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April 24, 2014

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Ryan Seacrest to Replace Matt Lauer on 'Today'?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Dec 8th 2011 7:15AM
Ryan SeacrestIt's been reported that Ryan Seacrest is in talks to replace 'Today' anchor Matt Lauer if he steps down from the NBC morning show next year. 'The Wall Street Journal' first reported that Seacrest met network executives for preliminary talks earlier this week to discuss him joining the show.

That report has since been confirmed by 'The Hollywood Reporter,' which spoke to multiple sources who said that the meeting did indeed take place, but that it was part of ongoing discussions with Seacrest.

Executives who reportedly attended the meeting included 'Today' executive producer Jim Bell, NBC News President Steve Capus and senior vice president for marketing and communications Lauren Kapp.

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FCC Approves NBCU-Comcast Merger, Syfy Renews 'Sanctuary' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Jan 18th 2011 6:30PM
NBCThe FCC has approved the merger of NBC Universal and Kabletown Comcast after year-long reviews of the matter.

According to Variety, the combination was passed with a 4-1 vote. Michael Copps, the Democratic commissioner, was the dissenting vote.

Concerns over the future of online video prompted Comcast to agree to conditions that aim to prevent anti-competitive harms.

"This is a proud and exciting day for Comcast," Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast, said. "Our original vision for the combination remains intact so that consumers will benefit, and our competitors will be treated fairly."

In other TV news ...

Syfy has renewed 'Sanctuary' for a 13-episode season 4. According to the network, filming starts this spring with an expected fall debut. [Syfy]

The Brown family from TLC's 'Sister Wives' is on the move. The reality family has moved to Nevada to pursue new opportunities. [E! Online]

'Skins' debuted to 3.3. million viewers. A decent start, but nowhere near 'Jersey Shore' numbers. [Entertainment Weekly]

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Jeff Zucker Leaves NBC Universal

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 24th 2010 11:45AM
Jeff ZuckerNBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker announced this morning in an email to employees that he is stepping down once the Comcast takeover of NBC is complete, The New York Times reports.

Zucker said in an interview with the Times that he realized, through the course of the Comcast acquisition, that his departure would be inevitable. After a meeting with Comcast COO Steve Burke, Zucker knew that there would not be a place for him at the company anymore. "We had both gotten to the same place," Zucker said. "He made it clear that they wanted to move on at the close of the deal and I was completely comfortable with that."

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Questions We'd Ask Conan O'Brien on '60 Minutes'

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 1st 2010 1:27PM
Conan O'BrienFinally after being bound and gagged by the confines of an NBC contract, Coco will be able to remove that ball gag that Jeff Zucker finds so fetching and speak his mind.

He'll be sitting down with '60 Minutes'' Steve Kroft this Sunday for an exclusive interview on everything that's happened since he gave 'The Tonight Show' back to Jay Leno, just a day shy of his interview contract deadline.

This isn't intended to question Kroft's journalistic ability or choice of questions, but he has a position that most TV fans would sacrifice a live goat to have. Ever since the "s" hit the "f" during NBC's "Late Night-Gate," people have been dying to ask Coco questions that could cost him money, legal fees and quite possibly a finger if he answered them before his contract expired. Here are the questions that inquiring minds want to know.

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NBC, Prince Charles Join Forces to Save Enivronment

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 27th 2010 8:00PM
Prince CharlesNBC Universal has partnered with Prince Charles in an effort to continue its battle to save the environment. The Peacock Network and the Prince of Wales have come together for 'Harmony,' a feature-length television special set to air during NBC's green-themed programming block in November.

According to the Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed, the program will feature Prince Charles (pictured) offering his views and potential solutions to the world's environmental crisis.

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Conan's Tour Kicks Off in Eugene, Oregon

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 13th 2010 7:05PM
Conan O'Brien on tour in Eugene, Oregon
Conan O'Brien's 'Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television' Tour might be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but that doesn't mean it isn't bound by the laws of concert tours.

Those are the unspoken laws of live entertainment physics that affect every staged entertainment venue across the globe. And just like actual physics, they are cruel mistresses with no pity for people who dare to challenge them or go outside their boundaries of motion, inertia and box office receipts.

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'Parenthood' - 'The Big O' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 7th 2010 4:23AM
Peter Krause on 'Parenthood'
(S01E06) "Wow, Crosby, you're a dad." - Zeek, after hearing about Crosby's son for the first time


I'll admit it. 'Parenthood' has been a hard show to read. It tries very hard to connect the audience with the human drama of the American family, but at the same time, it expects you to understand and appreciate every problem they come across.

It drags you through their cornfield of sadness and expects you to come out feeling as happy and reserved as the characters do in the end. It makes me wish life actually worked this way. Then it just makes me angrier.

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Five Great 'SNL' Hosts That Will Never Happen

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 6th 2010 6:29PM
'SNL' logoA host can make or break an entire episode of 'Saturday Night Live.' In fact, the mere presence of some celebrities like Chevy Chase, Milton Berle and Frank Zappa have turned their slice of Saturday late night into the lowest moments of "Must-Miss TV."

However, things are looking good this season. A preliminary list of hosts includes Oscar nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, former 'SNL'er and '30 Rock' star Tina Fey and 'Golden Girl' actress and new found Internet champion Betty White.

However, some pop culture icons, nay legends, will never get to prove their celebrity power by hosting this comedy powerhouse simply because they never got an invitation, the show wasn't around in their time or they physically couldn't go to the studio. These hosts would have made for the best shows if the laws of time and space went on a week-long coffee break.

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Tori Spelling Shoots Down Divorce Rumors (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Apr 5th 2010 3:00PM
Tori SpellingTori Spelling stopped by 'Today' (weekdays at 7AM on NBC) to clear the air on divorce rumors that have been making the rounds.

Ann Curry asked the star of 'Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood' about the recent clips -- like this one here at AOL TV -- that portray Spelling and Dean McDermott in a little bit of a tiff.

"Well, we do a reality show ... when I signed up for this I said, 'I'm going to put it all out there, because otherwise I don't believe in doing them,'" Spelling said. "It's a real relationship ... we're not headed for divorce, we're committed to each other, we're committed to this family."

Check out the video after the jump.

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Will 'Damages' Wind Up on DirecTV like 'Friday Night Lights'?

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 3rd 2010 3:35PM
glenn_close_damages_FX
There's good news and bad news regarding the Glenn Close legal drama 'Damages.' The bad news is that FX has real concerns about picking up the show for another season because of the cost. The good news is that Sony has turned to DirecTV to co-broadcast 'Damages.'

If this sounds like a paradigm you've heard before, you have. Currently, DirecTV shares the broadcast rights to 'Friday Night Lights' with NBC. That's how the Peabody-award winning program has remained on the air.

The fourth season of 'Friday Night Lights' has already run on DirecTV's Channel 101 -- a fantastic season by the way -- and NBC will give present the same episodes again for a much larger audience when the show premieres on May 7. (Of course, NBC could have chosen a night other than Friday -- one of the least watched nights of the week -- but there are fans out there waiting for this quality TV show.)

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Working Title Films That Would (And Wouldn't) Work on the Small Screen

by Aimee Deeken, posted Apr 1st 2010 8:00AM
Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's DiaryThanks to the launch of Working Title Television (WTTV) last month, NBC Universal will glean a few TV-show ideas from movies created by its subsidiary Working Title Films. The UK production company is behind such Oscar crushes as 'Atonement,' Frost/Nixon' and 'A Serious Man,' and fan-faves 'Nanny McPhee,' 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and 'Pride & Prejudice.'

NBC Universal (which could use some fresh programming following the prime-time Leno debacle) will distribute WTTV content, starting with the comedy 'Love Bites' -- a "romantic anthology" reminiscent of Working Title Films' 'Love Actually' -- starring Jordana Spiro ('My Boys') and 'Ugly Betty's' Becki Newton. Execs in the joint venture announced last month they will also adapt the 'Bridget Jones' franchise for the small screen.

Having looked at the rest of Working Title's 100-plus film repertoire, we've got some thoughts of our own on three movies that would make good episodic programming -- and two that wouldn't.

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'Parenthood' - 'The Deep End of the Pool' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 17th 2010 9:00AM
Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Savannah Paige Rae as Sydney Graham, Sam Jaeger as Joel Graham, Peter Krause as Adam Braverman on
(S01E03) "You know Crosby, however hard you think it is having a kid, just double it." - Adam to Crosby as Crosby cleans kid puke out of his car

This week, things have slowed down a bit, compared to the land speed record that last week's episode achieved. And the show has started to grow on me a little bit.

It scored some great moments of sentiment and honest drama that were endearing and drew me a little closer to the characters, but it's still lacking in that other, all important area of the dramedy: the comedy.

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Court Rules Cable Owned Stations Have to Be Provided to Satellites

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 12th 2010 8:40PM
A gavelOnce again, Lady Justice has struck a blow of freedom and equality for TV watchers everywhere, just the way our Founding Fathers intended (even though they never owned TVs).

A U.S. Appeals Court in D.C. refused to change laws that required cable companies to provide channels they own to satellite carriers on equal terms. Comcast and Cablevision have been trying to overturn the law in open court.

That means that thanks to Comcast's ownership of NBC-Universal, people who watch TV on satellites will have to endure marathons of 'To Catch a Predator' and Keith Olbermann's giant talking head like the rest of us.

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Merlin Olsen Dead at 69

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 11th 2010 12:55PM
Merlin OlsenOn January 1 we reported that former football star and actor Merlin Olsen was suing NBC Universal, NBC Studios, and 20th Century Fox for exposing him to asbestos over the years. Now comes word that Olsen has died of mesothelioma in California.

Olsen was someone who had successful careers in both sports and acting. TV drama fans will remember him from his roles in 'Little House on the Prairie' (he played Jonathan Garvey) and 'Father Murphy' (as the title character) and football fans will remember his long pro football career playing for The Los Angeles Rams. He was the 1962 Rookie of the Year and retired in 1976 after being named to the Pro Bowl fourteen times. He also had a career as a sports commentator and analyst.

Olsen had roles in other TV shows and movies as well, including 'Aaron's Way,' 'Fathers and Sons,' 'Kung Fu,' 'The Brian Keith Show,' and 'Petticoat Junction.'

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NBC Ratings Still Good After Olympics

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 8th 2010 8:00PM
The NBC logoSure the wall-to-wall Winter Olympics left a lot of people wondering why they should give half-a-crap about ice dancing, but NBC has bounced back with its post-Olympic lineup.

NBC's two new prime time series, 'Parenthood' and 'The Marriage Ref,' won the ratings game against their competitors, and even Jay Leno's triumphant return to 'The Tonight Show' beat David Letterman's 'Late Show.'

Of course, this is just the premiere week for these shows and it's not known if they can retain the numbers that have helped them back into first place for the first time in a good long while. At least the executives can breathe a little easier and Jeff Zucker can rest assured that he won't be losing his job anytime soon as opposed to maybe losing his job by some kind of divine intervention.

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