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TCA: NBC’s Bill Cosby Comedy To Be Created By Mike Sikowitz, Mike O’Malley, Who May Co-Star, Coming Summer Or Fall 2015

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 9:39am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: NBC’s Bill Cosby Comedy To Be Created By Mike Sikowitz, Mike O’Malley, Who May Co-Star, Coming Summer Or Fall 2015At its executive panel, NBC revealed more details about its Bill Cosby multi-camera comedy project, which was put in development in January. It will be created by Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley and produced by Sony TV, where Sikowitz is under an overall deal, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. Sikowitz is also tied as a showrunner to the Sony mikesikowitzMikeOMalleyTV-produced new CBS comedy The McCarthys, so I had heard that O’Malley would be writing with Sikowitz supervising. Actor O’Malley, who is eyed for  one of the show’s leads, had been active on the writing side, starting with a staff writing job on Shameless, and has written a couple of pilots. As for the premise, it is a multi-generational family show, Salke said.

“Bill plays the patriarch of the family, dispensing his classic wisdom on relationships and parenthood, with three daughters, husbands and grandchildren,” Salke said “It’s a classic big extended family sitcom.” The hope is for O’Malley to play one of the husbands, she added. The show is eyed for next summer or fall 2015.

The Bill Cosby project is part of NBC’s commitment to the multi-camera genre, Salke said.  Both Salke and NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke of the difficulty getting multi-camera comedies on the air that stick, having just unsuccessfully tried with… Read More »

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TCA: Christopher Walken Cast As Captain Hook In NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

TCA: Christopher Walken Cast As Captain Hook In NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’Christopher Walken has been cast as Captain Hook in NBC’s live broadcast of Peter Pan.  “He might be the first tap-dancing Hook you’ve ever seen,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told TV critics this morning at Summer TV Press Tour 2014.

Walken, who is currently seen dancing in Clint Eastwood’s screen version of Broadway hit Jersey Boys, began on the Broadway stage in musicals, and has appeared in a number of film musicals, including Hairspray, and the Steve Martin film Pennies From Heaven. He’s well known to NBC’s audience, what with his having hosted  Saturday Night Live seven times — where he sometimes performed song-and-dance numbers.   Walken won the Academy Award for his role in the Oscar-winning The Deer Hunter, and is also known for his performances in such films as Sleepy Hollow,  Pulp Fiction, Wayne’s World, True Romance and Annie Hall. He did his own choreography for the memorable Fatboy Slim video Weapon of Choice, for which he won the MTV Video Music Award for best choreography.

NBC has yet to say who’s been cast in the lead role of Peter Pan, though Greenblatt admitted that they’d approached Kristen Bell who was not available. Last January, following the successful live staging of The Sound Of Music, NBC announced its followup musical — James M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, which will be broadcast Dec. 4. The Sound Of Music‘s exec producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron  will return in that role … Read More »

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TCA: NBC Renews ‘America’s Got Talent’, ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ ‘Last Comic Standing’

Nellie Andreeva

TCA: NBC Renews ‘America’s Got Talent’, ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ ‘Last Comic Standing’Kicking off NBC’s TCA presentation, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced the renewal of summer reality series America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and Last Comic Standing. The pickups join the recent renewal of medical drama Night Shift, which turned from a summer burnoff to a breakout, tying CBS’ Extant as the highest-rated new series debut this off-season.

Greenblatt underscored NBC’s ratings success during the season, reminding everyone that the network finished 2013-14 as No.1, and did so again for the summer. NBC has won every week other than the two that ABC had with the NBA Finals, which Greenblatt in a lapse called “the NBC finals.” Last Comic Standing returned for an eighth cycle this summer after a four-year break, the second time the show has been revived. AGT is in its ninth season, averaging a 3.1/10 in adults 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers. Last Comic Standing is averaging a 1.7/6  in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers. American Ninja Warrior, which is shared with corporate sibling Esquire, is delivering a 1.8/6 in 18-49 and 5.3 million viewers.

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Ed Bernero Boards NBC’s ‘State Of Affairs’ As Showrunner

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 4:33pm PDT

Ed Bernero Boards NBC’s ‘State Of Affairs’ As ShowrunnerVeteran TV producer Ed Bernero, whose credits include CBS’ Criminal Minds and its spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior as well as last summer’s Crossing Lines for NBC, has been tapped as showrunner for NBC’s midseason spy drama State Of Affairs. We hear the deal closed a couple weeks ago and Bernero will be a part of the show’s panel during NBC’s TCA press tour day Sunday.

edberneroState of Affairs premieres November 17 in a plum post-The Voice slot Mondays at 10 PM, taking over after The Blacklist completes its first-half run. The Katherine Heigl-starring drama has been in need of a showrunner since Alexi Hawley, who wrote the original script, departed, and Joe Carnahan, who got high marks for rewriting and directing the pilot, is busy with The Blacklist. Carnahan serves as executive producer with Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Robert Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Rodney Faraon and Julia Franz. Universal TV produces with Bob Simonds Co. and Abishag Prods. Read More »

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EMMYS: Producer Don Mischer’s Show Nightmare – And Why The Golden Globes Can Thank ‘SNL’ For Its Emmy Love

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 1:59pm PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Producer Don Mischer’s Show Nightmare – And Why The Golden Globes Can Thank ‘SNL’ For Its Emmy LoveAfter this morning’s announcement of the Emmy nominations, Don Mischer, the veteran (and much awarded himself) executive producer of this year’s 66th annual Emmy Awards jokingly suggested to me that maybe there should be an awards show that only honors other award shows! God help us. We almost have that now. At the Emmys, the only awards show not eligible to win one of the golden winged statuettes is Emmy herself.

And what’s significant awards-show wise in this year’s lineup is how far the Golden Globes, of all shows, have come into industry respectability. Not only did it grab an Outstanding Special Class Seth-Meyers-bowed-Andy-Samberg-while-presenting-his-Golden-GlobeProgram nomination against the Tonys and the Oscars this morning, but it also landed a nod for Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special. It will compete there again with the Tonys there but – OUCH – not perennial writing nominee Academy Awards; Ellen DeGeneres and her crew of writers who so memorably sent out for pizza and took selfies this year were snubbed this time out.

Of course the Globes have really smartened up in the writing department in the past couple of years with strong SNL influence and participation from hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as well as Seth Meyers among other members of the Lorne Michaels wolf pack.  Meyers may not have been nominated for his own newoscars-producers-blog630-jpg_043502 NBC late-night talk show, but this year’s Emmy host has a chance to win one  for his Globes writing gig, and that category WILL be presented this year on the primetime broadcast. Still in sheer numbers of nominations today, The Oscars lead the Tonys 8-7, with the Globes grabbing the aforementioned two. Impressively, Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who will be returning for a third consecutive stint on next year’s show, are competing directly against themselves in the Special Class category with their NBC musical special The Sound Of Music Live! And they also nabbed a nomination for their Lifetime miniseries, Bonnie And Clyde. Big day for that busy pair, who got Emmy love for all of their TV projects last season, even if critical reaction was mixed. Who’s laughing now? Read More »

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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By NetworkOnce 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.

Emmy Nominations HBO Chart 2004 to 2014

 

NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK

HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
FOX– 30
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
FOX– 30
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10 Read More »

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NBC Picks Up Second Season of ‘The Night Shift’

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 10:50am PDT

NBC Picks Up Second Season of ‘The Night Shift’NBC has ordered a second season of summer series The Night Shift,  which is in the back half of its eight-episode first season. The second-season order is for a bulked up 14 episodes;  no scheduling was announced. The Night Shift is the No. 1 new scripted series on broadcast TV so far this summer in the demo and total viewers, with a 1.7 rating and 7.9 million viewers. It’s tied for 12th place among broadcast primetime shows on in the demo and ranks No. 4 for the summer among broadcast networks in overall audience.

Originally ordered as a midseason show in spring 2013, the series got pushed to this summer. Back in April, The Night Shift exec producer Jeff Judah insisted he loved the idea of his big ensemble medical drama running on the broadcast network in the summer. “There are not as many shows on the networks,” he told reporters at NBC Press Day. “It may not get lost as much, maybe get a chance to be seen by more people — we love it.”

The Night Shift, about the men and women who work graveyard at San Antonio Memorial, got its series order as part of a four-show deal between NBC and Sony TV in May 2013 that included pickups of The Blacklist (with guaranteed Monday 10 PM slot), Welcome To The Family and a renewal of Community. The Night Shift pilot tested very well, with Irish actor Eoin Macken in the lead as adrenaline junkie T.C. Callahan who, after a grueling tour of duty in the Middle East, now works in the ER. Creators Gabe Sachs and Judah executive produce with Pierre Morel. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: Barbara Walters’ ’20/20′ Interview With Elliot Rodger’s Father Propels ABC Friday Night

By | Saturday June 28, 2014 @ 10:21am PDT

Ratings Rat Race: Barbara Walters’ ’20/20′ Interview With Elliot Rodger’s Father Propels ABC Friday NightBarbara Walters’ 20/20 interview with Elliot Rodger’s father was the cornerstone of Friday night’s scant original programming, drawing 6.2 million total viewers and rallying ABC in the evening’s win among all broadcast networks to 5.1M total viewers besting CBS (4.9M), NBC (3.3M), Fox (2.05M) and CW (898K).  Though 20/20 was the number two show among total viewers, notching just behind CBS’s repeat of Blue Bloods (6.3M) –the top show of the night — it managed to be the number one in both adults 18-49  (1.3/5) and 25-54 (1.7/6).

Nonetheless, among Walters’ 20/20 greatest hits in the ratings annals, the Peter Rodger interview ranks behind her May 2nd interview with Donald Sterling girlfriend V. Stiviano which drew 7.14 million and a 1.7 rating in Adults 18-49.  The most watched Barbara Walters interview on 20/20  ever was her March 3, 1999, interview with Monica Lewinsky. That edition of 20/20 was watched by an estimated 70 million viewers — a record  for a news program.

20/20 saw double digit week-to-week gains across the board in total viewers (+24%), A18-49 (+18%) and A25-54 (+13%).  The news show more than doubled NBC’s audience at 10 P.M. for its original air of Crossbones in total viewers (2.3M) and more than tripled in A18-49 (0.4/2).  For the 2013-14 season 20/20 registered 6.3 million total viewers in live + same day averages, with 1.5/5 in A18-49 and 2.1/6 in A25-54.

With mostly repeats rounding out most of the night, NBC’s news special A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special  was another fresh telecast of the night drawing 3.8M viewers from 8-10 … Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC & Planned Parenthood Reach Truce Over ‘Obvious Child’ Ads

By | Tuesday June 24, 2014 @ 5:35pm PDT

UPDATE: NBC & Planned Parenthood Reach Truce Over ‘Obvious Child’ AdsUPDATE, 5:35 PM: NBCUniversal released the following statement to Planned Parenthood Action Fund, reiterating it did not turn down an Obvious Child ad for broadcast but acknowledging it did ask the media buyer to remove the word in a digital ad, which NBCU says was a mistake. Planned Parenthood, which by then had collected about 13,000 signatures on its petition telling NBC to knock off the rannygazoo, declared it a major victory, calling it “a huge step forward in the work towards more honesty about women and abortion in TV and movies.” Here is NBC’s most recent statement:

“NBCUniversal has no policy against accepting ads that include the word “abortion.” Several ad proposals for Obvious Child were submitted to our television broadcast standards group for review, and, consistent with NBCUniversal policy and practice, no direction was given to remove references to the word “abortion.” Ultimately, no final ad was submitted or purchased for television broadcast.

“Separately, an online ad was submitted for digital placement and feedback was mistakenly given to remove the word “abortion.” That is not company policy and we are currently reviewing our ad standards processes to ensure they are consistent across all platforms moving forward.

“Our digital platforms will accept the ad as it was originally submitted.”

LisaDeMoraesColumnPREVIOUS: Planned Parenthood says it has 11,000 signatures on a petition chastising NBC for what the health-care group says are reports that the network refused to run an ad for the indie film Obvious Child because it includes the word “abortion.” Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, the movie stars Jenny Slate as a comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant just in time for the most chaotic Valentine’s Day of her life, and decides to terminate her pregnancy. Read More »

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NBC Wraps Upfront Sales Boasting Pricing Advantage Over Peers – Just Like CBS Did

By | Tuesday June 24, 2014 @ 2:17pm PDT

NBC Wraps Upfront Sales Boasting Pricing Advantage Over Peers – Just Like CBS DidNBC Upfront is wrapping with about $2.52 billion in primetime and late-night advertising commitments. That’s about a 15% increase compared to last year’s 2.25 billion. Across all its properties — broadcast, cable and digital — NBCUniversal brought about $6 billion this upfront – up from $5.4 billion last year. At NBCU, broadcast moves as one with cable and digital upfront sales; other networks handle the annual exercise differently. NBCU is “done – its whole portfolio,” explained one exec with knowledge of the situation.

The NBC broadcast network won the recently wrapped TV season in the demo for the first time in a decade with a 13% ratings spike — the biggest year-to-year gain for any Big 4 network in nine years. Even without its 18 nights of Sochi Olympics coverage, NBC boasted the season’s biggest demo audience, topping Super Bowl-boosted Fox. NBC’s gains blanketed the entire week, including double-digit year-to-year demo gains on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Its most talked about improvement: the 39% gain at 10 PM Mondays with The Blacklist originals – Blacklist being the season’s No. 1 new series and No. 2 drama, and NBC’s Monday being the top-rated regular schedule on any broadcast network in the demo, with an average 4.3 rating for regular programming. Read More »

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NBC Developing Supernatural Limited Series From Bob Cooper & Gina Matthews

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 5:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC Developing Supernatural Limited Series From Bob Cooper & Gina MatthewsNBC has in the works Wasteland, an hourlong limited series executive produced by Bob Cooper of Landscape Entertainment and Gina Matthews of Little Engine. Feature scribe Mick Davis, who penned the pilot and executive produced the CBS version of British sci-fi drama Eleventh Hour, is staying in the genre space with Wasteland. The supernatural crime-drama, produced by Sony TV, follows a hardened US Marshal, who in the wake of a massive prison break, is charged with hunting down fugitives with supernatural powers, while unlocking the mystery of his past. The project was originally set up as a drama series at TNT three years ago with Davis writing and Cooper and J.J. Jamieson executive producing through FremantleMedia North America. Davis, Cooper and Jamieson are back for the NBC limited series version, joined by Matthews and Sony. NBC has another miniseries in the works about people with supernatural powers, Heroes Reborn, a reboot of the 2006 superhero series, which is now casting and recently tapped Heroes alum Jack Coleman to reprise his role.

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Grey Damon To Co-Star In NBC’s ‘Aquarius’, Emma Dumont Joins Cast

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT

grey damon 1Friday Night Lights alum Grey Damon is returning to NBC to co-star opposite David Duchovny in drama series Aquarius, and Emma Dumont (Salvation, Bunheads) has joined the cast as a series regular. Written emma dumont 1by John McNamara and produced by ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Prods, the gritty 1960s cop drama focuses on a cop (Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project, envisioned as an event series, received a 13-episode straight-to-series order. Damon, repped by Paradigm and Toni Benson, will play Duchovny’s partner. Dumont, repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment, will play Emma Karn, the daughter of Grace Karn and her influential husband Ken.

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Universal Partnerships & Licensing To Handle Deals For NBC And Sprout

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 1:51pm PDT

Universal Partnerships & Licensing To Handle Deals For NBC And SproutIt’s a big change for Universal Partnerships & Licensing President Stephanie Sperber: A year after she extended her contract into 2016, the company said today that her turf will expand to include merchandise deals for NBC and Sprout properties. The change, giving her titles such as The Biggest Loser and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, is designed to “bring scale and impact with licensees and retailers to benefit all of our film and TV properties,” Universal Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell says. The company credits Sperber for leading licensed merchandise efforts for Universal’s Despicable Me 2 among other things. UP&L is particularly eager to make deals for Sprout. NBCUniversal took full control of the children’s network last year when it bought out partners including PBS. It hopes to make a splash in the licensing world as it introduces original programs and, as the company put it, “expands the reach of its beloved brand icon, Chica.” Other priorities include programs to promote Universal’s planned 2015 tent poles led by Pitch Perfect 2, Fast & Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions. Hasbro is already on board to handle Jurrasic World toys, and Thinkaway Toys will be global master toy licensee for Minions.

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NBC Sets Celebrity Reality Series Starring Survivalist Bear Grylls

Nellie Andreeva

NBC Sets Celebrity Reality Series Starring Survivalist Bear GryllsFollowing last year’s competition series Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls, NBC has slated a new unscripted show starring the adventurer and survivalist. The network has ordered six episodes of the hourlong alternative series Running Wild With Bear Grylls, in which Grylls takes celebrities into the remote locations in the U.S. and around the world for a 48-hour journey that Image (1) Bear-Grylls__131022005000.jpg for post 616305will feature such stunts as skydiving into the Catskill Mountains, rappelling down the cliffs of Utah and battling torrential wind and rain in Scotland. It will premiere July 28 and air in the Monday 8 PM slot. The celebrities lined up for the show, going one-on-one with Grylls, include actor Zac Efron, actor-director Ben Stiller, actor Channing Tatum, NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, actor Tom Arnold, and MSNBC and Today anchor Tamron Hall. Running Wild is produced by Electus and Bear Grylls Ventures, which were also behind Get Out Alive.

Electus used a similar strategy with Dwayne Johnson, who hosted a competition reality series, The Hero, for TNT last year, before returning to the cable network this year with a new docu-style unscripted show featuring close-ended episodes, Wake Up Call. Grylls will serve as executive producer along with Ben Silverman, Chris Grant, Corie Henson, Laura Caraccioli, Doug McCallie and Viki Cacciatore.

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EMMYS: Carson Daly & Mindy Kaling To Announce Primetime Noms On July 10

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 9:29am PDT

EMMYS: Carson Daly & Mindy Kaling To Announce Primetime Noms On July 10The Television Academy has pulled from the NBC family for presenters for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. Carson Daly (The Voice) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) have been tapped to announce the noms from the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood on July 10, beginning at 5:40 AM PT. The noms also will be streamed live on Emmys.com. Seth Meyers hosts the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, which airs live Monday, August 25th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on NBC from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Don Mischer is exec producer.

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Ratings Rat Race: Stanley Cup Early Stats Show Top Rated Game 5 In 14 Years

By | Saturday June 14, 2014 @ 10:19am PDT

NBC Sports logoIn metered-market results, which are time zone-adjusted, NBC Sports’ coverage of last night’s New York Rangers-Los vs. Angeles Kings Stanley Cup matchup averaged a 4.6 household rating, to rank as the top-rated Stanley Cup Final Game 5 in 14 years –  since the 2000 Dallas-New Jersey triple overtime matchup on ABC, which scored a 5.3. The preliminary 4.6 household rating is up 15% in metered-market households compared to year-ago Game 5′s 4.0 for Boston-Chicago.  It’s also up 77% versus Game 5 in 2012, which also featured the L.A. Kings — that time against the New Jersey Devils, which logged a 2.6.

Last night’s game, in which the Kings won the Stanley Cup four games to one over the Rangers, scored a 12.4 household rating in the Los Angeles market, making this L.A.’s second-best overnight rating ever on NBC or NBCSN, trailing only the Kings’ Cup-winning Game 6 during the 2012 Final (13.6). The 12.4  rating in L.A. is up 41% versus the Kings’ 2012 Game 5 (8.8). New York delivered its second-best NHL rating ever on NBC or NBCSN, with a 10.4 rating in metered-market households, behind only Saturday’s Game 2 of the Kings-Rangers series (10.5). The top five markets for last night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 2 were: Los Angeles, 12.4; New York, 10.4; Buffalo, 9.2; Boston, 6.3; Minneapolis-St. Paul, 6.3.

(In fast-national ratings — not time zone-adjusted –  NBC came in No. 1 for the night among broadcast networks … Read More »

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NBC Developing Event Series About The Beatles From ‘The Tudors’ Team

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 4:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Beatles NBC SeriesEXCLUSIVE: The team that brought to the small screen the story of King Henry VIII is taking on another English royalty, this time in the world of rock & roll. I have learned that NBC is in early stages of development of an eight-episode event series about the Beatles that would tell the story of the greatest band of all time. The series will be written by The Tudors creator/executive producer silvermanhirstweinbergMichael Hirst who will executive produce with Tudors executive producers Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg. The project reunites the trio with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt, who greenlighted The Tudors while he ran Showtime. The Beatles limited series is part of NBC’s push in event programming area that includes live productions like The Sound Of Music, miniseries like Rosemary’s Baby, and limited series like the 12-part Bible follow-up A.D.

nbclogoThere have been very few attempts to tell the story of the Liverpool quartet — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — on screen. The 2009 feature Nowhere Boy chronicled Lennon’s early years. The Fifth Beatle, a movie about the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, had been in the works with Peyton Reed attached to direct. Read More »

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Will New York’s 30 Rock Become The Comcast Building?

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 8:44am PDT

GE SignThat’s appears to be the cable giant’s plan: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote Tuesday on a proposed “certificate of appropriateness” allowing Comcast to install signs with its logo and NBC peacock at the Rockefeller Center art deco landmark, popularly known as the RCA Building. COMCASTThe current one says GE. But it sold the building to Comcast last year as part of a $1.4B agreement that transferred NBCUniversal’s real estate to the cable company when it also bought GE’s 49% stake in the entertainment power. The new signage proposal would replace the 24-foot-high red neon sign on top of the building with 12-foot high LED signs on the north and south exteriors — with the Comcast logo (which includes the NBC peacock) in white capital letters. The western facade would have a 17-foot-high peacock. In addition to the changes at the top of the building, Comcast wants to adapt the marquee on Sixth Avenue to showcase The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The building, completed in 1933, became an official landmark in 1985 and has served as a fixture for shows including Seinfeld and, of course, 30 Rock

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Matt Lauer Extends ‘Today’ Contract: Report

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 11:19pm PDT

MattLauer__130326235800-e1364342305297-200x272NBC stood by Matt Lauer during the controversy over the dismissal of Ann Curry as Today co-host in 2012. Two years later, the network has reaffirmed its commitment to the long-time Today host, signing him in a new multi-year contract extension, according to the New York Times. “I consider this the best job in broadcasting,” Lauer told the paper in a statement. The new deal will take Lauer’s tenure on Today to two decades, the longest ever on the morning program. After the ratings meltdown two years ago when Today lost its decades-long ratings lead to ABC’s Good Morning America, the NBC show had been clawing its way back up, recently narrowing the gap with GMA in the 25-54 demo. In addition to his duties on Today, Lauer subbed for Bob Costas in Sochi earlier this year while NBC’s Olympics anchor was sidelined with pink eye.

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