R.I.P. ‘Three’s Company’, NFL & Grammys TV Producer Ted Bergmann

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 4:52pm PST

color-__140308004651-275x343Broadcasting veteran Ted Bergmann, who produced the first NFL and Grammy telecasts and was present to record the German surrender to the Allies for radio in 1945, has died. He was 93. Bergmann died March 2 following surgery at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. During the course of his 70-year broadcast career, Bergmann produced such shows as Three’s Company and its two spinoffs; The Arthur Godfrey Show; and Love Thy Neighbor, a 1973 ABC series about a black couple in a white neighborhood that was so controversial that Sears and Proctor & Gamble pulled their advertising. A Brooklyn native, Bergmann started his TV career as an NBC page. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army, soon earning the rank of captain and covering stories in the European theater for the NBC radio program Army Hour. On May 6, 1945, the 24-year-old Bergmann took a recording crew to a schoolhouse Reims, France, to preserve the Kapitulation-reimsGerman surrender to the Allies for radio. He was the last surviving witness to the event. Returning to the U.S., Bergmann rejoined NBC. Within five years he became a top executive with the DuMont Network, where he was the first to broadcast NFL games and live boxing and launched such notable TV personalities as Jackie Gleason and Bishop Fulton Sheen. During the 1950s, Bergmann segued to TV advertising, working with such firms as McCann-Erickson and Parkson Advertisting Agency. Read More »

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CBS Will Launch ‘Big Bang Theory’ On Different Night As NFL Begins Season On Thursdays

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:44pm PST

“We’re not going to wait until November” to kick off this fall’s new season of the sitcom, or for crime drama Elementary, CEO Les Moonves told analysts in a call to discuss Q4 earnings. NFL CBS“It’ll be on some … Read More »

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Wall Street Wonders: Did CBS Play Offense Or Defense With NFL Deal?

By | Thursday February 6, 2014 @ 12:08pm PST

This has become an interesting debate among investors as they await more details about yesterday’s deal, which they expect to hear on Wednesday when CBS reports its Q4 earnings. NFL CBSMost analysts are cheering the one-year agreement (potentially two … Read More »

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CBS Adds More Bang To Thursday With Football, But ‘Big Bang’ Likely To Stay Put

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 11:43am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Probably no network would’ve benefited by a football boost on Thursday more than NBC, which has been struggling mightily on the night. Instead, the NFL’s Thursday primetime games went to the network that regularly wins the night, CBS, with the biggest scripted show on television, comedy The Big Bang Theory. By snatching half of the NFL Thursday package, CBS ensures thabigbangfootballt its Thursday lineup won’t have to face football on another broadcast network. The limited scope of the commitment — eight weeks, half of the length of Sunday Night Football on NBC — and its timing early into the TV season (NFL Network got the late-season games) are expected to have lesser impact on CBS’ Thursday schedule than SNF has on NBC. That means that Big Bang Theory, which has been anchoring CBS’ Thursday lineup since fall 2010, most likely will stay put.

Related: CBS And NFL Network To Offer Thursday Night Games

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712Two of the eight games will air before the beginning of the TV season, so CBS will launch its regular Thursday lineup at the beginning of November this fall. With networks more and more staggering their fall rollouts, that is not that late. (The CW has been employing an October fall rollout for the past couple of seasons.) CBS can use its fall-launch marketing dollars for the rest of the nights and then rely on football to hype its Thursday shows. I hear the promotional opportunity for the Thursday primetime football games was a big draw for CBS brass as they can get more eyeballs for the trailers of their new shows in the two weeks leading to the beginning of the season. Additionally, NFL football gives extra ratings muscle to a night where CBS already has been dominant and where advertisers traditionally love to spend premium dollars heading into the weekend. Read More »

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CBS And NFL Network To Offer Thursday Night Games

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 9:26am PST

nfl-logo1This appears to be a big get for CBS, bringing one of television’s few sure-fire audience magnets to the most lucrative night for programming. Just about everyone – including Google — was interested in rights to the NFLRead More »

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UPDATE: Fox’s Super Bowl Scores With Record-Breaking 111.5 Million Viewers; Bruno Mars Halftime Show Shatters Madonna’s Record

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 12:48pm PST

SUPER BOWL XLVIII

2nd UPDATE, 12:48 PM: The final numbers are in and Fox has scored a total touchdown with this year’s Super Bowl. With 111.5 million viewers, last night’s game tops out as the most-watched TV show in U.S history. Slapping down preliminary numbers, the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 blowout of the Denver Broncos tops the previous viewership record of the 111.34 million who watched the 2012 Super Bowl on NBC.  Yesterday’s game is also the most-watched show in Fox’s history, beating out the 111 million who watched the 2011 Super Bowl on the network. With an average fast national share of 46.4/69, the Seahawks-Broncos game matches the result the Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers last year. The 2014 and 2013 games are now tied as the second-highest-rated Super Bowls in 27 years.

Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime ShowSunday’s game beat out last year on another field, however: the halftime show featuring  Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It pulled in 115.3 million viewers, better than Beyonce did last year with 110.8 million and shattering the previous halftime record Madonna set in 2012 with 114 million watching.

The 44.5/70 kickoff rating yesterday was also highest in Super Bowl history, up 12% from last year’s game. The ratings peaked yesterday at 7:30-8 PM ET with a 47.9/71, when Seattle took command of the game building a 22-0 lead and never looking back.

Related: RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ Solid After Super Bowl, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Sampled Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records; Fox Int’l Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe; More

‘The Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records In Spain
the time in betweenDeadline readers who follow international closely will know that I’ve been high on Spanish period miniseries The Time In Between. The 11-part mini debuted in Spain in October as the best local drama premiere of the last eight years. It concluded its run on Antena 3 on Tuesday night with an all-time record high of over 5.5M viewers and a 27.8% share. It also hit a peak of 5.88M viewers. The series overall averaged 5M viewers and had a 25.5% average share. Produced by Boomerang TV for Antena 3, it led among over 35s with a 25.2% share, and reached a 37.7% share among audiences aged 55-64. Based on María Dueñas’ novel, The Time In Between is set during the Spanish Civil War and the run-up to World War II. It’s the story of a woman raised by a poor single mother and taught to be a seamstress. When she falls for a handsome young man, she moves with him to Morocco and spends months living the high life. But when the money runs out and she falls pregnant, he leaves. She ultimately builds a new life and becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. She also begins working for the British government, passing information to the Secret Service. Interest from abroad has been high: The series already is running in Romania and offers on remake rights and/or the original are in from the U.S., Canada, Italy, France, Portugal, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, Croatia, and several territories in Latin America and Africa.

Fox International Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe
While Europeans eagerly await this summer’s World Cup, they’ll be able to check out the biggest game of the year for the other kind of super_bowl_48.mgnfootball in just a few weeks. Fox International Channels is bringing the Super Bowl to the continent. When the Seattle Seahawks face off with the Denver Broncos on February 2 in East Rutherford, N.J., NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch the full Fox coverage beginning at 12:25 AM on February 3. More than 12 million households in Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia will have access to the game. This will be the first time the Super Bowl is broadcast live on the FIC channels in Europe. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the halftime act. Separately, Fox International Channels said today that it has appointed Fabrizio Salini to managing director of its Italian operation, effective February 17. Salini was VP Entertainment Channels for FIC Italy from 2003 and 2011, and returns after a two-year stint serving senior management roles at SKY Italia, Discovery Communications Italia and Switchover Media. Read More »

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Bill O’Reilly To Interview President Obama During Fox’s Super Bowl Pregame Show

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 10:14am PST

O'reillyobamaThe primetime Fox News Channel host will conduct the live sit-down from the White House during the Fox Super Bowl Sunday pregame show February 2. Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama is set to begin around 4:30 PM … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘The Following’ Up In Return Following Big NFC Championship

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 12:50pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

thefollowing_season2UPDATE, 12:50 PM: The numbers for the NFC Championship Game are in, and the competitive matchup that came down to the game’s final drive drew 55.9 million viewers and a 28.5 household rating. That marks Fox’s most-watched non-overtime NFC Championship Game since 1995 and the highest-rated since 1997.

PREVIOUS: The NFL‘s penultimate game of the season — the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers — was the only game in town last night, delivering blockbuster ratings from 6:41-9:54 PM. It also powered Fox drama The Following to series highs. The dark thriller opened its second season to a 4.4 rating in adults 18-49 last night, airing at 10:18 PM following the postgame show. That was up 38% vs. Following‘s series premiere last January. It also outperformed significantly the Hawaii Five-0 episode (3.4), which aired on the same night last year following CBS’ coverage of the AFC Championship Game. Read More »

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UPDATE: Fox’s 49ers-Packers Matchup Highest-Rated Wild Card Game In 25 Years; NBC & CBS Also Score

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, 12:30 PM: Fox‘s coverage of the NFC Wild Card game Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packersbetween the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew 47.1 million viewers and a 25.8/41 household rating Sunday. That makes the matchup in frigid-cold Green Bay – won by the Niners on a last-season field goal — the highest-rated NFL Wild Card playoff game on any network since at least 1988. The game was up 20% in ratings and 24% in viewers compared with last year’s late Sunday matchup between Seattle and Washington (21.5/36, 38.1 million viewers), and is the highest-rated and most-watched telecast of any kind since last year’s Super Bowl.

PREVIOUS, 11:31 AM: The NFL’s season is raking in big ratings in the home stretch, with both NBC and CBS posting gains with wild card game coverage this weekend. NBC logged the most-watched Wild Card Saturday ever, averaging 30.8 million viewers – up 14% from last year’s 26.9 million average. Saturday’s slate featured two playoff games decided by two points or less on the same day for the first time in NFL postseason history, with the Indianapolis Colts overcoming a 28-point deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 and the New Orleans Saints kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24. The NFL instituted Wild Card Saturday for the 1990 season when it expanded the playoffs from five to six teams per conference. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Kevin Costner In ‘Draft Day’

By | Tuesday December 24, 2013 @ 8:44am PST

As the NFL regular season heads into its final week, Summit has suited up the first trailer for its football flick. Kevin Costner stars in Draft Day as the employment-imperiled general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who tries to wheel and deal his way into the … Read More »

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FCC Prepares To Eliminate Its TV Sports Blackout Rules

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 2:37pm PST

The agency followed through today on an effort launched last month by then-Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn: NFLTVIt released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that invites public comment before it eliminates the rules adopted in 1975 to help broadcasters and the NFL. They say that if a sports league requires a TV station to black out a game – usually a football game that isn’t sold out — then cable and satellite distributors can’t offer it in the community either. The sports industry has changed dramatically in the last 40 years…[and] the economic rationale underlying the sports blackout rules may no longer be valid,” the notice says. When the rules were adopted about 59% of the NFL’s regular season games were blacked out due to failure of the games to sell out. But the FCC observes that in 2011 just 6% were blacked out, and just in four cities: Buffalo, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Tampa Bay. Also, TV payments have become much more significant than gate receipts to most teams’ revenues. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ Hits Performance Finale Low, ‘Almost Human’ & ‘Mom’ Down To Low, ‘Mike & Molly’ Up

ALMOST HUMAN DEC 16Just over a week before those presents under the tree are opened, Tuesday’s primetime was full of holiday specials and more year-enders but not a lot of cheer for some. Almost Human (1.6/5) wrapped up the first … Read More »

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Want To Buy An Ad During The Super Bowl? Too Late, Says Fox

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 1:30pm PST

Fox Super Bowl Ads Sold OutRight up there with death and taxes on the inevitability scale is an enormous TV rating for the NFL‘s annual championship game. Advertisers, of course, are hip to that — and Fox announced … Read More »

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Dan Dierdorf Retiring From Broadcast Booth After NFL Season

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 3:34pm PST

The burly, mustachioed color man who followed a Hall of Fame football career with a three-decade stint in the broadcast booth is hanging up his microphone. Dan Dierdorf will retire from CBS after this season, … Read More »

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NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Snaps ‘Walking Dead’ Demo Winning Streak

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 11:35am PST

Last night’s episode of AMC’s zombie apocalypse series had some surprises, the return of one vital character and some very serious father/son firepower bonding. However, The Walking Dead did not have the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Surges, ‘Revenge’ & ‘Betrayal’ Tie Lows, ‘Simpsons’ & ‘Family Guy’ Down

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 9:06am PST

It was a good Sunday to be in New Orleans for the Saints and for NFL Sunday Night Football (7.0/17) last night. Week 10 of the season saw NOLA’s Saints take the Dallas Cowboys to the cleaners last night in a 49-17 victory and a NFL record-breaking 40 first downs. It also saw a strong 23% rise in fast nationals from last week’s Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans game. In the 8:30 PM – 11 PM block, that November 3 battle got a 5.7/14 rating, which rose to a 6.3/16 for its 8:31 PM – 11:35 PM play in the final numbers. With their 7-2 season so far and team best record of 625 total yards last night, Sunday’s lopsided success was the Saints’ 12th straight primetime win at home in the Superdome. Sunday’s game was watched by 19.30 million viewers, up from last week’s  15.34 million. With live events like last night’s NFL game on NBC, all non-time zone adjusted fast nationals will likely shift when the finals come in later this Veterans Day. In metered market results, the game drew a 13.0/21 during the 8:30 PM to 11:30 PM block. That’s up from the 11.4/19 that Week 9’s much closer 27-24 Colts-Texans game pulled in but down from the 13.5/22 that the Cowboys’ October 13 match-up against the Washington Redskins had. Last night saw New Orleans (56.2/73) as the top metered market for the game, followed by Dallas (30.3/47), San Antonio (22.6/34), Austin (21.5/35 and a tie for fifth place between Albuquerque (20.1/30) and Richmond (20.1/29). With a 5.7/15 rating, NBC won the night in terms of the adult 18-49 demo. It also took the top spot in total viewers with 15.797 million watching.

Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Slays NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Again In Demo
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Ridley Scott To Direct Film About Deadly Effects Of Concussions In Football Players

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 2:12pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Ridley Scott is taking on the massive Moses movie Exodus with Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton, he and producing partner Giannina Facio have been meeting with A-list writers for what he hopes will be the next film he directs. Scott wants to create a drama focusing on the debilitating effects that concussions are having on our sports heroes, and the role that league owners play in allowing it to happen. His plan is to create a morality tale on that issue, much the way that Michael Mann’s The Insider took on the tobacco industry’s complicity in covering up the addictive and cancer-causing effects of cigarette smoking.

Related: NFL Reaches $765M Settlement In Concussion Cases

It sounds like a most worthy project to me. Scott is a big fan of sports including rugby and football, but he is going to focus on pro football. He has been moved reading all that has been written on athletes including former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, both of whom committed suicide after suffering chronic traumatic encephalopathy, with each making sure to leave his brain intact so it could be studied in the hope the results would help their gridiron brethren who also are suffering.

Related: Hot Web Trailer: ‘Casualties Of The Gridiron’
Read More »

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‘Walking Dead’ Slays NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Again In Demo

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 12:01pm PST

That’s two in a row on top for the zombie apocalypse. For the second consecutive week AMC’s The Walking Dead has beaten NBC’s NFL Sunday Night Football in the key 18-49 demo to reign … Read More »

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