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EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu Nominations

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:07am PDT

EMMYS: PBS & CBS Lead Way In News & Docu NominationsThe National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominations for the 35th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. They will be presentedSeptember 30 during a ceremony at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center. PBS led networks with 43 nominations followed by CBS with 42. The New York Times led newspapers with seven noms. Check out the full list here.

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Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning For Special, Followed By Three New Episodes

Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning For Special, Followed By Three New EpisodesThe game is on — again!, BBC One tweeted this afternoon. That was following clues it left Monday night alerting Sherlock fans that a surprise was in store for today. In the first missive, the channel — which had changed its handle to “Sherlock – #221back” for the occasion — posted a GIF of Andrew Scott as Moriarty from the last episode of Season 3, and the question, “Did you miss me?” An hour later, BBC One wrote, “It’s all gone dark… Something’s coming… Or someone. Details at 2.21pm tomorrow.” And now we’ve solved the mystery. The BBC has confirmed the sleuthing drama will return for a special, followed by a series of three new episodes. Shooting on the special will start in January 2015, with the series shooting later next year. “We’re ready to unleash the most shocking and surprising series of #Sherlock yet. The only thing is to expect is the unexpected…,” said BBC One today. A fourth season has unofficially been afoot for some time, but dates have never been specified — a lot of juggling is necessary given the big screen demands on stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Today’s confirmation follows reports on Sunday that the high-functioning sociopath and sidekick/best pal Dr John Watson would be back for a special in 2015. Freeman told The Telegraph a period of filming looked “pretty likely” in early 2015 and that he thought it “might be for next Christmas.” Either way, fans have had to wait long periods before to catch up with the characters, and their fervor has not abated. When Season 3 kicked off on BBC One and PBS in January this year after a two year hiatus, it was the series’ most-watched episode ever, on both sides of the Atlantic. Read More »

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PBS, Led By ‘Sesame Street’, Tops The Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Winners

PBS, Led By ‘Sesame Street’, Tops The Daytime Emmy Creative Arts WinnersThe 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held Friday night at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles drawing 1,200 attendees for The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences gala.  Among networks, PBS chalked up the most wins at 12, followed by Nickelodeon (10), syndicated shows (10), CBS (8), HUB Network (6), TOLN.com (5), ABC (3), Cooking Channel (3), Cartoon Network (2), MeTV (2), YouTube (2), Disney Channel (1), HGTV (1), MTV (1), mipromise.com (1) and OWN (1).  Among TV shows, the wins were as follows: Sesame Street (6), The Ellen DeGeneres Show (5), The Bold and the Beautiful (4), Peg+Cat (3), All My Children (3), Giada in Paradise (3), Peter Rabbit (3), The Young and the Restless (3), Bubble Guppies (2), General Hospital (2), Green Screen Adventures (2), Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2), Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin (2), One Life to Live (2), The Scarecrow (2), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2) and Transformers: Prime Beast Hunters (2).

All winners are listed below by category: Read More »

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‘Sesame Street’ Adding Half-Hour Show In Fall

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 9:04am PDT

‘Sesame Street’ Adding Half-Hour Show In FallA half-hour edition of the iconic children’s show will begin airing in the afternoon September 1 on PBS stations, with selected episodes also set to be available for the first time at PBSKids.org and the PBS Kids app. That’s a nod to the increase in mobile viewing, with streaming video on the app up 34% year-over-year; PBS Kids averages more than 12 million unique visitors per month online, and the app draws more than 1.5 million users each month. “These days, families expect to be able to connect with their favorite Sesame Street friends at any time of day,” said Terry Fitzpatrick, Chief Content and Distribution Officer at Sesame Workshop. “The new afternoon show is a great complement to our continuing efforts to reach more kids with engaging lessons that will help them grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

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Jay Leno To Receive This Year’s Mark Twain Prize For Humor

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 8:39am PDT

Jay Leno To Receive This Year’s Mark Twain Prize For HumorJay Leno has just booked his next stop on the Career Achievement Award Express. The former Tonight Show host will receive the 17th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in a gala October 19 at Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Carol Burnett was last year’s honoree of the award, which the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts bestows annually in a ceremony taped for broadcast on PBS. The pubcaster will air the Leno gala November 23. Leno exited NBC’s The Tonight Show in February after a 22-year run. He was inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame in March, and in April he had a street named for him on the Universal Studios lot. “Like Mark Twain, Jay Leno has offered us a lifetime’s worth of humorous commentary on American daily life,” Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein in the press release this morning. “For both men, no one was too high or too low to escape their wit, and we are all the better for it.”

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Reality Check: Among Treasure Programs, ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Tosses The Script

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 5:30am PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Reality Check is a Deadline feature series covering the players, programs and trends in reality television.

Instead of Emmy love,  PBS stalwart Antiques Roadshow has met with 11 long years of Emmy “like”.

Antiques Roadshow logoDuring the last 12 of its 18 years on the air, Antiques Roadshow has been nominated  11 times in the Outstanding Reality Program Category (including “reality” TV’s former Emmy categories,  Non-Fiction Program/Series). The exception was 2004: the year the Outstanding Reality Program category was introduced, Roadshow was a no-show on the nominees list. (Another sedate PBS series, Colonial House, made the  list then, and the win went to Queer Eye). Read More »

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EMMYS: Hammond On The Renaissance Of Made-For-TV-Movies

Pete Hammond

Awardsline logo_use this oneThe Television Academy, by splitting miniseries and movies for the 2014 contest, has made it easier this year for the made-for-TV movie to compete. Outside of the occasional HBO film, the genre is usually at a disadvantage at the Emmys. Forced to face off directly with the more lavish miniseries form, these two-hour one-offs have had a difficult time holding their own. (Acting, directing and writing categories are still combined for minis/movies).  Occasionally a movie comes along that is so irresistible to TV Academy voters that it can’t be ignored. That was the case last year with HBO’s Behind the Candelabra, which swept both Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies. In 2011, another HBO telefilm, Game Change, had similar success against the longform monsters, but it has not always been easy to beat the odds.

Frontrunner Status
normal heart mark ruffaloWith those two wins, TV movies are enjoying a bit of a renaissance—at least at HBO, which once again has the 800-pound gorilla in the race with Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play, The Normal Heart. The time finally seems right for this drama set in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Written 30 years ago and long in development as a feature film and then TV movie, this provocative and moving study about the human and political consequences of the HIV/AIDS outbreak finally found its way in front of the cameras, thanks in large part to Murphy, who promised the 78-year-old Kramer this movie would happen. In the same year that another decades-in-development-hell drama about the early struggle against AIDS, Dallas Buyers Club, won three Academy Awards—including best and supporting actor statuettes—it seems like kismet-style timing for a Normal Heart Emmy run. The fact that the TV movie still remains relevant and timely enhances the chances of a big win, and its backstory of a long and troubled road to the screen will only help it with voters. Kramer’s well-documented journey with the material should make him a frontrunner in the writing category, and Murphy has a good shot in directing. A superb cast also should score major nominations, including Mark Ruffalo for miniseries/movie lead actor, Julia Roberts (as a polio-stricken doctor) in supporting actress, and a plethora of supporting actors, including Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello (both appeared in the 2011 Broadway revival of the play), Taylor Kitsch, Alfred Molina and Matt Bomer, who in particular really socks home the role of The New York Times writer who becomes an early victim of the virus. Read More »

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PBS’ ‘American Masters’ Getting Overhaul Under New Exec Producer Michael Kantor

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 8:13am PDT

americanmastersThe heralded, award-winning 28-year-old franchise will begin to chronicle not only American masters but also “emerging American masters,” Michael Kantor said in a New York Times interview  — industry speak for “targeting younger viewers.”  The franchise will stop emphasizing important cultural figures important to the baby boom generation, Kantor told NYT, which got first crack at the news. The series will redefine the word “masters” to include profiles of people in industry. Ditto science. That said, the series already has profiled Albert Einstein, as well as I.M. Pei, Billie Jean King, Walter Cronkite,  etc. — in addition to more traditional subjects such as Arthur Miller, Georgia O’Keeffe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Sidney Poitier, Judy Garland, John James Audubon, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, etc.

Susan Lacy, who created American Masters in 1986, left to join HBO in September.

Related: ‘American Masters’ Creator Susan Lacy Departs PBS For HBO

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‘Downton Abbey’s’ Crowd Climbs To 13.2 Million, ‘Sherlock’ To 6.6 Million With Delayed Viewing Added

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 8:20am PDT

DOWNTON ABBEY S 3 DEBUTDownton Abbey‘s fourth season nabbed an average audience of 13.2 million viewers with the addition of  +7 viewing — up nearly 2 million viewers compared to season 3 — securing its status as PBS‘s highest rated drama in its history. Meanwhile, Sherlock‘s third season audience grew to 6.6 million in its new 10 PM timeslot, compared to 4.4 million viewers in Season 2. That’s great news for PBS’s Sunday night, where primetime household ratings jumped 30% since the 2012-13 season, and for PBS’s Masterpiece franchise which, not so long ago, went begging for a corporate sponsor after ExxonMobile bailed. “The success of Downton Abbey and Sherlock proves again that superb storytelling and first-class acting are an unbeatable combination,” Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton crowed Wednesday morning. “If this is indeed a Golden Age of television, we’re proud to be right in the middle of it.”

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How Did That ‘Salinger’ Docu Do On PBS? 2 Million Views

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 4:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORKAfter all the twists and turns on the Shane Salerno-directed docu Salinger that began with a January 2010 Deadline reveal that the film had been shot, how did the documentary do? The American Masters version totaled 2 million viewers, including repeat broadcasts and DVR viewers. This was strong considering the film had been released by The Weinstein Company and was in the top 10 of the year’s theatrical docus, and that it was viewable on Netflix at that time. The Simon & Schuster companion book  written by David Shields and Salerno hit both the New York Times and LA Times bestseller lists. And Salerno more than made back the $2 million he invested to make the film, after he made three 7-figure deals with TWC, S&S and American Masters. It didn’t hurt the Salinger estate either, as Catcher In The Rye hit the bestseller charts again, 62 years after its publication in 1951.

“When combined with the incredible sales figures and national social media conversation, it demonstrates the true impact of public television,” said Stephen Segaller, the WNET programming veep in charge of Salinger. “The fact it was the 200th episode of American Masters makes the accomplishment even sweeter.” Read More »

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Jeremy Piven Series ‘Mr Selfridge’ Gets Season Three Order From ITV

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:51am PST

mr selfridgeIn a move that was expected, ITV officially announced today that it has ordered 10 new episodes of period drama Mr Selfridge. The Jeremy Piven-starring series is currently in its 2nd season and the next promises to see his character’s life begin to “unravel.” The department store drama is based on the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge (Piven) who founded the London shopping mecca Selfridges in 1909. Season 2, which is airing now in the UK with an average 6.4M viewers and a 21.6 share, was the No. 1 show in its time slot last Sunday with 4.8M at 9 PM. The current run picks up in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary and with talk of war ahead in Europe. Season 3 is due to pick up in 1919. PBS starts airing S2 on March 30 in the States; no air dates have been set for the next go-round.

200px-ITV_Studios.svgPiven is currently shooting the Entourage movie and filming on S3 of Mr Selfridge will bring him back to London for an April start. Kate Lewis, executive producer for ITV Studios, says there are “surprises” to come. “You only have to walk down Oxford Street today to know that Selfridges Department Store continued to be successful, but for its founder, Harry Selfridge, things were very different. His … Read More »

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PBS Names Ira Rubenstein New Digital GM

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 7:55am PST

Ira RubensteinPBS has named Ira Rubenstein new general manager of PBS Digital. He will report to PBS chief operating officer Michael Jones and serve as a member of PBS’ senior leadership team, starting March 24. Rubenstein will lead all digital content pbs-logo1and service efforts for PBS and its member stations, and will focus on PBS’ digital efforts in both the children’s and general audience space. He joins from mobile media company MeeMee Media where he was CEO. Prior to that, Rubenstein served as EVP Digital Marketing for 20th Century Fox where he established the Digital Marketing organization and led the team behind social and mobile campaigns for Prometheus, Chronicle, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men: First Class, and others. Before joining Fox in 2011, he had stints at Marvel and Sony.

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‘Downton Abbey’ Scores Another Personal Best In Fourth Season Finale: 8.5M Viewers

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 1:25pm PST

downton-abbeyAn average of 8.5 million viewers tuned in for Downton Abbey‘s fourth season finale last night. That’s a personal finale best for the period drama on PBS. The Season 3 finale drew 8.2 million viewers on February 17 last year, a 50% surge from the Season 2 ender in 2012.

This season  opened on January 5 with 10.2 million tuned in – up 22% compared to the Season 3 debut of 7.9 million which, in turn had been a leap from the series Season 2 launch crowd of 4.2 mil. Even before this latest cycle started, Downton Abbey has been the highest-rated drama in PBS history. Read More »

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‘Downton’ Celebrates Third Super Bowl Runner-Up Finish

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

While an estimated 111.5 million viewers watched the Seattle Seahawks pulverize the Denver Broncos on Fox on Sunday (up from last year’s 109 DOWNTON ABBEY S 3 DEBUTmillion Super Bowl viewers) , 6.8 million viewers opted instead to watch some actual drama over on PBS’s Downton Abbey – celebrating its third consecutive year as The Show That Did Best Against The Super Bowl.

According to Nielsen early stats, Downton’s 6.8 million viewers is a 3% climb compared to last year’s 6.6 million opposite the Super Bowl.  This is no surprise, given the washout-ed-ness of yesterday’s football game, and the been-there-done-that-ed-ness of the Super Bowl ads — versus the high drama of the Downton episode — SPOILER ALERT — in which a big surprise birthday party was thrown for Robert, Edith found out she’s pregnant, Lady Mary caught Rose kissing Jack Ross, and the downstairs staff said good-bye to Alfred!

To put Downton’s 6.8 million viewers in some perspective, this season — Downton’s fourth — ,opened on January 5 with 10.2 million tuned in – up 22% compared to the Season 3 debut of 7.9 million.

PBS and MASTERPIECE kicked off the #DramaBowlPBS rivalry with the Big Game on Wednesday, January 29, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and posts on other social media platforms asking fans “which team are you on?” The campaign posts and images saw tens of thousands of user interactions, generating 31.5 million potential impressions on Twitter and nearly 1.2 million post views, … Read More »

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TCA: Valerie Plame Says ‘Homeland’ Jumped The Shark, Astronaut Peggy Whitson Critiques Sandra Bullock’s ‘Gravity’ Undies

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 2:47pm PST

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 14TCADeadline__140109155905“He ‘stood by me’ even though our ratings were blockbuster and we kicked Fox’s ass? Thank you for ‘standing by me’,” Kathy Griffin snarked at Winter TV Press Tour 2014 when asked about CNN chief Jeff Zucker saying at the tour he was committed to having Griffin back with Anderson Cooper to host CNN’s New Year’s Eve show.

Griffin came to the final session of Winter TV Press Tour 2014 to participate in a Q&A for PBS’s second round of Makers: Women Who Make America documentaries. She was joined by former CIA agent Valerie Plame, and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson — all three women are part of the next batch of six one-hour documentaries looking at women’s roles in war, comedy, space, business, Hollywood and politics.
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TCA: ‘Antiques Roadshow’ Expert Says Fans Emptying Wallets For TV Series Sets, Props

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 1:13pm PST

TCA Among the ancillary markets for producers of TV series with rabid followings: selling props and scraps of sets to fans. “It was not surprising to me Sony sold off a number of Breaking Bad props, and they did really well,” appraiser Laura Woolley told surprised TV critics during PBS‘ Q&A for Antiques Roadshow at Winter TV Press Tour 2014. “Some are stunned at how quickly markets have developed for some of these shows,”she said, when TV critics in the room seemed just that. Woolley added that many people assume  it’s only “vintage Hollywood” were the real money is, but the market has changed radically during the past few years. “Fans are ready to get their hands on stuff the minute a show wraps — anything that has a cult following on television. … If it’s big at Comic-Con, there’s a big market for props.”

Related: From Cult Series To Game-Changer: ‘Breaking Bad’ Goes Out On A High

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TCA: PBS Orders More ‘Women Who Make America’, Interviews Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Shonda Rhimes

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 8:27am PST

PBS is partnering with AOL for six new one-hourTCA Deadline documentaries as part of its Makers: Women Who Make America franchise. Scheduled to premiere in June and August 2014, the docus build on the multi-platform initiative founded by filmmaker Dyllan McGee, which launched in 2012. The new series expands on the three-hour PBS documentary  of same name, which premiered in February 2013 and told the story of the American Makers: Women Who Make Americawomen’s movement over the last half-century. Kathy Griffin, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and the producers of Makers are scheduled to discuss the project at the press tour tomorrow. Among those profiled in the docu-series are Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler, Shonda Rhimes, and Sarah Silverman. Each of the new documentaries tackles a different sphere of influence, including business, war, space, Hollywood, politics and comedy. Read More »

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TCA: PBS Orders New Math Show From Canadian Kids TV Producer Sinking Ship

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 7:16am PST

TCA PBS Kids has ordered a new live-action series, Odd Squad, in which two agents, Olive and Otto, are on a mission to save the day using math. Odd Squad is created by Tim McKeon (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Adventure Time, The Electric Company) and Adam Peltzman (The Electric Company, The Backyardigans, Wallykazam!), and PBSKids_logoproduced by Canadian kids TV producer Sinking Ship Entertainment and The Fred Rogers Company. The new series is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Each episode of Odd Squad includes two 11-minute cases in which the agents use math to recapture a gallon-sized blob that has separated into smaller pieces, deal with a slew of unicorns, dinosaurs and wizards that have escaped from books, etc. Read More »

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TCA: Ken Burns’ 10-Year Plan Includes Roosevelts, Cancer, Jackie Robinson, Ernest Hemingway and Vietnam

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 8:29pm PST

2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 12“I’m a pig in shit,” Ken Burns said of his quantity of documentary films in the pipeline. First up: The Address is extremely short by Burns’ standards – under two hours long. It follows a school in TCADeadline__140109155905Vermont that has students each year memorize the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Lincoln on November 19, 1863 at the dedication of a cemetery on the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought on U.S. soil. It was, Burns noted, not universally embraced at the time – a Chicago newspaper’s review said, “The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.” The Address airs April 15 at 9 PM on PBS. Read More »

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