Today in TV History
Fox drama “Dollhouse,” produced by Joss Whedon, debuted in 2009 and aired for two half seasons (with 26 episodes in total). Also on this day: Shelley Long reprised her role as Diane Chambers on NBC’s “Frasier” in 1996.
In Today’s Issue
-Metered Market Wednesday Ratings
-Fox Orders Will Forte Comedy “Last Man on Earth”
-Remembering Sid Caesar; Comedy Legend Dead at 91
-truTV Greenlights “The Safecrackers”
-HBO Announces Launch Date for “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
-Lifetime to Honor Departing “Army Wives” With Two-Hour Special
-BBC America Plans “Nottingham” Series
-“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to Begin on Netflix in March
-On the Air Tonight
-Barney Miller Turns Down Another Gig
Wednesday 2/12/14 Metered Market Ratings
The Winter Olympics Juggernaut Continues
Note:The Atlanta market is not included in the following results.
CBS 3.3/ 5
ABC 2.5/ 4
CW 0.7/ 1
Note: The year-to-year comparisons will be excluded during the XXII Winter Olympics
XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
“American Idol” (Fox)
-Losers (excluding repeats):
“Super Fun Night” (ABC)
Ongoing The Winter Olympics led NBC to midweek victory, of course, with a 13.4 rating/21 share in the household overnights last night (peaking at a 14.6/21 in the 10 p.m. half-hour). But two-hours of “American Idol” on Fox was still on the map with a 7.3/11 from 8-10 p.m. Comparably, that was 18 percent below the 8.9/13 one week earlier.
Distant third-place CBS, which decided to encore the Beatles special from Sunday evening, opened with a repeat of “Mike & Molly” at a 3.2/ 5 at 8 p.m. (#3, tied with a repeat of “The Middle” on ABC). And that led into the “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute” second-run at a 3.3/ 5 from 8:30-11 p.m.
Elsewhere, only failing freshman sitcom “Super Fun Night” was original on ABC, and it was lost opposite The Winter Olympics at a series-low 2.5/ 4 (#4) at 9:30 p.m. Comparably, that was 29 percent below the repeat of “Modern Family” (#3: 3.5/ 5) at 9 p.m. Needless to say, “Super Fun Night” is just waiting for the axe to swing. Next on ABC was a repeat of sophomore drama “Nashville” at a third-place 1.7/ 3 at 10 p.m. Out of aforementioned “The Middle” was a repeat of “Suburgatory” at a fourth-place 2.6/ 4 at 8:30 p.m.
The CW populated the evening with 2000 “Best in Show” at a 0.7/ 1 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m.
Source: Nielsen Media Research data
OTHER NETWORK ITEMS
Fox Orders Will Forte Comedy “Last Man on Earth”
Fox has given a series pick-up to single camera Will Forte comedy “Last Man on Earth,” which focuses on two strangers who must resolve their differences and work together to ensure the survival of the human race. The network is eyeing a midseason 2015 launch, with an expected initial episode order of 6 to 10 half-hours. Forte (“Saturday Night Live,” “Nebraska”), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street”) will direct the premiere, and “Last Man on Earth” is one of the many upcoming entries on Fox that receives a direct to series order. Filming is expected to begin this summer.
Remembering Sid Caesar; Comedy Legend Dead at 91
Sid Caesar, the pioneer behind the sketch comedy format as the star and creative force of “Your Show of Shows,” died yesterday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 91.
Born Isaac Sidney Caesar on September 8, 1922, Caesar began his career as an entertainer as a young saxophonist in the Catskills. His career on television kicked-off with an appearance on “Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater” in 1949, which led to his first series, “The Admiral Broadway Review” with Imogene Coca. It aired simultaneously on NBC and the DuMont network from Jan. 28 to June 3, 1949. Next (on Feb. 25, 1950) was the debut of “Your Show of Shows, which was 90 weekly minutes of live original comedy created by an array of rising young writers including Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart. Featured performers included Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner and Howard Morris. It aired through June 5, 1954, and was followed by one hour sketch/variety show “Caesar’s Hour,” which featured Reiner, Morris, Bea Arthur and Nanette Fabray, who replaced Imogene Coca (after she exited to star in her own show).
“Caesar’s Hour” was followed by “Sid Caesar Invites You” in 1958, which briefly reunited Caesar and Coca, and “The Sid Caesar Show,” a half-hour sketch comedy show that aired every second Thursday on ABC (alternating with Edie Adams’ show “Here’s Edie,” in 1963-64). Another young writer who honed his skills working on occasion with Sid Caesar was Woody Allen.
Later appearances by Caesar included theatricals “Silent Movie,” “History of the World, Part 1,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “Grease.” Caesar, who won two Emmy Awards (with 10 nominations), was recognized by the Television Critics Association in 2011 with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1978, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy by the Television Hall of Fame.
Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”) has been cast in lead role for proposed CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Dad.” Gerwig’s character is described as a woman who has never grown up and has no idea where she is going in life. Hopefully, this will not be the next “AfterMASH.”…Maggie Lawson (“Psych,” “Back in the Game”) will star in CBS comedy pilot “Save the Date,” the tale of a women who books a wedding venue after a few too many drinks and then must scramble to find a fiancé…Juliette Lewis (“The Firm”) has been cast as a detective in ABC drama pilot “Secrets & Lies.” She stars opposite Ryan Phillippe, who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy…Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Andy Dick, Kelly Osbourne, Judah Friedlander and Judd Hirsch will headline upcoming Syfy movie sequel “Sharknado 2: The Second One”
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truTV Greenlights “The Safecrackers”
Male-driven truTV has ordered six half-hour episodes of a new reality series called “The Safecrackers,” which will follow safecracker Phil Crawford and his friend Blaze as they travel the country determined the unravel the mysteries and unlock the so-called secrets lurking in lost and abandoned safes. The series comes from American Chainsaws Entertainment and will debut on Monday, March 24. Serving as executive producers are Duke Straub, Colt Straub and Royal Malloy, who are the team behind “Mountain Monsters” and “Diamond Divers.”
Needless to say, you won’t be seeing Geraldo Rivera make a guest appearance (remember flop 1986 syndicated special “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults”?). For a sneak peak, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/mmfh65l
HBO Announces Launch Date for “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
Topical half-hour comedy series “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” which will present a satirical look at the week in news, politics and current events, will debut on HBO on Sunday, April 27 at 11 p.m. ET. The show will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television, with John Oliver, Tim Carvell, James Taylor and Jon Thoday serving as executive producers, and Liz Stanton producing.
Lifetime to Honor Departing “Army Wives” With Two-Hour Special
Lifetime will celebrate the legacy of “Army Wives” with two-hour special, “Army Wives: A Final Salute,” on Monday, March 16 at 9 p.m. ET. The two-hour retrospective will take a walk down memory lane of the seven season scripted drama, which debuted on June 3, 2007 and concluded on June 9, 2013. Featured will be interviews with original cast members Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Wendy Davis, Sterling K. Brown, Brian McNamara, Terry Serpico, Drew Fuller and Jeremy Davidson. The special will also feature commentary from author Tanya Biank, whose book the show was based on, and real-life military wives. “Army Wives: A Final Salute” is produced by HODDER.
BBC America Plans “Nottingham” Series
BBC America is developing a drama called “Nottingham” from “Dracula” creator Cole Haddon, which will offer a new take on the classic tale of Robin Hood. Referred to as a “Game of Thrones” reinvention of the Robin Hood legend, “Nottingham” will follow the Sheriff of Nottingham who is secretly enraged over his wife being killed by the King’s men. By day he pretends to be a loyal Royal follower, but by night he becomes Robin Hood and attacks the King and his men, spreading the stolen wealth around to the poor peasants, all while secretly gathering forces to launch a revolution. The proposed series will be produced by Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment, with executive producers John Davis and John Fox (“The Blacklist”).
“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to Begin on Netflix in March
Animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which began on Cartoon Network on Oct. 3, 2008, will be available on Netflix effective on Friday, March 7. In a deal announced by Disney, Lucasfilm and Netflix, the unaired sixth and season (consisting of 13 episodes, including director’s cuts), plus the first five seasons and a feature film of the same name will be present. The deal is a precursor to a bigger opportunity in 2016, with Netflix becoming the exclusive streaming home for live-action and animated movies from Lucasfilm and other Disney properties such as Pixar and Marvel Studios.
“Star Wars: Clone Wars” follows the galactic conflict that occurred between two of the movie prequels, “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” in 2002 and “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” in 2005. The final season, themed “The Lost Missions,” will see the Force combat a rift within itself and deal with the growing menace of Sith Lords and apprentices in the galaxy.
Ricky Kelehar has been named VP, Unscripted Programming for BBC America, where he will oversee original shows such as “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” and the development of new unscripted formats. Based in New York, Kelehar joins BBC America from IWC Media where he was Head of Factual Entertainment and US Formats. He recently created the Channel Four series “Gadget Man” for North One Television and previously worked for the BBC in New York as Executive Editor of Factual Entertainment.
Darren Haynes will join ESPN on Monday, Feb. 24 as a studio anchor, where he will appear on various shows across several ESPN platforms. Prior to joining ESPN, Haynes was sports anchor/reporter for Al Jazeera-America in New York where he anchored the evening and morning sportscasts. Previously he was at WHDH (NBC) in Boston as sports anchor/reporter.
Thursday, February 13
8:00 p.m. “The Taste” (two hours)
10:00 p.m. “Scandal” (R)
8:00 p.m. “The Big Bang Theory” (R)
8:30 p.m. “The Millers” (R)
9:00 p.m. “The Crazy Ones” (R)
9:30 p.m. “Two and a Half Men” (R)
10:00 p.m. “Elementary” (R)
8:00 p.m. XXII Winter Olympics: Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Speed Skating, Skeleton
8:00 p.m. “American Idol”
9:00 p.m. “Rake”
8:00 p.m. “The Originals” (R)
9:00 p.m. “Arrow” (R)
For a listing of highlights on cable, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/mkgw34b
Barney Miller Turns Down Another Gig
Shortly after ABC sitcom “Barney Miller” ended, Hal Linden turned down a lead role in another long-running series. What show was that?
a) “Hill Street Blues”
b) “Night Court”
c) “Quincy, M.E.”
d) “St. Elsewhere”
e) “Simon & Simon”
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Which one of the following actresses was still under age 60 in real life when her hit TV series began?
a) Bea Arthur (“The Golden Girls”)
b) Barbara Barrie (“Suddenly Susan”)
c) Barbara Bel Geddes (“Dallas”)
d) Shirley Booth (“Hazel”)
e) Natalie Schafer (“Gilligan’s Island”)
…Is: c) Barbara Bel Geddes, who was only 55 years old when “Dallas” launched only April 2, 1978. At the time, her TV son Larry Hagman was 47. As for the others:
-Bea Arthur: 63 when “The Golden Girls” began on Sept. 14, 1985.
-Barbara Barrie: 65 when “Suddenly Susan” began on NBC on Sept. 19, 1996.
-Shirley Booth: 63 when “Hazel” began on NBC on Sept. 28. 1961.
-Natalie Schafer: 63 when “Gilligan’s Island” opened on CBS on Sept. 26, 1964.
Today’s All Stars:
Mark Amato, Carolyn Bisson, Gerry Bixenspan, Matt Bradley, D.C. Carter, Larry Collins, Mark Cosenza, Phyllis Epstein, Steven Franks, Jerry Gibbons, Maureen Goldman, Caryn Gray, Bob Ingersoll, Davis Jackino, Tom Kilgallon, Synda Kollman, Tom Moore, Richard Naldrett, Alan Perris, Gordon Purcell, Eric Ross, Ken Stowe, Ronnie Tallant, Leo Vogt, Randy Wade
Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for Extra, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, The CBS Evening News, CNN, and more; and his 2014 desk calendar, “Today in TV History,” is presently available.
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