Friday, June 29, 2012

Dave Price to Good Day New York

This is primarily New York news, but it will be interesting to those who know Dave Price, the long time weathercaster and personality for the CBS Early Show.

Price, who spent many years predicting the weather at Channel 5 in New York (1999-2003), WNYW-TV, before heading to CBS (2003-2010), is returning to the Fox station to be the anchor of Good Day New York alongside Rosanna Scotto.  The change takes place on Monday.

Good Day New York has been co-anchored since 2008 by former Fox correspondent Greg Kelly.  He will now take over the 6 and 10 o'clock newscasts for Harry Martin and Ernie Anastos, respectively.  Anastos turns 69 in a week.

Anastos will remain as anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast with Dari Alexander and will also host his Positively Ernie specials.  As many know, Anastos was booted from WABC after 30 years, but was quickly picked up by Channel 5 in 2005.

TBS Renews Hit Sitcom Men at Work for Second Season

TBS has renewed its new sitcom Men at Work for a second season. TBS has ordered 10 episodes for the second season, which is slated to launch in 2013.

"Men at Work is a strong addition to the TBS lineup and has worked extremely well paired with The Big Bang Theory," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "We're very excited to welcome the outstanding cast and production team of Men at Work back for another season."

Created by Breckin Meyer (Road Trip, TNT’s Franklin & Bash), Men at Work centers on four buddies who work together at a magazine. Danny Masterson (That '70s Show, Yes Man) plays the recently dumped Milo, whose friends are determined to help him get back in the dating game. James Lesure (Las Vegas) is Gibbs, a photographer and successful ladies man. Michael Cassidy (The O.C) plays Tyler, a features writer who brings a dose of style and sophistication to the group. And Adam Busch (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is Neal, a somewhat nerdy ad salesman and the only one in the group with a steady girlfriend (Meredith Hagner – Royal Pains).

In its first season, Men at Work has averaged more than 2.7 million viewers in Live + 7, with 1 million adults 18-34 and 1.8 million adults 18-49. The comedy ranks as one of basic cable's Top 5 new series among adults 18-49 in Q2 2012.

The season finale of Men at Work is set for July 12. The following Thursday, TBS will launch its newest original sitcom, Sullivan & Son, starring comedian Steve Byrne and executive produced by Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and showrunner Rob Long.

Kelly Ripa Co-Costs July 9-20

Here are the "LIVE! with Kelly" guest co-hosts for the weeks of July 9-13 and July 16-20, 2012.  No Michael Strahan for the next few weeks.  That's a surprise, but other regulars are back, Seth Meyers and Josh Groban.

July 9, 2012 - "Saturday Night Live" head writer SETH MEYERS co-hosts with Kelly this morning.  Kelly and Seth welcome Kyra Sedgwick and Eric McCormack.

July 10, 2012 - SETH MEYERS returns today as Kelly's co-host and they interview actor Matt Bomer. 

July 11, 2012 - SETH MEYERS joins Kelly again this morning as co-host.  Kelly and Seth speak with Glenn Close and Elijah Wood.

July 12, 2012 - SETH MEYERS is back today as Kelly's co-host, and they sit down with Anne Hathaway and John Leguizamo.  

July 13, 2012 - SETH MEYERS finishes the week as Kelly's co-host. Kelly and Seth chat with actor Ray Romano, and "Grilling with the Stars" continues with a special recipe from author and actress Kristen Johnston.  

July 16, 2012 - Singer-songwriter JOSH GROBAN co-hosts with Kelly today, and actress Kristin Davis visits.

July 17, 2012 - JOSH GROBAN returns for a second day of co-host duties.  Kelly and Josh welcome Gary Oldman, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley. 

July 18, 2012 - JOSH GROBAN joins Kelly as co-host again this morning and they interview "Dallas" star Jesse Metcalfe and Victor Cruz of the New York Giants.  

July 19, 2012 - Broadway veteran KRISTIN CHENOWETH is Kelly's co-host today, and they chat with supermodel and host Heidi Klum.  

July 20, 2012 - Matchbox 20 lead singer ROB THOMAS steps into the co-host seat beside Kelly.  Kelly and Rob welcome actor John Stamos, and "Grilling with the Stars" continues with a recipe from Carla Gugino.

Good Wife Gets Nathan Lane, Too

OMG.  Nathan Lane will appear on The Good Wife on CBS this season. 

The network announced earlier this week that Kristen Chenoweth and Maura Tierney will appear this season in recurring roles, all in the season four series premiere.

If you ask me, CBS buried the lede.  Lane will certainly bring added value to the show when he appears in the first episode, probably even more so than the others.

Lane, the Broadway and film star who was stellar in The Producers, The Odd Couple, The Bird Cage and Guys and Dolls, will portray a bottom line-obsessed manager imposed on Lockhart & Gardner by the bank to cut costs and get the firm back to fiscal health.  He will, of course, be at odds with Will, Diane and others at the firm, presumably as he counts paper clips while they try to win mulit-million dollar settlements.

The Good Wife will continue to air Sundays at 9 p.m., but will now be followed by The Mentalist, which moves from its Thursday night slot.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ABC Daytime Ratings Watch: Week of June 18th

I hate to tell this to all  you soap fans and aficionados of All My Children and One LIfe to Live, but ratings for The Chew on ABC are up again and there was some overall good news for execs at ABC.

During the week of June 18th, Nielsen reports that 2.19 million watched The Chew.  That's down 9% from last year when All My Children was on, but it's up from 2.13 the previous week and a further increase from the weeks prior to that.  The Chew has gained 34% among women 18-34 in the past year.  ABC has to be happy about that because they are after a young audience.

The Talk, however, continues to creep up on The View.  Though not head to head competitors, the two programs are in competition with each other because they are similar and ABC has been taking it on the chin since The View used to be absolutely dominant in daytime.

For the week in question, The View had 3.18 million viewers, down 10 percent from the comparable week last year.  The Talk had 2.28 million, up 8% from last year.  So, the gap is closing.

The Revolution, now canceled, had a measly 1.21 million viewers, 46% fewer than its predecessor One Life to Live last year.

NBC Spins the Ann Curry Story

If you're interested to hear how NBC is spinning the Ann Curry story, read this news release from the network. You'd almost think they weren't announcing that they'd made a colossal mistake by naming her Today co-host last year, though the release is fairly boilerplate.

As most of you know, Curry has been unpopular with viewers and her colleagues. Further, ratings have dropped and Today has been beaten by Good Morning America on occasion.

NEW YORK – June 28, 2011 - - This morning on NBC News’ “Today,” Ann Curry announced that she will be taking on a new role as NBC News National and International Correspondent/Anchor and “Today” Anchor at Large. Her new expanded assignment is effective immediately and also includes a long-term deal with NBC News.

“I will still be a part of the TODAY show family but I'm going to have a new title and a new role,” Curry said on this morning’s broadcast. “I am so grateful, especially to all of you who watch because Matt and I and everyone who sits on this couch, we often call ourselves a family,” she said. “They're giving me some fancy new titles which essentially means that I'm going to get tickets to every big story we want to cover with a terrific team of my choosing… I love all of you, especially all of you who are behind the scenes, behind the cameras.”

In her new role, Curry will report for all platforms of NBC News including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” “Dateline,” MSNBC, and she will have a major presence across all digital properties. A newly created NBC News multi-person unit will be dedicated to cultivating and producing each of Curry’s stories and will work closely with all of the news division’s franchises. Curry will also serve as anchor for multiple NBC News primetime specials.

Statement from Steve Capus, NBC News President: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ann for nearly 20 years, and have seen firsthand how her passion for reporting has made her one of America’s most trusted journalists. She’s the definition of a trailblazer, always broadcasting with an unmatched combination of grit and humanity. This new role allows her a bigger platform to do what she does best – to tell the stories that might not otherwise be told.”

Statement from Jim Bell, “Today” Executive Producer: “I know of only one journalist who in just a matter of years has travelled to Sudan six times, broken exclusive world news with top world leaders, and broadcast live from both the South Pole and Mount Kilimanjaro. Ann has quite literally reached amazing heights in her career, and with this new role, she will continue her intrepid climb bringing viewers her signature brand of humanitarian reporting.”

Curry has been a member of the “Today” family for more than 15 years. She served as co-anchor of the broadcast from June 2011 to June 2012, and as news anchor from March 1997 to June 2011. Curry also served as anchor of “Dateline NBC” from May 2005 until September 2011. She regularly substitute anchors for “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and reports for “Rock Center with Brian Williams.”

Curry has distinguished herself in global humanitarian reporting, frequently traveling to remote areas of the world to cover under-reported stories. She has travelled to Sudan six times since 2006 to report on the violence and ethnic cleansing taking place in Darfur, Chad and the Nuba Mountains. Curry has conducted numerous exclusive interviews with world leaders and dignitaries including three sit-downs with Dalai Lama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s first-ever interview with an American news organization, and an interview with former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, just two months before her assassination in December 2007.

In September 2011, Curry was granted the first-ever behind-the-scenes access to the daily schedule of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was in this exclusive interview that Curry broke the news of his plans to free the much-publicized two American hikers who had been held hostage since 2009.

Curry has traveled the world reporting from war-torn areas, and she was the first network news anchor to report on the refugee crisis caused by the genocide in Kosovo in 1999.

As part of “Today’s” unprecedented Ends of the Earth series, Curry spent ten days in Antarctica and the South Pole in November 2007, and she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in November 2008 to shed light on the global effects of climate change.

Curry has covered the major news stories of the past decade-and-a-half including three presidential elections, the September 11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina. She spent a week in Japan covering the destruction from the massive earthquake and tsunami of 2011. In the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, she travelled to Pakistan to report live on the developing situation on the ground in that country, and in November 2011, Curry travelled to Baghdad for an exclusive interview with Vice President Joe Biden.

Curry has earned eight Emmy Awards, four Golden Mikes, several Associated Press Certificates of Excellence, three Gracie Allen Awards, a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications, and an award for Excellence in Reporting from the NAACP.

In June 2007, Curry received the Simon Wiesenthal Medal of Valor for her extensive reporting in Darfur. She has been honored by Americares, Save the Children, Women of Concern, the Anti-Defamation League as a Woman of Achievement, and the Asian American Journalists Association, receiving its National Journalism Award in 2003.

She has also won numerous awards for her charity work, primarily for breast cancer research. Curry graduated from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 1978.

NBC's Rock Center Gets 1st Extended Interview with Tyler Clementi's Parents

Tonight's episode of Rock Center With Brian Williams
will feature the first-ever in-depth television interview with former Rutgers student Tyler Clementi’s parents following his suicide.

NBC is promoting it so heavily that I received a personal e-mail offering a video preview and a request to mention the interview. Because the issue of bullying is so important, I'm complying with the NBC request.

As most know, Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge just a few days after his roommate at Rutgers University used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man. Clementi’s family is speaking out for the first time to NBC Correspondent Lester Holt.

During the interview, Tyler’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, and his brother James, reveal their thoughts about the sensational trial of their son’s roommate Dharun Ravi, the 30-day sentence he received, and their own response to Tyler’s sexuality.

The full interview airs tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC.   Here is the extended preview clip:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HBO's The Newsroom by Aaron Sorkin: A Review

Finally saw The Newsroom on HBO.  It’s the new Aaron Sorkin drama about a fictional news network and what goes on behind the scenes as writer, researchers and producers put together a one-hour program.

If you liked The West Wing, chances are you’ll like this.

The Newsroom has all the trademark Sorkin characters, dialogue, issues and drama.  Even the music will be familiar to his fans.

In this endeavor, Jeff Daniels is Will McAvoy, the leader of the pack.  He is a network news anchor who has so much passion and righteousness that he’s going crazy.

Sam Waterston is the network news chief with a moral center and the calm demeanor to counteract Daniels’ wackiness.

Emily Mortimer is the hero who rides in on a white horse to save the day.  Daniels’ ex-girlfriend, her Mackenzie MacHale has been embedded with the troops in Afghanistan and is ready for some R & R.  What better way to relax than to swoop into the newsroom as executive producer, determined to right the wrongs of the television news industry while helping her ex recover his sanity? 

Together, they set out to create a serious broadcast that viewers will actually watch.  (Presumably, news without puns, faux romance between anchors, puppy stories and hype.  Good luck with that.)

The supporting cast has all the requisite Sorkin know-it-alls - highly educated 20-somethings whose brains and tongues spew facts from Wikipedia as quickly as humanly possible.

To complete the Sorkin stereotype, the program focuses on issues and takes a firm (liberal) stand.  The premiere revolved around the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.   There were swipes taken (not wrongly) at the oil company, Halliburton and the U.S. government.

The first episode seemed long, as others have reported.  And it was slightly more preachy than it was entertaining. 

If both those aspects change even a little bit, Sorkin, creator of The Social Network, The American President, A Few Good Men, Sports Night, Moneyball, Charlie Wilson’s War and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, will have another masterpiece on his hands. 

I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kristen Chenoweth to the Good Wife in Recurring Role

Emmy Award and Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth (“Pushing Daisies,” “GCB”) has been cast in a recurring role in season four of THE GOOD WIFE, and will make her debut in September’s season premiere.

Chenoweth will match wits with both Alicia and Peter in her role as a top-of-her-game political reporter who wants to know more about the Florrick campaign and marriage.

It was announced yesterday that Maura Tierney (“ER,” “Rescue Me”) and British actor Marc Warren (“Hustle,” “Mad Dog”) have both been cast in recurring roles in season four. (

Kristin Chenoweth received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in the series “Pushing Daisies,” and has appeared in the comedy “Glee” for which she received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Recently, she starred in the series “GCB.” Currently, Chenoweth is on a North American tour, performing songs from her latest album “Some Lessons Learned,” as well as an array of her most memorable songs and Broadway show tunes, including music from “Wicked,” “Promises Promises” and “Glee.”

THE GOOD WIFE, which stars Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Julianna Margulies. In addition to receiving nine 2011 Primetime Emmy nominations, the most for a broadcast network series, the drama has won or been nominated for multiple awards, including the Peabody Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the People’s Choice Awards. THE GOOD WIFE airs Sundays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS.

General Hospital to 2 p.m. on September 10th

General Hospital has been on the air for almost 50 years and it's been on ABC at 3 p.m. for just about all of that time. The show debuted on April 1, 1963 at 1 p.m., but moved to 3 p.m. in December of that year.  For just a short time, from July 1976 to January 1978, it ran at 3:15 because the show was expanded to 45 minutes from the original 30.  By January '78, it was expanded yet again to one hour and moved back to 3 o'clock.

Now, ABC, with its questionable daytime logic, is moving GH to 2 p.m. to make room for the new Katie Couric talk show, aptly named Katie.

As most people know, the network has been toying with its daytime lineup for the past year.  It canceled both All My Children (1 p.m.) and One Life to Live (2 p.m.) last year to make room for two despicable shows, The Chew and The Revolution.

The Revolution has already been canceled and the Chew is not doing very well.  ABC is losing viewers to CBS, but thinks inserting Katie and moving an iconic favorite like GH will help matters.

Fat chance.
General Hospital revolves around the denizens of the fictional town of Port Charles, New York, something akin to Buffalo.  It was the most honored show of the 2012 Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards and celebrates its golden anniversary on April 1, 2013. GH is the longest running American soap opera currently in production and the third longest-running drama in American television history.

"General Hospital" was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Frank Valentini is the executive producer. Ron Carlivati is the head writer. 
Wikipedia has a good history of GH at:
And here's its time slot history.

Start date End date Time slot
Run time
April 1, 1963 December 27, 1963 1:00 pm 30
December 30, 1963 July 23, 1976 3:00 pm
July 26, 1976 January 13, 1978 3:15 pm 45
January 16, 1978 present 3:00 pm 60

Rookie Blue Renewed by ABC for Fourth Season

ABC today announced the early renewal of the summer drama, Rookie Blue.
The network says the series has been the top rated series among adults 18-49 during the 10 o'clock hour this summer to date.  That's 4% better than last year's comparable telecasts.  And, its June 23rd episode topped its premiere last year by 5%.
The fourth season of the series is currently in development and will move into production in Toronto later this summer.

"Rookie Blue" is executive-produced by award-winning Tassie Cameron ("Flashpoint"), Ilana Frank ("The Eleventh Hour," "Would Be Kings"), David Wellington ("The Eleventh Hour," "Would Be Kings") and John Morayniss. "Rookie Blue" is a production of ICF Film Inc. and leading indie studio and distributor Entertainment One.

"Rookie Blue" is a one-hour, drama revolving around the personal and professional lives of five rookie cops as they navigate their first years on the beat. (Technically, they're no longer roookies.) 
Now in their third year on the job, the network says the storyline has them starting to realize that not only is the uniform shaping their professional identity, but it has also started to mold them as people. 
How can they stay true to themselves - maintaining their individuality and compassion - along the way? This year, the rookies of 15 Division are going to have to learn to be careful what they wish for - and they are going to learn it the hard way," according to ABC.

Shot entirely on location in Toronto, "Rookie Blue" stars Missy Peregrym ("Heroes,""Reaper") as Andy McNally, Gregory Smith ("Everwood") as Dov Epstein, Charlotte Sullivan ("The Kennedys") as Gail Peck, Enuka Okuma ("24") as Traci Nash, Travis Milne ("Leslie, My Name is Evil") as Chris Diaz, Peter Mooney ("Camelot," ABC's Family/Global's "Falcon Beach") as Nick Collins and Ben Bass ("The Eleventh Hour") as Sam Swarek. Also starring in the series is Melanie Nicholls-King as Noelle Williams, Matt Gordon as Oliver Shaw, Noam Jenkins as Detective Jerry Barber and Lyriq Bent as Frank Best.

"Rookie Blue" airs Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In Thursday's June 28 episode, "Girls' Night Out," all hell breaks loose on Traci's first day as detective when a carload of young women from a bachelorette party slams into another vehicle, apparently killing the driver. When the police discover that the driver of the parked car was dead before the accident, Traci realizes that her "rookie" handling of the car crash may have compromised the pending homicide investigation. 
Meanwhile, as Gail and Chris work together on the case, Chris not only realizes he still has feelings for Gail but that he also has competition.
Finally, when Traci and Andy uncover a secret the bride is desperately trying to keep, it's a race to find the murderer before he strikes again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jennifer Hudson to Guest Star on Smash

Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning actress-singer Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) will appear in a multi-episode arc on NBC’s “Smash” beginning with the show's second-season premiere.

Hudson will portray Veronica Moore, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star who impacts the lives of Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty).

"We're thrilled to have Jennifer Hudson coming to ‘Smash,’” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment. “This series is a showcase for some of the best musical talent in the business and that's a fitting description for Jennifer Hudson. Her character will represent someone who reached their Broadway dream but also paid a price for it."

Executive producer Steven Spielberg said: “First ‘Dreamgirls,’ now ‘Smash.’ I have no doubt Jennifer will continue to deliver even more inspiration to the audience responsible for giving us a second season on NBC. It's wonderful to be reunited with her at DreamWorks Television and NBC.”

Hudson’s singing and acting career soared with her starring role as Effie White in the 2006 feature film “Dreamgirls.” An Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress were among the many accolades that she was awarded. Hudson’s other film credits include “Sex and the City” and “The Secret Life of Bees.”

She earned a Grammy for her self-titled debut album “Jennifer Hudson,” which released the single “Spotlight” and was certified gold by the RIAA. Her sophomore album, “I Remember Me,” debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 and R&B Albums charts and has since been certified gold in the U.S. She recently received a 2012 Billboard Music Award nomination for Top R&B Album and also collaborated with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross on the title track for the hit film “Think Like a Man,” which opened in April 2012. Also in 2012, Hudson became a best-selling author with the release of her inspirational memoir “I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down.”

This summer, Hudson will begin production on two new films, “Lullaby” and “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.”

Hudson also performed at Super Bowl XLIII and at this year’s Grammy Awards, where she paid tribute to Whitney Houston by singing “I Will Always Love You.”

“Smash” is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section performers and creators on Broadway.  It stars Emmy Award winner Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”), Oscar winner Anjelica Huston (“Prizzi's Honor”), Jack Davenport (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films), Tony Award winner Christian Borle (“Peter and the Starcatcher”), Katharine McPhee (“American Idol”), Megan Hilty (“9 to 5: The Musical”) and Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan (“Newsies”).

Maura Tierney to the Good Wife this Season

Emmy Award-nominated actress Maura Tierney (“ER,” “Rescue Me”) and British actor Marc Warren (“Hustle,” “Mad Dog”) have both been cast in recurring roles in season four of THE GOOD WIFE. Both actors will appear in the season premiere in September.

Warren will play Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) manipulative ex-husband, to whom she has an attraction that she finds impossible to ignore.

Tierney will play a self-made millionaire who has become the doyenne of Chicago Democratic politics.  She is best known for her roles on ER and Rescue Me and had to bow out of the Lauren Graham role in NBC's Parenthood when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.  She finished treatment in 2010.

Warren is best known for his role in the BBC-TV series Hustle playing the main character, Danny Blue.  He also appeared in HBO's Band of Brothers.

THE GOOD WIFE, which stars Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Julianna Margulies,  received nine 2011 Primetime Emmy nominations, the most for a broadcast network series.  It has won or been nominated for multiple awards, including the Peabody Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the People’s Choice Awards.

Friday, June 22, 2012

ABC Daytime Ratings for Week of June 11th: The Chew, The View, etc.

It was another week on the skids for  The View on ABC as the ratings for The Chew and The Revolution continue to bring down all of ABC daytime.

The View had 3.1 million viewers during the week of June 11th, 11% fewer than a year ago, but a slight rise from the previous week's 2.82 million.

The Talk on CBS, however, continued to pick up steam.  It had 2.26 million viewers, just about even with 2.29 million during the week of June 4th, but a 14% rise from last year at this time.

The View is losing a lot among its key demographic of women 25.54; it's down 14% over the past year. With women 18-49, it's down 10%.

The Chew drew 2.13 million viewers during the week in question, up a tad from the previous week's 2.08 million, but down 8% from last year when All My Children had its time slot.  Since last year, The Chew has brought ABC's audience down 19% in both women 18-49 and 25-54.  Surprisingly, it's up 2% with women 18-34.

The Revolution, which is canceled of course, averaged 1.36 million viewers, which is a dismal 46% drop from last year's time slot occupant One Live to Live which was bringing in 2.5 million viewers.  What a shame!

Here are the ratings for the soaps for the week of June 11th:

Young & Restless - 4,391,000 (+83,000 from last week/-329,000 from last year)
Bold & Beautiful - 3,128,000 (+67,000 from last week/+404,000 from last year)
Days of Our Lives - 2,488,000 (-47,000 from last week/+136,000 from last year)
General Hospital - 2,294,000 (-46,000 from last week/-57,000) from last year)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

TBS Gets Rights to 2 Broke Girls

2 Broke Girls only just completed its first season, which means there have only been about 23 episodes produced, but TBS has announced its acquisition of the off-network rights to the show.  2 Broke Girls was a breakout hit this past season; it was the #1 new series with adults 18-49 and the top-rated new comedy among total viewers. 

2 Broke Girls was created by Emmy® winner/executive producer Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedian Whitney Cummings (Whitney).

It is set to join the TBS lineup in 2015.

"When 2 Broke Girls premiered last fall, it immediately found its audience and appeared to us to be a perfect fit for TBS," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "With its funny and endearing lead performances, a terrific supporting cast and sharp writing, 2 Broke Girls brings a fresh, contemporary, attitude to the classic sitcom format. We believe 2 Broke Girls is poised to enjoy a long, successful run, and we look forward to adding it to the TBS line-up."

"Successful cable networks have built their programming slates with a strategic mix of acquired proven off-net series along with compelling original programming," said Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. "We are thrilled that 2 Broke Girls will have the opportunity to drive viewers to TBS in a similar way that The Big Bang Theory has, becoming a staple of their comedy line-up.”

In 2 Broke Girls,two girls from very different backgrounds – Max, poor from birth, and Caroline, born wealthy but down on her luck – wind up as waitresses in the same colorful Brooklyn diner and strike up an unlikely friendship in hopes of launching a successful business venture: their dream of running a cupcake empire. All they need to do is come up with $250,000 in start-up expenses. Working together, these two broke girls living in one expensive city might just find the perfect recipe for their big break, proving life can be fun – even if you’re broke. Max and Caroline…they put the "class" in working class

2 Broke Girls stars Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Thor) as sassy, streetwise Max Black; exciting new discovery Beth Behrs (American Pie Presents: The Book of Love) as the sophisticated former trust fund princess Caroline Channing; Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live) as Earl, a 75-year-old cashier at the diner; comedian Jonathan Kite (I’m in the Band) as Oleg, the diner’s overly flirtatious Russian cook; and Matthew Moy (Scrubs) as Han Lee, the diner’s new eager-to-please owner. Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie and Legally Blonde films) guest-stars in a recurring role throughout the first season as Sophie, a glamorous Polish housekeeper and noisy neighbor to Max and Caroline.

2 Broke Girls will return for its second season this fall on CBS.

TBS's deal for 2 Broke Girls adds another comedy to a slate that includes Cougar Town, which is making the move to the network as an original series, and acquired hit The Big Bang Theory, which is currently basic cable's #1 sitcom. TBS's roster also includes the original sitcom Men at Work, which premiered in May; Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse, returning with new episodes July 13; Sullivan & Son, premiering July 19; and Wedding Band, set to premiere later this year.

Live with Kelly Co-Hosts for Week of July 2nd

LIVE! with Kelly has announced the the following line-up of guest co-hosts, those joining Kelly Ripa, during the week of July 2-6, 2012.  Again, there are two appearances by Michael Strahan, marking his fourth and fifth co-hosting shots in the next two weeks.  Hmmm.

July 2, 2012 - NFL broadcaster MICHAEL STRAHAN co-hosts with Kelly today, and they speak with "The Amazing Spider-Man" star Sally Field. Plus, Kelly and Michael meet exotic rainforest animals from the San Diego Zoo.

July 3, 2012 - MICHAEL STRAHAN returns as Kelly's co-host this morning. Kelly and Michael chat with John Travolta about the new film "Savages," actor Martin Sheen discusses his role in "The Amazing Spider-Man," and and Eva Simons perform.

July 4, 2012 - Today Kelly and co-host KEVIN JONAS are celebrating America's Independence during "LIVE's Fourth of July Party," with guests Blake Lively and Australian pop singer Cody Simpson.

July 5, 2012 - "Dancing with the Stars" judge CARRIE ANN INABA is back as Kelly's co-host this morning, and they interview Salma Hayek about the new film "Savages. Plus, actor Rhys Ifans talks about the new film "The Amazing Spider-Man."

July 6, 2012 - "Royal Pains" star MARK FEUERSTEIN joins Kelly as co-host today. Kelly and Mark sit down with "Damages" star Rose Byrne, and "Grilling with the Stars" continues with "Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast member Caroline Manzo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ray Romano to Guest Star on Multi-Episode Arc of Parenthood

Emmy-winning actor Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) is set to guest star on the upcoming season of NBC’s “Parenthood,” returning for a fourth season Tuesday, September 11 (10-11 p.m. ET).

In a multi-episode arc, Romano will play a photographer and former photo journalist who befriends Sarah (Lauren Graham) and complicates her relationship with Mark (Jason Ritter); his character will be introduced in the season premiere.

"Parenthood" is a one-hour drama inspired by the box-office hit of the same name. The show follows the trials and tribulations of the extended and imperfect Braverman family. 
Other stars are: Peter Krause, Dax Shepard, Monica Potter, Erika Christensen, Sam Jaeger, Savannah Paige Rae, Max Burkholder, Joy Bryant, Tyree Brown, Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman, Xolo Mariduena, Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson.

Romano recently starred in the Peabody-winning drama “Men of a Certain Age” on TNT.

Serving as executive producers of Parenthood are Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Regis Philbin to Host Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Show on NBC

NBC seems to be taking a liking to Regis Philbin.   Tomorrow he's  subbing for Hoda Kotb on the fourth hour of the Today show, back alongside his old Live! co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.

Now, the network has announced that Philbin, 80, will host “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® Spectacular."  The special will feature performances by Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney, among others. It airs Wednesday, July 4th from 9-10 p.m. ET.

"Regis Philbin has been an integral part of every American's life for a generation, which makes him the perfect host for our nation's birthday celebration," said Doug Vaughan, SVP of Special Programs and Late Night for NBC. "We're thrilled to have his unique and legendary talents involved in this very special day."

Philbin first stepped in front of the camera more than 50 years ago, and since then has ambitiously tackled talk shows, game shows and the literary world, winning a slew of notable awards along the way. Last year, he and co-host Kelly Ripa were honored as co-winners of the 2011 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

In September 2011, he broke his own Guinness World Record for most hours on camera on U.S. television, setting a new mark of 16,746.50 hours accumulated over his illustrious career – a career that was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the 2008 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Since departing from “Live with Regis and Kelly” last year, Philbin has appeared in several television and film roles, including “Hot in Cleveland,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “Jack and Jill.”

The Macy's 4th of July Fireworks, the nation's largest Fourth of July fireworks display, returns to the Hudson River to illuminate the sky over New York City with a glorious spectrum of colors, shapes and sparkling dazzlers. More than 40,000 firework shells will ignite the sky for the nation's 236th birthday party, choreographed to a rousing patriotic score. "Ignite the Night," the theme of the 36th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display, is produced by Macy’s and designed in conjunction with Pyro Spectaculars by Souza of Rialto, CA.

The telecast is a production of Universal Television in association with Macy's.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fox Fall Premiere Dates

FOX has set the fall premiere dates for its new and returning series.

The 2012-2013 season begins with the return of THE X FACTOR now featuring Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato.  It will launch with a two-night season premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Sept. 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Featuring new cast members including Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker in multi-episode story arcs, the fourth season of GLEE launches on a new night and time Thursday, Sept. 13 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following THE X FACTOR. With McKinley’s senior class graduated and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) off to NYADA, change is in the air this fall for the GLEE club.

BONES will enter its eighth season on Monday, Sept. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), followed by the series premiere of the new drama THE MOB DOCTOR (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). THE MOB DOCTOR stars Jordana Spiro (“My Boys”) as a surgeon indebted to the mob.

OnTuesday, Sept. 25, NEW GIRL returns for Season Two with two all-new episodes – a special episode at 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT and the season premiere at 9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT – and two new comedies, BEN AND KATE (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) and THE MINDY PROJECT (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT). BEN AND KATE stars newcomer Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon (“Bad Teacher,” Academy Award-winning co-screenwriter of “The Descendants”) as a pair of odd-couple siblings – one a responsible single mom; the other a youthful free spirit – who reunite to help raise Kate’s daughter, Maddie (Maggie Jones, “We Bought A Zoo”). Created and written by Mindy Kaling (“The Office”), THE MINDY PROJECT stars Kaling as a skilled OB/GYN trying to balance both her personal and professional life. The following week, on Tuesday, Oct. 2 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT), RAISING HOPE returns to the Tuesday night lineup with all-new misadventures of the Chance family.

FRINGE returns for a fifth and final season Friday, Sept. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following an all-new episode of Gordon Ramsay’s KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). TOUCH, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Maria Bello (“Prime Suspect,” “A History of Violence”), will make its Season Two debut Friday, Oct. 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

Sundays, beginning Sept. 30, will feature THE SIMPSONS (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT), BOB’S BURGERS (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT), FAMILY GUY (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) and AMERICAN DAD (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT). On Sunday, Oct. 7 (7:30-8:00 PM ET/PT), THE CLEVELAND SHOW rejoins the lineup.

Fall premieres of new and returning series are listed below in chronological order (all times are ET/PT):

Wednesday, Sept. 12
8:00-10:00 PM THE X FACTOR (Season Premiere, Part One)

Thursday, Sept. 13
8:00-9:00 PM THE X FACTOR (Season Premiere, Part Two)
9:00-10:00 PM GLEE (Season Premiere)

Monday, Sept. 17
8:00-9:00 PM BONES (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM THE MOB DOCTOR (Series Premiere)

Tuesday, Sept. 25
8:00-8:30 PM NEW GIRL (Special All-New Episode)
8:30-9:00 PM BEN AND KATE (Series Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL (Season Premiere)
9:30-10:00 PM THE MINDY PROJECT (Series Premiere)

Friday, Sept. 28
8:00-9:00 PM KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (All-New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE (Season Premiere)

Sunday, Sept. 30
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS (Season Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY (Season Premiere)
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD (Season Premiere)

Tuesday, Oct. 2
8:00-8:30 PM RAISING HOPE (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM BEN AND KATE
9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL

Sunday, Oct. 7
7:30-8:00 PM THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD

Friday, Oct. 26
8:00-9:00 PM TOUCH (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE

TV Fathers We Love to Hate

From our fellow bloggers at, this story for Father's Day on TV's worst Deadbeat Dads:

The New Dallas on TNT was Worth Watching

As the familiar theme music from the old Dallas introduced the new TNT version, and for most of the next two hours, I was pleasantly surprised by the updated drama that evolved from the iconic CBS show of the 70's and 80's.

There must have been others who felt that way, or at least enough sufficiently curious to check it out, because TNT says 6.8 million viewers tuned in to the premiere, making it the top-rated series debut for a scripted series on cable this year.

This new iteration, I believe, successfully blends the old with the new by laying a foundation with the aging original characters while introducing attractive new ones with depth and interest.

Of course, the two sides of the Ewing family continue to battle it out over good and evil. Big, bad  J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) and his now adult son, John Ross (Josh Henderson), want to drill for oil on the family's South Fork Ranch.  Good brother Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) wants to preserve the land, while his son, Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) is pursuing alternate energy means.

It's not that simple, though.  There's double-crossing, surprising plot twists and romance, enough to make this feel like a new drama.  There's also some of the old magic, like when J.R. pulled a fast one and you didn't necessarily see it coming.  Shockingly J.R. remains so dastardly that he seems to be at odds with his own son.

Additional characters from the past appeared, as well.  But it's hard to determine where fit in going forward.  J.R.'s ex-wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) is apparently running for governor of Texas, but that was mentioned only briefly. Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton) and Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) appeared for a wedding, but didn't seem to have a further storyline.  Ken Kercheval's character of Cliff Barnes is mentioned and scheduled to appear in future episodes.

The new characters were actually interesting.  Jordana Brewster plays Elena Ramos, the South Fork cook's daughter who almost married Christopher, but is now sleeping with John Ross.  She is a smart, educated woman who's promised to help her ex-fiance with his business plans.   Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gonzalo), who actually married Christopher in the first episode appeared, at first to be an innocent, but has since been revealed to be double-dealing with a brother who seems to have an ax to grind with the Ewings.

Back to the old, I'm personally unhappy that the character of Bobby Ewing is battling a life-threatening illness, but that may be swept under the rug when the ratings come in.  And no one explained where his new wife, Ann (Brenda Strong)  came from and what happened to his old one, Pam, played by Victoria Principal.

I'll continue to watch the new Dallas (Wednesdays at 9 pm on TNT, at least for the next couple of episodes out of the 10 scheduled, to see if it remains interesting, gets better or fizzles.  For now I'll say it holds promise and seems like a good summer get-a-way from reality.

By the way, the original Dallas ran for 13 seasons, beginning in 1978 and logged 357 episodes.  There were two reunion movies, one in 1996 and another in 1998.

Jeanne Tripplehorn to Join the Cast of Criminal Minds on CBS

Emmy Award-nominated actress Jeanne Tripplehorn will join the cast of CRIMINAL MINDS this fall as a series regular on CBS.

“We’re thrilled to have Jeanne Tripplehorn join our team as a profiler,” said Executive Producer Erica Messer. “Her character will be introduced in the premiere. It’s an exciting way to start Season 8.”

For five seasons, Tripplehorn co-starred with Bill Paxton in the cable series “Big Love.” The series was nominated for Golden Globes Awards in both 2007 and 2008 for Best Dramatic Television Series and an Emmy Award nomination in 2009 and 2010 for Best Television Drama.

She also portrayed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in the critically acclaimed cable film Grey Gardens, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009 for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Movie. Additional television credits include a guest starring role in the series “New Girl,” the short film anthology Five, the television movie Old Man and The Perfect Tribute, with Jason Robards.

Tripplehorn’s feature film credits include Morning with Laura Linney, Relative Values with Julie Andrews, Mickey Blue Eyes with Hugh Grant, Very Bad Things with Leland Orser, Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow, Till There Was You, Waterworld, The Night We Never Met and The Firm, opposite Tom Cruise. Tripplehorn made her motion picture debut in Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct, opposite Michael Douglas.

CRIMINAL MINDS airs Wednesdays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) CBS.

Guest Host Line-up for Live with Kelly! Next Week

Here are the "LIVE! with Kelly" guest co-hosts who will join Kelly Ripa during the week of June 25-29, 2012.  Michael Strahan is back again, for three days this time.  Is that a sign that he's still a front runner for the permanent co-host spot?

June 25, 2012 - "Dancing with the Stars" judge CARRIE ANN INABA takes the co-host seat with Kelly today. Kelly and Carrie Ann chat with actor Chris Pine about the new film "People Like Us," and Bravo's Andy Cohen talks about his new book, "Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture." Plus, Blues Traveler performs for the "LIVE" audience, and this week Kelly and her co-hosts will be visited by experts who use their sixth senses during "Psychic Week."

June 26, 2012 - Director, writer and actor TYLER PERRY makes his co-host debut this morning with Kelly. "The Amazing Spider-Man" star Emma Stone stops by, and "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello previews the new film "Magic Mike." Plus, spiritual teacher and psychic Sylvia Browne visits as "Psychic Week" continues.

June 27, 2012 - NFL broadcaster MICHAEL STRAHAN co-hosts with Kelly today. Kelly and Michael speak with Andrew Garfield about the new film "The Amazing Spider-Man," and Seth MacFarlane discusses lending his voice to a teddy bear in the new film "Ted." Plus, "Psychic Week" continues with Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium.

June 28, 2012 - MICHAEL STRAHAN is back for a second day of co-hosting with Kelly, and they interview Channing Tatum about the new film "Magic Mike." Plus, Canadian pop artist Carly Rae Jepson performs her hit, "Call Me Maybe," and intuitive medium Char returns to "LIVE" as "Psychic Week" continues.

June 29, 2012 - NFL broadcaster MICHAEL STRAHAN finishes the week as Kelly's co-host. Kelly and Michael chat with "Magic Mike" star Matthew McConaughey, and "Psychic Week" concludes with pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick. Plus, Grammy Award-winning artist Ashanti grills up a special recipe as "Grilling with the Stars" continues.

Friday, June 15, 2012

ABC Daytime Ratings Update: The Chew, Etc.

ABC's daytime ratings slide continued druing the week of June 4th. 

The View had a six% drop from one year ago.  The Talk, meanwhile, was up by 24% from last year.  The View had 2.82 million viewers and was down 15% among women 18-49, 17% among women 25-54.   The overall number was down from even the previous week when it had 3.22 million viewers. 

The Talk had 2.29 million viewers, up from the previous week's 1.97 million, and was up 16% among women 18-49 and up 26% with women 25-54.  With women 18-34, it was up a whopping 31&.

Terrible ratings for both The Chew and The Revolution are said to be driving the overall daytime slide for ABC.

The Chew posted 2.08 million viewers during the week in question, up slightly from the previous week's 2.07 million, and down 24% among women in the 18-49 demo and down 26% with women 25-54.  Only women 18-34 seem to be watching the show; those ratings were down only 6%.

Here are the soap ratings for the same week:

Young & the Restless CBS 3.2/10 4.31 million viewers

Bold & the Beautiful CBS 2.2/7 3.06 million viewers

General Hospital ABC 1.8/5 2.34 million viewers

Days of Our Lives NBC 1.9/6 2.54 million viewers

NBC Fall Premiere Schedule

From an NBC news release:

NBC announced today the premieres and sneak peeks of its new Fall 2012 primetime schedule that capitalize on the launch and promotional platforms provided by the network’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, the finale of “America’s Got Talent” and the return of “The Voice” and “Sunday Night Football.” Most of the new fall shows will premiere in advance of the start of the season. The rollout of NBC’s Fall 2012 season begins with commercial-free sneak previews of the new comedies “Go On” (Wednesday, August 8) after the evening’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and “Animal Practice” on Sunday, August 12, following the Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics. One day after the conclusion of the Olympics, NBC will debut the new competitive series “Stars Earn Stripes” with a special two-hour episode on Monday, August 13 (8-10 p.m. ET), followed on the same night with the advance season premiere of “Grimm” (10-11 p.m. ET).

Continuing NBC’s launch strategy, “The Voice” returns on September 10 (8-10 p.m.), handing-off to encore sneak peeks of “Animal Practice” (10-10:30 p.m. ET) and “Go On” (10:30-11 p.m. ET). The NFL Kick-Off Special 2012 and first NFL game of the season on Wednesday, September 5, followed by Football Night in America (7:00-8:15 p.m.) and Sunday Night Football’s (8:15-11 p.m.) return in their regular timeslots on September 9 kick off a launch week that includes the September 11 time-period premiere of “Go On” (9-9:30 p.m.) followed by “The New Normal” (9:30-10 p.m.), a sneak peek of “Guys With Kids” on September 12 (10-10:30 p.m.) after the next to last episode of “America’s Got Talent,” and the season premiere of “Parenthood” on September 11 (10-11 p.m.).

To provide additional sampling, the new comedy “The New Normal” will re-broadcast its first episode on Thursday, September 13 (10-10:30 p.m. ET), following the season finale of “America’s Got Talent.”

Among other new NBC series for fall, the drama “Revolution” premieres on Monday, September 17 (10-11 p.m. ET); and the drama “Chicago Fire” debuts on Wednesday, October 10 (10-11 p.m. ET). “Animal Practice” will start in its regular day and time on Wednesday, September 26 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) followed by the time period premiere of “Guys with Kids” (8:30-9 p.m. ET).

Following are the premiere dates for NBC’s Fall 2012 primetime schedule (all times ET; new shows are in upper case):

Wednesday, August 8
“GO ON” (sneak peek following Olympic Games coverage)

Sunday, August 12
“ANIMAL PRACTICE” (sneak peek following Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies)

Monday, August 13 8-10 p.m.
“STARS EARN STRIPES” (two-hour premiere) 10-11 p.m. “Grimm”

Wednesday, September 5 7:30-8:30 p.m.
“NFL Kickoff Special 2012” (regular season) 8:30-11 p.m.

Sunday, September 9 7-8:15 p.m.
 “Football Night in America” (regular day and time) 8:15-11 p.m.
 “Sunday Night Football” (regular day and time)

Monday, September 10 8-10 p.m. “The Voice”

Tuesday, September 11 9-9:30 p.m.
“GO ON” (time period premiere) 9:30-10 p.m.
“THE NEW NORMAL” 10-11 p.m. “Parenthood”

Wednesday, September 12 10-10:30 p.m.
“GUYS WITH KIDS” (sneak peek after penultimate “America’s Got Talent”)

Friday, September 14 9-10pm
"Grimm" (time period premiere)

Monday, September 17 10-11 p.m.

Thursday, September 20 8:30-9 p.m.
“Up All Night” 9-9:30 p.m.
“The Office” 9:30-10 p.m.
“Parks and Recreation”

Wednesday, September 26 8-8:30 p.m.
“ANIMAL PRACTICE” (time period premiere) 8:30-9 p.m.
“GUYS WITH KIDS” (time period premiere) 9-11 p.m.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (two-hour premiere)

Thursday, October 4 8-8:30 p.m.
“30 Rock” Wednesday, October 10 10-11 p.m.
“CHICAGO FIRE” Friday, October 19 8-8:30 p.m.
“Whitney” 8:30-9 p.m.
“Community”9-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top 18 MasterChef Contestants Revealed

Fox has announced the 18 finalists in its MasterChef competition, the show show that stars Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.  Following a nationwide search that drew nearly 30,000 hopefuls, the "best" among them were flown to Los Angeles for a try-out.

They were subjected to more auditions and what the network calls culinary boot camp.  On last night's broadcast, the contestants were brought to Camp Pendleton in southern California where they were split into two teams and challenged with preparing a healthy and balanced meal for 201 servicemen and women.

The top chef will receive MASTERCHEF title along with a cookbook deal and the $250,000.

In tonight's episode, there will be a mystery box challenge and then a competition to see who can cook the best risotto.

Stacey Amagrande
Age: 29
Occupation: Farmer’s Market Manager
Hometown: Apple Valley, CA
Keep up with Stacey at:

Favorite Dish To Cook: “Soups, stews and curries. Dishes with many ingredients, that require slow cooking.

Monti Carlo
Age: 36
Occupation: Homemaker
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Keep up with Monti at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Oxtail Stew! It’s a slow cook recipe, so it takes all day to prepare, but the way your house smells about two hours in is outrageous!”

Michael Chen
Age: 19
Occupation: College Student (Meteorology)
Hometown: Austin, TX
Keep up with Michael at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “My signature dish – dumplings! It’s such a simple concept, but I love how anybody can have a role in helping to make them. I’ve made dumplings with 70-year-olds and five-year-olds.”

Tali Clavijo
Age: 29
Occupation: Musician
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Keep up with Tali at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Foam, sous vide and explosive spheres. I love to transform and reinvent simple foods into modern masterpieces.”

Samantha de Silva
Age: 27
Occupation: Design Consultant
Hometown: Miami Beach, FL
Keep up with Samantha at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Black truffle and pancetta brioche bread pudding topped with a poached egg. I adore the earthiness of the truffle, mixed with the rich saltiness of pancetta and the wonderful creaminess of the egg yellow. Truly decadent! ”

Felix Fang
Age: 24
Occupation: Food Runner
Hometown: Hollywood, CA
Keep up with Felix at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “I don’t have just one favorite thing to cook! But I enjoy exploring new cuisines and trying unfamiliar techniques. I make a lot of kettle corn because it’s a fast, cheap and tasty treat.”

Christine Ha
Age: 32
Occupation: Graduate Student
Hometown: Houston, TX
Keep up with Christine at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Vietnamese eggrolls. My mom used to make them for special occasions, and they were my favorite thing to eat growing up. As for sweets, I love making ice cream and I have been experimenting with various creative flavors, like honey lavender.”

Mike Hill
Age: 40
Occupation: Contractor
Hometown: Powder Springs, GA
Keep up with Mike at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “French toast – a Sunday tradition in my house. My daughter and I get up early on Sunday, go shopping and make French toast together. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

Helene Leeds
Age: 35
Occupation: Health Coach
Hometown: Baldwin, MD
Keep up with Helene at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Salads and raw superfood brownies and cheesecakes. Yum!”

Scott Little
Age: 38
Occupation: Interactive Producer
Hometown: Annandale, VA
Keep up with Scott at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Pork shoulder, because the amazing flavors are so versatile. You can create tons of different hearty dishes from it.”

Dave Mack
Age: 27
Occupation: Food Sales Director
Hometown: Davie, FL
Keep up with Dave at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Tomato-based sauces that are good enough to eat like soups. While road-tripping for three months, I picked fresh, ripe tomatoes and made the best chunky marinara sauce.”

Josh Marks
Age: 24
Occupation: U.S. Army Contract Specialist
Currently Resides: Jackson, MS
Keep up with Josh at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “My signature dish – étouffée. It’s versatile enough to make anyone like étouffée. I enjoy trying different variations, like shrimp, chicken or crawfish. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

David Martinez
Age: 32
Occupation: Educational Administrator
Currently Resides: Glencoe, IL
Keep up with David at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “My favorite thing to cook is always something I haven’t made before. I love the challenge of making something new for weeks until I get it perfect.”

Frank Mirando
Age: 28
Occupation: Stockbroker
Hometown: Holtsville, NY
Keep up with Frank at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: Long-braised pork tomato sauce, a.k.a. Sunday sauce. It’s the meal that has brought my family and most other Italian American families together every week for generations.”

Tanya Noble
Age: 21
Occupation: Sociology Student
Hometown: Austin, TX
Keep up with Tanya at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “A good piece of pan-fried chicken. Perhaps it’s my southern roots (I was born in Texas after all!), or perhaps it’s something about how deliciously crispy the skin gets, but either way, I love it!”

Becky Reams
Age: 26
Occupation: Food Photographer
Hometown: Stilwell, KS
Keep up with Becky at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Anything that is regional, local and in season. I try to cook regionally by cooking with local seafood, produce and sustainably-raised meats.”

Anna Rossi
Age: 28
Occupation: Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Hometown: Boston, MA
Keep up with Anna at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “Local and seasonal food. I love preparing food that is intentional, that has a story and celebrates our community and where we live.

Ryan Umane
Age: 26
Occupation: Unemployed
Hometown: New York, NY
Keep up with Ryan at:
Favorite Dish To Cook: “My special meatloaf. It’s quick, easy, delicious, economical and lasts me all week.”