R.I.P. Maria Franziska von Trapp

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 5:43pm PST

Maria Von Trapp deadThe second-eldest daughter of Georg Ludwig von Trapp and Agatha Whitehead von Trapp,, who was part of the musical family that inspired The Sound Of Music died Tuesday in Vermont, per the AP. She was 99. … Read More »

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TCA: ‘Peter Pan’ To Be NBC’s Next Live Musical

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 9:25am PST
Nellie Andreeva

peterpanFollowing the successful live staging of The Sound Of Music, NBC has set its followup musical — James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which will be broadcast on Dec. 4. The Sound Of Read More »

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‘The Sound Of Music’ Continues To Echo Across The Ratings Landscape

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 12:39pm PST

The ratings are alive with The Sound OfThe Sound of Music - Season 2013 Music this holiday season. A couple hours after we learned the halo effect from the success of NBC’s The Sound Of Music live staging had spread to … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘SNF’ Wins Despite Blowout, ‘The Sound Of Music’ Rises

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 9:26am PST
Nellie Andreeva

eaglesNo wonder the NFL is looking to bring a team back to Los Angeles — in football TV ratings, the size of the teams’ TV markets does matter. Take last night’s Philadelphia Eagles-Chicago Bears 54-11 blowout in a face-off between the … Read More »

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NBC To Rebroadcast ‘The Sound of Music’ Saturday As Great Ratings Continue To Pour In

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 2:47pm PST

NBC announced this afternoon it will  repeat its  The Sound of Music Live! on Saturday, Dec. 14, 8-11 PM ET/PT. Sorry, It’s A  Wonderful The Sound of Music NBCLife (The Jimmy Stewart movie has been bumped to Friday at 8 PM.) Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s live staging of The Sound of Music continues to shower NBC with ratings. Immediately after Thursday’s broadcast of the musical re-staging was watched by an average of nearly 19 million viewers, NBC stations’ late-local news shot up 75% in households in the 56 metered markets (7.0 rating vs. season average 4.0 rating). That kind of payoff is sure to make local station execs happy, given that NBC reported a near-record number of promos run by both its O&O stations and NBC affiliates for a one-night event, not to mention advance coverage they’d given the live event before its broadcast on their local air and on their web sites.

Related: NBC, Emboldened By ‘The Sound of Music’ Success, Launches Annual Franchise

After local newscasts, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno managed to match its metered-market season Thursday high – and did it with a repeat episode. (That’s excluding the previous Thursday, when Leno’s show went through the roof, owing to a Thanksgiving day football overrun.) With Sound of Music’s Live+3 viewing numbers now in, the Carrie Underwood starrer stands at 21.3 million viewers and a 5.5 rating in the demo.  The only broadcast primetime entertainment series that tops SOM’s 5.5 rating in “most current”  season averages is The Big Bang Theory, with a 6.9 rating. And, to the delight of NBC and advertisers who’d signed on, SOM viewers were upscale and well educated. In homes with $100K-plus incomes, The Sound of Music earned a 6.8 rating in adults 18-49, making it the highest-rated Big 4 entertainment broadcast in those homes since the Academy Awards in February. (In this, SOM is tied with ABC’s Modern Family season premiere on September 25.) In homes where the head of household has four or more years of college education, The Sound of Music scored a 7.0 rating in adults 18-49 — this season’s No. 1-ranked  entertainment telecast on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in that category.

Related: NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All
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R.I.P. Eleanor Parker

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 9:12pm PST

eleanorparker2The three-time Oscar nominee worked with many of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men — including Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, and Frank Sinatra — and such storied directors as William Wyler, Frank Capra,  Otto Preminger … Read More »

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NBC, Emboldened By ‘The Sound of Music’ Success, Launches Annual Franchise

To the surprise of no one who saw the ratings and the social stats, NBC announced Monday that it’s turning last week’s live-musical/social media-The Sound of Music NBCpalooza into an annual event. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said today he’s already circling a couple of titles for next year but already has begun managing expectations, telling The New York Times, “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens Year 2, 3, or 4?”

NBC clocked an impressive 18.6 million viewers Thursday night with its three-hour broadcast of The Sound of Music, which became a social media phenom, with much of the attention paid by tweeters to star Carrie Underwood’s “thin acting resume” as the NYT put it. Underwood reacted to her professional and amateur critics by tweeting that “mean people need Jesus” and that she would pray for them.

Related: NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All

That said, many of those critics cut her — and the broadcast, with its numerous technical NBC_logoglitches — a lot of slack, in an effort to show support for the idea of mounting live TV broadcasts, and family-friendly ones to boot. Here’s maybe the best example, from The Daily Beast (NYT thought so too): “It’s the least we can do to drop any cynicism over the project and harsh reaction to the execution of it and appreciate the huge gamble and undertaking it was to reanimate those mountains, and how fun it was to — even without Julie Andrews and even if it was kind of a mess — be twirling on them again.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Bests ‘Sound Of Music’ In Demo

Sound Of Music Ratings NBC2ND UPDATE, 3:40PM: No one can deny that Thursday was a good night for NBC’s live The Sound Of Musicbut final numbers are in and a figuratively louder show took the top spot after all. Previously tied with Music at a 4.6 in adults 18-49 in fast nationals, The Big Bang Theory saw a two-tenths rise to 4.8/14 to win the demo. The Sound Of Music remained the most-watched show of the night with 18.6 million viewers. Fox’s The X Factor also saw a rise from 1.3/4 to 1.4/4, and ABC’s Scandal went down a tenth from 3.1/8 to 3.0/8.
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NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All

Related: ‘Sound Of Music’ Ratings Big For NBC

The Sound of Music Live! - Season 2013NBC’s live The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood had a few hitches tonight. The orchestra occasionally drowned out the singers in the … Read More »

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Q&A: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron On “Historic” ‘Sound Of Music’ Special And ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Mini, ‘Smash’, Miley Cyrus

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 2:20pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The Sound of Music Live! - Season 2013It is a big week for producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. They have the live staging of The Sound Of Music starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer on NBC tomorrow night, and four-hour miniseries Bonnie & Clyde starring Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger airing Sunday and Monday on History, A&E and Lifetime. While most producers abandoned the longform genre when it went out of fashion over the last five years, Zadan and Meron stuck with it through their longform deal at Sony TV, producing mostly movies for Lifetime, including the highly rated Steel Magnolias reboot with an all-black cast. Their loyalty has paid off and the two now are at the forefront of longform’s resurgence. (Zadan and Meron just sold a high-profile Eliot Ness miniseries to NBC.) Coming up for the duo next year is the launch of their new MTV comedy series Happyland, the return of Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva and the filming of E! pilot Songbyrd. Oh, and they also are returning as producers of the Oscars in March. I caught up with Zadan and Meron to talk about Bonnie & Clyde and The Sound Of Music — find out why they call them “historic”, how Underwood traveled to Austria to prepare for playing Maria in SOM and how close Miley Cyrus came to playing Bonnie in B&C — as well as the Oscars, Smash and a possible Steel Magnolia sequel.

DEADLINE: Were you surprised by the longform genre’s resurgence?
ZADAN: We did expect it would come back. Everything is cyclical and we thought that event television had become so scarce between all the reality shows and all the other things that were going on (and also the fact that there were still great movies on HBO and a few other places), that eventually everybody would catch on to bring it back if there was a big hit that warranted it. I think Hatfields & McCoys was so enormous that no one could ignore it anymore; they had to bring it back at that point. Read More »

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TV Teaser: ‘The Sound of Music Live!’

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 5:59pm PST

Here’s the first look at NBC‘s three-hour adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. The Sound Of Music Live! airs live December 5 and stars Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Christian Borle and Laura Benanti. It’s directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford and exec produced … Read More »

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Vinnie Jones Set For ABC’s ‘Galavant’ Pilot; NBC’s ‘Sound Of Music’ Casts Kids & Rolfe

By | Friday November 1, 2013 @ 8:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Vinnie Jones is the first actor cast in ABC’s single-camera pilot Galavant, a comedy fairytale written by The Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman, with Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken attached to write the music. Produced by ABC … Read More »

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NBC Adds Trio To Live ‘Sound Of Music’

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 12:29pm PDT

Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle are joining Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer in NBC’s live production of The Sound Of Music, a three-hour broadcast set for December 5. … Read More »

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‘True Blood’s Stephen Moyer To Play Capt. Von Trapp On NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 10:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

True Blood star Stephen Moyer has been cast as the male lead opposite Carrie Underwood in NBC’s December 5 live holiday production of The Sound of Music. The British actor will play decorated World War I hero Capt. Georg von Trapp, a single father of seven children. Living in Austria on the cusp of World War II, the militaristic but warm-hearted von Trapp engages a young governess, Maria (Underwood), who he hires to take care of his children.

Related: NBC To Air ‘Sound Of Music’ Live Show Dec. 5
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ABC Executive Quinn Taylor Moves To NBC To Head Longform Programming

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 4:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Another veteran ABC executive is heading to NBC. I’ve learned that Quinn Taylor, SVP Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions at ABC Entertainment Group, will be leaving the network after almost 20 years to join rival NBC, … Read More »

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NBC To Air ‘Sound Of Music’ Live Show Dec. 5

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 9:56am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A three-hour live staging of the The Sound Of Music will premiere on NBC on Thursday, December 5, the network announced during its upfront presentation today. The project is executive produced by Craig Zadan and … Read More »

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Carrie Underwood Cast As Maria In NBC’s Live Broadcast Of ‘The Sound Of Music’

By | Friday November 30, 2012 @ 9:37am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Carrie Underwood is following into Julie Andrews’ footsteps. In her first major acting gig, the Grammy winner has been tapped to star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound Of Music. It’s based on the original Broadway musical and is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash and the 2013 Academy Awards. The three-hour event will air near the holidays in 2013. “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” said NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.” Added Zadan and Meron, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.” Read More »

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Dick Zanuck: A Hollywood Legacy Like No Other – Hammond

Pete Hammond

With Dick Zanuck’s sudden passing today at the age of 77 one of the last direct links of a still-active bigtime Hollywood player to the beginnings of the major studios is also gone. When he was hired in 1962 by his father, the legendary … Read More »

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NBC To Air Live Broadcast Of ‘The Sound Of Music’ Musical Produced By Craig Zadan & Neil Meron

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sound Of Music NBC SpecialNBC is looking to bring back to broadcast television event musical programming with The Sound Of Music, a live broadcast of a new production of the original Broadway musical to be produced by Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we’re thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades,” said NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. “There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final — and most beloved — collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast.” Casting will begin immediately and an air date will be announced shortly. Read More »

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