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"The Big Bang Theory" will be back (and back, and back): CBS just handed the series a three-year renewal notice that'll keep it on the schedule through 2017, or the hit's 10-year anniversary.
“This multi-year deal further strengthens our network’s position for future seasons," said CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler in a statement. Indeed it does. "BBT" is TV's most watched comedy, and big hits like this don't roll around all that often anymore.
Bill Whitaker, a veteran CBS News reporter, has been named a "60 Minutes" correspondent, becoming only the second African-American correspondent in the show's history, after Ed Bradley, who died in 2006.
In a statement, Jeff Fager, "60" executive producer and chairman of CBS News said, "Bill Whitaker is one of the great veterans of CBS News. He has had a distinguished career covering just about every kind of story all over the world. Bill is a natural fit at '60 Minutes' and it’s exciting that he has agreed to join us.”
A Philadelphia native, Whitaker joined CBS in 1984, later reporting from Atlanta, and then in the network's Tokyo bureau where he covered the uprising at Tiananmen Square. He was later lead reporter on George Bush's 2000 campaign, and Mitt Romney's 2008 run. Based in Los Angeles since 1992, he has also been a frequent contributor to "Sunday Morning."
Bradley, another Philadelphia native, and a 26-year veteran of "60," was among television news' respected and honored correspondents over his long run at CBS.
(By the way, this question may come up so just to answer: Byron Pitts, who has appeared on "60" numerous times, was not officially a "correspondent" for the show, but a contributor - the difference is considerable. There have been many "contributors" to "60" over the years, but very very few "60 Minutes" correspondents.)
Lindsay Lohan: "There's nothing left in having a drink for me . . ."
Oprah Winfrey: "You need to cut the [expletive] . . ."
And there you have the bookends -- telling ones -- of a two-minute sizzle reel OWN released late Tuesday of its new eight-part series, "Lindsay," which premieres Sunday night at 10. (OWN has declined to offer review copies for reasons unknown.)
The tease features an intermittently calm Lohan with a frazzled Lohan: "People have this image of me that it is chaos. I don't want all of the negative [expletive] that's going on, and the stress that might show through on camera . . ."
Then, of course, there's chaos: Lohan tells off dad Michael ("You weren't good for me for a long time in my life") and she gets locked out of her Manhattan apartment. (Reasons also unclear.)
Cut to the director of the series, Amy Rice, who looks balefully into the camera. "So we were supposed to start shooting at 12:30, and Lindsay was locked out of her apartment . . ."
The reel ends with an assistant to Winfrey saying Lohan wants to back out of the taping. Then, it's Oprah's turn to stare balefully into the camera: "This is exactly what everybody said was gonna happen . . ."
And so it goes. Are these 120 seconds representative of an eight-hour docuseries, filmed after Lohan was released from rehab last summer? We'll all have to find out together, which is exactly what OWN and Oprah have planned.
Bottom line: If you can judge a series by the promo - and of course you can't - this one does look intriguing. Warning: Oprah drops an expletive at the end of the preview that may be offensive to some viewers.
[Meanwhile, for those readers just cynical enough to think this whole thing is a play, or ploy, to get Lindsay more employment, congratuations! You may be right. This just in from CBS: "Actress Lindsay Lohan is set to guest star on 2 BROKE GIRLS, Monday, April 14 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. She will play Claire Guinness, a soon-to-be-bride who asks Max and Caroline to make her wedding cake. As Max and Caroline get to know her, it quickly becomes clear that Claire has trouble making decisions. "]
(App readers, watch here: http://bit.ly/1gR05wD. Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones.)
Jay Leno is back in late night TV! For just a couple of minutes...those specifically tonight, on "Arsenio." In a fun, unusual, relaxed (Jay owns a pair of jeans? Who knew...) appearance, he announces the second season pickup of Arsenio Hall's late night show - yes, that show that certain major news organizations don't even know exists...
Anyone who has spent the past 30 years watching the "CBS Evening News" -- as I have -- knows this name well: Eric Shapiro, one of TV news' legendary news directors. His name has appeared on the credits for as long as I can remember, gracing broadcasts with Dan Rather, Katie Couric and Scott Pelley. As director, he is the man -- the guy who figures out everything short of editorial content every night. He is the director of the "CBS Evening News," and -- after 51 years at the network -- he retired Friday night. Steve Hartman -- who has a perfect touch in just about everything he writes and reports about -- had another perfect touch in this farewell piece to Shapiro (who seems pretty young after a 51-year career at CBS, perhaps because he began there as a toddler? Who knows. Maybe Hartman?):
David Letterman's "Late Show" marquee at West 54th Street and Broadway underwent a major renovation Thursday — for this is what the historic venue looked like exactly fifty years ago . . .
Here's what CBS is saying about this . . .
This retro look, which will feature the exact wording that was posted for “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964, will cover the current Late Show with David Letterman marquee through the weekend in conjunction with CBS’s upcoming Beatles tribute, The Beatles: The Night That Changes America — A Grammy Salute, (Special airs Sunday night, the anniversary.)
In a blockbuster deal that stands to reorder primetime television, CBS has won bidding rights to air eight NFL Thursday night games next fall. The NFL -- as NBC has so clearly established -- has been hugely successful in primetime, indeed TV's single most successful ongoing program. CBS -- already strong, indeed dominant in primetime -- now stands to score as well.
The release: CBS will air eight early-season games that also will be simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will also televise eight late-season games in the run-up to the playoffs. The mix of games will include 14 on Thursday nights and two late-season games on Saturday. The full slate of 16 regular-season games will be produced by CBS with its lead broadcasters and production team, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, on all Thursday night games. In a new twist, NFL Network hosts and analysts will be featured in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows along with CBS Sports announcers. The agreement is for the 2014 season with an additional year at the NFL’s option.
The deal marks the return of regularly scheduled NFL games to a weeknight primetime schedule for the first time since 2006, when ABC ceded its Monday night franchise to ESPN. The NFL Network has carried the Thursday night games, presumably with some success, but the NFL Network is no CBS, of course.
Meanwhile, as CBS's competitors surely know, this is a major game-changer, to use the old cliche. Thursday nights have been owned by CBS for many years now -- certainly a factor that went into the NFL's thinking -- and this deal simply makes the network more omnipotent. The regularly scheduled series, such as "The Big Bang Theory" -- TV's top comedy -- and "Elementary" will simply start their seasons later, most likely in November, when the games are over, but possibly even in the new year. Overall, there doesn't appear to be any downside for the network.
Pam Dawber -- who's been effectively out of the TV business, or at least the in-front-of-the-camera part of the TV business for many years now -- will do a cameo on "The Crazy Ones" later this season, CBS has announced.
Dawber was mostly famously on "Mork & Mindy" as Mindy from 1978 to 1982, and later, "My Sister Sam." She hasn't had a credited role as best I can tell in more than a decade. However, viewers of "The Tonight Show" the other night may have caught a quick glimpse of the beautiful and elusive Dawber -- offstage. She's been married for decades to another legend, actor Mark Harmon, who was on the show.
Here's what CBS says about this reasonably exciting cameo:
In the episode, Dawber plays a free-spirited author who goes on a date with Williams’ Simon Roberts soon after his faith in everlasting love is shaken by the breakup of a couple near and dear to him. "It will be a joy to work with her again," said Williams. "It's a dream come true." "I'm so excited to be able to see and work with Robin again," said Dawber. "I hear 'The Crazy Ones’ set is a very happy one. I know it'll be a great week!"
CBS just announced the cast of "Survivor: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty," arriving Feb. 22. But, first things first. Even though Long Island is filled with people who have brains, brawn and beauty, not a single one of them will appear on this edition.
Now we can move on the cast, which includes David Samson, the president of the Miami Marlins, and Cliff Robinson, the former UConn star who spent many great seasons with the Trailblazers. But of perhaps greater note, or at least on a more newsworthy one, Robinson also went to North Korea with Dennis Rodman on that interesting venture in basketball diplomacy.
Here's the list, and a meet-the-cast clip:
Brawn tribe: Cliff Robinson, 46, Newark, N.J., former NBA All-Star; Lindsey Ogle, 29, Kokomo, Ind., hairstylist; Sarah Lacina, 29, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, police officer; Tony Vlachos, 39, Jersey City, N.J., police officer; Trish Hegarty, 48, Needham, Mass., Pilates instructor; Yung Hwang, 29, Newport Beach, Calif. martial arts instructor.
Brains tribe: David Samson, 45, Plantation, Fla., president of Miami Marlins; Garrett Adelstein, 27, Santa Monica, Calif. professional poker player; J’Tia Taylor, 31. Chicago, nuclear engineer; Kassandra McQuillen, 41, Tehachapi, Calif., attorney; Latasha Fox, 37, St. Louis, accountant; Spencer Bledsoe, 21, Chicago, student.
Beauty tribe: Alexis Maxwell, 21, Addison, Ill. student; Brice Johnston, 27, Philadelphia, social worker; Jefra Bland, 22, Campbellsville, Ky. Miss Kentucky Teen USA; Jeremiah Wood, 34, Dobson, N.C., male model; J. McKanas, 34, Boston, horse trainer; Morgan McLeod, 21, San Jose, Calif., ex-NFL cheerleader.
No one needs to be reminded what happened exactly one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School; certainly no one in Newtown, Conn., where no memorials are planned Saturday, and no TV cameras are welcome. As the snow piles up — 7 to 12 inches expected to cover this town of nearly 30,000 by Sunday morning — TV news will have no familiar easy hooks for anniversary stories; no ceremonies, no reflections,...Read more »