Fox Pushes ‘MasterChef’ Premiere By Week

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 7:14am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Bones110916155920Fox is saving an extra original of Bones to run with 24: Live Another Day. In the most recent summer schedule announced last month, veteran Bones was to air its penultimate episode of Season 9 on April 28, leading to … Read More »

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John Oliver Visits Jimmy Fallon, Matt Lauer To Promote HBO ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut: Video

John Oliver took the NBC package deal to promote the launch of his new HBO late night show, Last Week Tonight this coming Sunday. Oliver stopped by Tonight show last night, where he made fun of Jimmy Fallon’s interview style and talked about friends’ reaction to his final The Daily Show appearance:

Earlier this week, Oliver so deftly explained to Today show’s Matt Lauer why his satirical show would not bother to cover a report that had just been featured on Today that Lauer barely noticed he’d been dinged: Read More »

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HBO Signs Exclusive Licensing Deal With Amazon Prime

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 6:07am PDT

hbo45__130924185923-275x112__140114010318Take that, Netflix. Beginning on May 21 the multi-year agreement will enable Amazon Prime subscribers to stream series including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, and later — about three years after episodes initially air — GirlsThe Newsroom and Veep. In addition, by year end Amazon will offer HBO GO on its new Fire TV platform. (It’s already available to HBO subscribers on other devices including Google’s Chromecast.) The shows will still be available on HBO’s platforms, but the companies say that this is the first time the premium pay TV channel’s shows have been licensed to an online-only streaming service. “As owners of our original programming, we have always sought to capitalize on that investment,” HBO EVP of Business and Legal Affairs Glenn Whitehead says.

Amazon shares are up 1.4% pre market, and Netflix is down 2.7%, following the announcement. That suggests investors didn’t fully accept Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ claim on Monday that the streaming video providers can peacefully coexist. “It’s a very much not a zero-sum game and we are building this ecosystem together that’s about Internet video and the more players there are in Internet video, the bigger that ecosystem gets,” he said. “The big theme is Internet video is taking share away from linear video. So we are all participating in that transformation.” He has more mixed feelings about HBO: In January he joked that HBO chief Richard Plepler’s Netflix password was probably: “Netflix bitch.”

Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says HBO probably made its deal with Amazon, instead of Netflix, because there’s less overlap among their subscribers. Still, it’s “clearly a negative for Netflix, given the high profile nature of the HBO content” and could “somewhat limit” the streaming company’s just-announced plan to raise its prices for new customers. He notes, though, that HBO and Amazon released few details about the deal terms and that it doesn’t include all HBO shows.

Here’s today’s announcement from HBO and Amazon: Read More »

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Rob Lowe Tapped To Narrate Nat Geo Miniseries ‘The 90s: The Last Great Decade?’

EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channellowe__131003221649-275x363 wants to stay in business with Rob Lowe. After starring as President John F. Kennedy in last year’s Killing Kennedy and narrating The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us last spring, NGC has signed Lowe to narrate the sequel. The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? will premiere over three nights in July on NGC in the U.S., followed globally in 171 countries and on Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo  “I’m excited to be back working with the team at National Geographic Channel, who continue to show their commitment to creating natgeochannel1great, entertaining and thought-provoking television programming,” said Lowe. “No one has really examined the ’90s like this before, and I think viewers will be fascinated by the dramatic changes we’ve seen in even the small amount of time that’s passed since Y2K.” The ’90s revisits the pre 9/11 decade through 120 original interviews with eyewitnesses, politicians and celebrities. It recalls the high and lows of the 90s, including former President Bill Clinton being swept into office, the LA Riots, and MTV’s The Real World and Jerry Springer changing the television programming landscape.
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UPDATE: Stephen Colbert Visits David Letterman On CBS (Video)

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 9:47pm PDT

UPDATED with details of Colbert’s appearance: Viewers curious to know what Actual Stephen Colbert is like, and what might his upcoming CBS late-night show be, got a good look tonight when the Comedy Central star made his first visit to David Letterman‘s Late Show since being named as his replacement. After telling Dave he’d been offered a gig with Dave’s old NBC show but turned it down because it was an unpaid internship –  “It’s an expensive city,” Colbert explained. “The next job I’m taking here, that pays? Cause I’ve already signed” — they exchanged pleasantries about their families and Dave asked Colbert if he vacations well.

“No, I do not,” Colbert responded. “I don’t know why you do comedy, but it’s not because everything’s all right up here, for me,” he said, tapping on his own head. “It’s not a normal thing to do with your life. … It’s more dangerous than bungee jumping, deciding to do this for a living. I don’t have the constitution for hardcore alcoholism, so I have to tell jokes all the time or I go a little insane. I had last week off and it didn’t go well.”

 

Years after he turned down the internship, Colbert tried to get a job writing on Dave’s show, but he landed a job elsewhere before Letterman’s camp came calling.  Colbert actually brought along the Top 10 list he’d created back then to apply for the gig: Top 10 Cocktails For Santa. Colbert read them on air — all 10 of them.  The Rusty Blitzen, the Scrooge Driver — each less funny than the last, and each joke had to be explained. “I don’t think you would have hired me at this point,” Colbert acknowledged at around No. 6. And yet, he kept reading. “I like the fact that you explained all of them — all of the jokes have been explained,” Dave said. “We gave up on that back in ’97.”

Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Despite Stephen Colbert Hire

Meanwhile, conservative media figures continue to tag along on this story — with FNC’s Bill O’Reilly closing out Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor telecast with commentary on his own earlier commentary about CBS having named Colbert to replace Dave. O’Reilly said he was amused the “liberal press” is upset that he’s “being mean to Colbert.” (Before O’Reilly knew Colbert would be named Letterman’s successor, he’d called Colbert a left-wing “deceiver” who does “damage because he gives cover to powerful people who are selling Americans a big lie that this country is bad” — this in response to a Colbert Report bit poking fun at O’Reilly for saying President Obama‘s focus on “equality” was  an “opium-laced dream.”)

Related: Jon Stewart Kvells Over Stephen Colbert’s Move To CBS (Video)

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ESPN Could Rewrite Record Book When It Airs Cable’s First NFL Playoff Game

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 9:15pm PDT

ESPN_logoThe NFL regular-season schedule comes out tomorrow, but we already know something big about the postseason. The league said today that ESPN will air a wild card game during the first weekend of the playoffs in early January. The … Read More »

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UPDATE: Post Crew On NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’ Win IATSE Contract

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 8:14pm PDT

last-comic-standing__140321195619-275x340__140421164340UPDATE, 8:14 PM: No joke — the strike is over. After a day-and-a-half labor action on the part of the Motion Picture Editors GuildIATSE Local 700, the postproduction crew of Last Comic Standing now have a union contract, I’ve learned. With that over, everybody is heading back to work tomorrow on the soon-to-debut NBC reboot. The roughly 15 editors, assistant editors and other briefly striking post employees have won the health and retirement benefits IA700Bug__130219205555-150x150__131123212333__140421164529plus vacation and holiday pay they sought when they walked out on Monday. A day of picketing today outside the Glendale postproduction facility of the NBC Studios show also saw significant wage increases for the assistant editors. Last Comic Standing is set to premiere on May 22.

1625566_747449085300490_4296235683794707443_nPREVIOUS, APRIL 21, AM: Just more than a month before its reboot is set to debut, NBC‘s Last Comic Standing today has been knocked down by a labor action. About 15 editors and assistant editors walked off the job today in a no-joke strike organized by the Motion Picture Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, I’ve learned. Hired by NBC Studios on a non-union basis, the editors are seeking a union contract that includes industry-standard health insurance and pension benefits. Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: NBC’s ‘Crossbones’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 6:09pm PDT

Lots going on in this first trailer for NBC‘s new pirate drama. Crossbones stars a white-goateed John Malkovich as Blackbeard — Genius. Madman. Legend., we’re told — who reigns over a rogues gallery of outlaws and miscreant sailors in 1715. He comes up against Tom Lowe (… Read More »

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Mitch Hurwitz Inks Multi-Year Deal With Netflix For New Series

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 4:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

hurwitzEXCLUSIVE: Mitch Hurwitz is staying in the Netflix fold with a multi-year deal, a rare pact with a writer-producer for the streaming giant. Under the multi-tier agreement, the Arrested Development creator will create and produce new original series for the Internet TV network through his banner The Hurwitz Company. Additionally, he will develop projects with other creators as a non-writing executive producer and will consult for Netflix on comedy series. Hurwitz first worked with Netflix on a new season of his Emmy-winning comedy series Arrested Development, which netflix_logo__121008075714-200x92__130701074658was released last year. “We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Mitch’s inventive approach to Arrested Development — one of the top TV comedies of this generation — was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

Related: Netflix Says It May Raise Prices For New Customers

After winning six Emmys for its three-year run on Fox from 2003-06 — including three for Hurwitz, for best series and two for writing — Arrested Development‘s fourth season on Netflix earned three more Emmy nominations for the show, bringing the total to 25. Hurwitz executive produced and co-directed Season 4, and it was that collaboration with Netflix, which Hurwitz describes as being “the best professional experience of my life, even topping some of my favorite unprofessional experiences,” that led to the new deal. “It is incredibly inspiring to get to produce for Netflix, a company that not only doesn’t resist change but is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone in forging it,” Hurwitz said. “The fact that I’m also getting one month of their streaming right to my TV or Xbox free … well, it really takes the sting out of buying that Xbox.”

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WGA Targets Larry Levinson And Hallmark For Unpaid Residuals

WGAThe WGA is preparing to bar prolific TV movie producer Larry Levinson from ever using guild writers again unless he pays up on millions he allegedly owes in unpaid residuals. In the past 20 years, Larry Levinson Productions has produced nearly 200 family-oriented TV movies, most of which were made for the Hallmark Channel or in association with Hallmark Entertainment. The guild is currently pursuing arbitration claims against Levinson’s various production entities for unpaid residuals and interest owed on 38 of those TV movies. In a recent letter to a group of writers who Levinson allegedly hallmarkstiffed, the guild stated that “Levinson continues to demonstrate an egregious, ongoing failure to pay residuals.” An arbitration hearing is set for August 14.

In its notice of arbitration (read it here), the WGA claimed that two of Levinson’s companies, Hardstone Entertainment and Branwen Productions, violated the guild’s contract by failing to pay residuals on dozens of TV movies; by failing to report the gross receipts of the movies and how often they were rerun on television; and by failing to make pension and health contributions on those unpaid residuals. Read More »

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Supreme Court Watchers Examine Justices’ Comments For Insights Into What They’ll Do With Aereo

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 2:45pm PDT

Aereo-badge__140414141457__140417214420This is a risky exercise. Jurists often like to play devil’s advocate when they question lawyers in open court. But the comments that Supreme Court justices made today in the hearing pitting Aereo against broadcasters likely will provide the only clues about what investors and others should expect ahead of a ruling expected in June. Guggenheim analyst Paul Gallant says he senses that “a majority of Justices would shut down Aereo if there were no potential implications on cloud storage.” But if that’s an open question, then “our guess is that the Court will find some way to thread the needle and say that Aereo is inconsistent with the 1976 Copyright Act, or send the case back to the lower courts with some negative (but not conclusive) commentary toward Aereo.”

Related: Aereo Case Reactions: Did CBS Shares Fall In Response To Supreme Court’s Questions?

The basic debate: Aereo says it’s merely a technology provider that enables subscribers to privately exercise their right to view signals from the free, public airwaves. Broadcasters counter that Aereo steals their content by packaging and reselling programming to the public without paying.

Related: The ABCs Of Aereo: What Is Aereo And Why Are Broadcasters Taking It To The Supreme Court?

NY Supreme CourtHere are a few of the more interesting comments from the jurists as they prodded lawyers about the key arguments:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Why aren’t they [Aereo] cable companies?… I’m looking at the – everybody’s been arguing this case as if for sure they’re not. But I look at the definition of a cable company, and it seems to fit. …

Justice Elena Kagan: If Aereo has the hardware in its warehouse as opposed to Aereo selling the hardware to the particular end user, that is going to make all the difference in the world as to whether we have a public performance or not a public performance.

Chief Justice John Roberts: You can park your car in your own garage or you can park it in a public garage. You can go to RadioShack and buy an antenna and a DVR or you can rent those facilities somewhere else from Aereo. They’ve – they’ve got an antenna. They’ll let you use it when you need it and they can, you know, record the stuff as well and let you pick it up when you need it.

Related: Chief Justice Slams Aereo At Supreme Court Hearing

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Adult Swim’s ‘The Boondocks’ Big In Return

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 2:42pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

boondocksLike The Game, which set ratings records when revived by BET, another comedy series targeting black audiences came back roaring after a lengthy break from television. Last night’s Season 4 bow of the Sony Pictures TV-produced animated series The Boondocks on Adult Swim set series highs across all key demos, including adults 18-34 (1.40 million) and adults 18-49 (1.9 million), up 50% from the show’s previous season averages. It was Adult Swim’s most-watched primetime telecast among key adult demographics in at least five years. The Boondocks premiere was the No. 1 TV program in all of television last night — broadcast or cable — among Adult Swim’s target 18-34 demographic, topping NBC’s The Voice (1.36 million) and TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage (1.16 million).

Related: Adult Swim Greenlights Live-Action Comedy Series ‘Black Jesus’

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Starz’s Chris Albrecht Made $30.5M In 2013, +137%

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT

chris AlbrechtA huge slug of option awards propelled the Starz CEO to a compensation package that’s close to what Jeff Bewkes made at Time Warner, a much bigger company. Chris Albrecht benefited from a new contract that coincided with … Read More »

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Jeremy Davies & Robert Knepper Join History’s ‘Texas Rising’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 2:24pm PDT

Jeremy Davies (Justified) robertknepper1Jeremydavies1and Robert Knepper (Prison Break) have been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Davies, repped by Paradigm, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen, will play Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a shifty rogue whose only thought is for his own survival who reluctantly joins the Rangers to avoid being executed for desertion. Knepper, repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management, will play Empresario Buckley, an unshaven bombastic slob. He is the only law in the town of Victoria, and he abuses his position to further his own agenda and make himself rich in the process. Read More »

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Hot Clip: TV Creators Get Their Close-Up In Docu ‘Showrunners’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

Wondercon 2014 - Showrunners - Photo By Jonathan ReillyEXCLUSIVE: JJ Abrams, Matthew Carnahan, Jane Espenson, Hart Hanson, Ronald D. Moore, Kurt Sutter, and Joss Whedon are just some of the powerhouse television creators who appear in new docu Showrunners, from writer/director Des Doyle. Pic is the first feature length film to explore the rising power of the TV showrunner and the behind the scenes process that goes into making a hit show. Doyle brought the WonderCon crowds a taste over the weekend, appearing alongside Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory), Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Husbands), Steve Callaghan (Family Guy), John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarians), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Revolution), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Chris Carter (The X-Files, The After), and Showrunners co-producer Ryan Patrick McGuffey to unveil a clip from the film, which you can check out exclusively on Deadline below. Read More »

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‘Fargo’s Noah Hawley Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 12:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

hawleyFX Productions has closed an overall production deal with Noah Hawley, the writer, executive producer and showrunner of Fargo, FX‘s first limited series as part of the cable network’s push in event programming. The two-year agreement for … Read More »

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ABC ‘World News’ Beats ‘NBC Nightly News’ For Second Consecutive Week

For the first time in more thandianesawyer2 six years, ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams in the news demo for a second consecutive week. Last time it happened it wasn’t “with Diane Sawyer” because Charlie Gibson was anchoring back in March of ’08 when ABC’s newscast last enjoyed two weeks of demo ratings wins.. Sawyer took over as anchor in December of 2009. The week of April 14, ABC’s newscast also posted its largest victory over NBC’s in that 25-54 age bracket in more than five years. Sawyer’s newscast beat Williams’ by 85,000 demo viewers. One week earlier, Sawyer’s win was by a slim 12,000 demo viewers. ABC’s newscast bested NBC in head-to-head competition on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during the week of April 14. Read More »

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Food Network Adds Valerie Bertinelli Project To Daytime Lineup

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

food1Food Network and Cooking Channel today unveiled 35 new series that will roll out during the next several months. Among the new additions on Food Networks’ slate, announced during Scripps Networks Interactive‘s upfront in New York, is The Valerie Bertinelli Project (wt) set for a September premiere. It features the Hot In Cleveland star and bestselling cookbook author and her husband preparing dinners for family and celebrity friends in their Los Angeles home. Bunim/Murray is producing. Also on the slate is an expansion of the Chopped franchise set for a July premiere. The five-episode Chopped Teens Tournament features 16 talented teenage chefs who must create the perfect appetizer, entree and dessert as they navigate through each round. The winner from each episode heads into the finale with a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize and culinary school scholarship. Notional is producing for Food Network. New Food Network and Cooking Channel series include: Read More »

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Josh Berman Inks New Overall Deal At Sony

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BermanEXCLUSIVE: Josh Berman tenure at Sony Pictures Television will be crossing the decade mark with a fourth consecutive overall deal. Under the new, three-year pact, Berman continues as executive producer and showrunner of Sony TV’s Lifetime series Dead Read More »

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