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TV Ratings: ‘Orville’ Suffers Heavy Drop in Move to Thursdays

1 hour ago

Fox’s “The Orville” saw a significant drop in both key ratings measures in its first airing in its regular Thursday timeslot, according to Nielsen data.

Airing at 9 p.m., the new sci-fi series drew a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 4 million total viewers. That is a drop of 50% in the key demo and 39% in total viewers compared to the episode that aired this past Sunday after NFL football (2.2, 6.6 million).

Earlier on Fox, the season premiere of “Gotham” (1.0, 3.1 million) was down in both measures compared to last season’s premiere.

On CBS, the Season 3 finale of “Zoo” at 10 (0.5, 2.9 million) was up slightly in total viewers from last week.

For The CW, “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” (0.4, 1.6 million) was even at 8. “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.4, 1.2 million) was up in the demo at 9.

NBC and ABC aired only repeats.

Fox won the night in the demo with a 1.0 but was third in total viewers with 3.6 million. CBS »

- Joe Otterson

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Showtime Acquires Rights to Bill Clinton, James Patterson Novel ‘President Is Missing’

1 hour ago

The television rights to the upcoming Bill Clinton-James Patterson novel “The President Is Missing” have been acquired by Showtime with plans to adapt it into a series, the network announced Friday.

Set to be published in 2018, the book tells the story of a sitting U.S. president’s disappearance, with the level of detail that only someone who has held the office can know. Clinton and Patterson’s collaboration on the novel marks the first time an American President has ever co-authored a thriller. The rights were acquired by Showtime in a competitive situation, with many networks and streaming services trying to secure the rights. It is said that CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves’ longstanding relationship with both Clinton and Patterson was instrumental in bringing the project to Showtime.

“Bringing ‘The President Is Missing’ to Showtime is a coup of the highest order,” Showtime president and CEO David Nevins said. “The »


- Joe Otterson

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Netflix Children’s Show Production Company Calls Penis Drawing ‘a Very Bad Joke’

2 hours ago

Following a social media uproar that prompted Netflix to remove an episode of the children’s show “Maya the Bee” that included a drawing of what appeared to be a penis in the background, the French production company behind the cartoon has apologized.

“An absolutely inappropriate image has been discovered in a four-second fly-by scene in one episode of the total of 78 episodes of the series,” Studio 100 said in a statement obtained by Variety. “The origin of this image obviously results from a very bad joke from one of the 150 artists working on the production.”

The vulgar image was discovered by U.S. viewers who shared screenshots of the questionable scenes on social media. Parent Chey Robinson’s Facebook post of the offending clip from Season 1, Episode 35 of the show was among the first to go viral.

“Please be mindful of what your kids are watching. I did Not edit any images whatsoever, this »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Brian Strong Joins Fox Sports as Senior VP, Brand Communications

3 hours ago

Brian Strong has joined Fox Sports as senior VP, brand communications.

In his new role, Strong will be responsible for amplifying Fox Sports’ brand through the elevation of the company’s brand-storytelling strategy. He will lead entertainment, brand, and digital public relations through campaigns, special projects, and key sports and entertainment moments.

He will report to Terri Hines, executive VP, communications for Fox Sports.

Strong most recently worked at Nike, where he served as communications director on the global corporate and North America category communications teams. Working with the global team, he drove storytelling for the company’s corporate-brand narrative. On the North America side, he was responsible for strategic media relations work for the basketball, soccer, football and training categories.

Prior to joining Nike, Strong led his own independent communications consulting firm, the Strong Group, working with brands in the entertainment, art, publishing, beauty, and emerging-markets finance sectors. Previous stops include PR agencies Hl Group and »


- Daniel Holloway

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Deutsche Telekom Orders First Original, Culture-Clash Comedy ‘Germanized’

11 hours ago

Deutsche Telekom has greenlit “Germanized,” a culture-clash comedy series about a French village on the verge of bankruptcy that welcomes a German company and hundreds of German workers. It is the first original for the telco’s EntertainTV service.

Christoph Maria Herbst (“Stromberg”) and Roxane Duran (“The White Ribbon”) will star, with shooting slated for next spring ahead of a launch in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The French and German-language show hails from a Franco-German team. Franck Magnier and Alexandre Charlot (“Les Guignols de L’Info”), from the French side, and Thomas Rogel (“Heute Show”) and Peter Güde (“Stromberg”), from Germany, co-created the half-hour comedy. “Das Boot” producer Bavaria Fernsehproduktion, and Newen’s production company Telfrance will make the France-Germany co-production.

“After Uhd and the first exclusive series for EntertainTV, the next logical step is original productions,” said Deutsche Telekom’s Michael Hagspihl. “With our partners we have put together a strong team with stellar expertise in »


- Stewart Clarke

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TV News Roundup: Mark Hamill Among Trio to Join Cast of Netflix Series ‘Trollhunters’

17 hours ago

In todays’ roundup, Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, and David Bradley join the cast of “Trollhunters,” and “AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics” gets a premier date.

Casting

Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, and David Bradley have been cast in Season 2 of Guillermo del Toro‘s animated Netflix series “Trollhunters.” Hamill will play an evil older brother to one of the Trollhunting team, Headey will play an evil sorceress, and Bradley will voice a mysterious figure with magical powers. The 13-episode second season of “Trollhunters” will premier on Netflix in late 2017.

David Lim has been upped to a series regular on the CBS’s upcoming drama series “S.W.A.T.” Lim portrays Victor Tan, a relatively new S.W.A.T. officer who made his name in the Hollywood division before advancing to the heights of the Lapd and Metro S.W.A.T. The series premieres on CBS on Nov. 2 at 10 p.m. Et/Pt.

Emma Kenney has been tapped to star in »


- Matt Fernandez

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‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 12 Closes Out With Impressive Ratings Growth

18 hours ago

“America’s Got Talent” season 12 aired its finale on Wednesday night, closing out the show’s highest-rated season ever in delayed viewing.

On a Nielsen Live+7 basis, “America’s Got Talent” averaged 15.7 million viewers per episode this season, up 14% from last summer. In the key adults 18-49 demographic, the show went from an average of a 3.1 rating last season to a 3.4 this season, again in L+7. Those numbers do not take into account this week’s episodes, which both saw substantial growth in Live+Same Day numbers from the previous week.

Tuesday’s episode this week drew a 3.0 rating and 14.7 million viewers, up 30% in the demo and 27% in total viewers from last week Tuesday (2.3, 11.6 million). Wednesday’s finale drew a 3.0 and 15.6  million viewers, up 43% in the demo and 35% in total viewers from last Wednesday (2.1, 11.6 million). The finale drew the show’s biggest demo rating for a Wednesday broadcast in six years and was the most-watched episode of »


- Joe Otterson

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Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg to Produce NBC Comedy Project From ‘Sausage Party’ Actress

19 hours ago

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have signed on to executive produce a comedy project in development at NBC from “Sausage Party’s” Sugar Lyn Beard.

The currently untitled project would follow Dr. Olivia Boudreau, a 35-year-old hard-charging Doogie Howser-style prodigy, who has a complete breakdown in the operating room and loses her medical license. She is forced to move in with her estranged hippy mom and her mom’s two best friends, who team up to help get her back on her feet, while teaching her all the life lessons she missed by going to med school. If the project goes forward, Beard is attached to star.

Beard co-created the project with Guy-Endore Kaiser, with both serving as writers and executive producers. Rogen and Goldberg will executive produce under their Point Grey Pictures banner, with Point Grey’s James Weaver also executive producing. Sony Pictures Television will produce in association with Point Grey, which »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ ‘Woodshock’ Premieres and More Red Carpets and Parties

19 hours ago

This week’s red carpets and parties include the “Star Trek: Discovery” premiere. »


- Jacob Bryant

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Gal Gadot, Kumail Nanjiani to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ During Season 43

19 hours ago

Both “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot and “The Big Sick’s” Kumail Nanjiani will host their own episodes of “Saturday Night Live” for the show’s upcoming 43rd season, NBC announced Thursday.

Gadot will host the Oct. 7 episode with musical guest Sam Smith, while Nanjiani will host the Oct. 14 episode with musical guest P!nk. This will mark the first time either star has hosted the long-running NBC sketch series. “Wonder Woman” earned more than $400 million at the domestic box office, with Gadot reprising the role in the highly anticipated “Justice League,” arriving in theaters Nov. 17. Nanjiani stars as Dinesh Chugtai in HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and most recently wrote and starred in the critically-acclaimed indie comedy “The Big Sick.”

Smith will be making his second visit to “SNL” as musical guest. He recently dropped a new single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” on Sept. 8 in preparation for his upcoming second studio album release. P »


- Joe Otterson

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‘Riverdale’: Warner Bros. Refutes Unsafe-Workplace Charges Following Star’s Car Crash

21 hours ago

Updated: Warner Bros. Television has refuted charges of unsafe working conditions on “Riverdale” a week after the show’s star was involved in a late-night car crash.

“The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio,” a studio spokesperson said in a pair of statements issued Thursday. “Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members. In accordance with industry standard policy, if any cast or crew member feels tired or unsafe at any time after working, the Studio will provide a taxi, a driver or a hotel room upon request. This is communicated to all cast and crew, both in writing and verbally, at the beginning of production and is reiterated continuously throughout the duration of production.”

K.J. Apa, who plays Archie Andrews on the Warner Bros. Television-produced series, was »


- Daniel Holloway

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International Newswire: Beta, Zdf Talk High-End Series Partnership

21 hours ago

In today’s International Newswire, Beta and Zdf’s commercial arm mull a partnership for upscale scripted series; Golden Globe-nominated director Klaus Haro delves into the shady side of the art-world; and A+ E’s Edward Sabin headlines Mip Cancun, a Latin American TV event that’s growing in importance.

Zdf Enterprises, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster Zdf, is in talks with Munich-based Beta Film, one of the key players in Europe’s scripted TV finance and sales, to create a joint venture to develop, finance and produce high-end scripted drama for the international market.

Details of the alliance have yet to be announced. Its rationale, however, is clear. Unlike Sweden or other smaller European countries, Germany has one of the biggest TV markets in Europe. So there’s less pressure to produce for international than, say, in Scandinavia, whose Nordic Noir was part born out of the necessity to reach beyond domestic. But »


- Leo Barraclough and John Hopewell

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Stephen Colbert Reacts to Trump’s ‘Worst Ever’ Emmy Ratings Diss

22 hours ago

Stephen Colbert began the “Late Show” on Wednesday by praising Donald Trump’s response to recent natural disasters in Mexico City and Puerto Rico, before calling out the president for weighing in on Emmy ratings.

“That was a strong and presidential response,” Colbert said in regards to Trump’s recent tweets. “That lasted for about 18 minutes — because then he tweeted about something that truly seemed to upset him.”

Colbert then recited Trump’s tweet from Tuesday, which reads: “I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night — the worst ever. Smartest people of them all are the ‘Deplorables.'”

I was saddened to see how bad the ratings were on the Emmys last night – the worst ever. Smartest people of them all are the "Deplorables."

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017

“Now wait a second; that can’t be right. I swear I heard somebody say at the Emmys that they were »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Megyn Kelly Says She Left Fox News Because of Trump

22 hours ago

In an interview on “The Ellen Show” on Wednesday, Megyn Kelly said that she left Fox News because of President Donald Trump and the “snake pit” that is primetime cable news.

Donald Trump has a way of clarifying one’s life choices,” she explained after elaborating that she had never been a political person until she joined the primetime slot on Fox News. “Just as I was sort of wondering if [primetime news] was where I wanted to be and how I wanted to live, the universe came and shone a light, and it was clear to me what I wanted to do.”

Kelly added, “Bill O’Reilly, of all people, told me when I got to cable news primetime that cable news primetime is a snake pit. And that’s how it felt, and I didn’t want to be in the snake pit, I just wanted to cover the news.”

She »


- Erin Nyren

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Jimmy Kimmel Turns Trumpian Weapons on Health Care Bill

22 hours ago

It sure can be uncomfortable when the shoe is on the other foot.

Jimmy Kimmel has gotten a lot of attention for his on-air commentaries on health care this week, and deservedly so. In laying out the stakes very plainly but cogently, and with a dash of folksy humor, his health care segments have actually recalled the work of an American icon, Jimmy Stewart.

In many of his movies, Stewart would go up against powerful forces who were pushing  around the little guy — regular citizens just trying to get by. With heartfelt sincerity and plain speech, Stewart’s characters would point out how unfair and ultimately un-American his foes were.

Of course, Stewart was not the only actor to play this kind of character over the years. The “how dare these big shots hurt my fellow Americans” speech is staple of law dramas on TV and many mainstream movies over the years. The »


- Maureen Ryan

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Fox News Sets New Late-Night Show With Anchor Shannon Bream

22 hours ago

Fox News will launch a new late-night news program with anchor Shannon Bream next month.

Fox News @ Night” will premiere in the 11 p.m. time period beginning Oct. 30. The move caps a reshuffling of the evening block at Fox News and an expansion of original programming into the 11 p.m. hour.

Bream has been a rising star at the cable channel, most recently serving as its Supreme Court correspondent and regular co-anchor of morning show “American Newsroom.”

“For the past decade, Shannon’s insight into the inner workings of the Supreme Court and Washington has made her a major asset to our news division,” said Jay Wallace, president of news for the cable channel. “Her experience, coupled with the relationship she has with our viewers, offers a perfect fit for the anchor position at 11Pm/Et as we extend our live primetime programming.”

Fox News had been airing reruns of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 11 p.m »


- Daniel Holloway

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Matthew Broderick Cast in Fox’s ‘A Christmas Story Live!’ Musical

22 hours ago

Matthew Broderick has signed on for the role of the adult Ralphie narrator in Fox’s live staging of a musical based on the beloved 1983 film “A Christmas Story.”

A Christmas Story Live!” is set to air Dec. 17 as a three-hour telecast. Executive producer Marc Platt and much of the team behind Fox’s successful “Grease Live” production are reuniting for the tuner that revolves around a nine-year-old boy’s yearning for the perfect Christmas present: “a Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.”

Broderick will take on the voice-over work handled in the film by Jean Shepherd, the late humorist and radio host who wrote the 1966 short story that inspired in the movie.

The musical rendition of “Christmas” story had a short Broadway run in 2013 and has fielded touring productions. Composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, now »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Oprah Winfrey on Joining ’60 Minutes’: ‘One of the Great Honors of My Career’

23 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey is set to make her debut as a “60 Minutes” correspondent on Sunday with a story about America’s political divisions.

Winfrey’s first outing coincides with the show’s 50th season premiere and the launch of CBS’ yearlong retrospective tribute to the venerable newsmagazine. Winfrey spoke with “CBS This Morning” on Thursday about her new role and her long admiration for the work done by the “60 Minutes” team over many decades.

“As someone whose grown up watching ’60 Minutes; since I was a young girl, not even knowing the power, the impact, the value of the reporting, and then becoming a young reporter myself in my 20s, in Baltimore, ’60 Minutes’ was I would say for the first 20 years of my career like a religion,” Winfrey said. “Your Sunday was complete after Andy Rooney had finished his piece and you heard that clock. So to be a part of this esteemed group of story tellers is one »


- Matt Fernandez

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Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham on Using Technology in a Traditional World

21 September 2017 10:00 AM, PDT

Jeff Dunham is the first to admit that in the high-tech entertainment world of today, his act is a low-tech throwback to a bygone era – and part of a long tradition that’s remained virtually unchanged since the days of vaudeville and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy in the ’30s.

But while the straight man/ringleader with his posse of politically incorrect alter egos still works with a simple dummy on his lap, he has also harnessed modern technology and amassed numbers that Bergen could only dream of (10 million Facebook fans, more than 530,000 Twitter followers, more than 1 million YouTube subscribers).

If Comedy Central was the launch pad, the internet was the booster rocket. “What I do is such an ancient art form, that it was even looked down on back in vaudeville days, and all the new media and technology is the thing that’s gotten me this international following,” Dunham »


- Iain Blair

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Disney Names Rebecca Campbell Its New Chief for Europe, Middle East, and Africa

21 September 2017 9:26 AM, PDT

Disney has appointed veteran executive Rebecca Campbell president of its business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Staring in January, she will replace Diego Lerner, who has been Disney’s Emea chief since 2009 and is returning to his native Argentina, taking an unspecified international role at the company.

Campbell, a 20-year employee at Disney, moves from domestic to international, transitioning from her role as president of the ABC’s U.S. local station group and ABC Daytime. She will be based in London and report to Disney’s international chairman, Andy Bird.

“Rebecca’s ability to manage and lead the many disparate and geographically diverse stations across the U.S. with such incredible success makes her the best choice to lead our efforts in such a complex region,” Bird said. “Given Rebecca’s leadership role in the ever-changing media and entertainment landscape, she is uniquely positioned for success. Her combination of creative experience, leadership »


- Stewart Clarke

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