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July 24, 2014

NBC's 10PM Dramas Trail Last Year's 'Jay Leno Show' Ratings

Was Jeff Zucker right all along? The NBC boss was vilified last year for scrapping NBC's entire slate of 10PM dramas and replacing them with 'The Jay Leno Show,' a move that turned out to be both a ratings and PR disaster, one that led to Leno's hasty return to 'The Tonight Show' and the network's costly and embarrassing loss of Conan O'Brien. This year, however, the fall dramas NBC has aired...

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Fox-Cablevision Blackout: The Ugliest Retransmission Fight Yet

We've seen a lot of fights over the past 12 months between channels and cable service providers over proposed fee increases, fights that have led to threatened blackouts, and in some cases actual blackouts, of popular event programming. But no fight this year has gotten as ugly as the current one between Fox and Cablevision, which has resulted in a blackout currently in its third day, a shutoff...

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Is Reality TV Too Violent for Kids?

It's long been an article of faith, at least among TV watchdog groups, that scripted TV dramas show too much violence to impressionable children. But what about reality programs, which seem to be showing an increasing amount of violence that's not make-believe? A recent article on Fox News' Pop Tarts blog worries that kids are seeing too much violence on reality TV, citing recent altercations...

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Why It's Good That Networks Are Quick To Cancel Low-Rated New Shows

Now that ABC's 'My Generation' has joined Fox's 'Lone Star' in the dubious-achievement category of new fall shows canceled after just two low-rated episodes, there's sure to be a lot of hand-wringing about how the networks are too quick to kill fledgling shows that haven't found an audience yet, and how they're not trying hard enough to nurture shows. But maybe it's a good thing that the...

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Is Reality TV Over?

As the fall TV season starts, you may notice something you haven't seen so much of in recent years: actors. Apparently, the reality TV boom that began a decade ago is over. Well, sort of. No less an industry titan than NBC Universal Entertainment Television chairman Jeff Gaspin thinks that reality is all but played out. "I think we've probably exhausted 80 percent of reality," he told the Wall...

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HBO Has 'True Blood' Buzz, So Why Is It Bleeding Subscribers?

Not even Sookie Stackhouse's mysterious fairy abilities or Eric Northman's vampire strength are powerful enough to keep HBO's subscriber base from seeping away. As a feature in today's Hollywood Reporter notes, the cable network is just coming off a hit season of 'True Blood' (which wrapped with a third-season finale last night) and its usual domination of the Emmys, led by its prize-winning...

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The New TV News Battleground: The Pre-Dawn Hours

Wee hours newscasts aren't really a new phenomenon. Back in 1992, a young TV journalist got his start as the anchor of ABC's pre-dawn 'World News Now'. His name was Anderson Cooper. Today, 'World News Now's' anchor is Vinita Nair, whose good looks, crisp diction and hearty sense of humor have earned her a cult of fans. But whether you view early-early-morning newscasts as a talent farm or...

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Disney and Time Warner Cable Reach Truce, But More Battles Loom

The good news for Time Warner Cable's nearly 15 million subscribers in 28 states: It looks like the cable behemoth is no longer in danger of losing such Disney-owned channels as ABC and ESPN on the eve of college and pro football seasons and the new primetime broadcast season. The bad news: The deal between the two entertainment giants leaves the door open for further clashes between programmers...

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'Hung' Spoilers: What's in Store for Ray and Tanya?

Including this Sunday's installment, there are only three episodes of 'Hung' left this season. Which means major, life-changing events seem to be coming for Ray, Tanya and the rest of the characters on the HBO comedy. Series co-creator Colette Burson spoke to TV Squad today and offered some spoilers about what to expect for the rest of this season (including an important, funny and painful...

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Can Paintball-Scale Spectacle Save 'Community' From 'The Big Bang Theory'?

If you loved the brilliant 'Modern Warfare' paintball-battle episode of 'Community' (and who didn't?), then prepare yourself for similar over-the-top spectacle and merciless pop-culture riffing throughout season 2, which begins Sept. 23. Because 'Community' may have to pull out all the stops to save itself from the steamroller that is 'The Big Bang Theory.' 'Community' proved a modest hit...

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