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Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; More

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 1:28am PDT

Global Showbiz Briefs: Nat Geo Wild Orders More Of Arrow’s ‘Animal Fight Night’; ‘The Voice’ Sings In Croatia, India; ‘Top Gear’ Falls Foul Of Ofcom; MoreThe UK’s Arrow Media has received a commission for six more hours of its wildlife show Animal Fight Night which premieres on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. on August 18 before rolling out internationally in September. Animal Fight Night was first launched in the U.S. in October last year. It was Arrow Media’s first move into natural history programming and the company later received orders for Building Penguin Paradise (Nat Geo WILD) and Dogs: Their Secret Lives (Channel 4). Each Animal Fight Night episode uses CGI to recreate and examine same species battles between animal world adversaries and dissects the science behind the tactics and bodily weapons that various creatures employ. Read More »

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Comcast Reports Mixed Q2 Financials As NBCU Films Slip, Offsetting TV Strength

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 4:13am PDT

Comcast Reports Mixed Q2 Financials As NBCU Films Slip, Offsetting TV StrengthComcast has become so big and complex that its earnings are almost always mixed — and Q2 was no exception, although the combination of soft revenue growth with strong profits sent shares up 2.1% in pre-market trading. The cable giant reported net income of $2.03B, +16.1% vs the period last year, on revenues of $16.84B, +3.5%. Analysts expected the top line to come in a little higher, at $16.95B. But earnings at 76 cents a share handily beat the consensus forecast of 72 cents.

NBCUniversal also seemed to have a split personality with operating cash flow +20.4% to $1.43B while revenues were +0.3% to $6.02B. The main Cable Networks operation saw sales grow 2.6% to $2.48B with affiliate fees +4.2% while ad sales fell 2.2%. Still, by controlling costs, the unit’s operating cash flow rose 6.3% to $914M. The Broadcast Television unit told a similar story: With rising retransmission consent fees, its revenues increased 4.9% to $1.8B. Image (4) the-voice-judges__140601175730-275x183.jpg for post 738728But ad sales fell 1.7%, which the network partly attributes to having fewer hours of The Voice than it had last year. Still, broadcast operating cash flow increased 16.2% to $240M reflecting, the company says, “a slight increase in operating costs and expenses.” Theme Parks proved to be NBCU’s most consistent performer despite the increased costs for Orlando’s The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley attraction which opened this month. Attendance and spending were both up, resulting in a 12.8% increase in revenues to $615M with … Read More »

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Jay Bienstock Named CEO Of Talpa Media USA

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 1:23pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Jay Bienstock Named CEO Of Talpa Media USATalpa Media Group has tapped veteran unscripted producer Jay Bienstock as new CEO for Talpa Media USA. The top position at Talpa Media’s U.S. outpost had been vacant since the departure of CEO Simon Jones last year. Bienstock comes from A. Smith & Co., where he most recently served as Managing Director. At Talpa Media USA, he will oversee the company’s current slate, which includes the Emmy-winning NBC series The Voice and Fox’s upcoming Utopia. Both series were created by John de Mol, owner of Talpa Media Group. “We have been looking for a talented creative executive but also one with the business acumen of Jay to join Talpa and lead our U.S. division,” said de Mol. “We are excited to have Jay on board and look forward to the success we believe Jay will bring us within the Hollywood community.” Read More »

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Reality Check: Nielsen Twitter TV Season Rankings Show Reality’s Strength

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 12:05pm PDT

Twitter-Logo__130513233830-150x150When Nielsen recently wrapped the TV season, it released a set of graphics breaking out the biggest of the big in its new Twitter TV Ratings, in which reality fared well. Among the biggest on the social-media site: the series finale of AMC’s Breaking Bad,  AMC’s zombie drama  The Walking Dead, the NFL and college football championships, the Oscars etc. Among the season’s Twitter records, however, is winner of Most Tweets and Tweets-Per-Minute: NBC’s The Voice. Viewers sent 1.92 million tweets on May 13, including a record 310,000 at 8:59 PM EST. 1.5 million tweets mentioned #VoiceSave. Here’s the season overview, which includes strong showings overall from ABC’s The Bachelor and Dancing With The Stars:

Related: What TV Series Do Rich And Smart People Watch? You Might Be Surprised

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EMMYS: The Veterans, Sure Bets & Wild Cards Vying For 2014 Reality TV Noms

Nellie Andreeva

Awardsline logo_use this oneWhile the docureality genre has exploded on cable over the past decade—thanks to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Duck Dynasty, Pawn Stars, Jersey Shore and the various Real Housewives—the reality competition field has been incredibly stagnant with the same veterans ruling the field year after year. In the 11 years since the category was introduced, only 10 series have been nominated, five as many as seven times. The Amazing Race alone has 11 straight nominations and nine wins.

The Voice JudgesSince the competition category was expanded from five to six slots in 2011, there has been only one change, when The Voice replaced American Idol on the list of nominees in 2012. The Voice went even further last year when it became only the second show to upset The Amazing Race and win the Emmy. But with the drought in the competition reality genre continuing with no new breakouts in the past year (ABC has high hopes for its summer entry Rising Star), a major shakeup in the roster of nominees is once again unlikely. Here’s how this year’s crop of all-too-familiar contenders stands:

The Age Effect
The Gladiators Are Here!The first singing show to win a reality competition Emmy, and only the second ever to beat The Amazing Race, The Voice is a relative newcomer. Youth is on its side as, at three years of age, it is at least five years younger than its main competitors. For the first time, it is the show to beat.

The Amazing Race, CBS’ globe-trotting series, has nabbed the Emmy nine out of 11 years, only bested last year by The Voice and in 2010 by Top Chef. It is still a gold standard, and a nomination is all but guaranteed. But it also is the oldest among the top contenders. Would it be able to reclaim its Emmy crown? Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Dancing’ Finales Down From Last Year, ‘Supernatural’ Closer Up, ‘Idol’ Slips, ‘Harry’ Debuts Low

Nellie Andreeva

the-voice-winner-josh-kaufman-usher-billboard-650NBC and ABC synched up their schedules last night, both airing hourlong recap specials leading to the two-hour finales of their talent competition series The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, respectively. The nets split the night, with NBC taking adults 18-49 (2.8) and ABC winning in total viewers (13.7 million) with its largest audience in a year and a half. The two finales had something dancingfinaleelse in common — both were down year-to-year. The Voice (3.3 in 18-49, 11.6 million total viewers) posted an eight-week high for a Tuesday telecast in 18-49 but was down 25% from last spring’s finale, which aired in June to mark the third consecutive cycle of finale ratings declines. Dancing (2.4) was down 11% from last spring’s season finale to tie last fall’s cycle as the lowest-rated finale. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing’ & ‘The Voice’ Performance Finales Inch Up, ‘Bachelorette’ Premiere Flat, Maya Rudolph Special OK

By | Tuesday May 20, 2014 @ 10:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Maya Rudolph Show - Season 2014The broadcast networks have long been looking to crack the primetime variety series genre. NBC tried with The Rosie O’Donnell Show several years ago. Now it is venturing into the space with Saturday Night Live alumna Maya Rudolph. The Maya Rudolph Show special/backdoor pilot drew a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49 to top the 10 PM hour last night. It did OK following The Voice performance finale (3.1, up a tenth from last week but down from last year). Its lead-in retention was 71% vs. 73% for the preview of Believe in the time period earlier this spring.

With drummed-up drama over pro Mark Ballas’ injury, the 90-minute performance finale of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars drew a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49, up +9% from last week. It was flat with last spring’s performance finale while posting the highest-rated Monday finale among adults 18-34 (1.7) in five cycles. Following Dancing was the 90-minute season premiere of The Bachelorette (1.9), which was even with last season’s debut. But last season, The Bachelorette aired at 8 PM with no lead-in, and the 1.9 is tied as the series’ lowest premiere rating.

The season finale of Fox’s Bones (1.6) was down a tenth from last week. Alarming second consecutive double-digit drop for 24: Live Another Day (1.7, -15%). CBS’ freshly cancelled freshman comedy Friends With Better Lives (1.6) is not going away quietly, inching up from … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘24: Live Another Day’ Falls, ‘Star-Crossed’ Finale Surges, ‘Blacklist’ & ‘Castle’ Finales Steady

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 9:02am PDT

24 LAD MAY 12Event programming was the mantra during Fox’s upfronts presentation yesterday as it was on-air too. The second week of the event series 24: Live Another Day (2.0/6) saw Jack Bauer bring his unique brand of anti-terrorism to the streets of London. It also saw a double-digit drop from last week’s two-hour debut as it fell 23% among adults 18-49 from that May 5 premiere. Unlike last week, when Bauer was by himself on Fox’s primetime, the new 24 was preceded last night by Bones (1.6/5), which bopped up 7% from its last original April 21.

Coming off last week sharp drop, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.2/6) had a surprising elimination and a 16% uptick in the key demo. The real jump up for ABC was with the Season 6 finale of Monday veteran Castle (2.0/6). The returning crime drama grew 25% over last week’s show low. Additionally, Castle pretty much held its ground compared with its Season 5 finale on May 13, 2013, with just a 5% slip.

Related: ABC Renews ‘Dancing With The Stars’ For Season 19

The only original on the CW last night was also a finale with the now cancelled Star-Crossed (0.4/1) leaping up 33% from last week.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ Finale Falls From Last Year, ‘Mindy Project’ Finale Even, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’, ‘Voice’, ‘Trophy Wife’, ‘Originals’ & ‘Growing Up Fisher’ Down

new girl may 6 season 3 finaleIt was a night of ends and the beginnings of the end on primetime on Tuesday as the 2013-2014 TV season moves into its final weeks. Fox had two finales back-to-back last night with New Girl (1.2/4) and The Mindy Project (1.3/4) The former took to the high seas to wrap up its third season with a 9% rise from last week. However that good news sours with the comedy also cratering 42% from the 2.1/6 of its Season 2 ender on May 14, 2013. The Mindy Project was a homage to Mindy Project may 6 season finaleMeg Ryan rom-coms of the 1990s as the series ended its second season. The throwback to two decades ago and the show’s pilot paid off as the comedy was up 18% from last week and even with its Season 1 finale last May. Both New Girl and Mindy will be back next year having unsurprisingly been picked up again in early renewals back in March. Kicking off the night for Fox on an evening that saw overall TV usage between 8 – 10 PM was down 8% from April 29, Glee (0.8/3) was even with last week’s broadcast of the Ryan Murphy series.

Backstories and secrets were the core of the penultimate episode of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.8/6) first season. Virtually a shoe-in for renewal, … Read More »

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UPDATE: RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘24: Live Another Day’ Debuts Solid

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 10:22am PDT

24 Live Another Day RatingsUPDATE, 10:22 PM: Turns out Jack is back even a little bit more. Time zone adjusted ratings are in via Nielsen and the 24: Live Another Day premiere rose up to a 2.6 among Adults 18-49. Perhaps more importantly for Fox, that’s a 94% retention from the show’s Season 8 finale 2.8 result back on May 24, 2010. In terms of viewership, the time zone adjusteds also inched up the 2-hour return of Jack Bauer to 8.1 million. 

PREVIOUS, 8:08 AM: After weeks of Fox promotion and #JackIsBack on social media, the event series 24: Live Another Day (2.5/8) premiered last night. Bringing back anti-terrorism super-agent Jack Bauer after four years in both real time and TV time, the Kiefer Sutherland-starring series bounced right back into the game. The two-hour debut dipped just 10% from the 2.8/8 rating that the two-hour Season 8 finale of 24 pulled on May 24, 2010. In a time when network viewership across the board was about 27% higher than today, that Monday show drew 9 million viewers. Last night’s 24: Live Another Day had 7.98 million viewers from 8-10 PM. It’s worth noting that a 2.8 rating and 9.1 million viewers is also the Season 8 average for the last cycle of 24. This latest version of the world-saving adventures of Jack, Chloe O’Brien and the gang runs for 12 episodes with a July 14 finale.

Related: Photo Gallery: The Best Of ‘24’ & Jack Bauer

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Gwen Stefani Officially Named As New ‘Voice’ Coach

By | Tuesday April 29, 2014 @ 4:59pm PDT

Hakkasan Las Vegas AnniversaryAfter weeks of rumors and talks, The Voice finally has officially named Gwen Stefani as its new coach for Season 7. Stepping in for a pregnant Christina Aguilera, the multiplatinum No Doubt singer and solo act will join Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, who have been on every season of the NBC singing competition show. Not that Stefani will be sitting in the big red chair for consecutive seasons. Aguilera will be back for Season 8, the network also said today. In the meantime, Stefani will be introduced to Voice viewers with a live performance of her 2004 hitHollaback Girl” during the May 5 episode. Her fellow new coach, the previously announced Pharrell Williams, will bow on the show that same night. Here’s the release today from NBC:

Related: Gwen Stefani In Talks For NBC’s ‘The Voice’ 

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Glee’ Dip, ‘Supernatural’ Surges, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Steady

shakira april 22There were spies on ABC but it was truly show time on Fox and NBC last night. With its first live elimination show of Season 6, last night’s The Voice (2.7/9) rolled out a sizzling performance from mentor Shakira as well as cutting two contestants. Coming off its lowest Monday result ever and with the return of the Twitter instant save for a second season, the singing competition show was down 10% from last Tuesday. That’s a new low for the show in terms of regular episodes. Still, The Voice was the top-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.95 million watching. While NBC likely doesn’t want those standings to change, it might see a change in The Voice’s 18-49 rating later in the day when the final numbers come in – the show has commonly seen an adjustment upward from the preliminaries. With its 9:01 PM Voice spillover start, freshman About A Boy (1.9/6) saw a 6% bop up from last week in preliminary ratings. Fellow newbie Growing Up Fisher (1.5/4) was even with last week’s low.  Getting a 1.8/5 among the 18-49s, NBC was No. 1 last night with an all-encore CBS coming in tops in total viewers with 9.41 million watching. CBS’ NCIS repeat was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime after The Voice with an audience of 10.42 million.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’, ‘Dancing’, ‘2 Broke Girls’ And ‘Mike & Molly’ Slip

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 10:16am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

kristen-merlin-lgNBC’s and ABC’s lineups followed a similar pattern last night, with a two-hour reality series posting declines from last week to hit lows and a 10 PM drama returning to originals on par. NBC’s The Voice made a bumpy transition to live shows last night with the first performance edition suffering a mic malfunction in addition to a 15% week-to-week ratings drop. The singing competition (2.9) logged its lowest Monday rating to date, matching a series low. Meanwhile, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.1) was down 9% from last week to a season low. But compared to the same night last spring, the veteran ABC dancing competition was even, while The Voice was down 41%. NBC’s The Blacklist (2.8) and ABC’s Castle (1.8) were both flat with their most recent originals three and four weeks ago, respectively. NBC still won the night in 18-49 (2.9) with Voice and Blacklist as the top two programs, while ABC was tops in total viewers (12.2 million). Read More »

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Gwen Stefani In Talks To Take Christina Aguilera’s Chair On NBC’s ‘The Voice’

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 7:50pm PDT

Gwen StefaniNBC will have two “new” judges for The Voice in the fall as Gwen Stefani is in talks to replace the pregnant Christina Aguilera as a coach for Cycle 7, which starts taping in June. According to informed sources, Stefani also had been in talks for a judge position on ABC’s Rising Star, the interactive singing competition that’s set to premiere June 22. And she has experience on these kinds of shows, having mentored on Fox’s American Idol. The No Doubt singer and fashion icon might have given fans at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival TheVoice__121109194015-200x112__130425000858__130502160756__130516211150something of a Voice fall preview last week when she joined Pharrell Williams onstage for a take on her 2005 solo hit “Hollaback Girl.” NBC announced last month that Williams will join The Voice next season, replacing CeeLo Green, who had announced his departure in February.

Related: Chris Martin Joins ‘The Voice’ As Show Makes A Format Change
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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘Voice’ Adjusted Up, ‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘About A Boy’ Down

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

BRETT DALTON, CHLOE BENNET, CLARK GREGGUPDATE, 2:22 PM: The final numbers are in and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen a rise of two tenths for a second week in a row. While still down from last week’s 2.0/6, last night’s 1.9/6 is not the series low for ABC’s superspy agency drama as preliminary numbers indicated this morning. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s all-time low was a 1.8 on March 4. NBC’ also saw adjustments in its lineup with The Voice up a tenth to 2.9/9 to tie a low for a regularly scheduled show, and About A Boy and Chicago Fire down a tenth each for the latter to hit a season low.

Related: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Smashes April Opening Record

PREVIOUS, 9:05 AM: After tease after tease this season, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.7/6) last night finally plunged full force into the greater Marvel Universe with a crossover to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even with the heavily promoted crossover, plus betrayals and revelations galore, the superspy agency series didn’t see the blockbuster results of the just-released superhero pic.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: NCAA Final Slips, Still Tops, ‘Dream Builders’ Soft Behind ‘Voice’

Nellie Andreeva

It was a Cinderella story in last night’s NCAA basketball tournament championship, NCAA Championship Ratings UConn Kentuckywith Connecticut and Kentucky making it to the title game in a matchup of two of the lower-seeded teams in history to make it that far. But the fairy tale didn’t quite translate to ratings magic, with the numbers expected to be down from last year. (In the rough, not time-zone-adjusted fast nationals, the game drew a 6.0 in 18-49, down 20% from 2014, and 17.8 million viewers, down 14%.) Still, the basketball game towered over the competition, delivering a dominating nightly victory for CBS. NBC’s The Voice (3.4) ended its downward streak, even with last Monday. The network preempted drama The Blacklist to get struggling new Sunday reality series American Dream Builders some sampling behind Voice. It got some extra eyeballs with its best rating to date, but at a 1.6, Dream Builders held onto less than half of its lead-in and was down 43% from what Blacklist most recently logged in the hour. ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.1) slipped a tenth from its fast national last Monday (0.2 from the final) for a season low. Castle was a repeat. Fox’s Bones (1.6) was up a tenth from last week for its largest margin so far over lead-out The Following (1.4), flat with last Monday. Yet, in Live+7, the heavily DVR-ed The Following is expected to finish way … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘NCIS’ Slips, ‘Mindy Project’ Craters, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘The Voice’ Down

NCIS APRIL 1Looks like the next NCIS (2.3/8) spinoff has gotten off to a slightly unsteady start. After seeing a small rise last week, Tuesday’s second episode of the “Crescent City” two-parter with Scott Bakula dipped 8% from its March 25 episode. On a night that didn’t give big jumps to anyone, that’s a season low for the long-running procedural. The setting up of a Big Easy-based version of NCIS was again the night’s most-watched show, with 16.84 million tuning in, though down a slight 2% from last week. A little bit ahead of its lead-in in the adults 18-49 demo, NCIS: LA (2.4/7) remained even with it March 25 airing. Coming off a big gain last week, Person Of Interest (1.9/6) dipped 5% last night from its previous episode. With all that, CBS took the night in the demo (2.2/7) and in total viewers with 14.49 million.

On Fox’s Glee (0.9/3) it was all New York, New York with the former McKinley High gang starting to strut their stuff in the city that never sleeps. It was a move that didn’t seem to garner much goodwill among the demo: The 102nd episode of the series fell 18% from last week to tie a series low. If Glee’s fall stung, the cratering of The Mindy Project hurt worse. Back for the first time in two months, a double dose of the comedy at 9 PM and 9:30 each drew a 1.0/3 result in 18-49 – that’s a 33% free-fall from the series’ last 9:30 PM original January 31. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Finale Sets Series Highs, ‘Friends With Better Lives’ Gets Sampled

Nellie Andreeva

himymfinaleUPDATE: Here are the final Live+Same Day ratings for the How I Met Your Mother series finale: 5.4 rating among adults 18-49, up a tenth from the fast national, and 13.13 million total viewers. The Friends with Better Lives premiere was adjusted down a tenth to a 2.6 in 18-49. ABC’s Dancing With the Stars inched up to a 2.3.

PREVIOUS: How I Met Your Mother may have divided fans but it sure brought them to TV in a big way — especially the series’ core younger demographics. Last night’s hourlong farewell episode of the long-running CBS comedy series set across-the-board series highs, drawing 12.94 million total viewers, a 5.3 rating in adults 18-49 (up 51% from last week), and a 5.8 in 18-34, with its ratings certain to go even higher in the finals. Given how rare such beloved comedy series are these days, it was somewhat surprising that CBS didn’t make an event of its farewell. For instance, the finales of NBC’s Friends and The Office and CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond all were preceded by retrospective specials, goosing up the numbers for the closing episodes. Instead, the HIMYM finale was a self-starter at 8 PM.

Related: The Quiet Groundbreaker: How ‘HIMYM’ Pushed The Sitcom Form

After such an emotional experience from 8-9 PM, friendswithbetterlivesmany HIMYM fans admitted online that it was hard for them to stick around for the premiere of CBS’ Friends With Better Lives. Under the circumstances, the new comedy got OK sampling, drawing 8 million viewers, a 2.7 in 18-49 and 2.5 in 18-34. (Its numbers may be adjusted down in the finals because of a minute of a HIMYM overrun.) Its real test will be when it debuts in its regular time slot behind 2 Broke Girls. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for two weeks as the network’s Monday lineup is preempted next week. Read More »

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Pharrell Williams To Replace CeeLo Green As ‘The Voice’ Coach

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 12:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

williamsThe hottest songwriter at the moment, Pharrell Williams (and his signature hat) will join NBC’s singing competition The Voice next season. He replaces original coach CeeLo Green who recently announced his departure. NBC is yet to announce whether fellow original Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine would be back for Season 7. “It’s been a huge year for Pharrell, with recognition for his contribution in the world of music — the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise soundtracks, his Oscar-nominated song Happy and his Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk on the breakout dance hit Get Lucky,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBC Entertainment. “His dominance in record sales in 2014, coupled with his incomparable accomplishments in the world of fashion and design, make him an irresistible addition to The Voice family,” said Paul Telegdy. Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell was previously an advisor to team Usher on season four of The Voice. He performed the hit single Blurred Lines with Robin Thicke last May on The Voice. Pharrell is the lead vocalist and drummer for the band N.E.R.D. and is a partner in the record production duo the Neptunes.

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