Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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Today in TV History
Summer variety hour “The Gladys Knight & the Pips Show” debuted on NBC in 1975. It aired for four weeks. And the final episode of six-season NBC sitcom “A Different World” was telecast in 1993. Technically, the series-finale of “The Cosby Show” spin-off was featured as a one-hour installment on May 8, 1993, but there were remaining episodes the network burned-off in the summer.

In Today’s Issue

-The TCA Celebrates 30 Years
-Press Tour Tidbits

-Metered Market Monday Ratings
-Rosie O’Donnell to Rejoin ABC’s “The View”
-Sean Hayes Joins Cast of CBS’ “The Millers”
-“Stand Up to Cancer” Benefit to Air on Sept. 5
-“Extant” Review by Douglas Pucci
-“In 2014, “Green Acres” is Still the Place to Be” by Ed Martin

-Lifetime Announces Start Date for Live Amanda deCadenet Talker
-Sportsman Channel Renews “Amazing America with Sarah Palin”
-IFC Orders Second Season of “Spoils” Franchise
-Spike TV Picks Up “Thrift Hunters”

-On the Air Tonight

-Not Seeing Double


The TCA Celebrates 30 Years
In this atypically early start, it is back to the one — and the only — Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles for the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Known simply as the TCA, this semi-annual event (which is celebrating 30 years) features approximately 200 critics and bloggers across the country and in Canada who report on the business of television, and all the growing components. As always, featured will be sessions on a variety of different programming titles (new and returning) on the broadcast networks, cable, digital and PBS.

A session from Nielsen Media Research on its data services opened the tour, with cable scheduled through Friday, July 11, followed by digital (July 12), NBC (July 13 and 14), ABC (July 15 and 16), CBS, The CW and Showtime (July 17-18), Fox and FX (July 20-11), and PBS on July 22 and 23.

As a reminder, there will be 24 new broadcast series this fall (13 dramas, 10 sitcoms and 1 non-scripted), with six new series on ABC and NBC, five on CBS and Fox, and two on The CW. In what is now an annual tradition, we will handicap each of the two dozen new series, basing our odds of survival (1-1, the best, to 10-1, the worst) on the buzz factor, the critical acclaim (or lack of), the lead-in (if not an 8 p.m. series), the competition, the lead-out, the time period history (recent and past) and social media potential. Since it is not just about the traditional Nielsen ratings anymore, there is much more to consider and we will have the entire scoop on a 24/7 basis. On that note…


Press Tour Tidbits

National Geographic Channel (NGC) will introduce a new series in spring 2015 called “Mapology” (working title), which will take viewers on a journey to how things like money, sex, sports, crime and weather influence our daily lives. Exploring and generating infographics from information banks and data analysis, “Mapology” will investigate different themes through the mapping of new data, and the creative visualization of information and in-depth personal stories. Kal Penn is the host and producer.

NGC will air a new special focusing on the horror of 9/11 called “9/10: The Final Hours,” which will take us moment by moment through the day before everything changed, and before the “war on terror” became a part of the world’s everyday vernacular. Featured will be stories from those who worked inside the World Trade Center, as well as men and women who confronted the terrorist mastermind of the operation, Mohamed Atta, during his sudden — and still unexplained — detour to Portland, Maine. For more information, visit



Tuesday 7/08/14 Metered Markets
“AGT” Second-Run Leads NBC to Victory

Note: The following results exclude Philadelphia.

NBC 4.7/ 8
CBS 4.2/ 7
ABC 2.2/ 4
Fox 1.0/ 2
CW 0.7/ 1


-Percent Change from Year-Ago Evening – Tuesday 7/09/13:
CW: +40, ABC and CBS: + 5 each, Fox: – 9. NBC: -24


“America’s Got Talent” R (NBC)

-Losers (excluding repeats):
“Extreme Weight Loss” (ABC), “Celebrity Wife Swap” (ABC)


Ratings Breakdown:
NBC topped this second Tuesday in the household overnights, besting a night of repeats on CBS by 12 percent. An encore of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC scored a typical 5.1 rating/8 share from 8-10 p.m., which for a repeat is certainly worth touting. And that led into already renewed freshman drama “The Night Shift” at a dominant 4.0/ 7 at 10 p.m. Week-to-week, “The Night Shift” slipped by five percent, with retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of “America’s Got Talent” (5.1/ 8) of 78 percent. CBS, meanwhile, had nothing unusual to report with its repeat line-up of “NCIS” (#1: 5.3/ 9), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (#2: 4.2/ 7) and “Person of Interest” (#2: 3.4/ 6). As a reminder, upcoming spin-off “NCIS: New Orleans” will inherit the Tuesday 9 p.m. hour this fall, with “NCIS: Los Angeles” shifting to Monday at 10 p.m. (out of unproven new drama “Scorpion”).

On ABC, already renewed “Extreme Weight Loss” did not earn its renewal stripes with a 2.4/ 4 in the overnights from 8-10 p.m., which trailed the aforementioned “America’s Got Talent” second-run by a hefty 53 percent. Next was “Celebrity Wife Swap,” which tends to generate some interest in the young adult demos, at a last-place 2.0/ 3 at 10 p.m.

Elsewhere, encores of Fox comedies “Family Guy” (#4: 1.3/ 2), two episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (#4: avg. 1.0/ 2) and “The Mindy Project” (#4: 0.9/ 1) could not compete. And The CW capped off the night with repeats of “Arrow” (#5: 0.6/ 1) and “Supernatural” (#5: 0.7/ 1).

Source: Nielsen Media Research data



Rosie O’Donnell to Rejoin ABC’s “The View”
Sometimes you can go “home” again. Negotiations, according to TMZ, are completed for Rosie O’Donnell to officially return as a co-host of troubled ABC daytime talker “The View.” “The View,” of course, is losing Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy at the end of the season, which leaves Whoopi Goldberg as the sole host. And outspoken Rosie O’Donnell is just force ABC is hoping will reignite interest in the tired weekday hour.

Controversial Rosie was a co-host in the 2007-08 season opposite Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hesselbeck and Barbara Walters. But Rosie is a panel format was not necessarily the best fit, and she departed after one season, with Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd up next. Rosie went back to the single hosting format in more feel-good talker “The Rosie Show” on OWN in the fall of 2011, which stumbled in the ratings and was canceled the following March. And with “The View” in need of a jolt (and a regular dose of controversy), ABC is hoping another round of Rosie will be just the trick. “The View,” according to TMZ, is also looking for a Latina and a conservative, with names in the conservative mix said to include Abby Huntsman and Margaret Hoover.

Sean Hayes Joins Cast of CBS’ “The Millers”
Sean Hayes, who found great success as zany Jack McFarland on NBC sitcom “Will & Grace” is returning to his supporting roots after the failure this season of “Sean Saves the World,” also on NBC. Hayes will join the cast of CBS sitcom “The Millers” in the upcoming second season as Kip Withers, Carol Miller’s (Margo Martindale) new best friend and a new source of friction for her son Nathan (Will Arnett).

Hayes is also the creator, and sometimes participant, on NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night,” which will return when NBC is in need of a time period in repair.

“Extant” Review by Douglas Pucci
The broadcast networks have never necessarily been aggressive with new scripted product in the summer television season, which has become increasingly dominated by popular cable, online and off-network offerings. But, last summer, CBS scored a huge windfall with the highly successful “Under The Dome.” And, this summer, the Eye net is hoping for more success with another high-profile scripted drama, “Extant,” premiering tonight at 9 p.m. ET (out of summer fave “Big Brother”).

Oscar winner Halle Berry stars as Molly Woods, an astronaut who returns home from a yearlong mission in outer space, only to discover she is pregnant — a surprising and mysterious occurrence, considering her presumed infertility and lone presence in the space station. At their home, she lives with her husband John (Goran Visnjic, “ER”) and their young boy, Ethan (Pierce Gagnon) who is actually a humanoid robot created from John’s scientific research for the purposes of fulfilling some semblance of family within their household. Of course, as a robot, there are several moments where Ethan exhibits awkward behavior (such as aggressiveness towards other children and running into the woods to discover an already-deceased bird). For more, click on the following:

“In 2014, “Green Acres” is Still the Place to Be” by Ed Martin 
TV historian Ed Martin is at it again, with his latest MediaPost column focusing on classic sitcom “Green Acres,” which aired on CBS from 1965-71 and ended prematurely when the network decided to cancel everything with a tree (a.k.a. “the rural purge”). Although also set in fictional Hooterville, “Green Acres” was the polar opposite of “Petticoat Junction,” (which it was not spun-off from), with a focus on satire and surrealism and a star in the making care of beloved Arnold the Pig, who received more fan mail than any other “actor.” For Ed’s take on “Green Acres,” click on the following:




Lifetime Announces Start Date for Live Amanda deCadenet Talker
Upcoming Lifetime late night half-hour talk show “Undone with @AmandadeCadenet, which will explore the hot topics trending in pop culture and will feature interviews with celebrities and newsmakers, will debut on Thursday, July 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Described as an interactive pop culture mash up, host Amanda de Cadenet will engage with viewers across all platforms, taking the conversations happening online live on-air. Eight episodes have been ordered and will be filmed live in Hollywood each week.

De Cadenet is a British television personality, renowned fashion and portrait photographer and entrepreneur. In 2012, she executive produced and hosted the Lifetime and web series “The Conversation,” which explored the modern woman through candid, powerful and in-depth interviews with some of the world’s most famous and influential women.

Sportsman Channel Renews “Amazing America with Sarah Palin”
Sportsman Channel has renewed original series “Amazing America with Sarah Palin” for a second season, with 12 new episodes to begin airing in early 2015. Produced by Pilgrim Studios for Sportsman Channel and hosted by Sarah Palin, the so-called “Mama Grizzly” and “First Lady of the Outdoors,” the first season of “Amazing America with Sarah Palin” featured 12 episodes and included an anthology of stories that explored the people, places and pastimes connected to America’s outdoor lifestyle. Craig Piligian, Jake Shelton and Brett Boydstun are the executive producers for Pilgrim Studios.

IFC Orders Second Season of “Spoils” Franchise
IFC has renewed its franchise spoof “Spoils” for a second season, with six episodes of upcoming “The Spoils Before Dying” ordered for summer 2015. Based on fictional writer Eric Jonrosh’s (Will Ferrell) first best-selling novel, “The Spoils Before Dying” will take viewers into the underbelly of the 1950s jazz scene as it follows a jazz-pianist turned private eye who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation that spins out of control. “The Spoils Before Dying” is executive produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. Steele and Piedmont return as writers, with Piedmont also directing. The first season of “Spoils” was titled “The Spoils of Babylon.”

Spike TV Picks Up “Thrift Hunters”
Spike TV has ordered a second season of 10 episodes of “Thrift Hunters,” the half-hour non-scripted series following the shopping adventures of thrifting gurus Jason T. Smith and Bryan Goodman. The new episodes will air on Sunday nights this fall at 9:30 p.m. ET, following “Auction Hunters” at 9:00 p.m. ET. Produced by Pixcom Productions, the new season of “Thrift Hunters” will go into production across the country this summer.



Wednesday, July 9

8:00 p.m. “The Middle” (R)
8:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (R)
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family” (R)
9:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (R)
10:00 p.m. “Motive”

8:00 p.m. “Big Brother”
9:00 p.m. “Extant” (series premiere)
10:00 p.m. “Criminal Minds” (R)

8:00 p.m. “America’s Got Talent” (R, two hours)
10:00 p.m. “Taxi Brooklyn”

8:00 p.m. “So You Think You Can Dance” (two hours)

8:00 p.m. “iHeartland Ultimate Pool Party” (90-minutes)
9:30 p.m. “Whose Line is it Anyway” (R)

8:00 p.m. “Nature” (R)
9:00 p.m. “Nova” (R)
10:00 p.m. “Secrets of the Dead”

Of Note on Cable:
-“Beverly Hills Pawn” (Reelz, 9 p.m. ET): season premiere
-“Rowhouse Showdown” (FYI, 9 p.m. ET): series premiere
-“The Bridge” (FX, 10 p.m. ET): season premiere
-“Catfish” (FX, 10 p.m. ET): season finale
-“Mansion Hunters” (Reelz, 10 p.m. ET): series premiere
-“Tiny House Nation” (FYI, 10 p.m. ET): series premiere


New Program Descriptions

“Extant” (CBS)
Described as a futuristic thriller, a female astronaut (Oscar winner Halle Berry) tries to reconnect with her family when she returns inexplicably pregnant after a year in outer space. “Extant” is a co-production of CBS Television Studios and Amblin Television. Steven Spielberg, Greg Walker, Mickey Fisher, who wrote the script, Brooklyn Weaver, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank are the executive producers. Goran Visnjic (“ER”) and Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”) co-star. For our review, click on the following:


Not Seeing Double

Which one of the following TV characters did not have a twin?

a) Jethro Bodine
b) Cissy Davis
c) Mark Hogan
d) Robin Kotter
e) Zachary Smart

The answer to Monday’s question…

If you were lodging at The Stratford Inn, what state would you be in?

a) Maine
b) North Carolina
c) Pennsylvania
d) Rhode Island
e) Vermont

…Is: e) Vermont, which was the setting of classic 1982-90 CBS sitcom “Newhart.” But considering the whole show was a “dream,” there could have been a sixth choice for none of the above!

Today’s All Stars:
Dino Alexander, Vincent Alvarez, Mark Amato, John Beadle, Steve Bitterman, Matt Bradley, Jordan Breslow, D.C. Carter, Bruce Cohen, Larry Collins, Tom Condosta, Darla Dackiewicz, Audrey Davis, Reid Davis, Joel Dearing, Bob Eisenstaedt, Phyllis Epstein, Steven Franks, Jan Frazier, Geoffrey Gordon, David Jackino, Tom Joyce, Jim Kelly, Synda Kollman, Steve La Rue, Marie Lefevre, Rick Locke, Kathy Martin, David Miller, Tom Moore, Richard Naldrett, Aaron Paquette, Joe Pedri, Greg Phelan, Gordon Purcell, Liza Reich, Patti Rodriguez, Eric Ross, Anthony Salerno, Mark Simmons, Ken Stowe, Joe Swaney, Carol Teichman, Randy Wade, Tim Wesolek, Dan Whitford