Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Newest Amazing Race Cast Announced

CBS announced today the 11 teams that will travel the world on a global adventure for the new season of THE AMAZING RACE, premiering Sunday, Sept. 30 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT).

THE AMAZING RACE has won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Reality-Competition Program” eight times in the past nine years.

This season, which marks the 21st race around the world for the series, will introduce a new twist to the game that will raise the stakes for the entire season. If the Team that wins the first leg of the season can outrace the other 10 Teams and win the final leg of the Race, they will double their money and win a $2 million grand prize instead of $1 million.

Teams will travel through three continents, nine countries and cover more than 25,000 miles, where they’ll be faced with a 10-story rappel in Los Angeles, frying an egg on their heads in Indonesia, working as “rat collectors” in Bangladesh and revisiting one of the Race’s most infamous Roadblocks in the Netherlands in this season’s “Switchback.

This season’s cast includes a pair of Chippendales dancers, married monster truckers, a world champion lumberjack, a double amputee professional snowboarder and Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge (“The Fabulous Beekman Boys”).

Following are the 11 teams, listed in no particular order:

Name: Natalie Anderson
Age: 26
Hometown: Edgewater, N.J.
Current occupation: Physical Therapy Student

Name: Nadiya Anderson
Age: 26
Hometown: Edgewater, N.J.
Current occupation: Project Coordinator at Bridge2Peace

Connection: Twin Sisters

Name: Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Age: 43
Hometown: Sharon Springs, N.Y.
Current occupation: Goat Farmer/Advertising Executive/Author

Name: Brent Ridge
Age: 38
Hometown: Sharon Springs, N.Y.
Current occupation: Chief Executive Officer of Beekman 1802

Connection: Goat Farmers/Life Partners

Name: Rob French
Age: 46
Hometown: Boston, Ga.
Current occupation: Professional Monster Truck Driver

Name: Kelley Carrington-French
Age: 50
Hometown: Boston, Ga.
Current occupation: Professional Monster Truck Driver

Connection: Married Monster Truckers
Name: Trey Wier
Age: 23
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Current occupation: Land Consultant/Former College Athlete

Name: Alexis “Lexi” Beerman
Age: 22
Hometown: Dripping Springs, Texas
Current occupation: Clothing Designer

Connection: Dating
Name: James LoMenzo
Age: 53
Hometown: Burbank, Calif.
Current occupation: Professional Musician/
Former Band Member of White Lion and Megadeth

Name: Mark “Abba” Abbattista
Age: 45
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Current occupation: Entertainment Lawyer

Connection: Friends
Name: Abbie Ginsberg
Age: 31
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif.
Current occupation: Dance Instructor/ Choreographer

Name: Ryan Danz
Age: 35
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Current occupation: Financial Service Company Owner

Connection: Dating Divorcees
Name: Jaymes Vaughan
Age: 30
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Current occupation: Chippendales MC

Name: James Davis
Age: 27
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Current occupation: Chippendales Dancer

Connection: Chippendales Dancers/Best Friends

Name: Rob Scheer
Age: 52
Hometown: Ketchikan, Alaska
Current occupation: Lumberjack and Entrepreneur

Name: Sheila Castle
Age: 44
Hometown: Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Current occupation: Retail Manager

Connection: Engaged

Name: Caitlin King
Age: 24
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Current occupation: Special Ed Teacher

Name: Brittany Fletcher
Age: 25
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Current occupation: Medical Device Sales

Connection: Best Friends

Name: Gary Wojnar
Age: 52
Hometown: Livonia, Mich.
Current occupation: Substitute Teacher

Name: Will Chiola
Age: 53
Hometown: Dearborn Heights, Mich.
Current occupation: Substitute Teacher

Connection: Best Friends/Substitute Teachers
Name: Amy Purdy   
Age: 32
Hometown: Summit County, Colo.
Current occupation: Motivational Speaker/Snowboarder
(Amy is a double amputee)

Name: Daniel Gale
Age: 36
Hometown: Summit County, Colo. 
Current occupation: Executive Director

Connection: Dating On and Off

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Robin Roberts to Start Medical Leave

ABC News' "Good Morning America" co-anchor Robin Roberts has announced that Friday, August 31 will be her last day on air before she starts an extended medical leave. 
All this week the program will celebrate Robin, and provide extensive reporting on her treatment, procedure and recovery process. Her doctor will also be interviewed about how she is preparing for the bone marrow transplant, and explain what she can expect in the coming months. Additionally, the show will feature uplifting and powerful stories about families who have faced and overcome an MDS diagnosis. 

Beginning on Thursday, Robin's team and her doctors will post information on her recovery in the months ahead, and viewers will be able to leave personal messages for Robin (link will be shared on Thursday). There will also be information on how to become a bone marrow donor through

Miley Cyrus to Guest on Two and a Half Men

Actress Miley Cyrus will guest star on two episodes of TWO AND A HALF MEN on CBS this fall. She will play Missi, an old family friend of Walden’s who comes to visit for a week and develops a relationship with Jake when he comes home from the Army.

Cyrus has had success in film, television and music. She is a multi-platinum recording artist and is the youngest-ever recording artist with four #1 albums in less than three years. Cyrus is currently recording her forthcoming studio album. She recently recorded the classic Bob Dylan song “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” Cyrus’ poignant rendition appears on Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.

Cyrus starred in the hit Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana.” She also starred in the feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which topped the box office its opening weekend; in the drama “The Last Song,” scripted by Nicolas Sparks; was the voice of Penny in “Bolt”; and broke box office records with her 3D film “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.”

The 10th season of TWO AND A HALF MEN premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 (8:30 PM, ET/PT).

Friday, August 24, 2012

With No Competition from the Olympics, Still Poor Ratings for ABC DaytimeABC Daytime

We had some readers comment on last week's post that our reports of falling ratings for ABC's The Chew and Good Afternoon America were partly due to the Olympics.  That may have been true, but their were no Olympics broadcasts last week, the week of August 13th, and The Chew and GAA continued to fail.

Don't forget, Monday, September 10th is the day Katie, Katie Couric's new talk show debuts on ABC.  It will be on at 3 p.m. and General Hospital moves to 2.

It will be very interesting to see how that show impacts the rest of the daytime line-up, how GH fares in its new slot and if The Chew continues to slide.  GH, by the way, is the lowest rated soap on the air in daytime.  It draws just over two million viewers each week while the Bold & Beautiful has 3.1 million and Young and Restless has 4.3 million.

Last week, The Chew had 1.94 million viewers, 22% fewer than All My Children and on par with the previous week.

Good Afternoon America had 1.58 million, 44% fewer than One Life to Live and  just a smidge more than the previous week's 1.42 million.

The View, though in repeats, did fairly well with 2.33 million viewers, just 4% less than this time last year, but down from 2.42 the previous week. 

On CBS, The Talk drew 1.87 million people, down 6% from last year and  a drop from the prior week's 1.98 million.

Here are the breakdowns for the various demographic groups (with comparisons to last year in parentheses) most important to advertisers.

Women 25-54:
The View (ABC): 519,000 (-11)
The Talk (CBS): 446,000 (-12)
The Chew (ABC): 435,000 (-44)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): (ABC): 417,000 (-54)

Women 18-49:
The View (ABC): 402,000 (- 7)
The Talk (CBS): 339,000 (-19)
The Chew (ABC); 312,000 (-46)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): 281,000 (-64)

Women 18-34:
The View (ABC): 148,000 (+ 5)
The Chew (ABC): 126,000 (-27)
The Talk (CBS): 103,000 (-29)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): 121,000 (-52)

And here are the soap ratings:

Young & Restless 4,311,000 (-3,000/+203,000)*
2. Bold & Beautiful 3,071,000 (-97,000/+102,000)*
3. Days of Our Lives 2,699,000 (+218,000**/+203,000)*
4. General Hospital 2,463,000 (+147,000/-235,000)*

*compared to last week/last year
**compared to three weeks ago, due to Olympics

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Final Four on Master Chef

Christine Ha from Houston, TX; Josh Marks from Jackson, MS; Frank Mirando from Holtsville, NY; and Becky Reams from Stilwell, KS, are the Top Four finalists on MASTERCHEF, after Monti Carlo, from Los Angeles, CA, was eliminated on Tuesday.   

In the next episode airing Tuesday, Aug. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the Top Four home cooks will split into two teams and prepare a three-course meal for judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot and three world-renowned, Michelin-starred chefs: Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy. 

The following week, in Part One of the two-part season finale airing Tuesday, Sept. 4 , the top three will compete head-to-head in the last mystery box challenge, but only two home cooks will advance to the final showdown.  

On the final showdown airing Monday, Sept. 10 , one cook will be named MASTERCHEF.  The prize is a book deal and $250,000.

The Top Four finalists reveal what they learned from MASTERCHEF:

Christine Ha
Age: 32
Occupation: Graduate Student 
Hometown: Houston, TX
Mystery Box Challenges Won: 0
Team Challenges Won: 3

Try Christine’s Ultimate Burger Recipe:

What she learned from the show:You must cook from the heart, make something you'd be proud to serve your friends, and create it with passion, love and fervor.”

Josh Marks
Age: 24
Occupation: U.S. Army Contract Specialist
Currently Resides: Jackson, MS
Mystery Box Challenges Won: 1
Team Challenges Won: 1

Try Josh’s Ultimate Burger Recipe:

What he learned from the show: The importance of plating and presentation, how to run a kitchen, how to lead other cooks, and most importantly, how to move like a chef in the kitchen.”

Frank Mirando
Age: 28
Occupation: Stockbroker
Hometown: Holtsville, NY
Mystery Box Challenges Won: 1
Team Challenges Won: 2

Try Frank’s Ultimate Burger Recipe:

What he learned from the show: “I learned that I can handle pressure in the kitchen and that I have the ability to take an item I've never worked with and make it taste amazing.”

Becky Reams
Age: 26
Occupation: Food Photographer
Hometown: Stilwell, KS
Mystery Box Challenges Won: 1
Team Challenges Won: 4

Try Becky’s Ultimate Burger Recipe:

What she learned from the show: “I learned more about cooking and more about myself than I ever have before in my entire life. Cooking for me is the perfect storm of everything I know, everything I love and everything I strive to be.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grammy Nominations and Concert Set for December 5th in Nashville

CBS announced today that the Grammy® Nominations Concert Live! — Countdown to Music's Biggest Night® will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena and will air live on Wednesday, Dec. 5 (10:00-11:00 PM) on CBS.  The actual Grammys are on February 10th.

This will mark the first time the special has taken place outside of Los Angeles. The event officially kicks off GRAMMY season by revealing nominations in several categories and will feature performances with past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees.

"We are excited for the opportunity to bring THE GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE! to Nashville this year as we recognize our nominees for THE 55th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS®," said President/CEO of The Recording Academy® Neil Portnow. "Nashville's rich musical and cultural history is so important and vital to our industry, and indeed the world — a fact The Academy has recognized for decades by locating one of our most thriving and active chapters there. We look forward to celebrating the year in music in such a passionate, vibrant and flourishing city."

"Having THE GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE! in Music City is a perfect fit," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. "This announcement further validates that Nashville is a destination on the rise, and our rich musical heritage has once again put us on the national stage. This is tremendous news for Nashville, and we look forward to working with The Recording Academy to ensure the show's success."

This concert special marks the fifth time nominations for the annual GRAMMY Awards will be announced live on primetime television. Last year's broadcast of the nominations special led to increased ratings for THE 54th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS, attracting 39.9 million viewers, the largest GRAMMY audience since 1984 and the second-largest in history. Additionally, the broadcast was the biggest social event in the history of television, drawing 13 million social media comments, with the conversation on Twitter reaching a record high at 160,341 tweets per minute during the live broadcast. THE 54th GRAMMY ANNUAL AWARDS broadcast received six Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Special Class Programs.

Details regarding ticket sales, presenters and performers for THE GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE! will be announced in the coming weeks.

The road to Music's Biggest Night begins with THE GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE! and culminates with THE 55th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 (8:00-11:30 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

THE GRAMMY® NOMINATIONS CONCERT LIVE! — COUNTDOWN TO MUSIC'S BIGGEST NIGHT® is produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC. Ken Ehrlich is the executive producer.

Three Final Survivor: Philippines Cast Members

The other day we reported the first 15 members of the new Survivor cast, Survivor: Philippines, which includes Lisa Whelchel, 49, child star from the sitcom, Facts of Life back in the 80's.  Also among the group is former National League MVP Jeff Kent who played for the San Francisco Giants. Here are the final three.  The show premieres on September 19th at 8 p.m.

Name (Age): Michael Skupin (50)
Previous Season: “Survivor: The Australian Outback”
Previous Finish: Medical evacuation due to severe burns received after passing out into a fire from smoke inhalation. After inhaling a thick cloud of smoke, I passed out and fell forward into the fire suffering severe burns all over my body, the worst of which was on my hands.
Tribe Designation: Tandang

Current Residence: White Lake, Mich.
Occupation: Professional speaker, author and coach
Personal Claim to Fame: I have seven of them that I feed every day – my children. And, ranking 23rd on TV Guide and TV Land's List of the 100 Most Unexpected TV Moments. It’s an honor to have been there when it all started!
Inspiration in Life: My dad, a true warrior who lost a battle to cancer when he was 28, and my mom who battled emphysema for 17 years and never complained. She taught me what tough was.  
Hobbies: Sports and fitness, coaching my kids and anything to do with water… in it, on it, over it, looking at it or listening to it.  
Pet Peeves: Negativity and pessimism. The glass is always full.
Three Words to Describe You: Adventurous, spontaneous and competitive.
If You Could Have Three Things on The Island, What Would They Be and Why?
  1.  Animals to hunt for food.
  2.  An impenetrable shelter.
  3.  An unbreakable alliance.
Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: To avenge a long-standing internal battle, wondering if I can win this game in spite of the changes and my 12-year absence. No matter what any returning player may say, you never stop thinking about going back. And: seven cars when they turn 16, seven college educations, seven weddings… I want to be there for my kids at all times when they need me.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: The physical part I’m ultra-prepared for. I never stop moving. The survival part won’t be an issue. I grew up in the woods. My crazy family life has prepared me exceptionally for the mental part. I’m surviving seven kids!   
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: There is no other returning player in the history of this game with more to prove than me. I’ll find a way to win, whatever it takes! I won’t give up… ever, ever , ever, ever!

Name (Age): Russell Swan (45)
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Samoa”
Previous Finish: Medical evacuation due to dehydration. I fainted multiple times during a challenge. Jeff Probst has described this as “the scariest moment I’ve ever had on the show.”
Tribe Designation: Matsing

Current Residence: Glenside, Penn.
Occupation: Environmental Attorney
Personal Claim to Fame: Being a good dad.
Inspiration in Life: My dad, because he was a very ordinary guy, but a damn good dad. He really loved his family and was a perfect example of what a husband should be to his wife, and what a dad should be to his child.
Hobbies: Riding my motorcycle, mountain biking and skiing.
Pet Peeves: I hate whiners, materialistic people and generally people who are full of crap.
Three Words to Describe You: Energetic, optimistic and focused.
If You Could Have Three Things on The Island What Would They Be and Why? I would bring my “Terrible Towel,” because I’m an avid Steelers fan and I’m always looking for converts. That’s it!

Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: First, the game kicked my butt and I want payback. Second, I want to show people that failure doesn’t always mean the end.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: I bring strength for the physically demanding challenges. I’m cunning – I know how to get my way without being overly confrontational. And I have a sense of humor. I love making people laugh.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: Because I’ve already tried the failure route. I’m going to take a different path and win this time!

Name (Age): Jonathan Penner (50)
Previous Seasons: “Survivor: Cook Islands” and “Survivor: Micronesia”
Previous Finishes: “Survivor: Cook Island” – 14th out, 6th jury member. “Survivor: Micronesia” – medical evacuation due to knee infection.
Tribe Designation: Kalabaw

Current Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: Writer
Personal Claim to Fame: My Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for “Down on the Waterfront,” which I co-wrote and co-produced with my wife, and also co-starred in with Jason Alexander and Edward Asner.
Inspiration in Life: My kids. My daughter is hilarious and actually looks up to me, and my son is smarter and more athletic than I am already. Wanting to make them proud is why I always do my best.
Pet Peeves: Stupidity, meanness and slow drivers in the passing lanes.
Three Words to Describe You: Happy, prickly and funny.
If You Could Have Three Things on The Island, What Would They Be and Why? A good book to read, a blank book to write in and, if I can count her as a thing, my wife. If not, I’ll bring a pen.

Reason for Being on SURVIVOR: The money. I have nothing more to prove or accomplish but winning.
Why You Think You’ll “Survive” SURVIVOR: Experience is the biggie, but I also bring humor and I’m a team player.
Why You Think You Will Be the Sole SURVIVOR: Third time is a charm! If I can get past the first three or four votes, I’m going all the way. Seriously!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Golden Globes Set for January 13th; Nominations on December 13th

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and producer dick clark productions (dcp) present “The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards” live on Sunday, January 13, 2013. Next year’s show will air live on NBC coast-to-coast from 5-8 p.m (PT) and 8-11 p.m. (ET) from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, dick clark productions and NBC made the announcement today.

Nominations for "The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards" will be announced at 8 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, December 13.

Produced by dick clark productions in association with the HFPA, The Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 160 countries worldwide and are one of the few awards ceremonies to include both motion picture and television achievements. The 2012 “Golden Globe Awards” averaged 16.9 million viewers, which was the biggest audience for ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox in the time period, excluding sports, since the prior year’s Academy Awards.

Michael J. Fox Gets an NBC Comedy Series

Iconic film and television star Michael J. Fox, a current double Emmy nominee, is making his long-awaited return to series television on NBC, the network where it all began 30 years ago with “Family Ties,” it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment. This new (untitled) comedy series, from Sony Pictures Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment, was given a 22-episode commitment and is loosely inspired by people and elements in Fox’s life.
The single-camera series will begin filming this year for a Fall 2013 premiere date. It features Fox as a husband and father of three from New York City dealing with family, career, and challenges -- including Parkinson’s -- all loosely drawn from Fox’s real life. Further casting will be announced at a later date.

“To bring Michael J. Fox back to NBC is a supreme honor and we are thrilled that one of the great comedic television stars is coming home again,” said Greenblatt. “From the moment we met with Michael to hear his unique point of view about this new show, we were completely captivated and on board. He is utterly relatable, optimistic, and in a class by himself, and I have no doubt that the character he will create – and the vivid family characters surrounding him – will be both instantly recognizable and hilarious. Being in business with him is a supreme pleasure.”

"We have all been such huge fans of Michael's and hoped one day he would return to television with his own show,” said Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment. “He had us at hello with his warmth, humor and incredible charisma. The fact that he pitched us a show that was funny, heartwarming and personal was the icing on the cake! We are over the moon and thankful Michael, Will (Gluck) and Sam (Laybourne) will be a cornerstone of our NBC comedy brand."

“I'm extremely pleased to be back at NBC with a great creative team and a great show,” said Fox. “Bob Greenblatt and all the folks at the network have given me a warm welcome home, and I'm excited to get to work.”

The executive producers and co-creators are Will Gluck (“Easy A,” “Friends with Benefits” “The Loop”) and Sam Laybourne (“Cougar Town,” “Arrested Development”), with Gluck producing through his Sony Television-based Olive Bridge Entertainment. Olive Bridge’s Richard Schwartz will co-executive produce. Gluck also will direct the pilot.

Fox, who is currently a two-time Emmy nominee for his guest-starring performances on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Good Wife,” first gained mass attention for his work as Alex Keaton on NBC’s popular “Family Ties” and won three Emmys and a Golden Globe Award. Major feature-film successes followed, including “Teen Wolf,” “Back to the Future,” “Bright Lights, Big City” and “Casualties of War.”

Fox later starred in the hit comedy series “Spin City,” for which he received another Emmy, three Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He later appeared in two episodes of “Scrubs” and became a recurring regular on “Boston Legal,” earning another Emmy nomination. His other prominent TV appearances include “Rescue Me” (for which he won the Emmy as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series) and recently in “The Good Wife,” which has earned him two Emmy nominations.

His other films include “The Frighteners,” “Doc Hollywood,” “The American President,” “Mars Attacks!” “Back to the Future II” and “Back to the Future III.” Fox also provided the voice to the title character in the animated film “Stuart Little” and its sequel.

Fox founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease while ensuring the development of improved therapies and raising public awareness of Parkinson’s.

Fox has written three NY Times best-sellers: “Lucky Man: A Memoir,” “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.”

ABC Pushes Nightline Back Until 12:35; Kimmel to Compete Directly with Leno and Letterman

From ABC:

Capitalizing on ratings momentum, advertising demand and increased revenue potential for entertainment programming in the 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC today announced a strategic shift in its late-night strategy to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term.

On Tuesday, January 8, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase in Total Viewers this past season, will move to 11:35 p.m., putting the show in head-to-head competition with "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Late Show with David Letterman."

Proven late-night performer "Nightline" will shift to 12:35 a.m., allowing viewers to begin and end their broadcast day with news. The moves are timed to take advantage of the built-in promotional platforms provided by ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" and ESPN's Bowl Championship Series, which culminates with the National Championship Game on Monday, January 7.

In addition, "Nightline" will expand its programming commitments with a move into primetime, Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning March 1. Given its success and growth, the ABC News series "What Would You Do?" will also find a new home on the schedule.

Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, said: "Given the passionate fan base 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' has built over the past decade and the show's ratings and creative momentum this season, the time is right to make this move. There is the potential for far greater upside over the long term with this shift, given increased advertiser demand for competitive entertainment programming in the time slot." She continued: "This shift also allows us to bookend our programming day with compelling news content. And the addition of a new primetime hour of 'Nightline' on Friday nights will ensure that the program has even more opportunities to continue its incredible, award-winning reporting."

For the complete 2011-12 Broadcast TV Season, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" grew its overall audience over the prior season by 3% in Total Viewers to generate its most-watched season in 5 years. In addition, "JKL" was the only late-night broadcast talk show to grow year over year in Total Viewers. 

And the show's ratings momentum has continued. During the recent July sweep, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" surged year to year by 15% in Total Viewers to deliver its most-watched July sweep ever. Notably, "JKL" grew its overall audience year over year in all 4 sweeps of the 2011-12 Season. The program was also up over the year-ago sweep by 5% in Adults 18-49 to score its best July in 4 years - since 2008. In addition, "JKL" stood as the only broadcast talk show in late-night to achieve yearly growth in either Total Viewers or Adults 18-49. And on Sunday, September 23, Jimmy Kimmel will take another turn in the spotlight when he hosts the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

The shift for "Nightline" in late-night and the addition of a new "Nightline" broadcast hour in primetime, timed to utilize the Academy Awards as a promotional platform, continues the momentum of ABC News, which has enjoyed a banner year of success and growth. From a resurgent "Good Morning America," to the groundbreaking, innovative digital deal with Yahoo that immediately catapulted ABC News to the top of digital news delivery, to the recently completed joint venture with Univision for a 24-hour culturally relevant lifestyle and news channel for U.S. Hispanics -- the fastest growing demographic in the nation -- ABC News has gone from strength to strength and success to success.

In commenting on the announcement, Ben Sherwood, president, ABC News, said: "'Nightline' has proven its ability to grow over three decades on the air, with the show currently enjoying some of its highest ratings and best editorial work ever. The 'Nightline' team will now bring its excellent journalism to new time periods, and we especially welcome the chance to produce an hour every Friday in primetime, where new audiences will be introduced to the program's signature storytelling, interviewing and investigations. I'm confident 'Nightline' and its dynamic anchors, correspondents and staff will enjoy many successes for years to come."

Kelly Ripa Permanent Co-Host to be Announced

Live! will soon have a new name - and a
face to go with it.
Brian Stetler, media reporter for The New York Times, is reporting that the producers of Live! with Kelly (Ripa) will reveal a new co-host on Tuesday, September 4th.

As most know, Kelly Ripa has been without a permanent co-host since Regis Philbin left in November of last year.  She has had a revolving list of fill-ins since then, 59 according to Disney-ABC.

Odds are the person will be Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live or former NFL player Michael Strahan.  As I've said before, it's too bad Anderson Cooper is not available, because his chemistry with Ripa was the best.  It's also still possible that Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos will be named co-host.  Singer Josh Groban was also reportedly in the running?

Who would you pick?  Please comment.  I'm interested to hear what readers think.

SAG To Honor Dick Van Dyke

One of the best TV shows
of all time.
One of our best comedic actors, and an all-around cherished entertainer for decades, Dick Van Dyke, will receive the Screen Actors Guilds Lifetime Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

The award will be presented during a televised ceremony on Sunday, January 27,2012 at 8 p.m. on TNT and TBS.

"Dick is the consummate entertainer — an enormously talented performer whose work has crossed nearly every major category of entertainment,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “From his career-changing Broadway turn in Bye Bye Birdie and his deadpan humor in The Dick Van Dyke Show, to his unforgettable performance as Bert in Mary Poppins, he sets a high bar for actors. Stage, big screen, small screen, literally everywhere he has worked he has inspired millions of fans and has had a tremendously positive impact on the industry and the world.”

In addition to his ground-breaking sitcom from the early sixties, co-starring Mary Tyler Moore and produced by Carl Reiner, Van Dyke has appeared in many movies and television shows, including Diagnosis Murder.  Another big film for him was the children's classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Here's his full bio:

He was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke in West Plains, Missouri, on December 13, 1925, and raised in Danville, Illinois, hometown as well to Donald O’Connor, Gene Hackman and Bobby Short. As a youngster he taught himself music, magic and pantomime. By 16, he was appearing in school plays, running track, serving as junior class president and working part time as an announcer on a local radio station. Enlisting in the Air Force at 18, he soon was performing for the troops and hosting a radio show called “Flight Time.” After one year of duty he was back in Danville, giving advertising a try, but it was not a fit. With another Danville local, Phil Erickson, he hit the road in a record-pantomime act called “The Merry Mutes,” a perfect showcase for his physical comedy gifts. While appearing in Los Angeles, he sent for his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Willet. The two were married on “Bride and Groom,” a network radio program offering gifts and a honeymoon to newlyweds.
After a run hosting a daytime talk show in Atlanta and a morning show in New Orleans, CBS put him under contract. Van Dyke moved to New York where in 1954 he began hosting “The Morning Show” (which featured up and coming newscaster Walter Cronkite). Other hosting jobs preceded his 1957 television-acting debut on an episode of “The Phil Silvers Show.” and his Broadway debut in 1959 with Bert Lahr in the comedy revue “The Boys Against the Girls.” The following year his career soared when he was cast by director/choreographer Gower Champion opposite Chita Rivera in “Bye Bye Birdie.” His performance as rock star Conrad Birdie’s songwriter/manager Albert Peterson earned Van Dyke a Tony® Award and brought him to the attention of Sheldon Leonard and Carl Reiner, who signed him for a pilot opposite newcomer Mary Tyler Moore. The now eponymous “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” starring Van Dyke and Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie, premiered in 1961 and ran for five seasons. With a perfect ensemble cast including Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, the wittily written series was a showcase for Van Dyke’s genius for physical comedy, earning him three lead actor Emmy® Awards.
The tireless Van Dyke spent his series’ hiatus shooting the film version of “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1963 followed by “What a Way to Go” and Disney’s 1964 musical classic “Mary Poppins,” It won five Academy Awards® including one for star Julie Andrews (SAG’s 2006 Life Achievement Award recipient) and earned Van Dyke a Golden Globe® nomination and, with Andrews, a Grammy®. A run of films followed including “Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN,” (1966), “Divorce American Style” (1967), “Fitzwilly” (1967), the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” (1968), Garson Kanin’s satire on conformity “Some Kind of a Nut” (1969) and Norman Lear’s anti-smoking “Cold Turkey” (1970). Van Dyke, who had delivered the eulogies for his comedy idols Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton, explored the role of a fictional silent movie star in 1969’s “The Comic,” He would return to the big screen again in Stanley Kramer’s “The Runner Stumbles” (1978), Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy” (1990) and more recently the Ben Stiller comedy  “Night at the Museum” (2006).
After a year of filming “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” in England, Van Dyke moved with his family to their ranch in Carefree, Arizona where “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” was produced for CBS for three seasons. In 1974, his stunning portrayal of an alcoholic family man in David Wolper’s groundbreaking ABC Television movie “The Morning After” earned Van Dyke an Emmy nomination. A guest-star turn as a homicidal photographer opposite Peter Falk’s “Columbo” followed.
It was back to song, dance and comedy in NBC’s variety series “Van Dyke and Company,” earning him a fourth Emmy® (this time shared with his fellow producers,) followed by a national tour in “The Music Man,” which brought Van Dyke back to Broadway and a national tour in “Damn Yankees.” The 1980s brought a run of television movies including the Showtime production of “The Country Girl” opposite Faye Dunaway, ”Drop-Out Father," opposite Mariette Hartley, “Found Money” opposite Sid Caesar, “Breakfast with Les and Bess” opposite Cloris Leachman for PBS’s “American Playhouse” and the miniseries “Strong Medicine.”
In 1982, Van Dyke earned his fifth Emmy for his vocal performance as the Father in the CBS Library special “Wrong Way Kid.” His voice over talents were employed most recently in the 2006 animated feature “Curious George” and the 2010 short “The Caretaker 3D,” a tribute to the Hollywood Sign.
Van Dyke’s crime solving physician, Dr. Mark Sloan, was introduced in a 1991 episode of “Jake and the Fat Man” and became the central character in three TV movies before evolving into the CBS series “Diagnosis: Murder.” It ran from 1993 to 2001, followed by two Dr. Sloan television movies in 2002. “Diagnosis: Murder” co-starred Van Dyke’s son Barry as a police detective and during its run provided guest-star opportunities for Van Dyke’s daughter Stacy, grandchildren Carey, Shane, Wes and Taryn and brother Jerry Van Dyke.  From 2006 to 2008, the father-son team reunited for a series of four Hallmark Channel “Murder 101” movies, casting Barry as a private investigator opposite Dick’s absent-minded but brilliant criminology professor, Dr. Jonathan Maxwell.
In 2003, Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore re-teamed to portray lonely seniors in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “The Gin Game” on “PBS Hollywood Presents” and the following year recreated husband and wife Rob and Laura Petrie for Carl Reiner’s CBS telefilm “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.” They were notably reunited this past January when Van Dyke presented Moore with SAG’s 48th Life Achievement Award on the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Van Dyke, whose 2011 memoir “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” made the New York Times Best Sellers list, admits that his retirement plans have yet to work out. In 2006 he returned to Broadway receiving standing ovations in his “Bye Bye Birdie” leading lady’s “Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life.”  In addition to his memoir, Van Dyke is the author of “Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child’s Eye View of Religion” (1970) and “Those Funny Kids” (1975), a collection of classroom humor.
Music, Van Dyke’s spiritual nourishment, became richer when he teamed twelve years ago with Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke to form The Vantastix.  Their first major public appearance was at the Society of Singers Ella Awards honoring his “Mary Poppins” leading lady Julie Andrews. They’ve since performed the National Anthem at L.A. Lakers playoffs, mounted a musical memoir at L.A.’s Geffen Theatre, appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall and at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. with the President and First Lady in the front row and released an album of children’s song: “Put on A Happy Face.”
For nearly twenty years Van Dyke has been tirelessly committed to his volunteer work at The Midnight Mission, Los Angeles’ century-old downtown shelter for the troubled and homeless. He helped raise millions for their new building program and is there without fail every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and times in between offering comfort and cheer, often with the Vantastix and members of his own family.  He is passionate about raising funds for music and art programs for public schools and has performed at countless fundraisers. He became a spokesperson for the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation in 1967 after losing a granddaughter to that disease and in 2010 was named the first spokesperson for the Cell Therapy Foundation.
Van Dyke has four children from his marriage to the late Marjorie Willet Van Dyke -- sons Christian and Barry, and daughters Stacey and Carrie Beth -- and seven grandchildren.
On February 29, 2012, he married make-up artist Arlene Silver (whom he met at the 2007 SAG Awards) and whose vocal talents now occasionally blend with those of Dick and The Vantastix. They live in Malibu, California.

Monday, August 20, 2012

CBS Anounces Survivor Cast for 25th Season

CBS announced announced today 15 of the 18 castaways who will compete against each other on SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES. The Emmy Award-winning series will return for its 25th season with a special 90-minute edition, Wednesday, Sept. 19 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT).

Three of the 18 castaways, to be revealed later this week, are former players who were medically evacuated from the game and are returning to finish what they started. The 15 new castaways vying to outwit, outplay and outlast one another include former National League MVP Jeff Kent (San Francisco Giants), and ‘80s television star Lisa Whelchel (“The Facts of Life”).

 For the first time in eight years, SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES will be comprised of three tribes named after animals in the region: Kalabaw (“Water Buffalo”), Tandang (“Rooster”) and Matsing (“Monkey”). The tribes feature individuals from different backgrounds competing for the same ultimate goal: to be Sole Survivor.

Surrounded by water, SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES will prominently feature marine-based challenges where the three tribes will battle for first and second place in order to be granted immunity, while the third-place tribe will head to Tribal Council and face elimination.

Castaways competing on SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES (in alphabetical order):

KALABAW:                  TANDANG:                                  MATSING:

Sarah Dawson                     Abi-Maria Gomes                        Malcolm Freberg
Age: 28                                 Age: 32                                        Age: 25
 Silver Spring, Md.                  Los Angeles                                 Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Insurance Sales                     Business Student                          Bartender

Katie Hanson                        Roberta “RC” Saint-Amour         Zane Knight
Age: 22                                  Age: 27                                        Age: 28
Newark, Del.                           New York                                     Danville, Va.
Former Miss Delaware             Investment Banker                        Tire Repair

Jeff Kent                                Artis Silvester                             Angie Layton
Age: 44                                   Age: 53                                       Age: 20
Austin, Texas                          Terry Town, La.                            Provo, Utah
Retired MLB Player                 Computer Engineer                       Student

Dana Lambert                       Lisa Whelchel                            Roxanne “Roxy” Morris
Age: 32                                  Age: 49                                        Age: 28
Winston-Salem, N.C.              Dallas                                           Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cosmetologist                        Former TV Teen Star                      Seminary Student

Carter Williams                    Peter “Pete” Yurkowski               Denise Stapley
Age: 24                                 Age: 24                                         Age: 41
Shawnee, Kan.                      Holmdel, N.J.                                 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Track Coach                          Engineering Graduate                     Sex Therapist

Former Castaway: ???         Former Castaway: ???                Former Castaway: ???
Age: ?                                   Age: ?                                          Age: ?
Current Residence: ?              Current Residence: ?                     Current Residence: ?
Occupation: ?                        Occupation: ?                                Occupation: ?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Bad News for ABC Daytime: Ratings

The bad news continues for ABC Daytime.  The Chew, the talk show that takes place while people cook, lost still more viewers with 1.94 million viewers, the first time the ratings have dipped below 2 million in awhile.  The drop also represents a 24% loss in overall viewers from All My Children.

We're reporting Nielsen ratings data from the week of August 6th.

Good Afternoon America, soon to disappear, had 1.42 viewers, a slight  uptick from the previous week, but still off 51% from One Life to Live, its time slot predecessor.

The View had 2.42 million, off 11% from last year, but still the winner in daytime talk.  The prior week, The View had 2.58 million viewers.

On CBS, The Talk drew 1.98 million people, off only 2% from last year at this time, but up from 1.89 the prior week.

It's safe to say, I think, that many Americans are off vacationing in August, so it's not surprising that people aren't in front of their TVs watching daytime television, but the percentages show nevertheless that the programs on the air aren't drawing the numbers they used to.  And that's meaningful.

Here are the breakdowns for the various demographic groups (with comparisons to last year in parentheses) most important to advertisers.

Women 25-54:
The View (ABC): 553,000 (-21)
The Talk (CBS): 523,000 (- 6)
The Chew (ABC): 434,000 (-44)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): 334,000 (-62)

Women 18-49:
The View (ABC): 464,000 (- 5)
The Talk (CBS): 377,000 (-12)
The Chew (ABC); 337,000 (-42)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): 256,000 (-66)

Women 18-34:
The View (ABC): 183,000 (+11)
The Chew (ABC): 125,000 (-30)
The Talk (CBS): 96,000 (-27)
Good Afternoon America (ABC): 93,000 (-60)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

MSNBC Announces Convention Coverage

MSNBC announced today that it will present 20 hours a day of live coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Hosts for primetime coverage will be Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.  They'll be joined Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes and campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. Contributors will include Alex Wagner, Melissa Harris-Perry, Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, Frm. Gov. Ed Rendell, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

MSNBC dayside and primetime will telecast live from outdoor sets in both convention cities. MSNBC will also provide a consumer marketing experience at each convention, giving fans a chance to interact with the MSNBC brand like never before.

Here is a rundown of programming for both conventions, starting with the RNC in Tampa on Monday, August 27th and ending with the DNC on Thursday, September 6th.


“Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate,” hosted by NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Director Chuck Todd, will air on Friday, August 24 at 10 PM ET.

“Way too Early with Willie Geist” (5:30 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. ET) and “Morning Joe” (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET) will be live from the Morning Joe Elephant Bar at Channelside from August 27 through August 31. The restaurant (also known as Howl at the Moon) will be open to the general public during the live show.

MSNBC will also host a “Morning Joe” viewing party for fans at the Boat House Bar at Channelside. The party is open to the public and will including personalized button making, interactive photo booths, a latte artist and free coffee.

MSNBC daytime programming continues with Chuck Todd hosting the “Daily Rundown” (9:00-10:00 a.m. ET) and Andrea Mitchell hosting “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET) from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Chuck, Andrea, and additional hosts including S.E. Cupp, will contribute live reports throughout the day for MSNBC from Tampa.

MSNBC’s evening coverage will begin with “Hardball with Chris Matthews” live at 5 p.m. ET from an outdoor set at Channelside in Tampa.

Special primetime coverage of the conventions will be live from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET August 27-August 30. Primetime coverage will be hosted by Rachel Maddow with Chris Matthews joined by Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes and campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. Contributors will include Alex Wagner, Melissa Harris-Perry, Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, Frm. Gov. Ed Rendell, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.


MSNBC will present special programming on Labor Day - Monday, September 3 - starting with a two-hour “Daily Rundown” (8:00 -10:00 a.m.) hosted by Chuck Todd from the EpiCentre courtyard. Regular MSNBC programming will continue throughout the day. “Barack Obama: Making History,” hosted by Chris Matthews, will air on Monday, September 3 at 10 p.m. ET.

“Way too Early with Willie Geist” (5:30 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. ET) and “Morning Joe” (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET) will be live from BlackFinn restaurant at the EpiCentre from September 4 – 7. The restaurant will be open to the public during the live show.

Chuck Todd will host “Daily Rundown” (9:00-10:00 a.m. ET) and Andrea Mitchell will host “Andrea Mitchell Reports” (1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET) from inside the Time Warner Area. Chuck, Andrea, and other hosts including Steve Kornacki, will contribute live reports throughout the day for MSNBC from Charlotte.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” live at 5 p.m. ET from an outdoor set in the courtyard at the EpiCentre. Special primetime coverage of the conventions will be live from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET September 4-6. Primetime coverage will be hosted by Rachel Maddow with Chris Matthews joined by Ed Schultz, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes and campaign strategist Steve Schmidt. Contributors will include Alex Wagner, Melissa Harris-Perry, Former RNC chairman Michael Steele, Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, Frm. Gov. Ed Rendell, and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

In Charlotte, MSNBC will present an interactive consumer experience from September 4-6 located at Enso restaurant in the EpiCentre courtyard. Fans can expect daily “Morning Joe” and primetime viewing parties, host meet and greets, personalized souvenir button-making, photo booths, show giveaways, refreshments, charging stations and free wi-fi. There will also be an interactive social media component, allowing visitors and viewers to join in the MSNBC conversation. Full programming schedule including chats with talent and producers, behind the scenes viewing events, and interactive photo booth features will be posted daily on the conventions tab @

Upcoming Co-Hosts for Live with Kelly

A Tweeted photo from Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa,
vacationing together in Croatia.  Ripa and Mark Consuelos
are reportedly easing Cooper's pain after his boyfriend cheated.
After a brief hiatus, ABC has resumed announcing upcoming co-hosts for Live with Kelly, now in its ninth month without a permanent fixture beside Kelly Ripa. 

You'll note that the old stand-bys are not on this list - Michael Strahan, Kevin McCale and Josh Groban.  Perhaps the network is moving away from those choices.

It's a real shame that Anderson Cooper is out of the running, especially given that Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, are vacationing right now in Croatia with Cooper. (and tweeting often from there). 

In addition to their obvious on-air chemistry, Ripa and Cooper have a personal connection, which would have made their paring on Live perfect.  But, Cooper is locked into his own show, soon re-launching as a live talk show with rotating co-hosts.  Is it just bad timing, or does Cooper just want to be the headliner?  I can't say, but I'm willing to bet the two end up on the air together at some point in the future.

Here's the list for Live with Kelly for the week of August 27th:

Monday - "Good Morning America" weather anchor SAM CHAMPION co-hosts with Kelly today, and they speak with "The Words" star Bradley Cooper. Plus, Rick Schwartz from the San Diego Zoo brings some fun nocturnal animals to "LIVE."

Tuesday - Broadway, film and TV star JERRY O'CONNELL joins Kelly as co-host this morning. Kelly and Jerry take a look at recent chats with actors Ben Stiller and Michael Ealy.  Plus, Dr. Jennifer Jellison stops by with great tips for dog care in the summer.  

Wednesday - JERRY O'CONNELL is back as Kelly's co-host today.  Kelly and Jerry look back at their latest interviews with supermodel Heidi Klum, actor Noah Wyle and reality star Bristol Palin.  

Thursday - "Bachelor Pad" host CHRIS HARRISON returns as Kelly's co-host this morning.  Kelly and Chris showcase recent visits from Academy Award(r) winner Billy Bob Thornton and NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning.  Plus, "Mad Men" star Christina Hendricks stops by.  

Friday - CHRIS HARRISON finishes the week as Kelly's co-host, and they look at recent chats with "The Bourne Legacy" star Jeremy Renner and young actor Zachary Gordon.  Plus, Oscar(r) winner Rachel Weisz speaks with the hosts.