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’
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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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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Steady, ‘Simpsons’ Down, ‘Revenge’ & ‘Betrayal’ Rise

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 9:17am PST

There was drama both on and off the field during last night’s NFL Sunday Night Football (5.7/14) Week 9 game. Houston Texans head couch Gary Kubiak had to be taken to a hospital … Read More »

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UPDATED: Could Netflix Or Google Land NFL Games?

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 8:15am PDT

UPDATED, 4:01 PM: The NFL responded to the WSJ report today by saying there are no plans to add more games on Thursday nights, let alone discussions about who might air them. Brian McCarthy, the league’s VP Communications, tweeted today: “Wondering where the idea of Thursday night doubleheaders … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ & MLB Up On Big Sports Night, CBS & ABC Shows Hit Lows

By | Monday October 14, 2013 @ 9:11am PDT

Yes, The Walking Dead was back on cable but it was an even split on the Big 4 between sports and non-sports last night – and, like the Dallas Cowboys and the Red Sox, sports won. In terms on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (7.3/18), it wasn’t quite the rout of last week’s 49ers 34-3 win over the Texans, but Dallas beat the Washington Redskins a pretty convincing 31-16 Sunday thanks to Dwayne Harris and a very solid defense. Easily the No 1. show on Sunday, the game was up 28% in fast nationals over last week. The SF/Houston game rose to 7.0/19 in finals last week. Between 8:30 PM and 11 PM, last night’s game was watched by 19.65 million viewers. Last night’s Cowboys/Redskins game got a 13.5/22 in metered markets. That’s up 7% from Week 6 last year and up 21% over the comparable week in 2011. Up against Boston vs. the Detroit Tigers on Fox, last night’s Sunday Night Football was also the best MM result for a primetime NFL game against a MLB Championship game since October 13, 1997. Not unexpectedly, Dallas was the top local market for the NFL match-up on Sunday. With a 35.5/52, DC was No. 2 with a 34.1/52 with Richmond (32.7/45, Norfolk (25.4/35) and San Antonio (25.1/39) filling out the top 5. Fast affiliate ratings are not time zone adjusted, so expect Sunday’s sports numbers to change later in the day. With a 6.0/16 rating and 16.032 million watching, NBC topped the night with Fox coming in the No. 2 spot with a 3.6/9 rating and 11.36 million viewers.
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NFL Audible: League Will Select A Team For HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ If None Volunteers

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 4:58pm PDT

The NFL has quietly passed a rule during its fall meeting that will force one franchise per year to be filmed for HBO’s Hard Knocks. The news came the same day that the league was fending off some negative PR over PBS’ premiere of the football concussion docu League Of Denial and President Obama weighing in on the Washington Redskins nickname flap. The popular series, which follows a team through preseason, had a tough time finding a subject this year. Five teams declined to participate before the Cincinnati Bengals — a good-not-great small-market franchise with a negligible national following — agreed to do it for a second time. The NFL and HBO signed a multiyear extension for the program in July, so something had to be done. Under the new rules, teams can volunteer to be on the program, but now the league will select one if there are no takers. Teams that have a new head coach, have been in the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons, or have done one  Hard Knocks in the past 10 years are exempt from appearing on the show.

Related: Discovery Channel’s NFL Two-Parter To Be Produced By NFL
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CBS Loses Its Raiders-Chargers Game To NFL Network Because Of Baseball Playoffs

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 9:58pm PDT

File this under “cable confounds broadcast again”: CBS is losing an NFL rivalry game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers this Sunday because grounds crews won’t have enough time to convert the … Read More »

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CBS Pre-Empting ‘60 Minutes’ For NFL And Primetime Emmy Awards

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT

CBS announced this morning it will pre-empt 60 Minutes this Sunday for NFL football and the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Scrubbing this Sunday’s newsmag edition gives CBS its best hope for starting Read More »

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Discovery Channel’s NFL Two-Parter To Be Produced By NFL

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 10:25am PDT

Discovery Channel announced this morning it will air a two-part special, NFL In Season, in which the network goes on the road with the NFL as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for two “critical regular season games” — in London. It will be produced by NFL Films. The two-part special will premiere Friday, October 4, and Friday, November 1. In this way the special will book-end PBS’ Frontline special about head injuries sustained by NFL players, League Of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, which is now scheduled to debut on PBS on October 8. The Frontline project was originally scheduled to debut as a two-parter October 8 and October 15, but that was before ESPN pulled out of that documentary, calling it a “branding” issue. Anonymous sources in August told the New York Times that ESPN, which reportedly pays the NFL upwards of $1 billion a year for Monday Night Football rights, succumbed to pressure from the NFL, which the NFL denied. This morning’s announcement: Read More »

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NFL Forcing Orlando TV Viewers To Watch Losing Jaguars – And Only Jaguars

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 9:29pm PDT

NFL ratings are soaring again this young season, exemplified by Sunday’s matchup of quarterback brothers Peyton and Eli Manning. And the stellar numbers for that game would have been ever better if not for the mandatory regional … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Down But NBC Wins Night, ‘Miss America’ Up Strong For ABC

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 9:13am PDT

With 3:13 left in the first quarter last night, a Pacific Northwest storm temporarily drowned out NBC’s Sunday Night Football (7.4/19) contest between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Just over an hour later, first-quarter play resumed (at 7:04 PM PT) after the downpour ended. The hometown team certainly didn’t suffer for the delay, though with Seahawks routing their NFC rivals 29-3. However, in the first numbers, Week 2 of the NFL on NBC did not do so well: Between 8:30-11 PM ET, Sunday’s game tumbled 19% from the 9.1/23 fast nationals of Week 1’s New Giants-Dallas Cowboys game, which later went up to a 10.0/27 in the final numbers. Last night’s game drew 18.24 million viewers, down from last week’s 23.25 million in the early numbers. Fast affiliate ratings are not time zone-adjusted, so expect Sunday’s numbers to change later today.

Related: CBS Scores With 15-Year NFL Ratings High For Manning Brothers’ Faceoff

In time zone-adjusted metered-market results, last night’s game on NBC drew a 13.6/24 between 8:30-9 PM ET and 10 PM-12:15 AM ET. Among the takeaway stats, the Seehawks-49ers matchup was the best overnight result for any West Coast NFC primetime game since November 25, 1991, when the 49ers played the then-LA Rams. That faceoff scored a 15.4/24. Overall, NBC easily won the night with a 6.3/17 rating and 15.949 million viewers. CBS was No. 2 with a 2.9/8 rating and 10.277 million viewers. Read More »

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CBS Scores With 15-Year NFL Ratings High For Manning Brothers’ Faceoff

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 8:24am PDT

Manning Bowl TV Ratings CBSIt was the Manning Bowl III on Sunday, and CBS got the touchdown. As brother Peyton and his Denver Broncos beat younger brother Eli and his New York Giants 41-23, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC Wins Night As NFL ‘Sunday Night Football’ Slips From 2012

By | Monday September 9, 2013 @ 8:57am PDT

The Texan boys were truly back in town last night on the NFL on NBC. The network’s debut Sunday Night Football (9.1/23) of the regular season saw the Dallas Cowboys best the … Read More »

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UPDATE: Bruno Mars Confirmed For Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show

By | Sunday September 8, 2013 @ 10:10am PDT

Bruno Mars Super BowlUPDATE: Bruno Mars joined Fox‘s NFL Sunday program this morning to make it official. The platinum-selling Grammy winner will play the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Did you miss some of Deadline’s top TV stories of the week? Check them out here:

CW In Talks For ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama By ‘Heroes” Creator Tim Kring
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Ryan Seacrest Booed By Broncos Fans During NBC’s NFL Pregame Show: Video
By Lisa De Moraes - NBC continues its Overexposing Ryan Seacrest campaign — this time the network had The Man Who Can’t Say No open NBC’s regular-season NFL football franchise kickoff last night, in which he got loudly booed by Broncos fans in Denver’s Sports Authority Stadium.

Were Consumers The Biggest Losers In The CBS-Time Warner Cable Dispute?
By David Lieberman - It sure looks that way. Millions of Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS-owned stations and channels for a month, and will still probably see their monthly rates rise to accommodate the deal that the companies made last night.

Fired ‘Storage Wars’ Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten – Dave Hester can move forward with the wrongful termination portion of his wide-ranging lawsuit against A&E and the producers of Storage Warsa judge ruled today. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: NBC’s NFL Opener Beats 2012, Scores Third Best Results In 11 Years

By | Friday September 6, 2013 @ 1:25pm PDT

UPDATE, 1:25 PM: The final score is in for last night’s NFL regular season opener on NBC. The numbers saw a slight rise that brought Thursday game within tackle distance of the best result of the past 11 years. In time zone-adjusted final ratings last night’s 9:15 PM-12:25 AM blowout victory by the Denver Broncos pulled in a 10.3/27 among adults 18-49. Fast nationals earlier today had the game getting a 10.0/27 ratings. Today’s final number is a 6% bump over last season’s 9.7/26 final numbers for the regular-season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Last night’s game was the third best result since the Thursday kickoff started back in 2002. Not that it was that far behind the top spot. The top two Kickoff results in the key demo are the 10.9 rating that 2011’s September 8 season opener between Green Bay Packers and New Orleans drew and the 10.7 rating that 2010′s New Orleans-Minnesota game pulled. Viewership from last night’s game was also up over 2012. The Broncos-Ravens game garnered 25.133 million viewers. Without Bill Clinton’s speech at last year’s DNC as competition, that’s up 5% from the 23.886 million who watched the Cowboys-Giants game. Last night’s game was also the third-most-watched NFL Kickoff in the last 11 years behind the 27.5 million of 2010’s New Orleans-Minnesota game and the 27.1 million of 2011’s Green Bay-New Orleans matchup.

Related:Ryan Seacrest Booed During NFL Pregame Show: Video

PREVIOUSLY, 8:42 AM: What a difference a year makes. Last September 5th, the NFL regular season opened on NBC facing Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Last night’s season opener (10.0/27) featuring the Denver Broncos soundly beating the Super Bowl champ Baltimore Ravens 49-27 didn’t face any such competition. Neither did NBC as it easily won the night in adults 18-49 with a 9.2/26 and among total viewers and 23.190 million watching. CBS came in second with a 1.5/5 rating and a viewership of 5.891 million. Read More »

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UPDATE: Ryan Seacrest Booed By Broncos Fans During NBC’s NFL Pregame Show: Video

By | Friday September 6, 2013 @ 1:11pm PDT

UPDATED with final numbers: NBC continues its Overexposing Ryan Seacrest campaign — this time the network had The Man Who Can’t Say No open NBC’s regular-season NFL football franchise kickoff last night, in which he got loudly booed by Broncos fans in Denver’s Sports Authority Stadium. “Working the NFL season opener! Finally those 2-a-days paid off. I hope my high school coach is watching. #Kickoff2013”, Seacrest tweeted excitedly before his debut. “Please welcome — Ryan Seacrest,” Disembodied Voice said as a suit-and-tied Seacrest walked out on the field on national TV last night, and football fans began to jeer.

Because it was Ryan Seacrest. And they’re not stupid.

“I only know of one other countdown that might be as big as this show,” the master of self-promotion continued gamely — a reference to his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve gig on ABC. The crowd was not impressed. They booed some more.

“America is ready for 17 weeks of excitement, followed by the drama of the playoffs, all culminating in New York at the Super Bowl!” Seacrest said, explaining how the football season worked to Denver’s die-hard fans as though he was explaining to viewers some new rule change on American Idol. The crowd booed some more. “So come on Denver, let’s join these football greats — representing all 32 teams — and ring in the NFL season! Here we go!” he yelled, as the crowd continued to express unhappiness, and 25.1 million viewers saw it from the comfort of their couches and their sports bars. (continued)

Related: Ratings Rat Race: NBC’s NFL Opener Beats ’12 and ’11

Read More »

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NFL Network’s ‘Rich Eisen Kickoff Special’ Up Big From 2012

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 11:07am PDT

Looks like Matt Damon, Larry David and Kevin Costner made up a winning team for the 2013 Rich Eisen Kickoff Special on NFL Network this week. With the three actors talking film, football and the upcoming NFL season, the September 3rd 30-minute special was up significantly in both demos and viewership from its one-hour show on September 6, 2012. The 10:30 PM Kickoff Special from the NFL GameDay Morning host saw a 128% rise among adults 18-49 and a 42% rise among adults 25-54 with 132,000 and 111,000 viewers in the key demos respectively. Last year’s special had Erin Andrews, Olympian Ryan Lochte, Hank Azaria, Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson and Atlanta Falcon Tony Gonzalez as guests. Overall viewership was also up double digits with a 29% rise to 229,000 this year from 2012’s 177,000.That result makes this week’s Rich Eisen Kickoff Special the sixth most watched special on NFL Network this year after their Schedule Release, Free Agents and Super Bowl specials.
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Fox International Channels Scores NFL Rights For Parts Of Europe

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 3:49am PDT

Madrid – September, 4th 2013 – FOX International Channels, 21st Century Fox multimedia business, announced today a 2-year agreement with NFL International to broadcast one NFL game per window in English across parts of Europe on FOX Sports channels, FOX Sports branded blocks, and FOX Sports services beginning with the 2013 season.

NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch on FIC Sunday games, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and all three U.S. Thanksgiving Day Games in English. FIC will also broadcast all NFL postseason games in English, including the Super Bowl.

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