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Sarah Palin Launches Online Channel

By | Sunday July 27, 2014 @ 9:35pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sarah Palin Launches Online ChannelWe have the Oprah Winfrey Network. Now it is being joined by the Sarah Palin Channel, though with a very different sort of audience reach. The conservative — and often polarizing — pundit, former GOP Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska governor today launched her own subscription-based online channel, which is part of Tapp, the online-video venture formed by former NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin and former CNN U.S. president Jon Klein. Membership will cost $9.95 per month or $99.95 for a year.

In a video message announcing the Sarah Palin Channel (watch below), the Fox News contributor described her new venture as a news channel where she will “talk about the issues the main stream media won’t talk about,” adding, “I want to talk directly to you on my channel on my terms, and no need to please the powers that be.”

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Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?

Does Time Warner Need CBS To Thwart A Fox Takeover?Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has a problem. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch is preparing to sweeten his offer for the owner of Warner Bros, CNN, and HBO after it rejected an $80B cash-and-stock proposal last month. And Bewkes, who says he wants to keep Time Warner independent, has few takeover defenses. What can he do? Here are a few of the leading options that Time Warner execs and their advisors at Citigroup are weighing.

Corporate And Media Leaders Attend Allen & Company Media And Technology Conf.Combine with CBS: This would make Time Warner toxic for Fox: The FCC would not allow Murdoch to control two of the four biggest networks, and two of the largest TV station groups with overlaps in the nation’s largest markets.

And the business logic of a Time Warner-CBS combination is compelling. CBS chief Les Moonves would like to diversify his company to make it less dependent on domestic TV advertising. (He has already said that he’d like to buy CNN if Fox prevails with Time Warner and puts the news channel on the block.) Moonves also has made it clear that he’d like to play a bigger role in movies — his CBS Films appears to be struggling to figure out its identity. CBS could address these concerns by blending with Time Warner’s cable channels and movie studio.

The chief obstacle is that CBS is controlled by Sumner Redstone, who also owns Viacom. He hasn’t wanted to give up either property, and some bankers believe he’d prefer to … Read More »

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Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA Highlights

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA HighlightsThe TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 has wrapped its 16-day run. Here is what we learned:

Most Searing Description Of Hollywood
David LaChapelle, who famously became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in his teens, has been called The Fellini of Photography, and has photographed the likes of Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Warhol, Lil’ Kim, Elizabeth Taylor,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Muhammad Ali, was asked yesterday to discuss the “ebb and flow” of depictions of sex and nudity; he’s featured in PBS’ American Masters broadcast The Boomer List.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319“Growing up in New York City, when I was very young, pre-AIDS, it was very hedonistic, and sexuality was, you know, the revolution. I remember working at [Studio 54] and straight guys would say they were bi, to pick up girls because it was cool. And then, AIDS happened, and everything changed. Things got very, very conservative and segregated. Now…we are sort of in this Dark Ages where the body is considered shameful…yet violence, and torture, and these films — the Saw series, The Hunger Games2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 16you look at Netflix, what’s going on, and every other new show is extreme violence, and this is our entertainment. We applaud that. And our kids are playing these video games, but yet the human body is somehow shameful. And God forbid a kid sees a nipple, you know.”

TV programs such as HBO’s Sex And The City (Kim Cattrall also was a panelist), he said, have “been replaced by so much ultra-violence in this torture form. I find that really interesting because all our popular culture reflects the society in which it was created. So what does that say about us? Why are we so obsessed with watching other human beings suffering? We don’t get enough of it on the news that we — that’s our entertainment, too? I think that’s the real pornography. That’s the real evil, and that’s the real darkness.”

Most Changed Executive
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — last Press Tour’s Mr. Flat Is The New Up — spoke happily this tour about Up Being The New Up: “We had a pretty great season so far this year. We’re No. 1 in the demo. We’re the only network up, year to year, almost 10% to date. Even if you take the Olympics out of our numbers, we would still be No. 1 for the year…We’re also leading in the 25-54 demo, and all key adult female demos as well. We also had a huge growth in total viewers where we’re running No. 2 season to date. In fact, we’re up 27% year over year, which is our strongest performance this far into the season in eight years.”

Biggest News
CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, telling reporters after his Q&A for the network’s new Thursday night football that he’s interested in buying CNN should Rupert Murdoch prevail in his bid to by the cable news network’s parent Time Warner and spin off CNN. “We’ve always talked about doing things with CNN in the past… It’s something I’m sure we’ll look at if it becomes available,” Moonves said. Last month, when CBS took the final step in the spinoff of its billboard company, “that was our intent, to get rid of billboards and potentially buy more content,” Moonves said, adding, “We’re in a very advantageous position.”

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Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: Video

Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: VideoBecause Rupert Murdoch wants to buy Time Warner, and journalists have reported Murdoch would sell off Time Warner‘s cable news network CNN, Jon Stewart last night launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10 billion in order to buy the network “and do…something with it. Not quite sure what yet.” ”CNN, America’s first 24-hour cable news network, has been terrible for many, many years. Does it have to be that way? Who knows, maybe it does,” The Daily Show host’s campaign explains. “So let’s find out for ourselves! This $10 billion, all-cash bid for CNN would secure control of a massive television network reaching over 100 million homes in the US alone, which we could then use to rebuild a news organization befitting this proud land. Or more likely we’d use it to make a lot more poop jokes. Either way, you get to watch!”

A mere $10 contribution gets your photo in an on-screen “21 box” of  talking heads. For $15,000 it’ll be just you and Carol Costello in a “2 box”, with 5 minutes of freestyling. And for $5 million, CNN will initiate a 24-hour, 2-week hunt for your lost car keys. Watch here:

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MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings Surge

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:58pm PDT

MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings SurgeThe rule of thumb is that when news is breaking and a crisis is unfolding, cable news networks see a big jump in viewership. Turns out that’s not the case if you are MSNBC. On the first full day of coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster and Israeli troop movement into Gaza the day before, the Comcast-owned news channel actually was down double digits among adults 25-54 both in total day and in primetime on July 18. While rivals CNN and Fox News Channel were up 16% and 13% in total day over the comparable day last year, when the news was much quieter to say the least, MSNBC fell 38% to a mere 87,000.

Image (2) foxnewschannel__121107055533__130821210939__130827191454__140401180009-150x149.jpg for post 715548Take a look at primetime, the numbers get even harsher for MSNBC with a 46% fall in the demo to 118,000 from July 19, 2013 compared to a rise of 16% and 30% for FNC and CNN. Winning in all categories on Friday and benefiting from the breaking news, FNC had 268,000 among 25-54s for total day and 323,000 during primetime. Seeing an uptick as it commonly does during breaking news, the often ratings struggling Time Warner-owned network got 208,000 in the demo total day and 263,000 in Image (1) cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131__140122180929__140425214942__140602211242.jpg for post 739150primetime.

Related: FNC Wins 50th Straight Ratings Quarter

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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Bart & Fleming: Fox-Time Warner Merger Mania Means Banker Fees And Layoffs, Not Quality

By and | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 9:25am PDT

Bart & Fleming: Fox-Time Warner Merger Mania Means Banker Fees And Layoffs, Not QualityFlemingBartColumn_badge__140510005503Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.

Bart: Like  7th grade boys staring in the mirror, corporate CEOs these days keep asking themselves, “Am I big enough?” What scares them is the prospect of becoming a takeover target, and there’s been a rush of takeover talk lately —Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner being the most dramatic. Size means safety in the corporate universe and Time Warner became vulnerable by ridding itself of Time Inc., AOL and Time Warner Cable — the latter becoming a target for Comcast. With giants like Google, Apple and Amazon looming, CEOs are scared they can’t measure up, but the folks who should really be frightened are the creatives and their audiences. Bigness means giant fees for bankers and profits for shareholders, but the impact of the monoliths is easy to read — a universe of corporate plodding, tentpoles and sequels.

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UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines Plane

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 8:57am PDT

UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines PlaneUPDATE, 8:57 AM: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as the cable networks have just broken away from normal programming to cover President Obama‘s remarks live from the White House on the latest from yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines disaster over the Ukraine. Obama said one U.S. citizen was among the 298 passengers killed from what is suspected to be a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian rebels. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and demanded a credible investigation, saying a UN investigation is already underway with Ukraine and Russia expected to cooperate fully. Read More »

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UPDATE: Time Warner Shares Soar On Reports Of $80B Offer By Rupert Murdoch

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 6:46am PDT

UPDATE: Time Warner Shares Soar On Reports Of $80B Offer By Rupert MurdochUPDATE. 6:46 AM: Time Warner confirms that it rejected 21st Century Fox‘s acquisition offer saying its board concluded that remaining independent “will create significantly more value for the Company and its stockholders and is superior to any proposal that Twenty-First Century Fox is in a position to offer.” Fox said it would pay $32.42 in cash plus 1.531 of its own non-voting shares for each Time Warner share. Directors don’t like the plan, in part because it involves “significant risk and uncertainty as to the valuation of Twenty-First Century Fox’s non-voting stock and Twenty-First Century Fox’s ability to govern and manage a combination of the size and scale of Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner.” The board also notes that there would be “considerable strategic, operational, and regulatory risks” to a deal.

21stcenturyfox1__131014203730-275x122PREVIOUS, 4:39 AM: Time Warner’s up nearly 20% in pre-market trading after The New York Times and CNBC reported that the media giant recently rejected an $80B takeover proposal by Rupert Murdoch‘s 21st Century Fox. The bid could “put Time Warner in play and might again ignite a reshaping of the media industry,” the Times says. Fox COO Chase Carey met with Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes in early June offering $85 a share — 40% of it in cash — a 25% premium at the time. The proposal said that the combined companies could save at least $1B by TimeWarnerlogoblueeliminating duplication. Fox, which owns Fox News, offered to sell CNN to avoid antitrust problems, and indicated that it would maintain Time Warner’s studio and cable network operations, as well as most of its best execs, according to the reports. The Time Warner board seriously considered the proposal but rejected it, in part because the offer included nonvoting shares. Nonetheless, “Rupert Murdoch is ‘determined’ to buy Time Warner,” CNBC reports, citing unnamed sources. Murdoch is said to have enlisted Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to advise him while Time Warner has Citigroup.

Fox says that it “can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies. The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner.” Read More »

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Filmmaker, Journalist & Undocumented Immigrant Jose Vargas Detained At Texas Airport

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

Filmmaker, Journalist & Undocumented Immigrant Jose Vargas Detained At Texas AirportThe Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant whose film Documented about the U.S. immigration debate aired recently on CNN has been detained at the McAllen, TX airport. A spokeswoman for the immigrant youth-led organization United We Dream told Business Insider that Vargas was trying to fly to Los Angeles to attend a screening of the film that aired June 29 on CNN when he was detained.

Vargas reportedly went to Texas last week to promote the efforts of immigration-reform groups to stand in solidarity with the unaccompanied children who have entered the U.S. from Mexico in recent months and are being held at a makeshift shelter. But he later realized the area was within a secure U.S. Customs and Border Protection perimeter where he possibly couldn’t leave without documentation.

Vargas revealed his “undocumented” status in a 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S.

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TCA: Meredith Vieira On ‘The View’: “You Can’t Go Back”

TCA: Meredith Vieira On ‘The View’: “You Can’t Go Back”Meredith Vieira, who came to TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to plug her new NBCUniversal daytime talk show debuting on September 8, got asked if, were she not launching her own daytime show, would she be interested in returning to ABC’s daytime talker The View. Vieira served as that show’s original moderator from its debut on August 11, 1997, until June 9, 2006.

“No,” Vieira responded firmly. “I knew after nine years it was time to leave The View; I have a pretty good sense of timing and I always like to get out before something bad happens.” Having since appeared on The View several times during which she said she was treated “lovingly,” she came to realize “you can’t go back.” Going back, she said, would have seemed “crazy aunt going back.”

That’ll be news to Rosie O’Donnell, who in fact is going back to the show she famously left after one short, acrimonious season.  ABC confirmed Rosie’s hire in a tweet, ending a mad media chase of this The View Is Out Of New Ideas story. Read More »

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‘The Hunt With John Walsh’ Delivers CNN’s Best Original Series Demo Debut

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 12:37pm PDT

‘The Hunt With John Walsh’ Delivers CNN’s Best Original Series Demo DebutThe cable news network found its ratings prey last night. With 330,000 viewers in the Adults 25-54 demo, CNN’s new original series The Hunt With John Walsh is the highest-rated debut of an Original Series on the network ever. That beats the 284,000 that The Sixties got for CNN on May 29. While that is good news for the often ratings unsteady Jeff Zucker-run CNN, The Hunt also got a pretty good run in total viewers too. With 989,000 watching, the fugitive investigation series fronted by the former America’s Most Wanted host beat Fox News Channel by 21% and MSNBC by 174% in total viewers. The new show outperformed FNC’s 9 PM offering and MSNBCs by 141% and 63% in the key news demo, though Fox was airing a repeat of On The Record. The Hunt is produced by Zero Point Zero Productions, the same people behind CNN’s other hit of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, which aired in the same slot. The infamous chef and international traveler’s show’s Season 3 debut got 325,000 in the 25-54 demo on April 13 this year, that’s a 34% rise over its Season 2 bow on September 15, 2013.

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TCA: USA Network’s ‘Dig’ Extends Hiatus To Assess Jerusalem Production Shoot

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 11:27am PDT

TCA: USA Network’s ‘Dig’ Extends Hiatus To Assess Jerusalem Production ShootA scheduled hiatus in production on USA Network‘s new series Dig has been extended a week while producers assess the situation and decide if they can continue to shoot the six-episode series in Jerusalem. ”This caught us off-guard and we are assessing,” Gideon Raff told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014, of the violence in the region. The network is “looking at all options and hopefully things will calm down, and we’ll go back” to Jerusalem to shoot the remaining episodes. “If not, we’ll sort it out” he said, noting “Jerusalem is a key element in our show. We chose to shoot there because of its history.”

The action adventure drama, from Tim Kring and Raff — creator of the Israeli series on which Showtime’s Homeland is based — centers on Peter (Jason Isaacs), an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem who, while investigating a murder of an archaeologist, uncovers a conspiracy 2000 years in the making that threatens to change the course of history. The series is a production of Keshet Media Group for UCP in cooperation with the city of Jerusalem. Anne Heche co-stars. Read More »

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Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota Joins CNN

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota Joins CNNAlisyn Camerota left Fox News Channel in March after 16 years as reporter and anchor. CNN announced on its blog this morning that she has moved to CNN Worldwide as anchor. She begins her new job today.  “I have been a fan of Alisyn’s for a very long time, and couldn’t be happier that she has agreed to come to CNN,” said Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide. “She is not only a seasoned journalist with a great curiosity and passion for the news, but she has a presence on camera that I think is very hard to find. I can’t wait to have her on the air at CNN.” Camerota will contribute to all programs across CNN. A permanent role will be announced in the coming months, the news org says.
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TCA: Amazon’s ‘Alpha House’ Creator Garry Trudeau Has No Idea How Many People Watching

By | Saturday July 12, 2014 @ 12:54pm PDT

TCA: Amazon’s ‘Alpha House’ Creator Garry Trudeau Has No Idea How Many People WatchingAlpha House creator Garry Trudeau has no idea how many people are watching the Amazon streamed program.

“We don’t know,” he told TV critics at Summer TV Press Tour 2014.  “One of the interesting things about working for Amazon is it’s kind of a black box. We don’t know what the metrics are. We’re  just thrilled when they say the audience likes it and they want to put together another season. We’re not really part of appraising the show… We just try to make the best show we can.”

Amazon Studios comedy chief Joe Lewis had opened the session talking about the audience’s acceptance of the show; one TV critic, who noted competitor Netflix is “very mysterious about how many people are watching” its program, asked, Lewis,  “Do you know how many people are watching, and will you tell us?” Read More »

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UPDATE: Tracy Morgan Released From Rehab Center, Suing Wal-Mart Over Crash

By | Saturday July 12, 2014 @ 12:26pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Tracy Morgan Released From Rehab Center, Suing Wal-Mart Over Crash9TH UPDATE, 12:26 PM: Morgan’s publicist released the following statement this afternoon, “Tracy has been released from the rehabilitation center and will continue his recovery efforts at home with an aggressive outpatient program.  He asked me to pass along his sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped him get to this point.  He would also appreciate some privacy during this crucial point in his recovery. In regards to the reports of a lawsuit, I can confirm that Tracy, along with the other victims of this horrific accident, have filed suit.”

8TH UPDATE, JULY 11: Tracy Morgan is suing Wal-Mart over the June 7 crash in which the limo bus he and others were riding was rear-ended by one of the retail giant’s tractor-trailers. The complaint filed in New Jersey District Court alleges that Wal-Mart knew or should have known that the truck’s driver, Kevin Roper, had been awake for more than 24 hours when he fell asleep behind the wheel and rammed into the limo. It also says the truck’s collision-avoidance systems did not engage and that “Wal-Mart knew or should have known that one of the truck’s most important safety features had been compromised.” The former 30 Rock star was critically injured in the New Jersey Turnpike wreck, which killed his mentor, comedian James McNair. McNair’s widow Krista Millea also is a plaintiff along with Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea and comic Ardie Fuqua Jr, both of whom were injured in the crash. The suit reads, “As a direct and proximate result of the physical injuries sustained by Mr. Morgan in the collision, he has been in capacitated from pursuing his usual employment and other activities, may be left with disabilities that will in the future similarly incapacitate him and cause him pain and suffering, and may require medical treatment.” The suit seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial. David Sirotkin, Benedict Morelli and David Ratner of Morelli Alters Ratner LLP in New York are representing the plaintiffs.

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TCA: CNN’s ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ Star Stares Down TV Critics

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT

TCA: CNN’s ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ Star Stares Down TV Critics“Some jobs are just too hideous to contemplate,” Mike Rowe told TV critics of their work at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. In fairness, he was asked. Rowe came to the tour to plug CNN’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It in which he hangs out with men and women to learn about their offbeat hobbies, passions and jobs.

“I don’t understand how your brains work,” he told TV critics, noting he’d just posted to Facebook photos of the rattlesnake and the power plant surrounded by live wire that he ran into yesterday, followed by a photo of the Summer TV Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton hotel, with the comment “My week is becoming progressively more dangerous.”
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It’s Official: Rosie O’Donnell Returning To ‘The View’

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT

It’s Official: Rosie O’Donnell Returning To ‘The View’Rosie O’Donnell is officially confirmed to rejoin ABC’s daytime talker The View for Season 18. ABC confirmed this morning in a tweet:
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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By NetworkOnce again, HBO led all networks in Emmy nominations this year, and it wasn’t even close. Here’s a look at HBO’s noms haul in the past decade, followed by a breakdown in who got what this year.

Emmy Nominations HBO Chart 2004 to 2014

 

NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK

HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
FOX– 30
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
FOX– 30
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10 Read More »

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