Check Out Our New Look

Donald Trump Announces He Won’t Run For President And Will Return To ‘Apprentice’

By | Monday May 16, 2011 @ 9:50am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC made a big headline at its upfront presentation today regarding Donald Trump. Trump took the stage to deliver the news: “After getting so many calls from (top NBC executives), I’ve decided that we are going to continue onward with Celebrity Apprentice. I will not be running for president, as much as I’d like to, and I want to thank everybody very much,”  he said. “This will be our 12th season, and I have to say, I love Celebrity Apprentice.” Over the past few months, Trump had been publicly flirting with the idea of running for president. At some point, he mulled announcing his final decision on the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice but then scrapped that idea. Just yesterday, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said on a conference call that NBC was working on plans to replace Trump on The Apprentice should he decide to run. After Trump’s statement, which drew big applause from the audience of ad buyers, Greenblatt quipped, “Every network wants to make news at its upfront. Try topping that!” UPDATE: At NBC’s lunch after the presentation, I heard that Trump informed NBC brass on Friday that he wanted to come to the upfront. Greenblatt told me that the network executives had a hunch that he might announce that he would stay on The Apprentice but didn’t know for sure until this morning.

Comments 70

Hearst, Mark Burnett Hatch Joint Venture

By | Monday April 11, 2011 @ 7:51am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After trying for find a buyer for his Mark Burnett Prods. for the past several years, Mark Burnett has formed a “long-term media, production and events-based joint venture” with Hearst Corp., the two sides announced this morning. Under the deal, Hearst has acquired a 50% interest in Burnett’s company. Burnett will lead the new venture’s board of directors along with Scott Sassa, president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication and former president of NBC West Coast.

Burnett has been looking to sell his company for the past five years, at one point even bringing in the now-defunct Bear Stearns to help facilitate a deal. After exploratory talks with the likes of Endemol and FremantleMedia, the closest Burnett came to a sale was in the summer of 2008, when IMG, under Chris Albrecht, was ready to shell out $250 million-$500 million for the company. The deal fell through as IMG changed directions, Albrecht left and Burnett became the target of a $70 million lawsuit by former business partner Conrad Riggs. The litigation, along with Burnett’s high asking price, had been keeping potential buyers away. Additionally, while constantly working (he has produced some 1,100 hours of programming), Burnett has not being able to land hits of the size of his early series, Survivor and The Apprentice. Those series will not be part of the new venture, which will share ownership on future Burnett projects only. “Survivor is to nonfiction what I Love LucyRead More »

Comments (2)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Tops Thursday While NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ Gains

Nellie Andreeva

CBS’ improbable run of 3 consecutive nightly wins in both adults 18-49 and total viewers with lineups featuring some or all repeats came to an end last night when ABC won the 18-49 race with a 3.1/8. CBS, which aired all-repeats, was still tops in viewers with 9.1 million. ABC started things off with the holiday special Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (2.3/7) which was down 12% from its last year telecast, a tenth up from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special (2.2/6) ABC aired in the hour two weeks ago and way higher than the Grey’s Anatomy reruns the network had been running in the slot. But Santa proved to be less compatible with Grey’s than Charlie Brown as the medical drama (4.0/10, 10.9 million) was down 7% from its last original telecast two weeks ago. It still ranked as the top program of the night in 18-49, a title it had relinquished to CBS’ The Big Bang Theory this season. Grey’s was only No.1 in total viewers, position usually held by CBS’ The Mentalist. Private Practice (2.9/8) was flat with its last original on Nov. 18 and dominated its 10 PM time slot in the demo.

NBC’s The Apprentice (1.4/4, 4.1 million) till finished a distant 3rd at 10 PM but delivered its largest audience since the season … Read More »

Comments (0)

RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS, Fox & ABC Up While NBC’s ‘Apprentice’ Hits Series Low

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has got to give Grey’s Anatomy a better lead-in. With the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special (2.2/6, up 10% from last year, 7.4 million) at 8 PM vs. a Grey’s return (1.0) last week, the veteran medical drama (4.3/11, 11.4 million) was up 8% to reclaim the No.1 spot for the night among adults 18-49 for the first time in five weeks. It was tied with CBS’ hit comedy The Big Bang Theory (4.3/13, 13.1 million), which marked its fifth consecutive week as the top-rated program on Thursday among 18-49. Big Bang was also up, by a tenth, as was the rest of CBS’ lineup after slipping across-the board last week. $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9, 10.3 million) was up 11% from its series-low fast national result last Monday, which was adjusted up by a tenth in the finals. CSI (3.1/8, 14.2 million) was up 11% in the demo, while The Mentalist (3.0/9, up 7%, 14.7 million) rebounded from its season low last week to regain the top spot at 10 PM in 18-49, which it lost to ABC’s Private Practice for the past 2 weeks. Practice (2.9/9) was flat with last week, but helped ABC post its best  Thursday numbers in adults 18-49 and total viewers since premiere week. CBS once again won the night in 18-49 (3.3/9) and total viewers (13.5 million).

Read More »

Comments (9)

RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins With Sluggish World Series, NBC Comedies Up

Nellie Andreeva

If it was up to TV executives, the Yankees would sail through to the World Series every year, with the rest of the teams squabbling for the other spot. This year’s World Series between the Giants and the Rangers on Fox continues to pace well behind last year’s, which featured the storied New York baseball franchise, but in line with the one in 2008 that didn’t feature them. Last night’s Game 2 (4.0 in adults 18-49, 14.1 million) was down 31% from last year’s Game 2 between the Yankees and the Phillies but matched the demo rating of the 2008 Game 2 between the Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays and was up 10% in total viewers. Fox won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, ending CBS’ five-week streak.

With a Halloween theme and stronger lead-in, NBC’s Thursday comedies rebounded from last week’s drops with double-digit rating increases. Starting things off was the Scared Shrekless half-hour special (2.5/8, 8.2 million), which improved significantly (by 32%) on Community‘s performance in the 8 PM time slot last week. It also did better than the other kids-friendly Halloween special in the time slot, ABC’s It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (2.1/6, 6.6 million in its first half-hour). At 8:30 PM, Community (2.4/7) was up 26% from its 8 PM telecast last week for a season high. The Office (3.9/10) was up 15%, and Read More »

Comments (8)

Donald Trump Signs First-Look Deal With NBC Universal

By | Wednesday October 27, 2010 @ 3:35pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump has been a fixture on NBC for most of the past decade as the star-executive producer of the long-running reality series The Apprentice and partner with NBC on the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Now Trump has formalized and expanded his relationship with the network by signing a rich multi-year first-look deal with NBC Universal for his company Trump Prods. Under the all-encompassing pact, Trump and Andy Litinsky, president of Trump Prods., will create, develop, and executive produce scripted, unscripted, animated, and syndicated TV projects for NBC Universal’s broadcast, cable and syndication divisions. Trump Prods. is currently in production on the 4th cycle of Celebrity Apprentice which will premiere in January, with a regular Apprentice series now airing on NBC. On the development side, Trump Prods. and 44 Blue Prods. are producing Keep It In the Family, a business-themed reality pilot for the CW based on a BBC Two format which is now casting, and has partnered with Canada’s DHX Media for The Trump Universe, a futuristic animated project in the vein of The Jetsons. Additionally, the company has received second season renewals for dating series Donald J. Trump Presents: The Ultimate Merger on TV One and sports series Trump’s Fabulous World of Golf on the Golf Channel. It has also negotiated a renewal with NBC for both Miss USA and Miss Universe through 2013. Trump Prods.’ series credits also … Read More »

Comments 25

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Bang’ Tops, ‘Mentalist’ Dips, NBC Comedies & ABC Dramas Down

Nellie Andreeva

There is a new ratings king on Thursday. For the first time, the new kid on the Thursday block, CBS’ transplant The Big Bang Theory (4.0/13, 12.9 million), ranked as the highest-rated program on the night in 18-49, supplanting perennial winner Grey’s Anatomy. The comedy accomplished the feat on its fifth airing on the night, a nice validation of CBS’ risky scheduling move. Big Bang was down a tenth from the comedy’s 18-49 fast national result last week, while its lead-out, newly picked-up freshman $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9) was flat, improving its 18-49 retention from last week to 78%. (Both comedies went up in the finals last week, Big Bang by .2, $#*! by .1) Both Big Bang and $#*! were up in total viewers from last week, by 3% and 7%, respectively. Veteran CSI (3.3/9, up 6%, 14.7 million, up 2%) continued its resurgence with a second consecutive week of ratings gains. But The Mentalist (2.9/9) was down 9% from its fast national number last week to post its lowest-rated telecast in the Thursday 10 PM slot, which it still won. (The Mentalist may gain a tenth of a rating point in the finals as it did last week.) CBS won the night by a wide margin in 18-49 (3.3/9) and total viewers (13.6 million), its fifth consecutive Thursday win. Read More »

Comments (9)

RATINGS RAT RACE: Live ’30 Rock’ Episode Rocks, ‘CSI’ Up With Digi-novel Crossover

Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s 30 Rock got a big  boost from its star-studded live episode last night. The episode, which featured appearances by Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Liz Lemon in flashbacks as well as several SNL alums, drew a 3.0/9 in adults 18-49, up 43% from last week and a season high. There was a halo effect on the two series surrounding 30 Rock: its lead-in, Community (2.6/8) was up 22%, its lead-out, The Office (3.7/10), was up 6%. NBC’s gaines stopped at 9:30 PM, with new comedy Outsourced (2.5/7) and The Apprentice (1.3/4) both flat with last week. Outsourced’s retention (68%) dropped below 70% for the first time, while The Apprentice’s days in the high-profile Thursday 10 PM slot have got to be numbered after 3 consecutive weeks at a 1.3.

Promising uptick for freshman CBS comedy $#*! My Dad Says (3.1/9, 10.1 million), which was up 7% from last week in 18-49 despite its lead-in, The Big Bang Theory (4.1/13, 12.5 million) being flat. (Big Bang still dominated the 8 PM half-hour and ranked as No.2 for the night behind ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in the demo.) CBS’ ratings gains carried over to 9 PM, where CSI (3.1/9, 14.3 million) was up 15% with the introduction of Sqweegel, a CSI-proof serial killer from CSI creator Anthony Zuiker’s digi-novel Level 26: Dark Origins, and to 10 PM where The Mentalist (3.3/9, … Read More »

Comments (9)

RATINGS RAT RACE: ’30 Rock’ Keeps Steady In Sea Of Double-Digit Declines

Nellie Andreeva

It’s a new time slot and much smaller lead-in, but that has had little effect on NBC’s 30 Rock. While it never became a broad hit, the Emmy-winning comedy held steady behind The Office, and now it’s doing the same at 8:30 PM. Last night, it kept its entire 18-49 audience from premiere week while almost every series posted double-digit declines. The worst drops came for the three freshmen, My Generation (31%), Outsourced (22%) and $#*! (20%).

30 Rock (2.6/8) finished tied for second place at 8:30. Its lead-in, Community (1.9/6) was down 14% from last week’s season premiere featuring Betty White. In its second week in the Thursday 8 PM slot last year it did a 2.0. The Office (3.7/10) was down 16%, Outsourced (2.8/7) down 22%. It’s retention was 76% vs. 74% for Community in the same slot for the same week last year. The Apprentice (1.4/4) was the only show besides 30 Rock that didn’t slide week-to-week. Like 30 Rock, it also matched last week’s performance but that still is at an all-time low for the show, and The Apprentice finished dead last in the 10 PM slot.

CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.3/14) was down 12% from its Thursday premiere last week, followed by rookie $#*! My Dad Says (3.2/10), which held onto a so-so 70% of the Big Bang demo lead. (In total viewers, retention was 80%, which … Read More »

Comments 41

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Big Bang’ Shines, ‘CSI’ & ‘Grey’s’ Slip, ‘My Generation’ Flops

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 1:30 PM: With final Live+Same Day numbers in, several series got a .1 demo rating boost from DVR viewing: CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (now 4.9/16 among 18-49) and The Mentalist (3.4/10), and NBC’s The Office (4.4/12) and Outsourced (3.6/10). Meanwhile, ABC’s Private Practice went down .1 to a 3.2/9, so now The Mentalist is winning the 10 PM hour by a comfortable margin after being tied with Practice in the fast nationals.

9:30 AM: The biggest scheduling gamble this fall has paid off: The Big Bang Theory kicked-off its Thursday run, well, with a big bang. Of the newbies, CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says and NBC’s Outsourced did solid business, while ABC’s new documentary-style drama My Generation was pretty much D.O.A. Besides The Office, all returning series were down year-to-year led by veteran Thursday anchors CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, which continued their ratings erosion with second consecutive year-to-year double-digit ratings drop in premiere week. The Apprentice continued to flatline, while NBC’s comedy block wasn’t bang-ed up too much (get it?) by the new comedy competition. Here is a network-by-network rundown:

The fourth season premiere of The Big Bang Theory scored a 4.8/15 among adults 18-49 and 14 million viewers. That was up 4% in the demo from the series’ premiere behind Two and a Half Men on Monday last fall and a whooping 37% in the demo from the season … Read More »

Comments 91

RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Big Bang’ Nabs First Thursday Win, ‘The Apprentice’ Debut Tanks

Nellie Andreeva

Big Bang Theory is putting the Thursday competition on notice. In a warm-up round leading to the comedy’s official move to the Thursday 8 PM slot next week, CBS aired a 2-hour marathon of Big Bang repeats from 8-10 PM. Each of of the 4 episodes dominated its half-hour by a wide margin, both in adults 18-49 and total viewers (the comedy peaked at 2.6/8 in the demo and 8.3 million viewers between 9-10 PM). Big Bang‘s competition included repeats of ABC’s reality series Wipeout, which came the closest at 8 PM with a 2.0/7, 6.5 million, and of NBC’s flagship comedy The Office (1.2/4 from 8-9 PM). Most impressively, it also included the first hour of the season premiere of NBC’s The Apprentice, which dived in its return to Thursdays. For its two-hour debut, the competition starring Donald Trump averaged a 1.5/5 in 18-49 and 4.67 million viewers – the franchise’s lowest-rated opener ever. It was down 53% from last season’s celebrity edition premiere in March and, at 10 PM, it was down 44% from the Thursday premiere of The Jay Leno Show the same week last year.

In week 2, CW’s Vampire Diaries (3 million viewers) and new entry Nikita (3.4 million) showed modest declines, 10% and 6% in total viewers, respectively. However, the series faced lighter competition than last week when NBC had the monster NFL kick-off game. The real test comes next week when the Big 4 will be all in originals. CBS easily won the night … Read More »

Comments (17)

NBC Fall Sked Change: ‘Love Bites’ Out, ‘Apprentice’ In (‘Bites’ Production Pushed)

Nellie Andreeva

NBC-logo-RGB-pos2NBC is making a scheduling change for fall, with a non-celebrity edition of The Apprentice replacing new anthology dramedy series Love Bites. Production on Love Bites is being pushed by a few weeks to accommodate two new developments: the pregnancy of star Becki Newton and the decision by creator/executive producer Cindy Chupack to step down from day-to-day showrunner duties because of personal matters. Chupack will continue on the series as a writer and is actively working on upcoming scripts. The show’s producers are still figuring out whether Newton’s pregnancy will be incorporated on the show. In the pilot, her character is a virgin.

The anthology dramedy suffered a casting setback recently when its other star, Jordana Spiro, had to be released because of her commitment to TBS’ My Boys. Spiro will exit after 3 episodes but may return for guest appearances. There are no immediate plans for her to be replaced, though Love Bites is adding another regular, Constance Zimmer, who will play Greg Grunberg’s wife. Grunberg was upped to a regular after his memorable guest-starring turn in the pilot where his wife was played by Pamela Adlon. The show’s regular cast now includes Newton, Grunberg and Zimmer.

The tentative new scheduling plan for Love Bites is to launch the show in January in its old Thursdays 10PM slot, following the conclusion of The Apprentice, but the network might put it on it sooner in another time period.

Love Bites is incredibly important to me, … Read More »

Comments (14)