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‘American Dad’ Executive Producer/Co-Showrunner Mike Barker Exits

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 11:25am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: As American Dad is ramping up production on its eleventh season and first on TBS, the animated comedy’s co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Mike Barker has stepped down. He remains under an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind American Dad. Barker has been running the series with fellow co-creator/exec producer Matt Weitzman (the two co-created it with executive producer Seth MacFarlane). For the time being, Weitzman will serve as sole showrunner. American Dad is in the beginning stages of making the first four episodes of Season 11, which have held their table reads as part of a nine-month production cycle per episode. I hear the change at the helm was made over concerns that the show was not running smoothly. Barker has been on American Dad since the show’s 2005 launch except for a short-term leave last season.

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‘American Dad!’ Moving To TBS In 2014

By | Tuesday July 16, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

BREAKING … TBS continues to boost its slate to provide better primetime lead-ins to its flagship talk show Conan. The network announced today that has picked up Fox’s animated comedy American Dad! and will air it beginning in 2014 — the Turner net has ordered 15 episodes of the 20th Century Fox TV-produced series’ 11th season. The Seth MacFarlane comedy premiered on Fox in 2005 and has been a long-standing member of that network’s Sunday animation block. American Dad! will kick off its 10th (and now last) season on Fox on September 29. Under the new deal, fellow Turner network Adult Swim will present encores of each episode after initial airings on TBS. TBS and Adult Swim already air reruns of American Dad! and MacFarlane’s Family Guy throughout the networks’ lineups.

American Dad! is a great fit for TBS, a favorite of comedy fans who like smart, irreverent humor with ample doses of biting wit and skewering satire,” said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movie, in announcing the deal. “We look forward to welcoming Seth MacFarlane and the rest of his team as they bring this iconic show to TBS.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Survivor’, ‘Revenge’ & ‘Once Upon A Time’ Finales Down, ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Hits Season Low, ’60 Minutes’ Up

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 9:26am PDT

As the Upfronts prepared to kick off in New York, the networks wrapped up several of their shows for the season on Sunday night. On CBS, they had a winner on Survivor: Caramoan (2.6/8) as the reality series ended its 26th season. After a finale puzzle challenge, it was down to the three finalists, running to about 10:09 PM when the winner was announced. The highest-rated broadcast of the night, the live two-hour plus show, which has usually run on Wednesdays this season, was even with its May 8 airing. However Survivor was down 19% from its Season 25 finale on December 16, 2012 and down 10% from it last Spring season finale on May 13, 2012. Immediately after the season finale, a special live Reunion Show (2.2/6) with all the contestants from both the Fan and the Favorites tribes aired. Last night’s Reunion Show bopped up 5% from last season’s version but was down a slight 4% from its Season 24 show last spring. As is common with live shows like this, expect an adjustment in the final numbers later today. The network actually had more than Survivor on last night. The most watched show of the night with 10.12 million viewers, 60 Minutes (1.5/6) started things off at 7 PM. The news magazine show was up a solid 25% from last week. With the 60 Minutes and Survivor combo, CBS won the night in total viewers and among Adults 18-49.
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Steve Callaghan Named ‘American Dad’ Showrunner

By | Tuesday January 29, 2013 @ 5:12pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVEFamily Guy veteran Steve Callaghan is joining American Dad as executive producer and new showrunner. In the showrunner duties, Callaghan succeeds American Dad co-creators Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman who remain executive producers on the series. The changeover is part of Seth MacFarlane‘s strategy of keeping things fresh on his Fox/20th TV animated series by shaking things up at the top. MacFarlane is also known for deep loyalty to his writers, most of whom have been with him for a long time, so while they may move among his various shows, MacFarlane’s writer-producers rarely leave. For example, Callaghan was a member of the original writing staff of Family Guy. He was named executive producer and co-showrunner in 2009. After a three-year stint with Callaghan and Mark Hentemann at the helm, another long-time MacFarlane cohort, Rich Appel, was brought in last fall as new showrunner. (He came from MacFarlane’s third Fox series, Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show, which he ran.) Callaghan and Hentemann stayed on after the showrunner change, and WME-repped Callaghan is now taking the reins of American Dad, which is in its eighth season.

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UPDATE: Pulled ‘Family Guy’ Episode To Air On Sunday; ‘American Dad’, ‘Haven’ On Hold

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 7:19pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The first of the programs pulled by the networks in the immediate aftermath of the tragic Friday school shooting in Connecticut has been rescheduled. The original Family Guy episode, which was slated to run last Sunday, will air this coming Sunday. Last Friday, Fox opted to preempt both Family Guy and American Dad. While I hear the American Dad episode does feature gun violence, I hear the holiday-themed edition of Family Guy does not contain violence but, in a typical Family Guy non-PC fashion, pokes fun at religion, which was deemed inappropriate for last weekend. There is no new airdate set yet for the pulled American Dad episode. Another American Dad original will air this Sunday. Last Friday’s episode of Syfy’s drama Haven, which also was pulled out of respect to the victims because it depicted violence, has been held back too, and I hear won’t air until mid-January.

The networks’ pre-emptions this past weekend also included ABC taking down briefly the Thursday winter finale of Scandal from its online player. It contained a scene of an innocent family with two small children who had been gunned down. The episode has since been restored.

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Seth MacFarlane Says “I’d Be Open To Making Ted 2″: Comic-Con

Seth MacFarlane might be making a sequel to Ted. “I’d be open to making Ted 2,” the director today told fans at the American Dad panel at Comic-Con. MacFarlane didn’t elaborate on the possibility of he and Ted co-star Mark Wahlberg’s reunion. However, the fact that the film, which was released on June 29, has become one of the the biggest R-Rated comedies at the box office, a sequel makes sense.

Earlier on the panel, it was announced that Mad Men’s Jon Hamm will join Danny Seth MacFarlaneGlover, Sarah Michelle Geller, Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint, Danny Glover and former SNL cast member Will Forte as guest stars on the new season of American Dad. The guest stars announcement came on the American Dad panel that immediately followed the Family Guy panel in Comic-Con’s Ballroom 20 today.

MacFarlane, who is also Family Guy’s executive producer, creator and star also told the fans that his Flintstones reboot isn’t dead but it’s really not a priority right now. “It’s been put on the backburner, so we don’t know when it is going to happened. There’s no exact schedule,” Read More »

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Fox Renews ‘Family Guy’ & ‘American Dad’, Postpones Decision On ‘Cleveland Show’

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 11:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

American Dad RenewedFamily Guy RenewedEXCLUSIVE: Along with all the action on the live-action side at Fox this week, with the network picking up new series, renewing and canceling existing ones, Fox also has quietly made a move on the animated side. I’ve learned that within the last few days, Fox has renewed flagship animated comedy Family Guy for an 11th season and American Dad for an eighth. I hear the orders are for 22 epsiodes each. American Dad, which recently returned from hiatus, is in its sixth season on the air, with a full seventh season worth of episodes in the can to begin running in September. The pickups ensure that both Seth MacFarlane series will be on the air at least through the 2013-14 season. By then, Family Guy will have amassed 239 episodes.

Related:
Fox Picks Up Kevin Williamson, Mob Doc Drama, Three Comedy Series
Fox’s ‘Touch’ Renewed For Second Season

Cleveland Show Fox ScheduleMeanwhile, Fox has not picked up the option on a fifth-season renewal for MacFarlane’s third animated series, The Cleveland Show, which is finishing its third season on the air. The series is midway in production on a full fourth season worth of episodes for next fall. Because the show is still in production, the network has opted to postpone a decision on a fifth season … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Allen Gregory’ Hit Series Lows, ‘Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ Barely Registers On New Net

Nellie Andreeva

As Americans were wrapping up the four-day Thanksgiving weekend last night, some stayed away from their TVs, leading to depressed ratings for the broadcast networks. (We’ve yet to get numbers for The Walking Dead fall finale on AMC.) ABC may be having second thoughts about picking up the Hallmark Hall Of Fame original movie franchise after it was dropped by CBS at the end of last season. In the franchise’s first ABC outing, the telefilm Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith posted an underwhelming 1.1/2 in 18-49, down a whopping 48% from November Christmas, which aired on CBS on the same night last year. In 18-49, Have A Little Faith was by far the lowest-rated program of the night despite having the night’s highest-rated entertainment program as a lead-in: freshman drama Once Upon A Time, which slipped 11% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low but still robust 3.4/8. At 7 PM, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.8/4) was up 6%.

Following an NFL overrun, Fox’s The Cleveland Show (1.9/5) was up 6% from its 7:30 PM time slot premiere last Sunday. The Simpsons (2.6/6) was down a tenth, while rookie Allen Gregory (1.5/3) accelerated its ratings descent, down 15% to a new series low. How long before Fox swaps Allen Gregory and Cleveland? At 9 PM, Family Guy (2.8/6) was down 13%, and American Dad (2.2/5) was down 8%. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Still Strong, ‘Desperate Housewives’ Rises

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s Once Upon A Time continued its impressive freshman run last night, posting a 3.8/9 in adults 18-49. That was up a tenth from the fairytale drama’s fast national the previous week (flat with the national) and the highest demo mark for any non-sports program last night. Even more impressive, Once Upon A Time accomplished that with the lowest-rated Sunday broadcast program as its lead-in, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.7/4, up 13% from its most recent episode three weeks ago). Desperate Housewives (3.0/7) ended a run of originals on a high note, up 7% from last week, as the dramedy heads into a three-week hiatus. Rookie Pan Am (1.8/4), which is expected to find out its fate this week, posted yet another 1.8 fast national demo rating (it was adjusted down a tenth last Sunday).

NBC once again dominated Sunday’s primetime with Sunday Night Football‘s Patriots-Jets came, which drew a 14.5 overnight rating/23 share, up 2% from last week and from last year’s Week 10 game between the Patriots and Steelers. In another repeat from last Sunday, Fox’s comedies had an NFL overrun as a lead-in, making week-to-week comparisons fair: The Simpsons (3.5/8) was down 5%. Allen Gregory (2.0/5) shed another tenth as the newbie is yet to bottom out. Family Guy, which featured a controversial 9/11 storyline, was up a tenth from the show’s fast national last Sunday (flat with the national). American Dad was down a tenth. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL Football Tops The Night, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Simpsons’ Tied

Nellie Andreeva

The veteran and the rookie led the entertainment pack last night as Fox’s The Simpsons, the longest-running primetime scripted series on air, tied newcomer Once Upon A Time as the highest-rated non-sports program with a 3.7/9 in adults 18-49. For ABC’s Once Upon A Time, this is a modest 5% dip from last week; The Simpsons too was down slightly from last week’s Treehouse of Horror (8%). But The Simpsons had a 10 times bigger lead-in from the NFL game overrun vs. a Once Upon A Time repeat (1.1/3) for the ABC fairytale series, which also hit a series high in adults 18-34. Once Upon A Time‘s lead-out, veteran dramedy Desperate Housewives (2.8/6), was down 10% from last week, while freshman drama Pan Am continues to be stuck at a 1.8/4. The order was reversed at Fox, where the rookie was following the veteran. In its second week behind The Simpsons, new animated comedy Allen Gregory (2.1/5) was down 13% from its soft premiere to rank as the lowest-rated Fox series last night. Family Guy (3.0/7) was down 6%, followed by American Dad (2.5/6), down 7% from its last original seven weeks ago. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Pan Am’, Everything Else Down On Sunday

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: After a promising start, ABC’s 1960s drama Pan Am (2.5/8 in adults 18-49) fell 19% in Week 2. It closed a night of across-the-board declines for ABC. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.5/4) set the tone with its season premiere at 7 PM, down 21% from last fall. Unscripted veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.1/5) and departing Desperate Housewives (2.9/7) were both down a more modest 9% from their premieres last week.

With the late Sunday football game ping-ponging between Fox and CBS, week-to-week comparisons for the two networks are rather meaningless in the fall, especially for the shows immediately following the overrun. Fox, whose comedy lineup was boosted by the late game last week, saw expected across-the-board declines: The Simpsons (3.0/8, down 23%), The Cleveland Show (2.6/6, down 16%), Family Guy (3.5/8, down 15%) and American Dad (2.7/6, down 10%). Family Guy was the highest-rated non-sorts program of the night in 18-49.

We’re yet to get reliable Sunday overnight ratings for CBS this season. The network had local NFL overruns on Premiere Sunday, and last night, the network carried the late NFL game, which pushed its primetime lineup to a 7:23 PM start. Here are approximate ratings for last night: Following the NFL overrun (5.5/16) was 60 Minutes, featuring the final regular appearance of Andy Rooney (3.5/9); The Amazing Race (3.0/7); The Good Wife (2.1/5); and CSI: Miami (2.3/6). Besides 60 Minutes, which saw a major bump from football, the … Read More »

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Report: Prime Time Cartoons Show Kids “Shocking Levels” Of Sex and Drugs

The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. The activist group called for “sweeping reform” of the TV content rating system as a study it released points to what it says are “shocking levels” of sex and drug references in primetime on animation channels that are popular with kids between 12 and 17. “Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming,” PTC president Tim Winter says. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.” PTC is especially upset with programming on Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim: The report, titled Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, gave each an “F” grade for their handling of adult-themed animation. Disney Channel and Nick At Nite each received an “A”. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Season Finale Down From Last Year

Nellie Andreeva

After announcing on Monday that he won’t run for U.S. president, Donald Trump returned to NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice for the season finale last night. It drew a 2.9 rating in 18-49, up 16% from last week but down 15% from last spring to rank as the lowest-rated spring Apprentice finale ever. Still, Celebrity Apprentice was the second-highest-rated program of the night in 18-49, tied with the 2011 Billboard Music Awards on ABC, which returned from a five-year hiatus up 7% vs. its last telecast in 2006 and helped ABC win the night in 18-49. Topping the demo ratings leader board last night was Fox’s Family Guy, whose season finale was down 6% from last week and 3% from last season’s finale. The finale of American Dad (1.6) was down 11% from last week, Bob’s Burgers finished its freshman season with a 2.1, down a tenth from last week, and veteran The Simpsons (2.5) was even with last week and last year’s finale. On CBS, the latest Jesse Stone movie, Innocents Lost, drew a typically for star Tom Selleck’s large but older crowd: a paltry 1.3 rating in 18-49 but a sizable audience of 13.3 million viewers.

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Fox Pulls Hurricane-Themed Episodes Of 3 Sunday Animated Comedies

By | Friday April 29, 2011 @ 2:34pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The three Seth MacFarlane Fox animated comedies, Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, had been planning a crossover event for this Sunday, with a hurricane storyline weaving through all three shows. In light of the recent storms in the South, Fox recently quietly pulled promotion for the crossover and today, following a series of tornadoes that has claimed the lives of more than 300 people, it decided to pull the episodes altogether. They will be saved for next season, with reruns airing in their place this Sunday.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Everyone Was Down Sunday, ‘Undercover Boss’ The Most

Nellie Andreeva

Maybe it was it ESPN’s and TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of the NBA playoffs and MLB or it was too many original offerings on cable, including the premieres of HBO’s Game of Thrones and USA’s Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, but the broadcast networks took a serious beating last night. How bad was it? The highest-rated network in adults 18-49, ABC, drew a 2.0/6 demo rating. That’s with an all-original lineup.

Series were down across the board. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was low in its return from a two-month hiatus to make room for Secret Millionaire. The veteran reality series pulled in a 1.9/5, down 21% from its last fresh episode Feb. 20. Desperate Housewives (2.7/7) was down 7% from its last original two weeks ago to tie its series low. Brothers and Sisters (1.7/4) was down 6% from last week’s two-hour episode and is also tied as a series low.

Following 60 Minutes (1.3/5), which was down 41% from last week, when CBS’ primetime was boosted by Masters golf overrun, The Amazing Race (2.3/7) was down 21%. Undercover Boss (1.9/5) posted the steepest decline for any program last night, 39%, for a series low. CSI: Miami (2.2/5) held well under the circumstances, down only 4%. CBS (1.9/5, 9.5 million) finished No. 1 in total viewers for the night and tied for second place in 18-49 with Fox. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Country Music Awards Strong, ‘Housewives’, ‘Body Of Proof’ Down

Nellie Andreeva

CBS won the ratings race last night with the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (3.3/9 in adults 18-49,  13 million viewers), which up 3% from last year in adults 18-49, up 19% in the younger 18-34 demographic and flat in total viewers.

ABC’s Desperate Housewives (2.8/7, 8.8 million) returned from a month-long hiatus down 18% in the demo from its most recent original March 6. After a promising start behind the Dancing with the Stars result show on Tuesday, ABC’ midseason drama Body Of Proof didn’t fare as well in its special airing last night after Housewives, the slot that successfully launched Grey’s Anatomy and Brothers and Sisters. The forensic drama starring Dana Delany drew a 2.0/5 in 18-49, down 35% from the Tuesday debut, holding onto 71% of its Housewives lead-in. That was still better than the average hold of 64% for the slot’s regular occupant, Brothers and Sisters. In total viewers, Body of Proof performed stronger, with 8.3 million viewers, a 96% lead-in retention. ABC opened the night with America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.6/5, flat vs. last week) and Secret Millionaire (2.6/7, down 4% from last week.)

NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.4/4) was up 8% from last week, while Celebrity Apprentice (3.0/8) was flat. Fox aired a rerun-heavy comedy lineup featuring two originals: American Dad at 7:30 PM (1.6/5), down 20% from Feb. 20, and The Cleveland Show (2.2/5), down 15% from March 20, when both shows had first-run … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Hits Season High

Nellie Andreeva

A 17-minute NCAA overrun pushed the start of CBS’ primetime lineup, so the network’s ratings are approximate. From 7-8 PM, basketball and 60 Minutes averaged a 3.7/12 in adults 18-49. At 8 PM, 60 Minutes/The Amazing Race drew a 3.1/9. At 9 PM, Amazing Race/Undercover Boss posted a 3.2/8, and at 10 PM, Boss/CSI: Miami did a 2.8/8. The network is expected to top the night when final ratings are released tomorrow.

On NBC, America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.3/4) was up 8% from last week. From 9-11 PM, Celebrity Apprentice (3.0/8) was up 7% for a season high.

ABC and Fox aired a mix of originals and repeats. ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.6/5, down 6% from March 13) and Secret Millionaire (2.7/7, up 8% from last week’s low) were followed by reruns of Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters. At Fox, The Simpsons (2.8/8) was up 12% from March 13′s original. Bob’s Burgers (2.2/6) was flat with last week. Following a Family Guy repeat (2.8/7), a new American Dad (2.5/7) was up 25% from its last original on Feb. 20 in the low-trafficked 7:30 PM slot.

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