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Giancarlo Esposito Joins Musical Drama ‘Stuck’; Rom-Com ‘Temps’ Sets Leads

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 5:17pm PDT

Giancarlo Esposito Joins Musical Drama ‘Stuck’; Rom-Com ‘Temps’ Sets LeadsGiancarlo Esposito has joined the cast of NYC-set musical drama Stuck, about six strangers trapped on a stalled subway train. Filming is underway with a cast that includes Amy Madigan and singer-actress Ashanti. Esposito will play Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man who might offer more wisdom than expected.

Stuck is adapted from the stage play by Riley Thomas, who co-scripted with director Michael Berry; the helmer is set to release his drama Frontera, also co-starring Madigan alongside Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña, this month. Esposito starred on the recent NBC series Revolution and was just announced as joining the cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book. He’s also in pre-production on his own project Patriotic Treason which he’ll direct, produce, and co-star opposite Ed Harris in the period retelling of the saga of abolitionist John Brown. Read More »

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Netflix And AT&T Reach Interconnection Agreement

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 4:10pm PDT

Netflix And AT&T Reach Interconnection AgreementAT&T customers should start to see fewer buffering delays when they watch Netflix as a result of the new interconnection deal. The actual agreement was made in May. Since then they’ve “been working together to provision additional interconnect capacity to improve the viewing experience for our mutual subscribers,” the companies say. “We’re now beginning to turn up the connections, a process that should be complete in the coming days.”

Related: FCC To Investigate Internet Peering Disputes

Netflix has complained that the deals that require it to pay to improve the quality of its transmissions effectively run afoul of the FCC’s goal to promote net neutrality. It has agreements with Comcast and Verizon similar to the new one with AT&T. Comcast, for one, has countered that Netflix is one of the biggest users of Internet bandwidth. What’s more, net neutrality rules apply to the links between an Internet service provider and the consumer, not the ones connecting content providers to ISPs.

Related: The ABCs Of Net Neutrality

The FCC is investigating these so-called peering arrangements as part of its effort to craft new net neutrality rules.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Bachelorette’ Finale Down From Last Year, Bear Grylls On Par In Return

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 9:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Bachelorette’ Finale Down From Last Year, Bear Grylls On Par In ReturnABC’s The Bachelorette ended its season on a high note — a proposal and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49 for the two-hour finale, up a tenth from last week and the best demo result since the season premiere. (In total viewers, the reality series closed out its cycle with a season-high 7.5 million viewers). But versus last summer’s finale, Bachelorette was down 27% to log the series’ lowest-rated finale in Live+Same Day 18-49 ratings. At 10 PM, The Bachelorette: After The Final Rose special (2.1) built onto its lead-in but too was down from last year (-16%) to rank as the lowest-rated After The Rose special in Live+SD. Despite facing the After The Rose special, CBS’ Under The Dome (1.5) held steady, even with last Monday. Read More »

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John Rhys-Davies & Tyler Jacob Moore Join ‘Once Upon A Time’ In ‘Frozen’ Roles

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 6:23pm PDT

John Rhys-Davies & Tyler Jacob Moore Join ‘Once Upon A Time’ In ‘Frozen’ RolesTwo days after its panel at Comic-Con, ABC’s Once Upon A Time unveiled two more actors joining the series for its Frozen-themed storyline. Veteran character actor John Rhys-Davies, known for roles in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, will voice Pabbie the Troll King, and Tyler Jacob Moore (Shameless, GCB) will play the scheming Prince Hans. OUAT producer Adam Horowitz tweeted the news of both castings today. At the San Diego Convention Center on Saturday, the crowd was shown a clip of OUAT’s new season with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. The ensemble fantasy series returns for Season 4 on September 28.

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Sherri Shepherd Straps In For ‘Ride Along 2′ After Exit From ‘The View’

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:24pm PDT

Sherri Shepherd Straps In For ‘Ride Along 2′ After Exit From ‘The View’EXCLUSIVE: In her first new gig after leaving ABC’s The View, Sherri Shepherd is joining the cast of Universal’s Ride Along 2. The stand-up comic and actress has inked a role opposite Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in the sequel to this year’s $153M hit comedy Ride Along, which returning helmer Tim Story (Think Like A Man) will direct. Ken Jeong and Olivia Munn also are set for the January 15, 2016, release produced by Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez, Will Packer, and Larry Brezner and exec producer Scott Bernstein.

Related: Universal Stakes Out Martin Luther King Holiday Jr. 2016 For ‘Ride Along 2′

In addition to her seven-year run on talk show The View, Shepherd recently had a recurring role on CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Her TV comedy credits include Everybody Loves Raymond, 30 Rock, Hot In Cleveland, and her own Lifetime sitcom Sherri. “I’ve been blessed to interview Barack Obama; Bill Clinton is a big fan of mine – he loved that I played a hooker in One For The Money,” Shepherd told The View watchers earlier this month. She bids farewell to the show tomorrow. Post-The View, Shepherd’s ramping up her presence in features: She’ll next be seen in Chris Rock’s upcoming Toronto Film Fest dramedy Top Five. She’s repped by ICM Partners and Darris Hatch Management.

Related:Read More »

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Nat Faxon & Jim Rash Ink Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 9:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Nat Faxon & Jim Rash Ink Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TVEXCLUSIVE: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants) have signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. This marks the first overall TV pact for the Oscar-winning writing duo. Under the agreement, Faxon and Rash will develop and produce series projects with Kevin Walsh, their film and TV producing partner at the trio’s B Story banner. Faxon and Rash previously penned the 2005 ABC comedy pilot Adopted and made their TV directing debut this past season with Fox’s comedy pilot Fatrick, which they also executive produced. Additionally, both have series experience as actors. Rash has a relationship with Sony TV with his co-starring role on the studio’s cult comedy Community, which recently found a new home at Yahoo, while Faxon stars on FX’s freshman comedy series Married.

On the feature side, in addition to earning an Oscar for co-writing The Descendants with Alexander Payne, the duo helmed their script for The Way, Way Back, which starred Steve Carell and premiered at Sundance in 2013. Faxon and Rash were repped in the deal-making with Sony TV by CAA. The duo have since signed with WME. Faxon is managed by Principato-Young; Rash by Intellectual Artists. Both are with Stone, Meyer, Genow.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Lineup Steady To Top Night, ABC’s ‘Wipeout’ & ‘Rising Star’ Slip

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Lineup Steady To Top Night, ABC’s ‘Wipeout’ & ‘Rising Star’ SlipCBS’ Sunday series went for an encore performance, repeating their fast nationals ratings from last week. Big Brother (2.1/8) was once again the highest rated program of the night in adults 18-49. Unforgettable (1.0/3), midseason-turned-summer drama Reckless (0.6/2) also were flat, as was 7 PM anchor 60 Minutes (0.9), which was the only rerun on CBS’ schedule and once again the most watched Sunday offering with 7.7 million viewers. CBS won the night in 18-49 (1.2) and total viewers (6.2 million). ABC, the only other English-language broadcast network to offer original fare last night, finished tied with NBC for fourth in 18-49 behind Fox and Univision. The alphabet network’s performance was hampered by ratings declines for both Wipeout (0.8) at 8 PM, down 27% from last week and Rising Star at 9 PM (0.9, down 10%). Both shows hit Live+same day series lows. The live singing competition managed to build onto its lead-in for the first time in three weeks.

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Los Angeles Area Emmy Winners Announced

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 10:03pm PDT

Los Angeles Area Emmy Winners AnnouncedNBC4 came away with a leading eight wins tonight at the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, including the prestigious Daily Evening Newscast prize. ABC7 was next with six, followed by KCET with five. Spanish-language outlet KMEX, which won the evening newscast Emmy in an upset last year, went into the 66th annual trophy show with the most nominations of any station — 14 — and went home with four, tied with CBS2/KCAL5. NBC4 had 13 noms going in. Here’s the complete list of winners, along with the win count by station: Read More »

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Comic-Con UPDATE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Panel On ‘Frozen’ Characters; Season 4 Trailer Hits (Video)

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 3:31pm PDT

Comic-Con UPDATE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Panel On ‘Frozen’ Characters; Season 4 Trailer Hits (Video)UPDATED WITH TRAILER below.

PREVIOUS, 11:43 AM: At the Once Upon A Time Comic-Con panel this morning, series executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis showed a clip from the Season 4 premiere, where the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) enters a hospital, goes to a holding cell, and demands that her Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito) return.  It was announced earlier in the month that Esposito was returning to the show. The executive producers mentioned that they are still working on the season premiere. Also shown from the premiere was a clip with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail, respectively) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. Of course, the crowd here in Ballroom 20 went absolutely nuts.

ABC also revealed the Season 4 trailer. Check it out:

Whether there will ever be a musical version of Once Upon A Time, Kitsis said, “Problem with doing a musical, is we don’t know how.” Read More »

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Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Animation Series

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 11:30am PDT

Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Animation SeriesThe Marvel Animation universe just got a lot bigger today. With perfect timing to the upcoming live action pic, the superhero giant revealed a new Guardians Of The Galaxy animation series this morning at Comic-Con.  No news on when the series will debut but it will be on Disney XD . A literally explosive 1-minute preview of the series was shown today with the Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord characters appearing. The GOTG movie, of course, debuts next week on the big screen.

comic-con-logoOf course, Marvel being secretive Marvel they didn’t say much more about the GOTG series but the applauding fans seemed cool with that. “Enjoy the cartoons, that’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb joked with the crowd earlier as he jeph loeb marvel animation comic con 2014introduced the event.

The panel in the San Diego Convention Center’s near full huge Room 6BCF was hosted by Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacker, SVP Eric Radomski and VP Cort Lane. Fred “the voice of Hulk” Tatasciore in the green giant’s animated series joined them too.

Besides the announcement of the new series, most of the panel was full of screening some of Marvel Animation’s already established jewels in the crown projects. There was a full first-ever showing of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors which premieres on Disney XD in September. There were also clips from the upcoming now officially confirmed upcoming … Read More »

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Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy Lawless

Comic-Con: Marvel TV Panel Reveals ‘Captain America’ Movie Directors To Helm ‘Agent Carter’, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ Adds Lucy LawlessLooks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one

Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates

Agents of SHIELD Comic-ConThe announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.

The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.

Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Black Box’ Finale Ticks Up, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ & ‘Hollywood Game Night’ Closers Flat

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 9:34am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Black Box’ Finale Ticks Up, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ & ‘Hollywood Game Night’ Closers FlatAs July is winding down, some late spring/early summer entries are wrapping their runs. Last night marked the finales of ABC’s freshman direct-to-series drama Black Box, Fox veteran Hell’s Kitchen and NBC utility player Hollywood Game Night. Proving that unscripted fare as a whole continues to do better than scripted on the broadcast networks during the summer months, all reality originals last night stayed above a 1.0 rating in 18-49 while all scripted originals were under that threshold.

Black_Box_Season_1_finaleThe Season 12 finale of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen drew a 1.7 in adults 18-49 from 8-9 PM to top the hour in the demo. It was on par with the show’s episode last week and down 19% from the 8 PM episode of last summer’s two-hour season finale. (2.1 from 8-9 PM, 2.2 from 8-10 PM). At 9 PM, drama Gang Related (0.8) was down a tenth from last Thursday. NBC had the Hollywood Game Night finale at 8 PM (1.1, even with last week, up a tenth from Image (1) hollywoodgamenight__130820221907.jpeg for post 568040last summer’s closer, which aired at 10 PM) and Last Comic Standing at 10 PM (1.1, even with last week), bookending a block of original comedies, Welcome To Sweden (0.8) and Working The Engels (0.6). Both also were flat with last week. The two-hour finale of ABC’s Black Box (0.7) was up a tenth from last week, while ABC News’ NY Med (0.9) was flat. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady In Move, Boosts ‘Taxi Brooklyn’; ‘Extant’ & ‘Motive’ Fall

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady In Move, Boosts ‘Taxi Brooklyn’; ‘Extant’ & ‘Motive’ FallThe competitive landscape on Wednesday changed last night when NBC’s summer flagship America’s Got Talent relocated its original telecasts there from Tuesdays. In its first outing on the new night, the talent competition series drew a 2.3 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 PM, down just a tenth from its last Tuesday airing. Interestingly, the increased reality competition seemed to boost the other 8 PM unscripted offerings — both CBS’ Big Brother (2.3) and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (1.1) were up from last Wednesday by 10%. Big Brother tied AGT as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49. The arrival of AGT had a major impact on the race at 10 PM. With an original AGT lead-in vs. a repeat previously, NBC’s acquired drama Taxi Brooklyn (1.1) shot up 38% to a series high. That pushed down the other two original dramas in the 10 PM hour. In Week 3, CBS’ Extant (1.1) was down 27% from last Wednesday, while ABC’s Canadian import Motive (0.6) was down 25%. Both series hit lows. NBC won the night in 18-49 (1.9) and total viewers (8.6 million).

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Michael Landes To Star In ABC Series ‘Members Only’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:01am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michael Landes To Star In ABC Series ‘Members Only’Michael Landes is set as one of the leads in ABC‘s straight-to-series Members Only (formerly The Club), an upstairs/downstairs drama set at a private country club from CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios. Landes, repped by UTA and attorney Harris Hartman, will play Malcolm, an athletic, charming, recently-widowed pediatrician and father of two who has mixed feelings about the Club. He and Leslie (Betsy Brandt) become fast friends. Coincidentally, Landes appeared in BBC’s recent remake of classic Upstairs Downstairs. He also starred opposite Anne Heche in the NBC comedy series Save Me.

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UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847__131217180859__140130070536a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”

Related: Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board 

Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony  Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.

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Portia de Rossi Joins ABC’s ‘Scandal’, Chance Kelly In ‘Aquarius’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 11:58am PDT

Portia de Rossi Joins ABC’s ‘Scandal’, Chance Kelly In ‘Aquarius’Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development) has joined the fourth season of ABC’s D.C. drama Scandal in a “top secret” recurring role. Her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, first tweeted the news. We’ll have to wait until Scandal returns on September 25 to find out what the role is.

De Rossi’s other TV credits include Better Off Ted, Nip/Tuck, and Ally McBeal.

Chance Kelly (Generation Kill) has been cast as recurring in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius, a gritty 1960s drama about a cop (David Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. Kelly, repped by Abrams Artists Agency, will play Officer Ed Cutler who works with Duchovny’s character at the LAPD. Kelly will also be recurring on TNT series Legends starring Sean Bean slated to premiere in August.

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David Andrews Joins ABC’s ‘The Whispers’, Meaghan Rath In ‘Secrets & Lies’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:57am PDT

David Andrews Joins ABC’s  ‘The Whispers’, Meaghan Rath In ‘Secrets & Lies’David Andrews (Fight Club, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines) has been booked as recurring on ABC thriller The Whispers, from ABC Studios and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin TV. It focuses on an an unseen force that is manipulating society’s most innocent – our children – to act in favor of its cause. As the kids unwittingly help this unknown enemy, the clock counts down in a suspenseful race to save humanity. Andrews, repped by Mavrick Artists and Untitled, will play U.S. Secretary of Defense Frommer in a minimum 6-episode arc. Frommer is always in control, calmly authoritative, steely and uncompromising. He meets with Wes regarding Captain Bennigan’s possible survival after the plane crash, surprising Wes by letting him know that Bennigan was working secret ops. He is, however, very concerned about how much Bennigan’s wife may know.
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Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones

Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady, ‘Food Fighters’ Debuts Soft, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Falls

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 8:46am PDT

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Steady, ‘Food Fighters’ Debuts Soft, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ FallsLittle person, big voice. The vocal gymnastics of 11-year old Mara Justine on a Whitney Houston tune proved to be a big success with the judges on America’s Got Talent (2.4/8) last night. While the Garden State native isn’t America’s next sweetheart yet, making it as one of the contestants to get through Judgment Week on the 2-hour NBC competition show on Tuesday certainly moved her a step towards that goal. Her next stop is of course the live shows at Radio City Music Hall where things will really heat up on AGT. Not that things weren’t hot last night with candidates in six categories like kid singers, magic and comedy competed to progress to those live shows. And that was OK for AGT. Back after weeks of repeats and recap specials, the show dipped 8% from it last original on July 1. On a night of scant original competition, the 2-hour AGT was the top rated and most watched show of the night with 10.3 million viewers.

Leading into AGT last night, NBC had the debut of Food Fighters (1.0/4) at 8 PM. Unlike his now postponed new Travel Channel series, this Adam Richman-hosted show went ahead despite the controversy over some of his comments on social media. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea as the cook-off game show was down 23% from the premiere of the comparable Hollywood Game Night on July 11 last year on NBC.

The only other originals on last … Read More »

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