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Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA Highlights

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Hollywood “Obsessed” With Human Torture, And Other TCA HighlightsThe TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 has wrapped its 16-day run. Here is what we learned:

Most Searing Description Of Hollywood
David LaChapelle, who famously became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in his teens, has been called The Fellini of Photography, and has photographed the likes of Hillary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Madonna, Eminem, Warhol, Lil’ Kim, Elizabeth Taylor,  Leonardo DiCaprio, and Muhammad Ali, was asked yesterday to discuss the “ebb and flow” of depictions of sex and nudity; he’s featured in PBS’ American Masters broadcast The Boomer List.

lisademoraescolumn__140603223319“Growing up in New York City, when I was very young, pre-AIDS, it was very hedonistic, and sexuality was, you know, the revolution. I remember working at [Studio 54] and straight guys would say they were bi, to pick up girls because it was cool. And then, AIDS happened, and everything changed. Things got very, very conservative and segregated. Now…we are sort of in this Dark Ages where the body is considered shameful…yet violence, and torture, and these films — the Saw series, The Hunger Games2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 16you look at Netflix, what’s going on, and every other new show is extreme violence, and this is our entertainment. We applaud that. And our kids are playing these video games, but yet the human body is somehow shameful. And God forbid a kid sees a nipple, you know.”

TV programs such as HBO’s Sex And The City (Kim Cattrall also was a panelist), he said, have “been replaced by so much ultra-violence in this torture form. I find that really interesting because all our popular culture reflects the society in which it was created. So what does that say about us? Why are we so obsessed with watching other human beings suffering? We don’t get enough of it on the news that we — that’s our entertainment, too? I think that’s the real pornography. That’s the real evil, and that’s the real darkness.”

Most Changed Executive
NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt — last Press Tour’s Mr. Flat Is The New Up — spoke happily this tour about Up Being The New Up: “We had a pretty great season so far this year. We’re No. 1 in the demo. We’re the only network up, year to year, almost 10% to date. Even if you take the Olympics out of our numbers, we would still be No. 1 for the year…We’re also leading in the 25-54 demo, and all key adult female demos as well. We also had a huge growth in total viewers where we’re running No. 2 season to date. In fact, we’re up 27% year over year, which is our strongest performance this far into the season in eight years.”

Biggest News
CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, telling reporters after his Q&A for the network’s new Thursday night football that he’s interested in buying CNN should Rupert Murdoch prevail in his bid to by the cable news network’s parent Time Warner and spin off CNN. “We’ve always talked about doing things with CNN in the past… It’s something I’m sure we’ll look at if it becomes available,” Moonves said. Last month, when CBS took the final step in the spinoff of its billboard company, “that was our intent, to get rid of billboards and potentially buy more content,” Moonves said, adding, “We’re in a very advantageous position.”

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Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: Video

Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Buy CNN: VideoBecause Rupert Murdoch wants to buy Time Warner, and journalists have reported Murdoch would sell off Time Warner‘s cable news network CNN, Jon Stewart last night launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10 billion in order to buy the network “and do…something with it. Not quite sure what yet.” ”CNN, America’s first 24-hour cable news network, has been terrible for many, many years. Does it have to be that way? Who knows, maybe it does,” The Daily Show host’s campaign explains. “So let’s find out for ourselves! This $10 billion, all-cash bid for CNN would secure control of a massive television network reaching over 100 million homes in the US alone, which we could then use to rebuild a news organization befitting this proud land. Or more likely we’d use it to make a lot more poop jokes. Either way, you get to watch!”

A mere $10 contribution gets your photo in an on-screen “21 box” of  talking heads. For $15,000 it’ll be just you and Carol Costello in a “2 box”, with 5 minutes of freestyling. And for $5 million, CNN will initiate a 24-hour, 2-week hunt for your lost car keys. Watch here:

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MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings Surge

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:58pm PDT

MSNBC Flatlines On Big Big News Day While Fox News Dominates & CNN Ratings SurgeThe rule of thumb is that when news is breaking and a crisis is unfolding, cable news networks see a big jump in viewership. Turns out that’s not the case if you are MSNBC. On the first full day of coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster and Israeli troop movement into Gaza the day before, the Comcast-owned news channel actually was down double digits among adults 25-54 both in total day and in primetime on July 18. While rivals CNN and Fox News Channel were up 16% and 13% in total day over the comparable day last year, when the news was much quieter to say the least, MSNBC fell 38% to a mere 87,000.

Image (2) foxnewschannel__121107055533__130821210939__130827191454__140401180009-150x149.jpg for post 715548Take a look at primetime, the numbers get even harsher for MSNBC with a 46% fall in the demo to 118,000 from July 19, 2013 compared to a rise of 16% and 30% for FNC and CNN. Winning in all categories on Friday and benefiting from the breaking news, FNC had 268,000 among 25-54s for total day and 323,000 during primetime. Seeing an uptick as it commonly does during breaking news, the often ratings struggling Time Warner-owned network got 208,000 in the demo total day and 263,000 in Image (1) cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131__140122180929__140425214942__140602211242.jpg for post 739150primetime.

Related: FNC Wins 50th Straight Ratings Quarter

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UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines Plane

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 8:57am PDT

UPDATE: Networks Break In Again For Obama News Conference On Shot-Down Malaysia Airlines PlaneUPDATE, 8:57 AM: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC as well as the cable networks have just broken away from normal programming to cover President Obama‘s remarks live from the White House on the latest from yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines disaster over the Ukraine. Obama said one U.S. citizen was among the 298 passengers killed from what is suspected to be a surface-to-air missile launched by pro-Russian rebels. He called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and demanded a credible investigation, saying a UN investigation is already underway with Ukraine and Russia expected to cooperate fully. Read More »

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Filmmaker, Journalist & Undocumented Immigrant Jose Vargas Detained At Texas Airport

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

Filmmaker, Journalist & Undocumented Immigrant Jose Vargas Detained At Texas AirportThe Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant whose film Documented about the U.S. immigration debate aired recently on CNN has been detained at the McAllen, TX airport. A spokeswoman for the immigrant youth-led organization United We Dream told Business Insider that Vargas was trying to fly to Los Angeles to attend a screening of the film that aired June 29 on CNN when he was detained.

Vargas reportedly went to Texas last week to promote the efforts of immigration-reform groups to stand in solidarity with the unaccompanied children who have entered the U.S. from Mexico in recent months and are being held at a makeshift shelter. But he later realized the area was within a secure U.S. Customs and Border Protection perimeter where he possibly couldn’t leave without documentation.

Vargas revealed his “undocumented” status in a 2011 essay in The New York Times Magazine in an effort to promote dialogue about the immigration system in the U.S.

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‘The Hunt With John Walsh’ Delivers CNN’s Best Original Series Demo Debut

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 12:37pm PDT

‘The Hunt With John Walsh’ Delivers CNN’s Best Original Series Demo DebutThe cable news network found its ratings prey last night. With 330,000 viewers in the Adults 25-54 demo, CNN’s new original series The Hunt With John Walsh is the highest-rated debut of an Original Series on the network ever. That beats the 284,000 that The Sixties got for CNN on May 29. While that is good news for the often ratings unsteady Jeff Zucker-run CNN, The Hunt also got a pretty good run in total viewers too. With 989,000 watching, the fugitive investigation series fronted by the former America’s Most Wanted host beat Fox News Channel by 21% and MSNBC by 174% in total viewers. The new show outperformed FNC’s 9 PM offering and MSNBCs by 141% and 63% in the key news demo, though Fox was airing a repeat of On The Record. The Hunt is produced by Zero Point Zero Productions, the same people behind CNN’s other hit of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, which aired in the same slot. The infamous chef and international traveler’s show’s Season 3 debut got 325,000 in the 25-54 demo on April 13 this year, that’s a 34% rise over its Season 2 bow on September 15, 2013.

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Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota Joins CNN

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota Joins CNNAlisyn Camerota left Fox News Channel in March after 16 years as reporter and anchor. CNN announced on its blog this morning that she has moved to CNN Worldwide as anchor. She begins her new job today.  “I have been a fan of Alisyn’s for a very long time, and couldn’t be happier that she has agreed to come to CNN,” said Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide. “She is not only a seasoned journalist with a great curiosity and passion for the news, but she has a presence on camera that I think is very hard to find. I can’t wait to have her on the air at CNN.” Camerota will contribute to all programs across CNN. A permanent role will be announced in the coming months, the news org says.
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TCA: CNN’s ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ Star Stares Down TV Critics

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT

TCA: CNN’s ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ Star Stares Down TV Critics“Some jobs are just too hideous to contemplate,” Mike Rowe told TV critics of their work at Summer TV Press Tour 2014. In fairness, he was asked. Rowe came to the tour to plug CNN’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It in which he hangs out with men and women to learn about their offbeat hobbies, passions and jobs.

“I don’t understand how your brains work,” he told TV critics, noting he’d just posted to Facebook photos of the rattlesnake and the power plant surrounded by live wire that he ran into yesterday, followed by a photo of the Summer TV Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton hotel, with the comment “My week is becoming progressively more dangerous.”
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David Letterman Walks Out On Joan Rivers: Video

By | Tuesday July 8, 2014 @ 5:39pm PDT

David Letterman Walks Out On Joan Rivers: VideoJoan Rivers continues her book tour. Three days after walking out on CNN after objecting to Fredricka Whitfield’s line of questioning, Joan stopped by David Letterman‘s CBS late-night show tonight. When she began to poke fun at June Allyson — America’s Sweetheart circa 1940 — Dave walked out and his guest was left to go it alone:

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Joan Rivers Refuses To Suffer Through CNN Interview, Comedienne Storms Out

By | Saturday July 5, 2014 @ 12:01pm PDT

Joan Rivers Refuses To Suffer Through CNN Interview, Comedienne Storms OutSome comics can dish it, but can’t take it and for Joan Rivers, red carpet’s watchdog on E’s Fashion Police, well, there’s apparently a line that can’t be crossed.  The pungent comedienne took absolute offense to CNN‘s Fredricka Whitfield‘s questioning in a taped interview today after the anchor called Rivers’ fashion criticism “mean”.  Rivers retorted, “These ladies make $28 million a picture. You think Nicki Minaj cares if I don’t like her dress? It’s not about them, it’s clothing.”  When Whitfield’s conversation turned to the comedienne wearing fur on the cover of her book Diary of a Mad Diva and the possibility that it might offend animal rights activists, that’s when Rivers lost it. “You’re not the person to interview someone who does humor,” shouted Rivers.  For Rivers, there’s no subject that’s too taboo to knock, and she’s been rather loose-lipped in public lately.  Shortly after officiating a gay wedding Monday at her book signing, Rivers called President Obama gay and Michelle Obama a transgender in a short interview with a street reporter. Last week, Rivers claimed that Kristen Stewart was threatening to sue her over jokes in Mad Diva that the Twilight actress built her career through her affairs with directors.  Rivers sent a message to Stewart via TMZ: “Be glad you’re not a Kardashian, because they’re mentioned a lot more in the book.”  Last November, Rivers offended striking WGAE scribes on Fashion Police calling them “schmuck writers” before issuing a statement in support of them. The CNN Rivers … Read More »

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Same As It Ever Was: Fox News Wins 50th-Straight Ratings Quarter, But All Channels Down

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 7:06pm PDT

Same As It Ever Was: Fox News Wins 50th-Straight Ratings Quarter, But All Channels DownHo hum, another quarter, another Fox News Channel win in the ratings against its all-news competitors, MSNBCCNN and HLN. The win is now the 50th straight quarter (and 150th straight month) for Fox, going back more than a dozen years. They’ve been so consistently ahead for so long that another win, even a landmark like this, seems a bit of a yawner for the cable news powerhouse as it transforms into the Rolling Rock of ratings kings. So, how did they win this time ’round? Let us count the ways:

  • FNC was sixth in Primetime total viewers among all cable networks (CNN was 34th, MSNBC 29th).
  • FNC was seventh in Total Day viewers among all cable nets (CNN was 29th, MSNBC 30th).
  • For the quarter ending today, FNC had the top 14 highest-rated news shows in total viewers. It had nine of the top 10 news shows for the core Adults 25-54 demo, with only re-runs of CNBC’s Shark Tank on MSNBC sneaking into the tenth spot.
  • Total viewers for the Top 5 shows were: The O’Reilly Factor (2,361,000); The Kelly File (1,998,000); The Five (1,842,000); Special Report w/ Bret Baier (1,730,000); and On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren (1,496,000).
  • FNC led all cable networks in that 25-54 demo, which is the heart and crabby commentariat of the news-watching audience.
  • Both Fox & Friends and Your World with Neil Cavuto have been No. 1 in their respective slots for 50 consecutive quarters, again dating back more than 12 years to the first quarter of 2002.
  • FNC has more Total Day viewers, 945,000,

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CBS News Hires Vladimir Duthiers As Correspondent

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 11:03am PDT

CBS News Hires Vladimir Duthiers As CorrespondentCBS News today named Vladimir Duthiers as a new correspondent; he will begin work in August, based in New York. Duthiers joins CBS News from CNN, where he was an international correspondent based in Lagos, Nigeria. Most recently, Duthiers reported on the more than 200 girls kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram and was one of the first Western journalists to interview family members of the abducted children.
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HLN’s Nancy Grace Gets Word Missing Boy Alive In Dad’s Basement As She’s Interviewing Father: Video

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 7:46am PDT

HLN’s Nancy Grace Gets Word Missing Boy Alive In Dad’s Basement As She’s Interviewing Father: VideoNancy Grace hit the mother lode when she found herself interviewing the father of a missing boy as a report came in that the son had been found alive — in the man’s basement. Charlie Bothuell had been missing for 11 days; dad Charles Bothuell IV, had appeared on Grace’s HLN show to appeal for help finding the boy. “How could your son be alive in your basement?!” Grace barked. “What?!” responded Dad. “I don’t understand why you guys would have reported he was missing — and all our viewers were on the lookout for him!” Grace snapped, like she meant it to sting. “Have you checked your cell phone?” Dad said his cell phone was dead.
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Jon Stewart Breaks Down FNC, CNN Hillary Clinton “Exclusive” Interviews On Same Day: Video

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 6:50am PDT

“Good get! They should be proud of themselves for scoring an interview from the Salinger-like recluse Hillary Clinton — a woman whose secretive nationwide book tour had restricted her access to NBC, CBS, ABC twice, and the Arlington Virginia Costco,” Stewart noted. Watch here:
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Hillary Clinton Fares Better On Fox News Channel Than On CNN, Ratings-Wise

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 2:56pm PDT

Hillary Clinton Fares Better On Fox News Channel Than On CNN, Ratings-WiseFour times as many people watched presumed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appear on Fox News Channel yesterday as watched her on CNN at 5 PM. About 2 million people watched the former Secretary of State tangle with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren and Bret Baier from 6:45-7:15 PM – 313,000 of them in the news demo.

Meanwhile, about 521,000 people watched Christiane Amanpour and audience members question Clinton during a CNN town-hall confab at 5 PM — 115,000 in the news demo. FNC’s The Five clocked a bigger audience in the 5 PM timeslot: 1.88 million, and 336,000 demo viewers.

CNN actually did better with its repeat of the Clinton town hall at 9 p.m., when 593,000 tuned in — 146,000 in the demo — which was the network’s biggest naul of the night (though it came in behind FNC’s The Kelly File (2.126 million, 337,000 demo viewers) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (918,000 viewers, 167,000 demo viewers).

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Hillary Clinton Emerges Largely Unscathed From CNN, Fox News Interviews: Video

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 6:59pm PDT

Hillary Clinton Emerges Largely Unscathed From CNN, Fox News Interviews: Video“She’s running,” CNN’s John King declared after Hillary Clinton’s town hall Q&A on his network this afternoon, part of a media tour purporting to be about her new book, Hard Choices. “Her decision is whether to stop running,” he snarked. “Right now – she’s running.” Clinton, however, said — stop us if you’ve heard this one before — she hasn’t yet made up her mind.

King said he did “not learn a tremendous amount new” from the Q&A, while Christiane Amanpour, who’d done the Clinton interview, did her best impressive imitation of a journalist who was not mulling how to hit King with a blunt instrument. King gave Clinton props for not filibustering and answering questions quickly and clearly so as to tackle a “diversity of questions.” Jake Tapper agreed, noting the town hall setup had quacked like a political campaign format.

Related: Hillary Clinton’s “Book” Tour Begins In Earnest: Video

Extra points if you guessed both the CNN town hall, and Clinton’s grilling at Fox News Channel that followed, would begin with questions about the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya. On CNN it took the form of Amanpour asking Clinton whether, in retrospect and “knowing what you know now”, she would have wanted Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack, to be in Libya on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. “Would you have told him not to go to Benghazi on that day, of all days?” Amanpour asked, as though it was not a rhetorical question. Read More »

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Column: Hillary Clinton Takes “Book Tour” To CNN, Fox News Channel

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 1:56pm PDT

Column: Hillary Clinton Takes “Book Tour” To CNN, Fox News ChannelCNN’s Hillary Clinton Countdown Clock ticked off the minutes until her town hall meeting at the Newseum in Washington D.C. begins at 5 PM ET. The event is moderated by the cable news network’s Christiane Amanpour, during which the presumed Democratic presidential candidate will take questions from the public. After that, Clinton is scheduled to do a live interview with Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier from that network’s Washington studio, starting at 6:45 PM ET, and then FNC’s Greta Van Susteren will take a crack at her around 7:15 PM ET.

Related: Hillary Clinton’s “Book” Tour Begins In Earnest: Video

LisaDeMoraesColumnClinton has been warming up for this Big Day with dress rehearsals across the TV news landscape, starting with her “surprise guest” appearance on Barbara Walters’ final day on ABC’s The View. Since then, she’s sparred with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer on June 9, chatted with ABC’s Robin Roberts the next morning, and walked around her alma mater with Jane Pauley on June 15. Read More »

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Caption Contest Winner: Car Crashes Into CNN HQ

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 6:25pm PDT


You’ve really gotta step up your caption game when the talent starts contending for these contest crowns, Deadliners. Hot competition in captioning CNN’s car crash came from Hell On Wheels actor Anson Mount, who played along via Twitter. Today’s top caption goes to… Read More »

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Stephen Colbert Promises To Inform Less After Study Ranks His The Most Informative U.S. News Program: Video

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 6:46am PDT

stephen_colbert__120216081730Stephen Colbert celebrated the release of a new Annenberg Public Policy Center study that concluded viewers of The Colbert Report  who watched him set up a super PAC and 501(c)(4) organization during the last presidential election cycle were better informed about campaign financing and the role of money in politics than viewers of actual news channels. (Colbert’s show is shuttering at the end of 2014 so he can take over for David Letterman at CBS in 2015.) ”That’s right! I did abetter job of informing the public about campaign finance reform than every other news organization  — and CNN,” Colbert said on his show last night. “So let that be a lesson to you Fox: show — don’t tell. If you want your viewers to have a better understanding of your editorial position, they need to see you sucking Ted Cruz’s balls.” Watch here:

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