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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Return & ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Community’ Tie Lows, ‘Idol’ Even

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 9:16am PDT

HELL'S KITCHEN MARCH 13 DEBUTHe’s back and already it’s like Gordon Ramsay never left. The Season 12 premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (1.9/7) last night saw Fox’s favorite screaming cook return to train, torture and systematically eliminate another set of aspiring chefs. With a move from last year’s Tuesday debut to Thursday and down to one hour from the two-hour premiere last year, Hell’s Kitchen was basically steady last night compared with the Season 11 opener. Dipping just 5% from the 2.0/7 of March 12, 2013, HK actually saw a 4% bop up in viewership from last year to 5.3 million. However, last night was down 13% from the 2.2 rating of its two-hour Season 11 finale on July 25 last year — a Thursday. In another move announced last week for Thursdays on Fox, American Idol (2.2/6) shifted from 8 PM to the 9 PM slot previously occupied by the floundering Rake. The move was neither a benefit nor hindrance for the one-hour live results show as Idol was even with last’s week’s all-time low among the key demo. Overall, CBS won the night with a 2.5/8 rating and 10.60 million viewers.

Related: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Gets 3-Year Pickup

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‘SNL’: Lena Dunham Joins In Parody Of ABC’s ‘Scandal’ (Video)

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 5:35am PDT

Saturday Night Live‘s guest host Lena Dunham last night played a self-absorbed neophyte who’s overwhelmed by the competence of everyone in Olivia Pope’s crisis management firm. Sasheer Zamata mimics Kerry Washington. Here you go:

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’, Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Crazy Ones’ Down, ‘Two & A Half Men’, ‘Elementary’ & ‘Reign’ Up, ‘Wonderland’ Returns Even

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 9:06am PST

KERRY WASHINGTONReturning strong last week after a long winter break, both ABC’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy took a hit last night. Back for the second week since its break, the Shonda Rhimes produced political intrigue series drew a 2.8/8 among adults 18-49 last night. That’s a sharp 18% drop from last week’s results. The Washington D.C.-based show was led in by Rhimes’ Seattle-based Grey’s, which also had returned on February 27. The medical drama pulled a 2.6/7 in the key demo – a 16% slide from last week. ABC started the night with the return of another show that had taken a long hiatus. Back with its first new show since December 12, 2013, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.8/3) was even with that last original. That left the fantasy-drama tying a series low.
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UPDATE: Spanish-Language ‘Scandal’ Spoof On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ To Become Series

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 1:16pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

escandalo1UPDATE 1:15 PM: Following the success last night of Escandalo, a Spanish-language “version” of hit ABC drama Scandal on Jimmy Kimmel Live, I’ve learned that the spoof is being turned into a series, with three more episodes slated to air on JKL through the rest of the season. Like the first video, they will feature Scandal cast members. That will include Guillermo Diaz, who wasn’t in the first skit and has Latin American roots via his Cuban parents. 

PREVIOUS 7 AM: On the night of Scandals midseason premiere, star Kerry Washington was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night where she introduced Escandalo, a Spanish-language version of the hot ABC drama. Here is the video, which features Washington and a number of her fellow Scandal cast members (but surprisingly, no Guillermo Diaz), as well as JKL‘s own Guillermo and Kimmel.

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Ratings Rat Race: Strong Return For ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Scandal’; ‘American Idol’, ‘Rake’ Hit New Lows; Tweaked CBS Lineup Debuts

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 9:47am PST
Nellie Andreeva

tony-goldwyn-scandal-recap-abcThis is the much-needed good ratings news ABC had been desperately waiting for after the string of disastrous premieres for The Assets, Killer Women, Mind Games and most recently Mixology. It came courtesy of Shonda Rhimes, who’s become the network’s single most important producer. Both Rhimes dramas, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0) and Scandal (3.3), returned up from their two-and-a-half-month-long hiatuses, bringing a sigh of relief to ABC brass who took on a risky experiment by doing cable-style split seasons with a long break for all of their top serialized dramas this season. Grey’s Anatomy was up 11% from its last original on December 12, Scandal was up a tenth. That’s with virtually no lead-in as ABC aired a low-rated Oscar special at 8 PM (1.0).

Fox’s American Idol (2.3 in 18-49) was down a tenth from last week to hit an all-time demo low for a second consecutive Thursday. It ticked up in total viewers, from 9.2 million to 9.8 million. Rake (0.8) tumbled 20% from last week to a new series low en route to cancellation.

Related: The Challenges Of Dramas With Antihero Lead On Broadcast TV

CBS introduced its tweaked Thursday comedy lineup, with Two And A Half Men and The Crazy Ones switching time periods. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’ & ‘Grey’s’ Finales Rise, ‘Vampire Diaries’ & ‘Reign’ Flat

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 9:39am PST
Nellie Andreeva

KERRY WASHINGTONNot even a ratings monster like NBC’s The Sound Of Music could stop ABC‘s hot drama Scandal, which managed to post a week-to-week increase against the NBC special last Thursday. In its fall finale last night, the soapy thriller (3.2 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers) was up again, by 7% in 18-49 and by 12% in viewers, to post two-month highs in both categories. Scandal again ranked as the second-highest-rated program of the night behind CBS The Big Bang Theory, building on its lead-in, Grey’s Anatomy. The veteran ABC medical drama (2.7, 8.5 million) rebounded from taking a hit against The Sound Of Music last week, up  17% in 18-49 and 20% in total viewers. Vs. last year’s fall finale, Grey’s was down 7% in the 18-49 demo but up 4% in viewers. Grey’s once again was a self-starter, as its lead-in, Once Upon A Time In Wonderlanddrew only a 0.9 and 3.5 million viewers to finish flat week-to-week and tied a series low.

Also closing their fall runs were the CW’s The Vampire Diaries (1.0) and Reign (0.6), which both slipped against the NBC musical last Thursday. Neither quite recovered, both finishing even with their 18-49 ratings from last week, but Reign gained 12% in total viewers (1.86 million) to log its most-watched episode since the premiere.

After the ratings fireworks last week with The Sound Of Music, NBC went back to normal on Thursday with ratings around 1 in 18-49. The Sing-Off (1.4) did the best, despite dropping 22% from its Wednesday telecast. It actually matched the strongest ratings any NBC regular Thursday series has delivered this fall since Week 2 of the season. The Sing-Off also topped Fox’s The X Factor (1.2) for a second straight night and gave a small boost to Sean Saves The World (1.0), which was up a tenth in his return after two weeks off. The Michael J. Fox Show (0.9) and Parenthood (1.2) were flat with their most recent originals. X Factor was down 14% from last week. Read More »

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AFI Awards 2013: ‘Orange Is The New Black’, ‘Masters Of Sex’, ‘House Of Cards’ Among Top 10 TV Programs, ‘Homeland’ & ‘Modern Family’ Out

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 12:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The-logo-for-this-years-AFI-Awards_event_mainThere are no hard rules for AFI‘s list of Top 10 programs of the year as the film institute tends to mix critical darlings with crowd pleasers, series, miniseries and TV movies. (Cable ratings juggernauts The Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Asylum made the AFI Awards list last year, along with the HBO movie Game Change). No longform entries on this year’s list, which features one major surprise — the omission of ABC’s Emmy-winning Modern Family, KERRY WASHINGTONwhich had been among AFI’s  Top 10 programs each of the past four years. Also MIA this season is Showtime’s drama Homeland, which made the cut the last two years. This is the most drama-heavy AFI list I can remember, with only one half-hour series, HBO’s Veep. (Netflix’s hourlong Orange Is The New Black was nominated as a comedy by the WGA but is competing as a drama for the Golden Globes and the Emmys.)

Related: AFI’s Top 10 Films: Good News For Majors

The guilty pleasure on the roster is ABC’s hot sophomore drama Scandal, landing its first major best series awards recognition.  The rest of the series have been in top awards consideration and received WGA noms last week, with the exception Game Of Thrones, which was not in the running due to a submission error. Returning from last year are Game Of Thrones, Emmy winner Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Here is the full list: Read More »

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ABC Reduces ‘Scandal’ Order To 18 Episodes

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 10:30am PST
Nellie Andreeva

There will be less Scandal on ABC‘s schedule this season than originally planned. KERRY WASHINGTONThe network has reduced the order for the hot Shonda Rhimes drama from 22 to 18 episodes. The network wouldn’t give a reason for the cutback but, of course, it is not because ABC doesn’t want a full season of Scandal — it would gladly take 40 episodes a season from its new flagship drama series if it could. But Scandal star Kerry Washington is pregnant, and it’s getting hard to hide the pregnancy in loose-fitting clothes for the normally super stylish and elegant Olivia Pope — and it’s hard to reduce Washington’s workload as Pope is the show and in most scenes. The episode reduction would probably be an unexpected but welcome relief for Scandal‘s writers as it is extremely hard to sustain a dense serialized drama like Scandal for a 22-episode season. (The show did seven episodes in Season 1 and 22 in Season 2.) Scandal cannot be hotter — season-to-date, the series is up 57% in adults 18-49 (4.4) and 50% in total viewers (12.6 million) vs. last year. It is the fastest-growing returning series this season and in the so-important C3 ratings that determine ad revenues, Scandal just moved ahead of NBC’s breakout The Blacklist (3.58 rating vs. 3.55). Scandal also has been regularly building on its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in, by a best-ever 29% last night. A pregnancy … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’ Holds Steady For First No. 1 As CBS Comedies Hit Lows

By | Friday November 1, 2013 @ 9:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Scandal Ratings VictoryIt was a quiet start to the November sweep with shows slipping last night along with the Halloween-depressed HUT levels (down 8% from 8-11 PM and 10% from 8-10 PM). That makes Scandal‘s (2.9 in adults 18-49) week-to-week hold all the more impressive. And with CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (2.5) a repeat, Scandal ranked as the No. 1 program on Thursday night for the first time. ABC’s annual It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special (2.2) doubled Once Upon A Time In Wonderland‘s rating in the 8 PM hour last week but was down 19% from last year. Grey’s Anatomy (2.6) slipped 7% but ABC still won the night in adults 18-49, the network’s first time topping the opening night of the November sweep in 6 years. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Under The Dome Syndrome For NBC, ‘Reign’ Slips In Week 2

By | Friday October 25, 2013 @ 9:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It feels like NBC’s Thursday night has developed its own electromagnetic field affecting every program that enters it so it cannot go above a 1.3 in adults 18-49. That was the high-water mark logged by Parks And Recreation and Parenthood last week, and it was the case again last night. The network didn’t see any significant improvement after pulling Welcome To The Family last week. The Voice repeat in the 8 PM hour matched Parks And Recreation‘s 1.3 from last week (though did better than Welcome To The Family‘s 0.9). Sean Saves The World, The Michael J. Fox Show and Parenthood matched their deliveries from last week — 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, respectively — as NBC’s lineup appears isolated from the rest of the world and impervious to competition.

And competition did change last night, with Fox airing Game 2 of the World Series, which continues to run ahead of last year’s Series with a better matchup. The Boston-St. Louis face-off drew a 3.4 in preliminary non-time-zone adjusted ratings, up 17% vs. Game 2 last fall. Baseball ratings will go up in the finals, giving Fox a nightly demo win. Read More »

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‘L&O: SVU’ Defends Ripped-From-Headlines Crown During Anthony Weiner Week

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 7:39am PDT

It’s Anthony Weiner Week on broadcast TV! Two primetime drama series announced they will air competing Weiner-esque storylines, political scientists have navel-lint gazed in press reports about the phenomenon, and The Reporters Who Cover Television are poised to break the news first, in re which Weiner Week episode played best with viewers in key demographic groups.

Tonight, NBC’s defending champ Law & Order franchise, which wrote the book on headline off-ripping, gets first crack at Weiner’s world. The long-running Law & Order: SVU has done an episode about a guy running for New York mayor who is accused of sending naughty photos online to a 15-year-old female, using the name Enrique Trouble. Too easy? L&O: SVU is defending its title against relative newcomer, ABC’s Scandal. Tomorrow night, that primetime soap sees heroine/POTUS mistress Olivia Pope working with a sexting senator, who may be a murder suspect. Of course, both storylines are far worse than the reality of Weiner’s life, though his life isn’t over yet — only his political one. In real life, Weiner resigned apologetically from Congress when illustrated sexting reports hit the media, after which he launched a bid to become mayor of NYC, which was derailed by more reports of continued sexting  — mostly by his funny sexting pseudonym Carlos Danger.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’ Sizzles, ‘Wonderland’ Fizzles, CW Tops NBC & ABC At 8 PM, ‘Reign’ Soft In Debut

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 9:44am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Is there a hotter show on broadcast TV than Scandal right now? Last night the soapy drama nabbed a 3.3 live rating in adults 18-49, up 6% from last week and its second best demo number ever behind this month’s premiere. Scandal is expected to finish the week as the top rated broadcast drama in 18-49 (Live+same day) — topping seasoned veterans like CBS’ NCIS and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (2.6 last night, down 7% from last week) and hot newcomers like NBC’s The Blacklist, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and ABC’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and the second highest rated in all of TV behind AMC’s The Walking Dead. But ABC’s success at 10 PM with Scandal was offset by the shaky performance at 8 PM of new drama Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. The Once spinoff dived 29% from its soft premiere last week to a 1.2.

Wonderland was topped in the 8 PM hour by the CW’s The Vampire Diaries (1.3), which also finished ahead of the NBC comedies in the hour. TVD posted big week-to-week gains for its best numbers of the season, +30% in 18-49 and +33% in total viewers (2.8 million). But, like with ABC, it was a good news/bad news situation for the CW last night, with another newcomer performing sub par. The heavily … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Glee’ Rises With Cory Monteith Tribute, ‘Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’ Soft In Debut, NBC Fades

By | Friday October 11, 2013 @ 8:23am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night’s Glee episode, an emotional send-off of tragic star Cory Monteith‘s character Finn, drew a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49, 2.9 in 18-34 and 7.4 million viewers. That was up +75% from last week in 18-49, up 81% in 18-34 and up 68% in total viewers. Written by Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, “The Quarterback” was the series’ highest-rated episode in 18-49 and 18-34 in more than a year. In 18-49, it tied ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in the 9 PM hour. At 8 PM, The X Factor (1.9) was down a tenth.

Related: Ryan Murphy Exclusive On Cory Monteith Memorial Episode

The Wonderland rabbit hole was no match for the black hole the ABC 8 PM slot has become, swallowing a slew of newcomers over the past few years. In its debut, spinoff Once Upon a Time In Wonderland (1.7 in 18-49) couldn’t conjure the magic of the original series, down 23% from the premiere of new defunct Last Resort in the Thursday 8 PM hour last fall and just above the opener of fellow casualty My Generation in fall 2010 (1.6). Grey’s Anatomy (2.8) was down 7% from its fast national last week. Scandal (3.1) was down 14% from its record-setting season premiere last week and again the top-rated Thursday drama.

NBC’s Thursday lineup is flat-lining with an average 1.1 rating. Parks And Recreation (1.2) was down a tenth from its fast national last week (flat with the final) for the best retention on the network by a mile. Its 1.2 actually was the highest rating of the night on NBC, tied by The Michael J. Fox Show (down a big 29%) and Parenthood (down 20%). In their second week, Welcome To The Family (0.8) and Sean Saves The World (1.0) tumbled from their underwhelming premieres, down 27% and 29%, respectively. Read More »

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‘Scandal’ Tops Premiere Of Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 2:46pm PDT

UPDATED: Scandal’s third-season debut topped Nielsen’s first weekly Twitter TV ratings, bagging about 713,000 tweets reaching a Twitter audience of 3.7 million. (On TV, the third season debut of ABC’s Washington soap clocked an average of 10.5 million viewers.) Miley Cyrus came in second and third in Nielsen’s Twitter ratings report. At No. 2, her MTV documentary, Miley: The Movement ginned up 142,000 tweets, reaching about 3.2 million on Twitter. That was followed by Saturday Night Live, on which Cyrus played host and music act, which generated nearly 176,000 tweets reaching 3.146 million people on Twitter. These numbers come the same day Twitter officially unveiled the ratings measure, which considers the number of people who read TV-related tweets, not just the number of writers.

Related: Nielsen Formally Unveils Twitter Plan

Not surprisingly, the Twitter Top-10 for the week of September 30 included lots of competition — competition-series fanatics love to tweet while viewing. The two episodes of NBC’s singing competition series The Voice checked in at No. 4 and No. 5, and ABC’s revamped Dancing With The Stars finished No. 8. Even Fox’s struggling The X Factor made the Top-10 list — twice — ranking No. 9 last Tuesday with 255.2 tweets reaching 2.039 million, and No. 10 on Wednesday with 188,000 tweets reaching more than 1.8 million people on Twitter. These numbers bear little resemblance to the TV ratings. Certain shows are Twitter crack, but not necessarily ratings magnets — we call it The Sharknado Effect. (Remember how the media predicted Syfy’s orgy of bad special effects had been a ratings phenom after seeing people go nuts over it on Twitter only to have to back-peddle when the ratings came in and they were totally meh?) Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’ Returns To Record Highs, ‘The Millers’ Premiere OK, New NBC Comedies, ‘The Originals’ Soft

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 10:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Here is a note to producers disheartened by the soft opening of their new series — it can still become a hit. You just need to have a showrunner like Shonda Rhimes behind it. Rhimes’ ABC drama Scandal continues to grow, opening its third season with series highs in adults 18-49 (3.6) and total viewers (10.5 million). In 18-49, that was up a whopping 71% from last fall’s Season 2 debut, which in turn was up 5% from the show’s inauspicious midseason debut (2.0). (Can anyone on TV do cliffhangers better than Rhimes?) Scandal also built on its Grey’s Anatomy lead-in by its largest margins ever, 12% in viewers and 20% in 18-49. Grey’s (3.0) was down 12% from last week’s season premiere.

CBS used juggernaut The Big Bang Theory to launch a second new comedy this fall. The Millers (3.3/10) did OK but fell short of The Crazy Ones‘ debut last week (3.9) and Two And A Half Men‘s season premiere in the 8:30 PM slot last fall (3.5). The Crazy Ones opener had a bigger lead-in from a second Big Bang original at 8:30 PM (6.1), while last night’s Big Bang (5.0) was down 9% from last week’s 8 PM episode. Following The Millers, Crazy Ones (2.9) dropped 26% from its premiere. Two And A Half Men (2.4) was down 17% for a series low, while Elementary (2.0) was down 5%. Still, CBS edged ABC for the top spot in 18-49 (2.9 vs. 2.8), winning comfortably in total viewers (11.7 million). Read More »

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Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 3:47pm PDT

The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts is about to get a taste of some Olivia Pope – kind of. On the day of the Season 10 debut of Grey’s Anatomy, President Barack Obama today used some of his patronage power and appointed Shonda Rhimes, the creator/EP of the medical drama and Scandal, to the Center’s Board of Trustees. Obama also appointed the Carlyle Group’s CEO David Rubenstein Empire Global Ventures’ CEO Alexandra Stanton, Chicago art gallery owner Amalia Pera Mahoney, FI Investment Group CEO Frank Islam and Entravision Communications’ CEO Walter Ulloa to the Board Thursday as well. “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead,” said Obama in a statement when making the announcements. Rhimes was a big supporter of Obama’s campaigns for President as both a donor and even worked in a phone bank with Private Practice actress Kate Walsh for the candidate. Season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres tonight on ABC with Season 3 of the D.C. political drama Scandal set to launch on October 3rd.

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Joanne Kelly In ‘Hostages’, Jack Coleman In ‘Scandal’, America Olivo In ‘Chicago PD’

By | Tuesday September 24, 2013 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Joanne Kelly, who is finishing a five-year run on Syfy’s top-rated drama Warehouse 13, has been tapped for a major recurring role on the new CBS drama Hostages. She plays Vanessa, an ambitious ambassador and the sister of the First Lady of the United States (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Kelly is with Domain and Joannie Burstein.

Heroes alum Jack Coleman has been cast in a multi-episode arc on ABC’s Scandal. Per Shonda Rhimes’ gag order, little is known about his character Daniel Douglas, who is a charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators. He’s repped by Domain and Framework. Read More »

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Lisa Kudrow Joins ABC Drama ‘Scandal’

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 2:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A Friend-ly gladiator is joining the gang on Shonda Rhimes’ hot Washington DC drama Scandal. Friends alumna Lisa Kudrow has been tapped for a recurring role on the ABC series’ upcoming third season. In typical Shonda fashion, details about Kudrow’s character are kept under wraps, but I’ve learned that she plays a politician. On the Kerry Washington-starring drama, Kudrow is joining her long-time producing partner Dan Bucatinsky, who received an Emmy nomination for his recurring role as Cyrus’ (Jeff Perry) long-suffering husband. This marks Kudrow’s biggest series acting commitment in a long time. Since the end of Friends and her follow-up series, the cult HBO comedy The Comeback, Kudrow has been focused on producing as well as her online-turned-TV improv show Web Therapy.

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‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Lands Syndication Deal, ‘Scandal’ Acquired By BET

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 1:55pm PDT

Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution a broadcast weekend off-net window for the TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles in 95% of the country for a fall 2015 debut. The detective series debuted its fourth season June 25 as the highest-rated cable premiere of the summer, drawing 6.6 million total viewers, with 2.3 million adults 25-54 and 1.8 million adults 18-49 — up double digits in viewership and the key demos compared with the previous season. Rizzoli & Isles has been sold into 170 markets including stations owned by Fox, CBS, Sinclair, Hearst, Gannett, Lin, Local TV, Cox, Raycom, Weigel, Meredith, Mission, Nexstar, New Age, Journal, Scripps, Gray, Grant, Max Media, London, West Virginia, Media, Lockwood, Drewry, Cordillera, Bonten, Bahakel, Citadel, Diversified, Woods, Schurz and Mckinnon. The show was developed for TV by Janet Tamaro, who serves as executive producer with Bill Haber and Michael Katleman. The series is from Hurdler Productions and Ostar Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television.

BET Networks has licensed rights to air current season episodes of ABC’s Scandal. The pact calls for each episode to air on BET no earlier than eight days after its original broadcast on ABC, exclusively starting in the fall. BET also will debut the first two seasons of the series this summer and is also licensing exclusive off-network cable rights to the series starting in … Read More »

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