Thanks for Playing!

Facebookbird, new, square, twitter icon

   

NEWS ARCHIVE
90-DAY

MONDAY | TUESDAY | WEDNESDAY | THURSDAY | WEEKEND | PRIMETIME | SCHEDULE | ARCHIVES: 30 90 | WLTI | STATE OF PLAY | ABOUT

Copyright Statement
ALL ORIGINAL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 1999-2015 GAMESHOWNEWSNET.COM. All rights reserved.

No infringement of copyright is intended by these fan pages; production companies of shows this site covers retain all rights to the sounds, images, and information contained herein. No challenge to copyright is implied. 

Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 
Full Copyright Statement
 

Powered by 1&1 Internet


ANTHONY RILEY: 1987-2015
"The Voice" Contestant Dies of Apparent Suicide
From Yahoo!

Vivacious street performer Anthony Riley, a frontrunner on this most recent season of The Voice who inspired the fastest four-chair turnaround in the series’ history, has died at age 28 of an apparent suicide. The news first broke Friday evening via the fan site Rickey.org, after several of Riley’s friends expressed their grief on social media. A man identifying himself as Riley’s best friend, fellow Philadelphia busker Robby Parsons, spoke exclusively to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks and confirmed the news.

“Anthony passed away Tuesday. He wasn’t found until yesterday [Friday],” said Parsons. “His sister called me at 7:30 yesterday to tell me… I called the friend he’d been living with, Bobby Iovine, and Bobby was in tears. And he said, ‘Robby, it’s true.‘”

Parsons added: “Anthony was a gentle soul. Just a loving, caring, gentle person, is what he was.” Parsons later corroborated Philly.com’s Saturday report that Riley took his own life.

"We are sad over the passing of Anthony Riley. We offer our deepest condolences to his friends and family during this very difficult time," a representative for The Voice said in a statement.

Riley mysteriously and abruptly left The Voice Season 8 before the Knockout Rounds, which aired this past March, with no explanation other than “personal reasons.” It was later revealed that he’d actually dropped out of The Voice in January to enter a two-week rehab program for substance abuse. Riley told Philly.com that he went to Voice producers, shortly after his successful Battle Round was taped in January, to discuss his ongoing addiction problems. That night, producers flew Riley back home, and he entered Clarity Way, a rehab facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania. According to Riley, NBC footed the bill, although reps for The Voice declined to comment.

“At the time, [The Voice] wasn’t working for me and I felt like I needed to go, instead of taking on more responsibility than I could handle,” Riley told Philly.com. While he stressed that The Voice was a "really great source of support” and “they [made] sure we understood we were getting ourselves into,” he said that the heavy workload and 16-hour days on the show were just too much for him to handle. “It’s stressful; there are a lot of days that can turn into lonely days,” he explained.

Riley also stated back in March that he had no plans to audition for The Voice again, despite a groundswell of fan support. “The Voice is over for me,” he said.

Yahoo!

posted 6/7/15

GSM4 Raises $5000
Annual Marathon Ends with a Bang
From WSET Lynchburg-Roanoke

For Bob Hagh, Cory Anotado, and Christian Carrion, Saturday night was a night of no sleep, and a lot of fun, all for a good cause.

The three friends are the organizers of the 24-Hour Game Show Marathon. The trio stay up for 24 straight hours, playing classic game shows with online viewers, who donate for the chance to play.

Now in its fourth year, this year's “Marathon” raised over five thousand dollars for Child's Play, a charity that helps provide hospitalized children with toys and games.

(Disclaimer #1: story written by friend of the site)

(Disclaimer #2: GSNN is a sponsor)

WSET Lynchburg

posted 6/7/15

Thursday: Warriors Lead, 1-0
The Finals Give ABC the Win
From the Futon Critic

ABC (12.499 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.8, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with its coverage of "Jimmy Kimmel: Game Night" (7.898 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #3), "NBA Countdown" (9.617 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.6, #2) and "NBA Finals, Game 1" (14.370 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.6, #1).

FOX (4.661 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then was a distant second place with new episodes of "Bones" (5.124 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and "Wayward Pines" (4.200 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5).

Next up was CBS (5.604 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) and its repeat lineup of "The Big Bang Theory" (7.412 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4), "The Odd Couple" (5.787 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5), "Mom" (5.842 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9), "Mike & Molly" (5.487 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and "Elementary" (4.547 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13).

Meanwhile, NBC (4.321 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up originals from "Dateline NBC" (6.419 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and "Aquarius" (3.922 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11) plus the season premiere of "Hannibal" (2.621 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11).

And finally, repeats of "iZombie" (0.757 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.3, #14) and "The Vampire Diaries" (0.600 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #15) on The CW (0.678 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 420,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/5/15

That 70s Quiz
"The CNN Quiz Show" Returns Monday
From TV Newser

CNN is bringing back the CNN Quiz Show. Airing Monday, the second edition of the newsy game show focuses on the 1970’s.

Host Anderson Cooper is back, but the teams have changed. This time, John Berman–who rocked presidential trivia the first time out–is paired with Don Lemon, who did not.

New contestant Bill Weir teams up with returning player Alisyn Camerota. The third pair, Richard Quest and Brooke Baldwin are both new to the game show.

The timing of the 70’s-themed show is no accident, coinciding with CNN’s June 11 premiere of CNN’s original series The Seventies.

TV Newser

posted 6/5/15

The Cast Is Locked... The Lights Are On!
It's Robot Fighting Time June 21
From the Futon Critic

The robot shrapnel will fly in the BattleBox this summer, with expert play-by-play analysis from veteran sports broadcaster Chris Rose, and color commentary from former UFC fighter Kenny Florian. Hosted by celebrated sports anchor Molly McGrath, "BattleBots" premieres SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (9:00- 10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Covering every inch of the epic robot fighting competition are sideline reporters Allison Haislip and NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi. Judging each battle are former BattleBots competitor and special effects artist Fon Davis, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin and the face of Nerdist Jessica Chobot. Ring announcer Faruq Tauheed will preside as the bots go metal-a-metal.

The Futon Critic
TV Line

posted 6/5/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "New and Newer"

  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS?! No one on Jeopardy! knows who Loretta Lynch is (New York Daily News)
     
  • Vernon Kay takes over as AEO Excellent Awards host (Exhibition News)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP! Czech reality show offers $40,000 to a family who can survive Nazi-era Europe (New York Times)

posted 6/5/15

Golf Sets a "Course"
Catch "Altered Course" June 15!
From the Futon Critic

The traditional golf course layout will not apply to the eight teams competing in Altered Course Montego Bay, Golf Channel's new reality competition series premiering Monday, June 15 at 9 p.m. ET. The series will require teams to navigate re-imagined golf holes in excess of 700 yards all the while traversing natural obstacles they encounter along the way.

Taking place in Montego Bay, Jamaica and presented by the all-new Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Resort, this 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, with the teams competing in a variety of formats, including alternate-shot and scramble. Teams will be scored on a combination of strokes and the time it takes them to complete the hole. Weekly eliminations will leave one team ultimately left standing as champion, pocketing a grand prize of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Altered Course Montego Bay features a talented and diverse cast including professional and former collegiate golfers, siblings, best friends, sergeants in the United States Army and speed golf competitors.

The Futon Critic

posted 6/4/15

More on "Food Fighters"
Catch Season 2 on NBC July 2
From the Futon Critic

An incredible line-up of celebrity chefs and the introduction of kids as contestants for the first time ever spice up the second season of "Food Fighters," the high-stakes culinary game returning to NBC on Thursday, July 2 (8-9 p.m. ET). 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, with the chance to win as much as $100,000. Television personality, author and food enthusiast Adam Richman ("Man Finds Food," "Fandemonium") hosts the series that takes culinary sparring to an exciting new level.

"Food Fighters" has only featured adult contestants competing against the pro chefs, until now. This season, kid chefs are also added to the mix, showing off their incredible culinary skills while racing against the clock to try and beat some of the most formidable chefs in the country.

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, and season two features high-profile chefs Rocco DiSpirito, Nadia G., Lorena Garcia, Duff Goldman, Eric Greenspan, Antonia Lofaso, Brian Malarkey, Aaron McCargo, Marcel Vigneron and Fabio Viviani.

Armed only with recipes for their best signature dishes, kid contestants and adult players will square off against an expert chef who will have to cook the same dish, but with no advance notice of what the dish will be. 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.

Tim Puntillo, Ben Silverman, Chris Grant and Laura Caraccioli are the executive producers of the series from Electus and Universal Television.

The Futon Critic

posted 6/4/15

Summer Sync-ation
Lip Sync Battle to Return July 9
From the Futon Critic

"Lip Sync Battle" has been a ratings champion for Spike since launch on April 2, delivering record viewership for the network. Over the past 9 weeks, "Lip Sync Battle" is ranked #1 in its timeslot in all of cable TV with Adults 18-49 and Women 18-49 and among all cable entertainment series with Men 18-49. The original series averaged 2.9 million viewers and has improved the network's timeslot with the key demographic of Adults 18-49 by 161%.

"Lip Sync Battle" also delivered a staggering 177 million cross-platform streams across Spike's owned and operated properties as well as Facebook and YouTube, with Anne Hathaway's "wrecking ball" clip alone garnering 15 million.

The most recent episode, airing on Thursday, May 28 featuring Queen Latifah vs. Marlon Wayans, ranked #1 in all of television with Adults 18-49, Men 18-49, Women 18-49, and Adults 18-34.

Season 1 will take a brief hiatus in June and will continue with new episodes on Thursday, July 9 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

The broad reach of the "Lip Sync Battle" has played a key role in the network's successful shift in targeting a more general audience.

Lip Sync Battle returns Thursday, July 9.

The Futon Critic

posted 6/4/15

Wednesday: HAWKS!
Stanley Cup Final Gives NBC the Night
From the Futon Critic

NBC (5.463 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the demo champ on Wednesday with its coverage of the "NHL Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1" (5.463 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1).

FOX (3.972 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "MasterChef" (4.602 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) and "Bullseye" (3.342 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

Next up was ABC (3.941 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) and repeats of "The Middle" (4.503 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8), "The Goldbergs" (3.884 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8), "Modern Family" (4.439 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3), "Black-ish" (3.802 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) plus a new "Celebrity Wife Swap" (3.509 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6).

Meanwhile, CBS (5.798 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up week two of "The Briefcase" (5.387 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8) alongside repeats of "Criminal Minds" (6.134 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6) and "CSI: Cyber" (5.873 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (1.007 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and "Supernatural" (0.816 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.911 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 411,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8): 384,000
- The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians (Fox Sports 1): 371,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30): 370,000
- Fake Off (truTV): 369,000
- Joking Off (MTV2): 228,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/4/15

¡Mira Abajo!
Azteca Buys "Still Standing"
From Worldscreen

Mexican broadcaster Azteca is producing its own local version of the game show Still Standing, thanks to a deal with Armoza Formats.

The Mexican treatment will consist of 60 episodes. Production is slated to begin in September, with Azteca producing in-house for a tentative launch in early 2016. The new agreement marks the 14th territory to air Still Standing.

Avi Armoza, the CEO of Armoza Formats, said, “We’re thrilled to see our hit show Still Standing continue to grow internationally and to prove that this game show works across the globe. We’re very excited to be partnering with Azteca Mexico once again and to be opening a Still Standing hub for the region, as we look to further expand the reach of the show in this key region.”

Worldscreen

posted 6/4/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Hot Forever"

posted 6/4/15


Chain Joins The Chase
GSN Lines Up New Thursday Lineup July 16
From the Futon Critic

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it will air never-before-seen episodes of its Emmy(R)-nominated hit game show, THE CHASE followed by the debut of an all-new edition of the popular word association game show CHAIN REACTION, beginning Thursday, July 16th at 8PM ET/PT (7pm CT).

The popular quiz show, THE CHASE, now in its fourth season, will air Thursdays at 8pm ET/PT. The show is hosted by Brooke Burns and features the brilliant and intimidating Mark Labbett (aka "The Beast") facing down all challengers in the ultimate trivia challenge.

At 9pm, GSN will debut an all-new version of the popular word association game show CHAIN REACTION. The classic half-hour game show - which originally debuted in the 1980s - features two teams competing against one another to complete a chain of seven 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 below it. By making inferences based on the revealed words and the revealed letters in incomplete words, contestants try to fill in the word chains to score points.

The newest iteration of CHAIN REACTION will be hosted by radio and television personality Mike Catherwood. He has appeared on Dancing with the Stars, Undateable and guest hosted on Live! With Regis and Kelly. Catherwood is also the co-host of the cult classic radio show, Loveline with Dr. Drew Pinsky, where he offers relationship advice to callers. Mike is also a regular on the new Dr. Drew show on HLN and he co-hosts a daily radio show on Los Angeles radio station KABC.

The new episodes will be produced by Sony Pictures Television. Vincent Rubino (The Newlywed Game, Million Dollar Password) serves as executive producer.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers

posted 6/3/15

Syndies: Week 35
Results for the Week Ending May 24
From B&C

In the last major ratings sweep of the 2014-15 season, which ran from April 23 - May 20, most syndicated shows were down from last year, but a few shows managed to stand out.

The game-show competition also ended in a photo finish with CTD’s Wheel of Fortune just edging out CTD’s Jeopardy! by a tenth of a point. Wheel slowed 3% to a 6.5, while Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 6.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, meanwhile, spiked 18%, the only annual increase in the genre, to a 6.0.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire dropped 24%, game’s biggest decline, to a 1.6. Debmar-Mercury’s newbie Celebrity Name Game tallied a 1.3 in its first May outing, up 18% from its September debut.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 6/3/15

Tuesday: It Must Be NBC
"Talent", "I Can Do That" Take Peacock to the Top
From the Futon Critic

NBC (8.963 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with week two of "America's Got Talent" (10.698 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) and "I Can Do That!" (5.491 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2).

CBS (7.579 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) then claimed the silver with its repeat lineup of "NCIS" (8.638 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4), "NCIS: New Orleans" (7.916 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4) and "48 Hours" (6.184 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4).

Next up was FOX (3.093 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) with fresh installments from "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (2.902 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #10) and "Hell's Kitchen" (3.284 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3).

Meanwhile, ABC (2.559 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #4) served up repeats of "Fresh Off the Boat" (3.195 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7) and "Black-ish" (2.570 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7) plus a new "Extreme Weight Loss" (2.398 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T7).

And finally, a repeat "The Flash" (1.488 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) and a new "iZombie" (1.746 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11) closed out the evening for The CW (1.617 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

On cable:
- Chopped (Food): 1.284 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 417,000
- American Ninja Warrior (R/Esquire): 221,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/3/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "'Merica"

  • Canadian viewers laugh at our ignorance at our neighbors to the north. Because 'Merica. (CBC)
     
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: Pontoon Payday runs aground... on Saturdays at noon (The Futon Critic)

posted 6/3/15

The Benchmark of British Quiz
Catch It on 4!
From Carrick Gazette

This week has seen the arrival of another new afternoon game show to our screens. Its usual slot will be at 4pm on Channel 4 (although this week there is no show on Friday and one on Saturday at a later time).

Benchmark is hosted by Paddy McGuinness who interacts well with the contestants.

The show begins with a competition between two of the eleven contestants to see which one will play the ‘game’ that day.

The object of the game is to win as much money as possible up to £25,000.

The remaining ‘benchmarkers’ have to answer a question such has ‘How much does the average British man spend on Valentine’s Day?’ where the answer is always a number.

The three most widely out answers are discounted and it is the average of the remaining ones that is the ‘benchmark.’

The player has to decide whether the correct answer is higher or lower than the ‘benchmark’. If the player is correct, then the player moves forward along a grid which has a number of amounts of money on it. If the player is wrong, then the highest amount of money no longer becomes a possible win.

The final three questions require the player to provide the correct number to each question.

Depending on how far out the player is from the correct answer, will determine how much money (if any) is won.

The ‘benchmarker’ who overall is furthest out in their answers leaves the show to be replaced by a new contestant; while the two with the best set of answers take part in the opening contest the following day.

Carrick Gazette
Manchester Evening News
Televisual

posted 6/2/15

Monday: Ninja vs. Dancers
NBC Has Near-Record "ANW", ABC Wins Night
From TV Line

Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance opened its rejiggered Season 11 on Monday night with 3.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 demo rating.

That’s down 23 and 37 percent from its previous premiere and off 11 and 14 percent from the Season 10 finale.

Now opening the night on ABC, The Bachelorette (6.5 mil/1.9) surged 20 percent. The Whispers’ debut retained 5.7 mil and a 1.5, up 30 and 25 percent from Mistresses‘ year-ago premiere and giving ABC its top-rated scripted summer launch in nearly five years (since Rookie Blue circa June 2010).

NBC’s Ninja Warrior (6.8 mil/2.0) rose 16 percent and two tenths, flirting with an all-time high audience, while The Island (3.8 mil/1.2) was flat.

On cable:
- RuPaul's Drag Race (season finale, Logo): 387,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 367,000

TV Line
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/2/15

Another Run at "Drag Race"
Logo Renews Flagship Series
From The Futon Critic

Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance opened its rejiggered Season 11 on Monday night with 3.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 demo rating.

That’s down 23 and 37 percent from its previous premiere and off 11 and 14 percent from the Season 10 finale.

Now opening the night on ABC, The Bachelorette (6.5 mil/1.9) surged 20 percent. The Whispers’ debut retained 5.7 mil and a 1.5, up 30 and 25 percent from Mistresses‘ year-ago premiere and giving ABC its top-rated scripted summer launch in nearly five years (since Rookie Blue circa June 2010).

NBC’s Ninja Warrior (6.8 mil/2.0) rose 16 percent and two tenths, flirting with an all-time high audience, while The Island (3.8 mil/1.2) was flat.

On cable:
- RuPaul's Drag Race (season finale, Logo): 387,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 367,000

TV Line
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/2/15

Weekend: Replay
Game Reruns Dominate Schedule
From The Futon Critic

NBC (4.826 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T1) and ABC (4.441 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T1) shared in the demo honors with the latter serving up a repeat "Shark Tank" (4.358 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) followed by the return of "Primetime: What Would You Do?" (4.562 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #1) and a new "20/20" (4.402 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T3).

The Peacock then served up a rebroadcast of "America's Got Talent" (4.601 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T3) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.275 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2).

Next up was CBS (5.207 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.6, #3) and its repeat lineup of "Undercover Boss" (4.113 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T7), "Hawaii Five-0" (5.186 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T7) and "Blue Bloods" (6.323 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.7, #6).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.644 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.4, #4) offered up encores of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (2.013 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T10) and "Bullseye" (1.274 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T10).

And finally, a new "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.504 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #9), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.207 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T10) and a new "The Messengers" (0.862 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) closed out the evening on The CW (1.109 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5).

On cable:
- Spring Baking Championship (season finale, Food): 1.658 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen (Food): 1.388 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.157 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 6/2/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "You Can't Fire Me"

  • Nigel Lythgoe swears he didn't fire Mary Murphy (Twitter @dizzyfeet)
     
  • Britain's Got Talent's latest fracas is going to the dogs (Telegraph)
     
  • The absolute last word that we will have on "Brokeback Bachelor" (Washington Post)
     
  • The Gronkowskis are gon' play, Steve! (CBS Sports)
     
  • Rumer Willis to join "Dancing" top 10 on tour (The Futon Critic)
     
  • RuPaul Ru-veals season 4 starting Sunday July 26 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • DRG (producers of Catchphrase) move house to LA (Variety)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Mark Burnett (Realscreen)

posted 6/2/15


BETSY PALMER: 1926-2015
"I've Got a Secret" Regular; Jason's Mom from "Friday the 13th"
From the Hollywood Reporter

Betsy Palmer, the veteran character actress who achieved lasting, though not necessarily sought-after, fame as the murderous camp cook in the cheesy horror film Friday the 13th, has died. She was 88.

Palmer died Friday of natural causes at a hospice care center in Connecticut, her longtime manager, Brad Lemack, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Palmer also was known for her work as a regular panelist on the CBS game show I’ve Got a Secret for about a decade starting in 1958.

The wholesome Indiana native had appeared in films, on Broadway and in TV shows for years before she took the role of Mrs. Voorhees in the 1980 movie in which young camp counselors suddenly begin meeting their bloody ends. The back story was that she was the mother of Jason Voorhees, who had died at the camp years before. He would come to life in several sequels, and she is seen oh so briefly in the 1981 Friday the 13th follow-up.

Palmer said that she only took the role in that first film because she wanted the money to buy a new car, a Volkswagen Scirocco that cost $9,999. Her old Mercedes had just broken down on the road days earlier.

"My agent called and said, 'How would you like to be in a movie?'" she recalled. "I said, 'Great, I haven't done a movie since the 1960s.' He said, 'It’s 10 days’ work, they’ll pay you $1,000 a day.' I said, 'Great, I want to buy a car. It’ll just cover the car, perfect.' He said, 'There’s a drawback … it’s a horror film.' I said, Oh, no.’

But Palmer did want to pay for that car, so she asked to see the script. "I said, 'What a piece of junk,'" she said. "Nobody is ever going to see this. This will come and go."

Her game show credits also include "Family Feud", "$25,000 Pyramid", "To Tell the Truth", "Password All-Stars", the original "The Price Is Right", and "What's My Line?".

She also starred in numerous TV shows from the early 1950s, among them Kraft Theatre, Playhouse 90 and Studio One.

The Hollywood Reporter
Entertainment Weekly
WNBC New York
Variety
AV Club
CNN
New York Times
IGN

posted 6/1/15

BuzzrTV Is On The Air!
Diginet Kicks Off with "LMAD" Pilot
From The Washington Post

FremantleMedia North America has unlocked the vault on six decades of the most exciting vintage game shows, which will air on the new digital multicast network, BUZZR. For the first time since 1963, the original pilot episode of Let’s Make A Deal hosted by the legendary Monty Hall will be appearing in primetime on June 1, 2015 at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT with a re-airing at 11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT, only on BUZZR. Serving as a historic cache of the era, viewers will watch as contestants win and lose prizes for the first time on the Let’s Make A Deal stage, including a “luxurious” raccoon coat, a 1963 Pontiac Tempest convertible, a toaster oven worth a whopping $29.95, and four live lambs! This epic episode will also be paired with a monumental moment in game show history as Monty Hall sits down with current Let’s Make A Deal host, Wayne Brady, for an intimate look back at the show, including hilarious stories about crazy contestants, some of their all-time favorite moments, and even being punched in the eye by a monkey!

As a countdown to the launch of the network, beginning at noon ET/9:00 AM PT, BUZZR will light up with footage that will provide a sneak peek into the programming, featured episodes of Super Password and Card Sharks, and all of the crazy game show antics that will grace the network. The footage will continue to loop throughout the day until the curtain officially rises on BUZZR at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT with the 1963 pilot episode of Let’s Make A Deal.

BUZZR is set to launch in 35% of the country, across FOX O&O markets including 9 out of the top 10 DMAs. The complete list of markets at launch includes:

· WWOR/New York
· KCOP/Los Angeles
· WPWR/Chicago
· WTXF/Philadelphia
· KDFI/Dallas-Ft. Worth
· KTVU/San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
· WTTG/Washington DC
· WAGA/Atlanta
· KTXH/Houston
· WJBK/Detroit
· WTVT/Tampa-St. Petersburg
· WRBW/Orlando-Daytona Beach
· WMYT/Charlotte
· KTBC/Austin
· KVBC/Fresno-Visalia

**More Markets to Follow**

TV by the Numbers
Broadway World
USA Today
TV Week

posted 6/1/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Doubling Down on Bachelors"

  • The Bachelor to figure into a very old joke (Time) and a very new episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" (Us Magazine)
     
  • Shark Tank, Face Off, and Cat Deeley score at the Critics Choice Awards (TV Insider)
     
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: Vacation Chasers heads to HLN June 5, followed by Twinning (VH1, July 15), Geeks Who Drink (Syfy, July 16), She's Got Game (VH1, August 10) (PopMatters)
     
  • Endemol Shine recruits from BBC, AGT, and Whammy! (Realscreen)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with RuPaul on the Vanity Fair cover (Access Hollywood)

posted 6/1/15

Survivor at 15
Granddaddy of Reality Franchises Debuted in 2000
From The Washington Post

Television producer Mark Burnett remembers the first time he got in trouble with CBS, the network that has aired his reality show “Survivor,” for the past 15 years. While overseeing filming during the first season in early 2000, Burnett excitedly showed members of the press some rough footage – he didn’t realize CBS frowned upon early sneak peeks. Network executives yelled at him: “You can’t do that!”

That is, until they saw the stunned reaction from reporters. Burnett remembers them staring at the movielike footage, which followed contestants living on a deserted island as they competed to win a $1 million prize. It was unlike anything that had ever been on broadcast TV before. And it was then that Burnett realized he had something special.

“At that moment, I was just excited,” Burnett says almost 15 years later. “Little did I realize it truly [would become] a game-changer.”

Jeff Probst and executive producer Mark Burnett (Sonja Flemming/CBS) Jeff Probst and executive producer Mark Burnett (Sonja Flemming/CBS)
“Survivor” premiered on May 31, 2000 – as illustrated, the extreme success of the show officially led to an explosion in the reality TV genre as networks realized the potential gold mine of a programming that was cheaper to produce than scripted shows. Even more amazingly, “Survivor” endures 15 years – and 30 seasons – later. It’s part of the “old guard” of reality television, including shows such as “American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Amazing Race” and “The Bachelor,” which have been on the air for at least a decade.

So, what’s the super-producer’s secret? Burnett has two primary rules. The first is the main thinking behind “Survivor,” which rings very old school: He compares it to the days of letter-writing.

“When you got regular messages from people you love, you recognize the stationery, the postmark, the handwriting. . . . What was exciting was you opened it each week and what was written inside on the stationery was a fresh message,” Burnett said. “That’s the philosophy of ‘Survivor': We’re not sending unusual stationery or unusual handwriting, but we are sending exciting, fresh news each week.”

Burnett credits this combination – a viewer’s need for familiar, comfortable programming while still injecting twists – for keeping “Survivor” a fan favorite for so long. The format rarely changes – host Jeff Probst is always there – but producers can throw in a gimmick each season. For some, it’s a soothing routine. While ratings have dropped, it’s still a steady performer for CBS.

Burnett emphasizes the importance, especially in competition shows, of keeping the format steady without adding too many crazy twists or confusing rules. He uses the same underlying idea for shows such as ABC’s “Shark Tank” and NBC’s “The Voice,” other hit shows that he produces. “[Reality show] formats are like a board game,” he said. “Certain games just work.”

Burnett’s other key point for enduring reality show success: Be nice and don’t forget to feature likable people. It may seem counterintuitive when craziness brings the ratings. But it’s no secret that viewers tired of “American Idol” making fun of terrible contestants. And mean-spirited shows over the years such as “Are You Hot?” or “I Wanna Marry Harry” drew early headlines for judging and pranking people, but were quickly canceled.

“I remember when we did ‘The Voice’ for the first time, people asked me, ‘How’s it going to make it?'” Burnett recalls, specifically because the show didn’t have any William Hung-esque terrible contestants (as seen on “Idol”) that would attract attention. “I remember saying it was funny temporarily – but then after a while, it becomes sad.”

In the end, if viewers associate you with a feel-good premise (again: back to the theme of comfort), they’re more likely to watch.

“We’re trying to propagate positivity while still having drama. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You don’t need to be mean to create drama,” Burnett said. “There’s a lot of negative stuff out there. And it’s great to not be contributing to that.”

Washington Post

posted 5/29/15

Here Comes the Boom!
First Look at Fox's New Series
From The Wrap

Fox’s explosive new competition premieres Thursday June 25

In a first look at FOX’s new game show “Boom!” contestants are soaked with pizza sauce, beef stroganoff and cheddar cheese for every incorrect answer.

The objective of the competition is simple: answer a question correctly by cutting the corresponding wire, thereby defusing that round’s bomb. Cut the wrong wire and everyone in the room risks getting doused with any one of a variety of foodstuffs.

Winners stand to gain up to $500,000 in prize money and/or dry cleaning bills.

Following the success of “Boom!” in Israel, Fox is banking on its potential to become one of this summer’s most popular new shows.

Tom Papa hosts (and gets spattered with sauce).

The Wrap
The Futon Critic

posted 5/29/15

Thursday: A Wayward Win
Fox, NBC Split Night
From The Futon Critic

FOX (4.665 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #1) was the demo champ on a competitive Thursday with new episodes of "Bones" (5.374 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) and "Wayward Pines" (3.956 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2).

NBC (5.922 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then claimed the silver with a new "Dateline NBC" (6.390 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) and the launch of "Aquarius" (5.688 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7).

Next up was CBS (5.097 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) and its repeat lineup of "The Big Bang Theory" (7.514 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1), "The Odd Couple" (5.437 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5), "Mom" (4.883 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7), "Mike & Molly" (4.750 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7) and "Elementary" (4.000 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #10).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.272 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up the season finale of "500 Questions" (5.038 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T5) and a special "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (2.740 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11).

And finally, repeats of "iZombie" (0.780 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and "The Vampire Diaries" (0.470 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.625 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.913 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.146 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 377,000
- Pontoon Payday (CMT, 10p): 212,000
- Pontoon Payday (CMT, 10:30p): 164,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
B&C

posted 5/29/15

So You Think You Can Change
Catch the Season Premiere Monday on Fox
From TV Insider

Nigel Lythgoe is determined to get the bloom back on his prize summer rose: the Fox competition series So You Think You Can Dance. Ratings for the show have faded in recent years, so the executive producer and top judge has ordered a major shake-up for Season 12, which premieres Monday. Here's what to expect.

No more boys vs. girls. Now it's stage dancers (contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap) against street (hip-hop, breaking, animation). Two teams of 10 will be picked in the Las Vegas auditions, with Season 2 grad Travis Wall coaching the stage gang and Season 4's Stephen "tWitch" Boss in charge of the streeters. One dancer from each team will be eliminated every week until only two remain. "Street dancers have brought so much charisma and creativity to the show, but many get cut in the early stages because they can't do jazz or contemporary," Lythgoe says. "Now, they have a greater shot at the big prize. This will also inspire the stage kids to become more athletic and gymnastic."

Jason Derulo and Paula Abdul get judgy. Those yammering, self-reverential guest judges are gone, with pop sensation Derulo and reality star/choreographer Abdul signing on for a full season at the judges' table. "Jason is ideal, because he studied stage dance as a kid and now he's doing street with his own dancers," notes Lythgoe. "And Paula doesn't just look at how a kid is dancing right now. She knows what that kid can do in the future, and such foresight is important. This show has sent home too many dancers way too early."

The Hot Tamale Train has left the station. Mary Murphy, the popular, heart-on-her-sleeve judge who specialized in ballroom dance, won't return this season, and it wasn't her choice. "I have never liked having four judges on the panel because it takes too much time away from the contestants–and I didn't want to lose myself," Lythgoe says. "I was upset to lose Mary, but we're no longer focusing on ballroom. It seemed the right thing to do."

So You Think You Can Dance, Season premiere, 8/7c, Fox

TV Insider

posted 5/29/15

Buzzcocks Minded
BBC Cancels Music Panel Show
From the Drum

The BBC has called time on comedy quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks after an impressive run spanning 18 years and 28 series.

Following a 2014 revamp with comedian Rhod Gilbert as presenter, the show failed to pick up on slumping figures.

A BBC spokesperson said: "After 28 series we've decided not to bring Never Mind the Buzzcocks back to the BBC, this will create space for new entertainment formats in the future.

"We'd like to thank the team at Talkback, Rhod Gilbert, all the brilliant hosts over the years and of course Noel and Phill for the years of enjoyment they've given BBC Two viewers."

Comedian Phill Jupitis featured in almost every one of the show’s 270 episodes as a team captain.

The Drum
Telegraph
Stuff
ATV Today
The Journal

posted 5/29/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Quest-ions"

  • Richard Quest was almost not the host of "500 Questions" (The Wrap)
     
  • Buzzr launches Monday. Here's what you need to know. (Sitcoms Online)
     
  • BBC catches fire over "Hunger Games" type reality show (Daily Express)
     
  • CROWNING MOMENT OF AWESOME: "Child Genius" winner is now a spelling ace (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Frank Nicotero (TV Grapevine) and RuPaul (Telegraph)

posted 5/29/15


MICHAEL KING: 1958-2015
Syndication Giant Brought Back "Wheel", "Jeopardy!"
From Deadline

Michael King, who with his brother Roger was behind the syndication of the mega-successful Oprah, Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray shows, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 67.

King had been in intensive care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was taken off life support after being admitted with pneumonia nearly three weeks ago, according to media reports.

“Michael King is a friend that will be sorely missed,” Dr. Phil McGraw said today. “Anyone that knew Michael knows what a passion he brought to everything he touched. He and Roger certainly had a profound impact on my life personally and professionally. Robin and I are praying for the entire King family in this time of loss.”

Michael and Roger King were among six siblings who inherited King World Productions from their father, Charles King. They were responsible for bringing The Oprah Winfrey Show to syndication, launching Winfrey into worldwide stardom and forever changing the daytime TV landscape in the 1980s.

King World, along with Harpo Productions, followed that success with Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray. Michael and Roger King also syndicated successful game shows Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy.

CBS acquired King World in 2000. Roger King died in 2007.

Born in New Jersey, Michael King was a one-time part-owner of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, according to the New York Daily News.

Deadline
New York Times
Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
AV Club
B&C
Entertainment Tonight

posted 5/28/15


Wednesday: A Swing and a Miss
"MasterChef" Improves, "Bullseye" Falters; CBS, Fox Split Night
From The Futon Critic

FOX (3.983 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #1) was the top draw in a tight demo race on Wednesday thanks to a new "MasterChef" (4.593 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) and the debut of "Bullseye" (3.372 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

CBS (6.343 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then claimed the silver with the launch of "The Briefcase" (6.777 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) followed by repeats of "Criminal Minds" (6.581 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3) and "CSI: Cyber" (5.671 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7).

Next up was ABC (4.027 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with a new "500 Questions" (4.860 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7) alongside repeats of "Modern Family" (4.192 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) and "Black-ish" (3.510 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7) plus a new "Celebrity Wife Swap" (3.369 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

Meanwhile, NBC (3.785 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) offered up an encore of "I Can Do That!" (3.061 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) and the two-hour special "iHeartRadio Country Festival" (4.147 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T7).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (1.042 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T12) and "Supernatural" (0.728 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T12) on The CW (0.885 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 479,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p): 478,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30p): 431,000
- The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians (Fox Sports 1): 353,000
- Fake Off (truTV): 275,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/28/15

More on "Cake Wars"
Jonathan Bennett Hosts; Food Launches June 29
From The Futon Critic

Cake is the centerpiece of every perfect celebration. On Food Network's Cake Wars, premiering on Monday, June 29th at 8:00pm ET/PT, four expert bakers compete for the opportunity to have their jaw-dropping cake creations star at a major party or special event. Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls) hosts this grueling competition, as the decorated bakers aim to impress master pastry chefs Ron Ben-Israel (Sweet Genius) and Waylynn Lucas (co-owner of Fonuts), as well as episodic guest judges. Each week, only one contestant will take the cake to headline the main event, and take home the sweet grand prize of $10,000!

"Viewers had a sweet spot for Cupcake Wars, and now everything gets bigger and better on Cake Wars. It takes confectionary competition to the next level, filled with over-the-top creations and edge-of-your-seat competition," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Food Network.

This sugar-packed competition is anything but sweet as the bakers battle against one another to create an extraordinary cake to sweeten up a big soiree. The competitors' skills and imaginations will be tested in two rounds of challenges, where they rush against the clock to design mind-blowing cake confections. In the first round, they must incorporate a surprise ingredient into the recipe. Then, in round two, the cakes must contain three special features that match the event theme. Based on taste and presentation, only one will have their cake and eat it too as the winner!

Over the course of the eight exhilarating episodes, the bakers vie for the chance to showcase their eye-popping cakes at big events, with special themed episodes for The Simpsons, DC Comics, Nintendo's Mario Maker, Hello Kitty, LEGO(R), Girl Scouts, The Knot Dream Wedding, and the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Who will collapse under the pressure and get sent home, and who will win the chance of a lifetime? Don't miss as all of the delicious action unfolds. Let the Cake Wars begin!

Fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/CakeWars for photo galleries and show highlights, as well as join the conversation on Twitter using #CakeWars.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/28/15


Tuesday: Not A Good Idea to Take on the King Of Summer
"Talent", "I Can Do That" Gives NBC The Win
From The Wrap

NBC (9.455 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) was the top draw on Tuesday with the return of "America's Got Talent" (10.928 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) and the premiere of "I Can Do That!" (6.511 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2).

FOX (3.301 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2) then was a distant second with the season premiere of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (3.311 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.8, #9) and the relocated "Hell's Kitchen" (3.292 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3). Both shows outperformed last year's duds "Riot" & "I Want to Marry 'Harry'".

Next up was CBS (7.219 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) and its repeat lineup of "NCIS" (8.459 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5), "NCIS: New Orleans" (7.583 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T6) and "48 Hours" (5.617 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T6).

Meanwhile, ABC (3.501 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) served up a new "500 Questions" (4.731 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and the return of "Extreme Weight Loss" (2.887 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T6).

And finally, a repeat "The Flash" (1.669 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #11) and a new "iZombie" (1.848 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #10) closed out the evening on The CW (1.758 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

On cable...
- Chopped All Stars (Food): 1.617 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 321,000
- American Ninja Warrior (Esquire/R): 306,000

The Wrap
Broadway World
New York Daily News
New York Post
The Futon Critic
B&C
CarterMatt
Deadline
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/28/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Another One Bites the Dust"

  • Chris Soules & Whitney Bischoff.... if you had 2 months, 19 days, come up and claim your prize! (Us Magazine) Clint & JJ, on the other hand... (TMZ)*
     
  • Mariah Carey called "American Idol" the "worst experience of my life". Next to being married to Tommy Mottola? (3News)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Bullseye may be "the stupidest show ever put on television". ... Which is saying a LOT. (Mic) PLUS a few good minutes with Kellan Lutz (Unreality TV)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: You really want to go there, Jeff? Really? (Us)

    *not that there's anything wrong with that.

posted 5/28/15

Syndies: Week 34
Results for Week Ending May 17
From The Futon Critic

CBS Television Distribution’s aptly named Hot Bench hit a new series high in the week ended May 17, which included the third week of the May sweep, running April 23 through May 20.

CTD’s Judge Judy rose 3% to a 6.7, tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune for the overall syndication lead.

In access, most game shows played well. Wheel led the pack, accelerating 5% to a 6.7. CTD’s Jeopardy! gained 7% to a 6.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.9 but up 13% from last year at this time, making it the category’s only game to show an annual increase. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire remained at its all-time low 1.6 for the fourth time in five weeks and lost 27% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game picked up 8% to a 1.4.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/27/15

Guest Judges? Iiiiiiiiiiit's TRUE!
They Begin Judging July 14
From TV by the Numbers

Stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris, Grammy Award winner Michael Bublé, former “America’s Got Talent” star Piers Morgan and actor, comedian and producer Marlon Wayans will serve as guest judges on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” joining judges Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel to determine which 36 acts will move on to the live performance shows at Radio City Music Hall. The four week long Judge Cuts will premiere Tuesday, July 14 (8-10 p.m. ET) and will lead into the live performance shows beginning Tuesday, Aug. 11 (8-10 p.m.).

A Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominee for Best Reality Competition Series, the 10th anniversary season of “America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays (8-10 p.m.).

Each week beginning Tuesday, July 14, a guest judge will join the regular panel to help decide which acts have what it takes to perform live for America’s vote. Howard Stern will invite Neil Patrick Harris, Heidi Klum will bring Michael Bublé, Mel B will work with Piers Morgan, and Howie Mandel will call on Marlon Wayans to serve as the fifth judge on the panel. The guest judges will also have an additional advantage: they can use the Golden Buzzer for their favorite act, sending them to Radio City Music Hall without any consultation from the “AGT” judges.

Tickets are available to be part of the Judge Cuts tapings in Bethpage, N.Y. on May 27 and May 29. Visit www.nbc.com/tickets for tickets and more information.

TV by the Numbers

posted 5/27/15

Seventh Scar
"Ink Master" Renewed for 2016
From The Futon Critic

Coming off its most-watched season to date, Spike TV has picked up a seventh season of "Ink Master," the network's hit, original tattoo-competition series. Season seven will feature 16 one-hour episodes, slated to debut in spring 2016. In addition, the network has announced a spin-off series, "Ink Master: Redemption," which offers disgruntled former human canvases of "Ink Master" a chance to receive a new tattoo that leaves them happier than their last. The announcement was made by Chachi Senior, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Spike TV.

The network will launch the newest installment of "Ink Master" - season six - on Tuesday, June 23 at 10pm ET/PT.

In "Ink Master: Redemption," human canvases from previous "Ink Master" seasons, who left unhappy with their tattoos, return to the shop for a chance at new ink. The spinoff series, featuring six half-hour episodes, goes into production this summer and will debut in September.

Season 5 of "Ink Master," which delivered an average 2.2 million viewers, was the show's highest-rated season among Adults and Women 18-49. In its Tuesday 10-11 PM ET/PT slot, the series ranked in the top five among Persons 18-49, Men 18-49 and Men 18-34, and is currently one of Spike's most gender-balanced programs. "Ink Master" generated 11.8 million total cross platform video views during the season, and the LIVE finale was ranked #1 on cable based on twitter activity.

The Futon Critic
The Wrap

posted 5/27/15

More on Wild'n Out Season 7
Catch It on MTV2 June 10!
From The Futon Critic

Bringing fresh energy to the monumental tenth anniversary of "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out," are six new cast members: DC Young Fly, Matt Rife, Darren Brand, Aarona Lopez, TattooManPaige and Hunter Stiebel. Fans can get a taste of what the new cast members bring to the stage in this special trailer of the new season of "Wild 'N Out." Perennial favorites Conceited, Emmanuel Hudson, Chico Bean, Karlous Miller, King Bach, Lauren Flans, Tim Delaghetto, Blair Christian, Corey Holcomb, Doboy, Hitman Holla, Jon Gabrus, DeRay Davis, Jacob Williams, B Daht, Shak Standley, Rip Michaels, Akaash Singh, Shawty, Jack Thriller, and Kojo are all returning for more lightning fast comedic improv, head-to head competition and cutting edge entertainment where only the funniest survive. MTV2 previously announced that "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out," will return to the network for a seventh season summer run with 12 all-new episodes beginning Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.

"'Wild 'N Out' has helped launch some of the biggest names in stand-up - everyone from Katt Williams to Affion Crockett to Mike Epps, and Kevin Hart," said Nick Cannon. "You can be sure that with the tremendous talent of this new cast you'll be witnessing the making of the next big names in comedy."

"With the returning stars and new cast members that Nick and his team have assembled, this is hands down the most talented and hilarious cast yet," said Paul Ricci, Senior Vice President of Programming and Head of Development for MTV2. "After eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth on MTV2, we're aiming even higher as 'Wild 'N Out' kicks off our 'Non Stop Summer.'"

Newbies like supreme social media standout DC Young Fly, who has over 4 million followers across his social media and young, rising stand-up star, Matt Rife, who has opened for such comedy luminaries as Mike Epps, will take the stage with the previously announced roster of incredible celebrity guests and performers that includes Kevin Hart, Jordin Sparks, Shaquille O'Neal, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Zendaya, Fabolous, Pete Wentz, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, A$AP Ferg, Nick Young, French Montana, Fat Joe, Rae Sremmurd, Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Mack Wilds, DJ Drama, Ray J, Lil Duval, O.T. Genasis, Tommy "Tiny" Lister, Dej Loaf, K Camp and the hosts of Power 105's The Breakfast Club.

Also returning to complete out the "Wild 'N Out" party are the "Wild 'N Out Girls" Lauren Wood, Brittney Duet, Rosa Acosta, Jacky Oh, Amber Diamond and Vivian Kindle.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/27/15

Monday: Ikimashou!
"Ninja Warrior" Helps NBC to First Summer Win
From Deadline

Summer started with a lot going on this Memorial Day on television, both on broadcast and cable with a lot of drama. The 10-hour Texas Rising debuted on History, while the NBA Playoffs provided even more court action drama on ESPN — on a number of levels. The CW showed a movie last night, and CBS and Fox were all encores, but taking the top spot among adults 18-49 with a 1.6/5 was NBC, which was all about the unscripted debuts on the holiday Monday.

There were new obstacles on the Season 7 debut of American Ninja Warrior (1.8/6) last night, but the ratings didn’t seem to be one of them. Starting off with Venice qualifiers, the competition show saw a rise of 13% over its Season 6 premiere back on May 26 last year. With 5.9 million watching, ANW was also up 27% viewership-wise from its 2014 debut. That, however, did not translate into a strong start for The Island (1.2/4). The 10 PM Bear Grylls survivalist series slid 14% among the key demo from what the 8 PM debut of Running Wild With Bear Grylls drew on July 28, 2014.

Meanwhile, it also was an all unscripted start to summer on ABC last night, with 500 Questions (1.1/4) kicking off the night and The Bachelorette (1.6/5) seeing it to its end. Show 4 of the seven-night game show saw 500 Questions rise 38% among the demo from its previous original on May 22. However, even with Amy Schumer showing up and sending Twitter wild, The Bachelorette did not have a good night at all with a 24% drop from its Season 11 debut last week, which had Dancing With The Stars as a lead-in.

On cable:
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 229,000

Deadline
Variety
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/27/15

Weekend: Shark Jumps
ABC, CBS Splits Night
From The Futon Critic

ABC (4.592 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #1) was the demo champ on Friday thanks to night three of "500 Questions" (4.019 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T3), a repeat "Shark Tank" (4.974 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #1) and a new "20/20" (4.783 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2).

CBS (5.089 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T2) then was the most-watched network with its all-repeat trio of "Undercover Boss" (4.717 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #5), "Hawaii Five-0" (4.710 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6) and "Blue Bloods" (5.841 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6).

Next up was NBC (4.026 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T2) with repeats of "The Blacklist" (2.862 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9) and "Dateline NBC" (4.608 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T3).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.682 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.4, #4) served up encores of "Hell's Kitchen" (1.693 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.5, #8) and "Bones" (1.670 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9).

And finally, repeats of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.041 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11), another "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.112 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) and a new "The Messengers" (0.816 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.946 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the evening.

On Food...
- 8p: Guy's Grocery Games: 1.173 million
- 9p: Spring Baking Championship: 1.474 million
- 10p: Cutthroat Kitchen: 1.159 million

The Futon Critic

posted 5/27/15

Knock Knock! Who's There? Ryan. Ryan Who?
Ryan Seacrest, That's Who.
From The Futon Critic

From acclaimed live television producers, Simon Fuller's (AMERICAN IDOL, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE) XIX Entertainment and dick clark productions (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE), comes new unscripted series KNOCK KNOCK LIVE, a can't-miss, life-changing weekly television event packed with unpredictable and thrilling surprises that enlists friends, families, neighbors and celebrities to help grant wishes with one simple knock on the door. Hosted by iconic TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest, who also will serve as an executive producer, KNOCK KNOCK LIVE premieres Tuesday, July 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.

KNOCK KNOCK LIVE features Seacrest in a Los Angeles-based studio, while the KNOCK KNOCK LIVE team travels across the country, to any city at any time, surprising unsuspecting people at their front doors with a chance to win big cash prizes, meet their favorite celebrities and turn their wildest dreams into reality. What if someone knocked on your door and offered you thousands of dollars for naming nine kids who live on your block? Could you do it? A knock at someone else's door and it could be their favorite professional basketball player who challenges them to a game of H-O-R-S-E, with a chance to win courtside seats. KNOCK KNOCK! Who's there? It could be the biggest pop star in the world performing a concert on your front lawn! This series will take an ordinary day and make it unforgettable.

If you would like to nominate a special person or a family deserving of an unforgettable moment, or you yourself want to be a part of KNOCK KNOCK LIVE, visit for an opportunity www.knockknocklive.com to receive the "knock" of a lifetime.

The Futon Critic
Digital Spy
Unreality TV

posted 5/27/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Hear My Voice!"

  • Ben Taub is a singer. As of this coming edition of The New Yorker, he's also a published journalist (New York Magazine)
     
  • Jeff & Jordan are going to Marriage Boot Camp... You know, Jeff, if you wanted to be on TV, you could just get a hosting gig... (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Bullseye (TV Insider)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Bachelorette, shmachelorette (Daily Mail)
     
  • Miranda Hart is downplaying "Generation Game" rumors FOR NOW (Digital Spy)
     
  • Networks are gambling on game shows again (The Guardian)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Christina Tosi (TV Insider), Dick DeBartolo (WGN-AM Chicago), and a former Acme Crimenet Agent (AV Club)

posted 5/27/15


ANNE MEARA: 1929-2015
Wife, Mother of Comedy Royalty; Game Show Regular
From eCanada Now

Comedy legend Anne Meara, one half of the comedy team “Stiller & Meara,” died at 85 on Saturday.

Meara and her husband, Jerry Stiller, were married for 61 years and worked together almost as long, the family said in a statement. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, comic actor Ben Stiller, daughter Amy Stiller and grandchildren.

“Anne’s memory lives on in the hearts of daughter Amy, son Ben, her grandchildren, her extended family and friends, and the millions she entertained as an actress, writer and comedienne,” the family statement said.

Meara was born in 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. In his autobiography, “Married to Laughter: A Love Story Featuring Anne Meara,” Jerry Stiller describes meeting his future wife at a casting call in 1953.

“She looked sort of puritanical and smelled nice,” he said of the “angel-faced” aspiring actress.

They eventually teamed up for a comedy act in New York’s Greenwich Village coffeehouses, playing exaggerated versions of themselves: self-deprecating, kvetching New Yorkers. Before long, they were performing as comedy team “Stiller & Meara” on popular TV shows of the 1960s including “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”

They became become regulars on the game show circuit appearing on shows such as every version of “Hollywood Squares” and “$25,000 Pyramid” before Meara landed the role of Sally Gallagher on the TV series “Rhoda.”

Notable game show appearances also include "Match Game", "Celebrity Sweepstakes", "Shoot for the Stars", "Jeopardy!" in 1973; "Password Plus"; and "Super Password".

Tributes poured in from fans and celebrities spanning generations, from Patty Duke to Sandra Bernhard.

“My heart and prayers go out to Jerry and Ben for the loss of their beloved Anne Meara,” Duke said.

GSNN's Jason Huhn contributed to this report.

eCanada Now
HitFix
Newsweek
TheBayNet.com
Chicago Tribune
Washington Post

posted 5/26/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Tonight Tonight"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEWS of the new series of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (tonight) (TV Insider) and "I Can Do That" (tonight) (TV Insider)
     
  • Another "X Factor" reject blames the editing, sues everyone involved. And their mother. (The Hollywood Reporter)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Ninja Warrior issues a challenge to Tom Cruise (TV Insider)
     
  • Cat Deeley returns to not-talk to the dead in season 3 of "Deadbeat" (The Wrap)
     
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP! ABC's reality head is making the offer to Amy Schumer to be the next "Bachelorette" (Twitter: @Millsy11374)... and Amy has a response (Twitter: @amyschumer)
     
  • Piers Morgan says he's returning to the AGT panel... if you can squeeze the original four PLUS him and that ego of his. (RadioTimes)
     
  • VIDEO WALL BONUS: A pair of so-bad-they're-brilliant answers on "Jeopardy!" (KSWB San Diego) and "Pointless" (Digital Spy)
     
  • Trista & Ryan Sutter move into HGTV (US Magazine)
     
  • Marc Summers goes back to his roots (Philly.com)
     
  • WWE releases "Tough Enough" app (TV by the Numbers)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Andrew Haringer (Squamish Chief), Loni Love (Atlantic City Weekly), and Billy Gardell (Beliefnet)

posted 5/26/15

Thursday: Summer Summer Summer Time
CBS Wins the Night, While "500 Questions" Remains Constant in Total Viewers
From Deadline

The first night after the 2014-15 season, which of course ended Wednesday, was packed with encores, but there was also some very good intentions and a couple of second chances as well. The first of those second chances was the second week of Wayward Pines (1.2/4), which had a double-digit good night.

Without the dramatic competition of the Scandal and The Blacklist season finales its premiere faced, the second episode of Fox’s 10-episode limited series saw a rise of 20% among adults 18-49 compared with last week. The Matt Dillon-led ensemble series based on Blake Crouch’s novels and adapted for TV by Chad Hodge also saw a viewership jump of 21% over its admittedly soft premiere to 4.6 million.

Even though they played nothing but repeats last night, CBS won Thursday’s primetime with a 1.1/4 rating and 5.73 million viewers. Didn’t hurt that the highest-rated and most-watched show of the night was a The Big Bang Theory encore that drew a 1.5/6 among the 18-49s and 8 million viewers.
 
For NBC it was all laughs and doing the right thing last night as the network gave over its whole primetime to the first Stateside Red Nose Day (0.8/3) benefit to help children living in poverty. Imported from the UK, NBC’s Red Nose Day had a superstar cast of Julia Roberts, Ed Sheeran dueting with Kermit The Frog, this year’s Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, the cast of Game of Thrones, Gwyneth Paltrow, a tea lady Helen Mirren, Billy Eichner and Martin Short taking to the streets, Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones, Simon Cowell showing he has a heart, and the dancing Nick Cannon to name but a few highlights.

With about 3.2 million watching the live broadcast, Red Nose Day raised more than $21 million for a number of children’s charities internationally, with donations still open for the next 30 days.

Going head-to-head with Wayward Pines in the 8 PM slot and with Red Nose Day for two hours, ABC’s 500 Questions (1.0/4) took a hit on its second night. The game show was down 17% among adults 18-49 from its one-hour debut May 20.

On cable, ESPN saw a big NBA Playoffs ratings surge as the Golden State Warriors eked out a 99-98 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The sports giant dunked a 5.6 overnight rating from the matchup, a 47% rise over the last time ESPN had the Western Conference finals back in 2013, when Game 2 between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies drew a 3.8 rating. Last night’s game was also up 27% from Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Western Conference finals when the Spurs played the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT.

CMT's "Pontoon Payday" remained a dud with 164,000.

Deadline
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/22/15


Wednesday: Question #501: How Did It Do?
CBS Takes the Final Night of the Season
From the Futon Critic

CBS (8.987 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1) was the network to beat on the final night of May sweeps with the season finale of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.406 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) followed by the "Survivor: Worlds Apart Reunion" (6.890 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3).

ABC (4.871 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) then fell to second place despite the premiere of "500 Questions" (5.031 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7), the season finales of "Modern Family" (7.114 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T1) and "Black-ish" (5.392 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) plus the return of "Celebrity Wife Swap" (3.329 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #10).

Next up was NBC (7.227 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with the season finales of "The Mysteries of Laura" (7.256 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #9), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.235 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5) and "Chicago PD" (7.192 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.335 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up the season premiere of "MasterChef" (3.335 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7).

And finally, a repeat "Supernatural" (1.074 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and the season finale of "Supernatural" (1.782 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) on The CW (1.428 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 340,000

Zap2it
Us Weekly
Bustle
Entertainment Weekly
Broadway World
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
New York Times
The Hollywood Reporter
Hitfix
Deadline
The Wrap

posted 5/21/15

House of DVF to Reopen
CBS Takes the Final Night of the Season
From the Futon Critic

Pop culture powerhouse E! today unveiled its "E! Summer Here" programming line-up, including a dynamic slate of new series premieres and popular returning franchises that will continue to sizzle all summer along. Kicking off Memorial Day Weekend is the return of fan favorite "#RichKids of Beverly Hills" on Sunday, May 24 at 10pm, following a new episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" at 9pm, which will air its mid-season finale on Sunday, May 31. The WWE Divas are back for a new season of "Total Divas" beginning Tuesday, July 7 at 9pm, followed by new series "Hollywood Cycle" airing at 10pm. Then reality TV star Brody Jenner will make summer nights even hotter when "Sex With Brody" debuts Friday, July 10 at 10:30pm. Later in July, Bruce Jenner's new documentary series following his life as a transgender woman will premiere on Sunday, July 26 at 9pm, along with new series "Stewarts & Hamiltons," featuring a complicated family tree that only Hollywood could produce at 10:00pm.

On the stiletto heels of the "House of DVF" first season finale, E! announced the original series will return for its second season with eight new episodes, which will also premiere on E! in 100 countries. In addition to Diane von Furstenberg, iconic designer and champion of women's rights, familiar faces Jessica Joffe (DVF's Style Editor) and Stefani Greenfield (DVF's Creative Brand Director) return to dole out professional guidance and insight to the new crop of contenders eager to earn the job of a lifetime. While working in different areas of Diane's empire, the new group of fashionistas will be tasked with various challenges that organically play into DVF's business affairs and busy schedule, and may include PR, marketing, sales and events. The candidates will get a taste of the position through current DVF Global Brand Ambassador Brittany Hamtpon, as she trots around the globe for Paris Fashion Week, styles celebrities for awards shows, and makes store appearances. With a high-profile mentor like Diane, the girls can only hope for an invite that will either make or break their chances to advance towards the series finale and the start of an amazing career.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/21/15

Back to the Island... or to Cambodia... or Something
Survivor Reveals Results of Fan Voting
From The Futon Critic

The new cast of the fall edition of SURVIVOR CAMBODIA: SECOND CHANCE was revealed last night during the SURVIVOR: WORLDS APART live reunion show. In a SURVIVOR first, fans of the popular reality series chose the 20 castaways who will compete on the next season. Voting opened May 6 for the new "Second Chance" cast, and the results were revealed live by host and executive producer Jeff Probst.

Fans cast their votes over the two-week period, and the castaways who received the most now comprise the cast of SURVIVOR CAMBODIA: SECOND CHANCE. The newly announced contestants, 10 male and 10 female, immediately boarded a bus following the reunion show and began their journey to Cambodia, where the next season will film for 39 days. The original pool of 32 former players, ranging from Season 1 to Season 30, have never won the game and felt they deserved a second chance to compete for the $1 million prize and the title of Sole Survivor.

The cast:
- Joe Anglim (Worlds Apart)
- Vytas Baskauskas (Blood vs. Water)
- Spencer Bledsoe (Cagayan)
- Jeremy Collins (San Juan del Sur)
- Terry Deitz (Panama)
- Ciera Eastin (Blood vs. Water)
- Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins)
- Tasha Fox (Cagayan)
- Abi-Maria Gomes (Philippines)
- Woo Hwang (Cagayan)
- Kimmi Kappenberg (Australian Outback)
- Peih-Gee Law (China)
- Kass McQuillen (Cagayan)
- Keith Nale (San Juan del Sur)
- Shirin Oskooi (Worlds Apart)
- Monica Padilla (Samoa)
- Andrew Savage (Pearl Islands)
- Jeff Varner (Australian Outback)
- Kelley Wentworth (San Juan del Sur)
- Kelly Wiglesworth (Borneo)

The Futon Critic

posted 5/21/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Strip Search"

  • Today's installment of "I Was Only Doing What The Producers Told Me To Do!" comes courtesy of this "Bachelorette" castoff (TMZ)
     
  • Alex Trebek is also a noted conservationist, and he's taking a trip to the Arctic in August to prove as such. Is there anything he CAN'T do? (Jaunted)
     
  • Jeff Foxworthy plays "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" with Jimmy Fallon, Pitbull (KSDK St. Louis)
     
  • Don Lemon apparently lets slip the next CNN Quiz Show: the 70s (TV Newser)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with John de Mol (The Hollywood Reporter)

posted 5/21/15

America's Most Watched Network Is....
CBS Takes Totals for the 7th Consective Year; NBC Wins the Demo Back-to-Back
From Deadline

The season is not officially over for another night but Comcast-owned NBC looks to have clinched the top spot among adults 18-49 for the second year in a row – by a Super Bowl XLIX hair. With the big NFL game on their schedule this year, NBC drew a 2.4/8 rating among adults 18-49 for the 2014-15 TV season compared to CBS’ 2.3/7 result as the latter network took the viewership championship again. It should be noted that without the Super Bowl this year, NBC would have gotten a 2.25 rating compared to CBS’ 2.34 result – so perhaps a flower basket is due to the now suspended Tom Brady, Mr. Greenblatt. With all the ratings and viewership numbers, it should also be noted that CBS will be broadcasting Super Bowl 50 on February 7 next year.

This year’s demo result is an 11% drop for NBC from last year’s season winning rating with a 4% dip for CBS as it moved up from third place to second among the 18-49s. Despite a blockbuster freshman run from Empire and good debuts for Gotham and The Last Man On Earth, Fox fell from second place to fourth, crashing 24% downward from last year. Looking to win its second May sweep in a row, ABC inched up 5% from the 2013-14 season and into third place. In fact, remove sports from the equation and ABC is top among the Big 4 demowise with a 2.2/7 to CBS’ 2.1/7, NBC’s 1.9/6 and Fox’s 1.8/6.

Here are the 2014-15 TV Season 18-49 results for all of the Big 4 plus The CW:

NBC: 2.4/8
CBS: 2.3/7
ABC: 2.2/7
Fox: 1.9/6
CW: 0.8/3

In terms of total viewers, Les Moonves and crew took the top spot for the seventh consecutive year with an average audience of 11.3 million. That’s actually a rise of 5% over what the network average last year. Of the Big 4, only ABC saw a viewership rise also with a move up of just under 500,000 watching over the 2013-14 season. In total average audience, NBC dipped 7% and Fox fell 21%.

Here are the average network viewership numbers for the 2014-15 season:

CBS: 11.3 million
NBC: 8.6 million
ABC: 8.0 million
Fox: 5.8 million
CW: 2.1 million

Deadline

posted 5/20/15

Italy Trades Up
Discovery Italia Orders Keshet Format
From Variety

Discovery Italia has acquired Keshet International’s “Trade Up,” a trivia game show, in which families sit inside a series of cars and must answer trivia questions in order to find the keys and drive away with the prize.

The deal marks Discovery Italia’s first-ever collaboration with Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israeli media company Keshet.

Keshet shopped “Trade Up” at last month’s Mip TV, promoting it as a family-friendly program that also offers a number of branding partnership opportunities.

“‘Trade Up’ was one of the most brilliant and original formats at the most recent MIP, and this is our first deal with Keshet, one of the most interesting creative houses,” said Laura Carafoli, SVP of content and programming for Discovery Italia.

Each episode of the show sees families arriving at a hangar filled with a number of different new cars. After selecting a car to sit in, the families must answer a trivia questions to get the car to start. Each time they manage to turn the key in the car’s ignition, though, they have a choice — do they drive away with the car, or do they hedge their bets and trade up?

The deal is exclusive to Discovery Italy and not connected to other Discovery channels across the globe. Keshet execs say they are currently developing and packaging a U.S. version of the program that they hope to shop soon.

“Trade Up” will begin airing in Italy in the fall.

Variety
Realscreen
C21 Media

posted 5/20/15

Tuesday: The Next to the Last Night
ABC, NBC Split Penultimate Night of 2014-2015 Season
From The Futon Critic

The winner’s circle was looking pretty packed on primetime last night as both The Voice (2.8/9) and Dancing With The Stars (2.3/7) crowned victors.

NBC (10.149 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) was the network to beat on Tuesday with its "The Voice Recap" (7.733 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) followed by the season finale of "The Voice" (11.357 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.8, #1).

The silver then went to ABC (11.220 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) with night two of "The Bachelorette" (7.046 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) alongside the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars" (13.307 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2).

Next up was FOX (3.422 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.503 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #7) plus a second "Hell's Kitchen" (3.341 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #6).

Meanwhile, CBS (7.590 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) served up its all-repeat lineup of "NCIS" (9.075 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #8), "NCIS: New Orleans" (7.260 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9) and another "NCIS" (6.434 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T9).

And finally, the season finale of "The Flash" (3.706 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5) and a new "iZombie" (1.762 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #11) on The CW (2.734 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.166 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Deadline

posted 5/20/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "You Got The Curse!"

  • Alton Brown's long-time marriage to his wife... done, meaning all three Food Network Star hosts are now exes (E!)
     
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: Hell's Kitchen moves to Tuesdays @ 9 beginning THIS Tuesday (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Maks Chmerkovskiy quotes Taylor Swift to "Dancing": we are never ever ever getting back together. Like ever. (Entertainment Weekly)
     
  • Kaitlyn's relations (The Daily Beast), and the double standard of game playing and slut shaming (Huffington Post)
     
  • Christina Aguilera impersonates Britney, Cher, Miley (New York Daily News)
     
  • Bob Barker wants Marineland orca included in whale ban (Toronto Star)
     
  • Alfonso Ribeiro catches 26... the 26th season of "America's Funniest Home Videos", that is. (The Futon Critic)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Millionaire heads to Louisville (WDRB Louisville)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with RocKwiz host/creator Brian Nankervis (Sydney Morning Herald) and Wayne Brady (Press of Atlantic City)

posted 5/20/15

Syndies: Week 33
Results for the Week Ending May 10
From B&C

At the May sweep’s halfway mark (ending May 10), most syndicated shows were steady as they go.

In access, game shows were steady. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune regained a slight advantage, adding 2% to a 6.4, after tying CTD’s Jeopardy! in the previous stanza. Jeopardy! sagged 3% to a 6.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.9, but was up 20% from last year at this time and was the genre’s only show to notch an annual gain.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at its series-low 1.6 for the third time in four weeks and lost 24% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at 1.3 for the sixth time in seven weeks.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
TV NewsCheck

posted 5/19/15

Monday: We Have a New Champion
ABC Sweeps the Night Thanks to "Dancing", "Bachelorette"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (9.529 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) pulled into the top spot on Monday with a new "Dancing with the Stars" (14.108 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and the return of "The Bachelorette" (7.239 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T).

NBC (9.174 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) then had to settle for second place with a new "The Voice" (11.054 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) followed by the season finale of "The Night Shift" (5.416 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7).

Next up was CBS (7.896 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with the respective finales for "2 Broke Girls" (7.615 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.750 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #5), "Stalker" (6.823 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T7) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.182 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.096 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a new "The Following" (3.104 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and the concluding installment of "The Following" (3.089 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, the feature "Celeste and Jesse Forever" (0.514 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.1, #11) on The CW (0.514 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.1, #5) closed out the evening.

RuPaul's Drag Race was the sole cable game with 310,000.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/19/15

Weekend: Penning the Sharks
ABC Closes on a High
From The Futon Critic

ABC (6.225 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the top draw on Friday thanks to the season finales of "Shark Tank" (6.927 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T1) and "Beyond the Tank" (6.251 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T1) plus a new "20/20" (5.497 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3).

The silver then went to NBC (5.180 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2) with the season finale of "Grimm" (4.740 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and a two-hour "Dateline NBC" (5.400 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #6).

Next up was CBS (5.201 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.8, #3) with the season finale of "The Amazing Race" (5.665 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) and a two-hour "ACM Presents: Superstar Duets" (4.970 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.7, #7).

Next up was FOX (1.476 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.5, #4) with the feature "Scream 2" (1.476 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.5, #8).

And finally, a new "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.405 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.450 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9) and a new "The Messengers" (1.026 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T9) on The CW (1.227 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Spring Baking Championship (Food): 1.527 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (final, Food): 1.272 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.221 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/19/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Not Exactly The Most Shocking Lightning Round Ever"

  • What you need to know about last night's "Bachelorette": it's totally sexist and degrading (Salon), one of the men is a former "Bachelor" ex (Gawker), entertaining with rape jokes (Jezebel), and there was a triceratops (E!)
     
  • Speaking of... Jesse Palmer is now working for ABC News (TV Newser)
     
  • ICYMI: this is how you lose by a dollar on Jeopardy! (Mediaite)
     
  • ANOTHER BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW of "500 Questions" (TV Insider), plus a video preview (Extra)
     
  • Ant & Dec will have the "Best Time Ever" with NPH (BBC News)
     
  • Jimmy Fallon plays "Password" (Hypable)
     
  • "Mastermind" celebrates IBIIIIIIIZAAAAAAAA! (NME)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Teams of two wanted (Reality Wanted)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Bradley Walsh (Digital Spy) and the sadists in charge of "American Ninja Warrior" (Men's Journal) PLUS Pom Wonderful is getting on the course (The Futon Critic)

posted 5/19/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "500 Problems, But a Quiz Ain't One"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEWS: 500 Questions (ABC, Wednesday) is "a good game wrapped in poor, confusing production decisions" (Buzzerblog), "awash in way too many rules" (Media Life), "a grand spectacle" (USA Today), and "a pressure cooker of a quiz show" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
     
  • Class action suit against GSN filed by former intern who filed a class action suit against MGM for the same thing. We're not lawyers, but this doesn't pass the sniff test (Law360)
     
  • "Amazing Race" producers make the case for an Emmy... using this past season. You see the problem here? (The Wrap)
     
  • "The Bachelorette" promises the best season yet... (Us Magazine) ... or at least better than last season (Twitter @fleissmeister)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Six reason why Survivor will outlast American Idol (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
     
  • VIDEO WALL: Imagine for a moment Peter Tomarken returned to host "Whammy!". Now watch the unaired pilot #1 (YouTube @WinkMartindale)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Teams of two wanted (Reality Wanted)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Bradley Walsh (Digital Spy) and the sadists in charge of "American Ninja Warrior" (Men's Journal) PLUS Pom Wonderful is getting on the course (The Futon Critic)

posted 5/18/15

Thursday: A Titanic Opening Night
ABC, CBS Split Night
From The Futon Critic

It was anything but smooth sailing for CMT's new quiz show "Pontoon Payday".

The Frank Nicotero-hosted game show - which takes place largely on a the deck of a party boat - attracted 198,000 viewers and rated 0.08 in the ad-friendly adults 18-49 demographic, holding onto only 46 percent of the audience for the season 2 opener of "Party Down South".

On broadcast, on a night packed with finales, ABC (6.893 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 with "Grey's Anatomy" (8.252 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2), "Scandal" (8.120 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) and "American Crime" (4.308 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

CBS (7.926 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (9.568 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #3) followed by the season finale of "The Odd Couple" (8.220 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5), repeats of "Mom" (8.046 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.9, #4) and "The Big Bang Theory" (7.861 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T5) plus the season finale of "Elementary" (6.929 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

Next up was NBC (5.367 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a repeat "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.795 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #13) alongside the season finale of "The Blacklist" (7.262 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7) and a new "Dateline NBC" (5.045 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.231 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) served up a new "Bones" (4.647 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9) and the premiere of "Wayward Pines" (3.815 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T9).

And finally, the season finales of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.450 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) and "Reign" (0.866 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.4, #15) on The CW (1.158 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

Elsewhere on cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.545 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.091 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 370,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/15/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "The Axe Begins"

  • Per Blankens was brought to rebuild Idol... Now that that's a total failure, Fremantle's giving him the axe (The Hollywood Reporter) and in the end... these guys may be to blame (The Concourse)
     
  • Rove McManus brings "Lie Detectors" to... (Access Hollywood)
     
  • A bunch of big-time musical acts followed by a five-minute announcement of who will be forgotten in about a month. Don't you do this to me too, "Voice" (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Harry Shum Jr. goes from "Fake Off" judge to "Shadowhunter" alongside the Old Spice Guy (The Futon Critic)
     
  • Alex Trebek used to party (Uproxx)

posted 5/15/15


CW Sends "Top Model" to the Fall
Network Releases Upfront Presentation
From the Futon Critic

Wrapping up its most watched season in seven years, The CW Network presented its 2015-16 broadcast schedule today to advertisers, affiliates and national media at New York City Center in New York City. The indie-pop band Of Monsters and Men kicked off the presentation with a live performance of their latest single "Crystals," and their international hit song "Little Talks."

"This has been a terrific season for The CW, and is a result of a strategy we set in motion a few years ago to broaden out and grow our audience," said Pedowitz. "We had our most watched season, and our highest-rated season among men, in seven years. We launched The CW's most watched series ever with THE FLASH, and with THE FLASH and JANE THE VIRGIN, we received more critical acclaim than ever before.

"The CW is heading into next season with incredible stability and strength, and continuing its strategy of adding more original programming all year long. Our new fall series CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND is original and hilarious, and will work as a perfect companion for JANE on Monday nights, while at midseason we have the much-anticipated DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, and the tense action of CONTAINMENT. These three new series are a terrific complement to our already strong schedule, and allow us to keep building on our momentum in 2015-16."

The CW will launch its 2015-16 broadcast season in October, with premiere dates to be announced later.

Monday night is back-to-back comedy night with CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND at 8:00-9:00 p.m., starring Rachel Bloom as an unhappy lawyer who quits her job and moves across the country in search of love, with her inner monologue providing irreverent musical interludes, followed by Golden Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez starring in JANE THE VIRGIN returning at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Tuesdays, Grant Gustin returns as the Fastest Man Alive in The CW's smash hit THE FLASH at 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by the brainy zom-com iZOMBIE, starring Rose McIver at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

ARROW, starring Stephen Amell as Starling City's masked hero, is back on Wednesday in the 8:00-9:00 p.m. time slot, followed by the monster-hunting Winchester brothers in SUPERNATURAL at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Thursdays will be fang-tastic, with Damon and Stefan returning in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by the first family of vampires, THE ORIGINALS at 9:00-10:00 p.m.

Mary, Queen of Scots will face off with Queen Elizabeth this season on REIGN, moving to Fridays at 8:00-9:00 p.m., followed by Cycle 22 of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, which will move from Wednesdays in the Summer to Fridays in the Fall.

The new series DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and CONTAINMENT will premiere in midseason, and THE 100 and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST will return with new seasons in 2016.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 5/14/15

Wednesday: Squeaker of a Split
ABC Splits Night with "Idol"-Fueled Fox... but Only Just
From the Futon Critic

ABC (6.226 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 on Wednesday with the season finales of "The Middle" (6.987 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #5) and "The Goldbergs" (6.712 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.0, #4) followed by new episodes of "Modern Family" (8.096 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.7, #1) and "Black-ish" (6.170 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3) and the season closer to "Nashville" (4.695 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

FOX (7.739 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then claimed the silver with the season finale of "American Idol" (7.739 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6). The 8-10:06 PM American Idol last night hit a new finale low for the Ryan Seacrest-hosted series. Last night’s Season 14 ender fell a harsh 38% among adults 18-49 from what its Season 13 finale drew on May 21 last year.

Next up was CBS (7.666 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with new episodes of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.434 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.2, #2) and "CSI: Cyber" (6.878 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10) alongside the season finale of "CSI: Cyber" (6.688 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T10).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.580 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up the penultimate weeks of "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.141 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.762 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #8) and "Chicago PD" (6.837 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T6).

And finally, the season finale of "Arrow" (2.798 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T12) and a new "Supernatural" (2.142 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.8, #14) on The CW (2.470 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.9, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 349,000
- Fake Off (truTV): 300,000
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 286,000

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/14/15

What's French for "Boom"?
TF1 Takes Foreign Format
From C21 Media

French commercial broadcaster TF1 will test two gameshow formats this summer as it fights back against pubcaster France 2 in access primetime.

The French version of Keshet International’s Boom! will be produced by TF1 Productions, while the distributor’s format Win Your Wishlist will be made by Sony Pictures Television’s prodco Starling.

The shows will each be hosted by popular TF1 hosts, Boom! by Vincent Lagaff (The Price is Right) and Win Your Wishlist by Christophe Dechavanne.

The news was confirmed by TF1 programs director Fabrice Bailly on radio station France Inter yesterday.

C21 Media

posted 5/14/15

GSN Plays Against Cablevision
On the Table: Channel Position
From Hollywood Reporter

Is a television network that's best known for game shows being hampered by a cable ecosystem that's been rigged against fair competitions?

The question is now being addressed in a proceeding before the Federal Communications Commission, which is examining the plight of the Game Show Network, which offers such fare as Deal or No Deal and Family Feud as well as original programming like Idotest, Skin Wars and Lie Detectors. The media regulatory agency is examining whether Cablevision's repositioning of GSN from a wide tier to a premium sports tier amounted to program carriage discrimination in violation of Section 616 of the Communications Act of 1934.

This contest has been a long one.

GSN filed its complaint against Cablevision in 2011, when the FCC got tired of the often contentious negotiations between programmers and distributors on the tube and aimed to do something about it. Now, the latest buzz in television has advanced towards talking about the opportunities and tensions inherent in the unbundling of television content, but GSN and Cablevision continue to fight the good fight over how decisions to put networks into certain tiers on the cable dial can have big consequences to ratings, ad dollars and licensing revenue. In the past couple of weeks, the two sides have delivered arguments in advance of a summary decision. The FCC's coming ruling may be quite impactful in an industry where vertical consolidation always causes a big headache.

GSN argues that it was taken out of a more widely distributed tier that included WE tv and Wedding Central — two networks that feature "female-oriented" reality and competition-based programming. That's how GSN sees itself. By being placed into a premium sports tier that included "male-oriented" ESPN Classic, ESPN-U, MLB Network and the NHL Network, GSN says that many of its viewers didn't want to pay the extra fee and its ratings began to crater.

Cablevision allegedly had an ulterior motive in doing this because it wanted to benefit its own affiliated WE tv and Wedding Central networks.

The FCC ruled early on in the dispute that it wouldn't force Cablevision to immediately put GSN back into the basic tier while the dispute played out, but the agency did in 2012 find that GSN had established a prima facie case of program discrimination.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 5/14/15

TNT, TBS Rebrand. Again.
Turner Plans New Games in Upfront
From the Futon Critic

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. brought its entire portfolio of leading entertainment, kids, news and sports brands to The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City this morning for one powerful Upfront presentation. The strength of Turner's diverse portfolio of brands - including Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Sports - was highlighted throughout the presentation, which showcased content and offerings from the networks and brought Turner's "Turn It Up" message to life.

Turner is a global content leader across all screens and platforms, reaching more than 230 million Americans in a given month through its top-rated entertainment networks, leading digital brands, the only kids network with a growing audience, premier championship sports and the global leader in news. Collectively, the company creates 15,000 hours of premium original content each year that reaches and engages with the entire range of adult and kid viewers.

"Turner's portfolio consists of leading multiplatform brands, each with a unique voice and identity that is unmatched in the marketplace," said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting. "Our brands deliver content that resonates with socially connected audiences across a wide range of demos, from kids to Generation Next to Millennials to Generation X and beyond. We also have data and partnership opportunities that give advertisers the insight and tools to engage our viewers in exciting new ways. Turner's collective strength and reach across all platforms and demographics, combined with our ability to connect advertisers with viewers, firmly positions us for success today and well into the future."

The Turner Upfront 2015 presentation tipped off with Turner Sports' award-winning Inside the NBA team - Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O'Neal - followed by the introduction of Turner's all-star ad sales team, led by Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales.

"Today is a historic day," Speciale told the audience. "For the first time, all of Turner is together on one stage. We're focusing all our assets on your business needs, to help drive your results. To do that, all of our divisions are working together, re-inventing what it means to be a content company. To us, change means opportunity, and we are disrupting our own business model to grab hold of all the incredible opportunities ahead. That's what we mean when we say, 'TURN IT UP!'"

Below are details on each portion of Turner Upfront 2015, including links to news announcements and some of the video pieces included in today's presentation. Turner Upfront news and photos are being posted on social media using #TurnerUpfront.

There's a revolution coming to TBS and an evolution coming to TNT, announced Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief content officer for Turner Entertainment, during this morning's Turner Upfront 2015. Reilly revealed his initial strategy for the two networks, including plans for a major TBS rebrand, a shift in focus for the TNT slate of original dramas and an increase in the development and production of original content for both networks.

"We're on the move in a big way at TNT and TBS," Reilly said. "We're doing a proactive makeover of these networks. We'll double the number of our original series on TBS and TNT over the next three years. And we'll sharpen the point of view and be even more adventurous in our programming choices."

Reilly emphasized that both networks are currently very strong. TBS tops the charts as basic cable's #1 network in primetime delivery of adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and total viewers. And TNT is home to more hit series than any other cable network. On a monthly basis, TNT and TBS collectively reach nearly half of all adults 18-49.

Reilly's plans for TNT call for a shift in the focus and tone of its original programming. Today, the network announced an eight-part drama and two pilot orders:

· The Alienist, an atmospheric, eight-part psychological thriller based on Caleb Carr's bestseller and set in the fascinating and gritty world of Gilded Age New York City, from Emmy(R) winner Cary Fukunaga, Oscar(R) winner Eric Roth and Oscar nominee Hossein Amini.

· Will, a series about a young William Shakespeare told in raucous style by Craig Pearce, the long-time writing partner of auteur filmmaker Baz Lurhmann.

· Animal Kingdom, a family crime drama set in a gritty surf community from executive producers John Wells and Jonathan Lisco.

For TBS, Reilly's strategy calls for a major reposition of the network's brand and programming, all of which is set to begin by the end of 2015, as well as an expansion of the network's original programming slate to more than 15 scripted and unscripted series over the next two years.

TBS will launch Separation Anxiety, a relationship-based game show with a unique twist.

HLN's 2016 programming slate will feature the highly-anticipated premiere of Heads Up!, the TV series based on the mega-popular game and best-selling smartphone app from The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This 65-episode half-hour game show strip, produced by DeGeneres' A Very Good Production in association with Telepictures, will be hosted by Loni Love, comedian, actress and co-host of syndicated talk show The Real. From famous names, to song titles, to animals - players must guess the word before them from their teammate's clues before time runs out. Each team is made up of one celebrity and one civilian. In the first few rounds, two teams go head-to-head, but only one team will make it to the final round and play for the jackpot prize. And heads up: There are a lot of laughs along the way.

In October 2014, truTV flipped the switch on an extensive brand makeover. Since then the network has been on a roll, rapidly expanding its lineup of original programming and scoring across-the-board ratings growth and chart-climbing competitive rankings.

"We have turned over a whole new network, building momentum with a premium lineup of new series that will keep viewers coming back for more," said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. "We now have 17 new shows, with a slate that represents nearly 200 hours of original programming. These new shows, specials and pilots are the kind of fresh and innovative programming that will help us build on the success our 'Way More Fun' brand is generating."

Over the past six months, the truTV audience has been getting younger, and the network has been climbing the charts as a result of its brand and programming refresh. Since the rebrand, truTV has garnered a median age of only 38, and its median age for the first quarter of 2015 was four years younger than first quarter last year. Primetime deliveries were up across the board compared to the first two months of the network's brand and programming update, including adults 18-49 (+36%), adults 18-34 (+35%), men 18-49 (+45%), men 18-34 (+54%) and total viewers (+35%).

truTV also finished the first quarter as one of basic cable's Top 20 networks with men 18-49 and men 18-34, climbing 13 and nine spaces, respectively, among the two demos compared to the opening months of the rebrand. Among total viewers, truTV has risen 10 spots, while its rankings among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 have improved six and four spots, respectively.

truTV's current hits include Impractical Jokers, The Carbonaro Effect, Fake Off, Friends of the People, Hack My Life, How to Be a Grownup and Barmageddon. The network's extensive lineup of upcoming series include the scripted comedy Those Who Can't, the genre-busting half-prank/half-sketch show Fameless and the unscripted series The Hustlers, Santas in the Barn and Six Degrees of Everything. In addition, the streetwise game show Funny Or Die's Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner is set to become a truTV original series, starting with its fourth season in October.

Other pilots include Smartface (working title), produced by Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions and Core Media Group. The show is based on a format distributed by Tel Aviv-based Dori Media Group.

The series, which has been sold to broadcasters around the world by Dori, is a trivia gameshow in which contestants have to find a random member of the public to answer questions on their behalf.

The Futon Critic
AV Club
Realscreen
Deadline
Akron Beacon Journal
Multichannel News
Hollywood Reporter
The Futon Critic
C21 Media

posted 5/14/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "It's All Fun & Games"

  • Steven Tyler would return to the final season of "Idol"... if they paid him enough (Entertainment Tonight)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 10 cringe-worthy game show moments (HLN)
     
  • Britt & Kaitlyn's response doesn't sound at all like it was prepared for a conference call (E!)
     
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Pontoon Payday" (CMT, tonight) (Channel Guide)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 10 reasons why we still watch "Hell's Kitchen" (Hidden Remote)
     
  • #TBT: Pat Sharp, twin cheerleaders return "Fun House" to Evesham (Hereford Times)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: the 7 worst "Pointless" answers. EVER. (BT)
     
  • BBC buys into a Mighty "Tipping Point" indie (TBI Vision)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Worst Cooks in America (Reality Wanted)
     
  • ICYMI: Oh yeah, and America has a new "Idol" (TV Insider)

posted 5/14/15


CBS Renews "Survivor", "Race"
Network Releases Upfront Presentation
From the Futon Critic

CBS has renewed 10 of its 11 remaining scripted series, leaving "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" as the sole question mark at the network.

Per multiple reports, earning 2015-16 season stripes are: "Blue Bloods," "Criminal Minds," "CSI: Cyber," "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Hawaii Five-0," "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "The Odd Couple" and "Person of Interest."

Also returning next season will be its newsmagazine ("48 Hours," "60 Minutes") and reality ("The Amazing Race, "Survivor" and "Undercover Boss") mainstays.

SURVIVOR once again opens the night at 8:00 PM, where it continues to win in viewers and demos. CBS's highest-rated 18-49 drama, CRIMINAL MINDS, which grew its audience this year, delivers the perfect lead-in at 9:00 PM for the fast-paced new medical drama CODE BLACK at 10:00 PM.

CBS's winning Friday night returns intact with the Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM, followed by the two-hour crime-solving block of HAWAII FIVE-0 at 9:00 PM and BLUE BLOODS, Friday's most-watched show, at 10:00 PM.

As for "CSI," the network is working on a finale plan to wrap up the series, whether it be a TV movie or short run 16th season. The two-hour series swan song will air September 27.

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 5/13/15

Tuesday: Well That Was a Whole Heap of Nothing
NBC, CBS Split Night. Idol... Non-Event.
From the Futon Critic

CBS (12.321 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) was the most-watched network on Tuesday with the season finales of "NCIS" (14.745 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) and "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.518 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) plus a special "CSI: Cyber" (8.702 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11).

NBC (6.578 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) then shared in the demo crown with its mix of "The Voice" (8.976 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1), a new "Undateable" (4.316 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and the season finales of "Undateable" (3.945 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and "Chicago Fire" (6.628 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4).

Next up was ABC (5.953 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) and a special "Dancing with the Stars" (9.955 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T4) followed by a new "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.219 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7) and the season finale of "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (3.685 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.359 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up fresh installments of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.228 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11) and "American Idol" (5.491 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T11).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.506 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.4, #6) and "iZombie" (1.760 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.633 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.346 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 406,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/13/15

"Travel Channel Star" Has Its Final 15
Stream Entire Season on TravelChannel.com
From the Futon Critic

Who will be the next Travel Channel Star? After reviewing over 1,000 entries from travel enthusiasts across the country, Travel Channel has narrowed the search to the top 15 contestants. Each with their own take on travel, these wanna-be hosts bring many areas of expertise and perspective on how they would explore the world. The professions they are willing to leave behind include part-time poll worker, personal trainer and high school science teacher.

In the 15 five-minute webisodes, three judges and host Bert Kreischer, professional fun-seeker and host of "Trip Flip," provide colorful commentary and feedback about each audition.

Did the judges get it right? Fans can vote for their favorite contender on TravelChannel.com's "Travel Channel Star" page and on Twitter using #travelchannelstar until Friday, May 15. The top five will be revealed on Travel Channel's website on Monday, May 25 with additional commentary from Kreischer and the judges.

The winner of 2015's "Travel Channel Star" will host their own five-part series on TravelChannel.com and will be named in a one-hour special, hosted by Kreischer, on Travel Channel later this year.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/13/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Cat on a Hot Gold Derby"

  • Cat Deeley to host Critic's Choice Awards on A&E (The Futon Critic)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Five reasons why Idol failed (TV Line) plus a few good minutes with William Hung (People)
     
  • How did Aaron Rodgers get to be in "Jeopardy!" His girlfriend Olivia Munn said no. Simple (ESPN Wisconsin)

posted 5/13/15


ABC Upfront: ... Nope. No Big Changes
All of ABC's Primetime Games Will Continue On
From The Futon Critic

ABC continues its commitment to great storytelling with the announcement of its 2015-16 slate of programming, including the addition of 10 new series. Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, will unveil the network's new lineup to the advertising and media communities this afternoon at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.

"Our new slate of shows continues the momentum from last year. ABC was the most buzzed about network, and the only major network to hold on to its audience and to grow in the target demo. Our 2015-16 schedule, with new shows and returning favorites that reflect our commitment to world-class storytelling, will solidify ABC's place as the network that raises the bar for what viewers expect from broadcast television," said Lee.

ABC is the only major network to increase its Adult 18-49 audience during the 2014-15 season. ABC delivered 7 of the Top 20 entertainment series on broadcast TV this season in Adults 18-49, placing 4 of the Top 10 and claiming 3 of the Top 5 dramas: "Modern Family" and "Scandal" tie at No. 4, "How to Get Away with Murder" - No. 9, "Grey's Anatomy" - No. 10, "Once Upon a Time" - No. 12, while "black-ish" and "The Bachelor" tie at No. 18.

New series "The Catch," "Dr. Ken," "The Family," "The Muppets," "Of Kings and Prophets," "OIL," "Quantico," "The Real O'Neals," "Uncle Buck" and "Wicked City" will join the lineup.

Returning this season are "America's Funniest Home Videos," "American Crime," "The Bachelor," "Beyond The Tank," "black-ish," "Castle," "Dancing with the Stars," "Fresh Off the Boat," "Galavant," "The Goldbergs," "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away With Murder," "Last Man Standing," "Marvel's Agent Carter," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "The Middle," "Modern Family," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Scandal," "Secrets and Lies," "Shark Tank" and "20/20."

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2015-16 season.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider
TV Insider

posted 5/12/15

Syndies: Week 32
Results for the Week Ending May 3
From B&C

CBS Television Distribution’s rookie court show Hot Bench hit the 2.0 household ratings barrier in the week ending May 3, climbing 11% for the week to a new series high, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The Judge Judy Sheindlin-created court panel had the largest weekly increase of any daytime show in the top 15. Hot Bench also was syndication’s only strip to hit a new high and was easily court’s second-highest rated show after Judy, of course.
The week marked the first full week of the May sweep, which started April 23 and runs through May 20. Warmer weather and lower levels of people using television made it a difficult week for most shows.

In access, game shows weren’t having much fun. Both Wheel and Jeopardy! sank, with Wheel sliding 7% to a 6.3, tying Jeopardy!, which stumbled 6%.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 5% to a 5.9, but was up 13% compared to last year at this time and was the only show in the category with an annual increase. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire matched its series-low 1.6, with a 6% drop for the week and a 27% drop for the year. Debmar Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game sagged 7% for the week to a 1.3.

B&C
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Monday: Business As Usual
ABC, NBC Split Night
From The Futon Critic

NBC (8.254 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was once again the demo champ on Monday with its duo of "The Voice" (9.844 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.4, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.075 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #8).

ABC (11.768 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) then was a close second with a new "Dancing with the Stars" (13.314 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.1, #2) and the season finale of "Castle" (8.677 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #5).

Next up was CBS (7.278 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #3) with the penultimate weeks of "2 Broke Girls" (7.076 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4), "Mike & Molly" (7.747 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3), canceled "Stalker" (6.351 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (8.071 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.130 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #4) offered up a new "The Following" (3.210 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.0, #9) and a second "The Following" (3.050 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #10).

And finally, the season finales of "The Originals" (1.106 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.265 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) on The CW (1.185 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 367,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 266,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Ink Master: Rivals
Catch It on Spike June 23!
From The Futon Critic

Spike TV's hit original series "Ink Master" returns for a sixth season starting Tuesday, June 23 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it's best to 'know your enemy.' Eighteen tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of 'Ink Master.' This season it's not just about the rivalries the artists create during the competition, each contestant comes with their own personal tattoo rival - their master or apprentice.

The Futon Critic

posted 5/12/15

La Banda Comes Back for Season 2
Univision Renews Simon Cowell Series
From TV by the Numbers

Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today hosted its annual Upfront presentation to unveil its 2015-16 programming line-up and to highlight how targeting U.S. Hispanics through Univision’s multiplatform portfolio is the way forward for marketers to fuel growth. At the UCI Upfront event, Univision announced that “La Banda,” the music-based, multi-media competition show developed by Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment and Haim Saban’s Saban Brands and co-produced with FremantleMedia Latin America is back for a second season. Simon Cowell as executive producer brings SYCO Entertainment’s trademark talent for finding stars and creating great entertainment to Spanish-language television for the first time this fall. For the second season, “La Banda 2” will scour the U.S. for the ultimate Latina girl super group.

With its signature new take on the singing competition show format, “La Banda 2” will search the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Representing Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, female contestants will compete for their place in “La Banda 2.”

“Music plays a central role in the lives of Hispanics and we are pleased to continue to bring new musical projects to our audience via this exciting new platform,” said Alberto Ciurana, president, Programming and Content, Univision Communications Inc. “We’re thrilled to collaborate once again with Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment as part of our commitment to entertain and empower Hispanic Americans through the programming they crave.”

“I am absolutely delighted to be announcing Season 2 of ‘La Banda’,” said Simon Cowell. “The enthusiasm for this format is already very exciting and most importantly we are seeing some incredibly promising talent. Univision and Saban Brands are brilliant, music-focused, passionate partners and we are all looking forward to next year’s search for a Latina girl group.”

“La Banda 2” will continue in its Sunday night primetime position on the Univision Network in 2016.

Simon Cowell, Kelly Belldegrun and Nigel Hall will executive produce “La Banda 2” for SYCO Entertainment and Cisco Suarez will executive produce for Univision.

TV by the Numbers

posted 5/12/15

Weekend: Many Tanks
ABC Takes Friday
From TV by the Numbers

ABC (5.731 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the demo champ on Friday with its mix of "Shark Tank" (6.580 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1), "Beyond the Tank" (5.566 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #2) and "20/20" (5.047 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #3).

NBC (5.227 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "Grimm" (4.284 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6) and "Dateline NBC" (5.699 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4).

Next up was CBS (7.317 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with new episodes of "The Amazing Race" (5.468 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6) and "Hawaii Five-0" (8.367 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T4) plus the season finale of "Hawaii Five-0" (8.118 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.297 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.4, #4) offered up the feature "Scream" (1.297 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #10).

And finally, The CW (0.991 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) served up its revised Friday lineup of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.380 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.5, #9), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.229 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11) and "The Messengers" (0.679 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12).

On Food Network...
- Spring Baking Championship: 1.363 million
- Guy's Grocery Games: 1.240 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious: 1.189 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/12/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Sharks"

  • Daymond John swims with Washington sharks as White House entrepreneurship ambassador (Variety)
     
  • Sometimes Erin Andrews' "I'm gonna bawl" face (Twitter @ErinAndrews) is just that. An "I'm gonna bawl" face (Twitter @Tom_Bergeron)
     
  • Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe react (Billboard) to "Idol" cancellation (Extra) PLUS a LIST ABUSE of 9 of American Idol's greatest success stories (TV Insider)

posted 5/12/15


Curtain Call
Season 15 to Be "Idol's" Last, Plus Other Upfront Details
From Variety

“American Idol” is finally coming to a close. The fifteenth and final season will premiere January 2016.

Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban will return as Season 15 judges, along with host Ryan Seacrest.

While searching for the final “Idol” superstar, the last season will also serve as a “celebratory event,” paying tribute to fourteen seasons of contestants, winners and fans.

“American Idol,” created by Simon Fuller, first debuted in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Throughout its fourteen seasons, other A-list judges have included Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Steven Tyler, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres.

The reality competition made a star of Seacrest who has served as emcee since Season 1 when he shared hosting duties with Brian Dunkleman, who exited after the first round.

Based off Fuller’s hit British series “Pop Idol,” on which Cowell was a judge, the duo brought “Idol” to America, and is credited with launching the genre craze stateside, leading to other singing competitions including “The Voice,” “The Sing Off,” the short-lived “Rising Star,” plus “The X Factor” and “America’s Got Talent,” both created by Cowell and inspired by the British versions.

The Futon Critic
Variety
Deadline
Entertainment Weekly
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider
Time
TV Insider
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/11/15


Get Ready to Have "Best Time Ever"
NPH's "SNTA" Take Has a Name, Date
From Broadway World

NBC has revealed the name of its upcoming variety show to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. The weekly extravaganza will be called BEST TIME EVER WITH NEIL PATRICK HARRIS.

The one-hour series, which will debut this fall on the Peacock Network, will be based on the long-running, successful British series Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. The show will feature a combination of comedy, music, and game-show elements.

In preparation for his upcoming hosting gig, Harris recently served as guest announcer on Takeaway. He is expected to make an appearance at NBC's upfront presentation to advertisers, taking place on Monday at New York's Radio City Music Hall. NBC has ordered 10 episodes from ITV Studios America, all of which will be filmed in front of a live audience.

Meanwhile, NBC has renewed "The Voice" for another season to air Mondays & Tuesdays, while "Best Time Ever" will air the first 10 Tuesdays of the new season.

Broadway World
Radio.com
Bustle
Vulture
Entertainment Weekly
The Futon Critic
Realscreen
TV Insider

posted 5/11/15

More on "The Bachelorette"
Catch It on ABC May 18
From TV by the Numbers

What do a buff fitness coach, whose mother’s untimely death left him with painful scars; a dashing executive recruiter, who is a Princeton graduate; a cocky and confident architectural engineer with movie star good looks; an insurance agent, who is the total package, and a charming dentist, who has a million dollar smile, all have in common? They’re all on the hunt for the new Bachelorette – whether that is Britt or Kaitlyn -- when the 11th edition of the female version of ABC’s popular romance reality series, “The Bachelorette,” premieres with a two-night special, MONDAY, MAY 18 at a special time (9:01-11:00 p.m., ET), and TUESDAY, MAY 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

TV by the Numbers

posted 5/11/15


JOANNE CARSON: 1931-2015
Johnny Carson's Second Wife Co-Hosted "Video Village"
From CBS News

Joanne Carson, the second wife of "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, has died in Southern California. She was 83.

Ed Rada, the executor of her estate, says Carson died Friday at her longtime home in Los Angeles. Rada says she had been in declining health and was in hospice care.

Born Joanne Copeland in Los Angeles, she married Johnny Carson in 1963, a year after he began hosting "The Tonight Show."

After their divorce in 1972, she became close to writer Truman Capote. He kept a writing room at her house, where he died in 1984.

Joanne had her own career as a talk show host, appearing on early 1960s gameshow Video Village and health and fitness show Joanne Carson's VIPs.

Rada says she will be interred next to Capote at Westwood Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Joanne Carson had a second marriage late in her life to Richard Rever that also ended in divorce.

CBS News
Digital Spy
The New York Times
Sport Act
Hollywood Reporter

posted 5/11/15

The Points Don't Matter... on Stage
Clive Anderson to Return to "Whose Line" Live Show
From the Guardian

Channel 4 hit Whose Line Is it Anyway? is set to be revived as a live show featuring regulars from the original series including host Clive Anderson.

Comics from the original show including Colin Mochrie, Josie Lawrence, Greg Proops and Brad Sherwood will reunite 16 years after the TV comedy show was cancelled in the UK.

The live show will premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End on Saturday June 20 for a limited two-week run.

“It’s great to be back in charge of the iconic Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” said Anderson, who hosted the Channel 4 show in its 10 series run 1988 to 1999. “Joining up with some of the show’s most impressive improvisers to play many of its best loved games, together with some exciting new features – expect all the fun of the television program only this time live on stage.”

The stage show has been devised by the co-creators of the original TV show Dan Patterson, who also created BBC2’s Mock The Week, and Mark Leveson.

“I’m extremely excited to be bringing the official worldwide premiere to London’s West End,” said Patterson.

Just as Channel 4 cancelled the show US network ABC opted to remake it, with Drew Carey as host and featuring a number of the regulars from the British version, which ran from 1998 to 2007.

It was revived again in 2013, this time by The CW with Aisha Tyler hosting, and continues to air.

“Since it was last aired on Channel 4 in 1999 the show has really evolved and with the US TV show running for so long we’ve seen some incredible performances,” said Patterson. “The level of talent involved in the show on both sides of the Atlantic has been phenomenal and we’ve been very lucky to work with all of them. Expect the best of both versions.”

Last year, a version of the live show appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Anderson hosted an adaptation of the TV comedy, featuring regulars including Stephen Frost, retitled as Whose Live Show Is It Anyway? because the producers of the show didn’t hold the rights to the original name.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? began life as a short-lived six-part series on BBC Radio 4 in 1988 with Stephen Fry and John Sessions as regulars.

The Guardian
CultHub

posted 5/11/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Derek The Red Nosed Host"

  • Derek Gaines gets his nose on for Red Nose Day (The Interrobang)
     
  • Simon's talking like he's losing an X Factor coach... oh wait... (Digital Spy)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: Game show looking for superfans (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Ant & Dec pick up a couple more BAFTAs (CBBC Newsround)

posted 5/11/15

More on "WWE Tough Enough"
Catch It on USA June 23!
From the Futon Critic

USA Network and WWE announced today that WWE Superstar Chris Jericho will be the host of the highly-anticipated series, WWE TOUGH ENOUGH, and will be joined by a panel of experts comprised of WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan(R), WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan(R) and WWE Diva Paige(TM). The high-octane reality series premieres LIVE Tuesday, June 23 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on USA Network and around the world.*

This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will combine the can't-miss excitement of live television with reality-show drama, as WWE hopefuls vie for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Unlike anything on television today, the lightning-fast hour of entertainment and competition will include live results every week, giving fans worldwide the power to decide who stays and who goes the very same night. Each week, one cast member will be eliminated until one man and one woman are considered "Tough Enough," with each earning a one-year, $250,000 WWE contract.

Throughout the competition, the contestants will be trained by WWE Legends Booker T(TM), Billy Gunn(TM) and Lita(TM). Contestants will also come face-to-face with WWE icons including WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon; Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative, Paul "Triple H(R)" Levesque; Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon; and WWE Superstar John Cena(R), among others.

"These athletes, each with varying skill sets, will be put through a grueling boot camp that will test their physical, mental and emotional limits in a way that the series hasn't done before," said Jessica Sebastian, Vice President of Unscripted Series, USA Network. "Each week, their training and experience culminates in a spectacular live event where they will be put in front of their WWE heroes and an audience of fans. In this reimagined version of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH only the best will survive."

"This season of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will be the most innovative, unique and engaging series on television," said Kevin Dunn, WWE Executive Producer. "A live global telecast, real-time voting with immediate results, and unprecedented use of digital and social media during and between telecasts will all lead to a groundbreaking viewing experience."

To date, entrants from 113 countries have submitted videos, which have been viewed more than two million times on YouTube. To view play lists of entrants' videos or to submit a new audition video, go to WWEToughEnough.com. For a compilation of entrants' video submissions, click here.

On Monday, May 25, the WWE TOUGH ENOUGH App will be available for free download, giving fans even more opportunity to engage with this cutting-edge reality competition series. Through the App, viewers will receive access to exclusive content, learn more about the contestants, take part in social conversation between live telecasts and vote in real time. Fans around the world can also vote live each week for who stays and who goes via text (U.S. only), on Twitter @WWEToughEnough as well as on the WWE App, WWEToughEnough.com and USANetwork.com.

WWE TOUGH ENOUGH will emanate live from both the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., home to WWE's developmental division NXT, and the innovative professional production studios at Full Sail University located in Winter Park, Fla. This launch will mark the inaugural use of the University's latest high-caliber, on-campus production facility. In 2012, WWE and Full Sail announced an innovative partnership, which created a student scholarship fund, and also allows students of the university's entertainment-focused degree programs, including Film, Show Production, Digital Arts and Design, Internet Marketing and Entertainment Business, to gain real-world experience alongside WWE's professional production staff during WWE NXT tapings.

The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/8/15

A Second Chance at Survivor Glory
UPDATE: CBS Takes Itself Out of the Running
From the Futon Critic

Don’t worry Survivor fans, you really are the ones—and the only ones—voting for the next cast of the CBS reality show. Host Jeff Probst got viewers all atwitter on Twitter on Wednesday when he announced at the end of that night’s World Apart episode that fans would be able to vote in the next cast of 20 from a pool of 32 former players. And not just part of the cast—like on the network’s Big Brother: All-Stars back in 2006, when viewers picked eight contestants and producers picked six others—but the entire cast.

However, a few-eagle eyed fans and former contestants noticed something that seemed to contradict that in the fine print found in the Terms and Conditions page that accompanied the online voting—a section that read: “A combination of votes from CBS & the public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”

A combination of votes from CBS & the public? That’s not what Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly in our exclusive interview about the twist, nor how the voting was being promoted anywhere else on the Survivor website or in a press release about the twist. Naturally, it was time to investigate. A source close to the show informs me that the language in the terms and conditions was mistakenly added in by someone on the network’s legal team. The good news? It’s now gone. The text now reads, “The public will decide who from amongst the nominees presented will become the Fall 2015 Survivor cast.”

CBS also released a statement to EW on the matter, and managed to have a bit of fun with it in the process: “We voted the lawyers off of the island. The language has been corrected. It’s only the fans’ vote that counts. Always has been.”

The Futon Critic
TV Insider
Entertainment Weekly

posted 5/8/15

Dancing 10th Anniversary: One More Thing...
The Judges Are Hitting the Floor!
From E!

Dancing With the Stars? More like Dancing With the Judges!

For the first time in the ABC reality hit's 10-year history, the judges will be entering the competition.

Each judge—Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli—is set to coach one of the four remaining couples leading up to Monday night's performance show. They'll have final say over their song, dance style and creative. The judges' choice dances will be scored by the three remaining judges.

The couples:
- Len Goodman will be with Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough
- Julianne Hough will be with Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
- Carrie Ann Inaba will be with Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
- Bruno Tonioli will be with Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy

E!

posted 5/8/15

Thursday: Early Locks
CBS, ABC Take Penultimate Thursday of Season
From the Futon Critic

CBS (8.420 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T1) was the most-watched network thanks to the season finale of "The Big Bang Theory" (14.315 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1) followed by a new "The Odd Couple" (8.509 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #4), a second "The Odd Couple" (7.026 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5), a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (6.911 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and a new "Elementary" (6.879 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8). CBS is expected to announce their lineup next week.

ABC (6.528 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T1) then shared in the demo honors with its penultimate weeks of "Grey's Anatomy" (7.880 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2), "Scandal" (7.447 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T2) and "American Crime" (4.259 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #11). ABC has already renewed all three shows.

Next up was FOX (4.522 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3) with a new "Bones" (4.684 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8) and an additional "Bones" (4.361 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T8). Friday, Fox announced that "Bones" would return.

Meanwhile, NBC (4.990 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) served up a repeat "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.306 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) alongside new episodes of "The Blacklist" (6.746 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "Dateline NBC" (4.917 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12). NBC has slotted "The Blacklist" for season 3.

And finally, new episodes of "The Vampire Diaries" (1.311 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T13) and "Reign" (0.964 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.3, #15) on The CW (1.138 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable...
- Lip Sync Battle (Spike): 1.300 million
- Beat Bobby Flay (Food): 1.139 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 420,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/8/15

Back to the Arcade
"Nick Arcade" Creators, Host Hope to Kickstart Update
From Entertainment Weekly

The virtual reality game show Nick Arcade is an indisputable classic of Nickelodeon’s golden age—a time capsule of the early 1990s and the gaming craze that accompanied the era. Contestants on the 1992-1993 game show competed in video game trivia before moving on to the Video Zone, the show’s primary setpiece—wherein kids bluescreened their way into an actual virtual reality challenge, one of the first of its kind on television.

Now, Nick Arcade creators James Bethea and Karim Miteff, along with the show’s original host Phil Moore, have re-teamed for what they’re calling a “spiritual successor” to Arcade. After reuniting at a 2014 event celebrating ‘90s Nick, the trio is taking the Kickstarter approach to funding Enthlevel, a new elimination competition series that the guys hope oozes the DNA of the 1992 show.

“In the last three or four years, I was finding myself stopped by a lot of grown fans who constantly kept saying, ‘Can you imagine doing a show like Nick Arcade now with today’s technology?’” Moore tells EW about the reunion of the creative team. “The timing just felt right the more I heard it.”

“One of the biggest pushes was what happened with the Oculus Rift and the era that ushered in,” says Bethea. “There was a point where almost every week, there was a new announcement of another large hardware manufacturer—Sony or Panasonic or HTC or Samsung—getting into the space, and every time we’d feel a bit of a pang, but a joyful one, because all of these stories were framed in the same context, which was, ‘Imagine if you could be inside these environments and experience these games in a new way.’ And that’s exactly what we were trying to say with Arcade.”

Bethea continues, “Just like with Arcade, it was about what was the state of the art in gaming, and if today’s state of the art is Destiny and Forza and The Witcher, and things executed at that level in terms of story and cinema and how they’re done, then that’s our jumping off point for this show.”

Enthlevel, if funded, would boast more contestants and more games overall, replacing Arcade’s avatar Mikey with a new cast of CG characters and swapping out the trivia round with other non-gaming challenges that involve “fun games you wouldn’t normally think to do with your devices,” adds Miteff. The show’s cornerstone would still involve virtual reality challenges that progressively become more immersive and difficult as they cut down the number of teams in each round. Miteff explains, “In this next generation, it’s still a sincere take on games and technology. We have such a span of time and technology that I’m hoping people will be similarly impressed by the stuff we’ll be able to do.”

Enthlevel is hoping for a $350,000 goal to fund a presentation reel, with $1,250,000 funding a pilot and $2,750,000 needed for a fully produced series.

If you want to be a player should this show get funded, your best chance is to donate now at the contestant level to get access to the pool they will be picking from.

Entertainment Weekly
AV Club
Geek

posted 5/8/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Four Defining Moments of Awesome"

  • #ICYMI: "Monopoly Millionaires' Club" has a new member (TV Insider) PLUS a few good minutes with Billy Gardell (Uproxx)
     
  • Pointless fact: Alexander Armstrong is a baritone. He'll bring said voice onto a new album (Broadway World)
     
  • Bill Engvall to play "Millionaire" for Children's Miracle Network today! (Broadway World)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 17 UK game shows from the 1990s that deserve another go (one of them is still on the air stateside) (Good To Know)
     
  • Want to say at Merv Griffin's desert hideaway? Got $6000? A NIGHT?! (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • UPDATE: double amputee from TPIR gets something better from Jimmy Kimmel (YouTube)

posted 5/7/15

Wednesday: "Labor Games" Is Born
TLC Debut Attracts on Average 535,500 Over Hour
From the New York Times

This would have been an interesting moment in television game-show evolution even without the show that is having its premiere Wednesday night on TLC. But that debut elevates it to near historic status. “Labor Games” may be simultaneously the most brilliant and the most head-shaking game-show idea ever.

The concept: Expectant parents try to win prizes by answering trivia questions in a delivery room while the woman is in labor. While the woman is in labor. Presumably “Cash Cavity,” in which root-canal patients answer questions while being operated on by a dentist, was rejected because potential contestants couldn’t make themselves heard.

The show, which offers two sneak-peek episodes in advance of Mother’s Day, with the full series to begin later this year, debuted to 572,000 at 10p, dropping to 489,000 at 10:30p. It attracted an above-average 0.46 and 0.39 for the two respective shows in the target demo of females aged 12-34.

Elsewhere on cable...
- IdioTest (GSN, 8p): 482,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30p): 478,000
- Fake Off (season premiere/truTV): 381,000
- The Ultimate Fighter (Fox Sports 1): 364,000
- MTV2's Joking Off (MTV2): 211,000

On broadcast, ABC (6.503 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the network to beat among adults 18-49 on Wednesday with its mix of "The Middle" (6.923 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.7, #6), "The Goldbergs" (6.772 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4), "Modern Family" (8.481 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (6.918 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.3, #2) and "Nashville" (4.964 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

The silver then belonged to CBS (8.805 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) with its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.328 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #3), the season finale of "Criminal Minds" (9.633 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T4) and "CSI: Cyber" (7.453 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9).

Next up was FOX (6.875 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and a two-hour installment of "American Idol" (6.875 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.5, #7).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.369 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up originals from "The Mysteries of Laura" (6.171 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (6.224 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and "Chicago PD" (6.711 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.347 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T12) and "Supernatural" (1.576 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (1.961 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening.

The New York Times
TV by the Numbers
ABC News
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/7/15

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Four Defining Moments of Awesome"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: Brian Cox's new series "Six Degrees" (The Boar)
     
  • She lost on Jeopardy!, but she's no loser (Bustle) (disclaimer: writer is a former GSNN correspondent)
     
  • Want to say at Merv Griffin's desert hideaway? Got $6000? A NIGHT?! (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • UPDATE: double amputee from TPIR gets something better from Jimmy Kimmel (YouTube)

posted 5/7/15

The Philippines Can Do That
Armoza Formats Bows Version for ABS-CBN
From the New York Times

ABS-CBN, the largest broadcaster in the Philippines, has commissioned a local version of an Israeli gameshow format from Armoza Formats.

I Can Do That! will be produced in-house at ABS-CBN and marks the first time the broadcaster has acquired an Israeli format.

The show takes groups of celebrities and challenges them to perform live acts that prove there’s nothing they can’t do. It is currently in production in 15 countries, including the US, Mexico and, most recently, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

It will be the first Philippine version of an Armoza format but follows other recent Asian commissions including gameshow Who’s Asking?, which recently launched in Thailand and India, and The Gran Plan, which got a multi-territory deal in Australia, Singapore, India and the Philippines.

C21 Media

posted 5/6/15

Tuesday: Flashed
CBS Wins Totals, Shares Demo with NBC
From the Futon Critic

CBS (11.896 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) was the most-watched network on Tuesday with its mix of "NCIS" (14.235 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1), "NCIS: New Orleans" (13.248 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3) and "Person of Interest" (8.206 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

NBC (6.591 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) then shared in the demo honors with its lineup of "The Voice" (8.753 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "Undateable" (4.771 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), a second "Undateable" (3.791 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) and "Chicago Fire" (6.739 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T3).

Next up was ABC (6.238 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (10.128 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.482 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and the season finale of "Forever" (4.103 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.668 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) served up a new "Hell's Kitchen" (3.423 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T9) followed by the season finales of "New Girl" (2.239 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T11) and "Weird Loners" (1.586 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15).

And finally, new episodes of "The Flash" (3.643 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and "iZombie" (1.933 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (2.788 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4).

On cable...
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.305 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick: 466,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 5/6/15

Syndies: Week 31
Results for the Week Ending April 26
From B&C

Nearly all of the entertainment magazines climbed higher in a week that included coverage of Diane Sawyer’s high-profile interview with Bruce Jenner, the Olympic champion turned reality star who is now turning female.

The week ending April 26 included the first two week days of the May sweep, and new episodes and higher-profile marketing saw many shows hit five- or six-week highs.

CBS Television Distribution’s number-one and two games broke out of a tie, with Wheel of Fortune inching ahead with a 3% rise to a 6.8, while Jeopardy! upticked 2% to a 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud also nudged ahead 2% to a 6.2, up 27% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire grew 6% to a 1.7, but was down 19% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Celebrity Name Game advanced 8% to a 1.4, after four straight weeks at a 1.3.

B&C
TV by the Numbers
Mediapost

posted 5/6/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Because The Internet"

  • "Knife Fight" partners with Buick (The Futon Critic)
     
  • CW clips "Cedric's Barber Battle"; show to return Monday, June 29 (The Futon Critic)
     
  • WHY THE BLEEP IS THIS NEWS?: In what has to be the most unfortunate of coincidences overblown by people with ZERO knowledge of what goes into a daily production of "The Price Is Right" (you know who you are), a contestant with no legs wins a treadmill... but this contestant may end up having the last laugh. LITERALLY (People)
     
  • Tom Bergeron makes 60 look sexy (Instagram @tombergeron)
     
  • Marc Summers hosts game show at Parx Casino in Pennsylvania (PR Newswire)
     
  • Why there will never be another Ken Jennings (FiveThirtyEight)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: ... sounds like "Who Knows You Best" (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Chris Soules denies he & Whitney are broken off... I mean just because your woman isn't at Dancing with the Stars doesn't mean anything, right? (Us Magazine)
     
  • Alex Trebek honored by his alma mater (Ottawa Sun)

posted 5/6/15


Turning It Up to 1001
Let's Make a Deal Celebrates Milestone!
From New York Post

On May 4, the venerable gameshow threw an on-air party when its latest iteration, which premiered in the fall of 2009, hit 1,001 episodes, and handed out over $370,000 worth of cash and prizes.

The 1,001st episode — aired Monday — layered in a story line of Brady presenting his fellow cast members with gag gifts: a Segway for assistant Tiffany Coyne, a group hug for germaphobic announcer Jonathan Mangum and backup dancers for musician Cat Gray.

“Deal” also upped its game by giving a contestant the chance to win $50,000 (instead of the usual $20,000) in its “Smash for Cash” game, as well as sending every studio audience member home with a surprise gift worth $1,001 — the largest audience giveaway in the show’s history.

“It was [hard to find gifts at that exact value], but our prize department is just that good,” executive producer Mike Richards says of the episode, which was filmed last fall. “Everything’s elevated because we’re having fun and showing off.”

Created by Stefan Hatos and host Monty Hall, “Deal” has aired in daytime and primetime and the classic episodes will soon encore on upstart digital net Buzzr. The skein originally premiered on NBC in 1963, before moving to ABC, into syndication, back to NBC, and eventually landing at CBS, where it now airs every weekday.

New York Post
Variety
Cinema Blend
Variety

posted 5/5/15

Monday: Four in a Row for "The Voice"
NBC, ABC Split Night
From The Futon Critic

NBC (8.375 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) was once again the demo champ on Monday with its duo of "The Voice" (9.746 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.632 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #9).

ABC (10.958 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with originals from "Dancing with the Stars" (12.245 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2) and "Castle" (8.384 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.4, #8).

Next up was CBS (7.428 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with new episodes of "2 Broke Girls" (6.449 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) and "Mike & Molly" (6.722 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) followed by a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (7.147 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) and the special "David Letterman: A Life on Television" (8.084 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.055 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up the season finale of "Gotham" (4.857 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.7, #3) and a new "The Following" (3.253 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.1, #10).

And finally, fresh installments of "The Originals" (1.138 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.034 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.5, #T11) on The CW (1.086 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 405,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 263,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/5/15

Weekend: Tanks for Everything
ABC Wins Demo Friday Night Thanks to Double Dose of "Tank"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (5.890 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the demo champ on Friday with a new "Shark Tank" (6.921 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1), the premiere of "Beyond the Tank" (6.305 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #2) and "20/20" (4.446 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

CBS (8.344 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "The Amazing Race" (5.535 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and "Hawaii Five-0" (8.481 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) followed by the season finale of "Blue Bloods" (11.016 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3).

Next up was NBC (4.990 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #3) with originals from "Grimm" (4.222 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #8) and "Dateline NBC" (5.373 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.557 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up the feature "Taken" (2.557 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #9).

And finally, The CW (0.696 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) closed out the evening with its lineup of "Cedric's Barber Battle" (0.747 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.742 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T10) and "The Messengers" (0.647 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.2, #12).

On cable:
- Spring Baking Championship (Food): 1.549 million
- Guy's Grocery Games (Food): 1.245 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (Food): 1.238 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 5/5/15

Meet the Celebrity Jeopardy 15 One More Time
Catch Special Week May 11!
From About.com Game Shows

Celebrity Jeopardy is back with a new slate of stars for the 2015 tournament. The roster is the usual mix of actors, reporters, comedians, writers, and other celebs who will play Jeopardy! to win money ($50,000 to be exact) for their chosen charities. Here are the stars who will be competing in this year's Celebrity Jeopardy tourney (and their charities).

MONDAY:
- Neil Flynn - Neil Flynn is an actor, who has appeared on Scrubs and is currently one of the stars in the sitcom The Middle on ABC (Children's Miracle Network Hospital).
- Vince Gilligan - Vince Gilligan is a television writer, director, and producer. He's the creator of the hit series' Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond).
- Debra Messing - You likely know Debra Messing from the popular sitcom Will and Grace. She currently stars in the NBC show The Mysteries of Laura (PSI/Youth AIDS).

TUESDAY:
- Captain Mark Kelly - Kelly is a retired astronaut, whose final mission was also the last one for Space Shuttle Endeavor. He's also an engineer and former Navy Captain. He is married to former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (Memorial Hermann Foundation).
- Kevin O'Leary - Financial guru, entrepreneur, investor, and writer who currently appears on the ABC reality show Shark Tank, as one of the sharks (Martin P. Solomon Medical Scholars Foundation).
- Aaron Rodgers - Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers NFL football team (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).

WEDNESDAY:
- John Berman - John Berman is an anchor on CNN. He recently competed on the CNN President's Day Quiz show with fellow anchor Erin Burnett (Friends of Karen).
- Wendi McLendon-Covey - McLendon-Covey is an actor, comedian, producer, and director. Her best-known roles have been in the film Bridesmaids and on the sitcom The Goldbergs (Women Shelter of Long Beach).
- Mo Rocca - Mo Rocca is a humorist and television personality who works as a CBS news correspondent, among other things. He's the host of My Grandmother's Ravioli (a cooking show), and has worked as a correspondent for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Inner-City Scholarship Fund).

THURSDAY:
- Josh Gad - Josh Gad is an actor who has played numerous parts on many television shows and starred in several films. He's also a Broadway actor and is best known as the voice of Olaf in Frozen (Children's Hospital Los Angeles).
- Bellamy Young - Bellamy Young is an actor who plays Mellie Grant on ABC's Scandal. She has also had roles on numerous other shows including Scrubs, CSI: Miami, and Dirty Sexy Money. Young has also had several supporting roles in films (Operation Blankets of Love).
- Ginger Zee - Ginger Zee is a meteorologist and works as the weather anchor for both Good Morning America and ABC World News (Susan G. Komen of Western Michigan).

FRIDAY:
- Penn Jillette - Penn Jillette is a magician, comedian, and entertainer, and half of the team of Penn & Teller (Opportunity Village Las Vegas).
- Zachary Quinto - Zachary Quinto is a television and film actor. His best-known roles include Sylar on the NBC drama Heroes, and the "new" Spock in the Star Trek reboot films, as well as American Horror Story: Asylum (Direct Relief).
- Cynthia Rowley - Cynthia Rowley is a well-known, award-winning fashion designer. She's designed the uniforms for United Airlines flight attendants and pilots, created exclusive lines for Target, Band-Aid, and Roxy, and created several of her own collections (FEED/Public Art Fund).

The 2015 Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament is a bit abbreviated from some of the past star-studded tourneys, and will air from May 11th through the 15th - check your local listings for show times and channels.

About.com Game Shows

posted 4/30/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "The 4th Is Strong With This One"

  • "Jeopardy!" College Championship begins this July. Here's one of the players (WLFI Kokomo)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: 12 things that weren't far off the mark from the Jeopardy! pilot... we dare these people to compare the 1983 pilot (Bustle)
     
  • Why "Lip Sync Battle" is a hit for Spike... and not NBC (TV Week)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: "Sports Jeopardy!" season 2... The Test is Coming (Jeopardy.com)

posted 5/4/15

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Boob Grabber: A Love Story"

  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: "Dancing with the Stars" returns to two nights a week for the rest of the season (E!)
     
  • #TBT: I thought Boob Grabber looked familiar (Fox News)
     
  • Steve Harvey and his biggest fan.... who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Los Angeles Times)
     
  • Sandi Toksvig trades comedy for politics (Digital Spy)
     
  • Meredith Vieira is Boston University's final answer as commencement speaker (BU Today)
     
  • Bob Eubanks revived the "Not So Newlywed Game" for Brea... and for $100,000 (Orange County Register)

posted 5/1/15

History Rides Shotgun
Ridealong Quiz, Isolation Test Greenlit
From Entertainment Weekly

A+E Networks unveiled the rest of the new additions to their family of channels on Thursday during the company’s upfronts. We already knew about Damien, Critics’ Choice, the Roots reboot, War and Peace, Fall Into Me, and Food Porn, but there’s more on the plate for A&E, History, Lifetime, and FYI.

Moving to the History Channel: Alone will be “the country’s boldest and longest survival experiment ever captured for television.” What’s going to happen? Scheduled for this summer, 10 people will be stuck in the wilderness without a camera crew, teams, and producers to fight it out the longest. Last person standing wins $500,000.

Shotgun is a game show that’ll live online, as people attempt to answer questions while flying around in racecar on a track at top speeds.

Entertainment Weekly
The Wrap
The Futon Critic

posted 4/30/15

Wild'n Out at 10
Season 7 Bows June 10
From TV by the Numbers

 MTV2 today announced that its highest-rated series ever, “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” will return to the network for a seventh season summer run with 12 all-new episodes beginning Wednesday, June 10 at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The season seven premiere night will feature two all-new episodes, as a new slate of special guests and performers will take the stage for the hit series that mixes lightning fast comedic improv, head-to head competition and cutting edge entertainment where only the funniest survive. Four additional episodes of the seventh season will air later in 2015.

“Everybody needs to get ready for what is without a doubt the best, wildest, and funniest season in ‘Wild ‘N Out’ history,” said Nick Cannon. “When we taped the new season, the studio audience in New York went crazy and I know the fans at home watching will feel the same. As we celebrate 10 years of ‘Wild ‘N Out’ this year, we’ll continue to add to the show’s immense legacy with the biggest names in comedy and music.”

The incredible roster of celebrity guests and performers for season seven includes Kevin Hart, Jordin Sparks, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo, Zendaya, Fabolous, Pete Wentz, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, A$AP Ferg, Nick Young, French Montana, Fat Joe, Rae Sremmurd, Ty Dolla $ign, Migos, Mack Wilds, DJ Drama, Ray J, Lil Duval, O.T. Genasis, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Dej Loaf, K Camp and the hosts of Power 105’s The Breakfast Club.

2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of the first “Wild ‘N Out” premiere in 2005. In order to celebrate the milestone, MTV2 today is launching #BestofWNO, a social voting competition across several platforms to determine fans’ favorite moments from the first six seasons of the show. From April 30 through May 6, seven different categories will be voted on by fans: “Favorite All-Star” (showcased via GIFs on MTV2 Twitter); “Favorite Game” (showcased via video on MTV2 Instagram); “Favorite Wildstyle Moment” (showcased via video on MTV2 YouTube); “Favorite Wild ‘N Out Girl” (showcased via photos on MTV2 Instagram); “Favorite Wild ‘N Out Song” (showcased via video on MTV2 Tumblr); “Favorite Cast Member” (showcased via photos on “Wild ‘N Out” Facebook); and “Wildest Moment” (showcased via video on MTV2 Vine). The winners of each competition will be featured on MTV2 in the days leading up to the season seven premiere.

TV by the Numbers
Comedy Hype

posted 4/30/15

Wednesday: Split in the Middle
ABC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic

ABC (6.248 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1) was the top demo draw on a competitive Wednesday with its mix of "The Middle" (7.313 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4), "The Goldbergs" (6.714 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Modern Family" (7.945 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.9, #1), "Black-ish" (6.000 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4) and "Nashville" (4.758 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #10).

The silver then went to CBS (8.314 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) with its trio of "Survivor: Worlds Apart" (9.171 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T2), "Criminal Minds" (8.570 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #8) and "CSI: Cyber" (7.202 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #11).

Next up was FOX (7.316 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #3) with another two-hour "American Idol" (7.316 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #9).

Meanwhile, NBC (7.291 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #4) served up an encore of "Chicago Fire" (4.606 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) followed by special crossover editions of "Chicago PD" (8.051 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.8, #7) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9.217 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T4).

And finally, new episodes of "Arrow" (2.400 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T12) and "Supernatural" (1.850 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14) on The CW (2.125 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.8, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- IdioTest (GSN, 8:30): 533,000
- Food Fortunes (season finale/Food): 515,000
- IdioTest (GSN, 8): 506,000
- The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians (FS1): 454,000
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 366,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/30/15

Pontoon Party Game
Frank Nicotero Hosts "Pontoon Payday" May 14 on CMT!
From The Futon Critic

CMT is kicking off summer a little early with a wet and wild season premiere of the smash hit series "Party Down South 2," along with the premiere of "Pontoon Payday," the first-ever game show on a boat where contestants can either get drenched in cash or just plain drenched. Both series, from the masterminds behind the "Jersey Shore," 495 Productions, bow on Thursday, May 14 with "Party Down South 2" at 9pm ET/PT and double shots of "Pontoon Payday" at 10pm ET/PT.

CMT is setting sail with "Pontoon Payday," the first-ever game show on a boat. Throughout the half-hour series, unsuspecting lake-goers are plucked from their party boats to suddenly find themselves competing on a floating game show hosted by comedian Frank Nicotero. If they can answer a few questions correctly, they'll win quick cash to keep their party afloat. But get the questions wrong, and they're tossed overboard with only their pride.

CMT wrapped its most recent quarter on a high note, posting A18-49 gains in both Primetime (+32%) and Total Day (+8%) over the previous quarter.

"Pontoon Payday" is produced by 495 Productions, with SallyAnn Salsano and Joel Zimmer serving as executive producers. Jayson Dinsmore, Morgan Selzer and Matt Trierweiler executive produce for CMT.

The Futon Critic
Deadline
Realscreen

posted 4/29/15

Tuesday: Anniversaries & Eliminations...
... and Yet CBS Still Takes the Night
From B&C

CBS (12.444 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1) was the winner of a tight demo race on Tuesday with its trio of "NCIS" (14.541 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2), "NCIS: New Orleans" (14.320 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) and "Person of Interest" (8.469 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

NBC (6.677 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #2) then was a close second with its combination of "The Voice" (9.285 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.1, #1), "Undateable" (4.618 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10), the season finale of "One Big Happy" (3.200 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #13) and "Chicago Fire" (6.836 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5).

Next up was ABC (6.755 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) and its lineup of "Dancing with the Stars" (9.881 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4), "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (4.463 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7) and "20/20: Captive: A Journey of Hope and Survival" (5.921 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T7).

Meanwhile, The CW (2.803 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) served originals from "The Flash" (3.836 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T5) and "iZombie" (1.770 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.7, #14).

And finally, new episodes of "Hell's Kitchen" (3.206 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.1, #11), "New Girl" (2.103 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12) and "Weird Loners" (1.478 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.6, #15) on FOX (2.498 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Chopped All-Stars (Food): 1.267 million
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 338,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/29/15

Fox Phones (In) "Home"
Network Greenlights Home-Renovation Contest for a House for July 22
From TV by the Numbers

FOX has ordered HOME FREE, a new competition series that will feature never-before-seen twists and plenty of surprises, as couples vie to win their dream home. From Relativity Television and executive producer Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”), and hosted by famed professional contractor Mike Holmes (“Holmes on Homes®”), the eight-episode unscripted series breaks ground Wednesday, July 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

“HOME FREE is a ‘renovation’ of the home makeover genre and FOX is, without question, the right network to partner with,” said Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television. “We’re thrilled to have host Mike Holmes, the most legit name in renovation. He’s going to inspire our contestants, but also push them to the limit...and that’s a great thing. I’ve done some big shows, but this is the biggest, complete with all sorts of twists and turns you’ll have to watch to believe. We can’t wait to get renovating.”

“A home is way more than brick and mortar. So being part of this new series and partnering with FOX is truly exciting for me,” said Holmes. “I’m ready to break ground with these couples. It’s going to be a lot of sweat and tears but I promise you, all worth it in the end...trust me on this.”

On HOME FREE, nine deserving couples are challenged to revive one run-down home every week. During each episode, Holmes will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Holmes will be with the competitors every step of the way – picking apart their work and demanding they meet his high standards, while also sharing his expertise and guidance to help them reach new heights. But in a surprise twist, when the work is done for the day, the couples don’t have far to travel to get home…because not only must they work together to restore the home, they must all live together in the same dilapidated home 24/7. The more they accomplish, the better they sleep at night.

Each week, the couples with the best work will move forward in the competition, while the couple who didn’t perform up to code will face elimination. Eliminations will continue each week, until only two couples remain, who will fight to the finish to win their ultimate dream home.

Holmes is a professional contractor and the host and creator of the hit TV series “Holmes on Homes®,” “Holmes Inspection” and “Holmes Makes It Right.” After working in the building and renovation industry for more than 20 years, Holmes was asked to develop and host his own television series, “Holmes on Homes®,” which became an international success and broke ratings records, solidifying his career in television. With more than 30 years’ experience as a licensed contractor, Holmes has been able to use television as a tool to educate homeowners on how to manage a renovation; what to look for in contractors; the right products for the right job; proper home repair and maintenance; and their rights as homeowners.

HOME FREE is produced by Relativity Television and executive-produced by Tom Forman, George Verschoor, Trice Bartow, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus and Mike Holmes. The series will be distributed internationally by ELECTUS.

TV by the Numbers
Entertainment Weekly

posted 4/29/15

Meet the "Food Network Star" Hopefuls
Catch The New Season June 7!
From The Futon Critic

Food Network competition series Food Network Star returns for an eleventh season this summer, with a cast of twelve talented hopefuls competing to become the next new face in food television. Food superstars Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay are back as mentors/judges, joined this season by a roster of top-notch special guests and judges. In the biggest audition of their lives, the finalists battle in a series of unique challenges designed to determine who has the personality, on-air charisma and cooking skills to win the ultimate prize - their own show on Food Network. Exclusive web series Star Salvation also returns, giving one eliminated contestant the opportunity to rejoin the competition. Food Network Star season eleven premieres on Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT and the winner will be crowned in the season finale on Sunday, August 16th at 9pm ET/PT.

"Each season, our viewers love following the journey of Food Network Star contestants as they develop from aspiring newcomer to confident pro," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Food Network. "Having Giada and Bobby guide these finalists along is like watching a master class in food television."

The finalists are: Emilia Cirker (Reston, VA); Jay Ducote (Baton Rouge, LA); Christina Fitzgerald (St. Louis); Rosa Graziano (Los Angeles); Matthew Grunwald (Scottsdale, AZ); Eddie Jackson (Houston); Michelle Karam (Santa Barbara, CA); Sita Lewis (New York); Alex McCoy (Washington DC); Arnold Myint (Nashville); Rue Rusike (Brooklyn, NY) and Dominick Tesoriero (Staten Island, NY).

The Futon Critic

posted 4/29/15

More on "Labor Games"
Catch the Sneak Preview May 6
From TV by the Numbers

The impending birth of a baby is one of the most memorable moments in a family's life - a time of emotion and excitement, and of course... games and prizes? For the first time ever, TLC brings a game show to the most unexpected of places - directly to parents who are expecting. The outrageous new series LABOR GAMES takes viewers into the delivery room as women in labor are given the chance to win prizes for their baby-to-be. Hosted by Lisa Arch, the series will get a special sneak peek on May 6 at 10/9c, during the network's MOTHER OF ALL WEEKS.

It's a race against nature as Lisa and the LABOR GAMES camera crew surprise a new set of parents who are in labor, offering the opportunity to win a nursery full of prizes before the baby is born. If they agree to play, their normal delivery room immediately transforms into a game show set - flashing lights, game monitor, theme music, and all. But, the clock is ticking: the game could be a distraction from their contractions while they try to win trips, cash, baby monitors, food, clothing, and the grand prize - a $10,000 scholarship - before their ultimate prize, their newborn baby, arrives.

TLC has ordered 12 half-hour episodes of LABOR GAMES, which is produced by Lighthearted Entertainment. The full series will debut later this year.

The Futon Critic
News.com.au

posted 4/29/15

VH1 Lines Up Summer
Catch "Twinning" & "Dating Naked" July 15, "She's Got Game" August 10
From TV by the Numbers

VH1 continues to bring the heat this summer with the announcement of the network's summer slate. VH1's fan-favorite series, "Love & Hip Hop" will kick off the summer season on Memorial Day Monday, May 25th with the network's first-ever LIVE wedding special, "Love & Hip Hop LIVE: The Wedding,". Also premiering this summer is the return of VH1's buzzworthy series "Dating Naked," followed by the network's brand-new reality competition series, "Twinning" beginning on July 15. Additional series premiering this summer will be "T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle," "Basketball Wives: LA," "CandidlyNicole" "She's Got Game," and "Black Ink Crew."

VH1's summer game slate is as follows:

- "DATING NAKED" SEASON 2 PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, JULY 15TH AT 9:00PM*

"Dating Naked" is a 10-episode, one-hour series that explores the art of romance, free of preconceived notions, stereotypes - and clothes. Hosted by Amy Paffrath, Dating Naked season 2 is once again set on a romantic tropical island, BUT this time features two primary daters, Kerri and Chris, as they search for love. Each week, 2 new men and 2 new women will strip down for a shot at igniting a spark with our primary daters. At the end of each episode, Kerri and Chris will each pick the one person they connected with the most to be their 'keeper,' and ask them to remain on the island. As sexy new singles arrive every week, vying for the coveted 'keeper' spots, initial connections will be put to the test and deeper feelings may begin to develop. Can Kerri and Chris handle the competition? Or will temptation and jealousy run rampant on the island? When everyone has stripped away the artifices of the modern world and revealed their ultimate, honest selves, the results will be truly surprising. "Dating Naked" season 2 premieres Wednesday, July 15th at 9PM ET/PT on VH1.

Join the conversation with @DatingNaked on Twitter using #DatingNaked. Follow "Dating Naked" on Facebook.

"TWINNING" PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, JULY 15th AT 10:00PM*

For the first time ever, VH1 is doubling down on a reality competition series that will put "twin-tuition" to the test in "Twinning" premiering Wednesday, July 15th at 10PM ET/PT with ten hour-long episodes. Hosted by Angie Greenup, "Twinning" is an arc'd competition series in which twelve sets of twins will go head to head for a grand prize of $222,222.22. But getting there won't be easy. Viewers will experience double the meltdowns, double the hook-ups, and, of course, double the twists when twin teams are pushed to their limits in unexpected ways. As the strengths and weaknesses of each twin pair is revealed, relationships will be tested and resentments will be exposed. In the end, the pair of twins left standing will win the cash prize, and be crowned as the twinners.

"Twinning" was created and is produced by Lighthearted Entertainment. Executive producers are Howard Schultz, Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler. Executive Producers for VH1 are Susan Levison, Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly, Fernando Mills and Tricia Biggio.

Join the conversation with @TwinningVH1 on Twitter using #Twinning. Follow "Twinning" on Facebook.

"SHE'S GOT GAME" PREMIERES MONDAY, AUGUST 10th at 9PM*

We all know Jayceon Taylor better known as "The Game" from his hit VH1 series "Marrying The Game" as an amazing father as well as family man, that goes without saying. But what we don't know is if there is a woman out there that would satisfy him enough to slow him down. In the past we've seen him give being a family man his all, but sometimes in life and love other cards come into play. Now, in the new series "She's Got Game," The Game sets out in pursuit of his perfect love match while he embarks on a national tour. Tired of picking the wrong women, in "She's Got Game," Taylor turns to his celebrity friends to see who can help him most when it comes to matters of the heart. Each celebrity will select a young woman to accompany Game on his national tour. But which women will succumb to the not-so-innocent rock star lifestyle, and which will have his back and ultimately win his heart? "She's Got Game" premieres Monday, August 10 at 9PM ET/PT with 10 one hour episodes.

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

Join the conversation with @ShesGotGameVH1 on Twitter using #ShesGotGame. Follow "She's Got Game" on Facebook.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/29/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Do You Have It?"

  • Nickelodeon released six game shows on manufacture-to-order DVD (TV Shows on DVD)
     
  • CASTING COUCH: You've never wanted to be so bad so bad... Worst Cooks in America is looking for new cooks (Reality Wanted)
     
  • Bill Engvall, not to be outdone by 15 other celebs on some other quiz show, will play "Millionaire" May 8 as part of CMN Champions Week (The Futon Critic)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: You better twerk (Bustle)

posted 4/29/15

Syndies: Week 30
Results for the Week Ending April 19
From B&C

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil regained sole possession of the top talk spot in the week ended April 19, breaking two weeks of ties with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael.

Most syndies were flat or down in the week before the start of the May sweep, which kicked off April 23 and runs through May 20.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and CTD’s Jeopardy! tied to lead the games for the second time in the past three weeks. Wheel slowed down 3% to a 6.6, while Jeopardy! downticked 1%. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was the only game with a winning week, edging up 2% to a 6.1 and growing 22% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which will add The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison as host next fall, slumped 6% to a 1.6, equaling its series low and dropping 24% from last year at this time.

Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game — the host of which, Craig Ferguson, was named outstanding game-show host at the Daytime Emmys — remained at a 1.3 for the fourth week in a row.

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Monday: And Down the Stretch They Come
ABC, NBC Split First Monday of Sweeps
From the Futon Critic

NBC (8.892 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.2, #1) was network to beat among adults 18-49 with new episodes of "The Voice" (10.640 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) and "The Night Shift" (5.396 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T8).

ABC (11.493 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) then claimed the silver with its duo of "Dancing with the Stars" (12.966 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.0, #2) and "Castle" (8.545 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #T8).

Next up was CBS (7.079 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3) with originals from "2 Broke Girls" (7.079 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.7, #4) and "Mike & Molly" (7.505 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.8, #3) followed by the return of "Stalker" (6.036 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6) and a new "NCIS: Los Angeles" (7.908 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #T6).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.099 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4) served up fresh installments of "Gotham" (4.626 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.5, #5) and "The Following" (3.572 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.2, #10).

And finally, new episodes of "The Originals" (1.101 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.5, #11) and "Jane the Virgin" (1.078 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.4, #12) on The CW (1.089 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy): 533,000
- RuPaul's Drag Race (Logo): 320,000

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Esquire Sharpens "Knife"
Catch New Season May 26
From the Futon Critic

Stakes for bragging rights have never been higher. Esquire Network's raucous after-hours cooking competition series KNIFE FIGHT gets shaken up in a new tournament that will crown one ultimate champion of season three, premiering Tuesday, May 26 at 10/9c.

In each episode, two chefs go head-to-head, making at least two dishes in one hour from a combination of secret ingredients. 16 New York area chefs will compete to conquer mystery ingredients and each other, but only one will be left standing.

Week after week, each bout is 'do or die' as chefs will either advance to the next round or be eliminated from competition. The chefs that move on will face harder ingredients and even tougher opponents as each week the battles whittle the competition down to two challengers who go head to head in a one-hour grand finale fight for glory. Ilan's newest outpost The Gorbals Brooklyn serves as the venue, and Judges Naomi Pomeroy and Kris Morningstar join him as they determine New York's "Beast of the East."

Award-winning chefs battling include: Einat Admony, Miguel Aguilar, Wolfgang Ban, Franklin Becker, Joey Campanaro, Vincent Chirico, Leah Cohen, David Felton, Edi Frauneder, Daniel Holzman, Pete Lipson, Tony Maws, Jonah Miller, Todd Mitgang, Dale Talde and Sean Telo.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/28/15

Ink Fast
Catch New Season on Spike June 23
From the Futon Critic

Spike TV's hit original reality-competition series "Ink Master" returns for a sixth season starting Tuesday, June 23 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it's best to 'know your enemy.' Eighteen tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of 'Ink Master.' This season it's not just about the rivalries the artists create during the competition, each contestant comes with their own personal tattoo rival - their master or apprentice.

Each week "Ink Master" puts artists through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a 'Human Canvas.' Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including American traditional, Japanese, trash polka, anatomical and Victorian, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.

After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest stars including Avan Jogia ("Tut"), Khaseem Greene (Chicago Bears), Tony Jefferson (Arizona Cardinals), Keith Pough (Cleveland Browns), Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Darius Slay (Detroit Lions) and Kamerion Wimbley (Tennessee Titans),

Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the "Ink Master" contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home. The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination. In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.

The Futon Critic

posted 4/28/15

YouTube + Your Clips = Profit!
FremantleMedia Claims Rights Off Uploaded Clips
From Variety

FremantleMedia is turning thousands of fan-uploaded YouTube clips of “American Idol” — and dozens of other shows it produces — into cash.

In a partnership pairing two corporate cousins, TV production firm FremantleMedia is working with BroadbandTV to identify and manage user-uploaded content on YouTube for more than 200 shows, including “American Idol,” “The Price Is Right,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Baywatch” and “The X Factor.”

FremantleMedia is owned by European entertainment conglomerate RTL Group, which holds a majority stake in BroadbandTV.

Using YouTube’s Content ID system for tracking copyrighted material, FremantleMedia has already claimed ownership of some 500,000 clips, according to Olivier Delfosse, FremantleMedia’s senior VP of digital. Now, with BroadbandTV’s system in conjunction with Content ID, the company expects to find significantly more, and that will expand Fremantle’s advertising inventory on the site.

“For us, it’s like flipping a switch to an immediate expansion of our business,” Delfosse said.

Variety

posted 4/28/15

DON MANKIEWICZ: 1922-2015
Hollywood Royalty Organized Quiz Show Writers
From Philly.com

Don M. Mankiewicz, 93, a novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter who grew up in a fabled Hollywood family and went on to create TV's Ironside and Marcus Welby, M.D., has died at his home in Monrovia, near Los Angeles.

Mr. Mankiewicz's death Saturday was caused by congestive heart failure, his son, John Mankiewicz, said.

His father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, the screenwriter behind Citizen Kane. His uncle was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director of All About Eve and other classic films.

Early in his TV career, Mr. Mankiewicz wrote scripts for the drama series Playhouse 90. He was assigned to adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon at least in part because he grew up steeped in its luminous, old-Hollywood setting.

While a number of entertainment figures emerged from the Mankiewicz dynasty, Don was drawn to politics and union activism. Active in the Writers Guild of America, he helped gain union representation for quiz-show writers.

"For that, the writers on Jeopardy! made him the answer to a question," said his son, John, an executive producer of the political drama House of Cards.

When guild writers went on strike in 2007 and 2008, Mr. Mankiewicz, then in his mid-80s, joined them on the picket line.

Mr. Mankiewicz received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of I Want to Live!, a 1958 film about a prostitute falsely accused of murder. It was loosely based on the true story of Barbara Graham, who was put to death in California's gas chamber in 1955 and was known in headlines as "Bloody Babs."

Philadelphia Inquirer

posted 4/27/15

Weekend: Oh, THAT Interview...
ABC Wins Night on the Back of Special, "Shark Tank"
From the Futon Critic

ABC (13.838 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.0, #1) was the top draw on Friday thanks to a new "Shark Tank" (7.788 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2) and the two-hour special "20/20: Bruce Jenner - The Interview" (16.863 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 5.2, #1).

CBS (7.984 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #2) then was a distant second with its trio of "The Amazing Race" (5.921 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3), "Hawaii Five-0" (8.280 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) and "Blue Bloods" (9.752 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5).

Next up was NBC (4.453 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) with originals from "Grimm" (4.697 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.0, #T5) and "Dateline NBC" (4.331 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.015 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) offered up the feature "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (3.015 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

And finally, new episodes of "Cedric's Barber Battle" (1.357 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9), "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.249 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9) and "The Messengers" (1.198 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #T9) on The CW (1.250 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening.

On cable:
- Spring Baking Championship (season premiere/Food): 1.369 million
- Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious (Food): 1.332 million
- Guy's Grocery games (season finale/Food): 1.142 million

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/28/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Sword. Play."

  • Jeopardy! makes history with the help of a cat (Rotoscopers)
     
  • FIRST LOOK: Pontoon Payday (CMT, May 14) (CMT)
     
  • Chris Hardwick becomes "The Dick Clark of Nerds" (New York Post)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Gordon Ramsay (Bon Appetit)

posted 4/28/15


Betty White: A Lifetime of Achievement
And the Other Awards Went to...
From Variety

Betty White’s escapades on television go so far back her late husband used to say that she started on “silent TV.”

Allen Ludden’s joke still makes White chuckle. And just because White has been around since the dawn of television, doesn’t mean she’s any less enchanted by it. Happily, it’s a mutual love, which is why the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Daytime Emmys will present her with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I can’t be coy,” she says of the honor. “I was thrilled.”

Some of White’s daytime work is well-known, such as her guest stint on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and constant appearances on gameshows including “Password,” “Match Game” and “The $25,000 Pyramid.” Her television debut, though, was for a lesser-known program that defines early daytime TV. For “Hollywood on Television,” White was on camera, 5½ hours a day, six days a week, for four years.

“Anybody who came through town, any celebrity, any political figure, anybody,” would stop by, she recalls. In between interviews, “I would sing three or four songs, and then we would do little drama scenes that we would make up as we went along. The audience liked that because we made fools of ourselves. I spent more time on television than anyplace else.”

She even did most of the commercials. During the few pre-recorded commercials, White bolted off-stage for a bathroom break. The marathon show “was a wonderful experience because you had to think on your feet,” she says.

She continues to apply that lesson and will not write a thank-you speech for the live kudocast. “I always ad lib, but it is not ad libbing, speaking from your heart,” White says.

She’s also skipping another awards show tradition: no shopping or agonizing over what to wear. Rather, White will rifle through her closet for a gown she wore to another occasion. “I have been in the business for 102 years,” jokes the lively 93-year-old star.

Her career may not be quite that long, but David Michaels, senior vice president of the Daytime Emmy Awards, explains why White is so deserving of this honor.

“No. 1, she is the first woman to ever win a Daytime Emmy for hosting a game show, ‘Just Men,’ ” he says of the show that had White flirting with gorgeous guys. “No. 2 is, she’s the queen and pioneer of the celebrity guest on gameshows.

“There is no part of television she wasn’t and isn’t iconic in,” Michaels says. “This is probably the only award in the world she hasn’t won.”

The awards, which were presented live from the Warner Bros. lot on Pop Sunday night, were as follows. We present them with our congratulations:

- Outstanding Game Show Host: Craig Ferguson (Celebrity Name Game)
- Outstanding Game Show: Jeopardy! (its 33rd total win & 15th for the category)
- Outstanding Direction for Game Show: Lenn Goodside (Let's Make a Deal)
- Outstanding Live & Direct to Tape Sound Mixing: The Price Is Right

"Family Feud's" Steve Harvey (Talk Show - Informative) and "The Price Is Right" guest model Hunter King (Younger Actress) were also winners.

Sunday’s Daytime Emmy Awards on Pop were seen by nearly 900,000 total viewers over two airings, with the premiere marking the most-watched live event on Pop in eight years.

The viewership broke down like this: 719,000 watched the debut; 165,000 tuned in for the repeat. Those numbers are fast nationals, and thus subject to change in the finals.

The last live event on the former TV Guide channel to top that was the Academy Awards premiere of “Live on the Red Carpet with Joan and Melissa.” For a recent comparison, the Daytime Emmys beat the recent TV Land Awards on TV Land by double digits in both total viewers and adults 18-49, when considering the premiere and repeat telecasts.

Variety
TV Insider
The Wrap
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/27/15


JAYNE MEADOWS: 1919-2015
Wife of Steve Allen Panelist on "I've Got A Secret"
From The Hollywood Reporter

Actress Jayne Meadows, the widow of comedian Steve Allen who is perhaps best known for her work as a celebrity panelist on such TV game shows as I’ve Got a Secret, has died. She was 95.

Meadows died of natural causes in her longtime Encino home on Sunday night, her son, Bill Allen, told Entertainment Tonight.

Allen, the first host of NBC’s Tonight Show (from 1954-57), died in 2000 of a heart attack at age 78. Her late sister was Audrey Meadows, who played Alice, the wisecracking wife of Jackie Gleason's character, on The Honeymooners. She died in 1996.

Meadows was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on the series Meeting of Minds, St. Elsewhere and High Society.

She started out in Hollywood with a contract at MGM, and her film resume includes Undercurrent (1946) opposite Katharine Hepburn, Lady in the Lake (1947) with Robert Montgomery, Song of the Thin Man (1947), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Luck of the Irish with Tyrone Power (1948) and Norman … Is That You? (1976) opposite Redd Foxx.

Meadows played Billy Crystal’s mom in City Slickers (1991) and its 1994 sequel, and her last onscreen role came as Michelle Pfeiffer’s mother in The Story of Us (1999).

Meadows also appeared on the games shows To Tell the Truth, The Match Game, What’s My Line? and The Hollywood Squares.

“I’ve Got a Secret was my favorite,” she said in a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television. “The next day after the show I would go to the grocery store and the cab drivers would say: ‘Jaynie, great show last night! How’s Steve O?’ It was the medium that came to every living room. Didn’t matter if it was the Rockefellers or the guy who was struggling to pay the bills in The Bronx, I wasn’t Miss Meadows from the movies, I was Jaynie.”

I’ve Got a Secret was a huge primetime hit for CBS in the 1950s, and Meadows at the time was about as popular as another network star, Lucille Ball.

Besides her son, Meadows is survived by three grandchildren.

The Hollywood Reporter
Los Angeles Times
The Wrap
Us Magazine
Variety

posted 4/27/15

No More Beers at the Goodson House
FremantleMedia North America CEO Thom Beers Bows Out
From C21 Media

Thom Beers, the reality TV production veteran behind hits like Deadliest Catch and Storage Wars, is stepping down as CEO of FremantleMedia North America.

Beers has been at the helm of the US arm of FremantleMedia since 2012 after the company bought his indie Original Productions in 2009.

He will leave the role, which includes oversight of FremantleMedia’s US prodcos Original and 495 Productions and more than 600 hours of new content a year, including American Idol and Family Feud, when his contract expires in June.

Beers will be replaced by Jennifer Mullin, executive VP of current programming, and Craig Cegielski, executive VP of scripted programming, who are both being promoted to co-CEO. Mullin is currently the co-executive producer of "Family Feud" & "The Price Is Right".

Beers’ stint in charge saw the prodco broaden its output considerably. It moved into drama, partnering with A+E Studios on a US version of The Returned for A&E Network.

Later this summer, the company will launch its first channel, Buzzr, airing content from its 40,000-hour library of gameshows. Beers recently hired industry veteran Ron Garfield as the channel’s executive VP and general manager ahead of a June debut.

Beers founded Original in 1997 and built his reputation on series like Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and Black Gold. He’d previously spent 11 years as a production executive and series and specials producer for Turner Broadcasting and Paramount Pictures. He is a well-known, out-spoken face on the unscripted television event circuit.

Mullin and Cegielski will report to FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz.

C21 Media
Realscreen
Deadline

posted 4/27/15

Tiesto Vevo DJ YouTube
"Your Shot" Looks for the Next Great DJ
From NoisePorn

In a new reality game show series on Vevo called Your Shot, contestants will try to become the next big DJ. Tiesto, who will be one of the headlining judges, was named No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of 25 DJs that will rule the earth.

The winner will have a chance at playing alongside Tiesto at a venue in Las Vegas, and a set at the biggest electronic music festival in the world, Ultra Music Festival, in Miami in 2016.

“I’m so excited about Your Shot because it takes the idea of the DJ competition and turns it on its head. This contest really provides aspiring DJs with an opportunity to realize their dreams,” Tiesto said.

In the 10-part webseries, 30 contestants will compete in various competitions testing their skill level and knowledge of music. Unlike previous DJ competitions, no experience is required.

NoisePorn

posted 4/27/15

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Spoilers..."

  • Tom Bergeron had to stop his "double elimination" spiel for a very important reason (Twitter: @tom_bergeron)
     
  • LIST ABUSE: Five lives changed by Nickelodeon game shows... and you won't believe one of them (Refinery29)
     
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with an "American Idol" castoff who had a very public flare... and a very public flare up (Reality Wanted)

posted 4/27/15


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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV Insider

photo courtesy Fox/The TV Page

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment Weekly

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

Other ratings highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

 

posted 4/24/15

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

posted 4/24/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

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

The Wrap

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/23/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
The Hollywood Reporter
TV by the Numbers
AV Club

posted 4/22/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 4/22/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Overbooked Daytime"

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

posted 4/22/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also returning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Yahoo!
Deadline
B&C

posted 4/21/15

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV Newscheck
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/21/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/21/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/21/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Anniversary"

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

posted 4/21/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 4/20/15

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

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 4/20/15

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

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

posted 4/20/15

Thursday: Close Calls
CBS Wins AGAIN
From The Futon Critic

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Vulture

posted 4/17/15

Wednesday: Eye Guess
CBS Wins
From Televisual

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/17/15

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

posted 4/17/15

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

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

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

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

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

The following is the schedule for the live Twitter chats:

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 4/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers

posted 4/16/15

David Flynn Leaving Endemol
Creator Departs After 16 Years
From Televisual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Televisual

posted 4/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/15/15

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

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

posted 4/16/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo courtesy Warner Bros.

posted 4/15/15

Sports Jeopardy! '15
Crackle Renews Online Quizzer
From Tubefilter

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

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

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

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

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

Tubefilter

posted 4/15/15

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Variety

posted 4/15/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV by the Numbers
Variety
Tubefilter
Deadline
Radio Times

photo courtesy Warner Bros.

posted 4/15/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media
Realscreen
World Screen
Variety

posted 4/15/15

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

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

posted 4/16/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

His son Jack chuckles at the Dynasty reference.

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

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

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

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

Miami Herald
B&C
Variety

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B&C
TV News Check
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
TV by the Numbers

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media
Realscreen

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
World Screen

posted 4/14/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media

posted 4/14/15

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Avengers Assembled"

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

posted 4/14/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

photo courtesy ABC

posted 4/13/15

What Price Love
Couples Week Begins April 13
From WUSA Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WUSA Washington
Broadway World

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

9News
TV by the Numbers
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

Variety

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
The Verge
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
Deadline

posted 4/13/15

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

Eater

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

World Screen

posted 4/13/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 4/13/15

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

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

posted 4/13/15


2018!
Wheel, Jeopardy! Renewed
From the Futon Critic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 4/10/15

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic

posted 4/10/15

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

posted 4/10/15

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

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

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

Pop's programming slate includes the following:

Spring/Summer Series (In Order of Premiere):

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

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

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

In Development (All Projects Are Working Titles):

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

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

posted 4/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Variety
World Screen
TV Wise
C21 Media

posted 4/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wrap

posted 4/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

C21 Media

posted 4/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 4/9/15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted 4/9/15

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

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

posted 4/9/15


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"THE BACHELORETTE" - PREMIERES MONDAY, MAY 18

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

"500 QUESTIONS" - PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

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

"CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD" - PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 21

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

"BATTLEBOTS" - PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 21

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

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

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

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

posted 4/8/15

More at MIP
Another Look at the International Market
From Realscreen

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

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

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

Elsewhere...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realscreen
Variety
World Screen

posted 4/7/15

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Vegas Loser"

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

posted 4/8/15