UPDATE: ESPN Can Generate Steady Profit Growth Through 2016 CFO Tells Wall Street

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 2:06pm EDT

espnUPDATED: Following CEO Bob Iger’s lead,  Disney CFO Jay Rasulo won’t break out financial numbers for ESPN. But he strongly hints that its financial prospects are rosy by offering a few projections for Disney’s cable networks, which are dominated by ESPN. He tells investors to expect high single digit annual growth in revenues from pay TV distributors through 2016, and a similar growth rate for operating income. He’s confident about these projections because Disney has programming deals with eight of the 10 largest pay TV distributors, with the remaining two due by year end. In addition, most of its contracts with sports leagues last for years. The company won’t project ad sales but says ESPN has strong pricing power.

PREVIOUS, 11:06 AM: Disney’s dumping a lot of data about ESPN this afternoon to ease Wall Street fears that the company’s cash cow could face leaner times due its rising costs and new competition from channels led by Fox Sports 1. CEO Bob Iger kicked off today’s investor meeting in Bristol, Conn vowing that he’s going to continue to invest” in ESPN which he sees as core to his strategy to build brands and franchises. Disney doesn’t break out financial numbers for the channel, but he noted that the company’s pay TV networks account for 32% of its revenues — and 56% of its operating income. President John Skipper and other ESPN execs Read More »

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Academy Sets 2015 Oscar Nominations Date For Jan. 15; Governors Awards Nov. 8

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 10:07am PDT

Oscar_badge__140302212232The 2015 Oscars date was set last year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they announced the 2014 date, which shifted a week owing to a conflict with the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics. New today are dates for the nominations announcement — Thursday, January 15 — which gives voters about five weeks before final ballots are due February 17. The past couple of years members had six weeks to see everything and cast their ballots. The Governors Awards are set for November 8. Here is this season’s timeline:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network today announced the dates for the 87th Oscars. The Academy Awards presentation will air live on ABC on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015. Key dates for the Awards season are:

Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Governors Awards

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Official Screen Credits and music submissions due

Monday, December 29, 2014
Nominations voting begins 8 a.m., PT

Thursday, January 8, 2015
Nominations voting ends 5 p.m., PT

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Oscar nominations announced

Monday, February 2, 2015
Oscar Nominees Luncheon

Friday, February 6, 2015
Final voting begins 8 a.m., PT

Saturday, February 7, 2015
Scientific and Technical Awards

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Final voting ends 5 p.m., PT

Sunday, February 22, 2015
87th Academy Awards begins 7 p.m., ET/ 4 p.m., PT

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James Goldston Tapped To Be ABC News President

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 5:50am PDT

James GoldstonABC made a pro forma announcement this morning, officially naming ABC News SVP James Goldston to replace Ben Sherwood as president of the news division. Last month, when Sherwood was promoted to co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, following Anne Sweeney’s surprising decision to step down as president of the Disney/ABC Television Group to become a TV director, the list of possible Sherwood replacements read like this:

1) James Goldston

2) James Goldston

3) James Goldston

abc-news110915165209Goldston’s the guy credited with saving Nightline from oblivion, and turning Good Morning America into the franchise that deposed NBC’s Today as king of the morning show ratings — though Goldston already had been upped to Sherwood’s No. 2 guy, and Tom Cibrowski, who’d worked with Goldston on GMA, had been promoted to GMA chief when the program actually went in for the kill. Discussions about Goldston generally include the expression “golden gut” and he is said to be well-liked in the news division. He’s also considered so valuable to the news operation that discussion of Sherwood-replacement plans didn’t seem to include any other names.

Related: Q&A: Incoming Disney/ABC TV Group Co-Chairman Ben Sherwood
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NBCU Chief Steve Burke Says Network Should Be Judged On Sales To 18-49 Demo

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 12:59pm EDT

Steve BurkeSteve Burke doesn’t want people, or advertisers, to pay attention to total viewer ratings because “we’re in the 18-to-49 business,” he told a press gathering today in the run-up to the upfront sales season. Indeed, if presented with a program that would attract a big total audience, but not would be weak in the target demo, “we wouldn’t pick that show up,” he says. That’s required a change in thinking at the NBC, where shows such as Today and Nightly News With Brian Williams often are promoted on the basis of the 25-54 demo. nbc4“They should at least know both” the younger and older demo numbers, Burke says. He acknowledges that older viewers can be attractive for advertisers; for example, NBC has tried to capitalize on The Blacklist‘s popularity with 55-to-64 year olds, a group it calls the Alpha Boomers. Still, Burke says, “it’s very hard to get the industry to change” and “as long as people keep score that way [by focusing on young adults], that’s how we’re going to broadcast.”

The NBCUniversal exec renewed a familiar call for the industry to look at 52 weeks of programming instead of the 35 weeks from September to May. “We’re living in a completely different time now,” he says. “We’re competing straight through the summer.” He and research chief Alan Wurtzel also want Nielsen to step up its efforts to measure viewing on mobile devices, and advertisers to buy spots based on the number of people watching over seven days, not just three. “Those are things the industry can do today,” Wurtzel says. Burke adds that for some shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show as much as 40% of the views “we’re not monetizing and we need to change that. Read More »

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‘Good Morning America’ Celebrates First Quarterly Demo Win With ‘Today’ At Olympics

robin-roberts-webThe same day ABC’s Good Morning America officially said so long to news anchor Josh Elliott, it announced it had delivered its most watched quarter in more than 22 years in first quarter 2014. The show also celebrated its first demo win for a quarter in which NBC broadcast an Olympics, since Nielsen’s electronic records began. That said, Today, which broadcast during a chunk of the quarter from the Sochi Winter Games, cut its quarterly total viewer gap relative to GMA by 22% (150,000) and posted the most year-to-year total viewer growth of the broadcast morning infotainment programs.

The quarter was GMA’s seventh consecutive win over Today in total viewers and sixth in the news demo. GMA logged 5.908 million viewers in the quarter and 2.339 demo viewers. NBC’s Today clocked 5.369 million viewers and 2.210 demo viewers. CBS This Morning averaged 3.148 million viewers and 1.060 million demo viewers — which, is  that morning show’s best first-quarter total viewer delivery in a decade, and an 11% total-viewer jump compared to same quarter last year.

The GMA numbers are good news for that morning infotainment program, because its  longtime weatherman Sam Champion bowed out at the end of ’13. More recently, ABC News chief Ben Sherwood announced Sunday GMA’s news anchor Josh Elliott had left to take a job at NBC Sports.

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R.I.P. Sports Director Sandy Grossman

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 10:06pm PDT

Sandy GrossmanThe eight-time Sports Emmy winner was a regular in the truck during NFL games called by the popular announcing duo of Pat Summerall and John Madden. Sandy Grossman has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 78. He spent 21 seasons with Summerall and Madden, first at CBS and later at Fox. Said Fox Sports President: “Sandy was part of the original heart and soul of Fox Sports. He was a brilliant director and a thoughtful colleague. He mentored many of us here and throughout the sports TV industry, and we learned more from him than he could imagine.” The Newark, NJ, native’s credits include directing 10 Super Bowls — more than anyone else — along with 18 NBA Finals and five Stanley Cup Finals. He also was in the director’s chair for coverage of multiple Olympics.

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Josh Elliott Says NBC Sports Offer Is Dream Job, Denies He’s Being Groomed To Replace Matt Lauer On ‘Today’

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 11:21am PDT

Departing Good Morning Americajoshelliot1__140402184903-275x154 news anchor Josh Elliott says he has not personally had any discussions about working on NBC’s Today, that he hopes co-anchor Matt Lauer will still be at Today “when I step away from this gig 30 years down the road,” and that he loves ABC News chief Ben Sherwood deeply and passionately for making him news anchor at GMA. Elliott was on the phone with reporters to discuss this week’s worst kept TV industry secret — Elliott has jumped ship, abandoning GMA to join NBC Sports Group.

NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus said Elliott would perform “a mix” of reporting and anchoring, including a presence in the division’s coverage of the  Kentucky Derby, NFL football, the Super Bowl and the Winter and Summer Olympics, to which NBC has broadcast rights through 2020. “One of the beauties of this budding and new relationship,” Lazarus said, is that Elliott fits in well with the existing team, adding, “we’ve still got plenty of time to sort out” details of his role.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - January 15, 2014Elliott was asked loads of questions about his departure from GMA; he “denied categorically” press reports about the ensemble cast’s jealousy over Robin Roberts’ lucrative contract, insisting he loved them all and wished them the best. “I owe everything to the folks at Disney” he said. “They’re the ones who put me on the air nine years ago.’ I have nothing but gratitude for them” he said speaking “to my very deep and abiding important relationship I have with [ABC News chief] Ben Sherwood.”

Related: Michael Strahan Explains ‘GMA’ Gig To Anxious ‘Live!’ Fans: Video
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‘The Walking Dead’ Hits Another Season Finale Record With 15.7M Viewers

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

Walking Dead Season 4 Finale RatingsWith a reunion of sorts and a mouthful of blood and vengeance for Rick Grimes, last night’s The Walking Dead Season 4 finale on AMC drew 15.7 million viewers. That’s up from the 12.4 million who watched the then record-breaking Season 3 finale on April 1 last year and another new finale total viewership record for the blockbuster zombie apocalypse series. Last night’s Walking Dead also pulled in 10.2 million viewers in adults 18-49, a 25% rise from the 8.1 million in the demo who watched the Season 3 finale and a demo finale high. Based on the comic series co-created by executive producer Robert Kirkman, Walking Dead’s Season 4 premiere October 13 last year shattered that Season 3 finale result with staggering series and cable viewership records of 16.1 million viewers, 10.4 million adults 18-49 – those remain the all-time highs for the series. While not matching those numbers in subsequent episodes, Walking Dead did continue to slay almost everything else on TV, leaving major players like The Big Bang Theory and The Voice in the demo dust. With an average of 13.3 million total viewers per episode and 8.6 million adults 18-49, the show’s fourth season is up 24% in total viewers and 22% among the demo over Season 3 for its best result ever.

Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Talks Bloody Finale, Teases “Action-Heavy” Season 5

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‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Talks Bloody Finale, Teases “Action-Heavy” Season 5

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of last night’s Season 4 finale of The Walking Dead.

Walking Dead Season 4 FinaleDon’t let anyone tell you that AMC’s The Walking Dead doesn’t pack a hell of a lot more than zombies into the series — as last night’s bloody and emotionally charged Season 4 finale proved. Besides the ever-present undead, the fourth season saw a big change in leadership among Sheriff Rick Grimes and the survivors, the outbreak of a raging influenza virus in their converted prison home, the exile of one major character, the graphic decapitation of another, the death of a major foe, some revealing backstories, and the scattering of the remaining members of the series in search of a new home and new hope. It also saw Walking Dead shattering cable ratings records again, and a couple of times it beat the usually unbeatable Sunday Night Football on NBC and topped that network’s Winter Olympics coverage three weeks in a row in the key adults 18-49 demo. There’s a good chance that when last night’s ratings come in later today, we’ll see another record. Walking Dead executive producer Scott Gimple, who just completed his first full season as showrunner, talked with me about last night’s finale as well as what fans can expect in Season 5 this fall and some changes behind the scenes.

Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Season Debut Smashes Records; 16.1M Watch

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ESPN Leads All Networks With 30 Sports Emmy Noms, Fox In Second Place

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:20pm PDT

imgresIt’s an awards ceremony that’s will see Ted Turner take home a Lifetime Achievement Award and ESPN hard pressed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. With a lead almost double its nearest competitor, the cable channel scored 30 noms from NATAS today as the 35th Annual Sports Emmy Emmy__120829153557-e1346254570840Awards nominations were announced. Fox is in second place with 18 noms, while HBO  has 15, NBC and NBC Sports Network pulled in 14 nominations each and MLB Network got a lucky 13. Overall, ESPN’s various channels and platforms got 46 noms while NBC Sports Group snagged 33 and CBS-owned channels got 18 nominations. The Sports Emmys has 39 categories including Outstanding Live Sports Special, Outstanding Live Sports Series, Outstanding Playoff Coverage, Outstanding Sports Documentary and Outstanding Sports Journalism. Coming off a Winter Olympics in which he was laid low by an eye infection, NBC’s Bob Costas is nominated in the Sports Personality – Studio Host Category along with CBS/Showtime’s James Brown, CBS’ Greg Gumbel, Golf Channel’s David Feherty and network multitasker Dan Patrick, who appears on NBC, NBCSN and DirecTV. With America’s Cup winner, former Atlanta Braves owner and CNN founder Turner getting the Lifetime Achievement honor, the Sports Emmys winners will be announced May 6 at the Time Warner Center in NYC. In the meantime, check out the full list of nominations here.

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CNN Doesn’t Mind Media Storm So Long As Viewers Shower It With Ratings

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:18pm PDT

cnnlogo4LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: Just when it looked as though the Missing Malaysian Airliner story was running out of gas, officials announced this morning that French satellites have grabbed images of more than 100 “potential objects” from Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean about 1,500 miles off the coast from Perth, Australia, giving CNN fresh material with which to hang on to the story for dear life. The maybe-debris, which was scattered over 154 square miles — roughly the size of Denver –  ranges in length from 3 to 72 feet which, some CNN pundits noted,  is about the length of a wing on the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 as it was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 on board. Reporters Who Cover Television, and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic, who in the preceding three weeks had exhausted their repertoire of derisive comments about CNN’s flood-the-zone coverage of the missing plane, spent the day looking haggard and care-worn, like a Borgia who’d just realized he’d run out of cyanide with another banquet about to be served.

Here, in a two-week ratings nutshell, is why Reporters Who Cover Television and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic can harrumph all they want about CNN’s coverage of the missing airplane, but CNN is not going to let go of this story:

newcnnplanechart

 

CNN-bashing is a favorite sport among journalists — the festivities generally break out whenever the network dives on one of those disaster-with-international-angle stories that are in CNN’s wheelhouse. Read More »

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‘Downton Abbey’s’ Crowd Climbs To 13.2 Million, ‘Sherlock’ To 6.6 Million With Delayed Viewing Added

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 8:20am PDT

DOWNTON ABBEY S 3 DEBUTDownton Abbey‘s fourth season nabbed an average audience of 13.2 million viewers with the addition of  +7 viewing — up nearly 2 million viewers compared to season 3 — securing its status as PBS‘s highest rated drama in its history. Meanwhile, Sherlock‘s third season audience grew to 6.6 million in its new 10 PM timeslot, compared to 4.4 million viewers in Season 2. That’s great news for PBS’s Sunday night, where primetime household ratings jumped 30% since the 2012-13 season, and for PBS’s Masterpiece franchise which, not so long ago, went begging for a corporate sponsor after ExxonMobile bailed. “The success of Downton Abbey and Sherlock proves again that superb storytelling and first-class acting are an unbeatable combination,” Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton crowed Wednesday morning. “If this is indeed a Golden Age of television, we’re proud to be right in the middle of it.”

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CinemaCon: Universal Excites Convention With First Looks At ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’, ‘Minions’, ‘Fast & Furious 7′ And Angelina Jolie’s Potential Oscar Juggernaut ‘Unbroken’

Pete Hammond

Universal wowed exhibitors this morning with a presentation that went way beyond just showing off what they have this summer. Among the films CinemaCon2014_badgegetting their first look anywhere was Scarlett Johansson’s summer action flick Lucy, the long-gestating follow-up to Dumb And Dumber with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back in Dumb And Dumber To, plus hot-button first looks at footage from 2015 releases including with the late Paul Walker in the April 2015 Fast & Furious 7 and Valentine’s Day 2015 opener Fifty Shades Of GreyAccording to the studio’s Donna Langley, this was the first time anyone has viewed any of it outside of the Universal hierarchy. CinemaCon 2014 - The State Of The Industry: Past, Present And Future And Universal Studios PresentationIt was a good teaser but stopped shy of showing any of the really hot stuff. The 2015 spinoff of Despicable Me, Uni’s biggest domestic hit ever (the sequel that is), Minions also got a hearty response from the pumped-up crowd who is anxious for a few hits. It looks like over the course of the next two years this studio is determined to give some to them. But despite all of this news-making footage it was clearly Angelina Jolie who stole this show. As the only star Universal trotted out onstage, she was there this time as the director of their Christmas Day release Unbroken, and introduced seven minutes of footage from what definitely looks like a possible Oscar juggernaut. It has all the makings. Read More »

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R.I.P. ‘60 Minutes’ Producer Adrian Taylor

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 12:55pm PDT

138The Peabody- and Emmy-winning producer of CBS’ 60 Minutes died today of complications from pancreatic cancer at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ. Adrian “Clem” Taylor was 60. He won the Peabody Award last year for his uplifting 60 Minutes segment about an improbable orchestra in the heart of the Congo, broadcast on Easter Sunday 2012. It also won an Emmy, one of eight he earned during his career. Born in in Doylestown, PA, Taylor spent nearly 20 years at CBS News, the last four at 60 Minutes. He held a variety of producing jobs in the news division, rising to Senior Producer for The Early Show in the late 1990s. Before that, he was a producer in Washington, Dallas, and New York, and traveled to more than 20 countries for the network. His years assigned to the White House during the Reagan administration had Taylor covering many of the most important news stories of the 1980s, including the summit of Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland. He also worked for a decade at ABC News, where he produced reports for Primetime Live, 20/20, and the broadcast What Would You Do? He also produced for Fox News, CNBC and ESPN.

Related:
R.I.P. Bill McLaughlin
R.I.P. Newsman Bruce Dunning

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Willie Geist To Host Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 8:50am PDT

Today co-host Willie Geist will host Discovery Channel‘sWillie-Geist__120924195910 Everest Live Jump, the two-hour telecast in which climber Joby Ogwyn will attempt the first wing-suit flight off the summit of Mt. Everest. That’s because the telecast is being produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. Interestingly, EverestGeist will also be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest’s unpredictable weather conditions, while Chris Jacobs and Kyle Martino give live updates. The Weather Channel’s Sam Champion could use the exposure — the launch of his morning program AMHQ has produced ratings lower than that network’s prior four-week average in the time period. Discovery says the Mt. Everest jump will be telecast live in May. Read More »

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‘Enlisted’ Star Geoff Stults To Topline CBS Comedy Pilot ‘Cuz-Bros’

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

stultsWith the fate of low-rated Fox freshman comedy Enlisted in limbo, its star Geoff Stults has booked the main lead in CBS’ multi-camera odd couple comedy pilot Cuz-Bros, from writers David Caspe and Erik Sommers, Sony TV, CBS Studios and Fanfare. It centers on Nick (Stults), a successful, suave ladies man working as a sportscaster for a local Los Angeles TV station whose perfect life gets turned upside down when his mess of a cousin needs a place to stay. Stults was cast as a guest star given his commitment to Enlisted, on which he is a regular. Enlisted, which launched on Fridays, has been very soft in the ratings, though it perked up a bit when moved from 9:30 to 9 PM. Still, a renewal is considered a very long shot. In a calculated risk, pilots often cast actors from existing bubble series. In majority of the cases, the bet pays off, with the actor smoothly transitioning from a cancelled series to a newly picked-up one. There are exceptions, of course; one of the most notable involved Caspe and Sommers’ previous series, Happy Endings, whose Damon Wayans Jr. was cast in Fox’s New Girl pilot, but the character had to be phased out when Happy Endings was renewed.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

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Live And Well: Morning Shows Gain Ratings Ground Thanks To Stiff Competition & Focus On Interactive Programming

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: NBC’s Today made the most of its big “get” this morning — Matt Lauer’s exclusive and chilling interview with Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State assistant football coach/convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, in which she said the victims were “manipulated” when they “saw money,” did not scream from the basement of her house as one has claimed, and that her husband having showered with the boys is a generational thing. ABC’s Good Morning America, meanwhile, was touting its talk with ABC News’ Dan Harris about the on-air panic attack he suffered a decade ago – the result, he says, ofGMASocialSquare years spent covering wars abroad and his use of recreational drugs to deal with the emotional aftermath of that war coverage.

Coming out of the Sochi Games, the morning infotainment-show war has never been hotter. Today, which won the two weeks of the Winter Olympics – its first weekly victories since the 2012 London Summer Games – returned aggressively with a Love Your Selfie interactive campaign, a ribbon-cutting on its new outdoor space by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and a make-up hug between de Blasio and Today weatherman Al Roker after their much-reported Twitter dust-up. Lauer’s Sandusky exclusive is Today‘s latest sit-down in that aggressive post-Sochi push that also included a chat with Toronto’s click-bait mayor Rob Ford. Even so, GMA jumped back on top in the ratings the very first week after Sochi, and has widened its lead each week, though the gap is still smaller than the 1.1 million lead GMA had on Today this season leading up to Sochi. “All this competition has been good for the viewer – we’re all trying harder, all fighting as hard as we ever have,” Today EP Don Nash told Deadline. “I’ve been at this show 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it. … We are fighting for every viewer.”

Related: ‘Today’ Takes February Sweep In Demo While ‘GMA’ Wins Overall Audience Again

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Jay Leno Reminds Bill Maher Of Israel As He’s Inducted Into TV Academy Hall Of Fame With Rupert Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E Kelley, Ray Dolby & Brandon Stoddard: Video

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Jay Leno, being inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, said he’s glad he left NBC’s Tonight Show when he did The Television Academy's 23rd Hall Of Fame Induction Galabecause he was the oldest person on the show. Everyone else was 20 to 40 years younger than him and, while you may think you’re holding your own with them, “they’re really just laughing at you,” he explained. “You can’t be hip past a certain age. You have old guy gestures.” And when you make references to The Dick Van Dyke Show they think it’ s “a lesbian joke or something” —  and they don’t understand what you’re talking about when you say the time is “Half past 2.”

Leno told the Beverly Wilshire Hotel gathering his favorite book is Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol —  a searing indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism — and his favorite character in that classic work of literature, Mr. Fezziwig, who treated a young Ebenezer Scrooge like a son. Leno mentioned this by way of saying how proud he was that his Tonight Show was a place where people came to work hard during the day and, at 6, they went home to be with their family.

Related: Jay Leno’s TV Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speech: Video

Emmyslogo_newEven though he’s now “jobless and penniless” Leno still is a “fantastic stand-up,” said Bill Maher, who inducted Leno into the Hall, and the fact people are wondering what he will do next proves he’s still relevant, the HBO show host said. He described Leno’s more than two decades hosting Tonight as a drive down a highway in “some giant gleaming pristine luxury car with the competition far in the rearview mirror — except one time when NBC,” driving some beat-up clunker, “blindsided him and beat the sh*t out of his beautiful car.” Maher blamed TV critics for rewriting history to make Leno’s predecessor, Johnny Carson, out to be some guy who did a “rebellious, edgy, film noir version” of Tonight Show that by comparison made Jay look like a milquetoast. “That’s all bullsh*t — and I say that as a fan of Carson,” Maher said. Leno is the victim of “some bad publicity over the years” that he did not deserve — most famously how America got it into its head that “Jay Leno stole Conan O’Brien’s dream,” Maher complained, calling it,  “the most hysterical thought I’ve ever heard, in a business known for bullsh*t.”

“Jay reminds me a little of Israel,” Maher continued. “He isn’t perfect but he’s held to standard I don’t think anybody in the world is expected to live up to but him,” he said, calling Leno “the most Machiavellian and also the most morally upright person I know in show business. He will hide in a closet but never needs a confessional booth.” Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon Had Good Week In Fight With Jimmy Kimmel For YouTube Loyalty

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 5:29pm PDT

jimmy-fallon-vs-jimmy-kimmel-650If you’re the sort who makes his living swimming in the social-media sea like I do, one form of sport these days is the online battles between big shows to grab fan mindshare and loyalty from each other — particularly as the networks slowly begin to understand that this stuff can make a difference. And nowhere are those battles more starkly direct and entertaining than in late-night, where each talk show has a big team of social-media specialists culling potentially viral bits from the day’s program and sprinkling them across the web. The battle has become particularly stout between Jimmy Fallon‘s online team at The Tonight Show and the Jimmy Kimmel Live crew.

Related: Jimmy Fallon Seizing Social Media Ahead Of ‘Tonight Show’ Takeover

Both shows have had big lead-ins recently (the Winter Olympics in Fallon’s first days; ABC’s Oscars on March 2, when Kimmel went live on the East Coast right after the awards show ended). But the crucial bit is not the audience you’re bequeathed, but the one you build. According to data from RelishMIX, which tracks fan engagement for TV shows and movies across, particularly, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, no one’s building better right now than Fallon. Overall, from March 3-March 10, Fallon’s YouTube videos were watched nearly four times as often as Kimmel’s, 27.5 million to 7.6 million. That’s a margin. Right now, Kimmel still leads Fallon in total YouTube subscribers, about 3 million to less than 2.7 million. Then again, Kimmel’s been at it for a while; Fallon took over the Tonight Show social media outlets barely a month ago.

RelishMIX-Kimmel-Fallon-views3-10-14RelishMIX-Kimmel-Fallon-subs3-10-14

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