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Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC

Dear Kathy Bates,

Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? If memory serves me, you were asked about this at Summer TV Press Tour 2013, and you observed,  “I think they treated us like shit. They kicked us to the curb. They disrespected us; they disrespected our 7-11 million viewers. I think they’re getting what they deserve this year, Thank you.”

I’m writing to make sure you are aware that, last night, in the premiere of your new FX mini-series, American Horror Story: Coven you attracted 3.9 million 18-49-year-olds, at the same time NBC aired an episode of a new drama series — one it DOES own and which it presumes will do better than you could at attracting 18-49-year-old viewers. That new drama — ironically, a remake of the late 60′s NBC cop drama Ironside — attracted an average of 1.4 million viewers in the 18-49-year-old age bracket. That is less than half of your young-viewer audience. Ironside did come very close to matching your 3.87 million demo viewers – but it was the 3.64 million viewers Ironside attracted in the 50+ demo.  That is a demo in which NBC places little value, as you learned on Harry’s Law.

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TCA: Kathy Bates Blasts NBC Over ‘Harry’s Law’ Cancellation: “Treated Us Like S**t”

Kathy Bates spat on NBC today. Coming to Summer TV Press Tour 2013 to talk, cryptically, about her role in the latest iteration of Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology series American Horror Story: Coven, she got asked if it took an experience like this one to get her back into the TV series business after her unpleasant experience on NBC’s Harry’s Law. “You bet!” Bates barked back. NBC cancelled Harry’s Law in the spring of ’12, at the end of its second season, even though it was the network’s most watched drama series — because its audience skewed older and Warner Bros owned the show, not NBCU. Everybody knows this story. Even so, the TV critic asked Bates to elaborate. Bates at first declined to rise to the bait, saying “I don’t want to give them any air time.” About 30 seconds later, however, the cork popped and she began to foam over.

Related: Kathy Bates Tackles Serial Killer Socialite In Coven

“I think they treated us like shit. They kicked us to the curb. They disrespected us; they disrespected our 7-11 million viewers. I think they’re getting what they deserve this year, Thank you.”

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EMMYS: David E. Kelley On ‘Harry’s Law’s Nominations And Cancellation

By | Thursday July 19, 2012 @ 3:11pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Series cancelled before their time rarely fare well at the Emmys in their last go-around. But NBC’s Harry’s Law defied the odds, landing two noms for its second and final season — the same as last year. Star Kathy Bates earned her second nom in the best actress in a drama series category, and Jean Smart was nominated in the guest actress field for her recurring role as D.A. Roseanna Remmick. David E. Kelley’s legal dramedy was nominated in the same categories last year, winning for guest actor (Paul McCrane). Emmy winner Kelley said he didn’t have any expectations going into Emmy season. “Once you out of sight, you tend to go out of mind,” he said. Nevertheless, “we knew we had first-class actress in Kathy Bates, and Jean Smart had a terrific turn. We just adore Kathy and still feel that she deserved better with the show.”

Related: NBC Cancels ‘Harry’s Law’ After 2 Seasons

Bates proved her chops with two Emmy noms today, including a guest-starring nod for her her turn as Charlie Harper’s ghost on Two And A Half Men. “I’m thrilled and honored most particularly about Harry’s Law which has been near and dear to my heart and I miss so much already,” said the actress, who shared her sadness over the cancellation of the series back in May.

Harry’s Law was a TV rarity — … Read More »

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NBC Brass On Amping Up Comedy, Axing ‘Harry’s Law’ & Keeping ‘Whitney’, ‘Center’

By | Sunday May 13, 2012 @ 11:34am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC is bringing back 13 comedy series — seven new and six returning — vs. 9 dramas — five new and four returning, so it was clear its schedule was going to be comedy-heavy. But the network is making a big statement with comedy blocks on four nights: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. That is a very rapid expansion since for a number of years the network had comedies solely on Thursday until opening a second night on Wednesday last season. This fall, the network is launching two more blocks, one from 9-10 PM on Tuesday, following The Voice results show, with Go On and The New Normal, and one on Friday at 8 PM with Whitney and Community. Loading up on comedies was intentional, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “Comedy once was the backbone of NBC, and I think we need to really plan for the future. It is good for the health of the network. People are open to comedy more than they have been in long time.”

NBC’s 2012-13 Fall Schedule

With the exception of The Office and Parks & Recreation, which were picked up with full-season, 22-episode orders, most NBC returning comedy series have 13-episode orders, including Community, 30 Rock and Up All Night. Greenblatt was quick to note that “a 13-episode order … Read More »

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NBC Cancels ‘Harry’s Law’ After 2 Seasons

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 2:44pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Harry's Law CancelledNBC has pulled the plug on one of its most watched series, David E. Kelley‘s Harry’s Law starring Kathy Bates. The Oscar winner posted the news on Twitter. “Sad news today. Harry’s Law will not be renewed for a 3rd season. We are all terribly sad. Many thanks for all your support.” A rare TV series with a 60something as the lead, Harry’s Law defied the odds and, while very soft in the younger demo, drew eyeballs. This season it has been NBC’s second most-watched drama series with 8.8 million viewers, just a smidgen behind Smash, which had a Super Bowl-boosted launch and NBC’s biggest series, The Voice, as a lead-in. It has been a bittersweet week for Kelley who just got a series order at TNT for his new medical drama Monday Mornings.

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Where Are NBC’s ‘The Office’, ‘Parks & Recreation’ And ‘Up All Night’ Renewals?

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 7:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

While Fox wrapped its new series pickups and existing series renewals within a couple of hours yesterday, for NBC, whose upfront presentation is on the same day as Fox, it has become a week-long ordeal. After early series pickup of comedy Go On and renewals of Grimm and Smash last month, the network began its orders/renewals in earnest on Monday morning. Four days later, it’s still nowhere near done.

NBC’s highest-rated comedy series, The Office, is yet to get a renewal. (With stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer poised to return that now appears imminent.) The fate of NBC’s second most watched drama series, Harry’s Law (8.8 million viewers, only a fraction behind the Voice-boosted Smash with 9.0 million), is hanging in the balance. There’s no word on Parks & Recreation, Up All Night and Whitney. The Office, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night are all fully expected to return, and I hear their renewals may be done in one fell swoop. Buzz is also encouraging on Harry’s Law, which I hear is eyed for a potential 13-episode midseason order. The multi-camera Whitney is on the fence but not dead as the sole multi-camera comedy series picked up for next season so far, newbie Guys With Kids, is still looking for a companion.

Which brings us to the NBC pilots. Word is the network has not officially released those that haven’t been picked up despite speculation that it is pretty much done with its orders. That includes two of NBC’s highest-testing and well-received pilots, the multi-camera comedies Daddy’s Girls and Lady Friends, which had been in limbo but presumed dead. (Will ABC or CBS make a play for them?) On the drama side, none of the pilots that have not been picked up already seem to be in contention anymore. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Harry’s Law’ Hits Low, ‘GCB’ Rises

By | Monday March 26, 2012 @ 8:46am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Harry's Law TV RatingsCBS appears poised to win Sunday night in adults 18-49 and total viewers with an NCAA basketball overrun that scrambled its fast-national averages. ABC’s Once Upon A Time (2.8/8) was down a tenth from last week to a new series low. Desperate Housewives (2.6/7) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national, flat with the final. GCB (2.2/6) rebounded from its third-week slip last Sunday, up 10%. In 18-49, ABC (2.2/6, 7.5 million) finished a hair behind CBS (2.3/6, 10.2 million) in the non-time-zone adjusted fast nationals. NBC’s Harry’s Law (0.8/2) does not feel comfortable in the new Sunday time slot, dropping 20% and posting a second 18-49 series low in as many weeks. The Celebrity Apprentice (1.8/5) was even with last week and tied as its season low. Fox aired a mix of reruns and originals. At 7:30 PM, The Cleveland Show (1.5/5) was flat. Following a Simpsons rerun, a new Bob’s Burgers (2.0/5) was down just a tenth from last week when it followed an original. At 9:30 PM, American Dad (2.0/5) was down 9%.

Related: ‘Mad Men’s Season Five Premiere Becomes AMC Series’ Highest-Rated Episode Ever

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Seven Set For TV Academy Honors

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 1:17pm PDT

Television Academy Honors North Hollywood, CA, March 13, 2012 – The seven programs being honored at the Fifth Annual Television Academy Honors were announced today by multiple Emmy® Award-winning actress Dana Delany (Body of Proof), who will once again host the Honors presentation in May. The 2012 honorees are Dr. Oz, Five, Harry’s Law “Head Games,” Hot Coffee, Men of a Certain Age “Let the Sunshine In,” Rescue Me “344” and Women, War & Peace.

All of this year’s honorees use the power of television to create positive social change by focusing attention on such important issues as personal health, breast cancer, sports-related head injuries, the civil justice system, 9/11 first responders and the role women play as peace builders and creators of international law in global hotspots.

All of the recognized programs aired in 2011 on a diverse group of outlets: FX, HBO, LIFETIME, NBC, PBS, TNT and in syndication. The always-inspiring evening will take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Wednesday, May 2nd.

Recipients of the Fifth Annual Television Academy Honors are:

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NBC Delaying ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Premiere

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 12:15pm PST

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – January 13, 2012 – NBC will move the season premiere of “The Celebrity Apprentice” back one week to Sunday, February 19 (9-11 p.m. ET) from its previously announced debut of Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET). An original two-hour episode of “Fear Factor” will now be broadcast on Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET).

In addition, “Harry’s Law” will return on March 11 (8-9 p.m. ET). It was previously scheduled to resume March 4 (8-9 p.m. ET).

NBC also will broadcast a one-hour version of the previous week’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” prior to the series’ original episode on Sunday, February 26 (8-9 p.m. ET) and again on Sunday, March 4 (8-9 p.m. ET).

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Survivor’ Up, Everyone Else Down As CBS Tops Night In 18-49

Nellie Andreeva

Fox and ABC, which have alternated at the top of the Wednesday 18-49 rankings this season, finished tied last night — but for second place, not first . Paced by Survivor, CBS (3.1/8) posted its first Wednesday demo win this season, edging Fox and ABC (3.0/8). Heading toward its season finale, Survivor: South Pacific (3.3/9) was up 6% from last week. Criminal Minds (3.4/8) was down 8% from its last original two weeks ago and CSI (2.5/7) was down 4%, with both series tying their season lows.

ABC’s series were up from the depressed ratings levels for their Thanksgiving Eve episodes, though those segments were labeled as specials and won’t count towards the shows’ season averages. Versus the most recent regular episodes on November 16, The Middle (2.8/8) was down a tenth fast national-to-fast national and Suburgatory (2.8/8) was flat (down a tenth from the final). Modern Family (5.0/13) was down 9% (11% from the final) to log its lowest-rated regular telecast to date, Happy Endings (2.9/7) was also down 9% and Revenge (2.4/6) was down 8%. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: So-So Debut For ‘I Hate My Teen Daughter’, ‘Harry’s Law’ Hits High

Nellie Andreeva

Fox hasn’t been able to successfully launch a comedy series behind American Idol. Can The X Factor do the trick? Results from last night’s debut of new multicamera comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter after the singing competition are inconclusive. The sitcom drew a 2.8/7 in adults 18-49. That was down 20% from the last comedy to launch behind Idol, last spring’s Breaking In. (That series ended up being canceled by the network before getting miraculously resurrected over the summer.) Of course, Breaking In had a stronger lead-in from Idol (6.8 demo rating) than IHMTD had from X Factor (3.7/10), which was even with its last Wednesday edition two weeks ago and up 16% from the Tuesday outing last week. With ABC’s lineup led by megahit Modern Family (2.6/7) in repeats and CBS off-pattern, Fox (3.4/9, 9.9 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Meanwhile, ABC’s Happy Endings (2.1/5) scored its best repeat numbers. Read More »

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NBC To Give ‘Harry’s Law’ Full-Season Order; ‘Prime Suspect’ Gone?

By | Monday November 14, 2011 @ 2:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Harry’s Law is featured on NBC’s just-released midseason schedule, so this seams like a foregone conclusion, but word is that NBC is giving a full-season to David E. Kelley’s sophomore series. Also looking good to get a back order is freshman Grimm, which also is on NBC’s midseason schedule. UPDATE: I have learned that for now, the fairytale drama has received an order for additional scripts.  Ominously missing from the schedule is rookie Prime Suspect. It seems like NBC brass in finally throwing the towel on the struggling remake. UPDATE: A rep for NBC says that the network brass are “considering our options” on Prime Suspect, which has not been officially canceled.

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NBC’s Midseason Schedule: ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’, ‘Rock Center’, ‘Harry’s Law’ Move; ‘Community’ Benched; ‘Suspect’ Pulled

Nellie Andreeva

NBC To Give ‘Harry’s Law’ Full-Season Order; ‘Prime Suspect’ Gone?

After a pretty dismal fall, NBC is shaking things up in midseason with several scheduling changes. Gone from the lineup is struggling freshman Prime Suspect (NBC says it hasn’t made a final decision on its cancellation), while four series — Whitney, Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Rock Center With Brian Williams — are on the move. NBC is creating a multi-camera comedy block in the 8-9 PM Wednesday hour with Whitney and midseason comedy Are You There, Chelsea (formerly Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea; No alcohol-flavored title in the family hour.) The block, which will debut January 11, brings together two female comedians with similar sensibility in Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, on whose books Chelsea is based. A month later, the two comedies will be followed by low-rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams. It will take over the Wednesday 9 PM slot from Harry’s Law, which is moving to Sundays. Rock Center had to move out of the Monday 10 PM slot to make room for NBC’s highest-profile new series this season, Broadway drama Smash, which will premiere on February 6 and run in the post-The Voice slot as originally scheduled. NBC’s other changes for midseason include new comedy Up All Night moving to Whitney‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot; 30 Rock replacing Community on Thursdays at 8 PM; and the John Grisham adaptation The Firm, originally slated for a Sunday midseason run, sliding into Prime Suspect‘s Thursday 10 PM slot. The order for Community has not been reduced, so it’s unclear what NBC will do with the remaining episodes of the college-set comedy. Missing from the midseason lineup is NBC’s ambitious new drama series Awake, which recently took an unplanned break to work on scripts. Here is NBC’s midseason schedule (with premiere dates) that also includes new reality series Fashion Star on Tuesdays at 10 PM and the return of Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays: Read More »

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NBC Poised To Make Scheduling Changes

Nellie Andreeva

NBC Unveils Midseason Schedule, Moves ‘Whitney’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Rock Center’ & ‘Harry’s Law’

I hear that NBC is about to make some scheduling moves. The network is keeping mum, but there is speculation that rookie comedies Up All Night and Whitney, both with full-season orders, may be swapping places. Up All Night is getting murdered in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, so it will probably benefit from a protected run behind The Office. It also is single-camera and has a workplace element like the rest of NBC’s Thursday’s lineup. Up All Night will likely move to the Thursday 9:30 PM spot, but Whitney may be a bit too racy for the Wednesday family hour. Also possibly on the move is NBC’s new fairytale drama Grimm, which started off strong in the Friday 9 PM slot but has been slipping since. While the series’ long-term potential is still unclear, given the dearth of strong prospects at NBC this fall — especially on the drama side — the network probably should give the newbie a shot. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CMA Awards On Par, Top ‘X Factor’; ‘Harry’s Law’ Rises

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s CMA Awards (4.8/12 in adults 18-49, 16.3 million viewers) was unshaped last night by going head-to-head with another music performance program, Fox’s The X Factor. The CMA Awards were actually up a tenth (2%) in 18-49 from last year to hand ABC a nightly win in 18-49 and total viewers. X Factor (3.7/10, 10.1 million) posted a 5% decline from its fast national last week. CBS’ lineup also was pushed down by the country awards show. Survivor (3.1/9, 10.6 million) was the hardest hit, down 11% in the demo from its fast national last Wednesday, when the veteran reality show was adjusted up in the finals to a season high. Criminal Minds (3.4/8, 11.3 million) was down 6%, CSI (2.5/7, 10.1 million) down 7%. NBC’s rookie Up All Night (1.8/5, 4.8 million) was even with its series low last week, while veteran Law & Order: SVU (1.9/5, 6.6 million) was down 5% to a series low. But the series that bridges them, Harry’s Law (1.3/3, 7.1 million), climbed 18% to match its season high. Will that help the sophomore clinch a back episodic order? The legal dramedy was once again the most-watched program on NBC.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: World Series Opens Lower, ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Revenge’ Slip

Nellie Andreeva

The lackluster baseball postseason on Fox continued last night with Game 1 of the World Series. Time-adjusted ratings for the game won’t be available until later today, but in the fast nationals the face-off between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals is tracking lower than the comparable numbers for last year’s Game 1 between the Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. Still, Fox is projected to win Wednesday night in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

It was a case of ratings gods giveth and taketh away for ABC’s Happy Endings (3.0/7, 6.9 million) and Revenge (2.5/7, 7.9 million). After posting demo-rating increases of 14% and 8%, respectively, last week, both series gave back most of the gains, down 9% and 7%, respectively, from their fast nationals last Wednesday. (Happy Endings was adjusted down last week.) The rest of the ABC lineup was mostly status quo: The Middle (2.9/9, 9 million) and Suburgatory (3.1/8) were each up a tenth from their fast nationals last week, and Modern Family (5.6/14, 12.9 million) was down a tenth but still ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Revenge’ Rise, ‘Up All Night’ & ‘CSI’ Slip

Nellie Andreeva

With baseball games on Fox and TBS, the other broadcast networks faced rather atypical competition but survived mostly unscathed. Most series were flat or very close to their levels from last week, with four exceptions. On the plus side, ABC’s sophomore Happy Endings (3.3/8 in adults 18-49), which featured Megan Mullally as a guest star, grew 14% from its fast national number last week, while its lead-in, Modern Family, was virtually unchanged. ABC’s gains carried over to the 10 PM hour where Revenge (2.7/7, 7.9 million viewers) was up 8% from its 18-49 fast national last week. (Both series were adjusted in the finals.) In the negative column, NBC’s rookie Up All Night (2.0/6) was down 9% from last week’s fast national, while CBS’ veteran CSI (2.6/7, 10.8 million) was down 10% to a season low and slipped to second place in the 10 PM hour among 18-49 behind ABC’s Revenge. CSI still topped the time period in total viewers.

Also noteworthy last night — both repeats of freshman series slated in the wake of last week’s cancellations did better than the shows they replaced: NBC’s Whitney (1.3 vs. 1.0 for Free Agents last week) and Ringer (0.4 in 18-34 and 18-49, up 33% in 18-34 and flat in 18-49; 1.2 million viewers, up 9%). Here are the numbers for the rest of the rest of the series. Read More »

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‘Harry’s Law’ Gets Order For 6 More Scripts

By | Tuesday October 11, 2011 @ 3:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has given struggling sophomore dramedy Harry’s Law an order for six additional scripts. Because the series was a midseason replacement last year, its original second-season order was for 13 episodes. While short of a back episodic order, the script pickup still represents a vote of confidence for Harry’s Law, which has faced an uphill battle in its new Wednesday 9 PM slot this fall. But while its Live+Same Day adults 18-49 rating has been underwhelming, stuck at a 1.2 for the past two weeks, the show received some good news yesterday when it got a 42% lift in Live+7 to a 1.7 demo rating. Additionally, David E. Kelley’s legal dramedy, which seems perfectly suited for Friday night, draws substantial audiences, most recently averaging 8.5 million viewers in Live+SD. (For premiere week, the series’ viewership grew to a 9.8 million viewers after a 30% DVR bump in Live+7.) NBC brass also has been behind the show, most recently running back-to-back repeats of Harry’s Law in primetime this past Saturday.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: No Boot Camp Bump For ‘X Factor’ But Fox Still Wins Night

Nellie Andreeva

We’ve yet to see the ratings growth on The X Factor that Simon Cowell keeps promising, but at least the show is maintaining its ratings levels. The first 90-minute edition of the singing series, which entered the boot camp phase of the competition, posted a 3.9/11 in adults 18-49 and 11.5 million total viewers, matching the fast nationals for the two-hour episode last week. (The show tends to go up one or two tenths in the finals.) A special showing at 9:30 PM of Raising Hope (2.3/6), which was down 21% from its regular airing behind New Girl on Tuesday, proved once again that talent competitions and comedies rarely mesh — a red flag for Fox’s new comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter slated in the slot. Fox (3.5/10, 10.2 million) won Wednesday night in 18-49 for a third consecutive week.

ABC’s The Middle (2.7/9) was up a tenth from its fast national last week (flat with the final). In Week 2, new comedy Suburgatory (3.0/8) was down a modest 9% from its premiere and still built onto its lead-in. Modern Family (5.6/14) matched its fast national from last week (the series always goes up a tenth in the finals), but Happy Endings (2.9/7) was down 9% in its second airing behind the hit family comedy. At 10 … Read More »

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