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November 23, 2014

Industry

'Party Down' Ratings Jump 129 Percent

by Rich Keller, posted May 4th 2010 10:50AM
Henry Pollard should be smiling since 'Party Down' ratings jumped 129 percentTalk about a reversal of fortune: After a dismal premiere, which drew just 126,000 viewers, Starz' sophomore comedy series 'Party Down' rose to 289,000 viewers in its second episode, marking a jump of 129 percent, according to the Live Feed.

Sure, that's less than the approximately one-million viewers who watched 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' on the same night. However, it may be a telling sign that the positive feedback 'Party Down' is getting is finally funneling down to people who normally don't consider Starz as a home for original programming.

Still, with ratings still in the toilet, and with much of its cast exiting after season 2, the future of 'Party Down' isn't looking too bright.

Numbers aren't looking too hot for 'Gravity.' According to reports, its premiere drew just 123,000 viewers.

'Party Down' airs Fridays at 10PM.

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NBC Picks Up First Pilot: J.J. Abrams' 'Undercovers'

by Chris Harnick, posted May 3rd 2010 5:00PM
Gugu Mbatha-RawAnd so it begins. NBC picked up its first pilot, the J.J. Abrams project 'Undercovers.'

Abrams co-wrote, produced and directed the pilot about two former married CIA agents -- played by Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (pictured) -- who get reactivated after years of retirement. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this is the first pilot Abrams has directed since 'Lost' in 2004.

"We have tremendous confidence in this promising series and feel this is a great way to kick off our upcoming Upfront development announcements," said Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, in a statement. "J.J. has delivered another signature series along with our partners at Warner Bros. and we couldn't be happier."

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'Battlestar Galactica' Creator Ronald Moore Signs Deal With Sony

by Chris Harnick, posted May 3rd 2010 3:33PM
Ronald MooreRonald D. Moore, known to some of you as a television god for creating 'Battlestar Galactica,' has signed a deal with Sony Pictures TV to create and executive produce new TV programs.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Moore's two-year deal will see him and his production company, Tall Ships Prods., create projects for both cable and broadcast. Moore was previously involved in three deals with NBC Universal's Universal Media Studios, the home of 'Battlestar' and its spin-off 'Caprica.'

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Home Television Viewing at an All-Time High

by Rich Keller, posted May 3rd 2010 2:27PM
Despite the rumors, television watching is at an all-time highThere's good news for a television industry that's supposedly been dying since the 1950s. Despite the fact we can view videos on our desktops, laptops, iPads, iPhones, smart phones, and above the urinal at the airport, most TV watching is still done at home. And, it's running at an all-time high.

According to recent tracking by the Nielsen rating service, the amount of television watching per viewer has increased from 4.86 hours per day in 2007 to 5.13 hours. Per household, the total amount of time viewers stare at the flat-screen is a whopping eight hours.

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NBC is Spending Money on TV Shows Again!

by Bob Sassone, posted May 3rd 2010 11:28AM
NBC logoNBC has just realized something: you have to spend money if you want good TV shows.

OK, maybe "realized" isn't the best word to use. More like "remembered." NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin tells The New York Times that the network is changing its strategy and will pay to get some good shows on the network.

For starters, they've ordered almost 20 new pilots this season -- scripted dramas and comedies -- up from ten last season. Instead of strictly going by the numbers and looking for a big profit margin and trying to cut costs in every way possible, they're looking for good shows they can stick with.

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Sheen, CBS Close to Making New Deal for 'Two and a Half Men'?

by Mike Moody, posted May 3rd 2010 9:21AM
charlie sheen two and a half men deal It looks like Charlie Sheen's uncle Joe won't be taking over his role on 'Two and a Half Men' after all (like that was ever going to happen). While lawyers hammer out a plea deal to end the troubled actor's legal woes comes news that he and CBS are ready to cut a deal to keep him on the hit sitcom.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Sheen and CBS are both "cautiously optimistic" about a new deal that would keep the star cracking wise in bowling shirts for two more seasons on 'Two and A Half Men.' This comes, of course, after Sheen publicly declared that he was ready to leave the show, leading us to speculate on who could replace him (my vote was for James Franco).

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The US Should Co-Produce TV Shows with the UK

by Jason Hughes, posted May 1st 2010 6:28PM
'Survivors'
A few years back, a bold co-production initiative was launched with Canada. So far, it's produced underwhelming ratings performers like 'Mental' and 'Defying Gravity.' Meanwhile, thanks to BBC America, US fans are falling in love with new UK shows, only to find ourselves frustrated when the powers-that-Beeb pull the plug. It's a lot like foreign fans of US material must feel when we cancel shows on them: powerless.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Most recently, BBC America finished running the first and second series of the BBC post-apocalyptic drama 'Survivors,' back-to-back. Before it finished, the BBC announced that they weren't going to commission any more episodes, due to slipping ratings in the UK. 'Survivors' wasn't failing miserably, but BBC programming doesn't get advertising revenue like shows in the US, so expectations are different.

I don't know if US ratings were considered for the show, but I know it was one of the more popular series on BBC America and that it has a pretty loyal and faithful following on both sides of the pond. Could US support have saved it?

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'Sex and the City' Producer Heading Back to TV

by TV Squad Editors, posted Apr 30th 2010 11:05AM
Michael Patrick KingNot even the big screen success of the 'Sex and the City' movie (which grossed more than $400 million, worldwide) could keep 'SATC' series producer Michael Patrick King away from television

Deadline reports that King is about to finalize a multi-year "mega deal" with Warner Bros. Television that will have him creating his own TV production company at WBTV. The report says he'll help foster a group of writers and develop a slate of new TV series.

For more, check out Inside TV.

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Google to Introduce Android-Based TV Software

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 30th 2010 10:15AM
Google AndroidIn another step towards competing with the ubiquitous iPhone and other smartphone operating systems, Google will be introducing television-based software in May that will run Google Android. The software is said to open up television, set-top boxes and devices to more content from the Internet.

Google is essentially trying to develop a television set operating system. It will be tough to make it work, since many of the television manufacturers will likely be protective of whatever software goes on their hardware. However, it sounds like Sony, Intel and a few other companies are already on board.

This is just another step towards the eventual merger of your home television and computer systems. If Google can succeed in this, Android could become a major player in operating systems, competing with the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Linux.

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'Red Faction' Movie Coming to Syfy

by Chris Jordan, posted Apr 29th 2010 6:00PM
It's game on at Syfy.

'Red Faction,' the popular first-person shooter, is getting a two-hour movie treatment from Syfy that could lead to a series, according to a report in Broadcasting & Cable.

The movie is part of an effort by the NBC Universal-owned Syfy to delve deeper into gaming culture via a collaboration with 'Red Faction' publisher, THQ. The venture also seems likely to produce a kids' show based the 'de Blob' Nintendo Wii game.

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TLC Renews 'L.A. Ink'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 29th 2010 11:36AM

Kat Von D, and her High Voltage tattoo shop, are coming back to TLC for another seasonDirect from the "Not a Big Surprise" department comes news that TLC has reupped 'L.A. Ink' for another run and that production on season 4 is already underway.

A spin-off of 'Miami Ink,' which ended in 2008, 'L.A. Ink' follows tattoo artist Kat Von D at her High Voltage shop in West Hollywood. The show is currently averaging 1.4 million viewers per week. Those are impressive numbers, not just because they come from a cable-based show, but because it airs on Thursday nights at 10PM a hotbed of original programming on the Big Three and One-Third networks.

The numbers are also impressive, because 'L.A. Ink' comes from an older generation of TLC shows -- with four years equaling one television generation. With the network full of programs featuring height-challenged families, weight-challenged families and, soon enough, 18 hours of original Kate Gosselin programming, the show is able to maintain its popularity.

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ABC Gives 'One Life to Live' A Vote of Confidence

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 29th 2010 9:08AM
erika_slezak_as_viki_one_life_to_live_abcIt's been a tumultuous few months for ABC's daytime drama 'One Life to Live.' Recently, we reported that Tuc Watkins is returning, and they are bringing in a former scribe to be the associate headwriter, and the gay couple -- Kyle and Oliver -- were dumped. All that hubbub had us speculating about the future of 'One Life to Live' in an era when longtime soaps like 'Guiding Light' have been canceled and another legendary daytimer, 'As the World Turns' is ending it's run in September.

Well, fans are concerned, too, especially after the story emerged last week about ABC Daytime developing a talk show for Tori Spelling. TV Guide went to the Jori Petersen, the head ABC Daytime PR, to ask if the Spelling show might threaten the future of 'One Life.'

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Letterman's Company Starts Record Label, Signs First Act

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 28th 2010 3:00PM
david letterman runner runnerDavid Letterman is ready to rock and/or roll. The late night host's company, Worldwide Pants, has started yet another venture that has nothing to do with pants: a record label.

Letterman has signed California pop/punk rockers Runner Runner to his new Clear Entertainment/C.E. Music label. The band's catchy, if not so groundbreaking, first single, 'So Obvious,' is streaming now on their MySpace page. The label will release Runner Runner's debut album later this summer.

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Why a MAD Magazine Show Could Work

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 27th 2010 12:05PM
Mad MagazineWhenever MAD Magazine crops up in a conversation with someone under the age of 20, their mind immediately jumps to 'MADtv.' That's when my mind blows a fuel cell and launches into a death spiral.

Back in the late '90s when the Fox sketch show hit the airwaves, my brain almost exploded at the thought of a MAD Magazine TV show. I read the magazine cover to cover and kept a stack of them in my bookcase until the covers withered away with time. I thumbed through each issue for my favorite writers and artists like Dick DeBartolo, Mort Drucker and Frank Jacobs. I didn't date much.

The final product left me very disappointed. Now, it has another chance to be something better. DC Comics has announced they are developing an animated sketch show for Cartoon Network that's centered around more than just the magazine's brand.

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'America: The Story of Us' Premiere Breaks Records for History

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 27th 2010 11:00AM
america the story of us'America: The Story of Us' is a hit for History.

Sunday's premiere of the six-part miniseries drew 5.7 million viewers to become the cable net's highest-rated special ever. The record-breaking educational series, which featured an intro by President Barack Obama, tracks 400 years of American history, from the early Jamestown settlers to the headlines of today.

"The success personifies the hunger for information and the desire to re-connect with our past," History President Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. "Ultimately there's no story more dramatic and gripping than the story of America itself.

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