMZ

photo courtesy Paddylast Inc.

posted 2/25/15


Dancing with a Surprise!
Stars Announced for 10th Anniversary Season
From the Futon Critic

The 10th anniversary celebrity cast of "Dancing with the Stars" is strapping on their ballroom shoes and getting ready for their first dance on MONDAY, MARCH 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. This 20th season's lineup of celebrity dancers includes a television icon, a party rocker, a football star and a Shark, to name a few. The reigning Mirrorball champion, Witney Carson, will be partnered with a surprise celebrity to be announced at a later date, completing the cast of twelve celebrity dance couples.

This season of "Dancing with the Stars" will be filled with surprises as we celebrate the last 10 years. The show will bring back fan favorite theme nights including Disney and Latin night and also introduce new themes, including Spring Break Night. Viewers will also have more access to the show than ever before with #DWTSAllAccess offering viewers a behind the scenes look with six live stream videos from key positions in the ballroom. Additionally, viewers will have access to the DWTS rehearsal studio like never before, with live streaming videos available throughout the week on ABC.com.

As announced this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America," the celebrities with their professional partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:

· Iraq War veteran Noah Galloway partnered with Sharna Burgess
· Entrepreneur Robert Herjavec ("Shark Tank") partnered with Kym Johnson
· Legendary singer Patti LaBelle partnered with Artem Chigvintsev
· Ace gymnast Nastia Liukin partnered with Derek Hough
· Singer-songwriter Riker Lynch (R5) partnered with Allison Holker
· Model Charlotte McKinney partnered with Keo Motsepe
· Hip-hop artist Redfoo (LMFAO) partnered with Emma Slater
· Former NFL player Michael Sam partnered with Peta Murgatroyd
· Actress Willow Shields ("The Hunger Games") partnered with Mark Ballas
· Actress & entrepreneur Suzanne Somers ("Three's Company", "Step By Step") partnered with Tony Dovolani
· Actress Rumer Willis ("Pretty Little Liars") partnered with Valentin Chmerkovskiy

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Line
E!

posted 2/24/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Another Deal"

  • "Deal or No Deal" returns to the Philippines (Inquirer.net)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Broke A$$ Game Show (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS? Oso mudslide becomes the subject of a "Jeopardy!" clue. Social media + slow news day = OUTRAGE! (KCPQ Seattle)

posted 2/24/15

Monday: This Is A Drop!
NBC Reclaims Monday With "The Voice"
From the Futon Critic
NBC (10.903 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) pulled into the top spot on Monday thanks to the return of "The Voice" (13.612 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.486 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #9).

ABC (8.489 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) then had to settle for second place with its duo of "The Bachelor" (8.908 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.6, #2) and "Castle" (7.652 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7).

Next up was CBS (9.584 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) and its combination of "2 Broke Girls" (8.457 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4), "Mike & Molly" (8.828 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #6), "Scorpion" (10.520 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T4) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.591 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8).

Meanwhile, FOX (5.406 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) served up a new "Gotham" (6.459 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) and the season finale of "Sleepy Hollow" (4.353 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10).

And finally, the "World Dog Awards" (1.267 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) on The CW (1.267 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Kids Baking Challenge (Food) (season finale): 1.864 million
- Ellen's Design Challenge (HGTV): 1.783 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central): 554,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/24/15

Sunday: And the Award Went to...
ABC... with a BUT.
From the Futon Critic
ABC (30.756 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 8.8, #1) was of course the top draw on Sunday with its primetime portion of "The 87th Annual Academy Awards" (34.628 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 10.3, #1). Leading off the night then were "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 1" (19.311 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 4.6, #4), "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 2" (23.589 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 6.1, #3) and "Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live from the Red Carpet - Part 3" (30.007 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 8.3, #2).

A year ago, "The 86th Annual Academy Awards" delivered 40.168 million viewers and a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49 in the fast nationals.

The silver went to FOX (2.139 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #2) with its all-repeat lineup of "Bob's Burgers" (2.007 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9), "The Simpsons" (2.243 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #6), another "The Simpsons" (2.988 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #5), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (1.749 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9), "Family Guy" (1.914 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) and another "Bob's Burgers" (1.933 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Next up was CBS (4.573 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.7, #3) and an expanded "60 Minutes" (6.518 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T9) followed by the feature "Act of Valor" (3.406 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13).

And finally, repeats of "Dateline NBC" (5.388 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7) and the crossover episodes of "Chicago Fire" (2.330 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #16), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (2.449 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #15) and "Chicago PD" (2.756 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) closed out the evening on NBC (3.231 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4).

On cable...

- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.510 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.058 million
- Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge (CMT): 593,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/24/15

One Job, Richard... You Had ONE.... JOB...
The Banker's Identity Revealed... Albeit By Accident
From the Daily Express
He is one of the most elusive personalities on television but the identity of the banker in Deal or No Deal has FINALLY been revealed.

Richard Osman, who hosts Pointless and Two Tribes for Endemol - where he got his start as a producer - confirmed many viewers' suspicions that the banker is in fact Deal Or No Deal's producer, Glenn Hugill.

The mysterious figure's identity has long been debated - with some even suggesting that there is in fact NO banker.

But Osman let slip the secret in an interview with Metro.

When asked how he comes up with ideas for new quizzes, Osman replied that his new show, BBC2's Two Tribes, "was an idea that Glenn Hugill - the Banker on Deal or No Deal - and I had been thinking about for a long time".

The former actor is responsible for calling presenter Noel Edmonds and making contestants offers at the end of each round.

Hugill previously appeared on screen as policeman Alan McKenna in Coronation Street in the mid-1990s. He also hosted two seasons of the UK version of "The Mole".

Daily Express
Leicester Mercury
Daily Mirror
Metro
AOL Money

posted 2/24/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Snow Delay"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: CW delays "Cedric's Barber Battle", "Whose Line" a week to April 17 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Alton Brown returns to Salt Lake February 27 (Salt Lake Tribute) and to "Food Network Star" June 1 (Rockford Record American)
     
  • "Ellen's Design Challenge" promises a "huge surprise" for its March 2 finale (Broadway World)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 9 times Alex has been a bully on "Jeopardy!" (MTV)
     
  • Ever wonder how "The tribe has spoken" entered the game show vernacular? Wonder no more (TV Insider)

posted 2/24/15

CW Makes a Wicked Offer
Summer Offering Promises Couples Making "Faustian Bargains"
From the Futon Critic
Continuing its push to more year-round programming, The CW has ordered two series for summer 2015, including a new unscripted series called A WICKED OFFER, which will test how far couples will go for money, and acquired the scripted comedy from the United Kingdom called DATES, featuring Oona Chaplin and Ben Chaplin. Premiere nights and times will be announced at a later date.

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

The Futon Critic

posted 2/23/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Classic Snub"

  • Joan Rivers left out of the In Memoriam reel last night... and all she did was create the red carpet coverage as we know it (Us)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: 1000 Heartbeats (ITV1, Wednesday) (Stoke Sentinel) plus A Few Good Minutes with Vernon Kay (STV)
     
  • "The Price Is Right Live!" heads to New York City.... Okay, Newark. Happy, Truthy McGee? (NJ.com)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Jeff's favorite Survivors (TV Insider)
     
  • Ever wonder how many homes GSN is in? Wonder no more (TV by the Numbers)

posted 2/23/15


AHMAD GIVENS: 1981-2015
VH1 Celebreality Star Loses Cancer Battle
From Syracuse.com
Ahmad Givens, known as "Real" from VH1's dating game show "Real Chance of Love," has died at age 33.

E! News reports that the rapper died after battling colon cancer for about two years.

Real's passing was announced on Saturday by his brother and co-star Kamal "Chance" Givens. Chance posted to his Instagram account in remembrance of his late brother. He says in the caption (sic):

"By to my favorite guy in this whole world be in peace we love you forever bro I'll see you one day soon we shall dance again in God's kindom forever and ever bro words can't describe my pain world pray for me!"

Real is survived by two other brothers, his mother, grandmother, his wife of four years, Racquel Givens, and their son, E! News says.

TMZ reports that Real was having difficulty seeing and speaking Friday night. His family says he passed away hours later.

The VH1 star was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2013, TMZ says. Real underwent successful surgery, but earlier this year the cancer returned.

Real appeared on VH1's "I Love New York" before starring with Chance on their spinoff, The Hollywood Reporter adds.

In 2013, Givens spoke about his experiences with stage 4 colon cancer.

"It felt unreal all the way up until I had to do chemo," he said in an interview at the New York Life 2014 National Cultural Markets Conference.

"I remember I was laying on the hospital bed and the doctor came in crying and when I saw her crying I knew it was something serious. My doctors thought I had, like, three days to live so they just zapped me with chemo. I left out of there with my veins burning and everything."

Givens spoke about a few things that kept him going in his battle with cancer.

"Number one is the will to live. I love life. And my little boy, man. That kid loves me to death," Givens said of he and his wife Racquel's son Madhi. "I grew up in a neighborhood where African-American boys didn't have their fathers in the house and I always told myself, 'When I get married one day and have kids, [I'm] going to be there for my kids and that's a vow that I made and that's a vow that I plan on keeping and that's what keeps me fighting."

The last thing Givens said in the interview was: "Through my son my legacy will continue."

Syracuse.com
BET
Design&Trend
TMZ

posted 2/22/15

More on "The Amazing Race"
Catch It Wednesday on CBS!
From KCTV Kansas City
The Amazing Race premiers this week on CBS and will put a single twist on the reality game show that takes couples through challenges around the world.

It is an extreme take on blind dating and has never been done before in the show's 26 season history - forming five teams of singles who have never met. These five blind dating pairs will compete against six actual dating couples.

The five duos will see each other for the first time at the starting line of The Amazing Race, right before host Phil Keoghan tells them they can begin the race.

"Not knowing anything about them, not even their name, what they look like ... it is cool. We're going to have learn about each other on the fly, and we're going to have to get along with each other, learn each other's weaknesses and strengths together," said 32-year-old lawyer Jelani Roy.

Roy was set up with 32-year-old blogger and lawyer Jenny Wu for the season.

Newly matched couples like Kurt Jordan Belcher and Bergen Olson will take on arguably the most extreme blind date ever.

"I think a lot of people want to underestimate the gay guy, but you don't want to do that because I have the testosterone of a man and the wrath of a woman," Belcher said.

And then there is Hayley Keel who is looking for love.

"This could be Mr. Right for me. This could be the man that I marry and start a family with," she said.

And the traditional Amazing Race couples are anything but typical this season.

"We were both in the Vancouver Olympics but also in the Sochi Olympics," said Aly Dudek, a U.S. Olympic speed skater.

Dudek her husband, Steve Langton, a U.S. Olympic bobsledder, have the athletic edge.

While Jonathan Knight of the New Kids on the Block fame and his partner, Harley Rodriguez, are just getting used to the spotlight.

"I've done millions of interviews with the five guys of New Kids and photo shoots and stuff like that, and just going through this process with him has been, like, really surreal for me," Knight said.

The Amazing Race will have a dirty start - literally - as teams will have to navigate through a muddy obstacle course before jetting to their first location, Tokyo, Japan.

The racers will hit five continents and eight countries during this season of the Race, including stops in Bangkok, Namibia and Monaco.

On each leg, one lucky team will pull a clue that includes a "Date Night" ticket. The couple will be able to take advantage of a one-on-one romantic activity.

The Amazing Race premieres at 9:30p ET Wednesday right after the season premiere of Survivor.

KCTV Kansas City

posted 2/22/15

Weekend Lightning Round
... or "Celebrity Name Game"

  • On Oscar night, the quiz world's elite meet to answer the hardest questions EVER!!!!!!!!thisweek (NPR)
     
  • Bob Eubanks wants to bring film business to Gulf Coast (WLOX Biloxi)
     
  • Vicki Lawrence plays Aurora (WGN-AM Chicago)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Food Fighters season 2 (foodfighterscasting.com)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with American Idol's final 24 (The Futon Critic)

posted 2/22/15

Thursday: When One Door Closes and a Piano Drops on You...
CBS Wins on "2.5 Men" Finale, "Odd Couple" Premiere
From the Futon Critic
CBS (12.206 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T1) was the most-watched network on Thursday thanks to a new "The Big Bang Theory" (17.168 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.4, #1), the premiere of "The Odd Couple" (13.569 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #T4), part one of the "Two and a Half Men" (13.026 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.1, #T4) finale, part two of the "Two and a Half Men" (13.368 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.2, #T2) finale and "Elementary" (8.052 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #10).

ABC (8.813 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T1) however shared in the demo honors with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (8.074 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.5, #7), "Scandal" (9.527 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.2, #T2) and "How to Get Away with Murder" (8.838 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.8, #6).

Next up was FOX (6.191 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and fresh installments of "American Idol" (8.873 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #8) and "Backstrom" (3.510 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.936 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served up week two of "The Slap" (3.933 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #13) followed by new episodes of "The Blacklist" (7.490 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.7, #9) and "Allegiance" (3.384 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T11).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.409 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) and "Reign" (1.031 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (1.220 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

On cable...

- Duff 'til Dawn (Food): 806,000
- Project Runway All-Stars (Reunion) (Lifetime): 735,000
- Broke A$$ Game Show: 689,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/20/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Plastic Orange Dirigibles"

  • "American Idol", "The Voice", "SYTYCD", "AGT", "DWTS" & "ANTM" are among those competing for KCAs (TVBTN @ Z2I)
     
  • Alison Sweeney goes from "Biggest Loser" to "Chocolate Chip Cookie".(TV by the Numbers)
     
  • He likes trivia and he doesn't even think it's work. TJ Lavin must be back to normal (MTV)
     
  • "A mix between Jeopardy! and Moon Zero Two" is coming to a phone near you (Spokane Spokesman Review)
     
  • Mark Cuban jumps headlong into the game that cost him $20 million, shot at the Chicago Cubs. Rich people sure are weird. (Value Walk)
     
  • Todd Newton has a new job.... make that two new jobs (South County Times)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Vernon Kay (STV) and David Magidoff & Derek Gaines (OK!),

posted 2/20/15

Wednesday: Goodnight, Patrick Jane
"Mentalist" Ends on a High, But Fox's Empire Continues to Spread
From the Futon Critic
FOX (11.693 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.9, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday with a new "American Idol" (10.451 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #3) and another series high from "Empire" (12.936 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.1, #1).

ABC (6.527 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then took home the silver with its mix of "The Middle" (7.660 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4), "The Goldbergs" (6.829 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4), "Modern Family" (8.778 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.0, #2), "Black-ish" (6.475 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T4) and "Nashville" (4.712 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10).

Next up was NBC (6.373 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with fresh installments from "The Mysteries of Laura" (5.751 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T13), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.366 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.6, #8) and "Chicago PD" (7.002 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.7, #7).

Meanwhile, CBS (9.157 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up a new "The Mentalist" (9.766 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10), the series finale of "The Mentalist" (10.536 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #9) and a new "Stalker" (7.170 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T10).

And finally, originals from "Arrow" (2.814 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T13) and "The 100" (1.546 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (2.180 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5).

On cable, "Best New Restaurant" attracted 363,000 covers for Bravo. Ratings for "Baggage on the Road" were unavailable at press time.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz

posted 2/19/15

Tuesday: Raspberries
If It's Tuesday, It's CBS
From the Futon Critic
CBS (13.706 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with new episodes of "NCIS" (17.706 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.311 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) and "Person of Interest" (9.101 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #5).

FOX (4.112 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2) then claimed the silver with the penultimate week of "MasterChef Junior" (5.413 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4) followed by new episodes of "New Girl" (3.110 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "The Mindy Project" (2.512 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12).

Next up was ABC (4.143 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with a new "Fresh Off the Boat" (6.138 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) followed by the premiere of "Repeat After Me" (4.338 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), a new "Marvel's Agents Carter" (4.135 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and the special "Countdown to the Oscars: 15 Movies That Changed American Cinema" (3.055 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T15).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.706 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) served up fresh installments of "Parks & Recreation" (2.928 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #11), another "Parks & Recreation" (2.480 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T12), "Marry Me" (2.067 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T15), "About a Boy" (2.384 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.7, #17) and "Chicago Fire" (6.188 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.705 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "Supernatural" (2.293 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.9, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (2.999 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

On cable:

- Chopped (Food): 1.520 million
- Face Off (Syfy): 1.076 million
- Child Genius (Lifetime): 892,000
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 (MTV): 825,000
- The Chase (GSN): 646,000
- Restaurant Startup (CNBC): 441,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/19/15

Right and Proper Ninja
ITV Signs on for "Ninja Warrior UK"
From the Independent
Those of you still mourning the gap left in the Saturday night TV schedule by Nineties ITV show Gladiator, your luck has just come in.

Ninja Warrior UK, based on an extreme assault course game show from Japan called Sasuke, is being brought in by ITV and will be hosted by Ben Shephard, the Saturdays' Rochelle Humes and ex-footballer Chris Kamara.

It will feature 250 contestants running, jumping and climbing their way through the challenging course which looks remarkably similar to the one used on Gladiators.

It has been described as "the toughest obstacle course ever seen on British television” and ITV’s commissioning editor for entertainment, Asif Zubairy, promises “some inspirational achievements as well as hilarious mishaps”.

The Independent
Irish Independent
C21 Media

posted 2/19/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "(Klaxons Sounding)"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: QI (BBC America, tonight) (The Backlot)
     
  • "Dancing" doesn't announce its stars until Tuesday... but that won't stop the endless parade of postulation from ...(E!)
     
  • Craig Ferguson plays Riverside (Press-Enterprise)
     
  • Marc Summers! Come on down! You're the next host (among many) of "The Price Is Right Live!" at Merrillville, IN (NWITimes.com)
     
  • John Barrowman plays York Barbican (York Press)
     
  • John O'Hurley (WBFO Buffalo), Wayne Brady (ABC News), and Chris Harrison (People).

    Who are three people who haven't spent A FEW GOOD MINUTES in my kitchen?

posted 2/19/15

A Fool & An Idiot Are United
Catch Season 2 of IdioTest on GSN April 1. No Foolin'
From TV by the Numbers
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today the second season premiere of their new hit game show, IDIOTEST on Wednesday, April 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Comedian Ben Gleib (“Chelsea Lately”) returns as the wildly witty host dishing out even tougher brainteasers to contestants competing for a $10,000 cash prize. Gleib will also play an integral role in the season two premiere that will feature some April Fool’s-related stunts being kept under wraps. The remainder of the season will feature new types of tests and rivalries, as well as a variety of themes amongst the competitors.

IDIOTEST, based on the highly popular app game, gives two pairs of contestants the opportunity to Face Off in several rounds of visual brain teasers that look deceptively simple, but whose answers actually require a keen eye, quick mind and heightened sense of logic. Every question involves a colorful and often whimsical scene that tests observation and attention to detail as much it tests general knowledge. Contestants play the game on giant Touch screens in the center of the set, trying to win money...or at least not look stupid.

Over 21 million have watched IDIOTEST to date, making it one of GSN’s most popular originals. The first season nearly doubled the audience among W18-49 (+84%) and P18-49 (+92%) vs the YTD time period average.

TV by the Numbers

posted 2/18/15

Syndies: Week 20
Results for the Week Ending February 8
From B&C
This year’s rookie class showed some signs of life as Warner Bros.’ The Real hit a series-high 1.3 live plus same day household rating, an 8% gain for the week ended Feb. 8, the first full week of the February sweep. The Real also added 10% among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 to a series high 1.1 to lead the field.
CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira all were steady at a 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2, respectively, in households.

In the demo, Hot Bench came in second, surging 25% to a new series high 1.0, while Celebrity Name Game was flat at a 0.8 and Meredith Vieira jumped 17% to a 0.7 to match its series high. Trifecta’s Judge Faith remained at a 0.8 in households and a 0.4 in the demo.

All of this year’s freshmen first-run shows are slated to return for season two.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! led the games, with each show up 3% for the week and year to a 7.8 and 7.5, respectively. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was off 6% to a 6.8, but was still up 13% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire climbed 6% for the week to a 1.9, although that was down 21% from last year.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 2/18/15

And the Hits Just Keep On Coming
"The Apprentice" Will Return for Season 15
From The Futon Critic
This season’s winner wasn’t the only major announcement made during Monday’s live Celebrity Apprentice finale.

Mere minutes before the champ was crowned, Donald Trump revealed that NBC has decided to renew The Apprentice for a 15th season, which will likely bring about the eighth round of Celebrity Apprentice. No return date was announced.

Season seven was taped nearly two years ago but did not premiere until this January. This season's ratings were significantly higher than season six making a strong case for the show's renewal.

ABC (8.729 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was the network to beat on Monday with new episodes of "The Bachelor" (8.878 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) and "Castle" (8.431 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5).

FOX (5.303 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "Gotham" (6.156 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4) and "Sleepy Hollow" (4.452 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Next up was CBS (7.965 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) and fresh installments of "2 Broke Girls" (8.641 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2) and "Mike & Molly" (9.173 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2) plus "Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life - An All-Star Grammy Salute" (7.494 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.485 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up the season finales of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (5.989 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T5) and "State of Affairs" (4.476 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9).

And finally, new episodes of "The Originals" (1.403 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.334 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T10) closed out the evening on The CW (1.368 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5).

NBC has issued a press release revealing last night's winner. Read on if you have already seen the episode or if you don't mind being spoiled.

On cable:

- Ellen's Design Challenge (HGTV): 1.966 million
- Kids Baking Championship (Food): 1.358 million

TV Line
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 2/18/15

Trivial Pursuit Goes Live
Hasbro, Ubisoft Unite for Video Game Show
From Game Informer
Hasbro and Ubisoft have released Trivial Pursuit Live! which can be purchased today on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

The console game reimagines the traditional, famous board game by giving it a new game show twist. The game is compatible for up to four players to challenge each other in several different rounds, from a variety of more than 1,200 questions. Different game question modes pop up at random through each round, such as Hot Seat, where a player races against the clock to answer as many questions as possible. Another is Greedy Grab, which eliminates players from subsequent questions if they answer incorrectly.

The game can be downloaded on the Hasbro Game Channel through Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are $9.99 respectively, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are priced $14.99.

Game Informer
Biogamer Girl
Gamasutra

posted 2/18/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "T for Two"

  • ICYMI: It started with a T. Ended with one, too. (ABC News)
     
  • Billy on the Street, Sesame Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue (TV Insider)
     
  • Survivor: an oral history (TV Insider), plus the Paley Center just opened up an exhibit (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • In another round of Comcast-mandated corporate synergy, Tom Colicchio is named MSNBC food correspondent (TV Newser)

posted 2/18/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Suck It, Trebek"

  • Will Ferrell revised his impersonation of Alex Trebek in front of the man himself. Then things got weird (Parade)
     
  • Billy on the Street, Sesame Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue (TV Insider)
     
  • "La Voz Kids" returns March 15 (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • Pat Finn, come on down! You're the next host of The Price Is Right Live! (coming to Huntington) (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "The Ascent Expo" will have producers looking for contestants (Globe Newswire)
     
  • Jedward, in what could very well be the defining moment of their career, have been cast in "Sharknado 3" (Metro)

posted 2/17/15

Monday Lightspeed Round
... or "Presidents Day"

posted 2/16/15


GARY OWENS: 1934-2015
Legendary Voiceover Artist Hosted "Letters to Laugh-in", "The Gong Show"
From
CBS Local
Private funeral services were being planned Friday for radio and television voiceover personality Gary Owens, best known for holding his hand to his ear while serving as the announcer on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”

Owens died Thursday at his Encino home at age 80, according to his publicist. He had been a diabetic since age 8.

A South Dakota native, Owens began in show business at age 16, working as a radio newscaster. He was a news director and DJ at a station in Omaha, Nebraska, in his 20s, before moving on to Denver and eventually Hollywood in 1961, when he joined KFWB.

He began doing television specials on KCOP and was an original voice on “Sesame Street,” proudly announcing that a segment of the show “is brought to you by the letter M.”

During his career, his baritone voice hosted more than 10,000 radio shows. He also recorded more than 30,000 commercials and promotional spots.

His phrase “Beautiful Downtown Burbank,” coined on his KMPC radio show, evolved into a catch-phrase on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”

He became a television fixture on “Laugh-In,” holding his hand to his ear while speaking into a stand-up microphone, injecting humorous news-style quips to segue between skits. During the run, he hosted the daily game-show spin-off "Letters to Laugh-In". He went on to appear in hundreds of television shows, including “Roseanne,” “The Gong Show,” “The Jack Benny Show,” “Night Court,” “Batman,” and “Barnaby Jones.”

He also lent his voice to thousands of cartoons, including “Space Ghost,” “Batman,” “Dynomutt Dog Wonder,” "The Ren & Stimpy Show", “Chip and Dale,” “Casper the Ghost,” “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop” and “The Fantastic Four.”

Wink Martindale, who met Owens while both were working at KMPC, wrote on Facebook, “Of all the professionals I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with in the business Gary stands tall above them all. In particular I will always cherish the twelve years I worked with him at KMPC and was witness to his talents close-up. Gary Owens possessed talents that come along rarely. It is almost a cliche to say it but this man will truly be missed. Best blessings to his family."

Funeral services will be private, but a public memorial is expected to be held. The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the children’s Diabetes Foundation at www.childrensdiabetesfoundation.org.

Owens is survived by his wife of 57 years, Arleta, and sons Scott and Chris.

CBS Local
The Hollywood Reporter
RumorFix
New York Times
Deadline

photo courtesy Los Angeles Times

posted 2/13/15

Thursday: TGI...a Split?
CBS, ABC Split Night
From The Futon Critic
ABC (8.469 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) was the demo champ on Thursday with its trio of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.718 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3), "Scandal" (9.267 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) and "How to Get Away with Murder" (8.424 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.7, #2).

CBS (8.924 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) then was the most-watched network with a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (11.208 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T5), new episodes of "Mom" (10.125 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T5) and "Two and a Half Men" (9.209 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T5) plus another "The Big Bang Theory" (7.671 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T8) repeat and a new "Elementary" (7.666 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #10).

Next up was FOX (6.970 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T2) with fresh installments from "American Idol" (9.506 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.3, #T3) and "Backstrom" (4.435 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #11).

Meanwhile, NBC (5.556 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up the premiere of "The Slap" (5.082 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #12) followed by new episodes of "The Blacklist" (7.980 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T8) and "Allegiance" (3.606 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13).

And finally, originals from "The Vampire Diaries" (1.507 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13) and "Reign" (1.053 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (1.280 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

The season finale of "Project Runway All-Stars" attracted 1.573 million on Lifetime. Elsewhere...

- Wizard Wars (Syfy): 973,000
- Broke A$$ Game Show (MTV): 659,000
- Redneck Island (CMT): 459,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/12/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Spread the Love"

  • Christina Aguilera is going to "Nashville" (E!)
     
  • Terry Crews' "World's Funniest Fails" is failing upward, as Fox wants 8 more shows (B&C), but you really shouldn't need personal branding, right? (Adweek)
     
  • Mike "Boogie" Malin is broke (TMZ)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Virtual reality (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Wayne Brady raps in Klingon with Bill Shatner on "The Late Late Show" (Geeks of Doom)
     
  • And finally, a treat for Valentine's Day: Bob Eubanks brings his "Not-So-Newlywed Game" to Illinois (Decatur Herald-Review)

posted 2/13/15

Second Family
ITV Renews Bradley Walsh-Hosted Game Show
From Digital Spy
Keep It in the Family has been renewed for a second series on ITV.

The game show - hosted by Bradley Walsh - sees two families battling it out in a series of different rounds in an attempt to win prizes.

The series also features celebrities - such as stars of The X Factor or Coronation Street - who face the dreaded "drop" through a trapdoor if the prizes they have on offer aren't to the families' liking.

ITV has also promised that the new episodes will see the return of The Nanas, the popular grandmothers with a combined age of 486 who were seen last series describing a series of phrases in a rather unique manner.

The show's executive producer David Hall said: "We're beyond happy that Keep It in the Family is returning for a second series on ITV.

"The mix of Bradley, our irrepressible Nanas, funny games, dressing people up in outrageous and hilarious costumes, and dropping the nation's favorite celebrities was a winning combination, and we're very much looking forward to doing it all again this year."

Keep It in the Family will be back on ITV later this year.

Digital Spy
World Screen

posted 2/12/15

Wednesday: Empirical Formula
Fox Wins on Wednesday 1-2
From the Futon Critic
FOX (11.157 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.7, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday with its duo of "American Idol" (10.397 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #3) and "Empire" (11.917 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.7, #1).

ABC (6.988 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "The Middle" (7.909 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #6), "The Goldbergs" (6.948 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.3, #4), "Modern Family" (9.798 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.3, #2), "Black-ish" (6.932 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.2, #5) and "Nashville" (5.171 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9).

Next up was CBS (8.874 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) and its trio of "The Mentalist" (9.046 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8), "Criminal Minds" (9.999 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #7) and "Stalker" (7.576 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.201 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #4) served up originals from "The Mysteries of Laura" (5.952 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.1, #13), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.169 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9) and "Chicago PD" (6.482 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T9).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.592 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #14) and "The 100" (1.589 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) closed out the evening on The CW (2.091 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5).

On cable...

- Top Chef (season finale) (Bravo): 955,000

Results for "Baggage on the Road" are forthcoming.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/12/15

We Have Judges. We Have a Host. Let's Put on a Show!
Everyone Will Be Back for AGT 10
From the Futon Critic
Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum will return as judges to NBC's top-rated summer competition series "America's Got Talent," joining previously announced judge Howard Stern.

Nick Cannon will again assume hosting duties as "AGT" celebrates its 10th season. For the third year in a row, the live performance and results shows will originate from New York City's iconic Radio City Music Hall.

The announcements were made by Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late-Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

"This opinionated and talented quartet of judges provides fearless and thoughtful analysis and an infectious energy that keeps the audience wondering what will happen next," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming. "We can't wait for them to come back for another great season."

"I'm delighted that Howard, Howie, Heidi and Mel B are back to celebrate a decade of talent on AGT," said Trish Kinane, Executive Producer and President of Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America. "They are dedicated to finding the best and most eccentric performers to put before viewers in a true celebration of the American Spirit."

Klum and Mel B return to the judging panel for their third season, Mandel and Stern return for their sixth and fourth seasons, respectively, as judges.

Open call auditions for season 10 of "America's Got Talent" will conclude at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Feb. 14-15. Please visit http://www.americasgottalentauditions.com/ for more information.

Last summer, "America's Got Talent" remained the #1 summer show in total viewers for the ninth consecutive year. For the first time in the show's history, America chose a magician as their winner: Rhode Island native Mat Franco, who went on to headline the "America's Got Talent Live" stage show in Las Vegas.

The Futon Critic
Deadline

posted 2/12/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "You Did WHAT?"

  • VIDEO WALL: Another day, another completely shocking "Family Feud" answer (WPIX New York)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Celebrity Name Game season 2 (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Angelica McDaniel to oversee CBS Daytime, syndication (Broadway World)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: "Hell's Kitchen" (March 3) (The Futon Critic)

posted 2/12/15

We Have Pros...
... Except Karina Smirnoff, Who Will Not Return
From the Futon Critic
The competition is just beginning for what's sure to be one of the most exciting seasons of "Dancing with the Stars" yet. It all kicked off this morning when 10 pro dancers were revealed exclusively on "Good Morning America" in anticipation of the 10th Anniversary season premiere on MONDAY, MARCH 16 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

This season's set of professional dancers includes a beloved returning pro, the reigning Mirrorball champ, and show favorites who will each teach their celebrity partner how to bring heat to the dance floor. Fans will have to wait to find out who the two remaining pros are when they're announced in the coming weeks, completing the cast of twelve dancers. Additionally, the celebrity cast for Season 20 will be announced live on "Good Morning America" on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (7:00-9:00 a.m., ET).

This season of "Dancing with the Stars" will not only be a celebration of the last 10 years, it will also continue to innovate and surprise with both new and returning theme nights including Disney Night, Latin Night and introducing Spring Break night. Viewers will also have more access to the show than ever before. #DWTSAllAccess will expand to offer viewers a look behind the scenes with six live streams from key positions in the ballroom, as well as never before seen live streams from the DWTS rehearsal studio available for viewers to watch throughout the week on ABC.com.

As announced this morning on "Good Morning America," the 10 pros returning to the dance floor (in alphabetical order) are:

- Mark Ballas (two-time champion)
- Sharna Burgess (toured in US, UK, & Australia)
- Witney Carson (reigning champion)
- Artem Chigvintsev (former "SYTYCD" finalist, "Strictly Come Dancing" champion)
- Val Chmerkovskiy (14-time US National champion)
- Tony Dovolani (won season 15)
- Allison Holker (Emmy-award winning choreographer)
- Kym Johnson (two-time winner)
- Peta Murgatroyd (won season 14)
- Emma Slater (former Troupe member & finalist)

After 16 seasons as a pro on Dancing With the Stars, Smirnoff announced via Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 10, that she would not be returning for the upcoming 20th season of the ABC competition.

The Futon Critic
Us Magazine

posted 2/11/15

Tuesday: No Match
All CBS All Night
From the Futon Critic
CBS (14.609 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was the top draw on Tuesday thanks to its trio of "NCIS" (18.559 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (15.861 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and "Person of Interest" (9.408 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5).

ABC (4.884 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) then claimed the silver with the time period premiere of "Fresh Off the Boat" (6.000 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4), another "Fresh Off the Boat" (5.812 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3), "Marvel's Agents Carter" (4.177 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "Forever" (4.568 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11).

Next up was FOX (3.527 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) and fresh installments of "MasterChef Junior" (4.516 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), "New Girl" (2.733 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #10) and "The Mindy Project" (2.343 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.790 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) served up new episodes of "Parks & Recreation" (3.031 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12), another "Parks & Recreation" (2.446 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12), "Marry Me" (2.148 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T15), "About a Boy" (2.675 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T15) and "Chicago Fire" (6.219 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

And finally, originals from "The Flash" (3.479 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "Supernatural" (2.041 million viewers, #17; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T15) closed out the evening on The CW (2.760 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

On cable...

- Chopped (Food): 1.354 million
- Child Genius (Lifetime): 967,000
- Face Off (Syfy): 954,000
- The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 (MTV): 752,000
- The Chase (GSN): 667,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/11/15

C4 Makes Benchmark
Paddy McGuinness to Host New Quizzer
From Chortle
Paddy McGuinness is to front a new Channel 4 daytime gameshow.

The comic and Take Me Out presenter will host Benchmark, in which contestants compete against each other with the aid of a panel from the public.

The so-called benchmarkers will answer several tricky numerical questions, with contestants deciding whether the correct answer is higher, lower or the same as their answer, trade magazine Broadcast reports.

Stuart Shawcross from Victory Television, who devised the format, told the publication: ‘“Benchmark is an incredibly simple, but hugely entertaining game show that will have you shouting at your TV.’

Chortle
Broadcast
Digital Spy

posted 2/11/15

A Night at the Museum
Griff Rhys Jones to Host "The Quizeum" for BBC4
From the Guardian
Griff Rhys Jones is to bring a new cultural dimension to the quiz show format with a new brainteasing BBC series set in museums.

In what is thought to be a television first, the actor and comedian will host The Quizeum in museums around the UK, including the Ashmolean in Oxford and the National Maritime Museum in London.

For some rounds of the quiz, the BBC said that artifacts from the institution’s collections will be the subject of the questions and in others the competitors will explore the museum as part of a treasure hunt.

Those taking part in the eight-part BBC4 series include Antiques Roadshow regular Lars Tharp, art and cultural historian Janina Ramirez and author and historian Kate Williams.

Others due to appear are broadcaster and historian Dan Cruickshank and former minister for security and counter-terrorism and first sea lord and chief of the naval staff Admiral Lord West.

They will be organized into two teams which will compete against each other, but the program will also feature lively discussion between the experts.

Rhys Jones, whose production company Modern Television is making The Quizeum, said: “There are spectacular treasures in all of our museums. The Quizeum will uncover the stories behind some of the lesser known ones.

“From Roman penknives to Canalettos, from enameled reliquaries to model boats, we will be looking for connections, testing history, unearthing startling facts and putting real experts on the spot. And most of all, we’re on the road exploring fabulous collections in unexpected places. This is a really exciting series to be involved with – pure joy.”

BBC4 channel editor Cassian Harrison commented: “We have so many fantastic museums up and down the UK and I’m delighted that BBC4’s The Quizeum will be visiting some of these great institutions and exploring their collections, while putting our range of experts to the test. And with Griff Rhys Jones hosting, it promises to be a real treat full of fun and surprising facts.”

The Quizeum is due to air on BBC4 later in the spring.

The Guardian
Broadcast
Digital Spy

posted 2/11/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Australian Bush"

  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: The question on "Family Feud Australia" was easy enough: name a former Australian prime minister (Daily Mail)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 14 American Idols who found success in places other than singing (yes, Matt Rogers is on the list. Can we get him work, please?) (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
     
  • "University Challenge" displays how to win at a game show... using math (io9)
     
  • This week's installment of "Don't Blame Me, It Was the Editing!" is brought to you by... Kelsey (Washington Post)
     
  • ICYMI: TPIR gets killswitched (CraveOnline)
     
  • Yaya DaCosta goes from "Top Model" to "Whitney" to "Chicago Med" (Deadline)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with the hosts of "Broke A$$ Game Show" (Global Grind)

posted 2/11/15

Billy on the Move
"Billy on the Street" Renewed, Picked Up By truTV
From The Futon Critic
Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner is coming to truTV as part of a multi-layered deal with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. that also includes original specials and pilot commitments for networks across the Turner portfolio. At the center of the deal, the streetwise game show hosted by comedian Billy Eichner is set to become a truTV original series, starting with its fourth season later this year. Sister network TBS will present encores of each episode after initial airings on truTV.

In addition to bringing new episodes of Billy on the Street to truTV and TBS, the deal with Turner Broadcasting includes a commitment for Eichner to create pilots for potential truTV and Adult Swim series; half-hour specials featuring Eichner for TBS and truTV; and rights to all episodes from the first three seasons of Billy on the Street, which originally aired on the Fuse Network.

"This deal is a great opportunity to tap into and expand the Billy phenomenon using the power of the Turner portfolio," said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. "No other media company has the assets and the reach - especially among Generation X, Millennials and Generation Edge viewers - to pull off this kind of multi-layered deal. The Turner networks are going to be the perfect home for Billy's brilliant comedic talents and his growing legion of young fans."

"I am beyond excited about this new era for Billy on the Street," said Eichner. "I'm thrilled to be working with truTV and the Turner family and I'm very ready to hit the streets for a new season of making dreams come true and changing lives for the better."

Billy on the Street is executive-produced by Mike Farah, president of production for Funny Or Die, along with Billy Eichner and Anna Wenger. Doug Brady is co-executive producer. truTV has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of Billy on the Street's fourth season, with production expected to begin in New York City in late spring and plans to launch the series later this year.

"Billy is a singular talent who exemplifies the qualities we are looking for in truTV's new programming, including a unique voice and vision, for that reason he is an absolutely perfect fit for the new truTV," said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV.

Efforts to bring Billy on the Street to Turner were first championed by Marissa Ronca, senior vice president of development & original programming for truTV. "We've been fans of Billy since the beginning, so we join the rest of his dedicated fan base in being super excited to see new episodes of Billy on the Street coming to truTV," Ronca said. "Anything coming from Billy is certain to be unexpected and hilarious, which aligns perfectly with the new truTV. We're also thrilled that Billy will be working on new shows and specials for truTV and our sister networks. We can't wait to welcome him to the Turner family."

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
Variety

posted 2/10/15

Syndies: Week 19
Results for the Week Ending February 1
From B&C
Debmar-Mercury's Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud hit its third series high in the past four weeks, climbing to a 7.2 live plus same day household rating in the week ending Feb. 1.

That's a 6% gain for the week and a 14% gain for the year, just one-tenth of a ratings point behind CBS Television Distribution's Jeopardy!

Perhaps more importantly, Family Feud is the clear syndication leader among women 25-54 at a 3.8, ahead of CTD's Judge Judy at a 3.1, CTD's Wheel of Fortune at a 2.6 and Jeopardy! at a 2.5.

Games, in general, were up for the week, with Wheel climbing 3% to a 7.6 and Jeopardy! adding 4% to a 7.3. Compared to last year at this time, Wheel was down 4% while Jeopardy! was up 1%. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was steady at a 1.8 in households, but down 18% from last year.

Most syndicated shows were up or steady for the week, which included the first two weekdays of the February sweep running January 29 through February 25.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench was the top first-run strip for the 20th straight week in households, holding firm at a 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game climbed 8% to a new season-high 1.4. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira and Warner Bros.’ The Real both gained 9% to a 1.2.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV Media Insights
TV Newscheck

posted 2/10/15

A Tale of Two Buzzrs
Buzzr TV to Launch May 31
From Variety
YouTube is being challenged by multiple different players — including Facebook — which all want a piece of the Internet video giant’s action. But many creators and media companies still view YouTube, the sector’s 800-pound gorilla, as the best home for their firstrun content.

FremantleMedia North America’s original digital content studio, Tiny Riot!, has reached a deal with the Google-owned video site to set up shop in the YouTube Space LA studios to shoot new episodes of remakes of classic game shows in its catalog for the Buzzr channel on YouTube, featuring talent recruited from YouTube’s massive base of creators.

The ad-supported Buzzr YouTube channel quietly launched in pilot mode last fall with a “Family Feud” reboot, followed by “Password” earlier this month. The first shoot at YouTube Space LA, for the new round of “Family Feud” episodes, will take place Wednesday.

“What we found through the research was, these shows have a great resonance with younger audiences,” said Thom Beers, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “The advantage for us is, we don’t have to license anything.”

FremantleMedia owns the rights to 154 game show formats, and it’s eager to bring as many of them as possible to the YouTube generation. That catalog includes “What’s My Line,” “To Tell the Truth,” “Card Sharks,” “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Celebrity Name Game,” along with “Family Feud” and “Password.”

The YouTube initiative is meant to dovetail with Buzzr TV, a digital multicast channel stocked with reruns from the game show archive, which FMNA expects to launch May 31. Last month it announced a distribution pact for Fox’s 17 owned-and-operated stations, and the company is in talks with other station groups. The hope is to launch in 50 million homes, Beers said.

Buzzr TV and Buzzr on YouTube are aimed at two different demographics, with the former playing to older auds’ nostalgia and the latter refreshed for millennials. For younger viewers, Beers noted, “These old-format game shows are really, really hard to watch.”

The YouTube channel will include a new version of “Celebrity Name Game” and charade game “Body Language” later in the year, said Gayle Gilman, executive VP of digital content for FMNA and g.m. of Tiny Riot!

Variety
Tubefilter

posted 2/10/15

Monday: So Much for That...
Clip Show Drags NBC to Fourth; ABC, CBS Split Night
From The Futon Critic
ABC (8.218 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) was the demo champ on Monday thanks to new episodes of "The Bachelor" (8.627 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and "Castle" (7.400 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

CBS (10.273 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) then claimed the silver with its mix of "2 Broke Girls" (9.021 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2), "Mike & Molly" (9.172 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4), "Scorpion" (11.592 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (10.130 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

Next up was FOX (4.760 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with originals from "Gotham" (5.635 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5) and "Sleepy Hollow" (3.884 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.480 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up its special "The Celebrity Apprentice: Top Feuds, Firings and Fails" (4.565 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) followed by new episodes of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (4.866 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8) and "State of Affairs" (4.008 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #11).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.211 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #13) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.356 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #12) on The CW (1.284 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...

- Ellen's Design Challenge (HGTV): 2.195 million
- Kids Baking Championship (Food): 1.629 million
- @midnight (Comedy Central): 578,000

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/10/15

Sunday: Stay With Me
CBS, Grammys Win
From The Futon Critic
CBS (22.098 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 7.0, #1) was of course the network to beat on Sunday with a new "60 Minutes" (9.899 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2) and its presentation of "The 57th Annual Grammy Awards" (26.165 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 8.8, #1).

ABC (4.241 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then claimed a distant second place with "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.565 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T3) and the feature "The Hunger Games" (3.467 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #7).

Next up was FOX (2.162 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) and its mix of "Mulaney" (1.223 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #12), a repeat "The Simpsons" (1.589 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #10) and new episodes of "The Simpsons" (2.847 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (2.632 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T5), "Family Guy" (2.747 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T3) and "Bob's Burgers" (1.932 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #8).

And finally, encores of "Dateline NBC" (5.718 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #9) and "American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World" (2.341 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11) on NBC (3.185 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) closed out the evening.

On cable:

- Worst Cooks in America (Food): 1.554 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.091 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.190 million

On Friday, ABC (6.474 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) landed the top demo spot on Friday thanks to new episodes of "Last Man Standing" (7.219 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T2), "Cristela" (5.519 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #8), "Shark Tank" (7.628 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) and "20/20" (5.424 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T6).

"King of the Nerds" gave TBS 808,000 viewers.

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 2/10/15

RICHARD SHER: 1948-2015
Hosted, Created & Produced Radio Quiz "Says You!"
From WBHM Birmingham
We are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Richard Sher, creator, executive producer and host of the long-running wordplay program Says You!. Richard died February 9th after a battle with cancer. He was 66.

Richard's creativity and humor was matched by his intelligence, energy and generosity of spirit. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, and by the audiences he delighted for nearly two decades.

Says You! was developed 19 years ago in partnership with WGBH. When Richard brought the idea for Says You! to us we embraced the opportunity to create a game show that celebrated the pleasure of words and wit. Richard shaped the program with his talent for language and puzzles, and recognition that audiences would be engaged by out-loud problem solving. He was right -- audiences smiled, considered, played along and laughed from the beginning. He made Says You! a distinctive, inviting, and enduring celebration of curiosity. The program is now carried on more than 100 public radio stations nationwide.

Richard is survived by his wife, Laura Price Sher, and his son, Benjamin Payne Sher. Laura is program producer for Says You! working for Richard's media company, Pipit & Finch. Says You! will continue its broadcasts on WBHM for the time being.

If you would like to offer condolences, here is the contact information:
Laura Sher
P.O. Box 724
Weston, MA 02493

Donations in Richard's memory may be made to:
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
C/O Deborah Schrag, MD
Department of Medical Oncology
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215-5450

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

WBHM Birmingham
Boston Globe

posted 2/10/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "An Unwrapped Secret"

  • Marc Summers reveals secret leukemia fight... which he survived (E!)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: CNN Quiz Show (February 16) (Raw Story)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Craig finds his old friends (Twitter @CraigyFerg)
     
  • This week's installment of "Don't Blame Me, It Was the Editing!" is brought to you by... Kelsey (Washington Post)
     
  • ICYMI: TPIR gets killswitched (CraveOnline)
     
  • Yaya DaCosta goes from "Top Model" to "Whitney" to "Chicago Med" (Deadline)
     
  • David Tennant sets a new record on BBC Radio 4's "Just a Minute" (Herald Scotland)

posted 2/10/15

CBS Daytime Spreads the Love
Catch Valentine's Day on the Eye Friday!
From TV by the Numbers
CBS Daytime celebrates Valentine’s Day with special themed episodes of THE TALK, LET’S MAKE A DEAL, THE PRICE IS RIGHT, THE YOUNG AND The Restless and The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Monday, Feb. 9 - Friday, Feb. 13 on the CBS Television Network. In addition, CBS Daytime will mark Valentine’s Day with talent from the entire lineup participating in Twitter “Love Chats” throughout the week.

Daytime Emmy Award-winning game show LET’S MAKE A DEAL celebrates Valentine’s Day with a special themed episode featuring an audience full of single traders looking to make deals and love connections, on Friday, Feb. 13 (check local listings). Traders are matched up to make deals as couples when Cupid Wayne Brady sets the singles up on the wildest blind dates of all time. After one game of “Let’s Make a Date,” where a trader is shown four potential partners to choose from, Wayne finds a love connection between the couple after learning they already met earlier in line. Jonathan Mangum decides to makes his own deal with Wayne in honor of the Valentine’s Day show – swapping their pants during a commercial break! Also, when a couple passes up their Zonk, Wayne and Jonathan dig right in to a half-eaten box of chocolates. Our hopeful traders attempt to make a love connection and a great deal because the only thing worse than a Zonk is a Zonk and a bad date!

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 Valentine’s Day by throwing a wedding shower, Friday, Feb. 13 (11:00-Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT). An audience filled with engaged couples will have the opportunity to play as pairs and win themed prizes, including his and hers wedding bands, bachelor and bachelorette parties in Mexico, a honeymoon in Fiji and a trip to the romantic city of Venice, Italy.

TV by the Numbers

posted 2/9/15

Zee Asks for "Who's Asking"
Indian TV Picks Up Armoza Format
From Realscreen
India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited has ordered the first season of Armoza Formats’ game show Who’s Asking? (pictured) for the company’s newly launched Hindi channel &TV.

The program – which is to be the channel’s flagship non-fiction show – is titled India Poochega – Sabse Shaana Kaun? and will be hosted by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. The hour-long game show challenges participants to select the individuals asking them questions, and places an emphasis on who is doing the asking as opposed to the answers themselves.

The Big Synergy-produced show will debut in India on March 2 and air daily at 9 p.m. The format was also recently commissioned by Thailand’s Thairath TV, with the Thai adaptation also slated to premiere in March.

“We are excited to bring this unique international game show format to Indian screens,” said Rajesh Iyer, &TV business head, in a statement. “The concept of the show empowers the common man to determine the fate of a contestant, as they are the ones firing the questions as ‘askers.’”

“In addition, we have Bollywood’s superstar and the ultimate entertainer Shah Rukh Khan as the host. We are certain that the audience will enjoy a different side of their superstar and that the format will be well received,” the exec continued.

Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats, added: “Who’s Asking? is a fresh take on the studio game show genre, with the unique question mechanic of taking questions from ordinary people on the street, making it an accessible and appealing format to all.

“Who’s Asking? gives the whole country the chance to have their minute of fame on TV, and we are thrilled to be taking it to a new level with Zee’s infusion of Bollywood glamour,” he said.

Realscreen
C21Media
TBI Vision

posted 2/9/15

India Gets Killer
"Killer Karaoke" Heads Overseas
From Indian Television
Star Plus is reportedly planning to launch a new singing gameshow, which has been tentatively titled ‘Killer’.

IndianTelevision reports that the program is loosely based on ‘Sing If You Can’ and the US series ‘Killer Karaoke’. The Indian version will be produced by SOL. Its a series, which consists of two teams of three contestants who will compete against each other to win the title. The winner will take away prize, which would be either in cash or kind.

A source told the website, “We are on a hunt for independent singers, bands or anyone and everyone who has a passion for singing and a good voice. It is a fun filled high energy singing game show.”

‘Killer’ is expected to take a Sunday night slot, which has been vacant since the end of ‘India’s Raw Star’ and ‘Airlines’.

Indian Television
Media 24-7

posted 2/9/15

"Take" Me to "Church"
Second Season to Bow March 26
From The Futon Critic
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today the premiere of the second season of their hit dating show, IT TAKES A CHURCH on Thursday, March 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Grammy(R)-nominated vocalist and multiple Dove Award winner Natalie Grant returns as host, visiting churches in California, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana and Wyoming, in hopes of finding love for one lucky single. Each week, IT TAKES A CHURCH travels to a different location, to surprise one unsuspecting single with the news that they're about to be saved from the dating world, as numerous matchmakers present people they believe would be a great match. However, it is not the bachelor/bachelorette who decides who they will get to know better... it's family, friends and those closest to them in the community! After a series of dates, one person will be chosen, and the matchmaker who brought the chosen suitor also wins a donation made to the church in their name.

Highlights in season two include special guest appearances by actors/performers David & Tamela Mann ("Madea's Big Happy Family") and musician Bo Bice ("American Idol"), plus a shocking surprise proposal. In its first season, IT TAKES A CHURCH was watched by over 6 million people and it achieved triple-digit growth among W18-49 (+113%) and nearly double the audience among W25-54 (+94%), P18-49 (+88%) and P25-54 (+70%) versus the YTD time period average.

The Futon Critic
Breathecast

posted 2/9/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "A Sad Day in Blue Heaven"

  • Stuart Scott was penning a memoir when he died. "Every Day I Fight: Making a Difference, Kicking Cancer's Ass" will be available March 12 (New York Times)
     
  • Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera pick up Grammys. So does Carrie Underwood, but she doesn't have a big red chair. YET. (Reality TV World)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: 500 Questions? Sounds like it. (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Erie! Come on down! You're the next city on "The Price Is Right Live!" (Go Erie)
     
  • Steve Harvey launches a dating website (Broadway World)

posted 2/9/15


Daily Double... for Steve Harvey
Results for the Week Ending January 25 (Week 18)
From TV News Check
Steve Harvey was the only talker to hit a new season high in the week ending Jan. 25, as the syndication brigade prepared for the upcoming February sweep (Jan. 29-Feb 25).

Harvey moved up 5% to take sole possession of fourth place among talk shows with a season-best 2.1 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating. Harvey also grew 5% from last year and surged 10% in the women 25-54 sales demo to a 1.1.

In addition, the Harvey-hosted Family Feud hit a series-record high 6.8 in the game show competition.

Judge Judy took top court show for the 957th week in a row and was the second-highest strip in syndication overall, behind Wheel of Fortune, despite dipping 4% to a 7.1.

Wheel of Fortune won the game show race while increasing 3% to a 7.4.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

1. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 7.4 +3%
2. Jeopardy (CTD) 7.0 -1%
3. Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) 6.8* +3%
4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) 1.8 -5%
5. Celebrity Name Game (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 1.3 NC

TV News Check
B&C
Variety
TV by the Numbers

photo courtesy Steve Harvey

po
sted 2/3/15

Monday: Split Ends
ABC, CBS Split Post-Super Bowl Night
From The Futon Critic
ABC (8.085 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the demo champ on Monday thanks to new episodes of "The Bachelor" (8.367 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.5, #1) and "Castle" (7.523 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8).

CBS (9.229 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) then claimed the silver with new episodes of "2 Broke Girls" (9.286 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) and "Mike & Molly" (9.800 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #3) followed by a repeat "Scorpion" (8.462 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and a new "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.683 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6).

Next up was NBC (6.191 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T3) with fresh installments of "The Celebrity Apprentice" (6.942 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4) and "State of Affairs" (4.687 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #10).

Meanwhile, FOX (5.069 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T3) served up new episodes of "Gotham" (5.798 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.9, #5) and "Sleepy Hollow" (4.340 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T8).

And finally, The CW (1.359 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the evening with new episodes of "The Originals" (1.465 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.252 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #12).

On cable, week 2 of "Ellen's Design Challenge" perked up to 2.198 million. The premiere of "Kids Baking Championship" attracted 1.304 million. "@midnight" took in 483,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 2/3/15

Millionaire for the Kids
Justin Pugh to Play Celebrity Game
From The Futon Critic
Tune-in to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" the week of Monday, February 9 - Friday, February 13, 2015 as the iconic game show presents a week-long initiative to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children(R) (shrinershospitalsforchildren.org), a charity that has transformed the lives of more than a million kids with special medical needs. All week, "Millionaire" will donate $10,000 to Shriners Hospitals each time a contestant makes it into the second round of the game. The special week of shows will culminate on Friday, February 13 when Justin Pugh, offensive tackle for the New York Giants, plays the game and donates all of his winnings to the organization.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

The Futon Critic
Broadway World

posted 2/3/15

Grudge Match Coming Back
Revival a Multimedia Experience
From Press Release Rocket
Seeking revenge and personal justice just got easier with Grudge Match. Based on the 1991 Grudge Match television show, Grudge Match Sports will be a global, eSport brand that includes a video game, online streaming platform, and an updated television show linked by a common denominator: people seeking personal justice. "We were way ahead of our time. People were not used to seeing ordinary people fighting it out in a boxing ring over a simple dispute or act of revenge," Rich Melcombe, the creator of Grudge Match, and now president and CEO of Richmel Media & Productions, reflected.

Built to serve the mobile, free-to-play gamer, the Grudge Match game is being created under the direction of Dave Young, game designer and tech entrepreneur. Each Grudge Match will have three, one-minute rounds, with thirty seconds of trash talking before and after the game. Players will be able to create personas or be themselves, dress their game players in heroic or outrageous costumes, pick their weapons and/or abilities, select one of the stylized play arenas, and head off to settle their dispute electronically. If players do not have a dispute or disagreement with anyone, the game will instantly match them with someone with whom they disagree. A Rules Committee – officiated by players & Grudge Match Sports — will govern the core game.

“Our Grudge Match game is being designed from the ground up to be modifiable by user- generated content. We’re going to set up the framework to create any kind of ability, weapon, effect, theme, map, costume, or customization you can think of that will allow people to settle a grudge in public. We just launched on Kickstarter, which is the first step to help us commercialize our game and get feedback before we officially launch this summer,” stated Young.

Grudge Match television will be spearheaded by Grudge Match's original director, Bob Dunphy, a veteran boxing and MMA director, and Melcombe. Grudge Match TV will feature real people — amateurs with real grudges – fighting hand-to-hand combat, or with weapons, to settle their disputes. Incorporated into every television show will be two to three video game matches featuring the best Grudge Match game players.

“I’m excited to be part of Grudge Match Sports. The original Grudge Match became a pop culture phenomenon, but since then, technology and storytelling have changed. We are going to deliver audiences a very exciting, entertaining, nonstop action show, and create the ultimate eSport platform,” Dunphy commented.

A cross between Steam and Twitch, Grudge Match Universe will be Grudge Match's streaming platform. Universe will be built in Germany by MetaDesign AG under the guidance of Kai Zeh, Senior Director Global Development. According to Zeh, “Universe will be a meeting place for people who have experienced pain, betrayal, humiliation & ingratitude…and now seek revenge or personal justice. What I love about Grudge Match is that it’s visceral, and will elicit emotional responses from participants & spectators. Schadenfreude! Universe will be an amazing experience for any gamer.”

"No one under the age of 35 seems to know about eSports, yet they have become more popular than the average MLB, NBA, college football and basketball game. Last year 18 of the top 20 18-49 targeted cable networks lost audience, and many media outlets have given different theories as to what happened. I can tell you where they've gone. They are playing, competing or watching eSports,” states Melcombe

According to Young, “What makes Grudge Match Sports different from any other eSport is that our game is built around topical competitions, and the game play is less than four minutes per competition. Once players bring their passion into the game, they have a personal stake in the outcome. This is more than points on the board; this is one’s pride and honor rolled into three intense minutes of sport. Don’t let that snarky Twitter troll get the last word. Get even. Maintain your dignity, earn self-respect and become a champion.”

“If you’re a gamer, getting revenge or seeking personal justice can now make you money. Our game will be fully automated, and once players reach certain thresholds, they will be rewarded. Gamers who tap our “professional level” will automatically trigger sponsorship dollars and be guaranteed tournament money. They will have access to some of the best media marketing minds, who will help them build their own, distinctive brand,” Melcombe relates.

Grudge Match Sports officially launches this August. Developer versions of the Grudge Match game will be available between now and March, and the first release of the game will be in early May. Universe is scheduled to go online in July.

Press Release Rocket
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily
The Futon Critic

posted 2/3/15

Friday: Super Weekend
ABC Takes Demos.... and Some... Thing... on Sunday.
From the Futon Critic
NBC (89.787 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 30.9, #1) of course overshadowed the evening with its primetime coverage of "Super Bowl XLIX" (102.322 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 35.0, #1), making it one of the most-watched broadcasts, if not THE most-watched broadcast, in television history.

On cable, "Cutthroat Kitchen" put up 902,000 viewers, down from the 1.279 million put up by "Worst Cooks in America".

Forty-eight hours earlier, ABC (6.841 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 with its mix of "Last Man Standing" (7.478 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4), "Cristela" (5.707 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T9), "Shark Tank" (7.904 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) and "20/20" (6.028 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2).

CBS (10.131 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) then was a close second with its trio of "Undercover Boss" (8.139 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4), "Hawaii Five-0" (10.396 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and "Blue Bloods" (11.860 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T4).

Next up was NBC (4.220 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with originals from "Constantine" (3.306 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.8, #11), "Grimm" (4.832 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7) and "Dateline NBC" (4.524 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.468 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up new episodes from "World's Funniest Fails" (3.057 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T9) and "Glee" (1.879 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #12).

And finally, a new "Hart of Dixie" (1.057 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T13), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.854 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T13) and a new "Masters of Illusion" (0.889 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T13) closed out the evening on The CW (0.964 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

On cable, "King of the Nerds" dropped to 695,000.

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

posted 2/3/15

Thursday: TGIT is B-A-C-K
ABC, CBS Split Night
From The Futon Critic
ABC (9.400 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.1, #1) was the demo champ on Thursday thanks to the return of "Grey's Anatomy" (8.643 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.7, #5), "Scandal" (10.418 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.6, #2) and "How to Get Away with Murder" (9.138 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 3.0, #3).

CBS (10.156 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) then took home second place with originals from "The Big Bang Theory" (17.004 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.4, #1), "Mom" (11.841 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #4), "Two and a Half Men" (9.696 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #6), "The McCarthys" (7.125 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9) and "Elementary" (7.635 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #12).

Next up was FOX (7.283 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) with week two of its "American Idol" (9.240 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #7) and "Backstrom" (5.325 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10) combo.

Meanwhile, NBC (5.363 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up the season finale of "The Biggest Loser" (5.310 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T10) plus the series finale of "Parenthood" (5.470 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8).

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.453 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #13) and "Reign" (1.041 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) on The CW (1.247 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the night.

Syfy's "Wizard Wars" led the troops in cable with a 0.5 rating in the A18-49 demo and 1.452 million viewers. The 10:30p "Pawnography" tied with that rating, but had 1.545 million. Elsewhere...

- Pawnography (History, 10p): 1.491 million
- Project Runway All-Stars (Lifetime): 1.474 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 877,000
- @midnight (Comedy Central): 510,000

Results for "Duff Till Dawn" and "Chopped Canada" were unavailable at press time.

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

posted 2/3/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Floating Vegetables"

  • Wayne Brady to voice in "VeggieTales: Noah's Ark" (PR Newswire)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Street Art Throwdown" (Oxygen, tonight) (Variety)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Jeopardy! heads to Denver (KDVR Denver) while 500 Questions stays in SoCal (Facebook)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: If you're going to take a swipe at Dan Patrick, you better knock him the hell out. Otherwise, this is what you're going to get. Colin. (YouTube)

posted 2/3/15


Class Is In Session
Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament All This Week!
From Delmarva Now
Broadwater Academy's Latin teacher and cross-country coach will appear on the television game show "Jeopardy!" next week.

Eric Hack is a contestant in the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament, a two-week contest set to air beginning Monday, Feb. 2. He is the only Latin teacher among the 15 contestants from around the United States.

The tournament winner will take home $100,000 and an automatic spot in the next Tournament of Champions; the second-place finisher wins $50,000 and third place takes home $25,000.

"This year's Teachers Tournament is one of the best 'Jeopardy!' tournaments we've ever had," said Trebek. "The intelligence and charisma of the contestants, combined with exemplary clues and categories from our writers, resulted in a memorable competition that will be sure to excite the teachers' students watching at home."

Hack was one of three Virginia teachers in the tournament.

In addition to Hack, teachers participating in the tournament were:

» Tracy Alexander, an AP English teacher at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona;
» Mary Bayer, a drama teacher at Elgin Academy in Elgin, Illinois;
» Lydia Cuffman, a World, U.S., and Latin American History teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California;
» Adam Elkana-Hale, a math teacher at Loyola Academy of St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri;
» Cathy Farrell, a Physics and General Science teacher at Huron High School in New Boston, Michigan;
» Jennifer Giles, a bilingual education teacher at Columbine Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado;
» Chris Grinvalds, a World History and computer teacher at Bennington High School in Yutan, Nebraska;
» Martha Jackson, a Math and Speech teacher at Fremont-Mills Community School in Tabor, Iowa;
» Michael Jones, a Special Education teacher at Black Hawk Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin;
» Kate La Riviere-Gagner, a 5th and 6th grade classroom teacher at Monkton Central School in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont;
» MaryLou McKenna, an algebra teacher at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Massachusetts;
» Erin McLaughlin, a 5th grade teacher at Bay Ridge Prep in Brooklyn, New York;
» Colin O'Grady, an English teacher at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia; and
» Jay Singleton, a Social Studies and Government teacher at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, Virginia.

Delmarva Now
Detroit Free Press
Wheeling Daily Herald

photo courtesy Sony Pictures TV

po
sted 2/2/15

Britons Fight for Eternal Glory
ITV Commissions Belgian Format
From Forbes
ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial TV channel, is extending its drive to woo male viewers with a physical game show called Eternal Glory.

The show sees former sports stars compete to be crowned the “champion of champions”, in a series of challenges which includes physical endurance events and tests of ability to work as a team, to concentrate, and to handle stress.

“It’s a sort of Superstars, but done as an elimination show,” said an industry source, referring to the BBC sport-game-show format which was a hit in the 1970s and early 1980s, and which has subsequently been revived for Sport Relief charity specials and an Olympic version in 2012.

Eternal Glory forms part of ITV’s drive to attract male viewers, after the network lost the rights to the Champions League, and other soccer, from next season.

Another potentially male-skewing show, a panel game about cars, is also being piloted.

At ITV’s producers’ forum last July, where network chiefs tell producers what they are looking for, male-skewing brands were close to the top of the network’s list.

Director of program strategy David Bergg said that ITV needed to fill 110 hours of its schedule between 2015 and 2016 to replace the football.

Eternal Glory is a Belgian format, which was first pitched in the UK in 2008.

Forbes
Broadcast

posted 2/2/15

Couples vs. The Banker
C4's Deal or No Deal to Feature Pairs
From ATV Today
Channel 4 will this month air a week of Deal or No Deal featuring couples for the first time.

The special editions of the game show will see host Noel Edmonds welcome eleven couples to the wings, ready to do battle with the meanest man in telly – The Banker. With only five chances to play not everyone is guaranteed a place at the Pound Table, meaning some couples will be left wondering what could have been.

“I’ve always found players’ differing approaches to Deal Or No Deal fascinating and I’m intrigued to see how two sets of opinions will play out during the game. These specials promise to be some of the most nail-biting and unpredictable games we have seen on Deal. Let’s hope our couples are still together when they leave the studio!” – Noel Edmonds

In a twist to the format, The Banker will introduce the perilous ‘Banker’s Break Up’ quiz. Answer eight or more questions about each other correctly and the lucky pair will win a holiday. Get three or more questions wrong and he will quite literally split them up at his discretion, sending one person to the isolation room with no way of helping their partner make any further decisions in the game.

The Couples Specials will air from Monday February 9th as part of Channel 4’s afternoon schedule.

ATV Today

posted 2/2/15


Quite Interesting Pickup
BBC America to Air Season J of British Panel Quiz
From The Futon Critic
BBC AMERICA today announced it has acquired the Rose d'Or-winning and BAFTA-nominated comedy quiz show QI (Quite Interesting) hosted by Stephen Fry (Gosford Park, Bones) who can also be seen hosting The EE British Academy Film Awards on the channel this February.

QI is a panel show full of quirky facts in which contestants are rewarded more if their answers are 'quite interesting.' Every season is themed around a different letter of the alphabet and each episode has a different theme on which the celebrity guests have to answer questions, avoiding repeating common misconceptions and urban myths. It's okay to be wrong but don't be obviously, boringly wrong. BBC AMERICA launches QI Season J with three back-to-back episodes on Thursday, February 19, 8:00pm ET.

QI celebrity guests include some of Britain's most eloquent comedians and smartest experts. They include permanent panelist Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek), Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, comedians Katy Brand, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey and Flight of the Conchords' Rhys Darby, as well as Professor Brian Cox (Wonders of the Universe). QI was created by Executive Producer John Lloyd and distributed by FremantleMedia International.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Screen Rant
World Screen

photo courtesy FremantleMedia/Screen Rant

po
sted 1/30/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "We Just Wrote This Headline So We Wouldn't Get Fined"

  • Neil Patrick Harris' show to be teased during the Big Game (Deadline)
     
  • Grant Denyer squashes legal fight with Woman's Day (Daily Telegraph)
     
  • What's in the pipe for Discovery Family & GSN? (Realscreen)

posted 1/30/15


Next Stop... Celebrity Chase 2
GSN's Season 4 Opens BIG
From The Futon Critic & TV Media Insights
GSN announced today that its Emmy®-nominated hit quiz show, THE CHASE had its highest rating ever for a premiere, as the show kicked off its fourth season on Tuesday, January 27 at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Hosted by Brooke Burns and featuring the brilliant and intimidating Mark Labbett (aka “The Beast”) in the ultimate trivia challenge, THE CHASE is one of GSN’s most popular original series. The show has attracted more than 23 million total viewers since its premiere in August 2013. The season four premiere delivered over 1 million total viewers cumulative with the 11pm ET encore. Compared to its season three premiere, the 8pm ET premiere was up 56% in W25-54, +81% W18-49 and +59% W18-34. It was also up across the board, when compared to the season one and two premieres.

Next week (Tuesday, February 3 at 8:00pm ET/PT), THE CHASE will feature a special celebrity episode as TV stars Carson Kressley (“How to Look Good Naked”), Cameron Mathison (“All My Children”) and Tatyana Ali (“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) will take on The Beast and attempt to win a substantial cash prize for their respective charities. An additional celebrity episode, featuring “Scandal” stars Joe Morton, Kate Burton and Brian Letscher will air later this season.

Elsewhere on cable, "The Challenge" crested over a million for the first time this season with 1.006 million. "Face Off" gave Syfy 1.120 million. "Chopped" led for Food with 1.376 million. "Child Genius" had 852,000.

CBS (11.558 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with repeats of "NCIS" (12.780 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) and "NCIS: New Orleans" (11.621 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) plus a special "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (10.274 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1).

FOX (3.491 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then claimed the silver with an original "MasterChef Junior" (5.037 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) alongside repeats of "New Girl" (2.139 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T10) and "The Mindy Project" (1.750 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14).

Next up was ABC (4.371 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with repeats of "Shark Tank" (5.598 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5) and "Forever" (2.961 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14) bookending a new "Marvel's Agents Carter" (4.555 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.099 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T4) offered up new episodes of "Parks & Recreation" (3.469 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5), another "Parks & Recreation" (2.937 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7), "Marry Me" (2.252 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T14), "About a Boy" (2.777 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T10) and a repeat "Chicago Fire" (3.578 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T10).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Flash" (3.992 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and "Supernatural" (2.130 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T10) closed out the evening on The CW (3.061 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T4).

TV Media Insights
The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily
KTTV Los Angeles - A FEW GOOD MINUTES with host Brooke Burns
TV by the Numbers
Broadway World

posted 1/29/15

Wednesday: Empire Strikes Back
"Idol's" Not the Most Watched Show... but Fox is #1
From The Futon Critic
FOX (11.155 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.6, #1) was still the network to beat on Wednesday thanks to new episodes of "American Idol" (10.998 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2) and "Empire" (11.311 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.3, #1).

CBS (9.371 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "The Mentalist" (9.051 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6), "Criminal Minds" (10.639 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3) and "Stalker" (8.423 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4).

Next up was ABC (4.307 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and its repeat lineup of "The Middle" (5.584 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6), "The Goldbergs" (4.676 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6), "Modern Family" (5.308 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), "Black-ish" (3.872 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.2, #9), another "Black-ish" (3.427 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10) and yet another "Black-ish" (2.973 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.9, #12).

Meanwhile, The CW (2.239 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) offered up originals from "Arrow" (2.866 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T10) and "The 100" (1.611 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T15).

And finally, repeats of "The Mysteries of Laura" (4.135 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.605 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T13) and "Chicago PD" (4.063 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T15) on NBC (3.934 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #5) closed out the evening.

"Top Chef" led the cable offerings with 1.110 million.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 1/29/15

Lucky 13 for "Top Chef"
Casting Begins February 3
From TV by the Numbers
 “Top Chef” is seeking chefs who have the recipe for success at casting calls for season 13! Bravo's Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series "Top Chef" will return for a thirteenth season in Fall 2015. Driven by strong ratings for season twelve, the network announced open casting calls in cities across the country for chefs interested in competing in the high-stakes culinary competition series starting on February 3. In 2015, “Top Chef” is the #1 food competition show on cable among P18-49 and P25-54 on a L3 basis.

"Top Chef" season 13 casting calls are as follows:

*For updated casting information and to download an application, visit TopChefCasting.com

Nashville - Tuesday 2/3 10am - 12pm
Adele's - 1210 McGavock Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Seattle - Tuesday 2/3 10am - 12pm
Canlis - 2576 Aurora Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

Chicago - Tuesday 2/10 10am - 12pm
Trenchermen - 2039 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

Brooklyn - Tuesday 2/10 10am - 12pm
Talde - 369 7th Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Los Angeles - Tuesday 2/17 10am - 12pm
Scarpetta - 225 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Tune in next Wednesday, February 4th at 9pm ET/PT for part two of the three-part finale in Mexico.

TV by the Numbers
Yahoo! TV

posted 1/29/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Hot Stove"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: "MasterChef Junior" season finale - February 24 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • You know how they say there's a grain of truth behind every joke? Well, Paula Abdul & Nigel Lythgoe have one for you... (Yahoo! TV)
     
  • This teacher from Iowa (KMA Shenandoah) and this teacher from New England (Burlington Free Press) are just two of the 15 competing for $100,000 on Jeopardy!'s Teacher's Tournament next week!
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Christmas in February? (Reality Wanted)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Puppy! (Entertainment Weekly)

posted 1/29/15

Syndies: Week 17
Results for the Week Ending January 18
From B&C
Syndication settled down in the week ending Jan. 18, with most shows steady for the week.

CTD’s Hot Bench continued to lead the first-run rookies. After hitting a new series high in the prior week, the panel court show gave back 11% to a first-place 1.7 in households. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which returned with new episodes, was flat at a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ The Real hit a new season high 1.2, up 9% from the prior week. NBCU's Meredith Vieira slipped 8% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s recently renewed Judge Faith was unchanged at a 0.7.

Among women 25-54, The Real was on top with an unchanged 0.9, followed by Hot Bench at a steady 0.8. Celebrity Name Game dropped 13% in the demo to a 0.7. Meredith Vieira was flat at a 0.6, as was Judge Faith at a 0.4.

All of the game shows were down, except for Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which appreciated 6% to hit an eight-week high 1.9. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune lost 10% to a 7.2, while CTD’s Jeopardy! declined 7% to a 7.1 and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud flagged 1% to a 6.6. Those three shows ranked second, third and fourth in overall syndication, respectively.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic
TV Media Insights

posted 1/28/15

New Judges! New Drag Race!
Catch It on Logo March 3!
From The Futon Critic
"RuPaul's Drag Race" returns to Logo TV with a gaggle of queens so ingenious, a competition so unpredictable and a judges' panel so packed with talent, you'll be seeing stars! New this season, RuPaul welcomes pop culture aficionados Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews to the permanent judging panel alongsideMichelle Visage. Kressley and Mathews will leave fans gagging with their rapid-fire quick wit, impeccable sense of style and signature sass. Think you know this race? Honey, you have no idea. "RuPaul's Drag Race" returns with a new season on Monday, March 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

"Yes, Virginia, there is a gay Santa Claus!" exclaimed Executive Producer, RuPaul. "I asked for a new, wickedly funny, smart and experienced judge... and I got two! Ross and Carson are the perfect addition to the 'RuPaul's Drag Race' family because they're not just show biz experts, they're superfans and longtime lovers of the art of drag."

"Oh what a thrill to be a judge on season 7 of 'RuPaul's Drag Race!'" declared Carson Kressley. "The wigs, the lashes, the gowns -- but enough about us judges -- the girls this season are so 'sickening,' it's the best season yet!"

"I have never been more qualified to do anything in my entire life," said Ross Mathews. "As quite possibly the biggest super fan of 'RuPaul's Drag Race' in the entire galaxy, I take my position as a judge very seriously and will proudly serve as a voice for my fellow super fans -- albeit, a very high-pitched voice."

Once again, RuPaul will be joined by the hottest celebrities in pop culture today to help alongside show regulars Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews as they decide who will stay, lip-synch for their life or "Sashay Away." This season's celebrity guest judges include Ariana Grande, Jessica Alba, Demi Lovato, John Waters, Kathy Griffin,Olivia Newton-John, Alyssa Milano, Kat Dennings, Jordin Sparks, Mel B, Tamar Braxton, Rebecca Romijn, Santino Rice, Isaac Mizrahi, Michael Urie, Rachael Harris, Lucian Piane and Merle Ginsberg.

The Futon Critic

posted 1/28/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Touring with the Hosts"

  • Craig Ferguson adds another show in Philadelphia (Broadway World), John Davidson plays the Great and Powerful in "Wicked" (Greenville Online), Alton Brown cooks in Savannah (DoSavannah.com), and Ben Stein speaks in Orlando (WebWire)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 20 facts about "Strictly Come Dancing" (Evening Times)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Big Brother... with Zombies. And no, it's not that movie (What's on TV)

posted 1/28/15