Broadcasting 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 German 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.
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. Most analysts are cheering the one-year agreement (potentially two …
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 that 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.
Two 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.
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
Deadline 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 football 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.
The agency followed through today on an effort launched last month by then-Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn: It 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.
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.
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.