News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
There's a prominent report in the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday morning that says CNN chief Jeff Zucker has approached Jay Leno about a late night show after his "Tonight" reign ends early next year. No surprise -- it's been speculated about often, and an approach by Zucker makes all the sense in the world. (I'm kidding, kidding. Can't you take a joke?)
After all, CNN is a news...Read more »
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 »
'The Sound of Music Live !," NBC's unexpected little stocking stuffer to itself, will get a curtain call on Saturday, from 8 to 11 p.m.
Last Thursday's three-hour telecast was watched by 18.6 million viewers who marveled at Carrie Underwood's thespian skills, but that number grew to 21.3 million when NBC factored in the so-called live-plus-three figure, which included those who watched via DVR. So the news gets better for the network. NBC had planned to air "It's a Wonderful Life," but that will now be telecast on Friday, Dec. 20.
NBC told its favorite newspaper this afternoon that another musical will be mounted next year at this time, following the huge success of last Thursday's breakout live production of "The Sound of Music.'
So what next? If you head here, the network's understandably very happy top entertainment executive, Robert Greenblatt, says lots of ideas are under consideration. But if you stay here,...Read more »
And the numbers are in: NBC's live presentation of "The Sound of Music" is officially one of network TV's -- not just NBC's -- glowing triumphs of the year: 18.5 million viewers. Over three hours.
Let me make this plain and clear: Network TV, except for football, just doesn't get this kind of crowd anymore. I can assure you - they are celebrating at "30 Rock," as well they should. This was a gamble that paid off, and paid off handsomely -- especially in social media, which was just off the charts last night. Love this live presentation -- which I mostly did -- or jeer (some tweeters did that too) people were clearly intrigued, and mostly happy with what they saw. Yes, Carrie Underwood has a huge fan base, and doubtless it turned out in force for her. But the "Sound" franchise has an even bigger one. The double effect, along with the uniqueness of a live venture, made this thing explode.
Why a triumph for "network TV?" Because it essentialy proves that old idea of a "national hearth" still has a certain vitality to it -- if the program is right. One little irony, perhaps, is that a live presentation like this -- not done in half a century -- was lifted directly from the Old Days. It wasn't some newfangled gimmick.
Some more stats...
- Most tuned in during the 8 p.m. -- expected -- although the vast majority of the 19.7 million viewers who were watching at the peak time, 8:30, stayed around until the end: A total of 17 million viewers were watching at 11, according to "Fast National" Nielsen figures yesterday.
-Thursday's win for NBC wasn't merely unusual but essentially unprecedented in recent years -- perhaps many years -- as it's struggled on what was once a bread-and-butter night. Some reports yesterday indicated that this was the highest performance on the night since "ER's" April 2, 2009 finale. But "Sound of Music" exceeded that performance -- 16.2 million viewers over two hours.
- According to NBC, "With 18.470 million viewers, it’s the NBC’s most watched non-sports night on any night of the week since Jan. 15, 2007 (Golden Globes, 20.036 million)."
NBC's live version of "Sound of Music" arrives from the Grumman stages in Bethpage, and a few million "Sound of Musicologists" will be fully expected to weigh in on their various and sundry disputes with the version -- from cast, to Carrie, to music, to costumes, to ... well, head to Twitter for the storm.
So here's my question: Good move or bad? I'll answer that one! A...Read more »
Either he resigned or has been forced out, but Martin Bashir has now become the latest casualty at MSNBC to beat a path to the exit after making explosive remarks -- in this instance about Sarah Palin.
Meanwhile, if you're coming to this post a bit late, check out Sarah Palin's comments on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning.
Back to Bashir: He posted his resignation notice on Mediaite yesterday saying:
"After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday. Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation . . ."
Briefly, the history: On Nov. 15, Bashir called Palin a "world-class idiot" for comparing the U.S. debt load to China to slavery, then noted -- for some inexplicable reason -- that some slave masters had forced their slaves to eat excrement, and that the same thing should happen to Palin.
He almost immediately apologized, and has done so since, but it's also clear the damage could not be undone. Palin herself castigated him, MSNBC backed away, and before long he was on an "extended" break. Meanwhile, Palin supporters have been hammering MSNBC, and by association NBC News, for the bizarre comment.
More from the Bashir note
" . . . It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments. I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast."
Bashir, 50, has been an MSNBC afternoon anchor since 2010, after a longer run at ABC News.
"The Blacklist," which ended the first half of its freshman season last night with a bang (bang and bang), just got a second season pickup. The only hidden surprise in this announcement is: What took so long?
Per NBC...The Blacklist” is the No. 1 drama on the Big 4 networks in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share in most current viewing. It is the No. 2 scripted...Read more »
Alec Baldwin, who was suspended Nov. 15 by MSNBC for allegedly using anti-gay slurs on a paparazzo, has agreed to a "mutual parting" with the network.
"We are jointly confirming that 'Up Late' will not continue on MSNBC," according to a brief statement from Baldwin's spokesman. MSNBC separately called the split "a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best."
The...Read more »
The odds of Alec Baldwin returning to MSNBC after his two-week suspension are now apparently as good as the Jets winning Super Bowl XLVIII. (Hey! Anything is possible. Sure, Sunday's loss hurt and the Jets do sometimes seem to take every other week off, but the Bills are good this season, and . . . wait a minute, I'm off topic here. Sorry.)
In any event, there are two prominent reports this...Read more »