The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominations for the 35th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. They will be presentedSeptember 30 during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. PBS led networks with 43 nominations followed by CBS with 42. The New York Times led newspapers with seven noms. Check out the full list here.
Migrating movie stars did very well in today’s Emmy Awards nominations, so this time next year might be very bright for Halle Berry and her new sci-fi thriller Extant (1.7/6). However, sticking to the present for now, while the best debut of the summer so far and the highest rated show of the night, the launch last night of the Steven Spielberg executive produced CBS astronaut series didn’t exactly soar in a 9 PM time slot with only the second hour of So You Think You Can Dance (1.2/4) as original competition.
Compared to CBS’ last big summer drama debut, Under The Dome, Extant was down 48%. Also produced in part by Spielberg and also straight to series, Dome got a 3.2/9 preliminary rating and 13.14 million viewers for its June 24, 2013 premiere. That went up to a 3.3/9 and 13.53 million in the final numbers. Having said that, while similar in many ways to the debut of Extant, which got 9.424 million viewers last night, Under The Dome’s 10 PM premiere also faced off against a much more competitive schedule of the last hour and a bit of the last game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final on NBC. Scoring a 3.3/10, the Chicago Blackhawks winning Game 6 hockey match up against the Boston Bruins was a big win for the peacock and helped make the finals the most watched on ice series since 1994. Compared to the 2.1/7 Adults 18-49 final numbers of Dome’s Season 2 …
Once again, HBO led all networks in Emmy nominations this year, and it wasn’t even close. Here’s a look at HBO’s noms haul in the past decade, followed by a breakdown in who got what this year.
NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK
HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10
Netflix has acquired exclusive SVOD rights for CBS’ upcoming drama Zoo, Netflix and CBS said today. Last week, CBS announced a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes of the event drama based on the bestselling James Patterson novel, for broadcast in summer 2015. The full season will be available exclusively to U.S. Netflix members immediately following its network run next summer.
Zoo is set amidst a wave of violent animal attacks sweeping across the planet. A young renegade scientist is thrust into a race to unlock the mystery behind this pandemic before time runs out for animals and humans alike.
Taye Diggs will guest star on CBS‘ The Good Wife during its upcoming sixth season. He will appear in multiple episodes as Dean Levine-Wilkins, a meticulous and talented equity partner at Lockhart/Gardner who decides to throw in his lot with Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and accompany her to Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Cary’s (Matt Czuchry) company, Florrick/Agos. The show returns to originals September 21.
Diggs stars in TNT’s Steven Bochco/Eric Lodal-created detective drama Murder In The First, which got a 10-episode order to follow a single case across an entire season. It premiered June 9.
Jennifer Love Hewitt is returning to CBS as a series regular — this time among the cast of Criminal Minds. She will play seasoned undercover agent Katie Callahan – joining Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness; her character will be introduced in the series’ 10th season premiere, Wednesday, October 1.
“We’re thrilled to introduce a new special agent by adding the very talented Jennifer Love Hewitt to our amazing cast,” said executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer. “Many of us on the show have enjoyed working with her over the years and look forward to again. We have exciting storylines planned for her character and the entire BAU team as we head into our 10th season.”
For five seasons, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon in CBS’ Ghost Whisperer. After that, she starred in Lifetime’s The Client List, which that network, and Sony Pictures TV, canceled in lieu of a third season — reportedly not owing so much to its ratings, though they had slipped, as because of a creative standoff with Hewitt over storylines for a third season. Hewitt, who was an executive producer on the show, wanted Brian Hallisay, her real-life fiance at the time, and father of her baby, also play her character Riley’s baby daddy on the show, Deadline reported back then, adding that the issues eventually became too much for Lifetime and Sony TV, leading to the cancellation.
CBS Gives Series Order To Adaptation Of James Patterson’s ‘Zoo’ From Midnight Radio, Cathy Konrad & James Mangold
With Under The Dome last year and Extant this week, CBS has made the addition of a new thriller event drama series the highlight of its summer schedule. The network has locked in its high-profile drama entry for summer 2015 with a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Zoo, a drama based on James Patterson‘s best-selling global thriller. The project, which had a rare pilot production commitment for a pitch originating from sibling CBS TV Studios, hails from writer-producers Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. The four are working under their new Midnight Radio moniker (formerly Space Floor) which has inked a two-year first-look deal with CBS Studios. Also producing are Cathy Konrad and James Mangold via their CBS Studios-based Treeline Films, with Mangold set to direct.
“It certainly feels good to win as decisively as we did,” CBS chief Les Moonves told Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan in a victory lap after the Supreme Court sided with broadcasters’ challenge against Aereo. The case “wasn’t about technology. It was about theft,” he says. Consumers will benefit from broadcasters’ ability to continue paying for entertainment, sports, and news. CBS expects to collect $2B in retransmission fees in 2020. “And all that’s important here is that broadcasters and cable content companies and everyone who’s involved with the content producing business gets paid appropriately for their content. And that somebody can’t come and take that content, charge for it, and not pay us back for that content. So it’s a very good day for our future.”
“We did try, but it’s over now,” Aereo investor Barry Diller told CNBC following this morning’s Supreme Court ruling that Aereo violates TV station copyrights when it streams their over-the-air signals without their permission. That has given a jolt to broadcast stocks: Sinclair Broadcasting leads the pack with shares up more than 15% But CBS is up 5.4% with E.W. Scripps +6.5% and Gannett +4.7%. The decision relieves a big concern for Wall Street: that Aereo or a service like it might endanger broadcasters’ ability to demand rising retransmission consent fees from pay TV providers.
Station owners are expected to collect $7.1B in retransmission payments in 2018, up from $3.3B last year. CBS chief Les Moonves has predicted that his company will collect at least $2B in retransmission revenues in 2020. And the revenues could account for nearly 20% of cash flow growth this year at the major broadcast network owners — CBS, Fox, Disney, and Comcast — MoffettNathanson Research estimates.
CBS had the most at stake among Big Media companies because it has few cable channels or other businesses to offset any threat to its broadcast network and stations. The court ruling “validates CBS’ investment in expensive and high-quality programming,” Guggenheim Securities’ Michael Morris says. Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible says the decision “effectively increases broadcaster’s negotiating leverage over [cable and satellite companies] in retrans discussions, which is critical given the weaker ad market and …
CBS will kick off its new NFL Thursday football franchise September 11 and roll out its Thursday entertainment lineup October 30. It’s part of the net’s “multi-phase rollout” for its new season announced today. In between those two Thursdays: the network’s Sunday slate will unveil the night before the official start of the TV season — traditionally Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, except when it’s NBC’s turn to broadcast the trophy show, including this year, when the ceremony gets bumped to steer clear of NBC’s NFL commitments. Also, Premiere Week will open with a one-hour The Big Bang Theory leading in to the premiere of new series Scorpion on that first Monday of the season. NCIS: Los Angeles will move to its new Monday time period the following week, joining launches of new drama Stalker and returning Criminal Minds during the season’s second week.
“The addition of Thursday Night Football provides the flexibility to strategically roll out our fall season in multiple waves, maximizing promotional platforms and scheduling opportunities to give our new and returning series the best possible launch,” CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said in today’s announcement. Here’s CBS’s primetime rollout schedule:
Looks like another agency has had to go after another star in court over the latter not paying the former what they allegedly owe. In this case it is UTA, that today slammed Unforgettable star Poppy Montgomery with a breach of contract complaint in LA Superior Court. The agency wants the more than $248,222 they say they are due in unpaid commissions for the actress’ work on the CBS series. In the 16-page jury-demanding filing, UTA also says it wants general damages, interest and legal fees from Montgomery, who now is with ICM Partners.
“Montgomery paid commissions due to UTA through and including season one of [Unforgettable], and then, for no reason whatsoever, suddenly stopped making payments,” says the complaint (read it here). “Montgomery has not only turned her back on the people who helped her career, but on her contractual obligations to those people.” According to filing, UTA and Montgomery entered into an oral agreement in August 2010 that the agency would rep the actress. The Unforgettable deal was negotiated in February 2011. The crime drama debuted in September of that year on CBS. Montgomery exited UTA not long after her agent Ruthanne Secunda joined ICM in December 2012. (UPDATE, 8:05 PM: A statement I received from Montgomery’s reps says in part that “Poppy categorically disputes UTA’s claim, which is nothing more than an over-reaching claim by a talent agency which has done nothing for Poppy over the past several years.”)
Anna Faris might play ditzy onscreen, but don’t discount her industry acumen when it comes to comedy’s playability with an audience. As one of the leading comedic females, she’s got the pratfalls and cheeky camera reactions down pat, but she also knows what types of raunchy comedy features click and don’t click, having relished the highs with the near billion-dollar Scary Movie franchise, and weathered the market’s ennui with What’s Your Number? There’s nothing wrong with raunchy female roles per se according to Faris; there just needs to be an evolution with them. It’s partly why she took a pause from her string of marquee roles to play Christy: A complicated, ex-alcoholic mother who is trying to piece her life back together in Chuck Lorre’s CBS-Warner Bros. TV comedy Mom. While Faris still gets to show her flair for physical comedy, her Christy has tackled such heavy story arcs like teenage pregnancy, long-lost fathers and cancer. During her childhood in Seattle, Faris says comedy wasn’t her strong suit: “I was the short one with headgear who just had the desire to be heard.” But she quickly earned her funny stripes after working with such icons as David Zucker and Keenen Ivory Wayans, the latter who advised, “There’s no vanity in comedy”. “Embrace the idea that the audience will think you’re a certain type of person,” says Faris. Click through for our interview with her:
Josh Charles was part of one of the most shocking moments of the year when his character Will Gardner was gunned down on CBS’ The Good Wife. This was the longest TV stint for Charles—he previously toplined Aaron Sorkin’s critically praised ABC comedy Sports Night, which ran for two years in the late ’90s. Charles already has one Emmy nom for The Good Wife and now is looking to join a long list of actors who won supporting acting drama Emmys after their characters were killed off, including Drea de Matteo and Joe Pantoliano of The Sopranos, Margo Martindale of Justified and, most recently, Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale.
AWARDSLINE: Were you looking to do a series when you were approached for The Good Wife?
JOSH CHARLES: I don’t think I particularly was, but it came my way, and I thought it was really well written. I liked the fact that it was shooting in New York and Julianna (Margulies), who was a friend, was doing it. So, yeah, I wasn’t really looking to do a series, per se, but this one came around, and I’m glad it did.
The network says it nears the finish line “very confident that CBS has once again achieved the highest pricing and most total dollars” in sales of prime time ads for the season that begins this fall. The tally does not include the NFL games CBS will air on Thursday nights for several weeks; they’re being sold separately. In addition to the overall sales, the company adds in a rare public statement about the upfronts that it has made progress in selling ads based on the number of eyeballs they reach over seven days (known as C7), up from the conventional three days (C3) — a major issue for CEO Les Moonves. The C7 calculation “is now playing a meaningful part in our negotiations.”
The network didn’t offer specific numbers to support its claim. People tracking the market say CBS has been able to raise per-viewer prices for its ads by about 6% vs last year, when it generated an estimated $2.5B+. If correct, then that’s about twice the rate of its rivals outsiders estimate. But it’s hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons as deals include options for cable and digital properties. The overall market is said to be weaker than expected with some advertisers holding back in the hope of landing better terms later in the season.
Billionaire Haim Saban and several investment companies that paid $13.7B (including $1.4B in debt) for the Spanish-language media company in 2007 want out for at least $20B, the Wall Street Journal says. They’ve reportedly sounded out Time Warner and CBS to see if there’s interest, although the paper says that there’s “no sign any of the preliminary discussions have led anywhere” due to the high price. Other options include taking the company public, or seeing whether the FCC might relax its rules barring foreign entities from owning more than a 25% stake in TV stations — opening the door for Mexico’s Grupo Televisa which owns a small stake in Univision.
Analysts have wondered about Univision’s fate: Its owners include private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners — and companies like these usually don’t like to wait much more than five years to see a payoff from their investments. The 2007 acquisition of what was then a publicly traded company was seen as a coup for the group: They paid $36.25 a share, thwarting an effort by the controlling shareholder at the time — secretive former Hollywood agent A. Jerrold Perenchio — to collect $40. Since then Univision has expanded with multiple cable channels including sports service Univision Deportes, digital properties, and a production studio. Last year revenues increased 7.6% to $2.6B.
This is the last part of the long-running effort to separate the entertainment company from its billboard business. CBS spun off the operation — CBS Outdoor Americas — in March, but still owns 81% of the publicly traded company. The plan announced this morning will unload that by giving CBS stockholders an incentive to swap their holdings for shares of CBS Outdoor. The goal is to give investors a 7% premium to make a tax-free trade of some or all of their shares in early July. The deal is contingent on CBS’ ability to trade at least 58.2M of its 97M CBS Outdoor shares. Once CBS Outdoor is fully independent, it will convert itself into a real estate investment trust (REIT). “We fully believe that CBS Outdoor will continue to be successful as a stand-alone company,” CBS chief Les Moonves says. “And for our part, CBS Corporation can focus on what we do best, which is invest, produce and distribute premium content across all platforms and all around the world.”
Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley will manage the exchange and J.P. Morgan will be a financial advisor.
Christy Grosz is an Awardsline contributor.
After building a career on comedic characters he calls “eccentric,” Will Arnett is back in primetime with CBS’ The Millers, playing TV journalist Nathan Miller, a recent divorcee who finds himself living with his mother. Arnett is more of a leading man than he has been in the past on such shows as Arrested Development and Up All Night, and he’s doing it in front of a live audience on the multi-camera sitcom directed by TV stalwart James Burrows (Taxi, Frasier). He’s also enjoying a thriving film career, voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year.
AWARDSLINE: Showrunner Greg Garcia asked you to be a part of The Millers when he heard that the future of NBC’s Up All Night was not looking good. What about the role of Nathan appealed to you?
WILL ARNETT: I had known Greg personally for a number of years, and when he heard that basically the show was over, he said, “I just want you to read this script, if you don’t mind.” I didn’t think that I wanted to necessarily start work on a TV show quite so quickly, and yet because it was Greg, I thought, “Well, I’ve got to read it.” When I read it, I really liked it. Then I had a meeting with Greg and (director) Jimmy Burrows. Jimmy said, “You are going to have to play a character who is much more at the center of it.” So in that sense, it was a bit of a departure for me. I had to play somebody a little more together. But that really appealed to me. It was something I really wanted to do.