Is An Emmy Win Really Worth Dying For? You Bet It Is!

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 5:35pm PDT
Pete Hammond

WARNING: This article contains several spoilers regarding TV series plot lines. Stop now if you don’t want to know who might have died in one of your favorite shows.

Emmyslogo_newCould the sudden and shocking murder of Josh Charles’ character Will Gardner last night on The Good Wife actually turn out to be a smart move come Emmy time? The evidence is mounting that getting killed off a series might not be good for your bank account but could be a blessing in disguise for any successful Emmy campaign. Lately it seems that way. Charles is bound to get more attention awards-wise this season than ever, and the launch of the campaign might well be tonight when he makes a shrewdly timed appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. As Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva first reported last night, Charles wanted off the show and was convinced to stay through much of this season in order to tie up his storyline and kill off Will.

Related: ‘Good Wife’ Creators Pen Letter To Fans After Shocking Twist

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‘The Good Wife’ Bombshell: Story Behind The Shocking Exit, Showrunners Speak

By | Sunday March 23, 2014 @ 7:39pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

the-good-wifeUPDATED: CBSThe Good Wife already went through a major reset at the beginning of the season when Alicia (Julianna Margulies) left Lockhart Gardner, finding herself locking horns with her former boss, friend (and on-and-off flame) Will Gardner (Josh Charles). But that was just a little ripple compared to the shock wave that hit the show tonight. Here is the story behind the stunner, with The Good Wife creators/showrunners Michelle and Robert King, who wrote the episode, discussing the major exit, its impact on the show and what lies ahead. Warning for DVR viewers — this story contains a major spoiler. Proceed with caution. Read More »

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ABC Family Pilot ‘Alice In Arabia’ Not Going Forward After Pressure From Muslim Advocacy Group

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 7:17pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

abcfamily1Four days after giving a pilot greenlight to drama Alice In Arabia, ABC Family is pulling the plug on the project about an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them. “The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project,” the network said in a statement. The project was met with disapproval by Muslim advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which called on ABC Family to meet with Muslim and Arab-American community leaders so they can voice their concerns about potential stereotyping. “We are concerned that, given media references to the main character ‘surviving life behind the veil,’ the pilot and any resulting series may engage in stereotyping that can lead to things like bullying of Muslim students,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said Wednesday. In a letter to ABC Family President Tom Ascheim, CAIR-LA wrote, “As the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, we are concerned about the negative impact this program could have on the lives of ordinary Arab-American and American Muslims.”

Related: 2014 ABC Family Pilots

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PILOT SEASON 2014: Network Casting Chiefs On This Season’s Biggest Challenges, Casting Coups & Fresh Faces

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Network Pilot Casting InterviewsSpring arrived yesterday, bringing the end of the annual two-month mad dash known as pilot casting season. Heading into pilot season this year, there was a lot of concern that the proliferation of original scripted programming on cable and digital platforms would put an additional strain on broadcast pilot casting, further depleting the talent pool. Going head-to-head with the casting of more than a dozen cable and digital pilots/series — including multiple-pilot slates on TNT, Amazon and FX and high-profile series on Viola DavisNetflix, USA and WGA America — the broadcast networks escaped mostly unscathed, successfully casting more that 80 pilots/direct-to-series, with only three comedy pilots rolled because of difficulties finding actors.

RelatedPilot Season 2014: The Overachievers

This pilot season brought an additional wrinkle, with Fox’s Kevin Reilly declaring in January that his network plans to bypass the traditional pilot cycle going forward. There were more straight-to-series and limited/event series orders this season, and several networks started casting a handful of projects early. But overall, it was mostly business as usual, with thousands of castings sessions crammed into eight weeks that resulted in the casting of more that 1,500 roles. We saw Oscar winners and happyendingsnominees like The Help‘s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer (plus Halle Berry earlier in the season) come to television, TV stars like David Schwimmer, Patricia Arquette, Mary-Louise Parker and Josh Duhamel make a return, and the casts of cancelled shows Happy Endings and Nikita be sought after.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!

As we close the book on this year’s casting season, let’s hear from the women (and a man) who were in the middle of it all, leading the casting charge at the broadcast networks. I asked the exhausted heads of casting (“I need a vacation,” one of them exclaimed) Tess Sanchez (Fox), Keli Lee (ABC), Grace Wu (NBC) and Peter Golden (CBS), plus Lori Openden (the CW), whose network doesn’t compete directly with the Big 4 as it targets younger talent, to answer questions about the challenges of this pilot season, progress on cast diversity, their and their competitors’ biggest casting coups, the season’s biggest discoveries, and the toughest roles and types to cast. (Find out how many child actors Fox saw for the Bruce Wayne role in Gotham.) Here are their answers:

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Reality Series From Lionsgate TV & Roy Bank To Chronicle Mission To Colonize Mars

By | Wednesday March 12, 2014 @ 5:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

When eccentric Dutch billionaire entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp Mars Reality TV Seriesunveiled his plan to put together a group that would be trained and sent on a one-way trip to Mars to establish the first human colony, it was hailed as a concept for the ultimate reality series. That has now become a reality. In a competitive situation, Lionsgate TV has teamed with Lansdorp’s Mars One for an unscripted TV series that will chronicle the mission. The untitled project, in the red-hot social experiment genre, will be shopped to networks shortly.

Mars One calls for new groups of four to be sent to Mars every two years, beginning no later than 2024. Announced last year, the scientific project already has received almost 300,000 applications from all all over the world, which are being whittled down. Lionsgate TV is expected to start its own casting search, with the two selection processes ultimately merged.

MarsOneAstronautFor the next several years, the series would be covering the different stages of preparation for the mission, starting with participant selection and the finalists — called candidates — undergoing an 8-year training protocol. The series’ cast will evolve as candidates in the mission drop out and new ones are brought in. “This is a social experiment that focuses on the people that would sign for something like this — they have to agree to participate and be willing to go on a one-way mission, knowing that if you go, you can never come back,” said Roy Bank, who is producing the project as part of his overall deal with Lionsgate TV.

The participant search is complex because the mission would require a lot more than astronaut skills. “They’re colonizing Mars and starting a new society, so this group needs to possess a wide variety of skills — from medical to engineering to social as they are going to live with each other.” The last part will be tested with the candidates on Earth as they are marsone11sequestered in a Biosphere-type isolated environment for an extended period of time to find the right mix. Adding another layer to the dynamic within the group is male-female interaction. “They will serve as a microcosm of a larger society, so it is not only about how they get along but also how they procreate; they have to create new life so the society grows,” Bank said. He called the show “a true social experiment.” Most series in the so-called social experiment genre — like Survivor, on which Bank worked, and Big Brother – are a mix of a social experiment and a game show, with contestants moved away from society for a limited period of time and competing for a cash prize. In Mars One, “the commitment is so much greater and much longer than TV season(s) would last; even before they would ever be put on a rocket, they need to be willing go for a longer period of time if not forever. Nobody knows if they will pull it off.” The last part leads us to one of the most controversial aspects of Mars One: “What makes it such fascinating social experiment the ethics of it,” Bank said. “Would a show like this be involved in promoting a suicide mission?” Read More »

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Live And Well: Morning Shows Gain Ratings Ground Thanks To Stiff Competition & Focus On Interactive Programming

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: NBC’s Today made the most of its big “get” this morning — Matt Lauer’s exclusive and chilling interview with Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State assistant football coach/convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky, in which she said the victims were “manipulated” when they “saw money,” did not scream from the basement of her house as one has claimed, and that her husband having showered with the boys is a generational thing. ABC’s Good Morning America, meanwhile, was touting its talk with ABC News’ Dan Harris about the on-air panic attack he suffered a decade ago – the result, he says, ofGMASocialSquare years spent covering wars abroad and his use of recreational drugs to deal with the emotional aftermath of that war coverage.

Coming out of the Sochi Games, the morning infotainment-show war has never been hotter. Today, which won the two weeks of the Winter Olympics – its first weekly victories since the 2012 London Summer Games – returned aggressively with a Love Your Selfie interactive campaign, a ribbon-cutting on its new outdoor space by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and a make-up hug between de Blasio and Today weatherman Al Roker after their much-reported Twitter dust-up. Lauer’s Sandusky exclusive is Today‘s latest sit-down in that aggressive post-Sochi push that also included a chat with Toronto’s click-bait mayor Rob Ford. Even so, GMA jumped back on top in the ratings the very first week after Sochi, and has widened its lead each week, though the gap is still smaller than the 1.1 million lead GMA had on Today this season leading up to Sochi. “All this competition has been good for the viewer – we’re all trying harder, all fighting as hard as we ever have,” Today EP Don Nash told Deadline. “I’ve been at this show 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it. … We are fighting for every viewer.”

Related: ‘Today’ Takes February Sweep In Demo While ‘GMA’ Wins Overall Audience Again

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Anne Sweeney’s Legacy: Her Hits, Misses & Contribution To Breaking The Glass Ceiling

Nellie Andreeva

sweeneyIn April 2004, ABC was wrapping its third consecutive season in last place among adults 18-49. Then-rising star Disney cable executive Anne Sweeney was brought in, greatly expanding her portfolio to include the struggling broadcast network and its sister studio along with her oversight of Disney’s cable properties. She’s had successes — most notably the gutsy 2010 move to install Ben Sherwood, then considered a polarizing figure, as head of ABC News, as he went on to revitalize Good Morning America and take the morning ratings lead away from incumbent Today. (Sherwood’s morning success has him already tipped for a Jeff Zucker-type career trajectory to a big network job at ABC.)

Related: Disney/ABC TV Group President Anne Sweeney To Exit In January 2015 To Become TV Director

But there has been little change in primetime. There was an initial momentum brought in by three shows developed by the dismissed ABC executives when Sweeney and her lieutenant Steve McPherson stepped in – Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, which launched during the 2004-05 season, followed by Dancing With The Stars in June 2005. Since then, there has been a breakout success in Modern Family, several slow builders in hits Scandal, Shark Tank and Castle and a few other solid players. But in the end, Sweeney will leave ABC where she found it, wrapping its third consecutive season in last place among the broadcast networks. Read More »

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What A Merger Of Comcast And Time Warner Cable Could Mean For Hollywood

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 7:44am PST

Comcast Time Warner Cable logosFolks in the movie business sometimes argue with me when I tell them that the most powerful executive in Hollywood lives in Philadelphia. But that debate should end if Brian Roberts’ Comcast buys Time Warner Read More »

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How Will It End? USA’s ‘White Collar’ Faces Uncertain Future As Renewal Talks Stall

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 5:13pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

White Collar USA Network ProblemsBy this time, USA Network series White Collar would normally be deeply in preproduction, getting ready to start filming in March. But not this year. It’s already mid-February, and there is still no decision on … Read More »

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Jay Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Exit: Carefully Orchestrated Do-Over

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198On Thursday night, Jay Leno once again will hand over The Tonight Show to NBC’s younger-better idea – this time it’s his lead-out, Jimmy Fallon.

Most of the coverage has been about Leno taking with him a commanding ratings lead in late-night, not only among total viewers but also in the 18-49 age bracket advertisers covet.  And in the days leading up to his exit, The Reporters Who Cover Television dusted off think pieces about Leno leaving the show in the wake of a demographic shift affecting millions of baby boomers who are being pushed aside to make way for a younger generation with different sensibilities. In many ways, Leno’s handoff to Fallon does mirror the first time the press wrote those think pieces, when NBC replaced Leno withJay Leno NBC his lead-out, Conan O’Brien in 2009 – a plan that famously flamed out over seven months.

Related: Jay Leno Hazes Jimmy Fallon On ‘Tonight Show’ (Video)

But the bigger news here is the incredible gift Leno’s been given: a handoff do-over.

It’s a loaded gift for Leno.  He owes much of his ratings success, and longevity, to the fact that he’s much adored in flyover country — Leno won last month’s 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll asking which late-night host was most likely to make you laugh, handily beating his latest replacement Fallon, his first replacement O’Brien, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Craig Ferguson. But the media doesn’t like Leno so much, having pegged him decades ago as the closet-hiding, eavesdropper who backstabbed their late-night crushes Letterman and, later, O’Brien.

Related: ‘Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ Sets Final Guests As NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Addresses Jay Leno’s Future, Possible Car Show
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CBS Adds More Bang To Thursday With Football, But ‘Big Bang’ Likely To Stay Put

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 11:43am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Probably no network would’ve benefited by a football boost on Thursday more than NBC, which has been struggling mightily on the night. Instead, the NFL’s Thursday primetime games went to the network that regularly wins the night, CBS, with the biggest scripted show on television, comedy The Big Bang Theory. By snatching half of the NFL Thursday package, CBS ensures thabigbangfootballt its Thursday lineup won’t have to face football on another broadcast network. The limited scope of the commitment — eight weeks, half of the length of Sunday Night Football on NBC — and its timing early into the TV season (NFL Network got the late-season games) are expected to have lesser impact on CBS’ Thursday schedule than SNF has on NBC. That means that Big Bang Theory, which has been anchoring CBS’ Thursday lineup since fall 2010, most likely will stay put.

Related: CBS And NFL Network To Offer Thursday Night Games

cbs-logo__120711164808__121116195436__130108233101__130716162250__130926192712Two of the eight games will air before the beginning of the TV season, so CBS will launch its regular Thursday lineup at the beginning of November this fall. With networks more and more staggering their fall rollouts, that is not that late. (The CW has been employing an October fall rollout for the past couple of seasons.) CBS can use its fall-launch marketing dollars for the rest of the nights and then rely on football to hype its Thursday shows. I hear the promotional opportunity for the Thursday primetime football games was a big draw for CBS brass as they can get more eyeballs for the trailers of their new shows in the two weeks leading to the beginning of the season. Additionally, NFL football gives extra ratings muscle to a night where CBS already has been dominant and where advertisers traditionally love to spend premium dollars heading into the weekend. Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: Walls Of Vertical Integration Fall Down As Orders For Projects From Rival Networks’ In-House Studios Skyrocket

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 5:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Primetime Pilot PanicIt was 1999, the height of the cold war among the broadcast networks. Following the 1995 elimination of the fin-syn rules, which allowed networks to begin producing their own series, ABC, CBS and NBC started building up their in-house production arms with one mandate –  to churn out product the nets would own. Cross-pollinating was considered almost heretic. Then in 1999, an ABC-based company, Jerry Bruckheimer TV, didn’t fold after getting a “no” from the network on its CSI pitch, instead setting the forensic drama at rival CBS. But vertical integration got in the way, with ABC deciding it wouldn’t be prudent to subsidize a rival by deficit financing the newly picked-up series — a $1 billion blunder for Disney as CSI went on to become a global hit. The last-minute pullout by ABC that left CBS scrambling put extra chill on the networks’ willingness to buy from the in-house production company of another network. (Fox sibling 20th Century Fox TV had long established itself as a major studio selling to everyone.)

Related: The Challenges Of Bypassing Pilot Season

ABC_Studios__121005011545Fast forward to 2014 when a whopping 10 projects from ABC Studios (5), Universal TV (3) and CBS TV Studios (2) have received series or pilot orders at rival broadcast networks so far, with pickups still underway. Here is how we got here. The ice among Universal_Television_2011the broadcasters started to thaw a little in the mid-2000s. ABC’s in-house studio landed another hit on CBS with drama Criminal Minds, which it stayed with, and NBC’s production arm fielded a couple of short-lived series including Worst Week for CBS and Sons And Daughters for ABC. During the 2011 pilot season, there were two pilots from ABC’s, CBS’ or NBC’s production arms at CBS-Television-Studios-Turquoise-Background-paramount-pictures-corporation-19259077-720-540rival networks: Weekends At Bellevue at Fox from Universal TV’s predecessor Universal Media Studios, and Ringer at CBS from ABC Studios. (Fox and UMS had an existing relationship via Fox’s hit drama House, sold by then-independent Universal Television just before its merger with NBC, while ABC Studios pulled out when Ringer moved to CBS sibling the CW.) Read More »

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Soapy Drama From David O. Russell & Susannah Grant Gets ABC Series Order

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 5:10pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

russellEXCLUSIVE: David O. Russell is coming to television. ABC has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to a drama project from the American Hustle writer/director and Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant. The series, developed by CBS TV Studios and … Read More »

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The Challenges Of Bypassing Pilot Season

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 7:32am PST
Nellie Andreeva

foxripThe Times They Are a-Changin’ in the broadcasting TV business. We’re in the first leg of pilot season but it feels a little bit like May — there are pilot orders, but there are also a ton of series orders, and everything in-between. The signs were already there in the fall — an unusually high volume of series pickups and early pilot orders heading into the official pilot season. And then Fox kicked off the annual winter TCA press tour last Monday with the announcement that it was abandoning pilot season. All other networks weighed in on the subject, and while none joined Fox’s Kevin Reilly in his R.I.P. Pilot Season proclamation, most have already been implementing some aspects of the strategy of gearing development towards series and trying to shift pilot production outside of the traditional January-April window when around 100 pilots vie for the same director, acting and showrunner talent.

Related: Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work

But the changes, especially with ambitious drama projects that have been put on series track for production off-season, are creating challenges, exacerbated by the fact that those changes were not introduced at the beginning of the development cycle but in the middle of it, sending studios scrambling to adjust. There are several drama projects that are earmarked for series orders but are not slated to film until after the end of pilot season. Fox last week gave drama Runner (working title), from sibling 20th TV, what it calls “an off-cycle commitment for further investment towards series production” this summer. At least one other drama, Warner Bros. TV/Jerry Bruckheimer’s family thriller Home, is expected to get the same order, which involves the hiring of a small writing staff and penning additional scripts and a bible in anticipation of a series order. NBC on Sunday gave a 10-episode order to Uni TV’s dark Wizard Of Oz drama Emerald City, which too is setting up a writers room but will likely cast after May.

lascreenings The model gives big in scope serialized projects the extra time they need to get their ambitious premises on track but it leaves networks without footage to show to advertisers at the upfronts. And worse, it leaves studios with no pilot to show to international buyers at the LA Screenings that immediately follow the May upfronts. Foreign pre-sales are crucial for studios, especially for expensive, high-end dramas that they take a big financial risk on deficit financing. Scripts and a bible are great, but buyers want to see tape or at the least, know which actors are in the series. I hear some studios are considering shopping the finished pilots to individual international broadcasters, which is a laborious task and it may also put studios at a disadvantage as buyers could be already stocked up for the season whereas they come to LA in May with open slates and wallets. Another option is what ABC did for its Once Upon A Time spinoff last year where the network shot a 19-minute presentation that was screened for advertisers in New York in May and for international buyers at the LA Screenings. But that would involve casting the project, or at least a number of roles during pilot season, something Fox and other networks are trying to get away from to avoid the fierce competition for talent. Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: How Many Orders Is Each Broadcast Network Eyeing This Year

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 3:32pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

primetime-panic-2I don’t think I’ve seen this before — by the end of the Winter TCA, two broadcast networks, NBC and Fox, are almost done with their pilot orders. Of course, the orders this year are not just for pilots as the networks — especially Fox, and to some extent NBC — are mixing things up with series pickups and commitments and pilot “prototypes.” Here is where things stand.

Related: Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work

fox-tv-logo__130727010919-275x119Fox has 10 projects with a series order — or a variation of it — in production for next season: two event series, Wayward Pines and Gracepoint; 6-episode comedy Mulaney; 13-episode dramas Hieroglyph and Backstrom; Glenn Gordon Caron/Ben Affleck’s The Middle Man, which has five scripts written and is casting; a few pilots that are designed to go to series, including comic book drama Gotham and Spanish series adaptation Red Band Society, which are opening writers rooms, and comedies Fatrick and Cabot College (formerly untitled Matt Hubbard). Additionally, the network has serialized thrilled drama Runner, set against the U.S.-Mexico war over weapons and terrorism, on a series path with an order for additional scripts and a bible for off-cycle production, with another complex serialized drama, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced family thriller Home, expected to join it. The network also has a cast-contingent comedy pilot, Here’s Your Damn Family, produced by Johnny Galecki. Fox is expected to make a couple of more orders, with comedy Weird Loners said to be on the pickup runway and Will Forte’s Last Man On Earth and Dead Boss among those in contention.

Related: TCA: Kevin Reilly Declares Fox Is Abandoning Pilot Season

NBC_logoNBC has ordered eight comedy pilots, two straight-to-series comedies (Tina Fey/Robert Carlock, Mr. Robinson), eight drama pilots and the 10-episode straight-to-series Wizard Of Oz project Emerald City, which, like Runner and Home, will set up a writers room and start working on backup scripts and a bible before going into production off-season. Another big-swing drama, John Glenn’s immaculate conception project, too has been given an order for backup scripts in lieu of a pilot order. With several event and miniseries also on tap (The Slap, Rosemary’s Baby), NBC is pretty much set on the drama side, with another pickup or two a possibility, and likely will order a couple of more comedy pilots, with the adaptation of the Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit and a Joe Port-Joe Wiseman half-hour among the hot prospects. Read More »

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UPDATE: Benedict Cumberbatch Sentimental About ‘Sherlock’ But Mum About More Seasons After Season 3 Premiere Scores In Ratings

sherlock-season-3-finaleUPDATED WITH TCA PANEL, 4:24 PM: Moving Sherlock has paid off for PBS. Last night’s third-season debut clocked an average audience of nearly 4 million viewers — the franchise’s biggest audience yet, according to Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton. That’s compared to the 3.2 million who’d watched the Season 2 launch. Sherlock’s move also boosted Downton Abbey last night — the drawing-room drama’s third episode of its fourth season reached an average audience of 8.4 million, up compared to the second episode’s audience of 7.9 million.

Star Benedict Cumberbatch ducked a question as to how many more three-episode seasons of Sherlock he thinks he can handle while appearing this afternoon at the TCA Winter TV Press Tour. Someone with him onstage noted BBC reportedly has said they’ll continue making them until Cumberbatch gets too famous and refuses. “Why is it always me,” Cuberbatch complained/simpered. Masterpiece chief Rebecca Eaton asked PBS chief Paula Kerger to commit to taking as many seasons as Cumberbatch thought he could handle. Kerger, seated in the audience, agreed. Read More »

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Q&A: MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman On WWE Network, Sony’s Virtual Pay TV Plans, And What’s Next For Streaming Video

The new year has barely started, yet I already have a candidate for the eventual list of 2014′s most influential media execs: MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman. Bob Bowman 2 His sports-focused streaming video and Internet operation is poised to become an entertainment power following the announcements at International CES this month that it will drive two potentially ground-breaking new services. On February 24, WWE will launch a subscription-based online video channel, WWE Network, that will include live and on-demand library programming. (Bowman sat on the WWE board from 2003-2008.) And Sony turned heads with its plan to introduce a Web-based pay TV service that will include live programming from channels that are only available now to subscribers of traditional cable, satellite, and telco video services. MLBAM’s state-of-the-art infrastructure already handles live and on-demand streaming for college basketball’s March Madness, CBS Sports, and ESPN3, as well as Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV and in 2012 handled Obama for America campaign videos. As its business grows, financial types wonder mlbam_logowhether baseball execs might take MLBAM public. So it’s a heady time for Bowman, who became Michigan’s state treasurer in 1983 at age 27 and went on to become COO of ITT Corp. Deadline checked in with the MLBAM chief to find out more about his plans with WWE and Sony, and the prospects for streaming video. Here are his thoughts, edited for length and clarity.

DEADLINE: Why do you consider the WWE Network so noteworthy?
BOWMAN: Economically it’s one of our largest clients for sure. In that sense it’s incredibly important. But what’s more important than dollars is this is the most vertically integrated brand in America.WWE Network Vince McMahon controls everything soup to nuts — from the idea in his head to how it appears on every screen around the world. And he just demonstrated [at CES] he’s going to try and change what the economic rules are. He’s in an ideal situation to do that. That’s why a lot of the content players are going to watch this very carefully. Read More »

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TCA: Jimmy Fallon Announces First ‘Tonight Show’ Guests, Talks Jay Leno Transition

Nellie Andreeva

The Tonight Show with Jay LenoWhen The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon premieres on Feb. 17, it will feature Will Smith as first guest and U2 as musical guests. Smith has been on Fallon’s current show, Late Night With Read More »

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TCA: NBC Brass On Thursday Woes & Plans (Football?) And Future Of Bubble Series

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 3:43pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

tca1__130610173119The success on other nights this fall has made NBC‘s ratings struggles on Thursday even more glaring. “Thursday night is a real challenge for us, something that we’re well aware of as we head into pilot season and start to think about the fall schedule next year,” NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA today. “Comedy has proven to be very difficult for us.” No kidding. This past Thursday, The Michael J. Fox Show hit a series low of 0.6 rating in 18-49, a number a show rarely logs and lives to MichaelJFoxShowsee another airing. ”We’re, obviously, not happy about a .6 for any show and especially for Michael J. Fox,” Greenblatt said. “We like that show. We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find an audience for them in those time periods. So we’re going to still work hard to see what we can do on Thursday nights. It is a real, real uphill battle.”

Related: TCA: NBC’s ‘Believe’ Is No ‘Touch’ – Or ‘Touched By Angel’ – Says JJ Abrams

Greenblatt’s initial assessment of Michael J. Fox Show‘s renewal chances was pretty grim: “Obviously, we have to see how it plays out for the next few months and then get in the scheduling room and make some hard decisions. It’s not anywhere near where we’d like it to be.” He got more optimistic as the session went on. “I’d love to figure out a way to bring it back,” he said. “We may move it around the schedule a little bit.” Read More »

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