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July 29, 2014

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Fox Gives Reilly Three More Years

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 27th 2010 10:35AM
kevin_reilly_fox_TVLast spring, Fox TV did something pretty radical. It decided to air the first episode of a new fall series in May. That was a long lead time for a series, but Fox was confident in the new program. The show was called 'Glee' and the success of that preview coupled with the breakout status when it officially re-premiered in September made Fox's year.

And the guy who gets credit for that and now a new three-year extension is entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. Here's an executive who was dumped by NBC -- great move, Jeff Zucker -- and has done really well at Fox. It's not only 'Glee,' but that's the most flashy, current ratings and pop culture hit.

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'The Late Shift 2': Who Should Play Whom?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 11:06AM
News that New York Times reporter Bill Carter is working on a pseudo-sequel to his groundbreaking book The Late Shift' made a smile creep across my face. I haven't yet read the book, but the buzz it caused and the weird stories that came out of it just by word of mouth gave it an aura of mysterious wonder that made the television industry infinitely more fascinating than it already was.

It also spawned a pretty decent made-for-TV HBO movie. Now I don't know what kind of craziness "Round Two" has to offer, but the players involved are definitely going to have all sorts of wild secrets revealed from Carter's work and when it does, HBO is going to want the movie rights. So here's who should play who in this new tragic merry-go-round of television programming hilarity that shall be called 'The Late Shift 2'.

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NBC News Chief Defends Jeff Zucker

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 3rd 2010 8:08PM
Steve Capus, president of NBC NewsIt's no secret that Jeff Zucker is the most hated man in broadcasting. That is, if you don't work for NBC or GE. While Zucker has spent his time overseeing NBC and NBC Universal tinkering and experimenting the broadcast network into a fourth-place laughingstock, there is a reason why he continues to remain at the company and get more and more responsibility: the man makes GE money.

While the NBC broadcast network hemorrhages cash, NBCU's cable consortium makes money in buckets. Even in the NBC microcosm, NBC News is making money with 'Today' and the 'NBC Nightly News' while the entertainment and sports divisions aren't doing well. Which is why it's not surprising that news president Steve Capus defended his boss to Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com.

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Rosie O'Donnell on 'Glee,' 'Family,' Team Coco and Love

by Michael Maloney, posted Jan 26th 2010 9:30AM
Rosie O'Donnell may not be voicing her opinions on 'The View' anymore, but she's still letting America know how she feels.

The outspoken and philanthropic Daytime Emmy-winner's next project is the HBO special 'A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration,' set to air Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The documentary's goal is to heighten America's understanding of nontraditional families.

AOL was on the scene at the recent TV Critics Association's winter press tour when O'Donnell shared her thoughts on her HBO show, the pros and cons of TV versus radio and possibly guest-starring on 'Glee.'

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Five reasons why Jay Leno should be Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show guest

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 20th 2010 9:00AM

The Tonight Show
has a handsome list of throwback guests, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks who were the first and second guests when Conan O'Brien took over, on what is presumed to be his last show this Friday. Seriously, they still haven't resolved this thing. Say what you will about the dunderheads-in-chief at NBC, but at least they are consistent at failing.

And while it is nice to remind the audience and the network of the heavy hitters that Conan will have in his corner when he bids his former employer farewell, I'd like to see him take it one step further. Conan O'Brien should have Jay Leno (yes THAT Jay Leno, is there another?) as his final guest.

Sure, it sounds like a bigger pipe dream than mounting a Van Halen reunion tour with the undead corpse of Jimi Hendrix as the opening act, but here's five reasons why it would not only make sense for another small chapter of The Tonight Show dynasty, but for the television dynasty as a whole.

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How NBC Can Completely Destroy Itself

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 15th 2010 6:00PM
NBC is already doing a pretty good job of destroying itself, from its failure to develop new hit shows to the extraordinary bad will it's generated through the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. (indeed, whether you're on Team Jay or Team Coco, we all agree that NBC has screwed our guy over.)

Still, the fourth-place network is hanging in there, so clearly, there's a lot left to do if NBC is really going to destroy itself. While it's hard to come up with ideas that are even more smack-your-forehead stupid than the ones coming out of the NBC executive suites, we do have some suggestions.

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NBC Exec Blames Conan Ratings as Late Night War Rages On

by Bryan Enk, posted Jan 15th 2010 11:05AM
The late-night war just got dirtier thanks to NBC exec Dick Ebersol.

According to the NY Times, Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports, claims that the reason for Jay Leno's rumored return to late-night is a simple one: disappointing ratings for 'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.'

Regarding the attacks on Leno made by O'Brien and CBS's David Letterman on their respective shows, Ebersol says it was "chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings," and "what this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan."

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Funny or Die Weighs in on Conan O'Brien

by Scott Harris, posted Jan 13th 2010 1:30PM
Traditionally, late night talk show hosts make their living mocking celebrity gossip and Hollywood drama. But when that drama involves those hosts themselves, who can we turn to for our comedy relief?

One answer: Funny or Die. The website, which was co-founded by Will Ferrell and which features humorous videos ranked by how much they make viewers laugh, has become one of the most popular comedy websites on the internet. So it's only fitting that they're taking on the same comedic institutions that helped inspire their brand of humor: the kings of the late night monologue, Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.


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Best and Worst TV of 2009: Allison's list

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 20th 2009 9:24AM

glee_fox_cast
What a year! Once we got over the WGA strike, the networks kicked it into high gear and got busy making TV. Except for NBC. Even Jeff Zucker has admitted that NBCU has failed to respond to the need for new programming.

Fortunately, the other channels have been busy and there's been a lot of great television... and some that's just plain awful. But I'm a half-glass full kind of person and I have good feelings about 2009. However, since I don't want to repeat my list from last year, I'll just mention that I could put these 2008 best choices -- Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, NCIS, The Big Bang Theory and Mad Men -- on my list again. But I'm going to go for an all new list and, thankfully, I had plenty of 'bests' to choose from.

Best
1. Glee. If there was ever a show that was made just for my personal taste, this is probably it. I love the singing and dancing. I get the characters. It even tickles me that I had just as much angst with bullies in high school as these kids. Every episode hasn't been perfect, but it's perfectly fine that they keep striving.

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Jeff Zucker Signs New Three-Year Contract

by Daniel Frankel, posted Dec 11th 2009 12:30PM
The man who brought us the 'The Jay Leno Show,' led NBC into last place, but built a powerful cable empire in the process, has been given a new three-year deal.

Indeed, Jeff Zucker has just been re-upped and will remain as CEO of freshly purchased NBC Universal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

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Five changes Comcast should make to NBC

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 3rd 2009 3:02PM
Comcast and NBC Universal logosIt's official: GE has sold 51% of NBC Universal to Comcast, for approximately $6.5 billion dollars in cash (what are the odds they'll use this as an excuse to raise my cable bill again?). It'll take about a year to go through the regulatory and anti-trust gauntlets, but after that, the cable giant will be in charge.

Everyone makes fun of NBCU because of the NBC's bumbling high-profile moves over the last half-decade or so, but the reason why the company was so attractive to Comcast was not the broadcast network, but its über-successful cable networks, especially Bravo and USA. Still, it's embarrassing to have your flagship net stumble around like a disoriented shopper on Black Friday. So, if I were in the Comcast executive suite, here's a few things I'd do to prop up the Peacock:

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Comcast, NBC Deal Made Official

by Rebecca Paiement, posted Dec 3rd 2009 12:11PM
It's official.

The Hollywood Reporter announced this morning that Comcast has shaken hands with General Electric, giving the giant cable company 51 percent of NBC Universal and Comcast's content assets.

Though the agreement was initially discussed in 2003, when NBC Uni had a higher value, the company is currently said to be worth $30 billion, with its recent acquisitions of Oxygen and iVillage.com, among others. Comcast, of course, brings along networks like E!, the Golf Channel and other sporting networks, valued at $7.25 billion. The final figure paid to GE will depend on what happens in talks between now and the close of the deal, but it is rumored to be about $6.5 billion. This will have Comcast exceeding the revenue assets of Walt Disney, Time Warner and News Corp.

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Olbermann, O'Reilly told to end personal feud, which just creates another feud

by Danny Gallagher, posted Aug 11th 2009 9:03AM
Keith Olbermann hiding behind Bill O'Reilly's giant puppet headIt seems the never-ending feud between Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly has become a kangaroo boxing match. The worst thing you can do is get in the middle of it.

That's exactly what the parent owners of Fox News and MSNBC tried to do when they arranged a "cease-fire" between them and their top-tier shows' "lieutenants."

The cease-fire, however, didn't last long. It's another case of the ol' Rufus T. Firefly conundrum for peace. Either side might be willing to do whatever it takes to end this war, but they've already paid two months' rent on the battlefield.

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Bravo concocts The Real Housewives of D.C.

by Allison Waldman, posted May 26th 2009 2:03PM
bravo logoRemember that Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer disco duet, "Enough Is Enough"? That's what came to mind when I read that Bravo is planning another edition of The Real Housewives, this time D.C. Is there any end to Bravo's lack of innovation? Are there no new ideas out there that they have to spin out more housewives. How real they are remains debatable, if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong. I've actually watched The Real Housewives of Orange County, as well as the New York City ladies and even the newest creation, those Jersey girls, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The latter, in fact, are a hoot if you can get past the similarities to Carmela Soprano that imbue the entire series. I keep expecting Tony or Uncle Junior to pop up at one of their parties.

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Renewal for Chuck? Not just yet...

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2009 2:23PM
chuck in pcTo me, this should be a no-brainer. NBC should renew Chuck for a third season, even if it only commits to 12 episodes, it should bring the show back. However, I'm not one of the geniuses in Jeff Zucker's world; you know, those mental giants that have committed five hours of prime time to Jay Leno starting next fall and recently signed up for more Donald Trump celebrity/reality BS. No, I'm just a loyal Chuck viewer who has seen a show improve from week to week culminating with a superb final two episodes in 2009.

Well, there were rumors that on Monday at NBC's "infront" -- a preview for the "upfront" -- that Chuck would get a pick up. TV Guide says that's not the case. On Friday, Chuck star Zachary Levi told a reporter that Josh Schwartz, the Chuck exec producer, had emailed him that NBC's decision about Chuck was on hold. The pick up, if it comes, won't be for a couple of weeks.

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