Paul Walker’s Brothers Jumping In To Help Finish ‘Fast & Furious 7′ Action Scenes

By | Tuesday April 15, 2014 @ 2:18pm PDT

The film’s official Facebook page unveiled that Paul Walker‘s brothers Caleb and Cody will help complete his action scenes on Universal’s Fast & Furious 7. The note says Walker had completed his dramatic work on the latest film in the lucrative franchise before he was killed in a car crash in November in Santa Clarita, CA. Universal postponed the original July 2014 release and pushed the sequel’s debut by nearly a year to April 10, 2015. Here’s the statement:

Paul Walker DeadA Note to the Fans of FAST & FURIOUS

The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

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Pulitzer Prize Board Honors The Guardian And The Washington Post For Snowden Coverage

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 3:13pm EDT

Pulitzer PrizeThe big question today was whether the Pulitzer Prize board would support the papers that published Edward Snowden‘s revelations about the National Security Agency’s widespread secret surveillance — which former Vice President Dick Cheney said made him a “traitor.” And the organization did, giving The Guardian and The Washington Post the Public Service award. The Guardian helped to “spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy,” the board said, while the Post “helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”

In the letters and drama prizes: Donna Tartt won the fiction prize for her coming-of-age novel The Goldfinch. The drama award went to Annie Baker’s The Flick, about three employees of a Massachusetts art house movie theater. The biography award went to Megan Marshall’s Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. In general non-fiction, Dan Fagin won for Toms River: A Story Of Science And Salvation, an examination of the links between local water and air pollution and childhood cancers. Read More »

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A+E’s FYI Orders 2 Unscripted Pilots Ahead Of July Launch

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 12:07pm PDT

fyiA+E Networks‘ new lifestyle channel FYI has picked up two hourlong unscripted pilots as it ramps up for its July 7 launch. You’re The One (working title), hosted by journalist and documentarian Cherry Healey, follows men and women as they embark on a mission to find a lost love. Through social and mass media, communities around the world are mobilized to engage in the hunt, leading up to the final face-to-face meeting. Marry Me … Today (working title) is described as a breakthrough wedding concept for the modern generation. The show partners with website The Knot to follow an ambitious groom-to-be as he surprises his girlfriend with a proposal, engagement and marriage all in one day, using his girlfriend’s online wish list to plan and execute her fantasy wedding.
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Oscar, Schmoscar: MTV Votes ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Best Movie

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 8:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

mvUPDATE: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire just beat out such films as Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street for Movie Of The Year in the conclusion of the MTV Movie Awards. Even though Johnny Depp presented, the award was accepted by Josh Hutcherson. Nobody else showed up. Yowza.

EARLIER: So what’s happening in the vitally important MTV Movie Awards? Well, Conan O’Brien–who would win if there was an award for Most Screwed Over For Network Late Night Slot after guys who came behind him have the big network gigs while he’s still the best show on TBS–took the stage on a design that seemed to be inspired by where the Sleestaks lived on Land Of The Lost. I can tell you Jared Leto won Best On-Screen Transformation for getting dolled up for Dallas Buyers Club (I bet he puts the popcorn trophy right next to Oscar on his mantle), and that We’re The Millers’ Will Poulter won for Breakthrough Performance, with Zac Efron beating out some hunks for Best Shirtless Performance and Channing Tatum for Trailblazer Award. And Jonah Hill won some award… You know what? The Yankees are right now playing the Boston Red Sox, and they’re winning and it’s Jeter’s final season. And Game Of Thrones is coming on and trust me, there will be blood. I’m sort of in charge here and screw it, I can’t watch … Read More »

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Director Talks Tonight’s Shocking Episode, Teases “Confrontation” Of Season 4 Finale

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 7:00pm PDT

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s episode of Game Of Thrones.

Game of thrones season 4 ep 2If you’re searching for an understatement, rock royalty Queen’s “another one bites the dust” could sum up the events of tonight’s Game Of Thrones. But it wasn’t just anyone who bites the dust: it was a King who was killed on the second episode of the blockbuster HBO series’ fourth season. Granted it was a crazed sadistic boy King whom no one besides his mother/sister loved, but it was a death early in the season that most shows would have saved for a finale. However, as fans familiar with the books by George R.R. Martin on which the HBO fantasy drama are based know, the blood soaked Red Wedding that served as the shocking penultimate episode of Season 3 of GoT was just the opening act for the poisoning of Joffrey at the Purple Wedding in tonight’s episode. Joffrey’s death is quickly succeeded by the accusation that his uncle Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) is the murderer and from that, the fallout will follow for the rest of the season – a season that started on April 6 with record high viewership. In short, intrigue and bloodshed have been taken to a whole new level on a show already drenched in both.

Related:
Spoiler Alert: Was ‘Game Of Read More »

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R.I.P. Tony-Winning Deaf Actress Phyllis Frelich

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

phylis frelichTony-winning deaf actress Phyllis Frelich, who originated the lead role in Children of a Lesser God on Broadway, died Thursday of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). She was 70. Frelich’s husband Robert Steinberg told the AP of her passing. The two were married for 46 years, during which time their relationship inspired Mark Medoff to write Children of a Lesser God at New Mexico State University. When the play moved to Los Angeles and then Broadway Frelich played the lead role of Sarah Norman in the story of the relationship between a deaf woman and a hearing speech pathologist and won a Tony for the role in 1980. Marlee Matlin played the Sarah role in the 1986 film adaptation, for which she won the Oscar. Frelich, originally from Devils Lake, North Dakota, came from a family of deaf parents and siblings and began acting while studying at Gallaudet College. She met Steinberg in the National Theatre of the Deaf where he worked as a scene and lighting designer for playwright Medoff. Frelich also starred in Medoff’s In The Hands Of Its Enemy opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Jeffrey Tambor and was nominated for an Emmy for the 1985 TV movie Love Is Never Silent. She played Sister Sarah on soap opera Santa Barbara and had guest roles on CSI, ER, Gimme a Break, Diagnosis Murder, and more. “You paved so many roads for us, Phyllis. A leading light of our community has been … Read More »

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UPDATE: James Cameron on ‘Avatar’ Sequel Timetable Following Rupert Murdoch’s Comments

avatar_poster-200x300Update, Saturday 10:25 AM: In a Reddit AMA this morning, Avatar director James Cameron expounded on the franchise’s timetable in regards to the screenplays, writing, “The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously. They’re essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks. There’s always pressure, whether it’s a new film or whether it’s a sequel, to entertain and amaze an audience. I’ve felt that pressure my entire career, so there’s nothing new there. The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable. There hasn’t been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie.”

In a Fortune interview earlier this week, Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch reiterated what Deadline reported back in August: That there will be three Avatar sequels released respectively in December 2016, 2017 and 2018. Read More »

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Scribe Ann Peacock Set To Adapt True Tale Of Ethiopian Jews’ 1991 Exodus To Israel

LostTribeEXCLUSIVE: Ann Peacock is staying in Africa for her next writing gig, signing on to pen the feature adaptation of Asher Naim‘s 2003 book Saving The Lost Tribe: The Rescue And Redemption Of The Ethiopian Jews. First Born Films has optioned the book and life rights to Naim, the one-time Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia. The book tells the true story of the rescue and redemption of the black Jews of Ethiopia, known as the Falashas, 43rd NAACP Image Awards - Pre-Telecastwho in May 1991 with the country devolving into a brutal civil war were airlifted to Jerusalem by the Israeli air force in a plan Naim helped hatch that involved paying off brutal Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Meriam and raising cash mostly from the U.S. Jewish community. About 14,000 Falashas made the trip over the course of 25 harrowing hours in a coordinated effort known as Operation Solomon. The book’s main themes focused on the Falashas’ struggle to endure more than 3,000 years in Ethiopia amid famine and tribal wars and the true meaning of faith and identity.

Peacock, who is South African, has a diverse set of adaptations on her resume that includes her first pic, HBO’s A Lesson Before Dying, which won the Outstanding TV Movie Emmy in 1999 as well as the writing Emmy for her. She also adapted the first Chronicles of Narnia film based on the C.S. Lewis book series, Nicolas Sparks’ novel Nights In Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane and Valerie Tripp’s Kit Kittredge books into the 2008 feature starring Abigail Breslin. Peacock’s latest credit is also set in Africa: 2011′s The First Grader, the BBC Films pic based on the true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan and ex-Mau Mau freedom fighter who goes to school for the first time. Read More »

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Al Jazeera America Slashes Staff But Says It’s All Part Of The Plan

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 2:01pm EDT

Al Jazeera AmericaIt’s a dreary day at the cable news channel as it files an undisclosed number of employees — I’m hearing at least 60 –into the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan to tell them that they’ve lost their jobs. The sports news unit has been disbanded, and some layoffs are tied to a decision to cut The Stream to two days a week from five. Most of the people being let go are officially freelancers, although the group includes many who had been working full time. The official word is that the company needed lots of people for the launch last year. Al Jazeera America President Kate OBrian says in a memo to staff: “Now it is time to set our sights on new goals, requiring different levels and areas of investment and resources. We have reached what I will call our steady-state level of operations and we are bringing our staffing levels into alignment with our long-range plan as per our original business case. As a result, certain parts of our organization will expand or contract and staff levels and resources will be recalibrated.” She says that, after the cuts, the operation will have “more than 800 staff around the country.” Still, some people there speculate that the channel will shift its focus toward documentary pieces instead of live reports. It has struggled to attract viewers. For example, an internal memo notes that on March 21 the channel averaged 10,871 households (equal … Read More »

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HBO Series ‘The Leftovers’ To Go On Hiatus

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 8:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Heroes Day meetingEXCLUSIVE: Damon Lindelof‘s upcoming 10-episode HBO series The Leftovers is taking a break. The high-concept drama, Lindelof’s follow-up series to Lost, will shut down production for a brief hiatus after it wraps production on the current sixth episode. “We put ourselves on a tight schedule, and we decided to give our production a short hiatus to prep our final episodes,” HBO said in a statement. The stoppage, said to be for less than two weeks, is not expected to impact the premiere date for the series HBO announced last week. It is set for June 15, following the season finale of Game of Thrones. Co-written by Lindelof and Tom Perrotta based on Perrotta’s book and toplined by Justin Theroux, The Leftovers takes place after the Rapture happens, but not quite like it’s supposed to. It’s the story of the people who didn’t make the cut — and a world that never will be the same. Here is the first teaser for the show, which debuted at the top of the fourth season premiere of GOT this past Sunday.

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Chloe Moretz In Talks To Topline ‘The 5th Wave’; Ryan Guzman To Star In ‘Hold Your Ground’

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 7:00pm PDT

Chloe Moretz is in negotiations withmoretz1 Sony, GK Films, and Material Pictures to star in the adaptation of the bestselling novel The 5th Wave, the first book in a planned trilogy by Rick Yancey. J. Blakeson is set to direct from a screenplay by Susannah Grant. Graham King will produce with GK Films along with Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe for Material Pictures. The thriller centers on 16-year-old Cassie, who’s on the run after fave waves of increasingly deadly attacks that have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, she meets a young man who may become her final hope. Andrea Giannetti brought the project to Sony Pictures and will oversee for the studio with Hannah Minghella. WME-repped Moretz will next be seen opposite Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and R.J. Cutler-helmed If I Stay.
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Media Stocks Hit As NASDAQ Suffers Biggest One-Day Drop Since 2011

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 4:45pm EDT

stock arrow downThe tech-heavy exchange fell 3.1% today to a two-month low as investors, fearful that the bull market for Internet and biotech companies has run its course, continued to shift their cash into more conservative investments. On NASDAQ’s worst day since 2011, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 2.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.6%. Media stocks also felt the chill: The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index fell 2.8%. All of the major companies we track lost ground. CBS (-3.8%) was hardest hit in Big Media followed by Time Warner (-3.7%), Disney (-3.7%), Sony (-3.6%), Viacom (-3.6%), Comcast (-2.8%), News Corp (-2.2%), Fox (-2.1%), and Discovery (-1.7%). In the rest of the sector companies licking their wounds include Pandora (-10.5%), WWE (-7.2%), Facebook (-5.2%), Netflix (-5.2%), Lionsgate (-4.8%), and RealD (-4.6%)

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Joey King Joins Lifetime’s ‘Outlaw Prophet’; Steven Cree In Starz’s ‘Outlander

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz The Great And Powerful) joeyking1has been cast in Lifetime’s original movie Outlaw Prophet from Sony Pictures Television. It focuses on the true story of Warren Jeffs, the leader of a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect who spent more than a year on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, eluded authorities and was ultimately caught by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper. Based on Stephen Singular’s book When Men Become Gods, the movie chronicles Jeffs’ rise to power after the death of his father, Rulon Jeffs (Martin Landau). King will play Elissa Wall, the battered young woman who brings Jeffs (Tony Goldwyn) to justice. King, repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and Meredith Fine at Coast to Coast Talent Group, will next be seen in FX’s Fargo and Zach Braff’s indie Wish I Was Here.
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Daniel Craig Drops Out Of ‘The Whole Truth’

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 8:54pm PDT

craigdanielDirector Courtney Hunt’s courtroom drama has lost its leading man less a week before production was set to start. Daniel Craig has left The Whole Truth, in which he was set to play a defense attorney who fights to get his teenage client (Gabriel Basso) acquitted of murdering his wealthy father. Renee Zellweger also stars. Nicholas Kazan wrote the script, and Richard Suckle is producing. No word on why Craig abruptly exited the indie pic, which was unveiled at Berlin in February. It was slated to start filming this Friday in Boston. Craig is coming off a two-month stint in Betrayal on Broadway and next stars in the untitled 24th James Bond film, which is due late next year.

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NBC Press Day: Medical Drama ‘Night Shift’ Consciously Blue-Collar With Military Roots

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

NBC‘s Night Shift exec producer Jeffnightshsift Judah insists he loves the idea of his big ensemble medical drama running on the broadcast network in the summer. “There are not as many shows on the networks, it may not get lost as much, maybe get a chance to be seen by more people — we love it.” he told reporters at NBC Press Day.

NBC series The Night Shift, about the men and women who work graveyard at San Antonio Memorial, got an 8-episode order  as part of a four-show deal between NBC and Sony TV last May that included pickups of The Blacklist (with guaranteed Monday 10 PM slot), Welcome To The Family and The Night Shift, and a renewal of Community. The Night Shift pilot tested very well, with Irish actor Eoin Macken in the lead, as adrenaline junkie T.C. Callahan who, after a grueling tour of duty in the Middle East, now works in the ER.  Creators Gabe Sachs and Judah executive produce with Pierre Morel.
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UPDATE: NYC Mayor Called Les Moonves Directly To Keep Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ In Big Apple

CBS Late Show marquee UPDATE, 11:25 AM: Forget the letter-writing campaign of Los Angeles’ mayor. The mayor of New York picked up the phone and directly asked CBS boss Les Moonves to keep the Late Show in the Big Apple after David Letterman retires next year. “I had a very good conversation yesterday with the man who will actually make that decision, Les Moonves, and I emphasized that New York has been an extraordinary home for the Late Show and that we think it’ll be a great home for the Late Show going forward,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio today during a press Washington Nationals v New York Metsconference. “Obviously, David Letterman made rich use of his surrounding environment of New York City, and I hope that his successor will do the same.”

Related: David Letterman Through The Years: Video

The same day Letterman announced he would be leaving Late Show sometime in 2015, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote to the CBS boss urging him to move Letterman’s successor out to the West Coast. Burbank lost The Tonight Show back to NYC after 40 years when Jimmy Fallon took over hosting earlier this year, and L.A. is currently home to late-night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan O’Brien’s talk show on TBS, Arsenio Hall, and Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson. On Friday, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also wrote to Moonves about making sure Late Show post-Letterman stayed in New York. With de Blasio now weighing in, is it only a matter of time until this becomes a Governor-to-Governor thing? NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already made his stand doing the Top 10 list on April 4.  Read More »

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Safety On Set: Camera Crew Outnumber Stunt Personnel 4-To-1 In On-Set Deaths

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 9:55am PDT

Third in a series.

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia

Sarah Jones Midnight RiderStunt drivers have helmets, roll bars, air bags and five-point safety harnesses to help keep them safe. All that a cameraman has between him and an oncoming speeding stunt car is his camera. It’s why so many cameramen and their assistants have gotten killed on film and TV productions: they’re right on top of the action — and sometimes killed beneath it. The loss of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones on the set of Midnight Rider is yet another tragic death. Her passing has shined a light on set safety. It is particularly dangerous for cameramen and their assistants. In the last 10 years, more than four times as many camera department personnel have been killed making movies and TV shows than stunt performers. By comparison, two stuntmen – Kun Liu on The Expendables 2 and Lu Yanqing on John Woo’s Red Cliff – have been killed in the last 10 years, and none in America. (Also critically injured on The Expendables 2 was Nuo Sun.) Lu was only 23 years old. The following year, Kun’s family filed a wrongful death suit against Nu Image and Millennium Films, and stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski.

Here is a list of some of those cameramen and stuntmen who have perished while working in the industry:

February 24, 2013
Canadian cameraman John Driftmier and his pilot were killed when their small plane crashed on a location shoot in Kenya for the Discovery Canada channel’s Dangerous Flights, a series that documents the hazardous work of ferry pilots who deliver small, private planes to customers around the world. He was the second Canadian cameraman to die in two years while filming reality TV shows. Driftmier’s brother, journalist Peter Driftmier, maintains that a pervasive “culture of fear” in the Canadian reality TV industry is putting lives at risk. “The fact of the matter is that the hardworking people who create Canada’s factual TV productions are not being supported to make their workdays as safe as possible,” he said. “In fact, there is a widespread culture of fear in the industry that is steering people away from speaking up to improve safety on the job.” His brother’s death, he says, “has helped prompt many in the industry to become more conscious of their own safety, and to speak out.”

Related: Safety On Set: Three Workers Speak Out

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February 10, 2013
Cameraman Darren Rydstrom, 46, and two others were killed in northern Los Angeles County when their helicopter crashed while filming of an untitled military-themed reality show for the Discovery Channel. Friends and family members recall that even as a kid, Rydstrom always had a camera in his hands. “He was the biggest pain in the neck because he had his eye in a lens all the time,” his mother, Jeri Rydstrom, told a reporter at his hometown paper, the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal. One of his last phone calls, made just a few hours before his death, was to wish her a happy birthday. He told her that her birthday gift was a private golf lesson, and that he’d see her soon and take her golfing. “And then the sheriff was at my door,” she said.

Related: Discovery Reality Show Chopper Crash Due To “Cost-Cutting Measures”, Lawsuit Claims

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Tribeca Film Festival Jurors Announced

Tribeca 2014 marqueeThe judges are set for 13th annual edition of the event founded by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff. The seven competition juries for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival include 33 filmmakers, writers, producers, actors, journalists and entrepreneurs. The World Narrative Competition judges are Lake Bell, Steve Conrad, Bart Freundlich, Catherine Hardwicke and Ben Younger. Jurors for other categories include Toni Collette, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Alfonso Arau, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin, HBO’s Sheila Nevins and Google’s Regina Dugan. The Nas rap docu Time Is Illmatic will open the fest, which runs April 16-27 in NYC. The recently re-retitled Begin Again closes it. Here is the full list of jurors and categories:

Related:
Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Competition Slate
MSG Entering Into Strategic Deal With Tribeca Enterprises

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Academy Of Country Music Awards Falls, ‘Resurrection’ & ‘American Dream Builders’ Hit Lows

blake shelton shakira academy of country music awards 2014On a night that saw a lot of action on cable with premieres (Welcome back Game Of Thrones and Veep) and season finales (Shameless and House Of Lies), CBS and the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards (3.3/9) took a hit from last year’s more than a decade-long high. With performances from The Voice’s Blake Shelton and Shakira, plus Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, an appearance by Garth Brooks and big wins for George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Kacey Musgraves, the 8 PM – 11 PM awards show fell 23% from its April 7, 2013 show. Having lost out on the promotion platform of the NCAA Tournament the night before (the basketball was on Turner not CBS), the ACM also saw a dip of 8% in terms of total viewership from 2013’s 15.38 million to 14.14 million last night. CBS started the night with a new 60 Minutes (1.3/4) that was down 54% from last week, which saw overruns from the college basketball tournament. Still, even with those big stumbles, overall the network won the night in terms of the key demo (2.8/8) and total viewers 13.10 million. Read More »

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