Flat Line: Leno’s late night TV show is dead – officially

January 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Late Night

jaylenoshowWell, now it’s official: Jay Leno’s 10PM experiment with NBC is now over, with the station announcing Sunday that further production on the show has been halted, and it will endFeb. 12th, when the Winter Olympics begin. They’re now waiting to hear if Leno and “Tonight” alum Conan O’Brien accept its shuffle of late night airings.

NBC wants to put on Leno’s show at 11:35 p.m PST, on Feb. 28 (the end of the Olympics), but with 30 min. show showcasing his monologues and skits. O’Brien would follow at 12:05 a.m. PST with his “Tonight” show. It’s unknown how both will feel about the switch, but Leno is reported to be fine with the change; the snafu might be O’Brien, who might not agree with or like the change. If he’s released from his contract, it could cost NBC up to $40 million dollars, which is something they don’t want, needless to say.

We’ll keep track of how this shapes up, though we hope it doesn’t turn ugly for late night programming on NBC.

Numbered: The Days of Free Broadcast TV ending soon?

December 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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internet-tv-1Many have known for awhile that the ad-supported model in many businesses has taken a hit recently, on the Internet and in print media. Now the ad bust has struck broadcast networks like NBC, ABC and the like, and it appears the days of free broadcast local networks is fading into the sunset.

What will this mean? Well, for starters, if this does happen, most networks will only be available via cable, satellite or other such venues, which in turn will change the landscape of TV forever, needless to say. It’s sad, but this economic downturn has caused a huge ripple effect in consumer spending that is killing the old ad-supported network TV model. We’re sad, but at the same time this could be opportunity for networks to lessen advertising and increase program quality.

This may not happen for 5-10 years, so no need for panic yet, but the ramifications of this news, if true, could change the way we watch TV from here on out.

Uproar: Suicide groups upset about ‘The Office’ and hangman scene

November 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time, Shows, The Office

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the-officeSome suicide prevention groups are apparently quite unhappy with a scene in “The Office” where Steve Carell’s character scares young children by putting himself in a hangman’s noose as a Halloween prank. NBC apparently isn’t laughing at all about the uproar.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention should never use suicide as a joke in any way, and we (sorta) agree with them. I mean, you have to be able to laugh at many things, but suicide is something should be treated sensitively for many reasons, let alone you never know what state the viewer watching it is in.

Robert Gebbia, the foundation’s executive director was quoted as saying: “We try not to be zealots about this…But this one … kind of crossed the line.”

NBC had no direct comment on the matter, as was expected.

Second Chance: Southland and TNT in talks to migrate show

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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southlandRemember Southland, the searing cop drama plagued by low ratings and celebrated by critics that was cancelled by NBC before the second season even aired? Well, it may soon be getting a second shot, courtesy of TNT, a network that loves their cop dramas.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a deal is ” close to being reached”, based on inside info from various sources.  Talk began quickly after NBC unexpectedly canned the show after completing 6 episodes of the new season. Hopefully, this rookie gets a chance in the limelight with a network less gun-shy about canning a promising show.

TNT, Warner Bros. and John Wells Productions have refused to comment regarding the talks, but a deal is “imminent” according to the talk through the grapevine.

Exit Stage Right: NBC Head Ben Silverman to leave network

July 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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ben-silverman-1207-2-lgBrash, non-conventional Ben Silverman is stepping down as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios after a little over two years on the job to pursue another venture (and because his reign hasn’t been a great one, to be honest).

Silverman will stay in place for several weeks to help shuffle off NBC’s fall schedule, the network said in a news release. Jeff Gaspin, president and CEO of the NBC Universal Television sector, has been promoted to chairman.

As one of the founders of the Reveille production company, Silverman exec-produced such hits as The Office, Ugly Betty and The Biggest Loser, and helped to save the accaimed critically but ratings-challenged Friday Night Lights from being cancelled.

Huge ratings numbers eluded Silverman during his tenure, however. How’s this for a distinctive mark: 20 of the 25 shows that started while he was in office have now been cancelled; Chuck, Southland and Parks and Recreation are all that remain.

Now for the real reason for his leaving: Silverman will form a new media company with Barry Diller, one of Reveille’s first investors, it turns out. The unnamed business will invite develop special content for TV, the Internet and other mediums with upfront interaction with advertisers to make it worth their investment as well being quality for audiences.

NBC show ‘Chuck’ renewed despite low ratings

May 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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chuckSometimes the geeks prevail, and in this case, that indeed happened.

The network grabbed up 13 new episodes of the series which made some budget concessions to secure the show a third season, since cuts needed to be made to continue the show, according to NBC.

Fans rallied hard for a pickup, including even a “Save Chuck” campaign that covered buying special items from sandwich shop Subway, and writing in heavily to request the show be renewed.

“Chuck” joins “Southland” (which was definitely on the bubble) and “Parks and Recreation” among the shows that people weren’t too sure would get renewed that NBC gave the nod to. It’s a victory for quality television, without the super-high ratings usually needed for a show to be approved for a new season.

Most in the industry were pretty sure ‘Chuck’ would be renewed, especially when news came down that Dollhouse was going to probably be renewed for a full season.

‘Chuck’ averaged a little over 6.5 million viewers this season, which is #78 out of 200 shows, which isn’t great, but NBC took into account all the fan base support for the show in its decision.

Finally: Project Runway New Season Details Released

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Prime Time, Project Runway

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0000045571_20080109115320Fashion reality show “Project Runway” will finally return to TV on the Lifetime cable channel, Lifetime Television announced today. It beat out NBC Universal (that owns Bravo) to claim the hugely popular fashion series. The show will air on August 20th.

The 6th season will still be hosted by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, the stylish “mentor” to the show’s upstart young designers, was stalled by months of legal battles after creators wanted to take the show to a new network, presumably to get more ad money from a larger station.

The suit was finally put to rest when The Weinstein Co. agreed to pay NBC cash (not disclosed and probably a lot) to move the series to Lifetime. The show’s last season concluded in October 2008.

If you’ve taken up residence under a rock the last 5 years, here’s the skinny on this one: “Project Runway” follows the ups and downs of 16 fashion designers hoping to win cash, acclaim and the ability to start up their own fashion companies by competing in a series of challenges.