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It's Happy Happy Time!
Happy Birthday...

... to Vanna White. The "Wheel of Fortune" letter toucher turns 57.

Happy Anniversary...
... to The Pyramid.
The game with arguably the most exciting endgame on television turns 40.

Happy Trails...
... to "What's My Line?" On this date in 1967, the original series left the air after more than 17 years on CBS. The last mystery guest: Moderator John Charles Daly.


Scene and Heard...

"If you like what I did, I'm Bob Eubanks. If you don't like what I did, I'm Bob Barker."
-Bob Eubanks, on "The Newlywed Game"


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Skin Is In
GSN Renews "Skin Wars" for Season 2
From the Hollywood Reporter
GSN is betting on more Skin Wars.

On the heels of a strong summer ratings performance, the cable network has renewed the body-painting competition series for a 10-episode second season.

Rebecca Romijn returns as host, along with judges RuPaul Charles, Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina.

Skin Wars, which wrapped its freshman run Sept. 24, delivered the highest-rated finale for GSN to date. And over the course of the season, the series boosted the network’s performance among female demos by double digits and nearly doubled viewership in its Wednesday time period. It also had a weekly digital after-show, Skin Wars: The Naked Truth, hosted by YouTube star and makeup expert Kandee Johnson.

“We are thrilled that young audiences tuned in to witness the astonishing work of these contestants,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive vp programming at GSN. “Skin Wars represents GSN’s commitment to celebrate artistry through skill-based competition and we cannot wait for viewers to see what we have in store for them with season two.”

Skin Wars is executive produced by Michael Levitt, Jill Goularte and Romijn. Tracy and Slonina are producers.

GSN’s original programming portfolio includes Idiotest, The American Bible Challenge, the Jerry Springer-hosted Baggage on the Road and the recently renewed It Takes a Church and The Chase.

The Hollywood Reporter
Broadway World

photo courtesy NBCUniversal

sted 9/30/14

Syndies: Back in Business
Results for the Week Ending September 21
From TV by the Numbers
Judge Judy was the top regular weekday syndicated program in Household ratings for the 26th consecutive week and also won with total viewers for the week ending September 21, 2014.

Most of the veteran game shows made their season bows. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune opened with a 6.3, up 9% for the week and down 2% from last year at this time. CTD’s Jeopardy! buzzed in with a 6.1, up 7% from the previous week and 5% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud posted a 5.1, picking up 2% for the week and 11% from one year ago. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, with new host Terry Crews, dropped 5% from premiere and 14% from last year to a 1.9.

TV by the Numbers

posted 9/30/14

Monday: NBC Back in Demo Front
CBS Takes Total Viewers
From the Futon Critic
Week two of the 2014-15 season kicked off with NBC (12.045 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1) still on top thanks to new episodes of "The Voice" (12.740 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.9, #2) and "The Blacklist" (10.655 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T5).

CBS (12.304 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #2) then claimed the silver with a new "The Big Bang Theory" (16.177 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 4.7, #1) followed by a repeat "The Big Bang Theory" (12.317 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.1, #3), a new "Scorpion" (13.229 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.0, #4) and the return of "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9.435 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T8).

Next up was FOX (6.216 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.3, #3) with originals from "Gotham" (7.330 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T5) and "Sleepy Hollow" (5.102 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.7, #10).

Meanwhile, ABC (12.214 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.1, #4) served up a new "Dancing with the Stars" (12.690 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.9, #T8) and the season premiere of "Castle" (11.263 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.4, #7).

And finally, The CW (0.914 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.3, #5) offered up its annual presentation of "iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 1" (0.914 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #11).

At midnight, Comedy Central's "@midnight" attracted 585,000.

On Sunday, Food Network rated thusly...

- 8p: Guy's Grocery Games - 1.078 million
- 9p: The Great Food Truck Race (finale) - 1.391 million
- 10p: Cutthroat Kitchen - 1.194 million

The Futon Critic
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily

posted 9/30/14

Elisabeth Murdoch to Step Down
"MasterChef" Producer Will Not Oversee Three-Way Merger
From Sydney Morning Herald
Elisabeth Murdoch will walk away from the TV production empire she built when the planned merger between her Shine Group and two other companies, Endemol and Core Media, is finalized.

The 46-year-old daughter of media titan Rupert Murdoch launched Shine in 2001 and has remained in charge of it for the last two years since its acquisition by 21st Century Fox - then News Corp - in 2011 for $US675 million ($772 million).

Once the merger is finalized, the younger Murdoch will step down and former BSkyB content executive Sophie Turner Laing will assume the title of chief executive officer.

The merged entity will be the biggest production company in the world.

It will also control some of the most successful television programming in the world, including Shine's formats MasterChef, The Biggest Loser and The Face.

Endemol's program library includes the Big Brother format at the game show Deal or No Deal. Core owns the reality formats American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

The content controlled by the Shine-Endemol-Core merged entity is, however, top heavy with reality formats. The companies are less productive in the realm of scripted programming.

Sydney Morning Herald

posted 9/30/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "A Model's Life"

  • Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith moves to TBS for "The Smiths" (... featuringhernbastarandbasketballanalysthusbandkenny) (Deadline)
  • Ashley Hebert gives birth to Bachelorette baby (Us Magazine)
  • "Billy the Board" goes to Cannes (World Screen)
  • Craig Ferguson plays Wichita November 14 (The Wichita Eagle)
  • VIDEO WALL: Alex Trebek... has a brainfart (YouTube)

posted 9/30/14

The Biggest Loser Turns 10
NBC Plans Month-Long Celebration
From the Futon Critic
October will mark the 10-year anniversary month of NBC's popular series "The Biggest Loser," celebrating over 33,000 pounds lost in the first 15 seasons of the show. Including the season 16 contestants on the current edition, "The Biggest Loser: Glory Days" (airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC), the series has helped 310 contestants dramatically transform their health and their lives. The series moves to one-hour episodes starting October 2.

From the heaviest contestant (Michael Ventrella, season 9) weighing 526 pounds, who lost the highest percentage of weight his season to win the grand prize of $250,000, to the oldest player (Jerry Hayes, season 7) who at age 63, won the at-home, eliminated contestant prize of $100,000, the contestants have proven that no obstacle is too great in learning how to live a healthy lifestyle. Since the series premiere in October of 2004, "The Biggest Loser" has also sparked four marriages and two engagements among contestants who fell in love while going through their weight loss journeys.

As part of the anniversary celebration during the month of October, host Alison Sweeney and trainers Bob Harper, Dolvett Quince, Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom will be live tweeting along with fan favorite, past season contestants during episodes of "The Biggest Loser: Glory Days." Viewers can join the social conversation and follow along using #BL10years. The current season features all former athletes, ranging from former NFL players to Olympic gold medalists to athletes who were standouts in high school and college.

PEOPLE will also be hosting a "where are they now" photo gallery on their website, www.People.com, featuring current photos and updates from popular past season contestants.

The Futon Critic

"The Biggest Loser" celebrates its 10th anniversary

photo courtesy NBCUniversal

sted 9/29/14

Friday: Sharks vs. Race
ABC, CBS Split Night
From the Futon Critic
ABC (6.903 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #1) was the demo champ on Friday thanks to the return of "Shark Tank" (6.884 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T2), a second hour of "Shark Tank" (7.387 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) and "20/20" (6.439 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T2).

CBS (8.363 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) then was the most-watched network with the respective premieres of "The Amazing Race" (5.519 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.1, #7), "Hawaii Five-0" (8.930 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.3, #5) and "Blue Bloods" (10.639 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6).

Next up was NBC (6.166 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T2) with a rebroadcast of "The Mysteries of Laura" (4.768 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8) and a new two-hour "Dateline NBC" (6.865 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.4, #4).

Meanwhile, FOX (2.178 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #4) served up a new "Utopia" (1.859 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8) and an "Gotham" (2.497 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8) encore.

And finally, a new "Masters of Illusion" (1.102 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) led into repeats of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (0.902 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #T11) and "America's Next Top Model" (0.594 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.798 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5).

Hollywood Reporter
The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly

posted 9/29/14

More on "Food Truck Face Off"
Catch It on Food Thursday!
From New York Post
One-time “The Bachelor” star Jesse Palmer says his new hosting gig on Food Network’s “Food Truck Face Off” is a far cry from his experience on the dating show a decade ago.

“This is obviously a completely different genre versus what I did in 2004,” says Palmer, laughing. “There’s a lot of heat in this show — but it’s confined to the kitchen.”

That said, the current ESPN college football analyst thinks there’s plenty of drama and heartache on “Face Off,” which premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday.

“There’s a lot of emotion,” he says. “It’s the ultimate reality television — there’s no doubt about it.”

On “Face Off,” two-person teams create and sell street-friendly fare in a competition to win a customized food truck for one year. A panel of judges rates the taste, service and presentation of the teams’ cuisines, which range from Southern-fried to vegetarian Indian.

In a final showdown, competitors face off to raise the most money — and thereby win their coveted vehicle — alongside other already-established food trucks in cities including Miami, LA, Austin, Texas, and Palmer’s hometown of Toronto, Canada.

“I think people think it’s an easy thing — just no stress, that you’re laughing, having a good time in the kitchen with your buddy,” says Palmer, a 2001-04 quarterback for the New York Giants. “It could not have been more the opposite.”

Contestants come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of expertise. Whether they’re seasoned restaurant chefs or amateur cooks armed with family recipes, they must juggle an intense mix of challenges, including long lines of impatient customers, supply shortages, technical issues (like suddenly non-functioning propane stoves) and flavor-starved recipes that turn off the judges’ palates.

“It becomes pretty obvious how important winning this thing is to them and how it can change their lives. But the challenges they had to go through were very physically, very emotionally taxing,” he says. “It sounds cliché, but blood, sweat and tears — all of those things were shed on this show.”

New York Post

posted 9/29/14

More on "Canada's Smartest Person"
Catch It on CBC Sundays!
From CBC News
Intelligence is about more than IQ tests and final exams—at least that’s what Jessi Cruickshank is out to prove as the host of CBC’s new series, Canada’s Smartest Person.

The 9-part season will see 32 of Canada’s brightest minds go head-to-head in a series of challenging tests until only one person remains.

"The challenges we're making these people do are kind of out of control," said Cruickshank. "We're taking it all over the map and that's what makes it so fun."

Unlike average quiz shows, Cruickshank says Canada’s Smartest Person throws out old theories of determining intelligence. Instead, the competition breaks things down into six major facets: linguistic, visual, musical, social, logical and physical.

To truly be 'smart', contestants must be well-rounded and have a little bit of intelligence in each category.

"It's a whole new way of measuring intelligence. And for us, it's a really fun way of measuring it," said Cruickshank.

The challenges will cover everything from a lie detector test to an electronic dance challenge to a motivational speech, where contestants must convince a peewee hockey team to get up and get inspired to win.

CBC News

posted 9/29/14

DEAL! for 10th Season
Noel Edmonds' Version of the World-Famous Game Renewed
From Bristol Post
Hit Bristol TV show Deal Or No Deal has been commissioned for a 10th series.

The Noel Edmonds-fronted game show where contestants pit their wits against the mysterious banker has been a mainstay of Channel 4’s daytime offering for nearly a decade.

Last year it moved from the Paintworks to the Bottle Yard in Hengrove, the former bottling plant which has been turned into a film studios.

The show’s latest commission will run through to the end of 2015, marking its 10th anniversary on UK television.

The deal will see Remarkable Television, part of Endemol, produce 288 new episodes for Channel 4, bringing the total number to nearly 3,000.

BBC Studios and Post Production transformed a 3,000-square metre section of the Bottle Yard site into a permanent home for the show in 2013.

Fiona Francombe, site director of The Bottle Yard Studios said: “We are delighted to have confirmation of Deal or No Deal’s recommission.

“The flexibility of the space we have here meant that BBC Studios and Post Production were able to build an entirely bespoke studio, which has proven to be a huge success, meeting all of the production’s needs.

“We love having the show on-site and its fantastic news that it will now run into its tenth year on our TV screens.”

David Conway, acting CEO of BBC Studios and Post Production, added: “We are excited to be supporting another series of Deal or No Deal from The Bottle Yard Studios and providing fully managed studio services once more.

“Being able to design and build the production facilities from scratch last year, meant we could work with Remarkable Television to create facilities that were tailored to their production needs.

“For us as a media company, Bristol continues to be a fantastic city to work in. We have an excellent partnership with the Bottle Yard Studios and are very much open to offering bespoke, studio services to other clients from this location.”

Deal or No Deal first launched on Channel 4 in the UK in 2005. Since the show began over £39 million has been paid out in prize money to over 2,650 contestants.

Bristol Post

posted 9/29/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Not My Circus"

  • Craig Ferguson never wanted David Letterman's chair (People)
  • Chris Soules begins filming his "Bachelor" season (Christian Today)
  • Jeff Probst is asking for one-liners. Time to play "What's My Zinger!" (Twitter @JeffProbst)
  • LIST ABUSE: 100 people surveyed, top 14 answers on the board. Name a "Family Feud" question that has given Steve Harvey conniptions (Hitfix)
  • Sophia Bush in regards to a "Jeopardy!" clue... socially just or just "social justice warrior"? (Empty Lighthouse)
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP! not a fan of Donald Trump? Sick of him pretending to run for president? Congratulations! You were born (screwed) up! (Mediaite - NSFW for language)
  • Wolfgang Puck not a big fan of the "Top Chef" (The Braiser)

posted 9/29/14

The Second Wizard War
Syfy Picks Up Freshman Summer Hit
From the Futon Critic
Syfy has ordered six additional one-hour episodes of its exciting competition series, Wizard Wars. The series challenges bright and innovative young magicians to impress judges Penn & Teller with mind-blowing, original magic using only a random assortment of everyday objects. The series is expected to return in January 2015, showcasing magicians from Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and more.

Wizard Wars debuted August 19 to over one million Live +SD total viewers tuning in, growing substantially in the timeslot from previous weeks and year-to-year. In Live +7, the premiere grew to 1.3 million total viewers. Wizard Wars' first season so far ranks as Syfy's #1 new unscripted series this year among males. The series has also demonstrated success on Friday nights with its most recent encore showing at 10 p.m. ET/PT (Sept. 5) earning 1.1 million total viewers and growing from that week's new episode.

The Futon Critic
Hollywood Reporter

posted 9/26/14

Thursday: How To Get Away With Thursday
All-Shonda Rhimes Lineup Wins Night for ABC by Less Than 1M
From the Futon Critic
CBS (11.859 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 4.2, #1) held onto the demo crown on Thursday with its presentation of "Thursday Night Football Pre-Game" (8.450 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.7, #5) and "Thursday Night Football" (12.541 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 4.5, #1).

ABC (11.900 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.5, #2) then was the most-watched network with the return of "Grey's Anatomy" (9.776 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.0, #4) and "Scandal" (11.916 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.8, #T2) followed by the launch of "How to Get Away with Murder" (14.007 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.8, #T2).

Next up was NBC (4.399 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.3, #3) with a new "The Biggest Loser" (4.467 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.3, #8) and the season premiere of "Parenthood" (4.262 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.4, #7).

Meanwhile, FOX (4.342 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #4) offered up the season opener to "Bones" (6.218 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.6, #6) alongside a rebroadcast of "Sleepy Hollow" (2.466 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #9).

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.641 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T10) and "The Originals" (0.568 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T10) on The CW (0.604 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the night.

On cable, "Project Runway" was the top game with 2.238 million. "@midnight" ended the week with 635,000. "Beat Bobby Flay" garnered 761,000. "Snack-Off" is ready for the check with 410,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 9/26/14

Tug Is War
Israeli Format Heads to Global Agency
From World Screen
Global Agency and Israel's TV Format Fund are bringing the new game-show format TUG out to the worldwide market.

The format was created by July August Productions together with Michael Rothschild. Global Agency has the exclusive distribution rights. TUG features a game of tug-of-war. In this game, however, it takes brains instead of muscle. Two teams of three will go head to head in a tug-of-war of knowledge. They stand on moving platforms on top of a money tree on the stage. The members will then take turns in a trivia-based tug-of-war.

Izzet Pinto, the CEO of Global Agency, said: “We are delighted to partner with TV Format Fund on TUG. They made a big impression to enter the market last year to bridge the gap between the television industry and the world of business finance by producing and re-casting export-worthy television formats. Israel is one of the world’s most innovative and creative markets; we are happy that TV Format Fund has been one of our strong partners in this region."

"I believe they have all made the right choice by working with Global Agency," said Rothschild. "As a worldwide distributor, we offer an outstanding opportunity to spread the project to many territories. In addition, the show's authenticity makes it a perfect acquisition opportunity for us. We can’t wait to present it to our customers at MIPCOM.”

Nir Shichvager, executive associate and project manager of TV Format Fund, said: “TV Format Fund is a financial body that invests in television formats. At the Fund we welcome and encourage international cooperation, as we believe that through joining forces internationally we can leverage each format we invest in, and help it to reach new and diverse territories and markets. The Fund strives to maximize the potential of each and every format."

World Screen

posted 9/26/14

Happy Friday! Lightning Round
... or "America"

  • "Shark Tank", now in its sixth season, becomes the most American Japanese import since the Camry (Grantland)
  • Randy Jackson's been voted out of his wife's life.... dawg (TMZ)
  • An "American Ninja Warrior" (the second-most American Japanese import since the Camry) speaks to a class (WAFF Huntsville)
  • Okay, Gwen Stefani... what is the name of Miranda Lambert's husband AND your fellow coach? (Reality TV Magazine)
  • Ben Gleib is a longtime game show fan. The words "Press Your Luck" come up a lot during this interview (The Interrobang)
  • Todd Newton returns to KC to host the Mid-America Emmys (Kansas City Live)
  • Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman make a pointless trip to a bookstore next month (Watford Observer)
  • LIST ABUSE: 8 game shows that were really. REALLY. Bad. #3 is a long-runner. (HLN)
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Terry Crews (Rolling Stone), who says that he could've been in Ray Rice's shoes if not for a twist of fate (The Grio)

posted 9/26/14

Number 1... for 28 Years Running!
CBS Daytime Breaks Its Own Record
From TV by the Numbers
CBS Daytime ended the 2013-2014 broadcast year #1 for the 28th consecutive year with LET'S MAKE A DEAL and The Talk both finishing with their largest audiences ever, while THE PRICE IS RIGHT, The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL and THE YOUNG AND The Restless delivered their largest audiences in years, according to Nielsen most current ratings for the 2013-2014 television year.

· LET'S MAKE A DEAL 1 averaged 2.93 million viewers and LET'S MAKE A DEAL 2 averaged 3.39m viewers, both up +9% from a year ago to series bests.

· THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1 averaged 4.83m viewers, increasing +8% and delivering its largest audience since 2004-2005. Meanwhile, THE PRICE IS RIGHT 2, daytime's #1 program, averaged 5.60m viewers, was up +5%, marking its largest audience since 2006-2007.

TV by the Numbers

posted 9/25/14

Wednesday: The End and the Beginning
CBS, NBC Split Night. Again
From the Futon Critic
CBS (8.316 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #1) was the network to beat on Wednesday thanks to the 90-minute premiere of "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" (9.648 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 2.7, #3) followed by the 90-minute finale of "Big Brother 16" (6.983 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.6, #4).

ABC (7.897 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.4, #2) then claimed the silver with its premiere mix of "The Middle" (7.392 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6), "The Goldbergs" (6.969 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.3, #5), "Modern Family" (10.935 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.7, #1), "Black-ish" (10.794 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.3, #2) and "Nashville" (5.647 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9).

Next up was NBC (9.475 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #3) with week two of "The Mysteries of Laura" (9.874 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T9) followed by the return of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10.098 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.1, #T6) and "Chicago PD" (8.454 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 1.9, #8).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.525 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4) served up originals from "Hell's Kitchen" (3.665 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 1.3, #11) and "Red Band Society" (3.385 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.0, #12).

And finally, the season finale of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (1.510 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.5, #13) and a repeat "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (1.382 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.4, #14) closed out the evening on The CW (1.446 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.5, #5).

On cable, "@midnight" logged in 658,000. "The Ultimate Fighter" brought in 433,000.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Washington Post

posted 9/25/14

The Hub: 2010-2014
Discovery Takes Majority Stake, Will Rebrand "Family Game Night" Network
From TV by the Numbers
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today announced The Hub Network will become Discovery Family Channel effective October 13, 2014. The network will broaden its programming focus to serve families in primetime and continue to showcase Hasbro Studios award-winning children’s content in daytime.

During the daytime, Discovery Family Channel will offer a robust line up of brand new Hasbro Studios’ series as well as beloved library programming, including MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, while during primetime, the network will serve a growing family audience that began to develop under The Hub Network. Primetime programming will draw from Discovery’s three decades of leadership in creating the highest-quality, real-world content that appeals to the entire family in the Natural History, Adventure, Animals and Science genres. Initial series will include SUPERHUMAN, TIME WARP, Flying Wild Alaska, AFRICA and EXTREME ENGINEERING: BIGGEST REVEALS.

“The next chapter of our collaboration will harness the incredible content strengths of both Discovery and Hasbro to program Discovery Family Channel with highly-rated award-winning storytelling around Hasbro’s brands and Discovery’s most popular non-fiction shows that appeal to both children and families alike,” said Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner. “Discovery Communications has a nearly 30-year track record of building television brands that create maximum value for advertisers and distributors through their world-class raft of programming and we look forward to evolving this network together.”

Under the executive management of Group President Henry Schleiff, Tom Cosgrove will assume the role of general manager of Discovery Family Channel and will manage all network operations and programming, working closely with the Hasbro Studios team as the new channel will prominently feature Hasbro Studios-produced content in daytime. Schleiff has overseen the successful turnaround and growth of several networks within the Discovery portfolio. Previously, Cosgrove served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Discovery Channel and Science Channel and has held senior leadership positions at ABC Family, Fox Family, Fox Kids and TV Guide Channel prior to his time at Discovery. Most recently, he led 3net and 3net Studios.

“Hasbro is a world-class company with franchises and characters that appeal to kids and families around the world. They have been terrific partners over the past several years as we developed our kids television audience in the U.S., and we look forward to a continued strong collaboration as we evolve to the Discovery Family Channel together,” said Discovery Communications President & CEO, David Zaslav. “Henry’s proficiency in developing and growing strong brands combined with Tom’s experience on Discovery’s flagship brand and deep background in family programming make for a perfect leadership team to drive the network toward future growth.”

The repositioning to Discovery Family Channel builds upon Discovery’s ongoing strategy to maximize its portfolio of channels to satisfy viewers and drive value for distributors and advertisers, while working alongside quality content partners to create long-term value. The Hub Network has grown from nearly 56 million homes in 2010 to approximately 70 million U.S. homes today. Since launch, the strong performance of Hasbro children’s content helped lift the network’s total day P2-11 delivery by +89% and for the past three years, The Hub Network has consistently been the most co-viewed children’s cable network among kids 2-11 watching with adults 18-49--a trend the partners plan to continue with Discovery Family.

“Brian and I want to thank the entire team at The Hub Network for their passion and dedication in building this brand over the past five years,” added Zaslav. “They are a fantastic group of executives, guided by a tremendously creative and inspiring leader in Margaret Loesch. We are grateful for their work in creating a channel of which Discovery and Hasbro have been incredibly proud.”

Discovery Family Channel will continue as a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, with Discovery Communications taking a 60% ownership position in the new channel and Hasbro’s stake decreasing to 40%. The network will be consolidated and managed under the Discovery portfolio of networks.

TV by the Numbers

posted 9/25/14

Big Picture Show
Armoza Format Heads to MIPCOM
From World Screen
Talpa Global and Israel's A Cappella have entered into a partnership regarding the representation of the game show The Big Picture in the global market.

The show is created by TV host and renowned mentalist Nimrod Harel and A Cappella. It sees studio players get the chance to win big money by correctly answering 12 picture-based questions. If a player is unsure of the answer, he can enlist help from a connected player selected from among those viewers playing along at home in real time via The Big Picture App. The technology will enable the connected player to have their image show on the TV screen in studio, and they too will get a shot at winning an amount of the total prize money.

“Although we rarely enter into partnerships on third-party formats, we made an exception with A Cappella as we believe The Big Picture is such a unique connected format that’s going to change the perception of the game show," said Maarten Meijs, the managing director of Talpa Global.

Meijs added: "It isn’t a show with an app, it’s a show that is an app. We have a lot of experience with digital extensions, such as the multiplatform project Utopia, and What Do I Know?!, which is offered with an integrated live play-along app. So we’re technically ready to launch the first game show in which the viewer, by using the special Big Picture app, is actually able to participate on the TV program on-screen in real time and win big money.”

Einat Shamir, the CEO of A Cappella, commented: “Talpa is highly experienced in successfully rolling out formats internationally, and is focused on connected formats and extending brands to other platforms. The Big Picture is a game changer and we believe this format will become the benchmark to how game shows will interact with their audiences wherever they might be. After all, the audience at home wants to be an active participant and influence what they watch on the screen in real time, and The Big Picture enhances the viewing habits of our audience, allowing its viewers to take home the cash prize from the comfort of their couch. We’re convinced our partnership aimed at taking The Big Picture all over the world will be a successful one. "


posted 9/25/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Perform"

posted 9/25/14

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