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Will Hollywood Make Sure That Netflix Faces Competition Overseas?

That’s what some analysts here predict after looking at the deal Disney announced yesterday to license movies and TV shows to NetMovies Entertainment, a Brazilian competitor to Netflix. The release says this is “the first major global studio deal for NetMovies,” which is described as “Brazil’s largest and most comprehensive online subscription service for movies and TV series” with more than 35,000 titles in its library. The multiyear deal will enable NetMovies’ subscribers to see a “large array” of Disney’s movie and TV content via broadband — including the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Wild Hogs, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, and Brothers And Sisters. Customers also can rent DVD and Blu-ray discs. Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Vasily Karasyov says this morning that the agreement with Disney ”illustrates our argument that studios will work hard to ensure that Netflix isn’t the only buyer of streaming rights.” And although BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield questions how well financed NetMovies is, with competitors such as Amazon, Apple, Dish Network, and Google ramping up their online video businesses here Disney’s agreement with NetMovies could cause Netflix’s “wounds to fester” as it tries to expand in Latin America. International growth “is becoming more important daily” for Netflix, he says.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ And ‘Brothers & Sisters’ Lead Easter Gains

Nellie Andreeva

The Easter tale of resurrection also translated to primetime TV, with most shows rebounding nicely on Easter Sunday after across-the-board declines last week. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.2/6) was up 10% from last Sunday, Desperate Housewives (2.9/8) up 7% and Brothers and Sisters (1.9/5) up 12%. The increases were especially important for veterans EMHE and Brothers & Sisters, which are on the bubble list. ABC won the night  in the demo with an average of 2.2/6. It drew 7.7 million viewers, second to CBS’ 9.1 million. In the 18-49 demo, the eye network finished third, with The Amazing Race (2.5/7), up 7%, and the movie Hallmark Hall of Fame: Beyond The Blackboard (1.3/3). NBC’s America’s Next Great Restaurant (1.2/3) was flat with last week, while Celebrity Apprentice (2.9/8) was up 12% from last week’s series low as its star Donald Trump continues to make headlines with his presidential ambitions. Fox had a The Simpsons-themed night with two back-to-back reruns of the veteran series (0.9/3) and a rebroadcast of The Simpsons Movie (1.4/4).

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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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Greg Berlanti Back At Warner Bros. Television With Mega Deal

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After 5 years at ABC Studios, Greg Berlanti is returning to Warner Bros. TV. The top showrunner has signed a four-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV of the scale of the studio’s top-tier pacts with such writer-producers as Chuck Lorre, J.J. Abrams and Bill Lawrence. Berlanti’s eight-figure deal with the studio starts on June 1.

Berlanti is almost 3 years into a five-year deal at ABC Studios. He originally joined ABC Studios in the spring of 2006 and inked his current five-year deal in July 2008. In the past four-and-a-half years, he guided Brothers & Sisters from a troubled pilot in need of a reshoot to a successful series, now in its fifth season. He ran Brothers & Sisters for the first season and has continued to serve as an executive producer. He also developed and executive produced 3 pilots for ABC, all of which went to series: Eli Stone, which he co-wrote,  Dirty Sexy Money and this year’s freshman No Ordinary Family, which he also co-created.

But a lot has changed since Berlanti last renewed his vows with ABC Studios. His feature career took off, making him juggle TV producing with writing or directing movies. His ABC Studios deal had a provision allowing him to do that but I hear that his film obligations had created tension at ABC, in part because Berlanti’s feature business has been for an outside studio, Warner Bros. Berlanti, in turn, reportedly dreaded telling … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Amazing Race’ Starts Slow On Slow Presidents Weekend Sunday

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s comedy block edged out competition on a quiet Sunday night, which was probably impacted by viewers’ Presidents Day weekend-related activities. It was a photo finish demo race, with Fox averaging a 2.4/7 in 18-49, ABC a 2.3/7 and CBS a 2.2/6. With no football, NBC was a distant fourth with a 1.6/5 (It aired Dateline and an SNL special). In total viewers, CBS was once again far ahead with 10.4 million viewers.

The spring cycle of CBS’ The Amazing Race (2.4/7, 9.1 million) was down 14% from the February season premiere last year. It was tied in the 8 PM hour with another reality veteran, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.4/7, 9.5 million), which was up a big 50% from last week’s low against the Grammy Awards. CBS’ Undercover Boss (2.6/7, 10.6 million) was down 21% from its most recent original on Jan. 16 when the show aired against NBC’s Golden Globes but CBS’ lineup benefited from a football lead-in that night. CSI: Miami (2.2/6, 10.5 million) was down a tenth in the demo from its most recent original on the same night, Jan. 16.

After hitting two consecutive series lows with its two most recent originals that aired against the Golden Globes (3.1/8) last month and the Grammys (2.6/6) last week, ABC’s Desperate Housewives (3.1/8, 10.5 million) rebounded 15% from last week to match its second lowest-rated telecast. Brothers & Sisters (1.9/5, 6.9 million) was up a tenth in the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Football Rules, ‘Guy’, ‘Housewives’ Down & ‘Cleveland’ Tumbles

Nellie Andreeva

Football won the night for NBC with Sunday Night Football and helped CBS take the silver with an overrun, while ABC and Fox’s lineups were mostly down on the first Sunday of the season. Here is how the networks, none of which featured new additions to their Sunday schedules, fared:

Desperate Housewives (4.2/10, 12.8 million), which introduced several new cast members, including new housewife Vanessa Williams, was down 11% from last season’s premiere, a modest decline compared to last fall’s 37% tumble on premiere night. It was up 5% from its May finale. Brothers & Sisters (3.0/8) at 10 PM was flat. Both series posted their highest 18-49 numbers since early January (for Housewives, it was also the largest audience since then.) Reality veteran Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.5/6), which opened the night for ABC, was down 19% from last season’s premiere.

Fox’s The Cleveland Show, which shined in its debut on the same night last year, was the network’s weakest link last night, sandwiched between veterans The Simpsons and Family Guy. In its second season premiere, the Family Guy spin-off (3.1/8) was down 37% from its debut last fall. It’s lead-in, The Simpsons (3.7/10) was down 14%, while an hourlong Family Guy (4.5/11) at 9 PM was down 15% but still ranked as the top-rated entertainment program of the night, beating ABC’s Housewives.

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